Völur Announce Ancestors LP out June 2; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

volur

Toronto-based rune-doomers Völur are gearing up to release their second album, Ancestors, June 2 on Prophecy Productions. To herald its coming, the band has unveiled the 10-minute second track “Breaker of Skulls,” which as you can see below is one of the four included cuts, all of which features a “Breaker” of some kind or other.

Symmetry of presentation would seem to be something of a running theme for the band, which features Blood Ceremony‘s Lucas Gadke, as “Breaker of Skulls” and “Breaker of Oaths” — which also tops 10 minutes — are bookended by “Breaker of Silence” and “Breaker of Famine,” both of which are even longer at over 15 minutes. I haven’t had the chance to dig into the full record yet, but I’m guessing from what I’m hearing in “Breaker of Skulls” below that it’s doomed as hell, and yeah, I’ll take that.

Art, info and audio follow here, all courtesy of the PR wire:

volur ancestors

VÖLUR to Release New LP, ‘Ancestors’, June 2; Band Debuts New Song “Breaker of Skulls”

Toronto-based experimental doom trio VÖLUR will release its sophomore album, Ancestors, on June 2 via Prophecy Productions. Produced by the band and mixed by Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene), Ancestors is the follow-up to VÖLUR’s celebrated debut, Disir.

“‘Breaker of Skulls’ is a dark, sludgy slab of doom inspired by the ancient Icelandic warrior poet Egil Skallagrímsson, a man who fought terrible battles across the North Sea,” comments the band. “He was at once barbarous and poetic. A man who would commit a brutal act of violence and then recite a beautiful poem immediately after. The song was inspired by his epic poem, ‘The Loss of My Sons’. It moves from a combative, gnarly sludge riff to a bittersweet and almost beautiful conclusion, all the while filled with yearning chromatic movement. The piece finds the band at its most aggressive, and almost its most experiment with disjointed improvised passages paired against bleak heavy doom.”

Just as the band’s debut, Disir, dealt with themes surrounding female figures from mythology, Ancestors focuses on the heroine’s male counterparts and is the second part of a planned four album series spotlighting various elements of the old Germanic spiritual world. VÖLUR’s songs are long, quasi-narrative pieces that feature Laura C. Bates’ violin assuming the role traditionally executed by a guitar, allowing the bass playing of Lucas Gadke (also of Blood Ceremony) to take on unique responsibilities in both lead and melodic roles while drummer Jimmy Payment (Do Make Say Think) feeds the band’s bombastic, crushing oomph. Doom music (not necessarily metal) is about slow contemplation and the transfixing power of heaviness and VÖLUR’s weighty riffs, layers of feedback, dynamic, angular melodies and moments of beauty give heed to the band’s promise to always seek newer modes of musical expression and discovery.

Moving between high-tension heaviness and beautiful pastoral moods, VÖLUR aims to reflect the world of primordial nature inspired by ancient myths and chilling poems of death and heroism. Ancestors shares the stories and sagas of great men from the past that have been shrouded by the obscurity of time while simultaneously spotlighting one of North America’s most ambitious and striving young acts.

Track listing:
1.) Breaker of Silence
2.) Breaker of Skulls
3.) Breaker of Oaths
4.) Breaker of Famine

https://www.facebook.com/VolurDoom/
https://twitter.com/VolurDoom
https://www.instagram.com/volurdoom/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/voelur/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/

Völur, “Breaker of Skulls”

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Prophecy Fest 2017 Lineup Finalized: Sólstafir, Arcturus, Dool, Hypnopazuzu and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Haven’t you ever wanted to go to a festival in a German cave? Fucking of course you have. Don’t even pretend otherwise. And somehow, given the vast sonic swath it covers, from the post-everything metal of Arcturus to the Eastern European folk of The Moon and the Nightspirit to the goth-infused heavy rock of Dool — all of which operates under the banner of Prophecy Productions, it has to be noted — the lineup for Prophecy Fest 2017 couldn’t be more appropriate. The fest is set for July 28 and 29 at Balver Höhle in Balve, Germany.

Yes. It’s really a cave. Yes, you can go there and see cave stuff. There will also be a lineup of bands that emphasizes the unique (not a word I use often) breadth of Prophecy Productions, and that only makes it more special as an event. I don’t know how many fests you go to in the average year — 10? 15? — but I try and hit a few. I’ve never been to one in a cave. I’m ashamed to admit it.

Lineup rules, location rules. Concept rules. I can feel the vibe from here already.

From the PR wire:

prophecy fest 2017

Prophecy Fest 2017 – 28th & 29th July 2017 – Balver Höhle/Germany

Prophecy Fest takes place in a natural cave from Old Stone Age – Balver Höhle. According to Germanic Saga, the blacksmith Wieland had his workshop in the cave. Balve, Germany, is situated between Dortmund, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hannover.

