Ufomammut Embark on European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 6th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

ufomammut (Photo by Andrea Tomas Prato)

What’s that you say? Only posting Ufomammut dates as an excuse to nerd out over the Malleus poster, marvel at the thought of seeing them play with Suma and pine about how good they were when I saw them in Brooklyn this past May? I resent the suggestion! Okay, no I don’t, but (1:) that poster is frickin’ rad, and “rad” isn’t a word I break out every day, and (2:) they were so gosh darn good this Spring that I feel like even though it was two seasons ago my ears are still ringing from it. They just completely out-doomed the room. And it was a pretty doomy room.

Awesome. Two needless rhymes in one paragraph. Calling it now — this is the post of the day.

Point is…. that Ufomammut continue to support their 2015 cosmos-basher Ecate (review here), which was released through Neurot Recordings, and that doing so only continues to make them stronger, like the Quickening, except instead of cutting someone’s head off, you put in grueling hours of work and waiting on tour and play for like 80 minutes and then get back to selling merch. So maybe not the Quickening. Did I mention how good they were in May?

The PR wire saves my rambling ass:

ufomammut euro tour poster

Ufomammut on the road in support of their latest album Ecate

Italy’s psychedelic doom masters, Ufomammut, are currently touring in support of their latest album Ecate. On the road for the whole of October, the band have already visited France and shall be performing in the UK and Ireland this week before heading to the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and more.

The majestic trio are known to put on a mind-bending live show, with their skilled interlacing of heavy textures, hypnotic tones and striking visual imagery. Such elements build upon each other, until they forge an all-consuming universe for the listener to lose themselves in. Ecate truly showcases Ufomammut’s mesmerising ability to do this. Here are the remaining tour dates:-


05. Audio – Glasgow (UK)
06. Voodoo – Belfast (UK)
07. Grand Social – Dublin (IRL)
08. Soup Kitchen – Manchester (UK)
09. Islington Academy – London (UK) w/ Jex Thoth
10. Baroeg – Rotterdam (NL)
11. Desert Fest – Antwerp (BE)
13. Loppen – Copenhagen (DK) w/ Suma
14. SofieHof – Jonkoping (SWE) w/ Suma
16. Korjaamo – Helsinki (FIN) w/ Suma
17. Lutakko – Jyväskylä (FIN) w/ Suma
18. Klubi – Tampere (FIN) w/ Suma
20. Geronimo’s – Stockholm (SWE) w/ Suma
21. Blitz – Oslo (NOR) w/ Suma
22. Babel – Malmö (SWE) w/ Suma
23. Marx – Hamburg (DE)
24. Into the Void – Leuwaarden (NL)
25. Underground – Cologne (DE)
27. Bi Nuu – Berlin (DE)
28. Firley – Wroclaw (PL)
29. Ut connewitz – Leipzig (DE)
31. Bauhof – Pettenbach (A)

11. Traffic – Roma (IT)
12. Alchemica Club – Bologna (IT)

This tour comes on the back of a great year for the band. Following Ecate’s spring release, which was brought to you by Neurosis’ Neurot Recordings, in conjunction with the band’s own Supernatural Cat Records, the band toured Europe which included appearances at both of this year’s Desertfest events in London and Berlin. Not to be stopped, the band then embarked on their first North American tour which saw their debut at Maryland Deathfest.

Orders for Ecate including limited edition vinyl, CD, shirt, and bundle deals are available. In North America stop by the Neurot Recordings store and internationally click to Supernatural Cat’s store.


Ufomammut, Live at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, May 19, 2015

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Quarterly Review: My Dying Bride, Glowsun, Caustic Casanova, Dead Sea Apes, Bantoriak, Ahab, Zark, Pyramidal & Domo, Mammoth Salmon, Molior Superum

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


One thing I’ve noticed over the now-several times I’ve done this is that people have a tendency to apply some value to the ordering. It’s true that I try to lead off with a bigger release sometimes (as with today), but beyond that, there’s really no statement being made in how the albums appear. It usually has way more to do with time, when something came in and when it was added to the list, than with the quality or profile of a given outing. Just that final note that probably should’ve been said on Monday. Whoops.

Before we wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you again for checking any of it out if you did this week. It’s not a minor undertaking to do these, but it’s been completely worth it and I very much appreciate your being a part of it. Thank you. As always.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #41-50:

My Dying Bride, Feel the Misery

my dying bride feel the misery

Led by founding guitarist Andrew Craighan and vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe, UK doom magnates My Dying Bride mark their 25th year with Feel the Misery, their 13th full-length and one that finds them right in their element practicing the melancholic death-doom style they helped forge on pivotal early works like As the Flower Withers (1992) and Turn Loose the Swans (1993). “And My Father Left Forever” starts Feel the Misery on a particularly deathly note, but it’s not too long before the 10-minute “To Shiver in Empty Halls” and the subsequent “A Cold New Curse” are mired in the grueling, poetic, beauty-in-darkness emotionality that is My Dying Bride’s hallmark. The album’s title-track is a chugging bit of extremity, but the record’s strongest impact winds up being made by the penultimate “I Almost Loved You,” a piano, string and e-bow (sounding) ballad that pushes further than “A Thorn of Wisdom” by daring not to get heavy and rests well between the lumbering “I Celebrate Your Skin” and the 11-minute closer, “Within a Sleeping Forest,” which fits well, but more reinforces the point than offers something new on its own. A quarter-century later, they remain an institution. One wonders how they’ve managed to stay so depressed for so long.

