Deville Announce New Single & European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

deville

Swedish heavy rockers Deville are gearing up to hit the road once again next month. It’ll be their first tour in some time, and it comes along with the release of a new single through Fuzzorama Records called Gold Sealed Tomb. This in itself is a precursor to the band’s next album, which will follow behind 2015’s Make is Belong to Us (review here), after which the lineup for the band was revamped.

Given the discussion below from drummer Martin Fässberg about the more metallic influence showing itself on the new track, I’m interested to hear where it goes and if that’s something that might apply to the album as a whole in addition to this individual track. Much to discover, as always.

All kinds of dates for the calendar-marking:

New Deville single and european tour in May!

Deville will release a new single “Gold Sealed Tomb” 11th of May taken from the forthcoming album through Fuzzorama Records and will start a European tour the 9th of May.

Martin Fässberg on “Gold Sealed Tomb”:

When we first started writing music for a new album it became evident to all of us that we were quite tired of the traditional doom/stoner/sludge genre. Wulkan had this riff he used to play during soundchecks and we all liked it but a question was raised… Was it too much metal?

After some time though, it became clear that more metal was what we all wanted! Thus the album was given a very metal feeling and an effort was made to focus on traditional songwriting.

“Gold Sealed Tomb” starts with that very riff from soundchecks past and is an introduction to the full-length coming later this year.

Deville on tour:
09.05 Oldenburg, DE, MTS LP’s CD’s
10.05 Kreuzlingen, CH, Horst Klub
11.05 Salzburg, AT, Rockhouse Salzburg
12.05 Oberentfelden, CH, Böröm pöm pöm
13.05 Milano, IT, Kraken Pub
14.05 Pescara, IT, Scumm
15.05 Rome, IT, Let It Beer
16.05 Busto Arsizio, IT, Comunità Giovanile
17.05 Torino, IT, BLAH BLAH
18.05 Pisa, IT, Café Albatross Pisa
19.05 Arnstadt, DE, Rockkneipe ‘Jungfer’
20.05 Kiel, DE, Die Kieler Schaubude

Deville lineup:
Andreas Bengtsson: guitar/vocals
Andreas Wulkan: guitar
Martin Nobel: bass
Martin Fässberg: drums

http://deville.nu/
https://www.facebook.com/devilleband
http://www.fuzzoramarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Fuzzorama
https://twitter.com/fuzzorecords

Deville, Make it Belong to Us (2015)

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Throneless Sign to Black Bow Records; Cycles Coming March 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

throneless

For a band like Malmö, Sweden’s Throneless, who roll out huge-sounding, lumbering grooves in longform and pummeling fashion with a lysergic underflourish and cavernous crash, one can imagine few direct endorsements that might carry the weight as that of Jon Davis, guitarist/vocalist of UK crusher-destroyers Conan. Davis has signed the three-piece to his Black Bow Records imprint for the release of their second offering, Cycles, which will be out on March 23, 2018. As in five months from now. Hey, I like an early heads up as much as the next guy. Probably more, actually, since that’s about as long as it takes me to review shit sometimes.

I digress. The band made their self-titled debut in 2015 via Heavy Psych Sounds, and it’s worth noting they’re not really out of place on either label. Still, from the quote below it’s pretty plain they’re stoked to be working with Black Bow, and yeah, they should be. That record was also four songs of mega-stomping doom, so it’s nice to see they’re keeping to form with the new one. Not that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but it’s bludgeoning.

From the PR wire:

throneless cycles

Throneless – Cycles

On March 23rd 2018 Black Bow Records will release Cycles by Swedish doom metal band THRONELESS. The album is four tracks of psychedelic doom metal that is highly recommended for fans of Conan, Yob and The Slomatics.

The album is set to be released on limited edition vinyl and digital formats.

The band commented, “We’re stoked to release our second album on Black Bow Records, and getting the opportunity to work with people who totally understand the type of music and expression we stand for.”

Throneless is a doom metal band from Malmö, Sweden, that through heavy downtuned fuzz, monotone and medative riffs focuses on waking people up from the masshypnosis we call society.