After the amazing work Austrian graphic designer Irrwisch did made for Lotus Thief’s “Gramarye”, he was our choice for the art director function at Prophcy Fest 2017. We are delighted to have him on board and can’t wait for his exhibition in the cave of Balve!

Sun Of The Sleepless, the black metal/experimental side project of Schwadorf (Empyrium, The Vision Bleak), will play its second show ever at Prophecy Fest 2017! As a side note, the first concert was at the first small Prophecy label festival in 1999. Dornenreich will grace us with a special history acoustic concert at Prophecy Fest 2017! The set list will contain songs from all their albums as well as the “Mein Flügelschlag” demo tape. The Vision Bleak will perform with the Shadow Philharmonics for the first time since 2006 again.

We are proud to have Schwadorf and Konstanz back at Prophecy Fest 2017 for a special performance with a classical ensemble of strings, percussion and vocals! We are proud to add DOOL, one of our most exciting signings in recent years, to the billing of Prophecy Fest 2017. Ryanne van Dorst and her pack will prepare a special set with five additional musicians and singers exclusively for this event! The Moon and the Nightspirit will play a one-time show at Prophecy Fest! Their line-up will be extended by a pianist/harpist and a flutist and their set will include songs never played before.

Hypnopazuzu, the new band of David Tibet (Current 93) and Youth (Killing Joke), give their very first concert in Germany! Lotus Thief will be in Europe for the first time and we let them set ancient words to song in the cave of Balve. Hexvessel will prepare an extended performance for us with implemented acoustic set. Arcturus, the epitome of avant-garde metal, will perform at Prophecy Fest. Soror Dolorosa will perform “Severance” in its entirety for the first time. Additionally, they will present their new album “Apollo”.

Glerakur surprised us and blew us away with their performance at Prophecy Fest 2016. It was an easy decision for us to invite them again. Sólstafir will illuminate the cave of Balve! NOÊTA will play their first concert outside Scandinavia at this year’s Prophecy Fest! Spiritual Front will play a special “Armageddon Gigolo” set for Prophecy Fest 2017! Nhor world premiere performance at this year’s Prophecy Fest!

Unlike other festivals, we will not start with the most “unknown” artist and end with the “headliners”.

To us, they are all headliners and were chosen because we expect an amazing performance from them.

Therefore, all artists will receive the playing time they need for their performance, and the running order will reflect what we consider the optimum in terms of dramaturgy and suspension.

http://en.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest/
http://live.weltnetz.lu/en/titel/prophecy-fest-28-07-29-07-2017-balve/

Les Discrets, Live at Prophecy Fest 2016

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Dool Announce ‘Summer of the She-Goat’ July Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dool Nona-Limmen-Photography

When it comes to aesthetics, Rotterdam-based Dool don’t seem to do anything half-assed. Their debut album, Here Now There Then (review here), came out on Prophecy Productions in February, and while that simple statement should be enough of an endorsement of its accomplishments, I’ll note as well that its progressive darkness continues to resonate as does its sense of craft. The five-piece recently announced they’ve swapped out bass players, bringing in JB Van Der Wal to replace Job van de Zande, who has reportedly departed the group to embark on a life of cooking — like the old cliche goes: “all rockers secretly want to be celebrity chefs” (wait. what?) — and they even more recently announced a swath of tour dates for July they’ve given the righteous title ‘Summer of the She-Goat.’

Which brings me back around to the original point at the outset about not half-assing it. If you’re gonna name a tour, do it right. Clearly Dool have that down. Likewise the poster for said tour, which looks incredible and which you’ll find below, along with the dates, announcement welcoming Van Der Wal and album stream, because I too like to be thorough:

dool summer of the she goat tour

DOOL – Summer of the She-Goat Tour 2017

Emerge like clustered fungus, let bloom the blood red rose.

It is with pride that we can hereby announce our ‘Summer Of The She Goat’ tour in July this year.

Come break the shackles that bind you, and let us piss upon the world!

All Those Who Wander Are DOOL.

