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

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

quarterly review

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

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Slift, Ummon

slift ummon

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

Slift on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

Vicious Circle Records store

 

IIVII, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep

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

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds store

 

Coogans Bluff, Metronopolis

coogans bluff metronopolis

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

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Noisolution store

 

Rough Spells, Ruins at Midday

rough spells ruins at midday

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

Rough Spells on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzed and Buzzed store

DHU Records store

 

Goblinsmoker, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze

goblinsmoker a throne in haze a world ablaze

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

Goblinsmoker on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Homecoming, LP01

homecoming lp01

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

Homecoming on Thee Facebooks

Homecoming on Bandcamp

 

Lemurian Folk Songs, Logos

lemurian folk songs logos

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

Lemurian Folk Songs on Thee Facebooks

Para Hobo Records on Bandcamp

 

Ritual King, Ritual King

ritual king ritual king

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

Ritual King on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Sunflowers, Endless Voyage

sunflowers endless voyage

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

Sunflowers on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

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

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records store

 

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Lemurian Folk Songs, Ima: Pyramid Dreams of Triacontagon

Posted in Reviews on November 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Lemurian Folk Songs Ima

Sonic escapism can take any number of shapes or any number of non-shapes, and Lemurian Folk Songs do likewise. The first thing one hears on the nine-minute opener “Highself Roadhouse” is a chant-like vocal from singer/keyboardist Benus Krisztina that’s just two words: “Eternal circle.” Amid echo and reverb spaciousness comes a tonal warmth that extends from Ambrus Bence‘s guitar and newcomer Nemesházi Attila‘s bass to Baumgartner István‘s snare drums, adding to a fluid mix of fuzz and psychedelic vibing that becomes the running theme throughout the four-song/38-minute long-player, Ima. The title of the album is properly written with a kind of pyramid symbol next to the word (I can never get those things to show up in text; this site runs on a very old framework), but it would seem to tie into the pyramid-minded artwork, conjuring visions of ancient astronaut weirdness and all sorts of amalgamated who-knows-what.

And fair enough, since the Para Hobo Records-released album operates in a not completely dissimilar manner, with each song finding its own way around that central warmth as the Budapest-based four-piece steer its direction through airy post-whatnot or psychedelic boogie in second track “Füst,” indeed a bit of folk serenity in the penultimate “Pillanat,” and, on the 15:42 closer “Melusina III,” a deluxe, nod-ready fuzzed-out jam that resolves itself in a wash of noise and residual effects, seeming to leave nothing behind as the guitar line drifts out and leaves the bass and drums to hold out the central rhythm until that too dissipates, leaving just the lasers-in-space of guitar, which also fades out over the final minute-plus. That’s an as-reasonable-as-anything ending for a record like Ima — which is the band’s second behind 2017’s Maro and their 2016 debut EP, Nommo, from before Krisztina joined — but of course the focus such as it is is much more centered around the journey to get there rather than what happens at the end. That’s the nature of an offering such as this, but it’s a form in which Lemurian Folk Songs thrive, finding a home for themselves among a host of otherworldly sensibilities.

They would seem to be aware of such a trajectory, as well. Even the band’s moniker refers to some vision of a lost world, with Lemuria having been a once-postulated sunken continent that united India, Madagascar and Australia via what’s now the Indian Ocean. Obviously it would’ve been a sizable continent, but it was theorized because of similarities primate fossils in those places — thus Lemuria from “lemur.” Some Tamil writers adopted Lemuria as an interpretation of their own legendary sunken continent, Kumari Kandam (thanks Wikipedia), and others have taken on the idea of a lost civilization and so on. Lemurian Folk Songs, then, would be what these mythical people in this forgotten culture sang, whoever and whenever they were. So it is that the ethereal is manifest throughout Ima, and though the moniker is more a framework than a conceptual lens — that is, I don’t think they’re actually trying to write a lost culture’s folk music so much as they’re trying to write quality heavy psychedelia; a goal they achieve and then some, by the way — the feeling of being in another place is nonetheless crucial to the affect of the material.

