The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 101

Posted in Radio on January 6th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

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This gets pretty heavy, pretty nasty. Then it kind of gets pretty. What happened was I knew I wanted to start with Basalt Shrine because that’s just too killer a beginning to pass up. But I was barely two days into the Quarterly Review and I knew I didn’t want to do a whole show based on that, so I just kind of went from Basalt Shrine forward on a line of extreme sludge of varying kinds, and that was fun for a while. When I started stumbling coming up with inclusions off the top of my head, I decided to switch gears.

That’s where you see the second voice break. I was going to put it at the top of the second hour but figured screw it. I wanted to play Indian and Wren and KVLL, so I did. And then I jump on, announce the change happening, and jump off. I didn’t even really end the show, just “here’s something else” and done. That was a little liberating, if I’m honest. I feel like I have to say hi, thanks, thanks to Gimme, explain what The Obelisk is to anyone who doesn’t know (which I assume is everyone), then thanks again and see you in two weeks. Felt good to skip even a little of that formality/formula.

I don’t think I’ll be rewriting how I do the show entirely, but I apparently needed something different, and that’s what I got.

Thanks for listening if you make it. Thanks for reading if you see this.

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 01.06.23 (VT = voice track)

Basalt Shrine In the Dirt’s Embrace From Fiery Tongues
Bongzilla Free the Weed Weedsconsin
Come to Grief Death Can’t Come Soon Enough When the World Dies
Seum Snowbird Snowbird
Grales All Things are Temporary Remember the Earth but Never Come Back
Gg:ull Hoisting Ruined Sails Ex Est
Nomadic Rituals The Burden Tides
Belzebong Pot Fiend Light the Dankness
Wren Chromed Groundswells
Indian Directional From All Purity
KVLL Suffocation Suffocation
DUNDDW VII Part 4 Flux
Aktopasa Agarthi Journey to the Pink Planet
Mister Earthbound Wicked John Shadow Work
Amon Acid Death on the Altar Cosmogony

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Jan. 6 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Quarterly Review: Antimatter, Mick’s Jaguar, Sammal, Cassius King, Seven Rivers of Fire, Amon Acid, Iron & Stone, DRÖÖG, Grales, Half Gramme of Soma

Posted in Reviews on January 3rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-winter 2023

We roll on in this new-year-smelling 2023 with day two of the Quarterly Review. Yesterday was pretty easy, but the first day almost always is. Usually by Thursday I’m feeling it. Or the second Tuesday. It varies. In any case, as you know, this QR is a double, which means it’s going to include 100 albums total, written about between yesterday and next Friday. Ton of stuff, and most of it is 2022, but generally later in the year, so at least I’m only a couple months behind your no doubt on-the-ball listening schedule.

Look. I can’t pretend to keep up with a Spotify algorithm, I’m sorry. I do my best, but that’s essentially a program to throw bands in your face (while selling your data and not paying artists). My hope is that being able to offer a bit of context when I throw 100 bands in your face is enough of a difference to help you find something you dig. Some semblance of curation. Maybe I’m flattering myself. I’m pretty sure Spotify can inflate its own ego now too.

Winter 2023 Quarterly Review #11-20:

Antimatter, A Profusion of Thought


Project founder, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mick Moss isn’t through opener “No Contact” — one of the 10 inclusions on Antimatter‘s 54-minute eighth LP, A Profusion of Thought — before he readily demonstrates he can carry the entire album himself if need be. Irish Cuyos offers vocals on the subsequent “Paranoid Carbon” and Liam Edwards plays live drums where applicable, but with a realigned focus on programmed elements, his own voice the constant that surrounds various changes in mood and purpose, and stretches of insularity even on the full-band-sounding “Fools Gold” later on, the self-released outing comes across as more inward than the bulk of 2018’s Black Market Enlightenment, though elements like the acoustic-led approach of “Breaking the Machine,” well-produced flourishes of layering and an almost progressive-goth (proggoth?) atmosphere carry over. “Redshift” balances these sides well, as does fold before it, and “Templates” before that, and “Fools Gold” after, as Antimatter thankfully continues to exist in a place of its own between melancholic heavy, synthesized singer-songwriterism and darker, doom-born-but-not-doom metal, all of which seem to be summarized in the closing salvo of “Entheogen,” “Breaking the Machine” and “Kick the Dog.” Moss is a master of his craft long-established, and a period of isolation has perhaps led to some of the shifting balance here, but neither the album nor its songs are done a disservice by that.

