Quarterly Review: Lucifer, Heilung, Amarok, T.G. Olson, Sun Dial, Lucid Grave, Domadora, Klandestin, Poor Little Things, Motorowl

Posted in Reviews on July 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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

You know what’s disheartening? When someone goes ‘thanks dudes.’ You know, I share a review or something, the band reposts and goes ‘thanks to the crew at The Obelisk blah blah.’ What fucking crew? If I had a crew, I’d put up 10 reviews every single day of the year. “Crew.” Shit. I am the crew. In the description of this site, the very first thing it says is “One-man operation.” It’s a fucking solo-project. That’s the whole point of it. It’s like me looking at your bass and going, “Sweet guitar, thanks for the solos brah.” I’m happy people want to share links and this and that, but really? It’s been nine years. Give me a break.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Nobody gives a shit. Now I remember. Thanks for reading.

And while we’re here, please remember the numbers for these posts don’t mean anything. This isn’t a countdown. Or a countup. It’s just me keeping track of how much shit I’m reviewing. The answer is “a lot.”

Grump grump grump.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Lucifer, Lucifer II

lucifer lucifer ii

Recorded as the trio of vocalist Johanna Sardonis (ex-The Oath), guitarist Robin Tidebrink (Saturn) and guitarist/drummer Nicke Andersson (Death Breath, ex-Entombed, ex-The Hellacopters), Lucifer’s second album, Lucifer II (on Rise Above), follows three years after its numerical predecessor, Lucifer I (review here), and marks its personnel changes with a remarkable consistency of mission. Like Mercyful Fate gone disco, the formerly-Berlin/London-now-Stockholm group bring stage-ready atmospheres to songs like “Phoenix” and the riff-led “Before the Sun,” while unleashing a largesse of hooks in “Dreamer” and the boogie-pushing “Eyes in the Sky.” “Dancing with Mr. D” brings nod to a Rolling Stones cover, and “Before the Sun” reaffirms a heavy ‘70s root in their sound. I can’t help but wonder if the doomier “Faux Pharaoh” is a sequel to “Purple Pyramid,” but either way, its thicker, darker tonality is welcome ahead of the bonus track Scorpions cover “Evening Wind,” which again demonstrates the ease with which Lucifer make established sounds their own. That’s pretty much the message of the whole album. Lucifer are a big band. Lucifer II makes the case for their being a household name.

Lucifer on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records webstore

 

Heilung, Lifa

heilung lifa

Lifa is the audio taken from the live video that brought Denmark’s Heilung to prominence. Captured at Castlefest in The Netherlands in last year, the impression the expansive Viking folk group made was all the more powerful with elaborate costuming, bone percussive instruments, antlers, animal-skin drums, and so on. Their debut studio album, Ofnir, came out in 2015 and like LIFA has been issued by Season of Mist, but the attention to detail and A/V experience only adds to the hypnotic tension and experimentalist edge in the material. Does it work with just the audio? Yes. The 12-minute “In Maijan” and somehow-black-metal “Krigsgaldr” maintain their trance-out-of-history aspect, and the 75-minute set blends multi-tiered melodies and goblin-voiced declarations for an impression unlike even that which Wardruna bring to bear. Whether it’s the drones of “Fylgija Futhorck” or the chants and thuds of “Hakkerskaldyr,” LIFA is striking from front to back and a cohesive, visionary work that should be heard as well as seen. But definitely seen.

Heilung on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

Amarok, Devoured

amarok devoured

Eight years after their founding, an EP and several splits, Chico, California, atmosludge extremists Amarok make their full-length debut with Devoured on Translation Loss. If it’s been a while in the making, it’s easy enough to understand why. The album is rife with brutalist and grueling sensibilities. Comprised of just four tracks, it runs upwards of 70 minutes and brings a visceral churn to each cut, not forgetting the importance of atmosphere along the way, but definitely focused on the aural bludgeoning they’re dealing out. Tempos, duh, are excruciating, and between the screams and growls of bassist Brandon Squyres (also Cold Blue Mountain) and guitarist Kenny Ruggles – the band completed by guitarist Nathan Collins and drummer Colby ByrneAmarok make their bid for Buried at Sea levels of heft and rumble their way across a desolate landscape of their own making. Eight years to conjure this kind of punishment? Yeah, that seems about right. See you in 2026.

