The Machine, Faceshift: Finding a New Norm

Posted in Reviews on August 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the machine faceshift

Six full-lengths in, Rotterdam’s The Machine are not only veterans with more than a decade of work behind their 2007’debut, Shadow of the Machine, but participating in an ongoing sonic development that seems to be playing out in real-time on each of their records. Their earliest work — the just-mentioned debut, as well as 2009’s Solar Corona, 2011’s way-jammed-out Drie (review here) — was square in the vein of heavy psychedelic rock, rife with longform jams led by the warm fuzz tone of guitarist/vocalist David Eering and backed by the rhythmic fluidity of bassist Hans van Heemst and drummer Davy Boogaard. With 2012’s Calmer than You Are (review here) and their 2013 split with Sungrazer (review here), The Machine began a process of solidifying their songwriting, condensing ideas into tighter structures. They still had a propensity to jam out, and that continued onto their fifth LP, Offblast! (review here), which tipped the balance even further, showing a budding affinity for noise rock.

To listen to Shadow of the Machine and the band’s latest work, Faceshift, one would hardly recognize it’s the same outfit. At 40 minutes, the eight-track collection is a full 10 shorter than its predecessor, and it’s the tightest collection of songs the band has yet produced. Eering‘s vocals still have a watery effect on them, and he still breaks out a longer solo on the 11-minute title-track, but that’s the only song not in the three-to-five-minute range, and from the 5:50 opener “Crack You” onward, there’s a predilection toward noise rock that makes its way in amid the heavy and desert influences that comes even more forward on songs like the subsequent “Agitate” and the later “The Norm,” “Kick It” and the closing duo of “Zeroten” and “Kamikaze.” Faceshift still has its foundation in heavy rock, but it’s clear the band has grown into something else and are still growing into something else in these tracks. Something all the more their own.

If one were to think of it as a new era for The Machine, I don’t think that would be wrong. And it goes further than just their sound. Faceshift is their first record since Solar Corona not to be released by Elektrohasch Schallplatten, and instead it finds them self-releasing through their own newly-started imprint, Awe Records. Not only that, but it marks van Heemst‘s last performance with the band, and he’s been replaced for live shows, maybe more, by Sander Haagmans (The Whims of the Great Magnet, ex-Sungrazer). That’s The Machine‘s first lineup change in memory, and to listen to anything the band has done is to realize it’s not a minor one; even on Faceshift, the bass makes significant contributions to the overall effectiveness of the tracks. It’s still something of a mystery as to what the future holds, whether Haagmans will join full-time (one hopes), but the point is that the sonic turns made throughout are only part of the story.

They’re a crucial part, of course, with “Crack You” giving way to the punkish “Agitate,” with Boogaard‘s raw snare cutting through Eering‘s solo en route to a cold finish and a bass-led intro to “Heads Up.” Not necessarily as sharp edged as some of what surrounds, “Heads Up” still offers plenty of bite as it works what turns out to be a linear building path of dynamic ebbs and flows headed to a brash final payoff. Their turns are deceptively smooth as they make their way through verses and choruses with guitar at the top of the mix riding the groove of the bass and drums. They finish with a solo that cuts back to the central riff at the end, almost making the listener wish for one more run through the hook, but there’s no time, especially with the 2:41 crasher “The Norm” immediately following. It’s arguably the most singularly intense moment on Faceshift, with a searing lead of wah capping after an assault of drums and sheer rhythmic thrust buries the vocals beneath such that they seem to simply disappear as the song plays out.

the machine

Stop for a beat and “Kick It” begins the presumed end of side A, with a chunkier riff at its core and Eering‘s vocals tapping grunge melodies at around the first-minute mark. Boogaard‘s drums bring a steady bombast to the recording, but he’s never actually out of control; just insanely talented. “Kick It” also has a payoff at the end, but it’s longer after the solo than that of “Heads Up” and it leads to the smoother-edged, fuzzy start of the title-track, which one half expects to be a jam given its extended length and The Machine‘s past patterning, and it is one after a fashion, but here too the “face” of the band’s approach has shifted. They bounce easily through the first four minutes of the song, adding a bit of lumber to the final hook, then crash out on a wash of cymbals and bring the song down to nothing but residual amp hum and dead space only to have the guitar return alone with a line at 4:32. It’s the beginning point for an instrumental freakout that consumes the rest of “Face Shift,” building over the few minutes that follow not to a psychedelic spaciousness, but to an absolute cacophony of guitar, bass and drums all working together in power trio fashion.

