The Cosmic Dead to Release Psych is Dead April 21

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the cosmic dead

Glaswegian heavy psych jammers The Cosmic Dead will release their new album, Psych is Dead, on April 21 through Riot Season Records. It’s a pretty bold declaration for a band to make, particularly a band who are so, you know, psych, but they’d probably know better than most as to the life-status. Dead or alive, one imagines the three extended tracks Psych is Dead will follow suit with the band’s past work in being soaked in lysergic vibes, and if there is indeed a radical turn to be found, it will be duly weird one way or another. You can see the limited CD and vinyl editions below, and it seems like a pretty safe bet they’ll go shortly after their release, if not before it.

Which I suppose would be an argument for psych being alive. Funny how that works.

Riot Season sent the following down the PR wire, tour dates included:

the-cosmic-dead-psych-is-dead

The Cosmic Dead New Album // 2017 Spring Euro Tour

‘Psych Is Dead’ is the sixth full length album from the band, the glowing embers of a a few days spent recording in a sweaty Sardinian kitchen overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Soon to be available on LP and CD via Riot Season Records, ‘Psych Is Dead’ is an aural exploration of their tumultuous universe.

Formed in 2010, The Cosmic Dead are a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland who share their music through good vibes and better vibrations. Known for their improv, chaos strewn, Buckfast smashed against the wall take on space music, they have roamed from Roadburn to Las Vegas, Dundee to Bangalore with each album offering a meditative window into a certain time and space.

The album will be coming out on CD (Digipack 500 copies) and two vinyl editions. The main vinyl release will be a white vinyl edition limited to 700 copies for the world. Along with that will be a mail order only edition of 300 copies pressed on swanky silver vinyl via the webshop and bandcamp site. Full details on preorders and all that stuff will follow soon.

artist: THE COSMIC DEAD
title: ‘Psych Is Dead’
catalogue # REPOSELP420/REPOSECD420
format: Vinyl LP & CD
label: Riot Season
release date: April 21st 2017

Tracklisting
A. Nuraghe (21:54)
B1. Psych Is Dead (8:23)
B2. #FW (15: 28)

The band will be embarking on a selection of dates across Europe to celebrate the release

APRIL
22 UK – Liverpool – Wrong Fest
23 UK – Prestatyn – Safe As Milk
25 BE – Brussels – Magasin 4
27 DE – Dresden – Sabotage
28 PL – Warsaw – Klub Hydrozagadka
30 DE – Berlin – Deserfest

MAY
02 DK – Copenhagen – KB18
03 SE – Malmo – Plan B
04 SE – Stockholm – Obaren
05 SE – Gothenburg – Truckstop
06 DK – Aalborg – 1000FRYD
07 DE – Kiel – Die Kieler Schaubude
09 DE – Leipzig – AKKO
10 AT – Vienna – Das Bach
11 HR – Zagreb – Vintage Bar
12 SI – LlubLjana – Klub Gromka
13 AT – Innsbruck – PMK
14 AT – Salzburg – Rockhouse
16 IT – Zero Branco – Altroquando
17 IT – Parma – Titty Twister
18 IT – Torino – Blah Blah
19 IT – Ravenna – Bronson
20 IT – Milano – Bloom
23 FR – Paris – Gibus
24 BE – Ghent – Psych9000 Fest
25 UK – Brighton – Green Door Store
27 UK – London – Raw Power Festival
28 UK – Leeds – Karma Fest

More dates TBC

https://www.facebook.com/events/1809616272695568/
https://thecosmicdead.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/thecosmicdead
http://thecosmicdead.com/
http://www.riotseason.com
https://www.facebook.com/riotseasonrecords
https://twitter.com/riotseasonrecs

The Cosmic Dead, Psych is Dead album trailer

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Dead Otter Release Debut EP Pathfinder

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 2nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

First of all, it’s not like Dead Otter are advocating for otter murder. They make a point to mention their otter-friendliness, but they never called themselves Kill Otters or something like that. Maybe bassist Gav Riddell had a pet otter at one point and it died and he decided to name the band in its honor. Or maybe Omar Aborida, who also plays in The Cosmic Dead, journeyed into the woods outside Glasgow — note: find out if there are woods outside Glasgow; don’t there have to be? — and made a special otter friend. I’m just saying, the name Dead Otter calls to mind a pretty gruesome image, roadkill and all that, but could be worse.