Antimatter on Facebook

Antimatter on Bandcamp


Mick’s Jaguar, Salvation

Mick's Jaguar Salvation

There was a point, maybe 15 years ago now give or take, when at least Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City were awash in semi-retro, jangly-but-rough-edged-to-varying-degrees rock and roll bands. Some sounded like Joan Jett, some sounded like the Ramones, or The Strokes or whoever. On Salvation, their second LP, Mick’s Jaguar bring some chunky Judas Priest riffing, no shortage of attitude, and as the five-piece — they were six on 2018’s Fame and Fortune (review here) — rip into a proto-shredder like “Speed Dealer,” worship Thin Lizzy open string riffing on “Nothing to Lose” or bask in what would be sleaze were it not for the pandemic making any “Skin Contact” at all a serotonin spike, they effectively hop onto either side of the line where rock meets heavy. Also the longest track at 4:54, “Molotov Children” is a ’70s-burly highlight, and “Handshake Deals” is an early-arriving hook that seems to make everything after it all the more welcome. “Man Down” and “Free on the Street” likewise push their choruses toward anthemic barroom sing-alongs, and while I’m not sure those bars haven’t been priced out of the market and turned into unoccupied investment luxury condos by now, rock and roll’s been declared dead in New York at least 100,000 times and it obviously isn’t, so there.

Mick’s Jaguar on Facebook

Tee Pee Records store

Totem Cat Records store


Sammal, Aika laulaa

Sammal Aika laulaa

Long live Finnish weird. More vintage in their mindset than overall presentation, Sammal return via the ever-reliable Svart Records with Aika Laulaa, the follow-up to 2018’s Suuliekki (review here) and their fourth album total, with eight songs and 43 minutes that swap languages lyrically between Finnish, Swedish and English as fluidly as they take progressive retroism and proto-metal to a place of their own that is neither, both, and more. From the languid lead guitar in “Returning Rivers” to the extended side-enders “On Aika Laulaa” with its pastoralized textures and “Katse Vuotaa” with its heavy blues foundation, willfully brash surge, and long fade, the band gracefully skip rocks across aesthetic waters, opening playful and Scandi-folk-derived on “På knivan” before going full fuzz in “Sehr Kryptisch,” turning the three-minute meander of “Jos ei pelaa” into a tonal highlight and resolving the instrumental “(Lamda)” (sorry, the character won’t show up) with a jammy soundscape that at least sounds like it’s filled out by organ if it isn’t. A band who can go wherever they want and just might actually dare to do so, Sammal reinforce the notion of their perpetual growth and Aika laulaa is a win on paper for that almost as much as for the piano notes cutting through the distortion on “Grym maskin.” Almost.

Sammal on Facebook

Svart Records store


Cassius King, Dread the Dawn

Cassius King Dread the Dawn

Former Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo continues a personal riffy renaissance with Cassius King‘s Dread the Dawn, one of several current outlets among Vessel of Light and Patriarchs in Black. On Dread the Dawn, the New Jersey-based Lorenzo, bassist Jimmy Schulman (ex-Attacker) and drummer Ron Lipnicki (ex-Overkill) — the rhythm section also carried over from Vessel of Light — and vocalist Jason McMaster offer 11 songs and 49 minutes of resoundingly oldschool heavy, Dio Sabbath-doomed rock. Individual tracks vary in intent, but some of the faster moments on “Royal Blooded” or even the galloping opener “Abandon Paradise” remind of Candlemass tonally and even rockers like “How the West Was Won,” “Bad Man Down” and “Back From the Dead” hold an undercurrent of classic metal, never mind the creeper riff of the title-track or its eight-minute companion-piece, the suitably swinging “Doomsday.” Capping with a bonus take on Judas Priest‘s “Troubleshooter,” Dread the Dawn has long since by then gotten its point across but never failed to deliver in either songwriting or performance. They strut, and earn it.

