Review & Full Album Stream: Beesus, 3eesus

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

beesus 3eesus

[Click play above to stream 3eesus by Beesus. Album is out Friday on Go Down Records, More Fuzz Records and New Sonic Records.]

As the title hints, 3eesus is the third full-length from Roman heavy fuzz rockers Beesus. Also their first offering through long-established Italian imprint Go Down Records as well as More Fuzz Records and New Sonic Records, the seven-song excursion spreads languid and loose across 40 minutes that are alternately spaced and driving and swinging and rolling, with guitarist/vocalist Francesco Pucci, bassist/vocalist Emiliano Gianni and drummer/vocalist Adriano Bartoccini putting a clear priority on sonic diversity throughout. Consistency is maintained through the tones of the guitar and bass — that is, the fuzz is thorough — but after the push of opener “Reproach” and the spacier “Sand for Lunch,” third cut “Suffering Bastards” offsets its hooky nodder chorus with verses of spoken word on the way to a jammier second half marked out by airy soloing and unbridled groove.

Having all three members of the band ready and willing to contribute vocals adds to the band’s ability to build more complex arrangements, and even as the wall of fuzz overwhelms the shouts of centerpiece “Sleng Footloose,” those shouts clearly arise from different sources and are themselves something of a shift from what’s come before. Those who’ve followed Beesus across their two prior outings, 2015’s The Rise of Beesus (review here) and 2018’s Sgt. Beesus… & the Lonely Ass Gangbang! will find the elements at work to be familiar, particularly with the latter, which expanded on the more straight-ahead approach of the debut, but while it wouldn’t feel appropriate to go so far as to call 3eesus experimental, there’s no question the band are actively working to push their sound in multiple directions, thinking of the album on its own terms with individual cuts serving a larger purpose within the whole. Those efforts are successful across the 40 minutes of 3eesus, right down to how “Sand for Lunch” teases some of the more psychedelic aspects of side B’s “Flags on the Sun,” “Gondwana” and the scorching closer “Sacoph.”

In some ways, whether it’s the interwoven layers of synth in the opener or the overarching Fu Manchu-style groove they offset, 3eesus reminds of some of fellow Romans Black Rainbows‘ melting-pot take on grunge, fuzz and psychedelia, but Beesus bring a more terrestrial sound on the whole, and the multi-vocalist aspect is a distinguishing factor that, along with the persistent sonic changes from one track to the next, helps distinguish PucciGianni and Bartoccini from the arguably forerunning counterpart three-piece. Beesus are nonetheless well at home in the psychedelic flourish of “Sand for Lunch,” calling to mind a ’90s drift without being shoegaze or post-rock, letting the bass and drums carry the guitar across the chasms of its own making, like a river cutting through a canyon.

beesus

beesus 3eesus gatefold

The elements at work in “Sand for Lunch” are exceedingly well balanced without purposefully sounding like it, and the band are able to affect a laid back atmosphere and a looseness of rhythm even though they’re very clearly pushing the song ahead toward its break before the five-minute mark at which point a more solidified low-end riff takes hold and the three players lock into the progression and ride out through the final chorus. That song, surrounded on side A by “Reproach,” “Suffering Bastards” and “Sleng Footloose,” is something of a triumph for 3eesus, and it’s doubly fortunate that it acts as a precursor to some of what the second half of the record brings with the final three tracks. The more the merrier, as it were. That’s not to discount what they do across the rest of side A, which is to bring more than just a feeling of variety to the work in terms of quality, whether it’s the structural play of “Suffering Bastards” — the chorus lyric, “We’re never wrong,” repeated as an anchor for some of the LP’s most out-there fare — just to point out the success on the part of the band in terms of tying the material together despite the shifts that take place particularly early in the proceedings.

And when it comes to the massive groove of “Sleng Footloose,” well that’s just good fun, and all the more as 3eesus‘ centerpiece. “Flags on the Sun” follows immediately as the longest individual song at 7:29 with a Doors-y night-in-desert — the time of day somewhat ironic given the sunny title — openness of tone and a relatively patient unfolding compared to some of what comes before; a clear indication of the shift taking place from side A to B, even in the digital realm. Deceptive in its melody, the track moves with marked fluidity and a gradual forward progression, not building to a huge payoff, but instead bringing in (seemingly) all three players on vocals toward the finish and capping with a somewhat understated flourish of drums behind distorted strumming guitar, the arthouse-grunge vibe palpable. “Gondwana,” which takes its name from the Neoproterozoic supercontinent made up of India, Arabia, Australia, South America, Africa and Antarctica, revives some push in its second half while also calling back to the spoken word of “Suffering Bastards,” but still draws atmospheric impression from “Flags on the Sun” prior and even as it moves through its shouts just prior to six minutes in, it does so with the current of effects/synth running alongside swirling to the inevitable fade at the conclusion and arrival of “Sacoph,” which, in contrast, seems to be named for a grocery store. Go figure.

