Friday Full-Length: Neurosis, The Eye of Every Storm

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

So much soul. I have a theory about NeurosisThe Eye of Every Storm — or at very least a kind of fantasy incarnation. It’s basically every song on the album redone by Nina Simone. It would work. Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind, it would work. Think of the arrangements. Think of lines like, “I came to a pile of ashes and sifted through it looking for teeth,” and “So I crawl through the hailstones/My eyes fixed on my return.” It would be amazing, and it would totally, totally work. There is so much soul in this record.

The Eye of Every Storm was released in 2004 as the eighth Neurosis full-length, and it remains a forward-thinking entity unto itself. At that point, the Oakland-based outfit had already blazed a trail through what would continue to become post-metal largely in their wake, records like 1993’s Enemy of the Sun and 1996’s Through Silver in Blood solidifying the progression and approach of 1992’s third outing and pivot away from their hardcore punk beginnings, Souls at Zero (reissue review here), first began. Each of those was crucial in its way, and I’d say the same of 1999’s Times of Grace, but The Eye of Every Storm followed the genre-defining 2001 offering, A Sun That Never Sets (discussed here), and managed to push even beyond that collection’s scope. Comprised of eight tracks for a mammoth and immersive 68-minute runtime, it also was the first pure Neurosis full-length through their own label, Neurot Recordings, though they’d done the two Official Bootleg releases, the Short Wave Warfare live album, and — most relevant — the 2003 collaboration Neurosis & Jarboe, through the imprint as well.

If one looks at Neurosis‘ career as a narrative arc, each album seems to step beyond the last in one direction and/or another. 1990’s The Word as Law built on their 1988 debut, Pain of Mind; Enemy of the Sun built on Souls at Zero, etc. Fine. In that regard, The Eye of Every Storm is another step outward on the part of Neurosis from any sort of delineation of who they “should be.” It was a record that droned as much as it raged, that delivered itself with a patience that even three years earlier was unobtainable, and from the crashing samples Noah Landis brought to opener “Burn,” it was a release of such nuance and sonic detail that 14 years later, one can still listen to it twice and hear something difference each time. Atmosphere of course always played a role in their work, but it was the first time Neurosis were able to make ambience as heavy as the crushing, churning rhythms and tonality that remain a hallmark of their sound.

Following the memorable push of “Burn” and the sweep of “No River to Take Me Home,” the title-track’s near-12-minute reach unfolds a spacious beginning and drops to minimalist bass swells and neurosis the eye of every stormsynth as a bed to execute a build so subtle that one doesn’t even realize what’s happening until it’s already happened. It’s plenty heavy by the finish, but not raging, and though the subsequent “Left to Wander” starts out somewhat manic, after its first minute, it drops to a vast soundscape populated by sparse guitar and a whispered verse. Trades between loud and quiet spaces are common enough in Neurosis‘ style, and certainly in the styles of many of those who’ve taken influence from them, but The Eye of Every Storm smooths the transitions between them to be no more stark than precisely how the band intends: “Left to Wander” lurches to life in its chorus twice before the song hits its halfway point and turns to one of the album’s most outwardly heavy instrumental progressions, marked by tense, rubber-band-about-to-snap-except-it’s-an-arm-tendon toms from drummer Jason Roeder and a wash of guitar noise from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till as Landis on keys and Dave Edwardson on bass seem to hold the proceedings together before the track devolves into a wash ahead of the instrumental “Shelter,” something of a five-minute interlude that nonetheless proves hypnotic early before arriving at a heavier shove in its second half.

I refuse to discount either “Bridges” or “I Can See You” at the end of the album. Particularly the latter is an epilogue that’s essential to the atmospheric impression The Eye of Every Storm leaves behind when it’s over. But for me, the crux has always been in “A Season in the Sky.” As much a narrative poem as it is a song, it begins with, “I had a vision last night…” and from there elucidates a desolation that is nothing short of consuming. The vocals, atop quiet guitar at first, later cutting through undulating riffs, lead initially to a weeping guitar lead that’s the perfect complement to — and here we are — the bare soul on display throughout. The soul. Neurosis are so often misread as cerebral, and while I’ll argue their progression is conscious — I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe a band who’s spent more than 30 years breaking stylistic ground doesn’t also put thought into it — “A Season in the Sky” is so overwhelming precisely because it is a work of raw heart. Every turn is affecting. Every boom of Edwardson‘s bass in its bridge, every in-pocket turn of its groove. It’s all gorgeously arranged and balanced, but it’s all so natural at the same time, and it captures instrumentally the seeking that’s happening in the lyrics in a way that is no less resonant today than when it was released. It’s everything the apex of The Eye of Every Storm should be.

