Superlynx Premiere “Hex” Video; New Moon out March 15

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

superlynx (Photo by Kai Simon Fredriksen)

If the rolling waves and slow motion of their new video don’t make the point, I’ll just say outright that a lot of what Superlynx do is based around atmosphere. The Norwegian trio proffer a varied gamut of heavier styles brought into one cohesive approach, and it’s that atmosphere that allows them to range as far as they do between psychedelia, doom, post-this-and-that, and sludgier riffing. Dark Essence Records will issue their second album, New Moon, on March 15, 2019, and it follows in the spirit of 2016’s LVX in its lead single, “Hex,” for which the aforementioned video — premiering below — has been put together.

As much focus can be placed — and not wrongly — on their stylistic blend, “Hex” also emphasizes the structure acting as the foundation on which that blend takes place. With the airy vocals of bassist Pia Isaksen atop the toms Superlynx New Moonof Ole Teigen as they wait for Daniel Bakken‘s guitar to next sweep them into the straight-ahead instrumental drive, there’s a patience to the execution from Superlynx, but clearly they’re a band who have an intention toward craft in more than just mixing influences together. And as song becomes more intense, so too do the waters in the “Hex” video begin to churn faster, but still, that atmosphere — just a sense of the otherworldly — is maintained. In combination with their clear delineation between verses and choruses, it makes for a track that’s broad in its scope but still accessible even the first time through.

And this is the first time through. Superlynx have some shows booked already for 2019, including Norway’s famous Inferno Festival, so it seems incredibly likely we’ll be hearing more from them as we get closer to New Moon‘s release. In the meantime, enjoy “Hex” below, followed by a few words from the band about the song:

Superlynx, “Hex” official video premiere

Superlynx on “Hex”:

Like most of the new album, HEX was written in challenging times, with feelings of hopelessness caused by both personal and external circumstances. The song was given a ritualistic expression, representing a deep, primal feeling and a need to alter the dark reality. Through creative force, love and a wish for better times this feeling is transformed into music and given a positive outlet. In this way, HEX represents the essence of the album. We have all been through dark times and have dealt with a lot of it through music. You can say that making the album has been a sort of alchemical process. The focus has been on getting through the dark and holding on to what is good in this world. And one of the best things is that music has come of it.

Hex is the first single from Superlynx’s upcoming album “New Moon”, to be released by Dark Essence Records on March 15th 2019.

Superlynx is:
Pia Isaksen – Bass/Vocals
Daniel Bakken – Guitar
Ole Teigen – Drums/Vocals

Superlynx on Thee Facebooks

Superlynx on Instagram

Superlynx on Bandcamp

Dark Essence Records on Thee Facebooks

Dark Essence Records on Bandcamp

Dark Essence Records website

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Quarterly Review: A Storm of Light, Z/28, Forrest, 1476, Owl, Brass Hearse, Craneium & Black Willows, Magmakammer, Falun Gong, Max Tovstyi

Posted in Reviews on December 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Day Two of the Quarterly-Review-Mega-Super-Ultra-Year-End-Wrap-Up-Spectacular-Gnarly-Edition — name in progress — begins now. First day? Smooth. Wrote it over the weekend to get a jump on the week, cruised through a morning and into baby-naps, finished with time left over to still go and read the Star Trek novel I’m currently making my way through. Easy. Also peasy.

Today? Well, apparently I turned off my alarm in my sleep because I rolled over 40 minutes later and certainly didn’t remember it going off. Whoops. Not a great start, but there is a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so we’ll get through it, even if it’s awfully early in the week to be sleeping in. Ha.

Have a great day everybody. Here are 10 more records for the QRMSUYEWUSGE. Rolls right off the tongue.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

A Storm of Light, Anthroscene

A Storm of Light Anthroscene

“America the sick and crumbling/Liberty she’s weeping/The tired and poor are huddled and dying/As the wretched ones are touched aside.” The lines, from A Storm of Light‘s “Blackout” — the second cut from their fifth LP, Anthroscene (on Translation Loss) — lead to the inevitable question: “What the fuck is wrong with us?,” and thereby summarize the central sociopolitical framework of the record. A dystopian thematic suits the band’s aesthetic, and there’s certainly no shortage of material to work from between current events and future outlook. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/graphic artist Josh Graham, bassist Domenic Seita and guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hawkins are five years removed from the band’s last outing, however, so their post-apocalyptic post-metal is welcome either way, and Anthroscene taps a Killing Joke influence and turns it to its dark and churning purposes over the course of its eight tracks/51 minutes, delving into harsh shouts on “Short Term Feedback” and capping with the resistance-filled “Rosebud,” which surges forth from ambience like the anti-facist/anti-capitalist critique that it is, ending with the lyric, “When you die, we will spit on your grave,” which could hardly be more appropriate.

