High Fighter Add Dates to Summer Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

high fighter (Photo by Peter Kupfer)

Seems to me that every time I write about Germany’s High Fighter I use a different genre tag. That’s a pretty good sign. Some bands you go “stoner” and you’re done. The Hamburg-based five-piece make it a little more of a challenge. When they announced a string of UK dates last month supporting their 2016 debut album, Scars and Crosses (review here), I used “sludge metallers.” Not exactly wrong, but meh. Way general. I must’ve been in a hurry. Today I’m feeling more like something along the lines of “metallic sludgecore” when it comes to summing up their sound. It’s metallic in its aggression, -core in its charge and sludge in its tonality and focus on riffs. I feel pretty good about that one. Will I still next time around? Most likely not. Maybe next time I’ll add “progressive” to the mix to highlight the thoughtful nature of their craft. Progressive metallic sludgecore. Sounds like fun.

High Fighter have added dates to the previously announced run, and you’ll find the update below, courtesy of the PR wire:

high fighter summer tour poster

HIGH FIGHTER ANNOUNCE MORE UPCOMING SUMMER TOUR DATES!

Hamburg-based Sludge & Stoner Metal band HIGH FIGHTER, who just recently announced to return to the UK this summer with support from special guests TUSKAR and MY DIABLO, have added a bunch of new dates around their UK summer run! Beside gigs at Bolton’s Riff Fest and more UK cities, HIGH FIGHTER added some upcoming shows in France as well as Luxembourg.

It’s been three years since the band toured the United Kingdom while on their first European tour ever back in early 2015. This August, HIGH FIGHTER will bring their latest record ‘Scars & Crosses’ as well as some brand new material live on stage. It will be one of the last tours HIGH FIGHTER are going to play this year and before they will release their second full length album in early 2019. If you’re looking for a highly polished band then look elsewhere as HIGH FIGHTER play mean and dirty Blues, Stoner, Doom & Sludgy riffs to fuel your appetite with, make sure to catch them live on the following dates this year:

23.08.18 NL – Tilburg / Little Devil
24.08.18 UK – Bournemouth / The Anvil
25.08.18 UK – Bolton / Riff Fest
26.08.18 UK – Edinburgh / Bannerman’s
27.08.18 UK – Bristol / The Old England
28.08.18 UK – Milton Keynes / The Craufurd Arms
29.08.18 UK – London / The Devonshire Arms
30.08.18 FR – Lille / Bobble Café
31.08.18 FR – Paris / Rigoletto
01.09.18 LUX – Belval / Mix n Kawa

More upcoming HIGH FIGHTER dates:
14.09.18 DE – Hannover / Subkultur
20.10.18 DE – München / Keep It Low Festival

Born in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis, this band is a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs! Add a heavy dose of the blues and these deadly schizophrenic vocals and HIGH FIGHTER offer something new to the Sludge, Stoner, Doom & Metal Scene. After their critically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows all over Europe, including festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Desertfest Berlin & Antwerp, Sonic Blast, Up In Smoke and many more, as well as several gigs with bands alike Ahab, Conan, Crowbar, Mantar, Corrosion of Conformity, Elder, Downfall of Gaia, Mammoth Storm, Brant Bjork, The Midnight Ghost Train and Earth Ship to name just a few, HIGH FIGHTER released their first full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ in June 2016 with Svart Records. The band’s second studio album will see the light of day in early 2019.

HIGH FIGHTER are:
Mona Miluski – Vocals
Christian Pappas – Guitar
Ingwer Boysen – Guitar
Constantin Wüst – Bass
Thomas Wildelau – Drums / Backing Vocals

www.highfighter.de
www.facebook.com/highfighter
www.instagram.com/highfighter_official
www.highfighter.bandcamp.com
www.svartrecords.com

High Fighter, “Darkest Days” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

High Fighter Announce UK Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

High Fighter (Photo by Rob Birdman)

German sludge metallers High Fighter — for whom that genre tag is woefully insufficient — are heading to the UK for a quick week of shows in August. They’re continuing to support their Svart-delivered 2016 debut album, Scars and Crosses (review here), but will reportedly have new material out with them on the road. A second long-player from the Hamburg-based is an intriguing prospect given the atmospheric elements that made their way into the first one despite an overriding outward intensity that defined much of its impression. Early 2019 release? Right on. Into the notes it goes with hopes for more to come before it’s out.

