Leonov Premiere “I am Lion, I am Yours” Video; Wake out Oct. 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

leonov

Norwegian atmospheric doomers Leonov are getting ready to release their sophomore collection, Wake, on Oct. 26 through Fysisk Format. “I am Lion, I am Yours” is the leadoff among the included five tracks, and in its haunting melodic echoes and cacophonous wall of sound, it speaks to a duality that plays out across what follows in loud/quiet tradeoffs and patient builds. There are stretches of marked intensity and reaches where minimalism holds sway behind the vocals of Tåran Reindal, which remind a bit of what Sera Timms brought to Black Math Horseman in terms of effects and ambience. Still, through the crunching “Eucharist” with drummer Jon-Vetle Lunden rolling out a nod marked by the low end of bassist Morten Kjelling and the spacious guitars of Ole Jørgen Reindal and Rune Gilje, and into the 10:50 “Shem,” Leonov demonstrate a fluidity in their transitions that smooths out the noted juxtaposition. They’re not any more jagged in a given turn than they want to be.

Part of that is the aforementioned bass, which ties together a lot of the material along with Reindal‘s vocals, but leonov wakepart is the expectation of drift set up in “I am Lion, I am Yours.” That’s brought to fruition in “Shem,” which in its second half marches toward what at first seems to be an apex and turns out instead to be a deconstruction and looped static, and even more so in 15-minute closer “Wake,” but between the two is “Oceanode,” which follows a more distinctly post-metal direction and opens up after about a minute and a half into more a more churning riff that in the second half of the song comes to a head in the most prevalent wash of the record. The title-track follows a more experimentalist but ultimately linear course, offering a highlight vocal performance and subtlety of keys and percussion that bring tension leading to Wake‘s mountainous finish. The depths and heights, however, are clearly foretold in the opener, as is the wash, and Leonov execute their charge with a graceful balance between heft and space. Their methodical delivery seems to have grown in the four years since they made their self-titled debut, and Wake offers sonic spiritual catharsis in its heavier stretches and an otherworldly presence in its quieter moments.

If you’ve got an aversion to high-contrast or flashing lights, you might want to hold the screen out or step back before you hit play on the video below, because there’s definitely some of that going on and I’m not looking to give anyone a headache (honest.). Otherwise, you’ll find “I am Lion, I am Yours,” directed by Simen Skari, on the player immediately following, with some more release info courtesy of the PR wire afterwards, including the preorder link.

Hope you enjoy:

Leonov, “I am Lion, I am Yours” official video premiere

I am Lion, I am Yours is taken from Leonov’s 2018 effort ‘Wake’ out on Fysisk Format October 26th. Pre-order the album here: https://smarturl.it/IamLion

Ever since its formation in 2010, Leonov has found inspiration for its celestial doom in the existential, the darkness and affliction, as well as the curiosity and hope in things beyond our reach and comprehension.

“Wake” is an album that contends with life’s great journey in the face of these forces, from cradle to grave. From the childlike and fundamental quest for belonging, acceptance and affirmation – to the mature recognition that we are ever coming up short and are not in control of our existence, and as a summary, the titular song “Wake” conveys the melancholy and nostalgia over what has been found and lost. The song encloses a celebration of life and a grief over the things left behind, a pain that everything ends and at the same time a hope that death is not final.

Recorded at Taakeheimen Lydrike, with the exception of “Eucharist” recorded at Malabar Studio with Christoffer Gaarder, the band’s second album was later mixed and co-produced by Morten Øby at Taakeheimen.

Leonov is:
Ole Jørgen Reindal – Guitar
Rune Gilje – Guitar
Morten Kjelling – Bass
Tåran Reindal – Vocals/Synth
Jon-Vetle Lunden – Drums

Leonov on Thee Facebooks

Leonov on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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Æsthetica Premiere “Ekstasis”; Debut Album Sonorous Æon out Dec. 8

Posted in audiObelisk on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

aesthetica-by-Peder-Blumlein

Norwegian four-piece Æsthetica will release their debut album, Sonorous Æon, on Dec. 8 via Esetiske Studier and Fysisk Format, and though thoroughly based in doom at its roots, it’s a six-song outing that nonetheless blurs the lines of subgenres and influences almost on a per-track basis. A sense of post-metallic drama of atmosphere pervades “Todesfuge,” for example, which hits after rolling opener “Haze” calls to mind the heavy-soul delivery of Goatsnake and Gozu. Comprised of Tobias Brynildsbakken HuseSimon Dahl OkoniweskiVetle Bråten Rian and Petter Rosendahl Moland — everybody gets three names; no more, no less — Æsthetica structure their first offering as a two-sided vinyl wherein each half features two cuts just under six minutes long and one longer one on either side of 10, and feel cohesive and self-aware in their approach even as they seem to be staking a claim on such varied stylistic ground as the alternately spacious and crushing side A finale “La Paz,” which moves from open-air guitar noodling to deeply weighted riffage and hits 10:36 as the longest inclusion on Sonorous Æon.

