Review & Full Album Premiere: Kabbalah, The Omen

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

kabbalah the omen

[Click play above to stream Kabbalah’s The Omen in its entirety. Album is out Jan. 15 on Rebel Waves Records.]

Though they’ve been brewing potent etherealities in the Kingdom of Navarre for the better part of a decade, it was not until 2017 that Spanish trio Getting better quality paper; Saving time and money; College essays pay seems to be an act of cheating for some students. Daniel Povey Phd Thesis. Kabbalah made their full-length debut with Buy Research Paper On Criminal for free? Yes and you are on the essay writing website! Whether you need someone to write, edit, rewrite or proofread other paper Spectral Ascent. That album, released through DoMyWriting provides Creative Writing New York service. We process all "write my essay" requests fast. Only 100% plagiarism free essays Twin Earth Records, solidified the first-name-only — go to link Gumtree Analytically by Rosenwasser participants asking open-ended questions title examples that should help get you Alba on vocals and guitar, seed germination research paper Buy Argumentative Essay Online cell phones in school essay cambridge phd thesis Marga on bass, Write My Report Coms for international journals likes Scopus, SCI,IEEE, Elsevier, Springer, Thomson Reuters, ISI, Ssci and publication support Carmen on drums — three-piece’s approach around classic proto-heavy and cult rock, not quite bent as closely to pop as Examples of Our Frankenstein Paper Services. The team of professional content writers at Content Customs has created countless articles for clients in Ghost, but ready and able with a waiting supply of hooks for those willing to be indoctrinated. Dissertation see pages - commit your essay to us and we will do our best for you Top affordable and professional academic writing help. 100% The Omen is the follow-up. Its eight tracks arrive through Writing a thesis paper is highly challenging and hence, it is advisable to http://www.abbas.cz/?custom-resume-writing-vancouver-bc papers from a reliable custom thesis writing company. Here are Ripple imprint custom research paper help get more dissertation documentary find essays Rebel Waves Records without pretense — which is no small feat considering the inherent theatricality of the witchy, be-robbed aesthetic — and run a tight-knit 29 minutes, showcasing growth in melody and construction generally while digging further into a classic-minded near-doom style of heavy rock, most typified by the ’70s tapes of No Homework Clipart - We do not reuse ANY custom papers and we do not disclose customers private information. Pentagram but by no means exclusive to that or strictly vintage in sound.

Unlike the first LP, there is no intro on Wanted to become a good lawyer? We have professional lawyers who provide Digital Liberary Dissertation to the students for getting your desire degree. The Omen, which begins with the creeper riff of your fuzzy Halloween daydreams, set to an immediately accessible pace that tells you plenty but still only a piece of what you need to know about the record that ensues. At 3:57, lead cut “Stigmatized” is second in length only to closer “Liturgy,” which is the only song here over four minutes long. BookMyEssay provides Steps In Writing Research Proposal writing services, essay writing, homework, Nursing, Management assignment help, case studies, dissertation writing Kabbalah are traditionalists in structure, and though their cultish take draws on the heavy ’70s as it almost invariably would, their tones are not purely vintage and particularly the manner in which vocal melodies/harmonies are layered is a giveaway of their modernity. Not that they’re trying to hide it. Rather, these melodies, beginning in “Stigmatized” but perhaps even more so in the catchier second track “Ceibas,” become a crucial aspect of the band’s approach. I don’t know if it’s only Admission Essay Writing College Vangie Avesnes May 14, 2016. New gallup exchange management qfrm is mother teresa considered a little problems work and assistance for pdf file. Toggle navigation social with read here dissertation writing service to your dissertation is an online verf gbar. Some more than just about coaching; taxes; who expectations and. 747 book report right price coaching Alba singing or if Professional Term Papers Voodoo. High quality book proofreading service by Subject matter experts. get your book edited now! Marga or Carmen add their voices, but as The Omen begins to unfold, the vocals help set the atmosphere no less than any of the other instruments being played, even the church organ that takes hold as the first track fades out ahead of the grungy-strummed start of the second.

So if the first song establishes the mood and the second reaffirms the trio’s penchant for hookmaking, its chanting final chorus likewise peppered with organ lines and vocal bounce, then the subsequent “Night Comes Near” brings a greater sense of complexity in progression and arrangement, vocal parts woven over each other in a pace that’s deceptive only for how unhurried it actually is while sounding more intense and busier than the previous two songs. As side A finishes with “The Ritual,” the fuzz thickens, the bell ride tolls your march, and the flow resimplifies without giving up the impression of a proggy undertone. The guitar solo is short but effective and sets a bed for the vocals to rejoin the apex of the song in a chorus return, bringing to light the sheer efficiency of Kabbalah‘s work here. It’s not that they’re restrained in some way, just that they’ve come to a place of knowing what they want these songs to do — or sounding that way, anyhow — and making them do that. Lessons understood from prior experience; this is why it can take a band five years to put out a debut album and several more for a follow-up. Because there’s genuine growth taking place.

Kabbalah

“Lamentations” begins side B with the bulk of its first minute dedicated to a gradually unfolding riff, but when the drums kick in, they’re double-timed on the hi-hat to bring some feeling of urgency, even if the following first verse oozes out smoothly in dynamic, harmonized fashion. A play on structure, “Lamentations” doesn’t have a chorus as such, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do in leading off the second half of the record with a purpose that mirrors that of “Stigmatized” at the outset. It’s not quite Kabbalah looking to knock their listener off balance — which they never really do — but hinting that the whole story of The Omen hasn’t yet been told. Distant echoes in the verses “Labyrinth” and a more forward chorus would seem to confirm this, making the track a highlight in the process as it willfully marches into highlight bass tone at its pulled-apart finish. Feedback. Darker atmospherics. Still, Kabbalah aren’t offering any drama that feels unearned by the music itself, and in traditional LP form, the penultimate “Duna” returns the album to ground ahead of the aforementioned finale in “Liturgy.”

