Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
I wonder if the shipping on exports costs more when they’re this heavy. This fall, venerable concern Life is Noise will present the thunderdoom pairing of Italian cosmic doom progenitors Ufomammut and Swedish riff-crushers Monolord, which if the point hasn’t gotten across yet is a formidable pairing indeed, both acts preceded by their reputation for being heavy as hell.
For Monolord, this six-show run will follow an extensive US tour with Beastmaker and Sweat Lodge that will be their first time in North America as headliners, while Ufomammut have reportedly been working on new material presumably with an eye toward a 2017 release. That’s the hope, anyway. They’ve also been playing fests and other select dates in Europe.
Life is Noise sent the following down the PR wire:
LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS: UFOMAMMUT (ITA) & MONOLORD (SWE) AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TOUR
LIFE IS NOISE is proud to announce the first visit to our shores of Italian space doom virtuosos Ufomammut, along with masters of the riff, Swedish three-piece Monolord.
These two behemoths will be laying waste to cities across Australia and New Zealand this October in a truly huge doom double-header.
Playing an ear-destroying brand of sludge-filled doom that lurches from brooding slow menace to soul-crushing riff with a decent slab of psych thrown in for good measure, Ufomammut have released a stack of studio albums of unimpeachable heaviness, culminating in last year’s Ecate – truly a masterpiece of nuanced doom that perfectly encapsulates the band’s career to date.
Drawing on influences such as Sleep, Sabbath, Windhand, and Conan, Swedish trio Monolord take reverence to the riff to new extremes, with their second record, 2015’s Vænir, mixing glacial tempos with hypnotic and otherworldly vocals that coalesce into an album of both beauty and malevolence.
Catch Ufomammut and Monolord on the following dates:
Wellington – San Fran – October 3 Auckland – Kings Arms – October 4 Brisbane – Crowbar – October 6 Sydney – Bald Faced Stag – October 7 Melbourne – Max Watt’s – October 8 Perth – Rosemount Hotel – October 9
Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.
If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.
Quarterly Review #1-10:
Sourvein, Aquatic Occult
Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.
Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.
There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.
Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned Glass’ Ritual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.
Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.
Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.
Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.
Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.
What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.
Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Moving from its former homebase in Rome to Parma, Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III is set for Oct. 28 and 29 at the MU Club. The first bands have just been announced as Fuzz Orchestra, Duel, Giöbia and Deville, but of course there will be more to come in that regard as the two-night event fills out its lineup presumably over the next couple months either one at a time or in batches.
Either way, I’ll take it. Heavy Psych Sounds Records — headed, as noted here often, by Gabriele Fiori of Black Rainbows and Killer Boogie — has done more than anyone in the last decade to promote the cause of Italian heavy rock. From signing native Italian bands to establishing a cross-continental reach with the label to booking tours and fests across Europe for bands domestic and foreign, Heavy Psych Sounds has become a brand synonymous with putting maximum passion behind everything it does. The fest that bears its name seems unlikely to be an exception.
The timing is noteworthy as well. Europe is awash in fests throughout September and October — Up in Smoke, Desertfest Athens, Desertfest Belgium, Keep it Low — so to add Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III to that pot only makes the lineup opportunities broader as more acts will be on tour. In that regard, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think the Gozu and Holy Grove European run — the confirmed dates for which have yet to be revealed — might make a stop in Parma, considering that’s also a Heavy Psych Sounds production.
That’s not confirmed, of course, so don’t quote me on it. Just a supposition. When I hear more about who’s actually on the bill for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. III, I’ll let you know. For now, here’s the initial announcement:
Heavy Psych Sounds Records&Booking is proud to announce the:
HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST VOL. III October 28 & 29 Italy, Parma, Circolo Arci MU
First bands announced: ****FUZZ ORCHESTRA**** ***********DUEL*********** **********GIOBIA********** *********DEVILLE*********
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 14th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Headphone-worthy textures and a churning post-metal heft come together in Genoa, Italy-based four-piece Naat. The band will release their self-titled debut this fall on Argonauta Records, as the PR wire confirms below, and as they become labelmates of the vaunted likes of Suma, they seem well in place, chugging basslines and tapped-out guitar runs adding depth of approach to the overarching rhythmic thrust the band elicits in the lead single “Baltoro” from the album. There’s a cinematic drama to the proceedings, but not at the expense of tonal impact, which is only further brought to bear as they make their way toward a more frenetic apex.
