Black Capricorn to Release Sacrifice Darkness and … Fire July 12; “A New Day Rising” Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

black capricorn

So, in my head, I’m reading a comma in the title of the new Black Capricorn album, Sacrifice Darkness … and Fire, which makes it a list; as if perhaps to propose the three as central elements of the band’s dark, engrossing take on semi-traditionalist doom, and they are sacrifice, darkness… and what’s the third one oh yeah fire. Without that comma, the name of the record instead becomes something like a proposal to sacrifice darkness and … hold on wait I forgot it again no I didn’t it’s fire. Like they’re giving up those things to some end or other. I’m not sure it matters which interpretation you roll with so long as you take away that the record is out July 12 through Majestic Mountain, but if you listen to the lead single “A New Day Rising” at the bottom of this post — it’s about 30 seconds into the clip that the song actually starts; heads up — the rolling groove speaks to the former reading, at least to me. I don’t know about sacrifice — other than, perhaps, sounding like they’ve given up a “normal” life to hermit themselves away with only despondent riffing for comfort — but darkness and fire hardly sound like they’re being forsaken here.

I’ll take it either way. The PR wire brought album info and the song for digging:

Black Capricorn sacrifice darkness and fire

Black Capricorn – A New Day Rising

Scuzzy, hypnotic doom and psychedelia from Sardinia

Single and music video out June 7, 2024 on Majestic Mountain Records

LP “Sacrifice Darkness and … Fire” out July 12, 2024

Italy’s modern titans of doom rise once again, as the coven of scuzzy, occult psychedelia that is Black Capricorn deliver their latest slab of epic proto metal. Following up on their single “Sacrifice” ahead of the full-length “Sacrifice Darkness and … Fire”, out July 12 through Majestic Mountain Records, the trio present their newest track and music video “A New Day Rising”.

Thoroughly fuzzed-out and mystical in atmosphere, Black Capricorn sweep the listener off into a medieval tale of knights and grand, grisly battles. The keening vocals and stomping rhythm section are proto doom at its finest, while the gritty psychedelic guitar leads twist and turn into the song’s hazy climax. The band are in full command of their black arts on “A New Day Rising”, a promise of darker things yet to come this summer.


“A galloping wandering knight and his journey through a troubled life in the past centuries. We’ve paid tribute in the previous album to a legendary band with ‘Worshipping the Bizarre Reverend’.

We are still following the same attitude also in the new LP with ‘A New Day Rising’, a galloping heavy song that pays tribute, for music style, to one of the most influential contemporary doom bands, the mighty Lord Vicar!”


“Majestic Mountain Records believed in us once again and we are thrilled to announce the new album, the second released by the rec label and the seventh of our career. We can’t wait to start this new adventure and to spread the word!”

Black Capricorn – A New Day Rising (single)

Single out June 7, 2024 (Digital)
Album “Sacrifice Darkness and … Fire” out July 12, 2024 (Vinyl, CD, & Digital)
Majestic Mountain Records

All music by Black Capricorn
Recorded at Consultant Recording Studio
Produced by Fabrizio Monni
Engineered by Fabrizio Monni
Mastering: Mirko Toro
Art & Design: Fabrizio Monni

Black Capricorn:
Rachela Piras – Drums
Virginia Piras – Bass
Fabrizio Monni – Guitars/Vocals

Black Capricorn, “A New Day Rising”

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Quarterly Review: Jo Quail, Experiencia Tibetana, People of the Black Circle, Black Capricorn, SABOTØR, The Buzzards of Fuzz, Temple of Void, Anomalos Kosmos, Cauchemar, Seum

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Last day. Maybe I’m supposed to have some grand reflection as we hit 100 of 100 records for the Quarterly Review, but I’ll spare you. I’ve put a few records from the bunch on year-end lists, enjoyed a lot of music, wondered why a few people got in touch with me in the first place, and generally plotzed through to the best of my ability. Thanks as always to The Patient Mrs., through whom all things are possible, for facilitation.

And thank you for reading. I hope you’ve managed to find something killer in all this, but if not, there’s still today to go, so you’ve got time.

Next QR is probably early October, and you know what? I’ve already got records lined up for it. How insane is that?

