We all know it’s a special moment in the life of a band when they hit the road for the first time. Often it’s not more than a tentative weekender, maybe hitting a couple different towns over subsequent nights before going back to work on Monday, the 48-hour rock star in a packed van. Inside jokes, lousy food, plenty of volume — those are good times. Cheers to Athens trio Green Yeti on getting out for a few nights and making it happen. They’re hooked up with Total Volume Agency supporting their 2016 debut, The Yeti has Landed — streaming below — so I get the feeling that the five-night run they’ve got booked for early May won’t be their last, but only one tour can be your first tour, and I hope theirs is awesome.
Dates and the David Paul Seymour poster came in from the PR wire:
Green Yeti – Mini Tour 2017
Brace yourselves! The Yeti is about to leave its cave and make a short trip to explore new, unforeseen lands!
Hailing from the feral wilderness of the Athenian underground, Green Yeti descended to the world of man three years ago, in order to spew out their savage psychedelic riffage. Featuring members of Brotherhood of Sleep, Reversed Nature, Stonenrow and Spacement, they have shared the stage with the likes of Stoned Jesus, Egypt, Dopelord and The Re-Stoned. Yeti’s full-length debut: “The Yeti Has Landed” launched last year; making its way fast to many 2016 best-of lists!
The heavy psych three-piece, is about to embark on its first Eastern European outing this May, on a mini tour organized by Total Volume, home of bands like Nightstalker, Egypt, Valley of the Sun and more. If monster riffs, bleak atmospheres, spaced out vocals and foggy psychedelia is your thing; then you’ve hit bullseye!
If you haven’t yet, go ahead and add Cybernetic Witch Cult to your list of completely over-the-top British bands currently riffing their way around the UK underground. From their what-the-hell-is-that-about moniker to the what-the-hell-is-that-about cover art for their forthcoming third album, Troglodithic Trip, to how ambitiously they seem to want to live up to that title, to the simple fact that they refer to the release date using the Star Wars identifier “May the Fourth,” it’s safe to say there’s no danger of the Cornwall trio falling down a trap of taking themselves too seriously. However, as “Cult of the Druid” demonstrates in its tone, groove and hook, neither are they just screwing around in their basement rehearsal space for the sheer sake of doing so.
Add to that the fact that they’ve got tour dates over the next couple months covering a good swath of the UK and one has to wonder even less about the veracity of Cybernetic Witch Cult‘s intentions. That is to say, if they didn’t mean it, they could just as easily not mean it from home. Yeah, these guys are clearly about having a decent time, and that’s nothing to be held against them, but in a scene as crowded as that in the post-Orange Goblin UK, you gotta be loud if you want to be noticed, and they stand themselves out via a sonic blend that speaks to classic thrash via galloping double-kick drumming and Hetfieldian snarl. A silly name is one thing — there are certainly a few around — but if you don’t back it up by kicking ass, it’s going to be all you’re left with.
Check out the premiere of Cybernetic Witch Cult‘s “Cult of the Druid” video below and see what I mean. The energy of their delivery, the on-the-beat force of the song, and the scorch in that final solo? It’s all right on. Yeah, they’re writing material about druids leaving the planet or some such, and the clip is a green-screen band performance dripping in self-awareness, but the vibe is as heavy as it is tongue-in-cheek. Hope you dig in, and hope you agree.
The band’s upcoming list of tour dates includes a stint in May with Doctor Cyclops. That run and the rest of their shows can be found under the video below, along with a quote from the band about the theme behind “Cult of the Druid.”
Cybernetic Witch Cult, “Cult of the Druid” official video
Cybernetic Witch Cult on “Cult of the Druid”:
The original plan for Troglodithic Trip was to re-record our favourite tracks from the first album but with a better production and spend some more time developing the songs so they could be on par with our last release. But we got carried away, wrote two new tracks and completely changed some of the old songs! It’s sort of ‘old meets new.’
‘Cult of the Druid’ is a mini-epic about following a cult leader to Mars (imagine Elon Musk meets Charles Manson meets Merlin) as the Earth sits on the brink of nuclear war in a last ditch effort to colonise space. It’s the longest song we’ve done so far and it really gave us a chance to mix all our influences together in one song.
