Enslaved to Release Utgard This Fall; Single Coming May 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enslaved

There’s a new Enslaved album. It’s called Utgard. It’ll be out this Fall. It’ll probably be brilliant. There’s a single. It’s coming out May 22. It’s not out yet. No. Not yet. Not today. Today’s not May 22. Unless it is. Then it’s out. In that case, I take it all back.

That’s pretty much the news though. After saying they were going to record an album and recording an album, they have recorded an they are releasing an album. Oh yeah, it has a cover. It’s kind of Mordor-esque, but also pretty great. It’s by Truls Espedal, who at this point is basically a member of the band and should probably be considered as such. Doing nine out of their now-15 record covers isn’t nothing. It’s more albums than at least 40 percent of the band have appeared on, for example.

Enslaved are doing the streaming-gig thing on April 1 as part of a big Norwegian brewhaha. That’s cool. I’ve yet to ever watch them play and regret it, in-person or otherwise.

Here’s the album info they’re giving out thus far:

enslaved utgard

ENSLAVED ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM, “UTGARD,” TO BE RELEASED THIS FALL

BAND REVEALS ARTWORK & ANNOUNCES ONLINE SHOW

Norway’s avantgarde metal heroes ENSLAVED reached out to their fans yesterday, to present them the cover artwork for their upcoming album “Utgard”:

ENSLAVED’s official statement:
“Due to the current situation, we took the decision together with our label Nuclear Blast to postpone the release of ‘Utgard’ to the fall. Therefore, as you can imagine, the whole schedule had to be adjusted quickly! We understand that seeing a video teaser followed by nothing has been confusing. As of today, we can announce that our first single and video will be released on May 22nd, and we can’t wait to share this new music with you all! We are sure you understand that this is for the best.

In the meantime, we’d like to tell you a little more about the ‘Utgard’ cover artwork! This is the 9th consecutive album cover artwork done by Truls Espedal – and like the album itself it is definitely on the wavelength of the long-distance pulse from the Enslaved generator. It is a piece of art that mirrors a massive concept and a band that is also more lyrically and philosophically inspired than ever before. That Truls is a master of his art is established a long time ago, but he has truly outdone himself on this interpretation of our Utgard. Just looking at how the colors and techniques are used to create the depth and grandiosity of the horizon. The perfect travelling companion into these uncharted territories.”

Furthermore, the band announces today to headline the Verftet online music festival in USF, Bergen, on April 1st.
The online event will be streamed via www.bt.no and www.youtube.com.

The band states:
“When the old Bergen ring-fox Mikal Telle asked us to join his and local venue USF’s fantastic initiative that is this festival, we pretty much said “yes and thanks for asking!” before he could finish the sentence. Of course we are itching in our fingers to play now that the world of live music is on halt, but we also saw a chance to get our live music out there to all the fantastic fans out there – the studio recordings is of course a pillar in what Enslaved is, but without the other pillar of playing high-energy shows and creating musical magick together with our magnificent audience – things get out of balance. Now we will have a chance to restore that balance for a virtual time with all of you – and time is time no matter what matter it moves through, right? See you in the ether!”

Enslaved is:
Ivar Bjørnson – guitar
Grutle Kjellson – vocals/bass
Ice Dale – guitar
Håkon Vinje – keys/vocals
Iver Sandøy – drums

http://www.facebook.com/enslaved
https://www.instagram.com/enslavedofficial
http://www.enslaved.no/
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa
http://instagram.com/nuclearblastusa

Enslaved, “What Else is There” (Röyksopp cover) official video

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Høstsabbat 2020: REZN Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I hate to say it, but it’s getting to the point where I’m hanging a lot of hopes on making the trip to Norway this October for Høstsabbat 2020. Will it happen? I don’t know. Will anything? Maybe by then the world will be up and running — or maybe at least the rest of the world will, if not my home country — and the fest will take place in glorious fashion as a collective sigh of relief among those fortunate enough to be there. But with so much uncertainty around and the Spring festival season at least shuddered in its entirety, I have to wonder what’s in store thereafter. I by no means think that puts me in an exclusive category, by the way. We’re all waiting to see what happens, as the shadow of COVID-19 has become the context in which our lives seem to be taking place. Isn’t being a part of history fun???

