Roadburn 2019 Adds Three Fests’ Worth of Bands to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

Yeah, I put it at about three festival’s worth of bands added to Roadburn in this announcement. Maybe four. Consider Tomas Lindberg‘s curated event its own fest. Then you have the Holy Roar Records showcase with five bands playing. Then you have the announcements besides, and that’s enough for at least one fest on their own, if not two, so yes, at least three festivals happening here as Roadburn 2019 continues its let’s-be-all-things-to-all-people-and-actually-get-away-with-it push into new aesthetic territory, working to redefine and proliferate ideas of what “heavy” can and needs to encompass. If you don’t see this as an art project, you’re looking at it wrong.

I haven’t heard whether or not we’ll be doing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine as part of Roadburn 2019 next April, but of course I’m hopeful it happens. Hard to imagine a year without a Roadburn at this point. I’d prefer not to, actually.

Here’s the latest announcement in its yes-this-is-all-happening-at-one-fest totality:

roadburn 2019 mono

MONO, MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE, MARISSA NADLER, AND MORE ADDED TO ROADBURN 2019

– MONO to perform Hymn to the Immortal Wind as part of Tomas Lindberg’s curation
– Myrkur: Folkesange set to captivate the main stage
– Marissa Nadler will make her Roadburn debut
– Holy Roar x Roadburn showcase to take over Hall of Fame
– Day tickets on sale December 13

Of the new additions to the Roadburn line up, Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce this latest group of bands to the Roadburn line up. As well as representing well established artists, we have also included a huge array of boundary-pushing performances which will continue to expand the scope of the festival. These are artists that we believe will shape the future of heavy music.”

MONO & MORE FOR TOMAS LINDBERG’S CURATED EVENT

Tomas Lindberg has added a clutch of new bands to his curated event, The Burning Darkness, topped off by MONO who will be performing a special anniversary show.

The Japanese post-rock four piece will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, and the 10th anniversary of of their iconic album Hymn to the Immortal Wind with a full album set at Roadburn 2019. They will be joined on stage by the JO QUAIL QUARTET, adding another layer of lush instrumentation to their intricate tracks. Lindberg comments: “It is with great pride I present them as a part of my curation this year.”

In addition, Lindberg has chosen three further bands for his curated event. AGRIMONIA – who Lindberg loosely describes as “a more progressive Amebix” – plus Swedish dynamic prog outfit GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA have also been confirmed. Rounding out the new additions is ORCHESTRA OF CONSTANT DISTRESS – a hybrid of Brainbombs and Skull Defekts.

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE will bring some folk magic to the main stage as she is accompanied by musicians including Heilung’s Christopher Juul, and celebrated cellist Jo Quail. Folkesange brings together both traditional Nordic folk songs, as well as her own original compositions in a mesmerising swirl of ethereal darkness.

MYRKUR will be performing with her metal band at the 013 on December 16, with support from Jo Quail.

MARISSA NADLER

Darkness comes in many forms, and one of the most beautiful we’ve witnessed this year is on the tracks of MARISSA NADLER’s latest album, For My Crimes. We’re thrilled that she will bring these songs – and more – to life, on the Roadburn stage this coming April.

HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN

For 12 years now, HOLY ROAR have been quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) releasing a steady stream of incredible albums. The label has become home to some of the most exciting rising bands around and we’re thrilled to team up with the label to bring you five of their brightest stars for HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN.

On Friday, April 12, the Hall of Fame venue will play host to the unapologetic abrasiveness of SVALBARD, the sonic alchemy of PIJN, the nihilistic post-metal of CONJURER, the genre-bending delights of SECRET CUTTER, and the label’s newest recruit, the haunting A.A.WILLIAMS

ALSO CONFIRMED….
BLACK BOMBAIM & PETER BRÖTZMAN will see Portuguese psych masters team up with a free jazz legend
BLISS SIGNAL will be fusing the jagged edges of blast beats and black metal with the hypnotic tremors of dark electronics
BOSSK will perform Audio Noir in full
CRYPT TRIP are a righteous trip back to days when acid-tinged rock was both exciting and thriving on attitude and energy
DEAF KIDS combine D-beat, and psychedelia with their South American roots
DEAF KIDS X PETBRICK will team up to deliver audio chaos
MALOKARPATAN offer a mix of the best classic heavy metal with an oblique take on black metal
MORNE will deliver a crushing dose of sludge
MYTHIC SUNSHIP are poised to deliver a set as iconic as their Another Shape of Psychedelic Music album
PETBRICK mix together crushing electronics with grinding drum violence, featuring Iggor Cavalera
RAKTA bring post punk, death rock, psych and just good old noisy garage rock’n’roll
STUCK IN MOTION prove there’s vibrancy in classic forms
TERRITOIRE performing Alix in full
THE END is the new project of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bringing chaos and beauty to the Roadburn stage

