Dust Prophet Post Video for New Single “Revolutionary Suicide”

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You had me at the bassline, which, since the bassline (plus some hi-hat) is the first thing you hear in the track means you pretty much had me immediately. New Hampshire newcomers Dust Prophet have made public their second single following up on this past Fall’s “The Big Lie” (posted here), and “Revolutionary Suicide” touches on cultish themes via lyrics delivered through catchy rhythm and rampant melody that seems only to indicate their readiness to take on a broader release, be it a debut EP or album. The production on “Revolutionary Suicide” is clean to a point almost asking for some muck for its doomly vibe to wallow in, but I wouldn’t hold a band being clear in their delivery against them, especially on a self-released single — let alone their second — and the song remains rooted in the quality of the band’s performance, which wants for nothing.

Likewise too their social media presence. They’re all over the place. I always have to admire that kind of thing, because I suck at it so very, very much — duh, here’s a picture of my baby; duh, here’s a review I posted; duh — but Dust Prophet have it down when it comes to engaging their audience, and as I think you can hear in the track below, that extends to their songwriting. Good to hit ’em on multiple levels.

Dig it:

dust prophet

Dust Prophet is proud to release: Revolutionary Suicide

We are very proud to bring you our newest single, Revolutionary Suicide. You have a few different options for listening and downloading it:

You can listen & download Revolutionary Suicide for FREE by one of the following options:

By using our Bandcamp page. In addition to downloading Revolutionary Suicide can also subscribe to our Bandcamp page and stay up-to-date on our new releases and newsworthy events.

(Although it’s a free download, you can choose to pay $1 or so if you want to support us by using the “Name Your Own Price” option).

You can also stream Revolutionary Suicide on our YouTube channel. You can access that by going HERE. Please “Like” the video and feel free to subscribe to our channel, as we’ll be adding much more content and music in the upcoming weeks.

Dust Prophet is:
Heather Lynn- Vocals.
Otto Kinzel- Guitar.
Sarah Wappler- Bass; Keyboards.
Marc Brennan- Drums.

https://www.facebook.com/dustprophet
https://www.instagram.com/dustprophet/
https://twitter.com/DustProphet
https://dustprophet.bandcamp.com/
https://dustprophet.com/

Dust Prophet, “Revolutionary Suicide” official video

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APF Records Announces Showcase Lineup with 13 Bands

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

apf records amp logo

UK sludgedealer APF Records has announced the lineup for its second label showcase in Manchester, and well, it’s got almost everybody. It’s 13 of the 16 active bands on the roster, piled onto a single bill. Do you have any idea how hard that must be to make happen? The coordination involved? Imagine trying to plan lunch with a specific friend. You have to find a day, a time, a place that works. Now imagine doing what with upwards of 50 friends. It’s not just planning a party and saying “be here at this time.” There’s so much involved in making it happen, it’s a pretty clear indication of a mission at play. Kudos to APF for making it happen at all, let alone once.

The label has a busy 2019 planned to follow what was a busy 2018, and that’s fair enough. I myself have been enjoying the new Mastiff record, which will be out soon, and I’m dying to hear something new from the timely Tronald, though there’s been no confirmation of one in the works. Still, I’ve got my fingers crossed, and it seems like there’s plenty to come in the meantime as APF continues to provide the UK’s fervent and varied sludge scene the home it deserves.

Showcase announcement and links follow from the PR wire::

APF Records Showcase 2019

APF RECORDS SHOWCASE ALL-DAYER

Manchester, UK – 2nd February 2019

13 APF Records bands play a special one-off gig

APF Records is hosting a special one-off gig at The Bread Shed in Manchester UK on 2nd February, featuring all 13 of its current active signed bands playing across two stages.

Founded by Andrew Field in March 2017 APF Records has released albums, EPs and singles by Under, Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, The Wizards Of Delight, Tronald, The Hyena Kill, RedEye Revival, Ba’al, BongCauldron, Nomad, Desert Storm, Battalions and Barbarian Hermit during its first 18 months.

