Kadavar Post “Tribulation Nation” Video; Tour with Mantar & Death Alley Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kadavar

I admit I’m a little behind in posting the latest video from Berlin-based heavy rock magnates Kadavar. Do you think anyone noticed? Nah. The band’s been too busy reaping rightful praise for their just-issued stunner of a fourth album, Rough Times (review here), which follows the modernization of vibe that took place on 2015’s Berlin (review here) with a darker-overall sense of mood driven, no doubt at least in part, by the woes engendered across the sphere of current events. At least that’s the impression a track like “Tribulation Nation” gives, anyhow.

Ever mindful of their audience, Kadavar don’t necessarily pass outward judgment in the song, however, and the spirit of the track is more one of coming to terms with, attempting to understand the world than trying to critique or correct something so very screwed up about it. I try to keep it out of posts on this site — because, well, why make yourself mad if you don’t have to? — but I’m a pretty politically-minded guy and I think if you hang around here long enough you can get a sense of where my sensibilities lie in that realm if you want one, and I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason Kadavar don’t push their level of criticism farther is because of the generalized feeling of hopelessness of the progression of the world’s situation. What’s to be done? If there was going to be an answer, is it so unreasonable to think someone would’ve stumbled on it by now?

The three-piece hit the road tomorrow to start the touring cycle proper for Rough Times, which if past is prologue will likely keep them on the road through the end of 2018 and then some — they kind of go, go, go perpetually — and they go in the company of Mantar and the revamped lineup of Death Alley. Maybe that’s the answer. You just keep going. Because that’s all you can do is move forward. Hit the road. Take care of yours and try not to be a dick to everyone else. I don’t know if that’s the message here or not, but as takeaways go, at least it’s not “make riffs great again.”

Video and tour dates follow, as well as more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Kadavar, “Tribulation Nation” official video

kadavar tour dates

Arguably the hardest working band in the current European rock scene, Kadavar made their entrance in 2010 with a vintage, retro style of heavy rock ‘n’ roll that called for comparisons to greats like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. The band quickly stood out amongst their peers with straightforward, no frills approach to their signature brand of rock that features classic song structure with a gritty contemporary edge.

Kadavar’s previous record, Berlin, set the scene ablaze, charting in both Germany and the U.S., and made them a household name among rock fans around the world. Now armed with their follow-up, Rough Times, the band seeks to reclaim their title as one of the best rock has to offer.

Guitarist/singer Lupus comments: “The album is finally out and we’re really happy. Last week, we quickly recorded a video for ‘Tribulation Nation’ in the studio. I think this song underlines how complex our new record is. Thanks to everyone for the support.”

KADAVAR w/ MANTAR, DEATH ALLEY
12.10. D Essen – Zeche Carl
13.10. D Hamburg – Markthalle*
14.10. D Leipzig – Conne Island
15.10. B Antwerp – Desert Fest
17.10. F Strasbourg – La Laiterie Club
18.10. F Paris – Le Trabendo
19.10. F Rennes – L’Ubu
20.10. F Bordeaux – La Krakatoa
21.10. E Madrid – But
22.10. E Barcelona – Bikini
24.10. F Lyon – Feyzin
25.10. CH Monthey – Pont Rouge
26.10. CH Aarau – Kiff
27.10. D Munich – Backstage
28.10. A Vienna – Flex
29.10. A Graz – PPC
30.10. HR Zagreb – Mocvara
01.11. H Budapest – A38
02.11. PL Warsaw – Progresja
03.11. PL Krakow – Kwadrat
04.11. CZ Prague – Nová Chmelnice
05.11. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
07.11. NL Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord
08.11. D Hanover – Capitol
09.11. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset
10.11. S Stockholm – Debaser
11.11. N Oslo – Bla
12.11. S Gothenburg – Pustervik
13.11. NL Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
15.11. D Cologne – Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
16.11. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
17.11. D Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
18.11. D Berlin – Columbiahalle
*no MANTAR

KADAVAR live:
20.12. D Bremen – Tower
21.12. D Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache
22.12. D Münster – Sputnikhalle
28.12. D Chemnitz – AJZ Talschock
29.12. D Siegen – Vortex

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Kadavar, Rough Times: To Chronicle

Posted in Reviews on September 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kadavar rough times

It feels like every time Kadavar release a new album, it’s a crucial moment for the band. On some level, this has to be because the standard of quality they’ve set for their work continues to seem impossible to maintain over the longer-term. Not that they haven’t earned respect as a special group in more than just their haircuts and fashion sense through their songwriting, constant touring, and three full-lengths to-date —  2015’s Berlin (review here), 2013’s Abra Kadavar (review here) and 2012’s self-titled debut (discussed here) — just that the echelon of craft at which they’ve worked for the last half-decade is exceedingly rare and even more rarely maintained over a stretch of years and releases. Yet, with the arrival of their fourth long-player and third for Nuclear BlastRough Times, one doesn’t at all anticipate the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt and bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup will fail to meet the expectations of their massive fanbase.

