The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 63 – Neurosis Deep-Dive Pt. 2

Posted in Radio on July 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

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You might recall that the last episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal was a look at the beginnings of Neurosis’ career, the first part of a deep-dive into their storied and wildly influential catalog. Well, as I said we would, we’re picking up where we left off. That was 2001’s A Sun That Never Sets, and this episode starts with the opening track of The Eye of Every Storm, which pushed those drone impulses even further and became the most spacious record the band has done to-date.

From there, we move chronologically into Given to the Rising and Honor Found in Decay as they renewed their commitment to crushing while still pushing into ever more atmospheric tendencies, having created the genre post-metal along the way, and ultimately ending with Fires Within Fires, their latest work, which encompassed a rawer approach nodding to the whole of what their sound has come to encompass over their 30-plus years. We close with “The Doorway” from Live at Roadburm 2007 as well to emphasize just how much of their impact is made on the stage. If you’ve never seen them, the answer is a lot of it.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 07.09.21

Neurosis Burn The Eye of Every Storm
Neurosis The Eye of Every Storm The Eye of Every Storm
Neurosis A Season in the Sky The Eye of Every Storm
Neurosis Given to the Rising Given to the Rising
Neurosis To the Wind Given to the Rising
Neurosis Distill (Watching the Swarm) Given to the Rising
Neurosis We All Rage in Gold Honor Found in Decay
Neurosis Bleeding the Pigs Honor Found in Decay
Neurosis Raise the Dawn Honor Found in Decay
Neurosis A Shadow Memory Fires Within Fires
Neurosis Broken Ground Fires Within Fires
Neurosis Reach Fires Within Fires
Neurosis The Doorway Live at Roadburn 2007

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is July 23 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

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Fell Harvest Premiere “Thy Barren Fields”; Pale Light in a Dying World out July 16

Posted in audiObelisk on June 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

fell harvest

Wyoming-based doom metallers Fell Harvest will self-release their debut album, Pale Light in a Dying World, on July 16. It is a ferocious, entrenched-in-death and metallic style of doom the trio foster across the six-track/40-minute offering, neither shy about tapping to elements of thrash or melodic death in “Titanicide,” the rampaging opener that launches the record. Songs vary, as one would hope, but Pale Light in a Dying World never quite lets go of that bite in its tonality, and as bassist/vocalist/main-songwriter Joseph Fell, guitarist Liam Duncan and drummer Angel Enkeli — plus Alexander Backlund on keys; he also mixed and mastered — move through the subsequent eight-minute title-track, with its cleaner-Novembers Doom/Paradise Lost vibe and acoustic-led break in the midsection leading to a build in the tempo and intensity leading to its apex, that quickly becomes apparent.

After sampled night winds (I assume it’s night; sounds like night) and howls and other obscure sounds finish the bookend on “Pale Light in a Dying World,” “The Lark at Morning” picks up directly with a slower unfurling and about two words of growled lyrics before the cleaner line picks up that’s just enough to make me think the melodic singing that features throughout here is a conscious decision on Fell‘s part. Nothing against it for that either way, but “The Lark at Morning” offers just that hint of harsher death-ness — even before the blastbeats — that hints at the shift in direction not only from Fell‘s Fell Harvest predecessor outfit Thorns of Acanthus, but Fell Harvest‘s own 2020 self-titled debut EP as well.

That balance may adjust over time, or it may be that Fell is done entirely with screams and growls — I suspect it will ultimately depend on what he’s more comfortableFell Harvest Pale Light in a Dying World with doing and what’s called for in the songs — but making that choice on a debut album becomes a part of Pale Light in a Dying World‘s character and sense of purpose. It’s fitting that the crescendo of “The Lark at Morning” should be so melodic, and that it should lead to the acoustic beginning of “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” which would lead off a vinyl’s side B and works in direct contrast initially to “Titanicide.” Its second half moves through harder-hitting fare, but the four-plus-minute piece closes acoustic as well, so Fell Harvest don’t lose sight of the songwriting or the overarching atmospheric and emotional mission of the album either when they let loose.

