Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, Searching for a professional Homework Help In Oceanography from native English speakers? Maxhomework.com is an academic essay writing company that you are looking for. Witchcraft frontman/founder Best http://tehnodream.com.ua/?dissertation-com-uaadminstoreorders Online to help in College Application Essays. Write your College Application Essay with help of Top Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called MDPI English Small Business Retirement Plan Comparison. Our English editing service will ensure your paper receives editing which is fast, accurate, and competitively priced. Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, College Essay Papers Will I be able to write a quality essay? Who can offer me help in writing my essay paper? Where can I buy the best essay? These are Nucleus (review here). - - check it out Who Can Write my Assignment for Me?-We Can! For students, life can be hard at times and they often wonder, Pelander‘s http://www.hotelbiser.com.mk/?admission-essay-for-masters-in-nursings Hire at Cheap Price. We are a premium dissertation writing service that meets all your dissertation/thesis requirement. Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with Youre a little short on money, but desperately need an essay? Looking for a Compare Usa And Canada Essay you can trust? Dont worry, EssayUSA will help! Black Metal, Wake County Assignment is a community project which shares a free list of reliable editors which can be hired for your editing needs. Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — http://fizmatika.lt/master-thesis-of-management/ Are At Your Service. Get the best academic writers currently in the business to work on your paper. Pass any plagiarism check, surprise Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as Com Homework Help from well-known and trusted custom writing service. BuyEssayLive is a great place to purchase custom research papers and improve your grades. Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while Purchasing Community Service Thesis online should not be overwhelming even though they are numerous custom writing services. Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on We will help you with Essay writing, Disertations, Write my essay for me, and Argumentative essay, Essay, go now! Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s source url - Top reliable and trustworthy academic writing help. 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of exclusive essays & papers. Compose a timed The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Words For Personal Statement - Instead of wasting time in unproductive attempts, get qualified assistance here Only HQ academic writings provided by top Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of Finding a Perfect Place to Get nursing profession or calling. There are so many websites that offer dissertation help that you might feel confused at first. However, after carefully checking out some of the features thesis writing services offer, you will definitely be able to make the right choice. First, look at the writers. Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

The Wizar’d on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

Sail on Thee Facebooks

Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course à Vélo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

Scream of the Butterfly on Thee Facebooks

Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

Baleful Creed on Thee Facebooks

Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 34

Posted in Radio on May 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

I did the voice tracks for this episode yesterday sitting on the wood edge of a large sandbox in a closed public park in Morris Plains, NJ, while my son played with the various digger trucks that adorn the place. Fitting that I should be here now too, writing this. He loves it here. Did last summer too, but is now capable of a bunch more imaginative play than he was a few months ago. Pandemic boredom and being stuck at home has expanded his capacity in that regard notably.

That’s life I guess.

While I’m thinking about it, I don’t really explore it in the show, but I’m continually fascinated by the perceived dichotomy between art and “real life,” as though the function of your day should be menial and any creative endeavor hidden away like a secret masturbatory fetish. No. The art is life. They go together. If you need the one, you need to make it part of the other or you’re sunk. Even if you create alone, you don’t do it in a vacuum and to pretend otherwise is just dumb.

Anyway, the show. It’s good and you should check it out. Will you? Probably not, but if you like lists of bands, here’s one. If you do listen, I kind of go on about music as an escapist trance in the second voice break. Again, while my son digs in the sand. That’s life.

Thanks for listening if you do.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmeradio.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 05.15.20

Faith in Jane The Well Mother to Earth*
Geezer Groovy Groovy*
Red Mesa Desert Moon The Path to the Deathless*
Kryptograf The Veil Kryptograf*
BREAK
Snail Nothing Left for You Nothing Left for You / Fearless*
Frank Sabbath Les Trois Petits Pochons Compendium*
Vestjysk Ørken Forbidden Planet Full Dark No Stars*
Tia Carrera Layback Tried & True*
Daisychain How Can I Love You? Daisychain*
Alain Johannes Hum Hum*
BREAK
Comacozer Sun of Hyperion Here & Beyond Split w/ Vinnum Sabbathi*
The Shell Collector Raw, Improvised and Live from a Studio in Nalepastrasse Raw, Improvised and Live from a Studio in Nalepastrasse*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is May 29 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting?: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Weird

Posted in Reviews on November 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Frank Sabbath Are You Waiting

It’s a hell of a question, if you think about it. Well, are you waiting? And if so, for what? The implication would seem to be that French weirdo rock trio Frank Sabbath is directly addressing their audience, but even then, it’s pretty open as to what they could be asking. Are we waiting for the three-piece themselves? Are we waiting for Are You Waiting?, which is their third album behind last year’s Telluric Wanderers (discussed here) and their 2015 self-titled debut (review here)? Or is it a question about the question itself, as in, what are we waiting for? And if so, what’s the answer? Shouldn’t we just dive in, to the four-song/34-minute long-player and just about everything else?

