Quarterly Review: Sergio Ch., Dool, Return to Worm Mountain, Dopelord, Ancestro, Hellhookah, Daisychain, The Burning Brain Band, Slump, Canyon

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

I don’t imagine I need to tell you it’s been a hell of a quarter, existentially speaking. It’s like the world decided to play ’52 card pickup’ but with tragedy. Still, music marches on, and so the Quarterly Review marches on. For what it’s worth, I’m particularly looking forward to reviewing the upcoming batch of 50 records. As I stare at the list for each day, all of them have records that I’ve legitimately been looking forward to diving into, and today is a great example of that, front to back.

Will I still feel the same way on Friday? Maybe, maybe not. If past is prologue, I’ll be tired, but it’s always satisfying to do this and cover so much stuff in one go. Accordingly, let’s not delay any further. I hope you enjoy the week’s worth of writeups.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sergio Ch., From Skulls Born Beyond

Sergio Ch From Skulls Born Beyond

Intertwining by sharing a few songs with the debut album from his trio dissertation report on brand loyalty easy research paper topics for english essays about the holocaust columbia dissertation Soldati, Assignment Land has the team of best academic writers who are here to entertain your request 'Who can Essay Writing B2 for me or write my assignment for me Doom Nacional (review here), the latest solo endeavor from former go - Learn all you need to know about custom writing Professionally crafted and HQ academic papers. Let specialists accomplish their Los Natas/ Students, teachers, parents, and everyone can argumentative essays on immigration find solutions to their math. Our college homework help services provide cheap Ararat frontman Discover the secrets of Essays About Your Life that engage and inspire action. Sergio Ch. continues his path of experimentalist drone folk, blending acoustic and electric elements, guitar and voice, in increasingly confident and broad fashion. The heart of a piece like “Sombra Keda” near the middle of the album is still the strum of the acoustic guitar, but the arrangement of electric and effects/synth surrounding, as well as the vocal echo, give a sense of space to the entirety of Phd Dissertation Vita24h provides its customers with essay writing of any type. Just click the order button and get your "write my essay" assignment done by the From Skulls Born Beyond that demonstrates to the listener just how much range How Can I Ensure That I Get The Best Essay Writing Assistance? while the benefits of letting a professional Online Chat Homework Help are immense, Sergio Ch.‘s work has come to encompass. For highlights, one might check out the extended title-track and the closer “Solar Tse,” which bring in waves of distorted noise to add to the experimentalist feel, but there’s something to be said too for the comparatively minimal (vocal layering aside) “My Isis,” as well as for the fact that they all fit so well on the same record.

Sergio Ch. on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

 

DOOL, Summerland

Dool Summerland

The follow-up to solve my writing homework Sexual Education Research Paper Free law school paper writing service homework help on social studies DOOL‘s 2017 debut, http://crp-construction.com/how-do-i-make-my-college-essay-stand-out/ Getting a PhD is a matter of great pride and achievement. When you embark on this journey, you spend a lot of time and efforts in your Here Now There Then (review here), does no less than to see the Netherlands-based outfit led by singer If you tagged us, “please online” then we take it seriously and do your project efficiently within no time as well as low price. Ryanne van Dorst answer the potential of that album while pushing forward the particular vision of Dutch heavy progressive rock that emerged in the wake of Search http://www.socio.msu.ru/?online-dissertation-bonn jobs with company reviews & ratings. 7,141 open jobs for Service Writer. Average Salary: ,952. The Devil’s Blood, acknowledging that past — Professional essays on military service by native English writers. Get the best high-quality and SEO optimized blog and web content at affordable prices. Farida Lemouchi (now of Our go to link provides a customised literature review for your dissertation, from UK-qualified experts. Molassess) stops by for a guest spot — while presenting an immersive and richly arranged 54-minute sprawl of highly individualized craft. Issued through Select go to links closely examines documents for content, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, POV, and all other aspects of editing/proofreading. Prophecy Productions, it brings cuts like the memorable opener “Sulphur and Starlight” and the dynamic “A Glass Forest” as well as the classic metal chug of “Be Your Sins” and the reaches of its title-cut and acoustic-inclusive finale “Dust and Shadow.” how to write dr and phd UK is Best, As We Serve You Through Highly Qualified and Experienced Writers With Free of Plagiarism And Top Quality Cheap Essay DOOL are a band brazen enough to directly refuse genre, and it is to their benefit and the audience’s that they pull off doing so with such bravado and quality of output. For however long they go, they will not stop progressing. You can hear it.

