Ivory Primarch Sign to Cursed Monk Records; Debut Album Due in November

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Well, today I learned what Warhammer 40,000 is. Kind of. It was part of an attempt to search out an origin for the word “primarch,” as in the moniker of Melbourne, Australia’s Ivory Primarch, who are newly signed to Cursed Monk Records for the release this Fall of their debut album, As All Life Burns. There’s a track up now from the album streaming at the bottom of this post.

If you’ve never watched the video of the LSD experiment on William Millarc (also discussed here) from which the sample that opens this song is taken, I can only recommend it. Certainly the track that ensues offers its fair share of shifting realities as well, harsh as those may be. Aus sludge doesn’t fuck around, as history has shown.

The PR wire has info:

ivory primarch

Cursed Monk Records are thrilled to announce that we will be working with Australian based Ivory Primarch on the release of their debut album “As All Life Burns.”

Ivory Primarch is the BrainChild of Songwriter/Bassist Elzevir. Through reflecting on solitude, pleasure, misery, excess, loss, space, reality and legacy, Elzevir attempts to explore and bring to light feelings of these concepts through Ivory Primarch’s oppressive and funeral dirge like compositions, flavoured with tinges of sludge and psychedelia.

Vorador takes the reins on vocals and lyrical arrangement. Telling stories of the people, beasts and places that personify the concepts, ideas, visions plaguing Elzevir’s mind.

Coming 3 years after the demo “Rituals of Excess” “As All Life Burns” is the first full length album from Ivory Primarch portraying and bringing forth the Representation of Elzevir’s wild envisionment.

“As All Life Burns” will be released in November with preorders beginning in September.

In the meantime you can head to the bands bandcamp and check out the track “The Masque”
https://ivoryprimarch.bandcamp.com/track/the-masque

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Ivory Primarch, “The Masque”

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Nomadic Rituals Premiere “Them” Video; Tides out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Nomadic Rituals

Look. I don’t know the cats from Belfast trio Nomadic Rituals at all. I was fortunate enough to see the band in Dublin in 2017 (review here), but it’s not like we hung out after the show or anything. Point is, for all I know, baritone guitarist/vocalist Peter Hunter (also synth), bassist/vocalist Craig Carson and drummer Mark Smyth could be absolute sweethearts — really nice guys. But their sound is nasty as fuck.

Crushing, wrenching, slow-motion-grinding atmospheric sludge is writ all across the feels-longer-than 45 minutes of their third full-length, Tides, released earlier this month through respected Irish purveyor Cursed Monk Records. The follow-up to 2017’s likewise gruesome Marking the Day (review here), the six-song Tides gives the listener hints in how to approach it in how it leads off. While it begins with an initial onslaught of noise meant to symbolize the ‘launch’ in the title of opener/longest track (immediate points) “Cassini-Huygens Part 1 (The Launch),” what builds up over the next few minutes from there is gradual, recalling some of We Lost the Sea‘s Challenger-themed post-rock, if in immediately heavier fashion.Nomadic Rituals Tides Shortly before three and a half minutes in, however, the switch is flipped and the thicker chug arrives, followed shortly thereafter by the harsh, barking vocals that will pervade much of what follows, adding to the extremity of the band’s approach overall.

But it’s in the pairing of “Cassini-Huygens Part 1 (The Launch)” and the subsequent “Cassini-Huygens Part 2 (Last Transmission)” that Tides tells you how to read it. Of course it splits in half to accommodate vinyl with three songs on two sides, but if you’re listening, say, digitally, it also functions as three sets of two songs each. You get the “Cassini-Huygens” duology named for the mission to study Saturn, and you get “Them” and Tumulus” paired, the one ending in silence, the other picking up from it, and you get the slow-building “Moving Towards Total Disorganization” feeding into closer “The Burden” — more than just an intro, but certainly complementary in how it rolls out, ending quiet and giving way to the more immediate low-end pulsations of the finale. Nomadic Rituals by no means go out of their way to make moves toward accessibility — even unto the depths of “The Burden,” they are ferocious, shifting between angular churn and sample-laced noise, only to end with scathing layers of feedback — but with a different understanding of how Tides might be intended to work, the perspective shifts accordingly, and the immersion that is so well enacted by the songs becomes even more vital.

