Seremonia, Pahuuden Äänet: Palvonta Kuoleman (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

seremonia-pahuuden-aanet

[Click play above to stream Seremonia’s Pahuuden Äänet in full. Album is out Sept. 30, 2016, on Svart Records.]

Even if one doesn’t speak Finnish, as I most certainly don’t, it’s hard to ignore the engaging oddity that Seremonia have become. Pahuuden Äänet (on Svart) is the fourth album the dark-psych rockers — working with the returning lineup of vocalist Noora Federley, guitarists Teemu Markkula and Ville Pirinen, bassist Ilkka Vekka and drummer/flutist Erno Taipale — have released since their 2012 self-titled debut (track stream here), and it follows last year’s Kristalliarkki (review here, stream here), which only upped the bizarro quotient from 2013’s second offering, Ihminen.

There have been elements consistent throughout their work in songwriting and a penchant for catchy bounce, but each record has found its own personality as well, and the 10-track/40-minute Pahuuden Äänet is no different. While roughly produced with a vintage sound in mind, as all their work has been, and given to a classic sense of boogie in “Sielun Kuolema” (“the death of the soul”) and “Me Kutsumme Sitaä” (“we call it”), there’s a sense of pushing “far out” as far out as far out will go on the brief “Sähkolintu” (“electric bird”), and where Kristalliarkki had its greatest impact in its 15-minute, two-part title-track, Pahuuden Äänet spreads some of that vibe around, so that the seven-minute “Ne Ovat Jo Täällä” (“they are already here”) and the later, six-minute “Riivatut” (“possessed”) both come across as patient, rich in their cultish swirl and still fitting with the overarching flow of the album, which winds up being one of its greatest assets.

They begin with Federley‘s echoing proclamations on “Orjat” (“the slaves”), itself longer than cuts like “Sielun Kuolema,” which immediately follows, and given to a languid initial groove. No strangers to the otherworldly, Seremonia do well throughout Pahuuden Äänet to blend ethereal and terrestrial impulses, but “Orjat” opens the record with particularly hypnotic motion, its second half tripping out instrumentally on effects-laden guitar repetitions, growing washes of noise and a growing sense of the weird-worship to come as the album plays out. As noted, “Sielun Kuolema” plays against this impulse with a faster, more straightforward rush, but the interplay between Markkula and Pirinen and the layering of vocals still makes it a standout, only bolstering its memorable hook. The album’s title itself translates to “the sound of evil,” so it’s no doubt with a sense of irony that the title-track has some of the sweetest sounds to be found herein.

seremonia

Aside from providing Taipale with a subtle showcase of far-back push, “Pahuuden Äänet” boasts a weepy guitar line and sense of consuming melancholy that suits its place on the record, picking up in its last minute to a space rock thrust that almost seems to be snuck in, like Seremonia were trying to get away with something. It’s that sense of playfulness that makes their material so dangerous and really gives the impression they enjoy what they do. Helps as well that both “Sähkolintu,” with its key/guitar freakout, and “Ne Ovat Jo Täällä,” with its slow-wah drift circa the halfway point and own shift into exploratory madness, are an absolute blast, the latter breaking before five minutes in to gleefully wander beneath a forest canopy of noise that presumably serves as the end of side A.

“Me Kutsumme Sitaä” starts the second half of the tracklisting at as full a speed as Seremonia move on Pahuuden Äänet, the thrust underscored by Vekka‘s bass and Taipale‘s drums nonetheless putting the guitars forward along with Federley‘s reverb-soaked voice. They’ve come to excel at this kind of 45RPM-ready burst, but there’s not much for which I’d trade the creepy bass/flute intro of “Riivatut,” or the forward build that it begins. Just before two minutes in, the song takes off and Seremonia revel in their class-M space impulses, seeming to draw together the various sides they’ve shown already — the boogie, the psych, the experimentalism — it’s all there even before they land in the engulfing wah wash march that ends the track, leading to the standout push of “Kuoleman Planeetta” (“death planet”), less of a speedy shuffle than “Sielun Kuolema” — another cut with a direct reference to “death” in the title; I learned something today — but no less rhythmically engaging in an easy groove ridden to a natural conclusion that in no way overstays its welcome, stopping short to move into the molten, flute-topped start of “Riudut Ja Kuolet” (“squares and killing”), with a spoken-word verse and thudding behind its chanted chorus.

