Mr. Peter Hayden, Mansion, Renate/Cordate and More Playing Kiarama Fest Next Month in Finland

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It might seem a little strange sometimes that I post the info for fests taking place halfway around the world. Truth is, it’s my version of escapism. I don’t know all the bands playing the inaugural Kiarama next month in Finland — names like SinkMansion, Acid Elephant, Abbot, Mr. Peter Hayden, Sons of Kings, Renate/Cordate, etc. are familiar enough, but there are plenty of others that would be new to me — but I think that’s awesome. I’d love to be able to get to Pori, which is a place I’ll probably never be fortunate enough to see, and go to a show like this in a foreign land among strangers. I like that kind of thing. I think it would be fun.

I won’t make it to Kiarama, but I appreciate the spirit the fest seems to be working under, and if nothing else, it’s a good list of bands to check out. The fest sent the following info down the PR wire:

KIARAMA – a DIY celebration of all things slow and low

A new DIY festival for all things low and slow in Finland In mid-September, on Friday the 13th, the two-day long Kiarama festival will open the doors of Annankatu 6 and release the doom over Pori. It’s lineup covers almost 30 names, e.g. internationally reknown Mr. Peter Hayden and Mansion, which has been scheduled to play at Roadburn 2014. Twoday tickets for these heavy bacchanalia cost 22 euros now and 25 euros from the door – that is only 95 cent per orchestra!

Offering low frequencies almost more than one can handle, Kiarama has been founded to fill in a huge, dark gap in Finland’s festival offering, that is one for a festival organized by the DIY principles and celebrating all low and slow music, the likes of stoner rock and doom, and other related forms of culture. Those who have visited Roadburn in the Netherlands or Heavy Days in Doom Town in Denmark will know the concept, and now inspired by these torchbearers a bunch of artsist from the scene are finally brought under one roof to form a mischievous psychedelic bacchanalia. In addition to mindblowing bands these orgies sport so burlesque as well as reptilians – so you don’t want to miss this!

The festival will gather up together not only a bunch of heavy domestic names, but also a few international surprises: in addition to the Roadburnvisitor Mr. Peter Hayden Friday’s line-up includes e.g. brilliant acts of Finnish post-rock, like Baulta and All Will Be Quiet, as well as the Icelandic power ambient greatness Stafrænn Hákon; Hisko Detria, the new star of Finnish kraut; Sons of Kings, the Messiah of Poseidon-hugging ambient doom; Domovoyd, who even played at Ilosaarirock festival earlier this year alongside with the likes of Witchcraft and Hexvessel; and an Estonian progressive act TNVVNüM.

On Saturday Annis will be blown away not only by Mansion, but also by Sink’s holy drone, the psychedelic acts Octopie and Astral Bazaar from Helsinki; Laserdrift, a desert rock orchestra from Tampere playing music much in the vein of the legendary Fu Manchu; Acid Elephant, the erotic desert drone orchestra from Pori as well as the Swedish guests Ponamero Sundown, who’ve entertained the audience in Desertfest London, among others.


Acid Elephant
Astral Bazaar
Blind Architect
Hisko Detria
Macchia Nera
Mansion (I Am The Mansion)
Mr. Peter Hayden
MS Hornblower
Revival Hymns
Sons of Kings
Stafrænn Hákon (ISL)
Veil of Isis

+ Lucky Star Reptiles – oriental dance show and a DJ!

Two-day Tickets 22€ – order by e-mailing – and do it now, for the price at the door is 25€!

Timetables TBA 9.9.2013 – bare with us ’til that!

Tickets to Kiarama 2013 – a DIY celebration of all things low and slow – festival can be bought by e-mailing or calling +358 50 376 4593. Look up additional information and news from the Kiarama facebook event. Keep it low and slow!

Acid Elephant, Defenestration of a Dying Mammoth (2012)

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Sons of Kings, Emersion: A Cosmic Inheritance

Posted in Reviews on December 26th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Self-released in a glossy digipak, the two-song Emersion full-length from Finnish four-piece Sons of Kings revels in expansive heavy psychedelic jamming that – while there’s little groundbreaking about it on the surface – effectively conveys some of the finest elements in modern European psych and distinguishes itself through emergent musical personality. Washes of ambient guitar would seem to align the instrumental release, which is Sons of Kings’ second behind a 2010 self-titled, with the likes of Red Sparowes and others in the realm of post-Isis explorations, but that’s hardly the crux of what the band have on offer. Both “Ancestry” (18:30) and “Inheritor Fumes” (17:30) delight in mellotron, extra percussion and layered interplay, still leaving room in the second half of the latter track for a soundscaping build that’s ambient and evocative enough to be legitimately cinematic. That section is about as un-jammed as Sons of Kings (who just happen to be named after my favorite The Hidden Hand song) get, even after Samu Montonen’s drums kick back in and J.P. Saari tops the ending progression with a surprisingly bluesy solo, and in that, the opening sequence of “Ancestry” is echoed, as Emersion begins with similar soundscaping, albeit shorter as the drums, guitar and bass fade up amid the bed of synth. The band boasts two bassists – Ville Virtanen and Juuso Jalava – but neither jam is overdone in terms of low end. Likely this is due to the level of exploration or perhaps even the number of strings Jalava is working with (reportedly six, unless I’ve read the bio incorrectly), but in any case, the considerable addition of synth and other effects acts as a balance among all the instruments. In the vein of a more spaced-out early My Sleeping Karma, but perhaps with some less Eastern inflection, Sons of Kings put themselves in a position to be heavy psych forerunners of the European north, and the natural sense of improvisation they bring to “Ancestry” and “Inheritor Fumes” speaks to a focus on live performance that lies at the core of the band. They’re jammers. They jam.

The album is interesting to think of in terms of lineage as a thematic. That is, even unto their name (the reference notwithstanding), Sons of Kings are bringing out an idea of familial rite – the son of a king inherits a kingdom. So too do “Ancestry” and “Inheritor Fumes” play into a notion of past/passed relatives, the latter with not so much the kind of reverence as the band’s moniker as much as an underlying cynicism; inheriting fumes implies either that you stink, you get nothing, or both. Without lyrics or some other form of manifesto in the digipak, it’s harder to really know what Sons of Kings are driving at with these ideas – and how the title Emersion factors in; could be the idea of arising out of both the past itself and the nuclear culture of one’s own family – but it may be that the theme isn’t fully developed or that I’m just not seeing it. In either case, the music makes fitting complement to such musings, meandering wisps of guitar/bass trails sustained and given ground by Montonen’s deft cymbal work and a flowing stream of low end. Smoke on the water, if you want an image for it. In its latter moments, “Ancestry” rounds out with ample tonal sweetness, the guitar and bass ringing out while the mellotron takes up as almost part of the rhythm section in being a cohesive element after about 16 minutes in, its melody also serving to tie the piece together. I don’t know who’s playing it, but whichever member it is, their contributions make Sons of Kings’ sound all the richer, giving Emersion an individual feel that even plays into the themes of inheritance and ancestry noted above – the mellotron is at this point an inherently classic sound, meant to invoke or state an allegiance with classic heavy or progressive rock. As “Inheritor Fumes” gets underway with room echoes in spaced out guitar notes and more active drumming, Sons of Kings seem to be delighting in the moment, making it up as they go along and relying on what proves to be an engaging chemistry between the players to convey contemplation in motion and a subtly driving build.

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