Cassius King on Facebook

MDD Records store


Seven Rivers of Fire, Way of the Pilgrim

Seven Rivers of Fire Way of the Pilgrim

Issued on tape through UK imprint Dub Cthonic, the four-extended-tracker Way of the Pilgrim is the second 2022 full-length from South African solo folk experimentalist Seven Rivers of Fire — aka William Randles — behind September’s Sanctuary (review here) and March’s Star Rise, and its mostly acoustic-based explorations are as immersive and hypnotic as ever as the journey from movement to movement in “They are Calling // Exodus” (11:16) sets up processions through the drone-minded “Awaken // The Passenger” (11:58), “From the Depths // Into the Woods” (12:00) and “Ascend // The Fall” (11:56), Randles continuing to dig into his own particular wavelength and daring to include some chanting and other vocalizations in the opener and “From the Depths // Into the Woods” and the piano-laced finale. Each piece has an aural theme of its own and sets out from there, feeling its way forward with what feels like a genuinely unplanned course. Way of the Pilgrim isn’t going to be for everybody, as with all of Seven Rivers of Fire‘s output, but those who can tune to its frequencies are going to find its resonance continual.

Seven Rivers of Fire on Facebook

Dub Cthonic on Bandcamp


Amon Acid, Cosmogony

Amon Acid Cosmogony

Leeds-based psychedelic doomers Amon Acid channel the grimmer reaches of the cosmic — and a bit of Cathedral in “Hyperion” — on their fifth full-length in four years, second of 2022, Cosmogony. The core duo of guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Sarantis Charvas and bassist/cellist Briony Charvas — joined on this nine-tracker by the singly-named Smith on drums — harness stately space presence and meditative vibes on “Death on the Altar,” the guitar ringing out vague Easternisms while the salvo that started with “Parallel Realm” seems only to plunge further and further into the lysergic unknown. Following the consuming culmination of “Demolition Wave” and the dissipation of the residual swirl there, the band embark on a series of shorter cuts with “Nag Hammandi,” the riff-roller “Mandragoras,” the gloriously-weird-but-still-somehow-accessible “Demon Rider” and the this-is-our-religion “Ethereal Mother” before the massive buildup of “The Purifier” begins, running 11 minutes, which isn’t that much longer than the likes of “Parallel Realm” or “Death on the Altar,” but rounds out the 63-minute procession with due galaxial churn just the same. Plodding and spacious, I can’t help but feel like if Amon Acid had a purposefully-dumber name they’d be more popular, but in the far, far out where they reside, these things matter less when there are dimensions to be warped.

Amon Acid on Facebook

Helter Skelter Productions website


Iron & Stone, Mountains and Waters

Iron and Stone Mountains and Waters

The original plan from Germany’s Iron & Stone was that the four-song Mountains and Waters was going to be the first in a sequence of three EP releases. As it was recorded in Fall 2020 — a time, if you’ll recall, when any number of plans were shot to hell — and only released this past June, I don’t know if the band are still planning to follow it with another two short offerings or not, but for the bass in “Loose the Day” alone, never mind the well-crafted heavy fuzz rock that surrounds on all sides, I’m glad they finally got this one out. Opener “Cosmic Eye” is catchy and comfortable in its tempo, and “Loose the Day” answers with fuzz a-plenty while “Vultures” metes out swing and chug en route to an airy final wash that immediately bleeds into “Unbroken,” which is somewhat more raucous and urgent of riff, but still has room for a break before its and the EP’s final push. Iron & Stone are proven in my mind when it comes to heavy rock songwriting, and they seem to prefer short releases to full-lengths — arguments to be made on either side, as ever — but whether or not it’s the beginning of a series, Mountains and Waters reaffirms the band’s strengths, pushes their craft to the forefront, and celebrates genre even as it inhabits it. There’s nothing more one might ask.

