Death Hawks, Death & Decay & Death Hawks: Dawning Suns

Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

death-hawks-death-and-decay

Two limited reissues bring out the beginnings of Finnish experimentalists Death Hawks and provide fresh context to the work the Tampere-based band has done since signing to Svart Records for 2015’s Sun Future Moon (review here). The band’s first two albums, Death and Decay and Death Hawks, were originally released in 2012 and 2013 through GAEA Records and have been out of print since, sought after by late-comers like yours truly who didn’t catch them the first time around. With 500 copies of pressed of each, Svart does the universe a solid in this instance and puts Death & Decay on a gold LP and Death Hawks in black and white — suited to their respective artwork — and allows for curious parties to discover more about the band’s roots. As it turns out, there’s plenty to learn.

For example, that the stylistic experimentation of 2019’s Psychic Harmony (review here) were by no means a new impulse, and indeed, central to the ethic of the band. You might say it’s the root of Death & Decay, though it’s manifested not in synth-driven progressive disco, but a psychedelic take on country blues, putting the guitar and vocals of Teemu Markkula front and center like an otherworldly John Lee Hooker on a cut like “Death Hawk on My Trail” or the rockabilly-style “Roamin’ Baby Blues,” taking its structure from the Robert Johnson school of proto-blues and adding a speedy snare for that riding-the-rails vibe — filtered, of course, through Finnish psychedelia. With 11 tracks unfolding from the mellow ramblin’-“Planet Caravan”-style understatement of opener “Blue Void” to the later Tom Waits-of-Alpha-Centauri severity of “Priest’s March,” amid fuzzier tones and subtle backing synth also provided by Markkula, Death & Decay is a formative tour de force.

“The Beast” touches on organ-laced ’70s folk while “Holy Water,” which immediately follows, starts with a wild bark and turns itself into a tent revival of psychedelic wash, while over on side B, “Death Has No Reprieve” weaves hypnotic background vocals into its deceptive depths, and the catchy “Dead Man” (probably a reference to the 1995 Jim Jarmusch film of the same name), foreshadows some of the melodic sweetness Markkula will bring to his vocal style on subsequent outings, letting closer “The Peace Maker” touch on Morricone — among other things — as a direct foreshadow for some of what the self-titled would do the next year. Ultimately, Death & Decay is broader in its sound than just tagging it “psych-blues” could hope to convey, but especially with Markkula‘s performance so much at the root of the material on guitar/vocals/keys/producer/composer/etc., the feeling throughout is less full-band-expanse and more solo-exploration, and that gives the 44-minute 11-tracker even more of a “starting out” vibe, as though the material were experiments that came together as songs as they were fleshed out. As sure as the band has been of what they’ve done since, it’s kind of refreshing to know this sense of adventure was what sparked their origin in the first place. Their will to push beyond and between stylistic confines is readily on display, and the songs are memorable and weird in kind, recognizable in themselves and in the nascent sprawl the band would go on to develop from the foundation they set.

death hawks death hawks

This, of course, was realized in the quick turnaround of Death Hawks, and though it’s a shameful cliché, I’ll note that it does not seem at all a coincidence that the second album is self-titled in terms of their laying claim to who they are as a group and their intentions going forward. Shorter at 35 minutes/seven tracks with a recurring theme in “Cain Go Home (2. Session)” on side A and “Cain Go Home (1. Session)” on side B — the Morricone influence returning in the whistle of both — the self-titled is immediately immersive in its psychedelic reach, with whispers and backing melodies and winding hypnotic guitar on six-minute opener “Night Children,” the title doing little in the end to convey the colorfulness of the tone there or in songs like “Blind Daughter of Death” and the string-and-organ-backed mellow meander of “Quiet Sun,” a not-all-who-wander-are-lost krautrock texture pervading the spirit of what sounds rooted in a live recording.

That, in turn, is answered by the flamenco strum of the “Cain Go Home (1. Session),” which is nothing if not based around conveying a feeling of motion, so a dynamic emerges across the self-titled that is broad while remaining unified not just by Markkula‘s continued melodicism, but through more of a full-band feel around him, with the centerpiece “Grim-Eyed Goat” and sax-inclusive nine-minute closer “Black Acid” ranging into the beyond of subdued-and-not space rock while holding firm to Death Hawks‘ identity as they establish it throughout. Like its predecessor, Death Hawks is very much about its mood and vibe, but it’s an essential step in coming off of the debut and does much to convey what became the overarching intent of the band at the time. True, that intent would shift by the time Sun Future Moon came around and continue to do so for Psychic Harmony earlier this year, but if anything, the first two Death Hawks LPs highlight the purposefulness behind that.