The Scottish four-piece’s debut EP, Pathfinder, builds off jammy impulses toward heavy psychedelic rock that retains an open feel — see “The Whangy,” which feels as much indebted tonally to Ween as Hendrix — and is available now to stream in full. You can see its flat-out amazing cover art below, and while I hope it gets pressed to CD for that alone, I wouldn’t mind a copy of these tracks for the archive either. Take a listen on the player below and you’ll hear why. Some potential here:

dead-otter-pathfinder-700

Dead Otter – Pathfinder

Dead Otter are an exploratory rock outfit based in Glasgow, crafting jams since rock music was invented in 1995. Influences range from such pre-95 heavyweights as Hawkwind to Gong, Black Sabbath, Captain Beyond, Led Zeppelin and The Sensational Alex Harvey band.

Over time the band has evolved into the current line up of John Riddell on Guitar and Vocals, Gav Riddell on Bass, Scott Falconer (Skeleton Gong, Los Destructos) on drums and Omar Aborida (The Cosmic Dead) on Guitar. This line up has just released a selection of Otter classics (Pathfinder EP) and are looking to follow up with a full length LP in 2017.

PS. Also should be noted that we’re 100% Otter friendly

Dead Otter, Pathfinder tracklist:
1. Stoner Devil 06:24
2. Open my eyes.. seen enough now 06:49
3. The Whangy 03:07
4. Pathfinder 07:53

Band Members:
John Riddell – Guitar / Vocals
Gav Riddell – Bass
Scott Falconer – Drums
Omar Aborida – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/deadotterband/
https://dead-otter.bandcamp.com/releases

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Headless Kross to Release Projections I Nov. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

headless-kross

Heavy heavy heavy heavy heavy. You got another word — or five? — for Headless Kross? Dig into the leadoff track from their new album, Projections I, and see what comes to mind first. The record is the beginning of a trilogy according to the PR wire, and in part to herald its coming, they’ve made their 2015 release, Volumes (discussed here), available as a free download. So that’s nice. If you didn’t hear that record, once you get a handle on “…Does Not Equal Time,” by all means, take that one on. I doubt you’ll regret spending the time and complete lack of money.

Projections I is out Nov. 18 on At War with False Noise. Info follows:

headless-kross-projections-i

Scottish Doomsters HEADLESS KROSS Announce New Album ‘Projections 1’

Projections 1 first part in a trilogy of albums

Within the realms of extreme music, there are paths few bands dare to tread, masochistic auditory experiences enjoyed by a select few, feared and misunderstood by many. Glasgow’s HEADLESS KROSS are terrifying, dishing out grim music that’s an exercise in primeval tension and paranoia. Their forthcoming offering Projections I is released on November 18th via At War With False Noise.

Ahead of their release the band have debuted their track …Does Not Equal Time for listening. Check it out here: https://headlesskross.bandcamp.com/album/projections-i and have made their 2015 album Volumes available for free (grab it here).

Comments Vocalist/Bassist Derek Sexton: “Projections I is the first in a trilogy of albums whose fractured narrative examines this distorted yet strangely cyclical world we live in through equally distorted yet strangely cyclical psychedelic doom. We recorded it as part of a psychogeographical experiment in which we conducted a series of field recordings in various ritualistic areas of Glasgow and we feel we are embracing an increasingly polarised sound – the riffs are heavier, the monolithic groove is catchier, the freak-outs are space-ier and the fragmented lyrics descend into an infinite regress as time seems to collapse in upon itself.”

Recorded and mixed by the band themselves at guitarist Tommy Duffin’s own 16 Ohm Studio in Glasgow and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Isis, Conan, Palms), the result is a menacing album that embodies avant-garde invention and unstoppable aggressive creativity throughout. Envisaged as the first part of a trilogy, this new record sees HEADLESS KROSS heading toward further extremes – heavy bits are heavier, trance-y bits are tranc-ier, this is a band that has honed its sound to vicious effect. The album’s four songs explore ideas related to projectivism, psychogeography and psychochronography. These growing obsessions were reflected in the very recording process of the album, which included a ritualistic tour of various significant areas of Glasgow to both gather field recordings, and map out an altar of sorts across the city, upon which the album could be created.

