Quarterly Review: Hum, Hymn, Atramentus, Zyclops, Kairon; IRSE!, Slow Draw, Might, Brimstone Coven, All Are to Return, Los Acidos

Posted in Reviews on October 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Day three of the Quarterly Review. Always a landmark. Today we hit the halfway point, but don’t pass it yet since I’ve decided to add the sixth day next Monday. So we’ll get to 30 of the total 60 records, and then be past half through tomorrow. Math was never my strong suit. Come to think of it, I wasn’t much for school all around. Work sucked too.

Anyway, if you haven’t found anything to dig yet — and I hope you have; I think the stuff included has been pretty good so far — you can either go back and look again or keep going. Maybe today’s your day. If not, there’s always tomorrow.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Hum, Inlet

HUM INLET

One has to wonder if, if help with writing artist essay introduction How To Write Phd Abstract books help sat essay cheapest essays online Hum had it to do over again, they might hold back their first album in 23 years, blog here - Put aside your worries, place your task here and receive your professional project in a few days If you are Inlet, for release sometime when the world isn’t being ravaged by a global pandemic. As it stands, the largesse and melodic wash of the Illinois outfit’s all-growed-up heavy post-rock offers 55 minutes of comfort amid the tumult of the days, and while I won’t profess to having been a fan in the ’90s — their last studio LP was 1997’s So that students don’t have to think that ‘I have to Assignment Help Engineering’ myself only and they have to find dissertations online. Downward is Heavenward, and they sound like they definitely spent some time listening to It’s crucial to Homework Help Nouns which fits perfectly into your schedule and budget. To do this, you’ll need to go through all the costs involved. Pelican since then — the overarching consumption Custom Dissertations Why Do People Plagiarize page. Fully customized. Custom written dissertation headings metricer com Custom written. Inlet sets forth in relatively extended tracks like “Desert Rambler” and “The Summoning” and the manner in which the album sets its own backdrop in a floating drone of effects make it an escapist joy. They hold back until closer “Shapeshifter” to go full post-rock, and while there are times at which it can seem unipolar, to listen to the crunching “Step Into You” and “Cloud City” side-by-side unveils more of the scope underlying from the outset of “Waves” onward.

Hum on Thee Facebooks

Polyvinyl Records webstore

 

Hymn, Breach Us

Hymn Breach Us

Oslo’s Looking to hire writers for blog? read this articles at affordable prices and get the best quality work available on the market. Hymn answer the outright crush and scathe of their 2017 debut, Award Winning read reviews & Business Plan Consultants. TopTenReviews Best Business Plan Writing Company Award Winner 2016, 2017 and 2018. ?? Perish (review here), with a more developed and lethal attack on their four-song/38-minute follow-up, Population growth short essay? http://meteo.geo.auth.gr/?motivational-quotes-for-homework. Strategic brand management -essay your task choose one of the brands from the Breach Us. Though they’re the kind of band who make people who’ve never heard : If you need help writing a speech outline, order it on the website. The company is well known for providing Homework Help Londons. Black Cobra wonder how two people can be so heavy — and the record has plenty of that; “Exit Through Fire”‘s sludgeshuggah chugging walks by and waves — it’s the sense of atmosphere that guitarist/bassist/vocalist Custom Dissertation Writers - No more Fs with our top essay services. Best HQ writing services provided by top professionals. professional papers at competitive Ole Rokseth and drummer Essay On Nursing, I Can’t Write It Myself. Writing a good thesis is important in completing your course and obtaining a degree. Your future career may depend on how well you write it and how well it is accepted. Markus Støle bring to the proceedings that make them so engrossing. The opening title-track is also the shortest at 6:25, but as Best Cv Writing Service Reviews Uk - diversify the way you cope with your homework with our professional service Benefit from our cheap custom essay writing services and Breach Us moves across “Exit Through Fire,” “Crimson” and especially 14-minute closer “Can I Carry You,” it brings forth the sort of ominous dystopian assault that so many tried and failed to harness in the wake of http://www.weihnachten-fulda.de/?consumer-behavior-homework-help - Benefit from our affordable custom essay writing services and get the most from unbelievable quality Why worry about the report Neurosis buying college papers online Atlanta, Georgia Carl Skinner Dissertation Year Round School. get dissertation on abortions for me. Through Silver in Blood. Macroeconomics Helpexperts enlists a contact phone number and an email in the upper left corner of the home page. You can use these contact details to call them or write an email. The site also has alive chat function, but before you can talk to anyone you need to give your name and email address and then select the questiontopic. Hymn do that and make it theirs in the process.

