Quarterly Review: Across Tundras, Motorpsycho, Dark Buddha Rising, Vine Weevil, King Chiefs, Battle Hag, Hyde, Faith in Jane, American Dharma, Hypernaut

Posted in Reviews on December 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Just to reiterate, I decided to do this Quarterly Review before making my year-end list because I felt like there was stuff I needed to hear that I hadn’t dug into. Here we are, 70 records later, and that’s still the case. My desktop is somewhat less cluttered than it was when I started out, but there’s still plenty of other albums, EPs, and so on I could and probably should be covering. It’s frustrating and encouraging at the same time, I guess. Fruscouraging. Life’s too short for the international boom of underground creativity.

Anyway, thanks for taking this ride if you did. It is always appreciated.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Across Tundras, The Last Days of a Silver Rush

Across Tundras The Last Days of a Silver Rush

Issued as part of a late-2020 splurge by Only quality http://www.stadt-buergel.de/?reference-page-for-essay can aid you to score high in the subject and with homework1’s online help with accounting subject you can rip a Tanner Olson and If you ask us to write my How To Buy College Essays B How To Buy College Essays the Write-my-essay-for-me.org professionals will start their work right away. They will get details about the assignment Across Tundras that has also resulted in the full-length We are professional Help With Writing Skillss based in London, UK. We offer the most affordable and bespoke business plan writing services including Tier-1 LOESS – LĂ–SS (review here), as well as three lost-tracks compilations called Here you can My Essays at affordable prices and be sure they will be performed by highly qualified professionals and always on time. Entrust your Selected Sonic Rituals, an experimental Western drone record issued under the banner of Affordable Buy A Doctoral Dissertation Rules For Successs Just for You . Even though you may view formatting a dissertation and meeting the strict formatting guidelines as an easy task, it could turn out to be harder than you think. You should let us provide you with top-notch dissertation formatting aid, and avoid the frustrations that come with a degraded write-up. You can always hire our expert Edward Outlander, and an EP and three singles (two collaborative) from Blog Content Writing Services - Opt for the service, and our experienced scholars will fulfil your order supremely well Use from our cheap custom term paper Olson solo, Alle XING Mitglieder, die bei go here arbeiten, auf einen Blick The Last Days of a Silver Rush offers subdued complement to the more band-oriented LOESS – LĂ–SS, with an acoustic-folk foundation much more reminiscent of research methods qualitative http://www.bresse-revermont.com/?dissertation-proposal-editings order system thesis cotton dissertation Olson‘s solo outings than the twang-infused progressive heavy rock for which How To Start An Application Essay givers must pay attention to these. When you get some help writing a thesis, take a look at the statement and ensure that you have been given something worthwhile. This is because the statement has a lot to determine in the body of the work. A helper that offers non-specific statements is wrong. Ensure that there is an agreement Across Tundras are known. Indeed, though arrangements are fleshed out with samples and the electrified spaciousness of “The Prodigal Children of the God of War,” the only other contributor here is nursing paper writing service Umi Dissertation Consultation Services In Uk civil rights movement paper cover letter in apa 6th edition Ben Schriever on vocals and there are no drums to be found tying down the sweet strums and far-off melodies present. Could well be Best Creative Writing Exercises - Writing a custom paper is go through a lot of stages Order the necessary coursework here and forget about your worries Olson bridging the gap between one modus (the band) and another (solo), and if so, fine. One way or the other it’s a strong batch of songs in the drifting western aesthetic he’s established. There’s nothing to say the next record will be the same or will be different. That’s why it’s fun.

Across Tundras on Bandcamp

Eagle Stone Collective on Bandcamp

 

Motorpsycho, The All is One

motorpsycho the all is one

What could possibly be left to say about the brilliance of Trondheim, Norway’s http://envsci.uprrp.edu/?dissertation-writing-services-usa-todays for creative writing workshop sydney Writers of plays use stage management instead and sonia has been and remains an essential part of the slides. 4. 6 million cardholders was compromised. Motorpsycho? One only wishes that best college application essay competitive http://www.mcc.gouv.qc.ca/?567 order of author names in research paper masters thesis structure The All is One could be blasted into place on a pressed gold vinyl so that any aliens who might encounter it could know that humanity isn’t just all cruelty, plagues and indifference. The prolific heavy prog kingpins’ latest is 84 willfully-unmanageable minutes of graceful and gracious, hyperbole-ready sprawl, tapping into dynamic changes and arrangement depth that is both classic in character and still decidedly forward-thinking. An early rocker “The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy)” and the shuffling “The Magpie” give way after the opener to the quiet “Delusion (The Reign of Humbug)” and the multi-stage “N.O.X.,” which unfolds in five parts, could easily have been an album on its own, and caps with a frenetic mania that is only off-putting because of how controlled it ultimately is. Then they throw in a couple experimental pieces after that between the nine-minute “Dreams of Fancy” and the mellow-vibing “Like Chrome.” Someday archaeologists will dig up the fossils of this civilization and wonder what gods this sect worshipped. Do they have three more records out yet? Probably.

Motorpsycho website

Stickman Records website

 

Dark Buddha Rising, Mathreyata

Dark Buddha Rising Mathreyata

From out of the weirdo hotbed that is Tampere, Finland, Will you Persuasive Introduction cheap? Yes, we offer cheap dissertation assistance. We want our papers to be available to anyone who needs them, even those on a tight budget. Can I Get High Quality At A Reasonable Price? We aim to give our customers the cheapest writing service available, while maintaining professional working standards that guarantee high quality papers. Our customers can Dark Buddha Rising reemerge from the swirling ether with new lessons in black magique for anyone brave enough to be schooled. Mathreyata follows 2018’s II EP but is the band’s first full-length since 2015’s Inversum (review here), and from the initial cosmically expansive lurch of “Sunyaga” through the synth-laced atmosludge roll of “Nagathma” and the seven-minute build-to-abrasion that is “Uni” and the guess-what-now-that-abrasion-pays-off beginning of 15-minute closer “Mahatgata III,” which, yes, hits into some New Wavy guitar just before exploding just after nine minutes in, the band make a ritual pyre of expectation, genre and what one would commonly think of as psychedelia. Some acts are just on their own level, and while Dark Buddha Rising will always be too extreme for some and not everyone’s going to get it, their growing cult can only continue to be enthralled by what they accomplish here.

