Coogans Bluff Post “Gadfly” Video; Metronopolis out Jan. 24

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

coogans bluff

In the interim since German horn-laced progressive heavy rockers Coogans Bluff issued their last full-length in 2016’s Flying to the Stars, the five-piece outfit celebrated 15 years since the origin of the band in 2003. 2017 brought the release through Noisolution of their Bluff Live collection recorded over the course of their touring to support the year prior’s studio LP, and on Jan. 24, 2020, the same imprint will stand behind their next studio album, Metronopolis. Fun to say, hard to type, the fifth album from the now-Berlin-I-guess?-based troupe was first introduced to the universe at large at the beginning of November with a teaser and so on, but to my knowledge, “Gadfly” is the first full-track to make its way to public ears.

Sound like a nifty proposition? Well, it turns out to be exactly that, so, you know, good instincts and whatnot. In “Gadfly,” which runs a usually paltry 3:23, Coogans Bluff offer a head-spinning array of kraut-laced executions, timing mathy guitars, bass and drums with King Crimson-y Mellotron, and yes, a goddamn wild sax solo, all the while meting out coherent verses and melodies to somehow manage to tie it together. They’re in a rush to get through it, to be sure, but when that sax solo comes around, check out the bass tone underneath — yes, I know; always the bass tone with me, but still — and dig the Mellotron grandiosity that comes out of it. At very least, it’s less than three and a half minutes. What’ve you got to lose?

Though when it comes to what you might actually gain by taking on “Gadfly” — the video for which features the band in a studio setting running through the track and making it look almost obnoxiously easy to play — that’s probably a list that should include whiplash, so keep that in mind as well.

They’re on tour with intermittent runs starting in January after Metronopolis hits. Dates and LP preorder link follow here, as posted by the band.

Good luck, and enjoy:

Coogans Bluff, “Gadfly” official video

Taken from COOGANS BLUFF‘s new album ‘METRONOPOLIS’ available January 24th 2020

Preorder the album here: https://www.flight13.com/coogans-bluff-metronopolis/138010

METRONOPOLIS TOUR 2020
30.01.2020 – Hamburg, Knust
31.01.2020 – Köln, Blue Shell
01.02.2020 – Bielefeld, Forum
13.02.2020 – Dortmund, Musiktheater Piano
14.02.2020 – Oldenburg, Cadillac
15.02.2020 – Hannover, Lux
28.02.2020 – Dresden, Groovestation
29.02.2020 – Leipzig, Noels Ballroom
12.03.2020 – München, Feierwerk
13.03.2020 – Stuttgart, Goldmarks
14.03.2020 – Jena, KuBa
26.03.2020 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau
27.03.2020 – Olten, Coq D’Or
28.03.2020 – Frankfurt a. Main, The Cave
24.04.2020 – Rostock, Peter-Weiss-Haus
25.04.2020 – Berlin, Lido

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The Obelisk Presents: Kadavar Touring Australia & New Zealand in March 2020

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on December 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m rarely so filled with pride and sheer delight as I am when I see a logo for The Obelisk on a poster for a tour happening very, very far away from where I live. And if it’s something amazing, all the better. German heavy rock forerunners Kadavar will head Down Under for a tour in Spring — or I guess Fall — 2020 supporting their latest long-player, For the Dead Travel Fast (review here). As that album is sure to feature on my list later this month of 2019’s finest offerings, I’m all the more stoked to have The Obelisk on the admittedly-not-insignificant list of presenters for the run. I mean, seriously, I’m a dork from New Jersey. Who the hell am I to (even co-) present anything on the other side of the world? So awesome.

Special thanks to Beats Cartel for having The Obelisk on board for this one. To say it’s an honor would be putting it mildly.

Here’s the press release, as much for future-me to look back on fondly as for your current information:

kadavar aus nz tour

GERMAN FUZZ KINGS KADAVAR ARE COMING TO NEW ZEALAND

There are few bands who’ve had more of an effect on the course of classic heavy retro rock this decade than Germany’s KADAVAR, having never sounded so much in command of their music.

