Clepsydra’s Tropicarium LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Italian four-piece Clepsydra released their fourth full-length, Tropicarium, back in May through Go Down Records, but as happens more or less all the time at this point, different formats show up at different times. As such, the vinyl edition of the album, which you can hear in its entirety below, will be out next month, and to sweeten the pot, Go Down is making a limited number of preorders available with a free CD copy as well. They put up 25, and I don’t know how many are gone at this point, but if you’re as format-obsessed as some people I know — myself, for example — it’s something you might want to check out after you give the stream a listen.

Info follows, as seen on the internets:

clepsydra tropicarium

If you buy now the pre-order of this vinyl, you will receive the free CD.

The CD will be shipped immediately. Only the first 25 buyers.

Clepsydra released its fourth album ,“Tropicarium”, in November2015 on the label Go Down Records. The album is enriched by the sound of a new member: Sandro Abbondanza playing the Fender Rhodes and organ.

Tropicarium, developed with the artist Andrea Di Felice and the DJ Andrea Mathis (both participating in lyrics writing), is a work starting from basic embryonic concepts such as a pencil sketch, a trip, a sound, a smell. This particular approach started a kind of “beehive” where everyone has raised their own “species”, making the 13 tracks visible through the canvas painted by Di Felice.

The balance of the “Tropicarium” is held firmly by the awareness that everything is cyclical and that what we lose will be found for sure somewhere else.

Title: Tropicarium
Format: LP + CD

1. The Witch
2. I’m In
3. Chocolate
4. Jerry The Pine
5. Sahara Freaks
6. Bus To Mijas
7. When The Bottle Is Gonna Finish
8. Port Huron (Blu Ride)
9. Like Nowhere Else
10. Green Blinds
11. The Legendary Battle Between Pazoleros And Tobago Seals
12. Children Of A Lesser God
13. Tropicarium

:::::: NEXT GIGS :::::::
22 August – CLEPSYDRA@FREAK at TOWN FESTIVAL Roncofreddo (FC)

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. II Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Given the swath of acts that Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds has picked up and/or released in the course of the last year — from Throneless most recently on back through Sgt. SunshineIsaakMos GeneratorWedgeApe SkullMy Home on TreesApe MachineOld Man LizardFarflungFatso JetsonCosmic Wheels, and so on — and the likewise cross-section of those with whom the booking arm of the imprint works — many of the above, as well as Karma to BurnWild EyesThe Wisdoom and others — it’s open pretty wide as to just who might show up at the label’s Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. II this December. Of course, we’ll know before the end of the year gets here I’m sure, but the point is it’s worth keeping an eye out.

It seems likely that either Killer Boogie or Black Rainbows will be on the bill. Both bands feature guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori, who’s also the mastermind behind Heavy Psych Sounds, and an appearance from either or both would be valid, the former a new side-project that released its debut album, Detroit (review here), earlier this year while Black Rainbows, who are the staple act of the label, issued their fourth full-length, Hawkdope (review here), just a short time later in March. And in fact, with two days, there’s room for both among the stated eight-group intention of Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Vol. II, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see who’s included and who isn’t.

Either way, Fiori should have no trouble filling out that lineup. The brief, save-the-date-style announcement follows:

heavy psych sounds fest vol ii

Heavy Psych Sounds Records&Booking is stoked to announce the ***HPS Fest Vol 2!***

11th & 12th December 2015

Traffic Live Club
Rome, Italy

2 days – 8 bands – 1 stage

2 days tickets and 1 day tickets available soon at

Black Rainbows, Hawkdope (2015)

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Vincebus Eruptum No. 19: The Lead, in Bold

Posted in Reviews on July 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

vincebus eruptum no 19 better

My appreciation for long-running Italian fanzine Vincebus Eruptum is well documented at this point, but I feel compelled to reiterate the admirable nature both of the work they do and the manner in which they do it. If saying that every time they put out an issue takes away from the impact of the statement, at least know it doesn’t take away from my actual enjoyment of reading the thing. As ever with issue No. 19, Editor Davide “Davidew” Pansolin and his crew have combed the heavy psychedelic and stoner underground to bring forth another quality collection of reviews and interviews in support of the genre(s) at large and their own efforts as the associazione culturale that they are and of course, the Vincebus Eruptum Recordings end of the operation, which continues to expand via releases from Sendelica, Lords of Bastard, and The Linus Pauling Quartet.

