Gypsy Chief Goliath Sign to Kozmik Artifactz; New Album Masters of Space and Time Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Cheers to Al ‘Yeti’ Bones and his cohorts in Gypsy Chief Goliath on signing to Kozmik Artifactz to release their impending fourth album, Masters of Space and Time. I haven’t yet seen a precise release date for the outing, and it’s entirely possible it could be up for early 2019 at this point. That’d be my bet, but I’ve certainly been wrong before. Either way, Masters of Space and Time will serve as Gypsy Chief Goliath‘s 2016 album, Citizens of Nowhere (review here), which you can hear streaming at the bottom of this post, should you be inclined to dig in. That’s what it’s there for.

The PR wire brings word of the signing and the new LP to come, and it looks an awful lot like this:

gypsy chief goliath

Kozmik Artifactz Sign Canadian Stoner Metal Heavyweights – Gypsy Chief Goliath

It is with great pride that we welcome Gypsy Chief Goliath to the Kozmik Family!

Canadian stoner metal heavyweights, Gypsy Chief Goliath are at it again, getting set to release their fourth album entitled Masters Of Space & Time via legendary German based record label, Kozmik Artifactz.

Originally established in 2009 by AL “The Yeti” Bones (formerly of The Mighty Nimbus, Georgian Skull, Mister Bones), this five piece, sonic wrecking crew have been building quite the name for themselves in the last decade. Not just in Canada, but globally throughout the underground music scene.

The band can be best described as a blend of 70’s Classic Rock/Heavy Metal with elements of 90’s Stoner Rock and Grunge.

The new album is quite different from previous work as the band seems to be more diverse in song writing and have strayed away from the wall of sound style, in exchange for a much more dynamic story telling roller coaster.

Gypsy Chief Goliath are:
Al “the Yeti” Bones
Adam Saitti
Darren Brush
Dustin Black
John Serio
Nick Angelini

http://www.gypsychief.com
http://www.facebook.com/GypsyChiefGoliath
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Gypsy Chief Goliath, Citizens of Nowhere (2016)

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Familiars Premiere “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

familiars (Photograph by Thomas Van Der Zaag)

Toronto-based heavy psych rockers Familiars have newly released their new cumbersomely-titled two-songer, This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join, and if immersion is the idea, then they’re definitely comfortable working with the theme. Their tempos on “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and the accompanying “The Gardiner’s Coming Down” are methodical, the second track a little faster than the first in a kind of fuzzy-garage stomp where “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” feels more about the roll and the reverbed-out vocals, a blend of tonal heft and melodic reach that feels born from similar impulses to Mars Red Sky but not at all aping what the Frenchmen have done on their own records.

This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join is by no means the first short release from the trio of Anton Babych, Jared MacIntyre and Kevin Vansteenkiste, and the hope on the part of the band is it will lead them into the process of making their first full-length this Spring. Certainly the janga-janga-janga riff of “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and the punctuated-buzz-turned-post-QOTSA-thrust-turned-echoing-daydream of “The Gardiner’s Coming Down” would be an indicator they’re ready for the task. As both songs can be streamed now and downloaded name-your-price style at the bottom of this post, it only seems that Familiars are looking to be as readily accessible to their audience as possible, and given the professionalism of their presentation and the depths of their tones, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them picked up by this or that label before the album is out.

MacIntyre co-directed the new video for “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and Vansteenkise did the Sergio Leone-inspired title-card, so the band’s definitely used to being hands on with their own output. The clip itself features a be-robbed wandering protagonist headed across some gloriously open spaces, only to find the band rocking out in a field — like you go. Alam directed the atmosphere of the video is a good match for the song in that it’s gorgeous, and I like the idea that we never find out who’s under the hood, as it were. We never see a face, a gender, anything, and the band is pretty careful to avoid saying one way or the other. I think that kind of thing is cool. It can be the band’s secret.

Look out for more news on Familiars — I hope, anyway — as they set to recording the aforementioned debut LP, and in the meantime, dig into the video for “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Familiars, “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” official video premiere

A wanderer gets lost in what it’s searching for.

“As Our Distance Has Grown Further” is the single off of the 7 inch “This Water That Is Warm, I Will Soon Join”.

7 inch available at: https://familiarsmusic.bandcamp.com/

We are recording our debut full length this spring.