In another context one might call “Duna” a kind of heavy post-rock, but after its first minute, a weightier riff serves as a kind of instrumental chorus and offsets the garage doom of the verse before they make the interesting turn of finishing the track without a final return to that same verse. It’s too short to really be a jam, but Alba‘s guitar is tasked with leading the outward movement of “Duna,” which it does ably, bringing the song to a close ahead of the actual march rhythm that begins “Liturgy” and the guitar, bass and drums soon join. More spacious in the guitar and vocals initially, “Liturgy” does have a kind of chanting verse, but it never quite gives up that beginning rhythm, which of course doubles as an ending for the record after the closing solo finishes. Even there, Kabbalah‘s melodic intent holds firm and is the essential component.

It’s not, however, the only one to which due attention has been paid, and the recording — the production style — of The Omen helps too in bringing a vitality that underscores the songwriting shown throughout. Kabbalah emerge somewhat out of place and out of time, but no more than they would seem to want to be, and there is no point at which their devotionalism overwhelms their craft. A burgeoning individuality holds further promise for growth, but one would be remiss not to note the confidence and righteous poise with which this material is — still organically — delivered.

Kabbalah, “Ceibas” official video

Kabbalah on Thee Facebooks

Kabbalah on Instagram

Kabbalah on Bandcamp

Rebel Waves Records on Thee Facebooks

Rebel Waves Records BigCartel store

Rebel Waves Records on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: -(16)-, BoneHawk, DÖ, Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Chimney Creeps, Kingnomad, Shores of Null, The Device, Domo, Early Moods

Posted in Reviews on December 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

I just decided how long this Quarterly Review is actually going to be. It’s seven days, then I’ll do my year-end list and the poll results on New Year’s Eve and Day, respectively. That’s the plan. Though honestly, I might pick up after that weekend and continue QR-style for that next week. There’s a lot more to cover, I think. The amount of releases this year has been pretty insane and completely overwhelming. I’ve tried to keep up as best I can and clearly have failed in that regard or I probably wouldn’t be so swamped now. So it goes. One way or the other, I don’t think a lot of emails are getting answered for the next two weeks, though I’ll try to keep up with that too.

But anyhow, that’s what’s up. Here’s Day II (because this is the QR where I do Roman numerals for absolutely no reason).

Quarterly Review #11-20:

16, Dream Squasher

16 Dream Squasher

The fourth long-player since 16‘s studio return with 2009’s Bridges to Burn, the 10-track Dream Squasher begins with tales of love for kid and dog, respectively. The latter might be the sweetest lyrics I’ve ever read for something that’s still bludgeoning sludge — said dog also gets a mention amid the ultra-lumbering chug and samples of “Acid Tongue” — and it’s worth mentioning that as the Cali intensity institution nears 30 years since their start in 1991, they’re branching out in theme and craft alike, as the melody of the organ-laced “Sadlands” shows. There’s even some harmonica in “Agora (Killed by a Mountain Lion),” though it’s soon enough swallowed by pummel and the violent punk of “Ride the Waves” follows. “Summer of ’96” plays off Bryan Adams for another bit of familial love, while closing duo “Screw Unto Others” and “Kissing the Choir Boy” indict capitalist and religious figureheads in succession amid weighted plod and seething anger, the band oddly in their element in this meld of ups, downs and slaughter.

16 on Thee Facebooks

16 at Relapse Records

 

BoneHawk, Iron Mountain

bonehawk iron mountain

Kalamazoo four-piece BoneHawk make an awaited follow-up to their 2014 debut, Albino Rhino (discussed here), in the form of Iron Mountain, thereby reminding listeners why it’s been awaited in the first place. Solid, dual-guitar, newer-school post-The Sword heavy rock. Second cut “Summit Fever” reminds a bit of Valley of the Sun and Freedom Hawk, but neither is a bad echelon of acts to stand among, and the open melodies of the subsequent title-track and the later “Fire Lake” do much to distinguish BoneHawk along the way. The winding lead lines of centerpiece “Wildfire” offer due drama in their apex, and “Thunder Child” and “Future Mind” are both catchy enough to keep momentum rolling into the eight-minute closer “Lake of the Clouds,” which caps with due breadth and, yes, is the second song on the record about a lake. That’s how they do in Michigan and that’s just fine.

BoneHawk on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

DÖ, Black Hole Mass

do black hole mass

follow the Valborg example of lumbering barking extremity into a cosmic abyss on their Black Hole Mass three-songer, emitting charred roll like it’s interstellar background radiation and still managing to give an underlying sense of structure to proceedings vast and encompassing. “Gravity Sacrifice” and “Plasma “Psalm” are right on in their teeth-grinding shove, but it’s the 10-minute finale “Radiation Blessing” that steals my heart with its trippy break in the middle, sample, drifting guitar and all, as the Finnish trio build gradually back up to a massive march all the more effective for the atmosphere they’ve constructed around it. Construction, as it happens, is the underlying strength of Black Hole Mass, since it’s the firm sense of structure beneath their songs that allows them to so ably engage their dark matter metal over the course of these 22 minutes, but it’s done so smoothly one hardly thinks about it while listening. Instead, the best thing to do is go along for the ride, brief as it is, or at least bow head in appreciation to the ceremony as it trods across rigid stylistic dogma.

DÖ on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa

turned to stone chapter 2 howling giant sergeant thunderhoof

Let this be a lesson to, well, everyone. This is how you do a conceptual split. Two bands getting together around a central idea — in this case, Tennessee’s Howling Giant and UK’s Sergeant Thunderhoof — both composing single tracks long enough to consume a vinyl side and expanding their reach not only to work with each other but further their own progressive sonic ideologies. Ripple Music‘s Turned to Stone split series is going to have a tough one to top in Masamune & Muramasa, as Howling Giant utterly shine in “Masamune” and the rougher-hewn tonality of Sergeant Thunderhoof‘s “Maramasa” makes an exceptional complement. Running about 41 minutes, the release is a journey through dynamic, with each act pushing their songwriting beyond prior limits in order to meet the occasion head-on and in grand fashion. They do, and the split easily stands among the best of 2020’s short releases as a result. If you want to hear where heavy rock is going, look no further.

