Dixie Goat Sign to Electric Valley Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

So let’s assume that when Dixie Goat are thinking of the deep South, they mean South America. Based in Santiago, Chile, the doom rocking trio released their debut album, the burly eight-tracker There’s No Light Without Darkness, in Nov. 2020, drawing inspiration of course from Sabbath as well as the likes of Acid Bath — looking at you, “Two Faces” — and a slew of others in their suitably performative doomly rites. The band has been picked up by Electric Valley Records, the label announced, though I’m not sure whether that means There’s No Light Without Darkness will get a physical pressing or if the label will just put out whatever the three-piece do next. For what it’s worth, I think these grooves earn a platter.

If you haven’t yet — and I know you have, because you’re way cooler than I am, but bear with me anyway — you can stream Dixie Goat‘s full-length at the bottom of the post here.

Dig:

dixie goat

Dixie Goat – Electric Valley Records

Electric Valley Records is proud to announce the signing of the Stoner/Doom band… Dixie Goat

DIXIE GOAT was born in Santiago, Chile in 2012, founded by guitarist/singer Nikk Beer & drummer Seb Martinez. The power trio describes their music as a doomy hard rock with Stoner vibes. Since July 2013, the band has shared the stage with Mondo Generator (USA), Ancestro (Perú), Montaña Eléctrica (Argentina) and including some greats from the local scene, such as Yajaira, Hielo Negro, Tabernarios, Icarus Gasoline and Devil Presley, as well as others on the rise such as El Gran Temor, Arteaga, De Piedra, Demonauta, Wild Parade, Nueve Círculos, Diessel , Der Golem, Abisal, Artilleria, to name but a few.

Aside from being constantly playing live shows DIXIE GOAT released one LP, an EP and a Split plus a single: “Black Sun Child” (2015), “Even Demons Have Demons“(2016), “huérfanos Salvajes Split”(2017), What’s Goin’ On (2019). Their new record “There’s No Light Without Darkness” was released on November 6th, 2020.

Stay Tuned.

Dixie Goat are:
Nikk Beer: Vocals, Guitars
KF: Bass
Seb Martinez: Drums

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Dixie Goat, There’s No Light Without Darkness (2020)

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Rise to the Sky Premiere Title-Track of Let Me Drown With You; Album out March 12

Posted in audiObelisk on February 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

rise to the sky

Chilean one-man death-room unit Rise to the Sky will release Let Me Drown With You on March 12 through Russia’s GS Productions. It has not been that long since the project spearheaded by
vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/engineer Sergio Gonzalez Catalan — aka Sergio G. — got its start; the debut album, Moonlight, came out in 2019. Along with a slew of periodically collected singles and two EPs, a second album, Death Will Not Keep Us Apart (discussed here), arrived later in 2020 — it was a good year for self-recording — and Let Me Drown With You will serve as the third full-length now in three years. Obviously there’s plenty of misery to go around, but that’s still an impressive rate for a project with such a lush sound, weeping guitar setting an atmosphere throughout topped by likewise morose growls recalling Paradise Lost of old, but not without a dynamic of their own, as the song “Let Me Drown With You,” premiering below, demonstrates.

Compared to some of what surrounds on the nine-track/54-minute outing, “Let Me Drown With You” might be considered uptempo, but it’s kind of a moot designation. As the album’s two segments play through, there are certainly moments of distinction likerise to the sky let me drown with you the string sounds on “Liebestod,” the is-that-keys-or-guitar amid the ferocious death growls on opener “See Me Fall Down” or the weight that even the acoustic-led interlude “Passion” still seems to bear as the record makes ready to answer the central progression there with the full-brunt complement in “Turn Us into Stone.” Themes of love, life and death pervade in self-aware fashion as Sergio G. uses a graceful hand to guide listeners through the flowing intro to “Leaving This World” and the weighted lumber that takes hold thereafter, while pre-epilogue finale “Bury Me in Your Heart” calls to mind mid-period Amorphis, if slower, in its skillful winding of guitar melody around a central, forward but still contemplative-feeling melody. To be fair, even some of these nuances are emblematic of the genre to which Rise to the Sky is working, but in the combination of elements and particular movements throughout the work, Let Me Drown With you is stirring and consuming without being entirely hopeless.

