Høstsabbat 2018: SÂVER Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

saver

Got a couple minutes? Of course you do. What are you, at work right now? Or on your phone somewhere? You on the can? Sometimes I read this site looking for typos when I’m on the can, it’s okay.Point is, you’ve got a couple minutes, and I’m going to go ahead and recommend you take those couple minutes and check out the rehearsal video below from newcomer Norwegian outfit SÂVER, who, as noted in the headline above, have been added to this year’s Høstsabbat festival.

Notice how the camera shakes while the band plays? That means they’re super-fucking-heavy. I’m not sure how sludgy they’ll ultimately turn out to be, or even if their name is supposed to be written in all-caps — following their lead in that regard — but man, that video is some heavy-enough-to-give-you-a-headache kind of jazz. I dig it.

The band essentially seems to represent a three-quarters reunion of Tombstones with drummer Markus Støle and guitarist Ole Rokseth — both also of Hymn — rejoining forces with bassist/vocalist Ole Christian Helstad — also one of Høstsabbat‘s principal organizers — in a new, quite clearly powerful, trio. As previously suggested, catch them in action in the video at the bottom of this post.

Here’s the announcement from the fest:

hostsabbat 2018 saver

As for this Fridays announcement, we have a freshly baked band to present for you.

SÂVER made their live debut in January, and we have to admit the total devastation presented from the stage was impressive to witness. A three piece, mixing raw riffage, savage vocals and an earth shattering groove, with gentle synth passages to put you in a transcendent state of spaced out darkness.

Sharing members with household Norwegian bands, Hymn and Tombstones, SÂVER shows no signs of being new to their game.

If you like your rock heavy as a Chevy. Look no further \m/

https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1394090067384672/

SÂVER, Rehearsal video

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Friday Full-Length: Valley of the Sun, The Sayings of the Seers

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Not that they haven’t done plenty since, but can you believe it’s coming up on seven years since Valley of the Sun released The Sayings of the Seers (review here)? The Ohio-based heavy rockers issued their second EP in June 2011, and at the time, it was impossible to know what it would signal. I remember getting the vinyl and being so enthralled by the potential. Did it sound like Slo Burn? Shit yeah, but that wasn’t about to stop me from singing along to “Hearts Aflame” or “Riding the Dunes,” and for a band who was so new, they seemed to have their sound so together, so dead on, that — I’ll be honest — I thought they were going to take over the US heavy underground.

In a way, they did. The signal that was impossible to see at the time was just how much The Sayings of the Seers indicated that a new generation of American heavy rockers was on the rise and would take hold of the greater rock consciousness throughout the course of this decade. Ripple Music had gotten rolling in 2010, and certainly a heavy rock label boom followed in the wake of their success — it’s ongoing — but that wouldn’t have happened without an explosion of bands, and Valley of the Sun, if they were concurrent, they were also more cohesive than most at the time. Though its only five tracks long, The Sayings of the Seers presented them as a band whose work was essentially ready to roll out. Like few others in the sphere of US heavy — names like fellow Ohioans Lo-Pan, Portland forerunners Red Fang, Texas’ Wo Fat and Mothership and maybe one or two from a then-nascent scene in San Diego — Valley of the Sun not only represented a generation of heavy rock coming to fruition in the post-Facebook age, but did so at the head of the wave. The next couple years 2012, 2013, and 2014, would see a massive increase in the number of riff-led acts from across the country. Valley of the Sun by no means invented heavy rock and roll, but they sure as shit knew what they were doing when they started to play it.

