I guess when you do an album that’s a 68-minute single track, it can be kind of tough to put together a video. All the same, Finnish purveyors of cosmic crush Mr. Peter Hayden have a new clip for a seven-minute segment of 2012′s excellent and chaotic Born a Trip (review here), and have been kind enough to share it with those of us still relegated to the category of “terrestrial beings.” The video was filmed by the Finnish collective Kinskin Ruuvi, and it comes complete with just as much deconstructed nature and forest creepiness one would expect from Mr. Peter Hayden, who are heavy the way we think of (un)controlled demolitions as being heavy.
If you haven’t yet caught onto these guys, now would be a good time:
Last week, when I ended off with Lamp of the Universe, I noted that I was doing so because having searched for the bleakest, heaviest and most chaotic thing I could find, I decided to go the opposite route. If I’d kept that search up, there’s a good chance I might’ve landed on Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising. Along with the striking, blood-covered impression the band made at Roadburn last year, their 2008 album, Ritual IX, was previously written about here, and when they want to get there, they can be about as dark as anything I’ve heard. This track, the 43-minute Ritual IXcloser, “Enneathan,” is a little more varied than that, hypnotically building its pace to chaotic swirl before diverging to primordial drones, but it’s longer than anything they did before or since, so screw it. Long song wins.
In a couple minutes — pretty much as soon as I finish this post — I’m going to head to Brooklyn to catch Helen Money at the St. Vitus bar. Her latest album, Arriving Angels(review here), was killer and I’d like to buy it in person, plus I’ve nerded out on her stuff for more than half a decade and it’s high time I caught a live show. Provided a meteor doesn’t strike between now and then, I’ll have a review of that on Monday, and also next week, look for a writeup on Shallow Grave‘s new album, which is awesome, and a Q&A with The Kings of Frog Island about their latest. If I get the chance to transcribe it, I might do Pombagira‘s interview as well, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, good times to come.
Monday I’ll also have a Clamfight update on their doings, which as one would have to expect, are excellent.
It’s Not Night: It’s Space are playing Monday night in Manhattan, and though a Monday show’s a hard sell and I usually work late, I’m gonna give that my best shot too. Got my fingers crossed I can get my ass in gear for it. Lot of good shows coming up. Much to see, much to do.
As always, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. If you haven’t checked in on the forum lately, it rules and you should. I’m sure I’ll be there all weekend while I continue to blow off the work I should’ve been doing today. Huzzah!
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Their last album, Born a Trip, was something of a sleeper I guess, but Finnish outfit Mr. Peter Hayden nonetheless slung some righteously heavy psychedelia throughout its 68-minute duration. Enough to catch the attention of Roadburn, which added them to the 2013 lineup. Leading to that appearance, Mr. Peter Hayden are hitting the road for a tour starting April 12 in Helsinki that will take them all the way to Tilburg in time for their April 20 slot.
In addition, the cascading awesomeness of Born a Trip (review here) will be split up into a double-vinyl release issued in gatefold form on the first night of the tour. Right on. If you missed the record the first time out, I’m glad to have the excuse to post it again below:
Mr. Peter Hayden: A Haze Odyssey 2013: European tour 12.-20.4.2013
Hypnotic repetition, revelating melodies and aura-ripping riffage. That is exactly what the psychedelic warlords of Mr. Peter Hayden have bagged for you on their way to Roadburn Festival 2013. Ominously entitled “A Haze Odyssey 2013” -tour will bring the band to Baltics, Poland, Germany and Holland to perform their unique, patiently brewed mixture of psychedelic metal and spacey rock.
In 2012 Kauriala Society released their second full-length album “Born A Trip” which gained broad recognition throughout marginal music scenes. Vinyl version will be released on two 180 gram records in a gatefold sleeve by Mikrofoni and Rämekuukkeli on April 12th.
Able and free Mr. Peter Hayden was founded in the beginning of this century. Since then with the genuine power of will they have travelled through time and space and are now here to bring you their best. Acquiring instruction from plain ambience of surrounding nature, their instrumentations and knowledge reach out for the infinite.
Mr. Peter Hayden is marching through Baltics, Poland, Germany and Holland in April on their ominously entitled “A Haze Odyssey 2013” -tour.