The final cut begins with a righteously slow nod and some scorcher lead work from Pucci, and that sets the tone for what follows as the band with three singers decides to go it instrumental at the end, letting the guitar ring out into open space with a clarion shimmer underscored by the weight of the bass and accompanying fuzz. There’s a kick of tempo in the second half, but they end slow and dramatic and that feels well earned after all the various turns preceding, both within and between the songs. As much as that’s a somewhat inevitable focal point of 3eesus, the greatest effect it has on the band’s work overall is to emphasize the cohesion with which Beesus are able to unite the material. I don’t know whether the tracks were recorded live or not, but the feel of band-in-a-room is palpable, and it’s that singular energy that most comes through in drawing songs together as a singular presentation. It enhances the various strengths of the trio and only makes the listening experience richer and more consuming, which would seem to have been precisely their intent for it.

Beesus on Thee Facebooks

Beesus on Instagram

Beesus on Bandcamp

More Fuzz Records on Thee Facebooks

More Fuzz Records on Bandcamp

Go Down Records on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

New Sonic Records on Thee Facebooks

New Sonic Records on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Slift, IIVII, Coogans Bluff, Rough Spells, Goblinsmoker, Homecoming, Lemurian Folk Songs, Ritual King, Sunflowers, Maya Mountains

Posted in Reviews on March 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Thursday. Everyone doing well? Healthy? Kicking ass? Working from home? There seems to be a lot of that going around, at least among the lucky. New Jersey, where I live, is on lockdown with non-essential businesses shuttered, roads largely empty and all that. It can be grim and apocalyptic feeling, but I’m finding this Quarterly Review to be pretty therapeutic or at least helpfully distracting at a moment when I very much need something to be that. I hope that if you’re reading this, whether you’ve been following along or not, it’s done or can do the same for you if that’s what you need. I’ll leave it at that.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Slift, Ummon

slift ummon

The second album from French space/psych trio Slift is a 72-minute blowout echoshred epic — too aware not to be prog but too cosmic not to be space rock. Delivered through Stolen Body Records and Vicious Circle, Ummon is not only long, it speaks to a longer term. It’s not an album for this year, or for this decade, or for any other decade, for that matter. It’s for the ongoing fluid now. You want to lose yourself in the depths of buzz and dreamy synth? Yeah, you can do that. You want to dig into the underlying punk and maybe a bit of Elder influence in the vocal bark and lead guitar shimmer of “Thousand Helmets of Gold?” Well hell’s bells, do that. The mega-sprawling 2LP is a gorgeous blast of distortion, backed by jazzy, organic drum wud-dum-tap and the bass, oh, the bass; the stuff of low end sensory displacement. Amid swirls and casts of melodic light in “Dark Was Space, Cold Were the Stars,” Slift dilate universal energy and push beyond the noise wash reaches of “Son Dong’s Cavern” and through the final build, liftoff and roll of 13-minute closer “Lions, Tigers and Bears” with the deft touch of those dancing on prior conceptions. We’d be lucky to have Ummon as the shape of space rock to come.

Slift on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

Vicious Circle Records store

 

IIVII, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep

Two LPs telling two different stories released at the same time, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep (on Consouling Sounds) brings Josh Graham‘s aural storytelling to new cinematic reaches. The composer, guitarist, synthesist, programmer, visual artist, etc., is joined along the way by the likes of Jo Quail, Ben Weinman (ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan), Dana Schecter (Insect Ark), Sarah Pendleton (ex-SubRosa) and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) — among others — but across about 90 minutes of fluidity, Graham/IIVII soundtracks two narratives through alternatingly vast and crushing drone. The latter work is actually an adaptation from a short sci-fi film about, yes, humanity losing its ability to sleep — I feel you on that one — but the former, which tells a kind of meth-fueled story of love and death, brings due chaos and heft to go with its massive synthesized scope. Josh Graham wants to score your movie. You should let him. And you should pay him well. And you should let him design the poster. And you should pay him well for that too. End of story.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds store

 

Coogans Bluff, Metronopolis

coogans bluff metronopolis

Following the initial sax-laden prog-rock burst and chase that is opener “Gadfly,” Berlin’s Coogans Bluff bring a ’70s pastoralia to “Sincerely Yours,” and that atmosphere ends up staying with Metronopolis — their fifth album — for the duration, no matter where else they might steer the sound. And they do steer the sound. Sax returns (as it will) in the jabbing “Zephyr,” a manic shred taking hold in the second half accompanied by no-less-manic bass, and “Creature of the Light” reimagines pop rock of the original vinyl era in the image of its own weirdness, undeniably rock but also something more. Organ-inclusive highlight “Soft Focus” doesn’t so much touch on psychedelics as dunk its head under their warm waters, and “The Turn I” brings an almost Beatlesian horn arrangement to fruition ahead of the closer “The Turn II.” But in that finale, and in “Hit and Run,” and way back in “Sincerely Yours,” Coogans Bluff hold that Southern-style in their back pocket as one of several of Metronopolis‘ recurring themes, and it becomes one more element among the many at their disposal.

Coogans Bluff on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution store

 

Rough Spells, Ruins at Midday

rough spells ruins at midday

An underlying current of social commentary comes coated in Rough Spells‘ mysticism on Ruins at Midday, the Toronto unit’s second LP. Recorded by Ian Blurton and presented by Fuzzed and Buzzed and DHU Records, the eight-track LP has, as the lyrics of “Chance Magic” say, “No bad intentions.” Indeed, it seems geared only toward eliciting your participation in its ceremony of classic groove, hooks and melodies, even the mellow “Die Before You Die” presenting an atmosphere that’s heavy but still melodic and accessible. “Grise Fiord” addresses Canada’s history of mistreating its native population, while “Pay Your Dues” pits guitar and vocal harmonics against each other in a shove of proto-metallic energy to rush momentum through side B and into the closing pair of the swaggering “Nothing Left” and the title-track, which is the longest single cut at five minutes, but still keeps its songwriting taut with no time to spare for indulgences. In this, and on several fronts, Ruins at Midday basks in multifaceted righteousness.