That last notion might best be represented in the fact that “Transformation (Postlude)” caps the album with a shimmering melody in the vein of later Anathema and not only brings symmetry to the proceedings with “Passion (Interlude)” in ending the first half of the album, but makes a purposefully optimistic turn following so much expression of sorrow. Prolific as Rise to the Sky is, the quantity of material Sergio G. puts out seems to do little to dull the emotional impact of a record like this one — passion to spare, perhaps. All the better, since the sincerity of purpose that seems to drive Let Me Drown With You meets head on with the performative aspects of style, adding heft and impact to each moment of delivery, whether that particular moment is tonally ‘heavy’ or not. Likewise, though as a band Rise to the Sky has come together with some measure of speed — three albums in three years and then some, etc. — the flow constructed across this third full-length’s span is every bit as patient and thoughtfully realized as one would hope for an outfit with two records already under its belt.

With the album out in March, “Let Me Drown With You” follows “Liebestod” as the second single, and can be heard on the player below, followed by preorder links and PR wire info.

Please enjoy:

Rise to the Sky new album “Let Me Drown With You” releases March 12, 2021 through Russian Doom Metal label GS Productions
Preorder CD at https://gsproduction.bandcamp.com/
Preorder Digital at https://risetothesky.bandcamp.com/

“Romance only comes into existence where love is fatal, frowned upon and doomed by life itself” (Denis de Rougemont, 1983).

Conceived in a time of fear and isolation, this album conveys deep reflections about life and death.

This album is released in loving memory of my father, who passed away suddenly on Jan 6, 2021. He was passionate about the people he loved and about everything he did, this music is a clear reflection of our way of life.

Track list:
Chapter I: Life, Dreams, and Passion
1. See Me Fall Down
2. Dream the Pain is Gone
3. Let Me Drown with You
4. Liebestod
5. Passion (Interlude)

Chapter II: Death, Grief, and Transformation
6. Turn Us into Stone
7. Leaving This World
8. Bury Me in Your Heart
9. Transformation (Postlude)

Music and Lyrics by Rise to the Sky
Production, drum composition, mixing and mastering by Filippos Koliopanos
Artwork by Gogo Melone
Special participation by Andreia Alves in: “Let Me Drown with You”
Recorded in Sergio´s Castle. Santiago, Chile

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At Devil Dirt Post Rough Mix “Now Swim in the Soul”

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

A couple crucial learnings from the new At Devil Dirt track as it relates to the promise of an upcoming album. First, the Santiago, Chile, two-piece continue to rule and be righteously heavy. Not unexpected — especially after they unveiled the 12-mintue demo “We are Mapuches” (posted here) earlier this year — but good to know. Second, they found the internet archive of historical anatomy drawings and made the only-ever-correct decision to use it for some cover art. Been there. Third, they’re still making progress as they head toward a new album, which when it surfaces will be their first full-length since 2013’s Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución (review here).

That’s not an insignificant stretch of time between outings, but between the nearly 13 minutes of the prior single and and nearly nine of the new one below, they’ve got about a vinyl side’s worth of material out there, even if it is in unfinished form. “We are Mapuches” was listed as a demo, and “Now Swim in the Soul” is being tagged as a rough mix, so if they’ve moved from that pre-production stage to mixing, that at least means some portion of the proper recording process is done. Enough to have a rough mix of this track, anyhow. What else may or may not be done remains to be seen, but the band say the record will hit Bandcamp sometime in the near future. The fittingly Sleepy central riff and the languid vocal melody in “Now Sleep in the Soul” only bode well for what might follow.

