Kimi Kärki Posts “Beyond Distance” Video; Eye for an Eye out Next Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kimi karki

The collaboration between Kimi Kärki and Patrick Walker is no minor moment when it comes to the former’s second solo album, Eye for an Eye (review here). Set for release a week from today via respected purveyor Svart Records, the record offers no shortage of melancholy anyhow as the Lord Vicar, Orne, ex-Reverend Bizarre, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, etc. guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and experimentalist explores more intimate, personal ground even than that which comprised his first outing, The Bone of My Bones (review here), in 2013.

Bringing in Walker, whose voice almost invariably conveys a doomed emotionalism and has been a key element in crafting landmark full-lengths from Warning and 40 Watt Sun alike, only builds on this spirit. The track is called “Beyond Distance,” and while there are subtle arrangements of backing vocals and flourish of crowd noise at the end, the most striking impression comes directly from Kärki and Walker working together respectively on guitar and voice, and the result is a standout that, while atmospherically consistent with its surroundings on Eye for an Eye, nonetheless draws the listener’s attention in both its concept and execution.

I said as much when I reviewed Eye for an Eye, but it’s hard to listen to “Beyond Distance” and not imagine what Kärki and Walker might be able to accomplish were they to actually put a collaborative project together, to write songs together, either in a heavier and doomed sonic context or a more tranquil duo as they are found to be in “Beyond Distance.” There’s just so much potential here that it seems like a waste to have this be a one-time-only happening. Not that I get a vote, but the more I hear “Beyond Distance,” the more my vote is “more, please.”

Kärki assembled and directed the video below himself, as he did the prior clip for “Entangled in Pleasure” that was premiered here, and it follows suit in its atmospheric visual impressionism and, at least until the very end, black and white visuals. The highlight of course is the song itself, but to go with Walker‘s self-harmonies and the intricate plucking of strings from Kärki, the various shots here at very least make a fitting complement.

Please enjoy:

Kimi Kärki (feat. Patrick Walker), “Beyond Distance” official video

Kimi Kärki premieres the new video “Beyond Distance.” Featuring 40 Watt Sun’s Patrick Walker, “Beyond Distance” hails from Kärki’s highly anticipated second album, Eye for an Eye, set for international release on August 18th via Svart Records.

Kimi Kärki is a Finnish cultural historian, guitar-player, and singer-songwriter. Known for his versatile guitar playing and somber compositions for Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orne, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, and, most recently, Uhrijuhla, Kärki has developed his recognizable playing style within doom metal, progressive, folk, and electric ambient scenes. This variety of mostly underground styles reflects the open and intuitive approach to music, which is in the very heart of Kärki’s craft.

Music, guitars, eBow, bass, memotron: Kimi Kärki. Vocals, words, his vocal arrangement: Patrick Walker. Backing vocals: Pirre Känkänen, Anna-Elena Pääkkölä. Engineering: Joona Lukala. Music recorded at Noise for Fiction in 2016. Patrick Walker’s vocals were recorded at Bremhill Corpse Studio by Laurence Collyer, in August 2016. Crowd noises recorded at Brighton and Nikosia by Kimi Kärki in 2016. Video directed and edited by Kimi Kärki, filmed in Oslo 2014, Turku archipelago 2015, Carmel by the Sea and Cleveland 2017.

Kimi Kärki on Thee Facebooks

Lord Vicar on Thee Facebooks

Eye for an Eye at Svart Records webstore

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Svart Records on YouTube

Svart Records on Twitter

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Hands of Orlac & The Wandering Midget Split Due Sept. 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Those who seek the maximum bizarro quotient in their doom likely don’t need me to tell them that the pairing of Italy’s Hands of Orlac and Finland’s The Wandering Midget — who haven’t had a release out in a what-happened-to-the-last five years, apparently — is good news. Cruz del Sur will boldly stand behind the two outfits as they join together for a new split out Sept. 8 that brings four cuts from the former and one extended piece from the wildly politically-incorrectly-monikered latter, and it’s sure to be a dark-hued freakout of a high order both in terms of quality and chemical ingestion. Both bands will be making their debut on the label with this release.

Gonna hope to have more to come on this one as we get closer to Sept. 8, but here’s cover art and the basic social medias announcement of its impending arrival. Hooray for getting weird:

hands-of-orlac-the-wandering-midget-split

HANDS OF ORLAC / THE WANDERING MIDGET Split Release out in September

The worlds of occult metal and colossal doom collide on the HANDS OF ORLAC and THE WANDERING MIDGET split, set for a September 8 release via Cruz Del Sur Music.

