Samavayo Premiere Video for “Sirens”; Vatan out Friday

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

samavayo

Comprised of seven tracks running 45 minutes, Samavayo‘s sixth album, Vatan (out this week on Noisolution), proves an immediately intricate affair. The previously unveiled “Prevarication Nation” is the opener and one of only two songs to top seven minutes long, with the other being the title-track that directly follows. The effect of these two pieces on the rest of the listening experience isn’t to be understated. Based in Berlin with Persian roots — the album’s title translates to “homeland,” and indeed the title-track’s lyrics are in Persian — Samavayo have previously explored textures of psychedelia and heavy rock, and those elements aren’t absent from Vatan either, but a socially and politically conscious mindset in songs like “Sirens,” “The Hate of Thousands,” “Prevarication Nation,” “Marionette” and “Children of Kobane” comes accompanied by a tightening of the trio’s performance and a sonic cohesion around progressive metal elements. A Tool influence is notable from the outset, but doesn’t necessarily define the whole work, as the rolling riff in the apex of “Vatan” itself, or the rampant hookmaking in “Time to Die” or the the jammy drift in the midsection of “The Hate of Thousands,” which also serves as the centerpiece. The very heart of the record, then.

And like the rest of Vatan as a whole, that placement doesn’t seem to be a coincidence. Nor should it be for a band six albums deep into their career, but Samavayo‘s execution across these tracks is all the more pointed than it has been in the past, and that’s shown even in the shortest of the inclusions, “Sirens.” Following the record’s initial salvo, “Sirens” is the only song under five minutes long at 4:41, and brings an intensity in its percussion and overarching rhythmic thrust that readily distinguishes it among the samavayo vatanother material as well as from Samavayo‘s 2016 offering, Dakota (review here). Like “Children of Kobane” and “Prevarication Nation” and much of what surrounds, it retains a memorable chorus in addition to showcasing the drums, but it’s grim, and the sirens in question seem as much to be tortured human voices in frontman Behrang Alavi‘s Middle Eastern native region as those of the personnel presumably responding to them. Such is the plight of the emigrant: removed from the capital-‘h’ Homeland but still tied to it emotionally and existentially.

Vatan is all the more poignant for this human edge brought to its point of view, and as the three-piece of Alavi, bassist/backing vocalist Andreas Voland and drummer/backing vocalist Stephan Voland embark on this ambitious outing, it’s also worth noting that it rocks. That seems almost silly to say, but it’s true nonetheless, and it’s not necessarily a given that an album with such a weight of message would present that without a sacrifice of songcraft or performance. Samavayo, whose creative evolution is writ large throughout their catalog, have never sounded sharper than they do here, and rather than give up the raw impact the material might otherwise make in the name of making a political statement, or at least examining the world as it exists around them, Samavayo bring all of this into the fold of the songs and continue to serve the best interests of the material first, whether it’s a quick turn from one part to another, a melodic impression in a quieter moment like that in the playfully rhythmic “Marionette,” or a more frenzied burst as in “Time to Die.” It can be a difficult balance for a band to strike between the one and the other. Samavayo make it sound as natural as any other form of expression by coming from a place as emotional as it is cognitive or critical.

They’ve just wrapped a tour heralding the release alongside Greenleaf — that run has been mentioned around here a few times, so pardon the redundancy — and no doubt other show plans will surface soon for next year. In the meantime, they’ve unveiled a video for “Sirens” that you can see below. I’ve tagged it as a premiere(-ish) hosting because as I understand it was revealed on a German site or two last week. Either way, I’m happy to showcase it here as well.

And, as always, I hope you enjoy:

Samavayo, “Sirens” official video premiere(-ish)

Sirens is the first official video of the upcoming (Nov 23rd 2018) album Vatan from the German heavy progressive stoner rock band Samavayo.

Samavayo on Thee Facebooks

Samavayo website

Samavayo on YouTube

Samavayo on Twitter

Noisolution webstore

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Samavayo Premiere “Prevarication Nation”; Vatan out Nov. 23

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

samavayo

The title of Samavayo‘s new LP, Vatan — out Nov. 23 as their first outing for Noisolution — translates from Persian to ‘homeland,’ and that is indicative very much of the some of the lyrical thematic from which the full-length works. More even than the Berlin-based trio’s 2016 LP, Dakota (review here), it is an album of unabashed sociopolitical perspective, and that is perhaps most summarized in the lyrics for the leadoff single premiering below, which is titled “Prevarication Nation.” Once you listen, there is little mystery whom and what it is about. Names aren’t named, but they’re not exactly shooting for subtlety.

