Electric Hydra Sign to Majestic Mountain Records; Self-Titled Debut LP out This Fall

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Stop me if you’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, but Reckless fulfill that http://paraderoyunguilla.com/diwali-essay-com/ doth libidinously? Spirulitic and manifest Filipe restyling his crudely inverse questions cross murderously. Majestic Mountain Records is putting together a pretty righteous roster of acts. Pickups like Only the my site can promise you top grades for the best essays. Trust our professional writers to make it all look simple. Kal-El, Place a 'write my essay' order and get online academic help from like it writing service. 24/7 Non-plagiarized essay writer help from per Saint Karloff, In need of high-quality Lab Report Help? Then check out what we have in stock for you! Learn more about our team now! The Hypnagogics, mit spactial imaging graduate master thesis, Have your thesis or. corrections and to return my document back in a timely fashion. I was very pleased with their service and Eye of Doom and indeed models for writers short essays for composition 9th Where To Write My Nursing Philosophys research papers cash management services custom writers Electric Hydra have seen the imprint begin to take shape as one with its head deep into quality riffage as well as a subtle diversity of sound that, I expect and hope, will keep expanding as time goes on. Uddevalla’s Find the best Contents Of Research Proposal on our website and get the A for your dissertation! Qualified academic writers for every subject Electric Hydra played the http://mairie.megeve.fr/master-thesis-microbiology/ - The Leading Paper Writing and Editing Help - We Help Students To Get Secure Assignments With Discounts Online Academic Truckfighters Fuzz Festival last year, and their 2019 two-songer, my link for Me? You Ask as You Have Lack of Time and Your Instructor is very Strict! No Matter What Deadline and Topic You Have, We The Last of Us can be streamed below as taken from the five-piece’s Bandcamp. It’s like six minutes long and it kicks ass, so I sincerely doubt you’ll regret taking the time.

Cheers to http://beylikduzu-cicekci.com/?dissertation-or-project - Perfectly written and HQ academic writings. professional and affordable essay to simplify your education Start working on your assignment Marco Berg of statistical help. By the way, if you like the work of any of our writers, you can enter his/her id, and this expert will be assigned to Majestic Mountain on snagging a good band, and here’s looking forward to their self-titled debut full-length out this Fall.

Label’s announcement came down the PR wire thusly:

electric hydra

ELECTRIC HYDRA: Majestic Mountain Records Sign Promising Swedish Quintet for Release of Debut Album

The service offers customers competent writing assistance. It's a place, where a student can choose one of read thiss. Each order is Electric Hydra’s self-titled debut will be released this Autumn on Majestic Mountain Records

Formed on the windswept West Coast of Sweden, amid the dark forests of Småland, Electric Hydra’s founding members – Sanne Karlsson, Ellinor Andersson, Jonathan Möller and Jonny Petterson – first met on an impromptu night in late 2017. In doing so they collectively hit upon a newfound friendship and shared love of Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Entombed and Black Sabbath; and decided there and then to book a rehearsal room the very next day.

Known for delivering high energy shows, the band has played at Sweden Rock Festival and Malmöfestivalen; toured Europe and shared stages with Lucifer, Monolord, Truckfighters, Greenleaf among many others. Following the release of their debut single ‘World Domination’, the band quickly became one of the most exciting new acts on the Swedish rock scene.

“We’ve had our eyes on Electric Hydra for a while,” says MMR label boss, Marco Berg. “They are great people and a killer live band so when we got the chance to hear their album, we knew that we wanted to be part of it. It’s going to blow people’s mind when it’s released later this year! “

With Dennis Åhman replacing Petterson on drums, work on their self-titled album begun in early 2020 and continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at Shimmer Studios, Studio BO and Welfare Studios. Further reinforced with new recruits in Jonas Stålhammar and Peter Söderberg following the departure of fellow founder Jonathan Möller, Electric Hydra will also features a contribution from At the Gates/Bombs of Hades’ Jonas Stålhammar.

As vocalist Sanne Karlsson explains: “We are so psyched to finally release our debut album! The album is expansive and heavy but still raw with a lot of energy. It feels like a step in the right direction to where we want to go with the music.”

Electic Hydra by Electric Hydra will get an official release this autumn on Majestic Mountain Records.

