The Necromancers Stream “Secular Lord”; Of Blood and Wine out Oct. 5; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the necromancers

Multi-pronged update from busy French four-piece The Necromancers. They’ll follow-up their 2017 Ripple Music debut, Servants of the Salem Girl (review here), and the copious touring they did thereby, with Of Blood and Wine, from which a new single is streaming now. The album is out Oct. 5 and the band will begin their next road stint with a release show in their hometown of Poitiers, France, from where they’re set to head out to Germany, Poland, Croatia and beyond to mark the record’s arrival. The tour, naturally, is presented by Sound of Liberation.

You can hear the cult rock elements still present in “Secular Lord” — the new single streaming at the bottom of this post — but The Necromancers sound more confident overall. Listen to how they give the lead guitar room to work in the second half of the track and how easily the crash behind the winding, stomping apex seems to flow with the soaring solo overtop before they turn back to the last verse. These guys had some potential in the debut, and I haven’t heard the whole record yet, but it’s possible they’re starting to bring it to fruition on Of Blood and Wine. We’ll see in less than a month, I guess.

From the PR wire:

the necromancers of blood and wine

French heavy psych quartet THE NECROMANCERS return with new album + European tour dates | Stream and share new single ‘Secular Lord’ now!

Drawing on antiquated inspirations in mythology, religion, fantastical tales from European literature and an obsession for classic horror cinema, The Necromancers are a curious alliance of musicians, and together are a strange beast to behold.

Following on from the release of their debut album last year on Ripple Music, the French quartet return with the first taste of their eagerly awaited follow up, Of Blood and Wine, with ‘Secular Lord’; a song about which explores the legend of Vlad ‘The Empalor’ Tepes. Experimenting with progressive rock, heavy psych and the 70s pagan/proto-metal of bands like Black Sabbath and Coven, they take these influences, throw in the urgency of NWOBHM and douse the entire lot in lysergic illusions. All with a mind to create an album a sound for ages.

After a very successful tour last winter with Swiss psych rock legends Monkey 3, The Necromancers take to the road for a European tour with Belzebong, kicking off with an album release show at Le Cluricaume in their hometown of Poitiers. (For the full list of dates see below.)

“The band is still young,” explains vocalist and guitar player Tom Cornie?re. “We never would have thought of signing with a label like Ripple. We could hardly have hoped for better. It’s an honour and a surprise. Now, we are looking forward to the tour and to be able to share our album wherever we can.”

Of Blood and Wine by The Necromancers is released on 5th October 2018 on Ripple Music.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Join The Dead Ones
2. Erzebeth
3. Of Blood And Wine
4. Secular Lord
5. Lust
6. The Gathering

TOUR DATES:
24.10.2018 – Poitiers – Le Cluricaume (Release Show), FR
26.10.2018 – Montpellier – Le Black Sheep, FR
27.10.2018 – Lyon – Le Grand Incendie #3, FR
28.10.2018 – Altkirch – Le Domaine, FR
08.11.2018 – Dresden – Beatpol, D
10.11.2018 – Krakow – Soulstone Gathering, PL
12.11.2018 – Budapest – Dürer Kert, HUN
13.11.2018 – Zagreb – Vintage Industrial Bar, CRO
14.11.2018 – Ljubljana – Koncertna Dvorana Rog, SI
15.11.2018 – Innsbruck – Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, A
16.11.2018 – Leipzig – Werk 2, D
17.11.2018 – Strasbourg – La Laiterie, FR
18.11.2018 – Paris – La Maroquinerie, FR
19.11.2018 – Rennes – Le Mondo Bizarro, FR
20.11.2018 – Bordeaux – Make It Sabbathy 50th, FR
21.11.2018 – Barcelona – Rocksound, SP
22.11.2018 – Toulouse – Les Pavillons Sauvages, FR
24.11.2018 – Bologna – Freakout, IT
25.11.2018 – Milano – VVitch Festival, IT
26.11.2018 – Munich – Feierwerk, D
27.11.2018 – Utrecht – DB’s, NL
28.11.2018 – Brussels – Magasin 4, B
29.11.2018 – Cologne – Helios 37, D
30.11.2018 – Berlin – Zukunft Am Ostkreuz, D
01.12.2018 – Osnabrück – Westwerk, D
02.12.2018 – Freiburg – Slow Club, D

THE NECROMANCERS:
Tom Cornière – Vocals, Guitar
Robin Genais – Lead Guitar
Simon Evariste – Bass Guitar
Benjamin Rousseau – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

The Necromancers, “Secular Lord”

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl (2017)

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VVitch Festival 2018 Confirms Lineup with Dopethrone, Celeste, Eagle Twin and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Set in Milan across four nights and three different venues taking place over the course of two months, the full VVitch Festival is a season-long experience. It draws bands from multiple regions in Europe, the US and Canada, and is no less eclectic in its sound than in the geography. Each show has a different theme that feeds into the larger entirety of the experience, and VVitch Festival proper will be held as the last night, with Frizzi 2 FulciCeleste, KENmodeBelzebong and The Necromancers (who are touring together and also making a stop in Austria at the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest), Birds in Row and Coilguns. Seems like a pretty sick night and all over the place, but again, it’s just the last of four in the series.