Not usually, no. For one night in 2008, maybe.

Anyhoo, I give points to the Høstsabbat crew for pressing ahead and giving folks like me something to look forward to. It helps, genuinely.

Can’t help but notice REZN — added below — and Bongripper, who were added last time, are both Chicago bands. Wonder if — if, if, if, if — they might tour Europe together in some capacity this Fall. Or if at least that might be the plan under which they’re proceeding for now.

I pronounce the species day-to-day:

hostsabbat 2020 rezn

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – REZN (US)

Finally Friday has kind of lost its meaning nowadays, but to finally be able to announce awesome bands, making their way across the pond to us Europeans for the first time, seems more than legit. The incredibly talented REZN has been a bubbling name in the US scene for years, and their coming to EU seems way overdue.

It’s with massive pride we are able to welcome REZN to Høstsabbat 2020

It’s lovely to see a band fulfilling the intention of our festival as a whole. The sound of REZN sums up the reasons we’re doing this, and reminds us of where it all started. Slow, dynamic riffs, ethereal vocals, grooving, rolling drums, all wrapped up in a sound that makes you forget time and space.

A solid treat for the mind and soul.

Their brilliant take on psychedelic doom adds more to the pot than just killer riffs.

REZN’s clever use of synths and eastern soundscapes make them sound forever fresh and relevant, putting them in a stand-out position in the jungle of bands trying to follow the same recipe.

Following last week’s announcement, they’ll join fellow Chicago band BONGRIPPER, for the most stacked bill of Høstsabbat ever.

October can’t come soon enough.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Bongripper to Headline Høstsabbat 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Let’s put an asterisk there, maybe. Or at least an ellipsis followed by some kind of if-there-is-such-a-thing statement. Even the kind folks behind the Oslo-based Høstsabbat Festival, which I’ve been sort of hanging my hat on as other shows, tours and fests have been canceling as a result of COVID-19’s barely-contained spread — saying to myself, “Well at least Høstsabbat is far enough away that it might still happen — are acknowledging that they’re announcing the intention to bring Bongripper over as a headliner with a spirit of optimism. And hey, why not, right? What the fuck else is going on? Everyone knows the situation. If it happens, it’ll be great — the fucking Høstsabbat is so god damned good that, frankly, it’s worth having as something to look forward in all this — and if it doesn’t happen, well, we’ll know well in advance.

What’s the worst scenario? You buy a ticket and support people who make amazing crap happen when circumstances like global pandemics allow? You could do far worse while social distancing.

I don’t know if I even need to convince you of that, but that’s my case, anyhow. I think I made it well enough. Fucking Bongripper, dude.

I edited their post but didn’t write it:

hostsabbat 2020 bongripper

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – BONGRIPPER (US)

As we said in our last post, our everyday lives have been turned completely upside down recently.

After some discussion, we’ve decided to move ahead as planned. If nothing else, we want to try to add some sparkle to the end of the tunnel everyone seems to be in. We reckon you, as much as us, need something to look forward to, something that can make this surreal struggle a tiny, tiny bit easier to cope with. So yes, here it is:

BONGRIPPER will headline Høstsabbat 2020.

As you know, we always try to choose headliners suitable for the church acoustics. Since we started our collaboration with Kulturkirken JAKOB, this very band has been on the top of our wishlist of invitees. It is a massive joy to finally be able to announce Bongripper for our sabbathian crowd. For the first time in Norway, no less.

Bongripper is a band staking out new paths. They’re leaders of the pack, inspiring younger bands with their unearthly rumble and distinct riffs. Their instrumental, miserable Chicago doom has taken them all over the world, and they’ve been featured on every significant festival there is, building a solid and loyal fanbase throughout their seven full-length career. Finally the time has come for Høstsabbat.

The chapel stage will hold the presence of a band with sudden changes, blasting drums and a heaviness so impeccable, you’ll have a hard time standing up straight in front of it. This gig will mark a highlight in the history of Høstsabbat. Please welcome Bongripper, the headliners of this year’s heaviest event!

