Sunn O))) Announce Pyroclasts Due Oct. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Sunn O)))‘s second LP of 2019 has been announced as Pyroclasts, due out Oct. 25 through Southern Lord. It’ll be the follow-up to Life Metal (review here), and fulfills the promise the band made at the start of the year that they’d produce not one, but a pair of full-lengths. The concept behind this one, based around improv drone exercises done during the Life Metal sessions at Electrical Audio in Chicago, seems pretty fascinating — heady, but one would expect that from Sunn O))) at this point — and the two-minute sample they’ve posted is indeed drone as fuckall. That teaser also gives a good look at the cover art, which is beautiful.

Incidentally, I’d like to start my day with improvisational drone exercises. I’m lucky if I can remember to turn the coffee pot on before I go brush my teeth though, so I’m not counting on it happening anytime soon.

We all have our rituals.

From the PR wire:

sunn o pyroclasts

SUNN O))) Announces The Release Of Pyroclasts, Confirmed For Release Through Southern Lord On October 25th; Trailer Posted

SUNN O))) will release Pyroclasts through Southern Lord on October 25th. The album’s cover art, track listing, and a trailer have been issued.

The Pyroclasts album is the result of a daily practice which was regularly performed each morning, or evening during the two week Life Metal sessions at Electrical Audio during July 2018, when all of the days musical participants would gather and work through a twelve-minute improvised modal drone at the start and or end of the day’s work. The piece performed was timed with a stopwatch and tracked to two-inch tape, it was an exercise and a chance to dig into a deep opening or closing of the day’s session in a deep musical way with all of the participants. To connect/reconnect, liberate the creative mind a bit and greet each other and the space through the practice of sound immersion. The players across the four pieces of Pyroclasts are Tim Midyett, Tos Nieuwenhuizen, Hildur Guðnadóttir, and as always, SUNN O)) founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson.

The music on Pyroclasts is inextricably woven to Life Metal. It exists on the very same tape reels, was explicitly recorded by Steve Albini. The brightness and vividness of that glorious session glares through these four tracks, the precision and radiance, prismatic lustrousness of the saturation, the elemental sculptural shapes, the abstract renderings. It is a sister, or perhaps a shadow album. Or perhaps the now apparent miasma or aether. But it also exists in a form of a pause, a time space which exist in between and around the compositional structures of SUNN O)))’s titanic works.

For the listener or recipient/participant there are deep rewards within the patience of pulling down the walls and letting the music feel and feel the music. To be immersed will reveal great detail and color, clarify image, encourage a depth of focus and stillness which may lead to a quite profound experience. Sitting inside the space of time. A deep form of elementalism, even atomism, and connection with presence moment, time and reality.

SUNN O))) would invite our audience to consider these points of perception when experiencing and listening to Pyroclasts. SUNN O))) would also invite and encourage their audience to use Pyroclasts as a lens to review and re-experience the complexity of the Life Metal album, and even to interrupt its sequence with Pyroclasts. This elaboration can bring the astute listener both abyssal, hallowed rewards.

Pyroclasts was recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio on two-inch tape July 2018 and mastered by Matt Colton through all analogue AAA process at Metropolis July 2019. Four of Samantha Keely Smith’s incredible consciousness memory landscapes grace the album sleeve artwork.

Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson would like to dedicate this album to the memories of Ron Guardipee, Kerstin Daley, and Scott Walker.

Pyroclasts Track Listing:
SIDE A:
Frost (C)
Kingdoms (G)
SIDE B:
Ampliphædies (E)
Ascension (A)

SUNN O))) Tour Dates:
September 2019 – Western U.S.
9/01/2019 Granada – Dallas, TX w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/02/2019 Emo’s – Austin, TX w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/04/2019 The Gothic – Denver, CO w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/06/2019 Metro Music Hall – Salt Lake City, UTw/ Papa M, Big|Brave, Eagle Twin
9/07/2019 Arcosanti – Phoenix AZ w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/08/2019 Mayan – Los Angeles, CA w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/09/2019 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
9/11/2019 The Showbox – Seattle, WA w/ Papa M
9/12/2019 Revolution Hall – Portland, OR w/ Papa M
9/15/2019 Hollywood Forever – Los Angeles, CA [Shoshin (??) Duo]

Let There Be Drone (Multiple Gains Stages) October 2019
10/07/2019 Backstage – Munich, DE w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/08/2019 HfG / ZKM – Karlsruhe, DE w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/09/2019 Kaserne Basel – Basel, CH w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/10/2019 Felsenkeller – Leipzig, DE w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/11/2019 Unsound Festival – Krakow, PL
10/13/2019 Kablys – Vilnius, LT w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/14/2019 Vene Teater – Tallinn, EE w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/15/2019 Kulttuuritalo – Helsinki, FI w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem
10/17/2019 Kraken Sthlm – Stockholm, SE w/ Carl Michael Von Hausswolff
10/18/2018 Kulturkirchen Jakob – Oslo, NO w/ Runhild Gammelsæter & Lass Marhaug Duo
10/19/2019 BLA – Oslo, NO [Shoshin (??) Duo] w/ Runhild Gammelsæter & Lass Marhaug Duo DJ set
10/21/2019 Koncerthuset – Copenhagen, DK w/ Puce Mary
10/22/2019 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NL
10/24/2019 SWX – Bristol, UK w/ Anna Von Hausswolff
10/25/2019 QMU – Glasgow, UK w/ Anna Von Hausswolff
10/26/2019 The Crossing – Birmingham, UK w/ Anna Von Hausswolff
10/27/2019 Albert Hall – Manchester, UK w/ Anna Von Hausswolff
10/28/2019 Roundhouse – London, UK w/ Anna Von Hausswolff

INCOMING IN 2020…
La Gaîté Lyrique presents:
SUNN O))) – Let There Be Drone / One Residence, Two Concepts, Three Concerts
1/30/2020 / Life Metal
2/01/2019 / Life Metal
2/02/2020 / Shoshin

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Sunn O))), Pyroclasts preview

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Quarterly Review: Pelican, Swan Valley Heights, Mark Deutrom, Greenbeard, Mount Soma, Nibiru, Cable, Reino Ermitaño, Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

More computer bullshit this morning. I lost about 45 minutes because my graphics driver and Windows 10 apparently hate each other and before I could disable the former, the machine decided the best it could do for me was to load a blank screen. Hard to find the Pelican record on my desktop when I can’t see my desktop. The Patient Mrs. woke up while I was trying to fix it and suggested HDMIing it to the tv. When I did that, it didn’t project as was hoped, but the display came on — because go figure — and I was able to shut off the driver, the only real advantage of which is it lets me use the night light feature so it’s easier on my eyes. That’s nice, but I’d rather have the laptop function. Not really working on a level of “give me soft red light or give me death!” at this point. I may yet get there in my life.