However you go through Tides, one should be aware of the undertow that comes with the trio’s lumbering oscillations. That is to say, the album is one that does not blink as it pulls the listener into its sphere, at once broad and spacious and crushing and freezing the way one thinks of vacuum affecting lungs; gorgeous and destructive in kind.

You’ll find the Bandcamp stream of the full release down toward the bottom of the post, and I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the video for “Them” below.

However you approach, please enjoy:

Nomadic Rituals, “Them” official video premiere

Nomadic Rituals are a heavy 3-piece Sludge/Doom band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Formed in July 2012 by Craig Carson, Peter Hunter, and Mark Smyth, the band started writing and gigging, when they released 3 self-recorded tracks that became their demo “DFWG”. This was followed up with the recording of a full-length album in late March 2013 with Niall Doran at Start Together Studios, Belfast. Released in September of that year, “Holy Giants” garnered a number of very positive reviews.

Gigging continued after release of the album, and the increasing attention received by the band opened up opportunities for shows further afield. Writing also continued, and the band returned to Start Together Studios to work with Niall Doran on the recording of “The Great Dying”. This was released in late February 2015 as a split 12″ vinyl along with fellow local Doom band Tome.

Further gigging and a lengthy period of writing followed, after which the band returned to Start Together Studio to record their second full length album ‘Marking the Day’ in late March 2016. As with the first two releases, the artwork and packaging for the new album was created, designed and screen printed by the band themselves. ‘Marking the Day’ was released in February 2017.once again to critical acclaim.

After several gigs in countries such as Denmark, Norway and Lithuania the band return with their third album ‘Tides’ which was released on CD, Cassette, and Digital Download on the 8th of January 2021 through Cursed Monk Records.

Craig Carson – Bass Guitar / Vocals
Peter Hunter – Baritone Guitar / Vocals / Synth
Mark Smyth – Drums / Percussion

Nomadic Rituals, Tides (2021)

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TOOMS Premiere “One Ton Soup”; The Orb Offers Massive Signals out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on July 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tooms

Limerick, Ireland’s TOOMS will release their debut album, The Orb Offers Massive Signals, this Friday, July 17, through Cursed Monk Records. The acronym-monikered three-piece have already unveiled a couple tracks from the offering, as one will, but as the (I assume) last piece to a densely-weighted riffy puzzle, they offer the fitting summary “One Ton Soup,” and as you’ll probably expect given the context of the band’s name, the song’s title, the label putting it out and just about everything else up to the looks on their faces in their press photo, it’s rather heavy. They call it “thicc” and I’m not inclined to argue.

Something else “One Ton Soup” does, though is blend styles in some unexpected ways. The angularity of the opening progression, for example, and the manner in which it gives way to lurching extremity, the overarching weight seeming to rumble in the high end as well as the low, the whole thing sounding fierce and lurching with samples behind, obscured by the next round of pummeling that soon begins. The song runs seven minutes total, so it’s not a minor sampling by any means of the 10 track offering — though I’ll admit to no small amount of curiosity to hear tooms the orb offers massive signals“Megalobong,” especially given their stated affinity for earlier Mastodon — and as “One Ton Soup” breaks at its halfway point to crashes and snare march (and samples), the procession feels all the more extreme-sludge for its sense of militarism; the song almost sounds like it’s beating itself with itself. Like if you were to self-flagellate by slapping your own face, but with the riff.

Is it massive? Well it’s frickin’ called “One Ton Soup,” so yes thank you very much it is. A quiet line of Fender Rhodes comes in to finish, kind of out of nowhere, but the distorted underpinning remains, and the landscape over which TOOMS just marched for the last three and a half minutes of the track is duly flattened. I don’t know what happens when “Krokodil Den” takes hold as the next track on The Orb Offers Massive Signals, but I know listening to “One Ton Soup” makes me curious to find out, so I suppose that’s one reason to roll out the ol’ ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner, if you needed one.

