Quarterly Review: Worshipper, Dopethrone, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, Omen Stones, Capra, Universo Rojo, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Fire Down Below, Stone Deaf, Cracked Machine

Posted in Reviews on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

Well, we made it to the end of another Quarterly Review. One more batch and then it’s off to planning the next one for late September/early October. I hope you have found something this week that you’ve really dug. I have. A few, to be honest. Not everything is going to stick with every listener, of course, and that includes me, but for as much as putting this one together has been, there’s been some really good, year-end-list-type stuff included. At least as far as my own list goes. I sincerely hope you agree.

So let’s do this last one, then go sleep for a couple hours. Alright? Here we go:

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Worshipper, Mirage Daze

worshipper mirage daze

I don’t know if Worshipper knew they’d be embarking on their first West Coast tour in Summer 2018 when they hit Mad Oak Studios in Oct. 2016 to record the four cover tracks for their Mirage Daze EP on Tee Pee Records, but it certainly worked out in the Boston four-piece’s favor. Following-up their 2016 debut, Shadow Hymns (review here), Worshipper present four cover tracks in Uriah Heep’s “Easy Livin’,” The Oath’s “Night Child,” Pink Floyd’s “Julia Dream” and The Who’s “Heaven and Hell,” and while I’m a little sad that “Heaven and Hell” isn’t the Black Sabbath song, which I think they’d nail if they tried it, and I’m glad to have a studio version of their take on Floyd’s “Julia Dream,” which from the first time I saw them live was always a pleasure to watch live, I think the highlight of Mirage Daze might be “Night Child.” I never bought that The Oath record, and Worshipper’s take on its lead single is about the best argument I’ve seen for doing so. It may or may not be a stopgap issued to coincide with the tour, but Mirage Daze is a welcome arrival anyway. It’s a fan piece? Well, I’m a fan, so right on.

Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

Dopethrone, Transcanadian Anger

dopethrone transcanadian anger

Montreal scumsludgers Dopethrone return with Transcanadian Anger, an eight-track blister-fest of crunch riffing and misanthropic vibes. Delivered through Totem Cat Records, the 36-minute Weedeater-gone-bad-drugs sludge assault seems to invite superlatives front to back, even in the slamming instrumental “Killdozer” – a tribute to the band? – and the swinging penultimate cut “Kingbilly Kush.” Elsewhere, opener “Planet Meth,” “Snort Dagger,” “Tweak Jabber” and “Scuzzgasm” celebrate addiction and violence unto oneself and others, making a spectacle of decay set to voluminous sludge riffs and abrasive vocals. This is Dopethrone’s aesthetic territory, and they’ve done well over the last decade to make it their own. As they answer 2015’s full-length, Hochelaga (review here), and the next year’s 1312 EP with yet another filth-caked collection, they seem all the more in their own league of aural and narcotic self-punishment. They could be straightedge vegans for all I know, but they sure sound high as fuck, and I guess that’s the point. So, well done.

Dopethrone on Thee Facebooks

Totem Cat Records webstore

 

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, BooCheeMish

the mystery of the bulgarian voices boocheemish

Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance would seem to be trying to solve The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices, a choral group from Bulgaria who, seemingly until teaming with Gerrard for the Prophecy Productions release BooCheeMish was known by the French name Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Whatever you call them, their history dates back nearly seven decades and their harmonies are utterly timeless. BooCheeMish is comprised of gorgeous folk renditions for 45 minutes of world-building perfection. Percussion of various sorts provides backing and on pieces like “Rano Ranila” they speed through at a pace and arrangement that’s head-spinning, while the later “Zableyalo Agne” finds them joined by flute for a nigh-religious experience and the subsequent “Tropanitsa” has a bounce worthy of any good times one might to envision from its evocative pulse. One can’t help but feel a bit of the cultural voyeur in taking it on – as well as feeling totally outclassed in reviewing it – but these songs were clearly meant to be enjoyed, and as their ambassadors, The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices genuinely serve a public best interest.

The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Omen Stones, Omen Stones

omen stones omen stones

Virginia duo Omen Stones have no online presence as yet. No songs streaming. No cheeky logos-on-photos social media posts that new bands do when they’re sitting on their hands waiting to get material out there. What they – and by “they,” I mean guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hamilton of Druglord and drummer Erik Larson of Backwoods Payback, The Might Could, Alabama Thunderpussy, etc. – have is a four-song self-titled EP collecting about 13 minutes of material in demo fashion, bringing forth the Southern-shuffle-gets-weird-then-explodes opener “Secrete” as a first impression of a deceptive approach. You think it’s all good and then you get punched. Go figure. “Secrete” is also the longest track (immediate points) at 4:06, and the forward charge and harsher vocal of “Fertile Blight” follows, catchy as it is mean, and more indicative of what’s to follow in the maddening tension of “Sympathy Scars” and the fuckall sludgepunk of “Purity Tones.” Immediately against-trend, Omen StonesOmen Stones is a bird of prey unto itself. Hopefully at some point soon they make it publicly available.

