Quarterly Review: A Storm of Light, Z/28, Forrest, 1476, Owl, Brass Hearse, Craneium & Black Willows, Magmakammer, Falun Gong, Max Tovstyi

Posted in Reviews on December 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Day Two of the Quarterly-Review-Mega-Super-Ultra-Year-End-Wrap-Up-Spectacular-Gnarly-Edition — name in progress — begins now. First day? Smooth. Wrote it over the weekend to get a jump on the week, cruised through a morning and into baby-naps, finished with time left over to still go and read the Star Trek novel I’m currently making my way through. Easy. Also peasy.

Today? Well, apparently I turned off my alarm in my sleep because I rolled over 40 minutes later and certainly didn’t remember it going off. Whoops. Not a great start, but there is a lot of cool stuff in this batch, so we’ll get through it, even if it’s awfully early in the week to be sleeping in. Ha.

Have a great day everybody. Here are 10 more records for the QRMSUYEWUSGE. Rolls right off the tongue.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

A Storm of Light, Anthroscene

A Storm of Light Anthroscene

“America the sick and crumbling/Liberty she’s weeping/The tired and poor are huddled and dying/As the wretched ones are touched aside.” The lines, from A Storm of Light‘s “Blackout” — the second cut from their fifth LP, Anthroscene (on Translation Loss) — lead to the inevitable question: “What the fuck is wrong with us?,” and thereby summarize the central sociopolitical framework of the record. A dystopian thematic suits the band’s aesthetic, and there’s certainly no shortage of material to work from between current events and future outlook. Guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/graphic artist Josh Graham, bassist Domenic Seita and guitarist/keyboardist Dan Hawkins are five years removed from the band’s last outing, however, so their post-apocalyptic post-metal is welcome either way, and Anthroscene taps a Killing Joke influence and turns it to its dark and churning purposes over the course of its eight tracks/51 minutes, delving into harsh shouts on “Short Term Feedback” and capping with the resistance-filled “Rosebud,” which surges forth from ambience like the anti-facist/anti-capitalist critique that it is, ending with the lyric, “When you die, we will spit on your grave,” which could hardly be more appropriate.

A Storm of Light on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss Records on Bandcamp

 

Z28, Nobody Rides for Free

Z28 Nobody Rides for Free

Massachusetts’ Z28 — also stylized as Z/28 and Z-28; I don’t think they care so long as you get the point they’re named after the Camaro — make their full-length debut with Nobody Rides for Free on Fuzzdoom Records, and with the occasional bit of organ on songs like “Touch of Evil” and “Angst III (I Don’t Want to Die),” they nonetheless give a raw take on heavy rock laced with that particularly Northeastern aggression. Guitarist Jeff Hayward (also organ), bassist/acoustic guitarist/engineer Jason Negro and drummer Breaux Silcio all contribute vocals to the outing, and yet the minute-long instrumental intro tells much of the story of what it’s about in terms of the chemistry between them. Impressive guitar solos are rampant throughout, and the rhythm section carries over a weighted groove through cuts like “Wandering” that’s fluid in tempo but still able to create an overarching flow between the tracks. I’ll give bonus points for the Black Sabbath nods in the multi-layered lead work toward the end of “Spirit Elk (Lord of the Hunt)” as well as the title “Keep on Rockin’ (In the Invisible World),” and Z28 have something to build on here in terms of songwriting and that chemistry. It’s raw-sounding, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt it.

Z28 on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzdoom Records on Bandcamp

 

Forrest, Kickball with Russians

forrest kickball with russians

Granted, Forrest telegraph some measure of quirk by naming their debut EP Kickball with Russians, but the four-piece from Lexington, Kentucky, still seem to be rolling along in a straightforward-enough manner on six-minute instrumental opener and longest track (immediate points) “(I Dream of) Kickball with Russians,” until the keyboards start in. That turn gives their EP an edge of the unexpected that continues to inform “DAN,” “Deew” and the closing “My Son Looks Just Like Me,” and “DAN” continues the thread with gang shouts popping up over its chugging progression and receding again after about two words to let the track get quiet and build back up. And is that a velociraptor at the start of “Deew?” Either way, that song’s Mr. Bungle-style angularity, a return of the keys and intermittent heavy nod work to underscore the willful weirdness that’s very much at play in the four-piece’s work, and the closer adds Ween-style effects work into the mix while still keeping a heavy presence in tone and lumber. They’ll get weirder with time, but this is a good start toward that goal.

