The Obelisk Radio Adds: XII Boar, Deadpeach, Suzukiton, Torpor and Monsternaut

Posted in Radio on March 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

Once again it’s been a couple weeks since I was last able to do a round of radio adds. But I have a good excuse! I was… uh… reviewing stuff? Well, that’s what I was doing, anyway. Anyhow, I’m way backed up on stuff to join the server, so for at least the next couple weeks it seems reasonable to expect regular adds while I get caught up. By then I’m sure I’ll be behind again, because somehow that’s how it works. Anyway, point is that as usual, a lot more was added to the server this afternoon than appears here, so make sure you check the Playlist and Updates page for the full list. Most of it is pretty new as well, so you might stumble on something you didn’t know was out. Could happen. Alright, let’s do this.

The Obelisk Radio adds for March 20, 2015:

XII Boar, Pitworthy

xii boar pitworthy

Before “Sharpshooter,” the opening track of their debut full-length, Pitworthy, actually starts, Hampshire, UK, trio XII Boar are introduced by a ring announcer in full arena-echo style. Somebody is about to get their ass kicked. That mentality tells you a lot about where the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hardrocks, bassist/vocalist Adam “Baddog” Thomas and drummer David Wilbraham are coming from on the 10-track outing, rife with heavy, Southern-style boogie presented with weighted burl whether it’s a slower groove like “Crushing the P” or a thrasher like “Chicken Hawk.” Side A caps with the title-track, a seven-minute Southern metal highlight, but the real party is at the end of the record’s second half, when the 11-minute “Quint” takes hold in a raucous fury of rhythmic thrust, seafaring tales and off-the-wall soloing. It is a riotous debut after a few promising EPs, and if nothing else, XII Boar make it clear that if anyone’s going to get their ass kicked, it won’t be the band. Their dudely growls and whisky this-or-that might be too much for some, but there’s no denying these guys sound like they’re having a blast, and that energy proves infectious throughout their first album. XII Boar on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Deadpeach, Old Fuzz Generation

deadpeach old fuzz generation

Underrated Italian fuzz rockers Deadpeach initially released the debut EP, Old Fuzz Generation, in 2004 on what was apparently severely limited vinyl. Then a three-song 7″, Old Fuzz Generation now sees a digital reissue as a four-track release with the three-minute “Spain ’87” added on to the end. All told, it’s still under 10 minutes long with all four cuts taken together, but while brief, there’s enough fuzzy rush to hearken back to a time when European heavy rock was less concerned with either psychedelic freeform jamming or sounding like it’s 1972, and that the thickened-out, sped-up punk of “Americano” (1:50) needed no frills to get its point across, tapping influences from NebulaFu Manchu and Kyuss even while quoting Bob Marley in the lyrics and expressing what was a pervasive anti-American sentiment throughout Europe following the US invasion of Iraq. Good times. Not really, but good fuzz, and twice as interesting when one considers how European heavy was on the verge of a multi-faceted explosion 11 years ago and Deadpeach were tapping into a similar classic heavy ethic as the likes of Demon Cleaner, earlier Dozer and their countrymen in OJM. A quick but satisfying stoner burst. Deadpeach on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Suzukiton, Suzukiton II

suzukiton suzukiton ii

Making their home in the fertile heavy ground of Richmond, Virginia, the instrumental four-piece Suzukiton made their debut a decade ago on Crucial Blast with Service Repair Handbook, a collection of distinctly Southern but still varied rockers that found a cult following at the time. Kind of a surprise to find that 10 years later, the four-piece of guitarists Todd Naumann and David Boyd (Twisted Tower Dire), bassist William Rose and drummer Bryan Cox (ex-Axehandle and Alabama Thunderpussy) would return with the self-released Suzukiton II, but the intervening time has done little to dull their potency, shredding leads cutting through tight rhythms in tones bordering between heavy rock and metal, a chugger like “Death of a Mule” no more out of place than a prog-metal stomper like “Ronin.” Closer “Todd II” would seem a direct sequel to “Todd Song” from the first album, but its eight-minute course feels more than duly expanded from the prior release. Thoughtful in its progressions and well-plotted within its individual pieces, Suzukiton II is nothing if not a welcome return, and if it’s the band’s position to blindside new listeners, that suits the material well. Suzukiton on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Torpor, From Nothing Comes Everything