Druglord on Bandcamp

Erik Larson on Bandcamp

 

Capra, Unholy Gallows

Capra Unholy Gallows

Taking influence from hardcore punk, post-hardcore and sludge, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Capra seem to fit in a Midwestern style of semi-metallic aggression that has flourished in the wake of the likes of The National Acrobat and Coliseum. The foursome’s Unholy Gallows single follows their also-two-song self-titled 2016 EP, and finds Tyler Harper (also of the recently-defunct The Midnight Ghost Train), Jeremy Randazzo, Ben Paramore and Lee Hooper aligned in their purposes of riff-led bludgeoning. Unholy Gallows is two songs/six minutes long – not by any means an afternoon commitment in terms of listening – but its furies are unveiled in far less time than that, and both “Red Guillotine” and “Hot Lips” waste no time in doling out their beatings. A sense of heft stems from tonal thickness, but they make it move to a propulsive degree, and aside from a quick feedback intro to “Red Guillotine,” there’s no letup; even as “Hot Lips” slows the pace some initially, it maintains geared toward foreshadowing the next fist to fly.

Capra on Thee Facebooks

Capra on Bandcamp

 

Universo Rojo, Impermanencia

Universo Rojo Impermanencia

Sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. Into space. Universo Rojo’s excellent four-track debut album, Impermanencia, makes you want to speak slowly enough to feel the words vibrate out of your mouth. The Chilean four-piece offer lengthy, jam-based excursions that echo out their feel across vast reaches of effects, progressive rhythm and melody-making unfurling all the while beneath an overarching swirl of effects, guitars and synth running atop the mix like competing currents of water. Opener “¿A Dónde Ir?” (8:13) gives way to the flute-laden krautrockism of “Visión Planetaria de los Tiempos” (8:40) as vocalist/guitarist/clarinetist Ferro Vargas-Larraguibel, drummer Naim Chamás, bassist Cristóbal Montenegro and synthesis Francisco Arellano conjure such molten possibilities. Though it’s just 34 minutes, Impermanencia is nonetheless expansive, with the 9:36 “Cinco (La Quinta Dimensión)” finding a place between drift and psych-jazz undulations while closer “Inmaterialización del Sentimiento Cósmico” (7:32) lets out a full-impulse burst of energy that’s blinding if you know just where to look. Not to be missed.

Universo Rojo on Thee Facebooks

Universo Rojo on Bandcamp

 

Sergeant Thunderhoof, Terra Solus

sergeant thunderhoof terra solus

Kudos to Bath, UK, four-piece Sergeant Thunderhoof on starting off their sophomore long-player, Terra Solus, with the album’s longest track in “Another Plane.” And likewise for the blend of psychedelia and burl that unfolds. In taking on the follow-up to their 2015 debut, Ride of the Hoof, they offer eight cuts and 51 minutes of spacious riffing charged with just an undercurrent of English boozer burl, Elephant Tree and Steak meeting head on for a raucous session of who knows what. “B Oscillation” taps nod and particularly satisfying fuzzy warmth in its lead section, while even a would-be bruiser like the subsequent “Diesel Breath” has a trip-out included. There is time for such things as every track but the penultimate and relatively minimalist soundscaper “Half a Man” tops six minutes, but Sergeant Thunderhoof make a much richer impression overall than their moniker might lead one to believe, and close out in particularly resonant fashion with “Om Shaantih,” emphasizing the breadth and post-rock elements that help make Terra Solus so engaging from the outset.

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Bandcamp

 

Fire Down Below, Hymn of the Cosmic Man

fire down below hymn of the cosmic man

The adaptation of Kyuss’ “Thumb” riff for Fire Down Below’s “Ignition/Space Cruiser” after the “Red Giant” intro on their second album, Hymn of the Cosmic Man (on Ripple), is nothing short of a clarion to the converted. The Belgian unit’s mission would seem to be to find that place on the horizon where the desert ground and space itself seem to meet and become one, and as side A closer “The Cosmic Pilgrim” turns from its initial crunch into more patient and drifting psych, they’d seem to get there. Atsmophere is certainly central to the record, as the aforementioned “Red Giant” and its side B counterpart “Nebula” demonstrate, never mind the other five tracks, and even as “Saviour of Man” runs through its janga-janga stoner-riffed hook there’s a flourish of effects to create a balance between the earthbound and the interstellar. Side B’s “Ascension” and especially 11-minute album-closer/highlight “Adrift in a Sea of Stars” seem to find the balance the four-piece is shooting for all along, and just before the nine-minute mark when the thick, fuzzed-out riff emerges from the jammy lead, the entire impetus for their journey seems to be laid bare. Well done.

