Quarterly Review: Slift, IIVII, Coogans Bluff, Rough Spells, Goblinsmoker, Homecoming, Lemurian Folk Songs, Ritual King, Sunflowers, Maya Mountains

Posted in Reviews on March 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Thursday. Everyone doing well? Healthy? Kicking ass? Working from home? There seems to be a lot of that going around, at least among the lucky. New Jersey, where I live, is on lockdown with non-essential businesses shuttered, roads largely empty and all that. It can be grim and apocalyptic feeling, but I’m finding this Quarterly Review to be pretty therapeutic or at least helpfully distracting at a moment when I very much need something to be that. I hope that if you’re reading this, whether you’ve been following along or not, it’s done or can do the same for you if that’s what you need. I’ll leave it at that.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Slift, Ummon

slift ummon

The second album from French space/psych trio Slift is a 72-minute blowout echoshred epic — too aware not to be prog but too cosmic not to be space rock. Delivered through Stolen Body Records and Vicious Circle, Ummon is not only long, it speaks to a longer term. It’s not an album for this year, or for this decade, or for any other decade, for that matter. It’s for the ongoing fluid now. You want to lose yourself in the depths of buzz and dreamy synth? Yeah, you can do that. You want to dig into the underlying punk and maybe a bit of Elder influence in the vocal bark and lead guitar shimmer of “Thousand Helmets of Gold?” Well hell’s bells, do that. The mega-sprawling 2LP is a gorgeous blast of distortion, backed by jazzy, organic drum wud-dum-tap and the bass, oh, the bass; the stuff of low end sensory displacement. Amid swirls and casts of melodic light in “Dark Was Space, Cold Were the Stars,” Slift dilate universal energy and push beyond the noise wash reaches of “Son Dong’s Cavern” and through the final build, liftoff and roll of 13-minute closer “Lions, Tigers and Bears” with the deft touch of those dancing on prior conceptions. We’d be lucky to have Ummon as the shape of space rock to come.

Slift on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

Vicious Circle Records store

 

IIVII, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep

Two LPs telling two different stories released at the same time, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep (on Consouling Sounds) brings Josh Graham‘s aural storytelling to new cinematic reaches. The composer, guitarist, synthesist, programmer, visual artist, etc., is joined along the way by the likes of Jo Quail, Ben Weinman (ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan), Dana Schecter (Insect Ark), Sarah Pendleton (ex-SubRosa) and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) — among others — but across about 90 minutes of fluidity, Graham/IIVII soundtracks two narratives through alternatingly vast and crushing drone. The latter work is actually an adaptation from a short sci-fi film about, yes, humanity losing its ability to sleep — I feel you on that one — but the former, which tells a kind of meth-fueled story of love and death, brings due chaos and heft to go with its massive synthesized scope. Josh Graham wants to score your movie. You should let him. And you should pay him well. And you should let him design the poster. And you should pay him well for that too. End of story.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds store

 

Coogans Bluff, Metronopolis

coogans bluff metronopolis

Following the initial sax-laden prog-rock burst and chase that is opener “Gadfly,” Berlin’s Coogans Bluff bring a ’70s pastoralia to “Sincerely Yours,” and that atmosphere ends up staying with Metronopolis — their fifth album — for the duration, no matter where else they might steer the sound. And they do steer the sound. Sax returns (as it will) in the jabbing “Zephyr,” a manic shred taking hold in the second half accompanied by no-less-manic bass, and “Creature of the Light” reimagines pop rock of the original vinyl era in the image of its own weirdness, undeniably rock but also something more. Organ-inclusive highlight “Soft Focus” doesn’t so much touch on psychedelics as dunk its head under their warm waters, and “The Turn I” brings an almost Beatlesian horn arrangement to fruition ahead of the closer “The Turn II.” But in that finale, and in “Hit and Run,” and way back in “Sincerely Yours,” Coogans Bluff hold that Southern-style in their back pocket as one of several of Metronopolis‘ recurring themes, and it becomes one more element among the many at their disposal.