A Haze Odyssey 2013: 12.4.2013 Helsinki, Lepakkomies 13.4.2013 Riga, TBA 14.4.2013 Vilna, Bix Bar 16.4.2013 Berlin, White Trash 17.4.2013 TBA, TBA 18.4.2013 Leipzig, Zoro 19.4.2013 TBA, TBA 20.4.2013 Tilburg, Roadburn Festival
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Sax-laden heavy psych rockers The Fërtility Cült, fittingly enough, have a bun in the oven. The sophomore outing from the Tampere, Finland, jam-heads is set to reach public consciousness on May 12. Heavenly Bodies serves as the follow-up to 2010′s Eschatology (review here) and in between, The Fërtility Cült also released a single for “The Seeress” (streaming here), which will also appear on the new record.
I guess the album flew under a lot of people’s radar, but I dug the jams on Eschatologyand “The Seeress,” and thought the saxophone, while a novelty item in some bands, was actually put to good use for the music. Hopefully that continues on Heavenly Bodies. Here’s the announcement:
The Fërtility Cült: Heavenly Bodies – Out May 12th 2013
The ethereal planewalker quintet from Tampere, Finland, that in 2010 gave us their debut offering Eschatology, an album that resonated within the muddled waters of the subterranean music world, shall now release unto the unsuspecting realm their sophomore opus.
The new album, named Heavenly Bodies, shall be put forth on May 12th, the day of the Mother and all Mothers. It takes on the themes and atmospheres of the debut effort, changing perspectives, pushing the envelope further artistically, squeezing out the core of what is The Fërtility Cült, while exploring vaster and more diverse musical domains.
The album shall be self-published, like its predecessor, and be made available for free digital download. A limited edition CD print shall be made available, and can be preordered from the band via their e-mail address.
Heavenly Bodies Summoning of the Cült The Seeress Syzygies Ishtar Rising Hystera Theas
Posted in Reviews on February 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
There’s a touch of space-rock theatricality to “Spacy Phantasy,” the third of the four extended cuts on Finnish heavy psych rockers Deep Space Destructors‘ second self-released album, II, but even that is mitigated by the warmth of tone in the band’s low end, provided by bassist Jani Pitkänen. Pitkänen also handles vocals where and when they pop up throughout the aptly-titled sophomore outing, backed by guitarist Pete and drummer Markus Pitkänen as well, and the band ranges in that regard from the guttural psychedelic chanting of the chugging second half of opener “Beneath the Black Star” to the echoing Finnish-language incantations toward the end of closer “Sykli.” By and large, the songs are jam-based but not without structure to their parts, and II‘s flow is open and easy accordingly.
So what we have is a four-track/38-minute European heavy psych record with jam-minded songwriting and warm, thick tonality in the guitars and bass propelled by organic grooves and classic rocking rhythms. Hardly new terrain in the grand scheme of the current wave of Euro acts, but the Pitkänens and Pete have also shown significant development since the release of their first album, I(review here), last year, branching out stylistically here and there while presenting a more complex songwriting modus all around, as demonstrated on “Beneath the Black Star,” which is genuinely plotted however jammed-out its parts may sound. This move toward premeditation works to the Oulu trio’s favor almost as much as the Markus Räisänen cover art, the rich blues and intricate design of which effectively mirror the band’s engrossing style. As “Beneath the Black Star” stomps to its finish and album highlight “Deserted Planet 2078″ opens with a jazzy bassline from Jani and Pete‘s open strumming,Markus’ drums answer back with natural-sounding thud, marking the launch of a gradual progression that plays out over the course of the track.