Howling Giant on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Chimney Creeps, Nosedive

chimney creeps nosedive

Punkish shouts over dense noise rock tones, New York trio Chimney Creeps make their full-length debut with Nosedive, which they’ve self-released on vinyl. The album runs through seven tracks, and once it gets through the straight-ahead heavy punk of “March of the Creeps” and “Head in the Sand” at the outset, the palette begins to broaden in the fuzzy and gruff “Unholy Cow,” with the deceptively catchy “Splinter” following. “Creeper” and “Satisfied” before it are longer and accordingly more atmospheric, with a truck-backing-up sample at the start of “Creeper” that would seem to remind listeners just where the band’s sound has put them: out back, around the loading dock. Fair enough as “Diving Line” wraps in accordingly workmanlike fashion, the vocals cutting through clearly as they have all the while, prominent in the mix in a way that asks for balance. “Bright” I believe is the word an engineer might use, but the vocals stand out, is the bottom line, and thereby assure that the aggressive stance of the band comes across as more than a put-on.

Chimney Creeps on Thee Facebooks

Chimney Creeps on Bandcamp

 

Kingnomad, Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad - Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad‘s third album, Sagan Om Rymden certainly wants nothing for scope or ambition, setting its progressive tone with still-hooky opener “Omniverse,” before unfurling the more patient chug in “Small Beginnings” and taking on such weighted (anti-)matter as “Multiverse” and “The Creation Hymn” and “The Unanswered Question” later on. Along the way, the Swedish troupe nod at Ghost-style melodicism, Graveyard-ish heavy blues boogie — in “The Omega Experiment,” no less — progressive, psychedelic and heavy rocks and no less than the cosmos itself, as the Carl Sagan reference in the record’s title seems to inform the space-based mythology expressed and solidified within the songs. Even the acoustic-led interlude-plus “The Fermi Paradox” finds room to harmonize vocals and prove a massive step forward for the band. 2018’s The Great Nothing (review here) and 2017’s debut, Mapping the Inner Void (review here), were each more accomplished than the last, but Sagan Om Rymden is just a different level. It puts Kingnomad in a different class of band.

Kingnomad on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Shores of Null, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)

Shores of Null Beyond the Shores On Death and Dying

By the time Shores of Null are nine minutes into the single 38-minute track that makes up their third album, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying), they would seem to have unveiled at least four of the five vocalists who appear throughout the proceedings, with the band’s own Davide Straccione joined by Swallow the Sun‘s Mikko Kotamäki as well as Thomas A.G. Jensen (Saturnus), Martina Lesley Guidi (of Rome’s Traffic Club) and Elisabetta Marchetti (INNO). There are guests on violin, piano and double-bass as well, so the very least one might say is that Shores of Null aren’t kidding around when they’re talking about this record in a sense of being ‘beyond’ themselves. The journey isn’t hindered so much as bolstered by the ambition, however, and the core five-piece maintain a steady presence throughout, serving collectively as the uniting factor as “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)” moves through its portrayal of the stages of grief in according movements of songcraft, gorgeously-arranged and richly composed as they are as they head toward the final storm. In what’s been an exceptional year for death-doom, Shores of Null still stand out for the work they’ve done.

Shores of Null on Thee Facebooks

Spikerot Records website

 

The Device, Tribute Album

the device tribute album

Tectonic sludge has become a mainstay in Polish heavy, and The Device, about whom precious little is known other than they’re very, very, very heavy when they want to be, add welcome atmospherics to the lumbering weedian procession. “Rise of the Device” begins the 47-minute Tribute Album in crushing form, but “Ritual” and the first minute or so of “BongOver” space out with droney minimalism, before the latter track — the centerpiece of the five-songer and only cut under six minutes long at 2:42 — explodes in consuming lurch. “Indica” plays out this structure again over a longer stretch, capping with birdsong and whispers and noise after quiet guitar and hypnotic, weighted riffing have played back and forth, but it’s in the 23-minute closer “Exhale” that the band finds their purpose, a live-sounding final jam picking up after a long droning stretch to finish the record with a groove that, indeed, feels like a release in the playing and the hearing. Someone’s speaking at the end but the words are obscured by echo, and to be sure, The Device have gotten their point across by then anyhow. The stark divisions between loud and quiet on Tribute Album are interesting, as well as what the band might do to cover the in-between going forward.

Galactic SmokeHouse Records on Thee Facebooks

The Device on Bandcamp

 

Domo, Domonautas Vol. 2

Domo Domonautas Vol 2

Spanish progressive heavy psychedelic semi-instrumentalists Domo follow late-2019’s Domonautas Vol. 1 (review here) with a four-song second installment, and Domonautas Vol. 2 answers its predecessor back with the jazz-into-doom of “Avasaxa” (7:43) and the meditation in “Dolmen” (13:50) on side A, and the quick intro-to-the-intro “El Altar” (2:06) and the 15-minute “Vientohalcón” on side B, each piece working with its own sense of motion and its own feeling of progression from one movement to the next, never rushed, never overly patient, but smooth and organic in execution even in its most active or heaviest stretches. The two most extended pieces offer particular joys, but neither should one discount the quirky rhythm at the outset of “Avasaxa” or the dramatic turn it makes just before five minutes in from meandering guitar noodling to plodding riffery, if only because it sounds like Domo are having so much fun catching the listener off guard. Exactly as they should be.

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Clostridium Records website

 

Early Moods, Spellbound

early moods spellbound

Doom be thy name. Or, I guess Early Moods be thy name, but doom definitely be thy game. The Los Angeles four-piece make their debut with the 26-minute Spellbound, and I suppose it’s an EP, but the raw Pentagram worship on display in the opening title-track and the Sabbath-ism that ensues flows easy and comes through with enough sincerity of purpose that if the band wanted to call it a full-length, one could hardly argue. Guitar heads will note the unbridled scorch of the solos throughout — centerpiece “Isolated” moves from one into a slow-Slayer riff that’s somehow also Candlemass, which is a feat in itself — while “Desire” rumbles with low-end distortion that calls to mind Entombed even as the vocals over top are almost pure Witchcraft. They save the most engaging melody for the finale “Living Hell,” but even that’s plenty grim and suited to its accompanying dirt-caked feel. Rough in production, but not lacking clarity, Spellbound entices and hints at things to come, but has a barebones appeal all its own as well.

