Quarterly Review: Sunn O))), Crypt Sermon, The Neptune Power Federation, Chron Goblin, Ethereal Riffian, Parasol Caravan, Golden Core, Black Smoke Omega, Liquid Orbit, Sun Below

Posted in Reviews on January 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Hey all, we made it to the final day of the Winter 2020 Quarterly Review, so congrats to ‘us’ and by us I mean myself and anyone still reading, which is probably about two or three people. On my end today is completely manic in terms of real-life, offline logistics — much to do — but no way I’m letting one last batch of 10 reviews fall by the wayside, so rest assured, by the time this goes live, it’ll be complete, even though I’ve had to swap things out as some stuff has been locked into other coverage since I first slated it. Plenty around waiting to be written up. Perpetually, it would seem.

But before we dive in, thank you for reading if you’ve caught any part of this QR. I hope your 2020 is off to an excellent start and that finding new music to love is as much a part of your next 12 months as it can possibly be.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sunn O))), Pyroclasts

sunn o pyroclasts

The narrative — because of course there’s a narrative; blessings and peace upon it — is that drone-metal progenitors Sunn O))), while in the studio recording earlier-2019’s Life Metal (review here) with Steve Albini, began each day doing a 12-minute improvised modal drone working in a different scale. They used a stopwatch to keep time. Thus the four tracks of Pyroclasts were born. They all hover around 11 minutes after editing, which settles neatly onto two vinyl sides, and it’s the rawer vision of Sunn O))), with just Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley‘s guitars, rather than some of the more elaborate arrangements which they’ve been known to undertake. That they’d put out two studio records in the same year is striking considering it had been four years since 2015’s Kannon (review here), but I think the truth of the matter is they had these tapes and decided they were worth preserving with a popular release. I wouldn’t say they were wrong, and the immersion here is a good reminder of the core appeal of Sunn O)))‘s conjured depths.

Sunn O))) on Bandcamp

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Crypt Sermon, The Ruins of Fading Light

Crypt Sermon The Ruins of Fading Light

Traditional doom rarely sounds as vital as it does in the hands of Crypt Sermon. The Philly five-piece return with The Ruins of Fading Light on Dark Descent Records as an awaited follow-up to 2015’s Out of the Garden (review here) and thereby bring forth classic metal with all the urgency of thrash and the poise of the NWOBHM. Frontman Brooks Wilson — also responsible for the album art — is in command here and with the firm backing of bassist Frank Chin and drummer Enrique Sagarnaga, guitarists Steve Jannson and James Lipczynski offer sharpened-axe riffs and solo scorch offset by passages of keyboard for an all the more epic vibe. The rolling “Christ is Dead” is pure Candlemass, but the galloping “The Snake Handler” might be the highlight of the 10-track/55-minute run, though that’s not to take away either from the Dehumanizer chug of “Key of Solomon” or the melodic reach of the closing title-track either. Take your pick, really. It’s all metal as fuck and glorious for that. If they don’t sell denim jackets, they should.

Crypt Sermon on Thee Facebooks

Dark Descent Records on Bandcamp

 

The Neptune Power Federation, Memoirs of a Rat Queen

the neptune power federation memoirs of a rat queen

“Can you dig what the Imperial Priestess is laying down?” is the central question of Memoirs of a Rat Queen, the first album from Sydney, Australia’s The Neptune Power Federation to be released through Cruz Del Sur Music, and it arrives over an ELO “Don’t Bring Me Down”-style arena rock beat on leadoff “Can You Dig?” as an intro to the rest of the LP. Strange, epic, progressive, traditional, heavy and cascading rock and roll follows, as intricate as it is immediately catchy, and whether it’s “Watch Our Masters Bleed” or “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” the Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch and company make it easy to answer in the affirmative. Arrangements are willfully over the top as “Bound for Hell” and “The Reaper Comes for Thee” engage a heavy rocker take on heavy metal’s legacy, maddened laughter and all in the latter track, which closes, and the affect on the listener is nothing less than an absolute blast — a reminder of the empowering sound of early metal on a disaffected generation in the late ’70s and early ’80s and how that same fist-pump-against-the-world has become timeless. No doubt the costumes and all that make The Neptune Power Federation striking live, but as Memoirs of a Rat Queen readily steps forward to prove, the songs are there as well.