DOOL Dates:
July 15 Zwarte Cross – Lichtenvoorde NL
July 16 Werfpop Leiden – Leiden NL
July 18 The TUBE – Düsseldorf DE
July 19 Maze – Berlin DE
July 20 Markthalle-Hamburg (Marx) – Hamburg DE
July 21 Bastard Club Osnabrück – Osnabruck DE
July 22 Schlachthof Wiesbaden – Wiesbaden DE
July 24 Metaldays 2017 – Tolmin SL
July 25 DasBACH – Vienna AT
July 26 Rockhouse Salzburg – Salzburg AT
July 27 F-Haus Jena – Jena DE
July 28 Rock im Wald 2017 (.rcn präsentiert) – Neuensee DE
July 29 Prophecy Fest – Balver Höhle DE

Poster artwork by Ars Moriendee
Design by Alexandria Noël

As you may or may not have noticed, there’s been a new face in our midst as of late. Recording bass player and beloved friend Job has recently chosen to wander off on a different, culinary path in life, and has therefor decided to quit making music altogether. He’s still very closely involved with the band, but won’t be touring with us anymore from now on. In his place, we found a more-than worthy replacement in JB Van Der Wal (Herder / ex- Aborted). An energetic, explosive bass player, who’s already amalgamated with us by bringing his unique, volatile energy and boundless creativity. Welcome to the pack. Into the unknown!

DOOL is:
Ryanne van Dorst – Vocals/Guitar
Micha Haring – Drums
JB Van Der Wal – Bass
Reinier Vermeulen – Guitar
Nick Polak – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/allthosewhowanderaredool/
http://allthosewhowanderaredool.com/
http://www.allthosewhowanderaredool.bigcartel.com/
http://en.prophecy.de/artists/dool/

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

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Quarterly Review: Alcest, Galley Beggar, Pontiak, White Light Cemetery, Fever Dog, Duel, Seven Nines and Tens, Automatic Sam, The Next Appointed Hour, Blown Out

Posted in Reviews on March 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cropped-Charles-Meryon-Labside-Notre-Dame-1854

Always a special moment in the Quarterly Review when we pass the halfway mark. That’s where today’s batch brings us, and in rocking style as well. You might say I’ve been taking it easy on myself with the selections this time out — albums there’s plenty to say on and generally good stuff — but the basic fact of the matter is even with 50 reviews in a week, this is still just a fraction of what’s out there and still just a fraction of what I’d cover if I had the time. I couldn’t in terms of my own sanity, but one could probably do 10 reviews a day every day of the year and still have room for more. I do the best I can. Picking and choosing is a part of that process. Let’s get to it.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Alcest, Kodama

alcest kodama

After the bold departure presented in 2014’s Shelter (review here) toward even-airier, more indie-hued fare, French post-black metal innovators Alcest make a no-less-bold return to their core sound – screams included, as they’re quick to show on “Eclosion” – with 2016’s Kodama (on Prophecy Productions). It’s a less progressive move, and for that distinct in Alcest’s discography, but one can’t argue with their execution of a track like “Je Suis d’Ailleurs” and the immediately recognizable melodic wash they craft, as resonant emotionally as it is heavy in its tone. Most of the six cuts seem contented to have (re-)found their place, but “Onyx” finishes out with just under four minutes of layered guitar droning, and so Alcest seem to tease that perhaps they’re not completely ready to settle the issue of their aesthetic just yet. One hopes that’s the case, and in the meantime, the reorientation that Kodama brings with it should no doubt please those longtime fans who bristled at the turn they made their last time out.

Alcest on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Galley Beggar, Heathen Hymns

galley-beggar-heathen-hymns

Galley Beggar’s fourth offering and second for Rise Above, Heathen Hymns, brings 42-minutes of the traditional acid folk one has come to expect from them over the last half-decade plus, no less graceful in its melodies, harmonies and weaving into and out of psychedelia, Eastern inflections on the sitar-laced “The Lake” and cleverly rhythmic in the post-rocking electric flourish of “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.” Knowing what to expect, however, does nothing to diminish the joy of the listening experience. Rather, the return of Galley Beggar’s fluid string and/or more rock-based arrangements, memorable songcraft and gorgeous vocal treatments is welcome, and perhaps most of all on closer “My Return,” which draws their multiple sides together in a cohesive vision of futures past that only benefits from the maturity they’ve grown into. With poise as a defining feature as much as their British folk stylistic lineage, Galley Beggar remain a special outfit doing deeply individualized and satisfying work.

Galley Beggar on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records website

 

Pontiak, Dialectic of Ignorance

pontiak-dialectic-of-ignorance

A steady foundation of low-end drone underpins songs like “Ignorance Makes Me High” and “Hidden Prettiness” on Pontiak’s Dialectic of Ignorance (released via Thrill Jockey), and though they move away from it somewhat in the more active freakout “Dirtbags,” the patience shown by the Virginian trio forms a key part of the album’s personality. To wit, they open with “Easy Does It,” essentially telling their listener their intention for what will ensue throughout the eight-track/46-minute offering. Brothers Jennings, Van and Lain Carney bring forth willful drift in that opener and across the percussive-but-still-shoegazing “Tomorrow is Forgetting,” finding an organ-laced folkadelic middle ground later in “Youth and Age” and punctuating the dreamy harmonized gorgeousness of “Herb is My Next Door Neighbor” with fervent tom runs and ping ride before closer “We’ve Fucked this Up” starts out amid blistering chaos only to smooth itself as it goes. Serene and somewhat moody to the same degree their last outing, 2014’s Innocence, was raw, Dialectic of Ignorance carries the feel of a personal journey undertaken, but is ultimately too warm in tone and melody not to welcome its audience to be a part of that as well.