Are they asking about the way we’re living our lives, or is it like when you’re at the grocery store and you can’t tell if someone is actually on the checkout line or if they’re just mesmerized by the slew of magazine covers and candybars left there to be impulse purchases. Excuse me, are you waiting? To some degree or other, aren’t we all?

The answers aren’t exactly forthcoming throughout Are You Waiting?, but the immediate affect the question has lingers and would seem to play directly into the band’s intention to shake their listeners out of a comfort zone. With a parabolic structure of two six-minute tracks — opener “Goat” (6:40) and closer “Sasume” (6:00) — bookending two longer jammers in “Lazarus” (11:25) and “Take the Lead” (10:09), the record sets itself up for mirrored-style vinyl sides, but works with a linear flow as well, each piece seeming to offer something of its own to the overarching freaked-out entirety.

The expectation going into Are You Waiting?, which arrives in a handmade CD sleeve under the banner of the band’s own Bermuda Cruise Records imprint, shouldn’t necessarily be that Frank Sabbath — who continue to have very much picked the correct moniker — will never lock into a solid groove together and rock out because they’re too busy being oddballs. Apart perhaps from “Sasume,” the abundant and maybe-Japanese lyrics of which seem like a questionable choice at best, politically and in terms of the raw sonic outcome, there’s very little on Are You Waiting? to evoke that check-us-out-we’re-weird, post-Mr. Bungle performative sort of experimentalism. It’s more about sonic quirk.

Despite “Sasume” and despite the fact that “Lazarus” and “Take the Lead” both have lyrics, it’s probably fair to say the album is mostly instrumental, since that’s where the bulk of its impression is made, and as they start off “Goat” with an immediate freakout before guitarist Jude Mas, bassist Guillaume Jankowski and drummer Baptiste Reig tap into a kind of uptempo, low-end-driven surf rock, the spirit is immersive in its blend of grunge skronk and offkilter rhythmic turns. Maybe more immersive than one might think, in fact. Subtly, Mas and Jankowski set a theme of interplay between the guitar and bass that will continue into “Lazarus” and be most effectively put to use in “Take the Lead,” and this happens with a bit of subterfuge via the overarching groove being propelled by Reig‘s drums, which by the time they get to the opener’s fifth minute is practically space rock in its thrust.

frank sabbath (photo robin levet)

They cap that launch with another freakout to mirror that at the start, and it’s not until a couple minutes into the fuzz-drenched “Lazarus” that the first lyrics on Are You Waiting? arrive, following nuanced lead guitar work and a corresponding fluidity of bass that in tone and in terms of what Jankowski does to complement the work of Mas and Reig both, qualifies as being of the “must-hear” variety. They slow down at about three minutes in to make room for the verse over a heavy psychedelic drift, but are soon enough on their way again, and though they might seem to meander, I’m not at all convinced Frank Sabbath don’t have an underlying plan at work in their extended solos and instrumental stretches, making their work progressive rather than haphazard or merely the manifestation of jams put to tape.

“Take the Lead” further demonstrates this idea with a fluidity that not only makes it a highlight of Are You Waiting?, but sets Frank Sabbath apart from the bulk of European heavy psych in terms of their chemistry and the approach they undertake, which seems as much inspired by Samsara Blues Experiment as Zappa himself. But it’s ultimately the patience of the execution itself that one finds most encouraging when it comes to the basic listening experience, and that makes the goof-off rush of “Sasume” something of an atmospheric crash landing as it rounds out the LP.

This is obviously by design, and I’m not going to hold their having a fun against Frank Sabbath or anyone else for that matter — at least not most of the time — but there’s something about the way the Japanese language is used in “Sasume” that comes through more like someone doing an impression of old samurai movies than actually speaking the language. Lyrics are spoken, seemingly back and forth between the band members, while beneath they do lock into a more than solid groove, once more held together by the bass and drums as the guitar goes off where it will. “Sasume” rolls out a stoner rock-style instrumental hook and spends the final two of its six minutes first in a layered guitar solo and then with a late inclusion of keys/organ that signals a rhythmic turn into the last big push that ends.

