SÂVER Announce October European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Saver (Photo by Mikkel Fykse Engelschion)

You know, I get why they didn’t, because the band has a direct relation to the festival itself and that’s always awkward because it’s not like you want to book your own band twice in a row, but there’s a big part of me just the same that wishes SÂVER were playing Høstsabbat in their native Oslo again this year. And it’s a selfish part. I’d heard their debut album, They Came with Sunlight (review here), before I saw them there last October, but I feel like I know the record much better now, and so would the rest of the crowd. And now there’s the news that basically right after the fest, the three-piece are taking off on a tour that starts on a run with Høstsabbat headliners Ufomammut, so really, one way or another, it would make sense to find them once again on that festival bill. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll get brought over for Desertfest New York next September.

I count They Came with Sunlight pretty high on the list of the year’s best debuts so far, and there have been more than a couple of winners in that regard. If you haven’t heard it — and I know you have, but just roll with me — it’s down below in full, courtesy of Pelagic Records on Bandcamp. The band, also among the last confirmations at Desertfest Belgium, will play there as well as Into the Void in the Netherlands and alongside the soon-to-be-legendary SteakElephant Tree and Lo-Pan tour in Germany.

They posted the dates as follows:

SÂVER tour

We are touring Europe in October!

Stoked to join UFOMAMMUT, BONGRIPPER, Lo-Pan, Elephant Tree, Steak and more.

See you on the road!

Thanx to Hartwien Stein for the killer poster.

DATES:
08.10.19 – On the Rocks, Helsinki (FIN) – w/ Ufomammut
09.10.19 – Von Krahl, Tallin (EE) – w/ Ufomammut
10.10.19 – Melna Piektdiena, Riga (LV)- w/ Ufomammut
11.10.19 – Narauti, Vilnius (LN) – w/ Ufomammut
12.10.19 – Hydrozagadka, Warsaw (PL) – w/ Ufomammut
13.10.19 – Zet Pe Te, Krakow (PL) – w/ Ufomammut
15.10.19 – Peter-Weiss-Haus, Rostock (DE)
16.10.19 – Loppen, Copenhagen (DK) – w/ Bongripper
17.10.19 – Zollkantine, Bremen (DE) – w/ Lo-Pan, Elephant Tree, Steak
18.10.19 – TBC
19.10.19 – Neushoorn, Leeuwarden (NL) – Into The Void Fest
20.10.19 – Trix, Antwerp (BE) – Desertfest
24.10.19 – John Dee, Oslo (NO) – w/ Sibiir

SÂVER is:
Markus Støle
Ole Ulvik Rokseth
Ole C Helstad

https://www.facebook.com/saveroslo/
https://saeverband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.pelagic-records.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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Saint Karloff Announce New Album Interstellar Voodoo out Oct. 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saint karloff

Oslo’s Saint Karloff are working at a good clip coming off their 2018 debut, All Heed the Black God (review here), in that it’s barely been a year since that release came out and already they’ve got a split and a new full-length due this Fall. The split is with Devil’s Witches and it’s out Sept. 6, and not quite a month later, on Oct. 4, they’ll issue their second long-player, Interstellar Voodoo. It’s set to be issued through Majestic Mountain RecordsOzium Reords and Stoner Witch Records, which is nice because, you know, the more the merrier when it comes to promotion.

These cats played Esbjerg Fuzztival earlier this Spring, and I’d expect much of their summertime has been spent coordinating making both these offerings come out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they took to stages in early 2020, to at least get back out and promote late-2019’s wares.

Nothing on that yet, and no audio from Interstellar Voodoo, but here’s the album announcement from the PR wire:

saint karloff interstellar-voodoo

Rising Norwegian Occult Rockers Saint Karloff to unleash monolithic, one-track album, Interstellar Voodoo, this October on Majestic Mountain Records

Hot on the heels of a sold-out split from two of doom’s rising superpowers, the recently formed Swedish label, Majestic Mountain Records, is psyched to announce the release of Interstellar Voodoo; the brand-new studio album from Norwegian occult-rockers, Saint Karloff.