Full lineups follow here, along with event links as per the PR wire:

vvitch festival lineup

-VVITCH-

Inspired by witchcraft and horror movies themes, between doom, sludge, black, grind, death and post metal, it?s coming soon in Milano, Italy, a new event for metal maniacs called “VVITCH FESTIVAL”. A trilogy of events plus a fourth one, the festival. Three different venues in Milano, 17 bands, some of them for the first time in Italy, some for exclusive Italian shows.

“..dark forces are going to cross the walls of the city, after the Sacrifice and the Ritual, the Evocation..”

VVITCH I – Sacrifice
September 19th 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
DEMILICH (FIN) exclusive Italian show
SPECTRAL VOICE (USA) exclusive Italian show
CARDIAC ARREST (USA) exclusive Italian show
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1568544103256273

VVITCH II – Ritual
October 11th 2018, Kraken Pub, Milano
DOPETHRONE (CAN)
EAGLE TWIN (USA)
MESSA (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1979301145733544

VVITCH III – Evocation
November 3rd 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
BOLOGNA VIOLENTA (IT) “Uno Bianca” full album set
FISTULA (USA) exclusive Italian show
GRIME (IT)
DEATH HAS GONE (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2063352060550129

VVITCH FESTIVAL
November 25th 2018, Circolo Magnolia, Milano
FRIZZI 2 FULCI (IT)
(live soundtracks by Fabio Frizzi, of Lucio Fulci’s horror cult movies, for the
first time in Milano)
CELESTE (FR) exclusive Italian show
KEN MODE (CAN) exclusive Italian show
BELZEBONG (PL)
BIRDS IN ROW (FR)
COILGUNS (CH)
THE NECROMANCERS (FR)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/172227866788138

https://www.facebook.com/vvitchfestival

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (2018)

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Heavy Psych Sounds 2018: Brant Bjork, Black Rainbows, Belzebong & The Necromancers Set to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Four bands announced so far for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2018: Brant Bjork, Belzebong, Black Rainbows and The Necromancers. Brant Bjork recently announced the details for his upcoming album, Mankind Woman, which will be out via Heavy Psych Sounds on Sept. 14 (info here) and a stop at the festival was noted as part of his corresponding European tour. Belzebong and The Necromancers will be on the road together, so it makes sense they’d both be stopping through the fest, and, well, it wouldn’t be Heavy Psych Sounds without Italian ambassadors Black Rainbows taking the stage.

So yeah, all this makes sense. What I find most curious about this year’s Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, though, is that it’s not happening in Italy. This is the 15th one, and it’s presented by the label and Poison for Souls, which is also based in Italy, so I’m not sure how they wound up in Innsbruck, Austria. But whatever works. I’m sure by the time they’re done announcing bands it’ll be a lineup worth following anywhere, which, now that I look at it, it pretty much already is. Go figure.

Details follow as per the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds fest 2018 poster

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST confirms Brant Bjork, Belzebong, Black Rainbows, The Necromancers in Innsbruck ; pre-sale tickets available now!

Heavy Psych Sounds together with Poison For Souls are proud to announce the 15th edition of HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST, to take place in the Tyrol capital of Innsbruck in the Austrian mountains on November 15-16th.

This is a first for the Italy-based stoner & fuzz festival, which will settle in the colorful old city of Innsbruck in Austria. HPS FEST will take residence at PMK and Hafen venues for two days of the finest stoner, doom, psych rock, occult riffage! First acts announced are:

BRANT BJORK (USA)

BELZEBONG (PL)

BLACK RAINBOWS (IT)

THE NECROMANCERS (FR)

More to be announced soon…

Pre-sale tickets are available now for 36,60€ at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, “Luvin'” official video

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Belzebong & The Necromancers Announce Fall Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Poland’s Belzebong and France’s The Necromancers will head out on a tour together this November. In the announcement that follows, Sound of Liberation notes a new album coming from the latter that has yet to be detailed, so that’s an immediate bit of intrigue right there, and Belzebong released their latest outing, Greenferno, in early 2016, so it may well be that even if they don’t have a new record out by the time the tour starts on Nov. 12, they’re road-testing new material with an eye toward a 2019 release. And while we’re speculating, let’s just say if it’s gonna happen next year, it’d probably happen on April 20. Just a guess. Just spitballing.