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Jo Quail, The Cartographer

Jo Quail The Cartographer

To list the personnel involved in Jo Quail‘s Roadburn-commissioned five-movement work The Cartographer would consume the rest of this review, so I won’t, but the London electric cellist is at the center of an orchestral experiment the stated purpose of which is to find the place where classical and heavy musics meet. Percussion thuds, there’s piano and electric violin and a whole bunch of trombones, and whatever that is making the depth-charge thud underneath “Movement 2,” some voices and narration at the start by Alice Krige, who once played the Borg Queen among many other roles. Though Quail composed The Cartographer for Roadburn — originally in 2020 — the recording isn’t captured on that stage, but is a studio LP, which lets each headphone-worthy nuance and tiny flash of this or that shine through. So is it heavy? Not really in any traditional sense, but of course that’s the point. Is SunnO))) heavy? Sure. It’s less about conforming to given notions of genre characteristics than bringing new ideas to them and saying this-can-be-that in the way that innovative art does, but heavy? Why the hell not? Think of it as mind-expansion, only classy.

Jo Quail on Facebook

By Norse Music website


Experiencia Tibetana, Vol. II

Experiencia Tibetana Vol. II

An aptly named second full-length from Buenos Aires trio Experiencia Tibetana greatly solidifies the band’s approach, which of course itself is utterly fluid. Having brought in Gaston Saccoia on drums, vocals and other percussion alongside guitarist/vocalist Walter Fernandez and bassist Leandro Moreno Vila since their recorded-in-2014-released-in-2020 debut, Vol. I (review here), the band take the methodology of meditative exploration from that album and pare it down to four wholly expansive processions, resonant in their patience and earthy psychedelic ritualizing. Each side of the 48-minute LP is comprised of a shorter track and a longer, and they’re arranged for maximum immersion as one climbs a presumably Tibetan mountain, going up and coming back down with the longest material in the middle, the 16-minute pair “Ciudad de latahes” and “(Desde el) Limbo” running in hypnotic succession with minimalism, noise wash, chanting, percussive cacophony, dead space, bass fuzz, spoken word and nearly anything else they want at their disposal. With “El delito espiritual I” (8:18) and the maybe-eBow(?) ghost howls of “El delito espiritual II” (7:19) on either side, Vol. II charts a way forward for the trio as they move into unknown aural reaches.

Experiencia Tibetana on Facebook

Experiencia Tibetana on Bandcamp


People of the Black Circle, People of the Black Circle

People of the Black Circle People of the Black Circle

Not quite like anything else, Athenian conjurors People of the Black Circle plunge deep into horror/fantasy atmospheres, referencing H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Howard within the five tracks of their nonetheless concise 34-minute/five-track self-titled debut. Weighted in tone and mood, almost garage-doom in its production, the synth-backing of “Cimmeria” unfolds after the outward crunch of leadoff “Alchemy of Sorrow” — like Euro doom dramaturge transposed onto a bed of ’80s synths with Om-style bass — and from centerpiece “The Ghoul and the Seraph (Ghoul’s Song II)” through the bookending choral figures and either sampled or synthesized horns over the resolute chug of “Nyarlathotep” and more straight-ahead slow-motion push of closer “Ghosts in Agartha,” which swirls out a highlight solo after a wailing verse lets go and seems to drift away after its payoff for the album as an entirety. While in concept, People of the Black Circle‘s aesthetic isn’t necessarily anything new, there’s no denying the boundaries of dungeon synth and horror/garage doom are being transcended here, and that mixture feels like it’s being given a fresh perspective in these songs, even if the thematic is familiar. A mix of new and old, then? Maybe, but the new wins out decisively. In the parlance of our times, “following.”

People of the Black Circle on Facebook

Red Truth Productions on Bandcamp


Black Capricorn, Cult of Blood

black capricorn cult of blood

It always seems to be a full moon when Black Capricorn are playing, regardless of actual cloud cover or phase. The Sardinian trio of guitarist/vocalist Fabrizio Monni (also production; also in Ascia), bassist Virginia Pras and drummer Rachela Piras offer an awaited follow-up to their 2019 Solstice EP (discussed here). Though it’s their fifth full-length overall, it’s the second with this lineup of the band (first through Majestic Mountain), and it comes packed with references like the doomly “Worshipping the Bizarre Reverend” and “Snake of the Wizard” as distorted, cultish and willfully strange vibes persist across its 44-minute span. Doom. Even the out-there centerpiece kinda-interlude “Godsnake Djamballah” and the feedback-laced lurch-march of the nine-minute “Witch of Endor” have a cauldron-psych vibe coinciding with the largely riff-driven material, though, and it’s the differences between the songs that ultimately bring them together, closer “Uddadhaddar” going full-on ritualist with percussion and drone and chanting vocals as if to underscore the point. It’s been five years since they released Omega (review here), their most recent LP, and Cult of Blood wholly justifies the wait.