Arguably the hardest working band in European rock, Kadavar have established themselves quite simply in a different league form their retro-rock labelled peers, smashing out large capacity international tours and festivals (Hellfest/Psycho Las Vegas/Download/Wacken) en masse and landing German and US chart positions for a host of album releases. Latest album release For the Dead Travel Fast (Nuclear Blast), reignites new depths and heights alike on this their fifth and darkest full-length.

Highly regarded as one of the most explosive heavy psych live experiences on the planet, Kadavar return to Australian and New Zealand shores in March/April 2020 for Beats Cartel on the back of a Mojo Burning Festival appearance. Not having visited Australian since their 2013 tour with Blues Pills and the follow-up 2016 headline tour, interest will be paramount in 2020 to catch one of the best names in the business perform albums worth of new live material.

The band’s fifth record is a perilous journey into the land of the dead, a foray into the bleakest corners of our minds. A heavy, slow-paced, throbbing force of guitar, bass and drums, preciously enriched by spooky synths and a brooding narrative reminiscent of the Victorian death-cult.

“Something like this wouldn’t have been possible earlier in our career. Only now do we know each other well enough to pull off something like this” drummer Tiger nods, “We have the feeling we created something new while at the same time having rediscovered our core DNA. Feels damn good.”

Get ready to witness something special… Kadavar are coming. For the Dead Travel Fast 2020 Australian and New Zealand tour stops in a host of cities across the two countries including Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Scarborough and Perth. All shows on sale now at www.beatscartel.com. National supports will be announced soon.

Tickets: https://www.beatscartel.com/tickets

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/tours/431252567765998/

KAVAVAR 2020 AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND TOUR
“For the Dead Travel Fast”
Thursday March 26 SYDNEY Frankies Pizza
Friday March 27 NEWCASTLE Stag & Hunter
Saturday March 28 BRISBANE MOJO BURNING FESTIVAL
Sunday March 29 CHRISTCHURCH Club Hotel
Monday March 30 WELLINGTON Valhalla
Tuesday March 31 AUCKLAND Whammy Bar
Wednesday April 01 CANBERRA The Basement
Thursday April 02 ADELAIDE Crown & Anchor
Friday April 03 MELBOURNE Stay Gold
Saturday April 04 SCARBOROUGH GERMANIUM DAZE *Festival to be announced
Sunday April 05 PERTH Lucy’s Love Shack

***TICKETS NOW ON SALE at www.beatscartel.com/tickets***
National support acts to be announced

https://www.facebook.com/KadavarOfficial/
https://instagram.com/kadavargram/
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http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

Kadavar, “Children of the Night” official video

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Elder Announce New Drummer & New Album Recording

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Progressive heavy rock forerunners Elder will enter the studio this week to begin recording their fifth full-length and first with their new drummer, Georg Edert, who steps into the role formerly occupied by founding member Matt Couto. Though Elder in recent years added Mike Risberg on guitar and keys and have worked with a select few other players here and there, this is to my knowledge the first major lineup change since the initial trio of guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, bassist Jack Donovan and Couto was established in 2006.

The potential here for a shift in the band’s dynamic, therefore, is significant, but Elder have never been ones to shy away from change, and if the showings I’ve seen thus far for 2017’s Reflections of a Floating World (review here), 2015’s Lore (review here) and 2011’s Dead Roots Stirring (review here) in the Top 20 of the 2010s end-of-decade poll are anything to go by, their listenership is more than willing to go along with them wherever their path might lead. I would’ve been interested to hear where their next album went anyhow after Reflections — I was expecting some shift of approach  — but with Edert aboard, the intrigue level is that much higher.

On a side note for Elder fans, Stickman Records is giving away test pressings to those who donate to charities this season. Details are here.

Behold 2020’s most anticipated album:

elder

Elder changes lineup and heads to studio in December

It’s been a busy few weeks for Elder, who recently announced a lineup change as well as plans to begin work on their new record, as of yet untitled. With the departure of drummer and founding member Matthew Couto, the band is charting new waters in their 12 year spell of continuity, but has found a replacement in Georg Edert (who now also drums for the Elder side project Gold and Silver).