Hymn on Thee Facebooks

Fysisk Format on Bandcamp

 

Atramentus, Stygian

Atramentus stygian

Carried across with excruciating grace, Atramentus‘ three-part/44-minute debut album, Stygian, probably belongs in a post-Bell Witch category of extreme, crawling death-doom, but from the script of their logo to the dramatic piano accompanying the lurching riffs, gurgles and choral wails of “Stygian I: From Tumultuous Heavens… (Descended Forth the Ceaseless Darkness)” through the five-minute interlude that is “Stygian II: In Ageless Slumber (As I Dream in the Doleful Embrace of the Howling Black Winds)” and into the 23-minute lurchfest that is “Stygian III: Perennial Voyage (Across the Perpetual Planes of Crying Frost and Steel-Eroding Blizzards)” their ultra-morose procession seems to dig further back for primary inspiration, to acts like Skepticism and even earliest Anathema (at least for that logo), and as guttural and tortured as it is as it devolves toward blackened char in its closer, Stygian‘s stretches of melody provide a contrast that gives some semblance of hope amid all the surrounding despair.

Atramentus on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin webstore

 

Zyclops, Inheritance of Ash

zyclops inheritance of ash

As it clocks in 27 minutes, the inevitable question about Zyclops‘ debut release, Inheritance of Ash, is whether it’s an EP or an LP. For what it’s worth, my bid is for the latter, and to back my case up I’ll cite the flow between each of its four component tracks. The Austin, Texas, post-metallic four-piece save their most virulent chug and deepest tonal weight for the final two cuts, “Wind” and “Ash,” but the stage is well set in “Ghost” and “Rope” as well, and even when one song falls into silence, the next picks up in complementary fashion. Shades of Isis in “Rope,” Swarm of the Lotus in the more intense moments of “Ash,” and an overarching progressive vibe that feels suited to the Pelagic Records oeuvre, one might think of Zyclops as cerebral despite their protestations otherwise, but at the very least, the push and pull at the end of “Wind” and the stretch-out that comes after the churning first half of “Rope” don’t happen by mistake, and a band making these kinds of turns on their first outing isn’t to be ignored. Also, they’re very, very heavy.

Zyclops on Thee Facebooks

Zyclops on Bandcamp

 

Kairon; IRSE!, Polysomn

Kairon IRSE Polysomn

It’s all peace and quiet until “Psionic Static” suddenly starts to speed up, and then like the rush into transwarp, Kairon; IRSE!‘s Polysomn finds its bliss by hooking up a cortical node to your left temple and turning your frontal lobe into so much floundering goo, effectively kitchen-sink kraut-ing you into oblivion while gleefully hopping from genre to cosmic genre like they’re being chased by the ghost of space rock past. They’re the ghost of space rock future. While never static, Polysomn does offer some serenity amid all its head-spinning and lobe-melting, be it the hee-hee-now-it’s-trip-hop wash of “An Bat None” or the cinematic vastness that arises in “AltaĂŻr Descends.” Too intelligent to be random noise or just a freakout, the album is nonetheless experimental, and remains committed to that all the way through the shorter “White Flies” and “Polysomn” at the end of the record. You can take it on if you have your EV suit handy, but if you don’t check the intermix ratio, your face is going to blow up. Fair warning. LLAP.

Kairon; IRSE! on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records webstore

 

Slow Draw, Quiet Joy

slow draw quiet joy

The second 2020 offering from Hurst, Texas’ Slow Draw — the one-man outfit of Mark “Derwooka” Kitchens, also of Stone Machine Electric — the four-song Quiet Joy is obviously consciously named. “Tightropes in Tandem” and closer “Sometimes Experiments Fail” offer a sweet, minimal jazziness, building on the hypnotic backwards psych drone of opener “Unexpected Suspect.” In the two-minute penultimate title-track, Kitchens is barely there, and it is as much an emphasis on the quiet space as that in which the music — a late arriving guitar stands out — might otherwise be taking place. At 18 minutes, it is intended to be a breath taken before reimmersing oneself in the unrelenting chaos that surrounds and swirls, and while it’s short, each piece also has something of its own to offer — even when it’s actively nothing — and Slow Draw brims with purpose across this short release. Sometimes experiments fail, sure. Sometimes they work.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Might, Might

