Plainride Stream “Devil at Your Heels” from Debut LP Return of the Jackalope

Posted in audiObelisk on June 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

plainride

For those unfamiliar, a jackalope is essentially a mythical jackrabbit with antlers. Why German heavy rock four-piece Plainride might’ve chosen a jackalope as there mascot, where that jackalope might have gone and what might have led it to come back, I couldn’t really say, but if Return of the Jackalope, the raucous Cologne outfit’s debut album, proves anything, it’s that when the jackalope came back, he brought the party with him. Primo high-energy fuzz delivery in the spirit of Truckfighters ensues throughout the record’s 13-count-’em-13 tracks, delivered via Beerfuzz Records, and neither in its approach nor its 71-minute runtime is the album shy about going completely over the top to make its point. Led by guitarist/vocalist Max Rebel, and with Fabe van Fuzz on guitar, Leo on bass and Damian the Brute on drums (the presumably less brutish Andrew plays on the record), they show little interest in letting up and instead take a desert-cruising forward drive that varies in its burl and brashness but rarely steps away from beer-drenched riffery in its extended course.

To call it single-minded might be missing the point. Return of the Jackalope should come plainride return of the jackalopewith a warning not to operate heavy machinery under its influence, the rush at its fiercest is bound to lead at least to some poor decision-making. To that end, I’m happy today to present “Devil at Your Heels,” a top-speed later cut from Plainride that’s buried deep in the reaches of Return of the Jackalope but a standout nonetheless for anyone who might take it on. More throttled than “Return of the Jackalope” itself or “(The Beards upon) Mt. Rushmore,” it precedes closer “Warpdrive” and is one of several boots to the ass the band delivers along the way. Return of the Jackalope is a lot to experience in one sitting. It’s entirely possible that Plainride will exhaust you long before they run out of breath — spoiler alert: they don’t — but while they packed two albums’ worth of album into their debut, there’s something about the sheer willpower in so doing that makes it hard not to admire. Anyone can put out a 35-minute record. Plainride are about to put out two and call it one. Take that, convention.

Return of the Jackalope is out July 24 on Beerfuzz — preorders are available now — and no doubt will be followed by a due bit of road-dogging riotousness. More on that as I hear it, but for now, catch a glimpse of the otherworldly beast with the clip Plainride put together for “Devil at Your Heels” below, and please enjoy:

Plainride, “Devil at Your Heels”

Imagine a pack of rabid tumbleweeds sweeping across the hot desert sand of Mojave set on fire by the nearby explosion of a Dodge Challenger ’69 driven into a fuel soaked pile of Orange Half-Stacks by four whole-body bearded lumberjacks dressed in bearskin.

You still follow? Good.

Now what if I tell you said lumberjacks use guitar strings as dental floss and consider alligator-wrestling the most innocent part of their childhood? There you go.

Inspired by Stoner Rock legends like Clutch as well as European Half-Gods Planet Of Zeus and Stoner Train, we here at PLAINRIDE practice what we consider one of the finest Genres ever to emerge from the sacred ashes of the 70’s.

Earth Rockin’ Drums, A beard growth inducing Bass, Fuzzomental Guitars, the Roar of a Wolfman and a whole lotta beer. Ah yeah – and we got those nasty lil’ Jackalopes all over the place. They’re like… F*cking everywhere. What’s up with that, man?

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Plainride on Bandcamp

Preorder at Lo-Fi Merchandise

Preorder at Ozium Records

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Carpet Post New Video for “Man Changing the Atoms”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

CARPET

If you heard the album, you’ll probably recognize the joyful build of “Man Changing the Atoms” from German heavy progressive rockers Carpet‘s 2013 sophomore outing, Elysian Pleasures. Released by Elektrohasch, that album was a reminder of how warm classic prog could readily be and updated what’s all too often a staid presentation with a penchant for exploration and if not spontaneity — because no doubt the Augsburg five-piece were working from a master plan — than at least a plotted sensibility that seemed as exciting to the listener as it might’ve been for the band. The soundscape “Man Changing the Atoms” constructed with its flourish of horns and weighted build made it a highlight of the record, and two years later the song shines on its own as well.

