Friday Full-Length: Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman (1981)

Nostalgia, plain and simple. I have a lot of positive associations with personal statement for college Creative Writing High School Curriculum Uk dissertation on banking risk management subjective essay Diary of a Madman, as I do with other early Research Paper Experts today, I am searching for a tutor who can do my physics homework in less than 2 hours. I need to do my physics homework. Do My Ozzy Osbourne solo works like 1980’s best research paper websites College http://www.carbosl.com/superscribe-content-writing-services/ Uc people helping people credit union essay what can i do my essay on Blizzard of Ozz and 1983’s We provide excellent blog 24/7. Enjoy proficient essay writing and custom writing services provided by professional academic writers. Bark at the Moon, as well as the 1987 essay writer jobs http://www.hotelbiser.com.mk/?application-essay-writing-ppt argumentative essay writers dissertation spirituals Tribute live album honoring guitarist disertation College essay about service to others facts about buying research paper online admission college essay help vocabulary Randy Rhoads, who passed away on tour in 1982. Searching for a Homework Solver? We are what you were looking for! Only expert academic writing assistance from professional writers is Diary of a Madman, then, is the last record how to make assignment paper about responsibility custom writing assignments critical thinking application paper creative Rhoads also played on, and it’s also the last Frequently asked questions about custom writing. What is GradeMiners? We’re a custom essay writing service that connects vetted english civil war essay help; Ozzy album to feature drummer Take My Online Class helps with online class, homework and assignment help for students. my review here? If this is your question, we Lee Kerslake, who passed died of cancer last month and was also a former member of online thesis download source link my american dream essay graduate school personal statement sample Uriah Heep.

Of course, bassist Academic Essays Done Fast. So, rather you want to ask us: “Write papers for me?” or “Assignment Help Online Free!?” – choose our company. Bob Daisley and Assignment Help services for All UK courses, BA, BSc, HND, HNC:30% Off on Assignment Help Writing Service By UK Writers. enter site writing Kerslake were thoroughly screwed over first when not initially given credit for appearing and writing on the album and then in 2002 when their bass and drum tracks were re-recorded by then- Download and stream Research Papers Video Games And Aggression songs and albums, watch videos, see pictures, find tour dates, and keep up with all the news on PureVolume Ozzy band members http://www.swapkit.ie/?how-to-not-do-your-homework online from trusted custom writing service. BuyEssayClub is a perfect place to purchase custom papers and make your academic life easier. Robert Trujillo (now Metallica) and Mike Bordijn (Faith No More). Might be heresy to say it, but I thought Trujillo‘s punchy bass worked well behind the sharp cut-through of Rhoads‘ guitar tone, though of course the contractual disagreement, lawsuit (which Kerslake and Daisley won) and questionable business ethics involved in replacing those parts of the original LP tally up to a conclusion of “probably never should’ve happened in the first place.” In any case, it wasn’t Trujillo or Bordijn‘s fault.

But the original Diary of a Madman remains a special beast. Released in Nov. 1981, it is an album I associate with the end of summer and the coming of Fall — something about the crispness of its production. Its title-track gives it a somewhat darker atmosphere, building on the inclusion of classical acoustic guitar of “Revelation: Mother Earth” from the album prior, but the rockers-up-front momentum established with “Over the Mountain” and “Flying High Again” is quintessential Ozzy and arguably the best one-two punch he’d offer in his now-40-year-long solo career.

That’s not to take away from “I Don’t Know” and “Crazy Train” at the outset of Blizzard of Ozz — I’d never recommend consuming one album and totally ignoring the other; they’re both pivotal documents of heavy metal, in the ’80s and more generally — but the purpose is so clear on Diary of a Madman, the engagement with the audience so direct, and where Blizzard was casting an identity for who Ozzy Osbourne would be as a frontman after being unceremoniously dismissedozzy osbourne diary of a madman from Black Sabbath following 1978’s Never Say Die!, the shift from 1980 and 1981, the time on tour, meant that identity was set and Diary of a Madman could be approached with confidence, with character and with a feel that would continue to define Osbourne‘s work on various levels throughout the rest of his career to-date.

It is unmistakably a classic.

And maybe for that reason, and the fact that I have a strong personal association with these songs — I remember riding around with older friends before I had a drivers license of my own, absolutely blasting the album, 20-odd years ago — it’s harder to think objectively or write about, but that’s always been part of the appeal of Ozzy‘s solo work as well. He’s never been a critical success in the moment. It’s been through hindsight and audience response/loyalty that he and his band have most made their mark over time.

