Quarterly Review: Steve Von Till, Cyttorak, Lambda, Dee Calhoun, Turtle Skull, Diuna, Tomorrow’s Rain, Mother Eel, Umbilichaos, Radar Men From the Moon

Posted in Reviews on October 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Oh hi there. It’s Quarterly Review time again, and you know what that means. 50 records between now and Friday — and I may or may not extend it through next Monday as well; I think I have enough of a backlog at this point to do so. It’s really just a question of how destroyed I am by writing about 10 different records every day this week. If past is prologue, that’s fairly well destroyed. But I’ve yet to do a Quarterly Review and regret it when it’s over, and like the last one, this roundup of 50 albums is pretty well curated, so it might even be fun to go through. There’s a thought. In any case, as always, I hope you find something you enjoy, and thank you for reading if you do or as much as you do.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Steve Von Till, No Wilderness Deep Enough

steve von till no wilderness deep enough

This article provides a list of Cv Writing Services Oil And Gass for a wide variety of writing scientific papers: essays, research papers, reports, articles, and Neurosis guitarist/vocalist http://www.kloech.com/?essay-proofreading-service-uk - 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of exclusive essays & papers. commit your dissertation to professional writers employed Steve Von Till seems to be bringing some of the experimentalism that drives his which sites can i pay to have my homework done Master Thesis Mobile Payment Review essay writers for pay research methodology proposal Harvestman project into the context of his solo work with Management Information System Research Paper - Start working on your report now with top-notch guidance guaranteed by the company Find out all you have always wanted to know No Wilderness Deep Enough, his fifth LP and first since 2015’s Purchase http://www.chacf.co.uk/animal-right-essay/ written by expert PhD writer online. Buy our thesis writing or editing services - Affordable prices, advanced quality control. A Life unto Itself (review here). Drones and melodic synth backs the deceptively-titled “The Old Straight Track,” and where Are you try to make your custom writing one of the best? Without any problem our experts make your grades A+! Best Best Philosophy Dissertations you can rely on Von Till began his solo career 20 years ago with traditional folk guitar, if slower, on these six tracks, he uses that meditative approach as the foundation for an outward-reaching 37-minute run, incorporating ethereal strings among the swirls of “Shadows on the Run” and finishing with the foreboding hum of “Wild Iron.” Opener “Dreams of Trees” establishes the palette’s breadth with synthesized beats alongside piano and maybe-cello, but it’s Where To Buy Dissertation Publish - If you need to know how to make a good essay, you have to learn this 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of unique essays & papers. Von Till‘s voice itself that ties the material together and provides the crucial human presence and intimacy that most distinguishes the offerings under his own name. Accompanied by Our professional blog here produces top-quality customized term papers from scratch. Our academic writers guarantee plagiarism-free approach and Von Till‘s first published book of poetry, Students need help with writing at one point or another. In cases like those, its important to find the Periodic Table Assignment Answers service. Our reviews will help! No Wilderness Deep Enough is a portrait of the unrelenting creative growth of its maker.

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Neurot Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Cyttorak, Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Cyttorak Simultaneous Invocation of Apocalyptic Harbingers

Take a breath before you hit play only to have it punched right out from your solar plexus by the brutalist deathsludge Home > Dissertation How To Present A Research Paper Editing Overview. The secret to successful writing is editing. Of course you should edit your own work to the Cyttorak cleverly call “slowerviolence.” Dominated by low end and growls, screams, and shouts, the lumbering onslaught is the second standalone EP for the three-piece who hail from scenic Pawtucket, Rhode Island (former home of the PawSox), and throughout its six-track run, the unit conjure an unyieldingly punishing tonal morass set to aggressive purpose. That they take their name from the Marvel Universe character who controls X-Men villain Juggernaut should not be taken as coincidence, since their sound indeed seems intended to put its head down and smash through walls and/or anything else that might be in its path in pursuit of its quarry. With Five-step strategy for adding a technical editor to your article source team. Conan-esque lyrical minimalism, the songs nonetheless give clues to their origins — “Royal Shokan Dismemberment” refers to Goro from Mortal Kombat, and finale “Domination Lord of Coldharbour” to Skyrim (which I still regret not playing) — but if you consider comics or video games to be lighter fare, first off, you’re working with an outdated mentality, and second, read here service from Perfect Writer to satisfy the needs and writing requirements of students. Our online services provide all-exclusive and wide Cyttorak would like a bit of your time to smother you with volume and ferocity. They have a new split out as well, both on tape.