Having made their mark on the international heavy music scene in 2018 with the release of their debut album, All Heed the Black God, the band has continued to raise their game with new material that is far heavier, more psychedelic and complex than anything they’ve ever done before.

All Heed the Black God was inspired by 70s heavy blues bands like Black Sabbath and early Pentagram (official) and allowed the band to fuse this vintage sound with modern day stoner rock to create a sound indebted to world of today and the music of yesteryear.

With the impending release of Coven of the Ultra-Riff in September, a limited edition split with fellow riff worshippers, Devil’s Witches, Saint Karloff – featuring Mads Melvold (Guitar, Vocals), Ole Sletner (Bass) and Adam Suleiman (Drums) – are a mounting force to be reckoned with. And as you’ll hear from the progressive, one-track multiverse journey that spans the whole of Interstellar Voodoo, they’re unlikely to slow down for anyone, anytime soon.

“Interstellar Voodoo has been a labour of love, written and recorded to fill a void in our collective souls,” explains bassist, Ole Sletner. “To put this much devotion into something experimental is a bit scary, but luckily we have a label who believes in us. We are eternally gratefull to Marco Berg at Majestic Mountain Records for stepping up to the challenge of releasing our blood, sweat and tears on vinyl.

Interstellar Voodoo by Saint Karloff is released on 4th October through Majestic Mountain Records with pre-order beginning on 30th August.

Saint Karloff’s split with Devil’s Witches – Coven of the Ultra-Riff – is released on 6th September 2019.

Artist: Saint Karloff
Release: Interstellar Voodoo
Label: Majestic Mountain Records
Release Date: 04/10/2019
Format: Vinyl (Majestic Mountain Records), CD (Ozium Records), Tape (Stoner Witch Records)

facebook.com/SaintKarloff/
saintkarloff.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/saintkarloff
majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords/
instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords/
https://oziumrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/stonerwitchrecords/

Saint Karloff, All Heed the Black God (2018)

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R.I.P. Jokke Stenby of Brutus

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Norwegian heavy boogie rockers Brutus have announced the passing of frontman Joakim Segerfelt Stenby. Known as Jokke to the band and friends, Stenby suffered heart failure this past week and died in his sleep, a sudden loss that is all the more striking for the vitality he brought to his band’s stage presence. Brutus released three albums with Stenby as singer, a 2010 self-titled on Transubstans, and 2013’s Behind the Mountains and 2016’s Wandering Blind, both on Svart, toured and performed at festivals too numerous to name, among them Roadburn, Desertfest, Freak Valley, and so on.

I can’t claim to have known him personally, but on behalf of this site and myself, condolences to his family, friends and of course bandmates. I was fortunate enough to catch Brutus headlining the crypt stage at last year’s Høstsabbat in Oslo, and even never having seen them live before, it was obvious to me the weight of that occasion. They handled that room like the hometown heroes they were, a band long past basement shows playing a basement show. That entire room moved, and it was awesome. The personality Stenby — beer cup in hand, skillfully unspilled — brought to his performance and to the group as a whole was unmistakable in the spirit of a classic frontman. Their party would have been impossible to ignore, even if you’d wanted to do so. And you didn’t.

Of course, there is no word on what the future of Brutus is if there is one. When/if I hear something, I’ll post accordingly.

Rest in peace, Joakim Stenby.

The band’s announcement follows:

brutus jokke (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s with a very heavy heart and tearful eyes we announce that our beloved brother, frontman, entertainer and the voice of Brutus, Jokke has left this world. Cursed with a heart failure, he went to sleep and never woke up again.

The news of his departure hit us like a bomb, and left us all heartbroken. The loss of a bandmate, brother and best friend is beyond words. Joakim was a beautiful person, with so much to share… music was his passion, being on stage singing, recording for hours and hours just to get it right, sitting in a van for days, or just sharing a beer and playing records with his friends!