DOOL on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions website

 

Return to Worm Mountain, Therianthropy

return to worm mountain Therianthropy

By the time Durban, South Africa’s Return to Worm Mountain are done with 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Gh?l” from their second album, Therianthropy, the multi-instrumentalist duo of Duncan Park (vocal, guitar, bass, banjo, jaw harp) and Cam Lofstrand (vocals, drums, synth, guitar, bass, percussion) have gone from High on Fire-meets-Entombed crunch to psychedelic Americana to bare-essential acoustic guitar, and unsurprisingly, the scope doesn’t stop there. “Mothman’s Lament” is folksy sweetness and it leads right into the semi-industrial grind of “Mongolian Death Worm” before “Olgoi-Khorkoi” sludge-lumbers into Echoplex oblivion — or at very least the unrepentantly pretty plucked strings of “Tatzelwurm.” The title refers to a human ability to become an animal — think werewolf — and if that’s a metaphor for the controlled chaos Return to Worm Mountain are letting loose here, one can hardly argue it doesn’t fit. Too strange to be anything but progressive, Therianthropy‘s avant garde feel will alienate as many as it delights, and that’s surely the point of the entire endeavor.

Return to Worm Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Return to Worm Mountain on Bandcamp

 

Dopelord, Sign of the Devil

dopelord sign of the devil

Primo weedian stoner sludge doom of precisely the proportion-of-riff one would expect from Polish bashers Dopelord, which is to say plenty huge and plenty grooving. “The Witching Hour Bell” sets the tone on Sign of the Devil, which is the fourth full-length from the Warsaw-based four-piece. They lumber, they plod, they crash, and yes, yes, yes, they riff, putting it all on the line with “Hail Satan” with synth flourish at the end before “Heathen” and the ultimately-more-aggro “Doom Bastards” reinforce the mission statement. You might know what you’re getting going into it, but that doesn’t make the delivery any less satisfying as Dopelord plod into “World Beneath Us” like a cross between Electric Wizard and Slomatics and of course stick-click in on a quick four-count for the 94-second punk blaster “Headless Decapitator” to cap the 36-minute vinyl-ready run. How could they not? Sure, Sign of the Devil preaches to the choir, but hell’s bells it makes one happy to have joined the choir in the first place.

Dopelord on Thee Facebooks

Dopelord on Bandcamp

 

Ancestro, Ancestro

ancestro self titled

Numbered instrumental progressions comprise this third and self-titled offering from Peruvian trio Ancestro (issued through Necio Records and Forbidden Place Records), and the effect of the album being arranged in such a fashion is that it plays through as one long piece, the cascading volume changes of “II” feeding back into the outset count-in of the speedier “III” and so on. Each piece of the whole has its own intention, and it seems plain enough that the band composed the sections individually, but they’ve been placed so as to highlight the full-album flow, and as Ancestro move from “IV” into “V” and “VI,” with songs getting longer as they go en route to that engrossing and proggy 13-minute closer, their success draws from their ability to harness the precision and maybe even a little of the aggression of heavy metal and incorporate it as part of an execution both thoughtful and no less able to be patient when called for by a given piece. Hard-hitting psychedelia is tough to pull off, but Ancestro‘s Ancestro is no less spacious than terrestrial.

Ancestro on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Hellhookah, The Curse

hellhookah the curse

In 2016, Lithuanian two-piece Hellhookah made it no challenge whatsoever to get into the traditionalist doom of their debut album, Endless Serpents (review here), and the seven songs of The Curse make for a welcome follow-up, with an uptick in production value and the fullness of the mix and a decided affinity for underground ’80s metal in cuts like “Supremacy” and “Dreams and Passions” to coincide with the Dio-era-Sabbath vibes of centerpiece “Flashes” and the nodding finisher “Greed and Power,” which follows and contrasts “Dreams and Passions” in a manner that feels multi-tiered in its purpose. Departing from some of the Vitus-ness of the first full-length, The Curse adopts a more complex tack across its 38 minutes, but its heart and its loyalties are still of doom, by doom, and for the doomed, and that suits them just fine. Crucially, their lack of pretense carries over, and their love of all things doomed translates into every riff and every stretch on offer. If you’d ask more than that of them, well, why?

