The Necromancers Premiere “Black Marble House” Video; Servants of the Salem Girl Due Aug. 18 on Ripple Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the-necromancers-photo-maya-c

French four-piece The Necromancers have set an Aug. 18 release for their debut album, Servants of the Salem Girl, via respected purveyor Ripple Music, and even if it’s about witches, they manage to avoid many of the trappings of modern cult rock. To wit, they sound like neither the garage doom of Uncle Acid nor the retrofied boogie of Graveyard — and when it comes to what we’ve come to associate with cult rock, those are two considerable monoliths to avoid (even though Graveyard are just about in no way a cult rock band). The track “Black Marble House,” for which you can see a new video premiering below, is my first exposure to the Poitiers-based outfit, and it finds their sound modern, heavy, fuzzy and deceptively straightforward given their purported lyrical thematic.

One might be tempted to call that incongruity were it not for the obvious core of songwriting on display beneath the crisp production of “Black Marble House,” which allows The Necromancers to immediately take the track where they please, adding a gruff edge of aggression to the hook as they shove through the five-plus minutes over which they tell this portion of a story that, presumably, takes place over the course of the album as a whole. August is a ways off, and I haven’t heard the entirety of Servants of the Salem Girl as yet — and that’s not me being coy; I actually haven’t heard it — but as an introduction to what The Necromancers might proffer at least in part sonically throughout, “Black Marble House” piques interest and at very least gives those who’d take it on a chorus to have stuck in their head until more info and/or audio arrives.

The band offered some insight on the song and how it plays into the full record, which you’ll find under the player here along with the credits and other whatnot.

Please enjoy:

The Necromancers, “Black Marble House” official video

The Necromancers on “Black Marble House”:

“‘Black Marble House’ is the first song we recorded as a demo, and when we shot the video (which tells a witch hunt that goes wrong for the Witchfinder), we mostly wanted to release something that could illustrate the whole album we were working on, Servants of the Salem Girl. The ‘Salem Girl’ is a presence who haunts all our songs, taking different names, symbolising different things, but always floating around. It was important to us to have something not just based on the lyrics of ‘Black Marble House.'”

Taken from THE NECROMANCERS’ debut album ‘Servants Of The Salem Girl” out on Ripple Music on August 18th.’

Directed and edited by Tom Cornière-David.
Filmed by Pauline Foeillet.
Starring : Marie Besiat, Antoine Alonso, Hugo Pravia, Andolin Vermillet & The Necromancers.

The Necromancers are:
Rob – Lead Guitar
Tom – Lead Vocals & Guitar
Simon – Bass Guitar
Ben – Drums

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

The Necromancers on YouTube

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 of 2017 So Far

Posted in Features on June 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top-20-2017-so-far

The time has come to take a look at some of the best albums of 2017 so far. I hardly know where to start. In some ways, this list is harder to put together than the end-of-year one that comes out in December, because by then not only do you have the full year to draw on, but it’s easier to sort of put a narrative to the course of events of 12 months, whereas in this case, obviously, the story is half told. So I guess if the list feels incomplete, that might be part of why.

Even with just six months to work from, the list has become fairly immense. I’ve been keeping track of 2017 releases since about September of last year, and the amount of stuff that’s come through has been staggering. Every year brings good music, and the basic fact of the matter is that if you don’t think so it’s because you’re either unwilling to find it or unwilling to let yourself hear it, but 2017 has been a multi-tiered assault of sounds from all over the world, and it seems like whatever you might be into, the universe stands ready to accommodate.

There’s a lot to say about that — is the market flooded? — but it’s a topic for a different post. I’ll keep it short here and just say that as always, it’s an honor to be covering the stuff that I cover and that I deeply appreciate you taking the time to read. I hope if there’s a release you feel deeply passionate about that you don’t see on my list below that you’ll please let me know about it in the comments.

Also, please note that in order to qualify for this list, a record had to come out on or before June 9. That’s the cutoff.