That two years might seem late for Carpet to drop a video for one of the album’s songs, but that’s not quite what’s happening here. The performance of “Man Changing the Atoms” is live, recorded at Ghost City Recordings in Röttenbach by Marius Roos, Philipp Roth and Benjamin Roth and that’s really only surprising for how smoothly the song is executed by the band, expanded from their root four-piece — guitarist/vocalist Maximilian Stephan, bassist Hubert Steiner, key specialist Sigmud Perner and drummer Jakob Mader — to a seven-piece lineup complete with flügelhorn, trumpet, more guitar and percussion, the result suitably intricate. For all its involved players, however, “Man Changing the Atoms” still sounds like the work of a band rather than an orchestra, and the humanity at its root becomes even more of the appeal as they push the song further outward.

And spoiler alert to anyone not familiar with the record: It winds up pretty far out. The video itself is pretty dark for the most part, but it should be easy enough to make out who’s doing what, and even if not, the idea is the whole experience anyway, so have at it and enjoy:

Carpet, “Man Changing the Atoms”

CARPET performing “Man Changing the Atoms”
Captured live at Ghost City Recordings Studio A

Filmed by Marius Roos, Philipp Roth & Benjamin Roth
Edited by Alec Barth

Recorded & mixed by Jan Kerscher

The Carpet Septet presents: “Man Changing the Atoms.” at Ghost City Recordings .
Jakob Mader: drums
Hubert Steiner: bass
Sigi Perner: rhodes and juno
Maximilian Stephan: guitar and the singing
Bruno Polaris: percussion
Benni Benson: guitar
Martin Lehmann: flügelhorn and trumpet

Thanks very much to Jan Kerscher and all people involved!

Carpet on Thee Facebooks

Carpet’s website

Ghost City Recordings

Elektrohasch Schallplatten

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Kadavar Reveal Berlin Cover Variants and Tracklisting

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

kadavar (Photo by Joe Dilworth)

No question that Kadavar‘s upcoming third album, Berlin, is one of the most anticipated releases of the summer. It is set for release on Aug. 21 through Nuclear Blast, and the classic rocking trio will tour Europe this winter to support it. That leaves me to wonder if they won’t hit the US beforehand, either later in summer or early fall, but I’ve yet to see any confirmation of that one way or another, so don’t quote me. Either way, the record is legitimately one to look out for, the band’s ’70s traditionalism having made their first two outings, 2013’s Abra Kadavar (review here) and 2012’s Kadavar (discussed here), both high points of their respective years and cast an increasingly influential net over organically-toned retro heavy rock.

So what’s news? News is that the cover can be customized for the Berlin vinyl depending on how you adjust the insert, and news is the tracklisting for the album. I’ve got my fingers crossed one or another of these cuts is a psychedelic freakout, as that’s something of an underrated aspect to Kadavar‘s sound. Oh, and preorders are available now too. Have at it:

kadavar berlin covers

KADAVAR – BERLIN TRACKLIST, 4 MORE VERSIONS OF THE COVER ANNOUNCED, NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!

After working nonstop in the studio for the last 4 months, Berlin, Germany-based classic rock overlords KADAVAR have finalized the production process of their brand new album. The third KADAVAR record will be entitled Berlin and is tentatively scheduled for an August 21, 2015 release.

Today, the band announces the album’s tracklist, as well as 4 more versions of the cover that will be available for everyone buying the vinyl version of the album. The glasses of the cover model will be cut out, depending on how you insert the inlay, the cover will change. See above.

Pre-Order your copy of Berlin as well as any of the t-shirt bundles on the Nuclear Blast Webshop http://goo.gl/S3uzwd

Below is the track list for Berlin:
01. Lord Of The Sky
02. Last Living Dinosaur
03. Thousand Miles Away From Home
04. Filthy Illusion
05. Pale Blue Eyes
06. Stolen Dreams
07. The Old Man
08. Spanish Wild Rose
09. See The World With Your Own Eyes
10. Circles In My Mind
11. Into The Night

BONUS TRACK
12. Reich der Träume (Nico cover)

KADAVAR’s drummer Tiger shared the following about the upcoming album: “About ten years ago, when we, independently of one another, moved to Berlin, we just wanted to break free from home and do something new. I thought it was comfortable to blend in and just live from day to day. A lot of very long nights and so many completely different people in one place. We all come from different places but have managed to create something together we all like. Where there are opposites, you can always ground yourself. I think the Berlin lifestyle has influenced our band very much and therefore fits perfectly as the album’s title.”