Tracklisting:
1 – BORN IN VAIN 9:43
2 – CYCLES 9:12
3 – SENSELESS 6:29
4 – ORACLE 14:05

Throneless are:
Johan Sundén – Guitar & Vocals
Patrik Sundberg – Bass & Artwork
Johan Burman – Drums & Production

https://www.facebook.com/thronelessdoom
https://thronelessdoom.bandcamp.com/
www.blackbowrecords.com/
blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/

Throneless, Throneless (2015)

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Suma Announce November European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Not that Suma were lacking for quality associations when it came to their 2016 offering, The Order of Things (review here), between releases through Argonauta and Init Records (CD), Throne Records (vinyl) and Tartarus Records (tape), but if you want to add the Netherlands’ Doomstar Bookings to that mix for presenting the Swedish band’s upcoming November run in support of the album, go for it. The Eindhoven-based booker also works with the likes of Primitive ManToner LowAgoraphobic Nosebleed and a host of others in a swath of various forms of extremity, so Suma are on yet another level keeping good company. Seems to be a thing they do.

Another thing they do? Well, on this tour they hit Belgium, Germany, France the UK and the Netherlands — so that’s a thing. If you didn’t hear the things in their proper Order, you can check out the full stream of the Billy Anderson-helmed record at the bottom of this post, and you probably should do so, because it absolutely destroys.

They have an open slot for Nov 9, so if you can help out in France/Belgium, do that too. Dates and info from the social medias:

suma-tour-poster

SUMA – November Tour

It is with great pride we announce the fall tour for Sweden’s cult spacesludgers SUMA. After their successful run with Unearthly Trance around Roadburn earlier this year they will take to the West European roads this time in support of their latest album The Order Of Things. We still have one TBA available for France/Belgium, anyone interested get in touch!

11.03 MTS Records Oldenburg Germany
11.04 Baroeg Rotterdam The Netherlands
11.05 The Pit’s Kortrijk Belgium
11.06 Underworld London UK
11.07 Le 3 Pieces Rouen France
11.08 La Scene Michelet Nantes France
11.09 TBA
11.10 The Jack Eindhoven The Netherlands

Hailing from Malmö, Sweden and formed in 2001 : SUMA has been spreading the plague of their sonic weight, noise-ridden hallucinatory doom metal on the world for the past decade and a half. Through these years they’ve lured hordes of humans into the lair with their devastatingly heavy, one way trip into the vortex live performances and crushing delivery on their recorded matters.

In 2016 they recorded their fourth album – THE ORDER OF THINGS – with legendary engine-ear BILLY ANDERSON (Pallbearer, Black Cobra, Agalloch, Tragedy) once again at the helm of the recording. This is the imminent evolution from the past’s behemoths of albums, LET THE CHURCHES BURN and ASHES.

SUMA:
>P. guitar
>J. bass/vocals
>E. drums
>R. samples/noise

https://www.facebook.com/sumanoise/
https://sumanoise.bandcamp.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/
http://www.initrecords.net/
http://tartarusrecords.com/
http://www.thronerecs.com/
https://www.facebook.com/doomstarbookings/

Suma, The Order of Things (2016)

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Agusa Premiere “Bortom Hemom” from New Self-Titled LP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

agusa-Julio-Barcellos

Swedish progressive rockers Agusa will release their third self-titled album on Oct. 27 via The Laser’s Edge. What might informally be called Tre or Agusa Tre follows two years behind the preceding Agusa Två (review here) and brings five new tracks highlighting the pastoralism that the Malmö-based five-piece bring to their work. Without being overly lush or coated in effects, or losing themselves in indulgent attitudes, Agusa‘s instrumental compositions bask in a folkish traditionalism that nonetheless is all the more a standout for its complexity. Arrangements of guitar from Mikael Ödesjö, play out in consideration of the organ work of Jonas Barge (since replaced by Jeppe Juul) and Jenny Puertas‘ flute, while the inventive basslines of Tobias Petterson and drums/percussion — there’s plenty of both — from Tim Wallander course alongside with resonant nuance and groove. At least when the rhythm section isn’t actually driving the charge, that is. Much of the time on cuts like centerpiece “Den Fortrollade Skogen” (“the fortified forest”) and “Sagor Fran Saaris,” that’s exactly how it plays out.

Either way they go at any given moment, it only makes Agusa Tre — again, an informal title at least so far as I know; I’m just using it so no one thinks I’m talking about a different self-titled — all the more dynamic. Even as they head toward a cosmos on “Sagor från Saaris” (“stories from Saari”) that seems so distant from the ground they started on with opener “Landet Längesen” (“country lands,” appropriately enough), the rolling hillsides of which shine green and bright under a huge, yellow and full northern sun. The build in that leadoff and longest inclusion (immediate points for that) resonates no less than the song’s vocal-less hook, the whole band uniting around a gently flowing roll — the river, if we want to keep to the image already set — and moving gracefully into “Sorgenfri,” which takes its name from a neighborhood in Malmö.