That’s swapped out circa 2:30 in favor of a push derived either from classic rock, classic metal or both (or neither?) that seems to throw out the songwriting rulebook but works all the same, particularly with closer “Uusi Aamu Sarastaa” (“the new morning dawns”) behind it. Perhaps because one might expect Seremonia to finish with another turn of effects and improv-sounding strangeness, “Uusi Aamu Sarastaa” caps the record with a relatively straight-ahead feel — take that, expectation — which is also a noteworthy turnaround from the last album. There are a few here, further proving that while Seremonia have clearly established a sonic niche within quirky, heavy, and psychedelic cult-ish rock, they’re not at all content to rest on that in terms of creative growth. They’ve kept an impressive pace to this point and show no signs of slowing, so it seems only fair to look forward to their next one even while still enjoying Pahuuden Äänet.

Seremonia on Thee Facebooks

Seremonia at Svart Records

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Seremonia Announce New Album Pahuuden Äänet out Sept. 30; Stream Closing Track

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

seremonia

You think you’re weird and that’s adorable, but Seremonia are working on a completely different scale when it comes to the bizarre. The Finnish cult-psych troupe will issue their fourth long-player, Pahuuden Äänet, on Sept. 30 through respected purveyor Svart Records, and it just so happens that the label has preorders up now. Svart is also streaming the closing track of the album, “Uusi Aamu Sarastaa,” which you can hear below. It seems to shift the vibe somewhat from where the band was their last time out, on 2015’s Kristalliarkki (review here), but I would not at all expect any single song from a Seremonia record to speak for the entirety of the release at this point, and neither should you.

Still, as a sampling, it speaks to some of the darker spirit that the PR wire refers to in the info that follows, as well as the cover art, which you can see here:

seremonia pahuuden aanet

SEREMONIA set release date for new SVART album, reveal first track

Seremonia, Finland’s finest heavy psych outfit, travels to the outer limits and beyond with their fourth full-length album, Pahuuden äänet. Set for international release on September 30th via Svart Records, Pahuuden äänet (“Voices of evil” in English) boldly goes and explores previously unknown dark corners of the heavy psych universe.

It takes the lyrical story of Seremonia’s previous album, Kristalliarkki (“The Crystal Ark” in English), and shoots it across space and time into a feverish dystopian nightmare. This time, the apocalyptic visions have cosmic proportions, and lyrically, it’s the band’s gloomiest & doomiest album to date.

Musically, it’s even more diverse and adventurous than the band’s previous acid rock experiments. It’s Seremonia’s signature “’60s metal” sound, but the colossal doom-prog parts are more colossal and the passages of melancholic beauty more beautiful than ever before. There’s classic pop songwriting, spacey synthesizer freak-outs, dystopian dirges, victorious twin-lead guitars, out-of-control space-punk blasts, and plenty of glorious hard rock riffage to accompany the stories of cosmic horror.

And yes, Noora Federley’s vocal delivery is still blood-chillingly cool, Erno Taipale’s drumming still a pure force of nature, and the stringed instruments out-of-controlled by Teemu Markkula, Ville Pirinen, and Ilkka Vekka still make up an electric storm of fuzz. Here for yourself at Svart’s Soundcloud HERE with the new track “Uusi aamu sarastaa.”

Tracklisting for Seremonia’s Pahuuden äänet
1. Orjat
2. Sielun kuolema
3. Pahuuden äänet
4. Sä?hko?lintu
5. Ne ovat jo täällä
6. Me kutsumme sitaä
7. Riivatut
8. Kuoleman planeetta
9. Riudut ja kuolet
10. Uusi aamu sarastaa

Seremonia:
Noora Federley – vocals
Teemu Markkula – guitar
Ville Pirinen – guitar
Erno Taipale – drums, flute
Ilkka Vekka – bass

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Seremonia Post New Video for “Tee Mitä Tahdot”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 18th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

seremonia

My personal favorite moment in the new Seremonia video for “Tee Mitä Tahdot?” Thanks for asking. It’s when, amid all the Finnish band’s demon iconography, analog tape warble, cultish whathaveyou, ’70s bikerisms and odd punches to the face, a clip art hockey player shows up just after the solo, about two minutes in. I’m not a hockey fan, so I can’t necessarily tell you if that’s supposed to represent any particular player or someone perhaps out of Finnish hockey history, but as I made my way through the three-minute clip, it’s just random enough to truly represent the ethic of the song, the title of which translates to “Do What Thou Wilt.”