My Dying Bride’s website

Peaceville Records store

Glowsun, Beyond the Wall of Time


If French mostly-instrumentalists Glowsun are feeling pressed for time these days – and with the theme of Beyond the Wall of Time (out via Napalm Records) that shows itself in the ticking clocks that launch opener “Arrow of Time” and the like-minded titles “Last Watchmaker’s Grave,” “Against the Clock” and “Endless Caravan” – the material itself doesn’t show it. Opening with two nine-minute cuts, Glowsun’s third outing and the follow-up to 2012’s Eternal Season (discussed here) unrolls itself patiently across its seven-track span, leading one to wonder if maybe Beyond the Wall of Time isn’t intended as another means of expressing something outside of it, the expanse of tones and grooves created by guitarist/vocalist Johan Jaccob (also graphic art), bassist Ronan Chiron and drummer Fabrice Cornille on “Shadow of Dreams” and the centerpiece “Flower of Mist” intended to last after some eternal now has passed. I wouldn’t want to guess, but it’s noteworthy that the trio’s output is evocative enough to lead toward such speculations.

Glowsun on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records store

Caustic Casanova, Breaks

caustic casanova breaks

As with their 2012 debut, Someday You Will be Proven Correct, Washington D.C.-based trio Caustic Casanova recorded their sophomore long-player, Breaks, with J. Robbins at The Magpie Cage in Baltimore. They’re also releasing the album through Kylesa’s Retro Futurist Records imprint, so they come nothing if not well-endorsed. With bassist Francis Beringer and drummer Stefanie Zaenker sharing vocal duties throughout – the trio is completed by Andrew Yonki on guitar – they run and bounce through a gamut of upbeat post-hardcore noise rock, thick in tone but not so much as to get up and move around, tempo-wise. Yonki brings some post-rock airiness to the early going of the nine-minute “Elect My Best Friend for a Better World,” but the album on the whole feels more about impact than atmosphere, and Caustic Casanova work up considerable momentum by the time they get around to paying off the 12-minute finale, “The Painted Desert.” Its melodies open up more on repeat listens, but not at the expense of the push so well enacted throughout.

Caustic Casanova on Thee Facebooks

Retro Futurist Records

Dead Sea Apes, Spectral Domain

dead sea apes spectral domain

An outwardly familiar conceptual framework – instrumental space/psychedelic rock – does little to convey how much of themselves Manchester, UK, trio Dead Sea Apes put into their new full-length, Spectral Domain. Released by Cardinal Fuzz in conjunction with Sunrise Ocean Bender, it’s the band’s sixth or seventh LP, depending on what counts as such, and bookends two north-of-10-minute explorations around three shorter pieces (though not much shorter in the case of the 9:50 “True Believers”) varied in color but uniformly galaxial in intent. “Brought to Light” rings out with a wash of drumless echo and swirl, seemingly in response to the tension of centerpiece “The Unclosing Eye,” and the whole album seems to take a theme from things seen and unseen, between “Universal Interrogator” and closer “Sixth Side of the Pentagon,” a vibe persisting in some conspiracy theory exposed as blissful and immersive truth with something darker lurking just underneath. Thick but not pretentious, Spectral Domain seems to run as deep as the listener wants to go.

Dead Sea Apes on Thee Facebooks

Sunrise Ocean Bender

Cardinal Fuzz Records

Bantoriak, Weedooism

bantoriak weedooism

A ritualistic spirit arrives early on Italian heavy psych rockers Bantoriak’s debut LP, Weedooism, and does not depart for the duration of the Argonauta Records release’s six tracks, which prove spacious, psychedelic and heavy in kind, playing out with alternating flourishes of melody and noise. “Try to Sleep” seems to be talking more about the band than the act, but from “Entering the Temple” through the rumbling closer “Chant of the Stone,” Bantoriak leave an individualized stamp on their heavy vibes, and that song is no exception. If Weedooism is the dogma they’re championing on the smooth-rolling “Smoke the Magma,” they’re doing so convincingly and immersively, and while they seem to have undergone a lineup shift (?) at some point since the record was done, hopefully that means Weedooism will have a follow-up to its liquefied grooves and weedian heft before too long. In an increasingly crowded Italian heavy psych/stoner scene, Bantoriak stand out already with their first album.