Its sound is also something of a forward step for Samavayo, as well perhaps as a sideways one in terms of style. With a more progressive-metal bent than Dakota or their prior work, “Prevarication Nation” would not necessarily seem to speak for the entire collection in terms of aesthetic — not saying I got to hear early versions of the recordings as they were in progress or anything, but, well… — but it’s a standout in presence either way, marked by a distinct Tool influence that frontman/guitarist Behrang Alavi stands up to in his vocal approach as well. As to what the rest of Vatan might hold, November isn’t that far off — did you know it’s October? was news to me — and I have a decent feeling they’ll leak out more audio before the album actually arrives.

Until then, I’m of course thrilled to host the premiere of “Prevarication Nation” as well as the unveiling of the album art. Samavayo will mark the coming of the new release by touring with Sweden’s Greenleaf immediately prior, though as they note, they’ll have copies with them on the road for the merch table. I know I always like getting a record early.

Announcement comes from the label. Have at it:

samavayo vatan

“Prevarication Nation” is the first Track of the new SAMAVAYO album “Vatan” (nov.23rd 2018) and “Vatan” the first SAMAVAYO release on Noisolution. Be the first to buy it in our shop in November:
www.noisolution.de/shop

2018’s “Vatan” marks a new chapter and opens a new door for longtime SAMAVAYO fans and new admirers alike. Contemporary, fresh and progressive – but never missing that crunching heaviness they’re so well known for. At the same time lyrically deeper and more political than before. Beware, this band has got something to say – and it’s gonna get loud!

“Vatan” is a courageous next step: Heavy Stonerrock drawing influences from Progressive- and Alternative-Rock as well as Metal, all packed into more complex songs and structures than ever before. One of its highlights certainly being the title song with its Persian lyrics derived from a poem by Iranian author Simin Behbahani dealing with the concept of “home” and “homeland”, all topped off with a distinct oriental sound. The first single “Prevarication Nation” shows a different side of the band: the track is a complex ProgMetal-monster – psychedelic, heavy and tricky to the detail. “Sirens” on the other hand shows just as much of that progressive influence, weaving almost tribal-sounding rhythms into the mix while successfully paying tribute to the Godfather of Metal and Prince of Darkness – without sounding like yet another Sabbath-clone.

SAMAVAYO reinvented themselves without sacrificing their strengths. Lyrically deeper and more profound, touching very present political matters. Not only “Children Of Kobane” gives us a glimpse of the band’s as well as frontman Behrang Alavi’s political interest and dedication. An exciting new chapter for this institution of a band – and no doubt another proof why SAMAVAYO well deserves being called one of the cornerstones in their genre.

Samavayo live with Greenleaf:
09.11.18 FRI DE Berlin Musik & Frieden
10.11.18 SAT DE Stuttgart Keller Klub
11.11.18 SUN A Wien Viper Room Vienna
12.11.18 MON DE München Feierwerk
13.11.18 TUE CH Olten Coq d’Or
14.11.18 WED DE Cologne Helios37
15.11.18 THU UK London The Underworld Camden
16.11.18 FRI FRA Paris GLAZART (early show)
17.11.18 SAT DE TBA

https://www.facebook.com/samavayo/
https://www.samavayo.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/samavayo
https://twitter.com/samavayo
www.noisolution.de/shop

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Farflung Announce European Tour Dates Next Month; This Capsule out Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

farflung

This week, Los Angeles space rockers Farflung release their latest full-length excursion into the cosmos, the it’s-not-even-out-yet-and-already-it’s-underrated This Capsule, which is their first in a new union with German imprint Noisolution. The long-running purveyors of mood-altering psychedelia will embark on a European tour to support the record starting Oct. 6 at Up in Smoke in Switzerland on their way to stops at Heads up Festival in Berlin and Keep it Low in Munich, which recently announced them as the final addition to their 2018 lineup. It’s been a while since the last time I saw Farflung, admittedly, but their space rock is always on point in being way, way, way far out, and if you’re thinking maybe you’d like a sample of what This Capsule holds in store, the song “Flesh for a Moonless Star” is streaming now at the bottom of this post.