The touchstone comparison for it would be Earthless, but really what’s happening is The Machine are building a bridge between their former style and their new one. They push it until shortly before 10 minutes in and then crash out once more, and Eering holds out a guitar line on a long fade that brings it to a close. A stretch of actual silence follows before “Zeroten” bursts in with its own noisy starts and stops, Helmet-style, some highlight basswork from van Heemst and drawling vocals for an extra ’90s-style touch. Using feedback as a weapon, it pulls and careens through a solo in its second half before dipping back to the central riff for a last verse and then caps with harsh noise en route to the finale of “Kamikaze,” which holds a similar riff structure but more of a nodding groove and an open chorus that’s among the most satisfyingly Alice in Chains-y throughout. “Face Shift” was a pretty grand finale in itself, but neither “Zeroten” nor “Kamikaze” feels tacked on, and the latter has a raucous ending of its own to cap the record, returning at the last minute to underscore just how skilled songwriters The Machine have become.

It’s important to highlight the creative growth The Machine have undertaken on Faceshift, but it’s not as if it’s come out of nowhere and all of a sudden they decided to be different-sounding band. They’ve never put out the same record twice, and Faceshift is a step forward from Offblast! much as that record was a step forward from Calmer than You Are and so on through their back catalog. And in much the same way one expects their next one will progress from where they are now. Nonetheless, it’s striking how they bring the diversity of their influences together in an aesthetic they’ve so much made their own, and how they seem to set up yet another avenue of pursuit for their ongoing sonic progression.

The Machine, Faceshift (2018)

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The Machine Post “Crack You” Video; Faceshift Preorders Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the machine

Based on what I read in the band’s announcement for their new video and first public audio from their sixth full-length, I’m going to guess that ‘Crack You’ doesn’t necessarily speak for the entirety of The Machine‘s Faceshift from whence it comes. Because they say it doesn’t, and six records in, one can generally trust a band to know the difference. The Netherlands-based three-piece are set to release Faceshift next month through new imprint Awe Records — they were formerly on Elektrohasch — and though “Crack You” features a warm, heavy/desert rock tonality, The Machine over the years have moved beyond their initial post-Colour Haze jammy beginnings and, while still retaining some of that in their sound, have pushed into a more noise-rocking direction. Certainly that was the case on their fifth LP, 2015’s Offblast! (review here), and 2012’s Calmer than You Are (review here) might be the root of that change, coming as it did just a year after 2011’s Drie (review here). Each of their records, from 2007’s debut Shadow of the Machine and 2009’s Solar Corona onward, has been a clear step in their growth. No doubt the same holds true of Faceshift as well.

And though one would hardly listen to Shadow of the Machine and guess where the band would wind up 11 years later, The Machine have yet to release an outing that doesn’t make sense to their progressive arc. That is, especially with songs like “Crack You” at their disposal, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist/engineer David Eering, bassist Hans van Heemst — since out of the band and replaced for shows by Sander Haagmans, formerly of Sungrazer, who out out a split with The Machine in 2013 (review here) — and drummer Davy Boogaard are able to tie their noisier proclivities to the naturalist psychedelia of their earlier days. Offblast! did so with tracks like “Coda Sun” and “Dry End” and the stretched-out “Chrysalis (J.A.M.).” And while in their album announcement they said it would be their noisiest and harshest offering yet, “Crack You” features an accessible groove and little of the punk-derived duderism that one might expect. Presumably, they get there later on.

Preorders for Faceshift are up now — right now — via Awe Records ahead of the July 13 release date. CD and limited vinyl. The video for “Crack You” features footage in the studio and out, some of it new, with Haagmans on bass, some of it older, with van Heemst, who appears on the record. I’ll hope to have more to come ahead of the release, but you can check out the “Crack You” clip below, followed by the band’s announcement of it and the preorder link courtesy of the social medias.

