In just under a week’s time, Bordeaux heavy psych rollers Mars Red Sky will make a return trip to South America for shows in Argentina and Brazil. The latter, of course, is where they wound up recording their second album and Listenable Records debut, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), after their original plan to track in the California desert was scrapped by US customs in what I’ve since considered an embarrassing international incident caused by the ignorance of my countrymen to quality fuzz. No doubt somebody went home that day and thought they’d done a good job. Wrong-o, chief.
Those issues are easy enough to put aside because Stranded in Arcadia, which was recorded at Estúdio Superfuzz by Gabriel Zander, turned out so well. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz crafted not only a progressive step froward from their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but a highly individualized blend of sonic weight and psychedelia, the melodies, the riffs and heft all their own. It was a gorgeous record, whatever the circumstances of its making, and even as they’ve recently announced intentions toward a third album, they’re still supporting Stranded in Arcadia both on the road — that stopover in South America will be followed by another European tour — and with a new video, this one for the opening cut “The Light Beyond.”
It’s one of the most singularly gorgeous tracks on Stranded in Arcadia and the video is their most elaborate production to date. They’re known for sort of compiling clips through manipulated footage, maybe blending live shots with old movie clips and things like that, but “The Light Beyond” is a more traditional music video approach, the band staged on a sandbar as a giant manta ray made of shadow flies over head and a mysterious shaman wanders the desert. Fun note: From what I hear, the drone used for filming the band actually crashed in that lake. Hazards of working with robots, I guess.
As always, hope you enjoy:
Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” official video
Taken from 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘Stranded In Arcadia’ album, the gallic power trio rockers stay true to their roots. Shot on location in France and Australia, ‘The Light Beyond’ features downtuned fuzzed up guitars, blues soaked doom laden riffage, wandering shaman, flying manta rays and deserts as far as the eye can see.
The band will be off for a their « Soviet Attack tour » in South America next week, which will be quickly followed by a full European tour, including a special guest slot in London with Eyehategod at Desertscene Festival, among other nice events this summer:
26.05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27.05 PORTO ALLEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28.05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco do Rosário 29.05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30.05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues 31.05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club 25.06 CARDIFF (UK) Moon Club 26.06 MILTON KEYNES (UK) Crauford Arms 27.06 LONDON (UK) The Dome (w/ Eyehategod) 28.06 PARIS – Deep #2 – Péniche Antipode 03.07 BRESCIA (It) Somen Fest 04.07 JESI (It) Field Fest 05.07 ROMA (It) Sinister Noise 17.07 MIRAMONT DE GUYENNE (47) Abracada’Sons 18.07 DOUR (Bel) Dour Festival 19.07 NIJMEGEN (NL) Valkhof Festival 29.07 KIEV (Ukr) Open Air 14.08 SAINT NOLFF (56) Motocultor Festival 15.08 VERDUN (55) Musiques & Terrasses 29.08 THONES (74) Backwoods Festival 25.09 SAINT PETERSBURG (RU) Zoccolo 2.0 26.09 MOSCOW (RU) Depressive Fest – Volta
Posted in audiObelisk on May 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Emanating sonic largesse from their home in the west of France, three-piece outfit Stonebirds will make their full-length debut on Pink Tank Records in July with Into the Fog… and the Filthy Air, a five-song/34-minute long-player whose bent almost immediately and throughout its entire course is toward carrying across material with as big a sound as possible. Riffs are huge, vocals shout up from way back in the mix, the bass pushes air underneath a dense wall of fuzz, and the drums crash with gotta-hear-it echo for a maximum sense of space, giving the entire work an added layer of atmospheric intensity to go along with its complex turns and ever-widening sonic breadth. If you had to put a genre to it (and you don’t), you might call it post-stoner for its pervasive ambience, adventurous flourish and open-feeling structures, but what Stonebirds do is still very much rooted in following the riff. It’s just where that riff takes them that makes all the difference.