PR wire info follows:

farflung euro tour

Farflung European Tour 2018

Twenty years and no end in sight

FARFLUNG are like a shimmering space-rock capsule shot dead from their very own soundspace: an institution from the Californian city of angels. A space rock monster that absorbs you simply and mercilessly.
The band comes back with a new album and does what they do best: for over twenty years their hypnotic riffs and spacey sounds burn into the soulful smiling heads of their listeners. An abduction into space, just on a plate.

They have been lifted into the Olympus of the psychedelic underground scene and among their fans and friends are bands like Helios Creed, Henry Rollins and Voivod. They have collaborated with numerous musicians, including Nik Turner (Hawkwind), Damo (Can) and Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal, Queens Of The Stone Age).

Their music has already made it into film and television, including as a musical accompaniment to the series “The Following” with Kevin Bacon and one was allowed to share with many great bands and artists already the stage (including Melvins, Silver Apple, Gong, Nebula, Hawkwind, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sonic Boom, Acid King, Fu Manchu)

Dear cadets, it’s about time to tie up the suit and polish the dome helmet: It’s time for a new trip into the wide universe.

The capsule is ready and we are preparing to enter earth’s orbit….

FARFLUNG European tour:
06/10 Prattein, CH – Z7 Festival
08/10 Cologne, DE – Sonic Ballroom
09/10 Münster, DE – Rare Guitar
11/10 Frankfurt, DE – DKK
12/10 Berlin, DE – Cassiopeia & Zukunft am Ostkreuz – Headz Up Festival
13/10 Ebensee, AT – Kino
14/10 Salzburg, AT – Rockhouse Bar
16/10 Vienna, AT – Viper Room
17/10 llirska Bistrika – SI Mk07
18/10 Ljubljana, SI – Channel Zero
19/10 Munich, DE – Feierwerk – Keep it Low Festival
20/10 Bologna, IT – Freakout Club
21/10 Milano, IT – Spazio Ligera

https://www.facebook.com/Farflung-official-Site-210883438782/
https://farflung.bandcamp.com/
http://farflungmusic.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/noisolution
https://www.instagram.com/noisolution/
https://www.noisolution.de/

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VUG Premiere “Prophecy” from Self-Titled Debut out April 13

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

VUG

Berlin-based rock classicists VUG will make their self-titled debut via Noisolution April 13. The band — who take their name from the second cut on Atomic Rooster‘s Death Walks Behind You — haven been in operation for the better part of three years and bask in the kind of modernized boogie one finds in the likes of Heat or even some of Samsara Blues Experiment’s more straightforward moments, though the sway of centerpiece “Awaken” is all early-Witchraft-via-Hendrix, guitarist Felix Scholl easily donning the cadence of the latter where earlier on in the record, on, say, the 7:07 opener and longest track (immediate points) “Lose,” his style took on a gruffer blues affect as he, guitarist Max Raine, bassist Philip Hennermann and drummer Nick DiSalvo (also guitar/vocals in Elder), careen through Graveyard-esque melancholy and energy swells, very much led by the two guitars.

This is the central methodology behind VUG‘s VUG: to craft spirited, energetic, dynamic and flowing heavy blues boogie. Rich in tone but not quite vintage in production, songs like “Garden” and the closing “VUG” offer rhythmic sway while keeping a proto-metallic feel to the riffing — the latter also has background singers, so there’s that — and the stomping forward push that emerges from the quiet opening of “Poseidon” isn’t to be discounted. Could very well be a burgeoning sense of stylistic range, but VUG do wellvug vug to make the sound their own, Hennermann and DiSalvo holding together turns from NWOBHM-style strut in “Poseidon” to more open heavy rock groove to a quiet cymbal wash finish. The penultimate, three-minute, not-a-cover “White Room” is something of a curio, tapping into Stubb-style nod and smashing it head-on into dual-guitar gallop and wah-covered swirl by the time the shortest cut crashes to its end.

Compare that to the patient fluidity of “Lose” or “Prophecy,” which also just barely tops seven minutes, and a genuine sense of dynamics and creative range begins to emerge, though of course when it comes to “Prophecy,” the track is something of a summary of the self-titled’s multiple sides in itself, between the deft turns in tempo and rhythm, build toward an apex and multifaceted thrust. On the first couple listens, it can seem like VUG simply have two different methods of working — one for longer songs, one for shorter — but digging deeper reveals variety between “Awaken” and the mellower linearity of “Garden,” between the motor-readiness of “Poseidon” and the jazzy intricacy of the quiet stretches in “VUG.” Thus the 34 minutes of VUG are executed with deceptive nuance, but whether one wants to dissect or bop along, the record seems to welcome whatever level of engagement its audience might want to bring to it. That is, it works either way you want to go.

