Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting?: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Weird

Posted in Reviews on November 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Frank Sabbath Are You Waiting

It’s a hell of a question, if you think about it. Well, are you waiting? And if so, for what? The implication would seem to be that French weirdo rock trio Frank Sabbath is directly addressing their audience, but even then, it’s pretty open as to what they could be asking. Are we waiting for the three-piece themselves? Are we waiting for Are You Waiting?, which is their third album behind last year’s Telluric Wanderers (discussed here) and their 2015 self-titled debut (review here)? Or is it a question about the question itself, as in, what are we waiting for? And if so, what’s the answer? Shouldn’t we just dive in, to the four-song/34-minute long-player and just about everything else?

Are they asking about the way we’re living our lives, or is it like when you’re at the grocery store and you can’t tell if someone is actually on the checkout line or if they’re just mesmerized by the slew of magazine covers and candybars left there to be impulse purchases. Excuse me, are you waiting? To some degree or other, aren’t we all?

The answers aren’t exactly forthcoming throughout Are You Waiting?, but the immediate affect the question has lingers and would seem to play directly into the band’s intention to shake their listeners out of a comfort zone. With a parabolic structure of two six-minute tracks — opener “Goat” (6:40) and closer “Sasume” (6:00) — bookending two longer jammers in “Lazarus” (11:25) and “Take the Lead” (10:09), the record sets itself up for mirrored-style vinyl sides, but works with a linear flow as well, each piece seeming to offer something of its own to the overarching freaked-out entirety.

The expectation going into Are You Waiting?, which arrives in a handmade CD sleeve under the banner of the band’s own Bermuda Cruise Records imprint, shouldn’t necessarily be that Frank Sabbath — who continue to have very much picked the correct moniker — will never lock into a solid groove together and rock out because they’re too busy being oddballs. Apart perhaps from “Sasume,” the abundant and maybe-Japanese lyrics of which seem like a questionable choice at best, politically and in terms of the raw sonic outcome, there’s very little on Are You Waiting? to evoke that check-us-out-we’re-weird, post-Mr. Bungle performative sort of experimentalism. It’s more about sonic quirk.

Despite “Sasume” and despite the fact that “Lazarus” and “Take the Lead” both have lyrics, it’s probably fair to say the album is mostly instrumental, since that’s where the bulk of its impression is made, and as they start off “Goat” with an immediate freakout before guitarist Jude Mas, bassist Guillaume Jankowski and drummer Baptiste Reig tap into a kind of uptempo, low-end-driven surf rock, the spirit is immersive in its blend of grunge skronk and offkilter rhythmic turns. Maybe more immersive than one might think, in fact. Subtly, Mas and Jankowski set a theme of interplay between the guitar and bass that will continue into “Lazarus” and be most effectively put to use in “Take the Lead,” and this happens with a bit of subterfuge via the overarching groove being propelled by Reig‘s drums, which by the time they get to the opener’s fifth minute is practically space rock in its thrust.

frank sabbath (photo robin levet)

They cap that launch with another freakout to mirror that at the start, and it’s not until a couple minutes into the fuzz-drenched “Lazarus” that the first lyrics on Are You Waiting? arrive, following nuanced lead guitar work and a corresponding fluidity of bass that in tone and in terms of what Jankowski does to complement the work of Mas and Reig both, qualifies as being of the “must-hear” variety. They slow down at about three minutes in to make room for the verse over a heavy psychedelic drift, but are soon enough on their way again, and though they might seem to meander, I’m not at all convinced Frank Sabbath don’t have an underlying plan at work in their extended solos and instrumental stretches, making their work progressive rather than haphazard or merely the manifestation of jams put to tape.

“Take the Lead” further demonstrates this idea with a fluidity that not only makes it a highlight of Are You Waiting?, but sets Frank Sabbath apart from the bulk of European heavy psych in terms of their chemistry and the approach they undertake, which seems as much inspired by Samsara Blues Experiment as Zappa himself. But it’s ultimately the patience of the execution itself that one finds most encouraging when it comes to the basic listening experience, and that makes the goof-off rush of “Sasume” something of an atmospheric crash landing as it rounds out the LP.

This is obviously by design, and I’m not going to hold their having a fun against Frank Sabbath or anyone else for that matter — at least not most of the time — but there’s something about the way the Japanese language is used in “Sasume” that comes through more like someone doing an impression of old samurai movies than actually speaking the language. Lyrics are spoken, seemingly back and forth between the band members, while beneath they do lock into a more than solid groove, once more held together by the bass and drums as the guitar goes off where it will. “Sasume” rolls out a stoner rock-style instrumental hook and spends the final two of its six minutes first in a layered guitar solo and then with a late inclusion of keys/organ that signals a rhythmic turn into the last big push that ends.