Today’s the last day of this beast, wrapping up the last of the 60 reviews, and I’m already in the hole for the better part of an hour thanks to this technical issue, the second of the week. Been an adventure, this one. Let’s close it out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Pelican, Nighttime Stories

pelican nighttime stories

Split into two LPs each with its own three-minute mood-setter — those being “WST” and “It Stared at Me,” respectively — Pelican‘s Nighttime Stories (on Southern Lord) carries the foreboding sensibility of its title into an aggressive push throughout the album, which deals from the outset with the pain of loss. The lead single “Midnight and Mescaline” represents this well in directly following “WST,” with shades of more extreme sounds in the sharp-turning guitar interplay and tense drums, but it carries through the blastbeats of “Abyssal Plain” and the bombastic crashes of presumed side B closer “Cold Hope” as well, which flow via a last tonal wash toward the melancholy “It Stared at Me” and the even-more-aggro title-track, the consuming “Arteries of Blacktop” and the eight-minute “Full Moon, Black Water,” which offers a build of maddening chug — a Pelican hallmark — before resolving in melodic serenity, moving, perhaps, forward with and through its grief. It’s been six years since Pelican‘s last LP, Forever Becoming (review here), and they’ve responded to that time differential with the hardest-hitting record they’ve ever done.

Pelican on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Swan Valley Heights, The Heavy Seed

swan valley heights the heavy seed

Though the peaceful beginning of 13-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Heavy Seed,” for which the five-song album is named, reminds of Swan Valley Heights‘ Munich compatriots in Colour Haze, the ultimate impression the band make on their Fuzzorama Records debut and second album overall behind a 2016 self-titled (review here) is more varied in its execution, with cuts like “Vaporizer Woman” and the centerpiece “Take a Swim in God’s Washing Machine” manifesting ebbs and flows and rolling out a fuzzy largesse to lead into dream-toned ethereality and layered vocals that immediately call to mind Elephant Tree. There’s a propensity for jamming, but they’re not a jam band, and seem always to have a direction in mind. That’s true even on the three-minute instrumental “My First Knife Fight,” which unfurls around a nod riff and simple drum progression to bridge into closer “Teeth and Waves,” a bookend to The Heavy Seed‘s title-track that revives that initial grace and uses it as a stepping stone for the crunch to come. It’s a balance that works and should be well received.

Swan Valley Heights on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzorama Records on Bandcamp

 

Mark Deutrom, The Blue Bird

Mark Deutrom The Blue Bird

Released in the wee hours of 2019, Mark Deutrom‘s The Blue Bird marks the first new solo release from the prolific Austin-based songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist through Season of Mist, and it’s a 50-minute run of genre-spanning outsider art, bringing ’70s folk vibes to the weepy guitar echoes of “Radiant Gravity” right before “O Ye of Little Faith” dooms out for six of its seven minutes and “Our Revels Now Are Ended” basks in 77 seconds of experimentalist winding guitar. It goes like that. Vocals are intermittent enough to not necessarily be expected, but not entirely absent through the midsection of “Hell is a City,” “Somnambulist” and “Maximum Hemingway,” and if there’s traditionalism at play anywhere, it might be in “They Have Won” and “The Happiness Machine,” which, toward the back end of the album, bring a sax-laden melancholy vibe and a straightforward heavy rock feel, respectively, ahead of the closer “Nothing out There,” which ties them together, somehow accounting for the 1:34 “On Fathers Day” as well in its sweetness. Don’t go into The Blue Bird asking it to make sense on any level other than its own and you should be fine. It’s not a minor undertaking at 50 minutes, and not without its indulgences, but even the briefest of pieces helps develop the character of the whole, which of course is essential to any good story.

Mark Deutrom website

Season of Mist website

 

Greenbeard, Onward, Pillager

greenbeard onward pillager

Austin bringers of hard-boogie Greenbeard reportedly issued the three-song Onward, Pillager as a precursor to their next full-length — even the name hints toward it being something of a stopgap — but its tracks stand well on their own, whether it’s the keyboard-laced “Contact High II,” which is presumably a sequel to another track on the forthcoming record, or the chunkier roll of “WCCQ” and the catchy finisher “Kill to Love Yourself,” with its overlaid guitar solo adding to a dramatic ending. It hasn’t been that long since 2017’s Lödarödböl (review here), but clearly these guys are committed to moving forward in neo-stoner rock fashion, and their emergence as songwriters is highlighted particularly throughout “WCCQ” and “Kill to Love Yourself,” while “Contact High II” is more of an intro or a would-be interlude on the full-length. It may only be pieces of a larger, to-be-revealed picture, but Onward, Pillager shows three different sides of what Greenbeard have on offer, and the promise of more to come is one that will hopefully be kept sooner rather than later.

Greenbeard on Thee Facebooks

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

 

Mount Soma, Nirodha

mount_soma_nirodha

Each of the three songs on Mount Soma‘s densely-weighted, live-recorded self-released Nirodha EP makes some mention of suffering in its lyrics, and indeed, that seems to be the theme drawing together “Dark Sun Destroyer” (7:40), “Emerge the Wolf” (5:50) and “Resurfacing” (9:14): a quest for transcendence perhaps in part due to the volume of the music and the act itself of creating it. Whatever gets them there, the trajectory of Nirodha is such that by the time they hit into the YOB-style galloping toward the end of “Resurfacing,” the gruff shouts of “rebirth!” feel more celebratory than ambitious. Based in Dublin, the four-piece bring a fair sense of space to their otherwise crush-minded approach, and though the EP is rough — it is their second short release following 2016’s Origins — they seem to have found a way to tie together outer and inner cosmos with an earthbound sense of gravity and heft, and with the more intense shove of “Emerge the Wolf” between the two longer tracks, they prove themselves capable of bringing a noisy charge amid all that roar and crash. They did the first EP live as well. I wonder if they’d do the same for a full-length.

