Doomstress to Release Sleep Among the Dead LP April 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doomstress

Fair enough to call Doomstress‘ debut album awaited since their second EP, The Second Rite (discussed here) came out in 2017 and they were already touring hard at that point. They stopped at some point last year long enough to record Sleep Among the Dead, however, and DHU Records and Ripple Music will have it out on vinyl and CD this Spring, respectively. Preorders for the LPs start on March 29, which is astonishingly not that long from now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a song or two surfaced before the album itself shows up a month later. The art comes courtesy of Goatess Doomwych, and the tracklisting has been unveiled as well — you’ll note “Bitter Plea” included from the 2017 EP — and it seems like only a matter of time before the four-piece get back out on the road to support it, so stay tuned.

Info from the PR wire:

doomstress sleep among the dead

Doomstress to release debut full length album “Sleep Among the Dead” April 30th Walpurgisnacht

After releasing a 7″ in 2016 and a Split with Cleveland’s Sparrowmilk on DHU Records in 2017, the time has come for Doomstress to release their full length debut album titled “Sleep Among the Dead” on Limited Edition vinyl through DHU Records and on CD through Ripple Music respectively in this, The New Year of Heavy MMXIX.

“Sleep Among the Dead” was recorded amid the hectic and tense live touring schedule in 2018, and that intensity and raw energy you will hear and feel as you press play on this bad mother.

Musically and lyrically drawing from many wells of the dark side of life, personal experiences and the ever present doomed real world events, making this a deep seated Heavy Metal Doom monster from start to finish, mark my words!

Artwork for “Sleep Among the Dead” is done by the ever great Goatess Doomwych who also did the artwork for the Split with Sparrowmilk, side Doomstress, and it is a powerful piece.

Pre orders for the Doomstress – “Sleep Among the Dead” Limited Edition vinyl will go live Friday March 29th at 7PM CET

Official release date April 30th Walpurgisnacht

Available in following Editions:

-Burning Lotus Edition
(DHU Exclusive)
Limited to 90 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Flooded in black
Black polylined innersleeves
Double sided full color inlay
Artwork by Goatess Doomwych
Hand numbered DHU Exclusive card
Comes on Green/White Cornetto effect w/ Purple and Black Splatter 12″ vinyl

-Bones & Rust Edition
Limited to 150 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Flooded in black
Black polylined innersleeves
Double sided full color inlay
Artwork by Goatess Doomwych
Comes on Oxblood w/ Silver Splatter 12″ vinyl

-Test Press
Limited to 10 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Alternate artwork by Goatess Doomwych
White polylined innersleeves
Hand numbered
Hand stamped
Deluxe PVC sleeve
Black 12″ vinyl

Doomstress – Sleep Among the Dead (DHU032)

Side A
A1. Bitter Plea
A2. Burning Lotus
A3. Dreaming Spider
A4. Your God is Blind

Side B
B1. Bones and Rust
B2. Apathetic Existence
B3. Sleep Among the Dead

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Johnson – Guitar
Matt Taylor – Guitar
Tomasz Scull – Drums

www.doomstress.com
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
instagram.com/Doomstress_band
twitter.com/Doomstress
www.darkhedonisticunion.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Doomstress, “Bitter Plea” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Stuck in Motion, AVER, Massa, Alastor, Seid, Moab, Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Into Orbit, Super Thief, Absent

Posted in Reviews on March 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Let the games begin! The rules are the same: 10 albums per day, this time for a total of 60 between today and next Monday. It’s the Quarterly Review. Think of it like a breakfast buffet with an unending supply of pancakes except the pancakes are riffs and there’s only one dude cooking them and he’s really tired all the time and complains, complains, complains. Maybe not the best analogy. Still, it’s gonna be a ton of stuff, but there are some very, very cool records included, so please keep your eyes and your mind open for what’s coming, because you might find something here you really dig. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Stuck in Motion, Stuck in Motion

stuck in motion self-titled

The classic style cover art of Swedish trio Stuck in Motion‘s self-titled debut tells much of the story. It’s sweet-toned vintage-style soul rock, informed by Graveyard to some degree, but more aligned to retroism. The songs are bluesy and natural and not especially long, but have vibe for weeks, as demonstrated on the six-minute longest-track “Dreams of Flying,” or the flute-laden closer “Eken.” What the picture doesn’t tell you is the heavy use of clavinet in the band’s sound and just how much the vintage electric piano adds to what songs like “Slingrar” with its ultra-fluid shifts in tempo, or the sax-drenched penultimate cut “Orientalisk.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Max Kinnbo, drummer Gustaf Björkman and bassist/vocalist/clavinetist Adrian Norén, Stuck in Motion‘s debut successfully basks in a mellow psychedelic blues atmosphere and shows a patience for songwriting that bodes remarkably well. It should not be overlooked because you think you’re tired of vintage-style rock.