The album opens with “After the Sin,” the longest song at 8:44 (immediate points) and a track that summarizes a lot of what the entirety of Into the Fog… and the Filthy Air will offer, its rhythmic thrust of considerable force from the moment Antoine‘s drums kick in with Fañch‘s guitar and Sylvain‘s bass, which will soon enough lead the swaying “Angst Lover.” Their builds seem to bleed into each other, but the atmosphere is hypnotic right away as “After the Sin” moves into its progressive-feeling midsection, a slide or ebow lead arriving after five minutes in and somehow presaging a return to the earlier chorus. When it hits, “Angst Lover” is moodier but winds up no less forward-thinking, an airy first half giving way to wah swing, chugging and crushing shouts later on while still holding onto an eerie melodic sensibility that “Into the Fog” develops further in a more laid back setting of squibbly guitars, fuzz bass and ride-cymbal wash. The tension comes to a head accompanied by what sounds an awful lot like a theremin and seems to expand outward until it starts to decay, leaving just the drums to hold the progression together until some surprise acapella at the end provides a transition into “Burned Flesh.”
If it’s not clear by now, momentum is a central factor working in Stonebirds‘ favor. Into the Fog… and the Filthy Air is a quick listen, but one of marked sonic depth. A headphone record not for its psychedelic aspects, though I guess it has those if you want to darken your colorful impression of the word, but for the way their audio seems so three-dimensional, it moves through with little time for reflection, and that seems to suit Stonebirds‘ purposes well as they push into “Burned Flesh” from “Into the Fog” and hit on a mid-paced roll with vocal interplay from Fañch and Sylvain that offers probably the nearest step toward post-metal that the band takes amid a deceptively catchy hook. “Burned Flesh” is the shortest song on the album at 5:36, but even with the relatively brief runtime, Stonebirds leave an atmospheric impression in a bridge topped by repetitive builds that pays off in a wash of guitar and a fading final rumble that sets up the quiet introductory stretch of “Perpetual Wasteland,” almost Deftones-esque for its brooding and malevolent melodicism, but holding firm to the underlying tension as it crashes toward Into the Fog… and the Filthy Air‘s last stomp, an epilogue of melodic wash and drum thud finishing cold to end the album.
It’s an impressive debut for what Stonebirds accomplish across its span and the lack of pretense with which they do it, and today I have the pleasure of hosting “Burned Flesh” for streaming ahead of the July 14 Pink Tank vinyl release of Into the Fog… and the Filthy Air. Please find it on the player below, followed by info on the LP release courtesy of the label, and enjoy:
STONEBIRDS trio emerged in 2008 from the desolated landscapes of central Brittany (France) from which they draw inspiration to write crushing and misty songs. After the self-release of a demo CD, a split album with Stangala and a digital Ep, STONEBIRDS is now fully matured and release the “Into the fog… and the filthy air” Lp through Pink Tank Records (Ger). A psychedelic and massive disc recorded in a full-analog studio which wraps the songs in a vintage and raw sound. On stage, STONEBIRDS crushes the audience like a dark fog hammer and riffs to break the spine!
Pink Tank Records 012 STONEBIRDS – INTO THE FOG AND THE FILTHY AIR
– 500 copies total – 75 copies red/black marbled incl. poster & download code (exclusive Pink Tank edition) – 25 copies red/black marbled standard edition (wholesale) – 100 deep grey marbled incl. poster & download code (exclusive band edition) – 300 copies standard black
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Before Mars Red Sky hit the studio in August to record their third full-length in their native Bordeaux, the trio will embark on tours of South America — shows in Brazil and Argentina — and crisscrossing Europe for festival appearances. Brazil of course is where they wound up tracking their second record, last year’s stellar Stranded in Arcadia (review here), which also served as their debut on Listenable Records, and even as they begin to move past that album to work on the next, they’ll be releasing a new video from Stranded in Arcadia this coming week, for the song “The Light Beyond,” the engrossing eight-minute opener.