The UK tour — the topic at hand, recall — kicks off on Aug. 24 and is presented by Buried in Smoke Promo. Dates came down the PR wire as follows:

high fighter tour poster

HIGH FIGHTER ANNOUNCE UK SUMMER TOUR!

Hamburg-based Sludge & Stoner Metal band HIGH FIGHTER have announced to return to the UK this summer! Alongside British heavyweights TUSKAR and MY DIABLO, the band will be hitting the UK roads for 6 dates in August, including a festival show at Bolton’s Riff Fest.

Born in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis, this band is a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs! Add a heavy dose of the blues and these deadly schizophrenic vocals and HIGH FIGHTER offer something new to the Sludge, Stoner, Doom & Metal Scene to fuel your appetize with. After their ciritically acclaimed debut EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows all over Europe including festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, Desertfest Berlin & Antwerp, Stoned From The Underground, Sonic Blast, Up In Smoke and many more, as well as several gigs and tours with bands alike Ahab, Conan, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Elder, Downfall of Gaia, Mammoth Storm, Brant Bjork, The Midnight Ghost Train, Mantar or Earth Ship to name just a few, HIGH FIGHTER released their first full length album ‘Scars & Crosses’ in June 2016 with Svart Records.

It’s been three years ago since the band toured the United Kingdom while on their first European tour ever back in early 2015. This August, HIGH FIGHTER will bring their latest record ‘Scars & Crosses’ as well as some brand new material live on stage. Beside some current dates with Mantar in Germany this summer, it will be one of the last tours HIGH FIGHTER will play this year and before they are going to release their second full length album in early 2019.

Make sure to catch the band live on the following UK summer dates, with support from TUSKAR & MY DIABLO, and presented by Buried In Smoke Promotions:

24.08.18 Bournemouth / The Anvil
25.08.18 Bolton / Riff Fest (*High Fighter only)
26.08.18 Edinburgh / Bannerman’s
27.08.18 Bristol / The Old England
28.08.18 Milton Keynes / The Craufurd Arms
29.08.18 London / The Devonshire Arms

www.highfighter.de
www.facebook.com/highfighter
www.instagram.com/highfighter_official
www.highfighter.bandcamp.com
www.svartrecords.com

High Fighter, “Darkest Days” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Mantar Set Aug. 24 Release for The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mantar.jpg

German noise/onslaught duo Mantar have announced an Aug. 24 release for their new album, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze. Set to arrive in the middle of the band playing what seems to be every single festival in Europe, the on-theme-titled third Mantar record will be the follow-up to 2016’s Ode to the Flame (review here) and 2015’s Death by Burning (review here) and finds them more acclaimed than ever for their brutal and scathing attack. Think they’ve gone soft this time? Yeah, me neither. So what’s the question here? How is new Mantar not a given? Oh wait, it is. Okay.

One assumes more tour dates to come, but as you can see below, there are already plenty on deck.

From the PR wire:

mantar the modern art of setting ablaze

MANTAR Announces Details Regarding New Album, “The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze”

New Album Out August 24, 2018 via Nuclear Blast
More Information + Pre-Orders Coming Soon

Monstrous black/doom/punk chimera MANTAR have announced details regarding their upcoming third studio album. The band’s new album, The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze, will include 12 songs and is set to be unleashed on August 24, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze is a title in-keeping with MANTAR’s symbolic obsession with fire on albums previous; this time disavowing mankind’s tendency to blindly follow those that would lead us into oblivion. This isn’t necessarily a political statement; but rather a morbid fascination with current smoldering tensions that threaten to set the minds of the masses on fire.

Stay tuned for more information coming soon regarding the release of The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze.

MANTAR is currently on the road, playing select club shows as well as Europe’s biggest festivals. See dates below.

MANTAR Tour Dates:
Cold Summer 2018
07.06.2018 Greenfield Festival Interlaken Switzerland
08.06.2018 Chronical Moshers Open Air Hauptmannsgrün Germany
09.06.2018 Scheune Dresden Germany
16.06.2018 Download Paris Brétigny-sur-Orge France
17.06.2018 Alter Schlachthof Lingen Germany
22.06.2018 Tons of Rock Halden Norway
23.06.2018 Umbaubar, Oldenburg Germany
24.06.2018 Graspop Dessel Belgium
29.06.2018 Tuska Open Air Helsinki Finland
01.07.2018 Fusion Festival Lärz Germany
11.07.2018 Eistnaflug Neskaupstaður Iceland
13.07.2018 Eulenglück Braunschweig Germany
14.07.2018 Dong Open Air Neukirchen-Vluyn Germany
27.07.2018 Metaldays Tolmin Slovenia
03.08.2018 Wacken Open Air Wacken Germany
05.08.2018 Sylak Open Air Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans France
10.08.2018 Sonic Blast Moledo Moledo Portugal
12.08.2018 Bloodstock Derbyshire England
24.08.2018 Kulturkombinat Bunker Rostock Germany !!!NEW!!!
25.08.2018 Reload Festival Sulingen Germany

