Review & Track Premiere: Vinnum Sabbathi & Cegvera, The Good Earth is Dying Split

Posted in audiObelisk on November 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vinnum sabbathi cegvera the good earth is dying split cover

[Click play above to hear the premieres of ‘Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying)’ and ‘Arrival/Colonia’ from Vinnum Sabbathi and Cegvera’s The Good Earth is Dying split. LP, CD and DL are released Dec. 10 on Stolen Body Records.]

For as long as humanity has been willing to acknowledge its existence — a substantially shorter amount of time than humanity has known about it — space has represented a reason to hope. The question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe — spoiler alert: nope — and whether we might someday wander among the stars has been a central fuel burnt by science and science-fiction alike. But nothing is apolitical, and with their new split release, Vinnum Sabbathi and Cegvera remind that at best, interplanetary exploration and even colonization can only be a temporary fix without real, substantive changes to what it means to be human. The five-track/33-minute The Good Earth is Dying paints a grim picture that only seems suitable when one looks at shifting weather patterns, melting permafrost, rising sea levels, floating garbage islands and dying coral reefs, and though there are no lyrics, in the titles of its instrumental pieces, the offering brings the two bands together to work around the common theme. A narrative arc is followed that takes human beings deeper into space than we’ve ever gone before, only to find, colonize and destroy yet another world, having learned nothing from the collapsing of earth’s ecosystem that caused us to leave in the first place.

Samples from NASA documentaries pervade Vinnum Sabbathi‘s “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre,” and the transition with “Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying)” involves both bands before Cegvera — who also see Vinnum Sabbathi drummer Gerardo Arias move to guitar to play on their portion — get underway with “Arrival/Colonia,” before moving into “Depletion/Overshoot” and the inevitable-seeming “Collapse/Aftermath.” The ease with which the two lineups come together emphasizes a central characteristic of The Good Earth is Dying, which is just how much the two bands are working toward the same ends, toward telling the same story instrumentally. Granted, the Mexico City and Bristol, UK, outfits have their sonic disparities, with Vinnum Sabbathi centering more on crunching riffage and Cegvera shifting from sludge into most post-metallic fare, but this split was born earlier in 2018 following a tour the two groups did together in Mexico, and rather than play in competition with each other as so many splits see groups do, The Good Earth is Dying — recorded, mixed and mastered by KB at Testa Studio in León, Guanajuato — demonstrates just how much the two bands work together.

Granted, for Vinnum Sabbathi, the 13-minute “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” continues a live-recorded, should-be-compiled-into-an-LP-at-some-point-how-about-now series of tracks that has also had two prior installments on their April 2018 split with Owain and began on 2015’s split with Bar de Monjas (review here), but that song’s relation to ideas about overpopulation tie directly into the destruction of natural resources characterized in Cegvera‘s three tracks. And there’s precious little to argue with in terms of delivery from Vinnum Sabbathi either, as the band fluidly bring their stage-hewn chemistry to the studio as one would expect. Their commitment to recording live extends back through their awaited 2017 full-length debut, Gravity Works (review here), and their earlier work, and at this point it’s their standard modus. Adding samples after the fact lends further depth to the proceedings, and a studio feel is enhanced as well through the sampling on “Intermission (The Good Earth is Dying),” which ends with a recording of people laughing amid the sound of bagpipes before shifting into the quiet opening lines of “Arrival/Colonia” that soon give way to such heavy nod on the five-minute track.

Arriving on this foreign world seems to be the easy part, and things are rolling along well enough on a heavy groove as Cegvera unfold their portion of the outing, but the atmosphere only grows darker with time, and “Depletion/Overshoot” finds them exploring textures out of mournful heavy blues and airy post-rock alike before turning again to heavier riffing — some prime fuzz, that — and in what’s presumably the “Overshoot” portion in the second half of the song, an increasingly intense forward pummel. By the time they’re into the last minute, cacophony has taken full hold of the song, and they leave a final note out to hang in open space as a transition into the organ-laced final statement, “Collapse/Aftermath,” which indeed feels suitably mournful as regards humanity’s prospects for a better existence. Fair. The floating guitars that showed up in “Depletion/Overshoot” make a return over a gradually-unfurled progression that, at 90 seconds into its total 6:35, turns to a build that brings it to more densely-weighted riffing. If that’s the collapse, then the aftermath is no less engaging or heavy in its execution, and one is reminded of the ambience that Vinnum Sabbathi are able to so naturally conjure on “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” with echoing guitars and such heft of tone.