Crashes and weighted chug begin the penultimate “Thy Barren Fields,” which also offers a hint of a growl — again, quick and it’s gone — before embarking on the march of its verses. There’s hints of progressive metal in Duncan‘s later solo and in some of the twists brought up throughout, but “Thy Barren Fields” holds to its central meter and rhythm and might be all the more doomed for that, finishing with a flourish of lead guitar that cuts again to outside-noise from whence the finale “The Ghosts of Scapa Flow” — named for a body of water in Orkney, Scotland, with suitably drowned verses — and a steady supply of double-kick drum from Enkeli that breaks in the acoustic part before resuming. They tip hat to largesse of chug in what’s clearly a peak intended for the album as a whole, and a sample there is a curious but not incongruous inclusion, the final minute emerging to draw out a series of heavy last hits that gives way to waves.

Attention to detail being one of the assets that works in the band’s favor, Pale Light in a Dying World is a strong first full-length from a trio willing to push on either side between doom and metal. Not quite as morose as some, not quite as furious as others, they make their identity in these places between, and it’s from those places that their sonic persona will continue to emerge and grow as it does here, fostered by the strength of craft and performance on display throughout.

“Thy Barren Fields” premieres below, followed by some comment from Fell and PR wire info.

Please enjoy:

Fell Harvest, “Thy Barren Fields” official track premiere

Joseph Fell on Pale Light in a Dying World:

‘A snapshot of the plague year’, so much of this record was shaped by the pandemic, from deciding to record when and how we did, to tracking parts with a 103-degree fever and the discovery that I couldn’t sing the same way anymore because COVID damaged my lungs too badly. While it’s ultimately about more than just this one, unique moment in the modern zeitgeist, it’s also impossible to separate from the things happening around us when we created it.

Fell Harvest grew out of a former project of Joseph Fell (bass/vocals); which found its completed form as a trio with the additions of Angel Enkeli (drums) and Liam Duncan (guitars). The name Fell Harvest came from a dream Fell had where he was walking through a deserted vineyard with every vine bearing bleached bones and rotting flesh. He woke up and wrote a short poem called “The Fell Harvest” about the images and feelings.

Track Listing:
1. Titanicide (4:36)
2. Pale Light In a Dying World (8:23)
3. The Lark at Morning (7:10)
4. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (4:32)
5. Thy Barren Fields (6:40)
6. The Ghosts of Scapa Flow (9:08)
Album Length: 40:32

All songs performed by: Joseph Fell, Liam Duncan, Angel Enkeli
• All songs written by: Joseph Fell
• Produced by: Joseph Fell
• Mixed by: Alexander Backlund
• Mastered by: Alexander Backlund
• Album Artwork by: Sam Nelson/Stigma Art

• Album Recording Band Line Up:
Joseph Fell – Bass, Vocals, Additional Guitars
Liam Duncan – Lead and Rhythm guitars
Angel Enkeli – Drums
Synths and programming by Alexander Backlund

Live Band Line Up:
Joseph Fell – Bass, Vocals
Liam Duncan – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Angel Enkeli – Drums

Fell Harvest on Facebook

Fell Harvest on Bandcamp

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Duel Premiere “Children of the Fire”; In Carne Persona Preorder Available

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Austin, Texas, heavy rockers Duel are ready to roll out their fourth album, In Carne Persona. The Lone Star purveyors have done precious little since debuting with 2016’s Fears of the Dead (review here) beyond kick ass and take names, in the studio and on the road, and of course as there was that whole thing about the plague last year, In Carne Persona arrives following their longest time off tour in the last five years. They had Europe booked for Feb. and March last year, and, well, yeah.

But go ahead and get you some of “Children of the Fire” — an appropriate-enough title for a burner — with its dual-guitar classicism and unbridled shove-that-swings and tell me they’re not ready to party. Four records deep, they sound like they know who they are and what they want to do, and from the melody of the hook into the take-no-nonsense solo-plus-final-chorus, it’s four and a half minutes of organic efficiency that speaks only to the follow-up to 2019’s Valley of Shadows (review here) as one worth marking the calendar for.

Or preordering — and hey, wouldn’t you know, preorders are up as of right now. This very second.

Dig in. PR wire info follows the song:

Duel, “Children of the Fire” track premiere

duel in carne persona

Duel – In Carne Persona – Oct. 1

CHILDREN OF THE FIRE is the first single taken from the DUEL upcoming brand new album In Carne Persona. The release will see the light October 1st via Heavy Psych Sounds.

