Grande Royale Premiere “Hands Up” Video; Take it Easy out Sept. 13

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

grande royale

Fair enough if you remember Grande Royale from their 2017 Nicke Andersson-produced label debut on The Sign Records, Breaking News (review here), as having kind of a different sound. They were kind of a different band. On Sept. 13, the Swedish troupe will release their fourth album and second for The Sign, the 11-track/39-minute Take it Easy, and with it they undeniably enter a new era. Consistencies include a classically-influenced sound, prevalent boogie vibe and tight songcraft — all welcome — and among the striking changes are the fact that the band parted ways with their frontman and that guitarists Gustav Wremer (who took on the vocalist role) and Andreas Jenå have swapped out their rhythm section, bringing in Samuel Georgsson and drummer Johan Häll to complete the now-four-piece incarnation of the band.

As to the title, which one almost can’t help but hear in the pleading voice of Jeff Bridges as The Dude, it seems to be the entire message of encouragement from the album itself, and it arrives in “Decelerate,” a sub-three-minute tracklist-centerpiece rife with organ and recorded naturalism — Ola Ersfjord (Lucifer, Hypnos, The Riven, The Hellacopters, etc.) produced this time around — after the band has already unfurled five cuts of semi-Southern, ’70s-via-’10s argument in favor of doing just that. With Tove Abrahamsson stepping in on vocals for two tracks — among them “Hands Up,” for which the video is premiering below — Grande Royale hardly seem to have missed a beat despite all the tumult of the last two years. They even had a live record out grande royale take it easybetween the two studio offerings. Kind of scary productivity, considering.

But the news is good and the prevailing spirit of Take it Easy is one of positive, upbeat times. There’s an element of escapism at play in the shove of second cut “Out of Gas” or the slide-infused “Sweet Livin’,” but little reminder of what one might actually be escaping from, which is refreshing. As they were on Breaking NewsGrande Royale are an unremittingly straightforward band, and while one might hear the vocal performance on “Baby You’re a Fool” and wonder why Wremer wasn’t just fronting the band the whole time, the fact is that while they might make having been through so much change sound easy, it couldn’t possibly have been. Or at least not as easy as it sounds here. “Going Strong,” “Standing in My Way” and “On and On” round out in striking and engaging fashion, hooks prevalent and delivered smoothly with a confidence that makes one think that not much has actually changed in their approach to writing.

Meet the new era, same as the old era? Maybe, in some ways. Grande Royale do sound different than they did two years ago — how could they not? — but Take it Easy just sends its core message with such believable fluidity throughout its LP-ready run that one can’t help but think maybe they’ve been taking their own advice all along. It clearly works for them.

The video for “Hands Up” follows here, with a single-camera shot of someone dancing to the song and kind of letting loose a little bit, which is obviously the intention behind the thing. You’ll find it below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Grande Royale, “Hands Up” official video premiere

Hands Up is taken from Grande Royals fourth studio album Take It Easy released by The Sign Records 2019. Video by Filip Pilthammar. Thanks to Tove Abrahamsson for Lead vocals.

Take It Easy is the new album from Grande Royale. The album holds eleven tracks of Scandinavian rock with a strong southern influences: music that speaks the universal language of rock. The album mixes things up by adding brass, soul choirs to the guitar-filled music. Take It Easy is the fourth studio album by Grande Royale, succeeding the live album Captured Live from 2018 and the studio album Breaking News from 2017, all released by The Sign Records. Grande Royale is releasing Take It Easy on the 13th of September.

The album is produced by Ola Ersfjord, who has previously worked with Imperial State Electric, Honeymoon Disease, Primordial, Tribulation and Dead Lord. Since the release of their previous studio album Breaking News, guitarist Gustav Wremer has taken over vocal duties in the band. Vocalist Tove Abrahamsson appears on two tracks. The album artwork is made by Revolver Design.

Live Dates:
26/9 – Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands *
27/9 – Muziekcentrum De Bosuil, Netherlands *
28/9 – Sonic Ballroom, Köln, Germany *
29/9 – Lola, Groningen, Netherlands *
* With The Dirty Denims

More live dates are set to be announced in Spain, Italy, Germany, Finland and Sweden among others….