Okay, here goes:

The Top 20 of 2017 So Far

elder reflections of a floating world

1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
3. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe
4. Colour Haze, In Her Garden
5. Atavismo, Inerte
6. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
7. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kozmic Dust
8. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
9. The Obsessed, Sacred
10. Mothership, High Strangeness
11. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma
12. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
13. Alunah, Solennial
14. Arc of Ascent, Realms of the Metaphysical
13. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
14. Siena Root, A Dream of Lasting Peace
15. PH, Eternal Hayden
16. Geezer, Psychoriffadelia
17. T.G. Olson, Foothills Before the Mountain
18. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable
19. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
20. Lord, Blacklisted

Notes

If you keep up with this site at all, there probably aren’t a lot of surprises in there. These are all records that have been discussed at great length over the last six months, reviewed, streamed, analyzed, whathaveyou’d all the way. If you don’t believe me, search any of the names. Still, as far as my personal picks go and who I think has crafted something special over the last six months, this feels pretty representative to me. I managed to live for a full week with the list as you see it above, without making changes. That’s usually my standard.

And as always, it’s a combination of what I’ve listened to most and what I feel has had the greatest impact thus far into the year. Between the two, there was little doubt Elder would take the top spot. I’ve probably listened to the All Them Witches record more than anything else this year, including Elder’s Reflections of a Floating World, but the truth is the Massachusetts trio are working at a level of their own making in terms of their sonic progression, and that they’ve emerged as one of if not the most pivotal American underground heavy rock bands going. The situation was much the same when they put out Lore in 2015 and claimed that year’s top-album spot, but even since then their sound has expanded and they continue to demand ultimate respect.

As for the All Them Witches album — absolute stunner. The increased depth of their arrangements on Sleeping Through the War came at no expense of songwriting, resulting in ultra-memorable material that could either wash over you with melody or shove you out of your seat with the force of its rhythm, and that band continues to be a treasure. No other way to put it.

From there, we move into what I think are the four best heavy psych offerings of 2017 so far, with Samsara Blues Experiment, Colour Haze, Atavismo and Sun Blood Stories, in that order. Samsara Blues Experiment’s return has been a joy to witness and their first album in four years lived up to the occasion. Colour Haze expanded the palette from their last album with In Her Garden and proved as immersive as always. I’m still getting to know that record. Atavismo’s second full-length upped the progressive influences without losing fluidity or cohesion in songwriting, and Sun Blood Stories’ hypnotic shoegaze offered expansive thrills and a sense of varied, beautifully crafted exploration.

A pair of exciting young bands thereafter in Colorado’s Cloud Catcher, whose boogie is right-on-right-on and whose development continues to hold much potential, and Vokonis, whose crushing riffs on The Sunken Djinn were met with an increased focus on structure and tightening of approach that maximized overall impact. The Obsessed’s unexpected return could only be called a triumphant one, and Mothership’s third long-player found them working in a richer sense of mood than previous outings, adding yet more character to what was still a blast of good-time rock and roll. They round out the top 10 in full command of who they are as players.

Granted, the next 10 releases are kind of all over the place, but I think that just shows the overarching quality of work being done across the board. From Spaceslug’s melodic stoner-psych to Electric Moon’s studio return — so, so, so good — to Alunah’s continued growth in nature-worshiping heavy and Arc of Ascent’s comebacker of rolling heavy riffs and metaphysical themes, there’s been so much to take in. I especially like the pairing of Rozamov and Siena Root as a sense of scope for 2017 so far; the former being so dark and crushing and the latter who lived up to calling their record A Dream of Lasting Peace. You want to know both ends of the spectrum? There they are.

PH’s Eternal Hayden gets a nod for its effective reset of the context of that band following the completion of their trilogy of albums, and Geezer’s Psychoriffadelia might have been something of a tossoff in the making, but the level at which the New York trio jams nonetheless assures it a spot here. Plus, a Nazareth cover. So duh.

