Bongripper to Headline Høstsabbat 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Let’s put an asterisk there, maybe. Or at least an ellipsis followed by some kind of if-there-is-such-a-thing statement. Even the kind folks behind the Oslo-based Høstsabbat Festival, which I’ve been sort of hanging my hat on as other shows, tours and fests have been canceling as a result of COVID-19’s barely-contained spread — saying to myself, “Well at least Høstsabbat is far enough away that it might still happen — are acknowledging that they’re announcing the intention to bring Bongripper over as a headliner with a spirit of optimism. And hey, why not, right? What the fuck else is going on? Everyone knows the situation. If it happens, it’ll be great — the fucking Høstsabbat is so god damned good that, frankly, it’s worth having as something to look forward in all this — and if it doesn’t happen, well, we’ll know well in advance.

What’s the worst scenario? You buy a ticket and support people who make amazing crap happen when circumstances like global pandemics allow? You could do far worse while social distancing.

I don’t know if I even need to convince you of that, but that’s my case, anyhow. I think I made it well enough. Fucking Bongripper, dude.

I edited their post but didn’t write it:

hostsabbat 2020 bongripper

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – BONGRIPPER (US)

As we said in our last post, our everyday lives have been turned completely upside down recently.

After some discussion, we’ve decided to move ahead as planned. If nothing else, we want to try to add some sparkle to the end of the tunnel everyone seems to be in. We reckon you, as much as us, need something to look forward to, something that can make this surreal struggle a tiny, tiny bit easier to cope with. So yes, here it is:

BONGRIPPER will headline Høstsabbat 2020.

As you know, we always try to choose headliners suitable for the church acoustics. Since we started our collaboration with Kulturkirken JAKOB, this very band has been on the top of our wishlist of invitees. It is a massive joy to finally be able to announce Bongripper for our sabbathian crowd. For the first time in Norway, no less.

Bongripper is a band staking out new paths. They’re leaders of the pack, inspiring younger bands with their unearthly rumble and distinct riffs. Their instrumental, miserable Chicago doom has taken them all over the world, and they’ve been featured on every significant festival there is, building a solid and loyal fanbase throughout their seven full-length career. Finally the time has come for Høstsabbat.

The chapel stage will hold the presence of a band with sudden changes, blasting drums and a heaviness so impeccable, you’ll have a hard time standing up straight in front of it. This gig will mark a highlight in the history of Høstsabbat. Please welcome Bongripper, the headliners of this year’s heaviest event!

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020 Adds Greenleaf to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Of course it’s all tentative. Everything’s tentative at this point, but one can hardly fault Oslo’s Høstsabbat for trying to inject a bit of optimism into the day by adding Sweden’s Greenleaf to the lineup for the festival that, as of now, is still scheduled to take place this October. Does Høstsabbat know what October will bring in terms of COVID-19? Nope. Does anyone? If they do, they’re not saying, so yeah. Might as well keep announcing bands and at least give people something to look forward to — shit, give me something to look forward to, never mind anyone else — even if that has to come with the inevitable asterisk of well-this-might-not-happen-because-of-a-global-pandemic. Fine. I’ll take it anyway. Just the thought of seeing Greenleaf on stage again is enough to make me smile, let alone seeing them in that church for Høstsabbat.

If there is a Høstsabbat 2020 — and I very, very much hope there is — it’s going to be something incredibly special.

Here’s their statement:

greenleaf HØSTSABBAT 2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – GREENLEAF (SE)

In these troubled times where life has turned into a battle of life or death for most things concerning music and cultural activities, we’d like to encourage our fellow riff worshippers to look ahead, towards a better existence. Our whole scene is under great pressure, and it’s more important than ever to support each other and to acknowledge the importance of the everyday shows, independent clubs, festivals, promoters, technicians and everything else surrounding what we love the most. Hopefully when October comes, the covid-19 pandemic has lost, and gatherings as our own Høstsabbat has been given the green light.

Speaking of green. GREEN LUNG has already been announced, so why not add Greenleaf to the party?

Yes, Greenleaf is coming!

These Swedish legends have become one of the biggest bands in the European stoner circuit, and it’s easy to grasp why. Even though it started out as “just” a side project by Tommi Holappa, at the time the key member of Dozer, their 20-year long history have seen the band climbing to the top, slowly but steadily. Their last two albums, both released by Napalm Records, marked their return with bells on, and proved their position as leaders of melodic fuzzed out stoner rock.