Forrest on Thee Facebooks

Forrest on Bandcamp

 

1476, Our Season Draws Near

1476 our season draws near

Coastal melancholy and a pervasive sense of atmosphere seem to unite the varied tracks on 1476‘s 2017 Prophecy release, Our Season Draws Near, which otherwise draw across their span from goth rock, punk, doom and extreme metal, able to blur the line especially between punk and black metal on songs like “Ettins” while acoustics pervade “Solitude (Exterior)” en route to the Anathema-gone-char rasps of “Solitude (Interior)” a short time later. I know I’m late to the party on the Salem, MA, duo, and likewise late on this record, but from opener “Our Silver Age” to closer “Our Ice Age” to the “Solitude” pairing to “Winter of Winds” — finally: David Bowie fronts Joy Division — and “Winter of Wolves,” there’s so much of Our Season Draws Near that has a bigger-picture thought process behind its construction that its impact is multi-tiered. And it’s not just that they pit genres against each other in their sound, it’s that their sound brings them together toward something new and malleable to the purposes of their songwriting. Not to be missed, so this is me, not missing it. Even though I kind of missed it.

1476 on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Owl, Nights in Distortion

owl nights in distortion

Joined on Nights in Distortion by bassist René Marquis as well as longtime drummer Patrick Schroeder, guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Christian Kolf (also Valborg) greatly expands his former solo-ish-project Owl with their second release of 2018 behind March’s Orion Fenix EP (review here), bringing together elements of post-metal churn with deeply atmospheric sensibilities, cuts like “Transparent Moment” churning as much as they are surprising with their underlying melody. A Type O Negative influence continues to be worked into their sometimes grueling context, but it’s hard to listen to the keyboard-laced “Inanna in Isolation” and hear Owl being anything other than who they’ve become, and their third album is the most distinct statement of that yet, airy lead guitars floating over a still-fervent, industrial-style chug amid vocals veering from barking shouts to quiet, low-register semi-spoken fare and cleaner singing. Nights in Distortion is the evolving work of a mastermind, captured in progress.

Owl on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

Brass Hearse, Hollow on the Surface

Brass Hearse Hollow on the Surface

Synth-laden heavy horror garage dance rock could probably use a more succinct genre name, but while those in charge of such things sit and scratch their butts, Boston’s Brass Hearse carve out a niche unto themselves with their second EP, Hollow on the Surface. The five-track offering is in and out in 14 minutes but wants nothing for either a show of craft or arrangement, tapping into psych-folk in the strummy interlude “Dwellers in the Static Valley” after the hook-led “Death by Candlelight” and before the John Carpenter-style pulsations that underscore “The Thing from Another World.” Opener “Fading” is the only song to top four minutes and has a distinctly progressive take, but while it and the organ-ic closer “Headaches & Heartbreaks” has a theatricality to it, Brass Hearse are too cohesive to charge with being weird for weirdness’ sake, and their experimentation is presented in complete, engaging songs, rather than self-indulgent collections of parts mashed together. Would love to hear what they do over the course of a full-length.

Brass Hearse on Thee Facebooks

Playing Records on Bandcamp

 

Craneium & Black Willows, Split

Different missions from Finland’s Craneium and Switzerland’s Black Willows on their BloodRock Records split. Craneium nod through “Your Law” and mark their second inclusion, “Try, Fail, Repeat,” with a Sabbathian swing that only kicks up in tempo as it moves through its five minutes. Black Willows, on the other hand, present a single track in the 19-minute, noise-soaked post-everything “Bliss,” which trades back and forth between minimalism and crushing riffs en route to a consuming wash and long, long, long fadeout. Released in March, the outing showcases both bands well, but one is left wondering where the connection is between the two of them that they’d come together for a joint vinyl release. Either way, I won’t detract from what they do individually, whether it’s the catchiness of “Your Law” and the jam in its second half or “Bliss” with its frost-covered expanse of tonality, it’s just a marked leap from side A to side B. Maybe that was the idea all along, and if that’s the case, then one can only say they succeeded.

Craneium on Thee Facebooks

Black Willows on Thee Facebooks

BloodRock Records on Bandcamp

 

Magmakammer, Mind Tripper

magmakammer mindtripper

Following a 2015 self-titled debut EP, Oslo trio Magmakammer align with Kozmik Artifactz for their first long-player, Mindtripper, and so effect a garage doom sound that’s quickly relatable to Uncle Acid on songs like “Fat Saturn” and the chug-shuffling “Along the Crooked Roads.” Where they distinguish themselves from this core influence, though, is in the density of their tones, as opener “Druggernaut” and the rolling “Acid Times” prove thicker in their charge. Still, there’s no mistaking that swing and the blown-out sound of the vocals. Closer “Cosmic Dancers,” which is one of two tracks over seven minutes long, shows more dynamic in its loud/quiet tradeoffs, and resolves itself in a righteous nodder of a riff. It’s essentially in the same vein, but still displaying some emerging personality of Magmakammer‘s own that one hopes they continue to develop. And in the meantime, the foundation of craft and stylistic awareness they hone is still welcome, familiar or not.