Coogans Bluff on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution store

 

Rough Spells, Ruins at Midday

rough spells ruins at midday

An underlying current of social commentary comes coated in Rough Spells‘ mysticism on Ruins at Midday, the Toronto unit’s second LP. Recorded by Ian Blurton and presented by Fuzzed and Buzzed and DHU Records, the eight-track LP has, as the lyrics of “Chance Magic” say, “No bad intentions.” Indeed, it seems geared only toward eliciting your participation in its ceremony of classic groove, hooks and melodies, even the mellow “Die Before You Die” presenting an atmosphere that’s heavy but still melodic and accessible. “Grise Fiord” addresses Canada’s history of mistreating its native population, while “Pay Your Dues” pits guitar and vocal harmonics against each other in a shove of proto-metallic energy to rush momentum through side B and into the closing pair of the swaggering “Nothing Left” and the title-track, which is the longest single cut at five minutes, but still keeps its songwriting taut with no time to spare for indulgences. In this, and on several fronts, Ruins at Midday basks in multifaceted righteousness.

Rough Spells on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzed and Buzzed store

DHU Records store

 

Goblinsmoker, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze

goblinsmoker a throne in haze a world ablaze

Upside the head extreme sludgeoning! UK trio Goblinsmoker take on the more vicious and brutal end of sludge with the stench of death on A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze (on Sludgelord Records), calling to mind the weedian punishment of Belzebong and others of their decrepit ilk. Offered as part two of a trilogy, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze is comprised of three tracks running a caustic 26 minutes thick enough such that even its faster parts feel slow, a churning volatility coming to the crash of “Smoked in Darkness” at the outset only to grow more menacing in the lurch of centerpiece “Let Them Rot” — which of course shifts into blastbeats later on — and falling apart into noise and echoing residual feedback after the last crashes of “The Forest Mourns” recede. Beautifully disgusting, the release reportedly furthers the story of the Toad King depicted on its cover and for which the band’s prior 2018 EP was named, and so be it. The lyrics, largely indecipherable in screams, are vague enough that if you’re not caught up, you’ll be fine. Except you won’t be fine. You’ll be dead. But it’ll be awesome.

Goblinsmoker on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Homecoming, LP01

homecoming lp01

Progressive metal underpins French trio Homecoming‘s aptly-titled first record, LP01, with the guitars of second cut “Rivers of Crystal” leading the way through a meandering quiet part and subsequent rhythmic figure that reminds of later Opeth, though there’s still a strong heavy rock presence in their tones and grooves generally. It’s an interesting combination, and all the more so because I think part of what’s giving off such a metal vibe is the snare sound. You don’t normally think of a snare drum determining that kind of thing, but here we are. Certainly the vocal arrangements between gruff melodies, backing screams and growls, etc., the odd bit of blastbeating here and there, bring it all into line as well — LP01 is very much the kind of album that would title its six-minute instrumental centerpiece “Interlude” — but the intricacy in how the nine-minute “Return” develops and the harmonies that emerge early in closer “Five” tell the tale clearly of Homecoming‘s ambitions as they move forward from this already-ambitious debut.

Homecoming on Thee Facebooks

Homecoming on Bandcamp

 

Lemurian Folk Songs, Logos

lemurian folk songs logos

Tracked in the same sessions as the Budapest outfit’s 2019 album, Ima (review here), it should not come as a major surprise that the six-track/49-minute Logos from Lemurian Folk Songs follows a not entirely dissimilar course, bringing together dream-drift of tones and melodies with subtle but coherent rhythmic motion in a fashion not necessarily revolutionary for heavy psych, but certainly well done and engaging across its tracks. The tones of guitar and bass offer a warmth rivaled only by the echoing vocals on opener/longest cut (immediate points) “Logos,” and the shimmering “Sierra Tejada” and progressively building “Calcination” follow that pattern while adding a drift that is both of heavy psych and outside of it in terms of the character of how it’s played. None of the last three tracks is less than eight minutes long — closer “Firelake” tops nine in a mirror to “Logos” at the outset, but if that’s the band pushing further out I hear, then yes, I want to go along for that trip.

Lemurian Folk Songs on Thee Facebooks

Para Hobo Records on Bandcamp

 

Ritual King, Ritual King

ritual king ritual king

Progressive heavy rockers Ritual King display a striking amount of grace and patience across their Ripple Music-issued self-titled long-player. Tapping modern influences like Elder and bringing their own sense of melodic nuance to the proceedings across a tightly-constructed seven songs and 42 minutes, the three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Jordan Leppitt, bassist Dan Godwin — whose tone is every bit worthy of gotta-hear-it classification — and drummer/backing vocalist Gareth Hodges string together linear movements in “Headspace” and “Dead Roads” that flow one into the next, return at unexpected moments or don’t, and follow a direction not so much to the next chorus but to the next statement the band want to make, whatever that might be. “Restrain” begins with a sweet proggy soundscape and unfolds two verses over a swaying riff, then is gone, where at the outset, “Valleys” offers grandeur the likes of which few bands would dare to embody on their third or fourth records, let alone their first. Easily one of 2020’s best debuts.

