Conan, Existential Void Guardian: Prosperity on the Path

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

Conan Existential Void Guardian

There’s a dual emphasis happening on Conan‘s fourth full-length in a 13-year run. First, Existential Void Guardian, which is also their third LP for Napalm Records, calls to mind just how recognizable Conan‘s sound is. They’ve subtly drawn back on some of the overbearing tonal onslaught over the years, which one can hear in songs like “Eye to Eye to Eye” in comparison to their earlier work on 2012’s debut, Monnos (review here), or the preceding 2010 EP, Horseback Battle Hammer (review here), but Conan remain one of the most immediately recognizable bands in metal, period, let alone doom or whatever other subgenre you might want to stick them in. Existential Void Guardian brings to mind just how much Conan‘s sound has become their own over the course of this decade, and yet it also emphasizes how much that sound is grown.

The pivotal moment might’ve been in 2014 when producer Chris Fielding joined the band following the recording of their second album,  Blood Eagle (review here). Taking on the role of bassist/vocalist alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Jon DavisFielding added not only his recording expertise — brought to bear at Skyhammer Studio, owned by Davis — but also his tonal weight and a vocal foil to Davis, something that Conan had worked to incorporate with original bassist Phil Coumbe but which became all the more essential with the lineup change. The impact of Fielding joining the band could be felt in their live presence and was realized in the studio on 2016’s Revengeance (review here), which updated listeners on the burgeoning dynamic between Davis and Fielding, the former’s higher-register wails complemented by the latter’s lower growls and shouts.

On Existential Void Guardian, with opener “Prosper on the Path” and the midsection of centerpiece/side A closer “Amidst the Infinite” as well as the later “Vexxagon” as particular examples, the two find a kind of shouted vocal harmony, and as Fielding takes the lead role in closer “Eternal Silent Legend,” there are more than hints of melody in his approach that even further expand the reach of the group on the whole. In kind with the contributions of drummer Johnny King (also of Dread Sovereign, ex-Altar of Plagues and others), who makes his first appearance on the seven-song/35-minute release, it all makes for Conan‘s most complex outing to-date.

One hesitates to use a word like “progressive” when it comes to Conan. Given the lumber they bring to bear on the aforementioned “Amidst the Infinite” and the gallop of “Eye to Eye to Eye,” it just feels gross and wrong, but there’s no question Existential Void Guardian is the most thoughtful Conan manifestation yet. From its evocative title — is the guardian bringing you into the void? warding off the void? keeping you there? — to the more developed lyrical ideas of “Volt Thrower” or “Prosper on the Path,” one can hear Conan moving away from the one-word-line impressionism they’ve used in the past to conjure images of violent conquering to a fuller mode of expression. Or so it seems without the benefit of a lyric sheet. That’s not to say Existential Void Guardian doesn’t have its raw moments. As “Vexxagon” settles into its final rolling groove, it does so with Davis having spit out quick lines atop the prior cacophony of riffs.

conan

And “Paincantation” is straight-up grindcore. No other word for it. It’s a 55-second blastbeaten assault — and the first 19 seconds of that is a kind of swelling introduction, while the last seven are a ringout — and the focus is pure brutality. It’s an easy pick to say that’s where King makes his presence most felt, as the wash of crash is no less consuming than the miasma of distortion churning at maximum speed overhead, but his snare and tom work in the early cycles of “Vexxagon” and the quick fills he works into the first half of “Prosper on the Path” while still holding to the central plodding rhythm aren’t to be undervalued for the tension they add to the proceedings overall. As he transitions into a kind of gallop in the first-stage of the chorus of the opener, he brings a professionalism of style and a crispness of play that’s clearly rooted in the more extreme end of metal but works nonetheless with the swing that Conan‘s songwriting requires. He’s a more than solid fit alongside Davis and Fielding. Hope he likes touring.