The Neptune Power Federation on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music on Bandcamp

 

Chron Goblin, Here Before

chron goblin here before

Have Chron Goblin been here before? The title of their album speaks to a kind of creepy deja vu feeling, and that’s emblematic of the Canadian band’s move away from the party rock of their past offerings, their last LP having been Backwater (review here) 2015. Fortunately, while they seek out some new aesthetic ground, the 11 tracks of Here Before do maintain Chron Goblin‘s penchant for straight-ahead songcraft and unpretentious execution — and frankly, that wasn’t at all broken. Neither, perhaps was the let’s-get-drunk-and-bounce-around spirit of their prior work, but they sound more mature in a song like the six-minute “Ghost” and “Slipping Under” (premiered here) successfully melds the shift in presentation with the energy of their prior output. Maybe it’s still a party but we watch horror movies? I don’t know. They’ve still got “Giving in to Fun” early in the tracklisting — worth noting it follows the swaying “Oblivion” — so maybe I’m misreading the whole thing, or maybe it’s more complex than being entirely one thing or the other might allow for. Perish the thought. Either way, can’t mess with the songs.

Chron Goblin on Thee Facebooks

Chron Goblin on Bandcamp

 

Ethereal Riffian, Legends

ethereal riffian legends

Ukrainian heavy rockers Ethereal Riffian make a pointed sonic shift with their Legends album (on Robustfellow), keeping some of the grunge spirit in their melodies as the eight-minute “Moonflower” and closer “Ethereal Path” show, but in songs like “Unconquerable” and the early salvo of “Born Again,” “Dreamgazer” and “Legends” and even the second half of “Kosmic” and “Pain to Wisdom,” they let loose from some of the more meditative aspects of their past work with a fiery drive and a theme of enlightenment through political and social change. A kind of great awakening of the self. There’s still plenty of “ethereal” to go with all that “riffian” in the intro “Sage’s Alchemy,” or the first half of “Kosmic” or the CD bonus “Yeti’s Hide,” but no question the balance has tipped toward the straightforward, and the idea seems to be that the electrified feel is as much a part of the message as the message itself. The only trouble is that since putting Legends out, Ethereal Riffian called it quits to refocus their energies elsewhere in the universe. Are they really done? I’m skeptical, but if so, then at least they went out trying new things, which always seemed to be a specialty, and on a note of directly positive attitude.

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

Parasol Caravan, Nemesis

parasol caravan nemesis

A second long-player behind 2015’s Para Solem, the eight-song/35-minute Nemesis is not only made for vinyl, but it’s made for rockers. Specifically, heavy rockers. And it’s heavy rock, for heavy rockers. Based in Linz, Austria, the double-guitar four-piece Parasol Caravan have their sound and style on lockdown, and their work, while not really keeping any secrets in terms of where it’s coming from in its ’70s-via-’90s modern take, is brought to bear with a clarity that seems particularly derived from the European heavy rock tradition. Para Solem was longer and somewhat fuzzier in tone, but the stripped down approach of the title-track at the outset and its side B counterpart, “Serpent of Time” still unfold to a swath of ground covered, whether it’s in the subdued instrumental “Acceptance” or “Transition,” which follows the driving “Blackstar” and closes the LP with a bit of a progressive metal edge. Even that has its hook, though, and that’s ultimately the point.

Parasol Caravan on Thee Facebooks

Parasol Caravan on Bandcamp

 

Golden Core, Fimbultýr

golden core fimbultyr

The title Fimbultýr translates to “mighty god” and is listed among the alternative names of Odin, which would seem to be who Oslo’s Golden Core have in mind in the leadoff title-track of their second album. Issued through Fysisk Format, it is not necessarily what one thinks of as “Viking metal” in the post-Amon Amarth or post-Enslaved context, but instead, the eight-song collection unfolds a biting modern sludge taking an edge of the earlier Mastodon lumber and bringing it to harshly-vocalized rollout. The 11-minute “Runatal” and only-seconds-shorter “Buslubben” are respective vocal points around which sides A and B of the release center, and each finds a way to give like emphasis to atmosphere and extremity, to stretch as well as pummel, and much to Golden Core‘s credit, they seem not only aware of the changes they’re presenting in their material, but in control of how and when they’re executed. The resulting linear flow of Fimbultýr, given the shifts within, isn’t to be understated as a victory on the part of the band.