Tonally, “Deserted Planet 2078″ isn’t so much fuzzy as it is covered in hair, and the progressive vocal treatment in its initial verse strike as a surprise the band puts to good use in giving the impression that, although they’re still a relatively new band — having formed in 2011 — they have a clear idea of where in the niche they want to reside. For what it’s worth, Deep Space Destructors write long songs that don’t feel long. Working in movements as much as parts, “Deserted Planet 2078″ locks into a ride-it-out bridge groove before stepping back into the initial verse line in the second half, and then — as Markus switches to a faster push on his ride cymbal — launches into the space rocking that will only become more prevalent as “Spacy Phantasy” takes hold. In short, it’s the jam. But even here, the band hasn’t lost their sense of direction, and the jam is leading somewhere rather than plateauing and holding steady. Just before seven minutes in, “Deserted Planet 2078″ comes to a halt and introduces a classic rock riff that it essentially pounds on for the next minute and half to end the song. There was little to presage its arrival, but with the shifts in rhythm around it and the repetitive cycling, some riffs are their own excuse for being. With the open vibes the band has on offer, it’s not like it seems out of place, even leading into the echoing reaches that open “Spacy Phantasy.”
Posted in Reviews on December 26th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Self-released in a glossy digipak, the two-song Emersion full-length from Finnish four-piece Sons of Kings revels in expansive heavy psychedelic jamming that – while there’s little groundbreaking about it on the surface – effectively conveys some of the finest elements in modern European psych and distinguishes itself through emergent musical personality. Washes of ambient guitar would seem to align the instrumental release, which is Sons of Kings’ second behind a 2010 self-titled, with the likes of Red Sparowes and others in the realm of post-Isis explorations, but that’s hardly the crux of what the band have on offer. Both “Ancestry” (18:30) and “Inheritor Fumes” (17:30) delight in mellotron, extra percussion and layered interplay, still leaving room in the second half of the latter track for a soundscaping build that’s ambient and evocative enough to be legitimately cinematic. That section is about as un-jammed as Sons of Kings (who just happen to be named after my favorite The Hidden Hand song) get, even after Samu Montonen’s drums kick back in and J.P. Saari tops the ending progression with a surprisingly bluesy solo, and in that, the opening sequence of “Ancestry” is echoed, as Emersion begins with similar soundscaping, albeit shorter as the drums, guitar and bass fade up amid the bed of synth. The band boasts two bassists – Ville Virtanen and Juuso Jalava – but neither jam is overdone in terms of low end. Likely this is due to the level of exploration or perhaps even the number of strings Jalava is working with (reportedly six, unless I’ve read the bio incorrectly), but in any case, the considerable addition of synth and other effects acts as a balance among all the instruments. In the vein of a more spaced-out early My Sleeping Karma, but perhaps with some less Eastern inflection, Sons of Kings put themselves in a position to be heavy psych forerunners of the European north, and the natural sense of improvisation they bring to “Ancestry” and “Inheritor Fumes” speaks to a focus on live performance that lies at the core of the band. They’re jammers. They jam.
The album is interesting to think of in terms of lineage as a thematic. That is, even unto their name (the reference notwithstanding), Sons of Kings are bringing out an idea of familial rite – the son of a king inherits a kingdom. So too do “Ancestry” and “Inheritor Fumes” play into a notion of past/passed relatives, the latter with not so much the kind of reverence as the band’s moniker as much as an underlying cynicism; inheriting fumes implies either that you stink, you get nothing, or both. Without lyrics or some other form of manifesto in the digipak, it’s harder to really know what Sons of Kings are driving at with these ideas – and how the title Emersion factors in; could be the idea of arising out of both the past itself and the nuclear culture of one’s own family – but it may be that the theme isn’t fully developed or that I’m just not seeing it. In either case, the music makes fitting complement to such musings, meandering wisps of guitar/bass trails sustained and given ground by Montonen’s deft cymbal work and a flowing stream of low end. Smoke on the water, if you want an image for it. In its latter moments, “Ancestry” rounds out with ample tonal sweetness, the guitar and bass ringing out while the mellotron takes up as almost part of the rhythm section in being a cohesive element after about 16 minutes in, its melody also serving to tie the piece together. I don’t know who’s playing it, but whichever member it is, their contributions make Sons of Kings’ sound all the richer, giving Emersion an individual feel that even plays into the themes of inheritance and ancestry noted above – the mellotron is at this point an inherently classic sound, meant to invoke or state an allegiance with classic heavy or progressive rock. As “Inheritor Fumes” gets underway with room echoes in spaced out guitar notes and more active drumming, Sons of Kings seem to be delighting in the moment, making it up as they go along and relying on what proves to be an engaging chemistry between the players to convey contemplation in motion and a subtly driving build.