Magmakammer on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz webstore

 

Falun Gong, Figure 2

Falun Gong Figure 2

Mystique isn’t easy to come by in this Age of Access, but the anonymous London-dwelling duo Falun Gong have succeeded in piquing interest with their two-to-date singles, “Figure 1” (review here), and the eight-minute “Figure 2,” which like its predecessor is raw in the recording, sounds like it was performed live, and follows a trance-inducing course of riffing. The central groove is a slow march that makes its way through obscure voices delivered in buried fashion — the whole thing may or may not be mastered; somehow I’m thinking not, but I’ve been wrong before — through a self-aware drift that rounds out following a soulful culmination fitting the song’s lyrical theme, which would seem to be tied to the cover art about baptism in a river’s waters. There’s just something off-kilter about Falun Gong to this point, and while it’s still early going for them, they bring an eerie persona to their work that feels less performative than it so often does.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Max Tovstyi, Mesmerize

Max Tovstyi Mesmerize

Though he’s had a slew of live outings out with the Max Tovstyi Blues Band and the Max Tovstyi Blues Association, Mesmerize (LP on Nasoni) is the Ukrainian heavy blues rocker’s first solo studio outing since 2014. He’s credited with all the instruments on the 10- or 12-track offering save for a couple arrangement-flourish guest appearances, and he pulls in a classic spirit and full-band sound without any trouble on a moody piece like “World of Sin” or the bonus track “Show Me the Way,” which isn’t a Peter Frampton cover so far as I can tell but still has plenty of guitar scorch to go around. “From the Blues to the Funk” jams its way along its stated trajectory, and “Feel Like Dying Now” brings together organ and keys in a fashion far less dramatized than one might initially think. With a clean production, Tovstyi — also known for his work in The Heavy Crawls, Lucifer Rising, and others — carries through his sentimentality for blues rock’s past and finds himself well at home leading the pack of guest vocalists on “Make Up Your Mind,” which closes the album proper with a semi-country twang and sweet melody.

Max Tovstyi on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Stoned Jesus, Pilgrims

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

STONED JESUS PILGRIMS

[Click play above to stream Stoned Jesus’ Pilgrims in its entirety. Album is out Sept. 7 on Napalm Records.]

One thing about pilgrims: they travel. Ukrainian heavy rock ambassadors Stoned Jesus have done plenty likewise since the release of their third LP, 2015’s The Harvest (review here), as as they’ve stated their fourth and latest album, which is also their debut on Napalm Records, is inspired at least in part by their significant time spent touring, calling it Pilgrims only makes all the more sense. The Kiev-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Igor Sidorenko, bassist Serhij Sljussar and drummer Dmytro Zinchenko continue the band’s penchant for willful growth across the seven tracks/50 minutes, and as Stoned Jesus have always to this point managed to progress their sound from one outing to the next, sometimes in multiple directions, Pilgrims most certainly keeps that streak alive.

With a kick of an opening in “Excited” that speaks directly to the theme of playing live — the song feels penned to open sets — the album fleshes outward along noise rocking chug in “Thessalia,” Mellotron-caked Mike Pattonism in “Distant Light,” post-rocking airiness in the guitar and grunge underpinnings built to a weighted push in the nine-minute centerpiece “Feel” — which would also seem to be about touring life and the peculiar isolation thereof — and so on. This moves them into the back end as “Hands Resist Him” (video premiere here) adds melody to the noisy impulse of “Thessalia” and finds Sidorenko in particular command of his vocals, the lumbering riffage of “Water Me,” which is the longest inclusion at 9:30 and turns in its seventh minute to a fervent drive that leaves its central riff and seemingly the stratosphere behind, and the deceptively uptempo closer “Apathy,” which features a tense and swinging bassline at its core around which the guitar enacts a build into a midsection payoff before pulling back to open spaces to revive the repetitions of the hook that seem to be the only lyrics.