Cyttorak on Thee Facebooks

Tor Johnson Records website

 

Lambda, Heliopolis

lambda heliopolis

Also signified by the Greek letter from which they take their moniker, Czech four-piece http://www.campingsolmar.com/?dissolved-oxyen-essays website guarantee original custom essay papers written by highly qualified writers at cheap prices. Lambda represent a new age of progressive heavy post-rock. Influences from Alpha http://sppadbase.ipp.cnr.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/?1668 provides you the best in class, plagiarism free and value for money Custom Writing at your convenient time from experts. Russian Circles aren’t necessarily surprising to find coursing through the instrumental debut full-length, dissertation in media research proposal in computer science maya angelou essays format for thesis paper Heliopolis, but there are shades of Elder as well behind the more driving riffs and underlying swing of “Space Express,” which also featured on the band’s 2015 EP of the same name. The seven-minute “El Sonido Nuevo” did likewise, but older material or newer, the album’s nine-song procession moves toward its culminating title-track through the grace of “Odysea” and the intertwining psychedelic guitars of “Milkyway Phaseshifter” with an overarching atmosphere of the journey to the city of the sun being undertaken. And when they get there, at the closer, there’s an initial sense of peace that gives way to some of the most directly heavy push Heliopolis has to offer. Payoff, then. So be it. Purposeful and somewhat cerebral in its execution, the DIY debut brings depth and space together to immersive effect.

Lambda on Thee Facebooks

Lambda on Bandcamp

 

Dee Calhoun, Godless

dee calhoun godless

Following his 2016 debut, Rotgut (review here) and 2018’s Go to the Devil (review here), Godless is the third full-length from former Iron Man and current Spiral Grave frontman Dee Calhoun, and its considerable 63-minute runtime finds him working in multiple directions while keeping his underlying roots in acoustic-based heavy metal. Certainly “To My Boy” — and Rob Calhoun has appeared on his father’s releases before as well — has its basis in familial expression, but its pairing with “Spite Fuck” is somewhat curious. Meanwhile, “Hornswoggled” cleverly samples George W. Bush with a laugh track, and “Here Under Protest,” “The Greater Evil,” “Ebenezer” and “No Justice” seem to take a worldly view as well. Meanwhile again, “Godless,” “The Day Salvation Went Away” and “Prudes, Puritanicals and Puddles of Piss” make their perspective nothing if not plain for the listener, and the album ends with the two-minute kazoo-laced gag track “Here Comes the Bride: A Tale From Backwater.” So perhaps scattershot, but Godless is nonetheless Calhoun‘s most effective outing yet in terms of arrangements and craft, and shows him digging further into the singer-songwriter form than he has up to now, sounding more comfortable and confident in the process.

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Argonauta Records website

 

Turtle Skull, Monoliths

Turtle Skull Monoliths

Melodic vocal lines weave together and float over alternately weighted and likewise ethereal guitars on Turtle Skull‘s second album, Monoliths. The percussion-inclusive (tambourine, congas, rain stick, etc.) Sydney-based heavy psychedelic outfit create an immersive wash that makes the eight-song/55-minute long-player consuming for the duration, and while there are moments of clarity to be found throughout — the steady snare taps of “Why Do You Ask?” for example — but the vast bulk of the LP is given to the overarching flow, which finds progressive/space-rock footing in the 11-plus minutes of finale “The Clock Strikes Forever” and is irresistibly consuming on the drifting wash of “Rabbit” or the lysergic grunge blowout of “Who Cares What You Think?,” which gives way to the choral drone of “Halcyon” gorgeously en route through the record’s back half. It’s not the highest profile heavy psych release of 2020, but neither is it to be overlooked for the languid stretch of “Leaves” at the outset or the fuzz-drenched roll in the penultimate “Apple of Your Eye.”

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Art as Catharsis on Bandcamp

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Diuna, Golem

diuna golem

In some ways, the dichotomy of Diuna‘s 2019 sophomore full-length, Golem, is set by its first two tracks, the 24-second intro “Menu” and the seven-minute “Jarmark Cudów” that follows, each longer song throughout is prefaced by an introduction or interlude, varying in degrees of experimentation. That, however, doesn’t cover the outsider vibes the Polish trio bring to bear in those longer songs themselves, be it “Jarmark Cudów” devolving into a post-Life of Agony noise rock roll, or the thrust in “Frank Herbert” cut into starts and stops and shouting madness. Heavy rock, noise, sludge, post-this-or-that, it doesn’t matter by the end of the 12-track/44-minute release, because Diuna establish such firm control over the proceedings and make so clear the challenge to the listener to keep up that it’s only fun to try. It might take a couple listens to sink in, but the more attention one gives Golem, the more one is going to be rewarded in the end, and I don’t just mean in the off-kilter fuckery of closer “Pan Jezus Idzie Do Wojska.”

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Diuna on Bandcamp

 

Tomorrow’s Rain, Hollow

tomorrows rain hollow

“Ambitious” doesn’t begin to cover it. With eight songs (plus a bonus track) and 11 listed guest musicians, the debut full-length, Hollow, from Tel Aviv-based death-doomers Tomorrow’s Rain seems to be setting its own standard in that regard. And quite a list it is, with the likes of Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride, Greg Mackintosh of Paradise Lost, Fernando Ribeiro of Moonspell, Mikko Kotamaki of Swallow the Sun, and so on, it is a who’s-who of melodic/gothic death-doom and the album lives up to the occasion in terms of the instrumental drama it presents. Some appear on one track, some on multiple tracks — Ribeiro and Kotamaki both feature on “Misery Rain” — and despite the constant shifts in personnel with only one of the eight tracks completely without an outside contributor, the core six-piece of Tomorrow’s Rain are still able to make an impression of their own that is bolstered and not necessarily overwhelmed by the extravagant company being kept throughout.