Golden Core on Thee Facebooks

Fysisk Format on Bandcamp

 

Black Smoke Omega, Harbinger

Black Smoke Omega Harbinger

Harbinger may well be just that — a sign of things to come. The debut offering from Black Smoke Omega wraps progressive death-doom and gothic piano-led atmospherics around a thematic drawing from science-fiction, and while I’m not certain of the narrative being told by the Dortmund, Germany-based band, their method for telling it is fascinating. It’s not entirely seamless in its shifts, and it doesn’t seem like the band — seemingly spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jack Nier, though Ashley James (The Antiquity) plays guitar on “A Man without a Heart” and Michael Tjanaka brings synth/piano to “Kainé” — want it to be, but there’s no denying that by the time “Falling Awake” seems to provide some melodic resolution to the often-slow-motion tumult prior, it’s doing so by bringing the different sides together. It’s a significant journey from the raw, barking shouts on “The Black Scrawl” and the lurching-into-chug-into-lurch of “The Man without a Heart” to get there, however. But this, too, seems to be on purpose. How it all might shake out feels like a question for the next release, but Black Smoke Omega seem poised here to leave heads spinning.

Black Smoke Omega on Thee Facebooks

Black Smoke Omega on Bandcamp

 

Liquid Orbit, Game of Promises

Liquid Orbit Game of Promises

While on the surface, Liquid Orbit might be on familiar enough ground with Game of Promises for anyone who has encountered the swath of up-and-comers working in the wake of Blues Pills, the Bremen, Germany, five-piece distinguish themselves through not just the keyboard work of Anders alongside Andree‘s guitar, Ralf‘s bass, Steve‘s drums and Sylvia‘s vocals, but also the shifts between funk, boogie, and edges of doom that play out in songs like “Shared Pain” and “Please Let Her Go,” as well as the title-track, which starts side B of the Nasoni Records-issued vinyl with a highlight guitar solo and an insistent snare tap beneath that works to bring movement to what’s still one of Game of Promises‘ shorter tracks at six and a half minutes, as opposed to the earlier eight-minute-toppers on side A or the psych-prog finale “Verlorene Karawane,” which translates in English to “lost caravan” and indeed basks in some Mideastern vibe and backward-effects vocal swirl. Bottom line, if you go into it thinking you know everything you’re getting, you’re probably selling it short.

Liquid Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Sun Below, Black Volume III

Sun Below Black Volume III

As the title hints, the name-your-price Black Volume III is the third EP release from Toronto’s Sun Below. All three have been issued over roughly a year’s span, and the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Jason Craig, drummer/backing vocalist Will Adams, bassist/backing vocalist Garrison Thordarson — who as far as I’m concerned wins this entire Quarterly Review when it comes to names; that’s an awesome name — and two have featured covers. On their debut, they took on “Dragonaut” by Sleep, and on Black Volume III, in following up the 12-minute nod-roller “Solar Burnout,” they thicken and further stonerize the catchy jaunt that is “Wires” by Red Fang. They’ve got, in other words, good taste. Black Volume III opens with “Green Visions” and thereby takes some righteous fart-fuzz for a walk both that and “Solar Burnout” show plenty of resi(n)dual Sleep influence, but honestly, it’s a self-releasing band with three dudes who sound like they’re having a really good time figuring out where they want to be in terms of sound after about a year from their first release, and if you ask anything else of Black Volume III than what it gives, you’re obviously lacking in context. Which is to say you’re fucking up. Don’t fuck up. Dig riffs instead.

Sun Below on Thee Facebooks

Sun Below on Bandcamp

 

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Robustfellow Productions Issues 2019 Label Sampler

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I like to think that usually when I put something up like this, it might catch eyes from a range of people, or if not, at least I don’t have a specific person in mind. This is not one of those posts. This post is made for one person in particular, and whoever you are, you all know that person. They’re the ones who piss and moan about how everything new sucks and there’s nothing good coming out like when they were 12 or whatever and nothing is cool and blah blah blah. Everyone knows that person. Sometimes I think we’ve all been that person, but there’s never been less of an excuse for being that person than there is now. New music is everywhere. Everywhere. Not only is it waiting to be discovered, it’s pretty much throwing itself in your face and screaming “HERE I AM AND ALSO I’M PROBABLY FREE AT LEAST TO STREAM!”

Short of new music showing up at your doorstep carrying a tray of warm blueberry muffins, I find it hard to think of ways in which it could be made easier than it is in this day and age. It’s one of the fringe benefits of the apocalypse in which we reside.