Featuring four contributions from Italian/Swedish occult metal troupe HANDS OF ORLAC and one 18-minute epic from Finnish doomsters THE WANDERING MIDGET, the split finds two disparate, unique bands offering a glimpse into their dark and mysterious worlds.

Formed in 2009, HANDS OF ORLAC has gradually evolved from its early doom forays into a horror soundtrack-infused outfit, heavily inspired by the works of BALLETTO DI BRONZO, GOBLIN, BIGLIETTO PER L’INFERNO and ALPHATAURUS. The band’s four offerings on the split were recorded by veteran producer Berno Paulsson at the renowned Berno Studio in Malmö, Sweden. With the mystical vocal and exotic flute work of G. leading the way, HANDS OF ORLAC offer up an invigorating take on occult metal, with both the progressive “Curse Of The Human Skull” and straightforward “From Beyond The Stars” displaying a degree of balance that is emblematic of a band capable of pushing boundaries without falling prey to genre clichés.

THE WANDERING MIDGET hail from Lappeenranta, Finland and were formed in 2005. The band’s 2008 “The Serpent Coven” and 2012 “From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams” LPs were riff-intense bodies of work, channeling the true spirit of doom forerunners BLACK SABBATH and CANDLEMASS. THE WANDERING MIDGET’s contribution to the split, “Where We March The Vultures Follow”, is their first sonic offering in over five years, and is a true stroke of monolithic doom, laced with anguished, slow-churned melodies and the animated vocals of Samuel Wormius.

The split is the first release on Cruz Del Sur Music for HANDS OF ORLAC and THE WANDERING MIDGET, representing the label’s continued focus on unearthing the underground’s most challenging bands. The sounds of occult metal and epic doom joined together have never sounded so foreboding.

Split track listing:
1. HANDS OF ORLAC – Curse Of The Human Skull
2. HANDS OF ORLAC – Per Aspera
3. HANDS OF ORLAC – From Beyond The Stars
4. HANDS OF ORLAC – Ad Astra
5. THE WANDERING MIDGET – Where We March The Vultures Follow

HANDS OF ORLAC line-up:
G. – Vocals / Flute
A. – Guitars
F. – Bass
J.– Drums

THE WANDERING MIDGET line-up:
Samuel Wormius – Fire Lungs & Tornados
Thomas Grenier – Storm of Locusts
Jonathan Sprenger – Earthquake Sorcery

http://handsofevil.blogspot.com/
handsoforlac.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/TheWanderingMidget
https://thewanderingmidget.bandcamp.com/
www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic
twitter.com/CruzDelSurMusic

Hands of Orlac, “Witches Hammer”

The Wandering Midget, From the Meadows of Opium Dreams (2012)

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Church of Void Self-Titled Album Available to Preorder; New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

church of void

Finnish doomers Church of Void will make their debut on Argonauta Records Sept. 15 with their second overall album. Self-titled and comprised of seven tracks, the record gets its first public preview in the unveiling of a video for closer “World Eater,” which swirls out a deceptively intricate blend of darkly progressive psychedelia and classic-styled trad doom riffing, topped with layered vocals that add to both the eerie mood and the overarching intricacy of the whole affair. I haven’t heard the complete outing yet, though it’s available now to preorder, but on first impression it seems like there’s more to Church of Void‘s bleak take than one might at first expect.

All the better going into the album, then. The five-piece have had a couple offerings out — most recently a 2016 split with Cardinals Folly and Acolytes of Moros — but Church of Void will be the rightful follow-up to their 2013 debut, Dead Rising, and the preceding Winter is Coming EP from 2012. In going back and listening to the first long-player, one finds the vocals cleaner but the band overall still driven by an underlying impulse that seems to be drawn from the more extreme end of metal. Maybe even some goth rock? I missed that album at the time, because I suck at this, but it’s a fascinating blend and I look forward to hearing how the context expands when the self-titled arrives.

Album artwork, preorder link, other details and the video for “World Eater” follow here, as seen on the social medias:

church of void self titled

Finnish Doom Metallers Church Of Void reveal cover artwork and tracklist of their highly anticipated self-titled album, the perfect blend of traditional doom and “grim” rock sonorities.

The videoclip of the first single taken from the album is available here. Live video footage by Timo Honkanen.

“Church of Void” will be released in CD/DD and available from September 15th, 2017.

Preorders run here: http://bit.ly/2tGmniz.

