Quarterly Review: Monkey3, Asthma Castle, The Giraffes, Bask, Faerie Ring, Desert Sands, Cavalcade, Restless Spirit, Children of the Sün, Void King

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Call two friends and tell them to tell two friends to tell two friends, because the Quarterly Review has returned. This time around, it’s 50 records front to back for Fall 2019 and there are some big names and some smaller names and a whole lot of in between which is just how I like it. Between today and Friday, each day 10 album reviews will be posted in a single batch like this one, and although by Wednesday this always means I’m totally out of my mind, it’s always, always, always worth it to be able to write about so much cool stuff. So sit tight, because there’s a lot to get through and, as ever, time’s at a premium.

Thanks in advance for keeping up, and I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Monkey3, Sphere

monkey3 sphere

It’s a full-on Keanu Reeves “whoa” when opening track “Spirals” kicks in on Monkey3‘s sixth album, Sphere (released by Napalm), and that’s by no means the last one on the cinematic six-tracker. The long-running Swiss mostly-instrumentalists have been consistently, persistently underappreciated throughout their career, but whether it’s the aural scope of guitar and keys in “Axis” or the swaps between intensity and sprawl in 14-minute closer “Ellipsis,” their latest work is consuming in its sense of triumph. Even the four-minute “Ida,” which seems at first like it’s barely going to be more than an interlude, finds a thread of majestic cosmic groove and rides it for the duration, while the proggy immersion of “Prism” and the harder drive of “Mass” — not to mention that shredding solo — make the middle of the record anything but a post-hypnosis dip. I won’t pretend to know if Sphere is the record that finally gets the Lausanne four-piece the respect they’ve already well deserved, but if it was, one could only say it was for good reason. Blends of heft, progressive craft, and breadth are rarely so resonant.

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Asthma Castle, Mount Crushmore

Asthma Castle Mount Crushmore

When you call your record Mount Crushmore, you need to bring it, and much to their credit, Baltimorean sludge-rocking five-piece Asthma Castle do precisely that on their debut full-length. Issued through Hellmistress Records, the 37-minute/six-track outing is a wordplay-laced pummeler that shows as much persona in its riffing and massive groove as it does in titles like “The Incline of Western Civilization” and “The Book of Duderonomy.” Trades between early-Mastodonic twists and lumbering sludge crash add a frenetic and unpredictable feel to pieces like the title-track, while “Methlehem” trades its plod for dual-guitar antics punctuated by metallic double-kick, all the while the vocals trade back and forth between growls, shouts, cleaner shouts, the odd scream, etc., because basically if you can keep up with it, Asthma Castle wouldn’t be doing their job. One shudders to think of the amount of Natty Bo consumed during its making, but Mount Crushmore is a wild and cacophonous enough time to live up to the outright righteousness of its title. If I graded reviews, it would get a “Fuckin’ A+,” with emphasis on “fuckin’ a.”

Asthma Castle on Thee Facebooks

Hellmistress Records website

 

The Giraffes, Flower of the Cosmos

the giraffes flower of the cosmos

Some day the world will wake up and realize the rock and roll powerhouse it had in Brooklyn’s The Giraffes, but by then it’ll be too late. The apocalypse will have happened long ago, and it’ll be Burgess Meredith putting on a vinyl of Flower of the Cosmos in the New York Library as “FAKS” echoes out through the stacks of now-meaningless tomes and the dust of nuclear winter falls like snow outside the windows. The band’s tumultuous history is mirrored in the energy of their output, and yet to hear the melody and gentle fuzz at the outset of “Golden Door,” there’s something soothing about their work as well that, admittedly, “Raising Kids in the End Times” is gleeful in undercutting. Cute as well they pair that one with “Dorito Dreams” on this, their seventh record in a 20-plus-year run, which has now seen them find their footing, lose it, find it again, and in this record and songs like the masterfully frenetic “Fill up Glass” and the air-tight-tense “Like Hate” and “Romance,” weave a document every bit worthy of Mr. Meredith’s attention as he mourns for the potential of this godforsaken wasteland. Oh, what we’ll leave behind. Such pretty ruins.

The Giraffes website

The Giraffes on Bandcamp

 

Bask, III

bask iii

In the fine tradition of heavy rock as grown-up punk, North Carolina’s Bask bring progressive edge and rolling-Appalachian atmospherics to the underlying energy of III, their aptly-titled and Season of Mist-issued third album. Their foot is in any number of styles, from Baroness-style noodling to a hard twang that shows up throughout and features prominently on the penultimate “Noble Daughters II – The Bow,” but the great triumph of III, and really the reason it works at all, is because the band find cohesion in this swath of influences. They’re a band who obviously put thought into what they do, making it all the more appropriate to think of them as prog, but as “Three White Feet” and “New Dominion” show at the outset, they don’t serve any aesthetic master so much as the song itself. Closing with banjo and harmonies and a build of crash cymbal on “Maiden Mother Crone” nails the point home in a not-understated way, but at no point does III come across as hyper-theatrical so as to undercut the value of what Bask are doing. It’s a more patient album than it at first seems, but given time to breathe, III indeed comes to life.