Bantoriak on Bandcamp

Bantoriak at Argonauta Records

Ahab, The Boats of the Glen Carrig


Though somewhat counterintuitive for a band playing their style of doom to start with, Ahab have only been met with a rising profile over their decade-plus together, and their fourth album for Napalm Records, The Boats of the Glen Carrig, answers three years of anticipation with an expanded sonic palette over its five tracks that is afraid neither of melodic sweetness nor the seafaring tonal heft and creature-from-the-deep growling that has become their hallmark. Their extremity is intact, in other words, but they’re also clearly growing as a band. I don’t know if The Boats of the Glen Carrig is quite as colorful musically as its Sebastian Jerke cover art – inevitably one of the best covers I’ve seen this year – but whether it’s the 15-minute sprawl of “The Weedmen,” which at its crescendo sounds like peak-era Mastodon at quarter-speed or the (relatively) speedy centerpiece “Red Foam (The Great Storm),” Ahab are as expansive in atmosphere as they are relentlessly heavy, and they’re certainly plenty of that.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

Zark, Tales of the Expected

zark tales of the unexpected

One would hardly know it from the discouraging title, but all-caps UK progressive metallers ZARK do manage to catch one off-guard on their debut full-length, Tales of the Expected. Duly melodic and duly complex, the eight tracks rely on straightforward components to set deceptively lush vibes, the guitar work of Sean “Bindy” Phillips and Josh Tedd leading the way through tight rhythmic turns alongside bassist Andy “Bready” Kelley and drummer Simon Spiers’ crisp grooves. Vocalist Stuart Lister carries across the aggression of “LV-426” and hopefulness of “The Robber” with equal class, and while ZARK’s first outing carries a pretty ambitious spirit, the Evesham five-piece reach the high marks they set for themselves, and in so doing set new goals for their next outing, reportedly already in progress. A strong debut from a band who sound like they’re only going to get more assured as they move forward. More “pleasant surprise” than “expected.”

Zark on Thee Facebooks

Zark on Bandcamp

Pyramidal & Domo, Jams from the Sun Split

pyramidal and domo jams from the sun

Paired up by style almost as much as by geography, Alicante, Spain, acts Pyramidal and Domo picked the right title for their Jams from the Sun split – a bright, go-ahead-and-get-hypnotized psychedelic space vibe taking hold early on the Lay Bare Recordings release and not letting go as one side gives way to the other or as the noisy post-Hawkwindery of “Uróboros” closes out. Pyramidal, who made their debut in 2012 (review here), offer “Motormind” and “Hypnotic Psychotic,” two 10-minute mostly-instrumental jams that progress with liquid flow toward and through apexes in constant search for the farther-out that presumably they find at the end and that’s why they bother stopping at all, and Domo, who made their debut in 2011 (review here), counter with three cuts of their own, “Viajero del Cosmos,” “Mantra Astral” and the aforementioned “Uróboros,” switching up the mood a little between them but not so much as to interrupt the trance overarching the release as whole. I remain a sucker for a quality space jam, and Jams from the Sun has 45 minutes’ worth.

Pyramidal on Thee Facebooks

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings

Mammoth Salmon, Last Vestige of Humanity

mammoth salmon last vestige of humanity

After releasing a couple internet EPs (review here) and 2013’s Call of the Mammoth EP as the duo of guitarist/vocalist/bassist Paul Dudziak and drummer Mitch Meidinger, Portland, Oregon’s Mammoth Salmon enlist bassist Alex Bateman and drummer Steve Lyons for their first full-length, the Adam Pike-produced Last Vestige of Humanity, which rolls out plus-sized Melvinsery across six amp-blowing tracks of sludgy riffing and nodding, lumbering weight. The title-track, which ends what would and probably will at some point be side A of the vinyl version, picks up the tempo in its second half, and “Memoriam” teases the same in Lyons’ drums at the start, but of course goes on to unfold the slowest progression here ahead of “Shattered Existence”’s toying with playing barely-there minimalism off full-on crush and the 10-minute “Believe Nothing” rounding out with appropriately elephantine march. Sustainable in their approach and viciously heavy, Mammoth Salmon seem to have hit reset and given themselves a new start with this lineup, and it works to their advantage on this promising debut.

Mammoth Salmon on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Salmon on Bandcamp

Molior Superum, Electric Escapism

molior superum electric escapism

“Karma is a bitch that will definitely hunt you down for what you have done,” would seem to be the standout message of “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife,” the third and longest (at 6:34) of the four inclusions on Molior Superum’s new EP, Electric Escapism. The non-retro Swedish heavy rockers fire up righteous heft to put them in league with countrymen Skånska Mord, but ultimately have more in common with Stubb out of the UK in the loose-sounding swing of “Försummad,” despite the different language. I had the same opinion about their full-length debut, Into the Sun (review here), and last year’s The Inconclusive Portrait 7” (review here) as well. Can’t seem to shake it, but Molior Superum’s ability to switch it up linguistics – they open and close in Swedish, with the two middle cuts in English – is an immediately distinguishing factor, and whichever they choose for a given song, they kill it here.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

Molior Superum on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Matushka, Tuna de Tierra, MAKE, SardoniS, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Moewn, El Hijo de la Aurora, Hawk vs. Dove

