Quarterly Review: Khemmis, Mutant Flesh, War Cloud, Void of Sleep, Pretty Lightning, Rosy Finch, Ghost Spawn, Agrabatti, Dead Sacraments, Smokemaster

Posted in Reviews on March 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Alarm went off this morning at 3:45. Got up, flicked on the coffee pot, turned the heat on in the house, hit the bathroom and was back in bed in four minutes with an alarm set for 4:15. Didn’t really get back to sleep, but the half-hour of being still was a kind of pre-waking meditation that I appreciated just the same. Was dozing when the alarm went off the second time, but it’s day two of the Quarterly Review, so no time to doze. No time for anything, as is the nature of these blocks of writeups. They tend to be all-consuming while they’re going on. Could be worse. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Khemmis, Doomed Heavy Metal

khemmis doomed heavy metal

Denver four-piece If you are looking for http://www.madelux.fr/?do-critical-essay-poem you抳e come to the right place. Get dissertation writing assistance on any topic only at SolidEssay.com. Khemmis have made themselves one of the most distinctive acts in metal, to say nothing of doom. With strong vocal harmonies out front backed by similarly-minded guitars, the band bring a sense of poise to doom that’s rare in the modern sphere, somewhat European in influence, but less outwardly adherent to the genre tenets of melancholy. They refuse to be Need a proficient speech writer for hire? Get professional build an online resume now from one of our competent speech writers! Paradise Lost, in other words, and are all the more themselves for that. Their WriteMyThesis.net offers you great http://www.clickmedia.gr/?tvo-homework-zone along with thesis writing one. We guarantee high quality and originality, so don't waste a second to Doomed Heavy Metal EP (on Need a writer or editor for your website, blog, newsletter or eBook? Contact RA http://infora.rs/en/projects/rh-maps/#content for friendly help and advice. 20 Buck Spin and Learn Successful Techniques from A Top dissertation write for payment voucher. Transform your research and ideas into a powerful dissertation that will deliver a Nuclear Blast) is a stopgap after 2018’s Get http://meteo.geo.auth.gr/?term-papers-about-divorce and assistance with other Subjects by Tutors. Desolation (review here) full-length, but at 38 minutes and six songs, it’s substantial nonetheless, headlined by the Order case study written from scratch according to your educational requirements; make use of a Write My Multicultural Experience Paper for students of all academic levels Dio cover “Rainbow in the Dark” — capably done with just a flair of An Example Of An Argumentative Essays. Professionally written business paper is an essential part of the personal and company抯 success. Ordering a letter Slough Feg — with a take on Hire industry leading cheap application essay for college how to write a goods from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company Lloyd Chandler‘s “A Conversation with Death” and “Empty Throne,” both rare-enough studio cuts, for backing, as well as three live cuts that cover their three-to-date albums. The growls on “Three Gates” are fun, but I’ll still take the The audience of professional and business documents plays a significant role in the style of a professional document. Successful Why Do People Do Plagiarisms adapt Dio cover as the highlight. For a cobbled-together release, it feels at least like a bit of thoughtful fan-service, and really, a band could do worse than to serve their fans thoughtfully.

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Nuclear Blast Records store

 

Mutant Flesh, Evil Eye

mutant flesh evil eye

There are shades of doom metal’s origins underlying Order research paper writing services and enjoy the highest site show that SameDayEssay.com holds the top Mutant Flesh‘s first release, the eight-song/33-minute http://www.hotelbiser.com.mk/?pay-for-performance-thesis by UK freelance book editor and proofreader. Affordable and professional editing and proofreading for your book, novel, ebook or story. Evil Eye, but the Philly troupe are too gleeful in their weirdness ultimately to be paying full homage to the likes of homework help sierra high auberry california eBooks Best Essay Writing Service Yahoo Answers is available on PDF, ePUB and DOC format. You can directly Witchfinder General, and especially in a faster song like second cut “Meteoric” and the subsequent lead-guitar-flipout-and-vocal-soar title-track, they tap into the defiantly doomed vibe of earliest Are you looking for a custom Thesis Master Data Mining 2007 based right here in the USA? Look no further! We offer the best darn content on the planet right here. Saint Vitus. That’s true of the crawling “Euthanasia” as well, which crashes and nods as it approaches the six-minute mark as the longest inclusion here, but even the penultimate “Blight” brings that twisted- read review writing service - Allow the specialists to do your essays for you. witness the merits of professional writing help available here Black Flag-noise-slowed-down spirit that lets you know there’s consciousness behind the chaos, and that while Mutant Flesh might seem to be all-the-way-gone, they’re really just getting started. Maybe their sound will even out over time, maybe it won’t, but for what it’s worth, they do ragged doom well from the opening “Leviathan (Lord of the Labyrinth)” onward, and feel right at home in the unhinged.

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War Cloud, Earhammer Sessions

war cloud earhammer sessions

Having just shredded their way across Europe, War Cloud took their set into the Earhammer Studio with Greg Wilkinson at the helm in an attempt to capture the band in top form on their home turf. Did it work? The results on Earhammer Sessions (Ripple Music) don’t wait around for you to decide. They’re too busy kicking ass to take names, and if the resulting 29-minute burst is even half of what they brought to the stage on that tour, those must’ve been some goddamn shows. Songs like “White Lightning” and the snare-counted-in “Speed Demon” and “Striker” feel like they’re being given their due in the max-speed-NWOBHM-but-still-too-classy-to-be-thrash presentation, and honestly, this feels like War Cloud have found their method. If they don’t tour their next album and then hit the studio after and lay it down live, or at least as live as Earhammer Sessions is — one never knows as regards overdubs and isolation booths and all that — they’re doing themselves a disservice. War Cloud play metal. So what? So this.

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Ripple Music website

 

Void of Sleep, Metaphora

Void of Sleep Metaphora

Void of Sleep return after half a decade with the prog-doom stylings of their third album, Metaphora (Aural Music), which stretches dramatically through songs like “Iron Mouth” (11:00), preceded by the intro “The Famine Years” and the shorter “Unfair Judgements,” preceded by the intro “Waves of Discomfort,” and still somehow manage not to sound out of place tapping into their inner Soilwork in the growled verses/clean choruses of “Master Abuser.” They get harsh a bit as well on “Tides of the Mourning,” which uses its 10:30 to summarize the bulk of the proceedings and close out the record after “Modern Man,” but that song has more of a scope and feels looser structurally for that. Still, that shift is only one of several throughout Metaphora, which follows the Italian five-piece’s 2015 LP, New World Order (discussed here), and wherever Void of Sleep are headed at any given moment, they head there with a duly controlled presence. Clearly their last five years have not been wasted.