But the point is that as much as Conan have grown, there’s still blood dripping from their battle axe, and as much as the band’s even-year succession of releases — 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and now 2018 — has seen them bring new ideas and personnel into the fold, they’ve continued to hold firm to their ultra-low end and a brutality brought to bear amid the ensuing weight. Even as “Eternal Silent Legend,” which is also the longest inclusion at 6:53, rounds out Existential Void Guardian, with a gradual feedback-topped unfolding that riffs its way into what’s sneakily Davis‘ most melodic vocal performance with the band — trading between a few cleaner lines and a final growl — they do so en route to a massive stomp and rolling finish that’s as much a signature moment as Conan could possibly have. Thus the dual emphasis: they’ve advanced this much while still retaining their core purpose.

Every Conan record seems to be a first of one sort or another. Monnos, of course, was the first album. Blood Eagle the first recorded at SkyhammerRevengeance was the first with Fielding on bass and then-drummer Rich Lewis rounding out trio, and Existential Void Guardian is the first with King. It’s little short of amazing this can be the case while Conan‘s identity has remained so vividly cast. That’s a credit to Davis, of course, as the founder and guiding hand of their ongoing project, but it’s also a result of the natural way they’ve matured.

While conscious, nothing in Conan‘s ongoing progression has felt forced, and at the risk of shoehorning them into a narrative, it seems like their songcraft has become more complex as a result of the time they’ve spent on stage and the development of the chemistry between the players rather than heady studio experimentation. Nothing against that approach, but Conan continues to work so well as a concept because they know who they are and who they want to be, and they always have. Even as those ideas have changed with time, there are crucial elements that have remained cast in stone, and one expects they’ll stay that way as they work to push beyond the void.

Conan, “Volt Thrower” official video

Conan website

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Greenleaf Set Nov. 9 Release for Hear the Rivers

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

greenleaf photo by edko fuzz

Swedish heavy rock institution Greenleaf will release their seventh album, titled Hear the Rivers, on Nov. 9 through Napalm Records. Among the many reasons this news should make you excited is the fact that Karl Daniel Lidén recorded it. Even just the drum sound immediately bears his signature to the point that, having had a bit of a preview, I knew it was him before I even read it. The guy adds a sense of space to a sound like no one else, and he brings to Greenleaf once again this time around and the results are nothing short of phenomenal. That’s not of course to discount the work of the band itself, which has only grown more stellar as the current lineup has settled in around founding guitarist Tommi Holappa.

I don’t want to say to much about it because we still have two months before November gets here, but the short version is make sure you save some room on your top albums list.

Greenleaf will tour with Berlin’s Samavayo to coincide with the record release, as the PR wire informs:

greenleaf hear the rivers

GREENLEAF – “Hear The Rivers” Comes Into The World In November 2018

Album Pre-Orders Start Now

On November 9th, the mighty Swedish Stoner force GREENLEAF present their latest album “Hear The Rivers” via Napalm Records.

This album turns out to be quite the mesmerizing bag of tricks that seizes the Swedish Stoner sound and enriches it with so many wonderful things, like the unforgettable riff-o-rama ‘Good Ol`Goat’ or the slow soul feeder ‘We Are The Pawns’. An absolute gem of an album that is best kept in the family – which is why former GREENLEAF- and Dozer drummer Karl Daniel Lidén (Craft, Bloodbath, Crippled Black Phoenix amongst others) produced it.

GREENLEAF summarize this record in the following way:

” ‘Hear The Rivers’ is our full length number 7. Lucky number 7? Well, we like to think so! All the songs give us huge smiles on our faces and we are extremely proud of what we have done! As always we try to take our listeners on a trip with our music, make them wanna bang their heads, dance, smile and cry (of happiness of course).
This is easily the biggest sounding record we have ever done and we hope people will enjoy it as much as we do!”

The full track listing of Hear The Rivers reads as follows:
1. Let It Out!
2. Sweet Is The Sound
3. A Point Of A Secret
4. Good Ol´Goat
5. The Rumble And The Weight
6. We Are The Pawns
7. Oh My Bones
8. In The Caverns Below
9. High Fever
10. The Rivers Lullaby
“Hear The Rivers” will be available in the following formats:
-4 Page Digipack
-Double LP-Gatefold
-Digital Album

Pre-Order HERE!

