Quarterly Review: Saturnalia Temple, Dool, Abrams, Pia Isa, Wretched Kingdom, Lake Lake, Gnarwhal, Bongfoot, Thomas Greenwood & The Talismans, Djiin

Posted in Reviews on May 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Today is Wednesday, the day we hit and pass the halfway mark for this week, which is a quarter of the way through the entirety of this 100-release Quarterly Review. Do you need to know that? Not really, but it’s useful for me to keep track of how much I’m doing sometimes, which is why I count in the first place. 100 records isn’t nothing, you know. Or 10 for that matter. Or one. I don’t know.

A little more variety here, which is always good, but I’ve got momentum behind me after yesterday and I don’t want to delay diving in, so off we go.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Saturnalia Temple, Paradigm Call

saturnalia temple paradigm call

For the band’s fourth album, Paradigm Call, founding Saturnalia Temple guitarist/vocalist Tommie Eriksson leads the newcomer rhythm section of drummer Pelle Åhman and bassist Gottfrid Åhman through eight abyss-plundering tracks across 48 minutes of roiling tonal mud distinguished by its aural stickiness and Eriksson‘s readily identifiable vocal gurgle. The methodology hasn’t changed much since 2020’s Gravity (review here) in terms of downward pull, but the title-track’s solo is sharp enough to cut through the mire, and while it’s no less harsh for doing so, “Among the Ruins” explores a faster tempo while staying in line with the all-brown psychedelic swirl around it, brought to fruition in the backwards-sounding loops of closer “Kaivalya” after the declarative thud of side B standout “Empty Chalice.” They just keep finding new depths. It’s impressive. Also a little horrifying.

Saturnalia Temple on Facebook

Listenable Records website

Dool, The Shape of Fluidity

dool the shape of fluidity

It’s easy to respect a band so unwilling to be boxed by genre, and Rotterdam’s Dool put the righteous aural outsiderness that’s typified their sound since 2017’s Here Now There Then (review here) to meta-level use on their third long-player for Prophecy Productions, The Shape of Fluidity. Darkly progressive, rich in atmosphere, broad in range and mix, heavy-but-not-beholden-to-tone in presentation, encompassing but sneaky-catchy in pieces like opener “Venus in Flames,” the flowing title-track, and the in-fact-quite-heavy “Hermagorgon,” the record harnesses declarations and triumphs around guitarist/vocalist Raven van Dorst‘s stated lyrical thematic around gender-nonbinaryism, turning struggle and confusion into clarity of expressive purpose in the breakout “Self-Dissect” and resolving with furious culmination in “The Hand of Creation” with due boldness. Given some of the hateful, violent rhetoric around gender-everything in the modern age, the bravery of DoolVan Dorst alongside guitarists Nick Polak and Omar Iskandr, bassist JB van der Wal and drummer Vincent Kreyder — in confronting that head-on with these narratives is admirable, but it’s still the songs themselves that make The Shape of Fluidity one of 2024’s best albums.

Dool on Facebook

Prophecy Productions website

Abrams, Blue City

abrams blue city

After releasing 2022’s In the Dark (review here) on Small Stone, Denver heavy rockers Abrams align to Blues Funeral Recordings for their fifth album in a productive, also-touring nine years, the 10-track/42-minute Blue City. Production by Kurt Ballou (High on Fire, Converge, etc.) at GodCity Studio assures no lack of impact as “Fire Waltz” reaffirms the tonal density of the riffs that the Zach Amster-led four-piece nonetheless made dance in opener “Tomorrow,” while the rolling “Death Om” and the momentary skyward ascent in “Etherol” — a shimmering preface to the chug-underscored mellowness of “Narc” later — lay out some of the dynamic that’s emerged in their sound along with the rampant post-hardcore melodies that come through in Amster and Graham Zander‘s guitars, capable either of meting out hard-landing riffs to coincide with the bass of Taylor Iversen (also vocals) and Ryan DeWitt‘s drumming, or unfurling sections of float like those noted above en route to tying it all together with the closing “Blue City.” Relatively short runtimes and straightforward-feeling structures mask the stylistic nuance of the actual material — nothing new there for Abrams; they’re largely undervalued — and the band continue to reside in between-microgenre spaces as they await the coming of history which will inevitably prove they were right all along.

