Vesta Premiere “Elohim” Video; Odyssey out Oct. 16

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vesta

Italian instrumentalists  Alpha check over here provides you the best in class, plagiarism free and value for money Custom Writing at your convenient time from experts. Vesta will release their second full-length through  Finding a Perfect Place to Get download business plan software. There are so many websites that offer dissertation help that you might feel confused at first. However, after carefully checking out some of the features thesis writing services offer, you will definitely be able to make the right choice. First, look at the writers. Argonauta Records, titled  Writing An Introduction For A Research Paper, supreme buy essays, buy a essay for cheap | Complete set of services for students of all levels including academic writing Odyssey, on Oct. 16, and they’re not kidding around when it comes to that title. Even going beyond the references to 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Viareggio trio’s new video for album-opener “Elohim” premiering below, the record itself spans eight songs and an encompassing 52 minutes that bring together heavy rock and roll and progressive metal, seeming to find a space between find this - Why be concerned about the essay? order the required assistance on the website Expert scholars, quality services, timely delivery Tool, Our remarkable dissertation editors offer the best conditions and all kinds of dig thiss, thesis editing and dissertation proofreading Russian Circles, When writing the http://www.mysleepingkarma.de/?business-planning-services , focus on different methods that will help you succeed or you can get our professional help. Karma to Burn and maybe even a bit of We are the http://mairie.megeve.fr/writing-opos-service-object/s UK, USA. Students can buy custom admission essays from us and we have expert application essay writers Isis (looking at you, “Tumae”) as the journey unfolds.

Though they remain wordless, their expression comes through use of effects and a general sense of poise that underscores the notion of the band as progressive; they’re well in control of what they’re doing, and whatever exploratory elements they might have at work throughout, be it flutter of guitar here or a crushing low-end shove a short time later — the punch of bass at the start of “Breach” is particularly fun — they contradict hypnotic passages with sudden turns in a way that can only be purposeful. That is to say, they know where they want to put their audience and how to get them there.

The album would seem to be comprised of two different methods playing out across longer and shorter tracks. “Elohim” tops seven minutes and is of a kind with the closing salvo ofVESTA Odyssey “Temple,” “Supernova” and “Cerere,” all of which are between 7-8 minutes. The space between the beginning and that consuming finish is given to “Tumae,” “Breach,” “Juno” and the transitional highlight “Borealis,” all of which are under six minutes long. True enough that all the material throughout We provide Help With Python Assignment writing service. Our prices start at per page. We know how to write good paper in your field! Vesta‘s Do you have a question: How to write If I Had A Million Dollars Essay? Have a highly qualified writer of high quality according to your instructions and with Odyssey has a sense of scope and that the breadth they show comes through wherever a given song might lead, but “Elohim” seems specially positioned to immerse the listener in what the outing has to offer, to capture the attention and mindset and from there manipulate it in the manner stated above.

Comprised of guitarist source url - Making a custom essay means go through many steps Dissertations, essays & research papers of top quality. Essays Giacomo Cerri, bassist Learn how we can provide you with all the help that you need to http://moroz-spb.ru/?how-to-write-a-research-paper-example to the highest of standards. Lorenzo Iannazzone and drummer Academic writing is too hard? You can buy research paper, essays, and other assignments from the best Writing Letter Of Application. 15% OFF first order! Sandro Marchi, the three-piece are able to bring a sense of energy to the proceedings that makes them breathe all the more, but it is the patient and unfurling nature of the material that most comes through. “Juno” touches on a “Stones From the Sky” moment — the  Get a http://www.tuintam.com/sl/izleti/izleti_posamezna.php?dissertation-report-on-advertisements from The Uni Tutor - the best essay writing service in the UK! Get high quality and original essays from educated experts. Neurosis riff that launched post-metal as a genre — but whether  127 link Salaries provided anonymously by employees. What salary does a Assignment Editor earn in your area? Vesta are drawing from that well of inspiration or another, it’s hard to say, and it being hard to say is what makes the album work as it pulls together its songs from various sounds and styles.

It’s in “Temple” that the  Hire industry leading Sample Of Experimental Research Paper from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company Tool-ness most comes forward, but that in itself is really just an introduction to the final stage of  Odyssey as a whole, which progresses smoothly into “Supernova” — there’s a burst, sure enough, but it’s less sudden than one might expect given the title — and into the kind of epilogue of “Cerere,” which finds room for a playfully bluesy solo and a last push through wash that, if you managed to sneak in some ghostly howls way down in the mix, would for sure be able to pass as black metal. You find the darnedest things lurking in the corners of records by bands who are obviously pushing themselves to reach someplace new.

I don’t know if there’s an overarching narrative to Odyssey, but there’s certainly one to “Elohim,” and it plays out in the video with all the clarity one might expect given the atmospheric intention on the part of the band behind it, adopting the aforementioned Kubrickian modus and ending on an alien landscape when its voyage is complete.

Live long, prosper, and enjoy:

Vesta, “Elohim” official video premiere

Vesta on “Elohim”:

“Being an instrumental group, we prefer to leave free interpretation to those who enjoy our music, but lately we are taking more into consideration the potential of a visual integration in support. Regarding the first single Elohim, the basic meaning of the name is “God”, “Divinity” intended as the One God … and like every human being we ask ourselves if we are alone in the universe or, and if there really is a mind superior to us, maybe it too is looking for answers. During these months of lockdown we got an idea of ??how we could tell what we had in mind through a short film. The story speaks of a signal picked up on earth, identified and analyzed. Through a spacetime tunnel man manages to have a vision, which leads him to explore Mars in search of answers to that signal but there is no life, there is nothing other than red rocks and rocky deserts. Yet in the middle of a Canyon there is an artifact placed by who knows, that transports us back to another part of the Cosmos. Something happens there; are we alone?”

Three years after their self-titled debut, Italy’s post-rock and metal outfit, Vesta, returns with their sophomore album, titled “Odyssey”, on October 16th 2020 via Argonauta Records.