Fire Down Below on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Stone Deaf, Royal Burnout

stone deaf royal burnout

Denver, Colorado’s Stone Deaf present a sans-frills desert rock vibe across the eight tightly structured tracks of their sophomore album, Royal Burnout (on Black Bow Records). Specifically, the compressed crunch in the guitar tone and some of the start-stop bounce riffing in cuts like “Room #240” and “Monochrome” seem to be drawn from the Songs for the Deaf methodology, and some of the vocals on opener “Spitshine” (video premiere here) remind of Queens of the Stone Age as well, but Stone Deaf – whose moniker, then, would be well sourced – have a deeper root in punk rock that underscores the “Go with the Flow” thrust of “Deathwish 62” as well as the chugging verses of “Boozy Spool” immediately preceding. It’s a sound that benefits greatly from the sharpness of its delivery and the craft Stone Deaf bring to it, and even when they seem to loosen up a bit on the midpaced pre-finale “That Lefty Request,” there’s a fervent sense of a plan unfolding. That plan would seem to be a success.

Stone Deaf on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cracked Machine, I, Cosmonaut

cracked machine i cosmonaut

Originally released last year, Cracked Machine’s debut, I, Cosmonaut, finds vinyl issue through PsyKA Records and earns it well with six tracks/45 minutes of mostly-instrumentalist and progressive space-psych. One assumes there’s a narrative thread at work across the span, as guitarist Bill Denton, bassist Chris Sutton, keyboardist/vocalist Clive Noyes and drummer Blazej Gradziel weave their way through “Twin Sons Rising” and “New Vostok” at the outset into the easy flow of “Baikonur Cosmodrome,” the harder-hitting title-track, the fuzzy declaration of “Svetlana” and the patiently executed 10-minute closer “Transorbital,” Denton’s guitar singing all the while. These places and, maybe, characters would seem to weave together to tell the story in impressions largely open to interpretation and correspondingly open in terms of their creativity, sounding spontaneous and maybe live-recorded if not entirely improvised, instead working to a plan for where each inclusion should go or end up. As Cracked Machine’s first album, it’s an ambitious work that does far more than get the band’s feet wet. It takes them out of the atmosphere and embarks on a journey beyond that one hopes is just beginning.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Cracked Machine at PsyKA Records webstore

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Voivod to Release The Wake in September; European Tour Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

voivod

Ten million metal bands. Only one Voivod. And woe unto those who can’t do the math on that. The stalwart-among-stalwarts Canadian prog-metal pioneers will release their umpteenth long-player this Fall via Century Media. It’s been dubbed The Wake and will arrive in time to catch the four-piece on their way out to Europe for a huge round of touring that includes support from Maggot HeartNightrage and Bio-Cancer in alternating slots. No audio or track titles yet for the record, but the release is still three months out and CM is pro-shop, so they’re not about to give everything away in one press release. In any case, who could read another list — say, one of the album’s tracks — without getting exhausted after looking at all those tour dates anyway? I’m out of breath by the time they get to Krakow.

More details forthcoming, then, and fair enough. The more I get to talk about Voivod kicking ass, the merrier. And you know my disposition can get pretty merry. I know it’ll certainly be that way watching them at Psycho Las Vegas in August.

To the PR wire, then:

VOIVOD EURO TOUR POSTER

VOIVOD – Announce new album “The Wake” and European tour!

Canadian progressive sci-fi metal innovators VOIVOD are not only celebrating their 35th band-anniversary, but have also just wrapped up studio-work for their upcoming new studio album entitled “The Wake”. Expected for a late September worldwide release via Century Media Records, “The Wake” is the highly anticipated successor to 2013’s “Target Earth” album and the 2016 mini-album “Post Society”.

VOIVOD drummer Michel “Away” Langevin checked in with the following comment:

“We are thrilled to let you know that our new album, “The Wake”, is completed! The music is like a futuristic prog thrash metal trek with many twists and turns, and the story involves the usual Voivodian topics: disasters, chaos, conflicts, strange plots and alternate consciousness. We are excited with the result and can’t wait to get the material out to you this fall!

Also, try to catch us when we tour Europe in September and October. It will be a great opportunity for the band to test some songs from our upcoming album.”

Here is a list of the comprehensive European run, which will feature the following rotating support acts: Maggot Heart (from 7th until 16th Sept), Nightrage (from 18th until 26th Sept) and Bio-Cancer (from 28th Sept until 20th Oct):

VOIVOD – European Tour 2018:
07.09.2018 Prague (Czech Republic) – Futurum *
08.09.2018 Poznan (Poland) – U Bazyla *
09.09.2018 Warsaw (Poland) – Hydrozagadka *
10.09.2018 Krakow (Poland) – Kwadrat *
11.09.2018 Bratislava (Slovakia) – Randal Club *
13.09.2018 Cluj-Napoca (Romania) – Flying Circus Pub *
14.09.2018 Belgrade (Serbia) – Elektropionir *
15.09.2018 Budapest (Hungary) – Durer Kert *
16.09.2018 Vienna (Austria) – Szene *
18.09.2018 Bologna (Italy) – Locomotiv **
19.09.2018 Rome (Italy) – Largo **
20.09.2018 Milan (Italy) – Santeria **
21.09.2018 Winterthur (Switzerland) – Gaswerk **
22.09.2018 Seyssinet Pariset (France) – Ilyade **
24.09.2018 Barcelona (Spain) – Boveda **
25.09.2018 Madrid (Spain) – Nazca **
26.09.2018 Porto (Portugal) – Hard Club **
28.09.2018 Marseille (France) – Jas’ Rod ***
29.09.2018 Paris (France) – Petit Bain ***
30.09.2018 Nantes (France) – Ferrailleur ***
02.10.2018 Southampton (UK) – The Joiners ***
03.10.2018 Cardiff (UK) – The Globe ***
04.10.2018 Leeds (UK) – Temple Of Boom ***
05.10.2018 Glasgow (UK) – Cathouse ***
06.10.2018 Manchester (UK) – Rebellion ***
07.10.2018 London (UK) – Underworld ***
09.10.2018 Brussels (Belgium) – Magasin 4 ***
10.10.2018 Amstelveen (The Netherlands) – P60 ***
11.10.2018 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Dynamo ***
12.10.2018 Cologne (Germany) – Luxor ***
13.10.2018 Hamburg (Germany) – Logo ***
14.10.2018 Copenhagen (Denmark) – Pumpehuset ***
15.10.2018 Stockholm (Sweden) – Klubb Nalen ***
17.10.2018 Helsinki (Finland) – Tavastia ***
18.10.2018 Tampere (Finland) – Klubi ***
20.10.2018 Oslo (Norway) – John Dee ***

