Review & Full EP Stream: Godhunter, Codex Narco

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

godhunter codex narco

[Click play above to stream Godhunter’s Codex Narco EP in full. It’s out this Friday, May 19, on Battleground Records and Baby Tooth Records with sale proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.]

Tucson, Arizona’s Godhunter have always had a violent and/or aggressive edge to their approach, but most of what they’re demolishing on their latest EP, Codex Narco, are the expectations listeners might have of them. Delivered through Battleground Records and Baby Tooth Records with cover art by Bailey Illustration as the result of a few tumultuous years on the part of the once-sludge metallers, Codex Narco only tops out at about 21 minutes, and as it moves between the intro “A Dread of Some Strange Impending Doom” and outro “Distant Fading Screams of a Dying World,” rest assured, the fare is still suitably dark, but the band nonetheless hugely expand their sonic palette even from what it was two years ago on their Endsville split with Destroyer of Light (discussed here), let alone on their prior 2014 full-length, City of Dust (review here), which remains their only long-player to-date. They were a six-piece at that time and have since pared back to a core trio of guitarist/sampler David Rodgers, guitarist/keyboardist Matthew Davis and drummer Andy Kratzenberg, all of whom are spread out geographically.

The fact that Codex Narco‘s tracks were written via internet exchange between these three might ultimately be a factor in the aesthetic outcome of the EP, but that’s not to discount guest appearances from CHRCH vocalist Eva Rose on the aforementioned opening/closing pair, or Josh Thorne of Thorne on “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails” and centerpiece “Cocaine Witches and Lysergic Dreams,” or Methra‘s Nick Genitals on the penultimate Tegan and Sara cover, “Walking with a Ghost,” which here becomes a blown-out vision of doomwave with additional guitar from Clayton Bartholomew (Mountaineer) and bass from Demon Lung‘s Adam Sage. Nick Genitals contributes bass and guitar as well to the opener and closer and to the ambient “Unarmed Combat,” and Sage handles low end on “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails,” “Cocaine Witches and Lysergic Dreams” and “Walking with a Ghost” while Bartholomew also plays guitar on “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails,” “Our Blood is Poison” and “Cocaine Witches and Lysergic Dreams.”

One imagines it was quite a chain of emails by the time these songs actually started coming together, or at very least a barrage of Dropbox notifications, but however it was done, the wash that Codex Narco creates ties together this dizzying interchange of personnel, and with a headphone-ready depth of mix unlike anything Godhunter have produced before, these tracks offer atmospheric weight to coincide with their sheer tonal density. Interplay between shorter pieces like the intro and outro, the sample-topped rumble and feedback of “Our Blood is Poison” and the bass-and-drum “Unarmed Combat,” which seems to recount for 100 seconds a military experiment drugging soldiers and finding them refusing to train, the two longer tracks “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails” (5:53) and “Cocaine Witches and Lysergic Dreams” (5:45), and the unabashedly poppy “Walking with a Ghost” (2:31) ensure a steady flow from one piece to the next, and but for its runtime, Codex Narco could just as easily pass as an LP as an EP in terms of how its component pieces feed into and off of each other.

godhunter codex narco lineup

Davis‘ work on synth and keys becomes a huge factor in tying the release together as a whole, whether he’s playing to the post-punk chug and hook of “Walking with a Ghost” or adding electronica-style tension beneath the massive and blasted buzz tones of “Cocaine Witches and Lysergic Dreams.” No doubt a mastering job by the esteemed Brad Boatright had something to do with bringing the various tracks in line as well, but the handling of the synth and keys in the mix alongside the guitar and bass casts a scope behind the trades between screams and clean vocals on “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails” that proves as immersive as it is aggressive, and where in the past Godhunter have been driven to confront, to attack, Codex Narco feels more inwardly-directed as an examination, more personal, and thus more likely to draw listeners along with it on its brief but substantial path.

