Skraeckoedlan Sign to Fuzzorama Records; Premiere Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on June 19th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

skraeckoedlan

It’s rare you’ll find a band and a label as made for each other as Skraeckoedlan and Fuzzorama Records. Even putting aside the fact that since their Transubstans-released first album, 2011’s Äppelträdet (review here), the Norrköping-based outfit have had a strong influence from the methods of Truckfighters — who, if it needs to be said, are at the helm of Fuzzorama, and whose bassist/vocalist, Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm, recorded that debut — with their ongoing commitment to progressive songcraft, richness of tone, crisp presentation and energetic live performance kind of makes this the match that one has been waiting for. It just makes sense all the way around. They’ve been a Fuzzorama band all along, one way or the other.

Their second album, 2015’s Sagor (review here), was released via Razzia Records, which is an imprint overseen by Anders Fridén, vocalist of In Flames. That record found their processes even weightier and more refined than one found on Äppelträdet, and set a high standard that an impending third full-length and Fuzzorama debut will seek to surpass. As part of celebrating their signing, the four-piece of vocalist/guitarist Robert Lamu, guitarist/vocalist Henrik Grüttner, bassist/backing vocalist Tim Ångström and drummer Martin Larsson have posted a new video filmed live at Studio Underjord in their hometown that very cleverly captures material both new and old. One track from Äppelträdet, one from Sagor, and a sneak peak of a new song from the third long-player, the title and release date for which remain to be announced at this time.

Underneath the clip, which premieres today and which you can see below, you’ll find the announcement from Fuzzorama welcoming the band to the label, as well as their upcoming live dates for the next few months. Kudos to Skraeckoedlan and to Fuzzorama on getting together, and here’s looking forward to what materializes when the album arrives.

Please enjoy:

Skraeckoedlan, Live at Studio Underjord

Skraeckoedlan came to life in 2009 in Norrköping Sweden. The ambition was to create heavy psychedelic music with lyrics in Swedish and to explore themes connected to nordic folklore, sci-fi and to create a mysterious world with their songs. The name translates to what you could call Godzilla in Swedish.

The band recorded and released their two first EPs during 2009 and 2010. They got a lot of attention and toured a lot. In the summer of 2011 they released their first album called Äppelträdet (the apple tree), recorded and produced in Studio Bombshelter by Oskar Ozo Cedermalm of Truckfighters.

Äppelträdet got to a lot of “best of lists” that year and quickly sold out. The band did over 300 live shows the coming years and shared stage with bands like Orange Goblin, Kylesa, Truckfighters, Greenleaf and other giants of the genre.

In 2015 the album Sagor (Tales) was released. This time Skraeckoedlan worked with a few producers, like Niklas Berglöf (Ghost, Den Svenska björnstammen) and Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In flames, El caco) but it was when they met producer and technician Erik Berglund that they really found what was missing. The album really took the band to a new level musically and they really explored the world that they have created over the years. It reached number two on the Swedish vinyl sales the month it was released.

Now the quest for the next album has started. And what could be better than to work with the guys that got them in to this genre to start with.

“Signing with Fuzzorama records really connects the dots and is the missing link that Skraeckoedlan has been searching for all these years. We really feel like we have found our home.” –Skraeckoedlan.

To celebrate this, the band has recorded a live video that features a little bit of everything from their world of music. In “Skraeckoedlan Levande at Studio Underjord” you get to experience one song from their first album, one from their second album, the latest song they worked with Erik Berglund on and bit of a song that will be featured on their upcoming third album. The live video was recorded and produced by Joona Hassinen in Studio Underjord, mixed and mastered by Erik Berglund and filmed by Marcus Jehrlander.

Skraeckoedlan:
Robert Lamu – Vocals/Guitar
Henrik Grüttner – Guitar
Tim Ångström – Bass
Martin Larsson – Drums

Tour Dates:
Jul 08 Midnight Light Festival, Vilhelmina, Sweden
Jul 22 Noisenäsfestivalen, Nusnäs, Sweden
July 27 Copenhagen, Lygtens Kro, Denmark
Jul 29 Rock Im Wald, Michelau, Germany
Aug 10 Krökbacken Festival, Leksand, Sweden
Aug 26 Eksjö Stadsfest, Eksjö, Sweden
Oct 27 En lokal, Avesta, Sweden
Oct 28 Broken dreams, Borlänge, Sweden

Skraeckoedlan website

Skraeckoedlan on Instagram

Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks

Skraeckoedlan on Twitter

Fuzzorama Records website

Fuzzorama Records on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzorama Records on Twitter

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Skraeckoedlan Announce May UK Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Prog-tinged Swedish heavy rockers Skraeckoedlan — whose moniker I as an ignorant American continue to be proud of myself for spelling correctly — are making a back-by-popular-demand-type return trip to the United Kingdom next month. The yet-underrated riffers have been keeping track of their doings on the social medias via a new series of self-shot DIY videos — vlogs — and have included some new material snippets as a part of that, but I’ve yet to see concrete word of a forthcoming release to follow up on their latest single, Pärlor (discussed here), which they released in January in order to keep momentum rolling from their 2015 sophomore full-length,  Sagor (review here).