If you’re going to check it out — and please, by all means, do — volume helps:
ARGONAUTA RECORDS – New Signing: NAAT
We’re proud to announce a new band in the ARGONAUTA Records family: NAAT.
NAAT is a huge blend of instrumental post metal, doom and sludge coming from Genoa, Italy, born in 2014 by founder members of Antea, Lilium and Stone Smokers, three bands that attended Rock, Metal and Stoner scene for years in Northern Italy.
The intention is to revise the personal musical ideas of each member and produce a preconceptions-free sound experience.
“Power” and “Atmosphere” are blend, accompanying the listener between peaks and sudden vertical drops where the dynamics develop and crumble into an instrumental kind of “stream of consciousness”.
The band says: “We are very happy to inked a deal with Argonauta Records, a label fitting so well in a music scene we know and where we want to carve out our own space. We are convinced that our approach to “metal and similar” is something to involve a good deal of fans. We look forward to the efforts of the past year are finally released; we are ready to bring our music live on stage! We would like particularly to thank Mattia Cominotto and Greenfog Studio of Genoa for helping us so much in the recording process, with dedication and advice; we are very pleased with our record and it is mostly his merit!”
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Italian boogie-blues rockers There Will be Blood may have named themselves after an exceedingly dark, grim, at-times brutal movie, but the material on their third album, Horns, seems to be much more upbeat and much less prone to take itself seriously. To wit, the band’s video for “Undertow” below, which looks like a Wes Anderson-filmed workout parody. The new record from which that song comes will be released on June 10 — egad, that’s next week! — via Blues for the Red Sun Records, and reportedly wraps a trilogy about redemption and weirdos which the PR wire describes below.
THERE WILL BE BLOOD – HORNS (LP/CD/Digital) BFTRS 007
Album out June 10th 2016 on Blues For The Red Sun.
The story of There Will Be Blood started back in 2009, and in the seven years passed they have made 3 albums and 2 EPs, playing live around Italy in festivals and rock clubs, gaining excellent reviews from press and audience. Their third album “Horns” is the end of a trilogy of concept albums that tell the story of a lone wandering man looking for a way to redeem his soul and finally find his vengeance, crossing his path with all kinds of freaks and prodigies, miracles and disasters.
Compared with the previous albums, “Horns” is a more articulated work; the band has put a lot of effort into these 12 tracks, challenging themselves with new styles and new influences. Through their collaboration with professional musicians, “Horns” has become their biggest project so far: choir, harps, trum- pets, saxophones, trombones, pianos and keyboards add layers and volume to There Will Be Blood’s fantastic blues-rock sound.
With elements from classic blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel, stoner and country the band stretches their signature sound to new frontiers, without losing their focus on strong riffs, powerful drums and the catchy lyrics that we love.
All music and lyrics written and performed by There Will Be Blood. Recorded and mixed by Andrea Cajelli at the Sauna Recording studio/ Varese. Studio assistant: Andrea Ravasio. Mastered by Andrea “Berni” De Bernardi at Eleven Mastering/ Busto Arsizo Album cover “Drive-in” by Jesse Treece www.collageartbyjesse.tumblr.com. Album artwork by Riccardo Giacomin www.riccardogiacomin.com
Tracklist: Burn Your Halo Fire Blind Wandering Undertow Mismatch Revevier
Ride Turn Your Back Horns Short Breath Lust Til Death Do Us Apart
I’m not sure what the story of the video for Zippo‘s track “Comatose” actually has to do with the song itself, but it certainly captures the mood of brash, noise rock aggression. It’s a tale of classic gangster violence — a slice of life and death presented in kind with the Italian band’s rumbling, shout-topped groove. The song comes from Zippo‘s fourth album, After Us, which was released back in March via UK imprint Apocalyptic Witchcraft, and finds the band hitting the decade mark since their debut full-length while also working as a four-piece for the first time. While a Toshi Kasai mix might account for some of the edge one hears in “Comatose,” there’s always been more than one side to Zippo‘s approach, and that holds true for After Us as well.