It’s the kind of release for which reviewers might generally fall over themselves to invent descriptors — which is an impulse that “doomwave” above notwithstanding I’m going to try to resist — but when one sees vague-eries like “post-sludge,” “sludgegaze,” “doomtronic” and so on, it’s a sign that at very least Godhunter are doing something of their own and something original, which on Codex Narco more than ever, they definitely are. RodgersDavis and Kratzenberg haven’t by any means abandoned their aggro tendencies or their underlying sense of purpose in creation — sales of the EP benefit Planned Parenthood and an anti-suicide video for “Walking with a Ghost” is reportedly in production — but they’ve successfully achieved a stylistic turn that even for those who’ve experienced their various experiments on collaborations with Secrets of the Sky (review here) and Amigo the Devil will no doubt prove a surprise. Still, even if one approaches Codex Narco anticipating the band Godhunter were on City of Dust, they’ve always warranted and encouraged a kind of open-mindedness that should make it relatively easy for listeners to get on board with the moves they have made and may or may not continue to make.

When it comes to the aftermath of this EP, that’s really the big question: whether Codex Narco, with its slew of guests and lung-collapsing soundscapes, is a sign of the future direction for Godhunter or a one-off experiment. Given the accomplishment and the fluidity of these songs, I’m inclined to hope for the former, but less than ever does it seem reasonable to predict what the band might do doing forward. Codex Narco is a quick listen, but it presents a huge shift in method and practice for Godhunter, and that’s as much palpable in the audio as it is in the context in which the EP arrives. What has remained most constant about them, however, is the boldness with which they’ve undertaken these changes, and that seems to be the thread that unites all of their work: They’re going to do what they’re going to do, on their own terms, without compromise. Whatever else might swirl around it, righteousness persists.

Godhunter on Thee Facebooks

Battleground Records on Bandcamp

Battleground Records website

Battleground Records on Twitter

Battleground Records on Instagram

Baby Tooth Records on Bandcamp

Baby Tooth Records on Thee Facebooks

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Godhunter Post Codex Narco Trailer and Release Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

godhunter and friends

Earlier this month, when Arizona sludge-with-a-purpose outfit Godhunter announced their new release, Codex Narco, would be out in May through Baby Tooth and Battleground Records, the guest-laden offering was positioned as an EP. As I look at the seven tracks below — granted they could all be a minute long; one doesn’t want to predict or pre-judge — and take a peak at the newly-posted trailer, it’s looking more and more like a full-length album every minute. I don’t necessarily know that Godhunter give a shit about such concerns — they’ve got bigger fish to fry, aesthetically and politically — but these are the things I get hung up on, basically so I know which list something belongs on for December. Godhunter, almost invariably, will wind up on one or the other.

The PR wire brings art, the aforementioned tracklisting and the also-aforementioned trailer. Busy busy busy. Dig it:

godhunter codex narco

GODHUNTER Releases Art, Trailer, And More For Codex Narco Record Featuring Members Of CHRCH, Demon Lung, Mountaineer, Thorne, Methra, And More

GODHUNTER has issued the artwork, track listing, and a brief trailer for the band’s impending Codex Narco record, which features contributions from members of CHRCH, Demon Lung, Mountaineer, Thorne, Methra, and others.

In line with GODHUNTER’s commitment to speaking out about social issues, the proceeds of Codex Narco’s sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood, the statement reflected in the pink color scheme of the artwork by Bailey Illustration and layout by Cool Ghoul Ltd. (Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man). Codex Narco was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features a cover of Tegan & Sara’s “Walking With A Ghost,” for which a video is being created to support suicide prevention.

Codex Narco will see digital release through Battleground Records and cassette release through Baby Tooth Records on May 19th; preorders and further audio samples will be issued in the weeks ahead.

Codex Narco Track Listing:
1. A Dread Of Some Strange Impending Doom
2. Like Glass Under Black Fingernails
3. Our Blood Is Poison
4. Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams
5. Unarmed Combat
6. Walking With A Ghost
7. Distant Fading Screams Of A Dying World

In September of 2015, after finishing a successful US tour with Destroyer Of Light, several members of GODHUNTER amicably split with the band, simply moving on with more family commitments and unable to commit to regular touring. Within weeks of the lineup shift, the rest of the band began writing new material together through internet conversations and individual recording sessions, as remaining guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers, drummer Andy Kratzenberg, and keyboardist Matthew Davis, currently reside on opposite ends of the country, spread across Washington, Arizona, and Georgia. Shortly into the creation process, it was realized that the band was deviating from their usual lyrical content on our deteriorating world and current events, and for the first time were instead focusing towards their own realms of inner darkness. Everyone in the band has experienced some dramatic personal trauma in recent years, a factor which is intensely reflected in the writing of Codex Narco, where dependency, depression, and loss are the driving factors, resulting in the most personal and deeply introspective material the band has ever made.