Lemurian Folk Songs (Photo by Robert Kranitz)

From those initial chants, “Highself Roadhouse” sets itself out across a sonic sprawl that’s immersive and rife with intertwining energies, hypnotic in its repetitions but with enough change throughout to stave off being redundant. The trajectory is outward, but “Highself Roadhouse” is less about space than spirit, and as one can’t see a song title containing the word “roadhouse” without thinking of The Doors, it’s worth noting that Krisztina does work a bit of Jim Morrison swagger into her cadence on the opener. That’s all the more fitting as Ima shifts gears into “Füst,” which is faster and more physical in its movement, Bence showcasing choice lead work as Attila‘s bass tone continues to be a highlight unto itself. I am an eternal sucker for righteous low-end warmth, but even so, the work done here in anchoring the proceedings in complementing István in the rhythm section as well as the Bence‘s guitar is the kind that only makes a good album or band that much better.

“Füst” smooths and chills out effectively over its 8:25 run, and that makes the transition into the shorter “Pillanat” that much more of a highlight unto itself. The line between “Highself Roadhouse” and “Füst” was drawn with a quiet guitar and silence before the boogie riff started, but with “Füst” and “Pillanat” it’s more direct, an echoing vocal ending the second track shortly before the third picks up with its soft and melodic line. And “Pillanat” may be the briefest cut on Ima at just over five minutes, but it’s a beautifully meditative moment that does much to enrich the record as a whole in vibe, mood and aesthetic, showcasing a patience and broader dynamic than Lemurian Folk Songs have yet shown while also acting as a setup for “Melusaina III,” the rolling fuzz of which hits immediately and in hell-yes fashion, with Bence wasting no time in establishing the central riff as effects come to swirl around it, the drums take a laid back push and the bass, as ever, thickens the proceedings engagingly, given further dimension to the space the tones occupy.

It’s also Attila‘s bass that holds to the central figure as Bence‘s guitar goes wandering in the closer’s midsection, eventually working its way back to the roll and out again as Krisztina‘s keys fill out the melody. From there, there’s just about no coming back and Lemurian Folk Songs know it. But “coming back” was seemingly never in the plans anyway, and their already-noted departure-via-noise gives a last-minute flourish of experimentalism that comes across as underscoring the live feel of the performances preceding. I don’t know if they recorded live or not, but there’s a vitality to the work throughout Ima that very much suits Lemurian Folk Songs, and with the range of their songcraft and the meld of spontaneity and structure they bring to the offering, the converted among heavy psych heads should be well on board for the voyage as they present it. A sleeper, maybe, but not to be missed, with each track doing something to enhance the entirety in such a way as to make it all the more resonant by the time it’s done.

Lemurian Folk Songs, Ima (2019)

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Lemurian Folk Songs on Instagram

Lemurian Folk Songs on Bandcamp

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Para Hobo Records on Instagram

Para Hobo Records on Bandcamp

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Track-by-Track & Full Album Stream: Ozone Mama, Cosmos Calling

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on January 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ozone mama

Hungarian heavy rock four-piece Ozone Mama will release their third album, Cosmos Calling, on Jan. 19 as their debut on Ripple Music. Whether it’s the element of bluesy Southern twang that shows up in the title-track, “The Alchemist” or the earlier “Straight on Till Morning Light” — pretty much anytime they break out the organ — or the unbridled hook that makes “High Ride” such a shimmering standout, the record boasts a clarity of intent and craft front to back that coincides with its straightforward, frills-need-not-apply ethic of songwriting. And it very much lives up to that ethic in performance and execution — it can sound clean because there’s nothing it needs to mask beneath a layer of sonic grit.

Comprised of vocalist Márton Székely, guitarist András Gábor, bassst Gergely Dobos and drummer Máté GulyásOzone Mama debuted ozone mama cosmos callingwith 2012’s The Starship and followed that with 2016’s Sonic Glory. A penchant for spacey themes notwithstanding, their material is nothing if not grounded on Cosmos Calling, as shown in the shuffling “Cold Light of Day” or the manner in which the swing of “Doppelganger” updates the ideology of ’70s heavy rock so as to allow both the rhythmic shove and the melody come through — a little cowbell there doesn’t hurt either, naturally. Taken in kind with the thicker riffing that shows itself throughout moments like the intro to “The Alchemist” or the winding “Feel so Alive,” Ozone Mama set up a range for their sound that remains unified thanks to the overarching quality of their hooks, the presence of Székely as a frontman and the obvious chemistry shared between the band as a whole.