Having reestablished the band’s lineup, they will enter the studio next week to begin work on their fifth full-length album! From the band:

“Georg is a friend of ours from years back – met while playing on tour in Europe – and in the past year he’s been playing together with Nick and Mike to revive their old project Gold & Silver (also planning more music next year!). His drumming approach is informed by a host of styles new to the band, providing fresh and exciting impulses into our creative process while finishing work on album 5. We look forward to introducing our listeners to the new lineup at our shows in 2020!

“On that note, we are happy to announce that we will be headed off to the studio next week to begin recording said album 5. Without revealing too much, it’s easily the most ambitious musical journey we’ve ever conceived, and the writing process has been long, tedious, and ultimately rewarding. The cycle begins anew! – and we’re ready to get cracking on the recording sessions.”

Oh, and the band has been announced for Hellfest 2020 as well, with more festival announcements sure to follow.

Elder is:
Nicholas DiSalvo: guitar/vocals
Jack Donovan: bass
Mike Risberg: keys/guitar
Georg Edert: drums

http://facebook.com/elderofficial
https://www.instagram.com/elderband/
http://stickman-records.com
http://armageddonshop.com

Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (2017)

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Lares Sign to Argonauta Records; Towards Nothingness out Spring 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Bit of genre-hopping going on with the first Lares album from 2017, and yes, I’ll confess that the news they’ve been picked up by Argonauta for the impending follow-up — Towards Nothingness; due Spring 2020 — is the first I’m hearing of them. The debut, Mask of Discomfort, has sludge tones down pat but pulls the vocals back off the mic a bit in its early going and right away builds a more complicated atmosphere. From there, it only continues to push outward and much to the band’s credit it never really becomes full-on post-metal or full-on any one thing over the other. I’m sure Argonauta Records — which is doing a fair amount of branching out as well these days — will have preorders up in no time flat, but until then, here’s the news that got me to check out the first record, and the stream of that album in case you’d also like to dig in.

From the PR wire:

lares

LARES Inks Worldwide Deal With Argonauta Records!

Brand new album coming in the Spring of 2020!

Berlin- based, psych blackened doom metal unit, LARES, have inked a worldwide deal with Argonauta Records, who will release the band’s sophomore album in the Spring of 2020. The four-piece collective, formed in 2015, combines the elements of post-metal, psych doom, ambient prog-rock and black metal, while adding a unique flavour to their heavily crushing sound. After LARES’ critically acclaimed, 2017- debut, followed by an extensive live schedule, the band has been hard at work on their second album titled Towards Nothingness. Once again recorded by Jan Oberg ( Earth Ship/Grin ) at the Hidden Planet Studio in Berlin and mastered by Audiosiege in Portland, OR, LARES are thrilled to have found the perfect release home in rising powerhouse label Argonauta.

“We have been working diligently in the shadows to find the right vessel for launching Towards Nothingness with a proper release.“ The band states. “Now, we are pleased to announce that this goal will be achieved by a collaboration with our fierce new ally, Argonauta Records! We could not be more satisfied with this combining of forces, and we eagerly look forward to the release of Towards Nothingness in the spring of 2020! This is a major step for us, but it is only the beginning. It is our duty to expand your consciousness, and we will take the world by storm without warning. Join us!“

Watch out for many more news, details and album sounds to come in the time ahead; to shorten your wait, check out the band’s debut, Mask of Discomfort, via their Bandcamp HERE: https://lares.bandcamp.com/

LARES is:
Flavio Cafiso – Guitars/Vocals
Jörn Zennberg – Bass
Simone Lamberti – Guitar/Synths
Mike Alksnis – Drums

www.facebook.com/laresband
www.lares.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/argonautarecords

Lares, Mask of Discomfort (2017)

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Desertfest Berlin 2020: Witchcraft, Amenra, 1000mods, The Vintage Caravan & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2020 banner

Desertfest Berlin 2020’s second lineup announcement arrives in coordinated fashion with that of Desertfest London 2020, and even so, finds the two festivals beginning to distinguish themselves from each other. Of course, there are shared factors — Witchcraft will play both, as well as Spirit Adrift — but while there’s always a chance some bands from the one will still be added to the other, as of now, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, 1000modsAmenra and The Vintage Caravan are exclusive to the German edition of the festival series. I have zero insight or insider information to offer, so we’ll see if it stays that way, but for now, both Spring Desertfests seem to be growing on their own into something badass, sharing a bit but also having plenty to stand apart.