Cybernetic Witch Cult live: Apr 01 Cobblestones Bridgwater, UK Apr 07 Charlie’s Bar Redruth, UK Apr 19 Whiskers Newquay, UK Apr 22 Bowl Mansfield, UK May 02 Livewire Youth Music Plymouth, UK May 05 The Swan Ipswich, UK* May 06 The Wheatsheaf Banbury, UK* May 07 The Dev London, UK* May 08 The Gryphon Bristol, UK* May 09 The Junction Plymouth Plymouth, UK* Jun 10 Boston Music Room London, UK Jun 17 The Gryphon Bristol, UK Jul 01 Oaklands Farm Cardiff, UK Jul 08 The End Of The World Festival Plymouth, UK * with Doctor Cyclops
Cybernetic Witch Cult is: Alex Wyld – Vocals, guitars Kale Deane – Bass, vocals Lewis May – Drums
Should be interesting to hear what Los Angeles two-piece Aboleth come up with for their next EP and how it sounds as filtered through the commercially-relevant knob-twisting of producer Ulrich Wild. The heavy blues rock duo offered up their debut outing, EP 1, on CD at the end of January and have announced they’ve signed with Wild‘s imprint, WURMGroup, for the follow-up short release, soon to be recorded.
Always a risk when a hard rock producer takes on a heavy rock band, but baguitarist — yeah, it’s kind of like a bass and a guitar; not that hard to figure out once you parse the word — Collyn McCoy seems to have a handle on the situation tonally, and his past experience in Trash Titan and Ed Mundell‘s The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic should continue to serve him well, while in the meantime, Wild is sure to coax the best out of vocalist Brigitte “The Kid” Roka, since getting top performances out of top performers is how one winds up a Grammy-winning producer in the first place. Or so I’m told.
More to come when I have it. Till then, the PR wire makes it official:
ABOLETH signs with WURMGroup; Ulrich Wild to produce second EP
Los Angeles dirt metal duo ABOLETH announce today that they have signed with WURMgroup, the label founded in 2015 by multi-platinum producer Ulrich Wild (Dethklok, Pantera, Deftones, Static-x).
The band and Grammy-nominated producer convened last week at the world-famous House of Pies in Los Angeles to finalize the deal — in typical rock ‘n’ roll fashion — over pie.
In addition to signing Aboleth to his label, Wild will produce and mix the upcoming release. Drum duties for the EP will be handled by legendary skinsman Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani, Necrophagist).
“I’m very excited to welcome Aboleth to the growing roster of WURMgroup acts,” Wild said. “I’ve known Collyn and Brigitte for years and have worked with both on several projects. They are incredibly talented, with very different influences. They are pushing the boundaries of rock, metal, and blues to create their own mutant musical reality.”
Aboleth was founded in 2016 by Collyn McCoy (Trash Titan, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic) and 21-year-old whisky-throated belter Brigitte Roka. Roka propels the group with her Joplin-esque grit and soaring highs, while McCoy lays the sludgy foundation care of his baguitar — a bass/guitar hybrid that offers the lows of the former and the highs of the latter. Together the two meld stoner-doom with primal blues and desert rock to form what they have dubbed “dirt metal.” The seven-song EP will expand on the themes explored on their 2016 debut cassette – murder, revenge, lust, devil worship, and the benefits of a plant-based diet – while pushing their sound deeper into the proto-blues swamp hinted at in such tunes as “No Good.”
Aboleth has several upcoming shows in the Los Angeles area (with Rick Ferrante of Sasquatch/The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic on drums). Summer tour dates will be announced soon.
Next month, post-sludge three-piece Thera Roya head out on a week-long tour supporting their debut full-length, Stone and Skin (review here). Self-released by the Brooklynite trio in February, the album was the latest manifestation of what’s been an ongoing growth process for them more or less since their inception, and boasted their most textured material to-date, still raw in its presentation, but clearly pushing them forward beyond their prior output and onto something more their own.