Ritual King on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Sunflowers, Endless Voyage

sunflowers endless voyage

You know what? Never mind. You ain’t weird enough for this shit. Nobody’s weird enough for this shit. I have a hard time believing the two souls from Portugal who made it are weird enough for this shit. Think I’m wrong? Think you’re up for it and you’re gonna put on SunflowersEndless Voyage and be like, “oh yeah, turns out mega-extreme krautrock blasted into outer space was my wavelength all along?” Cool. Bandcamp player’s right there. Have at it. I dare you.

Sunflowers on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

Italian heavy rockers Maya Mountains formed in 2005 and issued their debut album, Hash and Pornography, through Go Down Records in 2008. Era, which follows a narrative about the title-character whose name is given in lead cut “Enrique Dominguez,” who apparently travels through space after being lost in the desert — as one does — and on that basis alone is clearly a more complex offering than its predecessor. As to where Maya Mountains have been all the time in between records — here and there, in other bands, etc. But Era, at 10 tracks and 44 minutes, is the summation of five years of work on their part and its blend of scope and straight-ahead heavy riffing is welcome in its more heads-down moments like “Vibromatic” or in the purposefully weirder finale “El Toro” later on. Something like a second debut for the band after being away for so long, Era at very least marks the beginning of a new one for them, and one hopes it continues in perhaps more productive fashion than the last.

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records store

 

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

Hors Sujet Announces New Album Avec la Distance out June 10

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

What makes Hors Sujet stand out in my mind from the hordes of single-person ambient/drone outfits out there is the evocative and emotional resonance of the work. There’s an experimentalist side to it, of course, but listening to “À l’œil baigné par la mer” from the new album, Avec la Distance, it’s clear that Florent Paris, who indeed is the only individual behind the project, is putting that experimentalism to a purpose of expression. That makes it even less of a surprise that Hors Sujet has been tapped for live soundtracks and things of that sort. I can very easily imagine watching a set with some film or other as a backdrop — closed captioning on, of course.

The new album — he calls it an EP, but it’s over 50 minutes long, so yeah, that’s an album in my book — will be out June 10 and available digitally through Bandcamp and the other usual suspect purveyors. There’s a teaser playing now that barely scratches the surface of the depths portrayed in Hors Sujet‘s sound, but I mean, take what you can get, I guess. In any case, think of it as one to keep in your head, even if you’re not always into this kind of thing.

From the PR wire:

hors sujet avec la distance

Hors Sujet – ‘Avec la distance’ new album release 06/10/19

The France-based musical project Hors Sujet is proud to announce the release of its new album, Avec la distance. This new album composed by Florent Paris, marks through 54 minutes of music a new turning point in the musical project’s career.

Intimate and cathartic, this album deals sometimes with the rhythmic and lonely struggle between wind and tides, sometimes the implacable silence of absence.

The soundscape is drawn through multiple audio cassettes, field recordings, synthesizers and ethereal guitars in a great emotional release.

The official release will be on June 10, 2019, and the EP will be available on musical platforms (Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes).

Hors Sujet is the personal and musical project of Florent Paris, mainly fluctuating between post-rock, instrumental ambient, drone, doom and experimental. As soon as EPs, albums and live concerts were stated, Hors Sujet started to contribute to a lot of various artistic projects, such as cine-concerts, video live performance, original soundtracks, contemporary dance plays…

‘Avec la distance’ songs & artwork are composed, recorded, mixed & mastered by Florent Paris
Voices – Guillaume Bec
Saxophones – Géraldine Pallu

https://horssujet.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/horssujet21
https://www.facebook.com/horssujetmusic
https://twitter.com/HorsSujetMusic
https://www.instagram.com/horssujetmusic/
http://www.horssujet.fr

Hors Sujet, Avec la Distance teaser

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Kungens Män, PFUND, Crystal Spiders, The Misery Men, Hubris, Woorms, Melody Fields, Oreyeon, Mammoth Grove, Crimson Devils

Posted in Reviews on March 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

I used to be pretty artsy and write poetry. Let’s give it a shot:

There was an old man who wore no-toe shoes.
He said, I’mma go do 60 reviews.
He was out of his head,
Should’ve gone back to bed,
But he loves him some dirty psych blues.