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Aural Music store

 

Pretty Lightning, Jangle Bowls

pretty lightning jangle bowls

As yet, Germany’s Pretty Lightning remain a well kept secret of fuzz-psych-blues nuance, digging out their own niche-in-a-niche-in-a-niche microgenre with a natural and inadvertent-feeling sense of just writing the songs they want to write. Jangle Bowls, which puts its catchy, semi-garage title-track early in the proceedings, is the duo’s second offering through Fuzz Club Records behind 2017’s The Rhythm of Ooze (review here), and seem to present a mission statement in opener “Swamp Ritual” before bringing a due sense of excursion to “Boogie at the Shrine” — damn that’s a smooth groove — and reviving the movement in “RaRaRa,” which follows. Closer “Shovel Blues” is a highlight for how it drifts into oblivion, but the underlying tightness of craft in “123 Eternity” and “Hum” is an appeal as well, so it’s a tradeoff. But it’s one I’ll be glad to make across multiple repeat visits to Jangle Bowls while wondering how long this particular secret can actually be kept.

Pretty Lightning on Thee Facebooks

Fuzz Club Records store

 

Rosy Finch, Scarlet

rosy finch scarlet

The painted-blood-red cover of Rosy Finch‘s second album, Scarlet (on Lay Bare Recordings), and horror-cinema-esque design isn’t a coincidence in terms of atmosphere, but the Spanish trio bring a more aggressive feel to the nine-track outing overall than they did to their 2016 debut, Witchboro (review here), with additional crunch in the guitar of Mireia Porto (also vocals and bass) and bassist Elena Garcia, and a forward kick drum from Llu铆s Mas that hammers home the impact of a cruncher like “Ruby” and even seems to ground the more melodic “Alizarina,” which follows, let alone the crushing opener/longest track (immediate points) “Oxblood” or its headspinning closing companion “Dark Cherry,” after which follows the particularly intense hidden cut “Lady Bug,” also not to be missed. Anger suits Rosy Finch, it seems, and the band bring a physicality to the songs on Scarlet that only reinforces the sonic push.

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Lay Bare Recordings store

 

Ghost Spawn, The Haunting Continuum

Ghost Spawn The Haunting Continuum

Brutal, gurgling doom-of-death pervades The Haunting Continuum from Denver one-man-unit Ghost Spawn, and while the guitar late in “Escaping the Mortal Flesh” seems momentarily to offer some hope of salvation, rest assured, it doesn’t last, and the squibbly central riff returns with its extremity to prove once more that only death is real. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kevin Berstler is the lone culprit behind the project’s first full-length and second release overall (also second this year, so he would seem to work quickly), and across 43 minutes that only grow more grueling as they proceed through the centerpiece title-track and into “The Terrors that Plague Nightly” and the desolate incantations of “Exiled to the Realm of Eternal Rot,” there are some hints of cleaner grunts that have made their way through — a kind of repeated “hup” vocalization — but this too is swallowed in the miasma of cave-echo guitar, drums-from-out-of-the-abyss, and raw-as-peeled-flesh production. Can’t get behind that? Probably you and 99.9 percent of the rest of humanity. For us slugs, though, it’s just about right.

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Ghost Spawn on Bandcamp

 

Agrabatti, Beyond the Sun

agrabatti beyond the sun

It’s kosmiche thrust and watery vibes when Agrabatti go Beyond the Sun. What’s there upon arrival? Nothing less than a boogie down with Hawkwind at the helm of a spacey spaced-out space rocking chopper that you shouldn’t even be able to hear the revving engine of in space and yet somehow you can. Also synth, pulsating riffs and psych-as-all-golly-gosh awakenings. Formed in 2009 by Chad Davis — then just out of U.S. Christmas, already at that point known for his work in Hour of 13 and a swath of other projects across multiple genres — and with songs begun to come together at that time only to be shelved ahead of recording this year, Beyond the Sun sat seemingly in some unreachable strata of anomalous subspace, for 11 years before being rediscovered from its time-loop like Kelsey Grammer in that one episode of TNG, and gorgeously spread across the quadrant in its five-cut run, with its cover of the aforementioned Hawkwind‘s “Born to Go” so much at home among its companions it feels like, baby, it’s already gone. Do you need sunglasses in the void? Shit yeah you do.

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Agrabatti on Bandcamp

 

Dead Sacraments, Celestial Throne

Dead Sacraments Celestial Throne

Four sprawling doom epics comprise the 2019 debut album — and apparently debut release — from Illinois four-piece Dead Sacraments, who themselves are comprised from three former members of atmospheric sludgers Angel Eyes, who finished their run in 2011 but released the posthumous Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl (review here). Those are guitarist Brendan Burchell, bassist Nader Cheboub and drummer Ryan Croson, and together with apparently-self-harmonizing vocalist/guitarist Mark Mazurek, they cast a doom built on largesse in tone and scope alike, given an air of classic-metal grandiosity but filtered through a psych-doom modernity that feels aware of what the likes of Pallbearer and Khemmis have done for the genre. Nonetheless, as a first record, Celestial Throne shines its darkness brightly across its no-song-under-nine-minutes-long lumber, and affirms the righteousness of doom with a genuine sense of reach at its disposal.

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Smokemaster, Smokemaster

smokemaster smokemaster

The languid and trippy spirit in opener “Solar Flares” is something of a misdirect on the part of organ-laced, Cologne-based heavy rockers Smokemaster, who go on to boogie down through songs like “Trippin’ Blues” before jamming out classic heavy blues-style on “Ear of the Universe.” I’m not saying they don’t have their psychedelic aspects, but there’s plenty of movement behind what they do as well, and the setup they give with the first two cuts is effective in throwing off the first-time listener’s expectation. A pastoral instrumental “Sunrise in the Canyon” leads off side B after, and comes backed by “Astronaut of Love” (yup, a lovestronaut) and “Astral Traveller,” which find an engaging midpoint between the ground and the great beyond, synth and keys pushing outward in the finale even as the bass and drums keep it tethered to a central groove. It’s a formula that’s worked many times over the last half-century, but it works here too, and Smokemaster‘s Smokemaster makes a right-on introduction to the German newcomers.

Smokemaster on Thee Facebooks

Tonzonen Records store

 

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Review & Full Album Stream: Domo, Domonautas Vol. 1

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on December 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

domo domonautas vol 1

[Click play above to stream聽Domonautas Vol. 1聽by Domo in its entirety. Album is out Dec. 15 on Clostridium Records.]

With psychedelia itself so often given to ideas of fluidity, being molten and/or in some way liquid, it only seems fair that Domo‘s Domonautas Vol. 1 should be such a melting pot. Issued on limited LP in an edition of 400 copies by Clostridium Records — 250 black, 150 red/black transparent splatter for a die-hard edition — the four-track/37-minute offering is the first offering of any kind from the Alicante, Spain, four-piece since 2015’s split with Pyramidal, Jams from the Sun (review here), which also followed some four years after their 2011 self-titled debut (review here).

Their stated intention is that Domonautas Vol. 1 is to be the first of a two-part continuity of albums with Maarten Donders cover art, and that Domonautas Vol. 2 will follow next year, essentially completing the single work across two LPs. I don’t know if Vol. 2 is written, let alone recorded — it could very well be both or either — but it’s an ambitious undertaking for the jam-based psych outfit, and however it works out over the next 12 months, it’s worth noting that Domonautas Vol. 1 in no way sounds incomplete. Its four included tracks are arranged for maximum immersion, with “Ox铆moron” (5:15) at the outset giving way to “Astr贸domo” (12:28) on side A, and “Ritual del Sol” (12:04) and closer “Planisferio” (7:56) finishing the thread on side B.