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Høstsabbat 2020 Adds Greenleaf to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Of course it’s all tentative. Everything’s tentative at this point, but one can hardly fault Oslo’s Høstsabbat for trying to inject a bit of optimism into the day by adding Sweden’s Greenleaf to the lineup for the festival that, as of now, is still scheduled to take place this October. Does Høstsabbat know what October will bring in terms of COVID-19? Nope. Does anyone? If they do, they’re not saying, so yeah. Might as well keep announcing bands and at least give people something to look forward to — shit, give me something to look forward to, never mind anyone else — even if that has to come with the inevitable asterisk of well-this-might-not-happen-because-of-a-global-pandemic. Fine. I’ll take it anyway. Just the thought of seeing Greenleaf on stage again is enough to make me smile, let alone seeing them in that church for Høstsabbat.

If there is a Høstsabbat 2020 — and I very, very much hope there is — it’s going to be something incredibly special.

Here’s their statement:

greenleaf HØSTSABBAT 2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – GREENLEAF (SE)

In these troubled times where life has turned into a battle of life or death for most things concerning music and cultural activities, we’d like to encourage our fellow riff worshippers to look ahead, towards a better existence. Our whole scene is under great pressure, and it’s more important than ever to support each other and to acknowledge the importance of the everyday shows, independent clubs, festivals, promoters, technicians and everything else surrounding what we love the most. Hopefully when October comes, the covid-19 pandemic has lost, and gatherings as our own Høstsabbat has been given the green light.

Speaking of green. GREEN LUNG has already been announced, so why not add Greenleaf to the party?

Yes, Greenleaf is coming!

These Swedish legends have become one of the biggest bands in the European stoner circuit, and it’s easy to grasp why. Even though it started out as “just” a side project by Tommi Holappa, at the time the key member of Dozer, their 20-year long history have seen the band climbing to the top, slowly but steadily. Their last two albums, both released by Napalm Records, marked their return with bells on, and proved their position as leaders of melodic fuzzed out stoner rock.

Their recent album “Hear the Rivers” interact with hard-hitting drums, groovy-as-hell riffs, topped with the epic melodies from the lungs of their new singer Arvid Hällagård. For a Swedish band of this size, we’re surprised they haven’t frequented Oslo more often.

For this year’s Høstsabbat it only adds to the quality though, and we are stoked to bring them to church.

Hail the leaf, hail Greenleaf!

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Dwaal Sign to Napalm Events for European Booking

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Theirs is one of 2020’s most punishing debut albums to-date, and it seems only like Dwaal are interested in bringing their Gospel of the Vile (review here) to the masses. After issuing the album — which you can stream below — at the end of last month through Dark Essence Records, it seems the band were happened upon by a representative of Napalm Records‘ booking wing, and snapped up accordingly on the merit of a live performance. I guess that’s pretty much the ideal, so kudos to the band. It seems safe to assume you can expect to see them on the road with some Napalm Records bands in Europe any day now, provided, you know, government lockdowns and all that kind of stuff.

But hey, if you’re looking for a soundtrack to the plague-ocalypse, these six very-calm-looking Norwegians would like to have a word:

dwaal

NAPALM EVENTS Signs Norwegian Sludge/Doom Band DWAAL!

NAPALM EVENTS is very proud to add Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal steamroller DWAAL from Oslo, Norway, to the Napalm Events artist roster! NAPALM EVENTS’ booking agent Thorsten Harm witnessed their powerful live performance at by:Larm Festival in Oslo two weeks ago and was hooked immediately!

Thorsten Harm comments:

“More or less I joined their show incidentally – and I wasn’t prepared for them at all, DWAAL hit me hard! Their slow and heavy wall of sound and the outstanding vocals of their singer Bjørnar on top of it literally blew me away, totally unexpected. This metal outfit is super talented and delivers a unique blend of heavy, atmospheric Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal with a terrific Black Metal topping, big time!”