But the tour is definitely on and will make stops at Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in Innsbruck and at the VVitch Festival in Milan, so although it starts after the glut of European Fall festivals (some of which are also Sound of Liberation productions), the truth is there really is no “festival season” when it comes to the heavy underground over there. It just keeps going pretty much all the time at this point.

The following was hoisted directly from the social medias:

belzebong the necromancers tour

Tour Announcement – BelzebonG + The Necromancers

Folks, today we are proud to unveil the “Purveyors of Dankness” European Tour 2018, with Polish heavy-doomfuzz-metal outfit BelzebonG and French Heavy-Occult rockers The Necromancers, as follows!

12.11.18 | HUN | Budapest | Dürer Kert
13.11.18 | CRO | Zagreb | Vintage Industrial Bar
14.11.18 | SI | Ljubljana | Koncertna Dvorana Rog
15.11.18 | A | Innsbruck | Heavy Psych Sounds Fest (p.m.k)
16.11.18 TBC
17.11.18 | FR | Strasbourg | La Laiterie Artefact
18.11.18 | FR | Paris | La Maroquinerie
19.11.18 | FR | Rennes | Mondo Bizarro
20.11.18 | FR | Bordeaux | Make It Sabbathy 50th (VOID // BDX)
21.11.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound BCN
22.11.18 TBC
23.11.18 TBC
24.11.18 | IT | Bolzano | Bunker Jugendtreff
25.11.18 | IT | Milano | VVitch Festival (Circolo Magnolia)
26.11.18 | D | Munich | Feierwerk
27.11.18 | NL | Utrecht | dB’s
28.11.18 | B | Brussels | Magasin 4
29.11.18 | D | Cologne | Helios37
30.11.18 | D | Berlin | Zukunft am Ostkreuz

The Necromancers will be presenting their new album whose first details will be unveiled very soon!

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420/
www.soundofliberation.com/belzebong

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
www.soundofliberation.com/the-necromancers

Belzebong, Greenferno (2016)

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl (2017)

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

Posted in Features on December 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top-20-debut-albums

Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2017 to that, please do.

Every successive year brings an absolute inundation of underground productivity. Every year, someone new is inspired to pick up a guitar, bass, drums, mic, keyboard, theremin, cello — whatever it might be — and set themselves to the task of manifesting the sounds they hear in their head.

This is unspeakably beautiful in my mind, and as we’ve done in years past, it seems only fair to celebrate the special moment of realization that comes with a band’s first album. The debut full-length. Sometimes it’s a tossed-off thing, constructed from prior EPs or thrown together haphazardly from demo tracks, and sometimes it’s a meticulously picked-over expression of aesthetic — a band coming out of the gate brimming with purpose and desperate to communicate it, whatever it might actually happen to be.

We are deeply fortunate to live in an age (for now) of somewhat democratized access to information. That is, if you want to hear a thing — or if someone wants you to hear a thing — it’s as simple as sharing and/or clicking a link. The strong word of mouth via ubiquitous social media, intuitive recording software, and an ever-burgeoning swath of indie labels and other promotional vehicles means bands can engage an audience immediately if they’re willing to do so, and where once the music industry’s power resided in the hands of a few major record companies, the divide between “listener” and “active participant” has never been more blurred.

Therefore, it is a good — if crowded — time for an act to be making their debut, even if it’s something that happens basically every day, and all the more worth celebrating the accomplishments of these first-albums both on their current merits and on the potential they may represent going forward. Some percent of a best-debuts list is always speculation. That’s part of what makes it so much fun.

As always, I invite you to let me know your favorite picks in the comments (please keep it civil). Here are mine:

telekinetic-yeti-abominable

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

1. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable
2. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
3. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
4. Dool, Here Now There Then
5. Eternal Black, Bleed the Days
6. Arduini/Balich, Dawn of Ages
7. Vinnum Sabbathi, Gravity Works
8. Tuna de Tierra, Tuna de Tierra
9. Brume, Rooster
10. Moon Rats, Highway Lord
11. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
12. OutsideInside, Sniff a Hot Rock
13. Hymn, Perish
14. Riff Fist, King Tide
15. Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, Medicine
16. Abronia, Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands
17. Book of Wyrms, Sci-Fi Fantasy
18. Firebreather, Firebreather
19. REZN, Let it Burn
20. Ealdor Bealu, Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain

Honorable Mention

Alastor, Black Magic
Devil’s Witches, Velvet Magic
Elbrus, Elbrus
Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
Grigax, Life Eater
High Plains, Cinderland
Kingnomad, Mapping the Inner Void
Lord Loud, Passé Paranoia
Masterhand, Mind Drifter
The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl
Owlcrusher, Owlcrusher
Petyr, Petyr
The Raynbow, The Cosmic Adventure
Savanah, The Healer
War Cloud, War Cloud
WhiteNails, First Trip

I could keep going with honorable mentions, and no doubt will add a few as people remind me of other things on which I brainfarted or whathaveyou, preferably without calling me an idiot, though I recognize that sometimes that’s a lot to ask. Either way, the point remains that the heavy underground remains flush with fresh infusions of creativity and that as another generation comes to maturity, still another is behind it, pushing boundaries forward or looking back and reinventing what came before them.

Notes

Will try and likely fail to keep this brief, but the thing I find most striking about this list is the variety of it. That was not at all something I planned, but even if you just look at the top five, you’ve got Telekinetic Yeti at the forefront. Abominable is something of a speculative pick on my part for the potential it shows on the part of the Midwestern duo in their songcraft and tonality, but then you follow them with four other wildly different groups in Rozamov, Mindkult, Dool and Eternal Black. There you’ve got extreme sludge from Boston, a Virginian one-man cult garage project, Netherlands-based dark heavy rock with neo-goth flourishes, and crunching traditionalist doom from New York in the vein of The Obsessed.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s not just about one thing, one scene, one sound, or one idea. It’s a spectrum, and at least from where I sit, the quality of work being done across that spectrum is undeniable. Think of the prog-doom majesty Arduini/Balich brought to their collaborative debut, or the long-awaited groove rollout from Vinnum Sabbathi, or how Italy’s Tuna de Tierra snuck out what I thought was the year’s best desert rock debut seemingly under everybody’s radar. Stylistically and geographically these bands come from different places, and as with Brume and Moon Rats, even when a base of influence is similar, the interpretation thereof can vary widely and often does.

That Moon Rats album wasn’t covered nearly enough. I’m going to put it in the Quarterly Review coming up just to give another look at the songwriting on display, which was maddening in its catchiness. Maddening in its cacophony of noise was Stone and Skin from Brooklyn’s Thera Roya, which found itself right on the cusp of the top 10 with backing from the ’70s heavy rock vibes of the post-Carousel Pittsburgh outfit OutsideInside. Norway’s Hymn thrilled with their bleak atmospheres, while Australia’s Riff Fist showed off a scope they’d barely hinted at previously, and Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree offered surprises of their own in their warm heavy psych tonality and mostly-instrumental immersion. That record caught me almost completely off-guard. I was not at all prepared to dig it as much as I did.

Thrills continue to abound and resound as the Young Hunter-related outfit Abronia made their first offering of progressive, Americana-infused naturalist heavy, while Book of Wyrms dug themselves into an oozing riffy largesse on the other side of the country and Sweden’s Firebreather emerged from the defunct Galvano to gallop forth and claim victory a la early High on Fire. REZN’s Let it Burn got extra points in my book for the unabashed stonerism of it, while it was the ambience of Ealdor Bealu’s Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain that kept me going back to it. An album that was genuinely able to project a sense of mood without being theatrical about it was all the more impressive for it being their first. But that’s how it goes, especially on this list.

There you have it. Those are my picks. I recognize I’m only one person and a decent portion of my year was taken up by personal matters — having, losing a job; pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, etc. — but I did my best to hear as much music as I could in 2017 and I did my best to make as much of it as new as I could.

Still, if there’s something egregious I left out or just an album you’d like to champion, hell yes, count me in. What were some of your favorites? Comments are right down there. Let’s get a discussion going and maybe we can all find even more music to dig into.

Thanks for reading and here’s to 2018 to come and the constant renewal of inspiration and the creative spirit.

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Quarterly Review: The Necromancers, The Asound & Intercourse, Bohr, Strobe, Astrosaur, Sun Q, Holy Mount, Sum of R, IIVII, Faces of the Bog

Posted in Reviews on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

The season is changing here in the Northeastern part of the US. Leaves have just barely started to change, and the summertime haze that settles over the region for for the better parts of June, July and August has largely dissipated. It’s getting to be hoodie weather after the sun goes down. This past weekend was the equinox. All of this can only mean it’s time for another Quarterly Review — this one spanning a full Monday-to-Monday week’s worth of writeups. That’s right. 60 albums between now and a week from today. It’s going to be a genuine challenge to get through it all, but I’m (reasonably) confident we’ll get there and that when we’re on the other side, it will have been completely worth the lengthy trip to get there. Hell, you know the drill by now. Let’s not waste any time and get to it, shall we?

