The Obelisk Radio Adds: REZN, The Fërtility Cült, Cosmic Fall, Oceanwake, Jenzeits

Posted in Radio on March 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

Granted, we’re still running on the backup server, but it’s been a couple weeks at this point anyway, so it’s time for a new round of adds to The Obelisk Radio. Some of this stuff is brand new, some isn’t out yet, and some is older, so it’s a pretty decent mix on that front, and between REZN, The Fërtility Cült and Cosmic Fall, I certainly think we’ve got heavy psychedelia covered. Fortunately there’s the longform doom extremity of Oceanwake and the kraut-worship electronics of Jenzeits (also longform, as it happens) to offer some balance, lest we go drifting off into the universe never to be heard from again. Can’t have that happening.

Before we dig in, thanks to Slevin as ever for his diligent work in keeping the Radio afloat. He’s got a drive recovery running now that will hopefully bring back everything that was there before. It’s been a whole thing, but progress is being made and I appreciate him tossing this stuff in with the backup material in the interim. Thanks to you as well for reading and listening.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for March 14, 2017:

REZN, Let it Burn

rezn-let-it-burn

All-caps Chicago-based newcomers REZN make their deceptively ambitious debut with Let it Burn, a self-released 10-songer checking in at a willfully sprawling 59 minutes that blends psychedelic drift, grunge fuckall and neo-stoner fuzz consumption to welcome effect. One gets shades of Mars Red Sky from opener “Relax,” but later doomer cuts like the blown-out cosmic smash of “Harvest the Void” or the rolling “Fall into the Sky” ensures the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Phil Cangelosi, drummer Patrick Dunn and guitarist/vocalist Rob McWilliams are working on their own wavelength, and flourish of sitar from McWilliams and Dunn on the dynamic raga-infused “Rezurrection,” as well as Dunn‘s percussion and Spencer Ouellette‘s modular synth in the two-minute interlude “Pipe Dream” that leads into the initial spoken sample of the Dead Meadow-style fuzzer “The Creature” only add further checked-out-of-life charm to the offering as a whole. “Relax” and “Wake” at the outset speak to some impulse on the part of the band to tie their material together, but that comes through even more as “The Creature” transitions into “Fall into the Sky” and the suitably-spacewalking “Orbit” leads to the noisy start of rumble-laden closer “Astral Sage” later on. REZN leave themselves room to grow into their approach in moments like these, and pieces like “Harvest the Void,” “The Creature” and “Wake” certainly speak to a memorable songwriting process in development, but Let it Burn already shows them a potent brew of weighted lysergics.

REZN on Thee Facebooks

REZN on Bandcamp

 

The Fërtility Cült, A Forest of Kings

the-fertility-cult-a-forest-of-kings

Nestled into the heavy hotbed of Tampere, Finland, The Fërtility Cült continue their progressive push into reverb-laden heft with late-2016’s A Forest of Kings, their third long-player behind 2013’s Heavenly Bodies and their 2011 debut, Eschatology (review here). In an admirably crowded scene, the five-piece are distinguished for their tonal breadth, use-not-overuse of echo-laden saxophone and organ and general willingness to meander without giving up an underlying principal of craft or direction. All of this is on display in the A Forest of Kings opener “Blood of Kings,” but the highlight of the album has to be the centerpiece “The City on the Edge of Forever” (taking its name from the highlight episode of the original Star Trek, written by Harlan Ellison), which successfully fuses jazzy rhythm with a patient, psychedelic execution to the sacrifice of neither. Also the longest inclusion at 10:58, it’s the umlaut-happy troupe’s most resonant melody and most singularly progressive stretch, but neither will I take away from the nod of “God of Rain,” which follows, or the manner in which the apex shuffle of closer “Cycles of Time” unfurls itself from the song’s initial subdued verses. Heady vibe throughout the total 46 minutes, as one might expect, but The Fërtility Cült‘s third is less self-indulgent than it might superficially seem, and their varied arrangements never fail to service what really matters to them, which of course is the material itself rather than the exercise of playing it. Rich and graceful when it wants to be, A Forest of Kings hones an endearing landscape without getting lost in it.