As the closing pair of “The Alchemist” and “Moon Pilot” — the latter something of a sonic shift from much of what precedes — play out as two of the longest cuts on Cosmos Calling, the message is only further nailed down of a conscientious approach to their work, which is a big part of the reason why, in featuring the album in its entirety today ahead of its release later this week, it seemed all the more prudent to get the perspective of the group itself. I don’t do track-by-tracks so often, but in a case like that of Ozone Mama, where they’re so readily apparent in demonstrating intent and purpose behind their work, it could hardly feel more appropriate.

You’ll find Cosmos Calling in its entirety on the player below, followed by the band’s runthrough of each song on it.

Please enjoy:

Ozone Mama, Cosmos Calling Track-by-Track

(Courtesy of the band)

1. Evil Ways

This one has a dark psychedelic intro with spooky oriental vibe. Along with the use of the haunting tanpura and mellotron, the distorted vocals and lyrics are reminiscent to Blind Willie Johnson, and for such a short song it’s the one on the album that’s guaranteed to give anyone the creeps.

2. Straight on Till Morning Light

This one’s a sequel to “Evil Ways” and our tribute to Gregg Allman, who passed away recently. Southern rock has always been a strong influence on our songwriting. The bridge brings back that gothic vibe of the intro with a chant-like vocal and if you like slide guitars, tasty Rhodes piano and that upbeat/psychedelic ‘Allman-vibe,’ this is the one for you.

3. Doppelganger

A cheerful-sounding song based on a heavy riff but with very dark lyrics. This song is about that ‘evil twin’ which lurks inside all of us; paranoia, schizophrenia, all of those things which can hit anyone at any point in their life. The story is about a sinister parasitic twin living in the person’s head, very reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Dark Half.

4. High Ride

This is an unusual song from us. It was our first single from Cosmos Calling and has a totally different vibe than the rest, with catchy melodies and a heavy fuzz solo. It’s essentially an invitation for a ride to set you free.

5. Shout at the Sky

A melodic piece on the album, a slow ballad-like song about the constant search for the right path and the right decisions of life. The story behind this one is basically about a man who had made a mistake and the regret was so heavy that his misery made him ill. There is a second interpretation too. The other reading of it is a story of a man with cancer and as his moods swing and memories becoming more poignant.

6. Freedom Fighters

A high-octane rock and roll song with a very simple message: set yourself free and take steps to eliminate all the bad things that ruin your life. “Freedom Fighters” refers to revolutionary people, spiritual leaders and the ones fighting for a greater good and equality.

7. Cosmos Calling

The title-track from the album. This bluesy, psychedelic and heavy fuzz number has plenty of Hammond organs, and harmonized vocals and is a very upbeat and cosmic love song with hints of humour in the vein of Kurt Vonnegut.

8. Feel so Alive

This song is about the power of music. When you turn up the volume and the joy and adrenaline rushes through your veins. Heavy fuzz, tight basslines, funky wah-work and a hint of Motown in the verses. There’s also a tape delay under the solo which might bring you back to the best moments of the ’70s space-rock bands.

9. Cold Light of Day

This one is another upbeat song but it does have slight cold and wintry vibe to it. It’s the story of a man who has been in a poisonous relationship and finally he realizes that he’s been wrong all along and a change must inevitably happen. Escaping from the witch’s spell and get rid of those chains before it’s too late.

10. The Alchemist

A fuzz-heavy, riff-based fiction with a very dark vibe this one’s about a guy who’s trying to save his friends in a plague-ridden town but, at the end, he dies just like the others despite all his best efforts at concocting a cure.

11. Moon Pilot

“Moon Pilot” is the climactic point of the album, the last song on the record, longer than the rest and it has a space rock sound with lyrics reminiscent of the darkest novels of Philip K. Dick and a theme not to dissimilar to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Just updated a little for today’s rock audience.

