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

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

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

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

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sergio Ch., From Skulls Born Beyond

Sergio Ch From Skulls Born Beyond

Intertwining by sharing a few songs with the debut album from his trio Learn how you can benefit from using our reliable professional watch online services to help improve the quality of your thesis paper. Soldati, Centre back to the and was interest 1996 Nepean where The Hospital established Master Thesis Scholarships Nursing those Centre Penrith none for in Research Doom Nacional (review here), the latest solo endeavor from former Read and Download follow link Free Ebooks in PDF format - AT HOME PROGRAM MEDICAL BENEFITS BAZZAZ ZFI QS 2002 NISSAN ALTIMA REVIEW HOW TO Los Natas/ go site - Proofreading and proofediting services from top specialists. Papers and essays at most attractive prices. Dissertations, essays Ararat frontman what does a business plan writer do Organizational Behavior Paper my ambition in life essay reading dissertation statement thesis Sergio Ch. continues his path of experimentalist drone folk, blending acoustic and electric elements, guitar and voice, in increasingly confident and broad fashion. The heart of a piece like “Sombra Keda” near the middle of the album is still the strum of the acoustic guitar, but the arrangement of electric and effects/synth surrounding, as well as the vocal echo, give a sense of space to the entirety of Need to Phd Thesis Biotechnology for College? Do you find it difficult to write an essay for college? What about a research paper or a term paper? Why do you choose From Skulls Born Beyond that demonstrates to the listener just how much range Tutors available 24/7 to montclair state university admission essay Sergio Ch.‘s work has come to encompass. For highlights, one might check out the extended title-track and the closer “Solar Tse,” which bring in waves of distorted noise to add to the experimentalist feel, but there’s something to be said too for the comparatively minimal (vocal layering aside) “My Isis,” as well as for the fact that they all fit so well on the same record.

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South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

 

DOOL, Summerland

Dool Summerland

The follow-up to Pay someone to site - Proofreading and proofediting help from top writers. Why worry about the review? Receive the needed guidance on the DOOL‘s 2017 debut, Buy essay online at professional Dissertation Methodology Help. Order custom research academic papers from the best trusted company. Just find a great help for Here Now There Then (review here), does no less than to see the Netherlands-based outfit led by singer Custom Ghostwriter Headphone: reasons to hire one. Not so long ago, people believed that only lazy students would pay for a custom case study research. Ryanne van Dorst answer the potential of that album while pushing forward the particular vision of Dutch heavy progressive rock that emerged in the wake of master thesis on service delivery http://www.acutronic.com/?how-to-write-a-good-research-paper-introduction their eyes were watching god movie summary phd thesis in analytical chemistry The Devil’s Blood, acknowledging that past — Lab Help On Writing A Descriptive Essay. Lab reports are the thorough depictions of any particular project, which is meant to confirm or challenge a specific scientific Farida Lemouchi (now of Best-UK-Dissertation.com is the reputed BEST http://bcn.uprrp.edu/trash/?thesis-writer-wanted to Buy Dissertation Online. We offers custom dissertation writing service Molassess) stops by for a guest spot — while presenting an immersive and richly arranged 54-minute sprawl of highly individualized craft. Issued through Professional Article Writing Services That Beat Read on to see why our customers may think of us as the http://www.socio.msu.ru/?i-need-help-on-my-homework theyíve come Prophecy Productions, it brings cuts like the memorable opener “Sulphur and Starlight” and the dynamic “A Glass Forest” as well as the classic metal chug of “Be Your Sins” and the reaches of its title-cut and acoustic-inclusive finale “Dust and Shadow.” Thesis Editing Services (1200) Let me start this copy editing services article by giving you a brief difference between editing and copyediting services. DOOL are a band brazen enough to directly refuse genre, and it is to their benefit and the audience’s that they pull off doing so with such bravado and quality of output. For however long they go, they will not stop progressing. You can hear it.