The track, which underlines its catchy chorus with visualization of the title, comes from Seremonia‘s earlier-2015 third album, Kristalliarkki (review here, track stream here), a joyous rite of weirdo heavy psych no less analog-naturalist than the video for “Tee Mitä Tahdot.” Whether or not you speak Finnish (sad to say I do not), it provided an immersive front-to-back experience, less geared toward sonic heft than an overarching atmosphere of ’70s cultistry — you know the names and you don’t need me to drop them for comparison. What singled out this record over its predecessors was a looming spirit of early prog, and while I wouldn’t speculate as to what moves the band might make stylistically their next time out — they’ve worked quick to-date, so “next time out” could be any minute now — it provided another edge to their increasingly individualized take.

If you feel like you’re ready to have your mind destroyed and your soul reaped, I submit the following hedonism.

Enjoy:

Seremonia, “Tee Mitä Tahdot” official video

Today, Finnish heavy psych rockers Seremonia premiere the new video “Tee mitä tahdot” exclusively HERE. Directed by David Aje Forsberg and with illustrations by guitarist Ville Pirinen, “Tee mitä tahdot” hails from Seremonia’s critically acclaimed third album, Kristalliarkki, released this past May by Svart Records. With lyrics (still all in their native tongue) revolving around the spiritual cult practices and teachings of a mysterious doomsday cult, Kristalliarkki (English: “The Crystal Ark”) also explores the cultist mindset musically.

The heavy riffing, the psychedelic solos, the out-of-control drum fills, the blood-chilling vocal delivery, and the collective free rock freak-outs all go way beyond just playing good ol’ heavy rock: Seremonia is a band on a sacred mission, possessed by the black flame of rock ‘n’ roll. Kristalliarkki bears their trademark garage doom sound and catchy riffage, and adds an abundance of acid rock experimentalism, proto-punk anger, sacred music bliss, and even some cosmic jazz flavors in the 15-minute title track of the album. It’s a hard-rocking hard rock record, but a wonderfully weird one – even by Seremonia’s weirdo standards. Eat more psychedelic fruit exclusively HERE, with the video for “Tee mitä tahdot.”

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Seremonia at Svart Records

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Seremonia Premiere “Vapauden polku” from New Album Kristalliarkki

Posted in audiObelisk on May 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Seremonia

The Finnish title of opener “Vihkimys” on Seremonia‘s third album, Kristalliarkki (review here) — due out May 8 on Svart Records — translates to “initiation,” and for anyone who hasn’t yet gotten on board with the five-piece’s blend of classic garage, buzztone cult rock and psychedelic weirdness, no doubt its chanting incantations will be just that. The follow-up to 2013’s Ihminen and 2012’s Seremonia debut (track stream here) is more fluid and comfortable in its boogie than the band have ever been, and that seems only to allow them to be even stranger in their conjurings, the album making odd turns as it moves (mostly) at a shuffling clip toward its sprawling title-track through cuts like “Musta liekki,” “Alpha ja Omega” and the wah-drenched “Lusiferin lapset,” the Finnish cadence of the lyrics as delivered by vocalist Noora Federley — joined in the band by guitarists Teemu Markkula and Ville Pirinen, bassist Ilkka Vekka and drummer Erno Taipale — only adding to the late-’60s-made-heavy psychedelic otherworldliness of the overarching vibe.

As they have on their past two full-lengths, Seremonia craft a proto-metal all their own, not retro in the sense of simply copying methods of songwriting and production, but taking those methods and creating an individual identity from the focus on natural tones, weighted grooves and eerie melodicism. More “forest power” than “flower power,” the five-piece add flourish of strange shooting sounds, Echoplex and fuzzy organ tones to “Vapauden polku,” which is the longest track on Kristalliarkki save for the 14-minute first part of the seremonia kristalliarkkitwo-part title-track finale (the second part of which, it’s worth noting, is 1:14), resulting in an almost animalian effect between the rolling verses. That scratching organ gets a solo in the second half where the guitars otherwise might stand on their own, and in the last minute, the track launches from a final verse into an airy final chorus that would seem to indicate their having found the “path to freedom” referenced in the title.