Rough Spells on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzed and Buzzed store

DHU Records store

 

Goblinsmoker, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze

goblinsmoker a throne in haze a world ablaze

Upside the head extreme sludgeoning! UK trio Goblinsmoker take on the more vicious and brutal end of sludge with the stench of death on A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze (on Sludgelord Records), calling to mind the weedian punishment of Belzebong and others of their decrepit ilk. Offered as part two of a trilogy, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze is comprised of three tracks running a caustic 26 minutes thick enough such that even its faster parts feel slow, a churning volatility coming to the crash of “Smoked in Darkness” at the outset only to grow more menacing in the lurch of centerpiece “Let Them Rot” — which of course shifts into blastbeats later on — and falling apart into noise and echoing residual feedback after the last crashes of “The Forest Mourns” recede. Beautifully disgusting, the release reportedly furthers the story of the Toad King depicted on its cover and for which the band’s prior 2018 EP was named, and so be it. The lyrics, largely indecipherable in screams, are vague enough that if you’re not caught up, you’ll be fine. Except you won’t be fine. You’ll be dead. But it’ll be awesome.

Goblinsmoker on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Homecoming, LP01

homecoming lp01

Progressive metal underpins French trio Homecoming‘s aptly-titled first record, LP01, with the guitars of second cut “Rivers of Crystal” leading the way through a meandering quiet part and subsequent rhythmic figure that reminds of later Opeth, though there’s still a strong heavy rock presence in their tones and grooves generally. It’s an interesting combination, and all the more so because I think part of what’s giving off such a metal vibe is the snare sound. You don’t normally think of a snare drum determining that kind of thing, but here we are. Certainly the vocal arrangements between gruff melodies, backing screams and growls, etc., the odd bit of blastbeating here and there, bring it all into line as well — LP01 is very much the kind of album that would title its six-minute instrumental centerpiece “Interlude” — but the intricacy in how the nine-minute “Return” develops and the harmonies that emerge early in closer “Five” tell the tale clearly of Homecoming‘s ambitions as they move forward from this already-ambitious debut.

Homecoming on Thee Facebooks

Homecoming on Bandcamp

 

Lemurian Folk Songs, Logos

lemurian folk songs logos

Tracked in the same sessions as the Budapest outfit’s 2019 album, Ima (review here), it should not come as a major surprise that the six-track/49-minute Logos from Lemurian Folk Songs follows a not entirely dissimilar course, bringing together dream-drift of tones and melodies with subtle but coherent rhythmic motion in a fashion not necessarily revolutionary for heavy psych, but certainly well done and engaging across its tracks. The tones of guitar and bass offer a warmth rivaled only by the echoing vocals on opener/longest cut (immediate points) “Logos,” and the shimmering “Sierra Tejada” and progressively building “Calcination” follow that pattern while adding a drift that is both of heavy psych and outside of it in terms of the character of how it’s played. None of the last three tracks is less than eight minutes long — closer “Firelake” tops nine in a mirror to “Logos” at the outset, but if that’s the band pushing further out I hear, then yes, I want to go along for that trip.

Lemurian Folk Songs on Thee Facebooks

Para Hobo Records on Bandcamp

 

Ritual King, Ritual King

ritual king ritual king

Progressive heavy rockers Ritual King display a striking amount of grace and patience across their Ripple Music-issued self-titled long-player. Tapping modern influences like Elder and bringing their own sense of melodic nuance to the proceedings across a tightly-constructed seven songs and 42 minutes, the three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Jordan Leppitt, bassist Dan Godwin — whose tone is every bit worthy of gotta-hear-it classification — and drummer/backing vocalist Gareth Hodges string together linear movements in “Headspace” and “Dead Roads” that flow one into the next, return at unexpected moments or don’t, and follow a direction not so much to the next chorus but to the next statement the band want to make, whatever that might be. “Restrain” begins with a sweet proggy soundscape and unfolds two verses over a swaying riff, then is gone, where at the outset, “Valleys” offers grandeur the likes of which few bands would dare to embody on their third or fourth records, let alone their first. Easily one of 2020’s best debuts.

Ritual King on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Sunflowers, Endless Voyage

sunflowers endless voyage

You know what? Never mind. You ain’t weird enough for this shit. Nobody’s weird enough for this shit. I have a hard time believing the two souls from Portugal who made it are weird enough for this shit. Think I’m wrong? Think you’re up for it and you’re gonna put on SunflowersEndless Voyage and be like, “oh yeah, turns out mega-extreme krautrock blasted into outer space was my wavelength all along?” Cool. Bandcamp player’s right there. Have at it. I dare you.