Grande Royale is:
Andreas Jenå – Guitar
Gustav Wremer – Guitar / Vocals
Johan Häll – Drums
Samuel Georgsson – Bass

Grande Royale on Thee Facebooks

Grande Royale at The Sign Records Bandcamp

The Sign Records website

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records webstore

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Stew Premiere “Endless Journey”; Debut Album People out Oct. 11

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stew

Ripple Music welcome Swedish trio Stew for the Oct. 11 release of the band’s debut album, People. The album follows a 2018 EP, Hot, and the announcement comes coupled with the unveiling of “Endless Journey,” which you can hear premiering at the bottom of this post. Its easy-rolling groove is palpable, as well as a post-Zeppelin approach to guitar strumming, vocal push and foundational rhythmic bombast in the drums. Still, “Endless Journey” is nothing if it’s not a heavy ’10s nodder, as the break to organ before the resurgence of its central riff demonstrates, the song not even over before the structure has imprinted itself on the mind of the listener. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but as teasers go, “Endless Journey” gets the job done easily when it comes to piquing interest, as of course I hope you’ll agree.

Stew recorded the album this past February in live fashion, and I think that energy comes through in “Endless Journey,” so I’ll expect no less from the entirety of People when it arrives. These cats seem to have a pretty solid grasp on a classic sound and how to make it work in a modern context. Take a couple minutes and hear for yourself.

Here’s the album announcement:

stew people

70’s blues rockers STEW unveil first single and details for upcoming album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Lindesberg’s hard blues trio STEW successfully surf the pioneering era of rock’n’roll with their debut album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Preorder here: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=stew+-+people

Markus Åsland’s hot and groovy vocals will lead your way to this promising debut album, which brilliantly explores the blues rock spectrum. Taking its cue from soul, psych and acid rock, and pretty much all the good vibes coming from that an unforgettable era that brought about what we now call cosmic rock. Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan may come to mind when listening to “People”, yet this is no surprise: STEW have brought back a maestria in modern blues that is utterly soulful and filled with irresistible hooks.

STEW comment: “Just like the first EP the whole album is recorded live except from vocals and solos. The recording of the album was finished in nine days at Studio Oktober, Karlskoga with engineer Jonas Ljungkvist. We wanted the album to be a classic rock sounding album like the ones from the 70’s that we love.”

STEW New album “People”
Out October 11th on Ripple Music

TRACK LISTING :
1. Intro
2. Right On Time
3. People
4. Newborn
5. Endless Journey
6. Play The Fool
7. Godless
8. Afraid Of Getting Nowhere
9. Sweet And True
10. Fruits
11. Morning Again

STEW are:
Markus Åsland – Bass & Vocals
Nicklas Jansson – Guitar
Nicklas Dahlgren – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band
https://stew1.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Hellsingland Underground Premiere “Carnival Beyond the Hills” Video; A Hundred Years is Nothing out Aug. 30

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hellsingland underground

Swedish classic-style progressive hippie rockers Hellsingland Underground will release their new album, A Hundred Years is Nothing, through Wild Kingdom on Aug. 30. The first image conjured by the band’s fifth record comes courtesy of lead track (and lead single) “Carnival Beyond the Hills,” and it’s a description of bureaucrats behind computers in a colorless world, “where nothing changes.” Contrasting this, of course, is the carnival beyond the hills, which is a place where the freaks let loose and there’s color and I guess nobody has a job which sounds pretty sweet. Throughout A Hundred Years is Nothing, in songs like “The Blessing/The Curse,” “Criminal Summer,” “I Win You Lose I Guess,” and “Pig Farm,” the band dig into updated ’60s folk and modern jam rock, a country twang that feels inherited from The Grateful Dead popping up now and again alongside BeatlesRolling Stones, Pink Floyd and sundry other influences, conjuring (mostly) a bright sound that sends out hopeful vibes in thoughtful arrangements of lap steel, piano, as well as the usual guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Even as the record is critical of square living, it’s not at all nasty about it.

Rather — and here its position as the opening track is all the more important — “Carnival Beyond the Hills” is an open invitation. It’s right there in the chorus: “There’s a carnival beyond those hills/You can meet me there.” Not sure there’s a plainer hellsingland underground a hundred years is nothingway to say it than that. And the rest of A Hundred Years is Nothing lives up to the task of that initial invite, essentially becoming the carnival itself. Is there really a carnival beyond the hills? I think anytime anyone’s ever gone over the hills, they’ve either not come back to tell anyone about it or just found more capitalism waiting for them there, but there’s a near-endless supply of hills to choose from, so maybe just haven’t found the right one yet. If only — and this sounds sarcastic, but I genuinely mean it — we had a winged psychedelic frog to act as our guide on this journey, we might actually get someplace. Or at least stop fucking each other over and shooting each other. I’d happily settle for that at this point.

