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

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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/

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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)

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Larman Clamor Stream New Album Beyonder and Give Track-by-Track Details

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on December 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

larman clamor beyonder

Through five full-lengths, Hamburg-based Larman Clamor kept up a near-impossible clip. One might expect a creative burst of sorts from the likes of Alexander von Wieding, a noted graphic artist who’s done work across the heavy rock underground on covers and posters for the likes of Karma to Burn, Kind, this site, and many many more, but it seemed that especially since Larman Clamor functioned as a solo-project after its first, 2011 self-titled outing (review here), von Wieding was able to really let it flourish on his own terms. Those terms may vary, but under both the various EPs and singles that have supplemented and his proper albums — 2011’s Altars to Turn Blood (review here), 2012’s Frogs (review here), 2013’s Alligator Heart (review here), and 2014’s Beetle Crown and Steel Wand (review here) — he’s kept a consistent thread of otherworldly boogie blues, a swampy porch stomp, and though the break between has been longer, that’s maintained on his sixth offering, Beyonder, as well.

One can hear it in the early cut “Pig Priest and the Motor Hag,” as von Wieding layers banjo and acoustic guitar and provides his own percussion amid electric guitar flourish: He’s progressed, but the core of his approach to Larman Clamor is intact. Self-released digitally with a potential physical release to follow, Beyonder is the longest Larman Clamor record at 14 tracks/42 minutes — seven of which are dedicated to closer “In the Circus of Night” alone — and though many of the elements will be familiar to those who’ve dug into von Wieding‘s songwriting before and the songs were evidently born of some significant personal struggles, one finds some of the most striking momentslarman clamor to be almost playful in their nature. To wit, the way the opening title-track seems to beam Queens of the Stone Age‘s stop-start “Little Sister” riff in from another dimension, or how even beneath the sad story of “Something Bitter to Do,” the rhythm feels so vibrant and builds such momentum over a still-short three-minute run. Elsewhere, the hook of “Fo’ What You Did” taps darker impulses and turns them into one of Beyonder‘s catchiest hooks, von Wieding experimenting with falsetto vocals as he provides his own backups to his generally gruff delivery, and interludes like “The Draining,” “Come See…” and the instrumental “Tarnkappe” broaden the scope of the album overall with spoken narrative or even just an additional stretch toying with atmosphere.

Could well be that taking his time — relatively speaking — between one long-player and the next allowed von Wieding to further develop the rubber-band bounce of “Swamp Healing” and the tortured string-pull of “Haunted, Hexed, Let Down and Torn,” but from wherever the progression in scope comes, Beyonder is the most forward-thinking Larman Clamor album yet, and though von Wieding has clearly established his aesthetic across his six records, he’s just as clearly a restless soul within that, working to reshape what’s been done before. Long after the mud-psych of “And the Hand” and past the penultimate quietude of “All Wrongs are Right,” the plainest evidence of his creative evolution is found in “In the Circus of Night,” which narrates its way through an intertwining of worlds via mumbled discoveries pushed along by stomping feet, handclaps, foreboding drones and of course much more, building a tension that resolves itself in a rising hum of electric guitar tone that sounds just as much like a beginning as an ending. Which it may well be. We’ll have to wait to find out where von Wieding takes Larman Clamor from here, but the fact that even with a year between Beetle Crown and Steel Wand and Beyonder he’s produced six albums in five years with the project speaks to the significant measure of urgency with which he hones his craft. That, maybe even more than the boogie, is likely to remain the unifying factor no matter what else the next record brings.

Today I have the extreme pleasure of hosting a full stream of Larman Clamor‘s Beyonder as an album premiere. Release date is tomorrow, Dec. 24. Below, you’ll find a full track-by-track courtesy of von Wieding, who was kind enough to discuss his motivations and inspirations in how these songs came together.