Directors: Mashie Alam & Jared MacIntyre
Director Of Photography: Thomas Van Der Zaag
Colour & Effects: Nathan Winspear
Title card: Kevin Vansteenkiste

Familiars live:
Tuesday March 27th in London Ontario w/ Woodhawk
Wednesday March 28th in Hamilton Ontario w/ Woodhawk.

Familiars are Kevin Vansteenkiste, Anton Babych, & Jared MacIntyre

Familiars, This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join

Familiars on Thee Facebooks

Familiars on Twitter

Familiars on Instagram

Familiars website

Familiars on Bandcamp

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Sons of Otis Working on New Album; Touring Europe this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I really don’t even remember where, but I read something on the interwebs last week about Sons of Otis having new material in the works and that was enough for my brain to be like, ‘Holy crap, you need to go bother Sons of Otis immediately!’ So I did. The band’s been kicking around a little more actively of late — they played Psycho Las Vegas last year, for example — and as it will have been six year’s since their sixth album, 2012’s Seismic (review here and here), by the time a new one gets out, they’re nothing if not due.

Granted, the long-running Toronto trio did reissue their 2001 album, Songs for Worship, last year on Concrete Lo-Fi Records, and you won’t find me saying that’s not awesome or anything like that, but a new long-player from these drown-you-in-tone stalwarts would most certainly be a win. The more Funkadelic-referential jams, the better. Or maybe they could just do a 40-minute version of “Maggot Brain” as a one-off. That’d work too.

Ken Baluke, who is the man behind OxFuzz pedals, was kind enough to give me an update on the next studio outing from Sons of Otis — which will reportedly be out through Totem Cat Records — an impending live record, and a summer European tour for which the dates are still TBA, but which at least runs from Hellfest in France on June 22 through Stoned from the Underground in Germany on July 14. When I hear how the time between those two will be filled in or get any other details, I’ll let you know.

Until then, this:

sons of otis

Sons of Otis Update from Ken Baluke:

Yep we still climbing this mountain of fire 26 years later. It’s true, we have been working on new tracks and hope to get an album out this year. The new songs are very intense and cathartic. Also we’re touring Europe this summer with Bongzilla and Dopethrone.

So needless to say….it’s gonna get heavy. High LIVE’N Dirty.

We also have a live album in the works from our Euro tour back in 2011. Hopefully that will also come out this year.

Sons of Otis live:
June 22 Hellfest Clisson France
July 13 Red Smoke Fest Pleszew Poland
July 14 Stoned from the Underground Erfurt Germany

Sons of Otis is:
Ken Baluke – Guitars, Vocals
Frank Sargeant – Bass
Ryan Aubin – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofotis/
https://www.reverbnation.com/sonsofotis
http://clfrecords.com/
http://facebook.com/clfrecords

Sons of Otis, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2017

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Review & Track Premiere: Low Orbit, Spacecake

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

low orbit spacecake

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Dead Moon’ from Low Orbit’s Spacecake. Album is out early Dec. on Pink Tank Records.]

Given the associated ideas of thick, consuming fuzz, spaced-out vibes, massive and rolling grooves and a general checked-out-of-life overarching spirit to the proceedings as a whole, one might be forgiven for immediately thinking of Sons of Otis upon hearing that the earth-buzzing sound you hear from the ground originates in Toronto, Ontario. But with their second album and Pink Tank Records debut, the three-piece Low Orbit make a strong case for themselves as practitioners of the riffly form. Spacecake — reminds of Patton Oswalt’s “skycake” bit; look it up — is the suitably molten and somewhat single-minded follow-up to Low Orbit‘s 2014 self-titled debut, and it arrives as a manageable six-track/42-minute LP that ignites a feeling psychedelic drift through tonal density, the guitar of Angelo Catenaro (also vocals) very much leading the way while backed by Joe Grgic‘s bass and synth and Emilio Mammone‘s drums.

From opener “Dead Moon” onward, their intentions as a group could hardly be clearer or presented in a less pretentious manner. Five out of the six cuts included directly reference space or some space-minded element in their title — “Dead Moon,” “Planet X,” “Shades of Neptune,” “Venus,” and “Lunar Lander,” in that order — and even closer “Machu Picchu” nestles itself into repetitions of “burn the sky” from Catanero after lyrics about the stars, new dawns rising and planets laid to waste, etc. I’m not sure where the ‘cake’ portion of the album’s name comes into play except perhaps in some reference to edibles or in terms of the record itself, which feels duly baked and iced, particularly as the title is referenced in the 10-minute “Shades of Neptune,” which is a highlight as it rounds out side A with a particularly resonant lysergic ooze.