Black Capricorn on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store


SABOTØR, Skyggekæmper

SABOTØR Skyggekæmper

The Danish title Skyggekæmper translates to English as “shadow fighter,” and if punk-informed heavy rocking Aarhus three-piece SABOTØR mean it in a political context, then fair enough. I speak no Danish, but their past work and titles here like “2040-Planen” — seemingly a reference to Denmark’s clean energy initiative — the stomping, funky “Ro På, Danmark!” (‘calm down, Denmark’) and even the suitably over-the-top “King Diamond” seem to have speaking about Danishness (Danedom?) as an active element. Speaking of “active,” the energy throughout the nine-song/49-minute span of the record is palpable, and while they’re thoroughly in the post-Truckfighters fuzz rock dominion tonally, the slowdowns of “Edderkoppemor” and the closing title-track hit the brakes at least here and there in their longer runtimes and expand on the thrust of the earlier “Oprør!” and “Arbejde Gør Fri,” the start-stop riffing of which seems as much call to dance as a call to action — though, again, I say that as someone without any actual idea if it’s the latter — making the entire listening experience richer on the whole while remaining accessible despite linguistic or any other barriers to entry that might be perceived. To put it another way, you don’t have to be up on current issues facing Denmark to enjoy the songs, and if they make you want to be afterward, so much the better.

SABOTØR on Facebook

SABOTØR on Bandcamp


The Buzzards of Fuzz, The Buzzards of Fuzz

The Buzzards of Fuzz The Buzzards of Fuzz

Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Van Bassman, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Benjamin J. Davidow and bassist/backing vocalist/percussionist Charles Wiles are The Buzzards of Fuzz. I’m not sure who that leaves as drummer on the Atlanta outfit’s self-titled Sept. 2021 debut LP — could be producer/engineer Kristofer Sampson, Paul Stephens and/or Nick Ogawa, who are all credited with “additional instrumentation” — and it could be nobody if they’re programmed, but one way or the other, The Buzzards of Fuzz sure sound like a complete band, from the trippin’-on-QOTSA vibe of “Tarantulove” and “Desert Drivin’ (No Radio)” (though actually it’s Kyuss alluded to in the lyrics of the latter) to the more languid psych pastoralia of “All in Your Head” and the spacious two minutes of “Burned My Tongue on the Sun,” the purposeful-feeling twist into Nirvana of “Mostly Harmless” and the nod to prior single “Lonely in Space” that is finale “Lonely in Space (Slight Return).” Sleek grooves, tight, hooky songwriting and at times a languid spirit that comes through no matter how fast they’re playing give The Buzzards of Fuzz, the album, a consistent mood across the 11 songs and 32 minutes that allows the delivery to play that much more of a role in making short pieces feel expansive.

The Buzzards of Fuzz on Facebook

The Buzzards of Fuzz on Bandcamp


Temple of Void, Summoning the Slayer

Temple of Void Summoning The Slayer

Crawl into Temple of Void‘s deathly depths and you may find yourself duly consumed. Their style is less outright doom than it used to be, but the Detroit extremist five-piece nonetheless temper their bludgeoning with a resilient amount of groove, and even at their fastest in songs like “Hex, Curse & Conjuration” and some of the more plundering moments in “A Sequence of Rot” just prior, the weight behind their aural violence remains a major factor. The keys in “Deathtouch,” which follows down-you-go opener “Behind the Eye” and leads into “Engulfed” branches out the band’s sound with keyboards (or guitar-as-keyboards, anyway) and a wider breadth of atmosphere than they’ve enjoyed previously — “Engulfed” seems to touch on Type O Negative-style tonality as it chugs into its midsection — and the concluding “Dissolution” introduces a quieter, entirely-clean approach for just under three key-string-laced minutes that Temple of Void have legitimately never shown before. Seems doubtful they’ll take that as far as Opeth in putting out Damnation — though that’s just crazy enough to work — but it shows that as Temple of Void move toward the 10-year mark, their progression has not abated whatsoever. And they still kill, so no worries there.

