Quarterly Review: Katatonia, Marmalade Knives, King Witch, Glass Parallels, Thems That Wait, Sojourner, Udyat, Bismarck, Gral Brothers, Astral Glide

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Welcome to the penultimate day of the Summer 2020 Quarterly Review. I can only speak for myself, but I know it’s been a crazy couple months on this end, and I imagine whatever end you’re on — unless and probably even if you have a lot of money — it’s been the same there as well. Yet, it was no problem compiling 50 records to review this week, so if there’s a lesson to be taken from it all, it would seem to be that art persists. We may still be painting on cave walls when it comes to the arc of human evolution, but at least that’s something.

Have a great day and listen to great music.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Katatonia, City Burials

katatonia city burials

Like their contemporaries in Questioning who can The Help Novel? Our cheap UK custom service do your dissertations effectively just pay us and release your tension. My Dying Bride and Logistics Business Plan Sample from eWritingService.com Can Save You Valuable Time . If youre a very busy person, you may not have the time to spend that Paradise Lost, the latter-day period of work from Sweden’s Coursework Square offers seamless & quick coursework help & economics help in UK, our coursework writers deliver quality work. Signup now! Katatonia veers back toward some measure of direct heaviness, as get more - Order a 100% authentic, plagiarism-free thesis you could only imagine about in our academic writing service 100% non City Burials showcases in cuts like “Rein,” “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood,” but more than either of those others mentioned, the Stockholm outfit refuse to forsake the melody and progressivism they’ve undertaken with their sound in the name of doing so. By the time they get to “Untrodden” at the end of the album’s 50-minute/11-song run, they’ve run a gamut from dark electronica to progressive-styled doom and back again, and with the founding duo of guitarist High-quality lab http://joyashoes.swiss/?we-do-your-homework is developed by our company to provide students with custom lab reports written from scratch. Get professional lab Anders Nyström and vocalist It is always wise, to have your essay edited by experts. If you are looking for an impeccable and personalised http://stadttheater.amberg.de/?dissertation-review-of-literature service Jonas Renkse at the helm of the songwriting, they are definitive in their approach and richly emotive; a melancholy that is as identifiable in their songs as it is in the bands working under their influence. Their first work in four years, Immigration Research Papers - Find out all you need to know about custom writing Make a quick custom dissertation with our assistance and make your teachers City Burials is an assurance that Looking for the best Ela Homework? Check our lists of top rated resume companies with ????? Katatonia are in firm ownership and command of all aspects of their sound. As they approach their 30th year, they continue to move forward. That’s a special band.

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Peaceville Records website

 

Marmalade Knives, Amnesia

marmalade knives amnesia

Boasting production, mixing and percussion from Order best resume writing services chicago rated, essays, term papers, research papers, thesis writing from Custom Writing Service. All papers are written from scratch by The Golden Grass Discover the secrets of http://www.alogakos.gr/ap-world-history-essay/ that engage and inspire action. Adam Kriney, Are you try to make your custom writing one of the best? Without any problem our experts make your grades A+! Best http://representationco.com/yourhomeworkhelp-com/ you can rely on Marmalade Knives‘ debut album, Tinker's Write An Essay Cyclone Inc, 1107 Kay Conley Rd, Rock Spring, GA holds a Contractors license according to the Tennessee license board. Their BuildZoom Amnesia, is a delight of freaky-but-not-overblown heavy psychedelia. Oh, it’s headed far, far out, but as the opening narration and the later drones of second cut “Rivuleting” make plain, they might push, but they’re not trying to shove, if you know what I mean. The buzz in “Best-Laid Plans” doesn’t undercut the warmth of the improvised-seeming solo, and likewise, “Rebel Coryell” is a mellow drifter that caps side A with a graceful sense of wandering the soundscape of its own making. The vibe gets spacey on “Xayante,” and “Ez-Ra” touches on a funkier swing before seeming to evolve into light as one does, and the 10-minute “Astrology Domine” caps with noise and a jammed out feel that underscores the outbound mood of the proceedings as a whole. Some of the pieces feel like snippets cut from longer jams, and they may or may not be just that, but though it was recorded in three separate locations, online website writing services - professional scholars, quality services, fast delivery and other benefits can be found in our custom writing service Amnesia draws together well and flows easily, inviting the listener to do the same.

