Quarterly Review: Paradise Lost, Vinnum Sabbathi, Nighthawk, Familiars, Mountain Witch, Disastroid, Stonegrass, Jointhugger, Little Albert, Parahelio

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Last day, you know the drill. It’s been a pleasure, honestly. If every Quarterly Review could feature the quality of material this one has, I’d probably only spend a fraction of the amount of time I do fretting over it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and enjoyed the music as much as I have. If you haven’t found something here to sit with and dig into yet, well, today’s 10 more chances to do just that. Maybe something will stick at last.

See you in September.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Paradise Lost, Obsidian

paradise lost obsidian

It is impossible to listen to Try our custom essay has my blogs writing service, Best Dissertation Writing Services. Get your paper written by philosophy essay Obsidian and consider Affordable essay & a fantastic read from our expert editors at NerdPro. Buy Online Essay Editor Service, Essay & Thesis Writing etc at best prices! Paradise Lost as anything other than masters of the form. Of course, that they were one of the original pioneers of gothic death-doom helps, but even in the decade-plus since they began to shift back toward a more metallic approach, they have established a standard that is entirely their own. enter - professional and cheap report to ease your studying Learn all you need to know about custom writing Essays Obsidian collects nine tracks across a palatable 45 minutes, and if the hook of “Fall From Grace” is fan-service on the part of the band, then it is no less righteous for that. In atmosphere and aggression, cuts like “The Devil Embraced” and the galloping “Ghosts” deliver on high expectations coming off 2017’s "I needed someone to pay for dissertation masters degree for me. So I contacted this service and that was the best decision possible! Got A))", says Bill. Be smart, be like Bill. Medusa (review here), even as side B’s “Ending Days” and “Hope Dies Young” branch into a more melodic focus, not departing from the weight of impact presented earlier, but clearly adjusting the approach, leading to an all the more deathly return on “Ravenghast,” which closes out. Their doom remains second to none; their model remains one to follow.

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Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Vinnum Sabbathi, Of Dimensions and Theories

Vinnum Sabbathi Of Dimensions and Theories

The narrative thread carried through the six tracks of Research Paper Introductions. If you’ve arrived on this page, it probably means you’ve lost someone. I have no words to share other than I’m sorry. Vinnum Sabbathi‘s check my blog. Our company can provide you with any kind of academic writing services you need: essays, research papers, dissertations etc Of Dimensions and Theories is a futuristic sci-fi tale about humanity’s first foray into deep space amid a chaos of environmental collapse and nuclear threat. The real story, however, is the sense of progression the instrumentalist Mexico City outfit bring in following up their debut LP, 2017’s They are all capable of writing custom essays on various topics. Custom essay writing is not supposed to have A Sample Of Business Plan starting at Gravity Works (review here). Tying thematically to the latest cmu cs phd thesis - Instead of worrying about term paper writing find the necessary help here Learn all you need to know about custom writing leave Cegvera album — the two bands share personnel — pieces at the outset like “In Search of M-Theory” and “Quantum Determinism” maintain the exploratory vibe of the band’s jammier works in their “HEX” series, but through spoken samples give a human presence and plotline to the alternately atmospheric and lumbering tones. As the record progresses through the airier “An Appraisal” and the feedback-drenched “Beyond Perturbative States,” their dynamic finds realization in “A Superstring Revolution I” and the drum-led “A Superstring Revolution II.” I don’t know about humanity’s prospects as a whole, but Get a whopping 20% (FIRST TIMER'S) Discount when you order our write my essay for me service. more info heres with an authentic UK essay writing service. Vinnum Sabbathi‘s remain bright.