While “Comatose” bruises like the brawl at the end of its video, “Familiar Roads” — which follows immediately on the album — builds tribal tension into prog-metal harmonies as “Adrift (Yet Alive)” digs into grunge scour and unhinged layers of fuzzgrind, and even a seemingly simple cut like the earlier “After Us” refuses to be defined in its asking the question of what might happen if Mike Patton fronted Alice in Chains. And all of this happens before closer “The Leftovers” waits until about the sixth of its total seven minutes to lock-in After Us‘ cohesive payoff, the prior six minutes of build obviously a tension inflicted on purpose, so while the relatively brief push of “Comatose” is telling on some levels, it’s by no means everything Zippo have to say with the album.
And it’s more gutpunch than handshake, but if you missed the record release in March and the band’s prior video for “Low Song,” as I did, it’s a vicious but enticing introduction. Made me want to dig further, anyhow.
Enjoy the video below, followed by more info from the PR wire:
Zippo, “Comatose” official video
‘Comatose’ is the second video from Zippo’s 4th album ‘After Us’, released in March by the Uk label Apocalyptic Witchcraft. The video is directed by Francesco Brancacci.
Zippo have always been about the music, which is actually very hard to define as they include elements of Prog Rock, Psych, Stoner, Sludge, Doom, Noise and even Post-Metal. Zippo thrive on creating different sounds and challenging people to use their very heart and soul to fully experience the band’s musical vision.
A winning philosophy has seen Zippo release three critically acclaimed albums: Ode To Maximum (Self-produced, 2006), The Road To Knowledge (Subsound Records, 2009), Maktub (Subsound Records, 2011). Album number four was unleashed by Uk based Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings in March 2016.
Italian four-piece Messa released their debut album, Belfry, this past Friday via Aural Music. The band waste little time in getting to the hook of “Babalon,” their first video from the record, or in setting a grim mood through their slow pacing, grainy black and white visuals (also red) and the vocals of Sara, joined by guitarist Alberto, bassist/guitarist Mark Sade and drummer Mistyr. They demonstrate some affinity for extreme metal in their aesthetic — there’s a fire in the woods in the video, etc. — but the groove of “Babalon” is all doom, the group exhibiting a style they call “scarlet doom.” I’m not quite sure what it means, but if it’s their summary of what they bring to songs like this one, then fair enough. The slow, bluesy roll of the riff, the easy nod and the engaging chorus aren’t so out of line with expectation, but it’s encouraging to find Messa working to distinguish themselves with their first album all the same.
To that point, I haven’t heard the full record as yet, so I wouldn’t attempt to speak for its entirety, but “Babalon” makes for an enticing sample. The video swaps back and forth between black and white and red footage as we see Sara developing and subsequently burning photos, and all the while the weighted lumber and spacious, melodic verses play out accordingly, swelling in volume for the aforementioned chorus and receding again as we see the band out in a forest gathering wood for the subsequent bonfire. In the end, it winds up being the roll that typifies the song — maintained during a lead from Alberto in the second half — and as the fire crackles at the finish of the track, it makes a suitable accompaniment to the final credits, which somewhat quizzically list the band lineup as numbers — 302 (vocals), 208 (drums), 508 (guitar), 231 (bass) — before giving the coordinates 46 degrees 48 minutes north 10 degrees 31 minutes east. No idea where those might lead, though it would be fun to find out.
If you happen to have an answer on that one, please leave a comment, but otherwise I’m content with the mystery. Check out Messa‘s video for “Babalon” below, followed by some more info on Belfry courtesy of Aural Music, and please enjoy:
Messa, “Babalon” official video
MESSA is an italian 4-piece band born in 2014 playing obscure and evoking doom with deliciously haunting female vocals, influenced by Pentagram, Bellwitch, Windhand, Jex Thoth, Sabbath Assembly, Bathory, La Piramide di Sangue.
Their debut album titled “Belfry” mix dark ambient drones with vintage occult doom and mesmerizing female vocals that will drive you through a scarlet velvet trip.
Aural Music will release “Belfry” in May 6th, 2016.
