Ufomammut Announce Ecate European Release Tour with Conan

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

Not to take credit where I shouldn’t or anything like that, but last month, I was talking about Ufomammut and Conan being in the US around the same time for Maryland Deathfest and how a tour with the both of them would be the heaviest thing in the universe and blah blah blah. Now here we are just weeks later and Ufomammut is teaming up with Conan for the release tour celebrating the arrival of their new album, Ecate, on Neurot Recordings – and it’s happening in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to be anywhere on a planet where this kind of thing comes together, but it sure would be neat to have that bill on the same continent where I live. Call me crazy.

Sound of Liberation sent word of impending destruction:

ufomammut ecate visuals

SOUND OF LIBERATION PROUDLY PRESENTS UFOMAMMUT “ECATE” RELEASE TOUR

APRIL 18TH TO 30TH 2015

Few days ago, UFOMAMMUT unveiled details about their upcoming 7th album “ECATE”, which is due out on MARCH 30TH 2015 via Neurot Recordings! Here is their PR company statement, in case you missed it:

“The Italian power trio, known for their almightily heavy capabilities and psychedelic prowess, have as many discernible similarities as they do differences to their formative roots. Never pandering to the easy classification of doom, UFOMAMMUT charge their sludgy output with inimitable energy and wild, wayfaring ambition which is matched by the tightknit musical understanding that flows telepathically between the three members; Poia, Urlo, and Vita.

On their latest album, UFOMAMMUT take a confident step forward with their craft, orchestrating atmospheric processions that take the six songs on the album to places as of yet uncharted, the only guide being that of Ecate (Hecate in English), the three-sided goddess who moves between the realms of the living, the dead, and the gods.

Traditionally associated with matters of the liminal (statues of her can be found at crossroads and city walls, where she would be believed to either bless or curse travellers), she represents the link between the past, the present and the future in a way which resonates true with Ufomammut, and with the name of the band, too.”

Given that, and knowing that you are so looking forward for more information, we are thrilled to present UFOMAMMUT’s “Ecate Release Tour”, from APRIL 18TH to 30TH 2015, highlighted by appearances at both Desertfests!

On many shows, they will be supported by Liverpool’s brain crushers CONAN, for what is going to be incredibly heavy events! Check-out the dates, and be there!

18.04 (Ch) TBA on Feb. 5th
19.04 (Fr) Paris, Glazart (+ CONAN)
20.04 TBC
21.04 (D) Bielefeld, Forum (+ CONAN)
22.04 (D) Wiesbaden, Schlachthof (+ CONAN)
23.04 (D) Munich, Feierwerk (+ CONAN)
24.04 (D) Berlin, Desertfest (+ CONAN)
25.04 (Be) Brussels, AB (+ CONAN)
26.04 (Uk) London, Desertfest (+ CONAN)
28.04 (D) Siegen, Vortex (+ CONAN)
29.04 (D) Stuttgart, Kellerclub
30.04 TBC

Watch also below the first two in a series of video trailers for the album, which we shall be revealing over the course of the next few weeks. These short videos offer a chance to explore the story behind the recording of the album and the roots of their sound, re-affirming the band’s DIY approach to everything they do.

More Info and Updates on: WWW.SOUNDOFLIBERATION.COM
https://www.facebook.com/pages/UFOMAMMUT/83336386071

Ufomammut, Ecate Recording Sessions

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Black Rainbows to Release Hawkdope on March 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

black rainbows

With a name like Hawkdope, it’s gotta be stoned. The forthcoming fourth full-length from Italian three-piece Black Rainbows is set to be released on March 14 through Heavy Psych Sounds. As the follow-up to 2012’s Supermothafuzzalicious!! (review here), the more varied Holy Moon EP (discussed here), and 2014’s four-way split with Naam, White Hills and The Flying Eyes (review here), it finds the trio in an interesting moment in their progression.

On Holy MoonBlack Rainbows delved further than ever before into the sphere of heavy psychedelia — guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori chose the name of his label wisely when he chose Heavy Psych Sounds – and as Fiori is also issuing the debut from his side-project Killer Boogie this month, I’m intrigued to hear if Black Rainbows is pushed more into space rock, as the “Hawk” portion of the new album’s title might lead one to believe, or if they dip back to the more straightforward fuzz of their 2008 debut, Twilight in the Desert, and its 2010 follow-up, Carmina Diablo.

Guess I’ll let you know when I hear it. Actually, I’d be most surprised if Black Rainbows settled for one side or another, as their ambition all along seems to have been to meld heavy rock, space and psych into something raucous of their own making. Their album announcement follows:

black rainbows hawkdope

Heavy Psych Sounds Records presents ***BLACK RAINBOWS***

New album Hawkdope is a perfect mix of MONSTER MAGNET – HAWKWIND – FU MANCHU; a psychedelic, lysergic storm of heavy space-rock containing nine brand new tracks. Artwork by Solomacello

Out 14th March 2015 worldwide for Heavy Psych Sounds Records. Distribuited by Cargo Germany/Goodfellas/Clear Spot/All That’s Heavy and many more…

Released in Golden/LTD Violet/Ultra LTD Yellow Splatter Multicolour Vinyl/Cd/Digital

The band will hit the road in Europe from 18th to 29th March and again from 28th April to to 6th May, followed by a mini UK tour at the beginning of June.

www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.theblackrainbows.com
https://www.facebook.com/BLACKRAINBOWSROCK

Black Rainbows, Live at Desertfest London 2014

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Ufomammut’s Ecate Due March 31 on Neurot

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

More details are emerging about Ufomammut‘s recently completed seventh album. Like the title! The record is called Ecate. It has six tracks and will be released by Neurot in Europe March 30 (Germany gets it three days sooner) and March 31 in the US. The PR wire brings intrigue along with a trailer that goes behind the scenes with the band in making the album in a similar style to the documentary that was included as part of their XV 15th anniversary release (review here). Particularly the phrase “orchestrating atmospheric processions” stands out as I listen to the drone backing the overdubbed words in the trailer clip.

Could it be Ufomammut have made a turn further toward the droned out? Would make sense for them since they’ve only gotten more atmospheric over the years. I’m looking forward to finding out, and until then, here’s details and tracks off the PR wire. Stay tuned, because I think the cover art probably comes next:

ufomammut (photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

UFOMAMMUT Reveals Details Of Seventh Album, Ecate, Due In March Via Neurot Recordings; First Audio/Video Trailer Released

Ecate is the title worthy of deities and of UFOMAMMUT’s seventh studio full-length, which has been confirmed for North American release late this March worldwide via Neurot Recordings.

The Italian power trio, known for their incredibly heavy capabilities and psychedelic prowess, has as many discernible similarities as they do differences to their formative roots. Defying classification of simply a “doom act,” UFOMAMMUT charges their sludgy output with inimitable energy and wayfaring ambition through a tight knit musical understanding which flows telepathically between members, Poia, Urlo, and Vita.

On their latest album, UFOMAMMUT takes a confident step forward with their craft, orchestrating atmospheric processions that take the six songs on the album to places as-of-yet uncharted, the only guide being that of Ecate (Hecate in English), the three-sided goddess who moves between the realms of the living, the dead, and the gods. Traditionally associated with matters of the liminal, as statues of her can be found at crossroads and city walls, where she would be believed to either bless or curse travelers, she represents the link between the past, the present and the future in a way which resonates true with UFOMAMMUT, and with the name of the band, too.

Ecate will see release in Germany on March 27th, in Europe on March 30th and in the US on March 31st. The first in a series of video trailers for the album, which will be continually released over the coming weeks, has today been revealed. These short videos offer a chance to explore the story behind the recording of the album and the roots of their sound, re-affirming the band’s DIY approach to everything they do. View the first installment RIGHT HERE.