And yes, the stark contrasts of loud and quiet in “Bridges” are a highlight unto themselves — it’s as far as Neurosis go into either on the album — and “I Can See You” ends with a graceful transition between acoustic guitar and a final statement of heft, but I’d argue both still remain informed by the methodical execution of “A Season in the Sky,” as does the rest of The Eye of Every Storm when taken in full.

It doesn’t seem like it now, but it was a long three years before Neurosis returned to issue Given to the Rising in 2007, and by the time they did, they found themselves following a different impulse — still deeply atmospheric, but more intense. I liken it to the album art: grey for The Eye of Every Storm and black for its follow-up.  2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) pushed further along similar lines in its construction, and 2016’s Fires Within Fires (review here) saw the five-piece take a rawer approach in light of passing their prior-alluded 30th anniversary. They continue to tour, in support of that record as well as a series of vinyl reissues of earlier work, and just at the start of this month announced they’ll hit Japan with Converge early in 2019 (dates here). I haven’t heard murmurings of a new album, but it’s early yet, and I wouldn’t ahead of anyone else. Wherever they go next, I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

This is a special album to me personally and I think in general. I consider writing about it a gift to myself.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

It’s about quarter after four in the morning. In a couple hours, The Pecan, The Patient Mrs. and I will head south from Massachusetts, first to Connecticut, then to New Jersey. That Pecan turns one year old next week so we’re doing a little family celebration thing tomorrow. It’ll be good to be down there for a couple days, if a long drive to do with the baby in one day. Four or five hours in the car is a lot for him. About double his usual tolerance. We’ll see how it goes.

Need to remember to bring the baby monitor and the white noise machine. We don’t pack light these days, not that I ever did. For a dude who wears nothing but t-shirts, I certainly seem to need a lot of clothes. “What if I’m in the mood for the Slomatics shirt?” as I often am. Also the coffee grinder comes with.

That’s what’s up for the weekend. Should be good and exhausting after a week that was much the same. I had the baby straight through from about 10-5:30 yesterday on my own. He naps and stuff — so do I — but still. Youth, energy, all that. I hear teenagers sleep though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Next week is busy too. I feel like I haven’t done proper notes in a while, so here they are, subject to change blah blah:

Mon.: Bismut premiere/review; The Sonic Dawn video premiere.
Tue.: Vessel of Light review.
Wed.: When the Deadbolt Breaks video premiere.
Thu.: Iron Lamb track premiere.
Fri.: A huge piece on The Wall [Redux] with track premieres and band comments, etc.

That last thing is going to be a monster to put together, but will be awesome once it’s up. Look out for it.

The second episode of “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio airs on Sunday night. Prime time, baby! I still need to do the voice tracks for it, but that’ll happen today at some point. 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific at http://gimmeradio.com.

And if you want to hear the first episode, you can sign up for their archive feature. It’s five bucks or something ridiculously cheap like that.

Alright. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who’s bought a shirt thus far. I’m still hoping to get hoodies done again at some point, but if these go first, that’ll go a long way toward making that happen. So yeah, thanks. If you want one, they’re here: https://www.dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Neurosis Announce Feb. 2019 Japan Tour with Converge

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

neurosis-photo-by-stefaan-temmerman

Granted, it’s been a while by now, but I still approach Neurosis from a mindset of remembering that period where they weren’t really a touring band. It was almost 15 years ago now, after they did Ozzfest and were presumably burnt out from that as only bands on the Second Stage could’ve possibly been, and before The Eye of Every Storm came out, around the Neurosis & Jarboe record. I remember going to see them in Philly, and it was an event. They did maybe four shows that entire album cycle? Less than 10 before Given to the Rising landed. Anyway, Neurosis have been on the road again for years now — in the last 12 months, they’ve toured Europe, South America and the West Coast, and if you go back 14 months, the Northeast and Europe (again) as well. Supporting a record that’s two years old already. It still seems counterintuitive to me, but Neurosis have been touring a lot for at least the last five years or so.

Not a complaint, it just still feels kind of weird to me. I can’t think of another band who toured hard, receded and then hit the road again later. At least not a band of Neurosis‘ profile. I’m sure it’s happened, but yeah.

They continue to cover the globe with a Japanese tour in Feb. alongside apparent-buds Converge, with whom they’ve shared the stage multiple times since passing the 30-year mark in 2015.

Details and dates from the PR wire:

neurosis converge tour

NEUROSIS Announces Leave Them All Behind 2019 Tour Of Japan With Converge For February

NEUROSIS continues to book new tours around the globe supporting their acclaimed 2016-released Fires Within Fires LP. Following several major tours with Converge, the two acts team up once again, announcing their return to Japan together with the Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour.