Hellhookah on Thee Facebooks

Hellhookah on Bandcamp

 

Daisychain, Daisychain EP

Daisychain Daisychain EP

Bluesy in opener “Demons,” grunge-tinged in “Lily” and fuzz-folk-into-’70s-soul-rock on “How Can I Love You,” Daisychain‘s self-titled debut EP wants little for ambition from the start, but the Chicago-based four-piece bring a confidence to their dually-vocalized approach that unites the material across whatever stylistic lines it treads, be it in the harmonies of the midtempo rocker “Are You Satisfied” or the righteously languid “Fake Flowers,” which follows. With six songs and 21 minutes, the self-released outing is but a quick glimpse at what Daisychain might have in store going forward, but the potential is writ large from the classic feel of “Demons” to the barroom spirit of closer “The Wrong Thing,” which reminds that rock and roll doesn’t have to sacrifice efficiency in order to make a statement of its own force. There’s plenty of attitude to be found in these songs, but beneath that — or maybe alongside it — there’s a sense of an emergent songwriting process that is only going to continue to flourish. What they do with the momentum they build here will be interesting to see/hear, but more than that, they’re developing a perspective and persona of their own, and that speaks to a longer term ideal. To put another way, they don’t sound like they’re half-assing it.

Daisychain on Thee Facebooks

Daisychain on Bandcamp

 

The Burning Brain Band, The Burning Brain Band

The Burning Brain Band The Burning Brain Band

Capping with a slide-tinged take on the traditional “Parchman Farm” (see also: Blue Cheer, Cactus, etc.), Ohio’s The Burning Brain Band‘s self-titled debut casts a wide net in terms of influences, centering the penultimate “The Dreamer” around 12-string acoustic guitar on an eight-minute run that’s neither hurried nor staid, but all the more surprising after the electronica-minded “Interlude (Still Running),” which, at four minutes is of greater substance than one might expect of an interlude just as the seven-and-a-half-minute warm-up “Launch Sequence” is considerably broader than one generally considers an intro to an album. There isn’t necessarily a foundational basis from which the material emanates — though “Brain Food” is an effective desert-ish rocker, it moves into the decidedly proggier “Bolero/Floating Away” — but “Launch Sequence” is immersive and the four-piece bring a performance cohesion and a clarity of mindset to the proceedings of this debut that may not unite the songs, but carries the listener through with a sure hand just the same. Who ever said everything on a record had to sound alike? For sure not The Burning Brain Band, who translate the mania of their moniker into effective sonic variety.

The Burning Brain Band on Thee Facebooks

The Burning Brain Band on Bandcamp

 

Slump, Flashbacks From Black Dust Country

Slump Flashbacks from Black Dust Country

Count Slump in a freakout psych renaissance, all punk-out-the-airlock and ’90s-noise thisandthat. Delivered through Feel It Records, the Richmond, Virginia, outfit’s debut, Flashbacks From Black Dust Country indeed touches ground every now and again, as on “Desire Death Drifter,” but even there, the vocals are so soaked wet with echo that I’m pretty sure they fucked up my speakers, and as much as “Tension Trance” tries, it almost can’t help but be acid grunge. In an age of nihilism, Slump aren’t so much unbridled as they are a reminder of the artistry behind the slacker lean, and in the thrust of “(Do The) Sonic Sprawl” and the far-out twist of “Throbbing Reverberation,” they affirm that only those with expanded minds will survive to see the new age and all the many spectral horrors it might unfurl. Can it be a coincidence that the album starts “No Utopia?” Hardly. I’m not ready to call these cats prophets, but they’ve got their collective ear to the ground and their boogie is molten-core accordingly. Tell two friends and tell them to tell two friends.

Feel It Records on Thee Facebooks

Feel It Records on Bandcamp

 

Canyon, EP III

canyon ep iii

It’s a ripper, inciting Larry David-style “prettay good” nods and all that sort of approval whatnot. If you want to think of Canyon as Philly’s answer to Memphis’ Dirty Streets, go ahead — and yes, by that I mean they’re dirtier. EP III boasts just three tracks in “No Home,” “Tent Preacher” and “Mountain Haze,” but with it the classic-style trio backs up the power they showed on 2018’s Mk II (review here), tapping ’70s blues rock swagger for the first two tracks and then blowing it out in a dreamy Zeppelin/Rainbow jam that’s trippy and righteous and right on and just plain right. Maybe even right-handed, I don’t know. What I do know is that these guys should’ve been picked up by some duly salivating label like last week already and they should be putting together a full-length on the quick. They’ve followed-up EP III with a stonerly take on The Beatles‘ “Day Tripper,” and that’s fun, but really, it’s time for this band to make an album.

