Elevators to the Grateful Sky Release Nude this Month; Two New Songs Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

elevators to the grateful sky

April 19 is the release date for Elevators to the Grateful Sky‘s new album, Nude. It’ll be out through Greece’s Sound Effect Records after the band were caught up in the whole WTF-ness that took hold with HeviSike, their former aligned purveyor. That someone would pick them up isn’t a particular surprise — 2016’s Cape Yawn (review here), was good times all the way around — but that it’s a label with the psychedelic taste of Sound Effect should tell you something.

Mostly, when it comes right down to it, it should probably tell you to listen to the two new tracks the band have streaming in lyric videos embedded below. If it doesn’t tell you that, I will. So yeah, go ahead and give those a once-over. And it’s two of 11 total inclusions, so expect the band to have another trick or five up their collective sleeve.

Album info follows, courtesy of the label:

elevators to the grateful sky nude

Elevators to the Grateful Sky – Nude

Elevators to the Grateful Sky are back with their third firey full-length album. ‘Nude’ showcases an extremely focused sound where early 90’s Seattle-Sub Pop vibes melt with seducingly psychedelic sections, heavy riffage and dreamy, sun-burnt instrumentals. Mastered at famed Mammoth Sound Mastering studio by Dan Randall (Iron Reagan, Noothgrush, The Walking Dead OST and countless others) and decorated by carefully hand-drawn imagery by vocalist Sandro Di Girolamo, the album comes in both coloured and black vinyl versions for the first time ever on Sound Effect Records. ‘Nude’ out on April 19th 2019.

Formed in sunny Palermo, Sicily in 2011, the band has since released one self-financed demo EP and two full-length albums, Cloud Eye (2013) and Cape Yawn (2016) on Transubstans Records (SWE) and Hevi Sike Records (UK) respectively. Their new, 11-songs album showcases a mature band whose varied songwriting has blossomed into distinctive compositions influenced by 90’s grunge, stoner and alternative rock acts such as SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS, MASTERS OF REALITY, QOTSA, GODMACHINE and even DEAD MEADOW and EARTH. ETTGS’s hard-hitting edge has remained intact as they cross the entire spectre between psych jamming, acoustically soothing and straight heavy music.

“Nude” has been recorded and mixed by Silvio “Spadino” Punzo between Southern and Northern Italy in different sessions along 2018, and mastered by Dan Randall at Mammoth Sound Mastering (Maine, USA).

Preorder here: https://www.soundeffect-records.gr/nude

Elevators to the Grateful Sky is:
Sandro di Girolamo – vocals and percussion
Giorgio Trombino – guitars, bass, alto saxophone, congas, keyboards, alternate lead vocals
Giuseppe Ferrara – rhythm guitars
Giulio Scavuzzo – drums, darbouka, tambourine, percussion and alternate lead vocals

https://www.facebook.com/ElevatorstotheGratefulSky/
http://elevatorstothegratefulsky.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundeffect-records.gr
https://www.facebook.com/SoundEffectRecords/

Elevators to the Grateful Sky, “Song for July” lyric video

Elevators to the Grateful Sky, “Insects in Amber” lyric video

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Quarterly Review: Sourvein, Mantar, Elevators to the Grateful Sky, The Poisoned Glass, Spirit Collector, Phiasco, The Cosmic Dead, Postures, Estoner, The Black Explosion

Posted in Reviews on June 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

Well here we are. Standing on the precipice of a week of 50 reviews, looking out together at the geographic and sonic expanses that will be covered. I never know entirely what a given Quarterly Review is going to bring. Some have been smooth, some not. This one is being put together very little pre-production in terms of chasing down band links and that sort of thing, so I expect it’s going to be an adventure one way or another. I’ll keep you updated as we go as to my mental state and the deterioration thereof.