The lava begins to churn after a brief bit of introductory synth at the start of “Dead Moon,” and there’s just about no letup from there. In terms of influences, “Dead Moon” nods — and I do mean nods — at the aforementioned propensity for rolling grooves from fellow Torontonians Sons of Otis, and one can hear shades of earliest Mars Red Sky in the ride-cymbal-punctuated bouncing verse of “Planet X,” but at root beneath both of these and much of the rest of Spacecake is post-Sleep riff idolatry, and Low Orbit do well finding a place for themselves within that context. Lead layers emerge over a wash of high and low fuzz in “Planet X,” and though subtle and in some places buried deep in the mix, that current of synth and effects is almost always present in one form or another, and its flourish both adds to the breadth that Low Orbit cast and bolsters the cosmic theme through which their work is seeking to function.

low orbit

Both “Dead Moon” and “Planet X” offer a tonal warmth that one might take as a contrast to the coldness of atmospheric vacuum, but they’re hardly the first to make that pairing, and as they cut the pace on “Shades of Neptune” to an even more languid push, any and all such grounded concerns more or less dissipate in deference to the groove that emerges. Like the cuts surrounding, one would hardly accuse “Shades of Neptune” of making any revolutionary moves, but it is a more than capable play to style from the trio, whose persona is established within the individual examples of songwriting and in the interplay between them over the flowing and laid back course the band sets into the very heart of the “far out” itself.

With the willful adoption of genre tropes that pervades, one expects side B of Spacecake to mirror and perhaps reinforce the accomplishments of the album’s first half, and to the greater extent, it does precisely that. At five and six minutes, respectively, “Venus” and “Lunar Lander” answer the mid-paced density called out by “Dead Moon” and “Planet X,” and as it reaches just under nine, indeed “Machu Picchu” offers a tempo dip to back up that in “Shades of Neptune.” Fortunately, this is achieved with no discernible decline in the quality of hooks, and as Catanero shouts out the chorus of “Lunar Lander” ahead of the bigger roll that takes hold past the song’s midpoint, it becomes apparent that perhaps Low Orbit haven’t played their complete hand yet in terms of how much they have to offer sound-wise. The closer furthers this supposition with a well-honed-if-self-aware ritualized vibe, led off by Grgic‘s bass and a backing drone to give an immediately Om-style feel. Not at all unwelcome.

A melodic semi-wash takes hold, vocals echo from far off, and Low Orbit find ambient reaches heretofore unknown to Spacecake even as they make their way to a more straightforward march in the chorus. “Machu Picchu” undulates like this throughout its 8:52, coming forward and receding again, and it winds up in a lead-topped crescendo in its last minute that chugs to a sudden-seeming fadeout that one imagines could’ve easily gone on another three or four minutes on its own had the band chosen to have it do so. Perhaps their relative brevity is to be commended, since it would almost be too simple to have Spacecake push into stoner indulgence, and certainly by that time, Low Orbit‘s underlying message has been well delivered. Hidden within a standard subspace signal is a carrier wave to the converted: Come nod with us. It’s warm here and familiar and feels like home.

Low Orbit, “Machu Picchu” official video

Low Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Low Orbit on Bandcamp

Low Orbit website

Pink Tank Records on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records on Bandcamp

Pink Tank Records website

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Olde to Release Temple CD on Salt of the Earth

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

olde

I have on a good many occasions made my feelings known about the compact disc as a format. I’m a fan. Not that I don’t enjoy spending the occasional day listening to vinyl records, but if I’m reaching for physical media, I generally feel way less neurotic about handling even the flimsiest of digipaks before I do the fragile, so-easily-bent corners of even the sturdiest of gatefold LPs. Plus they’re cheaper. Not as cheap as tapes, which are also cool, but still. I’m not going to say a bad word about the vinyl resurgence, because it’s helped a lot of really good music find an entire generation’s worth of ears at this point and of course that’s amazing; I guess it’s just the era I was born into was of the CD, and at this point, while I have a decent amount of 12″ and 7″ and 10″ platters around, the CD is what my archive is based around. It is my format of record.