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Prophecy Productions website

 

Return to Worm Mountain, Therianthropy

return to worm mountain Therianthropy

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

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Dopelord, Sign of the Devil

dopelord sign of the devil

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

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Ancestro, Ancestro

ancestro self titled

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

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Necio Records on Bandcamp

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Hellhookah, The Curse

hellhookah the curse

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

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Daisychain, Daisychain EP

Daisychain Daisychain EP

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

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The Burning Brain Band, The Burning Brain Band

The Burning Brain Band The Burning Brain Band

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

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The Burning Brain Band on Bandcamp

 

Slump, Flashbacks From Black Dust Country

Slump Flashbacks from Black Dust Country

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

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Canyon, EP III

canyon ep iii

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

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Stream Review: Candlemass Live from Studio Gröndahl, Stockholm, Sweden, 07.03.20

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

candlemass

The stage was set, the lights were lit, the fog machine was rolling out a steady haze, and legit doom legends Candlemass brought an immediate sense of presence to their July 3 streamed concert at Studio Gr√∂ndahl in Stockholm. One has to wonder how many ‘new’ experiences are left to the Swedish outfit headed by bassist and principal songwriter Leif Edling, but surely a streamed show would be one of them. The group are 34 years on from their ultra-seminal 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which helped pave the way for what traditionalist and doom metals subsequently became, and as a fan of the band, any opportunity to see them with vocalist Johan L√§ngquist — who sang on that first record and then left the band ne’er to return until 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here), from which only the Grammy-nominated “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” was aired. They were, to put it mildly, robbed.

Now then, L√§ngquist,¬†Edling, guitarists Mats “Mappe” Bj√∂rkman (joined in 1985) and Lars “Lasse” Johansson (joined in ’87) and drummer¬†Jan Lindh (also ’87) are veteran performers, who probably had a considerable amount of touring planned for 2020 to support the album, the follow-up-take-advantage-of-momentum EP, The Pendulum (discussed here), and perhaps even¬†Edling‘s righteous beard, which surely is on the list of correct choices the band have made in the last decade. Those plans, candlemassobviously, evaporated in a cloud of pandemic statistics — like so much else — but with this stream, its important to note that they still put on a show. Goes without saying it wasn’t the same as seeing the band live, and I’ve been very, very, very fortunate to do that on more than one occasion, including the 2011 reunion set that first brought L√§ngquist back to the lineup. About which, yes, I will brag forever; thank you,¬†Roadburn¬†2011.

But this was a concert, and having seen a few acts bring different approaches to the advent of streaming live shows — everything from acoustic-guitar-in-the-kitchen to outside-at-a-would-be-festival —¬†Candlemass‘ stream felt decidedly like a concert video in the classic metal sense. Production company¬†Blackbox, which hosted the stream through its page, embedding a live YouTube player with a live chat, ran a professional shop. The lighting, the previously-noted fog, the quick cuts between multiple cameras, moving around, some at exaggerated upward angles, some head-on, even the candles lit around the room and the bouquets of flowers on Lindh‘s drum kit made it feel less like a studio space and more like a stage. It was a fitting environment for¬†Candlemass¬†to break out so many of their classics, from the opening “The Well of Souls” and “Dark Are the Veils of Death” from 1987’s Nightfall (discussed here) and “Mirror Mirror” from 1988’s Ancient Dreams (discussed here), to “Dark Reflections” from 1989’s Tales of Creation to landmarks like “Bewitched,” “Mirror Mirror” from the same era.

That era, which started with L√§ngquist¬†being replaced by vocalist¬†Messiah Marcolin, ended after¬†Tales of Creation (the blip that was the 2004 reunion notwithstanding), and while the debut was duly represented in “Under the Oak,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” and “Solitude,” which rounded out, it was interesting to see L√§ngquist¬†take on¬†Marcolin‘s parts, their voices being of different character. Though the band also played a new song — listed as “Nytt Riff,” which is ‘new’ in Swedish — it was noted in the chat that the entire period in which the band was fronted by¬†Solitude Aeturnus/Tyrant vocalist Robert Lowe was left out. Hazards, one assumes, of having a catalog full of classics. Perhaps¬†Candlemass assumed that those seeking them out for a live-stream experience would be more established fans looking for ‘the old stuff’ as opposed to something from 2007’s King of the Grey Islands, 2009’s¬†Death Magic Doom (review here) or 2012’s¬†Psalms for the Dead¬†(review here). I don’t know that they were wrong in that, and with a set time a little over an hour, keeping it to the most essential essentials was fair enough. Maybe if they start taking requests for another one I’ll ask for “Emperor of the Void” and see how it goes.

Last time I did a stream review, I was struck by the shift in experience between going to a show and putting one on — how rather than be something separate from a regular, day-to-day existence, the show became a part of it. I suppose it wouldn’t be any different for any live event being televised, but with the change from physically moving yourself from your home to a venue to see a band to not doing that, it’s a big change. To wit, when the stream started, I was on the highway. I turned it on on my phone, turned the speaker up and sang along to “Mirror Mirror” while my toddler called out different trucks he saw from the back seat. And when I got home, I unpacked the car from an overnight trip and changed a diaper while watching. By the time I finally got to sit down and live with it a little bit, they were through candlemassthe solo and Hammond-laced roll of “Nytt Riff” — which one assumes would get vocals at some point, but was a welcome inclusion as an instrumental anyhow — and on into “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” nearing the end of their time. It was an 8PM start for Europe, so that made plenty of sense, but I was and remain thankful for the ability to rewatch afterward, for whatever limited time the stream is still available.