The evidence of that is as plain as riff on “Hearts Aflame”‘s face. The way that song starts out a rager and subtly builds from there to give a genuine crescendo feel at the end. With guitarist Ryan Ferrier‘s vocals so dead-on in their John Garcia-esque delivery, Valley of the Sun seemed to be speaking immediately to a swath of the converted that most didn’t even know existed. The Sayings of the Seers only got stronger with the momentum-building boogie of “Deep Light Burns,” which gave their future Fuzzorama Records label bosses Truckfighters a run for their money in terms of its energy and seemed to be daring the audience to keep up with it. Later on, “Aquarius” would provide a likewise charge at the outset of side B, but to get there, one first had to brave the hook that was centerpiece “Mariner’s Tale,” which remains seven years later the kind of song one might listen to and say, “Okay, well there’s no way in hell they could possibly come up with anything catchier than this,” and then you hear “Riding the Dunes” close out and have to just throw up your hands and admit defeat. In sound, in the crispness of their production, the clarity of their execution, the vibe born of their tones and the accomplishment of their songwriting, Valley of the Sun wanted for absolutely nothing. At the time, I said, “Provided Valley of the Sun can continue to hone this level of craft and grow into their own as a band, I see no reason they couldn’t stand with a select few others at the forefront of their generation of American heavy rockers.”

A bit of a hyperbolic prediction, I’ll admit — there are many other factors besides quality of work that come into play between one band “making it” and another not; how much they tour, their management choices, their PR, their label, who they play with, when and where, etc. — but it was true enough that there was nothing at that point to indicate Valley of the Sun didn’t have that kind of potential. They’ve only grown bolder throughout their two to-date Fuzzorama LPs, 2014’s Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk (review here) and 2016’s Volume Rock (review here), though lineup shuffles around Ferrier and drummer Aaron Boyer have been a steady issue. Their work may be slightly underappreciated as a result, but they’ve never doled out anything less than ultra-engaging, sharply-turned professional heavy rock. Looking back on it now, The Sayings of the Seers was nothing if not a righteous statement of this intent.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I really, really wanted to sleep until six this morning. I didn’t. I had an announcement that I’d meant to write yesterday for the Freak Valley Festival — it’ll be posted here Monday — that I needed to bang out on European time, so it was a 4AM wakeup, which quite frankly is better than 2:30. After I did the writeup, futzed through some emails and stutter-started this post, falling asleep with my head on the kitchen table all the while, I went back to bed for a bit. Maybe an hour and a half or so. Something like that.

It really only matters because tonight I’m driving to Worcester to see Judas Priest and Saxon, and as I’ll be taking The Patient Mrs.’ car — mine is registered and starts now, but the brakes, not so much — I’d prefer not to fall asleep at the wheel and veer into the woods off the Masspike. It would be just my luck to completely total her car and survive to catch hell about it for the rest of my life.

That possibility notwithstanding, I’ll have a review up of that show on Monday. Monday’s also a pretty special occasion that I’ll be marking, so please keep an eye out for that. Here’s the rest of the notes for the week:

Mon.: Special post, Judas Priest review, Malady album stream/review.
Tue.: Baby Bones track premiere, Black Rainbows video.
Wed.: Sunnata review.
Thu.: T.G. Olson double-review.
Fri.: Soldat Hans review.

Those last three are basically me doing myself a favor pre-Quarterly Review, which is the following week, but they might get moved around. We’ll see.

You’re probably not, but if you’re wondering, eating disorder treatment continues and continues to suck. I’ve hit the point in this process of “getting healthy” where just about none of the clothes I’ve bought or acquired in the last two years fit me — a record label very kindly sent me a t-shirt this week that I’ll never be able to wear — and my favorite flannel — “the wizard flannel,” so dubbed because it’s huge like a wizard’s robe and when you wear it, its magical powers make the world seem less shitty — has gone missing. It’s probably in the basement where the clothes are kept [update: it was], somewhere among the mass of baby clothes and now-too-tight boxer shorts, but frankly, every time I go down there to look and get something to wear, I see the stack of shirts people sent me, from Year of the Cobra to Comacozer to Cosmic Fall, on and on and on, that can’t get around me anymore and it makes me want to veer into the woods off the side of the Masspike. So I try not to go downstairs. Not a sustainable plan, but fuck it. I’m a homemaker. If I wear the same t-shirt three days in a row, as I have with this Ancestors shirt I have on now, the only people who are going to be disappointed in me are myself and Donna Reed. Oh, and I’ve also stopped showering every day because I hate the sight of my own body in the bathroom mirror. “Getting healthy!”

