Kungens Män, Förnekaren: Fleeting Repudiation (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

kungens man fornekaren 1

[Please note: Click play above to hear the full album stream of Förnekaren by Kungens Män. Album is out Dec. 1 on Adansonia Records. Thanks to the label and band for letting me host the premiere.]

It is the first to be pressed to vinyl, but Förnekaren is upwards of the 15th or 16th full-length release by Stockholm-based jammers Kungens Män. If they’d been around for 20 years, that would still be impressive, but the band got together in 2012. Between Oct. 2013 and Sept. 2014, they released an album every month, and Förnekaren (released through Adansonia Records) is their third of 2015 behind April’s four-song Diskbänksockultism and January’s Kungens Män Spelar I Evighet. Amen.. It is a 2LP, mostly instrumental, comprised mostly of extended psychedelic jams, improvised at least in part and culminating in seven tracks/85 minutes of neo-krautrock immersion, rich in texture and almost universally hypnotic. Its lead-in with opener “Järnvägsdröm” transitions the listener between the waking world and Kungens Män‘s jammy realm, the vocals of guitarist Mikael Tuominen adding a Doors-style flair to what sets up the rest of the work’s mostly instrumental breadth.

Somewhere between Electric Moon or the Øresund Space Collective‘s jammy modus and the more plotted desert-prog style of Causa SuiKungens Män stake a claim in their own little slice of the cosmos, Tuominen joined throughout by guitarists Hans Hjelm and Björn Eriksson, bassist/graphic artist Magnus Öhrn, synthesist Peter Erikson and drummer Mattias Indy Pettersson as the band weaves their way through “Järnvägsdröm” and the title-track’s relative earthiness en route to the wholly-spaced fare of the 22-minute “Sista Ordets Krigsdans Genom Snickeriet,” which follows.

Pettersson‘s drumming is a foundational element throughout, as both the opener and quick-popping snare of the title-cut demonstrate, but on “Sista Ordets Krigsdans Genom Snickeriet,” it becomes even more apparent just how much is built on top of the laid back, steady percussion line. The song is not without movement between the interweavings of guitars and synth, and the bass, though deeper down in the mix, is pivotal as well, but it’s the drums that push the rest through the dreamy soundscape they’re creating as they go. A chugging undertone emerges as they pass the halfway point that becomes the bed for the fuzzy apex, but in the song’s fading finish, it’s only over when the drums stop. Kungens Män follow with “Krautespark,” which at 6:37 feels like an interlude in comparison, but no doubt that’s the idea. Öhrn‘s bass is more forward and more insistent and jazzy, as one might expect given the title, and the guitars add a touch of foreboding in their spacious overlaid noodling, a jazzy dissonance taking hold before they bring it together in the midsection only to have it turn jagged again by the finish, time more or less dissipating along the way.

kungens man

“Krautespark” is the shortest track on Förnekaren and the only one under 10 minutes other than “Järnvägsdröm,” which comes close at 9:47, but though instrumental, it serves a similar function as the opener, launching the second LP with a relatively grounded offering leading to more extended kosmiche fare. The bass makes the transition to “Kringströdda Silverbestick” particularly smooth, but it’s the lead guitar that gradually comes to the fore on the 13-minute jam riding a funky rhythm to a first-half crescendo before the vibe breaks — the drums holding steady — and things get quiet and spacious, building up again somewhat before some obscure speech echoes and effects noise bring the piece to a close.

Side D finishes out Förnekaren with a pair of cuts both over 10 minutes, “Förensligandet I Det Egentliga Aspudden” and “Hur Ska Vi Stå?,” the former of which starts out slow and contemplative before introducing a more active rhythm shortly before the two-minute mark that sets it on its building, ethereal course. Both the drums and the guitar sound noticeably bigger, more open, but it’s the guitar which slowly comes to swallow up the rest of the elements, a wah-drenched buzzsaw lead arriving at 6:41 and carrying through to the end, a patient swirl behind full of motion that seems to send ripples upward to the surface of the song itself.

The jam fades, presumably before it comes apart, and “Hur Ska Vi Stå?” comes in with a sleek guitar line over steady marching snare, jabbing proggy rhythms intertwined and fits of synth that arrive early and don’t come again, but continue to loom as a threat among the more peaceful noodling and frenetic but not abrasive manipulations of what may or may not be bass. A quiet guitar solo kicks in after halfway through, but the drum beat (maybe electronic or programmed?) and the other noise refuse to give ground and ultimately the jam unfolds, the kick drum run through echoing effects and manipulated as the final piece to go. It’s a fair enough ending to a record that has for the most part avoided showing its audience what it sounds like when the wheels come off an instrumental conversation, but the simple truth is that if you’re listening and you’re not already entranced by what Kungens Män have done in the prior 83 minutes, the last two of “Hur Ska Vi Stå?” aren’t likely to make a difference one way or another. A subdued, moody undertone can be felt throughout the album, but the prevailing spirit is nonetheless calm, and while one doubts they’ll wait around too long to let it sink in, Förnekaren has a wide enough scope that, if they were so inclined, Kungens Män could easily rest on its laurels for a while.