It is the nature of experimentation that sometimes ideas work and sometimes they don’t, and while I’m not prepared to call “Sasume” a dud for the effect its increased pace has on the final statement the album makes overall, it feels nearly like an element of minstrelsy is at play, and even if that’s born of an appreciation for the Japanese language and culture, it’s almost too easy to read it into another context. Still, and again, Frank Sabbath acquit themselves well throughout Are You Waiting?, and while we may never get the response directly to that question, the sense by the time the record is done is that the trio have only just started to really explore the heights their chemistry might attain and the reaches they might yet conjure as songwriters.

In that sense, yes, we are waiting, but they’ve certainly provided plenty to chew on in the meantime in their most realized work to-date.

Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (2017)

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

Bermuda Cruise Records website

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Frank Sabbath to Release Are You Waiting? Oct. 2; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

This one’s coming up quickly, so keep an eye out. French trio Frank Sabbath released their second album, Telluric Wanderers (discussed here), last year through Argonauta as the follow-up to their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and even after two later-2016 sessions-type offerings posted on their Bandcamp, it would seem the Paris/Montpellier troupe are unwilling to let 2017 pass without a proper full-length, so on Oct. 2 they’ll drop Are You Waiting?, of which they’re giving a first taste now in the off-the-wall “Sasume.”

Crazed is nothing new as regards a general status for these guys, but I feel like this might even be a different level in that regard. Not sure how I feel about those maybe-Japanese vocals, but it’s weird, and the bass tone is inarguable, so there are definitely elements working in its favor.

Are You Waitingwill be Frank Sabbath‘s first record through their new label, Bermuda Cruise, and you can see more info about it below, courtesy of the PR wire, as well as hear “Sasume” if you’re feeling particularly brave:

frank-sabbath-are-you-waiting

Frank Sabbath is proud to reveal the cover and first extract from their new album, Are You Waiting?

With their third album Are You Waiting? the French psychedelic jokesters Frank Sabbath present a concentrate of their composition style in four songs, ranging from high energy psychedelic rock, to progressive doom-laden melodies, and trippy atmospheric soundscapes.

The first track off the album, “Sasume,” album premiere is a japanese infused psychedelic tune, reminding the seemingly forgotten times where humor did belong in rock music.

Are You Waiting? will be released on CD and digital format by the new associative label Bermuda Cruise, which is focusing on psychedelic, experimental and improvised music. The date of release for the album is set to October 2nd.

Frank Sabbath is:
Guillaume Jankowski : Bass
Baptiste Reig : Drums, vocals
Jude Mas : Guitare électrique, vocals
Léo Minart : Sound engineer, tapist

https://www.facebook.com/franksabbath.band/
https://franksabbath.bandcamp.com/
http://bermudacruise.fr/

Frank Sabbath, “Sasume”

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Here are 40+ New Releases to Look for in the Next Three Weeks

Posted in Features on September 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow, the next three weeks are absolutely stupid with new albums. Over-the-top, ridiculous. An immediately-go-broke amount of music. Nothing less than an onslaught. We’re under attack.

Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money — also far be it from me not to — but there’s some really killer stuff in here. As to why it’s all landing now? Some of it of course has to do with the timing of when it was recorded, bands hitting the studio in Spring before heading out on the road over the summer, but Fall releases also line up nicely for tours in October and November, heading into the holiday season, when the music industry basically shuts down. This is the last chance for releases to come out in 2017 and be considered for best-of-year lists.

I doubt the likes of Chelsea Wolfe or Godspeed You! Black Emperor or even Kadavar would cop to that as a motivating factor, instead pointing to the timing of Fall touring and so on, but these things are rarely coincidental. You know how there aren’t any blockbusters in January but every movie feels like it’s trying to win an Oscar? Same kind of deal.