Ecate Track Listing:
1. Somnium
2. Plouton
3. Chaosecret
4. Temple
5. Revelation
6. Daemon

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
4/23/2015 Desert Fest – Berlin, DE
4/25/2015 Desert Fest – London, UK
5/21/2015 Maryland Deathfest – Baltimore, MD

http://www.ufomammut.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/UFOMAMMUT/83336386071
http://www.supernaturalcat.com
http://www.malleusdelic.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Ufomammut, Recording Ecate

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Friday Full-Length: Ufomammut, Eve

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ufomammut, Eve (2010)

I wanted to close out this week with something spacious and brain-meltingly heavy, and once I knew that, there was really nowhere else to turn other than to Ufomammut. When their sixth full-length, the 44-minute single piece divided into five parts Eve (review here), was released in 2010 on Supernatural Cat — prior to their signing to Neurot — the band had this to say about its making:

As per the band, the concept of Eve was initially inspired by Pink Floyd‘s Meddle album. “The idea was to work on a long song and some satellites” the band state. “Then we started in playing this song that was growing and developing bigger and bigger. And it was like we were reaching something new; a different knowledge. So I got the feeling we had to move it around something that was about freedom; the idea of rebellion, of fighting to reach something important, and peculiar.”

“The concept of Eve was cool because cause you can read it on both sides, like the Ouroboros; a serpent circle eating itself. When all the other numeric things we came out together it all sounded like it was fate, it had to be done.”

…And they said I was a fool for keeping a PR wire archive for half a decade. Fair enough on the concept, but the absolutely perception-shattering results aren’t to be understated. Though the Italian cosmic doom trio followed Eve with their two-part Neurot debut, Oro (reviews here and here) in 2012, I think Eve might still remain their definitive statement to date. The range they show, the tension in their builds, the sheer density of the mix and weight of their tones — it’s mad genius at work and unlike anything else in the heavy underground or otherwise. A landmark in the truest sense of the word. Ufomammut are a band I think would be much more influential if people could actually figure out how they construct the kind of noise-wash that permeates Eve.

As it stands, this record turns five years old this spring, and as Ufomammut move past their 15th anniversary and have recently finished work on a follow-up to Oro, it will be interesting to hear whether they’ve continued to expand their sound or, having paused to look back at their earlier material with the XV DVD (review here) and Magickal Mastery Tour live dates, if they might take influence from that and strip down some of the droning impulse ahead of their promised first North American tour. Did I say “interesting to hear?” Sorry. What I meant was “I can’t fucking wait to find out.” Yeah. That was it.

Whatever their wizardry conjures, Eve is a standout and was an early entry onto the list of the 2010s’ best albums of the decade. If you haven’t listened to it in a while, I hope you enjoy getting lost in its reaches all over again.

The Patient Mrs. and I watched the last Hobbit movie last night. Woof it sucked. There was, what, maybe 20 minutes of actual movie in the two-plus hours? And on the rare occasion dialogue made its way in among all the popping off of goblin heads in extended fight scenes, aerial shots of New Zealand (not complaining about that, New Zealand is fucking beautiful) and elf sashaying, lines like “I got this” induced more cringes than adrenaline. All I kept thinking was about the Deep Space 9 I wasn’t watching. And I frickin’ worshiped at the altar of Lord of the Rings. Just wasn’t enough there to make a third movie out of and you could tell it was drawn out to fill time. Hey bro, I’ll take a quality 100-minute movie over nearly three hours of hawt-is-good-ugly-is-bad fight scenes and needless Legolas time. Like anyone needed more Legolas.

Could just be I’m sour because I’m injured. The Patient Mrs. – because I’m afraid to leave the house by myself, apparently — and I spent the better part of last week in New Jersey. Actually it was family stuff, but the paranoia better suits my narrative, so fuck it. We come back this past Sunday night, it’s pouring and as we’re unloading the car after about five hours on the road, I fall down the outside stairs and do some excruciating ankle damage. We were in the ER until about 2AM Sunday night. Nothing broken. Got some crutches, some pain meds that we haven’t even picked up at the pharmacy and was sent on my merry way. Went to another doctor on Wednesday because it was still swollen and I was worried about ligament damage and it turned out all he wanted to talk about was how big my ass is. Super. Thanks. Yeah, I almost forgot about it, but any chance you could take a look at my fucking ankle? No? Okay, great.

So what does it all mean? For one thing, it means i’m not going to see High on Fire in Maine this weekend. Today’s really the first day I can put any weight on my left foot at all, and the thought of standing for four hours even for such a worthy cause seems like a good way to not continue healing. It also means that last night I was up until about 2:30AM setting things up to be posted today so that, let’s say around 3:30PM, I’d be able to knock off early and call it a week. What happens next? What shitty misadventure awaits? I don’t know and I don’t really care. All I know is I’ve had enough week and it’s time to hit reset.

Monday, look out for a Throat track stream, and, later in the week, one from Elder. I’m also planning to put up my 2015 most anticipated albums list, but I might push it back another week. We’ll see how tomorrow goes and if I can get a start, because it’s definitely a multi-day process.

Hope you dig the Ufomammut and have a tremendous goblin-free (unless it’s Orange Goblin, in which case, right on) weekend. Be safe, watch that bottom step, and we’ll see you back here Monday for more kvetching and riffs.

Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Last Licks 2014: Seven that Spells, Elliott’s Keep, The Lone Crows, Krautzone, L’Ira del Baccano, Lae, Atomikylä, Deaf Proof, Jastreb and Arctic Sleep

Posted in Reviews on January 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I thought last night about changing the name of this feature to “First Licks 2015,” but on further reflection, that’s just too much licking. It’s bad enough as it is. All the same, Happy New Year to you and yours, wherever you and they may be. I hope in 2015, your reviews pile never gets so backed up that you think about doing something so absolutely insane as tackling them all at once to wipe the slate clean. Then again, being completely inundated with music has its upsides. The music, for one.

We press on today with the fourth installment in the “Last Licks 2014″ series. These are reviews 31-40. I passed the halfway point yesterday with barely so much as an inward breath to appreciate the moment, and I can only hope the pile of discs before me goes so smoothly. I’ll let you know when I get there. Until then, no need to dally, let’s get underway with the first reviews of 2015.

Thanks for reading:

Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io

seven that spells the death and resurrection of krautrock io

Reportedly second in a series of three albums from Croatian heavy psych rockers Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io follows a first installment subtitled Aum released in 2011 and brings forth heady, mostly instrumental progressions of extended runtimes and a satisfying blend of weighted tones and stylistic clarity. The three-piece who released their first album in 2003 alternate between three shorter pieces and two longer ones across the 47-minute Sulatron Records outing’s five tracks, and while I’m not entirely sure what is the narrative that’s taking place across them, there’s definitely a plotted course and concept at work behind the material – it does not come across as haphazard in any way. When they arrive, vocals do so as chants coinciding with sweeping passages, as on “Burning Blood,” the culmination of which is worthy of being the apex of a trilogy in progress. Io takes the off-the-cuff authenticity in heavy psych and gives it direction and purpose beyond simply being. No small feat, no small results.

Seven that Spells on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

Elliott’s Keep, Nascentes Morimur

elliott's keep nascentes morimur

Some metal isn’t doom, some doom isn’t metal, but Texas trio Elliott’s Keep play doom metal, and make no mistake. Their third long-player, Nascentes Morimur, comes after 2008’s In Medias Res (review here) and 2010’s Sine Qua Non (review here), and like them, it was produced and mixed by J.T. Longoria, so that their darkened, metallic chugging is presented with a crisp bite. The three-piece of Kenneth Greene (bass/vocals), Jonathan Bates (guitar) and Joel Bates (drums) toy with the balance between death and doom effectively across Nascentes Morimur’s nine tracks, making highlights of early moments like the double-kick-laden “Now Taken” and the chorus of the proceeding “Days of Hell.” Later cuts like “Tale of Grief” and “Omen” follow suit, with Jonathan riffing out classic metal vibes while Greene switches between clean singing and a rasping, almost black metal in places, scream. Their command never wavers, though, and while there have never been many frills about their approach, Elliott’s Keep have come to offer a fist-pumpingly heavy, sharp-edged push.