www.mantarband.com
www.facebook.com/mantarband
www.nuclearblast.de/mantar

Mantar, new album teaser

Tags: , , , , ,

Mantar on Tour Now; New Album Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Severity has always had a big role to play in Mantar‘s game, but jeez, these are some serious-as-hell fests they’re playing. Rock am Ring? Download Paris? Tuska Open Air, Wacken, SonicBlast Moledo and Bloodstock? I mean, I knew the German duo were popular, but I guess I didn’t know they were like “let’s go play all the fests in front of tens of thousands of people” popular.

Score one for the extreme. I wonder how long it’ll be before someone comes up with a proper subgenre name for the style Mantar play, drawing from black metal, thrash, hardcore punk and doom. Doomthrash? Charredcore? Whatever the tag, they’ve just announced intentions to release a follow-up to 2016’s Ode to the Flame (review here) via Nuclear Blast later this year, and while they don’t give out much info on the particulars of the whats, whens, what’s-it-calleds, etc., one can only assume that’s because they’re so otherwise busy on the already-underway slew of tour dates that follow here courtesy of the PR wire:

http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mantar.jpg

MANTAR – new album coming soon

Monstrous black/doom/punk chimera MANTAR kicked off their summer run, dubbed “Cold Summer 2018”, last Friday at Rock im Park. See dates below.

MANTAR
Cold Summer 2018
01.06.2018 Rock im Park Nürnberg Germany
02.06.2018 Fortarock Nijmegen Netherlands
03.06.2018 Rock am Ring Nürburg Germany
05.06.2018 Kulturkneipe Walfisch Freiburg Germany
06.06.2018 Kulturladen Konstanz Germany
07.06.2018 Greenfield Festival Interlaken Switzerland
08.06.2018 Chronical Moshers Open Air Hauptmannsgrün Germany
09.06.2018 Scheune Dresden Germany
16.06.2018 Download Paris Brétigny-sur-Orge France
17.06.2018 Alter Schlachthof Lingen Germany
22.06.2018 Tons of Rock Halden Norway
23.06.2018 Umbaubar, Oldenburg Germany
24.06.2018 Graspop Dessel Belgium
29.06.2018 Tuska Open Air Helsinki Finland
01.07.2018 Fusion Festival Lärz Germany
11.07.2018 Eistnaflug Neskaupstaður Iceland
13.07.2018 Eulenglück Braunschweig Germany
14.07.2018 Dong Open Air Neukirchen-Vluyn Germany
27.07.2018 Metaldays Tolmin Slovenia
03.08.2018 Wacken Open Air Wacken Germany
05.08.2018 Sylak Open Air Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans France
10.08.2018 Sonic Blast Moledo Moledo Portugal
12.08.2018 Bloodstock Derbyshire England
25.08.2018 Reload Festival Sulingen Germany

www.mantarband.com
www.facebook.com/mantarband
www.nuclearblast.de/mantar

Mantar, new album teaser

Tags: , , ,

Quarterly Review: Iron Monkey, Deadsmoke, Somnuri, Daira, Kavrila, Ivan, Clara Engel, Alastor, Deadly Vipers, Storm of Void

Posted in Reviews on January 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

Day Four of the Quarterly Review! Welcome to the downswing. We’re past the halfway point and feeling continually groovy. Thus far it’s been a week of coffee and a vast musical swath that today only reaches even further out from the core notion of what may or may not make a release or a band “heavy.” Is it sound? Is it emotion? Is it concept? Fact is there’s no reason it can’t be all of those things and a ton more, so keep an open mind as you make your way through today’s batch and we’ll all come out of it better people on the other end. Alright? Alright. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Iron Monkey, 9-13

iron monkey 9-13

I’ll admit to some level of skepticism at the prospect of an Iron Monkey reunion without frontman Johnny Morrow, who died in 2002, but as founding guitarist Jim Rushby (now also vocals), bassist Steve Watson (who originally played guitar) and new drummer Brigga revive the influential UK sludge outfit with the nine songs of 9-13 on Relapse, it somehow makes sense that the band’s fuckall and irreverence would extend inward as well. That is, why should Iron Monkey find Iron Monkey an any more sacred and untouchable property than they find anything else? Ultimately, the decision will be up to the listener as to acceptance, but the furies of “OmegaMangler,” “Mortarhex,” “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier” and the nine-minute lumber-into-torrent closer “Moreland St. Hammervortex” make a pretty resounding argument that if you can’t get down with Iron Monkey as they are today, it’s going to be your loss and that, as ever, they couldn’t care less to see you stick around or see you go. So welcome back.