Abrams on Facebook

Blues Funeral Recordings website

Pia Isa, Burning Time

pia isa burning time

Superlynx bassist/vocalist Pia Isaksen made her solo debut under the Pia Isa moniker with 2022’s Distorted Chants (review here), and in addition to announcing the SoftSun collaboration she’ll undertake alongside Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce (who also appeared on her record), in 2024, she offers the three-song Burning Time EP, with a cover of Radiohead‘s “Burn the Witch” backed by two originals, “Treasure” and “Nothing Can Turn it Back.” With drumming by her Superlynx bandmate Ole Teigen (who also recorded), “Burn the Witch” becomes a lumbering forward march, ethereal in melody but not necessarily cultish, while “Treasure” digs into repetitive plod led by the low end and “Nothing Can Turn it Black” brings the guitar forward but is most striking in the break that brings the dual-layered vocals forward near the midpoint. The songs are leftovers from the LP, but if you liked the LP, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Pia Isa on Facebook

Argonauta Records website

Wretched Kingdom, Wretched Kingdom

Wretched Kingdom Wretched Kingdom

A late-2023 initial public offering from Houston’s Wretched Kingdom, their self-titled EP presents a somewhat less outwardly joyous take on the notion of “Texas desert rock” than that offered by, as an example, Austin’s High Desert Queen, but the metallic riffing that underscores “Dreamcrusher” goes farther back in its foundations than whatever similarity to Kyuss one might find in the vocals or speedier riffy shove of “Smoke and Mirrors.” Sharp-cornered in tone, opener “Torn and Frayed” gets underway with metered purpose as well, and while the more open-feeling “Too Close to the Sun” begins similar to “You Can’t Save Me” — the strut that ensues in the latter distinguishes — the push in its second half comes after riding a steady groove into a duly bluesy solo. There’s nothing in the material to take you out of the flow between the six component cuts, and even closer “Deviation” tells you it’s about to do something different as it works from its mellower outset into a rigorous payoff. With the understanding that most first-EPs of this nature are demos by another name and (as here) more professional sound, Wretched Kingdom‘s Wretched Kingdom asks little in terms of indulgence and rewards generously when encountered at higher volumes. Asking more would be ridiculous.

Wretched Kingdom on Facebook

Wretched Kingdom on Bandcamp

Lake Lake, Proxy Joy

lake lake proxy joy

Like earlier Clutch born out of shenanigans-prone punk, Youngstown, Ohio’s Lake Lake are tight within the swinging context of a song like “The Boy Who Bit Me,” which is the second of the self-released Proxy Joy‘s six inclusions. Brash in tone and the gutted-out shouty vocals, offsetting its harder shoving moments with groovy back-throttles in songs that could still largely be called straightforward, the quirk and throaty delivery of “Blue Jerk” and the bluesier-minded “Viking Vietnam” paying off the tension in the verses of “Comfort Keepers” and the build toward that leadoff’s chorus want nothing for personality or chemistry, and as casual as the style is on paper, the arrangements are coordinated and as “Heavy Lord” finds a more melodic vocal and “Coyote” — the longest song here at 5:01 — leaves on a brash highlight note, the party they’re having is by no means unconsidered. But it is a party, and those who have dancing shoes would be well advised to keep them on hand, just in case.

Lake Lake on Facebook

Lake Lake on Bandcamp

Gnarwhal, Altered States

Gnarwhal Altered States

Modern in the angularity of its riffing, spacious in the echoes of its tones and vocals, and encompassing enough in sound to be called progressive within a heavy context, Altered States follows Canadian four-piece Gnarwhal‘s 2023 self-titled debut full-length with four songs that effectively bring together atmosphere and impact in the six-minute “The War Nothing More” — big build in the second half leading to more immediate, on-beat finish serving as a ready instance of same — with twists that feel derived of the MastoBaroness school rhythmically and up-front vocal melodies that give cohesion to the darker vibe of “From Her Hands” after displaying a grungier blowout in “Tides.” The terrain through which they ebb and flow, amass and release tension, soar and crash, etc., is familiar if somewhat intangible, and that becomes an asset as the concluding “Altered States” channels the energy coursing through its verses in the first half into the airy payoff solo that ends. I didn’t hear the full-length last year. Listening to what Gnarwhal are doing in these tracks in terms of breadth and crunch, I feel like I missed out. You might also consider being prepared to want to hear more upon engaging.