Elliott’s Keep on Thee Facebooks

Elliott’s Keep on Bandcamp

The Lone Crows, Dark Clouds

the lone crows dark clouds

Bluesy Minneapolis double-guitar four-piece The Lone Crows show an affinity for classic rock stylization on their World in Sound second full-length, Dark Clouds. Produced modern, with lead guitar front and center, there’s more rock to Dark Clouds than heavy rock, but the vocal style of guitarist Tim Barbeau – joined in the band by guitarist Julian Manzara, bassist Andy Battcher and drummer Joe Goff – has some ‘90s inflection to it, and every now and then they get into a bit of bounce, as on the title-track and “The Dragon.” The penultimate “Midnight Show” would seem like the peak of the album, and sure enough it has one of its best hooks, but the recording doesn’t allow for the same push one imagines the material would carry live, and the quiet ending of “On that Day” feels flat compared to some of The Lone Crows’ bluesy peers. I chalk it up to the difference between blues rock and heavy rock and my own expectations, rather than some fault in the band.

The Lone Crows on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound

Krautzone, Kosmiche Rituale

krautzone kosmiche rituale

I’m not sure if it would be appropriate to call Krautzone an offshoot of Zone Six, of which all four members – guitarist Rainer Neeff, synth-providers Modulfix and Sula Bassana, and percussionist Komet Lulu (the latter two also of Electric Moon) – take part, plus bassist Onkel Kaktus, but either way, the sound is nebulous, brilliantly textured for a meditative, slow-motion churn, and utterly engrossing. Their Sulatron debut, Kosmiche Rituale, is comprised of three lengthy explorations, tones washing in and out of each, smoothly offset by Neeff’s flight-taken guitar, minimal but earthy percussion and an improvised sensibility. “Liebe” (12:46) and “Kosmiche Rituale” (9:09) comprise side A and “Only Fools Rush In” (20:41) consumes side B entirely, a wash of synth and cymbals announcing its arrival as it sets about unfolding its long course, every bit living up to the album’s title in the process. Krautzone also released a split with Lamp of the Universe in 2014 (review here), but on their own, they shine with the chance to really stretch out.

Krautzone on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

L’Ira del Baccano, Terra 42

l'ira del baccano terra 42

Italian instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano make their full-length debut with the lushly conceived Terra 42, a six-track, 57-minute outing that works in three overarching “phases.” The first of them includes tracks one through three and is dubbed “The Infinite Improbability Drive,” and it makes up more than half the album’s runtime, the first, 13-minute part standing alone while the two subsequent nine-minute stretches feed one directly into the next in a psychedelic wash of open guitar building to a raucous heavy rock finish. Phase II, “Sussurri… Nel Bosco di Diana” is the next two cuts, and moves smoothly from a Yawning Man-style jam to more riff-based thickness. The longest individual part, Phase III, is the 14-minute “Volcano X13,” track six, on which the band move fluidly through their heavy psych and rock impulses, synth and guitar intertwining well as L’Ira del Baccano affirm their more-than-burgeoning stylistic breadth. It’s an interesting, somewhat familiar blend, but they put it to good use on Terra 42 and engage with the spaciousness created.

L’Ira del Baccano on Thee Facebooks

Subsound Records

Lae, Break the Clasp

lae break the clasp

Reactivated Montreal noisemakers Lae enlisted the help of their producer, Today is the Day’s Steve Austin, in handling lead vocals for their debut, Break the Clasp, which is a move fitting for their anti-genre approach to noise, drone, doom, post-everything, and so on. A Battleground Records/The Compound release, Break the Clasp reworks unheard material from Lae’s original run in the mid-‘90s – an album that never came out, essentially – but the vitality in the 13 tracks (yes, even the crushingly slow ones) is fresh to the point of its newness, and even the parts meant to be abrasive, opener “Sexy Sadie” or pieces of “17 Queen,” for example, hold onto a wonderful depth the mix and a feeling of texture that feeds Break the Clasp’s otherworldly spirit and brings you along its path of consuming strangeness. Austin is a presence, but by no means the star, and the whole band Lae shines across Break the Clasp’s fascinating span. A debut no one knew they were awaiting, but they were.

Lae on Thee Facebooks

Earsplit Distro

Atomikylä, Erkale

atomikyla erkale

Psychedelia implying such a colorful sound, and black metal implying essentially the absence of that color, the two have rarely been paired well, but Finnish four-piece Atomikylä display a resounding space on their five-song debut full-length, Erkale (released by Future Lunch), and they’re not through the 13-minute opener, “Aluaineet,” before I think they might have mastered the balance between effects wash, unmitigated thrust and far-back screaming that most others have left too far to one side or the other. The four-piece with a lineup half from Oranssi Pazuzu and half from Dark Buddha Rising don’t stay in one place stylistically – the title-track has an almost krautrock feel, while the subsequent “Ihmiskallo” is more resolved to doom – but they keep a consistency of blinding bleakness to Erkale that results in a decidedly individualized feel throughout the 48 minutes. Droning and jazzy guitar experimentalism prevails in “Who Goes There,” and 10-minute closer “Musta Kulta” both broadens the atmosphere and underscores Atomikylä’s vicious stylistic triumph, capping Erkale with a mash of squibblies and screams, effects and distortion that’s so filthy it can’t help but be beautiful.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Future Lunch

Deaf Proof, Death Sounds Angry

deaf proof death sounds angry

Freiburg, Germany, trio Deaf Proof – guitarist/vocalist J. Fredo, bassist JP and drummer Pedro – released their first demo in 2013, but the three-song/34-minute EP (it’s more like an album, but I won’t argue) Death Sounds Angry is a decidedly more assured, professional affair. The vibe is loose and, in the reaches of 18-minute middle cut “Origin of Pain,” jammy, but the three-piece still seem to have some idea of where they want their material to go, even as they feel their way toward those ends. A Colour Haze influence? Maybe, but less than one might think given the current climate of European heavy psych. JP’s bass has a tendency toward darker undertones, and when they hit the payoffs for “Death Sounds Angry and Hungry for More,” “Origin of Pain” and “The Sense,” they reveal themselves to be in search of something heavier and less peaceful. J. Fredo’s vocals are a little forward in the mix, but Death Sounds Angry still offers plenty to chew on for the converted.

Deaf Proof on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Proof on Bandcamp

Jastreb, Mother Europe

jastreb mother europe

Progressive, mostly instrumental and hypnotic, Zagreb, Croatia, trio Jastreb released their self-titled debut as a single 36-minute song in 2012, and the follow-up, Mother Europe (on HauRucK), is no less ambitious. Vocals appear here and there, both from the core three-piece and a guest spot, but the heart of what Jastreb do is rooted in their ability to craft movements that pull listeners in without falling into lulls of unconsciousness – to wit, the repetitions of “The Black Mountain” seem still but are constantly building and moving forward – as well as in arrangement flourishes like synth, Hammond, sitar and violin among the shades of post-metal in “Haemmer” or the bleary, drone-backed opener “North,” which comes companioned by the subtle churn of “South” to end the album. Not necessarily psychedelic in a loose or jammy sense, but immersive, and purposeful in its variety; the sitar and guest vocals on “The Silver Spire” arrive just at the moment when one thinks they might have heard it all. Could say the same of the record itself, I suppose.

