Days of Rona: Ole C. Helstad of SÂVER

Posted in Features on April 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

saver ole c helstad

Days of Rona: Ole C. Helstad of SÂVER (Oslo, Norway)

Toronto resume writing service providing professional People That Do Your Assigments For Money from certified resume writers in the GTA. Toronto LinkedIn Profile Tips now available. How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

When this whole thing started, or when it started FOR REAL, SÂVER found ourselves in Budapest, Hungary. We were set to do a 17-show tour with Belzebong, and the first show was going down in Budapest. After eager discussions within our band and with our booking agency of whether to leave for tour in the first place or not, we decided to go for it as every promoter gave the green light Tuesday evening March 10th. But as soon as we landed in Krakow the following day, emails started coming in with the one cancellation after the other.

It was a feeling of hopelessness hard to describe. Anyway, we went to Budapest with our van and driver, still with decent hopes. While arriving there one day prior to the show, all countries surrounding Hungary started closing their borders.

We had this idea of us being flexible in a van, that it would be our security net, meaning if all things got cancelled we could at least go back to Oslo by van. But this changed to a nightmare situation by the hour, as our driver wouldn’t be able to enter his home country, and also being put in quarantine. So the night after the show in Budapest. (Yes, the show actually happened, but in a smaller rehearsal-like venue, since the original venue had to shut down by government demand), our driver had to leave us to be able to get back home himself. At this point all hope to continue the tour was lost obviously, and we had to gather money to be able to book flights home, with our small collection of tour supply counting 17 checked luggage by the three of us. Dark times. Thankfully friends and family came to the rescue, and we got a flight back home the following Saturday.

Safe and sound back home we pushed merch sales through our SoMe channels for some economic damage control, and people supported like never before. THANK YOU!

Luckily we also received some government funding from Music Norway to help out with all the costs involved with the cancellation of a tour like this. A lot of money down the drain.

We also got an invitation to do a live stream show from Kulturkirken JAKOB, the same church hosting Høstsabbat, where people were encouraged to donate. And they did. We are extremely thankful and humbled for all the support shown after the tour cancellation. We wouldn’t have been able to deal with this without it.

On top of this, Desertfest Berlin, where we were set to play also had to cancel. Another 10-day run we were supposed to do late May/early June around Europe has also been cancelled.

Not to mention the Norwegian Grammys, which were set to happen March 28th.

For KITE, our new album dropped March 27th, and it’s fair to say this whole situation withdraws attention from that kind of news of course. The planned release show in April also got cancelled.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a period of time as much as this spring, and all of a sudden it’s all shattered. Even Roadburn, JJ! We don’t get to meet at Roadburn either this year. Haha.

That all being said though, the covid-19 situation puts your everyday life in perspective. And even if it feels dramatic, and bums you out completely, it’s heartwarming to see the collective effort being laid down all over the world. When the shit hits the fan, people stand up for each other, and show love towards their neighbour. Health and safety always first. Follow the advice given at any time!

english a level essay help Louisiana Thesis Ghost Writer help writing a resume the inheritance in jane eyre What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

After we got back home from Hungary we had to be quarantined for 14 days. Everyone entering Norway from abroad applies to this rule. The same goes for people who’ve been in touch with or close to anyone infected by covid-19. If you test positive you have to be in isolation until seven days after you’re symptom-free.

Looking for a reliable cheap dissertation writing service? On our website, you can order the top-notch academic papers prepared by MA/Ph.D. experts How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Well, it’s had tremendous impact already, and not in a good way. This whole spring/summer seems cancelled all together when comes to bigger events. All venues in Norway are shut down completely since March 13th. Meaning they are in huge risk of losing their business and livelihood. Norway as a country needs to fund running costs for all venues, and grant funds to everyone who lost their business overnight.

It is very scary times for people in love with cultural activities.

As all bands are cancelling their tours for the coming months, I fear for a chaotic Fall, with smaller bands suffering from lack of venues to play, because the bigger bands all need to go out again to regain financial loss. On the other hand people are probably starved for live events, and I have a feeling the support given from fans when things go back to normal will be immense.

A good thing from the horrendous corona-situation might be people not taking everything for granted afterwards. In Oslo, we are seriously spoiled when comes to shows and events, and this period of everything shut down might remind people of what they love, and why they love it. AND, that it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

High quality custom essay phd thesis on obesitys for Australian and international students. Only qualified writers, reasonable prices and complete privacy guarantee. What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

For the time being my bandmates and I are alright. When this shitstorm passes, everyone needs to stand up for their interests. We need to support each other, and in particular local venues, promoters, bands, you name it. All people involved in especially the live music industry will need all the help they can possibly get.

Actually all small businesses will.

Be there for each other, and eventually make the world a better place for all.