From there, Kristalliarkki launches some of its most insistent boogie in “Kuolema voitta” en route to the more lumbering, flute-laden groove of “Jokainen askel” and the aforementioned two-part closer, but we’ll pause at “Vapauden polku” for the time being since that’s the track I have pleasure today of hosting as a premiere ahead of the album’s arrival in a week’s time. The last couple years have made Seremonia something of a well-kept secret, and though there’s little doubt part of that is linguistic, I’ll say because I feel like it needs to be said that while I don’t speak Finnish — I wish I did, and not just so I’d be more likely to know what Seremonia were talking about — the atmosphere of Kristalliarkki, its warmth of tone and presence, its grooving push, its carefully executed flow, carry over despite any barrier language might present. There. It’s said.

I hope you take a listen to “Vapauden polku” on the player below, and I hope you enjoy:

Finnish heavy psych rockers Seremonia dive deeper than ever into the dark psychedelic abyss with their third album Kristalliarkki (The Crystal Ark). With lyrics (still all in their native tongue) revolving around the spiritual cult practices and teachings of a mysterious doomsday cult, the album also explores the cultist mindset musically.

The heavy riffing, the psychedelic solos, the out-of-control drum fills, the blood-chilling vocal delivery and the collective free rock freak-outs all go way beyond just playing good ol’ heavy rock. Seremonia is a band on a sacred mission, possessed by the black flame of rock’n’roll.

Kristalliarkki bears their trademark garage doom sound and catchy riffage, and adds an abundance of acid rock experimentalism, proto punk anger, sacred music bliss and even some cosmic jazz flawors in the 15-minute namepiece of the album. It’s a hard rocking hard rock record, but a wonderfully weird one. Even by Seremonia’s weirdo standards.

Noora Federley – vocals
Teemu Markkula – guitar
Ville Pirinen – guitar
Erno Taipale – drums, flute
Ilkka Vekka – bass

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Seremonia at Svart Records

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Quarterly Review: Bubonic Bear, The F.T.W., Seremonia, JPT Scare Band, Libido Fuzz, Dopethrone, The Moth, War Iron, Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Red Mess

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Here we are, the final day of The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy this whole time, but the challenge has been worth it. Will I do another one? I guess that depends on how backed up records get. Even with all of this, I haven’t managed to fit in everything, so yeah, it doesn’t seem unlikely I’ll wind up with fodder for more of this kind of thing. Once again, not at all a hardship to have people interested enough in having me write about their music to send it to me. Not at all something I’m going to complain about.

Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read or share the link or whatnot, and of course to bands and labels for caring enough to send the music.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Bubonic Bear, Shaved Heat

bubonic-bear-shaved-heat

In and out of their three-song Shaved Heat tape in under 10 minutes, one could hardly accuse Philly guitar/drum duo Bubonic Bear of being overly elaborate in their approach, but the tracks, particularly closer “Clean,” drive home their post-hardcore rawness with suitable intensity. No frills, just impact. Vocals are raw shouts and the blue tape, which is limited to 50 copies through Bastard Sloth Records, has a kind of avant garde charm, underground in the house-show sense and mean, mean, mean, but probably nice enough to talk to. “Chlorine,” “Witch Pyle” and “Clean” are arranged shortest to longest, but all three hover around three minutes and tear into frenetic turns and let’s-call-it-spirited pummel. Andrew and Dustin, the pair involved, have a slew of EPs and splits and one full-length under their belt, and their six-plus years together are evident in the sheer fact that they can execute material so chaotic without having it fall apart under their stamping feet.

Bubonic Bear on Thee Facebooks

Bastard Sloth Records

The F.T.W., Vendetta Kind of Mood

the-f.t.w.-vendetta-kind-of-mood

From its biker chug to its unabashed confrontationalism and attitude-laced approach to songs like “Who Crowned You King” and “Axe to Grind,” The F.T.W.’s Vendetta Kind of Mood just screams oldschool New York. Not the New York that’s the family-friendly (as long as you’re rich) center of the fashion world, but the New York that was really eager to tell you about how it was going to kick your ass, if not actually do so. The 10-track vinyl self-release is clean in its production and straightforward structurally, but has a gritty undercurrent anyway, showing some thrash (or is that NYHC? So hard to tell sometimes) influence in “Bleed Out” and a bit of rawer punk in “Billy Bats,” though they wait till the closer to actually extract a “Pound of Flesh,” which they slice with a choice solo and some Judas Priest riffing from guitarist TheMajor Nelson, joined in the trio by bassist/vocalist Michael Dolan and drummer Jason Meraz. Something tells me they’re not abbreviating “for the win.”