TRACKLIST:
Prelude
Passing the Watchtower
Harlot’s Dream
Moonstone
Lovecraft
Beast Within
World Eater

https://www.facebook.com/churchofvoid
http://churchofvoid.bandcamp.com/
http://www.churchofvoid.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

Church of Void, “World Eater”

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Quarterly Review: Enslaved, Hour of 13, Operators, MaidaVale, Audion, Bone Man, Riff Fist, Helén, Savanah, Puta Volcano

Posted in Reviews on July 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

I don’t know about you, but I could do this all day. Listening to records, writing reviews, getting things done that I’ve been trying to get done in some cases for actual months of my life — suffice it to say I’m way into this process. Wednesday is always a special day for the Quarterly Review because we pass the halfway point, and as much as I wish this edition went to 60 or even 70 releases, because rest assured even with 50 total there’s way more I could be covering if I had space/time, the good news is there’s still much more awesomeness to come. Today gets into some different vibes once again, so let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Enslaved, Roadburn Live

enslaved-roadburn-live

In their storied and groundbreaking career, Norwegian progressive black metallers Enslaved have never put out a live record, and it kind of makes sense as to why. The nuance of what they’ve come to do in their studio material doesn’t really lend itself to the rawness of a live album. Accordingly, Roadburn Live (on ByNorse and Burning World Records) feels almost as much of an homage to the event itself as to the performance. Captured in 2015 as Enslaved guitarist Ivar Bjørnson co-curated and the band headlined playing a special set of their more prog-focused songs – here more recent material like “In Times,” “Building with Fire,” “Daylight” from 2015’s In Times (review here) and “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” from 2012’s RIITIIR (review here) shines along with “Convoys to Nothingness” from 2001’s Monumension, “As Fire Swept Clean the Earth” from 2003’s Below the Lights and the requisite “Isa” from the 2004 landmark of the same name, and a special highlight comes at the finale when they cover Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and bring guitarist Menno Gootjes of Dutch proggers Focus out for a guest spot. Roadburn Live might be a step away from the band’s usual modus, but Enslaved have made their career on pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone, so why stop now?

Enslaved on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records website

ByNorse Music website

 

Hour of 13, Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased

hour of 13 salt the dead

An overdue compilation from a band making an overdue return, Hour of 13’s Salt the Earth: The Rare and Unreleased reunites the doomers led by multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis with Shadow Kingdom Records and brings together early demos from 2007 – on which the collaboration between Davis and vocalist Phil Swanson was arguably at its most vibrant as they headed into their self-titled debut full-length later that year – with other previously unissued cuts like three songs with Davis on vocals including the Jason McCash tribute piece “Upon Black Wings We Die” (premiered here) and the original rehearsal demos that introduced Beaten Back to Pure singer Ben Hogg as Swanson’s replacement in the band in 2011 (premiered here). If you want a direct feel for the breadth of the band, look no further than the three versions of “Call to Satan” that appear on Salt the Earth. Widely varied between them in sound and overall feel, they underscore the tumult that has existed since the outset at the core of Hour of 13 even as they provide hope that the band previously laid to rest can revitalize enough to put out a fourth studio offering.

Hour of 13 on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Operators, Revelers

operators revelers

Nearly four years in the making, Revelers is the third full-length from Berlin’s Operators behind 2013’s Contact High (review here) and 2012’s Operators (review here), and it starts off by smashing Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats swing headfirst into Goatsnake riffing on “Leveled Reveler,” the first of its six component tracks. Their arrangements, as ever, are marked by the featured position of organ along with guitar, bass and drums, and whether it’s a more extended jam like that opener, “Messina” or the closing “Rolling Hitch” – which boasts a guest vocal/guitar spot from Wight’s René Hofmann, who also recorded and mixed (Tony Reed of Mos Generator mastered) – or the shorter momentum-building winding course through “Pusher,” “Walkin’ on Air” (I’m not sure what’s happening at the end there, but I’m not about to spoil it) and the winning-at-song-titles “Fuzz Muncher,” Operators function with a maturity of approach that seems to have been earned during the longer stretch between releases. To wit, all the turns and pivots even out in the last movement of “Rolling Hitch” and Revelers caps with a classic heavy rock groove that’s neither in a hurry nor staid – Operators finding crucial balance amidst all their revelry, and much to their credit.