Because it’s not just about how there’s a leap in sound from one record to the next one — which it’s worth reiterating: the sophomore album followed just a year after the first — but about the creative ethic that’s behind making that leap in the first place. Death Hawks‘ open sensibility and forward drive is something that continues to push their material in exciting directions and down paths that others probably wouldn’t dare to tread even if they thought to do so. What Death & Decay and Death Hawks make plain is that this is a founding principle under which Death Hawks have operated for as long as they’ve been a band, and really since before they were a band as they are now. Perhaps more than anything else, these Svart represses make Death Hawks seem like an even less predictable group, with their origins in unexpected climes and an even broader palette than that for which I’d previously given them credit. I wasn’t about to predict what they’d do next anyhow, but I find myself less inclined than ever to speculate.

Death Hawks, “Dead Man” official video

Death Hawks, “Black Acid” official video

Death Hawks website

Death Hawks on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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PH Post “Origo” Artwork Video; Osiris Hayden Due Nov. 1

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ph

Peel open your brain and embrace the Hayden. An artwork-based video is the most appropriate outlet for PH at this stage in their seemingly ongoing evolution. As the Finnish atmospheric heavy experimentalists prepare the ground for the Nov. 1 Svart Records release of their new album, Osiris Hayden (review here), rife with cinematic soul-stirring synth, electronic soundscaping and a vague sense of futurism that’s neither u- nor dystopian, they’ve got a duly purple clip up for “Origo,” the nine-minute highlight/focal point of the offering and arguably its deepest plummet into the depths of weighted ambience. PH — also known as Mr. Peter Hayden at their outset — have never been a group to compromise their creative impulses, and their path has led them continually outward into climes (and climbs) both weirder and more gloriously spaced. In that regard, Osiris Hayden fits right in with the bunch.

So is this the part where I warn you about flashing lights and stuff like that? Oh, most definitely. “Origo” isn’t the most visually abrasive, by any means, but if you’re particularly sensitive to such things, you’re going to want to watch out. Still, it’s hard to imagine a song like this presented another way. It wouldn’t work as a band-in-rehearsal-space video, or even live unless it was done with some kind of visual twist maybe, but what the artwork clip allows PH to do is remove the human element from the creation itself and focus instead on the sound and atmosphere of the track, letting that shine through as what really matters and give their audience in some way a purer glimpse at the work than they might otherwise get. With the sense of immersion that “Origo” brings, it becomes all the more visually hypnotic as the pink/purple and black swap in rapid succession around the logo that has also become the band’s moniker, PH, as seen in the photo above. These guys have spent the last decade out on their own wavelength. With Osiris Hayden, they sound more at home there than ever before.

Dig into “Origo” on the player below. Preorder links for the record, live dates in suitably reverse-future order and further PR wire whatnot follow.

Please enjoy:

PH, “Origo” official video

Visual video for ‘Origo’ on Svart Records’ Youtube channel. Audio available on Spotify and other digital platforms. ‘Osiris Hayden’ album to be released on November 1st on LP/CD via Svart Records.

Pre-orders available at:
Svart Records: https://bit.ly/2kqyRdN
Levykauppa Äx: https://bit.ly/2lZ2Qdi
Shiny Beast: https://bit.ly/2m534PX
Bandcamp: https://bit.ly/2m0GeJz

Upcoming live shows:
December 13th, On the Rocks, Helsinki
December 6th, Bar 15, Seinäjoki
December 5th, Suistoklubi, Hämeenlinna
November 21st, Henry’s Pub Kuopio, Kuopio

PH on Thee Facebooks

PH on Instagram

Svart Records website

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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Desert Hel 2020: New Finnish Fest Announces Lucifer, Lonely Kamel and More

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

desert hel 2020 banner

Desert Hel is a new heavy fest marking its debut in Finland next April. It’s ‘Hel’ as in -sinki, and the two-dayer is set to take place April 24-25 at On the Rocks in the Finnish capitol. It’s not affiliated with Desertfest in any way so far as I know, but they’ve pulled together a solid lineup nonetheless, with multinational acts Lucifer (UK/Sweden) and Lonely Kamel (Norway) headlining and the likes of natives Craneium and Kaleidobolt and Russia’s The Re-Stoned offering their support of the endeavor. Also noteworthy is the cleverly named One Inch Band, who’ll play not just a set of Kyuss covers, but specifically the setlist that the desert rock legends played at the much-bootlegged Bizarre Festival in 1995. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, I don’t know what might.