Wouldn’t you know it? It just so happens that an interview with The Linus Pauling Quartet leads off the issue! vincebus eruptum 19 artYou’d almost think these things were planned out beforehand. But if there’s one thing that makes a ‘zine special, it’s the passion of the individual at its heart — Pansolin has a staff but still does a good portion of the writing himself — and Vincebus Eruptum is very obviously the labor of his love, in this case of the Texas five-piece, who in the course of the five-page leadoff feature lead him on a trip down memory lane of Houston’s psychedelic and noise scene in the post-Butthole Surfers ’90s. Very interesting stuff, and there’s even a chart at the end showing the different members who played in various bands, all the same people sharing music with each other in the way that city-wide scenes always become incestuous over time. The historical angle might make the Linus Pauling piece my favorite of the issue, but My Sleeping Karma also gave a fascinating talk about their new album, Moksha (review here), and it’s always cool to hear what the guys in Orange Goblin have to say, especially now that they’ve spent the last few years really kicked into gear as a full-time touring band.

Chats with Victor Griffin (Pentagram, Place of Skulls, etc.), Fantasyy Factoryy, Ides of Gemini and a talk with Gabriele Fiori (Heavy Psych Sounds, Black Rainbows) about the 2015 debut from his side-project Killer Boogie, Detroit (review here), all provide further points of interest, and then it moves into the review section, which brings looks at the latest from Pyrior, Acid King, Pombagira, Black Rainbows, Madre de Dios, Osso, Wild Eyes, Spidergawd, Sendelica, Child, Black Capricorn, Colour Haze and many others. They pack so much in that there isn’t always room to delve into the deepest details of a release — these are the things you have to do when you can only fit so many words on a page — but Vincebus Eruptum never fails to give an impression of what a band is going for, and of course their expertise is long since established when it comes to heavy rock. I trust their judgment as I do few other sources.

vincebus eruptum no 19Unlike most issues that I’m fortunate enough to receive, I read No. 19 cover to cover in a single sitting. Usually I’ll jump around a bit, read something in the middle — My Sleeping Karma have the gatefold honor, right on the staple, this time around — then go back to the start, but from Pansolin‘s editorial at the beginning to the closing, packed-tight bit of news from Vincebus Eruptum Recordings after the reviews, I went front to back, and it flowed well in a way that, bouncing here to there, I hadn’t previously appreciated. Particularly so in light of Pansolin‘s editorial, which displayed a kind of wariness of the new school of heavy psychedelia. A quote: “What’s important is that these bands do not pretend to have found the Mecca feeling like having definitely made it for good just because they ended up on a label jam-packed with metal outfits because that does not mean to mechanically achieve greater exposure and instant success!” He also refers to it as “‘our’ heavy-psych scene,” which, as ever for that kind of statement, made me wonder who “we” are, and warned bands off from forgetting their underground roots just because more people are listening to the style of music now.

Striking, candid thoughts from someone who’s spent at this point more than a decade and a half in the European heavy underground, but if Pansolin sounds jaded up front, that’s gone almost immediately as soon as the interview with The Linus Pauling Quartet arrives, and Vincebus Eruptum, like always, is a party heralding some of the best heavy psychedelics the world has to offer. I’ll look forward to going front-to-back on the next issue.

Vincebus Eruptum at Heavy Ripples Distro

Vincebus Eruptum website

Vincebus Eruptum store

Vincebus Eruptum on Thee Facebooks

The Linus Pauling Quartet, “Cole Porter”

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Giöbia to Release Magnifier on Sept. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Apparently-umlauted Italian heavy psych rockers Giöbia have announced a Sept. 9 release for their new album. Titled Magnifier, it will be their second through Sulatron Records after 2013’s Introducing Night Sound (review here) and their fourth overall. It’s been a bit since we heard from the Milano foursome, but they’ve been busy playing shows, including the Copenhagen Psych Fest this year alongside Causa Sui and Vibravoid.

They’ll also take part in the Psych-Out Festival on Oct. 3 as part of a bill centered around ’60s retroism and a couple different kinds of weirdness. The LP will be out by then, and one imagines preorders will be made available at some point before too for those who like to forget they bought things and then have them show up in the mail. It has a certain appeal, I won’t lie.