Something to look forward to there. Also will be interesting to see whether the new outing will surface later in 2015 or early in 2016. Could go either way recording in August depending on how long the mixing and mastering takes and what else they encounter along the way. Presumably recording in their hometown in a familiar setting with a friend at the helm is at least in part an effort to avoid some of the fraught experience that led to Stranded in Arcadia — the album’s title being a reference to the fact that they were supposed to record in the California desert but were ultimately denied entrance and had to scramble to find a spot in Brazil — though one was hardly inclined to argue with the results of that scramble.
From the PR wire:
MARS RED SKY: Spring and Summer news!
May 12th – New video release “The Light Beyond” The band will unveil their brand new video for “The Light Beyond” (directed by Sébastien Antoine), this May 12th.
May 26th – South American tour One year after the remarkable release of their second album “Stranded In Arcadia”, French heavy trio MARS RED SKY will be back where it all started, with six shows across Argentina and Brazil.
“Soviet Attack” Tour 2015 / South America 26/05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27/05 PORTO ALEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28/05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco Do Rosário 29/05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30/05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues Club 31/05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club
August 2015 – New album recording Shortly after this sonic odyssey across Europe and the new continent, MARS RED SKY will take a well deserved break to focus on their upcoming full-length, to be recorded in their hometown Bordeaux with their friend and producer Gabriel Zander.
European tour and summer festivals A full European and UK tour is to start soon, with a few shows in Italy. This summer, the band will hit renowned festivals such as Dour Festival (Belgium), Motocultor Fest (France), Valkholf Fest (Holland) and Depressive Fest in Moscow. Tour list is as follows:
07.05 TROYES (10) Chapelle Argence 08.05 TILBURG (NL) Little Devil 12.05 ROUEN (76) Les Trois Pièces 13.05 VILLENEUVE D’ASQ (59) La Ferme d’en Haut 14.05 UTRECHT (NL) dB’s 15.05 AMIENS (80) La Lune des Pirates 16.05 MAGSTADT (D) Wall Of Rock 26.05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27.05 PORTO ALLEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28.05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco do Rosário 29.05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30.05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues 31.05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club 25.06 CARDIFF (UK) Moon Club 26.06 MILTON KEYNES (UK) The Crauford Arms 27.06 LONDON (UK) TBA 28.06 PARIS – Deep #2 – Péniche Antipode 03.07 OME – BRESCIA (It) Somen Fest 04.07 JESI (It) Field Fest 05.07 ROMA (It) Sinister Noise 17.07 MIRAMONT DE GUYENNE (47) Abracada’Sons 18.07 DOUR (Bel) Dour Festival 19.07 NIJMEGEN (NL) Valkhof Festival 14.08 SAINT NOLFF (56) Motocultor Festival 15.08 VERDUN (55) Musiques et Terrasses 29.08 THONES (74) Backwoods Festival 25.09 SAINT PETERSBURG (RU) Zoccolo 2.0 26.09 MOSCOW (RU) Depressive Fest – Volta
French four-piece Sunder have announced a newly-inked deal with Tee Pee Records and Crusher Records covering multiple continents for the release of their impending debut full-length. Well, kind of a debut full-length. The Lyon outfit released a self-titled debut (review here) early in 2014 under the moniker The Socks via Small Stone. Apparently the year subsequent has brought a few changes with it, among them the name. As Sunder, the band will release their first album this Fall, and as the new demo “Deadly Flower” shows, it’s a new beginning on multiple levels.
The Socks were indebted heavily to the swing and swagger of ’70s-style blues rock that has gained a foothold throughout Europe in the wake of Graveyard and Kadavar. With the classic Mellotron of “Deadly Flower” and the organic vocal, guitar, bass and drum sounds that accompany, Sunder still have some of that going on, but the new track finds guitarist/vocalist Julien Méret, drummer Jessy Ensenat, bassist Vincent Melay and key-specialist/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud digging deeper into the roots of psychedelic rock — more ’67 than ’72, if that makes any sense. Of course, it’s one track, and it’s a demo, so how indicative of the overall direction of the album it may or may not be remains to be seen over the next couple months, but it’s an immersive starting point, Sunder clearly benefiting from the lessons from their time as The Socks as they move forward in this new stage of their career.