Stuck in Motion on Thee Facebooks

Stuck in Motion on Bandcamp

 

AVER, Orbis Majora

aver orbis majora

Following up their 2015 sophomore outing, Nadir (review here), which led to them getting picked up by Ripple Music, Australia’s AVER return with the progressive shove of Orbis Majora, five songs in 50 minutes of thoughtfully composed heavy progadelica, and while it’s not all so serious — closer “Hemp Fandango” well earns its title via a shuffling stonerly groove — opener “Feeding the Sun” and the subsequent “Disorder” set a mood of careful craftsmanship in longform pieces. The album’s peak might be in the 13-minute “Unanswered Prayers,” which culls together an extended linear build that’s equal parts immersive and gorgeous, but the rest of the album hardly lacks for depth or clarity of purpose. An underlying message from the Sydney four-piece would seem to be that they’re going to continue growing, even after more than a decade, because it’s not so much that they’re feeling their way toward their sound, but willfully pushing themselves to refine those parameters.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Massa, Walls

massa walls

Flourish of keys adds nuance to Massa‘s moody, heavy post-rock style, the Rotterdam-based trio bringing an atmosphere to their second EP, Walls, across five tracks and 26 minutes marked by periodic samples from cinema and a sense of scope that seems to be born of an experimental impulse but not presented as the experiment itself. That is, they take the “let’s try this!” impulse and make a song out of it, as the chunky rhythm of instrumental centerpiece “Expedition” or the melodies in the prior “#8” show. Before finishing with the crash-into-push of the relatively brief “Intermassa,” the eight-minute “The Federal” complements winding guitar with organ to affect an engaging spirit somewhere between classic and futurist heavy, with the drums holding together proceedings that would seem to convey all the chaos of that temporal paradox. Perhaps it was opener “Shiva” that set this creator/destroyer tone, but either way, Massa bask in it and find a grim sense of identity thereby.

Massa on Thee Facebooks

Massa on Bandcamp

 

Alastor, Slave to the Grave

alastor slave to the grave

The first full-length from Swedish doomplodders Alastor and their debut on RidingEasy Records, late 2018’s Slave to the Grave is the four-piece’s most expansive offering yet in sonic scope as well as runtime. Following the 2017 EPs Blood on Satan’s Claw (review here) and Black Magic (review here), the seven-song/56-minute offering holds true to the murk-toned cultism and dense low-end rumble of the prior offerings, but the melodic resonance and sense of updating the aesthetic of traditional doom is palpable throughout the roller “Your Lives are Worthless,” while the later acoustic-led “Gone” speaks to a folkish influence that suits them surprisingly well given the heft that surrounds. They make an obvious focal point of 17-minute closer “Spider of My Love,” which though they’ve worked in longer forms before, is easily the grandest accomplishment they’ve yet unfurled. One might easily say the same applies to Slave to the Grave as a whole. Those who miss The Wounded Kings should take particular note of their trajectory.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Seid, Weltschmerz, Baby!

seid-weltschmerz_baby-web

If Norwegian space-psych outfit Seid are feeling weary of the world, the way they show it in Weltschmerz, Baby! is by simply leaving it behind, substituting for reality a cosmic starscape of effects and synth, the odd sample and vaguely Hawkwindian etherealism. The centerpiece title-track is a banger along those lines, a swell of rhythmic intensity born out of the finale of the prior “Satan i Blodet” and the mellow, flowing “Trollmannens Hytte” before that, but the highlight might be the subsequent “Coyoteman,” which drifts into dream-prog led by echoing layers of guitar and eventually given over to a fading strain of noise that “Moloch vs. Gud” picks up with percussive purpose and flows directly into the closer “Mir (Drogarna Börjar Värka),” rife with ’70s astro-bounce and a long fadeout that’s less about the record ending and more about leaving the galaxy behind. Starting out at a decent clip with “Haukøye,” Weltschmerz, Baby! is all about the journey and a trip well worth taking.