Case in point, here comes Ukrainian imprint Robustfellow Productions with a 42-track/three-plus-hour label sampler bringing together past releases with exclusive songs, upcoming stuff and a whole mess of styles rammed together for your, well, sampling convenience. Frankly, if you — yes, you — make it past Eternal Elysium and Thunderchief and are still complaining there’s nothing good out there, the problem isn’t the rest of the world, but even if they’re not your thing, there’s a ton of stuff here and I won’t even pretend to know it all. It just takes the smallest amount of digging through, that’s all.

So go on. It’s waiting for you:

robustfellow sampler 2019

Robustfellow Prods. is happy to present FREE music sampler featuring finest representatives of the robust scene for the recent times. Listen to the highlights form Robustfellow’s roster., Robust Digital releases that being streaming during this year plus a preview of what’s to grab in Robust Shop for next year.

Cup of robust tea full of psychedelic, sludge, prog, stoned, grunge, death, metalcore, black metal and all the celebrated genres.

https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/album/robustfellow-sampler-2019

Cover artwork by ????????? ?????
Design by Konstantin Bikmulin
Sounds “AS IT IS”

Robustfellow Prods., 2019

Robustfellow Samper 2019
from A to Z:

Backchat [Kyiv, UA] War and Plague
Cold Shell [Kyiv, UA] You Think Too Much About Death*
Death Pill [Kyiv, UA] Go Your Way*
Dépaysement [Kyiv, UA] Ground Arms*
Doomed City (previously 5R6) [Kharkiv, UA] No Heroes
Eternal Elysium-official [Nagoya, JP] Burning A Sinner*
Ethereal Riffian [Kyiv, UA] Unconquerable
Freeky Cleen [Kyiv, UA] Done Time*
Gamardah Fungus [Dnipro, UA] Fetus Crying*
House Of Flowers [Dnipro, UA] Dawn
??? [Kharkiv, UA] ???
Knifeman [Kharkiv, UA] ?????
??ntur [Kyiv, UA] ??, ???? ??????? ???????
La Horsa Bianca [Kharkiv, UA] Da cao
Love’n’Joy [Kyiv, UA] Come about
Merzotna Potvora [Kyiv, UA] ?erne?*
???? [Kyiv, UA] ?.?.?.?.
NoT [Kharkiv, UA] A Penny (????????)
????? [Uzhgorod, UA] Ad Civitas Solis
One Magic Megawatt [Kyiv, UA] Die Every Night*
OOZE [Vasylkiv, UA] Backend
Pustosh [Vasylkiv, UA] Nespravzhni
Pyraweed [Baku, AZ] Man of the mountain
Red Eyed Hyena [Ivano-Frankivsk, UA] Tale of Marvin Heemeyer
Septa [Odessa, UA] The Tin Man
Shiva the Destructor [Kyiv, UA] Nirvana Beach*
Slice & Dice [Mykolaiv, UA] Filthy Basement
Sons of Alpha Centauri [London, UK] SS Montgomery (James Plotkin Remix)
stonefromthesky [Kyiv, UA] Confined
Straytones [Kyiv, UA] Dark Lord
Swörn [Turin, IT] Electric Saint
The Anchor Stones [Kyiv, UA] Love It
The COW [Kyiv, UA] PLATO
The Glober [Kharkiv, UA] Space Harmony
THUNDERCHIEF [Richmond, Virginia, US] Stone House
Tungu [Chernihiv, UA] ???????? ?????????*
Urgalia [Cherkassy, UA] GhostFloor*
Volver Stone [Zhytomyr, UA] Wasteland
VOVK [Kyiv, UA] The Last Ship Above the Sky
Vykroutas [Kyiv, UA] ??????? ???i? – ????? ?? ?i?*
Warningfog [Kyiv, UA] II. The Cow
We The Censors [Kyiv, UA] Keep It Up

* – ex?lusive tune

Enjoy the Eclectic Flight !

https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/

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Ooze Release Debut EP Cableway on Robustfellow Productions

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ooze

As I sit here and type this post out, I’m watching a Judiciary Committee hearing about impeaching my country’s president for his whether-they-impeach-him-or-don’t-they’re-still-shady-ass dealings with his counterpart in Ukraine. It’s not exactly thrilling television, but I kind of feel like it’s history happening and should probably be seen since, while I doubt it’s the last time it’ll happen before I’m dead — which in itself is kind of sad — it doesn’t happen all the time. At least not yet. I kind of already feel for the next Democrat elected to lead the executive branch of the US government, whoever and whenever that might happen, unless, you know, it never happens again because, well, descent into totalitarianism and all that.