Gnarwhal on Facebook

Gnarwhal on Bandcamp

Bongfoot, Help! The Humans..

bongfoot help the humans

Help the humans? No. Help! The Humans…, and here as in so many of life’s contexts, punctuation matters. Digging into a heavy, character-filled and charging punkish sound they call “Appalachian thrash,” Boone, North Carolina, three-piece Bongfoot are suitably over-the-top as they explore what it means to be American in the current age, couching discussions of wealth inequality, climate crisis, corporatocracy, capitalist exploitation, the insecurity at root in toxic masculinity and more besides. With clever, hooky lyrics that are a total blast despite being tragic in the subject matter and a pace of execution well outside what one might think is bong metal going in because of the band’s name, Bongfoot vigorously kick ass from opener “End Times” through the galloping end of “Amazon Death Factory/Spacefoot” and the untitled mountain ramble that follows as an outro. Along the way, they intermittently toy with country twang, doom, and hardcore punk, and offer a prayer to the titular volcano of “Krakatoa” to save at least the rest of the world if not humanity. It’s quite a time to be alive. Listening, that is. As for the real-world version of the real world, it’s less fun and more existentially and financially draining, which makes Help! The Humans… all the more a win for its defiance and charm. Even with the bonus tracks, I’ll take more of this anytime they’re ready with it.

Bongfoot on Facebook

Bongfoot on Bandcamp

Thomas Greenwood & The Talismans, Ateş

Thomas Greenwood and the Talismans Ateş

It’s interesting, because you can’t really say that Thomas Greenwood and the Talismans‘ second LP, Ateş isn’t neo-psychedelia, but the eight tracks and 38 minutes of the record itself warrant enunciating what that means. Where much of 2020s-era neo-psych is actually space rock with thicker tones (shh! it’s a secret!), what Greenwood — AKA Thomas Mascheroni, also of Bergamo, Italy’s Humulus) brings to sounds like the swaying, organ-laced “Sleepwalker” and the resonant spaciousness in the soloing of “Mystic Sunday Morning” is more kin to the neo-psych movement that began in the 1990s, which itself was a reinterpretation of the genre’s pop-rock origins in the 1960s. Is this nitpicking? Not when you hear the title-track infusing its Middle Eastern-leaning groove with a heroic dose of wah or the friendly shimmer of “I Do Not” that feels extrapolated from garage rock but is most definitely not that thing and the post-Beatles bop of “Sunhouse.” It’s an individual (if inherently familiar) take that unifies the varied arrangements of the acidic “When We Die” and the cosmic vibe of “All the Lines” (okay, so there’s a little bit of space boogie too), resolving in the Doors-y lumber of “Crack” to broaden the scope even further and blur past timelines into an optimistic future.

Thomas Greenwood and The Talismans on Facebook

Subsound Records website

Djiin, Mirrors

djiin mirrors

As direct as some of its push is and as immediate as “Fish” is opening the album right into the first verse, the course that harp-laced French heavy progressive rockers Djiin take on their third album, Mirrors, ultimately more varied, winding and satisfying as its five-track run gives over to the nine-minute “Mirrors” and uses its time to explore more pointedly atmospheric reaches before a weighted crescendo that precedes the somehow-fluidity in the off-time early stretch of centerpiece “In the Aura of My Own Sadness,” its verses topped with spoken word and offset by note-for-note melodic conversation between the vocals and guitar. Rest assured, they build “In the Aura of My Own Sadness” to its own crushing end, while taking a more decisively psychedelic approach to get there, and thereby set up “Blind” with its trades from open-spaces held to pattern by the drums and a pair of nigh-on-caustic noise rock onslaughts before 13-minute capstone “Iron Monsters” unfolds a full instrumental linear movement before getting even heavier, as if to underscore the notion that Djiin can go wherever the hell they want and make it work as a song. Point taken.