Impressively, they cover all this ground with a sense of flow from front-to-back. One couldn’t help but wonder if coming into PilgrimsStoned Jesus wouldn’t be affected by the large amount of touring they did in 2017 playing 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here) in its entirety, if that album’s heavy psychedelic sprawl and fullness of tone wouldn’t bleed once again into their sound. Largely, it doesn’t. One could argue some of the spaciousness in Sidorenko‘s guitar in a longer cut like “Feel” is a commonality, but even that is a stretch, and his work in these songs alongside Slussar and Zinchenko — the latter making his first appearance with the band — carries a greater sense of urgency, even unto “Apathy,” which despite its disaffected title refuses to be pigeonholed in terms of style. What ties the tracks together, then, is the confidence in Stoned Jesus‘ delivery and the sheer sense of performance they bring to them. The band debuted in 2010 with First Communion, so they’re not a decade on from that, and yet Pilgrims finds them sounding like veterans; not exhausted, but sure of their approach and what they want their material to convey.

STONED JESUS

Their confidence — born in no small part, of course, from their time on stage — allows them to smoothly shift between stylistic elements as they do between “Excited” and “Thessalia,” or “Hands Resist Him” and the conceptual-feeling “Water Me,” and still carry the audience’s attention as well. That is, Pilgrims doesn’t embark on its progressive journey at the expense of engaging the listener. Indeed, “Excited” bleeds out its energy through the speaker as it careens into its second half, and while “Distant Light” is more patient in its delivery and touches on psychedelic atmospherics, in Zinchenko‘s drums there’s still that central current of gotta-go that even the Mellotron doesn’t want to chill all the way out. That this follows the bruiser riffing of “Thessalia” and that it leads to the extended “Feel,” with its storytelling lyrics early setting up a swirling payoff toward the end, epitomizes the broad scope Stoned Jesus feel comfortable enacting with their songwriting and the unifying coherence thereof. Pilgrims wouldn’t function if it weren’t well constructed. And that doesn’t always mean it pairs verses with catchy choruses, choruses with bridges, etc.

It means that its shifts make sense within its own context and, while songs like “Hands Resist Him” and “Distant Light” might not beat the audience over the head with their hooks — wouldn’t really be fair to say the same of “Apathy,” which, again, relies on the same lines repeated throughout — they are memorable nonetheless. That’s all the more to the credit of Stoned Jesus‘ craft, and that they so carefully balance their own need for creative growth with that is further demonstration of the crucial experience the last several years have wrought in their style. Make no mistake, Pilgrims is an album in the sense of conveying an expressive sensibility across its span and in terms of the basic sound of its production, but it’s also a collection of quality songs, each seeming to have its own standout moment or aspect to distinguish it from what surrounds. That was true of The Harvest as well, but the vibe on Pilgrims is more fluid, less angular, in its transitions and the difference is palpable when taking on the record as a whole.

If anything, Pilgrims makes it clear that Stoned Jesus haven’t misspent the last several years. Especially as their first offering with the wider reach of Napalm behind it, the album benefits on every level — theme, craft, delivery — from the road-time the band undertook. There’s a sense of arrival about it, especially as it seems to balance various sonic elements from their past work while making something new from that combination, but the fact of the three-piece remains that they’ve never put out the same record twice and that one of the greatest strengths in what they do is its purposeful individualism. Stoned Jesus do not want to be confined by style or expectation or, seemingly, any other standard one might apply. The creative journey on which they’ve embarked is one that leads them forward ever closer to the heart of their own sound. However, that too is a moving target — and not just in the time-for-the-next-gig sense — and one carries little doubt Stoned Jesus‘ next long-player will leave Pilgrims to its moment, which is now. It is to be enjoyed while it lasts.

Stoned Jesus, “Hands Resist Him” official video

Stoned Jesus on Twitter

Stoned Jesus on Thee Facebooks

Stoned Jesus on Instagram

Napalm Records website

Napalm Records on Thee Facebooks

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Somali Yacht Club: The Sun+1 Reissue Due Aug. 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

somali yacht club

Earlier this year, Ukrainian trio Somali Yacht Club released their second album, The Sea (review here), through Kozmik Artifactz and Robustfellow Productions. As of Aug. 8, the latter imprint will have the band’s 2014 debut, The Sun (discussed here), available for preorder as a CD and tape reissue with a bonus track included. Dubbed The Sun+1 suitably enough, the new version of the offering will feature the track “Sun’s Eyes,” an outtake from the original recording session that Somali Yacht Club had previously posted on their Bandcamp page but which hasn’t been physically pressed until now. The release date is a quickly-approaching Aug. 17.

Somali Yacht Club toured earlier this year alongside Stoned Jesus and have dates still coming together for a tour next month as well, including stops in Romania and Greece. More info below and at the links that follow word from the PR wire:

somali yacht club the sun+1

Ukrainian finest dreamtone trio Somali Yacht Club will get their debut album “The Sun” reissued via Robustfellow Prods. on the 17th of August. The bonus track included in the reissue is an outtake from the first edition of the album. It was recorded in one session to serve as the logical continuation and enhance The Sun’s story. Being called “The Sun+1”, the re-issue will be released on CDs, tapes and as a digital download.