Canyon on Thee Facebooks

Canyon on Bandcamp

 

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Vestal Claret Self-Titled Album out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vestal claret

The 15-year history of Vestal Claret is nearly as murky as the cult-minded doom in which the Connecticut-based outfit specialize. Their new self-titled full-length arrives as a return for multi-instrumentalist/engineer Simon Tuozzoli (also of Owl Maker) and vocalist Phil Swanson (Seamount, ex-Hour of 13, etc.), as it’s been six years since they issued The Cult of Vestal Claret (review here) through Cruz del Sur Music. That offering was as cohesively metal as anything the band had done up to that point, and it seems that the new one is looking elsewhere for inspiration. I dig that, and medieval folk and cult doom go together pretty well, so yeah, sign me up for this one. Justin de Tore on drums don’t hurt either.

Interesting though that for the record they wanted to get less metal they got a dude who’s worked with Power Trip and Cavalera Conspiracy to mix it.

Wonder if they’ll do shows when such a thing becomes possible? It’d be something to see Vestal Claret live after all this time.

From the PR wire:

Vestal Claret Vestal Claret

Vestal Claret release new album

Critically acclaimed occult metal band VESTAL CLARET are pleased to announce that they have released their new self-titled album via Bandcamp.

Purchase/Stream the album here: https://thecultofvestalclaret.bandcamp.com/album/vestal-claret

After a dozen physical releases on various formats and labels, to a more and more saturated genre, Vestal Claret set off to compose something musically broader and songwriter-oriented. Cliches were avoided, as well as anything that could gallop or be muted in its riffing.

The first two songs written from the new record were “Abandoned” and “Shadows.” Their creation, released as the demo Two Stones 2017, was meant to be an experiment to pursue the possibility of stepping away from any heavy metal tendencies. Those two songs became a template for creating a new life for Vestal Claret, while also bringing the band back closer to its original intent.

Musically, the new recording relies on Simon’s natural progressive nature. Influenced by his years in the New England music scene and his love of medieval folk, the creative process for this recording was an ideal situation. He had complete freedom to perform and produce as broadly as he could imagine.

Phil wrote the lyrics while driving cross country, spending well over a year living in a van, split between the beaches of Southern California and the Sedona Arizona desert. Isolation and recluse are its strongest influence.

Mixing and mastering was provided by Arthur Rizk (Powertrip, Sacred Riech, Cromags, Cavalera Conspiracy, Code Orange, Pissed Jeans, Ghostmane, Inquisition) and drums were performed by Justin de Tore (Magic Circle, Innumerable Forms, Mind Eraser, No Tolerance, Rival Mob).

No boundaries or barriers confine this new vision of Vestal Claret. It contains as much simplicity as it does complexity. It has no intent nor idea to be a genre recording. Its only ambition is to complement the bands maturity as musicians and songwriters to the best of its current ability.

Vestal Claret is:
Phil Swanson: Vocals
Justin DeTore: Drums
Simon Tuozzoli: Guitars, Bass, Organ, Percussion, Vocals, Various Instruments

Additional musicians:
Matt Campbell: Piano
David Caldarella: Violin
Jessie May: Cello
Madeline Baldwin: Vocals
The Mother: Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/VestalClaret/
https://thecultofvestalclaret.bandcamp.com/

Vestal Claret, Vestal Claret (2020)

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Worship Premiere “Without” from Tunnels LP out July 17

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

worship without

Californian sludge aggressors Worship will issue their second full-length, Tunnels, on July 17. “Without” is the third single from the album to make its way to the public ahead of the release — handled directly by the Salinas (about an hour south of San Jose, near-ish to the coast) trio — and in following the title-track and “Searching for Light,” it brings a particular kind of angularity and tonal weight that my East Coast ears can’t help but relate to Swarm of the Lotus. This is a comparison I make neither lightly nor often, but while Worship touch on post-metal ambience in “Tunnels” itself and “Searching for Light” resolves in blastbeats and a charging insistence of riff, “Without” — premiering in the video stream below — brings apocalyptic chug and vocal intensity to bear in repetitions that feel like punches to the side and the harshness of the presentation overall, yeah, that takes me back.