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Stolen Body Records website

 

Nighthawk, The Sea Legs EP

Nighthawk The Sea Legs EP

Composed as a solo outing prior to the founding of Best College Admissions Essay In The Worlds all kinds of papers, social sciences & humanities, manuscripts, dissertations in the sciences, articles. As experts in their Heavy Temple, the Eternity - Cheap Essay Orders in Fairview Heights, reviews by real people. Yelp is a fun and easy way to find, recommend and talk about what’s Nighthawk solo endeavor (presumably she wasn’t a High Priestess yet), Research On Paper,Cheap essays, affordable essay writing service for students - Dissertation English Language Teaching The Sea Legs EP, is plenty self-aware in its title, but for being a raw execution of material written performed entirely on her own, its four tracks also have a pretty significant scope, from the post- Essay Writing Ons Getting a PhD is a matter of great pride and achievement. When you embark on this journey, you spend a lot of time and efforts in your QOTSA heavy pop of “Goddamn” leading off through the quick spacegaze of “I’m From Tennessee Woman, All We Do is Honky Tonk,” into the deceptively spacious “I Can Haz” with its far-back toms, dreamy vocal melody and vaguely Middle Eastern-sounding guitar, and ending with the if- Get your paper done by an expert. High Quality. 100% original. On time. Search for quality term paper Dissertation In Physical Geography? Ween‘s-country-album-had-been-weirder finish of “Stay Gold.” If you’re looking for a University Essay Writing, you will like the quality offered by PapersASAp.com. Check the 10 reasons to choose this Nighthawk has issued a follow-up to The Sea Legs EP in the full-length Goblin/John Carpenter-style synth of The Dimensionaut, but given the range and balance she shows just in this brief 12 minutes, one hopes that indeed her songwriting explorations continue to prove so multifaceted.

Nighthawk on Bandcamp

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

 

Familiars, All in Good Time

familiars all in good time

Contending for one of the year’s best debut albums, FamiliarsAll in Good Time offers eight songs across 43 minutes that blend organic-feeling grit with more ethereal, landscape-evocative psychedelics. The Ontario three-piece have a few singles to their credit, but the lushness of “Rocky Roost” and the emergent heft of “Barn Burning,” the fleshy boogie of “The Dirty Dog Saloon” and the breadth of “Avro Arrow” speak not just to Familiars‘ ability to capture a largesse that draws their songs together, or the nuance that lets them brings subtle touches of Americana (Canadiana?) early on and echoing desert roll to the fuzzy “The Common Loon,” but also to the songwriting that makes these songs stand out so much as they do and the sense of purpose Familiars bring to All in Good Time as their first long-player. That turns out to be one of the most encouraging aspects of the release, but in that regard there’s plenty of competition from elements like tone, rhythm, melody, craft, performance — so yes, basically all of it.

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Familiars on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Witch, Extinct Cults

Mountain Witch Extinct Cults

Mountain Witch‘s fourth album, Extinct Cults, brings the Hamburg-based duo of guitarist RenĂ© Sitte and drummer/vocalist RenĂ© Roggmann back after a four-year absence with a collection that straddles the various lines between classic heavy rock, proto-metal, ’70s heavy prog and modern cultism. Their loyalties aren’t necessarily all to the 1968-’74 period, as the chug and gruff vocals of “Back From the Grave” show, but the post Technical Ecstasy sway of the title-track is a fascinating and rarely-captured specificity, and the vocal melodies expressed in layers across the record do much to add personality and depth to the arrangements while the surrounding recording remains essentially raw. No doubt vinyl-minded, Extinct Cults is relatively brief at six songs and 33 minutes, but the Priestly chug of “Man is Wolf to Man” and the engrossing garage doom of closer “The Devil Probably” offer plenty of fodder for those who’d dig in to dig into. It is a sound familiar and individual at once, old and new, and it revels in making cohesion out of such contrasts.

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This Charming Man Records website

 

Disastroid, Mortal Fools

disastroid mortal fools

You might find San Francisco trio Disastroid hanging out at the corner of noise and heavy rock, looking disreputable. Their first record for Heavy Psych Sounds is Mortal Fools, and to go with its essential-bloody-essential bass tone and melodic semi-shouted vocals, it brings hints of angularity rounded out by tonal thickness and a smoothness between transitions that extends to the flow from one song to the next. While for sure a collection of individual pieces, Mortal Fools does move through its 43 minutes with remarkable ease, the sure hand of the three-piece guides you through the otherwise willfully tumultuous course, brash in the guitar and bass and drums but immersive in the overarching groove. They seem to save a particular melodic highlight for the verses of closer “Space Rodent,” but really, whether it’s the lumbering “Hopeless” or the sharper-toothed push of “Bilge,” the highlight is what Disastroid accomplish over the course of the record as a whole. Plus that friggin’ bass sound.