Posted in Reviews on December 4th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Unpretentious as they are, Abbot are still the kind of band who make you want to describe everything with “thee.” Thee debut 7″ Into the Light has been released by thee label Red Sky, and finds thee Finnish four-piece rolling along classic doom grooves, etc. All of that applies to the two tracks of Into the Light, by the way. The single-guitar outfit – JP Jakonen provides standalone vocals and harmonica, Jussi Jokinen guitar, Tapio Lepistö bass and Antti Kuusinen the drums — recorded “Into the Light” and the B-side “Beyond the High Rise” in their rehearsal space in 2010, so they’ve had a little time to sit on them, and while their Oct. 2012 cassette, All andEverything (limited to 100 copies), is based around the life of Greek philosopher G. I. Gurdjieff — he of the waking sleep — Into the Lighthas no such abiding thematic. That leads me to think that the later release, which is the 7″, was recorded first, and the rudimentary nature of “Into the Light” and “Beyond the High Rise” bear that out.
The 7″ is limited to 300 copies on black vinyl in a cardboard sleeve, and boasts artwork by Daniel Matsui, and its opener is the longer of the two pieces at just under six and a half minutes. Immediately the riff leads the way. Jokinen‘s guitar is the guiding force throughout the entirety of Into the Light, and the rest of Abbot follows the course he sets with the riffs. Even Jakonen’s vocals align themselves to the guitar’s patterns, working in subtly doomed melodies not so far from the spirit once conjured by Reverend Bizarre but neither totally attached to it. “Into the Light” works at a slow march, enough so there’s movement within it, lumbering though it may be, but still in no general rush. Kuusinen‘s drums keep the plod pretty simple as well, moving from the bell to hard-hit fills that call out transitions between the verse and the chorus movement. The hook of the song is largely in the riff, but that’s enough to carry it across anyway, since the ideas are fairly simple, and the harmonica that appears to donate a solo to a (relatively) shuffling blues jam bridge provides a shift just where one is most needed before the verse resumes prior to the four-minute mark. A long outro movement has Jakonen experimenting with vocal effects over suitably stoned guitars for a semi-psychedelic feel, and though one feels as though Abbot could probably get another six or seven minutes out of that riff — nothing seems to be preventing them from doing exactly that, save perhaps for the limited capacity of the 7″ record — “Into the Light” comes to an abrupt end with as little ceremony as it arrived.
Beginning with a jarring tape noise and a quicker, more immediate stoner bounce, “Beyond the High Rise” is catchier than the A-side and so makes a formidable complement. The natural, Sabbathian vibe of the preceding cut is retained, and Jokinen‘s guitar is still definitely running the show, but the band as a whole seems more comfortable in the uptempo context, and they move deftly from the harmonica at the beginning to the swirling “lead” in the second half without any upset of flow or sacrifice of structure. There’s a mini-build about three quarters of the way through the total four-minutes, of which Jakonen‘s harmonica is a charming part, and though “Beyond the High Rise” ultimately shares “Into the Light”‘s lack of flourish arrangement-wise, it also shares its engaging riffs, thick tones, organic vibe and — considering it was recorded in a rehearsal space — surprisingly solid production. Into the Lightmay prove a one-off for Abbot, considering the concurrent tape is reportedly one of a series of cassingles, but the songs prove their worth no matter how representative they either do or don’t wind up being of where Abbot are headed conceptually and stylistically. Either way, Into theLight,as a first physical manifestation of Abbot‘s output, goes to show that Pori, which also produced experimentalist improvisers PharaohOverlord,might not be done contributing to the heavy underground yet. Fair enough. Both “Beyond the High Rise” and “Into the Light” show an affinity for the landmarks of doom and a desire to make their own stamp on the sound. For a debut release, that’s about all one can ask.