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Fuzzmatazz Records on Bandcamp

 

MaidaVale, Tales of the Wicked West

maidavale tales of the wicked west

Blues Pills. There. I said it. Now that the blues-rocking elephant in the room has been acknowledged, perhaps we can get on with Swedish four-piece MaidaVale’s debut full-length, Tales of the Wicked West (on The Sign Records). Yes, the Fårösund-based band owe a bit of their soulfulness to the aforementioned, but the nine-track/44-minute long-player thrives most of all as Linn Johannesson, Sofia Ström, Matilda Roth and Johanna Hansson purposefully meander into psychedelic flashes, as in opener “(If You Want the Smoke) Be the Fire,” the midsection of “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” the penultimate Zep-vibing/Bukowski-referencing “Find What You Love and Let it Kill You” and the 11-minute post-“Maggot Brain” closer “Heaven and Earth.” It’s in these moments and the manner in which they blend with the driving rock of “Dirty War,” the bluesy swagger of “Restless Wanderer” and the deft turns of “Colour Blind” early on that MaidaVale’s individualism is beginning to take shape, and if that’s the story that Tales of the Wicked West is telling, then it’s one well worth following through subsequent chapters.

MaidaVale on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Audion, La Historia de Abraham

audion-la-histora-de-abraham

Audion’s debut, La Historia de Abraham, is immediately noteworthy in no small part because it brings the rhythm section of Los Natas back together for the first time since that band’s breakup following 2009’s excellent Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (review here). Drummer Walter Broide and bassist Gonzalo Villagra join forces in the new outfit with guitarist Dizzy Espeche, and all three contribute vocals throughout at least in backup capacity, adding variety to go with the instrumental breadth that runs from the serene end of “Llegaron Sordos” right into the rush of “La Maquina del Tiempo” and well beyond later as the interlude “Para Rosita” introduces an earthy acoustidelic feel and “El Carancho” explores ‘70s anthemic rock before the fuzz- and horn-laden finisher “Queruzalem” closes out with a surprising progressive wash. Cuts like opener “Clarence,” the title-track and “Colmillo Blanco” can call to mind Villagra and Broide’s previous work, but Audion make a fresh impression on La Historia de Abraham in the variety throughout, and as they make their way through “Lesbotrans” and “Diablo vs. Dios” and into the second half of the album, it becomes increasingly clear how distinct this first offering actually is.

Audion on Thee Facebooks

Audion on Bandcamp

 

Bone Man, III

bone man iii

To go along with the propulsive rhythm of “False Ambition” and the wash in the payoff of the earlier “These Days are Gone,” there’s a sense of gothic drama to vocalist Marian’s delivery that adds further atmosphere to Bone Man’s III (on Pink Tank Records), and in kind with the cohesive foundation of Arne’s bass, Ötzi’s drumming and his own scorch-prone guitar, that gives cuts like “Cold Echo” and the alternately brooding and explosive centerpiece – layered acoustic and electric guitar filling out the sound further – even more stylistic depth. That moodiness comes perhaps most into focus on the more subdued “Incognito,” but it’s there from the boogie-laced opener “Pollyanna” onward, and in the jagged push of “Years of Sorrow” and the more spacious finale “Amnesia” (still a tightly structured four minutes in length), it lends III a persona stretching beyond what one might think of as the standard genre fare and gives the Kiel, Germany, outfit a presence decidedly their own. It’s their third record, so maybe that’s not a surprise for a band who made their first offering eight years ago, but it serves as a major source of resonance in the material nonetheless.

Bone Man on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records website

 

Riff Fist, King Tide

riff fist king iii

Going back to 2013, Melbourne, Australia, trio Riff Fist have basically summed up their approach in the eight letters of their name: a tight-knit approach to guitar-led heavy rock, as straightforward as a fist in your face. King Tide is their debut album after three EPs named for the Clint Eastwood Dollars trilogy of westerns – 2015’s The Good, the Loud and the Riff, 2014’s For a Few Riffs More and 2013’s Fistful of Riffs (review here) – and it significantly expands their breadth. Opening with its longest track (immediate points) in the 11-minute title cut (video premiered here), King Tide covers new, more patient and encompassing ground from bassist/vocalist Cozza, guitarist Casey and drummer Joel than anything they’ve touched on before, and while the subsequent “D.T.U.B.,” fuzz-laden “Fist Bier (Noch Eins)” and even the first half of eight-minute centerpiece “Chugg” bring that all-ahead sensibility back into focus, King Tide remains effectively and engagingly informed by its leadoff impression through its total 33-minute run, which is rounded out as “Beer and a Cigarette” melds the more spacious and atmospheric take with a still-swinging post-Clutch groove. There’s more work to do in tying the various sides together, but King Tide is a rousing introduction to the process through which the band can make that happen.

