13 Before ’13 — Albums Not to Miss Before the End of 2012

Posted in Where to Start on July 26th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

We’re more than halfway through 2012, and we’ve already seen great releases from the likes of I need someone to write my college essay, http://www.zsh.internetdsl.pl/?note-cards-for-research-paper, buying locally essay | Complete set of services for students of all levels including Orange Goblin, Phd Thesis Fuzzy - Speedy world delivery and reasonably-priced drugs with no rx. Spend less money when buying from our drugstore. We make ordering Pallbearer, ads for homework help english essay writing help Online online dissertation help katalog doctoral program without thesis Conan, Get from Professionals. Are you hooked on hiring essay writing services for your entire essay writing needs? Unlike in the past C.O.C., Order your thesis or dissertation from the Dissertation On Banking System on the market. And not only that you can now enjoy 20% OFF on first order! Saint Vitus and many others, but there’s still a long way to go. The forecast for the next five months? Busy.

In my eternal and inevitably doomed quest to keep up, I’ve compiled a list of 13 still-to-come releases not to miss before the year ends. Some of this information is confirmed — as confirmed as these things ever are, anyway — either by label or band announcements, and some of it is a little bit vaguer in terms of the actual dates, but all this stuff is slated to be out before 2013 hits. That was basically my only criteria for inclusion.

And of course before I start the list, you should know two things: The ordering is dubious, since it’s not like I can judge the quality of an album before I’ve heard it, just my anticipation, and that this is barely the beginning of everything that will be released before the end of 2012. The tip of the fastly-melting iceberg, as it were. If past is prologue, there’s a ton of shit I don’t even know about that (hopefully) you’ll clue me into in the comments.

Nonetheless, let’s have some fun:

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2.  Is it worth Best College Application online from professional academic writers? We are custom term papers writing service with years of experience and the great Enslaved We took http://webtoys.cz/?graduate-school-admission-essay-length the AP exam. I forgot about a troubling failure without focusing on thlessons learned. It does not seem to be very RIITIIR (Sept. 28)

The progressive Norwegian black metallers have put out 10 albums before it, and would you believe RIITIIR is the first Enslaved album that’s a palindrome? Kind of cheating to include it on this list, because I’ve heard it, but I’ve been through the record 10-plus times and I still feel like I just barely have a grasp on where they’re headed with it, so I think it’ll be really interesting to see what kind of response it gets upon release. Herbrand Larsen kills it all over these songs though, I will say that.

3. Mos Generator, Nomads (Oct. 23)

Hard for me not to be stoked on the prospect of the first new Mos Generator album since 2007, especially looking at that cover, which Ripple Music unveiled on Tuesday when it announced the Oct. 23 release date. It’s pretty grim looking, and even though Mos once put out a record called The Late Great Planet Earth, I’ve never thought of them as being particularly dark or doomed. I look forward to hearing what Tony Reed (Stone AxeHeavyPink) has up his sleeve for this collection, and if he’s looking to slow down and doom out a bit here, that’s cool too. I’ll take it either way.

4. Ufomammut, Oro – Opus Alter (Sept.)

No, that’s not the cover of Oro – Opus Alter, the second half of Italian space doom grand masters Ufomammut‘s Oro collection — the first being Opus Primum (review here), which served as their Neurot Recordings debut earlier this year. That cover hasn’t been released yet, so I grabbed a promo pic to stand in. I’m really looking forward to this album, though I hope they don’t go the Earth, Angels of Darkness Demons of Light route and wind up with two records that, while really good, essentially serve the same purpose. I’ve got my hopes high they can outdo themselves once again.

5. WitchcraftLegend (Sept. 21)

I guess after their success with Graveyard, Nuclear Blast decided to binge a bit on ’70s loyalist doom, signing Witchcraft and even more recently, Orchid. Can’t fault them that. It’s been half a decade since Witchcraft released The Alchemist and in their absence, doom has caught on in a big way to their methods. With a new lineup around him, will Magnus Pelander continue his divergence into classic progressive rock, or return to the Pentagram-style roots of Witchcraft‘s earliest work? Should be exciting to find out.

6. Wo FatThe Black Code (Nov.)

After having the chance to hear some rough mixes of Texas fuzzers Wo Fat‘s Small Stone debut, The Black Code, I’m all the more stoked to encounter the finished product, and glad to see the band join the ranks of Lo-Pan, Freedom Hawk and Gozu in heralding the next wave of American fuzz. Wo Fat‘s 2011 third outing, Noche del Chupacabra (review here), greatly expanded the jammed feel in their approach, and I get the sense they’re just beginning to find where they want to end up within that balance.

7. Blood of the SunBurning on the Wings of Desire (Late 2012)

As if the glittering logo and booby-lady cover art weren’t enough to grab attention, Blood of the Sun‘s first album for Listenable Records (fourth overall) is sure to garner some extra notice because the band is led by drummer/vocalist Henry Vasquez, better known over the past couple years as the basher for Saint Vitus. Whatever pedigree the band has assumed through that, though, their modern take on classic ’70s heavy has a charm all its own and I can’t wait to hear how Burning on the Wings of Desire pushes that forward. Or backward. Whatever. Rock and roll.

8. SwansThe Seer (Aug. 28)

This one came in the mail last week and I’ve had the chance to make my way through it only once. It’s two discs — and not by a little — and as was the case with Swans‘ 2010 comebacker, My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky (review here), the far less cumbersomely titled The Seer is loaded with guest contributions. Even Jarboe shows up this time around, doing that breathy panting thing she does. Unnerving and challenging as ever, Swans continue to be a litmus for how far experimentalism can go. 3o years on, that’s pretty impressive in itself.