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

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Belzebong and SÂVER Touring Together in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

belzebong

Saver (Photo by Mikkel Fykse Engelschion)

This is a combination of elements I’d expect to pay dividends for all involved parties except maybe the eardrums of those who happen to fall in the tour’s path. Polish stoner metallers  Professional michigan state application essay online service for your academic needs Money Back Guarantee 24/7 Support FREE Outlines Our professionals will help you to Belzebong and Norwegian trio Can you http://paraderoyunguilla.com/college-essays-how-to-write/? Yes, Our Best - rated experience writers are waiting to assistance you with your College Essay any time. SÂVER find common ground in elements of sludge, but what they do with it is vastly different. For dissertation articles Dissertation Consultation Services Illegal Search dissertation on evaluation of training homework help american government Belzebong it’s about that weed, those riffs, and your head, smoked-out and nodding. For domyessay info http://volnapodarkov.ru/?cheap-dissertation-writing-block paper about management buy and sell of palay business plan SÂVER, the issue is more complex. Their groove is present and accounted for, but they bring aggro post-metal and atmospheric reach to go along with their crushing, and thereby expand the mind as much as bludgeon the skull in which it resides.

But one way or another, you’re doomed. No mistake.

The shows are presented by Order the best Best Dissertation Editing Services online at RMEssays that offers timely, top-quality & affordable case study writing help and service free of Sound of Liberation, who greet 2020 in loud fashion. Also love the “slowly presents” on the poster below. Cleverness always gets bonus points from me:

belzebong saver tour

BELZEBONG & SÂVER – “SMOKE OR DIE“ 2020 TOUR!

From all of us at the Sound of Liberation HQ, wishes for a heavy new year and, well, a whole decade! We hope Santa Claus found you in time, cause in our case he came a bit late, hung out for a smoke and left, leaving us however with this AWESOME poster!

Ladies and gents, we sloooowly present this mighty doom metal package:

BELZEBONG + very special guest SÂVER on the “SMOKE OR DIE“ 2020 TOUR!

Fill your lungs for evil weedian riffage from Polish doom summoners BelzebonG and devastating low-end tunes from our Norwegian post-miracle SÂVER. Let yourself drown in the sea of fuzz on one of these dates:

11.03. Košice, Collosseum Club Košice (SK)
12.03. Budapest, Dürer Kert (HU)
13.03. TBA
14.03. Bucharest, Soundart Festival (RO)
15.03. Cluj-Napoca, Flying Circus Cluj (RO)
16.03. TBA
17.03. Vienna, ARENA WIEN (AT)
18.03. TBA
19.03. Hamburg, Hafenklang (DE)
20.03. Drachten, Poppodium Iduna (NL)
21.03. Cologne, Helios37 (DE)
22.03. Brussels, Magasin 4 (BE)
23.03. Paris, The Backstage Paris (FR)
24.03. TBA
25.03. Munich, Feierwerk (DE)
26.03. TBA
27.03. Leipzig, UT Connewitz (DE)
28.03. Cottbus, Zum Faulen August, Cottbus (DE)

Belzebong is:
Cheesy dude
Sheepy dude
Alky dude
Hexy dude
Boogey dude

SÂVER is:
Markus Støle
Ole Ulvik Rokseth
Ole C Helstad

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420/
https://www.instagram.com/belzebong420/
https://belzebong.bandcamp.com/

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

Belzebong, Light the Dankness (2018)

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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Rosetta to Release Terra Sola EP Feb. 14 on Pelagic Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

rosetta

Philly post-metallurgists  case study help science - Enjoy our astonishing discounts and treat that condition sooner. Secure payments and complete satisfaction when you purchase Rosetta self-issued their new three-songer EP,  Professional Speech Writers Prepare to the success of the writers production and your speech presentation. Phd Thesis In Hrs and Terra Sola, through their Bandcamp page, which is a pretty similar treatment to how they did their last full-length, which was 2017’s  check my term paper http://khaled-abed.com/?reading-homework write term papers for money 10 ideas for an essay Utopioid. Like that album, which was also followed by the experimentalist offering  DissertationHelp.ae is the most reliable and unique dissertation writing services in Dubai. Get GUARANTEED high grades With Organizational Commitment Phd Thesis UAE Company! Sower of Wind (review here) earlier this year,  Buy A College Application Essay http://www.nuotohydros.net/anyone-used-a-essay-writing-service/ College A. Hugh Gallagher won first prize World Best Essay Writers in the humor category of the 1990 Terra Sola will see subsequent release through that celebrator of that which is aggroprog,  Seeking for essay on christopher columbus? That's great! Check out the most reliable essay writing service EssayOnTime You can decide which writer will create Pelagic Records. Feb. 14 would seem to be the date in question, and since it’s been available name-your-price style since October, of course it’s available now to stream and download. I even put it at the bottom of this post in case you don’t want to leave the comforts of my decade-old blog theme.