The label already has releases lined up for 2019 by Widows, Pist and Possessor as well as further releases from the bands mentioned above.

Due to the logistical challenges of getting so many APF bands in one place at once this is likely to be the last time so many of the APF Records roster will play in one place on one day. Thus advance tickets have been moving fast and the event (at the 400-capacity Bread Shed venue) is predicted to be a sell-out.

Doors open at 2pm with the first band performing at 2.30pm. The event will finish 9 hours later when BongCauldron headline the main stage.

Appearing at the APF Records Showcase:

Battalions
Barbarian Hermit
BongCauldron
Diesel King
Mastiff
Nomad
Pist
RedEye Revival
The Hyena Kill
Trevor’s Head
Tronald
Under
Widows

APF Records and Stonebaked Promotions presents: The APF Records Showcase All-Dayer
Venue: The Bread Shed, Manchester UK
Date: 2nd February 2018
Doors Open: 2pm
Tickets: £12.50 adv / £20 otd

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/162465091142797/
Ticket link: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/430503

https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://twitter.com/apf_records
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

BongCauldron, Tyke (2018)

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Dust Prophet Post New Single “The Big Lie”

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I live in New England. I’ve lived in New England for just over half a decade. I can’t claim to be a lifer and I don’t think I’ll stay there forever, or at least not where I am now. It’s not perfect. People care way more about sports than they do about art. The food isn’t great. The weather sucks. Blah blah blah. I give New England a lot of flack, but I’ll give it one thing. When it comes to an anti-religious standpoint, as the epicenter of the Catholic priest child abuse scandal in the US, New England as a legitimate gripe. That’s not to say anyone else doesn’t — rest assured, they all fucking do, apparently all the way around the planet — but yeah.

Obviously I don’t know the history of anyone in Manchester, New Hampshire’s Dust Prophet in that regard, and I wouldn’t speculate, but even as a general attitude, I get it. You don’t have to have been raped by a priest to say fuck those rapey priests. So when they come along with their debut single “The Big Lie” and lyrics like “Your god’s an empty song/Every right is a wrong,” the position seems to me well justified.

As regards the song though — it’s the first thing Dust Prophets have put out and dig the arrangement on the vocals and the inclusion of keys in the melody. I’m not one to bet on direction given one track, but they seem to have an idea of where they want to be sound-wise, and a pro-shop recording to showcase that. “The Big Lie” is streaming at the bottom of this post. Here’s info culled from social media and the PR wire:

dust prophet the big lie

DUST PROPHET – “THE BIG LIE”

Escape the haze and enter the reality…

Dust Prophet are a 4 piece Stoner-rock/Progressive/Psychedelic-Rock band based in Manchester, New Hampshire. The band consists of Heather Lynn (Vocals); Otto Kinzel (guitar); Sarah Wappler (bass & organ); & Marc Brennan (drums). Our debut single, The Big Lie, is out NOW.

The Big Lie is the first track released by NH based stoner-rock band Dust Prophet. Heavy riffs; Haunting vocals; Fuzzy tones; Weird sounds; Monstrous beats.Take our hand and walk through the smoke…

Mixed by Glenn Smith at Amps vs. Ohms
Mastered by Nicholas Zampiello at New Alliance East.

Dust Prophet is:
Heather Lynn- Vocals.
Otto Kinzel- Guitar.
Sarah Wappler- Bass; Keyboards.
Marc Brennan- Drums.

https://www.facebook.com/dustprophet
https://www.instagram.com/dustprophet/
https://twitter.com/DustProphet
https://dustprophet.bandcamp.com/
https://dustprophet.com/

Dust Prophet, “The Big Lie”

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Crippled Black Phoenix to Release Great Escape Sept. 14; New Track Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

crippled black phoenix (Photo by Pier Corona)

UK melancholic progressive heavy rockers Crippled Black Phoenix have set a Sept. 14 release date for their new album, Great Escape. Like 2016’s Bronze (review here), it’ll be out through Season of Mist, and they’re supplying a nine-minute sampling of what the upcoming record has in store with the track “To You I Give,” which follows suit in its sound with both the elaborate nature of the band’s craft and the brooding nature of their atmospheres. Good to know no one broke Crippled Black Phoenix since their last outing. But of course this is just one track out of 11, and we won’t know the full scope of the release until it shows up. I’d ask the label to do a track premiere and trying sneak an early listen, but there’s no way in hell I’m cool enough for that kind of thing, and there’s only so much rejection I can handle. Which is none. So yeah.