Posted in audiObelisk on November 6th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
This Pharaoh Overlord stream is another one of those things that should’ve happened last Monday, but you know, blah blah blah, natural disaster, no power, refugee living, etc. I actually tried to make it happen toward the end of last week as well, but hotel wifi caps were too reminiscent of downloading music on dialup and I was starting to get short of breath each time it cut out uploading and I could feel my eyes rolling up into the back of my head, so yeah, here we are. Let’s frame it like this: the Grails and Pharaoh Overlord split came out one week ago on Kemado and we’re celebrating the anniversary with a track stream of “Suntio,” one of their two contributions to Palmu, their side ofthe full-length release.
Listeners familiar with the Finnish outfit will recognize their classic jam/improvisational style, but for anyone who might be unacquainted, Pharaoh Overlord began in 2000 as a spinoff from the band Circle. Their earlier releases were titled only by number — they went from 1to 4in that manner — and over time, they’ve developed a rich and evocative psychedelia fueled by the dynamic between players. Their latest and seventh LP is 2012′s Lunar Jetman and the tracks they contribute to this split with Portland, Oregon’s Grails – “Suntio” and “Palmu” — stand toe-to-toe atmospherically with their counterparts. Despite simpler arrangements, Pharaoh Overlord meet Grails head on — complementing, not competing — and while they’re by their very nature less lush sonically, the spirit remains emotionally resonant.
If that doesn’t make any sense, I’m fortunate enough to have Alex Hall and Emil Amos from Grails (the latter also plays in Om) on hand to provide insight and commentary on how the two acts came together for this release and why. You’ll find their words after the track, which is on the player below:
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The Grails/Pharaoh Overlord, Black Tar PropheciesVol. 5/Palmu split LP is available now on Kemado Records. Here’s what Hall and Amos of Grails had to say:
After hearing Pharaoh Overlord for the first time, a friend of ours drunkenly requested that P.O. be played every time he entered a room… vainly envisioning that he deserved the sort of fanfare a WWF wrestler might use to bask in illusions of superhuman power. Outside of the delusional inanity of his original proclamation, the man’s ultimate point still stands: that Pharaoh Overlord embody one of the more successful and tasteful feats of hybridization in underground music by fusing the exploratory and meditative aspects of motorik repetition with the dank sleaze and dread of early metal. There are at least two or three bands in the running for World’s Greatest Band at this moment… and P.O. have several advantages on them. If only they could backmask a message powerful enough that I might blow my head off and finally prove the true visceral nature of their aesthetic vision to the vermin-like web-crawling fleets of distracted critics. Without question, we are P.O.’s target audience. After pumping this courtesy track off the new Grails/P.O. split, treat yourself right to a viewing of “Dream Deceivers”!…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDsv_oG3KWY
Really, there wasn’t anywhere else for Hexvessel to go but the woods. Their prior video for the song “I am the Ritual,” paired the Finnish folk naturalists with director Justin Oakey, and it worked well. Oakey‘s work has been featured here a few times by now (videos here), and for “Sacred Marriage,” the band and director have teamed again, bringing a more modern approach to Oakey‘s highly atmospheric common themes of human interaction with natural spaces, woodsy spirituality, and so on.
Those who’ve followed his clips will find his style recognizable, despite the less medieval feel (in the costuming anyway — it’s not like anyone takes out a cellphone and starts looking up direction in the middle of the forest), and the song gives hints of guitar fuzz while maintaining Hexvessel‘s signature melodicism. Hope you dig it:
Director Justin Oakey, whose videos have been featured here several times in the past (see here, here and here), sends over word of a new clip in favor of Hooded Menace‘s track “Crumbling Insanity” from their new album and Relapse debut, Effigies of Evil. Those who’ve seen his other works — or those who will click the links in the last sentence and see — will note a continuation of pagan themes, underlying dangers and a disparaging of ideologies. Oakey‘s work remains bleak and atmospheric no matter the music accompanying, it seems, though as the church in the clip below crumbles, a Hooded Menace soundtrack only seems appropriate.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
While I’m saying congratulations today, way to go to Finnish space crushers Mr. Peter Hayden. The announcement came through this morning that the band — who released their second album, Born a Trip (review here), earlier this year — will be joining the lineup for Roadburn next year, and not a moment too soon. One imagines any further delay in those stars aligning and MPH would be off on some other time continuum somewhere, jamming until nebula clouds of smoke rise from their amplifiers.