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Cruising right along with the Fall 2015 Quarterly Review. I hope you’ve been digging it so far. There’s still much more to come, and I’ve spaced things out so that it’s not like all the really killer stuff was in the first day. That’s not so much to draw people in with bigger names as to get a good mix of styles to keep me from going insane. 10 records is a lot to go through if you’re hearing the same thing all the time. Today, as with each day this week, I’m glad to be able to change things up a bit as we make our way through. Let’s get to it.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #21-30:

Horisont, Odyssey

horisont odyssey

Aside from earning immediate points by sticking the 10-minute title-track at the front of their 62-minute fourth album, Swedish mustache rockers Horisont add intrigue to Odyssey (out on Rise Above) via the acquisition of journeyman guitarist Tom Sutton (The Order of Israfel, ex-Church of Misery). Their mission? To rock ‘70s arena melodies and grandiose vibes while keeping the affair tight enough so they don’t come across as completely ridiculous in the process. They’ve had three records to get it together before this one, so that they’d succeed isn’t necessarily much of a surprise, but the album satisfies nonetheless, cuts like “Blind Leder Blind” departing the sci-fi thematics of the opener for circa-1975 vintage loyalism of a different stripe, while “Back on the Streets” is pure early Scorpions strut, the band having found their own niche within crisp execution of classic-sounding grooves that seem to have a vinyl hiss no matter their source.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Straphanger / Drone Monger Split

blackwolfgoat larman clamor split

I’ll make no bones whatsoever about being partial to the work of both Blackwolfgoat – the solo experimental vehicle of Boston-based guitarist Darryl Shepard – and Larman Clamor – the solo-project of Hamburg-based graphic artist Alexander von Wieding – so to find them teamed up for a split 7” on H42 Records is something of a special thrill. Shepard’s inclusion, “Straphanger,” continues to push the thread between building layers of guitar on top of each other and songwriting that the last Blackwolfgoat full-length, Drone Maintenance (review here), found him exploring, while Larman Clamor’s “Drone Monger” is an alternate version from what appeared on last year’s Beetle Crown and Steel Wand (review here) and “Fo’ What You Did” digs deep into the swampy psych-blues that von Wieding has done so well developing for the last half-decade or so in the project’s tenure. My only complaint? No collaboration between the two sides. Would love to hear what Shepard and von Wieding could do in a cross-Atlantic two-piece.

Blackwolfgoat on Thee Facebooks

Larman Clamor on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

Matushka, II

matushka ii

II is the aptly-titled second full-length from Russian heavy psych instrumentalists Matushka, who jam kosmiche across its four component tracks and round out by diving headfirst into the acid with “Drezina,” a 20-minute pulsation from some distant dimension that gives sounds like Earthless if they made it up on the spot, peppering shred-ola leads with no shortage of effects swirl. In comparison, “As Bartenders and Bouncers Dance” feels positively plotted, but it, “The Acid Curl’s Dance” before and the especially dreamy “Meditation,” which follows, all have their spontaneous-sounding elements. For guitarist Timophey Goryashin, bassist Maxim Zhuravlev (who seems to since be out of the band) and drummer Konstantin Kotov to even sustain this kind of lysergic flow, they need to have a pretty solid chemistry underlying the material, and they do. I don’t know whether Matushka’s II will change the scope of heavy psychedelia, but they put their stamp on the established parameters here and bring an edge of individuality in moments of arrangement flourish — acoustics, synth, whatever it might be — where a lot of times that kind of thing is simply lost in favor of raw jamming.

Matushka on Thee Facebooks

Matushka on Bandcamp

Tuna de Tierra, EPisode I: Pilot

tuna de tierra episode i pilot

If a pilot is used in television to test whether or not a show works, then Tuna de Tierra’s EPisode I: Pilot, would seem to indicate similar ends. A three-song first outing from the Napoli outfit, it coats itself well in languid heavy psychedelic vibing across “Red Sun” (the opener and longest track at 8:25; immediate points), “Ash” (7:28) and the particularly dreamy “El Paso de la Tortuga,” which closes out at 4:08 and leaves the listener wanting to hear more of what Alessio de Cicco (guitar/vocals) and Luciano Mirra (bass) might be able to concoct from their desert-style influences. There’s patience to be learned in some of their progressions, and presumably at some point they’ll need to pick up a drummer to replace Jonathan Maurano, who plays here and seems to since be out of the band, but especially as their initial point of contact with planet earth, EPisode I: Pilot proves immersive and a pleasure to get lost within, and that’s enough for the moment.

Tuna de Tierra on Thee Facebooks

Tuna de Tierra on Bandcamp

MAKE, The Golden Veil

make the golden veil

Much of what one might read concerning North Carolinian trio MAKE and their second album, The Golden Veil, seems to go out of its way to point out the individual take they’re bringing to the established parameters of post-metal. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but part of that has to be sheer critical fatigue at the thought of another act coming along having anything in common with Isis while at the same time, not wanting to rag on MAKE as though their work were without value of its own, which at this point an Isis comparison dogwhistles. MAKE’s The Golden Veil successfully plays out an atmospherically intricate, engaging linear progression across its seven tracks, from the cut-short intro “I was Sitting Quietly, Peeling back My Skin” through the atmospheric sludge tumult of “The Absurdist” and into the patient post-rock melo-drone of “In the Final Moments, Uncoiling.” Yes, parts of it are familiar. Parts of a lot of things are familiar. Some of it sounds like Isis. That’s okay.

