Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Five years after making their full-length debut on Shadow Kingdom with their self-titled (review here), Finnish doomers Garden of Worm are set to issue Idle Stones, their second album. The four-song/42-minute long-player promises some shifts in style from the debut, and after half a decade, I believe it. Svart will have the new record out on March 6.
On a side note, the press release below mentions Träd, Gräs, och Stenar. I recently got a copy of their self-titled on CD and it’s awesome. If you have the chance to chase it down, it’s well worth the effort. The name being dropped makes me look forward even more to finding out what Garden of Worm have going for their sophomore outing. When the titles of songs start “including” other songs, you know it’s progressive.
To the PR wire:
GARDEN OF WORM set release date for new SVART album?
Today, Svart Records sets March 6th as the international release date for Garden of Worm’s second album, Idle Stones. Garden of Worm is a trio operating in Tampere, Finland. Having played progressive rock in various groups, in 2003, the group decided it was time to play simple & basic doom metal. Thus, the Worm was born. After several releases on several metal labels, the latest being the successful self-titled debut album for Shadow Kingdom Records in 2010, the band went into hibernation.
Garden of Worm’s debut for Svart, Idle Stones is a product of this long period of quiet life. After the ambitious debut full-length, the band were unsure for a time regarding the direction their art would take next. Slowly, the doomier, grimmer material allowed improvisation to creep in, and the entire work has a newfound sense of spontaneity.
In 2015, Garden of Worm is a different beast than the creature of the early days. The band sounds more inspired and relaxed than ever. The doom metal base is still present, but there’s also psychedelic warmness to the sound as well as freedom, like witnessed in the work of improvising rock units such as Amon Düül II, Träd Gräs, and Stenar. The freedom also adds to the intensity of the live performances: even though there are always composed songs in the set, the improvisational passages keep the band focused on the moment. Anything can happen. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Garden of Worm’s Idle Stones 1. Fleeting are the Days of Man 2. Summer’s Isle 3. Desertshore 4. The Sleeper including Being Is More Than Life
GARDEN OF WORM is: SJ.Harju – Vocals, bass JM.Suvanto – Drums EJ.Taipale – Guitars, vocals
Posted in audiObelisk on January 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
The first various artists release from Eolian Empire was 2013’s (We’ve Gotta) Keep Our Heads, a 26-track look at the unrealistically fertile creative ground in the label’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. Having covered Portland, all that’s left is the rest of the world, so with the promise and delivery of “Heavy Vibes Internationale,” Eolian is planning on Feb. 3 to issue (We’ve Got) Fiends in Low Places, which brings together bands from the US and Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, 15 decimation-prone cuts of noise and doom that more than make for a fitting answer to Keep Our Heads thanks to inclusions from the likes of Arabrot, Meadows, The Great Sabatini, Throat and others.
It’s the 30th release for Eolian, and they don’t seem to have made it easy for themselves. (We’ve Got) Fiends in Low Places, aside from the nightmarish task of drawing together an international cast of bands toward a singular purpose, pounds and seethes with various forms of extremity and heavy, a punkish undercurrent and spirit pervading in attitude if not always in sound. There is, it probably doesn’t need to be said, no shortage of sludge, but when it comes to Turku, Finland, four-piece Throat, their “Clean Cleaner” sounds more geared toward boiling sludge down to its component punk, heavy rock and tonally-weighted doom than simply plugging in, playing slow and screaming.
What comes across initially somewhere between Rollins-era Black Flag and squibbly grunge shifts into increasingly malevolent purposes as the five minutes plays out, finally arriving — via feedback — at a thrillingly excruciating, tube-melting crawl that makes up most of the song’s second half before closing out. Most impressive is the fluidity of the tempo shift, and how Throat don’t stop, don’t play it up. How they just slow the fuck down, riff out and work hard to make it sound as vicious as possible. It’s one of more than several admirable examples of genre transmigration on (We’ve Got) Fiends in Low Places, but as a general example of what the powers behind Eolian are into, I think it works well to show there’s more to do with noise than simply beating listeners over the head with it.
(We’ve Got) Fiends in Low Places: Heavy Vibes Internationale is out Feb. 3 on Eolian Empire. More at the links and in the PR wire info that follow Throat‘s “Clean Cleaner,” which you can find on the player below:
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This special collection marks a new low for the Eolian horde, since the entire roster to date has yielded only Portland-centric audio carnage, while FIENDS IN LOW PLACES features a glut of output from the Eolian clan’s caustic cronies from around the globe; a gnarled calling card, with more than fifty minutes of champions of the international heavy underground in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Fifteen bands bash away on fifteen stark, aggressive, noise-laden tunes worked over with smarts and wicked humor on this compilation of exclusive tracks, an eclectic and electric collection of heavy, noisy, weird, outsider, and underground music from around the world. THROAT (Finland), ARABROT (Norway), HEALTH PROBLEMS (USA), MoE (Finland), THE GREAT SABATINI (Canada), DEAD (Australia), BASTARD OF THE SKIES (England), HOMBRE MALO (Norway), SAME-SEX DICTATOR(USA), TEEPH (USA), CYBERNE (Japan), TIMEKILLER (Japan), ELEPHANT RIFLE (USA), BATPISS (Australia), and MEADOWS (England) take you on a wild trip through twisted noise rock, bludgeoning sludge, psychotic metal, blackened hardcore, and damaged punk, each act’s warped worldview in full effect. Taken together, FIENDS paint an ugly, multidimensional portrait of the darkness lurking wherever you may go.
FIENDS IN LOW PLACES is the sequel and companion compilation to Eolian’s (We’ve Gotta) KEEP OUR HEADS: Heavy Vibes from Portland, Oregon, which featured twenty-six heavy Portland bands. Like on KEEP OUR HEADS, the “fiends” on FIENDS IN LOW PLACES were drawn from friends playing off-the-wall heavy music in overlapping scenes, scenes this time spread throughout the world. Interrelated through shows, tours, and friends, these bands have passed each other in the night for years, slowly worming their way through the underground via interconnected tunnels deep below the mainstream, an independent global network of heaviness beholden to no one. Comforting or discomforting, FIENDS IN LOW PLACES at least affirms that the Eolian heads are not the only ones this fucked up, and in an age when many are looking back with nostalgia for the lost and forgotten weirdo bands of yesteryear, it’s good to know we can find pigfucking goodness all around the world right now and no doubt for years to come. So find your “fiends” and support the lost underground of tomorrow, today.
FIENDS IN LOW PLACES is available for will see cassette and digital release on February 3rd, 2015.
