Duel Announce European Tour Dates; New Album out May 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It would seem the release date for Duel‘s forthcoming second album, Witchbanger, has been pushed back a month since it was first announced with the cover art and tracklisting about two weeks ago. Fair enough. Heavy Psych Sounds — the imprint putting it out and the booking agency responsible for booking Duel‘s European tour, the dates for which are posted below — will be running preorders starting next week, and I guess it just means that the tour will be heralding the record’s arrival rather than supporting its recent release. In any case, probably won’t be the last time Duel head to Europe this touring cycle. There’s always Fall for a return trip, with plenty of festivals to pepper in around other shows.

For now though, this run starts April 26 in Rome, and you can see the rest of the routing in and under the poster below. It’s about a month on the road, all told, which is awesome. Heavy Psych Sounds had it posted on the social medias:

duel-euro-tour-2017

Duel – European Tour 2017

NEW ALBUM “WITCHBANGER” OUT MAY 28TH
PRE SALE MARCH 17TH

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is proud to announce Eu tour dates for DUEL

Sex, drugs, the occult and buckets of blood. Austin, Texas tripped out heavies DUEL release their second album “Witchbanger”. Eight hard hitting new tracks of deep grooves and blistering riffs paying tribute to the darker breed of early 70’s proto-metal and classic old school early 80’s heavy metal pioneers. Growling desperate vocals and angry fuzzed out guitars telling tales of horror and hallucination. Hard Rock as it should be totally pure and unpretentious.

Produced and engineered by lead guitarist Jeff Henson at his new studio Red Nova Ranch in the wastelands of Texas not far from the historic Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. Prepare for Hell or Valhalla, from start to finish this carefully crafted album WILL KILL YOU!

Duel Euro Tour 2017:
26.04.2017 IT Roma-Traffic
27.04.2017 IT Parma-Titty Twister
28.04.2017 CH Oberentfelden-Borom Pom Pom
29.04.2017 DE Berlin-Desert Fest
30.04.2017 DK Tba
01.05.2017 DK Copenhagen
02.05.2017 DK Secret Show
03.05.2017 SE Malmoe-Plan B
04.05.2017 DE Erfurt-AZJ
05.05.2017 DE Dresden-Chemiefabrik
06.05.2017 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
07.05.2017 IT Varedo-Crazy Driver
08.05.2017 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando
09.05.2017 SL Izola-Hangar Bar
10.05.2017 IT Torino-Blah Blah
11.05.2017 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
12.05.2017 CH Basel-Art & Wheels Fest
13.05.2017 AT Bludenz-Villa K
14.05.2017 AT Salzburg-Rockhouse
16.05.2017 DE Karlsruhe-Akk
17.05.2017 DE Stuttgart-Keller Klub
18.05.2017 DE Freiburg-White Rabbit
19.05.2017 GR Athens-An Club “Sonic Ritual Fest”
20.05.2017 IT Mezzago-Bloom “Sonic Ritual Fest”
21.05.2017 IT Castel D’Ario-Hostaria

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Fears of the Dead (2016)

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Review & Track Premiere: Mothership, High Strangeness

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mothership-high-strangeness

[Click play above to stream ‘Helter Skelter’ by Mothership. High Strangeness is out March 17 on Ripple Music and Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Texas heavy rock trio hit a crucial moment with their third album. Their first two records, 2012’s self-titled debut (review here) and the aptly-named 2014 follow-up, Mothership II (review here), brought them to the fore of the then-emergent/now-dominant Ripple Music as one of the label’s best acts and the seeming inheritors of a Lone Star heavy rock legacy spanning decades from Bloodrock and ZZ Top to Dixie Witch and Blood of the Sun. Persistent touring at home and abroad has brought them to the forefront of the US underground and they’re hitting a point where their reputation for an on-stage energy blast is preceding them. Accordingly, it’s time for the trio of guitarist/vocalist Kelley Juett, bassist/vocalist Kyle Juett and drummer Judge Smith to step up and claim that place as their own.