Iron & Stone on Facebook

Iron & Stone on Bandcamp




To be sure, there shades of are discernible influences in DR​Ö​Ö​G‘s self-titled Majestic Mountain Records first long-player, from fellow Swedes Graveyard, Greenleaf, maybe even some of earlier Abramis Brama‘s ’70s vibes, but these are only shades. Thus it is immediately refreshing how unwilling the self-recording core duo of Magnus Vestling and Daniel Engberg are to follow the rules of style, pushing the drums far back into the mix and giving the entire recording a kind of far-off feel, their classic and almost hypnotic, quintessentially Swedish (and in Swedish, lyrically-speaking) heavy blues offered with hints of psychedelic flourish and ready emergence. The way “Stormhatt” seems to rise in the space of its own making. The fuller fuzz of “Blodörn.” The subtle tension of the riff in the second half of “Nattfjärilar.” In songs mostly between six and about eight minutes long, DR​Ö​Ö​G distinguish themselves in tone — bass and hard-strummed guitar out front in “Hamnskiftaren” along with the vocals — and melody, creating an earthy atmosphere that has elements of svensk folkmusik without sounding like a caricature of that or anything else. They’ve got me rewriting my list of 2022’s best debut albums, and already looking forward to how they grow this sound going on from here.

DR​Ö​Ö​G on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store


Grales, Remember the Earth but Never Come Back

Grales Remember the Earth but Never Come Back

Rare is a record so thoroughly screamed that is also so enhanced by its lyrics. Hello, Remember the Earth but Never Come Back. Based in Montreal — home to any number of disaffected sludgy noisemakers — Grales turn apocalyptic dystopian visions into poetry on the likes of “All Things are Temporary,” and anti-capitalist screed on “From Sea to Empty Sea” and “Wretched and Low,” tying together anthropocene planet death with the drive of human greed in concise, sharp, and duly harsh fashion. Laced with noise, sludged to the gills it’s fortunate enough to have so it can breathe in the rising ocean waters, and pointed in its lurch, the five-song/43-minute outing takes the directionless fuckall of so many practitioners of its genre and sets itself apart by knowing and naming exactly what it’s mad about. It’s mad about wage theft, climate change, the hopelessness that surrounds most while a miserly few continue to rape and pillage what should belong to everybody. The question asked in “Agony” answers itself: “What is the world without our misery? We’ll never know.” With this perspective in mind and a hint of melody in the finale “Sic Transit Mundus,” Grales offer a two-sided tape through From the Urn Records that is gripping in its onslaught and stirring despite its outward misanthropy. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they want you to pick up a molotov cocktail and toss it at your nearest corporate headquarters. Call it relatable.

Grales on Facebook

From the Urn Records on Bandcamp


Half Gramme of Soma, Slip Through the Cracks

half gramme of soma slip through the cracks 1

Energetic in its delivery and semi-progressive in its intentions, Half Gramme of Soma‘s second album, Slip Through the Cracks, arrives with the backing of Sound of Liberation Records, the label wing of one of Europe’s lead booking agencies for heavy rock. Not a minor endorsement, but it’s plain to hear in the eight-song/42-minute course the individualism and solidified craft that prompted the pickup: Half Gramme of Soma know what they’re doing, period. Working with producer George Leodis (1000mods, Godsleep, Last Rizla, etc.) in their native Athens, they’ve honed a sound that reaches deeper than the deceptively short runtimes of tracks like “Voyager” and “Sirens” or “Wounds” might lead you to believe, and the blend of patience and intensity on finale-and-longest-song “22:22” (actually 7:36) highlights their potential in both its languid overarching groove and the later guitar solos that cut through it en route to that long fade, without sacrificing the present for the sake of the future. That is, whatever Half Gramme of Soma might do on their third record, Slip Through the Cracks shouldn’t. Even in fest-ready riffers “High Heels” and “Mind Game,” they bleed personality and purpose.