“Now Sleep in the Soul” and “We are Mapuches” can both be streamed below:

at devil dirt now swim in the soul art

A quick mix of the new ADD, listen, comment, support, soon uploads the full album in bandcamp, whoever is interested in this record, we will be delivering download codes only to our compatriots…. those outside who are interested in this record pay for it

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At Devil Dirt, “We are Mapuches”

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Aphonic Threnody Premiere “Interrogation” Lyric Video; The Great Hatred out Oct. 16

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

aphonic threnody

Aphonic Threnody will release their third full-length, The Great Hatred, on Oct. 16 through Transcending Obscurity Records. It is a substantial offering of willful wretchedness, running six tracks and 56 minutes of death-doom malevolence, shifting between passages of beauty-in-darkness brooding and all-out pummeling assault. Recognizable ground for the style, to be sure, but the raw edge with which the UK/Chilean collaboration between multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Juan Esteban Escobar Campillay and guitarist Riccardo Veronese execute the material brings the songs to life in a way that death-doom is often too concerned with poise to encapsulate.

That’s not to say the album is haphazard. Far from it; from opener “Locura” through “Interrogation” and into “The Great Hatred” itself, the album flows on its downward path like blood down a drain, but the human core beneath those growls remains present in a particular way that offsets the angular noise or chug or even just the dirge-plod of the guitars, and in those moments where The Great Hatred pushes into a faster progression, as in the second half of the title-track, setting up a stretch of Katatonia-esque melody, they don’t lose sight of their expressive purpose. With “Locura” setting the stage for an airing of miseries, “Interrogation” follows and centers itself around the question “Does it even matter at all?” — the universe sucks so I’m going to say probably no — and is one of three aphonic threnody the great hatredtracks on the album to top 10 minutes. Make no mistake, however, it’s all a slog and that’s precisely how it’s intended.

For being aphonic — i.e., unable to make noise or be heard — the agonizing elements across The Great Hatred come through palpably, and that’s all the more true as the album plays out. The second half of the release, which is comprised of “Drowning,” “The Rise of the Phoenix” and “The Fall,” would seem to derive a narrative arc from its motive succession, and it’s telling that Aphonic Threnody end on “The Fall,” since that’s pretty emblematic of the level of hope on display across the record generally. “Drowning” plays up My Dying Bride/Paradise Lost-style ambience and “The Rise of the Phoenix” pushes even further (deeper?) into atmospheric murk while solidifying late around an emergent chug and dispersing gradually on a slow outward march.

As for “The Fall,” it’s made lush through both keys and a winding line of lead guitar, but if there’s a sense of hope to the thing, it’s well buried by the consuming weight of Aphonic Threnody‘s unmitigated downerism. Again, this is the point. It’s not like they set out to write pop tunes and wound up asking “What is kindness?/What is happiness?” like they’re encountering the ideas for the first time. The extremity throughout The Great Hatred isn’t just about the parts that are “more death metal.” It’s also the emotional crux on which the record is built, the sense of alienation even from oneself that comes through the material so expertly crafted, and the control with which Campillay and Veronese bring the songs to bear.

I still say death-doom is the perfect sound for 2020. If you disagree, I humbly submit the premiere of a lyric video for “Interrogation” below. Preorders for The Great Hatred are up now.

Enjoy:

Aphonic Threnody, “Interrogation” lyric video premiere

Members of Towards Atlantis Lights, Dea Marica, Arrant Saudade and more collaborate to conjure up the finest kind of death/doom metal that encompasses the best qualities this style has to offer – stirring melodies, heaving riffs, immersive atmosphere, and some of the lowest, most anguished vocals possible alternating with lucid, spoken passages. None of it is overbearing or lingers on for too long as the songs waft through the doom vacuum, making their presence felt and imperceptibly changing something inside the unsuspecting listener. Much happens during the course of the hour and Aphonic Threnody don’t follow a strict formula, leaving things open-ended and unpredictable as they keep changing things around without disrupting the emotional temperament. The Great Hatred makes for an engaging listen and will make you come back to unravel its richly layered and elegantly intertwined compositions. It’s akin to living life all over again. And again.