There are 11 tracks on A Hundred Years is Nothing and Hellsingland Underground‘s explorations are by no means limited to what one might commonly think of as being heavy, but “Carnival Beyond the Hills” paints an interesting picture, and in the case of the video, literally so, as vocalist Charlie Granberg provided the art and animated the thing to give it (again, mostly) an extra-classic feel. They’ve got the vibe down, to be sure. Whether or not you want to accept their invitation will of course be up to you, but for what it’s worth, I can’t see any reason not to. Beats arguing about bullshit on the internet.

Peace on:

Hellsingland Underground, “Carnival Beyond the Hills” official video premiere

Hellsingland Underground on “Carnival Beyond the Hills”:

Carnival Beyond The Hills is a song is about feeling surrounded by idiots, forever searching for your flock and about never giving up. It is pretty representative for the new sound of the whole album. The video is handpainted stop motion lyric video made by singer Charlie Granberg.

Buy A Hundred Years is Nothing: https://smarturl.it/hu-a-hundred-years
Follow Hellsingland Underground on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2RFbitT

Idea, visual concept, animation & editing by Charlie Granberg.

The Swedish sextet Hellsingland Underground is back with their fifth full length studio album called “A Hundred Years Is Nothing”, due to release on August 30. On August 9, the first single “Carnival Beyond The Hills” is released together with a lyric video. The sound on this album is a big step forward for the band, both sound- and songwriting wise. You can still sense their early day folk and blues influences, but you’ll also hear echoes of Pink Floyd, Queen and The Doors.

Mini-moogs, mellotron and acoustic guitars has been added into a perfect mix of great personal lyrics, and some of the finest songwriting to ever come from a Swedish rock band. “A Hundred Years Is Nothing” is their strongest album to date, no doubt.

Hellsingland Underground is:
CHARLIE GRANBERG – LEAD VOCALS & HARMONICA
JERRY ASK – LEAD & RHYTHM GUITAR, VOCALS
PETER HENRIKSSON – LEAD & RHYTHM GUITAR, VOCALS
MARTIN KARLSSON – BASS, VOCALS
THOMAS PETTERSSON – PIANO & ORGAN
PATRIK JANSSON – DRUMS & PERCUSSION

Hellsingland Underground on Thee Facebooks

Hellsingland Underground website

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Monolord to Release No Comfort Sept. 20; New Song Streaming Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

monolord

Pretty much called it that Monolord‘s new album would be out to coincide with their upcoming Fall touring. Even the Gothenburg trio don’t hit it that hard on back-to-back runs without a new album to support. The timing just makes sense. Plus, getting the record out in September lines them up for all kinds of best-of-the-year accolades, which it seems like this is a prime moment for them to snag, what with debuting on Relapse and having three killer LPs’ worth of momentum behind them. They’re going to be touring this one for a while, I’d imagine — all of 2020 at least — so this is just the start of a new cycle, but while you listen to the reimagined C.O.C. “Albatross” riff at the beginning of “The Bastard Son” below, I think you can only agree theirs is a cause well worth supporting. Relapse certainly seems to think so, and they’ve certainly made a few killer picks along the way.

Art, tracklisting, preorders, tour dates and, finally, the song itself follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

monolord no comfort

MONOLORD: Announce Relapse Records Debut No Comfort Coming September 20

Swedish trio MONOLORD announce their Relapse Records’ debut, No Comfort, coming September 20th.

“This one has been the most challenging yet,” said MONOLORD in a collective statement. “As always striving for evolvement, but within the Monolord realm and with that inviting another person into that process. We hope you like it.”

No Comfort pre-orders are on-sale now, with several limited-edition vinyl variants available, including a Relapse.com exclusive in partnership with Orange Amps. The 100-piece release features the actual material used to wrap Orange Amps and is pressed on neon orange vinyl. The set includes an exclusive two-sided Orange Amps inspired t-shirt and guitar pick set. To view this set as well as the CD/2xLP/CS and digital pre-orders that are available, visit https://ffm.to/monolordnocomfort.

