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!

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Clara Engel, Songs for Leonora Carrington

clara-engel-songs-for-leona-carrington

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

alastor-blood-on-satans-claw

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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Deadly Vipers, Fueltronaut

deadly-vipers-fueltronaut

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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Storm of Void, War Inside You

storm-of-void-war-inside-you

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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Tronald Capture the Unhinged Moment in “Obelisk ov Hash” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tronald

Hell’s bells, you’re a thinking, considered and considerate individual, and therefore you don’t need the likes of me to tell you these are strange days in which we’re living. You read the news. You’re informed. You have opinions. Me too, and well, it’s not going to do any good to get myself all worked up laying them out for you here. If you want catharsis, though, history has shown time and again that any number of creative endeavors can provide, and listening through to the 20-minute self-titled EP from Manchester, UK, newcomers Tronald on APF Records, that seems to be exactly what’s playing out.

With Tronald, Charlie Seisay and Andy Preece aren’t so much trying to make sense of the absurd era in which we find ourselves embroiled, when basic fact is no longer a given in the face of media manipulation and outright lies go unchallenged. Hearing the chaos they and a slew of guest vocalists from outfits like Boss Keloid and Under, among others, elicit on songs like the lumbering “Vegan Gains” and the punk-grinding “Get Your Grubby Hands off My Bennell” — not to mention the eponymous plod of the title-track or rolling mass of the subsequent “Boss Keloid are Shit” — they seem rather to be simply trying to work their way through understanding what’s happening in the world around then by representing and inhabiting the chaos they see.

The longest song on the release is “Obelisk ov Hash” at five minutes flat and it bashes out its sludgy extremity with ferocious abandon. Vocals are largely indecipherable growls or spacious howling. Riffs are utterly ruthless and consuming, and whether the track is political or not in its nature — one expects not — much like the scorching finale “Burgled Senseless” or “Dlanort,” on which the only vocals are samples, including the current US president talking about how much winning his lapping-it-up audience is going to be doing, it feeds into an atmosphere of the unhinged in which anything can happen and it all seems to manifest one kind of violence or another. It would be a genuine challenge to think of something timelier than that.

Tronald‘s Tronald is out now. You’ll find the clip for “Obelisk ov Hash” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Whatever side of whatever argument you’re on, please enjoy:

Tronald, “Obelisk ov Hash” official video

TRONALD is a new entity formed in Manchester in early 2017. The project is spearheaded by musicians Charlie Seisay and Andy Preece (Under, Halfling’s Leaf, Thing) who decided to create the heaviest, gnarliest most down-tuned and distorted heavy music they could possibly commit to tape. Tronald is set to release its debut self-titled EP on September 30th on APF Records.

Tronald works as a collective, inviting other vocalists and musicians to guest on each track. On their eponymous first release the guest singers are members of popular North-West England acts The Hyena Kill (Steven Dobb), Boss Keloid (Alex Hurst), Mower (Jared Tuck), Under (Matt Franklin) and Riggots (Martin Battle). The sound of Tronald is colossally heavy, built on low tunings and distortion. The EP weaves in elements of Sludge Metal, Doom and Noise Rock over its 20 minute run time.

‘Tronald’ will be available as a stunning 6-panel digipak CD designed by Sam Yates of Ingested. Strictly limited edition of 100, all individually numbered. The EP will also be available in digital format. Tronald is set to play some select live performances across 2018, aiming to bring together the guest vocalists and musicians where possible. The first of such shows will be the APF Records Showcase at Ruby Lounge, Manchester on 3rd February 2018.

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Crippled Black Phoenix Announce Summer Festival Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I consider myself pretty fortunate to have seen Crippled Black Phoenix last month at Roadburn 2017, and all the more so as the long-running UK gloom merchants were there supporting their latest full-length, Bronze (review here), which crosses genre lines as easily as it moves from measure to measure within its tracks. Also the band’s first long-player to be delivered via Season of Mist, it’ll get further live representation throughout the next couple months as Crippled Black Phoenix take part in another slew of festivals, including Hellfest in France and Night of the Prog in Germany. Looks like they’ve got a couple club shows besides, so they should be plenty busy, and as we head into July and August, I wouldn’t be surprised if more shows were forthcoming as well. Always a busy Fall fest season to consider.