All our thoughts and love goes to Jenny, Joakim’s wife and love in life, and his family in this time of despair and darkness.

We love you so much brother!! We hope you are in good place, rocking out with your kraut-heroes, and that we will see you again someday on the other side. You will never be forgotten!

R.I.P. brother

Kim
Christian
Johan
Knut-ole

Brutus, “Drowning” official video

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Viviankrist Signs to Ritual Productions; Cross Modulation LP out June 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

VIVIANKRIST (Photo by Mark Swaffield)

I don’t know what being ‘secretly developed’ by Ritual Productions entails. It sounds both physically uncomfortable and psychically awesome. Either way, that’s what Viviankrist — formerly known as Vivian Slaughter of Gallhammer — has apparently been through in order to sign to the label ahead of the release of Cross Modulation, a new full-length due out June 7 in collaboration with Diagonal Records. Viviankrist has a slew of releases streaming on Bandcamp of various stripes and lengths, so if you want to get lost in the experimentalist synthesized drear, there’s plenty of opportunity to do so, but should you not want to venture so far afield, the new track “Behind Mirror” can be heard right at the bottom of this post. Service with a smile.

The PR wire has the tale to tell:

viviankrist cross modulation

RITUAL PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCE NEW SIGNING VIVIANKRIST AND REVEALS COLLABORATION WITH DIAGONAL RECORDS

Ritual Productions have secretly been developing Diagonal Records’ latest signing Viviankrist. Eri Isaka Fuzz-Kristiansen is no stranger to Ritual Productions, having shared stages with Ramesses in her previous incarnation as Gallhammer’s Vivian Slaughter.

As Viviankrist, Eri has delved deep into her love for analog synths and improvised music, switching effortlessly between cinematic, hypnotic and affecting grooves.

Ritual Productions reveals: “We have witnessed Viviankrist’s birth, growth and progress; it has been a magickal journey where many wishes have become reality. We are collaborating with Diagonal Records for the release of Viviankrist’s ‘Cross Modulation’ – a first for both labels. Ritual Productions and Diagonal may operate in wildly different sonic realms but both praise artistic freedom, strive to provide artists with all necessary support, and fans with beautifully designed and packaged releases.”

Eri states: “Delivering my music to different audiences is exciting. I am really happy that ‘Cross Modulation’ is coming out via a collaboration between Ritual Productions and Diagonal Records. Both labels are extreme and are always pushing boundaries. They have a very strong character and powerful identity which I feel suits my distinctive sound.”

Cross Modulation sees release on June 7th.

VIVIANKRIST RITUALS
August 17th – Woodland Gathering, Ulverston (UK)

https://www.facebook.com/viviankrist1/
https://www.instagram.com/viviankrist1/
https://viviankrist.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ritualproductions.net
https://ritualproductions.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ritualproductionsuk
www.instagram.com/ritualproductions

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Ulver Cancel June West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ulver (photo Ingrid Aas)

This sucks, and I have to say, if Ulver are scratching their heads a bit about why they have to cancel their upcoming West Coast run, so am I. Aside from the ongoing critical saliva they inspire, the long-running Norwegian experimentalists are a pretty big deal. They did two New York shows and by all accounts they went off without a hitch. So what’s up, West Coast?

I tend to think of the Pacific Seaboard as where it’s at currently for general appreciation of the various stripes of underground music. Portland, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle. Some of these are places Ulver were set to go, and here they are, forked tail between their legs, citing low ticket sales for canceling the tour. That’s a bummer for any band, let alone one who’s been at it so long and had reaped the kind of praise they have.

Too sunny out west, maybe?

ulver west coast shows

ULVER – THE SWALLOWING OF PRIDE

We come bearing difficult news: after many frustrating phone calls and deliberations over this last week, we have decided to pull the plug on our upcoming US West Coast run. Modern media protocol suggests we trump up a reason, other than the depressing reality: pre-sales are too modest up against the rather big risk, given the size of the production and the venues.