Or something. Whatever, the band’s cool, and good for them they get to be cool at the 013 in ’013. Dig it:
Mr. Peter Hayden To Bring Their Lysergic Post-Metal / Space Rock To Roadburn 2013.
We’re very pleased to announce that elusive Finnish psychedelic crushers Mr. Peter Hayden will bring their lysergically elliptical planetary travelogues to Roadburn Festival 2013 on Saturday, April 20th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.
Mr Peter Hayden‘s post-metal-infused space-rock is comprised of intertwining movements built from long progressive builds reaching cosmically thundering apexes heavily immersed in the vastness and darkness of deep space. This is melded with spacey ambience, which ventures off into impressive prog textures and vaguely-melodic synth wash punctuated by rhythmic chug and drum thud. Their excursions rise and fall tidally, offering minute wave-like undulations to coincide with the larger push and pull.
At the peak of their gargantuan cosmic improvisational powers — spectacularly demonstrated on both their debut full-length, Faster Than Speed, and this year’s sophomore album, Born A Trip — Mr. Peter Hayden‘s space opuses are devoid of the rushes of light and the sun drenched jams present in so many contemporary European psychedelic bands; instead they are all about cosmic travel deep in throes of brown acid!
Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Roadburn Festival 2013 Pre-sales start Thursday, 4 October 2012 at 20:30 CET.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Nifty news for anyone who’s followed the always-intriguing progression of Portland’s Grails, in that the fifth installment in their ongoing Black Tar Propheciesseries of releases will come in the form of a split with Finnish outfit Pharaoh Overlord. The last album from Grails proper was 2011′s Deep Politics(review here), and this will be the first Black Tar Propheciesto be a split since the very first in 2006 came out as part of a release with Red Sparowes.
The band may be instrumental, but the PR wire speaks the following:
GRAILS split w/ Pharaoh Overlord
Kemado Records announces its October 30 release of Grails’ new offering, Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5, the latest in the band’s Black Tar Prophecies series.
From Portland, Oregon, Grails feature drummer Emil Amos, also of Om. Making music under the Grails name for a decade now, the instrumental band have released music on labels such as Temporary Residence, Neurot, and Robotic Empire. Pitchfork bestowed this review upon them: “From stoner sludge to swirling desert rock to meditative mood music, Grails run an impressively wide gamut… Grails’ constantly changing sound makes every moment arresting, not simply the big crescendos.”
Kemado will release Grails’ Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5 on October 30 as one side of a split LP, the other side belonging to Finland’s Pharaoh Overlord, featuring members of prolific Finnish band Circle.
Grails head to Australia in October: Oct 13 – Melbourne, AU @ The Corner (w/ Tortoise) Oct 14 – Perth, AU @ UWA (This Is Nowhere Festival w/ Tortoise) Oct 17 – Brisbane, AU @ The Zoo Oct 18 – Melbourne, AU @ Northcote Social Club Oct 19 – Sydney, AU @ Oxford Art Factory
Posted in audiObelisk on September 17th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Last year, I reviewed the debut CD from Finnish heavy psych jammers The Fërtility Cült. The album, called Eschatology(review here), was as long on charm as it was wandering in its echoing sprawl. Rife with gorgeous low end and a super-stoned bombast, it seemed to fly under most radars, but thrilled nonetheless, and the Tampere fivesome’s follow-up single, “The Seeress” is no less appealing. Now more solidified in the heavy tonal and jamming elements of their sound, The Fërtility Cült are even freer to highlight the sax and organ that work so well to distinguish them among their peers.
There’s a lot about “The Seeress” that will seem of a kind with the breadth of modern European heavy psych — there’s warm, analog low end and an open, laid back vibe, a feeling of sonic weight that doesn’t necessarily correspond to emotional baggage — but with soulful backing vocals and the aforementioned sax and organ, The Fërtility Cült hearken back to the early prog of Uriah Heep and of course Pink Floyd more than they seem to be trying to coalesce around the stoner jammers of today. Most important of all, they’re putting their own spin on it, and the easygoing flow of “The Seeress” should turn a couple heads in advance of their next long-player, Heavenly Bodies — reportedly already completed and awaiting label support.