Pontiak on Thee Facebooks

Pontiak at Thrill Jockey Records

 

White Light Cemetery, Careful What You Wish For

white-light-cemetery-careful-what-you-wish-for

Nearing the mark of their first decade together, Louisiana Southern heavy four-piece White Light Cemetery issue their second full-length, Careful What You Wish For, through Ripple Music and keep a steady focus on songcraft throughout. Heavy riffs, a bit of boogie on “Sky River” and the stomping “Better Days,” boozy Southern-isms on the directly countrified “On a Dime” and a cowbell-infused finish with “Bullet to Erase” – it’s only fair to say White Light Cemetery hit all the marks. The beery post-Deliverance execution of “Looking Out (For Number One)” will likely ring familiar to many who take it on, but that’s the idea, as vocalist/guitarist Shea Bearden, guitarist Ryan Robin, bassist Tara Miller and drummer Thomas Colley are clearly less concerned with reinventing rock in their own image than honoring the pantheon of those who’ve come before them in the style. Hard to argue with the ethic preached or the dual-guitar harmonies of “Quit Work, Make Music,” though the record as a whole seems awfully “workingman’s rock” for any such bohemian aspirations.

White Light Cemetery on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Fever Dog, Mainframe

fever dog mainframe

It’s been three years since next-gen Californian desert trio Fever Dog released their last album, Second Wind (review here), which was long on potential, big on songwriting and resonant in vibe. I’d been hoping for a third long-player in 2017, but even the arrival of new single Mainframe – which of course doesn’t preclude a subsequent album release – is fine by me, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Graham, bassist Nathan Wood and drummer/organist/synthesist/vocalist Joshua Adams digging into progressive vibes on the title-track and the subsequent, talkbox-inclusive “Let Me Out.” I don’t know if they’re planning to press a 7” – somebody call H42 Records! – but the cover art certainly justifies one if the songs themselves don’t (and they do), and the name-your-price download comes with the raw 19-minute classic heavy rock jam “Alpha Waves Medley Live at Club 5,” which emits buzz like it’s a bootleg from 1973. If Mainframe is the process of Fever Dog getting weirder, it bodes well. All the more reason one might keep their fingers crossed for a new full-length.

Fever Dog on Thee Facebooks

Fever Dog on Bandcamp

 

Duel, Witchbanger

duel witchbanger

“If you see him it’s much too late/Close your eyes, girl, accept your fate.” So goes the title-track hook of Duel’s Witchbanger, the Austin-based rockers’ second album for Heavy Psych Sounds. Released on a quick turnaround from last year’s debut, Fears of the Dead (review here), the eight-track/34-minute swaggerfest delves into fantasy themes drawn from classic metal – hard not to look at six-minute closer “Tigers and Rainbows” and not think of Dio, at least thematically – but cuts like “Astro Gypsy” and “Heart of the Sun” in the record’s midsection build on the ‘70s loyalism of the first outing and find guitarist/vocalist Tom Frank, guitarist Jeff Henson, bassist/vocalist Shaun Avants and drummer JD Shadowz clear in their intentions in that regard. Though it takes a sizable grain of salt to get over that title, Duel’s heavy rock traditionalism comes complemented by efficient songwriting and a natural-sounding recording that’s neither completely retro nor totally modern but draws strength and fullness from both sides. A worthy and rousing follow-up.

Duel on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Seven Nines and Tens, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Slums

seven-nines-and-tens-set-the-controls-for-the-heart-of-the-slums

If the dates are to be believed, the second full-length from Vancouver’s Seven Nines and Tens, cleverly-titled Set the Controls for the Heart of the Slums, has roots going back to 2014, when basic live tracks were recorded and subsequently built on for about two years. Indeed, the four-song offering – whose tracks “I Come from Downtown,” “Metropolis Noir / Rigs” and closer “Rave Up” have been presented in the meantime as singles and/or on early 2017’s Live at the Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret – has plenty of layers in its heavy post-rock wash, and it’s with depth and heft that guitarist/bassist/vocalist David Cotton and drummer Mario Nieva (the current incarnation of the band has a different lineup), make their prevailing impression, be it in the roll of 13-minute “Metropolis Noir / Rigs” or the loud/quiet trades of “Dope Simple,” which follows. With a focus on atmosphere over structure, Seven Nines and Tens offer a quick 32-minute immersion that feels less pretentious than purposeful and would seem to have been worth the time it took to construct.