Easier said than done, but this is the place where High Strangeness — the third Mothership full-length and second for Ripple, with a release in Europe via Heavy Psych Sounds — sees them. They have moved beyond the brash upstart position where they started, having collectively played a disruptor role as only a badass guitar-led outfit can, and while no doubt each subsequent tour introduces them to new ears and eyes, among a core audience of the converted, they’ve become more of a known, established quantity. They demonstrated last time out that their songwriting could take a multifaceted approach to classic-style heavy rock, working in elements of psychedelia at a whim and more measured execution, and much to its and the band’s benefit, High Strangeness follows suit in not only expanding their palette, but doing so with a more stripped-down, from-the-stage sound.

While the Adam Burke cover art might lead one to think High Strangeness is gearing toward maximum lushness with its depth of color and detail, its eight-track/33-minute run goes the other way almost entirely. True, the intro title-track and the later subdued instrumental interlude “Eternal Trip” dip into patient psych and offer listeners a stretch to chill out, but Mothership are much more about the raw charge in tracks like “Ride the Sun” — the second cut and a nigh-on-flawless nod to ’90s-style stoner rock à la Fu Manchu — the subsequent chugger “Midnight Express” or the six-plus-minute finale “Speed Dealer,” and the sound and vibe of the album bolsters that intention. Hooks remain a consistent factor in their work — “Midnight Express” is infectious, as is side A closer “Crown of Lies,” as is side B opener and not-at-all-a-Beatles-cover “Helter Skelter” and so on — but a noteworthy change in production method, working at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, Texas, with Crypt Trip‘s Ryan Lee to record and mix (Tony Reed of Mos Generator mastered), as opposed to the first two LPs, which were produced by Kent Stump of Wo Fat, seems to be the conscious choice driving the change in the overarching feel.

mothership-photo-by-Andree-Brown

With distinct separation between the guitar, bass and drums, as well as some well-placed trades between the Juett brothers on vocals — perhaps best represented in the shift between the brief, penultimate “Wise Man” and “Speed Dealer” as High Strangeness rounds out — Mothership come across as professionally crisp but road-hardened, caked perhaps by the grit of the highways they’ve traveled. Kelley‘s solos on the galloping “Crown of Lies,” the motor-riffed “Ride the Sun” (in layers), snuck in toward the end of “Midnight Express,” etc., will likewise leave scorch marks as ever, but these too carry a rawer, more live impression. If Mothership are looking to represent what they do on tour in these tracks — and listening to the groove locked into at the end of “Helter Skelter,” it’s an easy argument to make that they are — then they’re doing it well. It sounds like a show one would want to catch.

And while there’s still an ‘album’ sensibility, as emphasized by “High Strangeness” itself at the outset — a hypnotic three-minute first impression the band righteously counteracts with the punch in the face of “Ride the Sun” — and the guitar-only spaciousness of “Eternal Trip” prior to the closing duo, it’s worth noting that the naturalistic feel of High Strangeness gives the Juetts and Smith an opportunity to highlight the efficiency in their songwriting in a way that their material simply hasn’t done before. Its 33-minute runtime is over 20 minutes shorter than was Mothership II, and so each track here does more work in crafting the spirit of the record, including those instrumental pieces, and while Mothership come across with fewer tonal frills than they have in the past, playing toward the organic roots of their approach suits them. They may not be upstarts anymore, but they’re still plenty brash.

It’s a wholly unpretentious front-to-back flow, asking next to nothing as far as indulgences and delivering on its early promises. As “Speed Dealer” rounds out — one would not say “winds down” for such a song — with its balance between speed and push and shouted vocals on top, rolling into its bigger-riffed second half, Mothership have found a way to continue their forward growth while driving toward this leaner modus. They could have gone either way and, to be perfectly honest, with the strength of their choruses they’d probably still come out successful in the end had they chosen a more grandiose path, but High Strangeness especially on repeat listens shows its maturity in making the exact moves it needs to make at exactly the times it needs to make them, and it would seem that Mothership — whose momentum carries right through each of these tracks and on to their next tour, recording, whatever it might be — have done exactly the same.