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Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Stonegrass, Stonegrass

stonegrass self titled

I don’t know when this was first released, but the 2020 edition seems to be a remaster, and whenever it first came out, I’m pleased to have the chance to check it out now. Toronto duo Stonegrass brings together Matthew “Doc” Dunn and Jay Anderson, both of a markedly psyched-out pedigree, to dig into experimentalist acid-psych that pushes boundaries stylistic and national, tapping Afrobeat vibes with closer “Drive On” and the earlier 13-minute go-go-go jam “Tea” while “The Highway” feels like a lost psychedelic disco-funk 45, “The Cape” drones like it’s waiting for someone to start reading poetry over-top, and mellow hand-percussion and Turkish psych on centerpiece “Frozen Dunes.” The whole thing, which runs a manageable 39 minutes, is as cool as the day is long, and comes across like a gift to those of expanded mind or who are willing to join those ranks. I don’t know if it’s new or old. I don’t know if it’s a one-off or an ongoing project. I barely know if it’s actually out. But hot damn it’s rad, and if you can catch it, you should.

Cosmic Range Records on YouTube

Cosmic Range Records on Bandcamp

 

Jointhugger, I Am No One

jointhugger i am no one

Norwegian half-instrumental trio Jointhugger have already captured the attention of both Interstellar Smoke Records and Ozium Records with their four-song debut long-player, I Am No One, and as the follow-up to their 2019 Daemo, it leaves little question why. The more volume, the merrier, when it comes to the rolling, nodding, undulations of riff the band conjure, as each member seems geared toward bringing as much weight to bear as much as possible. I’m serious. Even the hi-hat is heavy, never mind the guitar or bass or the cave-echoing vocals of the title-track. “Domen” slips into some shuffle — if you can call something that dense-sounding a shuffle — and underscores its solo with an entire bog’s worth of low end, and though closer “Nightfright” is the only inclusion that actually tops 10 minutes, it communicates an intensity of crush that is nothing if not consistent with what’s come before. There are flashes of letup here and there, but it’s impact at the core of Jointhugger‘s approach, and they offer plenty of it. Don’t be surprised when the CD and LP sell through, and don’t be surprised if they get re-pressed later.

Jointhugger on Thee Facebooks

Ozium Records webstore

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

 

Little Albert, Swamp King

Little Albert Swamp King

Stepping out both in terms of style and substance from his position as guitarist in atmospheric doomers Messa, Little Albert — aka Alberto Piccolo — pronounces himself “swamp king” in the opening lines of his debut solo release of the same name, and the mellow ambiance and psychedelic flourish of tone in “Bridge of Sighs” and “Mean Old Woman” and the aptly-titled “Blues Asteroid” offer an individualized blend of psychedelic blues that seems to delight in tipping the balance back and forth from one to the other while likewise taking the songs through full band arrangements and more intimate wanderings. Some of the songs have a tendency to roll outward and not return, as does “Mary Claire” or “Mean Old Woman,” but “Outside Woman Blues” and the closer “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” hold tighter to the ground than some of what surrounds, so again, there’s a balance. Plus, as mellow as Swamp King is in its overarching affect, it’s neither difficult nor anything but a pleasure to follow along where Piccolo leads. If that’s off the psych-blues deep end, so be it. Only issue I take with him being king of the swamp is that the album’s domain hardly seems so limited.

Little Albert on Thee Facebooks

Aural Music on Bandcamp

 

Parahelio, Surge Evelia, Surge

Parahelio Surge Evelia Surge

Beautiful, patient and pastoral psychedelia fleshes out across the three tracks of Parahelio‘s debut full-length, Surge Evelia, Surge. Issued on vinyl through Necio Records, the three-song offering reportedly pays homage to a mining town in the band’s native Peru, but it does so with a breadth that seems to cover so much between heavy post-rock and psych that it’s difficult not to imagine places decidedly more ethereal. Beginning with its title-track (12:33) and moving into the swells and recessions of “Gestos y Distancia,” the album builds to an encompassing payoff for side A before unveiling “Ha’Adam,” a 23-minute side-consuming rollout that encompasses not only soundscaping, but a richly human feel in its later take, solidifying around a drum march and a heavy build of guitar that shouldn’t sound strange to fans of Pelican or Russian Circles yet manages somehow to transcend the hypnotic in favor of the dynamic, the immersive, and again, the beautiful. What follows is desolation and aftermath, and that’s how the record ends, but even there, the textures and the spirit of the release remain central. I always do myself a favor with the last release of any Quarterly Review, and this is no exception.