Bask on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist on Bandcamp

 

Faerie Ring, The Clearing

fairie ring the clearing

Listening to the weighty rollout of opening cut “Bite the Ash” on Faerie Ring‘s debut album, The Clearing (on King Volume Records), one is reminded of the energy that once-upon-a-time came out of Houston’s Venomous Maximus. There’s a similar feeling of dark energy surging through the riffs and echoing vocals, but the Evansville, Indiana, four-piece wind up on a different trip. Their take is more distinctly Sabbathian on “Lost Wind” and even the swinging “Heavy Trip” lives up to its stated purpose ahead of the chugging largesse of finisher “Heaven’s End.” They find brash ground on “The Ring” and the slower march of “Somnium,” but there’s metal beneath the lumbering and it comes out on “Miracle” in a way that the drums late in “Lost Wind” seem to hint toward on subsequent listens. It’s a mix of riff-led elements that should be readily familiar to many listeners, but the sheer size and clarity of presentation Faerie Ring make throughout The Clearing makes me think they’ll look to distinguish themselves going forward, and so their first record holds all the more potential for that.

Faerie Ring on Thee Facebooks

King Volume Records on Bandcamp

 

Desert Sands, The Ascent EP

Desert Sands The Ascent

Begun as the solo-project of London-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Mark Walker and presently a trio including Louis Kinder and Jonathan Walker as well, Desert Sands make their recorded debut through A Records with the three-song/half-hour The Ascent EP, a work of psychedelic existentialism that conveys its cosmic questioning even before the lyrics start, with an opening riff and rhythmic lurch to “Are You There” that seems to throw its central query into a void that either will or won’t answer. Does it? The hell should I know, but The Ascent proves duly transcendent in its pulsations as “Head Towards the Light” and 11:45 closer “Yahweh” — yeah, I guess we get there — bring drifting, languid enlightenment to these spiritual musings. The finale is, of course, a jam in excelsis and if drop-acid-find-god is the narrative we’re working with, then Desert Sands are off to a hell of a start as a project. Regardless of how one might ultimately come down (and it is, by my estimation at least, a comedown) on the question of human spirituality, there’s no denying the power and ethereal force of the kind of creativity on display in The Ascent. One will wait impatiently to see what comes next.

Desert Sands on Thee Facebooks

A Recordings on Thee Facebooks

 

Cavalcade, Sonic Euthanasia

Cavalcade Sonic Euthanasia

Say what you want about New Orleans or North Carolina or wherever the hell else, Midwestern sludge is another level of filth. To wit, the Carcass-style vocals that slice through the raw, dense riffing on “Aspirate on Aspirations” feel like the very embodiment of modern disillusion, and there’s some flourish of melodic guitar pluck there, but that only seems to give the ensuing crunch more impact, and likewise the far-back char of “Freezing in Fire” as it relates to the subsequent “Dead Idles,” as Cavalcade refute the trappings of genre in tempo while still seeming to burrow a hole for themselves in the skull of the converted. “Noose Tie” and “We Dig Our Own Graves” tell the story, but while the recording itself is barebones, Cavalcade aren’t now and never really have been so simple as to be a one-trick band. For more than a decade, they’ve provided a multifaceted and trickily complex downer extremity, and Sonic Euthanasia does this as well, bringing their sound to new places and new levels of abrasion along its punishing way. Easy listening? Shit. You see that eye on the cover? That’s the lizard people staring back at you. Have fun with that.

Cavalcade on Thee Facebooks

Cavalcade on Bandcamp

 

Restless Spirit, Lord of the New Depression

restless spirit lord of the new depression

Long Island chug-rockers Restless Spirit would seem to have been developing the material for their self-released debut album, Lord of the New Depression, over the last couple years on a series of short releases, but the songs still sound fresh and electrified in their vitality. If this was 1992 or ’93, they’d be signed already to RoadRacer Records and put on tour with Life of Agony, whose River Runs Red would seem to be a key influence in the vocals of the nine-track/39-minute offering, but even on their own, the metal-tinged five-piece seem to do just fine. Their tracks are atmospheric and aggressive and kind, and sincere in their roll, capturing the spirit of a band like Down with somewhat drawn-back chestbeating, “Dominion” aside. They seem to be challenging themselves to push outside those confines though in “Deep Fathom Hours,” the longest track at 7:35 with more complexity in the melody of the vocals and guitar, and that suits them remarkably well as they dig into this doomly take on LOA and Type O Negative and others from the early ’90s NYC underground — they seem to pass on Biohazard, which is fine — made legendary with the passage of time. As a gentleman of a certain age, I find it exceptionally easy to get on board.