Mothership on Bandcamp

Mothership on Thee Facebooks

Mothership on Twitter

Mothership website

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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Doomstress and Disenchanter Announce ‘How the West was Doomed’ Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face facts: There shouldn’t be a single date on this tour that’s TBA. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I’m not saying it’s a vast conspiracy or anything, but for real, Denver, Boise, San Francisco, San Diego, Tucson, etc., where are you on this one? Disenchanter and Doomstress hitting the road together? Between bands in the TBA geography and club promoters with nights to fill, it should be an absolute no-brainer for heavy rock heads. The call makes itself. Get on it if you’re not already on it.

Shit, you guys need a show in Massachusetts? Come on up, we’ll figure something out. Worst case, you play my house and I’ll make everyone a delicious low-carb dinner and milkshakes afterward. Yeah, I know it’s not exactly on the routing for a West Coast run, but a gig’s a gig. Let me know. Offer’s on the table.

Take a look at the dates below, and if you can help out the bands, it’s as easy as the paragraph above makes it sound. You can probably even let them fend for themselves as regards dinner, if that’s how it absolutely has to be:

doomstress-disenchanter-tour

DOOMSTRESS & DISENCHANTER – How the West was Doomed

This April, DHU Records labelemates: DOOMSTRESS (Houston, TX) & DISENCHANTER (Portland, OR) join up to tour the western US on the “How the West was Doomed Tour”.

Tour begins April 4th w/Doomstress in Colorado Springs, CO before being joined by up Disenchanter.

Doomstress & Disenchanter – “How the West was Doomed Tour”
4/4 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Triple Nickel (Doomstress only)
4/5 tba
4/6 Seattle, WA @ Darrell’s
4/7 Portland, OR @ Kenton Club (Doomstress only)
4/8 Eugene, OR @ The Boreal
4/9 tba
4/10 Sacramento, CA @ Starlite
4/11 tba
4/12 Los Angeles, CA @ The Complex (w/Old Blood)
4/13 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar (w/Demon Lung)
4/14 Flagstagff, AZ @ Green Room
4/15 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
4/16 tba

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis (bass & vox)
Brandon Johnson (gtr/backing vox)
Tomasz Scull (drums)

Disenchanter is:
Sabine Stangenberg – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Joey DeMartini – Bass

www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
www.facebook.com/DisenchanterPDX
www.disenchanter.bandcamp.com
www.disenchanter.bigcartel.com
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com
www.facebook.com/DHURecords

Doomstress, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (2016)

Disenchanter, Strange Creations (2015)

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Red Beard Wall to Release Self-Titled Debut on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

One-or-two-man Texan noise/sludge outfit Red Beard Wall released its first three-song demo just about a year ago, on Leap Day 2016. It’s still up as a name-your-price download on the band’s Bandcamp page — you can also hear it at the bottom of this post — and it has a tense, tight sound that’s informed by sludge groove without necessarily letting go of its abrasive aspects long enough to permit the genre’s fuckall to really take hold. That is, Red Beard Wall sound too pissed off on a song like “Top of the Mountain” to nod out. Still, there’s an air of the experimental underlying the whole thing, so who the hell knows where the album will end up.

Well, I guess Argonauta Records — which will issue Red Beard Wall‘s self-titled debut album this Spring — probably has a pretty good idea. I don’t, is the point I was making. The Italian label’s roster continues to grow wider and weirder, both of which are good things, and an act like Red Beard Wall would seem to bring something immediately all its own as well.