FIENDS IN LOW PLACES: Heavy Vibes Internationale Track Listing: 1. MEADOWS “Gobshite” 2. SAME-SEX DICTATOR “Mass Krusader” 3. ARABROT “The Libertine” 4. THROAT “Clean Cleaner” 5. CYBERNE “Pozes” 6. HEALTH PROBLEMS “A Stuck Horse” 7. BASTARD OF THE SKIES “Brass Cattle” 8. THE GREAT SABATINI “Slow Jam” 9. BATPISS “Heavy Smoke (Stoned to Death)” 10. TEEPH “Church Vape Sesh” 11. HOMBRE MALO “The Fall” 12. TIMEKILLER “Sick of Myself” 13. MOE “Where’s the DJ” 14. ELEPHANT RIFLE “Frat Poison” 15. DEAD “Rabbits”
Posted in Reviews on December 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
This is it. New Year’s is this week and by Friday we’ll be into 2015. A new year always brings new hopes, concerns, records and so on, but to be completely honest, I’m just not quite done with 2014 yet. So here we are. I’ve had stacks of CDs on my desk and folders on my computer from the last couple months of stuff I have been trying to fit in, and it doesn’t seem right to me to let the year go without cramming in as much music as I possibly can.
Gotta call it something, so I went with “Last Licks,” since that’s basically what it will be. The plan is that between today and Friday, each day I’ll have another batch of 10 reviews. I’m not going to promise they’ll be the most comprehensive ever, but the idea is to do as much as I can and this seems to me the best way to turn my brains into goo. When that ball drops in Times Square, there’s a good chance I’ll be typing.
No sense in delaying. You get the idea, so let’s jump in:
Sigiriya, Darkness Died Today
Recorded live as their debut on Candlelight Records and the follow-up to 2011’s debut, Return to Earth (review here), the sophomore outing from Welsh heavy rockers Sigiriya, Darkness Died Today, is distinguished by a vocalist swap bringing in Matt Williams of Suns of Thunder. Williams has a tough job in replacing Dorian Walters, who like guitarist Stuart O’Hara, bassist Paul Bidmead and drummer Darren Ivey, is a former member of Acrimony. There are times when it works and times when it doesn’t. Along with a more barebones tonality in the guitar than appeared on the debut, Williams brings a more straightforward style in his voice, and it changes the personality of the band on songs like “Freedom Engines” and the first-album-title-track “Return to Earth.” “Tribe of the Old Oak” is a catchy highlight and I’ll almost never argue with a song called “Obelisk,” but it seems like they’re still searching for the footing here that seemed so firmly planted their last time out.
Upstate New York blues rockers Handsome Jack waste little time living up to the title Do What Comes Naturally. The name of their third album, released by Alive Naturalsound, is both mission-statement aand suggestion, and on songs like the soul-inflected “Creepin’” and the rolling “You and Me,” they make it sound like a good idea. Blues and classic soul meet garage rock across cuts like the relatively brief “Leave it all Behind,” but the tones are warm throughout the record, and guest spots on harmonica and Hammond help keep a sense of variety in the material, well-constructed but still loose in its vibe. The twang might recall The Brought Low for heavy rock heads, but one doubts Handsome Jack groove on much that came out after Psychedelic Mud. Even the CD splits into sides, and as easy as it would be for something like this to sound like a put-on, Handsome Jack prevail with closer “Wasted Time” in making an outing that’s anything but.
London doomers Serpent Venom sound like experts in the form on Of Things Seen and Unseen, their second album for The Church Within following 2011’s Carnal Altar and their initial 2010 demo (review here), a righteous 48-minute lumbering slab of heavy riffs, downerism and nod. It’s not every band who could put “Death Throes at Dawn” and “Lord of Life” next to each other, but the four-piece of vocalist Garry Ricketts, guitarist Roland Scriver, bassist Nick Davies and drummer Paul Sutherland keep their focus so utterly doomed that even the quiet, minimalist acoustic interlude “I Awake” – ostensibly a breather — comes across as trodden as the earlier “Sorrow’s Bastard,” or the Reverend Bizarre-worthy “Let Them Starve,” which follows. For those who long for trad doom that has an identity outside its Vitus and Sabbath influences, Serpent Venom prove more than ready to enter that conversation on the wah-soaked soloing in the second half of “Pilgrims of the Sun.” Right fucking on.
The artwork tells the story. Owl Glitters’ Alchemical Tones (on Heart and Crossbone Records) is a wash of color. Taking tribal rhythms and repetitions and pairing them with organic low-end, chanted vocals and periodic excursions of psych rock guitar, Arkia Jahani (who seems to be the lone creative force behind the project, though Mell Dettmer mastered) brings a ritualistic sensibility to the eight included pieces, and the flow is molten from the start of “Dervishes.” Less purposefully weird than Master Musicians of Bukkake, but farther into the cosmos than Om, there’s a folkish identity at the heart of Alchemical Tones that keeps the proceedings human even on the near-throat-singing of “Hakim Sanai” or “Poets of Shiras” and “Khalifa’s Visions” an immersive pair preceding the droning closer “By the Candlelight Our Eyes Welcome Glimmers of Eternity.” Beautifully experimental – and in the case of “Mindful of Gems,” fuzzed to the gills – Owl Glitters’ second outing engages sonic spiritualism with dogmatic command and stares back at you from the space within yourself.
Sandveiss released Scream Queen, their first full-length, late in 2013, reveling in a modern sound crisply produced and more than ably executed to feature the vocals of guitarist Luc Bourgeois, who provides frontman presence even on disc alongside guitarist Shawn Rice, bassist Daniel Girard and drummer Dzemal Trtak. Cohesiveness isn’t in question as opener and longest cut (immediate points) “Blindsided” rounds out its 6:26, leading the way into “Do You Really Know” and setting the tone for big-riffed Euro-style heavy from the Quebecois foursome, who slow down on “Bottomless Lies,” on which Trtak backs Bourgeois in you-guys-should-do-this-more fashion, and ultimately hold firm to the focus on songwriting that establishes itself early. They fuzz out on closer “Green or Gold,” but by then it’s another element of variety among the organ, guest vocals on “Scar” and tempo shifts on Sandveiss’ ambitious debut, distinguished even unto the six-panel gatefold digi-sleeve in which it arrives, the art and design by Alexandre Goulet one more standout factor on an album demanding attention.
Probably the most clearly Beatlesian moment on Octopus Syng’s Reverberating Garden Number 7 is a slight “Hey Bulldog”-style cadence on side A’s “Very Strange Trip,” and that in itself is an accomplishment (one I’m apparently not the first to observe). The Helsinki four-piece in their 15th year are led by guitarist/vocalist Jaire Pätäri and emit an oozing, serene psychedelia, peaceful and lysergic in late ‘60s exploratory fashion. Reverberating Garden Number 7 (on Mega Dodo Records) echoes out vibe to spare and is deceptively lush while keeping a humble vibe thanks in no small part to Pätäri’s restrained vocal approach and curios like “Cuckoo Clock Mystery,” which boasts an actual cuckoo clock to add bounce to its arrangement. Nine-minute closer “Listen to the Moths” is the single biggest surprise, and an album unto itself, but its unfolding is only the capstone on a collection of psychedelic wonder sincere in its stylistic intent and execution. It fills the ears like warm air in the lungs.