A Storm of Light on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records on Bandcamp

 

Z28, Nobody Rides for Free

Z28 Nobody Rides for Free

Massachusetts’ Z28 — also stylized as Z/28 and Z-28; I don’t think they care so long as you get the point they’re named after the Camaro — make their full-length debut with Nobody Rides for Free on Fuzzdoom Records, and with the occasional bit of organ on songs like “Touch of Evil” and “Angst III (I Don’t Want to Die),” they nonetheless give a raw take on heavy rock laced with that particularly Northeastern aggression. Guitarist Jeff Hayward (also organ), bassist/acoustic guitarist/engineer Jason Negro and drummer Breaux Silcio all contribute vocals to the outing, and yet the minute-long instrumental intro tells much of the story of what it’s about in terms of the chemistry between them. Impressive guitar solos are rampant throughout, and the rhythm section carries over a weighted groove through cuts like “Wandering” that’s fluid in tempo but still able to create an overarching flow between the tracks. I’ll give bonus points for the Black Sabbath nods in the multi-layered lead work toward the end of “Spirit Elk (Lord of the Hunt)” as well as the title “Keep on Rockin’ (In the Invisible World),” and Z28 have something to build on here in terms of songwriting and that chemistry. It’s raw-sounding, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt it.

Z28 on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzdoom Records on Bandcamp

 

Forrest, Kickball with Russians

forrest kickball with russians

Granted, Forrest telegraph some measure of quirk by naming their debut EP Kickball with Russians, but the four-piece from Lexington, Kentucky, still seem to be rolling along in a straightforward-enough manner on six-minute instrumental opener and longest track (immediate points) “(I Dream of) Kickball with Russians,” until the keyboards start in. That turn gives their EP an edge of the unexpected that continues to inform “DAN,” “Deew” and the closing “My Son Looks Just Like Me,” and “DAN” continues the thread with gang shouts popping up over its chugging progression and receding again after about two words to let the track get quiet and build back up. And is that a velociraptor at the start of “Deew?” Either way, that song’s Mr. Bungle-style angularity, a return of the keys and intermittent heavy nod work to underscore the willful weirdness that’s very much at play in the four-piece’s work, and the closer adds Ween-style effects work into the mix while still keeping a heavy presence in tone and lumber. They’ll get weirder with time, but this is a good start toward that goal.

Forrest on Thee Facebooks

Forrest on Bandcamp

 

1476, Our Season Draws Near

1476 our season draws near

Coastal melancholy and a pervasive sense of atmosphere seem to unite the varied tracks on 1476‘s 2017 Prophecy release, Our Season Draws Near, which otherwise draw across their span from goth rock, punk, doom and extreme metal, able to blur the line especially between punk and black metal on songs like “Ettins” while acoustics pervade “Solitude (Exterior)” en route to the Anathema-gone-char rasps of “Solitude (Interior)” a short time later. I know I’m late to the party on the Salem, MA, duo, and likewise late on this record, but from opener “Our Silver Age” to closer “Our Ice Age” to the “Solitude” pairing to “Winter of Winds” — finally: David Bowie fronts Joy Division — and “Winter of Wolves,” there’s so much of Our Season Draws Near that has a bigger-picture thought process behind its construction that its impact is multi-tiered. And it’s not just that they pit genres against each other in their sound, it’s that their sound brings them together toward something new and malleable to the purposes of their songwriting. Not to be missed, so this is me, not missing it. Even though I kind of missed it.

1476 on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Owl, Nights in Distortion

owl nights in distortion

Joined on Nights in Distortion by bassist René Marquis as well as longtime drummer Patrick Schroeder, guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Christian Kolf (also Valborg) greatly expands his former solo-ish-project Owl with their second release of 2018 behind March’s Orion Fenix EP (review here), bringing together elements of post-metal churn with deeply atmospheric sensibilities, cuts like “Transparent Moment” churning as much as they are surprising with their underlying melody. A Type O Negative influence continues to be worked into their sometimes grueling context, but it’s hard to listen to the keyboard-laced “Inanna in Isolation” and hear Owl being anything other than who they’ve become, and their third album is the most distinct statement of that yet, airy lead guitars floating over a still-fervent, industrial-style chug amid vocals veering from barking shouts to quiet, low-register semi-spoken fare and cleaner singing. Nights in Distortion is the evolving work of a mastermind, captured in progress.