Indeed, if Berlin proved anything at all about the band’s sound in the clearer, more modern, less vintage-minded production approach it brought forth, it’s that Kadavar‘s sonic and aesthetic reach is even greater than anyone could’ve anticipated from the warm, ’70s-fueled sounds of their earliest work. Rough Times, with 10 songs and 44 minutes divided over two distinct LP sides, is no less brazen in pushing even further. Side A cuts like “Into the Wormhole” (video posted here) and “Skeleton Blues” turn the crispness of Berlin on its head with the outright heaviest low end the band has ever conjured and a gnarled-out fuzz in the guitar — see “Into the Wormhole” after about 2:45 especially — that maintains the modernity of the preceding offering and most importantly, the memorable songwriting Kadavar have proffered all along, but is nonetheless immediately distinguished from the rest of their work in intention and execution. They’re a big enough band at this point that opinions on anything they do will be divided, but in listening to Rough Times, the band make their mission clear and accomplish it with poise and purpose alike. If you were anxious, rest easy. Kadavar have done it again.

About that mission, though. The chief clue would seem to be right there in the title Rough Times. Through the initial tumbling chaos of the opening title-track, the key-laced weirdness of “Into the Wormhole,” the “fake news” reference in the nod-stomp of “Skeleton Blues” and even the later drift of “The Lost Child,” Kadavar seek to capture something essential about the moment in which we live. As an American hearing songs like “Skeleton Blues” and the thrust-laden urgency of side B opener “Tribulation Nation,” my mind immediately turns to politics, and for Germans whose home country has been called the last and best hope for stewardship of the European Union, the case may or may not be the same, but Rough Times avoids direct engagement with the issues of the day in favor of a more general impression of the confusion and pessimism engendered thereby.

That’s not to say there’s no hope, which one readily finds in the penultimate romance of “You Found the Best in Me” — though it’s only fair to be skeptical of sentiment coming from Kadavar after “Pale Blue Eyes” (video posted here) from Berlin turned out to be an inside joke written by Lindemann about Bartelt in a dress — but especially as the first half of Rough Times proceeds into the horrors of “Die Baby Die” and “Vampires,” the impression is unquestionably the darker than any of Kadavar‘s prior output. And it’s supposed to be. That’s the point.

kadavar

Particularly through “Rough Times,” “Into the Wormhole,” “Skeleton Blues,” “Die Baby Die” and “Vampires,” with flourish of keys in and out among the guitar bass and drums, varied tonality, still-righteous hooks and melodicism from Lindemann on vocals, Rough Times channels the turbulence of 2017 — and thankfully, it does so with none of the exhausting despair that each week seems to bring. Instead, even “Vampires” keeps an uptempo swing behind its midsection solo, and “Die Baby Die” stands among the catchiest tracks Kadavar have ever written. Likewise, as “Tribulation Nation” and “Words of Evil” begin to transition into side B, the former with perhaps the most direct political theme here in its lyrics, they mark the starting point of an expansion that will push outward in multiple directions until atmospheric, French-language spoken word closer “À L’Ombre du Temps” (“to the shadow of the times”) brings Rough Times to its end.

The turn that commences with “Tribulation Nation” is key, since while “Into the Wormhole” and “Die Baby Die” and “Skeleton Blues,” etc., certainly have their mood and ambient aspects, the rhythm of the side B opener is practically space rock in its approach, and each song that follows — “Words of Evil,” “The Lost Child,” “You Found the Best in Me” and “À L’Ombre du Temps,” in that order — offers something different from its surroundings. In the case of “Words of Evil,” that’s a motor-ready chug of a riff feeling in conversation with the post-Priest vibe of Berlin‘s “Into the Night,” brought to bear over a quick-running three and a half minutes light on frills other perhaps than some echo on Lindemann‘s vocals and a winding groove that feels likely to build momentum on stage as well as it does leading into “The Lost Child,” which immediately turns again. An intro of keys lead the way to softer tom hits as part of a subdued verse topped with eerie crooning, and though the chorus will bring a swell of volume and tone, the longest track on Rough Times at 5:52 shifts just before its fourth minute into acoustic-strummed, whistle-inclusive Spaghetti Westernism, ending with sampled waves to set the stage for Tiger‘s drum intro to fluidly begin “You Found the Best in Me,” on which Kadavar marry Beatlesian pop hooks with Skynyrd-derived Southern rock in a way that, after the reaches of the previous track and the morose spirit of some of the other material surrounding, is a welcome moment of relief.

The message in the context of the rest of the album? Whatever or whoever the song is actually about, it would seem to be that we’ve still got each other. And fair enough. “You Found the Best in Me”‘s classic feel is the strongest tie on Rough Times to Kadavar‘s first two records, but while its roots are classic, there’s precious little about it looking to retread either their own or anyone else’s past. Instead, like “The Lost Child” before and “À L’Ombre du Temps” after, it finds the trio once again in new territory, and as its finish moves into the keys, background drones and whispers of “À L’Ombre du Temps,” the flow of side B is only further emphasized — all the more a masterful realization given the range — and the quiet epilogue comes across as no more out of place than any of the brash stylistic changes before it.

Granted, “À L’Ombre du Temps” isn’t without a spiritual predecessor either — a cover of Nico‘s “Reich der Träume” was included as a bonus track on the last album — but still, as an original piece and in its place as the last statement on Rough Times, it stands out in a way very much intended to be striking, and it is. One might take it as a last-minute confirmation of the fact that, four LPs deep into their tenure, Kadavar are able to go where they please in theme and sound alike, but as relates to the rest of Rough Times surrounding, the closer is one more example of the strength of their songwriting and their ability to work within multiple contexts to create not just landmark individual singles like “Die Baby Die” or “Tribulation Nation,” but an album as an entirety that’s strengthened by the various sides of personality shown throughout. In this, Kadavar prove once more why they’ve become one of the most crucial heavy rock acts currently going, and as they engage with the roughness of our times in theme and sound, they almost can’t seem to help but make the days a little easier to endure.