Half Gramme of Soma on Facebook

Sound of Liberation Records store


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Quarterly Review: Crowbar, Eric Wagner, Ode and Elegy, Burn the Sun, Amon Acid, Mucho Mungo, Sum of R, Albatross Overdrive, Guided Meditation Doomjazz, Darsombra

Posted in Reviews on April 11th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


When we’re keying down after an invariably long day at my house and it’s getting close to The Pecan’s bedtime, we often watch a “bonus-extra” video. Sometimes it’s “Yellow Submarine,” sometimes a Peep and the Big Wide World on YouTube, whatever. Point is, think of today like a bonus-extra for the Quarterly Review after last week. Sometimes we do an extra-bonus-extra too. That will not be happening here.

So, we wrap up today with this bonus-extra batch of 10 records, and yes, as always, I took it easy on myself in backloading the last day of the QR with stuff I knew I’d dig. It’s called self-care, people. I practice it in my own way, usually incorrectly. Nonetheless, here’s 10 more records and thanks for tuning in to the Quarterly Review if you did. Next one is probably early July.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Crowbar, Zero and Below

crowbar zero and below

Six years after The Serpent Only Lies (review here), New Orleans sludge metal progenitors Crowbar deliver Zero and Below, a dutiful 10-song and 42-minute collection that emphasizes the strength of the current lineup of the band. It should go without saying that more than 30 years on from Crowbar‘s founding, guitarist/vocalist Kirk Windstein knows exactly what he wants the band to be and how to manifest that in the studio and live, and he does that here. The real question is whether “The Fear that Binds You” or maybe even the later “Bleeding From Every Hole” will make it into the touring set, but those are just two of the candidates on a record that feels like it was expressly written for Crowbar fans with a suitably masterful hand, which of course it was. There’s only one Crowbar. Treasure them while you can. And hell’s bells, go see them on stage if you never have. Buy a shirt.

Crowbar on Facebook

MNRK Heavy website


Eric Wagner, In the Lonely Light of Mourning

eric wagner in the lonely light of mourning

Joined by a litany of musicians and friends he at one point or another called bandmates in Blackfinger and Trouble, as well as Victor Griffin of Pentagram, Place of Skulls, etc., for a lead guitar spot, Eric Wagner‘s solo album, In the Lonely Light of Mourning, takes on an all-the-more-sorrowful context with Wagner‘s untimely death last year. And in many ways, the underlying message of In the Lonely Light of Mourning is the same message that Wagner‘s participation in The Skull for the better part of the last decade reinforced: he still had more to offer. He still had that voice, he still knew who he was as a singer and a songwriter. He still loved The Beatles and Black Sabbath and he was still one of the best frontmen after to do the job for a doom band. I don’t know what kind of archive exists of recordings he may have done before his death, but if In the Lonely Light of Mourning is the last release to bear his name, could there be a better note to close on than “Wish You Well” here?

Eric Wagner on Bandcamp

Cruz Del Sur Music website


Ode and Elegy, Ode and Elegy

Ode and Elegy ode and elegy

Recorded and seemingly layered together over a period of years between 2016 and 2020, Ode and Elegy‘s self-titled debut features only its 55-minute eponymous/title-track, and that’s more album conceptually and personnel-wise than most albums are anyway. There are guitar, bass, drums and vocals, and those recordings began in 2016 (vocals were done in 2018), but also a string quartet (recorded in Minneapolis, 2017), a brass section and full choir (recorded in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2020), flute (recorded in London, 2020) and harp (recorded in Manchester, UK, 2020). What the Parma, NY-based outfit make of all this is an organic, neoclassical and folk-informed complexity worthy of headphones for its texture and encompassing in both its heaviest and its most sweeping sections. There’s a vision at work across this span, and from the Behemoth-esque grandiosity of the horns about 33 minutes in to the final payoff and bookending subdued melody, the execution is no less impressive than the scope behind it. The years of effort in making it were not wasted. But how on earth do you write a follow-up for a debut like this?

