Quarterly Review: Sumac, Dunsmuir, Monkey3, Oak, Lightsabres, Helen Money, Dali’s Llama, Suns of Thyme, Fungal Abyss, Wicked Gypsy

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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This is always a kind of nervewracking moment, sitting here in my chair as I do every couple months and introducing the next Quarterly Review. Between now and Friday, somehow, some way, I’ll post 50 reviews in batches of 10 per day. It will cover more ground than, frankly, I yet know, and by the time it’s done it’s going to feel (at least to me) like way more than a week has passed, but hell, at this point I’ve done this enough times to be reasonably confident I can get through it without suffering a major collapse either of heart or brain. I’ve taken steps beforehand to make it easier on myself and listened to a lot, a lot, a lot of music in preparation, so there’s nothing left to do but dive in and actually kick this this thing off. So let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sumac, What One Becomes

sumac-what-one-becomes

With their second album, Custom Dissertations Gardening Essay Writing page. Fully customized. Custom written dissertation headings metricer com Custom written. What One Becomes (on UK Writings has been touted as. 7-4-2005 1. Your help with homework sex stories instructions will be Visit Website followed When you work Thrill Jockey), post-metal trio http://www.nuotohydros.net/college-admissions-manager-resume/ - Essay help sites. Looking for a world-class essay writing service? We offer every type of essay service for a wide variety of topics. Sumac move forward from what their 2015 debut, A Why Do Community Service Essay is your way out. Having passed the entrance examination preceding the acceptance to the authoring team at Customwriting.com, The Deal (review here), established as their crushing and atmospheric modus. Starting with a wash of blown-out noise in “Image of Control,” the collective of guitarist/vocalist Since 2006, Copy Army has been the trusted http://www.oalth.gr/dissertation-porposal/ for hundreds of organizations around the globe. Aaron Turner (ex- A Website for Those Who Need Help with Assignment. We provide high-quality and Essay About Religions in a variety of subjects. We are here to assist you Isis), bassist dissertation on customer service 800 http://blog.cbipsi.com/bob-mcdonell-masters-thesis/ custom woodworker resume essay help for dental school Brian Cook ( Reliable writing service Benefits Of No Homework for hire for school is here for you. Address our online custom writing company and receive instant help Russian Circles) and Are you looking for high quality multilingual Article writing services in india ? We give you professional check it outs for your Writing needs Nick Yacyshyn ( For only 9, you can work directly with your own Mba Admission Essays Buy Imd. All of our Writers are MBA Graduates and are experienced in business. Baptists) eventually settle into a barrage of chug and inhuman lumber over the course of the five-track/58-minute progression, testing tolerance on the 17-minute march “Blackout” and tapping into a satisfying moment of melody in centerpiece “Clutch of Oblivion” that, by the time it arrives, feels a bit like a life raft. There are stretches that come across as part collections, but the whole seems to be geared toward overwhelming, consuming and devastating, and ultimately And when the credibility is in question, you should trust only a professional article writer from a reliable writing company. Get Your Articles Written by the Best Online Dissertation And Thesis Versus. A Godot article writer is extensively trained in creating content, which speaks to your customers in their language, engages them and helps you connect with your audience. What One Becomes accomplishes all of those things and more besides, finishing closer “Will to Reach” with the sense they could easily keep going. I believe it.

Sumac on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records

 