Kadavar, “Into the Wormhole” official video

Kadavar, “Die Baby Die” official video

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Kadavar Post “Into the Wormhole” Video; Rough Times out Sept. 29

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kadavar photo joe dilworth

I’ve got Kadavar‘s new album, Rough Times, slated for review next week, so you’ll pardon me if I don’t say too much about it here while I’m still gathering my thoughts for the inevitable brainsplurge to come, but suffice it to say that when I think about the record, this song plays a big role in the overarching impression I get from it. Like their preceding video for “Die Baby Die” (posted here), this one for “Into the Wormhole” speaks to the more metallic tonality on display in Rough Times‘ earlier cuts, whether it’s the opening title-track or the surprisingly thickened “Skeleton Blues.”

Though that’s only part of what the full record ultimately has on offer before moving into the classically motoring “Words of Evil” and the Southern-tinged “You Found the Best in Me” on side B, the cynical worldview (and why not?) and harsher approach is new ground for Kadavar, who even in modernizing their production style across 2015’s Berlin (review here) after positioning themselves are retro-rock forerunners with their first two albums, 2013’s Abra Kadavar (review here) and 2012’s self-titled debut (discussed here), didn’t come nearly as close to anything quite so aggressive in tone as they do in “Into the Wormhole.”

But as the title says, these are Rough Times. There’s a ton or two of PR wire info included with the video — tour dates and all that — and again, with the review coming up, I’m going to leave it there, but the moral of the story is that if you thought after Berlin you knew what Kadavar were all about or where they were headed in terms of sound, “Into the Wormhole” will very likely make short work of that notion.

Enjoy:

Kadavar, “Into the Wormhole” official video

Berlin, Germany-based rock overlords KADAVAR have released the official music video for the brand new song “Into The Wormhole”. The track comes off their eagerly awaited fourth studio album, Rough Times.

The video was shot at Sphaèros Art Cave in Paris, France, directed by Luizo Vega (Studio V). The video starring actor AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR singer David Sphaèros follows a concept by drummer Tiger.

Commented Tiger: “The darkness that surrounds us when reality seems like a big black hole, those times when we try to turn around trying to escape the gravity of modern life looking for the shortcut to a more pleasant one, our biggest wish is that wormholes do exist and can take us to another dimension. A place where our thoughts are not poisoned and our souls can resonate freely. Playing music together has always been an attempt to enter this rare state of mind where everything is fine for just a second. While ‘Into The Wormhole’ is rather slow and possibly the heaviest song we have ever written, it philosophies about the shortcuts to enter the state of bliss at speed of light, the WORMHOLE.

Our history with our french buddies in AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR, goes far behind and each of us has tried in their own way to find salvation through music. This is why I’ve had the idea to ask singer and main brain David Sphaèros to open the doors to his infamous caves in the Parisian underground for us to collaborate for this video. Being able to get Luizo Vega on board as a director, who has just worked on Dracula’s Not Dead, pushed the whole thing just in the right direction.”

The pre-orders for Rough Times and brand new merchandise can be viewed here.

Rough Times will be released on September 29 via Nuclear Blast.

KADAVAR live:
30.09. UK London – The Dome
01.10. UK Sheffield – HRH Doom vs. Stoner
20.12. D Bremen – Tower
21.12. D Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache
22.12. D Münster – Sputnikhalle
28.12. D Chemnitz – AJZ Talschock
29.12. D Siegen – Vortex

w/ MANTAR, DEATH ALLEY
12.10. D Essen – Zeche Carl
13.10. D Hamburg – Markthalle*
14.10. D Leipzig – Conne Island
15.10. B Antwerp – Desert Fest
17.10. F Strasbourg – La Laiterie Club
18.10. F Paris – Le Trabendo
19.10. F Rennes – L’Ubu
20.10. F Bordeaux – La Krakatoa
21.10. E Madrid – But
22.10. E Barcelona – Bikini
24.10. F Lyon – Feyzin
25.10. CH Monthey – Pont Rouge
26.10. CH Aarau – Kiff
27.10. D Munich – Backstage
28.10. A Vienna – Flex
29.10. A Graz – PPC
30.10. HR Zagreb – Mocvara
01.11. H Budapest – A38
02.11. PL Warsaw – Progresja
03.11. PL Krakow – Kwadrat
04.11. CZ Prague – Nová Chmelnice
05.11. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
07.11. NL Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord
08.11. D Hanover – Capitol
09.11. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset
10.11. S Stockholm – Debaser
11.11. N Oslo – Bla
12.11. S Gothenburg – Pustervik
13.11. NL Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
15.11. D Cologne – Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
16.11. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
17.11. D Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
18.11. D Berlin – Columbiahalle
*no MANTAR

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Kadavar Post “Die Baby Die” Video; Live Dates Underway

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

kadavar-photo-Elizaveta-Porodina

Fresh off appearances this past week at Wacken Open Air and the Los Almiros festivals, German trio Kadavar have unveiled the first single from their forthcoming Rough Times album. Set for release via Nuclear Blast on Sept. 29, Rough Times follows 2015’s Berlin (review here) and once again marks a turn for the highly-stylized outfit, keeping the sonic modernity of its predecessor while embarking on a much more tonally weighted feel overall, especially in the low end. “Die Baby Die,” the single which is also being issued as a 7″ with an accompanying cover of The Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter,” finds Kadavar‘s underlying songcraft as catchy as ever, but in theme and sound, represents the LP’s heavier side well.