I know that the notion of bands streaming live shows like this instead of doing concerts and touring is new, and I know that they’re certainly no replacement for seeing a band live, but¬†Candlemass more than held their own under the circumstances. Periodically mugging for the cameras, they seemed to be enjoying the chance to deliver a show of any sort to an audience. And though the pauses between songs brought a kind of awkward silence where applause would be and the video screen behind them went under-used except during those transitions, the big rock finish as “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” moved into “Solitude” was nothing if not earned by that performance and all that came before it, and the inclusion of what I assume was soundcheck footage of “Demon’s Gate” after the show-proper made for a smart twist on the idea of an encore, so while there were lessons to take going forward from this new experience,¬†Candlemass gave their virtual crowd something to be happy to have witnessed, as well as a limited ‘Ancient Streams’ t-shirt to pick up afterward. Clever.

Can’t go see¬†Candlemass, and that’s a bummer. But god damn, it felt good to see¬†Candlemass.

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Friday Full-Length: Type O Negative, World Coming Down

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It had been probably a decade since I put on World Coming Down, the fifth album from Brooklyn, New York’s Type O Negative, but I still knew every word to every song. That’s a special record.

Type O Negative — principal songwriter Peter Steele on bass/vocals, Johnny Kelly on drums, Kenny Hickey on guitar/some vocals and Josh Silver on those oh-so-essential keys — were coming off an absolute masterpiece in their prior offering, 1996’s¬†October Rust (review here), which saw them transcend the goth metal stereotype to which they’d been lumped in part rightly and truly bask in the possibilities for what they might offer in their impossibly-individualized¬†blend of¬†Black Sabbath and¬†The Beatles. In a time when metal was beating its chest to the¬†Panteras of the universe,¬†Type O Negative¬†was apologetically sexually transgressive, and they defined their own course and their own career on¬†October Rust.

Yeah, all well and good, but then you have to make another record, right? Throw that pressure,¬†Steele‘s well-under-way cocaine addiction, various personal losses and traumas, and the result is probably the darkest work Type O Negative ever released. Sure, songs like “Who Will Save the Sane?” and “Creepy Green Light” and “All Hallows Eve” seemed to speak to some of the same post-goth elements as¬†October Rust, but when you put those alongside “Everyone I Love is Dead,” “Everything Dies” — who the hell let both of those on the same record? — and the slog of an opening that the album gets with “White Slavery,” and the affect is just miserable from the outset.¬†Type O Negative had certainly trafficked in downerism to this point, but¬†World Coming Down — even its 11-minute title-track, which is high among the best songs this band ever produced — felt more real, more personal, and at times the weight it seemed to put on the listener could be a lot to take.

A product of its era, it runs 13 songs and 74 minutes long with a¬†Beatles medley at its conclusion after “All Hallows Eve” and “Pyretta Blaze” — which one might accuse of being a cynical redux/answer to the likes of “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” or even “Be My Druidess” from the prior album — and is peppered with death in the three interludes “Sinus,” “Liver” and “Lung,” which of course allude to cocaine, drinking and smoking. If this was the band’s excesses catching up with them, then fair enough, but the difference on World Coming Down is that what was gallows humor is instead just misery. If that seems like a fine line,¬†Type O Negative¬†demonstrate clearly by the end of “White Slavery” that it isn’t. Of course,¬†Steele was still a songwriter at heart, so the clever chorus, “Let me say, Pepsi Generation/A few lines of misinformation/Watch your money flow away oh so quick/To kill yourself properly coke is it,” is just that — clever. And catchy. But the underlying message isn’t lost just for being couched in an accessible package, and, even the uptempo piano lines of “Everything Dies” can’t mask the plainness with which¬†Steele delivers, “Now I hate myself, wish I’d die.” This, right before the flatlining of “Lung.” A radio hit about hair dye, it ain’t.