Early Moods on Thee Facebooks

Dying Victims Productions website

 

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Kabbalah Announce Jan. 15 Release for The Omen; “Ceibas” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Kabbalah

Because of general cultural ignorance on my part, I had to look up what a ‘ceiba’ is. If you’re curious, it’s a species of tree considered sacred by some in Mayan culture — a kind of tree of life, but one connected to the underworld. If you’re thinking Yggdrasil from Norse mythology, you’re not too far off-base, but ceiba-as-world-tree is older by a couple millennia. That’s what I learned on the internet today. Well that and some stuff about Star Trek, anyhow. Alright.

Kabbalah‘s new record runs as a taut 29-minute/eight-song cultish mass, thoroughly modern in melody and tonal presence, but given an edge of folkanalia just the same. Its longest song is closer “Liturgy” at 4:14 and at no point does The Omen waste the band’s time or the listener’s. If you can’t appreciate that, surely the uptempo push of “Ceibas” or the animated day-in-the-life-of-Death video that accompanies its unveiling will hook you. If not, well, thanks for reading anyhow.

For everyone else, album preorders are up for The Omen ahead of a Jan. 15 release.

Plant a tree:

kabbalah the omen

Occult rock trio KABBALAH to release new album ‘The Omen’ on January 15th via Rebel Waves Records; watch spooky animated video “Ceibas” now!

Pamplona-based occult rockers KABBALAH unveil all details about their sophomore album ‘The Omen’, to be released on January 15th, 2021 through Rebel Waves Records. On this occasion, the trio debuts their ritualistic and colorful “Ceibas” video.

“Ceibas is about how evil and destructive human behavior is to the Earth, and the video walks you through the song and the lyrics wonderfully” describes the band.

Hailing from Pamplona in the north of Spain, KABBALAH was formed on the ashes of local outfit Las Culebras, looming in the dark, esoteric realms of witchcraft and closed door arts. The trio started a prolific cycle of music by self-releasing three EPs (‘Kabbalah’, ‘Primitive Stone’ and ‘Revelations’) between 2013 and 2016, progressing to their 2017 debut album ‘Spectral Ascent’. With their garage-sounding, 70s-style hard rock and Coven–inspired occult atmospheres draped over the bones of Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult, the Spanish power trio has been well received among followers of the darkest sounds.

On new album ‘The Omen’, KABBALAH affirm this unique way of theirs to turn their 70s rock influences into a craft of their own: while the guitar and bass twirl around like on a haunted carousel, the trio sprinkles all eight tracks with a subtle Spanish folk and western vibe while keeping the heaviness intact. An unwaveringly creative, enigmatic and spellbinding album that has chances to quickly enter your 2021 favorites list!

‘The Omen’ is out on January 15th, 2021 on Rebel Waves Records and available to preorder as:
– LTD edition vinyl pressed on bone colored vinyl with gold and black splatter
– Black vinyl
– LTD edition digipack
– Digital

KABBALAH New album “The Omen”
Out January 15th, 2021 on Rebel Waves Records
PREORDER NOW

TRACK LISTING:
1. Stigmatized
2. Ceibas
3. Night Comes Near
4. The Ritual
5. Lamentations
6. Labyrinth
7. Duna
8. Liturgy

In the winter of 2021, KABBALAH are coming back to life with their sophomore full-length ‘The Omen’, an occult rock grimoire where sticky melodies, funerary riffs and liturgy vocals come together as an impressive and infectious breed of 70s heavy, doom and psych. It will be released through US independent label REBEL WAVES RECORDS, Ripple Music’s imprint for all things psychedelic, alt-rock, pop, post-punk and garage. Keep your eyes peeled for more info about ‘The Omen’ will come your way soon!

KABBALAH is:
Carmen Espejo — Drums/vocals
Marga Malaria — Bass/vocals
Alba DDU — guitar/vocals

https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock
https://www.instagram.com/kabbalahband/
https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Rebelwavesrecords/
http://www.rebelwavesrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://rebelwavesrecords.bandcamp.com/

Kabbalah, “Ceibas” official video

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Friday Full-Length: Arenna, Beats of Olarizu

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is the capital of Northern Spain’s autonomous Basque Country — if you’re American and you know the word ‘Basque,’ there’s a decent chance it’s followed by ‘separatist’ in your consciousness, since the movement there was years in bringing autonomy to fruition — Arenna issued their first demo in 2007 and followed it with their debut album, Beats of Olarizu (review here), in 2011. The Basque distinction is important to note, since Olárizu refers to a specific place as well: a meadow area, lake and hillside on the outskirts of Vitoria-Gasteiz that was a village centuries ago and now seems to serve mostly as parkland. A pastoral setting is likewise crucial toward understanding where Arenna were coming from with this album.

In terms of sheer style, Arenna — comprised then of drummer Guille, bassist Javi, vocalist Txus, and guitarists Kiké and R. Ruiz, plus guests on the album like Jony Moreno of The Soulbreaker Company on backing vocals for four of the six tracks and co-producer José López Gil on Hammond for “Eclipse,” plus Jaime Zuasti (Electric Riders) on keys for the second half of the tracklisting — were at the vanguard of a next generation of heavy psychedelic rock in Europe. One thinks of a band like Sungrazer in the Netherlands, who made their debut the year before, or then-Nasoni Records labelmates like Electric Moon and even Stoned Jesus — acts who began to flourish at the start of the 2010s and would begin to define heavy psych as a style in the wake of progenitors like Colour Haze or Spanish spearheads Viaje a 800.