Iron Monkey on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records on Bandcamp

 

Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy

deadsmoke mountain legacy

Mountain Legacy, which is the second Deadsmoke album for Heavy Psych Sounds, might be the heaviest release the label has put out to-date. For the band, it marks the arrival of keyboardist Claudio Rocchetti to the former trio, and from the lumbering space of aptly-titled post-intro opener “Endless Cave” to the later creeping lurch of “Wolfcurse,” it’s an outing worthy of comparison to the earlier work of Italian countrymen Ufomammut, but still rooted in the gritty, post-Sleep plod the band elicited on their 2016 self-titled debut (review here). The central difference seems to be an increase in atmospheric focus, which does well to enrich the listening experience overall, be it in the creepy penultimate interlude “Forest of the Damned” or side A finale “Emperor of Shame.” Whether this progression was driven by Rocchetti’s inclusion in the band or the other way around, it’s a marked showing of growth on a quick turnaround from Deadsmoke and shows them as having a much broader creative reach than expected. All the better because it’s still so devastatingly weighted.

Deadsmoke on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Somnuri, Somnuri

somnuri somnuri

To call Somnuri a formidable trio is underselling it. The Brooklynite three-piece is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell (Blackout, ex-Bezoar, etc.), bassist Drew Mack (ex-Hull) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo (Family), and the noise they make on their Magnetic Eye-released self-titled debut is as progressive as it is intense. Recorded by Jeff Berner and mixed my SanGiacomo, cuts like “Kaizen” and “Same Skies” land with a doomed heft but move with the singular fury of the Northeastern US, and even as eight-minute closer “Through the Dead” balances more rock-minded impulses and seems to touch on a Soundgarden influence, it answers for the ultra-aggro tumult of “Pulling Teeth” just before. A flash of ambience in the drone interlude “Opaque” follows the plodding highlight “Slow Burn,” which speaks to yet another side of Somnuri’s potential – to create spaces as much as to crush them. With an interplay of cleaner vocals, screams, growls and shouts, there’s enough variety to throw off expectation, and where so much of New York’s noise-metal history is about angry single-mindedness, Somnuri’s Somnuri shows even in a vicious moment like “Inhabitant” that there’s more ground to cover than just being really, really, really pissed off.

Somnuri on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records website

 

Daira, Vipreet Buddhi

daira vipreet buddhi

Time to get weird. No. Really weird. In the end, I’m not sure Mumbai semi-improvisationalist troupe Daira did themselves any favors by making their sophomore LP, Vipreet Buddhi, a single 93-minute/16-track outing instead of breaking it into the two halves over which its course is presented – the first being eight distinct songs, the second a flowing single jam broken up over multiple parts – but one way or another, it’s an album that genuinely presents a vibe of its own, taking cues from heavy psych, jazz, funk, classic prog, folk and more as it plays through its bizarre and ambient flow, toying with jarring stretches along the way like the eerie “Apna Ullu Seedha” but so dug in by the time it’s jammed its way into “Dekho Laal Gaya” that it seems like there’s no getting out. It’s an overwhelming and unmanageable offering, but whoever said the avant garde wasn’t supposed to be a challenge? Certainly not Daira, and they clearly have plenty to say. Whatever else you listen to today, I can safely guarantee it won’t sound like this. And that’s probably true of every day.

Daira on Thee Facebooks

Daira on Bandcamp

 

Kavrila, Blight

kavrila blight

Chest-compressing groove and drive will no doubt earn Hamburg four-piece Kavrila’s second album, Blight (on Backbite Records), some comparisons to Mantar, but to dig into tracks like “Gold” and “Each (Part Two)” is to find a surprising measure of atmospheric focus, and even a rage-roller like “Abandon” has a depth to its mix. Though it’s just 24 minutes long, I’d still consider Blight a full-length for the two-sided flow it sets up leading to the aforementioned “Gold” and “Each (Part Two),” both being the longest cut on their respective half of the record in addition to splitting the tracklisting, as well as for the grinding aspects of songs like “Apocalypse,” “Demolish” and “Golem” on side B, the latter of which takes the rhythmic churn of Godflesh to a point of extremity that even the earlier thrust of “Lungs” did little to foretell. There’s a balance of sludge and hardcore elements, to be sure, but it’s the anger that ultimately defines Blight, however coherent it might be (and is) in its violent intent.