After fleshing out the main skeleton of the new material, the remaining members of GODHUNTER secured additional elements from several of the band’s closer personal and musical friends. Several of the contributors recorded a large amount of Codex Narco at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, with the additional material recorded by each musician at their hometown studio of choice. The record features guest vocals from Eva Rose (CHRCH) and Josh Thorne (Thorne), bass from Adam Sage (Demon Lung), guitars from Clayton Bartholomew (Mountaineer, ex-Secrets Of The Sky), and vocal, bass, and guitar contributions from Nick Genitals (Methra).

http://www.facebook.com/godhuntersludge
https://battlegroundrecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com
https://twitter.com/BattlegroundRNR
http://instagram.com/battleground_records
https://babytoothtucson.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/babytoothtucson

Godhunter, Codex Narco trailer

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Godhunter Announce New EP Codex Narco Due in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Tucson sludgers Godhunter taking on a more directly political lyrical bent makes sense, as the band has always been keen to offer some latent social commentary both on the local level of their home in Arizona and in the wider sphere of worldly goings on. Not to mention these are deeply politicized times blah blah blah, but yeah, that makes sense as a turn the band would make. Interestingly, they’ve called in a few friends to help them make their point. Their new EP, Codex Narco, is set to release this May on Battleground Records and Baby Tooth Records and with guest spots from CHRCH‘s Eva Rose — well that’s going to be fucking unbelievably heavy — as well as members of Methra, Demon Lung and others, although Godhunter have undergone some lineup changes over the last couple years, they still clearly know how to put a party together. Interested to hear how this one turns out.

No art or audio yet, but the PR wire has release details:

godhunter

GODHUNTER To Release Codex Narco In May; Record Features Contributors From CHRCH, Demon Lung, Mountaineer, Thorne, Methra, And More

GODHUNTER has completed a new EP titled Codex Narco, featuring a cast of fellow musicians hailing from the likes of CHRCH, Demon Lung, Mountaineer, Thorne, Methra, and others. The EP will see release in May, with the proceeds from each format going to several important charities.

In September of 2015, after finishing a successful US tour with Destroyer Of Light, several members of GODHUNTER amicably split with the band, simply moving on with more family commitments and unable to commit to regular touring. Within weeks of the lineup shift, the rest of the band began writing new material together through internet conversations and individual recording sessions, as remaining guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers, drummer Andy Kratzenberg, and keyboardist Matthew Davis, currently reside on opposite ends of the country, spread across Washington, Arizona, and Georgia.

Shortly into the creation process, it was realized that the band was deviating from their usual lyrical content on our deteriorating world and current events, and for the first time were instead focusing towards their own realms of inner darkness. Everyone in the band has experienced some dramatic personal trauma in recent years, a factor which is intensely reflected in the writing of Codex Narco, where dependency, depression, and loss are the driving factors, resulting in the most personal and deeply introspective material the band has ever made.

After fleshing out the main skeleton of the new material, the remaining members of GODHUNTER secured additional elements from several of the band’s closer personal and musical friends. Several of the contributors recorded a large amount of Codex Narco at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, with the additional material recorded by each musician at their hometown studio of choice. The record features guest vocals from Eva Rose (CHRCH) and Josh Thorne (Thorne), bass from Adam Sage (Demon Lung), guitars from Clayton Bartholomew (Mountaineer, ex-Secrets Of The Sky), and vocal, bass, and guitar contributions from Nick Genitals (Methra).

Codex Narco was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features artwork by Bailey Illustration and layout by Cool Ghoul Ltd. (Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man). The record will see release through Battleground Records in conjunction with Baby Tooth Records who will release a cassette version, on May 19th; all profits will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

GODHUNTER’s commitment to speaking out about social issues has not changed though, and as such, the proceeds from this album will be donated to Planned Parenthood, as reflected in the pink color scheme. Mitch Wells from Thou is also making us a video for the Tegan & Sara cover song “Walking With A Ghost.” This video is being made to support suicide prevention. Even though the album is very personal, the resulting effort is all about giving back to organizations the band members care deeply about.

http://www.facebook.com/godhuntersludge
https://battlegroundrecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com
https://twitter.com/BattlegroundRNR
http://instagram.com/battleground_records
https://babytoothtucson.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/babytoothtucson

Godhunter vs. Destroyer of Light, Endsville (2015)

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Southwest Terror Fest V Posts Video Trailer and Updates Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

A PR wire update from Southwest Terror Fest V is most certainly welcome, but really the poster says it all. The fest is set for Oct. 20-23, and I’ll just assume that five years on from the first incarnation, the chamber of commerce for the city of Tucson, Arizona, has a plan in place to handle the influx of weirdos for the weekend. Perhaps involving taco trucks? I don’t know. They’re the professionals, they can deal with it.

