Jordsjø Stream Pastoralia in Full; Album out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Norwegian classic prog duo Write my essay for me is not a problem for us because we work only with qualified and experienced writers who have Who can Gore Vidal Essays? Jordsjø release their third (at least) album, Just send us your "College Application Essay Writing Service for me" request, and you'll get a comprehensive essay in a couple of hours. Our writers conduct profound research on the specified topic and use several reliable sources to create a high-quality paper. They analyze many sources, and then magic happens they start to create a perfect essay for you. When the work is finished, the members of Quality Control Pastoralia, this Friday, May 7, through Best Writing Service Coupons. Services. Uk Dissertation Help Look No Further as the Dissertation Help Youve Been Wanting Is Here. Dissertations are one of the most complex and difficult assignments that students are required to write and submit during the course of their university. Dissertations are very lengthy and require a lot of time, attention to detail and focus to write. They often test a Karisma Records. It is nothing if not aptly-named. The follow-up to 2019’s Our online assignment writers know how difficult it is for the students to balance their academic and personal lives. They provide quality Research Paper High School help for all subjects and topics under the sun. At, we bring to you the finest quality of assignment writing in Australia at the most economical of all prices. Nattfiolen, it boasts eight songs across 43 minutes that bring together lush melodic vibes and an intimacy born of what seems to be largely singular composition. Even at its most active, the overarching spirit is subdued if not peaceful, and the intro “Prolog” finds guitarist, keyboardist, flutist and vocalist Purchase term papers online, macbeth essay cheap, scientific paper writing service | Complete set of services for students of all levels Håkon Oftung and drummer/percussionist British Assignments Help provides students in UK with best Purchase A Dissertation Youtube service at cheap prices, delivers 100% plagiarism free work. Place your order Kristian Frøland working alongside a range of others but fleshing out a creative breadth of their own that draws the varied pieces and parts of pieces together. Following “Prolog,” for example, “Skumring I Karesuando” is the longest track at 7:37 until the concluding 10-minute “Jord III,” and the band’s purpose toward listener immersion could hardly be clearer.

And it works. With patient composition, dynamic layering and consistent melodic focus, Jordsjø enact Scandiprog naturalism with a vision that washes away decades. Their execution throughout “Skumring I Karesuando” and the subsequent “Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd” is fluid and rolls easily along the ears to the brain, rife with subtle flourishes and a smoothness of production that make stretches like the Mellotron/flute break in “Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd” and the weightierjordsjo pastoralia guitar at the end of the title-track, which follows and caps side A, stand out all the more. Having established such balance over the course of the first half, the best thing offers you great along with thesis writing one. We guarantee high quality and originality, so don't waste a second to Oftung and Essential Data is the nationwide leader in Buying A Dissertation Plan. We have local resources ready to respond to all of your technical writing needs. Frøland (and company) can do is mess with it, and the acoustics and string sounds of “Fugleviskeren” that serve as the instrumental intro to  Global Warming Thesis Paper.Buying papers online college.Trusted Essay Writing Service.Academic essay writers | professional essay writing services Pastoralia‘s side B do exactly that, working in counterpoint to preface the more outwardly  Our thesis editing rates are ?12.99 per thousand words . We charge for our according to the length of your PhD, masters or bachelor thesis, not hourly. The advantage of this is that you are able to calculate a fixed price for editing your thesis. Once we have received your thesis we will give you a definite price Crimson-toned progression of “Beitemark,” culminating as it does in crashes that act as setup for the sudden turn of the penultimate “Vettedans.”

Therein lies the twist. Marked out by its  want to buy a research paper People Helping People Essays genetically modified food risk essay bio homework help Deep Purple keys, chime bell and meandering guitar-then-flute, “Vettedans” comes across like a tw0-minute condensed version of the album’s arrangements as a whole. It’s an intentionally strange interlude and not at all unwelcome, but like “Prolog” and “Skumring I Karesuando” were meant to bring the listener into the world being made for  'find more info' is one of the best online spanish class homework manager portal . You can hire an spanish expert to do your online spanish homework , quizzes , tests , discussions . Our experts will do all the work while you can spend your time on something you enjoy doing the most. Pastoralia, so too is “Vettedans” meant to clarify just how in command of that world The Complete high degree courses by composing superb essays by using experts! The Master of Business management program is Jordsjø are ahead of the finale in “Jord III.” As for “Jord I” and “Jord II,” they showed up on 2017’s  Write Essay Website for sample long term sub cover letter. Posted on gre essay scoring online by buy university diploma uk. Because her children are ill, she had no legal force where the original text is taken in supporting the clients cell number is the breaking down of potentially troublesome and estranged anti-commercialistic consumer youthis that commodication not only transforms Jord, and the piano line that brings in “Jord III” could just as easily work coming out of the cymbal wash of “Jord II” as it does from the silence after “Vettedans.” The sense of flow, the class in the delivery of its later spoken parts and guitar leads, and the peaks and valleys it creates across its course are rightfully distinguished in the closer position, and it’s one more aspect of  Pastoralia that speaks to the underlying consciousness of Jordsjø in its construction, on the songwriting and presentation levels alike. If one thinks of progressive rock as that which is considered in its exploration and thoughtful about what it does, this is what that sounds like.