I couldn’t help but include T.G. Olson’s Foothills Before the Mountain on the list as the Across Tundras frontman creeps closer to a full-band sound for his solo work, adding to his acoustic singer-songwriter foundations, and the crush of Telekinetic Yeti’s post-Sleep riffing evoked so many nods I thought they deserved one here as well. Placing The Devil and the Almighty Blues was difficult, but especially after seeing them live, I felt like I had a better idea of where they were coming from on II, so knew they belonged somewhere, even if it was tucked in at the end. And of course, Lord. Always killer, always experimenting, always chaotic. Never have grind and sludge sounded more cohesive together. They’re the band I wish Soilent Green had become, and yes, I mean that.

Honorable Mention

Let’s do another 10 releases, shall we?

21. Beastmaker, Inside the Skull
22. Arduini/Balich, Dawn of Ages
23. Brume, Rooster
24. John Garcia, The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues
25. Six Sigma, Tuxedo Brown
26. Demon Head, Thunder on the Fields
27. Summoner, Beyond the Realm of Light
28. Steak, No God to Save
29. Six Organs of Admittance, Burning the Threshold
30. Dool, Here Now There Then

And just to make the point, here are even more worthy of note in this space:

Elbrus, Elbrus
Cortez, The Depths Below
Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury
Child, Blueside (a December 2016 release, maybe, but I think the vinyl was this year, so whatever)
Pallbearer, Heartless
Spidergawd, IV
Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
Loss, Horizonless

There are of course other names as well that come to mind. Like I said at the outset, it’s a crowded field: Hymn, Arbouretum, Green Meteor, REZN, Demon Head, Galley Beggar, Devil’s Witches, Orango, Heavy Traffic, Coltsblood, Mt. Mountain, Vokonis, Solstafir, High Plains, on and on.

Also worth highlighting several really, really quality live records that have surfaced so far this year. I didn’t really know where to place them among the other studio offerings, but they deserve note for sure:

Causa Sui, Live in Copenhagen
Death Alley, Live at Roadburn
My Sleeping Karma, Mela Ananda – Live
Enslaved, Roadburn Live

More to Come

Of course, we’re still just barely halfway through the year, so keep on the lookout for more to follow. If you didn’t see my massive 200+ albums to watch for list in January, it has many that have come out and many more still to surface, but here are a few highlight names as well that you’re going to want to keep an eye on in the months ahead:

Queens of the Stone Age
Radio Moscow
The Atomic Bitchwax
Kadavar
Ufomammut
The Midnight Ghost Train
Moon Rats
Clamfight
Egypt
the Melvins
Bison Machine
Seedy Jeezus
High on Fire
Monster Magnet

Thanks for Reading

Before I check out, I’d like to give special mention to Lo-Pan’s In Tensions EP as the best short release of the year thus far. Along with EPs from Godhunter, Kings Destroy, Solace and Shroud Eater, it has assured those seeking a quick fix are handed their ass in return for asking.

Well, that’s about where I’m at with it. As per usual, I’m sure there are things I forgot and/or left off here, because I’m human and whatnot, so please if you have something to add, feel free to do so in the comments so long as you can keep it cordial. No name calling. I’m sensitive and you’ll ruin my whole day. I mean that.

Thanks again for being a part of this and here’s to an excellent rest of 2017.

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War Cloud Sign to Ripple Music; Debut Album Due in Sept.

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

Oakland heavy rockers War Cloud released their Vulture City digital single (discussed here) last Spring, and though it was only one song and a four-minute sampling of their wares, it was pretty easy to tell that dudes were headed somewhere. Classic in form, modern in execution and geared by a raucous, semi-metallized urgency, the track was a telling forecast of a band who, one way or the other, was going to be on the move. Sure enough, the four-piece, which features Wild Eyes bassist Carson Binx, have signed to Ripple Music for the release of their debut album this September.

Info on the record is minimal at this point, but September is three months away and I suspect things like artwork, tracklisting, audio previews, tour dates, video, etc., are all impending. Keep an eye out, because listening back to “Vulture City” now — as you can at the bottom of this post — War Cloud don’t sound any less loaded with potential than they did a year ago.