And Witchcraft headlining certainly doesn’t hurt either. I mean, really.

Here’s the Berlin announcement:

desertfest berlin 2020 poster

WITCHCRAFT, AMENRA, 1000MODS, THE VINTAGE CARAVAN, PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS and SPIRIT ADRIFT confirmed for DESERTFEST BERLIN 2020!!!

Friends, here we goooooo!

They belong to the most distinctive bands of the Swedish psychedelic classic rock, their sound influenced the heavy rock scene for decades, but they also rarely appear live on stage: The more we are proud to welcome legendary Witchcraft in 2020! This show will already mark a true milestone and unforgettable highlight in the history of Desertfest.

Joining them on the bill are atmospheric post-metal overlords, Amenra, who will turn the ARENA BERLIN stage into a mesmerizing sound landscape. Putting all their heart and soul into every note, word and visuals, AMENRA change the course of people’s lives everywhere their path leads them. After London and their highly acclaimed show at the Electric Ballroom last year, we’re thrilled to become a part of this path in 2020. And because your wish is our command: They are one of the most beloved and requested bands on our socials – yes, your prayers have been heard!

Greek fuzz rock unit 1000mods, THE hottest band in within the current heavy rock scene, will be finally back at Desertfest Berlin. On this special show you’ll be listening to some amazing new tunes from their upcoming album (which is recorded as we “speak” in Seattle), for the very first time! With an average age of nearly 23 years old, Icelandic rockers The Vintage Caravan show a maturity worthy of any band that has been on the road for decades. When the band got on stage at the 2012 edition of the Icelandic Eistnaflug festival, the trio was only allowed to enter the venue accompanied by their parents. The charismatic band released 3 critically acclaimed records to date, their career has been impressive while they toured the globe with bands alike Europe, Blues Pills, Grand Magus or just currently with Opeth to name just a few. Desertfesters, bring your mums and dads, too, when THE VINTAGE CARAVAN will roll over our beloved Desertfest Berlin in 2020!

Furthermore we will see Newcastle’s maximalists, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, whose riffs, raw power and rancour have blazed a trail across the darker quarters of the underground in the last five years, finally bring their mighty tsunami of rancorous riffage and unholy abjection over us in Berlin!

Last but not least, today’s’ second and killer announcement will be rounded up by Phoenix-based, Spirit Adrift, who are carving out a sound now patently its own. Lazily labelled Doom by some, the band is in fact the true representation of what modern Heavy Metal should sound like.? Folks, we hope you dig this second announcement as much as we do, while dozens of bands are still to be announced in the weeks ahead!

Treat yourself or your loved ones with an early X-Mas gift, and purchase your Weekend Ticket now at: www.desertfest.de

We can’t wait to party with ya’ll at our 9th edition, May 1st – 3rd at DesertFest Berlin 2020!

https://www.facebook.com/events/520164272080736/
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Witchcraft, Live at Tons of Rock 2018, Norway

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Review & Track Premiere: Grin, Translucent Blades

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

grin translucent blues

[Click play above to stream ‘Helix’ from Grin’s second album, Translucent Blades. Album is out Jan. 17, 2020, on Crazysane Records with preorders available here.]

Both Jan Oberg and Sabine Oberg, who together comprise the Berlin-based duo Grin, also double in Earth Ship. Though the origins are murky, it would seem Grin formed as a side-project of that outfit sometime ahead of recording and releasing their debut full-length, Revenant, last year, with Jan overseeing the recording and mixing at his own Hidden Planet studio in Berlin in addition to drumming, noisemaking and singing. He and Sabine, who also plays bass, would seem to have a hand vocally in Translucent Blades, the early 2020 Crazysane Records follow-up to that debut, but the process from which the second album emerges would seem to be somewhat similar — done at home, so to speak, with just the two of them involved.