I know that grey on black is like a warm blanket. It’s okay. It is for me too.

From the PR wire:

rosetta terra sola

ROSETTA: Philadelphia Based Post-Metal/Sludge Outfit To Release New EP “Terra Sola” Through PELAGIC RECORDS in February

On the heels of an incredible 2-year, 36 country, 200-show touring cycle supporting Utopioid, ROSETTA returns with new EP Terra Sola. Conceived on tour and breathing more freely outside the structure of a formal album, the title track layers a multitude of moods, its cinematic sweep hearkening back to ROSETTA deep cuts like “TMA-3” and “So Warm a Solitude”. At the same time, it explores new textures and new conceptual ground, connecting the human themes of Utopioid with questions about the future of the planet and our people on it.

Terra Sola also features two brand-new B-side tracks, connected in concept but showcasing the quieter sonic incarnation of Rosetta. “57844” mines the harmonic structures of Utopioid’s “54543” for new sounds and new meanings, while the instrumental “Where Is Hope” merges gentle acoustic guitar and lo-fi electronica, rare sounds in the ROSETTA catalog. Formed in Philadelphia in 2003 as a four-piece, ROSETTA’s first two albums pulled together elements from 90s hardcore, drone, doom, and atmospheric sludge metal. Informed as much by the minimal soundscapes of STARS OF THE LID as by the pulverizing weight of GODFLESH, the band’s compositions had a spaced-out, exploratory feel, appropriately dubbed “metal for astronauts.” 2010’s A Determinism of Morality moved on from celestial themes, focusing on increased melodic sophistication while honing a confrontational urgency.

In 2013, ROSETTA embraced their newfound independence with the self-funded, pay-as-you-wish album The Anaesthete, which marked their greatest success so far, recouping costs in 24 hours and remaining the top-selling release on Bandcamp for nearly a month. 2015’s Quintessential Ephemera, ROSETTA’s first effort as a five-piece, received widespread critical and audience acclaim. The band returned in 2017 with Utopioid, their sixth full-length album and most concept-driven work to date, an intersection of heaviness and beauty.

TRACKLIST:
Side A:
1. Terra Sola
Side B:
2. 57844
3. Where is Hope?

Rosetta lineup:
Mike Armine – vocals, sampling
Eric Jernigan – electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
B.J. McMurtrie – drums, vocals
Matt Weed – guitar, bass, piano

https://theanaesthete.bandcamp.com/
http://rosettaband.tumblr.com
http://www.facebook.com/rosettaband
http://www.pelagic-records.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords

Rosetta, Utopioid (2017)

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SÂVER Announce October European Tour Dates

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

Saver (Photo by Mikkel Fykse Engelschion)

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

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

They posted the dates as follows:

SÂVER tour

We are touring Europe in October!

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

See you on the road!

Thanx to Hartwien Stein for the killer poster.

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

SÂVER is:
Markus Støle
Ole Ulvik Rokseth
Ole C Helstad

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

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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The Shaking Sensations Premiere “Sightings” Video; How Are We to Fight the Blight? out Oct. 4

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the shaking sensations (Photo by Mark Schmidt Andersen)

Well what else were you going to possibly put in a video for an instrumental song called “Sightings?” Scenery! Obviously. Danish heavy post-rockers The Shaking Sensations will release their second album, How Are We to Fight the Blight?, on Oct. 4 through Pelagic Records, and with the issuance of the second single — that’s “Sightings,” in case you missed it — the doubly-drummed Copenhagen five-piece add to the weighted impression of initial-public-offering “Tremendous Efforts” with an evocative flourish of guitar, insistent rhythm and spacious atmospherics. There’s an energy to the performance of both tracks that, given the other sonic differences between them I’m just going to assume extends to the full album since I haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but that doesn’t come at the expense of an otherworldliness that comes through in the ethereal, overarching melodies of the guitar’s airy float.

The immediate curiosity, of course, is what blight we’re talking about, but given the fact that the cover art for How Are We to Fight the Blight? is a human being wrapped in plastic, one is at least somewhat led to think of environmental issuesthe shaking sensations how are we to fight the blight — though one could make an argument for any number of sociopolitcal themes, the rise of a Northern European right-wing nationalism among them, you’ll pardon me if I commit to this one at least on a basic level of making an interpretive guess — in which case, the “blight” in question is also the “we” in question. It may be that the record is about something else entirely, or not any one thing at all, but between the striking imagery and the contemplative feel that “Sightings” brings to the fore in terms of sound while the video seems to contrast natural and human-made landscapes before turning to sheer light as the song hits its tonal-wash payoff, there is a sense of the interaction between person and place that comes through just the same, and it’s no stretch to hear a wistfulness in the guitar work of “Sightings,” the very echo of which seems to encapsulate a feeling of something lost and remembered. Or maybe I’ve been reading too many climate reports. Never thought I’d miss bees until the ecosystem started collapsing.