Mount Soma on Thee Facebooks

Mount Soma on Bandcamp

 

Nibiru, Salbrox

nibiru salbrox

One might get lost in the unmanageable 64-minute wash of Nibiru‘s fifth full-length (first for Ritual Productions), Salbrox, but the opaque nature of the proceedings is part of the point. The Italian ritualists bring forth a chaotic depth of noise and harsh semi-spoken rasps of vocals reportedly in the Enochian language, and from 14-minute opener “EHNB” — also the longest track (immediate points) — through the morass that follows in “Exarp,” “Hcoma,” “Nanta” and so on, the album is a willful slog that challenges the listener on nearly every level. This is par for the course for Nibiru, whose last outing was 2017’s Qaal Babalon (review here), and they seem to revel in the slow-churning gruel of their distortion, turning from it only to break to minimalism in the second half of the album with “Abalpt” and “Bitom” before 13-minute closer “Rziorn” storms in like a tsunami of spiritually desolate plunge. It is vicious and difficult to hear, and again, that is exactly what it’s intended to be.

Nibiru on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions website

 

Cable, Take the Stairs to Hell

Cable Take the Stairs to Hell

The gift of Cable was to take typically raw Northeastern disaffection and channel it into a noise rock that wasn’t quite as post-this-or-that as Isis, but still had a cerebral edge that more primitive fare lacked. They were methodical, and 10 years after their last record, the Hartford, Connecticut, outfit return with the nine-song/30-minute Take the Stairs to Hell (on Translation Loss), which brings them back into the modern sphere with a sound that is no less relevant than it was bouncing between This Dark Reign, Hydra Head and Translation Loss between 2001 and 2004. They were underrated then and may continue to be now, but the combination of melody and bite in “Black Medicine” and the gutty crunch of “Eyes Rolled Back,” the post-Southern heavy of the title-track and the lumbering pummel of “Rivers of Old” before it remind of how much of a standout Cable was in the past, reinforcing that not only were they ahead of their time then, but that they still have plenty to offer going forward. They may continue to be underrated as they always were, but their return is significant and welcome.

Cable on Instagram

Translation Loss Records webstore

 

Reino Ermitaño, Reino Ermitaño

Reino Ermitano Reino Ermitano

Originally released in 2003, the self-titled debut from Lima, Peru’s Reino Ermitaño was a beacon and landmark in Latin American doom, with a sound derived from the genre’s traditions — Sabbath, Trouble, etc. — and melded with not only Spanish-language lyrics, but elements of South American folk and stylizations. Reissued on vinyl some 16 years later, it maintains its power through the outside-time level of its craft, sliding into that unplaceable realm of doom that could be from any point from about 1985 onward, while the melodies in the guitar of Henry Guevara and the vocals of Tania Duarte hold sway over the central groove of bassist Marcos Coifman and drummer Julio “Ñaka” Almeida. Those who were turned onto the band at the time will likely know they’ve released five LPs to-date, with the latest one from 2014, but the Necio Records version marks the first time the debut has been pressed to vinyl, and so is of extra interest apart from the standard putting-it-out-there-again reissue. Collectors and a new generation of doomers alike would be well advised on an educational level, and of course the appeal of the album itself far exceeds that.

Reino Ermitaño on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Split

cardinals folly lucifers fall split

Though one hails from Helsinki, Finland, and the other from Adelaide, Australia, Cardinals Folly and Lucifer’s Fall could hardly be better suited to share the six-song Cruz Del Sur split LP that they do, which checks in at 35 minutes of trad doom riffing and dirtier fare. The former is provided by Cardinals Folly, who bring a Reverend Bizarre-style stateliness to “Spiritual North” and “Walvater Proclaimed!” before betraying their extreme metal roots on “Sworn Through Odin’s and Satan’s Blood,” while the Oz contingent throw down Saint Vitus-esque punk-born fuckall through “Die Witch Die,” the crawling “Call of the Wild” and the particularly brash and speedier “The Gates of Hell.” The uniting thread of course is homage to doom itself, but each band brings enough of their own take to complement each other without either contradicting or making one or the other of them feel redundant, and rather, the split works out to be a rampaging, deeply-drunk, pagan-feeling celebration of what doom is and how it has been internalized by each of these groups. Doom over the world? Yeah, something like that.

Cardinals Folly on Thee Facebooks

Lucifer’s Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Temple of the Fuzz Witch Temple of the Fuzz Witch

A strong current of Electric Wizard runs through the self-titled debut full-length from Detroit’s Temple of the Fuzz Witch (on Seeing Red Records), but even to that, the outfit led by guitarist/vocalist Noah Bruner bring a nascent measure of individuality, droning into and through “Death Hails” after opening with “Bathsheba” and ahead of unveiling a harmonized vocal on “The Glowing of Satan” that suits the low end distortion surprisingly well. They continue to offer surprises throughout, whether it’s the spaciousness of centerpiece “329” and “Infidel,” which follows, or the offsetting of minimalism and crush on “The Fuzz Witch” and the creeper noise in the ending of “Servants of the Sun,” and though there are certainly familiar elements at play, Temple of the Fuzz Witch come across with an intent to take what’s been done before and make it theirs. In that regard, they would seem to be on the right track, and in their 41 minutes, they find footing in a murky aesthetic and are able to convey a sense of songwriting without sounding heavy-handed. There’s nothing else I’d ask of their first album.

Temple of the Fuzz Witch on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Salem’s Bend, Motorpsycho, Sigils, Lord Dying, Sunn O))), Crimson Heat, Molior Superum, Moros, Glitter Wizard, Gourd

Posted in Reviews on July 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Today is Tuesday, I’m pretty sure, and hey, that’s nifty. I thought yesterday kicked off the Summer 2019 Quarterly Review really well, and any time I get through one of these without my head caving in on itself, I feel like that’s a victory, so yeah. Now we wade even deeper into what will ultimately be a 60-review plunge, with another 10 offerings of various stripes and takes on heavy. Some higher profile stuff in here, which is fine, I guess, but most of it is pretty recent, so if there’s something you haven’t heard yet, I hope you find something you dig, as always.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Salem’s Bend, Supercluster

salems bend supercluster

This is the sound of a band who’ve figured it out. Salem’s Bend have taken retroist boogie and modern tonalism, production and melody and turned it into something of their own. Supercluster (on Ripple) follows the Los Angeles trio of guitarist/vocalist Bobby Parker, bassist/vocalist Kevin Schofield and drummer Zach Huling‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), and with an uptick in the complexity of songwriting overall and particularly in the arrangements of dual-vocals, it is a marked step forward palpable as much in the hook of “Ride the Night” — and if you’re gonna call a song that, you better bring it — as the heavy crash ending “Heavenly Manna” and the languid, lucidly dreaming groove in “Infinite Horizon,” which appears ahead of the acoustic hidden track “Beltaine Chant.” That won’t be the last time these guys unplug, but whether it’s the raw Zeppelin vibe of “Show Me the Witch” or the crunching low-end nod of “Thinking Evil” or the leadoff thrust in “Spaceduster,” the message is clear that Salem’s Bend have arrived.

