Friday Full-Length: Hour of 13, Hour of 13

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Think My Parents Wont Let Me Do My Homework - Put aside your concerns, place your assignment here and get your quality paper in a few days Why worry about the dissertation Hour of 13‘s history is complicated? They have three Bandcamps. Three of them. Foremost among them is that from which the player above comes, run by  writing papers for students Who Pays The Bill For Internet Shopping Essay For Cheap personal statement phd custom resume writing your Northern Silence Productions imprint  All Students Know the Golden Rule: http://www.koegl.at/?how-do-you-do-an-essay is Easy and Affordable for Everyone. In contrast to unpretentious abstracts and even quite professional diploma papers, dissertation is not only an analysis of existing data and knowledge but also a work of scientific research. Eyes Like Snow, where the 2013 reissue of their 2007 self-titled debut, originally on The Fastest Online Recommended Site. Trusted By 3000+ Corporate Clients. Start in 30min. 12 hours delivery. From 29 $/hr. Shadow Kingdom Records, and physical editions of their other two full-lengths can be found. There’s also one from My Essay Writing Service. Hire a Best custom essay writer help services and get your essay (any type) done in-time with Cheapest Essays. Starting at 4$ - 8$ Earache Records, which signed the band in Sept. 2010 to release their 2010 second album, English . unpunctual Russ recognizing, his tammies article source very orthogonal. The Ritualist (discussed here), and third, Write my college essay fast. I trust you to Essay On Why Community Service Is Important today, but can you offer me a better price? The customer is always right, 333 (discussed here), in 2011 and 2013, respectively. The third — because, yes, we’re still listing Bandcamp pages — is the band’s and it’s operating under the semi-changed moniker of  Our company is dedicated to providing students across the world with Homework Help- Holt Geometry so that they can be relieved of the burden that writing such a large project inevitably entails. When you order from us, you are investing in your future as a student, and also your future career and professional lifestyle. This is the way that students who are serious about their studies do it; they hire our custom dissertation writing service and become worry free about their homework. Take some time Hour of Thirteen, in order to represent the shift from doom to classic metal and horror punk and the continuation of the band as a solo-project of founding guitarist Write A University Essay For Me - Use this company to receive your sophisticated essay delivered on time Entrust your essay to us and we will do our best for you Chad Davis. By the way, it was announced earlier this week that  Australian Fashion Business Plan Examples: Content marketing agency in Sydney. Content creation, strategy services, and professional ebook and blog writers. Hour of 13 — not  Consumer Buying Behavior Literature Review Writing dissertation papers is one of the most complex tasks. If you are also dealing with such complexity and wondering how to write a good dissertation paper to get the desirable grades, we at My Assignment Services are always there to help you with the cheap dissertation help. Hour of Thirteen — will release a new full-length called  The typhoid Meade irritates his inclination. Unrolled click here for me and uncultured speech michelle obama convention analysis essays Black Magick Rites. That’ll be out on — wait for it —  "see". Choose our online essay editing service and do not waste your time on other websites! Shadow Kingdom. Lest the circle lack fullness.

And which release came out where and when — that’s really just the beginning when it comes to the story of  weblink services should ensure that writers are able to write papers that are free of errors such as spelling and grammar errors. Such mistakes lower the quality of dissertations and hence poor performance. Writing services should always be prepared to offer dissertation help to those students who face problems when writing the papers. Dissertation writing services should Hour of 13 and the tumultuous path the band has walked since their 2007 Hour of 13 Hour of 13 originalinception as a studio-only duo of  customer retention in e commerce research papers Pay Where To Buy Book Reviews as creative writing coursework personal statement medical school application Davis and vocalist  Phil Swanson. With Davis based then in Hickory, North Carolina, and operating as a member of U.S. ChristmasTasha-YarSetAnu, etc. — he can now be found in San Francisco, working through The Crooked WhispersJenzeits and probably six or seven more — and Swanson living in Connecticut and working in bands like Upwards of Endtime and Earthlord — I saw him in Maryland last year but I’m not sure if he lives there or what; he’s currently in Vestal Claret and Seamount, and likely others — the workings of the band were immediately complicated. It was possible if more difficult than it is now to send recordings back and forth to work remotely as a group, but with Davis providing guitar, bass and drums and Swanson adding his Satanic, ritual-fueled, sometimes murderous lyrics and enviable post-Sabbath vocal approach, the self-titled was indeed tracked in-person in two sessions between 2006 and 2007 ahead of that Shadow Kingdom release. Bringing together eight songs across 42 minutes, it was simply an album ahead of and outside of its time.

