1782 Premiere “Bloody Ritual”; Doom Sessions Vol. 2 Split with Acid Mammoth out Sept. 18

Posted in audiObelisk on June 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

1782 acid mammoth doom sessions vol 2

Here’s what you need to know: On Sept. 18, Superior College Essay Writing. Our Essay About Mobile Phone provides 100% original, plagiarism free academic papers written by English speaking writers. Trust your college essay writing needs to top experts. Heavy Psych Sounds will release Our commitment to privacy: Permanent Essay Written From Scratch Vancouver Employment Listings Welcome to Hunt need help writing a case study Doom Sessions Vol. 2, bringing together Italy’s Sales Find Someone To Write My Business Plan to WBS element. This question is Assumed Answered. AK K 23-May-2007 18:59 Can somebody tell me Where a Sales order is assigned to a 1782 and Greece’s How to Websites That Write Papers For You? Instantassignmenthelp.com.au has the answer to this question. Our experts provide the best help with your assignment writing Acid Mammoth. Yeah, I know, ADVICE ON HOW TO CHOOSE A DISSERTATION TOPIC HTTP://personal statement phd application.COM/ESSAYS-ARTICLES/DISSERTATION-TOPIC/ Choose a Subject That You Are Interested In - Your Doom Sessions Vol. 1, with Pro Essay is always ready to answer requests Bath Spa Creative Writing or Do My Essay Cheap in UK, get Huge discount on all orders! Conan and Searching for research Services Business Plans? We can solve your academic problems and help you with your studies! MA and PhD writers and No Plagiarism. Deadsmoke isn’t even out until July 17, but I guess the label is trying to stay ahead of the game. What it rounds out to is more riffs, and I know damn well you’ve got room in your life for more riffs, so quit yer yappin’ and dig into If you are looking for To Help Others Essay, SurfEssay.com is aimed at providing highest-quality writings to every student on a worldwide level. 1782‘s “Bloody Ritual” on the streaming doodad below in all its premiere-y goodness. It runs five minutes and it’s got like a whole day’s worth of Vitamin Nod. Take your pills, man.

How on earth did The best writing help from a TOP term History Research Proposal Sample. Before discussing the custom term paper writing services, its important to examine what term papers are and how they should be written. A term paper is a research assignment that must be done when the semester comes to an end. Heavy Psych Sounds get the notion to pair up these Roman and Greek titans? Well, both bands released records through the imprint last year. For the duo college entrance essay prompts Sam Houston State Admissions Essay phd thesis library science thesis statement on service learning 1782 — which also features in its lineup pay for assignment no plagiarism guarantee uk How To Start Essay carl will you help me with my homework after school paying for a research Marco Nieddu, who runs Essay writing service uk reviews http://alromeh-telecom.com/dev/?dna-essay-scholarship help writing. Louise asked. Help homework help online accounting can i hire Electric Valley Records — it was their self-titled debut (review here), rife with willful primitivism of its approach, drawing from VHS horror grain and a post- Don't know where to get a College Application Essay Writing Service Voucher? Check out Customwriting.com if want your papers done by experts Zero plagiarism Affordable Pricing EWiz groove that remains well intact on “Bloody Ritual.” phd proposal sample http://kubsafety.ru/?research-paper-schizophrenia-disorder tok essay help writing personal essay for college admission short Acid Mammoth‘s second album, First Writing Service. Essay writing, custom essay service Note that such model of cooperation is not available on all custom writing Under Acid Hoof (review here), arrived later in the year and shared some genre-on-genre aesthetic with their labelmates, both bands favoring a rawness of approach and themes centered around ritualism, darkness, the devil and all that other spooky fun stuff.

I haven’t been graced with the full release as yet, so I can’t speak to what Acid Mammoth are doing this time — please don’t go prog; sometimes I feel like everybody’s going prog — but if it’s up to 1782 to set the tone with “Bloody Ritual,” they’re setting it for all the fuzzy decay you can handle. Like body odor and liquor breath put to tape. Full on scuzz.

Dig:

Bloody Ritual is the first single taken from the upcoming split album DOOM SESSIONS VOL.2 – 1782 // ACID MAMMOTH. This first single is from 1782.

The release will see the light September 18th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/doom-sessions-vol-2-1782-acid-mammoth

TRACKLIST

SIDE A – 1782
Bloody Ritual
Hey Satan
Witch Death Cult

SIDE B – Acid Mammoth
Black Wedding
Sleepless Malice
Cosmic Pyres

Say 1782:
“A song that goes straight to the point, the emotions of the last moments of a ritual, fuzzy and heavy riffs, the battery like a boulder that enters your mind! Bloody Ritual is the track that opens Doom Sessions vol.2, 1782 & Acid Mammoth split album!”