Nonetheless, 2017 is laying it on particularly thick these next couple weeks, and as you can see in the lists below, if you’ve got cash to spend, you can pretty much choose your rock and roll adventure. I’ll add to this as need be as well, so keep an eye for changes:

Sept. 22:

Alcest, Souveinirs d’un Autre Monde (10th Anniversary Edition)
Brant Bjork, Europe ’16
Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spunthe-flying-eyes-burning-of-the-season
Epitaph, Claws
Faces of the Bog, Ego Death
The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season
Fvzz Popvli, Fvzz Dei
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Luciferian Towers
Jarboe & Father Murphy, Jarboe & Father Murphy
Monarch, Never Forever
Nibiru, Qaal Babalon
Process of Guilt, Black Earth
Satyricon, Deep Calleth Upon Deep
Spelljammer, Inches from the Sun (Reissue)
Thonian Horde, Inconnu
Trash Titan, Welcome to the Banana Party
Ufomammut, 8
With the Dead, Love from With the Dead
Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

Sept. 29:

monolord rust
Cities of Mars, Temporal Rifts
Deadsmoke, Mountain Legacy
A Devil’s Din, One Hallucination Under God
Disastroid, Missiles
Jim Healey, Just a Minute More (Sept. 26)
Idylls, The Barn
Kadavar, Rough Times
Lucifer’s Chalice, The Pact
Monolord, Rust
Outsideinside, Sniff a Hot Rock
Radio Moscow, New Beginnings
Scream of the Butterfly, Ignition
Tronald, Tronald (Sept. 30)
Unsane, Sterilize
Wucan, Reap the Storm

Oct. 6:

fireball-ministry-remember-the-storyElder Druid, Carmina Satanae
Fireball Ministry, Remember the Story
Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (Oct. 2)
Himmellegeme, Myth of Earth
House of Broken Promises, Twisted EP
O.R.B., Naturality
Primitive Man, Caustic
Spirit Adrift, Curse of Conception
Spotlights, Seismic
Sumokem, The Guardian of Yosemite
Torso, Limbs
White Manna, Bleeding Eyes

Also:

Oct. 13: Enslaved, Firebreather, I Klatus, R.I.P., Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (reissue), Weird Owl, etc.

Oct. 20: Iron Monkey, Spectral Haze, Bell Witch, The Spacelords, etc.

Something I forgot?

Invariably, right? If you know of something not seen above that should be, then by all means, please leave a comment letting me know. My only ask is that you keep it civil and not call me a fucking idiot or anything like that. I write these posts very early in the day, and if something has been neglected, I assure you it’s not on purpose and I’m happy to correct any and all oversights.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping. Support local record stores.

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Frank Sabbath Release Telluric Wanderers June 13; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

frank sabbath

So, Parisian trio Frank Sabbath decide to release one new song as a preview of their forthcoming second album and Argonauta Records debut, Telluric Wanderers, right? Fair enough. Pretty standard procedure these days. Their choice, however, emphasizes one of the things I dug most about their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and that is that they’re weirdos. I’m sure Frank Sabbath have a song or two that’s not a three-part, 12-minute stretch like “Inner Doom/Outer Doom/Ducks on Drugs,” but if you’re going to give people an idea where you’re coming from, it might be the most accurate way to go for an act like Frank Sabbath, who, again, are weirdos. I mean that in only the best and most complimentary way possible.

If you’ve got 12 minutes — and, let’s face it, you do — go ahead and dig into “Inner Doom/Outer Doom/Ducks on Drugs,” which does indeed offer a three-stage psych/doom/folk attack, after the PR wire info that follows here. Keep heavy weird:

frank sabbath telluric wanderers

Paris based Psych Prog/Doom Rockers FRANK SABBATH reveal cover artwork and song streaming from their forthcoming new album “Telluric Wanderers”.

Frank Sabbath is a psychedelic / progressive doom rock band created in Paris in 2013 by Guillaume Jankowski (bass), Baptiste Reig (drums, vocals) and Jude Mas (guitar, vocals). The initial goal of the band was to blend various elements from their musical background (Frank Zappa and Black Sabbath heritage, stoner/desert rock, jazz rock) into a coherent whole, while focusing on transcribing spiritual psychedelic experiences.

After a first self-released album recorded in 2014 and out in 2015, the band worked to expand into a heavier sound, more influenced by progressive rock and doom metal, to bring its kind of psychedelia into full flavor. They isolated themselves in a small village in Aveyron, southern France, to record their second album, Telluric Wanderers, with their much trusted sound engineer Léo Minart.

“Telluric Wanderers” will be released June 13th by ARGONAUTA Records on CD/DD.