Owl on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

Brass Hearse, Hollow on the Surface

Brass Hearse Hollow on the Surface

Synth-laden heavy horror garage dance rock could probably use a more succinct genre name, but while those in charge of such things sit and scratch their butts, Boston’s Brass Hearse carve out a niche unto themselves with their second EP, Hollow on the Surface. The five-track offering is in and out in 14 minutes but wants nothing for either a show of craft or arrangement, tapping into psych-folk in the strummy interlude “Dwellers in the Static Valley” after the hook-led “Death by Candlelight” and before the John Carpenter-style pulsations that underscore “The Thing from Another World.” Opener “Fading” is the only song to top four minutes and has a distinctly progressive take, but while it and the organ-ic closer “Headaches & Heartbreaks” has a theatricality to it, Brass Hearse are too cohesive to charge with being weird for weirdness’ sake, and their experimentation is presented in complete, engaging songs, rather than self-indulgent collections of parts mashed together. Would love to hear what they do over the course of a full-length.

Brass Hearse on Thee Facebooks

Playing Records on Bandcamp

 

Craneium & Black Willows, Split

Different missions from Finland’s Craneium and Switzerland’s Black Willows on their BloodRock Records split. Craneium nod through “Your Law” and mark their second inclusion, “Try, Fail, Repeat,” with a Sabbathian swing that only kicks up in tempo as it moves through its five minutes. Black Willows, on the other hand, present a single track in the 19-minute, noise-soaked post-everything “Bliss,” which trades back and forth between minimalism and crushing riffs en route to a consuming wash and long, long, long fadeout. Released in March, the outing showcases both bands well, but one is left wondering where the connection is between the two of them that they’d come together for a joint vinyl release. Either way, I won’t detract from what they do individually, whether it’s the catchiness of “Your Law” and the jam in its second half or “Bliss” with its frost-covered expanse of tonality, it’s just a marked leap from side A to side B. Maybe that was the idea all along, and if that’s the case, then one can only say they succeeded.

Craneium on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

BloodRock Records on Bandcamp

 

Magmakammer, Mind Tripper

magmakammer mindtripper

Following a 2015 self-titled debut EP, Oslo trio Magmakammer align with Kozmik Artifactz for their first long-player, Mindtripper, and so effect a garage doom sound that’s quickly relatable to Uncle Acid on songs like “Fat Saturn” and the chug-shuffling “Along the Crooked Roads.” Where they distinguish themselves from this core influence, though, is in the density of their tones, as opener “Druggernaut” and the rolling “Acid Times” prove thicker in their charge. Still, there’s no mistaking that swing and the blown-out sound of the vocals. Closer “Cosmic Dancers,” which is one of two tracks over seven minutes long, shows more dynamic in its loud/quiet tradeoffs, and resolves itself in a righteous nodder of a riff. It’s essentially in the same vein, but still displaying some emerging personality of Magmakammer‘s own that one hopes they continue to develop. And in the meantime, the foundation of craft and stylistic awareness they hone is still welcome, familiar or not.

Magmakammer on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz webstore

 

Falun Gong, Figure 2

Falun Gong Figure 2

Mystique isn’t easy to come by in this Age of Access, but the anonymous London-dwelling duo Falun Gong have succeeded in piquing interest with their two-to-date singles, “Figure 1” (review here), and the eight-minute “Figure 2,” which like its predecessor is raw in the recording, sounds like it was performed live, and follows a trance-inducing course of riffing. The central groove is a slow march that makes its way through obscure voices delivered in buried fashion — the whole thing may or may not be mastered; somehow I’m thinking not, but I’ve been wrong before — through a self-aware drift that rounds out following a soulful culmination fitting the song’s lyrical theme, which would seem to be tied to the cover art about baptism in a river’s waters. There’s just something off-kilter about Falun Gong to this point, and while it’s still early going for them, they bring an eerie persona to their work that feels less performative than it so often does.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Max Tovstyi, Mesmerize