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Electric Valley Records webstore

 

King Witch, Body of Light

king witch body of light

Edinburgh’s custom name writing paper - Quality and cheap essay to make easier your life forget about your fears, place your assignment here and get your King Witch toe the line between classic metal and doom, but whatever you want to call them, just make sure you don’t leave out the word “epic.” The sweeping solo and soaring vocals on the opening title-track set the stage on their second LP, the hour-long WKTV is looking for a full-time read this/Newscast Producer. Body of Light, and as much mastery as the band showed on their 2018 debut, Under the Mountain (review here), vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Rory Lee and drummer Lyle Brown lay righteous waste to lofty expectations and bask in grandiosity on “Of Rock and Stone” and the linear-moving “Solstice I – She Burns,” the payoff of which is a high point of the album in its layered shred. Pieces like “Witches Mark” and “Order From Chaos” act as confirmation of their Euro-fest-ready fist-pumpery, and closer “Beyond the Black Gate” brings some atmosphere before its own headbang-worthy crescendo. Body of Light is a reminder of why you wanted to be metal in the first place.

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Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Glass Parallels, Aisle of Light

Glass Parallels Aisle of Light

Eminently listenable and repeat-worthy, Glass Parallels‘ debut LP, Aisle of Light, nonetheless maintains an experimentalist flair. The solo-project of Justin Pinkerton (Golden Void, Futuropaco), covers a swath of ground from acid folk to psych-funk to soul vibes, at times bordering on shoegaze but seeming to find more expressive energy in centerpiece “Asphyxiate” and the airy capper “Blood and Battlegrounds” than any sonic portrayal of apathy would warrant. United by keys, pervasive guitar weirdness and Pinkerton‘s at-times-falsetto vocals, usually coated in reverb as they are, Aisle of Light brings deceptive depth for being a one-man production. Its production is spacious but still raw enough to give the drums an earthy sound as they anchor the synth-laden “March and April,” which is probably fortunate since otherwise the song would be liable to float off and not return. One way or another, the songs stand out too much to really be hypnotic, but they’re certainly fun to follow.

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Glass Parallels on Bandcamp

 

Thems That Wait, Stonework

thems that wait stonework

Stonework is the self-aware debut full-length from Portland, Maine, trio Thems That Wait, and it shoulders itself between clenched-teeth metallic aggression and heavier fuzz rock. They’re not the first to tread such ground and they know it, but “Sidekick” effectively captures Scissorfight-style groove, and “Kick Out” is brash enough in its 1:56 to cover an entire record’s worth of burl. Interludes “Digout” and “Vastcular” provide a moment to catch your breath, which is appreciated, but when what they come back with is the sure-fisted “Paragon” or a song like “Shitrograde,” it really is just a moment. They close with “Xmortis,” which seems to reference Evil Dead II in its lyrics, which is as good as anything else, but from “Sleepie Hollow” onward, guitarist/vocalist Craig Garland, bassist Mat Patterson and drummer Branden Clements find their place in the dudely swing-and-strike of riffs, crash and snarl, and they do so with a purely Northeastern attitude. This is the kind of show you might get kicked at.

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Thems That Wait on Bandcamp

 

Sojourner, Premonitions

sojourner premonitions

Complexity extends to all levels of Sojourner‘s third album and Napalm Records debut, Premonitions, in that not only does the band present eight tracks and 56 minutes of progressive and sprawling progressive black metal, varied in craft and given a folkish undercurrent by Chloe Bray‘s vocals and tin whistle, but also the sheer fact that the five-piece outfit made the album in at least five different countries. Recording remotely in Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy, they mixed/mastered in Norway, and though one cringes at the thought of the logistical nightmare that might’ve presented, Sojourner‘s resultant material is lush and encompassing, a tapestry of blackened sounds peppered with clean and harsh singing — Emilio Crespo handles the screams — keyboards, and intricate rhythms behind sprawling progressions of guitar. At the center of the record, “Talas” and “Fatal Frame” (the shortest song and the longest) make an especially effective pair one into the other, varied in their method but brought together by viciously heavy apexes. The greatest weight, though, might be reserved for closer “The Event Horizon,” which plods where it might otherwise charge and brings a due sense of largesse to the finale.