GREENLEAF – Live w/ SAMAVAYO
08.11.18 DE – Dresden / Beatpol*
09.11.18 DE – Berlin / Musik & Frieden
10.11.18 DE – Stuttgart / Keller Club
11.11.18 AT – Vienna / Viper Room
12.11.18 DE – Munich / Feierwerk
13.11.18 CH – Olten / Coq d’Or
14.11.18 DE – Cologne / Helios 37
15.11.18 UK – London / Underworld
16.11.18 FR – Paris / Glazart
17.11.18 NL – Eindhoven / Helldorado Festival*
*without SAMAVAYO

Line-up:
Arvid Hällagård: Vocals
Tommi Holappa: Guitar
Hans Fröhlich: Bass
Sebastian Olsson: Drums

http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/greenleaf
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www.napalmrecords.com
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http://www.soundofliberation.com/greenleaf

Greenleaf, “Goin’ Down” (Freddie King cover)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Stoned Jesus, Pilgrims

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

STONED JESUS PILGRIMS

[Click play above to stream Stoned Jesus’ Pilgrims in its entirety. Album is out Sept. 7 on Napalm Records.]

One thing about pilgrims: they travel. Ukrainian heavy rock ambassadors Stoned Jesus have done plenty likewise since the release of their third LP, 2015’s The Harvest (review here), as as they’ve stated their fourth and latest album, which is also their debut on Napalm Records, is inspired at least in part by their significant time spent touring, calling it Pilgrims only makes all the more sense. The Kiev-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Igor Sidorenko, bassist Serhij Sljussar and drummer Dmytro Zinchenko continue the band’s penchant for willful growth across the seven tracks/50 minutes, and as Stoned Jesus have always to this point managed to progress their sound from one outing to the next, sometimes in multiple directions, Pilgrims most certainly keeps that streak alive.

With a kick of an opening in “Excited” that speaks directly to the theme of playing live — the song feels penned to open sets — the album fleshes outward along noise rocking chug in “Thessalia,” Mellotron-caked Mike Pattonism in “Distant Light,” post-rocking airiness in the guitar and grunge underpinnings built to a weighted push in the nine-minute centerpiece “Feel” — which would also seem to be about touring life and the peculiar isolation thereof — and so on. This moves them into the back end as “Hands Resist Him” (video premiere here) adds melody to the noisy impulse of “Thessalia” and finds Sidorenko in particular command of his vocals, the lumbering riffage of “Water Me,” which is the longest inclusion at 9:30 and turns in its seventh minute to a fervent drive that leaves its central riff and seemingly the stratosphere behind, and the deceptively uptempo closer “Apathy,” which features a tense and swinging bassline at its core around which the guitar enacts a build into a midsection payoff before pulling back to open spaces to revive the repetitions of the hook that seem to be the only lyrics.

Impressively, they cover all this ground with a sense of flow from front-to-back. One couldn’t help but wonder if coming into PilgrimsStoned Jesus wouldn’t be affected by the large amount of touring they did in 2017 playing 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here) in its entirety, if that album’s heavy psychedelic sprawl and fullness of tone wouldn’t bleed once again into their sound. Largely, it doesn’t. One could argue some of the spaciousness in Sidorenko‘s guitar in a longer cut like “Feel” is a commonality, but even that is a stretch, and his work in these songs alongside Slussar and Zinchenko — the latter making his first appearance with the band — carries a greater sense of urgency, even unto “Apathy,” which despite its disaffected title refuses to be pigeonholed in terms of style. What ties the tracks together, then, is the confidence in Stoned Jesus‘ delivery and the sheer sense of performance they bring to them. The band debuted in 2010 with First Communion, so they’re not a decade on from that, and yet Pilgrims finds them sounding like veterans; not exhausted, but sure of their approach and what they want their material to convey.