MAKE on Thee Facebooks

MAKE on Bandcamp

SardoniS, III

sardonis iii

To an extent, the reputation of Belgium instru-crushers SardoniS precedes them, and as such I can’t help but listen to “The Coming of Khan,” which launches their third album, III (out via Consouling Sounds), and not be waiting for the explosion into tectonic riffing and massive-sounding gallop. Still the duo of drummer Jelle Stevens and guitarist Roel Paulussen, SardoniS offer up five tracks of sans-vocals, Surrounded by Thieves-style thrust, a cut like “Roaming the Valley” summarizing some of the best elements of what they’ve done across the span of splits with Eternal Elysium and Drums are for Parades, as well as their two prior full-lengths, 2012’s II and 2010’s SardoniS (review here), in its heft and its rush. A somewhat unanticipated turn arrives with 11:46 closer “Forward to the Abyss,” which though it still hits its standard marks, also boasts both lengthy atmospheric sections at the front and back and blastbeaten extremity between. Just when you think you know what to expect.

SardoniS on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds

Lewis and the Strange Magics, Velvet Skin

lewis and the strange magics velvet skin

With their debut long-player, Barcelona trio Lewis and the Strange Magics answer the promise of their 2014 Demo (review here) in setting a late-‘60s vibe to modern cultish interpretation, post-Uncle Acid and post-Ghost (particularly so on “How to be You”) but no more indebted to one or the other than to themselves, which is as it should be. Issued via Soulseller Records, Velvet Skin isn’t afraid to dive into kitsch, and that winds up being a big part of the charm of songs like “Female Vampire” and “Golden Threads,” but it’s ultimately the chemistry of the organ-inclusive trio that makes the material hold up, as well as the swaggering rhythms of “Cloudy Grey Cube” and “Nina (Velvet Skin),” which is deceptively modern in its production despite such a vintage methodology. The guitar and keys on that semi-title-track seem to speak to a classic progressive edge burgeoning within Lewis and the Strange Magics’ approach, and I very much hope that’s a path they continue to walk.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Soulseller Records

Moewn, Acqua Alta

moewn acqua alta

Basking in a style they call “oceanic rock,” newcomer German trio Moewn unveil their first full-length, Acqua Alta, via Pink Tank Records in swells of post-metallic undulations that wear their neo-progressive influences on their sleeve. Instrumental for the duration, the three-piece tracked the album in 2014 about a year after first getting together, but the six songs have a cohesive, thought-out feel to their peaks and valleys – “Packeis” perhaps most of all – that speaks to their purposeful overall progression. Atmospherically, it feels like Moewn are still searching for what they want to do with this sound, but they have an awful lot figured out up to this point, whether it’s the nodding wash of airy guitar and fluid heft of groove that seems to push “Dunkelmeer” along or second cut “Katamaran,” which if it weren’t for the liquefied themes of the art and their self-applied genre tag, I’d almost say sounded in its more spacious stretches like desert rock à la Yawning Man.

Moewn on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records

El Hijo de la Aurora, The Enigma of Evil

el hijo de la aurora the enigma of evil

Since their first album, 2008’s Lemuria (review here), it has been increasingly difficult to pin Peruvian outfit El Hijo de la Aurora to one style or another. Drawing from doom, heavy rock, drone and psychedelic elements, they seem to push outward cosmically into something that’s all and none of them at the same time on their third album, The Enigma of Evil (released by Minotauro Records), the core member Joaquín Cuadra enlisting the help of a host of others in executing the seven deeply varied tracks, including Indrayudh Shome of continually underrated experimentalists Queen Elephantine on the acoustic-led “The Awakening of Kosmos” and the penultimate chug-droner “The Advent of Ahriman.” Half a decade after the release of their second album, Wicca (review here), in 2010, El Hijo de la Aurora’s work continues to feel expansive and ripe for misinterpretation, finding weight in atmosphere as much as tone and breadth enough to surprise with how claustrophobic it can at times seem.

El Hijo de la Aurora’s website

Minotauro Records

Hawk vs. Dove, Divided States

hawk vs dove divided states

Dallas outfit Hawk vs. Dove recorded Divided States in the same studio as their self-titled 2013 debut (review here) and the two albums both have black and white line-drawn artwork from Larry Carey, so it seems only fitting to think of the new release as a follow-up to the first. It is fittingly expansive, culling together elements of ‘90s noise, post-grunge indie (ever wondered what Weezer would sound like heavy? Check “X”), black metal (“Burning and Crashing”), desert rock (“PGP”) and who the hell knows what else into a mesh of styles that not only holds up but feels progressed from the first time out and caps with an 11-minute title-track that does even more to draw the various styles together into a cohesive, singular whole. All told, Divided States is 38 minutes of blinding turns expertly handled and impressive scope trod over as though it ain’t no thing, just another day at the office. It’s the kind of record that’s so good at what it does that other bands should hear it and be annoyed.