“We’re three people, three individuals who came together to create something, to make music and to complete each other musically, to form a perfect Triangle.” The band explains. “Everyone in VESTA is interested in how we present our music. We write a group of songs that have a vibe, energy and feeling, and then we try to pick an image to capture that and communicate a feeling. We want something that adds to the connection with the audience.What makes us a bit nervous is, in this instant time, to release something that might take more than one listen. Where everything is instantly judged on YouTube or something! It’s a bit like releasing a horse and cart on a racetrack. With three perfectionists in the band, we have a hard time reaching perfection.”

“Odyssey” was recorded and mixed by Alessandro “Ovi” Sportelli and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Cave In, Isis, Sumac), the result is a powerful, roaring wall of sound, a 54 minutes long, sonic Odyssey.

Album Tracklisting:
1. Elohim
2. Tumæ
3. Breach
4. Juno
5. Borealis
6. Temple
7. Supernova
8. Cerere

Vesta is:
Giacomo Cerri – Guitar & Loops
Sandro Marchi – Drums & Cymbals
Lorenzo Iannazzone – Bass & Drones

Vesta on Thee Facebooks

Vesta on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

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Big Scenic Nowhere Premiere Title-Track of Lavender Blues EP

Posted in audiObelisk on September 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

big scenic nowhere

Big Scenic Nowhere will issue their new three-song EP, Lavender Blues, on Oct. 23 through Heavy Psych Sounds. The 24-minute outing, captured over the course of three days last November in the Californian desert, demonstrates plainly just how much this project ignited by a guitar collaboration between Fu Manchu‘s Bob Balch and Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce has take on a life of its own. It arrives on a quick turnaround from the group’s Jan. 2020 debut full-length, Vision Beyond Horizon (review here), which itself came with relative expediency as a follow-up to their first EP, 2019’s Dying on the Mountain (discussed here).

With Mos Generator frontman Tony Reed and Yawning Man drummer Bill Stinson incorporated as full-time members alongside Arce and Balch, the endeavor only grows more expansive in terms of sound on Lavender Blues, which breaks up into two-sides the first of which is comprised of its 13-minute title-track — a lush jam built out into a work of immersive progressive psychedelia the likes of which few could hope to conjure. As per their established modus — also how the band formed — they reach out beyond themselves to include guest performances as well, this time bringing standout organ lines from the esteemed Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth, and the dude you call when you want keys), as well as Voivod‘s Daniel Mongrain (one of the happiest-looking headbangers I’ve ever seen) and Masters of Reality founder Chris Goss (beware his Twitter) on guitar.

Wiberg and Reed both contribute keys/organ to “Lavender Blues,” and the latter handles vocal duties as well. There’s an early verse, but the essential portion vocally is starts a little before six minutes in, as Reed begins with the lines, “Every time I wonder/All inside my slumber…” as each lyric appears at just a slight overlap to the one before it, adding to the otherworldly feel of the deep but mellow and airy and melodic fluidity that surrounds. Proggy synth follows to lead the way into a wash of a jam that, if you dig deep enough, has a discernible anchor riff, but feels wonderfully untethered creatively. It’s not all improvised — obviously keys and vocals were added later — but that spirit of the original jam beneath is there and the rest of the song feeds off it in a way that lives up to the potential that both Dying on the Mountain and Vision Beyond Horizon set forth.

As if to prove this is an outfit that can go anywhere it pleases whenever it pleases, the subsequentbig scenic nowhere lavender blues “Blink of an Eye” runs just four minutes and seems to directly call out the main riff of “Don’t Fear the Reaper” at its start. In the hands of Big Scenic Nowhere, it unfolds into a subdued desert rock bounce to which Reed brings a suitably straightforward verse, doubling his vocals in the chorus for a sing-along-ready effect — “I’ve been a fool for so long,” etc. Arce‘s floating tonality does much to add to the ethereal vibe that complements the underlying structure, and two solos follow, the latter presumably Reed on keys, before a last hook rounds out. Clean, clear, done. It’s territory the band claimed as their own in Dying on the Mountain, a kind of forewarning that they might jam and write songs, and an unmitigated win in terms of the result.

That tasks “Labyrinths Fade” to close out at 6:35. The finale, suitably enough, fades in and out on a progression that is marked by tom runs and crashes from Stinson and an immediate verse from Reed, not nearly rushed enough to be manic, but more urgent in its repetitions than one might expect after “Lavender Blues” and “Blink of an Eye.” Solos intertwine running up and down in the mix before the drums shift to hi-hat to open up the groove in the instrumental midsection. Is that you, Daniel Mongrain? With so many potential sources of shred, it’s hard to know for sure, but I’d believe it. A righteous moment of guitar harmony (blink and you’ll miss it) precedes the resurgence of vocals, likewise harmonized, and some synth beneath that would make Bernie Worrell smile under his purple hat.

Opportunity for another solo isn’t missed, and the vocal progression from the beginning of the song returns to top the fade out, giving symmetry to what, at least compared to the song before it, is a marked departure from verse/chorus patterning. It is also, however, fair enough ground for Big Scenic Nowhere to cover as they will, and one more piece of evidence to cite when arguing that good things happen when these players get together. Their time in the desert last Fall may have been brief, but what comes across clearest on Lavender Blues is just how much they’re taking inspiration from each other, playing off each other, and enjoying the outward sonic adventure that comes from that. Frankly, it seems unlikely this project would have made it past the first EP if it wasn’t fun — the logistics are just too complex for something that’s a drag — but from that spirit comes a forward-thinking take on progressive heavy psychedelia that sees BalchArceReed and Stinson and their invited company enhance each other’s work in striking, sometimes surprising, and delightful ways.

Fair enough to call them a supergroup if you must, but really they’re explorers.

Balch has a few words to offer on “Lavender Blues,” which you’ll find beneath the premiere of the track below, followed by preorder links and so on.

Please enjoy:

Bob Balch on “Lavender Blues”:

This jam is the first take with all original parts. I tried several times to re-do my parts and improve them and I couldn’t do it. The flow of this jam can’t be replicated. You can really hear all of us playing off each other and that needed to stay. Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS) added some killer key parts, Tony added some awesome keys too along with vocal passages. This song is meant for travel… whatever that means to you. LAVENDER BLUES has a HAWKWIND meets ALAN PARSON PROJECT meets PINK FLOYD vibe to it. I really like when bands take inspiration from different genres and mix it up into a unique sonic stew.