STONED JESUS

Their confidence — born in no small part, of course, from their time on stage — allows them to smoothly shift between stylistic elements as they do between “Excited” and “Thessalia,” or “Hands Resist Him” and the conceptual-feeling “Water Me,” and still carry the audience’s attention as well. That is, Pilgrims doesn’t embark on its progressive journey at the expense of engaging the listener. Indeed, “Excited” bleeds out its energy through the speaker as it careens into its second half, and while “Distant Light” is more patient in its delivery and touches on psychedelic atmospherics, in Zinchenko‘s drums there’s still that central current of gotta-go that even the Mellotron doesn’t want to chill all the way out. That this follows the bruiser riffing of “Thessalia” and that it leads to the extended “Feel,” with its storytelling lyrics early setting up a swirling payoff toward the end, epitomizes the broad scope Stoned Jesus feel comfortable enacting with their songwriting and the unifying coherence thereof. Pilgrims wouldn’t function if it weren’t well constructed. And that doesn’t always mean it pairs verses with catchy choruses, choruses with bridges, etc.

It means that its shifts make sense within its own context and, while songs like “Hands Resist Him” and “Distant Light” might not beat the audience over the head with their hooks — wouldn’t really be fair to say the same of “Apathy,” which, again, relies on the same lines repeated throughout — they are memorable nonetheless. That’s all the more to the credit of Stoned Jesus‘ craft, and that they so carefully balance their own need for creative growth with that is further demonstration of the crucial experience the last several years have wrought in their style. Make no mistake, Pilgrims is an album in the sense of conveying an expressive sensibility across its span and in terms of the basic sound of its production, but it’s also a collection of quality songs, each seeming to have its own standout moment or aspect to distinguish it from what surrounds. That was true of The Harvest as well, but the vibe on Pilgrims is more fluid, less angular, in its transitions and the difference is palpable when taking on the record as a whole.

If anything, Pilgrims makes it clear that Stoned Jesus haven’t misspent the last several years. Especially as their first offering with the wider reach of Napalm behind it, the album benefits on every level — theme, craft, delivery — from the road-time the band undertook. There’s a sense of arrival about it, especially as it seems to balance various sonic elements from their past work while making something new from that combination, but the fact of the three-piece remains that they’ve never put out the same record twice and that one of the greatest strengths in what they do is its purposeful individualism. Stoned Jesus do not want to be confined by style or expectation or, seemingly, any other standard one might apply. The creative journey on which they’ve embarked is one that leads them forward ever closer to the heart of their own sound. However, that too is a moving target — and not just in the time-for-the-next-gig sense — and one carries little doubt Stoned Jesus‘ next long-player will leave Pilgrims to its moment, which is now. It is to be enjoyed while it lasts.

Stoned Jesus, “Hands Resist Him” official video

Stoned Jesus on Twitter

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Candlemass Announce Return of Johan Längquist

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Epicus doomicus, indeed. How about a 32-year journey that’s led to original Candlemass vocalist Johan Längquist rejoining the band? Simply amazing. Längquist only sang on one album — the first, 1986’s Epicus Doomicus Metallicus — but that’s been enough to cement a legacy that continues to resonate to this day. So does Längquist still have it? Yes he absolutely fucking does.

I know this because I was fortunate enough to see Candlemass perform a one-off set at Roadburn 2011 celebrating their 25th anniversary that included Längquist returning to perform their debut in its entirety. It was incredible. His voice, spot on. His stage presence, masterful. It was the Main Stage of the 013, which even before the redux on the venue was not at all a small room, and he absolutely killed it on that material. I can’t wait to hear what he brings to the next Candlemass album. If you don’t want to take my word for it on how incredible that show was, you can always try chasing down the vinyl (review here) they released afterward.

Candlemass has been fronted by vocalist Mats Levén since 2012 when he took over for Robert Lowe (also of Solitude Aeturnus), who had stepped into the band following their split with Messiah Marcolin in 2006. Lowe was still in the band when they released their last full-length, 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here), though Levén handled vocals on 2016’s  Death Thy Lover EP (review here) and this year’s game/EP House of Doom.