That’s a fun one. Also fun is my anxiety about leaving the house — I’m nervous enough about going to Worcester tonight; Roadburn already has me terrified — and the generic platitudes I get about how much better I’m doing. Some level of some stupid fucking thing in my bloodwork is higher or lower than it used to be, isn’t that great? Who fucking cares? Do I live forever now? “Well, you were miserable at 150 pounds too.” No shit. I’d rather be miserable and have my fucking clothes fit me. I went out last summer and bought three pairs of hippie pants. Real hippie pants. Not that I could get them around my ass if I tried, but I don’t ever want to wear colors again. Let me just fucking do whatever I can do disappear and leave it at that. Like stay home and fall asleep typing and feel bad about not answering emails and Facebook messages fast enough.

So many fucking typos. I’m doing my best to catch them, but I know they’re getting through. It’s because I’m only half-conscious when I’m writing. Now you know.

Wow. Okay. Hard reboot? Delete everything past the notes for next week and start over? Nah fuck it. If you’re interested enough to keep reading this far into a 1,600-word post, you deserve nothing less than the truth about what a wretched wreck (“wrecktched?”) I am. So there it is. This week. And everyone tells me I’m getting better.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I wish I lived in New Jersey. I wish I had money enough to not have to worry about money. I wish I didn’t have to write down every fucking thing I eat in a day so it can be checked over like fourth grade math homework. I sucked at that too.

Thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to check out the forum and radio stream, and just to not end on a bummer note, please make sure you check back Monday for that special post. It’ll be the first post of the day and it’s a big one, so yeah, stay tuned. It’ll be fun. I mean it.

Until then, all the best.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Familiars Premiere “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

familiars (Photograph by Thomas Van Der Zaag)

Toronto-based heavy psych rockers Familiars have newly released their new cumbersomely-titled two-songer, This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join, and if immersion is the idea, then they’re definitely comfortable working with the theme. Their tempos on “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and the accompanying “The Gardiner’s Coming Down” are methodical, the second track a little faster than the first in a kind of fuzzy-garage stomp where “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” feels more about the roll and the reverbed-out vocals, a blend of tonal heft and melodic reach that feels born from similar impulses to Mars Red Sky but not at all aping what the Frenchmen have done on their own records.

This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join is by no means the first short release from the trio of Anton Babych, Jared MacIntyre and Kevin Vansteenkiste, and the hope on the part of the band is it will lead them into the process of making their first full-length this Spring. Certainly the janga-janga-janga riff of “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and the punctuated-buzz-turned-post-QOTSA-thrust-turned-echoing-daydream of “The Gardiner’s Coming Down” would be an indicator they’re ready for the task. As both songs can be streamed now and downloaded name-your-price style at the bottom of this post, it only seems that Familiars are looking to be as readily accessible to their audience as possible, and given the professionalism of their presentation and the depths of their tones, I wouldn’t be surprised to find them picked up by this or that label before the album is out.

MacIntyre co-directed the new video for “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” and Vansteenkise did the Sergio Leone-inspired title-card, so the band’s definitely used to being hands on with their own output. The clip itself features a be-robbed wandering protagonist headed across some gloriously open spaces, only to find the band rocking out in a field — like you go. Alam directed the atmosphere of the video is a good match for the song in that it’s gorgeous, and I like the idea that we never find out who’s under the hood, as it were. We never see a face, a gender, anything, and the band is pretty careful to avoid saying one way or the other. I think that kind of thing is cool. It can be the band’s secret.

Look out for more news on Familiars — I hope, anyway — as they set to recording the aforementioned debut LP, and in the meantime, dig into the video for “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Familiars, “As Our Distance Has Grown Further” official video premiere

A wanderer gets lost in what it’s searching for.

“As Our Distance Has Grown Further” is the single off of the 7 inch “This Water That Is Warm, I Will Soon Join”.