Years from now, when I link back to this post for a “(review here)”-type scenario, I’m going to see that and I’ll still think it’s funny. The planet’s dying. I’d say a bit of silly is more than called for.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Kungens Män, Chef

kungens man chef

Krautrockers, assemble! Or, you know, whatever krautrockers do — I assume it involves homemade spacecraft that, yes, absolutely fly. Perhaps one of these days I’ll ask Stockholm’s Kungens Män, whose latest outing for Riot Season, simply titled Chef, is an outbound delight of psych-infused progressivism. Beginning with the opening throb of “Fyrkantig Böjelse” and moving into the volume swells, steady drum line and wandering guitar that starts “Öppen För Stängda Dörrar” on side A, its four extended tracks craft otherworldly textures through a meld of organic instrumental flow and waves of synth, the second cut building to a tense wash of distortion all the while keeping that hypnotic march. The two corresponding 10-minute-plus cuts on side B waste no time in offering cosmic boogie in “Män Med Medel” with a more active rhythmic flow, and closer “Eftertankens Blanka Krankhet” — longer than the opener by one second at 11:24 — fades in on meditative guitar and explores a serene minimalism that only underscores the all around joy of the album.

Kungens Man on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records webstore

 

PFUND, PFUND

pfund pfund

The self-titled, self-released debut full-length from Kiel, Germany’s PFUND arrives and departs with a guesting horn section, and while that inevitably adds a bit of grandeur to the proceedings, the bulk of the outing is dedicated to straightforward, semi-metallic heavy rock, held to ground even in the seven-minute “Spaceman” by a considered sense of structure and an earthy drum sound that draws the songs together, whether it’s the classic riff rock in “Sea of Life” or the moodier sway in the earlier “Lost in Rome.” Dual guitars effectively multiply the impact, and the vocals showcase a nascent sense of melody that one imagines will only continue to grow as the band moves forward. At nine songs and 44 minutes, it shows some breadth and nuance in “Exhaustion” and “Paranoia,” the former tapping into an edge of progressive metal, but the primary impact comes from PFUND‘s heft of groove and how it blends with a rawer edge to their production. The Kyuss-referencing centerpiece here might be called “Imbalance,” but that’s hardly representative of what surrounds, horns and all.

PFUND on Thee Facebooks

PFUND on Bandcamp

 

Crystal Spiders, Demo

crystal spiders demo

Three songs, 11 minutes and three distinct vibes from the aptly-titled Demo demo of North Carolinian three-piece Crystal Spiders. On “Tigerlily,” “Flamethrower” and “Devil’s Resolve,” the trio of bassist/vocalist Brenna Leath (also Lightning Born), guitarist/vocalist Mike Deloatch and drummer/backing vocalist Tradd Yancey careen from bluesy spaciousness to hard-driving catchiness and end up — because why not? — in repeating cult-sludge chants, “Come to the devil’s resolve!” like Black Widow trying to lure people to the sabbat, except shouting. If the purpose of a demo is for a new band to try different methods of working and thereby take a first step in discovering their sound, Crystal Spiders are well on their way, and for what it’s worth, there isn’t anything within their scope as they present it that doesn’t work for them. There are edges to smooth out, of course, but that too is a part of the process starting here.

Crystal Spiders on Thee Facebooks

Crystal Spiders on Bandcamp

 

The Misery Men, Deathspiration

The Misery Men Deathspiration

If you’d asked, depending on which part of Deathspiration was on, I’d probably have called The Misery Men a bass/drum duo, but nope, that’s guitar. Tonally one is reminded of At Devil Dirt from Chile, but the Portland, Oregon, two-piece of vocalist/guitarist Corey G. Lewis and drummer Steve Jones are entirely more barebones in their craft, eschewing digital involvement of any sort in the recording or mixing process and sounding duly raw as a result throughout the subtle earworm of “C.W. Sughrue” and the lumbering “Harness the Darkness.” The subsequent “Night Creeps In” brings a Northwestern noise payoff to quiet/loud trades and the near-10-minute closer “Stoned to Death,” well, it seems to meet an end befitting its title, to say the least. As their stated intent was to capture the most organic version of their sound possible, and made a point of working toward that ideal in their recording, one could hardly fault them for the results of that process. They wanted something human-sounding. They got it.