A new long-player has reportedly already been in the works with the songwriting of bassist Leif Edling as ever at the band’s core, and it looks like Längquist will step back into the role of vocalist for the recording as well.

The band announced it thusly:

candlemass

CANDLEMASS – THE RETURN TO DOOM!!

EPICUS DOOMICUS METALLICUS SINGER JOHAN LANGQUIST IS BACK IN CANDLEMASS

Shocking news! EPICUS singer Johan Langquist is back after a 32 year hiatus replacing Mats Levén who’s been with the band since 2012. This is right in the middle of recording the new album. What happened?

“We wanted to find our way back to the roots of Candlemass, back to the soul and essence of the band. Johan Langquist is back and we hope this will give us some new energy and kickstart the heart of doom again. We don’t know if it will last 10 more years or even 5, but if it will give us just another year of having fun and playing the music that we love so much, it will be a blast! The circle is closed, Johan is back!”

More news will follow soon….

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CANDLEMASS
http://www.candlemass.se/
WWW.NAPALMRECORDS.COM

Candlemass, “Under the Oak” Live at Roadburn 2011

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Conan to Release Existential Void Guardian Sept. 14; Album Details Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

conan

Destruction always has a special place in Conan‘s charred heart. The UK trio’s reputation precedes them at this point, and even if it didn’t, it’s not like you can’t hear their approaching plod from miles away. Their third album was 2016’s Revengeance (review here) and it was beastness as usual for the band, though their dynamic has continued to shift since bassist/vocalist/producer Chris Fielding joined on with founding guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis ahead of 2014’s Blood Eagle (review here), with Fielding‘s vocals first being used as backing and then more as a complement to Davis‘ own, he going higher in register while Fielding kept to a lower growl, all of this amid standard-setting heaviness the likes of which only a handful of bands on the planet would even think about trying to match.

That element has been consistent throughout Conan‘s career, but there’s also been development in their sound, and that seems set to continue on the forthcoming Existential Void Guardian as well. Revengeance brought some notions of melody to the vocals and I’m not saying I’ve heard it yet or anything, but one expects that growth will take another step forward on Existential Void Guardian as well. The album also marks the first appearance of drummer Johnny King, also of Dread Sovereign, which I bring up because, you know, destruction.

From the PR wire:

conan existential void guardian

CONAN – Announce New Album Details

Existential Void Guardian Out On September 14th

Two years after the remarkable Revengeance, CONAN once more leave us astounded with a previously unknown side to dual vocal sludge. The British trio presents a tar monster named Existential Void Guardian that seems even more menacing as soon as it gets high on its own downtuned groove frenzy.

The album will be released on September 14 via Napalm Records.

Pre order Existential Void Guardian HERE!
http://smarturl.it/Conan-EVG-NPR

Tracklist:
1. Prosper On The Path
2. Eye To Eye To Eye
3. Paincantation
4. Amidst The Infinite
5. Volt Thrower
6. Vexxagon
7. Eternal Silent Legend
8. BONUS: Total Conquest (live 2018 @ Rebellion Manchester)
9. BONUS: Satsumo (live 2018 @ Rebellion Manchester)
10. BONUS: Foehammer (live 2018 @ Rebellion Manchester)
11. BONUS: Hawk As Weapon (live 2018 @ Rebellion Manchester)

Existential Void Guardian will be available as:
1 CD Digipack
2 LP Gatefold black
2 LP Gatefold gold (Napalm Records Mailorder exclusive)
2 LP Gatefold dark green (Napalm Records Mailorder exclusive)
Digital Album