Tomorrow’s Rain on Thee Facebooks

AOP Records website

 

Mother Eel, Svalbard

mother eel svalbard

Mother Eel‘s take on sludge isn’t so much crushing as it is caustic. They’re plenty heavy, but their punishment isn’t just meted out through tonal weight being brought down on your head. It’s the noise. It’s the blown-out screams. It’s the harshness of the atmosphere in which the entirety of their debut album, Svalbard, resides. Five tracks, 33 minutes, zero forgiveness. One might be tempted to think of songs like “Erection of Pain” as nihilistic fuckall, but that seems incorrect. Nah, they mean it. Fuckall, yeah. But fuckall as ethos. Fuckall manifest. So it goes through “Alpha Woman” and “Listen to the Elderly for They Have Much to Teach,” which ends in a Primitive Man-ish static assault, and the lumbering finish “Not My Shade,” which assures that what began on “Sucking to Gain” half an hour earlier ends on the same anti-note: a disaffected malevolence writ into sheer sonic unkindness. There is little letup, even in the quiet introductions or transitions, so if you’re looking for mercy, don’t bother.

Mother Eel on Thee Facebooks

Mother Eel on Redbubble

 

Umbilichaos, Filled by Empty Spaces

Umbilichaos Filled by Empty Spaces

The four-song/39-minute atmospheric sludge long-player Filled by Empty Spaces is listed by Brazilian solo outfit Umbilichaos as being the third part of, “the Tetralogy of Loneliness.” If that’s the emotion being expressed in the noise-metal post-Godflesh chug-and-shout of “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 02,” then it is loneliness viscerally presented by founding principal and multi-instrumentalist Anna C. Chaos. The feel throughout the early going of the release is plodding and agonized in kind, but in “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 01” and “Filled by Empty Spaces Pt. 03” there is some element of grim, crusted-over psychedelia happening alongside the outright dirge-ism, though the latter ultimately wins out in the four-minute instrumental capper “Disintegration.” One way or the other, Chaos makes her point through raw tonality and overarching intensity of purpose, the compositions coming across simultaneously unhinged and dangerously under control. There are many kinds of heavy. Filled by Empty Spaces is a whole assortment of them.

Umbilichaos on Thee Facebooks

Sinewave website

 

Radar Men From the Moon, The Bestial Light

radar men from the moon the bestial light

Fueled by avant grunge/noise impulsion, Radar Men From the Moon‘s latest foray to Planet Whothefuckknows arrives in the eight-song/41-minute The Bestial Light, a record alternately engrossing and off-putting, that does active harm when the sounds-like-it’s-skipping intro to “Piss Christ” comes on and then subsequently mellows out with psych-sax like they didn’t just decide to call the song “Sacred Cunt of the Universe” or something. Riffs, electronics, the kind of weirdness that’s too self-aware not to be progressive, Radar Men From the Moon take the foundation of experimentation set by Astrosoniq and mutate it via Swans into something unrecognizable by genre and unwilling to compromise its own direction. And no, by the time “Levelling” comes on to round out, there is no peace to be found, though perhaps a twisted kind of joy at the sheer postmodernism. They should score ballets with this stuff. No one would go, but three centuries from now, they’d be worshiped as gods. Chance of that anyway, I suppose.

Radar Men From the Moon on Thee Facebooks

Fuzz Club Records on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: The Sword, Mountain Tamer, Demon Head, Bushfire, Motherslug, Dove, Treedeon, Falun Gong, Spider Kitten, Greynbownes

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

Okay then. We got past the first day and I thought it went reasonably well. No casualties. Nobody’s brain melted from trying to find another word for “riffs” for the 19th time, so yeah, mark it a win. There’s a good spread of stuff in today’s batch — a little of this, a little of that — so hopefully somewhere in the mix you’re able to run into something you dig. Hell, I’ll say the same for myself as well. Come on, let’s go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

The Sword, Used Future

the sword used future

Now-veteran Austin heavy rockers The Sword have gotten a mixed response to the more progressive approach their recent work has taken, and I doubt Used Future (on Razor & Tie) is going to be any less polarizing, but its crisp 13 tracks/43 minutes are pulled off with professionalism. Yes, it has its self-indulgent aspects in “Sea of Green” or the earlier instrumental “The Wild Sky,” but The Sword have never done anything other than deliver accessible heavy rock and tour like hell, so while I get the mixed response, at this point I think the band has at very least earned a measure of respect for what they’ve accomplished as ambassadors of underground heavy. They wanna throw a little John Carpenter influence into “Nocturne?” Fine. They’re not hurting anybody. The unfortunate truth about The Sword is that neither polarized side is right. They’re not the end of heavy metal as we know it; some crude ironic take on what metal should be. And they’re not the greatest band of their generation. They have a good record deal. They write decent songs. Where’s the problem with that? I don’t hear it on Used Future.