7 inch available at: https://familiarsmusic.bandcamp.com/

We are recording our debut full length this spring.

Directors: Mashie Alam & Jared MacIntyre
Director Of Photography: Thomas Van Der Zaag
Colour & Effects: Nathan Winspear
Title card: Kevin Vansteenkiste

Familiars live:
Tuesday March 27th in London Ontario w/ Woodhawk
Wednesday March 28th in Hamilton Ontario w/ Woodhawk.

Familiars are Kevin Vansteenkiste, Anton Babych, & Jared MacIntyre

Familiars, This Water that is Warm, I Will Soon Join

Familiars on Thee Facebooks

Familiars on Twitter

Familiars on Instagram

Familiars website

Familiars on Bandcamp

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Death Pesos to Release Couch Glue Single April 6

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

With a reliable blend of aggro noise and heavy groove — and they’re from Boston! go figure! — Death Pesos return next month with new single given the title Couch Glue. While there’s a big part of me that wants to imagine that the song is about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine seasons four through seven, I doubt that’s actually where they’re coming from. Still, anyone who heard their Drug Worship single (posted here) last year knows they’ve got potential, and having heard the new tracks — that is, “Couch Glue” itself and its six-minute B-side, “Evil Eye” — I can affirm that’s still very much the case.

Info came down the PR wire for your perusal and calendar marking:

death pesos couch glue

Death Pesos is releasing a new single, “Couch Glue”, on 4/6/18.

The song was recorded with Alex Garcia-Rivera (American Nightmare, Piebald) at his Mystic Valley Recording Studio in Medford, MA, straight to 24 track, 2 inch tape, like the gods intended.

This is a heavy, fuzzy slab of rock n’ roll for those who insist on leaving their physical reality behind. For those who prefer indica. For those raised by the Super Mario Brothers. And especially for those who just can’t quite seem to get up off the couch to turn the record over.

Death Pesos hearkens back to the golden age of dinosauric riffs and gelatinous, sludgy yet sturdy rhythms. Like a time machine to that unbelievable show you saw back in ’71, if only you could remember the band’s name through the haze of smoke and years gone by.

Featuring cover art by Massachusetts luminary Sean Watroba, the heavy eyelids, perma-smirk and crimson tinted ocular orbs say it all.

Spin this one on repeat and you’ll be glued to your couch ’til next time.

* Features “Evil Eye” as the B-side, a cautionary tale of government surveillance and poisonous, all-seeing robots taking up real estate in your mind

Upcoming dates
Friday, April 6th, with Jessica Rabbit Syndrome • Sundrifter • Canadian Rifle @ Obrien’s • Allston, MA
Tuesday, May 8th with Cult Fiction • Faux Ferocious @ Pink Noise Studio • Somerville, MA
Saturday, May 12th with TBA @ Somerville Porchfest • Somerville, MA

https://www.facebook.com/deathpesos/
https://twitter.com/DeathPesos
https://www.instagram.com/deathpesos/
https://deathpesos.bandcamp.com/

Death Pesos, “Drug Worship”

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REZN Touring this Spring

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Chicago riffers REZN issued their debut album, Let it Burn (review here), as a gatefold 2LP last year via Off the Record Company, and quite frankly, the thing looks gorgeous. They’ve got pictures up on their Bandcamp page (linked below, should you want to take some time and just gawk for a while), and yeah go ahead and mark that a win as much for band as for their growing fanbase, to whom the band will be paying individual visits on their upcoming spring 2018 tour, which is awfully considerate of them.