Both NEUROSIS and Converge have a strong connection based on mutual respect and the two acts have been on double headlining tours in America and Europe every year since 2016. The co-headlining Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour sees NEUROSIS returning to Japan for only the second time in their storied career, the first time in 1999, and Converge returning for their first tour of the country in six years.

Booked and organized by Daymare Recordings with Smash, Leave Them All Behind 2019 will run from February 14th through February 17th, with shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and two performances in different sections of Tokyo. Converge will perform a special You Fail Me set at the final concert where NEUROSIS will also perform a different set from the other shows of the tour. Showcasing the current Japanese extreme underground scene, additional support on the first Tokyo show will be provided by Endon and Self Deconstruction, and the second night Palm and Black Ganion.

Advance tickets for all shows will go on sale Saturday October 27th.

NEUROSIS is also confirmed to play at Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City this weekend. Performing as the main headliner, Chelsea Wolfe, Pig Destroyer, Russian Circles, and many more will also play at the two-day event.

Watch for additional NEUROSIS tour dates to be announced in the months ahead.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
Leave Them All Behind 2019 w/ Converge:
2/14/2019 Trad – Osaka, JP
2/15/2019 E.L.L. – Nagoya, JP
2/16/2019 O-East – Shbuya, Tokyo, JP w/ Endon, Self Deconstruction
2/17/2019 Unit – Daikanyama, Tokyo, JP w/ Palm, Black Ganion

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Mirrors for Psychic Warfare to Release I See What I Became Sept. 28; Preorders up Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

So next week, because hey why not, the Sanford Parker and Scott Kelly industro-distortion — yes, industortion — revue known as Mirrors for Psychic Warfare are going to take the stage in direct support for Godflesh. It’s happening once in Chicago and once in New York. Both bills are awesome, to be sure, but god damn, what a pairing that is. It’s like Godflesh get to see the chaos they’ve wrought before they even go on. “Now look what you made happen!,” etc. I was fortunate enough once to watch Mirrors for Psychic Warfare when they were supporting their 2016 self-titled debut (review here) and it was a sight to behold. Also to be-felt in terms of the low end wave frequencies rumbling in your chest. I’d imagine they’re no less consuming now than they were, especially with a new record on the way.

That album is called I See What I Became and it’s due out Sept. 28 of course on Neurot Recordings. The PR wire brings more about the shows, about the album and the project as a whole.

Have at it:

mirrors-for-psychic-warfare-i-see-what-i-became

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE: Industrial Collaboration Featuring Neurosis’ Scott Kelly And Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker To Release I See What I Became This Fall Via Neurot; Trailer Posted, Preorders Available + US Shows With Godflesh Draw Near

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE, the industrial collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker, will unleash their second chapter of sonic anxiety this fall via Neurot Recordings.

Titled I See What I Became, the follow-up to the duo’s 2016’s critically-lauded, self-titled debut was produced by Seward Fairbury (Corrections House) and Negative Soldier, mastered by Collin Jordan (Eyehategod, Indian, Wovenhand, Voivod etc.) with decibel manipulation by Dave French (Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, The Anunnaki), and comes swathed in the cover art of Thomas Hooper (Neurosis, Harvestman, Boris, Tombs, Doomriders).

I See What I Became will see release on CD, digital, and vinyl formats on September 28th with preorders available at THIS LOCATION.

View the album trailer, courtesy of Chariot Of Black Moth, at THIS LOCATION.

I See What I Became Track Listing:
1. Animal Coffins
2. Tomb Puncher
3. Body Ash
4. Flat Rats In The Alley
5. Thing Of Knives
6. Crooked Teeth
7. Death Cart
8. Coward Heat

As a precursor to the album’s release, MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE will play two very special shows later this month supporting industrial titans Godflesh in Chicago and New York City respectively with future MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE live abrasions, including a European tour this fall, to be announced in the weeks to come.

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE w/ Godflesh:
8/24/2018 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Harm’s Way, Ledge
8/25/2018 Gramercy Theater, New York, NY w/ Tombs, Body Stuff

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorsforpsychicwarfare
http://www.mirrorsforpsychicwarfare.bandcamp.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare, I See What I Became trailer

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Quarterly Review: CHRCH, Bongripper, King Chiefs, Bonnacons of Doom, Boar, June Bug, Tired Lord, Bert, Zen Bison, Wheel in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know the deal by now, I’m sure: 50 reviews this week between now and Friday, in batches of 10 per day. It’s an unholy amount of music, but those who really dig in always seem to find something cool within a Quarterly Review. Frankly, with this much to choose from, I’d certainly hope so. I’m not going to delay at all, except to say thanks in advance for coming along on this one. It’s got some core-heavy and some-not-really-core-heavy stuff all bundled next to each other, so yeah, your patience is appreciated. Okay. No time like the present. Let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All