The info below has been run through a major tech company’s translation matrix, but should still be enough for you to get the idea. Spring in Europe is always a busy time, but Desert Hel 2020 promises to bring something to the northern part of the continent that seems well due.

Word follows:

desert hel 2020 poster

Desert Hel is a new stoner & doom music festival in Helsinki. The first event will take place at On the Rocks on 24th-25th of April, 2020! Ticket sale starts on Thursday 10.10.2019

The new Desert Hel Festival, focused on stoner and doom music, will take place 24-25 April 2020 at the Helsinki On the Rocks Club. In addition to foreign and domestic bands, it is also possible to enjoy craft beers and food served during the festival. Tickets for the event will go on sale at Tiketti on Thursday, October 10, 2009 at 9:00 am.

On Friday, the festival’s main performer will be the Swedish heavy rock band Lucifer, who is preparing for the new album. Nicke Andersson, a multifunctional artist known for Hellacopters and Emtombed. Friday’s program will be complemented by Re-Stoned, the Moscow-based messenger of psychedelic Instrumental stoner, Craneium playing heavy-duty riffs, and Jupiter, a psych-rock band.

On Saturday, the show features Norwegian heavy blues and stoner Lonely Kamel, Helsinki-based power trio Kaleidobolt, Thermate from the 70’s heavy and 90’s stoner rock, and Kaiser playing the majestic cruel desert fuzz. In addition, Desert Hel’s backing party picks up a tribute band, One Inch Band plays Kyuss, for Saturday night, which plays Kyuss’s 1995 Bizarre Festival set list.

LINE UP
FRIDAY:
LUCIFER (SWE)
The Re-Stoned (RUS)
Craneium
Jupiter

SATURDAY:
Lonely Kamel (NOR)
KALEIDOBOLT
Thermate
Kaiser
One Inch Band plays Kyuss

Tickets:
Fri 24€/25€
Sat 22€/23€
2 days 42€/45€

https://www.tiketti.fi/desert-hel-2020-on-the-rocks-helsinki-lippuja/65169
https://www.facebook.com/DesertHel/
https://www.facebook.com/events/692507427920533/

Lonely Kamel, Death’s-Head Hawkmoth (2018)

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

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

quarterly review

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

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

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Russian Circles, Blood Year

russian circles blood year

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

Russian Circles on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

War Cloud, State of Shock

war cloud state of shock

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

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Here Lies Man, No Ground to Walk Upon

here lies man no ground to walk upon

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

Here Lies Man on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Book of Wyrms, Remythologizer

Book of Wyrms Remythologizer

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

Book of Wyrms on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Stoner Witch Records BigCartel store

 

Möyhy-Veikot, Huume Jet Set Life

moyhy-veikot huume jet set life

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

Möyhy-Veikot on Thee Facebooks

Möyhy-Veikot on Bandcamp

 

Darsombra, Transmission

Darsombra Transmission

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

Darsombra on Thee Facebooks

Darsombra on Bandcamp

 

Set Fire, Traya

set fire traya

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

Set Fire on Thee Facebooks

Set Fire on Bandcamp

 

Jesus the Snake, Black Acid, Pink Rain

Jesus the Snake Black Acid Pink Rain

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

Jesus the Snake on Thee Facebooks

Jesus the Snake on Bandcamp

 

Föllakzoid, I

follakzoid i

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

Föllakzoid on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Bones Records website

 

Dresden Wolves, Hiedra – Sencillo

dresden wolves Hiedra Sencillo

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

Dresden Wolves on Thee Facebooks

Dresden Wolves on Bandcamp

 

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Death Hawks: First Two Albums to See Reissue Oct. 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

death hawks (Photo by Sami Sanpikkila)

I want these. Among the great many unmade Roadburn purchases I regret from over the years, not shelling out for every-frickin’-thing Finland’s Death Hawks were selling when they played there in 2015 has to be somewhere near the top of the list. Hang my head in shame. Svart Records — as it will — offers solace in the form of two LP reissues of the band’s 2012 debut, Death and Decay, and its 2013 self-titled follow-up. The numbers are limited, and while Death Hawks did already release the brilliant synth-o-prog of Psychic Harmony (review here) earlier this year and I still need to pick up that CD, these records have both been on my Amazon wishlist for I guess the last four years, so they’re pretty much necessary grabs as well.