Tour Dates:
17.08.18 IR – Cork / Cyprus Avenue
30.09.18 UK – Sheffield / O2 Academy
02.10.18 NL – Eindhoven / Effenaar
03.10.18 DE – Bochum / Rockpalast
04.10.18 DE – Hamburg / Logo
05.10.18 DE – Berlin / Musik & Frieden
06.10.18 PL – Wroclaw / Firlej
07.10.18 PL – Warsaw / Poglos
09.10.18 LT – Vinius / Rock River Club
10.10.18 LV – Jelgava / Melno Cepuriso Balerija
11.10.18 EE – Tallinn / Sveta
13.10.18 FI – Helsinki / Blow Up 4 Festival
15.10.18 SE – Stockholm / Kraken
16.10.18 TBA
17.10.18 SE – Malmo / Plan B
19.10.18 DK – Copenhagen / Stengade
20.10.18 NL – Leeuwarden / Into The Void Festival
23.11.18 UK – Nottingham / The Loft
24.11.18 UK – Leeds / Temple Of Boom
26.11.18 UK – Glasgow / Audio
27.11.18 UK – Manchester / Rebellion
28.11.18 UK – Coventry / The Arches
Lineup:
Jon Davis – vocals, guitar (2006-present)
Chris Fielding – bass (2013-present)
Johnny King – drums (2017-present)

http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hailconan/
https://www.instagram.com/hailconan/
https://conan-conan.bandcamp.com/
https://twitter.com/hailconan
http://label.napalmrecords.com/

Conan, “Prosper on the Path” live in Glasgow, May 9, 2018

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John Garcia Postpones European Tour to 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

john garcia and the band of gold

Well, they’ll miss this year’s Fall festival season, but something tells me the month-long stint rescheduled for Jan.-Feb. 2019 won’t be the last time John Garcia and the Band of Gold tour Europe in support of their impending new album. I’m curious as to whether or not Garcia‘s new outfit will release that album via Napalm Records or through another outlet. Garcia‘s Kyuss/Vista Chino bandmate Brant Bjork and his Low Desert Punk Band recently finished their three-album deal, and I think this would make three releases for Garcia on the same label behind last year’s The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues (review here) and his 2014 self-titled solo debut (review here), so it would make sense. But the nature of plans is to change, as evidenced by the fact that the tour’s been rescheduled in the first place, so who knows?

Not me, in any case. But through ups and downs with the aforementioned Kyuss and Vista Chino, as well as his sundry other outfits Slo BurnUnida and HermanoGarcia‘s proven he’s nothing if not a survivor. I look forward to hearing John Garcia and the Band of Gold‘s debut LP, however and whenever it might arrive.

Rescheduled tour dates follow here, as hoisted from thee social medias:

john garcia and the band of gold tour poster

JOHN GARCIA & THE BAND OF GOLD reschedule all European headline shows to 2019. The performances at Desertfest, Up In Smoke and Into The Void are cancelled. Dates in Zürich (CH), Gothenburg (SE), Leuven (BE) and Tilburg (NL) were added to the touring schedule.

JOHN GARCIA states:
“Although the Ocotober / November has been postponed, I’m pleased to announce the release of the new dates and shows in January and February of 2019. It was essential for the health of my new record which will be out this fall that we postponed the tour. I will never give up on my band, my team and the love of music for a lack luster record. Myself and my Band of Gold have big plans for 2019 and it all starts with this tour. Stoked and shaka till death!!”

All purchased tickets remain valid for the re-scheduled dates. If anyone can’t make it to the new dates, please contact your place of purchase.

John Garcia and the Band of Gold tour dates:
01.23 Paris FR Le Trabendo
01.24 Bordeaux FR Le Krakatoa
01.25 Madrid ES Caracol
01.26 Barcelona ES Razzamatazz 2
01.28 Lyon FR Le Kao
01.29 Zurich CH Bogen F.
01.30 Milan IT Santeria Club
01.31 Munich DE Backstage Halle
02.02 Graz AT Explosiv
02.03 Budapest HU A38
02.04 Prague CZ Rock Cafe
02.05 Nurnberg DE Hirsch
02.07 Jena DE F-Haus
02.08 Berlin DE SO36
02.09 Copenhagan DK Loppen
02.10 Oslo NO John Dee
02.12 Helsinki FI Tavastia
02.14 Stockholm SE Debaser Strand
02.15 Gothenburg SE Sticky Fingers
02.16 Hamburg DE Gruenspan
02.17 Cologne DE Helios 36
02.19 Leuven BE Het Depot
02.20 Aschaffenburg DE Colos-Sal
02.21 Essen DE Turock
02.22 Tilburg NL 013
02.23 London UK 02 Academy Islington

www.facebook.com/JohnGarciaOfficial
https://twitter.com/johngarciasolo
www.napalmrecords.com