Sunflowers on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

Italian heavy rockers Maya Mountains formed in 2005 and issued their debut album, Hash and Pornography, through Go Down Records in 2008. Era, which follows a narrative about the title-character whose name is given in lead cut “Enrique Dominguez,” who apparently travels through space after being lost in the desert — as one does — and on that basis alone is clearly a more complex offering than its predecessor. As to where Maya Mountains have been all the time in between records — here and there, in other bands, etc. But Era, at 10 tracks and 44 minutes, is the summation of five years of work on their part and its blend of scope and straight-ahead heavy riffing is welcome in its more heads-down moments like “Vibromatic” or in the purposefully weirder finale “El Toro” later on. Something like a second debut for the band after being away for so long, Era at very least marks the beginning of a new one for them, and one hopes it continues in perhaps more productive fashion than the last.

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records store

 

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Beesus to Release 3eesus on April 3; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

beesus

It’s their third album. They called it 3eesus. It’s clever. And all the more appropriate that it’s coming out through three different labels. The latest work from Roman trio Beesus will be presented through France’s More Fuzz Records as well as respected Italian purveyors Go Down Records, and New Sonic Records on April 3. The band, by then, will be en route to Germany from France as they embark on a tour to support the release. I’ll go ahead and assume More Fuzz is in some way affiliated with putting the shows together, since most of them are happening in France, but it nonetheless looks like a good time and there are some dates that may or may not be filled in as they go — would a couple days off between Lorient and Limoges really be the worst? — as they wrap up April 18 in Nice. You can make your own pun there, I’ll preserve what little dignity I have left.

This is the first of a three-leg European tour — speaking of puns — so you can expect more to come. To wit, preorders start next Friday from all three labels and they’ll reportedly have a new song up then as well. So yes, worth keeping an eye out as you will.

Here’s what’s up in the meantime:

beesus 3eesus gatefold

BEESUS – 3eesus

BEESUS are proud to announce their third album “3EESUS” will be released next April the 3rd 2020 via More Fuzz Records (F), Go Down Records (I) and New Sonic Records (I).

Embellished by Max Ernst’s “Europe After The Rain II” (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT) on the cover artwork, the vinyl version will be ready to spin in Black and in marbled Rusty/Light Blue editions.

After “The Rise of Beesus” (2015 Goodfellas/New Sonic Records) and “Sgt. Beesus…& the lonely ass Gangbang!” (2018 New Sonic Records) the three Romans are ready to unveil 3EESUS!

TRACKLIST:
– Reproach
– Sand for lunch
– Suffering Bastards
– Sleng Footloose
– Flags on the Sun
– Gondwana
– Sacoph

From April the 1st the band will be touring Europe for three legs that will touch most of the continental Europe.

Here is the first:
01.04.2020 – I – Secret show
02.04.2020 – F – LYON – Le Farmer
03.04.2020 – D – LANDAU – Sudstern
04.04.2020 – B – GAND – Den Drummer
05.04.2020 – B – HERENT – De Loft
07.04.2020 – F – PARIS – L’International
08.04.2020 – F – RENNES – Le Méliès
09.04.2020 – F – NANTES – La Scène Michelet
10.04.2020 – F – LE MANS – Le Lézard
11.04.2020 – F – LORIENT – Le Galion
15.04.2020 – F – LIMOGES – Espace El Doggo
16.04.2020 – F – TOULOUSE – Les Pavillons Sauvages
17.04.2020 – F – MONTPELIER – The Black Sheep
18.04.2020 – F – NICE – La Matrice

BEESUS are:
Francesco Pucci – guitars, vocals
Emiliano Gianni – bass, vocals
Adriano Bartoccini – drums, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/beesusindope/
https://www.instagram.com/sgt.beesus/
https://beesus.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/morefuzzrecords/
https://morefuzzrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GoDownRecords/
https://www.godownrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/NewSonicRecords/
https://newsonicrecords.bandcamp.com/

Beesus, Sgt. Beesus… and the Lonely Ass Gangbang (2018)

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Ananda Mida Announce Fall Dates Supporting Cathodnatius

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ananda mida

This very weekend, Ananda Mida play the esteemed Stoned from the Underground fest in Erfurt, Germany, heralding the arrival earlier this year of their new album, Cathodnatius. Though the Italian outfit are somewhat amorphous of lineup, their commitment to progressive sounds remains unflinching, and they were out in the first half of 2019 as well, but the new batch of dates run from this month through October in Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Austria over a series of weekenders and long-weekenders followed by more of a straight-run tour. One way or the other, it’ll be enough to keep them busy as Cathodnatius continues to sink in, and though I’m not sure if they’ll have more shows filled in on some of the off days or not, it’s obviously worth keeping an eye out should you happen to be in that part of the world.

“Cool band playing shows,” is the bottom line, I guess. Pretty simple story, but as you can hear in the album stream at the bottom of this post, it’s a story worth telling.

If you’re going to Stoned from the Underground, enjoy.

Dates:

ananda mida tour

Ananda Mida – Fall Tour Dates

After the first tour in January of the presentation of the second album Cathodnatius, our Ananda Mida return with new dates in Italy and Germany (at the prestigious Stoned from the Underground festival) and for an European tour in September and October.