Quarterly Review #1-10:

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl

the-necromancers-servants-of-the-salem-girl

A noteworthy debut from the Poitier, France-based four-piece The Necromancers, whose coming has been much heralded owing in no small part to a release through Ripple Music, the six-track/41-minute Servants of the Salem Girl lumbers through doom and cultish heavy rock with likewise ease, shifting itself fluidly between the two sides on extended early cuts like opener “Salem Girl Part I” and the nine-minute “Lucifer’s Kin,” which gets especially Sabbathian in its roll later on. The album’s midsection, with the shorter cuts “Black Marble House” (video premiere here) and “Necromancers,” continues the flow with a general uptick of pace and ties together with the opening salvo via the burly vocals of guitarist Tom, the solo work of Rob on lead guitar, and the adaptable groove from bassist Simon and drummer Ben, and as the penultimate “Grand Orbiter” engages moody spaciousness, it does so with a refusal to commit to one side or the other that makes it a highlight of the album as a whole. The Necromancers finish contrasting rhythmic tension and payoff nod on “Salem Girl Part II,” having long since thoroughly earned their hype through songwriting and immediately distinct sonic persona. There’s growth to do in melodicism, but for being “servants,” The Necromancers show an awful lot of command in structure and style.

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

The Asound & Intercourse, Split 7″

the asound intercourse split

Noise is the order of things on the Tsuguri Records split 7” between New Haven, Connecticut’s good-luck-Googling aggressives Intercourse and North Carolinian sludge rockers The Asound. Each band offers a two-song showcase of their wares, with Intercourse blasting short jabs of post-hardcore/noise rock angularity on “Too Fucked to Yiff” and “Corricidin is a Helluva Drug” and The Asound bringing a more melodic heavy rock swing to “Slave to the Saints” while saving a more galloping charge for “Human for Human.” It’s a quick sampling, of course, and “Slave to the Saints” is the relative epic inclusion as the only one over three minutes long – it goes to 4:20, naturally – but boasts a surprisingly professional production from The Asound and an unhinged vibe from Intercourse that meets them head on in a way both competitive and complementary to the aggression of “Human for Human.” Fodder for the bands’ merch tables in its limited-to-300, one-time-only pressing, but there’s hardly anything wrong with that. All the more worth grabbing it if you can, while you can.

The Asound on Thee Facebooks

Intercourse on Thee Facebooks

Tsuguri Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Bohr, Bohr

bohr bohr

Officially called Self-Title, this two-song outing released by Tandang Records and BTNKcllctv serves as the first release from Malaysia’s Bohr, and with shouts and growls duking it out over massive plodding tones on opener “Voyager,” they seem to take position right away in the post-Conan verve of megadoom. Peppered-in lead work showcases some welcome nuance of personality, but it’s the second track “Suria” that trips into more surprising terrain, with a faster tempo and something of a letup in thickness, allowing for a more rocking feel, still met with shouted vocals but hinting at more of a melodic reach nonetheless. The shift might be awkward in the context of a full-length, but on a debut single/EP, it works just fine to demonstrate what may or may not be a nascent breadth in Bohr’s approach. They finish “Suria” with hints of more to come in a plotted guitar lead and are done in about 10 minutes, having piqued interest with two disparate tracks that leave one to wonder what other tricks might be up their collective sleeve.

Bohr on Thee Facebooks

Tandang Records on Bandcamp

BTNKcllctv on Bandcamp

 

Strobe, Bunker Sessions

strobe bunker sessions

It’s worth noting outright that Strobe’s Bunker Sessions was recorded in 1994. Not because it sounds dated, but just the opposite. The Sulatron Records release from the under-exposed UK psychedelic rockers finds them jamming out in live-in-studio fashion, and if you’d told me with no other context that the resultant six-track/40-minute long-player was put to tape two months ago, I’d absolutely have believed it. This would’ve been the era of their 1994 third album, The Circle Never Ends, and while some can hear some relation between that and Bunker Sessions in the shimmering lead and warm underscoring basslines of 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Sun Birth,” the drift in “Chameleon Earth,” synth-laden space rock meandering of “Opium Dreams” and cymbal-wash-into-distortion-wash of closer “Sun Death” are on a wavelength of their own. It’s something of a curio release – a “lost album” – but it’s also bound to turn some heads onto how ahead of their time Stobe were in the ‘90s, and maybe we’ll get lucky and Sulatron will use it to kick off a full series of convenient LP reissues.