John Garcia, “Kylie” official video

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Greenleaf Announce November Tour Dates & Album Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

greenleaf

Can you feel it? Any minute now, the PR wire is going to bring news of a release date for Greenleaf‘s new album, Hear the Rivers. Any minute. The new outing from the mainstay and road-dog Swedish heavy rockers was first announced back in January ahead of the band embarking on an Australian tour in March. They’ve reportedly been in the studio off and on as well as busy with procreating/family life, but they’re still getting out in November for a quick run mostly in Germany that will also include stops in Paris, London and at the Helldorado Festival in Eindhoven. Starting out with a gig in Dresden alongside My Sleeping Karma and Ripple Music upstarts The Necromancers, support for the bulk of the run will come from German trio Samavayo, who also have a new album in the works.

I don’t know if the Samavayo will be out by November — anything’s possible — but the prospect of a new Greenleaf only makes an already amazing 2018 even better. Somehow it’s only been two years since 2016’s Rise Above the Meadow (review here) scorched eardrums and took Greenleaf‘s sound to its greatest accomplishment yet, but I guess it feels like longer because, you know, the record’s timeless. Seriously. I still put it on, and it’s way harder for albums to pass the after-the-year-ends test for me these days. Just saying.

But yeah, so given that, I’m gonna go back to waiting for that Greenleaf press release to come rollin’ in. Any minute now…

greenleaf samavayo tour

New album and tour in November! Are you as excited as we are?!?!

We’re psyched to announce Greenleaf’s “Hear The Rivers Tour 2018”, with Samavayo as support (*) as follows!

08.11.18 (D) Dresden | Beatpol (with MY SLEEPING KARMA & The Necromancers)
09.11.18 (D) Berlin | Musik & Frieden (*)
10.11.18 (D) Stuttgart | Keller Club (*)
11.11.18 (A) Vienna | Viper Room (*)
12.11.18 (D) Munich | Feierwerk (*)
13.11.18 (CH) Olten | Coq d’Or (*)
14.11.18 (D) Cologne | Helios 37 (*)
15.11.18 (UK) London | Underworld (*)
16.11.18 (FR) Paris | Glazart (*)
17.11.18 (NL) Eindhoven | Helldorado Festival

http://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/store/greenleaf
http://shop.napalmrecords.com/greenleaf
www.facebook.com/greenleafrocks
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords
http://www.soundofliberation.com/greenleaf

Greenleaf, “Goin’ Down” (Freddie King cover)

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Stoned Jesus Premiere “Hands Resist Him” Video; European Tour Impending

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

STONED JESUS

 

Stoned Jesus will release their fourth album, Pilgrims, on Sept. 7 as their first offering through Napalm Records. That in itself makes it a pretty pivotal moment for the Ukrainian heavy rock forerunners, but the big question going into the record is exactly where it will find the band following 2015’s The Harvest (review here) since they more or less spent the last year digging back to celebrate the fifth anniversary of YouTube’s favorite heavy rock record, their sophomore LP, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here). They toured playing that record in full, and with such a sharp sonic divide between its warm and stonerly tones and the sharper edges of The Harvest, I’ve been genuinely curious to find out exactly what kind of pilgrimage Stoned Jesus are going on with the new collection.