torpor from nothing comes everything

Immediate points to UK atmospheric sludgers Torpor (also stylized in all-caps) for opening their Head of Crom and Black Bow Records debut LP, From Nothing Comes Everything, with “From this Time,” the longest song on the album. Follow-up points for the actual weight of the damn thing. Dense, post-metallic claustrophobia is undercut by trades between spoken or otherwise clearheaded shouts and vicious screams, the foursome of standalone vocalist Nats Spada, guitarist/vocalist Jon Taylor, bassist Lauren Mason and drummer Simon Mason successfully avoiding stylistic cliche throughout the six-track release while executing lethal builds and thunder-toned push. “Surrender to the Light” is as effective for its melody as its chug, the obscure interlude “The Wake” rumbles and growls ferociously, and “As Waves Crash” demonstrates a powerful blend of post-hardcore and doom, from which “Abandon” departs only momentarily, delving into a minimalist midsection before rounding out with a maddening payoff. Nine-minute closer “Everything We Left Behind” might as well be made of skull fragments and burst eardrums, its heft giving way gradually to deconstructed ambience and a finale of abrasive noise. Torpor‘s first is brutal, fierce and terrifying most of all for how solidified and assured the band sounds in their aesthetic — how at home they are in the churning chaos they’ve made. Torpor on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, at Head of Crom, Black Bow Records.

Monsternaut, Monsternaut

monsternut monsternaut

If the art wasn’t clue enough, Monsternaut‘s Monsternaut EP is a stoner rock record. Its motor revs in opener “Dog Town” and doesn’t let up until it hits the slowdown in closer “Black Horizon,” which wraps the Kerava, Finland, trio’s 18-minute debut outing with a fitting show of swing, choice basslines and nod-worthy fuckall. There’s plenty about the five tracks that will prove familiar to listeners who may have seen a record with an El Camino (admittedly, a gorgeous one) on the cover before, but there’s a next-generation freshness in Monsternaut‘s barebones, unabashed heavy rock approach, and cuts like “Back for More” and “Mountain Doom” prove deceptively catchy while also tapping tonal satisfaction in the guitar, bass and drums — Jani Kuusela‘s snare and kick landing no less heavy than Tuomas Heiskanen‘s riffs or Perttu Härkönen‘s low end — and the thud of “Caravan” and the straightforward, unpretentious vibe of all the tracks suits a presentation of genre that offers an edge of individuality while immediately doing more than just aping the band’s stylistic forebear(d)s. In heft, mood and songwriting, it’s a more than solid showcase of a progression underway. Monsternaut on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

As previously noted, this is just a fraction of the stuff that joined the server today — one-third, if you want to be more specific about that fraction. To check out everything else or to see what’s been played today and for probably way further back than you’re interested in knowing, check out the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page. Hope you find something good from it.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lowburn Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

lowburn

After an initial EP and a follow-up digital single and split, Finnish heavy rock four-piece Lowburn have inked a deal to make their full-length debut through Argonauta Records. No exact release date for the album yet, but so far as I can glean from perusing their Thee Facebooks page, the record is done and ready to roll, so I can’t imagine it’ll be all that long, though Argonauta certainly likes to keep busy. Maybe “later this year” works? Anyway, sooner or later. Lowburn‘s latest outing was their 2014 split with countrymen rockers Church of Void that you can hear below.

But first, to the PR wire:

lowburn art

ARGONAUTA Records signs Finnish Stoner Rockers LOWBURN!