That Cegvera would seem to be so much in conversation with “HEX VIII: The Malthusian Spectre” — whether the songs were written out or the concept decided before the tour or not — is emblematic of how well the two groups sit alongside each other. With the bulk of the time belonging to the latter, there’s nonetheless room for both to offer a suitable glimpse at their overall approach while staying on-message in terms of the plotline being followed. I guess the only shame is they didn’t have it to take on tour earlier this year, but these things have a way of working out, whether Cegvera — now a duo down from the three/four-piece they are here — return to Mexico or bring Vinnum Sabbathi to the UK in a show-trade. Either way, the split stands as a document of their time on the road and what they were able to construct in terms of song and theme alike. There may or may not be hope for the future of humanity — again, spoiler alert: nope — but no one other than the willfully blind can say we didn’t see it coming, and though the future they’re imaging isn’t particularly bright, that they’re imagining it at all speaks to one aspect of our species most worth preserving.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Vinnum Sabbathi on Bandcamp

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Cegvera on Bandcamp

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Terror Cósmico Premiere “Salió del Pantano”; III out Sept. 3

Posted in audiObelisk on August 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

terror cosmico

Mexico City-based duo Terror Cósmico have a Sept. 3 digital release date for their aptly-titled third album, III. With impending CD issue via Concreto Records to follow and vinyl sometime in 2019 — presumably before they embark on a European tour in May — the two-piece of guitarist Javier Alejandre and drummer Nicolás Detta make an impression in crunch tones, hard-hit drums and a variety of atmospheres from the Earth-meets-near-traditional doom of opener “Nocturno” through the ambient-vocalized “La Cabalgata de Asmodeo” and the foreboding tension in the dirge “Hypnos.” The screams in “La Cabalgata de Asmodeo” and the growls/throatrippers later in the penultimate “Salió de Pantano” are standout moments, to be sure, but ultimately they become part of the atmosphere created by the guitar and drums, surely influenced in its most raging moments by bands like Black Cobra but having more in common in Alejandre‘s tone on “Kronosauris” with the defunct Beast in the Field, though even that comparison is a stretch as Terror Cósmico set off on the 10-minute journey that is closer “La Montaña,” a patient build that disintegrates in its second half only to ebb and flow again before its sudden cold-stop finish. There’s even some melody late in the guitar, just in case you think you might have Terror Cósmico at all figured out.

And from the rumble and spaciousness of “Nocturno” onward, the seven-track/43-minute offering never quite gives its audience a chance to be fully hypnotized. “Nocturno” has underlying movement and a subtle angularity that’s just enough to stave off trance-inducement, and just when it might begin to dull the consciousness, “Tlatecuhtli” picks up directly with a more active thrust and popping, forcefulterror cosmico iii snare work and an ultimate noise assault that’s as precise as it is tonally and rhythmically dense. It probably doesn’t need to be noted that for all their lacking a bassist there’s no shortage of low end in Alejandre‘s guitar, and as he loops through layers and tops a steady rhythm line with a scouring lead on “Kronosaurus,” the sound is indeed full and deep-running. They’re three albums in, and have several other singles and shorter-releases besides, so Detta and Alejandre have a clear sense of what they want their sound to do and the impact they want it to make, and III manifests that in both an aggressive pummel and steady-handed shifts in mood. “La Cabalgata de Asmodeo” is the centerpiece and particularly extreme in both its faster and slower stretches — and Detta does excellently in leading the way through both — but even there, Terror Cósmico remain coherent and able to slip into a second half of relatively-minimalist guitar, the residual noise fading en route to “Hypnos.”

Following behind 2015’s Devorador de Sueños and 2013’s Muerte y Transfiguración, III is a record for which genre is a thing to be manipulated to suit its own ends, not the other way around. As Terror Cósmico roll and nod through “Salió del Pantano,” which is the shortest inclusion at 4:11, the full-album flow of which that song is part becomes all the more apparent, and with “La Montaña” still to climb, there’s no loss either of the presence of the band’s delivery or the deceptive breadth they conjure in the material. Though it would seem to be a contradiction to have a two-piece that’s as expansive as it is crushing, Alejandre and Detta break the glass of expectation and use the shards to expose the raw flesh of their creation. It is a powerful and consuming release.

Below, you can stream the premiere of “Salió del Pantano,” which you’ll find on the YouTube embed followed by some more info off the PR wire. More on the European tour when I hear it, but in the meantime, please enjoy:

Terror Cósmico, “Salió del Pantano” official track premiere

An instrumental duo born in 2012 in Mexico City, Terror Cósmico is made up of guitar and drums. Even with only two instruments, the dynamics of their music lead you from mystic and harmonic passages to dark and violent cuts.

On September 2013 they released their first full-length album, “Muerte y Transiguración”, with the Mexican label Concreto Records. With this material they toured México, the U.S. and Argentina. On August 2015 they released their second album, “Devorador De Sueños” (Concreto Records), this time touring Mexico, the west coast of the US and finally Europe alongside mexican stoner metal band “Weedsnake” through 2017´s summer. In 2018 the band will release their 3rd full length album.