Hawk vs. Dove on Thee Facebooks

Hawk vs. Dove on Bandcamp

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Unimother 27 Release Frozen Information Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

unimother 27

The concept at work behind Unimother 27‘s upcoming fourth full-length, Frozen Information, seems to be that all creatures have some knowledge laying dormant within them. About the universe, maybe. Either way, going from the album teaser posted ahead of the record’s slated Oct. release — you can watch it below — the method for waking up this ancient knowledge is spaced out synth and guitar textures weaved in. As if there was any doubt what the key to enlightenment would be when it finally came down to it.

Pineal Gland Lab will have Frozen Information released sometime next month. More info follows on the offering and project:

unimother 27 frozen information

The new album of Unimother 27, “Frozen Information”, will be released in October by Pineal Gland Lab…STAY TUNED!!!

METAMORPHOSIS: Unimother 27 is an organism in continuous mutation and movement… through the perception of the endless vibrations of the cosmos and the following transposition in music is trying to wake up some ancestral feelings that are rooted in all the sentient beings of this planet!!!!!!!!! Would you like to give a support to this silent voice???


Unimother 27 is a project by Italian multi-instrumentalist Piero Ranalli. Ranalli explores similar territory to Krautrock adventurers such as Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream, but in his own unique way. One of the things that makes Ranalli’s music stand out is his penchant for quirky, fascinating rhythms, which give the music a feel not unlike, yet very different from those artists that inspired him.

The first work of Unimother 27 has been released on April 2006 by Pineal Gland Lab. The second album “Escape from the ephemeral mind” has been released on May 2007. “Grin” the third album has been released on June 2008.


Unimother 27, Frozen Information teaser

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Isaak to Release Sermonize in Nov.

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Italian heavy rockers Isaak will release their new album, Sermonize, in November. Their third outing overall, it will be issued in international collusion with Heavy Psych Sounds and Small Stone. The former, countryman imprint is set for the vinyl release, whereas the Detroit label will look to have a CD out come early 2016. The band mark it as their first release under the Isaak moniker, which is fair enough, though their 2012 sophomore outing, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (streamed here), also got issued as Isaak‘s Small Stone debut in 2013.

Either way, the art for the new one looks righteous, and the four-piece announced its arrival by unveiling that and the tracklisting. Isaak toured earlier this year in Spain and Portugal, and they’ll look to head out again come Feb. 2016. They also released a split with Mos Generator way back in January through Heavy Psych Sounds that I’ve pretty much been meaning to pick up since then. One of these days.

Album info follows:

isaak sermonize

Our new album SERMONIZE, the very first full length as Isaak, will be released later in November thanks to the amazing collaboration between the Italian HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records (for the vinyl release with a limited coloured version and a black one) and the american Small Stone Records (which will follow the CD release, expected in the very early 2016), a collaboration that will bring also several other tasty news!

Here below you can admire the cover painting by Richey Beckett (yes, THAT Richey Beckett! www.richeybeckett.com).

As always, our brother from another mother Luca SoloMacello contributed to this radness looking after the design layout.

Isaak will start an European Tour to promote Sermonize from February 2016.

There’s nothing more to say, this record will be your summer obsession even if we’re gonna release it in November, hands down!

ISAAK – SERMONIZE Official Tracklist
1 – Whore Horse
2 – The Peak
3 – Fountainhead
4 – Almonds & Glasses
5 – Soar
6 – Showdown
7 – Yeah (Kyuss)
8 – Lucifer’s Road (White Ash)
9 – Lesson n.1
10 – The Frown Reloaded
11 – The Phil’s Theorem
12 – Sermonize

Vinyl version :
Recorded and Mixed at Greenfog Genova by Mattia Cominotto
Mastered at JD Studio by Pino Santamaria

Cover Painting by Richey Beckett
Design/Layout by Luca SoloMacello


Isaak, Live at Riviera Summerfest 2015

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Void of Sleep Premiere “Hidden Revelations” from New Album New World Order

Posted in audiObelisk on September 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

void of sleep

Italian outfit Void of Sleep will release their new album, New World Order, on Oct. 19 through Aural Music. It’s their second full-length behind 2013’s Tales Between Reality and Madness and arrives anchored in the rather bleak theme of a hopeless future, not so much telling about a character’s struggle against it as reveling in the futility of that struggle to start with across seven tracks/44 minutes that only become more expansive as they go. The four-piece — guitarist/vocalist Andrea “Burdo” Burdisso, guitarist/backing vocalist Marco “Gale” Galeotti, bassist Riccardo “Paso” Pasini and drummer Andrea “Allo” Allodoli — cast a broad stylistic net, varying in poise and aggression throughout, but ultimately land in a comfortable space that blends the impact of sludge riffing with the purposefulness of prog.