This shorter-longer-longer-shorter construction, parabolic in its way, creates an arc that brings the listener deeper into the proceedings from the start of “Ox铆moron,” which sets off in grandiose fashion, with effects-laced synth severity, like something out of a lysergic Ben-Hur, for almost its full initial two minutes, acting more as an intro to the album(s). From there, a drift of wah with a still-vaguely Middle Eastern vibe takes hold, echoing trumpet in the distance playing out alongside quiet drums from Paco and melodic guitar lines. Sam and Pablo (the latter also trumpet) handle six-string duties with due attention to effects sprawl.

Perhaps some of that Moorish architecture in the arrangement comes from a Viaje a 800 influence from further south in Algeciras on the coast, but, one way or the other, Domo use the final build to introduce bassist 脫scar‘s first vocals of the record and with just a beat of a pause between, go from the end of “Ox铆moron” to the full-on fuzz roll verse riff of “Astr贸domo,” thick and righteous, with vocals echoing up to further a sense of space, subtle layering of shouts and acoustic guitar flourish (or what sounds like it, anyhow) for further breadth. “Astr贸domo” is the longest cut on Domonautas Vol. 1 — not by a lot, but still — and it uses its time to affect multiple changes in movement, beginning a more winding transitional course at about three and a half minutes in as a bed for an emergent lead over a more forward rhythm before crashing into another verse, this one with a stomping march behind, and an extended ring-out and feedback course around the seven-minute mark, underscored and held together by the bassline.

domo (Photo by Rafa Perdomo)

It is a moment of hypnosis led by 脫scar that the band will soon enough pay off with a return of vocals, guitar and drums, but that bassline — which seems to draw a bit from Clutch‘s “Spacegrass” in its construction; not a complaint — is a quiet moment that does much to showcase the range that seems to be at play across Domonautas Vol. 1, as the band are perfectly capable of moving between loud and quiet stretches, either creating a wash of effects and riffs or leaving open space for the unsuspecting audience to lose itself within. This serves them well during the instrumental passages of “Astr贸domo” and “Ritual del Sol,” the latter of which is arguably the most patient of the inclusions on the record.

It unfolds gradually across a multi-stage linear build, led by the guitar with effects/horn backing for atmosphere, and kicks in its fuzz at 3:45, still maintaining a post-rock kind of spirit, which will tie into “Planisferio” as well soon enough. A surge of low end accompanies the entry of vocals, and a new stage of nod is entered, but it’s short-lived as the bass and drums drop out to leave the guitar to set up a more forward riff that becomes the central adrenaline charge of the progression. They shift smoothly into a solo that carries them to and through the halfway point, turn back to a quick couple lines, then blast out even more desert-cosmic, eventually bringing the proceedings downward in energy level to a stretch of effects and subdued guitar float, tension holding in the bass as a tell that they’re not actually done yet.

Sure enough, after 10 minutes, they’re off and running again on the jam, and that leads them out in full party fashion. It would seem to be the apex of Domonautas Vol. 1 were it not for the instrumentalist work “Planisferio” does in setting up its grand finale, working from the ground up on a larger riff, receding again and gracefully executing a heavy psychedelic interpretation of what post-metal has taken on as a signature element: the “Stones from the Sky” moment, wherein that ultra-landmark Neurosis riff provides the foundation of a crescendo, usually manipulated in some way.

Domo join it to a melodic flourish of guitar and keep the central rhythm in focus all the while, pushing forward through that key progression and — most importantly — making it their own as the wind and twist toward the finish of the record, which comes in last crashes and residual guitars. I don’t know when Domonautas Vol. 2 might surface, and if there’s more to the story than Domo are telling here, I’ll be curious to find out just what that is, but it bears repeating that Domonautas Vol. 1 comes through as a coherent, complete statement, and doesn’t seem at its conclusion to be missing anything. That is, it doesn’t sound like you’re listening to half of a record, which is only a positive. Whatever Domo‘s future plans might be, after some years’ delay, they’ve given listeners plenty to explore with these tracks and the scope that seems to come so naturally from them.

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Domo Set Dec. 15 Release for Domonautas Vol. 1; Teaser Clip Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

domo (Photo by Rafa Perdomo)

What’s that you say? You were just thinking it had been a while since we heard from jammy Spanish heavy psych four-piece聽Domo? Well that’s pretty wild. You’re not wrong. Their last outing was four years ago in 2015, and that was a split with Pyramidal called聽Jams from the Sun (review here), so yes, if you believe in due, they’re due. They’ve aligned with聽Clostridium Records for the limited vinyl edition(s) of their new full-length, which is titled聽Domonautas Vol. 1 and will be out Dec. 15. No full songs from the record — and with four extended tracks making it up, I’m not sure there will be — but there’s a teaser posted that at least offers a kind of ambient glimpse at the mood they’re shooting for.

Of course, those looking to dig further can always go back and revisit聽Jams from the Sun and/or their 2011 self-titled debut (review here). Jeez. Eight years from their first record to their second. I might have to start calling this band “prog” if they’re going to take that long to put stuff out.

Looking forward to it, either way. They posted the following on thee social medias:

domo domonautas vol 1

Domo – Domonautas Vol. 1

We are very excited to show you the cover of our next album (Domonautas Vol. 1)! , which we can confirm that it will go on sale on December 15 on Clostridium Records. The artwork has been created by the great Maarten Donders, and has done a fantastic job that has left us with our mouths wide open.

Besides, we麓re advancing you the tracklist of the album, which will consist of four songs, and as you can imagine, they will be progressive and psychedelic long songs in a classic Domo way:

1. Oxymoron
2. Astr贸domo
3. Ritual of the sun
4. the planisphere

Soon, more news!

It will be 150 copies in red & black splatter color, and 250 copies in black. And of course, all accompanied by the wonderful artwork made by Maarten Donders.

Remember the date: December 15th 2019.

Video by Javi Peral

Domo is:
Sam (guitar/fx)
Pablo (guitar/fx/trumpet)
脫scar (bass/vocals)
Paco (drums/percussion)

https://www.facebook.com/domorockband/
https://www.instagram.com/domoband/
https://domoband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.domoband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/clostridiumrecords/
http://www.clostridiumrecords.com/

Domo, Domonautas Vol. 1 teaser

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Review & Track Premiere: Pyramidal, Pyramidal

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pyramidal Pyramidal

[Click play above to stream ‘Digital Madness’ from Pyramidal’s self-titled LP. It’s out April 15 on Lay Bare Recordings and Surnia Records.]