As they do, they’ll be keeping good company on this trip, including Prosperina from Wales and Netherlands-based instrumentalists Tank86, the latter of whom will join Skraeckoedlan as support for a couple shows with Monolord as well. The gigs are presented by Snuff Lane, and if you want to keep up with Skraeckoedlan‘s doings as they go, I can’t imagine they won’t have cameras rolling while they’re on the road as well. That’s where the good stuff happens.

Must-see tv follows:

skraeckoedlan uk tour

Swedish Fuzz-Forgers Skraeckoedlan Return to the UK Next Month w/ Prosperina & Tank86

Less than a month to go until Swedish fuzzience fiction rockers Skraeckoedlan return to the UK for 10 special headline events.

Heavyweight tag-team support from Welsh prog-pop, post-rockers Prosperina and Dutch high-density, instrumental heaviness TANK86.

Skraeckoedlan and Tank86 are also set to support Monolord for 2 events, as part of Monolords UK tour.

SKRAECKOEDLAN May UK Tour
w/ Prosperina

12/05 – The Wheatsheaf, Banbury
13/05 – The Pit, Swansea
14/05 – Retro Bar, Manchester
15/05 – Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
16/05 – The Iron Road, Evesham
17/05 – The Arches, Coventry

w/ Tank86
18/05 – Underworld, London (supporting Monolord)
19/05 – Sanctuary, Basingstoke
20/05 – The Junction, Plymouth
21/05 – Exchange, Bristol (supporting Monolord)

Come feel the fuzz!

Flawless artwork, crafted by the exceptionally talented JaneyMonster.

Skraeckoedlan is:
Henrik Grüttner (Guitaring, backup singing)
Martin Larsson (Drumming)
Robert Lamu (Singing/guitaring)
Tim Ångström (Bassing/backup singing)

https://facebook.com/SKRAECKOEDLAN
http://www.skraeckoedlan.com/
http://instagram.com/skraeckoedlan
http://twitter.com/skraeckoedlan
http://www.razziarecords.se/

Skraeckoedlan, “Pärlor” official video

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Quarterly Review: Pallbearer, Dread Sovereign, Lizzard Wizzard, Oulu Space Jam Collective, Frozen Planet….1969, Ananda Mida, Strange Broue, Orango, Set and Setting, Dautha

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cropped-Charles-Meryon-Labside-Notre-Dame-1854

Here we are, on the precipice looking out over a spread that will include 50 reviews by the week’s end. Somehow when it comes around to a Quarterly Review Monday I always end up taking a moment to ask myself if I’ve truly lost my mind, if I really expect to be able to do this and not fall completely flat on my face, and just where the hell this terrible idea came from in the first place. But you know what? I haven’t flubbed one yet. We get through it. There’s a lot to go through, for me and you both, but sometimes it’s fun to be completely overwhelmed by music. I hope you agree, and I hope you find something this week that hits you in that oh-yeah-that’s-why-I-love-this kind of way. Time’s wasting. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Pallbearer, Heartless

pallbearer heartless

Three albums and nearly a decade into their tenure, Pallbearer stand at the forefront of American doom, and their third outing, Heartless (on Profound Lore), only reinforces this position while at the same time expanding beyond genre lines in ways that even their 2014 sophomore effort, Foundations of Burden, simply couldn’t have done. A seven-song/hour-long sprawl is marked out by resonant melodies, soulful melancholy conveyed by guitarist/vocalist Brett Campbell – the returning lineup completed by guitarist Devin Holt, bassist Joseph D. Rowland and drummer Mark Lierly – and tonal weight set to a mix by Joe Barresi, who from opener “I Saw the End” onward arranges layers gorgeously so that extended pieces like “Dancing in Madness” (11:48) and closer “A Plea for Understanding” (12:40) become even more consuming. What comes through most resolute on Heartless, though, is that it’s time to stop thinking of Pallbearer as belonging to some established notion of doom or any other subgenre. With these songs, they make it clear they’ve arrived at their own wavelength and are ready to stand up to the influence they’ve already begun to have on other acts. A significant achievement.