New EP ‘Lavender Blues’ out October 23rd on Heavy Psych Sounds: European presale // US presale

TRACKLIST:
1. Lavender Blues
2. Blink of an Eye
3. Labyrinths Fade

BIG SCENIC NOWHERE is
Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) – Guitar / Bass on “Blink of an Eye”
Gary Arce (Yawning Man) – Guitar on all tracks
Tony Reed (Mos Generator) – Bass / Vocals / Synths / Guitar
Bill Stinson (Yawning Man) – Drums
Per Wiberg (Kamchatka, ex-Opeth) – Synths / Piano
Daniel Mongrain (Voivod) – Guitar
Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality) – Guitar

Artwork by @haxloeffler
Mixed and Mastered by Tony Reed

Big Scenic Nowhere on Thee Facebooks

Big Scenic Nowhere on Instagram

Big Scenic Nowhere on Bandcamp

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

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All Them Witches Announce Fall 2021 European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

So that’s where we’re at. Tours announced more than a year in advance. Okay. I mean, you can’t hold that against All Them Witches, right? They just put out a record and they’re (normally) a pretty hard-touring band. They gotta announce something. And the early part of 2021 seems to be jam-packed with stuff that got canceled this year, so next Fall would seem to be a less crowded time. But seriously, fuck.

You know what the worst part of it is? Of course you do. It’s “Who the hell knows what things will look like in a year?” Will Americans be allowed in other countries? Will they be allowed to leave their own? Will tours even be happening in a way that’s fiscally sustainable? Can they? It’s so hard to guess at any of it at this point all you can really do is look at a list of tour dates, shrug, and say, “Gosh I hope so.” So yeah. Gosh, I hope so.

All Them Witches‘ new record, Nothing as the Ideal (review here), is out now on New West. Stream it at the bottom of this post.

Here are the dates as put up by the band. One imagines some of the days between will be filled by fests yet TBA:

all them witches

JUST ANNOUNCED: 2021 EUROPEAN TOUR
tickets on sale Friday at 10AM CET

SEPTEMBER
27th UK – BRIGHTON, Chalk Venue Brighton
28th UK – NOTTINGHAM, The Bodega
29th UK – GLASGOW, Saint Luke’s & The Winged Ox
30th UK – LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club

OCTOBER
1st UK – LONDON, Electric Ballroom
2nd Netherlands – AMSTERDAM, Paradiso Amsterdam
3rd Belgium – ANTWERP, Trix
6th Spain – MADRID, COOL Conciertos
7th Spain – BARCELONA, Sala Razzmatazz 2
9th Switzerland – LANGENTHAL, OldCapitol
10th Italy – MILAN, Santeria Toscana 31
11th Switzerland – ZURICH, Mascotte Club Zürich
12th Germany – MUNICH, Backstage Werk
13th Czech – PRAGUE, MeetFactory
14th Poland – WARSAW, Progresja
15th Germany – BERLIN, Huxleys Neue Welt
17th Germany, COLOGNE, Die Kantine
19th Germany, HAMBURG, Uebel und Gefährlich
20th Denmark, COPENHAGEN, Pumpehuset
22nd Norway, OSLO, Vulkan Arena
24th Finland, HELSINKI, TAVASTIA-klubi

All Them Witches is:
Charles Michael Parks, Jr – bass, vocals
Ben McLeod – guitar, vocals
Robby Staebler – drums, vocals

http://allthemwitches.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/allthemwitches
https://www.instagram.com/allthemwitchesband/
http://www.allthemwitches.org/
https://store.newwestrecords.com/

All Them Witches, Nothing as the Ideal (2020)

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Hour of 13 Announce Black Magick Rites LP; Post New Song “His Majesty of the Wood”

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

For an original post that was all of one sentence long — actually it was two, but the second one was just encouraging social media sharing so I left it out — there’s an awful lot to unpack in this post concerning Hour of 13. By astounding coincidence, I was already planning on closing out the week with the band’s 2007 self-titled debut, and I may or may not still do that, but the announcement that the band has a new album in the works is a genuine surprise. Founding guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/sometimes-vocalist Chad Davis would seem to have put the original incarnation of the band to rest in 2016, issuing the compilation Salt the Dead: Rare and Unreleased (review here) on Shadow Kingdom Records, which also put out the aforementioned debut.

Davis, who relocated to California as one will, sort-of-revived the band in 2018 under the banner of Hour of Thirteen and professed with a couple short releases a love of dark punk and heavy rock, traditional metal and cultish. The sound was tied in some ways to what Hour of 13 had been, but as 2019’s two-originals-and-two-Samhain-covers EP, A Knell Within the Crypt, showcased, it was also a new direction worthy of consideration on its own level. In re-adopting Hour of 13 — the number “13” instead of the word — as a moniker, Davis likewise refocuses on the doomlier side of the band. He handles vocal duties on “His Majesty of the Wood,” the new song that’s been posted with the announcement of the forthcoming Black Magick Rites that will apparently also see release through Shadhow Kingdom.

When? I don’t know, but I’ll take it whenever. Kind of hard to imagine it’ll be out before 2021 — because, I mean, if you weren’t contractually obligated to put something out in 2020, why would you? — but maybe Black Magick Rites can serve as an “October surprise” late next month. I suppose anything’s possible since, you know, it exists in the first place.

So here you go. One sentence and a song. Some bands, that’s all it takes to get excited for a new record:

HOUR OF 13

**HOUR OF 13 premiere**

I present to you a track from the upcoming album “Black Magick Rites” on Shadow Kingdom Records.

https://hourofthirteen.bandcamp.com/
http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

Hour of 13, “His Majesty of the Wood”

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Maryland Doom Fest 2020 Canceled

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

MARYLAND DOOM FEST 2020 banner

It would’ve been too good to be true, and yet somehow completely in character for Maryland Doom Fest that even with the rest of the world falling apart around it, the doom persisted in 2020. I don’t know what shape the festival would’ve taken, but after an initial rescheduling in May that would’ve made the multi-day event take place over Halloween weekend for the first time — a fitting timing, if chillier than June in Frederick, MD — it’s been called off altogether due to the ongoing restrictions placed on venues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, like me, were hoping this one would pull it out, this is a bummer you probably have been or at least should have been expecting.