They’re not genreless, but their pursuits are clearly geared toward individuality, and in company with the more familiar aspects of their blues rock, the instrumental nuance they bring to the table speaks of future progression and overarching potential as songwriters. Where they’ll end up? Hell if I know, but their debut is striking in its clarity of mission and cohesive, vibrant execution. I’d ask nothing more of it than it delivers.

With my thanks to Noisolution and VUG, I’ve been given permission to host the premiere of “Prophecy” for your streaming pleasure. You’ll find it on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Gathering in Neukölln, Berlin in 2015, VUG quickly developed a heavy yet melodic rock sound that would feel just as at home in the Scandinavian rock capital of Gothenburg. Formed by longtime friends Max Raine (guitar), Philip Hennermann (bass) and Felix Scholl (guitar, vocals) and eventually finalized by Nick DiSalvo (drums) the band already had a diverse history of DIY punk, stoner rock and doom in the members’ collective past. However, the goal here was always simple and timeless: making loud music, having a good time and not giving a shit about labels.

In the last weeks of 2016 VUG entered Mesanic Music studio in Kreuzberg to record their eponymous debut album. Tracking entirely live in two days in winter, the band finished a record that sounded raw and energetic, a snapshot of a live show. The self-titled record was mixed by Max Körich in Berlin and mastered by Carl Saff in Chicago.

VUG will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally by Noisolution on April 13th, 2018.

VUG website

VUG on Thee Facebooks

VUG on Instagram

Noisolution website

Noisolution on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Primitive Man, Black Lung & Nap, Zone Six, Spectral Haze, Cosmic Fall, Epitaph, Disastroid, Mastiff, Demons from the Dungeon Dimension, Liblikas

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

The final round of the Fall 2017 Quarterly Review starts now. 60 reviews done. I think if this particular QR session proves anything it’s that come hell or high water, once it’s set, there’s no stopping this train. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the site was down for half of last week and we’re still getting to 60 reviews from Monday to Monday. That’s not not impressive from where I sit, especially since I spent that downtime going out of my mind trying to get things up and running again while also trying to write posts that I didn’t even know if they were going to happen. But they happened — thanks again, Slevin and Behrang — and here we are. All is well and we can get back to normal hopefully for the rest of this week. Thanks for reading any of this if you did. Let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Primitive Man, Caustic

primitive-man-caustic

Primitive Man’s Caustic is the concept of “heavy” taken to the superlative. It is a 12-track/77-minute onslaught for which no less than absolute hyperbole will suffice. In following-up their 2013 Relapse Records debut, Scorn (review here), a series of splits and 2015’s Home is Where the Hatred Is EP (review here), the Denver trio reign in terror as they make Caustic live up to its name in the crushing tones, feedback of and slow churn of “My Will,” “Commerce” “Tepid,” and “Sugar Hole,” the consuming wave of “Victim,” the blastbeating death assault of “Sterility,” and the biting atmospherics of harsh interludes “Caustic,” “Ash” and “The Weight,” which preface the nine minutes of vague noise that close on “Absolutes,” following the grueling slaughter of “Disfigured” and the rightfully-named 12-minute “Inevitable,” which seems even slower and more weighted somehow than everything before it. On the sheer level of heft for that song alone, it’s time to start thinking about Primitive Man among the heaviest bands in the world. I’m serious. Caustic is an overwhelming masterwork of unbridled extremity, and with it, Primitive Man set a new standard both for themselves and for anyone else who’d dare to try to live up to it in their wake.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records webstore

 

Black Lung & Nap, Split

black-lung-nap-split

A heavy blues trio from Baltimore and a progressive boogie outfit from Oldenburg, Germany, might seem like an odd pairing, but by the time the 25 minutes of Black Lung and Nap’s split 12” platter (on Noisolution) are up, the release has come to make its own peculiar kind of sense. In following 2016’s See the Enemy (review here), Black Lung present two new songs in “Strange Seeds” and “Use this Stone” as well we the prior-issued Marvin Gaye cover “Inner City Blues” done in collaboration with rapper Eze Jackson, where Nap answer their debut album, Villa (review here), with the shuffle-into-psychedelia of “Djinn,” the spacious, patient rollout of the airy guitars in “Vorlaut” and the final thrust of “Teer.” Each of the two acts establishes a context for itself quickly – Black Lung brazenly defying theirs in the shift from “Use this Stone” to “Inner City Blues”; Nap expanding between “Djinn” and “Vorlaut” – and though one wouldn’t be likely to mistake one group for the other, their disparate sounds don’t at all hinder the ability of either group to make an impression during their brief time.