Support bands:
* Maggot Heart (from 7th until 16th Sept)
** Nightrage (from 18th until 26th Sept)
*** Bio-Cancer (from 28th Sept until 20th Oct)

Previously, VOIVOD will also appear at selected festivals in North America as follows:

VOIVOD – Live 2018:
29.06.2018 Jonquière (Canada) – Jonquiere en Musique Festival
29.07.2018 Montreal (Canada) – Heavy Montreal Festival
08.08.2018 Lévis (Canada) – Festivent
18.08.2018 Las Vegas (USA) – Psycho Las Vegas Festival

More details and news and VOIVOD and “The Wake” following soon…

VOIVOD line-up:
Snake – Vocals
Chewy – Guitar
Rocky – Bass
Away – Drums

http://voivod.com
http://www.facebook.com/Voivod
http://www.centurymedia.com
http://www.youtube.com/centurymedia
http://twitter.com/centurymediaeu
http://www.facebook.com/centurymedia
http://www.cmdistro.com

Voivod, “Target Earth” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

Vision Éternel Post Documentary Footage; Announce Contest Winner; Discuss New Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel box set documentary

Many doings in the camp of Montreal’s Vision Éternel. Like, a whole bunch. You might recall in April when the one-man ambient outfit co-hosted a contest here to giveaway a copy of the newly issued An Anthology of Past Misfortunes boxed set. The set is ultra-comprehensive, entries were emailed direct to Alexandre Julien, and a winner picked to receive the five EPs the band has done to-date, the demos/rarities tape, as well as a shirt, flyers, the liner notes and other sundry goodies. Like I said, it’s a comprehensive set.

Never content to rest on his recent laurels or, apparently, ever, Julien has now announced that he’s working on a sixth EP for his outfit, and that in addition to that, he’s given away a digital discount to everyone who entered the contest, and gone out to the woods — because, yes, the woods — to make a bit of a documentary talking about how the boxed set came together, what’s included, and so on. Looks like he found a nice spot for the chat, and as he opens up number 001 of the limited release, he talks about the timing of the EPs, when they came together and how, as well as some of the aesthetic development of the project, the designers he’s worked with and more.

The video is six minutes and in that time, Julien gives a clear sense of the heart that’s gone into the project and into this particular aspect of it. That seems to be what’s at the core of Vision Éternel and just about everything Julien does with the band. It’s a deeply personal work and the thought and emotion put into it is plain to both see and hear in the output.

Clip and news follow. Please enjoy:

Vision Éternel, An Introduction to An Anthology of Past Misfortunes Boxed Set

On May 24th, Vision Éternel undertook an excursion in the Laurentian Mountains forest to film a new documentative video. Luckily, it was a beautiful sunny day, and despite the bugs enjoying the weather as much as we were, we had a lot of fun. We found a nice clearing in the middle of the woods where we set up the shot with cinematographer Rain Frances.

The new footage was filmed to showcase and discuss the band’s newest release, the “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” boxed set, released through Abridged Pause Recordings last month. Vision Éternel founder Alexandre Julien made himself comfortable in the woods and explained how the boxed set was conceptualized and went over all of the contents of the package.

Contest Winner

On April 11th of 2018, Vision Éternel announced a giveaway contest in promotion of the band’s new retrospective boxed set, “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes”. Contestants had a full month to enter the drawing by sending an email to the band with their favourite Vision Éternel t-shirt color and size. Vision Éternel, Abridged Pause Recordings and The Obelisk would like to thank all the wonderful people and fans of the band who participated in this contest.

Today, the band is proud to announce a lucky winner who will not only receive a full boxed set, which in itself holds five compact discs, one cassette, two stickers, six business card flyers and a two-page postcard insert, but in addition to that, two sold-out posters, a t-shirt and the band’s entire remastered digital discography. The boxed set is autographed and personalized to the winner.

The winner is: Randy Blood! Congratulations!

But wait! There’s more!