It is the nature of experimentation that sometimes ideas work and sometimes they don’t, and while I’m not prepared to call “Sasume” a dud for the effect its increased pace has on the final statement the album makes overall, it feels nearly like an element of minstrelsy is at play, and even if that’s born of an appreciation for the Japanese language and culture, it’s almost too easy to read it into another context. Still, and again, Frank Sabbath acquit themselves well throughout Are You Waiting?, and while we may never get the response directly to that question, the sense by the time the record is done is that the trio have only just started to really explore the heights their chemistry might attain and the reaches they might yet conjure as songwriters.

In that sense, yes, we are waiting, but they’ve certainly provided plenty to chew on in the meantime in their most realized work to-date.

Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (2017)

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

Bermuda Cruise Records website

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Lark Self-Titled EP Due out Oct. 31; New Teaser Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

lark

Newcomer modern progressive metal duo Lark is comprised of Raphaël and Zacharie Mizzi, former members of Sail in Between and Bright Curse, respectively. Their self-released, self-titled debut EP is due out on Halloween, and though listening to opener “Hailstorm” it seems easy enough to figure out the release — yeah, it’s got some of that post-Baroness winding proggy riffing, multiple vocal layers, etc. — by the time they get into the subsequent “Red Eye,” that pretty much goes out the window. The second track takes on a much more metallic feel, with growled and deathly vocals and a harsher vibe all the way around.

Between “Decay,” “Too Far Gone” and “Heavy,” which follow, Lark never quite get back to that kind of intensity again on the EP, but no question that on first listen it’s a jarring shift that makes it much harder to predict where they might end up in a given track — and likewise on any future release. Pretty awesome and unexpected turn.

The EP is out Oct. 31 and they have a teaser posted for it now, which came down the PR wire along with the following info:

lark lark

LARK to release debut EP on Halloween

Progressive sludge/stoner metal band LARK are set to release their debut, self-titled album on October 31st 2017. The band features former members of BRIGHT CURSE and SAIL IN BETWEEN.

Lark is the overdue collaboration of two French brothers, Raph, former guitarist and lead singer of Sail In Between and former bassist of Angher Incorporated and Zach, former drummer of Bright Curse. The elder resides in their native south of France, while the younger moved to London in 2009 to explore the UK music scene.

Zach evolved in the Stoner, Psyche and Hard Rock tones in recent years while Raph followed his love for Hardcore and Prog, but their tastes meet in a Rock and Metal avalanche of riffs, grooves and all that is heavy. They shared a vision of music that combines massive and textured sound with the groove of their early metal influence.

The two brothers rapidly found ways around the distance between them and started their first creative collaboration at the beginning of 2017. The EP came to life thanks to the help of Robin Mariat of Grey Matter Studio (Lyon, Fr), Chris Painter of Red Roof Sounds (London, Uk), Marco of Marc&Cheese (London, Uk) and Jake Read of Living Room Studios (London, Uk).

The band is set to release their first EP “Lark’’, a new blend of metal inspired by Mastodon, Opeth, Gojira, Black Peaks, Russian Circles and more this fall. The D day is set for Halloween 2017 when their extensive network of VIPs will meet and celebrate at a location not yet disclosed.

facebook.com/LarkBandOfficial/
instagram.com/lark_band/

Lark, Lark teaser trailer

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Quarterly Review: Nibiru, The Ditch and the Delta, Cyanna Mercury, Surya Kris Peters, Golden Bats, Blind Hen, The Black Wizards, Low Flying Hawks, Brother Sister Hex, Cold Insight

Posted in Reviews on September 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Ready for round three of the Fall 2017 Quarterly Review? I hope so, because it’s a doozy. Things get pretty weird and pretty rockin’ in this batch, and at the risk of being completely honest, I much prefer it that way. It’s a varied group — maybe the most diverse in terms of sound throughout the entire week, though there’s stiff competition still to come — and as we hit the 30th review, that brings us to the halfway point of the Quarterly Review itself, which if all keeps proceeding according to plan will wrap up on Monday with a grand total of 60 done. Let’s hope no pianos fall on my head between now and then, literally or figuratively. Onward.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Nibiru, Qaal Babalon

nibiru qaal babalon

The fourth full-length from Italian sludge ritualists Nibiru, Qaal Babalon (on Argonauta) is an encompassing, 57-minute grind comprised of four extended tracks, the longest of which is opener (immediate points) “Oroch” at 19:07 – a song whose depths run dark and cruel and which, even when the tempo pushes upward from its initial slow crawl, still feels massively slow. Still, the spirit behind “Oroch” as well as the following and much faster “Faboan” (10:51), the buzzsaw noise cutting avant insanity of “Bahal Gah” (16:40) and full-drone rite of “Oxex” (11:05) is less directly about the punishment itself than about the exploration enacted thereby. That is, Nibiru aren’t just heavy for heaviness’ own sake and they’re not just assaulting their listenership without reason. Though I won’t take away from its raw sonic impact, Qaal Babalon’s greatest asset is its atmospheric impression and the experimentalism it brings to bear, which moves Nibiru into a terrifying place sound-wise that they seem to have all to themselves.

