BongCauldron Reveal Self-Titled EP Artwork

Posted in Visual Evidence on November 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

If the going theme was supposed to be evisceration, then at least BongCauldron‘s brand of sludge stands up to it. The Leeds-based three-piece will make their self-titled debut with an EP on Superhot Records that’s expected to be out on Jan. 13, 2014, and today I have the pleasure of hosting the debut of the art for the release, which appears with a gleefully degenerate sensibility courtesy of artist Smyles (website here).

BongCauldron recently supported Windhand and Pilgrim in Manchester as those two acts made their way through the UK, and on Jan. 24, they’re slated to appear with Wolfshead and Desert Storm at their first show in London, playing The Black Heart in Camden Town.

More to come on these guys, but click on either image below to enlarge it for a hi res view in the meantime, and get some background on the band courtesy of the PR wire below:

BongCauldron, BongCauldron EP info

Since their formation in 2011, BongCauldron has developed a reputation on the local Leeds metal scene as a sleeping colossus. A beast that only ever truly awakens from its slumber when called upon to thrash out a cacophonous amalgamation of torturous sludge metal, old school thrash-pit discord and homegrown haze.

In full flow, the band is relentless. Having shaken gig-goers to the core in support of bands like Sunwølf, Windhand and Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of The Knight this past year their self-titled EP and first outing into the wilderness comes under the watchful eye of the St Albans based Superhot Records. In their quest to, “Bring you the best from all ends of the underground heavy music spectrum” the label is responsible for memorable releases by the aforementioned Trippy Wicked, as well as Groan, Vodun and Stubb.

BongCaludron packs in dirty, bass-heavy riffs and drums that build a punishing wall of noise around the doom metal and crust punk ingloriousness of bands like Iron Monkey and early Crowbar. Rolling out bluesy shifting slabs of guitar that lay waste to any hope of standing still. Gleaning abrasive sludge and choking fuzz from every note, beat and nod this is a collection of guttural and throat tearing songs that revel in the pleasure of good booze and better bongs.

BongCauldron is:
Corky – Bass, Vocals
Biscuit – Guitar, Vocals
Jay – Drums

Track listing:
1. Tree Wizard
2. Pissed Up
3. Vehemence
4. Gimp Rig
5. Gauze Rite

Label: Superhot Records
Formats: CD, Download

BongCauldron, “Pissed Up” Superhot Session

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Friday Full-Length: Russian Circles, Enter

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 30th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Russian Circles, Enter (2006)

This morning I was in Maryland. Tonight I’m in Jersey. If all goes according to plan, by tomorrow night at this time, I’ll be back in Massachusetts. Nothing like the holidays to emphasize mobility. Mileage on my old Volvo is up past 187,750. I should break 188,000 before the weekend is out.

On the way north today, I stopped off at the “Not Just” Rock Expo in Pennsylvania. Huge record show I knew literally nothing about until late last night. I’ll post more about it next week — holy shit there’s a lot coming next week — but I found some cool stuff across a range of formats. A jewel case promo for the 2006 Russian Circles debut full-length, Enter, was one of the finds, and as I popped it in while I rolled through the nether regions of Lancaster County, PA, it’s been in my head since. It was a blast to see them at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year. Very cool in that cavernous space.

So yeah, next week. First of all, at some point tomorrow I’ll post an artwork reveal for the Bong Cauldron record. Something I’d usually do today, but it’s already close to one in the morning and I drove like five hours today and when I landed did family stuff, so really just about every sentence at this point is a ramble and, I suspect, wildly incoherent. Tomorrow. Then Monday the 2013 Readers Poll goes up. That’s always a huge amount of fun and I’m so nerdily excited for it that I almost feel bad about myself for it. So stoked though.

Look out for a review of Mollusk, a Qosmic Qey tape, some Tia Carrera vinyl (and maybe other vinyl as well), a full stream of a new split between Black Shape of Nexus and Lazarus Blackstar, and if I can muster the energy, I’m hoping to come back south from Massachusetts to Brooklyn for a couple shows toward the end of the week. Mountain God and The Golden Grass are playing on successive nights. Not promising on that, because I’m old and tired and old and also tired, but if I can I’ll make it happen. Also details on that record show I was at today — saw a few familiar faces there as well — and a lot more news and whatever else comes down the wire. It’s gonna be a good time. I know that much.

But for this evening, I’m about done. I hope you dig the Russian Circles and I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please if you get the chance, check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio


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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

If you’re in the States, today is Thanksgiving. Like a lot of American holidays, it’s based around some truly strange and generally unlikely myths, but the ensuing consumerist rampages aside, it’s not nearly as exclusionary as Xmas or as war-culture-celebratey as the Fourth of July, so yeah. It’s also just about the only thing in the fabric of American society that encourages gratitude, and I guess that’s not bad either.