Why does that matter? It matters because with Ödesjö‘s strumming guitar line and the bouncing flute from PuertasAgusa evoke a sense of place without the need agusa agusa trefor their audience to ever have actually been there. Barge‘s organ moves into a forward role in the second half of the five-minute cut, topping a subtle shuffle that finds Wallander washing out his cymbals even as he drives a straight-ahead charge that somehow still manages to swing. The turns are so tight that it’s almost a shame when “Sorgenfri” is over, or at least it would be if “Den Fortrollade Skogen” didn’t allow for a solid two minutes of digestion before embarking on its own eight-minute unfurling, a classically triumphant melody in the flute and keys matching step with the bass, drums and clean-toned guitar once more to reground the audience. As noted, “Sagor från Saaris” is more psychedelic, but also more subdued in all but Wallander‘s hi-hat and the prominence of the low end, which as the flute and guitar jazz-out kosmiche-style has a chance to shine before the final movement begins and brings a worthy apex, still holding out some noise on a long fade into closer “Bertom Hemom” (“beyond homeward”), the gorgeousness of which underscores the humility at heart in Agusa‘s approach on the whole.

To wit, it moves, it careens, it grooves — it has a complex and striking presentation of the elements at play, as shown when the electric guitar lead layer works its way in circa the three-minute mark amid the prior acoustic foundation and how aligned it becomes with Barge on organ and the overarching rhythm. This is the stuff of spinning heads — of repeat on repeat on repeat listens — and yet Agusa make it come through with such a naturalist warmth that one feels like they’re back in that open field again, like it’s the folk music of some unknown people who never existed or did and were otherwise too hippie-awesome to want to stick around on this square-despite-its-roundness planet and got back in their mothership in search of cooler terrain. After what one could argue is the crescendo of “Bertom Herom,” the flute and drums take hold and offer a stripped-down take on the rhythm as the foundation for the guitar and bass and organ to rejoin the fold, tying the song back to its start before the final measures crash out and somebody — one of them, I don’t know who it is — lets out a well-earned exhale. “Woof.” As if anything else needed to be said.

Agusa Tre‘s specific kind of immersion and hypnosis may or may not be for everybody, but for those willing to take it with an open mind on its own level, it’s quite simply going to be a release that offers satisfaction long after 2017 is over. I’m thrilled today to be able to host the premiere of “Bertom Hemom” ahead of the album coming out. You’ll find it on the player below, followed by a quick quote from Ödesjö about its making and more from the PR wire.

I sincerely hope you enjoy:

Mikael Ödesjö on “Bortom Hemom”:

“Bortom Hemom” translates roughly as “Beyond Homeward” and consists of two sections joined together by a bridge. The first part is in 7/4 and the second in 3/4. Perhaps our most “progressive” effort this far. Enjoy!

Agusa was recorded and mixed by Viktor Rinneby and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Katz, and completed with art by Danilo Stankovic and design by Peter Wallgren.

Laser’s Edge will release Agusa on digital, CD, and LP on October 27th. Find CD and LP preorders at Amazon HERE and digital preorders at Bandcamp HERE. This will be celebrated with release shows in Sweden and Denmark, after which the band will head east to play their first gigs on Russian soil.

Agusa on Bandcamp

Agusa on Thee Facebooks

The Laser’s Edge website

The Laser’s Edge on Thee Facebooks

The Laser’s Edge on Twitter

The Laser’s Edge on Bandcamp

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Agusa to Release Third Self-Titled LP Oct. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

A key change in Agusa‘s changing of key players. The organ-minded Swedish purveyors of classic psychedelic progressive rock have set an Oct. 27 release date for their self-titled third album, to be delivered via The Laser’s Edge, and the record will mark the final appearance of organist Jonas Barge, who’s been recently replaced in the lineup by Jeppe Juul. All puns aside — or if not aside, just kind of hanging around someplace nearby — that’s a big shift for Agusa and could have a serious impact on the sound of their future work, though one gets the feeling that, one way or another and amid whatever changes were about to take place in their form, Agusa found their sonic peace in these recordings as they always seem to do. If you missed it, their 2016 two-track live outing, Katarsis, is streaming below in all its fusion-style immersive psych glory. Enjoy that. It’s there to be enjoyed.