Nibiru on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

 

The Ditch and the Delta, Hives in Decline

the-ditch-and-the-delta-hives-in-decline

Hailing from the unlikely heavy hotbed of Salt Lake City, Utah – though where better for a counterculture to emerge? – sludge rocking trio The Ditch and the Delta made their debut earlier in 2017 with the seven-song Hives in Decline via Battleground Records before being picked up by Prosthetic for this reissue. Comprised of bassist/vocalist Kory Quist (see also: Making Fuck), guitarist/vocalist Elliot Secrist and drummer Charles Bogus, the three-piece pummel handily throughout early cuts like opener and longest track (immediate points) “Hives in Decline” “Fuck on Asphalt” and the nodding “Sleeping Dogs,” but with the instrumental interlude “Dry Land,” they tap into post-Across Tundras heavy Americana and in that brief two-minute stretch deeply affect the mood of the release overall. They’re back to angular noise rock turns soon enough on “Till Body Quits” and the Remission-era-Mastodon-style “Mud” before alternating between lurching crush and airier prog/post-rock on closer “Dread Spectacle,” but by then the secret’s out of their underlying complexity, and rather than offset the sense of drive in the prior cuts, one finds them only enhanced by the later unfolding. Intense, and very much in the process of sorting through these impulses, but loaded with potential.

The Ditch and the Delta on Thee Facebooks

The Ditch and the Delta at Prosthetic Records

 

Cyanna Mercury, Archetypes

Cyanna-Mercury-Archetypes

From Greek dialogue in “Hermes” to the Nick Cave-style piano balladry of “Apollo” to the organ-and-handclaps Mediterranean pop underscoring “Lilith”’s boogie and the spoken verses and explosive hook of “Snake” ahead of moody closer “There will be a Time,” Cyanna Mercury’s debut long-player, Archetypes, seems to leave no sonic stone unturned. The Athens-based five-piece hone a thoroughly progressive approach across the 10-track/40-minute (plus a CD bonus track) outing, touching on heavy psych in opener “Horse Dark as Night” and injecting a darker theatricality into centerpiece “Ode to the Absent Father” and the later “Nothing We Can Do,” but refusing to relegate themselves ultimately to one sound or another. Elements of folk, heavy rock, psychedelia, classic prog, pop and more besides show themselves across what’s a legitimate head-trip of a record, and though it’s hard to get a grip on where Cyanna Mercury are ultimately headed with this sonic brew already so potent and already so much their own, they seem to be completely in control of how it all plays out in arrangement and songwriting, and they work quickly to earn the listener’s trust via a resonant overarching flow that renders Archetypes truly immersive. Will fly under most radar, but a stunningly creative debut.

Cyanna Mercury on Thee Facebooks

Cyanna Mercury on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, 2nd Chances

surya-kris-peters-second-chances

Numerically-titled three-song EP 2nd Chances is – since we’re going by the numbers – the third release of 2017 from Surya Kris Peters, behind the synth-driven Dream Exit EP digitally-issued this past summer and January’s Holy Holy Holy (review here) full-length. With it, Samsara Blues Experiment frontman Christian Peters further expands the contextual breadth of his solo work, revisiting songs from his prior outfit Terraplane in the Mellotron-infused melancholy of “Smalltown Blues” and the quick, folkish rambling instrumental “Dark Euphoria” while also covering Jefferson Airplane’s “Come up the Years” between. All told, it’s only 10 minutes long, but Peters brings a particularly progressive psychedelic folk vibe to the tracks, and from the shimmering guitar lead that takes hold in “Come up the Years” and the intimate feel of “Smalltown Blues” despite an arrangement of keys, vocals, multiple layers of guitar and effects, an emotional and sonic resonance is still very much achieved. One never wants to guess what Peters will do next, but if he had a full-length of this kind of thing out at some point, you wouldn’t be likely to find me complaining.

Surya Kris Peters on Soundcloud

Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp

 

Golden Bats, Residual Dread

golden-bats-residual-dread

An underlying mournfulness pervades Golden BatsResidual Dread, or maybe that’s just the Brisbane-based solo-project of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/engineer Geordie Stafford living up to the title chosen for the album on “Nothing.” Elsewhere, Residual Dread takes on guitar-as-keyboard plotted soloing in 11-minute closer “The Crows Build a Fire” and find a place between black metal and doomly roll, and add piano to tapped Godflesh-style programming on opener “Trouble in the Sewers” and bring organ to the relative bounce of “Eye Juices” as far-back echoing shouts provide the vocal presence. Setting elements against each other would seem to be a core aspect of Stafford’s intent, and the feel on Residual Dread is more about the smashing them together and seeing what happens than trying to gently meld one idea from two or three. That lends a raw, experimentalist sensibility to the lumber of “Outer Body” and “Into the Silver Valley” that serves them well, like a Large Hadron Collider driven by riffs and thickness of tone.