Point is, look at that list of names. There are so many, and the shows are spread over different venues so that even to hand out the crucial info barely leaves room for art on the poster. The lineup has been updated somewhat since the last time I posted about it — Nails dropped off because apparently they’re not a band anymore or whatever; see you at the reunion, or not — and there’s a new video trailer to go with the proceedings as well. Not everything on the bill is a fit with this site really, but screw it, if including Agoraphobic Nosebleed in a post is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Dig it:

southwest-terror-fest-v-poster

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST V Announces Event Updates

The promoters of Tucson, Arizona-based SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST have issued several lineup and venue updates for the incoming fifth installment of the annual event approaching this October.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST V: Houses Of The Unholy will take over Tucson October 20th through 23rd, with nearly four-dozen artists from across the US and Canada converging on five stages at multiple venues. Since recent announcements, Nails has been replaced with powerviolence all-stars Despise You, and a second set by Arizona punk legends Malignus Youth has been added. Additionally, one of the venues has closed its doors in recent days, but the promoters immediately shifted those shows to a new venue. There will be two private screenings of the Malignus Youth documentary being made by Rick Klu at The Screening Room during the event.

Passes for the entire festival are available HERE.

SOUTHWEST TERROR FEST V: Houses Of The Unholy

Thursday Early Show @ 191 Toole:
Main:
10:30 – end – Sumac
9:10 – 9:55 – The Body/Full Of Hell
8:00 – 8:40 – Kowloon Walled City
7:00 – 7:30 – Generation Of Vipers
6:00 – 6:30 – North

Side:
9:55 – 10:30 – Theologian/Lament Cityscape
8:40 – 9:10 – Senior Fellows
7:30 – 8:00 – Waft
6:30 – 7:00 – Via Vengeance

Thursday Late Show @ Secret Location
1:00 – end – ??? ????
12:00 – 12:40 – Order Of The Owl
11:00 – 11:40 – Akris

Friday Early Show @ 191 Toole
Main:
10:00 – 11:00 – Pig Destroyer
8:40 – 9:25 – Despise You
7:30 – 8:10 – Final Conflict
6:30 – 7:00 – Gay Kiss
5:30 – 6:00 – Trench

Side:
9:25 – 10:00 – Full Of Hell
8:10 – 8:40 – Wake
7:00 – 7:30 – Vermin Womb
6:00 – 6:30 – Sorrower
5:00 – 5:30 – Disservice

Friday Late Show @ Club Congress
12:50 – end – Old Man Gloom
11:50 – 12:30 – Behold! The Monolith
11:00 – 11:30 – Mountain Man
10:15 – 10:45 – Nonpareil

Saturday Matinee Show @ Club Congress
2:00 – 3:00 – Malignus Youth
1:30 – 2:00 – Suciedad Discriminada

Saturday Main Show @ 191 Toole
Main:
10:00 – 11:00 – Agoraphobic Nosebleed
8:40 – 9:25 – Infest
7:30 – 8:10 – Power Trip
6:30 – 7:00 – Sex Prisoner
5:30 – 6:00 – Junkie Vomit

Side:
9:25 – 10:00 – Theories
8:10 – 8:40 – The Drip
7:00 – 7:30 – ACxDC
6:00 – 6:30 – Wvrm
5:00 – 5:30 – Magguts

Saturday Night Late Show @ The Flycatcher
1:00 – end – Malignus Youth
12:20 – 12:45 – Final Conflict
11:40 – 12:05 – ?????? ???????? ???????
11:00 – 11:25 – Get A Grip

Sunday Main Show @ Club Congress
11:00 – end – Saint Vitus
9:50 – 10:40 – The Skull
8:45 – 9:30 – Witch Mountain
7:50 – 8:25 – Khemmis
7:00 – 7:30 – CHRCH
6:15 – 6:45 – Grey Gallows