Kavrila on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records webstore

 

Ivan, Strewn Across Stars

ivan strewn across stars

Employing the session violin services of Jess Randall, the Melbourne-based two-piece of Brodric Wellington (drums/vocals) and Joseph Pap (guitar, bass, keys) – collectively known as Ivan – would seem to be drawing a specific line in the direction of My Dying Bride with their take on death-doom, but the emotionalist influence goes deeper than that on Strewn Across Stars, their second LP. Shades of Skepticism show themselves in opener and longest track (immediate points) “Cosmic Fear,” which demonstrates a raw production ready for the limited-cassette obscurism the band conjured for their 2016 debut, Aeons Collapse, but nonetheless fleshed out melodically in the guitar and already-noted, deeply prevalent string arrangement. The subsequent “Ethereal” (12:41), “Hidden Dimensions” (12:25) and “Outro” (8:18) dig even further into plodding shattered-self woefulness, with “Hidden Dimensions” providing a brief moment of tempo release before the violin and keys take complete hold in “Outro” to give listeners one last chance to bask in resonant melancholia. A genre-piece, to be sure, but able to stand on its own in terms of personality and patience alike.

Ivan on Thee Facebooks

Ivan on Bandcamp

 

Clara Engel, Songs for Leonora Carrington

clara-engel-songs-for-leona-carrington

Toronto singer-songwriter Clara Engel pays ambient folk homage to the Mexican surrealist painter/author with the five-tracks of Songs for Leonara Carrington, fleshing out creative and depth-filled arrangements that nonetheless hold fast to the intimate human core beneath. Engel’s voice is of singular character in its melding of gruff fragility, and whether it’s the psychedelic hypnosis of opener and longest track (immediate points) “Birdheaded Queen” or the seemingly minimalist drift of the penultimate “The Ancestor,” her confident melodies float atop gorgeous and sad instrumental progressions that cast an atmosphere of vast reaches. Even the more percussively active centerpiece “Microgods of all the Subatomic Worlds” feels informed by the gradual wash of guitar melody that takes hold on the prior “Sanctuary for Furies,” and as Engel brings in guest contributors for drums, bass, guitar, theremin and choir vocals alongside her own guitar, pump organ, flute and singing, there seems to be little out of her reach or scope. It is a joy to get lost within it.

Clara Engel on Thee Facebooks

Wist Records website

 

Alastor, Blood on Satan’s Claw

alastor-blood-on-satans-claw

I don’t know whether the title-cut of Blood on Satan’s Claw, the new two-songer EP from dirge-doomers Alastor, is leftover from the same sessions that bore their 2017 debut album for Twin Earth Records, Black Magic (review here), but as it’s keeping company with a near-11-minute take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” the four-piece’s return is welcome either way. Unsurprisingly, not much has changed in their approach in the mere months since the full-length was issued, but that doesn’t mean the swing of “Blood on Satan’s Claw,” the central riff of which owes as much to Windhand as to Sleep as to C.O.C.‘s “Albatross” as to Sabbath, isn’t worth digging into all the same, and with psychedelic vocals reminiscent of newer Monolord and flourish of creeper-style organ, its doom resounds on multiple levels leading into the aforementioned cover, which drawls out the classic original arrangement with a wilfully wretched tack that well earns a nod and raised claw. Alastor remain backpatch-ready, seemingly just waiting for listeners to catch on. If these tracks are any indication, they’ll get there.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

Alastor on Bandcamp

 