The Misery Men on Thee Facebooks

The Misery Men on Bandcamp

 

Hubris, EP #II Live

hubris ep ii live

Some — not all — of what one needs to know about HubrisEP #II Live is right there in the title. Indeed, it’s their second EP. Indeed, it was recorded live. And indeed, like using a ‘#’ sign with a Roman numeral, there’s something about the way the three included songs from the Toulouse, France-based outfit sound that’s just a little bit off-kilter from what you might expect. “Zugzwang” (7:19), “Tergo” (19:58) and “Biotilus” (27:04) are arranged shortest to longest, and while the opener starts off like Queens of the Stone Age on an Eastern-tinged psychedelic bender, the lengthy jams that follow — the first of them with a fervent drum punctuation, the second a gradual intertwining of synth and guitar with hardly any percussion at all until after its 22nd minute. The instrumental flow that ensues from there is almost like a hidden bonus track, at least until they Hubris get to minute 26 and the whole thing explodes in crash and plod. The underlying message, of course, is that if you think you’re safe at any point, you’re not.

Hubris on Thee Facebooks

Hubris on Bandcamp

 

Woorms, Slake

woorms slake

Lumbering fuckall pervades the debut full-length, Slake, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sludgers Woorms — also stylized all-caps — which incorporates past singles “Find a Meal Find a Bed Find a God” and “Mouth is a Wound” amid the sample/noise barrage of “Our Lady of Perpetually Shitfaced” and the willfully brash “Racist Kevin” that follows. There’s an edge of Melvinsian chug to the proceedings, but Woorms‘ take, though presented in finished compositions, comes across as almost nihilistic rather than making a show of its experimentalism. That is, they’re trying to say they don’t give a fuck, and in listening, they make it kind of easy to believe, but there’s still something about the cohesiveness of “Veni Vidi Fucki” and “Rice Crispy” and the saved-the-best-nod-for-last finale “Sore Afraid” that undercuts the notion even while making the listening experience all the more pummeling, and from the intro “Corpse Corps” through “Urine Trouble Now”‘s echoing shouts and the closer’s unmitigated stomp, there’s still plenty of exploration being done.

WOORMS on Thee Facebooks

WOORMS on Bandcamp

 

Oreyeon, Ode to Oblivion

Oreyeon Ode to Oblivion

Rebranded since their 2016 debut, Builders of Cosmos (discussed here), from their more phonetically intuitive original moniker, Orion, Italy’s Oreyeon issue a cosmically expansive spacescape follow-up in their six-song/40-minute sophomore outing, Ode to Oblivion, also their first release through Heavy Psych Sounds. Echoing vocals pervade “Big Surprise” after the introductory “T.I.O.” and “Trudging to Vacuity” establish the wide-cast mix and anti-grav rhythmic density, and the nine-minute side A finale title-track runs mostly-instrumental circles around most of what I’d usually call “prog” only after it lays down a sleek hook in the first couple minutes. After “Big Surprise,” the 8:45 “The Ones” trades volume back and forth but finds its breadth at about the sixth minute as the dramatic lead turns on a dime to desert rock thrust en route to wherever the hell it goes next. Honestly, after that moment, everything’s gravy, but Oreyeon lay it on thick with closer “Starship Pusher” and never neglect melody in the face of nod. Worth a deeper dig if you get the chance.

Oreyeon on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Melody Fields, Melody Fields

melody fields melody fields

Sometimes you hear a record and it’s like the band is doing you a favor by existing. To that, thanks Melody Fields. The Gothenburg psych troupe lace their lysergic flow with folkish harmonies and an open sensibility on their self-titled debut that comes coupled with enough tonal presence to still consider them heavy not that it matters. They break out the sax on “Morning Sun” to welcome effect, and the sun continues to shine through “Liberty” and the garage-buzzing “Run” before “Rain Man” turns water droplets into keyboard notes and Beatlesian — think “Rain” — voice arrangements atop soothing instrumental drift, every bit the centerpiece and an excellent precursor to the acoustic-based “Fire” and the 10-minute “Trädgränsen,” which is the crowning achievement of this self-titled debut, which, if I’d been hip to it in time, would’ve made both the 2018 best albums and best debuts list. They cap with a reprise of “Morning Sun” and underscore the solid foundation beneath the molten beauty of their work throughout. To ask for another album seems greedy, but I will anyway. More, please.