To an extent, one might say the same of Black Sabbath, though I’d put that group’s influence in a greater echelon at this point — notably, one might not have said the same thing before Osbourne reunited with Sabbath in 1997 and thereby introduced an entirely new generation (mine, for what it’s worth) to the experience of that band on stage. Even Osbourne‘s 2020 studio album, Ordinary Man (review here), which is his first in a decade, featured a host of guests, ace, energetic songwriting, and was came along with the news of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease on the part of the metallic godfather himself was greeted with a collective critical shrug. So it goes, and while I doubt Ordinary Man will have the lasting impact of Diary of a Madman or other early Ozzy LPs — because how many times can you really ask lightning to strike? — the point stands.

Dig further into Diary of a Madman and you’ll find more atmosphere and little dip in quality from its outset. “‘You Can’t Kill Rock ‘n’ Roll,” at six and a half minutes, is a glorious showcase for Rhoads and what seems to be an attempt to out-Rainbow Rainbow — keyboardist Don Airey played in both groups, Johnny Cook played on this album because Airey was on tour — and feels absolutely written for the stage, while “Believer” and “Little Dolls” offer sneaky hooks and more further air-tight performances by the trio being Osbourne himself. Tucked away neatly on side B, “Tonight” flirts effectively with more commercial fare, and it’s contrasted by the album’s hidden gem in the more chaotic “S.A.T.O.,” on which Kerslake shines in manic fashion, Rhoads indulges a bit of noise, Daisley holds it all together and Osbourne still manages to sneak in a chorus.

Somewhat overshadowed by the closing title-track that follows, “S.A.T.O.” carries a proto-thrash spirit and is about as dirty as Diary of a Madman gets, the usual poised stateliness of Rhoads‘ playing — recall that at this point, heavy metal was largely questing for legitimacy as a genre — let loose a bit over the charging progression of the central groove. Slower, and with a more dramatic, narrative spirit — the string and choral arrangements help — “Diary of a Madman” rounds out with a willful delve into grandiosity that the rest of the album has largely avoided and works all the more for that. It is distinct among Osbourne‘s output before or since, and I’ll gladly place it among the most important heavy metal songs ever written.

At this point, Diary of a Madman and the era of Ozzy Osbourne‘s career it represents have a legacy all their own, apart from what came before or after. Maybe you have your own memories tied to it, or maybe not. Either way, the accomplishments of craft and performance it carries remain vital. To call it a landmark doesn’t suffice, but it is that anyhow.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Rainy Friday morning. Blah. Maybe I’ll get to run later. It’s been a while since I did so during daylight hours, might be interesting. Might not. I should’ve gone yesterday AM but wanted to finish writing and was beat besides.

Up and down week. Yesterday was brutal, and I’m not just talking about how metal the Enslaved stream was. The morning went relatively quick, but I’d swear the seven hours between 11AM-6PM were some of the longest I’ve ever had. Dead on my feet. Just totally dead. And I made the mistake of letting The Pecan stay downstairs and hang out rather than go up for nap since I knew he’d just run in his closet and poop and need to be changed then not sleep anyway. No right answer there, it seems.

And the rest of the week before that? I don’t know. Busy, maybe? Grocery shopping? Being worried about the election? Looking at construction equipment with The Pecan? I know I ate too much nut butter (made a hazelnut/salted macadamia combo that was facemeltingly good) and felt bad about that, if that helps. And I wanted to cook chicken and make pesto all week and didn’t have the energy to do it. So there’s life as it is, I guess. Today’s my day. Spaghetti squash awaits. Tanner Olson from Across Tundras was kind enough to send me some garlic from his farm in Nebraska and I intend to put it to use.

His new album is out today. It’s Bandcamp Friday. I posted a few links to stuff on Thee Facebooks, but if you didn’t see, it was Kind, White Canyon & the 5th Dimension, REZN, Revvnant and ChangeĂśrder. Support.

New Gimme show at 5pm today.

Next week is the Quarterly Review. I have no idea how I’ll get through it but what else is new.

Alright, that’s enough for me. Be safe, hydrate. Have fun. All that.

FRM.

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EMBR Premiere “Where I’ve Been” Video; Debut LP 1823 out July 17

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

embr

Birmingham, Alabama, atmospheric doom four-piece EMBR will release their debut full-length, 1823, on July 17 through New Heavy Sounds, and if you stick around until the end of the new single “Where I’ve Been” taken from the seven-song/40-minute offering, you’ll catch a vicious scream from vocalist Crystal Bigelow. That’s a theme to which the band returns throughout the offering, but the most significant impression of 1823 is also right there in the same track’s blend of tonal heft and melody. Guitarist Mark Buchanan and bassist Alan Light crunch out weighted riffs and chug as Crystal‘s voice careens overhead in the mix, drummer Eric Bigelow anchoring the proceedings and rolling them forward from one verse to the next.

Opener “Prurient,” which directly precedes “Where I’ve Been” on the album, is more immediate in its execution, but if EMBR are quick to showcase their breadth early on in the record, that’s something that only continues to serve them well as the rest plays out, the sprawl early on in the subsequent “Stranger” giving way to an especially massive lumber before receding again, demonstrating an awareness of structural variation as well as an ability to simply shift between levels of aggression, tempo, and so on.