Much more enjoyable, frankly, is this new EP from Vasylkiv-based heavy progressive post-rockers Ooze. It’s called Cableway and it came out yesterday through respected purveyor Robustfellow Productions. I’m not sure if it’s newly released or a reissue, or something maybe that came out earlier this year around the time they released the video for “Pillars of Creation” that you can also see below, but the news about the release came down the PR wire and I checked it out owing to my general trust in the label’s taste and dug what I heard. Simple as that. It’s a quick reminder as both sides of the debate I’m watching deify the slave owners who founded my country’s government in order to prove their disparate points, that there are many, many things that resonate beyond the reach of current events. Just at this moment, that reminder, is particularly welcome.

I don’t want any favors for posting about it.

Bottom line: We’re all screwed, but music’s still good:

ooze cableway

Robustfellow Digital presents the debut full-length from multi-genre band OOZE

OOZE is a Vasylkiv-Kyiv multi-genre music band which is releasing its debut EP ‘Cableway’ via Robust-fellow Prods. Earlier this year the band has presented the self-released music video for the track ‘Pillars of Cretion’ which on a certain level conveys the idea of the band’s formation.

The band finds its musical style on the periphery of different heavy genres that sometimes touch ambient and symphonic soundscapes. The latter is embodied on the second, yet unreleased album of the band which can only be heard live. OOZE leaves the definition of the genre to the listeners and critics and if they have different opinions about it, it is exactly what should be expected.

Says the band: “Soon we will all meet winter, but the ooze team is not afraid to freeze due to the warmth of further news and events. We are pleased to announce the launch of joint activities with the Kiev label robustfellow – this is great news, or even a toast, and we are grateful that they shook hands on the way to common development.

“Now and immediately, we are ready to announce our first step – the long-awaited, but not forgotten: the release of the debut album titled ‘Cableway’ of the vasylkovo-Kyiv Band Ooze will be held on December 4 on all world platforms! There are 4 tracks waiting for you, each of which advocates its grotesque position and declares itself, unexpectedly complementing the organic unity of the album.”

‘Cableway’ tracklisting:
1. Intro 07:15
2. Debilis 03:21
3. Backend 04:42
4. Pillars of Creation 09:40

With or without musical labels, the band easily creates a grotesque, but warm atmosphere and doesn’t cease to experiment even on stage.

OOZE are Yegor Druzenko, Maxim Salov, Yevhenii Khrulov.

https://instagram.com/oozeband
https://t.me/oozeband
https://www.facebook.com/oozegang
https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/

Ooze, Cableway (2019)

Ooze, “Pillars of Creation” official video

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Ethereal Riffian Post “Unconquerable” Lyric Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ethereal riffian

Back in May, Ukrainian heavy rockers Ethereal Riffian premiered the first single of their upcoming album, Legends, which was the title-track, here. With it, the Kiev-based four-piece showed a marked shift in aesthetic, adjusting the balance between the “ethereal” and the “riffian” portions of their sound to affect a much more straightforward attack than one had come to expect from their meditative, slowly unfolding contemplations prior. “Unconquerable,” which is the third single from Legends, with “Kosmic” having come out in June, follows suit in its relatively direct approach, and its chorus lyric, “No one can put the limit on fearless spirit,” summarizes the general perspective from which it’s working. The band have never been shy about stating their intentions and motivations, and clearly this time around the aim is to capture that indomitable thing in humanity that compels us to move forward, to explore and reach new places and new ideas. It is an optimistic vision of both the future and the present, perhaps written from a place of encouragement, like an existential pep talk to a world that — and I don’t think this is overstating it — only continues to feel more thoroughly fucked by the day.

I’ll forego talking about politics or culture on any grander scale — both because I find it personally exhausting and because if I had any insight into any of it, I’d probably be running for office instead of writing about Ukrainian rock videos — but yeah, it’s pretty clear that along with Ethereal Riffian‘s more grounded sound on Legends, they’re also engaging real-world issues in a straightforward manner. More power to them — as well as to the people. It can be hard when living in a moment to place it in a historical context. That is to say, everything now feels urgent because we don’t know yet to what it will lead. We see this in America with a systematic dismantling of democratic norms, and certainly the Ukraine has more than its share of conflict at present as well. That Ethereal Riffian see the line of human progression as being that — one of progress — is encouraging in itself, but as the uptempo kick of “Unconquerable” demonstrates, it’s as much a motivation for the future as well as a reflection on the past. Their aim is to tap into that very spirit and manifest it as an answer to this pivotal-seeming and undeniably troubled age.