Seid on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records website

 

Moab, Trough

moab trough

A good record tinged by the tragic loss of drummer Erik Herzog during the recording and finished by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis and bassist Joe Fuentes, the 10-track/39-minute Trough demonstrates completely just how much Moab have been underrated since their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo (discussed here), and across the 2014 follow-up, Billow (review here), as they bring a West Coast noise-infused pulse to heavy rock drive on “All Automatons” and meet an enduring punker spirit face first with “Medieval Moan,” all the while presenting a clear head for songcraft amid deep-running tones and melodies. “The Will is Weak” makes perhaps the greatest impact in terms of heft, but heft is by no means all Moab have to offer. With the very real possibility this will be their final record, it is a worthy homage to their fallen comrade and a showcase of their strengths that’s bound someday to get the attention it deserves whenever some clever label decides to reissue it as a lost classic.

Moab on Thee Facebooks

Moab on Bandcamp

 

Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Split

primitive man unearthly trance split

Well of course it’s a massive wash of doomed and hate-filled noise! What were you expecting, sunshine and puppies? Colorado’s Primitive Man and Brooklyn’s Unearthly Trance team up to compare misanthropic bona fides across seven tracks of blistering extremity that do Relapse Records proud. Starting with the collaborative intro “Merging,” the onslaught truly commences with Primitive Man’s 10-minute “Naked” and sinks into an abyss with the instrumental noisefest “Love Under Will,” which gradually makes its way into a swell of abrasive drone. Unearthly Trance, meanwhile, proffer immediate destructiveness with the churning “Mechanism Error” and make “Triumph” dark enough to live up to its most malevolent interpretations, while “Reverse the Day” makes me wonder what people who heard Godflesh in the ’80s must’ve thought of it and the six-minute finishing move “418” answers back to Primitive Man‘s droned-out anti-structure with a consuming void of fuckall depth. It’s like the two bands cut open their veins and recorded the disaffection that spilled out.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Unearthly Trance on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Into Orbit, Shifter

Into Orbit Shifter

Progressive New Zealander two-piece Into OrbitPaul Stewart on guitar and Ian Moir on drums — offer up the single Shifter as the answer to their 2017 sophomore long-player, Unearthing. The Wellington instrumentalists did likewise leading into that album with a single that later showed up as part of a broader tracklist, so it may be that they’ve got another release already in the works, but either way, the 5:50 standalone track finds them dug into a full band sound with layered or looped guitar standing tall over the mid-paced drumming, affecting an emotion-driven atmosphere as much as the cerebral nature of its craft. Beginning with a thick chug, it works into more melodic spaciousness as it heads toward and through its midsection, lead guitar kicking in with harmony lines joining soon after as the two-piece build back up to a bigger finish. Whatever their plans, Into Orbit make it clear that just because something is prog doesn’t mean it needs to be staid or lack expressiveness.

Into Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Into Orbit on Bandcamp

 

Super Thief, Eating Alone in My Car

super thief eating alone in my car

Noise-punk intensity pervades Eating Alone in My Car, the not-quite-not-an-LP from Austin four-piece Super Thief. They call it an album, and that’s good enough for me, especially since at about 20 minutes there isn’t much more I’d ask of the thing that it doesn’t deliver, whether it’s the furious out-of-mindness of minute-long highlight “Woodchipper” or the poli-sci critique of that sandwiches the offering with opener “Gone Country” immediately taking a nihilist anti-stance while closer “You Play it Like a Joke but I Know You Really Mean It” — which consumes nearly half the total runtime at 9:32 — seems to run up the walls unable to stick to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” point of view of the earlier cut. That’s how the bastards keep you running in circles, but at least Super Thief know where to direct the frustration. “Six Months Blind” and the title-track have a more personal take, but are still worth a read lyrically as much as a listen, as the rhythm of the words only adds to the striking personality of the material.

Super Thief on Thee Facebooks

Learning Curve Records website

 

Absent, Towards the Void

absent towards the void

Recorded in 2016, released on CD in 2018 and snagged by Cursed Tongue Records for a vinyl pressing, Absent‘s Towards the Void casts a shimmering plunge of cavernous doom, with swirling post-Electric Wizard guitar and echoing vocals adding to the spaciousness of its four component tracks as the Brasilia-based trio conjure atmospheric breadth to go along with their weighted lurch in opener “Ophidian Womb.” With tracks arranged shortest to longest between eight and a half and 11 minutes, “Semen Prayer,” “Funeral Sun” and “Urine” follow suit from the opener in terms of overall approach, but “Funeral Sun” speeds things up for a stretch while “Urine” lures the listener downward with a subdued opening leading to more filth-caked distortion and degenerate noise, capping with feedback because at that point what the hell matters anyway? Little question in listening why this one’s been making the rounds for over a year now. It will likely continue to do so for some time to come.