chrch light will consume us all

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the songs are long. Blah blah blah it’s heavy as whatever kind of construction equipment you could want to name. What’s even more striking about Los Angeles doomers CHRCH’s Neurot Recordings debut, Light Will Consume Us All, is the sense of atmosphere. The follow-up to 2015’s massively well-received Unanswered Hymns (review here) is comprised of three songs presented in descending time order from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Infinite” (20:41) to centerpiece “Portals” (14:50) and closer “Aether” (9:29) and it finds CHRCH refining the unremitting patience of their rollout, so that even when “Aether” explodes in its second half to charred blastbeating and abrasive screams, the ambience is still dense enough to feel it in one’s lungs. CHRCH keep up this level of progression and soon enough someone’s going to call them post-something or other. As it stands, their second album builds righteously on the achievements of their debut, and is a revelation in its bleakness.

CHRCH on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings website

 

Bongripper, Terminal

bongripper terminal

Pressed up as ever in DIY fashion, Bongripper’s Terminal presents two gargantuan slabs – one per vinyl side – that only seem to highlight the strengths in the Chicago instrumentalists’ approach. The tones are huge, the grooves nodding, the impact of each kick drum forceful. Repetition is central, that feeling of aural mass and destructiveness, but neither is Terminal – comprised of “Slow” (25:11) and “Death” (18:15) – lacking a sense of atmosphere. After 21 minutes of grueling pummel, “Slow” devolves into droning layers of noise wash and quiet guitar to finish out, and “Death” seems to hold onto an echoing lead in its closing minutes that accomplishes much the same thing in broadening the atmosphere overall. I don’t know if the two songs were composed to fit together –the titles would hint yes – but they invariably do, and as “Death” unleashes a more insistent punch before turning to a post-YOB gallop, it reconfirms Bongripper’s worship-worthy place in the stoner doom milieu, how their sound can be so familiar in its threat and yet so much their own.

Bongripper on Bandcamp

Bongripper webstore

 

King Chiefs, Blue Sonnet

King Chiefs Blue Sonnet

Born as Chiefs ahead of their 2015 debut album, Tomorrow’s Over (review here), Arizona-based four-piece King Chiefs make their own first outing in the form of the easily-digestible desert rocker Blue Sonnet (on Roosevelt Row and Cursed Tongue Records), comprised of 10 tracks running just under 40 minutes of older-school laid back heavy, swinging easy on cuts like “Surely Never” and “Drifter” while still finding some Helmeted aggressive edge in the riffs of “Slug” and “Walk the Plank.” The overarching focus is on songwriting, however, and King Chiefs hone in cleverly on ‘90s-era desert rock’s post-grunge sensibility, so that their material seems ready for an alternative radio that no longer exists. Such as it is, they do just fine without, and hooks pervade the two-guitar outfit’s material in natural and memorable fashion all the way to five-and-a-half-minute closer “Shrine of the Beholder,” which embraces some broader textures without losing the structural focus that serves so well on the songs before it.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Roosevelt Row Records website

Cursed Tongue Records website

 

Bonnacons of Doom, Bonnacons of Doom

bonnacons of doom bonnacons of doom

Heavy psychedelic experimentalism pervades the Rocket Recordings-issued self-titled debut album from Liverpool collective Bonnacons of Doom, rife with tripout ritualism and exploration of sound as it is, all chasing light and getting freaky in any sense you want to read it. Five tracks, each a voyage unto itself – even the bass-fuzzy push of shortest cut “Rhizome” (5:55) is cosmos-bound – feed into the larger weirdness at play that culminates in the undulating grooves of “Plantae” (8:39), which is perhaps the most solidified cut in terms of choruses, verses, etc., but still a molten, headphone-worthy freakout that pushes the limits of psychedelia and still holds itself together. If the album was a to-do list, it would read as follows: “Eat mushrooms. Get naked. Dance around. Repeat.” Whether you do or don’t is ultimately up to you, but Bonnacons of Doom make a pretty convincing argument in favor, and I don’t generally consider myself much of a dancer. Among the most individualized psych debuts I’ve heard in a long time.

Bonnacons of Doom on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Boar, Poseidon

Boar Poseidon

Poseidon, at six songs and 39 minutes, is the second long-player from Finnish four-piece Boar. Released on vinyl with no shortage of backing — Lost Pilgrims Records, Dissonant Society, Impure Muzik, S.K.O.D., Rämekuukkeli-levyt – it hurls forth a High on Fire-informed vision of noise rock on its opening title-track only to take on a slower roll in the subsequent “Shahar’s Son” and dig into massive crashing on “12.” Using echo to add a sense of depth all the while, they scream in tradeoffs à la Akimbo and boogie in “Featherless” and seem to find a post-metallic moment on “Dark Skies” before closing with the alternately brooding and scathing “Totally out of This World,” the song sort of falling apart into the feedback and noise that ends the album. There’s a persistent sense of violence happening, but it’s as much inward as outward, and though some of Boar’s most effective moments are in that rawness, there’s something to be said for the contemplation at the outset of “Shahar’s Son” and “12” as well.