The band recently unveiled the cover art, tracklisting and other album details for Magnifier, and you’ll find the whole bunch and a new teaser clip below:

giobia magnifier

Giöbia’s new album “Magnifier” out on September

Giöbia’s new album “Magnifier” is ready to suck you into a lysergic vortex of exotic mantras and Sabbathian rituals on September 9th

The sound of the new album will be heavier and darker than the past records, but always unique, and at some moments will reveal the intimate bond that we’ve always had with the 70’s Italian progressive.

The artist Laura Giardino, by scratching the twilight zone out your grandma’s wallpaper, made the album cover, and giving magic mushrooms to Alice Liddell and Roderick Usher then listening to their bed trip paranoia, wrote down some lyrics.

The track listing is:
1 This world was being watched closely
2 The Pond
3 The Stain
4 Lentamente la luce svanirà
5 Devil’s Howl
6 Sun Spectre
7 The Magnifier

Saffo, Bazu, Detrji & Planetgong (Giöbia)

Giobia, Magnifier promo teaser

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Shabda Premiere “Pharmakos” from New Album Pharmakon / Pharmakos

Posted in audiObelisk on July 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Italian drone ritualists Shabda release their third album, Pharmakon / Pharmakos, on Sept. 7 through Argonauta Records. Comprised entirely of two tracks each on the north side of 20 minutes long, it is a two-sided full-length of gripping texture and atmospheric impressionism informed by Eastern-style scale work and instrumentation — sitar, tabla, etc. — and vocalized in similar fashion where and when it is at all. Both “Pharmakon” and “Pharmakos,” the two extended pieces that make the album up and from which it derives its title, function in this general methodology, and yet there are differences between them as well, Shabda uniting them with a sense of overall fluidity of motion, and an exploratory honesty that makes on think even if they got lost along the way — they don’t — they’d still put that on the record because it’s the journey they as a band and the listener both take that matters, not how it all ends up. Richly evocative, peaceful in its early going and tumultuous at its finish, one could just as easily say there’s a linear course throughout the two tracks/41 minutes, but that’s an oversimplification, and along with the stylistic boldness displayed by Anna Airoldi (sitar, vocals, synths), Marco Castagnetto (laptop, percussion, vocals) and Riccardo Fassone (guitar, bass, vocals), there’s very little about Pharmakon / Pharmakos one would be right in calling simple.

“Pharmakon” unfolds gracefully amid drones, subtle percussion, sinewy sitar and an obscure, vaguely religious chant, and it’s not until about the 12-minute mark that the first distorted guitar rises to prominence. This changes the course and focus gradually, but about two minutes later, the sitar drops out, there’s a fade and a thick riff takes hold complemented by drums and other percussion — cymbals, bowls — and “Pharmakon” takes on a surprising lurch, like a heavier early Earth or something deep in the recesses of shabda pharmakon pharmakosQueen Elephantine‘s subconscious. A march is underway, and the track shifts patiently, always patiently, toward an experimentalist’s apex that seems to boil over just as it tops out, devolving quickly into fading noise. Of the two, “Pharmakos” is the more… grounded? I’m not sure if that’s the right word, because it’s all pretty earthy. Either way, a low-end drone opens the first two minutes and rises backed by deep-mixed swirling echo vocals and a sense of foreboding. The volume swell continues and gains a rhythm almost deceptively, the ritual happening before the listener’s ears, and right at the moment where this wash of drone turns abrasive, Shabda add vicious one-off crashes. One after another. A plod. A lumber. If a riff could be a temple — and I think we all know it can — then “Pharmakos” constructs a pyramid out of these crashes, this nodding repetition. Vocals arrive, chants and incantations either in conversation with each other or not, and it becomes clear that this grueling pilgrimage is the course to be held for the duration. Gone are the pastoral sitarisms of “Pharmakon,” and arrived is a consuming, unsettling swell in their places. A lead is added to the charge as the 15-minute mark of “Pharmakos” is passed, and it becomes one more layer of an engrossing, massive wall of noise that cuts out in minute 19 but keeps the same rhythm in long-fading percussion, a shaker maybe and a bowl of some sort, the shaker being the last noise, ending cold at about 20:20.