Those with a veteran experience of New Heavy Sounds‘ output might be tempted to hear “Where I’ve Been” and liken EMBR with Welsh outfit Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, and granted some of the melodic float is a shared aspect, but aside from a lack of sci-fi thematic throughout, certainly the growls and screams that intertwine in the verses of “Powder” are a distinguishing factor, and one Crystal uses fluidly to add richness to the material. She works in layers on “Powder,” and though it’s one of just two tracks under five minutes long on the album, it earns its place as the centerpiece both through embr 1823its sheer impact and through the shift it represents in style.

With “Eyes Like Knives” unfolding with an emphasis on patience after, EMBR bring out some synthsizer to further bolster the melody as 1823 works into its second side, and though they weren’t exactly daring monotony up to that point, neither does it feel like too much, the depth of the mix allowing plenty of space for the additional element. “Eyes Like Knives” resolves in a memorable hook with the line, “Come and take it all away,” repeated, ahead of a last crash and amplifier hum transitioning into the quiet start of “Your Burden,” which surges forward before its first minute, the guitar finding a melancholic place that is both familiarly doomed and distinct in its conveying of mood. The verse opens and Crystal enters over quiet guitar, bass and drums, but naturally the chorus picks back up, and surprisingly, “Your Burden” doesn’t recede again until the close.

Harmonies at the outset of closer/longest track “Vines” (6:50) offer a false sense of security for the harshness to follow. Atop backing growls, Crystal‘s rings out, lines delivered atop sustained shouts in a repeating cycle, dramatic and of considerable presence. A tolling bell and nastier screaming takes hold after the midpoint, and the song caps with a final melodic stretch giving way to leftover guitar and ambient noise, speaking as did the harmonies throughout to a progressive bent that, even after three prior EPs, EMBR seem to be just beginning to explore.

As 1823 ends its run, it characterizes EMBR somewhere between doom and ambient sludge or post-metal, but one of the most encouraging aspects of the album is that it’s less about conforming to style than it is about offering its own take through largesse and range alike, the changes in structure and arrangement adding to the focus on craft that is so prevalent throughout. These aren’t days for making predictions, so I won’t take a stab at what it might lead to, but fortunately 1823 offers a satisfying enough listen that one has no real need to leave the moment.

The video for “Where I’ve Been” is premiering below. Beneath that is more background from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

EMBR, “Where I’ve Been” official video premiere

Pre-orders: http://smarturl.it/Embr1823

Within the genre of heavy metal there can be an abundance of variation, color, texture and tone. There are many different shades and many different categories within that catch-all phrase. It’s not all about throat ripping vocals or Neanderthal riffage. As many who are not drawn metal’s immediate charms may perceive.

Heavy music can encompass a whole panoply of sounds, moods and ambition. It can surround you with emotional elegance and distressing chaos. There can be subtleness, thoughtfulness and deep introspection even when things get exceptionally heavy.

This is why New Heavy Sounds is thrilled to unveil our latest signing. We have partnered with four musically kindred spirits from Birmingham, Alabama, collectively known as EMBR. EMBR tick all the boxes overhead and beyond. We are very excited to be releasing their debut full length album ‘1823’.

EMBR already have 3 mighty EP’s under their belt. ‘261’ released in 2016. ‘271’ released in 2017 and their last EP titled 326: Spiritual Dialysis’ released in 2018. All 3 got them on the heavy underground radar.

After these 3 releases EMBR spent most of 2019 writing 7 new songs for ‘1823’. The album was recorded by Matt Washburn at Ledbelly Sound Studio (Mastodon, Royal Thunder) in Dawsonville Ga.

At this point, it is worth stating that the title ‘1823’ has special significance. It’s not just a numerical title, it has substance. Eric Bigelow (drummer) has been on the list for a kidney for around 4 years.

Eric received a kidney transplant in May of 2019. This happened right in the middle of writing the album. The kidney was from a deceased donor and all Eric and Crystal Bigelow (singer and Eric’s wife) know about the donor is that it was a young woman between the ages of 18-23. The album is dedicated to the donor and the surgeons at Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville TN. And what a fine tribute it is.

Musically ‘1823’ could be categorized as ‘Doom’. However, on this debut it’s obvious that EMBR have range, drive and a desire to add to the genre, to broaden it whilst staying true to its core fundamentals.

Rest assured, the band have all the nuts and bolts in place. Mark Buchanan (guitar), Alan Light (bass) and Eric Bigelow (drums) keep everything tight and weighty. Massive drop-tuned guitars, chest rattling low end, pounding drums, fuzzy distortion, it’s all there. But they also add in synths, a bit of grunge and alt rock flavors.