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Seremonia, Kristalliarkki

seremonia kristalliarkki

Kristalliarkki is the third offering from Finland’s Seremonia on Svart Records, and while all of their albums have thrilled in that quiet, warm-toned, psych-proto-ritual kind of way, the crystal ark is where it’s at. The record lands big with penultimate 14-minute sprawler jam “Kristalliarkki I,” open enough to set down a blanket and have a picnic next to the tree line, but before they get there, the five-piece of vocalist Noora Federley, guitarists Teemu Markkula and Ville Pirinen drummer/flautist Erno Taipale and bassist Ilkka Vekka vibe out fuzzy hypnosis on eight shorter native-language tracks, otherworldly from the word “go” and held together with a glue of ‘70s-style shufflebuzz on “Lusiferin Lapset” and the quick bouncer “Kuolema Voittaa” that beg to be dug on repeat visits. At just 1:14, “Kristalliarkki II” taps punker soul to close out with a sudden finish that leaves one wondering what the hell just happened, and no doubt that’s exactly what Seremonia had in mind.

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Seremonia at Svart Records

JPT Scare Band, Acid Acetate Excursion & Rape of the Titan’s Sirens

jpt scare band acid acetate excursion and rape of the titan's sirens

A twofer! Kansas City acid rockers JPT Scare Band Jeff Littrell (“J”), Paul Grigsby (“P”) and Terry Swope (“T”) – dig into their archival material to couple their first two records, Acid Acetate Excursion and Rape of the Titan’s Sirens, for Ripple Music. Both were recorded in the ‘70s but not released until 1994 and 1998, respectively, and the trio’s blown-out heavy continues to wear its years well, the bluesy fire in Swope’s guitar work leading the way through 81 minutes of long-range jams and classic vibes, still underrated after all these years. The second record has more bite tonally than the first, the recording is rougher, but I won’t take anything away from the force behind the 13-minute “King Rat” from the debut either. Think of it as an archival release more than a reissue, and if you haven’t yet been introduced to JPT Scare Band, think of the vinyl as an educational expense.

JPT Scare Band website

Ripple Music

Libido Fuzz, Kaleido Lumo Age

libido-fuzz-kaleido-lumo-age

Bordeaux trio Libido Fuzz trip out pretty hard on heavy ‘70s influences, but I feel like their Kaleido Lumo Age debut LP (on Pink Tank Records) is all the more praiseworthy for the simple fact that it doesn’t sound like Graveyard. Casting off much of the blues that seems to have afflicted so many the world over, Thibault Guezennec, Pierre-Alexis Mengual and Rory O’Callaghan dip back maybe a couple years before ’71, let’s call it ’68, but filter the Hendrix and The Who influences through modern tonality, which means that a boogier like “Raw Animal” and the proto-stoner shuffle of “Enter the Occult” satisfy in concept and execution. Each of the evident two sides caps with a cut past the eight-minute mark, and both “Redemption of the Bison” and album closer “Haight Ashbury” offer significant heavy psych immersion, though it’s the side B finale that ultimately wins out thanks to its second half journey into noise wash, lysergic swirl, last-minute nod and epilogue of birdsong-esque feedback.

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Libido Fuzz at Pink Tank Records

Dopethrone, Hochelaga

dopethrone hochelaga

Filth-caked Montreal trio Dopethrone eat crust and shit riffs on their Totem Cat-released fourth record, Hochelaga, coating themselves in backpatch-worthy tone and throat-searing screams that would do Bongzilla proud. Weedian scummery through and through. Save for “Dry Hitter,” each of Hochelaga’s seven tracks starts with a sample, as if to emphasize the utter stoner fuckall with which Dopethrone – guitarist/vocalist Vincent, bassist Vyk and drummer Borman – execute their rolling grooves and lumbering viciousness once it kicks in. “Sludgekicker,” “Vagabong” and “Riff Dealer” tell the tale, and the record’s 40 minutes play out in largely unipolar but universally righteous fashion, “Scum Fuck Blues” summing up the ethic nicely with the line, “Smoke, drink, die.” Dopethrone make a show of their rawness, but Hochelaga’s fullness of tone and clarity of aesthetic speak to an underlying sense of knowing what they’re doing, and a record this cohesive doesn’t happen by accident, much as it might be telling you otherwise. That doesn’t mean they’re not also high as hell, just that they can keep it together.