“In Carne Persona”, the upcoming fourth full length album from Texas heavy rockers DUEL, is more of what you have come to expect from the band. Nine new heavy riff soaked tracks from a dungeon in the desert. Written and recorded during plague lockdown, In Carne Persona has the feel of an album that takes its time and full attention to detail. Several upbeat classic guitar rockers in the vain of Thin Lizzy, early UFO, and the beginnings of KISS. A handful of old school NWOBHM anthems channeling early Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, tripped out stoner and proto metal soundscapes. Always pushing the barriers of their sound and offering up something new with the soul of the classic DUEL evil boogie.

“Children of the fire is the opening track from our new album. A sun scorched upbeat rocker with a killer dual guitar solo section. The vibe of this one we felt was reminiscent of the earliest DUEL songs like Fears of the Dead.”



Austin, Texas occult rockers DUEL are super heavy, tripped out 4 piece old school stoner metal. Steeped in the more sinister sounds of dungeon-esque early 80’s heavy metal, Proto metal of the 70’s and late 60s psych. Their tunes spin dark tales of ritual horror, occult sex and Apocalyptic doom. Exploring alternate realms, and the depth of infinite space with a head full of mushroom tea. Dueling Thin Lizzy esque guitars with the aggression of Motorhead meets the MC5. Dealing their own brand of dark boogie

Tom Frank – Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums
Jeff Henson – Guitars / Vocals

Duel, Valley of Shadows (2019)

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The Slow Death Premiere “Tyranny” Siege out Aug. 27

Posted in audiObelisk on June 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the slow death art by Mandy Andresen

Australian extreme doom five-piece The Slow Death release their fourth full-length, Siege, on Aug. 27 in a range of editions through Transcending Obscurity Records. It is the band’s first studio work in six years since 2015’s Ark, which was the final performance of then-vocalist Gregg Williamson, who passed away in 2014 after completing the recording, and in a style known for being morose, might be all the more so for that, but the arc of their storytelling looks seems more to look outward across the release.

And while one might balk at accusing an album comprised of four songs that runs a total of 63 minutes of being subtle, Siege nonetheless is that in the way it weaves guitar and keys and vocal arrangements within and between its extended cuts, keyboardist Mandy Andresen (also graphics) handling a cleaner singing style while Gamaliel complements with growls, and vice versa atop the tension-and-release riffing of guitarist/keyboardist Stuart Prickett, as well as Dan Garcia‘s bass and Yonn McLaughlin‘s drums, which drive the tempo changes that make 19-minute opener “Tyranny” feel like an album unto itself, with a complete flow and a progression that feels nigh on literary in its poise, however fast it may or may not be moving at a given point.

Each half of the record — that is to say, each platter of the 2LP — brings a 19-minute track the slow death siegeand shorter one in “Famine” (13:44) and closer “Ascent of the Flames” (10:28), respectively. And make no mistake, by the time you get down to “Ascent of the Flames,” having just followed The Slow Death on their ultra-willful slog through “Pestilence,” you might be numb to the changes happening, but the shifts there and across Siege are worth paying attention to, as they make the entirety of the release all the more satisfying to hear.

Even within “Tyranny,” the break to keys and soft guitar and vocals after the growling stretch circa 13 minutes in is executed with such fluidity and depressive grace that it’s nothing less than a triumph as the heft surges back in behind Andresen a short time later. Siege is full of these moments, whether it’s “Famine” unveiling a folk melody in its tenth minute before dirge-marching to its piano-laced finish — having bludgeoned so forcefully earlier in its procession — or the sudden cutout from lead guitar five-plus minutes into the buildup of “Pestilence,” which Gamaliel starts on vocals, mirroring Andresen on the album’s leadoff, setting up back and forth movements that play out across the rest of the song.

An ability to convey beauty in darkness is a tenet of the style, but The Slow Death do so well, while still keeping an overarching rawness to their presentation that helps them blur the line between where goth ends and death-doom begins. The orchestral elements, even synthesized, bolster the drama of the material and could easily fall flat, but don’t, largely because of the human performances behind them, the dynamic setup between Andresen and Gamaliel essential to the outing and its thoughtful shifts from one part or one song to the next, landing with emotional weight as well as tonal — again, an essential factor in making the sound what it is.