Deadly Vipers, Fueltronaut

deadly-vipers-fueltronaut

Give it a couple minutes to get going and Fueltronaut, the debut full-length from French four-piece Deadly Vipers, is more than happy to serve up energetic post-Kyuss desert rock loyalism that’s true to form in both spirit and production. Shades of earliest Dozer and the wider pre-social media older-school Euro heavy underground show themselves quickly in “Universe,” but in the later mid-paced reach of “Stalker,” there’s more modern bluesy vibing and as the mega-fuzzed “Meteor Valley,” the driving jam of “Supernova,” and the let’s-push-the-vocals-really-high-in-the-mix-for-some-reason “Dead Summer” shove the listener onward with righteous momentum toward pre-outro closer “River of Souls,” each track getting longer as it goes, the melody that emerges there indeed feels like a moment of arrival. My only real complaint? The intro “Fuel Prophecy” and (hidden) outro, “Watch the Road End.” Especially with the immediacy that strikes when “Universe” kicks in and the resonant finish of “River of Souls” at its six-minute mark, having anything before the one and after the other seems superfluous. A minor quibble on an impressive debut (one could also ramble about cartoon tits on the cover, but what’s the point?) and showcase of potential from an exciting newcomer outfit clearly assured of the style for which they’re aiming.

Deadly Vipers on Thee Facebooks

Deadly Vipers on Bandcamp

 

Storm of Void, War Inside You

storm-of-void-war-inside-you

Tokyo duo Storm of Void make their full-length debut with the nine-track/48-minute War Inside You, a full-length that might first snag attention owing to guest vocal spots from Napalm Death’s Mark “Barney” Greenway and Jawbox’s J. Robbins, but has no trouble holding that same attention with its progressive instrumental turns and taut execution. Released by Hostess Entertainment, it’s instrumental in bulk, with eight-string guitarist George Bodman (Bluebeard) and drummer Dairoku Seki (envy) coming together to deliver brisk and aggressive prog metal centered around chugging riffs and a tension that seems to take hold in “Into the Circle” and let up only for the momentary “Interlude” in the midsection before closer “Ghosts of Mt. Sleepwalker” finally allows for some exhalation. As for the guest spots, they’re nothing to complain about, and they break up the proceedings nicely placed as they are, but if Storm of Void are going to hook you, it’s going to be on their own merits, which are plentiful.

Storm of Void on Thee Facebooks

Hostess Entertainment website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review & Video Premiere: The Moth, Hysteria

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on November 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the moth hysteria

[Click play above to watch the premiere of The Moth’s new video for ‘Empty Heart.’ Their album, Hysteria, is out today on This Charming Man Records.]

The Moth engage in an almost singular pursuit of scathing rawness with their third album, Hysteria. Issued like its predecessor, 2015’s And Then Rise (review here), it is a 10-track/36-minute collection that, even when it departs the death-infused thrust of songs like opener “Empty Heart” and the subsequent title-cut to flesh out its slower-rolling doomer impulses on side-ending pieces like “This Life” and the finale “Jupiter,” still retains more than an edge of the extremity at heart behind that pummel. Guitarist Freden Mohrdiek and bassist Cécile Ash share vocal duties, and the resulting approach is by no means amelodic, but even compared to the release before it, Hysteria finds the Hamburg outfit making a decided turn toward harsh sounds and harsher vibes; a brutality captured with a live-in-studio feel and punctuated by two drummers: the returning Tiffy and newcomer Christian “Curry” Korr.

The latter percussionist is a recent arrival, and even with a pair of drummers swinging away and the Sunlight Studios-esque tone Mohrdiek displays after the false start of “Hysteria,” the dominant position, hands down, belongs to the bass. Hysteria as a whole is eaten by low-end rumble, serving in some ways as a reminder of how mishandled bass has been over the decades in extreme music, all but cast out of death and black metal and classic thrash or otherwise relegated to root notes or following the guitar. Ash‘s low end is a significant force in the overarching weight of this material, and as that’s true amid the grunts and chants of “Slow Your Pace” as in the nodding and catchy highlight “Brachial” — also screaming and bludgeoning — just before. It becomes a defining element.

One gets the sense that, much like the overall push into nastier sonics itself, this is something done with the utmost purpose behind it. Hysteria is the third The Moth long-player behind And Then Rise and the preceding 2013 debut, They Fall, and while it doesn’t provide a next clause to that seeming sentence-in-progress between the first two titles, that very fact is telling of a will to try something new that is manifest throughout. There are still shades of High on Fire and heavy thrash extremists Mantar to be heard in the onslaught of “Blackness” or “Empty Heart,” but aside perhaps from bringing in the fourth band member, the change in presentation is the biggest shift from one release to the next, and at this point, The Moth have enough quality work under their collective belt to assume consciousness behind the decision rather than a happenstance of recording situation.

the moth

When it wants to, Hysteria meters out a vicious stomp, but to hear the cone-blowing brown-note low-frequency heft at the beginning of “Loose” is to understand how essential the bass is to this mission. Beneath the fluidity of vocal arrangements between Ash and Mohrdiek and a moment’s readiness to transition in pace between and within tracks like “Brachial” and the part-punk “Fail,” which is the shortest inclusion here at 2:27 and the lead-in for “Jupiter,” the longest at 5:15, and amid waves of riffs and drums that are no less at home in maximum propulsion than they are lumbering through “This Life” and the closer, the bass is what most ties the album together. There are times, in fact, at which it feels like there’s no escape from it, and while the material itself is structured into verses, choruses, bridges, ending sections, etc., that consumption lends an experimentalist sensibility to go with their root approach.