Having perfected their grippingly bleak and abrasive sound on stages across the country with bands such as Slomatics, Conan, Bast, Jucifer, Samothrace, Inter Arma, Orange Goblin and Ufomammut to name a few, the new year will see the band touring the length and breadth of the UK in support of their trilogy of releases, with parts 2 and 3 being released within the next 12 months.

Projections I will be released on November 18 via At War With False Noise.

Projections I track listing:
1: …Does Not Equal Time
2: Practical Mental Effects
3: Church of the Fifth Season
4: The Map is Not the Territory

https://www.facebook.com/headlesskross/
http://headlesskross.bandcamp.com/
http://www.atwarwithfalsenoise.com/

Headless Kross, “…Does Not Equal Time”

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Quarterly Review: Spiritual Beggars, Øresund Space Collective, Goya, Black Shape of Nexus, Cough, Oranssi Pazuzu, Karma to Burn, Black Mood, Nebula Drag, Ommadon

Posted in Reviews on June 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

Day Two of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review — that’s an awful lot of capital letters. I’m not sure if it’s quite such a formal occasion, but perhaps that’s just an effect of staring at some of the names in this particular batch, who from classic heavy rock to post-black metal to stoner riffs, drone, doom and beyond offer a pretty vast range and more than a small measure of profile throughout. It’s a substantial swath, is what I’m saying. If you can’t find something here to dig on, well, I’d say look again, but of course there’ll also be another 10 reviews tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, and there were 10 yesterday as well, so I’m sure something will turn up if it hasn’t yet. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Spiritual Beggars, Sunrise to Sundown

spiritual beggars sunrise to sundown

More than 20 years on from their self-titled debut, Sweden’s Spiritual Beggars release their ninth LP, Sunrise to Sundown (on Inside Out Music). They seem to have set themselves to the sole task of making the records that one wishes Deep Purple were making, full of righteous organ-laced classic heavy thrust, driven by top tier songwriting and performance on every level. Founding guitarist Michael Amott (also Carcass) has assembled a lineup of masters, and since 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), frontman Apollo Papathanasio (also Firewind) has provided the soaring voice to add to the keyboard majesty of Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Candlemass) on songs like “I Turn to Stone.” The album’s 11 cuts are catchy, universally structured, and varied in their feel enough to carry the listener through fluidly, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo (Mercyful Fate) and drummer Ludwig Witt (ex-Firebird) locking in weighted grooves and underscoring the flow of what comes across like an increasingly collaborative songwriting process. Sunrise to Sundown is the sound of a band knowing what they want to do and how they want to do it and then doing precisely that.

Spiritual Beggars on Thee Facebooks

Inside Out Music website

 

Øresund Space Collective, Ode to a Black Hole

oresund space collective ode to a black hole

How many records does Ode to a Black Hole make it for Danish improve spacelords Øresund Space Collective? I honestly don’t know. Their Bandcamp lists 52 releases. Granted, not all of them are full-length studio LPs, but they jam whether they’re live or in the studio, so after a point it’s kind of moot. However many in the ultimate tally, Ode to a Black Hole is somewhat unique among them, exploring the darker side of the cosmic reaches in a bleaker, droning psychedelia spread across two instrumental tracks put to tape at the same time as 2015’s triple-LP Different Creatures (review here). Of course, it’s Øresund Space Collective, so there is still plenty of synth and effects swirl to be had, but it’s a slower galaxial movement as “Ode to a Black Hole Part 1” feeds directly into “Ode to a Black Hole Part 2.” Whatever their method of getting there, Øresund Space Collective prove once again how apparently boundless their scope has become with nuance of guitar and key flourish beneath the surface of the mix to let the listener know there’s life out in the expanse.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

 