Next weekend, Maryland Doom Fest will present a birthday celebration for Scott “Wino” Weinrich that will be headlined by the man himself playing acoustic and feature a host of others from the Chesapeake region, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I’ve included the link for that below, just to have something positive in here, and there will reportedly be a Halloween thing as well on a limited basis that the details haven’t been announced for yet.

It goes without saying that this needed to happen, but it’s still hard to take. Like the best of festivals anywhere in the world, Maryland Doom Fest is put together out of love and passion alone. Nobody’s getting rich of running it, and if you go and see familiar faces it’s because when you’re there they embrace you like family. I will miss seeing these people and being exposed over the course of four days to a completely unmanageable onslaught of live music. It just doesn’t seem to be the world we live in anymore.

Their statement is in the image below. Click it to enlarge, click it again to shrink it back:

maryland doom fest 2020 canceled

MDDF Presents:

MDDF Presents WINO’S BIRTHDAY BASH!!
SEP 26 – 5PM
Cafe 611, 611 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701
https://www.facebook.com/events/1228169924219854/

https://www.facebook.com/events/827407774319811/
https://www.facebook.com/MdDoomFest/
https://www.instagram.com/marylanddoomfest/
www.marylanddoomfest.com

Maryland Doom Fest 2020 playlist

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Six Dumb Questions with Vision Eternel

Posted in Features on September 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel

Montreal-based solo-ambient exploratory outfit Vision Eternel — think if post-black metal had a “post” of its own; post-post-black metal — has this week issued the four-song concept EP, For Farewell of Nostalgia through project spearhead Alexander Julien‘s own Abridged Pause Recordings as well as Somewherecold Records (CD) and Geertruida (tape). The EP arrives after a three-year stretch that, if you told me Julien spent the entire time putting the offering together from front to back even though it’s only about 30 minutes long, I’d have to believe it. Executed not only with an evocative spirit emblematic of the ambient instrumental style upon which its sound is based, but with a deep conceptualism that includes a composed short story and artwork based around the central theme of loss and the ensuing progression through the various stages of acceptance thereof, For Farewell of Nostalgia offers rare depth of expression and heart for the microgenre in which it resides. This isn’t just a guitarist screwing around with pedals. These are cinematic, narrative pieces tying together to tell a story, and Julien has worked to make sure the listener understands this.

That would seem to include this interview. I’ve done more Six Dumb Questions features than I care to count for fear of self-embarrassment, but in all of them, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone so ready and so willing to open up about their process, their history and their intention, and that purposefulness is mirrored in For Farewell of Nostalgia itself, as the melodic wistfulness of Julien‘s guitar becomes the ground from which the ambience seems to take flight. It is all the more telling that the release arrives after an initial take that was scrapped for not feeling right, as there is so much about “Moments of Rain,” “Moments of Absence,” “Moments of Intimacy” and “Moments of Nostalgia,” that feels directed and working in precisely the manner it wants to. On a basic audio level, the songs are lush and evocative, and it’s certainly possible they might take the listener someplace other than the companion story seems to want them to go, but such is the nature of art, and it seems unlikely that, even with the core of will put into what Vision Eternel does on this latest addition to an expansive discography of mostly short releases, Julien didn’t account for such a possibility. The point, maybe, is then to let it take you where it takes you, then go deeper.

Whatever path you follow, it’s hard to divorce the tracks from the narrative once you have a fuller understanding of it, and in the interest of preserving spoilers, I won’t give too much away. What I’ll do instead is turn you over to Julien, and perhaps just take this opportunity to thank him for being as open as he is here about what he does. As someone who tends toward wordiness myself, it is all the more easy to appreciate.

For Farewell of Nostalgia is out now.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

vision eternel for farewell of nostalgia

Six Dumb Questions with Alexander Julien of Vision Eternel

The theme of “moments” speaks to an ephemeral glimpse at something – a moment passes. What does framing the songs on For Farewell of Nostalgia as moments allow you to bring to the experience of the listener and the narrative you’re telling?

The titling of a Vision Eternel release (and its songs) is subject to a long period of reflection. It is by no means an after-thought nor a rushed process. Since Vision Eternel releases concept albums, I would not be able to explain the titling of the songs without detailing the titling of the release.

During the composing and recording sessions, I write down words that I feel are representative of my mood and the themes that I am expressing emotionally through the music. Once I find a couple of words that I think work well together for a release title, I brainstorm several combinations and I sit on them for a while. Vision Eternel’s release titles need to have a certain rhythm, like a statement-of-fact, a short sentence. I also make sure that the title is completely original, that nothing comes up when searching for it on Google. That is very important to me. If one has been used, or is too similar to another work, I discard it.

The sense of the word farewell in the title is intended to be interpreted in its olde English sense, as in fare thee well. But I did not want to use that kind of phrasing because it did not fit Vision Eternel’s style and concept. I am old-fashioned but not that old fashioned. I took a little bit of poetic liberty so that in its used phrasing, For Farewell Of Nostalgia means for the well-being of nostalgia.

I felt that I was taking a chance giving this release a title… perhaps as grandiose or elegant… as nostalgia; there was a fear that it might not live up to its name. I take nostalgia very seriously. It has been such an important part of my teenage and adult life, constantly living with the nostalgia of yesterdays. I desperately wanted to represent nostalgia with the utmost respect.

The title, and the entire concept of the extended play, does also symbolize the heartaches of past loves. But it too is an ode, mixed with a Dear John letter, to Montreal. A dispatch saying “Thanks for the memories, the wonderful and the miserable; now good-bye”. This is my farewell to the city where I was born and where I came back to as an adult. Where romance and melancholia truly bloomed. I no longer live in Montreal but I think that Vision Eternel will always have a symbolic link to that city; even more so than to Edison, New Jersey, where the band started.