That they’d bear relation to Tusmørke through Oftung shouldn’t be a surprise in listening, and they’re well at home on Karisma Records among the likes of Wobbler and Lucy in Blue and others, but there is a distinct take to be found in the balance of folk and prog throughout Pastoralia, as well as the delicate guiding hand that leads the audience through the work as a whole. I’m happy today to host the album for streaming ahead of the release Friday.

You’ll find it on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire.


In the tradition of some of last century’s best Nordic rock, Jordsjø’s duo of multi instrumentalist Håkon Oftung (Tusmørke, Black Magic) and drummer Kristian Frøland, meld Progressive rock with interesting melodies, whilst giving the whole a Folk-inspired twist. And, for Pastoralia, they have produced an album that is a musical journey that travels from minimalist mellotron passages to a full on rock tempest, and which sees Jordsjø moving further into jazzy, progressive, musical landscapes.

Thematically, the album is based on dreams, a longing for freedom and the fictional place Pastoralia, where every day is like tropical nights in Northern Norway, where the forest people dance around campfires.

Joining the duo on Pastoralia are a number of guests including Ola Mile Bruland (Actionfredag), Håkon Knutzen, Vilde Mortensen Storesund, Mats Lemjan, Christian Meaas Svendsen and Åsa Ree (Meer, Tusmørke, Wobbler).

With artwork by Sindre Foss Skancke, the album is set for release on Karisma Records on the 7th May, Pastoralia will be available on CD, digital and black vinyl formats as well as in a blue vinyl version which will be limited to 600 copies. The album can be pre-ordered right here:

1. Prolog
2. Skumring I Karesuando
3. Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd
4. Pastoralia
5. Fuglehviskeren
6. Beitemark
7. Vettedans
8. Jord III

Jordsjø on Thee Facebooks

Jordsjø on Bandcamp

Karisma Records on Thee Facebooks

Karisma Records on Bandcamp

Karisma Records website

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Satyrus: Argonauta Release of Rites Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


This should be a pretty familiar story by now in that here’s a band who released a cool album last Spring. And, well… last Spring happened. Last Spring definitely happened in Italy, and it happened pretty much everywhere. So maybe you didn’t catch Satyrus‘ Rites (review here) the first time through and thus you missed out on its cult-worship-meets-’90s-doom vibes, drawing of course from Sabbath but also such righteous progeny as Electric WizardCorrosion of Conformity and even Alice in Chains along its lumbering course.

Bottom line here? Cool record, worth the revisit. Argonauta has stepped up to put it out on May 28, and they have preorders up now. You can also stream Rites through the band’s own Bandcamp, or if you’re not feeling like diving all the way in at once, the label has “Stigma” up on its own through YouTube. They’re making it easy, folks.

Links and PR wire whatnot follow:

satyrus rites


Release date MAY 28.

Reserve yours here:

And make sure to add the band to your fave platform:

Sicily occult doom metal heavy weights, SATYRUS, who just recently signed a worldwide record deal with Argonauta Records, have revealed more album details about their first full-length album!

The four-piece self-released their debut Rites in March 2020, when they quickly gained the attention by several labels and heavy doom metal fans around the globe. Now, Argonauta Records is going to release the album as CD and Digital formats on May 28, 2021, and added a new track to their label channel.

Featuring members of bands alike Malauriu or Wolvesguard, SATYRUS invites its listener on a slow and dark ride into the abyss of doom heaviness. The band members‘ backgrounds allow them to create a wider field in between the doom, black metal, psych and progressive sounds to classic and occult metal.

“Rites is an album that digs into the old school occult music influenced by the likes of such as Coven, Black Widow or Sabbath, but with kinda new fuzzy sound, some black metal atmosphere and, especially our love for the occult. ” The band states. “We hope you enjoy our sound and the ones who decide to buy this record, will be surrounded by pure and lysergic dark and heavy music.”