Melody Fields on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

 

Mammoth Grove, Slow Burn

mammoth grove slow burn

Okay, look, enough screwing around. It’s time for someone to sign Mammoth Grove. The Calgary natives have been putting out quality heavy psych rock since their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), and their latest long-player, the four-song Slow Burn is a righteous amalgam of peace-thru-rock that lives up to its freewheeling vibes in “Seasons” after the methodical opener “Valleys” and rolls out a bit of melodic ’70s biker rock bliss in “Black Meadow” before the side-B-consuming “Gloria” (18:42) asks early if you’re ready to go and then goes like gone, gone, gone, and gone further. Given the analog mindset involved and the heart on display throughout, there’s something fitting about it being pressed up in an edition of 100 hand-screenprinted LPs and 100 CDs likewise, but the more people who could hear it, the merrier, so yeah, some label or other needs to step up and make that happen, and I dare you to listen to the solo that hits past the 14-minute mark in “Gloria” and tell me otherwise. Dare you.

Mammoth Grove on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Grove on Bandcamp

 

Crimson Devils, A Taste for Blood

crimson devils a taste for blood

Since pared down to a trio from the four-piece incarnation they present here, Austin’s Crimson Devils first released their debut, A Taste for Blood, in 2017, but gave it a vinyl revisit last year and it’s little mystery why. The record comprises 11 sharply-composed tracks of Small Stone-style heavy rock, taking cues from Sasquatch in modern-via-classic modus, picking and choosing elements of ’70s and ’90s rock to conjure formidable groove and engaging hooks. There’s considerable swagger and weight in “They Get It,” and while opener “Dead and Gone” seems to show an influence in its vocal patterning from Elder, as the album unfolds, it’s more about the blast of “Captain Walker” or the penultimate “Nothing to Claim” and the straight-ahead vibes of “Bad News Blues” and “No Action” than anything so outwardly prog. There’s plenty to dig in the rock-for-rockers mindset, and it’s the kind of offering that should probably come with an octane rating. However such things are measured, safe to say it would not be low.

Crimson Devils on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Devils on Bandcamp

 

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

Witchthroat Serpent Premiere “Striped Dragon”

Posted in audiObelisk on May 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

witchthroat serpent

French doomers Witchthroat Serpent will release their new single Striped Dragon on June 15 through Svart Records. That makes it just in time for the Toulouse three-piece to hit the road for a week of dates mostly in Germany but also with stops in Belgium and France as well as they continue to support their 2016 sophomore outing, Sang-Dragon. “Striped Dragon,” which premieres today on the player below, is one of two outlier tracks included on the 300-copy 7″ pressing that was recorded at the same time as the album but ultimately held back, and given the shift from gritty and raw doom to more psychedelic roll, one can understand why. As much as cuts like “A Caw Rises from My Guts” or “Siberian Mist” brought garage swirl to post-Electric Wizard doom, that record was much more about crushing skulls than expanding the minds held within them. It’s a question of intent.

And when it comes to intent, Witchthroat Serpent‘s is — on one release or the other — clearly geared toward darkness. From itswitchthroat serpent striped dragon hey-check-it-out-it’s-a-naked-chick-with-horns cover art to the 90 seconds-plus of feedback that leads the way into “Striped Dragon” itself, the new single brims with a rough-hewn psychedelic atmosphere. It’s a trip, but it’s a bleak trip, and that minute and a half of feedback isn’t simply wasted time when it comes to setting the ambience for the groove that follows. Pushed forward by drummer Niko Lass with the raw fuzz of Lo Klav‘s bass as its foundation, “Striped Dragon” complements Fredrik Bolzann‘s buzzsaw guitar tone and cleaner-but-still-shouted vocals with a persistent line of organ, which not only distinguishes the song from the album that otherwise might’ve surrounded it, but ties it aesthetically to both modern cultism and classic heavy rock in a subtle but resonant fashion.

Structurally simple, “Striped Dragon” plows through its verses on the back of said elements and at the end of its sub-six-minute run feels somewhat short in a manner that might lead one to immediately flip the platter over and take on the B-side — all the more effective as a single, then. And, since most of Sang-Dragon‘s pressings have completely sold through at this point, all the better to give Witchthroat Serpent something new to take on the road in the coming weeks. One wonders if highlighting this side of their approach might lead the band to incorporate such a wider sonic berth to their next long-player, but I think we probably have a bit to go before we find out one way or the other.

In the meantime, you can check out “Striped Dragon” on the player below, followed by more info courtesy of Svart‘s preorder page, which is here.