With special performances by Amigo The Devil throughout the weekend

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1165327
http://www.southwestterrorfest.bigcartel.com
http://www.facebook.com/southwestterrorfest

Southwest Terror Fest V, video trailer

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Methra Post Video for “Dead Ram”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

methra

As they continue to support their new album, Acolyte (review here), Tucson duo Methra have unveiled a new video for the track “Dead Ram.” The clip is apparently a prequel to their last video, which was for the song “Hartley’s Cult,” the title derived from their purported obsession with Peavey amps — something you can see manifest in the wall of them that appears to be in the band’s practice space. It’s a tale of heartbreak, murder, wandering and death-sludge, and front to back it looks like it was an absolute blast to make. Which is as it should be.

That is the prevailing impression I get from Methra at this point, and it was true of the record as well: They sound like they’re having fun. The music lacks nothing for grit — it’s raw, nasty all over the place, even when they touch on a cleaner vocal here or a melodic part there, as indeed they do in “Dead Ram” — but it’s a very specific kind of fun that guitarist Nick Genitals and drummer Andy Kratzenberg are having throughout, like every time the cameras are shut off or the recording equipment is paused, everyone starts laughing. In a realm of music that sometimes seems so averse to enjoying itself on any level, it’s refreshing to see a band doing so with such brazen abandon.

You can check out the video below, followed by some comment from the band. Acolyte is out now on Battleground Records.

Enjoy:

Methra, “Dead Ram” official video

METRHA informs viewers, “Upon completion of our ‘Hartley’s Cult’ music video, we realized the story was not complete. We asked ourselves, ‘WWGLD’ (what would George Lucas do)? The answer was simple; a prequel, with even better(worse) effects. Who was the Acolyte? What drives Him?”

METHRA’s new lo-fi visual production is the unsettling tale of one man’s descent into madness, and rebirth into The Acolyte. In the “Dead Ram” video, a crazed drifter can somehow hear METHRA practice on the other side of town….and he hates it. He’ll take an absurd trek through Tucson’s lesser known architectural wonders on a deadly mission to silence the grating sounds of disgusting music inside his head. This prequel to the “Hartley’s Cult” will horrify you. All stunts were performed with actual landmarks and operational firearms. You have been warned.

Methra on Thee Facebooks

Methra on Bandcamp

Battleground Records website

Battleground Records on Thee Facebooks

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Methra, Acolyte: Nihilation (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

methra-acolyte

[Methra release Acolyte July 4 via Battleground Records. Click play above to stream the album in full.]

For all the fuckall Methra proffer in the 10 songs on their Acolyte debut full-length, it’s not like they haven’t put in any thought to their presentation. The Tucson-based duo of guitarist Nick Genitals and drummer Andy Kratzenberg (the latter also of Godhunter) reportedly recorded an overwhelming, and in my limited understanding of modern recording methods completely unnecessary, 69 guitar tracks, likely just so they could say they did it, and from their Peavey-style logo and art and the self-aware, tongue-in-cheek nature of many of the songs, from the falsetto chanting at the end of “Hartley’s Cult” — another Peavey reference — to the way opening duo “Silverbar” and “If Everything is Terrible, then Nothing Is” take on Electric Wizard, “Creeper” Pentagram and “Pike Warship” High on Fire, the Battleground Records release ends up as much about personality and quirk as its sonic impact, though that’s not to be understated either.

What they do best of all, however, is change up their approach. The longest of the tracks, the aforementioned “Hartley’s Cult,” is just over five minutes long and most others are two-to-three, so the record’s done in a half-hour, but during that time, the two-piece run through a gamut of different sounds and feel no reservation about blending elements of doom, stoner metal or grind riffing and vocals, as on the penultimate “Heshlaw” or “Pike Warship” or “S.P.S.,” which may or may not be a sequel to the similarly-named “S.B.S.” from Methra‘s 2014 EP, IV – Ronkonkoma (review here). Their doing so seemingly by whim’s dictate gives Acolyte a punkish spirit, but its tones are thick and while it moves periodically, the focus throughout is more about exploring these different styles and expressing appreciation for varied forms.

