Review & Full Album Premiere: Spacetrucker, Smooth Orbit

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

spacetrucker smooth orbit

[Click play above to stream Spacetrucker’s Smooth Orbit in its entirety. Album is out Aug. 17.]

There’s a lot about St. Louis trio Spacetrucker that points to their being a classic stoner rock band. For one, their name. Also, their sound. But it goes further than that as well and into their presentation. Looking at the cover of their self-released debut full-length, Smooth Orbit, it’s in their use of the Star Wars logo font, as well as the literal depiction of “space truckin’ round the stars,” as Deep Purple once put it, with a tricked out van riding around the rings of Saturn. Charm is a factor, certainly, but it was as well when this style of heavy, fuzz-drenched rock took hold in the late ’90s informed by grunge, punk and its own disaffection. The difference between that moment and this one, of course, is 20 years, and accordingly, guitarist/vocalist Mike Owen, bassist/vocalist Rob Wagoner and drummer Del Toro have an entire generation — two, really — to learn from when it comes to their style.

One thinks of Man’s Ruin Records acts like Tummler or Suplecs as stylistic touchstones. Bands who were obviously aware of the likes of Fu ManchuKyuss, etc., but ready to bring something of their own to what had come before. Spacetrucker, who further echo this era by making their first record the CD-style length of 10 songs and 52 minutes, are likewise looking to bring a nuance to the genre, and one can hear it surfacing in songs like “Meat Wagon,” the raw-hitting “Hotbox Airlock,” and shorter instrumental passages like the raging “Breach,” the jammed-out “Fuck Up” and “Cat March,” which has sampled marching that may or may not actually be recorded cats in a litter box. They succeed in hitting that mark, ultimately, and their debut explores a range of crunch and groove from the nodding push in the first half of “Vanishing Point/Science of Us” with its over-the-top guitar solo to the sudden turn at 5:27 into the total 7:33 to acoustic strum and percussion. On first listen, one might just think it’s a different song entirely. Nope, it’s just Spacetrucker going where they want to go.

Balancing that impulse with more familiar aesthetic elements — the fuzz, the roll, the sheer dayjob-respite vibe that pervades the chugging “Pulling Teeth” or second cut “Not as Hung” — is one of Smooth Orbit‘s greater strengths, and it is found right down to the tones of Owen and Wagoner and the grit that coincides with their engaging riffage. I think we’re early yet to call it retro and the production is modern anyway, but Spacetrucker clearly know the style they want to play — that is, they sound like fans — and are able to translate that into their own work. The bass after the siren in “Breach,” the subtle sprawl that contradicts the start-stop riff as opener “Sample of a Sample” makes it way toward its apex, or the way the bookend closer “Lost in the Sauce” eases into its slower progression, a final nod-out as the band builds to a suitably raucous finish, ending — how could they not — with an explosion that signals more than just the end of the record.

spacetrucker

By then, Spacetrucker have made their intentions plain — the sampled bonghit in “Hotbox Airlock” tells its fair share of the story — and their intentions are, in fact, pretty plain. They’re not looking to reinvent rock and roll. It isn’t about getting that gig at the art gallery. It’s straight-ahead heavy rock and roll. There are flashes of psychedelic rock and grunge is always there and the pot they’re stirring wants nothing for ingredients in general, but at their core, Owen, Wagoner and Del Toro are a heavy rock band, and they present themselves as such with zero pretense otherwise. They know you know, and you know they know you know. That does nothing to stop them from delivering a quality batch of tunes that seems to nod at The Pixies early in “Meat Wagon” as comfortable as the gravely vocals recall Nirvana in the verses that soon follow. Likewise, as they make their way through the instrumental “Fuck Up,” their ability to vary the structures in their material goes even further toward offering diversity of sound.