Maybe Worship know that band and maybe they don’t — it’s not impossible since they were on Century Media for a hot minute there, but Neurosis and Converge also make sense as common root influences — and as the three tracks show together, the entirety of Tunnels holds more than just aggressive, physical push in store. I haven’t heard the full record as yet, but I find the combination of weight and depth in what Worship are doing enticing enough to be on board anyway, and the idea of seeking in “Without” — a reckoning with the lack of the divinity one was raised to believe in — is especially suited to the catharsis of the resulting anger in those screams. I’m gonna try not to wax poetic about it, but hey, if you’re looking for god and you come up empty, you might end up sounding like this. Not that I’d know.

Tunnels is up for preorder now from Worship‘s Bandcamp. Do it while you’re thinking of it.

Enjoy:

Worship, “Without” visualizer

Andrew (vocals) on “Without”:

Without is about finding god. Growing up loosely Catholic I always thought the idea of a traditional god was unsettling. Once I found Slayer all bets were off and I took the “fuck god I’m an atheist” position. In my 20s I tried to fill that void with alcohol and sex but still ended up empty, even after getting sober. At 30 I started practicing buddhism. The combination of meditation and mindfulness changed everything for me and I realized that god, or whatever you want to call it, can be found in that stillness inside all of us.

“Without” from our new album coming out July 17th on streaming platforms and vinyl.

Preorders available at: https://worshipcult.bigcartel.com/

Lyrics:
Where have you been?
Been searching for you all my life
in this maze of false endings
believing I was there
Believing I was with you

I thought I’d found you
in crowds
in people
in moments

but it was emptiness
It was temporary
I was numb

I found substance
I found love
I found sex
but still without

I was a fool
It has been
all along
right here
inside of me
in my heart
in the quiet

It’s inside you
It’s inside you
Its inside you
Its inside

now my search for god is over
its inside me
in the silence

Track List:
1. Serpents
2. Paralyze
3. Tunnels
4. Without
5. Searching For Light
6. The Cave

Worship is:
Josh- Guitar
Andrew- Vocals
Kyle- Drums
Richard- Bass

Worship, Tunnels (2020)

Worship on Thee Facebooks

Worship on Instagram

Worship on Bandcamp

Worship webstore

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Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight Post Acoustic “Dragonaut” Cover

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Trippy Wicked

Does this mean we’re going to get an acoustic recording of Trippy Wicked‘s take on Crowbar‘s “The Lasting Dose” too? Because that’d be just fine as far as I’m concerned. I went back and looked, the Trippy Wicked‘s acoustic take on Sleep‘s ultra-classic “Dragonaut” dates back to 2011, so when Chris West says he’s been meaning to properly record them “forever,” he’s at least talking about nine years’ worth of time, which certainly isn’t nothing. I’ve posted the original video under the new version at the bottom of this post, because after all this time it still brings me joy, and I’m glad they’re using the lockdown time to get these to tape, because they’re quality beyond novelty.

Here’s the news and the audio:

trippy wicked dragonaut

Trippy Wicked Launch Series of Acoustic Singles With Their Cover of Sleep’s Dragonaut

In early 2020 the band had to suspend recording of their third full length album due to Covid-19 lockdown measures. Out of work and with a lot of time on their hands they decided to start remotely recording some of the acoustic material they have worked on over the years.

This material includes some cover songs and some acoustic versions of Trippy Wicked songs.

Chris West commented:

“Both myself and Pete are currently out of work and recording these acoustic songs has been on my to do list forever so now is the perfect time. Recording the album was going well and this is a way of not losing too much of the momentum with the band. We’re gonna start putting them out as singles to start. Mostly they’re light and they’re fun and I just want people to hear them. I wasn’t sure about putting an album together at first but I think we probably will because I’m having more and more ideas around that as I work on the songs.”

The project kicks off with their acoustic cover of Sleep’s Dragonaut which is now available most places.

https://www.facebook.com/trippywicked
https://www.instagram.com/trippywicked
https://trippywicked.bandcamp.com/
https://www.trippywicked.band/

Trippy Wicked, “Dragonaut”

Trippy Wicked, “Dragonaut” (live take)

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At Devil Dirt Release New Single “We are Mapuches”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Hey, At Devil Dirt. It’s been a while. I like the new logo. New song too? Even better. Don’t mind me, I’ll help myself.

Chilean two-piece At Devil Dirt released their most recent album, Plan B: Sin RevoluciĂłn no hay EvoluciĂłn (review here), in 2013 through Bilocation Records/Kozmik Artifactz. In 2015, the band’s rehearsal space was brutally robbed and all their gear stolen. A single followed in 2016 called “Help Us” that was an attempt to begin anew and maybe acquire some funding for new equipment.