Golden Bats on Thee Facebooks

Haemorrhage Records webstore

 

Blind Hen, Life

blind-hen-life

In its first two minutes, Blind Hen’s “As a Monster” moves from electronica-style Euro dance rock to heavy-riffed progressive metal. Then it turns back. This is just the start of the Finnish four-piece’s four-track/21-minute Life EP, and “Titanic” follows stylistic suit with an even more intense thrust early before moving into psychedelia in its second half with an underlying tension in its beat to contrast the melodic wash overtop. The chugging “The Maze” is more guitar-led and straightforward, but even there, Blind Hen find room for nuance in their vocal arrangement, also bringing in acoustics amid the multiple layers of singing, and with a sample at the outset, closer “Catch” moves once again toward the danceability of the earlier fare, if in a via-Mr.Bungle rhythmic restlessness rather than the fusion beatmaking. Weird, weird, weird. What draws Life together is the fact that Blind Hen cross this aesthetic swath with stuck-in-your-head choruses as a constant, essentially giving the audience something to grasp onto while they go wherever they want in terms of sound. It is appreciated to say the least, and shows the band to be all the more attuned to their craft, even when they seem at their most unhinged.

Blind Hen on Thee Facebooks

Blind Hen on Bandcamp

 

The Black Wizards, What the Fuzz!

the-black-wizards-what-the-fuzz

If you’ve got 68 minutes, Portuguese four-piece The Black Wizards are ready to have a heavy blues shindig on their second 2LP full-length, What the Fuzz!, and I do believe we’re all invited. The nine-song outing emphasizes the vocals of guitarist Joana Brito, who emerges on post-intro opener “Freaks and Geeks” with a prominent kind of trilling in her voice of the sort Parker Griggs brings to Radio Moscow that holds for the duration as a steady presence. Joined by guitarist Paulo Ferreira, bassist/acoustic guitarist B and drummer/backing vocalist Helena Peixoto, Brito leads the way through the fuzzy rollout of the nine-minute “The Story of an Hopeless Drummer” (sic), stepping back to let the guitar/bass have a righteously nodding moment late in the track, but holds firm in a forward position on the short, twanging “Just Not Today” as well as the early going of the prior subdued-blues-smoker highlight “Floating Blues.” “Build Your Home,” “I Don’t Wanna Die” and the particularly-classic-sounding “Fire” revive the classic heavy rock spirit of “Freaks and Geeks,” and 16-minute finale “Everything is Good Until Trouble Comes” uses its extra runtime for a satisfying and patient execution with an expanded arrangement including choral vocals, organ and additional guitar effects. You might be boogied out by the time they’re done, but as The Black Wizards crash through their big finish, they sound like their party’s just getting started.

The Black Wizards on Thee Facebooks

The Black Wizards on Bandcamp

 

Low Flying Hawks, Genkaku

low-flying-hawks-genkaku

One might expect that with all the Melvins affiliation going on in the second Magnetic Eye Records full-length from L.A. duo Low Flying Hawks, Genkaku would sound, you know, more like the Melvins, but despite working with bassist Trevor Dunn, drummer Dale Crover and producer Toshi Kasai, and despite bringing in Buzz Osbourne for guest vocal spots on eight-minute opener/longest track (immediate points) “Smile” and side B leadoff “Space Wizard,” initials-only multi-instrumentalists EHA and AAL follow their 2016 debut, Kofuku (review here), with a sound even more their own, balancing between thick riffy rollout and post-rock atmospherics. Of course, they weird out a bit on “Smile” and the lumberingly spacious “Uncool” and “Virgin Witch,” but whether it’s the later mournfulness of “Hallucination” or “Twilight” toying with noisy fuckall while seeming to mock heavy rocker burl ahead of the melodic payoff in closer “Sinister Waves,” there’s more EHA and AAL in Low Flying Hawks than the prominent pedigree of their collaborators might lead you to believe. All the better for what becomes a richly satisfying 43-minute listen rife with depth, patience, and yes, personality.

Low Flying Hawks on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

 

Brother Sister Hex, End Times

brother-sister-hex-end-times

Coherent songwriting rests at the core of what Denver’s Brother Sister Hex bring to their five-song third EP, End Times, which darkens up Queens of the Stone Age-circa-Songs for the Deaf vibing on its title-track (also a bit of Kyuss’ “El Rodeo” in there for good measure) before delving into more ambient fare on the centerpiece “Confessions.” Vocalist/guitarist Colfax Mingo demonstrates SubRosa-style vocal command there, but the context is more rock-based, uptempo and straightforward as she, guitarist Patrick Huddleson, bassist Drew Hicks and guest-drummer Jordan Palmer (Plastic Daggers) meld traditionalist structures with atmospheric moodiness. Opener “Hey” offers a suitable greeting through hook and groove, and the shuffle of “Sweet and Sleazy” and the rumbling fuzz (Hicks makes it a highlight) of closer “News Feed” wraps with another grunge-style QOTSA melody efficiently drawn, shouting the question “what have we done?” as it thuds into its second half. Uh, you’ve made a professional-sounding, excellently-constructed EP that shows you’re more than ready to embark on a debut full-length, permanent drummer or no. So yeah, get on that.