The band is so appreciative of everyone who participated in the giveaway that everyone will be receiving consolation prizes. No one leaves empty-handed. All participants have been emailed a free download of Vision Éternel’s entire 2017-remastered digital discography and a 15% discount coupon code valid on any and all items at Vision Éternel’s web store (even the boxed set). This will be arriving in a separate email so look for it!

New EP?

For the last eight years, Vision Éternel founder Alexandre Julien has been working on the retrospective boxed set “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” to give a proper physical home to the band’s previous releases (2007-2015). Now that it’s out, the band is eager to move forward with new material. Vision Éternel is now actively writing and demoing new songs for a planned sixth extended play.

A handful of new Vision Éternel songs were demoed at Mortified Studios in the summer of 2017 while the band celebrated its ten-year anniversary. It is unknown if any of these ideas will evolve into material for the planned sixth EP. A few more songs have already been demoed in 2018. The band hopes to complete the extended play by the end of the year and is aiming for an early 2019 release. Graphic illustrator Costin Chioreanu has already been secured to design the concept album’s artwork.

In addition to the forthcoming extended play and the previously announced impending music video for “Sometimes In Longing Narcosis”, Vision Éternel is also considering putting out a single and a cover song in 2018.

Vision Éternel website

Vision Éternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Éternel on Twitter

Vision Éternel on Instagram

Vision Éternel on Soundcloud

Vision Éternel on Spotify

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Mountain Dust Release Seven Storms this Week; Euro Tour Starts May 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mountain dust

If you’ve got three minutes and are looking for a good time, click play at the bottom of this post to check out ‘Inside the Rift,’ the newly posted single from Quebecois heavy rockers Mountain Dust. You might recall the four-piece were recently added to Freak Valley 2018 and they’ll also appear at Sweden’s Muskelrock, supporting their new album, Seven Storms, which sees release this Friday, May 18, as the follow-up to 2016’s Nine Years, which was picked up by the venerable Kozmik Artifactz for LP/CD issue. Well, if you do or don’t, it happened.

Laced with organ and a kind of latter-day Graveyardy soul, like I said, it’s three minutes of a good time. Hell, you’ve got three minutes. Don’t pretend you don’t.

Dig it:

mountain dust seven storms

Mountain Dust has just released the second cut from their sophomore album Seven Storms, which is set to come out May 18. A European Tour will follow the release.

The new song “Inside The Rift” has the same captivating storytelling and sonic energy that attracted fans to their debut album Nine Years (2016) – released on Kozmik Artifactz Records. It features a guest vocal appearance from Mikey Heppner (Priestess).

The songs on Seven Storms reference new influence from the soundtracks of science-fiction TV shows and old Western films, and Mountain Dust use a variety of instruments to create interesting new textures and soundscapes. Vocalist Brendan Mainville’s lyrical imagery paints vivid pictures of both pain and triumph.

When the new record drops on May 18th, Mountain Dust head to Europe for a run of 17 shows across 8 countries including stops at 2 festivals – Freak Valley in Germany, and Muskelrock in Sweden.

Their debut record Nine Years (2016) was nominated for Rock Album of the Year at home in Quebec, Canada, and caught the attention of German-based record label Kozmik Artifactz. The resulting partnership has helped Mountain Dust spread their music into areas of Europe they will visit during their spring 2018 tour.

Check out tour dates, and their new song “Inside The Rift” below:

May 24 – Antwerp, Belgium
May 25 – Lyon, France
May 26 – Piacenza, Italy
May 27 – Mantia, Italy
May 29 – Liege, Belgium
May 30 – Netphen, Germany
May 31 – Copenhagen, Denmark
June 01 – Tyrolen, Sweden
June 02 – Berlin, Germany
June 03 – Wroclaw, Poland
June 04 – Brno, Czech
June 05 – Prague, Czech
June 06 – Chemnitz, Germany
June 07 – Wurzburg, Germany
June 08 – Hagen, Germany
June 09 – Paris, France
June 10 – Le Havre, France

Mountain Dust is:
Vocals / Lyrics / Guitar: Brendan Mainville
Organ / Synthesizer / Guitar: Patrick Bennett
Bass: Hal Jaques
Drums / Percussion: Blair Youngblut
Guest Vocals: Mikey Heppner

http://www.facebook.com/mountaindust
http://www.twitter.com/mountaindusty
http://www.instagram.com/mountaindust
https://mountaindust.bandcamp.com/
http://www.mountaindustofficial.com/

Mountain Dust, “Inside the Rift”

Tags: , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Premiere: Tunguska Mammoth, Breathless

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Tunguska Mammoth Breathless

[Click play above to stream Tunguska Mammoth’s Breathless in its entirety. Album is out May 11 on Deathbound Records.]

Consider for a moment the Quebecois regional delicacy poutine. The dish in its most basic form consists of french fries and cheese curds smothered in hot gravy. Variations exist in other regions of Canada and the Northern US, but poutine itself, which sometimes adds sausage or really just about anything else to the mix, is identified as being distinctly of Quebec. In thinking about Breathless, the Deathbound Records-issued second long-player from neo-dudely Montreal four-piece Tunguska Mammoth, I bring up poutine for this reason: Quebec didn’t invent french fries. It didn’t invent cheese curds or gravy. And yet, by putting these elements together in a specific way, it was able to span a recipe that has gained affection both in and out of Canada’s borders.

