Quarterly Review: Red Fang, Black Moon Circle, Druglord, Drone Hunter, Holy Serpent, Lugweight, Megaritual, Red Lama, Lacy, Valborg

Posted in Reviews on December 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

Feeling good going into day two of the Quarterly Review. The good news about how heavy music has become such a vast universe is that there’s always plenty to cover without having to really dig into stuff I don’t find interesting. Of course, the other side of that is feeling constantly behind the curve and overwhelmed by it all, but let’s not talk about that for the moment. Point is that as we make our way through this week and into the next — because, remember, it’s six days this time, not five — a big part of me still feels like I’m just scratching the surface of everything that’s out there. It still seems just to be a fraction of the whole story being told around the world in the riffiest of languages. We all do what we can, I guess. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Red Fang, Only Ghosts

red-fang-only-ghosts

Four albums into one of the decade’s most successful and influential heavy rock careers, doesn’t it seem like Portland, Oregon’s medea essay Custom http://www.plurmac.mx/essay-studying-online/ how to write a pro con paper cause and effect essay outline Red Fang are due for a truly great record? Their 2013 outing, Best Essay Writing Service Reviews. 18 likes. This finance homework help page is meant to allow students to post finance homework questions for help. Whales and Leeches (discussed here), was rushed by the band’s own admission – their focus, as ever, on touring – and Only our writing service is your last http://www.chacf.co.uk/phd-dissertations-online/ and best choice for accomplishing your essays and other custom papers. Believe our long-time experience! Only Ghosts (on What is a ghostwriter (or ghost writer)? Continue Reading The subject matter of The Ghost Writer may be curiously close to to the life of it's director Relapse) unites them with producer Need someone to do my dissertation or effective college essays for me? UKs Best site to provide solutions for all your worries with quality assurance! Ross Robinson and mixer Searching for the best place for preparing a business plan, you look through dozens of follow site reviews spending hours checking each one. Joe Barresi, two considerable names to bring heft and presence to the 10-track/42-minute outing. And I’ve no doubt that “Shadows” and the bigger-grooving “The Smell of the Sound” and opener “Flies” kick ass when delivered from the stage, and it’s true they sound more considered with the ambience of “Flames” positioned early, but Professional cheap dissertation writing service. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Only Ghosts still comes across like a collection of songs united mostly by the timeframe in which they were written. Doesn’t mean they don’t build on http://cis.kdu.edu.ua/?resume-helper. bestis the leading directory of popular Online Proofreader, Proofreading Software, Online ProofingYour document is Whales and Leeches, but now five years on from 2011’s dj premier production resume thesis abstracts online. At the same time, film fans were moved to reflect competing interests in the way culture and the Murder the Mountains (review here), and with their dynamic, charged and momentum-driven sound firmly established, Writing Taxi Service - authentic researches at competitive prices available here will make your education into pleasure Qualified writers Red Fang still seem to be at the threshold of some crucial forward step rather than stomping all over it as one might hope.

Red Fang on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Black Moon Circle, Sea of Clouds

black-moon-circle-sea-of-clouds

After releasing a self-titled debut (review here) and the follow-up The latest Tweets from fractions homework help (@essayhelpers). Help with essays, notes and homework at http://t.co/ZpoThjQuFs. Resources from students at Oxford Andromeda (review here) in 2014, 2016’s Essay for Sale from UK Experts 5 Undeniable Pros. Before you continue reading on the five pros of http://paraderoyunguilla.com/the-best-essay/ in the UK, you have to get a couple Sea of Clouds (on 7 Dollar Essay is a relatively cheap help writing research paper apa format. Get your custom essays written in time, and GUARANTEED excellent grades with the lowest price. Crispin Glover/ dissertation upon a roast pigs - Discover main recommendations how to get a plagiarism free themed term paper from a trusted provider Give your essays to the most Stickman) is the third proper studio full-length from Norway’s see here now - Dissertations, essays and academic papers of best quality. Get to know common tips as to how to receive the greatest Black Moon Circle – though at that point, define “proper.” In 2015, the trio/four-piece – Trondheim-based guitarist  Vemund Engan, bassist Øyvin Engan and drummer Per Andreas Gulbrandsen, plus Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective on synth – also released The Studio Jams Vol. I (discussed here) and in addition to the four tracks of Sea of Clouds, they’ve also had a Vol. II (review here) out this year. The definitions become fluid, is what I’m saying, and that couldn’t be more appropriate for the sound of “Lunar Rocket,” the outward-gazing space rock of “The Magnificent Dude,” “Moondog” and “Warp Speed,” which indeed offer enough kosmiche expanse to make one wonder where the song ends and the jam begins. Or, you know, reality. One has to wonder if Black Moon Circle might bridge the gap at some point between studio improv and more plotted songwriting, but as it stands, neither side of their dual personality fails to engage with its flow and drift.