Kungens Män on Bandcamp

Kungens Män on Thee Facebooks

Adansonia Records

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Katatonia Recording 10th Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

As of the last I heard — by which I mean when I looked at their Thee Facebooks page just now — Swedish downer metallers Katatonia had finished tracking the drums for their upcoming 10th album. They’re in the studio now with none other than Karl Daniel Lidén, whose name should ring out owing to his work with the likes of Greenleaf and Dozer, going back to his time playing drums in the former act as well as Demon Cleaner circa the turn of the century. Lidén isn’t actually playing drums in Katatonia, as that duty has fallen to newcomer Daniel “Mojjo” Moilanen, but you can rest assured he’s made them sound fucking awesome, since that’s something that seems to be his specialty.

Next year will mark 15 since Katatonia issued Last Fair Deal Gone Down, a record that in many ways has set the tone for what they’ve done since. Just your little “time flies” tidbit for the day. Seems like Katatonia are also in the market for a second guitarist to work alongside Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström, who doubles in the deathly outfit Bloodbath.

Not-at-all current lineup photo and PR wire info follow:



10th studio album due out next year on Peaceville

Swedish masters of melancholy, Katatonia, has confirmed details of its new band member, drummer Daniel ‘Mojjo’ Moilanen.

Vocalist Jonas Renkse recalled: “We first met Mojjo back in 2009 where his band at the time, Engel, had joined up with us and Paradise Lost on a U.K. tour and we soon realized we shared the same musical background and ideals. We stayed in touch over the years and when Daniel Liljekvist quit Katatonia in 2014 we decided to give Mojjo a call. He has now been with us for well over a year, so far only as a live member, but now is the time for him to join the Katatonia album cycle and most importantly – make his own impression on our new material. We can’t wait to see what this will lead to. Love him up!”

Mojjo added: “From 1993 via 2009 to 2014, from today and onward into future battles. I am thankful, delighted and proud to take part in the next phase of Katatonia and I am looking forward to the journey being as giving as it has been for the last 22 years.”

Along with Mojjo, Katatonia has entered Stockholm’s Studio Gröndahl with engineer Karl Daniel Lidén to commence the recording of its 10th album. The new album is due out in 2016 on Peaceville Records and follows up the 2012 Peaceville album Dead End Kings. More details on the band’s new album will be released in the coming weeks and months. Fans can look forward to updates from the studio on the official Katatonia Facebook page.

In addition, Katatonia has confirmed live shows for 2016. All announced dates can be seen below.

Stay tuned for more information on Katatonia.

Katatonia live…
2/04 – 2/08 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise
4/29 – Kopervik, Norway @ Karmoygeddon Festival
6/19 – Clisson, France @ Hellfest
7/03 – Helsinki, Finland @ Tuska Festival


Katatonia, Last Fair Day Gone Night, Live in 2013

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Creedsmen Arise Change Name to Vokonis

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Kind of a bummer to read about the troubles of Swedish newcomer riffers Creedsmen Arise, whose “certain circumstances” have led them to have to change their name to Vokonis. Not that the new name is so terrible or that the old one was so great, but clearly they were fond enough of it to use it in the first place and I know that once a group gets rolling under a given moniker, it’s not something they want to give up using lightly. Hence lawsuits over two bands called the same thing. It gets to be an issue of branding as much as anything else.

What’s more, these same circumstances have caused Vokonis to remove the Creedsmen Arise demo, Temple (review here), and the Bandcamp page on which it was hosted. Three good songs down the tubes. A cassette version of it was released by the vowel-eschewing imprint Btnk Cllctv, and they still have it up for streaming as well, but I expect once the tapes are gone — and at a meager $5 a pop, they’ll likely go — that will come down too, and the post-Sleep riffage will have to find new form in the work of Vokonis, whatever shape it might take initially still unknown.

Not the end of the world, and if it was going to happen, probably better now than when they had two albums out, but still. Good luck to Vokonis. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from them soon.

They made the announcement thusly:


This one might seem a little strange.

Due to certain circumstances there is no more Creedsmen Arise.