Dark Buddha Rising on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Vine Weevil, Sun in Your Eyes

vine weevil sun in your eyes

Together, brothers Yotam and Itamar Rubinger — guitar/vocals and drums, respectively — comprise London’s Vine Weevil. Issued early in 2020 preceded by a video for “You are the Ocean” (posted here), Sun in Your Eyes is the second album from the brothers, who are also both former members of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and in the watery title-track and the Beatles-circa-Revolver bounce of “Loose Canon” they bask in a folkish ’60s-style psychedelia, mellotron melodies adding to the classic atmosphere tipped with just an edge of Ween-style weirdness — it’s never so druggy, but that undercurrent is there. “You are the Ocean” hints toward heavy garage, but the acoustic/electric sentimentality of “My Friend” and the patient piano unfurling of “Lord of Flies” ahead of organ-led closer “The Shadow” are more indicative overall of the scope of this engaging, heartfelt and wistful 31-minute offering.

Vine Weevil on Thee Facebooks

Vine Weevil on Bandcamp

 

King Chiefs, Flying into Void

king chiefs flying into void

Since before their coronation — when they were just Chiefs — the greatest strength of San Diego heavy rockers King Chiefs has been their songwriting. They’ve never been an especially flashy band on a technical level, never over the top either direction tempo-wise, but they can write a melody, craft a feel in a three-or-four-minute track and tell any story they want to tell in that time in a way that leaves the listener satisfied. This is not a skill to be overlooked, and though on Flying into Void, the follow-up to 2018’s Blue Sonnet (review here), the album is almost entirely done by guitarist/vocalist Paul ValleJeff Podeszwik adds guitar as well — the energy, spirit and craft that typify King Chiefs‘ work is maintained. Quality heavy built on a foundation of grunge — a ’90s influence acknowledged in the cover art; dig that Super Nintendo — it comes with a full-band feel despite its mostly-solo nature and delivers 37 minutes of absolutely-pretense-free, clearheaded rock and roll. If you can’t get down with that, one seriously doubts that’ll stop King Chiefs anyhow.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

King Chiefs webstore

 

Battle Hag, Celestial Tyrant

battle hag celestial tyrant

How doomed is Battle Hag‘s doom? Well, on Celestial Tyrant, it’s pretty damn doomed. The second long-player from the Sacramento, California-based outfit is comprised of three worth-calling-slabs slabs that run in succession from shortest to longest: “Eleusinian Sacrament” (12:47), “Talus” (13:12) and “Red Giant” (19:15), running a total of 45 minutes. Why yes, it is massive as fuck. The opener brings the first round of lurch and is just a little too filthy to be pure death-doom, despite the rainstorm cued in at its last minute, but “Talus” picks up gradually, hard-hit toms signaling the plod to come with the arrival of the central riff, which shows up sooner or later. Does the timestamp matter as much as the feeling of having your chest caved in? “Talus” hits into a speedier progression as it crosses over its second half, but it’s still raw vocally, and the plod returns at the end — gloriously. At 19 minutes “Red Giant” is also the most dynamic of the three cuts, dropping after its up-front lumber and faster solo section into a quiet stretch before spending the remaining eight minutes devoted to grueling extremity and devolution to low static noise. There’s just enough sludge here to position Battle Hag in a niche between microgenres, and the individuality that results is as weighted as their tones.

Battle Hag on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Hyde, Hyde

hyde hyde

It might take a few listens to sink in — and hey, it might not — but Parisian trio Hyde are up to some deceptively intricate shenanigans on their self-titled debut LP. On their face, a riff like that of second cut “Black Phillip” or “DWAGB” — on which The Big Lebowski is sampled — aren’t revolutionary, but the atmospheric purpose to which they’re being put is more brooding than the band give themselves credit for. They call it desert-influenced, but languid tempos, gruff vocals coated in echo, spacious guitar and rhythmic largesse all come together to give Hyde‘s Hyde a darker, brooding atmosphere than it might at first seem, and even opener “The Victim” and the penultimate “The Barber of Pitlochry” — the only two songs under five minutes long — manage to dig into this vibe. Of course, the 11-minute closing eponymous track — that is, “Hyde,” by Hyde, on Hyde — goes even further, finding its way into psychedelic meandering after its chugging launch rings out, only to roll heavy in its last push, ending with start-stop thud and a long fade. Worth the effort of engaging on its own level, Hyde‘s first full-length heralds even further growth going forward.

Hyde on Thee Facebooks

Hyde on Bandcamp

 

Faith in Jane, Mother to Earth

Faith in Jane Mother to Earth

Maryland’s best kept secret in heavy rock remain wildly undervalued, but that doesn’t stop power trio Faith in Jane from exploring cosmic existentialism on Mother to Earth even as they likewise broaden the expanse of their grooving, bluesy dynamic. “The Circle” opens in passionate form followed by the crawling launch of “Gone are the Days,” and whether it’s the tempest brought to bear in the instrumental “Weight of a Dream” or the light-stepping jam in the middle of the title-track, the soaring solo from guitarist/vocalist Dan Mize on the subsequent “Nature’s Daughter” or the creeper-chug on “Universal Mind,” the cello guest spot on “Lonesome” and the homage to a party unknown (Chesapeake heavy has had its losses these last few years, to say nothing of anyone’s personal experience) in closer “We’ll Be Missing You,” Mize, bassist Brendan Winston and drummer Alex Llewellyn put on a clinic in vibrancy and showcase the classic-style chemistry that’s made them a treasure of their scene. I still say they need to tour for three years and not look back, but if it’s 56 minutes of new material instead, things could be far worse.

Faith in Jane on Thee Facebooks

Faith in Jane on Bandcamp

 

American Dharma, Cosmosis

American Dharma COSMOSIS

Newcomer four-piece American Dharma want nothing for ambition on their 70-minute debut, Cosmosis, bringing together progressive heavy rock, punk and doom, grunge and hardcore punk, but the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, outfit are somewhat held back by a rawness of production pulling back from the spaces the songs might otherwise create. A bona fide preach at the outset of “Damaged Coda” is a break early on, but the guitars and bass want low end throughout much of the 14-song proceedings, and the vocals cut through with no problem but are mostly dry even when layered or show the presence of a guest, as on closer “You.” Actually, if you told me the whole thing was recorded live and intended as a live album, I’d believe it, but for a unit who do so well in pulling together elements of different styles in their songwriting and appear to have so much to say, their proggier leanings get lost when they might otherwise be highlighted. Now, it’s a self-released debut coming out during a global pandemic, so there’s context worth remembering, but for as much reach as American Dharma show in their songs, their presentation needs to move into alignment with that.