TOUR:
SAT 13.07 DE – Erfurt – @stonedfromtheunderground
SAT 20.07 IT – Bologna – Fondazione Villa Ghigi
SUN 21.07 IT – Aviano – Bar al Contrario
MON 22.07 SLO – Lubiana – @galahalametelkova
TUE 23.07 IT – Mirano – @miranosummerfestival
SAT 07.09 – IT – Treviso – In Veneto there is no law 5
SUN 08.09 – IT – Carmignano – Karmin Fest
FRI 27.09 – CH – Olten – @coqdor_olten
SUN 29.09 – AT – Salzburg – @rockhouse_bar_salzburg
MON 30.09 – DE – Wiesbaden – @kupawiesbaden
TUE 01.10 – DE – Rosenheim – @asta_rosenheim
THU 03.10 – DE – Berlin – Dunckerclub
SAT 05.10 – DE – Passau – @zauberbergpassau
SUN 06.10 – IT – @punkyreggaepub

Ananda Mida is stoner rock and psychedelia collective, leaded by Max Ear, former drummer of OJM and co-founder of Go Down Records, and Matteo Pablo Scolaro, underground guitarist and curator of Go Down Bands on Tour, with the help of Eeviac artworks.

Since 2015, they have been playing, with different line-ups, from three up to six members, both instrumental or with singers, a seventies sound mixed with desert and psychedelia grooves.

Ananda Mida are:
Davide Bressan: bass guitar
Max Ear: drums
Matteo Pablo Scolaro: electric guitar
Alessandro Tedesco: electric guitar

https://www.facebook.com/anandamidaband
https://anandamidaband.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/GoDownRecords/
https://www.godownrecords.com/
https://vincebuseruptum.bandcamp.com/
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it/

Ananda Mida, Cathodnatius (2019)

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Go Down Records Begins Split Series with Mongoose and Jahbulong

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Go Down Records has begun a series of split releases by teaming up fuzz rockers Mongoose and thick-toned riff rollers Jahbulong for a cooperative LP. At any point along the way, there are any number of things that can get screwed up with one band involved in a release, let alone two (or more), and let alone an entire series of releases, so saying something is the beginning of a series as the Italian label is here carries with it no small amount of risk that at some point some band along the way will give them the “oh it’ll be done in two weeks” treatment. Even getting a first edition is out, and I’m pretty sure the second one is already available for preorder (more on that to come).

The label has all the tracks streaming on its Bandcamp, because the future is convenient, and you can hear them at the bottom of this post because even though I haven’t updated the theme of this site since 2009, I still try to make things convenient too. LPs are on sale now.

To the release info:

go down records split 1 mongoose jahbulong

Split Series #1 put together 2 young and powerful bands.

MONGOOSE have been playing together since 2013. Everything has started with a jam session during a lazy Sunday afternoon. 5 years later the band didn’t change the attitude. They keep jamming and laughing together in a small room lost in the countryside around Verona, Italy.

JAHBULONG is a trio from Verona, Italy. These stoner doom metal lovers have been playing together since 2015. Their sound is a mix of rough and oppressive grooves with obscure and wistful mantras.

The idea of Go Down Split Series started in February 2018. Max from Go Down Records was talking with these 2 bands about the good vibes they could create together so the idea to put them in one album came naturally. Split Series #1 was recorded on tape, like the good old times, at Mal de Testa Studio by Daniel Grego in Tombolo, Padua, Italy.

Artists: MONGOOSE | JAHBULONG
Title: Split Series #1
Format: yellow vinyl LP
Label: GO DOWN RECORDS

SIDE A – MONGOOSE
1. Berserker
2. Inertial Absorber
3. The Fall
4. Final Exodus
5. Knowledge Is Not The Solution

SIDE B – JAHBULONG
1. Black Horses Run
2. Green Walls
3. River Of Fall

https://www.facebook.com/GoDownRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/godownrecords/
http://www.godownrecords.com/
https://godownrecords.bandcamp.com

Mongoose & Jahbulong, Go Down Records Split Series #1 (2018)

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Ananda Mida to Release Cathodnatius Jan. 12; Teaser Posted & Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ananda mida

Italian heavy rockers Ananda Mida will start out 2019 strong with the release of their second album, Cathodnatius, on Go Down Records and Vincebus Eruptum Recordings. The album is clearly intended to be a complement to the band’s 2016 debut, Anodnatius (review here), which not only shared a similar title but artwork on which the striking new cover builds, facing an arm the opposite way and turning from organic to inorganic components thereof. The approach to the tracks themselves seems to have shifted as we go from songs like “Aktavas” to “Blank Stare,” but I’ve yet to dig into the record to hear if there’s a corresponding shift in sound. The teaser at the bottom of this post seems to be culled from opener “The Pilot” though, and that’s pretty right on, either way.

Preorders are up now if that’s your thing, and the album features some collaboration with singer-songwriter Conny Ochs, known for his solo work as well as his duo with Wino of The Obsessed et al.

Info from the PR wire:

Ananda Mida Cathodnatius

Ananda Mida – Cathodnatius

Go Down Records / Vincebus Eruptum Records
out on 2019.01.12
LP, CD, digital

Pre-orders start 2018.11.24: https://www.godownrecords.com/product-page/ananda-mida-cathodnatius-LPx

CATHODNATIUS is the second chapter of the psychedelic undertaking of Ananda Mida through our cosmos, trying to investigate the soul of the tricerebral beings of our planet, this time examining in particular all the negative forces and the relative subtle vibrations lying outside and inside everything.

Recorded at the Teatro delle Voci Studios in Treviso, it sees the collaboration of singer Conny Ochs, a valid explorer of the mythological cosmos created by the band. Cover by eeviac artworks.