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2019 announcement video

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Esbjerg Fuzztival 2019: Spelljammer, Mythic Sunship, Stone Cadaver and Vestjysk Ørken Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

esbjerg fuzztival 2019 banner

Okay, so I’m not sure how many bands will ultimately play the Esbjerg Fuzztival next May 11 in Esbjerg, Denmark, but a first four have been announced. The incarnation of the festival that ran this year and was the first was six acts, five of which were Danish natives. Of the four listed below, three are, so thus far it’s pretty consistent with 2018’s bill. Whether that trend will hold when/if there are other groups revealed for the lineup, we’ll just have to wait and see. May 2019 is still a ways off, folks. Plenty of time before we get there.

Some righteous stuff in the meantime, with Spelljammer coming over from Sweden to top the so-far lineup and hometown Esbjergers Vestjysk Ørken bringing their horror-sample-laden riffery for a return appearance. I’ve included the stream of their demo/first EP, Cosmic Desert Fuzz, at the bottom of this post because it’s hitting the spot at the moment and if you, like me, have a thing for name-your-price downloads, the three-piece have that going for them. Which is nice.

When and if there’s more word from Esbjerg Fuzztival, I’ll be sure to post. Until then, I’d love to know what font they’re using for their poster:

esbjerg fuzztival 2019 poster

Esbjerg Fuzztival – May 11th 2019

STOKED!

Excited to announce the first four bands for next years line-up!

First up is Spelljammer – the swedish fuzztronauts will be hitting us all hard!

Mythic Sunship will be bringing their own style of fuzzed out kraut-jazz!

Stone Cadaver from Aarhus, DK loves their 70’s horror as much as they love their fuzz!

Lastly our very own house-band VESTJYSK ØRKEN will once again deliver on the fuzz-side, bringing their horror show to the big screen on stage!

Tickets are strictly LIMITED to 150 and go on sale on december 1st. Stoked to keep you informed on the many more bands to go on the roster in the next few months!

https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.facebook.com/events/880111745513014/

Vestjysk Ørken, Cosmic Desert Fuzz (2018)

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Mythic Sunship Announce 2LP Another Shape of Psychedelic Music Due Oct. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mythic sunship

Unlikely that the Ornette Coleman reference in the use of the word ‘shape’ in the title Another Shape of Psychedelic Music is a coincidence. Given Copenhagen four-piece Mythic Sunship‘s jazz-psych proclivities, The Shape of Jazz to Come is probably right on the record shelf next to Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme and assorted concurrent outings from Miles DavisSun Ra and others. Fair enough. Throw in some classic exploratory instrumentalist psychedelia from the likes of Causa Sui — whose Jonas Munk produced the six-tracker and appears on two of its cuts, in addition to releasing it through Causa Sui‘s respected imprint, El Paraiso Records — and you get a beginning understanding of the blend of soaring sax and airy guitar that permeates, flowing easy in some places and off at a sprint in others but always immersive for the 67-minute duration. As the direct follow-up to earlier-2018’s Upheaval (review here) and 2017’s Land Between Rivers (review here), the album does indeed offer another shape, and that shape seems to change throughout according to the band’s will.

I’ll hope to have more to come on this one, but it’s out Oct. 5 on El Paraiso, as the PR wire affirms:

Mythic Sunship Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

Mythic Sunship to Release New LP, ‘Another Shape of Psychedelic Music’, October 5

Explorative Copenhagen Quartet Delivers Deep Dive Into Incendiary Cosmic Rock with Blazing New Double Album

Danish progressive space rock band Mythic Sunship will release its new LP, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music, on October 5 via El Paraiso Records. The fearless group creates epic music — cataclysmic and complex — that pulls from ‘60’s blues-rock, jazz-rock fusion and the golden era of ’70’s prog rock, bursting with improvisation and an avant-garde spirit. A six track double LP, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music, follows Mythic Sunship’s Upheaval, a critically lauded LP released earlier this year.