From the PR wire:

war cloud

Bay Area Heavy Rockers, War Cloud, Sign to Ripple Music for New Album and Tour

Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome San Francisco Bay Area heavy rockers, War Cloud, to it’s roster of the best of the modern heavy bands.
?
Erupting in 2014, out of Oakland, California, War Cloud has been on a steady path of shredding Northern Californian ear drums. Founded by Alex Wein (vocals, guitars), who moved from Baltimore MD and wasted no time in recruiting area musicians after firmly planting his amps in the Bay Area. Looking to create an aural ash cloud of volcanic rock, Alex solidified this four- man crew with two Bay Area natives Joaquin Ridgell (drums) and Tony Campos (guitar), and secured the low end with Toronto transplant Carson Binx on bass.

War Cloud is a young band but far from wide-eyed innocents. Their musical history drenched in molten riffs across the timeline of heavy metal, the name alone originates from a Wicked Lady song of the same title. With roots encompassing Tony’s tenure in San Francisco’s heavy thrash tinged Hell Fire, Carson’s melding of hard rock rhythm and old-school groove on bass, and Joaquin pounding his drums as if possessed by the ghost of John Bonham himself. War Cloud has created a new flavor of heavy rock music for those enjoying past meals served up by the likes of Pentagram, UFO, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath.

War Cloud’s debut album — their first for Bay Area based heavy rock leader — Ripple Music will hit the streets this September in vinyl, CD and digital formats. Available world-wide via all digital platforms, world-wide physical distribution and the Ripple Music webstore.

War Cloud is:
Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Tony Campos – Guitar
Carson Binx – Bass
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/warcloudiscoming/
https://warcloudiscoming.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.warcloud.bigcartel.com/
www.ripple-music.com
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/

War Cloud, “Vulture City”

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Review & Full Album Stream: Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

vokonis the sunken djinn

[Click play above to stream The Sunken Djinn by Vokonis in its entirety. Album is out this Friday, June 9, via Ripple Music.]

With their second album in as many years, Swedish riffers Vokonis answer crucial questions about the kind of band they will be. They make their debut on Ripple Music with The Sunken Djinn, which was recorded at Studio Underjord in Norrköping with Joona Hassinen, and in addition to the quick turnaround — they’ll be a prolific band, perhaps — the trio’s follow-up to 2016’s Ozium Records-issued Olde One Ascending (review here) finds them working consciously to refine their processes. That in itself is telling when it comes to what guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson, bassist/backing vocalist Jonte Johansson and drummer Emil Larsson want to convey and accomplish as artists, and from the group’s beginnings in 2015 as Creedsmen Arise, whose demo, Temple (review here), came out through Btnk Cllctv, one can now better trace a creative trajectory on a course of which The Sunken Djinn is playing an essential part.

Comprised of seven songs brought to bear over a rumbling, riffing, and righteous 40 minutes, The Sunken Djinn strips down and focuses Vokonis‘ songwriting in a way that Olde One Ascending, in a year-later hindsight, began to do. The difference is that where the debut was more concerned ultimately with establishing their presence in a crowded underground and standing them out for the impact of their material, tonal heft and lumbering groove, pieces here like “Calling from the Core,” “Rapturous” and the highlight centerpiece “Blood Vortex” — only 4:49 long, but arguably the most effective hook included — build confidently on that foundation and move forward in a way that in all fairness can only be called progressive.

Of course, that’s not to say Vokonis have gone prog. They may get there yet, but to-date, their purpose remains keyed into crushing heavy riffs and nodding out beastmaster rhythms. This is signaled quickly on the opening title-track — also the longest inclusion at 6:51 (immediate points) — as “The Sunken Djinn” introduces itself via Ohlsson‘s dense tonal push and sets to work efficiently in making its way toward the first of The Sunken Djinn‘s several standout choruses. Ohlsson and Johansson have worked smoothly in arranging dual vocals since the latter joined the band prior to the release of Olde One Ascending, and as the opener unfolds to a midsection bridge and plotted solo, their dynamic remains a threat even though it never materializes and instead the band fluidly transition into “Calling from the Core.”