Boar on Thee Facebooks

Boar on Bandcamp

 

June Bug, A Thousand Days

June bug A Thousand Days

Seemingly unrestrained by genre, the Lille, France-based duo June BugJune on vocals and multiple instruments and Beryl on backing vocals and multiple instruments – dig into some post-punk nudge on early cut “Reasons” from their debut album, A Thousand Days (Atypeek Music) after the folkish melodies of opener “Now,” but whether it’s the fuzzy indie vibes of “Freaks” or the harmonies, electronics and acoustic guitar of “Let it Rest,” or the keyboard-handclaps, lower tones and poppish instrumental hook of centerpiece “Mama,” there’s plenty of variety throughout. What ties the differing vibes and richly nuanced approach together is the vocals, which are mostly subdued and at times hyper-stylized, but never seem to fail to keep melodicism as their central operating method. That remains true on the subdued “Does it Matter” and the beat-laden “Silenced” at the album’s finish and brings everything together with an overarching sense of joy that holds firm despite shifts in mood and approach, making the complete front-to-back listen as satisfying as it might seem all over the place.

June Bug on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music website

 

Tired Lord, Demo

tired lord demo

Released by the band last year, the four-song Demo by San Francisco outfit Tired Lord has been picked up for an official cassette issue through From Corners Unknown Records and will reportedly be the only release from the black metal/sludge genre-benders. Presumably that means they broke up, rather than just refuse to ever record again, though the latter possibility intrigues as well and would be meta-black metal. Spearheaded by guitarist Bryce Olson, Tired Lord effectively bring a thickness of tone to charred riffing, and a balance between screams and growls brings a cast of general extremity to the material. So I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to regret their dissolution and wish they’d do a proper release. Fair enough for the brutal chug in “Serpent’s Ascent” and the 7:51 closer “Astaroth,” which one wouldn’t mind hearing fleshed out from their current form. Failing that, one of the 30 tape copies pressed of Demo seems like decent consolation. At least while they’re there for the getting and before Tired Lord go gleefully into that black metal demo tape ether where so many seem to dwell.

From Corners Unknown Records on Thee Facebooks

From Corners Unknown Records website

 

BerT, Relics from Time Zero

bert relics from time zero

Lansing, Michigan, trio BerT – bassist Phil Clark and brothers Ryan (guitar) and Rael (drums) Andrews – broke up. They even put out a posthumous rare tracks release in 2017’s The Lost Toes (review here), so what’s left? Well, another album, of course. Intended as a sequel to the sci-fi narrative of the never-released long-player Return to the Electric Church, the five-track/35-minute Relics from Time Zero is unfinished, sans vocals where they might otherwise be, and basically a look at what might’ve been had the band not dissolved. For those prior-exposed to the once-prolific heavy rock bizarros, some of the proceedings will seem familiar: riffs are plentiful and fluid in their tempo changes from driving rock to droned-out stomp, and there seems to be about 1.5 of them in the four-minute “In the Cave of the Batqueen,” so but for the fact that it’s not done, I’d just about call it business as usual for BerT. I know they’re done and all, but I still wouldn’t mind hearing these songs with some lyrics, let alone the record this one was intended to follow-up. Either way, even defunct, BerT remain on their own wavelength.

BerT on Thee Facebooks

BerT on Bandcamp

 

Zen Bison, Krautrocker

zen bison krautrocker

Classic-style heavy rock riffing pervades opener “Blow My Mind” (5:47) and the subsequent “Backseat Lovers” (5:15) – somewhere between Stubb and Radio Moscow — on Zen Bison’s debut LP, Krautrocker, but as the five-track/42-minute self-release moves into the 11-minute title-track, guitarist/vocalist Philipp Ott, bassist Steffen Fischer and drummer Martin Konopka – joined by organist Hans Kirschner and percussionist Bobby Müller –move into deeper-grooving and more psychedelic fare. That turn suits the mostly-live-recorded outfit well on the longer instrumental piece, and that leads to a side B with the likewise-sans-vocals “La Madrugada” (9:56) and the closing cover of Don Nix’s blues rocker “Going Down” (10:24), jammed out at the end in its middle and end with quick return to the chorus between. There isn’t much on Krautrocker one might actually consider krautrock in the traditional sense, but there’s certainly plenty of rock to go around on the impressive and varied first offering from the Rostock trio.