Wonder what my chances are of getting digital versions to review. I’d love to write about anything Death Hawks that cites Wovenhand as an influence, and if the second record was where they went psych, that’s where I want to be.

Here’s the info and preorder links:

SVART RECORDS TO RE-RELEASE EARLY WORK FROM DEATH HAWKS

Death & Decay, the debut album from Death Hawks, will be released as a limited edition golden vinyl on October 4, 2019. The album is a unique mix of Finno-Americana tunes that draws influences from Wovenhand for example and where the voice of singer-songwriter Teemu Markkula carries through this multidimensional journey.

The album is the first knot on the bands own unique string of albums, where every album stand boldly on their own almost as if they were done by a different band every time.

https://svartrecords.com/product/death-hawks-death-decay-lp/

Tracklisting:
Blue Void
How Dark Was The Land
Roamin’ Baby Blues
The Beast
Death Hawk On My Trail
Shining
Holy Water
Death Has No Reprieve
Priests March
Dead Man
The Peace Maker

At the same time Svart Records will also re-release the band’s self-titled sophomore album that opened doors also internationally for Death Hawks. This psychedelic gem brought the band a license deal to Germany and several tours across Europe. This unnamed album packed in mystical dark covers is still the one album from Death Hawks discography that many love the most. The album is available in black & white vinyl reissue limited in 500 pieces.

https://svartrecords.com/product/death-hawks-s-t-lp/

Tracklisting:
1. Night Children
2. Cain Go Home (2. Session)
3. Blind Daughter of Death
4. Grim-eyed Goat
5. Quiet Sun
6. Cain Go Home (1. Session)
7. Black Acid

Death Hawks – Psychic Harmony tour Finland 2019
04.10. Hämeenlinna, Suistoklubi
11.10. Helsinki, G Livelab
12.10. Helsinki, G Livelab
18.10. Tampere, Olympia-kortteli + VIRTA
25.10. Oulu, 45 Special + VIRTA
26.10. Jyväskylä, Tanssisali Lutakko + VIRTA + Kantatie
1.11. Turku, Dynamo

http://www.deathhawks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/deathhawks/
http://svartrecords.com/shoppe/en/
https://www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Death Hawks, Psychic Harmony (2019)

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Lowburn to Release Phantasma Oct. 25

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

Finnish heavy rockers Lowburn have been trickling out info and audio for their second album, Phantasma, for a while now, including a lyric video for the single “Cloud Valley” that you can stream below, but getting the release date, tracklisting and album art is obviously a big step along the way to the actual arrival. Phantasma will see release on Oct. 25 through Argonauta Records — no preorders yet, but they’ll get there — and boasts eight tracks, one of which has the honor of being called “Urban Funk Campaign.” I don’t know what it sounds like, as I haven’t heard the record yet, but I know I want to find out.

Until then, the cover art is striking in its vague orbital iconography and big-eyes skeleton whatnot, so yeah, dig in. The PR wire sent all all the everything:

lowburn phantasma

Fuzz Doom collective LOWBURN, featuring ex-members of Battlelore, reveals full album details!

Phantasma coming this October on Argonauta Records!

After Battlelore went on hiatus, Tomi Mykkänen and Henkka Vahvanen formed a heavy fuzz rock and doom fusion, Lowburn, in 2012. The Finnish music collective and heavy sounds veterans have been hard at work for their forthcoming and hotly anticipated full length, which will be seeing the light of day on October 25th with Argonauta Records!

Phantasma is featuring eight fuzzy, hard rocking, punkish to heavily psychedelic tracks, that will invite you to a trip into a universe of diverse soundspheres. Earlier this summer, Lowburn shared a first single to the track Cloud Valley, listen HERE!