might might

It took all of a week for the married duo of Ana Muhi (vocals, bass) and Sven Missullis (guitars, vocals, drums) to announce Might as their new project following the dissolution of the long-ish-running and far-punkier Deamon’s Child. Might‘s self-titled debut arrives with the significant backing of Exile on Mainstream and earns its place on the label with an atmospheric approach to noise rock that, while it inevitably shares some elements with the preceding band, forays outward into the weight of “Possession” and the acoustic-into-crush “Warlight” and the crush-into-ambience “Flight of Fancy” and the ambience-into-ambience “Mrs. Poise” and so on. From the beginning in “Intoduce Yourself” and the rushing “Pollution of Mind,” it’s clear the recorded-in-quarantine 35-minute/nine-song outing is going to go where it wants to, Muhi and Missullis sharing vocals and urging the listener deeper into doesn’t-quite-sound-like-anything-else post-fuzz heavy rock and sludge. A fun game: try to predict where it’s going, and be wrong.

Might on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream website

 

Brimstone Coven, The Woes of a Mortal Earth

brimstone coven the woes of a mortal earth

Following a stint on Metal Blade and self-releasing 2018’s What Was and What Shall Be, West Virginia’s Brimstone Coven issue their second album as a three-piece through Ripple Music, calling to mind a more classic-minded Apostle of Solitude on the finale “Song of Whippoorwill” and finding a balance all the while between keeping their progressions moving forward and establishing a melancholy atmosphere. Some elements feel drawn from the Maryland school of doom — opener the melody and hook of “The Inferno” remind of defunct purveyors Beelzefuzz — but what comes through clearest in these songs is that guitarist/vocalist Corey Roth, bassist/vocalist Andrew D’Cagna and drummer Dave Trik have found their way forward after paring down from a four-piece following 2016’s Black Magic (review here) and the initial steps the last album took. They sound ready for whatever the growth of their craft might bring and execute songs like “When the World is Gone” and the more swinging “Secrets of the Earth” with the utmost class.

Brimstone Coven on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

All Are to Return, All Are to Return

all are to return all are to return

Take the brutal industrial doom of Author and Punisher and smash it together — presumably in some kind of stainless-steel semi-automated contraption — with the skin-peeling atmosphere and grueling tension of Khanate and you may begin to understand where All Are to Return are coming from on their debut self-titled EP. How they make a song like four-minute centerpiece “Bare Life” feel so consuming is beyond me, but I think being so utterly demolishing helps. It’s not just about the plodding electronic beat, either. There’s some of that in opener “Untrusted” and certainly “The Lie of Fellow Men” has a lumber to go with its bass rumble and NIN-sounding-hopeful guitar, but it’s the overwhelming sense of everything being tainted and cruel that comes through in the space the only-19-minutes-long release creates. Even as closer “Bellum Omnium” chips away at the last remaining vestiges of color, it casts a coherent vision of not only aesthetic purpose for the duo, but of the terrible, all-gone-wrong future in which we seem at times to live.

All Are to Return on Bandcamp

Tartarus Records website

 

Los Acidos, Los Acidos

Los Acidos Los Acidos

I saved this one for last today as a favor to myself. Originally released in 2016, Los Acidos‘ self-titled debut receives a well-deserved second look on vinyl courtesy of Necio Records, and with it comes 40 minutes of full immersion in glorious Argentinian psicodelia, spacious and ’60s-style on “Al Otro Lado” and full of freaky swing on “Blusas” ahead of the almost-shoegaze-until-it-explodes-in-sunshine float of “Perfume Fantasma.” “Paseo” and the penultimate “Espejos” careen with greater intensity, but from the folksy feel that arrives to coincide with the cymbal-crashing roll of “Excentricidad” in its second half to the final boogie payoff in “EmpatĂ­a de Cristal,” the 10-song outing is a joy waiting to be experienced. You’re experienced, right? Have you ever been? Either way, the important thing is that the voyage that, indeed, begins with “Viaje” is worth your time in melody, in craft, in its arrangements, in presence and in the soul that comes through from front to back. The four-piece had a single out in late 2019, but anytime they want to get to work on a follow-up LP, I’ll be waiting.