It is a relatively quick eight-track/36-minute LP, and yet, the level of stylistic exploration and the sheer aesthetic ground covered on Translucent Blades is somewhat staggering, and while there’s little doubt that the material benefits from the players’ prior familiarity with each other — I don’t think it’s a coincidence they have the same last name; i.e., they’re married — but in concert with that is a clear will shown on a per-song basis to tread onto some new ground, try some new thing, and incorporate it into a whole that takes shape as being their own. Though quick, it is also a heady project, to be sure, but these are heady times, and one tends to think the general listenership is schooled in and out of genre in such a way as to appreciate the progressive aspects of what Grin build toward in cuts like “Husk” as well as the impact of the payoffs in “Orbital Grace,” “Electric Eye,” “Holy Grief” and the finale “Reviver,” which is aptly named for the blackened aspects it reignites from opener “Helix,” giving a symmetrical closing to the record that only underscores the notion of a masterplan at work on the part of the two-piece. And masters they just might be.

To wit, there’s no ground they touch on Translucent Blades that they don’t conquer. “Helix” begins with a push of low end and spacious crash cymbal, a swirl backing that’s either guitar effects or some kind of synthesizer noise as the first black metal-style cavern screams start — an immediate defiance of expectation that Grin wear exceedingly well. The overarching stylistic affect is psychedelic, and all the more so when a clean-sung chorus takes hold with even more delay/echo in the midsection, Jan and Sabine seeming to come together on vocals before a drop to standalone bass leads to a semi-spoken section with far-back shouts behind, the final stage of the first of eight tracks, summarized there in some ways but still with plenty of ground to boldly cover. “Orbital Grace” brings in Jesu-style post-all, while the title-track rolls out more severe plod with more semi-spoken lines atop a wide open atmosphere and a finish that — I don’t know if Grin are able to play live or if there’s just too much going on with layering to make it happen — but deserves to come from a stage somehow some way.

grin (Photo by Ruby Gold)

They again toy with black metal on “Husk,” but in squibbly guitar, not vocals, and push it so deep in the mix as to have almost an ambient effect alongside the galloping drums, playing out behind an airier lead and lyrics that are so drenched as to become part of the wash, an instrument unto themselves, as is clearly the intent. The risk any such release runs is in putting its aesthetic ambitions ahead of the songs, but Grin seem to pivot around this trap by making each piece on Translucent Blades stand out in some way while feeding into the complete flow of the record in its entirety. “Husk” rounds out side A and side B begins with the meditative-heavy-Om-via-Zaum unfurling of “Electric Eye,” a rollout more about hypnosis than build, even when an additional layer of fuzz joins the proceedings late in their march.

One might think that by the time they get through the first half of Translucent Blades that the course would be set, but the Obergs continue to broaden the scope as they move forward, first with “Electric Eye” and then with the plunder-in-space of “Holy Grief,” which brings together a cosmic doom via Ufomammut spirit with a forward thrust of snare in its verses that seems pulled from High on Fire‘s rhythmic fervency. Perhaps most importantly, the song seems to dissolve into noise, cutting off at the end, but prior to that, letting itself get lost in the wash of its own making in an effective moment of inward and outward trance induction. That is, they seem just as affected by it. A quiet two-and-a-half-minute instrumental “Antares” serves as the penultimate inclusion, bringing in flute — or flute sounds — with an echo-soaked spoken sample or verse (it’s hard to tell) and stark guitar resolution that gives way to silence ahead of “Reviver,” the very title of which lets the listener know that Grin aren’t letting go without a fight, whatever shape that might ultimately take.

“This is how everything ends” is the first line of the song, and though Jan would seem to be describing an apocalyptic landscape — fair enough — the fact that “Reviver” is where it is would seem to clue one into its having been written as an intended finale. It grows in intensity across its five-plus minutes, making its way toward a last march that shuts down cold on snare hits but still brings out a sense of drift before it does. Grin are of course not the first act in the universe to blend sonic heft and atmospheric breadth, but the reach with which they do so is noteworthy, and the feeling of intent behind their finished product only makes its execution more appreciable. Their experiments work, and further, they’re not just experiments. There’s an expressive aspect to Translucent Blades that unites the material regardless of where an individual track is headed, and while Grin might demand multiple listens to let the record properly sink in, each airing provides more than enough satisfaction to earn the next.