Phantasma tracklisting:
1. My Doom Dealer
2. Freaks
3. Cloud Valley
4. Walking on Thirds
5. Song of a Preacher
6. Ghosts
7. Urban Funk Campaign
8. Hypnopomp

With a pre-order to start soon with Argonauta Records, Lowburn have announced to not only share many more details plus tunes, but also upcoming live dates with us soon. The band released a critically acclaimed debut EP back in 2013, followed by a split-7″ with fellow band Church of Void to date, live shows of Lowburn have been rare so far. Finally, the Fall of 2019 will see them return to the scene, a news that will surely make every stoner punk and doom rock- heart beat faster. Stay tuned for many more news to be revealed in the days ahead!

Lowburn is:
Henkka Vahvanen – drums
Antti Vesikko – bass
Tomi Mykkänen – guitar and vocals
Tommi Lintunen – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/lowburnband
http://www.lowburn.net/
http://lowburn.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Lowburn, “Cloud Valley” lyric video

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Review & Track Premiere: PH, Osiris Hayden

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ph osiris hayden

[Click play above to stream ‘Justified’ from PH’s new album, Osiris Hayden. It’s out Nov. 1 on Svart Records.]

Say hello to sonic infinity. Experimentalist-prone Finnish outfit PH bring expanse to bear throughout their new album, Osiris Hayden, with a cohesion of purpose that borders on the frightening. Their second release for Svart Records behind 2017’s Eternal Hayden (review here), the album comprises a nine-song/47-minute run that uses drone soundscaping and massive industrial churn, electronic beats and synthesized sprawl, in order create an atmosphere all its own. Each of PH‘s records has played off the one before it, going back to before they re-branded themselves PH after their stage-light logo and were Mr. Peter Hayden across their initial trilogy of full-lengths, 2010’s Faster than Speed (review here), 2012’s Born a Trip (review here) and 2014’s Archdimension Now (review here). It may well be that Osiris Hayden is the second installment of a new trilogy that began two years ago and will conclude with their next album — and if so, watch out — but whether or not whatever story PH are telling is self-contained or too big to be told front-to-back in one batch of material, this collection remains no less blinding.

And I do mean that in the sense of light. Although the artwork digs into deep purple hues and a series of interconnected circles — a use of color that feels all the more conscious after the yellow and blue of the last outing — much of the album’s sound is a flash of brightness surged directly in the face of the listener. There are plenty of ambient experiments like in “Justified” or the subsequent “Uhrilahja,” and a progressive culmination that turns into an evil disco on the nine-minute “Origo,” but as Osiris Hayden essentially functions as one linear entirety, indeed these pieces intertwine and play out one into the next with a marked fluidity and, again, distinctive sense of purpose behind them. Not to harp on it, but the wash PH create here is absolutely stunning, whether it’s the synthesized drone of “Sun Sets for One” or the rhythmic consumption of “Tachophonia,” with the album’s title repeated in effects-coated vocoder as yet another inhuman aspect at play, vague spoken whispers somewhere in back of the mix — is that a sample? does it matter? — as an apex that feels as much philosophical as aural. What was once the band known as Mr. Peter Hayden has, as the four-piece PH, emerged as a stirring cosmic entity unto itself. Get your headphones, get your mind blown.

The scope begins in earnest on opener “Thr33 of Wands,” with a six-and-a-half minute unfolding that will no doubt remind some listeners of Jesu in its melodic/electronic blend, but quickly sets out on its own path. A similarly-titled complement arrives in the penultimate “M47eria Prima,” the numbers obviously intended to appear as letters. Their use of those particular numbers is somewhat opaque — 33 is the sum of three cubes and 47 is prime — but whatever the case, to call what unfolds across Osiris Hayden cinematic feels lazy and apt in kind, since it’s true but it’s kind of like calling the globe a circle in its leaving entire dimensions unaccounted for. “Thr33 of Wands” works toward a linear progression of its own, as does the later “Ad Coronam,” while the shorter stretches of “Emergence” and “Uhrilahja” or even “M47eria Prima” operate on their own wavelength, but what matters more is that everything PH do on Osiris Hayden is intended and is successful in feeding the overarching impression of the whole. The arrival of the title-line in “Justified” is a standout moment, as is the post-psychedelic explosion of sound that ensues, and as PH make their way deeper into the proceedings en route to “Origo,” the sense of pushing further into some vast interstellar reach is palpable in their use of elements organic and electronic.