For now, here’s the latest from the PR wire:

crippled-black-phoenix-euro-tour

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce European summer tour

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have announced a European summer festival tour. The band will kick off their tour at Hellfest in France on June 18, and continue through select dates in June, July, and August. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

Regarding the tour, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “Hello rockers! We are stoked to bring a fine selection of our songs to you this summer. Make sure to catch our shows this time round; we are not the most touring band. See you in the sun!”

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are touring in support of their new album, ‘Bronze’. ‘Bronze’, a slow-burning mix of unique and soaring post-rock, is streaming here. ‘Bronze’ is available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have released an animated music video for the track “Scared and Alone”, off their recently released full-length, ‘Bronze’. The video was animated by Costin Chioreanu (GHOST, OPETH).

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX
Jun. 18 Clisson (FR) @ Hellfest
Jun. 19 Liege (BE) @ La Zone (+Trap Them)
Jun. 20 Wiesbaden (DE) @ Schlachthof (+Trap Them)
Jun. 21 Segrate (IT) @ SoloMacello Fest
Jun. 23 Aarau (CH) @ Kiff (+Trap Them +Ghost Bath)
Jun. 24 München (DE) @ Saint Helena Festival
Jul. 14 Sankt Goarshausen (DE) @ Night of the Prog
Aug. 4 Raversbeuren (DE) @ Lott-Festival

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Crippled Black Phoenix, “Scared and Alone” official video

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Dead Sea Apes to Release Sixth Side of the Pentagon April 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dead-sea-apes-Photo-by-Tom-Humphreys

I’m going to make the narrow-minded assumption there’s some relation between Dead Sea Apes‘ upcoming fourth album, Sixth Side of the Pentagon, and their prior 2015 outing, Spectral Domain (review here), the 11-minute closer of which bore the same title. Does that necessarily mean it has anything in common with what seems to be a four-parter semi-title-track here? Nope, because this is psychedelia and sometimes shit gets really weird, but it’s worth pointing out as a starting point either way.

If you’d like something a little more concrete to go on — and fair enough if you would — the band are streaming the track “Tentacles (The Machine Rolls On)” as we speak, and you can check that out at the bottom of this very post, under the info below from the PR wire.

Dig it:

dead-sea-apes-sixth-side-of-the-pentagon

Dead Sea Apes – Sixth Side Of The Pentagon

Dead Sea Apes release their fourth studio album Sixth Side Of The Pentagon through Cardinal Fuzz and Sky Lantern Records.

Since their inception in 2009, Manchester trio Dead Sea Apes have ploughed a decidedly psychedelic furrow regarding their penchant for consciousness-altering guitar/bass/drums workouts. Yet they have always been decidedly nonconformist and experimental too, never easily fitting into a “psychedelic scene” like so many of their contemporaries. New album Sixth Side Of The Pentagon sees this bent towards experimentation further examined and explored.

Taking concepts from the track of the same name on their previous album, Sixth Side Of The Pentagon grows these ideas into fully formed dub cultures. Possibly reflecting recent political and economic events, the mood has darkened further like a carbon-stained post-industrial skyline: basslines bubble over with a dub-frenzy of fluid proficiency, alienated shards of guitar sear into your cortex and disorientating notes of insectoid electronics float in and out of the mix amid haunting echoes. Think Metal Box-era PIL and hints of early Cabaret Voltaire fused with the rolling liquid sound that Dead Sea Apes have made their own, while spoken word contributions by the artist and writer Adam Stone add a new dimension of theoretical engagement.

Sixth Side Of The Pentagon is released by Cardinal Fuzz in the UK and Sky Lantern Records in the US on vinyl, CD, cassette and download.