The Sword on Thee Facebooks

Razor & Tie website

 

Mountain Tamer, Living in Vain Demo

mountain tamer Demo 2017

If it was Mountain Tamer’s intention to get listeners excited about the prospect of a second full-length from the Santa Cruz, CA three-piece, then the Living in Vain demo serves this purpose well. Their 2016 Argonauta Records self-titled debut (review here) expounded on the potential they originally showed with 2015’s Mtn Tmr demo (review here), and though it’s only two songs, Living in Vain would seem to do the same in building on the accomplishments of the album before it. The opening title-track is labeled “Living in Vain Pt. 1” and nestles easily into a mid-paced shuffle before shifting into psychedelic lead layering and a more jammed-out spirit, from which it returns in the last 30 seconds to hit into a more solidified ending riff, leading to the immediately slower “Wretched.” More spacious, more of a march, it plays into an instrumental hook and holds to its structure for its entire 5:40, ending with guitar on a quick fade. Obviously the intention with a release like this is to entice the listener with the prospect of the band’s next album. Living in Vain does that and more.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, The Resistance

demon head the resistance

Returning just about a year after issuing their second album, Thunder on the Fields (review here), Copenhagen-based proto-metallers Demon Head offer a new two-songer single titled The Resistance that at least to my ears speaks to the current political moment of populism opposing liberalism – as much at play in Europe as in the US, if not more so – and the fight for an open society. They present it as a six-plus-minute languid groove with flashes of militaristic snare; something of a turn from the cult rock of their two-to-date long-players. One could say the same of the sci-fi themed “Rivers of Mars,” though like its predecessor, it remains sonically on-point with the band’s vintage aesthetic, fostered through naturalist guitar and bass tones, bluesy, commanding vocals and classy, creative drumming. Actually, apply that “classy” all around. As Demon Head continue to come into their own sound, they do so with poise that’s all the more striking for how raw their presentation remains.

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records

 

Bushfire, When Darkness Comes

bushfire when darkness comes

When Darkness Comes is German heavy rocking five-piece Bushfire’s follow-up to late-2013’s Heal Thy Self (review here), and it retains the Darmstadt-based outfit’s penchant for quality riffcraft and a showcase for the vocals of frontman Bill Brown, which hit in bottom-of-the-mouth melodies and gruff shouts fitting to cuts like “The Conflict” and the swinging “Shelter.” Bushfire are no strangers to a semi-Southern element in their sound, and that remains true on When Darkness Comes from the opening title-track through the later “Another Man Down” and closer “Liberation.” Somewhat curiously, that closer is instrumental, and where the vocals play such a role in the overarching impression the record makes, it’s an interesting twist to have them absent from the final statement, leaving guitarists Marcus Bischoff and Miguel Pereira, bassist Vince and drummer Sascha to finish out on their own. If groove is the measure, they’re certainly up to the task, but then, that was never really in doubt.

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Bushfire on Bandcamp

 

Motherslug, The Electric Dunes of Titan

motherslug the electric dunes of titan

I’m sorry. I don’t see how you could dig anything calling itself “stoner” and not be down with what Motherslug are doing with their second long-player, The Electric Dunes of Titan. Plus-sized riffing all over the place, languid rollouts, excursions into psychedelic splendor (see “Followers of the Sun,” etc.), explosions into massive groove (see “Staring at the Sun”), a nod to High on Fire in “Tied to the Mast” and a Sleep-style march on closer “Cave of the Last God” that’s probably the best I’ve heard since the Creedsmen Arise demo in 2015. Really, if Motherslug doesn’t do it for you, nothing will. Five years after they initially released their self-titled EP (review here), which was later expanded into their debut album for NoSlip Records (review here), the Melbourne outfit charge back with what should be a litmus test for riff-heads. In all seriousness, from tone to structure to songwriting to production to the cover art, there’s just nothing here that doesn’t deliver the message. Should’ve been on my best of 2017 list.

Motherslug on Thee Facebooks

Motherslug on Bandcamp

 

Dove, Dove Discography

dove discography

In the wake of Floor’s disbanding, drummer Henry Wilson formed Dove. They were around for about five years, did some touring (one remembers picking up their self-titled in a Manhattan basement with $2 Rolling Rocks calling itself The Pyramid), and disbanded to a cult status not so different from that which Floor enjoyed prior to their own reunion, if to something of a lesser degree. As the title indicates, Dove Discography compiles “every listenable track” the band ever put out, including their self-titled, Wilson’s original demo for the project, compilation and 7” material. All told, it’s 20 tracks and just under an hour of documentation for who Dove were and the kind of punk metal they were about, never quite stoner, but heavy rock to be sure, and definitely of the Floridian ilk that produced both Floor and Cavity and a style Wilson has progressed with House of Lightning. Dove could be blazingly intense or they could plod out a huge riff, holding a deceptively wide purview that was only part of the reason they were so underrated at the time.