No Comfort Tracklist:
The Bastard Son
The Last Leaf
Larvae
Skywards
Alone Together Forever Divided
No Comfort

MONOLORD Tour Dates:

Aug 08-10 Moledo, PT Sonic Blast
Sep 06-08 Sao Paulo, BR Setembro Negro Festival

— All Headline EU Dates Sep 28 – Oct 26 w/ Firebreather —

Sep 28 London, UK @ The Garage (w/ Ufomammut)
Sep 29 Sheffield, UK @ HRH Doom V Stoner
Sep 30 Bournemouth, UK @ The Anvil
Oct 01 Utrecht, NL @ De Helling
Oct 02 Brussels, BE @ Magasin 4
Oct 03 Pratteln, CH @ Up In Smoke Festival
Oct 04 Reims, FR @ La Cartonnerie
Oct 05 Paris, FR @ Saturday Mud Fever Festival
Oct 07 Dortmund, DE @ Junkyard
Oct 08 Nuremberg, DE @ B-Zau
Oct 09 Cologne, DE @ Helios 37
Oct 10 Mainz, DE @ Schon Schon
Oct 11 Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
Oct 16 Oslo, NO @ John Dee
Oct 17 Gothenburg, SE @ Sticky Fingers
Oct 18 Malmo, SE @ Babel
Oct 23 Linkoping, SE @ The Crypt
Oct 24 Stockholm, SE @ Close Up Baten
Oct 25 Tampere, FI @ Olympia
Oct 26 Helsinki, FI @ Nosturi

— All Headline US Dates Nov 04 – 27 w/ Blackwater Holylight —

Nov 05 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick
Nov 06 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Nov 07 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
Nov 09 Austin, TX @ Levitation x Relapse Showcase
Nov 10 Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room
Nov 11 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
Nov 12 Atlanta, GA @ The 529
Nov 13 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
Nov 14 Richmond, VA @ Camel
Nov 15 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
Nov 16 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
Nov 17 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Nov 20 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Nov 21 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle
Nov 22 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Nov 23 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
Nov 25 Denver, CO @ Marquis
Nov 27 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

MONOLORD Is:
Esben Willems – Drums
Thomas Jäger – Guitar Vocals
Mika Häkki – Bass

monolord.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/MonolordSweden
monolord.com
http://relapse.com
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

Monolord, “The Bastard Son”

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Goatess Set Sept. 27 Release for Blood and Wine

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

goatess

It’s a different Goatess this time around. Since the arrival of 2016’s II: Purgatory Under New Management (review here), the Swedish doom traditionalists have swapped out bassists and frontmen, and the Sept. 27 release of Blood and Wine will be their first record with Karl Buhre on vocals and Samuel Cornelsen (also Count Raven) handling low end. Buhre in particular has some rather sizable shoes to fill — those of Christian “Chritus” Linderson — but certainly guitarist Niklas Jones and drummer Kenta Karlbom have established a presence of their own over the course of the band’s two full-lengths to-date, so I look forward to digging into the new one and hearing what the personnel swap turns up in terms of their overall dynamic. The PR wire hints toward some desert rock vibes, which only has me more curious.

No audio yet, but here’s art and info and the always-coveted preorder link:

Goatess Blood and Wine

GOATESS set release date for new SVART album

Svart Records announces September 27th as the international release date for Goatess’ highly anticipated third album, Blood and Wine, on CD and vinyl LP formats.

Goatess summon the frenzy and religious ecstasy of a Bacchus cult with the aptly titled Blood and Wine. Riffs of biblical, Cecil B. DeMille magnitude part the Red Sea and chariot their way across the dunes like a relentless raging Roman legion. Expert songwriting by modern veterans of the scene, Sweden’s Goatess take the traditional doom metal foundations of Saint Vitus, Trouble, and early Cathedral out to the desert and mold it into a set of arid, hypnotic stoner grooves. Bringing to mind modern classics of desert rock like the catchier moments of Kyuss’ Sky Valley and Corrosion Of Conformity’s Blind albums, Blood and Wine is a thirst-quenching refreshment in a parched dust bowl. The revitalized lineup of Kenta Karlbom (drums) and Niklas Jones (guitar) with new initiates Karl Buhre (vocals) and Samuel Cornelsen (bass) have struck a mother lode of gold with their rich doom pedigree and a newfound lifeblood in their chemistry. Having already tread the hallowed boards of sonic temples all over Europe several times, Blood and Wine will see the Goatess cult of doom enthusiasts drawn in anew and the Bacchanalia cult swelling in their hooded numbers.