If you don’t know the drill, The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review is a week every three months in which I review 10 albums per day, Monday through Friday. Some of it was released in the prior three months, some of it is brand new, some of it probably isn’t out yet, some of it is probably older. It’s all relevant one way or another. I hope you find something you enjoy.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sourvein, Aquatic Occult

Sourvein Aquatic Occult

Looking at the makeup of Sourvein’s much-awaited fourth album, Aquatic Occult (on Metal Blade), it’s understandable why it might’ve taken five years to put together. Yes, they had splits out in between, as they do, but the band’s last full-length was 2011’s Black Fangs (review here), and though the 14-song/42-minute Aquatic Occult is manageable, with a host of interludes to carry the listener along its thick-toned, undulating waves, a swath of guest appearances no doubt played havoc with logistics. Fortunately, Sourvein’s figurehead, vocalist T-Roy Medlin, seems to thrive on chaos. Working with producer Mike Dean (C.O.C.), and a revolving-door lineup that here features Lou Gorra of Halfway to Gone, Medlin brazenly explores a more melodic dynamic than he ever has. It’s a rare band looking to experiment after 20 years, a rarer band still that pulls it off so well. There’s still some sludgy rasp and guest growling, but Sabbathian roll is the order of the day ultimately and Medlin’s homage to his home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, establishes a breadth unheard before from Sourvein that’s worthy of the years and obvious effort that went into its making.

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records

 

Mantar, Ode to the Flame

Mantar Ode To The Flame

Hamburg duo Mantar’s blend of thrash, sludge and blackened doom is brash, righteously punkish and thus far uncompromised in its malevolent intent. On their second album and Nuclear Blast debut, Ode to the Flame, songs like “Era Borealis” swagger as much as they sneer, the middle-finger-up arrogance becoming part of the appeal. “The Hint” offers some tinge of melody and “I Omen” some organ-laced atmospherics, but Mantar, who debuted in 2015 with the also fire-minded Death by Burning (review here) on Svart, carry their extremity forward like the next logical step of the same impulses that High on Fire once brought forth. Their tempo shifts, from blazing squibblies to outright lumbering, are pulled off with due fuckall, and the shouts from guitarist/vocalist Hanno and drummer/vocalist Erinc are spit forth in a manner near-indecipherable but still have no trouble getting their point across. Mantar are positioning themselves to be the kick in the ass that the underground needs. The next few years (and albums) will see how that pans out, but for now they have two scorchers under their collective belt.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Mantar at Nuclear Blast

 

Elevators to the Grateful Sky, Cape Yawn

elevators to the grateful sky cape yawn

There is a stylistic restlessness to stretches of Elevators to the Grateful Sky’s second record, Cape Yawn (on HeviSike), that becomes the uniting factor between the adrenaline-amped opening with “Ground” and “Bullet Words” and the later dream-surf Yawning Man-meets-sax unfurling of the title-track. The Palermo, Italy, outfit have stated their intention as capturing a blend of ‘90s alternative and modern heavy. Fair enough, but hearing that play out on the penultimate “Mountain Ship” in a mix of weighted riffing and laid back vocals giving way to shouts, it seems that to me that next time out, Elevators to the Grateful Sky should probably just start saying they sound like themselves, because they do. Granted, they’re pulling elements from familiar sources – Soundgarden, Kyuss, etc. – but in giving them new context, the four-piece are defining their sound as moving fluidly between the various styles, and that’s to be commended. The more you put into listening, the more you’ll get out of it.

Elevators to the Grateful Sky on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website

 

The Poisoned Glass, 10 Swords

the poisoned glass 10 swords-700

Representing a 50 percent reunion of Burning Witch, the droning contemplations and hellish atmospherics of The Poisoned GlassRitual Productions debut, 10 Swords, pique immediate interest. And bassist/percussionist/etc.-ist G. Stuart Dahlquist and vocalist/keyboardist Edgy 59 do not disappoint. With unspeakable patience, they execute six grueling and cinematic pieces that seem to find comfort in tortured expression and that feel claustrophobic even as they continue to expand outward and downward through “Plume Veil” and “Toil and Trouble” into the extended closing duo “Silent Vigil” – spoiler alert: not actually silent – and “Low Spirits,” which moves from minimalist stillness through far-back screams and into a wash of synth before its seven minutes are up, covering more ground in one track than some bands do in their entire career. Fair to say on the whole 10 Swords is an immersive listen, but the prevailing vibe is much less “diving in” than “being swallowed whole by some obscure medieval terror.” So, you know, watch out for that.

The Poisoned Glass on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions on Bandcamp

 

Spirit Collector, Owls to Athens

spirit collector owls to athens-700

Los Angeles newcomers Spirit Collector make their debut with the self-released, three-song Owls to Athens EP, clear in its intent and brimming with airy, post-rock-derived guitar atmospherics. A particularly telling moment arrives with the Terence McKenna sample in centerpiece “Reclaim Your Mind,” which speaks of casting off the culture of celebrity worship for a richer human experience, but it’s in the extended closer “Theosophy” (7:57) that Spirit Collector find their footing someplace between a doomed plod and thoughtful psychedelia, picking up a chugging momentum as they push through toward the almost blackened finish, having come a surprising distance since their eponymous opener set the tone for expanse. An encouraging first offering if somewhat familiar superficially as instrumental heavy post-rock (think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, etc.), and there’s nothing in Owls to Athens to make one think Spirit Collector can’t move forward and develop the experimental drive they begin to show here.