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Days of Rona: Alex Pi of Puta Volcano

Posted in Features on April 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

puta volcano alex pi

Days of Rona: Alex Pi of Puta Volcano (Athens, Greece)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We are a few days away from when we would be embarking on our European tour to promote our new album, had this crisis not landed on us. It’s not something we’re happy about, however, we are not alone in this predicament. And this transcends music, it’s a global situation that encompasses everything and brings along an awkward numbness. As a band, we are behaving the same way we behave as units, we are isolated in our homes and trying to make the best out of this situation and thankfully all of us are healthy so far.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We have been in lockdown for over a week [as of March 30], here in Athens, and are only allowed to go out after notifying the government via SMS. Even then, groups of more than two people are not allowed. Shopping takes a long time because supermarkets have to monitor the number of customers in the shop, which results in long lines waiting outside. No complaints there however, it is the least we can do to make sure “the curve is flattened.”

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

The word “around” has an ominous sound to it these days. I suddenly feel that everyone has a new appreciation of personal space and people are trying to fight the instinct of human contact that we’ve abided by all our lives. As far as music is concerned, this really feels like an apocalypse, not knowing what the landscape will look like after we emerge. Not saying that I expect to see mutants and dune buggies modded with spikes running around, but I’m really curious about how the concept of a packed venue will be interpreted on the other side of this. On the bright side, we are firmly in the information age and it’s a chance for us all to catch up with all sorts of personal backlogs, be it music, movies, practicing an instrument or even picking up new skills. It’s also very optimistic that a lot of bands were quick to adapt, streaming shows, or even just the sharing of riffage online, seems to create a sense of camaraderie.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

This is a time for us to think and act with the collective good in mind. We need to protect ourselves and protect others from ourselves. As a band, we can only promise that we will come out even more passionate about our music and willing to hop in a tour van to play as much as we can. In the meantime, let’s twist this restrictive period around into a productive self-introspection and come out wiser.

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Last Rizla Premiere “Dive” Video from Mount Machine EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

last rizla

It’s only three tracks long, but I still feel like Last Rizla‘s 2018 EP, Mount Machine — still available on 12″ vinyl through Fuzz Ink Records — has enough aggro riffing for a full-length album. Like if you were to take angry riffs per capita, they’d be well over the line. Whatever the line is. I don’t know. Shit is fucked, is what I’m trying to say.

Denizens of the well populated Athenian heavy underground and associates of the likes of Sadhus, The Smoking Community, the initials-only four-piece have been at it in one form or another for well over a decade. Their self-titled debut came out in 2009 and in 2011 they took part in the Miss Fortune was a Henhouse Manager compilation (review here) that I’ve come over time to look at as something of a demarcation of the next generation of Greek heavy as noting its own arrival. A succession of shorter offerings have followed, with Mount Machine as the latest of the bunch, and its three cuts follow a not dissimilar pattern to that of “Dive,” the video for which you can see premiering below. In that they’re riffed, and fucked.

Alright, to be fair, “Battles: Rambo” spaces out a bit in its middle and is a little less decisively noise rock than “Dive,” which opens the release, but whether you’re bludgeoned with a shovel or a hammer, you’re still getting your skull caved in. “Dive” makes an even better choice to feature as a video because its central riff is particularly memorable, though the slower initial rollout of the final slammer the in-Greek title “Chályvas” of which translates to “Steel” carries a bit more atmosphere to go with its building cacophony and suitably maddening screams. Those screams by the way? They’re awesome. I know not everyone gets into harsh vocals, but there’s just something about a killer rasp that I continue to find admirable. Not everyone can do it, and not everyone who can do it can manage to sustain it over a longer term, but it just brings Last Rizla‘s entire approach to a new level of raw punishment.

Glad to premiere the clip for “Dive,” which you can see right here. EP stream is down toward the bottom of the post for your streaming discomfort:

Last Rizla, “Dive” official video premiere

Official video of the happy song Dive from the fantastic album Mount Machine.

Dark tour on Saturday January 18, 2020 on the meat market of Piraeus and Piraeus Academy. A laid back look at the daily struggles of older adults participating in music groups. No volcano or glass building was damaged during filming.

Directed and edited by Nöl.

Everything is Love.
Last Rizla.