Max Tovstyi Mesmerize

Though he’s had a slew of live outings out with the Max Tovstyi Blues Band and the Max Tovstyi Blues Association, Mesmerize (LP on Nasoni) is the Ukrainian heavy blues rocker’s first solo studio outing since 2014. He’s credited with all the instruments on the 10- or 12-track offering save for a couple arrangement-flourish guest appearances, and he pulls in a classic spirit and full-band sound without any trouble on a moody piece like “World of Sin” or the bonus track “Show Me the Way,” which isn’t a Peter Frampton cover so far as I can tell but still has plenty of guitar scorch to go around. “From the Blues to the Funk” jams its way along its stated trajectory, and “Feel Like Dying Now” brings together organ and keys in a fashion far less dramatized than one might initially think. With a clean production, Tovstyi — also known for his work in The Heavy Crawls, Lucifer Rising, and others — carries through his sentimentality for blues rock’s past and finds himself well at home leading the pack of guest vocalists on “Make Up Your Mind,” which closes the album proper with a semi-country twang and sweet melody.

Max Tovstyi on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Høstsabbat Presents: Om in Oslo, May 7, 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

OM (Photo by Insomne)

Next May, Norwegian festival Høstsabbat will present a special Om date in Oslo at Kulturkirken Jakob. The selling point is easy: “Om in a church.” The venue, which will also play host to the 2019 incarnation of the fest later in the year — they’ve already started to announce bands, including Ufomammut as a headliner — is indeed a converted church, with high ceilings, a massive pipe organ in back, and pews along the walls. One recalls Om playing in New York in front of a rebuilt pyramid and imagines the effect of seeing them on an altar to be likewise transcendent.

In 2019, those of a critic-ly persuasion will begin to trot out their lists of the best albums of the decade. I may or may not do likewise, but I’ll say this: any list you see of the best records of the ’10s that doesn’t include Om‘s 2012 outing, Advaitic Songs (review here), is crap. I mean it. What’s still the latest full-length from the duo-turned-trio remains as powerful as it was the day it was released, and in realizing the vision to which bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros had been driving toward since the band’s debut with 2005’s Variations on a Theme, he, drummer Emil Amos and multi-instrumentalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe conjured a landmark that’s not only already proved influential, but more importantly has stood as a testament to the conversation between spirit and sound that’s always seemed to be at root in their work.

Word has flittered here and there about a new album recorded in pieces over however long. Maybe 2019 will be the year, or maybe not. I don’t know. Either way, whether you’ve seen Om before or you haven’t, their live manifestations are unlike anything else.

Here’s the show info:

om artwork

OM will play Kulturkirken Jakob!

It’s hard to describe the feeling when something you want so badly actual is about to happen. To have OM come play Kulturkirken JAKOB has been our biggest dream since we established contact with this fantastic venue. Hardly any band on earth can be more fitting to the otherworldly environment presented in the church.

Initially rising from the ashes of cvlt band Sleep, bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Haikus, soon showed the world they had something extraordinary on display. OM was a force to be reckoned with already after their first release, Variations on a Theme in 2005. This two-piece held the flag high through Conference of the Birds (2006) and Pilgrimage (2007), before a change of lineup occurred and Emil Amos from Grails handled the drums on the 2009 masterpiece God is Good.

Their latest effort, Advaitic Songs (2012), found OM leaning even more towards mantra-doom, eastern scales and melodies, adding a Rob Lowe as a third member on synthesizer, guitar, percussion and vocals. Rumours has it a new album is soon to be unleashed.
Høstsabbat is extremely proud to be able to present these living legends, for the first time in Oslo for over a decade, bringing their unique take on alternative and heavy music, downtown Oslo in our beloved Church JAKOB.
Traveler now reach the stream. The astral flight adapter.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/969442869919499/

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

Om, “Cremation Ghat I & II” live at Hipnosis Festival, Mexico City, Oct. 6, 2018

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Review & Track Premiere: Orango, Evergreens

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

orango evergreens

[Click play above to stream ‘Evergreen’ from Evergreens by Orango. Album is out Nov. 30 on Stickman Records.]

The tale of a band stripping down their approach is familiar enough. A group push in one direction, decide to go in another. There are degrees to which it’s perceptible to the listener and degrees to which it happens in an artist’s head or in how a recording is actually made in a studio, but it’s not a wild, unheard-of concept by any means. As it applies to Oslo’s Orango and their seventh full-length, Evergreens (released by Stickman Records), the trio effectively pull back on some of the more lush aspects they presented in the early hours of 2017 on The Mules of Nana (review here) in order to affect a more straightforward and driving approach. For the first six songs. Yes, Orango — comprised of guitarist Helge Bredeli Kanck, bassist Hallvard Gaardløs and drummer Trond Slåke, all of whom contribute to the oft-harmonized vocal pastiche — cut back on some of the more progressive leanings and dig into classic boogie and heavy rock. For the first six songs. It’s a hook-fest that taps into essential groove and memorable stretches like that in the particularly Southern-tinged “Hillside Man.” For the first six songs.