Destructive Australian trio Sun Shepherd put the bulk of Procession of Trampling Hoof to tape in 2011. Closing bonus track “Exploding Sun” is a demo from 2006, but it fits with their extended tracks and big riffs piled onto each other in densely-weighted fashion, if rougher in presentation. More Ramesses than High on Fire, who prove otherwise to be a key influence tonally for guitarist/vocalist Anson Antriasian, must-hear bassist Leigh Fischer and drummer Michael Barson, though their approach is decidedly less thrash-based. The first five of the six songs find Sun Shepherd’s first full-length a pummel-minded blend of sludge and doom. Antriasian’s vocals are semi-spoken, but fitting theatrically on “Goat-Head Awakening” with the grueling riff-led nod, the tension released as they pass the halfway point of the 10-minute run, a raw atmosphere bolstering the chaos of their slower-motion marauding. With the welcome flourish of stonerly soloing on “Engulfed by Ocean of Time,” one can’t help but wonder what the Melbourne natives are up to three years later.
Fuzz-toned elements of Sleep and Sabbath pervade the stoner-doomy self-titled The Church Within debut from Oslo three-piece Purple Hill Witch, who carry the bounce well in immediately familiar riffs and groove. Swinging drums from Øyvind and the inventive basslines of Andreas underscore Kristian’s purely Iommic riffage and blown-out vocals, somewhere between Witchcraft’s earliest going and Witch’s self-titled. If that gives Purple Hill Witch an even witchier feel, “Final Procession” sounds just fine with that, as do shorter tracks like the later “Aldebaranian Voyage (Into the Sun)” and centerpiece “Karmanjaka” on which the stoner side comes out in force. They finish by using all 11 minutes of the eponymous “Purple Hill Witch”’s runtime, breaking in the midsection for a murky exploration that’s creepily atmospheric without veering into cult rock cliché. They bounce resumes and slows to a crawl to close out, but the jam serves Purple Hill Witch well in expanding the band’s sonic reach and the album’s weedian sensibility. Not that they were keeping it a secret.
A burly dual-guitar five-piece with roots in Germany and Switzerland, Giant Sleep start out their self-titled, self-released first LP with a brief intro titled “Argos” before getting to the question, “Why am I angry all the time?” as the central, recurring line of “Angry Man.” That song, like “Henu” and “Reproduce,” gets its point across quick in heavy rock fashion and develops its argument from there, a progressive metal vibe pervading especially the latter, which is penultimate in the 10-song/52-minute effort, and underscores the high-grade craftsmanship accomplished throughout. “Dreamless Sleep” is probably my pick of the bunch for its airier tone and resonant minor-key hook in the guitars of Markus Ruf and Patrick Hagmann, vocalist Thomas Rosenmerkel belting out the chorus before making way for plotted solos atop Radek Stecki’s bass and Manuel Spänhauer’s drums, but it’s not so far removed from its surroundings. As a whole, the album could be more efficient, but it wants nothing for songwriting, and especially as a debut, Giant Sleep hits its marks readily.
Opener “Las Noches del Desierto” is the only one of Star Collider’s five tracks under 10 minutes. Flux seems to be the norm for Finnish post-stoners Acid Elephant, who recently brought in vocalist Martin Ahlö but here revolve around the core of bassist/guitarist/vocalist Miksa Väliverho, guitarist/vocalist Ilpo Kauppinen and drummer Roope Vähä-Aho, employing a host of others on obscure vocals, percussion and djembe throughout the 64-minute sophomore outing, recorded in 2012 and released late in 2013. Whoever they are now, Acid Elephant on Star Collider call out heavy psych, drone/jam and riff-based impulses in their extended cuts, gradually getting longer from “Red Carpet Lane” (10:46) until closer “Bog” hits 18:29. To their credit, their songs leave impressions to match their length, and even as it’s finishing its instrumental run, “Godmason” (15:58) is highlighting its resonant central riff, having emerged from a wash of feedback and amp noise at its beginning, preceded by the droning centerpiece “7th Stone.” Satisfying and unpredictable, Star Collider balances experimentation and engagement smoothly without losing its focus on individualism.
Posted in Radio on December 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’ve been listening to The Obelisk Radio a lot this week, particularly while starting to put together my top albums of 2014 list, so it seemed only appropriate to get a new round of adds up to the server. As we come to the end of the year, there’s always a slowdown in terms of releases, but if I had to put a number to it, I’d call it a 10, maybe 20 percent drop at most. If it was running water and you were looking at it, you’d notice no difference. A flood is still a flood.
As such, 14 records joined the server today. Some are recently reviewed, some aren’t out yet, some have been out for a little bit. It’s a solid batch of stuff, and if you haven’t yet had enough of lists — more to come, believe me — it’s worth a look at the Playlist and Updates Page. The amount of stuff on there is staggering. It’s a wonder the radio stream manages to fit in so much Clutch at all.
Let’s get to it.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for Dec. 19, 2014:
Mugstar & The Cosmic Dead, Split LP
Two sides, one song from each band, each a massive slab of a jam. Glasgow’s The Cosmic Dead and Liverpool’s Mugstar make a solid pairing, and by solid I definitely mean liquid, and by liquid I mean that’s what your brains will be by the time Mugstar‘s “Breathing Mirror” (18:42) and The Cosmic Dead‘s “Fukahyoocastulah” (25:51) are done. Instrumental in their entirety and jammed out on a subspace frequency that I only imagine they can already hear in the Delta Quadrant — and no doubt they’re wondering what the title of The Cosmic Dead‘s contribution means exactly — both cuts share an affinity for progressive heavy psych exploration, kosmiche and krautrock alike, but with a fresh take on the classic idea of we’re-gonna-get-in-a-room-and-this-is-what-happens that runs through, whether it’s in the drone midsection of “Breathing Mirror” after the jam has died down and before its resurgence, or the later reaches of “Fukayoocastulah,” which rest on the nigh-eternal bassline that’s steady enough to hold the course despite the various effects freakouts, slow swirls and experiments happening around it. About 45 minutes solid of primo heavy jamming? Sign me up. Mugstar’s website, on Bandcamp, The Cosmic Dead on Thee Faceboks, on Bandcamp.