Salem’s Bend on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music webstore

 

Motorpsycho, The Crucible

motorpsycho the crucible

The latest in Motorpsycho‘s nigh-on-impossible-to-chart and ever-growing discography is The Crucible, issued through Stickman Records, and taking some of the heavy rock push of 2017’s The Tower (review here) and stretching out to more willfully progressive execution across three increasingly extended tracks. Running from shortest to longest, the album begins with “Psychotzar” (8:44) which resolves itself in maddening turns after fleshing through an energetic beginning, and rounds out side A with the 11-minute “Lux Aeterna,” with vocal harmonies and mellotron building into a graceful swell of volume before a headspinner solo and jam take hold, break to near-silence and finish in a burst of directly earliest-King Crimson majesty. This all before the 20:51, side B-consuming title-track crashes in with immediate tension and plays back and forth at releasing that through a course that is rife with melody and an emphasis on the mastery of Motorpsycho over their sound and direction. Onto the list of the year’s best records it goes.

Motorpsycho on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Sigils, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves

Sigils You Built the Altar You Lit the Leaves

Hypnotic and immersive heavy post-rock and metal becomes the genre tag well enough, but what New York’s Sigils do on their markedly impressive self-recorded, self-released debut album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves, is more soulful and emotive than “post-” anything generally conveys. With four tracks/38 minutes best taken as a whole, single listening experience, the band offer resonant depths of tone and vocal echoes centered around airy but still weighted guitar and consuming rhythms brought to bear with the patience of an organic Jesu. The ultimate triumph is in the melody and payoff of 13-plus-minute closer “The Wicked, the Cloaked,” which seems to manifest the haunting sensibility that “Samhain” and “Ritual” advocate on side A, but neither will I discount the chug of the prior “Faceless” or the underlying churn in those two leadoff tracks. Especially as a first album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves casts a sonic identity for itself that is striking and sees the band already beginning to push themselves forward. One hopes they continue to do so.

Sigils on Thee Facebooks

Sigils on Bandcamp

 

Lord Dying, Mysterium Tremendum

Lord Dying Mysterium Tremendum

Following 2015’s Poisoned Altars (review here), subsequent years of touring and a jump from Relapse to eOne Metal, Lord Dying‘s Mysterium Tremendum is enough of a stylistic melting pot that the best thing to do is call it progressive and just let it roll. Comprised of 11 tracks themed around death and the afterlife, the record takes the Portland, Oregon, outfit’s prior death-doom ways and expands them to incorporate an array of styles and melodies, like a vocoder-less Cynic or even Atheist, but more focused on the songs themselves. It’s being widely hailed as one of 2019’s best metal releases, and honestly I can’t speak to that because who the hell knows what “metal” even means, but it sees Lord Dying pull off a major sonic leap and if this is the direction they’re headed from now on, then I guess “metal” is going to be whatever the hell they want. So there. Expect to see a lot of Lord Dying t-shirts around in the years to come.

Lord Dying on Thee Facebooks

eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

 

Sunn O))), Life Metal

sunn life metal

The core of Sunn O)))‘s sound — that is, the drone-riffed tonality of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, has proven amorphous enough over the last two decades to either be orchestral, minimalist, impossibly bleak, or now, something brighter. The Steve Albini-recorded Life Metal is one of two purported Sunn O))) releases slated for this year, and it follows behind 2015’s Kannon (review here) in manifesting their project in a new way. It is 68 minutes long, comprised of four tracks — the first, “Between Sleipnir’s Breaths,” is notable for the inclusion of vocals from Hildur Guðnadóttir; the rest is instrumental — and while one wonders how much is the power of suggestion amid their colorful artwork and titular presentation, “life” as opposed to death metal, etc., their resonance throughout “Aurora” (19:07) and “Novae” (25:24) strips away much of the flourish that has engulfed Sunn O))) in their post-maturity years and reminds of the power at their center. They chose the right producer.

Sunn O))) on Bandcamp

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Crimson Heat, Crimson Heat

Crimson Heat Crimson Heat

With a handful of tracks of dirt-coated Sabbathian doom rock, Crimson Heat make their debut with a self-titled demo/EP in no small part defined by its lack of pretense. I’d buy the tape at the show. You’d buy the tape at the show. The download is free. Clearly this is a band figuring out what they want to do and trying to catch a few ears, but the sound is right on. Notable as well for the participation of Sam Marsh of Sinister Haze, tracks like “At My Door” blend Tee Pee Records-style skate vibes with darker traditionalist crunch, and the subsequent acoustic interlude “Firewood” indeed adds a bit of burning-stove smell to the procession ahead of doomed shuffler finale “Deep Red.” They might be new, but from the nod of “Premonition” and the double-layered guitar of “Fortune Teller,” they very clearly know where they’re coming from. What they do with that from here will tell the tale, but for now, selling the tape at the show isn’t nothing. Guess they better get on pressing some up.

Sinister Haze on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Heat on Bandcamp

 

Molior Superum, As Time Slowly Passes By…

Molior Superum As Time Slowly Passes By

The boogie runs strong in Molior Superum‘s first album in seven years, As Time Slowly Passes By… (on H42 Records), the title of which might just hint at the distance between their two full-lengths. Their debut was Into the Sun (discussed here) in 2012, and they answered that with 2014’s Electric Escapism (review here), but for a band who sound so energized on cuts like “Att Födas Rostig” and “Through Valleys of Wonder,” the time differential from one record to the next is curious. Still, no question the Swedish four-piece make the most of the 36 minutes they present on their sophomore offering, realizing classic vibes and fuzz tones through modern production that recalls the likes of GraveyardJeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and even, on “Into the Grey,” Demon Head‘s doomier fare, with an overarching bluesy sensibility that remains exciting even in moments like the hypnotic midsection build of centerpiece “Divinity Blues.” Even the closing soft-guitar title-track has movement. They sound hungry in a way that suggests maybe it won’t be another seven years before a third LP arrives.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

 

Moros, Weapon

moros weapon

Just because Philly is leading the Eastern Seaboard in terms of psychedelic charge, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the guttersludge extremity of a unit like Moros. The destructive three-piece’s first full-length, Weapon (on Hidden Deity Records), is vicious in its bite and downright nasty in its groove, abrasive from the static intro “(Vortexwound)” onward through “We Don’t Deserve Death” and “Devil Worshipper,” which recalls slower Napalm Death in its riff but is met with a harsh scream as well as shouts. The brutality continues through “Wizard of Loneliness” and into the outright pummel of “Death Nebula,” such that the locked-in nodder groove in the second half of “Every Day is Worse Than the Last” feels almost like a lifeboat, though there’s little salvation on offer in the closing title-track, which fades out on a noisy note in much the same way it faded in. Filthy, mean and heavy. The crust is real and it is thick.

