Vision Éternel Post Documentary Footage; Announce Contest Winner; Discuss New Music

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel box set documentary

Many doings in the camp of Montreal’s Vision Éternel. Like, a whole bunch. You might recall in April when the one-man ambient outfit co-hosted a contest here to giveaway a copy of the newly issued An Anthology of Past Misfortunes boxed set. The set is ultra-comprehensive, entries were emailed direct to Alexandre Julien, and a winner picked to receive the five EPs the band has done to-date, the demos/rarities tape, as well as a shirt, flyers, the liner notes and other sundry goodies. Like I said, it’s a comprehensive set.

Never content to rest on his recent laurels or, apparently, ever, Julien has now announced that he’s working on a sixth EP for his outfit, and that in addition to that, he’s given away a digital discount to everyone who entered the contest, and gone out to the woods — because, yes, the woods — to make a bit of a documentary talking about how the boxed set came together, what’s included, and so on. Looks like he found a nice spot for the chat, and as he opens up number 001 of the limited release, he talks about the timing of the EPs, when they came together and how, as well as some of the aesthetic development of the project, the designers he’s worked with and more.

The video is six minutes and in that time, Julien gives a clear sense of the heart that’s gone into the project and into this particular aspect of it. That seems to be what’s at the core of Vision Éternel and just about everything Julien does with the band. It’s a deeply personal work and the thought and emotion put into it is plain to both see and hear in the output.

Clip and news follow. Please enjoy:

Vision Éternel, An Introduction to An Anthology of Past Misfortunes Boxed Set

On May 24th, Vision Éternel undertook an excursion in the Laurentian Mountains forest to film a new documentative video. Luckily, it was a beautiful sunny day, and despite the bugs enjoying the weather as much as we were, we had a lot of fun. We found a nice clearing in the middle of the woods where we set up the shot with cinematographer Rain Frances.

The new footage was filmed to showcase and discuss the band’s newest release, the “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” boxed set, released through Abridged Pause Recordings last month. Vision Éternel founder Alexandre Julien made himself comfortable in the woods and explained how the boxed set was conceptualized and went over all of the contents of the package.

Contest Winner

On April 11th of 2018, Vision Éternel announced a giveaway contest in promotion of the band’s new retrospective boxed set, “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes”. Contestants had a full month to enter the drawing by sending an email to the band with their favourite Vision Éternel t-shirt color and size. Vision Éternel, Abridged Pause Recordings and The Obelisk would like to thank all the wonderful people and fans of the band who participated in this contest.

Today, the band is proud to announce a lucky winner who will not only receive a full boxed set, which in itself holds five compact discs, one cassette, two stickers, six business card flyers and a two-page postcard insert, but in addition to that, two sold-out posters, a t-shirt and the band’s entire remastered digital discography. The boxed set is autographed and personalized to the winner.

The winner is: Randy Blood! Congratulations!

But wait! There’s more!

The band is so appreciative of everyone who participated in the giveaway that everyone will be receiving consolation prizes. No one leaves empty-handed. All participants have been emailed a free download of Vision Éternel’s entire 2017-remastered digital discography and a 15% discount coupon code valid on any and all items at Vision Éternel’s web store (even the boxed set). This will be arriving in a separate email so look for it!

New EP?

For the last eight years, Vision Éternel founder Alexandre Julien has been working on the retrospective boxed set “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” to give a proper physical home to the band’s previous releases (2007-2015). Now that it’s out, the band is eager to move forward with new material. Vision Éternel is now actively writing and demoing new songs for a planned sixth extended play.

A handful of new Vision Éternel songs were demoed at Mortified Studios in the summer of 2017 while the band celebrated its ten-year anniversary. It is unknown if any of these ideas will evolve into material for the planned sixth EP. A few more songs have already been demoed in 2018. The band hopes to complete the extended play by the end of the year and is aiming for an early 2019 release. Graphic illustrator Costin Chioreanu has already been secured to design the concept album’s artwork.