Nine doses of intoxicating mesmerism that showcase seasoned and masterful command of doom-craft, this album marks Goatess finding a stride in their cloven hooves. Captivating and subtly epic songs steamroll a slow descent into the underworld deserts of your mind, providing a suitable companion to nights of group debauchery or solo excursions to the soul’s outer limits. Giving in to the Bacchanalia at the heart of this record induces a mythical orgy of sonic Sabbathian riff-worship that’s impossible to deny. Once you pop the cork on this barrel-fermented vintage cask, you will enjoy and savor every heavy gulp until the very last drop.

First track premiere to be revealed shortly. Preorder info can be found HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Goatess’ Blood and Wine
1. Goddess
2. Dead City
3. What Lies Beneath
4. Black Iron Mark
5. Dark Days
6. Dunerider
7. Jupiter Rising
8. Stampede
9. Blood and Wine

https://www.facebook.com/baldersounds
http://www.svartrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (2016)

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Year of the Goat Post “Avaritia” Video; Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis out Sept. 6

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

How’s your Latin? Mine stinks. Sweden’s Year of the Goat seem to have a handle on the grammar though, and that’s fortunate as regards the cult rockers naming their new album Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis. The offering will be made with the backing of Napalm Records on Sept. 6, and preorders and a new video for the song “Avaritia” are both up right now. The tracklisting is duly ending-in-vowels (opener “Subortus” aside), and one imagines the release itself carries no shortage of ensuing drama as the line between what’s cult and what’s goth seems to be blurring generally. These guys haven’t had the same hype as some plying their trade in the dark arts, but they’ve got that aesthetic pretty much down, as the video shows. I guess some people on the internets said the art looks like something Batushka did? I’m gonna go with “yeah not really” on that one, at least going by my immediate search results for that band’s album covers.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

year of the goat Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis

Occult rock masters YEAR OF THE GOAT reveal album details, brand new video + kick off pre-order!

Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis coming this September on Napalm Records!

September 6th will see Swedish occult rock masters YEAR OF THE GOAT return with their brand new opus, Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis, on Napalm Records. Today the band is not only sharing the initial album details, spectacular album artwork, but also a brand new music video for the hard-hitting rock juggernaut Avaritia!

“Four years of neverending lust for creativity. For years of gluttony and decadence within our most sacred temple. For years of unspeakable boiling wrath. For years of greed filled wastefulness. Now, envy us in our moment of pride.” the band states.

Evoking a musically, sinister reality that surrounds us in this world with the majestic sound by YEAR OF THE GOAT, the occult rock collective adds a fire to the chaos with the band’s third studio album. In these times of global upheaval, the band’s upcoming record will celebrate your sins “[…] and rejoice in the perverseness of evil”, but one is definitely clear: The YEAR OF THE GOAT is now! Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis showcases YEAR OF THE GOAT’s roots in the darker sounds of the 60’s and 70’s, while they have never sounded so bracing before. Captivating tracks such as the just released Avaritia indulge in the finest occult rock full of blackened heart`s blood and elegiac melody lines that will haunt your dreams!

Watch the brand new video for Avaritia HERE!

Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis Tracklisting:
1. Subortus
2. Acedia
3. Luxuria
4. Ira
5. Superbia
6. Gula
7. Avaritia
8. Invidia
9. Subicio

Coming September 6th 2019 with Napalm Records and available as LP, CD and digital formats, the pre-order has just started at THIS LOCATION!

YEAR OF THE GOAT is:
Thomas Sabbathi – vocals, guitar
Jonas Mattsson – guitar
Linus Lundgren – guitar
Daniel Melo – drums
Joona Hassinen – bass
Pope – mellotron, vocals

www.facebook.com/yearofthegoat
www.napalmrecords.com

Year of the Goat, “Avaritia” official video

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Saint Karloff & Devil’s Witches Announce Coven of the Ultra-Riff Split out Sept. 6

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Preorders go live later this week for Coven of the Ultra-Riff, a new split due out Sept. 6 from Saint Karloff and Devil’s Witches that I have no doubt will live up to its name with a due sense of worship. It’s the first vinyl release from Majestic Mountain Records, and tapes will be handled by Stoner Witch Records, and with limited numbers in both formats, I’d be surprised if they weren’t gone before the release date actually arrives.

The twist here is that in addition to each band bringing an original track, they also cover each other’s work, so you get Saint Karloff playing Devil’s Witches and vice versa. Kind of a cool idea, and the bands certainly have their commonalities in terms of the titular “ultra-riff,” but there are some aesthetic differences as well and I’d be interested to hear how those come across in the covers.

