The Machine and Seven that Spells Announce Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Dutch heavy rockers The Machine and Croatian krautrock specialists Seven that Spells are teaming up to hit the road in November. The shows are only in Germany and Switzerland, so it’s not exactly full-coverage even as regards Western Europe, but it’s a week of dates anyway and better than nothing. Jeez, what’s the worst that happens, you fly to Germany and see a show? Live with it.

The Machine will be out supporting earlier-2015’s Offblast! (review here), their fifth outing and most accomplished work to-date, while Seven that Spells hit the road on the heels of a Sulatron Records reissue of their 2012 album, Superautobahn, their most recent studio release being last year’s The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: IO (review here), the second installment of a to-be-concluded trilogy.

Tour is presented by Sound of Liberation and info is as follows:

the machine seven that spells tour

When We Switch Our Amps On The Cities Go Dark Tour (THE MACHINE & SEVEN THAT SPELLS)

The Machine & Seven That Spells will be touring Germany (ok and Switzerland) for one week in November 2015.

ROCK AND ROLL
13.11 : Kulturbahnhof Jena // Jena GER
14.11 : Feierwerk // München GER
15.11 : Sedel Garage Luzern // Luzern CH
16.11 : Immerhin Würzburg // Würzburg GER
17.11 : Bassy Club // Berlin GER
18.11 : Kulturzentrum Faust // Hannover GER

SEVEN THAT SPELLS:
Beyond. We are the dogs of the western Jazz society looking for dope. Modern, aggressive psychedelic wall of sound incorporating polymetrics and occasional Viking funeral rites; hailing from the 23rd century where rock is dead, Seven That Spells returned in time where its still possible to change the tragic course of the boring history.

THE MACHINE:
THE MACHINE is a rock band from the Rotterdam area (NL). Through the years the band has been crafting its own (loud) brand of both hard-hitting tracks and instrumental takeoffs. Rooted in heavy rock, THE MACHINE refuses to be pigeonholed and prefers a modern experimental approach to the well known concepts of yesteryear.

https://www.facebook.com/events/932785733427068/
https://www.facebook.com/STS777
http://www.sulatron.com/xoshop/seven-that-spells-superautobahn-lp.html?xploidID=c9822eb662e59efb76d844cefdc7e28f
https://www.facebook.com/themachine.nl
http://elektrohasch.de/

The Machine, “Coda Sun” official video

Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: IO (2014)

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Last Licks 2014: Seven that Spells, Elliott’s Keep, The Lone Crows, Krautzone, L’Ira del Baccano, Lae, Atomikylä, Deaf Proof, Jastreb and Arctic Sleep

Posted in Reviews on January 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

I thought last night about changing the name of this feature to “First Licks 2015,” but on further reflection, that’s just too much licking. It’s bad enough as it is. All the same, Happy New Year to you and yours, wherever you and they may be. I hope in 2015, your reviews pile never gets so backed up that you think about doing something so absolutely insane as tackling them all at once to wipe the slate clean. Then again, being completely inundated with music has its upsides. The music, for one.

We press on today with the fourth installment in the “Last Licks 2014” series. These are reviews 31-40. I passed the halfway point yesterday with barely so much as an inward breath to appreciate the moment, and I can only hope the pile of discs before me goes so smoothly. I’ll let you know when I get there. Until then, no need to dally, let’s get underway with the first reviews of 2015.

Thanks for reading:

Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io

seven that spells the death and resurrection of krautrock io

Reportedly second in a series of three albums from Croatian heavy psych rockers Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io follows a first installment subtitled Aum released in 2011 and brings forth heady, mostly instrumental progressions of extended runtimes and a satisfying blend of weighted tones and stylistic clarity. The three-piece who released their first album in 2003 alternate between three shorter pieces and two longer ones across the 47-minute Sulatron Records outing’s five tracks, and while I’m not entirely sure what is the narrative that’s taking place across them, there’s definitely a plotted course and concept at work behind the material – it does not come across as haphazard in any way. When they arrive, vocals do so as chants coinciding with sweeping passages, as on “Burning Blood,” the culmination of which is worthy of being the apex of a trilogy in progress. Io takes the off-the-cuff authenticity in heavy psych and gives it direction and purpose beyond simply being. No small feat, no small results.