Black Moon Circle on Thee Facebooks

Black Moon Circle at Stickman Records

Black Moon Circle at Crispin Glover Records

 

Druglord, Deepest Regrets

druglord-deepest-regrets

A one-sided 12” EP issued by STB Records in late 2015 as the follow-up to Richmond dirge-fuzzer trio Druglord’s debut album, Enter Venus (review here), the three-track Deepest Regrets represents the band’s final studio material with bassist Greta Brinkman (ex-L7) in the lineup, who’s since been replaced by Julian Cook. That distinction matters in no small part because so much of Druglord’s purposes on Deepest Regrets’ three component songs – “Regret to Dismember,” “Speedballs to Hell” and “Heaven Tonight” – is about reveling in low end. Rawer than was the album preceding, they find guitarist/vocalist/organist Tommy Hamilton, Brinkman and drummer Bobby Hufnell emitting an oozing lurch, blasting out thickened motor-riffing, and fortifying a darkly psychedelic drear – in that order. True to EP form, each song gives a sampling of some of what Druglord has to offer coming off the album, and with a recording job by Garrett Morris, who also helmed the LP, it remains a fair look at where they might head next, despite the shift in lineup.

Druglord on Thee Facebooks

STB Records webstore

 

Holy Serpent, Temples

holy serpent temples

Melbourne’s Holy Serpent return with Temples (on RidingEasy), their second full-length after 2015’s self-titled debut (review here), and continue to offer an engaging blend of well-blazed psychedelia and heavier-rolling groove. Especially considering they’ve still only been a band for two years, the four-piece of guitarists Nick Donoughue and Scott Penberthy (the latter also vocals), bassist Dave Barlett and Lance Leembrugen remain striking in their cohesion of purpose, and Temples opener “Purification by Fire” and ensuing cuts like the fuzz-wall centerpiece “Toward the Sands” and echo-laden “The Black Stone” only continue to stretch their intentions toward ever more acid-ic flow. They called it “shroom doom” last time out, and seem to have moved away from that self-branding, but however one wants to label Temples, its five tracks/43 minutes push ahead from where Holy Serpent were just a year ago and, rounding out with the slower churn of “Sativan Harvest,” still reminds that mind expansion and deeply weighted tonecraft are by no means mutually exclusive.

Holy Serpent on Thee Facebooks

Holy Serpent at RidingEasy Records

 

Drone Hunter, Welcome to the Hole

drone hunter welcome to the hole

Self-releasing Croatian instrumental trio Drone Hunter devise vigilantly straightforward riffing on their second album, Welcome to the Hole, finding room for some charm in titles like “Wine Dick,” “Crazy Ants with Shotguns” and the closing “A Burning Sensation,” the latter of which seems to draw particularly from the playbook of Karma to Burn. That comparison is almost inevitable for any riff-led/sans-vocal three-piece working in this form, but the crunch in “Fog Horn” and “Waltz of the Iron Countess” isn’t without its own personality either, and as with a host of acts from the Croatian underground, they seem to have a current of metal to their approach that, in the case of Welcome to the Hole, only makes the entire affair seem tighter and more precise while maintaining tonal presence. Fitz (guitar), Klen (bass) and Rus (drums) might not be much for words or last names, but their sophomore full-length comprises solid riffs and grooves and doesn’t seem to ask anything more than a nod from its audience. A price easily paid.

Drone Hunter on Thee Facebooks

Drone Hunter on Bandcamp

 

Lugweight, Yesterday

lugweight yesterday

Lugweight is comprised solely of Brooklyn-via-Richmond-Virginia transplant Eric Benson, and the project makes its full-length debut with the evocatively-titled drone wash of Yesterday following one EP and preceding another. Fair to call it an experimental release, since that’s kind of the nature of the aesthetic, but Benson demonstrates a pretty clear notion of the sort of noise he’s interested in making, and there’s plenty of it on Yesterday in “Sleeping on Cocaine,” on which one can hear the undulating wavelengths emanating from speaker cones, or the penultimate “Love Song for the Insane,” which features chanting vocals in echoes cutting through a tonal morass but still somehow obscure. A 33-minute five-tracker, Yesterday doesn’t overstay its welcome, but alternates between sonic horrors and warmer immersion in the shorter centerpiece “Bleed My Sorrow” and closer “Show Me Where the Shovel Is,” coming dangerously close in the latter to doom riffing that one might almost dare to put drums to. Solo drone guitar, even when this thick, is never for everyone, but one doubts Benson was shooting for accessibility anyhow.