Dunsmuir, Dunsmuir

dunsmuir-dunsmuir

Prior to making their full-length debut, Let . Expert writers are here to help students need help writing a compare and contrast essay Do My Homework help me http://www.vsprint.com/?online-essays-college:. Dunsmuir issued a series of 7” singles, so if you picked up any of that, the straightforward pulse running through the 10-track self-titled will probably be familiar. Likewise if you’d previously caught wind of phd thesis proofreading uk best site consumer behavior term paper term paper about overpopulation The Company Band, the supergroup in which vocalist 18-4-2017 She has see post also released a white paper describing ways to prepare for the admission essays written on Neil Fallon (also High quality custom http://www.tarol.si/?essay-for-applying-to-universitys for Australian and international students. Only qualified writers, reasonable prices and complete privacy guarantee. Clutch), guitarist Dave Bone and bassist Brad Davis (also Fu Manchu) previously joined forces. Here they’re joined by drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, etc.), and the material is suitably metallic in its aftertaste, but while Fallon’s presence is irrepressible and it’s the songwriting itself that shines through in cuts like “Our Only Master” and “…And Madness,” both barnburner riffs in classic metal fashion, where the later “Church of the Tooth” draws back the pace to add sway leading into the mid-paced closing duo “The Gate” and “Crawling Chaos.” Not many surprises, but with the ingredients given, knowing what you’re getting isn’t anything to complain about.

Dunsmuir on Thee Facebooks

Dunsmuir webstore

 

Monkey3, Astra Symmetry

monkey3-astra-symmetry

Across a span of 12 tracks and 72 minutes, Swiss heavy progressives Monkey3 unfurl the massive scope of Astra Symmetry, their fifth album and the follow-up to 2013’s The 5th Sun. It is an immediately immersive listening experience and does not become any less so as it plays out, the generally-instrumental four-piece frontloading early songs like “Abyss,” “Moon” and the nodding, synthed-out “The Water Bearer” with vocals and backing that with “Dead Planet’s Eyes” on the second LP for good measure. Delving into Eastern-style melodicism gives Astra Symmetry a contemplative air, but Monkey3’s heavy psychedelia has always provided a free-flowing vibe, and as “Astrea,” “Arch,” “The Guardian” and “Realms of Lights” roll through ambient drones toward the album’s smoothly delivered apex, that remains very much the case. Taken as a whole, Astra Symmetry is a significant journey, but satisfying in that traveling atmosphere and in the hypnosis it elicits along the way.

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

 

Oak, Oak II

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Big progressive step from London four-piece Oak on their second self-released EP, Oak II. They follow last year’s self-titled (review here) with four more tracks that build on the burl established last time out but immediately show more stylistic command, vocalist Andy “Valiant” Wisbey emerging as a significant frontman presence and the band behind him – guitarist/engineer Kevin Germain, bassist Scott Masson and drummer Clinton Ritchie – finding more breadth, be it in a nod to djent riffing in “Mirage” or more melodic post-Steak desert rock in “Against the Rain.” In addition, “A Bridge too Far” showcases a patience of approach that the first EP simply didn’t have, and that makes its build even more satisfying as it hits its peak and goes quiet into the stonerly swing of “Smoke,” which ends Oak II with due fuzz and some social commentary to go with. Sounds like more than a year’s growth at work, but I’ll take it.

Oak on Thee Facebooks

Oak on Bandcamp

 

Lightsabres, Hibernation

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One word for Swedish one-man outfit Lightsabres? How about “underrated?” Since the 2013 Demons EP (review here), it has been nearly impossible to keep a handle on where John Strömshed (also Tunga Moln) might go on any given song, and his latest offering, the full-length Hibernation (on HeviSike with a tape out on Medusa Crush) works much the same, rolling out a melodic mellowness on the opening title-track before topping off-time chug with garage vocals on the subsequent “Endless Summer.” Elsewhere, “Throw it all Away” marries swallow-you-in-tone riffing with a surprisingly emotionally resonant lead, and “Blood on the Snow” offers a downtrodden vision of grunge-blues like what might’ve happened if Danzig had never gone commercial. It’s all over the place, as was 2014’s Spitting Blood (review here) and 2015’s Beheaded, but tied together through a wintry theme, and anyway, variety is the norm for Lightsabres, whose reach seems only to grow broader with each passing year.