Seven Nines and Tens on Thee Facebooks

Seven Nines and Tens website

 

Automatic Sam, Arcs

automatic sam arcs

With their third album, Nijmegen’s Automatic Sam bring together a straightforward and coherent collection of well-intentioned semi-psychedelic heavy rock. Their past works, 2011’s Texino and 2013’s Sonic Whip, have been conceptual or at least thematic pieces, and it may be that the 13-track/38-minute Arcs (on Goomah Music) is as well, but if so, it would seem to find that theme in a vision of post-grunge ‘90s alt rock, cleanly and clearly executed and vibrant in the performance of vocalist/guitarist Pieter Holkenborg, guitarist/vocalist Rense Slings, bassist/vocalist Erik Harbers and drummer/vocalist Lars Spijkervet, who open with the five-minute “Ukiyo” (their longest inclusion; immediate points) and then run through a varied swath of shorter pieces from the attitude-laden “City Lights” through the uptempo post-punk of “This is Not a Holiday” and the fuller push of “Parnassia.” Side B seems more flowing, with that song, “Tarantula,” a complementary reprise, the title-track and drifting acoustic closer “So Long in E Minor,” but Automatic Sam manage to hone a diverse approach across Arcs’ span while skillfully directing themselves around choppier waters.

Automatic Sam on Thee Facebooks

Automatic Sam at Goomah Music

 

The Next Appointed Hour, Not the End of the World

the-next-appointed-hour-not-the-end-of-the-world

Ambition may be the defining aspect of Not the End of the World. The 2016 self-released debut from Birmingham, Alabama’s The Next Appointed Hour willfully refuses easy categorization, basking in bright psychedelic space rock harmonies one minute and digging into folkish melancholia the next in a way that one is left with no other option but to call “progressive.” What ultimately makes songs like “Keeper’s Heart” and the ethereal pop of “Back to You back to Me” work is an underlying cure of songcraft, and whatever ground the six-piece cover on the 10-track outing, from the fuzzy rush of “Drone Riot” to the trippy shimmer of the penultimate “Red Flame,” that core is maintained, uniting the material and making Not the End of the World a work of scope rather than haphazard. It requires an open mind, but rewards open-mindedness with moments like the accordion on “Valley,” or the rhythmic drift of “Any Who but Here,” the nuance of which is no less gracefully held together than the overarching flow of the album as a whole.

The Next Appointed Hour on Thee Facebooks

The Next Appointed Hour on Bandcamp

 

Blown Out, Superior Venus

blown out superior venus

Already sold out on preorders, the vinyl edition of Superior Venus from UK cosmic jammers Blown Out features two tracks – one per side – of space-wash heavy righteousness. “Impious Oppressor” and “Superior Venus” both top 15 minutes (and are accompanied by demo versions if you get the download), and proffer the kind of progressive improvisation-based flow that, indeed, might make one inclined to get an order in while the getting’s good. Blown Out, with members of Bong and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, have put out a slew of live and studio releases over the last three years, but as planets invariably revolve in cyclical patterns, so too does the regular frequency of their work become part of the expression itself. If you’re going to jam, do it all the time. On Superior Venus, Blown Out once more bring this ethic to life, and the resulting material spreads itself wide over its still relatively brief span. A short trip to orbit, perhaps, but well worth the undertaking.

Blown Out on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records on Bandcamp

 

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Valborg to Release Endstrand April 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

valborg

Last heard from the 2016 two-songer Werwolf (review here), which for my money was one of the best short releases of the year, dark German metallers Valborg are set to return in April with a new full-length titled Endstrand that will see release on Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge. Their prior outing, Romantik, was something of a gem that I caught onto well after the fact, but with Endstrand will mark their sixth record and each one seems to be a different atmosphere from the last, so I’ll look forward to finding out what’s in store this time around. I always feel guilty for not being immediately on top of good albums, hearing something months after the fact and kicking myself for not having reviewed it at the time. Not gonna miss this one, is the bottom line.

The PR wire brings art and details:

valborg endstrand

VALBORG to Release New Album, ‘Endstrand’, April 7

German Trio Dishes Cerebral, Punishing Metal via Dark New LP

German ensemble of dread VALBORG has signed with underground indie Lupus Lounge / Prophecy Productions. The self-described “German metal monster” will release its new full-length LP, Endstrand, on April 7.

Championed by Celtic Frost / Triptykon architect Tom G. Warrior as “abundantly original and unique “ and “a mixture of Bohren und der Club of Gore, early Black Sabbath and Hellhammer”, VALBORG creates dense, inventive music that escapes categorization. The trio’s blunt, forceful songs are at once raw and primitive yet hold a nihilistic sophistication that forges clouds of nightmarish atmosphere, giving them a narcotic, dreamlike feel that very few bands achieve.