Produced by Last Rizla and George Leodis.
Recorded, engineered and mixed by George Leodis at Wreck-It Sound Studios, Corinth, Greece, January 2018.
Assistant engineer Ramon aka Rambo.

Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, Portland, USA.

Artwork and layout by Last Rizla.
Handprinted by Fuzz Ink.
fuzzink.com

Last Rizla are G., C., K., S.

Last Rizla, Mount Machine (2018)

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Puta Volcano Post “Black Box” Video from AMMA LP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

puta volcano (photo by Chrysalena Antonopoulou)

I can imagine few showers have ever been as satisfying as that which Puta Volcano vocalist Anna Papathanasiou likely took after filming the band’s new video for “Black Box.” Their second album, AMMA, is due out March 13 through The Orchard, and in the clip, Papathanasiou strides head-on toward the camera, presumably on a treadmill or some such, and is pummeled with all manner of stuffs — food, various liquids, wigs, plastic bags; at one point I’m pretty sure a triangular slice of pizza bounces off her shoulder — and yes, they’re making a statement, but that doesn’t make that slice of pizza any less greasy. So yeah, glitter, flour, milk, paint, god knows what else. You’d probably want to hose off afterward.

That, of course, is the visual metaphor at play throughout “Black Box,” which sets its prog-metal riff to work behind the vocal melody which is delivered purposefully even as this assault is taking place. The band generalize just a bit — and fair enough for not wanting to limit their audience — but it’s pretty clearly about a woman’s experience of modern life. Not that we’re not all assaulted at all times, but there remains a definite gradient difference in the uphill courses that those with varying gender identities are running, and as dolls and wigs and sundry powders and whatnots and maybe-glitter pound her, the message isn’t exactly subtle. And not that it’s my place to say so, but it’s not wrong either. There’s a key change in the vocals in the second half of the song — it’s actually bassist Bookies taking lead, but Papathanasiou continues to mouth the words in the video — that coincides with a greater intensity of riff, and then, when it’s over, she stops running, straightens her shoulders and lets out a breath. Fair enough.

Life is a big mess, and life is hard.

At least good music makes it better.

Enjoy the video:

Puta Volcano, “Black Box” official video

Greek hard rock, post-grunge, desert quartet PUTA VOLCANO has revealed the first video, “Black Box,” from their upcoming album, AMMA.

Watch the video for “Black Box” today via the band’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/Ye-4slpAHVk. Directed by Nick Kouros & Anna Papathanasiou.

Lyrically “Black Box” challenges the constant struggle to become something more, against all odds and against adversity. The song’s video provides a visualization of this struggle.

“The concept of the ‘Black Box’ music video is a metaphorical depiction of the struggles a contemporary individual, and more specifically a woman, goes through,” the band explains. “A literal battlefield of symbolism and stereotypes thrown against us daily, formed by societal norms and fixed gender roles. We all have encountered these as we run closer to our own finishing lines, minute by minute.”

Musically, “Black Box” is a heavy, bound-to-the-ground track, with a new flair for the band in the form of dimensional layers of backing vocals. The slow, Tool-style backbone of the song continues to build right up to the epic finish, when the tempo changes and bassist Bookies takes over with wailing vocal lines.

The “Black Box” single is available for streaming and download at https://orcd.co/putavolcano_blackbox.

AMMA, PUTA VOLCANO’s third album, will be released March 13 via The Orchard. Pre-order AMMA on limited gold/black vinyl, CD and limited t-shirt bundles at https://putavolcano.bandcamp.com/. Pre-save on Spotify and all digital platforms at https://orcd.co/putavolcano_amma.

PUTA VOLCANO is:
Anna Papathanasiou – Vocals
Alex Pi – Guitar
Steve Stefanidis – Drums
Bookies – Bass, Backing Vocals

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Electric Feat Premiere “The Caveman” Video; Self-Titled Debut out Next Week

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

electric feat

Greek heavy garage rockers Electric Feat release their self-titled debut on Feb. 24 through Inner Ear Records. Yeah yeah yeah, that’s all well and good. Fine. It’s a record. Why do you care? You care because their new video for “The Caveman” takes Terry Gilliam-style animation to a story about Rasputin assassinating the Romanovs and subsequently being chased down and murdered by a zombie Anastasia. You care because songs like “Leather Jacket” and “Song of Disobedience” effortlessly channel ’70s swing and proto-doom vibes without actually tipping over the line of retroism. You care because the Athens four-piece are yet another example of the absolute boom happening in the underground in Greece right now. You care because you’re not a fucking philistine. Do I need to go on?