Seven that Spells on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

Elliott’s Keep, Nascentes Morimur

elliott's keep nascentes morimur

Some metal isn’t doom, some doom isn’t metal, but Texas trio Elliott’s Keep play doom metal, and make no mistake. Their third long-player, Nascentes Morimur, comes after 2008’s In Medias Res (review here) and 2010’s Sine Qua Non (review here), and like them, it was produced and mixed by J.T. Longoria, so that their darkened, metallic chugging is presented with a crisp bite. The three-piece of Kenneth Greene (bass/vocals), Jonathan Bates (guitar) and Joel Bates (drums) toy with the balance between death and doom effectively across Nascentes Morimur’s nine tracks, making highlights of early moments like the double-kick-laden “Now Taken” and the chorus of the proceeding “Days of Hell.” Later cuts like “Tale of Grief” and “Omen” follow suit, with Jonathan riffing out classic metal vibes while Greene switches between clean singing and a rasping, almost black metal in places, scream. Their command never wavers, though, and while there have never been many frills about their approach, Elliott’s Keep have come to offer a fist-pumpingly heavy, sharp-edged push.

Elliott’s Keep on Thee Facebooks

Elliott’s Keep on Bandcamp

The Lone Crows, Dark Clouds

the lone crows dark clouds

Bluesy Minneapolis double-guitar four-piece The Lone Crows show an affinity for classic rock stylization on their World in Sound second full-length, Dark Clouds. Produced modern, with lead guitar front and center, there’s more rock to Dark Clouds than heavy rock, but the vocal style of guitarist Tim Barbeau – joined in the band by guitarist Julian Manzara, bassist Andy Battcher and drummer Joe Goff – has some ‘90s inflection to it, and every now and then they get into a bit of bounce, as on the title-track and “The Dragon.” The penultimate “Midnight Show” would seem like the peak of the album, and sure enough it has one of its best hooks, but the recording doesn’t allow for the same push one imagines the material would carry live, and the quiet ending of “On that Day” feels flat compared to some of The Lone Crows’ bluesy peers. I chalk it up to the difference between blues rock and heavy rock and my own expectations, rather than some fault in the band.

The Lone Crows on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound

Krautzone, Kosmiche Rituale

krautzone kosmiche rituale

I’m not sure if it would be appropriate to call Krautzone an offshoot of Zone Six, of which all four members – guitarist Rainer Neeff, synth-providers Modulfix and Sula Bassana, and percussionist Komet Lulu (the latter two also of Electric Moon) – take part, plus bassist Onkel Kaktus, but either way, the sound is nebulous, brilliantly textured for a meditative, slow-motion churn, and utterly engrossing. Their Sulatron debut, Kosmiche Rituale, is comprised of three lengthy explorations, tones washing in and out of each, smoothly offset by Neeff’s flight-taken guitar, minimal but earthy percussion and an improvised sensibility. “Liebe” (12:46) and “Kosmiche Rituale” (9:09) comprise side A and “Only Fools Rush In” (20:41) consumes side B entirely, a wash of synth and cymbals announcing its arrival as it sets about unfolding its long course, every bit living up to the album’s title in the process. Krautzone also released a split with Lamp of the Universe in 2014 (review here), but on their own, they shine with the chance to really stretch out.

Krautzone on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

L’Ira del Baccano, Terra 42

l'ira del baccano terra 42

Italian instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano make their full-length debut with the lushly conceived Terra 42, a six-track, 57-minute outing that works in three overarching “phases.” The first of them includes tracks one through three and is dubbed “The Infinite Improbability Drive,” and it makes up more than half the album’s runtime, the first, 13-minute part standing alone while the two subsequent nine-minute stretches feed one directly into the next in a psychedelic wash of open guitar building to a raucous heavy rock finish. Phase II, “Sussurri… Nel Bosco di Diana” is the next two cuts, and moves smoothly from a Yawning Man-style jam to more riff-based thickness. The longest individual part, Phase III, is the 14-minute “Volcano X13,” track six, on which the band move fluidly through their heavy psych and rock impulses, synth and guitar intertwining well as L’Ira del Baccano affirm their more-than-burgeoning stylistic breadth. It’s an interesting, somewhat familiar blend, but they put it to good use on Terra 42 and engage with the spaciousness created.