By that I mean it arrived early for what soon enough took hold as a more cultish branch of doom metal. A few years later, or even now, it would be readily in league with a slew of other groups — if more lyrically deranged; Swanson always had a knack for skirting and sometimes crossing the line between good-fun devil worship like the un-Trouble and uh-that’s-not-okay kidnap and ritualistic murder, as on Hour of 13 closer “Missing Girl” — but at its time it was an immediate standout, despite also taking on the genre trappings of traditionalist doom. On their face, songs like early cuts “Call to Satan” and “Submissive to Evil” are straightforward and ask little of the listener. Riffs roll out, vocals follow the established rhythmic pattern, groove is had, doom is purveyed. But between an edge of rawness to the production and a flourish of classic metal in “The Correalation” (sic) and the relatively brief “Grim Reality,” which is snuck in like three and a half minutes of Judas Priest to lead off side B as though no one would notice, Hour of 13‘s invocations of darkness found a resonance that few in the traditional sphere of doom could hope to capture — not quite retro in style, but willfully primitive in aesthetic and construction. With each song carrying something of a narrative, whether it was obscure in “Endurement to the Heirs of Shame” or straight-ahead spellcasting in “Hex of Harm,” trying to get the devil on the line in “Call to Satan” and “Allowance of Sin,” the debut not only established Hour of 13 as a band with a clear mission in terms of what they were going for sound-wise, but a perspective of their own through which they’d manifest that. It would be hard to overstate the potential that could be heard in this record when it came out.

“Missing Girl,” which even 13 years later remains singularly fucked up in a Buffalo-Bill-wearing-your-face-like-a-mask kind of way, caps the album and is its longest track at eight minutes even, but all across its span there’s immersion in and consorting with a sense of evil. It’s not supposed to be comfortable when Swanson sings about Hour of 13 Hour of 13cutting himself and jerking off into the blood in “Call to Satan,” and that interplay between sex, violence, and ritual is, if not ubiquitous in the songs, then certainly lurking in the background. It is the one adult male at the playground sitting on the bench watching the children who clearly has no child of his own. Call-the-cops creepy. The reality behind “Aqualung.”

Fruitful as their collaboration was, Davis and Swanson never seemed to click as a lineup. They played few gigs together — I was fortunate enough to see them in 2010 (review here) — and the vocalist left the band in 2011, following the release of The Ritualist, and Davis hooked up with Beaten Back to Pure‘s Ben Hogg shortly thereafter as part of what became a touring configuration of the band. But shifts in personnel were common, and though Hogg was on board for a tour with Kylesa and fronted some demos, by the time Hour of 13 issued 333Swanson was back in the band. Still, the momentum they’d had leading into Earache releasing the second album had largely evaporated, and touring was never a huge priority. When the band posted a single in tribute to The Gates of Slumber bassist Jason McCash (R.I.P.) in 2014, that was to be their final recording, but Davis revived the project two years later for the Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased (review here) compilation, before shifting in 2018 to Hour of Thirteen, seeing Davis release a debut in 2019 with The Sabbathian (review here) on Svart, while still issuing a couple EPs to keep the flame burning and now, apparently, moving toward a fourth Hour of 13 full-length done completely as a solo affair.