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Riff Fist on Bandcamp

 

Helén, Helén

helen helen

Hexvessel multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kimmo Helén makes a willfully peculiar and experimentalist self-titled debut with the solo-project Helén via Svart Records, setting a course through melodic indie wash in “Uusi Olento” even as “Jumalan Hullu” threatens in its bounce and the later “Lystia” moves into yet-darker expanses. Keys, electric and acoustic guitar, sax, and of course Helén’s own Finnish-language vocals, there’s very little that feels like it might be outside his comfort zone in terms of craft, and Helén, the album, is just as effective in the plus-cello-acoustic-minimalism of the penultimate “Lopussa” as in the earlier atmospheric breadth of “Puolen Metrin Syvyydessä.” Closing out with the alternately melancholy and dreamy “Kaikki Isä,” the record brings out a full-band feel despite Helén having handled the vast majority of the instrumentation on his own and impresses in that as well as in its range of moods and overarching sense of purpose. May it be a first exploration in a series of many.

Helén on Thee Facebooks

Helén at Svart Records webstore

 

Savanah, The Healer

savanah the healer

I won’t take away from a wah-drenched rocker like “The Healer,” which still jams out plenty before digging into doomier lumbering, but where Austrian trio Savanah’s Stone Free Records debut album, The Healer, really gets its point across is in the fluidity of its longer-form material, whether that’s post-“Intro” opener “Mind,” the ebbing and flowing heavy psych instrumental “Pillars of Creation” or the over-10-minutes-apiece closing pair of the doom rocking “Black Widow” and “Panoramic View of Stormy Weather,” which effectively draws together the multiple aesthetic faces the three-piece demonstrate throughout the record preceding, culling rock, psych and doom into a single riff-driven entity and, most importantly, making it theirs. Guitar leads the way with big, natural fuzz, but the rhythm section is crucial here, and as Benny, Felix and Jakob follow-up their 2015 EP, Deep Shades, they seem to establish a path along which they can flourish and hopefully continue to capture the listener’s attention as they do here.

Savanah on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

 

Puta Volcano, Harmony of Spheres

puta volcano harmony of spheres

The kind of release where by the end of the first song you want to own everything the band has ever put out. Don’t let Athens’ Puta Volcano get lost in the wash of bands coming out of Greece these days, because there are many, but if you miss out on the blend of desert-style tones and graceful melodies of “Bird,” it’s to your general detriment. I’m serious. In craft and performance, Puta Volcano’s third album, Harmony of Spheres, takes on unpretentious progressivism in songwriting and blends it with a post-Slo Burn/Hermano sense of freedom from genre. Witness the funky “Zeroth Law” or the later, more subtle post-grunge linearity of “Moebius,” the odd chanting repetitions in closer “Infinity” or the nigh-on-maddening hook of “Jovian Winds.” Really, do it. With the lineup of vocalist Luna Stoner, guitarist Alex Pi, bassist Bookies and drummer Steven Stefanidis, Puta Volcano are onto something special in aesthetic and delivery, and if Harmony of Spheres might be your first experience with the band as it’s mine, it’s one that will no doubt warrant multiple revisits. Consider it sleeper fodder for your year-end list – I know I will.

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Puta Volcano on Bandcamp

 

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Review & Video Premiere: Kimi Kärki, Eye for an Eye

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on July 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kimi karki eye for an eye

Kimi Kärki, “Entangled in Pleasure” official video

[Click play above to view the new video for Kimi Kärki’s ‘Entangled in Pleasure.’ His album, Eye for an Eye, is out Aug. 18 via Svart Records.]

The second solo album from Kimi Kärki, Eye for an Eye, is abidingly sad — make no mistake — but ultimately it is defined by more than just its melancholy. Released through Svart Records, which also stood behind the Finland-based former Reverend Bizarre and current Lord Vicar (see also: Orne, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Uhrijuhla, etc.) guitarist’s 2013 debut, The Bone of My Bones (review here), the also-cyclically-titled outing shares in common with its predecessor its heartfelt and folkish delivery, but steps further into an intimacy of songwriting and seems to bask in minimalism even as it expands Kärki‘s use of harmonized vocal arrangements, echoing spaciousness and synth on works like the centerpiece “Good Things in Life” and its finale.