Their recent album “Hear the Rivers” interact with hard-hitting drums, groovy-as-hell riffs, topped with the epic melodies from the lungs of their new singer Arvid Hällagård. For a Swedish band of this size, we’re surprised they haven’t frequented Oslo more often.

For this year’s Høstsabbat it only adds to the quality though, and we are stoked to bring them to church.

Hail the leaf, hail Greenleaf!

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020: Hymn to Make Return Appearance with New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I’m going to level with you. I’ve been invited back to Oslo to cover Høstsabbat 2020 and through hell, high water, plague or societal collapse, as long as the fest is happening, I’m planning on going. I don’t know how many tickets are left for Høstsabbat 2020 because, frankly, I don’t need to know. I do know, however, some of the band names that the festival has yet to announce, and from that knowledge, I can tell you safely that the two-dayer at the Kulturkirken Jakob — as incredible a setting for shows as I’ve ever seen, both in terms of bands playing on the church altar and downstairs in the basement — and the bar across the street that was added as a third stage last year will indeed sell out. The tickets will be gone. I’m not going to presume you can afford travel from wherever you live as well as tickets — I certainly can’t — but if you’re able to do so and thinking of making the trip, I can only recommend to you to get off the fence and make the ticket purchase happen sooner than later.

Because the tickets will be gone. And you’ll have missed it.

Now. Again, pending disaster, this will be my fourth trip to Oslo for Høstsabbat — 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. I have been fortunate enough in that time to see that this festival is becoming something really special as it continues to grow and become a presence in Norway and with a reputation that extends beyond its home city. If you’re someone who looks at fests as experiences to be had, it is an experience to be had. More, it’s one you want to have.

I’m not working for the fest. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m one fan of cool shit speaking to someone who may or may not be interested in some shit I think is pretty cool. That’s all.

Also, good to know Hymn, in returning to Høstsabbat this Fall, will have a new record in tow. All the more reason to look forward.

Here’s their addition announcement:

hymn hostsabbat 2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – HYMN (NO)

HYMN is the closest we come to an in-house band. No other band has played Høstsabbat three times. Why? No other band pulls off exactly what Hymn does. Actually, there might not be another band able to impress the way these guys do.

Their debut album “Perish” from 2017 is a monster of an effort, but what’s yet to come will leave marks way beyond our Norwegian borders. We have heard it, the upcoming album set for release autumn 2020. The label behind it, Fysisk Format, drew the winning ticket with this one.

This new album hits hard, with its raw, yet crisp sound. They separate themselves, managing to add detail and finesse hardly seen in aggressive sludge outfits. They lead the way so to speak. It IS that good.

Luckily for our crowd, they’re even better live, and they’ll play this very album in it’s entirety, while starting off Høstsabbat in the Chapel stage, Friday October 2nd.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020: Orkan Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Harmony-laced Swedish retro heavy with a folkish flair? Well yes, that’s excellent and all well and good in joining the lineup for Høstsabbat 2020, which only continues — and from what I hear, will continue — to grow more awesome with each new band announced. As I’ll be there barring piano-dropped-on-my-head-type disaster, they’re one to look forward to seeing, particularly as their 2017 debut was such a gem and they’ve apparently got a follow-up just completed, but I think it’s worth taking a second here to appreciate the artwork that accompanies this announcement. Yeah, it’s a couple of robed figures and a smoking snail and a little Sabbath demon, but if the subject matter is familiar, look at the friggin’ detail and the technique.

Really. If you click the image and open the link in a new tab you can see it as 2048×2048 pixels, and it’s worth doing that just to appreciate the line work on the snail alone, never mind the demon or the celebrants. Trine Grimm and Linda K Røed hosted a gallery show in the basement of the Kulturkirken Jakob at Høstsabbat last year, and also did a live painting at the fest, so it’s not like their work as been unacknowledged or anything, but it’s becoming increasingly clear how essential they are to Høstsabbat‘s aesthetic at this stage. It’s so cool to see what this festival is becoming as it moves forward each year.

Plus the bands rule. To wit:

hostsabbat 2020 orkan

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – ORKAN (SE)

Some bands combine the quality of pleasing the retro-oriented crowd just as much as youngsters in search of something new and edgy. It’s hard to say how it’s done, but if you’re curious, our next band should fit that description perfectly.