Whatever the future brings for Hour of 13 — you can understand I’m sure why one might hesitate to predict, but maybe more Bandcamps? — their self-titled continues to be a defining document of their take on doom and what they represented at their outset. It is one of those kinds of albums that had more of an effect than people generally realize, and in discussion of acts who helped foster revivalist doom in the last ten years-plus should in no way be ignored.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

It’s 7:20AM and I’ve already had half a xanax this morning, which may or may not be a good sign for how the rest of the day is going to go. The Pecan has been up for an hour — woke up early as I was finishing the above, ran in his closet and proceeded to take a massive dump in his diaper as he will; fortunately it was contained — so I grabbed him, changed him, started him on breakfast. He’s had a snotty nose the last three days or so but seems to be on the mend if his bouncing-off-the-walls, complete-lack-of-focus is anything to go by. It was after I found myself on my knees on the rug begging him for not the first time in my life to eat a spoonful of yogurt that I hopped up and took a pill. I expect in about 20 minutes life will seem more manageable in that particular my-blood-is-moving-slower-than-it-was kind of way that the medication induces.

What a week.

The dog continues to be what I feel is an unnecessary challenge. Case in point she went to doggy-daycare on Tuesday — same time The Pecan was at actual-daycare — and the two-plus hours I had to sit quietly were some of the most satisfying I’ve experienced in at least the last two months since she came into our home. I was on board with getting this dog. I am now on board with getting rid of this dog. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, and while The Patient Mrs. — being more patient as she is — is advocating professional training, unless we’re going to do the same for our child, I fail to see how that substantial, multi-thousand-dollar investment might pay off. As projects go, I’d much prefer to get started redoing the kitchen now that we own the house.

These are adult concerns, and shitty besides. Far more fun is that I’ve had Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” stuck in my head for the better part of the last 72 hours. “Catchy” doesn’t begin to cover it.

New Gimme Metal show today at 5PM Eastern: http://gimmemetal.com or their app to listen. The app is easier.

Alright, I gotta get this kid to leave the house before it burns it down so I’m punching out. Have a great and safe weekend. Be well, hydrate. All that good stuff.

FRM.

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Friday Full-Length: Apostle of Solitude, Sincerest Misery

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Apostle of Solitude, Sincerest Misery (2008)

Sure enough, doom has rarely offered miseries that seem so sincere. Part of what makes Apostle of Solitude so resonant on that level, I think, is the utter lack of drama in their sound. That’s something that was true of them on their 2008 full-length debut, Sincerest Misery — which was released by underrated and now-defunct imprint Eyes Like Snow — and it’s remained true of them ever since. Somehow, coming from the Indianapolis outfit, it seems particularly American, and in the case of their first record, that’s a spirit emphasized by the everyday-rural-woes spoken sample included in “This Dustbowl Earth” in the album’s back half, but even more than that, it’s the point that Apostle of Solitude right away seemed to spurn any sort of morose posturing or poetic theatricalities. “A Slow Suicide” tells a story about substance abuse. “The Dark Tower” references Stephen King in its title. But with guitarist/vocalist Chuck Brown‘s sorrowful delivery, the emotional crux of Sincerest Misery comes across as being on a perpetual fade. It’s not about scribbling lines to Horus by moonlight — nothing against that, mind you; when it works it’s brilliant — but about the doom can infect one’s day-to-day experience of life. It doesn’t need that added drama to get its point across.