A guest appearance on fourth track “Beyond Distance” from Patrick Walker of Warning and 40 Watt Sun has me keeping my fingers crossed he and Kärki will collaborate again in the future — say, in a band together — and one late from labelmate singer-songwriter John Richardson on “Spearhead” does well to change up the proceedings leading into the closing duo of “The River of Shadows” and “The Last Wave.” Both of those songs depart the four-to-five-minute range to which the rest of Eye for an Eye‘s cuts hold, running six and nine minutes, respectively, but in its prevailing impression, the nine-song/47-minute offering is more about the atmosphere it creates through its plucked nylon guitar and soothing melodies than it is about individual runtimes.

Listening to opener “Entangled in Pleasure” or “The Load We Carry,” one might be tempted to call Eye for an Eye depressive, but to hear the flourish of e-bow in the latter track there, the subtle but transcendent use of keyboards throughout and the world of harmonies that guest vocalists Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and Pirita Känkänen open up alongside Kärki in those songs as well as “Augurs of Winter,” “The River of Shadows” and “Lustful, Wrathful, Sullen” — the last of which casts a serene feel despite the severity of lines like, “When the darkness comes I have no other way but to burden you with the fire that builds within my soul” — lands in a place of emotional affirmation rather than one of just being a downer. Less a conversation with the audience than a showcase of skillful craft, Kärki‘s sophomore full-length builds outward from a central loneliness so that no matter how lush its arrangements get — and by the time “The Last Wave” shifts into the wash of melodic synth that rounds out the last few minutes with a markedly progressive cosmic swirl, the arrangement has gotten plenty lush — a human core is maintained. Part of that might stem from the manner in which Kärki‘s guitar seems to remain at the heart of Eye for an Eye no matter where it goes.

kimi karki

It is the first thing we hear on “Entangled in Pleasure” before the softly-delivered vocals begin their initial verse, and it continues to define the root of “Augurs of Winter” and “Lustful, Wrathful, Sullen” — the latter with percussive nuance behind a line that recalls Zeppelin and comes accompanied by choral singing — before “Beyond Distance” brings more actively plucked strings and the already-noted appearance from Walker, who proves instantly recognizable on the basis of his voice alone. As much of Walker‘s work resides in a similar place of drawing hope from resonant, meditative emotional darkness — and one has to wonder if the title “Beyond Distance” isn’t a nod to Warning‘s 2006 masterwork, Watching from a Distance — he fits the song remarkably well, and Kärki steps back to give him the fore as a singer, much as one might wish for some direct vocal interplay. Seems fan-biased to say “fingers crossed for next time,” but there’s a clear chemistry and stylistic cohesion between the two players that easily warrants further exploration.

“Beyond Distance” may be an outward highlight, but it’s not the ultimate achievement of Eye for an Eye. The pairing of the whisper-inclusive “Good Things in Life” (which presumably ends side A of the vinyl release) and “The Load We Carry” strips the album down to the bone of its bones before prefacing the landscape that will unfold across “The River of Shadows” and “The Last Wave,” marking a place with the punctuating thud of what might be Eye for an Eye‘s first actual drumming, which arrives no less patient, methodical or unhurried than anything in its surroundings. Interestingly, as Richardson emerges on “Spearhead,” he does so over a more active guitar line not entirely dissimilar in structure from that of “Beyond Distance” — as though Kärki is laying out a carpet of melody for these distinguished visitors — and Kärki does join his fellow Turku native in harmony later in the song, though it seems to be doubled layers of Richardson alone that create the standout moment of the song in its final verse circa the 3:15 mark, leading the way into the keyboard opening, volume swells and ambient vocals that begin “The River of Shadows.”

Though its title implies something of a threat — or maybe it’s meant as a simple reference to the notion of reprisal, being the second full-length and all — Eye for an Eye is not mired by any kind of violence. Especially as it enters its final movement, it is instead a rich and affecting journey led by the assured guidance of Kärki‘s songwriting, and while “The River of Shadows” and “The Last Wave” push beyond the solitude envisioned throughout “Entangled in Pleasure” or “Augurs of Winter” (on which Kärki never seems to actually be alone) proffered, that assurance is unwavering. “The River of Shadows” picks up late with a more forceful strum and tambourine and percussion to end with the words “…mournful cries” before a foreboding low-end rumble and sample start “The Last Wave.” Kärki‘s finish follows suit shortly before five minutes in, but turns instead to its backing harmonies and synthesized atmospherics to lead the way to Eye for an Eye‘s last moments, ending as purposefully with keys as it began with guitar as the different sides draw together into one gorgeous, cohesive and resounding entirety.