I always wanted to hit a band up on a run like this and see if they’d be willing to play my house. No opening acts. I’ll pay the going rate, maybe include a delicious dinner sweeten the deal, accommodating for allergies and preferences and things of that like. So yeah, hey REZN, let me know if you want to swing by. I’ll even help load in and out. We’d love to have you, even if it means getting the baby some of those industrial earphones or taking him for a ride in the case or something.

reezn

We’re embarking on a tone quest this spring in honor of our sacred idols, Lume, releasing their new record ‘Wrung Out’ on April 20th. We’ll be evangelizing America and Canada through amp worship and riff meditation on these dates:

4/20 – Kalamazoo, MI @ Rancho Unicorno
4/21 – Port Huron, MI @ Schwonksoundstead
4/22 – Mississauga, ON @ Symbiotica
4/23 – Toronto, ON @ Baby G
4/24 – Montreal, QC @ L’Esco
4/25 – Burlington, VT @ Monkey House
4/26 – Portland, ME @ Geno’s Rock Club
4/27 – Boston, MA @ Democracy Center
4/28 – Providence, RI @ Machines with Magnets
4/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ TBD
4/30 – Richmond, VA @ The Tomb
5/01 – Charlotte, NC @ Oso Skatepark
5/02 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
5/03 – Nashville, TN @ That ’70s House
5/04 – Loisville, KY @ Spinelli’s
5/05 – Chicago, IL @ Burlington

REZN is:
Phil Cangelosi: Bass + Vocals
Patrick Dunn: Percussion + Sitar
Rob McWilliams: Guitar + Vocals
Spencer Ouellette: Modular Synthesis
Alex Schulze: The Creature

https://www.facebook.com/reznhits/
http://instagram.com/rezzzn
https://rezzzn.bandcamp.com/releases

REZN, Let it Burn (2017)

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Six Dumb Questions with Akula

Posted in audiObelisk, Six Dumb Questions on March 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

akula

Those familiar with the vocal work of Columbus, Ohio-based vocalist Jeff Martin will find his presence recognizable in everything but context when it comes to the newcomer five-piece Akula. Known of course for his work fronting (from behind the drums) the fuzz-laced heavy rocking Lo-Pan, Martin brings his soulful melodicism to Akula as part of a lineup that includes bassist Scott Hyatt, guitarists Sergei Parfenov and Chris Thompson (the latter now also of Lo-Pan) and drummer Ronnie Miller, and the group’s self-titled first full-length incorporates a swath of atmospheric textures derived from progressive metal as ’90s alternative, post-rock and more beyond.

The album, Akula was given a digital self-release by the band in January in somewhat quiet fashion almost testing the ground to gauge an initial reception that, sure enough, came back in a positive response to the sharp chugging turns of 12-minute closer “Predators,” the open-spaced rolling groove of “Force Me Open” (10:07) the weighted ambient pulsations of opener “A Pound of Flesh” (9:19) and the post-doomer crash of “Born of Fire”‘s (9:27) blend of sonic reach and earthen nod. These four extended tracks would be all Akula needed to make that strong first impression, and in terms of both memorable songwriting and a stylistic ambitiousness, the self-titled indeed sounds like only the beginning of where the band might go in terms of ground they explore and just the first demonstration of a nuance of craft set to grow even more across subsequent outings.

Whether Martin‘s voice is the draw or you happen upon Akula through some other means — frankly, the pop in Miller‘s snare, Hyatt‘s tone on the low end and the fluidity with which Thompson and Parfenov lead transitions between claustrophobic riffing and broad-spaced soundscapes all make valid arguments in the 41-minute LP’s favor — the clearly-intended-to-be-two-vinyl-sides offering is immersive from the outset and rich in both sprawl and impact. I would not at all be surprised to find a physical pressing or two in the works for later this year, but in the meantime, Martin was kind enough to take some time to discuss the origins of the band and how the record came together in writing and recording, and whether or not Akula should be considered a side-project. Some of those responses might surprise you.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

akula akula

Six Dumb Questions with Akula

Tell me about Akula getting together. What was the impetus behind starting the band, and how much did you guys know going into the project what you wanted it to sound like?

Akula started when Lo-Pan had some downtime. I was feeling an overabundance of creative energy and I thought jamming with some different people and different styles might be a good way to channel some of that. This was before Chris [Thompson, guitar] joined Lo-Pan. I knew who he was and had seen a few of his previous bands play. I had been listening to a lot of heavier psychedelic stuff in the vein of Yob, Neurosis, and even some Mastodon. I knew Chris could do pretty much anything from seeing him play. I contacted him and asked if he would be interested in getting some people together for a purely fun project. He was all for it. I told him what I was thinking in terms of style and he said he actually already had some part ideas he had been messing around with that might be a fit.