An airier, atmospheric start is met head-on with fervent chug backed by Larsson‘s creative cymbal-ism and with the vocals farther back in the mix, “Calling from the Core” would seem to live up to its name, even as the guitarist and bassist come together once again for the chorus, a particularly Sleep-derived turn of riff that leads to a cleaner-sung couple lines at the halfway point that are yet another answer to where Vokonis might be headed overall. That is, one doubts that will be the last non-shout vocals we’ll hear from them, and fair enough for how well they’re pulled off that first time and the second, which pulls away from lyrics in favor of topping a build at the end of the track with “oohs” that call Greenleaf to mind without sacrificing their own cacophony to do so. Two cuts in and Vokonis have already shown a range that will keep expanding with the lurch of “The Coldest Night.” A more patient, gradual introduction leads to nod-out chug and pummel for what’s arguably the purest onslaught throughout The Sunken Djinn, keeping heft as its root intention as it hammers its central riff into the listener’s skull, departing from it only for a solo in the second half and only to return with even more low-end fuzz fortification from Johansson to close out.

vokonis

Fading residual rumble brings the arrival of the speedier “Blood Vortex,” the most straightforward rocker Vokonis have composed to this point in their career and one well-constructed to make its point about the status of their craftsmanship. Its thrust, its shorter runtime and the fact that it doesn’t necessarily have to depart tonally from its surroundings in order to move at the pace it does make it a standout, and if one considers it an experiment in songwriting — strange to think of what’s basically a classically-structured headbanger as an outfit’s brazen departure moment, but context is everything — the no-nonsense shove and balance of hook and weight once again bode remarkably well for where Vokonis‘ direction might take them. Likewise the dive into feedback and noise that starts the subsequent “Architect of Despair,” a slower crawl of a riff unfurling with Ohlsson and Johansson‘s vocals beneath a winding line that seems to straighten out as it passes the midpoint of the 6:34 run, but proves less about getting to the chorus à la “Blood Vortex” or “The Sunken Djinn” than making the journey itself, which it does with a marked flow into “Rapturous.”

What might be considered the closer, “Rapturous” is a late reinforcement of what The Sunken Djinn has accomplished across its span, taking its time to properly introduce its riff in traditionally stonerized fashion before the vocals arrive, stomping through its verse en route to delivering the title-line as a memorable chorus in the spirit of the album’s landmarks and still offering some expansion of purposes in subtle flourish of guitar melody as even in making their way out, Vokonis can’t seem to resist showcasing a bit of their ongoing growth. That melody comes to further prominence in the song’s second half, and for a moment, it almost seems like they’ll symmetrically bring back the cleaner vocals of “Calling from the Core,” but they don’t actually get there, instead shifting into the three-minute noise outro “Maelstrom” and choose to cap The Sunken Djinn with the opposite kind of experiment as “Blood Vortex.”

By that I mean “Maelstrom” takes Vokonis almost entirely away from the notion of song structure — there is a drum pattern caked in effects, so some motion is provided — in favor of raw noise. It’s a decided and willful shift in approach that seems to set the other end of breadth to what the three-piece consider “fair game” within their approach. Less a highlight — less a “song” — within itself, its statement nonetheless comes through clearly, and it works to answer yet another question about who Vokonis are and can become as a unit. The Sunken Djinn, as final as the title might make it sound — as in, “it’s sunk” — captures Vokonis in medias res as regards their growth as a band, and with it, they share not just a progress update with their burgeoning audience, but a collection of songs that will further help establish them as one of the European underground’s strongest riff-led up and comers. The best of both worlds, then. One wonders if they’ll keep up the studio productivity going forward or shift into more time spent touring over the rest of 2017-2018, but either way, the notice they serve with their second album isn’t to be ignored.

Vokonis, “The Sunken Djinn” official video

Vokonis on Thee Facebooks

Vokonis on Twitter

Vokonis on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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BoneHawk Announce June Tour Dates Starting at Fuzz Fest 4 & Burnin’ Turf II

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bonehawk

I’m just going to assume that, aside from the nod to Judas Priest, BoneHawk calling their upcoming June run the ‘Screaming for Pizza Tour’ is a reference to and/or a continuation of the running gag from their prior video for the track “Los Vientos” (posted here), which also had pizza as a central theme. Can’t really argue. Who doesn’t like pizza? And who doesn’t like good-time heavy rock and roll? If BoneHawk show up with both, well, I don’t see how that isn’t a win for everybody involved. You’ll also note the tour poster below says in the top right corner, “We’re not a Judas Priest tribute band.” Probably good to clarify these things outright.