The tracklist goes as follow: 1- Alba 2- Babalon 3- Fa?ro? 4- Hour Of The Wolf 5- Blood 6- Tomba 7- New Horns 8- Bell Tower 9- Outermost 10- Confess
MARK SADE bass/guitars (the sade, sultan bathery) SARA voice (restos humanos) ALBERTO lead guitar (glincolti, douge) MISTYR drums (nox interitus)
Posted in Reviews on May 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
It’s always a good day when a new issue of Italian ‘zine Vincebus Eruptum shows up. My fandom of the long-running print mag should be well known to anyone who’s been stopping by this site for a while, and Editor Davide “Davidew” Pansolin and the staff under him continue to deliver top quality work with Vincebus Eruptum no. 20, the latest issue. Pressed up with cover art by Kabuto that brings to mind Jawas, the speeder bike that Rey had in The Force Awakens and the cover of the Southern Lord version of Sleep‘s Dopesmoker — all of which is certainly cool by me — the actual physical size of the thing never tells the story of the scope within, as Vincebus Eruptum continues to cover highlights from the international underground in psychedelia, heavy rock, doom, fuzz, garage and more.
Last time around, Vincebus Eruptum took a kind of educational turn and in the midst of a feature about The Linus Pauling Quartet — whose latest album, Ampalanche (review here), was released on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, the ‘zine’s label arm — gave background on a swath of players and acts from the Texas noise/weirdo rock scene of the 1990s. Cool idea, and Pansolin has clearly decided to run with it. While Vincebus Eruptum no. 20 has fewer interviews than did the prior issue, it makes up for that with two specially-themed features — one on Maryland doom and another on Ireland’s heavy scene. The scope of Maryland doom, of course, is massive. It spans decades and there are so many players involved that to list them all would leave no room in the issue for anything else, but Klaus Kleinowski does well in finding the balance between narrative and detail, and though he speaks from the perspective of someone out of the region, his knowledge comes through clearly and is information worth seeking for anyone who thinks they know that scene or who’d like to know it.
I like to consider myself pretty familiar with Maryland doom, so after digging that piece, I shifted right over to “Emerald Haze: A Brief History of Irish Fuzz” by Sid Daly and Matt Casciani, which gives a similar, if shorter, treatment to the Irish underground, dedicating space to letting Iona Death Cult bassist Ste O’Connor and Mount Soma bassist Conrad Coyle — both Dublin natives — run down lists and descriptions of their favorite countryman heavy albums. Yes, Slomatics make the cut, amid names like Electric Taurus, Wild Rocket, Weed Priest, Astralnaut, Venus Sleeps and Triggerman. Reading Vincebus Eruptum is always a bit like getting a homework assignment of stuff to check out — in a good way; I was never much for doing homework — and to have them go to experts directly to pick out bands for their readers is a shift in approach that I hope they continue. I’d love to see a piece on the boom in the Ukraine rock scene, for example, or to get their perspective on the West Coast of the US’ surge in heavy psych of the last several years. There’s an entire planet to cover, since ‘heavy’ exists just about everywhere.
From there, time to dig into the interviews. Leading off are Kevin Starrs of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Gianmarco Iantaffi of Void Generator — Vincebus Eruptum, as ever, bringing Italian bands to the fore — and both have plenty to talk about. New Void Generator is reportedly in progress, and Starrs talks about some of his favorite Italian film noir directors, the Giallo set, which inspired the band’s 2015 fourth album, The Night Creeper (review here). There are also chats with Abbot and Domovoyd, two Finnish bands with very different takes between them — Abbot leaning toward classic prog/heavy and Domovoyd blending psychedelia and black metal — but who nonetheless share an adventurousness of spirit and songwriting that serve them well. Top it off with a feature looking at Fruits de Mer Records‘ catalog, the usual batch of worldwide reviews — Goatsnake and Snail alongside Nightslug and Bretus, among many more — and it’s another jam-packed installment from Vincebus Eruptum, which if I haven’t gotten the point across by now should be essential reading for novices and lifer experts alike when it comes to all manner of things weighted in tone.
Vincebus Eruptum Recordings has an upcoming release by Sendelica called I’ll Walk with the Stars for You, and as Pansolin notes in his editorial, he’s also opened a physical venue (300 capacity) where bands can play. Congratulations to him on that — way to live the dream — and here’s looking forward to the next Vincebus Eruptum, to which in the same breath he once again doubles-down on his commitment. I can’t wait to see what the associazione culturale does next.