They haven’t been shy about getting out in the past, so it’s not a huge surprise they’d do so now either. Fittingly enough, this run caps in Virginia at a show with doom extremists Foehammer, who are former tourmates. One imagines that will give Thera Roya something to strive for as they slog their way around the Midwest and Southeast, but as you can see below, they’re not lacking for company really at any point on the trip, except maybe Winston-Salem.
Thera Roya – April 2017 Tour
Coming off an extremely busy 2015/16 that saw the band release an EP, a split and then go on to play 88 shows, Thera Roya are unafraid to hit the road and grind it out in the name of their craft. Thera Roya has been able to play with bands like Cult Leader, Seven Sisters Of Sleep, Birds In Row, Pilgrim, Generation Of Vipers, U.S Christmas, Tengger Calvary and North. With the release of their monolithic first full length, Stone & Skin, Thera Roya are preparing themselves to tour on their most important material yet.
Thera Roya on tour: 04/03 Century Philadelphia PA w/ Shithawks, Static Brothers 04/04 Potion Castle Morgantown PA w/ Wax Brain, Rat Ship 04/05 Best Friend Bar Lexington KY w/ Dirtbag, No Witness 04/06 The Cobra Nashville TN w/ Sheep Shifter 04/07 Sluggo’s North Vegetarian Cafe Chatanooga TN w/ Prayer Circle 04/08 The Odditorium Ashville NC w/ Black Mountain Hunger 04/09 Test Pattern Winston-Salem NC 04/10 McCormack’s Irish Pub Richmond VA w/ Foehammer, Grim Sleepers
Thera Roya is: Jonathan Cohn – Bass Ryan Smith – Drums/Vox/Guitar Christopher Eustaquio – Guitar
I’m a big fan of consistency. When Portland, Oregon-based atmospheric heavy rockers Young Hunterannounced in May 2015 they were beginning to record what would become their 2016 self-titled full-length (review here), they posted a couple pictures to go with of sights from around the rehearsal space. As they make ready to follow-up the self-titled, we get a look at the actual tapes they’ll use as a part of that process… along with some incense, a woven blanket, and so on. Ambience on all levels. Consistency of approach. These are good things.
Young Hunter‘s Young Hunter was a significant leap in intent from where they were previously, whether it was the seething 2013 EP, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain (review here) or the raw 2012 debut, Stone Tools (discussed here). They’ve willfully undertaken a deeply progressive sound and clearly put in efforts to challenge their own conventions of songcraft — that’s not to mention founding guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Blake uprooting the project from the Southwestern desert to the Pacific Northwest and completely revamping the lineup — so while I won’t conjecture as to what they’ve come up with this time around, I don’t think Young Hunter would be hitting the studio if they didn’t feel the material put them ahead of where they were two years ago.
I’m eager to hear the results.
They’ve got live dates next week en route to the studio. Here’s their post:
Young Hunter – New Album
Almost one year ago, we put out our album “Young Hunter.” Next week we embark on a journey to go record our next album at Louder Studios with Tim Green in Grass Valley, CA. These two wheels will become the physical body of our new lil baby beast. On our way down, we will play a few shows with some killer bands in Northern California. Send good vibes, we have an Armageddon to subvert.
N CA shows: 3/23 – Santa Rosa- The Funk Den w/ Lord Mountain and The Drought Cult 3/24 – San Francisco- The Knockout w/ Slough Feg and Ails 3/25 – Nevada City- Cooper’s Ale Works w/ ÆQUOREA, Pinnacles and Find Yourself
If you were to head over to Slovenian trio Omega Sun‘s Bandcamp page, you’d find a single released in June 2014 as their last output. That track, titled “Early Morning (All is Nothing),” is available as a free download, as is a prior 2013 rehearsal demo that seems to have been put together with a different lineup. As regards the single, it’s catchy. A heavy rocker in the post-Kyuss vein, calling to mind some of the earlier work of 1000mods or any number of bands getting their feet under them in the style as they figure out where they want to be sound-wise.
The rough mix for the track “Despising What You See,” which you can stream below, offers a fuller vibe entirely and a satisfyingly rolled-out groove. Vocals still keep it well tied to a Kyuss influence, but the tones and the rhythm on the new track are more aggressive and more up-front. It’s a rough mix, so who knows how it might ultimately represent Omega Sun‘s debut album when the time comes for it to do so, but it’s a start and if you’re just getting to know the band as I am, it’s a rousing introduction with just a bit of trippy flourish in its middle.