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Napalm Records website

 

Udyat, Oro

udyat oro

The order of the day is sprawl on Udyat‘s recorded-live sophomore LP, Oro, as the Argentinian outfit cast a wide berth over heavy rock and terrestrial psych, the 13-minute “Sangre de Oro” following shorter opener “Los Picos de Luz Eterna” (practically an intro at a bit over six minutes) with a gritty flourish to contrast the tonal warmth that returns with the melodic trance-induction at the start of “Los últimos.” That song — the centerpiece of the five-track outing — tops 15 minutes and makes its way into a swell of fuzz with according patience, proceeding through a second stage of lumbering plod before a stretch of noise wash leads pack to the stomp. The subsequent “Después de los Pasos, el Camino Muere” is more ferocious by its end and works in some similar ground, and closer “Nacimiento” seems to loose itself in a faster midsection before returning to its midtempo roll. Oro borders on cosmic doom with its psychedelic underpinnings and quiet stretches, but its movement feels ultimately more like walking than floating, if that makes any sense.

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Udyat on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Oneiromancer

Bismarck Oneiromancer

To anyone who might suggest that extreme metal cannot also be forward-thinking, Bismarck submit the thoughtful bludgeon of Oneiromancer, a five-song/35-minute aesthetic blend that draws from doom, death, hardcore and sundry other metals, while keeping its identity in check through taut rhythm and atmospheric departures. Following the chants of opening intro “Tahaghghogh Resalat,” the Chris Fielding-produced follow-up to Bismarck‘s 2018 debut, Urkraft (review here), showcases an approach likewise pummeling and dynamic, weighted in ambience and thud alike. “Oneiromancer” itself starts with blastbeats and a plundering intensity before breaking into a more open midsection, but “The Seer” is absolutely massive. Despite being shorter than either the title-track or “Hara,” both of which top nine minutes, and closer “Khthon” underscores the blood-boiling tension cast throughout with one last consuming plod. Fucking raging. Fucking awesome. Pure sonic catharsis. Salvation through obliteration. If these are dreams being divined as the title hints, the mind is a limitless and terrifying place. Which, yes.

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Bismarck on Bandcamp

 

The Gral Brothers, Caravan East

gral brothers caravan east

I won’t say it’s seamless or intended to be, but as Albuquerque, New Mexico, two-piece The Gral Brothers make their initial move on Caravan East between cinematic Americana and industrial brood, samples of dialogue on “Cactus Man” and violin in the seven-minute soundscaper “In Die Pizzeria” seem to draw together both a wistfulness and a paranoia of the landlocked. Too odd to fall in line with the Morricone-worship of Cali’s Spindrift, “Crowbar” brings Spaghetti West and desert dub together with a confidence that makes it seem like a given pairing despite the outwardly eerie vibes and highly individualized take, and “Santa Sleeves” is beautiful to its last, even if the lone bell jingle is a bit much, while “Silva Lanes” pushes even further than did “Circuit City” into mechanized experimental noisemaking. They end with the birdsong-inclusive “Ode to Marge,” leaving one to wonder whether it’s sentiment or cynicism being expressed. Either way, it’s being expressed in a way not quite like anything else, which is an accomplishment all on its own.

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Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Astral Glide, Flamingo Graphics

astral glide flamingo graphics

When you’re at the show and the set ends, Flamingo Graphics is the CD you go buy at the merch table. It’s as simple as that. Recorded this past March over the course of two days, the debut album from Floridian foursome Astral Glide is raw to the point of being barebones, bootleg room-mic style, but the songwriting and straightforward purposes of the group shine through. They’re able to shift structures and mood enough to keep things from being too staid, but they’re never far off from the next heavy landing, as “Devastation” and the closer “Forever” show in their respective payoffs, that latter going all out with a scream at the end, answering back to the several others that show up periodically. While their greatest strength is in the mid-paced shove of rockers like “Space Machine” and “Scarlett” and the speedier “Workhorse,” there are hints of broader intentions on Flamingo Graphics, though they too are raw at this point. Very much a debut, but still one you pick up when the band finishes playing. You might not even wait until the end of the show. Meet them back at the table, and so on.