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Astrosaur, Fade In / Space Out

astrosaur-fade-in-space-out

While their moniker brings to mind pure stoner idolatry, Oslo instrumentalists Astrosaur acquit themselves toward more progressive fare with Fade In // Space Out, their Bad Vibes Records debut album, finding open spaces in bookending extended opener “Necronauts” and the dramatic shift between droning experimentalism and weighted lumber of the closing title-track even as middle cuts “Space Mountain,” “Yugen” and “Fishing for Kraken” balance with fits of driving progressive metallurgy. Comprised of Eirik Kråkenes, Steinar Glas and Jonatan Eikum, Astrosaur do get fuzzy for a bit on “Yugen,” but by the time they’re there, they’ve already space-doom-jazzed their way through such a vast aesthetic swath that it becomes one more stylistic element in fair-enough play. Open in its structure and building to an affecting cacophony in its ending, Fade In // Space Out is defined in no small part by its stylistic ambition, but whether it’s in the head-spinning initial turns of “Fishing for Kraken” or the stretch of peaceful, wistful guitar after the seven-minute mark in “Necronauts,” that ambition is admirable multifaceted and wide-reaching.

Astrosaur on Thee Facebooks

Bad Vibes Records website

 

Sun Q, Charms

sun q charms

There’s an encouraging and decidedly pro-shop fullness of sound being proffered on Sun Q’s debut full-length, Charms, to match an immediate sense of songcraft and stylization that puts them somewhere between heavy psych and more driving fuzz rock. Vocalist Elena Tiron takes a forward position in opener “Petals and Thorns” over the briskly-captured tones from guitarist Ivan Shalimov and bassist Denis Baranov while drummer Pavel Poseluev pushes the proceedings along, and whether they’re bringing in Seva Timofeev’s Hammond for the subsequent bluesy vibing of “After This,” toying with pop playfulness on “Plankton,” giving Andrey Tanzu percussive room on “Dancing Souls” or going full-expanse on keyboard-laden centerpiece and aptly-titled longest cut “Space,” there’s purpose behind the variety on offer and Sun Q never seem to lose their sense of poise throughout. There are moments where the bite of the production hits a little deep – looking at you, “Plankton” – but especially as their debut, Charms lives up to the name it’s been given and establishes these Moscow natives as a presence with which to be reckoned as they move forward.

Sun Q on Thee Facebooks

Sun Q on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mount, The Drought

holy mount the drought

White Dwarf Records picked up what by my count is Holy Mount’s fourth full-length, The Drought, for a vinyl issue following the Toronto foursome’s self-release last year, and with the immersive, dense heavy psych nod of “Division,” it’s little wonder why. The seven-cut LP is the second to feature the lineup of Danijel Losic, Brandon McKenzie, Troy Legree and Clayton Churcher behind 2014’s VOL, and its moments of nuance like the synth at the outset of “Blackened Log” or the blend of tense riffing and post-The Heads shoegaze-style vocal chants on the markedly insistent highlight cut “Basalt” only further the reasoning. The penultimate “Blood Cove” returns some to of the ritual sense of “Division,” and The Drought’s titular finale pierces its own wash with a lead that makes its apex all the more resonant and dynamic. Not nearly as frenetic as its cover art would have you believe, the already-sold-out vinyl brims with a vibe of creative expansiveness, and Holy Mount feel right at home in its depths.

Holy Mount on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records webstore

 

Sum of R, Orga

sum of r orga

Over the course of its near-hour runtime, Orga, the Czar of Crickets-issued third full-length from Bern, Switzerland, ambient outfit Sum of R deep-dives into droning atmospheric wash while effectively producing headphone-worthy depths and avoiding the trap of redundant minimalism. Chimes in a song like “Desmonema Annasethe” and ringing bells in “We Have to Mark this Entrance” give a feeling of lushness instead that serves the release well overall, and these details, nuances, take the place of what otherwise might be human voices coursing through the bleak mire of Orga’s progression. One might look to closing duo “Let us Begin with What We Do Not Want to Be” and “One After the Other” for some sense of hopefulness, and whether or not it’s actually there, it’s possible to read it into the overarching drone of the former and the percussive movement of the latter, but by then Sum of R have well set the mood in an abiding darkness, and that remains the prevailing vibe. Not quite dramatic or brooding in a human/emotional sense, Orga casts its drear in soundscapes of distant nighttime horizon.