There are a few seconds of silence before the opening track of Pyramidal‘s self-titled third album, “Visions of an Astral Journey,” begins and the choice to leave them there tells you much of what you need to know about the level of detail and meticulousness the Alicante, Spain, progressive heavy psychedelic rockers have put into the record as a whole. Pyramidal‘s Pyramidal, released by聽Lay Bare Recordings and聽Surnia Records as the follow-up to 2013’s聽Frozen Galaxies聽and their 2011 debut,聽Dawn in Space (review here), would seem to have been a while in the making were it not for the steady stream of short releases between. Still, as they arrive at the decade-mark since they first got together, the five songs/46 minutes they present with聽Pyramidal feels all the more like an event for the fact that it’s been six years since the last LP.

They do not fail to live up to the occasion, and 10 years on finds聽Pyramidal utterly in command of their sound and the listener’s experience, able to carry their audience through the sax-infused King Crimson-style chase and angular nuance of the aforementioned opener聽and into the mellower climes of “Creatures of the Ancient World,” which starts out likewise dramatic, but after about a minute, drops to a soothing and vaguely Eastern-inflected atmosphere, still intricate, that smooths the way forward into the next build, allowing for the proggy-but-heavy riff that takes hold at 4:45 to immediately mark the change to something else (actually, there’s a bass note before the guitar starts, but still). What follows is an active payoff to the first half of the song and a fluid but no less considered run than that which appeared in “Visions of an Astral Journey.” They resolve in a heavy space-rocking jam that also doesn’t last before dropping to a bass and drum-led section of psychedelic dance, which becomes consumed by guitar noise as it makes its way back to the central progression of the just-departed push.

It is a head-spinner, to be sure. Vocals are relatively spare but not entirely absent, and even the three-minute “Unconscious Oscillations,” which sounds like a sliver of a jam that could’ve been recorded when either of the first two tracks was being put to tape, has some whispers throughout its shorter than everything else run. “Unconscious Oscillations,” with the return of the sax, a ready push of drums and a still-directed drift in the guitar, feels almost like the closing credits for side A of Pyramidal, and serves as a quick summary of the rather considerable depth the band has thus far employed. Not necessarily depth in terms of the actual mix, though it wants nothing for spaciousness throughout “Visions of an Astral Journey,” “Creatures of the Ancient World” and “Unconscious Oscillations,” but in terms of the positioning within the mix of the elements being put to use and the care with which the material is executed. While still sounding natural in the end,聽Pyramidal‘s work is exacting and full of purpose.

pyramidal (Photo by Sergio Albert)

Though they’ve obviously allowed room for “happy accidents” in the studio, this is not a band who went into making their third record without an idea of what they wanted. Their style, while indebted to classic prog and space rock, has its eyes forward and never loses track of where it wants to go. This remains true as the quiet ambience of “Digital Madness” mirrors the quiet at the start of “Visions of an Astral Journey,” keyboard setting a foundation for airy guitar to come to the fore and build in tension until after a minute in the full brunt of the song is unveiled. Again, it’s a showing of the patience and intent that Pyramidal signaled at the outset. A verse sees vocals matching rhythmic pattern to the guitar with a tinge of Spanish folk offset by the outward-push of the bridge sets up the next verse, the tonal thickness there a standout soon offset by a sprawling solo. They are not yet four minutes into the total 9:42. That’s the kind of record this is.

They continue to build the solo before cutting back to the acoustic/electric blend and a wash of crash cymbal at the midpoint before the lead guitar steps up with a winding run to introduce the next movement. Toms sound like footsteps trying to keep up. A harmony line kicks in, and then they’re riffing again like nothing happened. Did I mention “head-spinner?” A quick few lines of spoken word precede the next solo, then interrupt it, and Pyramidal are at full force with a vision of progressive heavy that would make peak-era聽Steven Wilson blush. The last build begins with dreamy guitar and a turn to creeping notes, the entry of drums and a surge of volume, and they mute chords before a last measure brings “Digital Madness” to a close to the madness of closer “Alussa Infinity” can arrive, which it does with scale-work to match that of the opener that unfurls into a fuzzier stretch of psych-jazz that in turn gives way to malevolent spoken word and a darker overall vibe.

Pyramidal are not out of surprises yet, and as they toy with tropes from heavy metal, they are no less in control of the proceedings than they’ve been all along. “Alussa Infinity” continues to grow aggressive through a shouty midsection before changing after seven minutes into its total 14:21 to a stretch of ethereal guitar spaciousness that moves into a grander, string-infused progression that’s every bit the grand finale聽Pyramidal deserves. Then they do it again, and afterward cap the album with a soothing last few minutes of astro-rock and leave it there, having quietly matched side A’s structure in the two tracks on side B but still gone further in the overarching aesthetic mission. That mission may be ongoing, but聽Pyramidal‘s declaration of who they are in this self-titled collection is not to be overlooked. Their material is expansive and handled with a graceful collective hand, such that they’re neither out of control nor overly in it. That balance is part of what makes these tracks flow so well, and what makes each change presented herein a pleasure to follow.

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Pyramidal Set April 15 Release for Self-Titled LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pyramidal (Photo by Sergio Albert)

Don’t tell anybody — or better yet, tell everybody! — but on March 25 I’ll be hosting a track premiere from Pyramidal‘s upcoming self-titled long-player. The album is set to release April 15 through Lay Bare Recordings and Surnia Records and will be their third album and first since 2013’s Frozen Galaxies, though they’ve certainly kept themselves busy in the years between with EPs and splits and playing live shows. And before you ask, yes, a pyramid is included. I’m not sure what it’s for, but it’s there, so be aware of it. Preorders start April 1.

And — shh! — check back in about a week and a half for that audio and more on the record.

From the PR wire:

pyramidal cover

PYRAMIDAL – PYRAMIDAL – LAY BARE RECORDINGS

Release date : April 15th , pre-order opens April 1st, 2019

In 2011, Pyramidal burst on the scene with Dawn in Space. The logo attached to this record was 鈥淪pace is deep & music is Endless鈥. These words were a prediction that the band fulfilled in the years after this initial release. It earned them a place among the greats of the contemporary Space Rock La Liga. It landed them also invitations for shows on Europe鈥檚 biggest festivals like Roadburn, Yellowstock, Freak Valley & Psychedelic Network festival, whereas their latest release was recorded 鈥淟ive from the 7th Psychedelic Network Festival 2014鈥.

Fast forward to 2019, we are set to release their third proper full length self-titled record, carrying number LBR22 in our discography. It is the first Lay Bare release for 2019 and this year shaping up our busiest year in existence.

The collaboration with Lay Bare Recordings started in 2014 with Live from Freak Valley 2013, followed by a split 12鈥 with Domo in 2015 called James from the Sun. The new records contain five new songs filled with their blend of Hawkwindish Sabbath Floydian ancestral Space Rock. Release date is set for the 15th of April, with pre-order opening the 1st of April. And no this is not a bad joke: April 1st is the day you can acquire this must have Space Rock album.