Line up –
Riccardo Veronese (Towards Atlantis Lights, Dea Marica) – Guitars
Juan Escobar C. (Arrant Saudade) – Vocals, Bass, Guitar & Keys

Artwork by Misanthropic Art (Xpus, Death Courier)

Track listing –
1. Locura
2. Interrogation
3. The Great Hatred
4. Drowning
5. The Rise of the Phoenix
6. The Fall

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Rise to the Sky Stream “When Death Comes”; Death Will Not Keep Us Apart out Oct. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

rise to the sky

What we’re learning here is that when death comes, it won’t keep us apart. It’ll join us. Then maybe we’ll be dancing? I’m not really clear on it, but to be fair, I haven’t heard the whole record. Chilean one-man death-doom outfit Rise to the Sky will make its dystopian-themed full-length debut in October through Moscow-based GS Production with Death Will Not Keep Us Apart, and, well, I continue to maintain that if 2020 has a single sound, it’s death-doom. Well, that or “WAP.” One or the other.

In any case, this one came my way via the PR wire and brought the single “When Death Comes” along, and golly that’s heavy. And lurching. And down. I dig it. As wretched as this year has been, it has produced some glorious doom, and as Rise to the Sky build on two initial EPs — the latest of which arrived in June and both of which are coupled with the album in a limited 2CD digipak — the potential here for longer-term progression is as exciting as the tempo is grueling.

Sign me up:

rise to the sky death will not keep us apart

Rise To The Sky – Death Will Not Keep Us Apart

Atmospheric death doom from Chile – Releases October 9th, 2020

“In a post-apocalyptic world, not long away from now, a couple run away from death, which takes the form of many creatures wandering this devastated world. They run around to many places, trying to avoid death, until they find a high cliff where they would be safe. Unfortunately, only he can make it up, while she is not able to climb up, facing certain death in the open land below the cliff. Upon this dilemma, he looks down the cliff towards his beloved one, and chooses to descend only to face death along her, hoping for eternal life together after they die. This was my dream and it is the inspiration for the album you are about to hear.” – Rise to the Sky

The album was produced along music producer Filippos Koliopanos (Ocean of Grief), who crafted a powerful yet profoundly emotional sound. The cover artwork and booklet were done by design artist Gogo Melone, who translated the music and album concepts into a genuine piece of art.

Tracklisting:
1. From the Distance
2. Pain and Blood
3. Together in the Grave
4. When Death Comes
5. High up Above
6. The Final Choice
7. Death Will Join Us
8. We are not Mourning
9. Dancing in the Dark (Death)

https://www.facebook.com/RIsetotheSkyBand
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https://risetothesky.bandcamp.com/
https://gsproduction.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GSP-Magazine-671740502863277/
http://gsp-music.com/

Rise to the Sky, Death Will Not Keep Us Apart (2020)

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At Devil Dirt Release New Single “We are Mapuches”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Hey, At Devil Dirt. It’s been a while. I like the new logo. New song too? Even better. Don’t mind me, I’ll help myself.

Chilean two-piece At Devil Dirt released their most recent album, Plan B: Sin Revolución no hay Evolución (review here), in 2013 through Bilocation Records/Kozmik Artifactz. In 2015, the band’s rehearsal space was brutally robbed and all their gear stolen. A single followed in 2016 called “Help Us” that was an attempt to begin anew and maybe acquire some funding for new equipment.

It’s been four years. The Mapuche people are indigenous to regions of Chile and the surrounding nations, and as guitarist/vocalist Néstor Ayala explains below, they are a population that has actively worked against colonization for centuries. That struggle continues now as groups battle for things like land rights and official recognition. I won’t claim any expertise on the conflict, but it seems fair enough ground for At Devil Dirt to peruse and a people from whom the band might take inspiration as they continue their own trials.