‘1823’ is set for release on New Heavy Sounds on July 17th 2020.

Like all NHS releases there will be a deluxe vinyl LP, in 2 color Black/Blue cosmic swirl vinyl. With printed lyric inner and full download. CD 4 panel digipack, with lyric booklet. Also available on all digital platforms.

Artist: EMBR
Album: 1823
Record Label: New Heavy Sounds
Release Date: July 17th, 2020
01. Prurient
02. Where I’ve Been
03. Stranger
04. Powder
05. Eyes Like Knives
06. Your Burden
07. Vines

EMBR are:
Eric Bigelow, drums.
Crystal Bigelow, vocals.
Mark Buchanan, guitar.
Alan Light, bass.

EMBR, 1823 (2020)

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Voidlurker to Release Debut EP on APF Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The UK sludge boom continues unabated, and APF Records is very quickly becoming the go-to outlet for the particular style of bastardry one finds around England these days, which is as likely to pull influence from Nails as Orange Goblin, Down and Eyehategod as much as Electric Wizard. It’s a new generation of disaffected dudes. And what’s changed? Hell, Voidlurker are from frickin’ Birmingham. You’d have a hard time arguing that fuckall doesn’t run across decades when it comes to an act coming from the same place that gave the universe Black Sabbath. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, the working class play loud. So do the middle class, but probably on nicer gear. Or at very least, when it gets stolen on tour they can replace it easier.

You get the fucking picture.

Voidlurker tick the boxes sonically — riffs: check, shouts: check, nod: check, aggro: check — and are recording their debut EP with Chris Fielding at Foel Studio, so one would not expect that to sound anything but more punishing than their 2018 demo, which you can stream below. It’s two songs, so not a huge ask even if you’re busy, but again, I’d expect the EP to cover some more ground style-wise when it lands, reportedly early next year.

Here’s what APF has to say about it. Merry sludgin’ Xmas:

voidlurker

Voidlurker sign to APF Records

Birmingham-based doom / sludge trio Voidlurker are the latest addition to our filthy and expanding APF Records family.

Following on from their devastating performance at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, and fresh off a killer set last weekend in support of Raging Speedhorn, APF will be releasing their debut EP in early 2020.

Recorded by Chris Fielding at Foel Studio it’s chock full of crushing guitars, bass fuzz, and groove to snap your neck to. You’re in for a treat.

Merry fucking Christmas.

Voidlurker is:
Brad Thomas – Guitar and vocals
Andrew Rennie – Bass
Jack Bourne – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/voidlurker/
https://voidlurker.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/apfrecords
https://www.instagram.com/apfrecords/
https://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://apfrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.apfrecords.co.uk/

Voidlurker, Demo (2018)

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Review & Track Premiere: Alunah, Violet Hour

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

alunah violet hour

[Click play above to stream ‘Hunt’ by Alunah, from Violet Hour out Oct. 11 on Heavy Psych Sounds. Bassist Dan Durchmore says of the track, “During the writing process, it became clear that different dynamics were emerging. ‘Hunt’ is built on our earlier style, but becomes its own entity as the song unfolds. Some of us consider this a favourite to play, so it feels right to let it loose ahead of the album release.”]

The tumult of a few chaotic years of reorganization brings UK doom rockers Alunah to a new place with Violet Hour, their fifth full-length. It’s also their first for Heavy Psych Sounds after issuing 2017’s Solennial (review here) on Svart,  2014’s Awakening the Forest (review here) through Napalm, 2012’s White Hoarhound (review here) on PsycheDOOMelic (then Napalm, then PRC Music) and 2010’s Call of Avernus (review here) on Catacomb, but really, the fact that each one of their records has come out through a different label is the least of it. Just months past the release of Solennial, Alunah bid farewell to founding vocalist/guitarist Sophie Day in Sept. 2017, announcing little more than a month later that Siân Greenaway had taken on the role of lead singer. Founding guitarist David Day remained in the band alongside bassist Dan Burchmore and drummer Jake Mason — also an original member — through last year’s Amber & Gold EP (review here) that was the studio introduction to some of the sonic shifts taking place in the band, but earlier in 2019, David Day followed Sophie‘s lead in splitting from the band he helped form, and guitarist Dean Ashton was brought in to fill the role.

So Ashton, who has also handled bass for NWOBHM legends Diamond Head since 2016, is the newest member of Alunah, but apart from Mason, who’s been drumming since the start, in 2006, the longest-tenured member is Burchmore, who joined in 2013. Six years isn’t nothing, and certainly the rhythmic fluidity of the eight-track/42-minute Violet Hour has plenty to say in arguing for the development of the dynamic there, but to trade out your guitarist(s) and vocalist in a riff-led band over the span of two years and still turnaround with an EP and album feels somewhat miraculous. Either Alunah — whose sound has always locked into a relatively laid back groove, marked by some shuffle here and there, but mostly comfortable in a thickened doom roll topped with righteous melody — thrive on this chaos, or it’s been an incredibly stressful time.