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Dopethrone on Bandcamp

The Moth, And Then Rise

the moth and then rise

A presumed sequel to their 2013 debut, They Fall, Hamburg trio The Moth‘s sophomore full-length, And Then Rise, pulls off heavy rock ethics with a heavy metal sense of purpose and basks in an overarching tension throughout its nine tracks. Fast or slow, doomed or thrashing, cuts like “Battle is Over” and “Travel Light” carry a progressive feel to match their hooks, later doomers like “Slowly to Die” and closer “Fire” – which hides a bonus track in its span – holding onto the tightness even as the relinquish in terms of pacing. Dark atmospherically but brazenly intricate, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Freden, bassist/vocalist Cécile and drummer Tiffy are never showy or putting on a technical clinic, but everything seems to be geared toward the purpose of enhancing the songs, which of course is the ideal. Because the sound is so condensed, it might take a couple listens for And Then Rise to sink in – not saying the chug of “Last Times” doesn’t also have immediate appeal – but The Moth’s genre-bending compositions prove worth the active engagement.

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The Moth on Bandcamp

War Iron, Precession of the Equinoxes

war iron precession of the equinoxes

I’m pretty sure War Iron could play fast and it would still sound slow. They don’t really try it. Deep, deep low end is cut through by indecipherable-but-get-their-point-across-anyway screams on the Northern Irish four-piece’s third album, Precession of the Equinoxes, which plods out a grueling extremity of doom across its four included tracks, the shortest of which is the 7:37 “Summon Demon Scream the Abyss,” a harsh ritual of sonic heft and disaffection well met by its compatriots, from the churning opener “Bludgeon Lord,” to the title-track – which actually does up the pace somewhat, relatively speaking (and yes, it still sounds slow), and only temporarily – which crushes hopes and eardrums alike leading into the closer “From Napalm Altar,” a final affirmation of the deathly miseries at heart in War Iron’s approach, vocalist Baggy going high-low with screams and growls over the Ross’ guitar, Dave’s bass and Marty’s drums. It is a fearsome and challenging listen.

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War Iron on Bandcamp

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Earth Hog

chubby-thunderous-bad-kush-masters-earth-hog

Guitarist/vocalist Owen Carty, formerly of underappreciated, coulda-been-contender sludge rockers Dopefight, lends his riffy services to the cumbersomely-named trio Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters (also stylized all-lowercase), who make their debut with the self-released five-song Earth Hog EP. Bassist Will Hart and drummer Mark Buckwell swing heavy and land hard on the opening title-track, and there’s not much letup from there, wah bass and cowbell leading to some fervent stomp in the second half of “Chopsticks and Bad Meatballs,” which starts out as a punk song, and “Devil’s Buttermilk” brazenly tackling Southern riffing without the chestbeating that way, way too often accompanies. More cowbell there too, because if you’re going to do something, overdo it. “Mother Chub” and “Riff Richard” close out, the latter with a slowdown that emphasizes the point: the kush may be bad, but the riffs are primo. Silly name or not, I’ll take this shit any day of the week, and considering Earth Hog was recorded in a living room, I have the feeling it’s only going to get louder from here. Right on.

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Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Bandcamp

Red Mess, Drowning in Red

red mess drowning in red

With a sense that they’re continuing to feel out where they want to be sonically, Brazilian three-piece Red Mess follow-up last year’s Crimson EP (review here) with the newly-issued two-tracker Drowning in Red – apparently working on a theme chromatically – the cuts “Daybreak’s Dope” and “Ready to Go” impressive in performance and tone as guitarist/vocalist Thiago Franzim shreds out on the latter atop Lucas Klepa’s bass and Douglas Villa’s speaker-popping kick. Each song has a markedly different approach, with “Daybreak’s Dope” topping seven minutes via a Sleep-style rollout while, true to its title, “Ready to Go” seems to have no interest in holding its shuffle still. Pairing them shows sonic breadth, and in the case of the second, a bit of ‘70s influence to coincide with what they showed on Crimson, though the results will still ultimately be familiar. They’re making progress, though, and their cohesiveness and catchiness through stylistic shifts is encouraging.