No album title or release date, but one assumes they’ll get there as the record is finalized. They’ve got a weekender starting tonight and you can find the dates below, as sent along the PR wire:
OMEGA SUN (slovenia) album announcement
After spending a couple of years gigging (sharing the stage with Unida, Kylesa, Dopethrone, Stoner Kebab, Three Eyes Left etc.) and perfecting their craft they finally recorded their yet untitled debut album.
Lo and Behold!
We spent some weekends at Ostudio 6 with Cigo recording our debut album that has no title or release date as of yet. We still need to put some finishing touches on it (mixing, mastering etc.) but anyhow here’s a preview for you to enjoy.
Also don’t forget that we’re playing some gigs this next weekend. 16.3.2017 at HANGAR – Izola, SLO 17.3.2017 at LA MESA – Montecchio Maggiore, ITA 18.3.2017 at COQ D’OR – Olten, SWI
Omega Sun is: Medo.. bass Seba.. drums Aris.. guitar
OMEGA SUN mystic fuzz rock
Power trio playing their interpretation of a musical genre known as stoner rock.
Granted, we’re still running on the backup server, but it’s been a couple weeks at this point anyway, so it’s time for a new round of adds to The Obelisk Radio. Some of this stuff is brand new, some isn’t out yet, and some is older, so it’s a pretty decent mix on that front, and between REZN, The Fërtility Cült and Cosmic Fall, I certainly think we’ve got heavy psychedelia covered. Fortunately there’s the longform doom extremity of Oceanwake and the kraut-worship electronics of Jenzeits (also longform, as it happens) to offer some balance, lest we go drifting off into the universe never to be heard from again. Can’t have that happening.
Before we dig in, thanks to Slevin as ever for his diligent work in keeping the Radio afloat. He’s got a drive recovery running now that will hopefully bring back everything that was there before. It’s been a whole thing, but progress is being made and I appreciate him tossing this stuff in with the backup material in the interim. Thanks to you as well for reading and listening.
The Obelisk Radio Adds for March 14, 2017:
REZN, Let it Burn
All-caps Chicago-based newcomers REZN make their deceptively ambitious debut with Let it Burn, a self-released 10-songer checking in at a willfully sprawling 59 minutes that blends psychedelic drift, grunge fuckall and neo-stoner fuzz consumption to welcome effect. One gets shades of Mars Red Sky from opener “Relax,” but later doomer cuts like the blown-out cosmic smash of “Harvest the Void” or the rolling “Fall into the Sky” ensures the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Phil Cangelosi, drummer Patrick Dunn and guitarist/vocalist Rob McWilliams are working on their own wavelength, and flourish of sitar from McWilliams and Dunn on the dynamic raga-infused “Rezurrection,” as well as Dunn‘s percussion and Spencer Ouellette‘s modular synth in the two-minute interlude “Pipe Dream” that leads into the initial spoken sample of the Dead Meadow-style fuzzer “The Creature” only add further checked-out-of-life charm to the offering as a whole. “Relax” and “Wake” at the outset speak to some impulse on the part of the band to tie their material together, but that comes through even more as “The Creature” transitions into “Fall into the Sky” and the suitably-spacewalking “Orbit” leads to the noisy start of rumble-laden closer “Astral Sage” later on. REZN leave themselves room to grow into their approach in moments like these, and pieces like “Harvest the Void,” “The Creature” and “Wake” certainly speak to a memorable songwriting process in development, but Let it Burn already shows them a potent brew of weighted lysergics.