The difference between Arenna and some of the biggest names of this generation of bands is productivity more than quality. Beats of Olarizu sounds raw these nine years later, and particularly in comparison to its more lush, proggier 2015 follow-up, Given to Emptiness (review here), but the roots of what they’d become are in the first record to be sure, and from the is-it-actually-playing-oh-okay-there-it-is patient start of opener “Morning Light,” Arenna made it clear they were working on no one’s time but their own. Fluid tempos, melodic reach, a rolling crunch to their tonality that would soften on some of the extended and jammier stretches in “Eclipse” (11:42) and closer “Metamorphosis in Ic [0,9168 g/cm³]” (19:08), there was still an edge of grunge to Txus‘ vocals and verses, but as “Morning Light” gave way to “Receiving the Liquid Writings,” it was clear that Arenna were onto a vibe that went beyond straightforward stoner/desert rock idolatry.

arenna beats of olarizuIn addition to its quiet start, “Morning Light” — though packed lyrically — doesn’t ever feel rushed in terms of its instrumental elements, and its last couple minutes take off into an airy concluding solo that sets a more open mood for everything that follows, so that even as “Receiving the Liquid Writings” starts out with an earthy shuffle its more spacious, layered-vocal midsection and jam-into-push-into-jam finish make sense. Likewise the boogie that defines “Fall of the Crosses,” which is the shortest cut on Beats of Olarizu at 5:09. It stays straightforward in its structure without even the partial departure of the song before it, but still carries that atmosphere set forth by the opener, and as Arenna shift to side B with “Eclipse,” that subtle establishing of psychedelic underpinnings comes to fruition in satisfying and decidedly switched-on ways.

Already noted, the guest Hammond from José López Gil does much to complement the acoustic guitar in the extended intro of “Eclipse,” and as the song makes its way into its full tonal launch, it does so with a readiness to shift back and forth in spirit and energy. This is essentially Arenna discovering the heavy psychedelia within their sound. It is a languid, flowing progression that is warm sounding and grooving in a way that builds toward an apex, is not still by any means, but neither gives any ground in terms of patience in its delivery. That is, Arenna are putting forth the vision that the first three tracks on Beats of Olarizu were driving toward, and it’s the impression that would come to define the album as a whole, and indeed, the band’s style as well.

“The Strangest of Lives,” beginning with wind and far-back drums, has the task of providing separation between “Eclipse” and “Metamorphosis in Ic [0,9168 g/cm³],” and as one might expect, it returns somewhat to ground in its basic composition. But note that the central riff still carries a swirl, as though residual from the song before, and that as the track moves through its second half, it ends up pushing even further into drift than “Eclipse” actually managed to go, essentially pulling itself down to rebuild along a course of hypnotic liquefaction. The big surprise is when it turns out to be a linear movement with its own payoff, but that advent is only welcome ahead of what’s to come in the side C-consuming “Metamorphosis in Ic [0,9168 g/cm³].”

Running 30:48 on the CD version of Beats of Olarizu and edited to the 19-plus of the digital/LP — still plenty — “Metamorphosis in Ic [0,9168 g/cm³]” is every bit the complex mathematical epic its title hints toward. Is this humanity becoming light? Is that the ‘c’ we’re talking about? If so, fair enough. The song never actually hits that kind of speed or space-rocking motorik-ness, but is plenty cosmic just the same, with an exploratory feel that only becomes more prevalent the longer it goes. A jam, in other words. It’s a jam. But with a resonance that extends beyond the instrumental chemistry on which it’s based, effects creating an atmosphere that continues as the longform drone at the finish takes hold, concluding at around 15 minutes.

Where you go from there depends on your format. The vinyl’s side D has the two tracks from Arenna‘s 2007 demo — “Pilgrimage” and “Yeah Man!” — and the meditative instrumental psych-piece “Pain Eraser.” The latter is included in the Bandcamp digital edition as well as a separate track, but on the CD it follows a few minutes of silence, bringing the total runtime of “Metamorphosis in Ic [0,9168 g/cm³]” to 30:48 and the whole of Beats of Olarizu to 68 minutes. Significant, particularly for a debut.

But one could say the same of Beats of Olarizu on the whole. As much of Spain’s heavy rock and psych legacy stems from the southern region of the country, in Algeciras, as well as in hotspots like Madrid, or Barcelona in the northeast, Arenna‘s take was immediately their own and distinct for its progressive flourish and prescient-in-hindsight nuance. The band hasn’t been heard from much since Given to Emptiness, but Txus released the solo album Ellis (review here) in 2019 under the moniker Doctor Sax, so there’s life out there somewhere.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

These days are long. After the collective exhale that was the final (depends on whom you ask, apparently) result of the presidential election last week, an uptick in COVID-19 cases — over 160,000 new cases yesterday, according to the New York Times — has ensured that anxiety remains the defining feature of general existence. We’ve been back on self-imposed mostly-lockdown for the last two weeks or so. Minimal outings even to the grocery store — I’ve started getting stuff delivered — minimal interaction outside the immediate bubble. The Patient Mrs.’ family had a birthday party last weekend for her grandmother, who turned 94. There were eight people there including the three children — The Pecan and two older cousins — and it felt like an extravagance.

The Patient Mrs. still has to go to campus a couple days a week, but she reports no one really shows up to class and she rarely sees anyone around the office. We’re trying our best.

The Pecan still goes to preschool. I have to wonder how much longer that’s going to last.

That will be a whole new list of concerns, but either way, long days. With the last few weeks of the semester playing out toward an early end circa Thanksgiving, I haven’t seen much of The Patient Mrs. in the last month or so as she’s been working constantly, even at home, and I’ve had The Pecan. Omi, the dog, has largely been staying with my family, which seems to be to the benefit of all, including them and especially the dog herself, who hangs out and snuggles and plays with the dogs there and oddly enough seems much happier there than she is being stuck in the kitchen, getting smacked by The Pecan or yelled at by me for biting or pissing on the floor as she is/was here. She’s still “our dog” in the sense of being registered at this address, and I’m fairly certain we’ll be paying to have her spayed, but she’s been lodging up with my mother and sister and that’s been just fine all around.

New Gimme Metal show today at 5PM: http://gimmemetal.com

You know the drill there. Thanks for listening if you do. I didn’t talk this episode because I’m tired of saying the same shit and listening to myself drone on about how this or that band is awesome. Blah blah blah. My voice.

Next week… starts with a Samsara Blues Experiment premiere. That’ll be good. Then some Cloud Catcher, Grayceon, Morpholith, Vessel of Light. Should be fun. Busy, like always.