The PR wire has more on the album and the lineup change:

agusa photo-by-Julio-Barcellos

AGUSA: Laser’s Edge To Release Eponymous Third Album By Swedish Psychedelic/Progressive Rock Alchemists In October

Swedish psychedelic/progressive rock alchemists AGUSA present their third full-length album, and second for Laser’s Edge, simply titled Agusa. The label will release the sprawling new LP worldwide in late October, unveiling the record’s artwork and information this week.

The follow-up to 2015’s Agusa 2 (Två ) sees the AGUSA circleexpanding their kaleidoscopic output which conjures images of nature and the cosmos, their extensive passages again leading the listener into fantastic realms of a possibly supernatural or parallel existence. While Agusa 2 (Två) engulfed forty minutes of music through two massive tracks, Agusa sees the band delivering their singular brand of trance-inducing, folk-inspired, occult rock through more traditional track lengths, offering five songs which range from five to ten-and-a-half minutes in length and are a bit heavier than the album’s predecessors.

Agusa was recorded and mixed by Viktor Rinneby and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Katz, and completed with art by Danilo Stankovic and design by Peter Wallgren.

Laser’s Edge will release AGUSA’s eponymous third album on digital, CD, and LP formats on October 27th. This will be celebrated with release shows in Sweden and Denmark, after which the band will head east to play their first gigs on Russian soil.

Agusa Track Listing:
1. Landet Langesen
2. Sorgenfri
3. Den Fortrollade Skogen
4. Sagor Fran Saaris
5. Bortom Hemom

In September 2016, AGUSA released their live disc Katarsis, which was recorded in Athens, Greece six months before. Following that release the band had hectic schedule with gigs in Scandinavia, Poland, and back to Greece. This proved to be too much for organ player Jonas Berge who left the band in January 2017, while recording the new Agusa album, which caused the band to take a pause in order to complete the album and replace Berge. Finding a talented organ player who would also fit into the group proved to be a difficult task, but finally Danish organ player Jeppe Juul was picked as Berge’s successor. Juul is originally from Denmark but now lives in the deep woods of southern Sweden in primitive circumstances, where they must carry all water from a nearby well and occasionally get some electricity from some solar cells on the roof. He has previously played with many acts in different genres; Marcus Miller, Royal Danish Ballet, and Lili Haydn, among many others.

AGUSA has performed live throughout Europe, including the mighty Roadburn Festival and more. Preceding the new Agusa album, flute player Jenny Puertas gave birth to a daughter in May which saw the band performing sans-flute for several shows, and additionally, organist Jonas Berge rejoined the lineup for several performances, which saw them playing live with two organ players. As always, AGUSA performed vastly different versions of the new songs live compared to how they ended up on the album, continuing their ongoing mission of turning every concert into something unique.

AGUSA:
Tobias Petterson – bass
Jeppe Juul – organ
Jenny Puertas – flute
Tim Wallander – drums, percussion
Mikael Ödesjö – guitar

http://www.agusaband.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/agusaband
http://www.lasersedgegroup.com
http://www.facebook.com/TheLasersEdge
http://www.twitter.com/thelasersedge
https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com

Agusa, Katarsis (2016)

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Sgt. Sunshine, Plataformas: Staying Sane

Posted in Reviews on January 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sgt sunshine plataformas

Sweden’s Sgt. Sunshine are the ones who make it a party. Before they show up, everyone’s just kind of standing around, milling about, maybe chatting awkwardly at this or that issue of the day. Then, every couple of years, the Malmö-based troupe burst through the wall like the Kool-Aid guy with a new record and everybody remembers, “Oh shit, yeah! This is supposed to be fun!”

Plataformas is their latest reminder in this regard. It’s the fourth album overall in a career that now reaches well beyond a decade and a half, and its late-2016 self-release comes just three years behind Elektrohasch‘s 2013 issue of the preceding III (review here), which marked a return after six years. Comprised of 11 tracks, its 38-minute run is utterly defined by the manner in which it flows from one piece to the next so that by the time it gets down to “High Tide (100,000 LYW)” at the start of what’s almost certainly an intended side B — I haven’t seen word of a vinyl release, but it feels somewhat inevitable and the structure suits that purpose — the feel is more like the beginning of a medley than a collection of six individual tracks.