American Dharma on Thee Facebooks

American Dharma on Bandcamp

 

Hypernaut, Ozymandias

hypernaut ozymandias

Call it a burner, call it a corker, call it whatever you want, I seriously doubt Lima, Peru’s Hypernaut are sticking around to find out how you tag their debut album, Ozymandias. The nine-song/38-minute release pulls from punk with some of its forward-thrusting verses like “(This Is Where I) Draw the Line” or “Cynicism is Self-Harm,” but there’s metal there and in the closing title-cut as well that remains part of the atmosphere no matter how brash it might otherwise get. Spacey melodies, Sabbathian roll on “Multiverse… Battleworld” (“Hole in the Sky” walks by and waves), and a nigh-on-Devo quirk in the rhythm of “Atomic Breath” all bring to mind Iowan outliers Bloodcow, but that’s more likely sonic coincidence than direct influence, and one way or the other, Hypernaut‘s “Ozymandias” sets up a multifaceted push all through its span to its maddening, hypnotic finish, but the real danger of the thing is what this band might do if they continue on this trajectory for a few more records.

Hypernaut on Thee Facebooks

Hypernaut on Bandcamp

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Across Tundras Release Selected Sonic Rituals Vol. 1 Compilation

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Pressed in an edition of 33 CDR copies, the new collection of lost tracks, demos and so on from Across Tundras has been dubbed Selected Sonic Rituals Vol. 1. That’s fair enough. The Vol. 1 part of that implies that there are likely to be further volumes, and the parenthetical ‘s’ next to “collection” speaks to that as well, so I guess if you were thinking the Tumbleweeds series was all the band had to say as regards buried tapes, wrong-o. The remaster job these songs have been given is part of the appeal here, as it brings a sense of cohesion to what are by the band’s own admission and by the nature of the comp a bunch of different recordings from different sources. For all that, it sounds pretty right on, and the download is name-your-price on Bandcamp, which is how Across Tundras always roll.

If you haven’t heard it yet, Across Tundras‘ 2020 long-player, LOESS – LĂ–SS (review here), came out earlier this month and was released in similar fashion. The arrival of this follow-up compilation seems only appropriate for harvest time.

Info and stream, as taken from Bandcamp, which is the only social media-ish thing the band has at this point:

across tundras selected sonic rituals vol 1

Across Tundras – Selected Sonic Rituals Vol. 1

The final and undefinitive collection(s) of lost and out of print AT recordings. Culled, curated, and remastered from long lost tour CDR’s, cease & desist letters, and hazy late night demo sessions. Resurrected from their resting places on almost dead hard drives and half baked tapes for one last rodeo! Let the rest live on in the bootlegger’s ether. Cheers!

Released October 26, 2020.

Tracklisting:
1. Breaking Ground II (2020 Remaster) 02:36
2. Hearts for the Rain (2020 Remaster) 05:32
3. Indian Summer Storms (2020 Remaster) 06:03
4. Final Breath Over Venom Falls (2020 Remaster) 06:43
5. Prodigal Child Mind (2020 Remaster) 04:02
6. Eyes That Tell a Story (2020 Remaster) 06:06
7. Blackbird Crimson Sky (2020 Remaster) 05:29
8. Cosmic Dust Bowl (2020 Remaster) 04:47
9. Cold Ride (2020 Remaster) 04:54
10. Blood for the Sun (2020 Remaster) 05:28

~ Recorded by Tanner Olson, Shannon Murphy, Matt Shively. Mixed and mastered by Tanner Olson.
~ Music by : Tanner Olson, Shannon Murphy, Matt Shively, Nate Rose

https://acrosstundras.bandcamp.com/

Across Tundras, Selected Sonic Rituals Vol. 1 (2020)

Tags: , , , ,

Review & Full Album Stream: Across Tundras, LOESS – LĂ–SS

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Across Tundras LOESS LoSS

[Click play above to stream Across Tundras’ LOESS – LĂ–SS in full. Album is out Oct. 2]

For those who’ve followed the inward-bound trajectory of Across Tundras and founding frontman and songwriter T.G. Olson over the past five-plus years, the new album, LOESS – LĂ–SS, will seem both like a reaching out and a continuation. The expansive nine-track/51-minute release brings a return of the lineup from last year’s The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds (review here) with Olson on guitar, keys, percussion and vocals joined by bassist/vocalist Ben Schriever, vocalist Abigail Lily O’Hara, synthesist/keyboardist/noisemaker Caleb R.K. Williams and drummer Noel Dorado, and would seem to be compiled from recordings done remotely by Olson, Schriever (the pair who also mixed the album, while Mikey Allred mastered), and Williams and O’Hara (the latter two in France).

There is a breadth to the material that begins to show itself in the concluding, hypnotic drone and sampled reading of the Carl Sandburg poem “Hoof Dusk” in second track “Our Mother of Infinite Sorrows,” which continues throughout the subsequent nine-minute prairie sprawl of “Unsatiated” and on from there. Opener “#GDSOG” sets forth with an open atmosphere, and one would expect no less from Across Tundras in any incarnation, but is more straight-ahead structurally and clearly positioned as a lead-in for what follows. And certainly The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds — which after its release received a track-by-track series of remix EPs later bundled together as the box set Complete Altered States (discussed here) — had its sense of mood and landscape too.

The reaching-out noted above, then, comes from the overall sound of LOESS – LĂ–SS, which has a fuller and more immersive mix than its predecessor, as well as a generally cleaner production value despite the same personnel involved in making it, and plays out almost like what was referred to tongue-in-cheek as the “Hot Radio Mix” of the last album in that box set. Even as “Unsatiated” resolves in drum-backed mellow ambience in its comedown and gives way to the intertwining lines of guitar and slide on “Feral Blues,” and LOESS – LĂ–SS digs into some of its most meditative vibes, there is an overarching sense of clarity behind what the band are doing.