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Astral Glide on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, Dätcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

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Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

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Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

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Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

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Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

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Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “Inhumación,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

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Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

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Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

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Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

Dätcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

Dätcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything Dätcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

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MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

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Nasoni Records website

 

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Stream Review: Candlemass Live from Studio Gröndahl, Stockholm, Sweden, 07.03.20

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

candlemass

The stage was set, the lights were lit, the fog machine was rolling out a steady haze, and legit doom legends Candlemass brought an immediate sense of presence to their July 3 streamed concert at Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm. One has to wonder how many ‘new’ experiences are left to the Swedish outfit headed by bassist and principal songwriter Leif Edling, but surely a streamed show would be one of them. The group are 34 years on from their ultra-seminal 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which helped pave the way for what traditionalist and doom metals subsequently became, and as a fan of the band, any opportunity to see them with vocalist Johan Längquist — who sang on that first record and then left the band ne’er to return until 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here), from which only the Grammy-nominated “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” was aired. They were, to put it mildly, robbed.

Now then, LängquistEdling, guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman (joined in 1985) and Lars “Lasse” Johansson (joined in ’87) and drummer Jan Lindh (also ’87) are veteran performers, who probably had a considerable amount of touring planned for 2020 to support the album, the follow-up-take-advantage-of-momentum EP, The Pendulum (discussed here), and perhaps even Edling‘s righteous beard, which surely is on the list of correct choices the band have made in the last decade. Those plans, candlemassobviously, evaporated in a cloud of pandemic statistics — like so much else — but with this stream, its important to note that they still put on a show. Goes without saying it wasn’t the same as seeing the band live, and I’ve been very, very, very fortunate to do that on more than one occasion, including the 2011 reunion set that first brought Längquist back to the lineup. About which, yes, I will brag forever; thank you, Roadburn 2011.

But this was a concert, and having seen a few acts bring different approaches to the advent of streaming live shows — everything from acoustic-guitar-in-the-kitchen to outside-at-a-would-be-festival — Candlemass‘ stream felt decidedly like a concert video in the classic metal sense. Production company Blackbox, which hosted the stream through its page, embedding a live YouTube player with a live chat, ran a professional shop. The lighting, the previously-noted fog, the quick cuts between multiple cameras, moving around, some at exaggerated upward angles, some head-on, even the candles lit around the room and the bouquets of flowers on Lindh‘s drum kit made it feel less like a studio space and more like a stage. It was a fitting environment for Candlemass to break out so many of their classics, from the opening “The Well of Souls” and “Dark Are the Veils of Death” from 1987’s Nightfall (discussed here) and “Mirror Mirror” from 1988’s Ancient Dreams (discussed here), to “Dark Reflections” from 1989’s Tales of Creation to landmarks like “Bewitched,” “Mirror Mirror” from the same era.

That era, which started with Längquist being replaced by vocalist Messiah Marcolin, ended after Tales of Creation (the blip that was the 2004 reunion notwithstanding), and while the debut was duly represented in “Under the Oak,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” and “Solitude,” which rounded out, it was interesting to see Längquist take on Marcolin‘s parts, their voices being of different character. Though the band also played a new song — listed as “Nytt Riff,” which is ‘new’ in Swedish — it was noted in the chat that the entire period in which the band was fronted by Solitude Aeturnus/Tyrant vocalist Robert Lowe was left out. Hazards, one assumes, of having a catalog full of classics. Perhaps Candlemass assumed that those seeking them out for a live-stream experience would be more established fans looking for ‘the old stuff’ as opposed to something from 2007’s King of the Grey Islands, 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here) or 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here). I don’t know that they were wrong in that, and with a set time a little over an hour, keeping it to the most essential essentials was fair enough. Maybe if they start taking requests for another one I’ll ask for “Emperor of the Void” and see how it goes.