Jastreb on Thee Facebooks

Jastreb’s BigCartel store

HauRucK

Arctic Sleep, Passage of Gaia

arctic sleep passage of gaia

Passage of Gaia is the sixth album from progressive melo-doomers Arctic Sleep. A four-piece from Milwaukee including bassist/drummer/cellist/vocalist Keith D, guitarist Mike Gussis and vocalist Emily Jancetic (John Gleisner plays drums live), one is reminded both of the Floydian consciousness of mid-period Anathema (my go-to comparison point for this kind of stuff, admittedly) and the drama in Katatonia and some of Novembers Doom’s clean sections, but ultimately, Arctic Sleep emerge from the eight-track/54-minute DIY long-player with their own personality, measured out in the careful vocal collaboration between Keith D and Jancetic, songs like “Terra Vindicta,” “Green Dragon” and “Passage of Gaia,” and the varied structures between the more rocking “Terra Vindicta” and the build of “Solar Lament.” Through it all, nothing’s out of balance, and Arctic Sleep execute Passage of Gaia with the poise demanded by the style and the fact that it’s their sixth album, accomplishment suiting them as well as the melancholy of closer “Destroy the Urn,” which almost loses its restraint at the end. Almost.

Arctic Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Arctic Sleep at CDBaby

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Last Licks 2014: Nate Hall, Nocturnal Poisoning, Snailking, Godmaker, Void Generator, The Mound Builders, Mother Kasabian, Deep Space Destructors, Underdogs and Human Services

Posted in Reviews on December 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy to report that I survived the first day of this project. Spirits are good and I look at the stack of discs (plus one book; we’ll get there) in front of me and feel relatively confident that by the time I’m through it, my cerebral cortex will still manage to function in the limited way it usually does. If yesterday’s installment is anything to go by, however, I’ll be well out of adjectives by then. What’s another word for “heavy?”

There’s only one way to find out. These will be reviews 11-20 of the total 50. I don’t know if they say the first 10 are the hardest or the last, but I’ll be in the thick of it when this is posted and while I’m sure I probably could turn back and catch minimal if any flack for it — one “Hey wha happen?” on Thee Facebooks seems likely penance — better to just keep going. Another stack awaits tomorrow, after all.

Thanks in advance to anyone reading:

Nate Hall, Electric Vacuum Roar

nate hall electric vacuum roar

Electric Vacuum Roar is one of two Nate Hall physical releases from this fall. The U.S. Christmas frontman and solo performer also has a few digital odds and ends and Fear of Falling, on which he partners with a rhythm section. Released by Heart and Crossbone Records and Domestic Genocide, Electric Vacuum Roar is closer to a solo affair. Hall is joined by Caustic Resin’s Brett Netson on guitar/bass on two extended tracks: “Dance of the Prophet” (16:46) and “Long Howling Decline/People Fall Down” (11:57). The second part of the latter is a reinterpretation of a Caustic Resin song, though here it is droned out and put through a portal of drumless and inward-looking psychedelia, turned into the finale of a communicative and intimate affair. Amp noise and effects swirl around “Dance of the Prophet,” and it’s easy to get lost in it, but Hall maintains a steady presence of obscure vocals and the result is what tribal might be if tribes were comprised of one person.

Nate Hall on Thee Facebooks

Heart and Crossbone Records

Nocturnal Poisoning, Doomgrass

nocturnal poisoning doomgrass

I’ve never tried to break up a one-man band, but I can’t imagine Scott Conner – who helped pave the way for US black metal under the moniker Malefic in Xasthur – has had an easy time of it since he put that band to bed in 2010. Nocturnal Poisoning, whose Doomgass arrives via The End Records, is an entirely different beast. Centered around layers folkish acoustic guitar, cleanly produced backed by occasional bass and tambourine, Doomgrass is still depressive at its core – Robert N. contributes guest vocals, almost gothic in style, to songs like “Starstruck by Garbage” and “Illusion of Worth” – but if the name is a portmanteau of doom and bluegrass, it fits the style. If anything ties Nocturnal Poisoning to Xasthur aside from Conner’s involvement, it’s a focus on atmosphere, but the two ultimately have little in common otherwise, and Nocturnal Poisoning’s exploratory feel is refreshingly individualized and leaves one wondering if Conner will be able to resist the full-band-sound impulse going forward.

Nocturnal Poisoning on Thee Facebooks

Doomgrass at The End Records

Snailking, Storm

snailking storm

Though they’re decidedly post-metal in their influences – Neurosis, YOB, obviously Ufomammut for whose record they are named – Sweden’s Snailking keep to heavy rock tones on their Consouling Sounds debut full-length, Storm, and that greatly bolsters the album’s personality. Even as they lumber, the riffs of 11-minute opener “To Wander” are fuzzed-out, and that remains true throughout the five mostly-extended cuts the trio of drummer Olle Svahn, bassist Frans Levin and guitarist/vocalist Pontus Ottosson present on their first record, which follows the 2012 demo, Samsara (review here). Centerpiece “Slithering” is the shortest and most churning of the bunch at 6:32, but the particularly YOBian “Requiem” underscores another value greatly working in Storm’s favor – the patience with which Snailking present the ambience of their pieces. That will serve them well as they continue to distinguish themselves from their forebears, but for now, Storm makes a welcome opening salvo from the three-piece highlighting both their potential and how far they’ve come already since the release of their demo.

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Consouling Sounds

Godmaker, Godmaker

godmaker godmaker

The self-titled debut from thoroughly-bearded Brooklynite four-piece Godmaker arrives via Aqualamb as an art-book and download, a full 96 pages of designs, lyrics to the four included tracks of the vinyl-ready 32-minute long-player, live shots from a variety of sources, bizarre geometry and odd etchings feeding the atmosphere of the songs themselves, somewhere between sludge, thrash and aggressive noise with scream-topped moments of doom like “Shallow Points.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalists Pete Ross and Chris Strait, bassist Andrew Archey and drummer Jon Lane, Godmaker fluidly shifts between the various styles at work in their sound, whether it’s the explosion at the end of “Shallow Points” or that beginning the rush of opener “Megalith,” and while their self-titled is a dense listen, with the surprising post-hardcore take of “Desk Murder” and the check-out-this-badass-riff-now-we’re-going-to-smash-your-face-with-it 11-minute metallic closer “Faded Glory,” it efficiently satisfies. More so after a couple listens front to back. If Godmaker were breaking your bones, it would be a clean break, and yes, that’s a compliment to their attack.

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Aqualamb

Void Generator, Supersound

void generator supersound

Supersound is the first full-length from Italian heavy psych rockers Void Generator since 2010’s Phantom Hell and Soar Angelic (review here), and where that album held three extended pieces, the latest and third overall breaks into smaller pieces. Some of those are extended – opener “Behind My Door” is 8:09 and “Master of the Skies” tops nine minutes – but the bulk of Supersound’s seven tracks is shorter works somewhere between desert rock and classic psych, guitarist Gianmarco Iantaffi leading the four-piece with a  more subdued vocal approach than last time out, compressed even in the rowdier verses of “What are You Doin’” (written by Sandro Chiesa), on which the keys of Enrico Cosimi feature heavily and add to the sound too crisp to be totally retro but still vehemently organic. Bassist Sonia Caporossi (also acoustic guitar on penultimate interlude “Universal Winter”) and drummer Marco Cenci hold together the fluid grooves as Void Generator follows these varied impulses, and Supersound proves cohesive and no less broadly scoped than its predecessor.

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Phonosphera Records

The Mound Builders, Wabash War Machine

the mound builders wabash war machine

There’s a version of The Mound Builders’ 17-minute Wabash War Machine EP from Failure Records and Tapes that includes a comic book, but even the regular sleeve CD edition gives a glimpse at the Lafayette, Indiana, five-piece’s heavy Southern metal push. The middle two of the four inclusions, “Sport of Crows” and “Bar Room Queen,” surfaced earlier this year on a split tape with Bo Jackson 5 (review here), but opener “Wabash War Machine” and the sludged-up closer “The Mound” on which the guitars of Brian Boszor and “Ninja” Nate Malher phase between channels and vocalist Jim Voelz delivers his harshest performance to date, are brand new, albeit recorded at the same sessions in July 2013. “Wabash War Machine” highlights the band’s blend of southern metal and heavy groove, guitar intricacy and a gang-shout chorus meeting thick rollout from bassist Robert Ryan Strawsma and drummer Jason “Dinger” Brookhart, but it’s the finale that’s the EP’s most lasting impression, as pummeling as The Mound Builders have gotten to date.