One could hardly consider the range of Æsthetica, whose very moniker speaks to a commitment to or at least awareness of style as an essential facet of art, to be a detriment in the first place, but what makes Sonorous Æon work particularly well is its front to back flow. As the somewhat grim march at the end of “Todesfuge” (‘Death Fugue,’ in German, aesthetica sonorous aeoncomplete with a lengthy spoken sample also in the same language) gives way to the vastness of “La Paz,” initially populated by echoing guitar and flourish of cymbal wash, the band do well to consider overarching presentation. Indeed, the same holds on side B as the airy post-rockisms of second-half-leadoff “Gates” build to an understated head and drop to the sparsest and most contemplative moment on Sonorous Æon, from which a couple seconds of feedback signal the slam into post-Electric Wizard riffing that’s to come in the penultimate “Worshipper.” These borders are crossed with confidence, as they must be to work at all, and while Æsthetica would have their work cut out for them in trying to meld all of these impulses into one overarching sound or idea, they show on their debut that they’re able to tie them together all the same and conjure a sensibility that forces the listener to think of Sonorous Æon as a whole work rather than assembled component parts.

At 9:57, “Ekstasis” closes out Sonorous Æon in answer to “La Paz” back on side A, and in so doing would seem to provide an opportunity for summary or final expansion into new ground. By then, as they approach the total 44 minutes that make up the album, it’s little surprise they choose the latter, bringing in a near-gothic theatricality amid guitar drift anchored by the heft of the corresponding bass tone as the drums push it forward. As they have across the record’s span, the vocals prove a uniting and commanding presence, and as “Ekstasis” builds in pace toward its midsection crashout, it would seem Æsthetica are looking to deliver the crescendo early, but in fact it’s a ruse, and instead, they set themselves up for a two-part cycle, essentially tearing down the fabric of one payoff in order to begin building another, even more satisfying one from the ground up. Instrumental and consuming, the back half of “Ekstasis” makes as fitting a closing argument for Sonorous Æon as anything might, and the album finishes on a resonant pluck of strings to reaffirm the space created.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Ekstasis” as a track premiere ahead of the Dec. 8 release of Sonorous Æon. Please find it on the player below, followed by more background on Æsthetica from the PR wire, and please enjoy:

Æsthetica, “Ekstasis”

From the densely wooded suburbs just outside of Oslo a deep, dark sound has emerged with the sonic intensity of Armageddon and the wistful sonorities of the birds. Æsthetica are a self-styled doom, post-rock band from Kolbotn whose live shows have mesmerised audiences for its fierce fervor and great big swathes of sound that envelop the listener like a mysterious mist. Combining elements of doom, progressive blues rock, eastern scales and even tubas, Æstethica have cultivated a sound uniquely their own and their debut album Sonorous Æon is bringing this to the recorded format for the first time.

Theirs is a bold new sound lifted from the petrified footsteps left by bands like Black Sabbath, Swans and Godspeed! You black Emperor and shaped by a stark coldness that lies beyond the tundra. Æsthetica’s textures are dense and powerful and without provocation they lure the listener into a calm noise that lies just beyond the superficial. It’s a quiet noise that’s best experienced in the live context, which the young four-piece group dominate with a sonic presence.

Recorded and mixed in Asker by Are Sorknes, mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door Mastering.

Artist: Æsthetica
Title: Sonorous Æon
Release: December 8th, 2017
Label: Esetiske Studier/Fysisk Format

Tracklist:
1. Haze
2. Todesfuge
3. La Paz
4. Gates
5. Worshipper
6. Ekstasis

Æsthetica are:
Tobias Brynildsbakken Huse
Simon Dahl Okoniweski
Vetle Bråten Rian
Petter Rosendahl Moland

Æsthetica on Thee Facebooks

Æsthetica on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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