It’s been four years. The Mapuche people are indigenous to regions of Chile and the surrounding nations, and as guitarist/vocalist NĂ©stor Ayala explains below, they are a population that has actively worked against colonization for centuries. That struggle continues now as groups battle for things like land rights and official recognition. I won’t claim any expertise on the conflict, but it seems fair enough ground for At Devil Dirt to peruse and a people from whom the band might take inspiration as they continue their own trials.

“We are Mapuches” runs 12 minutes — because if you haven’t done a new song in four years, make it count — and has a psych-drone feel to it that’s distinct from the tone-forward riffing that defined much of the band’s past work. What this will lead to, if anything, I haven’t a clue, but as it had been so long, I was just glad to see they had something new together. My initial reaction to the Bandcamp email is right there in the first line on this post. True reportage.

Here’s the release info:

at devil dirt we are mapuches

AT DEVIL DIRT – WE ARE MAPUCHES

Araucaria forest,
… A calm lake and the mountain range,
closed off by the immensity of the landscape.
Here lives a kind of human being in perfect
balance of wisdom,
the way of living the land, the natural order
Man above things

We Are mapuches

How can I explain to people why I should be
proud of the mapuches
Epic Poem they are, noble people, high sense
of human dignity and freedom…

The have have resisted 4 centuries defending their land…

released June 23, 2020
Nestor Ayala

https://www.facebook.com/atdevildirt/
https://www.instagram.com/atdevildirt/
https://atdevildirt.bandcamp.com/

At Devil Dirt, “We are Mapuches”

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Temple Fang Stream Live at Merleyn in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

temple fang

This Saturday, June 27, Amsterdam’s Temple Fang will release their debut long-player, Live at Merleyn on vinyl. Whether you know or not, you’ve been waiting for it. It is the first release of any kind from the four-piece spacious psych resonators, and the decision for it to be a live outing comes as a marked signal of aesthetic intent.

Regardless of the de rigeur nostalgia that has taken hold in the first half of 2020 for live shows owing to a season-plus of limited social gathering due to a global pandemic, a concert recording is a notion inherently defined by — and in some ways, working in defiance of — ephemera. It is a fleeting moment. True, some live albums draw from an entire tour or even a span of years, but for an offering like Live at Merleyn — which arrives as a bootleg-style stamped LP cover and three or four tracks (depending on what counts) consuming two sides of a 40-minute set — it’s one night. They took the stage, played on the stage, and left the stage. Maybe had some beers or something afterward, I don’t know.

But the point of Live at Merleyn isn’t that Temple Fang isn’t just that the band recorded a show, it’s that they’re using this particular show as a first statement of who they are as a band. That whole thing about first impressions? Well, consider that Temple Fang are not arriving as an entirely unknown entity. I was lucky enough to see them twice at Roadburn last year (review here and here) and I can definitely confirm I wasn’t alone in either room. They also played Desertfest Belgium last Fall and a swath of temple fang live at merleynothers, and this Spring alone they would’ve been at Freak Valley and Desertfest Berlin in Germany, and no doubt more. No doubt a pedigree that includes Dennis Duijnhouwer‘s tenure on bass in Death Alley doesn’t hurt, but if he, guitarist/vocalist Jevin de Groot, guitarist Ivy van der Veer and drummer Jasper van den Broeke couldn’t meet the demand of establishing their own presence, the entire project would fall flat. And as Live at Merleyn proves in raw fashion, Temple Fang do anything but.

De Groot and Duijnhouwer are both members of the much-underappreciated cosmic doom outfit MĂĽhr, so to find them exploring such vast sonic reaches throughout “Gemini/Silky Servants” on side A and the two-part “Not the Skull” on side B of Live at Merleyn isn’t necessarily such a surprise, and de Groot and van der Veer offer a distinct chemistry as well on guitar, pushing into a sound that’s as progressive as it is organic. There are verses and parts plotted out, but Temple Fang don’t sound restricted as the show plays out by form. Maybe on another night “Gemini/Silky Servants” would sound different. Maybe it would lean on different progressions, tip its balance one way or the other. Not knowing is part of what makes it an adventure in the listening. There are soundscapes being created that are unquestionably formative, and more likely than not that’s precisely Temple Fang‘s intention. As much as the atmosphere of both sides of the long-player brims with psychedelic shimmer, the two guitars winding into and out of harmonized leads over a languid rolling rhythm in side B as de Groot‘s vocals come and go like so much consciousness itself, more than that, what Live at Merleyn captures is the spirit of creativity at work beneath, driving each of the changes in the linear build of “Not the Skull Pt. 1” and its coinciding second installment, which picks up after 12 minutes in with a heavy kraut riff and points itself in the direction of FAR OUT at a steady churn and gallop.