Temple of Void on Facebook

Relapse Records website


Anomalos Kosmos, Mornin Loopaz

Anomalos Kosmos Mornin Loopaz

Psych jazz, instrumental save for some found voice samples which, if you were listening on headphones out in the wild, say, might have you wondering if you’re missing the announcement for your train at the station. Based in Thessaloniki, Greece, Anomalos Kosmos brim with experimentalist urgency on the half-hour of Mornin Loopaz, the seven tracks of which are titled playing off the days of the week — “Meinday,” “Chooseday,” “Whensday,” etc. — but which embark each on their own explorations of the outer reaches of far out. The longest of the bunch is “Thirstday” at just over five minutes, and at 30 minutes one could hardly accuse them of overstaying their welcome. Instead, the shimmering tone, fluid tempos and unpredictable nature of their style make for a thrilling listen, “Thirstday” remaining vital even as it spaces out and “Friedday” picking up directly from there with a ready sense of relief. They spend the weekend krautrocking in “Shatterday” and managing to squeeze a drum solo in before the rushing Mediterranean-proggy end of “Sinday,” the crowd noise that follows leaving one wondering if there aren’t more subversive messages being delivered beneath the heady exterior. In any case, this is a band from a place where the sun shines brightly, and the music stands as proof. Get weird and enjoy.

Anomalos Kosmos on Facebook

Anomalos Kosmos on Bandcamp


Cauchemar, Rosa Mystica

Cauchemar Rosa Mystica

This third full-length from Quebec-based doom outfit Cauchemar brings the band past their 15th anniversary and makes a bed for itself in traditionalist metallurgy, running currents of NWOBHM running through opener “Jour de colère” and “Rouge sang” while “Danger de nuit” takes a more hard rock approach and the penultimate roller “Volcan” feels more thoroughly Sabbathian. With eight songs presumably arranged four per vinyl side, there’s a feeling of symmetry as “Le tombeau de l’aube” tempts Motörhead demons and answers back with wilful contradiction the late-’70s/early-’80s groove that comes late in “Notre-Dame-sous-Terre.” Closer “La sorcière” tolls its bells presumably for thee as the lead guitar looks toward Pentagram and vocalist Annick Giroux smoothly layers in harmony lines before the church organ carries the way out. Classic in its overarching intentions, the songs nonetheless belong to Cauchemar exclusively, and speak to the dead with a vibrancy that avoids the trappings of cultism while working to some of its strengths in atmosphere, sounding oldschool without being tired, retro or any more derivative than it wants to be. No argument here, it’s metal for rockers, doom for doomers, riffs for the converted or those willing to be. I haven’t looked to see if they have patches yet, but I’d buy one if they do.

Cauchemar on Facebook

Temple of Mystery Records website


Seum, Blueberry Cash

seum blueberry cash

If you ever wanted to hear Weedeater or Dopethrone hand you your ass with Sons of Otis-worthy tones, Seum‘s Blueberry Cash has your back. The no-guitar-all-bass-and-drums-and-screams Montreal three-piece are just as crusty and weedian as you like, and in “Blueberry Cash,” “John Flag” and the seven-minute “Hairy Muff,” they reinforce sludge extremity with all that extra low end as if to remind the universe where the idea of music being heavy in the first place comes from. Grooves are vital and deathly, produced with just enough clarity to come through laced with what feels like extra nastiness, and “John Flag”‘s blues verse opens into a chasm of a chorus, waiting with sharpened teeth. Rounding out, “Hairy Muff” is a take on a song by vocalist Gaspar‘s prior band, Lord Humungus, and it’s drawn out into a plodding homage to liberation, pubes and the ability of sludge to feel like it’s got its hands on either side of your face and is pressing them together as hard as it can. These guys are a treasure, I mean that, and I don’t care what genre you want to tag it as being or how brutal and skinpeeling they want to make it, something with this much fuckall will always be punk rock in my mind.

Seum on Facebook

Seum on Bandcamp


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Black Capricorn Sign to Majestic Mountain Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Kudos to Sardinian doomers Black Capricorn on signing to Majestic Mountain Records for the 2022 release of their next album. The trio have had a couple short releases out in the last few years — 2019’s Solstice EP, and Equinox preceding — but their last proper full-length was 2017’s Omega – Cult of the Dead, and as to how they might answer the raw, rootsy doom procession of that outing, well, actually, they’ll probably do it with more doom. That’s the hope, anyway. No one says “doom on” because they want it to stop.

No details or audio from the impending album yet — for all I know it’s not even recorded — but consider Black Capricorn part of Majestic Mountain‘s upward trajectory as the imprint continues to show itself with a mind toward sonic and geographic variety while remaining purposeful in its allegiance to varying kinds of heavy. I don’t know what pressing schedules will look like next year — or what anything will look like next year, up to and including, like, the sky, which seems ready to turn orange any minute now — but Majestic Mountain are working quickly to make themselves a reliable name when it comes to purveyors of weighted goods. One doubts this will be their only announcement in the coming months.

From the social medias:

black capricorn

We’re stoked to welcome Black Capricorn into the Majestic motley crew! The new album will be released in 2022. Stay tuned for more information!