Zen Bison on Thee Facebooks

Zen Bison on Bandcamp

 

Wheel in the Sky, Beyond the Pale

wheel in the sky beyond the pale

From opener “Rivers of Dust” onward, Wheel in the Sky’s second album, Beyond the Pale (on The Sign Records), proffers classy and classic digs, informed by a heavy ‘70s uptempo spirit on its title-track and moving into more complex volume and arrangement shifts in “Burn Babylon Burn” (video premiere here) and a poppy, goth-informed hook on “The Only Dead Girl in the City,” all the while held together through a quality of songwriting that even the band’s 2015 debut, Heading for the Night (review here), seemed to hint toward. It’s a mover, to be sure, but Wheel in the Sky execute their material with poise and a sense of clear intention, and no matter where they seem to go, their tonality and natural production assures the listener has an easy time tagging along. Might be a sleeper for some, but there are going to be people who really, really dig this album, and I’ve got no argument with them.

Wheel in the Sky on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

 

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CHRCH Announce West Coast Tour Dates with YOB & Acid King; On the Road Next Week to Austin Terror Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Californian hyperbole-inspiration specialists CHRCH head out on a tour next week that will take them to Austin Terror Fest the lineup for which indeed looks duly terrifying. Perhaps even scarier than that is that CHRCH in September are on a three-band bill with YOB and Acid King and there’s just about no way in hell I’m going to see any of those shows, let alone follow along the entire tour as it makes its way through the Southwestern desert, which to be perfectly honest seems like a pretty badass way to spend a week, even basically one coming right off of Psycho Las Vegas. Seriously, how could you go wrong with those three bands at a show? Goodness gracious.

CHRCH‘s new album (review pending) is out now on Neurot. The PR wire brings daydream fodder:

chrch photo hannah stone

CHRCH To Kick Off Mini-Tour Next Week + West Coast Fall Shows With Yob And Acid King Confirmed; Light Will Consume Us All Out Now Via Neurot

Sacramento’s favorite doom practitioners CHRCH will kick off a short run of live dates next week. Set to commence on June 11th in Fullerton, California and run through June 21st in Reno, Nevada, the journey includes performances with Body Void, Trapped Within Burning Machinery, Ugly, Hist, Bird Violence, and The Ditch And The Delta on select shows, as well as a stop at Austin Terror Fest June 16th with Exhorder, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Come To Grief, Cough, and many more. CHRCH’s latest journey follows a recent European jaunt with Fister. Additionally, the bandwill take on a week-long west coast trek supporting Yob and Acid King this September. See all confirmed dates below.

CHRCH’s Light Will Consume Us All is out now on CD, vinyl, and digital formats via Neurot Recordings. For physical order bundles visit THIS LOCATION. Desirers of the the digital edition can go HERE where the record is also streaming in full.

CHRCH:
6/11/2018 Slidebar – Fullerton, CA w/ Body Void, Trapped Within Burning Machinery
6/12/2018 Garage Rock Bar – Tijuana, MX
6/13/2018 The Rogue – Phoenix, AZ w/ Body Void, Ugly
6/14/2018 Cans – Tucson, AZ w/ Body Void, Hist, Bird Violence
6/15/2018 Neon Rose – El Paso, TX w/ Body Void
6/16/2018 Austin Terror Fest – Austin, TX w/ Exhorder, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Come To Grief, Cough, more
6/17/2018 Reno’s – Dallas, TX w/ Body Void
6/18/2018 Hi Dive – Denver, CO w/ Body Void
6/19/2018 Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UT w/ The Ditch And The Delta
6/21/2018 Holland Project – Reno, NV

w/ Yob, Acid King:
9/06/2018 Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA
9/07/2018 Catalyst Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
9/08/2018 Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA
9/09/2018 Teregram – Los Angeles, CA
9/12/2018 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM
9/13/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
9/14/2018 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
9/15/2018 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA

CHRCH:
Eva Rose – vocals
Chris Lemos – guitar, vocals
Ben Cathcart – bass
Adam Jennings – drums
Karl Cordtz – guitar, vocals

http://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca
https://churchdoom.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All (2018)

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Mirrors for Psychic Warfare to Support Godflesh; New Album in the Works

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

I was fortunate enough to catch Mirrors for Psychic Warfare live once, and the blend of elements from Scott Kelly‘s guitar and Sanford Parker‘s noisemaking mystery desk of, one assumes, a laptop, various manipulators, samplers, synth, etc., was like a physical presence in the room. One that put a hand right on your solar plexus and applied a steady pressure, with ebbs and flows, to be sure, but a pressure that, if you weren’t careful, could move you a step back. Their self-titled debut (review here) came out in 2016 via Neurot Recordings, and they have a follow-up said to be due this Fall. I for one think that would be just nifty.

They’ll also support Godflesh twice this summer, playing in Chicago and New York with the legendary industrial innovators. Talk about knowing your audience.