Preorders are up now through Cursed Monk‘s Bandcamp, from which the following player also comes, bringing the premiere of “One Ton Soup.”

Before I turn you over to the music, I’d like to extend thanks to the band for the thought and detail and personality they put into the quote about it. Sometimes you ask a band for a quote about a song and they give you a half-sentence that equates to “duh we wrote it dude.” Fair enough, but it’s clear TOOMS took the time to really give some background — right down to the lyrics and the gear they used — and it is appreciated.

Enjoy the track:

TOOMS on “One Ton Soup”:

With “One Ton Soup” we basically tried to write the nastiest, heaviest choon possible at that time.

The intro was 100% inspired by High On Fire’s “Hung Drawn and Quartered.” The rest of the song? Not sure exactly where it came from, just carved itself out of the stratosphere by jamming, and we managed to stumble upon these riffs.

There is a chord in the slowed down part that we call the Lamb of God chord, and the main part of the song, in hindsight, was probably inspired by “Mother Puncher”-era Mastodon. There is also that black metal tremolo part before the thicc crushing S L O W outro, so we were certainly drawing from many different influences.

We actually recorded the drums for this way before we did guitars, and did this strange slow-down-speed-up thing with the drums during the bridge between main riff sections with vocals. It was super hard to recreate on guitar, and just didn’t seem right, so we chopped the drums a little for that part to make it feel less stumbling, and because of that it gives it a little feel of industrial/electronic music, which was totally a happy accident.

The guitars are layered much on the whole album with many many pedals, from wah-pedals cocked all the way down and drowned in distortion, to filter pedals mangled with custom built fuzz pedals,(“The Sodomizer” being a aptly named one) But on this particular song, the guitar tone is mostly just coming from overdriven amp distortion. Used a modded Bugera head that’s basically a Fender Bassman, and a Jch50 on the overdrive channel. Layered em both, used a 2×12 cab with celestions in it, and boom, TONE.

Our sound engineer and recording genius Chris also came up with some great ideas, one of which being to vari-speed the guitars; which is basically, play the riff twice as fast, record that, then slow it back to its written speed and pitch correct it. It gives a dragging, lumbering feel (have probably got that way wrong, but that is the jist). Chris also played all the nasty bubbling sounds that you can hear beneath the riffs during the bridge. He also followed the guitar’s melody line during the outro and played the Fender Rhodes that fades in and takes the song to a whole new level, which was a collective idea that stemmed from many hours together in little rooms making guitars sound horrible.

The sample just before the outro kicks into full gear is taken from Black Dynamite, just to remind us all that metal can be heavy as fuck, but doesn’t need to be super serious all the time (Looking at you death metal).

Vocal and lyrical wise, it’s a song basically about soup that drinks you and follows the description of you (the listener) becoming used as an ingredient in the Devil’s broth, and describes in detail all the gross ways in which you are dismantled and turned into a human crouton.

It had originally just been the first couple of lines repeated over and over. But on the day of tracking the vocals, it didn’t seem right or do the music justice, so the vocals were written as they were being tracked. As far as the vocal delivery is concerned, it was very much “vocals as an instrument” kind of approach. We thought about putting more vocals on the outro, but felt like it just didn’t need any there, it felt complete and once the Rhodes melody was added, we knew it was done.