Dig it:

The Machine, “Crack You” official video

We present you Crack You, the first track of our sixth album Faceshift. The album will be released on July 13 on CD and LP (180gr black and limited transparent magenta). To warm you up we’re starting out with the most easy listening and catchy track on the album.

Pre sale just started, the store is open. Go to www.awe-records.com and visit the shop to make a reservation.

Faceshift will be available on CD and 180gr vinyl (black/transparent magenta).

Orders will be shipped out starting from Monday July 16.

First gigs will be at ‘t Keldertje (event The Machine & Walden & Junkfood Lunchbox) on July 13 (release day) and Stoned From The Underground 2018 on July 14.

The Machine on Thee Facebooks

The Machine on Twitter

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The Machine to Release Faceshift July 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the machine

Rotterdam-based psych-jammers-turned-noise-rockers-and-sometimes-still-psych-jammers The Machine have a new album, a new bassist, and a new label. The record, which has been dubbed Faceshift, speaks to the ongoing change in the veteran three-piece’s sound even unto its artwork, and as they passed the decade mark late last year, early in 2018 guitarist/vocalist David Eering and drummer Davy Boogaard bid farewell to bassist Hans van Heemst. I’m not sure if van Heemst plays on the album — given the timing, I think so, but I’m not 100 percent — but with his maybe-temporary-maybe-permanent replacement being none other than Sander Haagmans, formerly of The Machine‘s tour, split and once-labelmates Sungrazer and currently also making music under the guise of The Whims of the Great Magnet, one could hardly argue for a more fitting replacement. That is, it’s not the original lineup of the band anymore, but it’s about as close as they were going to get.

The Machine feature in the lineup for this year’s Stoned from the Underground in Germany. Actually, it was seeing them listed as a part of that bill that made me hit up their Thee Facebooks to find out what they were up to. And if you’re curious, yeah, I’m a little bummed that’s how I’m finding out about their new record nearly a month after it was first announced, but hey, it’s still one to look forward to, as these guys always deliver.

The following is culled together from their social medias and that of Awe Records, their aforementioned new label:

the machine faceshift

Friday the 13th, July. Save the date.

We have a new album coming up! Our new one, “Faceshift” will be released at Awe Records, worldwide distribution by Cargo Records. Click and follow the Awe page to be kept updated about this and potential other future releases.

Tracklist:
01 – Crack You
02 – Agitate
03 – Heads Up
04 – The Norm
05 – Kick It
06 – Face Shift
07 – Zeroten
08 – Kamikaze

Other info will follow soon. There will be a pre-sale and some other funky stuff. The record will be available on CD/LP/Digital. As a limited edition, we’ll have transparent magenta for all the vinyl collectors out there. We will also put some new music online any time soon.

Anyway, we think Faceshift kicks ass and we will play some new tunes at the handful of shows we’ll do during the summer to support this release. We’ll have the very first copies with us on the road by then, some new design t-shirts as well to top if off. A couple of additional summer dates to follow asap. Since Hans left, we’ll have Sander with us to do these gigs.

From Awe Records:

The Machine is back! Heavier than ever before, their sixth full length album Faceshift sees them further carving out their own sonic identity. The successor to 2015’s Offblast! is the band’s most noisy and melodic effort to date. After an existence of over a decade, The Machine digs more into their grunge and noise rock side, without sacrificing any trademarks.

Faceshift was recorded live at Studio De Zolder (as always), with The Machine’s own David Eering at the helm. The outcome is a more focused and punchy album, straying further and further from the stoner and psych jams of the early years. A maturation of the trio’s song writing results in memorable hooks, more room to breathe for the rhythm section and punishing riffs smashing you in the face with a hammer. Album highlight and title track “Face Shift” offers all of these ingredients, while the long instrumental section is a reminder that The Machine is not completely ignoring their heritage. Clocking in at 11:11, it is by far the longest track on the record.