We feel we just have to be honest about all this. We can not justify going through with all the things we need (flights, nightliner, backline, TM, tech, lasers, lights, and so on) in light of the poor prospects. It has left our promoters, booking agents, management, and now us, a bit baffled. Especially considering two full houses in NYC in March.

Despite our problems getting laser permits for those gigs, we think the trip turned out to be a success, and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came to the Big Apple. Hopefully it will not be our last visit in the US.

Did we announce too soon after NYC? Should we have announced sooner? Maybe we waited altogether too many years, before finally making it across the pond? One can speculate, of course, but it doesn’t do much good at this point.

We feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the warnings and go over knowing that promoters (and us) will loose thousand upon thousands of dollars. Money is an absolute drag (except when you have it), but also a stone cold reality when it comes down to organizing these things. We have to take it into account, unfortunately.

We would like to apologize to all those who have already purchased tickets and who were looking forward to Ulver America pt. 2. Needless to say, your tickets will be refunded. Please know that this hurts us all. Visas have been obtained, paid and approved for everyone, some flights and other things have already been booked, pre-prod has been done and countless hours have gone into organization. It hurts even more since it is the second time in the US (third in our career) that we feel we have no other option than to cancel.

Finally, and most importantly, because we know many out there will be sorely disappointed: this decision was not made with a light heart.

We are very, very sorry.

Ulver, Oslo, May 8, 2019

https://www.facebook.com/Ulver-31166220421/
https://ulver.bandcamp.com/
www.houseofmythology.com
http://www.jester-records.com/ulver/

Ulver, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi EP (2017)

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Høstsabbat 2019 Confirms Colour Haze as Second Headliner

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hostsabbat 2019 banner

As a terrible tv show intro once said, “It’s been a long road, getting from there to here.” Awful as that theme was, the saying nonetheless applies to Høstsabbat 2019, which has now announced its complete lineup for the 2019 edition with Colour Haze as the final act added. The German heavy psychedelic stalwarts are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and have already been on tour to mark the occasion, so one can only imagine the party will continue like it does. They join Ufomammut as headliners for Høstsabbat, and I’ll admit that since I heard they were playing I’ve been itching to post the news. I think it’s pretty well established I’m a dork for Colour Haze at this point, and as they’re recording a new album this month — maybe even RIGHT NOW — it’s all the more reason to get out and see them, not that any more reason than “they’ll be there” is needed when it comes to showing up.

All the more imperative to get yourself to Kulturkirken Jakob this October.

Book it.

Here’s word from the fest:

hostsabbat 2019 colour haze

HØSTSABBAT 2019 – COLOUR HAZE (DE)

All of a sudden we are there. The last, but definitely not the least, addition to Høstsabbat 2019.

We have been wanting to have this band on the bill for years, and we are super proud to finally bring the mighty COLOUR HAZE to Norway for the first time, headlining the Saturday bill.

COLOUR HAZE represents the essence of what Høstsabbat is all about. They are heavy, they are lush, they are groovy, they are retro-oriented, but first of all they are one of the best bands on display in World. Make no mistake, they are no beginners.

COLOUR HAZE is a band that seems to have existed for ever. They have played the biggest festivals a numerous of times; Roadburn, Duna Jam, Desertfest and the list goes on… Their latest opus “In her Garden”, out 2017 on Elektrohasch Records marked their place in the European psych/kraut rock community as an entity that never rests on its prior accomplishments, but keep on pushing boundaries to expand their sound to the enjoyment of all their fans.

They are at times reminiscent of Norwegian legends Motorpsycho, both in their sound and artistic vision. We surely hope and think COLOUR HAZE will blow minds like no one before them, when they enter the Chapel stage Saturday October 5th.

COLOUR HAZE has been added, Høstsabbat 2019 booking is done.

See you in October!