The titling of the songs is another concept within the concept: adding the first letter of each song title spells out the name of the girl to whom the extended play is dedicated. This has been consistent across all of Vision Eternel’s extended plays, with the exception of Echoes From Forgotten Hearts because it was originally composed as a soundtrack.

The process of determining the song titles is a little bit different from the release title, but it is just as exhaustive. I know ahead of time how many songs are going to be on an extended play (the amount of letters in the girl’s name). From there, I try to choose single words that are descriptive of the emotions in the songs, but that also represent the progression of events in the story-line. The song titles should define where along in the time-line the tragedy is.

Some time during the recording session I also try to pick out the common prefix for the song titles. In the case of For Farewell Of Nostalgia, the prefix Moments Of had been one that I had considered using for an earlier extended play, The Last Great Torch Song. But I was unable to due to the complexity of matching the girl’s name with two songs that were re-recorded from previous releases. Since Vision Eternel songs are technically only given a single-word title (Absence, Intimacy, Rain, Nostalgia, Narcosis, etc), the song can be accommodated to fit on any release if it is re-recorded. For example, Absence had originally been recorded for Un Automne En Solitude and was given the title Season In Absence; it was re-recorded for For Farewell Of Nostalgia and its title was updated to Moments Of Absence.

I went a step further with song titles on For Farewell Of Nostalgia. Since the songs were much longer and they all had different sections and movements, different segues and repetitive codas, I was able to provide extended track titles. This was something that I had been interested in utilizing for roughly fifteen years; it was something that impressed me from Harmonium’s concept album L’heptade. I used it to some degree on Soufferance releases, like Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The Mind (completed in 2009), but it was with For Farewell Of Nostalgia that I incorporated the method to my satisfaction. At first glance, the extended play appears to feature only the four principal songs, but once one delves into the tracks, or consults the booklet, there are titles for each movement of the songs. The extended track listing also parallels the short story that accompanies the physical editions of the extended play.

The album is defined by this profound sense of loss in the progression of each moment within the tracks themselves. After working on For Farewell of Nostalgia over such a period of time, how has your perspective changed on what inspired the work in the first place? How did the development of the story coincide with the development of the songs themselves? Which came first, the narrative frame or the music?

The music was recorded first; I penned the short story during the post-production. But the short story, and the extended play, are based on events that occurred prior to the composing and recording of the music. This goes back several years, partly due to difficulty composing and finding my direction; partly because For Farewell Of Nostalgia was recorded twice.

I had made several attempts to compose new material between October 2015 and February 2017 but my heart was not into it. The material lacked direction and substance. I began composing and recording better-developed demos in the spring of 2017 but I was forced to put that aside in order to finish compiling the boxed set An anthology Of Past Misfortunes. Once that was released in April 2018, I could go forward, without hindrance, composing and recording new music. From April to October 2018 I recorded For Farewell Of Nostalgia. But I was not happy with it. There were a number of things that I felt were wrong with the release. Some things were unacceptable, like crackling, distortion and humming in the recordings. I attempted to re-record a lot of it, only to find out that some of it was caused by my studio equipment. Just as I began fixing that problem, an uncontrollable fret buzz plagued the main guitar with which I was recording.

Some of the other problems that I had with the first version of For Farewell Of Nostalgia had to do with personal preferences. For example, I did not feel that the songs flowed well together; they each sounded too different. I also had difficulty mixing because I was using too many layered tracks and effects. These original recordings, which I later started referring to as pre-production versions, were a lot darker, harsher and abrasive, not only in sound but in nature; I had a different perspective and approach when I was recording them. It was a very difficult decision to make, because I had garnered record label interest, but I put the release aside, for what ended up being a whole year, while I regrouped.

Throughout the spring and summer of 2019, I upgraded my gear and studio equipment. In early October 2019 I started re-recording For Farewell Of Nostalgia; by mid-November I was done tracking. Minor mixing and editing lasted until late December while I wrote the short story. In early January, Carl Saff mastered the extended play. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him and it really made a big difference. I was impressed by his work with Castevet (CSTVT, the Chicago emo band) and he was the first person that I approached once I finished the recording in November 2019.

It was a well-contained recording session because this time around, I wanted the songs to sound like they belonged together and I knew where I was going. All of the songs were re-recorded in a consistent mind-frame and mood. It helped tremendously that the sequencing was already planned by this point. That allowed me to properly end and start each song in a way that it was complementary to each next piece. I was mindful of how editing one song may alter the others, which is not possible (or would require additional editing at a later time) if the sequencing is done during the mastering stage. The sequencing of the songs is really important when I approach a concept release.

I was very proud of the new version. The songs greatly improved the second time around, especially once I added textual guitar leads; the pre-production versions did not have leads. Nearly everything that appears on the released version of For Farewell Of Nostalgia was recorded during the 2019 session, with the exception of a couple of backing tracks on one song, which I kept from the 2018 session because I felt that the emotions were stronger on the original recording.

Something so personal is still somehow also vague – there aren’t lyrics or verses or choruses, etc. – but the story is expressed in emotional and evocative terms. How do you feel about putting something like this out and opening it up to the interpretations of others?

There are no vocals on this release but I consider the short story that accompanies For Farewell Of Nostalgia to be of equal value to lyrics. The extended song titles are, in-sort, the chapters to the short story. This is only available with the physical editions of the extended play however, because I felt that it should be read, like lyrics, in an old-fashioned setting: putting on a record, admiring the sleeve art and reading through every part of the concept while listening. It is an event; a presentation; an experience.

One of my ambitions with For Farewell Of Nostalgia was to present something different to the ambient community; to face them with a release that embarks an alternate pathway: a profound approach of focus. I do not want Vision Eternel to be diminished to background music while listeners perform other tasks. From the visual presentation of the cover art and deluxe packaging, to the conceptual delivery within the sequencing and production, the extended song titles and the short story, For Farewell Of Nostalgia was my way of documenting and sharing my most personal sentiments.

The short story, appropriately titled For Farewell Of Nostalgia, recounts events that inspired the extended play. It is a narrative of how I was emotionally devastated after falling in love too fast, and the aftermath of this heartbreak. Falling in love-at-first-sight, the intimacy of it all, and the stifling wound when the realization hits that it is not reciprocal. It is about learning to befriend absence and loneliness and living with constant sentiments of nostalgia and melancholia.