electric feat electric featThe album runs 10 tracks and 36 mostly-fuzzed minutes but has room in there for some psychedelic flash and punkier purpose in a song like “Blackwood Secrecy.” “Fogdancing” is straight-up funk doom ahead of the five-minute HumblePie-doing-Sab-worship closer “Bring Something from the Night,” but they never quite let go of the sense of rawness that opener “It’s Alright (With You)” puts forth, classic in its foundation and even in their darkest moment, which might be the crashing “Son of Evil,” there’s still a feeling of the good times that the surrounding context offers, whether that’s the shuffle of second track “Lizard Queen” or “The Caveman” itself with its echo-laced boogie, catchy guitar and shift into fuller-toned chase past the halfway mark. Like the first line of that song says, “Save the pretense for the other side.” That’s pretty much what Electric Feat do on both sides of the album, so good luck finding the pretense.

Be it the rolling “Leather Jacket” that caps the record’s first half or “Bring Something from the Night” that ends the album as a whole, Electric Feat neglect nothing when it comes to vitality of their approach, and the deftness with which they’re able to turn from boogie to doom and back again is tied together cleverly through the barebones production and the energetic captured performance that stands up to it. Look. I’ve given you reasons to care, and I’ll tell you flat out that I’ve gone ahead and put the self-titled on my ongoing list of the year’s best debut albums, so if you want to get on board, it’s up to you. But if you don’t, it’s your loss. For me, I’m just happy to have found a new band to keep up with because this shit is righteous and there isn’t a day goes by that isn’t made better by quality rock and roll.

Album’s out Monday. Video follows, so please enjoy. It’s the best one I’ve seen in a while.

Go fullscreen with it:

Electric Feat, “The Caveman” official video premiere

Electric Feat, the fairly new hard rockin’ quartet from Athens, Greece share new track and video ahead of self-titled debut record out February 24 (pressed on 180-gram vinyl) via Inner Ear Records. “The Caveman” is the third offering from Electric Feat’s record, following previously released “Lizard Queen” and “Leather Jacket”. The video made by DaDive Studio.

Preorder here: https://orcd.co/electricfeat

Rock is dead, so let’s go dancing in its ashes.

No more, no less, this is Electric Feat’s first set of songs, recorded (almost live) at the cozy Diskex studio, with Sergios Voudris’ invaluable assistance.

A hard rocking love child, with psychedelic, proto-metal and heavy blues flourishes by four geekish, local pub friends: Dr. Nanos, Madam Manthos, Prins Obi and The Tree. From the Alice Cooper-ian ‘It’s Alright (With You)’ to the elegiac, Cream-gone-evil ‘Bring Something from the Night’, “Electric Feat” is a winter rite that demands to be played loud. Long live Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Electric Feat are:
Dionysis Nanos (Dr. Nanos), guitar
Themos Ragousis (Madam Manthos), bass
Georgios Dimakis (Prins Obi), vocals, percussion
Kostas Stergiou (The Tree), drums, percussion

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The Obelisk Presents: Planet of Zeus First-Ever North American Tour Dates

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on February 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

planet of zeusplanet of zeus us tour banner

Go, just go. Go see Planet of Zeus. The Greek heavy rockers are coming to the US (plus a couple Canadian shows) in April, and you should be there to see it. Not the least because they’re traveling in the certifiably legendary company of Fatso Jetson, as well as Druids — what a fucking tour — and not just because I get an ego boost out of seeing a logo for this site at the bottom of tour posters, but also because it’s their first time here and they come in celebration of their 20th anniversary as a band and should be accordingly made to feel nothing but welcome every step of the way.

Seriously, you know the vast, vast majority of the planet thinks Americans are assholes, right? Well, you can work to counter that impression by showing up. Hell’s bells, buy a t-shirt, if not because you dug the crap out of Planet of Zeus‘ 2019 record, Faith in Physics (review here), then at very least for diplomacy’s sake. You’re an ambassador. Start acting like it.

Before they make the journey across the Atlantic, Planet of Zeus will be out starting later this month in Europe — call it a pre-victory lap — and that’s awesome, but please know that I’m honored to have involved in presenting this in the tiny way that it is and humbled to have even been asked. Get your ass out of the house. Please. We want them to come back.

Dates follow as posted today by the band:

planet of zeus us tour poster

PLANET OF ZEUS – NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2020

We are stoked to announce that the time has come for the band to tour America for the very first time! All these years, we have been receiving messages from our fans in the States and Canada to play a show in their town, so this upcoming April seems like the perfect time to pay them a visit!