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Kadavar, For the Dead Travel Fast: Ghosts on the Run

Posted in Reviews on October 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Kadavar For the Dead Travel Fast

Five records into a career as one of the most influential European heavy bands to come along this decade, Kadavar would seem to be returning to their roots. For the Dead Travel Fast is indeed the fifth long-player from the Berlin-based trio — fourth for Nuclear Blast — and in following up the modern sheen of their last two albums, 2017’s Rough Times (review here) and 2015’s Berlin (review here), the band would seem to have sought some middle ground in aesthetic conversation with their earlier work on 2013’s Abra Kadavar (review here) and their landmark released-in-2012-but-perpetually-reissued self-titled debut (discussed here), digging into an organic production style mirrored in the gritty sepia and severe contrast of the photo on their cover art.

If they’ve proven anything over the course of the last seven-plus years, it’s their ability as songwriters, and they’ve only grown more complex and more expressive in that regard, with guitarist/vocalist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann emerging as a genuine frontman presence, drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt functioning as the proverbial madman behind the kit and bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup the quieter presence but ever more responsible for the band’s weight of impact. For the Dead Travels Fast leans on that weight more than did Rough Times, but it takes some cues from that album just the same, with the darker themes that pervaded there in songs like “Die Baby Die” and “Words of Evil,” “Skeleton Blues” and “Vampires” showing up in the ready-for-Halloween pieces “Children of the Night” — a highlight here — “The Devil’s Master,” “Evil Forces,” “Dancing with the Dead,” “Poison” and “Demons in My Mind.” Despite something of a shift on the most basic sonic level from one style to another — i.e., the re-adoption of a more vintage mindset — this continuity feels natural from the brooding opening of “The End” as an intro to “The Devil’s Master” onward.

By the time they get through the cavernous side B dark-psychedelia echoes of “Demons in My Mind” and into the closing duo of “Saturnales,” an organ-laced minimalia with hypnotic guitar and duly obscure lyrics, and the 7:49 capper build of “Long Forgotten Song,” mood becomes a central feature of For the Dead Travel Fast and where Rough Times did more than flirt with horror rock and a grimmer outlook, the newer work unquestionably pushes further. Songs are more patient in their execution and unfold in brooding fashion at least where they want to, and even a rocker like the proto-metallic “Evil Forces” finds room for a section of cackling, howling laughter at its conclusion, moving into the starts, stops, stomps and hooks of “Children of the Night” with a smoothness that signals the intent that always seems to be lurking beneath the surface of Kadavar‘s work. That is to say, they know what they’re doing here, as they always do.

kadavar (Photo by Joe Dilworth)

Kadavar are not a haphazard band, at least in their finished product (I can’t really speak to the process that brings that product about), and For the Dead Travel Fast shows yet again that their will is to have more than just a stylistic impact, but to back that up with a quality of craft and delivery that they’ve at this point put in years of work to hone on tour and in the studio. Frankly, it shows. I don’t think one could listen to “Dancing with the Dead” and say they sound tired, because they don’t, but there’s a maturity at play throughout their fifth record that suits them and their material well. They’re not the brash ’70s rockers anymore. They’re a band who’ve toured the world, headlined festivals and done gigs on multiple continents, and whose fanbase has grown to encompass not just listeners, but other bands who’ve taken up their influence. Again, there are few in Europe or anywhere else who’ve had more of an effect on the course of this particular branch of classic-minded heavy rock this decade than Kadavar, and they round out the 2010s in prime fashion on For the Dead Travel Fast, claiming their place not quite as statesmen of the underground, but as a band who never wanted to be a fluke and went on to prove it in the most righteous manner possible.