Split into two sides, New World Order presents its atmosphere through its theme and through the sound of the material itself — precise but not too clean. Early on, with the opening duo of “The Devil’s Conjuration” and “Hidden Revelations,” Void of Sleep show themselves to be capable of melding complex structures with resonant hooks, the melodies and shouts banding together in order to make an individual impression as “Slaves Shall Serve” takes hold leading into the side A closer “Ordo ab Chao,” which slowsvoid of sleep new world order down and spreads out earlier intensity as a precursor to some of the second half of the album’s more grandiose sensibilities. Those manifest quickly in the side B intro “Lords of Conspiracy” — one may recognize the same from which this record derives its title from Ministry‘s use of it in “N.W.O.” circa 1992 — but only get more expansive as Void of Sleep push through the title-track and into the 14-minute closer “Ending Theme.”

Compared to what follows, the first half of New World Order is more straightforward. Its choruses are hooks and it feels put together on the basis of its individual songs. Side B, on the other hand, is meant to feed right from its intro into “New World Order” and into “Ending Theme,” which also breaks into three component parts over its extended runtime. Accordingly, Void of Sleep come across as more theatrical and narrative, though many of the elements they’re using to give that vibe are similar to what they presented earlier on — tight rhythms, crisp melodies, a generally progressive ambience around what they’re touring and why they’re doing it, and so on. As such, though it doesn’t quite account for a complete summary of what New World Order has to offer, I’m thrilled today to be able to host the premiere of “Hidden Revelations” ahead of the album’s release next month.

The longest cut on side A at 6:36, it boasts a particularly engaging interplay from the two — that’s not to say “dueling” — vocalists and an aggro mood resulting that only develops and grows richer as the rest of New World Order plays out.

Please find “Hidden Revelations” on the player below, followed by info off the PR wire, and enjoy:

Italian progressive occult metal visionaries, VOID OF SLEEP, will release their sophomore full-length next month via Aural Music. Titled, New World Order, the seven track concept album and follow-up to 2013’s acclaimed Tales Between Reality And Madness long player was captured by bassist Riccardo Pasini (Ephel Duath, The Secret) at Studio73 in Ravenna, Italy and mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) at The Boiler Room in Chicago, Illinois.

“New World Orderrepresents to us a new culmination of our sound,” issues of the band of their latest compositions. “Now more than ever you can call it visionary, sludgy and progressive. It’s an occult, esoteric and wicked metaphor to the modern society as we consider it: with no positive expectations of the future of this world. This album embraces the concept of evil in its purest form. Since the beginning, man has been doomed to consume and enslave and destroy his own kind in an absurd discord to the final extinction.”

New World Order comes shrouded in the arcane cover creation of Simone Bertozzi who relays of the work, “while doing it I experienced the breath of Lucifer on my back, the Illuminati around the corner and reptilians getting ready for my abduction. Coincidence? I think not.”

New World Order Track Listing:
1. The Devil’s Conjuration
2. Hidden Revelations
3. Slaves Shall Serve
4. Ordo Ab Chao
5. Lords Of Conspiracy
6. New World Order
7. Ending Theme (l. Mourn ll. Triumphant lll. Void)

Void of Sleep on Thee Facebooks

New World Order preorders through Aural Music

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NAGA Show Some Fang in “The Money Will Roll Right In” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Not much word from Italian post-sludgers NAGA since the 2014 release of their Hen (review here) debut full-length, but the Naples three-piece come roaring — actually screaming — back with a new video covering Fang‘s “The Money Will Roll Right In.” The cut originally appeared on 1983’s Landshark!, and since the band also notes that they’re looking for a new label for their next release, it seems fair to think there may have been some business drama unfolded at some point in the last year-plus. Still, they’ve done local shows and have a yet-untold amount of new stuff recorded, so we may hear from them again soon.

As for “The Money Will Roll Right In,” it was tracked with Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio, and Pascolo also adds some backing shouts to the chorus. Compared to the material from the debut, it’s rawer and less geared toward atmospherics, but with the punker roots of the track, that’s to be expected. NAGA‘s version, slowed down, pissed off, is pretty true to how sludge emerged from hardcore punk in the first place, so while I doubt giving a history lesson was really their intent going into the studio, they kind of do anyhow, topping it off with the simple and misanthropic credo, “Life’s shit.”

Fair enough. The clip for the track, which seems to have been recorded either in their rehearsal space or the studio itself, is suitably sans-frill. It’s below for the digging:

NAGA, “The Money Will Roll Right In” official video

Hello everyone, it’s been a while… We have recently finished to record something new with our brother Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio. At the moment, our work has to find its own way to emerge from the abyss. If you are a label, or if you have something interesting to tell us you can write us (nagadoomATgmailDOTcom). In the meantime you can watch our ugly and bored faces in our rehearsal room… this song is a tribute to a lot of people, things and stories, all hail to the Fang!

Life’s shit!

Recorded and Mixed in September 2015 by Alessandro Pascolo at Sulfur City Studio (Italy). Additional chorus vocals by Alessandro Pascolo.