Restless Spirit on Thee Facebooks

Restless Spirit on Bandcamp

 

Children of the Sün, Flowers

Children of the Sun Flowers

An eight-piece outfit based in Arvika, Sweden, which is far enough west to be closer to Oslo than Stockholm, Children of the Sün blend the classic heavy rock stylizations of MaidaVale, first-LP Blues Pills and others with a decidedly folkish bent. Including an intro, their The Sign Records debut album, Flowers, is eight track and 34 minutes interweaving organ and guitar, upbeat vibes and bluesier melodies, taking cues from choral-style vocals on “Emmy” in such a way as to remind of Church of the Cosmic Skull, though the aesthetic here is more hippie than cult. The singing on “Sunschild” soars in that fashion as well, epitomizing the lush melody found across Flowers as the keys, guitar, bass and drums work to match in energy and presence. For a highlight, I’d pick the more subdued title-track, which still has its sense of movement thanks to percussion deep in the mix but comes arguably closest to the flower-child folk Children of the Sün seem to be claiming for their own, though the subsequent closing duo of “Like a Sound” and “Beyond the Sun” aren’t far off either. They’re onto something. One hopes they continue to explore in such sünshiny fashion.

Children of the Sün on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Void King, Barren Dominion

void king barren dominion

Having made their debut with 2016’s There is Nothing (discussed here), Indianapolis downtrodden heavy rock four-piece Void King come back for a second go with Barren Dominion (on Off the Record Label), a title of similar theme that finds them doom riffing through massive tonality on “Burnt at Both Ends,” asking what if Soundgarden played atmospheric doom rock on “Crippled Chameleon” — uh, it would be awesome? yup — and opening each side with its longest track (double immediate points) in a clearly intended vinyl structure hell bent on immersing the listener as much as possible in the lumber and weight the band emit. Frontman Jason Kindred adds extra burl to his already-plenty-dudely approach on “Crippled Chameleon” and closer “The Longest Winter,” the latter with some harmonies to mirror those of opener “A Lucid Omega,” and the band around him — bassist Chris Carroll, drummer Derek Felix and guitarist Tommy Miller — seem to have no trouble whatsoever in keeping up, there or anywhere else on the eight-song/46-minute outing. Topped with striking cover art from Diogo SoaresBarren Dominion is deceptively nuanced and full-sounding. Not at all empty.

Void King on Thee Facebooks

Off the Record Label BigCartel store

 

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Monkey3 Announce Fall Touring and Fest Appearances

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

monkey3

It’s a big world out there, I know, and not everyone can be huge, but Monkey3 strike me as being particularly undervalued. With origins that stretch back to the pre-social media heavy rock of the turn of the century, the Swiss instrumentalist progressive heavy psych rockers have six albums to their name and have thereby amassed a catalog of persistently forward-thinking material that I’d gladly argue puts them in the conversation with acts like 35007 when it comes to bands who’ve helped paved the way for the European underground’s space-jam boom. They’re the kind of band who, if they broke up five years ago, would probably be a big deal if they were getting back together now. So why not cut out the middle-man and just appreciate them while they’re here?

They toured in Spring around the release of Sphere, their latest outing for Napalm Records, and they’ll do likewise this Fall on a tour presented by Sound of Liberation that includes not one, but two sets at Desertfest Belgium 2019 as well as stops along the way a numerous other festivals. Come to think of it, maybe I’m too America-centered in my thinking about them being underrated. I wonder what I’d find if I went to a Monkey3 show in Europe. Probably a good time, at very least.

Sound of Liberation announced the tour thusly:

monkey3 tour

Monkey3 – “Sphere Fall Tour 2019”

Guys, we are pleased to tell you today that the Swiss quartet monkey3 will hit the road again next October!

Still promoting their 6th album “Sphere” (released last Spring via Napalm Records), they will stop at Desertfest Belgium for 2 different shows!