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Red Mess on Bandcamp

 

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Seremonia to Release Kristalliarkki May 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

seremonia

Finnish psychedelic outliers Seremonia have set a May 8 release for their third LP, Kristalliarkki, through Svart Records. The weirdo-rock fivesome have been kicking around Northern Europe’s heavy underbelly since the release of their first record in 2012 (track stream here), out-proto-metalling just about everybody and reaping surprisingly little acclaim for doing so. Doubtless part of that is the lack of universal translator technology (fucking hell, we’re primitive; if I was the Vulcans, I wouldn’t make first contact either), but even so, Seremonia have killed it across two records already and have vibe to spare, so Kristalliarkki is worth looking forward to.

So, uh, get on it. Ha. Here’s what the PR wire has to say:

seremonia kristalliarkki

SEREMONIA set release date for new SVART album

Finnish heavy psych rockers Seremonia dive deeper than ever into the dark psychedelic abyss with their third album Kristalliarkki, set for international release on May 8th via Svart Records. With lyrics (still all in their native tongue) revolving around the spiritual cult practices and teachings of a mysterious doomsday cult, Kristalliarkki (English: “The Crystal Ark”) also explores the cultist mindset musically. The heavy riffing, the psychedelic solos, the out-of-control drum fills, the blood-chilling vocal delivery, and the collective free rock freak-outs all go way beyond just playing good ol’ heavy rock: Seremonia is a band on a sacred mission, possessed by the black flame of rock ‘n’ roll. Kristalliarkki bears their trademark garage doom sound and catchy riffage, and adds an abundance of acid rock experimentalism, proto-punk anger, sacred music bliss, and even some cosmic jazz flavors in the 15-minute title track of the album. It’s a hard-rocking hard rock record, but a wonderfully weird one – even by Seremonia’s weirdo standards. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Seremonia’s Kristalliarkki
1. Vihkimys
2. Alfa ja Omega
3. Tee mitä tahdot
4. Musta liekki
5. Lusiferin lapset
6. Vapauden polku
7. Kuolema voittaa
8. Jokainen askel
9. Kristalliarkki I
10. Kristalliarkki II

Seremonia is a five-piece band from Finland, playing heavy psychedelic rock and singing in their native language, Finnish. Their eponymous debut album was released by Svart Records in 2012 and received critical acclaim across the world. Since then, the band has played their creepy brand of psych rock in very different venues, be it small punk rock dives or bigger festivals like Finland’s Tuska, Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown, Sweden’s Muskelrock, or Holland’s Roadburn. Both on acclaimed albums and ferocious live shows, Seremonia’s original take on the genre has earned them a good name amongst the global community of psych rock lovers.

Seremonia discography:
Rock’n’rollin maailma / Nämä kesäiset päivät 7″ (2012 Svart)
Seremonia LP/CD (2012 Svart)
Ovi / Vastaus rukouksiisi 7″ (2013 Svart)
Ihminen LP/CD (2013 Svart)
Hasiskultti / Hulluus 7” (2015 Svart)
Kristalliarkki LP/CD (2015 Svart)

MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/seremonia666
http://svartrecords.com/

Seremonia, “Suuri Valkeus” official video

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audiObelisk Transmission 030

Posted in Podcasts on September 21st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

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Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

With no slowdown in the music coming out as we move into the fall, it’s time for another audiObelisk podcast. Like last month, the idea here was to keep it super-simple, not go too long or get lost too much in including stuff just for the hell of it. Whether it’s a big band or someone you’ve never heard of in this tracklist, it’s all quality, and most of it is new. A couple of these albums haven’t even come out yet.

Things get pretty dark in the second of the two hours, but I figured what the hell? It starts off rockin’ with Sasquatch and The Freeks and so on, so it seemed there was room to doom out for a while, and once I threw in The Body, there was nothing to do but plummet even further. As it winds down, there’s some transition back to more rocking fare though with Earthless, so it’s not like it gets totally lost and drowns in the mire of dark tones and sonic abrasion. I know you were worried. I was too.