With a band name mingled from album titles by John Coltrane and Sun Ra one might expect Mythic Sunship to be a jazz band. However, this is not quite the case, although the quartet shares a similar sense of exploration and general untamedness with that of the two masters of cosmic jazz.

Spiritually, Mythic Sunship seems connected to present day So Cal psych-rock. Frederik Denning’s ferocious drum pounding and Rasmus ‘Cleaver’ Christensen’s thick, Geezer Butler-esque basslines add fuel to an endless pyre of blazed-out, dual lead guitars that Kasper Stougaard Andersen and Emil Thorenfeldt play with extraordinary dexterity, and intensity, dished out with the revolutionary fervor of the MC5. Think Earthless rip-roaring at Mach 10 over a live performance of Miles Davis’ landmark ‘Bitches Brew’. This stuff is wild.

Recorded in the winter of 2017 with producer / musician Jonas Munk (Causa Sui, Ulrich Schnauss), Another Shape of Psychedelic Music sees Mythic Sunship continue to build its mesmeric framework with the addition of saxophonist Søren Skov, a Coltrane-like player whose leads snake through the group’s gargantuan grooves and add an unquantifiable surrealism to its sound. The band’s instinctual talents unfurl across passages of light and dark, fast and furious before each composition sluices into an incredible roar of war machine-like power, cacophony and heavy metal ambient insanity. It’s like Blue Cheer attempting New Age music, and how cool of an idea is that?

Mythic Sunship creates music that dances with a level of forward-thinking freshness so immediate that it reminds us that the best music, —like the best theater, the best art—always does something you don’t expect, in a way that you don’t expect. It doesn’t have to be radical, it doesn’t have to be a wholly new invention, but is has to surprise you in some way.

Prepare to be surprised.

Track listing:

1.) Resolution
2.) Backyard Ritual (feat. Jonas Munk)
3.) Last Exit
4.) Way Ahead
5.) Out There (feat. Jonas Munk)
6.) Elevation

Mythic Sunship features Kasper Stougaard Andersen (guitar), Emil Thorenfeldt (guitar), Rasmus ‘Cleaver’ Christensen (bass), Frederik Denning (drums), with Søren Skov (saxophone) and Jonas Munk.

https://www.facebook.com/mythicsunship/
https://elparaisorecords.com/

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Quarterly Review: All Them Witches, Anthroprophh, Orphan Gears, The Watchers, Grajo, Mythic Sunship, Empress, Monads, Nest, Redneck Spaceship

Posted in Reviews on April 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Well, we’ve reached the end of the week if not the end of the Quarterly Review itself. That’s right: after hemming and hawing all week and going back and forth in my silly little brain, I’ve decided to extend this edition to a sixth day, which will be Monday. That means 60 reviews in six days, not 50 in five. Honestly, I could probably keep going for three or four more beyond that if I had the time or inclination, and I may get there someday, but I’m definitely not there now.

But hey, there have been a couple comments left along the way, so thanks for that. I appreciate you taking the time to read if you have. Here’s the last for the week and we’ll pick back up on Monday.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

All Them Witches, Lost and Found EP

all them witches lost and found ep

If Nashville four-piece All Them Witches put together the free-download Lost and Found EP simply as a means of getting their take on the folk song “Hares on the Mountain” out there, it was worth it. In the hands of vocalist/bassist Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod, Rhodes specialist/violinist Allan Van Cleave and drummer Robby Staebler, the traditional tune becomes a wide open dronescape, bristling and vague like memory itself. It’s beautiful and a little confusing in just the right way, and it comes accompanied on the short release by the Fleetwood Mac cover “Before the Beginning,” an even-more-subdued take on “Call Me Star” from 2015’s New West Records debut, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), and a dub redux of “Open Passageways” – called, of course, “Dub Passageways” – from the same album. Might be a stopgap between full-lengths, but still, at 18 minutes, it’d make a more than worthy 10” release if they were looking for something new for the merch table.