Could it be Kadavar are reacting to the somewhat cleaner feel that Berlin had coming off the more vintage-sounding 2013 outing Abra Kadavar (review here) and their 2012 self-titled debut (discussed here)? Listening to the opening title-track to Rough Times, with its buzzsaw fuzz, deep-running bass and riotous crash followed by the even thicker push of “Into the Wormhole,” it certainly sounds like it. As the name would lead one to believe, Rough Times has a darker overarching atmosphere certainly than Berlin, which even at its moodiest kept a celebratory vibe, but is still definitively Kadavar‘s own, and that comes across in “Die Baby Die” in the melody of guitarist Lupus Lindemann‘s vocals, the bounce of drummer Tiger‘s snare and the foundation of warmth from Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup‘s bass.

These are preliminary thoughts, and I’m planning on having a full review up prior to the Sept. 29 release date, so I’ll park my brain there for the time being and let you dig into the video below and the info that follows. Kadavar, as they will, have a substantial amount of touring planned in support of the impending long-player, including a full European run alongside Mantar and Death Alley in October and November. You can see the dates for that in the PR wire info that follows the clip.

Enjoy:

Kadavar, “Die Baby Die” official video

Berlin, Germany-based rock overlords KADAVAR have announced the details for their upcoming fourth studio album, Rough Times. The 7″ vinyl single “Die Baby Die” including the BEATLES cover ‘Helter Skelter’ is available now via nblast.de/KadavarDieBabyDieNB

The official music video for the “Die Baby Die” as well as the pre-orders for Rough Times (in various lavish formats, see below) and brand new merchandise can be viewed here.

Commented singer & guitarist Lupus: “I always wanted to do a trashy VHS styled green screen video. Milan from the band ROTOR got my idea and we shot it on one day at Felsenkeller in Leipzig. As you can see it was great fun. Lots of layers, colors and fast cuts. A lot of chaos. I think it fits the song pretty well.”

Rough Times will be released on September 29 via Nuclear Blast.

After announcing a string of summer shows as well as an extensive European headline run with their label mates MANTAR and DEATH ALLEY, KADAVAR, have also revealed more dates for December 2017. Dates as follows:

KADAVAR live:
30.09. UK London – The Dome
01.10. UK Sheffield – HRH Doom vs. Stoner
20.12. D Bremen – Tower
21.12. D Mannheim – Alte Feuerwache
22.12. D Münster – Sputnikhalle
28.12. D Chemnitz – AJZ Talschock
29.12. D Siegen – Vortex

w/ MANTAR, DEATH ALLEY
12.10. D Essen – Zeche Carl
13.10. D Hamburg – Markthalle*
14.10. D Leipzig – Conne Island
15.10. B Antwerp – Desert Fest
17.10. F Strasbourg – La Laiterie Club
18.10. F Paris – Le Trabendo
19.10. F Rennes – L’Ubu
20.10. F Bordeaux – La Krakatoa
21.10. E Madrid – But
22.10. E Barcelona – Bikini
24.10. F Lyon – Feyzin
25.10. CH Monthey – Pont Rouge
26.10. CH Aarau – Kiff
27.10. D Munich – Backstage
28.10. A Vienna – Flex
29.10. A Graz – PPC
30.10. HR Zagreb – Mocvara
01.11. H Budapest – A38
02.11. PL Warsaw – Progresja
03.11. PL Krakow – Kwadrat
04.11. CZ Prague – Nová Chmelnice
05.11. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
07.11. NL Amsterdam – Paradiso Noord
08.11. D Hanover – Capitol
09.11. DK Copenhagen – Pumpehuset
10.11. S Stockholm – Debaser
11.11. N Oslo – Bla
12.11. S Gothenburg – Pustervik
13.11. NL Deventer – Burgerweeshuis
15.11. D Cologne – Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
16.11. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
17.11. D Stuttgart – LKA Longhorn
18.11. D Berlin – Columbiahalle
*no MANTAR

Video Credits:
Kamera, Schnitt & Postproduktion – Milan Pfützenreuter
Licht & Bühne – Alexander Jung & Marco Schulz
3D und Titelanimation – Denny Münster
ein Dankeschön an den Felsenkeller Leipzig und Meyer Bros. Leipzig

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

Tags: , , , , ,

Kadavar Announce New Album Title Rough Times; Cover Art Posted; New 7″ Coming Soon

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

kadavar-photo-Elizaveta-Porodina

German traditionalist heavy rock forerunners Kadavar have set Rough Times as the title of their impending fourth album. When we heard from them at the end of last month, the Berlin-based trio had newly finished recording and set a Sept. release date through Nuclear Blast, and in addition to announcing the title of the record and posting the striking cover art which you can see below, Kadavar now put out word that Rough Times will be preceded by a new 7″ featuring the Beatles cover “Helter Skelter” and the album track “Die Baby Die.” That’s available for preorder now.