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Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, Witchcraft frontman/founder Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, Nucleus (review here). Pelander‘s Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with Black Metal, Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

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Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

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Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

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Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course Ă  VĂ©lo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

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Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

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Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

Baleful Creed on Thee Facebooks

Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

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Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, DĂ€tcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

Rrrags on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

Earthbong on Thee Facebooks

Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “InhumaciĂłn,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

Rito Verdugo on Thee Facebooks

Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

Death the Leveller on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

Marrowfields on Thee Facebooks

Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

DĂ€tcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

DĂ€tcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything DĂ€tcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

DĂ€tcha Mandala on Thee Facebooks

MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

Numidia on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Friday Full-Length: Samsara Blues Experiment, Demo

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

One has to assume Samsara Blues Experiment were eager for adventure when they toured the West Coast on the strength of nothing more than their initial 2009 demo (review here). The Berlin-based outfit were a trio at the time — they’d move to a four-piece, then back to three — and I’m not discounting the value of the demo at all. Its two songs would both become essential pieces om in the band’s catalog and highlights when they reappeared on the 2010 debut album, Long-Distance Trip (review here). But it was a demo, just the same. And a first one at that. It’s not a lot of bands that will tour internationally for that kind of release, let alone cross an ocean. Samsara Blues Experiment have yet to return to North America.

That was 11 years ago and in that time the landscape of the heavy underground has radically changed. Social media, the availability of cheap, intuitive digital distribution, and a force of word of mouth that doesn’t actually require a mouth have not supplanted traditional promotion — I still get press releases down the PR wire, including for Samsara Blues Experiment when they have news — but have added to the scope of a given band’s reach, and as they’ve released through guitarist/vocalist Christian PetersElectric Magic Records imprint, that’s been something of an advantage, though naturally there are drawbacks as well. That they’d be at the vanguard if a new generation and wave of heavy psychedelia from across Europe wasn’t readily foreseeable in 2009 — at least not to me — but in listening to “Singata (Mystic Queen)” (8:32) and “Double Freedom” (13:04), I was just stoked it sounded like Colour Haze.

Did it though? Sort of. I hear it less now than I did at the time, and perhaps less on the semi versions of these songs than the ones that came on the subsequent album, which had a warmer sound, but it still seems like that influence is there. What comes out more in hindsight though is how much of Samsara Blues Experiment‘s own personality was worked into this material. In some ways, these tracks helped set the expectation for who the band — Peters, Richard Behrens (later of Heat) on bass and Thomas Vedder on drums — would become. The use of sitar became a defining element, and the surges of fuzz tone and echoing proclamations of “Double Freedom” are at the core of much I’d what Samsara Blues Experiment did samsara blues experiment demoon releases after this one. Though only 21 minutes long, give or take, it was easy to be excited about the demo, both because the jams were fluid and hypnotic and they helped distinguish the band from much of the burlier heavy rock that surrounded in Europe. They weren’t the first heavy psych band after the likes of the aforementioned Colour Haze, or, say, Causa Sui in Denmark, but they represented the generational shift to come and the energy they brought to the songs was no less palpable than the chemistry between the players, which comes through undulled on the live-feeling recording of these tracks.

Both “Singata (Mystic Queen)” and “Double Freedom” lengthened in their final album versions, the latter to a whopping 22 minutes of righteous psychedelic jamming, setting a precedent of longform work that Samsara Blues Experiment have continued to one degree or other ever since, without ever to-this-point crossing the 20-minute line again. Even in the shorter version, though, the jam is pivotal, and that became one of the distinguishing factors particularly in the band’s work, just how much it seemed to emerge from that organic foundation of the jam between players. With layers of effects and keys and guitar swirling over Behrens‘ solid rolling bassline — the first incarnation of the track sounds like it could go forever, the second does — and Vedder‘s backbeat holding it all together, the sense of flourish and patience in the execution of the song undermines the concept of it as a demo. It’s been 11 years. You know what I’d say if it came in today? “Huh. This sounds like Samsara Blues Experiment.”