“We are Mapuches” runs 12 minutes — because if you haven’t done a new song in four years, make it count — and has a psych-drone feel to it that’s distinct from the tone-forward riffing that defined much of the band’s past work. What this will lead to, if anything, I haven’t a clue, but as it had been so long, I was just glad to see they had something new together. My initial reaction to the Bandcamp email is right there in the first line on this post. True reportage.

Here’s the release info:

at devil dirt we are mapuches

AT DEVIL DIRT – WE ARE MAPUCHES

Araucaria forest,
… A calm lake and the mountain range,
closed off by the immensity of the landscape.
Here lives a kind of human being in perfect
balance of wisdom,
the way of living the land, the natural order
Man above things

We Are mapuches

How can I explain to people why I should be
proud of the mapuches
Epic Poem they are, noble people, high sense
of human dignity and freedom…

The have have resisted 4 centuries defending their land…

released June 23, 2020
Nestor Ayala

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At Devil Dirt, “We are Mapuches”

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Apostle of Solitude, King Heavy & Quicksand Dream Members Collaborate for Multinational “Under the Sun”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

under the sun jam

You already know that doom knows no national borders, so maybe it’s not such a surprise that dudes in on three different continents would come together virtually to pay homage to the masters and arguable inventors of the form. Frontman Göran Jacobson of Sweden’s Quicksand Dream, guitarist Matías Aguirre and bassist Daniel Perez Saa of Chile’s King Heavy and drummer Corey Webb of Apostle of Solitude have done precisely that, collaborating on a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Under the Sun” that falls into an emerging lockdown-era genre of Zoom collaborations, some of which have managed to go viral in that have-media-company-marketing-backing kind of way. It’s a sad state of affairs that bands can’t get together and jam in person, in a room, but maybe this is some kind of consolation, and in the before-times — the long-long ago — this kind of thing probably wouldn’t have happened nearly as often as it’s happening now, so not only is it a marker of the time, it’s something positive to come out of a worldwide plague. Those seem to be pretty rare.

I’ll assume if you’re here you know the original. “Under the Sun” closed Black Sabbath‘s 1972 outing, Vol. 4, which is about as landmark as a doom record gets without being Master of Reality. Yes, the song is a treasure, and yes, they give it its due. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Corey Webb play drums in a live setting, I won’t call this an outright replacement for that experience — particularly as he takes such relish in slower tempos and “Under the Sun” swings pretty quick — but it’s a nice reminder of why one shows up for such a thing when the opportunity presents itself. I miss shows. Volume. Oof.

Anyway, I have no idea how these dudes know each other — some fest? — but the video is cool and if you need a reminder that good things are still happening as you watch the death toll creep up here and there around the world (USA! USA!), it should more than serve to give at least a few minutes respite.

Enjoy:

Matías Aguirre, Göran Jacobson, Daniel Perez Saa & Corey Webb, “Under the Sun”

Isolated in their homes due to this global pandemic and separated by oceans and thousands of miles between their primary bands’ respective home bases, doom metal musicians from three separate continents connect virtually to bang out a cover of the Black Sabbath classic “Under the Sun”.

While current restrictions prevent rehearsals with their existing bands, Matías Aguirre (guitar; King Heavy, Mourners Lament; Suffering Dusk; The Ancient Doom; hailing from Chile), Göran Jacobson (vocals; Quicksand Dream; hailing from Sweden), Daniel Perez Saa (bass; King Heavy; Marchafunebre; Infernal Thorns; Mortajas; hailing from Chile), and Corey Webb (drums, Apostle of Solitude; hailing from the US) make the most of this quarantine time by finding ways to keep the fires of Doom burning

Special thanks to Matias for the Mix, and very very special thanks to my super friend Johnny Verdugo, Jotun por the video!!!

IN DOOM WE TRUST!!!