Here’s the announcement:

red beard wall

Red Beard Wall – Argonauta Records

We’re excited to announce a new great band is now part of Argonauta Records family: RED BEARD WALL from United States.

Red Beard Wall was born on the dry, windswept plains of West Texas, at the culmination of 2016. Formed out of a desire to channel his angst, and frustration with the insane reality that surrounds us. With a hyper focus on heavy, hooky, and to the point songs.

Riffs with devastatingly heavy tones, vocals melodies that soar, alongside blistering screams of disillusionment. Influenced by amazing bands such as, Floor, Helmet, Conan, Yob, Pallbearer, Baroness, and countless others.

The band says: “As a band we are extremely honored, privileged, and humbled by our partnership with the mighty Argonauta Records. We are motivated towards, and look forward to a bright future with, in our opinion the best up and coming label in the world”.

Red Beard Wall’s highly anticipated self titled debut record will be out in Spring 2017 on Argonauta Records.

https://www.facebook.com/redbeardwall/
https://redbeardwall.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/

Red Beard Wall, Demo (2016)

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Stone Machine Electric, Vivere: Dormiendo Somniare

Posted in Reviews on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stone-machine-electric-vivere

Last Spring, Texas duo Stone Machine Electric — who by my estimation remain underrated as only a non-touring band can — self-released their second long-player in the form of Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here). The timing on that is important. It was May, and as a grueling primary season wound down, the US presidential election was beginning to take shape as a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Hurst-based two-piece acknowledged these current events in the cover art, which depicted a rat in a suit and a telling red tie standing in front of an audience of sheep, with his arm raised in front of a building burning with a giant skull behind it. Not subtle in visual metaphor, and the translation from Latin of the title — “nightmares are reality” — was correspondingly blunt.

Among what passes for a left-leaning contingent in the States, it would be difficult to see Sollicitus es Veritatem as anything other than prescient in hindsight. Songs like “Dreaming” had a bent of social commentary that never came at the expense of the liquidity of Stone Machine Electric‘s jamming, which has been central to their appeal over the last half-decade-plus, across offerings like the 2015 The Amazing Terror EP (review here), 2014’s Garage Tape (review here), their 2013 self-titled debut (review here) and their 2010 demo, Awash in Feedback (review here). Working frequently in the studio with Kent Stump of Wo Fat, guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/thereminist Mark Kitchens (also synth and backing vocals) have developed a sound able at once to convey straightforward heavy roll and an echo of unpredictability, so that the listener never quite knows when they might take off and just where they might be headed on a given track.

That ability is a big part of why I call them underrated above, and it’s writ large over Vivere, their new live CD recorded June 3, 2016, at the Doublewide in Dallas and issued through Off the Record Label. As the Latin title — the infinitive form of the verb meaning “to live” — hints, the six-song/40-minute set is intended as a complement to Sollicitus es Veritatem, and it very much functions on that level. Its longer tracks, opener “I am Fire,” “Dreaming,” “PorR” and the finale “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” all come from Sollicitus es Veritatem, and with the proximity of one to the other, another mixdown by Stump, and the general live feel that Irvin and Kitchens bring to their material, there’s no shortage of commonality between Vivere and its studio predecessor. Particularly for someone who’s grown to be a fan of the band and hasn’t been fortunate enough to see them play live — as I have and haven’t — the draw should be obvious.

For others, the question becomes what does Vivere have to offer that Sollicitus es Veritatem doesn’t? Fair ask. For one thing, like the studio counterpart, it’s the most cohesive Stone Machine Electric live outing yet. Their last one, 2013.02.07 (recorded, clearly, in 2013), was performed as a trio with Mark Cook on warr guitar, and caught them in the midst of a series of lineup shifts before they settled on the Dub/Kitchens duo as their seemingly permanent configuration. I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets in saying they work best in this form, and that shows itself from the nodding “I am Fire” onward here. It’s not uncommon for a live album to represent a band’s stage presence well — there are very few that are truly “warts and all” — but something else Vivere does is mirror the immersive listening experience of Sollicitus es Veritatem in how one song plays into the next via two short, seemingly-improvised transitional pieces: “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages.”