“The Money Will Roll Right In” was originally written by Tom Flynn, Chris Wilson/Fang in 1983

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NAGA on Bandcamp

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My Home on Trees, How I Reached Home: Seeing the Forest (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

my home on trees how i reached home

They might lead off with the creepy and cold impression of “Winter,” but by the end of their How I Reached Home debut LP, Milano four-piece My Home on Trees owe much more to warmth than freeze. In particular, to warmth of tone. The Italian outfit effectively blur the line between heavy rock, psychedelia and doom, leaning toward faster, post-Kyuss desert push on side B’s “Arrow” before sliding fluidly into the slower, trippier “Resume.” As their first release for Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds, it finds My Home on Trees — the lineup of vocalist Laura Mancini, guitarist Marco Bertucci, bassist Giovanni Mastrapasqua and drummer Marcello Modica — carving an identity for themselves of largely familiar genre elements, but hardly wearing out their welcome across the record’s seven tracks/36 vinyl-primed minutes.

It’s worth noting that the first half of the album rounds out with two minutes from Orson WellesWar of the Worlds, seemingly as a complement to the sample at the beginning of “Winter” from the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road wherein a boy asks his father how many people he thinks are still alive and the answer comes back, “In the world? Not very many.” How or if this is actually intended to tie the songs together — the “Winter” in question could just as easily be nuclear, I guess — I couldn’t say, but they start at a rush after that sample and seem aware enough of the expectation of their audience to throw an immediate curve in by slowing “Winter” circa its midpoint and adding a growling, semi-spoken guest appearance from The Midnight Ghost Train‘s Steve Moss, who adds a lurker atmosphere to the track that immediately widens the context for the rest of the material that follows.

The effect is that How I Reached Home throws you for a loop before it’s hardly begun, and it’s a crucial effect when it comes to listening to the rest of the album, because as “I Forgot Everything” stomps its way through its intro to make way for the first verse topped by Mancini‘s bluesy vocals, one doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming next. As to the answer — it’s a barrage of big, hairy riffery and choice groove, the songs maintaining catchy vibes and rough-edged psychedelic flourish of effects and subtle melodic intricacy delivered at varying speed. Starting out with a sparse bassline and ethereal, far-back vocal, “Don’t Panic” teases otherworldliness but winds up steeped in Vista Chino-esque fuzz, playing out at a comfortable middling pace for the first half before shifting into a slowdown that only enhances the nod later on, Bertucci and Mastrapasqua constructing a wall of fuzz that they proceed to tear down once the shuffling chorus returns, setting up the last fadeout into “War of the Worlds.”

my home on trees (Photo by Simon Gallo)

And once again, that seems to be drawn right from the 1938 Orson Welles broadcast. I’m not sure if that’s in the public domain or what (if it is, it’s a treasure), but its inclusion on How I Reached Home is somewhat curious both in the context of the The Road sample earlier and the album in general, leaving one to wonder what exactly the apocalypse at hand might be and if “Don’t Panic” is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-style advice on how to deal with it. If the record has a front-to-back narrative — it certainly has a front-to-back flow, but that’s different — I don’t know about it, but there’s a thematic leaning in the first half that, in light of the opener, seems to delight in the confusion it’s creating. I, for one, enjoy that.

With “War of the Worlds” rounding out side A, it’s up to the three cuts on side B — “Arrow,” “Resume” and “My Home on Trees” — to further expand the album’s scope. As noted, “Arrow” is the most purely Kyussian of the inclusions here, a heads-down “Green Machine”-winking riff that makes the most of Mastrapasqua‘s bass tone and finds Mancini doing a decent John Garcia from deep in that swell of fuzz, Modica‘s snare cutting through to punctuate the rush. It’s also the shortest song on How I Reached Home (“War of the Worlds” aside), but not by much at 4:52, and one might account for the difference in pacing alone. The more active feel suits the band well and feeds smoothly into the laid-back opening of “Resume,” which picks up with harmonica, bigger riffing and a sustained shout before the wave recedes into more open, patient roll. If that’s My Home on Trees weirding out, then I’m all in favor.

Being their debut — following a self-titled demo in 2013 — it’s encouraging to find them so ready to break the rules they’ve established, and the eponymous “My Home on Trees” continues the thread, effectively summarizing across a near-eight-minute span what’s come before it in trading thrust for nod and tossing in some airy spaciousness in Bertucci‘s post-midsection lead while also toying with a more linear instrumental structure behind Mancini‘s verses. They end big and groove, which feels about right, and the last remaining element to fadeout is the fuzzed guitar — only too fitting since that’s been what has led the way through so much of the material. That’s not to take anything away from the prowess of the rhythm section or the potential vocal powerhouse up front. Rather, these aspects combine with that underlying drive toward the bizarre to make How I Reached Home a satisfying first album that establishes firm ground under the band’s feet and shows them as quick to depart from there to more individual territory.

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My Home on Trees preorder at Heavy Psych Sounds

My Home on Trees on Bandcamp

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