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

 

Anthroprophh, Omegaville

anthroprophh omegaville

Next time you feel like, “Hey man, I’m so freaked out and weird and wow man whatever blah blah,” just take a second to remember you live in a dimension where dudes from The Heads have side-projects. Paul Allen and Anthroprophh – his trio with Gareth Turner and Jesse Webb, otherwise known as the duo Big Naturals – are a freaked out freakout’s freakout. The stuff of psychedelic mania. And that’s only on the first disc of the 2CD Omegavlle (Rocket Recordings). By the time they get around to the three-song second disc and dig into extended trips like “Omegaille/THOTHB” (14:48) and the subsequent finale, “Journey out of Omegaville and into the…” (20:57), they’re so far gone into noise and captured, manipulated audio that who the hell knows where we’ve ended up? At 88 minutes, the limits of manageability are long left behind, but to get some of the Velvet Underground-in-space vibes of “Maschine” in trade for undertaking the undertaking it’s well worth letting go of the rigidity of things like time, place, etc.

Anthroprophh on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Orphan Gears, Rat Race

orphan gears rat race

I’m pretty sure Orphan Gears used the Super Mario Bros. font for their logo on the cover of their latest EP, Rat Race, and for that, they should be saluted. The gritty-riffing semi-punker London four-piece offer five tracks and 20 minutes of workaday, boozy grooves, blowing off steam after putting in a shift at this or that crappy job. They are null as regards pretense, and ask little more of their audience than perhaps a beer from the stage or whatever else might be on the menu that night. They share initials, but unlike much of the London underground, they share little ultimately with Orange Goblin in terms of style, despite the shuffle of “Tough Luck, BJ” or the harmonica at the end of “Bitch-Slapped Blues,” and by the time they get to the classic strut of the title-track, they seem to be dug into AC/DC-style groove in the verse while blending in modern heavy rock impulses around it. They clearly save their best for last.

Orphan Gears on Thee Facebooks

Orphan Gears on Bandcamp

 

The Watchers, Black Abyss

the watchers black abyss

An immediately cogent, professional debut full-length is about what you’d expect from The Watchers, the San Francisco four-piece with members of SpiralArms, Orchid and Black Gates in their ranks, particularly after their prior EP, Sabbath Highway (review here), but that doesn’t stop the songwriting from impressing across the eight-song long-player, Black Abyss (on Ripple Music). The band’s presentation is crisp and pro-shop all the way through, from the soloing on “Oklahoma Black Magic” to the keyboard-laced TonyMartin-era-Sabbathism-meets-tambourine of “Suffer Fool” later on, and with the opening salvo of the title-track and “Alien Lust” right behind it, The Watchers set a quick expectation for hooks and a high standard of delivery that, thankfully, they show no hesitation in living up to for the duration, the chug-and-roll finale “Seven Tenets” satisfies in mood and efficiency, departing into airy guitar meditation and making its way back for a suitably rocking sendoff. Dudes know what they’re doing, where they’re headed and how they want to get there. All the listener needs to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Watchers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Grajo, Slowgod II

grajo slowgod ii

A sequel to their 2015 full-length, Slowgod II (on Underground Legends Records, Spinda Records and DHU Records), sees Córdoba-based four-piece Grajo dug into a deep-toned psychedelic doom. There are flashes of Eastern influence on “Malmuerta,” with frontwoman Liz crooning over the minor-key guitar noodling of Josef, the forward motion in Félix’s drums and the heft of Pistolo’s bass. That dynamic works across Slowgod II, from opener and longest track (immediate points) “Altares” through its closing eight-minute counterpart “Malstrom,” which moves from early crunch through spacious volume swells in its middle only to regain composure and offer a heavy post-rock payoff that, somehow, still isn’t that atmospherically removed from the swinging “Horror and Pleasure” right before it or the similarly speedier “Queen Cobra” that follows “Altares” at the outset. Definitely one for the converted, Grajo deliver tones thick enough to stand on and engaging melodicism without falling into any real traps of sonic redundancy, varying their pace effectively and conjuring consuming plod on “ER” while still holding to that notion of breadth that seems to unite all their material here.

Grajo on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

Mythic Sunship, Upheaval

mythic sunship upheaval

It just so happens this is exactly what the fuck I’m talking about. After releasing their Land Between Rivers (review here) LP through El Paraiso Records last year, the Copenhagen four-piece of Emil Thorenfeldt, Frederik Denning, Kasper Andersen and Rasmus “Cleaver” Christensen, collectively known as Mythic Sunship, return with four more slabs of exploratory bliss on Upheaval. Either completely or partially improvised, “Tectonic Beach” (12:42), “Aether Flux” (10:55), “Cosmic Rupture” (6:44) and “Into Oblivion” (13:56) flow together like the work of masters, and with shades of patient space rock at their core, the tracks are infused with life even beyond the spontaneity of their creation. Heavy jams. Heavy, spacy jams. Molten. Swirling. Badass. Even the shorter and more forward “Cosmic Rupture” is headed out of the atmosphere, and when they come around to the noisy payoff deep in “Into Oblivion,” it’s abundantly clear they’re not joking around when it comes to the title. You can get onboard with Mythic Sunship, or you can miss out. Bands like this separate the hip from the squares.