Pallbearer on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls

dread-sovereign-for-doom-the-bell-tolls

With the considerable frontman presence of Primordial’s Alan Averill on vocals and bass, the considerable riffing of guitarist Bones (also of Wizards of Firetop Mountain) and the considerable lumber in the drumming of Johnny King (ex-Altar of Plagues), Dread Sovereign make some considerable fucking doom indeed. Their second album, For Doom the Bell Tolls (on Ván Records), follows three years behind their debut, 2014’s All Hell’s Martyrs (review here), and wastes no time giving the devil his due – or his doom, if you prefer – in the span of its six tracks and 37 minutes. Atmospheric and seemingly on an endless downward plod, the 13-minute “Twelve Bells Toll in Salem” is a defining moment, but the trad metallurgy of “This World is Doomed” rounds out side A with some welcome thrust, and after the intro “Draped in Sepulchral Fog,” “The Spines of Saturn” and the thrashing “Live Like and Angel, Die Like a Devil” play dramatic and furious intensities off each other in a manner that would seem to truly represent the fine art of not giving a shit what anyone thinks about what you do or what box you’re supposed to fit into. Righteous. Considerably so.

Dread Sovereign on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

Lizzard Wizzard, Total War Power Bastard

lizzard-wizzard-total-war-power-bastard

Noise, largesse of riffs and shouted vocals that distinctly remind of Souls at Zero-era Neurosis pervade the near-hour-long run of Lizzard Wizzard’s Total War Power Bastard, but as much as the Brisbane four-piece willfully give themselves over to fuckall – to wit, the title “Medusa but She Gets You Stoned Instead of Turning You to Stone, Instead of Snakes She has Vaporizers on His Head… Drugs” – songs like “Shithead Nihilism,” “Pizza” and the droning “Snake Arrow” brim with purpose and prove affecting in their atmosphere and heft alike. Yes, they have a song called “Nerd Smasher,” and they deserve all credit for that as they follow-up their 2013 self-titled (review here), but by the time they get down to the roll-happy “Crystal Balls” and the feedback-caked “Megaflora” at the record’s end, guitarists Michael Clarke and Nick McKeon, bassist Stef Roselli and drummer Luke Osborne end up having done something original with a Sleep influence, and that’s even more commendable.

Lizzard Wizzard on Thee Facebooks

Lizzard Wizzard on Bandcamp

 

Oulu Space Jam Collective, EP1

Oulu-Space-Jam-Collective-ep1

Should mention two things outright about Oulu Space Jam Collective’s EP1. First and foremost, its three songs run over 95 minutes long, so if it’s an EP, one can only imagine what qualifies as a “full-length.” Second, the Finnish outfit releasing EP1 on limited tape through Eggs in Aspic isn’t to be confused with Denmark’s Øresund Space Collective. Oulu is someplace else entirely, and likewise, Oulu Space Jam Collective have their own intentions as they show in the 57-minute opener “Renegade Spaceman,” recorded live in the studio in 2014 (they’ve since made two sequels) and presented in six movements including samples, drones, enough swirl for, well, 57 minutes, and a hypnotism that’s nigh on inescapable. I won’t take away from the space rock thrust of 14-minute closer “Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia” (also tracked in 2014), but the smooth progressive edge of three-part 24-minute centerpiece “Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool” is where it’s at for me – though if you want a whole galaxy to explore, hit up their Bandcamp.

Oulu Space Jam Collective on Thee Facebooks

Eggs in Aspic webstore

 

Frozen Planet…. 1969, Electric Smokehouse

frozen-planet-1969-electric-smokehouse

They freak out a bit toward the end of 12-minute opener “Ascendant” and in the second half of the subsequent “Supersaturation,” but for the most part, Aussie three-piece Frozen Planet…. 1969 play it weirdo-cool on their fourth full-length, the excellently-titled Electric Smokehouse (on Pepper Shaker Records). From those jams to the dreamy beachside drift of “Shores of Oblivion” to the funky-fuzz bass of “Sonic Egg Factory” to the quick noise finish of “Pretty Blown Fuse” – which may or may not be the sound of malfunctioning equipment run through an oscillator or some other effects-whatnot, the instrumentalist Sydney/Canberra trio seem to improv a healthy percentage of their fare, if not all of it, and that spirit of spontaneity feeds into the easygoing atmosphere only enhanced by the cover art. On a superficial level, you know you’re getting psych jams going into it, but once you put on Electric Smokehouse, the urge to get lost in the tracks is nigh on overwhelming, and that proves greatly to their credit. Wake up someplace else.

Frozen Planet…. 1969 on Thee Facebooks

Pepper Shaker Records on Bandcamp

 

Ananda Mida, Anodnatius

ananda-mida-anodnatius

Ananda Mida make their debut on Go Down Records with Anodnatius, fluidly working their way around heavy psychedelic and more driving rock influences propelled by drummer Massimo “Max Ear” Recchia, also of underrated Italian forebears OJM. Here, Recchia anchors a seven-piece lineup including two vocalists in Oscar de Bertoldi and Filippo Leonardi, two guitarists in Matteo Scolaro and Alessandro Tedesco, as well as bassist Davide Bressan and organist Stefano Pasqualetto, so suffice it to say songs like the subtly grungy “Passvas,” the dreamy highlight “Heropas” or the vaguely progressive “Askokinn” want nothing for fullness, but there seem to be moments throughout Anodnatius as on “Lunia” and the shuffling “Kondur” early into the proceedings where the band wants to break out and push toward something heavier. Their restraint is to be commended since it serves the interests of songcraft, but part of me can’t help but wonder what might happen if these guys really let loose on some boogie jams. Keep an ear open to find out, as I have a feeling they might be headed in just that direction.