Preorder here: https://robustfellow.bandcamp.com/album/the-sun-1

“The Sun+1” Track-list:
1. Loom
2. Sightwaster
3. Up In The Sky
4. Signals
5. Sun
6. Sun’s Eyes (bonus track)

CD info:
• Replicated CD
• 2-panel digipak, matte lamination
• Remaster
• 1 Bonus Track
• High quality recording and mixing

MC info:
• Pro-done cassette tape, manufactured in UK
• 1st press is strictly limited to 100 yellow body cassettes
• Exclusive Matt Laminated “Sloth” Tape Box
• Lyrics card
• DL Card (mp3/FLAC/Wav)

Somali Yacht Club is a psychedelic/stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. Formed in 2010 as a jam band, Somali Yacht Club quickly transformed from a side-project into the main musical activity of its members. In August 2011 they self-released their first four-song EP “Sandsongs”, followed by a single “Desert Walls” in 2013. In their first full-length “The Sun” they changed their musical direction from straightforward to more abstract and progressive. The album blends stoner, blues, dub, shoegazing, psychedelic rock, and post rock and beautifully wraps all these styles in fuzz in a very thoughtful, cohesive, and atmospheric way causing its listeners to experience a multitude of emotions and attitudes.

In early 2018, Robustfellow Prods. released the band’s second album “The Sea” which took the Ukrainian outfit’s sound to the next level and quickly became one of the main contenders for the top-2018 lists.

facebook.com/Somaliyachtclub
somaliyachtclub.bandcamp.com
twitter.com/somaliyachtclub
instagram.com/somaliyachtclub
robustfellow.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
twitter.com/robust_fellow
instagram.com/robustfellow_prods

Somali Yacht Club, “Sun’s Eyes”

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Ethereal Riffian Begin Recording Process for New Album; Documentary Video Posted

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ethereal riffian (Photo Courtesy Robustfellow)

Is it time to start looking forward to the new Ethereal Riffian album yet? Okay, good. Because I pretty much already was anyway. There’s nothing like being ahead of the game, and when it comes to the Kiev-based progressive, meditative, shamanic heavy rockers, whose sense of ritualism so righteously pervaded their Afterlight live album/DVD (review here), it’s worth keeping up with the process as it unfolds. Fortunately, they’re anything but shy when it comes to giving behind-the-scenes looks at what they do. The video portion of Afterlight was interspersed with documentary footage, and last year’s Relics (discussed here) found them talking about the making of their lush, personalized packaging for limited edition items that’s become such a part of their presentation, so that a release becomes a multi-sensory experience not just aurally or visually, but as well in terms of how it actually feels in your hands.

The Afterlight release seems particularly relevant when it comes to the making of Ethereal Riffian‘s next record. In a new video, the four-piece enter Bobina Records to begin a live demoing process for the aforementioned new album — their third behind 2014’s Aeonian and their 2011 debut, Shaman’s Visions — and they specifically note that recording live is something they decided to do after the live record. There’s a quote from yours truly included in the video — a nice little ego kick, and much appreciated — but more importantly, it’s a means for the band not only to make the tracking process more exciting for themselves, but to harvest that energy and inject it into the actual sound of what they’re creating. One should keep in mind they’re still just in the demo stage, so it’ll likely be a while before the album surfaces, but I get the feeling that Ethereal Riffian will bring us all in the loop as they move forward toward finalizing the album.

By the way, I find it very hard to believe they don’t have a title yet. No way a band who puts this much thought and concerted, self-aware effort into progressing their sound lets a thing like that go so long without being nailed down. They’re playing coy, keeping it up their sleeve until the time is right. That’s my bet, anyhow.

Frontman Val Kornev forwarded the video over, and my first question for him was how many they’ll be making. His answer: “4 to 6, haven’t decided yet.” Fair enough. I’ll do my best to keep up.

Enjoy the first clip below, followed by some quick word from Robustfellow Productions via thee social medias:

Ethereal Riffian, Recording Third LP – Video 1

Ethereal Riffian enters Bobina records studio to produce demo of the forthcoming album.

More news to follow soon.