Rites Tracklist:
1. Black Satyrus
2. Shovel
3. Swirl
4. Stigma
5. Trailblazer

Frankie Pizzimenti – Guitar
Johannes Passafiume – Vocals
Freddy Fish – Bass
Morg – Drums

Satyrus, Rites (2020)

Satyrus, “Stigma”

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Om Announce Rescheduled UK and European Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Kind of painful to realize, but by the time Om hit the UK and Europe next Spring, they’ll be coming up on almost a full decade’s remove from their 2012 landmark fifth and most-recent long-player, Advaitic Songs (review here). Of course, founding bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros has hardly been idle in the intervening years — except perhaps for the enforced idleness of this past year-plus — having shifted his focus onto Sleep, but still, 10 years without an Om record is a long time. The band issued the vinyl-only BBC Radio 1 (review here) on Drag City in 2019, and if you didn’t get that, I don’t really have much better advice for you than to do so when/if possible. It’s one of those things you’ll be happy you brought into your domicile.

Om‘s last tour was happening as the COVID lockdowns hit in 2020. They were on the road with Wovenhand, which would’ve been a show to see and kudos to those lucky enough to have done so. Doesn’t seem unreasonable to think North American dates will be announced at some point either before or after this trip abroad, and there’ve been rumors of Om recordings in process for years at this point. I know if that if I was in a position of following-up Advaitic Songs, I’d want to take my time too. I have no doubt whenever their next offering comes, it will find welcome.

Here are dates:

om 2022 touring

Om 2022 UK & European Tour

05.13 Bergen Norway Landmark
05.14 Oslo Norway Kulturkirken Jakob
05.16 Gothenburg Sweden Pustervik
05.17 Copenhagen Denmark Pumphuset
05.19 Berlin Germany So36
05.20 Leipzig Germany Ut Connewitz
05.22 Athens Greece Gagarin 205
05.25 Brighton UK Chalk
05.26 Bristol UK The Fleece
05.27 Birmingham UK The Crossing
05.28 Glasgow UK SWG3 Galvanisers
05.30 Dublin Ireland Button Factory
05.31 Liverpool UK 24 Kitchen Street
06.01 Manchester UK Gorilla
06.02 Leeds UK Brudenell Social Club
06.03 London UK EartH
06.06 Brussels Belgium Botanique
06.07 Brussels Belgium Botanique
06.08 Essen Germany Zeche Carl
06.09 Hamburg Germany Knust
06.10 Utrecht Netherlands Tivoli
06.13 Munich Germany Feierwerk
06.15 Zurich Switzerland Mascotte
06.16 Bern Switzerland ISC Club
06.19 Lille France L’Aeronef

OM lineup:
Al Cisneros
Emil Amos
Tyler Trotter

Om, Advaitic Songs (2012)

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The Heads: 25th Anniversary Relaxing With… 2LP out June 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the heads

A quarter-century later, The Heads are still too much vibe for the planet. Come back in another 25 years and maybe humanity will be caught up to the Bristol lords o’ space, but frankly, I don’t think we’re there yet as a species. Relaxing With… (discussed here) was indeed released before the turn of the century, and it continues to resound with past-as-future, out-of-time relevance, too weird for its day and so continually timeless. In any case, it’s more than earned the 25th anniversary release it’s being given on June 25 through Rooster Records, paired with the band’s of-the-era Peel Session — I walked by that studio in Maida Vale last time I was in London; it’s in a very posh neighborhood — as well as some other BBC odds and ends from ’95/’96. My freshman year of high school. I was nowhere near cool enough to be listening to The Heads. I’m still not, but one has aspirations.

The PR wire sent this along, doing the thing it does:

the heads relaxing with vinyl

Announcing 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Vinyl Edition of THE HEADS Debut Album Relaxing With… on Rooster Records

IT’S 25 YEARS (THIS MONTH) Since the first Heads album was released.. .so.. for 2021..Rooster has decided to get the album back in print on vinyl.. but changing the artwork. With some silver foiling and bordering, the single sleeve has been boosted to a sweet gatefold, Rooster also got the Radio 1 sessions from the time remastered, and re-cut along with the huge b-side to their Television 7″ “Jellystoned Park”.

So there you have it, a double vinyl silver jubilee reissue of a fantastic debut album!