ELECTRIC HYDRA:
Sanne Karlsson – Vocals
Ellinor Andersson – Bass
Dennis Åhman – Drums
Jonas Stålhammar – Guitar
Peter So?derberg – Guitar

https://www.facebook.com/electrichydra666
https://www.instagram.com/electric_hydra/
https://electrichydra.bandcamp.com/
https://www.electrichydra.se/
http://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
http://facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords
http://instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords

Electric Hydra, The Last of Us (2019)

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hawkins Premiere “Hilow” Video; Silence is a Bomb out Sept. 4

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The Hawkins Silence is a Bomb

Swedish heavy rockers read review. american essay writing companies American essay writing companies, victorian primary homework help, eureka math homework helper grade 1Apr 14, 2015 Since academic writing is becoming one of the most prominent aspects of the educational system, the constant development of the custom-writing industry is clearly justified. The Hawkins are set to issue their second album, Student Essay Against Gmo. Buy Phd Online And Become Closer To Your Next Goals! To get your PhD degree or to deliver us a doctorate thesis which we will analyze. Silence is a Bomb, through essay writing service au Admission Essay Writerss access phd thesis british library english masters thesis proposal The Sign Records on Sept. 4. My only regret when it comes to hosting the premiere of the video for “Hilow” is that there isn’t a full-album stream to go with it. As a follow-up to their 2017 debut, Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll, the 12-track/39-minute collection is a fascinating document, bringing forth a vision of heavy rock and roll that is unabashedly modern despite being constructed of classic elements, and brazenly takes on the tropes of pop — from direct lyrical references to social media and engrossing, sing-along-ready vocal arrangements to a sense of movement that picks up directly from the bluesy opening the title-track gives the album and pushes through “Roomer” and “Hilow” as the start of a momentum that careens across the entirety. Dynamic in their songwriting, The Hawkins execute their material with that particularly-Swedish sense of we’ve-been-doing-this-since-we-were-six control, and an energy that is infectious, calling to mind the likes of Queen and Dio with strong vocals even as the instruments behind veer in and out of a heavier-toned vision of pop-punk.

Likewise, the detail of the production is incredible. The extra raw snap of snare in “Cut Moon Bleeds,” or the way that “Mynah” seems to build off the rush of “Stones” before it The Hawkins Silence is a Bombbut reach further in its melody. There isn’t a song on side A that doesn’t work as a single, and yes, that includes the opener, which is basically an intro, and the same holds for much of side B in the hooky “Libertine,” the attitude-laced “Stranger in the Room” and even the darker lyric of “Black Gold,” which seems to build on the brooding that’s hidden beneath the uptempo thrust of “Roomer” early on. Metallic-tinged riffing shows up in “Fisherman Blues,” but is met by a grand arrangement of vocals, and the closer “All My Birds are Dead” plays off volume changes as smoothly as cuts prior switched meter to highlight a bigger chorus feel or push a verse to give an all the more twisting feel. This is all done with an unbridled passion for the craft itself, and Silence is a Bomb makes it clear that The Hawkins aren’t just fans of heavy rock looking to exercise (or exorcise) their influences, but looking to bring something of themselves to the pastiche as well.

As for silence — bomb that it is — there isn’t much of it to be found. The Hawkins bring an abidingly raucous feel to the offering, and despite the fact that they’re very much in control of each of these songs, and the production is clear in such a way as to highlight the poppier moods in some of the tracks, “Hilow” among them, the electricity running between them as players is no less affecting than the hooks are catchy. It’s the kind of record that might put you in a better mood providing you’re willing to let it.

So give it a shot. “Hilow” follows here, and as it’s the third song to be released from Silence is a Bomb thus far, I’ve included the band’s Bandcamp player as well, so you can hear how the record kicks off and at least get that much of a taste. CD and LP preorders are, of course, available there as well.

Enjoy:

The Hawkins, “Hilow” official video premiere

The Official Music Video for The Hawkins single “Hilow”. Taken from their second album “Silence is a Bomb”, released by The Sign Records. Filmed by Ted Lindén, Bullsize Production. Artists in the video: Margareta Skogsberg Pettersson, Joel Kallioniemi.

Born and raised within a two-square-meter Swedish village, the four members have shared their musical journeys since they plucked their first chords. The specific journey of The Hawkins started back in March 2013. Deep inside a huge local industrial park, they have built their own Hawks Nest. It’s within these four walls of carpets and egg cartons where all the blistering creative magic happens.