You can dig into the announcement of the record and “To You I Give” below. The PR had this to say about it and brought the artwork, which is by Peder Bergstrand:

crippled black phoenix great escape

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce new album, stream new track

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX will release ‘Great Escape’, a new full length album on Sept 14. ‘Great Escape’ sees the band pushing their prodigious talents and creativity to the limit, interweaving influences spanning the sonic landscapes of post rock, experimental music, and heavy prog. Pre-orders for ‘Great Escape’ are available now at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are streaming “To You I Give”, the first new track off ‘Great Escape.’

Regarding the track, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “This song is about giving your heart to someone or something special, and being able to cope with the trouble and anxiety it can incite as well as the joy and hope it brings. Giving is strength. We can endure.”

Track-list
1.You Brought It Upon Yourselves
2. To You I Give
3. Uncivil War (Pt. I)
4. Madman
5. Times, They Are A Raging
6. Rain Black, Reign Heavy
7. Slow Motion Breakdown
8. Nebulas
9. Las Diabolicas
10. Great Escape (Pt. I)
11. Great Escape (Pt. II)

https://www.facebook.com/CBP444/
https://crippledblackphoenixsom.bandcamp.com/
http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=139

Crippled Black Phoenix, “To You I Give”

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Nomad, Feral

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

nomad feral

[Click play above to stream Nomad’s Feral in full. Album is out May 31 on APF Records.]

Britain has become a sludge factory. Seems like every time one turns around, there’s another disgruntled collective shouting, screaming, riffing and crashing out their frustrations in an onslaught of raw, downtuned chug. Manchester’s Nomad, who release their debut album Feral through APF Records — which has boldly taken it upon itself to corral an increasing amount of the national scene — have been around since 2013 and precede their first record with a 2014 EP, The House is Dead, and a 2015 split with Wort. A straightforward guitar, bass, drums, vocals four-piece, their focus on the seven-track/42-minute Feral seems to be on honing as pure a pummel as possible, and they do so via a decidedly New Orleans-tinged sludge, with vocalist Drian Nash reminding of Kirk Windstein in his shoutier moments, and the riffs of Lewis Atkinson calling to mind the earliest days of sludge metal as it veered from the unhinged slowed-down hardcore punk of Eyehategod and became the more cohesive, songwriting-centered output of Crowbar.

The rhythm section of bassist John Carberry and drummer Hayley McIntyre are, naturally, responsible for the foundation on which this aural homage takes place, and do well anchoring and rolling songs like “Swarm,” which take the ferocity of eight-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Curse of the Sun” and the subsequent title-track and push it in a bluesier, lead-topped direction. Though both their moniker and the album’s title evoke a sense of something wild, Nomad themselves are never out of control, and as they blend punk, metal, hardcore and doom on 2:53 centerpiece “The War is Never Over” — chugging mosh-part and all — they present their most intense moment with no less poise than anything preceding or following.

That’s not to say Nomad are staid by any measure, only that they know what they’re doing from the opening hum and fading up toms of “Curse of the Sun” through the long fadeout of the finishing riff to closer “Shallow Fate,” which even brings back — briefly — that same hum that opened the album. And they know which side of the genre they want to play to. Is ‘classic sludge metal’ a thing yet? If not, Feral makes an argument that maybe it should be. Of course, it has its varying sides and modes of expression — “Culture of Ruin” opens with a lightly strummed acoustic guitar to set the mood before moving into its full tonality, etc. — but the root of what they’re doing, and specifically in Atkinson‘s guitar tone, is that early/mid-’90s sludge metal, which is given an even angrier sensibility by Nash‘s vocals moving smoothly between gruff shouts and harsher screams.