PREORDERS: http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/113-frank-sabbath-telluric-wanderers-cd.html

www.facebook.com/franksabbath.band
franksabbath.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
www.argonautarecords.com

Frank Sabbath, “Inner Doom / Outer Doom / Ducks on Drugs”

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Frank Sabbath Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

French trio Frank Sabbath established a sonic foundation way more complex than their moniker might imply on their 2015 self-titled debut (review here), and it was apparently enough to catch the eye and ear of Argonauta Records, who have picked up the band to release their impending second album, Telluric Wanderers, later this year. How much later this year? I don’t know, but Argonauta is on a bit of a tear lately — you might recall the imprint also recently linked up with Iron Man vocalist Dee Calhoun for a solo album release (info here) — so it might be a minute before there’s room on the schedule. So be it. One to watch out for, anyway.

If you missed the self-titled, it’s streaming under the label’s announcement below. Dig in:

frank sabbath

ARGONAUTA Records is proud to announce the signing of French Psych Prog Doom Rockers FRANK SABBATH!

Frank Sabbath is a psychedelic / progressive doom rock band created in Paris in 2013 by Guillaume Jankowski (bass), Baptiste Reig (drums, vocals) and Jude Mas (guitar, vocals). The initial goal of the band was to blend various elements from their musical background (Frank Zappa and Black Sabbath heritage, stoner/desert rock, jazz rock) into a coherent whole, while focusing on transcribing spiritual psychedelic experiences.

After a first self-released album recorded in 2014 and out in 2015, the band worked to expand into a heavier sound, more influenced by progressive rock and doom metal, to bring its kind of psychedelia into full flavor. They isolated themselves in a small village in Aveyron, southern France, to record their second album, Telluric Wanderers, with their much trusted sound engineer Léo Minart.

About signing with Argonauta, the band says: “We are very glad to join the Argonauta family for some new adventures among a lot of other interesting bands from all over the world! It’s an important step for us to be signed on a such eclectic and quality label!”

More news on the forthcoming album to follow soon.

https://www.facebook.com/franksabbath.band
https://franksabbath.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/argonautarecords

Frank Sabbath, Frank Sabbath (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Motörhead, Owl, Waingro, Frank Sabbath, The Sonic Dawn, Spelljammer, Necro & Witching Altar, Stone Machine Electric, Pale Horseman, Yo Moreno

Posted in Reviews on January 5th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review winter

Pushing through the first batch of reviews and into the second. Always seems easier on the downhill somehow, but if the worst thing that ever happens is I have to put on 10 records a day, you aren’t likely to hear me complain. Today we get deeper into the round, and that while I’ll note that the context for today’s first review has changed decidedly for the unfortunate since it was slated for inclusion in this roundup, I’m trying still to take it on its own level, which is what any record deserves, regardless of its circumstances. No sense in delaying. Let’s go.

Quarterly review #11-20:

Motörhead, Bad Magic

Print

The four ‘X’es on the cover of Motörhead’s 23rd album, Bad Magic (on UDR Music) are placed there each to represent a decade of the band’s existence, and while the context of the 13-track/42-minute offering will be forever changed due to the recent passing of iconic frontman/bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister and because the remaining members – guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee – have said it will be their final new studio release, it goes to show that one of metal and punk’s most landmark acts came in raging and went out raging. To wit, barnburners like “Thunder and Lightning” and “Teach Them How to Bleed” are quintessential Motörhead, and the propulsive “Shoot out All of Your Lights” is a blueprint for both their righteousness and relentlessness. A closing Rolling Stones cover of “Sympathy for the Devil” borders on poignant in hindsight, but on cuts like “Evil Eye,” “Electricity” and “Tell Me Who to Kill,” Bad Magic is basically Motörhead being Motörhead, which was of course what they did best.

Motörhead on Thee Facebooks

UDR Music

Owl, Aeon Cult

owl aeon cult

Topped off with some of the least-pleasant cover art one might (n)ever ask to see, the Aeon Cult EP is the third from German progressive sludge outfit Owl in two years’ time after two initial full-lengths. It comprises three songs that span genres from the slow-motion lurch of “The Abyss” to deathly intricacy – preceded by a groove that doesn’t so much roll as slam – on “Ravage” to an atmospheric extremity of purpose on “Mollusk Prince,” and is over in a whopping eight and a half minutes. Seriously, that’s it. At the center of the tempest are multi-instrumentalis/vocalist Christian Kolf, also of Valborg, and drummer Patrick Schroeder, formerly of Valborg, who elicit inhuman heft and bleakness across a relatively brief but nonetheless challenging span, and who seem to revel in the melted-plastic consistency of the sounds they create. Creative rhythms and ambience-enhancing keyboard work give Aeon Cult a futuristic edge, and if this is the world into which we’re headed, we should all be terrified.