One thing and then I’ll let you get to the video: It’s a common misconception — bred in no small part by the purposeful narrative — that Rosa Parks was just an old, tired lady on a bus who refused to move for a white man. She may indeed have been that, but she was also a civil rights activist for more than a decade at that point, and way more of a freedom fighter than the bystander history sometimes casts her as being. She was, then, even braver than she’s often credited for being. Just a thought in response to the quote below from the band.

Enjoy the video:

Ethereal Riffian, “Unconquerable” lyric video

Please welcome the third single from ‘Legends’ album.

Official lyric video for ‘Unconquerable’ from ‘Legends’ album.
Video by Anastasia Homenko.

“Behind every legend, there’s a legendary act. Behind every legendary act, there’s an unconquerable spirit. Spirit devoid of any fear, doubt and indecisiveness. It’s an invisible force that made Terry Fox run 5,373 kilometers with one leg to raise awareness of cancer. It’s what inspired tender woman Rosa Parks to stand up for the rights of black people in one of the most racist states of America. It’s the inner strength that made a man in a loincloth named Gandhi to unite the Indian nation despite incredible opposition. It’s the spirit that our times need most. The spirit that awaits to be awakened in each of us.”

Thanks to: Beachfront, Magges, Tony, NASA, Motion Digital, Taylor Mefford, Simon Maldoct, Motion Places, Mark Schellenberg, Stockfootage, William Ehrendreich, Creative Film, Val Kornev Photography

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) – bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) – drums

Ethereal Riffian on Bandcamp

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Ethereal Riffian on Instagram

Robustfellow Productions on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Instagram

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

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Ethereal Riffian Set Sept. 6 Release for Legends; Cover & Tracklisting Revealed

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ethereal riffian

Just over a month ago, Ukrainian four-piece Ethereal Riffian saw fit to premiere the video here for the title-track of their forthcoming long-player, Legends. Details about the album at that point were pretty sparse, but now we’ve at least got cover, tracklisting and a proper release date to go on, as well as some information on the pressings. As ever, the Kiev-based meditative outfit have a host of differences between formats planned, including different masters and designs, as well as a box set edition to come from Robustfellow Productions. It is the band’s third album and first in half a decade — though they’ve hardly been idle in that time — and the release date is Sept. 6.

If you missed the video the first time around, it’s here at the bottom, and if you’re familiar with the band’s back catalog, I’m sure you’ll find it surprising in its straightforward attack. I’m still curious as to how that will play into the rest of the record, but at least now I know when we’ll find out.

From the PR wire:

ethereal riffian legends

Ethereal Riffian announce release details for “Legends”

Ethereal Riffian’s third full-length will be released via Robustfellow Prods. on the 6th of September 2019. Entitled “Legends”, the album will be available on CD/LP/MC and Digital format. Each album version will feature a different audio master and exclusive design. There will be a limited edition box prepared by the label and the band will allow you to dive deep into this massive legendary release.

‘Legends’ tracklist:

Sage’s Alchemy
Born Again
Dreamgazer
Legends
Kosmic
Unconquerable
Moonflower
Pain to Wisdom
Yeti’s Hide
Ethereal Path

The latest LP released by Ethereal Riffian, “Aeonian”, was released in January 2014, which makes of ‘Legends’ the band’s first full-length in more than five years. First single and music video from ‘Legends’ was released on the 14th of May. Artwork by Yura ‘xninja’ Nagorniy.

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) – bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) – drums

https://etherealriffian.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/etherealriffian/
https://www.instagram.com/etherealriffian/
https://twitter.com/EtherealRiffian
https://vk.com/etherealriffian
https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/

Ethereal Riffian, “Legends” official video

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Soom Post “Wheelchair” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

soom

Ukrainian aggro atmospheric noise specialists Soom have a new video for from their 2018 album, Djebars, which was a record that bridged gutter-sludge disaffection with an inhumane amount of bombast, landing somewhere between ’90s dark artrock and dirtier, more tonally weighted fare. Atmospherically, “Wheelchair” offers nine-plus minutes of fuckall assault, the coating of filth prevalent in a sense of overarching nastiness. No part of it is aiming toward accessibility, but there is an expressive purpose behind what the band are doing, and their spaciousness both on “Wheelchair” and Djebars as a whole comes coupled with a pervasive claustrophobia. It’s a big world and you are trapped inside yourself.