What the doom power trio got to say about joining Majestic Mountain Records:

“We are very honored to join the Majestic Mountain Records family. A young label that in a few years reached a very solid reputation in the worldwide heavy music underground. Can’t wait to start this new adventure together!”

Give them a follow! Thanks!

Black Capricorn, Solstice EP (2019)

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Black Capricorn to Release Solstice EP on DHU Records

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

Italian cult doomers Black Capricorn released the Solstice EP last November — not quite at the solstice itself, which is in December — but not far off. The version that DHU Records will release contains two previously unreleased tracks to go with the original four, and it’s been given a “late 2020” issue date. Think maybe it’ll be out for the solstice? November would be fitting enough. Really, nobody’s paying attention to anything by Dec. 21. It’s holiday time, everybody’s too busy wondering what to order for each other off Amazon or working late hours to get money to order things off Amazon to be buying records. Even those who get/give records as presents are more likely to go with something already out than new releases.

So if it’s November, on a full-year turnaround from the original EP release, that’d work just fine, and I’m interested to hear those other two tracks of course, but really, I’ll take whatever and whenever when it comes to Black Capricorn, who are weird and underrated in kind. A band who genuinely seem to want to walk their own (left hand) path.

From the PR wire:

black capricorn solstice ep

New signing to DHU Records: Black Capricorn

DHU Records is proud to welcome back to the fold: Black Capricorn to release their Solstice EP + 2 new unreleased songs!

No introduction is needed when talking about Black Capricorn in the Heavy Underground. Their slow trudging mesmeric Italian Doom is a brand known to many and immediately recognized when immersed into the Discography of the mighty Black Capricorn.

Test press, DHU Exclusive and Band Editions will be available come Autumn/Winter 2020

Side A:
A1. Omen (March of the Arcadians)
A2. Astrodestroyer
A3. Sumerian Summer

Side B:
B1. Three Brides of Satan
B2. Winterlude
B3. Shadows in the Moonlight

Recorded in November 2019 at The Business Consultant Recording Studios by Fabrizio Monni
Tracks A2 and B1 Recorded in October 2018/November 2019 (previously unreleased)
Mastering by Mirko Toro at the Gameboy Studio
New artwork by Fabrizio Monni

Black Capricorn:
Fabrizio – Guitars, Vocals
Virginia – Bass
Rachela – Drums

Black Capricorn, Solstice EP (2019)

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Black Capricorn Release Equinox EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

black capricorn

I usually give bands immediate points for opening a release with the longest song. It’s a continually brave decision, and in my mind, worth highlighting when it happens. Okay, so Black Capricorn‘s new digital outing, Equinox, is an EP. So figure maybe half points. But the song’s also acoustic — an unplugged leadoff on an otherwise-plugged release. That’s gotta be points right there. Plus it’s called “Doom for the Red Sun,” so cleverness points on top of those for the reference. I haven’t done a full tally of the numbers involved, but all told, I think it probably works out to you should take a couple minutes and check out the release, which as fate would have it is streaming at the bottom of this post courtesy of the Sardinian trio’s Bandcamp page.

Equinox follows 2015’s Ira Dei EP (discussed here) and this year’s LP, Cult of Black Friars (review here), and in addition to its doomly red sun blues has tracks that date back even before the band got their start and an uncut version of “The Hound of Harbinger God,” which previously appeared on a single.

The art and info:


Black Capricorn – Equinox EP

This new EP is part of a concept continuing for a second and final chapter later next year.

Equinox is inspired by spring season and the end of the summer time. Consist of an acoustic with an unlikely title song (track 1), an old song written during Cult of Black Friars session (track 2), a very old song written in the mid of the 90s by Fabrizio for his formerly band Wild Duck (track 3) and the uncensored (by the length of the 7″ release) and remastered song (track 4).

1. Doom for the red sun
2. La sella del Diavolo
3. Astroflower
4. The hound of harbinger god (uncutted and remastered)

Recorded 3 days of november at the doomy cottage (Hill de los muertos, Sardinia). Mastered in 666 minutes by the man behind the button: mr. Toro.

Black Capricorn, Equinox (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Eagle Twin, Wight, Sundrifter, Holy Mushroom, Iron and Stone, Black Capricorn, Owl Maker, Troll, Malditos, The Freak Folk of Mangrovia

Posted in Reviews on April 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


I’m pretty sure this Quarterly Review — life eater that it is — is going to wind up being six days long. That means next Monday look for sixth installment, another batch of 10 records, which were not hard to come by among everything that’s come in lately for review. I do my best to keep up, often to little avail — some random act’s Bandcamp page starts trending and all of a sudden they’re the best band ever, which hey, they’re probably not and that’s okay too. Anyhowzer, I’m trying is the point. Hopefully another 10 records added into this Quarterly Review underscores that notion.