“The pilot turns his head and checks on the controls,
lights turn through green and red, ignition, there he goes.”

TRACKLIST:
1. The Pilot
2. Blank Stare
3. Pupo Cupo
4. Out Of The Blue
5. Doom And The Medicine Man [part I – IV]:
I- Towers And Holes
II- Opening Hours
III- Rude Awakening
IV- The Medicine Man Is Looking For A Cure

https://www.facebook.com/anandamidaband
https://anandamidaband.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/GoDownRecords/
https://www.godownrecords.com/
https://vincebuseruptum.bandcamp.com/
http://www.vincebuseruptum.it/

Ananda Mida, Cathodnatius album teaser

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Quarterly Review: Pallbearer, Dread Sovereign, Lizzard Wizzard, Oulu Space Jam Collective, Frozen Planet….1969, Ananda Mida, Strange Broue, Orango, Set and Setting, Dautha

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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Here we are, on the precipice looking out over a spread that will include 50 reviews by the week’s end. Somehow when it comes around to a Quarterly Review Monday I always end up taking a moment to ask myself if I’ve truly lost my mind, if I really expect to be able to do this and not fall completely flat on my face, and just where the hell this terrible idea came from in the first place. But you know what? I haven’t flubbed one yet. We get through it. There’s a lot to go through, for me and you both, but sometimes it’s fun to be completely overwhelmed by music. I hope you agree, and I hope you find something this week that hits you in that oh-yeah-that’s-why-I-love-this kind of way. Time’s wasting. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Pallbearer, Heartless

pallbearer heartless

Three albums and nearly a decade into their tenure, Pallbearer stand at the forefront of American doom, and their third outing, Heartless (on Profound Lore), only reinforces this position while at the same time expanding beyond genre lines in ways that even their 2014 sophomore effort, Foundations of Burden, simply couldn’t have done. A seven-song/hour-long sprawl is marked out by resonant melodies, soulful melancholy conveyed by guitarist/vocalist Brett Campbell – the returning lineup completed by guitarist Devin Holt, bassist Joseph D. Rowland and drummer Mark Lierly – and tonal weight set to a mix by Joe Barresi, who from opener “I Saw the End” onward arranges layers gorgeously so that extended pieces like “Dancing in Madness” (11:48) and closer “A Plea for Understanding” (12:40) become even more consuming. What comes through most resolute on Heartless, though, is that it’s time to stop thinking of Pallbearer as belonging to some established notion of doom or any other subgenre. With these songs, they make it clear they’ve arrived at their own wavelength and are ready to stand up to the influence they’ve already begun to have on other acts. A significant achievement.

Pallbearer on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls

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With the considerable frontman presence of Primordial’s Alan Averill on vocals and bass, the considerable riffing of guitarist Bones (also of Wizards of Firetop Mountain) and the considerable lumber in the drumming of Johnny King (ex-Altar of Plagues), Dread Sovereign make some considerable fucking doom indeed. Their second album, For Doom the Bell Tolls (on Ván Records), follows three years behind their debut, 2014’s All Hell’s Martyrs (review here), and wastes no time giving the devil his due – or his doom, if you prefer – in the span of its six tracks and 37 minutes. Atmospheric and seemingly on an endless downward plod, the 13-minute “Twelve Bells Toll in Salem” is a defining moment, but the trad metallurgy of “This World is Doomed” rounds out side A with some welcome thrust, and after the intro “Draped in Sepulchral Fog,” “The Spines of Saturn” and the thrashing “Live Like and Angel, Die Like a Devil” play dramatic and furious intensities off each other in a manner that would seem to truly represent the fine art of not giving a shit what anyone thinks about what you do or what box you’re supposed to fit into. Righteous. Considerably so.

Dread Sovereign on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

Lizzard Wizzard, Total War Power Bastard

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Noise, largesse of riffs and shouted vocals that distinctly remind of Souls at Zero-era Neurosis pervade the near-hour-long run of Lizzard Wizzard’s Total War Power Bastard, but as much as the Brisbane four-piece willfully give themselves over to fuckall – to wit, the title “Medusa but She Gets You Stoned Instead of Turning You to Stone, Instead of Snakes She has Vaporizers on His Head… Drugs” – songs like “Shithead Nihilism,” “Pizza” and the droning “Snake Arrow” brim with purpose and prove affecting in their atmosphere and heft alike. Yes, they have a song called “Nerd Smasher,” and they deserve all credit for that as they follow-up their 2013 self-titled (review here), but by the time they get down to the roll-happy “Crystal Balls” and the feedback-caked “Megaflora” at the record’s end, guitarists Michael Clarke and Nick McKeon, bassist Stef Roselli and drummer Luke Osborne end up having done something original with a Sleep influence, and that’s even more commendable.