If the notion freaks you out, you’re probably in a proper headspace for digging into the track, though I’ll say that if you’re sensitive to flashing lights or quick cuts or anything like that, you might be better off hitting up one of the several Bandcamps available as Soom worked with multiple labels on the release of Djebars, among them Robustfellow Productions and Voron Nest. The story is somewhat opaque, but seems to revolve itself around a central character coming to grips with the fact that he’s stuck in time or something thereabouts. Rest assured, the actual video is way more horrifying than that description makes it sound, a cerebral and periodically demonic exercise and psychological fuckery.

But hey, maybe that’s your thing. If it is, go ahead and dig into “Wheelchair” below.

And enjoy:

Soom, “Wheelchair” official video

Slow machine of hate to soberness and impatience to objective reality from the city of Kharkiv (Ukraine), Soom proudly presents their own music video full of fear and loathing mixed with the love to their native city. Made by Anastasia Khomenko, the video tells the story about Djebars, who stuck forever in the moment when clock is working but has stopped on a 19:36 mark. Strong track about wasted spirit for the strong ears commented by the Soom’s frontman Oleksa Kovalov-Blidyi:

“Described story ?s based on a Pale aesthetics. It is neither light, nor dark, just immersed in its own Universe, the road to which lies through the searching of drug hiding place, using the “wheelchair” — bad quality synthetic drugs. For one it’s self-destruction, for another — salvation. It just exists and there is must be no attitude, like to anything in Universe, because everybody has its own way to All & Nothing. We see it like an ugly version of beautiful, let everyone of you see the same”.

Line-up:
Kova — guitar, vocals
Tomrer — bass
Amorth — drums

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Ethereal Riffian Premiere Video for Title-Track of New Album Legends

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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One of the aspects of Ethereal Riffian‘s approach that I find easiest to appreciate is how much conscious thought there is put into their work. The Ukrainian four-piece are prone to making mini-documentaries (see here and here) explaining their motivations and the concepts with which they’re working, and it’s a clarity of intent that in my mind at least makes them all the more of a progressive outfit. They will release their third album, Legends, later this year through respected purveyor Robustfellow Productions, and they give an enticing first glimpse of things to come in their new video for the title-track.

By the time Legends arrives, it will have been five years since Ethereal Riffian‘s last studio full-length, 2014’s Aeonian, though they’ve certainly had plenty out in between with two live albums, an EP and the various behind-the-scenes looks at what they do. Still, a new album is an exciting prospect, and they show off a striking turn with “Legends,” leaving behind the ritualism that pervaded the four longform tracks of Aeonian in favor of a more direct, grunge-influenced style. Their sense of melody still holds sway, but “Legends” works in a context of hooks that’s new for Ethereal Riffian and in just four minutes, it makes a striking statement of where the band are at in terms of their sound. More riffian than ethereal, if you will. The image in the video of hammering out metalwork does not seem accidental.

I don’t know how much “Legends” ultimately will speak for the album that shares its name — I think we’ve got a while to go before we get there — but I’ll hope to have more as the release date comes closer. Until then, try to keep in mind as you make your way through the quick four minutes of “Legends” that nothing Ethereal Riffian do happens by mistake, and that this turn in sound is part of the overarching consideration they bring to their material all the time. They discuss it a bit below, but I wouldn’t be surprised either if they dive deeper into the concepts as the year plays out.

Enjoy:

Ethereal Riffian, “Legends” official video premiere

Official music video for “Legends” (taken from “Legends” LP, to be released by Robustfellow Prods. in the second half of 2019).

Mysterious spiritualized rockers from Ukraine, Ethereal Riffian, are presenting the first single and music video from their forthcoming third LP. Directed by iconic Ukrainian director, Viktor Priduvalov, the new music video for the track ‘Legends’ showcases a drastic contrast with the band’s previous works. Frontman, Val Kornev, explains the shift in the band’s songwriting and overall direction:

“With current crises in worldwide leadership, ecology, education and, most and foremost, consciousness, we just can’t wait any longer to finally start doing things right. Enough of this bullshit! Our turbulent times require courageous decisions and robust music. Music that can get you going even if you’re descending straight into the depths of hell and know that this day can be your last. This is what this track is about. It’s about legends and you can become one too.”