Brother Sister Hex on Thee Facebooks

Brother Sister Hex on Bandcamp

 

Cold Insight, Further Nowhere

cold-insight-further-nowhere

As progressive as it is brutal, Further Nowhere is ostensibly the debut release from Paris’ Cold Insight. The material seems to date back at least to 2013, if not earlier than that, when band-spearhead Sébastien Pierre (also of Enshine, Fractal Gates, and others) first issued what’s now tagged as a “pre-production album” version, but it’s hardly as though the lush, growling, melodeathly doom sounds dated. With sonic likenesses throughout to bands like Amorphis, Dark Tranquility and Paradise Lost, Cold Insight – on which Pierre, who also did the artwork, is joined by drummer Christian Netzell while Jari Lindholm adds lead guitar – hit on a very particular, very European style, and not an unfamiliar one as displayed in the righteously driving “Distance,” but the find-the-beauty-in-darkness spirit behind “Close Your Eyes” and songs like “Even Dies a Sun” and the more uptempo later piece “I Will Rise” help ensure that the formidable 12-song/66-minute run of Further Nowhere never gets too bogged down in its melancholy. It may have been a while in the making, and one hopes a follow-up won’t take as long to arrive, but the precise execution Pierre hones in these songs and the depths to which he can bring a willing audience are a fitting payoff for the years of work that went into their construction.

Cold Insight on Thee Facebooks

Cold Insight on Bandcamp

 

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Frank Sabbath to Release Are You Waiting? Oct. 2; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This one’s coming up quickly, so keep an eye out. French trio Frank Sabbath released their second album, Telluric Wanderers (discussed here), last year through Argonauta as the follow-up to their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and even after two later-2016 sessions-type offerings posted on their Bandcamp, it would seem the Paris/Montpellier troupe are unwilling to let 2017 pass without a proper full-length, so on Oct. 2 they’ll drop Are You Waiting?, of which they’re giving a first taste now in the off-the-wall “Sasume.”

Crazed is nothing new as regards a general status for these guys, but I feel like this might even be a different level in that regard. Not sure how I feel about those maybe-Japanese vocals, but it’s weird, and the bass tone is inarguable, so there are definitely elements working in its favor.

Are You Waitingwill be Frank Sabbath‘s first record through their new label, Bermuda Cruise, and you can see more info about it below, courtesy of the PR wire, as well as hear “Sasume” if you’re feeling particularly brave:

frank-sabbath-are-you-waiting

Frank Sabbath is proud to reveal the cover and first extract from their new album, Are You Waiting?

With their third album Are You Waiting? the French psychedelic jokesters Frank Sabbath present a concentrate of their composition style in four songs, ranging from high energy psychedelic rock, to progressive doom-laden melodies, and trippy atmospheric soundscapes.

The first track off the album, “Sasume,” album premiere is a japanese infused psychedelic tune, reminding the seemingly forgotten times where humor did belong in rock music.

Are You Waiting? will be released on CD and digital format by the new associative label Bermuda Cruise, which is focusing on psychedelic, experimental and improvised music. The date of release for the album is set to October 2nd.

Frank Sabbath is:
Guillaume Jankowski : Bass
Baptiste Reig : Drums, vocals
Jude Mas : Guitare électrique, vocals
Léo Minart : Sound engineer, tapist

https://www.facebook.com/franksabbath.band/
https://franksabbath.bandcamp.com/
http://bermudacruise.fr/

Frank Sabbath, “Sasume”

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Dot Legacy European Tour Starts this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

French style-blender heavy rockers Dot Legacy have a considerable string of dates lined up as they continue to support their 2016 sophomore full-length, To the Others (review here). Over the course of the next two months, they’ll play throughout not only their native France, but Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Denmark and Belgium as well, making a stop on Oct. 20 in Berlin for the Setalight Festival, which is hosted by their label, Setalight Records.

That’s a bill they’ll share with Mars Red Sky, Mother’s Cake, Stoner Train, The Legendary Flower Punk, Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, Cosmic Fall and others, and it should make for a highlight of the tour as a whole, which rounds out just two nights later. It was put together by Total Volume Booking, and you’ll find the poster and dates below:

dot legacy tour

Dot Legacy – European Tour

Pick any of your favourite musical genre and put it in front of Rock, Dot Legacy will make it happen.

These four young French rockers make you dance with a solid fuzzed-out & rock base. Since 2014 they have fought to find a unique mark and sound. After four European and one Brazil tour, they have developed a crazy stage act of fury energy. Dot Legacy released their first album on Setalight Records (Germany) in June 2014 and has just released their second album TO THE OTHERS November 2016, with Setalight.