And even those with that for vision will likely take a time or two through Pharmakon / Pharmakos before its breadth has really sunk in. Shabda released their debut, The Electric Bodhisattva in early 2013 and their sophomore outing, Tummo, in early 2014, but each of their full-lengths seems to be pushing toward a more realized take on their avant approach, and whatever they might be seeking, Pharmakon / Pharmakos would seem to be the closest they’ve come yet. The farther out they go, the closer they come.

Today I have the deep pleasure of hosting “Pharmakos” as a track premiere to herald the album’s arrival in Sept. — which will be here sooner than you think. Thanks to Argonauta and to Shabda for the permission. If you have headphones handy, you’ll want them.

Go ahead and wrap your head around this:

Pharmakon / Pharmakos is the third album by Shabda, a year after the highly acclaimed psychic journey of Tummo. Voluntary hermits established in the rural countryside of Canavese, Piedmont, they fulfill, with this work, a rite of foundation, emanating their blanket of dense droning sound to link distant yet compatible musical mythologies. The two suites forming the album shape time, space and repetition building a sound that drives West and East to confront in the field of pure sound: it’s not doom, nor folk, nor drone in strict sense, but the heavy golden thread that structures the homogeneity of compositions draws a monolithic identity, simultaneously saturnine and solar.

Stylistically, Pharmakon is based on Raga Kafi, tinging it in Middle Eastern shades before crashing on the obsessively guitar oriented drift of its climax. Pharmakos gives off its textural essentiality on the vocal and rhythmic cells of Tibetan mantric music, pushing tension towards the void: then its features are stripped to the bones of an overloaded metal behemoth to investigate pre-existence, life, death and continuity.

Also, Shabda in partnership with Argonauta Records will actively support Nepal populations affected by the earthquake by donating 10% for each copy sold of Pharmakon/Pharmakos album to Nepalese children through Save the Children.


Shabda on Thee Facebooks

Shabda on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Kamchatka, Legion of Andromeda, Queen Elephantine, Watchtower, Ape Skull, Hordes, Dead Shed Jokers, These Hands Conspire, Enos & Mangoo, Band of Spice

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

the obelisk summer quarterly review

We’re on the downhill swing of this edition of the Quarterly Review, so it’s time to get into some extremes, I think. Today, between death-doom lurch, drone-as-fuck exploring, gritty aggression and a whole lot more, we pretty much get there. I’m not saying it’s one end of the universe to another, but definitely a little all-over-the-place, which is just what one might need when staring down the fourth round of 10 reviews in a row in a week’s time. Feeling good though, so let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Kamchatka, Long Road Made of Gold

kamchatka long road made of gold

It would really be something if Swedish blues rockers Kamchatka released six albums over the course of the last decade and didn’t know what they were doing by now. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Long Road Made of Gold (Despotz Records), their sixth, as the Verberg three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Thomas Juneor Andersson, bassist Per Wiberg (see also: Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass, Opeth, etc.) and drummer Tobias Strandvik modernize classic heavy rock with equal comfort in including a banjo on “Take Me Back Home” and progressive-style harmonies on “Rain.” They seem to get bluesier as they go, with later cuts “Mirror,” “Slowly Drifting Away,” “Long Road” and “To You” rounding out the album with Clutch-style bounce, but the prevailing impact of Long Road Made of Gold is one of unflinching class, the chemistry of its players – not to mention Wiberg’s bass tone – ringing through loud and clear from the material as Kamchatka make their way down that long road to their inevitable next outing.

Kamchatka on Thee Facebooks

Despotz Records

Legion of Andromeda, Iron Scorn

legion of andromeda iron scorn

I said as much when the Tokyo duo released their 2013 debut EP (review here) as well, but their first long-player Iron Scorn (on At War with False Noise) only confirms it: Legion of Andromeda are fucked. Theirs is a doomed-out death metal given further inhumanity by programmed drums and the blown-out growls of vocalist -R-, while guitarist/programmer –M- holds down grime-encrusted chug and dirge riffing. Perhaps most fucked of all is the fact that Iron Scorn uses essentially the same drum progression across its seven tracks/44 minutes, varying in tempo but holding firm to the double-kick and bell-hit timekeeping for the duration. The effect this has not only ties the material together – as it would have to – but also makes the listener feel like they’ve entered into some no-light-can-escape alternate universe in which all there is is that thud, the distortion and the growls. Not a headphone record, unless you were looking to start psychotherapy anyhow, its extremity is prevalent enough to feel like a physical force holding you down.