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Failure Records and Tapes

Mother Kasabian, Mother Kasabian

mother kasabian mother kasabian

In Olof’s buzzsaw guitar tone, the thud of Karl’s drums and Gidon’s abiding vocal menace, “Strike of the Emperor” gives notice of some Celtic Frost influence, but that’s hardly the whole tale when it comes Stockholm trio Mother Kasabian’s self-titled, self-released debut EP, as “The Black Satanic Witch of Saturn” immediately calls to mind The Doors in its minimal, spacious verse and offsets this with a soulful classic heavy rock chorus en route to the seven-minute “Close of Kaddish,” which works in a similar pattern – hitting notes of Trouble-style doom in its crescendos – and offers Mother Kasabian’s widest ranging moment ahead of the swaggering closer “The Return of the Mighty King and His Cosmic Elephants.” Swinging drums and variety in Gidon’s The Crazy World of Arthur Brown-style approach give the EP a distinguished feel despite raw production and it being Mother Kasabian’s first outing, and with the psych touches in the finale and a generally unhinged vibe throughout, the trio showcase considerable potential at work.

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Mother Kasabian on Bandcamp

Deep Space Destructors, III

deep space destructors iii

Active since 2011 and with two prior full-lengths – 2012’s I (review here) and 2013’s II (review here) – under their belt, Oulu, Finland, heavy psych trio Deep Space Destructors offer their definitive stylistic statement in the wash of III, a five-song/45-minute cosmic excursion with progressive krautrock edge (see “Spaceship Earth”) driven into heavier territory through dense fuzz in guitarist Petri Lassila’s tone and the chemistry between he, vocalist/bassist Jani Pitkänen and drummer Markus Pitkänen. Their extended but plotted jammy course finds culmination in the 15-minute penultimate cut “An Ode to Indifferent Universe,” – King Crimson and Floyd laced together by synth sounds – but the space-rock thrust of closer “Ikuinen Alku” highlights the multifaceted approach Deep Space Destructors have developed since their inception, consistently psychedelic but expansive. The sides gel effectively on “Cosmic Burial,” lending modern crash and tonal heft to classic ideals to craft something new from them in admirable form. As far out as they’ve gone, Deep Space Destructors still seem to be exploring new ground.

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Deep Space Destructors on Bandcamp

Underdogs, Underdogs

underdogs underdogs

Released as a cooperative production between Garage Records and Go Down Records, Italian trio Underdogs’ second, self-titled LP pushes further along the straight-lined course of heavy rock their 2007 debut, Ready to Burn, and 2011’s Revolution Love (review here) charted. Songs like “Nothing but the Best” strip away the Queens of the Stone Age-style fuzz of past outings in favor of a cleaner tone and overall feel, and while that spirit shows up later on side B’s “Called Play” and the rumbling grunge of “My Favourite Game” (a cover of The Cardigans), the prevailing vibe speaks to European commercial viability with clear hooks and straightforward structures. Acoustic finale “The Closing Song” offers a last-minute shift in style, calling to mind UnderdogsDogs without Plugs digital release, but even in more barebones form, the songwriting remains the focus on this mature third offering from a three-piece who’ve clearly figured out the direction in which they want to head and have set about developing an audience-friendly sound.

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Go Down Records

Human Services, Animal Fires

human services animal fires

Since they issued their self-titled debut (review here) in 2012, Virginia’s Human Services have brought aboard Steve Kerchner of Lord, and he brings as much a sense of chaos to Animal Fires as one might expect in teaming with Jeff Liscombe, Sean Sanford, Don Piffalo and Billy Kurilko, though the 59-minute full-length isn’t without its structure. Longer songs pair with concise noise experiments throughout the first 10 of the total 13 tracks, and each is different, so that even as the gap between songs is bridged, the stylistic basis for Animal Fires is branched out. The result is that by the time “Onyedinci Yil Sürüsü” closes out the album proper before the 17-minute live inclusion “No Structures in the Eye of the Jungle” hits, Human Services have reimagined the modus of Godflesh as an extremity of organic noisemaking, Southern heavy and eerie progressivism. Shades of Neurosis show up in centerpiece “Rats of a Feather,” but they too are twisted to suit the band’s creative purposes, threatening and engagingly bleak.

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Human Services on Bandcamp

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Ufomammut Finish Work on New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 16th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Since pretty much nothing is known about Ufomammut‘s new album at this point other than it’s done, you’ll pardon me if my eye wanders down in the press release to the part where it mentions their “first major tour of the continent,” meaning North America, which will take place in 2015 around their appearance at Maryland Deathfest. A US run for Ufomammut is probably overdue at this point, but better late than never. I’ll look forward to finding out with whom they’re hitting the road. I suppose it’s too much to think they could join forces with Conan and lay waste to everything in their path. Ah, to dream of that bill.

And while I’m looking forward, here’s that word about the album, snagged hastily from the PR wire:

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

UFOMAMMUT Completes Seventh Studio Full-Length For Spring Release Via Neurot Recordings

Italian power trio, UFOMAMMUT, is putting the final details on the band’s anticipated seventh studio full-length in order for the album to see an early Spring 2015 worldwide release, once again through Neurot Recordings. While virtually no specific details on the album are yet to be revealed to the public, the album is fully mixed, mastered and going into production now. The record’s title, release date and much more will be unveiled at the dawn of 2015, and mass album and tour updates will ensue through the rest of the year.

In October, UFOMAMMUT proudly released XV, a DVD documenting the band’s intense fifteen year lifespan to date, through their own Supernatural Cat label with support from Neurot. For nearly two years UFOMAMMUT has been working on this special video project delivered through XV’s more than three hours of footage documenting their vast discography and live accomplishments. The DVD features Magickal Mastery Live, a twelve-song live act, as well as interviews, outtakes, and extras, captured over the past decade and a half.

Orders for the XV DVD can be placed in the US HERE and internationally HERE, and the digital audio version of Magickal Mastery Live only can be ordered HERE.

Additional info on the upcoming album will be released in the coming weeks as UFOMAMMUT prepares to return to North America for their first major tour of the continent in 2015, including a performance at Maryland Deathfest 2015.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
5/21/2015 Maryland Deathfest – Baltimore, MD

www.UFOMAMMUT.com
https://twitter.com/ufomammutmafia
https://www.facebook.com/pages/UFOMAMMUT/83336386071
http://www.neurotrecordings.com/
http://www.supernaturalcat.com
http://www.malleusdelic.com

Ufomammut, “Zerosette” from Magickal Mastery Live (2014)

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Deadpeach, Aurum: Taste of Gold

Posted in Reviews on December 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

deadpeach aurum

For their third full-length, Italian heavy psych rockers Deadpeach offer five varied explorations, each with its distinct personality. Aurum, which takes its name from the elemental name of gold, is out on vinyl through Nasoni Records and splits well into two sides, but still works as a front-to-back listen with engaging turns and a blend of jammed and structures approaches to which the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Giovanni, guitarist Daniele Bartoli, bassist Mr. Steveman and drummer Federio Tebaldi are amiably suited. On a superficial level, there isn’t anything in the span of Aurum‘s 38 minutes that couldn’t fall under the heading of heavy psychedelia, and I don’t think there’s anything present that’s intended otherwise, but Deadpeach prove bold within those parameters and find themselves ranging beyond genre confines more than it might at first seem. Side A, in particular, is an ambitious beginning, with just two songs — “Calcutta” (10:01) and “Gold” (9:14) — that comprise the first half of the record. As someone who gives immediate credit to records that open with their longest tracks, to find the longest two by a considerable margin pushed to the front of Aurum is a rare-enough treat to be remarkable, but even within themselves, they begin to show some of the range that unfolds as the album plays out, recalling the earlier fuzzy riff rock of their 2006 Psycle debut and the development that showed itself on the 2011 follow-up, 2, while continuing to push into newer, jammier ground for the band. Whether one approaches Aurum as two sides or in linear form, the first two tracks and subsequent “The Line,” “Stomper” and “Traffic” reveal an act capturing a vital spirit of creative spontaneity while also following a decided course.