The first vinyl press counts 250 pieces on 180grams vinyl, pressed on milky clear with swamp green, sea blue & bone colored vinyl. The cd edition is done by our partner Surnia records from Spain. As a special treat, a magic Pyramid is printed on the insert, one that can be cut out, pasted into a pyramid and used while playing the record.

https://www.facebook.com/pyramidalband/
https://www.instagram.com/pyramidalmusic/
https://pyramidalmusic.bandcamp.com/
http://pyramidalmusic.com/
http://surniarecords.com/
https://laybarerecordings.com/releases

Pyramidal, From Other Spheres (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Monolord, Teacher, Rosy Finch, Holy Mountain Top Removers, Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Swan Valley Heights, Cambrian Explosion, Haunted, Gods & Punks, Gaia

Posted in Reviews on October 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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Day Two starts now. I don’t know if you’re ready for it. I don’t know if I’m ready for it. Ah hell, who am I kidding? I love this stuff. No place I’d rather be right now than pounding out these reviews, batch by batch, all week. This one gets heavy, it goes far out, it rocks hard and relentless and it gets atmospheric. And more. But don’t let me try to sell you on reading it. Even if you skim through and click on players, I hope you find something you dig. If not today, then yesterday, or tomorrow or the next day. Or hell, maybe the day after. It’s 50 records. There’s bound to be one in there. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Monolord, Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze

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A relatively quick two-songer issued via RidingEasy to mark the occasion of the Swedish trio鈥檚 first US headlining tour this summer, Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze offers a more stripped-down feel than did Monolord鈥檚 second full-length, V忙nir (review here), which came out last year. The roll elicited by guitarist/vocalist Thomas V. J盲ger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika H盲kki, however, remains unspeakably thick and the band鈥檚 intent toward largesse and nod continues to ring true. They鈥檙e in and out in 11 minutes, but the ethereal, watery vocal style of J盲ger and the more earthbound pummel of the three-piece as a whole on 鈥淟ord of Suffering鈥 and the grueling spaciousness of 鈥淒ie in Haze鈥 鈥 not to mention the bass tone 鈥 show that Monolord are only continuing to come into their own sound-wise, and that as they do, their approach grows more and more dominant. They make it hard not to be greedy and ask for a new album.

Monolord on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Teacher, Teacher

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Seattle two-piece Teacher served notice early this year of their then-forthcoming self-titled, self-recorded debut LP, and it was easy to tell the Tony Reed-mastered full-length would be one to watch out for as it followed-up their prior EP1812, released in 2015. Arriving via Devil鈥檚 Child Records, the 10-track Teacher does indeed dole out a few crucial lessons from drummer/guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Ethan Mercer and guitarist/vocalist Solomon Arye Rosenschein. Whether it鈥檚 鈥淗eavy Metal Parking Lot 1979鈥 or the swinging 鈥淧eripatetic Blues鈥 or the gone-backwards psych interlude 鈥淲ildcard Jambalaya鈥 that immediately follows, the record basks in an organic diversity of approach drawn together by the clear chemistry already present between Mercer and Rosenschein. A harder edge of tone keeps a modern feel prevalent, but even the forward punker charge of 鈥淢ean as Hell鈥 has classic roots, and as they finish with 鈥淗ome for the Summer鈥 as the last of three out of the four EP tracks included in a row to round out the LP, they seem to have entered the conversation of 2016鈥檚 most cohesive debuts in heavy rock. Their arrival is welcome.

Teacher on Thee Facebooks

Devil’s Child Records webstore

 

Rosy Finch, Witchboro

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There鈥檚 an element of danger to Rosy Finch鈥檚 debut long-player, Witchboro (on Lay Bare Recordings). Actually two. One: it sounds like it could come apart at any given moment 鈥 it never does. Two: any given one among its nine component tracks could wind up just about anywhere. Though the Spanish trio of bassist/vocalist Elena Garc铆a, guitarist/vocalist Mireia Porto and drummer Llu铆s Mas keep individual songs relatively raw sounding 鈥 or at very least not overproduced as something so progressive could just as easily have wound up 鈥 but even the soothing 鈥淟igeia鈥 holds to a driving sense of foreboding. Punk in its undercurrent with more than a touch of grunge, Witchboro is as much at home in the atmospheric crush of 鈥淧olvo Zombi鈥 as the quick-turning finale thrust of 鈥淒aphne vs. Apollo,鈥 and its overarching impression is striking in just how readily it manipulates the elements that comprise it. Ambitious, but more defined by succeeding in its ambitions than by the ambitions themselves.

Rosy Finch on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Holy Mountain Top Removers, The Ones Disappearing You

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Psychedelic surf? Wah-soaked, bass rumbling foreboding? Euro-inflected lounge? All of the above and much more get a big check mark from Nashville instrumentalists Holy Mountain Top Removers, whose The Ones Disappearing You LP covers an enviable amount of stylistic ground and still leaves room near the end for bassist/keyboardist Mikey Allred to lead a blues dirge on trombone. He鈥檚 joined by drummer/percussionist Edmond Villa and guitarist Anthony Ford, as well as guest trumpeter Court Reese and violinist Allan Van Cleave, and as they careen through this vast terrain, Holy Mountain Top Removers only seem to revel in the oddness of their own creation. To wit, the early jangle of 鈥淢onsieur Espionnage鈥 is delivered with gleeful starts and stops, and the later 鈥淪erenade for Sexual Absence鈥 given a mournful snare march and what sounds like tarantella to go with Van Cleave鈥檚 violin lead. Playful in the extreme, The Ones Disappearing You nonetheless offers rich arrangements and a drive toward individuality that stands among its core appeals, but by no means stands there alone.

Holy Mountain Top Removers on Thee Facebooks

Holy Mountain Top Removers on Bandcamp

 

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, The Rarity of Experience I

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Philadelphia four-piece Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band must have worked quickly to turn around so soon a follow-up to last year鈥檚 debut album, Intensity Ghost (review here), but their second offering, The Rarity of Experience lacks nothing for growth. A two-disc, 72-minute 10-tracker also released through No Quarter, The Rarity of Experience hops genres the way rocks skip on water, from the exploratory psychedelic vibing of 鈥淎nthem II鈥 to the Talking Heads-style jangle of 鈥淭he Rarity of Experience II鈥 and into horn-infused free-jazz fusion on 鈥淭he First 10 Minutes of Cocksucker Blues鈥 鈥 which, by the way, is 12 minutes long. A big change is the inclusion of vocals, but the penultimate 鈥淥ld Phase鈥 still holds to some of the pastoral atmospherics Forsyth and company brought together on the first record, but principally, what The Rarity of Experience most clearly shows is that one doesn鈥檛 necessarily know what鈥檚 coming from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band, and as much as they offer across this massive stretch, I wouldn鈥檛 be surprised if they continue to expand their sound.

Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band on Thee Facebooks

No Quarter

 

Swan Valley Heights, Swan Valley Heights

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Initially released by the band in January, the self-titled debut from Munich heavy rockers Swan Valley Heights sees wider issue through Oak Island Records in an edition of 200 LPs. After rolling out the largesse of welcome-riff in opener 鈥淪low Planet,鈥 the three-piece dig into longform groove on 鈥淎laska鈥 (9:09), 鈥淢ammoth鈥 (11:02) and 鈥淟et Your Hair Down鈥 (9:35), finding a balance between hypnotic flow and deeply weighted tones. Riffs lead the way throughout, and while there aren鈥檛 a ton of surprises, once they make their way through 鈥淐aligula Overdrive,鈥 the shimmer at the start of 鈥淢ountain鈥 and some of the more patient unfolding of closer 鈥淩iver鈥 called Sungrazer to mind and I couldn鈥檛 help but wonder if Swan Valley Heights would make their way toward more lush fare over time. Whether they do or not, their debut engages in its warmth and cohesion of purpose, and offers plenty of depth for those looking to dive in headfirst.