Goya, The Enemy

goya the enemy

Phoenix, Arizona’s Goya continue their forward march with The Enemy EP (on STB Records). Still fair to say Electric Wizard are a primary influence, but as shown on their last full-length, 2015’s charmingly-titled Obelisk (review here), the trio are increasingly able to put more of themselves into their sound. In “The Enemy,” “Last” and “Light Years,” that shows in tighter songwriting, some vocal harmonies on “Light Years,” and a harder overall tonal impact than the tenets of post-Witchcult Today doomery might lead one to expect, reminding in parts of the raw in-room feel that Egypt have come to proffer, burly but more about groove than attitude. The EP closes with a nine-minute take on “The Enemy” itself, adding more harmonies, some screams at the end, and a lengthy midsection jam to flesh out its extra four minutes. Goya have been and still are a bright spot (existentially, if not in mood) in up-and-coming US doom, and The Enemy might be a stopgap coming off of Obelisk, but it reminds listeners of their growth very much still in progress.

Goya on Thee Facebooks

STB Records

 

Black Shape of Nexus, Carrier

black shape of nexus carrier

In a universe full of pretenders to the throne of Eyehategod, German six-piece Black Shape of Nexus prove there’s room for genuine creativity in sludge. Their fourth offering, Carrier (on Exile on Mainstream), finds them past the 10-year mark and lumbering their way through five varied originals, from the cavernous opener “I Can’t Play It” through the droning “Lift Yourself” and the utter spacecrush that ensues in “Facepunch Transport Layer” before the villainous laughter at the end of “Sachsenheim” leads to a 12-minute take on Hellhammer’s “Triumph of Death,” which closes. It feels like no coincidence that of the Black Shape of Nexus-penned inclusions “Sand Mountain” is the centerpiece; the tortured screaming, claustrophobic riff and blend of rawness and lush depth speak to the originality at the core of their approach. There’s a firm sense of fuckall here, and my understanding is making Carrier was something of a trial, but the results are perhaps only more vicious for that, and thus stronger.

Black Shape of Nexus on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Cough, Still They Pray

cough still they pray

Six years and the ascent of an entire movement of similarly-minded acts later, Cough ooze back to activity with Still They Pray (on Relapse), their dirt-caked third full-length. That movement, by the way, includes fellow Richmonders Windhand, with whom Cough now share bassist Parker Chandler and whose Garrett Morris recorded here along with Jus Oborn of Electric Wizard, who remain a major influence in Cough’s grueling, nodding filth, brought to bear over eight tracks and a purposefully unmanageable 67-minute runtime. Stylistically it’s not so far from where Cough were on 2010’s Ritual Abuse (review here), the bleak anarchistic lurch and tonal immersion still very much at the fore of “Possession,” “Dead Among the Roses” and the organ-inclusive “The Wounding Hours,” but though they can play slow enough to make “Masters of Torture” seem positively thrashy by comparison, they never lose their sense of atmosphere, as the acoustic-led closing title-track makes plain in fashion no less heavy than the punishment meted out before it.

Cough on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Oranssi Pazuzu, Värähtelijä

oranssi pazuzu varahtelija

It feels factually inaccurate to call something so wilfully charred “vibrant,” but Oranssi Pazuzu’s fourth long-player, Värähtelijä (on Svart and 20 Buck Spin), not only finds light in its overarching darkness, but makes it a pivotal aspect of the album’s 69-minute course. Open structures, an enviable depth of mix between far-off guitar, keys, organ, various layers of screams, etc., songs like 12-minute opener “Saturaatio” and the later 17-minute chaoswirl of “Vasemann Käden Hierarkia” offer stylistic breadth as much prog as they are psychedelia or black metal, perhaps the next phase of the latter’s cosmic wing come to fruition. Relatively speaking, the more straightforward “Havuluu” offers listeners a moment to catch their breadth, but the organ-led experimentalism of 10-minute closer “Valveavaruus” gurgles in an exploration of ambient downward plunge. One of the most adventurous black metal releases of 2016, if you can still even tag a genre to it, which I’m not sure you can. A band doing pivotal and forward-thinking work.