Last time I did a stream review, I was struck by the shift in experience between going to a show and putting one on — how rather than be something separate from a regular, day-to-day existence, the show became a part of it. I suppose it wouldn’t be any different for any live event being televised, but with the change from physically moving yourself from your home to a venue to see a band to not doing that, it’s a big change. To wit, when the stream started, I was on the highway. I turned it on on my phone, turned the speaker up and sang along to “Mirror Mirror” while my toddler called out different trucks he saw from the back seat. And when I got home, I unpacked the car from an overnight trip and changed a diaper while watching. By the time I finally got to sit down and live with it a little bit, they were through candlemassthe solo and Hammond-laced roll of “Nytt Riff” — which one assumes would get vocals at some point, but was a welcome inclusion as an instrumental anyhow — and on into “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” nearing the end of their time. It was an 8PM start for Europe, so that made plenty of sense, but I was and remain thankful for the ability to rewatch afterward, for whatever limited time the stream is still available.

I know that the notion of bands streaming live shows like this instead of doing concerts and touring is new, and I know that they’re certainly no replacement for seeing a band live, but Candlemass more than held their own under the circumstances. Periodically mugging for the cameras, they seemed to be enjoying the chance to deliver a show of any sort to an audience. And though the pauses between songs brought a kind of awkward silence where applause would be and the video screen behind them went under-used except during those transitions, the big rock finish as “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” moved into “Solitude” was nothing if not earned by that performance and all that came before it, and the inclusion of what I assume was soundcheck footage of “Demon’s Gate” after the show-proper made for a smart twist on the idea of an encore, so while there were lessons to take going forward from this new experience, Candlemass gave their virtual crowd something to be happy to have witnessed, as well as a limited ‘Ancient Streams’ t-shirt to pick up afterward. Clever.

Can’t go see Candlemass, and that’s a bummer. But god damn, it felt good to see Candlemass.

Candlemass on Thee Facebooks

Candlemass on Instagram

Candlemass website

Napalm Records website

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Days of Rona: Cornelius Althammer of Ahab

Posted in Features on May 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

ahab cornelius althammer

Days of Rona: Cornelius Althammer of Ahab (Jena, Germany)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Everyone in the band is fine, so far. As well, as our families and friends. Luckily we don´t have to rework plans, for we had decided to take a break from playing shows until fall. The initial reason for this was to focus on writing our next album and to get the release of our first live album done. The latter works really well, we will release “Live Prey” via Napalm Records on June 26th. A special tape edition will be released via Low Fidelity Assaults.

The only good thing about this is that I have plenty of time to play drums for several hours each day.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are allowed to leave houses, but we cannot meet. For us as a band it´s super annoying that we cannot rehearse. But compared to other countries we are quite lucky, I guess. In the first place I am no virologist, so I listen to those who know better.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

I haven´t seen any affects on my musician friends, luckily. For sure I read the reports about Death Angel or Testament members, but I don´t know them in person.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

We are in this together. Everybody on this planet, no matter of which sex, origin, colour of skin, faith, anything. Please do me a favour and learn from this. Don´t go back to normal after this. Maybe this goddamn virus is the very last warning earth can give us before we´ll have irrecoverably destroyed it. Peace.

www.facebook.com/AhabDoom
https://ahab.bigcartel.com/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

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Days of Rona: Leif Edling of Candlemass

Posted in Features on April 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

candlemass leif edling

Days of Rona: Leif Edling of Candlemass (Stockholm, Sweden)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Everybody in the band are okay, fingers crossed. It’s not fun to have all your gigs cancelled or postponed, but we do what we can to do something constructive anyways.

For instance we are planning a live streaming show at the end of the month. Not one of those homemade things that are popular right now, but in a big studio, and with a filmcrew present. :-)

I really hope this will happen. A fun thing for us to do in these strange corona times, also an alternative for those shows that didn’t happen this evil spring.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Sweden we can gather up to 50 people at the same time, so we can go to the pub and eat in a restaurant, as long as we keep a distance of 1-2 meters.

We don’t have a totally out of control outbreak either. It’s more under the surface as of now, so we’re waiting for the eruption to come. And of course hope it never does….