Lizzard Wizzard on Thee Facebooks

Lizzard Wizzard on Bandcamp

 

Oulu Space Jam Collective, EP1

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Should mention two things outright about Oulu Space Jam Collective’s EP1. First and foremost, its three songs run over 95 minutes long, so if it’s an EP, one can only imagine what qualifies as a “full-length.” Second, the Finnish outfit releasing EP1 on limited tape through Eggs in Aspic isn’t to be confused with Denmark’s Øresund Space Collective. Oulu is someplace else entirely, and likewise, Oulu Space Jam Collective have their own intentions as they show in the 57-minute opener “Renegade Spaceman,” recorded live in the studio in 2014 (they’ve since made two sequels) and presented in six movements including samples, drones, enough swirl for, well, 57 minutes, and a hypnotism that’s nigh on inescapable. I won’t take away from the space rock thrust of 14-minute closer “Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia” (also tracked in 2014), but the smooth progressive edge of three-part 24-minute centerpiece “Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool” is where it’s at for me – though if you want a whole galaxy to explore, hit up their Bandcamp.

Oulu Space Jam Collective on Thee Facebooks

Eggs in Aspic webstore

 

Frozen Planet…. 1969, Electric Smokehouse

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They freak out a bit toward the end of 12-minute opener “Ascendant” and in the second half of the subsequent “Supersaturation,” but for the most part, Aussie three-piece Frozen Planet…. 1969 play it weirdo-cool on their fourth full-length, the excellently-titled Electric Smokehouse (on Pepper Shaker Records). From those jams to the dreamy beachside drift of “Shores of Oblivion” to the funky-fuzz bass of “Sonic Egg Factory” to the quick noise finish of “Pretty Blown Fuse” – which may or may not be the sound of malfunctioning equipment run through an oscillator or some other effects-whatnot, the instrumentalist Sydney/Canberra trio seem to improv a healthy percentage of their fare, if not all of it, and that spirit of spontaneity feeds into the easygoing atmosphere only enhanced by the cover art. On a superficial level, you know you’re getting psych jams going into it, but once you put on Electric Smokehouse, the urge to get lost in the tracks is nigh on overwhelming, and that proves greatly to their credit. Wake up someplace else.

Frozen Planet…. 1969 on Thee Facebooks

Pepper Shaker Records on Bandcamp

 

Ananda Mida, Anodnatius

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Ananda Mida make their debut on Go Down Records with Anodnatius, fluidly working their way around heavy psychedelic and more driving rock influences propelled by drummer Massimo “Max Ear” Recchia, also of underrated Italian forebears OJM. Here, Recchia anchors a seven-piece lineup including two vocalists in Oscar de Bertoldi and Filippo Leonardi, two guitarists in Matteo Scolaro and Alessandro Tedesco, as well as bassist Davide Bressan and organist Stefano Pasqualetto, so suffice it to say songs like the subtly grungy “Passvas,” the dreamy highlight “Heropas” or the vaguely progressive “Askokinn” want nothing for fullness, but there seem to be moments throughout Anodnatius as on “Lunia” and the shuffling “Kondur” early into the proceedings where the band wants to break out and push toward something heavier. Their restraint is to be commended since it serves the interests of songcraft, but part of me can’t help but wonder what might happen if these guys really let loose on some boogie jams. Keep an ear open to find out, as I have a feeling they might be headed in just that direction.

Ananda Mida on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Strange Broue, Seance

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The heart of Séance – The Satanic Sounds of Strange Broue might come in the 11-minute sample dump that is “Cults and Crimes,” late into the second half of the 52-minute album. Capturing meticulously compiled news and talk-show clips from the late ‘80s, some of which talk about the Satanic roots of heavy metal, it gets to the ritualism that Quebec four-piece Strange Broue proliferate elsewhere on the record in the lo-fi post-Electric Wizard doom of “Satan’s Slaves,” “Kill What’s Inside of You” and the rolling opener “Ritualize” (video here). These pieces offset by other interludes of noise and drone and samples like “Satanic Panic,” “In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanis, Luciferi Excelsis,” the acoustic-until-it-gets-shot-in-the-woods “Las Bas,” the John Carpenter-esque “Séance IV – L’Invocation” and the extended penultimate drone of “Séance V – The Mystifying Oracle with Bells” ahead of the countrified pop gospel of “Satan is Real,” which finishes in subversive fashion, interrupted by more news reports and a finishing assault of noise. Like an arts project in the dark arts, Séance crosses some familiar terrain but finds Strange Broue on their own trip through cultish immersion, as psychological as it is psychedelic.

Strange Broue on Thee Facebooks

Sunmask Records webstore

 

Orango, The Mules of Nana

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Not much to argue with in the sixth long-player from Helge Kanck, Trond Slåke and Hallvard Gaardløs, collectively known as Orango. As they make their way onto Stickman Records (which also handled Euro distro for their last album, 2014’s Battles) with The Mules of Nana, the Norwegian trio deep-dive into harmony-topped ‘70s-style vibing that, well, leaves the bulk of “retro” bands in their V8-crafted dust. Mind you they do so by not being a retro band. True, the fuzz on “The Honeymoon Song” and “Head on Down” is as organic as if you happened on it in some forest where all the trees were wearing bellbottoms, but if you told me it was true, I’d believe Orango recorded The Mules of Nana onto – gasp! – a computer. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but “Heirs,” the sweetly acoustic “Give Me a Hundred” and motoring “Hazy Chain of Mountains” find Orango making no attempt to cloak a lack of songwriting or performance chops in a production aesthetic. Rather, in the tradition of hi-fi greats, they sound as full and rich as possible and utterly live up to the high standard they set for themselves. Pure win in classic, dynamic fashion.