Ethereal Riffian’s third full-length album, eponymous to the single, is set to be released in the second half of 2019 via Robustfellow Prods.

Produced by: Re:evolution Film
Director: Viktor Priduvalov
Director of photography: Eugene Kredentser
Assistant Cameraman: Ilya Pravdiviy
Producer: Viktor Sema
Light: Max Ruban
Post-production: Mental dRive Studio
Track was recorded, mixed and mastered at Bobina Records

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) – bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) – drums

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Straytones Premiere “Dark Lord”; Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man EP Due Feb. 22

Posted in audiObelisk on January 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

straytones

In the time since the release of their 2017 self-titled debut album, Ukrainian psychedelic rockers — that’s not to say ‘neo-psych,’ because if you’ve been paying attention, it’s not really ‘neo’ to you — have swapped bassists and shifted from a four-piece to a trio, losing their second guitarist. One might expect their three-song offering for Robustfellow Productions, Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man, to be somewhat rudimentary as founding guitarist/vocalist Artem, founding drummer/vocalist Marina and bassist Vova, who is not the same Vova who played on their 2012 debut EP, move forward following this period of reconstruction. Well, if you want to be technical about it, it is, but when factoring in the band’s penchant for classic garage rock, a bit of rawness should well be part of the aesthetic. Their material nonetheless offers an expanse of naturalist tonal reach and periodic turns to more volatile noise. Oh, and fuzz. Fuzz for days.

The latter shows itself after a quick introduction on opener “Dark Lord,” and a shoegazing melody tops in blown-out fashion as the tube-popping riffery takes hold. There’s a flourish of keys to be found in the second half of the song, but Straytones effectively bring “Dark Lord”straytones beware dark lord here comes bell man toward and through a wash of tweaked out noise in the span of its four minutes, with enough time leftover to let the track devolve into buzzing amp feedback at the end before swirling directly into the synth and bass that starts “Abyss,” which is 1:20 long and basically a weirdo-atmospheric transitional moment between the two longer pieces. “Bell-Man” brings in more driving and direct bass — plus a lead layer overtop — and Marina‘s lead vocals, caked in space echo and meshing with a fervent dive into noise that speaks to acid psychosis and holds an improvised spirit even as her own drums continue to keep solid time beneath. Things settle momentarily to let the band catch their breath before the final outward thrust that leaves consciousness behind, and they make their way out on a fittingly ultra-tripped-out turn.

All well and good, but you’re wondering about the title, right? Fair. Going from the band’s comments below, I’m guessing that at some point when they were bundled up against the winter cold in Kiev, Straytones were making fun of how each other were dressed and the characters Dark Lord and Bell-Man were born. Inspiration can come from anywhere. And kudos to them for taking it a step further and bringing the characters to life in a forthcoming two-part cartoon video what will use the songs on Beware, Dark Lord! Here Comes Bell-Man as its soundtrack. I for one look forward to seeing their costumes, though if the EP’s cover art is anything to go by, it’s going to be way less Saturday-morning-cartoon and way more brain-melting-freakery. I’ll take it either way.

The EP will be out digitally Feb. 22 through Robustfellow and the label was kind enough to give me permission to premiere “Dark Lord.” If you’re up for the ride, you’ll find it on the player below, followed by the release announcement.

Please enjoy:

The third release of Ukrainian finest psychedelic rock outfit Straytones will be distributed via Robustfellow Prods. digitally on the 22nd of February. Following their self-titled album, which was released in the beginning of 2017 and gained many positive reviews in Ukraine and beyond, the new EP demonstrates the band’s masterful knowledge and progression in the psychedelic rock realm.

Remarkably, the EP will be supported by a two-series cartoon music video born of the story that’s uncovered throughout the release. Band members comment:

“The joke about the winter outfits of Straytones band members turned into the idea about two cartoon characters and that’s exactly how the Dark Lord and the Bell-Man came into being. We wrote songs and created a cartoon music-video to uncover a story of an evil mastermind Dark Lord who obtains a powerful artifact and travels to meta-space to become invincible. Eventually he gets overpowered by the Bell-Man whom he encounters there. Mind-bending music combined with a video is a trip to enjoy!”

The EP will be available via all major digital outlets including iTunes, Spotify, Google Play etc.

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