A new stunning name is now part of the Argonauta family! Hailing from Finland, LOWBURN are an impressive band able to blend the pure stoner rock frenzy to the doomier as well as more psychedelic fields. Formed by BATTLELORE members Tomi Mykkänen and Henkka Vahvanen, LOWBURN born as a band since the very first jams, recruiting Miika Kokkola and Tommi Havo (replaced by Tommi Lintunen in the beginning of 2015). After a couple of EPs, the guys are now giving the final touches to their debut full length, highly anticipated as a massive energy of fuzzy groove!

“Showing the appreciation and gratidude to such bands as Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, ZZ Top, Kyuss, Acid King, Sleep, Monster Magnet and Cathedral, these four guys are delivering the Rock as it’s supposed to be!”

After a short hiatus from music Tomi Mykkänen and Henkka Vahvanen from Battlelore started jamming again together. Soon it was decided that they needed to form a band for the jams. Miika Kokkola (founding member and original bass player from Battlelore) was contacted and asked if he wants to jam with the guys. He did. They played and jammed a few times and then it was decided that second guitarist would not hurt. Miika said that he had already talked with Tommi Havo (another original Battlelore member) about the project and that he was very interested. So, enter Tommi and on the first rehearsal together the first real song was made. On the second rehearsal the second song was made and then it was realized that the band had born.

In January 2013 “Soaring High EP” was released as a limited CD-release. The EP showcases quite well the versatility and the musicianship of the band. It shows their sides from the pure stoner rock frenzy to the more doomier fields. The EP sold out in couple of weeks after the release. The feedback and the buzz has been awesome-lly great and the band is very humbled about it. The EP is digitally available at the Bandcamp-site.

The song “All Life Long” was released as a video and digi-single late summer 2013.

A split-7″ with fellow band CHURCH OF VOID was released in May 2014. LOWBURN song on the split is called “Dope Is a Pope”.

https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords
https://www.facebook.com/lowburnband
http://www.lowburn.net/
http://lowburn.bandcamp.com/

Lowburn & Church of Void, Split (2014)

Tags: , , ,

Domovoyd to Release Self-Titled LP May 8 on Svart

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

domovoyd

Two things I immediately like about Domovoyd‘s self-titled album opener, “Domovoyage,” which you can hear below: First, it’s trippy as fuck and then some. Second, even the “shorter version” of the song is 13 minutes long. Hell yes. The Finnish outfit k-i-l-l-e-d it on their 2013 Svart Records debut, Oh Sensibility (review here), and they seem primed to push the ritual even farther out with Domovoyd, which is due out May 8, also on Svart. Expect a layered, effects-driven freakout and don’t be surprised when those expectations are exceeded.

Raw vibe, anything goes, psychedelic fuckall. Hard to beat. PR wire brings news of doom from space:

domovoyd domovoyd

DOMOVOYD set release date for new SVART album, premiere first track

The young psychonauts of Domovoyd are onto their sixth year of existence in this dimension, and having taken many acid heads by surprise with their Svart debut album, Oh Sensibility (2013), the band are ready to deliver a second transmission from worlds beyond and within. Scheduled to appear on the planet on May 8th, once again via Svart Records, the album is self-titled and it will be available on CD, double-vinyl, and digital.

Domovoyd’s eponymous 60-minute behemoth pays tribute to progressive rock masterpieces of yesteryear in the sense that it is, for lack of a better word, a concept album: storytelling and mythmaking in the works, if you will, but distilled through an overdriven stack of amplifiers. The album’s six tracks deal with inner discovery of the psychedelic kind and, ultimately, with the loss and destruction of all conceptions of self and the world; old ego is a too-much thing, as Charlie Manson once said. For those who are looking for a quick fix while waiting for the album to hit, Domovoyd have prepared a shorter version of the album’s opening track “Domovoyage” HERE. Ease on out of your mind with Domovoyd! Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Kesä’s Kesä
1. Domovoyage
2. Ambrosian Perfume
3. Caustic Afterglow
4. Mystagogue
5. Amor Fati
6. Vivid Insanity

MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/domovoyd
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.youtube.com/svartrecords
www.twitter.com/svartrecords

Domovoyd, “Domovoyage”

Tags: , , , , ,

Hooded Menace to Record New Album at Skyhammer Studio

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Three years seems like a bit of time since the last Hooded Menace full-length, Effigies of Evil, came out, but if like me you saw that and were surprised it had been that long, it’s probably because the band keeps so active. In that three years, they’ve released two splits, two EPs and most recently, a compilation of non-album material called Gloom Immemorial that hit in December on Doomentia Records. So if three years comes seems like a while, it’s not exactly like the Finnish death-doomers have been quiet all that time.

Still, they’re due for a new record, and they’ll do the tracking with Conan bassist/producer Chris Fielding (also engineer for Electric Wizard, Coltsblood, Primordial, etc.) at Skyhammer Studio. Relapse is saying it’ll be out by the end of the year, and that’s cool by me:

hooded menace

HOODED MENACE PREPARE TO ENTER STUDIO

BAND ANNOUNCES TWO EURO FESTIVAL APPEARANCES

Finnish death/doom horde HOODED MENACE are preparing to enter the studio to record their fourth full-length and first new record since 2012’s Effigies of Evil. The band will be entering Skyhammer Studio in the UK to record with Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard, Moss, Napalm Death, The Wounded Kings) while Brad Boatright (Yob, Vallenfyre, Beastmilk, Sleep) will be mastering the album at Audiosiege in the US. Justin Bartlett (SUNN O))), Kvelertak, Trap Them), with whom the band worked on their 2010 split 7″ with Anima Morte, will be handling the cover art and layout. Expect the album to drop in the latter half of 2015 via Relapse Records!

HOODED MENACE recently released a compilation of splits and EPs entitled Gloom Immemorial via Doomentia Records. The compilation is available at this location while the band’s last full-length Effigies of Evil, can be streamed via Bandcamp HERE.

Additionally, HOODED MENACE have confirmed a pair of live appearances including Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown and Finland’s Jalometalli Festival. Dates are listed below.

Hooded Menace Live Appearances:
April 30 – May 3 Heavy Days in Doomtown Copenhagen, Denmark
August 7 – 8 Jalometalli Oulu, Finland

https://www.facebook.com/HoodedMenace
https://twitter.com/hooded_menace
https://hoodedmenace.bandcamp.com/
http://www.relapse.com/

Hooded Menace, Effigies of Evil (2012)

Tags: , , ,

Garden of Worm Stream Idle Stones in Full; Album out Today on Svart

Posted in audiObelisk on March 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

garden-of-worm

Today marks the release date of Finnish doom rockers Garden of Worm‘s second album, Idle Stones, on Svart. It’s a record that, following half a decade after their 2010 self-titled debut (review here), has already been reviewed here more or less twice (see here and here), so I’ll spare the verbiage this time around and say instead how fortunate I feel to be able to host the stream, because I genuinely think it’s a record that represents something special within its four tracks.

Not just that Garden of Worm have grown since their last time out, but from the initial downer-shuffle of “Fleeting are the Days of Man” through the twists of “Desertshore” and on into the expansive jamming in the 19-minute closer “The Sleeper Including Being is More than Life,” it crosses genre borders so easily as to make the listener forget they existed in the first place, or more, to doubt they ever did.

Easy to mark that out as hyperbole, maybe, but I think Garden of Worm‘s sophomore outing lives up to it. When I streamed “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan,” I said something similar, and remarked on how fluid the material was across the board and how natural the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist EJ Taipale, bassist/vocalist SJ Harju and drummer JM Suvanto sounded moving between parts and showcasing varied sides of their influences.