nomad

There are moments — the riff that emerges in “Culture of Ruin” just past the halfway point, or the huge wash of crash about six minutes into “Curse of the Sun” before the staccato chugging takes hold — where Nomad give a sense of how they might progress from their debut and what they might bring to their sound over the longer term, but as a statement of who they are, Feral is less wild than it is cohesive in its presentation — which, of course, only works to its advantage. To wit, as the tracklisting plays out, the band moves between longer and shorter songs, alternating one then the other to effectively keep the listener off balance and to highlight the subtle diversity in their presentation and the fluidity with which they execute the structures of their songs. The end effect is to give Feral some of the madness its title brings to mind, even though it’s clear that NashAtkinsonCarberry and McIntyre are actively, consciously steering the material as they go.

In some cases, that might lessen the impact. It doesn’t here, because ultimately it’s a part of the aesthetic. Some early sludgers might have been out of control, but Crowbar never were, and as they’re a chief influence, it’s only fair that Nomad shouldn’t be either. The chugging slam of “The War is Never Over,” the bassline underscoring the title-track, the groove and build of “Shallow Fate” — all of these things arrive with a sense of purpose that makes the overarching listening experience of the album feel focused and all the more intense for the mindfulness at work behind it. These songs didn’t just happen; they were built. As a uniting factor, that purposeful delivery has as much to do with making the album work as the consistency of tone or mood, and in thinking ahead to what Nomad might do over the longer term, it’s among the most encouraging aspects of Feral, which may not ultimately be running wild and completely out of its mind, but certainly gnashes its teeth all the same in a manner that can only help them distinguish themselves from the UK’s crowded sludge underground.

Nomad on Thee Facebooks

Nomad on Twitter

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

APF Records webstore

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Bodies on Everest Premiere “Who Killed Yale Gracey?” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

bodies on everest

Like the bastard avant sludge sons of Godflesh, UK three-piece Bodies on Everest return this April with their second album, A National Day of Mourning. The Liverpool/Manchester trio today present their new video for the song “Who Killed Yale Gracey?” and rest assured, it is thoroughly fucked. Through and through. From the creepy opening sample repeating “I am a ghost” to the cave-echo vocals that populate amid electronic swirl and a double-dose of low-end assault, it’s a 10-minute nightmare romp that feels as much high-concept-art-project as it does well-society-has-collapsed-so-what-the-fuck-do-we-do-now. Not that the two are by any means mutually exclusive ends to the means of expression.

Anyway, the point is that if you’re looking for whatever you commonly think of as “standard fare,” you’re probably not going to find it here. Instead, you get a slow-burning creeper bodies on everest a national day of mourningatmosphere populated, presumably, by more than just the single ghost you hear speaking at the outset as the rumble and electronic beat begin to rise to prominence in the mix. I don’t now if I’d call the track itself terrifying so much as visceral. It’s not trying to scare you. It’s guttural though; not in the sense of death growls or anything like that — the vocals are shouted, deep in the mix, coated in echo — but in being ‘of the guts.’ Like raw viscera. Organs on a platter. There’s a brutality sharing space with nuance and, while it’s not at all light on a sense of punishment, neither does “Who Killed Yale Gracey?” come across like empty extremity brought to bear for its own sake.

Yale Gracey, as I’m sure you already know because you’re well informed on a wide variety of subjects, was a Disney animator who started working for the company in 1939 and designed numerous attractions at Disneyland in California and so on. He and his wife were shot in their bed in 1983 and the murderer was never captured. Why Bodies on Everest might seize on that particular episode of Unsolved Mysteries, I don’t know, but if it’s a vibe of vague and looming threat they’re trying to convey, well, they certainly got there with the track.

More info follows the video below. Please enjoy in that particular way you enjoy things that are scathing as hell.

Oh, and you won’t believe what happens to that building in the video.