EUROPE HERE WE GO!
25/08 : FR, Nantes / La Scène Michelet
02/09 : SW, Luzern / Treibhaus Luzern Festival
03/09 : FR, Reims / LE Dropkick BAR
15/09 : DE, Dresden / Chemiefabrik Dresden (Chemo)
16/09 : DE, Wurzburg / Immerhin Würzburg
20/09 : FR, Strasbourg / L’elastic Bar
21/09 : SW, Zurich / Ebrietas
22/09 : FR, Lyon / Bar des Capucins
23/09 : FR, Fumel / Pavillon Fumel
28/09 : DE, Mannheim / Kurzbar
29/09 : DE, Ulm / Hexenhaus Ulm
30/09 : DE, Munich / TBC
04/10 : RO, Cluj-Napoca / The Shelter
05/10 : RO, Bucharest / Quantic
06/10 : RO, Timisoara / DAOS club
07/10 : TBC
12/10 : TBC
13/10 : DE, Hannover / SubKultur – Hannover
14/10 : DK, Copenhagen / Spillestedet Stengade
18/10 : DE, Kiel / Die Pumpe
19/10 : DE, Ilmenau / Baracke 5 e.V.
20/10 : DE, Berlin / Setalight Festival 2017 in Berlin
21/10 : DE, Halle (Saale) / Rockpool eV
22/10 : BE, Ghent / Muziekcentrum Kinky Star

Dot Legacy is:
Damien Quintard – Lead Vocal, Bass
Arnaud Merckling – Guitar, Keyboard, Back Vocals
John Defontaine – Guitar, Back Vocals
Arthur Menard – Drums, Back Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/dotlegacy/
www.instagram.com/dotlegacy
http://www.dotlegacyband.com/
https://dotlegacy.bandcamp.com/album/to-the-others
https://www.facebook.com/setalightrecords/
www.setalight.com/
https://www.facebook.com/totalvolumebackline/

Dot Legacy, “Horizon” official video

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Alcest to Release 10th Anniversary Edition of Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde Sept. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

What else could you call Alcest‘s Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde but the right album at the right time? On some levels it seems like a quick 10 years since the French post-black metallers made their opening and defining statement with their first full-length, but when one considers the impact that record has had since, yeah, a decade sounds about right. Respected purveyor Prophecy Productions will give Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde its due with a deluxe reissue next month and the package looks suitably lush for the groundbreaking melodic wistfulness Neige and Winterhalter brought to bear the first time around. If ever there was an album suited to nostalgia…

The PR wire has the new cover art and details for the release:

alcest-souvenirs-dun-autre-monde

Alcest to Release Deluxe 10 Year Anniversary Editions of Debut Album, ‘Souvenirs d’un autre monde’

Released in 2007, Alcest’s debut album, Souvenirs d’un autre monde, marks the starting point of the French band’s extraordinary career. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this groundbreaking record, Prophecy Productions has unveiled plans to reissue Souvenirs d’un autre monde in two very special limited edition formats on September 22.

With the release of Souvenirs d’un autre monde (English: “Memories from another world”), Alcest mastermind Neige forged a luminous new sound that floats on the fringes of metal, yet incorporates emotions of euphoria, bliss and nostalgia. The album has become known as one of the fundamental releases of the Blackgaze / Post-Black Metal genre, and a record that continually influences countless other bands in its wake. The singer and multi-instrumentalist dedicated the album to his childhood memories of experiences in a spiritual otherworld; personal themes that would become conceptual cornerstones of subsequent Alcest albums.

Limited editions of Souvenirs d’un autre monde include:

1.) Anniversary book (CD edition, 18×18 cm, 48 pages):
Including:
– Alternate cover artwork by longtime Alcest photographer Andy Julia, originally used for the first LP pressing of the album!
– In-depth essay written by Neige. Chapters include: Back in 2007 | Genesis & concept | Recording | Musical influences | Retrospective
– Additional exclusive essays by Andy Julia (Soror Dolorosa) and Aaron Weaver (Wolves in the Throne Room)
– Lyrics with English translation
– Many rare and unpublished photos of Neige from the Souvenirs d’un autre monde era!

2.) Anniversary LP edition
Including:
– 180g vinyl (black)
– Gatefold cover featuring original LP cover artwork (Not used since the first pressings!)
– Din A2 poster with original LP cover artwork
– PVC protection sleeve

Both special editions of Souvenirs d’un autre monde will be released on September 22. Pre-order at THIS location.