type o negative world coming down

There was no question that¬†World Coming Down¬†was informed by¬†both the creative and the audience success of¬†October Rust. From “Skip It” at the outset pulling a prank on the listeners to the lushness of melody in “Everything Dies” and “Pyretta Blaze.” The pre-medley closer “All Hallows Eve” seems to echo the sparseness (at least initially) of “Haunted” from the album before it as well. Each¬†Type O Negative¬†record was its own beast, from 1991’s¬†Slow, Deep and Hard to 2007’s¬†Dead Again, but neither were they ever shy about self-awareness, and that manifest throughout¬†World Coming Down¬†as much as anywhere. Even with the title-track as the centerpiece, it’s not a record I’d reach for before, say, 1993’s Bloody Kisses,¬†October Rust, or maybe even¬†Dead Again¬†or 1992’s¬†still-formative¬†The Origin of the Feces, famous as much for its cover art as for any of the songs it actually contained. That’s not to say¬†World Coming Down¬†doesn’t have an appeal, just that, again, it can be a lot to take in. It is an album of meta-heaviness. They sound no less weighted down than the guitar or bass tones.

When¬†Type O Negative¬†were at their most ‘goth,’ on¬†Bloody Kisses, they were tongue-in-cheek about it. There are some moves made to have the same perspective on¬†World Coming Down, but somehow the humor is undone by the surrounding sincerity. As¬†Steele intones during a break in the the title-track, “It’s better to burn quickly and bright/Then slowly and dull without a fight,” paraphrasing¬†Neil Young in the process, it’s hard to know whether he’s working to convince himself or the listener of what he’s saying.¬†World Coming Down¬†is a gorgeous record, make no mistake, but its beauty has the arduous task of finding expression through a range of pains that comprise the recurring themes: death, addiction, inability to cope, etc.

The¬†Beatles medley, with pieces of “Day Tripper,” “If I Needed Someone” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” is fair enough ground for¬†Type O Negative to tread, having made no bones throughout their career of being influenced by — or as they might put it, “ripping off” — that group at various points. They also did a number of¬†Beatles songs live, including “Back in the USSR.” And their penchant for matching parts of different songs together could easily be seen as an extension of the individualized takes they brought to “Hey Pete” or their version of “Paranoid” earlier in their career. It’s a little out of place on the album, tacked onto the end, but if I’m not mistaken,¬†Roadrunner¬†Records had a mandate at one point that everything they put out had to have a cover on it.¬†Fear Factory did “Cars.”¬†Type O Negative¬†did “Day Tripper.” Fair enough.

Thinking about¬†Nine Inch Nails‘¬†The Fragile (discussed here) last week — which came out the same day as¬†World Coming Down; Sept. 21, 1999 — prompted a revisit here, and while the context of¬†Steele‘s death in 2010 adds a spin of tragedy to everything¬†Type O Negative did, as someone who was a fan of the band at the probably-too-tender age of 11, and who called Q104.3 so many times to request “Black No. 1” that they knew my name, I’m glad for any excuse to listen to them when an excuse to do so happens along.

We’re in Connecticut, came up yesterday. I’ve got to wrap this up in like 10 minutes so we can hit the road. Dropping off The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan at her mother’s, then driving north into Rhode Island about an hour and a half to buy chicken from a farm up there, then back down to grab them and back down again to NJ, hopefully all by naptime, but we’ll see. It’ll be a busy day.

Next week — Quarterly Review. I’m supposed to watch the Candlemass live stream this afternoon and review that too. It starts at 2PM. That should be up Monday, but other than that, it’s QR all the way. Not much news lately, so it’s a good time for it. Of course I say that and next week will probably be flooded. Whatever.

But since I haven’t even managed to brush my teeth yet — already changed a poopy diaper, made the kid breakfast (admittedly half-assed), and got two posts up! — and there’s still packing to do, I’m gonna call it. The Gimme show is a repeat this week, but if you feel like listening, it’s always appreciated.

It’s 4th of July weekend. I don’t have much to say about it, but if you’re proud to be an American in 2020, you’re either fooling yourself or an asshole. We should hang our heads and mourn the unnecessary dead this year. Have fun at the fireworks.

Whatever you do with it, a day off is a day off. I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Enjoy yourself from a safe distance.

FRM.

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Monte Luna Release Mind Control Broadcast EP Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monte luna

Well yes, that’s quite heavy. Quite fucking heavy indeed, Monte Luna. How’s that new lineup of Monte Luna sound? If the issued-today Mind Control Broadcast three-songer is anything to judge by, they sound rather heavy. Like over-the-top tone. All-in heavy. Even the quiet part of “Blackstar” is fucking heavy. Introducing bass was a good idea.

Guitarist/vocalist James Cl and newcomers Garth Condit (bass) and Danny Marschner (drums) are premiering the tracks “Blackstar,” “Rust Goliath” and “Fear the Sun” as a part of some video thing today, and that’s super, but I guess they’re putting out the audio too in order to help The Lost Well in Austin. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a show there or not because every time I was ever at SXSW I was so miserable I got blackout drunk — and no, I’m not proud of that — but helping venues when the entire country is taking a shit is probably a nice thing to do.