Absent on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

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

Horseburner Premiere “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone”; Announce The Thief on Ripple Music

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

horseburner

It’s a time of change for West Virginian riffers Horseburner. A decade into their run and after releasing their incredibly well received debut, Dead Seeds, Barren Soil (review here), on their own in 2016 and through Hellmistress Records in 2017, the band are getting ready to bid farewell to guitarist Zach Kaufman following some final dates together as part of their Spring tour, most of which will feature StonecuttersNick Burks in that role alongside guitarist/vocalist Jack Thomas, bassist Seth Bostick and drummer/vocalist Adam Nohe.

At the same time, Horseburner have signed to Ripple Music and are newly unveiling the single “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone” taken from their upcoming second album, The Thief, which will be their first outing for the label. In a sharply-edged five minutes, the song burns horses and barns alike with heroic guitar lines and vocal harmonies drawn from modern progressive metallurgy, but manages as well to hold tight to an underlying groove and build in energy while touching on vibes as much NWOBHM as they are noise rock, the two-guitar dynamic and two-vocal dynamic working in concert to make the track unpredictable despite the solid rhythmic foundation on which it rests — or, when one considers the tempo, doesn’t at all rest.

Already confirmed for Grim Reefer Fest in Baltimore and New England Stoner & Doom Fest in Jewett City, Connecticut — with 40,000 other bands, apparently — Horseburner bring precise execution and weighted tones to bear with motion and largesse in like measure. Through clear production and intent, they would seem to be poised to bring their stamp to the pastiche of modern heavy, and if the purpose of an advance single is to pique interest, “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone” is mission accomplished.

Kudos to the band and to Ripple on the signing. The PR wire brings a full update and you’ll find the premiere of “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone” at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy:

horseburner-hand-of-gold-man-of-stone

HORSEBURNER: West Virginian Heavy Stoner Metalists To Release New Album ‘THE THIEF’ with Ripple Music; Share New Song “Hand Of Gold, Man Of Stone” & Announce U.S. Spring Tour

Together since 2008, borne from the wild Appalachian green of West Virginia, HORSEBURNER has never cowered from hard toil. From their first live show performed, a first EP ‘Dirt City’ self-released in 2009, an initial tour in 2011, to a second EP 7” ‘Strange Giant’ in 2013, and right up to a debut full-length ‘Dead Seeds, Barren Soil’ in 2016, it’s all been DIY and self-released.

They’ve played hundreds of shows over the past decade, alongside such acts as Torche, Weedeater, Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore, Obituary, Corrosion of Conformity, The Obsessed, Karma to Burn, Prong, Byzantine, Cough, ASG, Rosetta, and Bell Witch. In 2017, the band altered their DIY stride with a reissue of their full-length through Hellmistress Records and reignited their flame with writing and recording new music during 2018.

Horseburner continues to step up the pace in 2019, with a recent signing with RIPPLE MUSIC to release their sophomore full-length, ‘THE THIEF’, later this year, as well as the announcement of a U.S. Spring Tour. To introduce the upcoming album, a new song is being released today – “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone” off the upcoming album ‘The Thief.’

The band’s reaction to the new venture:
“We are thrilled to finally be putting out new music after almost three years and several member changes, and we can’t wait for people to hear “Hand of Gold, Man of Stone.” It was the first song we finished for this new album, and we think it really sets the tone for what’s to come this summer when the full album is released. It’s loud, it’s aggressive, it’s a little weird… It’s also the shortest song. Brevity has never been our strong suit, but there is a much larger story waiting to be told, and this song is just one chapter. We’re even more excited to be teaming up with Ripple Music for the new record. We love so many bands on their roster, it’s such a well curated label. We’re honored to be joining the Ripple Family, and honestly, that’s what it feels like, a family. “

Some excitement from Todd Severin of Ripple Music:
“It’s not that often that a band comes by and just blows my mind, but Horseburner is one of them. They’re taking the raw soul of stoner and taking it in fresh, exciting new directions. The sky is the limit for where these guys will soar.”

The band also shares some words about the upcoming tour:
“We’re definitely ready to be back on the road, as well. We haven’t been out there as much as we like to this past year, and we’re ready to throw off the rust and see some new faces. We’re hitting a few places for the first time ever, and returning to some old favorites, so this will be a good time.