At the same time, that manner of breaking up one means of craft with another — this applies to the overarching impact made by “Breach” and “Cat March” as well — enhances the flow between the tracks where otherwise it might interrupt them more than anything. Spacetrucker gave an encouraging first showing on 2016’s Launch Sequence (review here), and they build on that effectively with this initial full-length. What seems to be most important in their work is the element of personality they bring to it. I don’t think “Hotbox Airlock” makes it out of ‘working title’ status if a band doesn’t have a sense of humor, and that’s important, but I’m talking even more about the stylistic blend that Spacetrucker bring to bear throughout the songs themselves. It’s not just about goofing off with riffs, but there’s still the definite impression that they’re having and good time, and well they should.

This kind of hyper-down-to-earth heavy rock and roll is the stuff on which the genre was made, and long before that hypothetical art gallery was even booking loud bands, three-pieces of this ilk were blowing out eardrums with the kind of abandon that Spacetrucker embody so fluidly today. It would be fair to call them traditional in that sense, but if I hope to have gotten any single point across here, it’s that there’s more going on than performance of genre. In their sonic persona and their presentation overall, Spacetrucker not only hearken to a bygone era of heavy rock, but they thereby find a niche for themselves not only within that, but in the modern sphere of aesthetic heft. That speaks to a drive toward individualism in terms of sound, which only bodes well for them going forward, and is another among the many encouraging aspects of this debut. It seems fair to expect some level of progression next time around as their influences get melded further together and so on, but these guys already know where they want to be on the heavy spectrum, and they’ve got their boogie van headed right for it.

Spacetrucker on Thee Facebooks

Spacetrucker on Bandcamp

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Hyborian on Tour with Weedeater Now; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I wish I had a title like ‘heavy metal riff machine.’ Best I can come up with is ‘dude who wakes up at 1:30 in the morning to write reviews,’ and frankly I don’t think that’s a title anyone wants. Kudos, then, to Kansas City’s Hyborian for earning that banner which they’re currently flying on tour with Season of Mist labelmates Weedeater. The run has been on for a few days, and it will take them into April, but they’ve got new fest dates booked in May and June as they continue to support the reissue of their Vol. 1 debut album on their already-noted new label home.

Hyborian also have a brand new video for the track “Maelstrom” that you can see below. It was directed by vocalist and guitarist Martin Bush.

Next time you’re looking for a definition of “up and coming,” here you go. Take it from me. I’ve been up since 1:30:

hyborian

HYBORIAN announce festival appearances, add new tour dates

Kansas City-based heavy metal riff machine HYBORIAN (Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals, Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals, Justin Rippeto – Drums, and Anthony Diale – Bass) have announced new festival appearances in the months to come. HYBORIAN will appear at Kansas City’s Rock Fest on June 2nd alongside FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, and more. Additionally, HYBORIAN will play at Vintage Torque Fest in Dubuque Iowa on May 5. More information about Torque Fest can be found here. These two festival appearances follow the band’s previously announced North American tour alongside label-mates WEEDEATER. A full list of confirmed tour dates, including new shows in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois can be found below.

HYBORIAN are touring in support of their acclaimed debut album ‘Vol. 1’. The album is streaming here.

‘Vol. 1’ is available across CD and limited edition LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop now.

HYBORIAN have been touring extensively since their 2015 formation. In addition to tours with GODMAKER and on their own, they have supported the likes of POWER TRIP, ACID KING, MUTOID MAN, WEEDEATER, IRON REAGAN, VEKTOR, WHORES and many more in the Midwest.

HYBORIAN TOUR DATES
Jun. 2 Kansas City, MI @ Kansas City Speedway (Rock Fest)
May 4 Dubuque, IA @ Fairgrounds (Vintage Torque Fest)

The “God Luck and Good Speed” tour w/ WEEDEATER and BASK
Mar. 21 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Mar. 22 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Mar. 23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo
Mar. 24 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Mar. 25 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Mar. 27 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies
Mar. 28 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mar. 29 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Mar. 30 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
Mar. 31 Little Rock, AR @ Whitewater
Apr. 1 New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
Apr. 2 Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits
Apr. 3 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
Apr. 4 Asheville, NC @ Oddotorium *
Apr. 6 Champaign, IL @ Loose Cobra *
*No WEEDEATER

https://www.facebook.com/HyborianRock/
https://hyborianrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist

Hyborian, Vol. I (2017)

Hyborian, “As Above, so Below” official video

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Fister Set April 27 Release for No Spirits Within; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

fister

Who’s up for a bit of punishment? Hmm? Anyone? If you found yourself answering in the affirmative, I’ll point you directly to the bottom of this post, where you can dig right into the bowl-you-over sludge extremity of Fister‘s new single, “Star Swallower,” and its accompanying, bound-to-induce-a-seizure-via-its-flashing-lights video. The song hails from the Missouri (pronounced “misery”)-based trio’s upcoming long-player, No Spirit Within, which ironically enough is being issued by Listenable Records. Go figure on that one.

The song closes the album and ends here on a fade, but even that somehow feels violent in its intent, so if you’ve got headphones nearby and want to give your brain a kick in the pants just to show it who’s boss, then yeah, have at it.

Album is out April 27 (maybe sometime in May in the US?) and preorders are up now. From the PR wire:

fister no spirit within

FISTER: Debilitating Doom Merchants To Unleash No Spirit Within Full-Length Via Listenable Records; “Star Swallower” Video Now Playing

Missouri-based doom merchants FISTER will unleash the earth-rupturing fruits of their No Spirit Within full-length this spring via Listenable Records. Manifesting a sound so poisonous, polluted, and nihilistic that “sludge,” “doom,” “funeral,” and “death” are the only words close to suitable in description, the Midwestern outfit are overpowering and relentless at a city-leveling volume like a Sisyphean artillery brigade cursed to push two hundred tons of speaker cabinets uphill forever. No Spirit Within was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Gabe Usery at Encapsulated Studios in St. Louis and will be released via Listenable Records in Europe on April 17th followed by a US street date of May 18th.

A video for closing track “Star Swallower,” created by Chariot Of Black Moth, is currently playing. Comments bassist/vocalist Kenny Snarzyk, “‘Star Swallower’ follows in the tradition of our Violence EP and ‘Horror Vacui’ from our split 7″ with Norska. It’s about the slow death of this universe that mankind will neither be around to fear or appreciate.”

FISTER’s No Spirit Within will see release on CD, LP, and cassette formats. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION.

No Spirit Within Track Listing:
1. Frozen Scythe
2. Disgraced Possession
3. Cazador
4. I Am Kuru
5. No Spirit Within
6. Heat Death
7. Star Swallower

Hailing from the confluence of infectious disease, arbitrary violence, and rivers of industrial filth that is St. Louis, Missouri, FISTER has been sublimating their brutally toxic environment into a deliberate and belligerent challenge to the eardrums since 2009. Comprised of drummer Kirk Gatterer, guitarist/vocalist Marcus Newstead, and Kenny Snarzyk on bass and vocals, this trio converts an eclectic swarm of extreme metal influences into the sonic analogue of trench warfare, concussive, bloody, and exhausting. Honed to grisly sharpness through years of performance, they have shared stages with countless musicians, including supporting sludge icons Eyehategod and Crowbar and appearances at the SXSW, Psycho Las Vegas, and Roadburn festivals. Pairing their seismic live offerings with more than a dozen releases, they have literally poured their blood into the work along the way – for their 2012 EP Violence, the band members had blood drawn and mixed with the ink used to print the liner notes.