Please dig in and enjoy:

 

Track-by-Track through Larman Clamor’s Beyonder with Alex von Wieding

1. “Beyonder”

Like every Larman Clamor riff, it came out of nowhere. Suddenly I had this punkish riff and thought: Damn, this doesn’t work for LC stuff… And then there was the idea of putting those two Thin Lizzy-ish solo guitars into the third quarter of the song — and I was even more like “Naah, c’mon… I guess I’ll have to start a second band for this”… But who was I to tell, ha. As the idea for the lyrics came up, it suddenly turned into a Larman Clamor song. And I thought, hey, this is so straight rockin’ and sorta-different (at least to me), why not go the whole nine yards and even make it the album title song? And there you go. So story-wise, there’s this paranoid wizard sitting in the heath wasteland and he puts one rock unto another in the river, making art. And even though he does know something bad might actually happen, he continues to create. Like manic at some point. Simply because what’s this life for if not to create. Create joy. Beauty. Art. Inspiration. Make your mark, come what may. And even if the wizard’s nemesis-esque creatures, the owl-priests (don’t ask me, I dunno), appear, he is facing his fate with something along the lines of “Even if you kill me now, you won’t be able to destroy what I’ve created in this life. My legacy will remain.”

2. “And the Hand”

A gloomy wanna-be-intstrumental. The fragment it’s based on is back from the Frogs era, but I finally found a place for bringing in my Danelectro Sitar. Yay. Because I suck at playing full chords, I decided to use it more like a drone-guitar. Which made the whole thing sound “vast” to me… Like a theme for a… wasteland. Maybe it’s the sort-of theme song for the world of Larman Clamor? I don’t know. Maybe I will know at some point. And because even wastelands are full of beauty, why not stroke them a little? You know. Give them a little love. Even in the biggest chaos, destruction and weirdness – at some point, beauty will reveal itself. You just have to be willing to look close enough. And care. So, there’s the hand caressing over the wasteland.

3. “Fo’ What You Did”

Originially turned up on the Blackwolfgoat / Larman Clamor split 7″ we did on H42 Records in 2015. And I’m very proud of that. That one was fun. The inspiration for the song wasn’t that much of fun though. I was scammed. But when I realized that it actually had been ME who maneuvered myself into that bad situation, being dumb, instead of wasting even more of my life’s energy on the shit, I rather gave it a smile and carried on. As The Dude says, “I can’t be worried about that shit. Life goes on, man.” That’s where the lyrics started from. In the end, atmospherically speaking, I guess it turned into a pretty (meant literally) dark song… Ha. So it sort of feels like the character in the song might be friendly waving when he tells us his story, but snipped his opponent’s nuts off before that anyways. Guess that’s a double ha.

4. “Pig Priest and the Motor Hag”

Also a song from the Frogs era. Finished this one a long time ago, but didn’t know what to do with it, as it was so furiously riffin’, it didn’t fit in anywhere 100 percent. When I added the dueling banjos, it suddenly all made sense. And it perfectly fit on this album. So there you go.

5. “Haunted, Hexed, Let Down ‘n’ Torn”

…Originally was a mean, mean song. But that didn’t fit the album theme anymore. Also one of the reasons why I layed ‘Beyonder’ to rest for a long time. At the bottom line, this song is another one of those “being given something bad and making the best out of it” songs on this album. The story in this one is something like a summoning ritual. But with a hint of Beetlejuice. Drawing a door unto the wall with chalk and wait for the ‘right’ person to stumble through to you, after you mumbled the correct incantation phrases. Come, dance with me!

6. “Tarnkappe”

Hey, a German title?! Yes, indeed. I always liked that word. Like a lot. And “magic hood” (the literal meaning) felt just lame. For instrumentals, I usually like to put on a strange title, one that makes your mind paint the picture to the song. But then, it’s a thin line. You wouldn’t want to give too much of a direction… So, I can’t really say much about this song, except for: “Tarnkappe.” That word’s cool sound should be inspiration enough.