Likewise, founding guitarist/vocalist Eduardo Rodriguez — who plays bass here as well, working with drummer Roberto Sundin — frontloads the early-going with some of Plataformas‘ most memorable hooks in the opening salvo of “Ana Mazing,” “Mary Jane (Keeps You Sane)” and “Words of Wisdom” while also setting up the fluidity that continues to flesh out as “Bone Stake” and the dreamy “Love Unkind” slide deeper into a stylistic blend that pushes beyond genre bounds even as it plays to the stoner idolatry of “Mary Jane (Keeps You Sane).”

That song, the sleaze riff bounce of “Words of Wisdom” and “Bone Stake” touch on influences from funk and hip-hop that “Ana Mazing” hinted toward in its vocal patterning as well, but the vibe remains central, and Rodriguez assures throughout that nothing interrupts. A loose sensibility of groove has always been a huge part of Sgt. Sunshine‘s aesthetic, and that’s perhaps true even more on Plataformas than it’s ever been before — one can rightly think of a song like “Rio Rojas” from their landmark 2003 self-titled debut (discussed here) as a precursor to what “Ana Mazing” and “Words of Wisdom” accomplish — but along with that, one has to recognize the conscious effort on the part of Rodriguez and the band as a whole to bring that forward as done in these tracks.

sgt. sunshine

The fact that Sgt. Sunshine seem so comfortable as they shift from the winding, fuzzy end of “Ana Mazing” into the drum intro of the languidly nodding “Mary Jane (Keeps You Sane)” and from the rhythmically jammy “Surrender then Enter” through “How Can I Mend It” and into the two-minute acoustic and organ-infused “Golden” on side B only makes the listener more at home in these transitions, and there isn’t a moment on Plataformas that pulls one out of the overarching groove of the experience. Bands try to create a “whole-album” feel all the time, and some get there and some don’t, but rarely does an act do so with the kind of cohesive-but-molten duality of Sgt. Sunshine‘s fourth long-player, so that songs like the aforementioned “Golden” or the earlier drift of “Love Unkind” — probably the most psychedelic of the inclusions here, and one on which Rodriguez also drums, as he also does on “High Tide (100,000 LYW)” — have an almost tossed-off sensibility, like the band hit record in the studio, picked up their instruments, that’s what came out, and they decided to keep it because, well, it was lunchtime and there were other things to do that afternoon.

Of course, since Rodriguez is handling multiple instruments as well as vocals, that can’t at all be the way it happened. Bottom line is Sgt. Sunshine have taken something incredibly difficult to pull off and made it sound easy. And not in a sneaky manner, where Rodriguez is secretly telegraphing progressive undertones all the while or anything like that. The crunchier riff of “Bone Stake” and the full-on, bring-the-vocals-way-forward, ultra-catchy Brant Bjork-ian desertism of the penultimate “Got to Have You” are executed without pretense of any kind, and one finds as a result that the take-it-easy pacing of “How Can I Mend It” winds up much truer to the soul of the MC5 than any amount of garage posturing or vintage gear could’ve brought it.

Organics as a goal aren’t necessarily anything new for heavy psychedelia, but Plataformas isn’t just a heavy psych record, and Sgt. Sunshine‘s range shows itself through these pieces in a way that moves decisively forward from even where III found them a couple years ago, while sounding like a collection of off-the-cuff hooks and jams while actually most likely being the result of a meticulous recording process. The depth of this achievement is as pivotal to recognize as it is understated on the album itself, which again, is way more focused on the party it just started.

When “Surrender then Enter” starts and stops, so does the listener, and when closer “Walk Alone” brings around its linear build of earliest Queens of the Stone Age righteousness, the effect is suitably engaging to round out what’s been a journey of considerable distance, subtle efficiency and nuance distinct largely unto itself despite the appearance throughout of familiar elements. It does not seem unreasonable to think it benefits from Rodriguez‘s and the band’s years of experience, but even in doing so it remains forward-looking, more about what where it can go than where Sgt. Sunshine have been before, and as a result, they can and do go just about anywhere. An open flow, memorable songcraft, and tight performances of loose-spirited swing — there’s more complexity to Plataformas than even the album itself seems to know, and that’s exactly what makes it such a triumph.