From the hazy bulldozer bongripping of debut LP Bronsonic to 2015’s impossibly dismal IV, a gruesome and lysergic forty-four-minute long single track that tests the limits of adjectives like heavy or bleak, their sound is continually (d)evolving. Consistently finding new ways to hit bottom in a sequence of splits with fellow underground juggernauts Dopethrone, Primitive Man, and Teeth among others, FISTER has emerged as one of the nastiest strains of doom metal, adept at fusing the narcotic tension of drowning in misery with the planet-splitting intensity of devout amplifier worship.

http://www.facebook.com/fisterdoom
http://www.listenable.net
http://www.facebook.com/listenablerecs
http://www.twitter.com/Listenable

Fister, “Star Swallower”

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Merlin, The Wizard: Reedy Conjurings

Posted in Reviews on March 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

merlin the wizard

Generally speaking, I’m not one for writing off entire genres of music whatever that genre might happen to be, but there comes a time in every listener’s life when they invariably have to ask themselves one crucial question: “Is this ska?” A few years back, when everyone was on the collective dudely-parts of The Budos Band, I took a listen, stopped, asked myself that very question, and found that the answer was yes. Needless to say, it was the last time I listened to that particular group. I’m sorry. Everyone has a sound they can’t relate to — for some it’s country, for others it’s heavy metal — and for me, it’s ska. But, when I heard that Kansas City doom rockers Merlin had acquired a saxophonist/second guitarist in Stu Kersting for their fourth full-length, The Wizard — it’s also their first outing with Chase Thayer on bass — I wasn’t necessarily too nervous about it.

The band has always had kind of a weirdo streak, always geared themselves toward storytelling, but as the remaining founders in the lineup, vocalist Jordan Knorr, guitarist/keyboardist Carter Lewis and drummer Caleb Wyles expand from a four-piece to a five- and push into this new sax-laden sonic territory, it once again became necessary to listen to the seven-track/39-minute The Wizard (released by The Company) and ask myself if what I was hearing was ska. Is The Wizard ska? No. It’s not. It’s doom rock with a saxophone. Oh, and a guest appearance of trumpet on opener “Abyss.” That’s it though. Still not ska.

Admittedly, that would’ve been a fascinating if unfortunate sonic turn for Merlin to have made three albums deep. Their last outing, 2016’s Electric Children (review here), was arguably their darkest, and as they returned to Bert Liber to record, collaborate on the mix, and master The Wizard, one can only consider the shift in vibe a conscious decision. Liber (who also donates that trumpet guest spot), working in conjunction with the band, is no mess masterful in setting the depth and spaciousness of The Wizard‘s mix than he was on Electric Children, and songs like the buzzing, tense, guitar and key led “Gravelord” (premiered here) benefit immensely from the space they’re provided in which to flourish. Likewise, the pairing of shimmering guitar and horn on opener “Abyss” immediately sets a different tone than anything Merlin have collectively conjured before, swinging, deftly arranged, and no, still not ska.

merlin logo

Also worth taking into consideration when thinking of The Wizard‘s overall spirit is that at 39 minutes, it’s about 12 minutes shorter than its predecessor, and as it moves through songs like the thudding atmo-jazz of “Sage’s Crystal Staff” or the organ-and-wah laced catchy centerpiece “Golem” and the subsequent post-“Hand of Doom” stonerism of “Iron Borne,” en route to the extended “The Wizard Suite” 11-minute finale, which includes chanting repetitions of “I am the wizard,” a King Crimson-style chase, begins with All Them Witches-style guitar shimmer and resolves itself in chug of increasing tempo that leads to a final crescendo of guitar and sax working together around a twisting progression that ends with thuds and the line “I am the wizard” repeated once more, a quick-fading echo being the last sound of the record itself as it makes a cold finish, having come a long way even from the two-and-a-half-minute galloping doom insistence of “Tarantula Hawk” just prior. All of this, delivered with a tighter approach, gives the listener more to grasp onto as they make their way through.

Aside from its sound, overarching sonic dynamic and willful shift in texture, another key difference in The Wizard is a return on the part of the band to a narrative sphere, from which Electric Children departed after the band followed a storytelling course on 2014’s Christkiller LP (review here). That either matters a lot or not at all depending on how much a given listener wants to interact with this material — for what it’s worth I know nothing of the plot and have received no word of what The Wizard is about (one assumes there’s a wizard in there somewhere); presumably that’s the kind of info one would find in liner notes absent from a digital release but present with a vinyl or CD — but it says something of Merlin‘s overarching progression that they so readily allow for both levels of engagement on the part of their audience.