More coffee. More albums. Let’s rock.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn)

eagle twin the thundering heard songs of hoof and horn

Consuming tones, throat-sung blues, a wash of lumbering doom – yes, it’s quite a first three minutes on Eagle Twin’s The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn). Released by Southern Lord, it’s the Salt Lake City duo’s first outing since 2012’s The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (discussed here), which arrived three years after their 2009 debut, The Unkindness of Crows (review here). Once again, the four-song outing finds guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley and drummer Tyler Smith exploring the natural order and the natural world the 11-minute “Quanah un Rama” and the 14-minute “Antlers of Lightning” bookend “Elk Wolfv Hymn” (8:22) and album highlight “Heavy Hood” (7:21), creating an ever-more immersive and grit-laden flow across the album’s span. It’s hard to know if Densley and Smith are the hunters or the hunted here, but the tones are massive enough to make YOB blush, the rhythms are hypnotic and the use they’re both put to is still unlike anything else out there, ending after the chaos and assault of low end on “Antlers of Lightning” with a moment of contemplative guitar lead, as if to remind us of our solitary place in imagining ourselves at the top of the food chain.

Eagle Twin on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website


Wight, Fusion Rock Invasion

wight fusion rock invasion

One wonders what it might’ve been like to see Wight on the 2015 tour on which the Bilocation Records-issued vinyl-only Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe was captured. Still a year out from releasing their third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), the former trio had already become a four-piece with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek bringing in percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening and already undertaken the funkier aesthetic turn that LP would represent coming off of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here). At least I’d think it would be something of a surprise as the band hit into “Helicopter Mama” and “The Muse & the Mule” and “Kelele,” which comprise side A of Fusion Rock Invasion, but by all appearances listening to the crowd response between songs, they seem into it. Who could argue? Wight’s groove in those songs as well as the older “Master of Nuggets” and Love is Not Only What You Know finale “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” on side B, are infectious in their grooves and the soul put into them is genuine and unmistakable. One more reason I wouldn’t have minded being there, I suppose.

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight at Bilocation Records


Sundrifer, Visitations

sundrifter visitations

Name your bet someone picks up Sundrifter’s Visitations for a proper release. The Boston three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Craig Peura, bassist Paul Gaughran and drummer Patrick Queenan impress in performance, aesthetic and craft across the nine songs and 48 minute of their for-now-self-released debut long-player, and whether it’s Queenan dipping into blastbeats on “Targeted” or Gaughran’s rumble on the Soundgarden-gone-doom “Fire in the Sky” or the fuzz that leads the charge on the Queens of the Stone Age-style “Hammerburn,” Peura doing a decent Josh Homme along the way, each member proves to add something to a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is able to take familiar elements and use them to hone an individualized atmosphere. In the wake of melodically engaged Boston acts like Gozu, Sundrifter would seem to be a focused newcomer with a solidified mindset of who they are as a group. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised either if they kept growing their sound. Something about the psychedelic distance in “Fire in the Sky” and “I Want to Leave,” says there’s forward movement yet to be had.

Sundrifter on Thee Facebooks

Sundrifter on Bandcamp


Holy Mushroom, Moon

holy mushroom moon

Serenity and presence. There’s no shortage of either on the second Holy Mushroom full-length, Moon. Incorporating the prior-issued digital single “Éufrates,” the five-track/43-minute excursion is rife with natural-toned psychedelic resonance, marked out by organ/piano working alongside the guitar (see “Birdwax Blues”), as well as guest contributions of double bass and saxophone, and other sundry moments of depth-creating flourish. Their trance-effect is palpable, and Moon is an easy album to get lost in, especially as the Spanish three-piece make their way through 12:35 centerpiece “The Preacher,” moving from a dreamy opening line of guitar into funk-laden heft that only pushes forward with Hendrixian abandon through a massive jam before rounding out sweetly with vocals over background organ and sweetly-strummed guitar. “Éufrates” would seem to start the same way, but varies the structure in more of a back and forth format before closer “Grand Finale in the Blind Desert” brings both Holy Mushroom’s most patient execution and their most vibrant jam (sax included), essentially building from the one into the other to end the album in energetic fashion. To say it works for them would be underselling it.