Similarly, Tunguska Mammoth‘s new collection of eight tracks running 45 minutes doesn’t necessarily create a new style out of thin air, but it adopts various pieces of other styles, whether it’s the shout-and-chug aggression of closer “We are the Night,” the Amorphis-style death metal growls after the harmonies of “Yellow Sign” or the modern heavy rock nod of the opening title-track. The band — guitarist/vocalist Maxime Bellerose, guitarist Mathieu Savage, bassist Paolo Di Stefano and drummer/recording engineer/mixer Pierre-Hughes Rondeau (who recorded everything except the drums themselves, which were done by Marc-o at The Grid — didn’t invent the heavy riffing, melodies and more aggressive factors at play throughout Breathless, but by putting it all together in the specific way they do, they make a familiar sound their own.

They’re not the only band to do this either, and yet, Breathless is striking in executing its sense of identity. Whether it’s the Torche-style harmonies and roll toward the end of “New Sun” or the earlier, more severe metallurgy (and metallurgency) of “Phenix,” Bellerose resides well in the frontman position and is forward enough in Rondeau‘s mix to be a significant presence without necessarily being overbearing. “Phenix” is one of two inclusions on Breathless with lyrics in French, and the other is the later “Le Vent” — one per side, it would seem — but whatever language they’re working in, Tunguska Mammoth have little trouble getting their hard-hitting point across.

Tunguska Mammoth

The production is smooth and professional, but there’s still impact in the drums and heft in the bass and guitar, and the clarity only becomes an asset in terms of highlighting the songwriting and the delivery on the whole, which even in the screams of “Le Vent,” remains under control for the duration, the band skillfully steering their material onto one side or the other of the line between heavy rock and metal, led by the guitars and finding room for both sides to peak through on second and longest track “Kings and Queens” (6:40), which turns after its midsection into a snare-punctuated cacophony of shouts and meatier riffing, a wah lead poking through all the emergent low end. “Yellow Sign” seems to follow a similar linear course, though the culmination it leads to is more aggressive and darker in its realization, and it ends the presumed side A with marked ferocity.

If this is to be the textured fabric — sorry to move off the poutine analogy; nothing against them, but I’m kind of tired of thinking of cheese curds — from which Breathless is woven, so be it. As they move onto side B, “New Sun” finds Bellerose working in layers of cleaner vocals and harsher growls as Rondeau adds double-kick flair and an impressive guitar solo leads the way out. “Le Vent” returns to the French lyrics, as noted, and the penultimate “Lily” provides a standout moment for bringing in choral vocals from Anne Lauzière and Pascal Desjardins and a special guest appearance from Mississippi BonesJared Collins, who brings a Soundgardenesque touch to the uptempo, rocking progression he tops — a decided departure from the screams in the second half of “Le Vent” — and sets up the chunkier finish of the six-plus-minute “We are the Night,” which would have its work cut out for it in summarizing everything Tunguska Mammoth have heretofore presented on their second long-player.

Instead, the finale moves with precision through post-Baroness modern heavy one more time before ending with a few last shouts and a fading rumble. The precise execution in the last moments speaks to the crispness of Breathless as a whole, and whatever Tunguska Mammoth might at any given moment have in common with sludge in terms of groove or general aggro-ness, their root is far more metallic than it is hardcore or punk, and that comes through for sure in the songwriting. As Breathless follows five years behind the band’s 2013 self-titled debut, I’m not sure I’d look for a follow-up anytime soon, but as a band, they sound hungry and ready to engage audience well beyond the confines of their hometown.

Tunguska Mammoth on Thee Facebooks

Tunguska Mammoth on Twitter

Tunguska Mammoth on Instagram

Deathbound Records website

Deathbound Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , ,

GIVEAWAY: Win Vision Éternel’s An Anthology of Past Misfortunes Boxed Set!

Posted in Features on April 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel

[To enter giveaway: send an email to contest@visioneternel.com with your shirt size and color preference. Yup, that’s it.]

So yeah, the process is a little different this time around. Usually for giveaways, people leave comments on a post or whatnot. This time, just send an email to Vision Éternel at contest@visioneternel.com and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Canadian one-man experimental outfit’s new boxed set, An Anthology of Past Misfortunes. The prize itself is significant, and includes flyers, five CDs, a tape, stickers, posters, on and on, as well as a full-catalog download. Safe to say Alexandre Julien, the man behind the band, has gone all out, and it is duly appreciated.

I’m going to keep my words minimal because Julien explains the prize below and that’s a fairly lengthy process, but if you look down at the bottom of this post, you’ll find the exclusive track premiere for “Love Within Narcosis (Demo),” which opens the set. At 2:27, it’s one of Julien‘s longer pieces, and in fact one of the things I find so fascinating about his work is that rather than simply ride out drone waves into ceaseless oblivion, he presents shorter pieces almost like scenes that flow together to make up a film.