Produced by Markus Siegenhort (Lantlôs), Endstrand is a 13 song end-time vision hosting apparitions of empty beaches, bunkers in the dunes, novel biological phenomenon, washed up artifacts, noise distorted signals and omnipresent whirring, all of which float above the backdrop of VALBORG’s utterly barbaric death crunch. Forging “brutal and wasted, yet powerful” music, VALBORG unleashes sound as scorched-earth policy on Endstrand, delivering an immersive mysteriousness and darkness that has earned the group the right to be called one of Europe’s most exciting extreme metal bands.

“Working with Prophecy now feels natural and good to us,” comments VALBORG bassist Jan Buckard. “We’re looking forward to a pleasant time together.”

Track listing:

1.) Jagen
2.) Blut am Eisen
3.) Orbitalwaffe
4.) Beerdigungsmaschine
5.) Stossfront
6.) Bunkerluft
7.) Geisterwürde
8.) Alter
9.) Plasmabrand
10.) Ave Maria
11.) Atompetze
12.) Strahlung
13.) Exodus

https://www.facebook.com/valborgband/
https://zeitgeister.bandcamp.com/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/valborg/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://twitter.com/ProphecyProd

Valborg, Werwolf (2016)

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Les Discrets New Album Prédateurs Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

les-discrets-Photo-by-Andy-Julia

Themes of looming threat, wistful emotional longing and self-reflection might not be new ground for French outfit Les Discrets, but if you figured you knew what to expect from Fursy Teyssier and company, the 2016 Virée Nocturne EP (review here) should probably have cured you of that. On April 21, Les Discrets will offer Prédateurs, a follow-up full-length to that short release that features the EP’s title-track among newer cuts, and as Teyssier promises a darker vision, one can only take him at his word. Interesting that he notes twice in the info below about traveling via train, since that seems to be what closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” directly references — a scheduled departure time.

Will look forward to hearing how this one turns out, but then, I always do when it comes to Les Discrets. If it’s the way you like to roll, preorders are up now from Prophecy Productions, as the PR wire informs:

les-discrets-predateurs

Les Discrets to Release New Album, ‘Prédateurs’, April 21

Post-Everything Duo Takes Cinematic Sound to “Much Darker” Places on Upcoming LP

Lyon, France dark dreamweavers LES DISCRETS return with Prédateurs, their first full-length album in five years. Ever-evolving, the sound of LES DISCRETS in 2017 takes a stylistic shift which sees the band’s dreamy shoegaze and metallic tinged post-rock colored with a heavy post-punk influence and electronic chill while incorporating inspiration from trip-hop and 70’s film soundtracks. Prédateurs will be released on April 21 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, DOOL).

Known through his work as part of the bands Alcest and Amesoeurs, French songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and film director Fursy Teyssier founded LES DESCRETS in 2003. On the topic of the new album, Fursy comments, “Prédateurs is an album that was five years in the making and will take time to get into. This is a record for late evenings, night driving, journeys on a train, or for those moments we usually think about the meaning of life and things, when we have nothing else to do but sitting and waiting.”

Described as “the soundtrack of a slow film noir happening in a train where the journey leads the auditor to several places seen from the windows”, Prédateurs is a cinematographic, urban album shaped by steel, concrete, snow and electricity. Easy on the ears, Prédateurs interprets the familiar music and melodies of LES DESCRETS with new instruments, approach and ambition. Although its shape has changed, the feeling of the music, its atmosphere and its essential core has remained the same. The songs focus on the concept of predation (the preying of one animal on others) as well as time, nature and life. Prédateurs is the album that – in founder Teyssier’s eyes – now shapes the proper identity of LES DESCRETS.

Prédateurs is not only a new start in terms of music for the band, but also presents a change on the visual level. For the first time, Teyssier – himself a celebrated visual artist and animated film director – has collaborated with an outside graphic designer on the visual appearance of a LES DESCRETS release. The British artist Chris Friel, who combines painting with photography in a unique way, has become a huge inspiration for Fursy. Friel’s work has even subconsciously leaked into the roadmap of the band’s music.

Prédateurs is advanced by the 4-track EP, Virée Nocturne, which was first made available to attendees of last summer’s Prophecy Fest.

“I feel that Les Discrets has its own wings now, free of the influences of post-rock, post-black or post-anything constraints,” he offers. “‘Prédateurs’ is even darker than the older albums. Much, much darker. But just like older albums, some sparks of hope remain.”

Pre-order Prédateurs at this location.