The point I want to make is that if you’re reading this, whether you’re in the U.S. or not, then you have my thanks for supporting this site and being a part of what it’s turned into over nearly the last half-decade. I appreciate it, and in the spirit of the day, I’m thankful for it. I feel both like I say it all the time and like I don’t say it enough, but I continue to be amazed at the level of encouragement, whether it’s someone liking or sharing a post on Thee Facebooks or Twitter, leaving a comment, sending an email, whatever it might be. It’s astounding and it means a lot to me personally. Thank you.

Likely I’ll have one or two posts up tomorrow — at least one to close out the week — but whatever weird semi-historical narrative they have at their base, the next couple days are basically to enjoy family and friends, so I’m going to do that. If you’re celebrating or not, I wish you all the best.

JJ Koczan
Holiday Pursuant Taskmaster

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Roadburn 2014: Tribulation and Monster Truck Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

If you want to get a sense of the kind of variety that the average Roadburn offers, take a look at the two bands added today. Tribulation: very dark, gloomy, heavy, extreme so on. Monster Truck: dressed like mechanics, named Monster Truck. You never quite know what you’re going to get until you see the actual schedule for Roadburn and, like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, pick out where you’ll be at what time, but it’s good to know that, as ever, Roadburn are keeping it diverse in terms of style.

Here’s the latest from the Roadburn website:

Tribulation To Bring Forth The Formulas Of Death At Roadburn Festival 2014

Things at Roadburn are about to get a whole lot darker with our latest announcement – those most sophisticated of Swedish death metallers, Tribulation.

Having delivered a classic slab of prime Swedish death metal with their 2009 debut The Horror, the foursome upped their game significantly with this year’s second meisterwerk The Formulas Of Death, a progressive blend of death metal, blistering punk, icy post-punk and chaotic black metal shot through with a deep vein of rich eastern-inspired psychedelia. We love it and we think you should too – Hell, Decibel magazine named it #10 in their Top Forty Albums of 2013.

With the darkness of The Formulas Of Death still so fresh-yet-fetid in our minds we’re beyond stoked to welcome the shadowy conclave into the dysfunctional Roadburn family.

Feel the darkness on Saturday, April 12th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Monster Truck: Don’t F*ck With The Truck at Roadburn Festival 2014

Monster Truck‘s take no prisoners approach to heavy rock revives the spirit of pure rock that made fellow Canadians Bachman Turner Overdrive, Neil Young and The Guess Who legends. They craft infectious classic rock with an updated sound (think Pure Rock Fury-era Clutch) that still evokes the butt shakin’ adolescent energy of the 70s, even though their sound is anything but archaic.

Relying on honest enthusiasm, great songwriting and organ-driven energy, Monster Truck‘s debut full-length, Furiousity writes a new chapter in the story of rock and roll music without resorting to gimmicks or cliches. Their approach is to play what they want, how they want, and it is clear that they are tapped into something elemental, as they were already awarded a Juno Award in Canada this year for best breakthrough group.

Experience for yourself what Canadians already know — when it comes to real rock and roll without trends or labels, Monster Truck are driven to destroy. Don’t fuck with the Truck when they shift into gear on Saturday, April 12th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2014 will run for four days from Thursday, April 10th to Sunday, April 13th 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2014 ticket pre-sales are in full swing! GET IN ON THE ACTION HERE!

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19

Posted in Radio on November 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

If you ever want to know the fastest way into my heart, name a song “Black Sabbath Forever in Space” and see how long it takes for me to nerd out on it. Rest assured it’ll be some record time. That most righteous of titles closes the new live set from instrumental Danish outfit Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19, which was captured just over a week ago at the Loppen club in Christiania, Denmark, as the band was opening for Siena Root (who have a new 7″ out; man I’d like to see that band play). There are four songs, the shortest one of them is 11 minutes long, and true to Øresund Space Collective‘s jam-based ethic, there isn’t a moment of the thing that doesn’t feel like it was made up on the spot. The lineup for the evening was Nicklas and Rune on guitar, Jiri on bass, Birk on drums, and Rasmus and sometimes-Obelisk-contributor Scott “Dr. Space” Heller on synth.