I am a ghost, I am a ghost, I am a ghost…

Bodies on Everest, “Who Killed Yale Gracey?” official video premiere

The infernal noise machine BODIES ON EVEREST in collaboration with Third I Rex & Cruel Nature Recordings will unleash hell this April with their brand new collection of noise-laden compositions and abrasive shrieks entitled “A National Day Of Mourning”. The band labels its sound as “Dungeon Wave” — a caustic mix of drone, doom, noise and cursed psyche-sludge.

BODIES ON EVEREST hail from Liverpool and Manchester and have spent the last fewyears playing intense live shows across the UK. The two distorted basses plunge the depths of ultra-low frequencies while the vocals lead the listener through the crushing monotony of modern life. 2015 saw the band release their debut — “The Burning” which solidified their uncompromising attitude and dedication to pushing the boundaries of bleak, punishing repetition.

“A National Day Of Mourning” presents an invigorated band which has sharpened its sound in order to create a new record that’s even more corrosive, unsettling and unrelenting.

When asked to present their new album, the band provided this opaque response: “… two bass players, one drummer, vocals and a board of electronics were all played at once andrepeated back infinitely. This record is the very urgent and desperate result of an accident… Welcome to Hell.”

“A National Day Of Mourning” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jacobia Stig at Dumbulls Studio in Liverpool. The album will be pressed by Third I Rex on CD format and Cruel Nature Recordings in a limited double pink cassette edition, in April this year! Get ready for something you have never heard before!

Bodies on Everest on Thee Facebooks

Bodies on Everest on Bandcamp

Bodies on Everest website

Third I Rex on Thee Facebooks

A National Day of Mourning preorder at Third I Rex on Bandcamp

Cruel Nature Records on Thee Facebooks

Cruel Nature Records on Bandcamp

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Crippled Black Phoenix Announce Covers Collection Horrific Honorifics Due March 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Anybody who covers Swans and Arbouretum on the same record is cool by me. Back-to-back to lead off the record, no less. Maybe the point is somewhat moot, since Crippled Black Phoenix already well exceeded that loftiest of standards, but in this age where media consumption so often boils down to little more than the reinforcement of one’s own pre-stated positions, a little more of that kind of thing never seems to hurt. What was the point I was making? Oh yeah. Crippled Black Phoenix are fucking awesome.

Season of Mist releases Horrific Honorifics, the new covers collection from the UK avant gloom rockers, on March 9. And yes, it includes Arbouretum and Swans at the outset, along with Magnolia Electric Co., The God Machine, NoMeansNo and The Alex Harvey Band, whose “The Faith Healer” you can hear at the bottom of this post. If, like me, you were feeling greedy and hoping maybe they’d take on “They Say I’m Different” by Betty Davis, fingers crossed for next time.

I’m completely serious, by the way. I know that last sentence reads like internet snark. It isn’t. I’d actually love to hear that. Just felt compelled to make that clear.

From the label via the PR wire:

crippled black phoenix horrific honorifics

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce limited edition album

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are set to release a new covers album. The album, titled ‘Horrific Honorifics’, is a celebration of songs that have influenced CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX or its members in both music and in life. The album Includes covers of SWANS, NOMEANSNO, THE GOD MACHINE, THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND, MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO. and ARBOURETUM as only this collective could re-imagine them.

‘Horrific Honorifics’ will be released worldwide on March 9th. Pre-orders for the limited edition album are available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are streaming “The Faith Healer”, a cover of THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND.

Regarding the track, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “I used to watch the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ when I was young and I came across the ALEX HARVEY BAND on there. They did a great version on ‘Give My Compliments To The Chef’, which for years I forced upon the rest of the band when on tour. ‘The Faith Healer’ seamed to make sense when thinking of songs to cover. I’m glad it turned out ok. With James Ray on guest vocals, it gets an even darker edge. I’m thinking of adopting Zal Cleminson’s make up on stage for the next tour.”