Moros on Thee Facebooks

Hidden Deity Records website

 

Glitter Wizard, Opera Villains

glitter wizard opera villains

I was enticed to dig further into Glitter Wizard‘s Opera Villains (on Heavy Psych Sounds) by the recent video for opener “A Spell So Evil” (posted here), and it’s not a choice I regret. The San Fran-based weirdo collective are putting on a show, no doubt, but the quality of their songwriting on “The Toxic Lady” and the punkish underpinning of “Dead Man’s Wax,” etc., puts them in a classic rocking no man’s land in which they absolutely revel. The laser-strewn drama of “March of the Red Cloaks” and the organ- and flute-laced swing of “Hall of the Oyster King” embrace the grandiose in brazen fashion, and thereby make it that much easier for the listener to join them on this wavelength that is so thoroughly their own. Closer “Warm Blood” taps prog-of-old pomposity in its largesse while the earlier “Fear of the Dark” seems to do the same thing with just an acoustic guitar and some vocal harmonies. A record that knew exactly what it wanted to be and then became that thing. Awesome.

Glitter Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Gourd, Moldering Aberrations

gourd moldering aberrations

Ambient darkness is inflicted with only the cruelest of spirit throughout Gourd‘s Moldering Aberrations EP, the Irish two-piece alternating minimalist spaciousness with gurgling drone intensity, the extremity of which doesn’t so much come through in pummel or drive, but in the swell of volume and its contrast with the emptiness surrounding. Also the growls. Three tracks are offered up like monuments to pain, and through “Befoulment,” “Mycelium” and the title-track, they conjure a heft of atmosphere as much as one of low end, the claustrophobic feeling of their craft coming through even in the relatively peaceful opening of the last song. That peace, of course, isn’t so much moment of respite as it is precursor to the next plunge, and either way, Gourd work in grueling fashion over 23 minutes to dismantle consciousness and expectation with a grim, distortion-fueled chaos from which there seems to be no escape, until the rumble and noise leave “Moldering Aberrations” and there’s just residual hum and a cymbal crash left. Madness.

Gourd on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Monk Records on Bandcamp

 

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Sunn O))) ‘Life Pedal’ Now Available; Touring West Coast in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

For a band who’ve never made a habit of doing anything other than whatever the hell they want to, Sunn O))) sure have a lot of tour dates lined up, leading one to assume that, well, they want to be touring. In April, they released Life Metal on Southern Lord, bringing a new vision of melody to their long-established abyss of drone, changing the character thereof after two decades of slow-motion slaughter. And that was just the first track. So yeah, only fair they’re wanting to show it all off, as they’ll do both domestically and abroad throughout the Summer and Fall, and as they’ve already done on the East Coast. The latest batch of dates cover the West Coast, and they’ll take place between journeys to Europe, as they’ll pop over to Germany and the Netherlands for fest appearances next month and then be back in October for another run. Go go go.

They have a fancy new pedal available now made in an edition of 1,000 in league with EarthQuaker Devices. Kudos to whichever clever soul decided to call it ‘Life Pedal.’

Life Metal is streaming in full below courtesy of Southern Lord‘s YouTube, and the dates came down the PR wire. You know how this works:

sunn o (photo by A F Cortes)

SUNN O))): EARTHQUAKER RELEASE EXCLUSIVE DISTORTION PEDAL; LIFE PEDAL MARKS COMPANY’S FIRST ARTIST-ORIENTED COLLABORATION

SUNN O))) Announces West Coast US September Tour Dates; Life Metal Out Now On Southern Lord

SUNN O))) and EarthQuaker Devices join forces to create Life Pedal. This is a limited, hand numbered, tube amp crushing octave fuzz and distortion with boost. Life Pedal empowers the operator to immerse themselves in the same full spectrum overdriven sonic palette as used on the Life Metal album. Details below.

In the writing sessions for Life Metal SUNN O))) worked extensively shearing our tones toward a broader energy spectrum over high powered saturation and across planes of sonic character, with the ambition to take full advantage of producer/engineer Steve Albini’s exacting capture skills. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, vast sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) through resulting themes which emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear.

The Life Pedal is designed to represent the core front-end chain used in those sessions, to drive the tubes of the band’s multiple vintage Sunn O))) Model T amplifiers into overload and ecstasy. This is a 100w tube amp full stack’s holy dream, or its apostate nightmare. An octave fuzz inspired by the Shin-Ei FY2 & FY6 units leads the circuit into a LM308 chipped and brutal rodent big box distortion, recreated with the best components, and including a three-way clipping switch (op Amp, Asymmetric & Symmetric). Second stage is a purely clean boost to further overdrive the preamp tubes of ones vintage system into -scaped harmonics, and feedback overtone bliss. Chasms are cleared, mountains sheared, glaciers calved, novæ birthed. Transcend to complete saturation enlightenment.

Order the Life Pedal, in an edition of 1000 pedals, exclusively from the official SUNN O))) Reverb Shop hosted by Reverb.com HERE and view the Life Pedal trailer HERE.

Southern Lord is also pleased to announce that SUNN O)))’s Life Metal is now available in a second vinyl pressing with exclusive new colours.

SUNN O))) will play select festival shows in Europe this July, before returning to US soil for the second leg of their Let There Be Drone: Multiple Gains Stages tour. SUNN O))) will then head back to Europe and the UK this October.

Life Metal can now be purchased via the SUNN O))), Southern Lord, and Southern Lord Europe stores.