Amarok on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records webstore

 

T.G. Olson, Ode to Lieutenant Henry

tg olson ode to lieutenant henry

Here’s a curious case: T.G. Olson, founding guitarist and vocalist of Across Tundras, is a prolific experimental singer-songwriter. His material ranges from psychedelic country to fuller-toned weirdo Americana and well beyond. He’s wildly prolific, and everything goes up on Bandcamp for a name-your-price download, mostly unannounced. It’s not there, then it is. Olson’s latest singe, Ode to Lieutenant Henry, was there, and now it’s gone. With the march of its title-track and a complementary cover of Townes van Zandt’s “Silver Ships of Andilar,” I can’t help but be curious as to where the tracks went and if they’ll be back, perhaps in some other form or as part of a different release. Both are plugged-in and coated in fuzzy tones, with Olson’s echoing vocals providing a human presence in the wide soundscape of his own making. The original is shorter than the cover, but both songs boast a signature sense of ramble that, frankly, is worth being out there. Hopefully they’re reposted at some point, either on their own as they initially were or otherwise.

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

T.G. Olson/Across Tundras on Bandcamp

 

Sun Dial, Science Fiction

sun dial sci fi

If space is the place, Sun Dial feel right at home in it. The long-running UK psychedelic adventurers collect two decades’ worth of soundtrack material on Science Fiction, their new release for Sulatron Records. Made with interwoven keyboard lines and a propensity to periodically boogie on “Mind Machine,” “Airlock,” “Infra Red,” etc., the experimentalist aspect of Science Fiction is all the more remarkable considering the album is compiled from different sources. One supposes the overarching cosmos is probably what brings it together, but with the samples and synth of “Saturn Return” and the lower end space-bass of pre-bonus-track closer “Starwatchers” – that bonus track, by the way, is a 15-minute version of opener “Hangar 13” – and though the vast majority of the Science Fiction relies on synth and keys to make its impression, it’s still only fair to call the proceedings natural, as the root of each one seems to be exploration. It’s okay to experiment. Nobody’s getting hurt.

Sun Dial on Thee Facebooks

Sun Dial at Sulatron Records webstore

 

Lucid Grave, Demo 2018

lucid grave demo 2018

There are three songs on Lucid Grave’s first outing, the aptly-titled Demo 2018, and the first of them is also the longest (immediate points), “Star.” It presents a curious and hard to place interpretation of psychedelic sludge rock. It is raw as a demo worthy of its name should be, and finds vocalist Malene Pedersen (also Lewd Flesh) echoing out to near-indecipherable reaches atop the feedback-addled riffing. Quite an introduction, to say the least. The subsequent “Desert Boys” is more subdued at the start but gets furious at the end, vocals spanning channels in an apparent call and response atop increasingly intense instrumental thrust. And as for “Ride the Hyena?” If I didn’t know better – and rest assured, I don’t – I’d call it doom. I’m not sure what the hell the København five-piece are shooting for in terms of style, but I damn sure want to hear what they come up with next so I can find out. Consider me enticed. And accordingly, one can’t really accuse Demo 2018 of anything other than doing precisely what it’s supposed to do.

Lucid Grave on Thee Facebooks

Lucid Grace on Bandcamp

 

Domadora, Lacuna

domadora lacuna

Comprised of four-tracks of heavy psychedelic vibes led by the scorch-prone guitar of Belwil, Domadora’s third album, Lacuna, follows behind 2016’s The Violent Mystical Sukuma (discussed here) and taps quickly into a post-Earthless league of instrumentalism on opener “Lacuna Jam.” That should be taken as a compliment, especially as regards the bass and drums of Gui Omm and Karim Bouazza, respectively, who hold down uptempo grooves there and roll along with the more structured 14-minute cut “Genghis Khan” that follows. Each of the album’s two sides is comprised of a shorter track and a longer one, and there’s plenty of reach throughout, but more than expanse, even side B’s “Vacuum Density” and “Tierra Last Homage” are more about the chemistry between the band members – Angel Hidalgo Paterna rounds out on organ – than about crafting a landscape. Fortunately for anyone who’d take it on, the Parisian unit have plenty to offer when it comes to that chemistry.