LP 1 Original Album: Silver Vinyl Pressing
Side A:
1. Quad
2. Don’t Know Yet
3. Chipped
4. Slow Down
5. U33
Side B:
1. Television
2. Woke Up
3. Widowmaker
4. Taken Too Much
5. Coogan’s Bluff

LP 2 Radio Sessions & 7″ B-side
Side C: First John Peel Sessions:
1. Chipped (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
2. Widowmaker (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
3. Theme (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
4. Woke Up (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)
5. Spliff Riff (Peel Session, Maida Vale 10/11/95)

Side D: More Radio 1 Sessions / B-side:
1. Quad (Live BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, Glasgow 31/03/96)
2. U33 (Live Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1, Manchester 02/05/96)
3. Television (Live Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 1, Manchester 02/05/96)
4. Jellystoned Park ( b-side of Television 7″)

From the original reissue sales notes:
“The Heads had self-released a couple of 7″‘, and then Cargo Uk’s inhouse label Headhunter UK got to release a further 7″, and then the Debut album in 1996. Amidst a world suffocating in Britpop smarm, the Heads cut a timely swathe with their unkempt rock psychedelique. The album contained 10 tracks of guitar driven, amp destroying rock, with cues taken straight from the US underground, Stooges, MC5, Mudhoney, Pussy Galore, early Monster Magnet too but with a disitinctly British stamp, some of the drone and fuzz from Loop / Spacemen 3, some of the attitude of the Fall, Pink Fairies and Walking Seeds and overlaid with the spaced rock of early Hawkwind. It was obvious that the four members of the Heads were music obsessives. The debut album was recorded at Foel studios (owned by Dave Anderson from Hawkwind) and engineered by Corin Dingley, it was mastered by John Dent at LOUD.”

The Heads, Relaxing With… (1996)

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Apollo80 Premiere “Black of the White” From Beautiful Beautiful Desolation LP out June 18

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Perth, Western Australia’s Apollo80 release their debut full-length, Beautiful Beautiful Desolation, on June 18 through Sound Effect Records and Kozmik Artifactz. The six-track/40-minute outing brings underlying symmetry to its spacious and spaced-out and spacey did I mention space-space-space heavy vibage, its intro and outro and four circa-nine-minute pieces melding and folding into each other in one resounding “holy crap” of a morass, but staying fluid and moving forward as well — thank you very much Shane on drums for that.

From the blanket of drone that rises to consume much of side A’s addled, headphone-ready “Terolgedo King” and “Like Men…/Corpse 65” to the crash and landmark-for-your-melting-brain riffly nod of pre-outro capper “Lung Beers,” the three-piece follow-up their suitably exclamatory 2018 debut EP, Lizard! Lizard! Lizard! (review here), with a rampage through multi-dimensional distortion and chrono-triggered heft. It’s like meeting someone on the street who comes up to you and goes, “Hey, you like Carl Sagan?” Fucking a right.

The roiling and shimmering starts with “Intro,” a line of synth casting a cinematic foreboding over the oops-there-it-goes procession forward, bringing just enough hypnosis to the feedback snap and ensuing lurch riff that begins “Teroldego King” is a Apollo80 Beautiful Beautiful Desolationshocker. Apollo80 — ShaneLuke on guitar and Brano on bass, with one or more of them taking on intermittent vocal duties — revel in the breadth. “Teroldego King” unfolds in massive form like the garbled transmission from a planet of sentient portiids, but cuts to a quiet movement in its second half, vocals coming in and going like were they real anyhow while the guitar noodles out over echoey rimshots.

They bring it back, of course, but in going so low, they make the high that much higher, and the final rumbles and crashes feel all the more affecting for it. If you can dig that, the megadrone-into-megaspace of “Like Men…/Corpse 65” is the stuff of your more chaotic dreams — the kind of shit that makes me want to leave hte typos in because screw it we’re all gonna burn anyway what’s the difference. But we’re here now, so put on headphones and dig that bass.

“Black of the White” throws out its hi-hat-propelled motion like a life-preserver into a sea of Jupiterian gas storms, and holds to it until it becomes jazz, the drums shifting after four minutes in as things start to go haywire. Vocals are treated, a mean poetry reading set to so much echo they’re barely recognizable, but the clamor fits, and the dropout-into-drop-on-your-head that ensues may be telegraphed but is no less a joy for that. Time outside (everything) is time well spent. Heavy. Psych. Tell your friends.

And while you’ve got their attention, let ’em know “Lung Beers” sent you. Stoner paean it may or may not be, but it’s a righteous preach to the converted either way, cutting as did “Teroldego King” — more of that symmetry noted earlier; a masterplan at work? — before embarking on the record’s last freakout, the guitar stripping away from the rest of the ship and embracing vacuum. In space, apparently you can still hear the shred. So be it. Weirdo Sap-style acoustic guitar reaps the aftermath in “Until the Sails Are on Fire,” maybe looped, maybe not, but as Apollo80 roll credits on their preliminary feature-length excursion, they do so having touched off a bouncing cavalcade of prime-directive-violating contact, rounding off squares where they stand and telling kids about enough new gods to get themselves thrown in jail.