18.10.19 Zürich / Bergmal Festival
20.10.19 Antwerp / Desertfest Antwerp
21.10.19 Hamburg / Molotow (Sky Bar)
22.10.19 Frankfurt am Main / Nachtleben
23.10.19 Strasbourg / La Maison Bleue
25.10.19 La Mezière (Rennes) / Samain Fest
26.10.19 Beaune / Les Ateliers du Cinema
28.10.19 Saarbrücken / Kleiner Klub (Garage)
29.10.19 Leipzig / Werk 2
30.10.19 Leifers / Jugend/Kulturzentrum Fly
31.10.19 Passau / Zauberberg
02.11.19 Münster / Golden Silence Festival (@ Skaters Palace)

MONKEY3 are:
Walter – drums
Kevin – bass
Boris – guitar
dB – keys

https://www.facebook.com/monkey3band/
http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/monkey3
http://label.napalmrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Monkey3, “Prism” official video

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Church of Misery, Monkey3, Inter Arma, Lord Dying and Lucy in Blue Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I saw Church of Misery last year and in case you’re wondering, yes, they’re still a damn good time. They’ll join the sub-headliner ranks of Desertfest Belgium 2019 this Fall in the company of Monkey3Inter ArmaLord Dying and Lucy in Blue, each band representing a different side of what it means to be heavy, from Lord Dying‘s born-again-melodic metal to Inter Arma‘s crush-of-death and Lucy in Blue‘s formative meandering prog rock. Desertfest Belgium wasn’t short on variety before — you got Ty Segall and Bongripper on the same bill, that’s fair enough — but this batch of five only adds to it, and you know, there’s still Sleep headlining. If you need a sure bet, that’s a good way to make one.

Still more announcements to come from the Antwerp-based Desertfest franchise, so keep an eye out. They always seem to manage a few surprises before they’re done.

To the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 new poster

CHURCH OF MISERY at Desertfest Antwerp ’19! Lord Dying, Inter Arma & More

And so again it’s time to reveal another batch of deep cuts for the Desertfest Antwerp festival. First up: Church Of Misery! After their blistering set at our festival two years ago, we knew they would be back sooner or later. Their legacy in doom history is unmatched, and after several turnovers it seems this is the Church’s strongest line-up yet.

Lord Dying and Inter Arma are two of the most adventurous metal bands in the field right now, and we’re delighted you to present them at DFBE’19. Both have just released a new album, and each one boldly defies categorisation. Lord Dying finds new pathways in metal through progrock. Inter Arma has always been fiercely experimental going from strength to strength, always finding new ingredients to add to their melting pot of psych drone and sludge doom. Both come heavily recommended, and both are going to slay you all.

Monkey3 may follow a different path to musical enlightenment, but there are many ways to blow your mind. A psychedelic rock band at the absolute top of their game, just ask anyone who witnessed the headfuck that was their show at this year’s Desertfest Berlin. And finally, for those who want a trip back to the time when Crimson was King, the delicious quirky grooves of Icelandic prog jesters Lucy In Blue will do just that!

This should tide you over until our next batch, and maybe some news in between… stay tuned!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Church of Misery, Live at the Echoplex, Los Angeles, June 3, 2019

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Desertfest Berlin 2019 Adds Monkey3, The Skull, Black Tusk, Electric Citizen & Stonefield

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2019 banner

I’m going to try to do the two-birds-one-stone thing here and post the new Monkey3 art video — which I assume is like the standard lyric video, but for those without lyrics — for the newly-unveiled track “Mass” from that Swiss instrumentalist outfit’s forthcoming album, Sphere, with the news that the band has been added to Desertfest Berlin 2019 along with a host of others. The song rules, and you can and should stream it at the bottom of this post, but it’s perhaps all the more awesome to consider they’ll share the stage with The Skull, Black Tusk, Electric Citizen and Stonefield come early May. The Desertfest Berlin lineup this year is especially good, both in the band shared with the concurrent London incarnation of the festival like Fu ManchuOm and Colour HazeAll Them Witches and so on, and in those who’ll be exclusive to Germany. Someday I’ll get to this festival.

Until then, if you’re going, have a good time:

desertfest berlin 2019 poster

DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019 CONFIRMS MONKEY3 + THE SKULL + BLACK TUSK + ELECTRIC CITIZEN + STONEFIELD!

Europe’s hot-spot for the heaviest riffs and fuzzy sounds, the leading cult underground festival specialising in all aspects of the Stoner Rock, Doom, Heavy Psych and all its great subgenres, DESERTFEST BERLIN, has announced the next batch of bands for their 8th edition in 2019!

Swiss psychedelic rock overlords MONKEY3 will turn the ARENA BERLIN into a space wonderland of magical spheres and mesmerizing riffs! The instrumental rockers have buckled up for their next interstellar journey, nestled in between space rock, psych, stoner and progressive, April 2019 will see the band release their fifth album ‘Sphere’ on Napalm Records. With timeless classics and new album tunes to be introduced live on stage, MONKEY3 will be creating their very own and unique sphere the four piece is known and loved for, taking you on an incomparable astral trip!