“Famine” was previously streamed, and you’ll find that near the bottom of this post. Between that and “Tyranny” premiering below, you’ve got about 33 of the 63 minutes of Siege to give you an idea of what The Slow Death are all about, if the moniker didn’t already tell you. PR wire info follows the player. Seems cruel to say “enjoy” at this point, so yes, I will.


The Slow Death, “Tyranny” official premiere

The Slow Death are an exceptional band that straddles the emotive as well as heavier aspect of atmospheric death/doom metal. There are eerie, haunting female vocals alternated with abysmally low growls to go with similarly undulating music, encompassing a terrific range of heart-rending expression. Members of veteran bands such as Illimitable Dolor, Horrisonous, ex-Mournful Congregation ensure that the music remains engaging, even during the sparser, atmospheric parts, which invariably give way to soul-piercing solos or dread-inducing chugging parts.

This is a staggering interpretation of the double-edged style with everything remaining all too palpable, as it hurtles you through a harrowing, emotional roller-coaster ride through four epochal tracks averaging over 15 minutes, at the end of which you’ll emerge cleansed, purged, feeling exhausted but somehow lighter. It’s a microcosm of the events that are bound to unfold in everyone’s life, and The Slow Death couldn’t express the inevitable moments of grief and triumph any better through their emotionally-charged music. Six years in the making, ‘Siege’ is sure to be remembered as one of the best albums in the style.

Artworks by Mandy Andresen

Track listing:
1. Tyranny
2. Famine
3. Pestilence
4. Ascent of the Flames

Line up –
Mandy Andresen (ex-Murkrat, Crone) – Vocals and Keyboards
Stuart Prickett (Horrisonous, Illimitable Dolor) – Guitars and Keyboards
Yonn McLaughlin (Temple Nightside, Horrisonous, Illimitable Dolor, Nazxul) – Drums
Dan Garcia (Horrisonous, Illimitable Dolor) – Bass
Gamaliel (ex-Oracle of the Void) – Vocals

The Slow Death, “Famine”

The Slow Death on Facebook

The Slow Death on Bandcamp

Transcending Obscurity website

Transcending Obscurity on Facebook

Transcending Obscurity US store

Transcending Obscurity Europe store

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 62 – Neurosis Deep-Dive Pt. 1

Posted in Radio on June 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

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I’ve done a couple whole-show-playing-one-band-type episodes of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal before, but to my recollection this is the first time I’ll have dedicated two episodes to one band. Can you argue? Starting with Pain of Mind in 1985, the career and legacy of Neurosis is simply unparalleled, and to even get to listen to two hours of their material in a row, let alone talk about it on a silly radio show, is a personal treat, let alone of any critical importance or something any other human beings might dig.

We go from Pain of Mind through The Word as Law — quickly, admittedly, since those songs are short — and slam headfirst into Souls at Zero as the band’s style progressed into tribalist heavy and what was considered avant garde at the time and became the foundations on which post-metal was laid. Enemy of the SunThrough Silver in BloodTimes of GraceSovereign, and finally A Sun That Never Sets is a lot of ground to cover, but consider how much is left. This doesn’t even include solo stuff or side-projects or the version of Times of Grace with the Tribes of Neurot release Grace synched up to it or any of that other awesome whatnot. Still, one does the best one can to get in as much as one can. Sometimes two hours just isn’t enough. So we’ll do four between this ep and the next one in two weeks.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at:

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 06.25.21

Neurosis United Sheep Pain of Mind
Neurosis Pain of Mind Pain of Mind
Neurosis To What End? The Word as Law
Neurosis Takeahnase Souls at Zero
Neurosis Souls at Zero Souls at Zero
Neurosis Lost Enemy of the Sun
Neurosis Raze the Stray Enemy of the Sun
Neurosis Locust Star Through Silver in Blood
Neurosis Through Silver in Blood Through Silver in Blood
Neurosis The Doorway Times of Grace
Neurosis Times of Grace Times of Grace
Neurosis Flood Sovereign
Neurosis A Sun That Never Sets A Sun That Never Sets
Neurosis Falling Unknown A Sun That Never Sets
Neurosis Stones From the Sky A Sun That Never Sets

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is July 9 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