Orkan is a highly enjoyable spectacle on stage, just as their sound is cuddly to your eardrums on their recordings. With their current view on society, while at the same time leaning on the classic prog sounds of a forgotten era, they’re truly a breath of fresh air. Surprised they’re from Sweden? We’re not.

Orkan will grace Høstsabbat with that very breath of fresh air.

They’re light, but at the same time heavy, especially with their lyrics casting light on how this world is evolving.

As they’ve just finished recording their new album, we look forward to welcome this vivid 5-piece to Høstsabbat 2020.

We bet they’ll hit you like a storm, or a hurricane even.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020: Øresund Space Collective Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

You ever feel like the universe is just doing you favors? That’s me reading that Øresund Space Collective being added to Høstsabbat 2020 this October in Oslo. One could kind of say the same of the whole lineup to this point, from Mars Red Sky right on down to Green Lung, but honestly, the always-improvised jams of Øresund Space Collective are something I write about when I feel like I need to reset my brain or get myself right on some creative level — a kind of refresher and reminder of the vitality of the passion that can fuel a band’s work. And I’ve never seen them live, either. And if all goes according to plan, I will at Høstsabbat. It’s one more thing to make me look forward to this trip in the Fall. I’ve seen Dr. Space jam with other bands, and that’s been cool, but yeah. This is going to be something special and I can’t wait.

Here’s the announcement. I didn’t write it but I tweaked it a bit at the request of the festival:

hostsabbat 2020 oresund space collective

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE (DK)

Space alert!

When space is the place there’s only one place to go. If your only desire is to be captivated in a lush improvised cosmos, your mind altered by the liquid shifts of galaxies, you need to call in the doctor.

Hailing Dr. Space! Come in, Dr. Space!

Known by the terrestrial name of Scott Heller by some earthlings, Dr. Space gathered the Øresund Space Collective together back in 2004. With a somewhat rotating cast of musicians from around Denmark and beyond, the idea has maintained the same; to gather a group of players challenging themselves in long and improvised jams, taking advantage of the energy between them and the playful interaction. It’s a masterclass in borderless music. A sonic conversation set for the heart of the sun, presented to the listener in its most natural state.

The Collective soon found themselves leaders of the European psych scene, and it’s fair to say they’ve remained in that position ever since, consistent in releases but gigging only occasionally mostly due to other projects spanning out from their core.

After years of trying without success, we are proud to have at last established interplanetary relations between ourselves and Dr. Space, and proud to bring these forefathers of Scandinavian spaced-out psych to our church.

Please welcome Øresund Space Collective to Høstsabbat 2020.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020 Adds Green Lung to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I feel like I don’t even need to ask if you caught wind of Green Lung‘s 2019 debut album, Woodland Rites (review here), because the heavy odds are that, yeah, you definitely did. The London outfit were already considered up-and-coming by the time the LP arrived through Kozmik Artifactz, and the response to the record — well earned, I’ll note — was nigh on religious in its fervor. Clearly a band onto something special, and it caught on in a huge, resonant way. The songs were there and the groove was locked in and they presented their material with a command that undercut the idea of it being their first shot at a 12″.

Høstsabbat 2020 will bring Green Lung to Norway for the first time. This is the second lineup addition in a row that’s a first Oslo appearance for the band in question — Sweden’s Besvärjelsen have never been either — and while both acts are relatively new compared to others on the bill, it’s still an occasion worth noting. If all goes well and the fest doesn’t realize how generally awful I am between now and then, I’ll be back at Høstsabbat this October, and the prospect of catching Green Lung makes me look forward to that all the more.

Here’s what the festival has to say:

hostsabbat 2020 green lung

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – GREEN LUNG (UK)

It’s becoming Høstsabbat tradition that, while we don’t bring hordes of UK bands across the pond every year — and there are enough of them that we could — we’ve established a lust and will to AT LEAST feature one of the many acts in the bursting UK underground. Our Sabbathians deserve no less, and London’s Green Lung is definitely a band fitting that description.

Their debut album ‘Woodland Rites’ (Kozmik Artifactz) smashed almost every best-of-2019 list we saw last year, bringing together memorable songwriting and a sound that calls to the golden days of psych rock and the birth of heavy sounds. Add warm harmonies, clever hooks, dueling guitar and the obligatory bit of Black Sabbath to the cake, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

As a relatively new band, Høstsabbat 2020 will mark their first appearance in Oslo. Could there be a better occasion? Never.