And though there are some ways in which Violet Hour feels like a second debut from what’s essentially a new band — Call of Avernus also followed a test-the-waters EP, way back when — a striking amount of the approach remains in accord with their past work. No doubt production from Chris Fielding at Foel Studio has a hand in that as well. Greenaway demonstrated her craft and charisma on Amber & Gold, and whether it’s the outwardly sexualized “Trapped and Bound” or “Hunt,” the ultra-catchy “Hypnotised” or the more doomed “Unholy Disease,” the personality of her work here is both malleable to the mood of the groove behind her and of a steady, engaging melodic quality. As both sides of the album feature four songs with two shorter-ish cuts leading into two longer-ish ones, there is a sense amid all the circumstantial fluster in which the album arrives that there’s still an overarching plan at work, and that goes a long way toward letting the listener relax and take Violet Hour on its own merits, which of course is how it’s best heard.

alunah

After the EP, it’s less of a surprise that Alunah have moved away from some of the nature-worship that previously defined their lyrical themes, but “Dance of Deceit,” the penultimate “Velvet,” the closer “Lake of Fire” and “Hunt” still have an organic sensibility to how they play out, and though “Trapped and Bound” provides an almost jarring push at the outset, as the entirety of side A seems devoted to trickery and dark seduction between that launch, “Dance of Deceit,” “Hunt” and “Hypnotised,” the energy with which Alunah carry across the material only bolsters the notion of Violet Hour as a new full-length debut from what’s essentially a new band. The advantage they have, however, is a clear sense of direction and an immediately apparent awareness of who they want to be and what they want to convey as a group, which even as they build chemistry together in this new form over time, is only an advantage for them.

Is it fair to judge Violet Hour by the standard of Alunah‘s other offerings? Probably. They did keep the name. But what Violet Hour does in relation to, say, Solennial, isn’t so radically different from what that album did coming off of Awakening the Forest. It builds on what came before and progresses toward new ideas and new manifestations of a high quality songwriting process that, speaking as one who’s been a fan of the band for some time, is thankfully still intact despite the changes in personnel, as “Hypnotised,” the side-B-leadoff title-track and “Lake of Fire” can easily testify. The lushness of Greenaway‘s layered harmony arrangements bodes well for future ongoing progression — more of that would only be welcome — and though Ashton has been in the band a mere matter of months, his contributions of harder-edged tone and lead work mesh well with the long-since established coherence between Burchmore and Mason.

Violet Hour may have arisen through a turbulent stretch for them, but the songs stand true and want for nothing either in aesthetic or performance. Perhaps tellingly, as “Unholy Disease” takes off in its second half, the band seem particularly steady locked into that faster stretch, but there’s much to be said for the slow-rolling payoff in the hook for “Lake of Fire” as well, so if the band are growing, that’s the most consistent thing they could possibly do. That’s what Alunah have always done. One has learned the hard way over the years not to attempt prediction of what their situation might be in the future, but Violet Hour is a bold stride, and an album rife with character, melody, heft and impact. No doubt there will be those who write it off because of the lineup changes — that’s just the way it always goes with this kind of thing — but it’s their loss in the end, and easy to imagine fresh ears catching on as well. Fair enough, as Alunah set a whole new high standard from which to work as they continue forward, which one hopes — without predicting how it might happen — that they do.

Alunah, Violet Hour (2019)

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Friday Full-Length: Black Sabbath, Technical Ecstasy

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Black Sabbath, Technical Ecstasy (1976)

 

Alright, let’s do this. Let’s talk about Technical Ecstasy. In a world where the saying goes, “you can only trust yourself and the first six Black Sabbath albums,” it’s the seventh. Widely regarded as the nadir of the doom forebears’ original lineup, including by the band itself, it was released in 1976 through Vertigo Records and there’s no question it was a departure from their prior work. That’s been blamed on a number of sources, whether it’s commercial or indeed more technical aspirations in the songwriting, but most centers around the fact that production was handled by guitarist Tony Iommi on the part of the full band. But really, even on paper it was kind of a recipe for disaster. They were a bunch of coked-out rockstars recording in Miami in 1976. That’s not an album. That’s a movie.

But history has been awfully kind to Iommi, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. Let’s remember that it was their late-’90s reunion tour that solidified their singular place in the pantheon of heavy metal, a comeback that followed an era of confused recordings like 1995’s Forbidden (discussed here) as the band tried to fit a modern context a quarter-century after getting their start. The truth is Technical Ecstasy does have some elements that show the band wanting to move forward from the prior darkened sound that would eventually become their legacy. The penultimate “She’s Gone” is based around acoustic guitar and a string arrangement in a way that feels grown out of “Fluff” from 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and presages some of the more grandiose sonic reaching of the Ronnie James Dio-fronted era that began in 1980.