Rough Times, of course, will be the follow-up to 2015’s Berlin (review here), which was arguably Kadavar‘s high-water mark to-date. Below, the band explains their motivation behind the title and details the single. More as I hear it.

Goes like this:

kadavar rough times

Kadavar – Rough Times

Our album “Rough Times” will soon be released!

Tiger: “The process of making this record was quite intense. I kind of went through my inner hell. Working all day, you’re fine but at night all these things were torturing me. The new songs are crazy and absurd sometimes, but also serious and very personal. It’s the ambiguity that holds »Rough Times« together. Every song evolved from a certain strong feeling.

We chose the title because it has this duality. It’s not just funny, yet it’s not a complete serious title. we’re doing fine, but something’s missing in this world. We don’t really fit in or want to but at the same time we’re stuck in this. the times are rough when you wake up and just wanna die, but times can also be rough for very trivial reasons, the latter I have the feeling is very zeitgeisty.

This collage for the cover is the perfect match for the title. I had this picture in my head throughout the whole process. It’s a little rough, but this picture tells a lot.”

Added singer & guitarist Lupus: For me it’s a very serious title, bar any humor. We maintain the achievements of our elders, such as women rights, peace and a corporate Europe by touring through clubs, sniffing 100 euro bills through our noses and call attention to ourselves by posting insta stories. Meanwhile people rising to power decline economy, free thinking and progress. If we don’t start to really care for this heritage and leave it to people who just want to enrich themselves, we will soon face »Rough Times«.

The album itself is a journey through our states of mind. The first 3 songs is us venting our spleen. About everything and everyone we despise – until towards the end when there’s something kinda like hope.”

Aside of the big album announcement, the band also revealed to be releasing an exclusive 7″ vinyl for the first single off the album, called ‘Die Baby Die’. The single will also contain the BEATLES cover ‘Helter Skelter’ and is available for pre-order now: http://nblast.de/KadavarDieBabyDieNB

https://www.facebook.com/KadavarOfficial/
https://twitter.com/kadavarofficial
https://instagram.com/kadavargram/
https://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa
http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

Kadavar, “Lord of the Sky” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Mantar Post “Cross the Cross” Video; German Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mantar

It seems reasonable to assume that German duo Mantar filmed their new video when they were in New York last year on tour with Conan (review here). Considering that their new album, Ode to the Flame, was just recently released — it’s their first for Nuclear Blast, second overall behind a 2015 debut, Death by Burning (review here) — it’s a point of interest because that would mean that at very least the song was in the can since last May, when the show was at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Seems like kind of a long time to hold onto it. One doesn’t usually think of patience when it comes to Mantar, but maybe we should.

The song is “Cross the Cross,” and it’s telling that the very first thing you see in the video is the cover of Illmatic by Nas. As the two-piece get followed around by Death — two Deaths, actually — the clip itself owes a lot of its look and feel to classic hip-hop. Directed by Dave Barbaree is has the wide-angle walking shots, gestures and stuff being thrust at the camera that one might’ve seen on MTV 20-plus years ago. I’m not sure what happens in rap videos these days, if that’s a still a thing, but it’s kind of hard not to be reminded of stuff like Biohazard from that era that also basked in hip-hop culture and translated some of those aesthetics to a heavy aggro push.

I guess the key difference there is Biohazard also borrowed liberally from rap in their music at the time, whereas Mantar remain as fire-spewing as ever, if not quite as rawly produced.

It’s an interesting clip. Makes me miss New York. Check it out below, followed by Mantar‘s German tour dates, which start tonight. They’re also playing all the festivals. Yup, all of ’em.

Dig:

Mantar, “Cross the Cross” official video

Ode To The Flame is the nihilistic new full-length from Northern Germany-based infernal metal duo, MANTAR. Out now on Nuclear Blast, the record is currently available in CD, vinyl (black and gold – the latter of which is only available from the Nuclear Blast Mailorder), and digital formats HERE.

MANTAR will inundate their native Germany with an exclusive run of shows this month which kicked off this past weekend. The band will also level the stages of several festivals throughout the Summer months and make its way to North America with confirmed appearances at Heavy Montreal, Psycho Las Vegas and California Deathfest. Additional live infiltrations are in the plotting stages.

MANTAR:
4/20/2016 FZW Club – Dortmund, DE
4/21/2016 Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
4/22/2016 B58 – Braunschweig, DE
4/23/2016 Stockrock – Hagen, DE
4/28/2016 Desertfest – Berlin, DE
4/29/2016 Desertfest – Berlin, DE
4/30/2016 Desertfest – London, UK
5/05/2016 Beta – Copenhagen, DE
5/07/2016 Volksbad – Flensburg, DE
5/13/2016 Post Valley – Gießen, DE
5/14/2016 Doomed Gatherings @ Glazart – Paris, FR
5/27/2016 Freak Valley Festival – Siegen, DE
5/28/2016 Visbek Rockt – Visbek, DE
6/03/2016 Metalhead Meeting – Bucharest, RO
6/05/2016 Metalfest Open Air – Plzen, CZ
6/18/2016 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
7/01/2016 Tuska – Helsinki, FI
7/16/2016 Gefle Metal Festival – Gävle, SE
8/07-09/2016 Heavy Montreal – Montreal, QC
8/17-20/2016 Summer Breeze – Dinkelsbühl, DE
8/26-28/2016 Psycho Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
10/14-16/2016 California Deathfest – Oakland, CA

Mantar on Thee Faceboks

Mantar at Nuclear Blast

Tags: , , , , ,

The Vintage Caravan Post “Babylon” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the vintage caravan

Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan kicked off their first European headlining tour this past weekend, and to mark the occasion, they’ve unveiled the second, even-weirder video to come from their sophomore album, Arrival (review here). “Babylon” was the first audio to come from Arrival early last year in a lyric video (posted here) and its hook is resonant enough that if you checked out that track even once, it’ll probably come back to you here. Plus, it’s significantly longer than was “Crazy Horses,” which was the first video from the record, so the three-piece have more time to really get strange as they go on.