Come see their show. If your mind’s not blown, at least your lungs will be greener. But we’re expecting blown minds too.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020: Besvärjelsen Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

As it would, the addition of Swedish outfit Besvärjelsen brings a new breadth of atmosphere to the lineup for Høstsabbat 2020, with the added bonus that it’ll be the band’s first time in Oslo. Their 2019 EP, Frost (review erereview here, saw their particular emotionalist ambience take on a woodsy spirit, and though I was pleased to be able to write the liner notes for the limited Postwax release thereof, the release still offers surprising depth when I put it on to listen, as I might, say, when writing about the band being added to Høstsabbat and going to Norway to play it. Go figure.

This festival, by the way, is going to sell out. You should go. I hope to go again as well, but whether I do or not, I can only recommend it on a life-experience level. The setting, the atmosphere, the sound and the visuals are all stellar and worth the trip from wherever you might be making it. Just a side note. Word to the wise, as it were.

I didn’t write the announcement below, but I did tweak the copy before it went out, so at least there’s that. Still, I cut and pasted it from the festival’s social media — as opposed to from my .txt file — so here it is in PR wire blue:

hostsabbat 2020 besvarjelsen

Høstsabbat 2020 – BESVÄRJELSEN (SE)

Let’s head back to Sweden.

Besvärjelsen is a relatively fresh band, but their debut LP, 2018’s ‘Vallmo’ — released through no less than the reliable source that is Suicide Records — launched the quintet into the Swedish and European stoner rock scene with full force. They were highly acclaimed for their Swedish lyrics and inspiration from folk music — as well as for featuring ex-Dozer members Erik Bäckwall (drums) and Johan Rockner (bass) — but to be honest, the album flew a bit under our radar at Høstsabbat. Not for long.

Their 2019 ‘Frost’ EP, out on Blues Funeral Recordings, hit like a tornado with undeniable groove and constant forward push. The sound and riffs came on tight and clever, reflecting on the darkness of nature of the endless woods in their home area of Dalarna.

This ethereal spirit and the coinciding haunting melodies of Lea Amling Alazam’s vocals put Besvärjelsen in a league of their own. Their sound crafted with finesse to the point that it’s hard to put their records aside. They just get stuck on repeat.

Are Besvärjelsen the next big thing from our neighbouring Swedes?

Høstsabbat is proud to present this stellar band for first time in Oslo.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020 Adds Conan to Church Stage

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

You thinkin’ new Conan record this year? Me too. They’ve done no shortage of touring to support 2018’s Existential Void Guardian (review here), and already last year they were dropping hints of more to come, so yeah, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility.

They’re already slated to play Desertfest London in Spring, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a tour around that, and the announcement they’ll be at Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo for Høstsabbat 2020 makes me think they’ll be out in Fall as well. North America sometime between? South America? Japan? Australia? Mars? Hell, I don’t know. Is there anywhere Conan haven’t been yet? If so, you have to imagine they’ll book it sooner or later.

You know what I love though about them joining the Høstsabbat lineup? Aside from the fact that they’ll absolutely fill that church with massive fucking riffs one after another in pure pounding fashion and I’m planning on being there to witness it — yes, aside from that — there’s the fact that the previous Høstsabbat announcement was for Causa Sui. The festival did an excellent job in 2019 in creating a flow across its component stages. But how awesome would the total 180 of putting those two bands back to back be? You’d absolutely blindside people one way or the other. I can’t imagine that’s how Høstsabbat‘s organizers will roll it out, but golly that’s a fun thought.

Here’s a handy poster to share and official word:

hostsabbat 2020 conan

Høstsabbat 2020 – CONAN

Boom!

Conan is finally back on Norwegian soil.

It will be four years since they last came to Høstsabbat, appearing at our fest in 2016.

The guys in Conan were rising stars already then, and have only strengthened their position since. There are some bands in our scene going the extra mile, and Conan is definitely one of them. They tour relentlessly on all continents of our globe, and always have new recordings and projects in sight – always moving ahead and leaving devastation in their wake. They’ve crafted a one of a kind sound and their intensity is unwavering.

One can only imagine how their caveman battle doom will translate to the altar stage.

Their drop F heaviness will make Kulturkirken Jakob rattle like a snake, along with our intestines.

Please welcome Conan to church on October 2nd.

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Conan, “Volt Thrower” official video

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