Or, more likely, the focus is having a good time. That’s the prevailing impression Acolyte leaves as the drum-led shuffle of closer “Organ Trail” — based on visual assessment of Nick and Andy‘s ages, I’m going to guess that’s a reference to the PC game Oregon Trail — boogies quietly into its fadeout. That doesn’t say much about the music, but the work as a whole is a demented, at times extreme kind of fun, and for all its jumps in sound, swapping out clean vocals for harsh ones and so on, there is a flow to it that starts with the roll of “Silverbar,” the band doing their best Jus Osborn and pulling it off en route to following up with a Vincent Price nod in “If Everything is Terrible, then Nothing Is,” which riffs through two verses and a chugging instrumental chorus and then rides that groove through a long fade into the more manic “Hartley’s Cult.”

Methra (photo by Schlecter Promotional Studios)

Hard to say any one track on Acolyte sums up what Methra are doing across the whole album, because that changes almost song by song, but the slow start of “Hartley’s Cult,” the way it incorporates out-of-nowhere blown-out screams and growls before its cleaner chorus, the pickup in pace toward the end and the already-noted chanting at the finish go a pretty long way in conveying both the attitude and the versatility Methra are working with across the album’s span. So of course the next track, the 1:45 “Creeper,” is a complete left turn, delving into parody Pentagram-style doom rock that’s sincere in its reverence as much as satire of the current cult rock movement that band has in large part inspired. It’s also catchy, with a satisfying rhythmic bounce and horror-minded feel.

One might expect “Dead Ram” to follow suit à la the stylistic complement between “Silverbar” and “If Everything is Terrible, then Nothing Is,” but no dice. Rather, “Dead Ram” starts off a four-track run of growling sludge rock, finding out what happens when the likes of Repulsion or Napalm Death is thrown into the pot with some of the previously noted doom. A clean chorus emerges late in “Dead Ram,” but the bulk of the song is grunted forth, and “Pike Warship” follows suit after its opening scream, “Bow to Pike!” Of course, the riff is in the style of Matt Pike‘s work in High on Fire, but with the low growl vocals, the vibe is more grinding than High on Fire ever have been and pushes through to “S.P.S.,” which splits itself into two parts with a first half that mostly holds the form of “Pike Warship” and “Dead Ram” and a second more spacious, sort of raw, moldy basement psychedelia, like if you had a swirl but all the colors were shades of brown. The riff is what holds the two pieces together, and I guess you could probably say the same for much of Acolyte.

A sample about buying machetes ends “S.P.S.” and then it’s time for Methra to lay down the “Heshlaw,” a song for which the lyrics — I’m sure unfortunately — are just about indecipherable as they’re growled out over a steady roll that serves in some ways as a closer before “Organ Trail,” rounding out the album’s most extreme portion with a solidified approach. I don’t know if it’s keys or guitar on “Organ Trail,” but the volume and impact of tone is way pulled back and the drums march Acolyte to its finish with one more context-expanding stretch that seems to come from nowhere but somehow still work. What Methra basically accomplish on their first LP is to set themselves up to go anywhere they want stylistically. The previous EP had some of these elements at play, but the will that Andy and Nick show in swapping one approach out for another and the humor with which they execute those turns only highlights the consciousness of what they’re doing. I’d expect, and hope, they only get weirder from here.

Methra on Thee Facebooks

Methra on Bandcamp

Battleground Records website

Battleground Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Myrrors New Album Entranced Earth out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 31st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the myrrors

Tucson-based psychedelic soundscapers The Myrrors have released their new album, Entranced Earth, via Beyond Beyond is Beyond. Their third long-player, it’s a record of noteworthy expanse and patience and sopping wet with trippy fervor, but not staid or indulgent more than the material seems to warrant. The vinyl is a black and white spatter, but the music itself works in a wide array of colors and shapes, and as the empty, rolling landscape on the album cover hints, it’s all very open, sparse at times, but teeming with life under the surface.

It’s streaming in full (of course it is; it’s the future!), so you can dive into info and audio below:

the myrrors entranced earth

THE MYRRORS’ STUNNING NEW LP “ENTRANCED EARTH” IS OUT NOW…

There’s a confounding nature to the comfort constructed by The Myrrors throughout the flawless forty minutes of “Entranced Earth,” the third full-length album from the transcendentally-tuned, Tuscon-tied desert die-hards (and their second for Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records).

Those looking for terra firma – for ground not given to staggering shifts, for easily grasped handholds, for the force of gravity as we know it – are likely to find the album an often-groundless experience. But for listeners willing to give themselves over to the landscape presented on “Entranced Earth,” the reward lies in the discovery of new lands, and the sound of a band operating at the peak of their powers.