Mythic Sunship on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso Records webstore

 

Empress, Reminiscence

Empress reminiscence

Those who miss the days when Mastodon or Baroness howled their shouts into a landscape of crunching tonal largesse might do well to dig into what Vancouver, British Columbia’s Empress have to offer on their late-2017 debut EP, Reminiscence. The 27-minute five-tracker isn’t without its sense of melody – there’s plenty of room in eight-minute second cut “Immer” – but guitarist/vocalist Peter Sacco, bassist Brenden Gunn and drummer Chris Doyle make their primary impression via the impact of their material, and as they swap back and forth between shorter tracks and longer ones, a sense of structural playfulness results that moves through the bass openings of “Baptizer” (2:50) and “They Speak Like Trees” (9:27) into the ambient guitar finisher “Dawn,” and the feeling is that, like their stylistic forebears in at the time what was thought of as a new take on sludge metal, Empress will only grow more progressive as they move forward from this first outing. One hopes they hold firm to the tectonic weight they present here that so many others seem to have given up along the way.

Empress on Thee Facebooks

Empress on Bandcamp

 

Monads, IVIIV

monads iviiv

Released some six years after Monads’ 2011 debut, Intellectus Iudicat Veritatem, the Aesthetic Death Records-issued IVIIV was, according to the Belgian five-piece’s own accounting, in the works for most of that time in one way or another. One might say, therefore, that its creation does justice to the glacial pace of some of its slowest moments, the crawling death-doom extremity of pieces like “To a Bloodstained Shore,” or the lurch before the gallop takes hold in “Your Wounds Were My Temple.” At four songs and 50 minutes, IVIIV is indicative enough of the style, but Monads legitimately showcase a persona of their own in and out of those genre confines, the melancholic atmosphere and expanded arrangement elements (piano, etc.) of 15-minute closer “The Despair of an Aeon” creatively used if familiar, and the smoothness of the transitions in opener “Leviathan as My Lament” setting a tone of scope as well as downward emotional trajectory. Not sure I’d count on a quick turnaround for a follow-up, but if half a decade from now a new Monads record surfaces, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for.

Monads on Thee Facebooks

Aestehetic Death Records website

 

Nest, Metempsychosis

nest metempsychosis

Rolling from its untitled intro through its untitled outro through a barrage of charred-black, bludgeoning sludge extremity, the debut album from Lexington, Kentucky’s Nest, Metempsychosis (on Sludgelord Records), refers in its title to a transmigration of the soul, an inheritance almost as much as reincarnation. The band may be talking about themselves or they may be working on a theme throughout the record’s seven proper tracks, I don’t know, but if the idea is destruction and rebirth, they certainly sound more interested in the former. Songs like “Heretic” seethe and scour, while the lumbering and spacious closer “Life’s Grief,” capping with abrasive noise, would seem to be a mission statement in itself. Individual pieces like “Jewel of Iniquity” and the preceding atmosphere-into-mega-crush “Diving into the Entrails of Sheep” – of course the centerpiece of the tracklisting – are shorter unto themselves, but like everything else that surrounds, they feed into an overarching ambience of disgust and chaos.

Nest on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Redneck Spaceship, Grand Marshal Ape

redneck spaceship grand marshall ape

There are some issues as regards the balance of the mix pushing the vocals forward ahead of the guitar to work out, but Moscow’s Redneck Spaceship impress all the same with the intent and execution of their late-2017 self-released debut, Grand Marshal Ape. In riffs and songcraft, their influences stem from the classic days of stoner rock, but from opener “The Sands of Dakar” and the later “That Sounds Nuts,” one gets a vibe of underlying punk influence, while the twang in harmonized highlight “On the Roadside” and slide guitar of “Maverick” lends a Southern, bluesy swing that the penultimate “Enchained” answers back later ahead of the sample-laden psychedelic jam-out closer, “Antariksh,” which strikes as a far cry from the ultra-straightforward presentation earlier on “Empty Pockets,” but speaks to an immediate scope in Redneck Spaceship’s sound. One hopes they continue to meld elements as they progress beyond Grand Marshal Ape and bridge the gap between one side of their moniker and the other.