The Kalamazoo four-piece, who took part in Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy split series last year, sharing a platter with Kingnomad (review here), will begin their stint at Fuzz Fest 4 in Ann Arbor and the Obelisk-presented Burnin’ Turf II in Ruth, MI, before heading to Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest and Southeast. They’re reportedly working toward having a new album out, also on Ripple, in 2018, as they affirmed via the PR wire:

bonehawk screaming for pizza tour

BoneHawk Screaming For Pizza Tour Starts June 2

It’s summertime and the livin’ is sleazy! Alas, it sounds like the ripe time for our dudes in BoneHawk to pile into the Barbarian van and hit the road for a tour of epic proportions and drives so long they will most certainly have black circles under their eyes as if they had tricked each other into using binoculars with shoe polish around the lenses…but we digress!

Hornacious Wax is proud to present BoneHawk’s “Screaming For Pizza Summer 2017” tour! Starting June 2nd with the fourth annual Fuzz Fest in Ann Arbor, and ending back in the band’s hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan, the boys will be showcasing several new tunes off their upcoming release on Ripple Music (early 2018). Also, rejoice and bemoan them at the same time in singalongs to some oldies but goodies!

Go check them out! Bring a friend! Take a picture next to the Barabarian van! Don’t forget to #lookforthebarbarian

Here are the details:
Friday, 6/2/2017 @ Fuzz Fest 4 in Ann Arbor, MI w/ Cruthu, Lo Pan, S.N.A.F.U. and more!
Saturday, 6/3/2017 @ Burnin’ Turf II in Ruth, MI w/ Bison Machine, Wild Savages, Dead Feathers, Red Stone Souls, Gear Jammer, and Rip VanRipper
Sunday, 6/4/2017 @ Reggie’s in Chicago w/ Hypnochron, Phase Order, and Strange World
Monday, 6/5/2017 @ the Sinkhole in St. Louis, MO w/ Lightning Wolf and Planet Eater
Tuesday, 6/6/2017 @ the Blue Note in Oklahoma City, OK
Wednesday, 6/7/2017 @ the Limelight in San Antonio, TX
Thursday, 6/8/2017 @ Masquerade w/ Worshipper, the Great Electric Quest, Echoes of Savages, and Stone
Friday, 6/9/2017 @ Test Pattern in Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, 6/10/2017 @ the Wizard Saloon in Hickory, NC
Sunday, 6/11/2017 @ Spring Water Supper Club in Nashville, TN
Wednesday, 6/14/2017 @ 25 Watt Club in Richmond, VA
Thursday, 6/15/2017 @ Capone’s in Johnson City, TN w/ Mega X, Uktena, and Bones of Mary
Friday, 6/16/2017 @ Buzzbin Art & Music Shop in Canton, OH w/ White Cadillac and Lohrs
Saturday, 6/17/2017 @ Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo, MI w/ Telekinetic Yeti, Drink Their Blood and Chod

https://www.facebook.com/bonehawkkzoo/
https://www.instagram.com/bonehawk_band/
https://twitter.com/bonehawkmusic
http://bonehawk.bandcamp.com
http://bonehawk.bigcartel.com

BoneHawk & Kingnomad, The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Three (2016)

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Vokonis Premiere “The Sunken Djinn” Video; Album out June 9 on Ripple Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

vokonis

In their new video for the title-track of the forthcoming The Sunken Djinn, Swedish trio Vokonis bring their audience into what might be considered their native habitat. That’s otherwise known as Studio Underjord in Norrköping, where the riff-hurling three-piece recorded The Sunken Djinn with Joona Hassinen. As the Borås-based outfit circles up to perform “The Sunken Djinn,” we can see the soft lighting, the tapestries, the posters on the wall and of course the wide array of microphones in that creative environment, and begin to get a better sense of what would lead them to want to record there in the first place. For one thing, it looks really, really clean. Cleaner than any studio I’ve ever been in, certainly.