Ode and Elegy on Instagram

Ode and Elegy website


Burn the Sun, Le Roi Soleil

Burn the Sun Le Roi Soleil

The thing about the jazzy break in the middle of second cut “A Fist for Crows” (as opposed to a feast?) is that it’s not at all out of place with the lumbering-but-moving heavy noise-rock-toned riffing or the big melodies that surround on Burn the Sun‘s first LP, Le Roi Soleil. After the relatively straightforward opener “Wolves Among Us,” it’s the beginning of the Athenian rockers showcasing their multi-tiered ambitions. “Fool’s Gold” is a short melodic heavy punk rocker, and those elements pop up again throughout, but “Severance” oozes into Deftones-y melody on vocals early and drifts out in psychedelia for much of its second half build, and there’s post-metal to be found in 12-minute closer “Torch the Skies,” but with ambient interludes in “Crawling Flame” and “The Calm Before,” even that’s not accounting for the whole breadth of the nine included pieces. Much to the band’s credit, they pull off their abrupt turns like that in “A Fist for Crows” and the later highlight “Tidal Waves,” while also keeping more charging aggression in their back pocket for the penultimate “Siren’s Call.” Some sorting out to do, but there’s a strong sense of identity in the songwriting.

Burn the Sun on Facebook

Burn the Sun on Bandcamp


Amon Acid, Demon Rider

AMON ACID Demon Rider single

A two-songer being offered up as a 7″ sacrifice presumably to the antigods of riffy lysergic doom, while, yes, also heralding the Leeds trio’s forthcoming second LP, Cosmology, Amon Acid‘s Demon Rider may be a bite-size slab, but it’s a slab nonetheless of tripped out doom, drawing on Cathedral in the title-track and bringing some of Orange Goblin’s burl to the still-spacious and freaked “Incredible Melting Man” in a whopping 3:43, as the founding UK-via-Greece duo of Sarantis Charvas (guitar, synth, vocals) and Briony Charvas (bass, synth) — as well as singly-named drummer Smith — follow-up their 2020 debut, Paradigm Shift, with a fuller and more realized shove. The synth does more work in their sound than it first seems, and together with the echoing vocals, it brings “Demon Rider” to a darkly psychedelic place. If that’s where Cosmology is headed as well, I guess it’s time to get on your possessed motorcycle and ride it into interstellar oblivion. You knew this day would come. Come on now. Off you go.

Amon Acid on Facebook

Helter Skelter Productions website


Mucho Mungo, Moth Bath

Mucho Mungo Moth Bath

Those ever-reliable climbers of Weird Mountain at Forbidden Place Records snagged Mucho Mungo‘s gem of a 2020 debut EP, and with an extra track added, made a first full-length from Moth Bath that shimmers like a reinvented moment where classic prog and garage rock met. For a record that opens with a song called “Bear Attack,” the Madrid three-piece of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Marco González, bassist/vocalist Adrien Elbaz and drummer/vocalist/keyboardist Santiago Aguilera take a wholly unaggressive approach, digging into psychedelia only so much as it suits their movement-based purpose. That is to say, “Sandworm I” boogies down, and even though “Sandworm II” is comparatively mellow, there’s a space rock shuffle happening beneath those echoing space-out vocals. “Pocket Rocket” devolves in its sub-four-minute stretch but features some choice drumming and Galaga-esque keyboard sounds for atmosphere, while “Blue Nectar” captures a brighter jamminess and “The Moth” signals more cosmic intentions for what’s to come. Sign me up. Familiar sounds that don’t quite sound like anything else.