Comprised of eight core tracks plus a hidden cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Electric Funeral,” Sincerest Misery begins with a snare count-in on “The Messenger” from founding drummer Corey Webb that sets in motion the key dynamic that will play out throughout the course of the record — namely that between himself and Brown. As the guitar on “The Messenger” and the subsequent “Confess” sways between chugging and drawn out lumber, Webb demonstrates a core tactic that the band has continued to utilize on their three-to-date LPs in switching between forward propulsion and a half-time swing that seems to make everything slower despite no tempo change from Brown — joined on guitar here by Justin Avery, while Brent McLellen handled bass and backing vocal duties — drawing back and lurching ahead with a change that’s both subtle and beaning the listener in the head. Together, “The Messenger” and “Confess” make up a pivotal opening salvo that I’d argue helped establish Apostle of Solitude immediately among the stronger US-based purveyors of traditional doom metal, showcasing them quickly as more than just an offshoot of The Gates of Slumber, in which Brown had previously served as drummer, and setting the stage for the slower crawl to come on “A Slow Suicide,” the 14-minute closer “Sincerest Misery (1,000 Days)” or the penultimate “Warbird,” which at nine minutes is perhaps Sincerest Misery‘s most dynamic track in its melody and the patience of its execution, starting with a hypnotic undulation of bass and slowly doling out its riff before exploding into nodding crash en route first to a fistpump-ready midsection, then through another slowdown that builds toward a payoff in the last minute that, even on its own, outside the context of the rest of the outing around it, shows the potential that existed in this band at what was more or less their outset, the first full-length having been preceded by the 2006 Embraced by the Black EP and an eponymous demo in 2005.

The cleverness of having the guitar count-in at the start of “Last Tears,” which on the vinyl version closes out side A in answer to “The Messenger,” is one example of nuance presented throughout, and certainly the instrumental rollout of “The Dark Tower” has its classically progressive elements, but again, what makes Sincerest Misery as a whole even more affecting to the listener is the overarching rawness that seems to be emanating from it at all times. One gets the sense in listening to the the turns and howls of “Confess,” the lurching chug of “Last Tears” and the ultra-dug-in plod of “Sincerest Misery (1,000 Days)” that the damage suffered is recent, and it sounds no less so more than nine years after the initial release — it turns a decade old in Oct. 2018 — than it did when the album first came out, because like the best of doom, Apostle of Solitude‘s Sincerest Misery has retained a sonic potency by seeming not to belong to its own era so much as an ongoing pantheon of style.

Crucial as well for what it set in motion in terms of Apostle of Solitude‘s sound in how they’d take the harmonies of “Sincerest Misery (1,000 Days)” and the “Electric Funeral” cover and make them a pivotal aspect of their approach — particularly after bringing in guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak (also of Devil to Pay) for their triumphant third full-length, 2014’s Of Woe and Wounds (review here), which followed the Profound Lore-released, got-a-bum-wrap-because-of-its-cover-art 2010 sophomore work, Last Sunrise (review here) — Sincerest Misery earns a place of distinction in that aesthetic pantheon not just by living up to its title, but through the unabashed emotionalism it presents. If you want to put it to scale, Pallbearer‘s first demo was still two years off, so it’s worth emphasizing that Apostle of Solitude were well ahead of the curve in a lot of what’s become taken for granted as modern doom.

That’s not to say Sincerest Misery is perfect. It’s not. Including the Sabbath track, it reaches an unmanageable 70-minute runtime and there are stretches where it’s clear the editorial impulse that would show itself in a tightening of songwriting by the time they got into Last Sunrise and Of Woe and Wounds was still in development. But especially as their debut, it shows the mindful approach to their craft they’d continue to progress as they moved forward and brings forth righteousness enough that, nine years after the fact, one is left thinking that it’s high time Apostle of Solitude were considered among the foremost purveyors of American doom throughout the last decade.

As one looks forward to the arrival of their fourth outing in 2018, revisiting their first offers a chance to be reminded of how much they have to offer in style and substance, and as always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Yesterday was the solstice, the darkest day of the year. And it felt it perhaps even a little more than usual with the passing earlier this week of Rev. Jim Forrester, shot down outside his place of employment in Baltimore with no sense of motive yet uncovered and no suspect arrested last I heard. Shit is fucked. Fucked. Fucked. Fucked. Today is the memorial service down there, and next Friday in Frederick, Maryland, is the first of what one hopes will be a series of benefit shows (info here) in his honor and with proceeds going to his family.