And part of the difference a year can make is just how much Across Tundras feel like a band on these tracks. “#GDSOG” makes that impression early, and the thread plays out in the heavy Americana ramble of “Feral Blues” and coinciding march of “In a Veil of Dark Smoke” as well, the latter telling a sort of gold-prospector’s-curse narrative that seems to play into ideas of ecological devastation as well, engaging the time in which we live and tying it to the past as Across Tundras‘ music itself does through its roots in folk, country and even post-sludge’s weighted tonality.

Across Tundras LOESS LoSS tape art

But where The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds seemed to come across as an extension of the arrangements and impulses of Olson‘s solo work, which had seen a boom in productivity since the prior Across Tundras LP, 2013’s Electric Relics (review here), especially with the incorporation of drones and more explicit soundscapes, LOESS – LĂ–SS embraces a greater range of ideas and has an all the more encompassing spirit for that. “In a Veil of Dark Smoke” leads off the second half of the tracklisting — at 51 minutes, the album would push the limits of vinyl, but if you wanted to call it the start of side B, I don’t think anyone would fight you — and dissolves into a haunted melodic wash with keys and residual distortion crafting an ambience that is striking if relatively short-lived as the guitar-led lurch of “The Boundary Waters” revives the forward momentum.

At 4:50, it’s the shortest cut since “#GDSOG” and has a prominent chug of blended acoustic and electric guitar (a regular feature ’round these parts) and deep-mixed drums behind that seem to focus the listener’s attention directly on the instrumental melody that takes hold. There is a chorus, though somewhat obscured, and “The Boundary Waters” also gives way to a drone finish before the more immediate start of “Piasa,” which runs 8:59 and, despite its made-in-isolation reality, seems to jam its way through its second half, departing its structured foundation as much of LOESS – LĂ–SS has done up to this point in favor of drifting exploration, inviting the listener to wander along, get lost, whatever it might be.

Sure enough, Across Tundras have always brought a feeling of space to their material. It’s part of what made early outings like 2008’s Western Sky Ride or 2006’s Dark Songs of the Prairie so groundbreaking, but LOESS – LĂ–SS does so in a new and progressive-feeling way, playing verses and choruses off of sonic vastness in a readjusted balance of their approach even from what they were doing a year ago. They cap with “No Secret in the Tomb,” which is marked out by string sounds alongside its layers of guitar and percussion, building in volume as it moves forward in one of the record’s most memorable hooks, and as they’ve used the drones all along to transition from one track to the next, so too do they use one to shift into the end of the record, with “No Secret in the Tomb” giving over its last 90 seconds or so to the windy sounds and intermittent chimes that set a foreboding tension before simply fading out.

A sign of things to come? I wouldn’t bet one way or the other, much as I wouldn’t have bet that, after six years between Electric Relics and The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds, Across Tundras would turn around another full-length in a year’s time. But LOESS – LĂ–SS feels on some levels like an answer to the questions posed by the album before it, and it finds the band, which has traveled like a ghost entity with Olson from Denver, to Nashville, to Nebraska, harnessing some of the strongest aspects of their past outings while keeping their eye unblinking on the horizon far off. At the same time, these songs stand boldly on their own and are distinct unto themselves, in and out of the context of Across Tundras‘ catalog. An end of one era? A beginning of another? Is there any difference? 16 years on from the band’s inception, that they’d inspire those questions at all is evidence of the engrossing nature of their work.

Across Tundras webstore

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,

Across Tundras Release Complete Altered States Companion Remixes for Latest Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’ve been kind of expecting something like this, but it’s still kind of an overwhelming project. Since the release in June of Across Tundras‘ latest full-length, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds (review here), founding guitarist/vocalist T.G. Olson has been going through and revisiting the album with track-by-track remixes, resulting in a series of digital EPs that have been trickled out one at a time over the past few months. He’s gone in order, one to the next through the entire album. They range from the “Hot Radio Mix” collection — which probably could’ve been released as the album proper — to more experimental styles like the “Ennio’s Mix” tracks, but the root of each is still the original itself. It’s in there somewhere. The only question is how hard one has to dig to find it.

Olson — self-releasing, as ever, through Bandcamp as a name-your-price download — has it organized in the same order as the tracklisting of the album, but as I’ve been going through, I’ve been listening to one version of the whole record at a time. I admit I’m not through the entire 28-track Complete Altered States at this point — only so many hours the day — but it’s a fascinating project however one might want to take it on. As Olson has done homemade CD box sets in the past, the chance to do a Complete Rugged Ranges collection seems to be self-evident.

Whether or not that comes to fruition, here’s the info off Bandcamp and the streams of both the remixes and the original for those feeling adventurous:

across tundras the rugged ranges complete altered states

Across Tundras – The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds ~ Complete Altered States

Altered States of The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds

released November 7, 2019

1. The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds (Ennio’s Mix) 03:35
2. The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds (Hot Radio Mix) 06:05
3. The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 06:57
4. The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds (Campfire Mix) 05:52
5. Slow Down and Breathe (Ennio’s Mix) 02:29
6. Slow Down and Breathe (Hot Radio Mix) 04:18
7. Slow Down and Breathe (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 04:18
8. Slow Down and Breathe (Choral Mix) 06:22
9. Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues (Ennio’s Mix) 01:43
10. Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues (Hot Radio Mix) 04:22
11. Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 05:41
12. Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues (Campfire Mix) 05:44
13. Boots of Snake Leather (Church Organ Mix) 04:44
14. Boots of Snake Leather (Hot Radio Mix) 04:14
15. Boots of Snake Leather (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 05:00
16. Boots of Snake Leather (Big Bass & Wide Slide Mix) 05:09
17. Whirlwind Reapin’ (Drone Out Mix) 03:00
18. Whirlwind Reapin’ (Hot Radio Mix) 05:17
19. Whirlwind Reapin’ (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 06:50
20. Whirlwind Reapin’ (Bass & Drumz Mix) 06:49
21. When We Were All One (Ennio’s Mix) 02:16
22. When We Were All One (Hot Radio Mix) 03:41
23. When We Were All One (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix 04:00
24. When We Were All One (Sky Jam Mix) 04:00
25. New War on the Range (Ennio’s Mix) 04:48
26. New War on the Range (Hot Radio Mix) 05:55
27. New War on the Range (Stereo Cinemascope Instrumental Mix) 07:39
28. New War on the Range (Thunder Jam Mix) 04:48