Sum of R website

Czar of Crickets Productions website

 

IIVII, Invasion

iivii invasion

Noted graphic artist and post-metal songwriter Josh Graham – formerly visuals for Neurosis, but also art for Soundgarden and many others, as well as being known for his work with A Storm of Light and the woefully, vastly underrated Battle of Mice – makes his second ambient solo release in the form of IIVII’s Invasion on Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. A soundtrack-ready feel pervades the nine tracks/44 minutes almost instantly and holds sway with opener “We Came Here from a Dying World (I)” finding complement in the centerpiece “Tomorrow You’ll be One of Us (II)” and a thematic capstone in closer “Sanctuary,” only furthering the sense of a narrative unfolding throughout. There are elements drawn in “Unclouded by Conscience” from the atmospheric and score work of Trent Reznor and/or Junkie XL, but Graham doesn’t necessarily part with the post-metallic sense of brooding that has defined much of his work even as the pairing of “We Live” and “You Die” late in the record loops its way to and through its dramatic apex. Obviously not going to be for everyone, but it does make a solid argument for Graham as a composer whose breadth is still revealing itself even after a career filled with landmarks across multiple media.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds website

 

Faces of the Bog, Ego Death

faces-of-the-bog-ego-death

In some of their shifts between atmospheric patience and churning intensity – not to mention in the production of Sanford ParkerFaces of the Bog remind a bit of fellow Windy City residents Minsk on their DHU Records debut album, Ego Death, but prove ultimately more aggressive in the thrust of “Drifter in the Abyss” and the later stretch of “The Serpent and the Dagger,” on which the guitars of Mark Stephen Gizewski and Trey Wedgeworth (both also vocals) delve into Mastodonic leads near the finish to set up the transition into the 10:33 title-track, which begins with a wash of static noise before Paul Bradfield’s bass sets up the slow nod that holds sway and only grows bigger as it presses forward. That cut is one of two over the 10-minute mark, and the other, closer “Blue Lotus,” unfolds even more gradually and ventures into cleaner vocals presaged on “The Weaver” and elsewhere as it makes its way toward an album-payoff crescendo marked by drummer Danny Garcia’s thudding toms and a low end rumble that’s as much a presence unto itself as a harbinger of progression to come.

Faces of the Bog on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

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Desertfest Berlin 2018 First Announcements: Monster Magnet, Nebula, Eyehategod, Jex Thoth, Planet of Zeus & The Necromancers

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Berlin 2018 made its actual first announcement the other day when it unveiled that it was moving from its traditional home at Astra Kulturhaus to Arena Berlin. I’m not familiar with the space, but one assumes the move is at least in part to accommodate the gradual upping of scale that Desertfest as a whole has undertaken over the last few years.

As ever, Desertfest Berlin will apparently share a decent amount of lineup with the London incarnation of the fest, and fair enough — that’s kind of the idea — but in addition to headliners Monster Magnet and the confirmations for EyehategodNebulaJex Thoth and Planet of ZeusDesertfest Berlin 2018 will also feature The Necromancers, who’ve yet to be added to London if they will be at all, and so we see the German event beginning to cast its own shape as well.

More to come, of course. Here’s what came in on the PR wire so far:

DESERTFEST BERLIN ANNOUNCES FIRST BANDS & HEADLINER FOR 2018

Tickets On Sale Now!

Desert rockers! It’s about time to unveil the first bunch of bands for next year’s Desertfest Berlin, which will take place between May 4th – 6th 2018 at the ARENA BERLIN!

Ladies & gentlemen, breath in deep, as this first line-up news will come to revive your spirit: We’re more than thrilled to announce that the Spacelord, Dave Wyndorf will hit our main stage in 2018. MONSTER MAGNET comes as the first headliner we can proudly present to you today! With their hazed heavy sound on groundbreaking records such as ‘Tab’, ‘Spine Of God’, ‘Dopes To Infinity’ or ‘Powertrip’, MONSTER MAGNET transformed themselves into the Olympus of modern power rock and became the godfathers of psychedelic and stoner rock.

More big news are coming ahead, Desert Rockers! We are extremely happy that LA´s legendary psych stoner outfit NEBULA will celebrate their Re Union at our stages!!! Formed in 1997 by Fu Manchu member Eddie Glass, NEBULA have been on indefinite hiatus since early 2010 but have not broken up. We are much looking forward to welcome Eddy Glass and his gang at Desertfest Berlin 2018!

Oh and for all of you dear Sludge rockers, don’t worry we haven’t forgot about you. What about a heavy dose of mighty EYEHATEGOD in 2018? Yes, you have heard right. The kings of Sludge from New Orleans, who emerged from the Nola Metal scene since 1988 belong to the most influencing bands. Heavy, detuned, and bluesy guitar riffs, combined with walls of feedback and tortured vocals to create a harsh misantrophic vibe, EYEHATEGOD will make sure to take over our new home at the ARENA BERLIN!