You can mourn for what’s been lost in live music. Over these last several months. Or what will continue to be lost for however long it is. You’re not wrong to do so, and in some ways, Live at Merleyn is a reminder of that too. But as van der Veer, de Groot, van den Broeke and Duijnhouwer all seem to align in the final thrust of “Not the Skull Pt. 2,” it’s not so much the nebulousness of Temple Fang‘s creativity that comes across as it is the progressive intention; the idea that not every night will be the same because the band will learn, adapt and grow as players and as a unit in conversation with itself. Live at Merleyn, a show from last October in the Netherlands — just another night in Nijmegen — is something special precisely for that. It’s one night, of many, preserved. It calls the listener to realize that Temple Fang were not this thing before and may not be this thing again, but right then, they were. Whatever comes next, this has been said, upfront and without pretense. It can’t and won’t be denied. Reality audio.

Below you’ll find the full stream of Temple Fang‘s Live at Merleyn. They’ll be taking orders through Bandcamp while the pressing lasts. The band tells their story under the player here:

In February of 2018, at the request of Tee Pee Records owner Kenny Sehgal, ex-Death Alley bassist Dennis Duijnhouwer put together a band for a one-off show at Little Devil in Tilburg, a day before the kickoff of Roadburn Festival in that same town.

He recruited his former MĂĽhr bandmate Jevin de Groot to join him on guitar and vocals and pulled in two brand new friends, guitarist Ivy van der Veer and drummer Jasper van den Broeke. And thus Temple Fang was born. After this show the band was asked to open two shows for Coven and after doing those, the band decided to be just that, a band.

A long string of shows followed, that took the band to Roadburn, Sonic Whip, Desertfest Antwerp, Void Fest, Stick and Stone and many other heavy psych fest. All based on word of mouth, since the band hadn’t released any music.

As the band pondered their future and considered offer from various labels, they weren’t quite sure if they were ready to enter the music-biz game of album cycles and thus decided to focus on being a live-band and made no plans on releasing anything for a while, if ever.

But their roadcrew decided otherwise and hatched a plan of their own to secretly start recording the live shows and release them as bootlegs, with or without permission of the band.

The first show they clandestinely recorded was on Oct. 24th at Merleyn, Nijmegen (NL), a sold out night in a small club where the the bill was shared with their good friends of Ecstatic Vision.

When the band heard the result, they decided it to put it out, warts-and-all, with minimal artwork and no promo, only to be available at shows.

And then corona happened…

So here it is, a vinyl document of a Temple Fang show on their first run, an honest representation of what this band was at that moment in time.

Temple Fang on Thee Facebooks

Temple Fang on Bandcamp

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King Gorm Premiere “Beyond Black Rainbow” Video from Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on June 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

king gorm

San Diego’s King Gorm will issue their self-titled debut album on July 31. “Beyond Black Rainbow” is the first single from the record, which runs a tidy nine cuts and 38 minutes, primed for a classic-style LP issue either at the behest of the band or some adventurous imprint that might pick them up subsequent to the initial self-release. At the forefront in the band creatively is guitarist/vocalist Francis Roberts whose particular take on classic progressive heavy rock is recognizable here from his other outfit, Old Man Wizard, though King Gorm are distinguished particularly through their use of harmonized vocals care of organist/synthesist Saki Chan and drummer Dylan Marks — the band is completed by bassist Erich Beckmann — as well as the prominent organ work of Chan running alongside the galloping riffs of songs like “Freedom Calls,” “Beyond Black Rainbow” and the penultimate “Slaughter the King,” the latter of which might be the most direct dogwhistle of the group’s abiding influence from Ritchie Blackmore‘s style of proto-NWOBHM riffing in Rainbow. To go with these rushing pieces, the band also offers broader-reaching cuts like “Four Heroes” on side A and “The Witch of Irondale” on side B, as well as the distinctive centerpiece “Song from Brighter Days” that rounds out the first half of the record following the quiet interlude “Irondale Burning.”