Redneck Spaceship on Thee Facebooks

Redneck Spaceship on Bandcamp

 

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audiObelisk Transmission 065

Posted in Podcasts on February 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

aOT65

I recognize that saying so is the cliché equivalent to writing a song with the same bassline as ‘N.I.B.,’ but if this was December and not February and the year was about to end in a couple weeks’ time, would you really be able to complain about any lack of fantastic releases? It’s been two months and before the next one is out we will have seen and heard new offerings from Corrosion of Conformity, Monster Magnet, Earthless, Fu Manchu and literally hundreds of others. It’s been as awesome as it’s been impossible to keep up with.

This new podcast follows the same model as the last one, vis-a-vis using Spotify as the medium of conveyance. You can see the playlist in the player below, and you may accordingly wonder why I’ve bothered to type it out underneath as well. It’s because streaming sites disappear even quicker than they rise to dominance, and I’m not saying The Obelisk is going to outlast Spotify or anything, but just in case, I like to keep my own records. I appreciate the indulgence on your part.

Awesome mix this time around. No real theme other than it’s new stuff I’ve been listening to a lot and digging. I very much hope you enjoy it as well. 21 tracks. About two and a half hours long.

Thanks for listening and reading:

Track details:

Artist, Track, Album, Runtime
Earthless, “Black Heaven” from Black Heaven, 8:45
Sundrifter, “Targeted” from Visitations, 4:45
Psilocibina, “Acid Jam” from LSD / Acid Jam, 7:08
Blackwater Holylight, “Sunrise” from Blackwater Holylight, 4:51
Fu Manchu, “Clone of the Universe” from Clone of the Universe, 2:57
Green Lung, “Free the Witch” from Free the Witch, 5:55
Monster Magnet, “Mindfucker” from Mindfucker, 4:59
All Souls, “Never Know” from All Souls, 5:59
Red Lama, “Perfect Strangers” from Motions, 6:47
Blackwülf, “Sinister Sides” from Sinister Sides, 4:53
Fuzz Lord, “Worlds Collide” from Fuzz Lord, 6:58
Corrosion of Conformity, “Forgive Me” from No Cross No Crown, 4:06
Apostle of Solitude, “Ruination Be Thy Name” from From Gold to Ash, 6:37
Avon, “Space Native” from Dave’s Dungeon, 4:42
Psychic Lemon, “Exit to the Death Lane” from Frequency Rhythm Distortion Delay, 8:32
The Dry Mouths, “Catalonian Cream” from When the Water Smells of Sweat, 4:34
Insect Ark, “Windless” from Marrow Hymns, 8:38
Naxatras, “You Won’t Be Left Alone” from III, 11:17
Mythic Sunship, “Into Oblivion” from Upheaval, 13:56
King Buffalo, “Repeater” from Repeater, 13:40
Hound the Wolves, “Masquerade” from Camera Obscura, 13:10

If you’re interested, you can follow me on Spotify here.

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Review & Full Album Stream: Mythic Sunship, Land Between Rivers

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mythic sunship land between rivers

[Click play above to stream Mythic Sunship’s Land Between Rivers in its entirety. Album is out today on El Paraiso Records.]

It hasn’t quite been a year since Copenhagen four-piece Mythic Sunship made their debut on El Paraiso Records with the three-song full-length Ouroboros, but that album receives a quick follow-up in the next three-cut installment from the heavy psych rockers. Titled Land Between Rivers, it both expands and contracts the ideas and notions the instrumentalists put forth last time out, adding time to jams here, trimming it there — the whole offering is shorter by about 10 minutes, if you’re counting — but showing a burgeoning conceptual grasp of immersing their listeners in tonal depth and overarching sonic sprawl.