But when Evergreens flips over to side B after the tight three and a half minutes of “Sunny Bay,” it unfurls the 16:18 sprawl of the semi-title-track “Evergreen” and that seventh and final song completely changes the narrative of the record. Yeah, they execute taut and controlled songcraft even in the shuffling 2:40 of “Blue Heart,” the first minute of which is an intro to the forthcoming organ-and-fuzz-drenched boogie, but when the soft guitar introduces “Evergreen,” everything changes. It’s not just that it’s a shift in mindset. It’s that, on their seventh LP, Orango have willfully chosen to distinguish between two sides of their style that were closer together on a prior outing. Usually one thinks of a band melding disparate elements over time. Orango here perform a chemical separation, and the results are both fascinating as an experiment and in the material resulting.

Orango are by no means the first band to sit a much-longer piece at the end of an album of shorter and more straightforward tracks, but what stands out about their doing so on Evergreens is just how stark and purposeful they’ve made that separation. Not just in that it’s two different vinyl sides; it’s two different missions. But for the consistency of tone and the harmonies that seem to tie everything together no matter where the band might go in an individual track, it’s almost as though Evergreens was made as two separate mini-albums put together. From the Mountainous riff that starts “Glow Out of Time” and through the KISS-style urbanity of the subsequent “Loco,” also the catchiest of the bunch here, Orango set a path that even casts off some of the Southern rock vibe that their earlier work brought to bear on albums like 2004’s Villa Exile or 2011’s Confessions, and none of that feels like an accident.

orango

Seven records and a career that spans more than a decade, plus being a band who put so much time and clear thought into their arrangements, vocal and otherwise, it’s easy to give Orango the benefit of the doubt on knowing what they want to do in the studio and to have a fair conception of how an album will turn out when it’s done. Even if their songwriting process just naturally led to the disparity between one side of Evergreens and the other, they still would’ve been likely to understand how that would manifest when it was all pressed to the same platter. One can only assume, then, that the creation of that disparity was a part of the project, if not initially, then certainly by the end. So be it. “Evergreen” has its stretch of verses and choruses following its gradual intro and preceding a turn just after the six-and-a-half-minute mark to a quieter, organ-led section of meandering guitar and classic prog atmospherics.

Earlier, “Old Shores” carried wistful nostalgia through in a hooky verse and the aforementioned “Sunny Bay” gracefully mellowed out following the all-go “Blue Heart,” moving into subdued wah guitar and a bluesier feel. So “Evergreen” isn’t without context. One of the most successful aspects of Orango‘s construction of the album as a whole is how well it flows, and that includes all seven of its tracks and the full 37 minutes they run. But still, in its intro and in the section after the already-noted break, “Evergreen” is inherently distinct from everything else on the record that pluralizes its name. They bring the flow almost to silence, and having gone all the way down, bring it all the way back up. Vocals are sparse but not absent, a flute shows up, and the guitar, bass, organ and drums surge forward after 11:45 into a secondary chorus that carries them further toward the apex of the track. After a last held-out note at 14 minutes in, they’re ready to take off, and they launch into a long, solo-topped instrumental finish that becomes increasingly noisy as it moves to its inevitable conclusion but cuts hard at 15:45 in order to make a sharp turn to a quiet blues lick that actually finishes out.

That sudden last turn is crucial to understanding Evergreens as a whole, because it’s so representative of the band’s overarching mindset of making their songs do exactly what they want them to do. It’s analogous to the release in how it puts two seemingly opposing ideas together and makes them function toward the same end — in this case, the end of the album. As noted, Orango are by no means the first band to strip down their approach, but the fact that they seem to have done so while transposing all the prog textures and structure that might’ve been in the other six tracks into the seventh makes Evergreens all the more an intriguing listen. And not to be lost in the discussion of the structure and mission at work throughout is the fact that Orango completely pull it off. Not only do they make “Evergreen” fit alongside its shorter companion pieces, but they remind throughout that in songwriting and performance they’re one of the most strikingly underrated acts in the European heavy underground. All this and a little bit of flute, too, saved for when its appearance is most effective. One would expect nothing less.