Here’s the info for the vinyl and preorders when the time comes:

saint karloff devils witches coven of the ultra riff

Saint Karloff / Devil’s Witches – Coven of the Ultra-Riff

MMR-001: TRANSPARENT GREEN/BLACK MARBLED EDITION LTD. 700 COPIES
??
PRE-ORDER OPENS 19:00 CEST/6PM BST/1PM EST, JULY THE 19TH!
??
OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE SEPTEMBER 6TH
??
Coven of the Ultra-Riff is the epic new split from Saint Karloff and Devil’s Witches. Each band brings a brand new track and a reimagined cover song of the other’s work. The brand new songs are as heavy and riff laden as the title suggests. The cover songs have been stylistically reversed with Devil’s Witches providing an acoustic version of ‘Ghostsmoker’ and Saint Karloff electrifying the originally acoustic ‘Supervixen’. This monumental matchup of musical minds demands to be heard in superior vinyl format.
??
The split comes in a transparent green/black marbled 180 grams 12″ vinyl housed in a single sleeve cover incl. double sided insert; one side for each band. Cover artwork by Brouemaster Visual Decay with design by Devil’s Witches, insert artwork and design by Devil’s Witches.
??
Saint Karloff side Mastered for vinyl by Steve Kitch, Audiomaster.
Devil’s Witches side Mastered for vinyl by Joona Hassinen, Studio Underjord
??
Tracklisting Saint Karloff side:
At The Mountains Of Loudness
Supervixen (Electric Return)
??
Tracklisting Devil’s Witches side:
Love Is Doom, A Fistful Of Napalm
Ghostsmoker (Acoustic Return)
??
The split also includes:
– Two A3 posters – One designed by Devil’s Witches and the other designed by @shanehorror
– Split and Label stickers
??
NOTE This is a album mockup and the actual product might differ from the photo shown here.

Cassette release by Stoner Witch Records

https://www.facebook.com/SaintKarloff/
https://www.facebook.com/devilswitches/
https://www.facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords/
https://www.facebook.com/stonerwitchrecords/

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Quarterly Review: Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Black Lung, Giant Dwarf, Land Mammal, Skunk, Silver Devil, Sky Burial, Wizzerd, Ian Blurton, Cosmic Fall

Posted in Reviews on July 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Got my laptop back. Turned out the guy had to give me a new hard drive entirely, clone all my data on it, and scrap the other drive. I’m sure if I took it to another technician they’d have said something completely different, either for better or worse, but it was $165 and I got my computer back, working, in a day, so I can’t really complain. Worth the money, obviously, even though it was $40 more than the estimate. I assume that was a mix of “new hard drive” and “this is the last thing I’m doing before a four-day weekend.” Either way, totally legit. Bit of stress on my part, but what’s a Quarterly Review without it?

This ends the week, but there’s still one more batch of 10 reviews to go on Monday, so I won’t delay further, except to say more to come.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Elizabeth Colour Wheel, Nocebo

elizabeth colour wheel nocebo

A rare level of triumph for a first album, Elizabeth Colour Wheel‘s aesthetic scope and patience of craft on Nocebo result in a genre-spanning post-noise rock that maintains an atmospheric heft whether loud or quiet at any given moment, and a sense of unpredictability that feels born out of a genuinely forward-thinking songwriting process. It is dark, emotionally resonant, beautiful and crushing across its eight songs and 47 minutes, as the Philadelphia five-piece ebb and flow instrumentally behind a standout vocal performance that reminds of Julie Christmas circa Battle of Mice on “Life of a Flower” but is ultimately more controlled and all the more lethal for that. Bouts of extremity pop up at unexpected times and the songs flow into each other so as to make all of Nocebo feel like a single, multi-hued work, which it just might be as it moves into ambience between “Hide Behind (Emmett’s Song)” and “Bedrest” before exploding to life again in “34th” and transitioning directly into the cacophonous apex that comes with closer “Head Home.” One of the best debuts of 2019, if not the best.

Elizabeth Colour Wheel on Thee Facebooks

The Flenser on Bandcamp

 

Black Lung, Ancients

black lung ancients

Ancients is the third full-length from Baltimore’s Black Lung, whose heavy blues rock takes a moodier approach from the outset of “Mother of the Sun” onward, following an organ-led roll in that opener that calls to mind All Them Witches circa Lightning at the Door and following 2016’s See the Enemy (review here) with an even firmer grasp on their overarching intent. The title-track is shorter at 3:10 and offers some post-rock flourish in the guitar amid its otherwise straight-ahead push, but there’s a tonal depth to add atmosphere to whatever moves they’re making at the time, “The Seeker” and “Voices” rounding out side A with relatively grounded swing and traditionalist shuffle but still catching attention through pace and presentation alike. That holds true as “Gone” drifts into psychedelic jamming at the start of side B, and the chunkier “Badlands,” the dramatic “Vultures” and the controlled wash of “Dead Man Blues” take the listener into some unnamed desert without a map or exit strategy. It’s a pleasure to get lost as Ancients plays through, and Black Lung remain a well-kept secret of the East Coast underground.