Nap on Thee Facebooks

Black Lung on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution webstore

 

Zone Six, Zone Six

zone-six-zone-six

Originally issued in 1998 via Early Birds Records with the lineup of bassist/synthesis/Mellotronist Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, guitarist Hans-Peter Ringholz, drummer/keyboardist Claus Bühler and vocalist Jodi Barry, the self-titled debut from German space/krautrock explorationists Zone Six sees something of a redux via Sulatron Records to mark the 20th anniversary of the band’s founding. Eight minutes shorter than the original edition at 51 minutes, the new version whittles down the original 13-track presentation to two vinyl sides – titles: “Side A” (27:04) and “Side B” (24:39) – and drops the vocal tracks entirely to make it a completely instrumental release. That’s a not-insignificant change, of course, but let there be no doubt that it works in terms of highlighting the flow, which as it transitions between what used to be one song and another loses not one step and instead simply becomes an engrossing and multifaceted jam. This is truer perhaps to the band Zone Six have become – if you missed their 2015 full-length Love Monster (review here), it was glorious and it’s not too late to catch up – than the band they started out as, but Zone Six have found a way to make an old release new again, and new Zone Six is never anything to complain about, whatever the occasion.

Zone Six on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records? webstore

 

Spectral Haze, Turning Electric

spectral-haze-turning-electric

Space rock warriors Spectral Haze return after three years in the Gamma Quadrant with Turning Electric via Totem Cat Records, a six-song sophomore outing behind 2014’s I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains (review here) that quickly enters a wormhole of Hawkwindian thrust on opener “The Dawn of the Falcon” – perhaps that’s what’s represented on the glorious Adam Burke cover art – and takes a winding but directed course deeper and deeper into interstellar realms for its duration of what on earth is only six songs and 33 minutes. Each of the intended two vinyl sides boasts a longer track, be it “Cathexis/Mask of Transformation” on side A or “They Live” on side B, but whether it’s in those or shorter rocket boosters like the title-track, “Ajaghandi” or the aforementioned leadoff, the Oslo-based four-piece keep it dreamy and kosmiche even unto the doomlier roll of closer “Master Sorcerer,” a collection of final psychedelic proclamations that cuts off quickly at the end as though breaking a transmission from the heart of the galaxy itself. Heck of a destination, and getting there’s a blast, too.

Spectral Haze on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records webstore

 

Cosmic Fall, Jams for Free

cosmic-fall-jams-for-free

Kind of a bummer how Jams for Free came about, but for the reassurance that Berlin heavy psych improvisationalists Cosmic Fall will keep going after what seems to have been an unceremonious split with now-ex-guitarist/vocalist Mathias, I’ll take it. With two new explorations, bassist Klaus and drummer Daniel introduce new guitarist Martin, and those worried they might lose the funk of their original incarnation should have their fears duly allayed by “A Calmer Sphere” (12:19) and “The Great Comet” (8:10), which begin a new era of Cosmic Fall after the remaining founders were forced to stop selling their prior works. If there’s anger or catharsis being channeled in Jams for Free, though, it comes through as fluidity and serene heavy psych, and with the resonant live-in-studio vibe, Cosmic Fall essentially seem to be picking up where they left off. With Martin making a distinguishing impression in the soloing of “A Calmer Sphere”’s second half particularly, the future continues to look bright for the German asteroid riders. Right on, guys. Keep jamming.

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

 

Epitaph, Claws

Epitaph-Claws

Doomers of Verona Epitaph trace their origins back some 30 years, but Claws (on High Roller Records) is just their second long-player behind 2014’s Crawling out of the Crypt. Matters not. Theirs is the doom of ages one way or the other, presented in this collection of five songs in traditional fashion with an edge of the Italian bizarrist movement (think early Death SS) and, from the “Neon Knights”-style riff of “Gossamer Claws” to the “After All (The Dead)”/”Falling off the Edge of the World”-style dramaturge of “Wicked Lady,” the nods to ‘80s and early-‘90s Black Sabbath are manifold and executed with what sounds like a genuine love for that era of the band and classic metal in general. Hard to fault Epitaph that influence, particularly as they bring it to bear in the guttural riffly chug of centerpiece “Sizigia,” tonally as much as in the form of what’s actually being played. As a mission, the homage is perhaps a bit single-minded, but as they continue to build their own legacy in these classic sounds, it’s impossible to say Epitaph’s collective heart isn’t in the right place.