The PR wire puts it like this:

godflesh poster

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE: Scott Kelly/Sanford Parker Collaboration To Play Two Special US Shows With Godflesh; New Record Due This Fall Via Neurot

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE, the collaboration between Neurosis’ Scott Kelly and Buried At Sea’s Sanford Parker, will play two very special shows this August supporting industrial titans Godflesh! Set to take place in Chicago and New York City respectively, the August 24th appearance includes additional support from Harm’s Way and Ledge while the August 25th show features additional support from Tombs and Body Stuff. Tickets go on sale this Friday. The two performances come in advance of MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE’s next chapter of sonic anxiety set for release this fall via Neurot Records. Further details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE w Godflesh:
8/24/2018 Metro, Chicago – IL w/ Harm’s Way, Ledge
8/25/2018 Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY w/ Tombs, Body Stuff

MIRRORS FOR PSYCHIC WARFARE released their self-titled debut via Neurot in 2016. A audio manifestation of insomnia, complete with the tossing, turning, and perennial dread that comes with facing a new day, the five songs that comprise Mirrors For Psychic Warfare lurch and pulsate across a sullen, desolate landscape with an almost curious obsessiveness.

https://www.facebook.com/mirrorsforpsychicwarfare
http://www.mirrorsforpsychicwarfare.bandcamp.com
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Mirrors for Psychic Warfare, Mirrors for Psychic Warfare (2016)

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Neurosis Announce West Coast Tour with Converge and Amenra

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Tours like this happen because these bands like each other. You don’t think Converge are Neurosis fans? Or Amenra? Shit. Amenra are pretty much what happens when you put Converge and Neurosis together, add a dash of I’m-not-gonna-turn-around-and-look-at-the-audience pretense, and set the whole thing to a seizure-inducing strobe barrage. And you know what? Apparently Neurosis are into that enough that they signed Amenra to Neurot Recordings, so there you go. Bands liking each other. It’s nice. I bet the tour will be a good time.

Also devastatingly fucking heavy. The kind of show where — not that it would happen — if someone on a mic asked the crowd if they were getting tired, the inevitable answer would be yes. “Don’t get me wrong dude, I’m still up for more rockin’, but this is some emotionally-draining shit going on right here.” And then Neurosis plays “The Doorway.” Oy vey.

Good tour though. I’m not the hugest Converge or Amenra fan in the universe, but it’s hard not to appreciate what each of these acts brings to the whole onslaught of a given evening.

From the PR wire:

neurosis converge amenra poster

Heavy music visionaries, NEUROSIS, have announced a new West Coast North American tour with Converge and Amenra in July.

NEUROSIS recently announced June European tour dates, which will see them supported by labelmates Deafkids throughout the European club circuit, followed by separate performances at the massive Graspop and Hellfest gatherings.

Upon their stateside return, one year after touring the Eastern realms of North America with Converge and Amenra, NEUROSIS will now bring this incredible touring package to fans on the other end of the continent. The new tour will begin on July 6th in Seattle, running through Vancouver, Portland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Lawrence, Dallas, ending in Austin on July 21st.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 23rd at 10am local time. See all new dates and links below.

Released in September 2016, NEUROSIS’ acclaimed eleventh studio LP Fires Within Fires is available now on CD, LP, cassette, and all digital platforms through the band’s own Neurot Recordings.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
6/15/2018 Meet Factory – Prague, CZ w/ Deafkids
6/16/2018 Maifieild Derby – Mannheim, DE w/ Deafkids
6/17/2018 Zona Roveri – Bologna, IT w/ Converge, Deafkids
6/18/2018 Les Docks – Lausanne, CH w/ Wolves In The Throne Room, Deafkids
6/19/2018 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NK w/ Deafkids
6/20/2018 Copenhell – Copenhagen, DK w/ Deafkids
6/21/2018 Zeche Bochum – Bochum, DE w/ Deafkids
6/22/2018 Graspop – Dessel, BE
6/23/2018 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
7/06/2018 The Showbox – Seattle, WA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/07/2018 The Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC w/ Converge, Amenra
7/08/2018 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR w/ Converge, Amenra
7/10/2018 The UC Theatre Taube Family – Berkeley, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/11/2018 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/12/2018 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/13/2018 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/14/2018 The Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/16/2018 The Van Buren – Phoenix, AZ w/ Converge, Amenra
7/17/2018 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM w/ Converge, Amenra
7/18/2018 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO w/ Converge, Amenra
7/19/2018 Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS w/ Converge, Amenra
7/20/2018 Canton Hall – Dallas, TX w/ Converge, Amenra
7/21/2018 Emo’s – Austin, TX w/ Converge, Amenra

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Ufomammut Announce North American Touring with White Hills

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Aren’t you the slightest bit curious how much freakout you can handle in one evening? Well, I’d think between White Hills and Ufomammut, you’d probably be able to get a pretty good sense of your tolerance level. That’s a two-pronged attack of righteous anti-normality: Ufomammut holding down the cosmic doom low end as only masters of the form ever could hope to do, while White Hills bring forth alternate dimension space rock of the sort that, if they were from London and not New York, would already see them hailed as deities. And yeah, if you’re thinking you’d like to turn your brain into scrambled eggs like those old drug commercials, this tour might be a good way to go about it.