Track listing:
1.) Prédateurs
2.) Virée Nocturne
3.) Les Amis de Minuit
4.) Vanishing Beauties
5.) Fleur des Murailles
6.) Le Reproche
7.) Les Jours d’Or
8.) Rue Octavio Mey
9.) The Scent Of Spring (Moonraker)
10.) Lyon – Paris 7h34

http://www.lesdiscrets.com/
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http://us.prophecy.de/artists/les-discrets/
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Les Discrets, Virée Nocturne (2016)

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The Moon and the Nightspirit Announce Metanoia out March 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the moon and the nightspirit

Oh yes. Most definitely. I remain a sucker or Prophecy Productions and their proliferation of dark, otherworldly folk, this time arriving via Hungarian two-piece The Moon and the Nightspirit‘s fifth album, Metanoia, which will be released March 17. I’ll be honest with you, I got the promo download of the record two days ago and I saved it to listen to because I knew we’d be getting a snowstorm yesterday here on the East Coast and after sampling “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése” — which you can hear below — I wanted the blizzard conditions to be my first experience with it.

Absolutely zero regrets on that one, though I doubt that track or any of the others surrounding it on Metanoia would be any less at home on a summer’s night, marked as they are by ritualized percussive thud and an ethereal presence. Did I mention “most definitely?” Good.

The PR wire takes it from here:

the-moon-and-the-nightspirit-metanoia

The Moon and the Nightspirit to Release New Album, ‘Metanoia’, March 17

Hungarian Pagan-Folk Champions Ready Release of Fairytalesque Fifth Album

THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT is a Hungarian duo that creates enchanting and melancholic folk music enhanced by a bewitching pagan aura where threads of ancient mysticism combine with phantasmagoric atmospheres. The group will release its new LP, Metanoia, on March 17 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, Darkher).

In advance of the record’s release, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT has released the new song, “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése”.

Formed in 2003 by multi-instrumentalists Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó, THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT has released a string of magnetic albums, celebrated as imagination-opening tapestries of sound. The group’s new LP, Metanoia, builds on its alluring, whimsical explorations, delivering enveloping songs that are as gentle as they are powerful. Creating otherworldly music built on the backs of multitudes of traditional cultural instruments — such as the jaw harp — and the beautiful, ethereal vocals of Tóth –THE MOON AND THE NIGHTSPIRIT delivers its most impressive music to date and cements its place as frontrunners of the international folk music landscape. As with previous TMATNS albums, the lush, delicate artwork created by Tóth provides the perfect visual accompaniment to the duo’s sprite fairyworld.

Meaning “a return to the pristine and pure path of crystalline existence”, Metanoia is an initiation, a rebirth, an awakening of the higher self, and the rekindling of an inner flame.

Track listing:
1.) A Hajnal Köszöntése
2.) Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése
3.) Mystérion Mega
4.) Kilenc Hid
5.) A Fény Diadala
6.) Metanoia
7.) Kristálymezök
8.) Hen Panta Einai (Minden Egy)

https://www.facebook.com/TheMoonAndTheNightspirit/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/the-moon-and-the-nightspirit/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/

The Moon and the Nightspirit, “Az Elsö Tündér Megidézése”

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Dool, Here Now There Then: Vivid Impressions

Posted in Reviews on February 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

dool-here-now-there-then

It is an album of bold choices. From its beginning moments, the Prophecy Productions-delivered debut from Rotterdam, Netherlands-based five-piece Dool (also stylized all-caps: DOOL), Here Now There Then strikes deftly and crisply in style and substance, and when there’s a decision to be made, Dool make their intentions clear in the quality of their songcraft, which is a cause every performance on every one of its eight component tracks serves. While a fresh take on some of the tropes of cult-gone-goth heavy rock — the blend of acoustic and electric guitars on cuts like “Golden Serpents” and “Words on Paper,” the unbashedly pop-metal sway of the penultimate “The Death of Love,” etc. — it is also an album obviously working from the benefit of band members’ prior experience.

Dool may be relatively a new group, but in their ranks they boast the veteran personnel of vocalist/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst (Elle Bandita, numerous other projects), guitarists Reinier Vermeulen (The New Media) and Nick Polak (Gold), and the rhythm section of bassist Job van de Zande and drummer Micha Haring, both formerly of The Devil’s Blood, whose landmark contributions to the Dutch underground and aesthetic vision makes for something of a sonic elephant in the room over the 50-minute span of Here Now There Then. That group is recognizable periodically in some moments of push — again, “Golden Serpents” — but the deeper one moves into Dool‘s first outing, over the 10-minute opener “Vantablack” and into mid-album pieces like “In Her Darkest Hour,” “Oweynagat” and “The Alpha,” the more one finds Dool establishing their own resonant and well-conceived stylistic persona from a wider range of influences, from classic goth rock to moodier progressive heavy metal.