The band recently released the official video for the song “Eye Of The Storm” which comes off their most recent album Abra Kadavar and marks the end of the 2 year cycle promoting the album by relentless touring across the globe. The video combines contemporary artist Dust’s grandiose mural painting in action, with a unique concert by KADAVAR at the legendary ISC Club Bern.

KADAVAR live 2015
Supports: The Shrine + Horisont + Special Guest (tbc)
05.11. F Strasbourg – La Laiterie
06.11. D Cologne – Kantine
07.11. NL Nijmegen – Doornroosje
08.11. UK Manchester – Sound Control
09.11. UK Glasgow – Audio
10.11. UK Leeds – The Brudenell Social Club
11.11. UK Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms
12.11. UK Bristol – Marble Factory
13.11. UK Cardiff – The Globe
14.11. UK London – The Dome
18.11. F Nantes – Stereolux
19.11. F La Rochelle – La Sirene
20.11. E Madrid – Penelope
21.11. E Barcelona – Razzmatazz II
22.11. F Bordeaux – Le Krakatoa
23.11. F Lyon – Ninkasi Kao
25.11. CH Zurich – Dynamo
26.11. CH Geneva – L’Usine
27.11. D Stuttgart – Wizemann
28.11. D Munich – Backstage
30.11. D Frankfurt – Batchkapp
01.12. D Hamburg – Markthalle
02.12. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset
03.12. N Oslo – Vulkan
04.12. S Gothenburg – Brewhouse
05.12. S Stockholm – Debaser Medis
07.12. FI Jyväskylä – Lutakko
08.12. FI Helsinki – Nosturi
09.12. EE Tallinn – Club Tapper
10.12. LT Vilnius – Propaganda
11.12. PL Gdansk – B90
12.12. PL Warsaw – Progresja
13.12. PL Krakow – Fabryka
16.12. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
17.12. B Brussels – Vk*
18.12. D Berlin – Astra
19.12. D Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle II
20.12. NL Amsterdam – Melkweg

Visit KADAVAR online at www.KADAVAR.com

www.facebook.com/KADAVARofficial
www.twitter.com/KADAVAROfficial
www.youtube.com/KADAVARofficial

Kadavar, “Eye of the Storm” official live video

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Doomentor to Release The Second Ceremony Vinyl in July

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

doomentor

Sometimes the simple approach is the way to go, and German trio Doomentor seem to have taken the lesson to heart. Their second EP, aptly-titled The Second Ceremony, is out now digitally and has been picked up for a vinyl release through Iron Bonehead Productions that will be out next month, following-up on the 2014 self-titled debut/demo and reveling in classic, obscure, raw metal with unrepentant hints of doom in more than just their moniker. It’s only two songs, but by the time you’re done with “Nocturniae Monumentalis,” there really isn’t that much left to say anyhow, unless you want to let out a Tom G. Warrior-style “ough!” grunt in support of the cause. Ceremony indeed.

The vinyl release date is July 24, as the PR wire dutifully informs:

doomentor the second ceremony

DOOMENTOR set release date for IRON BONEHEAD debut

Once again, Iron Bonehead Productions cements its reputation for finding the darkest, most uncompromising sounds in the metal underground with the release of Doomentor’s debut EP, The Second Ceremony. Set to be released on July 24th internationally on 7″ vinyl, The Second Ceremony comprises two twisted ‘n’ twisting epics of traditional-yet-defiant doom majesty.

A mysterious trio hailing from Germany, Doomentor take classic doomed-out heavy metal like early Trouble, Manilla Road, and Griffin and then drag it deep into pitch-black depths, stretching each tone to its most melancholic, malign length and then bathing it all within cavernous amounts of atmosphere. It’s a sound that’s both familiar and foreign, and if last year’s eponymous debut demo laid bare their self-described agenda of “Black Occult Imperial Doom Metal,” then The Second Ceremony is simply the next chapter in Doomentor’s ascent to greatness. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Doomentor’s The Second Ceremony
1. Maligne
2. Nocturniae Monumentalis

www.facebook.com/doomentorcoven
www.doomentor.bandcamp.com
www.ironbonehead.de
www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions

Doomentor, The Second Ceremony (2015)