Aurum has an easy appeal for the already converted among heavy rock heads. Giovanni and Bartoli offer up enough fuzz and riffs in “The Line,” “Gold” and the early going of “Stomper” that, if there’s a quota, it’s met. What really pushes that basic appeal to another degree is the shifts that take place between the songs and how well Aurum moves with them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 10-minute “Calcutta” unfolds gradually to reach its full breadth, but immediately the guitars and bass set an atmospheric foundation that becomes the basis from which the rest of the album is built. Light chanting and, later, lyrics emerge in a style not too far from Lamp of the Universe, but lead guitar is the focal point and the movement playing out behind it. Hypnotic, the jam comes to a head about halfway in and quickly recedes, only to be constructed again, a little faster the second time, and given an ambient leadout that smoothes the way into “Gold,” which takes Mr. Steveman‘s bassline as its driving element and, rather than split its build, follows a single line over the course of its nine minutes, hitting a stride of fuzz and crash after a midpoint break, shifting into more straightforward-seeming stonerly swing and verses, a Hawkwindy space factor not at all lost among the proceedings. Thinking of Aurum as one song flowing into the next, “Gold” bridges a gap between “Calcutta” and “The Line,” with a jammy first half leading to a more traditionally structured second, but the track itself has more substance to it than a mere transitional moment, be it in classically layered leads or the tonal weight of the push running alongside them. To discount either part as simply feeding out of or into something else doesn’t do the song justice, or acknowledge the fact that in putting the two sides next to each other and making it work as smoothly as Deadpeach do, they’re summarizing a good portion of the album’s appeal on what’s also as close as they come to a title-track. Even way out in space, there’s consciousness at work.

deadpeach

“The Line,” which leads off the second half of Aurum, is the shortest track included at 4:55, and true to the latter end of “Gold,” it’s a more straightforward fuzz rocker, updating classic heavy methods with a modern vibe. Giovanni‘s vocals still echo out from under the fuzz, and Mr. Steveman runs circles around the central riff, but whether it’s as a centerpiece of the five tracks or as the start of side B, no question “The Line” is a major shift from “Calcutta” and “Gold” before it, despite consistency of mood and swirl. Deadpeach find room in their only-song-under-five-minute rush to jam a bit behind a solo section, but with deft songwriting in their favor, they return to the chorus before finishing out, ending noisy and satisfying en route to the similarly rocking launch of “Stomper,” though it’s Tebaldi who takes that track over, turning an instrumental rocker into essentially a drum jam peppered with airy guitar. To his credit, he holds it together, and to the band’s, they bookend with a resurgent progression similar to that which led into the percussive stretch, a symmetry that keeps the vibe of Aurum steady even as Deadpeach move toward their finale and yet more ground to cover. Presumably because by now their listener might expect a fuzz-toned jam of one kind or another, the band dial back the distortion and close out with a jazzy instrumental movement that — while, yes, it kicks later into a fuzzy conclusion — provides one last turn from a foursome who’ve already shown plenty of variety. What the initial stages of “Traffic” demonstrate, however, is that there’s more to Deadpeach‘s fluidity than a pedal board. The vibe is maintained in the chemistry between players, but to jump back from “Traffic” to “Calcutta,” it would be easy to imagine you were hearing two different bands. Again, what makes Aurum work so well through this is the band’s ability to carry the listener along with them for the trip. As wide a range as Aurum works with, it never lets go of that connection.

Deadpeach, “Calcutta” official video

Deadpeach’s website

Deadpeach on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records

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Doctor Cyclops Touring in December

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

doctor cyclops

Italian three-piece Doctor Cyclops will round out 2014 supporting their latest album, Oscuropasso, with dates in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, preaching their doomly gospel of ’70s prog worship and heavy riffage 10 nights in a row. The record — still on my desk — was released by World in Sound and boasted warm tones and an excited feel that one imagines is a mirror for energy the trio bring to their live show (not having seen them, I can’t really comment). It’s a quality album. I still feel guilty for not reviewing it in some fashion.

Should you happen to be in Austria, Germany or Switzerland next month — it could happen — don’t let my baggage stop you from checking out what will likely be a cool show. They’re calling it the “Riding a Dream” tour, and I hope it works out that way. Earlier this year, the bandumentary Borgopasso – Doctor Cyclops Not the Movie was released, and you’ll find that under the tour dates below should you want to learn more about them:

doctor cyclops tour

DOCTOR CYCLOPS – Riding a Dream Tour December 2014

Doctor Cyclops (World in Sound rec.) heavy 70s rockers will break through Austria, Germany and Switzerland from next week. 11 gigs in 11 days, from wednesday the 3rd to saturday the 13th. Choose your city, get your show!! Join the Cyclops Partying Circus, may the Trolls be with you.

One Eyed Promotions, World in Sound Records and DAREDEVIL RECORDS presents:

3.12: SALZBURG (AT)@ Rockhouse
4.12: WURZBURG (DE)@ Immerhin
5.12: LUBBENAU (DE)@ kulturhoff
6.12: ARNSTADT (DE)@ Rockjungfer
7.12: ERFURT (DE)@ Tiko
8.12: FRANKFURT@ Neglected Grassland
9.12: BIELEFIELD (DE)@ Potemkin
10.12: DORTMUND (DE)@ blackplastic
11.12: HEIDELBERG (DE)@ Beatfabrik
12.12: ST.GALLEN (CH)@Rumpeltum
13.12: THUN (CH)@ AKut

Doctor Cyclops is a seventies-style power trio playing heavy rock music inspired by a vintage sound, eldest son of glorious Balck Sabbath and of other more underground heroes from the 70ies and early 80ies such as Truth and janey, Sir Lord Baltimore, Captain Beyond, Witchfinder General. Even later and more modern references are warm-vintage style ones: Witchcraft, Firebird, Cathedral, Spiritual Beggars just to say some.

https://www.facebook.com/events/907110055967130/
https://www.facebook.com/doctorcyclops
http://doctorcyclops.bandcamp.com/album/oscuropasso
http://www.worldinsound.com/

Borgopasso – Doctor Cyclops Not the Movie (2014)

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Vincebus Eruptum No. 18: On a Drunken Cloud

Posted in Reviews on November 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

vincebus eruptum no. 18

I’ve expressed my nerdy idolatry for Italian ‘zine Vincebus Eruptum on numerous occasions — each new issue seems to bring out a feeling of admiration for their project and their accomplishment of it — but as I flip through the latest edition, No. 18, of the vaunted publication, even more of a standout is just how together the Vincebus Eruptum product is. Editor Davide Pansolin has been slowly, steadily expanding the brand over the last year plus, taking Vincebus Eruptum from a reactivated fanzine to a state-licensed associazione culturale, beginning to work directly with bands as a label and promotion vehicle and continuing to give Italian heavy rock and psychedelia its best public representation as the scene grows in no small part because of its own efforts. An example? When I removed Vincebus Eruptum from its plastic sleeve, inside I found a CD copy of Essay on a Drunken Cloud (review here) by Anuseye. It’s not the first time Vincebus Eruptum has tied in Vincebus Eruptum Recordings releases with the publication itself, but even the sheer amount of coordination involved was impressive, since not only was the album placed anuseye essay on a drunken cloudright between the two pages containing an interview with guitarist/vocalist Claudio C. (also ex-That’s all Folks!), but those two pages were also the dead-center of the issue itself.