The Sunken Djinn will serve as Vokonis‘ premiere release through Ripple Music when it arrives on June 9, following up on their well-received 2016 debut, Olde One Ascending (review here), and in addition to the video, the title-track — which also leads off the LP — was released as a 7″ single on May 13 in limited numbers with artwork calling to mind The Expanse‘s protomolecule and a live version of “Olde One,” which opened the first record. Unsurprisingly, that platter has completely sold through its three different limited editions, and I’ve no idea if the band will press up more. If you missed it — hey, I did too. That’s just how it goes sometimes.

If you’ve been paying attention, it’s been a lot of Vokonis around here lately. They led off the last podcast with this very song, they’ve already been interviewed about The Sunken Djinn, and even before I heard the record, they were in my list of 2017’s most anticipated albums. That’s not an accident. What guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson, bassist Jonte Johansson and drummer Emil Larsson bring to the tenets of post-Sleep heavy riffage continues to show marked potential even as the band develops their own personality and tightens their songcraft, and I think that’s something definitely worth talking about. This won’t be the last time, either. Look for an album review and full stream on Monday, June 5, and I’m sure more to come after that as well.

Until then, you can enjoy “The Sunken Djinn” below and hopefully get a sense of where Vokonis are coming from with it, or at very least, the place that played a role in its making. Video is directed by Marcus Jehrlander.

Hope you enjoy:

Vokonis, “The Sunken Djinn” official video

Simon Ohlsson on “The Sunken Djinn”:

“When going into the studio to record some songs for an upcoming project we wanted to do a video fitting of the process. To give everyone who have an interest in us a chance to get a closer look at our recording process.”

The Sunken Djinn (LP) by Vokonis is released on 9th June on Ripple Music. Video filmed by Marcus Jehrlander at Studio Underjord.

Entitled The Sunken Djinn, for the Swedish doom trio – featuring guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson, drummer Emil Larsson and bassist Jonte Johansson – this album marks a huge leap forward in sound and scope. Still loosely rooted in traditional stoner rock with enough lumbering fuzz riffs and monolithic grooves to keep you in a permanent fog of mystification, this time around their entire approach is tempered by an even darker psychedelic perspective. As best heard on the album’s epic title track, which consists of two parts sonic tapestry and one part bloodied ten-ton hammer.

Vokonis:
Simon Ohlsson – Guitars, Vocals
Emil Larsson – Drums
Jonte Johansson – Bass

Vokonis on Thee Facebooks

Vokonis on Twitter

Vokonis on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

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Mothership European & UK Tour Starts June 17

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

mothership (Photo Jason Goodrich)

Next month, Texas heavy rock exports Mothership will head back to Europe and the UK for a tour to support their 2017 third album, High Strangeness (review here). Launching with a revisit to Germany’s Freak Valley Festival, from which they previously released a live album, the power trio will make their way in the company of desert legends Yawning Man to the UK for a stretch alongside Ripple Music compatriots Poseidon, after which they’ll meet up with Karma to Burn and Egypt and work their way toward the finish of the run July 14 at Stoned from the Underground, also in Germany. Almost a full month on the road, shows all around Europe, and it comes full circle at German fests. Awesome.

Word came through the PR wire about the UK shows, and I’ve added the complete European run info here — because one likes to be thorough about these things. Check it out:

mothership euro tour square

MOTHERSHIP Set to Storm the U.K. for the HIGH STRANGENESS’ UK Album Tour 2017

Mothership took the world by storm with their latest album, “High Strangeness”, their 4th release for California Heavy Rock leader, Ripple Music. After months of non-stop touring in America, now the Texan hard rockers take their high energy, guitar-mad show to Europe. Be sure not to miss ‘HIGH STRANGENESS’ UK Album Tour 2017. Tickets on sale now!