In addition to the forthcoming extended play and the previously announced impending music video for “Sometimes In Longing Narcosis”, Vision Éternel is also considering putting out a single and a cover song in 2018.

Vision Éternel website

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Vision Éternel on Soundcloud

Vision Éternel on Spotify

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

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GIVEAWAY: Win Vision Éternel’s An Anthology of Past Misfortunes Boxed Set!

Posted in Features on April 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel

[To enter giveaway: send an email to contest@visioneternel.com with your shirt size and color preference. Yup, that’s it.]

So yeah, the process is a little different this time around. Usually for giveaways, people leave comments on a post or whatnot. This time, just send an email to Vision Éternel at contest@visioneternel.com and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Canadian one-man experimental outfit’s new boxed set, An Anthology of Past Misfortunes. The prize itself is significant, and includes flyers, five CDs, a tape, stickers, posters, on and on, as well as a full-catalog download. Safe to say Alexandre Julien, the man behind the band, has gone all out, and it is duly appreciated.

I’m going to keep my words minimal because Julien explains the prize below and that’s a fairly lengthy process, but if you look down at the bottom of this post, you’ll find the exclusive track premiere for “Love Within Narcosis (Demo),” which opens the set. At 2:27, it’s one of Julien‘s longer pieces, and in fact one of the things I find so fascinating about his work is that rather than simply ride out drone waves into ceaseless oblivion, he presents shorter pieces almost like scenes that flow together to make up a film.

That, and thanks to Julien for letting me host the track and the giveaway, comprise my piece on the matter. Once again, if you want to enter the contest, send an email to contest@visioneternel.com. If you want to leave a comment here, well, they’re always welcome, but it won’t count as an entry.

Here are the prize details:

vision eternel giveaway

One lucky winner will not only receive a full boxed set, which in itself holds five compact discs, one cassette, two stickers, six business card flyers and a two-page postcard insert, but in addition to that two sold-out posters and a t-shirt. A total retail value of $120, including shipping to any location worldwide. The winner gets all of this for free!

The five compact discs included in the boxed set are all five Vision Éternel extended plays released to date, covering 2007-2015: “Seul Dans L’obsession” (2007), “Un Automne En Solitude” (2008), “Abondance De Périls” (2010), “The Last Great Torch Song” (2012) and “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts” (2015). The cassette compilation, “Lost Misfortunes: A Selection Of Demos And Rarities (Part One)” features nineteen rare and unreleased b-sides, demos and alternate versions spanning 2007-2010. All of this audio content has been remastered and most of it appears in a physical format for the very first time!

The boxed set also includes a handful of bonus material: business card-sized reproductions of the original promotional flyers for each of the five extended plays as well as the 2009 flyer for a Japanese-exclusive compilation; two stickers: one of the 2008 band logo designed by Jeremy Roux and another of the 2017 band logo designed by Christophe Szpajdel; and two postcards with original artwork by Rain Frances and Pierrette Bourdon backed by liner notes. The assortment is packaged in a deep blue keepsake box, limited and hand-numbered.

Additionally, the winner of this giveaway package will receive two out-of-print original posters taken from band-member Alexandre Julien’s personal archives. The first of these posters was designed by Alexandre Julien for Frozen Veins Records in 2009 and was sold exclusively in Japan with a compilation compact disc. The second poster was pressed in 2015 by Abridged Pause Recordings and features Marina Polak’s photography used for the band’s 2010 extended play “Abondance De Périls”.
*Poster frames seen in the giveaway package pictures are not included.*

Furthermore, a 10-Year Anniversary t-shirt designed by world-renowned illustrator Christophe Szpajdel is included. The winner has a choice of shirt size (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large or Double Extra Large) and shirt colour (Solid Black, Solid Aqua, Heather Deep Teal, Heather Forest or Heather Dark Grey). The choice of colours can be seen in detail on Vision Éternel’s Online Store.