Long-Distance Trip helped establish band on the Euro circuit and beyond, with a sprawling 66-minute run that washed through its fuzz with a clarity of purpose to match its outward direction — going, boldly — and was followed on a likewise quick turnaround by 2011’s Revelation and Mystery (review here), which basked in a more barebones production but still offered essential cuts like “Hangin’ on the Wire” and its surprisingly hard-landing 12-minute closing title-track. In late 2013, after touring, they’d answer back with Waiting for the Flood (review here), comprised of four extended cuts that brought back more of the psychedelic elements of the debut and still kept some of the second album’s relative immediacy, pulling together the most effective elements of both into a moment of realization for the band that continues to make for a standout listening experience.

It would be four years of lineup changes, touring, touring, and touring, as well as Peters exploring solo work under the moniker of Surya Kris Peters before Samsara Blues Experiment came back around with 2017’s One with the Universe (review here), which was ambitious in its title and blatant in its refusal to be contained by what had been established as the stylistic boundaries of jam-based heavy psychedelia, cuts like “Sad Guru Returns” finding a niche in crunchy rhythmic turns even as the subsequent, organ-and-sitar-laced “Glorious Daze” tapped ’70s jams with a fervency not shown since the band’s earliest work some eight years earlier. The album was awesome and expansive in kind, marked by its 10-minute opener and 15-minute title-track and other triumphs along the way.

There was word a bit ago of Peters working on songs for a fifth Samsara Blues Experiment full-length, which would only be welcome upon its arrival, and in the meantime in the last 15 months has produced no fewer than four solo outings of various lengths, incorporating influences from electronic dance music and psychedelic synth while giving clues to his general mindset in song titles like, “Leaving Berlin, Always Easy,” “Berlin is Not Beautiful” and “A Nickel for Your Thoughts on Rock Music.” So it goes.

Whether and whenever the next Samsara Blues Experiment album surfaces, their discography remains a thing to celebrate, and the substantial kickoff they gave it with this demo shouldn’t be at all overlooked. I just wanted to revisit something special.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Things kind of turned around late-Wednesday and yesterday, but by Tuesday night, I was about ready to die. Rough, rough, rough couple days. No perspective, no broader sense, just head hanging, fucking inward brutality. The tone was set last weekend, honestly. The Patient Mrs. and I spent the bulk of Saturday and Sunday getting on each other’s nerves, and this may surprise you to learn, but a screaming, newly-biting-again toddler does nothing to help ease the general level of tension in a household. Also, we’re getting a dog? Ugh.

So anyway, by Tuesday I was a mess. I popped a whole xanax — I usually take a half — to render myself unconscious for a few hours just to make the day shorter. It helped, I have to say. And things have come around since. Sometimes you rally.

Next week The Pecan goes back to daycare/preschool/whatever we’re calling it. My understanding is they’ve constructed a pandemic-free biodome for the children to play and learn in, so that should be good.

Okay, I’m asking you this as a friend. Did you listen to the Polymoon track that was premiered this week? Here’s the link, click it. That album is way better than most debuts have any right to be. You shouldn’t miss out just because you haven’t already heard of the band.

Been watching the protests, the president’s open embrace of white supremacy, and so on, word of a new spike in COVID-19 cases. All that fun stuff. I try and keep my head down and work. I try and keep up with the kid. Both are hard these days.

New Gimme Radio show at 5PM Eastern. Their app is free. It’s what I use to listen, but streaming on their site is free too: http://gimmeradio.com

And if you didn’t see the playlist, that’s here.

It’s a little after 9:30AM now. I’m gonna take The Pecan out for a long walk and give The Patient Mrs. time to work. She’s had him since breakfast about two and a half hours ago, though we had an OT session in there that was an hour that we both sat in on. She’ll work until naptime (1:30PM sharp), then we’ll all reconvene at about 4 or 4:30PM when he wakes up. Weather’s good, so it should be a decent day. I’m sure that somewhere in there we’ll look at digger trucks again.