On top of all that, we’ve got one of our best pals, Nick Burks from Louisville’s Stonecutters, filling in on guitar for the April tour and some of the May dates, it’s going to be killer. Then with Zach’s exit from the band, and him doing a handful of farewell shows before he leaves for good… having Zach’s last show with us in Columbus, Ohio in May – ten years from our first ever show, which was also in Columbus – bittersweet is definitely one way to put it.”

horseburner-tour-spring-2019U.S. Spring Tour Dates:
March 22 – Huntington, WV @ V Club (w/ Cavern, Embracer, Signals)
March 23 – Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway (w/ Indighost, Haal)
*April 12 – Detroit, MI @ The Fireside (w/ Gear Jammer, Black Heiron)
*April 13 – Toronto, ONT @ The Bovine Sex Club (w/ Ol’ Time Moonshine, Jahgernaut, Quiet Earth)
*April 14 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place (w/ Malarchuk, Yanari, Tines)
*April 15 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Desperate Annie’s for Super Dark Monday (w/ Ghastly Sound, The Tenants)
*April 16 – Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House (w/ Ghastly Sound, Wolfhand, Sachem)
*April 17 – Bangor, ME @ Downunder Club (w/ Ghastly Sound, + more)
*April 18 – Boston, MA @ OBrien’s (w/ VOS, Greylock)
*April 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Well (w/ Godmaker, + more)
*April 20 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar for Grim Reefer Fest (w/ Ruby the Hatchet, Heavy Temple, Haze Mage, Mountainwolf, Book of Wyrms, YATRA, Tombtoker)
May 3 – Pottsville, PA @ Goodfellas (w/ 44 Mag, Brain Candle, The Hands Resist, Faith in Exile) *Playing as a trio*
*May 4 – Jewett City, CT @ Altone’s for New England Stoner Doom Fest (w/ Stonecutters, Brimstone Coven, + 40,000 bands)
*May 5 – Washington, D.C. @ Atlas Brew Works (w/ Stonecutters, Dirt Eater)
May 17 – Parkersburg, WV @ The Dils Center (w/ Lo-Pan, Louts, + more)
May 18 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups (Zach’s last show!)

*Nick Burks from Stonecutters on Guitar

Horseburner:
Adam Nohe – Drums/Vocals
Jack Thomas – Guitar/Vocals
Seth Bostick – Bass
Zach Kaufman – Guitar

https://www.horseburner.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Horseburner/
https://horseburner.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/horseburner/
https://twitter.com/horseburner
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Tags: , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: Obsidian Sea, Strangers

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

obsidian sea strangers

[Click play above to stream the title-track of Strangers by Obsidian Sea. Album is out March 22 on Ripple Music.]

Classic doomers Obsidian Sea mark a decade of existence and make their debut on Ripple Music with their third full-length, Strangers. The three-piece were last heard from with 2015’s Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (discussed here), and with their new album, they present a tidy six songs and 40 minutes of material that ranges from the ultra-Sabbathian double-layered lead work in opener “The Birth of Fear” to the more complex proto-metallic crunch in nine-minute side A finale “A Shore Without a Sea,” to the subtly progressive execution on that song’s side B counterpart, “The Play.” Their intentions pointed squarely at the doom of olde, the focus from the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Anton Avramov, bassist Delyan Karaivanov and drummer Bozhidar Parvanov is more about traditionalism than range, but there is a spaciousness to the proceedings nonetheless, and for as basic as the elements at play might seem in their sound — guitar, bass, drums, riffs, solos, vocals, etc. — they never fail to set an atmosphere throughout Strangers that breathes new life into the aesthetic with which their working and becomes crucial to the stamp they leave on it with this material.

Strangers isn’t overly showy in terms of trying to convey some threat, and it’s not outwardly morose as plenty of doom can be, and neither is it totally defeated, but even in the brash riff of “The Birth of Fear,” there’s a sense of struggle that comes through, and as that first and crucial hook is set as an opening statement of Obsidian Sea‘s intention for what will follow, they hold to that mindset. It’s not theatrical, and it’s not melodramatic, but as “Every Heart Hides a Killer” taps Pagan Altar via earliest Witchcraft, there’s an unsettling vibe that comes across, and the band seem to revel in it in Avramov‘s next layered solo and the lumber that ensues from there, but it’s telling that they end that second cut in a subdued fashion, as it speaks to the underlying patience in their songwriting.