Why am I going through all of this again? Because I’m glad to see that with an upcoming of-course-gorgeous LP through STB Records and a cassette through Medusa Crush Recordings that also looks pretty rad, Toronto noisemakers Olde will release a CD of their 2017 album, Temple (review here), through Salt of the Earth Records. Nice to not have one’s preferred format left out in the cold, and all the better since it looks like we might get some extra tracks with this version too.

Here’s the announcement from Salt of the Earth:

olde temple

Olde – Temple – Salt of the Earth

SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS is rabidly excited to announce the signing of Toronto, Canada’s OLDE.

With the impending vinyl release of their second full length record, “Temple”, through STB Records, and a release on cassette through Medusa Crush Recordings, OLDE sought a home for the CD release of this beastly album. SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS was a perfect fit.

This special edition CD digipack version of OLDE’s much anticipated “Temple” record will be the first edition of the release to feature all the songs written and recorded for the “Temple” recording sessions – a definitive version of the album presented as it was originally conceived and featuring expanded artwork. These additional tracks really contribute to the overall sonic gravity of the album, making this an essential release for fans of the band. Stick this in your CD player, turn it all the way up, and let the waves of heavy crush you…come worship at OLDE’s “Temple”.

Coming soon to SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS.

OLDE is:
Vocals- Doug McLarty
Guitars- Greg Dawson and Chris “Hippy” Hughes
Drums- Ryan Aubin
Bass- Cory McCallum

https://www.facebook.com/oldedoom/
https://oldedoom.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
http://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com
http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/STB-Records-471228012921184/
http://medusacrushrecs.storenvy.com/
https://medusacrushrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Olde, Temple (2017)

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Quarterly Review: The Necromancers, The Asound & Intercourse, Bohr, Strobe, Astrosaur, Sun Q, Holy Mount, Sum of R, IIVII, Faces of the Bog

Posted in Reviews on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

The season is changing here in the Northeastern part of the US. Leaves have just barely started to change, and the summertime haze that settles over the region for for the better parts of June, July and August has largely dissipated. It’s getting to be hoodie weather after the sun goes down. This past weekend was the equinox. All of this can only mean it’s time for another Quarterly Review — this one spanning a full Monday-to-Monday week’s worth of writeups. That’s right. 60 albums between now and a week from today. It’s going to be a genuine challenge to get through it all, but I’m (reasonably) confident we’ll get there and that when we’re on the other side, it will have been completely worth the lengthy trip to get there. Hell, you know the drill by now. Let’s not waste any time and get to it, shall we?

Quarterly Review #1-10:

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl

the-necromancers-servants-of-the-salem-girl

A noteworthy debut from the Poitier, France-based four-piece The Necromancers, whose coming has been much heralded owing in no small part to a release through Ripple Music, the six-track/41-minute Servants of the Salem Girl lumbers through doom and cultish heavy rock with likewise ease, shifting itself fluidly between the two sides on extended early cuts like opener “Salem Girl Part I” and the nine-minute “Lucifer’s Kin,” which gets especially Sabbathian in its roll later on. The album’s midsection, with the shorter cuts “Black Marble House” (video premiere here) and “Necromancers,” continues the flow with a general uptick of pace and ties together with the opening salvo via the burly vocals of guitarist Tom, the solo work of Rob on lead guitar, and the adaptable groove from bassist Simon and drummer Ben, and as the penultimate “Grand Orbiter” engages moody spaciousness, it does so with a refusal to commit to one side or the other that makes it a highlight of the album as a whole. The Necromancers finish contrasting rhythmic tension and payoff nod on “Salem Girl Part II,” having long since thoroughly earned their hype through songwriting and immediately distinct sonic persona. There’s growth to do in melodicism, but for being “servants,” The Necromancers show an awful lot of command in structure and style.

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

The Asound & Intercourse, Split 7″

the asound intercourse split

Noise is the order of things on the Tsuguri Records split 7” between New Haven, Connecticut’s good-luck-Googling aggressives Intercourse and North Carolinian sludge rockers The Asound. Each band offers a two-song showcase of their wares, with Intercourse blasting short jabs of post-hardcore/noise rock angularity on “Too Fucked to Yiff” and “Corricidin is a Helluva Drug” and The Asound bringing a more melodic heavy rock swing to “Slave to the Saints” while saving a more galloping charge for “Human for Human.” It’s a quick sampling, of course, and “Slave to the Saints” is the relative epic inclusion as the only one over three minutes long – it goes to 4:20, naturally – but boasts a surprisingly professional production from The Asound and an unhinged vibe from Intercourse that meets them head on in a way both competitive and complementary to the aggression of “Human for Human.” Fodder for the bands’ merch tables in its limited-to-300, one-time-only pressing, but there’s hardly anything wrong with that. All the more worth grabbing it if you can, while you can.