TAKE CARE

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Quarterly Review: Russian Circles, War Cloud, Here Lies Man, Book of Wyrms, Möyhy-Veikot, Darsombra, Set Fire, Jesus the Snake, Föllakzoid, Dresden Wolves

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Had to take a second this morning to get my email back under 100 unread. It currently stands at 95. There’s just something about being in triple digits that I can’t stand. Press releases and stuff I can usually file right away since not everything’s relevant to the site, etc., but that’s all stuff that either wants follow-up or could be a factor here if there was time. I do my best to try to keep up. And I fail, consistently.

The tradeoff, of course, is I spend that time writing reviews and other stuff for the site. Today’s hump day when we pass the halfway mark of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, and we’re doing it in absolutely all-over-the-place style, so all the better. Some pretty familiar names today, but some that might not be as well, so whatever your poison, I hope you enjoy the picking.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Russian Circles, Blood Year

russian circles blood year

There’s simply no denying the force behind the depths and swell of a song like “Kohokia” on Russian Circles‘ latest offering, Blood Year (Sargent House), and though one knows what to expect to some degree from the Chicago heavy post-rockers at this point in their career, they seem to be doing all they can to deliver their instrumental progressions with energy to match the breadth of the spaces and the heft they conjure. Like 2016’s Guidance (review here), the seven-track/39-minute Blood Year — was recorded with Kurt Ballou, whom the trio imported to their hometown to work at Electrical Audio (aka Steve Albini‘s stomping ground) instead of traveling to Massachusetts to track at Ballou‘s Godcity. If it was the long-famed drum sound of Electrical Audio that they wanted and the live feel that so many of the recordings done there have, they got both, so mark it a success and another notch in the belt of one of the heavy underground’s most immersive and evocative outfits. Their building and releasing of tension is second to none and moves into the spiritual by the time they even get to side B, let alone through it.

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Sargent House website

 

War Cloud, State of Shock

war cloud state of shock

Oh, the riffs you’ll gallop. Oakland, California’s War Cloud skirt the line between classic thrash and heavy rock and roll on their second album for Ripple Music, State of Shock, and from the sound of things, they have a good time doing it. The record’s not much over a half-hour long, which is as it should be for this kind of party, and they toy a bit with the balance between their two sides on a rocker like “Do Anything” or the subsequent “Means of Your Defeat” on side B, but the main crux of State of Shock and certainly the impression it makes off the bat with “Striker” and “White Lightning” up front ahead of the six-minute that-moment-when-ThinLizzy-turned-into-IronMaiden “Dangerous Game” is one of homage to the metal of yore, and in following-up the band’s 2017 self-titled debut (review here), it’s a showcase of energy and craft alike as two guitars shred, chug, groove and charge through the material. If they were from the Eastern Seaboard, I’d say something about getting caught in a mosh. As it stands, I’ll go with urging you to jump in the fire instead. Horns up, either way.

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Ripple Music website

 

Here Lies Man, No Ground to Walk Upon

here lies man no ground to walk upon

They should’ve just called it an album. Yeah, it would be short at 26 or so minutes, but it’s got everything you’d want from a full-length, and if they’d put a four-minute jam or something on it, they’d have been there anyhow. In any case, Los Angeles’ Afrobeat-infused heavy psych rockers Here Lies Man present seven tracks of dug-in glory with No Ground to Walk Upon (on RidingEasy), continuing to build on the potential shown across their first two LPs, 2017’s self-titled debut (review here) and last year’s You Will Know Nothing (review here), even as they swagger their way through a groove like “Long Legs (Look Away)” and show their continued forward potential. They continue to be a special band — the kind of band who doesn’t just come along every day and who shouldn’t be overlooked during their time, because maybe they’ll be around 30 years and maybe they won’t, but what they’re doing now is bringing something wholly individual to a heavy context. They’ve already proven influential to some degree, but listening to No Ground to Walk Upon cuts like the dream-keyed “Iron Rattles” and the opening strut-into-drone of “Clad in Silver,” one wonders if they wouldn’t be more so if people weren’t too afraid to try to pull this thing off. Hard to argue with that, since more likely than not most couldn’t.