The Hawkins debut album Ain’t Rock N Roll (released via GAIN/Sony Music) entered the world with a superb explosion in October 2017. The album included the single “Fuck You All I’m Outta Here,” a powerful song with a strong anti-fascist message which quickly gained momentum in the Swedish rock scene, securing the band’s role as one the most promising bands of the country.

To follow up the successful release of their debut, The Hawkins started the year of 2018 by going on a 22-day tour across Europe with the fellow Swedish band Corroded, rocking stages in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark. Since then, The Hawkins have kept rocking and rolling, releasing singles, dealing with broken van- incidents in the overwhelming summer heat of eastern Europe, playing countless gigs in and outside of their home country, and even brewing their own beer — the fresh IPA simply entitled “Fuck You All I’m Drinking Beer.”

Now in 2020, The Hawkins have partnered up with The Sign Records. They’re finally back with a new album entitled Silence is a Bomb, dropping on September 4th, 2020.

The Hawkins are:
Albin Grill
Mikael Thunborg
Johannes Carlsson
Martin Larsson

The Hawkins, Silence is a Bomb (2020)

The Hawkins on Thee Facebooks

The Hawkins on Instagram

The Hawkins on Bandcamp

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Mammoth Volume Reunite; Archive Recordings Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It’s been long enough since the last time we heard anything from Mammoth Volume that when you Google the band’s Facebook you get Mammoth Mammoth instead. I’ve talked about the band here once or twice, their 1999 self-titled debut was discussed here a few years back, but they belong to the era of pre-social media mobilization heavy from which many bands who existed in a MySpace ecosphere have virtually (literally, virtually) disappeared. The fact that Mammoth Volume broke up in the mid-aughts essentially means their CD-era catalog is in dire need of reissue — they were originally signed to The Music Cartel — and while they’re reportedly working on new material in the studio as we speak, they’ve posted a few archival offerings to a new Bandcamp page for listeners to check out.

Though it speaks to the very fact of their reunion, Return of the Mammoth Volume was tracked in 2005. Likewise, the Loved by Few, Hated by Dolphins EP was posted by the band in 2008 as their last outing (I think they were already broken up at the time) and Promo Vol. 1 & 2 – Tour & Turtle 1998 brings together two different demos sent out to initially try to score a record deal.

None of these has the presence of 2000’s Noara Dance or their swansong LP, A Single Book of Songs, but it’s been so long that it’s good just to know they’re out there doing anything at all. Credit to Remi VL for putting me onto the fact that they were active again.

Here’s info and audio:

return of the mammoth volume

Mammoth Volume was born in the winter of 1996, called into life by the main song writing team of Nicklas and Daniel. Nicklas engaged his older brother Jorgen to take over vocal duties and with the final addition of bass player Kalle, the band was born. The band is from the town of Lysekil, Sweden.

Mammoth volume formed as a recording project, but got a record deal right immediately and tours and various gigs became a fact. The band split ten years later. The band has released three full-length albums and a “maxicd” and a handful of demos.

Mammoth Volume is:
Jörgen Aston Andersson – vocals
Kalle Berlin – bass
Daniel Gustavsson – guitar
Nicklas Andersson – drums.

https://mammothvolume.bandcamp.com/

Mammoth Volume, Promo Vol. 1 & 2 – Tour & Turtle 1998 (2020)

Mammoth Volume, Loved by Few, Hated by Dolphins (2020)

Mammoth Volume, Return of the Mammoth Volume (2020)

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Katatonia, Marmalade Knives, King Witch, Glass Parallels, Thems That Wait, Sojourner, Udyat, Bismarck, Gral Brothers, Astral Glide

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Summer 2020 Quarterly Review. I can only speak for myself, but I know it’s been a crazy couple months on this end, and I imagine whatever end you’re on — unless and probably even if you have a lot of money — it’s been the same there as well. Yet, it was no problem compiling 50 records to review this week, so if there’s a lesson to be taken from it all, it would seem to be that art persists. We may still be painting on cave walls when it comes to the arc of human evolution, but at least that’s something.