The Asound on Thee Facebooks

Intercourse on Thee Facebooks

Tsuguri Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Bohr, Bohr

bohr bohr

Officially called Self-Title, this two-song outing released by Tandang Records and BTNKcllctv serves as the first release from Malaysia’s Bohr, and with shouts and growls duking it out over massive plodding tones on opener “Voyager,” they seem to take position right away in the post-Conan verve of megadoom. Peppered-in lead work showcases some welcome nuance of personality, but it’s the second track “Suria” that trips into more surprising terrain, with a faster tempo and something of a letup in thickness, allowing for a more rocking feel, still met with shouted vocals but hinting at more of a melodic reach nonetheless. The shift might be awkward in the context of a full-length, but on a debut single/EP, it works just fine to demonstrate what may or may not be a nascent breadth in Bohr’s approach. They finish “Suria” with hints of more to come in a plotted guitar lead and are done in about 10 minutes, having piqued interest with two disparate tracks that leave one to wonder what other tricks might be up their collective sleeve.

Bohr on Thee Facebooks

Tandang Records on Bandcamp

BTNKcllctv on Bandcamp

 

Strobe, Bunker Sessions

strobe bunker sessions

It’s worth noting outright that Strobe’s Bunker Sessions was recorded in 1994. Not because it sounds dated, but just the opposite. The Sulatron Records release from the under-exposed UK psychedelic rockers finds them jamming out in live-in-studio fashion, and if you’d told me with no other context that the resultant six-track/40-minute long-player was put to tape two months ago, I’d absolutely have believed it. This would’ve been the era of their 1994 third album, The Circle Never Ends, and while some can hear some relation between that and Bunker Sessions in the shimmering lead and warm underscoring basslines of 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Sun Birth,” the drift in “Chameleon Earth,” synth-laden space rock meandering of “Opium Dreams” and cymbal-wash-into-distortion-wash of closer “Sun Death” are on a wavelength of their own. It’s something of a curio release – a “lost album” – but it’s also bound to turn some heads onto how ahead of their time Stobe were in the ‘90s, and maybe we’ll get lucky and Sulatron will use it to kick off a full series of convenient LP reissues.

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Astrosaur, Fade In / Space Out

astrosaur-fade-in-space-out

While their moniker brings to mind pure stoner idolatry, Oslo instrumentalists Astrosaur acquit themselves toward more progressive fare with Fade In // Space Out, their Bad Vibes Records debut album, finding open spaces in bookending extended opener “Necronauts” and the dramatic shift between droning experimentalism and weighted lumber of the closing title-track even as middle cuts “Space Mountain,” “Yugen” and “Fishing for Kraken” balance with fits of driving progressive metallurgy. Comprised of Eirik Kråkenes, Steinar Glas and Jonatan Eikum, Astrosaur do get fuzzy for a bit on “Yugen,” but by the time they’re there, they’ve already space-doom-jazzed their way through such a vast aesthetic swath that it becomes one more stylistic element in fair-enough play. Open in its structure and building to an affecting cacophony in its ending, Fade In // Space Out is defined in no small part by its stylistic ambition, but whether it’s in the head-spinning initial turns of “Fishing for Kraken” or the stretch of peaceful, wistful guitar after the seven-minute mark in “Necronauts,” that ambition is admirable multifaceted and wide-reaching.

Astrosaur on Thee Facebooks

Bad Vibes Records website

 

Sun Q, Charms

sun q charms

There’s an encouraging and decidedly pro-shop fullness of sound being proffered on Sun Q’s debut full-length, Charms, to match an immediate sense of songcraft and stylization that puts them somewhere between heavy psych and more driving fuzz rock. Vocalist Elena Tiron takes a forward position in opener “Petals and Thorns” over the briskly-captured tones from guitarist Ivan Shalimov and bassist Denis Baranov while drummer Pavel Poseluev pushes the proceedings along, and whether they’re bringing in Seva Timofeev’s Hammond for the subsequent bluesy vibing of “After This,” toying with pop playfulness on “Plankton,” giving Andrey Tanzu percussive room on “Dancing Souls” or going full-expanse on keyboard-laden centerpiece and aptly-titled longest cut “Space,” there’s purpose behind the variety on offer and Sun Q never seem to lose their sense of poise throughout. There are moments where the bite of the production hits a little deep – looking at you, “Plankton” – but especially as their debut, Charms lives up to the name it’s been given and establishes these Moscow natives as a presence with which to be reckoned as they move forward.