7. “Swamp Healing”

You should never say never… But for the moment, I guess this song is the closest to ‘reduced oldschool blues guitar stomp on a porch by sundown’ I’ve done yet. Aside from the ritual aspect of the track (I’ve had it on my list to do a “ritual song” for a while), it’s simply about seeing the good things in life. Again. And anew. You may get down, and it may take some weirdo shit to get you up again sometimes, but in the end, when noticing all of that is rather stupid and funny (and that’s why it brings you up!) – you’ll get the essence of everything again: Get up, move on, enjoy life! It’s short enough! So go on, make the best out of it!

8. “Somethin’ Bitter to Do”

Also was on my ‘songs-to-do-list’ for some time: A “counting” song. Mourning over a broken heart can poison you. So, after some failed attepts and desperate measures and rituals, the character in this song decides to do something bitter. What exactly that is, I don’t know. Seems that he already cut out one heart (his own?)… Rock-bottom, put into a trash-can drums banjo stomp, executed with a smile.

9. “The Draining” / 10. “Soul Sane Juice”

A little one I wrote in the middle of a gloomy fall night. Nothing too deep. A song about an UFO landing and alien capture …maybe? The return of the “intro song” for LC. I wanted to do something like that again since “Lost Path Through the Mountains / Deep tn the Tar” (on Altars to Turn Blood).

11. “Come See…” / 12. “…Sighed the River of Larvas”

So I had this instrumental based on a breathing choir, mumbling some nonsense. The lyrics of “River” were never to make any sense, but at some point, it sounded like there’s a group of people rowing a boat… That’s when it took more shape. Maybe this is even the ghouls from “Caravan of Ghouls” (on Beetle Crown & Steel Wand) again. Who knows? Like the narrator at the beginning tells us, it’s no use hanging around and wasting your life away. In the end, the River of Larvas awaits us all. So you might as well get your ass up and do something of worth. Be creative. Row a boat on a river made of spaghetti… or larvas. Whatever.

13. “All Wrongs are Right”

You ever had one of those nights, where you find yourself alone and can’t be with the one you love? But it’s not sad or anything, it all feels right? It’s like a test. You know you love her and you know she loves you. You just can’t be together right now. No matter why. The ‘why’ is neither of importance nor of to be taken care of. So you just center your spirit and go on an astral journey to your loved and loving soulmate…

14. “In the Circus of Night”

Even if I spoil something here: This is a revamp of an old song if you didn’t notice. It’s in the same tradition as “Aether Bound” (on Alligator Heart) or “My Lil’ Ghost” on Beetle Crown & Steel Wand). I’ve had that riff flying around my head since 1997. And this finally is THE song made of it. Instead of making it into a straight blues song (what the riff itself might scream for), I rather wanted it to be sort of otherworld-ish romantic. Imagine one of these nights, when spring turns to summer. And you’re strolling around alone, out in the fields, when a smooth breeze comes up. And it’s warm. Suddenly. Strangely warm, being the first real summer breeze. And then the magic appears, making the night a circus. And it’s all around you, with its weedy scents of the night flowers awaking, the cicadas singing and the moon and starlight guiding you onto your way into the wild… And it more becomes a real “circus” when suddenly — in the Larman Clamor cosmos, a path surrounded by fiery lights appears, and at the end of it, a real big top shows up… And there’s these strange figures inviting you in to enjoy their show, the main character being a Mephisto-ish mesmerist guy… You don’t know what he’s up to… but you follow him… into the Circus of Night.

Larman Clamor on Thee Facebooks

Larman Clamor on Bandcamp

Larman Clamor on YouTube

Larman Clamor website

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The Moth Hit the Basement; New Album Due in 2017

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

I’d say Germany’s The Moth have hit the studio, but it would be inaccurate. The darkly heavy rocking Hamburg-based outfit will issue their third album in 2017 via This Charming Man, following up on last year’s And Then Rise (review here). Instead, they’re headed to the basement where they rehearse to reportedly record completely live, which leaves one to guess the results will be… punkish?