Domadora on Thee Facebooks

Domadora on Bandcamp

 

Klandestin, Green Acid of Last Century

klandestin green acid of last century

That’s a big “fuck yes, thank you very much” for the debut album from Indonesian stoner metallers Klandestin. Green Acid of the Last Century arrives courtesy of Hellas Records and is THC-heavy enough that if they wanted to, they could probably add “Bong” to the band’s name and it would be well earned. Eight tracks, prime riffs, watery vocals, dense fuzz, stomp, plod, lumber, shuffle – it’s all right there in homegrown dosage, and for the converted, Green Acid of the Last Century is nothing short of a worship ceremony, for the band itself as well as for anyone taking it on. With the march of “Doomsday,” the unmitigated rollout of “Black Smoke,” and the swirling green aurora of “The Green Aurora,” Klandestin wear their holding-back-a-cough riffage as a badge of honor, and couldn’t be any less pretentious about it if they tried. From the hooded weedian on the cover art to the Sleepy nod of closer “Last Century,” Green Acid of Last Century telegraphs its intent front-to-back, and is all the more right on for it.

Klandestin on Thee Facebooks

Hellas Records on Bandcamp

 

Poor Little Things, Poor Little Things

poor little things poor little things

You get what you pay for with “Rock’n’Roller,” which leads off the self-titled debut EP from Bern, Switzerland-based Poor Little Things. Around the core duo of vocalist Tina Jackson and multi-instrumentalist Dave “Talon” Jackson (also of Australia’s Rollerball) on guitar, bass, synth and percussion is Talon’s The Marlboro Men bandmate Fernando Marlboro on drums, and together the band presents five tracks of remember-when-rock-rocked-style groove. Fueled by ‘70s accessibility and a mentality that seems to be saying it’s okay to play big rooms, like arenas, cuts like “Drive” seem prime for audience participation, and “Break Another Heart” gives a highlight performance from Tina while “About Love” showcases a more laid back take. They close with the 6:37 “Street Cheetah,” which struts appropriately, and end with a percussive finish on a fadeout repeating the title line. As a showcase of their style and songwriting chops, Poor Little Things shows significant promise, sure, but it’s also pretty much already got everything it needs for a full-length album.

Poor Little Things on Thee Facebooks

Poor Little Things on Bandcamp

 

Motorowl, Atlas

motorowl atlas

Every now and then you put on a record and it’s way better than you expect. Hello, Motorowl’s Atlas. The German troupe’s second for Century Media, it takes the classic stylizations of their 2016 debut, Om Generator, and pushes them outward into a vast sea of organ-laced progressive heavy, soaring in vocal melodies and still modern despite drawing from an array of decades past. The chug in “The Man Who Rules the World” would be metal for most bands, but on Atlas, it becomes part of a broader milieu, and sits easily next to the expansive title-track, as given to post-rocking airiness in the guitar as to synth-laden prog. That mixture of influences and aesthetics would be enough to give the five-piece an identity of their own, but Atlas is further characterized by Motorowl’s ambitious songwriting and benefits greatly from the melodic arrangements and the clear intention toward creative development at work here. Those who take on its seven-track/45-minute journey will find it dynamic, spacious and heavy in kind.

Motorowl on Thee Facebooks

Motorowl at Century Media website

 

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Crippled Black Phoenix to Release Great Escape Sept. 14; New Track Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

crippled black phoenix (Photo by Pier Corona)

UK melancholic progressive heavy rockers Crippled Black Phoenix have set a Sept. 14 release date for their new album, Great Escape. Like 2016’s Bronze (review here), it’ll be out through Season of Mist, and they’re supplying a nine-minute sampling of what the upcoming record has in store with the track “To You I Give,” which follows suit in its sound with both the elaborate nature of the band’s craft and the brooding nature of their atmospheres. Good to know no one broke Crippled Black Phoenix since their last outing. But of course this is just one track out of 11, and we won’t know the full scope of the release until it shows up. I’d ask the label to do a track premiere and trying sneak an early listen, but there’s no way in hell I’m cool enough for that kind of thing, and there’s only so much rejection I can handle. Which is none. So yeah.

You can dig into the announcement of the record and “To You I Give” below. The PR had this to say about it and brought the artwork, which is by Peder Bergstrand:

crippled black phoenix great escape

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce new album, stream new track

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX will release ‘Great Escape’, a new full length album on Sept 14. ‘Great Escape’ sees the band pushing their prodigious talents and creativity to the limit, interweaving influences spanning the sonic landscapes of post rock, experimental music, and heavy prog. Pre-orders for ‘Great Escape’ are available now at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are streaming “To You I Give”, the first new track off ‘Great Escape.’