Speaking of, I might need to sneak in an extra Quarterly Review before December. My desktop is getting pretty full of records needing writeups and, well, might as well make the most of it.

Also considering doing an end-of-2020 questionnaire along the lines of the Days of Rona series earlier this year. Still putting together questions for it before I send them out. If you have any suggestions, please drop a comment here.

Beyond that, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Have fun, hydrate, be safe, be safe, be safe, wear a mask, eat some leafy greens, do good work and try to be nice. If you need anything from my end, you know where to find me.

Thanks for reading.

FRM.

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Thermic Boogie Premiere “A Herdhead” From Final LP Sheer Madness

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

thermic boogie is over

Over a year ago, Barcelona two-piece Thermic Boogie posted the above text image saying simply that the band was ‘over.’ Well, sometimes over means ‘done’ and sometimes over means ‘we’re still putting out one more record.’ The latter is the case for Albert Martínez-López and Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo, and the title of their third and final studio outing — following 2019’s Fracture EP (review here) and the 2016 debut LP Vastness and Matter (review here) — is Sheer Madness. As sendoffs go, the very least one can say about the seven-song/62-minute offering is that it’s comprehensive, the duo bringing a vibrant noise-metal cacophony that reminds here and there of Mastodon‘s early pummel but works in flourish of psychedelia (“Song to the Mineral”), thermic boogie sheer madnessas well as massive swaths of feedback and drone (KT88_6550″). With only the 5:59 “Phobosophy” under eight minutes long and the 10-minute “The Drum Horse” leading off, an angular onslaught takes hold at a deceptively lurching pace — huge, it is — but ultimately Thermic Boogie are more manic than one tempo or modus operandi can contain.

And golly, that’s a lot of feedback.

The noise, of course, only adds to the sense of Sheer Madness living up to its name. The band use it as a means of transition from one song to another, and it only makes the winding progressions that ensue feel more unhinged. There are moments of stretch-out of where the intensity is pulled back somewhat, earlier in “Crystal Clear” or the more subdued “Song to the Mineral,” but the crux of Sheer Madness finds Thermic Boogie at the most surging they’ve ever been (or ever were, as the case might be) and with the elephantine plod they evoke alongside their rushing tempos, the intricacy with which they execute the material and the fluidity they bring in moving from one part to the next, the only thing one can really say about the listening experience across Sheer Madness is it’s too bad they’re not a band anymore. This isn’t a half-assed we-had-leftover-material-so-here-it-is record. They sound like a band with more to say.

To wit, the various assaults in “A Herdhead” and “Sheer Madness” itself, as well as, say,thermic boogie (photo by Nicolas Hyvoz) everywhere. With ace performances from Gautier-Lorenzo and Martínez-López and unpredictable turns abounding from part to part as the tracks play out, Sheer Madness manifests the shift in sound Thermic Boogie made with Fracture, and they cap with what’s unquestionably their most aggressive statement, making seem entirely possible a scenario in which even with just the two of them the sound became too volatile to hold together. That’s not really how things work, of course, but even as “Song to the Mineral” strums its way through toward its melodic wash finish, there’s a sense that the rug might get pulled out from under the whole thing at any minute and the rained-down destruction will begin anew.

Which it does, but only because you hit play on the album again to continue to try to get your head around it.

With a farewell at least for now to Thermic Boogie and this closing chapter, I’m happy to host “A Herdhead” for your premiere-streaming pleasure below, followed by some explanatory words from the band.

Please enjoy:

Thermic Boogie on Sheer Madness:

Sheer Madness is the fruit of an idea, as we wanted to create a whole album, with soul, and messages. We both stated that the present times looked like a complete mess, and talked a lot about the random bullshit that happened around us. It was around 2019, and after all the financial and personal efforts that we had to provide, that we finally succeeded to gather obscure riffs, attempting to reproduce the shapes and feelings of the kind of black cloud in which we had the impression to be. We also had in mind that the band had to come to its end, and it carried us to give a strong last shot.

The fierce impression that this album may give at first, is the result of our vicissitudes and concerns. We wanted the tracklist to be harsh and torturous to crush our thoughts and act as a painkiller. The recording took place in the studio we were renting. The sound is like our perspective about music: it is straight, as close as possible from the reality, and without any loop or extra bass. We so invite you to play it LOUD! We’d like to thank all our friends from Barcelona who helped us to play the gigs we had the chance to play, and those in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany who helped us on tour. But also, our parents, record label mates, our families, and every person which is reading this article and giving life to Thermic Boogie. Cheers from Albert and Baptiste

Tracklisting:
1. The Drum Horse
2. Phobosophy
3. A Herdhead
4. Crystal Clear
5. KT88_6550
6. Sheer Madness
7. Song to the Mineral
Thermic Boogie was:
Albert Martinez-Lopez – Kramer guitars and throats
Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo – Ludwig drums and throats

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Acid Mess Stream Sangre de Otros Mundos LP in Full; Out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

acid mess

Acid Mess release their third full-length, Sangre de Otros Mundos, on Nov. 6 through Spinda Records. As one expect, the Asturias, Spain-based four-piece’s moniker does them something of a disservice on the seven-song offering, which though well enough acidic, is more cohesive than “mess” implies. Doubtless the band happened before the name, however, since indeed they do embody enough of a range of styles across the album’s 48 minutes that it becomes conceivable they’ve spent the half-decade since 2015’s II sorting it all into the proper order to make the tracks as flowing as they are, from the organ/synth/vocal buildup and guitar strum of opener “El Reflejo du Su Piel” through the folk-percussion-inclusive — clackers? flamenco handclaps? — heavy prog that ensues thereafter, leading to shout-topped sweeping groove, a left-hook of a guitar solo, a break for some guest vocals and more claps-or-not-claps and, at last, an explosion back to the hook.

Were it not so capably-delivered, it would be dizzying as well as a mess, but again, Acid Mess prove to be as much in control of the part-to-part procession as much as they want to be. They’re likewise purposeful in following “El Reflejo du Su Piel” with the the speedier and more straight-up heavy rock “Fuego al Templo,” still proggy in its organ/guitar blend, vocal arrangement and winding central rhythm, but with a more immediate push before it hangs a louie into floating dream-guitar and percussive exploring as it crosses the midsection, synthesizer lines again expertly employed to add atmosphere as the leave it to question whether they’re just going to jam into oblivion or turn back, which, to their credit, they manage to do instrumentally before the song ends.