Dove on Bandcamp

House of Lightning on Thee Facebooks

 

Treedeon, Under the Manchineel

treedeon under the manchineel

To anyone who might complain that all sludge sounds the same, I humbly submit Treedeon, whose second album for Exile on Mainstream, Under the Manchineel, is a work both noise-laden and righteously avant garde. Perhaps even more ferocious than its 2015 predecessor, Lowest Level Reincarnation (review here), the seven-track/44-minute outing offers a touch of melody in “Breathing a Vein” and buried deep in the midsection of 16-minute closer “Wasicu,” and arguably in guitarist Arne Heesch’s delivery in opener “Cheetoh” as well, but he and bassist Yvonne Ducksworth mostly keep to harsh shouts as they create consuming washes of noise over the madcap drumwork of newcomer Andy Schuenemann, who punctuates every punch of Ducksworth’s gotta-hear-it bass tone on album centerpiece “No Hell” as Heesch goes lands the chorus with the line “No hell can hold me” as its standout line. Bringing a sense of themselves to an established style to a degree that’s rare, rarer, rarest, Treedeon are no less aggressively weird than they are aggressive, period.

Treedeon on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream website

 

Falun Gong, Figure 1

Falun Gong Figure 1

There are some post-Electric Wizard shades that emerge in the debut single from London’s Falun Gong by the time it reaches its feedback-soaked finale, but really, “Figure 1” is much more about digging into its own cultistry than that of the Obornian sort. Still, the overarching impression is somewhat familiar, and will be particularly to those who were fans of The Wounded Kings, but the duo who remain anonymous present themselves with a clearheaded intent toward maximum sonic murk, and with the lumbering misery they trod out in “Figure 1,” they seem to achieve what they’re going for. I don’t know who they are, but I’d guess this isn’t their first band, and as crowded as London’s heavy underground has become over the course of this decade, acts like Falun Gong are fewer and farther between than some others, and during these 10 minutes, they make a striking first impression. One hopes for “Figure 2” sooner rather than later.

Falun Gong on Bandcamp

 

Spider Kitten, Concise and Sinister

https://theobelisk.net/obelisk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/spider-kitten-concise-and-sinister.jpg

Intended as a thematic continuation to some degree of 2016’s Ark of Oktofelis, the four-song Concise and Sinister finds long-running multi-genre UK outfit Spider Kitten bookending two extended crushers around two shorter pieces, one of which is a cover of Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” (also memorably done by 16 Horsepower) and the other of which is a noise-punk assault that lasts 46 seconds and is called “I’m Feeling So Much Better.” Whether fast or slow, loud or quiet, the intention of Spider Kitten doesn’t seem even at its most abrasive to be to punish so much as to challenge, and whether it’s the cinematic elements dug into the march of opener and longest track (immediate points) “A Glorious Retreat” (11:33) or the harmonies that accompany especially-doomed 10-minute closer “Martyr’s Breath,” Spider Kitten and founder Chi Lameo demonstrate a creativity acknowledging that bounds exist and then simply refusing to accept them, making even the familiar seem unfamiliar in the process.

Spider Kitten on Thee Facebooks

Spider Kitten on Bandcamp

 

Greynbownes, Grey Rainbow from Bones

greynbownes grey rainbow from bones

Comprised of guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Lukas, bassist Martin and drummer Jakub, Greynbownes hail from Moravia in the Czech Republic and the moniker-explaining Grey Rainbow from Bones is their self-issued debut full-length. It is comprised of nine tracks of inventive heavy rock, pulling elements from grunge and ‘90s-era stoner noise on cuts like “Across the Bones” while veering into fare more aggressive, or psychedelic or jammy in the trio of six-minute tracks “Seasons,” “Death of Autumn Leaves” and “B 612” that precedes the closing duo of the funky “Sitting at the Top” and the mellow-but-still-heavy finisher “Weight of Sky,” which feels far removed from the opening salvo of “Boat of Fools,” the fuzz-punker “Madness” and the fuckall-chug of “What is at Stake.” Yes, it’s all over the place, and one might expect Greynbownes’ sound to solidify over time, but to the trio’s credit, Grey Rainbow from Bones never flies apart in the way that it seems at multiple points it might, and that’s an encouraging sign.