I do not want to appear closed-mouthed about the short story; it is simply that I do not want to give too much of it away. I very much want people to read it and interpret it for themselves. That is part of the experience.

Tell me about the artwork and the direction that ended up taking.

I absolutely adore the illustration that graces For Farewell Of Nostalgia’s cover. I feel that it is the first real artwork that I have had for Vision Eternel. On the first three releases (Seul Dans L’obsession, Un Automne En Solitude and An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes [the compilation, not the boxed set]), the artwork was simply my own photography. The photographs were not particularly good and I do not consider myself a photographer by any means. I liked the colours within but the subject matters were rather bland. You might say that this style is typical of ambient album artworks today, but at the time, they were simply used because I had no alternative… I wanted to handle every aspect of Vision Eternel myself, including the artwork, and that resulted with ordinary covert arts.

For Abondance De Périls and The Last Great Torch Song, my friend and former room-mate Marina Polak provided a photograph for the artwork. I had attempted to take photographs for Abondance De Périls myself but they were sub-par, even by the standards of my own photographic competence. Marina, who was a terrific photographer and studied art and photography at the university, offered to contribute one of her own. The moment that I saw the picture, I fell in love with it; it represented Vision Eternel perfectly. The photograph is credited to her name but she did not actually take the picture. She had found the negative in a garbage bin in the streets of Poland during one of her visits in the mid-2000s. From what I understand, the person who owns a photograph’s negative is the legal owner.

The artwork for Echoes From Forgotten Hearts was done on the rush by my friend Jeremy Roux. This one was more in line with the band’s early artworks: it was extremely bland and without direction. It was nondescript. It faded into the background next to other ambient albums on a web-page. But that is what I was going for at the time; it was what I asked Jeremy to come up with. He is actually a terrific graphic designer and he was responsible for all of the early visual material used by Abridged Pause Recordings and also designed Vision Eternel’s first logo in 2008.

The artwork from An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes (the boxed set) was on the opposite end of the spectrum: it was vivid and eye-catching. It was constructed partly from original abstract paintings by Rain Frances and partly from a cardinal bird craft art done by my late grand-mother Pierrette Bourdon. She was a craft artist and the bird artwork was actually her last piece of art before she passed away in 2012.

The approach to For Farewell Of Nostalgia’s artwork was completely different. It was very well planned out. When I re-recorded the extended play in 2019, I wanted to contain my mood and atmosphere so that the entire release would sound whole. That was very important for me and for a concept album; you do not want the songs to sound like they were recorded or mixed at different times. I brought out one of my favourite albums: Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours. I put the vinyl sleeve next to my computer so that I would always have it there to inspire me. I also limited myself to solely watching Frank Sinatra’s films during those two months. He is an incredible actor and most people do not seem to remember (or know about) that aspect of his career. I am not a fan of his musicals (nor of the musical film genre as a whole), but his dramatic films are amongst my favourite films. When it came time to decide on the artwork, it seemed like an obvious choice; pay homage to Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours. Tom Waits had done it with his second album The Heart Of Saturday Night, so I figured that I could too.

I then went to the extent of combining several photo shoots from over the years (some done with Jeremy Roux, others with Rain Frances) into an original collage mockup that represented Montreal and paid tribute to Frank Sinatra. It also took several new photo shoots until I was happy with my pose; I wanted the angle of my body and my facial expression to be just right. This was not a parody like a “Weird Al” Yankovic album cover (and I mean that respectfully); it was a legitimate homage to something that I felt had become part of me, that helped me get through so many of those lonely, depressed nights that led me to write and record this music.

It was also important for me to incorporate things into the artwork that represented me, that made it a little different from Frank Sinatra’s original, and that tied into the concept of the release. I smoke a pipe (and not cigarettes like Frank Sinatra did) so that was put into the image. Other details that perhaps only a hat fanatic may notice are the subtle differences in shape and style of my fedora. Frank Sinatra had a skinnier face so he wore narrow-brimmed hats; I have a round face so wide-brimmed hats suit me better. My hat also has a ribbon edge binding, while Frank Sinatra’s was a raw edge cut. I wore an overcoat and scarf for the photo shoot, while Frank Sinatra wore a suit and tie. Several Montreal landmarks were also put into the background: the Montreal Harbour Bridge, Windsor Station, the Saint Lawrence River, the Sailors’ Memorial Clock Tower on Victoria Pier. There were many more iconic Montreal structures that I originally wanted to include in the background but it became too busy, too removed from Frank Sinatra’s minimalist artwork. The background on my release is very descriptive; it clearly represents Montreal, whereas Frank Sinatra’s cover made him the sole focus with a nondescript street scene behind him.

It took a long time to find the right person to paint it. I finally landed on American illustrator Michael Koelsch because he had illustrated two cover artworks for The Criterion Collection. In 2000 he illustrated the DVD cover (later re-used for the Blu-ray edition) for The Blob; and in 2001 he illustrated the DVD cover for My Man Godfrey (this one was unfortunately not re-used for the Blu-ray edition). Pulp art design has made a considerable comeback in film posters and in paperbacks but it was really difficult finding someone who was able to work it into an album cover art. Luckily, Michael happened to be a big fan of Frank Sinatra and knew In The Wee Small Hours well, so he was able to incorporate the sadness of both albums (Frank Sinatra’s and Vision Eternel’s) into the new painting. He had also worked on several notable music album artworks during his career so he understood what I wanted and where I was coming from.

I then approached Rain Frances to paint two abstract paintings to use in the physical editions of the extended play. One of them, which happened to have already been painted in 2019, was used for the short story booklet. The other painting, which was painted especially for the release, was used on the bonus compact cassette Lost Misfortunes: A Selection Of Demos And Rarities (Part Two). Rain had painted the artwork for the first tape in that series (included in the An Anthology Of Past Misfortunes boxed set) so it made sense that I approach her for this sequel.