Mucho Mungo on Facebook

Forbidden Place Records website


Sum of R, Lahbryce

sum of r lahbryce

Bringing Swiss duo Sum of R into the realm of Finland’s weirdo-brilliant Waste of SpaceDark Buddha Rising, Atomikylä, Dust Mountain, a handful of other associated acts — by having founder Reto Mäder add vocalist Marko Neuman and drummer Jukka Rämänen from Dark Buddha Rising was not going to make Lahbryce any less devastating. And sure enough, “Sink as I” unfolds with a genuine sense of immersion-toward-drowning that the vague ambience of “Crown of Diseased” and the no-less-airy-for-being-crushing “Borderline” immediately expand. For its eight songs and 54 minutes, what was a tailor-made Roadburn lineup push deeper. Deeper than Sum of R‘s 2017 debut, Orga (review here), and deeper than many consciousnesses will want to go. The instrumental “The Problem” is actually less challenging, but “Hymn for the Formless” makes short work of the tropes of European post-metal while “Shimmering Sand” and the noise-laden “144th” once more spread out in terms of ambience, and closer “Lust” finally swallows us all and we die. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer species, and what a way to go.

Sum of R on Facebook

Consouling Sounds store


Albatross Overdrive, Eye See Red

Albatross Overdrive Eye See Red

Albatross Overdrive‘s third full-length, Eye See Red, opens with a hearty invitation to “Get Fucked,” and that is but the first of a slew of catchy, hard-edged, punk-informed heavy rock kissoffs. “Eye See Red” is duly frustrated as well, but as “Coming Down” suitably mellows out and “Been to Space” redirects the energy behind the earlier cuts’ delivery, there’s a feeling of the palette broadening on the part of the California-based five-piece, leading to the centerpiece “Bring Love,” the chorus of which sounds aspirational in light of the leadoff, and “Sagittarius” and “Fuente del Fuego” skirt the line between classic punk and biker rock, Albatross Overdrive continue the gritty and brash style of 2019’s Ascendant (review here) but find new reaches to explore. To wit, the nine-minute closer “Shattered” here reaches farther into melody and instrumental dynamic, bringing the different sides together in a way that’s genuinely new for the band while still having their core of songcraft underneath. They’ve well established themselves as a nothin’-too-fancy heavy rock act, but that doesn’t seem to be an aversion to forward progression either. Best of both worlds, then.

Albatross Overdrive on Facebook

Albatross Overdrive on Bandcamp


Guided Meditation Doomjazz, Summer Let Me Down

Guided Meditation Doomjazz Summer Let Me Down

To a certain extent, what you see is what you get with Guided Meditation Doomjazz. The Austin-based outfit led by six-string bassist J. Blaise Gans aka Blaise the Seeker conjure a half-hour session, recorded mostly if not entirely live, with a direct intention toward high-order chill and musical adventuring. Across “Warm Me Up,” “Summer,” “Let Me,” “Down” and “It’s Winter Again,” the band — working as the trio of Gans, Greg Perlman and drummer Mathew Doeckel — are fully switched-on and exploratory, and the pieces carved from their jams are hypnotic and engaging. A check-in from a prolific outfit, but with the backing of The Swamp Records, Summer Let Me Down comes across as something of a moment’s realization, placing the listener in the room — all the more with the photography included in the download — with the band as the music happens. Immersion, trance, digging in, vibing, all that stuff applies, but it’s the hiccups and the letting-them-go that feel even more instructive. If you can remember to breathe, it’s just crazy enough to work. Made to be heard more than once, and serves that well.