Joining them on the U.K. highways are Ripple Labelmates, post-metal doomsters, Poseidon, who’ll be touring their Ripple Music debut, “Prologue”

17 June – Siegen, DE – Freak Valley Festival (SOLD OUT)
18 June – Berlin, DE – Badehaus*
19 June – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang*
21 June – Landgraaf, NL – Oefenbunker
22 June – Utrecht, NL – dB’s
23 June – Bourlon, FR – Rock In Bourlon
24 June – Brussels, BE – Magasin 4
25 June – Milton Keynes, UK – Craufurd Arms+
26 June – Coventry, UK – The Phoenix+
27 June – Manchester, UK – Factory+
28 June – Edinburgh, UK – Bannermans+
29 June – Cardiff, UK – Fuel+
30 June – Bournemouth, UK – The Anvil+
01 July – London, UK- The Black Heart+
03 July – Paris, FR – Le Glazart**
04 July – Nantes, FR – Le Scene Michelet**
06 July – Barcelona, ES – Rocksound
07 July – Turin, IT – Blah Blah
08 July – Povegliano Veronese, IT – Art Pollution Festival
09 July – Parma, IT – App Colombofili
10 July – Treviso, IT – Benecio Live Gigs***
11 July – Vienna, AUT- Arena
12 July – Nuremberg, DE – MUZclub
13 July – Munich, DE – Feierwerk
14 July – Erfurt, DE – Stoned From The Underground Festival
* W/ Yawning Man
+ W/ Poseidon
**W/ Karma To Burn & Egypt
***W/ Karma To Burn

Mothership is:
Kelley Juett – Guitars/Vox
Kyle Juett – Bass/Vox
Judge Smith – Drums

mothershipusa.bandcamp.com
mothershiphaslanded.com
facebook.com/mothershipusa
twitter.com/mothershipusa
ripple-music.com
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
www.heavypsychsounds.com

Mothership, High Strangeness (2017)

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audiObelisk Transmission 061

Posted in Podcasts on May 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk podcast 61

Click Here to Download

 

Yes! A new podcast! Are you stoked? I’m stoked. If you’re not, you will be when you look at the list of bands included. In any case, let’s be stoked together, because rock and roll, and heavy psych and good music and, well, yeah. That’s pretty much stuff to be stoked about. It’s been absurdly long since the last time we did one of these. Too long. I don’t really have an excuse other than… gainful employment? Don’t worry, though. That’ll be over soon enough. Then it’ll be podcasts out the ass.

There’s some killer goods here though. Yeah, I decided to do a “Yeti” double-shot with Green Yeti into Telekinetic Yeti. That’s my version of me being clever. But both bands are righteous, and if you haven’t heard the Savanah record, or that new Tia Carrera jam, or the Cachemira or Big Kizz or Yagow or Vokonis or the Elder — oh hell, frickin’ all of it — it’s worth your time. That Emil Amos track just premiered the other day and I think will surprise a lot of people, and I liked the way it paired with the dark neofolk of Hermitess. And of course we get trippy in the second hour, as is the custom around here. But first a moment of prog clarity from the aforementioned Elder. That’s a good time as well.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Vokonis, “The Sunken Djinn” from The Sunken Djinn
0:06:47 Tia Carrera, “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)” from Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)
0:16:33 Supersonic Blues, “Supersonic Blues Theme” from Supersonic Blues Theme / Curses on My Soul
0:19:28 Emil Amos, “Elements Cycling” from Filmmusik
0:22:28 Hermitess, “Blood Moon” from Hermitess
0:26:24 Savanah, “Mind” from The Healer
0:34:22 Yagow, “Non-Contractual” from Yagow
0:42:35 Big Kizz, “Eye on You” from Eye on You
0:45:53 Cachemira, “Jungla” from Jungla
0:52:05 Green Yeti, “Black Planets (Part 2)” from Desert Show
0:58:02 Telekinetic Yeti, “Stoned and Feathered” from Abominable

Second Hour:

1:02:10 Elder, “The Falling Veil” from Reflections of a Floating World
1:13:20 Riff Fist, “King Tide” from King Tide
1:24:15 Cavra, “Montaña” from Cavra
1:39:18 Causa Sui, “A Love Supreme” from Live in Copenhagen

Total running time: 1:55:53

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 061

 

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