Regarding the track, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “This song is about giving your heart to someone or something special, and being able to cope with the trouble and anxiety it can incite as well as the joy and hope it brings. Giving is strength. We can endure.”

Track-list
1.You Brought It Upon Yourselves
2. To You I Give
3. Uncivil War (Pt. I)
4. Madman
5. Times, They Are A Raging
6. Rain Black, Reign Heavy
7. Slow Motion Breakdown
8. Nebulas
9. Las Diabolicas
10. Great Escape (Pt. I)
11. Great Escape (Pt. II)

https://www.facebook.com/CBP444/
https://crippledblackphoenixsom.bandcamp.com/
http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=139

Crippled Black Phoenix, “To You I Give”

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Sólstafir to Tour Australia with Enslaved; European Festival Dates Approaching

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Next weekend in Neskaupstaður, Iceland’s prime purveyors of melancholic heavy, Sólstafir, will take the stage at the Eistnaflug Festival alongside The Vintage Caravan and a host of other native acts as well as the likes of Anathema, Kreator and many more. It’s not by any means their first appearance at the fest, but still notable for their placement near the top of the bill, reinforcing their position among the foremost Icelandic bands going. To that end, they’ll also be joining with Norwegian progressive extremists Enslaved on an Australian run next month. It’s four shows in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, but still a formidable run both for the journey involved in getting there and the pairing, as together, the two bands represent some of the most forward thinking metal Europe has to offer. I wouldn’t mind catching those two together, is all I’m saying.

Sólstafir, of course, go supporting last year’s Berdreyminn (review here), which was released by Season of Mist. The label sent the following down the PR wire:

solstafir (Photo Hafsteinn Viðar)

Sólstafir announce Australian tour with Enslaved

Acclaimed Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR have announced their first-ever Australian tour. The trek commences on August 29 in Perth, and sees the band performing in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

SÓLSTAFIR are touring in support of their new album, ‘Berdreyminn’. The album, produced by Birgir Birgirsson (SIGUR RÓS, ALCEST) and Jaime Gomez-Arellano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, ULVER), is available across multiple formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

SÓLSTAFIR have released a new video for the track “Hula”. The surreal new video, filmed in the haunting Hill of Crosses of Lithuania, is streaming now.

SÓLSTAFIR live:
July 11 Neskaupstaður, IS @ Eistnaflug
Aug. 4 Wacken, DE @ Wacken Open Air
Aug. 18 Dinkelsbühl, DE @ Summer Breeze Open Air

SÓLSTAFIR Australian tour:
All dates with ENSLAVED
Aug. 29 Perth, AUS @ Rosemount Hotel
Aug. 30 Sydney, AUS @ Factory Theatre
Aug. 31 Brisbane, AUS @ The Zoo
Sept. 1 Melbourne, AUS @ Max Watt’s

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
http://twitter.com/solstafir
https://solstafir.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, Berdreyminn (2017)

Sólstafir, “Hula” official video

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Hooded Menace Announce June Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Finnish doom malevolents Hooded Menace are heading out in just to play the Death over Drachten fest in the Netherlands. The five-piece released their latest album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, this past January on Season of Mist and received the usual hyperbole-laden top marks for it that must be so boring to them by this time that they can’t stand it. Whether they can or can’t, they earned it as ever with the unbridled darkness of their atmospheres, only enhanced by a more dynamic take overall.

They’ll play a couple shows around the fest, including at The Black Heart in London, as the PR wire informs. I don’t know if larger touring is in the works or if these kinds of sporadic appearances will be it for now, but either way, if you’ve never caught these guys, they’re worth the hearing damage.

To wit:

hooded menace

Finland’s death/doom overlords HOODED MENACE have announced a string of European tour dates this summer. The mini tour kicks off on June 22 in Oberhousen, and sees the band playing at Death over Drachten in the Netherlands. A full list of dates can be found below.

HOODED MENACE are touring in support of their new album, ‘Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed’. Their most ominous, dark, and mature album to date, ‘Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed’ sees HOODED MENACE expertly weave dreary funereal atmospheres with dark melody, which only adds to emotional gravitas of what is sure to be one of the heaviest albums of 2018.

‘Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed’, HOODED MENACE’s fifth full-length, is available here.