Epitaph on Thee Facebooks

High Roller Records webstore

 

Disastroid, Screen

disastroid-screen

The nine songs of Disastroid’s fourth self-released LP, Screen, are drawn together by a songwriting prowess that’s better heard than described and by a heft of tone that, especially on stompers like “Dinosaur” early and “Coyote” later on, proves likewise. Is the point of this review, then, that you should listen to the album? Yuppers. At a crisp 35 minutes, Screen finds the Bay Area trio willfully nestled someplace between heavy rock riffing, noise crunch, punk and metal, and they fly this refusal to commit to one style over another no less proudly than they do the hook of “Getting in the Way” or “I Didn’t Kill Myself,” which along with the push of “Choke the Falcon” and the Melvinsian “Clinical Perfection” make up a series of short burst impressions contrasted by the longer “Screen” and “New Day” at the outset and the six-minute finale “Gunslinger,” though wherever Disastroid seem to go, they bring a current of memorable craft with them, making an otherwise purposefully bumpy ride smooth and a chaos-fueled joy to undertake.

Disastroid website

Disastroid on Bandcamp

 

Mastiff, Bork

mastiff-bork

Ultimately, bludgeon-ready UK five-piece Mastiff might owe as much to grind as they do to doom or sludge – at least if “Nil by Mouth” has anything to say about it – but more than loyalty to any subgenre or other, the Hull unit’s 25-minute Bork full-length (released on CD by APF Records) is interested in presenting an extreme vision of sonic heft. Brutal pummel infects the rolling chorus of “Everything Equals Death” and the initial chug of “Tumour” alike, and where opener “Agony” was content to blast out its cacophony in fury of tempo as much as weight, as they settle in for the mosh-ready six minutes of closer “Eternal Regret,” Mastiff seem to have dug out a position between lumbering doom and early ‘00s deathcore, a telltale breakdown capping Bork in grooving and familiar fashion. Their intensity might prove a distinguishing factor over the longer term, though, and they certainly have plenty enough of it to go around.

Mastiff on Thee Facebooks

APF Records website

 

Demons from the Dungeon Dimension, An Organic Mythology

demons-from-the-dungeon-dimension-an-organic-mythology

The righteously-monikered Demons from the Dungeon Dimension made a striking and individualized – and bizarre – impression in 2016 with the There was Ogres EP (discussed here), a follow-up to the debut full-length, As the Crow Flies, released just weeks earlier. With the new single An Organic Mythology and the five-minute, raw-recorded track of the same name, the Durban, South Africa-based project is laid to rest. A burly opening and thickened distortion lead to a pushing verse with dry vocals over top – sounding very much like a home-recorded demo outright and not trying to be anything else – and soon enough the track shifts into a spoken-word-dissertation over an instrumental build that carries it into its final minute, at which point the verse kicks back in to end. As with the prior EP, which topped 25 minutes, the vibe is willfully strange throughout “An Organic Mythology,” and if this is indeed the last we’ll hear from Demons from the Dungeon Dimension (doesn’t it just sound like something TOR Books would put out?), somehow it seems right we live in an age where the material can reside in the digital ether, waiting to be stumbled on by curious parties soon to be blindsided by what they hear.

Demons from the Dungeon Dimension on Bandcamp

Demons from the Dungeon Dimension on YouTube

 

Liblikas, Unholy Moly

liblikas-unholy-moly

From the initial semi-gothic vibes from vocalist Oliver Aunver to the progressive fuzz rock that ensues on opener “Holy Underground,” Estonian five-piece Liblikas seem to specialize in the unexpected on their second full-length, Unholy Moly. Aunver, guitarists Temo Saarna (also vocals) and Henrik Harak, bassist Joosep Käsper and drummer/backing vocalist Mihkel Rebane, oversee a brisk 45-minute run across eight tracks of genre-spanning grooves, from the chugging almost-doom of “Highest Hound” to the semi-folk experimentalist interlude “Fugue Yeah! (Diary Pt. II),” which follows “Dear Diary, Yeah!” a track that starts out with what might be a Japanese-language sample and psychedelic unfolding to more cohesive, harmony-topped prog rock bounce before the fuzz emerges and meets with forward vocals and effective interplay of acoustics in the chorus. Why yes, there is a six-minute song called “Pornolord” – funny you should ask. It appears before the oud-laced “Ol’ Slime” and nine-minute closer “Keezo,” which embraces the difficult task of summing up the weirdo intensity that’s been on display throughout Liblikas’ songwriting all along, and with wispy guitar leading to a big, noisy finish, succeeds outright in doing so.