This only makes Hysteria a more exciting listen. It is a sonic curio, almost. Plenty of bands have indulged in having two drummers, from the Melvins to Kylesa and well beyond, but even as The Moth put themselves in these ranks, it’s the change in sound itself throughout Hysteria that seems most to convey their creative drive. While not necessarily a radical departure from where they were two years ago, it nonetheless demonstrates a basic willingness to manipulate their own tendencies, and whether The Moth take it as a cue and move forward in a similar direction from here, pushing into even more extreme fare while balancing that against their melodic underpinnings, or opt to try something else entirely their next time out, the clear statement that Hysteria makes is that such turns are well within the scope of their ability and dynamic.

Further, while the title of the record speaks to a (gendered) sense of the unhinged, it’s worth noting that front to back, MohrdiekAshKorr and Tiffy never actually seem to be out of control of the proceedings. There are certainly moments of blemish, but like leaving that false start in at the beginning of the title-track, the simple fact that The Moth make no attempt to cover these is telling further of the naturalism at heart in what they’re doing. Organic extremity? Free-range aural destruction? Whatever you might want to call it, Hysteria takes this balance of style and production and turns it into an aesthetic that belongs to The Moth more than anything they’ve done before. It is the result of a band willfully taking the lessons from the work they’ve done in the past and learning from them to craft something new. It just so happens that that something new is an absolute monster.

The Moth on Thee Facebooks

The Moth on Bandcamp

The Moth on Instagram

This Charming Man Records website

This Charming Man Records on Thee Facebooks

This Charming Man Records on Instagram

This Charming Man Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

The Moth Stream Title-Track of New Album Hysteria; UK Tour Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the moth

Having become a four-piece since the release of their 2015 sophomore album, And Then Rise (review here), Hamburg, Germany’s progressive sludge rockers The Moth will release their third outing, Hysteria, on Nov. 10 via This Charming Man. The record was first announced here late last year when The Moth entered their basement studio to put it to tape, and a preliminary sampling of the results of their efforts is available now to stream in the form of Hysteria‘s title-track, which you’ll find at the bottom of the post. Not to give too much away outright, but goodness gracious that’s thick. Hope you like viscosity.

I’ll hope to have more to come on this one before November gets here, but in the meantime, here’s word from the PR wire, including some tour dates alongside WitchSorrow, copious linkery and the aforementioned track stream to keep us all busy:

the moth hysteria

THE MOTH: Hamburg’s heaviest return with new album Hysteria and UK tour with Witchsorrow

Hysteria by The Moth is released on 10th November 2017 on This Charming Man Records

Signed to This Charming Man Records just one year after their formation in 2012, Hamburg-based doom/sludge trio The Moth are one of Germany’s leading underground lights.

Upon the release of their acclaimed debut album They Fall in 2013 the band was praised for harbouring a sound that cooked slow burning doom, thrash, rock and death metal via a metallurgy of riffs and bold ideas.

Geared toward full-metal apocalypse, that same sound was soon resurrected in 2015 on The Moth’s follow-up album And Then Rise, which drew justifiable comparisons to the likes of High on Fire, Mastodon, Crowbar and Kylesa. Picking up on the twin vocal play of bassist Cécile Ash and guitarist Freden Mohrdiek’s well-tempered Jekyll & Hyde-like aesthetic, the album was raw, ready and alive with ambition… and best of all, void of uncalled-for frills.

Off the back of tours and shows with Torche, Red Fang, Conan, Space Chaser and OHHMS, not to mention countless stages rocked at DesertFest, Svart Festival, Doom Over Vienna and Stoned from The Underground, The Moth return this November with their most anticipated album yet. Relocating to the same, small rehearsal room used to record their debut – deep in the belly of Hamburg’s infamous red-light district in St. Pauli – the band set about pre-recording their album Hysteria with close friend and producer José Lorenzo in September 2016. After laying down all ten tracks in one day and returning later in the year to rerecord and add vocals, they soon discovered that Lorenzo’s initial recordings best captured the band’s brutal and bewitching live sound.