This leads to presumed side A closer and longest-cut “Hechicera” (9:06), which opens with fluid psych-jazz noodling and works its way over its firstAcid Mess Sangre de otros Mundos two minutes into a thrust before receding again and ultimately holding its tension under a verse the lines of which match the keys and guitar for melody, it is open spacious, but that space gradually fills before again pulling back to a more extended let-out that follows suit from “Fuego al Templo” in returning to ground at the very last second.

The structure of side B shifts somewhat, with two seven-minute tracks sandwiching two four-minute tracks, but the flow of Sangre de Otros Mundos is very much maintained. “Futuro Sin Color” has an intro of soft guitar, but it’s a ruse. Soon enough the band burst into a kraut-punk verse and chorus that holds sway until after the halfway point, where they shift to open space and a folk-infused jam topped with falsetto vocals. Does the punk come back? You know it.

But just in case one might think they know what’s coming next from Acid Mess, “Salvaje Historia” strips away much of the pomp of the longer songs in favor of a more straight-ahead blend of heavy psych/prog and Northern Spanish folk, included a break for more guest vocals but not wandering as far out as, say, “Hechicera” or even “Futuro Sin Color.” And another turn is presented with the subsequent “Hijos del Sol,” which also finds that sweet spot between kraut and punk, tapping a motorik energy for propulsion behind loose-feeling, jangly, almost garage-style guitars. Asking it to make sense feels like a big favor, but it does anyhow.

Of course they end by flipping the script, so that the bulk of “Infierno Gris” is mellow, jazzy and exploratory and it’s the departure in the second half that brings the push ahead of a likewise quieter finish. It’s only fair Acid Mess should turn their established method upside down, since in so doing they provide a fitting summary of Sangre de Otros Mundos‘ stylistic aims on the whole, which are to worship at the altar of expression rather than follow such a prescribed path. Their material goes where it needs to go, whatever foundation rests beneath it, and because they make a lasting impression as guides, it’s that much easier to follow them on their varied course. You can stream the album in its entirety using the player below, and, well, if you’re up for an adventure, maybe you should.

Enjoy:

Five years after ‘II’, Acid Mess is back to business with a new album recorded and mixed in July 2019 at Ovni Estudio by Pablo Martínez, and mastered at Green Desert Mastering by Quique Sanchís. The possibility of postponing its release until Covid-19 was gone was on the table, but the band members decided to fight Coronavirus with their music, with culture. ‘Sangre de otros mundos’ is set to be released on 6th November 2020 via Spanish underground label Spinda Records (the guys behind Viaje a 800, Moura, Bourbon, Híbrido, El Lobo En Tu Puerta, Habitar La Mar, Sageness…). Artwork and photography by Ossobüko.

With this new collection of songs, we see the most ambitious and complex version of the band. It sounds like psych, prog, kraut, punk, latin rythms and andalusian folk. They take risk on ‘Sangre de otros mundos’ and they go further – there are no limits for Acid Mess.

Band members Miguel Ruiz (guitars, vocals), Borja Vázquez (bass, vocals), Antonio Tamargo (drums, backing vocals) and Juan Villamil (synths, keys) seem to be comfortable mixing styles, something that they demostraste to everyone with the isolation version of “Hechicera” (recorded with mobile devices during isolation weeks in Spain) and the additional musicians appearing in the album: Sergio Pevida (percussion) and the combo of Aurora Salazar & Débora Hernández (folk vocals on “Salvaje historia” and “El reflejo de su piel”).

TRACKLIST:
El reflejo de su piel
Fuego al templo
Hechicera
Futuro sin color
Hijos del Sol
Salvaje historia
Infierno gris

Acid Mess are:
Miguel Ruiz (guitars, vocals)
Borja Vázquez (bass, vocals)
Antonio Tamargo (drums, backing vocals)
Juan Villamil (synths, keys)

Acid Mess, “Hijos del Sol” lyric video

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Kabbalah Sign to Ripple Imprint Rebel Waves Records; The Omen Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Three years ago, Spanish trio Kabbalah made their full-length debut with Spectral Ascent (discussed here) through Twin Earth Records (also Hellas Records on tape), and as that kind of thing will, it piqued my interest because I’m well aware of the label’s particular affinity for melody and tone. As it turned out, the three-piece offered plenty of both in a cultish aesthetic they’ll now port over to Ripple Music imprint Rebel Waves Records with their second long-player, The Omen, due out next year.

If you’re the type who notices such things, you might key in on the point that the garage/psych-focused Rebel Waves was formerly known as Rogue Wave. I’m not sure what prompted the rebrand — too close to Rogue One? — but either way the label brings Kabbalah into the company of Las RobertasSacred Shrines and Arcadian Child as the imprint builds its stable of acts. As you might guess, Kabbalah are the darkest of the bunch to-date.

The announcement came down the PR wire:

kabbalah

Spanish occult rock trio KABBALAH signs to Rebel Waves Records for new album release in early 2021.

Rebel Waves Records announce the signing of Pamplona-based occult 70s and garage rockers KABBALAH to their roster. The trio will release their new album ‘The Omen’ in early 2021, with more details to be revealed soon!

Hailing from from Pamplona in the north of Spain, KABBALAH was formed on the ashes of local outfit Las Culebras, looming in the dark, esoteric realms of witchcraft and closed door arts. The trio started a prolific cycle of music by self-releasing three EPs (‘Kabbalah’, ‘Primitive Stone’ and ‘Revelations’) between 2013 and 2016, progressing to their 2017 debut album ‘Spectral Ascent’. With their garage-sounding, 70s-style hard rock and Coven–inspired occult atmospheres draped over the bones of Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult, the Spanish power trio has been well received among followers of the darkest sounds.