We talked about bass players and drummers and rhythm guitarists and invited some guys to meet up and discuss. It all went pretty smoothly. And stylistically, everyone seemed to understand what we were looking for. A darker, heavier psychedelic sound with melodic vocals. Longer format and prog shifts seemed like a natural thing for everyone. So we got to work.

Talk about that sound for a bit. The album has such a sense of space to it, everything sounds very open and atmospheric, but still heavy. Was there something in particular you were looking to capture in terms of mood on the album?

I think there was a nebulous direction we were all going, but it’s always a mystery how it will actually shake out when you start playing. We all come from various genres of heavy music but also a mix of other types of music as well. Atmospheric was definitely where I wanted it to go. Chris brings that off-time heavy lead mentality to the songs and that was new for me. It was a challenge for me to add vocals to that. I am used to having very standard time signatures which allows me to weave in and out as much as I want to. In that feel, I can really add to the swing of a song. I really love heavy music that swings. But with Akula it took me a bit of effort to learn where the swing was. It’s definitely there. But with the off-time parts, I wanted to make sure that my swing wasn’t too hindered by the guitar parts. It’s not always easy. But I do enjoy the challenge of incorporating my vocal and lyrical style into a heavier format.

How does Akula’s songwriting process work? How does a track like “Force Me Open” come together, and what does each member of the band bring to it? When did you begin writing for the record?

Usually it all starts with a part idea from either Chris or Sergei. Those two will get together and work out a sort of skeleton format for a song. Then Scott and Ronnie will jam with them to build the rest. Adding parts. Changing parts. Removing parts. This will all happen over the course of a few weeks. Maybe even a month or two. “Force Me Open” probably took five months or more to reach a record-ready state.  And some of that is just time delays. Chris joined Lo-Pan about a year after we started Akula. Before we even had a name for Akula, actually. So Lo-Pan’s schedule definitely has an effect on the Akula writing process when it comes to time allocation for myself and for Chris.

Also everyone else in the band has quite a bit going on as well. Scott, our bassist is in a few different bands, mainly Bridesmaid, but also occasionally Horseburner and Siouxplex. He also has a career and a wife. Ronnie, our drummer is in another band (Artillery Breath) and travels quite a bit. Sergei, our rhythm guitarist has a family and runs a business. It all just takes time. We began writing the first record from the very first jam sessions. But I think it took around a year before we had our first two songs completed. All before we even discussed a name for the band.

We didn’t even play a show until around the 18-month mark. That was important for us when we started out. We wanted everything to happen in its own good time. No shows until we felt it was all ready to be played out. No recording until we have an album worth of material we all liked. No rushing whatsoever. It’s done when it’s done. And in the meantime we just have fun playing music and hanging out together. That was the first thing I said to everyone when we first got together. Those were the marching orders. No stress. Just fun.

No hassles. It’s done when it’s done. And we have really seen that through. It really is like that. We don’t fight. We all get along and we have a blast together. We play the shows we want to play. We go the direction we all decide is best.

Tell me about recording. It’s just four tracks, but they’re four pretty significant tracks. Where was the album done, how long were you in the studio and as your first release, how do you feel the outcome represents the band at this stage?

Recording could not have been a better process for us. We recorded this record at Sonic Lounge here in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a really killer studio with some outstanding equipment and it’s all run by Joe Viers. Chris had worked with Joe multiple times in other projects like Sleepers Awake. I worked with Joe on the last Lo-Pan release (In Tensions), and Scott had worked with him in his band Bridesmaid. Joe was our first choice and for me our only choice really. He just gets music and he’s a fantastic collaborator. He becomes like another member of the band. He makes strong suggestions and will hold you accountable when he knows you can play a part better or if you’re out of tune. And even vocally, I have found Joe to be an invaluable resource for ideas on harmonies and execution. I can’t say enough good things about the guy.