Tracklisting:
1. The Map Is Not The Territory
2. The Sixth Side version I
3. Low Resolution
4. The Sixth Side version II
5. Pale Anxieties
6. Nerve Centre
7. The Sixth Side version III
8. Lo Res
9. Tentacles (The Machine Rolls On)
10. The Sixth Side version IV
11. Rectifier

releases April 3, 2017

Music by Savage/Harris/Hardman
Words by Adam Stone (tks 5 & 9)
Vocals by Hannah Grasskamp (tk 6)
Produced by Dead Sea Apes
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Hardman

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Dead Sea Apes, “Tentacles (The Machine Rolls On)”

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Crippled Black Phoenix Post “Scared and Alone” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 13th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

UK progressive atmospheric rockers Crippled Black Phoenix are currently embroiled in a European tour supporting their new album and Season of Mist full-length debut, Bronze. I’ll admit I’ve been somewhat hesitant to dig fully into the record, both because it’s been a while since I really engaged with the band — despite being way into their debut, A Love of Shared Disasters (now 10 years old), and subsequent offerings, 2009’s 200 Tons of Bad Luck (discussed here) and 2010’s I, Vigilante (discussed here), I’ve basically missed the boat on everything they’ve done since; something I hope to correct at the Roadburn 2017 merch table unless the dollar exchange tanks against the euro — and because Bronze has not at all seemed like it requires a significant emotional investment on the part of the listener.

To wit, the depression chronicle “Scared and Alone,” a nine-minute cut that appears later in the album and has a new video put together by respected Romanian animator/designer Costin Chioreanu. In its atmospheric depth and melodic current, the song works in direct defiance of any genre sensibility, for which it’s to be commended, but the overarching melancholic spirit is as affecting as it is sonically rich. This is not in itself a negative. One thinks of acts in the depressive tradition — labelmates Sólstafir, the middle-period work of Crippled Black Phoenix‘s UK countrymen Anathema, and so on — and the breadth that “Scared and Alone” conjures seems duly lush and patient, moody in all the right ways. That doesn’t mean, however, that the song isn’t perhaps putting the listener in a position to confront aspects of their self that, when not ignored, make the day harder to get through.

My own emotional cowardice notwithstanding, both song and video are gorgeous, the lyrics and vocals of Belinda Kordic and instrumental arrangement from Justin Greaves coming together to create a genuine sense of place over the course of the nine-minute run, which Chioreanu is bold enough to tackle head-on. If you’re also feeling so brave, you’ll find the clip followed by some comment from Greaves and the band’s tour dates below.

Enjoy:

Crippled Black Phoenix, “Scared and Alone” official video

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have released an animated music video for the track “Scared and Alone”, off their recently released full-length, ‘Bronze’. The video was animated by Costin Chioreanu (GHOST, OPETH).

Regarding the video, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founder Justin Greaves comments, “Costin Chioreanu has created an amazing clip. His animation fits so very well that this can only come from someone, who truly understands the feeling behind this song. It is not an easy thing to connect with so I have nothing but respect and praise for Costin. ‘Scared and Alone’ speaks volumes about being cut off from the outside world and other people when the ‘Black Dog’ bites. Depression, anxiety and mental health are becoming bigger issues and when someone speaks up, it opens a door for other people to get things off their mind. Belinda wrote the lyrics as well as doing the vocals for ‘Scared and Alone’ and she did not need to be given any direction. As always, she took the title and the music and shaped the most real and heartfelt words into a very poetic form. I am deeply satisfied with the way everything turned out, both sonically and visually.”