As an answer to the aesthetic promise of The Bone of My BonesEye for an Eye gracefully succeeds in setting forth on a development across multiple avenues of composition and execution. One only hopes that Kärki, always busy in a range of projects, will keep moving ahead with the raw honesty of his solo work that seems to tie them all together.

Kimi Kärki on Thee Facebooks

Lord Vicar on Thee Facebooks

Eye for an Eye at Svart Records webstore

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Svart Records on YouTube

Svart Records on Twitter

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Kimi Kärki to Release Eye for an Eye Aug. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kimi karki

Along with the recent announcement that his band Lord Vicar will doom out atop the bill of the inaugural Emerald Haze festival this September in Dublin (info here) comes word that Finnish guitarist Kimi Kärki — also ex-Reverend Bizarre, Orne, and so on — will release a second solo long-player in August. Eye for an Eye, which is up for preorder now through respected purveyor Svart Records, is the follow-up to Kärki‘s 2013 solo debut, The Bone of My Bones (streamed here), which brought to bear an array of atmospheric and folkish melodies, presented raw and as honest as could be.

Going by the description below, it seems more might be in store arrangement-wise for Eye for an Eye, but with the second circular title and all it doesn’t seem unlikely there will be some continuity between the albums either. I look forward to finding out.

From the social medias:

kimi karki eye for an eye

Kimi Kärki – Eye for an Eye

Kimi Kärki: Eye For An Eye will be out in Friday the 18th of August, 2017. CD, LP, Digital via Svart Records, Finland. Also available from that cool record store near YOU. Preorder: https://www.svartrecords.com/product/eye-for-an-eye/

Kimi Kärki is a Finnish cultural historian, guitar player and singer-songwriter. Known for his versatile guitar playing and sombre compositions for Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orne, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, and, most recently, Uhrijuhla, Kärki has developed his recognisable playing style within doom metal, progressive, folk, and electric ambient scenes. This variety of mostly underground styles reflects the open and intuitive approach to music, which is in the very heart of Kärki’s craft.

Eye for an Eye is Kärki’s second singer-songwriter album. It is a follow-up to The Bone of My Bones, a 2013 effort that was also released by Svart Records. When the first one was built on 12-string guitar foundation, this time things are even more intimate, personal and heartfelt, the songs are played with warm nylon string tones that come closer to the listener. But that heart is supported by a rich decoration of other sounds and harmonies.

The stories told on this record are romantic, in the old meaning of the world. They have their origins in both lived life and what could be called the Dreaming, but also resonate the culture that surrounds the dreamer. Both the pain and the joy are real. Give these songs some time, and they might heal you a bit, just like they healed the songwriter himself. Please listen loud, and preferably when you can forget everything else for a while. Even the silences speak volumes here.

To maximise the listening pleasure, Kärki again decided to invite some friends to contribute additional guest vocals. Patrick Walker is best known as the emotional vocalist and songwriter of both Warning and 40 Watt Sun, and John Richardson — who just released his superb debut album on Svart Records — is an old school musician and the Professor of Musicology at University of Turku. He was already heard on the first album, just like the two stunning female vocalists, Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and Pirita Känkänen, whose clear harmonies juxtapose Kärki’s sombre delivery. The album was again engineered by Joona Lukala. The collaboration with this sharp-eared audio wizard helped Kärki to realise the ambitious aural stories as intended — enjoy Eye for an Eye.

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Kimi Kärki, The Bone of My Bones (2013)

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Cardinals Folly to Release Deranged Pagan Sons this Fall; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Filth-laden Finnish doomers Cardinals Folly will release their fourth album, Deranged Pagan Sons, this September or thereabouts. With all the grit of Saint Vitus, the brash epic fuckall of Reverend Bizarre and a healthy dose of medieval skullcrushery to boot, the Helsinki three-piece have unveiled the track “Worship Her Fire” for streaming and as you can hear below, they’re more than well-schooled in the tenets of the doom they’re conveying. That said, I think my favorite moment might be when they slink into harsher vocals and give the song an even more malevolent, misanthropic vibe while still keeping their fist in the air, middle finger up at the universe in general.

You can check out the track below, at the bottom of this post — do it. Deranged Pagan Sons is out this fall via Nine Records and Topillo Records, as the PR wire explains:

cardinals-folly-deranged-pagan-sons

Cardinals Folly – Deranged Pagan Sons

CARDINALS FOLLY to unleash 4th album “Deranged Pagan Sons” through Nine and Topillo Records this fall!