Please enjoy:

After their acclaimed second LP “Sang Dragon” (2016), Witchthroat Serpent continue to blaze their own path in the most powerful manner possible. “Striped Dragon” is not merely an addendum; it is a fierce metallic onslaught of occult psychedelia, strong enough to stand on its own.

Recorded live at Drudenhaus Studio during the “Sang-Dragon” sessions, this new 7?EP reveals an even more radical side of the doom shamans. These two exclusive tracks push the band’s sound into a new territory. Fierce and mind-warping, riddled with fuzzy hammering riffs and ever groovier pounding, it’s a mean follow-up to their previous sonic excursions.

“Striped Dragon” is presented in a deluxe gatefold cover, a carefully-crafted work of art by Branca Studio. This piece is limited to 300 copies and is a one-time pressing.

Available on: 15.6.2017

WITCHTHROAT SERPENT “RISING SUN TOUR” June 2017:
19/06 BE Antwerpen “Kid’s Kaffee”
20/06 GER Berlin “Tiefgrund”
21/06 GER Dresden “Ostpol”
22/06 GER Leipzig “Black label Pub”
23/06 GER Nuremberg “Kunstverein”
24/06 GER Munich “St Helena Festival”
25/06 FR Paris “Dr Feelgood”

Witchthroat Serpent on Thee Facebooks

Witchthroat Serpent on Bandcamp

Svart Records website

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Hors Sujet to Release Seuls les Moins Humbles en Hériteront EP April 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Two songs, 21 minutes. Loops, drones, probably some feedback and… vocals? Interested to hear what Florent Paris has come up with for this latest outing under his Hors Sujet experimentalist moniker. The prolific project has been a source of ambient depth and cinematic soundscaping over the better part of the last decade, and it seems development of new ideas is ongoing, as well as bringing the material into the physical realm. The new EP, dubbed Seuls les Moins Humbles en Hériteront, will be released in a limited edition of 30 signed physical copies on April 24.

Just to reiterate that number: 30. Not very many at all. The two-tracker will of course be posted up on the Hors Sujet Bandcamp as well, so you can keep an eye out for it there, but if you’re a stickler for tangible media like me and think it’s something you might want to have and hold, you should know that your chance to do so will no doubt be fleeting. Like, 30 copies fleeting.

Paris sent the following down the PR wire:

hors-sujet-Seuls-les-moins-humbles-en-heriteront

HORS SUJET announces a new EP

The France-based musical project Hors Sujet is proud to announce the release of its new EP, “Seuls les moins humbles en hériteront”. This new EP composed by Florent Paris, states within these 21 minutes of music a new-found confidence: the drone parts of a silent desert with vulnerable vocals and handmade tape loops. The official release will be on April 24th 2017, and the EP will be available on musical platforms (Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes) and in a physical limited serie of 30 hand-signed copies.

Hors Sujet is the personal and musical project of Florent Paris, mainly fluctuating between post rock, instrumental ambient, drone, doom and experimental. As soon as EPs, albums and live concerts were stated, Hors Sujet started to contribute to a lot of various artistic projects, such as cine-concerts, video live performance, original soundtracks, contemporary dance plays…. Everything is composed, arranged, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by the only man behind this project.

Improvised music, sound experiments, combining forms, layers, noise, feebacks and landscapes, mostly seeking inspiration in dreamlike frames and visual representations, favoring improvisation and sound research, it’s by combining meticulousness and rough draft that Hors Sujet builds his music and blurs the boundaries between ambient, drone and post-rock.

https://horssujet.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/horssujet21
https://www.facebook.com/horssujetmusic
https://twitter.com/HorsSujetMusic
https://www.instagram.com/horssujetmusic/
http://www.horssujet.fr

Hors Sujet, “Le Souffle Peu à Peu Pt. 2”

Tags: , , , , ,

Hors Sujet Post “Le Début N’Est Jamais Trop Sombre” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

hors sujet

Prolific French soundscape artist Florent Paris had two releases out in 2016 under his working moniker Hors Sujet. The first was the Déclin EP, issued in March, and the second was a Sept. split with AUVN. Both are available to stream and download in their entirety via the Bandcamp page linked below, and they’re the latest in a long line of offerings dating back over the last nine years that find Paris engaging various levels of textural experimentation, progressive flourish, and cinematic mood-making. It’s little surprise he’s done periodic soundtrack work over that same span; his drones seem to leave plenty of room for visual evocation, real or imagined.