Ozone Mama on Thee Facebooks

Ozone Mama on Twitter

Ozone Mama on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Ozone Mama Announce Cosmos Calling Album Details; Stream “Doppelganger”

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

ozone mama

First announced in October when the Budapest-based band was signed to Ripple Music and unveiled the track ‘High Ride,’ the new album from Ozone Mama, Cosmos Calling, is set to arrive Jan. 19. More details have come out about the record, as well as the cover art, and a new track called “Doppelganger” that’s got a suitably raucous vibe. I’m hoping to set up some kind of stream or album premiere for this one before it comes out — always a tumult with the change from one year to another, so everything’s tentative — so maybe consider the song at the bottom of this post a precursor to that. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

The PR wire has all the info:

ozone mama cosmos calling

Introducing OZONE MAMA: Hungarian Hard Rockers to Release New Album on Ripple Music

Cosmos Calling is released worldwide on 19th January 2018 on Ripple Music

Featuring vocalist Márton Székely, guitarist András Gábor, bass player Gergely Dobos and drummer Máté Gulyás, Ozone Mama’s soulful and riff-heavy music gives a fresh facelift to the rock and roll of the 60s and 70s. What’s more, this January, the Hungarian quartet will release their brand-new studio album Cosmos Calling on one of the finest heavy psych, stoner and doom labels on the planet. Ripple Music.

Acclaimed for their electrifying live performances, cranking out a bristling brand of high-octane rock, Ozone Mama hail from Budapest with a vintage sound swaddled in a modern vibe.

Their debut album The Starship Has Landed won a Fonogram Prize at the Hungarian Music Awards in 2012 and their follow up, Freedom EP (2013), received major airplay across European, American and Canadian radio stations, as well as press plaudits from esteemed publications like Classic Rock Magazine (UK).

Their last album, Sonic Glory (2016) saw the band receive their second Fonogram Prize in the category of ‘Hard Rock/Metal Album of the Year’ and capped off what had been an extremely busy time for the band, sharing stages across Europe with International headliners such as Monster Magnet (USA), Airbourne (AU), The Darkness (UK) and Kamchatka (SWE).

Now joining forces with the industry leading heavy rock label Ripple Music and following the success of their lead-off single ‘High Ride’ – which is still available here – Cosmos Calling officially hits the streets on 19th January of 2018.

Tracklisting:
1. Evil Ways
2. Straight On Till Morning Light
3. Doppelganger
4. High Ride
5. Feel So Alive
6. Shout At The Sky
7. Cosmos Calling
8. Freedom Fighters
9. Cold Light Of Day
10. The Alchemist
11. Moon Pilot

Ozone Mama is:
Marton Szekely – Vocals
Andras Gabor – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Gergely Dobos – Bass
Mate Gulyas – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/ozonemamaband
https://twitter.com/OzoneMamaHUN
https://ozonemama.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

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Ozone Mama Sign to Ripple Music; New Single Available to Stream & Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ozone mama

Hungarian heavy rockers Ozone Mama will release their new album, Cosmos Calling in January via Ripple Music. As a precursor, the band is giving an early download away for an edit of the track “High Rise,” kind of as an introductory single, complete with its own cover art and a showcase of the classic vibes and the modern presentation thereof that would seem to make up the core of their approach. The hook is on point and the vibe likewise, so if nothing else they picked the right song to pique interest in the record, which, you know, is the whole idea behind singles in the first place. Or at least it was at one point, when rock and roll was a thing. Which it is now. Again. For the first time.

You know what? Let’s start over: Hey folks, here’s a band Ripple just signed. If you wanna give ’em a shot, they’ve got a new song up for free download now. Here’s some info from the PR wire to go with, so feel free to dig in.

There. Glad we made that work.

Enjoy:

ozone-mama-high-ride

Hungarian Rockers Ozone Mama Sign to Ripple Music, Announce New Album and Free Download Single

Ripple Music is proud to welcome Hungarian rockers, Ozone Mama, to it’s growing family of best heavy psych, stoner and doom bands on the planet.

Cranking out a bristling brand of high-octane rock n’ roll, Ozone Mama hails from Budapest with a vintage sound reminiscent of the 60’s or 70’s yet swaddled in a modern vibe. With their debut album (‘The Starship Has Landed’) they won a Phonogram Prize in 2012 . Their second release, ‘Freedom EP’, released in 2013 received major play across European, American and Canadian radio stations and their song ‘I Really Care’ was featured in Classic Rock Magazine. While their 2016 release “Sonic Glory” was awarded the Fonogram Prize in the category of “Hard Rock or Metal Album of the Year”

Comprised of Márton Székely (vocals), András Gábor (guitar, vocals), Gergely Dobos (bass guitar) and Gulyás Máté (drums), Ozone Mama has shared the stage with International headliners such as Monster Magnet (USA), Airbourne (AU), The Darkness (UK) or Kamchatka (SWE).