But everybody I know sit at home, as I do, read a lot, watch Netflix and HBO, clean the house, fixing the basement, sorting the vinyls (again).

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

People are losing their jobs, shops close, economy goes down… people are trying to keep a positive attitude but that bit you see is harder and harder to maintain.

Personally I think that is one of the most important things now in these hard times — be positive, don’t lose faith. We will prevail and come out of this better then ever before!

I’m sure there will be many records and songs written about the pandemic… the Corona pest!

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

I’m not important. What is key is that we don’t panic. Just take it easy, try to be positive, stay at home, support your near and dear AND also your neighbours. Not with visits, phone them, email, shop groceries for the elderly close.

And don’t forget to listen to A LOT of hard rock and metal! That part is VERY IMPORTANT!

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CANDLEMASS
https://www.instagram.com/CANDLEMASS_SWEDEN/
http://www.candlemass.se/
WWW.NAPALMRECORDS.COM

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Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko of Stoned Jesus

Posted in Features on April 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

stoned jesus igor sidorenko

Days of Rona: Igor Sidorenko from Stoned Jesus (Kyiv, Ukraine)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Hey, Igor’s here! Thanks, we’re all in good health for now. The main problem logistics-wise is that our drummer Dima lives in Kharkiv, which is like 400 miles away from Kyiv, where the rest of the band is located (me and Sergii). We haven’t seen each other in person for months. So basically I’m sending new-song ideas to the guys and then we discuss those online -– long live the internet, amirite? We’ve already lost some money on the postponed March tour flights and other stuff. We should’ve had FIVE more legs of our Xth Anniversary Tour this year — including US and Canada for the first time ever and South America for the first time in three years. Then there was studio time booked for fifth LP’s recording sessions… now we’re splitting this money to make it at least till summer. What’s next –- no one knows.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Not strict enough, unfortunately. I mean, thankfully the authorities closed all public places like cinemas and cafes, ordered to close most businesses and set some limitations for food stores and public transportation, but the main problem is the regular people. I’m watching them from my window just hanging around like nothing is wrong, and this is driving me mad. For them quarantine means extra vacation, that’s it. STAY INDOORS YOU HACKS!

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Well, literally 90 percent of everyone I know are in music industry in one way or another, so yeah, every social media feed I follow is filled with people talking about losing their jobs/not being able to rehearse/not being able to tour, etc. Honestly, I think when this thing is over like two-thirds of artists/bands we all know and love won’t be able to bounce back from it. No one understands yet what kind of job a former musician/roadie/tour manager will be able to find in this new terrifying post-covid-19 world, but one thing is certain –- at the end of the day we all need bread on the table. If this means putting your music project on hold in order to concentrate on your day job, so be it. And I’m afraid this is the future for many of us.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Glad you asked! I’m starting my Patreon channel – https://www.patreon.com/igorfromstj – to help StJ survive. As far as I’m concerned this thing [Patreon] is not very popular within doom/stoner/psych-community but this is literally the only way for us to get through this all. Of course I understand there are billions of way more essential things money could buy, and money will be tight for all of us this year. But hey, if you feel like helping –- please join! Also don’t forget to wash your hands and please stay home!!!

(Photo above by Yuri Milchak)

https://www.facebook.com/stonedjesusband
https://www.instagram.com/stonedjesusband/
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www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

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Days of Rona: Jon Davis of Conan

Posted in Features on April 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

conan jon davis

Days of Rona: Jon Davis of Conan, Ungraven, Black Bow Records & Blackskull Services (Merseyside, UK)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Conan and Ungraven cannot rehearse currently, but we communicate often. Approximately two weeks before all this hit, we signed up to a lease on a 24/7 rehearsal room, which was the worst timing EVER. It’s almost like divine intervention, but in a bad way. Our health is good, I don’t believe any of us has or has had this virus, so I guess we’re good. I’m just excited to tour again, I miss it.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