Orango on Thee Facebooks

Orango on Bandcamp

Orango website

Stickman Records website

Stickman Records on Bandcamp

Stickman Records on Thee Facebooks

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Fauna Timbre Premiere Acoustic Live Performance Videos; Altering Echoes EP out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

fauna timbre

Norwegian trio Fauna Timbre released their debut EP, Altering Echoes, on Halloween. Driven by guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, vocalist and recording engineer Marius Sjøli, it’s a collection of five songs that touches on post-metal and textures out of heavy progressive rock, depressive in the lumbering of “Violent Waves” but prone to an impression in its melody as much as its unfolding sonic weight. There’s a sense of exploration happening in opener “Heart Murmurs” — as, frankly, there should be on a first collection — but as Sjøli, guitarist/bassist Kenneth Aarmo and drummer Petter Dehlie Frydenlund embark on these songs, an underlying fragility in the vocals gives emotional heft and a feeling of overarching melancholy to suit the variability of the surrounding noise, which comes to a wash of distortion in centerpiece “Turn the Sun” ahead of the spacious voice-showcase “Umbra” and culmination that arrives with closer “Memory Leak.” One might tie that to a root in progressive Euro-style doom, outfits of long-standing like Swallow the Sun or even Paradise Lost, but as heavy as Fauna Timbre get, their mission never takes them to the levels of extremity or aggression that so often correspond with those acts’ sadder stretches.

In part because this is the first time I’m posting about the band, I’ve included the stream of Altering Echoes — the title evocative of the way one reshapes memories over time, creating the narrative of life — at the bottom of this post, but I’m all the more compelled to do so because the videos premiering below are a sonic departure from the core sound of the release. It feels like a particularly bold choice on the part of Fauna Timbre not only to record promotional videos live, but to do so acoustic when their project as a whole is still so new. The clips are short. The first draws from parts of “Umbra” and “Memory Leak” and the second presents what one assumes is a likewise reinterpreted version of “Claws,” which will appear on their impending first long-player. Both have been filmed in the same room with dim lighting and are a straight-on shot of Sjøli and Aarmo playing the songs. It could well be that the album, whenever it arrives, will include more “unplugged” moments, but either way, as the band continues to develop their sound and approach to the studio — I’d argue their will toward progression is shown even in these initial tracks — the fact that they’re able to convey the material in such a raw form only speaks to its underlying strength. How the rest will play out is a question for whenever it actually does so.

You can dig into “Umbra/Memory Leak” and “Claws” via the players below, followed by some quick comment from the band on presenting the tracks in this fashion.

Please enjoy:

Fauna Timbre, “Umbra/Memory Leak Medley” live acoustic video

Fauna Timbre, “Claws” live acoustic video

Fauna Timbre on acoustic videos:

“Umbra/Memory Leak” is a medley of a couple of parts of the songs off Altering Echoes that works in an acoustic setting. It might not be representative for the EP as a whole, but we wanted to maintain the atmosphere, and I think the songs translate to the new setting in that sense. After spending a lot of time on an album it’s good to sometimes bring some new life to the tracks and do something different.

“Claws” is a track from the upcoming album we are currently writing and producing. It’s pretty mellow track compared to the rest of the new album, and we figured we wanted to do something different and make a stripped down version of it. It might [give] us some ideas on the arrangement before going into the studio. Captured on the Norwegian countryside in a cold house in October.

Fauna Timbre is:
Marius Sjøli // Vocals, guitar, bass, sound design and keyboards
Kenneth Aarmo // Guitar and bass
Petter Dehlie Frydenlund // Drums and percussion

Fauna Timbre, Altering Echoes (2018)

Fauna Timbre on Thee Facebooks

Fauna Timbre on Bandcamp

Fauna Timbre on Soundcloud

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Virus Disband, with Particular Charm

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

If you felt the planet get a little more boring the other day, that’s because Virus broke up. They make a graceful exit some two years after what will be their final full-length, Memento Collider (review here), which was the Oslo troupe’s fourth LP since their start in 2000. I suppose the least you can say about what they accomplished in their time is that they were the kind of band who refused to follow any whims other than their own, and while their path took them into uncharted reaches of jazz, black metal, prog rock and who the hell knows what else, apparently they’ve gotten tired of confounding those who would try to place them into some genre or other and have decided to move on with their lives. Not gonna say I don’t get it. 18 years is a long time, folks.

And I’ll say that of all the we-were-a-band-now-we’re-not notifications I’ve read, Virus‘ stands among the most charming and the most appropriate to the band itself, from Einz‘s reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Czral‘s inadvertent namedrop of Voivod. It’s good fun all the way through.