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The Machine, “Coda Sun” official video

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Dool Post Video for “The Alpha” from Here Now There Then

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dool

The drama is palpable throughout Dool‘s debut album, Here Now There Then (review here), which came out last year via Prophecy Productions to due acclaim, and the five-piece from the Netherlands dwell within the atmosphere and proffer a fluidity of a much more experienced outfit. One might chalk that up to the pedigree of vocalist and guitarist Ryanne van Dorst (Elle Bandita and many more), guitarists Reinier Vermeulen (The New Media) and Nick Polak (Gold), and the rhythm section of bassist Job van de Zande and drummer Micha Haring, both ex-The Devil’s Blood, but if the end result is clarity of intent as regards aesthetic, they certainly made their sound their own. As demonstrated on cuts like 10-minute opener “Vantablack” and “The Alpha,” the latter of which serves as the vehicle for their new video, they blend that post-Devil’s Blood semi-goth theatricality with a strong undercurrent of hooks and memorable songcraft.

Atmosphere plays a strong role in the video for “The Alpha” as well, which introduces as its central figure a woods-dwelling girl with what look like self-imposed pagan forehead markings preparing for and undertaking various slow-motion rituals and rites. The song earns no less with its linear build and still prevalent chorus, and while it arrives late in the tracklist for Here Now There Then as opposed to songs like “Golden Serpents” and “Works on Paper,” it nonetheless proves worthy of focus as a single and the standout position that the video provides. That is to say, the track holds up. And where on the album it’s surrounded by the prior single “Oweynagat” and the penultimate spacious soloing of “The Death of Love,” its progressive riffing and boldness of execution represent some of what works best about Dool‘s first record overall, and so prove to be something of a subtle highlight all the more brought into focus by the new clip in its honor.

Dool have live dates booked for next month throughout Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary and Poland, and a few shows announced further out, but I wouldn’t be surprised either if there are more summer fest confirmations to come in the next month or two, as the impression left by the debut was significant and the band bring the ethereal chemistry they foster on the album to the stage as well, as I was fortunate enough to see for myself at Roadburn 2016 (review here). The video for “The Alpha” was directed by van Dorst and can be seen below, followed by more info from the PR wire and the band’s upcoming live dates.

Please enjoy:

Dool, “The Alpha” official video

Actress: Demi Norah
Director: Ryanne van Dorst
Assistent Director: Ruben Broekhuis
D.O.P.: Robijn Voshol
D.O.P. Assistent: Jason Hornung
Gaffer: Raymond van der Bas
Best Boy: Francois Nell
Art Director: Angie Korst
Make up & Hair: Joyce Clerkx
Make Up Assistent: Jodie Geskus
Choreography: Marijke de Vos
Edit, VFX & Grading: Eelko Ferwerda & Thomas de Boer for Waanzee

Dool is the fast-rising hard rock band featuring former members of The Devil’s Blood and singer Ryanne van Dorst. The group has become a hotly-tipped buzz band in underground circles on the strength of its celebrated debut album, Here Now, There Then, and eye-opening live performances. Dool has just released a new video for the song “The Alpha”

The video for “The Alpha” is as well a celebration of will power as it is an ode to transformation, in parallel with the lyrics of the song,” comments Ryanne van Dorst. “It has been truly inspiring to work on this video, and we hope it empowers you as much as it empowers us”.

DOOL live:
Mar 02 Turock Essen, Germany
Mar 03 Biebob Vosselaar, Belgium
Mar 05 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Mar 06 O’Sullivan’s Backstage by the Mill Paris, France
Mar 07 Le Grillen Colmar, France
Mar 08 Kiff, Foyer Aarau, Switzerland
Mar 09 Dagda Live Club Borgo Priolo, Italy
Mar 10 Revolver San Dona’ Di Piave, Italy
Mar 12 A38 Kulturális Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft. Budapest, Hungary
Mar 13 Klub Zascianek Krakow, Poland
Mar 14 Factory Magdeburg/ Dominion Club Magdeburg, Germany
Mar 15 Club From Hell Erfurt, Germany
Mar 16 Roadrunner’s Paradise Berlin, Germany
Mar 17 Ms Connexion Complex Mannheim, Germany
Mar 18 013 Tilburg, Netherlands
Apr 01 Backstage Munich, Germany
Apr 27 Fryshuset Stockholm, Sweden
May 12 Vienna Arena (Arena Wien) Vienna, Austria
Jun 14 Ferropolis – Stadt Aus Eisen Arena Gräfenhainichen, Germany

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Dool at Prophecy Productions

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

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

dool Nona-Limmen-Photography

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

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

dool summer of the she goat tour

DOOL – Summer of the She-Goat Tour 2017

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

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

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

All Those Who Wander Are DOOL.