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Kornev (aka Stonezilla) – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Alexander Kornev (aka SAF) – bass
Max Yuhimenko (aka Southman) – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi (aka Ship) – drums

Ethereal Riffian on Bandcamp

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Ethereal Riffian on Instagram

Ethereal Riffian on Twitter

Robustfellow Productions on Thee Facebooks

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Stoned Jesus Premiere “Hands Resist Him” Video; European Tour Impending

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

STONED JESUS

 

Stoned Jesus will release their fourth album, Pilgrims, on Sept. 7 as their first offering through Napalm Records. That in itself makes it a pretty pivotal moment for the Ukrainian heavy rock forerunners, but the big question going into the record is exactly where it will find the band following 2015’s The Harvest (review here) since they more or less spent the last year digging back to celebrate the fifth anniversary of YouTube’s favorite heavy rock record, their sophomore LP, 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here). They toured playing that record in full, and with such a sharp sonic divide between its warm and stonerly tones and the sharper edges of The Harvest, I’ve been genuinely curious to find out exactly what kind of pilgrimage Stoned Jesus are going on with the new collection.

We get a first hint in the trio’s new video for the song “Hands Resist Him.” Amid the most resonant melodies I’ve yet heard from Stoned Jesus, they do indeed dig into a depth of tone that the last album seemed to eschew, but there’s a turn around the 4:30 mark to speedier riffing that finds guitarist/vocalist Igor Sidorenko, bassist Serhij Sljussar and drummer Dmytro Zinchenko pushing into an almost punkish rhythm, so it’s not as if the aesthetic growth brought to bear in The Harvest has been ignored or cast off. It’s there too. The question that remains is how much “Hands Resist Him” speaks for the rest of Pilgrims, and knowing Stoned Jesus‘ sneakily progressive bent as it’s emerged in their sound over time, I’d guess that there’s probably more to the new record than they’re letting on. They’re not the types to give away all the answers outright. They want their listeners to do some digging.

And no doubt there will be plenty to dig when the album arrives, since Stoned Jesus have always been songwriters first and foremost even as their style has proved so malleable over the course of the eight years since they made their debut with 2010’s First Communion. Following a hometown release show on Sept. 7 in Kiev, the band will be heading out on a Sound of Liberation-presented tour alongside Texas troublemakers Mothership and UK tone rollers Elephant Tree that runs for just over three weeks across a swath of Europe. Like Pilgrims itself, it’s an important tour since it will be Stoned Jesus in the headlining spot with support from two also-killer bands, and another pivotal step-up moment for them as they continue to live up to the potential they’ve shown in their work all along.

I’m thrilled today to host the premiere of the “Hands Resist Him” video, which surely stretched Napalm‘s budget as regards the fog machine. You’ll find the clip below, followed by a quick quote from Sidorenko and the tour dates, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Stoned Jesus, “Hands Resist Him” official video premiere

Igor Sidorenko on “Hands Resist Him”:

I guess this track is a perfect example of the changes I’m going through as a songwriter and Stoned Jesus is going through as a band. It’s dark, heavy and intense, but it’s a great song first and foremost.

On September 7th STONED JESUS will deliver their next solid slab of progressive stoner rock on Napalm Records: Pilgrims.

With their fourth album the Ukrainian trio offers much more than an average desert session: Pilgrims is a rather multi-faceted affair mixing groove with noise rock elements, lots of proggy infusions and maybe even a sick bass line reminiscent of good old Deftones (“Thessalia”). Giants such as Mastodon and Melvins come to mind since STONED JESUS can’t be pigeonholed.

stoned jesus mothership elephant tree tourStoned Jesus tour dates:
14.07.18 SP – Viveiro / Resurrection Fest
27.07.18 DE – Neuensee / Rock im Wald
02.08.18 GR – Almiros / Los Almiros
19.08.18 FR – Saint-Nolff / Motocultor
02.09.18 GR – Thessaloniki / Street Mode

Stoned Jesus w/ Mothership & Elephant Tree
07.09.18 UA – Kyiv / Bingo Club (Stoned Jesus only)
13.09.18 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
14.09.18 DE – Stuttgart / JH Hallschlag
15.09.18 CH – Pratteln / Z 7
17.09.18 DE – Munich / Feierwerk
18.09.18 AT – Graz / PPC
19.09.18 AT – Vienna / Arena
20.09.18 DE – Leipzig / Werk 2
21.09.18 DE – Berlin / Bi Nuu
22.09.18 NL – Nijmegen / Doornroosje
23.09.18 NL – Amsterdam / Melkweg
24.09.18 DE – Köln / Helios 37
25.09.18 DE – Bielefeld / Forum
26.09.18 BE – Brussels / Magasin 4
27.09.18 FR – Paris / Petit Bain
28.09.18 UK – London /The Garage
29.09.18 UK – Sheffield / Doom vs Stoner Festival
12.10.18 UA – Lviv / FESTrepublic
19.10.18 UA – Kharkiv / ART AREA DK
20.10.18 UA – Dnipro / Makhno Pub