Spirit Collector on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Collector on Bandcamp

 

Phiasco, Vieh

phiasco vieh

Vieh, the debut full-length from Colonge-based desert rocking foursome Phiasco, takes its name from the German word for “cattle.” The band owe some of their fuzz to Truckfighters and some of their psychedelic wash to Sungrazer, but the attitude in songs like “Ultimate Warrior” – comprised largely of riffs topped with an extended sample from the titular professional wrestler – and “Sunndown” is their own, as is the we’re-still-having-a-really-good-time-while-we-make-this-15-minute-song closer “Phisco” (sic), a highlight of the live-recorded full-length, which across its span is light on pretense and heavy on bounce. Cuts like “Old Town” and opener “Back to the Future” – hey, that’s a movie! – bring catchy hooks, and the uptempo “Erasing Rabbits with My Phaserlight” winds up as harmonized as goofed out, and thus is all the more engaging. There’s a certain amount of getting by on charm here, but Phiasco have a capable, varied songwriting process that’s given due fullness and clarity in these eight tracks.

Phiasco on Thee Facebooks

Phiasco on Bandcamp

 

The Cosmic Dead, Rainbowhead

the-cosmic-dead-rainbowhead

Man, who gives a shit about anything else when Glaswegian five-piece The Cosmic Dead are enacting their hypnotic swirl? Their latest instrumental invitation to watch existence melt is called Rainbowhead and it arrives through Paradigms Recordings (CD) and Blackest Rainbow Records (LP) with four tracks that serve as the band’s first full-length since 2014’s EasterFaust, though they’ve had splits in between to keep a prolific rate of offerings fitting for their explorational heavy psych/space rock. The bulk of Rainbowhead is engagingly upbeat as side A plays out across “Human Sausage,” “Skye Burial” and the 13-minute “Inner C,” and side B’s 18-minute title-track follows suit as The Cosmic Dead seem to have found a similar niche between progressive rock and psych to that which Mammatus proffered on their most recent outing. It suits The Cosmic Dead, and they keep an improv vibe prevalent as ever, grasping the subconscious with trip-on-it lysergic pulsations.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Paradigms Recordings website

Blackest Rainbow Records website

 

Postures, Halucinda

postures halucinda

Deeply textured and lush in its construction around guitar arrangements, percussive and keyboard-laden melodic flourish, Postures’ second full-length, Halucinda (on World in Sound), plays back and forth between prog and heavy rock impulses. The Gothenburg, Sweden, five-piece seem most at home in extended tracks like “Myriad Man,” “Every Room” and the jazzy 10-minute “Wavemaker,” but even the acoustic-led centerpiece interlude “A Million Sequences” invites the audience to turn up the volume for maximum wash effect. Paulina Nyström delivers a powerful, commanding and fluid vocal performance, and while the rhythm section of bassist Per Pettersson and drummer Isak Björhag are the foundation on which these complex structures play out – Viktor Andersson and Benjamin Watts handle guitar; Madeleine Sjögren is credited with backing vocals/keys and Margit Gyllspång percussion/backing vocals – there’s no angle from which Postures don’t come across rich and vital in their winding but well-plotted course, one song feeding fluidly to the next until the dreamy “In the Dark” rounds out with the emotional apex of the record.

Postures on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound Records

 

Estoner, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis

estoner lennud saatana dimensioonis

What else to call a stoner band from Estonia? Estoner’s appeal, however, goes well beyond their moniker. The Tallinn-based outfit’s second album, Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis, arrives in a handmade hexagonal CD package, heat sealed, as well as with complete visual accompaniment on limited VHS and cassette via Golem Records. The music is no less relentlessly creative, running a gamut between prog, black metal, heavy rock, psychedelia, space rock and probably a few others in its seven-track course. A song like “Teleporteerumine” conjures darkened swirl and “Reptiloid” follows through with foreboding threat, but Estoner plunge even deeper as they go, proferring aesthetic reach that makes seemingly disparate elements work together fluidly on “Hüvasti, Kosmiline Monoliit” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps the highest compliment one can pay to Lennud Saatana Dimensioonis is to call it Svart-worthy, as its diverse means of engulfing the listener speak to a forward-thinking approach that one can only hope Estoner continue to develop.