Next on the bill we’re very proud to inform you, that the queen of darkness JEX THOTH will bring the Doom and Psychedelic Rock as its finest to Desertfest Berlin. Fronted by the eponymous Ms. Jessica Thoth, the Wisconsin- based 5 piece band delivers delicate tones that are soaked in mystery and aura as well as generate astounding depth atop a musical landscape of intelligently constructed Sabbath-ian blues vibes and fuzzy distortion.

Athen’s rumbling heavy rock machine PLANET OF ZEUS will set the stage on fire with their outstanding live performance. Last but not least in this announcement we are welcoming THE NECROMANCERS! This young band from France raised a lot of attention with the release of their outstanding debut album a few weeks ago.

We hope you all like this first bunch of bands and be sure there are many more exciting acts and news to follow soon! In 2018 we will break new grounds and preparing for an unforgettable Desertfest Berlin experience.

Join us in the capital of the almighty riff – DESERTFEST BERLIN 2018!!!

Limited amount of early birds avaialble now!
85 € ( + 7.-€ service fee)

Head over and make sure to get yours right HERE: https://www.desertfest-tickets.de/produkte/150

www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/desertfestberlin
www.facebook.com/events/128298847822160

Desertfest Berlin 2018 first announcements teaser

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The Necromancers Tour Starts Sept. 19; Playing Up in Smoke & Keep it Low

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

We’re just about a week removed from the release of the debut album from The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl, via Ripple Music, and hey, no time like the present for the French outfit to announce a European tour supporting the record. They start out Sept. 19 in their native Poitiers and are go-go-go from there, making their way across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany as support for Swiss-based progressive instrumentalists Monkey3. Good gig to get, and all the better since their tour also includes slots on the Up in Smoke and Keep it Low festivals, where no doubt they’ll be in top form, having just spent the prior week-plus on the road. Seems like they’re doing it right on all the way through.

The PR wire has background and whatnot, and if you haven’t heard Servants of the Salem Girl, it’s streaming in its entirety at the bottom of this post. Please feel free to dig in:

the necromancers

THE NECROMANCERS: French heavy psych quartet announce European tour with Monkey3 | Debut album out now on Ripple Music

Drawing on antiquated inspirations in mythology, religion, fantastical tales from European literature and an obsession for classic horror cinema, The Necromancers are a curious alliance of musicians, and together are a strange beast to behold.

Experimenting with progressive rock, heavy psych and the 70s pagan/proto-metal of bands like Black Sabbath and Coven, they take these influences, throw in the urgency of NWOBHM and douse the entire lot in lysergic illusions. All with a mind to create a debut album for the ages.

Having performed at many of Europe’s largest metal and rock festivals the band also toured Europe recently with London-based stoner rockers Elephant Tree and are set to embark on a short tour this year with Monkey 3.

“The band is still young,” explains vocalist and guitar player Tom Cornière. “We never would have thought of signing with a label like Ripple. We could hardly have hoped for better. It’s an honour and a surprise. Now, we are looking forward to the next tour and to be able to share our album wherever we can.”

Servants of the Salem Girl by The Necromancers is out now via Ripple Music on limited edition, multi-coloured vinyl and worldwide in a black vinyl edition, as well as on CD and digital.

Tour Dates:
19th Sept – Le Zinc – Poitiers (FR)
20th Sept – Le Ferailleur – Nantes (FR)*
21st Sept – Backstage – Paris (FR)*
25th Sept – Magasin 4 – Brussels (B)*
26th Sept – Hafenklang – Hamburg (D)*
28th Sept – Burgerweeshuis – Deventer (NL)*
29th Sept – Cadillac – Oldenburg (D)*
30th Sept – Vortex – Siegen (D)*
1st Oct – Nachtleben – Frankfurt (D)*
2nd Oct – Muz – Nürnberg (D)*
3rd Oct – 7er Club – Mannheim (D)*
4th Oct – Scheune – Dresden (D)*
7th Oct – Up In Smoke Festival – Pratteln (CH)
17th Oct – L’Usine – Geneva (CH)
22nd Oct – Keep It Low Festival – Munich (D)
*With Monkey3

The Necromancers:
Tom Cornière – Vocals, Guitar
Robin Genais – Lead Guitar
Simon Evariste – Bass Guitar
Benjamin Rousseau – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
http://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/the-necromancers-servants-of-the-salem-girl-black-magic-lp
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl (2017)

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