Djiin on Facebook

Klonosphere Records website

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Rotor, Seer of the Void, Moodoom, Altered States, Giöbia, Astral Hand, Golden Bats, Zeup, Giant Sleep, Green Yeti

Posted in Reviews on April 13th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Oh hi, I’m pretending I didn’t see you there. Today the Spring 2023 Quarterly Review hits and — if Apollo is willing — passes the halfway point en route to 70 total records to be covered by the end of next Tuesday. Then there’s another 50 at least to come next month, so I don’t know what ‘quarter’ that’s gonna be but I don’t really have another name for this kind of roundup just sitting in my back pocket, so if we have to fudge one or expand Spring in such a way, I sincerely doubt anyone but me actually cares that it’s a little weird this time through. And I’m not even sure I care, to be honest. Surely “notice” would be a better word.

Either way, thanks for reading. Hope you’ve found something cool thus far and hope you find more today. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Rotor, Sieben

rotor 7

Seven full-lengths and a quarter-century later, it’s nigh on impossible to argue with Berlin instrumentalists Rotor. Sieben — or simply 7, depending on where you look — is their latest offering, and in addition to embracing heavy psychedelia with enough tonal warmth on “Aller Tage Abend” to remind that they’re contemporaries to Colour Haze, the seven-song/38-minute LP has room for the jazzy classic prog flashes of “Mäander” later on and the more straight-ahead fuzzy crunch of “Reibach,” which opens, and the contrast offered by the acoustic guitar and friendly roll that emerges on the closing title-track. Dug into the groove and Euro-size XXL (that’s XL to Americans) riffing of “Kahlschlag,” there’s never a doubt that it’s Rotor you’re hearing, and the same is true of “Aller Tage Abend,” the easy-nodding second half and desert-style chop of “Schabracke,” and everything else; the simple fact is that Rotor these 25 years on can be and in fact are all of these things and more besides while also being a band who have absolutely nothing to prove. Sieben celebrates their progression, the riffs at their roots, the old and new in their makeup and the mastery with which they’ve made the notion of ‘instrumental heavy rock’ so much their own. It’s a lesson gladly learned again, and 2023 is a better year with Sieben in it.

Rotor on Facebook

Noisolution website


Seer of the Void, Mantra Monolith

Seer of the Void Mantra Monolith

Athens-based sludge-and-then-some rockers Seer of the Void follow their successful 2020 debut, Revenant, with the more expansive Mantra Monolith, enacting growth on multiple levels, be it the production and general largesse of their sound, the songs becoming a bit longer (on average) or the ability to shift tempos smoothly between “Electric Father” and “Death is My Name” without giving up either momentum or the attitude as emphasized in the gritty vocals of bassist Greg “Maddog” Konstantaras. Side B’s “Demon’s Hand” offers a standout moment of greater intensity, but Seer of the Void are hardly staid elsewhere, whether it’s the swinging verse of “Hex” that emerges from the massive intro, or the punkish vibe underscoring the nonetheless-metal head-down chug in the eponymous “Seer of the Void.” They cap with a clearheaded fuzzy solo in “Necromancer,” seeming to answer the earlier “Seventh Son,” and thereby highlight the diversity manifest from their evolution in progress, but if one enjoyed the rougher shoves of Revenant (or didn’t; prior experience isn’t a barrier to entry), there remains plenty of that kind of tonal and rhythmic physicality in Mantra Monolith.

Seer of the Void on Facebook

Venerate Industries on Bandcamp


Moodoom, Desde el Bosque

Moodoom Desde el Bosque

Organic roots doom from the trio Moodoom — guitarist/vocalist Cristian Marchesi, bassist/vocalist Jonathan Callejas and drummer Javier Cervetti — captured en vivo in the band’s native Buenos Aires, Desde el Bosque is the trio’s second LP and is comprised of five gorgeous tracks of Sabbath-worshiping heavy blues boogie, marked by standout performances from Marchesi and Callejas often together on vocals, and the sleek Iommic riffing that accounts as well for the solos layered across channels in the penultimate “Nadie Bajará,” which is just three minutes long but speaks volumes on what the band are all about, which is keep-it-casual mellow-mover heavy, the six-minute titular opening/longest track (immediate points) swaggering to its own swing as meted out by Cervetti with a proto-doomly slowdown right in the middle before the lightly-funked solo comes in, and the finale “Las Maravillas de Estar Loco” (‘the wonders of being crazy,’ in English) rides the line between heavy rock and doom with no less grace, introducing a line of organ or maybe guitar effects along with the flawless groove proffered by Callejas and Cervetti. It’s only 23 minutes long, but definitely an album, and exactly the way a classic-style power trio is supposed to work. Gorgeously done, and near-infinite in its listenability.