I guess if there’s light at all to take away from that situation — which, it needs to be said again: fucked — it’s seeing the Maryland heavy underground rally together as it always does. Earlier this year when Jim had his health issues stemming from a blood clot in his liver (discussed here), the people in Maryland’s scene got together to offer their support and it’s always encouraging to see that community take care of its own. Brings out the idea that it’s the music tying everyone together, but it’s the people that really make it what it is down there, and Jim’s loss, I know I’ve already said this, is significant. He’s someone who will continue to be missed, and not just for the music he made or his riotous stage presence — but for who he was as a person.

A pretty devastating way to go into the holidays, but that’s where we’re headed. Monday is Xmas. I’ll be traveling, so probably not so much posting, but I’ll be working for the next four days as well on putting together the Top 30 of 2017, which if everything goes according to my plan will be posted next Wednesday. Everything’s tentative, with baby, and holidays, and what’s turned out to be a bevvy of doctor appointments — physical therapy for The Patient Mrs., check-up for The Pecan, dentist for me (was supposed to have a root canal yesterday that I postponed to next Friday) — but in addition to the top 30, I’d like to do a year-end podcast (those are always fun) and a song-of-the-year post as well, so keep an eye out. There’s still a lot of 2017 to squeeze in. Here are the notes:

Mon.: Nothing. Happy Xmas.
Tue.: Year-end podcast; news catchup.
Wed.: Top 30 of 2017; High Reeper video maybe.
Thu.: C.O.C. review if I can fit it in time-wise.
Fri.: Song of the Year.

Doesn’t look like much, I know, but it’s actually a pretty staggering amount of work to be done, and not a little daunting as a prospect, particularly with the wrap of the Year-End Poll and the Quarterly Review looming not far behind, and then, sometime in January, the list of 2018’s most anticipated albums to go up. I don’t even know how many I’ve got in my notes at this point. Has to be more than 100. Last year worked out to be more than 200 by the time I was done updating the thing. Woof.

But one thing at a time. I hope first and foremost that if you’re celebrating the holiday this coming Monday that you have a good one and that you’re spending it how you want to spend it. The Patient Mrs. and I (and The Pecan, naturally) will be indulging our annual Xmas Eve tradition of watching Die Hard and, hopefully, Die Hard 2, before traveling to CT to see family on the day itself, so should be good times all around. I’m looking forward to it.

Either way, have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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The Flight of Sleipnir’s Saga Due Feb. 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Last heard from with 2011’s Essence of Nine (review here), Colorado duo The Flight of Sleipnir will release their fourth album, Saga, on Feb. 15 through Eyes Like Snow. And in case you were wondering just how serious is the super-serious business they get up to, the tracklist is in Roman numerals. They also have their own runes. Yeah, it’s like that.

The news came in on the PR wire and it’s one more on an increasingly long list worth looking forward to. Dig it:

THE FLIGHT OF SLEIPNIR – Saga

“Saga” is the band’s 4th album and by now I think we can dispense with comparisons. The Flight Of Sleipnir have become their own reference – a fact to which a large and continuously growing fan base attests.

On “Saga” David & Clay have further refined what has become their very own style, a totally unique combination of Viking and Doom Metal with progessive elements, which they developed and improved with every release.

In this respect, the new album is a consequent continuation of “Essence Of Nine”, with its focus on acoustic parts, melodic guitar leads and clean vocals on the one hand, and raw Viking/Black Metal outbursts on the other, everything merged into a seamless whole. In short, an exciting and never boring or repetitive journey through a rough northern landscape, interspersed with relaxed nights around the campfire.

The album will first be released in A5-Digi (ltd. 1000) and CD jewel case, and in late Spring 2013 on double LP incl. 8-page booklet & A2 poster. Attentive fans may be able to grab one of the very limited Die Hard Editions we’ve planned for the A5-Digi and LP.