That, and thanks to Julien for letting me host the track and the giveaway, comprise my piece on the matter. Once again, if you want to enter the contest, send an email to contest@visioneternel.com. If you want to leave a comment here, well, they’re always welcome, but it won’t count as an entry.

Here are the prize details:

vision eternel giveaway

One lucky winner will not only receive a full boxed set, which in itself holds five compact discs, one cassette, two stickers, six business card flyers and a two-page postcard insert, but in addition to that two sold-out posters and a t-shirt. A total retail value of $120, including shipping to any location worldwide. The winner gets all of this for free!

The five compact discs included in the boxed set are all five Vision Éternel extended plays released to date, covering 2007-2015: “Seul Dans L’obsession” (2007), “Un Automne En Solitude” (2008), “Abondance De Périls” (2010), “The Last Great Torch Song” (2012) and “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts” (2015). The cassette compilation, “Lost Misfortunes: A Selection Of Demos And Rarities (Part One)” features nineteen rare and unreleased b-sides, demos and alternate versions spanning 2007-2010. All of this audio content has been remastered and most of it appears in a physical format for the very first time!

The boxed set also includes a handful of bonus material: business card-sized reproductions of the original promotional flyers for each of the five extended plays as well as the 2009 flyer for a Japanese-exclusive compilation; two stickers: one of the 2008 band logo designed by Jeremy Roux and another of the 2017 band logo designed by Christophe Szpajdel; and two postcards with original artwork by Rain Frances and Pierrette Bourdon backed by liner notes. The assortment is packaged in a deep blue keepsake box, limited and hand-numbered.

Additionally, the winner of this giveaway package will receive two out-of-print original posters taken from band-member Alexandre Julien’s personal archives. The first of these posters was designed by Alexandre Julien for Frozen Veins Records in 2009 and was sold exclusively in Japan with a compilation compact disc. The second poster was pressed in 2015 by Abridged Pause Recordings and features Marina Polak’s photography used for the band’s 2010 extended play “Abondance De Périls”.
*Poster frames seen in the giveaway package pictures are not included.*

Furthermore, a 10-Year Anniversary t-shirt designed by world-renowned illustrator Christophe Szpajdel is included. The winner has a choice of shirt size (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large or Double Extra Large) and shirt colour (Solid Black, Solid Aqua, Heather Deep Teal, Heather Forest or Heather Dark Grey). The choice of colours can be seen in detail on Vision Éternel’s Online Store.

Last but not least, the winner will receive a complimentary discography download of Vision Éternel’s entire remastered catalog in high-quality audio of their choice (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, MP3, AAC, etc), to keep him or her company while the mail-order package arrives.

How To Enter The Giveaway:
To enter Vision Éternel’s “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” boxed set package giveaway, simply send an email to contest@visioneternel.com, and let the band know your shirt size and shirt colour preference. It’s that easy! You will receive a confirmation email once you’ve been entered. The winner will be picked on May 14th of 2018 and he or she will be contacted via the same email used to enter the contest.

Vision Éternel, “Love Within Narcosis (Demo)” official premiere

Vision Éternel website

Vision Éternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Éternel on Twitter

Vision Éternel on Instagram

Vision Éternel on Soundcloud

Vision Éternel on Spotify

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hazytones Announce Jan./Feb. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the-hazytones-photo-brooke-dee

Quebecois neo-psych rockers The Hazytones will play from Jan. 6 through Feb. 20 on their upcoming tour — shows all across the US as well as in Mexico and Canada — with a total of three days off. Three days in 46. There is a word for that kind of tour:

“Significant.”

It’s the kind of tour with three shows in Michigan. The kind of tour that hits Manhattan and Brooklyn on consecutive nights after Jersey, Boston and Upstate NY. The kind of tour that does Tempe and Flagstaff and then circles back around to Yuma before heading south of the border. You get the idea. I think “significant” covers it.

They go supporting their self-titled album, out on Ripple Music and Oak Island Records and streaming at the bottom of this post. Supporting the crap out of it, I would say.

Here are the dates:

the hazytones tour

THE HAZYTONES ANNOUNCE HUGE WINTER TOUR

Here’s the tour dates for our next tour! Mainly in the USA but also in Mexico and Canada. A total of 43 shows in 46 days this will be the ride of our lives. We can’t wait to see you all on the road! Art by DK13 Design.