Lyrics:
One. One tone. One. Tone soup burns you.
Burns. Boils teeth. Melts. Gums and scalds lips.
You. You chose. The. Special of the day.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death broth drinks you.
Wake. Wake up. Wake. Wake up in wok.
Now. Now your. Now. Now you’re sautéed.
Shaved. And skinned. Hung. You been bleed dry.
Blow. It’s hot. Blow. Or tongue get sore.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death broth bubbles.
One. One tone. One. Tone soup drank you.
Your. Your blood. Your. Blood and guts gone.
Hot. Hot oils. Skin. Crispy garnish.
Taste. Taste good. Hu. Hu-man hot pot.
Devil. Devil chef. Serve. You soup on plate.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death rules world

TOOMS are:
Drums, gong – Kieran ‘Slippy Fingers’ AKA ‘Chodo Baggins’ AKA ‘The Wobbler’ Grace
Bass – Anto ‘The Wizard’ AKA ‘Farmer Arms’ AKA ‘Old Man’ AKA ‘Coldplay’ Donnellan
Guitar, vocals – Alex ‘The Riffsmiff AKA Big Slim(e) AKA The Vanilla Gorilla’ AKA ‘Half-Bar’ Hölzinger

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TOOMS on Bandcamp

Cursed Monk Records website

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The Mountain King Release Wicked Zen CD on Cursed Monk Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

With pieces of the album recorded in the US, Venezuela, Germany and Greece, it’s no wonder that The Mountain King‘s debut long-player, Wicked Zen, carries a marked sense of stylistic scope. The album has been snagged by Irish imprint Cursed Monk Records for a limited release on CD, and by “limited” I mean there are 50 copies on the band’s Bandcamp and the label’s Bandcamp, and that’s it. I’m not even sure if that’s 50 total or 50 each, but either way, it’s not a lot. 50 though is more than the handmade first-edition special book/CD version of the album the band put out themselves on CD, which was 33 copies, though there was also a digipak pressing that had 66 copies. Okay, so maybe add that all up and it comes out to “still pretty limited.”

There’s a tape, too. 66 copies.

I have no idea — how would I? — how many copies of any or all of these there are left, but the difference near as I can tell with the Cursed Monk version of Wicked Zen is it has two bonus tracks. That right there makes it worth chasing down in my book, whatever other options may coincide with it. And I’m not trying to spend your money or anything, but no one ever said you had to stick to one, either

I cobbled the following together from various announcements and whatnot:

The Mountain King Wicked Zen

CURSED MONK RECORDS – THE MOUNTAIN KING – WICKED ZEN

SURPRISE RELEASE!!! (We told you we had something cool planned.)

Cursed Monk Records would like to welcome The Mountain King to the cult!

The Mountain King play a heady mix of psychedelia tinged, mediative funeral doom. It is an awe inspiring sound!

Their album “Wicked Zen” is available from our store now on CD and DD. Recorded by The Mountain King in Germany, USA, Venezuela and Greece. Check it out below.

The band says: “The great Cursed Monk Records and we crossed paths and thus came into being an extended version of Wicked Zen with 2 bonus tracks and an exclusive artwork by Steffen and myself. We’re really stoked about all this, honestly.”

The Mountain King are:
Eric McQueen: Guitars, Bass, Theremin, Hammond, Synths, Vocals, Lyrics
Frank Gr’mbarth Dillschnitter: Additional guitar
Daniel Gallardo: Drums
Manuel El Churro Churión: Sitar
Yorgos Mourkousis: Saz

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The Mountain King, Wicked Zen (2020)

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Days of Rona: Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records

Posted in Features on April 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

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

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

Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records

Days of Rona: Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records (Galway, Ireland)

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

We’re doing OK. We’ve stopped mailing orders for a few weeks as we are limiting going outside as much as possible. We have made our entire digital catalog free so hopefully this will help folks while away the hours of isolation. We’ve also started up a podcast (The Cursed Cast) which will highlight some of our favourite labels and the excellent acts they put out. So again, hopefully this will help people pass the time. Health-wise, we’re fine. We both came down with a cold the first week, which ramped up the paranoia as we’re both high risk. But thankfully it passed. We also had to postpone our wedding, but that’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We’re in lockdown at the moment, so you have to stay at home except to buy food, care for vulnerable people, do work deemed essential or briefly exercise within 2km (1.2 miles) of home. When you are out you have to adhere to social distancing. The state has deployed hundreds of extra police on the streets and passed laws to enforce the restrictions – violators can be arrested, fined €2,500 ($2715) and jailed for six months.