I was aiming for an eye-catching presentation with the artwork of For Farewell Of Nostalgia and I could not be happier with the results. I wanted it to represent who I am and how I see the world. I did not want people to look at my release and think “Hey, this looks like a nice peaceful album”, in the manner in which so many album covers remain descriptive of their genres. This is Vision Eternel’s first extended play to be released and distributed by established record labels (meaning not my own imprints), so it will be seen and heard by mostly newcomers to my music. I want these new listeners to be intrigued by it, and to approach it from a different perspective than they are used to.

Where do you go from here?

Over the years, I have slowed down my rate of releasing music considerably. I have always been a firm believer of quality over quantity; my approach to composing music for Vision Eternel has evolved in such a way that I could no longer rush out a new extended play each year.

On Vision Eternel’s first two extended plays, 2007’s Seul Dans L’obsession and 2008’s Un Automne En Solitude, the compositions and arrangements were minimalistic; short songs that sounded sad but remained hopeful. The production was also minimal and straightforward: very bright and focused on treble.

In 2009, I changed my setup while composing Abondance De Périls. The new setup helped provide a warmer, more accessible sound, which was emphasised, and greatly improved, during the mastering by Adam Kennedy. This was the first time that a Vision Eternel release was mastered. The same setup was used to compose and record the songs that ended up on The Last Great Torch Song.

Up until this point, the songs were still minimalistic but The Last Great Torch Song marked the beginning of a change. It welcomed several guest appearances by my close friends: Garry Brents on keyboard, Alexander Fawcett on guitar and bass and Howard Change and Eiman Iraninejad on vocals. I was unsure of Vision Eternel’s future at that point so I was treating The Last Great Torch Song as a potential swansong. I had hoped to incorporate many more guests on the release but many were not able to provide their contributions in time for the mastering deadline.

The Last Great Torch Song’s closer Sometimes In Absolute Togetherness was the real turning point. The song had originally been composed and recorded as a Soufferance song, but it always felt to me like it had far too much of Vision Eternel’s style to be a true Soufferance song. I was torn but I ultimately used it on a Vision Eternel release; that was my first of many steps letting go of the strict guidelines that I had set for Vision Eternel. Soufferance was much darker, more self-destructive; it had longer songs and experimented with more instruments and vocals. Vision Eternel by contrast was straight-forward guitar-based music; optimistic and hopeful (I always hoped that the girl would come back).

Things changed further with Echoes From Forgotten Hearts in 2014/2015 and that is because that release was not recorded, nor approached, as Vision Eternel. I had been contacted to compose the soundtrack to a short film. I therefore approached the songwriting as myself, without the restrictions that I normally placed to conform the music within what is expected of a certain band. It was a completely natural songwriting approach. When the short film fell through, I was unwilling to let this music be unheard because I was really proud of it. So I partly re-recorded, re-edited, re-mixed and re-conceptualized the soundtrack into an extended play. I released it under the Vision Eternel banner because that was the project closest to my heart and I felt that the music sounded most like Vision Eternel did at that point.

Having broken so many barriers along the way, and considering that Vision Eternel had become my principal band, I was now free to compose music that was entirely natural to me. I no longer felt the pressure to sort songs into what each band was supposed to sound like. Vision Eternel’s new material was simply going to incorporate the best of what I once brought to each of my ambient bands (Vision Eternel, Soufferance, Citadel Swamp and Éphémère).

But in a realistic sense, since Vision Eternel was always my pet project, the new material will not be alien in comparison to the older works; it is simply a natural progression, placing less restrictions on myself over the years. I still approach Vision Eternel compositions with the same emotions, the same themes; always about heartbreak. Hitchcock once said “self-plagiarism is style”, and I think that applies to Vision Eternel. But I am now incorporating additional elements, which are already familiar to folks accustomed with my other bands. From Soufferance, I brought in longer songs, the segues and movements, the lengthy emotional build ups and the hypnotic, repetitive codas (think of Swans in the mid-1990s). From Vision Lunar and Éphémère, I brought in guitar leads; that was something that I was not utilizing often in my ambient projects. And from Citadel Swamp, I brought in the way that I layer and mix several instruments together; finding ways of making leads flow over rhythm tracks.

The music took a long time to be polished and I spent nearly three years working and re-working the songs that ended up on For Farewell Of Nostalgia. With that in perspective, I plan to heavily promote this release for the next couple of years. I am also actively looking for a record label to release For Farewell Of Nostalgia on vinyl format with an exclusive bonus track.

I am also in discussion with Somewherecold Records about the possibility of re-releasing Vision Eternel’s 2015 soundtrack/extended play Echoes From Forgotten Hearts as a double-disc edition. It would feature a remastering of the extended play version as well as the never-released soundtrack version. There are several notable differences between the two versions.

Vision Eternel, For Farewell of Nostalgia (2020)

Vision Eternel website

Vision Eternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Eternel on Instagram

Vision Eternel on Soundcloud

Vision Eternel on Spotify

Vision Eternel on Bandcamp

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Review & Full Album Stream: Kariti, Covered Mirrors

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kariti covered mirrors

[Click play above to stream Kariti’s Covered Mirrors in full. Album is out Sept. 18 on Aural Music.]

This Friday, native Russian solo artist Kariti — also stylized all-lowercase: kariti — will release her debut full-length, Covered Mirrors, through Aural Music. Comprising nine songs reportedly tracked in rural seclusion in Italy, where Kariti now lives, it is an almost uniformly melancholy 34-minute affair, based largely around voice and acoustic guitar, but with moments of flourish in other arrangement elements. Harmonies — more over, self-harmonies — abound as Kariti gives expressive weight to this mournfulness, and in songs like “Sky Burial,” “Absent Angels” and the album’s centerpiece “Penance,” the patient sensibility Kariti brings to her songwriting comes through in each passing measure.

With two titles in Russian — they translate to “The Baptism of a Witch” and “Abyss” — some contributions of acoustic and slide guitar from engineer Lorenzo Della Rovere on “Sky Burial” and “The Baptism of a Witch,” as well as electric from Grime‘s Marco Matta on “Sky Burial” and “Anna (Requiem to Death)”, the slow progressions and background echoes and other sonic details are highlighted by the relatively minimal arrangements of which they’re part. That is, because there aren’t a kitchen sink’s worth of elements being used, each flourish stands out, perhaps most especially the electric guitar on “Anna (Requiem to Death)” and “Sky Burial,” which opens the LP following the “Intro” of what’s apparently traditional Russian funeral dirge. Make no mistake, however, Covered Mirrors is lush, and Kariti‘s voice sees to that all on its own.