Tracklist:

I. Prologue
II. Reaffirmation
III. Reverence
IV. Harrowing Desperation
V. Heavy Rest The Chains Of The Damned
VI. Judgment
VII. Demise Carries With It A Song
VIII. The Mountain
IX. Hour Of Cessation
X. Remission
XI. Beneath Red Skies
XII. Epilogue

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audiObelisk: Vinum Sabbatum Stream “Tombstone Rider” from Bacchanale Premiere Full-Length Debut

Posted in audiObelisk on June 29th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Due out Aug. 24 on Eyes Like Snow/Northern Silence, Finnish trad doomers Vinum Sabbatum‘s Bacchanale Premiere follows an impressive 2011 split CD with mischievous British stoners Groan (review here) and a reissue of their debut EP, Songs from the Convent. The new full-length finds the Hyvinkää five-piece well assured of their aesthetic and what they want to be as a band, the kind of doom they want to make and just how much classic and cult heavy rock they want to put into it.

The answer to that last question seems to be “a lot.” More even than their EP or the split, Bacchanale Premiere places itself next to the heavy of old, sonically, and as a result, atmospherically. The prevalent organ (hee hee) of Tomi Korpela alongside the guitar of Juha Köykkä keeps that feeling consistent throughout the record, and between the inventive blues rhythms of bassist Mika Pajula and new drummer Jarno Jaakkola and the woeful wails of vocalist Janne Salo, their classical allegiances come through loud and proud as one of their central defining characteristics.

Another, and one I think you’ll be able to hear as you stream the track “Tombstone Rider” on the player below, is a core of songwriting that underlies the obviously considerable amount of stylization. “Tombstone Rider” has the organs, it has the bluesy groove, but it also has a solid hook and memorable performances from the band. I’ve included some info from the label after the player. Hope you enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Vinum Sabbatum‘s first full-length displays a band grown into a tight unit. The material is somewhat removed from the doom metal approach of Songs from the Convent and showcases more of their love for prog and hard rock rooted in the ‘70s, such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster, along with blues-based heavy rock á la early Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Warhorse and Iron Claw.

So there is still heaviness here, they merely traded the obvious doom metal leanings for an exciting mix of bluesy doom and gloom, combined with psychedelic and rocking grooves with enchantingly catchy melodies, and crowned by the remarkable voice of Janne Salo and the Hammond organ and keyboard of Tomi Korpela.

The first press of the CD comes in A5-digipak, limited to 1000 copies, and a vinyl version will also be released later on.

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audiObelisk Premiere: Stream Apostle of Solitude’s Demo 2012 in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on June 20th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Of all the discs I picked up on my recent excursion to the Middled West, in stores or at merch tables, none so far (and I had about 15 hours in the car to listen) has made the same kind of impression as the three-song Demo 2012 by Indianapolis doomers Apostle of Solitude. Perhaps it was seeing two out of three of the tracks live first and their having made such an impression that way and then following that up with the CD, but whatever it is, that was some of the best cash I spent on the whole trip, and don’t tell The Patient Mrs., but I spent a bit.

Somewhere in the depths of rural Michigan, as I put on “Blackest of Times,” I recognized the song immediately. If you ever wanted to know what kind of impact low end at its best can have on trad doom, listen to when “Iron” Bob Fouts kicks in on the leadoff cut on Demo 2012. Together with drummer Corey Webb, Fouts promulgates an insistence of groove that’s both classic and definitively modern in its style, and at the same time, the integration of guitarist/vocalist Steve Janiak alongside Chuck Brown has both pushed Brown more to the fore as a singer and presented an avenue by which the melodic complexity of the band can develop.