The album art, painted by Adam Burke (SOLSTAFIR, ARTIFICIAL BRAIN, VEKTOR, and more) and track list for ‘Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed’ can be found below:

Track list
1. Sempiternal Grotesqueries
2. In Eerie Deliverance
3. Cathedral of Labyrinthine Darkness
4. Cascade of Ashes
5. Charnel Reflections
6. Black Moss

HOODED MENACE Tour dates:
Jun. 22 Oberhausen, DE @ Helvete
Jun. 23 Drachten, NL @ Death over Drachten (w/ SHINING, CARNATION)
Jun. 24 London, UK @ The Black Heart

https://www.facebook.com/HoodedMenace
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Hooded Menace, “In Eerie Deliverance”

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Weedeater Announce Tour with Zeke and Sierra; Playing Maryland Doom Fest & Electric Funeral Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

So Weedeater are playing Maryland Doom Fest 2018, headlining the final night of the thing on June 24. In true Weedeater fashion, they’re using this as the launch point for a 30-date run alongside reignited speedrockers Zeke and about-to-have-the-adventure-of-a-lifetime outfit Sierra. Because, hey, if you’re playing one show, you might as well play 30, right? Anybody??

Well, to be fair, in addition to MDDF, they’ll be at Electric Funeral Fest in Denver a few nights later, so it’s not just the one fest appearance, but you get the point, and the point is that Weedeater just keep touring. Every time they come off the road — they were just in Europe playing God Luck and Good Speed in full at Roadburn as they did on a US run this past February — I think maybe they’ll head back into the studio, but nope, they’re just waiting to announce the next tour, the next destination. Destination: everywhere.

Going coast to coast in the interim and even heading up to Vancouver, they start in Maryland and finish even closer to home in the Paris of the South, as the PR wire confirms:

weedeater

WEEDEATER announce US tour

Notorious southern metal outfit WEEDEATER have announced a new US tour that will kick off on June 24. The tour sees them supported by speed-rock rippers ZEKE, UNSANE (on select dates,) and SIERRA. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
All dates w/ ZEKE & SIERRA
June 24 Frederick, MD @ Maryland Doomfest
June 25 Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theatre
June 26 Bloomington, IL @ Night Shop
June 27 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
June 28 Minneapolis, MN @ Studio B
June 29 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
June 30 Denver, CO @ Electric Funeral Fest
July 1 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
July 3 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
July 4 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
July 5 Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo
July 7 Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom
July 8 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
July 9 San Francisco, CA @ Slims
July 10 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
July 11 Los Angeles, CA @ Union Club
July 13 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
July 14 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
July 15 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
July 18 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
July 19 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
July 20 Austin, TX @ Lost Well
July 21 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
July 22 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
July 24 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
July 25 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
July 26 Rock Island, IL @ Ribco
July 27 Rensselaer, IN @ Van Nationals
July 28 Nashville, TN @ Exit In
July 29 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/album/goliathan
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Hyborian on Tour with Weedeater Now; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I wish I had a title like ‘heavy metal riff machine.’ Best I can come up with is ‘dude who wakes up at 1:30 in the morning to write reviews,’ and frankly I don’t think that’s a title anyone wants. Kudos, then, to Kansas City’s Hyborian for earning that banner which they’re currently flying on tour with Season of Mist labelmates Weedeater. The run has been on for a few days, and it will take them into April, but they’ve got new fest dates booked in May and June as they continue to support the reissue of their Vol. 1 debut album on their already-noted new label home.

Hyborian also have a brand new video for the track “Maelstrom” that you can see below. It was directed by vocalist and guitarist Martin Bush.

Next time you’re looking for a definition of “up and coming,” here you go. Take it from me. I’ve been up since 1:30:

hyborian

HYBORIAN announce festival appearances, add new tour dates

Kansas City-based heavy metal riff machine HYBORIAN (Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals, Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals, Justin Rippeto – Drums, and Anthony Diale – Bass) have announced new festival appearances in the months to come. HYBORIAN will appear at Kansas City’s Rock Fest on June 2nd alongside FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, and more. Additionally, HYBORIAN will play at Vintage Torque Fest in Dubuque Iowa on May 5. More information about Torque Fest can be found here. These two festival appearances follow the band’s previously announced North American tour alongside label-mates WEEDEATER. A full list of confirmed tour dates, including new shows in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois can be found below.

HYBORIAN are touring in support of their acclaimed debut album ‘Vol. 1’. The album is streaming here.

‘Vol. 1’ is available across CD and limited edition LP formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop now.