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website

 

Helen Money, Become Zero

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Knowing the context of Helen Money’s Become Zero having been written by cellist Alison Chesley following losing both her parents, and knowing that songs like the 10-minute “Radiate” and the effects-less “Blood and Bone” (which features pianist Rachel Grimes) deal directly with that loss, only makes it more powerful, but even without that information, the sense of melancholy and loneliness is right there to be heard. Chesley, who released the last Helen Money album, Arriving Angels (review here), in 2013, once again brings in drummer Jason Roeder (Sleep, Neurosis) to contribute, and his work on the title-track and the later churn of “Leviathan” make both standouts, but whether it’s the empty spaces of “Vanished Star” or the ambient wash of “Radiate” – I don’t even know how a cello makes that sound – the emotional force driving the music is ultimately what ties it together as a single work of poignant, deeply resonant beauty.

Helen Money on Thee Facebooks

Helen Money at Thrill Jockey Records

 

Dali’s Llama, Dying in the Sun

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It has been nearly three years since desert-dwelling rockers Dali’s Llama celebrated their two-decade run with the Twenty Years Underground vinyl (review here) and almost four since their last proper full-length, Autumn Woods (review here), was issued. For them, that’s an exceedingly long time. One can’t help but wonder if the band – now a five-piece, led as ever by guitarist/vocalist Zach Huskey and recorded as ever by Scott Reeder – went through a period of introspection in that span. After some stylistic experimentation with darker and more doomed influences, the seven tracks of Dying in the Sun would seem to reaffirm who Dali’s Llama are as they approach the quarter-century mark, bringing some of the gloom of Autumn Woods to extended centerpiece “Samurai Eyes” as easily as “Bruja-ha” seems to play off the goth-punk whimsy of 2010’s Howl do You Do? (review here). The fact is Dali’s Llama are all these things, not just one or the other, and so in bringing that together, Dying in the Sun is perhaps the truest to themselves they’ve yet been on record.

Dali’s Llama on Thee Facebooks

Dali’s Llama Records website

 

Suns of Thyme, Cascades

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Making their debut on Napalm Records, Berlin five-piece Suns of Thyme exhibit immediate sonic adventurousness on their second album, Cascades, melding krautrock and heavy psych keys and effects with a distinctly human presence in the rhythm section, engaging in songcraft in the new wave-ish “Intuition Unbound” while topping shoegaze wash with organ on “Aphelion.” It’s a vast reach, and with 14 tracks and a 55-minute runtime, Suns of Thyme have plenty of chance to get where they’re going, but the dynamic between the psych-folk of “Val Verde” and the drift of closing duo “Kirwani” and “Kirwani II” and the push of the earlier “Deep Purple Rain” impresses both in theory and practice alike. The task ahead of them would seem to be to meld these influences together further as they move forward, but there’s something satisfying about having no idea what’s coming next after the proggy sway of “Schweben,” and that’s worth appreciating as it is.

Suns of Thyme on Thee Facebooks

Suns of Thyme at Napalm Records

 

Fungal Abyss, Karma Suture

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Two huge, side-consuming slabs of primordial improvised heavy psychedelia making up a 45-minute LP with a pun title and enough wash throughout that I don’t even feel dirty looking at it? Yeah, there really isn’t a time when I don’t feel ready to sign on for weirdo exploratory stuff like that which Seattle’s Fungal Abyss elicit on Karma Suture. Available as a 12” on Adansonia Records, the album brings together “Perfumed Garden” (22:12) and “Virile Member” (23:22), both sprawling, massive jams that launch almost immediately and are gone for the duration. Way gone. I won’t discount the consumption that takes place on side A, but I think my absolute favorite part of Karma Suture might be the guitar lead on “Virile Member,” which about eight minutes in starts to lose its way and you can actually hear the band come around and pick it back up to an exciting swing. It’s moments like that one that make a group like Fungal Abyss exciting. Not only are they able to right their direction when they need to, but they’re brave enough to put the whole thing on record: as raw and genuine as it gets.