The kind of doom they’re playing shouldn’t be in a hurry, and Obsidian Sea aren’t. They don’t lurch exactly, but neither do they sound rushed. “The Birth of Fear” and “Every Heart Hides a Killer” both move at a smooth pace, the opener just a bit faster, and seem more concerned with establishing the course of the record than catching the listener off guard with any sudden or stark changes. To wit, the build into a nodding chug and solo part in “Every Heart Hides a Killer” is well telegraphed ahead of time, and the chorus earlier in “The Birth of Fear” is clearly placed at the outset to grab attention. At the same time, there’s something very carefully done about Strangers that comes through beneath the surface of the album. It is very purposefully divided into two sides, each of which caps with a nine-minute track — “A Shore Without a Sea” and “The Play,” respectively — and to listen to Avramov and Karaivanov‘s tones and even the raw gut of Parvanov‘s drumming, it’s clear that Obsidian Sea aren’t conjuring their sound by happenstance.

Obsidian Sea

As one might expect for a third LP, the band have an idea of their sound and how to realize it in the studio. No doubt some of it came together on the fly as is inevitable in a recording process, but the composition and delivery of these songs are thoughtful and able to engage with nuance despite being outwardly traditional. It’s in this manner that Obsidian Sea carve out their niche within the genre and work to make their sound their own in a way they haven’t before. This, obviously, is the ideal for a band in their position, and maturity suits them all the more since they have the substance of craft to support their own stylistic manifestation. As “A Shore Without a Sea” gracefully unfolds along its plotted trajectory, the band’s control over that direction is complete, and they are able sound-wise to find that place in between in such a way as to shape genre to suit the needs of their material. Again, the ideal.

“Strangers” and “The Demolished Man” function not unlike “The Birth of Fear” and “Every Heart Hides a Killer” on side A, but the title-track fleshes out the vocals with a second layer, and “The Demolished Man” most gruelingly communicates the downtrodden spirit of the album through a slower pace and a sense of arriving at its referenced vanquishing, departing from vocals just past the halfway mark and continuing along an instrumental path for the remainder of its six minutes. Both sides of the record work shortest to longest, so there’s no shortage of symmetry to be read throughout, but as it’s slower and more outwardly depressive, “The Demolished Man” makes a fitting penultimate cut, since it seems to push downward as far as Obsidian Sea are willing to go while still allowing for “The Play” to summarize the entire proceedings. Is that organ I hear at the start?

Either way, the closer fleshes out Strangers‘ sound effectively, bringing together tempo shifts like that around the 4:30 mark and stretches of softer melancholy and more tempestuous riffing all to serve the purpose of defining Strangers as a whole. In so doing, it denotes a release of marked artisanship, making use of the tenets of classic doom without sacrificing its own persona at their altar, and creating songs that find a place for themselves amid the expressive history of the genre that is as much personal as it is reaching out for connection. Their variability in songwriting is drawn together via a thread of tone and melody woven across the material, and they use this as the backdrop for bringing a doom to bear that is at once homage to what’s come before and a sign of what the future might bring. It can be a difficult outing to pin down at first, but the manner in which its spirit plays out across its run is well worth the effort of repeat listens.

Obsidian Sea on Thee Facebooks

Obsidian Sea on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Tags: , , , , ,

Cities of Mars to Release The Horologist in April; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

cities of mars

There’s a lot of good info in the PR wire update below about the new Cities of Mars album, but I feel like the key word at play here is “awesome.” As in, “There’s a new Cities of Mars record? Oh, that’s awesome.” Or, “Golly, that album art sure is awesome.” Or even, “Hey, they have a song streaming too? Awesome!” and the inevitable, “Holy moly, that riff sounds awesome.” And so on.

It was announced last year that the Gothenburg three-piece had inked a deal with Ripple Music, so while that portion of the press release isn’t a huge surprise, it’s still awesome (sorry, that’s the last one, I promise), and as they follow-up 2017’s righteous debut, Temporal Rifts (review here), they’ll do so not only with the new label’s backing, but with the momentum earned through a steady stream of live shows over the last two-plus years. I’ve made no secret that I dig these guys, and if you’re interested to know why, well, “Hydrahead” is streaming at the bottom of this post.

Have at it:

cities of mars the horologist

CITIES OF MARS: Swedish Doom Trio team up with RIPPLE MUSIC for THE HOROLOGIST | Stream and share new song ‘HYDRAHEAD’

The Horologist is officially released on 5th April 2019 on Ripple Music

Formed in 2014 in Gothenburg by bassist/singer Danne Palm, guitarist Christoffer Nore?n and drummer Johan Ku?chler, Cities of Mars take a lead from the likes of Mastodon, Kylesa, Sleep and Baroness.

Combining heavy doom riffs, ambient soundscapes and haunting vocals, there’s an unmistakable sci-fi narrative that flows through their music, helping them to push boundaries and channel their unique firebrand of heavy progressive rock.