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Zone Six Stream New Album Love Monster in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on June 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

zone six

Love Monster is pretty easy to understand once you give up on trying to make it make sense. The 47-minute long-player, which shares its name but little else with a rare tracks compilation by Monster Magnet, is the first studio full-length in 11 years from German heavy psych improv-specialists Zone Six, released on CD by Sulatron Records and limited vinyl by Deep Distance Records. All four members of the band — bassist Komet Lulu, drummer Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, guitarist Rainer Neeff and synthesist Modulfix — also double in Krautzone, and Schmidt and Lulu are also founders of Electric Moon and Neeff also plays in The Pancakes, so even if one wasn’t necessarily paying attention when Zone Six released their last album, Psychedelic Scripture, in 2004, the names and pedigree should at least set up some expectation of lysergic jamming, and as it happens, that’s precisely what the four pieces on Love Monster have to offer.

Comprised of its title-track (14:54), “The Insight” (8:21), “Acidic” (7:30) and “Cosmogyral” (15:18), Love Monster is by no means short on sprawl, but as with the several other projects in which Schmidt and/or Lulu are involved — up to and including Sula Bassana, the band, and the Papir collaboration Papermoon zone six love monster— the point is as much the journey itself as about what has come out of it. Improvisation seems to be at the center from the start of “Love Monster,” which brings about a flowing cascade of effects over liquefied rhythms, space-minded in its push, but based less on direct thrust than some. “The Insight” and “Acidic,” presumably the side A finale and the side B opener, work with a similar palette of molten heavy psych, though the more one listens back the more each piece emerges with an identity of its own, whether it’s the open build in the second half of “Acidic” or the quieter, synth-introduced fuzz swing of “Cosmogyral,” which is somewhat more nodding but ultimately proves the highlight of Love Monster as a whole as much for its subdued moments as the sendoff push that gives way to swirling noise to end the album.

I don’t know what it was that brought Zone Six together after so long. Maybe the stars lined up just right, or maybe it was the fact that they were already in another band together and they just decided “what the hell?” and went for it. Whatever the case, as a unit, they cut directly to the roots of heavy psychedelic creativity, and their jams are positively hypnotic. You could, if you wanted, sit as you listen and take notes at what minute the second solo in “Love Monster” begins or when the fuzz really kicks in on “Cosmogyral,” but that doesn’t seem to be either how this stuff was created or how it’s best experienced. Hit play on the embed below and let your tired head vibe out for a couple minutes. Even if you snap back to consciousness once or twice along the way, that’s cool. Zone Six have plenty of ground to cover, and they know just how to get where they’re going.

Top-order expanded-mind jams such as these might be best left to the converted, but I’ve no doubt they also have the power to win a few over to that side. Please enjoy Love Monster in full on the player below:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

After 11 years without a proper studioalbum, german spacerockers Zone Six are back with a new album! Founded 18 years ago, Zone Six is one of the oldest active spacerock / acidrock / neo-krautrock bands in Europe, even if they are lazy as hell. The band now consists of founder member Dave Schmidt (aka Sula Bassana) on drums (formerly bass), Martin Schorn (aka Modulfix) on synthesizer, Komet Lulu on bass and Rainer Reeff on guitar.

All four members also are in Krautzone, Lulu and Sula are the founders of Electric Moon and Rainer plays in The Pancakes. They met some days to freak out together and produced 4 tracks to blow your mind away into deep space! This whole thing is very groovy and psychedelic – kaleidoscopic flights are stopping the time from existing and mix it up with the space which is endless… And full of acid! Recorded and mixed at Amöbenklangraum by Sula. Mastered by Axel Frank. Cover by Lulu Artwork!

The vinyl version is on the british label Deep Distance Records, lim. to 500 copies on incredible splatter vinyl!

Zone Six website

Zone Six on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

Deep Distance Records

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Ahab to Release The Boats of the Glen Carrig in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ahab

German sea-themed funeral doomers Ahab released what many considered to be their defining work in 2012’s The Giant, their third album and the follow-up to 2009’s likewise impressive The Divinity of Oceans (review here). As such, expectations and anticipation are both high for their fourth long-player, which it has been revealed will be titled The Boats of the Glen Carrig, named for the 1907 novel by British writer William Hope Hodgson. The band will look to meet those expectations when the outing is released in August on Napalm, and those who’d like to get in on preorders will be able to do so beginning June 18.

The PR wire brings the details and whatnots from offshore. Take special note of the Sebastian Jerke cover art, which is particularly righteous:

ahab the boats of the glen carrig

AHAB Unveil First Details Of Upcoming Album!