Legion of Andromeda on Thee Facebooks

At War with False Noise

Queen Elephantine, Omen

queen elephantine omen

Relentlessly creative and geographically amorphous drone warriors Queen Elephantine compile eight tracks from eight years of their perpetual exploration for Omen on Atypeek Music, which launches with its titular cut, the oldest of the bunch, from 2007. It’s a gritty rolling groove that, even as nascent and riff-noddy as it is, still has underpinnings that might clue the listener in to what’s to come (especially in hindsight) and comes accompanied by the sludgy “The Sea Goat,” a rawer take recorded the same year in Hong Kong. Newest on Omen is the blissfully percussed “Morning Three” and an 18-minute live version of “Search for the Deathless State” from 2010’s Kailash full-length. Lineups, intent and breadth of sound vary widely, but even into the reaches of “1,000 Years” (2012, Providence, RI) and “Shamanic Procession” (2009, New York), Queen Elephantine remain unflinching in their experimentalism and the results here are likewise immersive. Vastly underrated, their work remains a world waiting to be explored.

Queen Elephantine on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music

Watchtower, Radiant Moon

watchtower radiant moon

Consuming undulations of tectonic riffing. Two of them, actually. Watchtower’s Radiant Moon EP serves as their debut on Magnetic Eye, and like their fellow-Melbourne-resident labelmates in Horsehunter, the four-piece Watchtower slam heavy-est riffs into the listener’s cerebral cortex with little concern for lasting aftereffects, all in worship of nod and volume itself. Where the two acts differ is in Watchtower’s overarching sense of grit, harsh vocals pervading both “Radiant Moon” (9:03) itself and the accompanying “Living Heads” (7:09), standalone vocalist Nico Guijt growing through the tonal fray wrought by guitarist Robbie Ingram and bassist Ben Robertson, Joel McGann’s drums pushing the emergent roll forward on “Living Heads,” a High on Fire-style startoff hitting the brakes on tempo to plod over any and all in its path. I’m trying to tell you it’s fucking heavy. Is that getting through? Watchtower had a live single out before Radiant Moon, but I’d be eager to hear what they come up with for a full-length, whether they might shift elsewhere at some point or revel in pure onslaught. Now taking bets.

Watchtower on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records

Ape Skull, Fly Camel Fly

ape skull fly camel fly

The use of multiple vocalists gives Roman trio Ape Skull’s ‘70s fetishism a particularly proggy air. Fly Camel Fly is their second full-length for Heavy Psych Sounds behind a 2013 self-titled, and the boogie of “My Way” and “Early Morning,” the solo-topped groove of “Fly Camel Fly,” and the raw Hendrixology of “A is for Ape” position it as a classic rocker through and through. Vocalist/drummer Giuliano Padroni, bassist/vocalist Pierpaolo Pastorelli and guitarist/vocalist Fulvio Cartacci get down to shuffling business quick and stay that way for the 39-minute duration, the Mountainous “Heavy Santa Ana Wind” missing only the complement of a sappy, over-the-top ballad to complete its vintage believability. Even without, the triumvirate stand tall, fuzzy and swinging on Fly Camel Fly, the cowbell of “Tree Stomp” calling to mind the earthy chaos of Blue Cheer without direct mimicry. A quick listen that builds and holds its momentum, but one that holds up too on subsequent visits.

Ape Skull on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds

Hordes, Hordes

hordes hordes

Mad-as-hell trio Hordes have had a slew of releases out over the last eight years or so – EPs, splits, full-lengths with extended tracks – but their experimental take on noise rock topped with Godfleshy shouts arrives satisfyingly stripped down on their latest self-titled five-track EP, recorded in 2013 and pressed newly to tape and CD (also digital). “Eyes Dulled Blind” dials back some of the pummeling after the bruises left by “Cold War Echo,” guitarist/vocalist Alex Hudson at the fore in the JK Broadrick tradition. Centerpiece “Summer” starts with a slow and peaceful ruse before shifting into brash and blown-out punk – Chris Martinez’s hi-hat forward in the mix to further the abrasion – and finally settles into a middle-ground between the two (mind you, the song is four minutes long), and bassist Jon Howard opens “Life Crusher,” which unfolds quickly into the most oppressive push here, while a churning atmosphere pervades the more echo-laden closer “Fall” to reinforce Hordes’ experimentalist claims and steady balance between tonal weight and noise-caked aggression.