Whoops.

Whether or not How Are We to Fight the Blight? is taking on these ideas directly, consider the fact that “Sightings” invites such interpreting as a sign of its overall depth and its engagement on more than just a basic “song you put on for background” listening experience. There are some flashing lights toward the end of the clip, but nothing too severe — no strobe — so you should be fine if you have such sensitivities. I’ve included the preorder links for the album below as well as some more PR wire info, should you want to dive into more background.

Please enjoy:

The Shaking Sensations, “Sightings” official video premiere

Order here:

Europe: http://bit.ly/tssEUROPE
N. America: http://bit.ly/tssNA
Australia: http://bit.ly/tssAUSTRALIA

Digital: https://orcd.co/tssdgtl
Physical: http://smarturl.it/tssHAWTFTBshop

Copenhagen-based instrumental post-rock powerhouse THE SHAKING SENSATIONS unleashes second new track from the upcoming album ‘How Are We to Fight The Blight?’

While the month of June saw a new and unorthodox, fresh approach to the genre with the release of the towering 1st single, Tremendous Efforts, Sightings encapsulates the well know virtues and showcases a band still more than capable of unfolding a world of lush, dreamy loud and majestic post-rock.

Sightings is taken from How Are We To Fight The Blight? Out on October 4th on Pelagic Records.

The Shaking Sensations on Thee Facebooks

The Shaking Sensations on Instagram

The Shaking Sensations on Bandcamp

Pelagic Records on Thee Facebooks

Pelagic Records website

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Quarterly Review: JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Rosetta, Pendejo, Lightsabres, Witch Hazel, CBBJ, Seedium, Vorrh, Lost Relics, Deadly Sin (Sloth)

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

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Five. What would traditionally be the end of the Quarterly Review if going to six wasn’t the new going to 11. Whatever, I can hack it. The amount of good stuff included in these batches really helps. I’m not saying there are days that are a flat-out bummer, but I feel like the proportion of times in this Quarterly Review I’ve gone, “Wow, this is pretty awesome,” has seen a definite spike this time around. I won’t complain about that. Makes the whole thing fun.

Today will be no exception, and then we finish up on Monday with the last 10. Thanks for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Live at Roadburn 2018

joy feat dr space live at roadburn 2018

Brought together as part of the ‘San Diego Takeover’ at Roadburn 2018 that featured a host of that city’s acts performing in an even broader host of contexts, JOY and Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective took the stage at the tiny Cul de Sac near the very end of the festival. It was how I closed out my Roadburn (review here). Dr. Space did a short spoken introduction and then they were off and they didn’t look back. The centerpiece of the limited LP is an extended jam simply titled “Jam.” It’s edited on the platter, but the digital version has the full 54 minutes, and the more the merrier. They round out with takes on Road‘s “Spaceship Earth” and JOY‘s “Miles Away,” and those are cool too, but the real highlight is about halfway through the longer “Jam” when the drums kick into the next gear and you suddenly snap out of your trance to realize how far you’ve already come. And you’re still only at the midpoint. I don’t know. Maybe you had to be there. So be there.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

JOY on Thee Facebooks

JOY Feat. Dr. Space at Øresund Space Collective Bandcamp

 

Rosetta, Sower of Wind

rosetta sower of wind

Philadelphia-based post-whatever-you-got outfit Rosetta continue to set their own terms with Sower of Wind, a self-recorded four-track/half-hour offering that’s something of an outgrowth of their most recent album, Utopioid. Broken into four tracks each assembled from ideas and layers churning throughout the four sections of that record, it brings out the ambient side of the band as guitarist/keyboardist/bassist Matt Weed serves as engineer for “East,” “South,” “West” and “North” as he, guitarist/keyboardist Eric Jernigan and vocalist Mike Armine — who here just adds samples and noise — construct fluid soundscapes that can either build to a head, as on “East” or offer a sense of foreboding like “West” and “North,” depending solely on the band’s will. It’s intended as an exploration, and it sounds like one, but if that wasn’t the point, Sower of Wind probably wouldn’t have been released in the first place. It’s not at all their first ambient release, but this modus continues to be viable for them creatively.

Rosetta on Thee Facebooks

Pelagic Records webstore

 

¡Pendejo!, Sin Vergüenza

pendejo sin verguenza

Whatever your current working definition might be for “over the top,” chances are Pendejo — also stylized as the exclamatory ¡Pendejo! — will make short work of it. Sin Vergüenza, their third long-player, sees release through their own Chancho Records imprint, and it’s not through opener “Don Gernàn” before the Amsterdam-based outfit break out the horns. Fronted by El Pastuso, who supplies the trumpet, the band roll through dense toned heavy rock in a crisply-executed, high-energy 10 tracks and 40 minutes that, even when you think they’re letting up, on the later “El Espejo,” they still manage to burst out a massive riff and groove in the second half. It’s the kind of record that’s breathtaking in the sense of you’re trying to run to keep up with its energy. That, however, should not be seen as undercutting the value of the band’s songwriting, which comes through regardless of language, and whether it’s the start-stops of “La Mala de la Tele” or the gleeful weirdo push of “Bulla,” Pendejo have their sonic terrain well staked out and know how to own it. They sound like a band who destroy live.