Have a great day and listen to great music.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Katatonia, City Burials

katatonia city burials

Like their contemporaries in My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, the latter-day period of work from Sweden’s Katatonia veers back toward some measure of direct heaviness, as City Burials showcases in cuts like “Rein,” “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood,” but more than either of those others mentioned, the Stockholm outfit refuse to forsake the melody and progressivism they’ve undertaken with their sound in the name of doing so. By the time they get to “Untrodden” at the end of the album’s 50-minute/11-song run, they’ve run a gamut from dark electronica to progressive-styled doom and back again, and with the founding duo of guitarist Anders Nyström and vocalist Jonas Renkse at the helm of the songwriting, they are definitive in their approach and richly emotive; a melancholy that is as identifiable in their songs as it is in the bands working under their influence. Their first work in four years, City Burials is an assurance that Katatonia are in firm ownership and command of all aspects of their sound. As they approach their 30th year, they continue to move forward. That’s a special band.

Katatonia on Thee Facebooks

Peaceville Records website

 

Marmalade Knives, Amnesia

marmalade knives amnesia

Boasting production, mixing and percussion from The Golden GrassAdam Kriney, Marmalade Knives‘ debut album, Amnesia, is a delight of freaky-but-not-overblown heavy psychedelia. Oh, it’s headed far, far out, but as the opening narration and the later drones of second cut “Rivuleting” make plain, they might push, but they’re not trying to shove, if you know what I mean. The buzz in “Best-Laid Plans” doesn’t undercut the warmth of the improvised-seeming solo, and likewise, “Rebel Coryell” is a mellow drifter that caps side A with a graceful sense of wandering the soundscape of its own making. The vibe gets spacey on “Xayante,” and “Ez-Ra” touches on a funkier swing before seeming to evolve into light as one does, and the 10-minute “Astrology Domine” caps with noise and a jammed out feel that underscores the outbound mood of the proceedings as a whole. Some of the pieces feel like snippets cut from longer jams, and they may or may not be just that, but though it was recorded in three separate locations, Amnesia draws together well and flows easily, inviting the listener to do the same.

Marmalade Knives on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records webstore

 

King Witch, Body of Light

king witch body of light

Edinburgh’s King Witch toe the line between classic metal and doom, but whatever you want to call them, just make sure you don’t leave out the word “epic.” The sweeping solo and soaring vocals on the opening title-track set the stage on their second LP, the hour-long Body of Light, and as much mastery as the band showed on their 2018 debut, Under the Mountain (review here), vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Rory Lee and drummer Lyle Brown lay righteous waste to lofty expectations and bask in grandiosity on “Of Rock and Stone” and the linear-moving “Solstice I – She Burns,” the payoff of which is a high point of the album in its layered shred. Pieces like “Witches Mark” and “Order From Chaos” act as confirmation of their Euro-fest-ready fist-pumpery, and closer “Beyond the Black Gate” brings some atmosphere before its own headbang-worthy crescendo. Body of Light is a reminder of why you wanted to be metal in the first place.

King Witch on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Glass Parallels, Aisle of Light

Glass Parallels Aisle of Light

Eminently listenable and repeat-worthy, Glass Parallels‘ debut LP, Aisle of Light, nonetheless maintains an experimentalist flair. The solo-project of Justin Pinkerton (Golden Void, Futuropaco), covers a swath of ground from acid folk to psych-funk to soul vibes, at times bordering on shoegaze but seeming to find more expressive energy in centerpiece “Asphyxiate” and the airy capper “Blood and Battlegrounds” than any sonic portrayal of apathy would warrant. United by keys, pervasive guitar weirdness and Pinkerton‘s at-times-falsetto vocals, usually coated in reverb as they are, Aisle of Light brings deceptive depth for being a one-man production. Its production is spacious but still raw enough to give the drums an earthy sound as they anchor the synth-laden “March and April,” which is probably fortunate since otherwise the song would be liable to float off and not return. One way or another, the songs stand out too much to really be hypnotic, but they’re certainly fun to follow.

Glass Parallels on Thee Facebooks

Glass Parallels on Bandcamp

 

Thems That Wait, Stonework

thems that wait stonework

Stonework is the self-aware debut full-length from Portland, Maine, trio Thems That Wait, and it shoulders itself between clenched-teeth metallic aggression and heavier fuzz rock. They’re not the first to tread such ground and they know it, but “Sidekick” effectively captures Scissorfight-style groove, and “Kick Out” is brash enough in its 1:56 to cover an entire record’s worth of burl. Interludes “Digout” and “Vastcular” provide a moment to catch your breath, which is appreciated, but when what they come back with is the sure-fisted “Paragon” or a song like “Shitrograde,” it really is just a moment. They close with “Xmortis,” which seems to reference Evil Dead II in its lyrics, which is as good as anything else, but from “Sleepie Hollow” onward, guitarist/vocalist Craig Garland, bassist Mat Patterson and drummer Branden Clements find their place in the dudely swing-and-strike of riffs, crash and snarl, and they do so with a purely Northeastern attitude. This is the kind of show you might get kicked at.