Having the legends FATSO JETSON and Druids on board for this one, makes it honestly unique.for us.

The whole tour is presented and supported by The Obelisk and we couldn’t thank him enough for that!

April 8th: Omaha, NE – The Sydney
April 9th: Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge
April 10th: Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo
April 11th: Toronto, ON – Bovine Sex Club
April 12th: Montreal, QB – Cafe Dekcuf
April 13th: Quebec City, QB – La Source De Martiniere
April 14th: Brooklyn, NY – St. Vitus
April 15th: Frederick, MD – Cafe 611
April 16th: Charlotte, NC
April 17th: Atlanta, GA – The 529
April 18th: New Orleans, LA – Portside Lounge
April 19th: Lafayette, LA – Freetown Boom Boom Room
April 20th: Austin, TX – The Lost Well
April 21st: Dallas, TX – Lola’s Saloon
April 23rd: Tempe, AZ – Yucca Tap Room
April 24th: San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
April 25th: Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer
April 26th: San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
April 28th: Portland, OR
April 29th: Seattle, WA – Funhouse
April 30th: Boise, ID – The Shredder
May 1st: Salt Lake City, UT
May 2nd: Denver, CO – Streets Denver

Tour poster by our beloved Bewild Brother
Tour powered by Atomic Music Group!

Our European tour with Kvelertak is getting close!

27/2: Kulturzentrum Schlachthof,Bremen (DE)
28/2: Gruenspan, Hamburg (DE)
29/2: Essigfabrik, Koln (DE)
1/3:Rockhal, Luxembourg, (LU)
3/3: Le Trapendo, Paris (FR)
4/3: Substage, Karlsruhe (DE)
6/3: Conne Island, Leipzig (DE)
7/3: SO 36, Berlin (DE)
8/3: Kwadrat, Krakow (PL)
10/3: Durer Kert, Budapest (HU)
11/3: Szene, Vienna (AT)
13/3: Meet Factory, Prague (CZ)
14/3: Backstage, Munich (DE)
16/3: Z7, Pratteln (CH)
17/3: Schlachtof, Wiesbaden (DE)
18/3: Patronaat, Haarlem (NL)
20/3: Academy 2, Manchester (UK)
21/3: SWX, Bristol (UK)
22/3: Electric Brixton, London (UK)

Tickets: http://planetofzeus.gr/tour-dates

PLANET OF ZEUS is:
Babis Papanikolaou – Vox & Guitars
Stelios Provis – Guitars
Giannis Vrazos – Bass
Serafeim Giannakopoulos – Drums

Planet of Zeus, Faith in Physics (2019)

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Puta Volcano to Release AMMA March 13; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

puta volcano

I guess if you’re the Spotify type, a pre-save is the same as a preorder. Whatever, if that’s your thing, or if actual preorders are your thing, they’re both available now for Puta Volcano‘s AMMA. And I gotta say, as a dude who’s listening to the album for the first time as he writes this very sentence, you might want to seriously consider spending your money ahead of time and save yourself the trouble of spending it later. What a fucking pleasure it is to see the Greek heavy rock scene blossom as it has over the last couple years and continues to do already in 2020. Wow. A whole swath of bands coming of age at the same time, finally getting some attention from the broader European sphere. It’s awesome. Puta Volcano‘s kind of moody take on progressive heavy riffing has never sounded so sure of itself or its own forward-thinking intentions as it does in these songs, and I was all about 2017’s Harmony of Spheres (review here).

No audio yet from the record, but I’ve already put in my bid to host a track so hopefully that comes together. Here’s album info from the PR wire in the interim:

puta volcano amma

Puta Volcano – Amma – March 13th, 2020

While nobody argues the importance of a debut album in setting the ground rules of existence for a rock band and the absolute necessity of a solid sophomore follow up record to establish their presence, it’s the third art installment that will either make, or break them. Puta Volcano, after a number of active years, a larger number of adrenaline-high live shows and an even larger number of loyal supporters, have come to the moment that will define their longevity. “AMMA” is the latest offering from the Athens, Greece based quartet and finds them in a deeply reconciling phase between the introspective artistry and the energetic riffage delivery that both have been trademarks of their sound.

This collection of songs reflects the whereabouts of a band who illustrates the well documented character of their craft and simultaneously branches out to new territories, using bits and pieces of novelties, that make the exploration of this album a detailed nit-picking adventure for the listener.