So: Nice and heavy. My kind of band. Maybe we could hang out. Nah, these guys are way too cool for my ass. They probably stay up, like, past 9PM and stuff. Still,¬†Mind Control Broadcast is fucking righteous — exactly what sludge should sound like in this wretched horror show of a reality we’re living — and you should listen to it.

Check it out:

monte luna mind control broadcast

MONTE LUNA RELEASE ‘MIND CONTROL BROADCAST’ EP JULY 3RD

Austin, Texas Psychedelic Sludge slingers Monte Luna are making lots of noise with a new line up and a new ep.- ‘Mind Control Broadcast’

Being a band that thrives on stage, close and one with their audience, these last few months have been trying to say the least for Monte Luna. But with their strong resilience and will to make art no matter what obstacle lies ahead, they have managed to make the absolute most of their time. The band has been fortunate enough to be isolated together during Covid-19, which has created a perfect environment for artistic genius to flourish. Monte Luna might be locked down, but this beast is far from caged!

James says: “We are thankful to have been stuck together during all of this. Most of our families live elsewhere, this music scene for us is family (Austin) we are thankful for it. We aren’t sure when we will be able to play on a real stage again but we are looking forward to it, in the meantime we are trying to figure out ways to better connect with our fans! We hope this ep reflects our efforts and helps friends, followers and people around the world get to the other side of this historical and humbling time.”

James says: “Phil’s departure left some big shoes to fill, and with his blessing, we sought to expand on something we had wanted to do for a long time. Just wait till you hear the album versions of all these songs and more!”(3 more not revealed)

About release:
Monte Luna are pleased to unveil 3 new songs to unleash onto the world which is the audio from an upcoming video stream in partnership with CVLT Nation on July 3rd, and will release on the same day. A portion of the album sales will be donated to help “The Lost Well”, an Austin, Texas live music venue to help keep their doors open. The stream can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/F404rOYGJ_A

These live takes are the early demos of the bands next full length album set to debut sometime in 2021/2022, depending on the state of the world. The main goal of this ep is to raise money for a worthwhile cause, while planting the seeds of anticipation for the upcoming full length album and demonstrating the full power of Monte Luna’s brand new line-up. The album touches on the topics of fear, loss, paranoia, depression and the vastness of the universe while still holding a very Dungeons and Dragons theme.

Monte Luna says: “Sonically it’s a whole new ball park. Bringing Bass into the mix really changed what we can do as a band. We’ve always been a two piece, but wanted to move past our limitations, because creativity should be as vast as the universe itself.”

Monte Luna says: “We do this because we love our community and this is what makes us happy. We’ve all had a lot of jobs, but this is the only job that brings us true happiness.”

Track list:
1- Blackstar
2- Rust Goliath
3 – Fear the Sun

Monte Luna is:
James cl – Guitar/vox
Danny Marschner – Drums
Garth Condit – Bass

www.facebook.com/pg/MonteLuna666
www.monteluna666.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/monte_luna_tx/
www.argonautarecords.com

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10,000 Years Stream Self-Titled Debut EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

Swedish trio 10,000 Years will release their self-titled debut EP through Death Valley Records on July 10. Two-thirds of the band were formerly tenured in the hard-hitting Pike, and with 10,000 Years — true to the early High on Fire track for which the band is named — they take on brasher and meaner-edged sounds. Their EP runs five songs and 20 minutes, so the investment on the part of the listener is just about minimal, but what’s delivered is an encouraging start for a new trio as bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and guitarist Erik Palm (the ex-Pike contingent) group with drummer Espen Karlsen to undertake the project. With Risberg‘s shouts overtop, 10,000 Years not only take on the meatier side of heavier riffing, they do so with a particular nuance that stems from their national underground heritage.

When one hears the phrase “Swedish death metal,” very often what that’s referring to is a cadre of bands who made landmark recordings at Sunlight Studio in Stockholm with producer Tomas Skogsberg at the helm circa 1989-1992. Entombed, Grave, Dismember, even At the Gates worked with Skogsberg during this time, and in addition to the aesthetic elements they shared between them, the ‘Sunlight Sound’ (which I’ve spoken about here before) is a massive piece of what10000 years self titled defined those acts and that era that still has relevance today, both because those groups are still active — some in more than one incarnation — and because a band like 10,000 Years is able to take the ‘Sunlight Sound’ and bring it to a new and exciting context as they do on this first EP.