Holy Mushroom on Thee Facebooks

Holy Mushroom on Bandcamp


Iron and Stone, Petrichor

iron and stone petrichor

A debut long-player of no-pretense, no-nonsense sludge-infused doom, Petrichor (on Backbite Records) shows German five-piece Iron and Stone as ready to follow where the riff will lead them. The late 2017 album is a solidly-delivered 10 tracks and 43 minutes that strikes mostly in monochrome intent, save perhaps for the acoustic “Interlude” near the midpoint. Their 2015 EP, Old Man’s Doom (review here), was similarly upfront in its purposes, but carrying across a full-length – especially a debut – is a different beast from a shorter outing. Their heavier push on “Monolith” is welcome and the break-then-chug of “Deserts” does plenty to satisfy, but Petrichor might require a couple concerted listens to really sink in on its audience, though as I’ve said time and again, if you can’t handle repetition, you can’t handle doom. Iron and Stone effectively balance traditional doom and rawer sludge groove, playing fluidly to whichever suits their purposes at a given moment.

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Backbite Records webstore


Black Capricorn, Omega

black capricorn omega

Sardinian doom cult Black Capricorn push well beyond the limits of the manageable with their 95-minute fourth album, Omega (released Nov. 2017 on Stone Stallion Rex), and that’s clearly the idea. The three-piece of bassist Virginia, drummer Rakela and guitarist/vocalist Kjxu offer grim ambience and tempos that sound slow regardless of their actual speed. That said, the 17-minute “Antartide” is an accomplishment as regards crawl. After a sweetly melancholic opening of guitar, it lurches and lumbers out its miserable heft until a return to that intro bookends. Even shorter tracks like “Flower of Revelation” or “Stars of Orion” hold firm to the tenet of plod, and though the results are obviously a lot to take in, the idea that it should be a slog seems all the more appropriate to Black Capricorn’s style. The band, which hits the decade mark in 2018, churn out one last bit of wretchedness in the nine-minute closing title-track before giving way to an acoustic finish, as if to remind that Omega’s sorrows are conveyed as much through atmosphere as actual sonic heft.

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Stone Stallion Rex website


Owl Maker, Paths of the Slain

owl maker paths of the slain

Guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli, also of malevolent doomers Vestal Claret, leads the new trio Owl Maker, and in the company of bassist Jessie May and drummer Chris Anderson, he embarks on a heavy rock push of six tracks with the debut EP, Paths of the Slain, still holding to some elements of metal, whether it’s the double-kick in opener “Ride with Aileen” or the backing vocals and guitar solo of the subsequent “99.” Songwriting is clearheaded across the EP’s 23 minutes, and in terms of first impressions, “Mashiara” shows a focus on melody that retains a metallic poise without losing its riff-driven edge. The balance shifts throughout “Freya’s Chariot” and the all-go “Witches,” the latter of which touches on black metal in its first half before turning on a dime to mid-paced heavy rock, and closer “Lady Stoneheart” nods in its back end to NWOBHM gallop, as Owl Maker seem to tip their audience to the fact that they’re just getting started on their exploration of the many interpretations of heavy.

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Owl Maker on Bandcamp


Troll, Troll

troll troll

When one considers the multiple connotations of the word, Portland’s Troll are definitely going more for “lives under a bridge” than “meddling in elections” when it comes to their sound. Their self-titled debut EP, issued in 2017 before being picked up by respected purveyor Shadow Kingdom Records for a 2018 CD/tape release, is a highlight offering of classic-style doom worthy of Orodruin and Pilgrim comparisons and headlined by the vocal performance of John, who carries songs like opener “The Summoning” and the later, more swinging “Infinite Death” in a manner impressive in both frontman presence and melodic range. His work is only bolstered by the riffs of guitarist Lou and the consistent groove held together by bassist Wayne and drummer Ryan, whose drive in centerpiece “An Eternal Haunting” is neither overdone nor incongruous with the wall its tempo hits, and who meld shuffle and plod on closer “Savage Thunder” with naturalist ease. Potential abounds, and they reportedly already have new material in the works, so all the better.

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Shadow Kingdom Records website


Malditos, II

malditos ii
Some bands, you just have to accept the fact that they’re on a different wavelength and that’s all there is to it. Magma. Master Musicians of Bukkake. Circle. Enter Oakland, California’s Malditos, whose sophomore outing, II: La Réve, arrives via Svart Records. From bizarre psychedelic chants to ritualized repetitions that seems to be daring you to play them backwards on your turntable, the spiritual freakout to songs like “Azadeh” and the penultimate “Momen” is palpable. Reach out and touch it and it will ripple like water in front of you. A sense of space is filled with elements alternatingly horrifying and engrossing, and after they make their way through “Le Passage” and centerpiece “Disparu” and wind up in the title-track to close out, the journey to the final wash of noise gives the distinct impression that for neither the listener nor the band is there any coming back. High order head trippery. Will simply be too much for some, will gloriously expand the minds of others.