At the same time, Technical Ecstasy wasn’t without an edge. I won’t attempt to defend the ultra-sleazed-out lyric of closer “Dirty Women,” but the song had a riffy crunch that fit with what the band had done a year earlier on Sabotage and though opener “Back Street Kids” reaffirms a working class origin that the band had readily given up in favor of fame and fortune, its drive was also a foreshadow of what the band would do on cuts like “Neon Knights” or “Turn up the Night” in their second iteration, or even on the title-track of the subsequent 1978 LP, Never Say Die! — a barnburner to lead-off. Experimentation with keyboard prominence in “You Won’t Change Me” came coupled with some fair tonal heft and a suitable vocal performance from Osbourne, whose voice was continuing to take on the affect it would further develop in his solo work also beginning in 1980, and a concluding solo that could please even a discriminating Iommi fan.

It was the album’s attempts at commerciality that came up lame. “It’s Alright” put Ward on vocals, and he handled it ably, black_sabbath_technical_ecstasy_retail_cd-frontmoving into a falsetto series of “oohs” to complement the McCartney-esque piano bounce of the initial verse before Iommi‘s out-of-nowhere sweeping solo. But for a band who made their name with raw impact, it was too stark a contrast for many. I won’t take away from the honky-tonk piano line of the later “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor” or the riff that accompanies, but the track sounded like the work of a band running on empty, and after “Gypsy” and the rolling groove and highlight bassline of “All Moving Parts (Stand Still),” it just seemed like Sabbath had run out of things to talk about. “She’s Gone” and “Dirty Women” would do nothing to dispel that notion in closing out the record.

That left “Gypsy” and “All Moving Parts (Stand Still)” as highlights one way or the other. They moved Sabbath‘s sound forward from Sabotage and introduced a more lush sense of melody (“Gypsy”) and were able to toy with structure in interesting ways. I’d put “You Won’t Change Me” in that category as well, despite its lyrical redundancy to the opener and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor.” It had only been five years since the band went “Into the Void” on Master of Reality (discussed here), but Black Sabbath were a different group than they were in 1971, in concept if not yet in personnel, and Technical Ecstasy represented the turmoil that was beginning to take hold that would ultimately result in the ouster of Osbourne and the arrival of Dio following Never Say Die! It was a step along a much longer, broader path.

Does that make it the worst original-lineup Black Sabbath record? Well, something’s bound to be at the bottom, and it certainly isn’t Vol. 4. I wrote a post nearly six years ago about a live version of “Dirty Women” that was so sloppy, raw and high-sounding that it encapsulated for me the crashing-out of Sabbath as a whole, and defenders of the late-Ozzy era rallied to tell me how wrong I was to malign that period of their work. So maybe bad Sabbath is still better than a lot of other things. I have the feeling if the commercial experiment had paid off and “Gypsy” or “It’s Alright” had been huge hits, the band wouldn’t be so quick to write them off, but that’s here or there. And doesn’t change the fact that their most influential work remains across the first six records, if not the first four.

Technical Ecstasy has more than a little contextual appeal. It’s part of the narrative of Black Sabbath, and an important part for what it would lead to and the changes that would come in the band in the years that followed, but on its own, the powerhouse songwriting and performances, the sheer urgency of their earlier work was largely gone. And fair enough as the popular consciousness had largely moved on from early ’70s rock and the NWOBHM had yet to take hold. Technical Ecstasy resides in that somewhat awkward between-place: mature but stoned, classy but sleaze, loud but soft. And while in hindsight one can look back and appreciate the confusion for what it is, how it represents that pivotal time for Black Sabbath as a whole, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the record you reach for when you want to listen to them. But hey, every now and then, you could certainly do much worse.

And seriously, how great would the movie about recording it be?

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

My alarm was set for 4:30 this morning. I was giving myself a break since I got in late from the Crowbar/Lo-Pan show last night and didn’t get to sleep at 8PM as I otherwise might. Lose like four hours, gain a half-hour back. Whatever. I woke up at 3:50AM and that was it. Blew that plan like a vacuum tube.

Worth it though. Show was low key, but the bands sounded good and I was glad I went, not the least for having bought a Hawaiian shirt from Lo-Pan. Best $25 I spent all week.

Next week is packed, so let’s do notes:

MON: Horseburner track premiere; Weird Owl track premiere.
TUE: Ghost: Hello track premiere; Rancho Bizarro video premiere; Holy Grove mixtape.
WED: Hound the Wolves/Glasghote stream; Gurt video premiere.
THU: Warcrab track premiere.
FRI: Oblivion Reptilian review.

Busy busy busy.