Bookended in quiet passages between the delayed launch of opener “‘Albatross’ Landing” and the final subdued stretch of “From Suns Beyond,” 10,000 Years10,000 Years boasts a sharp efficiency of craft and winds up someplace between sludge metal and heavy rock at its root, but the rumble of Risberg‘s bass at the low end and the grit that seems to extend even unto Karlsen‘s crash cymbals lends an overarching rawness that helps immediately define the band’s personality. “Master of Oblivion” is downright sinister in its aggressive filth, and the three-minute centerpiece “Lee Van Cleef” echoes out its nasty thrust, but at its heart it’s essentially building off a Kyuss-style riff. It’s how 10,000 Years make it their own that makes all the difference.

That continues to be the case as the penultimate “Into the Jaws of the Green King” digs into the muck about as far as 10,000 Years seem willing to go at this point, and mud-shuffles into the creeper “From Suns Beyond,” which bursts out its instrumental moment of rage before receding back into the Sabbath “Hand of Doom”-esque quiet bounce.

For a 20-minute outing, there’s a lot to take in on 10,000 Years‘ five inclusions, and whatever the band does next, they’ll have an interesting task before them in expanding on what this first outing presents while (hopefully) maintaining the ferocity that drives them here. As they’ve got the established chemistry between the guitar and bass at their disposal and a clear idea of what they’re going for in terms of style, I have no trouble thinking there’s a masterplan at work here somewhere. It just may be one that involves a good deal of slaughter.

EP is streaming in its entirety below, and Risberg offers some background on the group beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Alex Risberg on 10,000 Years:

Me and Erik (Palm, guitars) previously played together in the original lineup of Pike. But we’d kinda drifted apart a bit during the years since he left the band even though we kept in touch and everything, but we hadn’t played together in a very long time.

Then one day he sent me a text like “I got a bunch of riffs, you wanna do something?” and that was it really. We jammed a couple of times, just me and him, and the riffs were amazing. We had to do something with them, so we decided to start a new band and just blast the heaviest, most uncompromising stoner metal we could.

We thought finding a drummer would be a challenge, since they are usually few and far between if you don’t wanna settle. And we never settle. But the first guy we tried out just clicked. We jelled immediately and that guy was Espen (Karlsen, drums) and we decided then and there that he was a part of the band and we set about writing more and more stuff.

When we had five finished songs we decided to record them and release an EP and that’s what we’re releasing now on July 10th. So from that first rehearsal to the release it’s been about four months, I think. So everything has gone very fast. But it’s just been such a smooth ride, very easy work, so we just keep going and see where we end up.

As far as influences it’s the same as it ever was. Black Sabbath is the foundation for everything we’ve ever done, regardless of which band we’ve done it in. We see our music as stonermetal and the bands I think of when I hear that term is stuff like High On Fire and Black Tusk so there you go. The inspiration is all the same bands we’ve always loved ever since long before we started Pike in 2008. Kyuss (without whom etc), Mastodon, Kylesa, Fu Manchu, El Gordo, Sleep, I mean the list goes on and on, haha.

The music and songs we’ve been writing and playing is all based in some sort of weird scifi-concept inspired by stuff like HP Lovecraft, Planet Of The Apes and other cool shit like that. It’s all about a team of astronauts who venture into space to find a future home for humanity. But obviously there’s problems and they crash through a wormhole or something, a rift in the space-time, and end up on a strange planet in neighbouring dimension that’s inhabited by ancient gods and strange creatures and this EP is about the journey there and what happens on this weird planet. The last song, “From Suns Beyond”, is when they finally get out of there and travel back to earth, but that’s a story for another record!

Recorded during one weekend in June 2020 in Studio Sunlight in Norrtälje, Sweden
Produced and Mixed by Tomas Skogberg
Mastered by Magnus Andersson in Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden
Artwork and design by Francesco Bauso, Negative Crypt
Logo by Dominic Sohor

10,000 Years are:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years on Thee Facebooks

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

10,000 Years on Instagram

Death Valley Records on Sweden

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Coma Wall Announce Ursa Minor EP out Aug. 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Coma Wall (Photo by Tom McKibbin)

Last time I recall¬†Coma Wall doing a release was when the group — an alter-ego of recently-reunited UK crushers Undersmile — put out a split (discussed here and here) with their own, much-more-plugged incarnation. That was 2013. And, well,¬†Undersmile are back together, so I guess it follows that¬†Coma Wall would do something as well, and as more groups are digging into their archives as a result of not being able to play shows for the last several months,¬†Coma Wall‘s¬†Ursa Minor EP feels plenty timely even if the original basic tracks were put together during¬†Undersmile‘s initial run.