Track-list
1. False Spring (originally by ARBOURETUM)
2. The Golden Boy Swallowed By The Sea (originally by SWANS)
3. Will-O-The-Wisp (originally by MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO)
4. Victory (originally by NOMEANSNO)
5. In Bad Dreams (originally by THE GOD MACHINE)
6. The Faith Healer (originally by THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND)

https://www.facebook.com/CBP444/
https://crippledblackphoenixsom.bandcamp.com/
http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=139

Crippled Black Phoenix, “The Faith Healer”

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Quarterly Review: Iron Monkey, Deadsmoke, Somnuri, Daira, Kavrila, Ivan, Clara Engel, Alastor, Deadly Vipers, Storm of Void

Posted in Reviews on January 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

Day Four of the Quarterly Review! Welcome to the downswing. We’re past the halfway point and feeling continually groovy. Thus far it’s been a week of coffee and a vast musical swath that today only reaches even further out from the core notion of what may or may not make a release or a band “heavy.” Is it sound? Is it emotion? Is it concept? Fact is there’s no reason it can’t be all of those things and a ton more, so keep an open mind as you make your way through today’s batch and we’ll all come out of it better people on the other end. Alright? Alright. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Iron Monkey, 9-13

iron monkey 9-13

I’ll admit to some level of skepticism at the prospect of an Iron Monkey reunion without frontman Johnny Morrow, who died in 2002, but as founding guitarist Jim Rushby (now also vocals), bassist Steve Watson (who originally played guitar) and new drummer Brigga revive the influential UK sludge outfit with the nine songs of 9-13 on Relapse, it somehow makes sense that the band’s fuckall and irreverence would extend inward as well. That is, why should Iron Monkey find Iron Monkey an any more sacred and untouchable property than they find anything else? Ultimately, the decision will be up to the listener as to acceptance, but the furies of “OmegaMangler,” “Mortarhex,” “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier” and the nine-minute lumber-into-torrent closer “Moreland St. Hammervortex” make a pretty resounding argument that if you can’t get down with Iron Monkey as they are today, it’s going to be your loss and that, as ever, they couldn’t care less to see you stick around or see you go. So welcome back.

Iron Monkey on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records on Bandcamp

 

Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy

deadsmoke mountain legacy

Mountain Legacy, which is the second Deadsmoke album for Heavy Psych Sounds, might be the heaviest release the label has put out to-date. For the band, it marks the arrival of keyboardist Claudio Rocchetti to the former trio, and from the lumbering space of aptly-titled post-intro opener “Endless Cave” to the later creeping lurch of “Wolfcurse,” it’s an outing worthy of comparison to the earlier work of Italian countrymen Ufomammut, but still rooted in the gritty, post-Sleep plod the band elicited on their 2016 self-titled debut (review here). The central difference seems to be an increase in atmospheric focus, which does well to enrich the listening experience overall, be it in the creepy penultimate interlude “Forest of the Damned” or side A finale “Emperor of Shame.” Whether this progression was driven by Rocchetti’s inclusion in the band or the other way around, it’s a marked showing of growth on a quick turnaround from Deadsmoke and shows them as having a much broader creative reach than expected. All the better because it’s still so devastatingly weighted.

Deadsmoke on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Somnuri, Somnuri

somnuri somnuri

To call Somnuri a formidable trio is underselling it. The Brooklynite three-piece is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell (Blackout, ex-Bezoar, etc.), bassist Drew Mack (ex-Hull) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo (Family), and the noise they make on their Magnetic Eye-released self-titled debut is as progressive as it is intense. Recorded by Jeff Berner and mixed my SanGiacomo, cuts like “Kaizen” and “Same Skies” land with a doomed heft but move with the singular fury of the Northeastern US, and even as eight-minute closer “Through the Dead” balances more rock-minded impulses and seems to touch on a Soundgarden influence, it answers for the ultra-aggro tumult of “Pulling Teeth” just before. A flash of ambience in the drone interlude “Opaque” follows the plodding highlight “Slow Burn,” which speaks to yet another side of Somnuri’s potential – to create spaces as much as to crush them. With an interplay of cleaner vocals, screams, growls and shouts, there’s enough variety to throw off expectation, and where so much of New York’s noise-metal history is about angry single-mindedness, Somnuri’s Somnuri shows even in a vicious moment like “Inhabitant” that there’s more ground to cover than just being really, really, really pissed off.