L’Ira del Baccano on Thee Facebooks

Subsound Records

Lae, Break the Clasp

lae break the clasp

Reactivated Montreal noisemakers Lae enlisted the help of their producer, Today is the Day’s Steve Austin, in handling lead vocals for their debut, Break the Clasp, which is a move fitting for their anti-genre approach to noise, drone, doom, post-everything, and so on. A Battleground Records/The Compound release, Break the Clasp reworks unheard material from Lae’s original run in the mid-‘90s – an album that never came out, essentially – but the vitality in the 13 tracks (yes, even the crushingly slow ones) is fresh to the point of its newness, and even the parts meant to be abrasive, opener “Sexy Sadie” or pieces of “17 Queen,” for example, hold onto a wonderful depth the mix and a feeling of texture that feeds Break the Clasp’s otherworldly spirit and brings you along its path of consuming strangeness. Austin is a presence, but by no means the star, and the whole band Lae shines across Break the Clasp’s fascinating span. A debut no one knew they were awaiting, but they were.

Lae on Thee Facebooks

Earsplit Distro

Atomikylä, Erkale

atomikyla erkale

Psychedelia implying such a colorful sound, and black metal implying essentially the absence of that color, the two have rarely been paired well, but Finnish four-piece Atomikylä display a resounding space on their five-song debut full-length, Erkale (released by Future Lunch), and they’re not through the 13-minute opener, “Aluaineet,” before I think they might have mastered the balance between effects wash, unmitigated thrust and far-back screaming that most others have left too far to one side or the other. The four-piece with a lineup half from Oranssi Pazuzu and half from Dark Buddha Rising don’t stay in one place stylistically – the title-track has an almost krautrock feel, while the subsequent “Ihmiskallo” is more resolved to doom – but they keep a consistency of blinding bleakness to Erkale that results in a decidedly individualized feel throughout the 48 minutes. Droning and jazzy guitar experimentalism prevails in “Who Goes There,” and 10-minute closer “Musta Kulta” both broadens the atmosphere and underscores Atomikylä’s vicious stylistic triumph, capping Erkale with a mash of squibblies and screams, effects and distortion that’s so filthy it can’t help but be beautiful.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Future Lunch

Deaf Proof, Death Sounds Angry

deaf proof death sounds angry

Freiburg, Germany, trio Deaf Proof – guitarist/vocalist J. Fredo, bassist JP and drummer Pedro – released their first demo in 2013, but the three-song/34-minute EP (it’s more like an album, but I won’t argue) Death Sounds Angry is a decidedly more assured, professional affair. The vibe is loose and, in the reaches of 18-minute middle cut “Origin of Pain,” jammy, but the three-piece still seem to have some idea of where they want their material to go, even as they feel their way toward those ends. A Colour Haze influence? Maybe, but less than one might think given the current climate of European heavy psych. JP’s bass has a tendency toward darker undertones, and when they hit the payoffs for “Death Sounds Angry and Hungry for More,” “Origin of Pain” and “The Sense,” they reveal themselves to be in search of something heavier and less peaceful. J. Fredo’s vocals are a little forward in the mix, but Death Sounds Angry still offers plenty to chew on for the converted.

Deaf Proof on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Proof on Bandcamp

Jastreb, Mother Europe

jastreb mother europe

Progressive, mostly instrumental and hypnotic, Zagreb, Croatia, trio Jastreb released their self-titled debut as a single 36-minute song in 2012, and the follow-up, Mother Europe (on HauRucK), is no less ambitious. Vocals appear here and there, both from the core three-piece and a guest spot, but the heart of what Jastreb do is rooted in their ability to craft movements that pull listeners in without falling into lulls of unconsciousness – to wit, the repetitions of “The Black Mountain” seem still but are constantly building and moving forward – as well as in arrangement flourishes like synth, Hammond, sitar and violin among the shades of post-metal in “Haemmer” or the bleary, drone-backed opener “North,” which comes companioned by the subtle churn of “South” to end the album. Not necessarily psychedelic in a loose or jammy sense, but immersive, and purposeful in its variety; the sitar and guest vocals on “The Silver Spire” arrive just at the moment when one thinks they might have heard it all. Could say the same of the record itself, I suppose.

Jastreb on Thee Facebooks

Jastreb’s BigCartel store

HauRucK

Arctic Sleep, Passage of Gaia

arctic sleep passage of gaia

Passage of Gaia is the sixth album from progressive melo-doomers Arctic Sleep. A four-piece from Milwaukee including bassist/drummer/cellist/vocalist Keith D, guitarist Mike Gussis and vocalist Emily Jancetic (John Gleisner plays drums live), one is reminded both of the Floydian consciousness of mid-period Anathema (my go-to comparison point for this kind of stuff, admittedly) and the drama in Katatonia and some of Novembers Doom’s clean sections, but ultimately, Arctic Sleep emerge from the eight-track/54-minute DIY long-player with their own personality, measured out in the careful vocal collaboration between Keith D and Jancetic, songs like “Terra Vindicta,” “Green Dragon” and “Passage of Gaia,” and the varied structures between the more rocking “Terra Vindicta” and the build of “Solar Lament.” Through it all, nothing’s out of balance, and Arctic Sleep execute Passage of Gaia with the poise demanded by the style and the fact that it’s their sixth album, accomplishment suiting them as well as the melancholy of closer “Destroy the Urn,” which almost loses its restraint at the end. Almost.