Hordes on Thee Facebooks

Hordes on Bandcamp

Dead Shed Jokers, Dead Shed Jokers

dead shed jokers dead shed jokers

There’s a theatrical element underlying Welsh rockers Dead Shed Jokers’ second, self-titled full-length (on Pity My Brain Records). That’s not to say its eight songs are in some way insincere, just that the five-piece of vocalist Hywel Davies, guitarists Nicky Bryant and Kristian Evans, bassist Luke Cook and drummer Ashley Jones know there’s a show going on. Davies is in the lead throughout and proves a consummate frontman presence across opener “Dafydd’s Song,” the stomping “Memoirs of Mr. Bryant” and the swinging “Rapture Riddles,” Dead Shed Jokers’ penultimate cut before the cabaret closer “Exit Stage Left (Applause),” but the instrumental backing is up to its own task, and a clear-headed production gives the entire affair a professional sensibility. They veer into and out of heavy rock tropes fluidly, but maintain a tonal fullness wherever they might be headed, and Cook’s bass late in “Made in Vietnam” seems to carry a record’s worth of weight in just its few measures at the forefront before Davies returns for the next round of proclamations.

Dead Shed Jokers on Thee Facebooks

Dead Shed Jokers BigCartel store

These Hands Conspire, Sword of Korhan

these hands conspire sword of korhan

Berlin’s These Hands Conspire aren’t through the two-minute instrumental “Intro” before they’re showing off the heft of tone that pervades their metallized debut album, Sword of Korhan, but as they demonstrate throughout the following seven tracks and the total 45-minute runtime, there’s plenty to go around. Vocalist Felix delivers an especially noteworthy performance over the dual-guitars of Tom and Stefan, the bass of Paul and Sascha’s drums, but heavy metal storytelling – the sci-fi narrative seems to be a battle in space – is just as much a part of the record’s progressive flow, longer cuts like “Praise to Nova Rider,” “The Beast Cometh,” which directly follows, and “Ambush at Antarox IV” feeding one into the next sonically and thematically. The penultimate title-track brings swinging apex to an ambitious first outing, but the foreboding, winding guitar echoes of “Outro” hint at more of the tale to be told. Could be that Sword of Korhan is just the beginning of a much longer engagement.

These Hands Conspire on Thee Facebooks

These Hands Conspire on Bandcamp

Enos & Mangoo, Split

enos mangoo split

Maybe it doesn’t need to be said, since if it weren’t the case, they wouldn’t have paired at all, but Enos and Mangoo pair well. The UK chimp-obsessed space metallers – that’s Enos, on side A – and the Finnish modernized classic heavy rock outfit – that’s Mangoo, on side B – don’t ask much of the listener across their Son of a Gun/The Grey Belly split (on H42 Records) beyond a little over 10 minutes of time and a willingness to follow a groove. “Son of a Gun” finds Enos blending particularly well with Mangoo’s methodology via the inclusion of organ in their swinging but still forward-directed movement, and after that, it’s an easy mesh to flip the platter and find Mangoo’s “The Grey Belly” waiting, its own keys playing a huge role in carrying across the ‘70s-via-‘90s vibe the band projects so well. Flourishes of percussion in the former seem to complement the progressive guitar work in the latter, and whichever side happens to be spinning, it all works out just fine.

Enos on Thee Facebooks

Mangoo on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

Band of Spice, Economic Dancers

band of spice economic dancers

Born in 2007 as Spice and the RJ Band and rechristened Band of Spice in 2010 prior to their third album, Feel Like Coming Home, the Swedish unit boasting vocalist Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand (founding vocalist of Spiritual Beggars, also Mushroom River Band, currently also in Kayser) release their fourth full-length half a decade later in the form of Economic Dancers on Scarlet Records. It’s a straightforward heavy rocker in the organ-laced European tradition that Spice helped create, with some shades of quirk in the intro to “The Joe” and the arena-ready backing vocals of “In My Blood,” but mostly cutting its teeth on modernized ‘70s jams like “On the Run,” “Down by the Liquor Store” and “True Will,” though the six-minute centerpiece “You Will Call” touches on more psychedelic fare and is backed immediately by two metallers in “You Can’t Stop” and “Fly Away,” so it’s not by any means one-sided, even if at times the mix makes it feel like the 11 tracks are a showcase for the singer whose name is on the marquee.