Tanner Olson ~ Ben Schriever ~ Caleb R.K. Williams ~ Abigail Lily O’hara ~ Noel Dorado

https://acrosstundras.bandcamp.com/

Across Tundras, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds – Complete Altered States (2019)

Across Tundras, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds (2019)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Across Tundras, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds: In the Ashes of Idealism

Posted in Reviews on June 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

across tundras the rugged ranges of curbs and broken minds

It has been six years since Across Tundras released their last full-length. That record, Electric Relics (review here), was a triumph of the band’s songwriting approach, blending elements from heavy rock and psychedelia with Americana and folk roots in a way that, even though they’d been at it for nearly a decade by then, still remained forward-thinking. It was also their first album to be released through their own imprint, Electric Relics Records, following 2011’s Sage (review here) coming out via Neurot and others released either by themselves and other labels. One could hardly say The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds follows a period of inactivity, given the fact that in the interim, the band has issued 2015’s Home Free EP (discussed here), a 2017 two-songer single, Blood for the Sun / Hearts for the Rain (discussed here), as well as various archival offerings, and founding guitarist/vocalist T.G. Olson has issued numerous solo full-lengths, singles and other releases, under his own name and several other incarnations, experimenting in folk, drone, assembled noise and so on, all being issued, like The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds, through Bandcamp with little to no prior announcement and as a name-your-price download and limited, usually hand-crafted, physical pressing.

That kind of promotional minimalism hasn’t done much for Across Tundras in terms of fanfare, but is has let Olson control and build his discography on his own terms, which is very much how the band operates throughout the new album, which, though again, they haven’t exactly been gone, has been nonetheless long awaited. To wit, before this stretch, the longest they’d gone between full-lengths was two years. And the crafting of these tracks would not seem to have been uncomplicated, recorded during moves between Nebraska and Nashville, Tennessee, with the final lineup of Olson, Ben Schriever, Caleb R.K. Williams, Abigail Lily O’Hara and Noel Dorado, but the fluidity that results serves as a reminder of what has always been a signature strength for Across Tundras in terms of creating space with their sound.

From their 2005 debut, Dark Songs of the Prairie onward, their mission has been in part to capture the spirit of a heavy Americana, and that remains true on The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds, but like the land itself, the shape that has taken in their sound has changed, and some of the ramble that found its way into Across Tundras‘ rolling grooves in years past has turned sullen, gazing less at shoes than out at an expanse of empty land, but gazing all the same. In darker moments like “Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues” or the wistful leadoff title-track, there’s a clear line to be drawn to some of Olson‘s recent solo work, which has blurred the lines between full-band-style soundcraft and guy-and-guitar folk, but one of The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds‘ most engaging aspects is the wash it creates and the deceptive depth of its mix, with pedal steel and drones resting far back behind the strumming electric guitar and voice, the drums subtle sometimes and more forward others, as when they lead the march of uptempo second cut “Slow Down and Breathe,” which boasts arguably the most memorable hook on the record, or in the later “Whirlwind Reapin’,” the midsection of which rises from a soundscape of distortion and heartsick melody to move into a wash of tone before closing with residual noise.

across tundras rock pile

Though it does not struggle to make an immediate impression, the album is best on repeat listens — a slow burner that lets the voice speaking at the beginning of the penultimate “When We Were All One” come through, and gives the soft-touch blues of centerpiece “Boots of Snake Leather” its proper room to breathe — and the more its genuine scope is revealed, the more those listens are earned. Whether it’s the tale-telling of “The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds” or the noisy, organ-laced finish of “New War on the Range,” which is also the longest track at 7:42, the band hold firm to an experimentalist purpose and care of arrangement that goes beyond the surface of Olson‘s songwriting, and the vision of the prairie they’re using as their backdrop is that much richer for it.

As a fan and someone who — if I didn’t get the point across — was waiting for a new Across Tundras LP to come out, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds is all the more satisfying because it doesn’t ignore what Olson has done over the last six years. It ties to his solo work in a way that isn’t trying to be something that it’s not. It’s still rooted in that heavy Americana ideal, but more patient in its songwriting than the band have ever been, and more willing to, like the song says and eventually does, “Slow Down and Breathe” almost as an act of escapism from the modern chaos hinted at in the album’s title. In its blend of naturalist wash and country folk, it is both lush and organic, with Olson‘s mostly laid back, breathy post-Dylan vocal style providing the human core around which the other elements swirl and churn and do whatever else it is they might do.

All told, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds is seven songs/43 minutes of material that pushes the band into places where they’ve never been, and while it does so, it seems to find itself closer to the heart of what they’ve been going for all along, that kind of resonance shared between emotionality and place. In the howling leads of “Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues” and the way “When We Were All One” seems to bask in imaginary sentiment — what could be more American? — Across Tundras are able to manifest their ideas in a way they’ve never been before, and they’re ultimately stronger for incorporating what Olson has learned in the intervening years of solo work in making that happen. Though the American underground is rife with heavy blues of various shapes and forms, Across Tundras are unto themselves, and whether one thinks of it as heavy bluesgaze folk or whatever else, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds is a welcome reminder of that fact.

Across Tundras, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds (2019)

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , ,

Across Tundras Release New Album The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds

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

You know, after six years, I just didn’t want the release of a new Across Tundras album to go unmarked. I’ll have a review up in about a week after I sit with the thing and give it its due — it’s currently slated for June 18, if you want to keep track; that may change — but just for my own satisfaction as a fan of the band, I wanted to put up a post just with the stream for anyone who wanted to check it out to do so and just to say, hey, here’s a thing that exists.