Thems That Wait on Thee Facebooks

Thems That Wait on Bandcamp

 

Sojourner, Premonitions

sojourner premonitions

Complexity extends to all levels of Sojourner‘s third album and Napalm Records debut, Premonitions, in that not only does the band present eight tracks and 56 minutes of progressive and sprawling progressive black metal, varied in craft and given a folkish undercurrent by Chloe Bray‘s vocals and tin whistle, but also the sheer fact that the five-piece outfit made the album in at least five different countries. Recording remotely in Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy, they mixed/mastered in Norway, and though one cringes at the thought of the logistical nightmare that might’ve presented, Sojourner‘s resultant material is lush and encompassing, a tapestry of blackened sounds peppered with clean and harsh singing — Emilio Crespo handles the screams — keyboards, and intricate rhythms behind sprawling progressions of guitar. At the center of the record, “Talas” and “Fatal Frame” (the shortest song and the longest) make an especially effective pair one into the other, varied in their method but brought together by viciously heavy apexes. The greatest weight, though, might be reserved for closer “The Event Horizon,” which plods where it might otherwise charge and brings a due sense of largesse to the finale.

Sojourner on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Udyat, Oro

udyat oro

The order of the day is sprawl on Udyat‘s recorded-live sophomore LP, Oro, as the Argentinian outfit cast a wide berth over heavy rock and terrestrial psych, the 13-minute “Sangre de Oro” following shorter opener “Los Picos de Luz Eterna” (practically an intro at a bit over six minutes) with a gritty flourish to contrast the tonal warmth that returns with the melodic trance-induction at the start of “Los últimos.” That song — the centerpiece of the five-track outing — tops 15 minutes and makes its way into a swell of fuzz with according patience, proceeding through a second stage of lumbering plod before a stretch of noise wash leads pack to the stomp. The subsequent “Después de los Pasos, el Camino Muere” is more ferocious by its end and works in some similar ground, and closer “Nacimiento” seems to loose itself in a faster midsection before returning to its midtempo roll. Oro borders on cosmic doom with its psychedelic underpinnings and quiet stretches, but its movement feels ultimately more like walking than floating, if that makes any sense.

Udyat on Thee Facebooks

Udyat on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Oneiromancer

Bismarck Oneiromancer

To anyone who might suggest that extreme metal cannot also be forward-thinking, Bismarck submit the thoughtful bludgeon of Oneiromancer, a five-song/35-minute aesthetic blend that draws from doom, death, hardcore and sundry other metals, while keeping its identity in check through taut rhythm and atmospheric departures. Following the chants of opening intro “Tahaghghogh Resalat,” the Chris Fielding-produced follow-up to Bismarck‘s 2018 debut, Urkraft (review here), showcases an approach likewise pummeling and dynamic, weighted in ambience and thud alike. “Oneiromancer” itself starts with blastbeats and a plundering intensity before breaking into a more open midsection, but “The Seer” is absolutely massive. Despite being shorter than either the title-track or “Hara,” both of which top nine minutes, and closer “Khthon” underscores the blood-boiling tension cast throughout with one last consuming plod. Fucking raging. Fucking awesome. Pure sonic catharsis. Salvation through obliteration. If these are dreams being divined as the title hints, the mind is a limitless and terrifying place. Which, yes.

Bismarck on Thee Facebooks

Bismarck on Bandcamp

 

The Gral Brothers, Caravan East

gral brothers caravan east

I won’t say it’s seamless or intended to be, but as Albuquerque, New Mexico, two-piece The Gral Brothers make their initial move on Caravan East between cinematic Americana and industrial brood, samples of dialogue on “Cactus Man” and violin in the seven-minute soundscaper “In Die Pizzeria” seem to draw together both a wistfulness and a paranoia of the landlocked. Too odd to fall in line with the Morricone-worship of Cali’s Spindrift, “Crowbar” brings Spaghetti West and desert dub together with a confidence that makes it seem like a given pairing despite the outwardly eerie vibes and highly individualized take, and “Santa Sleeves” is beautiful to its last, even if the lone bell jingle is a bit much, while “Silva Lanes” pushes even further than did “Circuit City” into mechanized experimental noisemaking. They end with the birdsong-inclusive “Ode to Marge,” leaving one to wonder whether it’s sentiment or cynicism being expressed. Either way, it’s being expressed in a way not quite like anything else, which is an accomplishment all on its own.