DWAAL released their killer debut album Gospel of the Vile through Dark Essence Records on 28th February 2020.

DWAAL is looking forward what’s ahead of them and comments:

“After years looming in the shadows of the local underground scene, DWAAL is getting ready to move out of the basement and experience the world. We’ve just released our debut album Gospel of the Vile, an effort that has taken a very long time to complete. The reviews have been amazing, even humbling to read. Now we’re stepping up our live activity, and we’re extremely delighted to announce our commitment to NAPALM EVENTS and our shared future. Hope to see as many of you as possible in as many locations as possible, in the not too distant future!”

DWAAL are:
Bjørnar Kristiansen – vocals
Rikke Karlsen – guitar
Eigil Dragvik – guitar
Stian Hammer – bass
Siri Vestby – synth
Anders Johnsen – drums

http://facebook.com/dwaaldoom/
http://instagram.com/dwaaldoom/
https://dwaaldoom.bandcamp.com/
https://dwaal.no/
http://www.facebook.com/darkessencerecords
https://www.instagram.com/karisma_darkessence/
http://karismarecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.darkessencerecords.no/
https://www.facebook.com/napalmevents/

Dwaal, Gospel of the Vile (2020)

Dwaal, “Like Rats” official video

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Høstsabbat 2020: Hymn to Make Return Appearance with New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I’m going to level with you. I’ve been invited back to Oslo to cover Høstsabbat 2020 and through hell, high water, plague or societal collapse, as long as the fest is happening, I’m planning on going. I don’t know how many tickets are left for Høstsabbat 2020 because, frankly, I don’t need to know. I do know, however, some of the band names that the festival has yet to announce, and from that knowledge, I can tell you safely that the two-dayer at the Kulturkirken Jakob — as incredible a setting for shows as I’ve ever seen, both in terms of bands playing on the church altar and downstairs in the basement — and the bar across the street that was added as a third stage last year will indeed sell out. The tickets will be gone. I’m not going to presume you can afford travel from wherever you live as well as tickets — I certainly can’t — but if you’re able to do so and thinking of making the trip, I can only recommend to you to get off the fence and make the ticket purchase happen sooner than later.

Because the tickets will be gone. And you’ll have missed it.

Now. Again, pending disaster, this will be my fourth trip to Oslo for Høstsabbat — 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. I have been fortunate enough in that time to see that this festival is becoming something really special as it continues to grow and become a presence in Norway and with a reputation that extends beyond its home city. If you’re someone who looks at fests as experiences to be had, it is an experience to be had. More, it’s one you want to have.

I’m not working for the fest. I’m not trying to sell you anything. I’m one fan of cool shit speaking to someone who may or may not be interested in some shit I think is pretty cool. That’s all.

Also, good to know Hymn, in returning to Høstsabbat this Fall, will have a new record in tow. All the more reason to look forward.

Here’s their addition announcement:

hymn hostsabbat 2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – HYMN (NO)

HYMN is the closest we come to an in-house band. No other band has played Høstsabbat three times. Why? No other band pulls off exactly what Hymn does. Actually, there might not be another band able to impress the way these guys do.

Their debut album “Perish” from 2017 is a monster of an effort, but what’s yet to come will leave marks way beyond our Norwegian borders. We have heard it, the upcoming album set for release autumn 2020. The label behind it, Fysisk Format, drew the winning ticket with this one.

This new album hits hard, with its raw, yet crisp sound. They separate themselves, managing to add detail and finesse hardly seen in aggressive sludge outfits. They lead the way so to speak. It IS that good.

Luckily for our crowd, they’re even better live, and they’ll play this very album in it’s entirety, while starting off Høstsabbat in the Chapel stage, Friday October 2nd.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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Slomosa Post New Single “There is Nothing New Under the Sun”

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

slomosa

Based in Bergen on the Western Coast of Norway, the relative newcomer four-piece Slomosa will issue their debut long-player sometime later this year through Apollon Records. Info is scarce in terms of things like when it was recorded, how, by whom, how many songs will be on it or when it’s coming out, but there are two songs streaming — the prior single “Horses” and the newer single “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” — and I dig both. “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” is mega-catchy in an earlier Queens of the Stone Age vein, while “Horses” reminds a bit of The Sword, but maybe that’s splitting hairs because the underlying point here is they’ve got hooks and that’s a damn good place for a new band to start.