I’ll stop short of calling For the Dead Travel Fast a victory lap for that notion, mostly because I don’t think that’s what the band intended it to be, and because the characterization doesn’t really suit the mood of most of the material — which, again, is more grim even in its uptempo moments on “The Devil’s Master,” “Evil Forces” or the echoing thrust of “Demons in My Mind” — but it ends up being a powerful argument in favor of the idea just the same. Across a clean nine-track/45-minute run, Kadavar demonstrate their utter mastery of their form, hard won but ultimately uncompromised, and as much as one might be tempted to think of the sound of For the Dead Travel Fast as a “return to form” or something like that — and maybe that’s not entirely wrong — it’s also important to consider the ways in which the three-piece continue to push themselves forward, as on “Saturnales” or even the atmospheric beginning “The End” provides the record as it moves into the alternatingly broadly spaced and pushing “The Devil’s Master,” that dynamic persisting throughout nearly everything that follows.

Principally, Kadavar write memorable songs, as they always have. Whatever form that takes, whatever turns of aesthetic they might bring to that, they never seem to lose that foundation beneath them, and much as Bouteloup‘s bassline underscores Lindemann‘s scorcher solo in “Evil Forces,” it’s always right where it needs to be at the structural root of their material. They’ve made themselves harder to predict with For the Dead Travel Fast, which is refreshing. After the outright sheen of Berlin and the harder-edged modern sound of Rough Times, one might have expected Kadavar to stay on that path, but by shifting their production style, they’ve elbowed their way through whatever preconceptions might’ve existed of where they were headed and instead decided to chart their own course in the manner befitting a mature outfit of their stature. They’ve never sounded so much in command of their songs.

Kadavar, “Demons in My Mind” official video

Kadavar, “Children of the Night” official video

Kadavar, “The Devil’s Master” official video

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Desertfest Berlin 2020: First Lineup Announcement: Masters of Reality, Brant Bjork, C.O.C., Orange Goblin & More

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2020 banner

I admit, I’m going to miss seeing the poster art for Desertfest Berlin 2019 around thee social medias, but if there’s one thing that eases that loss, it’s the poster art for Desertfest Berlin 2020. It’s like something out of a cel-shaded JRPG, but, you know, awesome, and an airship is always welcome as far as I’m concerned. Will this be the year I finally get my ass to Berlin? I’d be lying if I said that their having Masters of Reality — who’ll also be in London — on the bill wasn’t a significant draw in my head. I’d wonder if they won’t do New York as well, but they don’t do a lot of shows at all, so I’m not going to bank on that. Of course, having Corrosion of ConformityBrant BjorkOrange GoblinPapirMinami DeutschSÅVER, Earth Tongue and Dhidalah certainly doesn’t hurt the argument either, but it’s just the beginning of Spring fest-announcement season, and so there’s much more to get all giddy-hyperbole about to come in the next few months. Hell, they haven’t even held Desertfest Belgium yet.

Bottom line: expect this airship to circle around many more times before May 1.

From the PR wire:

desertfest berlin 2020 first poster

https://www.facebook.com/events/520164272080736/

MASTERS OF REALITY | CORROSION OF CONFORMITY | BRANT BJORK | ORANGE GOBLIN | MINAMI DEUTSCH | EARTH TONGUE | PAPIR | DHIDALAH | SÂVER confirmed for Desertfest Berlin 2020!!!

Tickets now on sale at: www.desertfest-tickets.de

Finally, we are thrilled to announce the first batch of (outstanding!) acts for our 9th edition, taking place at the ARENA BERLIN May 1st – 3rd 2020. You may not believe your eyes, but it’s a dream come true: Palm Desert scene icons, Masters Of Reality – Official, are finally playing Desertfest! Fronted by Chris Goss, renowned producer of legendary bands such as Kyuss, Queen of the Stone Age and many more, with their Black Sabbath-inspired sound MASTERS OF REALITY will take you on an unforgettable trip through the desert. A true milestone in the eclectic live history of Desertfest Berlin!

It’s been a dozen years since Southern Rock legends, Corrosion Of Conformity, would reunite with Pepper Keenan to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup DOWN, Keenan reconnected with the core C.O.C. trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. And the long wait is over, we will give them a warm and heavy rocking welcome in 2020!