Nestled into the heavy hotbed of Tampere, Finland, The Fërtility Cült continue their progressive push into reverb-laden heft with late-2016’s A Forest of Kings, their third long-player behind 2013’s Heavenly Bodies and their 2011 debut, Eschatology (review here). In an admirably crowded scene, the five-piece are distinguished for their tonal breadth, use-not-overuse of echo-laden saxophone and organ and general willingness to meander without giving up an underlying principal of craft or direction. All of this is on display in the A Forest of Kings opener “Blood of Kings,” but the highlight of the album has to be the centerpiece “The City on the Edge of Forever” (taking its name from the highlight episode of the original Star Trek, written by Harlan Ellison), which successfully fuses jazzy rhythm with a patient, psychedelic execution to the sacrifice of neither. Also the longest inclusion at 10:58, it’s the umlaut-happy troupe’s most resonant melody and most singularly progressive stretch, but neither will I take away from the nod of “God of Rain,” which follows, or the manner in which the apex shuffle of closer “Cycles of Time” unfurls itself from the song’s initial subdued verses. Heady vibe throughout the total 46 minutes, as one might expect, but The Fërtility Cült‘s third is less self-indulgent than it might superficially seem, and their varied arrangements never fail to service what really matters to them, which of course is the material itself rather than the exercise of playing it. Rich and graceful when it wants to be, A Forest of Kings hones an endearing landscape without getting lost in it.
Mostly-instrumentalist trio Cosmic Fall — based in Berlin and comprised of guitarist/vocalist Mathias, bassist Klaus and drummer Daniel — formed in 2016 and worked quickly to turn around First Fall (discussed here), their first full-length of improv-based works. Kick out the Jams arrives with a fittingly quick turnaround and brings forth seven new pieces in its digital form, topping 93 minutes in its total space-bound push. More impressive than the quantity of the work — though I won’t take away from the sprawling appeal (or the delightful, influence-on-our-sleeve pun in the title) of the 21-minute “Earthfull” or 19-minute opener “Saturn Highway” — is the chemistry that seems to have immediately found root in Cosmic Fall‘s sound. They take a forward step in these tracks, to be sure, and there are more steps to be taken — a band like this, in the best case scenario, does not stop progressing, their material only comes to unfold more as a musical conversation between old friends; see Electric Moon — but as Kick out the Jams plays through its extended, immersive runtime, cuts like “Interstellar Junction” and “Stairway Jam” feel especially bold in how open they are in allowing the listener to hear that process happening. Songs are varyingly active — only “White Stone” (4:42) is under 11 minutes long — and allow for Mathias to lead the way into the spaciousness of “Purple Weed” while Daniel‘s toms propel “Cosmic Conclusion” at the album’s finish, but the core message behind Cosmic Fall less than a year into their tenure is one of ambition and the band’s deep motivation to develop the already palpable dynamic they have going. One can only look forward to hearing where their adventures take them and, indeed, where they take their audience.
With Earthen on ViciSolum Records, Finnish progressive death-doomers Oceanwake complete a trilogy that began on their 2013 debut Kingdom and had its second installment with 2015’s Sunless (review here). I’m not entirely sure what the overarching theme tying the releases together is — perhaps hearing the debut would help, but it’s not easily tracked down — but Earthen expounds on the blend of extremity, poise and emotional resonance the Luvia five-piece proffered their last time out, arriving as two massive tracks, opener “A Storm Sermon” (21:09) and closer “In Amidst the Silent Thrones” (24:04), both of which work in movements that shift between crushing, grueling doom and gorgeous, airy melodies. A depth of emotionalism isn’t necessarily anything new in the style — countrymen from Skepticism to Swallow the Sun have been morose for a long time — but what Oceanwake bring is a fluidity in their transitions and a sense of purpose to their songwriting beyond the usual miseries. Thus, like Sunless before it, Earthen emerges to bring significant character to familiar elements, drifting at times and explosive at others, but always under complete control, never wandering without a reason, and basking in low end that has to be heard to be believed. Earthen might fly under a lot of radars, but it shouldn’t be missed by those with an affinity for the extreme ends of doom. One hopes the now-completed trilogy project won’t be the sum total Oceanwake‘s output together.