Sun Q on Thee Facebooks

Sun Q on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mount, The Drought

holy mount the drought

White Dwarf Records picked up what by my count is Holy Mount’s fourth full-length, The Drought, for a vinyl issue following the Toronto foursome’s self-release last year, and with the immersive, dense heavy psych nod of “Division,” it’s little wonder why. The seven-cut LP is the second to feature the lineup of Danijel Losic, Brandon McKenzie, Troy Legree and Clayton Churcher behind 2014’s VOL, and its moments of nuance like the synth at the outset of “Blackened Log” or the blend of tense riffing and post-The Heads shoegaze-style vocal chants on the markedly insistent highlight cut “Basalt” only further the reasoning. The penultimate “Blood Cove” returns some to of the ritual sense of “Division,” and The Drought’s titular finale pierces its own wash with a lead that makes its apex all the more resonant and dynamic. Not nearly as frenetic as its cover art would have you believe, the already-sold-out vinyl brims with a vibe of creative expansiveness, and Holy Mount feel right at home in its depths.

Holy Mount on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records webstore

 

Sum of R, Orga

sum of r orga

Over the course of its near-hour runtime, Orga, the Czar of Crickets-issued third full-length from Bern, Switzerland, ambient outfit Sum of R deep-dives into droning atmospheric wash while effectively producing headphone-worthy depths and avoiding the trap of redundant minimalism. Chimes in a song like “Desmonema Annasethe” and ringing bells in “We Have to Mark this Entrance” give a feeling of lushness instead that serves the release well overall, and these details, nuances, take the place of what otherwise might be human voices coursing through the bleak mire of Orga’s progression. One might look to closing duo “Let us Begin with What We Do Not Want to Be” and “One After the Other” for some sense of hopefulness, and whether or not it’s actually there, it’s possible to read it into the overarching drone of the former and the percussive movement of the latter, but by then Sum of R have well set the mood in an abiding darkness, and that remains the prevailing vibe. Not quite dramatic or brooding in a human/emotional sense, Orga casts its drear in soundscapes of distant nighttime horizon.

Sum of R website

Czar of Crickets Productions website

 

IIVII, Invasion

iivii invasion

Noted graphic artist and post-metal songwriter Josh Graham – formerly visuals for Neurosis, but also art for Soundgarden and many others, as well as being known for his work with A Storm of Light and the woefully, vastly underrated Battle of Mice – makes his second ambient solo release in the form of IIVII’s Invasion on Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. A soundtrack-ready feel pervades the nine tracks/44 minutes almost instantly and holds sway with opener “We Came Here from a Dying World (I)” finding complement in the centerpiece “Tomorrow You’ll be One of Us (II)” and a thematic capstone in closer “Sanctuary,” only furthering the sense of a narrative unfolding throughout. There are elements drawn in “Unclouded by Conscience” from the atmospheric and score work of Trent Reznor and/or Junkie XL, but Graham doesn’t necessarily part with the post-metallic sense of brooding that has defined much of his work even as the pairing of “We Live” and “You Die” late in the record loops its way to and through its dramatic apex. Obviously not going to be for everyone, but it does make a solid argument for Graham as a composer whose breadth is still revealing itself even after a career filled with landmarks across multiple media.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds website

 

Faces of the Bog, Ego Death

faces-of-the-bog-ego-death

In some of their shifts between atmospheric patience and churning intensity – not to mention in the production of Sanford ParkerFaces of the Bog remind a bit of fellow Windy City residents Minsk on their DHU Records debut album, Ego Death, but prove ultimately more aggressive in the thrust of “Drifter in the Abyss” and the later stretch of “The Serpent and the Dagger,” on which the guitars of Mark Stephen Gizewski and Trey Wedgeworth (both also vocals) delve into Mastodonic leads near the finish to set up the transition into the 10:33 title-track, which begins with a wash of static noise before Paul Bradfield’s bass sets up the slow nod that holds sway and only grows bigger as it presses forward. That cut is one of two over the 10-minute mark, and the other, closer “Blue Lotus,” unfolds even more gradually and ventures into cleaner vocals presaged on “The Weaver” and elsewhere as it makes its way toward an album-payoff crescendo marked by drummer Danny Garcia’s thudding toms and a low end rumble that’s as much a presence unto itself as a harbinger of progression to come.