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Projeto Trator Stream Live in Leipzig; Live Album out July 2

Posted in audiObelisk on June 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Projeto Trator (Photo by Murai)

Brazilian duo Projeto Trator‘s Fall 2019 European tour took them to Belgium, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, and Germany. Not necessarily in that order, but not necessarily not; they covered a lot of ground. On July 2, they’ll release Live in Leipzig through Crocodilo Discos, capturing their Sept. 18 show at Kopfsalat Gästeservice. In the company of the genre-blending Umbilichaos, guitarist/vocalist Paulo Ueno and drummer Thiago Padilha made their way through famed venues and festivals like Drugstore in Berlin, Psych Umami in the Czech Republic, and Sommafest in Rietschen, Germany, among others. It looked like a good run when it was announced, and there were still a bunch more dates they were hoping to fill in.

The Leipzig show was one of those, and somehow, listening to Live in Leipzig‘s 13-song/51-minute stretch, that seems fitting. Projeto Trator are not by any means a new band. They have three studio full-lengths under their belt — the latest of them, Humanofobia, came out in 2016 — and a slew of splits and EPs and other live records, so there’s plenty of documentation of their work going back to 2007, but Live in Leipzig presents a particularly chaotic vision of who they are as a unit, whether that’sProjeto Trator Live in Leipzig the space rocking noisefest of “Tambores de Sangue” or the slower swirl of “Vermes,” feedback and effects and a cosmic lurch echo that would bring a smile to the face of Sons of Otis themselves all coming together in how-resilient-is-your-P.A. fashion, extreme in its way but still listenable if you’re willing to give yourself over to it.

Their set starts with a jam and ends with a jam, and in between, tempests like “Você Não é o Seu Emprego” and “Absurdos” bring High on Fire-style sub-two-minute raging to the berth of longer, wider avalanches in “No Orbita do Medo” and post-jam opener “A Foice” — they close with “A Valsa” ahead of that last jam, and though the translations “a sickle” and “a waltz” are a fun pairing, it wouldn’t seem symmetry between them was the point — and along the way, “Rua dal 7 Facadas” and the where-did-they-find-even-more-distortion-from “Rato Morto” cast an identity of brutal and exploratory psychedelic muck, willing to pummel as well as groove, and unwilling to compromise its purpose to be gentler on the ear. It’s easy to imagine that, if you were at Kopfsalat Gästeservice that night, you might’ve felt the volume in your chest had you been standing in front of the stage. The arguments for doing so are manifold here.

Projeto Trator released their latest studio EP, Corifeu, in March 2020, and if the punker underpinnings weren’t clear on Live in Leipzig — they were — then certainly the four-songer should help get the point across. I’ve included that stream from the band’s Bandcamp near the bottom of the post, as well as a video from the Leipzig show, in case you should find yourself wondering how two humans could conjure such a wash of noise.

Only one way to find out.


Projeto Trator, Live in Leipzig official premiere

“Live in Leipzig” is the new audio live record coming from the Brazilian heavy sludge duo Projeto Trator. The recording was made in 2019 in their European tour at Kopfsalat Gästeservice in Leipzig, Germany where the band performed 15 shows in 6 countries. The band show us all our powerful psychedelic sludge wall in 13 noisy tracks from different releases of the band.

The material will be released officially in July, 2

1 – Opening Jam
2 – A Foice
3 – Tambores de Sangue
4 – Na Rua das 7 Facadas
5 – Vermes
6 – Na Órbita do Medo
7 – Não Me Provoque
8 – Você Não é o Seu Emprego
9 – Rato Morto
10 – Delírios do Dr. Lilly
11 – Absurdos
12 – A Valsa
13 – Finishing Jam

Recorded by: Murai
Mixing/Mastering by: Paulo Ueno
Cover art by: Jonathan “Jow” Rissi

Paulo Ueno – guitar and vox
Thiago Padilha – drums

Projeto Trator, Corifeu (2020)

Projeto Trator, “A Foice” Live in Leipzig, Germany, Sept. 18, 2019

Projeto Trator website

Projeto Trator on Facebook

Projeto Trator on Instagram

Projeto Trator on Bandcamp

Crocodilo Discos on Facebook

Crocodilo Discos on Instagram

Crocodilo Discos on Bandcamp

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Dizygote Announce Fathoms EP out Aug. 6; Premiere “Drowning”