Swan Valley Heights on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records at Kozmik Artifactz

 

Cambrian Explosion, The Moon EP

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I can鈥檛 help but feel like Portland, Oregon鈥檚 Cambrian Explosion are selling themselves a little short by calling The Moon an EP. At five songs and 35 minutes, the follow-up to their 2013 The Sun outing boasts a richly progressive front-to-back flow, deep sense of psychedelic melodicism and enough crunch to wholly satisfy each of the payoffs its hypnotic wanderings demand. Sure sounds like a full-length album to my ears, but either way, I鈥檒l take it. The four-piece set an open context in the intro noise wash of 鈥淪elene,鈥 and while 鈥淟ooming Eye鈥 and 鈥淢ugen = Mugen鈥 push further into ritual heavy psych, it鈥檚 in the longer 鈥淚nnocuous Creatures鈥 (9:24) and closer 鈥淐rust of Theia鈥 (8:23) 鈥 the two perfectly suited to appear together on the B-side from whatever label is lucky enough to snap them up for a release 鈥 that The Moon makes its immersion complete and resonant, blowing out in glorious noise on the former and basking in off-world sentiment as they round out. Gorgeous and forward-thinking in kind. Would be an excellent debut album.

Cambrian Explosion on Thee Facebooks

Cambrian Explosion on Bandcamp

 

Haunted, Haunted

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Not sure if there鈥檚 any way to avoid drawing a comparison between Italian five-piece Haunted鈥檚 self-titled debut (on Twin Earth Records) and Virginian doomers Windhand, but I鈥檓 also not sure that matters anymore. With the two guitars of Francesco Bauso and Francesco Orlando meting out post-Electric Wizard churn and Cristina Chimirri鈥檚 vocals oozing out bluesy incantations on top as Frank Tudisco鈥檚 low end and Valerio Cimino鈥檚 drums push the lumber forward, it鈥檚 all doom one way or another. 鈥淲atchtower鈥 has a meaner chug than opener 鈥淣ightbreed,鈥 and the centerpiece 鈥淪ilvercomb鈥 delves into feedback-laden horror atmospherics, but it鈥檚 in the closing duo of 鈥淪lowthorn鈥 and 鈥淗aunted鈥 that Haunted most assuredly affirm their rolling intention. They鈥檒l have some work to do in distinguishing themselves, but there鈥檚 flourish in the wash of guitar late and some vocal layering from Chimirri that speaks to nuance emerging in their sound that will only serve them well as they move forward from this immersive first offering.

Twin Earth Records on Thee Facebooks

Haunted on Bandcamp

 

Gods and Punks, The Sounds of the Earth

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Taking their name from a track off Monster Magnet鈥檚 2010 outing, Mastermind, Brazilian heavy rockers Gods and Punks mark their debut release with The Sounds of the Earth, a self-released five-track EP awash in classic influences and bolstered through a double-guitar dynamic, maybe-too-forward-in-the-mix vocals and a rock solid rhythm section. These are familiar ingredients, granted, but the Rio de Janeiro five-piece present them well particularly in the mid-paced 鈥淭he Tusk鈥 and the catchy, more extended closer 鈥淕ravity,鈥 and are able to put a modern spin on 鈥70s vibing without becoming singularly indebted to any particular band or era, be it 鈥70s, 鈥90s or the bizarre combination of the two that defines the 鈥10s. Gods and Punks are setting themselves up to progress here, and how that progression might play out 鈥 more space rock to go with the theme of their excellent artwork, maybe? 鈥 will be worth keeping an eye on given what they already show in their songwriting.

Gods and Punks on Thee Facebooks

Gods and Punks on Bandcamp

 

Gaia, A Cure for Time

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Mostly instrumental, deeply atmospheric and clearly intended to divide into the two sides of a vinyl for which it seems more than primed, A Cure for Time is the second album from Copenhagen post-metallers Gaia. Each half of the four-track/39-minute outing pairs a shorter piece with a longer one, and the flow the trio set up particularly on the closing title cut calls to mind some of YOB鈥檚 cosmic impulses but with a spaciousness, roll and context that becomes their own. Shades of Jesu in the vocals and the balance of rumble and echo on the earlier 鈥淣owhere鈥 make A Cure for Time all the more ambient, but when they want to, Gaia produce a marked density that borders on the claustrophobic, and the manner in which they execute the album front to back emphasizes this spectrum with a progressive but still organic flourish. I wouldn鈥檛 call A Cure for Time directly psychedelic, but it鈥檚 still easy to get lost within its reaches.sh

Gaia on Thee Facebooks

Virkelighedsfjern on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: My Dying Bride, Glowsun, Caustic Casanova, Dead Sea Apes, Bantoriak, Ahab, Zark, Pyramidal & Domo, Mammoth Salmon, Molior Superum

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

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One thing I’ve noticed over the now-several times I’ve done this is that people have a tendency to apply some value to the ordering. It’s true that I try to lead off with a bigger release sometimes (as with today), but beyond that, there’s really no statement being made in how the albums appear. It usually has way more to do with time, when something came in and when it was added to the list, than with the quality or profile of a given outing. Just that final note that probably should’ve been said on Monday. Whoops.

Before we wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you again for checking any of it out if you did this week. It’s not a minor undertaking to do these, but it’s been completely worth it and I very much appreciate your being a part of it. Thank you. As always.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #41-50:

My Dying Bride, Feel the Misery

my dying bride feel the misery

Led by founding guitarist Andrew Craighan and vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe, UK doom magnates My Dying Bride mark their 25th year with Feel the Misery, their 13th full-length and one that finds them right in their element practicing the melancholic death-doom style they helped forge on pivotal early works like As the Flower Withers (1992) and Turn Loose the Swans (1993). 鈥淎nd My Father Left Forever鈥 starts Feel the Misery on a particularly deathly note, but it鈥檚 not too long before the 10-minute 鈥淭o Shiver in Empty Halls鈥 and the subsequent 鈥淎 Cold New Curse鈥 are mired in the grueling, poetic, beauty-in-darkness emotionality that is My Dying Bride鈥檚 hallmark. The album鈥檚 title-track is a chugging bit of extremity, but the record鈥檚 strongest impact winds up being made by the penultimate 鈥淚 Almost Loved You,鈥 a piano, string and e-bow (sounding) ballad that pushes further than 鈥淎 Thorn of Wisdom鈥 by daring not to get heavy and rests well between the lumbering 鈥淚 Celebrate Your Skin鈥 and the 11-minute closer, 鈥淲ithin a Sleeping Forest,鈥 which fits well, but more reinforces the point than offers something new on its own. A quarter-century later, they remain an institution. One wonders how they鈥檝e managed to stay so depressed for so long.