Goya, Satan’s Fire
Eleven-minute opener “Malediction and Death” makes its primary impression in its consuming tonality — a harsh but encompassing low end that emerges out of the initial cavalcade of feedback starting the song. The first three minutes of “Malediction and Death” are noise before Phoenix’s Goya kick in their riff, drums and vocals, sounding as huge on the Satan’s Fire EP as on their preceding split with Wounded Giant (review here) but perhaps even more malevolent as they continue to find their place within wizard doom, marked out by the two-at-once solo shredding of guitarist/vocalist Jeff Owens, the lurching rhythm behind him and the swing of drummer Nick Lose, whose snare punctuates “Malediction and Death” like a life-preserver tossed into the abyss. Unsurprisingly, they end noisy. “Symbols” picks up with two minutes of sparse, atmospheric drumming, and the title-track (5:58) finishes with a tale of antichristianity, dropping out of life, and watching the world fall apart. Doom? Yes. Perhaps not as patient as “Malediction and Death,” “Satan’s Fire” itself offers suitable heat, and delivered through amps that likewise sound about ready to melt, provides a memorable impression even beyond its Oborn-style hook. Goya on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Somewhere between classic doom and more aggressive, hardcore punk-derived noise, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, four-piece Attalla are the kind of band who could probably release nothing but 7″ singles for the next five years and still make a go of it. As it stands, their self-titled debut offers a stirring rawness in the dual guitars that reminds there’s more ways to make an impact tonally than just with volume or fuzz. Their roots are in punk, and that’s plain enough to hear in lead guitarist Cody Stieg‘s vocals on songs like “Light” and “Lust,” but “Haze” nestles into a stoner groove late that suits Attalla well, and the later “Veil” offers charged propulsion in the drums of Aaron Kunde, whose snare sound is tinny but fitting with the sans-frills stylings of Stieg, rhythm guitarist Brian Hinckley and bassist Bryan Kunde. Some variation in tempo throughout changes things up, but a particularly triumphant moment comes with the raw Slayer-esque foreboding (think slow Slayer) that begins “Doom,” a fitting closer to Attalla‘s Attalla with its subtly complex stylistic blend and relatively barebones presentation. I’m not sure where Attalla go from here in terms of developing their sound, but the debut offers reason enough to want to find out. Attalla on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
If you played me TarLung‘s TarLung debut full-length and told me the trio were from North Carolina, I’d undoubtedly believe you. In fact, they hail from Vienna, Austria, but just so happen to have the Southern sludge ideology nailed down on their first offering. Roots in Crowbar and Eyehategod and Sourvein can be heard throughout, big nod, harsh vocals, weighted plod. The guitars of Rotten and Phillipp “Five“ Seiler (the latter also vocals) brings in some of that Pepper Keenan-style Southern riffing, on “Last Breath” particularly, but the bulk of what they and drummer Marian Waibl get up to on these seven tracks is rawer and nastier, the album’s last three cuts — “Apeplanet,” “Black Forest” and “Space Caravan” — providing the best glimpse at TarLung‘s effective aesthetic interpretation. Tonally and methodologically sound, what remains for them to do is hone a more individualized approach, but particularly for a self-released first album, the crisp harshness they convey on the centerpiece “C2″ — a kind of maddening high pitch running throughout — satisfies when taken on its own level, and among the three-piece’s assets, their lack of pretense will no doubt serve them well moving forward. TarLung on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Gangrened, We are Nothing
Proffering lurching, aggressive sludge over three tracks arranged longest to shortest, Finnish trio Gangrened conjure sweeping chaos on We are Nothing, blatantly contradicting the title of the release despite whatever riff-laden nihilism might be at work philosophically. Among the most telling moments on the release — which follows a split tape from the four piece of vocalist Ollijuhani Kujansivu, guitarist/bassist Andreas Österlund, guitarist Jon Imbernon and drummer Owe Inborr, who’ve since traded out their rhythm section — is the opening sample of “Them” in which a man in a Southern US accent rants in paranoid rage about helicopters flying over his property, indicative of some conspiracy or other. In both their influence and their execution, that fits Gangrened‘s overall portrayal well, but both the 12-minute opener “Lung Remover” and closing semi-Black Flag cover “Kontti” (translated “24 Pack” and a feedback-soaked, sludged-up play on “Six Pack”) are pissed off enough to warrant the attention they seem to be demanding in their noisy charge, snail-paced and malevolent as it is. Gangrened on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
As always, this is just a fraction of what was added to The Obelisk Radio today. If you get the chance to check any of this stuff out, I hope you dig it, and if you decide to launch the player, I hope whatever’s playing is awesome.
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Tomorrow here in the US it is Thanksgiving, which has some questionable origins but in practice is actually one of our less-abominable holidays, with a focus on togetherness, good food, and enjoying the company of loved ones. Today, the day before, is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year while people get to wherever they’re going. Even if you don’t manage to find it until after the holiday is over, it seemed only fitting to make a new podcast so that anyone who might want to take it along for the ride would be able to do so.
My head has started to get into year-end wrap-up mode, so don’t be surprised if one or two or three of these bands show up in subsequent “Best Of” coverage. Maybe even four, looking at the list. It’s been a crazy good year, and as it starts to wind its way down and we make our way into the next one, I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these podcasts and hopefully discovered something you wouldn’t have heard otherwise. That’s really the whole idea.
If you’re traveling by road, rail, or air, I wish you a pleasant journey, and even if you’re staying put, the same applies.
Stubb, “Heavy Blue Sky” from Cry of the Ocean
Murcielago, “Way too Far” from Murcielago
Dune, “Of Blade and Carapace” from Aurora Majesty
The Skull, “Send Judas Down” from For Those Which are Asleep
Elephant Tree, “Attack of the Altaica” from Theia
Renate/Cordate, “Laudanum” from Growth
Mothership, “Serpents Throne” from Mothership II
Space Guerrilla, “Event Horizon” from Boundless
Monster Magnet, “End of Time (B-3)” from Milking the Stars
Memnon Sa, “Megalith” from Citadel
Soldat Hans, “Meine Liebste; Sie Zerbricht Sich” from Dress Rehearsal
Atavismo, “Meeh” from Desintegración
Øresund Space Collective, “Remnants of the Barbonaeum” from Music for Pogonologists
Finnish four-piece Renate/Cordate (also stylized lowercase as renate/cordate) were last heard from with their early 2013 self-titled debut full-length (review here), which was a solidly constructed and smooth sounding execution of heavy psychedelia. Reminiscent at times of My Sleeping Karma‘s ultra-fluid push, it showed the then-instrumental outfit had room to grow but already a decent idea of what they were going for tonally and in terms of process. A good start, in other words. Twenty-one months later, they return with Growth, which the respected purveyor Breathe Plastic Records will release on tape in December, their sophomore outing comprised of four mostly extended tracks that come from a different enough stylistic base that I had to double-check and make sure I was listening to the same band the first time I put it on. With only one of the four cuts under 10 minutes long, Renate/Cordate have blown out their expansion to a cosmic degree, churning opener “Evolve, Submit” around Ufomammut-style repetition and following a psychedelic doom path of deep-echoing vocals around what seems a chaos swirl of massive tonality, hypnotic and deep. Working with Niko Lehdontie of countrymen psychedelonauts and Svart Records inductees Domovoyd to add extra effects to the wash, Renate/Cordate – the same lineup as last time of guitarists Ville and Samuli (the latter also vocals), bassist Aki and drummer Antti-Pekka — present such a stylistic turn that I’m tempted to think of Growth as a debut and of the self-titled as a demo for how much more solidified and clear-headed in their purpose the band seems to be. At very least, you could say the album is aptly-named.