Now joining forces with industry leading heavy rock label, Ripple Music, the new album “Cosmos Calling” is due to hit the streets in January of 2018. As a prelude, Ripple is thrilled to release the special radio-edit version of the lead-off single, “High Ride” which is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Ripple Music Bandcamp page and CD single/downloads at Ozone Mama Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/ozonemamaband
https://twitter.com/OzoneMamaHUN
https://ozonemama.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

Ozona Mama, “High Ride”

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The Moon and the Nightspirit Announce Metanoia out March 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the moon and the nightspirit

Oh yes. Most definitely. I remain a sucker or Prophecy Productions and their proliferation of dark, otherworldly folk, this time arriving via Hungarian two-piece The Moon and the Nightspirit‘s fifth album, Metanoia, which will be released March 17. I’ll be honest with you, I got the promo download of the record two days ago and I saved it to listen to because I knew we’d be getting a snowstorm yesterday here on the East Coast and after sampling “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése” — which you can hear below — I wanted the blizzard conditions to be my first experience with it.

Absolutely zero regrets on that one, though I doubt that track or any of the others surrounding it on Metanoia would be any less at home on a summer’s night, marked as they are by ritualized percussive thud and an ethereal presence. Did I mention “most definitely?” Good.

The PR wire takes it from here:

the-moon-and-the-nightspirit-metanoia

The Moon and the Nightspirit to Release New Album, ‘Metanoia’, March 17

Hungarian Pagan-Folk Champions Ready Release of Fairytalesque Fifth Album

THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT is a Hungarian duo that creates enchanting and melancholic folk music enhanced by a bewitching pagan aura where threads of ancient mysticism combine with phantasmagoric atmospheres. The group will release its new LP, Metanoia, on March 17 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, Darkher).

In advance of the record’s release, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT has released the new song, “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése”.

Formed in 2003 by multi-instrumentalists Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT has released a string of magnetic albums, celebrated as imagination-opening tapestries of sound. The group’s new LP, Metanoia, builds on its alluring, whimsical explorations, delivering enveloping songs that are as gentle as they are powerful. Creating otherworldly music built on the backs of multitudes of traditional cultural instruments — such as the jaw harp — and the beautiful, ethereal vocals of Tóth –THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT delivers its most impressive music to date and cements its place as frontrunners of the international folk music landscape. As with previous TMATNS albums, the lush, delicate artwork created by Tóth provides the perfect visual accompaniment to the duo’s sprite fairyworld.

Meaning “a return to the pristine and pure path of crystalline existence”, Metanoia is an initiation, a rebirth, an awakening of the higher self, and the rekindling of an inner flame.

Track listing:
1.) A Hajnal Köszöntése
2.) Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése
3.) Mystérion Mega
4.) Kilenc Hid
5.) A Fény Diadala
6.) Metanoia
7.) Kristálymezök
8.) Hen Panta Einai (Minden Egy)

https://www.facebook.com/TheMoonAndTheNightspirit/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/the-moon-and-the-nightspirit/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/

The Moon and the Nightspirit, “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése”

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Burning Saviours, Soldat Hans, Olde, Holy Grove, Persona and Dungaree

Posted in Radio on December 5th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

I try to do these every week. I’d like to, ideally, but it seems to be more like when folders and zip files clog up my desktop enough to really get on my nerves. Fair enough. A full 20 records joined the playlist today, including a couple wintry classics from Anathema that either were overlooked by me or wrongly left out, plus the new Witch Mountain album, and some other recently-reviewed and otherwise-written-about stuff. It’s actually a pretty killer list. If you’re into it, or if you want to see what else has been added lately or what was played today, check out the Playlist and Updates Page. I spend an embarrassing amount of time there. Here are a few more reasons why.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Dec. 5, 2014:

Burning Saviours, Unholy Tales from the North

Burning Saviours Unholy Tales from the North

The unheralded heroes of Sweden’s retro heavy movement return with their first full-length since 2007. Their fifth outing overall, Burning Saviours‘ Unholy Tales from the North follows a series of four singles released between 2012 and 2013 (recently compiled by I Hate Records and released under the title Boken Om Förbannelsen) and finds the Örebro four-piece reveling in ’70s-style doom once more, albeit with a rawer and less directly ’70s-style production. That is, it’s not as directly fuzzed as their self-titled debut was nine years ago, when it was pretty much them and Witchcraft digging on classic Pentagram alone, but still presented in the same spirit, a strong opening trio of “They Will Rise Tonight,” “And the Wolves Cried Out” and “Your Love Hurts Like Fire” creating a lasting impression somewhere between early metal (think Rocka Rolla-era Priest) and the heavy rock that preceded it. Two Swedish-language tracks, “Ondskan” and “Lyktgubben,” end each side, and at 28 minutes, it’s a quick runthrough, but shows easily that Burning Saviours — since 2010 the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Mikael Monks, lead guitarist Jonas Hartikainen, bassist Fredrik Evertsson and drummer Martin Wijkström — remain vital in their approach, cuts like “Inside My Mind” and “The Sons of the North” exploring metal’s roots effectively and organically while crafting something new, if familiar, from them. Burning Saviours on Thee Facebooks, at Transubstans Records.

Soldat Hans, Dress Rehearsal

Soldat Hans Dress Rehearsal

Swiss newcomers Soldat Hans seem to be embarking on an admirably ambitious journey with their self-released debut, Dress Rehearsal, the title of which hints at their thinking of it as a demo, but for which the extended four tracks included serve to craft a sense of ambience that marks it unmistakably as a full-length. Engrossing in its atmosphere, patient in its construction and impeccably conceived, Dress Rehearsal plays out lengthy builds fluidly and takes listeners from minimalist drone and slow unfolding to massive, feedback-caked sludge, and then back again, sounding natural in the process and brilliant for both its pummel and restraint. None of the four cuts — “Meine Liebste; Sie zerbricht sich” (15:21), “Esthère (im bronzefarbenen Licht)” (13:34), “Zikueth! Zikueth!” (18:25) and “Liefdesgrot” (15:08) — really departs from a bleak, moody feel, but there are shifts throughout, as “Esthère (im bronzefarbenen Licht)” moves from the linearity of the opener to brooding post-rock and jazzy exploration before hitting its own wash of viciousness. To have a band take such control of their sound on their first outing is remarkable, and the longest and farthest ranging of the tracks, “Zikueth! Zikueth!” provides Soldat Hans their shining moment, theatrical but not overdone, melodic early and raging late, hypnotic in the middle, as classic as it is avant garde. They close out with another maddening payoff in “Liefdesgrot,” and while in the future I’d be interested to hear them take on structures as wide-ranging as what they bring sonically to Dress Rehearsal, if this is just practice, I can’t wait for the show to start. Soldat Hans on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Olde, I

SAMO_12Jacket_Standard_RJC

If you were to go by their sound alone, I don’t think there’s any way you could come out of hearing burly five-piece Olde‘s Hypaethral Records debut long-player, I, and not imagine they were from Virginia. In fact, they come from Toronto, but the aggro Southern metal they purvey on the album’s eight bruising tracks would be right at home in the heart of sludgeland, full as it is of steady rolls — Sons of Otis drummer Ryan Aubin provides trailmarking thud — the from-the-chest growling from Doug McLarty and lumbering riffs, songs like “Heart Attack” and “Changelings” in the tracklist’s midsection readily crossing the line between sludge and doom, all mudhole stomp, metallic affiliation and violent groove. There’s atmosphere at work, but it comes out through the aggression portrayed, and ultimately, has about as all the ambience of having your teeth kicked in. And yes, that counts the variation on the theme in the closing “Perimeter Walk,” the more echoing guitar, farther back vocals, and so on. With a crisp production behind it, Olde‘s debut knows precisely the kind of beatdown it wants to deliver and sets about its task with brutal efficiency. Olde on Thee Facebooks, Hypaethral Records on Bandcamp.

Holy Grove, Live at Jooniors

Holy Grove Live at Jooniors

Recorded at some point between then and now at Joonior Studios in Seattle, Washington — I’m guessing more toward “then” — the 2014 outing Live at Jooniors from Portland four-piece Holy Grove is only two songs, but even one would be enough to serve notice of their warm tonality and the bluesy vocals of Andrea Vidal, who pushes her voice to its reaches on “Holy Grove” and still manages to nail the emotional crux. Honestly, that would probably be enough to carry “Holy Grove” and the following “Nix” on its own — sold; I’m on board — but I won’t discount the fuzz in Trent Jacobs‘ guitar or bassist Gregg Emley‘s fills in “Nix,” or the seamless shift drummer Craig Bradford leads between subdued verses and the tense chorus of “Holy Grove.” As far as serving notice goes, Live at Jooniors does so and then some, and without sacrificing sound quality as so many underground live recordings do. Seems to me a 7″ release wouldn’t be out of order, but Holy Grove seem more intent on getting together their full-length debut, which if they can bring to the studio the vibe they create in just 13 minutes on stage, is going to be something to look out for indeed. Learn the name, because you’ll hear it again. Holy Grove on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Persona, Persona