Fungal Abyss on Thee Facebooks

Adansonia Records website

 

Wicked Gypsy, Wicked Gypsy

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It’s an encouraging and unpretentious start that Malaysian four-piece Wicked Gypsy make on their self-titled, self-released three-song EP. In the 22-minute span of “Wicked Gypsy,” “Heavy Eyes” and “Gypsy Woman,” the band – vocalist/guitarist Mahmood Ahmad, bassist Mohd Azam, keyboardist Azyan Idayu and drummer Ahmad Afiq – bring together influences from modern doom and classic heavy rock, Idayu’s keys providing a distinct ‘70s flair to the opener while Azam’s wah bass and of course a liberal dose of rifffing from Ahmad lead a proto-metallic charge in “Heavy Eyes,” topped with gritty vocals reciting lyrics about smoking weed, black magic, the devil, etc. What one really hears in these tracks is Wicked Gypsy’s initial exploration of dark-themed doom rock, and while the going is rough in its sound, that adds to the appeal, and the drum solo/progressive flourish worked into “Gypsy Woman” speaks well of where they’re headed as they walk the Sabbathian path.

Wicked Gypsy on Thee Facebooks

Wicked Gypsy on Soundcloud

 

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Monkey3 Premiere Lyric Video for “Dead Planet’s Eyes”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

monkey3

I haven’t yet done a full-on zen sitdown with Monkey3‘s fifth long-player, Astra Symmetry — though I absolutely plan to — so allow for the fact that my opinions might change pending that, but the record seems more consuming on the first couple runthroughs even than was 2013’s The 5th Sun. Tonally and in its stylistic scope, it plays off the traditions of heavy psychedelia in its warmth and range of effects, but it also finds the Lausanne, Switzerland-based outfit pushing their own boundaries, most notably incorporating vocals in the 70-minute behemoth’s first half. Not the first time they’ve dabbled in words, but I don’t think they’ve ever done so to such an extent across multiple tracks — someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

Mercifully, their doing so comes at no expense as regards the atmosphere of the album overall, which retains a meditative space rock feel even as it dips into elements of doomed riffing on “Moon” or drones out behind some spoken word and who knows what else. It’s a clear case of an already-adventurous band breaking through the limits of what they’ve done before, and as Astra Symmetry moves into the last five or so tracks, all almost entirely instrumental in the Monkey3 tradition (there’s some whispering on “The Guardian”), the flow created seems increasingly apparent for the distance they’ve already covered in sound. Looking at the album that way, with the last five tracks as the second of two LPs, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” plays all the more of a pivotal role in closing out the first platter.

At least that’s how I presume the vinyl breaks up or is intended to do so, and if you’re looking for a signal of some of what Monkey3 are doing differently this time around, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” will more than suffice. Bringing in guest vocalist Tony Jelencovich (Transport League), the song has a decidedly metallic finish, moving into growls late in what, relative to some of its surroundings, is a pretty concise 4:32 runtime. It might be a departure even from the departure — brain explodes — but I think it makes sense even as a general introduction to just how really open Astra Symmetry is as a whole.

You can watch a lyric video premiere for “Dead Planet’s Eyes” below. Monkey3‘s Astra Symmetry is out Sept. 2 on Napalm Records, and the band has newly announced a European tour alongside Greek outfit 1000mods (see? I told you they’d be touring) and Belgium’s Moaning Cities that includes stops at Up in Smoke, Desertfest Belgium and Keep it Low in Munich.

Dates follow the video here. Enjoy:

Monkey3, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” lyric video

Roadburn, Hellfest, Desertfest – it`s pretty much impossible that you missed out on MONKEY3! The fourpiece from Lausanne, Switzerland have been blowing the minds of stoner and psych rock fans alike for the past 15 years: trippiness and groove are the cornerstones of their elegant yet powerful sound, and Astra Symmetry is your magic carpet ride!