Somnuri on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records website

 

Daira, Vipreet Buddhi

daira vipreet buddhi

Time to get weird. No. Really weird. In the end, I’m not sure Mumbai semi-improvisationalist troupe Daira did themselves any favors by making their sophomore LP, Vipreet Buddhi, a single 93-minute/16-track outing instead of breaking it into the two halves over which its course is presented – the first being eight distinct songs, the second a flowing single jam broken up over multiple parts – but one way or another, it’s an album that genuinely presents a vibe of its own, taking cues from heavy psych, jazz, funk, classic prog, folk and more as it plays through its bizarre and ambient flow, toying with jarring stretches along the way like the eerie “Apna Ullu Seedha” but so dug in by the time it’s jammed its way into “Dekho Laal Gaya” that it seems like there’s no getting out. It’s an overwhelming and unmanageable offering, but whoever said the avant garde wasn’t supposed to be a challenge? Certainly not Daira, and they clearly have plenty to say. Whatever else you listen to today, I can safely guarantee it won’t sound like this. And that’s probably true of every day.

Daira on Thee Facebooks

Daira on Bandcamp

 

Kavrila, Blight

kavrila blight

Chest-compressing groove and drive will no doubt earn Hamburg four-piece Kavrila’s second album, Blight (on Backbite Records), some comparisons to Mantar, but to dig into tracks like “Gold” and “Each (Part Two)” is to find a surprising measure of atmospheric focus, and even a rage-roller like “Abandon” has a depth to its mix. Though it’s just 24 minutes long, I’d still consider Blight a full-length for the two-sided flow it sets up leading to the aforementioned “Gold” and “Each (Part Two),” both being the longest cut on their respective half of the record in addition to splitting the tracklisting, as well as for the grinding aspects of songs like “Apocalypse,” “Demolish” and “Golem” on side B, the latter of which takes the rhythmic churn of Godflesh to a point of extremity that even the earlier thrust of “Lungs” did little to foretell. There’s a balance of sludge and hardcore elements, to be sure, but it’s the anger that ultimately defines Blight, however coherent it might be (and is) in its violent intent.

Kavrila on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records webstore

 

Ivan, Strewn Across Stars

ivan strewn across stars

Employing the session violin services of Jess Randall, the Melbourne-based two-piece of Brodric Wellington (drums/vocals) and Joseph Pap (guitar, bass, keys) – collectively known as Ivan – would seem to be drawing a specific line in the direction of My Dying Bride with their take on death-doom, but the emotionalist influence goes deeper than that on Strewn Across Stars, their second LP. Shades of Skepticism show themselves in opener and longest track (immediate points) “Cosmic Fear,” which demonstrates a raw production ready for the limited-cassette obscurism the band conjured for their 2016 debut, Aeons Collapse, but nonetheless fleshed out melodically in the guitar and already-noted, deeply prevalent string arrangement. The subsequent “Ethereal” (12:41), “Hidden Dimensions” (12:25) and “Outro” (8:18) dig even further into plodding shattered-self woefulness, with “Hidden Dimensions” providing a brief moment of tempo release before the violin and keys take complete hold in “Outro” to give listeners one last chance to bask in resonant melancholia. A genre-piece, to be sure, but able to stand on its own in terms of personality and patience alike.