The Fërtility Cült on Thee Facebooks

The Fërtility Cült on Bandcamp

 

Cosmic Fall, Kick out the Jams

cosmic-fall-kick-out-the-jams

Mostly-instrumentalist trio Cosmic Fall — based in Berlin and comprised of guitarist/vocalist Mathias, bassist Klaus and drummer Daniel — formed in 2016 and worked quickly to turn around First Fall (discussed here), their first full-length of improv-based works. Kick out the Jams arrives with a fittingly quick turnaround and brings forth seven new pieces in its digital form, topping 93 minutes in its total space-bound push. More impressive than the quantity of the work — though I won’t take away from the sprawling appeal (or the delightful, influence-on-our-sleeve pun in the title) of the 21-minute “Earthfull” or 19-minute opener “Saturn Highway” — is the chemistry that seems to have immediately found root in Cosmic Fall‘s sound. They take a forward step in these tracks, to be sure, and there are more steps to be taken — a band like this, in the best case scenario, does not stop progressing, their material only comes to unfold more as a musical conversation between old friends; see Electric Moon — but as Kick out the Jams plays through its extended, immersive runtime, cuts like “Interstellar Junction” and “Stairway Jam” feel especially bold in how open they are in allowing the listener to hear that process happening. Songs are varyingly active — only “White Stone” (4:42) is under 11 minutes long — and allow for Mathias to lead the way into the spaciousness of “Purple Weed” while Daniel‘s toms propel “Cosmic Conclusion” at the album’s finish, but the core message behind Cosmic Fall less than a year into their tenure is one of ambition and the band’s deep motivation to develop the already palpable dynamic they have going. One can only look forward to hearing where their adventures take them and, indeed, where they take their audience.

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

 

Oceanwake, Earthen

oceanwake-earthen

With Earthen on ViciSolum Records, Finnish progressive death-doomers Oceanwake complete a trilogy that began on their 2013 debut Kingdom and had its second installment with 2015’s Sunless (review here). I’m not entirely sure what the overarching theme tying the releases together is — perhaps hearing the debut would help, but it’s not easily tracked down — but Earthen expounds on the blend of extremity, poise and emotional resonance the Luvia five-piece proffered their last time out, arriving as two massive tracks, opener “A Storm Sermon” (21:09) and closer “In Amidst the Silent Thrones” (24:04), both of which work in movements that shift between crushing, grueling doom and gorgeous, airy melodies. A depth of emotionalism isn’t necessarily anything new in the style — countrymen from Skepticism to Swallow the Sun have been morose for a long time — but what Oceanwake bring is a fluidity in their transitions and a sense of purpose to their songwriting beyond the usual miseries. Thus, like Sunless before it, Earthen emerges to bring significant character to familiar elements, drifting at times and explosive at others, but always under complete control, never wandering without a reason, and basking in low end that has to be heard to be believed. Earthen might fly under a lot of radars, but it shouldn’t be missed by those with an affinity for the extreme ends of doom. One hopes the now-completed trilogy project won’t be the sum total Oceanwake‘s output together.

Oceanwake on Thee Facebooks

ViciSolum Records on Bandcamp

 