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Zeitgeister Music

Waingro, Mt. Hood

waingro mt hood

The self-titled debut from Vancouver trio Waingro (review here) was a half-hour affair brimming with intensity and forward motion, and while the band’s second outing, Mt. Hood, follows suit tonally and in its neo-progressive thrust, the 11-track outing also provides a richer all-around experience and shows marked growth on the part of the band. “Desert Son” opens the album with an expansive solo section and intricate vocal layering to go with its metallic crunch, and while Waingro keep a short, efficient songwriting process at their core, that track and the slower, seven-minute “Mt. Hood” show their process has become more malleable as well. Likewise, while the methods don’t ultimately change much, shorter instrumental pieces like “Raleigh” on the first half of the album and the rolling “Frontera” on the second add variety of structure and make Mt. Hood as a whole feel more widespread, which, of course, it is. Waingro still have plenty of intensity on offer throughout, but their sophomore LP proves there’s more to them than unipolar drive.

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Waingro on Bandcamp

Frank Sabbath, Frank Sabbath

frank sabbath frank sabbath

A self-titled debut full-length that breaks down into two subsections – the first is tracks one through five and is titled Emerald Mass and the second is tracks six through 12 and is titled The Quétu – clearly the intentions behind Frank Sabbath’s opening statement are complex. All well and good, but more importantly, the work of the Parisian trio of guitarist/vocalist Jude Mas, bassist Guillaume Jankowski and bassist Baptiste Reig is cohesive across the record’s 12-track span, and those two parts not only meld the songs that make them up together fluidly, but work set one into the next to bring a full-album flow to the proceedings, spanning classic progressive (the kind that’s not afraid to let the guitars get jazzy) rock and psychedelic mind-meld into a sometimes-strange, sometimes-in-Spanish brew of potent lysergics. The three-piece set a vast range from “Waves in Your Brain” onward and wind up delivering the “Fucking Moral,” which seems to be “Never be afraid of who you are/Never be ashamed of what you are.” Clearly, while their moniker might be playing off acts who came before, Frank Sabbath are not afraid to stand on their own sonically.

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Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

The Sonic Dawn, Perception

the sonic dawn perception

Sweet soul and classic psychedelic methods pervade The Sonic Dawn’s Perception (on respected purveyor Nasoni Records) debut album, and the Copenhagen trio of guitarist/vocalist Emil Bureau, bassist Neil Bird and drummer Jonas Waaben find an easy, spacious flow through songs that, despite being relatively straightforward, retain an expansive feel. Shades of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors make themselves felt early on, but Bureau’s voice shifts smoothly into and out of falsetto and the tonally The Sonic Dawn seem immediately in search of their own identity. The effects-soaked finish of “All the Ghosts I Know” and the apex of “Wild at Heart” would seem to indicate success in that process, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they push the psychedelic impulses of “Watching Dust Fall” even further their next time out, and if they can do so while holding onto the accessible foundation of Perception, all the better. An impressive debut from a three-piece who do right in making a show of their potential.

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Nasoni Records

Spelljammer, Ancient of Days

spelljammer ancient of days

Ancient of Days follows two impressive EPs from Swedish tonal constructionists Spelljammer (on RidingEasy), and is the trio’s full-length debut, a pretense-less 39-minute offering that basks in post-Sleep riff idolatry while leaving room in a cut like the 12-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Meadow” for nodding atmospherics as well. “Meadow” and the 11-minute closer “Borlung” sandwich the rest of Ancient of Days, which moves between the acoustic minimalism of the quick “Laelia” to the already-gone centerpiece “From Slumber,” which rises gradually, swells in its midsection, and recedes again – beautifully – and the eight-minute groove-roller “The Pathfiner,” which would be the apex of the record if not for the crashing finale of “Borlung,” which churns and plods and caps the record – how else? – with a swirl into empty space. Following a cult response to 2012’s Vol. II EP, that Spelljammer would deliver big on their debut album isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it remains striking just how easy it is to get lost in the morass of riffs and outward vibes they present in these five cuts. Should’ve been on my Best Debuts of 2015 list.