Kind of hard to say, but I’m interested to find out. Though definitely led by its riffs, And Then Rise had a strong undercurrent of metal to it, and it seems entirely possible that in recording live, that intensity will only be played to further, but the question becomes just how raw the actual recording will turn out when they’re done, which, frankly, should be just about any minute now. Also they’re apparently working with a second drummer. I’ll let you know what I hear when I hear it.

If you didn’t get to check out And Then Rise — and I know you did, but it’s nice to be reminded of these things — you’ll find the stream from The Moth‘s Bandcamp at the bottom of the post. Here’s the update as sent over by bassist/vocalist Cécile Ash:

the moth

THE MOTH, metal-sludge-doom 3-piece from Hamburg (Europe), will hit the studio the week before Christmas to record their third album. It will be released on Germany’s most renowned independent label, This Charming Man Records.

No fancy studio has been booked. Instead THE MOTH return to their roots: a small basement rehearsal room in Hamburg’s red light district – where their debut THEY FALL was born in 2013.

No fuss here either: They will record everything live. Bassist and guitarist Cécile and Freden (both do vocals as well), drummer Tiffy and also their second drummer Curry want to capture the loaded and raw atmosphere of their rehearsals. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The Moth is:
GUITAR & VOICE: FREDEN MOHRDIEK
BASS & VOICE: CÉCILE ASH
DRUMS: TIFFY

https://www.facebook.com/listentoTHEMOTH
https://the-moth.bandcamp.com/
http://www.instagram.com/listentoTHEMOTH
http://www.thischarmingmanrecords.com/index.php/bands/the-moth/

The Moth, And Then Rise (2015)

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Larman Clamor to Release Beyonder Dec. 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

If you’re looking at your calendar and thinking that, holy crap, Dec. 24 is this Saturday and it also happens to be Xmas Eve and that’s absolutely insane that it’s come up so fast, welcome to my world. If you’re also thinking, golly, it sure would be nice to get a tasty sampling of this new Larman Clamor album before it comes out, stick around for the end of this week when I’ll have a stream up.

Not sure yet if it’ll be a full-album deal or just a track, but friend-of-the-site, artist extraordinaire, sole Larman Clamor inhabitant, man of many titles and all around excellent human Alexander von Wieding and I have been back and forth about one or the other, so something will come together between now and then. Consider this your heads up — if that’s what you happened to be thinking. Either way, it’s been over two full years since the last Larman Clamor album, Beetle Crown and Steel Wand (review here), and even though the EP The Heathland Tales (discussed here), came out at the end of 2015 and he had a two-songer out earlier this year, it seems only fair to do it up right.

Oh, and get a load of this cover. Frickin’ awesome, right? Dude does good work.

From the PR wire:

larman clamor beyonder

Let me tell you. I never did think I was fully under control of Larman Clamor’s musical journey.
Hell, I just keep on doin’ what my gut and spirit tell me when it comes to makin’ music.
But this time… Whoa, even I didn’t expect it to take SO long.
It lasted long… and longer… and was took beyond… and back.
Back into this realm of chaos and weirdness.
And it survived. Rose up.
And now it shines!

Larman Clamor’s musical journey continues, into a swampy, foggy wasteland, created and streaked by heathen alchemy.

Welcome to the album that almost got lost. Usually intended to be released in 2015, life struck and I put BEYONDER on ice. Now, by the end of 2016, there’s been quite a few changes. Songs were kicked out, new ones were put in. The album artwork also took longer than expected. …but now. Now, you’re finally able to blast this beast in its full grime ‘n’ glory… Welcome to Larman Clamor’s album no. 6: BEYONDER.

Coming to you 12.24.2016 via iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby – or directly via the Larman Clamor bandcamp.