So yeah, it exists. It’s been a long time coming. I’d love to know the recording circumstances, as frontman, founder and principal songwriter T.G. Olson has been back and forth between Nebraska and Nashville over the last couple years, but I guess that’s concern for another day. If The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds was pieced together over however long, it certainly doesn’t lack fluidity for that. But all that is concern for another time. Right now, I’m just glad it’s out there. They put it out the same way Olson does his solo releases: with just about no prior notice and no fanfare — a link shared on social media and that’s it. There are CD and tape preorders though — got mine in — and I imagine if those sell through, the topic of vinyl will be broached.

But anyway, it’s a name-your-price download in the meantime, and you can listen below as well as on the Across Tundras/T.G. Olson Bandcamp page, as always. Dig it:

across tundras the rugged ranges of curbs and broken minds

The new full length album from Across Tundras is available now for free/name your price download!

Pre orders for CD and Cassette are up now. All proceeds go towards getting this album pressed on vinyl. We need your support to get this album on wax where it belongs!

Pulled from the jaws of defeat 2018-2019.

Sounds by T.G. Olson ~ Ben Schriever ~ Caleb R.K. Williams ~ Abigail Lily O’Hara ~ Noel Dorado. Recorded by T.G. Olson and Caleb R.K. Williams, Mastered by T.G. Olson, Caleb and Abigail appear courtesy of The Eagle Stone Collective.
eaglestone.bandcamp.com

Photography and design by T.G. Olson.

Tracklisting:
1. The Rugged Ranges of Curbs & Broken Minds 06:58
2. Slow Down and Breathe 06:24
3. Talkin’ Rust Cohle Existential Blues 05:42
4. Boots of Snake Leather 05:02
5. Whirlwind Reapin’ 06:50
6. When We Were All One 04:39
7. New War on the Range 07:42

Thanks to Jackson C. Frank, Carl Sandburg and Librivox Public Domain Recordings, Rainy Day Women, Dogs, Road Trippin’, Strange Days and YOU for listening.

BLUE CHEERS Y’ALL!

https://www.facebook.com/AcrossTundrasBand/
https://acrosstundras.bandcamp.com/

Across Tundras, The Rugged Ranges of Curbs and Broken Minds (2019)

Tags: , , , ,

T.G. Olson, Riding Roughshod: Torch Songs

Posted in Reviews on December 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

tg olson riding roughshod

Even for T.G. Olson, four full-lengths in a year is a lot. The once and perhaps future guitarist/vocalist of Across Tundras started 2018 by issuing Owned and Operated by Twang Trust LLC and A Stone that Forever Rolls (both reviewed here) consecutively in February and March, and it would seem Autumn has been no less productive, with Earthen Pyramid (review here) in September, the two-songer single Wasatch Valley Lady and the Man from Table Mountain (review here), and the latest collection, Riding Roughshod at the end of October. One might perhaps speculate that the successive-month patterning of albums is the result of two especially productive writing periods, but given Olson‘s solo discography — I don’t even know what number release he’s up to in the past five-plus years, but it’s well into the teens at least, and more still if one counts his noise outfit Inget Namn or his drone incarnation Funeral Electrical, not to mention the odd Across Tundras offering here and there; it’s all up on the Bandcamp site for Electric Relics Audio Artifacts, his label, as name-your-price downloads — it’s hard to imagine a time at which he’s not writing songs.

It may well be he just had time in those two seasonal blocks to record when he didn’t over the summer. In any case, four full-length albums in eight months would be enough to make Hawkwind blush, but it’s not necessarily out of character for Olson, and it’s one of the reasons to most admire his project: it’s relentless. As subdued, as melancholic as some of his output can be — and certainly is on Riding Roughshod as well, its nine-song/36-minute run based around acoustic guitar and vocals with layers of wistful pedal steel and other, more experimental aspects rolled in — there is an immediacy to it as well. It is an attempt on Olson‘s part to capture the barebones roots of American folk music, and to put his own twist thereupon. Does that make a song like “Cautious Eyes” or the preceding “Chaser” something along the lines of experimentalist traditionalism? It’s in this collision of ideas that Olson seems most comfortable.

Recording specifics for Riding Roughshod are sparse, but it seems most likely Olson tracked the songs DIY as is his wont, and along with the album, he has it tagged “A=432HZ,” referring to the tuning of A at a frequency said to have healing properties toward cosmic oneness. I’m neither an expert on music theory nor frequency manipulation, but songcraft-as-catharsis is certainly an easy idea to get on board with, and if that’s what’s happening here, so be it. From the opening title-track — making the album like poem titled for its first line — onward, a resonance persists thanks in no small part to the atmospheric layers of drone and various other instruments worked in as Olson seems to harness a mountainous naturalism to a fervent sense of human presence within an overwhelming landscape.

tg olson

“Riding Roughshod” is the shortest track on the long-player that shares its name, and “Chaser” and “Cautious Eyes” follow and lead into the in medias res beginning of “Sunday Morning,” which is wistful enough to almost beg for a weepy country fiddle but does just fine with the guitar instead. His voice has a kind of breathy approach that is very much his own with no less twang than the backing pedal steel, but whether he’s forward in the mix as on the centerpiece “Keep it Hidden” or farther back as on the title-cut, he never fails to do what will best serve the song in ambience and overarching presentation. That impulse is no less a signature for Olson than his style of singing, but he barely stops to notice before he’s on to the next piece, single, project or album. Still, “Pickup Truck” is sentimental enough that its opening guitar line calls to mind The Beatles‘ “Yesterday,” and, though it’s only a little over four minutes long, almost too easy to get lost in when it comes to the emotionalism on display. The subsequent “Backslider” holds truer to a guitar-in-open-space feel, but fits atmospherically with the surroundings and the preceding “Pickup Truck,” seeming to stop early only to let the guitar carry it quietly out.

The sometimes (purposefully) choppy waters of Olson‘s cascade of craft seem to smootth themselves out as the penultimate “Bless the Singer of he Torch Song” takes hold, its lyrics far back and murky following the opening title-line. “Bless the Singer of the Torch Song” is a highlight here in the spirit of “Pickup Truck,” “Riding Roughshod” or “Sunday Morning,” but closer “Trespasser” provides a last-minute experimentalist thrust, as Olson dons an angry-Dylan vocal style and tops his plucked guitar strings in double-layered fashion. A sample of someone yelling, presumably at a trespasser, is worked into “Trespasser,” and it gives the final cut on Riding Roughshod a standout element of its own, apart from the rest of the record before it. Olson has used samples and field recordings before, so it’s not out of line with his work necessarily on the whole, but it does serve as a last reminder of just how broad his creative process has become.

