audiObelisk: Vinum Sabbatum Stream “Tombstone Rider” from Bacchanale Premiere Full-Length Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on June 29th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Due out Aug. 24 on Eyes Like Snow/Northern Silence, Finnish trad doomers Vinum Sabbatum‘s Bacchanale Premiere follows an impressive 2011 split CD with mischievous British stoners Groan (review here) and a reissue of their debut EP, Songs from the Convent. The new full-length finds the Hyvinkää five-piece well assured of their aesthetic and what they want to be as a band, the kind of doom they want to make and just how much classic and cult heavy rock they want to put into it.

The answer to that last question seems to be “a lot.” More even than their EP or the split, Bacchanale Premiere places itself next to the heavy of old, sonically, and as a result, atmospherically. The prevalent organ (hee hee) of Tomi Korpela alongside the guitar of Juha Köykkä keeps that feeling consistent throughout the record, and between the inventive blues rhythms of bassist Mika Pajula and new drummer Jarno Jaakkola and the woeful wails of vocalist Janne Salo, their classical allegiances come through loud and proud as one of their central defining characteristics.

Another, and one I think you’ll be able to hear as you stream the track “Tombstone Rider” on the player below, is a core of songwriting that underlies the obviously considerable amount of stylization. “Tombstone Rider” has the organs, it has the bluesy groove, but it also has a solid hook and memorable performances from the band. I’ve included some info from the label after the player. Hope you enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Vinum Sabbatum‘s first full-length displays a band grown into a tight unit. The material is somewhat removed from the doom metal approach of Songs from the Convent and showcases more of their love for prog and hard rock rooted in the ‘70s, such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster, along with blues-based heavy rock á la early Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Warhorse and Iron Claw.

So there is still heaviness here, they merely traded the obvious doom metal leanings for an exciting mix of bluesy doom and gloom, combined with psychedelic and rocking grooves with enchantingly catchy melodies, and crowned by the remarkable voice of Janne Salo and the Hammond organ and keyboard of Tomi Korpela.

The first press of the CD comes in A5-digipak, limited to 1000 copies, and a vinyl version will also be released later on.

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Groan and Vinum Sabbatum Split CD: Two Sounds, One Heavy

Posted in Reviews on October 11th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Nestled right in between the touring Groan did for last year’s The Sleeping Wizard debut (review here) and the dissolution of what future generations will no doubt re(e)fer to as their “Mk. I” lineup, the UK four-piece put to tape the final two tracks of their initial incarnation for a Doomanoid Records split with laudable Finnish doomly Hammond-philes Vinum Sabbatum. Groan’s young, brash and just-slightly doomed take on stoner rock was presented on The Sleeping Wizard with a rehearsal room rawness that fit the songs perfectly. They’ve hardly cleaned up their act on the Vinum Sabbatum split, but I wouldn’t call it lacking fidelity either. The guitars of Dan “The Riff Wizard” Wainwright sound full and are lent extra thickness by their interplay with Leigh “Forest Dwelling Fuzz Creature” Jones. It’s fortunate that they play so well together, since they’re the two members left in the band after the departure of vocalist Andrew “Mazzereth” Maslen and drummer Steve “Thor’s Hammer” Burnett, but then, locking in a solid groove has never been a problem for Groan since the start. The divide between bands time-wise is uneven — with Groan’s two songs totaling about six and a half minutes while Vinum Sabbatum’s two songs are about twice that and half again – but both acts use the space they’re given on the CD well, and seem to embody in their own way the stonerly art that American artist Ralph Walters has concocted for the Eden-evoking cover.

Their approaches vary. Groan are more modern-sounding if not actually more modernly influenced. Their two songs, “Cosmic Boogie” and “Throne of Weed,” feel short, upbeat and about as straightforward as you can get. They are stoned with the sort of abandon that only youth and a genuine love of the riff can bring, and where Vinum Sabbatum injects elements like acoustic guitars, the aforementioned Hammond, mellotron and a more mournful flow to closer “Disillusioned Pilgrims,” even the catchy “Sinister Sister” (the ‘70s backing vocals are a must-hear) which precedes feels more grown up. Part of that could be that the Finns – who released their full-length debut, Songs From the Convent, on Eyes Like Snow last year to a positive response – have an older presentation. They hone in not so much on the relatively-updated ‘70s methodology that comes through the filter of 21st century stoner rock, but unabashedly take on the original sound as a retro ethic. It works well for Vinum Sabbatum, who one could probably concoct in a petri dish by melding the methods and influences of Witchcraft and their countrymen in Reverend Bizarre, but probably have the record collection to back up their aesthetic. That inevitably plays into their favor, as does the analog-sounding production and the patience with which they execute the material. Neither they nor Groan are “intense” sounding, at least not as the word might apply to heavy music, but there is something immediate in the overall atmosphere of the split.

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Frydee Vinum Sabbatum

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this afternoon, I got in a link exchange/battle with our very own/very dear Mike H., in which we tried to out-retro occult doom each other. He wisely played Sweden‘s Långfinger, which was a solid move, and I countered with the Finnish Vinum Sabbatum, — who you’ll see above — before he broke out some band from Ohio and I bitched about the vocals being too high in the mix and ruined the game. My fault entirely.

New Podcast Alert. There is a new podcast coming this weekend.

The collective that involves The Patient Mrs. and I — we were calling ourselves Our Dichotomy Opens the Combat for a while, but that faded — is out tomorrow night for social obligation, and Sunday evening is my nephew’s birthday, but. There. Will. Be. A Podcast. This. Weekend. So help me Robot Jeebus.

And next week! Next week will rule. I will be reviewing new albums from American Heritage, Crowbar (fucking finally) and Six Organs of Admittance and I’ll have an interview posted that I did earlier tonight with Scott “Wino” Weinrich himself. That’s right. The fucking man. We had a good chat this evening in advance of his acoustic tour with Scott Kelly and I’m fucking thrilled to say it’ll be posted next week.

We’ll also wrap up the numbers for January (of course they’re down from December, but that’s understandable) and give the latest forum statistics. If you haven’t yet, please feel free to register for the forums, because we’re this close to 500 users, and I’d like to get there before this month is out. Pure egotism on my part. What a jerk. Ha.

Be sure to check in this weekend for that new podcast, and until then, have fun, have a few drinks and please be safe. This week was a tough one with the weather and school and whatnot, but there’s good stuff to come, so stay tuned.

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