Ananda Mida on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Strange Broue, Seance

strange-broue-seance

The heart of Séance – The Satanic Sounds of Strange Broue might come in the 11-minute sample dump that is “Cults and Crimes,” late into the second half of the 52-minute album. Capturing meticulously compiled news and talk-show clips from the late ‘80s, some of which talk about the Satanic roots of heavy metal, it gets to the ritualism that Quebec four-piece Strange Broue proliferate elsewhere on the record in the lo-fi post-Electric Wizard doom of “Satan’s Slaves,” “Kill What’s Inside of You” and the rolling opener “Ritualize” (video here). These pieces offset by other interludes of noise and drone and samples like “Satanic Panic,” “In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanis, Luciferi Excelsis,” the acoustic-until-it-gets-shot-in-the-woods “Las Bas,” the John Carpenter-esque “Séance IV – L’Invocation” and the extended penultimate drone of “Séance V – The Mystifying Oracle with Bells” ahead of the countrified pop gospel of “Satan is Real,” which finishes in subversive fashion, interrupted by more news reports and a finishing assault of noise. Like an arts project in the dark arts, Séance crosses some familiar terrain but finds Strange Broue on their own trip through cultish immersion, as psychological as it is psychedelic.

Strange Broue on Thee Facebooks

Sunmask Records webstore

 

Orango, The Mules of Nana

orango-the-mules-of-nana

Not much to argue with in the sixth long-player from Helge Kanck, Trond Slåke and Hallvard Gaardløs, collectively known as Orango. As they make their way onto Stickman Records (which also handled Euro distro for their last album, 2014’s Battles) with The Mules of Nana, the Norwegian trio deep-dive into harmony-topped ‘70s-style vibing that, well, leaves the bulk of “retro” bands in their V8-crafted dust. Mind you they do so by not being a retro band. True, the fuzz on “The Honeymoon Song” and “Head on Down” is as organic as if you happened on it in some forest where all the trees were wearing bellbottoms, but if you told me it was true, I’d believe Orango recorded The Mules of Nana onto – gasp! – a computer. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but “Heirs,” the sweetly acoustic “Give Me a Hundred” and motoring “Hazy Chain of Mountains” find Orango making no attempt to cloak a lack of songwriting or performance chops in a production aesthetic. Rather, in the tradition of hi-fi greats, they sound as full and rich as possible and utterly live up to the high standard they set for themselves. Pure win in classic, dynamic fashion.

Orango on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Set and Setting, Reflectionless

set-and-setting-reflectionless

There’s an undercurrent of metal that’s quick to show itself on Set and Setting’s Reflectionless. The instrumentalist Floridian five-piece delve plenty deep into heavy post-rock on cuts like the shoegazing “Incandescent Gleam” and subsequent “Specular Wavefront Of…” but they’re not through opener “Saudade” before harder-edged chug emerges, and “…The Idyllic Realm”’s blastbeating nods at black metal while the churning endgame build of closer “Ephemerality” holds tight to a progressive execution. While its textural foundation will likely ring familiar to followers of Russian Circles ultimately, Reflectionless finds distinction in aligning the various paths it walks as it goes, creating an overarching flow that draws strength from its diversity of approach rather than sounding choppy, confused or in conflict with itself. Not revolutionary by any means, but engaging throughout and with a residual warmth to complement what might seem at first to be a purely cerebral approach. It offers more on repeat listens, so let it sink in.

Set and Setting on Thee Facebooks

Set and Setting webstore

 

Dautha, Den Foerste

dautha-den-foerste

Primo short offering of pure, fistpump-ready, violin-infused doom traditionalism. I don’t know what Norrköping, Sweden’s Dautha – the five-piece of vocalist Lars Palmqvist, guitarists Erik Öquist and Ola Blomkvist, bassist Emil Åström and drummer Micael Zetterberg – are planning to do for a follow-up, but this Den Foerste (or Den Förste) two-tracker recalls glory-era Candlemass and willfully soars with no sense of irony on “Benandanti” and “In Between Two Floods” after the intro “Horkarlar Skall Slås Ihjäl,” and having already sold out a self-released pressing leaves little to wonder what would’ve caught the esteemed tastes of Ván Records. And by that I mean it’s fucking awesome. I’m ready for a full-length whenever they are, and from the poise with which Palmqvist carries the melodies of these tracks, the quality of the riffing and the depth of arrangement the violin adds to the overarching mournfulness, they definitely sound ready. So get on it. 15 minutes of dirge-making this gorgeous simply isn’t enough.