Though these are quick courses run at 2:54 and 2:42, respectively, and the broader impression of Vivere is found in moments like Dub‘s execution of the hook in “Dreaming” — the lines “Hustlers ain’t in the alley/They’re runnin’ the global scene/They’ll take you down/And take you further/Oh, how I wish I was dreaming” standing out as something of a centerpiece and summary of the set as a whole, let alone the track itself — and the raucous uptick provided at the end by “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” on which Kitchens joins in a vocal call and response, both “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages” are crucial to the flow of Vivere. The first arrives between “I am Fire” and “Dreaming,” and gives Stone Machine Electric an even more atmospheric space in which to work, shifting via guitar lead and drum fills between the one longer song and the other without stopping. They are a band of few words, it seems.

Amid an initial hum at the outset of “I am Fire,” Dub says, “Yeah, we don’t talk. We’re just Stone Machine Electric,” and over a closing bed of synth drone in the ending of “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” he follows up with “We’ve been Stone Machine Electric…” and something else only semi-intelligible, but other than that, they move from song to song without stopping. Accordingly, “Invented Passages” rises from the end of “Dreaming” with a bit of rhythmic push from Kitchens and a winding riff to accompany but hits the brakes well in time to start the familiar drift of “PorR,” which tops 13 hypnotic minutes riding that progression — down from over 14 for the studio version — and builds to an apex of thud, rumble and slow-motion riffing that moves via feedback into “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” feeling both practiced and unforced; the closer picking up after about a minute and providing Vivere‘s final movement, which turns to brief cacophony just before ending in a way that seems only to re-suggest the improvisational elements at root in their creative approach.

The reinforcement thereof is another aspect of Vivere that shines through especially in its following Sollicitus es Veritatem, which was arguably the most song-based outing from Stone Machine Electric to-date. Still, this is the part where I say that one doesn’t need to have heard the studio album to appreciate the live one. A cliché, and probably only half-true, but valid when considering the molten nature of the band’s execution in either sphere. One of the joys of following Dub and Kitchens over their years together has been the way in which one release has always fed into the next — the debut into the first live album and Garage Tape into The Amazing Terror into Sollicitus es Veritatem — and Vivere adds to that line, acknowledging what they’ve done before and using it as a basis for moving forward.

What makes it even more engaging, though, is that the songs themselves do the very same thing on a meta-level, and are reshaped and recontextualized by this performance on this given night. One expects that as Stone Machine Electric put more distance between themselves and their second full-length headed perhaps toward a third, the evolution of their ideas will likewise continue, and the multi-tiered fluidity they’ve thus far shown will reach its next stage. That’s the hope, anyhow. But though their heavy psychedelia is often tinged with a darker, brooding sensibility, and Sollicitus es Veritatem certainly had its air of cynicism, I hear nothing on Vivere to make me think that core vibrancy will dull anytime soon. And who knows? If the live album turns out to be as predictive as its predecessor, we might all just survive these curious times in which we’ve found ourselves.

Stone Machine Electric, Vivere (2016)

Stone Machine Electric on Thee Facebooks

Stone Machine Electric on Twitter

Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

Off the Record Label website

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Duel Announce Witchbanger Details; Out April 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Kind of hard to imagine the band meeting whereby Austin heavy rockers Duel decided which track they’d choose for the name of their second full-length for Heavy Psych Sounds, but you have to figure at some point one of the four dudes actually said the words, “Uh, how about ‘Witchbanger?'” And so it went. Witchbanger, which follows their 2016 debut, Fears of the Dead (review here), and will reportedly be supported by tour dates very likely in Europe if past is prologue with the label involved, is due out April 28. Preorders start March 17. Preorders, for Witchbanger.