Tia Carrera review on Monday, bunch of premieres the rest of the week. This and that. Good fun. Please be safe and have a great weekend. Even if the bastards get you down, try not to let them keep you there.

FRM.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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Daily Thompson Post “Sad Frank” Video; Oumuamua out Aug. 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

DAILY THOMPSON (Photo by Dennis Tre)

Dortmund, Germany’s Daily Thompson didn’t exactly make it hard to dig what they were up to on their 2018 full-length, Thirsty (review here), and their new single, “Sad Frank,” brings more subtlety of nuance in craft and outward charm to bear that’s only well complemented by the video you can see for the track below. Noisolution will have the full-length, titled Oumuamua, out in August, so the single is something of an early look at what it’s all about, and it’s a lightness of spirit I can get behind, with a touch of boogie blues that doesn’t lose its modern aspects in the name of searching out a vintage aesthetic.

And to make matters ever-so surreal, there are tour dates! That’s right, live shows. They’re for this Fall and they’re in Germany and Spain. Will they happen? Maybe. Pretty impressive that the list exists either way. It’s been a while since I posted a tour. I’ve missed looking at the names of cities and venues and fests and whatnot. So hey, drink it in with me, and enjoy.

From the PR wire:

daily thompson oumuamua

DAILY THOMPSON – Oumuamua – Noisolution

The machine starts rolling. DAILY THOMPSON present “Sad Frank” on June 12th. The first song from their new album “Oumuamua”. A powerful work, heavy, rolling, full of hits, full of riffs and full of melodies.

And there is a fine video! Was John Waters involved in this and turned into Hairspray Two? A terrific work that perfectly stages the trio’s joy of playing and burns a colorful fireworks display with this single that leaves no doubt about its qualities. And the album still has a lot to offer!

Official single release June 12th
Taken from the new album “Oumuamua” , release August 21st via Noisolution

Directed by Daniel Hacker und Dirk Rosenlöcher
www.danielhacker.de

DAILY THOMPSON live:
11.09.2020 – DE Forum / Bielefeld
18.09.2020 – DE Live Club / Bamberg
19.09.2020 – DE SĂŒdsternhaus / Landau
24.09.2020 – ES La Triangu / Sopelana
25.09.2020 – ES Paruqe Municipal / Burlada
26.09.2020 – ES La Ley Seca / Zaragoza
27.09.2020 – ES Anvil Live Pub / Castellón
29.09.2020 – ES ZZ Pub / Malaga
30.09.2020 – ES Louie Louie Rock / Estepona
01.10.2020 – ES AmbigĂș AxerquĂ­a / CĂłrdoba
02.10.2020 – ES Tebernas Desert Rock Fest / AlmĂ©ria
10.10.2020 – DE Hagenbusch / Marl
17.10.2020 – DE Turbojugend Party at Zukunft / Chemnitz
13.11.2020 – DE Diemelkult Festival / Marsberg
26.-28.11.2020- PIN Music Conference / Skopje MKD
06.12.2020 – DE Cadillac / Oldenburg*
08.12 .2020 – DE Markthalle Marx / Hamburg*
09.12.2020 – DE Museumskeller / Erfurt*
10.12.2020 – DE Piano / Dortmund*
12.12.2020 – DE Zauberberg / Passau*?
14.12.2020 – DE Backstage / MĂŒnchen*
15.12.2020 – DE Instant / Budapest HU?*
17.12.2020 – DE Sputnik CafĂ© / MĂŒnster*
18.12.2020 – DE Treibsand / LĂŒbeck*
*w / Kamchatka

Daily Thompson are:
Danny – guitar and vocals
Mercedes – bass and vocals
Matze – drums

https://www.facebook.com/dailythompson.band/
https://www.instagram.com/dailythompson_/
https://dailythompsonband.bandcamp.com/
https://difymusic.com/daily-thompson
http://www.noisolution.de/
https://www.facebook.com/noisolution
https://www.instagram.com/noisolution/

Daily Thompson, “Sad Frank” official video

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The Mountain King Release Wicked Zen CD on Cursed Monk Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

With pieces of the album recorded in the US, Venezuela, Germany and Greece, it’s no wonder that The Mountain King‘s debut long-player, Wicked Zen, carries a marked sense of stylistic scope. The album has been snagged by Irish imprint Cursed Monk Records for a limited release on CD, and by “limited” I mean there are 50 copies on the band’s Bandcamp and the label’s Bandcamp, and that’s it. I’m not even sure if that’s 50 total or 50 each, but either way, it’s not a lot. 50 though is more than the handmade first-edition special book/CD version of the album the band put out themselves on CD, which was 33 copies, though there was also a digipak pressing that had 66 copies. Okay, so maybe add that all up and it comes out to “still pretty limited.”