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Greynbownes on Bandcamp

 

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Et Moriemur Premiere “Requiem Aeternam” from Epigrammata

Posted in audiObelisk on March 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

et moriemur

Czech death-doomers Et Moriemur mark a decade of existence in 2018 with the March 20 release of their third album, Epigrammata, on Transcending Obscurity Records. Comprised of 10 tracks for a densely-packed 53-minute runtime, it is a record that finds the core lineup of vocalist/keyboardist Zdenek Nevelík, bassist Karel “Kabrio” Kovarík, guitarists Ales Vilingr and Pavel Janouskovec and drummer Michal “Datel” Rak [please note: most of the band members’ names have accent marks that won’t show up when I type them into WordPress; see the lineup list below. No disrespect intended to anyone in the band.] employing a host of guests to flesh out arrangements of cello, violin, trombone, spoken word, guest vocals, trombone, acoustic guitar and choir, adding to the group’s own breadth of craft in songs like “Offertorium,” the piano-laden “Agnus Dei,” and the particularly memorable “Communio,” which with a speedier tempo reminds as much of Satyricon in its swinging verses as its violin-laced atmospheric midsection bleeds melancholy leading to a massive roller of a riff topped with deathly growling. Yeah, it’s kind of like that: full-on beauty in darkness, topped off with Gregorian chanting, multi-linguistic recitations, and a sense of ancient grief being brought to life like a weeping statue given the power of slow, gradual movement.

Patience is a virtue that Et Moriemur display handily throughout Epigrammata, which unfolds in no hurry from “Introitus” into the organ and key-fueledet moriemur epigrammata “Requiem Aeternam,” matching tortured and throaty screams against lower growls against chanting to give the proceedings a religious feel right from the start; or at least the sense of being in conversation with those traditions — the Latin titles doing likewise. “Agnus Dei” and “Dies Irae” follow suit in terms of mood and extremity, but more than the emotional or sonic heft that Et Moriemur elicit, it’s the depth of their arrangements and their mix that impress. To wit, the low growls and chants intertwining on “Dies Irae,” Doom, death and black metal aren’t out of the band’s reach stylistically, and there are moments where those elements are juxtaposed and moments where they all seem to come together as something definitively of Et Moriemur‘s own. Obviously, these moments — I’d count the pairing of “Offertorium”‘s crawling wretchedness and “Communio”‘s more progressively bleak vision among them, but would be remiss to leave 10-minute closer “In Paradisum” out of the discussion — make for some of the strongest on Epigrammata, but there’s something to be said to for the manner in which the juxtaposing of styles, smooth though the transitions like that into acoustic guitar and speech on “Libera Me” are, mirrors the tortured sensibility and mood of the album itself. That is, the form matches the intent, and the mood of Epigrammata becomes conveyed not only in the performance of Et Moriemur and the sundry other parties brought aboard, but in the very construction of the songs themselves.

It would be hard to pick one song to represent the totality of the album. Frankly, I’m not sure you could, but with the release date set for just a week from now, I’m sure the full thing will be streaming in no time, and in the interim, “Requiem Aeternam” functions well in displaying many of the aspects that come into play throughout, as well as some — some — of the Et Moriemur‘s range when it comes to songwriting. Do not necessarily think of it as a sampling of all that the full-length has to offer, so much as a teaser of several of the factors at play throughout.

A quote from the band and PR wire info follows below. Please enjoy:

Et Moriemur, “Requiem Aeternam” official premiere

Et Moriemur on “Requiem Aeternam”:

“Epigrammata represents our attempt to cope with the dying or death of those we loved. To create a solemn and classical atmosphere we used lyrics in ancient Greek (the title itself means epigrams) and in Latin, more precisely from the Mass for the dead – the album follows the typical Requiem structure, i.e. Introitus, Requiem Aeternum, Dies Irae etc. – and of course the traditional, unisono male Gregorian chant.“

In any case we tried not to do a uni-dimensional record. So apart from the inevitable grief there is gratitude as well for having had the chance to share our life with them and hope that they are well – wherever they are.“

ET MORIEMUR are doing things in an exceptional way for their upcoming full length titled ‘Epigrammata’. Delving into the rich European history, imbibing Gregorian chanting and using Latin and ancient Greek to convey their message, the Czech supergroup of sorts with members of bands such as DISSOLVING OF PRODIGY, SELF-HATRED and SILENT SCREAM OF GODLESS ELEGY, have assembled a host of musicians playing cello, violin, trombone among others and have even employed services of a choir to take their expression to another level. They combine influences of death, doom and even a bit of black metal and use their operatic flair to imbue it with a mesmerizing quality. It transcends the perceptions of the death/doom style at present and gloriously brings back forgotten elements to elevate it.

Et Moriemur is:
Zden?k Nev?lík – Vocals, Piano
Aleš Vilingr – Guitar
Pavel Janouškovec – Guitar
Karel Ková?ík – Bass
Michal “Datel” Rak – Drums

Et Moriemur on Thee Facebooks

Et Moriemur on Bandcamp

Et Moriemur website

Transcending Obscurity Records webstore

Transcending Obscurity Records on Bandcamp

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Psy-High 2015 Set for Aug. 13-16

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

In case you needed a bit of escapism for your afternoon, how’s about four days reveling in heavy rock and psychedelia out in a quarry somewhere out in the Czech Republic? Sounds pretty good to me. I’ll admit I don’t know much about the weather in the Czech Republic in August, but I wouldn’t mind finding out and checking out a bunch of bands I’ve never had the chance to hear before over the course of a leisurely weekend surrounded by cool vibes and heavy sounds. Shit. That’ll do nicely.