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

We live in a small town in the West of Ireland, the community seem to be taking this very seriously which is great. Ireland as a whole seems to be doing its best and giving the situation the gravity it deserves. Plus, comparatively to other countries, it’s not too bad here yet. The Government has taken the proper steps, you can get a test if you need to, and there’s plenty of food on the shelves. I think it’s much scarier for Amanda (Cursed Monk Records co-founder, Rodge’s Fiancee) as her whole family lives in the States.

Music-wise, I can see the community coming together and helping each other through. It’s a beautiful thing. Times are hard, but we will come out the other side.

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

I want people to take this very seriously. Wash your hands. Give people space if you absolutely have to go out. If you’re wearing protective gloves or homemade masks, please learn how to use them properly. But most of all, if you are not working on the front lines or in essential services, just stay at home. It’s easy. There’s endless entertainment online, in books, around the house, in your own head. Plus, the world is more connected than it has ever been. If you need to talk to someone, jump online or pick up the phone. There’s no excuse.

As for our situation as a label, I want people to know that we are not going anywhere, and we will strive to keep releasing dark musical esoterica from the underground.

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Nocturnal Convocation to Release Mors Omnia Solvit on Cursed Monk Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

‘Italian necro doom,’ huh? Yeah, I’ll check that out. Nocturnal Convocation aren’t quite what I’d expect though when it comes to actually listening. I was thinking standard fog-laced cultistry perhaps with a Paul Chain flourish, but actually hearing “Capitulum II,” it sure sounds a lot like black metal. Enough so that I went back and made sure I had clicked the right link. And looking at the art? Yeah, that kind of looks like it could be black metal. And the whole anonymous-band-unnamed-songs-releasing-on-the-darkest-night-of-the-year thing? Well, that could definitely be black metal too.

I think this one might just be black metal. At least in the one song, if not the full record. I don’t know what might be going on elsewhere with it as yet.

Where does the line draw between one style and another? What is to be gained by transgressing one genre for another? I’m nerdy for these questions, and I know not everyone is, but if you might be, it’s something to think about what you check out the song in the video below. Seems like the band might just be one guy, but whatever/whoever/however many, it’s pretty nasty stuff.

Dig:

nocturnal-convocation-Mors-Omnia-Solvit

Cursed Monk Records are thrilled to announce that we will be releasing Nocturnal Convocation’s debut album “Mors Omnia Solvit.”

This mysterious Italian Necro Doom band has entered a pact with one another to not disclose their photos, nor information about their members, nor even information about the lyrics of their songs. Their ritualistic necro doom speaks for itself.

Mors Omnia Solvit will be released on CD and DD during the Winter Solstice, December 21st, when night is at its longest.

You can check out a video for “Capitulum II” which is the first track to be released from the album, here.

“Mors Omnia Solvit” is available for preorder here: https://cursedmonk.bandcamp.com/album/mors-omnia-solvit

Tracklisting:
1. Capitulum I
2. Capitulum II
3. Capitulum III
4. Capitulum IV
5. Capitulum V
6. Capitulum VI

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Quarterly Review: Salem’s Bend, Motorpsycho, Sigils, Lord Dying, Sunn O))), Crimson Heat, Molior Superum, Moros, Glitter Wizard, Gourd

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

quarterly-review

Today is Tuesday, I’m pretty sure, and hey, that’s nifty. I thought yesterday kicked off the Summer 2019 Quarterly Review really well, and any time I get through one of these without my head caving in on itself, I feel like that’s a victory, so yeah. Now we wade even deeper into what will ultimately be a 60-review plunge, with another 10 offerings of various stripes and takes on heavy. Some higher profile stuff in here, which is fine, I guess, but most of it is pretty recent, so if there’s something you haven’t heard yet, I hope you find something you dig, as always.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Salem’s Bend, Supercluster