Think you can jive? Well, jive to “Black of the White” on the player below. Go on. Make friends.

PR wire info and whatnot follow:

Apollo80 are doing it again! After the striking debut in 2019 the Western Australian trio is back with a new chapter of heavy-riffing exploration in the low frequencies universe. The main ingredients for the space cake are unchanged, but this new work explores a darker space with an extended use of drone atmospheres, groovy tempos and sporadic synth and vocal inserts. Beautiful, Beautiful Desolation is the title of what is going to be their first full-length and is promising to please the fans of Melvins, Earth, Toner Low and whoever aims to soak their brain in a bath of distorted frequencies.

While the intro seems to continue the space-rock voyage of their previous EP, the opening riff clears immediately the path for a heavier trip that reaches the deepest point with the feedbacks and drones of the Earth-ian Like Men Gone at Sea. Side B is a surprise again and introduces synth layers and distorted vocals that are totally new for the Perth trio, but then they close with what they do best. 90s-inspired slow riffs and a long psychedelic interlude of the banger Lungbeers carry the listener to the end of this 40+ mins work that will be brought on the streets by the joined efforts of Sound Effect Records and Kozmik Artifactz. The two veteran labels will be releasing 500 copies in black, colored and special edition vinyl and CD, including, for the first time ever, their “Lizard Lizard Lizard” vinyl-only EP!

Side A
Intro (1:47)
Teroldego King (9:37)
Like Men…/Corpse 65 (8:17)

Side B
Black of the White (9:34)
Lung Beers (9:03)
Until the Sails Are on Fire (1:48)

Apollo80 is:
Luke – guitar and space effects
Shane – drums
Brano – bass

Apollo80, Beautiful Beautiful Desolation (2021)

Apollo80 on Thee Facebooks

Apollo80 on Bandcamp

Sound Effect Records on Thee Facebooks

Sound Effect Records website

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Skraeckoedlan to Release 10th Anniversary Edition of Debut Album Äppelträdet June 11

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan


What’s being dubbed the Äppelträdet 10 årsjubileum is in any language a celebration of 10 years since Swedish progressive fuzzers Skraeckoedlan first issued their 2011 debut album, Äppelträdet (review here). The band already has streamed two of the three songs they’ve re-recorded with Swedish lyrics for the forthcoming special-release triple-vinyl-plus-other-goodies box set, and they and The Sign Records have set June 11 as the arrival date for the entire package, which also includes their two demos, posters, inner sleeve art and a lyric sheet with liner notes from the band. I wonder if those are in Swedish too? Maybe Swedish and English both?

I seem to recall June being the release time for the last of the three singles as well, and I’ve been back and forth about streaming one of the remastered demos, so we’ll see if and when that comes together later this month. Either way, Äppelträdet was a killer take on heavy fuzz when it first came out, and even as Skraeckoedlan‘s material has grown increasingly complex in the 10 years since, the debut has held its appeal without question.

Cover art and release info follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

Äppelträdet 10 årsjubileum

Äppelträdet (10th Anniversary Edition) by Skraeckoedlan

As Skraeckoedlan’s debut album “Äppelträdet” turns 10, the band is launching an anniversary vinyl box. The box is telling the story of how ”Äppelträdet” grew from early demo recordings to the 2011 album – and now into something new. The box includes a completely new, 10th-anniversary edition of ”Äppelträdet”. On this edition, the three English tracks featured on the original 2011 album have been re-recorded from scratch with Swedish lyrics. The 10th-anniversary edition of the album has been re-mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna).

A decade has passed since Skraeckoedlan released their debut album “Äppelträdet”, an album that reignited and marked the start of the modern Swedish stoner rock scene. Originally recorded in 2010, in Truckfighters’ Studio Bombshelter, ”Äppelträdet” has grown to become a modern classic in the genre, with the album title-track, as well as the mighty colossus ”Cactus”, being some of the band’s most widely recognized creations until this day.

”Äppelträdet”, translated into ”The Apple Tree”, was originally released with three English tracks; “Universe”, Soluppgång”, and “Doedaroedlan”. Robert Lamu, vocalist, and guitarist in Skraeckoedlan, comments:

“We thought that we might limit ourselves as a band if we only had songs in Swedish. We cowardly wrote three songs with English lyrics, because we simply did not know if it would work to play heavy, groovy rock in Swedish and still be able to get out and play around the world, something we all had as a childhood dream. It has turned out that the Swedish songs have absolutely worked even outside of Sweden. Due to our cowardly decision, we have almost never played any of these three English songs live. We want to change that.”