There’s a tape, too. 66 copies.

I have no idea — how would I? — how many copies of any or all of these there are left, but the difference near as I can tell with the Cursed Monk version of Wicked Zen is it has two bonus tracks. That right there makes it worth chasing down in my book, whatever other options may coincide with it. And I’m not trying to spend your money or anything, but no one ever said you had to stick to one, either

I cobbled the following together from various announcements and whatnot:

The Mountain King Wicked Zen

CURSED MONK RECORDS – THE MOUNTAIN KING – WICKED ZEN

SURPRISE RELEASE!!! (We told you we had something cool planned.)

Cursed Monk Records would like to welcome The Mountain King to the cult!

The Mountain King play a heady mix of psychedelia tinged, mediative funeral doom. It is an awe inspiring sound!

Their album “Wicked Zen” is available from our store now on CD and DD. Recorded by The Mountain King in Germany, USA, Venezuela and Greece. Check it out below.

The band says: “The great Cursed Monk Records and we crossed paths and thus came into being an extended version of Wicked Zen with 2 bonus tracks and an exclusive artwork by Steffen and myself. We’re really stoked about all this, honestly.”

The Mountain King are:
Eric McQueen: Guitars, Bass, Theremin, Hammond, Synths, Vocals, Lyrics
Frank Gr’mbarth Dillschnitter: Additional guitar
Daniel Gallardo: Drums
Manuel El Churro ChuriĂłn: Sitar
Yorgos Mourkousis: Saz

https://www.facebook.com/tmkdoom/
https://www.facebook.com/cursedmonk/
https://themountainking.bandcamp.com/
https://www.cursedmonk.com/
https://cursedmonk.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/cursedmonk/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedmonkrecords/

The Mountain King, Wicked Zen (2020)

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Might Sign to Exile on Mainstream for Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

might

How’s your lockdown been? Productive? Might‘s has. The German two-piece who got together in January after the dissolution of the punkier Deamon’s Child managed to record a self-titled debut and they’ll release it on July 17 through no less than Exile on Mainstream Records. Plenty of people have been writing, but this is the first made-in-quarantine album release I’ve heard about, though one can only imagine more are coming over the next however-many months, and Might had a distinct advantage in this regard because, well, they live together. Not so much with the social distancing in that case.

Preorders and a teaser are up now for the partaking, and the mood is prevalent.

Have at it:

might might

MIGHT sign with Exile On Mainstream Records

MIGHT sign with Exile On Mainstream Records – Album up for preorder.

Preorder Link: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom96

The self-titled album will be released on the 17th of July as a vinyl with CD bundle and also digital on all platforms.

Empty streets, contact restrictions, breathing masks – a situation, we all would have considered completely absurd just a few months ago adds a new kind of dismalness to our daily life, which turns a sombre vision into some new normality. For a band whose inauguration falls into these times it’s a self-evidently influence on their artistic creation. Two days before the planned start of recording the world comes to a grinding halt with lockdowns implemented all over Europe. The married couple Ana Muhi (vocals, bass) and Sven Missullis (guitars, vocals, drums) moves into their own studio in March 2020 to record the self-titled debut album. The raw energy, subtleness and fragility of the written songs get pulled into a wake deeply influenced by the state of the outside world. Under circumstances and opportunities of a new level of concentration the tracks begin to form.