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Ivan on Bandcamp

 

Clara Engel, Songs for Leonora Carrington

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Toronto singer-songwriter Clara Engel pays ambient folk homage to the Mexican surrealist painter/author with the five-tracks of Songs for Leonara Carrington, fleshing out creative and depth-filled arrangements that nonetheless hold fast to the intimate human core beneath. Engel’s voice is of singular character in its melding of gruff fragility, and whether it’s the psychedelic hypnosis of opener and longest track (immediate points) “Birdheaded Queen” or the seemingly minimalist drift of the penultimate “The Ancestor,” her confident melodies float atop gorgeous and sad instrumental progressions that cast an atmosphere of vast reaches. Even the more percussively active centerpiece “Microgods of all the Subatomic Worlds” feels informed by the gradual wash of guitar melody that takes hold on the prior “Sanctuary for Furies,” and as Engel brings in guest contributors for drums, bass, guitar, theremin and choir vocals alongside her own guitar, pump organ, flute and singing, there seems to be little out of her reach or scope. It is a joy to get lost within it.

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Wist Records website

 

Alastor, Blood on Satan’s Claw

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I don’t know whether the title-cut of Blood on Satan’s Claw, the new two-songer EP from dirge-doomers Alastor, is leftover from the same sessions that bore their 2017 debut album for Twin Earth Records, Black Magic (review here), but as it’s keeping company with a near-11-minute take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” the four-piece’s return is welcome either way. Unsurprisingly, not much has changed in their approach in the mere months since the full-length was issued, but that doesn’t mean the swing of “Blood on Satan’s Claw,” the central riff of which owes as much to Windhand as to Sleep as to C.O.C.‘s “Albatross” as to Sabbath, isn’t worth digging into all the same, and with psychedelic vocals reminiscent of newer Monolord and flourish of creeper-style organ, its doom resounds on multiple levels leading into the aforementioned cover, which drawls out the classic original arrangement with a wilfully wretched tack that well earns a nod and raised claw. Alastor remain backpatch-ready, seemingly just waiting for listeners to catch on. If these tracks are any indication, they’ll get there.

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Alastor on Bandcamp

 

Deadly Vipers, Fueltronaut

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Give it a couple minutes to get going and Fueltronaut, the debut full-length from French four-piece Deadly Vipers, is more than happy to serve up energetic post-Kyuss desert rock loyalism that’s true to form in both spirit and production. Shades of earliest Dozer and the wider pre-social media older-school Euro heavy underground show themselves quickly in “Universe,” but in the later mid-paced reach of “Stalker,” there’s more modern bluesy vibing and as the mega-fuzzed “Meteor Valley,” the driving jam of “Supernova,” and the let’s-push-the-vocals-really-high-in-the-mix-for-some-reason “Dead Summer” shove the listener onward with righteous momentum toward pre-outro closer “River of Souls,” each track getting longer as it goes, the melody that emerges there indeed feels like a moment of arrival. My only real complaint? The intro “Fuel Prophecy” and (hidden) outro, “Watch the Road End.” Especially with the immediacy that strikes when “Universe” kicks in and the resonant finish of “River of Souls” at its six-minute mark, having anything before the one and after the other seems superfluous. A minor quibble on an impressive debut (one could also ramble about cartoon tits on the cover, but what’s the point?) and showcase of potential from an exciting newcomer outfit clearly assured of the style for which they’re aiming.

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Deadly Vipers on Bandcamp

 

Storm of Void, War Inside You

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Tokyo duo Storm of Void make their full-length debut with the nine-track/48-minute War Inside You, a full-length that might first snag attention owing to guest vocal spots from Napalm Death’s Mark “Barney” Greenway and Jawbox’s J. Robbins, but has no trouble holding that same attention with its progressive instrumental turns and taut execution. Released by Hostess Entertainment, it’s instrumental in bulk, with eight-string guitarist George Bodman (Bluebeard) and drummer Dairoku Seki (envy) coming together to deliver brisk and aggressive prog metal centered around chugging riffs and a tension that seems to take hold in “Into the Circle” and let up only for the momentary “Interlude” in the midsection before closer “Ghosts of Mt. Sleepwalker” finally allows for some exhalation. As for the guest spots, they’re nothing to complain about, and they break up the proceedings nicely placed as they are, but if Storm of Void are going to hook you, it’s going to be on their own merits, which are plentiful.

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Hostess Entertainment website

 

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