Black Lung on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Noisolution website

 

Giant Dwarf, Giant Dwarf

Giant Dwarf Giant Dwarf

This just fucking rules, and I feel no need to couch my critique in any more flowery language than that. Driving, fuzzy heavy rock topped with post-Homme melodies that doesn’t sacrifice impact for attitude, the self-released, self-titled debut from Perth, Australia’s Giant Dwarf is a sans-pretense 35 minutes of groove done right. They may be playing to genre, fine, but from the cover art on down, they’re doing so with a sense of personality and a readiness to bring an individual sensibility to their sound. I dig it. Summery tones, rampant vocal melodies in layers, solid rhythmic foundation beneath. The fact that it’s the five-piece’s first album makes me look less for some kind of stylistic nuance, but it’s there to be heard anyway in “Disco Void” and the bouncing end of “High Tide Blues,” and in surrounding cuts like “Repeat After Defeat” and “Strange Wool,” Giant Dwarf set to the task before them with due vitality, imagining Songs for the Deaf with Fu Manchu tonality in “Kepler.” No big surprise, but yeah, it definitely works. Someone should be beating down the door to sign this band.

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Land Mammal, Land Mammal

land mammal land mammal

Land Mammal‘s debut outing is a 14-minute, proof-of-concept four-songer EP with clarity of presentation and telegraphed intent. Marked out by the Robert Plant-style vocal heroics of Kinsley August, the band makes the most of a bluesy atmosphere behind him, with Will Weise on wah-ready guitar, Phillip PJ Soapsmith on bass, Stephen Smith on drums and True Turner on keys. On opener “Dark with Rain” and closer “Better Days,” they find a pastoral vibe that draws from ’90s alternative, thinking Blind Melon particularly in the finale, but “Earth Made Free” takes a bluesier angle and “Drippin’ Slow” is not shy about nor ashamed of its danceability, as its lyrics demonstrate. For all the crispness of the production, Land Mammal still manage to sound relatively natural, which is all the more encouraging in terms of moving forward, but it’ll be interesting to hear how they flesh out their sound over the course of a full-length, since even as an EP, this self-titled is short. They have songwriting, performance and production on their side, however, so something tells me they’ll be just fine.

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Skunk, Strange Vibration

skunk strange vibration

Even before they get to the ultra-“N.I.B.” patterning of second track “Stand in the Sun,” Skunk‘s Sabbathian loyalties are well established, and they continue on that line, through the “War Pigs”-ness of “Goblin Orgy” (though I’ll give them bonus points for that title), and the slower “A National Acrobat” roll of “The Black Crown,” and while that’s not the only influence under which Skunk are working — clearly — it’s arguably the most forward. They’ve been on a traditional path since 2015’s mission-statement EP, Heavy Rock from Elder Times (review here), and as Strange Vibration is their second album behind 2017’s Doubleblind (review here), they’ve only come more into focus in terms of what they’re doing overall. They throw a bit of swagger into “Evil Eye Gone Blind” and “Star Power” toward the end of the record — more Blackmore or Leslie West than Iommi — but keep the hooks center through it all, and cap with a welcome bit of layered melody on “The Cobra’s Kiss.” Based in Oakland, they don’t quite fit in with the Californian boogie scene to the south, but standing out only seems to suit Strange Vibration all the more.

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Silver Devil, Paralyzed

Silver Devil Paralyzed

Like countrymen outfits in Vokonis or to a somewhat lesser degree Cities of Mars, Gävle-based riffers Silver Devil tap into Sleep as a core influence and work outward from there. In the case of their second album, Paralyzed (on Ozium Records), they work far out indeed, bringing a sonic largesse to bear through plus-sized tonality and distorted vocals casting echoes across a wide chasm of the mix. “Rivers” or the later, slower-rolling “Octopus” rightfully present this as an individual take, and it ends up being that one way or the other, with the atmosphere becoming essential to the character of the material. There are some driving moments that call to mind later Dozer — or newer Greenleaf, if you prefer — such as the centerpiece “No Man Traveller,” but the periodic bouts of post-rock bring complexity to that assessment as well, though in the face of the galloping crescendo of “The Grand Trick,” complexity is a secondary concern to the outright righteousness with which Silver Devil take familiar elements and reshape them into something that sounds fresh and engaging. That’s basically the story of the whole record, come to think of it.