I’ve been hesitant to call them progressive before — am significantly less so after that blatant “21st Century Schizoid Man” reference in “The Wizard Suite” — but there can be no question that The Wizard brings their sound to new places for them and offers something in style and substance that none of their previous work has offered. That’s not just about the sax, though certainly that’s part of it, but also in the level of songcraft, and the spirit of sureness guiding the listener across various sonic changes, Merlin sound rife with confidence, and especially for a band who’ve put out four long-players over the course of a five-year (to-date) run with singles and other releases posted besides, their level of growth has been underscored by a consistency of songwriting quality that, even here, as they push farther out than they’ve ever pushed before, remains perhaps the most crucial aspect of who they are as a band. The Wizard has its novelty, sure, but fascinates well beyond that, and maybe most important of all, it is in no way, shape or form a ska release. Whew.

Merlin The Wizard (2018)

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

Merlin on Bandcamp

The Company webstore

The Company on Thee Facebooks

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Merlin Premiere “Gravelord”; The Wizard Available to Preorder

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on December 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

merlin

Dramatic Kansas City heavy rockers Merlin release their new album, The Wizard, on Jan. 26 via The Company. With it, the band’s passions for sax and storytelling are revitalized in a fashion they haven’t presented since 2014’s Christ Killer (review here), their sophomore outing.  2016’s Electric Children (review here), then, may have been something of a detour in terms of approach, but either way, the thematic take is renewed here in songs like “Sage’s Crystal Staff,” “Gravelord,” “Iron Borne” and the 11-minute finale “The Wizard Suite,” which rounds out with insistent declarations of “I am the wizard” that come across remarkably like death throes.

And maybe they are — I don’t know. The plot of Merlin‘s latest opus remains something of a mystery, but their sound intrigues as ever, and The Wizard is available to preorder merlin gravelordfrom The Company as of today. To mark the occasion, I’ve been given permission to host a premiere for “Gravelord,” which you’ll find below in all its ragged and momentum-driven tidings. On the record, its garage-fuzz assault directly follows opener “Abyss,” and in comparison to cuts like the wah-drenched “Golem” or “Sage’s Crystal Staff,” it’s one of the more straightforward cuts The Wizard presents, with a strong foundation in its hook that forms the basis of what surrounds, which as ever feels chaotic and theatrical without ever actually losing its sense of craft.

That, to-date, has been Merlin‘s specialty. They revel in these dark, oft-obscured themes and take a correspondingly bizarre and quirky approach to songwriting, but they absolutely pull it off every time. Part psychedelia, part classic doom, part heavy rock, they refute easy classification and instead bask in a series of sonic turns that keep the listener attentive and guessing all the while. Don’t expect “Gravelord” to speak for the entirety of The Wizard, but do expect it to rock.

And please enjoy:

Merlin, “Gravelord” official premiere

Chapter II: Gravelord

In the Wizards absence, the world he had once protected has fallen victim to three ancient lords: The Gravelord, The Golem and the Atronach. The Gravelord being the Lord of the Dead has begun tainting the land of the living with his army of the undead…

It’s been 4 long years since Merlin’s last conceptual album, Christ Killer was released. In that time of chaos, band members have came and gone, the cast has changed, equipment has broke, alliances were created and a whole lot of rituals have been performed from KC to Psycho Las Vegas. Merlin have finally deemed it time to bring you their next concept story, The Wizard. Featuring new members Chase Thayer on bass guitar and Stu Kersting on Saxophone and Guitar, Merlin have twisted their sound even further into the realms of the mystic unknown and unfamiliar territory…

Tracklisting:
1. Abyss
2. Gravelord
3. Sages Crystal Staff
4. Golem
5. Iron borne
6. Tarantula Hawk
7. The Wizard Suite