To mark the occasion of their Tee Pee signing, I’m happy to be able to host the premiere of the “Deadly Flower” video. The clip itself is basically their logo with some tripped-out vocals, but I think you’ll find the jam worth losing yourself in anyway as an introduction to where they’re at now. More to come as we get closer to the album’s completion and subsequent release.
Official announcement follows the video below. Hope you enjoy:
Sunder, “Deadly Flower”
SUNDER Signs to Tee Pee Records
Forceful French Four-Piece (formerly The Socks) Fortifying First Full Length LP
French heavy psychedelic rock band SUNDER has signed to Tee Pee Records. Formerly known as The Socks, the group is known for its edgy, electric sound that draws from the heavier side of 1960’s / 70’s rock and swings with acid grooves. The group’s as-yet untitled debut will see a fall, 2015 release in North / South America and Australia via Tee Pee and in Europe and Japan via Crusher Records.
“It’s with great pleasure and pride to be part of two of the most amazing heavy/psych labels in the world,” said the band in a statement. “The Socks were of Lyon, France. Sunder is of the world and it is with the sounds of Sunder that the shores of the world will be plundered.”
In celebration, the band has released a tripped visual video for its new track, “Deadly Flower”.
SUNDER features Julien Méret (guitar / vocals) Jessy Ensenat (drums), Vincent Melay (bass) and Nicolas Baud (Farfisa, Mellotron, backing vocals).
Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
I was pretty late to the party in getting on board with the full-toned fuzz of Glowsun‘s 2012 outing, Eternal Season. Like two years late. But when I started hearing murmurs about a follow-up from the Lille, France, trio to be released this year on Napalm Records, I’ve been trying to the best of my very limited ability to keep an eye out for word about it. The band posted a couple studio updates on their Thee Facebooks, in the sort of standard operating procedure of our age, but over the weekend, they also revealed guitarist/vocalist Johan Jaccob‘s cover art for Beyond the Wall of Time, as well as the release dates when it will be out on Napalm, late June in most of Europe and early July in North America and elsewhere in Europe.
The cover art speaks for itself with its almost-steampunk gears, golden robot girl and the roses in her hair (a sort of natural spiral that works well alongside the gears). In January, when I included Glowsun on the list of 90 of 2015’s most anticipated releases, I said that I thought the album was self-titled and posted a different though also impressive piece of artwork with it. Rest assured, this is the actual cover art and title — I mean, unless Glowsun themselves are lying about it, which seems antithetical to the idea of promoting your band; not that it hasn’t been done before — and it will be out on the dates in the band’s announcement below:
Hi there!! The time is coming to show you this awesome art-work by Johan Jaccob Artwork! For our 3rd Album “BEYOND THE WALL OF TIME” release on Napalm Records!
Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Here we are, the final day of The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy this whole time, but the challenge has been worth it. Will I do another one? I guess that depends on how backed up records get. Even with all of this, I haven’t managed to fit in everything, so yeah, it doesn’t seem unlikely I’ll wind up with fodder for more of this kind of thing. Once again, not at all a hardship to have people interested enough in having me write about their music to send it to me. Not at all something I’m going to complain about.
Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read or share the link or whatnot, and of course to bands and labels for caring enough to send the music.
Quarterly Review #41-50:
Bubonic Bear, Shaved Heat
In and out of their three-song Shaved Heat tape in under 10 minutes, one could hardly accuse Philly guitar/drum duo Bubonic Bear of being overly elaborate in their approach, but the tracks, particularly closer “Clean,” drive home their post-hardcore rawness with suitable intensity. No frills, just impact. Vocals are raw shouts and the blue tape, which is limited to 50 copies through Bastard Sloth Records, has a kind of avant garde charm, underground in the house-show sense and mean, mean, mean, but probably nice enough to talk to. “Chlorine,” “Witch Pyle” and “Clean” are arranged shortest to longest, but all three hover around three minutes and tear into frenetic turns and let’s-call-it-spirited pummel. Andrew and Dustin, the pair involved, have a slew of EPs and splits and one full-length under their belt, and their six-plus years together are evident in the sheer fact that they can execute material so chaotic without having it fall apart under their stamping feet.