Dautha on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

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Year of the Goat Premiere Lyric Video for “Song of Winter”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 5th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

year-of-the-goat-2

Swedish cultists Year of the Goat are getting ready to release their new seven-incher Song of Winter this Friday, Dec. 9, via Napalm Records. They made their debut in 2015 through the same imprint with their second full-length, The Unspeakable, and with the leadoff A-side of the single, they’re moving forward from that album toward their next one and an early-2017 push that will find them on the road in Jan./Feb. alongside countrymen/labelmate doomers The Order of Israfel and Norwegian heavy-hitters Tombstones, keeping their momentum going from the last few years and perhaps making sure the proper demons are exorcized and/or represented in new material before they hit the studio to bring their third album to fruition.

One can hear traces of the original version of “Song of Winter” in Year of the Goat‘s version. Released by Parisian singer/actress/model Francoise Hardy on 1969’s One-Nine-Seven-Zero, it has a duly haunting melody bolstered by the Norrköping six-piece’s arrangement of guitar and Mellotron and a light, poetic simplicity to the lyrics that speaks to the era from which it comes and resonates even now, the better part of half a century later. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for any song that features lines like, “I’m a misty rainbow.” In any case, “Song of Winter” earns its art deco cover, and if it’s offering a glimpse at where Year of the Goat might be headed, then the modern sensibility they bring to the classic structure bodes well to say the least. Presumably we’ll see how it all works out sometime before the end of 2017.

The band offers some insight on “Song of Winter” under the lyric video, which you’ll find below. Also down there are the dates for the aforementioned tour, should you happen to be or find yourself in that part of the world when it’s happening.

Please enjoy:

Year of the Goat, “Song of Winter” lyric video

Year of the Goat on “Song of Winter”:

“For many years Francoise Hardy has been part of our playlist while on the road. As soon as ‘Song of Winter’ played, the thought that we really should do a cover of it at some point always presented itself. Lyrically we find it going very well with the theme of our first album and also with the one we’re planning at the moment. The B-side on the other hand lyrically draws more towards our second album, The Unspeakable. One could probably say that the wonderful and talented Francoise Hardy is helping us build a bridge between our last album and the one to come.”

Year of the Goat, “Song of Winter” limited gold 7″
1. Song of Winter (Side A
2. Strange Shadows (Side B)

Strictly Limited Napalm Records Mailorder Edition to 200 Copies in GOLDEN Vinyl. EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE VIA THE NAPALM RECORDS MAILORDER AND ONLINE STORE.

Year of the Goat European tour w/ The Order of Israfel & Tombstones:
28.01.17 DE – Berlin / Badehaus
29.01.17 DE – Osnabrück / Bastard Club
30.01.17 DE – Hamburg / Hafenklang
31.01.17 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
01.02.17 NL – Arnhem / Willemeen
02.02.17 UK – London / Underworld
04.02.17 TBA
06.02.17 CH – Olten / Coq D’Or
07.02.17 IT – Milano / Lo Fi
08.02.17 DE – Munich / Backstage
09.02.17 AT – Vienna / Viper Room
10.02.17 DE – Leipzig / UT Connewitz
11.02.17 DE – Siegen / Vortex

Year of the Goat is:
Thomas Sabbathi – vocals, guitar
Jonas Mattsson – guitar
Don Palmroos – guitar
Fredrik Hellerström – drums
Joona Hassinen – bass
Pope – mellotron, vocals

Year of the Goat at Napalm Records

Year of the Goat on Thee Facebooks

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Skraeckoedlan Premiere “Pärlor” Video; New Single Due in Jan.

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 18th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

skraeckoedlan

Swedish progressive heavy fuzz rockers Skraeckoedlan aren’t that far removed from their last album — their second, Sagor (review here), it came out about a year ago as their debut on Razzia Records — but the Norrköping four-piece have apparently wasted little time in looking forward. Come January, they’ll release a new two-song 7″ titled Pärlor that leads with a titular cover of long-running countrymen Kent. Coupled with “Eldfagel,” which was recorded during the Sagor sessions and by artwork from Johan Leijon, the new single is very much Skraeckoedlan‘s own despite being a cover. One can hear their Truckfighters-meets-Mastodon sonic blend pushing forward melodically in the hook of “Pärlor” itself, even as their penchant for tonal density and crash continues unabated.

Skraeckoedlan‘s last video, for the Sagor track “El Monstro” (posted here), found them working at a more cinematic level than they had before, and their new clip for “Pärlor” follows suit. Directed by Mats Ek, it seems to tell the tale of a pilgrimage and ultimately an offering being made, though to whom or for what, I’m not sure. Along the way we see a lot — I mean really, a lot — of snow falling on gorgeous Swedish forests and hills, beautiful countryside through which our journeying protagonist traverses at his apparent peril. Sleeping in the snow looks cold as hell, is all I’m saying. But he endures and seems to get where he’s going, and “Pärlor” ends on a creepy enough note to make me wonder if it wasn’t intended to be a sequel in some way to “El Monstro,” which Ek also helmed and still had some performance footage in it, where this one seems to have left that conceit behind entirely.