I’m 35 years old, writing about a record called WitchbangerDuel are a good band and all — don’t get me wrong — but that title. Woof.

Whatever. I’m sure the album will kick ass and on will go the blinders.

Heavy Psych Sounds posted the art and details:

duel witchbanger

DUEL – WITCHBANGER – HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records & Booking is extremely proud to unveil album details for DUEL – Witchbanger.

The new album out 28th April. Presale starts March 17th.

available in:
Ltd Splatter Vinyl
Black Vinyl
Cd
Digital

Sex, drugs, the occult and buckets of blood. Austin, Texas tripped out heavies DUEL release their second album “Witchbanger”. Eight hard hitting new tracks of deep grooves and blistering riffs paying tribute to the darker breed of early 70’s proto-metal and classic old school early 80’s heavy metal pioneers. Growling desperate vocals and angry fuzzed out guitars telling tales of horror and hallucination. Hard Rock as it should be totally pure and unpretentious.

Produced and engineered by lead guitarist Jeff Henson at his new studio Red Nova Ranch in the wastelands of Texas not far from the historic Texas Chainsaw Massacre house. Prepare for Hell or Valhalla, from start to finish this carefully crafted album WILL KILL YOU!

Duel – Witchbanger tracklist:
Devil
Witchbanger
The Snake Queen
Astro Gypsy
Heart Of The Sun
Bed Of Nails
Cat’s Eye
Tigers And Rainbows

TOUR DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!!

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Fears of the Dead (2016)

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Cursus to Release Self-Titled Debut April 28; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

cursus

At any given second, there is nothing about the new streaming Cursus track that doesn’t seem to want to be as heavy as it can possibly be. One can hear the Neurosis influence noted by the PR wire in “Waters of Wrath,” which is the first audio to come from the San Antonio, Texas, two-piece’s self-titled debut, but less so the likes of Om or YOB, at least as regards an immediate ritualistic or cosmic impression — though after listening to the band’s 2013 Summer Solstice Sessions demo (available name-your-price at their Bandcamp) neither would I count on “Waters of Wrath” to speak for the entirety of the album.

An April 28 release has been set through Artificial Head Records, the label helmed by Funeral Horse guitarist/vocalist Walter Carlos, and I’ll be interested to find out what it has in store to go with the forceful churn Cursus showcase initially. For now, they certainly seem to know how to make a first impression.

Cover art and album details follow:

cursus self titled

CURSUS: Texan doom-duo crush worlds on colossal debut | Listen to new song ‘Waters of Wrath’

Cursus will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017 via Artificial Head Records

Artificial Head Records is pleased to announce the signing of psychedelic sludge band Cursus and with it the release of their self-titled debut album this April.

Taken from the Latin word meaning “course” – specifically the mournful paths our ancestors once took to bury their dead – the San Antonio-based paring of guitarist/vocalist CJ Duron and drummer Sarah Roork first came into being in the winter of 2013 with the release of their Summer Solstice Sessions demo. Influenced by the likes of Om, Neurosis, YOB and Ufomammut, and deep in experimentation with different sounds, instruments and drone frequencies, the demo slowly unfurled colossal riff driven soundscapes that permeated and punched in equal measure.

Released through Bandcamp it quickly caught the ear of label boss and fellow Texan, Walter Carlos, who signed Cursus on the spot to his Houston-based label Artificial Head Records.

“I had toured with Cursus a few times over the years and I’ve always admired their massive sound. Their ability to crush bodies in the room with their songs is uncanny,” explains Carlos. “Initially, we were going to release a live cassette by the band from recordings they made while on tour. But as the project kept going, we decided that a full-length studio album would be better and we’re proud to have Cursus as part of our family.”