Arctic Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Arctic Sleep at CDBaby

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Frydee Seven that Spells

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 11th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Strange to check out without any other posts on a Friday, I know. There’s actually a lot of news that needs to go up — Witchcraft were announced as headlining Desertfest in Berlin, Trippy Wicked were added to the London fest and I’ve got a new song from Endless Boogie and a new single from Radio Moscow that I’d like to post — as well as a review of sludge madmen Fire to Fields that I said I’d post this week, but this morning a dog my sister got me in high school — that’s me trying to distance myself from it and not say “my dog” — had to be put down at 15 and to be honest, my head’s just not in the right space for reviewing anyone’s anything. I’m gonna go home, get in bed, and watch Futurama in the dark. The other stuff I’ll post tomorrow.

Not telling you this in some internet bitching plea for sympathy, just trying to explain why there are no other posts today. In the meantime, when it comes to my own particular vision of escapism, nothing quite does it like Duna Jam. The above clip of Zagreb heavy psych rockers Seven that Spells was filmed in 2010 and I guess the best thing you could say about it (or anything else, ever), is that the band stands up tonally to the gorgeousness and lushness of their surroundings on the beach in Sardinia. Maybe one of these years I’ll get there. I think I’d probably have to win the lottery, lose 100 pounds and buy $20,000 worth of photo equipment first, but hey, could happen.

Thanks to all for reading as always, and even though I’ll be posting tomorrow and I’m not really signing off, I hope you have a great weekend. A quick last-minute kudos to Clamfight, who’ve been added to Stoner Hands of Doom XIII along with Lo-Pan, Freedom Hawk, It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Order of the Owl and others. More news on that to come as well next week, and though I’m loathe to promise something and then not have time to deliver on it, my plan is also to post the 20 albums I’m looking forward to in 2013. I started just with 10 and then it turned out there was too much good stuff in the works for this year to leave it at that, so yeah, keep an eye open.

Okay, I split. Back at it tomorrow, and if you were waiting on something in particular to go up, your patience is appreciated.

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Rotor, Seven That Spells, Neume Announce Brainbangers’ Ball Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 2nd, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Not that I needed an excuse, but it’s hard not to be jealous of the entire European continent when stuff like Rotor tours happens there. As it happens, those German instruproggers have teamed up with Croatian outfit Seven That Spells and fellow Berliners Neume for a run of dates that’s been dubbed The Brainbangers’ Ball Tour.

Good fun. Here are the dates and some info from Prog Sphere, who seem to be sponsoring or promoting the tour — or, at very least, was who emailed me about it:

This October is going to see a real stoner/psychedelic rock explosion when on Oct. 14 in Jena, Germany, Rotor, together with Seven That Spells and Neume will start the Brainbangers’ Ball 2011 tour. With motorik grooves and instrumental soul food served by Rotor, with Seven That Spells’ psychedelic rock from the 23rd century and Neume’s two headed noise hydra, Germany, Austria, Croatia and The Netherlands will be echoing for a while led by the waves of three most unique psychedelic/stoner/noise rock bands at the moment. Check the official tour poster and tour dates below.

There will be given free tickets away (three per city, to be precise) for those who are willing to help in spreading the word out about this tour and the gigs in particular. So if you are fast enough, if you are enthusiastic enough, feel free to drop an email to info@prog-sphere.com and we will discuss further.

Brainbangers’ Ball Tour 2011:
14.10 Jena, Rosenkeller
15.10 Maastricht, Muziekgieterij 
17.10 Hamburg, Molotov 
18.10 Würzburg, Cafe Cairo 
19.10 München, Feierwerk 
20.10 Zagreb, Tvornica 
22.10 Schwäbisch Gmünd, Dusty Brains Fest II
24.10 Freiburg, White Rabbit 
25.10 Innsbruck, PMK
26.10 Wien, Arena
28.10 Solingen, Cobra
29.10 Berlin, Festsaal Kreuzberg

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