Bottom line, as the band explains below, is this is their way of paying homage to Kent, who are calling it quits this year after more than a quarter-century of work. Preorders for the 7″ version of the single are available now, and you’ll find those links underneath the clip itself, which I’m thrilled today to be able to premiere.

Please enjoy:

Skraeckoedlan, “Pärlor” official video

The song is a cover version of “Pärlor” written by Sweden’s biggest rock band Kent, who after 26 years together have decided to call it quits. Through a farewell tour this Fall, covering most of Scandinavia they are saying their good byes to a whole generation of people deeply touched and influenced by their music.

For Skraeckoedlan it started out as a somewhat crazy idea that grew more and more intriguing and eventually the song was recorded in an old missionary church in Dalarna, a region in the midst of Sweden very close to their hearts. By recording this version the band was able to try something new and invited them to get in touch and explore their admiration for pop music. By putting their specific stamp on the song this is a shout out to the great masters – Kent – and a tribute to Swedish music in general.

Skraeckoedlan on Kent and “Pärlor”:

During their 26-year long career Kent has really made a huge impact on the music scene in Sweden.

Their way of composing music has always felt free and without rules and I think that’s why this song in particular attracted us so much. I’ve always considered it a heavy and mighty song and it was so much fun to put our stamp on it.

Even though this cover started out as a goofy idea, it turned out to be so much more for us. A tribute to Swedish music and one of the biggest bands this country has ever produced.

The video is made by the amazing Swedish film maker Mats Ek and is also a tribute. We wanted it to portrait the beauty of Sweden – the glorious nature, from which we get so much inspiration from as a band.

So here you go, a homage to the place where we grew up – both musically and visually.

Skraeckoedlan is:
Henrik Grüttner (Guitaring, backup singing)
Martin Larsson (Drumming)
Robert Lamu (Singing/guitaring)
Tim Ångström (Bassing/backup singing)

Skraeckoedlan’s website

Pärlor vinyl preorder

Pärlor vinyl preorder

Skraeckoedlan on Instagram

Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks

Skraeckoedlan on Twitter

Razzia Records

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Skraeckoedlan Premiere Video for “El Monstro”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

skraeckoedlan

Squidman’s ink is hardly dry on Skraeckoedlan‘s new album, Sagor (review here), but the Norrköping and Borlänge four-piece today premiere a brand new video for “El Monstro,” and it’s a title proportional to the fuzz wall Skraeckoedlan build in the song itself. Their second full-length, Sagor is a logical step forward from their 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here), but it pushes even deeper into the band’s world of massive riffing and suitably monstrous creatures. In addition to “El Monstro” and “Squidman,” we get “Mothra,” “Gigantos” and others, and all of these beasts seem to do battle as Sagor‘s high-impact 53 minutes play out in swells of triumphant tone and neo-progressive blood and thunder.

I’ve likened Skraeckoedlan to some combination of impulses garnered from Truckfighters and Mastodon before, and I stand by that in terms of what they bring tonally and in the sheer largesse of their groove, but as “El Monstro” ultimately demonstrates, they’re readily able to create something of their own from these core elements. Joining vocalist/guitarist Robert Lamu, guitarist/vocalist Henrik Grüttner, bassist/backing vocalist Tim Ångström and drummer Martin Larsson on the track in question is Matilda Mård, whose singing plays back and forth off a central riff in airier verses, the band showing themselves as capable of subtlety as well as pummel — though there’s plenty of that to go around.

Further along that same point, check out the song about 5:30 into the video’s total 6:33, the way it volume-swells in and out, almost like distorted tape, but obviously on purpose and with the intended (and successful) effect of adding nuance to what’s essentially repetition of that same central riff. Instead of just rolling through measures, Skraeckoedlan find a way to make their material do more work for them, and both “El Monstro” and Sagor as a whole are stronger for it.

Sagor is out now on Razzia Records. Please find “El Monstro” below, followed by some more info and comment from the band, and enjoy:

Skraeckoedlan, “El Monstro” official video

Swedish fuzz/sludge rockers SKRAECKOEDLAN are releasing the music video for “El Monstro”. The track is the second single from the band’s critically acclaimed album Sagor – released via Razzia Records – and features guest vocals from Matilda Mård. The video is directed by Mats Ek.

“We wanted to create a imaginative feeling and show the beauty of the Swedish evergreens. There is something very magical about our deep forest.”

Skraeckoedlan’s website

Skraeckoedlan on Instagram

Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks

Skraeckoedlan on Twitter

Razzia Records

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Sun Blood Stories, Skraeckoedlan, Mount Desert, Zaum & Shooting Guns and Merchant

Posted in Radio on November 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

You already know, but it’s November as of yesterday. Last time I did a round of adds to The Obelisk Radio was June 5. Granted we’ve had two Quarterly Reviews since then, so not everything has fallen through the cracks in terms of being written up, but even some of that stuff has built up a backlog waiting to be added to the playlist.