Three years on from the release of Summer Solstice Sessions and Duron and Roork have their debut album loaded. Produced in a basement-recording studio by close friend Chris Dillard, over six devastating songs Cursus summons personal and spiritual pains and turns each into amplified dirges packed with riffs, hypnotic string arrangements and spellbinding percussion. With the power of cosmic doom burning brightly, distortion slams hard into 6/8 rhythms as the Duron and Roork charter a longboat through a magnificent storm of ethereal destruction.

Cursus’s self-titled debut album will be released on vinyl/digital on 28th April 2017 via Artificial Head Records.

Cursus:
CJ Duron – Guitar and Vocals
Sarah Roork – Drums

Album art by Javier “Warhorse” Luis
Artist: Cursus
Title: Cursus
Release Date: 28th April 2017
Label: Artificial Head Records
Formats: Vinyl/Digital

https://www.facebook.com/cursusdoom/
https://cursus.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtificialHead
https://artinstitute.bandcamp.com/

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Evil Acidhead, Gypsy Sun Revival, Albinö Rhino, Monarch, and Vision Éternel

Posted in Radio on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio

My going motto for this site, which basically I repeat to myself like a mantra, is to do as much as I can when I can. Obviously that fluctuates, and I think that’s a good thing on many levels, but I’ve had more time recently to pay due attention to the goings on with The Obelisk Radio and I’m thankful for that. This is the second round of adds for this month, and in addition to the offerings highlighted below, another 30-plus releases have gone up to the server as of today, including some choice bootlegs from the likes of Lowrider, Brant Bjork, Vista Chino, Greenleaf, Acid King, Neurosis and Kyuss. I encourage you to check out the full list of adds here. It kicks a formidable amount of ass.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 20, 2017:

Evil Acidhead, In the Name of all that is Unholy

Evil-Acidhead-In-the-Name-of-all-that-is-Unholy

This 2015 reissue on Agitated Records of Evil Acidhead‘s In the Name of all that is Unholy becomes particularly relevant since 2017 marks 30 years since its original release. Offered as a cassette in 1987 by guitarist John McBain (Monster MagnetWellwater Conspiracy), it tops an hour and 17 minutes and crosses the first of its two LPs before it’s even finished with its four-part opener, and only then digs into the 23-minute “I Control the Moon.” A challenging listen front to back even three decades later, it holds to an experimentalist core of guitar effects, swirl, loops — which are near-maddening on side B’s “Part III: Possession” — and malevolent, droning abrasion. What’s stunning about it is if you said this was something McBain recorded a few months ago, there would be no choice but to call it forward-thinking. Imagine a record that 30 years later still offers a legitimate sense of being ahead of the day. Not that it never happens, but it’s certainly rare, and In the Name of all that is Unholy seems to willfully sidestep what we think of as reality in favor of its apparently timeless hellscapes. It’s far, far away from pleasant, but it sure as hell is impressive.

Evil Acidhead on Thee Facebooks

Agitated Records website

 

Gypsy Sun Revival, Gypsy Sun Revival

http://cdn.theobelisk.net/obelisk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/gypsy-sun-revival-gypsy-sun-revival

Fort Worth trio Gypsy Sun Revival make their debut with this 2016 self-titled full-length and earn immediate notoriety for their blend of heavy psychedelic and straightforward rocker impulses as well as the fact that the vinyl version of the album sees release through ultra-respected purveyor Nasoni Records. One might recall the last time the Berlin-based label picked up a Texan band, it was Wo Fat, so it’s no minor endorsement of Gypsy Sun Revival‘s potential, and the three-piece of vocalist/bassist/organist Lee Ryan, guitarist/thereminist Will Weise and drummer Ben Harwood live up to it across the 46-minute seven-tracker, songs like “Cosmic Plains” finding a middle ground between sleek ’70s groove and modern thickness, setting up longer post-Zeppelin jams to come like “Idle Tides,” which, though fluid, rely less on effects wash to get their improvisational point across than the raw dynamic between the band itself. As a debut, Gypsy Sun Revival impresses for that, but even more for the level of immersion it enacts the further along it goes, so that when they get to languid instrumental closer “Radiance,” the band’s approach seems to be in full bloom when in fact they may only be beginning their forward creative journey.