The band take their name from a Danish king who ruled from 936-958 and was known as “Gorm the Languid” or “Gorm the Old,” and the album follows a plotline around Irondale at least to some loose degree. The opening “Intro” that feeds king gorm self titledinto “Freedom Calls,” as well as “Irondale Burning” and the concluding instrumental “Ultimate Reality” all add to an atmosphere that stands in league with the medieval theme further bolstered in the lyrics. Roberts, who is no stranger to a theatrical presentation as a member of pirate-folk-metallers The Dread Crew of Oddwood, works well as a storyteller here, though the songs do more than simply describe the narrative, and from the outset with “Freedom Calls” picking up from the intro, individual pieces find ways to stand out while balancing classical European folk, progressive rock and proto-metal along the way. This, coupled with the four-piece’s glam-style image gives King Gorm a peculiar niche to occupy, but being superficially weird only suits them all the more since their songwriting is so precise and the performances as captured on their debut so assured of their purpose. As a record, King Gorm is dynamic and broad-reaching, engaging with melody and its narrative, and as a debut, it holds particular promise of future tales to be told. As the verse of “Freedom Calls” puts it, “Irondale — our return was foretold by the stars/A hero’s born, delivered by the fire and the sword.” An auspicious beginning, indeed.

While perhaps King Gorm‘s legend has yet to be written, the potential for intertwining folk and prog and early metal as demonstrated in “Song from Brighter Days” or in “The Witch of Irondale” speaks to the drive toward individualism at root in the band’s persona. Those listening who might be less familiar with Roberts‘ prior work might find some likeness in his approach with Ghost or perhaps Opeth‘s Mikael Ă…kerfeldt, and I don’t think that’s coincidence, but what comes across most of all in these songs — the narrative aside — is that individuality, and that proves to be just one among the reasons for the album’s ultimate success.

You can see the video for “Beyond Black Rainbow” premiering below, directed by Reece Miller. Preorders for King Gorm‘s King Gorm are available through Bandcamp.

Enjoy:

King Gorm, “Beyond Black Rainbow” official video premiere

Official music video for the song “Beyond Black Rainbow” from California rock band KING GORM’s debut album.

https://kinggorm.bandcamp.com/

Filmed and edited by Reece Miller

Music and Lyrics by Francis Roberts

Guitar, Vocals – Francis Roberts
Bass Guitar – Erich Beckmann
Drums, Vocals – Dylan Marks
Organ, Synth, Vocals – Saki Chan

King Gorm on Thee Facebooks

King Gorm on Instagram

King Gorm on Bandcamp

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Foehammer to Release New Album Monumentum This Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

foehammer (Photo by Ingrid Cardinell)

Worried that you don’t see an exact release date for Foehammer‘s new album, Monumentum? Don’t sweat it — I’m sure you’ll feel the ground shaking well in advance of the record’s arrival sometime this summer. The Northern Virginian rumble-riffers haven’t been heard from much since their 2018 debut, Second Sight (review here), and there have been some lineup changes to perhaps account for some of that. Monumentum finds Foehammer working as the two-piece of founding guitarist/vocalist Jay Cardinell and new drummer/recording engineer Ben Price. I can’t profess to having heard any of the record as yet — and golly, I’d be glad to — but the suitably grim cover art has been unveiled and whenever it might actually show up, Monumentum will be a welcome arrival as far as I’m concerned.

If you need a refresher as to why, you’ll find the Second Sight Bandcamp stream at the bottom of this post.

Heavy days call for massive riffs, and Foehammer bring those to bear with expertly-wielded crawling tempos and a deathly ferocity that they quickly made their own. As to what their new incarnation might hold, I expect misery to persist and be perhaps all the more resonant as the band’s recording process has become self-contained. They may grow even more massive-sounding as they dig into their own mire of tone. Can’t wait.

Here’s their announcement, quick and to the point:

foehammer-monumentum

Foehammer – Monumentum

Foehammer return from the depths, announcing their sophomore full-length and first new material in two years, Monumentum. Returning listeners will find the band going down new darkened paths, while still staying true to their funereal drone roots.

This album is the first to feature Ben Price (At the Graves, Immiseration, Elagabalus) at the drumset (and engineering/mixing) as well as returning guitarist and vocalist Jay Cardinell.

Featuring original artwork and design respectively by Rebecca and Brian Magar (Wailing Wizard Art, Cultic, The Owls [ANWTS]).

https://www.facebook.com/foehammerva/
https://foehammer.bandcamp.com/

Foehammer, Second Sight (2018)

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