Attention to detail like that, coupled with the psychedelic design and unabashed readiness to support the European heavy psych scene make Vincebus Eruptum indispensable. The Anuseye CD, which is only available with the issue (vinyl is for sale separately), is also reviewed — I won’t begrudge Pansolin laying it on a bit thick in the self-promotion department as the ‘zine celebrates its 15th anniversary — and as usual, the company it keeps is an impressive swath of recent heavy rock and psych releases from groups like Octopus SyngFatso Jetson/Herba MateHot LunchL’Ira del BaccanoVibravoidElectric Moon and so on. Of course, Italy is thoroughly represented, both in independent bands and through labels like Go Down RecordsHeavy Psych Sounds and Vincebus Eruptum Recordings. As ever, the pieces are concise and to the point — there’s a lot to fit — but informative and give a sense of what the groups are going for and whether or not they get there, and I find myself with an expanding wishlist of stuff to check out. Business as usual, in that regard, but it’s no less true reading No. 18 than it ever is, Pansolin handling all of the reviews by himself this time out except for Essay on a Drunken Cloud, which he turns over to Roberto Mattei.

Being a sucker for that kind of thing, I tend to go to the reviews first, but interviews with Electric Wizard, Swedish vincebus eruptum 18 artsleeper-hitters Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and retro cyclone Prisma Circus make for fascinating fare, and having seen their name with an increasing frequency, I appreciated a chance to get a better sense of Australia’s Child as well. Da Captain Trips, who also have a record out through Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, are interviewed, though I think most fascinating of all is the chat with Wolf, who heads the German imprint World in Sound, and is responsible for fostering quality acts like Samsara Blues Experiment, the aforementioned Prisma CircusThe Lone Crows, Doctor Cyclops and many others. Topped off by Kabuto cover art recreating the Malleus cover of the first issue 15 years ago, a stirring note in the beginning from Pansolin himself, and the Anuseye album for a soundtrack, and Vincebus Eruptum seems to be passing the 15-year mark going stronger than ever. As someone always happy to nerd out on what Pansolin and his crew have going, I couldn’t be happier for them and hope we get another 15 years of quality, dedicated psychedelia coverage and much more.

Anuseye, Essay on a Drunken Cloud preview

Vincebus Eruptum at Heavy Ripples Distro

Vincebus Eruptum website

Vincebus Eruptum store

Vincebus Eruptum on Thee Facebooks

Anuseye on Thee Facebooks

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Ufomammut, XV: 15 Years in the Cosmos

Posted in Reviews on November 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

ufomammut xv case

The concert DVD is about as dead as dead gets. They still make them, and they’ll continue to for some time, but with streaming on demand, YouTube, festivals live-streaming their events and so on, bands might as well put out VHS tapes and at least get some retro novelty points out of the deal. All the same, every now and again there’s a worthy occasion — in the case of Italian cosmic doomers Ufomammut, it was their 15th anniversary — and it seems prudent that some band-sanctioned document of it exist into perpetuity. Thus arrives XV: 15 Years of Ufomammut on the band’s own Supernatural Cat imprint with minimalist artwork courtesy of their visual-arts alter-ego, Malleus; a rare moment of backward reflection from an otherwise relentlessly forward-thinking trio, who have become — and I say this with as much impartiality as I can muster — one of the worldwide heavy underground’s most pivotal acts. Their two-part 2012 full-length, Oro (reviews here and here) on Neurot was really just the latest step in a groundbreaking psychedelic progression that’s been underway since they started in 1999, their releases — 2000’s Godlike Snake, 2004’s Snailking, 2005’s Lucifer Songs, 2007’s Supernaturals Record One collaboration with Lento, 2008’s Idolum, 2010’s Eve (review here) and the aforementioned Oro – serving as landmarks of each stage of their development, their continued will for experimentation and outdoing themselves unwavering across each outing. So after a decade and a half, Ufomammut wanted to take a step back and see how far they’ve come before moving ahead again with their next record? Well, that seems fair.

Ufomammut‘s late-2013/early-2014 “Magickal Mastery Tour” was something special because where the trio of guitarist/keyboardist Poia, bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Urlo and drummer Vita generally keep their focus more recent when it comes to live shows, this time they dipped all the way back to Godlike Snake and the preceding 1999 Satan demo for “Superjunkhead” and covered a little taste of everything between that and “Sulphurdew” from Oro: Opus Alter. A single set spanning a seven-album run isn’t easy to put together, particularly when Ufomammut have grown a tendency to write long-form material, but they did it and for fans, it was something apart from their own version of the “ordinary.” If you’re an ardent disbeliever in the form of concert videos, XV isn’t likely to change your mind, but it’s something the band have clearly put thought and effort into, where so many are slapped together from three-camera shoots and just sort of plopped out there like an unbaited fishhook to see which fans will bite. The feel over the course of Ufomammut‘s 80-minute set is more like a music video. They run the performance footage, captured live at SOMS “Il Progresso” in Sarezzano, Italy, by longtime engineer Lorenzo Stecconi, through a range of psychedelic effects and intersperse strange still images, all the while bouncing between more cameras than I can count, GoPros, hand-helds, and stationary. It’s a feature-length, live music video more than a concert recording. If there was an audience that night in Sarezzano, they’re never showed. Possible the band rented out the space so they, as Malleus, and Barbra Baader Meinhof could have freer access with cameras, but I don’t know that.

ufomammut

They bounce gloriously around their catalog and unsurprisingly are planetary in their heaviness throughout, but again, if you’re absolutely unable to get on board with a concert DVD, their switches between color, black and white, blurs and visual swirls are probably going to leave you cold. Wisely, and I’ll admit more intriguing to me as well, is the documentary portion of XV. in which the band (with subtitles) tell their own story and check in with those who knew or helped them at some stage or another in their career. Their story isn’t one filled with drama — Poia and Urlo played together in a band called Judy Corda that broke up, they started Ufomammut, found a killer drummer in Vita, were well received and set about growing their sound — but there is a lot of humor and charm throughout. Of particular note is when The Flyeater, who apparently handled Korg for them for two shows, makes an appearance in the same luchador mask he wore on stage, and we get to see Stecconi, who has become a big part of Ufomammut‘s sound since making his debut behind the board for them with Idolum, which the band describes as their darkest album. If this is to be their moment of reflection, they make the most of it, and it’s fascinating to hear them putting their work in context with itself, moving from one record to the next while conscious of the creativity at play. They wind up discussing Oro and then move into some of the theory behind where they are as a band, playing live — there’s some Roadburn footage in there — and developing the visual side of their approach. At the very end, we even get to hear from Lu, who contributes to Malleus but not Ufomammut proper. She speaks over psychedelic visuals and backed by airy guitars, and they finish out by thanking everyone who’s helped them along the way and showing fan footage during the credits, people from around the world extolling the virtues of the band.

Honestly, I could probably do the same, if you wanted or if I haven’t already in this review. It’s hard not to think XV as closing a chapter in Ufomammut‘s career, but the truth of the matter is each record they do does the same thing: They make an album and then move on. With a new full-length due out next year as a follow-up to this and Oro, that evolution seems to be continuing unabated, and hearing the band talk about their processes and what goes into making them who they are, I look forward even more to finding out what the next stage might hold. And as for the concert DVD being dead? Well, sometimes these dead formats have a tendency to come back to life, and just in case, having a copy of XV on hand might not be the worst idea.

Ufomammut, XV trailer

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Supernatural Cat

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Heavy Psych Sounds Announces Two-Day Label Showcase; Wild Eyes Euro Tour Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wild eyes (Photo by Amanda Rhoades)

I guess with San Francisco’s Wild Eyes rolling through town, Rome’s Heavy Psych Sounds imprint decided to make an event of it. Label head Gabriele Fiori has done so in style, with a two-night showcase bringing in Ufomammut – fresh off the recording of their new album — to headline one night with his own band, Black Rainbows, as well as Isaak on the bill, while Wild Eyes themselves will headline the second night, with Ape Skull and The Wisdoom supporting. Kind of a mini-fest, but a solid showing of Heavy Psych Sounds‘ acts, plus Ufomammut, and if nothing else, it’s bound to make Wild Eyes‘ trip through Rome a memorable one.