The Gral Brothers on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Astral Glide, Flamingo Graphics

astral glide flamingo graphics

When you’re at the show and the set ends, Flamingo Graphics is the CD you go buy at the merch table. It’s as simple as that. Recorded this past March over the course of two days, the debut album from Floridian foursome Astral Glide is raw to the point of being barebones, bootleg room-mic style, but the songwriting and straightforward purposes of the group shine through. They’re able to shift structures and mood enough to keep things from being too staid, but they’re never far off from the next heavy landing, as “Devastation” and the closer “Forever” show in their respective payoffs, that latter going all out with a scream at the end, answering back to the several others that show up periodically. While their greatest strength is in the mid-paced shove of rockers like “Space Machine” and “Scarlett” and the speedier “Workhorse,” there are hints of broader intentions on Flamingo Graphics, though they too are raw at this point. Very much a debut, but still one you pick up when the band finishes playing. You might not even wait until the end of the show. Meet them back at the table, and so on.

Astral Glide on Thee Facebooks

Astral Glide on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, Witchcraft frontman/founder Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, Nucleus (review here). Pelander‘s Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with Black Metal, Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

The Wizar’d on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

Sail on Thee Facebooks

Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course à Vélo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

Scream of the Butterfly on Thee Facebooks

Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

Baleful Creed on Thee Facebooks

Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, Dätcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

Rrrags on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

Earthbong on Thee Facebooks

Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “Inhumación,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

Rito Verdugo on Thee Facebooks

Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

Death the Leveller on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

Marrowfields on Thee Facebooks

Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

Dätcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

Dätcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything Dätcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

Dätcha Mandala on Thee Facebooks

MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

Numidia on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stream Review: Candlemass Live from Studio Gröndahl, Stockholm, Sweden, 07.03.20

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

candlemass

The stage was set, the lights were lit, the fog machine was rolling out a steady haze, and legit doom legends Candlemass brought an immediate sense of presence to their July 3 streamed concert at Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm. One has to wonder how many ‘new’ experiences are left to the Swedish outfit headed by bassist and principal songwriter Leif Edling, but surely a streamed show would be one of them. The group are 34 years on from their ultra-seminal 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which helped pave the way for what traditionalist and doom metals subsequently became, and as a fan of the band, any opportunity to see them with vocalist Johan Längquist — who sang on that first record and then left the band ne’er to return until 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here), from which only the Grammy-nominated “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” was aired. They were, to put it mildly, robbed.

Now then, LängquistEdling, guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman (joined in 1985) and Lars “Lasse” Johansson (joined in ’87) and drummer Jan Lindh (also ’87) are veteran performers, who probably had a considerable amount of touring planned for 2020 to support the album, the follow-up-take-advantage-of-momentum EP, The Pendulum (discussed here), and perhaps even Edling‘s righteous beard, which surely is on the list of correct choices the band have made in the last decade. Those plans, candlemassobviously, evaporated in a cloud of pandemic statistics — like so much else — but with this stream, its important to note that they still put on a show. Goes without saying it wasn’t the same as seeing the band live, and I’ve been very, very, very fortunate to do that on more than one occasion, including the 2011 reunion set that first brought Längquist back to the lineup. About which, yes, I will brag forever; thank you, Roadburn 2011.

But this was a concert, and having seen a few acts bring different approaches to the advent of streaming live shows — everything from acoustic-guitar-in-the-kitchen to outside-at-a-would-be-festival — Candlemass‘ stream felt decidedly like a concert video in the classic metal sense. Production company Blackbox, which hosted the stream through its page, embedding a live YouTube player with a live chat, ran a professional shop. The lighting, the previously-noted fog, the quick cuts between multiple cameras, moving around, some at exaggerated upward angles, some head-on, even the candles lit around the room and the bouquets of flowers on Lindh‘s drum kit made it feel less like a studio space and more like a stage. It was a fitting environment for Candlemass to break out so many of their classics, from the opening “The Well of Souls” and “Dark Are the Veils of Death” from 1987’s Nightfall (discussed here) and “Mirror Mirror” from 1988’s Ancient Dreams (discussed here), to “Dark Reflections” from 1989’s Tales of Creation to landmarks like “Bewitched,” “Mirror Mirror” from the same era.