Pendejo on Thee Facebooks

Pendejo webstore

 

Lightsabres, A Shortcut to Insanity

LIGHTSABRES A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY

It’s rare for an artist to grow less predictable over time, but Lightsabres mastermind and multi-instrumentalist John Strömshed hits that standard with his former one-man outfit. Joined by session drummer Anton Nyström, Strömshed brings forth 11 tracks of genre-bending songcraft, melding fuzz and progressive folk, downer rock and thoughtful psych, garage push with punker edge, and seemingly whatever else seems to serve the best interests of the song at hand. On “Born Screaming,” that’s a turn to classical guitar plucking sandwiched on either side by massive riffs and vocals, like that of “Tangled in Barbed Wire,” remind of a fuzz-accompanied take on Life of Agony. At just 36 minutes, A Shortcut to Insanity isn’t long by any means, but it’s not an easy album to keep up with either, as Strömshed seems to dare his listenership to hold pace with his shifts through “Cave In,” rolling opener and longest track (immediate points) “From the Demon’s Mouth” and the sweetly melodic finale “Dying on the Couch,” which is perhaps cruelest of all for leaving the listener waiting for the other shoe to drop and letting that tension hang when it’s done.

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

Witch Hazel, Otherworldly

Witch Hazel Otherworldly

Classic-style doom rockers Witch Hazel shift back and forth between early metal and heavy rock on their second full-length, Otherworldly, and the York, Pennsylvania, four-piece of vocalist Nate Tyson, guitarist Andy Craven, bassist Seibert Lowe and drummer Nicholas Zinn keep plenty of company in so doing, enlisting guest performances of organ and other keys throughout opener “Ghost & the Fly” and “Midnight Mist” and finding room for an entire horn section as they round out 11-minute closer “Devastator.” Elsewhere, “Meat for the Beast” and “Drinking for a Living” marry original-era heavy prog with more weighted impact, and “Zombie Flower Bloom” plays out like what might’ve happened if mid-’80s Ozzy had somehow invented stoner rock. So, you know, pretty awesome. The strut and shuffle of “Bled Dry” adds a bit of attitude late, but it’s really in cuts like the title-track and the aforementioned “Midnight Mist” earlier on that Witch Hazel showcase their formidable persona as a group.

Witch Hazel on Thee Facebooks

Witch Hazel on Bandcamp

 

CBBJ, 2018 Demo

CBBJ 2018 Demo

To a certain extent, what you see is what you get with CBBJ‘s 2018 Demo, right down to the wood paneling on the cover art. The band’s name — also written as CB/BJ — would seem to be taken from its members, Cox (that being Bryan Cox, founding drummer of Alabama Thunderpussy), Ball, Bone, and Jarvis, and as they look toward a Southern Thin Lizzy on demo finale “The Point of it All,” there’s something of a realization in what they’re putting together. It’s four tracks total, and finds some thrust in “Wreck You,” but keeps it wits there as well as in the sleazier nod of “The Climb” that precedes it as the opener and even in the penultimate “Can’t Go Home,” which gives booziest, earliest AC/DC a treatment of righteous bass. They’re apparently in the studio again now, or they just were, or will, or won’t, or up, or down, but whatever. Point is it’ll be worth keeping an ear out for when whatever comes next lands.

CBBJ on Thee Facebooks

CBBJ on Bandcamp

 

Seedium, Awake

seedium awake

Go on and get lost in the depths of Seedium‘s debut three-songer, Awake. The Polish outfit might be taking some cues as regards thickness from their countrymen in Dopelord or Spaceslug, but their instrumental tack on “Mist Haulers,” “Brain Eclipse” and “Ruina Cordis” oozes out of the speakers with right-on viscosity and comes across as infinitely stoned. The centerpiece tops 11 minutes and seems to indicate very little reason they couldn’t have pushed it another 10 had they so desired, and through “Ruina Cordis” is shorter at a paltry 7:08, its blasted sensibility and ending blend of spaciousness and swirl portends good things to come. With the murky first impression of “Mist Haulers” calling like a prayer bell to the riff-worshiping converted, Seedium very clearly know what they’re going for, and what remains to be seen is how their character and individual spin on that develops going forward. Still, for its tones alone, this first offering is a stunner.