Finland´s dark princes of the riff, doom metal cult CARDINALS FOLLY will unleash their 4th album “Deranged Pagan Sons” through Polish Nine Records on CD and via Spanish Topillo on LP around September 2017.

Dabbling in the world of occultism, weird tales, pagan rites and luciferian depravity, the band has recorded an album consisting 8 powerful, even wild anthems of heavy doom and metal mastery, that never let their savage grip go, despite of going on a varied 48-minute fiery ´n´ groovy metal adventure, where the only rule is to doom in, drop out, rock hard & stay true.

Previous album “Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom” (Shadow Kingdom Records, 2016) paved the way to this fulfillment of their doomed art, where every song rolls by like a megafauna of a bygone age.The doom metal underground sometimes seems packed with toothless sheep, so it is great to spend some time with wolves. Laughing off the shackles of the latest trends or retro gimmicks, Helsinki trio Cardinals Folly bring an energy and inventiveness to the genre that is authentic and unique. Drink from this chalice and give your body and mind to the old gods.

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Cardinals Folly, “Worship Her Fire”

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PH Post “We Fly High” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ph photo Elias Jokiranta

It’s hardly a we’re-a-band-in-our-rehearsal-space-with-a-GoPro-or-two kind of video, but if that’s what you’d expect from Finnish post-everything experimentalists PH — formerly Mr. Peter Hayden — then you probably haven’t been paying attention. After swapping out their moniker for the simple two letters that have served as their luminescent on-stage logo for their years together, the group aligned with respected purveyor Svart Records for a somewhat unexpected fourth outing, Eternal Hayden (review here), earlier this year, moving themselves beyond a stated trilogy of full-lengths and essentially beginning a new era for the band.

Some of that, I think even they would admit, is bookkeeping. Mr. Peter Hayden offered a thematic stretch across 2010’s Faster than Speed (review here), 2012’s Born a Trip (review here) and 2014’s Archdimension Now (review here), to be sure, and no shortage of sprawl in their drone-laden process, and as they look back at what they’ve accomplished — to wit, the 16-minute opener of Eternal Hayden is called “Looking back at Mr. Peter Hayden” — they’re conscious as well of the need for sonic progression. Hence the corresponding later cuts “Reach,” “Higher,” and “Rock and Roll Future.” These songs are aspirational, looking forward, and that puts second track “We Fly High” right where it belongs: in the present tense.

At a seven-minute lumber, “We Fly High” makes an excellent representation for where PH are in this moment of transition that Eternal Hayden captures. They’ve already gotten some mileage out of the piece, having previously released it as a single in 2014 (streamed here), but as well as it suits their purposes one can hardly argue against its inclusion on the record as well. It earns its spot, in other words. As for the video, it’s much more of an ambient visualization than the standard fare, put together by Jonne Pitkänen as the kind of thing that might appear on a screen behind the group as they play live, mostly in the dark from my experience, with light flashing from the aforementioned logo. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing them, it’s quite a trip.

In any case, a couple months now removed from the release of Eternal Hayden, I’m happy to have this excuse to sit again and fill my brain to the point of explosion with its atmospheric intensity, and if you’d like to do the same — and I know you would — you can check out “We Fly High” below. Come on, you’ve got seven minutes in your day to give over to mind expansion. You know you do.

PR wire info follows the video. Please enjoy:

PH, “We Fly High” visualization

From album Eternal Hayden.

Visual magick performed by Jonne Pitkänen with his all-analog self-crafted gear.

Finnish meta-rocking freebirds Mr. Peter Hayden, now referring to themselves just by their PH-insignia, are back with a new album. Their fourth full-length Eternal Hayden is released through Svart Records on March 10th 2017.

“This album is all about letting go and achieving, reaching something more after giving up everything. It is a guide to spiritual growth, ascension and overall progression towards freedom. At the same time it is a pre-written vision coming true aptly depicting our journey as a band and a spiritual entity.”

Eternal Hayden is the capstone, not only for their discography so far, but also for their whole existence. Their return from the voyage through trilogy of albums exploring the depths of mind, time and dimensions finally to reveal what it was all about. This album is everything they have ever done before and fair share of what they are going towards in the future, but performed in a manner none of the earlier albums were. It’s as much a return to the time before the trilogy as it is a brand new start, the future and the past.

PH on Thee Facebooks

PH on Instagram

PH on Twitter

Svart Records website

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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