ph

As to what might be happening to the universe as “Origo” resolves itself in dance beats and swirling chaos, I don’t know, but if it’s alternate-reality space rock or alien tribalism, it’s no less righteous for its blend of influences and impulses. Ultimately, it’s one more manner in which Osiris Hayden engages in an act of world-creation, the album essentially casting its own setting through its atmosphere, bringing the listener into its breadth and shimmer at a full submersion, not to induce a claustrophobia, but to in some ways demolish the expectation not just of what they might do as a band, but of what the effect of music on the person interacting with it should be. If that sounds like hyperbole, fair enough. The whole album sounds like hyperbole — an idea taken to its extreme, simply the most of the most of its own thing, the drama coming to a head in “Tachophonia” as the band wind their way toward the finish leaving a trail of light-years behind them.

Whether or not Osiris Hayden is meant to be a part of a longer cycle of offerings from PH, one is definitely left after “Tachophonia” with the question of what happens next. Where have they gone, what have they found there? Are we inside or outside, up or down? Does it matter? Are we matter? One could go on, but consider the questions as evidence of the effectiveness of Osiris Hayden in removing one from the ground and putting their audience in this position of dimensional disorientation. That, too, is purposeful as they push themselves outward along this unknown trajectory through sonic territory that is yet unclaimed by genre. One can listen to Osiris Hayden and hear krautrock, prog, post-metal, drone, doom, EDM and whatever else one wants to hear, but the potency with which PH combine these and whatever else they seem to have found along their path is what makes the album so rich and fulfilling on a galaxial scale. They have become a band unto themselves, and likewise, Osiris Hayden feels like a landmark of the sonic growth to which they remain committed. That is to say, whatever they do next — and I wouldn’t be so silly as to attempt a prediction — the only expectation is that PH will continue to move forward. Across five full-lengths to-date, they’ve never done it any other way.

Now, which way was forward again?

PH on Thee Facebooks

PH on Instagram

Svart Records website

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

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Kaleidobolt Announce December Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 28th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kaleidobolt

Finnish progressive heavy rockers Kaleidobolt will head out on tour in December supporting their 2019 Svart Records label debut, Bitter (review here). The shows are mostly in Germany, where they’ll play with Greenleaf and make an appearance at Freak Valley‘s annual holiday show. It’s a fair enough time for them to sneak in a run before the end of the year and stretch their legs, as they managed to likewise sneak out one of the year’s highlights in psych-adjacent heavy, tripping out organic with a sense of the otherworldly to accompany. Dudes got dynamic.

And shows. That’s always a good combination. Tour is presented by Sound of Liberation and routed as follows:

kaleidobolt bitter winter 19 tour

We’re proud to announce another tour for this fall/summer! Finnish Psychedelic Trio KALEIDOBOLT will hit the road again to promote their latest album “Bitter”, released via Svart Record about a few months ago!

Check-out the dates:
07.12.19 (D) Jena | Kulturbahnhof
08.12.19 (D) Osnabrück | Dirty + Dancing
09.12.19 (B) Diest | JH Tijl
10.12.19 (FR) Paris | Supersonic
11.12.19 (NL) Nijmegen | Merleyn
12.12.19 (NL) Drachten | Iduna
13.12.19 (D) Hamburg | Hafenklang (with Greenleaf)
14.12.19 (D) Siegen | Freak Valley X-Mas Fest
15.12.19 (D) Berlin | Urban Spree

With one foot in classic heavy power trio rock’n’roll and the other knee deep in psychedelic frenzy, Finland’s Kaleidobolt blast off into inner space with their third album Bitter. Having perfected their craft on the road all across Europe, with two previous albums under their collective belt, Kaleidobolt have become a fierce live experience, guaranteed to blow minds and ears.

Kaleidobolt, however are far from your usual deafening stoner rock experience. Their music is all about texture and depth, and beneath the lysergically frenzied riffs hide worlds of exquisite soundscapes. For the new album the band decided to take an even greater leap into worlds beyond and hired Niko Lehdontie (Kairon; IRSE! and Oranssi Pazuzu) to produce the album and Lauri Eloranta (the current go-to guy in Finland for indie pop and rock bands) to mix it.

Kaleidobolt is:
Sampo Kääriäinen – guitar, vocals
Marco Menestrina – bass, vocals
Valtteri Lindholm – drums

https://www.facebook.com/kaleidobolt
https://kaleidobolt.bandcamp.com/
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Kaleidobolt, Bitter (2019)

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