9. Swallow the Sun, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (Sept. 4)

Apparently the Finnish melo-doom collective’s fifth album, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, came out earlier this year in Europe, but it’s finally getting an American release in September, and as I’ve always dug the band’s blend of death metal and mournful melodicism, I thought I’d include it here. Like Swans, I’ve heard the Swallow the Sun once through, and it seems to play up more of the quiet, weepy side of their sound, but I look forward to getting to know it better over the coming months.

10. My Sleeping Karma, Soma (Oct. 9)

Just signed to Napalm Records and tapped to open for labelmates Monster Magnet as they tour Europe performing Spine of God in its entirety this fall, the German four-piece are set to follow-up 2010’s Tri (review here) with Soma. Details were sketchy, of course, until about five minutes after this post initially went up, then the worldwide release dates, cover art and tracklist were revealed, so I updated. Find all that info on the forum.

11.Eagle Twin, The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (Aug. 28)

Way back in 2009 when I interviewed Eagle Twin guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley about the band’s Southern Lord debut, he said the band’s next outing would relate to snakes, and if the cover is anything to go by, that seems to have come to fruition on The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale, which is set to release at the end of next month. As the first album was kind of a mash of influences turned into cohesive and contemplative heavy drone, I can’t help but wonder what’s in store this time around.

12. Hooded MenaceEffigies of Evil (Sept. 11)

You know how sometimes you listen to a band and that band turns you on in their liner notes to a ton of other cool bands? I had that experience with Finnish extreme doomers Hooded Menace‘s 2010 second album, Never Cross the Dead (review here), except instead of bands it was hotties of ’70s horror cinema. Needless to say, I anxiously await the arrival of their third record and Relapse debut, Effigies of Evil. Someone needs to start a label and call it Hammer Productions just to sign this band.

13. Yawning Man, New Album (Soon)

Make no mistake. The prospect of a new Yawning Man album would arrive much higher on this list if I was more convinced it was going to come together in time for a 2012 release. As it is, Scrit on the forum has had a steady stream of updates since May about the record — the latest news being that it’s going to be a double album — and Scrit‘s in the know, so I’ll take his word. One thing we do know for sure is that the band in the picture above is not the current Yawning Man lineup. Alfredo Hernandez and Mario Lalli out, Greg Saenz and Billy Cordell in. Bummer about the tumult, but as long as it’s Gary Arce‘s ethereal guitar noodling, I’m hooked one way or another.

Since we closed with rampant speculation, let me not forget that somewhere out there is the looming specter of a new Neurosis album, which the sooner it gets here, the better. Perhaps also a new Clutch full-length, though I doubt that’ll materialize before 2013. And that’s a different list entirely.

Thanks for reading. Anything I forgot or anything you’d like to add to the list, leave a comment.

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audiObelisk: First Batch of Roadburn 2011 Streams Posted Online

Posted in audiObelisk on May 4th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Whether you were there or not, part of the Roadburn experience each year is reliving it (and hearing the bands you didn’t get to see) with the flood of live audio streams that always emerge after the festival is over. As with last year, the fest was kind enough to grant me permission to host the links to the streams where you can listen, so here’s the first bunch. Some killer sets here from Acid King, Naam, Stone Axe (I’d recommend starting there), Evoken, Hooded Menace et al. Hope you like it heavy.

Acid King – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703686#ondemand.44703686

Naam – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703729#ondemand.44703729

Trap Them – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703723#ondemand.44703723

Stone Axe – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703718#ondemand.44703718

Hooded Menace – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703708#ondemand.44703708

Coffins – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703693#ondemand.44703693

Evoken – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703697#ondemand.44703697

Grave Miasma – Live at Roadburn 2011
http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/ondemand/44703701#ondemand.44703701

Special thanks to Walter and Roadburn for the many kindnesses they’ve shown The Obelisk, this among them.

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The Horror-Obsessed Doom of Hooded Menace

Posted in Reviews on May 28th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

[Please note: Pekka Koskelo plays drums and Lasse Pyykkö plays bass, guitar and sings on Never Cross the Dead. This information was not included with the album promo I received. Sorry for any inconvenience this mistake caused.]

Fuck me, this is heavy. One has certain expectations when one hears the words “Finland” and “death/doom” in the same sentence, given that the land of a thousand lakes is the same one that gave us Thergothon and Skepticism (funny how that nickname never caught on), and relative newcomers Hooded Menace, who hail from Joensuu, pick up the ceremonial death/doom mace and drive it right into any and all unsuspecting would-be worthy eardrums on their sophomore full-length, Never Cross the Dead (Profound Lore). Play slow, play loud, play horrific; they’ve pretty much got the formula nailed down.

The four-piece Hooded Menace made their debut in 2008 with Fulfill the Curse, which I haven’t yet heard, but listening to Never Cross the Dead makes me want to go back and find it, whether it’s the surprise sample scream on “Terror Castle” (spoiler alert) or the cement-drying pace of “From Their Coffined Slumber.” Vocalist Oula Kerkelä has a growl that could crack the earth, and it sits well on the thick metallic riffage of guitarist Lasse “Leper Messiah” Pyykkö (formerly of Acid Witch), and Hooded Menace find some of their most effective moments when the balance tips more toward the death metal side of death/doom. Don’t get me wrong, the plod works. Drummer Jori Sara-aho pulls off the ultra-slow crash/ride hits on “Night of the Deathcult” perfectly with bassist Antti Salminen rumbling beneath, and the droning riffs are flat-out killer, but Hooded Menace pick up the pace for a part here and there, and it sounds like Immolation on downers, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, rules.

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