Merlin is:
Carter Lewis – Guitars, Synth
Stu Kersting – Guitars, Saxophones
Chase Thayer – Bass Player
Caleb Wyels – Percussions
Jordan Knorr – Vocals, Storytelling, Omnichord

https://www.facebook.com/MERLIN666/
Merlin on Bandcamp
http://thecompanykc.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thecompanykc

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CHRCH & Fister Release Split LP Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Do you love atmospherically switched on and utterly skull-cleaving extreme doom? Sure, we all do. One should therefore take note of tomorrow as the release date of the new split between Los Angeles soulcrushers CHRCH and their bet-we-can-write-an-even-longer-song scathing compatriots in Fister. Because, you now, with the cleaving and whatnot. Issued through respected purveyor Battleground Records and Crown an Throne Ltd., it’s just two tracks, but that’s frankly all you need and even franklier probably all you could stand anyway from these two litmus test outfits pushing the limits of hyperbole-worthy viciousness. Get it, get doomed.

The PR wire delivers humbling brutality:

chrch fister split

On November 17th 2017, the stunning new split by CHRCH & Fister will be released The album consists of two tracks and will be released on limited edition vinyl via Crown and Throne Ltd and Battleground Records.

CHRCH have been hard at work crafting their particular brew of sound since late 2013. There is no image or campy gimmick to uphold, only the humble continuation and glorification of those fundamental musical elements that first built and then sustained the genre and it’s offshoots over the course of decades.

This purity and honesty comes across in a striking manner on the band’s debut ‘Unanswered Hymns’, a sprawling roller coaster of an album that plumbs the heights and depths of emotion, whether be it sorrow, loss, or redemption. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Hills at Earthtone Studios in Rocklin, CA, the recording exudes a warm, organic tone that draws the listener in to music heavily influenced by traditional doom, psych rock, drone, and ambience. CHRCH cannily wields dynamic songwriting, musicianship, and raw power to spin a spellbinding tale of occult darkness that clashes with illuminating melodies and riffs drenched in grimy reverb. Minimalistic, indulgent, or straightforward, the music of CHRCH is simply whatever the listener wants it to be.

Fister, coming off their recent reissue of “Gemini” on vinyl (Encapsulated Records), their split 7″ with TEETH (Broken Limbs Recordings), and of course their last 12″ “IV” (Crown and Throne Ltd.), continues to incorporate heavy influences from the black and death metal genres into a depressing sludge spewing heaviness that many have attempted, but few have mastered.

CHRCH: Eva Rose, Chris Lemos, Adam Jennings, Ben Catchart, Shann Marriott Jr.
Fister: Kenny Snarzdk, Marcus Newstead, Krik Gatterer

https://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca/
https://www.facebook.com/fisterdoom/
http://crownandthroneltd.bigcartel.com/product/fister-chrch-split-12/
https://www.facebook.com/crownandthroneltd/
https://crownandthroneltd.bandcamp.com/
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com/product/chrch-fister-split-album
https://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords/
https://soundcloud.com/battleground-records

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Hyborian Sign to Season of Mist; Vol. I Reissue Due Early 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Kansas City riff-bruisers Hyborian initially released their debut album, Vol. I, via local imprint The Company earlier this year, and thereby cleaned the clocks of many in their path. That number includes, apparently, Season of Mist, who announce below that they’ve signed the genre-skirting four-piece and will reissue Vol. I early next year. I can think of few endorsements that ring more clearly with the message, “You did something right.” So kudos to the band on that. Clearly they did something right.

Probably all that kicking ass. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Still, even with genre intricacy behind them, they’re an interesting pickup for Season of Mist, and one wonders where exactly they’ll fit on the label’s roster — other, of course, than very likely on tour with Weedeater again. Plenty of time for such things to shake out.

The PR wire made it official:

hyborian photo robert menzer

HYBORIAN sign to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of HYBORIAN. The Kansas City-based heavy metal riff machine (Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals, Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals, Justin Rippeto – Drums, and Anthony Diale – Bass) will reissue their acclaimed debut ‘Vol. 1’ through Season of Mist in early 2018.