From its biker chug to its unabashed confrontationalism and attitude-laced approach to songs like “Who Crowned You King” and “Axe to Grind,” The F.T.W.’s Vendetta Kind of Mood just screams oldschool New York. Not the New York that’s the family-friendly (as long as you’re rich) center of the fashion world, but the New York that was really eager to tell you about how it was going to kick your ass, if not actually do so. The 10-track vinyl self-release is clean in its production and straightforward structurally, but has a gritty undercurrent anyway, showing some thrash (or is that NYHC? So hard to tell sometimes) influence in “Bleed Out” and a bit of rawer punk in “Billy Bats,” though they wait till the closer to actually extract a “Pound of Flesh,” which they slice with a choice solo and some Judas Priest riffing from guitarist TheMajor Nelson, joined in the trio by bassist/vocalist Michael Dolan and drummer Jason Meraz. Something tells me they’re not abbreviating “for the win.”
Kristalliarkki is the third offering from Finland’s Seremonia on Svart Records, and while all of their albums have thrilled in that quiet, warm-toned, psych-proto-ritual kind of way, the crystal ark is where it’s at. The record lands big with penultimate 14-minute sprawler jam “Kristalliarkki I,” open enough to set down a blanket and have a picnic next to the tree line, but before they get there, the five-piece of vocalist Noora Federley, guitarists Teemu Markkula and Ville Pirinen drummer/flautist Erno Taipale and bassist Ilkka Vekka vibe out fuzzy hypnosis on eight shorter native-language tracks, otherworldly from the word “go” and held together with a glue of ‘70s-style shufflebuzz on “Lusiferin Lapset” and the quick bouncer “Kuolema Voittaa” that beg to be dug on repeat visits. At just 1:14, “Kristalliarkki II” taps punker soul to close out with a sudden finish that leaves one wondering what the hell just happened, and no doubt that’s exactly what Seremonia had in mind.
JPT Scare Band, Acid Acetate Excursion & Rape of the Titan’s Sirens
A twofer! Kansas City acid rockers JPT Scare Band – Jeff Littrell (“J”), Paul Grigsby (“P”) and Terry Swope (“T”) – dig into their archival material to couple their first two records, Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape of the Titan’s Sirens, for Ripple Music. Both were recorded in the ‘70s but not released until 1994 and 1998, respectively, and the trio’s blown-out heavy continues to wear its years well, the bluesy fire in Swope’s guitar work leading the way through 81 minutes of long-range jams and classic vibes, still underrated after all these years. The second record has more bite tonally than the first, the recording is rougher, but I won’t take anything away from the force behind the 13-minute “King Rat” from the debut either. Think of it as an archival release more than a reissue, and if you haven’t yet been introduced to JPT Scare Band, think of the vinyl as an educational expense.
Bordeaux trio Libido Fuzz trip out pretty hard on heavy ‘70s influences, but I feel like their Kaleido Lumo Age debut LP (on Pink Tank Records) is all the more praiseworthy for the simple fact that it doesn’t sound like Graveyard. Casting off much of the blues that seems to have afflicted so many the world over, Thibault Guezennec, Pierre-Alexis Mengual and Rory O’Callaghan dip back maybe a couple years before ’71, let’s call it ’68, but filter the Hendrix and The Who influences through modern tonality, which means that a boogier like “Raw Animal” and the proto-stoner shuffle of “Enter the Occult” satisfy in concept and execution. Each of the evident two sides caps with a cut past the eight-minute mark, and both “Redemption of the Bison” and album closer “Haight Ashbury” offer significant heavy psych immersion, though it’s the side B finale that ultimately wins out thanks to its second half journey into noise wash, lysergic swirl, last-minute nod and epilogue of birdsong-esque feedback.