The tracklisting:

1. Beyonder
2. And The Hand
3. Fo’ What You Did
4. Pig Priest & The Motor Hag
5. Haunted, Hexed, Let Down ‘n Torn
6. Tarnkappe
7. Swamp Healing
8. Somethin’ Bitter To Do
9. The Draining
10. Soul Sane Juice
11. Come See…
12. …Sighed The River Of Larvas
13. All Wrongs Are Right
14. In The Circus Of Night

https://www.facebook.com/Larman-Clamor-132397233457898/
https://larmanclamor.bandcamp.com/

Larman Clamor, Im nächst’n Le’m (2016)

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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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High Fighter Premiere “Blinders” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

high fighter

Hamburg-based purveyors of sludgy punishment High Fighter are getting ready to release their debut full-length, Scars and Crosses, via respected purveyor Svart Records on June 10. Like the 2014 EP that preceded it, The Goat Ritual (review here), the album mixes aggressive modern metal with heavy-riffing impulses, the vocals of frontwoman Mona Miluski switching fluidly between raspy screams, low growls and clean-sung choruses naturally, as on the track “Blinders,” for which the five-piece have a brand new video premiering today.

The song is an excellent choice to feature ahead of the album’s release, because it emphasizes the manic sensibility that the band is able to bring to their material. With guitarists Christian “Shi” Pappas and Ingwer Boysen tearing into thrashy riffs as bassist Constantin Wüst and drummer/backing vocalist Thomas Wildelau hold the course together, “Blinders” runs full-speed and seems to time its punch just right to land on the unsuspecting listener’s jaw. Even the video — three solid minutes of a dude walking angrily toward the camera, with various manipulations and so on — has this sense of tension that Miluski‘s quick-changing vocal approach shoves over the line between raucous and raging.

And, as noted, that rage comes accompanied by a fervent sense of melody, particularly in the chorus, which remains catchy and informs a structured feel despite how out of control other parts might seem. It’s something else to witness, so by all means, feel free to do that.

High Fighter recently announced tour dates for July with Earth Ship and Mammoth Storm, and you’ll find them (along with all the other upcoming live shows, including tonight’s), as well as a quote from Miluski giving some thematic insight into “Blinders,” under the video below.

Please enjoy:

High Fighter, “Blinders” official video

Mona Miluski on “Blinders”

Think this track perfectly represents one of the main issues we deal with on our debut record, Scars & Crosses. it’s about a dark past, about the wounds and scars of your soul that life may have given you. It’s about your inner demons, and especially people in society or in any relationships will find your scars as a bad attitude, a bad character. You often need to be a ‘Blinder,’ change yourself until you will be accepted, liked or loved. On this album we say no, having your scars is not bad character and you should not change yourself or try to ignore these scars until you’re “worth” being loved. Learn to also love those who have their scars, we all have them… These darkest days, moments and demons in life, your entire history — our scars engrave us — they belong to you as much as the good sides.

High Fighter live:
27.05 Stadtfest Bad Oldesloe
10.06 Hamburg, Album Release show – with Jucifer & The Moth
17.06 Würzburg – with The Midnight Ghost Train
18.06 Karlsruhe – with The Midnight Ghost Train
02.07 Stadtfest Mücheln

Album summer release tour with Earth Ship & Mammoth Storm:
22.07 Kiel, DE – Kieler Schaubude
23.07 Naaldwijk / Den Haag, NL – De Flatertheek
24.07 Le Havre, FR – Mac Daid’s
25.07 Nantes, FR – Le Ferrailleur
26.07 Köln, DE – Underground
27.07 Weinheim, DE – Cafe Central
28.07 Berlin, DE – Badehaus Szimpla
29.07 Erfurt, DE – From Hell
30.07 Hamburg, DE – Fundbureau

17.08 Summer Breeze Festival
02.09 MetallerGrillen
10.09 Open Air Fraureuth

High Fighter website

High Fighter on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

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