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Vorrh, Nomads of the Infinite Wild

vorrh nomads of the infinite wild

Programmed drumming gives Nomads of the Infinite Wild, the debut release from the Baltimore duo of Zinoosh Farbod and John Glennon an edge of dub, but the guitar work of songs like “Mercurial,” looped back on itself with leads layered overtop and Farbod‘s echoing vocals, remains broad, and the expansive of atmosphere puts them in a kind of meditative post-doom feel. Opener “Myths” strikes as a statement of purpose, and as “Morning Star” shows some Earth influence in the spaces left by Glennon‘s guitar, the band immediately uses that nuance to craft an individual identity. “Flood Plane” saunters through its instrumental trance before getting noisy briefly at the finish, only to let “These Eyes” work more effectively through a similar structure with Farbod on keys, seeming to set up the piano-foundation of “Ancient Divide,” which closes. This is a band who will benefit greatly from the fact that they record themselves, because they’ll have every opportunity to continue to experiment in the studio, which is exactly what they should be doing. In the meantime, Nomads of the Infinite Wild effectively heralds their potential for aesthetic innovation.

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Lost Relics, 1st

lost relics 1st

Well, they didn’t call it 1st because it’s their eighth album. Denver noise rock trio Lost Relics debut with the aptly-titled 18-minute four-songer, bringing Neurosis-style vocal gutturalism to riffy crunch more reminiscent at times of Helmet‘s discordant heyday. Dense tonality and aggression pervade “Dead Men Don’t Need Silver,” “Scars,” the gets-raucous-later “Whip Rag” and closer “Face Grass,” which somehow brings a Clutch influence into this mix, and even more somehow makes it work, and then even more somehow indulges a bit of punk rock. The vocals and sense of tonal lumber tie it all together, but Lost Relics set a pretty wide base for themselves in these tracks, leaving one to wonder how the various elements at work might play out over the course of a longer release. As far as a debut EP goes, then, that’s the whole point of the thing, but something seems to be saying Lost Relics have more tricks up their sleeve than they’re showing here. One looks forward to finding out if that’s the case.

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Deadly Sin (Sloth), VII: Sin Seven

deadly sin sloth vii sin seven

Deadly Sin (Sloth) play the kind of sludge that knows how well and truly fucked we are. The kind of sludge that doesn’t care who’s president because either way the chicken dinner you’re cooking is packed full of hormones. The kind of sludge that well earns its Scott Stearns tape artwork. VII: Sin Seven is not at all void of melody or purpose, as “Ripping Your Flesh” and the Danziggy “Glory Bound Grave” grimly demonstrate, but even in those moments, its intent is abrasion, and even the slower march of “Icarus” seems to scathe as much as the raw gutterpunk in “F One” and opener “Exit Ramp”‘s harshest screams. Not easy listening. Not for everybody. Not really for people. It’s a malevolent bludgeoning that even in the revivalism of “Blood Bought Church” seems only to be biding its time until the next strike. It does not wait all that long.

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Review & Video Premiere: SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saver they came with sunlight

[Click play above to play ‘Dissolve to Ashes’ from SÂVER’s debut album, They Came with Sunlight. Album is out March 8 on Pelagic Records.]

They Came with Sunlight isn’t just the first full-length from Oslo three-piece SÂVER, it’s their first offering of any kind as a band. Released through Pelagic Records, it runs a punishing and atmospheric 51 minutes through six tracks of extreme and densely atmospheric sludge that, despite being so dig into the dirt, nonetheless maintains a progressive spirit in both composition and presentation. That SÂVER would know what they’re doing shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise, though, as the members are all pretty well familiar with each other. Markus Støle (drums) and Ole C. Helstad (bass) shared tenure in the also-crushing Tombstones before Støle and guitarist/vocalist Ole Ulvik Rokseth put out an album as the duo Hymn in 2017. As SÂVER brings together all three parties, the new group unquestionably benefits from that familiarity. In nuanced moments like the far-back shouts that offset the chugging central riff of lead single “I, Vanish,” or the maddening tension cast as “How They Envisioned Life” crosses its halfway point, they demonstrate a clearheadedness to their approach and a dynamic that’s new in this form but well established sounding.

They put it to use, primarily, to punish everyone and everything in their path. With opener “Distant Path” (11:03) and closer “Altered Light” (12:34) bookending They Came with Sunlight as its two longest inclusions and the first of them exploding to life after more than 90 seconds of quiet tension-building, SÂVER quickly put the challenge to the listener. Rokseth‘s vocals enter over massively weighted tonality like Neurosis at their most belligerent, and the intensity is striking particularly in the context of the band having just spent over a minute and a half with quiet amp noise setting up the suckerpunch of that first jolt. Patience and intensity, working together toward an end of extreme atmospheric purpose. It is brutal, and gorgeous as well, as “Distant Path” hits its late slowdown in excruciating feedback and lumber, devolving to noise as “I, Vanish” immediately jolts into its prog-metal-style chug.