I stand by all of it, of course, and it’s a big part of the reason why after hosting one track I’m so pleased to be able to follow-up with the album in its entirety. It deserves to be heard front to back, to have each shift experienced in its most proper surroundings, the context of Idle Stones as a whole. I don’t usually do this kind of thing, and if one might think of it as an exception to the rule, consider it also an exceptional album.

And of course, please enjoy:

Garden of Worm‘s Idle Stones is out today, March 6, on Svart Records. The release show is tonight in the band’s native Tampere. More info at the links.

Garden of Worm on Thee Facebooks

Release show event page

Idle Stones at Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Seremonia to Release Kristalliarkki May 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

seremonia

Finnish psychedelic outliers Seremonia have set a May 8 release for their third LP, Kristalliarkki, through Svart Records. The weirdo-rock fivesome have been kicking around Northern Europe’s heavy underbelly since the release of their first record in 2012 (track stream here), out-proto-metalling just about everybody and reaping surprisingly little acclaim for doing so. Doubtless part of that is the lack of universal translator technology (fucking hell, we’re primitive; if I was the Vulcans, I wouldn’t make first contact either), but even so, Seremonia have killed it across two records already and have vibe to spare, so Kristalliarkki is worth looking forward to.

So, uh, get on it. Ha. Here’s what the PR wire has to say:

seremonia kristalliarkki

SEREMONIA set release date for new SVART album

Finnish heavy psych rockers Seremonia dive deeper than ever into the dark psychedelic abyss with their third album Kristalliarkki, set for international release on May 8th via Svart Records. With lyrics (still all in their native tongue) revolving around the spiritual cult practices and teachings of a mysterious doomsday cult, Kristalliarkki (English: “The Crystal Ark”) also explores the cultist mindset musically. The heavy riffing, the psychedelic solos, the out-of-control drum fills, the blood-chilling vocal delivery, and the collective free rock freak-outs all go way beyond just playing good ol’ heavy rock: Seremonia is a band on a sacred mission, possessed by the black flame of rock ‘n’ roll. Kristalliarkki bears their trademark garage doom sound and catchy riffage, and adds an abundance of acid rock experimentalism, proto-punk anger, sacred music bliss, and even some cosmic jazz flavors in the 15-minute title track of the album. It’s a hard-rocking hard rock record, but a wonderfully weird one – even by Seremonia’s weirdo standards. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Seremonia’s Kristalliarkki
1. Vihkimys
2. Alfa ja Omega
3. Tee mitä tahdot
4. Musta liekki
5. Lusiferin lapset
6. Vapauden polku
7. Kuolema voittaa
8. Jokainen askel
9. Kristalliarkki I
10. Kristalliarkki II

Seremonia is a five-piece band from Finland, playing heavy psychedelic rock and singing in their native language, Finnish. Their eponymous debut album was released by Svart Records in 2012 and received critical acclaim across the world. Since then, the band has played their creepy brand of psych rock in very different venues, be it small punk rock dives or bigger festivals like Finland’s Tuska, Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown, Sweden’s Muskelrock, or Holland’s Roadburn. Both on acclaimed albums and ferocious live shows, Seremonia’s original take on the genre has earned them a good name amongst the global community of psych rock lovers.

Seremonia discography:
Rock’n’rollin maailma / Nämä kesäiset päivät 7″ (2012 Svart)
Seremonia LP/CD (2012 Svart)
Ovi / Vastaus rukouksiisi 7″ (2013 Svart)
Ihminen LP/CD (2013 Svart)
Hasiskultti / Hulluus 7” (2015 Svart)
Kristalliarkki LP/CD (2015 Svart)

MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/seremonia666
http://svartrecords.com/

Seremonia, “Suuri Valkeus” official video

Tags: , , , ,

Mansion, Uncreation: Testimony of the Converted

Posted in On Wax on February 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mansion uncreation