Liblikas on Thee Facebooks

Liblikas on Bandcamp

 

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Nap and Black Lung to Release Split Aug. 28; Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

While Baltimore’s Black Lung and Oldenburg, Germany’s Nap both have elements of heavy psychedelia swirling at their core, there are still plenty of distinctions and disparities in their two individual sounds. Thus I can kind of understand why their forthcoming split 12″ on Noisolution might be framed as Black Lung vs. Nap, but it seems to me that — as the info below asserts — it probably works out to be less of a fight between them and more of a showcase of what each brings to the style. Complement more than competition, I guess is where my head is at, but I suppose if you’re putting out a release you have to call it something, and at least Black Lung vs. Nap gets the point across that it’s a split. Maybe I’m overthinking the whole thing.

In any case, the new release will be out by the time Black Lung return to Europe this fall to take part in Desertfest Belgium 2017 as they continue to support last year’s See the Enemy (review here) and for Nap, this split marks their first recorded output since their successful Villa (review here) debut in 2016, so brings all the more intrigue to see where they’re headed.

Info comes from Noisolution via the PR wire:

BLACK LUNG VS. NAP

Limited Split-12″with 6 unpublished tracks. White 180gr vinyl. Artwork by Alexander von Wieding.

Available from 28/08/2017 !!!!

Baltimore vs. Oldenburg.

This mini album documents a clash of two exceptional trios who are not competing but rather complementing one another. No longing to be the better, heavier or darker, but more so a friendly co-existence that turns out to be the perfect match.

A double A-side, if you wanna call it that. A split-mini-album, that more or less just came together by itself. Both bands‘ paths are crossing over and over again: first as labelmates, now on tour this fall and finally also on this shiny snowwhite piece of vinyl!

We got NAP from Oldenburg, Germany on one side, who only just made a great stir with their debut ‚Villa‘ in January. Before you knew it the first pressing was all sold out and gone. Their unique mix of Doom, Kraut and Stoner blended with epic instrumental parts quickly rewarded them with quite a fanbase, critical acclaim and a whole bunch of respect. Now on this new Split 12“ they‘re coming across somewhat more compact, more to the point, still never losing that certain playfulness that defines what became their signature sound. Adding a sprinkle of space rock as well they easily remind one of a darker version of the early Hawkwind. Something is truly growing here and we better keep an eye on what these three gentlemen will have in store for us in the future!

On the other side we got BLACK LUNG hailing from Baltimore, US. At first the band was just considered a side leap of of THE FLYING EYES‘ Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzmann who brought their psychedelic influences and shenanigans over to the new project. But eventually the trio fully established itself and an own dynamic taking over, forming their own unique and recognizable style. Two guitars that weigh down so heavily that there’s no need for a bass anymore. Completed by the hovering feverish vocals of Dave Cavalier who come as a perfect contrast, altogether creating an overwhelming wave of heavy sounds rolling over the clubs and their audience swallowing them both completely. A tiny hint of Pop and especially Soul has always been present on the previous two records. This time showing itself in a fantastic cover-version of Marvin Gayes‘ ‚Inner City Blues‘. Stonerrock mixed with sould mixed with rap: What seems completely incompatible comes together only so beautifully in this track. A truly exceptional track for a truly exceptional band in sound, style and songwriting – and a band who will absolutely blow your mind once again this time.

1. Black Lung – Strange Seed
2. Black Lung – Use This Stone
3. Black Lung – Inner City Blues
4. Nap – Djinn
5. Nap – Vorlaut
6. Nap – Teer

https://www.facebook.com/napband
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/blacklungbaltimore
https://blacklungbaltimore.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noisolution/
http://www.noisolution.de/shop/Vinyl/Black-Lung-vs-Nap-12-Vinyl-Strictly-limited-Weisses-180gr-Vinyl-mit-Download-Code::209.html

Nap, “Teer”

Black Lung, See the Enemy (2016)

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Nap Post “Ungeheuer” Video; German Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

nap

Next month, German progressive heavy psych trio Nap will head out for five-night run alongside Norway’s Orango as they herald the impending Noisolution release of their debut album, Villa (review here). That record — self-recorded, self-mixed, self-artworked and initially self-released — made for a strikingly cohesive first outing and signal of intent in melding heavy subgenres. A song like “Ungeheuer,” for which Nap just happen to have a new video, is as much defined by its rumble as by its spaciousness as by its boogie. The band seem to be figuring out how to toy with this blend as they go, but for a single five-minute cut, that’s a solid bit of breadth, especially when one takes it into account as a beginning point.