Oranssi Pazuzu on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin webshop

Svart Records webshop

 

Karma to Burn, Mountain Czar

karma to burn mountain czar

Though they just got off a lengthy US run, the fact that Karma to Burn’s webstore offers their new Mountain Czar EP in euro instead of dollars could easily be taken as a sign of where the band’s general priorities lie. I don’t know if founding guitarist Will Mecum is actually living abroad or remains in West Virginia, but their label, Rodeostar Records, is European, they maintain a close relationship with German artist Alexander Von Wieding, and their tour schedule keeps a definite continental focus. So be it. Mountain Czar brings five new cuts, three by-the-numbers Karma to Burn instrumentals, the highlight of which is patient, jangly-guitar closer “63,” and “Uccidendo un Sogno,” an Italian-language cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ down a Dream” sung by guest vocalist Stefanie Savy and featuring Manuel Bissig of Switzerland’s Sons of Morpheus on guitar. Karma to Burn very much remain Karma to Burn throughout, Mecum joined by drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, but they’re changing what that means in interesting ways.

Karma to Burn website

Rodeostar Records

 

Black Mood, Squalid Garden

black mood squalid garden

Comprised solely of guitarist/vocalist Sleaze and drummer Izz, German Southern metallers Black Mood begin their seven-song sophomore outing, Squalid Garden (on Daredevil Records) with a sample of Cornelius from Planet of the Apes quoting the Lawgiver to “shun the beast man,” and so on. By the time they get around to the chugging and warbling “Ohh, save my soul” in second cut “IWNAR,” the Down/Crowbar vibe has been laid on so thick that it’s unmistakable. It’s been seven years since Black Mood made their self-titled debut in 2009 – they had an EP, Toxic Hippies, out in 2012 – but their chestbeating, dudely vibes are easily sourced, even in faster, more Pantera-style moments in “Reflected,” “100 Squalid Garden” or closer “Side,” making the album ultimately a matter of taste for anyone who’d take it on. For me, some aspects ring derivative, others show flashes of individualism, but it’s a very specific vision of Southern metal at work here, and it’s not going to be for everyone.

Black Mood on Bandcamp

Daredevil Records webshop

 

Nebula Drag, Nebula Drag

nebula-drag-nebula-drag

Newcomers Nebula Drag join the ranks of a crowded heavy psych scene in their native San Diego via their self-titled, self-released debut, but the trio distinguish themselves immediately with a solidified underpinning of punkish intent, so that the airy vocals of “Sano” float over an insistent, noisy crunch. That blend is toyed with in one direction or another throughout the release, the five-minute “So Low” finding some middle-ground in grunge push, but as the subsequent “Up and Down”’s Melvins-style roll and the hardcore-style drive of “Lost Time” play out, Nebula Drag seem far less tied to any single approach. It’s a dynamic that serves them well throughout the album’s 10-track/37-minute run, and they maintain a sense of rawness in the almost thrashy breakdown of “I Can Not Explain” that speaks to a lack of pretense to go along with their potential for development. Will be curious to hear if one side or the other wins out in their sound over the long-term, but in a town where so many bands are geared on being the most laid back, it’s refreshing to hear a group with a more forceful tack.

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

Nebula Drag on Bandcamp

 

Ommadon, Ommadon

ommadon ommadon

After a series of numbered full-lengths, Glasgow consciousness-stompers Ommadon offer their self-titled sixth album through Dry Cough Records, Burning World Records and Medusa Crush Recordings. Doubtless the three labels were needed in order simply lift the 41-minute, single-song release, which is so unspeakably and ridiculously heavy as to warrant comparison to Buried at Sea’s Migration. Its retching lumber is superlative, and in giving it their name, Ommadon signal (and say outright) that it’s the work they’ve been driving toward all along. Fair enough. There is no moment of relenting from the abysmal intentions of “Ommadon” itself, and if this is to be the piece that ultimately defines the band, it’s one worthy of consideration for the outright extremity it brings to doom, sludge and drone, as well as the methodical nature in which it unfolds. Whatever its ultimate impact, Ommadon have pushed themselves forward and crafted an excruciating contribution that feels like a monolith bent to their will.

Ommadon on Thee Facebooks

Dry Cough Records webshop

Burning World Records

Medusa Crush Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Sourvein, Mantar, Elevators to the Grateful Sky, The Poisoned Glass, Spirit Collector, Phiasco, The Cosmic Dead, Postures, Estoner, The Black Explosion

Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.

If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sourvein, Aquatic Occult

Sourvein Aquatic Occult

Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records

 

Mantar, Ode to the Flame

Mantar Ode To The Flame

Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Mantar at Nuclear Blast

 

Elevators to the Grateful Sky, Cape Yawn

elevators to the grateful sky cape yawn

There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.