We’ve decided to change our name and move forward instead with completely new material.

We will continue writing music and songs under the name Vokonis. We will still deliver the same unconditional fuzz that before..

Also! If you’ve purchase a Creedsmen Arise T-shirt from us, you are entitled to a Vokonis shirt!

We’re very sorry for your inconvenience, all who have bought the Temple EP will be eligible for a free download of our new album once it’s out.

// Simon, Emil and Jonte

Praise Iommi.


Creedsmen Arise, Temple (2015)

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Freak Valley 2016: Spiders and Sons of Huns Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

freak valley 2016 banner

I’ve had a pretty good thing so far going staying on top of the announcements as they’ve come out for Freak Valley 2016, and I’ll go ahead and blame the fact that I was traveling last week for my having missed the news that Portland, Oregon-based RidingEasy rockers Sons of Huns will take part. Better late than never, and especially so when their addition can come coupled with the significantly fresher news that Swedish boogie specialists Spiders have also joined the lineup.

Unless they put out a new one between now and then, which is entirely possible, Sons of Huns will be abroad supporting their 2015 album, While Sleeping Stay Awake (review here). Spiders‘ latest offering is 2014’s Shake Electric as of now, but I seem to recall seeing someplace they had a follow-up in the works. Even if not, they certainly have plenty going on otherwise. This week they head out in the UK alongside Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and in January, they will join Graveyard on the second leg of their US tour.

Announcements follow, courtesy of Freak Valley:

*** SPIDERS & SONS OF HUNS added to Freak Valley Festival line-up 2016 ***

Sprung out of Gothenburg, Sweden, the four piece rock-outfit Spiders has since their critically acclaimed debut album Flashpoint been one of the hardest touring bands in the business. Their MC5 -inspired glampunk honours rock history in their own unique way and has taken the band multiple mile after mile around the globe, both as a headliner and as support for Kvelertak, Metallica and the friends from Graveyard.

Actually they are supporting Uncle Acid and the deadbeats on their massive European tour. Spiders are crawling in a swift pace towards the top!

The beautiful he poster by Jo Riou Graphic Designer is dedicated to Louis. He’s a 5 year old child who lost his mother (who was a friend of Jo) and his grandmother in the Paris attacks some days ago. He collected his posters in his bedroom…

We are thrilled to announce, that the Portland heavy riffin trio SONS OF HUNS are coming to Europe for the very first time to play FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL!!

In a city like Portland, Oregon, where there are quite literally hundreds of people playing heavy music – and playing it well, at that – it takes a bold, tightly-honed punch to the crowd’s ears in order to stand out. Formed in the winter of 2009 and armed with a full stack of Orange cabs, a lifetime of experience and enough classical training to out-riff any band that dares stand in their SG-wielding path, Sons of Huns [RidingEasy Records] have consistently blown crowds away. Peter Hughes of DANAVA fame (guitar), Shoki Tanabe (bass) and Ryan Northrop (drums) have headlined shows in anywhere from tiny bars to the main stages of Portland’s biggest music festivals.

Throughout their reign in the Pacific Northwest music scene, Sons of Huns have become widely known for their ability to turn every live show into a sci-fi, psychedelic-rock party and livening the spirit of every crowd with their jokes and unforgiving volume.

Freak Valley Festival – 26th-27th-28th May 2016
www.freakvalley.de www.rockfreaks.de

FVF 3-day tickets – only 69€ incl. camping!!

TICKETS are selling like Rock Freak Records vinlys already. Available @ www.freakvalley.de and Woolheads

Your chance: next Saturday @ Vortex Surfer Musikclub: DeWolff & Ape Machine & The Dead-End Alley Band / https://www.facebook.com/events/659536650849596/

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2016:
Dead Meadow [US] – Psychedelic Stonerrock
Baby Woodrose [DK]- Psychedelic Garagerock
Lonely Kamel [NO]- Heavy Blues, Hardrock & Stoner
Rotor [D] – Instrumental StonerRock/Psychedelic
Monolord [SW] – Doom/Sludge
Farflung [US] – Spacerock for 21st Century Heads
The Golden Grass [US]- Heavy/Funk/Boogie/Psychedelic/Freakbeat
Spiders [SW] – Hard/Glam Rock
Son of Huns [US] – Heavy Riffin Rock

…more tba very soon


Spiders, “Shake Electric” official video

Sons of Huns, While Sleeping Stay Awake (2015)

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Monolord Interview with Esben Willems: Crushing the One

Posted in Features on November 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

monolord 1

It has been an exceedingly busy year for Monolord. The Gothenburg trio released their second album, Vænir (review here), through RidingEasy Records as the follow-up to 2014’s incredibly well-received Empress Rising debut, and from there, they haven’t really stopped. A tour in Europe led up to the album’s release and also found them following it with an appearance at Roadburn in the Netherlands, and they did sundry other dates this past summer before making a stop at Desertfest Belgium en route to the US for their first tour in North America, supporting Windhand and Danava on an ambitious cross-country run of the major markets that included a slot at Night of the Shred in Southern California.