Jenzeits may be a new incarnation, but the project stems from a familiar source. Relocated from North Carolina to San Francisco — also, apparently, to the cosmos itself — multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (Hour of 13, Set, Anu, The Sabbathian, etc.) offers up two massive synthesized soundscapes on Jenzeits Cosmic Universe, as both “Alpha” (25:00) and “Omega” (21:53) channel krautrock exploration and progressive indulgence. A due amount of the release is given to hypnotics, as one might expect — that is, it’s an easy one to put on and zone out — but Davis isn’t without some sense of motion either as he makes his way through “Alpha” and the rightfully more foreboding “Omega,” the latter delving into a movement of key runs backed by wind swirl calling to mind any number of horror and/or retro-horror soundtracks, and even minor shifts in the elements at work at any given moment become more pronounced in the grand context of the whole work. Davis usually has his hands in a number of outfits (and a number of genres) at any given time — an Hour of 13 resurgence is pending, for example — but Jenzeits‘ debut is engaging in its textures and feels like a journey just beginning.
More to come as we get The Obelisk Radio back up and running at full capacity. I’ve purchased a new hard drive toward that end, so we’ll have even more room to work with as well. Will update when there’s an update.
Till then, thanks again for reading and listening.
They’ve shifted from a six-piece to a five-piece since putting out their second album, Contact High (review here), late in 2013, but as this Spring finds organ-laced Berlin heavy rockers Operators making a return with their third outing, Revelers, that’s not the only change at hand. Not that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but the new record — the six tracks of which arrive half a decade after the band’s self-titled debut (review here) — feels immediately more textured in its intentions than anything they’ve done before.
Still plenty of riotousness happening, as “Pusher” demonstrates in the stream at the bottom of this post, and I don’t think you put a song called “Fuzz Muncher” on your record if you’re going full-prog, but there’s a sense of their approach maturing in “Leveled Reveler,” “Messina” and especially 10-minute closer “Rolling Hitch” that works to expand the dynamic of tempo changes throughout and the vibe of the songs overall.
René Hofmann from Wight recorded and contributes guitar and vocals on that last track, and the band has sent over copious other info on the forthcoming LP, for which they’re crowdfunding a pressing as we speak. Check it out:
Operators – Revelers
We are the heavy rock band OPERATORS from Berlin, Germany – loud guitars, organ, sweat ‘n pure joy! We run this band completely independently since 2009, have recorded two albums entirely on our own and played 140 gigs. Yes, we’re in it for the music! Now we want to publish our new album ‘Revelers’ for and with you – it is already recorded! (photo: Fabian Willi Simon)
We want to release our new album Revelers together with you, without taking any detours!
We’ve consciously decided for crowdfunding and not for a record label. It is important for us to have 100% control over the publishing of our record, just as we have over songwriting and recording. Also, contracts with labels often run over 7 or 10 years – we want to be independent. We have already built a strong and steady connection to you and our crowd through our shows and this next step is only logical now.
This is not about donations, about doing some album at some time, this is about an album that is already finished and is about to be printed and pressed as we speak. This very album can be pre-ordered now for reasonable prices.
Revelers – that’s one hell of a 38 minute Rock’n’Rollercoaster! The album’s diverse six songs shimmer in different colours. The interplay of drums, bass, guitar, organ and vocals shines in the 3 rollicking minutes of “Pusher” and fully unfolds in the 10 captivating minutes of “Rolling Hitch”.
Facts about the record: – Recorded, mixed and produced by René Hofmann (Wight) – René Hofmann also contributed backing vocals and a guitar solo (on ‘Rolling Hitch’) – recorded October 27-30 2016 at Lui Hill Studio, Darmstadt, Germany – additional vocals recorded in November and December in Darmstadt and Berlin – mastered by Tony Reed – 6 songs and 38 minutes strong – release in mid-May – artwork by Johannes Walenta/Kopfüber (organ player for Stonehenge)
Tracklist ‘Revelers’: 01 Leveled Reveler (7:50) 02 Pusher (3:04) 03 Messina (7:15) 04 Walkin’ On Air (4:54) 05 Fuzz Muncher (4:43) 06 Rolling Hitch (10:04)
Operators’ upcoming gigs: March 16 – Nürnberg, Zentralcafé w Samavayo & Zen Meister March 17 – Würzburg, Immerhin w Samavayo March 18 – Osnabrück, Dirty Dancing w Samavayo & Isoptera May – Berlin record release (to be confirmed) July 16 – RED SMOKE FEST, Pleszew, Poland (Operators are announced on March 10)