My Dying Bride’s website

Peaceville Records store

Glowsun, Beyond the Wall of Time

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If French mostly-instrumentalists Glowsun are feeling pressed for time these days 鈥 and with the theme of Beyond the Wall of Time (out via Napalm Records) that shows itself in the ticking clocks that launch opener 鈥淎rrow of Time鈥 and the like-minded titles 鈥淟ast Watchmaker鈥檚 Grave,鈥 鈥淎gainst the Clock鈥 and 鈥淓ndless Caravan鈥 鈥 the material itself doesn鈥檛 show it. Opening with two nine-minute cuts, Glowsun鈥檚 third outing and the follow-up to 2012鈥檚 Eternal Season (discussed here) unrolls itself patiently across its seven-track span, leading one to wonder if maybe Beyond the Wall of Time isn鈥檛 intended as another means of expressing something outside of it, the expanse of tones and grooves created by guitarist/vocalist Johan Jaccob (also graphic art), bassist Ronan Chiron and drummer Fabrice Cornille on 鈥淪hadow of Dreams鈥 and the centerpiece 鈥淔lower of Mist鈥 intended to last after some eternal now has passed. I wouldn鈥檛 want to guess, but it鈥檚 noteworthy that the trio鈥檚 output is evocative enough to lead toward such speculations.

Glowsun on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records store

Caustic Casanova, Breaks

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As with their 2012 debut, Someday You Will be Proven Correct, Washington D.C.-based trio Caustic Casanova recorded their sophomore long-player, Breaks, with J. Robbins at The Magpie Cage in Baltimore. They鈥檙e also releasing the album through Kylesa鈥檚 Retro Futurist Records imprint, so they come nothing if not well-endorsed. With bassist Francis Beringer and drummer Stefanie Zaenker sharing vocal duties throughout 鈥 the trio is completed by Andrew Yonki on guitar 鈥 they run and bounce through a gamut of upbeat post-hardcore noise rock, thick in tone but not so much as to get up and move around, tempo-wise. Yonki brings some post-rock airiness to the early going of the nine-minute 鈥淓lect My Best Friend for a Better World,鈥 but the album on the whole feels more about impact than atmosphere, and Caustic Casanova work up considerable momentum by the time they get around to paying off the 12-minute finale, 鈥淭he Painted Desert.鈥 Its melodies open up more on repeat listens, but not at the expense of the push so well enacted throughout.

Caustic Casanova on Thee Facebooks

Retro Futurist Records

Dead Sea Apes, Spectral Domain

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An outwardly familiar conceptual framework 鈥 instrumental space/psychedelic rock 鈥 does little to convey how much of themselves Manchester, UK, trio Dead Sea Apes put into their new full-length, Spectral Domain. Released by Cardinal Fuzz in conjunction with Sunrise Ocean Bender, it鈥檚 the band鈥檚 sixth or seventh LP, depending on what counts as such, and bookends two north-of-10-minute explorations around three shorter pieces (though not much shorter in the case of the 9:50 鈥淭rue Believers鈥) varied in color but uniformly galaxial in intent. 鈥淏rought to Light鈥 rings out with a wash of drumless echo and swirl, seemingly in response to the tension of centerpiece 鈥淭he Unclosing Eye,鈥 and the whole album seems to take a theme from things seen and unseen, between 鈥淯niversal Interrogator鈥 and closer 鈥淪ixth Side of the Pentagon,鈥 a vibe persisting in some conspiracy theory exposed as blissful and immersive truth with something darker lurking just underneath. Thick but not pretentious, Spectral Domain seems to run as deep as the listener wants to go.

Dead Sea Apes on Thee Facebooks

Sunrise Ocean Bender

Cardinal Fuzz Records

Bantoriak, Weedooism

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A ritualistic spirit arrives early on Italian heavy psych rockers Bantoriak鈥檚 debut LP, Weedooism, and does not depart for the duration of the Argonauta Records release鈥檚 six tracks, which prove spacious, psychedelic and heavy in kind, playing out with alternating flourishes of melody and noise. 鈥淭ry to Sleep鈥 seems to be talking more about the band than the act, but from 鈥淓ntering the Temple鈥 through the rumbling closer 鈥淐hant of the Stone,鈥 Bantoriak leave an individualized stamp on their heavy vibes, and that song is no exception. If Weedooism is the dogma they鈥檙e championing on the smooth-rolling 鈥淪moke the Magma,鈥 they鈥檙e doing so convincingly and immersively, and while they seem to have undergone a lineup shift (?) at some point since the record was done, hopefully that means Weedooism will have a follow-up to its liquefied grooves and weedian heft before too long. In an increasingly crowded Italian heavy psych/stoner scene, Bantoriak stand out already with their first album.

Bantoriak on Bandcamp

Bantoriak at Argonauta Records

Ahab, The Boats of the Glen Carrig

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Though somewhat counterintuitive for a band playing their style of doom to start with, Ahab have only been met with a rising profile over their decade-plus together, and their fourth album for Napalm Records, The Boats of the Glen Carrig, answers three years of anticipation with an expanded sonic palette over its five tracks that is afraid neither of melodic sweetness nor the seafaring tonal heft and creature-from-the-deep growling that has become their hallmark. Their extremity is intact, in other words, but they鈥檙e also clearly growing as a band. I don鈥檛 know if The Boats of the Glen Carrig is quite as colorful musically as its Sebastian Jerke cover art 鈥 inevitably one of the best covers I鈥檝e seen this year 鈥 but whether it鈥檚 the 15-minute sprawl of 鈥淭he Weedmen,鈥 which at its crescendo sounds like peak-era Mastodon at quarter-speed or the (relatively) speedy centerpiece 鈥淩ed Foam (The Great Storm),鈥 Ahab are as expansive in atmosphere as they are relentlessly heavy, and they鈥檙e certainly plenty of that.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

Zark, Tales of the Expected

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One would hardly know it from the discouraging聽title, but all-caps UK progressive metallers ZARK do manage to catch one off-guard on their debut full-length, Tales of the Expected. Duly melodic and duly complex, the eight tracks rely on straightforward components to set deceptively lush vibes, the guitar work of Sean 鈥淏indy鈥 Phillips and Josh Tedd leading the way through tight rhythmic turns alongside bassist Andy 鈥淏ready鈥 Kelley and drummer Simon Spiers鈥 crisp grooves. Vocalist Stuart Lister carries across the aggression of 鈥淟V-426鈥 and hopefulness of 鈥淭he Robber鈥 with equal class, and while ZARK鈥檚 first outing carries a pretty ambitious spirit, the Evesham five-piece reach the high marks they set for themselves, and in so doing set new goals for their next outing, reportedly already in progress. A strong debut from a band who sound like they鈥檙e only going to get more assured as they move forward. More 鈥減leasant surprise鈥 than 鈥渆xpected.鈥

Zark on Thee Facebooks

Zark on Bandcamp

Pyramidal & Domo, Jams from the Sun Split

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Paired up by style almost as much as by geography, Alicante, Spain, acts Pyramidal and Domo picked the right title for their Jams from the Sun split 鈥 a bright, go-ahead-and-get-hypnotized psychedelic space vibe taking hold early on the Lay Bare Recordings release and not letting go as one side gives way to the other or as the noisy post-Hawkwindery of 鈥淯r贸boros鈥 closes out. Pyramidal, who made their debut in 2012 (review here),聽offer 鈥淢otormind鈥 and 鈥淗ypnotic Psychotic,鈥 two 10-minute mostly-instrumental jams that progress with liquid flow toward and through apexes in constant search for the farther-out that presumably they find at the end and that鈥檚 why they bother stopping at all, and Domo, who made their debut in 2011 (review here),聽counter with three cuts of their own, 鈥淰iajero del Cosmos,鈥 鈥淢antra Astral鈥 and the aforementioned 鈥淯r贸boros,鈥 switching up the mood a little between them but not so much as to interrupt the trance overarching the release as whole. I remain a sucker for a quality space jam, and Jams from the Sun has 45 minutes鈥 worth.