So long, Virus. Thanks for all the stylistic innovation:

virus (Photo by Trine and Kim)

A message from Czral. Some of you knew this, a lot of you didn’t. What can one say really? Thanks for all the fish!
– Einz

“Good evening y’all. Or good morning or afternoon, depending on where you are in the world which is made up of time-zones and landslides. We are now into our 18th year of existance, and as you all know, in 1918, in plymouth, Charlie Chaplin forgot his drivers-license at the chemist’s while simultaneously thinking about tunafish and batteries. An odd moment, yes, but it has reminded us (in Virus) that it’s time to throw in the towel..

It’s been 4 full-lengths, a demo and a mini-album and a few handfuls of gigs, plus the odd whale-shark encounter. Einz has become voivod of bulgaria (1155-1299), Plenum has become the prime minister of Equador while simultaneously working as a paediatrician in Ukraine. Czral has become a well known Elvis -and Bret Michaels-impersonator whilst working as a moped-vendor machine-operator in birmingham. So that’s why we’ve decided to lay down our deplorable riffs and beats and bass-lines, rather than being «on ice, don’t know what’s happening» -mode, for an unforeseeable future…

You know, you can’t devour an apple more than three times: the time you buy it, the time you put it on your kitchen-counter, and the time you decide to throw it away because it’s gone bad. Only thrice. But I digress.. My point is: at some point, you realise that what you set out to do has now been done, now, so now.. Thank you, bye bye, we were Virus.. “

Virus was:
Czral – guitars, vocals
Plenum – bass
Einz – drums

http://www.virusnorway.com/
http://www.facebook.com/virusnorwayofficial
http://www.karismarecords.no/
http://www.facebook.com/karismarecords

Virus, “Rogue Fossil” official video

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Høstsabbat 2019: Ufomammut Added as Headliners

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut

I’m just going to guess that whatever city office in Oslo is in charge of allowing bands into historical landmarks has never heard of Ufomammut, otherwise they’d almost certainly never risk having the Italian cosmic doom magnates play at Høstsabbat 2019 for the very reasonable fear of their rumbling the Kulturkirken Jakob to the ground. I can just picture it: the three of them on that altar stage, and their unmatched heft of wash reverberating from that high ceiling in the church and the back wall, feeding back onto itself until, everyone in attendance’s head goes all Scanners on them. Yes, it will be very, very heavy, but given the setting, it’ll be something really special as well. In all seriousness, it’s a great pick from the Høstsabbat crew.

And suitably enough, they’ll be headlining the Altar stage. That’s one of two headliners unveiled for Høstsabbat 2019. Any guesses on the other? I’ve got a wishlist, but after seeing Toner Low this year, I don’t think I dare actually speculate.

Here’s the festival’s announcement:

hostsabbat 2019 ufomammut

HØSTSABBAT 2019 – UFOMAMMUT

For twenty years, these three phsychsters have been making waves, seismic waves, in our underground community. It is with great pride we are able to welcome UFOMAMMUT to Høstsabbat, treating us with a special set celebrating their 20th anniversary, showcasing the depth and width of their seemingly neverending career in heavy music.

Gaining momentum after every single release, these fine Italians are masters of their craft. Pushing boundaries album after album, touching new ground as they simultaneously reap their gains, Ufomammut are pioneers of the underground, giving their audience crushingly heavy, psyched out pieces of art, almost more than music.

To have them headline the Chapel stage in the church feels surreal, and we can only imagine what it will do to you. Buckle up, Sabbathians. You’re in for a ride!

MUSIC
Spotify: http://bit.ly/SFufomammut
Bandcamp: https://ufomammut.bandcamp.com/

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

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

Ufomammut, 8 (2017)

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Høstsabbat 2019: Sunnata, LLNN and Slabdragger Announced; Early-Bird Tickets on Sale Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Yes, Høstsabbat is still pretty fresh in mind, considering the 2018 edition just took place at the start of this month. All the better than to look forward to Høstsabbat 2019 in Oslo at the Kulturkirken Jakob, as the fest puts early-bird tickets on sale as of today and announces Sunnata from Poland as the first band for the bill. Their heavy prog was most recently manifest in earlier-2018’s Outlands (review here), their third album, which ranged far into thoughtful composition of soundscapes and sundry spheres of heavy. LLNN and Slabdragger have also been announced.