Regarding their signing HYBORIAN comment: “Hyborian is beyond excited to be signing with Season of Mist. SOM is home to some of our favorite bands of all time, and we feel incredibly proud to be able to work with a label that has been so very crucial to creating the landscape of modern heavy music.”

‘Vol. 1’ was recorded by the band at their self-built studio, mixed by Justin Mantooth at Westend Studios (RADKEY, GODMAKER), and mastered by Nick Zampiello (TORCHE, ISIS, OLD MAN GLOOM, TRAP THEM) at New Alliance East. It was originally released by the band (in conjunction with friends The Company KC) in March 2017 and tells the tale of an extra-dimensional, cloaked being called “The Traveller”.

The band explains the concept of ‘Vol. 1’; “Hyborian-Volume I is a collection of stories from the dawn of humanity, events that occurred before the advent of the written word. It is the first in a series of legends from different epochs as told by a figure named The Traveller. The Traveller is a being that exists outside of humanity’s understanding of space and time. He is the source of all life in the universe, but is not omnipresent. He wanders the cosmos, visiting and recording times of great strife or hardship, great suffering or great triumph. We are his chosen mouthpiece on Earth, so we relate those stories, whether from far in the past or far in the future.”

HYBORIAN have been touring extensively since their 2015 formation. In addition to tours with GODMAKER and on their own, they have supported the likes of POWER TRIP, ACID KING, MUTOID MAN, WEEDEATER, IRON REAGAN, VEKTOR, WHORES and many more in the Midwest.

https://www.facebook.com/HyborianRock/
https://hyborianrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist

Hyborian, Vol. I (2017)

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Merlin Announce New Album The Wizard Coming Soon

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

No solid release date yet from what I can tell, but Kansas City, Missouri, storytelling doom rockers Merlin are gearing up to issue their next conceptual full-length, The Wizard. Set for pressing in a vinyl edition of 300 through The Company, the band’s third full-length follows behind 2016’s Electric Children (review here), which stepped away from the narrative focus of the prior Christ Killer (review here), released in 2014. As to what the plot of The Wizard might be, I haven’t the foggiest idea, but my understanding is one exists, and that’s enough for me to go on at least for today. There’s plenty of time to figure out the rest.

I don’t know how long it takes to print up fancy-looking LPs these days — and goodness these are fancy looking — but an early 2018 release seems to me more likely than not. If the case turns out to be otherwise, I’ll let you know, and either way, I’ll hope to have more on the record, like a review, before it hits, so keep an eye out.

Everyone’s happy when this one walks by:

merlin the wizard vinyl

It’s been 4 long years since Merlin’s last conceptual album, Christ Killer was released. In that time of chaos, band members have came and gone, the cast has changed, equipment has broke, alliances were created and a whole lot of rituals have been performed from KC to Psycho Las Vegas. Merlin have finally deemed it time to bring you their next concept story, The Wizard. Featuring new members Chase Thayer on bass guitar and Stu Kersting on Saxophone and Guitar, Merlin have twisted their sound even further into the realms of the mystic unknown and unfamiliar territory…

Christ is dead.

The Electric children are Dead.

Long live The Wizard.

Tracklisting:
1. Abyss
2. Gravelord
3. Sage’s Crystal Stafr
4. Golem
5. Iron Borne
6. Tarantula Hawk
7. The Wizard Suite

Cast:
Carter Lewis – Guitars, Synth
Stu Kersting – Guitars, Saxophones
Chase Thayer – Bass Player
Caleb Wyels – Percussions
Jordan Knorr – Vocals, Storytelling, Omnichord

Mastered by Bret Liber
Recorded at Red Roof Productions
Mixed by Bret Liber and Merlin
Album Art – Nikki Fenn Art
Album Layout – Josh Wilkinson
https://www.facebook.com/MERLIN666/
Merlin on Bandcamp
http://thecompanykc.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thecompanykc

Merlin, Electric Children (2016)

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