They are hitting the sea again!

Nautical Doomsters AHAB cast their net across the oceans and capture their fans with their impressive soundscape! The German quartet has now unveiled the first details of their upcoming album The Boats Of The Glen Carrig.

The sensational artist Sebastian Jerke, who was also responsible for the latest album artwork from the likes of Zodiac, The Answer and My Sleeping Karma, created the cover artwork.

The Boats Of The Glen Carrig Track Listing:
1. The Isle
2. The Thing That Made Search
3. Like Read Foam (The Storm)
4. The Weedmen
5. To Mourn Job
6. The Light in the Weed (Mary Madison) (Bonus Track)

The Boats Of The Glen Carrig will be released on August 28 on Napalm Records & is available as LTD 6 Page Digipak & Bonus Track, 2LP Gatefold edition, strictly limited Wooden Box Edition and Ultra Deluxe Canvas Edition. Pre-orders will start on June 18th!

Don’t miss the chance to see these guys live:

03.06.15 DE – Geiselwind / Out & Loud Festival
19.06.15 FR – Clisson / Hellfest
04.07.15 UK – High Wycombe / The Boston Music Rooms
25.07.15 DE – Langendorf / Ragnarock Festival
12.12.15 NL – Eindhoven / Eindhoven Metal Meeting

For More Info Visit:
www.ahab-doom.de
www.facebook.com/AhabDoom
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Ahab, The Giant (2012)

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Krautzone Announce New Album Spiritual Retreat Due this Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

krautzone

The date Sulatron Records has given for the release of Krautzone‘s second album, Spiritual Retreat, is “around 15th of June,” so when I say “this month” above, it’s right in the middle of the month. Whatever day it actually shows up, Spiritual Retreat will be released in an edition of 777 copies on black vinyl only by the now-six-piece band, four of whose members also play in Zone Six, two of whose members play in Electric Moon and one of whose members is Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, who not only runs Sulatron but has his solo-project through it as well.

Krautzone‘s 2014 debut, Kosmiche Rituale (review here), was comprised of three extended tracks, but Spiritual Retreat whittles that down even further to two massive, 20-plus-minute jams. If you’re looking for something molten and swirling, it’s a safe bet they’ll deliver.

Side note: I’ll be streaming the full new album, Love Monster, from Zone Six later this week, so keep an eye out. In the meantime:

krautzone spiritual retreat

Krautzone was formed in September 2011 automatic – it just created itself totally spontaneous and autonomous: They met at the moonbase, to spend a nice time together. THE moment came and they decided to play music, so they fired the aggregates, pressed the recording button and improvised on the fly. After this session they all thought it’s like holidays from their actual bands like Electric Moon, Zone Six, The Pancakes…

A substratum of these sessions, you can listen to on the current record, which is made totally in accordance with the zeitgeist of Krautrock!

The recordings for this album were done in the same two days Krautzone recorded their debut album Kosmische Rituale!

Spheric and magic seeming improvisations of Krautrock and Kosmische Musik, highlighted by subdued, percussively played shamanic drums and flurry psychedelic synthesizers. Monothonic bass and cosmic guitar build the room.

Lay back, relax and enjoy Krautzone!

Mixed and produced by Sula Bassana and mastered by Eroc! Coverdesign by Lulu Artwork!

This record is limited to 777 copies on heavy black quality vinyl, it comes with insert, and will not be re-released in this format again.

Line-Up:
Sula Bassana (Electric Moon, Zone Six) – Synthies, Recording & Mixing
Komet Lulu (Electric Moon, Zone Six) – Drums, Design
Modulfix (Zone Six) – Synthies
Onkel Kaktus – Bass
Rainer Neeff (The Pancakes, Zone Six) – Guitar
Baba Lali – cosmic atmosphere producing and dancing

Tracklist:
Spiritual Retreat Part 1 (22:48)
Spiritual Retreat Part 2 (21:52)

www.sulatron.com
www.facebook.com/Krautzone
www.krautzone.bandcamp.com

Krautzone, “Kosmiche Rituale”

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Buried Treasure and the Great White Whale: Colour Haze, Seven

Posted in Buried Treasure on June 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

colour-haze-seven-cd-cover

The word seems to have fallen out of use as quickly as it came into it, but I remain something of a completist, and Colour Haze‘s 1998 second full-length, Seven, has haunted the back of my mind for years. Perhaps even more since March 2012, when I shelled out for a copy of the German outfit’s moody 1995 debut, Chopping Machine (discussed here), since that made Seven the last of their full-lengths I didn’t own. The only one. To date, Colour Haze have 11 records, and just the one I didn’t have. If you listened hard enough, you could hear the teeth gnawing at me. Squint, and you could see the hole on my CD rack.