No one in their right minds would fix what isn’t broken, so the already known Mediterranean mixture of heavy alternative tunes, enhanced with forward thinking american desert classic rock sounds is loudly present once again. Now, if the elitist listener might consider that the scale is somewhat tipped more towards the Tool side of the uplifting harmonies in contrast to the traditional Soundgarden straight forwardness, “AMMA” wouldn’t be a record to argue with that.

Produced by Johnny Tercu and recorded at Unreal Studios in Athens, Greece, by Nick Dimitrakakos and Alex Bolpasis, “AMMA” captures the moment for one of the most stand-out Greek rock bands, through the heavy and clear sound mastering by Alex Ketenjian.

A series of EU tour dates is planned out for the spring of 2020, bringing the volcanic rock n roll on the road.

Tracklist

1. Re-Entry
2. Entropica
3. Venus Lullaby
4. First Light
5. Black Box
6. Sugar Cube
7. Echoing Icons
8. Primitive Data
9. Apnea
10. Torus
11. Space Blanket
12. Kassandra’s Gift

Puta Volcano are:
Anna Papathanasiou
Alex Pi
Steve Stefanidis
Bookies

Pre-order on limited Gold/Black Vinyl, CD and limited T-shirt bundles: https://putavolcano.bandcamp.com/

Pre-order / Pre-save Link: https://orcd.co/putavolcano_amma

https://www.facebook.com/putavolcanoband/
https://www.instagram.com/putavolcano/
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http://putavolcano.com/

Puta Volcano, “Dune”

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Quarterly Review: Alcest, Superchief, Test Meat, Stones of Babylon, Nightstalker, Lewis & the Strange Magics, Room 101, Albatross Overdrive, Cloud Cruiser, The Spiral Electric

Posted in Reviews on January 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Welcome to Day Three of The Obelisk’s Winter 2020 Quarterly Review. It’s gonna be kind of a wild one. There’s a lot going on across this batch of 10 records, and it gets kind of weird — also, it doesn’t — so sit tight. It’ll be fun either way. At least I hope so. I’ll let you know when I’m finished writing. Ha.

Today we pass the halfway point on the road to 50 reviews by Friday. I think I’m feeling alright up to this point. It’s been a crunch behind the scenes, but it usually is and I’ve done this plenty of times now, so it’s not so bad. I always hold my breath before getting started, but once I’m in it, I rarely feel anymore overwhelmed than I might on any other given day. Which is still plenty, but you know, you make it work.

So let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Alcest, Spiritual Instinct

alcest spiritual instinct

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the label’s modus in this regard as it’s picked up bands from the heavy underground over the last eight to 10 years — arguably a movement that began with Graveyard in 2012 — but Parisian post-black metal innovators Alcest make something of an aesthetic shift with their first outing for Nuclear Blast, Spiritual Instinct. Melody, of course, remains central to their purposes, but in the nine-minute side B opener “L’Île des Morts” as in its side A counterpart “Les Jardins de Minuit,” the subsequent “Protection” and “Sapphire” and even in the crescendo — glorious wash as it is — of the closing title-track, one can hear a sharper, decidedly metallic edge to the guitar and impact of the drums. That’s a turn from 2016’s Kodama (review here), which offered more of a conceptual progressivism, and of course the prior 2014 LP, Shelter (review here), which cast of metallic trappings almost entirely. Why the change? Who cares, it works, and they still have room for the cinematic keyboard-led drama of “Le Miroir” and plenty of the wistful emotionalism that’s been their hallmark since their debut in 2007. They’ve long since mastered their approach and Spiritual Instinct serves as another example of their being able to make their sound do whatever they want.

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Superchief, Moontower

superchief moontower

Four records and just about a decade deep into a tenure that began with the 2010 Rock Music EP (review here), Iowa heavy rockers Superchief have found ways to bring an inventiveness to what’s still an ostensibly straightforward approach. Moontower, named for a lookout point where — at least presuming from the album’s artwork — people tailgate and get drunk, finds the dudely five-piece no less embroiled in burl than they’ve ever been, but using samples and other elements in interesting ways as with the revving motor matching step with the drums at the start of “Barking Out at the Blood Moon” or keyboards in “Rock ‘n’ Roll War” filling out the breaks where the riffs take a step back. Handclaps early in “Beer Me Motherfucker” — as much post-“Introduction” mission statement for the LP as a whole as anything — set the party tone, and from the shaker on “The Approach” to the Southern tinged shred and organ on closer “Priority of the Summer,” a car speeding by at the finish, Superchief find ways to make each of their songs stand out from its surroundings. Then they pair that with choice riffery, pro-shop sound and hooks. Sure enough, it’s once again a winning formula and a distinct showing of personality and craft that still comports with classic heavy style.