SUNN O))) Tour Dates:
Summer European Shows:
7/30/2019 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE #
7/31/2019 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE #
8/01/2019 Dekmantel Festival – Amsterdam, NL

US West Coast
9/01/2019 Granada – Dallas, TX *
9/02/2019 Emo’s – Austin, TX *
9/04/2019 The Gothic – Denver, CO *
9/08/2019 Mayan – Los Angeles, CA *
9/09/2019 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA *
9/11/2019 The Showbox – Seattle, WA ^
9/12/2019 Revolution Hall – Portland, OR ^

Europe + UK Tour:
10/07/2019 Backstage – Munich, DE %
10/08/2019 HfG / ZKM – Karlsruhe, DE %
10/09/2019 Kaserne Basel – Basel, CH %
10/10/2019 Felsenkeller – Leipzig, DE %
10/13/2019 Kablys + Kultura – Vilnius, LT %
10/14/2019 Vene Teater – Tallinn, EE %
10/15/2019 Kulttuuritalo – Helsinki, FI %
10/17/2019 Kraken Sthlm – Stockholm, SE
10/18/2018 Kulturkirchen Jakob – Oslo, NO
10/19/2019 BLA – Oslo, NO (exclusive duo performance)
10/21/2019 Koncerthuset – Copenhagen, DK
10/22/2019 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NL
10/24/2019 SWX – Bristol, UK
10/25/2019 QMU – Glasgow, UK
10/26/2019 The Crossing – Birmingham, UK
10/27/2019 Albert Hall – Manchester, UK
10/28/2019 Roundhouse – London, UK
# w/ Caspar Brötzmann
* w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
^ w/ Papa M
% w/ Caspar Brötzmann Bass Totem

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Sunn O))), ‘Life Pedal’ introduction

Sunn O))), Life Metal (2019)

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Pelican Announce New Album Nighttime Stories out June 7; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

I’m curious to know who did the cover art for Pelican‘s upcoming long-player, Nighttime Stories, as I’d like to put it in my notes for some of the best album artwork of 2019. I’m not big on posters from the merch table, because who the hell wants to carry a cardboard tube around for the rest of the show — or worse, not have the cardboard tube and just the naked poster dodging everyone’s beers — but I’d look long and hard at one with that cover on it. It’s gorgeous. It’s been a whopping six years since 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), which was the last Pelican full-length, and the new streaming single “Midnight and Mescaline” only further piques interest at what these guys might have going nowadays. As the PR wire tells, they’ve been through some ups and downs in the last half-decade-plus, and they’ve always been able to portray an emotional presence in their work, despite the vast majority of it being instrumental.

This is a band people will like forever. Pelican were never going to capture the biggest fanbase in the world, but the enduring affection for their work runs deep among the converted. I’ve considered myself a fan for a long time, so take it with a grain of salt, but they have been and remain something special, and their influence is greater than they get credit for it being.

Nighttime Stories is out June 7 on Southern Lord.

[Update: the art is by Aaron Turner. Should’ve known.]

From the PR wire:

pelican nighttime stories

PELICAN Announces New LP, Nighttime Stories, Set For June 7th Release Via Southern Lord Recordings; “Midnight And Mescaline” Now Streaming

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, has announced their first full-length in six years, Nighttime Stories, is due June 7th via Southern Lord Recordings. The album’s lead single, “Midnight And Mescaline,” is out now digitally and hitting stores as a 7″ with exclusive B-side track “Darkness On The Stairs” as a Record Store Day exclusive last weekend.

The eight-song set on Nighttime Stories marks PELICAN’s first release written front to back with guitarist Dallas Thomas, who took over guitar duties upon founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec’s departure in 2012. In the process of writing the album the quartet endured a slew of realizations, tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to the most potent work of their nineteen-year career. Though the new material veers towards the darker tone characteristic of PELICAN’s early songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a previous incarnation of the band writing songs as meticulously crafted and detail-oriented as those within Nighttime Stories, where the compositions recall everything from the triumphant call-to-arms of classic Dischord, to the vicious troglodyte battery of the Melvins, to the dynamic interwoven melodies of bottom-heavy indie cult heroes Chavez. Nowhere is this evinced as clearly as on initial album single “Midnight And Mescaline,” the album’s lead single.

Nighttime Stories was an album title initially proposed for Tusk, the hallucinatory art-grind band that included PELICAN members Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Larry Herweg, and Schroeder-Lebec, in addition to vocalist Jody Minnoch. The writing of Nighttime Stories was instigated shortly after Minnoch’s unexpected death in 2014, and some of the dissonant viscera and dark psychedelic structures that were characteristic of Tusk’s sound began to unconsciously inform the album’s direction. In homage to their departed colleague, PELICAN applied the previously discarded title and pulled many of the song titles from notes Minnoch had sent to inspire the direction of the unrealized album. As the writing of Nighttime Stories progressed, Thomas also experienced a heavy loss with the passing of his father, to whom the album pays tribute on opening track “W.S.T.” (on which Dallas performed his guitar parts on his father’s Yamaha acoustic).

PELICAN has always excelled at vacillating between the savage sounds of various niches of metal underground and the more delicate and nuanced sounds of Midwest’s cerebral indie community, proving that they can make either end of the spectrum more vibrant and compelling through the art of contrast. With Nighttime Stories, the pendulum has swung back to the angst and ire of their younger years while delivering it with the nuance and wisdom that’s come with nearly two decades of writing and performing. PELICAN heads out on a ten-city US tour in June with more dates in the works for later in the year.

Nighttime Stories Track Listing:
1. WST
2. Midnight And Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries Of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Water

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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Pelican Announce New Single Midnight and Mescaline out in April; Touring in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

One night, more than several years ago, I saw Pelican and Scissorfight on the ‘Champions of Sound’ tour put together by Hydra Head in Manhattan at the old Knitting Factory. They played in the mid-level room — there were three; top, middle and basement — and with the ceiling overhead and the stage kind of tucked into the corner of that dark space, it was the moment where the band really clicked for me. I’d dug Australasia well enough, but seeing the power and presence they brought to the material live was another thing entirely, and while I’d have called myself a fan before, ever since I’ve measured that in a different way.

I’ve seen Pelican a few times since then, of course, and they’ve broadened their sound immensely since that landmark — though it’s been a minute, their most recent offering was 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), newly remixed and remastered — but as they get ready to release the new 7″ Midnight and Mescaline, I think about the split 7″ I was so happy to pick up at that show and I have to give a little smile thinking someone might have a similar experience at their run of dates this June. Though the room will probably be bigger.