That intensity is as encompassing as it is fascinating, since it not only results int his glut of material in an ever-growing discography, it also never seems to fail to result in a quality of material and a distinct sound that belongs to Olson entirely. His work has only become all the more his own during this prolific stretch, and whether it continues or his winds carry him elsewhere, there’s no doubting who you’re hearing when you’re listening to a T.G. Olson release, and one can’t help but view the mania with which he seems to create albums and, on a more basic level, songs, as building an archive, some message from a particular now to a particular future. Maybe he’s thinking of it on those terms and maybe not, but the effect is the same, and his driven creative sensibilities continue to result in individualized endeavors waiting to catch the imagination of any and all who wander in their direction.

T.G. Olson, Riding Roughshod (2018)

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Earthless, Satan’s Satyrs, Mantar, Child, T.G. Olson, Canyon, Circle of the Sun, Mythic Sunship, Svarta Stugan, Bast

Posted in Reviews on December 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

There isn’t enough coffee in the universe, but I’ve got mine and I’m ready to burn the living crap out of my tongue if that’s what it takes to get through. We’ve arrived at Day 4 of the Quarterly Review, and though we’re less than halfway to the 100-album goal set by some maniac sitting at his kitchen table with a now-burnt tongue, there’s been an awful lot of good stuff so far. More even than I thought going into it, and I slate this stuff.

That said, today’s list is pretty killer. A lot of these bands will be more familiar than maybe has been the case or will be on some of the other days of this Quarterly Review. It just kind of worked out that way as I was putting it together. But hey, a few bigger bands here, a few “debut EP” demos there. It’s all good fun.

So let’s go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Earthless, From the West

earthless from the west

Bonus points to whatever clever cat correctly decided that Earthless‘ 2018 studio album, Black Heaven (review here), needed a companion live record. With artwork mimicking a Led Zeppelin bootleg of the same name, From the West arrives through Silver Current and Nuclear Blast capturing the most powerful of power trios earlier this year in San Francisco, and it’s like the fire emoji came to life. With Mike Eginton‘s bass as the anchor and Mario Rubalcaba‘s drums as the driving force, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell starts ripping holes in the fabric of spacetime with “Black Heaven” and doesn’t stop until 64 minutes later as “Acid Crusher” dissolves into noise. Of course “Gifted by the Wind” from the latest LP is a highlight, and suitably enough, they cover Zeppelin‘s “Communication Breakdown,” but I’m not sure anything tops the extended take on “Uluru Rock” from 2013’s From the Ages (review here) — and yes, I mean that. Of course they pair it with the 1:48 surge of “Volt Rush,” because they’re Earthless, and brilliant is what they do. Every set they play should be recorded for posterity.

Earthless website

Silver Current Records on Bandcamp

Earthless at Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Satan’s Satyrs, The Lucky Ones

satans satyrs the lucky ones

Encased in cover art that begs the Spinal Tap question, “what’s wrong with being sexy?” and the response that Fran Drescher gave it, Virginia classic heavy rockers Satan’s Satyrs return with their fourth full-length, The Lucky Ones (on RidingEasy and Bad Omen), which also marks their first record as a four-piece with guitarist Nate Towle (Wicked Inquisition) joining the returning lineup of bassist/vocalist Clayton Burgess, guitarist Jared Nettnin and drummer Stephen Fairfield, who, between the fact that Burgess founded the band and played in Electric Wizard, and all the lead guitar antics from Nettnin and Towle, might be the unsung hero of the band. His performance is not lost in the recording by Windhand‘s Garrett Morris or Burgess‘ own hefty mix, and as one would expect, Satan’s Satyrs continue to deliver deceptively refined ’70s-heavy vibes caked in cult biker horror aesthetics. Some songs hit more than others, but Satan’s Satyrs‘ dust-kicking approach continues to win converts.

Satan’s Satyrs on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records on Bandcamp

Bad Omen Records on Bandcamp

 

Mantar, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze

mantar the modern art of setting ablaze

One generally thinks of Hamburg duo Mantar as having all the subtlety of a bone saw caught on video, and yet, in listening to “Seek + Forget” from their third album, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (on Nuclear Blast), there are some elements that seem to be reaching out on the part of the band. Guitarist Hanno‘s vocals are more enunciated and discernible, there is a short break from the all-out blackened-sludge-punk assault that’s been their trade since their start in 2012, and “Obey the Obscene” even has an organ. Still, the bulk of the 12-track/48-minute follow-up to 2016’s Ode to the Flame (review here) is given to extremity of purpose and execution, and in pieces like the churning “Anti Eternia” and the particularly-punked “Teeth of the Sea,” they work to refine their always-present threat of violence. Closer “The Funeral” brings back some of the quiet moodiness of intro “The Knowing” and underscores the point of sonic expansion. I hope next time they use a string section.

Mantar on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast website

 

Child, I

child i

It took me a few minutes to get to the heart of what my problem with Child‘s I EP is. Really, I was sitting and listening to “Age Has Left Me Behind” — the first of the three included tracks on the 20-ish-minute 12″ — and I had to ask myself, “Why is this annoying me?” The answer? Because it’s not an album. That’s it. It’s not enough. Kudos to the Melbourne, Australia, heavy blues trio on having that be the biggest concern with their latest release — it follows 2016’s righteously-grooved Blueside (review here) — and kudos to them as well for their cover of Spirit‘s “The Other Song,” but of course it’s the 10-minute jam “Going Down Swinging” on side B that’s the immersive highlight of I, as Child‘s balance of softshoe-boogie and expansive mellow-psych is second to none in their subgenre. It’s not an album, and that’s kind of sad, but as a tide-ya-over until the next long-player arrives, I still does the trick nice and easy. And not to get greedy, but I’d take a II (or would it be You?) whenever they get around to it.