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Sky Burial, Sokushinbutsu

sky burial Sokushinbutsu

Comprised of guitarist/vocalist/engineer Vessel 2 and drummer/vocalist Vessel 1 (also ex-Mühr), Sky Burial release their debut EP, Sokushinbutsu, through Break Free Records, and with it issue two songs of densely-weighted riff and crash, captured raw and live-sounding with an edge of visceral sludge thanks to the harsh vocals laid overtop. The prevailing spirit is as much doom as it is crust throughout “Return to Sender” (8:53) and the 10:38 title-track — the word translating from Japanese to “instant Buddha” — and as “Sokushinbutsu” kicks the tempo of the leadoff into higher gear, the release becomes a wash of blown-out tone with shouts cutting through that’s very obviously meant to be as brutal as it absolutely is. They slow down eventually, then slow down more, then slow down more — you see where this is going — until eventually the feedback seems to consume them and everything else, and the low rumble of guitar gives way to noise and biting vocalizations. As beginnings go, Sokushinbutsu is willfully wretched and animalistic, a manifested sonic nihilism that immediately stinks of death.

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Wizzerd, Wizzerd

wizzerd st

One finds Montana’s Wizzerd born of a similar Upper Midwestern next-gen take on classic heavy as that of acts like Bison Machine and Midas. Their Cursed Tongue Records-delivered self-titled debut album gives a strong showing of this foundation, less boogie-based than some, with just an edge of heavy metal to the riffing and vocals that seems to derive not directly from doom, but definitely from some ’80s metal stylizations. Coupled with ’70s and ’90s heavy rocks, it’s a readily accessible blend throughout the nine-song/51-minute LP, but a will toward the epic comes through in theme as well as the general mood of the riffs, and even in the drift of “Wizard” that’s apparent. Taken in kind with the fuzzblaster “Wraith,” the winding motion of the eponymous closer and with the lumbering crash of “Warrior” earlier, the five-piece’s sound shows potential to distinguish itself further in the future through taking on fantasy subject matter lyrically as well as playing to wall-sized grooves across the board, even in the speedy first half of “Phoenix,” with its surprising crash into the wall of its own momentum.

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Ian Blurton, Signals Through the Flames

Ian Blurton Signals Through the Flames

The core of Ian Blurton‘s Signals Through the Flames is in tight, sharply-executed heavy rockers like “Seven Bells” and “Days Will Remain,” classic in their root but not overly derivative, smartly and efficiently composed and performed. The Toronto-based Blurton has been making and producing music for over three decades in various guises and incarnations, and with these nine songs, he brings into focus a songcraft that is more than enough to carry song like “Nothing Left to Lose” and opener “Eye of the Needle,” which bookends with the 6:55 “Into Dust,” the closer arriving after a final salvo with the Scorpionic strut of “Kick out the Lights” and the forward-thrust-into-ether of “Night of the Black Goat.” If this was what Ghost had ended up sounding like, I’d have been cool with that. Blurton‘s years of experience surely come into play in this work, a kind of debut under his own name and/or that of Ian Blurton’s Future Now, but the songs come through as fresh regardless and “The March of Mars” grabs attention not with pedigree, but simply by virtue of its own riff, which is exactly how it should be. It’s subtle in its variety, but those willing to give it a repeat listen or two will find even more reward for doing so.

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Cosmic Fall, Lackland

Cosmic Fall Lackland

“Lackland” is the first new material Berlin three-piece Cosmic Fall have produced since last year’s In Search of Space (review here) album, which is only surprising given the frequency with which they once jammed out a record every couple of months. The lone 8:32 track is a fitting reminder of the potency in the lineup of guitarist Marcin Morawski, bassist Klaus Friedrich and drummer Daniel Sax, and listening to the Earthless-style shred in Morawski‘s guitar, one hopes it won’t be another year before they come around again. As it stands, they make the eight minutes speed by with volcanic fervor and an improvised sensibility that feels natural despite the song’s ultimately linear trajectory. Could be a one-off, could be a precursor to a new album. I’d prefer the latter, obviously, but I’ll take what I can get, and if that’s “Lackland,” then so be it.

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