Wild Eyes kicks off their European tour tomorrow. All the dates can be found under the label showcase info, as well as the stream of their new release, Above Becomes Below. Rock and roll:

heavy psych show

Heavy Psych Sounds Records is proud to present the first Showcase ever with all the bands of the label Wild Eyes from San Francisco, with their last show of the European tour, Isaak introducing the upcoming split record with Mos Generator, the mighty UFOMAMMUT will headline as guests the 4 december day, and last but not least, Black Rainbows, The Wisdoom and Ape Skull

INIT CLUB, Rome, Italy
INIT CLUB – ROMA
Via della stazione tuscolana 133
00182 – ROMA (IT)

04/12/2014:
UFOMAMMUT
Black Rainbows
Isaak

h 10:00 – 10 euro

05/12/2014:
WILD EYES
The Wisdoom
Ape Skull

h 10:00 – 7 euro

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records&Booking is proud to present  the European Tour of Great Cali Acid Rock n’ Roll Band:

***WILD EYES***
14/11/2014 IT Milano-Lo Fi
15/11/2014 IT Piacenza-Sound Bonico
16/11/2014 IT Erba-Centrale Rock
17/11/2014 CH La Chaux de Fonds-Café al Entre Deux
18/11/2014 CH Ins-Shuxenhaus
19/11/2014 CH Whinthertur-Gaswerk
20/11/2014 CH Luzern-Bruch Bros
21/11/2014 CH Olten-Coq D’or
22/11/2014 DE Augsburg-Ballonfabrik
23/11/2014 AU Graz-club wakuum
24/11/2014 AU Wien-Arena
25/11/2014 D Erfurt-Cafè Tiko
26/11/2014 D Leipzieg-Liwi
27/11/2014 D Berlin-Cortina Bob
28/11/2014 D Siegen-Vortex Club
29/11/2014 N Schoonhoven-De Bastille
30/11/2014 N Den Haag-Dystopia
01/12/2014 F
02/12/2014 F Nancy-Le Quai’Son
03/12/2014 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
04/12/2014 D Freiburg-White Rabbit
05/12/2014 IT Rome-Init Club “HPS Showcase”
06/12/2014 IT Pescara-Orange Rock

www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.initroma.com

Wild Eyes, Above Becomes Below (2014)

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Mos Generator and Isaak to Release Split in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Washington rock purveyors Mos Generator and Italian four-piece Isaak have set a Jan. 12, 2015, release date for a new split 12″. Heavy Psych Sounds will be handling the release. Earlier this year, the label got together Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes for a split that was promised as the first in a series, but I’m not sure if this is a continuation of that same idea — it’s half as many bands, for one thing — or a whole new deal. Either way, new Mos Generator and Isaak is nothing to complain about, however it might be positioned in the label’s catalog.

Mos Generator already have a couple recent releases under their collective belt, between their 2014 Listenable Records label debut, Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) and the self-released demo compilation Electric Nomads covering material from their last two full-lengths (review here). For Isaak, they’ve spent much of the year supporting their 2013 Small Stone release, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound, and they’ll hit the road in December once again, this time with copies of the new split in tow.

Some preliminaries on the pressing from Heavy Psych Sounds:

mos generator isaak split

Mos Generator/Isaak Split Album is the new Heavy Psych Sounds Records release printed in Black Vinyl and 150 copies

LTD Red Splatter Black Vinyl Awesome Album Artwork by SoloMacello

release date 12/01/2015

Says Isaak:

We are proud and honored to announce our upcoming new split album with the amazing Mos Generator!

It will be released on a very limited edition 12″ vinyl by the great HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records on January 12, 2015 but you can grab a copy during our European Tour in December.
Here you can find a sneakpeek of the stunning artwork made by our brother SoloMacello.

We really can’t wait to let you ear it, we’re sure you’re gonna dig it.
SEE YOU SOON ON TOUR, STAY HEAVY! \M/

www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
https://www.facebook.com/isaakband

Isaak, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (2013)

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Killer Boogie to Debut with Detroit in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

killer boogie (Photo by Massi Sinister Noise)

Their name is their mission statement, and on Jan. 14, 2015, Italian trio Killer Boogie will try to get a jump on the New Year with their debut album. The three-piece is fronted by Gabriele Fiori of Black Rainbows and will release their Detroit LP through his ever-expanding Heavy Psych Sounds imprint, but with The Wisdoom‘s Luigi Costanzo on drums and Matteo Marini on bass, the sound is much more blown out than the sort of fuzz delivered by Fiori‘s other band. No word at this point whether Killer Boogie is a side-project or a new full-time group, but they’ll have their first nine-day tour in December, so they’re starting off with a bang in any case.

A YouTube trailer with some songs from Detroit was just released, and as you can hear below, Killer Boogie are nestled right into that late ’60s/early ’70s garage buzz, not quite proto-metal, but still heavy and definitely with a mind to boogie.

The PR wire had it like this:

killer boogie detroit

KILLER BOOGIE Debut Album “DETROIT” will be released via HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Rec. 14/01/2015

the band will be on tour from Dec. 11 to 20 in Europe!!

Fuzz Fuzz Fuzz !!!

Killer Boogie are a brand new band well versed in the making of ’70s riff making; a new machine in the retro ’n’ roll scene adept at mixing bluesy frequencies into an extremely fuzzy sound with psychedelic shades. Gabriele Fiori on guitars and vocals (Black Rainbows) , Luigi Costanzo on drums (The Wisdoom) and Matteo Marini on bass.

Killer Boogie grounds its roots in the sound of Blue Cheer, The Stooges, MC5, Cactus and Radio Moscow.

Their debut album Detroit (with killer artwork by Starcade Designs) will be released in December, and a small European tour follows to introduce the band to fuzz loving audiences from December 11 to 20.

https://www.facebook.com/killerboogie
https://www.facebook.com/groups/276856085772276/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Killer Boogie, Detroit album teaser

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Caronte Release New Video for “Temple of Eagles”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

caronte

Italian cult doomers Caronte will release their second album, Church of Shamanic Goetia, on Oct. 31 via German imprint Ván Records. Details have yet to surface about the record, which follows a 2013 split with Doomraiser and Caronte‘s 2012 debut LP, Ascension, as well as their 2011 first EP, Ghost Owl, but the four-piece have cut out the middle man and gotten right to the heart of what really matters — i.e., the music — in releasing the new song, “Temple of Eagles,” along with its mystically-themed lyrics. A sample verse:

Along the left hand’s path
I climb through the wormhole
every man has the cosmos within
I’ll keep on expanding to reconnect with it

Yeah, it’s like that. Nothing on Caronte‘s Ascension topped 10 minutes long, so however indicative it might be of the rest of Church of Shamanic Goetia, “Temple of Eagles” is the longest album cut the Parma unit have put out to date. I guess we’ll see how the rest of the record plays out when the time comes. Until then, “Temple of Eagles” feels less Electric Wizard-y than some of what Caronte have proffered before, which bodes well for their coming more into their own sound, all the more since it’s the first audio from the album to be released. More to come, I’m sure.

Enjoy:

Caronte, “Temple of Eagles”

NEW SONG, NEW VIDEO

We are proud to announce the release date of our new album, “CHURCH OF SHAMANIC GOETIA” which will be released by Van Records. The release date is 31/10/2014 for all Europe.

This is the first extract from the album. Thank you all for the support you have always given. Now take a few minutes, get something to smoke and listen.

Soon more news about the release and the dates of our upcoming live performances.

Caronte on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records

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