Rest assured, I don’t mean gorgeous like floaty post-rock guitars or warm low end. SÂVER‘s craft is no less greyscale and freezing than their promo photo, but there’s a beauty to that as well, and “I, Vanish” reminds of the hard edges and distinct angles of brutalist architecture once brought to bear sonically by Meshuggah, though the three-piece never lose their central groove on “I, Vanish” or elsewhere in the name of rhythmic experimentation. Still, that mechanized churning finds its footing in the seven-minute track and is joined by an overwhelming push of screams and crashing drums, a version of noise methodical but still feeling chaotic before it drops to the drums and bass in the midsection in order, presumably, to catch its breath before the next assault. When that comes, it’s shouts that lead the way back into the central riff, which in turn gives way to mountainous low end and crash and screams at the finish, a full assault of volume through which the guitar is still able to cut with a lead line that seems to pull up just as everything else ends.

Saver (Photo by Mikkel Fykse Engelschion)

Since the first half of the tracklist runs from longest song to shortest and the second half from shortest to longest, one might call it a ‘U’ shape, but the linear motion of the 5:55 “Influx” is pivotal anyway. Essentially a soundscape, it gradually builds from an initial drone to crashes that are a whole different shape of punishment, essentially leaving the listener waiting for a payoff that, given the runtime, it’s obvious isn’t coming. That’s a play, of course, but even the fact that SÂVER would be bold enough to use six minutes of atmospherics for such a purpose speaks to the intent at work behind They Came with Sunlight. When the second half of the album opens with “How they Envisioned Life,” it does so at their slowest pace yet, and the crawl only makes their sound that much more malevolent. There’s a chug-and-hold modus at work, but it doesn’t matter, because by the time they’re past halfway through, the level of violence is so high whatever they’re doing it’s all directed toward that end. With “Dissolve to Ashes” and “Altered Light” still to come, I won’t call it an apex for the album, but just before “How They Envisioned Life” hits its sixth minute, there’s a kind of last shove before it starts to fracture en route to the slowdown that ends it, and it so clearly conveys the idea of total human exertion — that moment when a person has pushed out their last breath and has to double-over from the effort — that it’s hard to think of it in any other way.

Accordingly, “Dissolve to Ashes” couldn’t possibly be better timed. With a line of effects/keys/something woven through, the penultimate inclusion starts relatively mellow and stays that way for some time, delivering the album’s title line as its opening lyric in the first non-harsh vocals of the outing. There’s madness to come, rest assured, and it is all the more a cacophony for that quiet moment preceding — the power of contrast — but even that later barrage is indicative of the control SÂVER exert over their material and the willful nature of their conjuring. With just “Altered Light” as the finale and longest track, They Came with Sunlight ends on perhaps its most ambitious note and after quiet/loud trades, it is once more the tension that seems to be at the core of what they’re doing. After a long stretch of bass and drums at the outset, the guitar picks up to lead the way into the first heavier section, with screams cutting through as the song passes its halfway point, and there’s a receding after seven minutes in as SÂVER regroup for the last movement.

There’s a surge of volume, sure enough, but it’s restrained compared to some of the others throughout, and instead, at about 10 minutes in, the three-piece introduce a winding chug that will carry them out. They top it with shouts and screams, but it’s the tension that ultimately holds sway, not a payoff, and they end cold, as if the dead silence after was no less an element at their disposal than the guitar, bass and drums. As I’ve been writing this review, I’ve had to go back and check how many times I’ve used the word “excruciating” for the level of cruelty with which SÂVER execute their grim, concrete vision, but it’s worth emphasizing that They Came with Sunlight offers more than just noise or aggression for their own sake. There is a conscious underpinning at work and as these three players take on this new progression, even at its beginning stages, the potential is writ large across the devastated landscape they convey.

SÂVER, “I, Vanish” official video

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Labirinto Premiere Divino Afflante Spiritu in Full; Out Tomorrow on Pelagic Records

Posted in audiObelisk on February 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

labrinto

This one happened pretty suddenly. Yesterday afternoon I got a note asking if I wanted to do a last-minute stream for Labirinto‘s third long-player, Divino Afflante Spiritu, which is out tomorrow on Pelagic Records. I took a couple minutes to skim through and knew quickly that, yes, it was the kind of thing I wanted to be involved in, but my usual I’m-gonna-play-the-record-a-bunch-of-times-before-I-write-about-it-thing? Yeah, not so much. Way more of a first impression here, and all the more because Divino Afflante Spiritu is my first exposure to the São Paulo-based mostly-instrumental six-piece. Their sound draws from modern progressive chug-ism and crunch tones blending with airy effects on a cut like “Eleh Ha Devarim” or the later and flowing “Asherdu,” but there’s a post-metallic bent there as well, as can be heard in the “Stones from the Sky”-moment transfigured into second track “Penitência” and in some of the general atmosphere of urgency throughout, keyboards and three guitars intertwining for a sound that is full when it wants to be and spacious nonetheless, culminating its seven-track/35-minute run in the seven-minute title-track, which is marked by graceful surges of volume and a distinctive heavier post-rocking feel. It is an ambience of color, but on a dark background, and its depths of mix are significant, even as the weight of its low end does precious little to keep the guitars from soaring when they choose to.