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

Poster artwork by Ars Moriendee
Design by Alexandria Noël

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

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

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http://en.prophecy.de/artists/dool/

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

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Dool, Here Now There Then: Vivid Impressions

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

dool-here-now-there-then

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

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

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

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

dool

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

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

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

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

Dool, Here Now There Then (2017)

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Dool Announce Feb. 17 Release for Here Now, There Then

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

dool

I felt pretty gosh darn fortunate to have caught an early afternoon set from Rotterdam dark heavy rockers Dool this past April at Roadburn (review here), and have considered them ever since the best surprise I encountered at that fest this year. As one will after that kind of first impression is made, I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for new of their releasing a debut album, and wouldn’t you know, the date is set. On Feb. 17, 2017, Dool will issue Here Now, There Then through no less an imprint than Prophecy Productions, whose tastes for things bleakly atmospheric and/or mooody is largely unimpeachable. There’s even a new song streaming now called “She Goat,” if you’d like to have your day made.

Full announcement from the band follows here, complete with artwork and tour dates, because that’s how it should be.

Looking forward to this one:

dool here now there then

DOOL – HERE NOW, THERE THEN

We are extremely proud to announce the coming of our debut album’ Here Now, There Then’ on February 17th, 2017.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Pieter Kloos (The Void Studio, Eindhoven), and featuring beautiful cover photography by our friend Pim Top, ‘Here Now, There Then’ will be released on Prophecy Productions on both vinyl and CD.

The album is about dreaming, ambition, Will. About breaking boundaries and behavioural patterns, destroying stigmas. The phrase ‘Here Now, There Then’ is a mantra for whomever needs it. Whichever way one chooses to use it. It is the shadowlands between fantasy and reality. A lucid fairy tale set against a concrete background.

As of today, ‘Here Now, There Then’ is available for pre-order through the Prophecy website:

http://en.prophecy.de/artists/dool/ (World)
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/dool/ (USA/Canada)

The arrival of ‘Here Now, There Then’ will be accompanied by a growing number of shows, which will go on pre-sale as of now:

JAN 06 – De Cacaofabriek – Helmond – NL
JAN 12 – Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017 – Groningen – NL
FEB 17 – EKKO – Utrecht – NL
FEB 18 – Merleyn – Nijmegen – NL
FEB 25 – Rotown Rotterdam – Rotterdam – NL
MAR 2 – Vera Groningen – Groningen – NL
MAR 3 – Helvete Pub – Club – Live Stage – Oberhausen – DE
MAR 4 – HELL OVER Hammaburg Festival – Hamburg – DE
MAR 8 – ILMC – London – UK
MAR 9 – OT301 – Amsterdam – NL
MAR 17 – Poppodium 013 – Tilburg – NL

On top of this, we’d like to present one of the album tracks to you. Listen to ‘She Goat’ right here.

All Those Who Wander Are DOOL.

DOOL is:
Ryanne van Dorst – Vocals/Guitar
Micha Haring – Drums
Job van de Zande – Bass
Reinier Vermeulen – Guitar
Nick Polak – Guitar

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

Dool, “She Goat”

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The Machine, Offblast!: Coming to Light

Posted in Reviews on May 28th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the-machine-offblast