The Hazytones on tour:
01.06 Albany NY The Low Beat
01.07 Boston MA O’Brien’s Pub
01.08 Asbury Park NJ The Saint
01.09 Manhattan NY The Shrine
01.10 Brooklyn NY Saint Vitus
01.11 Philadelphia PA The Pharmacy
01.12 Pittsburgh PA Smiling Moose
01.13 Indianapolis IN Black Circle
01.14 Nashville TN The Crying Wolf
01.15 Memphis TN The Hi Tone
01.16 New Orleans LA Santos
01.18 Houston TX Acadia Bar and Grill
01.19 Austin TX The Spider House Chapel
01.20 Lawton OK Railroad Saloon
01.21 Albuquerque NM Burt Tiki Lounge
01.22 Santa Fe NM Boxcar
01.23 El Paso TX Rockhouse Bar and Grill
01.24 Tempe AZ Yucca Tap Room
01.25 Flagstaff AZ The Green Room
01.26 Las Vegas NV The Dive Bar
01.27 Yuma AZ Maverick Bar
01.28 Mexicali MX-BCN Taberna Lebaron
01.30 Tijuana MX-BCN Mous Tache
01.31 San Diego CA The Merrow
02.01 Los Angeles CA Viper Room
02.02 San Jose CA Caravan Lounge
02.03 San Francisco CA Thee Parkside
02.04 Sacramento CA Blue Lamp
02.06 Santa Cruz CA Subrosa
02.07 Reno NV Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor
02.08 Salt Lake City UT Urban Lounge
02.09 Denver CO Bar Bar
02.10 Lawrence KS Replay Lounge
02.11 Kansas City KS The Riot Room
02.12 Omaha NE The Lookout Lounge
02.13 Minneapolis MN Kitty Kat Club
02.14 Milwaukee WI Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall
02.15 Chicago IL Reggies
02.16 Detroit MI PJ’s Lager House
02.17 Lansing MI The Avenue Cafe
02.18 Ypsilanti MI West Cross Station

The Hazytones are:
Mick Martel – guitar/vocals
Adam Gilbert – bass/backing vocals
Antoine St-Germain – drums

https://www.facebook.com/TheHazytones/
http://www.twitter.com/TheHazytones/
https://www.instagram.com/thehazytones/
https://thehazytones.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/oakislandrecords/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng

The Hazytones, The Hazytones (2016)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Hazytones Sign to Ripple Music & Oak Island Records; Album out Nov. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Attitude-laden heavy garage-psych doomers The Hazytones have inked not one, but two new label deals for their self-titled debut. The Montreal three-piece of Mick Martel, Adam Gilbert and Antoine St-Germain also issued the album digitally on their own in 2016 and subsequently earlier this year on tape through Hellas Records in Indonesia and Canada’s own Sunmask Records, so it’s safe to say at this point that the record has engendered some significant response.

Listening back through the nine-track offering and basking in the bassy groove of “Day of the Dead,” the space-cultistry of centerpiece “Children of the Universe” and the forward thrust of “Fool’s Paradise,” yeah, I get it. They’re right in between a couple different lines of subgenre and play to one side or another very well in these tracks, all the while casting an identity of their own in the process. I posted about the band back in Spring when they were headed out on tour and the record made enough of an impression on me then to keep them in mind. They definitely seem like suitable fodder for a wider release. Cheers all round.

Here’s info and announcements gathered from the social medias:

the-hazytones-photo-brooke-dee

The Hazytones – Ripple Music & Oak Island Records

It’s a big day today, we announce our signature on Ripple Music!!! Vinyl’s and cd’s are coming November 3rd. In a week we will have all the USA dates for our tour in January.

Here’s the other big news we had in store. Announcing our partnership with Kozmik Artifactz. They will be distributing our album, as well as producing Cd’s/Vinyl’s through their sub label Oak Island Records. Release date is November 3rd!

Says Ripple Music:

Please welcome to the family. Canadian retro doom rockers, The Hazytones!! Debut album due out this November with a new new album to follow next year. So psyched to work with these guys and bring them into the family.

Says Oak Island Records:

We are extremely excited to be partnering with our good friends at Ripple Music to bring you guys the rockin’ debut by Montreal power trio, The Hazytones

The debut will drop early November with Ripple handling the US release and Oak Island Records distributing throughout Europe. These guys rock hard, so be sure to check them out!

The Hazytones is a group of stoner rock founded in 2015 in Montreal. In September 2015, The Hazytones began the production of their debut album recorded and mixed at ReelRoad studio located in Rosemont – La Petite-Partie in Montreal. After a few month of labor, the band launched his first single ‘’Living On The Edge’’, followed by a music video. To mark the imminent release of their first titled album, the trio got on the road across Canada(23 shows) from August to September 2016.

The band launched their first titled album on September 22nd at La Rockette bar in Montreal at the Pop Montreal festival. The album was well received by the stoner/psychedelic community in Canada, USA and Europe.

More recently, the band toured Europe (UK, Belgium, Switzerland and France) for 28 days and 10 days after they embarked on a Canadian tour that led them all the way to Vancouver and back.

For the Hazytones future, a full U.S.A tour is scheduled in January and a second album is on its way. The band has been signed to two labels, Ripple Music and Kozmik Artifacts. Both labels will produce Cd, Vinyls and handle the digital distribution. Everything is set to be release on November 3rd.

The Hazytones are:
Mick Martel – guitar/vocals
Adam Gilbert – bass/backing vocals
Antoine St-Germain – drums

https://www.facebook.com/TheHazytones/
http://www.twitter.com/TheHazytones/
https://www.instagram.com/thehazytones/
https://thehazytones.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/oakislandrecords/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng

The Hazytones, The Hazytones (2016)

Tags: , , , , , , ,