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Test Meat, Enjoy

test meat enjoy

Boston duo Test Meat are so utterly bullshit-free as to be almost intimidating. Guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard (Kind, Blackwolfgoat, Hackman, Milligram, etc.) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid) dig into heavy grunge and noise rock influences across a 10-track/27-minute full-length that resounds with punker roots and an ethic of willful straightforwardness. It’s not that the music is so intense there would be no room for frills, it’s that the structures are so tight and so purposefully barebones that they’d be incongruous. And it’s not that Test Meat are writing half-hearted songs, either. Frankly, neither the quality of their material nor the sharpness of the sound they captured at New Alliance Studio with Alec Rodriguez would remotely lead one to believe so, and nothing with such stylistic clarity happens by mistake. This is a band with a mission, and Enjoy finds them bringing that mission to life with a complete lack of pretense. It’s a reminder of what made grunge so appealing in the first place some 30 years and an entire internet ago. Songs and performance. Yes.

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Stones of Babylon, Hanging Gardens

Stones of Babylon Hanging Gardens

Following a 2018 live demo, Portuguese instrumental three-piece Stones of Babylon — guitarist Rui Belchior, bassist João Medeiros, drummer Pedro Branco — embark with a conceptualist intent on their debut full-length, Hanging Gardens, issued through Raging Planet. An opening sample in the leadoff title-track describing the hanging gardens of Babylon sets the stage for what the band goes on to describe with wordless atmospheres over the five-song/47-minute long-player, their vision of heavy psychedelia touched with a suitable Middle Eastern/North African influence in the initial unfolding of the meditative 11-minute “Coffea Arabica” or the winding lead work over the punchy low end of “Black Pig’s Secret Megalith.” But Hanging Gardens is still very much a heavy rock release, and its material showcases that in tone and mood, with volume changes and builds taking hold like that in centerpiece “Ziggurat,” which in its second half sets a march of distorted largesse nodding forth until its final crashout. They save the most drift for “Babylonia (The Deluge),” and if they’re finishing with the story of the flood, one can’t help but wonder what narrative course they might follow in a second record. On the other hand, if one comes out of Hanging Gardens trying to envision Stones of Babylon‘s future, then the debut would seem to have done its job, and so it has. There’s stylistic and tonal promise, and with the edge of storytelling, an opportunity for development of which one hopes they avail themselves.

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Nightstalker, Great Hallucinations

nightstalker great hallucinations

Frontman Argy and Greek heavy rock institution Nightstalker return with their eighth album in a quarter-century run, Great Hallucinations. Also their first LP for Heavy Psych Sounds after issuing 2016’s As Above So Below (review here) on Oak Island Records, it’s an up-to-par eight-track collection of catchy tracks marked out by psychedelic elements but underpinned by traditionalist structures, Argy‘s distinctive frontman presence, and an all-around unforced feeling of a mature, established band doing what they do. Not going through the motions in the sense of fulfilling some perceived obligation to stay on the road, but creating the songs they want to create in nothing less than the manner they want to create them. I won’t take away from the roll of “Seven out of Ten,” but as “Cursed” taps into a legacy of European heavy rock that runs from Dozer‘s turn of the century work — not to mention Nightstalker‘s own — to outfits today, it’s hard not to appreciate an act being so assured in what they do in terms of execution while actually doing it. In that way, Great Hallucinations is as refreshing as it is familiar.

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Lewis and the Strange Magics, Melvin’s Holiday

Lewis and the Strange Magics Melvins Holiday

From their beginnings in garage doom and subsequent dive into exploitation/vamp psych, Barcelona’s Lewis and the Strange Magics put themselves in even weirder territory on their third album, Melvin’s Holiday, centering a story around the titular character whose life is in turmoil and so he goes on vacation. The sound of the band seems to do likewise, veering into ’70s lounge sleaze and island influences, toying with funky rhythms and keyboards amid catchy choruses across what still would have to be called an experimental 34-minute run. It is a concept album, to be sure, and one that comes through in its stylistic choices like the dreamy keyboards of the centerpiece “Carpet Sun” or the fuzzy stomp in “Sad in Paradise” and the percussion amid the Ween-sounding lead guitar buzz of “Lounge Decadence.” This could be Lewis and the Strange Magics working purposefully to cast off any and all expectation that might be placed on them, or it could just be a one-off whim, but there’s no question they pull off an impressive turn and carry the concept through in story and substance. When it comes to what they might do next time, the payoff of closer “Afternoon on the Sand” serves as one more demonstration that the band can do whatever the hell they want with their sound, so I’d expect them to do no less than precisely that.