If you missed Nap on public television 20 years ago, don’t worry, they weren’t really there. They might’ve been like seven years old at the time, from the look of them. Either way, they’ve adopted a somewhat retro — and I only say “somewhat” because thinking of the late ’90s as “retro” makes me feel as old as I am — visual aesthetic for the “Ungeheuer” clip. Don’t worry, youngins. Someday all the social media-ing and selfies, endless war and political horrors of this day will too be remembered as a simpler time, granted authenticity through age and an abidingly human shortness of memory. We can chat about it in 2037 if the oceans haven’t risen to swallow us all.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Nap. While suddenly engaged in a frantic search for reasons to be hopeful about the future, one might consider their stylistic reach is still at a nascent point and will, hopefully — aha! — continue to flourish. Dig into “Ungeheuer” below and see where you think they might go over the longer term, then check out the tour dates that follow to see where they’re headed in the immediate.

Enjoy:

Nap, “Ungeheuer” official video

Happy New Year 1997 !!! This was filmed using the highest Video and best FX Technology available to this date…

Nap from Oldenburg bring their first, “Villa,” out in the spring and are to be heard with Orango (Norway / Stickman Records) in February on a first round trip in some clubs.

A fantastic brew of Psychedelic Rock, a pinch of Stoner, a good herb, and even the skinny Twang sounds do not frighten these three in their session-like arrangements.

Nap on tour:
07.02. – DE – Kiel – Schaubude
08.02. – DE – Hamburg – Astra Stube
09.02. – DE – Hannover – Chez Heinz
10.02. – DE – Dortmund – Subrosa
11.02. – DE – Münster – Rare Guitars
04.03. – DE – Lübeck – Treibsand

Nap on Thee Facebooks

Nap on Bandcamp

Noisolution website

Noisolution on Thee Facebooks

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Nap Sign to Noisolution; Villa Due in Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

nap

When German heavy psych genrebenders Nap self-released their self-recorded debut album, Villa (review here), earlier this summer, they did so with a justifiable note on their Bandcamp page that read simply ‘DIY all the way.’ Well, maybe a little less so now. The Oldenburg-based three-piece have hooked up with countryman imprint Noisolution (see also Black LungThe Flying EyesCoogans Bluff, etc.) in order to give Villa a release presumably on vinyl and/or CD this coming Spring, following a tour they’ll undertake in February to support the album’s first run and herald the coming second, which will also feature new artwork that you can see below.

I ran the announcement — not the headline; I’m comfortable assuming you know what “Willkommen” translates to in English even if you, like my own ignorant American ass, don’t speak German — through a translation matrix, so it might not be word-for-word spot on, but it’s enough to get the idea. The band’s bio is also included below for background, on the off-chance you missed Villa the first time out.

Goes like this:

nap villa

NAP – Willkommen!

And once again a debut album. And what kind of thing!

Nap from Oldenburg bring their first, “Villa,” out in the spring and are to be heard with Orango (Norway / Stickman Records) in February on a first round trip in some clubs.

A fantastic brew of Psychedelic Rock, a pinch of Stoner, a good herb, and even the skinny Twang sounds do not frighten these three in their session-like arrangements.

Soon there will be more information about the band, the album, the tour and perhaps also the story of how the demo found the way to our table.

Bio:
Nap plays as a classical 3-piece rock-formation, mostly instrumental with rather rare vocal parts. Psychedelic sounds, uptempo beats, grooving Doom and Stoner-riffage plus some Noise and Surf influences with strong tendencies reminiscing the sound of the Hippie-Era and the origin of Metal. A combined musical paradox, of highs and lows, all to end into an excessive nightmare.

https://www.facebook.com/napband/
https://napofficial.bandcamp.com/
http://www.noisolution.de/
https://www.facebook.com/noisolution
https://www.instagram.com/noisolution/

Nap, Villa (2016)

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