Faces of the Bog on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

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Biblical Premiere “The Last Thing I Remember”; The City that Always Sleeps Due Sept. 15

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

biblical

Toronto heavy space rockers Biblical release their new album, The City that Always Sleeps, Sept. 15 via Tee Pee Records. The band’s second full-length behind 2014’s Monsoon Season and a prior 2012 self-titled EP (review here), it is an eight-track/37-minute excursion that makes mincemeat of various heavy vibes, here explosive in its noise-punker tension, there serene with flowing piano and fluid rhythmic push, shifting into languid drifts of space-bound guitar, Floydian grace and Hawkwindian thrust meeting head-on with harsher impulses as led by vocalist/bassist Nick Sewell. Dynamic in sound and genuinely broad in its reach — that is to say, it’s not just heavy and heavier riffs; there’s real variety between songs like “Regicide” and “Gallows Humor” and “Spiral Staircase” and “House of Knives” — it lets pieces like the penultimate title-track hold a feeling of expanded consciousness and expanded spaciousness while still remaining relatively compact in the actual delivery.

That cut, on which Sewell‘s vocals emerge and recede like an effects-laden ghost of humanity washing up on some abandoned shore, find the bassist as well as guitarist/synthesist Andrew Scott, guitarist Matt McLaren and drummer Jay Anderson (also of Tee Pee labelmates Comet Control) easing their way toward a dramatic pinnacle that gives into feedback and keyboard textures before transitioning into closer “House of Knives,” touching off a subtle cast of progressive New Wave that’s foreshadowed in “Regicide.” No song passes the six-minute mark — the title-track is closest at 5:57 — but the amount of ground Biblical cover throughout is nothing short of staggering, and the confidence behind their delivery makes it so that wherever they tread in a given section, as shown in the one-two punch of blistering/howling opener “Mature Themes” and the drifting, dreamily cascading second track “The Last Thing I Remember,” they carry the listener with them on this outward journey of such righteously cosmic proportion.

biblical the city that always sleepsLikewise, no single song speaks for the entirety of The City that Always Sleeps. With its proggier initial bounce, harsher vocals, emergent wash of noise and antigravity-feedback finish, “House of Knives” might come close, but even that doesn’t necessarily convey the patient spirit Biblical demonstrate in “Fugue State” — arguably their most space-rocking installment, brilliantly paying off early drum tension with a triumphant second-half guitar solo from McLaren — or the hypnotic melodicism of “The Last Thing I Remember,” let alone the Farflung-style, could-go-anywhere desert jangle of “Gallows Humor,” on which a far-back vocal from Sewell echoes out behind a vast landscape of guitar, bass, drums and keys. It wouldn’t be right to call Biblical experimental, because while they may have those roots in their composition, they’re not just throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks; their songs feel meticulously constructed, detailed down to the balance of the guitar squibblies, strum and keyboard notes that cap the aforementioned “Gallows Humor” and lead the way into the piano-over-waves start of “Spiral Staircase,” and that impression remains consistent no matter where an individual part finds them.

In fact, that might be what most ties the material together on The City that Always Sleeps and lets the album flow as a single work. While there’s no question Biblical convey an exploratory sensibility, their overarching purpose still lies in songwriting. It just so happens to be they’re capable of multi-tiered expression through that on a level that, simply put, not every band can or does reach. No doubt The City that Always Sleeps will fly under the radar for many. It’s not Tee Pee‘s highest-profile release of 2017 by any stretch, and it’s easy to imagine the complexity across its span requires a level of engagement and attention that not everyone will be willing to give it. That doesn’t mean Biblical aren’t having a conversation with their listeners here, just that it’s an intelligent one and that they’re asking questions in addition to laying out declarations in the songs. In other words, it’s worth staying awake for it. For those who do take the record on and give it its due, the results should be accordingly satisfying, as the band hone a sonic persona that is truly their own and offer a style bold in reach and tightly executed. There isn’t a moment here that doesn’t brim with the fullness of its realization.