Sgt. Sunshine, Plataformas (2016)

Sgt. Sunshine on Thee Facebooks

Sgt. Sunshine on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Hornss, Khemmis, Fox 45, Monolith Wielder, No Man’s Valley, Saturna, Spotlights, MØLK, Psychedelic Witchcraft, Moon Coven

Posted in Reviews on December 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

2016 ends and 2017 starts off on the right foot with a brand new Quarterly Review roundup. The first time I ever did one of these was at the end of 2014 and I called the feature ‘Last Licks.’ Fortunately, I’ve moved on from that name, but that is kind of how I’m thinking about this particular Quarterly Review. You’ll find stuff that came out spread all across 2016, early, middle, late, but basically what I’m trying to do here is get to a point where it’s not March and I’m still reviewing albums from November. Will it work? Probably not, but in order to try my damnedest to make it do so anyway, I’m making this Quarterly Review six full days. Monday to Monday instead of Monday to Friday. 60 reviews in six posts. Sounds like madness because it is madness. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Hornss, Telepath

hornss telepath

San Francisco trio Hornss debuted on RidingEasy Records with 2014’s No Blood No Sympathy (review here) and further their raw genre blend on Telepath, their half-hour follow-up LP delivered via STB, melding heavy punk and metallic impulses to a noisy, thick-toned thrust on songs like “Atrophic” and the bouncing “Sargasso Heart” while opener “St. Genevieve” and the penultimate “Old Ghosts” dig into more stonerly nod. The latter track is the longest inclusion on the record at 3:26, and with 11 cuts there’s plenty of jumping between impulses to be done, but the trio of guitarist/vocalist Mike Moracha, bassist/vocalist Nick Nava – both formerly of desert punkers Solarfeast – and drummer Bil Bowman (ex-Zodiac Killers) work effectively and efficiently to cast an identity for themselves within the tumult. It’s one that finds them reveling in the absence of pretense and the sometimes-caustic vibes of songs like “Leaving Thermal,” which nonetheless boast an underlying catchiness, speaking to a progression from the first album.

Hornss on Thee Facebooks

STB Records store

 

Khemmis, Hunted

khemmis hunted

Easily justifiable decision on the part of Denver’s Khemmis to return to Flatline Audio and producer Dave Otero (Cephalic Carnage, etc.) for their second album, Hunted. No reason to fix what clearly wasn’t broken about their 2015 debut, Absolution (review here), and on the 20 Buck Spin Records release, they don’t. A year later, the four-piece instead build on the doomly grandeur of the first outing and push forward in aesthetic, confidence and purpose, whether that’s shown in mournful opener “Above the Water,” the darker “Candlelight” that follows, or the centerpiece “Three Gates,” which opens as muddied death metal before shifting into a cleaner chorus, creating a rare bridge between doom and modern metal. Khemmis save the most resonant crush for side B, however, with the nine-minute “Beyond the Door” capping with vicious stomp before the 13-minute title-track, which closes the album with an urgency that bleeds even into spacious and melodic break that sets up the final apex to come, as emotionally charged as it is pummeling.

Khemmis on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin on Bandcamp

 

Fox 45, Ashes of Man

fox 45 ashes of man

In addition to the outright charm of titles like “Doominati,” “Coup d’étwat,” “Murdercycle” and “Urinal Acid” (the latter a bonus track), Rochester, New York’s Fox 45 offer fuzzy roll on their Twin Earth Records debut full-length, Ashes of Man, the three-piece of Amanda Rampe, Vicky Tee and Casey Learch finding space for themselves between the post-Acid King nod of “Necromancing the Stone” and more swing-prone movements like the relatively brief “Soul Gourmandizer.” Playing back and forth between longer and shorter tracks gives Ashes of Man a depth of character – particularly encouraging since it’s Fox 45’s first record – and the low-end push that leads “Phoenix Tongue” alone is worth the price of admission, let alone the familiar-in-the-right-ways straightforward heavy riffing of “Narcissister” a short while later. Very much a debut, but one that sets up a grunge-style songwriting foundation on which to build as they move forward, and Fox 45 seem to have an eye toward doing precisely that.

Fox 45 on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

 

Monolith Wielder, Monolith Wielder

monolith wielder self titled

Double-guitar Pittsburgh four-piece Monolith Wielder make their self-titled debut through Italian imprint Argonauta Records, bringing together Molasses Barge guitarist Justin Gizzi and Zom guitarist/vocalist Gero von Dehn with bassist Ray Ward (since replaced by Amy Bianco) and drummer Ben Zerbe (also Mandrake Project) for 10 straightforward tracks that draw together classic Sabbathian doom with post-grunge heavy rock roll. There’s a workingman’s sensibility to the riffing of “No Hope No Fear” and the earlier, more ‘90s moodiness of “Angels Hide” – von Dehn’s vocals over the thick tones almost brings to mind Sevendust on that particularly catchy chorus – but Monolith Wielder’s Monolith Wielder isn’t shy about bringing atmospherics to the Iommic thrust of its eponymous cut or the penultimate “King Under Fire,” which recalls the self-titled Alice in Chains in its unfolding bleakness before closer “Electric Hessian” finishes with a slight uptick in pace and a fade out and back in (and a last sample) that hints at more to come.