FESTIVAL TICKETS
http://bit.ly/HSfestivalpass

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST – HØSTSABBAT 2019
http://bit.ly/HS2019playlist

https://www.facebook.com/events/274561413173994/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Colour Haze, Live at The Garage, London, May 22, 2018

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The Devil and the Almighty Blues, Tre: Salting the Earth

Posted in Reviews on April 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the devil and the almighty blues tre

The Devil and the Almighty Blues‘ third album, titled simply Tre, arrives through Blues for the Red Sun Records almost exactly two years after its predecessor, II (review here). That in turn came out two years after their 2015  self-titled debut (review here). They are, it would seem, like clockwork. And just as II showed up and demonstrated a marked growth from the first record, so too does Tre push the Oslo, Norway, five-piece to a new echelon in their craft. It shares some methods with the preceding outing, including opening with its longest track (immediate points) in the 12-minute “Salt the Earth,” but finds the band — a returning lineup of vocalist Arnt O. Andersen, guitarists Petter Svee and Torgeir Waldemar Engen, bassist Kim Skaug and drummer Kenneth Simonsen — refining their style to a point of moving beyond their influences and truly stepping into their own style.

Oh, there’s the devil, and there’s the blues, and if you hold your breath long enough, you might even get a glimpse of the almighty, but much of what the band does so well throughout Tre can be heard in the eight-minute side B opener “Heart of the Mountain,” which finds the perfect tempo so that the measures of its verses don’t even seem cyclical so much as an unfolding line, and which bleeds soul from Andersen‘s vocals as well as the lead guitar and metered groove. The Devil and the Almighty Blues aren’t in a rush, and even when they offer up a bit of boogie, as on the hook-laden “Lay Down” or the penultimate “No Man’s Land,” they do so with a sense of poise that speaks not only to the confidence of their delivery, but how well they know what they want out of their songwriting. To listen to the background gospel vocals in second track “One for Sorrow” or even the quiet break in “Salt the Earth” that follows the chorus at about the 6:40 mark, one of The Devil and the Almighty Blues‘ greatest assets on Tre is the sense of space in the recording, and almost as important as how they fill it is how and when they choose to not fill it.

The verse of “One for Sorrow” wants nothing for sounding full. Its lead and rhythm guitar and bass tones are rich, its drums are understated but not absent, and its vocals are forward in classic fashion, yet even when the song — which is the shortest on Tre at 5:13, so well paired with the opener before it — sweeps into its more raucous solo section in the second half, there is still a bit of what seems to be space in the mix. Mastered at lower overall volume for vinyl, maybe? If that’s the case, then the adage about doing so letting a more natural and classic-style dynamic shine through certainly holds, as The Devil and the Almighty Blues have never sound so in charge of their direction as they do on this 48-minute six-tracker, but either way, the impression isn’t that the band are somehow holding back, but almost like they’re struggling against something bigger than themselves.

the-devil-and-the-almighty-blues

“Salt the Earth” very much sets the tone for this, from its soft opening to how its memorable chorus playing out in an echo cutting through held-out lumbering progression with a layer of backing vocals behind, a depth that seems only to go deeper in the aforementioned break, which they build up to a consuming place and still remain well in control, as shown in the melancholy guitar harmonies that take the place where a grandiose apex solo might otherwise show up. This is the band serving the song, the song serving the album and the album serving the expression. Tre casts the most resonant vibe The Devil and the Almighty Blues have yet conjured, and whether it’s the particularly Scandinavian-sounding classicism of “No Man’s Land” or closer “Time Ruins Everything” seeming to lose itself — but not actually getting lost — in the downtrodden soul of its chorus before it breaks à la “Salt the Earth” in order to set up the last push, which does feature the solo that might otherwise have come too soon in the opener.