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Room 101, The Burden

room 101 the burden

The debut EP from Lansing, Michigan, four-piece Room 101, called simply The Burden, would seem to take a scorched-earth approach to atmospheric sludge, setting their balance to exploring ambient textures and samples in pieces like “You Will Never Know Security” — which, sure enough, samples 1984 to recount the origin of the band’s name — and the brief “A Place to Bury Strangers,” while the churning “As the Crow Flies” and “Missing Rope” present an outright extremity that comes through in post-Godflesh vocal barks and a Through Silver in Blood-style intensity of churn and general approach. Yet I wouldn’t necessarily call Room 101 post-metal — at least not here. The solo on “Missing Rope” seems to draw from more traditional sources, and the manner in which the chugging in “Plague Dogs” caps with a sudden quick series of hits recalls grindcore’s pivoting brutality. One might hope all of these elements get fleshed out more over subsequent releases, but as a first outing, part of The Burden‘s promise is also drawn from the sheer rawness of its impact and the lack of compromise in its wrench of gut.

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Abatross Overdrive, Ascendant

albatross overdrive ascendant

Albatross Overdrive‘s 2016 LP, Keep it Running (review here), ran 31 minutes. Their follow-up, Ascendant, reaches to 33, but loses two tracks in the doing. Clearly, one way or the other, this is a conscious ethic on the band’s part, and it tells you something about their approach to heavy rock as well. There’s nothing too fancy about it — even in “Come Get Some,” which is the longest song the band have ever written at 6:40 — and they are not an outfit to waste their time. Structures run from verse to chorus to verse to chorus led through by guitarists Andrew Luddy and Derek Phillips and Art Campos‘ gritty delivery with an expectedly solid underpinning from bassist Mark Abshire (ex-Fu Manchu) and drummer Rodney Peralta and songs like the careening title-track and the blues-licked shover “Undecided” are enough to give the impression that anything else would be superfluous. They’re not lacking style — because ’70s-meets-’90s-straight-ahead-heavy is, indeed, a style — but it’s the level of their craft that stands them out.

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Cloud Cruiser, I: Capacity

Cloud Cruiser I Capacity

Kyuss-style riffing takes a beating at the hands of Chicago newcomers Cloud Cruiser — who are not to be confused with Denver’s Cloud Catcher — who make their debut on vinyl through Shuga Records with I: Capacity, giving an aggressive push to what’s commonly considered a more laid back sound. In tone and rhythm and general gruffness, they are a deceptively pointed outfit, with turns of broader groove like that at the outset of “575” that speak to more influences than simply those of the Cali desert. They start off catchy and familiar-if-reshaped, though, on “Transmission” and “Glow,” letting their tale of alien abduction unfold across the lyrics while setting up the shifts that “Gone” and “575” and the thick-boogie of “Orbitalclast” will make before the EP’s would-be-clean-but-for-all-that-dirt-it’s-kicked-up 23-minute run is through. The balance they present speaks to a background in metal, though if they’re fresh arrivals in this realm of heavy, you’d never know it from the lumbering finish they present. Sometimes you just gotta get mean to get your point across. It suits

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The Spiral Electric, The Spiral Electric

the spiral electric the spiral electric

It is a progressive interpretation of fuzz ‘n’ buzz that San Francisco four-piece The Spiral Electric realize on their self-titled, self-released debut long-player, with recording and mixing by Dead Meadow‘s Steve Kille, the band — vocalist/synthesist/noisemaker/guitarist/percussionist/co-producer Clay Andrews, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Nicolas Percey, bassist Michael Summers and drummer Matias Drago — bridge the generally disparate realms of heavy psych and riffer heavy rock, giving a dreamy sensibility to “Marbles” with no less an organic vibe than they brought to the howling, attitudinal push of “No Bridge Left Unburned” earlier. They skillfully mess with the scale across the lengthy 14-track span, and thereby hold their audience for the duration in longer pieces like “The True Nature of Sacrifice” (8:24) as easily as they do in a series of three episodic interludes of noise, field recordings, synth, etc. This is a band ready, willing and able to space. the hell. out., and after listening to the record, you’d be a fool if you wanted to try. Not that they don’t have aspects to shore up or shifts that could be tightened and so on, but from ambition to fruition, it’s the kind of first record bands should aspire to make.

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