We did the entire album and mixing over the course of two weekends at Sonic Lounge. It was a real blast to make this album. I think as a first effort it reflects the entire timeline of the band to this point. You can hear the maturation of the songs. Or at least I can. “Born of Fire” was our first completed song. “Force Me Open” was the second completed song. Even between those two songs, I think you can hear a quantum shift. It’s pretty rewarding to see that growth as a group.

Of course, you’ve done plenty of touring over the years in Lo-Pan, but how much will Akula play out? Will you guys tour to support the album? How much is the band a side-project for you or anyone else involved?

As far as playing out goes, I think Akula takes a very methodical approach to things. We love to play live but we want live shows to be an addition to our experience, and not just a maintaining of status quo. So we are selective about frequency and overall makeup of shows. We are discussing a summer run to support this release.

I would say when we first started out this was definitely a side-project for all of us. And as it’s progressed it has really become an important project for everyone. I don’t know that I would still classify Akula as my side-project. It’s just a different project with a different sound and its own process.

Any plans or closing words you want to mention?

Akula is currently in talks to sign with an indie label to release our self-titled in physical format including vinyl. More to follow on that. We are also continuing to write new material which we will start road testing soon. Our next show is April 6 at Spacebar in Columbus with Royal Thunder and Pinkish Black.

Akula, Akula (2018)

Akula on Thee Facebooks

Akula on Bandcamp

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Eternal Black Release Bleed the Days on Limited Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

eternal black (photo by Harry Booth)

It was a doomer’s delight last year when New York trio Eternal Black made their debut with Bleed the Days (review here). The band immediately brought their own stamp to what we think of as the genre’s traditions, and though you’d listen to it for sure and recognize its East Coast origins, there was something about it a little darker, a little more aggressive than a lot of the fare that comes out of Maryland. No escaping the intensity of the band’s NYC home-base, I guess.

Dudes have taken it upon themselves to put the album out on deluxe, gorgeous-looking limited vinyl — a no-compromises 2LP with a silkscreened side D that would seem to be little more than a gift for those who knew enough to pick up what they were putting down with the record. If you didn’t hear it last year, you’re by no means too late. Stream the full thing on the player below and bask in the dirge rhythms, weighted tones and general downer-metallurgy of the whole experience. You might just decide to pick up a record after doing so.

Yup, that’s me, spending your money.

Dig it:

eternal black bleed the days lp

ETERNAL BLACK’S ‘BLEED THE DAYS’ IS NOW AVAILABLE IN TWO LIMITED EDITION COLOR VARIANTS RELEASED VIA OBSIDIAN SKY RECORDS.

Eternal Black have announced their debut full-length ‘Bleed The Days’ is now available on vinyl pressing through the band’s own Obsidian Sky Records. The Brooklyn, NY doom metal trio battered the heavy music world in a bleak sea of crushing waves with their August 2017 album. Originally released on digital, CD and cassette, ‘Bleed The Days’ is now available in two limited-edition vinyl variants, with a ‘Die Hard’ colored vinyl bundle option and ‘Standard’ edition.

In August 2017, Brooklyn-based doom metal band ETERNAL BLACK unleashed their debut full-length album, ‘Bleed the Days’, on CD, Cassette (sold out), and Digital formats via their own Obsidian Sky Records label. Today the trio formally announce the February 4th release of ‘Bleed the Days’ available in two limited edition vinyl presses.

‘Bleed the Days’ is the band’s third release, following their 2015 self-titled EP, as well as a live recording from 2017, ‘Live at WFMU’.

According to the band, “Sonically, we were aiming for somewhere between Black Sabbath’s ‘Master of Reality’ and The Obsessed’s ‘Lunar Womb’. We wanted the album to be an obvious step forward in the progression of our sound; darker and heavier than anything you’ve heard from us before, with the grit of old school Doom.”