We get a first hint in the trio’s new video for the song “Hands Resist Him.” Amid the most resonant melodies I’ve yet heard from Stoned Jesus, they do indeed dig into a depth of tone that the last album seemed to eschew, but there’s a turn around the 4:30 mark to speedier riffing that finds guitarist/vocalist Igor Sidorenko, bassist Serhij Sljussar and drummer Dmytro Zinchenko pushing into an almost punkish rhythm, so it’s not as if the aesthetic growth brought to bear in The Harvest has been ignored or cast off. It’s there too. The question that remains is how much “Hands Resist Him” speaks for the rest of Pilgrims, and knowing Stoned Jesus‘ sneakily progressive bent as it’s emerged in their sound over time, I’d guess that there’s probably more to the new record than they’re letting on. They’re not the types to give away all the answers outright. They want their listeners to do some digging.

And no doubt there will be plenty to dig when the album arrives, since Stoned Jesus have always been songwriters first and foremost even as their style has proved so malleable over the course of the eight years since they made their debut with 2010’s First Communion. Following a hometown release show on Sept. 7 in Kiev, the band will be heading out on a Sound of Liberation-presented tour alongside Texas troublemakers Mothership and UK tone rollers Elephant Tree that runs for just over three weeks across a swath of Europe. Like Pilgrims itself, it’s an important tour since it will be Stoned Jesus in the headlining spot with support from two also-killer bands, and another pivotal step-up moment for them as they continue to live up to the potential they’ve shown in their work all along.

I’m thrilled today to host the premiere of the “Hands Resist Him” video, which surely stretched Napalm‘s budget as regards the fog machine. You’ll find the clip below, followed by a quick quote from Sidorenko and the tour dates, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Stoned Jesus, “Hands Resist Him” official video premiere

Igor Sidorenko on “Hands Resist Him”:

I guess this track is a perfect example of the changes I’m going through as a songwriter and Stoned Jesus is going through as a band. It’s dark, heavy and intense, but it’s a great song first and foremost.

On September 7th STONED JESUS will deliver their next solid slab of progressive stoner rock on Napalm Records: Pilgrims.

With their fourth album the Ukrainian trio offers much more than an average desert session: Pilgrims is a rather multi-faceted affair mixing groove with noise rock elements, lots of proggy infusions and maybe even a sick bass line reminiscent of good old Deftones (“Thessalia”). Giants such as Mastodon and Melvins come to mind since STONED JESUS can’t be pigeonholed.

stoned jesus mothership elephant tree tourStoned Jesus tour dates:
14.07.18 SP – Viveiro / Resurrection Fest
27.07.18 DE – Neuensee / Rock im Wald
02.08.18 GR – Almiros / Los Almiros
19.08.18 FR – Saint-Nolff / Motocultor
02.09.18 GR – Thessaloniki / Street Mode

Stoned Jesus w/ Mothership & Elephant Tree
07.09.18 UA – Kyiv / Bingo Club (Stoned Jesus only)
13.09.18 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
14.09.18 DE – Stuttgart / JH Hallschlag
15.09.18 CH – Pratteln / Z 7
17.09.18 DE – Munich / Feierwerk
18.09.18 AT – Graz / PPC
19.09.18 AT – Vienna / Arena
20.09.18 DE – Leipzig / Werk 2
21.09.18 DE – Berlin / Bi Nuu
22.09.18 NL – Nijmegen / Doornroosje
23.09.18 NL – Amsterdam / Melkweg
24.09.18 DE – Köln / Helios 37
25.09.18 DE – Bielefeld / Forum
26.09.18 BE – Brussels / Magasin 4
27.09.18 FR – Paris / Petit Bain
28.09.18 UK – London /The Garage
29.09.18 UK – Sheffield / Doom vs Stoner Festival
12.10.18 UA – Lviv / FESTrepublic
19.10.18 UA – Kharkiv / ART AREA DK
20.10.18 UA – Dnipro / Makhno Pub

Line-up:
Ihor Sydorenko – Vocals & Guitars
Serhij Sljussar – Bass
Dmytro Zinchenko – Drums

Stoned Jesus on Twitter

Stoned Jesus on Thee Facebooks

Stoned Jesus on Instagram

Napalm Records website

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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