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX
w/PUBLICIST UK, THE DEVIL’S TRADE
Dec. 13 Zürich (CH) @ Werk 21
Dec. 14 München (DE) @ Feierwerk, Kranhalle
Dec. 15 Budapest (HU) @ Dürer Kert
Dec. 16 Wien (AT) @ Arena
Dec. 17 Tübingen (DE) @ Sudhaus
Dec. 18 Dresden (DE) @ Scheune
Dec. 19 Warszawa (PL) @ Progresja
Dec. 20 Berlin (DE) @ Lido
Dec. 21 Köln (DE) @ Underground

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX at Roadburn
Apr. 20 Tilburg (NL) @ O13

Crippled Black Phoenix on Thee Facebooks

Crippled Black Phoenix on Bandcamp

Season of Mist website

Season of Mist on Thee Facebooks

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Nomad and Mower Announce UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

With five dates, it’s more than a weekender — one even tends to think of a long-weekender as three or four shows — but still under the full-week tour, but Nomad and Mower will head out together either way from their home-base in Manchester, England, playing in London, Nottingham, Coventry and Sheffield as well as finishing with a gig in their native city. Both go supporting EP releases — Nomad‘s latest having come out last year and Mower‘s debut earlier in 2016 — and both promise one thing for which the UK scene is becoming increasingly known: Riffs. It’s a pretty riffy time over there. Bands gots riffs. Only fair to spread that love around a bit.

Also, this is the press release that taught me the word “Mancunian,” which apparently means “of or related to the city of Manchester, England.” I’ve had plenty of conversations about Manchester — Lee from The Sleeping Shaman comes from there — and never heard that word before. Thanks, the PR wire. I learned something today.

Dig it:

nomad-mower-tour-poster

Sludgers Nomad announce UK tour with fellow Mancunians Mower

Mancunian underground heroes Nomad have announced a UK tour for this September and are taking relative newcomers Mower with them. Since forming in 2012, Mancunian sludge four-piece Nomad have shared stages with the likes of EyeHateGod, Conan and Bongripper. Metalheads in the north west of England are under no illusions as to the ferocity of their live shows.

Frontman Drian Nash is known for tempering his confrontational performances with a self-deprecating Manc sense of humour, firmly establishing Nomad at the heart of Manchester’s burgeoning stoner/doom scene. This tour will be an opportunity for rifflovers from across the UK to see how Nomad have achieved their unrivalled reputation within such a competitive scene in England’s north west.

Their debut EP (released in 2014 by renowned underground label When Planets Collide) was followed by a split EP with Wort released by Red Valley Records the following year. Nomad frontman Drian: “It’s always a blast playing with the Mower guys so this tour should have enough planet-sized riffs and carnage to be lasting us. We are sharing the stage with some of our favourite bands along the way? Elephant tree, Iron Swan and Kurokuma. Also Stoked to get to finish it all off with a huge party in our hometown. That’s if we don’t crash into a mountain in a big ball of fire blasting Toto and sipping cocktails.”

Relative newcomers Mower are a doom/noise trio from nearby Wigan whose debut EP “Meathead”, released at the start of this year, is already turning heads. As a live presence they’ll be known by attendees of MammothFest, Tombstones all-dayer and RiffFest as a band not to miss on what will be their first gigs in a number of cities outside of Manchester.

Vocalist Jay says of the tour: “This will be our first tour, and what a way to pop the cherry, making this fine pilgrimage around the U.K, with Nomad! We’re all buzzin’ to go make some Mower-flavoured noise in other parts of the country. We also get to play some new venues with some other amazing bands, a proper privilege indeed. We shall be providing the White Russians and obscene sexual favours as thanks. Riffs await.”

With such a strong stoner/doom scene in Manchester, this tour will be an opportunity for rifflovers from across the UK to see how this scene’s stalwarts have achieved their unrivalled reputation alongside with one of the area’s most exciting new prospects.

14th September The Unicorn London
15th September The Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham
16th September The Phoenix Coventry
17th September Mulberry Underground Sheffield
18th September Rebellion Manchester

https://www.facebook.com/Nomaddoom
https://www.facebook.com/mowerdoom
https://nomaddoom.bandcamp.com
https://mower13.bandcamp.com/

Nomad & Mower tour promo video

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