Guided Meditation Doomjazz on Instagram

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp


Darsombra, Fill Up the Glass


Everybody’s favorite drone freaks Darsombra — who just might play your house if you pay them, feed them, allow them enough electricity and/or maybe sex them up a little — released the 7:50 single “Fill Up the Glass” on the last Bandcamp Friday as a 24-hours-only offering that was there and gone before I could even grab the cover art to go with it. Rife with spacey, spicy sounds, their interweaving of synth and guitar sounds improvised if it isn’t, rumbling and oozing at the start and drifting joyously into the cosmos over its stretch. No clue whether the song will show up on their next album — as ever, Darsombra are on to the next thing, which is a tour that begins at Grim Reefer Fest in Baltimore and some kind of special offering, presumably a video, for April 20 — but like all their work, “Fill Up the Glass” is evocative and a revelry in creative spirit, and if seeing this gets you on board with checking out any of their more recent work, then I’ll consider it a win regardless of this song’s availability over the longer term. But it is a cool track.

Darsombra Linktree

Darsombra store


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Amon Acid Set Feb. 26 Release for Paradigm Shift; Stream “Overlord”

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

amon acid

Alright. If you clicked here from social media or whatever, or if you’re actually just on the frontpage scrolling through to see what’s here, and you want to just scroll down to the bottom of the post and hear Amon Acid‘s “Overlord,” go ahead. I won’t take it personally. Album’s called Paradigm Shift and it’s out Feb. 26 on Helter Skelter Productions, and the Leeds-based swirl-doomers have a clear bent toward the lysergic and the obscure in their sound, creating a colorful murk that the visualizer for the track mirrors with due hypnotic effect. One is reminded of some of Pombagira‘s willfully dense liquefaction, but Amon Acid may yet prove to be on their own trip with their ambitiously-named debut. I’ll let you know when I hear it. Meantime, preorders are up if you’re feeling adventurous.

PR wire info follows, and if you want to skip that too for the time being and just listen to the song, I won’t tell:

amon acid paradigm shift

AMON ACID set release date for HELTER SKELTER debut, reveal first track

Helter Skelter Productions (distributed & marketed by Regain Records) announces February 26th, 2021 as the international release date for Amon Acid’s striking debut album, Paradigm Shift, on CD and vinyl LP formats.

Hailing from Leeds, UK, Amon Acid formed in 2018 to make psychedelic doom metal. It started as a bit of fun between two people, jamming at home, but after self-releasing their first EP, which received a positive response, it became a serious mission. Indeed, the core duo of Sarantis (originally from Athens) and Briony (from UK) are serious, and one listen to their debut album, Paradigm Shift, is enough to convert unbelievers into fanatics, so hypnotically addicting is their sonic drug.

However, to merely call Amon Acid “psychedelic doom metal” is a misnomer, for the duo’s interests and ethnic backgrounds bring together a swirling soup of unique sensibilities. Across Paradigm Shift, one can hear trace elements of space rock, doom, psych, rebetiko, and Anatolian music as well as their love of horror and science-fiction. In this way, they fuse together a world of sounds which is consistent and unpredictable at the same time. And, unlike so many doomers past and present, Amon Acid acutely know when to lay off the heaviness – the “pedal to the metal,” as it were – and allow the listener to float along to their eerily ethereal textures. Thus, Paradigm Shift is likely to draw in fans of Spiritualized, Acid Mothers Temple, and old Skullflower as surely as those of the paradigmatic Electric Wizard and Reverend Bizarre.

And Amon Acid are just getting started: their forthcoming material is reportedly heading in a heavier direction, with a clearer doom/stoner influence without betraying their broad psychedelic roots. In the meantime, drop out to their Paradigm Shift!

Begin dropping out with the brand-new track “Overlord” both HERE at Regain Records’ official YouTube channel and also HERE at Regain’s Bandcamp, where the album can be preordered. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Amon Acid’s Paradigm Shift
1. Intro [1:19]
2. Monarch [7:30]
3. Alien King [6:13]
4. Overlord [7:38]
5. Fear of Space [5:11]
6. Paradigm Shift [12:42]

Sarantis Charvas – guitar, tzouras, vocals, keyboards/synths, drum programming
Briony Charvas – bass, synths

Amon Acid, “Overlord”

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