Gypsy Sun Revival on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Albinö Rhino, Upholder Live at Ääniwalli, Helsinki 17.12.2016

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I’m pretty sure all those umlauts are going to crash the radio stream every single time this gets played, but a 41-minute digital live version — offered as a name-your-price download, no less — of Albinö Rhino‘s heavy psych epic “Upholder” recorded this past December in their native Helsinki is too good to pass up. The Finnish trio issued the studio edition of the three-so-far-part piece late in 2016 under the simple title Upholder (review here), and Upholder Live at Ääniwalli, Helsinki 17.12.2016 comprises a 41-minute single-track rendering of the first two parts brought together with onstage energy and a fitting showcase of the song’s longform jamming path. Led by Kimmo Tyni‘s guitar work — no less recalling early Natas via Sungrazer and Sleep here than in the studio recording — and gruff vocals, the live incarnation also benefits from the deep patience in Ville Harju‘s bass and Viljami Väre‘s drumming, as heard under Tyni‘s moog solo circa 14 minutes in. It’s soon for a revisit of Upholder itself, but as well as getting additional mileage out of the piece, Albinö Rhino bring a different flavor to the live execution of it to this digital-only outing, and if it catches more ears as a 41-minute single song as opposed to being broken up over two sides, there’s no way that’s going to hurt them. Either way you get it, its soul, heft and molten vibe resonate.

Albinö Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Albinö Rhino on Bandcamp

 

Monarch, Two Isles

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Not to be understated is the sense of poise that pervades Two Isles, the debut full-length from Encinitas, California, psychedelic progressives Monarch. Delivered via Causa Sui‘s imprint El Paraiso Records — the gorgeous art treatment is consistent with their hallmark style — and produced by Brian Ellis (AstraPsicomagia, etc.), it locks into classically winding turns or melodic flourish with equal ease on side A pieces like the opening title-track and “Assent,” proffering scope but not necessarily pretense. Call it prog in the new West Coast tradition if you must, “Dancers of the Sun” and the more insistent staccato of “Sedna’s Fervor” are dead on either way, and the five-piece of guitarist/vocalist Dominic Denholm, guitarists Nate Burns and Thomas Dibenedetto (see also Joy and Sacri Monti), bassist Matt Weiss and drummer Andrew Ware save their finest showcase for the just-under-10-minute finale “Shady Maiden,” summarizing their liquefied proceedings in more than able fashion, reaching ahead of themselves as the style warrants, and once more proving what might be hypnotic were it not such an active, exciting listen.

Monarch on Thee Facebooks

Monarch at El Paraiso Records

 

Vision Éternel, Echoes from Forgotten Hearts

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Echoes from Forgotten Hearts is the latest EP from Montréal-based solo artist Alexandre Julien, who operates under the banner of Vision Éternel, and it comprises seven brief individual tracks numbered in French as “Pièce No. Un,” “Pièce No. Deux,” etc., of wistful guitar lines and serene dronescapes. The balance that a “Pièce No. Deux” is able to strike by sounding so broad and wide open and yet only being 1:47 is striking, and it makes the release flow together all the more as a work on a single emotional thematic, and while it all only winds up being 14 minutes in total, Julien is able to bring that thematic to life in that time with depth and grace, so that when the relative sprawl of the 3:45 closer “Pièce No. Sept,” takes hold, one only wishes it would go on further. Note this is one of several Vision Éternel offerings joining the playlist this week, and Julien has a boxed set in progress collecting a number of his outings to be released sometime later this year, including, I believe, this one, which originally came out in 2015. Hopefully it’s not long before he follows it with new material.

Vision Éternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

 

Thank you as always for reading and listening.

To see everything that joined the playlist today, please visit The Obelisk Radio.

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