When last we saw the reflection of The Myrrors, it was in the form of their previous release, “Arena Negra,” an album that announced its presence immediately and with high dosage of the appropriate amplification. “Entranced Earth,” by contrast, gives indication of The Myrrors entering an altogether different atmosphere, taking on an altogether higher climb, shorn of all hesitation and allowing their freak flags to unfurl and fly like never before.

Still, it’s difficult (and altogether unnecessary) to pin down “Entranced Earth” beyond the spires of sonic smoke that the album seems to generate at will. So subtle is the album- opening invocation of “Mountain Mourning” that it threatens to never descend from its sky-bound view, leaving the track that follows, “Liberty Is In the Street,” to offer the album’s first, fading glimpse of solid ground. “On your feet or on your knees” goes the mantra-like vocal drone, though the effect is likely to bring to mind the Moody Blues more than Blue O?yster Cult (at least, the path of The Myrrors seems to include traces of the footprints left by the one-time Harvard professor given an early eulogy by the Blues on “Legend of a Mind”). By the time that “No Clear Light” – a torch-lit, dust-crusted dirge that can be felt as the beating heart of the album overall – leads listeners toward the nearly nine-minute title track and album centerpiece, there are doubtlessly many more wanderers pledging allegiance to The Myrrors unnamed cult.

Guitars of six and twelve strings, harmonium, tablas, alto sax, bulbul tarang – these are the tools of The Myrrors all-consuming quest, expertly applied for maximum elevation. Enter the realm of “Entranced Earth,” sit still and let the ground disappear beneath your feet. – Ryan Muldoon

https://www.facebook.com/themyrrors.az/
https://themyrrorsbbib.bandcamp.com/album/entranced-earth
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The Myrrors, Entranced Earth (2016)

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Methra to Release Acolyte July 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

I’m just going by what I see in the photo and read in the PR wire info below, but it seems fair enough to expect Methra‘s forthcoming Acolyte long-player to sound somewhat… bigger… than their preceding EP, IV: Ronkonkoma (review here), which the Tucson-based duo released in 2014. The new full-length, which is also their debut on Battleground Records, is out July 4, and based around an apparent affection for Peavey amps and a concept of secret murder conspiracies and upwards of 69 guitar tracks, sounds like it’s going to be weird as hell, which I kind of dig. I wouldn’t dare speculate as to how it might actually come across without hearing it, but “big” seems like a safe enough bet. So I’ll roll with that.

The aforementioned photo and announcement from the PR wire:

methra (Photo by Schlecter Promotional Studios)

METHRA: Battleground Records Confirms Impending Acolyte Debut LP From Tucson Sludge Degenerates

Tucson, Arizona-based marauders METHRA have completed their arduous Acolyte LP for Summer release through Battleground Records, the record sure to prove itself as one of the most bafflingly gnarly sludge metal releases of the year.

METHRA is comprised two self-proclaimed fat weirdos who believe in making heavy music for heavy people, drummer Andy Kratzenberg (Godhunter) and guitarist Nick Genitals (Limbless Torso) recorded the bulldozing Acolyte in late 2015 at Arcane Digital (North Side Kings, Unruh, Landmine Marathon) with Ryan Butler who complained of physical and mental anguish due the bands’ unorthodox recording demands. The band used only incredibly large speakers to record a behemoth load of sixty-nine guitar tracks – for a total of ten songs that is — including 15″ and 18″ speakers, and a 21″subwoofer.

The rough concept of Acolyte is based on persistent online rumors that a cabal of top amplifier manufacturers had Hartley Peavey killed and replaced with a doppelganger in the late 80s to stop the company from collapsing the industry due to low price points on the highest quality original amplifiers in the world.

In deference to the great glory of this nation and the announcement of a sequel to the game-changing blockbuster film Independence Day, METHRA has decided to give a very special 4th of July release to Acolyte, which will happen through the regulation of Battleground Records on colored vinyl and digital deliveries. Album art, audio samples including two videos, preorders, live dates, and other propaganda will be issued in the coming days.

http://www.facebook.com/methratucson
http://methra.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com
http://www.twitter.com/battlegroundrnr
http://battlegroundrecords.bandcamp.com

Methra, IV: Ronkonkoma (2014)

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