But back to bold choices. The first of them is telegraphed in the opener. “Vantablack” is the longest inclusion on Here Now There Then — immediate points to the band for putting it in launch position, double points for doing so on their first offering — and where a lot of what follows on what might be considered side A in the first half of the tracklisting plays off poppier ideas, more forward hooks, and so on, it begins at a sprawl, unfolding with patient layers of guitar as thudding drums underscore a harmonized verse to punctuate the nodding rhythm that will further take hold as the chorus emerges. Rather than simply set the tone as so many album-openers do — “this is our sound, this is what we do,” etc. — “Vantablack” not only does this, but disrupts the process at the same time, engaging an immersive richness of atmosphere that defies what might’ve been the expectation had Dool opened with either of the subsequent “Golden Serpents” or “Words on Paper,” two shorter and purposefully more straightforwardly structured tracks. They made the bolder choice, and they were right.

Part of the reason starting off with “Vantablack” works to well is because, yes, it does have a chorus to ground the listener (into dust), but also because Dool demonstrate such immediate command of their purpose and their sound. From the languid flow of Polak and Vermeulen‘s guitars to the roll in Haring‘s drums, the density of van de Zande‘s low end beneath the solo section in the back half and the charismatic presence and melodic range of van Dorst as frontwoman, there’s never really a moment of doubt they’re going to pull it off. And as far as initial impressions go, one could hardly demand more than that from any band, first LP, second, third or whatever. Not only that, but the considerable turn that follows into “Golden Serpents,” “Words on Paper” and “In Her Darkest Hour” — the latter of which begins the aforementioned middle movement with “Oweynagat” and “The Alpha” behind it — isn’t even questioned because Dool have the situation so firmly under control.

dool

“Words on Paper” is arguably the catchiest song on Here Now There Then, though right up to closer “She-Goat” there is no shortage of memorability surrounding, but as “Vantablack” assured at the outset and “In Her Darkest Hour” reaffirms, Dool aren’t simply looking to proffer a series of choruses and get out. The brooding push, linear build of chug and surge that arises signal another shift in approach, and as much of the song’s second half is given to a guitar solo, a charged bridge, another run through the chorus for good measure, and atmospheric bookending the toy-piano-esque intro that led off the track, there’s an exploration beginning that continues in the pointedly goth “Oweynagat,” which at 6:53 is the second longest piece behind “Vantablack” and given initial thrust via Haring‘s hi-hat.

After mounting significant tension, “Oweynagat” eases the throttle as it moves toward its middle, but builds toward a standout apex of well-plotted, swirling lead guitar — layered-in acoustics do well to flesh out the ambience — and horns/keys/effects/theremin or some other noisemaking device that lends further complexity to the rhythmic march. They end “Oweynagat” in grand fashion and drums start “The Alpha” with an echo that sends an immediate feeling of spaciousness soon to be filled by bass and guitar in a progression that feels distinctly drawn from prog metal. I hate — hate — to make this comparison, especially given the one-letter-off similarity of the bands’ monikers, but the likeness to Tool‘s “Forty-Six & 2” is unmistakable in that central progression, though again to their credit, Dool transpose that riff to suit the song’s needs, transitioning into a triumph of a chorus that likewise nods at The Devil’s Blood‘s churning depths. Another bold choice, another dark victory, and not by any means their last.

Its melody is at first the key factor in “The Death of Love,” but the underlying guitar figure at the outset holds to some of the proggy tension of “The Alpha” before it, even if van de Zande‘s bassline is more prominent. The effect this has is to tie the two prior three-song chunks of Here Now There Then together, to begin a process of summary that will continue on “She-Goat,” and to start to wind the album down much as “Vantablack” wound it up. That said, the open-spaced payoff in “The Death of Love”‘s second half is among the more emotionally effective and affecting moments on the record, and though it’s shorter than the three cuts before it, there’s no lack of impression made leading into “She-Goat,” a just-under-five-minute push that echoes the more straight-ahead feel of “Golden Serpents” without being a direct port of it. As an ending statement, it puts Dool and their listeners back to some semblance of reality without necessarily giving up the breadth of what came before. Completing a conceptual cycle, perhaps.

In any case, it is another means by which Here Now There Then works against the notion of being a debut full-length, as its complexity and character feel so thoroughly developed and the chemistry of the band so locked into place. One can only take this as a sign of potential and hope that Dool expand and refine the achievements here as they move forward, becoming all the more individual in that process, because going by these songs, they are well on their way to something truly powerful.

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

Dool on Thee Facebooks

Dool on Bandcamp

Dool at Prophecy Productions

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