labrinto divino afflante spirituEach side features some measure of vocals, whether that’s opener “Agnus Dei” with the ensuring screams of guest singer Elaine Campos (Abuso Sonoro and others) or the later ethereal interlude “Vigilia” that follows the centerpiece “Demiurge,” and though there’s a certain expectation set up by that appearance at the outset, the prevailing vibe lacks nothing for atmosphere as guitarists Kiko Bueno, Erick Cruxen and Luis Naressi (the latter also synth), percussionist Lucas Melo, drummer Muriel Curi and bassist Hristos Eleutério conjure an alternately crushing and expansive feel. It’s a complex outing that bridges earthbound and otherworldly elements, and very clearly feels no need to commit to one side or the other of that equation, if it sees a difference between them at all. Progressive in their construction, Labirinto‘s songs nonetheless flow together to convey a singular idea through diverse means. I’ll admit this is a first impression, but it’s a positive one.

And when it comes right down to it, I like sharing good music. If there’s a chance this is gonna make someone’s hard day better, then hell yes, I’m on board. I don’t usually do things so last-minute, but every now and again you need to be flexible.

I’ve included the full text of the PR wire info below, so you can have more background on the recording and the fascinating remote-production process by which Divino Afflante Spiritu came about.

That, of course, follows the full stream of the album, which you’ll find below. It’s out tomorrow on Pelagic.

Please enjoy:

Labirinto, Divino Afflante Spiritu full album premiere

São Paulo’s LABIRINTO are not the spearheads of a vivid local scene, but to stay within the realms of post-rock metaphory, more of an isolated island within a vast ocean of nothingness. There is not much contemporary instrumental heavy music anywhere in South America. There are hardly any record labels and international bands seldomly make it over on tour. All the more surprising that this island of LABIRINTO has been releasing records for 13 years already.

Divino Afflante Spiritu is already the band’s 10th release, but only the 3rd full-length album. The band’s back catalogue is made up of a number of EPs and splits (with THISQUIETARMY among others), a detail which showcases the band’s strong roots in the DIY scene. Guitarist Erick Cruxen and drummer Muriel Curi, a long-married couple, have learned how take control of every aspect of the band’s universe themselves: from running their own record label to booking their own tours to running their own recording studio, the internationally renowned Dissenso Studios in São Paulo.

The band flew in Billy Anderson for the prodcution of previous album „Gehenna“.This time, Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg was hired, but the entire production happened via the internet, exemplary for this time we live in, without Magnus ever setting foot on Brazilian soil. „Since the pre-production phase, Muriel kept in touch with Magnus“, Cruxen comments. „We talked a lot to him about our plans and ideas for the tracking sessions. He did an online support video session during the recording sessions, and we were aligning ideas for technical decisions. He was monitoring the whole recording process, basically. At the end, we sent him the audio files and he mixed and mastered the album at his own Redmount Studios in Stockholm.“

The result is an album of dense and menacing atmospherics, textural drones carefully layered over and blended into the heavy guitar riffs’s shimmering, beautiful distortion-scapes – and for the first time ever, vocals make their debut on a LABIRINTO album, on opening track „Agnus Dei“. „We invited Elaine Campos, she’s been singing in Brazilian punk and crust bands for over 20 years“, comments Curi. „It’s a huge pleasure for us to have such a veteran from the punk scene, a feminist and anarchist, guest on the track.“

It’s clear from the first synth drones inaugurating the opening track that doom lurks on the horizon, that „Divino Afflante Spiritu“ is not going to be a soundtrack to a tropical paradise – it’s a dark, cold record. „This album has a great emotional weight,” explains Cruxen. „It flourished during a very difficult phase in which we lost a very dear entity. It was a whirlwind of emotions that are materialized whenever we play the songs. This album, more than anything, represents for us loss and suffering, but also, passion and friendship.“

LINE UP: Hristos Eleutério – bass, Lucas Melo – percussion, Kiko Bueno – guitar, Luis Naressi – guitar, synths, Erick Cruxen – guitar, Muriel Curi – drums

TRACK LISTING:
01. Agnus Dei
02. Penitência
03. Eleh Ha Devarim
04. Demiurge
05. Vigília
06. Asherdu
07. Divino Afflante Spiritu

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