The already eclectic line-up of 2019 will be joined by heavy metal doom masters THE SKULL! Featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends Trouble, THE SKULL creates classic Sabbathian doom with a psych-tinged metal vision. Pushing authentic, old-school metal to heavier and foreboding places, fueled by burly riffing, metallic groove and a crushing punch, these legends deliver the definitive doom metal full of powerful builds and a mesmerizing dynamic range!

Savannah’s BLACK TUSK weld together a three-pronged vocal attack, with their dirty punk, thrash and sludgy heavy metal attitude, the band found their very own niche in nowadays heavy music scene and already made their way to the top of rock n roll heavyweights. Get your dose of BLACK TUSK live at Desertfest Berlin 2019! And if that’s not all, heavy rockers ELECTRIC CITIZEN and full ladies-power guaranteed by STONEFIELD are rounding up today’s exciting announcement!

DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019 will take place between May 3th – 5th 2019 at the riverside in the heart of Berlin, the ARENA. The festival will not only provide a new sound-and payment-system on the ground, but also more space PLUS a psychedelic wonderland chillout- and live zone on the ‘Hoppetosse’ boat!

Day- and Weekend passes, as well as first Day-Splits, are available at:
www.desertfest-tickets.de
www.desertfest.de

With more bands to be announced soon!

www.desertfest-tickets.de
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Monkey3, “Mass” art video

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Desertfest London 2019 Adds 29 Bands to Complete Lineup; Madness Ensues

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

What am I even supposed to say here other than ‘yes please?’ As Desertfest London 2019 rounds out its lineup and once again demonstrates its willful growth year after year, I’ll tell you this: there are a lot of bands listed below, and a lot of good bands. And if you’re reading this and you’re in London or you’re fortunate enough that you’re going to be in London for this festival, I know you’re hip to where it’s at. I get that. But seriously, if you don’t know, there re a few really must-see bands here, and it’s not all Amenra headlining. That’s great, and I’m sure it’ll be super-intense and very cool and all that.

But I’m telling you: don’t sleep on seeing High Priestess, BlackWater HolyLight, Worshipper, Salem’s Bend, Skraeckoedlan and Great Electric Quest. Some of those names are kind of buried near the bottom of this announcement, but really, you’d only be doing yourself a favor if you caught them. Let’s put Zed in that category too, and when they’re done, tell them I said hi. You probably already know all this, but I just wanted to highlight the point, since there’s a lot here and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I get that too.

Kudos to the Desertscene team for focusing on what matters — the music — even amid pulling double-duty in putting together the first-ever Desertfest NYC, the lineup for which is still in progress. This fest looks amazing and I wish I could say I was going. Quite simply, it’s been too long.

Here’s the announcement:

desertfest london 2019 final announcement

Amenra to headline Saturday at DESERTFEST LONDON 2019 + day tickets and 28 more bands announced!

Showcasing the best of what the underground has to offer is at the core of DESERTFEST LONDON and this year’s line-up is the most eclectic, yet satisfying to date by ticking those “wish-list old school desert rock” boxes with Fu Manchu and Witch at The Roundhouse, whilst pushing the boundaries of heavy with the likes of HHY & The Macumbas and Grave Miasma. Year after year it’s about offering up a diverse bill that allows for discovery, whilst celebrating the musical foundations of the festival, and the final Saturday headliner and remaining 28 acts do just that.

DESERTFEST LONDON /// 3-5th May, 2019 in London
Weekend and day tickets on sale at this location

Desertfest are honoured to reveal that the incomparable AMENRA will celebrate their 20-year anniversary across the London weekend this May, bringing their uniquely atmospheric sound as headliners of Saturday’s mainstage and, for the first time in the UK, an even more intimate side of the band takes place at The Underworld on Sunday with solo performances from CHVE & SYNDROME. We would be proud to have Amenra headline Desertfest on any year, but to have them on the year they celebrate their 20th anniversary makes it all the more special for us and also the band themselves.

Desertfest are also pleased to announce a stage takeover from the mighty Riding Easy Records, the righteous west coast label will not only bring the sun (we hope) but a hefty dose of fuzzed out riffs from their roster. Headlined by rock’n’rollers ELECTRIC CITIZEN who refuse to be pigeonholed with a 70s proto-metal sound that chimes into psychedelic realms. Street-doom killers R.I.P will hit the UK for the first time and vocalist Fuzz is ready to bring it hard and loud. Completing the stage showcase are 80s punk heavy metal hybrids ZIG ZAGS, hazy Swedish doom newcomers ALASTOR and the low and slow psych goth-rock sounds of BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT.

If that wasn’t enough Desertfest also adds thunderous space-rock psychedelic masters MONKEY3 to upcoming proceedings, the unforgiving primitive metal sounds of THE SECRET and LA party starters THE SHRINE, who haven’t graced DF with their amped up stoner-skate vibes for well over 5 years.