That era, which started with Längquist being replaced by vocalist Messiah Marcolin, ended after Tales of Creation (the blip that was the 2004 reunion notwithstanding), and while the debut was duly represented in “Under the Oak,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” and “Solitude,” which rounded out, it was interesting to see Längquist take on Marcolin‘s parts, their voices being of different character. Though the band also played a new song — listed as “Nytt Riff,” which is ‘new’ in Swedish — it was noted in the chat that the entire period in which the band was fronted by Solitude Aeturnus/Tyrant vocalist Robert Lowe was left out. Hazards, one assumes, of having a catalog full of classics. Perhaps Candlemass assumed that those seeking them out for a live-stream experience would be more established fans looking for ‘the old stuff’ as opposed to something from 2007’s King of the Grey Islands, 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here) or 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here). I don’t know that they were wrong in that, and with a set time a little over an hour, keeping it to the most essential essentials was fair enough. Maybe if they start taking requests for another one I’ll ask for “Emperor of the Void” and see how it goes.

Last time I did a stream review, I was struck by the shift in experience between going to a show and putting one on — how rather than be something separate from a regular, day-to-day existence, the show became a part of it. I suppose it wouldn’t be any different for any live event being televised, but with the change from physically moving yourself from your home to a venue to see a band to not doing that, it’s a big change. To wit, when the stream started, I was on the highway. I turned it on on my phone, turned the speaker up and sang along to “Mirror Mirror” while my toddler called out different trucks he saw from the back seat. And when I got home, I unpacked the car from an overnight trip and changed a diaper while watching. By the time I finally got to sit down and live with it a little bit, they were through candlemassthe solo and Hammond-laced roll of “Nytt Riff” — which one assumes would get vocals at some point, but was a welcome inclusion as an instrumental anyhow — and on into “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” nearing the end of their time. It was an 8PM start for Europe, so that made plenty of sense, but I was and remain thankful for the ability to rewatch afterward, for whatever limited time the stream is still available.

I know that the notion of bands streaming live shows like this instead of doing concerts and touring is new, and I know that they’re certainly no replacement for seeing a band live, but Candlemass more than held their own under the circumstances. Periodically mugging for the cameras, they seemed to be enjoying the chance to deliver a show of any sort to an audience. And though the pauses between songs brought a kind of awkward silence where applause would be and the video screen behind them went under-used except during those transitions, the big rock finish as “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” moved into “Solitude” was nothing if not earned by that performance and all that came before it, and the inclusion of what I assume was soundcheck footage of “Demon’s Gate” after the show-proper made for a smart twist on the idea of an encore, so while there were lessons to take going forward from this new experience, Candlemass gave their virtual crowd something to be happy to have witnessed, as well as a limited ‘Ancient Streams’ t-shirt to pick up afterward. Clever.

Can’t go see Candlemass, and that’s a bummer. But god damn, it felt good to see Candlemass.

Candlemass on Thee Facebooks

Candlemass on Instagram

Candlemass website

Napalm Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

10,000 Years Stream Self-Titled Debut EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

Swedish trio 10,000 Years will release their self-titled debut EP through Death Valley Records on July 10. Two-thirds of the band were formerly tenured in the hard-hitting Pike, and with 10,000 Years — true to the early High on Fire track for which the band is named — they take on brasher and meaner-edged sounds. Their EP runs five songs and 20 minutes, so the investment on the part of the listener is just about minimal, but what’s delivered is an encouraging start for a new trio as bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and guitarist Erik Palm (the ex-Pike contingent) group with drummer Espen Karlsen to undertake the project. With Risberg‘s shouts overtop, 10,000 Years not only take on the meatier side of heavier riffing, they do so with a particular nuance that stems from their national underground heritage.