Line-up:
Ihor Sydorenko – Vocals & Guitars
Serhij Sljussar – Bass
Dmytro Zinchenko – Drums

Stoned Jesus on Twitter

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Stoned Jesus Set Sept. 7 Release for Pilgrims

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

STONED JESUS

I haven’t been fortunate enough yet to have heard Stoned Jesus‘ upcoming fourth album and Napalm Records debut, Pilgrims, but I think it’s fair to say that through the circumstances of its arrival and through the massive amounts of touring the Kiev trio have done to lead up to it, it’s relatively safe to call them the forerunners of the Ukrainian heavy underground. That a label with the profile of Napalm would take a shot on them is telling, but as they move into the cycle for Pilgrims, I’m more interested to hear how the three-piece will follow-up 2015’s The Harvest (review here).

That record found Stoned Jesus departing the comforting and riffy confines of its predecessor, 2012’s done-gone-viral Seven Thunders Roar (review here), but then last year, they spent several tours playing that album in its entirety. Will that have an influence on the overarching impression Pilgrims makes? Hell if I know, but Stoned Jesus haven’t put out a long-player yet that didn’t push their sound forward, so it’ll be interesting to find out.

They’re on tour in Sept. in Europe with Mothership and Elephant Tree. Info comes care of the PR wire:

STONED JESUS PILGRIMS

STONED JESUS Announce New Album Details!

Watch Out for Pilgrims This September!

On September 7th STONED JESUS will deliver their next solid slab of progressive stoner rock on Napalm Records: Pilgrims.

With their fourth album the Ukrainian trio offers much more than an average desert session: Pilgrims is a rather multi-faceted affair mixing groove with noise rock elements, lots of proggy infusions and maybe even a sick bass line reminiscent of good old Deftones (“Thessalia”). Giants such as Mastodon and Melvins come to mind since STONED JESUS can’t be pigeonholed.

The band comments on the new album:

“This record was inspired by our relentless touring and the feelings you get – or more precisely you lose – because of it. It’s weird how disconnected one becomes when constantly surrounded by people. Musically it’s pretty different from what we’ve done, it’s more song-oriented but simultaneously more challenging than before – sonically and structurally”

The full track listing of Pilgrims reads as follows:
1. Excited
2. Thessalia
3. Distant Light
4. Feel
5. Hands Resist Him
6. Water Me
7. Apathy

Pilgrims will be available in the following formats:
-1 LTD Edition 4 Page Digipack
-Various LP Gatefolds (different colours)
-Digital Album

Pre-Orders will be available shortly, keep your eyes open!

Tour Dates:
STONED JESUS
14.07.18 SP – Viveiro / Resurrection Fest
27.07.18 DE – Neuensee / Rock im Wald
02.08.18 GR – Almiros / Los Almiros Festival
19.08.18 FR – Saint-Nolff / Motocultor Festival
02.09.18 GR – Thessaloniki / Street Mode Festival

07.09.18 UA – Kyiv / Bingo Club
13.09.18 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
14.09.18 DE – Stuttgart / JH Hallschlag
15.09.18 CH – Pratteln / Z 7
17.09.18 DE – Munich / Feierwerk
18.09.18 AT – Graz / PPC
19.09.18 AT – Vienna / Arena
20.09.18 DE – Leipzig / Werk 2
21.09.18 DE – Berlin / Bi Nuu
22.09.18 NL – Nijmegen / Doornroosje
23.09.18 NL – Amsterdam / Melkweg
24.09.18 DE – Köln / Helios 37
25.09.18 DE – Bielefeld / Forum
26.09.18 BE – Brussels / Magasin 4
27.09.18 FR – Paris / Petit Bain
28.09.18 UK – London /The Garage
29.09.18 UK – Sheffield / Doom vs Stoner Festival
12.10.18 UA – Lviv / FESTrepublic
19.10.18 UA – Kharkiv / ART AREA DK
20.10.18 UA – Dnipro / Makhno Pub

Line-up:
Ihor Sydorenko – Vocals & Guitars
Serhij Sljussar – Bass
Dmytro Zinchenko – Drums

https://twitter.com/stonedjesusband
https://www.facebook.com/stonedjesusband
https://www.instagram.com/stonedjesusband/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Stoned Jesus in the studio

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Stoned Jesus, Mothership & Elephant Tree Announce September Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Holy rat farts that’s a good tour. You’ve got Stoned Jesus, fresh off a year celebrating their 2012 sophomore album Seven Thunders Roar and itching to promote their new album, teaming up with Texas’ Mothership, who by then should be road-testing new material for their next record, and Elephant Tree, who’ll have a new album in the hopper if not already out by the time the tour starts. Three absolutely killer bands, all fired up and ready to bring their best to the assembled masses. It’s an easy one to get excited about, you know, if you like things that are awesome.