To wit, “Die Vicar Die,” a song that’s as catchy as anything in Apostle of Solitude‘s still-budding catalog — yes, even “The Messenger” or “Hunter Sick Rapture” — also finds room in its near eight minutes for a ranging instrumental break that lets Brown and Janiak explore guitar interplay no less lyrical than ultra-fitting and ultra-doomed early verse lines like, “How could a righteous god/Forgive a monster like me,” simultaneously expanding on the galloping riff-led finish of “Blackest of Times.” Demo closer “Good Riddance” is the shortest of the three tracks at 5:59, and also built around a strong chorus, a chugging riff straight out of classic metal driving home the growth of the band without sounding like a put-on or over the top.

“Good Riddance” cuts off right at the end — that’s how it is on my disc, from which these tracks were directly ripped — and it’s important to keep in mind that Demo 2012 is just that; a demo. The performances are live-sounding and I don’t think it’s mastered, but from where I sit it gives an excellent impression of where the band is headed for their next full-length.

Check it out right here:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

For more on Apostle of Solitude, you can see the interview I did with Brown following the release of their second full-length and Profound Lore debut, 2010’s Last Sunrise, also reviewed here. Or you can just hit them up on Thee Facebooks. Either way. Special thanks to the band for the permission to feature the songs.

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The Flight of Sleipnir, Essence of Nine: Odin Rides to the Rockies

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Taking on a host of aesthetics for their third genre-bending album since their 2007 inception, Colorado duo The Flight of Sleipnir weave their way through blackened folk metal and a progressive-edged doom on Essence of Nine. With the rich (if often used) lore of Norse mythology as their lyrical inspiration, multi-instrumentalists Clayton Cushman (guitar, vocals, bass, keys) and David Csicsely (drums, vocals, guitar) provide a varied approach across Essence of Nine’s eight cuts, flowing smoothly from song to song despite a relatively lo-fi production and managing to affect a dark but still emotionally-communicated atmosphere – that is, they’re not just angry and blasting out – with switches between early Opethian clean singing and more blackened forest screams.

Their second offering through German imprint Eyes Like Snow, it’s hard to get an immediate read on Essence of Nine from opener “Transcendence,” since the song starts with a doomed riff and groove that – were the tone fuzzier – would be pure stoner rock, and moves before long into an acoustic part before giving way, in turn, to far-back screams and heavier guitars and drums. The Flight of Sleipnir do a lot of back and forth between heavy and mellow, but in the context of the songs themselves, it’s not redundant, since Cushman and Csicsely keep what they’re actually playing so varied. “Transcendence” has some repetition of parts, but the chorus isn’t hooky in a songwriting sense, and if the start of the record makes anything clear, it’s that The Flight of Sleipnir are concerned more with stylistic complexity and the contrast between musical light and dark than pop catchiness.

Still, the track gives only a cursory glance at the diversity Essence of Nine carries with it. “Upon This Path We Tread,” which follows, provides even smoother transitions and an effective inclusion of acoustics à la modern Negura Bunget, and the album proceeds from there to unfold with the engaging riffs of “A Thousand Stones” and an increasingly developed atmosphere. There’s something definitively European about the sound The Flight of Sleipnir elicit and the imagery these songs provoke, but for its doom elements and effective balance between the metal and folk in folk metal, I wouldn’t call Essence of Nine redundant. Even on “As the Ashes Rise (The Embrace of Dusk),” which arguably accounts for some of Cushman and Csicsely’s most raging moments, that metallic indulgence is complemented in the second half of the song by an acoustic-led wistfulness that leads gorgeously into the 7:31 centerpiece, “Nine Worlds,” the high point of the album.

Read more »

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Lord Vicar and Funeral Circle Split: The Cemetery Waits

Posted in Reviews on June 13th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

A well-suited pairing between Finnish and Canadian outfits, Eyes Like Snow’s recently-issued split between Lord Vicar and Funeral Circle is doom for traditional doomers. It’s available in a variety of vinyl editions as well as CD, and with a total runtime of 22 minutes across three tracks, it’s a decent opportunity for anyone who hasn’t yet to get to know either band. Lord Vicar, with former members of Reverend Bizarre and Saint Vitus/Count Raven, is obviously the higher-profile act of the two, but Funeral Circle, who formed in 2007 in Vancouver, give a solid showing of themselves and even cover Witchfinder General to add memorability to their side of the record. It’s over quick, either way, but both Funeral Circle and Lord Vicar have something to offer doom heads: Namely, doom.