Jenzeits, Jenzeits Cosmic Universe

Jenzeits-Cosmic-Universe

Jenzeits may be a new incarnation, but the project stems from a familiar source. Relocated from North Carolina to San Francisco — also, apparently, to the cosmos itself — multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (Hour of 13SetAnuThe Sabbathian, etc.) offers up two massive synthesized soundscapes on Jenzeits Cosmic Universe, as both “Alpha” (25:00) and “Omega” (21:53) channel krautrock exploration and progressive indulgence. A due amount of the release is given to hypnotics, as one might expect — that is, it’s an easy one to put on and zone out — but Davis isn’t without some sense of motion either as he makes his way through “Alpha” and the rightfully more foreboding “Omega,” the latter delving into a movement of key runs backed by wind swirl calling to mind any number of horror and/or retro-horror soundtracks, and even minor shifts in the elements at work at any given moment become more pronounced in the grand context of the whole work. Davis usually has his hands in a number of outfits (and a number of genres) at any given time — an Hour of 13 resurgence is pending, for example — but Jenzeits‘ debut is engaging in its textures and feels like a journey just beginning.

Jenzeits on Thee Facebooks

Jenzeits on Bandcamp

More to come as we get The Obelisk Radio back up and running at full capacity. I’ve purchased a new hard drive toward that end, so we’ll have even more room to work with as well. Will update when there’s an update.

Till then, thanks again for reading and listening.

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

The Fërtility Cült to Release New Album in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Sax-laden heavy psych rockers The Fërtility Cült, fittingly enough, have a bun in the oven. The sophomore outing from the Tampere, Finland, jam-heads is set to reach public consciousness on May 12. Heavenly Bodies serves as the follow-up to 2010’s Eschatology (review here) and in between, The Fërtility Cült also released a single for “The Seeress” (streaming here), which will also appear on the new record.

I guess the album flew under a lot of people’s radar, but I dug the jams on Eschatology and “The Seeress,” and thought the saxophone, while a novelty item in some bands, was actually put to good use for the music. Hopefully that continues on Heavenly Bodies. Here’s the announcement:

The Fërtility Cült: Heavenly Bodies – Out May 12th 2013

The ethereal planewalker quintet from Tampere, Finland, that in 2010 gave us their debut offering Eschatology, an album that resonated within the muddled waters of the subterranean music world, shall now release unto the unsuspecting realm their sophomore opus.

The new album, named Heavenly Bodies, shall be put forth on May 12th, the day of the Mother and all Mothers. It takes on the themes and atmospheres of the debut effort, changing perspectives, pushing the envelope further artistically, squeezing out the core of what is The Fërtility Cült, while exploring vaster and more diverse musical domains.

The album shall be self-published, like its predecessor, and be made available for free digital download. A limited edition CD print shall be made available, and can be preordered from the band via their e-mail address.

Heavenly Bodies
Summoning of the Cült
The Seeress
Syzygies
Ishtar Rising
Hystera Theas

The Fërtility Cült are:
Kailasha – bass, vocals, backing vocals, bass pedal
Ryhänen – saxophones, vocals, backing vocals, percussion
Kimmel – guitar
Solismaa – organ, keyboards
Mäkinen – drums, percussion

http://www.facebook.com/thefertilitycult
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheFertCult
http://thefertilitycult.bandcamp.com
fertilitycultists (at) gmail.com

Tags: , , , ,

audiObelisk: The Fërtility Cült Premiere New Single “The Seeress”; New Album Completed

Posted in audiObelisk on September 17th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Last year, I reviewed the debut CD from Finnish heavy psych jammers The Fërtility Cült. The album, called Eschatology (review here), was as long on charm as it was wandering in its echoing sprawl. Rife with gorgeous low end and a super-stoned bombast, it seemed to fly under most radars, but thrilled nonetheless, and the Tampere fivesome’s follow-up single, “The Seeress” is no less appealing. Now more solidified in the heavy tonal and jamming elements of their sound, The Fërtility Cült are even freer to highlight the sax and organ that work so well to distinguish them among their peers.

There’s a lot about “The Seeress” that will seem of a kind with the breadth of modern European heavy psych — there’s warm, analog low end and an open, laid back vibe, a feeling of sonic weight that doesn’t necessarily correspond to emotional baggage — but with soulful backing vocals and the aforementioned sax and organ, The Fërtility Cült hearken back to the early prog of Uriah Heep and of course Pink Floyd more than they seem to be trying to coalesce around the stoner jammers of today. Most important of all, they’re putting their own spin on it, and the easygoing flow of “The Seeress” should turn a couple heads in advance of their next long-player, Heavenly Bodies — reportedly already completed and awaiting label support.