In the meantime, Eschatology‘s physical pressing is sold out, but The Fërtility Cült will release “The Seeress” as a digital single on Wednesday. On Friday they’ll be playing the club Varjobaari in their native Tampere as a kind of release party for the song (more info here) but when I asked, the band was kind enough to grant permission to stream the track, and you’ll find it on the player below.
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Posted in audiObelisk on September 5th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
With lyrics all in their native Finnish and blown-out buzzsaw riffs drawn from elder cult rock, woodsy four-piece Seremonia make a resounding first impression on their self-titled Svart Records debut. The album melds its dark psychedelia in classic tonality, swirling echoes of male/female vocals and an atmosphere befitting the band’s ceremonially-minded moniker. A song like the Iron Butterfly-esque “Huutava Taivas, Kuiskaava Maa” is brooding and doomed, but elsewhere, as on “Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ Maailma,” Seremonia revels in the pagan joys of heavy rock, talking ’70s retro vibing to heart even in the drum sound.
Seremonia‘s Seremoniais officially out next week (Sept. 14), and today I have the pleasure of hosting “Antikristus 666″ for streaming. Aside from being memorable for its easily translated title and catchy hook of a chorus in which the title is repeated like a chant, the creeping guitar line and whispering vocals that precede the explosion into distortion of that chorus embody a lot of the weirdo ethic that Seremonia strive to portray across the whole of the album.
Working greatly in their favor in that endeavor is how natural they sound while doing it. The recording is rough, but not unclear in any way unintended, and Seremonia most definitely get their point across, sounding cohesive and assured in their aesthetic even for this just being their first time out. If this was 1972 and not 2012, they’d release Seremoniaas a private pressing of 200 and never be heard from again. Hopefully today’s musical climate allows for a somewhat brighter future, which of course their output will immediately darken with its effective stretches of minimalism, unrepentant heresies and bizarre, ranging psykedeliaa.
Please enjoy “Antikristus 666″ on the player below, and if you’d like to sing along, the Finnish word for “six” is “kuusi.”
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Posted in audiObelisk on June 29th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Due out Aug. 24 on Eyes Like Snow/Northern Silence, Finnish trad doomers Vinum Sabbatum‘s Bacchanale Premiere follows an impressive 2011 split CD with mischievous British stoners Groan (review here) and a reissue of their debut EP, Songs from the Convent. The new full-length finds the Hyvinkää five-piece well assured of their aesthetic and what they want to be as a band, the kind of doom they want to make and just how much classic and cult heavy rock they want to put into it.
The answer to that last question seems to be “a lot.” More even than their EP or the split, Bacchanale Premiere places itself next to the heavy of old, sonically, and as a result, atmospherically. The prevalent organ (hee hee) of Tomi Korpela alongside the guitar of Juha Köykkä keeps that feeling consistent throughout the record, and between the inventive blues rhythms of bassist MikaPajula and new drummer Jarno Jaakkola and the woeful wails of vocalist Janne Salo, their classical allegiances come through loud and proud as one of their central defining characteristics.
Another, and one I think you’ll be able to hear as you stream the track “Tombstone Rider” on the player below, is a core of songwriting that underlies the obviously considerable amount of stylization. “Tombstone Rider” has the organs, it has the bluesy groove, but it also has a solid hook and memorable performances from the band. I’ve included some info from the label after the player. Hope you enjoy:
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Vinum Sabbatum‘s first full-length displays a band grown into a tight unit. The material is somewhat removed from the doom metal approach of Songs from the Convent and showcases more of their love for prog and hard rock rooted in the ‘70s, such as Uriah Heep, DeepPurple or AtomicRooster, along with blues-based heavy rock á la early BlackSabbath, Pentagram, Warhorse and Iron Claw.
So there is still heaviness here, they merely traded the obvious doom metal leanings for an exciting mix of bluesy doom and gloom, combined with psychedelic and rocking grooves with enchantingly catchy melodies, and crowned by the remarkable voice of Janne Salo and the Hammond organ and keyboard of Tomi Korpela.
The first press of the CD comes in A5-digipak, limited to 1000 copies, and a vinyl version will also be released later on.