The 12″ vinyl packaging of Mansion‘s second EP, Uncreation, is elaborate but not ostentatious. Ever-conscious of their pursed-lip, upright-postured aesthetic, the Turku, Finland, outfit present Uncreation in a screenprinted cardboard sleeve on black vinyl, but when one digs into the thing itself, there’s much more to the release. An application is included for those who would join Mansion‘s cult — based on the Kartanoist movement in Finland founded by Alma Kartano, after whom Alma Mansion, the band’s vocalist, takes her name — as well as a foldout liner that includes lineup info and the lyrics for the title-track, presented as a sort of missal. These seem like relatively small things, and indeed, it’s not like Mansion are doing blue swirl vinyl or green translucent platters or whatever, but if they were, it wouldn’t work. They might get away with red, but even that would pull away from the black-and-white of what they do, the high contrast of the front cover and how the visual side complements the audio of Uncreation‘s four songs, which aren’t lacking anything stylistically and aren’t minimal save perhaps for a brief stretch in “Uncreation” and the beginning of closer “Divining Rod,” but of which aesthetic and atmosphere is a huge part of the point. Mansion followed the devil and deviated from this form somewhat on last year’s psych-rocking The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 7″, but Uncreation follows suit more with their 2013 breakout debut EP, We Shall Live (review here), and works along similar lines to cast out harsh judgments amid fire-and-brimstone progressions alternating between slow doom and classic metal, the latter showing itself particularly in the apex of opener “Child Preacher” and its side B counterpart, “I am the Mansion.”

Both Uncreation and We Shall Live are comprised of four songs, but it’s noteworthy that the newer release, at 36:42, is more than 10 minutes longer than its predecessor. The material, however, is by and large older. Listening to the slow churn of “Child Preacher” and the grand crashes of its chorus, the difference does not feel like happenstance. While just four tracks, Uncreation feels and flows more like an album, and like We Shall Live, it is strikingly cohesive and developed for a first full-length. Alma is joined by backing vocalist Aleksanteri in the chorus and verses of “Child Preacher,” and the keyboard work of the latter serves as an especially pivotal element in the opener and in the subsequent tracks as well, organ sounds and otherworldly keys greatly bolstering the ambience given life by guitarists Jaakob and Veikko-Tapio, bassist Immanuel, and drummer Mikael, who also contributes lyrics throughout, which also play a major role in the effectiveness of Mansion‘s aesthetic, the A/B scheme of “Uncreation” in lines like, “We have been rewarded/Unlike the foul and sordid,” reminding that part of what makes hymns so memorable is that in another context many are nursery rhymes. Church organ opens “Uncreation,” the longest inclusion at 12:51, and builds to a head before cutting short to music-box sounds and volume swell over which Alma soon begins the first verse. Drums and distorted guitar kick in after three minutes and a roll gets underway that continues as layers become more complex in the midsection, and around 6:40, a purely Sabbathian riff takes hold to lead into some spoken word over open-spaced atmosphere that sets up the echoing croon, “Come inside the mansion/Witness uncreation/Be among the righteous/Bathing in the brightness,” etc., which gets repeated over heavier guitar as choral layering mounts and organ steps back in to finish out side A.

Not every cult act has an actual cult on which to base their philosophies — it would be like a band in Texas in 30 years adopting the tenets of the Branch Davidians; honestly, I’ll be surprised if it takes that long — but Mansion have already proven their dedication to this mesh of sound and style, and Uncreation finds them engaged in a likewise satisfying sonic development. “I am the Mansion” leads side B with Alma at the fore, playing off charisma in the resonant hook in the chorus and the slow, subtly doomed progression behind, keys once again setting the tone, until in the second half the tempo picks up and the band moves toward the apex, marked out by the lines, “I am the mansion/Who are you?” not so much questioning as challenging. Punishment has proven a regular and fitting theme for Mansion to date, and “Divining Rod,” while still Iommic in its righteous plod, follows in the spirit of “We Shall Live”‘s proclaiming, “We hall live, you will die,” the cut and dry, black and white divide set up between the saved and damned. The lead guitar toward the halfway point is a standout, but even more than that, the closer seems to flog itself into deconstruction, the second half building to a head and then falling apart amid backwards guitar, vocal effects, keys, and the steady-but-slowing forward motion of the rhythm section, ending in echoes less either of rapture or devastation or maybe both. What that might mean for Mansion‘s cult, I don’t know — I didn’t even get time to get my application in — but somehow I doubt they’ve yet met their end and their apocalyptic preaching and endtimes doom will persist, distinct not only for its specificity, but for the restraint it shows musically and how well that translates to the mindset of asceticism that is such a huge part of what they do. Except for when they give in to temptation, of course.