Elevators to the Grateful Sky on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website

 

The Poisoned Glass, 10 Swords

the poisoned glass 10 swords-700

Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned GlassRitual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.

The Poisoned Glass on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions on Bandcamp

 

Spirit Collector, Owls to Athens

spirit collector owls to athens-700

Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.

Spirit Collector on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Collector on Bandcamp

 

Phiasco, Vieh

phiasco vieh

Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.

Phiasco on Thee Facebooks

Phiasco on Bandcamp

 

The Cosmic Dead, Rainbowhead

the-cosmic-dead-rainbowhead

Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Paradigms Recordings website

Blackest Rainbow Records website

 

Postures, Halucinda

postures halucinda

Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.

Postures on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound Records

 

Estoner, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis

estoner lennud saatana dimensioonis

What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.

Estoner on Thee Facebooks

Estoner on Bandcamp

 

The Black Explosion, Atomic Zod War

Unbenannt-1

Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.

The Black Explosion on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records

 

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Ommadon & Legion of Andromeda Announce UK Tour and Crumbling Existence Split CD

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Neither Glasgow’s Ommadon nor Tokyo‘s Legion of Andromeda is any stranger to sonic extremity. It’s not every band or couple of bands who could out put something called Crumbling Existence and not have it seem silly and/or at very least overly-aspirational. These two, yeah, it kind of makes sense. Ommadon have a new self-titled single-song 41-minute full-length out now (review pending), while Legion of Andromeda made their debut last year with the relentless Iron Scorn (review here), which left common decency in the mirror en route to death-doom’s ultra-brutal next step. Heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy. Excruciatingly so.

Crumbling Existence will be out via At War with False Noise presumably by the end of this month, since that’s when the two bands pair up to tour the UK together. So far as I know, it will be Legion of Andromeda‘s first run abroad, and no doubt the craters they and Ommadon leave behind will be tourist attractions for yours to come.

From the PR wire:

ommadon legion of andromeda tour

The heavy drone-doom of Ommadon (Scotland) and relentlessly primitive sludge of Legion Of Andromeda (Japan) join forces to demolish the UK in June and July 2016. To commemorate this destructive occasion, At War With False Noise are releasing a tour- exclusive, full-length split CD, ‘Crumbling Existence’ (mastered by James Plotkin) with pummelling new tracks from both bands. This will be heavy. This will be loud.

TrackFist:
1-Ommadon: Fundamentalist Drone (36:49)
2-Legion Of Andromeda: Axis Of Torment (05:07)
3-Legion Of Andromeda: Rectum Scrotum Sputum (07:23)
4-Legion Of Andromeda: Warhead Loaded Penetration (05:57)

Tour dates:
Saturday 25th June: TBC ((email ommadonmagic@googlemail.com if you’re able to help out)
Sunday 26th June: Plymouth, Underground
Monday 27th June: Nottingham, The Chameleon
Tuesday 28th June: TBC (email ommadonmagic@googlemail.com if you’re able to help out)
Wednesday 29th June: Leeds, Chunk
Thursday 30th June: Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
Friday 1st July: Newcastle, Head of Steam
Saturday 2nd July: Liverpool, Maguire’s Pizza Bar
Sunday 3rd July: Edinburgh, The Banshee Labyrinth
Monday 4th July: Oxford, The Wheatsheaf
Tuesday 5th July: London, The Unicorn

https://www.facebook.com/legionofandromedaofficial/
https://legionofandromeda.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Ommadon-122816124443493/
http://ommadon.bandcamp.com/
https://awwfn.bandcamp.com/

Ommadon, Ommadon (2016)

Legion of Andromeda, Iron Scorn (2015)

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The Cosmic Dead Announce Sept. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

After spending much of last summer on the road throughout Europe on a 34-date tour that spanned through June and July (they still have posters for sale, albeit in limited numbers), Glasgow heavy psych heads The Cosmic Dead have announced shorter run for Sept., this one sandwiching dates throughout the UK around shows in Belgium and France. They’ll be on the road with Girl Sweat, with whom they by amazing coincidence (note: not actually coincidental) also have a limited split tape that they’ll be selling at the shows, and playing after the tour is finished with Carlton Melton at a show set for Sept. 24 in their hometown.