Monolith Wielder on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

No Man’s Valley, Time Travel

no man's valley time travel

The stomp and clap intro “The Man Who Would be King” casts an immediately bluesy hue on No Man’s Valley’s debut album, Time Travel (LP release on Nasoni), and the Netherlands-based five-piece seem only too happy to build on that from there. It’s a blend outfits like The Flying Eyes and Suns of Thyme have proffered for several years now between heavy psychedelia and blues, but No Man’s Valley find a niche for themselves in the dreamy and patient execution of “Sinking the Lifeboat,” a highlight of the eight-track/33-minute LP, and bring due personality to the classic-style jangle-and-swing of “The Wolves are Coming” as well, so that Time Travel winds up more textured than redundant as it makes its way toward six-minute piano-laden finale “Goon.” Once there, they follow a linear course with a post-All Them Witches looseness that solidifies into a resonant and deeply engaging apex, underscoring the impressive reach No Man’s Valley have brought to bear across this first LP of hopefully many to come.

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Nasoni Records website

 

Saturna, III/Lost in Time

saturna lost in time

Barcelona classic rocking four-piece Saturna seem to avoid the boogie trap when they want to, as on the more rolling, modern heavy groove of “Five Fools,” and that keeps their World in Sound/PRC Music third album, III/Lost in Time, from being too predictable after the opening “Tired to Fight” seems to set up Thin Lizzy idolatry. They dip into more complex fare on “Leave it All,” somewhere between Skynyrd leads, Deep Purple organ-isms topped with a rousing hook, but keep some shuffle on songs like “Disease” and the earlier “All Has Been Great.” Highlight/closer “Place for Our Soul” seems to be literal in its title, with a more subdued approach and harmonized vocal delivery, and listening to its more patient delivery one can’t help but wonder why that soul should be relegated to the end of the album instead of featured throughout, but the songwriting is solid and the delivery confident, so while familiar, there’s ultimately little to complain about with what III/Lost in Time offers.

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World in Sound website

 

MØLK, Hate from the Bong

molk hate from the bong

Especially with the title of their second EP set as Hate from the Bong, one might be tempted to put Belgian outfit MØLK immediately in the same category of malevolent stoner/sludge metal as the likes of Bongripper, but frankly they sound like they’re having too much fun for that on the five-tracker, reveling in lyrical shenanigans on the politically suspect “Stonefish” and opener “Methamphetamine.” Make no mistake, they’re suitably druggy, but even Hate from the Bong’s title-track seems to keep its tongue in cheek as it unfolds its post-Electric Wizard echoes and tonal morass. That gives the five-piece an honest vibe – they’re a relatively new band, having released their first EP in 2016 as well; why shouldn’t they be having a good time? – to coincide with all that thickened low end and vocal reverb, and though they’re obviously growing, there isn’t much more I’d ask of them from a debut full-length, which is a task they sound ready to take on in these songs.

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MØLK on Bandcamp

 

Psychedelic Witchcraft, The Vision

psychedelic witchcraft the vision

Italian cult rock outfit Psychedelic Witchcraft have proven somewhat difficult to keep up with over the last year-plus. As they’ve hooked up with Soulseller Records and reissued their Black Magic Man EP (review here), their full-length debut, The Vision, and already announced a follow-up compilation in 2017’s Magick Rites and Spells, the band consistently work to feature the vocals of Virginia Monti (also Dead Witches) amid semi-retro ‘70s-style boogie, as heard on the debut in cuts like “Witches Arise” and “Wicked Ways.” At nine tracks/34 minutes, however, The Vision is deceptively efficient, and though they’re unquestionably playing to style, Psychedelic Witchcraft find room to vary moods on “The Night” and the subdued strum of “The Only One Who Knows,” keeping some sonic diversity while staying largely on-theme lyrically. To call the album cohesive is underselling its purposefulness, but the question is how the band will build on the bluesy soulfulness of “Magic Hour Blues” now that they’ve set this progression in motion. Doesn’t seem like it will be all that long before we find out.