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Floriffian two-piece Dizygote will issue their new EP, Fathoms, on Aug. 6 as their first outing for Desert Records. The duo’s debut full-length, Freedom, Incorporated, was issued in 2020 and the band recently announced their signing with all due stoked-ness. Comprised of the father and son pair of Ned and Ethan DuRant, who respectively handle guitar/vocals and drums/backing vocals, the band weave various forms of hard and heavy through their grooving context, a song like “Children of Talos” from the last album neither shying away from thrash nor fully committing at the expense of the later feedback-soaked sludgery.

To go with the announcement of Fathoms, the band are premiering the track “Drowning,” and they were kind enough to provide the lyrics with it as well as some comment from Ned giving a track-by-track through the impending four-song release. Note Steven Yoyoda cover, if only because it rules.


Dizygote, “Drowning” track premiere

dizygote fathoms

Ned DuRant on Fathoms:

Stuck in the mire of the goddamned pandemic, fighting boredom and depression we needed an outlet so we wrote and wrote and wrote. With no idea when we’d be able to play out again, we decided to experiment writing songs with more parts than we had players. In the studio we both layered guitar tracks like stacks of roast beef through lots of different amp and cab combinations. You can hear Ethan’s seven string work here and there. I (Ned) think we flipped a coin to see who’d play bass on one of the tracks… it’s all fuzzy and we can’t remember exactly how that went down.

These are the first songs we’ve written with actual guitar solos and we kinda dig it. When I recorded the solo for Poison Garden, I wanted a classic-sounding tone, so I went straight into the amp and cranked the gain… no pedals.

“Fathoms” is our antidote for the pandemic blues. Poison Garden is a reflection on why America ain’t so great. Drowning was inspired by accounts I’ve read about near-death experiences. Keeping things experimental, we added a metalcore breakdown in the middle of Stimulate Me! – a song inspired by the boneheaded madness surrounding the pandemic. Finally, Ethan released his inner demons on Out For Blood… another nod to the early days of punk rock.

Lost in the open raging sea
Dark as the ink on the page
A cold only known by the sage

Terrified by the thrashing unleashed
The lightning is Zeus in a rage
Battered by sheer crashing waves

Choking and hoping your god hears your plea
Your prayers have you locked in a cage
Drowning in sins that you’ve waged

Panicking wild, you have to breathe
Your lungs fill so quickly you drift of to sleep

The body knows which way’s down
It’s a memory the moment you drown

DIZYGOTE are a father and son loud and heavy metal duo from Cape Coral, FL. Ned plays guitar and sings, while Ethan smashes the drums and handles backup vocals. Ned is a disciple of classic punk rock and all things loud and heavy, while Ethan dabbles with the technicalities of prog and newer metal genres. Their sound is a riot of sludge, doom, punk, thrash and prog.

Produced by Howard “Merlin” Wulkan at Farmadelica Sound, Bokeelia, FL during the goddamned pandemic.
Cover & CD artwork by Steven Yoyada
Inside photo by Ned
Back cover still shot from video produced by Liam & Cameron Wright

Dizygote is:
Ned DuRant: Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Ethan DuRant: Drums/Guitar/Bass/backing vocals

Dizygote, Freedom, Incorporated (2020)

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Review & Album Premiere: 10,000 Years, II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10000 years ii

[Click play above to stream ‘II’ by 10,000 Years in full. It’s out Friday June 25 on Interstellar Smoke Records, Ogorekords and Olde Magick Records.]

Marauding, riff-led stuff-breakers 10,000 Years made a striking debut in 2020 with their self-titled EP (review here), finding a niche for themselves in post-High on Fire heavy all the more bolstered through the grit of a production at the famed Sunlight Studio by Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Grave, many, many more). With their follow-up debut long-player, somewhat confusingly titled II, the Västerås, Sweden-based trio of guitarist Erik Palm, bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and drummer Espen Karlsen waste little time in letting listeners know how they’ve fleshed out their sound. Comprised of eight songs running a sharp 39 minutes, II is rife with dirt-coated efficiency, still casting its lot in Pike-style riffing, but finding sludge and noise rock aspects as well in Risberg‘s vocals, lending a rhythm that puts the band at least partially in league with the likes of Domkraft or Cities of Mars.