Moodoom on Facebook

Moodoom on Bandcamp


Altered States, Survival


The second release and debut full-length from New Jersey-based trio Altered States runs seven tracks and 34 minutes and finds individualism in running a thread through influences from doom and heavy rock, elder hardcore and metal, resulting in the synth-laced stylistic intangibility of “A Murder of Crows” on side A and the smoothly-delivered proportion of riff in the eponymous “Altered States” later on, bassist Zack Kurland (Green Dragon, ex-Sweet Diesel, etc.) taking over lead vocals in the verse to let guitarist/synthesist Ryan Lipynsky (Unearthly Trance, Serpentine Path, The Howling Wind, etc.) take the chorus, while drummer Chris Daly (Texas is the Reason, Resurrection, 108, etc.) punctuates the urgency in opener “The Crossing” and reinforces the nod of “Cerberus.” There’s an exploration of dynamic underway on multiple levels throughout, whether it’s the guitar and keys each feeling out their space in the mix, or the guitar and bass, vocal arrangements, and so on, but with the atmospheric centerpiece “Hurt” — plus that fuzz right around the 2:30 mark before the build around the album’s title line — just two songs past the Motörheaded “Mycelium,” it’s clear that however in-development their sound may be, Altered States already want for nothing as regards reaching out from their doom rocking center, which is that much richer with multiple songwriters behind it.

Altered States on Facebook

Altered States on Bandcamp


Giöbia, Acid Disorder

giobia acid disorder

Opener and longest track (immediate points) “Queen of Wands” is so hypnotic you almost don’t expect its seven minutes to end, but of course they do, and Italian strange-psych whatevernauts Giöbia proceed from there to float guitar over and vocals over the crunched-down “The Sweetest Nightmare” before the breadth of “Consciousness Equals Energy” and “Screaming Souls” melds outer-rim-of-the-galaxy space prog with persistently-tripped Europsych lushness, heavy in its underpinnings but largely unrestrained by gravity or concerns for genre. Acid Disorder is the maybe-fifth long-player from the Italian cosmic rocking aural outsiders, and their willingness to dive into the unknown is writ large through the synth and organ layers and prominent strum of “Blood is Gone,” the mix itself becoming no less an instrument in the band’s collective hand than the guitar, bass, drums, vocals, etc. Ultra-fluid throughout (duh), the eight-songer tops out around 44 minutes and is an adventure for the duration, the drift of side B’s instrumental “Circo Galattico” reveling in experimentalism over a somehow-solidified rhythm while “In Line” complements in answer to “The Sweetest Nightmare” picking up from “Queen of Wands” at the outset, leaving the closing title-track on its own, which seems to fit its synth-and-sitar-laced serenity just fine. Band sounds like everything and nobody but themselves, reliably.

Giöbia on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Astral Hand, Lords of Data

Astral Hand Lords of Data

Like everything, Milwaukee heavy psychedelia purveyors Astral Hand were born out of destruction. In this case, it’s the four-piece’s former outfit Calliope that went nova, resulting in the recycling of cosmic gasses and gravitational ignition wrought in the debut album Lords of Data‘s eight songs, the re-ish-born new band benefitting from the experience of the old as evidenced by the patient unfolding of side A capper “Psychedelicide,” the defining hook in “Universe Machine” and the shove-then-drone-then-shove in “End of Man” and the immersive heft in opener “Not Alone” that brings the listener deep into the nod from the very start of the first organ notes so that by the time they’ve gone as far out as the open spaces of “Navigator” and the concluding “God Emperor,” their emergent command of the ethereal is unquestionable. They work a little shuffle into that finale, which is an engaging touch, but Lords of Data — a thoroughly modern idea — isn’t limited to that any more than it is the atmospheric grandiosity and lumber of “Crystal Gate” that launches side B. One way or the other, these dudes have been at it for more than a decade going back to the start of Calliope, but Astral Hand is a stirring refresh of purpose on their part and one hopes their lordship continues to flourish. I don’t know that they’re interested in such terrestrial concerns, but they’d be a great pickup for some discerning label.