Last but not least, the winner will receive a complimentary discography download of Vision Éternel’s entire remastered catalog in high-quality audio of their choice (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, MP3, AAC, etc), to keep him or her company while the mail-order package arrives.

How To Enter The Giveaway:
To enter Vision Éternel’s “An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes” boxed set package giveaway, simply send an email to contest@visioneternel.com, and let the band know your shirt size and shirt colour preference. It’s that easy! You will receive a confirmation email once you’ve been entered. The winner will be picked on May 14th of 2018 and he or she will be contacted via the same email used to enter the contest.

Vision Éternel, “Love Within Narcosis (Demo)” official premiere

Vision Éternel website

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Vision Éternel Premiere Video for “Pièce No. Trois”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel

Vision Éternel‘s ‘Pièce No. Trois’ is precisely that: a piece. It comes from 2015’s Echoes from Forgotten Hearts (review here), which is the latest release from the ambient solo-project of Montreal-based texture-weaver Alexandre Julien — formerly of psychedelic black metallers Vision Lunar, among others — and is one of seven pièces to be included on the offering. Each one works in a roughly similar vein of minimalist cinematic drama, something vague but hopeful in Julien‘s shimmering guitar tonality and gentle approach, but they remain distinctive with pauses between and, short as they are and short as the whole outing is, never get lost or too caught up in any individual moment. One might think of each Vision Éternel track as fleeting, and that would seem to be the intent.

Atmosphere over impact. Impression over reality. Evocation over direct narrative. Though it’s been two years since Echoes from Forgotten Hearts came out, and for a solo-project like this, that can be a long time, Vision Éternel has a considerable back catalog amassed of these headphone-ready meditations, and vision-eternel-echoes-from-forgotten-heartsas “Pièce No. Trois” explores layering in strum and drone guitar, the depths Julien brings to bear so quickly in a 90-second video impress all the more for the efficiency that both matches the scope of the band and doesn’t make the material feel rushed or overblown in terms of arrangement. There’s a grace to Vision Éternel‘s output across Echoes from Forgotten Hearts that carries into the mood and has a melancholy effect on the listener. It asks little for indulgence and delivers much in immersion.

The project has been celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout 2017, and along with new merchandise and an impending box set collecting past material together in one place, the occasion has called for a revisit to Echoes from Forgotten Hearts and a video that’s apparently been years in the making. Like the song itself, the visual accompaniment for “Pièce No. Trois” is deeply atmospheric, featuring strung together clips of Julien giving what essentially might be taken as a kind of sightseeing tour of Montreal — but, you know, an artsy sightseeing tour. No double-decker bus or anything. Nonetheless, he passes by landmarks subtly placed throughout that, if you happen to be familiar with places like the John Young Monument or the old railroad tracks, you might catch a glimpe of them here or there.

And even if not, it’s 90 seconds long. What the hell do you have to lose? Jeez. Included below is some more background from Abridged Pause Recordings on the video, copious links, and the full stream of Echoes from Forgotten Hearts from Vision Éternel‘s Bandcamp, in case you’d like to dig further.

Please enjoy:

Vision Éternel, “Pièce No. Trois” official video

As part of Vision Éternel’s 10-year anniversary celebration, it is with extreme pleasure that we are releasing a brand new music video for “Pièce No. Trois”. It’s been seven and a half years since Vision Éternel last released a music video, for “Season In Absence” in March of 2010. “Pièce No. Trois” is one of seven songs that appears on the concept EP “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts”, released through Abridged Pause Recordings on February 14th of 2015. This music video is long overdue after having its fair share of disasters and lost footage over the years.

A key filming location was the former Dalhousie Station where pre-production pictures had been snapped a month prior. Additional scenes were filmed nearby, above and under the Notre-Dame overpass and with the former Viger Station in the distance. Another shot was set up in the Saint-Dizier alleyway in the Old Port of Montreal which has old cobblestone paving and was wet from the melting snow and grainy from the salt, sand and rock pebbles used to deal with ice in the winter.