Mansion, Uncreation (Dec. 2014)

Mansion on Thee Facebooks

Mansion on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , ,

Garden of Worm Stream “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan” from New Album Idle Stones

Posted in audiObelisk on February 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

garden-of-worm

Tampere, Finland, trio Garden of Worm will release their second album, Idle Stones (review here), via Svart Records on March 6. It is a much different sort of outing than their 2010 self-titled Shadow Kingdom debut (review here), which was gruffer in its tone and more traditional overall, and is comprised of four tracks split easily into two vinyl sides, each comprised of a shorter and a longer piece, totaling about 42 minutes. The focus this time around seems to be more geared toward space than distorted riffing, and while Idle Stones bears considerable weight tonally and emotionally, it’s the latter that gives opener “Fleeting are the Days of Man” (5:35), “Summer’s Isle” (10:13), “Desertshore” (7:01) and “The Sleeper Including Being is More than Life” (19:49) their full breadth. Five years after an impressive debut, Garden of Worm breathe life into a staid sound and embark on engaging explorations of form that feel not hindered by genre constraints but enhanced by them. You can’t know which lines to cross without first knowing where they are.

Today I have the extreme pleasure of hosting “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan” for streaming ahead of the LP’s release. As the title-hints, it’s a two-parter, and what impresses most about it is the flow from one segment to the next. Garden of Worm – guitarist/vocalist EJ Taipale, bassist/vocalist SJ Harju and drummer JM Suvanto — set up a strong sense of atmosphere throughout Idle Stones‘ first three songs, and the last one which follows makes the most of the spaciousness provided. Following a morose, understated opening that’s deceptively heavy, TaipaleHarju and Suvanto move into a wash of noise that unfolds gradually, gracefully, into a pulsating space rock jam, a psychedelic freakout emerging like a multicolored mushroom from a forest floor. The sound swells and consumes, but it’s not the end.

Over on side B, the dual-vocal thrust of “Desertshore” sets the table for 20-minute closer “The Sleeper Including Being is More than Living” which expands the ideas of “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan” even further, moving from doomly vibing into a psych jam that, just before the 17-minute mark, drops out and Suvanto‘s ride cymbal eases the way back into a kind of epilogue reprise of the song’s earlier melancholy, this time using it as the launch point for what becomes a kind of summary of the piece in its entirety — another mini-freakout building to a head and is brought to a minimalist, contemplative conclusion. It makes a worthy focal point for Idle Stones, but I won’t take away from the achievement of the album as a whole either, whether it’s the cohesive introduction the album is given on “Fleeting are the Days of Man” or the subtle ritualism in “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan” that, as a preface to the closer, boldly rips itself to shreds in a more concise fit of improv-sounding noise. There are those who see doom and heavy rock like church and state, as though they couldn’t or shouldn’t occupy the same ideals. Garden of Worm cut to the root influence and create something of their own from it that is neither and both at the same time, and their command and poise as Idle Stones plays out its progressive sprawl is not to be discounted.

Please find “Summer’s Isle Including Caravan” on the player below, followed by some PR wire background, and enjoy:

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 album for Shadow Kingdom Records (2010), the band went into hibernation.

The new album 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 2014 GOW 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) and TRÄD GRÄS & 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.

Garden of Worm on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Tags: , , , , ,