salems bend supercluster

This is the sound of a band who’ve figured it out. Salem’s Bend have taken retroist boogie and modern tonalism, production and melody and turned it into something of their own. Supercluster (on Ripple) follows the Los Angeles trio of guitarist/vocalist Bobby Parker, bassist/vocalist Kevin Schofield and drummer Zach Huling‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), and with an uptick in the complexity of songwriting overall and particularly in the arrangements of dual-vocals, it is a marked step forward palpable as much in the hook of “Ride the Night” — and if you’re gonna call a song that, you better bring it — as the heavy crash ending “Heavenly Manna” and the languid, lucidly dreaming groove in “Infinite Horizon,” which appears ahead of the acoustic hidden track “Beltaine Chant.” That won’t be the last time these guys unplug, but whether it’s the raw Zeppelin vibe of “Show Me the Witch” or the crunching low-end nod of “Thinking Evil” or the leadoff thrust in “Spaceduster,” the message is clear that Salem’s Bend have arrived.

Salem’s Bend on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music webstore

 

Motorpsycho, The Crucible

motorpsycho the crucible

The latest in Motorpsycho‘s nigh-on-impossible-to-chart and ever-growing discography is The Crucible, issued through Stickman Records, and taking some of the heavy rock push of 2017’s The Tower (review here) and stretching out to more willfully progressive execution across three increasingly extended tracks. Running from shortest to longest, the album begins with “Psychotzar” (8:44) which resolves itself in maddening turns after fleshing through an energetic beginning, and rounds out side A with the 11-minute “Lux Aeterna,” with vocal harmonies and mellotron building into a graceful swell of volume before a headspinner solo and jam take hold, break to near-silence and finish in a burst of directly earliest-King Crimson majesty. This all before the 20:51, side B-consuming title-track crashes in with immediate tension and plays back and forth at releasing that through a course that is rife with melody and an emphasis on the mastery of Motorpsycho over their sound and direction. Onto the list of the year’s best records it goes.

Motorpsycho on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Sigils, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves

Sigils You Built the Altar You Lit the Leaves

Hypnotic and immersive heavy post-rock and metal becomes the genre tag well enough, but what New York’s Sigils do on their markedly impressive self-recorded, self-released debut album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves, is more soulful and emotive than “post-” anything generally conveys. With four tracks/38 minutes best taken as a whole, single listening experience, the band offer resonant depths of tone and vocal echoes centered around airy but still weighted guitar and consuming rhythms brought to bear with the patience of an organic Jesu. The ultimate triumph is in the melody and payoff of 13-plus-minute closer “The Wicked, the Cloaked,” which seems to manifest the haunting sensibility that “Samhain” and “Ritual” advocate on side A, but neither will I discount the chug of the prior “Faceless” or the underlying churn in those two leadoff tracks. Especially as a first album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves casts a sonic identity for itself that is striking and sees the band already beginning to push themselves forward. One hopes they continue to do so.

Sigils on Thee Facebooks

Sigils on Bandcamp

 

Lord Dying, Mysterium Tremendum

Lord Dying Mysterium Tremendum

Following 2015’s Poisoned Altars (review here), subsequent years of touring and a jump from Relapse to eOne Metal, Lord Dying‘s Mysterium Tremendum is enough of a stylistic melting pot that the best thing to do is call it progressive and just let it roll. Comprised of 11 tracks themed around death and the afterlife, the record takes the Portland, Oregon, outfit’s prior death-doom ways and expands them to incorporate an array of styles and melodies, like a vocoder-less Cynic or even Atheist, but more focused on the songs themselves. It’s being widely hailed as one of 2019’s best metal releases, and honestly I can’t speak to that because who the hell knows what “metal” even means, but it sees Lord Dying pull off a major sonic leap and if this is the direction they’re headed from now on, then I guess “metal” is going to be whatever the hell they want. So there. Expect to see a lot of Lord Dying t-shirts around in the years to come.