Accordingly, there are over 130 records joining The Obelisk Radio today. You can see the full-list here.

That is a massive number for one shot, and some of it is new and some older stuff fills in gaps, mostly in the Black Sabbath catalog. but either way, after five months, it seems like a fair amount to come back with. I’m not sure I’ll be able to schedule a round of Radio Adds every week from here on out — I couldn’t before, if you’ll recall — but as ever, I’ll do my best. As you might expect, five months later, there are some really great records to talk about. We’ll start with the newest one.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for Nov. 2, 2015:

Sun Blood Stories, Samhain Variations

sun blood stories samhain variations

A special Halloween release, the complete title of the latest from Sun Blood Stories is Samhain Variations: In Flight Raid Wake up I Don’t Know, and sure enough at the beginning of “Samhain Variation 1” (15:30), lap steel guitarist/vocalist Amber Pollard gives a cabin announcement welcoming listeners aboard “Trip Airlines Flight 666 bound to your brain” as she and guitarist Ben Kirby set out an immediately experimental-sounding foundation of plucked notes, feedback, drones and other noises. What follows from there — mind you that’s about the first 10 seconds — across “Samhain Variation I” and it loop-drum-infused counterpart “Samhain Variation II” (26:50) is a twisted barrage of alternately hypnotic and assaulting sounds, feeling like an exponential expansion of some of the ambient back end of summer-2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here) full-length, with which I remain enamored. The difference is that where those were smaller pieces that, at times, seemed to touch back down to solid footing reminding of the album’s more straightforward beginning movement, Samhain Variations is an ethereal wash that trades back and forth between melodic and amelodic, touching on the memorable “West the Sun” at the launch of “Samhain Variation II,” but ultimately shaping itself into an unrecognizable form. The second part is harsher than the first and substantially longer, but both reinforce the open creative process the band showed a couple months back on Live at the Banana Stand (posted here), and of course, on the album that preceded it. They remain a band to which more people need to get hip, and Samhain Variations is a flight worth taking. Sun Blood Stories on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Zaum & Shooting Guns, Himalaya to Mesopotamia

zaum & shooting guns humalaya to mesopotamia

Moncton ritualizers Zaum will reportedly have a new full-length out in 2016 to follow their impressive 2014 debut, Oracles (review here). In the interim, they’ve partnered with freakout-prone Saskatoon heavy psych rockers Shooting Guns for a split titled Himilaya to Mesopotamia that is out on vinyl this week. With one track from Zaum, the extended “The Serpentshrine” (19:07), and three from Shooting Guns all over six minutes, it’s well substantial enough for a 12″ and gives its audience plenty to dig into from each act, the two-piece Zaum gracefully and gradually unfolding Eastern inflections and immersive drones on “The Serpentshrine” across a hilltop-shaped, parabolic build that swells to greater impact in the middle and recedes to chants and drones at the end from the psychedelic doom march that emerges. Their work remains fluid and progressive, and “The Serpentshrine” fits well alongside Shooting Guns‘ “Super Himalaya,” “Dirty Needle” and instrumental closer “Ultimate Nullifier,” which between them establish an album-style flow that goes from far to farther out, melding space rock, noise, and psych fuckall into the potent nod of “Dirty Needle,” casting a wide cosmic berth of echoing guitar and thrusting rhythm. Shooting Guns tip hat to “War Pigs” in “Ultimate Nullifier,” but by then the vibe is so lysergic that it’s really just one more ingredient in the cauldron. Might get under general-public radars, but a gem of substantial pulsation. Zaum on Thee Facebooks, Shooting Guns on Thee Facebooks, Zaum on Bandcamp, Shooting Guns on Bandcamp.

Skraeckoedlan, Sagor

skraeckoedlan sagor

The awaited follow-up from Swedish stonerplodders Skraeckoedlan on Razzia RecordsSagor answers the big riffing of the band’s 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here), with a more progressive realization of some similar ideas, the tones still post-Truckfighters, the largesse still post-Mastodon, but the band impressively carving out their own dynamic within their not-quite-metal-but-still-viciously-weighted approach, songs like the post-intro “Gigantos” (7:27) and “El Monstro” pummeling out melodically conscious heft (the latter with guest vocals) while pieces like “Awen” (1:08), the structurally forward “Flod” (2:46) and even the longest cut here, “Squidman” (8:09) managing not to lose track of a consistent atmosphere amid all the unbridled feel. At 53 minutes, Sagor is not a minor undertaking, but somehow, for an album about giant monsters and built on top of likewise proportioned riffs and grooves, it makes a kind of conceptual sense, and I won’t fight against the sway of “Epos” (5:47) or the poise that “Odjuret” (6:39) seems to showcase in the vocals, switching between full-sounding shouts in the chorus and a Greenleaf-style verse, duly fuzzed and engagingly heavy. Originally titled Gigantos and recorded at various different studios, Sagor seems to have been an adventure in the making, but however daunting the process may have been, Skraeckoedlan have come out of it with a sophomore outing that answers the potential of their debut and finds them refining a sound that one hopes only continues to become more their own from here. Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, Razzia Records.