The run is presented by Sound of Liberation, who in addition to umpteen festivals throughout the Spring and Fall seasons, specialize in precisely this kind of righteousness. Still, I didn’t see this one coming.

It was announced thusly:

stoned jesus mothership elephant tree tour

We are thrilled to unveil today the dates for an incredible 3-band package taking over European clubs in September!

Featuring the Ukrainian much-loved trio Stoned Jesus (working on a new album to be released by Napalm Records in September), along with Texas live-beasts Mothership (who will promote their last-year highly-acclaimed album “High Strangeness”) and Uk-based doom-explorers Elephant Tree (also sharping up some new tunes for an upcoming album), we believe this bill has the potential to rock your nights!

This will happen from September 13th to 29th in the best European dens. Get in touch with your local rock dealer to get your ticket quick!

13.09.18 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
14.09.18 | DE | Stuttgart | JH Hallschlag
15.09.18 | CH | Pratteln | Z7 (Up In Smoke Warm-Up)
16.09.18 | CH | TBA
17.09.18 | DE | Munich | Feierwerk
18.09.18 | AT | Graz | PPC
19.09.18 | AT | Vienna | Arena
20.09.18 | DE | Leipzig | Werk 2
21.09.18 | DE | Berlin | Bi Nuu
22.09.18 | NL | Nijmegen | Doornroosje
23.09.18 | NL | Amsterdam | Melkweg
24.09.18 | DE | Cologne | Helios 37
25.09.18 | DE | Bielefeld | Forum
26.09.18 | DE | Brussels | Magasin 4
27.09.18 | FR | Paris | Petit Bain
28.09.18 | UK | London | The Garage
29.09.18 | UK | Sheffield | Doom vs Stoner Fest*
(* Stoned Jesus & Elephant Tree only)

www.soundofliberation.com
https://www.facebook.com/Soundofliberation/
https://twitter.com/sol_ug

Stoned Jesus, “I’m the Mountain” live in 2017

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Risin Sabotage Release New Single “Serpent”; Polish Tour Announced

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

risin sabotage poland

Next month, Kiev-based heavy rockers Risin Sabotage take off on a four-date stint through Poland with Weird Tales. It’s basically an extended weekender, and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever. They go heralding their just-released new single “Serpent,” which has been posted digitally and may or may not receive a physical pressing. The band has also announced an allegiance for digital distribution through respected countryman purveyor Robustfellow Productions — worth noting that Risin Sabotage appeared on Robustfellow‘s expansive Electric Funeral Cafe Vol. 3 compilation (review here) last year, so it’s not by any means the first time the two parties have worked together — and that will include not only the new single, but the band’s prior single “Sabotage Rising” and their 2017 debut album, Planet Dies, as well.

You can stream the song itself below and it’s a quick and unpretentious bit of heavy rock riffing that asks little for its two and a half minute run more than a nod along to its spaced-out hook and fervent groove. Grunge is an element at play, but the focus seems to be more on a blend of earthy tones and cosmic effects, and it works well in the brief stretch, especially the solo section that closes out.

Dig it:

risin sabotage serpent

New single “Serpent” by Risin Sabotage.

Exclusive premiere now via Robustfellow Digital.

Also Robustfellow Prods. is happy to distribute the following groovy tunes by Risin Sabotage [Kyiv, UA] digitally:

“Planet Dies” (March 10, 2017)
“Sabotage Rising (live)” single (October 28, 2017)
“Serpent” single (March 16, 2018)

Find your favourite tracks on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer and 150+ smaller outlets!

APR 26 Protokultura – Klub Sztuki Alternatywnej Gdansk PL w/ Weird Tales
APR 27 Klub pod Minog? Poznan PL w/ Weird Tales & Bad Luck Experience
APR 28 Beczka Pub Olsztyn PL w/ Weird Tales & PostNatura
APR 29 NRD Klub Turun PL w/ Diuna & Weird Tales

Risin Sabotage is:
Igor Nediuzhyi (Drummer)
Kirill Chepilko (Vocals)
Vitya Panchishko (Guitar)
Valery Skorzhenko (Bass)

https://risinsabotage.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/risin.sabotage/
https://instagram.com/risin_sabotage/
robustfellow.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/RobustfellowProds

Risin Sabotage, “Serpent”

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