And they do. What starts with an awkward YouTube-style interview that takes Polish ‘zines down a peg quickly takes a turn as the band gets chased by volcano zombies and captured by merpeople, gives birth to an all-white demon, winds up at some weird tea party and then, finally, gets on stage to finish the song. The last video was weird. This one’s weirder. Call it artistic progression.

The Vintage Caravan stay on the road throughout much of March in Europe, and since they rounded out 2015 on tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had plans upcoming either for summer or fall as well. And hey, as cinematic as the clips for “Crazy Horses” and “Babylon” have been, it’s always possible the band will make it a trilogy of videos from Arrival before moving forward with their next album. We’ll see if they manage to survive next time.

Enjoy:

The Vintage Caravan, “Babylon” official video

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “BABYLON”!

Icelandic classic rock trio THE VINTAGE CARAVAN have released the music video for the song “Babylon” off their successful latest album, Arrival.

The band commented about the song,”From the beginning we always wanted to do a video to “Babylon”. It’s definitely one of the heavier, more primal songs off the last album Arrival.”

 

The Vintage Caravan on Tour:
04.02.2016 Kolding (Denmark) – Godset
05.02.2016 Aalborg (Denmark) – 1000Fryd
06.02.2016 Copenhagen (Denmark) – BETA
07.02.2016 Kiel (Germany) – Die Pumpe
09.02.2016 Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) – Neushoorn
10.02.2016 Den Bosch (The Netherlands) – W2
11.02.2016 Antwerp (Belgium) – Het Bos
12.02.2016 Sittard (The Netherlands) – Volt
13.02.2016 Dresden (Germany) – Chemiefabrik
14.02.2016 Lille (France) – La Péniche
15.02.2016 Paris (France) – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
17.02.2016 Nantes (France) – Scène Michelet
18.02.2016 Bordeaux (France) – Void
19.02.2016 Bilbao (Spain) – Santana 27
20.02.2016 Almada (Portugal) – Cine Incrivél
21.02.2016 Madrid (Spain) – Sala Caracol
22.02.2016 Barcelona (Spain) – La 2
25.02.2016 Aarau (Switzerland) – Kiff
26.02.2016 Milan (Italy) – Lo Fi Club
27.02.2016 Mödling (Austria) – Red Box
28.02.2016 Graz (Austria) – Explosiv
29.02.2016 Salzburg (Austria) – Rockhouse
02.03.2016 Innsbruck (Austria) – Weekender
03.03.2016 Budapest (Hungary) – Dürer Kert
04.03.2016 Prague (Czech Republic) – Nova Chmelnice
05.03.2016 Cracow (Poland) – Zascianek
06.03.2016 Warsaw (Poland) – Hydrozagadka
08.03.2016 Lichtenfels (Germany) – Paunchy Cats
09.03.2016 Erfurt (Germany) – Museumskeller
10.03.2016 Bonn (Germany) – WDR Crossroads (only The Vintage Caravan)
11.03.2016 Nürnberg (Germany) – Der Cult
12.03.2016 Munich (Germany) – Under The Black Moon (Backstage) (Only The Vintage Caravan)
13.03.2016 Münster (Germany) – Sputnik Cafe
18.03.2016 Düsseldorf (Germany – Pitcher (Only The Vintage Caravan)
19.03.2016 Düsseldorf (Germany – Pitcher (Only The Vintage Caravan) – SOLD OUT

The Vintage Caravan website

The Vintage Caravan on Thee Facebooks

The Vintage Caravan on Twitter

Tags: , , ,

Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Iguana, Seamount, Gentlemans Pistols, Wired Mind, Automaton, Sideburn, Year of the Cobra, Drive by Wire, Akris

Posted in Reviews on January 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review winter

And so it begins again. It had been my original intention to launch this latest Quarterly Review last week, but as that would’ve had me basically walking out on the holidays with my family, it seemed somehow prickish to be like, “Uh, sorry dudes, riffs call” and split, particularly when there are hours of driving involved. Still, though it’s already running late by the arbitrary calendar in my mind, I’m glad to be able to tackle a batch of releases that both looks back on the last part of 2015 and to the New Year we’ve just entered. As ever, there is a lot, a lot, a lot of ground to cover, so I won’t delay except to remind of what the Quarterly Review actually is:

Between now and this Friday, I will post 10 reviews a day in a single batch grouped like this one. The order is pretty much random, though something higher profile is usually first. It is my intention that each post covers a range of styles, and hopefully within that, you’re able to find something that speaks to you. Many of these releases were sent to me as physical product, and before I start, I want to extend thanks to those groups for undertaking the time and expense of giving me the full representation of their work to hopefully better do mine.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

jess and the ancient ones the second psychedelic coming

Finnish six-piece Jess and the Ancient Ones pay homage to psych cultistry on their sophomore full-length, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (on Svart), and while one might argue with the band marking this out as the “second coming” of psych – I’d say the third, generationally-speaking – the paean to late-‘60s sonic spaciousness in “In Levitating Secret Dreams” is unmistakable, the songwriting of guitarist Thomas Corpse conjuring fervent swirl behind the soulful Grace Slick-isms of vocalist Jess. At 65 minutes, it’s a classic double-LP, but Second Psychedelic Coming seems most engaged in its longer pieces, the eight-minute “Crossroad Lightning,” which pulls back from the urgency of earlier cuts “”The Flying Man” or the opening “Samhain,” and the 22-minute closer “Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever,” which has an arrangement to match its scope that unfolds no less gracefully. Some of the more frenetic parts seem to be arguing with themselves, but the overarching vibe remains satisfyingly tripped out and that closer is their to-date masterpiece.

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Thee Facebooks

Jess and the Ancient Ones at Svart Records

Iguana, Cult of Helios

iguana cult of helios

No big surprise that a record called Cult of Helios would seem to so unabashedly bask in sunshine. The four-track/32-minute sophomore full-length from German heavy psych four-piece Iguana has its driving moments, some in opener “Josiah” but more in the subsequent melodic thriller “Albedo,” but the prevailing sensibility is toward tonal warmth and steady groove. The band – vocalist/guitarist Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist Thomas May, bassist Alexander May and drummer Robert Meier – debuted in 2012 with Get the City Love You (review here), but Cult of Helios is a more cohesive, individualized release, whether it’s the hook of “Albedo,” the Beatles-gone-fuzz of “A Deadlock Situation” or the lush, flowing 15-minute jam of the closing title-track. Iguana’s propensity for blending underlying structure with a wide-open, welcoming atmosphere is writ large over Cult of Helios, and the album shines in a manner befitting its inspiration. A sleeper that begs waking.

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana website

Seamount, V: Nitro Jesus

seamount v nitro jesus

Most long-distance projects fizzle out after a record or two. With a lineup split between Bavaria and Connecticut, doom rockers Seamount have managed to sustain a remote collaboration, the German band of bassist Markus Ströhlein, guitarist Tim Schmidt and drummer Jens Hofmann working with New England-based vocalist Phil Swanson (ex-Earthlord, ex-Hour of 13, Vestal Claret, etc.). The excellently-titled Nitro Jesus (on The Church Within) is their fifth full-length since 2007, and boasts a refined blend of doom, NWOBHM and dark thematics common to Swanson’s lyrics. Tonally crisp but immersive, slow crawlers like “Can’t Escape the Pain” are offset by the ‘80s metal swing of “Beautiful Sadness,” and each side caps with a longer track, whether that’s the seven-minute “Scars of the Emotional Stuntman,” the most singularly sweeping movement here, or the closer “No One Knows,” which has a moodier feel, the guitar recalling Don Henley accompanied by piano as the finale hits its apex. For those who like their metal of tried and true spirit and individual presentation, Nitro Jesus delivers in more than just its name.

Seamount on Thee Facebooks

The Church Within Records

Gentlemans Pistols, Hustler’s Row

gentlemans pistols hustler's row

Every now and then you hear a record that reminds you what you love about rock and roll in the first place. It doesn’t need to be the most complicated thing in the world, or the most expressive, or the heaviest or the most whatever of anything else, but like Gentlemans Pistols’ third LP, Hustler’s Row (on Nuclear Blast), if it locks in a special chemistry between its players, that’s more than enough to carry it through. That the UK four-piece are ace songwriters and bolstered by the lead guitar chops of Bill Steer (Firebird, Carcass) for the Thin Lizzy dual-solos – vocalist/guitarist James Atkinson on the other end – helps plenty as well, but with the tight, classic-style grooves brought to across Hustler’s Row by bassist Robert Threapleton and drummer Stuart Dobbins, Gentlemans Pistols give essential heavy rock a non-retro modern interpretation that might leave one wondering why so many people try to ape a ‘70s production to start with.

Gentlemans Pistols on Thee Facebooks

Gentlemans Pistols at Nuclear Blast

Wired Mind, Mindstate: Dreamscape

wired mind mindstate dreamscape

Each side of Wired Mind’s Mindstate: Dreamscape LP (on HeviSike Records) gracefully unfolds a lushly-toned, warm, engaging heavy psychedelic sprawl. The chief influence for the Hannover two-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mikey and drummer Chris is their countrymen godfathers Colour Haze, but the duo make their presence felt early on “Road,” the opener and longest-track at 11:01, which balances serene and spaced exploration with post-Kyuss “Thumb” shuffle, all the more enticing for having been recorded live, conjuring Echoplex spaciousness around the repeated line, “All we gotta do is love.” Both sides work on the same structure of a longer track feeding into a shorter one, “Road”’s considerable amassed thickness giving way to the winding groove of “Jennifer’s Dream of a Switchblade” while the Duna Jam-ready vibes permeating from “Wired Dream” finding a moving complement in closer “Woman,” which effectively captures desert rock rhythmic propulsion. As their debut, Mindstate: Dreamscape feels conceptually and stylistically cohesive, and sets Wired Mind up with a sonic breadth on which to continue to build.