Orango on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Set and Setting, Reflectionless

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There’s an undercurrent of metal that’s quick to show itself on Set and Setting’s Reflectionless. The instrumentalist Floridian five-piece delve plenty deep into heavy post-rock on cuts like the shoegazing “Incandescent Gleam” and subsequent “Specular Wavefront Of…” but they’re not through opener “Saudade” before harder-edged chug emerges, and “…The Idyllic Realm”’s blastbeating nods at black metal while the churning endgame build of closer “Ephemerality” holds tight to a progressive execution. While its textural foundation will likely ring familiar to followers of Russian Circles ultimately, Reflectionless finds distinction in aligning the various paths it walks as it goes, creating an overarching flow that draws strength from its diversity of approach rather than sounding choppy, confused or in conflict with itself. Not revolutionary by any means, but engaging throughout and with a residual warmth to complement what might seem at first to be a purely cerebral approach. It offers more on repeat listens, so let it sink in.

Set and Setting on Thee Facebooks

Set and Setting webstore

 

Dautha, Den Foerste

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Primo short offering of pure, fistpump-ready, violin-infused doom traditionalism. I don’t know what Norrköping, Sweden’s Dautha – the five-piece of vocalist Lars Palmqvist, guitarists Erik Öquist and Ola Blomkvist, bassist Emil Åström and drummer Micael Zetterberg – are planning to do for a follow-up, but this Den Foerste (or Den Förste) two-tracker recalls glory-era Candlemass and willfully soars with no sense of irony on “Benandanti” and “In Between Two Floods” after the intro “Horkarlar Skall Slås Ihjäl,” and having already sold out a self-released pressing leaves little to wonder what would’ve caught the esteemed tastes of Ván Records. And by that I mean it’s fucking awesome. I’m ready for a full-length whenever they are, and from the poise with which Palmqvist carries the melodies of these tracks, the quality of the riffing and the depth of arrangement the violin adds to the overarching mournfulness, they definitely sound ready. So get on it. 15 minutes of dirge-making this gorgeous simply isn’t enough.

Dautha on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

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Pater Nembrot Premiere “Architeuthis” Video; Nusun Vinyl out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

After issuing their third album through Go Down Records earlier last year on CD/DL, Italian cosmic grungers Pater Nembrot oversaw in December a vinyl release through Vincebus Eruptum Recordings for Nusun (review here). It was their first record in five years since 2011’s Sequoia Seeds (review here), and a welcome, warm-toned arrival to be sure. The track “Architeuthis,” at a whopping 10 minutes and boasting a guest appearance from Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment on synth, was the longest cut on Nusun and a definite highlight, capturing the vibe of the whole album and giving the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Philip Leonardi, guitarist Ramona March, bassist Jack Pasghin and drummer Clarence Casoni room to flesh out their sound.

They, of course, took fluid advantage of the opportunity. You don’t get the full 10-minute sprawl in the video version of “Architeuthis,” but as you’ll see and hear below, that’s still plenty enough time for the song’s resonant hook to embed itself in your brain. Like the track itself, the clip — directed by Pietro Bondi — blends the real and the unreal, and trips out performance footage and a narrative from Leonardi as music, visuals and storyline all meet. It’s molten, it’s immersive, it’s psychedelic, but the underlying structure proves effective as well — hence that part about the hook — and it’s in setting the two sides forth together that Pater Nembrot make their impact, here as well as on Nusun in its entirety.

The LP is pressed in limited numbers and available through Vincebus Eruptum now, and Pater Nembrot are looking to book Spring/Summer festival dates — they note they’re available — so look for more to come throughout 2017, but if you haven’t yet been introduced to Nusun, this is a good way to go and I’m glad to be able to host the premiere.

Check out Pater Nembrot‘s “Architeuthis” below, followed by more info on its making, and please enjoy:

Pater Nembrot, “Architeuthis” official video

Architeuthis is a song written by PATER NEMBROT featured in NUSUN, the 3rd official album of the band, released in cd/mp3 by Go Down Records on February 2016 and recently reissued on vinyl on December 2016 by Vincebus Eruptum Records. Architeuthis is the most representative track of the album “NUSUN” and it’s been chosen to be the soundtrack of the videoclip filmed and directed by Pietro Bondi, a young Italian videomaker and photographer, on a story by Philip Leonardi.

THE STORY
As long as the song is about Nimrod, the architect of the Babel Tower, the video tells a weird story that unravel itself around one of the most popular communication form of our time: photography. A 70’s head has some bad sleeping and after his tired awakening, he picks his cam-era up and drives fast to his dark chamber, where something wicked this way comes.

THE OCCASION
This video has been published to celebrate and promote the release of the Vinyl version of NUSUN, strongly suported by Vincebus Eruptum Records: “Pater Nembrot are a great band and great friends of mine since 2009… I always work with friends for my label – says Davidew, owner at VER – and to publish Nusun is a way to enforce our friendship”. The LP printed in 300 limited copies (200 purple, 100 transparent blue) features all the electric songs of the album digital version plus a download code that allows the full download of the whole tracklist and it’s available online on the official VER shop here: http://vincebuseruptum.bigcartel.com/product/pater-nembrot-nusun-in-cludes-association-fee-donation

Pater Nembrot on Thee Facebooks

Pater Nembrot on Twitter

Pater Nembrot website

Vincebus Eruptum webstore

Go Down Records website

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