When one hears the phrase “Swedish death metal,” very often what that’s referring to is a cadre of bands who made landmark recordings at Sunlight Studio in Stockholm with producer Tomas Skogsberg at the helm circa 1989-1992. Entombed, Grave, Dismember, even At the Gates worked with Skogsberg during this time, and in addition to the aesthetic elements they shared between them, the ‘Sunlight Sound’ (which I’ve spoken about here before) is a massive piece of what10000 years self titled defined those acts and that era that still has relevance today, both because those groups are still active — some in more than one incarnation — and because a band like 10,000 Years is able to take the ‘Sunlight Sound’ and bring it to a new and exciting context as they do on this first EP.

Bookended in quiet passages between the delayed launch of opener “‘Albatross’ Landing” and the final subdued stretch of “From Suns Beyond,” 10,000 Years10,000 Years boasts a sharp efficiency of craft and winds up someplace between sludge metal and heavy rock at its root, but the rumble of Risberg‘s bass at the low end and the grit that seems to extend even unto Karlsen‘s crash cymbals lends an overarching rawness that helps immediately define the band’s personality. “Master of Oblivion” is downright sinister in its aggressive filth, and the three-minute centerpiece “Lee Van Cleef” echoes out its nasty thrust, but at its heart it’s essentially building off a Kyuss-style riff. It’s how 10,000 Years make it their own that makes all the difference.

That continues to be the case as the penultimate “Into the Jaws of the Green King” digs into the muck about as far as 10,000 Years seem willing to go at this point, and mud-shuffles into the creeper “From Suns Beyond,” which bursts out its instrumental moment of rage before receding back into the Sabbath “Hand of Doom”-esque quiet bounce.

For a 20-minute outing, there’s a lot to take in on 10,000 Years‘ five inclusions, and whatever the band does next, they’ll have an interesting task before them in expanding on what this first outing presents while (hopefully) maintaining the ferocity that drives them here. As they’ve got the established chemistry between the guitar and bass at their disposal and a clear idea of what they’re going for in terms of style, I have no trouble thinking there’s a masterplan at work here somewhere. It just may be one that involves a good deal of slaughter.

EP is streaming in its entirety below, and Risberg offers some background on the group beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Alex Risberg on 10,000 Years:

Me and Erik (Palm, guitars) previously played together in the original lineup of Pike. But we’d kinda drifted apart a bit during the years since he left the band even though we kept in touch and everything, but we hadn’t played together in a very long time.

Then one day he sent me a text like “I got a bunch of riffs, you wanna do something?” and that was it really. We jammed a couple of times, just me and him, and the riffs were amazing. We had to do something with them, so we decided to start a new band and just blast the heaviest, most uncompromising stoner metal we could.

We thought finding a drummer would be a challenge, since they are usually few and far between if you don’t wanna settle. And we never settle. But the first guy we tried out just clicked. We jelled immediately and that guy was Espen (Karlsen, drums) and we decided then and there that he was a part of the band and we set about writing more and more stuff.

When we had five finished songs we decided to record them and release an EP and that’s what we’re releasing now on July 10th. So from that first rehearsal to the release it’s been about four months, I think. So everything has gone very fast. But it’s just been such a smooth ride, very easy work, so we just keep going and see where we end up.

As far as influences it’s the same as it ever was. Black Sabbath is the foundation for everything we’ve ever done, regardless of which band we’ve done it in. We see our music as stonermetal and the bands I think of when I hear that term is stuff like High On Fire and Black Tusk so there you go. The inspiration is all the same bands we’ve always loved ever since long before we started Pike in 2008. Kyuss (without whom etc), Mastodon, Kylesa, Fu Manchu, El Gordo, Sleep, I mean the list goes on and on, haha.

The music and songs we’ve been writing and playing is all based in some sort of weird scifi-concept inspired by stuff like HP Lovecraft, Planet Of The Apes and other cool shit like that. It’s all about a team of astronauts who venture into space to find a future home for humanity. But obviously there’s problems and they crash through a wormhole or something, a rift in the space-time, and end up on a strange planet in neighbouring dimension that’s inhabited by ancient gods and strange creatures and this EP is about the journey there and what happens on this weird planet. The last song, “From Suns Beyond”, is when they finally get out of there and travel back to earth, but that’s a story for another record!

Recorded during one weekend in June 2020 in Studio Sunlight in Norrtälje, Sweden
Produced and Mixed by Tomas Skogberg
Mastered by Magnus Andersson in Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden
Artwork and design by Francesco Bauso, Negative Crypt
Logo by Dominic Sohor

10,000 Years are:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years on Thee Facebooks

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

10,000 Years on Instagram

Death Valley Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,