In the meantime, Eschatology‘s physical pressing is sold out, but The Fërtility Cült will release “The Seeress” as a digital single on Wednesday. On Friday they’ll be playing the club Varjobaari in their native Tampere as a kind of release party for the song (more info here) but when I asked, the band was kind enough to grant permission to stream the track, and you’ll find it on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Keep up with The Fërtility Cült at their Thee Facebooks page or on Bandcamp.

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Fërtility Cült, Eschatology: Sax ‘n’ Umlauts

Posted in Reviews on August 25th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Double-umlauted Finnish riffonauts The Fërtility Cült make their debut with Eschatology. The four-piece formed in 2008; their purported and noble mission to worship early Black Sabbath via the most potent means – i.e. getting stoned and riffing out. Three years later, their first full-length finds them more or less doing just that. Eschatology boasts five extended tracks — the shortest is second cut “Into the Sacred Grove” (7:38) – and a sound that matches its nudie-goddess-lady-meets-nebulous-gas-cloud artwork, the inclusion of saxophone helping at once tie The Fërtility Cült to the heyday of ‘70s prog (think the first two King Crimson records played at half speed) and distinguish them among their many fellow pilgrims. The extra dose of weird that Ryhänen adds with his horn goes a long way in setting a psychedelic tone for Eschatology, and though the term from which the album takes its name refers to knowing or theorizing the end of times, the album itself is far less apocalyptic than it is interstellar, where commonly the former relates to post-metal crush, The Fërtility Cült follow the vapor trails of Kimmel’s guitar through a star system of circular riffs and languid cosmic pacing.

Eschatology feels mostly instrumental, and rightly so given the expanse in these songs. Bassist Kaila proves able to add a reasonably diverse range of styles to the music with his singing, but it’s mostly an afterthought compared to the guitars, which set the tone and tempo immediately on opener “Cosmic Kaishakunin.” It’s actually one of the album’s more straightforward songs, with discernable verses and an instrumental chorus, but The Fërtility Cült aren’t trying to be mindful of structure as much as they’re using it to set up the jam, which is really the essential piece of the song. A bridge sets up a heavier part – Kaila’s low end well matched by Kimmel and drummer Mäkinen – and soon “Cosmic Kaishakunin,” finds Kimmel and Ryhänen pitting solo against solo, not quite the beheading promised in the title of the song (“kaishakunin” referring to the person charged with cutting someone’s head off as part of the Japanese ritualistic suicide, seppuku), but then, The Fërtility Cült’s specialty seems much more to be heady grooves than titles for them.

And a while lot of those grooves will be familiar to heads who’ve been around stoner rock for any amount of time, the Tampere outfit manage to put an individual mark on the nod-worthy “Into the Sacred Grove” (also a much more appropriate name). Again, Ryhänen is a big part of that, enacting improvised-feeling leads that give way to an underscoring rhythm for Kaila’s vocals, following his bass line. The addition of organ played by Antti Loponen further fills out “Into the Sacred Grove,” and a far-off spoken part leads to an extensively-wah’ed guitar solo that, in turn, gives itself over to the organ and sax to set up a return to the chorus. The Fërtility Cült may have started out wanting to pay homage to Black Sabbath, but they’re clearly doing more than that on Eschatology, as backing vocals sneak in to complement Kaila and the start-stop groove in the guitar begins to feel like the skeleton on which the flesh of the song is constructed, there’s clearly more at play here than just recognizable progressions. Still, with the overdriven fuzz of “Rheopolis” in both the bass and guitar, there’s no question that some listeners are going to hear The Fërtility Cült and be able to predict where the band is headed next.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,