– ‘Die Hard’ Edition – Limited to 120 copies. Double vinyl set, clear with black smoke vinyl. Side D is a silk-screened razor blade graphic. Includes a custom silk-screened graphic/lyric insert and patch.
– ‘Standard’ Edition – Limited to 115 copies. Double vinyl set, black vinyl. Side D is a silk-screened razor blade graphic.

“Bleed The Days” Track List:
A1. The Lost, The Forgotten, and The Undying
A2. Snake Oil and Coffin Nails
B1. Sea of Graves
B2. Into Nothing
B3. Stained Eyes on a Setting Sun
C1. Bleed The Days
C2. All Gods Fall
D side is a silk-screened graphic

https://eternalblack.bandcamp.com/merch
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07476RQL8/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bleed-the-days/1263331681
https://open.spotify.com/album/4AgiDSE4pDn4nSc9CsqxZG

Eternal Black, Bleed the Days (2017)

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Sunnata to Release Outlands March 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sunnata

Points for consistency to Polish heavy progressive psychedelic rockers Sunnata. Their last album, 2016’s Zorya (review here), kicked ass, and so does their new one, Outlands. The Warsaw-based group’s third offering, Outands is out March 23, and it plays between influences extreme and atmospheric, metallic and rocking, and it bears a heaviness as much of spirit as of sound. Each record Sunnata have done has seen them come more into themselves sound-wise, and listening to the patient unfolding of the title-track as you can at the bottom of this post, you’ll clearly see that’s the case here as well.

Get yourself ready for a journey:

sunnata outlands

Ritual heavy unit SUNNATA unveil details for new album “Outlands” and share title track

Warsaw’s ritual heavy specialists SUNNATA return with their third full-length “Outlands” this March 23rd. Open your minds and enjoy the title track off this new sonic experience.

Hailing from Warsaw, Poland, SUNNATA have kept paving their own way to higher metal skies since their 2014 debut “Climbing The Colossus”. Weaving together sounds of the heaviest kind, dark psychedelia and grunge-infused hooks and vocals, the gifted foursome crafts a trippy and epic brand of metal that can only be accurately described as ‘ritual heavy’. Their spellbinding sophomore album “Zorya” (2016) made the band gather even more momentum with regard to the European alternative heavy scene. This third album entitled “Outlands” brilliantly brings out even more ‘ritual’ in the ‘heavy’, confidently crossing the frontier of progressive doom to land in even more melancholic and mind-expanding alleys. SUNNATA are back and set to blow minds once again.

SUNNATA give an insight into this new song and record: « We have chosen the title track ‘Outlands’, because it lays right at the crossroads of all influences that made our new album’s sound. It’s a trance-inducing, shamanic journey with a story about sacrifice of the self, as a way to reveal a deeper truth behind it. The longer we worked on our third album, the more surprised we were with the outcome. ‘Outlands’ was one of the first songs we wrote, and it definitely is a good representative of the new record. It shows the shift in our sound, that definitely pushed us more towards modern psychedelia merged with strong 90s influences, and a bit of ritualism and doom in the background. We’ve had over a year long journey with this material and we feel that it shows yet another face of Sunnata. We let ourselves loose to go with the flow. No boundaries. This is first taste of what happened. Open your mind and experience it. »

“Outlands” artwork was designed by Polish artist Maciej Kamuda. Band photo courtesy of Aleksandra Burska. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio.

SUNNATA – New album “Outlands”
Available on March 23rd on CD and digital

TRACK LISTING:
1. Intro
2. Lucid Dream
3. Scars
4. Outlands
5. The Ascender
6. Gordian Knot
7. Falling (Interlude)
8. Hollow Kingdom

SUNNATA ARE
Szymon Ewertowski – vocals, guitar
Adrian Gadomski – vocals, guitar
Michal Dobrzanski – bass
Robert Ruszczyk – drums, percussion

https://www.facebook.com/sunnataofficial
https://twitter.com/followsunnata
http://sunnataofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/sunnataofficial/videos

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