And if the shift in sound is jarring, it’s bound to be less so for anyone who didn’t hear Renate/Cordate‘s debut and for whom Growth marks their first exposure to their work. It is an expansive 43 minutes, still perhaps vinyl-ready, though they’d more likely get rid of third track “Laudanum” and dedicate the whole of side B to the 17-minute closer “Mother” for ease of time. Side A, then, would be the back-to-back 10-minute post-doom wallops of “Evolve, Submit” and “Humankind (Not My Kind),” which quickly announce the band’s new direction in their sprawl and atmospheric take. The record is a big jump from where they were last year, and clearly a purposeful one, but not all of the elements from Renate/Cordate, the album, are gone. One can still hear the airy ringing of Russian Circles-style post-rock guitar presiding over the mix as the opener rolls past its third minute and into the first of Growth‘s encompassing space-doom nods. Heavy crashing leads to a quiet break of minimalist guitar — one of their most Ufomammut moments — and “Evolve, Submit” explodes again into cascades of echoing riffs that set a lot of the atmospheric course for what follows, rounding out with a long fade of feedback into dreamy synth that pushes forward into the quiet guitar opening of “Humankind (Not My Kind),” which is more about the tradeoffs than was “Evolve, Submit,” but no less ably conceived. An extended subdued intro builds for the first three and a half minutes before pushing into its first heavier section. The lull has the effect of drawing a listener further in, and should Renate/Cordate continue in this direction — after the difference between their first two albums, I wouldn’t speculate as to where they might go on a third — I wouldn’t be surprised to find them toying more with that feeling of stillness and the juxtaposition against pummeling riffs, but even here, they’re able to transition easily from light to heavy and heavy to light, as they do on “Humankind (Not My Kind),” taking the song all the way down to silence before rebuilding their way to the tone-wash apex that ends out.
The shorter “Laudanum” follows and is more immediate in its riffing though ultimately just as spacious as the rest of what surrounds, even finding room in its six minutes for a jammy midsection break that boasts some especially satisfying guitar work holding the tension until the heavier tones reemerge and thrust into a louder and louder burst of noise. If there are vocals — and there might well be — they are buried deep enough in the mix that they’re indistinguishable from a sample. All you get is a vague human presence, and it works to the song’s advantage, cutting out right before the thrust of the final echoing solo, deconstructed along with everything else to bring about the 16:53 concluding statement, “Mother.” Begun on a foundation of bass and drums backed by swirl and ambient noise, “Mother” unfurls essentially as a combination of everything else Renate/Cordate do on the album structurally, bridging the gap between a loud/quiet interplay and an extended linear build by simply doing both. Before its first four minutes are through, it has built up and peaked and moved to an ethereal, almost jazzy peacefulness, but the crushing reignites several minutes later, only to once again fall back past seven minutes in. This is the key transition, since the band uses this stillness as the starting point for the trip to to Growth‘s last crescendo. The turn happens right around the 12:30 mark, but by then, it’s less about payoff than just going where the band takes you, and that winds up being Renate/Cordate‘s greatest success with their second album. They’ve accomplished this change in style, which is all well and good, but they’ve managed to hold onto the immersive nature of what they did on their self-titled as well, and that only makes the ending of “Mother” more consuming and thus more satisfying. Yes, it’s wildly heavy, and yes, it’s a suitable ending, but what leaves an even more resonant impression is the ability of the band to retain their control over their sound even at its most unbridled. If they do wind up staying on this path, or if they don’t, that can only serve them well as they continue to progress.
[PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been given permission by Renate/Cordate to host a full stream of Growth for your listening pleasure. I hope you’ll give it a shot on the player below and enjoy.]
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Recording an album live in a studio is one thing. People do it a lot these days. It’s cheaper, presumably, and easier and comes with the clout of being able to say you did it. Recording a new album on stage in front of an audience is something else entirely. I guess doing so technically makes Skepticism‘s forthcoming Ordeal a live album, but it doesn’t look like the Finnish funeral doomers will be releasing the material otherwise. It’s a pretty brazen move. You get one shot at it and that’s all. The show will take place Jan. 24 in Turku, Finland. Hope no one’s amp blows out.
Ordeal, the first Skepticism full-length since 2008’s Alloy, will be out next year through Svart Records and the band will also have a repress of their first 7″ from 1992 on hand for sale at the gig. The PR wire brings details and links:
Funeral doom masters SKEPTICISM present a new SVART album, to be recorded live
The legendary Skepticism are preparing to record their new album, Ordeal. Instead of usual working methods, the band has chosen a different approach. The recording will happen in front of a live audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and the event will also be captured on film.
The concert is the first time any of the songs on Ordeal will be heard in public. According to Skepticism, the new songs are emotion-laden, crushing, and yet beautiful, more than ever before. Visitors to the historical recording event will also receive a repro of the band’s first 7” EP, originally released in 1992. This 7” will not be available to the public. Tickets for the concert can be purchasedHERE.
Ordeal will be released in May 2015. The album will be available as a CD/DVD bundle and also as a LP/DVD set. The album will be released by the Finnish label Svart Records, known for their championing of the local metal underground and high-quality vinyl reissues.
Skepticism was formed in 1991. The band has been often stated as one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the funeral doom metal genre.Ordeal is their fifth full-length album.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Maybe you recall, maybe you don’t, but back in 2012, Finnish rockers Abbot made a switched-on debut with a 7″ called Into the Light (review here), taking cues from classic metal and doom rock and wrapping it all up in a kind of garage-style production for an unpretentious and engaging result. The single wasn’t changing the world, but it showed that Abbot, who got together in the ’90s, then split up for the years between, had something to offer riff-hounds and heads looking for a good nod along the way. In the two years since Into the Light, Abbot has put together a debut long-player for release, and they’ve just announced that Between Our Past and Future Lives is slated for a Halloween release on Italy’s BloodRock Records.
The release seems to have been a while in the making, since they started leaking songs back in April, but better late than never. They’ve also got a few release shows lined up in Eastern Europe, included with the cover and release info below, snagged off the PR wire:
ABBOT album release / tour
The Finnish doom rock band ABBOT release their debyt album Between Our Past and Future Lives on Italian label Bloodrock Records on Halloween Eve, October 31, 2014. ”We are super-excited about the album”, says drummer Antti Kuusinen. ”It’s turned out really good, with the all-analogue production, great artwork and songs coming from each band member”. ABBOT will do an album release tour around Halloween 2014:
29.10. Depo Night Club, Riga (Latvia) 30.10. Underground Pub, Kaunas (Lithuania) 31.10. Metro Club, Vilnius (Lithuania) 1.11. Woodstock Rock Club, Tallinn (Estonia)
Abbot started playing together for the first time in 1996. We played punk covers as Cherrycoles, and split up in 1997. Guitarist Jussi played in metal hardcore bands, singer JP in punk rock bands, and drummer Antti in all kinds of bands. Ten years after we got together again, found Tapsa “El Tabib” to play bass, and with renewed musical interests (while also going back to where it all started) started playing and writing songs.