Everything has its place, the band have a place in the moody aspect they create throughout Tre. The performance they give throughout “Lay Down” and “Heart of the Mountain” as side A gives way to side B isn’t to be missed, for its naturalism as well as the fluidity of the band’s conversing with aesthetic, and the atmosphere that results isn’t ever forced or overly dramatic; it just is. With subtlety and care, The Devil and the Almighty Blues build the world in which their tracks inhabit — and, I’d argue, thrive — and even more than two years ago, those tracks are able to affect the listener in multiple ways, whether its the well-placed upticks in motion with “Lay Down” and “No Man’s Land,” the crescendos in “Heart of the Mountain” and “Time Ruins Everything” or the organic feel that serves to tie it all together as a single work.

One thing to note. I went back and looked at the review for II, and it was laced with comparisons to other bands. I have none to make for Tre. One can hear shades of this and that, but nothing stands out so much as the level to which The Devil and the Almighty Blues have left their own mark on this material. Listening to the album, it is easy to believe this is to what their work up till now has been leading, and that may be the case, or Tre might just be another step forward on their path, but the sense of arrival here is palpable, and in kind with the quality of the songs, it makes The Devil and the Almighty Blues come across as all the more powerful in their approach. Not because they’re the loudest, or because they’re the most aggressive, or they have the nastiest tones, but because they give life to something that is theirs entirely, and because you can’t hear it and imagine you’re listening to someone else.

The Devil and the Almighty Blues on Thee Facebooks

The Devil and the Almighty Blues on Bandcamp

Blues for the Red Sun Records on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

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Høstsabbat 2019: Hexvessel and Suma Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hostsabbat 2019 banner

You already know what I love about this, right? It’s how different these two bands are. Hexvessel — who, I admit, were announced last week; as ever, the Quarterly Review has me all jammed up as on other stuff waiting to be posted, so I thought it better to combine announcements rather than fall behind twice — and a Finnish freak-folk band, worshiping the natural world. Suma, from Sweden, would seem to only want to crush things natural and manmade alike with their chaotic and brutal noise. It’s what you’d call an unexpected pairing, and that’s exactly why I dig it. Maybe they’ll play back to back. That’d be fun.

There’s one more announcement next Friday from Høstsabbat 2019. Yes, I know who it is. It’s awesome. You don’t want to miss it. I’m not going to give you a clue, but it’s someone I’m very excited to see.

Here are confirmations for Hexessel and Suma in the meantime:

Most of the time these band descriptions kind of write themselves. This next band however, is something completely different.

Their latest album “All Tree”, released one month ago on Century Media Records, has spellbounded the Høstsabbat camp completely. Hexvessel operate in their own universe, mixing classic folky tones and groove, with the flourishing sounds of the 60’s-era. Freedom and no restraint is key.

The band serves the listener a lush experience, putting a smile on your face, teasing you for a walk in the sun leaving all things bad behind… Sometimes that’s what music is all about, right?

It’s also a landmark, to finally have the first Finnish band represented on our lineup. Can you imagine a better debut for these beautiful people from the East, than having HEXVESSEL play the Church? We surely can’t.

Please welcome HEXVESSEL to Høstsabbat 2019!

Ooooh, the heaviness!!!!

We are closing in on the announcements for this years’ festival, but there’s still two more goodies to come.

The first one is SUMA, probably one of the heaviest, hardest hitting, monstrous entities in our entire scene. For anyone who has witnessed this beast of a live act, there’s no doubt who’s in charge. We’ve seen people passing out, lying unconscious on the floor, knocked out totally, of the sheer weight coming out of the PA. They play around with the heavy with the greatest of ease, adding details, odd rhythms and undeniable grooves like true masters

SUMA are no strangers to Høstsabbat, and it’s one of those bands we knew we had to invite back at some point. Having gained momentum ever since their latest visit, these fellas from Malmö, Sweden, will lay waste to all crossing their path.

This steamroller will leave you flat.

FESTIVAL TICKETS
http://bit.ly/HSfestivalpass

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST – HØSTSABBAT 2019
http://bit.ly/HS2019playlist

https://www.facebook.com/events/274561413173994/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Hexvessel, “Changeling” official video

Suma, The Order of Things (2016)

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