HYBORIAN have been touring extensively since their 2015 formation. In addition to tours with GODMAKER and on their own, they have supported the likes of POWER TRIP, ACID KING, MUTOID MAN, WEEDEATER, IRON REAGAN, VEKTOR, WHORES and many more in the Midwest.

HYBORIAN TOUR DATES
Jun. 2 Kansas City, MI @ Kansas City Speedway (Rock Fest)
May 4 Dubuque, IA @ Fairgrounds (Vintage Torque Fest)

The “God Luck and Good Speed” tour w/ WEEDEATER and BASK
Mar. 21 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Mar. 22 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Mar. 23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo
Mar. 24 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Mar. 25 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Mar. 27 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies
Mar. 28 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mar. 29 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Mar. 30 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
Mar. 31 Little Rock, AR @ Whitewater
Apr. 1 New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
Apr. 2 Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits
Apr. 3 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
Apr. 4 Asheville, NC @ Oddotorium *
Apr. 6 Champaign, IL @ Loose Cobra *
*No WEEDEATER

https://www.facebook.com/HyborianRock/
https://hyborianrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist

Hyborian, Vol. I (2017)

Hyborian, “As Above, so Below” official video

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Sinistro Offer Track-by-Track Look at Sangue Cássia

Posted in Features on March 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sinistro-Ines_Achando

While I’m sure it’s less of an issue for you because you’re more worldly and up on your stuff generally than I am, my ignorant American ass doesn’t speak Portuguese. Add it to a long and ever-growing list of sources of personal shames. The upshot of this, however is that when it comes to Lisbon-based doomers Sinistro and their third and latest album for Season of Mist, Sangue Cássia, most of what I’m going on in trying to understand the album and its eight component tracks — seven originals and a closing cover of Paradise Lost, with whom Sinistro toured Europe last fall — is second-hand knowledge and what of the overall mood I can derive from the atmosphere.

Fortunately, when it comes right down to it Sangue Cássia wants nothing for mood or atmosphere. Its doom runs through the pulsating emotionalist vein of the aforementioned Paradise Lost or even a melody-fronted My Dying Bride — lest we forget to mention top Portuguese metal exports Moonspell— with vocalist Patricia Andrade bringing significant character to pieces like “Petalas” and rolling 11-minute album opener and longest track (immediate points) “Cosmos Controle,” as well as the Euro-fest-ready loud/quiet trades and crawling tempo of “Abismo,” on which the guitars of Rick Chain and Ricardo Matias meet head-on with the low-end rumble of Fernando Matias‘ bass and the intermittent roll of Paulo Lafaia‘s drums, further synth ambience from Matias fleshing out an already deep-running arrangement mix.

And yet, amid this complexity of presentation — which, rest assred only grows more prevalent as the five-piece head toward the finale of “Cravo Carne,” though the threatrical “Nuvem” and “Gardenia,” which trades between some of the darkest metal and some of the brightest melodies oN Sangue Cássia as a whole — Sinistro maintain a sense of poise that lets them keep their feet firmly planted despite the swirling winds of the tempest they’ve created. Still, part of me sure would like to know what these songs are actually about, and fortunately the band was willing to comply with that desire — fucking imperialist American — and sent over the following brief track-by-track rundown.

Please enjoy:

sinistro sangue cassia

Sinistro, Sangue Cássia Track-by-Track:

“Cosmos Controle” explore different landscapes, ambience to describe a voyage. A lovers voyage lost in the night. A voyage into their feelings. Feeling so much it hurts.They lost each other.

“Lótus” Is a place where heaven in hell are together. Is an empty kingdom of a single man taking a peek  at emptiness in search of a divine encounter to save himself.

“Pétalas” Portrays an inner voyage in which existentialism is perpetuated , the escape, the mismatch. A plunge in our ruins to be reborn through purge.

“Vento Sul” Describe a state of mind where the questioning is permanent . The south wind is the element that will bring some answers. For that, you need to listen yourself and wait.

“Abismo” is a song where you get into a woman´s dialogue with mountain high walls. A place of two voices with wounds and wreckage sounds. From dialogue to a monologue,in silence, start a journey to find herself in and with the world.

“Nuvem” is a metaphor to speak about existence. In where do you want to see yourself and the impermanence of life.

“Gardénia” is a story about a woman who lives on the street describing her life memories and her loss.