Posted in Radio on September 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s been a couple weeks since the last time I was able to get together a proper round of adds to The Obelisk Radio, and the list as a result is accordingly huge. I’d have to go back and compare the last 18-plus months to be sure, but I think 40 albums is up there with what I might have uploaded during the initial buildup of the playlist, just basically getting everything I could think of and a bunch of stuff I couldn’t to expand on what was on the hard drive when I got it. We’ll be at two years since the Radio stream went live before I know it. Time goes quick, and seems to all the more when each post has a timestamp.
I say this every time, but there’s a lot of killer stuff included this week, so I hope you find something you enjoy.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for Sept. 13, 2014:
Bong, Bong Presents Haikai No Ku Ultra High Dimensionality LP
I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to try to ascertain what plane of being Bong are residing on these days, but suffice it to say, they’ve evolved beyond corporeal form and merged with the all-consuming distortion of the universe. At least that’s how it sounds. The maddeningly prolific UK drone-doomers present this release but aren’t actually on it, save for guitarist Mike Vest, who leads the side-project Haikai No Ku through five tracks of blissful psychout on Ultra High Dimensionality. If you’re looking for differences between the two outfits, Haikai No Ku lean less toward grim droning than Bong, and songs like “Dead in the Temple” and “Blue at Noon” roll out huge psychedelic grooves — the band is completed by bassist Jerome Smith and drummer Sam Booth – but there’s consistency to be found in the wash of noise and the complete hypnosis of their repetitions anyway, and as high as the dimensionality might be, the volume should be higher. One to get lost in for sure, and there’s enough space for everyone. Bong on Twitter, on Bandcamp.
Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, The Shining One
The pun in the moniker of Moscow double-guitar four-piece Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds probably doesn’t need to be pointed out. Featuring The Grand Astoria collaborator Igor Suvorov, Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds pull together touches of psychedelic impulsiveness and classic heavy rock structures with the production clarity and catchy songwriting of mid-era Queens of the Stone Age. There’s a danger underscoring the boogie of “How to Fix Things” from the band’s self-released debut LP, The Shining One, that seems to find payoff later in the big-groove hook of “Highlow World,” which provides one of the album’s most satisfying listens before shifting into an airier dreamspace and fading into the noisier “Lords of the Damned,” reviving the largesse of riff prior to the closing title-track. An intriguing debut for an outfit loaded with potential, the fullness of their sound boding particularly well for their confidence in their sound and the precision of their execution. One not to be missed. Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Desert Lord, To the Unknown
Finnish stoner-doom foursome Desert Lord get into some Sabbath-worship on their debut long-player, To the Unknown, but manage to avoid both the trap of retro ’70s-ism that has much of Europe so firmly in its grasp and the trap of sounding like Reverend Bizarre, whose legacy in their native land isn’t to be understated. Of particular note is that Desert Lord cite The Cult as an influence. One can hear shades of that in the guitars on opener “Forlorn Caravan,” but Desert Lord quickly move into doomier fare on the subsequent nine-minute “Wonderland,” which distinguished by weeded-out wah on Roni‘s bass. Middle-ground is sought and found on “New Dimensions,” with vocalist Sampo Riihimäki reminding of Earthride‘s Dave Sherman in his movement between rougher delivery, spoken word, and accentuated screaming, also hinting at roots in more traditional metal, though “Manic Survivor’s Song” gives way to more stoner territory in the guitar, reminding of some of Eggnogg‘s stylistic turns, though with less of a mind toward tonal thickness. They’re still figuring out where they want to be, but Desert Lord‘s To the Unknown has more than a few moments worth the effort of a listen. Desert Lord on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Space Mushroom Fuzz, Onward, to the Future
Perpetually progressive and perpetually prolific bizarro psych rockers Space Mushroom Fuzz return with another new release, dubbed Onward, to the Future. The Boston outfit, led by Adam Abrams of Blue Aside, include two tracks this time out, “Onward, to the Future,” a laid back space rocker made strange in its midsection with some theremin-style keys, and the waltzing “Half the Way Down,” which shows off some classical guitar work over a subtly oompah backing rhythm with soft, brooding vocals. Is it possible to have a shoegazing waltz? Space Mushroom Fuzz never lack character in they do, Abrams periodically leading the way through jams that could and sometimes do run into indulgent (if satisfying) noodlefests, but particularly with “Half the Way Down,” there’s something more grounded and sadder at the root. “Onward, to the Future” tells a tale of alien invasion — short version: they win — and showcases the band’s exploratory side, but even that ends contemplative and relatively minimal, sort of dropping instruments one at a time by its finish on a long fade. A lesson in taming expectation, perhaps, and a fascinating, quick journey from this inventive outfit. Space Mushroom Fuzz on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Plunger, Space Plumber
All seems to be on a course for weirdo noise punk as Los Angeles bass/drum duo Plunger get underway on their debut Space Plumber EP, some Melvins influence making itself felt on “Toxic Wrap,” and then they rumble and thump their way into the eight-minute centerpiece title-track, and it becomes apparent that there’s much more going on with twin brothers Mark (bass/vocals) and Kris Calabio (drums/vocals, also of Old Man Wizard) than it might at first seem. They quickly put their own minimalism to work for them on the faster opener “Blerg Rush,” but “Space Plumber” moves far off into sparseness, the drums barely there when they are and then gone ahead of the transition into “Sleep,” on which both Mark and Kris contribute vocals over a fuller rumble and steady roll, clearly enjoying the contrast. “Plunger” rounds out the release with a fuller take on some of the faster movement of the opener, starts and stops in the unpretentious 1;53 finale. One gets the feeling the (Super) Calabio Bros. are only going to get stranger from here, and that suits them well. Plunger on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.
Once again, these are five cool releases, but there were 35 other records that join the playlist today, including full-lengths from Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Apostle of Solitude and on and on. A couple of these will be on the year-end list, so if you get the chance to check out The Obelisk Radio playlist and updates page, I think it’s worth a look.
Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Onward rolls Cardinals Folly‘s cult. The Finnish trad doom trio’s exclamatory sophomore full-length, Our Cult Continues!, is out Aug. 19 via Shadow Kingdom Records, and it’s a beast of morose theatrics and rolling riffage. Hailing from Helsinki and — just to get it out of the way — yes, owing a bit of a debt to Finland’s Sabbath-worship forebears in Reverend Bizarre, Cardinals Folly made their debut through the label in 2011 with Such Power is Dangerous!after kicking around since the mid-aughts under both their current moniker and the earlier The Coven. The metal of doom is the order of the day, and through fat bass tone, hard-hit drums and classic-minded guitar work, Cardinals Folly showcase a delight for reveling in the darker side of their genre.
Hard to blame them for that, since they’re so clearly enjoying themselves. The band is comprised of bassist/vocalist Mikko Kääriäinen, guitarist Juho Kilpelä and drummer Joni Takkunen, and from the opening invocations of “Eko Eko Azarak” in the intro “Chant of Shadows,” Cardinals Folly dive into a melancholy otherworldliness, not psychedelic or blissful, but full of bleak churning and smoke trails, Kääriäinen‘s voice cutting through songs like “Morbid Glory” and “Sighisoaran” to recount tales of who knows what swirling terrors. On the seven-minute “The Lover’s Crypt,” his bass and Takkunen‘s drums pave the way for an especially fuzzed-out, winding intro lead that unfolds to one of the record’s most memorable progressions, peppered by a build-up of despair that only becomes more prevalent as the song itself seems to disintegrate.