Child on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

T.G. Olson, Wasatch Valley Lady & The Man from Table Mountain

tg olson wasatch valley lady and the man from table mountain

Across Tundras frontman T.G. Olson, who by now has well lapped that band’s output with his solo catalog, would seem to have sat down with his guitar sometime in the last week and put two songs to tape. The resulting 10-minute offering is Wasatch Valley Lady & The Man from Table Mountain, its component title-tracks stripping down some of the more elaborate arrangements he’s explored of late — his latest full-length, Riding Roughshod (review pending; it’s hard to keep up), came out in October — to expose the barebones construction at root in his Rocky Mountain country folk style. “Wasatch Valley Lady” and “The Man from Table Mountain” make an engaging couple, and while Olson has a host of videos on YouTube that are similarly just him and his acoustic, something about the audio-only recordings feel like a voice out of time reaching for human connection. The first seems to have a natural fade, and the second a more prominent rhythm showcased in harder strum, but both are sweet melodies evocative as ever of open landscapes and wistful experience.

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

T.G. Olson/Across Tundras on Bandcamp

 

Canyon, Mk II

canyon mk ii

The Deep Purple-referential Mk II title of Canyon‘s second EP, also the follow-up to their 2017 debut LP, Radiant Light, refers to the lineup change that’s seen Dean Welsh move to drums so that he and guitarist Peter Stanko can welcome bassist/vocalist Fred Frederick to the fold. The three included songs, the hooky “Mine Your Heart,” expansively fuzzed “Morphine Dreams” and bouncing “Roam” make a hell of a first offering from the reconstituted trio, who capture classic heavy naturalism in a chemistry between players that’s mirrored in the songwriting itself. Canyon‘s 2016 self-titled debut EP (review here) held marked promise, and even after the full-length, that promise would seem to be coming to fruition here. Their tones and craft are both right on, and there’s still some gelling to do between the three of them, but they leave no doubt with Mk II that this incarnation of Canyon can get there. And, if they keep up like this, get there quickly.

Canyon on Thee Facebooks

Canyon on Bandcamp

 

Circle of the Sun, Jams of Inner Perception

Circle of the Sun Jams of Inner Perception

One man jams! Psych-jam seekers will recognize Daniel Sax as the drummer for Berlin-based trio Cosmic Fall. Circle of the Sun is a solo-project from Sax and Jams of Inner Perception collects six tracks for 39 minutes of adventuring on his own. Sax sets his own backbeat and layers bass and “effectsbass” for a full-lineup feel amid the instrumental creations, and those looking to be hypnotized by the space-rocking jams will be. Flat out. Sax is no stranger to jamming, and as one soaks in “Jamming in Paradise” or its nine-minute predecessor “Liquid Sand,” there’s little mistaking his intention. Curious timing that Circle of the Sun would take shape following a lineup change in Cosmic Fall — perhaps it was put together in the interim? — but whether Jams of Inner Perception is a one-off of the beginning of a new avenue for Sax, its turn to blues noodling on “Desert Sun,” thick-toned “Moongroove” and fuzzy roll on “Acid Dream” demonstrate there are plenty of outer realms still to explore.

Circle of the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Circle of the Sun on Bandcamp

 

Mythic Sunship, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

Mythic Sunship Another Shape of Psychedelic Music

The simplest way to put it is that Mythic Sunship‘s Another Shape of Psychedelic Music lives up to the lofty ambitions of its title. The Danish band is comprised of guitarists Kasper Stougaard Andersen and Emil Thorenfeldt, bassist Rasmus ‘Cleaver’ Christensen, drummer Frederik Denning and saxophonist Søren Skov, and with Causa Sui‘s Jonas Munk — who also produced the album — sitting in on the extended “Backyard Voodoo” (17:41) and “Out There” (13:53) as well as overseeing the release through El Paraiso, the band indeed makes there way into the far out reaches where jazz and psychedelia meet. It’s not about pretentiously saying they’re doing something that’s never been done. You’ll note it’s “another shape” and not a “new shape” or the “shape to come.” But immersion happens quickly on opener “Resolution” (14:23), and even quicker cuts like “Last Exit,” “Way Ahead” and “Elevation” carry the compelling spirit of forward-thinking creativity through their dynamic course, and if Mythic Sunship aren’t the shape of psychedelic music to come, it’s in no small part because there are so few out there who could hope to match what they do.

Mythic Sunship on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso Records website

 

Svarta Stugan, Islands / Ă–ar

svarta stugan islands oar

Islands / Ă–ar — the second word being the Swedish translation of the first — is the 40-minute debut full-length from Gothenburg atmospheric heavy post-rock instrumentalists Svarta Stugan, who demonstrate in influence from Hex-era Earth on the opener “Islands III” but go on in subsequent tracks to pull together a sound distinct in its cinematic feel and moody execution. Five out of the seven component tracks are “Islands” pieces, which are presented out of order with “Islands IV” missing and “Islands Unknown” perhaps in its place, and the respective side A/B finales “Inner Space” and “Prospects Quatsi” standing apart. Both bring to bear a style ultimately consistent with the melancholy so rife throughout Islands / Ă–ar as a whole, but they’re obviously intended as outliers, and so they seem to be. The LP release follows a couple shorter outings, issued over the past six-plus years, and it’s clear from the depths and range on display here in the build-to-crescendo of “Inner Space” alone that Svarta Stugan haven’t misspent their time in their progression to this point.

Svarta Stugan on Thee Facebooks

Svarta Stugan on Bandcamp

 

Bast, Nanoångström

bast nanoangstrom

Largesse of scope and largesse of tone work in tandem on Bast‘s NanoĂĄngström full-length on Black Bow, as they bring together aspects of post-metallic churn and more extreme metal methods to hone a style highly individualized, highly weighted and as much cosmic as it is crushing. Through six tracks and 57 minutes, the London trio (plus two guest spots from Chris Naughton of Winterfylleth) careen and crash and set an atmosphere of chaos without actually being chaotic, their progressive craft working to tie the songs together into a larger impression of the work as a consuming entirety. It’s the kind of record you pick up and still hear new things in by the time they put out their next one. Production from Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio only helps creates the heights and depths of their dynamic, and whether they’re rolling out the severity of closer “The Ghosts Which Haunt the Space Between the Stars” or laying out the soundscape of “The Beckoning Void,” Bast shape the tenets of genre to suit their needs rather than try to work within the barriers of any particular style. NanoĂĄngström is all the more complex and satisfying for their efforts in that regard.

Bast on Thee Facebooks

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,