This week has been much the same, I guess. Couple six-post days in there. I’m still pretty surprised about Des leaving High on Fire and interested to hear how they sound with someone else in that spot. Everyone on the West Coast seems to give the new guy a rousing endorsement, so either he’s a beast or just a generally awesome person or maybe both. Both would be nice in a good-for-him kind of way, but if he’s a prick and can drum, well, it’s not like I’ll have to hang out with him. Low stakes for me, is what I’m saying.

This weekend, yeah, I don’t know what’s up. I think I’ll try and take tomorrow and not to Obelisk stuff at all. We’ve got a lot going on with getting this house ready to receive the rest of our crap from Massachusetts — including like 35 boxes of CDs that allegedly are going to go somewhere other than a storage unit — so yeah. Having a toddler pull ladders down on himself does not make that process any easier, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to find out.

Dude was like CRASH and then lost his mind for like a minute and then was fine. Two black eyes and a bloody nose this week. Oy.

He’s gonna be one of those kids who breaks his arm falling off the roof. When he’s four.

No Gimme Radio show this week, but thanks for asking. I’ll get a playlist together for the next one though, so if you’re not tired of me being like, “Duh, songs,” there will be plenty more opportunity for that.

Until then, I wish you a great and safe weekend. Thanks again for reading. Have fun, be safe, live long, prosper, all that silly whatnot.

Forum, merch and radio.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Opium Lord Sign to Sludgelord Records; Vore Coming Soon

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

Yeah, that’ll do nicely. You don’t get too much of a sense of what Opium Lord might be up to with Vore from the new teaser clip posted to herald the album’s coming-soon status, but even the fuckall violent atmospheric threat is sitting pretty nicely as far as I’m concerned. File under “current mood.” The Birmingham-based five-piece will release the album later this year through Sludgelord Records following behind a 2016 split with Churchburn — any band that would dare stand up to that kind of aural hatefest must be onto something — and their 2015 debut, The Calendrical Cycle: Eye of Earth, which was issued by Candlelight amid some apparent discontent, as well as an initial EP the year prior. Seriously, the clip is only a minute long and you can check it out below. Just feel that misery.

No release date yet, but there’s time. We’ll get there. I included the track from the split in the meantime as well, for further digging if you’re so inclined.

Have at it:

opium lord (Photo by Stuart Lee-Tovey)

Opium Lord to Release Vore on Sludgelord Records

Birmingham misery soaked metal band Opium Lord joins Sludgelord Records for the release of their second album.

The band who started life in 2014 on Leeds based record label Thirty Days of Night Records via Candlelight Records and Dry Cough Records will join Sludgelord Records for the release of their 2nd album ‘Vore’ which will be released this year.

With their 1st album ‘The Calendrical Cycle: Eye of Earth’ selling out on Candlelight Records and Dry Cough Records the band now look forward to linking up with Sludgelord Records.

The band said “we are really chuffed to join Sludgelord Records, we obviously follow the magazine side of the label closely and we’ve found some amazing bands through that and we know how passionate they are about our little scene, so we know full well they will work really hard for us.”

“It’s been a tough few years for us and we’ve been a bit irritated with issues that were out of our hands in regards to releasing this album, waiting on people and being a little pissed around but we are just happy we can now move on and get it out so people can hear it, we are really proud of this record.”

Following the success off the back of their debut album it led them to multiple European tours including a North American tour with Primitive Man. Opium Lord also released a split 7” with former Grief and Vital Remains members Churchburn from Rhode Island.

On the forthcoming record ‘Vore’ they added “we worked with our friend Wayne Adams in London at Bear Bites Horse Studio and we are really happy with it, it’s a slight departure from our first record but we think people will get it – we also have a special guest from an artist we all really respect, but I don’t want to spoil who it is just yet.”

The band plan to tour the UK on release of the Vore, details on when the album will be released as follows.

Opium Lord is:
Nathan James Coyle
Adam Beckley
Bruce Goodenough
Luke Fewtrell
Simon Blewitt

https://www.facebook.com/opiumlord/
https://opiumlord.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SludgelordRecords/
http://instagram.com/sludgelordrecords
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/

Opium Lord, Vore teaser

Opium Lord, “Control”

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Alunah Release Violet Hour Oct. 11; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

alunah

We knew this news was coming last week when Alunah were announced as being picked up by Heavy Psych Sounds and the pre-sale date for their next record was given as this past Thursday. Violet Hour is the name of the record and it’ll be out Oct. 11. Preorders are indeed up right at this very moment, and I’m particularly interested to hear what it might sound like as not only will it be the band’s first album with Siân Greenaway on vocals — she also sang on last year’s Amber and Gold EP (review here) — but also with guitarist Dean Ashton, who plays bass in Diamond Head. Essentially they’ve revamped half the band since their last full-length, which is a considerable amount of change. How will that change the atmosphere, dynamic, theme, etc.? Well, the EP was a preview, but I look forward to finding out the real deal upon the album’s arrival, or preferably, before.