Early in 2014, I put up a review of their 2001 fifth outing, Ewige Blumenkraft, which boasts the track “House of Rushammon.” That song originally appeared on Seven, and I referred to the album in a parenthetical aside as, “the Great White Whale of my CD collection; someday I’ll own a copy and gaze upon it with pride for the remainder of my days.” Extreme, maybe, but not untrue. You might think I’m kidding around when I title these posts “Buried Treasure,” but I’m not. I place real value on owning albums, CD, LP or tape, whatever format it might be, and being the last of Colour Haze‘s work I hadn’t heard — having refused to chase down an illicit download or listen on YouTube — Seven was a genuine prize in my head.

I knew from hearing Chopping Machine and the fact that the band hadn’t reissued it that it probably wouldn’t be a landmark in terms of the actual material itself, but still. Still several years off from guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek starting his Elektrohasch Schallplaten imprint, Seven was released on CDR with inkjet-printed labels on the jokingly dubbed Self Burn Records. I don’t even know if they made 100 copies, let alone any more than that. It’s never been re-pressed, was never widely distributed, and in the wake of the brilliant offerings they’ve had since, has been largely forgotten, much, I think, by design.

A package arrived a short while ago from Munich. After that Ewige Blumenkraft review, Koglek teased that he’d have to see if he could find a “great white whale” for me, but honestly, I wasn’t holding onto much hope. Then there it was. Having just been through a move, Koglek not only found a copy of Seven, in its original jewel case with the printed liners and all, but took the time to send it over with a few other choice keepsakes to be detailed at another time, knowing that, indeed, I’d spend the rest of my days gazing on it with pride. The included note read, colour-haze-notes“Hi JJ, As it happens… it took a while but I stumbled over the ‘white whale’ for you during the preparation for our move. Hope you enjoy all the goodies a lot. :) All the best, Stefan.”

This, my friends, is the stuff of life.

I’m almost hesitant to talk too much about the album itself, since the band obviously doesn’t really want it out there or else it would be; they have their own label and haven’t been shy in the past about putting stuff out again when they feel the time and circumstances warrant. Like Chopping Machine, the audio of seven is a long way from what Colour Haze would become in years subsequent — for one thing, they’re a four-piece, with standalone vocalist Felix Neuenhoff singing and Koglek handling backing vocals and guitar while Philip Rasthofer plays bass and Manfred Merwald (listed in the liner as “Mani,” as I’ve heard others refer to him) plays drums — the trio as they are today otherwise intact.

And while one can hear where Koglek, who was at the time engaged in the work of finding his own voice, may have later taken some influence from Neuenhoff, Seven is a different vibe throughout that I think would surprise a lot of people who follow Colour Haze today, from the post-grunge grit of “Planet” to the Christian lyrical themes in “Under Water,” “Superstar” and “House of Rushammon” — those would remain intact on the re-recorded version, but the context is different — to the early-Tool-style rhythmic push of “Second Man” or “Pulse,” which also appears as an instrumental as the finale of Seven‘s 71-minute run.

Yet, particularly in light of the work they’ve done in the 17 years since, from the exploratory first steps toward their groundbreaking heavy psychedelia in the next year’s Periscope to 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here), one can hear flashes of what’s to come, in the deft turns Merwald makes sound so fluid, or in the rumble of Rasthofer‘s bass and the standalone moments of Koglek‘s guitar. They’d make that shift quickly, losing Neuenhoff within a year’s time and beginning to form the classic power trio dynamic they continue to refine, but one can hear listening to Seven the shift taking place between what they were on Chopping Machine and what they’d be on Periscope, and I consider myself unbelievably lucky to have had the chance to hear that for myself on an actual copy of the record.

Copious and heartfelt thanks to Koglek for that opportunity. Rest assured, I’ll be storing Seven somewhere with an easy line of sight.

Colour Haze, “House of Rushammon” from Seven (1998)

Colour Haze’s website

Elektrohasch Schallplatten

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