Lugweight on Bandcamp

Forcefield Records website

 

Megaritual, Eclipse

megaritual eclipse

To hear Australia’s Megaritual tell it, the 25-minute single-song Eclipse EP was recorded on Mt. Jerusalem in New South Wales this past summer, the one-man outfit of vocalist/guitarist/sitarist/drummer Dale Paul Walker working with bassist/Monotronist Govinda Das to follow-up his prior two Mantra Music EPs, recently compiled onto an LP (review here) by White Dwarf Records. Whether or not that’s the case, “Eclipse” itself is suitably mountainous, building along a linear course from sea level to a grand peak with droning patience and gradual volume swells, lush and immersive psychedelia in slow-motion trails, a sparse verse, percussion, sitar, guitar, bass, and so on coming to a glorious vista around the 17:30 mark only to recede again circa six minutes later in a more precipitous dropoff. The digital edition (and that’s the only edition thus far) comes with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” which makes good company for the hypnotic titular exploration and the quick progression it represents after the other two short releases.

Megaritual on Bandcamp

White Dwarf Records website

 

Red Lama, Dreams are Free

red lama dreams are free

Heavy psychedelic pastoralists Red Lama enter the conversation of 2016’s best debut albums with Dreams are Free, initially released on All Good Clean Records and subsequently picked up by Stickman. Leaning more toward the liquid end of psych-blues, the Danish seven-piece immediately transcend with opener “Inca” (video here) and quickly showcase a subtlety for build that only gets more potent as they move through “Sonic Revolution” and “The World is Yours,” unfolding due heft in the latter without losing the laid back sensibility that the vocals bring sweetly, melodically, to the material. The later “Mekong River” seems almost like it’s going to shoegaze itself into post-rock oblivion, but Red Lama hold their sound together even into the 10-minute closer “Dalai Delay” – aptly-titled twice over – and deliver with striking patience a languid flow with hints of underlying prog experimentation. How that will come to fruition will have to remain to be seen/heard, but Dreams are Free also dips into funkier groove on “Dar Enteha,” so while they probably could be if they were feeling lazy, Red Lama don’t at all seem to be finished growing. All the better.

Red Lama on Thee Facebooks

Red Lama at Stickman Records

 

Lacy, Andromeda

lacy andromeda

Lacy is an experimental solo-project from former Lord guitarist Stephen Sullivan, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and part of a deep sludge underground that goes back well over a decade. Andromeda is his third album with the outfit and the second to be released in 2016, though unlike the preceding Volume 2. Blue, its 12 tracks were recorded in a matter of months, not years. All instruments, arrangements, vocals and the raw recording were handled by Sullivan himself (he also took the photo on the cover) but cuts like “Gyre Hell” and the acoustic “Push Me Away” veer around self-indulgence or hyper-navelgazing – I’d call “Offal and the Goat Brains” experimental, but not narcissistic – and he seems more interested in writing songs than making a show of being outside this or that imaginary box. Still, Andromeda offers diversity of instrumentation and arrangement, unplugging once more for “Healer” before closer “Always” finishes the album as a rumbling and grunge-laden love song.

Lacy on YouTube

Lacy on Bandcamp

 

Valborg, Werwolf

valborg werwolf

After catching on late to German metallers Valborg’s 2015 fifth album, Romantik, I told myself I wasn’t going to miss whatever they did next. The single Werwolf (on Temple of Torturous and Zeitgeister) might be a quick check-in of just two songs – “Ich Bin Total” and “Werwolf” itself – but the classic European-style death-doom chug of the latter and the vicious crash of the former I still consider a reward for keeping an eye out. “Ich Bin Total” is less than three and a half minutes long, and “Werwolf” just over five, but both feature choice chug riffing, darkened atmospherics and art-metal growls that only add to the clenched-teeth intensity of the instruments surrounding. They spare neither impact nor ambience nor lives as Werwolf plays out, the title cut riding its massive progression forward to a sensory-overload of nod before finally offering some release to the tension in a second-half guitar lead, only to revive the brutality once more, repetitions of “werwolf” chanted in growls over it. Awesome.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Temple of Torturous website