With the addition of new member Christian ‘Curry’ Korr, brought in to share rhythm duties alongside long-sitting drummer Tiffy and the partnership of Cécile and Freden as full-on and fired-up as ever, Hysteria is the audacious product of a band at their deadliest.

“The title track represents the style of the whole album,” explains Cécile Ash. “That we only recorded each track maybe two or three times live and took the best version, you can really hear our character in it. We didn’t cut anything out. Imperfection is what we like.”

Released on 10th November 2017, Hysteria by The Moth will be available on This Charming Man Records.

Track Listing:
1. Empty Heart
2. Hysteria
3. Brachial
4. Slow Your Pace
5. This Life
6. Blackness
7. Loose
8. Shattered
9. Fail
10. Jupiter

Tour Dates:
5 Oct – Hühnermanhattan Club, Halle/Saale
6 Oct – Immerhin, Würzburg
7 Oct – Baracke, Münster
26 Oct – Bastard Club (w. Witchsorrow), Osnabrück
27 Oct – Music City (w. Witchsorrow), Antwerpen
28 Oct – The Cave (w. Witchsorrow), Amsterdam
29 Oct – Stumpf, Hannover
30 Oct – MTS City Sound, Oldenburg
22 Nov – TBA (w. Witchsorrow), Bristol
23 Nov – Bannerman’s Bar (w. Witchsorrow), Edinburgh
24 Nov – The Phoenix (w. Witchsorrow), Coventry
25 Nov – Riffmass 2017 (The Green Door Store), Brighton
26 Nov – The Devonshire Arms (w. Witchsorrow), London

The Moth:
Cécile Ash – Bass/Vocals
Freden Mohrdiek – Guitar/Vocals
Christian ‘Curry’ Korr – Drums
Tiffy – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/listentoTHEMOTH
http://the-moth.bandcamp.com/
http://www.instagram.com/listentoTHEMOTH
http://www.thischarmingmanrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Thischarmingmanrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/thischarmingmanrecords/
https://thischarmingmanrecords.bandcamp.com/

Tags: , , , , ,

Fheels Release Debut EP Traveller

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

fheels

Coursing with elements of crisply-produced heavier blues rock, the newly-issued Traveller EP marks the debut from Hamburg four-piece Fheels. The offering is comprised of five tracks that show clear-headed soulfulness and a rocking traditionalism of songcraft that emphasizes hooks without necessarily making a crutch of them. An aesthetic in development, but one would ask nothing less or more of a first release, even if the EP was preceded by the digital single “Igor,” for which the band also have a video posted.

Below you’ll find the release announcement accompanied by some comment from the band. As one might imagine, they’re pretty stoked to have a release out. CD is available on JodelDiplomRecords.

Dig:

fheels traveller

Formed as a band project in 2015 by students of Hamburg- based School of Music, FHEELS create an exciting mix of Blues, Rock, psychedelic moments with a hint of soul that makes it fheel special. Emphasized by singer & guitarist Felix’ impressively versatile vocal abilities, this band won’t be easy to forget!

FHEELS already became more then just a study-based music project. With their very own spirit, upcoming live plans and a perfect chemistry between the band members, FHEELS are set to release their first 5-track EP titled „Traveller“, available on CD + as Digital Download, on June 16th 2017 with JodelDiplomRecords.

Traveller is here!
You can now hold our very first own, self made and as we think most wonderful CD in your hands and put it in a CD player and listen to it, and we personally couldn’t think of anything more beautiful than that.
We can’t wait to hear what you think about it!

CD-> http://shop.jodelrecords.de

Of course we were not completely alone. We would like to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to everybody who helped create this wonderful record.
Thank you Jan-Philipp Kelber, Karsten Böttcher, JodelDiplom Records, J4 art & design Studio, Sophie Schwarzenberger, Lena Scherer, Dominik Pobot, Matthias Pogoda and thank you to all our family and friends!

FHEELS are:
Felix – Vocals & Guitar
Tobias – Rhodes & Organ & Backing Vocals
Jens – Bass
Justus – Drums & Backing Vocals

www.facebook.com/Fheels.Band
https://fheels.bandcamp.com
www.jodelrecords.de/kuenstler/fheels
https://open.spotify.com/album/7aQ4YyIz2JWY7wNqGrbw5k

Fheels, Traveller (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,