Accordingly, it’s kind of fascinating to see what might go into a video for a single Hors Sujet track. The song in question comes from Déclin and is the 10-minute centerpiece and longest cut “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre,” the title of which translates to “the beginning is never too dark,” or “the start is never too dark.” Throughout the piece, Paris joins his sometimes lush, sometimes minimal droning to a barrage of impressionistic images, doubled and manipulated, but still somehow playing to a sentimental graininess that speaks of a lost past. One is left wondering what beginning the title is referring to, but I’d imagine that’s at least part of the point — asking questions rather than deigning to answer them.

There’s a certain hypnotic effect here as well, but if you can keep your wits about you for the duration, it’s worth the effort. More info follows the clip.

Dig it:

Hors Sujet, “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre” official video

“Le début n’est jamais trop sombre” appears on my latest Ep, “Déclin” here: https://horssujet.bandcamp.com/album/d-clin-2

I hope you’ll enjoy.

This Ep has been recorded between dec 2014 and dec 2015, in the shadows of the cd I was releasing, at the same moment. Music, lyrics, recording, mastering & artwork by Florent Paris | Hors Sujet.

Hors Sujet is the solo project of Florent Paris, started in 2006. Stories told through shapes, noises, feedback and landscapes.

Hors Sujet on Thee Facebooks

Hors Sujet on Bandcamp

Hors Sujet on YouTube

Hors Sujet website

Tags: , , , , ,

Witchthroat Serpent to Release Sang-Dragon Vinyl Aug. 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

witchthroat serpent

French doom trio Witchthroat Serpent will issue their second offering, Sang-Dragon, on vinyl through Svart Records on Aug. 26. The full-length was released on CD by Deadlight Entertainment earlier this year and is still available via compact-discular means, and it can also be streamed in full via Witchthroat Serpent‘s Bandcamp page, from which one will find a player embedded below.

Witchthroat Serpent‘s debut came out in 2011 through Deadlight and Michigan’s Emetic Records, so safe to say that between the two releases the band has caught some respectable ears. Sang-Dragon is my first exposure to their work, but the heads they’ve turned to this point are enough to intrigue, even if the album art is somewhat suspect.

That and more info follow, from the PR wire:

witchthroat serpent sang-dragon

WITCHTHROAT SERPENT to release new album on vinyl through SVART RECORDS

Sanguis draconis is a thick, blood-red resin extracted from exotic trees. Since the dawn of time, it has uses in medicine, crafts, and of course. magic. And so is Witchthroat Serpent’s music: dark and heady as blood, weird as it would come from another world, and ridden with that old powerful magic men both used to practice and fear.

Witchthroat Serpent was created in November 2011 in Toulouse, France, by Fredrik Bolzann (guitar/vocals), Niko Lass (drums), and Lo Klav (bass), with the aim to spread occult and powerful doom metal. The self-titled first album was released on CD in 2014 by Deadlight Entertainment, soon followed by a tape version through Zanjeer Zani and on LP by US label Emetic Records the year after. Quickly acclaimed as a promising newcomer, the band toured extensively throughout Europe, playing both underground shows in various countries and making it to big festivals such as the Day of Doom in Barcelona and Hellfest in 2015, before a complete Spanish tour.

Witchthroat Serpent’s incantations are made of an old legacy – that of the ancestors of the doom and stoner scenes – but don’t be mistaken! Witchthroat Serpent is more than a clone. It has its own spells, and sure know how to use them to enthrall the listener: morbid groove and psychedelic tunes to seduce you to your perdition. And so is their new album, Sang-Dragon, recorded in one day at Drudenhaus Studio in September 2015. First released on CD by Deadlight Entertainment, it will be spread on noble black vinyl by Svart Records on August 26th. Before that, and just returning from a successful Spanish/French tour in May, the trio will appear onstage at Motocultor Fest on August 19th.

The witch is ravenous and restless…beware of her spells! Haven’t you heard her yet? Hear for yourself at Witchthroat Serpent’s Bandcamp HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Witchthroat Serpent’s Sang-Dragon
1. Hydra’s Bewitchment
2. A Caw Rises From My Guts
3. Siberian Mist
4. Lady Sally
5. Into The Black Wood
6. Behind Green Eyes
7. Mystical Devotee

www.facebook.com/WitchthroatSerpent
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.youtube.com/svartrecords
www.twitter.com/svartrecords

Witchthroat Serpent, Sang-Dragon (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,