Below, you can hear the premiere of “The Last Thing I Remember,” followed by some comment from Sewell on the track’s panned drums and inspirations. One more time, Biblical‘s The City that Always Sleeps is out Sept. 15 on Tee Pee.

Please enjoy:

Biblical, “The Last Thing I Remember” official premiere

Nick Sewell on “The Last Thing I Remember”:

“The Last Thing I Remember” ended up being one of my favorite songs on the record. But sometimes it’s tough to figure out what a song wants to be. We actually toyed with keeping this song instrumental, but once we got the idea for those creepy group vocals with the repeating delay we knew we had the missing ingredient — like a cult, chanting.

The mix was also challenge. With rock records, there’s a tendency to go with a very symmetrical mix where you double track everything and pan it out. While that can give you a solid mix, it can also be a little bland. We decided to take chance and hard pan the drums opposite those big minor chords to give it an early ’60s vibe. We’re all big David Axelrod fans, so that was a little nod to him.

Lyrically, the song is pretty much exactly what the title implies: rummaging through memories, picking up individual shards and holding them up to the light.

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Biblical on Twitter

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Biblical website

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records on Twitter

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

The City that Always Sleeps preorder at Tee Pee Records

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Biblical Post “Mature Themes” Video; The City that Always Sleeps out Sept. 15

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

biblical-Photo-by-Nic-Poullot

Brash, heavy, and marked out with just a little bit of psychedelic depthmaking, Biblical‘s first revealed audio from their new album, The City that Always Sleeps bodes pretty well for the record due out in September on Tee Pee. It’s not without its atmosphere or a sense of movement, and to go with tube-amp howl, there’s a harsher bite to the vocals and a punch of fuzzy bass that, yeah, that’ll do nicely. The clip for “Mature Themes” isn’t much to look at really — some old manipulated footage out of either the educational public domain or propaganda or both — but in a brisk run of under three minutes, Biblical cast their lot in punker boogie and rhythmic jabbing, making for a combo that’s easy to dig but not without an edge when it hits your ear.

Does “Mature Themes” speak for the whole of The City that Always Sleeps? Beats me. As the album opener, it might, or it might just be an initial rocket-fire to bring the three-piece into the orbit where they dwell for the remainder. We’re still about a month and a half out from the release date — though much, much longer from when the record was first announced back in February — so I’d doubt this is the last preview we’ll get before it lands, but even if it is, it serves well to intrigue and leave its audience wanting more while also no doubt establishing a good deal of initial momentum to carry into the songs that follow. At least it seems that way to me. When it ends, I feel like I’m ready for the next song to start, in other words.

See if you feel the same. More info follows the clip, courtesy of the PR wire:

Biblical, “Mature Themes” official video

Toronto rock and roll band BIBLICAL will release its new album, The City that Always Sleeps, on September 15 via Tee Pee Records / New Damage. The band’s sophomore full-length is a deep dive into sludgy psych rock that explores spaces, textures and tones beyond the outer limits. In advance of the record’s release, BIBLICAL debuts the new single and video, “Mature Themes”, which vocalist / bassist Nick Sewell calls, “a meditation on buried things; buried ideas, buried feelings, buried people.”

In addition to Sewell, the quartet features in its ranks guitar / synth player Andrew Scott (both Scott and Sewell played with Death From Above drummer Sebastien Grainger in his Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains project), lead guitarist Matt Mclaren and drummer Jay Anderson (also of COMET CONTROL). Before and since the 2014 release of its full-length debut, Monsoon Season, BIBLICAL has toured and / or rocked stages alongside DFA1979, Eagles of Death Metal, Fucked Up, Kyuss Lives! and Red Fang among many more.

The City that Always Sleeps tracklisting:
1.) Mature Themes
2.) The Last Thing I Remember
3.) Regicide
4.) Fugue State
5.) Gallows Humor
6.) Spiral Staircase
7.) The City That Always Sleeps
8.) House of Knives

Biblical on Thee Facebooks

Biblical on Twitter

Biblical on Bandcamp

Biblical website

Tee Pee Records website

Tee Pee Records on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records on Twitter

Tee Pee Records on Bandcamp

The City that Always Sleeps preorder at Tee Pee Records

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