Band of Spice at Scarlet Records

Scarlet Records on Bandcamp


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Shabda to Release Pharmakon / Pharmakos in Sept.

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Italian ritual droners Shabda will release their new album, Pharmakon / Pharmakos, Sept. 7 on Argonauta Records. Last year the three-piece put out the Tummo LP, and proceeds from the new one will go toward aid for victims of the earthquake this past April in Nepal. The lush wash of Tummo can be sampled below, and I think if you haven’t heard it before, you’ll find the three tracks an immersive and worthy investment of time.

Will hope to have more on this one as we get closer to the release. Here’s the news until then:

shabda pharmakon pharmakos

SHABDA – Cover artwork and album details revealed

Pharmakon / Pharmakos is the third album by Shabda, a year after the highly acclaimed psychic journey of Tummo. Voluntary hermits established in the rural countryside of Canavese, Piedmont, they fulfill, with this work, a rite of foundation, emanating their blanket of dense droning sound to link distant yet compatible musical mythologies. The two suites forming the album shape time, space and repetition building a sound that drives West and East to confront in the field of pure sound: it’s not doom, nor folk, nor drone in strict sense, but the heavy golden thread that structures the homogeneity of compositions draws a monolithic identity, simultaneously saturnine and solar.

Stylistically, Pharmakon is based on Raga Kafi, tinging it in Middle Eastern shades before crashing on the obsessively guitar oriented drift of its climax. Pharmakos gives off its textural essentiality on the vocal and rhythmic cells of Tibetan mantric music, pushing tension towards the void: then its features are stripped to the bones of an overloaded metal behemoth to investigate pre-existence, life, death and continuity.

Pharmakon / Pharmakos speaks about alchemy without using words, through the evocation of pure sound images, vertically ascending the axis mundi. Like Janus, with one face to the west and one to the east.

Also, Shabda in partnership with Argonauta Records will actively support Nepal populations affected by the earthquake by donating 10% for each copy sold of Pharmakon/Pharmakos album to Nepalese children through Save the Children.

Those into Windhand, Mamiffer, Bong, Terry Riley and Popol Vuh will have something to rejoice by September 7th, 2015. Pharmakon/Pharmakos will be released by Argonauta Records on CD/DD.


Shabda, Tummo (2014)

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Return from the Grave Announce New Bassist and EP Due this Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

return from the grave

Venetian four-piece Return from the Grave have announced a return. They’re making a comeback. They’re the prodigal band. They’re… oh, come on, there has to be another phrase for it. They were gone and now they’re active again. You know, something that might give the fact that they’ve added a new bass player and have a new EP on the way a sense of drama, as though they were rising from a place where people don’t generally return from. Like the dead. Damn. I just can’t think of it.

Return from the Grave will release their new EP, Three(P), through Argonauta Records this fall. You’ll never guess how many songs it has. It hasn’t been that long since the band’s last outing — their second full-length, Gates of Nowhere, was issued by Argonauta last year — but this will be their first with the Davide Bressan in the lineup, the three cuts of the release draw from a singular concept. Perhaps about unexpected reappearances.

To the PR wire:

return from the grave ep

RETURN FROM THE GRAVE : New EP and new lineup

Italian stoner doom metal band RETURN FROM THE GRAVE has planned to record a new EP during next August, for a November release with Italian label ARGONAUTA RECORDS.

The new work will be entitled THREE(P) and will feature three new tracks, bonded together by a concept. More details, including artwork and song titles, will be revealed next fall.

We are also announcing the arrival a NEW BASS PLAYER, DAVIDE BRESSAN (previously guitarist on WILD PIPES) who will record the new songs and will also play live on the next gigs.

We would like to thank Christian for all the things he made with us in the last four years!

Stay tuned for more details, including artwork, tracklist, and future gigs!!!!

…. And, of course, DOOM ON !!!!

Return from the Grave, “Words in Words” official video

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