Like last time, it clocks in at just under two hours long. I hope you download and enjoy the tracks. Here’s the full rundown of what’s included:

First Hour:

Sasquatch, “The Message” from IV (2013)
Monster Magnet, “Mindless Ones” from Last Patrol (2013)
The Freeks, “The Secret Pathway” from Full On (2013)
Red Fang, “Blood Like Cream” from Whales and Leeches (2013)
Pyramido, “Tiden är Kommen” from Saga (2013)
Hollow Leg, “Ride to Ruin” from Abysmal (2013)
YOB, “Ether” from Catharsis (2013 Reissue)
Seremonia, “Suuri Valkeus” from Ihminen (2013)
Aqua Nebula Oscillator, “Human Toad” from Spiritus Mundi (2013)
Jesu, “Everyday” from Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came (2013)
Ayahuasca Dark Trip, “To the Holy Mountain” from Mind Journey (2013 Reissue)

Second Hour:

All Them Witches, “Born under a Bad Sign” (2013)
The Body, “Prayers Unanswered” from Christs, Redeemers (2013)
Primitive Man, “Antietam” from Scorn (2013)
Windhand, “Cassock” from Soma (2013)
Atlantis, “Omen” from Omens (2013)
Earthless, “Violence of the Red Sea” from From the Ages (2013)

Total running time: 1:59:33

Hope you dig it. Thanks for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 030

 

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Seremonia to Release Ihminen Oct. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Their 2012 self-titled debut was a gloriously weird psychedelic rocker — full of garage fuzz, vague devil worship and eerie melodicism — and today, engaging Finnish bizarros Seremonia have announced a quick turnaround on a follow-up. Svart, who also handled the debut, will issue Ihminen on Oct. 18. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’ve got high hopes coming off the last one and the track “Ovi,” which was released as a 7″ earlier this year and which you can hear on the player that follows the PR wire info below.

Dig it:

SEREMONIA set release date for new SVART album

Today, SVART RECORDS sets October 18th as the international release date for SEREMONIA’s second album, ihminen, to be released on both CD and LP formats. Finnish for “human,” SEREMONIA’s ihminen follows the band’s self-titled debut album, released to worldwide critical acclaim last year by SVART. The first taste of this psychedelic new album can be heard in “Ovi,” released earlier this year on 7″: https://soundcloud.com/svart-records/seremonia-ovi. Cover and tracklisting for SEREMONIA’s ihminen are as follows:

Tracklisting for SEREMONIA’s ihminen
1. Noitamestari
2. Itsemurhaaja
3. Ovi
4. Suuri Valkeus
5. Painajaisten Maa
6. Luonto Kostaa
7. Ihminen
8. Itsemurhaaja II
9. Vastaus Rukouksiisi
10. Tähtien Takaa
11. Hallava Hevonen

SEREMONIA comes from Finland, plays heavy psychedelic rock, and sings in their native language. Their eponymous debut album was released by SVART RECORDS in 2012. Since then, the band has played their creepy brand of psych rock in very different venues, be it small punk rock dives or bigger festivals like Finland’s Tuska, Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown, or Holland’s Roadburn. On their sophomore album ihminen, the band both continues the primitive pounding of their eponymous debut and expands their trademark sound into more epic directions.

SEREMONIA’s influences still come from the most psyched-out acid vinyls the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s have to offer. On ihminen, the influence of old Finnish punk and prog rock is more audible than before. The prevailing theme in Ilkka Vekka’s lyrics is the lunacy and evil in man. It’s not a concept album with a clear storyline, but every single song paints a coherently pessimistic picture of these dark times we’re all living in.

The explosively unpredictable nature of SEREMONIA’s onstage playing has been captured in the studio. The bass churns out the catchy riffs, screeching fuzz guitars wail feverishly, and drums pummel away in a psychotic frenzy. Flutes, synthesizers and bold use of effects add cosmic dimensions to the mix. On top of these psychedelic dirges, vocalist Noora Federley preaches the dark gospel in a blood-chillingly cool manner. The 2010s may have more than its share of Black Sabbath-influenced retro-rock bands, but SEREMONIA stands out from the crowd just by naturally sounding a few notches more creepy and weird than your average hippie doomsters.

SEREMONIA lineup
Noora Federley – vocals
Teemu Markkula -electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals
Ville Pirinen – electric guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals
Erno Taipale – drums, flute, guitar
Ilkka Vekka – bass, synthesizer

SEREMONIA discography
Rock’n’rollin maailma / Nämä kesäiset päivät 7” (Svart 2012)
Seremonia CD/LP (Svart 2012)
Ovi / Vastaus rukouksiisi 7” (Svart 2013)
Ihminen CD/LP (Svart 2013)

MORE INFO:
www.facebook.com/seremonia666
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Seremonia, “Ovi”

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