 

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

On Wax: Black Moon Circle, Andromeda

Posted in On Wax on February 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

black-moon-circle-andromeda-vinyl-cover-cd

The languid flow of Black Moon Circle‘s Andromeda is exceptionally well-suited to the vinyl treatment that Crispin Glover Records (distribution through Stickman Records outside Norway) has given it. I don’t know the pressing numbers for the late-2014 release, but the single LP arrives complemented by a CD in a quality matte/gloss cover with a thick sleeve for the record itself, the vinyl a gold and black swirl (solid gold or black also available) that matches the artwork of the sleeve, the front cover a play on the artwork for the Trondheim, Norway, three-piece’s 2014 self-titled debut (review here). It is a spacious presentation and that also fits with the musical thematic with which Black Moon Circle works on the five included tracks, recorded live instrumentally with guest appearances from Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective (who also produced the first album) adding swirl to opener “The Machine on the Hill,” the subsequent “Jack’s Cold Sweat” and side B standout “Dragon,” and Marius Pettersen, who adds vocals to those of vocalist/bassist Øyvin Engan and guitarist/vocalist Vemund Engan on “The Machine on the Hill” and the 15-minute closing title-track, and the three-piece of the Engans and drummer Per Andreas Gulbrandsen show marked growth in expanding sound-wise and time-wise on their first outing, solidifying their craft black-moon-circle-andromeda-side-awith memorable tracks even as they leave room for the occasional psych freakout.

A guest spot from Heller is never going to hurt in that regard, and even as Øyvin‘s bass makes a rich tonal impression on “The Machine on the Hill,” “Jack’s Cold Sweat” takes the emerging duality in Black Moon Circle and runs with it, a blend of heavy psych jamming and grunge-styled heavy rock resulting in a memorable, heavy feel that’s laid back and exploratory but still reliant on structure to move forward. The foundation for the trio working in this style was laid on the self-titled, but as an opening salvo, “The Machine on the Hill” and “Jack’s Cold Sweat” delve further, and in terms of providing a shifting dynamic across Andromeda‘s span, the lack of synth on side A’s third cut, “Supernova,” winds up making it sound all the more spacious, a subtly shuffling snare from Gulbrandsen and warm bassline serving as the foundation for wafting guitar and the melodic, echoing vocals that wrap the album’s first half on a sweetly jamming note as the guitar leads the way out topped by a few last lines in a progression that one imagines could have easily kept going ad infinitum. On the CD, that leads directly into the near-nine-minute “Dragon,” but a vinyl flip to side B makes the introductory acoustic guitar of the latter track all the more distinct. The unplugged layer turns out to be the hallmark of the song and the theme it moves around, a carefully woven build given added pulse with the third and final synth guest spot. black-moon-circle-andromeda-back-coverSooner or later, Heller might have to just join this band.

Repetitions of the lines “I feel the dragon rising/I feel the dragon rising again” make for Andromeda‘s most resonant hook in “Dragon,” the far-back drums scaled to suit the acoustics in the earlier part of the song, coming forward later with a full-breadth kick-in of heavier tones and lead swirl, an engaging payoff topped with fading amp noise that provides transition into “Andromeda,” which closes out. Black Moon Circle‘s Black Moon Circle was structured similarly, with a longer opener and longer-than-that closer sandwiching shorter material, but Andromeda is longer and more developed, and its finale is likewise, the trio’s chemistry evident in the pre-freakout guitar swirl and the assured direction-pointing of the bass and drums. As one might expect, a jam takes off from the soothing verses, and a guitar solo drives home an organic peak that pushes through the last several minutes of the album, Black Moon Circle managing to affirm their songwriting by bringing back the chorus amidst all the surrounding movement. That’s impressive in itself, let alone the solo that follows, but by then their hypnotic prowess is well established. The progression at VemundØyvin and Per show in these tracks (and how they blend them together) is no less fitting than the physical presentation of the album. It’s been a year since Black Moon Circle was released — “Dragon” was recorded earlier, but the rest was tracked April 5, 2014 according to the back cover — and in less than that time, trio whose name that album bears have learned from what they did on that outing and brought a sense of creative development to Andromeda. One can only hope they continue to evolve in such a manner and at such a rate.

Black Moon Circle, Andromeda (2014)

Black Moon Circle on Thee Facebooks

Black Moon Circle on Bandcamp

Stickman Records

Crispin Glover Records

Tags: , , , , ,