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)

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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.

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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!

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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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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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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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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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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.

Tronald on Bandcamp

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APF Records webstore

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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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/deadseaapes/
https://twitter.com/deadseaapes
https://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/album/sixth-side-of-the-pentagon
http://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CardinalFuzz
https://twitter.com/cardinalfuzz

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

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