Wired Mind on Thee Facebooks

Wired Mind at HeviSike Records

Automaton, Echoes of Mount Ida

automaton echoes of mount ida

Greek heavy rollers Automaton revisit their 2013 debut full-length, Echoes of Mount Ida, for a limited vinyl release. The four-track offering initially surfaced coated in burl and massive riffing, but a remix adds psychedelic edge to the lumbering fervor of “Fear,” on which the Athenian five-piece are joined by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective for added synth and swirl. He delivers, and the opener also adds guest vocals from Nancy Simeonidou, but the remix keeps things consistent as Automaton transition into the chugging “Beast of War,” a complex near-djent rhythm (which will find complement in the end of “Echoes of Mount Ida” itself) smoothly met by drummer Lykourgos to finish side A of the LP while the locked-in nod of “Breathe in Stone” bleeds into the closing title-track as Automaton offer riffy largesse set in a spacious backdrop like mountains in the distance. Interesting to see if the semi-reboot of their debut is indicative of some overall shift in direction, but at least on the vinyl offering, it makes their sound that much broader.

Automaton on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records

Sideburn, Evil or Divine

sideburn evil or divine

Between Martin Karlsson’s keys (also bass) and vocalist Dimitri Keiski’s propensity to soar, the mood turns epic pretty quick on Sideburn’s fifth album, Evil or Divine (on Metalville Records). The Swedish foursome’s latest shares more than just its titular reference in common with Dio — who, in addition to the lyric from “The Last in Line” had a live record with the same title – but keep a foot in doom territory throughout, drummer Fredrik Haake playing with metallic precision and an edge of swing as Morgan Zocek pulls out leads over “Sea of Sins.” The later “The Day the Sun Died” is particularly post-Ozzy Iommic, but Evil or Divine benefits from the kick in the ass that the penultimate “Evil Ways” seems only too happy to provide before “Presence” finishes on a hopeful note. Definitely more fist-pump than nod, Evil or Divine cries out to legions of the brave who want a thicker groove than modern metal is willing to provide without giving up the occasional cause to headbang.

Sideburn on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun

year of the cobra the black sun

Seattle-based bass/drum duo Year of the Cobra had two labels pick up their debut EP, The Black Sun, between Devil’s Child Records and DHU Records, and they’ve signed to STB Records for the follow-up, so it seems safe to say their three-track outing has gotten a solid response. The songs make a compelling argument for why. With vocals that recall Soph Day from Alunah on opener “White Wizard” before delving into faster, more punkish fare on “The Black Sun” itself, Year of the Cobra serve immediate notice of a breadth in their sound, and the seven-minute wah-bass finale “Wasteland” enacts a low-end swirl that pushes even further out while keeping hold of itself via steady, tense drumming. That finisher is a particular high point, with bassist/vocalist Amy Tung Barrysmith self-harmonizing in layers over the steady build and drummer Johanes Barrysmith making sure the considerable tone keeps moving forward. Easy to hear why they’ve found such support in such a short time.

Year of the Cobra on Thee Facebooks

Dark Hedonistic Union Records

Devil’s Child Records

STB Records

Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang

drive by wire the whole shebang

The third long-player from Dutch four-maybe-five-piece Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang gets more complex as it goes. Its first couple tracks, “Kerosine Dreams” [sic], “Woodlands,” “The Whole Shebang” and “Five Ft. High” are deeply indebted to desert rock circa Songs for the Deaf, tonally and even in some of Simone Holsbeek’s sing/talk call and responses on “Woodlands.” From there, “Rituals,” “In This Moment” and the moody “River Run” and “Promised the Night” push into more individual ground, and even though they tie it back together in the album’s third and final movement with “Rotor Motor,” “All Around” and “Voodoo You Do,” the context has changed, and by the time guitarist Alwin Wubben swells lead lines behind the verse of the closer, the fuzz of “Kerosine Dreams” is a distant memory. Completed by bassist Marcel Zerb and drummer Jerome Miedendorp de Bie, Drive by Wire wind up on a considerable journey, and while the title at first seems off-the-cuff, it works out to be a whole shebang indeed.

Drive by Wire on Thee Facebooks

Drive by Wire webstore

Akris, Fall EP

akris fall ep

Relaunched as a trio in the first half of 2015, Virginia trio Akris made a studio return with the four-song/32-minute Fall EP, which probably should’ve been called a full-length and probably should’ve been pressed to vinyl (paging Tony Reed to master and STB Records to release…), but the digital-only offering finds Akris and particularly founding bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg anything but apprehensive as she, guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Black Blizzard) and drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) follow-up the band’s raucous sans-guitar 2013 self-titled full-length debut (review here), balancing plodding grooves, melody and abrasion deftly atop rumble and riffs in “Forgiven” as Goldberg swaps between screams and grunge-styled croons. The subsequent “People in the Sky” is less patient, and caps its nine-minute run with a barrage of noise rock synth that continues at the start of closer “Alley Doorway” but ultimately recedes (momentarily) to let that song establish its own course of loud/quiet tradeoffs and resonant exploration. Unless Akris are planning a series of seasonal short releases, I see no reason why Fall EP shouldn’t be characterized as a second long-player and heralded for the bold expansion of the band’s approach it represents.

Akris on Thee Facebooks

Akris on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,