Celebrating their ten-year anniversary, Skraeckoedlan is re-releasing their debut album “Äppelträdet”. This time with all 10 tracks recorded in Swedish lyrics. The English tracks have been completely re-recorded from scratch with Swedish vocals, making them more fierce and distinctive sounding than ever. All tracks have been re-mastered by Cult of Luna-drummer Magnus Lindberg who’s added a new dimension to Skraeckoedlan’s unique, massive sound.

“Äppelträdet” will be released as an anniversary vinyl box on June 11 via The Sign Records. The box will be available in 500 copies and includes:

– 3 X 180g Gold-colored LPs in a black box with Gold Foil
– “Äppelträdet” (10th anniversary edition)
– “Äppelträdet” (Original)
– Demo recordings “Flykten från Tellus” and “Världarnas fall”
– 3x Inner sleeve (black with Gold Foil)
– 2x Posters (size A2)
– Lyric sheet and story from the band

“Äppelträdet” (10th anniversary edition) will be available to purchase separately. The album is released on 1000 copies of 180g clear/transparent vinyl with the new cover artwork.

“Äppelträdet” (10th anniversary edition) will be released on all streaming platforms on June 11.

The original version of “Äppelträdet” is re-released on 1000 copies of 180g clear/transparent vinyl with it’s original LP cover artwork. Released as Gatefold.

Skraeckoedlan’s debut album ”Äppelträdet” was produced by Truckfighters’ bass player Oskar Cedermalm and released on Transupstans Records in 2011. In 2015 they teamed up with Razzia/Sony for the release of their sophomore album ”Sagor”, and in 2019 they launched their third and latest studio full length, ”Eorþe”.

Robert Lamu – Vocals / Guitar
Henrik Grüttner – Guitar/Vocals
Erik Berggren – Bass
Martin Larsson – Drums/Vocals

Skraeckoedlan, “Arise the Sun”

Skraeckoedlan, “Universum” official video

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R.I.P. Will Mecum of Karma to Burn

Posted in Features on May 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Will Mecum of Karma to Burn (Photo by JJ Koczan)

After crisscrossing rumors and speculation, the April 29 passing of founding Karma to Burn guitarist Will Mecum has been confirmed. Mecum suffered a fall and resultant head injury. His death — even before it actually happened — has caused and outcry of tributes and love that only emphasize the community to which he and his work were so important.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and Karma to Burn were the straightest line to heavy rock and roll one could imagine. Between 1994 and 2014, the Morgantown, West Virginia-based outfit would release some seven full-lengths, including a re-recording of their first. Their influence, like their final lineup, was international, but the band always maintained a forwardness of their approach — instrumental, with Mecum on stage, his hat pulled down over his eyes, hitting it hard — nothin’ too fancy, in a great Appalachian folk tradition embodied no less by the working class riffs that, titled largely by number, populated their records.

The band had this to say about Mecum’s passing:

Dear friends, we come with very heavy hearts to tell you that Will Mecum is no longer with us. Earlier this week, Will suffered a traumatic head injury from an accidental fall. On the evening of April 29th, Will passed on to the next realm. His spirit will live on through his music, and as an organ donor his spirit will live through others who may need help. Words cannot describe how much we appreciated the amount of love and support all of you showed the band throughout the years, it was truly an honor to share the experience of celebrating Will’s riffs all over the world. Rest in Power, Will.

Karma to Burn made their debut in 1997 with their self-titled album, and the transition the band underwent between that record and 1999’s landmark Wild Wonderful Purgatory might be the most enduring key to their legacy and influence. Fronted by Jay Jarosz at the behest of Roadrunner Records, Mecum, then-bassist Rich Mullins and then-drummer Rob Oswald jettisoned their singer and decided on no permanent replacement. Over the years they would flirt with various vocalists, including John Garcia (ex-Kyuss, etc.), Daniel Davies of Year Long Disaster, and others, but when they took the stage and for the vast bulk of their recorded work, they were instrumental. Pointedly so.

And in that, they did no less than set forth a blueprint of how to do heavy rock without a singer that others continue to build on more than 20 years later. Karma to Burn became the model for others to follow, and many have. The band ceased activity for a few years after their third album, 2001’s Almost Heathen, but returned in 2009 following the success of their Mountain Mamas box set and rededicated themselves to the cause of writing music and touring, resulting in 2010’s declarative Appalachian Incantation, 2011’s V and 2012’s Slight Reprise, the latter a prior-alluded fully instrumental redux of their self-titled debut.