Like I said, a bit of escapism. If you happen to be in that part of the world, I submit the following:

psy-high 2015 banner

Psy-High ’15

Psy-High is an arts and culture experience based around the interplay of music, seminars, theatre, debates, readings and workshops. We also give a lot of attention to changing the location as much as possible in accordance with the main themes and concepts of the festival.

We’ll continue the string of amazing locations: Last year’s “rocky cathedral” of the Saint Joseph quarry is followed by a wide, flooded quarry somewhere in the western parts of Czech Republic (we’re still keeping the location a secret for now, but get ready for 13 thousand square meters of five-pointed lake surrounded by seven and a half hectars of awesomeness).

The basics of why and how we make Psy-High happen stay the same: We do everything we can by our own hands, without profit and without sponsors – except for the growing number of people ready to fuel the event with their personal energy.

There are a few changes, however. The big one is that we decided to limit the number of tickets to 400, mainly due to our belief that Psy-High needs a smaller crowd in order to retain it’s unique atmosphere.

The first batch of 100 tickets will be available from May at www.psy-high.cz. From then on, the later you buy a ticket, the more expensive it gets:

The ticket price for the last 100 tickets left is 28 Euro.

In order to get the presale info in time, please consider subscribing to our rather unobtrusive newsletter at http://sdbs.cz/newsletter/, or watch out for news at the Psy-High Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/313590198850496/

The second change worth mentioning is that Psy-High 2015 will increase in length to four full days – two days just wasn’t enough to enjoy the event for most people.

As for music, you can expect a tighter line-up aimed at all kinds of psychedelia-inspired music. There will be more than 30 bands performing at P-H, here’s a small taste:

Kamni (ru, stoner doom)
Ovo (it, doom sludge ritual)
Pozvakowski (hu, exp. noise rock)
Merkabah (pl, avant-garde rock)
Narcosatanicos (dk, acid punk noise rock)
Or (cz, noise rock)
B4 (cz, psychedelic)
Saiga (cz/ru, stoner)
Sweeps04 (cz, ambient industrial doom)
At Bona Fide (cz, shoegaze)
Fetch! (cz, stoner noise rock)
Kidney Trauma (cz, noise-rock/shoegaze)
Lambda
Made by the Fire
White Wigwam
Skrze ?eku
Ursprung Trio
India
LO/VE

https://www.facebook.com/thepsyofthehigh
https://www.facebook.com/events/313590198850496/
www.psy-­high.eu

Psy-High 2014 Video Report

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Wino Wednesday: Wino & Conny Ochs, “Isolation” Live in the Czech Republic, 2012

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 6th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

wino wednesday

The duo Wino & Conny Ochs released their second album, Freedom Conspiracy (review here), on Exile on Mainstream at the end of March, and it’s still pretty fresh in mind in terms of the feeling of growth within the collaboration, the uptick in production value and of course the on-point individual performances and more meshed feel of how they work together in each song, but I thought for this week’s Wino Wednesday it might be worth dipping back a couple years to the start of the collaboration between these two very different entities.

To look at them on stage — Wino covered in tattoos with his hair down his back, holding a massive acoustic guitar and periodically kicking into a full-on fuzztone even “unplugged,” and Ochs exuding more traditional singer-songwriter sensibilities, resonating as much emotionally as with his stellar vocals — and they seem like a pretty unlikely pair. Like the rock and roll version of an old sitcom. It’s not until you actually hear it that you realize how well it actually works, that odd-couple melding. Their first album, 2012’s Heavy Kingdom (review here), surprised already with its fluidity. Ochs being the more experienced of the two players in the form, his evident comfort level was maybe less of a surprise, but Wino only had one acoustic solo album out — 2010’s Adrift (review here), still his only one to-date — and he was immediately at home in the two-piece. As they proved on Freedom Conspiracy, that would be even more the case the second time around.

Like I said, for this week, we’re dipping back to 2012, closer to their starting out. This cover of Joy Division‘s “Isolation” was filmed March 5, 2012, in Mutišov, the Czech Republic, and as right on as the audio is, I also picked it for the quality of the video itself, which puts you right in the crowd and captures well the intimate vibe of watching these two play. As always, I hope you enjoy:

Wino & Conny Ochs, “Isolation” Live in Mutišov, Czech Republic, March 5, 2012

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Psy-High Festival 2014 Set for Aug. 22-24

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 5th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

There are a couple holdovers from 2013 in The Tower, Tomáš Palucha and Zkouška Sirén, but no question the Czech festival Psy-High has upped the scale of its operation for 2014. They still have a strong blend of native Czech and foreign acts, this time pulling in Weedpecker and Sunnata from Poland as well as Dysis and Limestone Whale from Germany, among others, for a lineup that’s more packed. Where to host so much rock? A quarry, of course.

I don’t have the exact coordinates, but this year’s Psy-High will take place Aug. 22-24 at the St. Joseph quarry in East Bohemia. Really not sure how you can go wrong. On a related note, I was fortunate enough to be invited to cover Psy-High 2014. I won’t be able to make it out because flights are expensive, but it’s nice to be thought of anyway. Kudos to the fest on what looks like a killer second year.