It is the penultimate of Our Cult Continues!‘s eight tracks, and with the 10-minute closer “Fallout Ritualist” backing it up, isn’t quite the apex of the album, but “The Lover’s Crypt” serves as a fitting summary of what Cardinals Folly have working for them on their second long-player, a prevalent attention to atmosphere taking hold not necessarily at the expense of the songwriting. I’m fortunate to be able to premiere the stream for “The Lover’s Crypt” ahead of the album release next week, and you’ll find it on the player below.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
It’s been about 3 years since Cardinals Folly put their debut album out through Shadow Kingdom Records. Their sophomore effort is a definite step up in the songwriting department and much more memorable than their debut. This one has the traditional Cardinals Folly sound, but we’re hearing the Warning – Watching from a Distance / 40 Watt Sun – The Inside Room influence creep into their sound this time around. If you’re into collecting underground Doom Metal, check this band out. Fans of Cathedral, Reverend Bizarre, Witchfinder General will be interested to hear this album. This certainly gets my vote for best album artwork of 2014. If you’d like a t-shirt of this cover, we have those available at the Shadow Kingdom Records online heavy metal store.
1. Chant of Shadows 2. Morbid Glory 3. The Black Baroness 4. Our Cult Continues! 5. Sighisoaran 6. Walvater Unveiled 7. The Lover’s Crypt 8. Fallout Ritualist
Posted in Reviews on July 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
The word “epic” gets tossed around these days for everything from Homeric poetry to late-night burritos, so one hesitates to use it for fear it might be taken with a watered-down meaning. I’m at a loss, however, for how else to describe the monumental, otherworldly reality presented in the third installment in a trio of albums from Finnish five-piece Mr. Peter Hayden, Archdimension Now. Comprised of two hyper-extended cosmic drone-doom masterpieces and released as its predecessors were through Kauriala Society, Archdimension Nowis simply in a class of its own in terms of its scope. A 2CD, limited-numbers release housed in a sort of gatefold digi-box, its bright orange cover glaring, it is a staggering work and one that lives up to its theme. The Satakunta outfit’s debut, 2010’s Faster than Speed(review here), dealt with the idea of time travel as a transcendent moment, casting off the constraints of the dimension. Their 2012 follow-up, Born a Trip(review here), was a portrayal of leaving form behind, a sort of transitional stretch laid out as a single 68-minute track. With Archdimension Now, we arrive.The title seems to be as much a notation of where as when, and yet, when one makes their way through the 67-minute first disc or the 57-minute second disc of the album, the experience is bound to be one of lost time entirely, so hypnotic and engrossing is the material the band concocts. On the most basic level, Archdimension Nowmakes Faster than Speedsound like the product of a simpler age, and where Born a Tripstill held to some of the structure the first album worked with — wide open as it was — these two parts go beyond it altogether. They’re what’s left after the dimensions are stripped away.
It is a very, very cool concept.
Sound-wise, what Mr. Peter Hayden do is take the claustrophobic elements of post-metal and cosmic doom and turn them on their head. Archdimension Nowhas stretches of lumbering, noisy weight, to be sure — by about 10 minutes in, the first disc has risen to its first crest — but with the context of the drones and ambience surrounding and within these parts, they’re not oppressive nearly as much as they are life-affirming. And more than these movements of tectonic heft and psychedelic wash, what stands out in listening to Archdimension Nowis the sheer impossibility of the audio. That is to say, if Mr. Peter Hayden were to attempt to recreate these pieces — either of them — in a live setting, the sheer nature of the effects barrage, the waves of drone, the crashing drums and the wah-drenched guitars makes it inevitable that they would come across differently. As much as Archdimension Nowis intended to be the space outside of time, then, it is also invariably a moment captured within it. I do not know how much if any of it was improvised or built on layers in the studio, but the broad-ranging, volcanic nature of the audio feels like a painting one could never recreate. A long stretch of 40-plus minutes’ atmospherics follows that first push proves to be the heart of the work. They’re not building tension — at least not yet — but exploring an aural space even as they make it. By 35 minutes in, they’ve broken it down to guitar-minimalism backed by progressive keys, and it’s from there that the second-half build of the track begins, so patient and fluid as to be almost undetectable on a minute-by-minute scale, but definitely there when you pull back to look at the larger picture. If the record was less than two hours long, one might almost call it subtle. The final thrust of the first disc has a foundation in a slow drum progression, so there’s something binding it to the earth, but atop that is space rock liquefied into its molten prog elements. Noise, feedback, guitar effects, keys — all come together to provide a fullness of sound, and when the song begins to fade after its 65th minute, and elements start to dissipate, one gets the impression that Mr. Peter Hayden could just as easily have kept going.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m not gonna lie, part of the reason I’m posting about Begravningsentreprenörerna is because, at 26 letters, theirs is by far the longest single-word band moniker I’ve ever featured on this site. Doesn’t hurt either that they come from an island off the coast of Finland and play heavy motorpunk with an eye toward garage groove and Swedish lyrics. The four-piece have signed on to release their self-titled (what else would you call it?) debut EP on Ektro Records this July 3, and the track “Anden I Flaskan” is available now for you to check out. It’s raw but not shy about kicking ass.
In case you’re wondering how Begravningsentreprenörerna translates, the Googles puts it as “Funeral Contractors,” which, though still decent, is nowhere near as cool as what they have. If you need me, I’ll be working syllable by syllable to continue to pronounce it, no doubt incorrectly.
Should you like to try your luck, the PR wire sends this:
BEGRAVNINGSENTREPRENÖRERNA set release date for EKTRO debut
Today, EKTRO RECORDS sets July 4th as the international release date for BEGRAVNINGSENTREPRENÖRERNA’s Begravningsentreprenörerna 10″ vinyl EP. Formed a year ago, the four misfits of BEGRAVNINGSENTREPRENÖRERNA – with members of Obnoxious Youth, Vorum, and Tinner – stitched their rock ‘n’ roll denim together and are now making their debut release a self-titled three-track EP. Like the roar from a bloated V8 that echoes through the wastelands filling the air with its toxic exhaust, BEGRAVNINGSENTREPRENÖRERNA play loud rock music with high-octane guitars that stink of liquor and cigarettes. The weighty ingredients in the lyrics delivered in Swedish kicks the dust of alcoholism, anxiety, death, and loneliness and migrates on the desolate highway towards the sunset, into desperation. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for BEGRAVNINGSENTREPRENÖRERNA’s Begravningsentreprenörerna 1. Du Skulle Se Mig Nu Din Fan 2. Anden I Flaskan 3. Snaran och Stålet
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Finnish cult rockers — or is that rocking cult? — Mansion were pretty high on my Roadburn 2014 gotta-see list. It’s always interesting to go to that fest an an American dying to see the European bands and see the Europeans eager to check out the American acts. Call it a reminder of how much of novelty depends on point of view. Either way, Mansion delivered thoroughly on my hopes and expectations from digging on 2013’s We Shall Live EP (review here), and while one of my biggest regrets from the weekend was not picking up a copy of their The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 7″, limited to 100 copies and I’m sure gone by now, at least I can drown my sorrows in knowing that We Shall Live is still gaining traction and a following. Polish imprint Nine Records — you might recall they did the CD of Vestal Claret‘s Bloodbath — has the EP out now on glorious, futuristic compact disc, complete with a 16-page liner.