Filth-caked Montreal trio Dopethrone eat crust and shit riffs on their Totem Cat-released fourth record, Hochelaga, coating themselves in backpatch-worthy tone and throat-searing screams that would do Bongzilla proud. Weedian scummery through and through. Save for “Dry Hitter,” each of Hochelaga’s seven tracks starts with a sample, as if to emphasize the utter stoner fuckall with which Dopethrone – guitarist/vocalist Vincent, bassist Vyk and drummer Borman – execute their rolling grooves and lumbering viciousness once it kicks in. “Sludgekicker,” “Vagabong” and “Riff Dealer” tell the tale, and the record’s 40 minutes play out in largely unipolar but universally righteous fashion, “Scum Fuck Blues” summing up the ethic nicely with the line, “Smoke, drink, die.” Dopethrone make a show of their rawness, but Hochelaga’s fullness of tone and clarity of aesthetic speak to an underlying sense of knowing what they’re doing, and a record this cohesive doesn’t happen by accident, much as it might be telling you otherwise. That doesn’t mean they’re not also high as hell, just that they can keep it together.
A presumed sequel to their 2013 debut, They Fall, Hamburg trio The Moth‘s sophomore full-length, And Then Rise, pulls off heavy rock ethics with a heavy metal sense of purpose and basks in an overarching tension throughout its nine tracks. Fast or slow, doomed or thrashing, cuts like “Battle is Over” and “Travel Light” carry a progressive feel to match their hooks, later doomers like “Slowly to Die” and closer “Fire” – which hides a bonus track in its span – holding onto the tightness even as the relinquish in terms of pacing. Dark atmospherically but brazenly intricate, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Freden, bassist/vocalist Cécile and drummer Tiffy are never showy or putting on a technical clinic, but everything seems to be geared toward the purpose of enhancing the songs, which of course is the ideal. Because the sound is so condensed, it might take a couple listens for And Then Rise to sink in – not saying the chug of “Last Times” doesn’t also have immediate appeal – but The Moth’s genre-bending compositions prove worth the active engagement.
I’m pretty sure War Iron could play fast and it would still sound slow. They don’t really try it. Deep, deep low end is cut through by indecipherable-but-get-their-point-across-anyway screams on the Northern Irish four-piece’s third album, Precession of the Equinoxes, which plods out a grueling extremity of doom across its four included tracks, the shortest of which is the 7:37 “Summon Demon Scream the Abyss,” a harsh ritual of sonic heft and disaffection well met by its compatriots, from the churning opener “Bludgeon Lord,” to the title-track – which actually does up the pace somewhat, relatively speaking (and yes, it still sounds slow), and only temporarily – which crushes hopes and eardrums alike leading into the closer “From Napalm Altar,” a final affirmation of the deathly miseries at heart in War Iron’s approach, vocalist Baggy going high-low with screams and growls over the Ross’ guitar, Dave’s bass and Marty’s drums. It is a fearsome and challenging listen.
Guitarist/vocalist Owen Carty, formerly of underappreciated, coulda-been-contender sludge rockers Dopefight, lends his riffy services to the cumbersomely-named trio Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters (also stylized all-lowercase), who make their debut with the self-released five-song Earth Hog EP. Bassist Will Hart and drummer Mark Buckwell swing heavy and land hard on the opening title-track, and there’s not much letup from there, wah bass and cowbell leading to some fervent stomp in the second half of “Chopsticks and Bad Meatballs,” which starts out as a punk song, and “Devil’s Buttermilk” brazenly tackling Southern riffing without the chestbeating that way, way too often accompanies. More cowbell there too, because if you’re going to do something, overdo it. “Mother Chub” and “Riff Richard” close out, the latter with a slowdown that emphasizes the point: the kush may be bad, but the riffs are primo. Silly name or not, I’ll take this shit any day of the week, and considering Earth Hog was recorded in a living room, I have the feeling it’s only going to get louder from here. Right on.