Be sure when you’re done that you send Nanotear Booking a thank-you card.

From the PR wire:

ufomammut white hills tour

UFOMAMMUT Announces North American Tour Including Maryland Deathfest, Northwest Terror Fest, Sled Island Festival, And Dates With White Hills

Italy’s sonic alchemists UFOMAMMUT will make their North American return this Spring for a month of live performances, which sees them performing sets at Maryland Deathfest, Northwest Terror Fest, and Sled Island Festival.

Breaking a two-year silence since their last North American incursion, UFOMAMMUT has booked a month of tour dates with New York City-based psychedelic rock act White Hills. The tour begins in Providence on May 23rd, one day before UFOMAMMUT makes their return to Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore where they’ll perform at Ram’s Head Live with -(16)-, Coven, Gateway To Hell, Khemmis, Mantar, and Today Is The Day. The tour then continues westward to Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle where UFOMAMMUT and While Hills will join Un, The Drip, Cormorant at Barboza on June 2nd, then trek back across to the East Coast before making a jump back out to Western Canada, ending their trek at Sled Island Festival with 40 Watt Sunn, Deerhoof, Jahn Maus, Mount Erie, Oren Ambarchi & Will Guthrie, and more on the Summer Equinox, June 21st.

Preceding the newly-announced North American tour, UFOMAMMUT will tour across Europe from March 22nd through April 6th, with shows in Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
3/22/2018 PMK – Innsbruck, AU
3/23/2018 Universum – Stuttgart, DE
3/24/2018 Rockhouse – Salzburg, AU
3/26/2018 Arena – Wien, AU
3/27/2018 KSET – Zagreb, HR
3/28/2018 A38 – Budapest, HU
3/29/2018 Flying Circus – Cluj-Napoca, RO
3/30/2018 Reflector – Timisoara, RO
3/31/2018 Fabrica Club – Bucharest, RO
4/01/2018 Mixtape – Sofia, BG
4/03/2018 Fuzz Club – Athens, GR
4/05/2018 Scumm – Pescara, IT
4/06/2018 Alchemica – Bologna, IT
w/ White Hills:
5/23/2018 Alchemy – Providence, RI
5/24/2018 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Death Fest*
5/25/2018 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/26/2018 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
5/27/2018 Reggies – Chicago, IL
5/29/2018 Lookout Lounge- Omaha, NE
5/30/2018 Hi-Dive – Denver, CO
6/01/2018 Neurolux – Boise, ID
6/02/2018 Barboza – Seattle, WA @ Northwest Terror Fest
6/03/2018 Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR w/ Usnea
6/05/2018 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
6/06/2018 Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
6/07/2018 Hi-Hat – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
6/09/2018 Sister – Albuquerque, NM
6/11/2018 The Lost Well – Austin, TX
6/13/2018 Growlers – Memphis, TN
6/14/2018 Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
6/15/2018 529 – Atlanta, GA
6/16/2018 Kings – Raleigh, NC
6/18/2018 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
6/21/2018 Sled Island Festival – Calgary, AB
7/13/2018 Stoned from the Underground – Erfurt, DE
8/10/2018 Sonic Blast Fest – Moledo, PT
8/11/2018 Alcatraz Festival – Kortrijk, BE

UFOMAMMUT’seighth LP, 8, was released in September through Neurot Recordings. Recorded at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, Milano, Italy, 8 is a major turning point in the heavy alchemic arts, with the elements of UFOMAMMUT’s recording constellation being re-aligned. Although the musicians within the collective remain unturned, a change in recording approach saw the trio playing and recording live together in the same room, even utilizing their live sound engineer Ciccio and his project Femore for production purposes, with Fabrizio San Pietro on mixing duties. Overdubs were used only for vocals, synth sounds, and minor details, with the result of the endeavor being a stricter focus on the soul, darkened groove, and overall cohesion of the music and themselves as musicians. In turn, 8 clarified to UFOMAMMUT who they are as a unit now and their new sonic path.

www.ufomammut.com
www.facebook.com/ufomammutband
twitter.com/ufomammutmafia
www.instagram.com/ufomammut
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings
https://neurotrecordings.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OfficialNeurot
http://www.supernaturalcat.com

Ufomammut, 8

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