Persona Persona

Buenos Aires instrumental four-piece Persona formed in 2004/2005, but their newly-released self-titled appears to be their first LP, preceded by a 2012 EP. If the better part of the intermittent decade was spent jamming, it doesn’t seem to have hurt the band, who present nine plotted but flowing tracks that keep some loose sensibility to them while following a course of classic heavy and fuzz rock. The lineup of guitarist/bassists Lucas Podestá and Santiago Adano, guitarist Gustavo Hernández and drummer Esteban Podestá touch here and there on more metal tendencies, as on “Los Perros” and the brief “Cortina,” but that’s no more out of place than the proggy exploration of “Cuna de Fantasmas,” a King Crimson-style noodling underscored by subtly engaging snare work and giving way to a heavier push. The lead guitar on “Cazador” provides a particularly engaging moment of payoff for the album’s first half, but there’s enough variety throughout that Persona‘s Persona offers a range of satisfying moments. Still room for the band to develop their style, but they obviously have the will and chemistry to do so. Persona on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Dungaree, Climb out of the River

Dungaree Climb out of the River EP

I’ll give it to Hungarian four-piece Dungaree based on their moniker alone. It’s simple, fun to say, and it evokes the rebelliousness of a bygone time. Their debut release, a three-song EP dubbed Climb out of the River, is likewise sharp-dressed, with a grunge-style production that pushes the dudely vocals of László Gergely to the fore ahead of Horváth T. Zoltán‘s guitar, Balogh Attila‘s bass and Dencs Dominik‘s drums to result in a sound that comes across to my American ears more akin to commercial hard rock than underground heavy, though in my experience the line in Europe and particularly Eastern Europe is both less distinct and less relevant. The tracks are short, straightforward, hard-hitting and catchy, with “Climb out of the River” a strong opening hook, “Dream Again” pushing into metallic guitar chugging in its breakneck chorus, and “Right Words” toying with a lounge boogie — snapping fingers and all — that assures the listener that although Dungaree have their sharp corners, they’re not about to take themselves too seriously either. Might not be for everyone, but shows a strong foundation of songwriting, and I wouldn’t ask any more of a first outing than that. Dungaree on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Six releases, and a pretty varied bunch at that. It’s still really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what went up to the server. I always like putting stuff on there — it’s like casting a fishing lure, except maybe without killing? I don’t know. More like tossing a fish in the ocean maybe and not knowing when it will swim by the boat again. Or maybe I just (re)watched Jaws recently and have aquatics on the brain.

Either way, we’ve passed the two-year mark since the stream went online and I’m very happy with how The Obelisk Radio has turned out. Special thanks to Slevin for all the work he’s put in over that time in helping me with hosting and making it go, and thank you as always for reading and listening.

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Wino Wednesday: Wino Guests on Guitar for Wall of Sleep, 2005

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 6th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Happy Wino WednesdayIt’s been a really long time since the last time Wino Wednesday was a guest spot track. Since January, actually (unless you count Probot), and that was live, not studio. To help make up for lost time, I thought we’d hear from Hungarian traditional doomers Wall of Sleep, who had Scott “Wino” Weinrich contribute a guitar track on the song “From the Bottom of These Days” from their 2005 outing, Sun Faced Apostles.

Though I more or less permanently mix up Wall of Sleep (who are named for a Sabbath song) with Well of Souls (who are named for a Candlemass song), “From the Bottom of These Days” is nothing if not a standout track, Wino making his presence felt early with a ripping lead to set up the vocal line from Gábor Holdampf (also formerly of Mood) in the verse. The band’s second album, Sun Faced Apostles was released by PsycheDOOMelic, and Wall of Sleep have two records since then, the latest being 2010’s When Mountains Roar on Nail Records.

So while you contemplate playing four albums’ worth of catch-up with Hungary’s trad doom scene, check out “From the Bottom of These Days” below, and as always, have a happy Wino Wednesday:

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