Estoner on Thee Facebooks

Estoner on Bandcamp

 

The Black Explosion, Atomic Zod War

Unbenannt-1

Extra points to Swedish troupe The Black Explosion for opening their third album, the space-fuzzed out Atomic Zod War (on Metalville Records), with its longest track, the 13-minute “Paralyzed.” That song offers a languid voyage through uncharted jammy reaches, and that sets an open, laid back expectation that the rest of the album seems only too glad to build on, from the Nebula-via-Monster Magnet blown out vibes of “Ain’t Coming Home” to the semi-garage buzz of “Going Down,” a highlight groove that emphasizes the natural, raw tones at play leading into “Get My Mind Together” and the finisher “Devil Inside,” which brings the guitar of Chris Winter (also Dollhouse) forward with backing from bassist Simon Haraldsson and drummer Andreas Lindquist that feels born of the new West Coast tradition but is likely playing off of older impulses. But for its hey-look-it’s-tits cover art, the grit Atomic Zod War offers comes through organically and draws the listener in with its live feel and underlying boogie.

The Black Explosion on Thee Facebooks

Metalville Records

 

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Elevators to the Grateful Sky Releasing Cape Yawn March 11 on HeviSike

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

elevators to the grateful sky

Sicilian four-piece Elevators to the Grateful Sky released their debut full-length, Cloud Eye, in 2013 through respected Swedish imprint Transubstans Records. The band has inked a new deal for the follow-up to come out through UK label HeviSike Records in March. It’ll be a download/LP-only deal out March 11, and the band has unveiled the first song of presumably several that will make their way to the public ahead of the release in the form of “Ground,” which is enough to pique my interest in what the rest of the record might have in store.

The announcement that Elevators to the Grateful Sky had signed to HeviSike came through the PR wire and brought the song with it. Whole deal looks a lot like this:

elevators to the grateful sky cape yawn

HeviSike Records announce signing of Italian psych rockers Elevators To The Grateful Sky | New album Cape Yawn released in March 2016

Cape Yawn will released on 11th March 2016 through HeviSike Records

The Birmingham-based label HeviSike Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Elevators To The Grateful Sky, and with it the release of their brand new album Cape Yawn in March 2016.

In what will be the second full-length album for the Palermo, Italy-based band, Cape Yawn marks a dramatic shift in both gear and sound for the heavy psych rockers who first came to light with the release of their self-titled debut EP in 2011.

Formed by friends Sandro Di Girolamo (Ex-Undead Creep) and Giuseppe Ferrara – both of whom cut their teeth as the brutal (and now defunct) death metal set Omega – Elevators To The Grateful Sky pull together and package a diverse range of influences from each band member’s distinct experience. Joined by Bonham-worshipping drummer Giulio Scavuzzo and guitarist Giorgio Trombino the band is a pressure cooker filled to the brim with psychedelic metal, doom, classic and groove-laden rock.

Serving their early days in their native Palermo, it didn’t take long for their EP to find its way onto the desk of Swedish label Transubstans Records who jumped at the chance to release their debut album Cloud Eye in 2013. An out-and-out foray into the darkened days of early grunge and straight up heavy 70s rock and roll, fast forward to Cape Yawn and the band has developed even further. Complimenting and drawing on influences as diverse as Danzig, Fu Manchu and legendary alt rockers Morphine (the song ‘Laura’ on Cape Yawn is dedicated to the band’s lead singer Mark Sandman) to galvanize their songwriting talents, Elevators To The Grateful Sky produce something entirely of their own making. It’s an album that will keep audiences guessing and leave no rock lover wanting.

Cape Yawn by Elevators To The Grateful Sky will be released on 11th March 2016 on HeviSike Records. In the meantime, you can share and stream the brand new track ‘Ground’ here

Elevators To The Grateful Sky:
Sandro Di Girolamo – Vocals
Giuseppe Ferrara – Guitars
Giorgio Trombino – Guitars
Giulio Scavuzzo – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/ElevatorstotheGratefulSky/
http://elevatorstothegratefulsky.bandcamp.com/
http://hevisike.com/
https://www.facebook.com/hevisike
http://hevisike.bigcartel.com/

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