Really, since Empress Rising was plonked down on riff-hungry skulls like so much edible concrete, Monolord have worked quickly and fiercely to make a name for themselves. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, bassist Mika Häkki and drummer/recording engineer Esben Willems, they clearly knew what they wanted to start from sound-wise on the first record and had ideas they wanted to develop working off that for the second, but also, in practical as well as creative terms, they seem to be very much on the same page in terms of what kind of work they’re going to put in and what that’s going to look like in terms of their overall plans. Monolord‘s ascent is not an accident. True, it wouldn’t be possible if the albums didn’t resonate, but they have not sat around and let acclaim come to them. They have gone out and hand-delivered their pummel door to door.

With performances already confirmed for 2016 at Desertfest in London and Berlin, Freak Valley in Germany and Hellfest in France, as well as other tours in the theoretical stages, it looks like that will very much continue to be the case as they move beyond Vænir and toward a crucial third full-length. As they move toward wrapping the dates with Windhand and Danava, it seemed only fair to check in with the band and get an update on how the shows have been, their impressions from life on the road in North America as opposed to Europe, and what 2016 might hold for them past what’s been confirmed publicly. Willems — whose patience in waiting for me to have three minutes to put together a list of questions for an email Q&A was very much appreciated — was kind enough to take time out to fill us in.

Please find the full interview after the jump, and thanks for reading.

Read more »

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Skraeckoedlan Premiere Video for “El Monstro”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Squidman’s ink is hardly dry on Skraeckoedlan‘s new album, Sagor (review here), but the Norrköping and Borlänge four-piece today premiere a brand new video for “El Monstro,” and it’s a title proportional to the fuzz wall Skraeckoedlan build in the song itself. Their second full-length, Sagor is a logical step forward from their 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here), but it pushes even deeper into the band’s world of massive riffing and suitably monstrous creatures. In addition to “El Monstro” and “Squidman,” we get “Mothra,” “Gigantos” and others, and all of these beasts seem to do battle as Sagor‘s high-impact 53 minutes play out in swells of triumphant tone and neo-progressive blood and thunder.

I’ve likened Skraeckoedlan to some combination of impulses garnered from Truckfighters and Mastodon before, and I stand by that in terms of what they bring tonally and in the sheer largesse of their groove, but as “El Monstro” ultimately demonstrates, they’re readily able to create something of their own from these core elements. Joining vocalist/guitarist Robert Lamu, guitarist/vocalist Henrik Grüttner, bassist/backing vocalist Tim Ångström and drummer Martin Larsson on the track in question is Matilda Mård, whose singing plays back and forth off a central riff in airier verses, the band showing themselves as capable of subtlety as well as pummel — though there’s plenty of that to go around.

Further along that same point, check out the song about 5:30 into the video’s total 6:33, the way it volume-swells in and out, almost like distorted tape, but obviously on purpose and with the intended (and successful) effect of adding nuance to what’s essentially repetition of that same central riff. Instead of just rolling through measures, Skraeckoedlan find a way to make their material do more work for them, and both “El Monstro” and Sagor as a whole are stronger for it.

Sagor is out now on Razzia Records. Please find “El Monstro” below, followed by some more info and comment from the band, and enjoy:

Skraeckoedlan, “El Monstro” official video

Swedish fuzz/sludge rockers SKRAECKOEDLAN are releasing the music video for “El Monstro”. The track is the second single from the band’s critically acclaimed album Sagor – released via Razzia Records – and features guest vocals from Matilda Mård. The video is directed by Mats Ek.

“We wanted to create a imaginative feeling and show the beauty of the Swedish evergreens. There is something very magical about our deep forest.”

Skraeckoedlan’s website

Skraeckoedlan on Instagram

Skraeckoedlan on Thee Facebooks

Skraeckoedlan on Twitter

Razzia Records

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Goatess Premiere “Moth to Flame”; Announce New LP Purgatory Under New Management

Posted in audiObelisk on November 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Today, Swedish doomers Goatess announce the March 2016 release of their second album, Purgatory Under New Management. Like their 2013 self-titled debut (review here), it will out via Svart Records, and to herald its arrival, the Stockholm four-piece are giving an early glimpse at the track “Moth to Flame,” the 10-minute opener of the record, which makes its premiere below. I am unreasonably fucking stoked to be able to host it. Really, just nerding out all over the place.