With a sense that they’re continuing to feel out where they want to be sonically, Brazilian three-piece Red Mess follow-up last year’s Crimson EP (review here) with the newly-issued two-tracker Drowning in Red – apparently working on a theme chromatically – the cuts “Daybreak’s Dope” and “Ready to Go” impressive in performance and tone as guitarist/vocalist Thiago Franzim shreds out on the latter atop Lucas Klepa’s bass and Douglas Villa’s speaker-popping kick. Each song has a markedly different approach, with “Daybreak’s Dope” topping seven minutes via a Sleep-style rollout while, true to its title, “Ready to Go” seems to have no interest in holding its shuffle still. Pairing them shows sonic breadth, and in the case of the second, a bit of ‘70s influence to coincide with what they showed on Crimson, though the results will still ultimately be familiar. They’re making progress, though, and their cohesiveness and catchiness through stylistic shifts is encouraging.
Posted in audiObelisk on April 3rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Parisian outfit Abrahma release their second album for Small Stone, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird, on May 12. The heavy psych rockers’ sophomore outing follows 2012’s debut, Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (review here), and while the two records share some things in common, like a multi-part thematic piece running throughout, or a title on the longer side, the moods are remarkably distinct. Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird, a gruesome mirror, is darker than its predecessor, moodier overall, with a primary impression of slower tempos and a somewhat grungier feel. Still psychedelic in terms of the airy guitar work of Seb Bismuth (also vocals and keyboards) and Nicolas Heller, the 10-track offering might have its dreamy side, but even that often comes accompanied by downer pacing and a pervasive melancholy.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. “Square the Circle” has the record’s shortest runtime at 3:42 and also its fastest push, and the ending of “Weary Statues” picks up effectively, but to compare that to the doomly swirl, effects and sax over churning riffs, of “Omens Pt. 2″ or even opener “Fountains of Vengeance,” which boasts one of Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird‘s strongest hooks, and the darker side is made plain. The rhythm section of bassist Guillaume Colin and drummer/engineer Benjamin Colin — the two are brothers — is well at home in making changes fluid and allowing the guitars the appropriate space, songs like “Kapal Kriya” and “An Offspring to the Wolves” proffering big riffs and echoes greatly bolstered by the rumble beneath and the thud and crash pushing them along. Guitarist Ed Mundell (The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, ex-Monster Magnet), who also appeared on Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives, makes a return guest spot for “A Shepherd’s Grief,” and comes to the fore suitably shredding in the midsection, and even that song ultimately gives way to a kind of depressive largesse, transitioning into the quiet minimalism of closer “Conium,” which builds to an effects-laden peak in its last 90-or-so seconds and provides the album with a particularly hypnotic finish.
Another constant held over from the debut, however, is the songwriting. As far out as Abrahma went on Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives, they never lost track of the fact that they were writing a piece to contribute to the whole of the record, and the same is true of Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird. More so, even, since the material is tighter and more cohesive and the album itself is nearly 20 minutes shorter at 52:41. It’s that core of songwriting that enables Abrahma to continue to engage the listener in this brooding manner, their attention to detail evident in the effects, solos, rhythmic changes and depth of the mix, which is the kind of abyss in which it’s a pleasure to lose oneself.
Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Weary Statues” for streaming ahead of the album’s release next month. Both one of the most driving and most open-sounding cuts on Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird, it pulls together the varying sides of the record’s personality well, and speaks to the emotional and sonic intensity Abrahma bring to bear on their second offering. They’ll be on tour with Lo-Pan starting next week, and you can find those dates along with a short comment from Bismuth about “Weary Statues,” after the song on the player below.
“‘Weary Statues’ is surely the most aggressive but also emotive song we’ve ever done with ABRAHMA, as well as a good proof of the evolution we’ve made in our music.” — Seb Bismuth
ABRAHMA will be touring Europe with their labelmates Lo-Pan this spring, including a stop at Roadburn Festival in Holland.