As chief proponents of stoner metal and corporeal ancestors in a revered lineage of Swedish doom rock history, following the success of their inaugural/self-released digital single ‘The Third Eye/Cyclopean Ritual’ (produced by Esben Willems of Monolord/Berserk Audio) the band wasted no time in setting out to record, Celestial Mistress. Released in 2016 on Suicide Records, this mind-crushing EP – featuring the captivating artwork of Gothenburg-based graphic artist Axel Wide?n – truly signalled the band’s arrival on the underground scene.

Cities of Mars have embarked on numerous European tours since their inception and new shows heralded the arrival of new songs, all of which fed into the release of their debut album, Temporal Rifts (2017). With the lyrics on each song adding a chapter to a continuing story, Temporal Rifts follows the ascent of a Soviet cosmonaut on a covert space mission in 1971 and his discovery of an ancient Martian city that awakens a sleeping conspiracy from the dawn of humanity.

This April the saga continues, following three solid years of writing, jamming and touring under their collective belts. Now working alongside Ripple Music label and the management skills of Blackskull Services, Cities of Mars will unleash their awesome new album The Horologist on 5th April 2019.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Necronograph
2. Trenches of Bah-belon
3. Inner Sanctum Outer Space
4. Hydrahead
5. The Last Electric Dream
6. The Floating Museum
7. Work Song
8. Lines In The Dark

Pre-order the album now at www.ripple-music.com

CITIES OF MARS:
Danne Palm – Bass, Vocals
Christoffer Norén – Guitar, Vocals
Johan Küchler – Drums, Vocals

www.facebook.com/citiesofmars
http://citiesofmars.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/citiesofmars
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Cities of Mars, “Hydrahead”

Tags: , , , , ,

Arcadian Child Post “The March” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Burgess Meredith, an actor known for his work in everything from the 1960s Batman show and The Twilight Zone to Rocky, only apparently ever directed one feature film on his own and it was the 1978 B-movie The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go. Needless to say, I’ve never seen it — and you probably haven’t either — but some footage from it appears in the new Arcadian Child video for “The March” from their late-2018 offering, Superfonica (review here), and at very least it does well there in helping set a mood. And mood is pretty crucial when it comes the Cyprus-based heavy psych rockers and their second full-length on Ripple-offshoot Rogue Wave Records, as the band conjures an overarching fluidity in their approach that draws songs together even as those like “The March” itself stand out with languid and engaging hooks.

Most records, I’m sad to say, get shelved once I review them, either figuratively or literally. I don’t listen to them again. No time. Tomorrow is another review (or two) and there’s just too much to go back, even to albums I dig. Superfonica came out on Nov. 23, at a time when most reviewer-types are either looking back on the year that was or looking ahead to the year that will be. Even so, Arcadian Child‘s work has continued to stand out, and I’ve got back to it more than a few times over the last couple months, even despite the ever-present onslaught of other offerings to be considered. It’s become one of those albums I reach for, and the wash that the band craft across its span makes it certainly welcome whenever I get the chance to put it on again. Which, incidentally now, and sure enough, the record’s holding up.

Enjoy “The March” below, then feel free to hit play on the Bandcamp embed at the bottom of the post with the whole record on it, because really, even if you know the record, I don’t think you’re going to regret spending the time.

Here’s to Burgess Meredith:

Arcadian Child, “The March” official video

From sophomore album “Superfonica,, Get it: https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
Out via Ripple Music and Rogue Wave Records

Produced by Andreas Trachonitis and Arcadian Child
Recorded and Mixed by Andreas Trachonitis
at studio eleven63 in Nicosia
Additional recordings by Mikaela Tsangari
Mastered by Yiannis Christodoulatos at sweetspot productions in Athens

Video edited by Iam Nothe
https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheMMXI/
Features scenes from “The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go”, a film by Burgess Meredith (1978), “Messiah of Evil”, a film by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (1973) and various educational films.

Music by Arcadian Child
Lyrics by Panagiotis I.G

Arcadian Child, Superfonica (2018)

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Rogue Wave Records on Thee Facebooks

Rogue Wave Records BigCartel store

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , ,

Obsidian Sea to Release Strangers March 22; Streaming “The Birth of Fear”

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Obsidian Sea

I was fortunate enough not so terribly long ago to have been put onto Obsidian Sea‘s second album, Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (discussed here), so the news that the band has been picked up by Ripple Music for the follow-up due out next month, titled Strangers, is nothing but welcome. The Bulgarian trio practice a style of doom that’s stylistically intricate but still steeped in tradition, and as you can hear in “The Birth of Fear” streaming below, you could just as easily tag them a classic-style band as a garage doom outfit as a practitioners of the dark heavy psychedelic arts. Awesome.