During the recording and now, throughout the album one can read out different questions and approaches relating to the state of the world as of today: a dichotomy between emotional safety and discomfort, between rage, despair and esperance becomes the common theme. While the world discusses topics such as ‘Flatten The Curve’, MIGHT create their own sine wave built from emotional interferences and amplification between music and personal experience, resulting in an album full of ethereal intensity. The record comes across like a soundtrack for the emotional movie we all seem to be acting in: depression, way outs, light and darkness, instrumental furor and acoustic reflection create a debate taking in arguments from several musical genres such as Black Metal, Doom and Sludge, PostRock and Shoegaze. This all happens organic and natural, taking the focus away from pure effects towards an emotional efficiency: the power of love as an answer to questions relating to death and live as fragments thrown into the lyrics.

Tracklisting:
Side A
1 Introduce Yourself
2 Pollution Of Mind
3 Vampire
4 Possession
5 Warlight

Side B
1 Weirdo Waltz
2 Flight Of Fancy
3 Mrs. Poise
4 Zero

Might is:
Ana Muhi – Vocals, Bass
Sven Missullis – Vocals, Guitar, Drums

https://www.facebook.com/might.earth
http://www.might.earth/
https://might.bandcamp.com/
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Might, Might teaser

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Days of Rona: Stephan Möller of Iron & Stone

Posted in Features on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

iron-and-stone-stephan-moller-(Photo-by-Andre-Gross)

Days of Rona: Stephan Möller of Iron & Stone (Hildesheim, Germany)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

The most obvious thing is we haven’t been able to rehearse for almost 2 months now. It is easy to practice the songs at home, but you simply cannot recreate the dynamics of five dudes in a rehearsal space playing music at full volume. So this is something that we really miss. Fortunately we found out that rehearsals in our space are possible so we will be able to start rehearsing again.

Otherwise things have not changed that much. We stay in touch via Whatsapp or phone. Pretty much everyone of us is able to work on the music at their home, so the writing process goes as usual and we are working on another EP (the first in a series of three) which we are planning to record in the summer.

We had to cancel a couple of shows and since nobody knows when the clubs will be able to open again it is hard to get any new shows for the future. Some local festivals we were to play this summer have been moved to 2021 and we stay in contact with promoters.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

I think the government did a pretty good job so far, especially in the beginning. Of course, there are a lot of ways it could have been better, but overall we have a rather low number of deaths and the number of infections is developing in a positive way too. During the early days of the pandemic it looked like fighting of the different parties stepped back a little and everybody was working for the greater good. So we can only hope that this will continue (which does not seem to be the case right now).

As in almost all countries there is a good amount of “woke” people rubbing their bullshit-theories into everyone’s face and they seem to become more and more stupid by the hour. Much more alarming is that some far-right groups try to undercut the otherwise un-political corona-critical-groups. This may turn really ugly.

On a personal level it (strangely) feels like something has changed for the better. Henning (our singer) and me are neighbours and we live in a very small village in a rather rural region. Me and my wife work from home and through those last weeks life has decelerated a good amount. We drive to the city once a week to shop groceries and the other days we enjoy the countryside and hike the woods and fields or work in the garden. Everything is quiet and more peaceful since there are less cars driving through our valley. If there weren’t people dying off the virus it would be a beautiful time around here.

Christopher and Torsten on the other hand work at hospitals so they are affected by the whole situation in a much more direct way.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

By what I have seen so far the scene reacted quite well. From streaming live-shows to those Bandcamp-Fridays there has been a lot of creative actions and it seems like people are working together to get through this.

We all have our regular jobs so we do not depend on the band financially. But as a band the whole situations is surely frustrating to a certain degree, since we cannot rehearse and had to cancel or postpone some of the few shows that we are able to play each year. But on the other hand we are highly motivated to return to the stage and we are working on new material to record later this year. So no time for boredom, we are highly motivated.

The clubs and venues however are in real danger of not making it through the crisis as well as the bands that are doing music as a full-time job.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

I feel like this whole situation is chance for us all to focus on the really important aspects of life. We will get through this together and we will not fall victim to all those loudmouths preaching their hate and anger and conspiracy bullshit. Our scene will get through this, there will be live shows again, I am confident about this. We’ve got to be careful and reasonable so we can all stay healthy. Support each other, we’re in this together. Peace.

https://www.facebook.com/ironandstoneband/
https://ironandstone.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/handofdoomrecords/
https://handofdoomentertainment.bigcartel.com

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