Vasily Atutov directed the music video for “Pièce No. Trois” from July 22nd to July 23rd of 2017. You can see more of Vasily Autotuv’s photography on Flickr and Instagram. He is now open to work with musicians on artwork and video editing, so get in touch with him at epicmap@gmail.com.

It took ten years to happen but Vision Éternel finally has band t-shirts available! The first set of shirts feature Jeremy Roux’s “classic” Vision Éternel logo, which he designed in the summer of 2008. The second batch of shirts feature Christophe Szpajdel’s “10-year anniversary” logo, which he drew in the spring of 2017. This logo honours the black metal origins of Vision Éternel; Alexandre Julien founded Vision Éternel as a side-project while playing in two black metal bands: Throne Of Mortality and Vision Lunar.

Vision Éternel, Echoes from Forgotten Hearts (2015)

Vision Éternel website

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Vision Éternel on Twitter

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Evil Acidhead, Gypsy Sun Revival, Albinö Rhino, Monarch, and Vision Éternel

Posted in Radio on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

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My going motto for this site, which basically I repeat to myself like a mantra, is to do as much as I can when I can. Obviously that fluctuates, and I think that’s a good thing on many levels, but I’ve had more time recently to pay due attention to the goings on with The Obelisk Radio and I’m thankful for that. This is the second round of adds for this month, and in addition to the offerings highlighted below, another 30-plus releases have gone up to the server as of today, including some choice bootlegs from the likes of Lowrider, Brant Bjork, Vista Chino, Greenleaf, Acid King, Neurosis and Kyuss. I encourage you to check out the full list of adds here. It kicks a formidable amount of ass.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 20, 2017:

Evil Acidhead, In the Name of all that is Unholy

Evil-Acidhead-In-the-Name-of-all-that-is-Unholy

This 2015 reissue on Agitated Records of Evil Acidhead‘s In the Name of all that is Unholy becomes particularly relevant since 2017 marks 30 years since its original release. Offered as a cassette in 1987 by guitarist John McBain (Monster MagnetWellwater Conspiracy), it tops an hour and 17 minutes and crosses the first of its two LPs before it’s even finished with its four-part opener, and only then digs into the 23-minute “I Control the Moon.” A challenging listen front to back even three decades later, it holds to an experimentalist core of guitar effects, swirl, loops — which are near-maddening on side B’s “Part III: Possession” — and malevolent, droning abrasion. What’s stunning about it is if you said this was something McBain recorded a few months ago, there would be no choice but to call it forward-thinking. Imagine a record that 30 years later still offers a legitimate sense of being ahead of the day. Not that it never happens, but it’s certainly rare, and In the Name of all that is Unholy seems to willfully sidestep what we think of as reality in favor of its apparently timeless hellscapes. It’s far, far away from pleasant, but it sure as hell is impressive.

Evil Acidhead on Thee Facebooks

Agitated Records website

 

Gypsy Sun Revival, Gypsy Sun Revival

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Fort Worth trio Gypsy Sun Revival make their debut with this 2016 self-titled full-length and earn immediate notoriety for their blend of heavy psychedelic and straightforward rocker impulses as well as the fact that the vinyl version of the album sees release through ultra-respected purveyor Nasoni Records. One might recall the last time the Berlin-based label picked up a Texan band, it was Wo Fat, so it’s no minor endorsement of Gypsy Sun Revival‘s potential, and the three-piece of vocalist/bassist/organist Lee Ryan, guitarist/thereminist Will Weise and drummer Ben Harwood live up to it across the 46-minute seven-tracker, songs like “Cosmic Plains” finding a middle ground between sleek ’70s groove and modern thickness, setting up longer post-Zeppelin jams to come like “Idle Tides,” which, though fluid, rely less on effects wash to get their improvisational point across than the raw dynamic between the band itself. As a debut, Gypsy Sun Revival impresses for that, but even more for the level of immersion it enacts the further along it goes, so that when they get to languid instrumental closer “Radiance,” the band’s approach seems to be in full bloom when in fact they may only be beginning their forward creative journey.