Third LP from the Mexico City duo, having as title the number of release “III”. The band shows 7 tracks redefining the sound they’ve had since the beginning. Recorded at Testa Studio in Leon, Guanajuato in May 2018. The tracks travel through different sonic sceneries, going through introspective ambient moods to raw and aggressive songs that mutate with each other. An album that maintains the sound of the band but has new elements, more loops and vocals without lyrics in 2 tracks. The artwork is done by Karmazid and the album will be released on September 3 in all digital platforms. Cd will be released by Mexican label Concreto Records before the end of the year and vinyl will be coedited by different labels for next year.

Terror Cósmico on Thee Facebooks

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Electric Mountain Sign to Electric Valley Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Last year, Mexico City heavy rock trio Electric Mountain released their self-titled debut album through Loud, Slow, Distorted Riffs Records, and it’s newly announced that the three-piece of GibMax and JB will make their follow-up through Electric Valley Records. Well, actually, that’s a surmise, because all the word that’s really been put out at this point is that the band has signed to the label. There’s nothing said about what will actually come out — maybe a reissue of the record they did for LSDR, or maybe something new. Maybe both? Neither? The mystery is killing me.

What matters is the fuzz, and Electric Mountain pretty much live inside of it. Their self-titled starts out with the classic stoner powerhouse push of “Free Woman” and whether it’s the ’70s-style stomp of “Dune,” the acoustic interlude “Into the Maelstrom” or the Goatsnaked riffing of “Green Mountain Side” that follows to lead into the softshoe-worthy boogie of “Down on the Road,” the THC-soaked vibe remains prevalent and there isn’t anywhere that Electric Mountain go that isn’t natural sounding and seemingly in the wheelhouse for good-time-seeking riff heads. As to what their next record might bring whenever it arrives, I’ve no idea, but if they can keep the organic production of their debut intact, they should be well on their way to carving their own niche in terms of sound and aesthetic within the genre.

The self-titled is streaming at the bottom of this post. Cool shit is happening in Mexico. Dig it:

electric mountain

Electric Valley Records is proud to announce the signing of the Mexican Stoner Rock band *** ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN ***

Electric Mountain is a Stoner Rock band born in Mexico City in 2013.

Formed by Gib (guitar – voice), Max (drums) and JB (Bass), the band gives life to a series of rock influences from the Rock of the 70’s and Stoner’s 90’s, which shake walls and floors.

His powerful riffs and heavy drums are the perfect hook to stay focused on the message of his music and receive all the energy that emanates. ?

https://www.facebook.com/TheElecMountain/
https://www.instagram.com/electricmountainband/
https://www.facebook.com/electricvalleyrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/electricvalleyrecords/
www.electricvalleyrecords.com

Electric Mountain, Electric Mountain (2017)

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Vinnum Sabbathi to Release Gravity Works in Jan.; Euro Tour in Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

vinnum-sabbathi

Been a no-brainer to look forward to Mexico City’s Vinnum Sabbathi making their full-length debut since last year when the instrumentalists issued the split with Bar de MonjasFuzzonaut (review here), and displayed such a clear penchant for flow. A new tape release for that split is in the works as well, but the real news here is that Vinnum Sabbathi‘s first album, Gravity Works, is set to come out in Jan. 2017 through Aim Down Sight Records (Germany), South American Sludge (Argentina) and LSDR Records (Mexico). As the band puts it, US distribution is in the works.

Add to that the prospect of a European run in Spring and it seems all the more like Vinnum Sabbathi are preparing to get behind the record in a big way. They don’t have dates for that tour announced yet, but from what I hear it’s coming together even now, as Gravity Works is also in the process of being mixed and mastered.

Some of the below came through a translation matrix, but I think it gets the point across:

vinnum-sabbathi-euro-tour-poster

Our first Full Album “Gravity Works” will be released on January 3rd 2017.

Gravity Works, you will see the light in January 2017 and will be available in Germany via Aim Down Sight Records, in Argentina via South American Sludge Records in Mexico via LSDR Records and we’re in talks for distribution in the USA.

As far as the re-release on cassette of Fuzzonaut, is in the process of production, will be available in Europe through The Sober Stoner and in Mexico through LSDR Records.

Thank you for all your support and patience, you have done to vinnum sabbathi.

European Fans & Promoters:
We’ll be in Europe on May-June 2017 to support our upcoming first Album “Gravity Works” and we want to play in a venue near you, so get in touch to make this happen !

mail: addendoom@hotmail.com

Vinnum Sabbathi is:
Alberto (Guitar)
Samuel (Bass)
Mico / Gerardo (Drums)
Roman (Live Samples & Synth)

https://www.facebook.com/VinnumSabbathi/
https://vinnumsabbathi.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/aimdownsightrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/SASRECORDSARGENTINA/
https://www.facebook.com/lsdrrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/The-Sober-Stoner-1622910531354744/

Vinnum Sabbathi, Fuzzonaut Split (2015)

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