The folk singing at the outset is given an eerie, ghostly echo — voice from the past, manifest — and unfolds into the opening plucked strings and immediate harmonies of “Sky Burial” smoothly as Kariti comes forward in the mix. The electric guitar joins later, adding to the sense of grief and playing off the otherwise soft delivery. Feedback is effective in ending the song as it gives way to “Kybele’s Kiss,” wherein the dynamic of single-voice and layering becomes more prominent. In terms of technique, it’s certainly not that Kariti can’t carry her songs in solo fashion, but the aesthetic choice to layer is engaging where and when employed throughout Covered Mirrors, as on “The Baptism of a Witch,” harder-strummed on the guitar for an angular feel but still well within the bounds of neo-folk in its presentation.

A language switch is easily made, whether you speak Russian or not, and if anything, the themes of loss, death and what lay beyond come through in the mystery of what’s being said as well as in the music surrounding. Bottom line is it is no challenge to follow along the path Kariti is leading. “Penance” follows with a quiet intensity and what feels like more than one progression of guitar happening behind, indeed, more than one progression of voice, but “intensity” must be understood on the relative terms of Covered Mirrors itself. It’s not as though Kariti is suddenly breaking out blastbeats.

kariti

It is striking though when electric guitar arrives at the outset of “Anna (Requiem to Death)” and one is reminded of the atmospheric approach of acts like Silver Summit, as well as the current flush of groups and artists blending together ambient elements of heavy music with folkish styles — the PR wire has a list below if you’re looking for names; I won’t patronize you by repeating them here — but “Anna (Requiem to Death)” is short at just over three minutes, so its mark is made but fleeting, capping with a hard, low, distorted strum giving way to what seems to be manipulated crow calls at the start of “Il Corvo,” which is the only piece on Covered Mirrors to top five minutes.

There is more electric guitar in “Il Corvo” as well that strikes like thunder in the distance of the mix, not so much intended to play off the acoustic and vocal lines as to add to them in atmospheric terms, to flesh out the space in which the rest of the song is happening. Is it a march? Maybe. If so, it’s one given contradiction by the subsequent going-to-ground in “Absent Angels,” which returns Kariti to what one might think of as the foundation upon which the rest of the album is built, namely guitar and voice.

That reset is well timed and a tactic that speaks to some influence from a classic rock LP structure, being that side B is often where an artist might broaden the scope of arrangements or craft — as Kariti does — and then reorient the listener one last time ahead of the finale. A move skillfully employed here, and by no means the first, as subtle shifts have been taking place all along that reveal themselves more with each deeper-dive listen. “Abyss” caps the offering in likewise resonant and spacious fashion, and its lyrics are in English despite the Cyrillic title, but it’s in the ensuing “aah”s and overarching melody that the finale makes its lasting impression. Covered Mirrors is an album for the middle of the night, and the spaces it leaves open in its mix seem to be waiting to be filled by the noises of the natural world — chirping insects, leaves in wind, maybe rainfall.

That the style in which Kariti is immersed has taken on the trappings of a genre does precious little to undercut the emotional impact being made by the material and the album’s execution, and while its power is quiet, it nonetheless exists. In terms of thinking of Covered Mirrors as a debut, the nuances of arrangement stand out as an area that Kariti might continue to explore, whether that’s furthering the use of electric guitar as an atmospheric, sort-of-impressionist element alongside the acoustic, or perhaps even employing keys or percussion of one sort or another should she choose to do so. That those don’t appear in these songs, that this first record is as stripped-to-the-core as it is, is emblematic of the creative bravery involved in its making, and that too resonates when it’s over, whatever promise for the future it might accompany.

Kariti on Thee Facebooks

Kariti on Instagram

Kariti on Bandcamp

Aural Music on Bandcamp

Aural Music website

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Fu Manchu Release Rush Cover “Working Man”

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

fu manchu

If you didn’t know the dudes of Fu Manchu are big Rush fans, it would probably go along way toward explaining while Alex Lifeson showed up on 2018’s Clone of the Universe (review here) and why they were willing to dedicate nearly half of the record’s 38-minute runtime to the track on which he appeared. Also riffs. Anyhoozle, in homage to the late Neil Peart, the Fu have a cover of Rush‘s “Working Man” that they’ve now issued as a digital single with the proceeds going to brain tumor research, and frankly, I have to believe if there’s anything that’s got a shot at curing cancer, it’s Fu Manchu. If you know me personally, you know I’m being sincere when I say that.

Fu Manchu were set to spend most of this year back-and-forthing on tour for their 30th anniversary. Those plans, of course, have been postponed like the best of everything, and you can find the rescheduled dates on their various social platforms. As for “Working Man,” it’s streaming at the bottom here, and it grooves every bit as much as you’re hoping it does. Fu Manchu don’t disappoint.

To wit:

fu manchu working man

In Tribute to The Professor, Neil Peart, we are releasing our version of RUSH’s “Working Man” that we recorded January 2020. All Proceeds will benefit Brain Tumor Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in his memory. Members of our band and our manager were in the audience on August 1, 2015 when this was the final song played by Neil, Geddy and Alex. We are forever grateful for all of the music and memories. Thanks to Carl Saff for donating his mastering services and to David Medel for donating his art services. Thanks to Jim Monroe for the studio time, engineering & mixing hook up. Thanks to Meg and everyone in the Rush family. Thanks to John Raso for going the extra mile to help us get this out. This is a digital release only…for now.

https://fanlink.to/fumanchuworkingman

Line up:
Scott Hill – vocals guitar
Bob Balch – Lead guitar / backing vocals
Brad Davis – Bass – Backing vocals
Scott Reeder – Drums / Backing Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/FuManchuBand
https://www.instagram.com/fumanchuband
https://twitter.com/fumanchuband
http://www.atthedojorecords.com/

Fu Manchu, “Working Man”

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