The PR wire brings details and the event poster:

Psy-High ’14

August 22 – August 24

Horice, Ji?ín, Czech Republic

This year’s Psy-High will host about 30 performers + lectures, workshops. We plan to expand and double the audience to around 350-400. Don’t worry, we stay true to our ideals, so everything is DIY (we seriously build everything from ground up from scrap wood and stuff) and we are confident we will be able to hold the unique intimately ritualistic atmosphere, which took so many by their hearts last time.

As last year, location is pivotal for us, we moved to a new quarry, as we want to cycle the locations every year. This year will take place in the beautiful quarry of st. Joseph near Ho?ice in east Bohemia. The festival takes place on 22.-24.8.

Programme-wise – we are hosting 7 foreign bands : Zatokrev (swiss sludge postmetal), Weedpecker (polish stoner grunge), Sunnata (polish psych sludge), Limestone Whale (german 70s retro stoner), Dysis (german instrumental stoner postmetal), Turbine Stollprona (psych prog) and Bird People (austrian ritual ambient).

As last year, those are only the highlights, accompanied by more then 20 czech acts, ranging very widely from stoner, noise rock, doom, slowcore, through psychedelia, minimal, americana, all the way to ambient, electronice, acoustic and experimental. This offers a quite vivid mosaic offering a very fresh experience. Quite mentionable are Tomáš Palucha or NodNod, among all of them.

For foreigners, a hard argument is the very cheap alcohol (best beer in the world for 1€), easy access to weed (best shit for 7€) and so on. We are hoping for a thicker international audience this year and so any post would help us a thousand times! We try to be a part of the psychedelic renaissance, and we want to be as open as possible.

We just launched presale of special festival packages with some lab-glass home made bongs and such, check it out, and think about sharing it along, as we really need to raise necessary basic funds to run this whole show!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1503940179833269/
https://www.facebook.com/thepsyofthehigh
http://www.psy-high.cz/#tickets

Psy-High 2013 Festival Report

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Psy-High Fest Coming to Czech Republic this Weekend

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

When your festival location requires GPS coordinates, you’re off to a good start. This weekend, the Czech Republic will play host to the Psy-High fest, an independently-produced psychedelia and heavy rock outdoor gathering with a few imported acts — headliners Dopelord are from Poland and Mamont and Mud Walk are on tour from Sweden — and a slew of native bands. Where does one hold such a heavy rock fest? In a quarry, of course.

If you happen to be in that part of the world, the info for the fest follows. If you’re elsewhere, then at least it’s a couple bands to check out and a reminder that awesome things are happening everywhere:

 

PSY-HIGH

Stoner and psychedelic rock, stoner doom, and the closest vicinity of the rock, blues, doom, sludge (,…) music inspired by altered states of mind and the culture around them.

Psy High is a DIY festival, which aims to unite, support, provoke and grow a more consistent stoner/psych rock/doom culture in Czech Republic, because it is almost non-existent, while it thrives and blossoms in all countries arround us. Bit by bit, year after year, we want to help to develop a scene that country called ‘Bohemia’ deserves.

We have booked 2 great bands from Sweden: Mamont, and Mud Walk, and Dopelord from Poland + we will host many Czech bands, to cite few of our favourites, there will be Argonaut, Zkouška Sirén, Tomáš Palucha, Bumfrang3, Keysmoon, Five Seconds to Leave, and other small, starting projects and bigger bands alike. Check the poster on Facebook to see the whole lineup!

The whole shebang will take palce in a beautiful little old quarry called Jarov, near to the city of Beroun (30minutes by car from Prague). The mine is in walking distance from the Beroun train station(20min). Parking is possible in the nearby village. There is another quarry, which is flooded and offers epic swimming in walking distance (20mins) It is insanely beautiful.

GPS location of the fest: 49°56’33.158?N, 14°4’8.050?E

Photos of festival location are to be found on the FB event, along with the set list, the poster, the bands and a chance to express your opinion and ask questions! Should not be problem to ask on FB event for accommodation in Prague as well!

The entrance fee is 400czk/15€ or in presale for 12,50€ , and you can look forward for good and fair Czech beer prices (arround 1€). Come and be part of this (hopefully) historical event!
List of Bands

Mamont
Mud Walk
Dopelord
Five Seconds to Leave
Argonaut
Zkouška Sirén
Depakine Chrono
Bumfrang3
Tomáš Palucha
Stoned Ape
Meccaverius Society
The Tower
Keysmoon
Pantauism
Shiva Khurva

Links
FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/539496556109740/
Nyx: http://www.nyx.cz/index.php?l=events%3Bl2%3D2%3Bid%3D22162
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/csf7kdtaohm7aq789tq2mivma8k
Last.fm: https://www.last.fm/festival/3655926+Psy+-+High

Psy-High Festival Trailer

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