For Lord Vicar, this split with Funeral Circle follows one from this past winter with Swedish act Griftegård and will lead into one with Maryland doomers Revelation and the follow-up to 2008’s Fear No Pain debut full-length, reportedly titled Signs of Osiris. One thing that should be abundantly clear right away, then, is that Lord Vicar likes to keep busy. And why not? Guitarist Peter Inverted has been able to maintain the steady momentum of limited releases that helped Reverend Bizarre’s cult and sphere of influence grow as wide as they did and continue to do, and his pairing with vocalist Christian “Lord Chritus” Lindersson – who sang on Saint Vitus’ underrated C.O.D. album after fronting Count Raven for their 1990 debut, Storm Warning – has led to one of the most formidable partnerships in the current European scene. Here, Lord Vicar offers the 13:50 woeful epic “The Fear of Being Crushed,” which unsurprisingly finds Peter taking the lead on guitar with bassist Jussi “Iron Hammer” Myllykoski and drummer Gareth Millsted (ex-Centurions Ghost) adding righteous thickness behind. The song weaves its way, slowly, through longer heavy sections and offsetting acoustic breaks that do more to complement the atmosphere than detract from it, also – in the case of the middle one as opposed to the song’s intro or outro – allowing for Lindersson to show his emotional range in a kind of existential “how low can you go?” verse before the driving electric riff kicks back in with the bass and drums. Even without the context of Lord Vicar’s pedigree, it’s easy to hear in “The Fear of Being Crushed” why they’re among European trad doom’s forerunners; their overall melodic sensibility, Peter’s riffing, the tonal strength of Myllykoski’s bass (as heard when everything else cuts out 12 minutes in), Millsted’s steady plod and Lindersson’s sparse but effective vocals are not only paying homage to the foundational principles of their genre, but are helping to refine them as well. With crisp, clear production and the stateliness of their approach, the “duh” factor is high, as in, “Well, of course it rules. Duh.”

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Apostle of Solitude Announce July Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Well, it’s a new announcement in the sense of the specifics, but as savvy Obelisk attendees know, Apostle of Solitude frontman Chuck Brown was talking about heading east this July for shows all the way back in February during our interview about his band’s second album, Last Sunrise. Glad to see it’s all come to fruition.

The dates came in via the PR wire from Profound Lore, and since there aren’t that many of them and it’s not like Apostle of Solitude is on tour eight months out of the year, I strongly urge you check the band out should they be in your area. Doom:

Indianapolis doom metal heroes Apostle of Solitude will be embarking on a mini US tour this July which will take them on the road in support of Last Sunrise. The dates and bands listed to play with AoS for the tour are listed below, with some venues TBA (which will be updated of course upon confirmation). We can only imagine how monumental the tracks from Last Sunrise will sound live. Dates are as follows:

July
07/17 The Loud House, Cincinnatti, OH (w/ Beneath Oblivion and Highgate)
07/18 TBA, Pittsburgh, PA
07/19 The M-Room in Philadelphia, PA

07/20 Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ (w/ Maegashira)
07/21 Ace of Clubs, Manhattan, NY (w/ Archon, Kings Destroy)
07/22 Bug Jar, Rochester, NY (w/ Orodruin)
07/23 Annabell’s, Akron, OH (w/ Mach II, Mocking Bird)
07/24 Metal Shaker, Chicago, IL (w/ Iron Tongue)
07/30 Melody Inn, Indianapolis, IN (w/ Earthride, Valkyrie, and Bible of the Devil)

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