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RidingEasy Records website

 

Book of Wyrms, Remythologizer

Book of Wyrms Remythologizer

I won’t take anything away from the eight-minute “Blacklight Warpriest” earlier in the offering, but the highlight of Book of Wyrms‘ second album, Remythologizer (on Twin Earth & Stoner Witch Records) has to be the closing “Dust Toad,” which at 9:25 is the longest track and the slowest crawl included. Led into by the synth-infused “Curse of the Werecop,” it takes the crunch that showed itself through opener “Autumnal Snow” and, later, the melody and swing of “Undead Pegasus” — as seen on the cover art — and brings them together in order to perfectly summarize the doom rocking ethic the Richmond, Virginia, four-piece are working from. Tonally righteous and more solvent in their songwriting than they were on their 2017 debut, Sci-Fi/Fantasy (review here), the band sound assured as they move in “Spirit Drifter” from a standout keyboard line to a likewise standout guitar solo, giving a feeling of progressive nuance that’s continuing to take hold in their sound, balanced by the underlying naturalism of their approach. That dynamic continues to duke it out on Remythologizer, much to the benefit of anyone who takes the record on.

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Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Stoner Witch Records BigCartel store

 

Möyhy-Veikot, Huume Jet Set Life

moyhy-veikot huume jet set life

Too weird for planet earth and, well, probably too weird for anywhere else too, Helsinki psych-space-kraut-whathaveyou experimentalists issue their third tape in the form of Huume Jet Set Life and whether it’s the cosmo-jamming on “MITÄ ON TULLUT VEDETTYÄ?” or the who-the-hell-knows-what-ism of “MEDIA-AJOJAHTI 2000,” the band at no point fail to make an impression of being out there in the far gone far out there reaches of the far out there. Talkin’ freaked out next level total, like the cassette just fell into the atmosphere to represent some other planet’s culture where things are both dangerous and interesting and you never really know if you’re going to get laid or eaten or both. Still, they may be doing math of the likes not yet conceived by humanity, but Möyhy-Veikot go about it in suitably friendly if totally over-the-top fashion, and it’s fun to play along while also being completely overwhelmed at the various pushes and pulls happening all at once, the media samples and the Windows 95 compatibility of it all. It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for disco.

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Möyhy-Veikot on Bandcamp

 

Darsombra, Transmission

Darsombra Transmission

It’s just lovely. Really. In some ways it feels like the 41:20 single-track full-length Transmission — self-released, no less — is what Baltimore ambient exploratory two-piece Darsombra have been building toward all along, but I think the truth is they probably could’ve done this at any time if they’d chosen to do so. Still, the fluidity of “Transmission” itself is something special, with its cascades of manipulated voice, riffs that swell and recede, loops, synth and somehow-manifested light that are as much immersion for the spirit as the eardrum. One doesn’t want to dive too deep into hyperbole and oversell it to the point of dulling the listener’s own impression, but Transmission is the kind of record that even those who profess to never “get” drone or noise offerings can engage with. Part of that is owed to Brian Daniloski‘s guitar, which provides landmarks along the path of swirl conjured by his own effects and the synth from Ann Everton (both add vocals where applicable; don’t look for lyrics or verses) that allow those who’d take it on to do so more easily. But the real joy in Transmission is letting go and allowing the piece to carry you along its progressive course, genuine in its reaching for the unknown. Plus there’s a gong, and that’s always fun too. Go with it.