The Godfather of Desert Rock, Brant Bjork, will return to the Desertfest Berlin stage and revive your spirit! Brant has spent over a quarter-century at the epicenter of Californian desert rock. From cutting his teeth alongside Fatso Jetson’s Mario Lalli in hardcore punkers De-Con to drumming and composing on Kyuss’ landmark early albums, to propelling the seminal fuzz of Fu Manchu from 1994-2001 while producing other bands, putting together offshoot projects like Ché, embarking on his solo career as a singer, guitarist and bandleader, founding his own record label and more, his history is a winding narrative of relentless, unflinching creativity. Expect timeless classics and a new album next Spring, and lay back to get into the groove with the one & only, Mr. BRANT BJORK live at the Arena Berlin!

Widely admired as one of the most ludicrously thunderous and entertaining live bands on the planet, longtime Desertfest comrades Orange Goblin, are on their unstoppable mission to bring us joyous, blood ’n’ thunder metal! With a steady stream of critically acclaimed albums that boldly and gleefully blurred the lines between stoner, doom, black, crust and southern rock, while always fervently saluting the old school heavy metal flag and the sacred Sabbathian code. 2020 will celebrate their 25th anniversary, still ORANGE GOBLIN is an inspiration, full of power and ready to unleash their thunder over Berlin!

Hailing from Japan, kraut rock masters Minami Deutsch have been finally confirmed for the Berlin edition of Desertfest! After their highly acclaimed show at Desertfest Belgium two years ago, desert festers in Berlin will be finally able to witness their unique, mesmerizing live performance. Kraut rock may be alive heavier than ever, but this Tokyo trio proves they are way more than just a revival act. Don’t miss this EXCLUSIVE show of the fantastic MINAMI DEUTSCH!

Sometimes music is supposed to feel weird and indescribable. It’s the moments of clarity within the dense, sonic mess that often feels the most satisfying. That’s the space that New Zealand prog-rockers Earth Tongue occupy. With their 2016- debut EP and a just released full-length album, these guys quickly became one of NZ’s most exciting underground live acts and it wasn’t long until they were playing alongside international touring bands like Red Fang, Beastwars or
Monolord. We are thrilled to welcome EARTH TONGUE live in 2020, taking us all on raw and fuzzy journey into psych-rock with a sound that weaves between melodic and jarring, with unexpected turns leaving us in a disoriented, euphoric haze.

Copenhagen trio, Papir, might be the ultimate expression of the Danish creative soul: distinctively modern, deceptively minimalistic, and stylish yet understated. A band of virtuoso musicians who move between psychedelic rock, jazz and krautrock seamlessly with the ability to hypnotize you at the Arena Berlin; PAPIR are the real deal for fans of bands alike Causa Sui, and could easily become the showboats of the scene!

Dhidalah burst into the fuzz rock scene in 2013, and has hailed from the Tokyo underground as a space rock power trio. The band name derives from the Japanese legend of the Giant Gods — known as the creaters of mountains, lakes and islands. DHIDALAH plays improvisational music performances inspired by various genres from stoner and doom to kraut rock. Give these Japanese Giant Gods a very warm welcome next Spring, when the Arena will be turned into a psychedelic wonderland!

Norway’s hottest underground act, SÂVER, is the new project of Ole Christian Helstad, Ole Ulvik Rokseth and Markus Støle of TOMBSTONES and HYMN. The band delivers an astounding sound of sublime heaviness, shimmering moogs, abrasive vocals and a devastating, gnarly bass. SÂVER’s tunes can be characterized by a strong component of apocalyptic synths and textural electronics hovering above the base of heavy guitars and bass – a mélange that works incredibly well, and has seen SÂVER rising up and being no longer just one of the world’s best kept music secrets!

Friends, we hope you enjoy this first round of bands as much as we do, with many more killer names to come. After last year’s changes of a new sound system, the “Black Box“, that many of you seem to appreciate, we will also again provide a lot more specials, space, and again a chill- and live zone on the ubercool Hoppetosse boat! Don’t miss THE fuzz rock party of the year, at the capitol of the almighty riffs: DESERTFEST BERLIN 2020 is ready to roll!

Tickets & more infos are now available at:
www.desertfest.de

https://www.facebook.com/events/520164272080736/
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Masters of Reality, “Dreamtime Stomp”

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