The following comes translated from the Nine Records page:
MANSION – We Shall Live out now on CD!
Mansion is a band from Finland. The band’s name comes from the local Christian apocalyptic cult – Kartanoism, which had its glory days in the 1920s-50s. Kartano is the Finnish word for the Mansion and the name of the leader of the sect Alma Kartano. Mansion is a six-piece creating music that reflects the life of former followers of the sect.
Their music is a perfect blend of doom, psychedelic rock, and cult rock straight out of the 70s style: Jess And The Ancient Ones, Sabbath Assembly, The Devil’s Blood, Jex Thoth.
This is a compact edition reissue of the classic EP recorded in 2013. The package is embellished with a 16-page booklet with lyrics and many previously-unpublished photographs.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Persistently nebulous Finnish cultists Mansion — aka I am the Mansion, aka The Mansion Congregation — have announced a new 7″ single due next month through Streaks Records, the imprint which also released their 2013 debut EP, We Shall Live (review here), on vinyl in January. The new two-song release will be out in time for Mansion to appear at Roadburn in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and an audio preview is available now that shows the tracks to be more in a heavy rock vein than was the EP, though a theme of condemnation remains consistent.
Just 100 copies of the single will be pressed. The PR wire offers temptation:
Out Soon: STREAK#22: The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 7″ EP
This will be officially out at 4/4/14 !
When I heard the new tunes represented by Jaakob I truly understand what Mikael means with his foreword. It was still a harsh surprise though how filthy and unclean was the result. Still: With believe in the congregations braveness I sort it as a misstep that can be equaled out with their following album that hopefully will mark a return to the true doctrine. While possessed, the congregation created sinful melodies that make oneself feeling dirty while tasting the poisoned apple. It’s addictive, be forewarned! Streaks Records
The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1. should be perceived as a warning. This release goes to show that even the most enlightened may be seduced by evil. When Mother Alma with congregation members differing from the familiar Mansion line- up set out to create spiritual hymns glorifying the devotion to our cause, something unexpected happened. The group experienced demonic seduction, which resulted in despicable behaviour manifested in the recording session. Details shall remain confidential.
Two tracks were recorded to accompany my lyrics with music contradictory in nature to the texts. My initial reaction to the hymns was distress. The thought of our Mother as a puppet on the string for the dark one still brings chills to my spine.
These devilish hymns are lustful and flirtatious. The congregation exposes the hymns to the public in shame, but with a solemn hope that it will serve as documentation of forces moving in the shadows ready to lead us astray.
The listener may experience tempting sensations when exposed to the hymns. Use this recording as a reminder that spiritual adversity may lead to detestable acts. Never take heed of temptation. Know the enemy. Stay strong in your faith.
Sincerely, Mikael, main lyricist of Mansion
The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1.
Performed by: Mother Alma – vocals and organ Aleksanteri- vocals and guitar Jaakob- guitar Roni- bass Veikko Tapio- drums and guitar Joona – mellotron
Tracks: A. Wild Child B. New Dawn
Recorded, mixed and mastered: Joona Lukala in Jan 2014 Released by Streaks Records on 4.4.14
Postage one copy: Germany 2,50 Euro, Europe 4 Euro, World 4 Euro
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
There are two reasons I’m posting about the Mr. Peter Hayden and Dark Buddha Rising tour and they are as follows: Mr. Peter Hayden and Dark Buddha Rising.
I’ve been looking forward to the new Mr. Peter Hayden album, Archdimension Now, since streaming part of their in-betweener single “We Fly High” here back in January. The third in a trilogy of outings, the first two of which were cosmically-minded, exploratory and, when they wanted to be, demolition-grade heavy, I don’t doubt that it will hit under the radar for some, but those who catch it will be glad they did. If this post entices someone to check out that single or 2012’s Born a Trip (review here), all the better.
And though Dark Buddha Rising‘s Dakhmandal got lost last year amid the mess of digital promos, I was at Roadburn 2012 when they played (review here) and so the prospect of that set coming out on tape is enticing indeed. They were among the bleakest acts I’ve ever seen at that festival, and their droning doom remains deeply individual, very much their own.
So you see, the two bands touring together, even nowhere I’ll be able to see them, is an event worth marking. The PR wire puts it thusly:
Dark Buddha Rising and Mr. Peter Hayden collaborative European tour dates for April 2014 announced
Finnish heavy-weight deep space psychedelic travellers Dark Buddha Rising and Mr. Peter Hayden will be touring Europe in April 2014. Trips will be served on eight nights, starting on April 19th in Bülach, Switzerland and ending seven nights later in Stockholm, Sweden. Prepare your minds!
Dark Buddha Rising have released four albums of their signature monolithic dark psychedelic art and gained full acceptance throughout Europe. Last year they opened for Neurosis and are now back to challenge your senses. Mr. Peter Hayden are known from their lengthy compositions and in-depth instrumental approach on sonic psychedelia. Now they are putting out a two-hour piece of music in form of a double album and returning to Europe to continue where they left off at last years Roadburn Festival.
Prior to the tour Mr. Peter Hayden will release a double album entitled Archdimension Now. This will complete the album trilogy they have been working on since 2009. Album will be released through Kauriala Society on April 11th.
Also Dark Buddha Rising have a new release coming up. Live at Roadburn 2012 will be released through Future Lunch on cassette only on April 4th. Finnish masters of dark psychedelia proceed onward after their last years epic release of three 12” EP’s entitled Dakhmandal. Now their debut live recording is being released from their much celebrated performance at Roadburn Festival 2012 in Tilburg, Holland via Future Lunch. Known from their black psychedelic art and performances, the group has gained major acceptance beyond borders. They are now serving you a unique glimpse of their previous guidelines as presented in this 2012 one-of-a-kind event. An event in which minds were trembled and all mountains shook up.
Dark Buddha Rising & Mr. Peter Hayden : “Archmandal” – European tour, 19. – 26.4.2014 19.4. Guss39, Bülach, Switzerland 20.4. Doomed Gatherings, Glazart, Paris, France 21.4. Little Devil, Tilburg, Netherlands 22.4. Hühnermanhattan, Halle, Germany 23.4. Crass Pub, Chemnitz, Germany 24.4. Werk4, Magdeburg, Germany 25.4. Stengade, Copenhagen, Denmark 26.4. Püssy a Go Go, The Liffey, Stockholm, Sweden