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Soulseller Records website

 

Spotlights, Spiders EP

spotlights spiders

Following the heavy post-rock wash of their 2016 debut album, Tidals, Brooklynite two-piece Spotlights – bassist/guitarist/vocalist Sarah Quintero and guitarist/synthesis/vocalist Mario Quintero – return on the quick with a three-track EP, Spiders, and set themselves toward further sonic expansion. The centerpiece “She Spider” is a Mew cover, electronic beats back opener “A Box of Talking Heads V2” and the spacious closer “Joseph” is a track from Tidals remixed by former Isis drummer Aaron Harris. So, perhaps needless to say, they hit that “expansion” mark pretty head-on. The finale turns out to be the high point, more cinematic in its ambience, but still moving through with an underlying rhythm to the wash of what one might otherwise call drones before becoming more deeply post-Nine Inch Nails in its back half. How many of these elements might show up on Spotlights’ next record, I wouldn’t guess, but the band takes an important step by letting listeners know the potential is there, adding three wings onto their wheelhouse in three tracks, which is as efficient conceptually as it is sonically immersive.

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Spotlights on Bandcamp

 

Moon Coven, Moon Coven

moon coven self-titled

This self-titled second full-length from Malmö, Sweden-based Moon Coven begins with its longest track (immediate points) in “Storm” and works quickly to nail down a far-reaching meld between heavy psych and riffy density. Issued through the much-respected Transubstans Records, it’s a nine-track/50-minute push that can feel unipolar on an initial listen, but largely avoids that trap through tonal hypnosis and fluid shifts into and out of jams on cuts like “The Third Eye,” while centerpiece “Haramukh High” provides a solidified moment before the organ interlude “The Ice Temple” leads into the mega-roll of finisher “White Sun.” What seems to be a brooding sensibility from the artwork – a striking departure from their 2014 debut, Amanita Kingdom – is actually a far more colorful affair than it might at first appear, and well justifies the investment of repeat visits in the far-out nod of “Conspiracy” and the swirling “Winter,” which goes so far as to add melodic texture in the vocals and notably fuzzed guitar, doing much to bolster the proceedings and overarching groove.

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Transubstans Records

 

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Moon Coven Release Self-Titled LP on Transubstans Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

moon-coven

So although the PR wire info below lists it as coming soon, it seems like Moon Coven‘s self-titled sophomore outing is actually available to order now — as in right now, today — through Transubstans Records. The Swedish psych outfit offered up their debut, Amanita Kingdom, in 2014, and seem to have posted the self-titled earlier this fall, at the start of November, for at least partial streaming. It’s streaming in full now, as well as available via name-your-price download on Bandcamp, but after checking out the roll of album-centerpiece “Haramukh High,” you may indeed find yourself craving the full experience. You won’t hear me argue against that impulse, at very least.

You can dig into the vibes of the full stream below and see where you’re at with it, but in my experience there are few around whose tastes are as reliable as Transubstans. When they get behind something, it’s almost never happenstance.

Goes like this:

moon-coven-moon-coven

Transubstans Records: OUT SOON: MOON COVEN – S/T

Almost three years after the critically acclaimed debut album, “Amanita Kingdom”, MOON COVEN returns! Stronger and heavier than ever. Expect a psychedelic journey to the unknown grounds of your brain while experiencing a healthy dose of the deadliest sludge out there. The band comes back with their self titled effort and it’s clear they’ve taken their ambient ambitions to a whole new level. Prepare to become dazed, prepare to be strung out. Prepare for MOON COVEN!!

Tracklist:
01 Storm (listen)
02 Old Ground
03 Conspiracy
04 New Season
05 Haramukh High
06 Winter
07 The Third Eye
08 Ice Temple
09 White Sun

MOON COVEN is a five piece Heavy/Psychedelic/Rock band from Malmö/Stockholm, Sweden, with roots in Jönköping. Heavy distorted riffs meets harmoniously floating vocals that results in dreamy music with a hypnotic effect. MOON COVEN offers a paradoxical but satisfying musical landscape, it is massive and delicate at the same time.

Moon Coven is:
David
Axel
Justin
Oscar
Fredrik

https://www.facebook.com/mooncoven/
https://mooncoven.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/transubstans
http://www.transubstans.com/
http://www.recordheaven.net/

Moon Coven, Moon Coven (2016)

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