Astral Hand on Facebook

Astral Hand on Bandcamp


Golden Bats, Scatter Yr Darkness

Golden Bats Scatter Yr Darkness

Slow-churning intensity is the order of the day on Scatter Yr Darkness, the eight-song sophomore LP from now-Italy-based solo-outfit Golden Bats, aka Geordie Stafford, who sure enough sprinkles death, rot and no shortage of darkness across the album’s 41-minute span, telling tales through metaphor in poetic lyrics of pandemic-era miseries; civic unrest and disaffection running like a needle through split skin to join the various pieces together. Echoing shouts give emphasis to the rawness of the sludge in “Holographic Stench” and “Erbgrind,” but in that eight-minute cut there’s a drop to cinematic, not-actually-minimalist-but-low-volume string sounds, and “Breathe Misery” begins with Mellotron-ish melancholy that hints toward the synth at the culmination of “A Savage Dod” and in the middle of “Malingering,” so nothing is actually so simple as the caustic surface makes it appear. Drums are programmed and the organ in “Bravo Sinkhole” and other keys may be as well, I don’t know, but as Stafford digs into Golden Bats sonically and conceptually — be it the bareknuckle “Riding in the Captain’s Skull” at the start or the raw-throated vocal echo spread over “The Gold Standard of Suffering,” which closes — the harshness of expression goes beyond the aural. It’s been a difficult few years, admittedly.

Golden Bats on Facebook

Golden Bats on Bandcamp


Zeup, Mammals

zeup mammals

Straightforward in a way that feels oldschool in speaking to turn-of-the-century era heavy rock influences — big Karma to Burn vibe in the riffs of “Hollow,” and not by any means only there — the debut album Mammals from Danish trio Zeup benefits from decades of history in metal and rock on the part of drummer Morten Barth (ex-Wasted) and bassist/producer Morten Rold (ex-Beyond Serenity), and with non-Morten guitarist Jakob Bach Kristensen (also production) sharing vocals with Rold, they bring a down-to-business sensibility to their eight component tracks that can’t be faked. That’s consistent with 2020’s Blind EP (review here) and a fitting demonstration for any who’d take it on that sometimes you don’t need anything more than the basic guitar, bass, drums, vocals when the songs are there. Sure, they take some time to explore in the seven-minute instrumental “Escape” before hitting ground again in the aptly-titled slow post-hardcore-informed closer “In Real Life,” but even that is executed with clear intention and purpose beyond jamming. I’ll go with “Rising” as a highlight, but it’s a pick-your-poison kind of record, and there’s an awful lot that’s going to sound needlessly complicated in comparison.

Zeup on Facebook

Ozium Records store


Giant Sleep, Grounded to the Sky

giant sleep grounded to the sky

Grounded to the Sky is the third LP from Germany’s Giant Sleep, and with it the band hones a deceptively complex scope drawn together in part by vocalist Thomas Rosenmerkel, who earns the showcase position with rousing blues-informed performances on the otherwise Tool-ish prog metal title-track and the later-Soundgardening leadoff before it, “Silent Field.” On CD and digital, the record sprawls across nearly an hour, but the vinyl edition is somewhat tighter, leaving off “Shadow Walker” and “The Elixir” in favor of a 43-minute run that puts the 4:43 rocker “Sour Milk” in the closer position, not insubstantially changing the personality of the record. Founded by guitarist Patrick Hagmann, with Rosenmerkel in the lineup as well as guitarist/backing vocalist Tobias Glanzmann (presumably that’ll be him in the under-layer of “Siren Song”), bassist Radek Stecki and drummer Manuel Spänhauer, they sound full as a five-piece and are crisp in their production and delivery even in the atmospherically minded “Davos,” which dares some float and drift along with a political commentary and feels like it’s taking no fewer chances in doing so, and generally come across as knowing who they are as a band and what they want to do with their sound, then doing it. In fact, they sound so sure, I’m not even certain why they sent the record out for review. They very obviously know they nailed what they were going for, and yes, they did.