Generally pretty prolific as those of their style are wont to be, this year’s actually been kind of slow so far for The Cosmic Dead in terms of releases, so it’ll be interesting to see what the next few months bring along with this new split.

Tour is presented by Swamp Booking, and the announcement follows:

the cosmic dead

THE COSMIC DEAD ? September Tour 2015

Swamp Booking, The Cosmic Dead & Buckfast are very pleased to announce this string of shows in which we shall be joined on the UK dates by our very good friend and personal masseuse, Russel Andrew Gray, AKA GIRL SWEAT!!! YOWZA. We will also have an exclusive limited edition cassette split with Girl Sweat available on this tour!

Since 2010, The Cosmic Dead have been exploring the outer reaches of Krautrock, doom and psychedelia, tasting the extremes of sound and fusing them into a single, all-enveloping web of stratospheric riffing, otherworldly ambience and kosmische textures that has spread itself across countless shows throughout all Europe.

07.09 – (UK) Newcastle – The Tyne Bar w/ Girl Sweat
08.09 – (UK) Bristol – Exchange w/ Girl Sweat / Henry Blacker
09.09 – (UK) London – The Lexington w/ Girl Sweat
10.09 – (BE) Brussels – Magasin 4 w/ a.P.A.t.T. / Umungus
11.09 – (BE/FR) TBC – TBC
12.09 – (FR) Rivieres – Baignade Interdite Festival
13.09 – (FR) Paris – Le Batofar
14.09 – (UK) Leeds – Brudenell Social Club w/ Girl Sweat
15.09 – (UK) Manchester – Kraak w/ Girl Sweat
24.09 – (UK) Glasgow – NICE N SLEAZY w/ Lumerians / Carlton Melton

https://www.facebook.com/events/467881630047999/
https://www.facebook.com/thecosmicdead
https://thecosmicdead.bandcamp.com
http://www.swampbooking.com/

Mugstar & The Cosmic Dead, Split (2014)

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Ommadon to Release Empathy for the Wicked in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

ommadon

Glaswegian two-piece Ommadon will release a follow-up to their well-received 2014 outing, V, this July on Golden Mantra. Titled Empathy for the Wicked, it’ll be their sixth record and is available now to preorder from the label at the link below. For those who took on the crushing depth of VEmpathy for the Wicked will be one to look forward to in darkening the summer skies, but their first four outings — titled through IV — have also been released through Tartarus and Witches on Fire Records in a limited hand-made wood box housing two cassettes in an edition of 100. I don’t know if there are any left, but it might be worth asking.

The PR wire has more info:

ommadon empathy for the wicked

OMMADON: UK Drone/Doom Duo To Undrape Empathy For The Wicked Via Golden Mantra This July

Following the crushing doom of their critically-adored, 2014 double LP, V, UK drone/doom duo, OMMADON, continues their perpetual quest to achieve sonic annihilation of the self through unadulterated heaviness with Empathy For The Wicked. Boasting just one earth-rupturing track broken into two parts, Empathy For The Wicked was recorded live, mixed by OMMADON and mastered by recording legend, Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Zoroaster, Eyehategod, Taurus, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth etc.), who gave it the final crushing touches it deserves.

Where OMMADON’s previous scores were all recorded in the Highlands of Scotland surrounded by forest, Empathy For The Wicked marks their first release to be recorded on an industrial estate in urban Northumberland surrounded by the dregs of humanity. The first track from Empathy For The Wicked was originally recorded for the cassette split with Horse Latitudes and Coltsblood. During that session, OMMADON decided to continue recording through the night and drone out the riff which became the second side to Empathy For The Wicked.

Empathy For The Wicked will be released on 12″ vinyl via Golden Mantra on July 15th, 2015 with preorders available at: www.goldenmantra.co.uk. Teasers to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

OMMADON Personnel:
David Tobin – guitars
Ewan Mackenzie – drums, noise

http://www.ommadon.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ommadon/122816124443493
http://www.twitter.com/OmmadonDoom
http://www.youtube.com/user/OmmadonDoom/videos

Ommadon, V (2014)

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