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RidingEasy Records

Witching Altar & Necro, Split

necro witching altar split

This doomy twofer from Hydro-Phonic Records plants a veritable garden of unearthly delights in bringing together Brazilian doom outfits Witching Altar and Necro and highlighting the similarities and the differences between them. Pressed to CD late in 2015 with vinyl impending, it offers four cuts from Witching Altar, whose take on doom is ultra-traditional to the point of working in a Sabbathian “All right now!” for “She Rides the Seventh Beast,” and three from Necro (shortened from Necronomicon), a yet-unheralded trio of ‘70s progressive traditionalists who offer up the new single “Contact” and two tracks revisited from their two to-date full-lengths. Both prove immersive in their own right, Witching Altar setting a course for weird quickly on “The Monolith” which some theremin that reappears later, and Necro vibing out on the warm bassline of “Holy Planet Yamoth,” but each has their own ideas about what makes classic doom so classic, and the arguments on both sides are persuasive.

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Witching Altar on Thee Facebooks

Hydro-Phonic Records

Stone Machine Electric, The Amazing Terror

stone machine electric the amazing terror

One never knows quite what to expect from Texas two-piece Stone Machine Electric, and that seems to be precisely how the duo of guitarist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/thereminist Mark Kitchens like it. The Amazing Terror is something of a stopgap EP, released on CDR by the band as a follow-up to late-2014’s Garage Tape (review here) and a lead-in for their next full-length, reportedly recorded last month with Wo Fat’s Kent Stump at the helm. Taken from the Garage Tape sessions, The Amazing Terror makes a standout of its languid, jammy title-track and surrounds it by three more instances of the band’s exploratory ideology, delving into the quietly cosmic on “Before the Dream” and feeding a cyclical delay expanse on closer “Passage of Fire,” a likely companion-piece to the opening “Becoming Fire,” which may or may not play thematically into where Stone Machine Electric are headed with their next record. As always with these guys, I wouldn’t dare place a bet either way and look like a fool on the other side.

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Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

Pale Horseman, Bless the Destroyer

pale horseman bless the destroyer

Chicago post-sludgers Pale Horseman featured a remix by Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu), originally on their 2013 self-titled debut, on their second outing, 2014’s Mourn the Black Lotus (review here), and their third full-length, Bless the Destroyer, boasts a mixing job by Noah Landis of Neurosis. All three records were also recorded by Bongripper guitarist Dennis Pleckham, so it seems fair to say that Pale Horseman know who they want to work with and why. The results on Bless the Destroyer speak for themselves. With the 15-minute penultimate cut “Bastard Child” as an obvious focal point, the four-piece give a clear sense of progression in terms of their patience and overall range. The earlier “Caverns of the Templar” still boasts plenty of post-Godflesh chugging intensity – elements of death metal, see also centerpiece “Pineal Awakening” – but closer “Olduvai Gorge” sleeks along with a poise that even in 2013 Pale Horseman would’ve driven into the ground on their way to doing the same to everything else in their path. Their growth has made their approach more individual, and it suits them well.

Pale Horseman on Thee Facebooks

Pale Horseman on Bandcamp

Yo, Moreno, Yo, Moreno EP

yo moreno yo moreno ep

A self-titled four-track debut EP from Argentina heavy rockers Yo, Moreno finds the band coming out swinging. The San Miguel de Tucumán-based four-piece of vocalist Marcos Martín, guitarist Lucas Bejar, bassist Noel Bejar and drummer Omar Bejar elicit a surprisingly aggro mood on “A Lot of Pot,” the opener, but groove remains paramount, and fuzz abounds. “Noelazarte” is more adventurous all around, an early build setting a tone with prevalent bass before Martín comes in after the halfway mark. Since “Para Noico” returns to the angrier spirit of “A Lot of Pot” and closer “3,000” heads outward on an instrumental exploration that blends grounded, weighted tones with spacier impulses, it seems easy to think that someone, somewhere would pick Yo, Moreno up for a 10” release. Especially as their first offering, it skillfully blends doomier atmospheres with fuzz-heavy nods, and stakes its claim in a niche that’s never completely one side or the other. Even formative as it is, it’s an intriguing blend.

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Yo, Moreno on Bandcamp

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