Track listing:
1.) Printemps Émeraude (“Emerald Spring”)
2.) Souvenirs d’un autre monde (“Memories from another world”)
3.) Les Iris (“The Iris”)
4.) Ciel Errant (“Wandering Sky”)
5.) Sur l’autre rive je t’attendrai (“On the other shore I will wait for you”)
6.) Tir nan Og (Irish: “Land of the Young”)

Alcest features Neige (guitars, bass, synths and vocals) and Winterhalter (drums).

https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official
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https://twitter.com/Alcestofficial
https://www.alcest-music.com/
http://us.prophecy.de/index.php?stoken=68AF156F&lang=1&cl=search&searchparam=souvenirs
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
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Alcest, Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde (2007)

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Blaak Heat Premiere “Al-Andalus” from The Arabian Fuzz

Posted in audiObelisk on August 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blaak heat

As they make ready to embark on a European tour this week, Blaak Heat take nine minutes to massively expand their already significant aesthetic breadth by means of their upcoming single The Arabian Fuzz on Svart Records. Set for issue on Aug. 18 following an appearance at this weekend’s SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal but ahead of slots at Woolstock in the Netherlands and the Obelisk-co-presented Emerald Haze in Dublin on Sept. 1, the follow-up to the somewhat-nomadic and consistently-amorphous four-piece’s 2016 Tee Pee Records third album, Shifting Mirrors (review here), takes on more of a Middle Eastern flair than anything they’ve done before.

That’s not necessarily untrod ground for Blaak Heat, who since making their debut as Blaak Heat Shujaa with their 2010 self-titled (review here) and deep-diving into desert-hued psychedelia across the subsequent 2012 EP, The Storm Generation (review here), and 2013’s The Edge of an Era (review here) that followed have always had some of that minor-key meditative vibe. If accompanied at times by frenetically progressive rhythm-making, blinding turns and effects-laden explorations, this has been part of a modus of unrelenting willful sonic growth that has made Blaak Heat a standout among next-generation heavy psych outfits, and certainly The Arabian Fuzz continues that thread blaak heat the arabian fuzzas guitarist/vocalist Thomas Bellier, guitarist Nicolas Heller, bassist Guillame Theoden and drummer Michael Amster bring in Jordanian ethnomusicologist Fareed Al-Madain to contribute guest vocals on the leadoff track “Marr El Kallam” (posted here), which is accompanied by the instrumental “Al-Andalus,” premiering below.

As noted, both cuts work to build on Blaak Heat‘s prior output in atmosphere and approach, and while that’s invariably going to come through most strikingly in “Marr El Kallam,” what with the track being the band’s first in Arabic and all, one can hear it in the tension created throughout “Al-Andalus” as well, the winding path of Bellier‘s guitar taking cues from his oud and the percussion in “Marr El Kallam” to transpose such complexity onto a more Western-feeling traditional rock arrangement of guitar, bass and drums. Both songs run just over four and a half minutes long and they share the atmospheric impression born of the Middle Eastern influence, but as Blaak Heat have since their outset, they make this influence their own and build a context of coexistence that reaches a new level of individualism in the shimmer and crash of “Al-Andalus” that’s as furious as anything they’ve done before and all the richer for the A-side it complements.

By now, one wouldn’t hazard a guess as to where Blaak Heat might go on a given outing of any type, be it a single, EP, LP or something else. Their sound has simply become too open with its jazzy precision, we-can-really-make-this-move-when-we-want-to sonic heft and landscape-building psychedelia, but they’ve proven over the course of this decade time and again that their commitment to an ongoing sonic progression is no fluke, and the safest bet is that whatever they’re up to next, it will be a considerable step forward from where they were previously. That’s a hell of a track record to keep up, but as The Arabian Fuzz demonstrates once again, Blaak Heat are ready to follow their creative path to anywhere and everywhere it might lead them.

More info and tour dates follow “Al-Andalus” below. Please enjoy:

Blaak Heat, “Al-Andalus” official audio premiere

BLAAK HEAT returns with an oriental heavy psych manifesto, THE ARABIAN FUZZ! The band fur thers its signature East meets West grooves by blending intricate Spanish guitars, surf rock, and Middle Eastern psych.

With Jordanian ethno-musicologist Fareed Al-Madain on vocals, MARR EL KALLAM is an homage to 1960s underground Turkish and Persian psychedelic pop. The climactic line of the song, “The shit who owns a weapon will kill”, as performed in Arabic by a US-French-Jordanian-Greek-Canadian lineup, rings ominously true in 2017 America. Along with the traditional lineup of guitars/bass/drums, BLAAK HEAT mastermind Thomas Bellier plays acoustic oud, and percussionist Peter Valsamis rounds up the band on doumbek.

AL-ANDALUS is a heavy surf rock explosion, a mind-blowing exploration into reverb fuzz wilderness led by astounding musicianship. It’s retro, yet futuristic – dig it!

The songs were recorded in Los Angeles by Jason Schimmel (of Secret Chiefs 3) and produced/mixed/mastered by Bellier.

THE ARABIAN FUZZ comes out via Svart Records on August 18, 2017. You can pre-order it here.

We have a number of festival & club dates for August & September 2017 – Come party, more TBA !