“Cravo Carne” speaks about the age of fear, the time before the end. A reflexion about aging.

“Ferida” is a description about a man and his small town landscape as a form to ilustrate his soul wounds.

“Nothing Sacred” the song from Paradise Lost that we made a cover was a good challenge. We decided to choose a song that was not a obvious choice, in which the vocals would fit naturally.

Sinistro, Sangue Cássia (2018)

Sinistro on Thee Facebooks

Sinistro on Bandcamp

Sinistro at Season of Mist webstore

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Ester Segarra Photography Anthology Ars Umbra to be Released by Season of Mist

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Here’s a fun fact: I’m fortunate enough to say that 2018 will be my 10th time attending the Roadburn festival. For most of those years, I have been fortunate enough to have a pass to let me take pictures in the photo pit; an experience for which I’m continually grateful. Among the many talented others with which I’ve shared that sometimes-cramped space between the audience barricade and the stage has been London-based photographer Ester Segarra. I’ve never said hi to her once. Not once. No introduction. Never said, “Hi Ester, my name is JJ. You probably have no idea who I am but I’m a big admirer of your work and just wanted to say hello,” like I practiced and swore to myself I would do last year.

Why not? Because Ester Segarra is fucking amazing. That’s why not. Because I’m not worthy of saying hi to someone whose talent reaches that caliber. Ester Segarra‘s photos have helped define the aesthetic of heavy metal for more than a decade. No. You don’t bother Ester Segarra even when you’re standing there waiting for the next band to come on stage. What you do is you make sure your big dumb head isn’t blocking her shot, and if it is — spoiler alert: it probably is — you get the hell out of the way quickly, because Ester Segarra not only earned the right to take that picture, she invariably will do a better job of it than just about anyone else.

It’s not every photog who gets an anthology published by Season of Mist with a companion record by Uno Bruniusson of In Solitude and Death Alley. But yeah, we’re not talking about every photog here, are we?

From the PR wire:

ester segarra

Season of Mist to release ESTER SEGARRA photo anthology with companion album by Uno Bruniusson (GRAVE PLEASURES, IN SOLITUDE)

Renowned photographer ESTER SEGARRA has been an integral part of the worldwide heavy music landscape for over 15 years. SEGARRA’s multitude of photos have been featured in every major metal magazine, a wide array of critically acclaimed albums, some of the most popular band photos circulating the internet, and has worked for perennial artists such as MAYHEM, ROTTING CHRIST, WATAIN, DARKTHRONE, ABBATH, ELECTRIC WIZARD, and many more.

After years of compiling her work, ESTER SEGARRA will release her anthology photo-book titled ‘Ars Umbra’ later this year via Season of Mist. The ‘Ars Umbra’ anthology will feature an original score composed by Uno Bruniusson (GRAVE PLEASURES, IN SOLITUDE, PROCESSION, and more).

Regarding the book announcement, ESTER SEGARRA comments: “The anthology, ‘Ars Umbra’ celebrates 15 years of my music photography. Pictures and music are presented in the form of a photo-book with an added original soundtrack, which I had specially commissioned from percussionist extraordinaire, Uno Bruniusson (ex-IN SOLITUDE, DEATH ALLEY, PROCESSION). His music has been created to provide a rhythm, a mind-space that alters the experience of the book. This project has consumed me for the last two years and I am very glad and honoured to have it finally released via Season of Mist, which is most fitting; considering their eclectic roster of bands, their boundary pushing attitude and their graphic art outlet E-Kunst. Having worked many times with this label before, I know their fire is as strong as mine. The time will soon come to unleash and fuel the flames of ‘Ars Umbra’!”

For over a decade, ESTER SEGARRA has re-imagined the visual aspect of heavy metal for bands like GHOST, WATAIN, ELECTRIC WIZARD, CATHEDRAL, MAYHEM, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, AT THE GATES, CARCASS, DARKTHRONE, ROTTING CHRIST, VENOM, ABBATH, and many more.

Through her lens, SEGARRA has captured some of extreme music’s most notorious players and in turn become one of the most prolific and significant contemporary music photographers.

More news about ESTER SEGARRA will be available at the Season of Mist website.

https://www.facebook.com/estersegarraphotography/
http://www.estersegarra.com/
http://www.season-of-mist.com
http://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial
https://twitter.com/SeasonofMist

Ester Segarra, Photo Exhibit at Roadburn 2011

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