I don’t know that I’ll have the privilege of being in Norway next Fall to see them — even if I’m invited, it’s hard to know what a year from now will bring; always possible a piano falls on my head out of the sky and that’s feeling more and more likely all the time — but I’ll be keeping up with Høstsabbat 2019 either way as I believe in their project and the developing personality of the festival was clearly on display in the church this year.

More to come, I guess is what I’m saying. For now, here’s this:

Høstsabbat 2019 – Oct. 4 & 5

The SOLD OUT Høstsabbat 2018 at Kulturkirken Jakob really exceeded our expectations and was a joy from start to end. In 2019 we are ready to make an even better festival.

Early Bird tickets will be out this Friday 26th of October, and we will start to release the first bands very soon.

Høstsabbat 2019 will once again go down October 4th and 5th at Kulturkirken JAKOB. A stunning church in the heart of Oslo, with an atmosphere unrivalled.

Over two days you will experience slow and crushing doom, heavy bluesrock, stoner, proto-heavy metal, psychedelic spacerock and prog.

As last year there will be two alternating stages with their own unique vibe. In the church room you will find the stunning main stage, The Chapel. This room will fit all of you. The second stage, The Crypt, is a smaller club stage in the basement with all the dungeon vibes needed. When the capaCity is reached in The Crypt, there will be one person out one person in-principle.

There will be an even bigger outdoor tent this year connected to the church where there will be a lot of seatings, great barbecue food (for both meat lovers and vegans), refreshing drinks and smashing band merchandise.

Høstsabbat will showcase the best of the current underground scene of heavy music, bringing new talent as well as more established names.

Summon the spirits, gather the souls…

Sunnata

It is with great pleasure we are welcoming the first band to next years’ Høstsabbat.

We have said it before, and we are gladly repeating ourselves; The polish heavy underground is on fire. sunnata will be the third band we bring to Oslo from this booming scene.

With their recent album “Outlands”, they are manifesting their position as one of the most exciting bands out there, mixing eastern scales with layers of atmospheric instrumentation. Long passages of transcendental chanting let the listener soak and dwell in their realm, before a wall of riffs knocks you right in the gut, and awake you from a lucid dream.

Sunnata will leave the audience spellbound, when they close out their set October 2019.

We will unveil two more bands before the Early Bird tickets are out Friday at 12:00.

MUSIC
Spotify: http://bit.ly/HSsunnataSF
Youtube: http://bit.ly/YTsunnataoutlands
Bandcamp: http://bit.ly/HSsunnatabandcamp

LLNN

Sometimes it’s tempting, and might also be necessary, to give in for the darker emotions and let frustration and total aggression steer the wheel. One of the most angst-ridden, terrifying and straight up furious releases this year came out of the shores of Denmark. «Deads» put LLNN on the map of all things heavy once and for all. Some albums are better at channelling emotions than others, and this one you won’t forget.

Out on Pelagic Records, “Deads” scored LLNN gigs at Roadburn, Roskilde and Desertfest, letting this four-piece show off their intense live performance to a bigger audience. We have seen these guys on stage numerous times, and it’s something you do not want to miss.

We are proud to welcome the first danish act ever to Høstsabbat, October 2019.
LLNN is not kidding around, they come to lay waste

MUSIC
Spotify: http://bit.ly/LLNNspotifyHS
Bandcamp: http://bit.ly/LLNNbandcampHS

Slabdragger

The underground is important to Høstsabbat, not only here in Scandinavia, but we do our best to keep track with what’s happening elsewhere on our continent too.

The UK has been pioneering bands on the heavier, uglier side of things for years, and we’ve brought a few of them to our previous editions. Latest featured in the fabulous “The Doom Doc”, digging deep in the mentioned UK-scene, Slabdragger has been making waves for 10 years and has been a pivotal band in forming the quintessential UK sludge sound.

Their latest album “Rise of the Dawncrusher”, out on Holy Roar Records, starts off in an almost Sleep-esque groove, before the nastiness unveils gradually as clean vocals lose ground for growls and screams. We can only imagine how the massive physical impact of this record translates to their live performance. We are psyched to present the insanely heavy three piece that is SLABDRAGGER at Høstsabbat, October 2019.

EARLY BIRD TICKETS
Early Bird-tickets is out in one hour at 12:00!
Follow this link: http://bit.ly/Høstsabbat-earlybird (maximum 2 tickets each)

MUSIC
Spotify: http://bit.ly/SFSlabbdraggerHS
Youtube: http://bit.ly/SlabdraggerYT

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

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

Sunnata, Outlands (2018)

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