We also welcome back our long-time partners Human Disease Promo/When Planets Collide for another takeover of The Underworld on Saturday. Topping the bill, the riff muscle of Savannah, Georgia is brought back to The Underworld by the mighty bruisers BLACK TUSK. Dropping in straight underneath we’re living the doom dream of olde with Chicago legends in THE SKULL. Glasgow gives us two offerings this year in the form of explosive riff n roll filth-party heads ACID CANNIBALS, and to lower the tone whilst severely twisting some melons we also welcome their fellow city dwellers HEADLESS KROSS. As ever we chose to open up with a cataclysmic attack, hence why we’ve invited Brighton’s bleak hardcore oblivionists KALLOUSED to set the day into fittingly venomous motion. Bring your ear plugs, it’s gonna be a floor shaker!

And finally, Desertfest round off with the brilliant SKRAECKOEDLAN, BLANKET, SALEMS BEND, SURYA, HIGH PRIESTESS, ZED, KUROKUMA, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST, PSYCHLONA, VIDEO NASTIES, ONE FOR SORROW, WORSHIPPER, MOUNTAIN CALLER & 1968 all added to the monumental 2019 line-up.

DESERTFEST LONDON /// 3-5th May, 2019 in London
All tickets on sale at this location

http://www.desertfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_london/
https://twitter.com/DesertFest

BlackWater HolyLight, BlackWater HolyLight (2018)

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Monkey3: New Album Sphere Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

monkey3

It was announced this past Fall that Swiss progressive heavy instrumentalists Monkey3 would hit the road with Samsara Blues Experiment this March, and now we know a little bit more about why. Their new album, Sphere, is set to release April 12 through Napalm Records and is up for preorder now. For a band who are more than 15 years removed from their debut album, they continue to be something of a well kept secret of Europe’s heavy underground — at least to those outside of it — but their last full-length, 2016’s Astra Symmetry (review here), was easily their most progressive outing yet, and they followed it with the 2017 Live at Freak Valley offering, so between that and the ample touring they’ve done all the while, they head into Sphere with some solid momentum behind them. One hopes they continue to build on their litany of accomplishments over the better part of this decade.

The PR wire brought album details and the preorder link:

monkey3 sphere

MONKEY3 To Release New Album “Sphere” April 12th via Napalm Records

Pre-Orders Available Now

Heavy Psych-Rock from Outer Space
Your Mind-Blowing Trip to the Universe

Instrumental rockers MONKEY3 have buckled up for their next interstellar journey. After the success of the 2016 album “Astra Symmetry,” the Swiss four piece continues its cosmic journey of space rock, psychedelic, stoner and progressive on their 6th full length studio album “Sphere”.

MONKEY3 describes the new album:
“Spiraling out of a majestic landscape & its untamed environment, ‘Sphere’ stands for an abstract interpretation of nature’s phenomenons, their geometric patterns, and colorful elements.

The backbone of MONKEY3’s new album is a solid axis around which revolves a multitude of distinct atmospheres – like a wild journey along a winding road – sometimes brutal, sometimes sublime. Here the instrumental roots of the band refract in a prismatic soundscape where each musical beam finds its own space; and yet at the same time they all come together to weave a massive wall of sound. Moreover a feminine & graceful touch enhances the overall artwork, allowing the audience to travel through a wide panel – from the depths of Death Valley to the magnitude of Mount Ida – like a cosmic trip through a meditative canal. And whatever this opus might be, “Sphere” could be reminiscent of an ellipsis in which one omits part of what is being said in order for the listener to fill in the blanks with one’s own imagination, and make it its own.”

Today, MONKEY3 unveils the album cover and the tracklist.

Pre Order “Sphere” HERE!

Tracklist:
1. Spirals
2. Axis
3. Prism
4. Mass (feat. Bumblefoot)
5. Ida
6. Ellipsis

“Sphere” will be available in the following formats:
-4 Page Digipack
-2LP Gatefold
-LP Deluxe Box, including Double-LP Gatefold + 1 LP Bonus LP Gatefold + Slipmat
-Digital Album

In March, MONKEY3 will hit the road together with Samsara Blues Experiment:
w/ Samsara Blues Experiment
29.03.19 DE – Cologne / Helios 37
30.03.19 BE – Antwerp / Zappa
31.03.19 NL – Nijmegen / Doornroosje
01.04.19 FR – Paris / Petit Bain
03.04.19 FR – Toulouse / Rex
05.04.19 DE – Stuttgart / JH Hallschlag
06.04.19 DE – Jena / F-Haus
07.04.19 DE – Dresden / Beatpol
08.04.19 DE – Munich / Feierwerk
09.04.19 CH – Zuerich / Rote Fabrik
10.04.19 AT – Vienna / Arena
11.04.19 CH- Budapest / A38
12.04.19 AT – Salzburg / Rockhouse
13.04.19 DE – Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal

30.04.19 CH – Pratteln / Z7 Konzertfabrik
10.05.19 FR – Guéret / Metal Culture(s) Festival
02.08.19 FR – Monestier-de-Clermont / Stade Régis Perrin
03.08.19 FR – Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans / Sylak Open Air
10.08.19 DE – Balve / German Kultrock Festival

MONKEY3 are:
Walter – drums
Kevin – bass
Boris – guitar
dB – keys

https://www.facebook.com/monkey3band/
http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/monkey3
http://label.napalmrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Monkey3, Live at Freak Valley (2017)

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Elav Stoner Open Air 2017 Starts Tomorrow; Karma to Burn, Monkey3, My Sleeping Karma & More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Pretty impressive lineup that Italian heavy rockers Humulus have put together in conjunction with Elav Brewery for what’s being called Elav Stoner Open Air 2017, with Monkey3 and Karma to Burn headlining and performances locked in from Humulus themselves as well as Toner Low, My Sleeping Karma, Monte Nero, Ride Paranoia, Elepharmers and Bangarang. It’s a two-night affair, and one assumes that since it’s actually being held at the brewery itself it’ll be as much a party as it is a show, but all the better for the heavy and psychedelic vibe that seems to be the event’s ultimate aim.

Four bands tomorrow, five on Saturday. I know it’s kind of a crapshoot to think you’re going to be able to make it out to this one on such short notice if you didn’t already plan to go, but consider this notice at least that cool stuff like this is happening somewhere on the planet. On the most basic level, ideas like this one seem worth supporting to me. It looks like a good time.

Fest info follows, as run through a major tech firm’s translation matrix from its original Italian:

elav-stoner-open-air-2017

Elav Stoner- Open Air Festival

The Brewery opens the doors for the Stoner event of the year.

Friday 7 and Saturday, July 8, 2017 will arrive in the year of the ELAV STONER OPEN AIR FESTIVAL at #Bergamo, a two-day stoner music with nine bands, between national and international, which will alternate on stage with: Psych-Stoner , Psychedelic vibrations, garage, rock and some blues notes …

The billboard took shape under the artistic direction of the Humulus, power trio Psych-Stoner of Brescia / Bergamo.
Guest star of Karma to Burn, US trio that with their rock instrumental stoner will explode the stage!

Friday, July 7

MONKEY3 (Switzerland)
Psychedelic vibrations, stoner rock slides with a twist prog, instrumental music that invites to travel through the mind. During a 14-year career, Monkey3 has released 6 albums. Over the years, the Swiss quartet played everywhere in Europe, taking part in the best festivals: Roadburn, Hellfest, Desertfest, Burg-Herzberg, Freak Valley …

HUMULUS (Italy)
A power-trio Psych-Stoner set up in 2009. Their first album of the same name comes out for Go Down Records in December 2012. In 2015, after a change of training, the Humulus are ready to write new songs; An EP of 3 songs entitled “Electric Walrus EP” sees the light in October 2015. 2016 is a year full of important concerts and new ideas for new songs that will compose the new LP entitled “Reverently Heading Into Nowhere.”

ELEPHARMERS (Italy)
Stoner rock band from Cagliari, two guitars with heavy tuning, battery and voice. The sound of the trio brings with it the teaching of the Black Sabbath, the “cosmic” blues of the 60s and 70s, the groove of the stoner of the ’90s. The Elepharmers sound continues to have a sabbatical matrix, but with respect to the first album the songs are longer and more dilated, there are more instrumental parts and the arrangements are richer, thanks to the presence of acoustic guitars and synth arrangements and hammond By Matteo “Baro” Paper.

Bangarang! (Italy)
Quartet with a loud rhythm, a strong ironic vein and the lyricism of the sampler that becomes a sort of “virtual singer”. The Bangarang Concert! Is littered with voices, noises, quotes, and dialogues around and inside the songs. In 2016 the Bangarang! Come back with a new work in the studio: ten tracks that go to create RELIGION CATODICA, an album that tells the many aspects of Italian television, for good and for evil, and which leads to the extreme consequences of the fusion of the power of a schizophrenic power trio And the quotation of the sampled voices.

Saturday, July 8

KARMA TO BURN (USA)
With their rock instrumental stoner they are ready to blow up the stage! For more than 20 years, the US trio proposes a rock stoner that is for all such lovers a solid and historic reference point; With their latest EP “Mountain Czar” Karma To Burn propose another wave of what they like to call “Mountain Rock” … and we are ready to make us invest in this mountain of increasingly aggressive and rhythmic riffs .