My hope is to have more to come on this one — i.e. a track premiere or some such — before it’s released on March 22, so stay tuned for that (I hope), and here’s some background from the PR wire in the meantime:

obsidian sea strangers

Introducing OBSIDIAN SEA: Bulgarian Heavy Psych Trio to release new album STRANGERS with RIPPLE MUSIC | Share new song ‘THE BIRTH OF FEAR’

Formed in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2009 by guitarist/singer Anton Avramov and close friend/drummer, Bozhidar Parvanov, Obsidian Sea is a doom metal band whose style shifts atmospherically through heavy rock ‘n’ roll, dark variants of 70s doom metal, and psychedelic and progressive rock.

Following the release of a four-song demo in 2010, their first full-length debut, Between Two Deserts was officially released in 2012. Out of necessity, Obsidian Sea quickly became a trio with the addition of Ivaylo Dobrev on bass and the band soon played their first few live shows alongside the likes of Ufomammut, 1000mods, Abysmal Grief, Dopelord and a whole host of local acts such as Upyr, Sativa, Muddy, Trysth and The Lost Underdogs; each band making a vital contribution to the development of a small but promising doom/stoner/sludge scene in Bulgaria. As well as playing live in their homeland, Obsidian Sea has also played in Greece, Serbia and Austria, while taking part in the Doom Over Vienna Fest in 2017.

The second Obsidian Sea album, Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions was recorded in the Autumn of 2014 and released by the band themselves as a limited-edition CD and cassette on the Bulgarian label, Serpent Eve Records. 2016 brought a line-up change – Ivaylo Dobrev was replaced on bass by Delyan Karaivanov – and in March 2016, Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions was repressed on vinyl and CD by Nuclear War Now! Productions (USA).

Strangers is released on 22nd March 2019 through Ripple Music. Stream and share new song ‘The Birth of Fear’ HERE.

Pre-order the album HERE

OBSIDIAN SEA is:
Anton Avramov – Guitars, Vocals
Delyan Karaivanov – Bass, Backing Vocals
Bozhidar Parvanov – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/ObsidianSeaDoom/
https://obsidian-sea.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hazytones Touring Next Month; Playing SXSW and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

THE HAZYTONES

Canadian trio The Hazytones will be taking their heavy psychedelic cultistry on the road next month, heading south to swing their way into Texas for a couple dates at SXSW, including the SX Stoner Jam that seems to have become the epicenter of March heavy touring in the States. To get there, they’ll make their way down the East Coast beforehand, stopping in Brooklyn and Philly en route to North Carolina — that’s about eight and a half hours in the car, by the way — and on to New Orleans and Austin from there. A couple brutal rides, it seems, but they go supporting the worthy cause of their second album, II: Monarchs of Oblivion (review here), which came out this past Fall on Ripple Music, so they should have plenty to keep them motivated along the way.

Plus it’s warm in Austin. That should help too.

They head back north via Memphis, Chicago, and Lansing, Michigan, then wrap with dates in Hamilton and Toronto before getting back to Montreal. It’s a good run, and a smart one. They’ll do well.

Dates and whatnot came down the PR wire:

the hazytones tour poster

The Hazytones tour

Formed in 2015, The Hazytones’ shadowy sound is the epitome of a “hazy tone”. The band’s black acid-drenched shock rock drips with harmonies that harken back to the trippiest of late 60’s psych and its chained-to-the brain hooks bleed with a palpable, eerie energy that surges and swings in equal measure. Live is where the band really finds its swagger, flinging themselves around the stage and converting new disciples with each and every performance. With full European and North American tours already under their belts, The Hazytones are a developing band on the rise, who delivered a sweeping salvo with the release of their substantial sophomore LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion.

The Hazytones live:
03.08 Lucky 13 Brooklyn NY
03.09 Astromonster Records Philadelphia PA
03.10 The Milestone Club Charlotte NC
03.11 Santos Bar New Orleans LA
03.12 Kick Butt Cafe Austin TX
03.14 Spider House SX Stoner Jam Austin TX
03.15 The Mix San Antonio TX
03.16 Kick Butt Cafe Gravity Fest Austin TX
03.17 The Growlers Memphis TN
03.18 Reggies Chicago IL
03.19 Displaced Manor Lansing MI
03.20 This Ain’t Hollywood Hamilton ON
03.21 Cherry Cola’s Toronto ON

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

The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion (2018)

Tags: , , , , , ,