09.04 – STRASBOURG (FR) Mudd Club 10.04 – LICHTENFELS (DE) Paucnhy Cats Inn 11.04 – MUNSTER (DE) Rare Guitar 12.04 – TILBURG (NL) ROADBURN FESTIVAL 13.04 – France TBA 14.04 – MONTPELLIER (FR) Black Sheep 15.04 – MADRID (SP) Maravillas Club 16.04 – BARCELONA (SP) Rocksound 17.04 – VITORIA (SP) Helldorado 18.04 – NICE (FR) Le Volume 19.04 – CALENZANO (IT) ASD Factory Club 20.04 – SAVIGNANO SUL RUBICONE (IT) Sidro Club 21.04 – MUNICH (DE) Feierwerk 22.04 – DRESDEN (DE) Ost-Pol
NEW ALBUM Reflections In The Bowels Of A Bird – Out May 12th on Small Stone Records
Abrahma is: Sebastien Bismuth: vocals, guitars, effects & keyboards Nicolas Heller: guitars Guillaume Colin: Bass guitar Benjamin Colin: drums
Additional Musicians: Ed Mundell: guitar solos on “A Shepherd’s Grief” Vincent Dupuy: saxophone on “Omens Pt. 2″
Recorded by Benjamin Colin at Hakesound Studios, Romainville (France). Produced by Abrahma & Thomas Bellier. Mixed by Eric Hoegemeyer at Tree Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY (USA) except Conium, mixed by Benjamin Colin at Hakesound Studio, Romainville (France)
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Paris heavy psych rockers Abrahma will release their second album for Small Stone, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird, this May. The album release comes after a European tour alongside Lo-Pan that includes stops at Roadburn and Desertfest Berlin, and is the follow-up to 2012’s debut, Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (review here), which established the four-piece’s balance of memorable hooks and psychedelic flourish. The new album boasts a guest appearance from Ed Mundell of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and has a co-production credit from Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s Thomas Bellier, with whom Abrahma‘s SébastienBismuth collaborated on the Sonny Simmons and Moksha Samnyasin late 2014 album, Nomadic (review here).
You can see the stunning Jalón de Aquiles artwork below, and Abrahma have posted a video teaser for the album that follows the PR wire info and tour dates with Lo-Pan. Dig it:
Paris heavy sorcerers ABRAHMA reveal artwork and details for their new album on Small Stone Records
Paris-based heavy psych outfit ABRAHMA just unveiled more details on their sophomore record “Reflections In The Bowels Of A Bird”, due out mid-May on Small Stone Records.
“Reflections In The Bowels Of A Bird” will be ABRAHMA’s second full-length on Small Stone Records, and features prestigious guests such as Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax), as well as Thomas Bellier (Black Heat Shujaa) as its co-producer. Its fabulously coloured artwork was created by Barcelona’s artist Jalón de Aquiles.
The band released a teaser that displays all album details as well as the release date for their upcoming video “An Offspring To The Wolves”.
Forcefully ascending from the depths of Paris rock underground, it only took ABRAHMA one album to emerge as one of the torchbearers of French heavy rock on the international scene. Released in late 2012 on renowned North American label Small Stone Records, “Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives” unveiled an incredibly mature songwriting, while showcasing the band’s sombre and complex music realm. With this first full-length, they laid the foundations of their peculiar stoner aura adorned with the darkest riffage of the Seattle sound, and drew the attention of the international press. 2015 will see the Parisian foursome release their second album to date, due out this spring on Small Stone Records.
UPCOMING SHOWS: 09.04 – STRASBOURG (FR) Mudd Club 10.04 – LICHTENFELS (DE) Paucnhy Cats Inn 11.04 – MUNSTER (DE) Rare Guitar 12.04 – TILBURG (NL) Roadburn Festival 13.04 – France TBA 14.04 – MONTPELLIER (FR) Black Sheep 15.04 – MADRID (SP) Maravillas Club 16.05 – BARCELONA (SP) Rocksound 17.05 – VITORIA (SP) Helldorado 18.04 – NICE (FR) Le Volume 19.04 – Italy TBA 20.04 – SAVIGNANO SUL RUBICONE (IT) Sidro Club 21.04 – MUNICH (DE) Orange House 22.04 – DRESDEN (DE) Ost-Pol 23.04 – BERLIN (DE) Desertfest Berlin