PR wire info follows here:

alunah violet hour

Heavy Psych Sounds to start the presale of ALUNAH new album VIOLET HOUR

ALBUM PRESALE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS112

USA PRESALE via All That Is Heavy: https://allthatisheavy.com/search?type=product&q=alunah

RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 11th

On the back of last year’s critically acclaimed “Amber & Gold” EP, Alunah return with “Violet Hour”, the new album and first for Heavy Psych Sounds (Brant Bjork, Nebula, Nick Oliveri).

“Violet Hour” sees the energy of Alunah’s dark, doom tinged hard rock being cranked up with the arrival of guitarist Dean Ashton (bass, Diamond Head) alongside the soaring vocals of Sian Greenaway and rhythmic foundation of Dan Burchmore and Jake Mason. Recorded at the historic Welsh Foel Studio and produced by Chris Fielding (Conan, Electric Wizard, Primordial) the 8 tracks on display show the fruits of a productive early 2019 with a searing combination of melodies, riffs and focused writing. From the opening combination of “Trapped & Bound” and “Dance of Deceit” the album pulls the listener in to an ominous world brought to life by artist “Felipe Froeder – Arcano XV” and doesn’t let go until the brooding finale “Lake of Fire”.

With roots dating back to 2006 in “Sabbath City” UK and an evolution that has grown over four previous albums and numerous European tours/festival dates, the momentum now picks up the pace. A UK summer tour with The Obsessed and an appearance at this year’s prestigious Damnation Festival have just been confirmed with further live dates to TBA.

AVAILABLE IN :
40 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
250 LTD ORANGE Trasp. Background SPLATTER in Purple-Black-Blue VINYL
500 LTD PURPLE VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

TRACKLIST
Trapped & Bound
Dance of Deceit
Hunt
Hypnotised
Violet Hour
Unholy Disease
Velvet
Lake of Fire

UK tour w/The Obsessed:
17.7 Coventry The Arches
18.7 Glasgow Audio
19.7 Manchester Rebellion
20.7 Bristol Exchange

Alunah is:
Siân Greenaway – Vocals
Dean Ashton – Guitar
Daniel Burchmore – Bass
Jake Mason – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom
http://twitter.com/#!/alunah_doom
http://alunah.bandcamp.com
http://www.alunah.co.uk

Alunah, Amber and Gold (2018)

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Alunah Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds; Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I guess the first hint was when Alunah were confirmed for the Heavy Psych Sounds Fests in Berlin and Dresden, but now we have confirmation that the UK four-piece will release their next full-length through the label as well. Presales start on Thursday, so I expect another press release will follow then with the album title, cover, tracks, release date, and so on — maybe even a track to stream — but for now, the band put out word the other day that they’ve finished the recording process with Chris Fielding at Foel Studio, and the label has passed the news down the PR wire of the pickup, so much joy all around.

Alunah hit the road next month with The Obsessed, and those dates are below as well, along with the stream of their 2018 EP, Amber and Gold (review here).

Have at it:

alunah

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce a NEW BAND signing: UK doom rockers ALUNAH !!!

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS is proud to welcome a new member to their eclectic artist roster and family: UK hard doom rockers ALUNAH have signed a worldwide deal for a brand new album with the Italian cult label !!!

Says the band:

“The first half of this year has been an incredibly positive, creative and productive period for Alunah. We are therefore extremely honoured and excited for the resulting album to be coming out on Heavy Psych Sounds and to join a roster that features such inspirational artists. After a week in the idyllic Welsh countryside, our time at Foel Studio has come to a conclusion. As ever, it was an absolute pleasure to work with Chris Fielding and we are immensely happy with what we have created. Stay tuned for more news!”

NEW ALBUM PRESALE STARTS: JUNE 20th

On the back of last year’s critically acclaimed “Amber & Gold” EP, Alunah return with a brand new album, the first for Heavy Psych Sounds.

With roots dating back to 2006 in “Sabbath City” UK and an evolution that has grown over four previous albums and numerous European tours/festival dates, the momentum now picks up the pace. A UK summer tour with The Obsessed and an appearance at this year’s prestigious Damnation Festival have just been confirmed with further live dates to TBA.

UK tour w/The Obsessed:
17.7 Coventry The Arches
18.7 Glasgow Audio
19.7 Manchester Rebellion
20.7 Bristol Exchange

Alunah is:
Siân Greenaway – Vocals
Dean Ashton – Guitar
Daniel Burchmore – Bass
Jake Mason – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom
http://twitter.com/#!/alunah_doom
http://alunah.bandcamp.com
http://www.alunah.co.uk

Alunah, Amber and Gold (2018)

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