They call the style “tundra rock” — a desert with ice, you know — and for that alone, never mind the chorus of “Horses,” they remind me a bit of Washington’s Lords of the North, but that seems more the result of a common influence from the aforementioned The Sword than anything else. Either way, as I said, two tracks out there and I dig it.

You can hear both songs below. “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” and “Horses” are both also up on Spotify, but those embeds look like crap and I’d rather see YouTube players than two of those, so here we go:

slomosa there is nothing new under the sun

Tundra Rock Is Still Alive! Desert Rockers SLOMOSA Share New Single There is Nothing New Under the Sun!

Debut Album later this year.

Not much is known yet of Bergen, Norway’s new shooting stars of huge rock Slomosa, except they are four relatively soft men who play tough and heavy desert rock. But they call it Tundra Rock up there…

Today Slomosa are back with their second single There is Nothing New Under the Sun, and it’s no less heavy than their first single Horses!

The yet untitled debut Album is coming in early 2020 on Apollon Records of Bergen, Norway. Stay tuned.

www.facebook.com/slomosaband
https://www.instagram.com/slomosa
https://soundcloud.com/slomosa
https://sptfy.com/4Qaf
www.apollonrecords.no
www.facebook.com/bergenapollonrecords

Slomosa, “There is Nothing New Under the Sun”

Slomosa, “Horses”

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Høstsabbat 2020: Orkan Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Harmony-laced Swedish retro heavy with a folkish flair? Well yes, that’s excellent and all well and good in joining the lineup for Høstsabbat 2020, which only continues — and from what I hear, will continue — to grow more awesome with each new band announced. As I’ll be there barring piano-dropped-on-my-head-type disaster, they’re one to look forward to seeing, particularly as their 2017 debut was such a gem and they’ve apparently got a follow-up just completed, but I think it’s worth taking a second here to appreciate the artwork that accompanies this announcement. Yeah, it’s a couple of robed figures and a smoking snail and a little Sabbath demon, but if the subject matter is familiar, look at the friggin’ detail and the technique.

Really. If you click the image and open the link in a new tab you can see it as 2048×2048 pixels, and it’s worth doing that just to appreciate the line work on the snail alone, never mind the demon or the celebrants. Trine Grimm and Linda K Røed hosted a gallery show in the basement of the Kulturkirken Jakob at Høstsabbat last year, and also did a live painting at the fest, so it’s not like their work as been unacknowledged or anything, but it’s becoming increasingly clear how essential they are to Høstsabbat‘s aesthetic at this stage. It’s so cool to see what this festival is becoming as it moves forward each year.

Plus the bands rule. To wit:

hostsabbat 2020 orkan

HØSTSABBAT 2020 – ORKAN (SE)

Some bands combine the quality of pleasing the retro-oriented crowd just as much as youngsters in search of something new and edgy. It’s hard to say how it’s done, but if you’re curious, our next band should fit that description perfectly.

Orkan is a highly enjoyable spectacle on stage, just as their sound is cuddly to your eardrums on their recordings. With their current view on society, while at the same time leaning on the classic prog sounds of a forgotten era, they’re truly a breath of fresh air. Surprised they’re from Sweden? We’re not.

Orkan will grace Høstsabbat with that very breath of fresh air.

They’re light, but at the same time heavy, especially with their lyrics casting light on how this world is evolving.

As they’ve just finished recording their new album, we look forward to welcome this vivid 5-piece to Høstsabbat 2020.

We bet they’ll hit you like a storm, or a hurricane even.

TICKETS
http://bit.ly/hostsabbat2020

HØSTSABBAT 2020 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/SFhostsabbat2020

NEWSLETTER
http://bit.ly/NLhostsabbat

Artwork: Trine Grimm Tattoo / Linda K Røed

https://www.facebook.com/events/431138574088425/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

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