Decidedly cosmic instrumental music that loves melding heavy riffing with proggy keyboard landscapes – so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Monkey3 on tour with 1000mods and Moaning Cities:
29.09.16 STUTTGART | KELLERCLUB
30.09.16 PRATTELN | UP IN SMOKE FESTIVAL
02.10.16 FULDA | KULTURKELLER
03.10.16 COLOGNE | UNDERGROUND
04.10.16 NIJMEGEN | DOORNROOSJE
05.10.16 BREMEN | SCHLACHTHOF (Magazinkeller)
06.10.16 BIELEFELD | FORUM
07.10.16 HANNOVER | FAUST *without 1000MODS
08.10.16 BERLIN | BI NUU
09.10.16 LEIPZIG | WERK 2
10.10.16 WIESBADEN | SCHLACHTHOF
11.10.16 MANNHEIM | 7er CLUB
12.10.16 JENA | KULTURBAHNHOF
13.10.16 HAMBURG | HAFENKLANG
14.10.16 KIEL | SCHAUBUDE
15.10.16 ANTWERP | DESERTFEST
16.10.16 DRACHTEN | IDUNA *without MOANING CITIES
18.10.16 WÜRZBURG | IMMERHIN
19.10.16 WIEN | ARENA
20.10.16 LINZ | STADTWERSTATT
21.10.16 EBENSEE | KINO EBENSEE
22.10.16 MUNICH | KEEP IT LOW FESTIVAL

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Monkey3 at Napalm Records

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Monkey3 to Release Astra Symmetry Sept. 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Official Press Pictures Monkey 3

I’m not sure if Monkey3‘s new album is slated for distribution in North America or not, or if it is if it’s going to be out the same day, but the below announcement would seem to confirm the details for a Sept. 2 European release for Astra Symmetry. If you read through the words below, initially posted by Napalm Records on their label site (linked below), it looks like a cool project, with the tracklisting working in distinct movements to create what’s touted as an overarching progressive feel. I’d be interested to hear how that plays out, and if I come across any word specifically of a US release different from this one — which I post because the band is good, this site has readers in the EU and because I firmly believe in purchasing imports when necessary — I’ll let you know.

Until then, they’ve already been confirmed for Keep it Low 2016 in Munich and Up in Smoke in Switzerland, and presumably there are more tour dates to come. Here’s album art and details:

monkey3 astra symmetry-700

Roadburn, Hellfest, Desertfest – it`s pretty much impossible that you missed out on MONKEY3!

This four piece from Lausanne, Switzerland have been blowing the minds of stoner and psych rock fans alike for the past 15 years: trippiness and groove are the cornerstones of their elegant yet powerful sound, and their upcoming album Astra Symmetry is your magic carpet ride!

Astra Symmetry will be released on September 2nd via Napalm Records.

MONKEY3’s new album, Astra Symmetry, feeds its inspiration from the mapping of the stars and their symbolic associations, interpreting the constellations stranded over the dark sky.

Taking its roots in the pristine abyss, Astra Symmetry is a journey towards sidereal soundscapes making their course over four progressive chapters revolved around the zodiac wheel, unifying astrological signs under their elemental nature. What begins in the deep waters, ascends into thin air and acquires earthly consciousness before burning in the sacred fire. Decidedly cosmic instrumental music that loves melding heavy riffing with proggy keyboard landscapes – so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Astra Symmetry track listing reads as follows:

1 Abyss
2 Moon
3 Endless Ocean
4 The Water Bearer
5 Crossroad
6 Mirrors
7 Dead Planet’s Eyes
8 Seeds
9 Astraea
10 Arch
11 The Guardian
12 Realms Of Lights

Astra Symmetry available formats:
– 6 Page Digipack
– 2 LP Gatefold

Pre-Orders will be available shortly!

www.facebook.com/monkey3band
www.monkey3official.com
http://label.napalmrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

Monkey3, “Birth of Venus” official video

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