The sound, of course, is far enough removed from¬†Undersmile to be a different band, and the voices of¬†Hel Sterne and¬†Taz Corona-Brown lock into harmony early and stay that way for the duration, calling to mind a gorgeous redux of any number of grunge acts’ unplugged performances. As these are demos at their foundation, the three songs have a live feel underscoring them, but they’re not necessarily raw, either in the recordings (which have been mixed and worked on) or in the structures of the material itself. Mostly it’s just beautiful and sad.

They’ve got it up on Bandcamp now, and I’ve included the last¬†Undersmile too, both for context and because I like it:

Coma Wall Ursa Minor EP cover

With 2020 plans curtailed by the global pandemic, we decided to look through the Undersmile archives and found these demos which we recorded in 2012. These 3 songs were originally written for Taz and Hel’s pre-Undersmile bands Skylla and Ursa Minor (hence the name of the EP) and date back to around 2007/2008. The performances were recorded live with bass and string overdubs added at a later date.

Although these recordings are just demos, the songs hold a special place in our hearts and so we dusted them off, remixed them, and now unleash them into the world. We hope you enjoy them.

Available here: https://comawall.bandcamp.com/releases

Tracklisting:
1. Breathe in the Ether
2. Wiretaps
3. Already Dead

All songs written by Taz Corona-Brown and Hel Sterne. Lyrics by Taz Corona-Brown.

Taz Corona-Brown ‚Äď vocals and guitar
Hel Sterne ‚Äď vocals and guitar
Olly Corona-Brown ‚Äď bass
Tom McKibbin ‚Äď keys

Recorded and mixed by Tom McKibbin.
Mastered by Joe Proudlove.
Artwork by Tom McKibbin.

Release date: 28th August 2020

https://www.facebook.com/ComaWall/
https://comawall.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Undersmile
https://undersmile.bandcamp.com/album/anhedonia
http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/bbow007-undersmile-anhedonia-double-lp

Coma Wall, Ursa Minor EP (2020)


Undersmile, Anhedonia (2015)

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce Rescheduled 2021 UK/European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Obviously it’s early to announce a tour for Spring 2021, but you gotta announce something, right? Corrosion of Conformity and Spirit Adrift were to take to Europe together this past April and May, making festival stops and more as the Southern metal progenitors celebrated 25 years since the release of their landmark Deliverance (discussed here) album, and yeah, that probably would’ve been cool. They’ll go next year instead, both bands, starting in late April in Dublin and staying abroad for about a month to finish in Birmingham after swiping down onto the continent proper, hitting Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands en route. Looks good to me. Hey guys, can I come? I’m quiet and I don’t eat much.

Two things about this tour:

1. Let’s just assume that the two days off between April 28 and May 1 and the extra day between May 12 and May 14 are to account for stops at¬†Desertfest¬†London and Berlin, respectively. C.O.C. were set to appear at both this year, so it stands to reason they’ll help both festivals celebrate 10 years in 2021.

2. A little more nonsequitor, but when was the last time you saw a stretch of European tour dates with more shows in France than Germany? Good for you, France. Enjoy the shows.

Dates follow, as posted on social media and dutifully transcribed by yours truly:

corrosion of conformity eu 2021 tour

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY – EUROPE 2021

w/ Spirit Adrift

Sat 24 Apr Academy Dublin IE
Sun 25 Apr Limelight 2 Belfast UK
Tue 27 Apr Garage Glasgow UK
Wed 28 Apr Club Academy Manchester UK
Sat 01 May Headbangers Balls Festival Izegem BE
Sun 02 May Le Grillen Colmar FR
Tue 04 May Petit Bain Paris FR
Wed 05 May Connexion Live Toulouse FR
Fri 07 May Razzmatazz 2 Barcelona ES
Mon 10 May Legend Milan IT
Tue 11 May Klub Complex Zurich CH
Wed 12 May Rockhouse Salzburg AT
Fri 14 May Backstage Halle Munich DE
Sun 16 May Pumpehuset Copenhagen DK
Tue 18 May Logo Hamburg DE
Wed 19 May Patronaat Haarlem NL
Fri 21 May Engine Rooms Southhampton UK
Sat 22 May 02 Institute 2 Birmingham UK

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
http://www.nuclearblast.com
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa

Corrosion of Conformity, Live in Stuttgart, Germany, 1994

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Svärd Stream Debut EP The Rift in Full; Out Tomorrow on Argonauta Records