Aug 12 Sonic Blast Moledo – Moledo (PT)
Aug 25 Woolstock Festival – Tilburg (NL)
Aug 27 Blaak Heat DJ Set @ Le Glass – Paris (FR)
Aug 30 The Black Heart – London (UK)
Sept 1 Emerald Haze Fest – Dublin (IRL)
Sept 2 Festival Arteficial – Ribadavia (ES)
Sept 3 Filho Sarilho – Alcobaça (PT)
Sept 4 Cine Incrivel – Lisbon (PT)
Sept 5 Cave 45 – Porto (PT)
Sept 6 Rock Beer The New – Santander (ES)
Sept 8 Bucéphale – Draguignan (FR)
Sept 9 Cheapstock Fest – Barcelona (ES)
Sept 10 Supersonic – Paris (FR)
Sept 11 Blaak Heat DJ set @ Pigalle Country Club – Paris (FR)

Blaak Heat on Thee Facebooks

Blaak Heat on Instagram

Blaak Heat on Twitter

Blaak Heat website

Svart Records webstore

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Blaak Heat Post “Marr El Kallam” Video; The Arabian Fuzz 7″ Preorder Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blaak heat photo jorge pereira

Transient heavy psych rockers Blaak Heat will release their new single, The Arabian Fuzz, Aug. 18 via Svart Records. It’s just two songs — one per side, of course — and they’re both only four and a half minutes long, but I feel like one would be hard-pressed to overstate just how far the release goes in expanding what was already the broad palette of Blaak Heat‘s sound. Now a four-piece led by founding guitarist/vocalist Thomas Bellier with Nicolas Heller on guitar, Guillame Theoden on bass and Michael Amster on drums, they follow last year’s Shifting Mirrors (review here) third full-length on Tee Pee Records by delving even further into the Middle Eastern influences that they’ve paired with desert rock tonality and groove since making their self-titled debut (review here) in 2010.

Simple truth of the matter is that from that point on, whether it was the EP The Storm Generation (review here) that marked their arrival on Tee Pee in 2012 or the subsequent blaak heat the arabian fuzz2013 long-player, The Edge of an Era (review here), Blaak Heat have never failed to engage in willful progression from release to release. Part of that has involved looking outside the band for guest contributions. On The Storm Generation, it was beat poet Ron Whitehead ranting away. On The Edge of an Era, Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson made a landmark of a guest spot on the memorable “Pelham Blue.” Shifting Mirrors got away from that in terms of performers — one could argue that the band’s working with producer Matt Hyde would invariably result in an outside perspective influence of a different kind — but The Arabian Fuzz brings them together with Jordanian ethnomusicologist Fareed Al-Madain, who contributes Arabic-language vocals to the A-side of the 7″ on a song called “Marr El Kallam.”

The video below translates at least some of the lyrics he’s singing, and a social theme permeates, but I’m not sure exactly what the title would be in English. Doesn’t matter, ultimately. What’s more important on both “Marr El Kallam” and its accompanying organ-laced instrumental B-side “Al-Andalus” is that Blaak Heat are continuing to push themselves into new sonic territory, and in just a span of nine minutes, they offer something to their listeners/viewers they’ve never done before in a fashion that’s as bold as it is mature as it is confident of its own approach. There are very few bands in the US or European heavy psychedelic underground willing to take such chances, let alone see those chances so thoroughly pay off.

Blaak Heat have a host of festival appearances coming up, including SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal next month and a stop at the inaugural Emerald Haze festival — co-presented by The Obelisk — the first weekend in September. Dates, complete performing lineup on “Marr El Kallam” and other info can be found under the video below.

Please enjoy:

Blaak Heat feat. Fareed Al-Madain, “Marr El Kallam” official video

Fareed Al-Madain – Vocals
Thomas Bellier – Oud, Guitars
Michael Amster – Drums
Guillaume Theoden – Bass
Nicolas Heller – Guitars
Peter Valsamis – Doumbek

Recorded at The Bunker LA (Los Angeles, CA)
Engineered by Jason Schimmel
Produced, mixed and mastered by Thomas Bellier

Cole Jenkins & Thomas Bihoré – Image
Mathieu Baillargeon – Videography & Editing
Produced by The Phantasma Company

THE ARABIAN FUZZ comes out via Svart Records on August 18, 2017. You can pre-order it here.

We have a number of festival & club dates for August & September 2017 – Come party, more TBA !

AUG 12 – Sonic Blast Moledo, Moledo (PT)
AUG 25 – Woolstock Festival, Tilburg (NL)
SEPT 1 – Emerald Haze Fest, Dublin (IRL)
SEPT 2 – Festival Arteficial, Ribadavia (ES)
SEPT 4 – Cine Incrivel, Lisbon (PT)
SEPT 8 – Bucéphale, Draguignan (FR)
SEPT 9 – Cheapstock Vol4, Barcelona (ES)
SEPT 10 – Supersonic, Paris (FR)

Blaak Heat on Thee Facebooks

Blaak Heat on Instagram

Blaak Heat on Twitter

Blaak Heat website

Svart Records webstore

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