The songs by and large are a little longer than on the EP, but the main difference is that they’re more tied around the central concept, expanding on a sci-fi storyline set up on the EP that finds the crew of a spaceship crashed on an alternate reality future Earth populated by ancient gods and, apparently, riders on mooseback. Or such as “The Mooseriders” would have one believe. So it goes. Tempo shifts mark another point of growth, and again, 10,000 Years tip their hand early in that regard, with the speedy opener “Descent” — obviously setting up a crash landing via frenetic riffage — giving way not to a subsequent blast of an all-out speed-riff assault as it seems to telegraph, but to a mellower opening for “Gargantuan Forest” and the more nod-paced fare that ensues. I don’t know at what point the lyrics came into the picture, but the songs don’t bend to the story so much as set a fitting backdrop for what plays out across the span, trading intensity back and forth in a way indicative of the burgeoning dynamic in the band’s sound even as they willfully revel in some more familiar stylistic tenets.

For my own version of posterity, and to go with the stream above, below is the story as they tell it, quoted from their Bandcamp page:

After narrowly escaping the confines of the strange planet and its surrounding dimension, the “Albatross” and its crew finally returns home to Earth. The re-entry is rough and the ship crashlands in a forest. The earth that greets them is vastly different from the one that they left.

When the ship travelled back to earth through the wormhole it created a rift in the space-time continuum which propelled them far into the future as well as allowing the Green King and other ancient gods from the other dimension to cross over to our dimension.

They have since taken control of not just the earth, but the entire solar system.

After various harrowing experiences and encounters, the truth finally dawns on the surviving members of the crew. They are indeed back on earth, but ten thousand years in the future from when they started their journey. And to make matters worse, they find evidence that the Green King have been known and worshipped by secret cults and societies on earth for millennia, since before what we today know as humankind even existed.

The surviving members of the crew come to the conclusion that the only way to set things right again is to repair the “Albatross” and take it back through the rift again in order to close it.

10000 years

The narrative brings depth to the proceedings but is by no means a crutch, and through the brash shove of “Spinosaurus” to the unmitigated good-time march that is “The Mooseriders” and into “Angel Eyes” with its ready lumber, 10,000 Years remain committed to their purpose both as storytellers and as songwriters. The latter track, at just four and a half minutes long, boasts a standout lead and a kind of jammier vibe, the rhythm and solo guitar layers working the band’s way into an instrumental finish that sounds as if it could easily go on longer than it does and, from a stage in a live setting, provide righteous hypnosis to the audience. In context, it sets up the transition to “March of the Ancient Queen,” “Prehuman Walls” and eight-minute closer “Dark Side of the Earth” on side B, and that is a worthy-enough cause in itself.

While the trio won’t quite touch the same level of brash as “Spinosaurus” again, there’s still plenty of damage to be done on II, and they set about it with glee on “March of the Ancient Queen,” an interplay of chug and crash early giving ground later to an almost psychedelic careening solo in one channel, then the other, then both, atop galloping drums, finishing clean despite all the dust they’ve kicked up behind them. They get more under their proverbial fingernails in “Prehuman Walls,” perhaps, the penultimate cut shorter in its procession but as low down into sludge as 10,000 Years go on this first album, at least until about three minutes in, when they pause before kicking into higher gear once again, if momentarily ahead of a giant Sleep-style slowdown finish.

That sets up “Dark Side of the Earth” as the finale, which enters patient with quiet guitar and unfolds with tragedy-tinged vocals in its early verses before a quiet break leads to a rousing, cacophonous end. II, and not just for its title, makes it easy to forget that it is a debut. So assured is it on an aesthetic level, and so complete in its purpose, that it emphasizes how schooled 10,000 Years are in what they’re doing. That is to say, they are not strangers to the music they’re making, but fans themselves, and so even as they bring forth this pummel that can make one feel bashed about the skull by the time “Dark Side of the Earth” has turned, an abiding sense of joy is resonant in their presentation. Ultimately, that is the greatest takeaway from II, and one could hardly ask anything else of it than to express the richness and vitality that inspired it in the first place. It does this and more.

10,000 Years, “Gargantuan Forest” official video

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