I think even if you didn’t hear the first record — a concern you’ll likely want to address after listening to this song — it’s quickly apparent in “Moth to Flame” why that would be the case. Fronted by Christian “Chritus” Linderson (ex-Count Raven, ex-Saint VitusLord VicarTerra Firma, etc.) and with guitarist Niklas, drummer Kenta and bassist Findus (who left the band following the recording of this album this past summer, replaced by Izmo), Goatess breathe live into the stolid form of what we commonly think of as traditional, Sabbathian doom. Their flare for a stoner groove is unmistakable, and after a quiet intro, they show it in the chugging nod of “Moth to Flame,” setting the foundation for a verse and chorus melodic hook that’s irresistible for the converted and bound to catch a few inductees as well.

As a sampling of what’s to come on Purgatory Under New Management, “Moth to Flame” finds them off to a killer start. The song breaks in its second half to a spacier jam that trades off to louder guitar squibblies and some especially soulful belting-out from Linderson. They close on that quiet note, having already come far from where they started, but with eight tracks on Purgatory Under New Management — which is also immediately in the running as one of 2016’s best album titles — it’s easy to imagine that “Moth to Flame” is just a first step on a longer, riff-led journey. All the better that Goatess make it as a tighter, more cohesive band.

Can’t wait to hear the rest of the release, but March is still four months out, so it might be a minute before that happens. Nonetheless, I’m once again pleased as punch and then some to be able to host “Moth to Flame” today, which you’ll find below, followed by some album preliminaries and comment from the band.

Please enjoy:

“Moth To Flame” is the first track from the upcoming second album from Goatess, this is but a taste of the dark grooves ahead. The full length album, “Purgatory Under New Management” includes 8 diabolical tracks of stoned epic melancholy.

Comments the band, “Guess you can look at it as if Dante and Bosch gave birth to Rosemary’s baby, like a tortured sibling to the debut album. Musically a natural progression, summing up the aspects and layers of harsh realities the band has been facing since then. Let’s face our darkest innermost demons together, shall we?”

Goatess on Thee Facebooks

Goatess at Svart Records

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Deville Post New Video for “Make it Belong to Me”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

deville (Photo by Tom Wall)

Don’t look for Swedish heavy rockers Deville to make an appearance in their new video for “Make it Belong to Me.” The Malmö four-piece release their new album, Make it Belong to Us this week on Fuzzorama Records, and their clip for the semi-title-track is a long way off from your standard band-in-practice-space performance video. No doubt after making a full-length of such rocking proportions, they decided to give themselves the day off when filming was going on. Time well earned.

Make it Belong to Us is the follow-up to 2013’s Hydra (review here), which was a record I don’t mind saying took a while to sink in for me. Its production was so clear and crisp that it seemed more commercially minded than one might usually expect from Small Stone Records, which handled the release, but as I think “Make it Belong to Me” also demonstrates, there’s a sense of aggression under that sheen, and Deville contort that well to suit the heaviness of their purposes, so that they manage to hone a sound at once based on sonic heft, catchy songwriting and every now and again being really pissed off. Not an easy balance to strike, by any means, but Deville do it so well that it’s almost too easy to look past.

I’ll admit my affection for them increased greatly after seeing them live on their inaugural US tour last summer, and while I don’t know if they’ll be back to support Make it Belong to Us, it’s easy to listen to “Make it Belong to Me” and imagine how it would be coming from the stage, which, of course, is another credit to the album.

Video and album info follow. Enjoy:

Deville, “Make it Belong to Me” official video

Official video for the song “Make it belong to me” Taken from the album “Make it belong to us”. Rel. 13 Nov – 2015

Director: Henrik Christoffersson
Producer: Nils Landén
Actress: Chelsea Klikunas

Fuzzorama Records – home to the mighty Truckfighters, We Hunt Buffalo and more – is thrilled to announce the release of Make It Belong To Us, the fourth, and most explosive album yet from Malmö-based rockers Deville.

With previous releases on Daredevil Records, Buzzville Records, Heavy Psych Sounds and Small Stone Records, new album Make It Belong To Us will receive an official release on Fuzzorama Records on 13th November 2015.

Andreas Bengtsson – Vocals, Guitars
Markus Nilsson – Drums
Andreas Wulkan – Lead Guitar
Markus Åkesson – Bass

Deville website

Deville on Thee Facebooks

Deville on Twitter

Fuzzorama Records

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