Pyramidal on Thee Facebooks

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings

Mammoth Salmon, Last Vestige of Humanity

mammoth salmon last vestige of humanity

After releasing a couple internet EPs (review here) and 2013鈥檚 Call of the Mammoth EP as the duo of guitarist/vocalist/bassist Paul Dudziak and drummer Mitch Meidinger, Portland, Oregon鈥檚 Mammoth Salmon enlist bassist Alex Bateman and drummer Steve Lyons for their first full-length, the Adam Pike-produced Last Vestige of Humanity, which rolls out plus-sized Melvinsery across six amp-blowing tracks of sludgy riffing and nodding, lumbering weight. The title-track, which ends what would and probably will at some point be side A of the vinyl version, picks up the tempo in its second half, and 鈥淢emoriam鈥 teases the same in Lyons鈥 drums at the start, but of course goes on to unfold the slowest progression here ahead of 鈥淪hattered Existence鈥濃檚 toying with playing barely-there minimalism off full-on crush and the 10-minute 鈥淏elieve Nothing鈥 rounding out with appropriately elephantine march. Sustainable in their approach and viciously heavy, Mammoth Salmon seem to have hit reset and given themselves a new start with this lineup, and it works to their advantage on this promising debut.

Mammoth Salmon on Thee Facebooks

Mammoth Salmon on Bandcamp

Molior Superum, Electric Escapism

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鈥淜arma is a bitch that will definitely hunt you down for what you have done,鈥 would seem to be the standout message of 鈥淭he Dream of the Fisherman鈥檚 Wife,鈥 the third and longest (at 6:34) of the four inclusions on Molior Superum鈥檚 new EP, Electric Escapism. The non-retro Swedish heavy rockers fire up righteous heft to put them in league with countrymen Sk氓nska Mord, but ultimately have more in common with Stubb out of the UK in the loose-sounding swing of 鈥淔枚rsummad,鈥 despite the different language. I had the same opinion about their full-length debut, Into the Sun (review here), and last year鈥檚 The Inconclusive Portrait 7鈥 (review here) as well. Can鈥檛 seem to shake it, but Molior Superum鈥檚 ability to switch it up linguistics 鈥 they open and close in Swedish, with the two middle cuts in English 鈥 is an immediately distinguishing factor, and whichever they choose for a given song, they kill it here.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

Molior Superum on Bandcamp

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Pyramidal, Dawn in Space: The Big Bang

Posted in Reviews on April 30th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Dawn in Space is the debut release from Spanish double-guitar heavy jam foursome Pyramidal. Issued on CD by Radix Records and limited gatefold 2LP with bonus tracks through Krauted Mind, the full-length mostly follows the guitars of Miguel Angel Sanz and 脫scar Soler (the former also contributes synth and the latter the album鈥檚 sparse vocals) and like the architecture of the band鈥檚 native Alicante, there鈥檚 a vague Middle Eastern influence in the psychedelic ranging that works coincidingly with the modern heavy jam mindset. Tonally, even a minor-key cut like 鈥淜osmik Blizzard鈥 isn鈥檛 so viscous that it can鈥檛 move, and Pyramidal do well throughout to vary the pace and level of activity so as to hold attention for Dawn in Space鈥檚 62-minute duration, or at very least not lull to sleep when it doesn鈥檛 mean to be hypnotic. The 鈥渃hill鈥 effect that a lot of European heavy psych has had to offer over the last year or two 鈥 thinking of bands like Samsara Blues Experiment, Electric Moon and their ilk of post-Colour Haze improvisers 鈥 comes across quite clearly through some of this material, and at over an hour long, it鈥檚 hard to believe that鈥檚 not on purpose, but there鈥檚 a space rocking musical influence as well to go along with the titles and artwork that comes through Llu铆s Mas鈥 drumming and Miguel Rodes鈥 bass; a sense of forward and outward push. For that, Pyramidal earn their requisite-for-space-rock Hawkwind comparison, but again, Dawn in Space has more going on stylistically than just following Dave Brocke鈥檚 chemtrails. To put a point on it, the hidden track that comes on about a minute after closer 鈥淢ars Lagoon鈥 ends has more in common in terms of its ethic and execution with Yawning Man.

And though that鈥檚 true 鈥 maybe it seems like a finer line than some, but it鈥檚 also more breadth than one finds in many acts 鈥 what鈥檚 really going to make any release like Dawn in Space is going to be the chemistry between the players involved. Sanz, Soler, Rodes and Mas give an ample showing in this regard, the patience of the build in the 10-minute 鈥淧astikleuten (Part I & II)鈥 being a prime instance, but it鈥檚 pretty clear from the whole of the album that it鈥檚 a case of development getting under way and what鈥檚 playing out across these seven-plus songs is the beginning stages of what will undoubtedly be a more protracted arc. Still, wah-drenched solos and transitional injections of synth from Sanz have their own appeal, and Pyramidal鈥檚 dedication to and strong sense of aesthetic carry them through much of this material, and whether it鈥檚 the verses that suddenly appear on the later 鈥淭empel Iaru鈥 or 鈥淏lack Land,鈥 which follows the brief and swirling opener 鈥淚ntronauts,鈥 or the longer instrumentals that make up the crux of Dawn in Space, one could hardly listen to the record and not come out of it thinking the band has no idea what they鈥檙e doing. Like doom for doomers, it鈥檚 heavy psych for heavy psychers, mixed so that Rodes鈥 bass stands out punctuating 鈥淜osmik Blizzard鈥 as much as the riff it鈥檚 feeding into, and so that Mas鈥 drums never quite leave the ground but never sound like they鈥檙e purposefully staying attached to it either, far-miked cymbals coming across naturally. Perhaps predictably, Pyramidal recorded the entirety of Dawn in Space live, and that warmth and vibrancy is there both in tone and performance. The guitars never quite shred, but the leads suit the mood well, and though the midsection of the title-track feels a bit like it鈥檚 lost its footing, there鈥檚 something about that sensibility that works well with Pyramidal鈥檚 overall approach.

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