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Svart Records webstore


The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach

the freak folk of mangrovia sonic meditations live at palach

I don’t know how much improvisation is a factor in the sound of The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, but the Croation collective bring an ultra-organic presence to their perhaps-debut release, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach. The group, which seems also to have gone under the names Marko Mushan & the Mangrovian Orchestra and The Free Folk of Mangrovia, was opening for Acid Mothers Temple that night, and Sonic Meditations mostly breaks down into parts – “Sonic Meditation I,” “II,” “III” and “IV” – before the band closes out with “’Mangrovian Summer,” all the while with The Freak Folk of Mangrovia making their way through progressive dreamscapes, dripping with effects and spacious enough to house an entire Mangrovian village, however big that might be. It is otherworldly and jazzy and moves with such fluidity that the entire “Sonic Meditation” becomes one overarching piece, complemented by the closing “Mangrovian Summer,” which ebbs and flows through louder, more active jamming before capping in a wash of noise.

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The Freak Folk of Mangrovia on Bandcamp


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Black Capricorn Release Ira Dei EP for One Week Only

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

black capricorn

If you’re thinking maybe a new EP from Italian doomsters Black Capricorn might be your cup of tea, chalice of vino, glass of sambuca, whatever it might be, then you’re probably going to want to jump on Ira Dei while the jumpin’s good. The trio (live four-piece) will have the three tracks of Ira Dei posted for one week — from yesterday — and then that’s it. Word from the band is that “Evil Horde of Lucifer,” “Zeernebooch” and “The Mammoth March to Alnitak” might be used again at some point for a physically-pressed split or as part of a full-length album, but as far as this EP in this form goes, it’s out for a couple days and then gone. One and done.

Ira Dei is one of two releases Black Capricorn have had out this year, the other being a limited split single with Bretus. Their third full-length, Cult of Black Friars, came out last year on Stone Stallion Rex, and continued their roll-groove take on the traditions of doom, and the new tracks, from the chant-style layered vocals of “Evil Horde of Lucifer” to the feedback swells in “Zeernebooch,” furthers their intricate but thoroughly doomed approach another step.

The idea is to fund their next European run, so if it helps to think of it as a Kickstarter or whatever crowdfunding deal we’re namechecking these days, then fine. Release info and links follow, so have at it:

black capricorn ira dei

IRA DEI ep is available from today and for ONLY 1 week on digital download ONLY!!!

1. Evil Horde of Lucifer
2. Zeernebooch
3. The Mammoth March to Alnitak

We do this record in order to collect some money for the next year european tour.

After one week this link will be deleted, we wish to use these songs for further release (split, ep) on physical format.

It would be very helpful for our band if you want to share this link:

Thank you all!

Black Capricorn, Ira Dei EP (2015)

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Black Capricorn Cover Black Sabbath’s “Solitude,” Post for Free Download

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 2nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Of all the Sabbath songs to take on — and there are so many covers out there, live and studio-recorded — “Solitude” can’t be an easy one. The soft, psychedelic penultimate cut from 1971’s Master of Reality was that album’s answer to “Planet Caravan” sonically, but came from a much more emotional place in terms of its lyrics, lonelier as its title would indicate and the record’s most brooding moment, adding depth to the anger rooted in tracks like “Lord of this World” and “Children of the Grave.” Black Capricorn, who announced a hiatus earlier this summer after releasing their second album, Born under the Capricorn, in March, today posted a studio take on “Solitude” that both echoes their own rich tonality and the original version’s resonant forlornness.

Whether Black Capricorn are off their hiatus or not, they’ve made “Solitude” available as a free download, and as you can see below, Sacred Sword‘s Alessandra Cornacchia guests on flute. I’m a sucker for this song anyway, but they legitimately do it justice and it’s worth checking out, particularly with the video of classic-looking shots of countryside and coast. Hope you dig it:

Black Capricorn, “Solitude” (Black Sabbath cover)

This summer we had some recording session among some brand new songs we have also recorded our version of Solitude by Black Sabbath. This is the very first time we had female vocals and also we’ve guested miss Alessandra Cornacchia (from the band Sacred Sword) playing the flute on it.

Here is the link for a free download of the mp3 track:

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