Gypsy Sun Revival on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Albinö Rhino, Upholder Live at Ääniwalli, Helsinki 17.12.2016

Albinö-Rhino-Upholder-Live

I’m pretty sure all those umlauts are going to crash the radio stream every single time this gets played, but a 41-minute digital live version — offered as a name-your-price download, no less — of Albinö Rhino‘s heavy psych epic “Upholder” recorded this past December in their native Helsinki is too good to pass up. The Finnish trio issued the studio edition of the three-so-far-part piece late in 2016 under the simple title Upholder (review here), and Upholder Live at Ääniwalli, Helsinki 17.12.2016 comprises a 41-minute single-track rendering of the first two parts brought together with onstage energy and a fitting showcase of the song’s longform jamming path. Led by Kimmo Tyni‘s guitar work — no less recalling early Natas via Sungrazer and Sleep here than in the studio recording — and gruff vocals, the live incarnation also benefits from the deep patience in Ville Harju‘s bass and Viljami Väre‘s drumming, as heard under Tyni‘s moog solo circa 14 minutes in. It’s soon for a revisit of Upholder itself, but as well as getting additional mileage out of the piece, Albinö Rhino bring a different flavor to the live execution of it to this digital-only outing, and if it catches more ears as a 41-minute single song as opposed to being broken up over two sides, there’s no way that’s going to hurt them. Either way you get it, its soul, heft and molten vibe resonate.

Albinö Rhino on Thee Facebooks

Albinö Rhino on Bandcamp

 

Monarch, Two Isles

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Not to be understated is the sense of poise that pervades Two Isles, the debut full-length from Encinitas, California, psychedelic progressives Monarch. Delivered via Causa Sui‘s imprint El Paraiso Records — the gorgeous art treatment is consistent with their hallmark style — and produced by Brian Ellis (AstraPsicomagia, etc.), it locks into classically winding turns or melodic flourish with equal ease on side A pieces like the opening title-track and “Assent,” proffering scope but not necessarily pretense. Call it prog in the new West Coast tradition if you must, “Dancers of the Sun” and the more insistent staccato of “Sedna’s Fervor” are dead on either way, and the five-piece of guitarist/vocalist Dominic Denholm, guitarists Nate Burns and Thomas Dibenedetto (see also Joy and Sacri Monti), bassist Matt Weiss and drummer Andrew Ware save their finest showcase for the just-under-10-minute finale “Shady Maiden,” summarizing their liquefied proceedings in more than able fashion, reaching ahead of themselves as the style warrants, and once more proving what might be hypnotic were it not such an active, exciting listen.

Monarch on Thee Facebooks

Monarch at El Paraiso Records

 

Vision Éternel, Echoes from Forgotten Hearts

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Echoes from Forgotten Hearts is the latest EP from Montréal-based solo artist Alexandre Julien, who operates under the banner of Vision Éternel, and it comprises seven brief individual tracks numbered in French as “Pièce No. Un,” “Pièce No. Deux,” etc., of wistful guitar lines and serene dronescapes. The balance that a “Pièce No. Deux” is able to strike by sounding so broad and wide open and yet only being 1:47 is striking, and it makes the release flow together all the more as a work on a single emotional thematic, and while it all only winds up being 14 minutes in total, Julien is able to bring that thematic to life in that time with depth and grace, so that when the relative sprawl of the 3:45 closer “Pièce No. Sept,” takes hold, one only wishes it would go on further. Note this is one of several Vision Éternel offerings joining the playlist this week, and Julien has a boxed set in progress collecting a number of his outings to be released sometime later this year, including, I believe, this one, which originally came out in 2015. Hopefully it’s not long before he follows it with new material.

Vision Éternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

 

Thank you as always for reading and listening.

To see everything that joined the playlist today, please visit The Obelisk Radio.

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