Posted in audiObelisk on July 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

svard

Sv√§rd — or Svaerd, if you’re not up for typing the accent, make their debut tomorrow through Argonauta Records with The Rift. The five-track/25-minute offering is a legitimate jump in style for founding guitarist/vocalists Tim Nederg√•rd and Bj√∂rn Pettersson, both also of In Mourning. That act over its 20 years has developed into a progressive melodic death band from its more morose beginnings, but with Sv√§rd, the two axe-handlers start fresh and explore a more heavy-rocking mentality. While their foundation is still in a crisp, decidedly metal sound that comes through beneath the weighted riffs on The Rift — thinking particularly in the post-intro trio of cuts “A Rift in the Green,” “Palaeocene Flames” and “The Burning Asylum” — Nederg√•rd, Pettersson, bassist/vocalist Pierre Stam and drummer Cornelius Althammer (also of Germany’s Ahab) make nods toward classic metal in the twin leads and heavy rock in the driving push of their groove. There’s aggression in the barking vocals of “A Rift in the Green,” and maybe even in the careening riff that starts “Palaeocene Flames” — certainly in the verse chug that follows — but it meets with a purpose distinctly separate from the guitarists’ other unit.

First and foremost, that purpose seems to be to have a good time. I’m sure playing¬†In Mourning is plenty satisfying on any number of levels — a band doesn’t last 20 years if it isn’t — but listening to the lines of “Palaeocene Flames,” one can almost hear the smiles on Sv√§rd‘s faces as they deliver the lyrics. The same goes for the twisting “The Burning Asylum,” which touches on sludge metal but boasts gang shouts and a straightened-out hook that’s part hardcore in its origin. It’s fun. They’re having fun. svard the riftThat’s not to say the songs are a goof, because they’re not — “The Burning Asylum” also has clean vocals bordering on harmonies in its chorus and a deeper sense of arrangement than either of the two cuts before it — but the band are clearly enjoying the recording process as they’re taking part in it, and that comes through¬†The Rift as crisply as¬†Althammer‘s snare or any guitar lead that might accompany.

That’s not the extent of Sv√§rd‘s ambitions, however, as the band finish out¬†The Rift with the nine-minute “The Portal” which is a more consuming and atmospheric undertaking that begins with ambient guitar noise and cymbal washes before its quiet and spacious unfolding of guitar, bass and drums takes hold. It’s a different vibe, of course, than anything the band has presented up to that point, but seems also to connect somehow to the obscure and ethereal intro “Hallowed Grounds” at the outset of the release, at least in apparent narrative, if not the direct audio. As it rolls through, it has its moments of fury and expanse, to be sure, but there’s a heavy progressive edge that is carried alongside that, so that even the swirl winding around the apex riff seems to be intentionally placed as the four-piece work their way toward the inevitable final thud. They cap with a spiral of guitar noise and break the trance that those last repetitions induced, snapping the listener back to reality in a fashion that highlights just how far out “The Portal” has gone.

With members in other concurrent bands, it’s hard to know how Sv√§rd¬†will ultimately fit into the bigger picture — one expects it depends in no small part on the response to the EP and unavoidable first full-length — but there’s charm here in addition to impact, and The Rift‘s coming from a metallic place brings a rare sense of character even as it obscures genre lines. It is refreshing both in its energy and aesthetic, so whatever comes next, if anything, will have a standard to meet.

At that, I’ll turn you over to the full stream of the EP, which you’ll find on the player below. PR wire info follows.

Please enjoy:

Svärd, The Rift EP official stream

It’s been a longtime and common, creative dream of both members in AHAB and IN MOURNING, when they got together in 2017 to start a new band project. Tim Nederg√•rd and Bj√∂rn Pettersson (both in IN MOURNING, SWE) teamed up with their former bandmate Pierre Stam, when drummer Cornelius Althammer of German doomsters AHAB, who has been connected to the Swedish guys in a 10 years friendship, joined this new and heavy music adventure that is SV√ĄRD. The Rift, a tasty appetizer for a first full-length album to come in the not so distant future, is slated for a release on July 3rd in digital formats, while a Vinyl edition will follow via Argonauta Records as well.

SV√ĄRD is:
Tim Nederg√•rd ‚Äď Guitars, Vocals
Bj√∂rn Pettersson ‚Äď Guitars, Vocals
Pierre Stam ‚Äď Bass, Vocals
Cornelius Althammer ‚Äď Drums

Svärd, Making The Rift (Pt. 4)

Svärd on Thee Facebooks

Svärd on Instagram

Svärd on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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