Giant Sleep on Facebook

Czar of Crickets Productions website


Green Yeti, Necropolitan

Green Yeti Necropolitan

It’s telling that even the CD version of Green Yeti‘s Necropolitan breaks its seven tracks down across two sides. The Athens trio of guitarist/vocalist Michael Andresakis, bassist Dani Avramidis and drummer Giannis Koutroumpis touch on psychedelic groove in the album-intro “Syracuse” before turning over to the pure post-Kyuss rocker “Witch Dive,” which Andresakis doing an admirable John Garcia in the process, before the instrumental “Jupiter 362” builds tension for five minutes without ever exploding, instead giving out to the quiet start of side A’s finish in “Golgotha,” which likewise builds but turns to harsher sludge rock topped by shouts and screams in the midsection en route to an outright cacophonous second half. That unexpected turn — really, the series of them — makes it such that as the bass-swinging “Dirty Lung” starts its rollout on side B, you don’t know what’s coming. The answer is half-Sleepy ultra-burl, but still. “Kerosene” stretches out the desert vibe somewhat, but holds a nasty edge to it, and the nine-minute “One More Bite,” which closes the record, has a central nod but feels at any moment like it might swap it for further assault. Does it? It’s worth listening to the record front to back to find out. Hail Greek heavy, and Green Yeti‘s willingness to pluck from microgenre at will is a good reason why.

Green Yeti on Facebook

Green Yeti on Bandcamp


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 107

Posted in Radio on March 31st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

So I kinda wanted to hear some old shit alongside all the new shit, which I guess I feel okay about. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like every second of every show has to be super-recent as much as possible to get word out about new bands again as much as possible — and again again as much as possible to the extent of whatever the audience for this show is; I honestly have no idea — but that’s not even close to being true in reality. I could play Death, no one would give a shit.

I should play Death. Next show if I remember, which I’m saying up front is like 70/30 no.

Anyway, so old High on Fire into new Dozer and Altered States’ recent “The Crossing” crossing with The Hidden Hand’s “The Crossing” from their brilliant 2004 opus, and JAAW feeding into Celtic Frost feeding into Vape Warlök. Fucking a. This show’s pretty good. I hope I don’t ruin it by, you know, talking.

A few albums here I’m looking forward to knowing better. Swanmay for sure, JAAW absolutely, and I might even say that of Dozer, perhaps into perpetuity or at very least until long after I’ve reviewed it and hailed it as one of the best albums of the year — which I don’t even feel shy in saying because it’s a fucking given — and Bongzilla, because they’re Bongzilla and I’m glad they’re putting out records. They’re a needed reminder of how even the heaviest things can be made to float.

Thanks if you listen to this show. If not, it happens, but thanks for reading anyhow. If you stumbled here and have no idea what I’m talking about, you might still consider checking out a band or two from the playlist and find something to make your day better.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at: http://gimmemetal.com.

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 03.31.23 (VT = voice track)

High on Fire 10,000 Years The Art of Self-Defense (2001)
Dozer Dust for Blood Drifting in the Endless Void
Devoidov Stab Stab
MiR Altar of Liar Season Unknown
Mars Red Sky & Queen of the Meadow Maps of Inferno Mars Red Sky & Queen of the Meadow
Black Rainbows Superhero Dopeproof Superskull
Lammping Better Know Better Better Know Better
Oceanlord 2340 Kingdom Cold
Arriver Azimuth Azimuth
Altered States The Crossing Survival
The Hidden Hand The Crossing Mother Teacher Destroyer (2004)
Iress Ricochet Solace
Grin Nothingness Black Nothingness
Bongzilla Hippie Stick Dab City
MWWB Logic Bomb The Harvest (2022)
Swanmay Stone Cold Frantic Feel
JAAW Rot Supercluster
Celtic Frost A Dying God Coming into Human Flesh Monotheist (2005)
Vape Warlök Inhale Death Inhale Death (2022)

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is April 14 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,