MY SLEEPING KARMA (Germany)
Aschenburg’s rock psychedelic German group, with 4 studio albums behind and a lot of live experience. With their new album “Moksha” and a series of live sold out across Europe, My Sleeping Karma arrives at the Brewery together with their instrumental rock, a real journey out of the mind: hypnotic atmospheres, engaging guitar riffs and a Massive dose of rock that never breaks.

TONER LOW (Netherlands)
Band Doom Stoner who released the third album “III” in April 2013 on Bilocation Records / Kozmik Artifactz and Roadkill Rekordz.
The band features a rock stoner characterized by very low and rhythmic obsessive frequencies typical of the doom, which live become a real space trip.

MONTE NERO (Italy)
The Monte Nero project is a unique Distinct Music Moloch. After 15/20 years of ripening in various cellars, dance halls and stages throughout Italy, some operative musicians from rock band Bergamo (Gea, Spread, In The Howling Storm) are transferred to the BDC Room by Stefano Locatelli To spend another two years of maturing. Then, when the elements have reached full maturity, they blend together to create rock songs with a rich, intense aroma and full and round flavor.

RIDE PARANOIA (Italy)
A rock band from Brescia, born in 2014, is the meeting between the two completely different music companies. Claudio, Davide, Andrea and Marco are part of The Credo band, which has been active since 2006, the fifth element of the band is Giovanni, eclectic guitarist, formerly a member of the French Wine Coca and Waiver. The result of this sound fusion has given rise to the sound of the Paranoia Ride, explosive mix of stoner, garage, rock, embellished with a touch of electro.

https://www.facebook.com/events/134003620485445/
https://www.elavbrewery.com/
https://www.facebook.com/humulusband/

Humulus, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (2017)

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Monkey3 Announce Italian Tour Dates for December

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 7th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Swiss mostly-instrumentalists Monkey3 are currently on a European tour alongside 1000mods and Moaning Cities that has already seen them perform at this year’s Up in Smoke and that before it’s done will find them at Desertfest Belgium 2016 and Keep it Low in Munich. Not a bad run, but as we find out today, it’s not all the long-running outfit have in store as they support their new album, Astra Symmetry (review here), as Heavy Psych Sounds and Sound of Liberation have partnered again — as they’re doing increasingly often; take note — to present an Italian tour in December.

Italy’s emergence within the sphere of European heavy rock over the last three to four years is in no small part thanks to the efforts of Heavy Psych Sounds, as I’ve said on multiple occasions, so as that steps forward into bringing bands from the rest of the continent in as well as promoting homegrown countrymen acts, it can only make the scene as a whole stronger. Also, Monkey3 rule, so that’s kind of nice as well.

If you can dig it, here are all of Monkey3‘s announced upcoming dates, current and future:

monkey3-italian-tour-700

Monkey3 Italian Tour

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking in collaboration with Sound of Liberation UG is very proud to present the Italian dates of the Swiss quartet Monkey3.

Monkey3 is just out with their new album ASTRA SYMMETRY, an incredible anthem of instrumental psychedelia, and the band for the last 14 years have out their antlers in all of Europe by participating in festivals like Hellfest, DesertFest, and many many others…

Here are the dates:

Monkey3 European tour with 1000mods & Moaning Cities:
07.10.16 HANNOVER | FAUST *without 1000MODS
08.10.16 BERLIN | BI NUU
09.10.16 LEIPZIG | WERK 2
10.10.16 WIESBADEN | SCHLACHTHOF
11.10.16 MANNHEIM | 7er CLUB
12.10.16 JENA | KULTURBAHNHOF
13.10.16 HAMBURG | HAFENKLANG
14.10.16 KIEL | SCHAUBUDE
15.10.16 ANTWERP | DESERTFEST
16.10.16 DRACHTEN | IDUNA *without MOANING CITIES
18.10.16 WÜRZBURG | IMMERHIN
19.10.16 WIEN | ARENA
20.10.16 LINZ | STADTWERSTATT
21.10.16 EBENSEE | KINO EBENSEE
22.10.16 MUNICH | KEEP IT LOW FESTIVAL

Monkey3 Italian tour dates:
01.12.2016 Torino – Café Liber
02.12.2016 Pisa – Café Albatross
03.12.2016 Parma – Titty Twister
04.12.2016 Erba – Centrale Rock
05.12.2016 North East Tbc
06.12.2016 Zerobranco – Altroquando
07.12.2016 Roma – Init
09.12.2016 Cagliari – La Cueva Rock
10.12.2016 Sassari – The Hor

https://www.facebook.com/monkey3band/
http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/monkey3
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.soundofliberation.com/

Monkey3, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” lyric video

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