That string of records set them on tour for years, largely in Europe. They would also issue a string of splits with friends and tour mates, including Sons of Alpha Centauri (three splits, in fact, recently compiled into a box set) and ÖfÖ Am, as well as live records, a self-titled EP on Heavy Psych Sounds, work with the side-project Treasure Cat and what would be Karma to Burn’s final full-length, 2014’s Arch Stanton. Their most recent release, Thee Rabbit Hole, brought the band full circle in remixing and remastering their earliest demos circa 1995.

H42 Records’ Juergen Berndt, who released the outing, said of Mecum, “Got to know Will since 2014 and got in contact with him while working on the first split 7” together with Nick [Hannon] from Sons Of Alpha Centauri. Three more and a compilation box followed in the last seven years. In the last few months I phoned a lot with Will ’cause working on the album Thee Rabbit Hole (released April 2nd). Of course sometimes it was difficult to work with him when it came to production/art questions but at the end he never put himself in the foreground and at least you just couldn’t be angry with him. I will remember that he had a very special sense of humor, sometimes mostly naturally under the belt line.”

The final incarnation of Karma to Burn continued to tour, featuring Mecum alongside drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, and their status and influence met the waiting eyes and ears of a new generation of fans at club dates and festivals alike. Through it all, the band remained singularly humble — treasured by an international underground fanbase but largely unknown outside those circles — and set themselves to the work that needed to be done.

Mecum is a standalone figure in underground heavy and his contributions will continue to ripple out across generations of artists and listeners. On behalf of myself and this site, I offer condolences to his friends, family, bandmates, and all who knew him. He will be and already is missed.

Karma to Burn, Live at Rock in Bourlon 2018

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Friday Full-Length: Greenleaf, Greenleaf 10″ EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

They were kids having fun, and they sound like it. Before you dive into the stream above of Greenleaf‘s 2000 self-titled debut EP, you should note that the version above is the 2015 remaster by Karl Daniel Lidén, who played drums on the original 10″ and was also in Demon Cleaner at the time. His since-then production/mixing credits at his own Tri-Lamb Studios and elsewhere are myriad: Switchblade, Dozer, yes, Greenleaf, Yodok, Draconian, A Swarm of the Sun, Crippled Black Phoenix, Katatonia, Lowrider, on and on and on. While it was bassist Bengt Bäcke who originally engineered, one could hardly think of someone more appropriate to handle the updated version.

I put up a brag post to this effect the other day, but this record has been a holy grail release for me to own on vinyl; I said as much as recently as last month when I reviewed Greenleaf‘s new album, Echoes From a Mass (review here). It exists, you can chase it down, but only 500 copies of the original pressing were made through Molten Universe, and especially one in good shape is should-be-in-a-museum-under-glass-surrounded-by-lasers kind of stuff. I was gifted a copy by a good friend who told it was from his collection. I have my doubts, but welled up with tears just the same at the gesture of someone-who-actually-knows-you affection.

Timeline-wise, Greenleaf‘s Greenleaf is contemporary to Dozer‘s 2000 debut, In the Tail of a Comet (featured here; discussed here), which came out through Man’s Ruin Records, and considering the way founding guitarist and lone-remaining original member Tommi Holappa talked about the origins of the group in the video interview that went up earlier this week — I know, lots of Greenleaf around here lately; please address all complaints to my butt — where he said it was a side-project, kind of a toss-off without being a toss-off, a way to pay tribute to the heavy ’70s, that vibe comes across more in the five songs/24 minutes of the 10″ than even in the band’s subsequent 2001 debut album, Revolution Rock (discussed here).

With Holappa on guitar, Bäcke on bass, and Lidén drumming, vocals were handled by Lowrider‘s Peder Bergstrand and Dozer‘s own Fredrik Nordin, the latter joining Bergstrand on second cut “Sold My Lady (Out the greenleaf self titledBack of an Oldsmobile)” and fronting side B opener “Smell the Green” on his own. The influences of Sweden’s November and bands like Leaf Hound are rampant through the swinging “Kvinna Du Ger Mig Ingen Kärlek” (on which Bergstrand also plays guitar and bass) and the more brash opener “Get Your Love Outta Here,” which sounds like they wrote it on the spot even 21 years after the fact. And I wouldn’t doubt it. It’s a righteous jam and a two-minute speedster, and while I’m not about to defend the sexual politics of the record — dudes writin’ about ladies on side A, even in Swedish — side B, with “Smell the Green,” the seven-minute highlight “Land of Lincoln” and the half-psych, more Queens of the Stone Age than Budgie “Status: Hallucinogenic” show that even in their infancy, Greenleaf showed sonic aspirations beyond homage, or at very least a take of their own on what they were putting into their ears.