From the PR wire:

pelican midnight and mescaline

PELICAN To Release Midnight And Mescaline 7″, Band’s First New Music In Six Years, As Record Store Day Exclusive; June Tour With Cloakroom Booked + Remixed & Remastered Version Of Forever Becoming LP Out Now

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, is set to release their first new music in six years via a two-song 7″ on Southern Lord coming as an indie exclusive on Record Store Day (April 13th, 2019 #RSD2019). The band’s penchant for commanding live performances will be apparent when they head out for a run of US tour dates this June, accompanied by Midwestern masters of thunderous slowgaze Cloakroom.

Channeling the visceral intensity of their live shows, PELICAN’s “Midnight And Mescaline” is an unrelenting riff marathon, careening from eviscerating heaviness to metal-infused fretboard frenetics to cathartic melody in a compact five-minute sprint. Paired with B-side “Darkness On The Stairs,” the new release taps into the band member’s shared roots in the late ’90s DIY music scene, reinvigorating the quartet with impassioned punk ferocity.

In conjunction with the 7″ and tour announce, Southern Lord has just digitally released a deluxe reissue of the quartet’s 2013 album Forever Becoming, featuring vastly improved mix and mastering of the original songs replete with a revised version of the previously Japan-only bonus track “Bardo.” Initially recorded by Chris Common under optimal conditions at Chicago’s Electrical Audio, Forever Becoming was mixed in less-than-ideal circumstances at a makeshift studio in Los Angeles, yielding mixes that varnished the incredible tones generated during tracking. When the subject of a vinyl repress came up, Common, now helming his own proper studio, asked for another crack at mixing the album. The result brings a new level of low-end depth, atmospheric clarity, and tight, punchy heaviness to the album. Vinyl pre-orders are coming soon and is available from all digital retailers and streaming services now.

Across almost twenty years, five full-lengths, seven EPs, and hundreds of live shows, PELICAN has cultivated a chemistry that borders on telepathy, catapulting the band from basement shows in their native Chicago to outlier appearances at international music festivals including Primavera, Roskilde, Pitchfork, Bonnaroo, Roadburn, and Maryland Deathfest, and headlining tours across four continents.

Watch for additional tour dates and music announcements from PELICAN to be posted shortly.

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Pelican, “Deny the Absolute (2019 Version)” official video

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Sunn O))) Announce New Album Life Metal Due in April

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

sunn (Photo by Sunn and Ronald Dick)

As previously hinted, robe-clad drone overlords Sunn O))) will release two full-lengths this year. Both would seem to come from a session with Steve Albini, and the first, titled Life Metal, will be out on Southern Lord in April. The second is slated for later in 2019, and it looks like the months to come will see the megalithic backline and the conceptualists who wield it doing a fair bit of touring. The European run was previously announced, but it looks like they’ll be in Europe again in time for Fall festival season, and doing the US twice in the interim. Busy busy busy.

Sunn O))) always have their proponents and their detractors, but the fact is that if they weren’t relevant, they wouldn’t be splitting opinion in the first place, and 20 years on from their Grimmrobe Demos, they continue to push the boundaries of heavy in a way no one else has since.

From the PR wire:

sunn life metal

Sunn O))) are pleased to present Life Metal, a new studio album on Southern Lord, supported by a full EU tour

Sunn O))) are pleased to present Life Metal, their first new studio album in four years, due for release on Southern Lord in April 2019. The album will be supported by their first European tour since 2016, including their first ever French tour – dates and details below.

At the very beginning of 2018 Sunn O))) co-founders Stephen O’Malley & Greg Anderson set out on a path toward a new album production. They were both determined to create new music and a new method of working in the studio, without forgetting the long and proud history of production and studio accomplishments forged during their first two decades of existence (and the members’ own musical experiences out of the band’s). One long term goal was completely clear: to record Sunn O))) with Steve Albini in his Electrical Audio studio. Steve took the call, said “Sure, this will be fun. I have no idea what is going to happen.”

Greg and Stephen gathered twice that spring for writing, conceptualising and riff woodshedding in the very building where the band was formed: Downtown Rehearsal in Los Angeles. Sonic cosmoses, flashes of abstract colour (synthetic and objective) and themes emerged from the mastered depths of saturation and circuits between the two players and their mountains of gear. Themes developed in terms of brightness and energy, while visionary cues pointed toward subconscious areas of practice and the pair realised they were exploring other zones of consciousness via sound/time and sound/energy manipulation. In early summer a pre-production session with full backline, as a trio with T.O.S. on Moog, was recorded at Dave Grohl’s 606 studios, Northridge, California.

In July 2018 Sunn O))) spent just over two weeks in Chicago at Electrical Audio (Studio A) with Steve Albini at the helm. The results are astounding: there is breadth and luminosity of colour, it sounds vast. The sessions were impeccably recorded, authentically represented and completely accurate. The spectrum cracked the firmament open in clarity. An all analogue technique was used, they recorded and mixed on tape, providing a creative gateway for Sunn O))) to evolve their production methods into stronger, confident, performance based and a more logical executive process. The album was mastered and lacquers cut from tape in October by Sunn O))) ally Matt Colton at Alchemy in London. The LP version is a AAA album, recorded and mixed on tape via a completely analogue production, from the input of the band’s amplifiers and the air coming off the speakers in front of the microphones to the needle touching the pressed vinyl on your turntable.

Continuing one of the main currents of the Sunn O))) concept, depth of exploration within collaboration, brought forth Hildur Guðnadóttir to the Sunn O))) constellation. Hildur is a sometime live collaborator of Sunn O))) and a renowned film music composer, former member of the bands Múm, Pan Sonic and Angel. She was a long time collaborator with the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP). Hildur lent her incredible attitude, as well as her voice, breath and electric cello, and the enigmatic haldorophone to the proceedings, culminating in the epic composition/concerto “Novæ”. The cosmos clearly expands.

Tim Midyett, a close friend of Greg and Stephen since the Seattle days of the early 90s (and member of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit and Mint Mile), joined in a foundational role tying earth to sound with wicked performances on aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars: instruments he helped pioneer playing back in the 90s (alongside Steve and Shellac of course). Dark matter is reality.

Prolific new music composer Anthony Pateras arranged and recorded an incredible contribution of pipe organ for a piece titled “Troubled Air” (titled after an essay by author Aliza Shvarts, who also penned the liner notes for Sunn O)))’s Kannon) at Schlosskappelle, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. String theory of space.