In the works on one level or another since the second half of 2013, The Machine‘s fifth album arrives in the form of the 50-minute Offblast! via Elektrohasch Schallplatten, and marks a distinct turn for the band. The delay? A mix of technical trouble during mixing and personal life, and while that could easily mean the jam-prone Dutch trio have another batch of songs in the works to follow it up, Offblast! nonetheless resonates with a maturity that even 2012’s Calmer than You Are (review here) or their 2013 split with likeminded countrymen Sungrazer (review here) couldn’t claim, their songwriting process proving more cohesive as they explore the roots of stoner and desert riffing on songs like “Dry End” or “Gamma” and keeping the instrumental chemistry that even their early work — 2007’s debut, Shadow of the Machine, 2009’s Solar Corona (on Nasoni) or their first for Elektrohasch, 2011’s 80-minute jamfest Drie (review here) — housed, the lead guitar work of David Eering (also vocals and recording) as much of a calling card as the band has amid the fleshed out roll and bounce provided by bassist Hans van Heemst — whose tone has always been The Machine‘s secret weapon and is most of all on Offblast! — and drummer Davy Boogaard, who shows himself again malleable to whatever the changes in the six included tracks might require of him, be it the quick stops early in “Off Course” or the jazzy ride work in the spacious midsection of “Chrysalis (J.A.M.),” the sprawling, 16:25 opener that acts as the record’s immersive and in some ways defining statement.

With six tracks, it would just about have to be the longest of the bunch, and it is (immediate points to them for starting with their longest cut), living up to its spelled-out parenthetical with a breadth to match its runtime, shifting between its raucous first half and more swinging second fluidly, launching its later movement with a quiet break with some choice, naturally-toned wah from Eering. His affinity for Hendrix shows itself early and often on Offblast! as it has throughout The Machine‘s five LPs, but the influence seems more like an afterthought to the band’s identity here than it ever has. By the time “Chrysalis (J.A.M.)” is over, one feels as though they’ve listened to an entire album, and in a way, it’s true, but that’s only the beginning of the tale, and before the Rotterdam natives bookend their latest with the similarly-directed but noisier-finishing 12-minute closer “Come to Light” (the name of the song submitted by yours truly), they dance with sandy demons on “Dry End,” “Coda Sun,” “Gamma” and “Off Course,” which don’t add up to the two extended pieces time-wise, but still provide some of Offblast!‘s most lasting impressions in their hooks, fuzzy drive, and flourishes like sitar in “Dry End” and Boogaard‘s snare work in “Coda Sun” — not to mention vocals, which neither the opener nor the closer has. It’s not so outlandish a scope for a band to have, with two bigger jams and more straightforward material to complement each other, but it’s much to The Machine‘s credit in how they’ve structured the album that it not only flows front-to-back, but is so hypnotic at the start and still so memorable by the end. If you’re looking for evidence of the band’s maturity, it’s right there.

the-machine

“Dry End” (3:06) and the winding “Coda Sun” (5:34), Eering‘s vocals compressed and watery for use as another element in the psychedelic overtones, are met by “Gamma” and “Off Course,” both over six minutes, and while one comes to feel by the end of the latter that The Machine are setting the listener up for a return to heady reaches in “Come to Light” — and they are, make no mistake — both retain a distinctive feel. “Gamma” is marked out by van Heemst‘s bassline, which emerges in the second half of the song and seems to pay direct homage to Queens of the Stone Age‘s “You Can’t Quit Me Baby” from their 1998 self-titled. That album makes a solid comparison point for the tonal impression of Offblast! overall, as it happens, so the feel is purposeful and The Machine take the familiar line and work in layers of guitar building in volume en route back to a last measure of the chorus. While it has a longer solo from Eering, “Off Course” follows a similar structure, but its vibe carries some of the punkish undertone the band held aloft on their 2013 split thanks to the sharp starts and stops and an added layer in the chorus either of piano or keys (or something that sounds like them) deep in the mix, giving further urgency to the already forward progression. And when they get there, “Come to Light” is a more gradual unfolding than was “Chrysalis (J.A.M.),” but the end result carries no less vitality, the dynamic between Eeringvan Heemst and Boogaard writ large over its organic and laid back but still engaging course. Perhaps most satisfying of all is that while it works on varying levels between its songcraft and its jams, Offblast! comes across with no lack of cohesion or choppy shifts. As “Come to Light” inevitably descends to effects noise and feedback to end the album, it seems to do little more than highlight the level of execution that The Machine have brought to their fifth outing and the satisfying path down which their development has led them and those who’ve been fortunate enough to follow along the way. If you’ll pardon the cliché, it was worth the wait.

The Machine, “Coda Sun” official video

The Machine on Thee Facebooks

The Machine’s BigCartel store

Elektrohasch Schallplatten

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