The band also have a new studio album out called Organic Earthly Flotation. They’ll be playing the 2014 Freak Valley festival on May 29-31 alongside Mos GeneratorStubbWo Fat, Samsara Blues Experiment and many others, and Live at Loppen 2013-11-19 is one of several gigs recently uploaded for free acquisition through (check them out here). They (rightly) encourage audience taping, and as you can hear following the second of the four cuts here, “Galaxy X74W32,” even they’re surprised sometimes where their songs end up. Dr. Space introduces the lineup and gives the crowd the skinny on their approach, and in a brief moment, Øresund Space Collective are under way again. The set is half over at that point — they opened with the rich textures of “Star Search,” which is a fitting title for what’s essentially an exploration of space rock — and it’s abundantly clear that any warming up or settling in they needed to do is long since past. Though their roster of contributors changes regularly, what remains constant in Øresund Space Collective is the absolute liquidity of their jamming.

I don’t know if the Miles mentioned in “Miles, Where are You?” is in fact Miles Davis, but I’d have to believe it if you told me it was. At a meager 11:32, it’s the shortest of the jams here, but features a highlight bassline in the early going from Jiri and some impressive jazzy guitar interplay as well. Of course, the synth is more or less a constant, filling out the open spaces with brazenly psychedelic swirling and effects, making the whole sound fuller and more immersive. Things start to unravel a bit after eight minutes in, but Jiri and Birk hold the piece together until finally the drums stop and the song ends with a laugh from Heller. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “Black Sabbath Forever in Space” is the most riff-led of the inclusions from the show. Guitars start and stay at the fore for an initial stretch as the texture swells up around, soloing and riffing gradually being absorbed, leaving just the bass and drums to remind of the initial progression. Doubtless if that was the “Black Sabbath,” then what ensues is the “Forever in Space,” but the transition between the two is raw, natural and molten. At their best, Øresund Space Collective present the organic product of a creative process, and that’s just what you get with Live at Loppen 2013-11-19. allows for embedding players, so you can check out the release below. All told it’s a full hour of deep psychedelic hypnosis, but even in its component pieces, Øresund Space Collective manage to put the listener in a trance, and that’s precisely why I wanted to include Live at Loppen in the playlist for The Obelisk Radio. However you dig into it, either there or on the player that follows, please enjoy and space on.

Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19

Øresund Space Collective at

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

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audiObelisk Transmission 032

Posted in Podcasts on November 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download


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

If you’re in the States and celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I thought maybe a new podcast would be good to have along for the travel. Maybe you take it with you on the road, or maybe put some headphones on in one of those need-to-get-away moments that invariably crop up over the holidays. I always get very stressed out at this time of year. I’d be lying if putting this together wasn’t a bit of therapy for my own anxiousness, but I also thought that if someone else was in the same boat, they might also appreciate it. Or maybe not and you just want to rock without using it as an escape for deep-rooted psychological issues. That’s cool too.

This one has a lot of good stuff that I’ve come across lately, from the opening Foghound track on through the Clamfight single that was featured here a couple weeks back, and on to the B-side of the single that Ice Dragon released just this weekend, finally rounding out with the closing track from Uzala‘s new album, Tales of Blood and Fire, “Tenement of the Lost,” which was so captivating when I saw them in Providence last month. It’s a wide variety, but it flows well from song to song and I think it’s a good time.

Hopefully you agree. I’m especially happy with how well the last three songs, which make up the bulk of the second hour, came together. My hope is you’ll be too hypnotized by one song to realize when it’s gone into the next. Whether or not that happens, please enjoy.

First Hour:
Foghound, “Dragon Tooth” from Quick, Dirty and High (2013)
Lizzard Wizzard, “Total Handjob Future” from Lizzard Wizzard (2013)
Summoner, “Into the Abyss” from Atlantian (2013)
Groan, “Slice of that Vibe” from Ride the Snake EP (2013)
The Vintage Caravan, “Let Me Be” from Voyage (2013)
Run After To, “Melancholy from Run After To/Gjinn and Djinn (2013 Reissue)
Clamfight, “Bathosphere” from single release (2013)
No Gods No Masters, “Lie to Me” from No Gods No Masters EP (2013)
Horseskull, “Arahari” from 2013 Promo
Gudars Skymning, “Gåtor I Mörkret” from Höj Era Glas (2013)
Ice Dragon, “Queen of the Black Harvest” from Steel Veins b/w Queen of the Black Harvest (2013)
T.G. Olson, “Return from the Brink” from The Bad Lands to Cross (2013)

Second Hour:
EYE, “Lost are the Years” from Second Sight (2013)
Øresund Space Collective, “Black Sabbath Forever in Space” from Live at Loppen 2013.11.19
Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies, “The Ghost of Valentine” from Earth Air Spirit Water Fire (2013)
Uzala, “Tenement of the Lost” from Tales of Blood and Fire (2013)

Total running time: 1:59:03

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 032


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Freedom Hawk Post Live at the Jewish Mother for Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Virginia fuzzdudes Freedom Hawk have been confirmed for Roadburn 2014. The four-piece are a lock. Now it’s just a matter of paying for it. They could’ve probably done a Kickstarter or something, but everybody’s got one of those, and frankly, “Hey pay for my flight and here’s the vague promise of some future reward,” doesn’t inspire much confidence. Freedom Hawk are a classically-styled band, so they’re taking a classic approach. They’re selling music and merch.