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Darsombra on Bandcamp

 

Set Fire, Traya

set fire traya

Traya is the third three-song full-length from Boston’s Set Fire, and it would seem that, and in addition to marking the last recording to feature drummer Rob Davol, who’s since been replaced by Josh Cronin, it would seem to show the three-piece nailing their sound of classic-tinged duet-fronted heavy rock and roll. With two powerhouse vocalists on board in guitarist Jim Healey (We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai, etc.) and keyboardist Jess Collins (ex-Mellow Bravo), they work in varying arrangements across a meager 12-minute run that feels short mostly because it is short. Too short. “Any Place Left” puts Collins in the foreground, while “Sacred Song” is more Healey‘s, and unsurprisingly to anyone who’s experienced their past work either together or separate, they’re more than able to carry the material — only more so with the other party backing. “Waves” brings them together around theatrical layers of piano and keyboard and guitar, and that they manage to hold it steady at all, let alone take flight as it does, speaks to how ready they are to embark on a longer offering. Put out an album, already, would ya?

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Set Fire on Bandcamp

 

Jesus the Snake, Black Acid, Pink Rain

Jesus the Snake Black Acid Pink Rain

For those feeling adventurous, Portugal’s Jesus the Snake follow-up their 2017 self-titled EP (review here) with the unmitigated warmth of Black Acid, Pink Rain, their live-recorded full-length debut. And for the sort of heavy psych-jazz-prog meandering, one would almost expect the organ-laced instrumentalist four-piece to track the record as they perform it, if not front-to-back then certainly one song at a time across multiple takes. Not one piece of the five total on the 49-minute offering is under eight minutes long, and sandwiched between opener “Karma” (10:28) and the closing title-track (10:55) are three cuts circa nine that prove no less hypnotic. The beginning of “Floyds I” is so fluid with the interplay of organ and guitar that one almost expects a gentle Portuguese spoken word verse to start, but of course one never does. Instead, Jesus the Snake complement mindful drift with flashes of more weighted or active fare, all the while holding to a central vibe that is peaceful even as “Duna” finds its chill before the halfway point, with no loss of spirit in the process.

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Jesus the Snake on Bandcamp

 

Föllakzoid, I

follakzoid i

As with any kind of sonic minimalism or release based around trance induction — see Darsombra above — there’s a certain amount of buy-in that needs to happen on the listener’s side. Accordingly, those going into the fourth LP from Chilean duo Föllakzoid, titled I and issued through Sacred Bones Records as a double-vinyl, should be aware that it’s requires that kind of interaction from one side to the other. It’s not especially loud or abrasive, or even demanding in terms of the basic sonics of the thing, but as “I” becomes “II” becomes “III” becomes “IIII” and the songs such as they are alternate between 17- and 13-minute runtimes and the blend of effects and electro beats tips to one side or the other — “II” with a fervent ‘ump-tis’ in its early going while “III” brings a more Vangelis-style cinematic wash — of course there’s an ask in terms of indulgence happening on the part of the two-piece to their audience. Whether an individual is willing to make that jump is obviously going to be up to their headspace and where they’re at, but Föllakzoid‘s work here is more than worth the investment, even for those less familiar with their methods.

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Sacred Bones Records website

 

Dresden Wolves, Hiedra – Sencillo

dresden wolves Hiedra Sencillo

The sub-three-minute “Hiedra – Sencillo” is the latest in an ongoing series of digital offerings from Mexico City’s Dresden Wolves, and though the two-piece band bill themselves as post-punk and they may actually have a history in playing punk rock — stranger things have happened, certainly — the song finds them working in a taut heavy rock context, brash in delivery but not overly so as to lose the overarching swagger they seem intent on conveying. Particularly as it follows behind two EPs and a swath of other single tracks, and is offered name-your-price through their Bandcamp, “Hiedra – Sencillo” feels like its most nefarious aim is to hook anyone who’d click play on first listen and try and keep them intrigued for next time out. Fair enough. I won’t profess to know what Dresden Wolves‘ plans are, but they’ve got songwriting in their pocket and the production on “Hiedra – Sencillo” is crisp and clear enough to convey the heft of the guitar but not so much so as to dull its rawer aspects. They’ve got the balance ready to go, whatever they might choose to do with it from here.

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Dresden Wolves on Bandcamp

 

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