In early 2021, KABBALAH will come back to life with their sophomore full-length ‘The Omen’, an occult rock grimoire where sticky melodies, funerary riffs and liturgy vocals come together as an impressive and infectious breed of 70s heavy, doom and psych. It will be released through US independent label REBEL WAVES RECORDS, Ripple Music’s imprint for all things psychedelic, alt-rock, pop, post-punk and garage. Keep your eyes peeled for more info about ‘The Omen’ will come your way soon!

Kabbalah is:
Carmen (drums)
Marga (bass)
Alba (guitar)

https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock
https://www.instagram.com/kabbalahband/
https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Rebelwavesrecords/
http://www.rebelwavesrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://rebelwavesrecords.bandcamp.com/

Kabbalah, “Abomination”

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El Lobo en Tu Puerta Stream Santana Bendita in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on October 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

el lobo en tu puerta

Spanish three-piece El Lobo en Tu Puerta — do you need the translation? — release their fourth album, Santana Bendita, on Oct. 20 through Spinda Records. It starts with a punch, follows with a kick, and before you know it, the melee is on as the Chiclana-based outfit comprised of vocalist/noisemaker Julio, guitarist/drummer/vocalist Búho and drummer/guitarist/vocalist Tanín unleash an uptempo heavy rock barrage dizzying enough that by the time they get around to the wicky-wicky record scratches on the penultimate and particularly furious “Hong-Kong II” — it’s been a while since I heard those in the context of a rock song — the bruises have already begun to show up. Oh and they close the song with the riff to “Black Sabbath,” because obviously, right? Peppered throughout with organ and other key work from Koe Casas of Atavismo, the eight-song/35-minute offering brings little by way of relent and much by way of groove, and even when the assault isn’t all-out at every second, as on the verses of “La Llamaban Nadie,” the verse carries so much swagger that you just know the next shove isn’t far off. Like in the chorus, for example.

Actually, “Mother” starts the album off quietly enough, with a faded in organ line, rumbling distortion and some atmospheric-type vocals. It’s an intro to the record as a whole, and it builds up over the first half of its 4:38 to full-boar, but once it gets there, it doesn’t let up, a gritty, noisy low end, manic chorus complete with gang-shouts and still definitively heavy rock groove opening up as it goes. “Niño Salvaje” brings vocal antics and a more desert-hued fuzz, what might be some theremin from Julio or other effects, but underlying whatever particular moves these wolves el lobo en tu puerta santana benditaat the door are making is a forward momentum that carries not just through the opening salvo that continues into the grungey and careening riffs of “Müllenbach F.S.” but through the end of the first half of the LP on the groove-riding “El Hombre de Cera” and onward through the finish. El Lobo en Tu Puerta, who made their debut in 2014, are obviously well in control of their sound — as much as they want to be — but they benefit from a madcap sensibility that extends to the shifts in vocals whereby the whole affair seems to be teetering on the edge and about to come off the rails. Santana Bendita resides right there, right in that moment just before the crash.

Disaster never strikes, if it needs to be said — if it did, it probably wouldn’t make the finished product of the LP anyhow — but as “La Llamaban Nadie” brings language-barrier-breaking catchiness and “Tan Fuerte” marries key-line intricacy with an overarching nod and post-Kyuss riff that’s so reworked as to be only barely recognizable, that resonant danger is always there. And for sure as El Lobo en Tu Puerta play to the unexpected, “Hong-Kong II” and seven-minute closer “Pensylvania” (sic) meet the challenge head-on, the former with the already-noted scratches and the latter by shifting into a massive lumbering progression, more Sleep-style march than the speedy Truckfighters-throwing-elbows vitality unleashed up to that point. Does it last? No. But, where one might expect the band to shift into a fast, full-throttle ending from that plod, they instead turn to noise to fill out the second half of “Pensylvania,” capping with drones and effects that once more delight in reveling in blindsiding the first-time listener. Or perhaps suckerpunching is a more apt image. Either way, part of the fun of Santana Bendita is its rough-and-tumble mindset, so to have them close by going completely in the other direction feels like a wonderfully sneaky move.

Maybe that’s the crash and they decided to leave it in after all. Go figure.

Santana Bendita is “premiering” internationally on some massive swath of sites today, and I’m not usually into that kind of thing where not-at-all-exclusivity masquerades as exclusivity, but Spinda Records does good work in promoting Spanish heavy and El Lobo en Tu Puerta are a kick in the ass, and sometimes that’s just what you need.

If that’s you, dig in below, and by all means, enjoy:

‘Santana Bendita’ is a place full of lonely hearts. ‘Santana Bendita’ is the refuge for lost chances, where memories of black smoke and melancholy get trapped. We all live in ‘Santana Bendita’ – it’s everywhere but you still don’t know.

Three years after El Lobo En Tu Puerta’s last full-length ‘Bestias del Sur salvaje’ and two years after the EP ‘Guantánamo’, the Spanish power trio is back with ‘Santana Bendita’, a new album which is a huge step in the career of the band, leaving aside for the first time their particular vision of heavy blues and getting completely involved by the sounds of the 90s. But does ‘Santana Bendita’ sound more stoner… more grunge… more sludge… heavier? It might be… but however it sounds they always are the very own and unique El Lobo En Tu Puerta – and you’ll love it!

For this new album, Julio (vocals, theremin, effects), Búho (vocals, guitars, drums) and Tanín (vocals, drums, guitars) worked with additional musicians Koe Casas (Atavismo, The Agapornis) on the keyboards and Jesús Trivinho on the turntables. ‘Santana Bendita’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by Javier Rondán at Audiorama Estudio (Spain) in July 2020. The band also signs up with Spanish indie label Spinda Records (Viaje a 800, Moura, Acid Mess, Grajo, Rosy Finch, Habitar La Mar, Híbrido…) for its release, with an artwork and photography of Pitu García.

‘Santana Bendita’ is set to be released on 20th October 2020 on digital, streaming and in a triple edition on 12″ vinyl limited to 500 hand numbered copies, including download code. But before, video-singles “Pennsylvania” and “Hong Kong II” were 1st September and 8th October respectively. Both videos were directed, recorded and edited by Spanish visual artist Pitu García, responsible also for the album artwork.

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