Mount Desert, Mount Desert

mount desert mount desert

Based now in San Francisco with roots in Maine, two-piece newcomers Mount Desert impress on their debut two-song demo with the spaciousness they bring to their tracks. What feels like a 7″ in the making, the pair of “Blue Madonna” (4:45) and “Fear the Heart” (6:36) showcase stylistic cohesion on the part of guitarist/vocalist Scott and drummer Jordan, an overarching reverb seeming to take hold on the first song and continue into the second. These are initial explorations — demos by any other name — but Mount Desert tap into psychedelia with a corresponding earthiness that reminds of the first Sigiriya record in its blend, and feels neither nostalgic nor like it’s trying overly hard to position itself within the West Coast heavy psych sphere’s jammy infatuations. It will not feel out of place genre-wise to first time listeners who take it on, but neither are Mount Desert completely familiar. “Blue Madonna” and “Fear the Heart” work quick and efficient, but retain atmospheric resonance as well, and while their real tests are ahead of them, the molten beginnings of “Blue Madonna” and the crunching finish of “Fear the Heart” give an encouraging sense of range, and while exciting for how Mount Desert might build on them, that excitement comes from what the duo have already accomplished here. Mount Desert on Thee Facebooks, Mount Desert on Soundcloud.

Merchant, Seismic

merchant seismic

Together for just about a year at the time of its release in May, Aussie sludge-plus four-piece Merchant make their presence felt with “Seismic” (9:36), an initial single released as a name-your-price download that seems geared toward announcing their arrival on the fertile ground of Melbourne’s heavy scene. They’re not without their psychedelic flourish, but vocalist Mirgy offers throaty growling — here reminding of New Zealand’s Beastwars, there delving even further into gutturalisms — to top the rolling undulations of guitarist Ben, gotta-hear-this-tone bassist Wilson and drummer Nick and that ensures Merchant never stray too far from the muck toward the cosmos. Ben takes a fuzzy solo in the back half, but Merchant bring their first sally to a crashing finish, lumbering out a few final hits before the amp noise squeezes the last air out of the room. Melbourne heavy is about as multi-faceted as a scene gets — see also Portland, Oregon — but Merchant show also that it’s still growing and that there are those within the city limits looking to push the boundaries of extremity beyond their breaking point. For being just under 10 minutes, “Seismic” tells us an awful lot about Merchant and their intentions over the longer term, and it seems like a warning listeners will want to heed. Merchant on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find something you dig, and if you want to see the full list of the 130-plus records added to the server today, check out The Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page.

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The Unquiet Grave Release Cosmic Dawn Tape

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Swedish outfit The Unquiet Grave issued their debut release, Cosmic Dawn digitally in June, and Caligari Records has stepped in on the quick to follow that up with a physical pressing. There are 125 tapes made for the three-song offering, and the format seems like a good fit for the Norrköping-based project, reportedly helmed in its entirety by Micael Zetterberg, drummer for black metallers Aggressive Mutilator and former bassist/current drummer of death thrashers Terrorama, as well as the founder of Walking Lizzy Records, which released the 2012 Mesozoikum EP from Skraeckoedlan on vinyl.

A pretty varied background, and one that sets up The Unquiet Grave as an endeavor to be clear-headed in what it wants to accomplish. Information is minimal in terms of what’s given from Caligari or the band’s Bandcamp page — like more and more acts these days, The Unquiet Grave is reacting to the social impulse by playing it tight with the raw data of who’s involved, how, etc. — but Zetterberg keeps a near-retro vibe throughout Cosmic Dawn‘s three cuts, classic-style doom riffing meeting with a more languid impulse that the label seems to relate to folk. I’m not inclined to argue.

It’s a cool vibe either way, so while not much is really out there about the band, or where Zetterberg might ultimately be headed with it as a project, there are the songs, and they’re what matters.

The announcement from Caligari Records came down the PR wire and seemed right in line with The Unquiet Grave‘s minimalist sensibilities. It follows here:

the unquiet grave cosmic dawn

THE UNQUIET GRAVE – Cosmic Dawn – Out Now

Swedish doom rock with a folk influence. An intro, three songs and an outro. All sublime and subtle, craftily made and joyously played. First recording, 2015. Limited to 125 copies. Pro Tapes / Pro Covers.

http://unquietgrave.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-dawn
https://www.facebook.com/CaligariRecords
https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-dawn
http://caligarirecords.storenvy.com/

The Unquiet Grave, Cosmic Dawn (2015)

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