The band — Emil Thorenfeldt, F. E. Denning, Kasper Stougaard Andersen, Rasmus Cleve Christensen — reportedly recorded “Nishapur” (15:31), “High Tide” (13:16) and “Silt” (6:19) in a kind of remote cabin in central Denmark, and with a mix by Jonas Munk of Causa Sui, the group who also helm El Paraiso and artwork to fit the imprint’s long-running aesthetic vision, it presents a cohesive take in sound, atmosphere and flow while asking little of its audience in terms of self-indulgence. An exploratory vibe feels genuine — that is, when Mythic Sunship dig into a jam like that on “Nishapur,” the really dig into it — and with a complementary thickness of low end to act as a grounding force, guitars roam freely in airy post-rock howls and sunburnt krautrock progressivism. They’re not reinventing the wheel as regards heavy psychedelic transcendence, but Mythic Sunship are clearly doing the work of developing a sonic persona through these jams, and the bouts of cacophony that emerge in the meantime like that nine minutes into the opener or at the swirling apex of “High Tide” excite with the dynamic taking shape.

They earn immediate points for launching this spacecraft with “Nishapur,” the longest track clearly intended to comprise the whole of the vinyl’s side A, and of course stretched out enough to be successful in that. Resonance is the first notion proposed on Land Between Rivers, with two guitars intertwining, one unfurling patient strum and the other a humming drone of sweet-toned feedback that shifts into sweetened noodling by the time the first minute has passed. Mindset: accomplished. One thing Mythic Sunship do really well is put the listener at ease and carry them along the record’s course. A graceful flow helps that — it’s not like they’re playing math rock or something so purposefully jagged-sounding — but even so, “Nishapur” presents as a particularly hypnotic effort, with the drums subtly entering at around 2:30 on soft tom hits beneath the guitars and bass.

mythic sunship (Photo-by-Trine-Pihl-Stanley)

They’re building, of course, and low end brings a bit of foreboding to the atmosphere, but they’re past the five-minute mark before things quiet down enough to let the listener know just how far the band has brought them. “Nishapur” enters its next movement over that steady current of drums and nods into a languid groove past its halfway point, shifting ultra-fluidly into a wash of noise that stretches about as far out as Mythic Sunship go on the record — a move that makes positioning the extended track as the leadoff seem even more bold. In a telling show of purpose, they bring the madness down gradually, one measure at a time, and in the last couple minutes seem to find a middle ground that could just as easily push toward another apex instead of crashing out as it does. Maybe the tape was running out? Whatever their reason, it wouldn’t be fair to say “Nishapur” feels cut short, but no question that had they decided to keep pursuing whatever it is they’re after in the song, the momentum is there.

Instead, they let that momentum shift into “High Tide” at the start of side B. Clearly intended to be complemented by the subsequent closer “Silt,” “High Tide” earns its watery title with a due sense of drift, a serenity resulting in the early motion of the guitar that calls to mind some of what Yawning Sons were able to affect on their Ceremony to the Sunset outing before the drums kick in to add more of a push and progadelic atmosphere amid the increasingly winding central progression. West Coast-style heavy psych boogie? Not quite, but not far off. Ultimately, Mythic Sunship‘s tones are fuller and less concerned with vintage ’70s-isms, and as “High Tide” moves through its first half, it opens from this build into a post-rock flow that meets with more proggy chug, spaces out even further moving past the halfway point and finding itself in a more patient linearity the second time around. That is, the shimmering guitar, forward drum push and lower-end rumble don’t strike quite as manic in the back end of the song as in the front, and as “High Tide” oozes toward its second apex, it does so more in a manner keeping with the prior “Nishapur” than in its own first half. Not going to complain either way.

After hitting its peak, “High Tide” recedes and “Silt” is what remains, some feedback leading into a full-breadth wash and thrust of fuzz and immersive tonal reach, as though the band wanted to prove as they rounded out the album that they didn’t need to cross the 10-minute mark to entrance their listenership if they didn’t want to do so. Point taken. Because they’re instrumental and because they create so much space in their sound, there’s room for growth in Mythic Sunship‘s methods in terms of playing more toward an experimentalism of arrangement — keys, percussion, strings, etc. — or even just varying tones in their material, but that’s not to say Land Between Rivers is missing anything, because simply, it isn’t. In its atmosphere and in the poise of its execution, it basks in the organic chemistry between Thorenfeldt, Denning, Andersen and Christensen, and that proves to be more than enough to transport them and their audience through these engaging and consuming jams. May they continue to develop on this path, and if they want to get a little weird along the way, that’s fine too.

Mythic Sunship on Thee Facebooks

Mythic Sunship at El Paraiso Records

El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks

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