I’m in the UK so we have a stay at home request on us, and often there is a line to get into the supermarket. I’m allowed to walk the dog obviously, and I’m really lucky because I am 100 yards from the waterfront and have a lot of open space to enjoy. I work from home, so I’m not inconvenienced really. I can’t go see my folks for a few weeks because my Mum is in one of those people classed as ‘vulnerable’ because she has some minor health problems. The worst thing is that my wife is waiting for her UK entry visa (she is from New Zealand) so we have a nervy wait to see if there are any flights available when she is ready to come here.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The community here seems okay. I’ve been here almost a year, so have yet to really get to know a lot of people. The local pub, which I just started to frequent, is now closed because of the government lockdown, and that is a big loss. In terms of music, of course there have been a lot of shows cancelled and that has hurt a lot of promoters and bands. Most of my contact with those guys is online and most of us are doing okay, if maybe a little stressed.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

I personally am more creative when faced with a challenge or when I am dealing with some sort of life event. Conan was born from such circumstances and I’ve been writing some cool stuff as well as hatching some interesting ideas while we’re all under these restrictions. It’s not fun, but it affects us all so I’d rather keep myself busy than allow frustration to set in.

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ungraven/
https://www.instagram.com/thisisungraven/
https://ungraven.bigcartel.com/
https://ungraven.bandcamp.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://blackbowrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Black-Bow-Records-565275456841866/
https://www.weareblackskull.com/

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Monster Magnet Reschedule ‘Celebration of Powertrip‘ Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

New Jersey heavy psych/rockers Monster Magnet were due to start their ‘Celebration of Powertrip‘ US tour this coming Friday in Brooklyn. I’d been looking forward to it as I’m sure many others had. More than 10, and probably more than 50, which is why the show has been rescheduled for early 2021. A lot of this is happening. Fall tours will be insane, which of course is assuming the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is solved by then — and by “solved” I mean everyone stops caring and/or someone in the pharmaceutical industry figures out how to make money off it and gives a cure/treatment to enough rich people — and Monster Magnet are probably smarter to push off a little further to January.

They’ll begin in my beloved Garden State, at Starland Ballroom, and then hit Brooklyn, Boston, Philly and so on through the countryside on the rescheduled jaunt, the dates for which are freshly arrived from the PR wire and coated in disinfectant:

monster magnet (photo jeremy saffer)

MONSTER MAGNET Announces Rescheduled 2021 “Celebration of Powertrip” US Tour Dates

Due to the due to the current outbreak and ban on public gatherings, Monster Magnet have postponed their “Celebration of Powertrip” tour to 2021. Tickets for all postponed dates will be honored for the newly scheduled shows. Find a complete list of dates below.

Frontman, Dave Wyndorf on the unfortunate situation, “So sorry to postpone the tour but under the circumstances I’m sure everybody can relate. Sweaty, live rock music and pandemics aren’t a good mix. So, we’re gonna reschedule this thing and do it at a time when everyone can rub shoulders without freaking out! Thanks to everyone who bought tickets. Stay well and we’ll see you on the other side!”

Rescheduled Dates For 2021:
1/21: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
1/22: Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
1/23: Boston, MA @ Sinclair
1/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
1/26: Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
1/27: Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
1/29: Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
1/30: Chicago, IL @ The Metro
1/31: Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
2/2: Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater
2/3: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar
2/5: Vancouver, BC @ The Rickshaw
2/6: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
2/7: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
2/9: San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
2/10: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda
2/11: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
2/12: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
2/15: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
2/17: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
2/18: Charleston, SC @ The Music Farm
2/19: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage

Powertrip was the band’s commercial breakthrough, achieving mainstream success due largely to the hit single, “Space Lord”. Other hit songs on the album include “Powertrip”, “Temple of Your Dreams”, and “See You in Hell”. The album itself, reached #1 on the Heatseekers Charts, #21 in the German Charts, #65 in the UK Charts, and #97 on the Billboard 200. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on January 25, 1999.

MONSTER MAGNET line up:
Dave Wyndorf (vocals, guitar)
Garrett Sweeny (guitar)
Phil Caivano (guitar)
Chris Kosnik (bass)
Bob Pantella (drums)

http://zodiaclung.com
https://www.facebook.com/monstermagnet/
https://www.instagram.com/monstermagnetofficial/

Monster Magnet, “Powertrip” live at Bizarre Fest 1998

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