The full story of how the recording of Live at the Jewish Mother came to be you can see below — essentially it’s a bootleg; soundboard recording, I’d grade it an A for quality — but I wanted to feature the tracks here because for a $5 download, you’re getting something pretty killer and Freedom Hawk are a good band who are going to kill it on the continent. Music and info are below, merch and such is at their Bandcamp.

Dig it:

Freedom Hawk, Live at the Jewish Mother (2013)

Please donate to our European Tour fund raiser to ensure we get there! This a Live Bootleg Recording @ The Jewish Mother, November 23, 2011/The night before Thanksgiving (which happens to be our 8yr anniversary) unknown to the band by Matthew Archerson (sp?) who gave the tracks to Chris Kendrick in the Influence band on the bill that night before he disappeared to LA. Club sound guy got a hold of em and mixed it and gave it to us 2 months ago. Matthew wherever you are – thank you!

Also added are some very limited merch items that include downloads and a limited (50) edition of of our 2008 Sunlight CD in Digipack packaging that includes immediate download.

The live tracks includes tracks off Sunlight and tracks off the S/T release — mixed but unmastered. “Bad Man” and “Stand Back” are very different than the recordings. This live recording is kind of a bootleg really… A dude who was with another band that played that night recorded us on his MacBook Pro hooked into the soundboard (we can’t even confirm if he had the sound engineer’s permission/or if the sound guy knew?). Well long story short the tracks surfaced via the other band’s guitarist (Chris Kendrick) giving it to the sound engineer who also mixed it (Jim Woodling of Phunk Junkies bass player/Highland Studios, Phoenix, AZ).

Jim mixed it for us and gave it to us a month or so ago. We thought it was ok enough to offer to the public to help fund our European tour expenses while not having to stoop to Indiegogo or some other “give me money” scheme. We also put up merch there too that is very limited. The tracks will be combined for inclusion on a European only CD for sale on our Euro Tour/Roadburn performance only. Several of the unreleased live tracks may also show up on a bonus CD included with our new SS album (if it is determined SS worthy quality) we are putting together for a 2014 release (exact date TBD). All donations go directly to our Euro flight purchases!!!

Freedom Hawk on Bandcamp

Freedom Hawk on Thee Facebooks

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Elusive Truth”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Well of course it was going to be Spirit Caravan for Wino Wednesday this week. In light of the announcement last Friday that the trio of Scott “Wino” Weinrich (guitar/vocals), Dave Sherman (bass/vocals) and Gary Isom (drums) will reform to headline the 2014 London and Berlin Desertfests, there was really no other way to go. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a couple US dates. I’ll travel if I need to to catch them on the East Coast, I’ll do it, but golly, a Boston show sure would be nice. Or a full-scale North American tour with new material in tow. That’d be nice too. Either way, really.

At this point, it’s not at all known how it’s going to shake out. April’s a long way away and a lot could happen between now and then. Maybe the whole thing falls apart. I hope not, but it’s been a long time since Spirit Caravan last played together. Maybe they decide it’s not worth pursuing and pull out of the fests. What will also be intriguing is to see how or if Spirit Caravan getting going again has an effect on The Obsessed‘s own reunion run. That Wino-fronted trio has been playing shows here and there over the last year-plus. Will they keep on as well? That would make Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan all active at the same time. Wino‘s never come off as a guy inclined to sit still for long, but wow.

Nothing to do but wait and see what happens. In any case, the reintroduction of Spirit Caravan is excellent news and I’m happy to celebrate it with the title-track from the band’s 2001 sophomore outing, Elusive Truth. Though the 2003 compilation The Last Embrace was clearly intended to be the band’s swansong, Elusive Truth was their final full-length, and the eponymous cut from it shows that parts of the album had a little more doom to them than the higher-spirits vibes that permeated Spirit Caravan‘s now-classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. It would’ve been interesting to hear where a third Spirit Caravan record wound up sonically. Maybe we’ll get the chance to find out.

Enjoy “Elusive Truth” and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, “Elusive Truth” from Elusive Truth (2001)

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