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eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

 

Sunn O))), Life Metal

sunn life metal

The core of Sunn O)))‘s sound — that is, the drone-riffed tonality of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, has proven amorphous enough over the last two decades to either be orchestral, minimalist, impossibly bleak, or now, something brighter. The Steve Albini-recorded Life Metal is one of two purported Sunn O))) releases slated for this year, and it follows behind 2015’s Kannon (review here) in manifesting their project in a new way. It is 68 minutes long, comprised of four tracks — the first, “Between Sleipnir’s Breaths,” is notable for the inclusion of vocals from Hildur Guðnadóttir; the rest is instrumental — and while one wonders how much is the power of suggestion amid their colorful artwork and titular presentation, “life” as opposed to death metal, etc., their resonance throughout “Aurora” (19:07) and “Novae” (25:24) strips away much of the flourish that has engulfed Sunn O))) in their post-maturity years and reminds of the power at their center. They chose the right producer.

Sunn O))) on Bandcamp

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Crimson Heat, Crimson Heat

Crimson Heat Crimson Heat

With a handful of tracks of dirt-coated Sabbathian doom rock, Crimson Heat make their debut with a self-titled demo/EP in no small part defined by its lack of pretense. I’d buy the tape at the show. You’d buy the tape at the show. The download is free. Clearly this is a band figuring out what they want to do and trying to catch a few ears, but the sound is right on. Notable as well for the participation of Sam Marsh of Sinister Haze, tracks like “At My Door” blend Tee Pee Records-style skate vibes with darker traditionalist crunch, and the subsequent acoustic interlude “Firewood” indeed adds a bit of burning-stove smell to the procession ahead of doomed shuffler finale “Deep Red.” They might be new, but from the nod of “Premonition” and the double-layered guitar of “Fortune Teller,” they very clearly know where they’re coming from. What they do with that from here will tell the tale, but for now, selling the tape at the show isn’t nothing. Guess they better get on pressing some up.

Sinister Haze on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Heat on Bandcamp

 

Molior Superum, As Time Slowly Passes By…

Molior Superum As Time Slowly Passes By

The boogie runs strong in Molior Superum‘s first album in seven years, As Time Slowly Passes By… (on H42 Records), the title of which might just hint at the distance between their two full-lengths. Their debut was Into the Sun (discussed here) in 2012, and they answered that with 2014’s Electric Escapism (review here), but for a band who sound so energized on cuts like “Att Födas Rostig” and “Through Valleys of Wonder,” the time differential from one record to the next is curious. Still, no question the Swedish four-piece make the most of the 36 minutes they present on their sophomore offering, realizing classic vibes and fuzz tones through modern production that recalls the likes of GraveyardJeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and even, on “Into the Grey,” Demon Head‘s doomier fare, with an overarching bluesy sensibility that remains exciting even in moments like the hypnotic midsection build of centerpiece “Divinity Blues.” Even the closing soft-guitar title-track has movement. They sound hungry in a way that suggests maybe it won’t be another seven years before a third LP arrives.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

 

Moros, Weapon

moros weapon

Just because Philly is leading the Eastern Seaboard in terms of psychedelic charge, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the guttersludge extremity of a unit like Moros. The destructive three-piece’s first full-length, Weapon (on Hidden Deity Records), is vicious in its bite and downright nasty in its groove, abrasive from the static intro “(Vortexwound)” onward through “We Don’t Deserve Death” and “Devil Worshipper,” which recalls slower Napalm Death in its riff but is met with a harsh scream as well as shouts. The brutality continues through “Wizard of Loneliness” and into the outright pummel of “Death Nebula,” such that the locked-in nodder groove in the second half of “Every Day is Worse Than the Last” feels almost like a lifeboat, though there’s little salvation on offer in the closing title-track, which fades out on a noisy note in much the same way it faded in. Filthy, mean and heavy. The crust is real and it is thick.