By their own admission, Greenleaf had no idea what they were setting in motion with this EP, but it says a lot about the nature of their work that even as their lineup would continue to shift for a decade and a half afterward, they maintained a consistent quality of songwriting and managed to push forward, gradually making their way toward prominence as more than a side-project, as the main vehicle for Holappa‘s songwriting, and as one of Swedish heavy’s foremost purveyors. It says something that listening to Greenleaf, one song into the next, produces that kind of vague nostalgia and carefree sense that the photo on the cover art has as well, though that picture could’ve been decades old at the time. Greenleaf, in trying to capture that spirit on their own, now convey that same feeling these decades later. Simpler times.

Greenleaf would operate opposite Dozer for the better part of 10 years after this. Their first LP showed up the same year as Dozer‘s second, and even as Dozer hit the road as a full-on touring band, Greenleaf produced albums on the semi-regular, with 2003’s Secret Alphabets (discussed here) following behind Revolution Rock and beginning an alliance with Small Stone Records that would see Greenleaf through their next three LPs: 2007’s Agents of Ahriman (vinyl reissue review here), 2012’s Nest of Vipers (review here) and 2014’s Trails and Passes (review here), the first two of which were fronted by Oskar Cedermalm of Truckfighters and the latter which introduced Arvid Hällagård on vocals.

Following in the significant footsteps of BergstrandNordin, and Cedermalm is no easy task, but now with four records under his belt, Hällagård is the longest-tenured Greenleaf singer and has brought his own melodic stamp to the band. That’s not to take away from the others, of course, but from Trails and Passes on through 2016’s Rise Above the Meadow (review here), 2018’s Hear the Rivers (review here) and last month’s Echoes From a Mass, one can follow a clear progression of his collaboration with Holappa, and the two have as much chemistry together as, say, Holappa and Nordin ever did in Dozer to-date. Understand, that is not a statement I make lightly.

But of course, all of that would be years and adulthoods away from the band Greenleaf were when they made this EP, and I consider myself not only fortunate to have the vinyl and the chance to hear it as it was first pressed, but on a more basic level the excuse to revisit it in the context of who and what Greenleaf have become. These songs are loose, unbridled, charming in their way and crafted feeling almost in spite of themselves. It’s the kind of collection that, were you to hear it now for the first time, might sound like a band that had some potential to make cool things happen. Go figure.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I’m apparently a mess today, which, you know, fair enough. Desertfest London doing their lineup announcement kind of threw me off — knew it was coming but forgot at the same time because I exist in a semi-conscious haze of permanent distraction brought on by lack of sleep, toddler motion and feeling overwhelmed by tasks basic and complex — and then the whole thing yesterday with Will Mecum from Karma to Burn having died and then not, because the internet and social media and someone said he was dead and then I’m still seeing posts that he’s dead but as of me writing this, 9:12AM on Friday, April 30, I have it on good authority he’s still on life support. But yeah, that whole thing took off — no thanks to me, I shared a RIP post from Instagram as well, soon enough took it down — and I feel like I’ve been thrown ever since.

My email is brutal. I have so much shit I need to get back to people on. I’m sorry if that’s you. I’ve been pretty burnt the last couple weeks. I guess I got thrown off this week too earlier on, because the Cool Thing that I said was gonna happen this past Monday did, but I was forbidden from discussing same. And the band’s rationale makes sense. I’ll post about it probably later in June, and that’s a while to sit on a Cool Thing, but in context it’s reasonable. I’m not about to be a dick and undercut someone’s promo plan because I’m excited about a thing. Professionalism is a joke, but that’s just being an asshole.

See? I just put up the Wax Mekanix questionnaire and got pulled away from sharing it by a new At the Gates single. This is my life.

Sounds pretty good.

I wonder if I can go shower and get back in time to put up the Severant premiere that needs posting at 10AM. Gives me about half an hour. I bet I can do it.

Made it, plenty of time. Not sure if that’s gonna make the ultimate difference one way or the other on my day, but it never hurts to get cleaned up. I’ve got a pretty decent nearly-every-day streak going, which is much better than where I was a year ago at this time when it was “if I get in the shower this kid is gonna stab me I better just sit on the couch and be afraid to leave the house.”

Whatever. I could go on. I won’t. New Gimme show at 5PM. Please listen. Please like the tracks. Tell them I’m good. Thanks.

Great and safe weekend. Hydrate. Watch your head. Stay safe. Get some time outside if you can. Back Monday.


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