The resulting album is titled Life Metal. It is fully realised and completely real. The record was produced by the core of Stephen & Greg & arranged by the greater constellation Sunn O))). Paintings by visual artist Samantha Keely Smith graciously adorn the sleeve and provide a perfect suitable mask to the proceedings. They collide ideas of 19th century romanticism & late 20th abstract expressionism (mysticism) with Sunn O)))’s approach to metal (via reference points of Arbo, Turner, Delville, Richter, Turrel, Wou-Ki). Photographer Ronald Dick shot them in baths of light colour representing depth of sound pressure in the work.

Sunn O)))
Life Metal
(Southern Lord)

TRACK LISTING
1. Between Sleipnir’s Breaths
2. Troubled Air
3. Aurora
4. Novae

There is a second more meditative LP titled Pyroclasts, also recorded by Steve Albini in parallel, and which will be revealed in the autumn 2019 (more later) with all music performed by Stephen, Greg, T.O.S., Tim Midyett, and Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Sunn O))) are touring March (EU/France), April (USA), September (USA), October (UK & Europe). They are working toward some special events in London and other cities.

SUNN O))) LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)
March 2019 Europe
Thu 28/02/2019 DE Frankfurt Mousonturm
Fri 01/03/2019 AT Graz Elevate festival/Orpheum ° ~
Sat 02/03/2019 CZ Prague Divadlo Archa °
Sun 03/03/2019 DE Hamburg Kampnagel – K6 °
Mon 04/03/2019 NL Amsterdam Paradiso °
Wed 06/03/2019 FR Lyon L’Epicerie Moderne ÷
Thu 07/03/2019 FR Nancy L’Autre Canal ÷
Fri 08/03/2019 FR Dijon La Vapeur ÷
Sat 09/03/2019 FR Rouen QuasaRites Day/Le 106
Mon 11/03/2019 FR Tours Le Temps Machine §
Tue 12/03/2019 FR Nantes Stereolux §
Wed 13/03/2019 FR La Rochelle La Sirene §
Thu 14/03/2019 FR Bordeaux Le Rocher de Palmer §

Supports :
° Puce Mary
÷ Golem Mecanique
§ France
~ Robin Fox presents Single Origin

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Sunn O))), Life Metal album trailer

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Sunn O))) to Tour Europe in March; Two New Albums in 2019?

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sunn O))) putting out anything is a project one could call ambitious. Not like Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley don’t have a constant stream of other stuff going on at any given point, but even so, the sheer process the band undertakes has become so complicated, so ever-changing, that it’s hard to imagine there isn’t some girding of loins that has to happen before the robes are donned. Nonetheless, as the PR wire hints, there are two new Sunn O))) full-lengths in the works for 2019, which for fans of the long-running dronelords — next year also marks the 20th anniversary for their first demos — should be more than enough to sate the thirst for volume. As to titles, details, release dates and all the rest of that, your guess is as good as mine, but there’s a European tour starting Feb. 28, and while a record may or may not be out by then, at very least one hopes will have more info by then on what might surface when.

Until then, all is speculation and distortion.

Here are the tour dates:

SunnO-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan

SUNN O))) ANNOUNCE THEIR “LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)” EUROPEAN TOUR MARCH 2019

Sunn O)))) are pleased to present their first European tour since 2016, and the premier tour of their 2019-2020 season. Including their first ever French tour (not including Paris), returning to old haunt Kampnagel in Hamburg, mythical Paradiso in Amsterdam, as well as headlining Elevate festival in Graz, and Divadlo Archa Prague.

Formed in March 1998 Sunn O))) have been challenging the ways we think about music in the twenty years since. A synthesis of diverse: drone, metal, minimalism/maximalism verging on the edge of pure sonic ecstasy, meditation and trance through the power, beauty and colour of sound pressure emanating from their legendary Sunn O))) backline and their earth shaking tectonic compositions of existence, dedicated to the mysteries of life and the cosmos.

O))) has two core members : Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, supported by a tribe of collaborators. From 1999’s The Grimmrobe Demos to 2018’s Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape; from their now classic albums Black One (2006), Monoliths & Dimensions (2009), Soused (2014) & Kannon (2015) to their forthcoming to-be-revealed-but-recently-completed two 2019 album epics, founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have forged paths and connections between the worlds of Metal, contemporary art, drone, new music, jazz and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density, elasticity of time, blossoming of saturation viable only to the disciples and fetishists of electric guitar, synthesis, multiple gain stages and some of history’s greatest pure valve amplification.

The current concert line-up extends around power trio of Stephen O’Malley (Guitar), Greg Anderson (Guitar), and their valve guru and long time collaborator Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog), aside selected special guests. Together they relentlessly pursue their exploration and elaboration of Sunn O)))’s legendary experiments with the physicality of sound in instrumental based live performances with remarkable events at some of their favourite venues, as well as concerts in singular events and spaces such as Italy’s impressive cultural complex Labrinto Della Masone, Germany’s Ruhrtriennale Festival of Arts, Royal Festival Hall & The Barbican in London, Bergen’s Dømkirke and Manchester International Festival being a few emblematic examples.

Rejoin them in their glorious pursuit of the monumental heaviness.

-Etienne Ni Mhaille, 2018

SUNN O)))
LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)
March 2019 Europe
Thu 28/02/2019 DE Frankfurt Mousonturm
Fri 01/03/2019 AT Graz Elevate festival/Orpheum ° ~
Sat 02/03/2019 CZ Prague Divadlo Archa °
Sun 03/03/2019 DE Hamburg Kampnagel – K6 °
Mon 04/03/2019 NL Amsterdam Paradiso °
Wed 06/03/2019 FR Lyon L’Epicerie Moderne ÷
Thu 07/03/2019 FR Nancy L’Autre Canal ÷
Fri 08/03/2019 FR Dijon La Vapeur ÷
Sat 09/03/2019 FR Rouen QuasaRites Day/Le 106 •
Mon 11/03/2019 FR Tours Le Temps Machine §
Tue 12/03/2019 FR Nantes Stereolux §
Wed 13/03/2019 FR La Rochelle La Sirene §
Thu 14/03/2019 FR Bordeaux Le Rocher de Palmer §

Supports :
° Puce Mary
÷ Golem Mecanique
§ France
~ Robin Fox presents Single Origin
• Lingua Ignota

https://www.instagram.com/sunnofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SUNNthebandOfficial
https://sunn.bandcamp.com
https://sunn-live.bandcamp.com
http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/twatterlord
https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
https://www.instagram.com/southernlordrecords

Sunn O))), Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2018

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