Moros on Thee Facebooks

Hidden Deity Records website

 

Glitter Wizard, Opera Villains

glitter wizard opera villains

I was enticed to dig further into Glitter Wizard‘s Opera Villains (on Heavy Psych Sounds) by the recent video for opener “A Spell So Evil” (posted here), and it’s not a choice I regret. The San Fran-based weirdo collective are putting on a show, no doubt, but the quality of their songwriting on “The Toxic Lady” and the punkish underpinning of “Dead Man’s Wax,” etc., puts them in a classic rocking no man’s land in which they absolutely revel. The laser-strewn drama of “March of the Red Cloaks” and the organ- and flute-laced swing of “Hall of the Oyster King” embrace the grandiose in brazen fashion, and thereby make it that much easier for the listener to join them on this wavelength that is so thoroughly their own. Closer “Warm Blood” taps prog-of-old pomposity in its largesse while the earlier “Fear of the Dark” seems to do the same thing with just an acoustic guitar and some vocal harmonies. A record that knew exactly what it wanted to be and then became that thing. Awesome.

Glitter Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Gourd, Moldering Aberrations

gourd moldering aberrations

Ambient darkness is inflicted with only the cruelest of spirit throughout Gourd‘s Moldering Aberrations EP, the Irish two-piece alternating minimalist spaciousness with gurgling drone intensity, the extremity of which doesn’t so much come through in pummel or drive, but in the swell of volume and its contrast with the emptiness surrounding. Also the growls. Three tracks are offered up like monuments to pain, and through “Befoulment,” “Mycelium” and the title-track, they conjure a heft of atmosphere as much as one of low end, the claustrophobic feeling of their craft coming through even in the relatively peaceful opening of the last song. That peace, of course, isn’t so much moment of respite as it is precursor to the next plunge, and either way, Gourd work in grueling fashion over 23 minutes to dismantle consciousness and expectation with a grim, distortion-fueled chaos from which there seems to be no escape, until the rumble and noise leave “Moldering Aberrations” and there’s just residual hum and a cymbal crash left. Madness.

Gourd on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Monk Records on Bandcamp

 

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Gourd to Release Moldering Aberrations EP on May 30; New Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

GOURD

Once upon a time a couple years ago, I was brought to Dublin by the good care of Sid Daly, who had organized a festival of mostly-but-not-entirely-Irish bands called Emerald Haze. For me, it was a chance not only to go someplace I’d never been — airport aside — but to get an education in the thriving underground there. One of the stages was even named after this site. It was incredible, and I was fortunate to be asked. Long story short, Gourd opened the second night of the fest (review here) and they were devastating. There was plenty of heavy going around that weekend, and it took plenty of forms, but Gourd‘s ultra-malevolent atmospherics reminded me then and still remind me now of Khanate, and that is a comparison I’ll almost never make because it’s a standard to which almost nobody can live up to.

Cursed Monk Records — based in Galway — has the release on May 30 for Gourd‘s Moldering Aberrations, and you can stream the video for the title-track at the bottom of this post. Do that, but take a breath first.

From the PR wire:

gourd moldering aberrations

GOURD – Moldering Aberrations EP

On the 30th of May Cursed Monk Records will be releasing GOURD’s new EP ‘Moldering Aberrations’ on Limited edition CD, and Digital (CMR013)

GOURD is an Irish two member band that started in the summer of 2014. The band is made up of Ray (Wreck of the Hesperus, Beneath the Sod) and Hick (On Pain of Death, Coscradh). Ray plays drums and creates noise as well as visuals and videos. Hick does vocals, plays guitar and builds extra walls of gritty, cacophonous noise. GOURD attempts to write filthy, twisted songs with extras layers of rotten madness and wonky weirdness to make the music a deeply unsettling experience.

‘Moldering Aberrations’ is available for preorder now.
https://cursedmonk.bandcamp.com/album/moldering-aberrations

Watch the music video for the title track.

Tracklisting:
1. Befoulment
2. Mycelium
3. Moldering Aberrations

Gourd are:
Hick (On Pain of Death)
Ray (Wreck of the Hesperus)

https://www.facebook.com/GOURDDOOM/
https://cursedmonk.bandcamp.com/

Gourd, “Moldering Aberrations” official video

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