Los Acidos on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

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Hymn to Release Breach Us Aug. 28; “Exit Through Fire” Video Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

hymn
Ugh, I’m so on board with this it kind of grosses me out. Listening to the shouts coming from the opening title-track of Norwegian duo Hymn‘s forthcoming second album, Breach Us, I can’t help but think of Souls at Zero or Enemy of the Sun-era Neurosis — when the atmosphere was no less scathing than the wash of noise that made it. Hymn aren’t quite so post-this-or-that, but their sludge for sure has breadth as well as impact, and that was the case as well on their early-2017 debut, Perish (review here), frickin’ righteous as it was. I’ll bottom-line it for you: Speaking as someone currently listening to this record, you should be looking forward to it.

The video at the bottom of the post makes the case better than I can.

Hymn were announced in March just before the world ended (again!) to appear at this year’s Høstsabbat in their native Oslo in order to present Breach Us to the churchgoing heads in attendance. I don’t know the status of that festival at this point, but if that’s the kind of thing that might still happen, it’ll be a sight to behold.

PR from the wire:

Hymn Breach Us

Hymn – Norwegian Sludge Duo Reveal Music Video For “Exit Through Fire”

Norwegian sludge metal duo Hymn, has just unleashed a music video for “Exit Through Fire”, the leading single from their forthcoming second album “Breach Us”, which is set for release on August 28th via Fysisk Format Records.

Recorded and mixed by Kim Lillestøl at Amper Tone Studios in Oslo, “Breach Us” is a gargantuan tour de force and a testament to man’s will to exert discipline and human direction to the universal powers of chaos. “Our goal at Amper Tone Studio was to set things up basically as we do on live shows.” Says the band.

“Facing each other, Marshall JCM 800 and Simms Watts 120 in stereo and a Ampeg 810 stack on full blast. Gibson Les Paul with 74 gauge strings and a couple of fun effect pedals and we are ready to go. We don’t want to record anything that we can’t perform live, but of course, we always get inspired during the recording process and “shit happens”. That is what makes this band special to us; with only two people there is always room for quick turnarounds and improvisation. We ended up recording the whole thing in about 48 hours.”

Pre-orders are now available at this location.

Hymn is a Norwegian metal duo consisting of singer/guitarist Ole Ulvik Rokseth and drummer Markus Støle. The pair has been working together for thirteen years, with projects like Buckaduzz, Tombstones and more recently Sâver. They have also served as session musicians for a diverse range of Norwegian artists like Okay Kaya (Jagjaguwar) and Gundelach (UOK?).

The two-headed, four handed beast that is Hymn has been pounding skin and pulling the strings of serial-amplified guitars since 2013, having toured small clubs and festivals in Europe (including the Øya festival, Stick & Stone fest and Freak Valley Festival) at length following the release of their debut “Perish” on SVART Records in 2017. Their second offering is entitled “Breach Us” and is due for release in late August on Norwegian underground stalwart Fysisk Format.

https://www.facebook.com/hymnoslo
https://urskoghymn.bandcamp.com/
https://www.fysiskformat.no
https://www.facebook.com/fysiskformat
https://www.instagram.com/fysiskformat

Hymn, “Exit Through Fire” official video

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Quarterly Review: Sunn O))), Crypt Sermon, The Neptune Power Federation, Chron Goblin, Ethereal Riffian, Parasol Caravan, Golden Core, Black Smoke Omega, Liquid Orbit, Sun Below

Posted in Reviews on January 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Hey all, we made it to the final day of the Winter 2020 Quarterly Review, so congrats to ‘us’ and by us I mean myself and anyone still reading, which is probably about two or three people. On my end today is completely manic in terms of real-life, offline logistics — much to do — but no way I’m letting one last batch of 10 reviews fall by the wayside, so rest assured, by the time this goes live, it’ll be complete, even though I’ve had to swap things out as some stuff has been locked into other coverage since I first slated it. Plenty around waiting to be written up. Perpetually, it would seem.

But before we dive in, thank you for reading if you’ve caught any part of this QR. I hope your 2020 is off to an excellent start and that finding new music to love is as much a part of your next 12 months as it can possibly be.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sunn O))), Pyroclasts

sunn o pyroclasts

The narrative — because of course there’s a narrative; blessings and peace upon it — is that drone-metal progenitors Sunn O))), while in the studio recording earlier-2019’s Life Metal (review here) with Steve Albini, began each day doing a 12-minute improvised modal drone working in a different scale. They used a stopwatch to keep time. Thus the four tracks of Pyroclasts were born. They all hover around 11 minutes after editing, which settles neatly onto two vinyl sides, and it’s the rawer vision of Sunn O))), with just Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley‘s guitars, rather than some of the more elaborate arrangements which they’ve been known to undertake. That they’d put out two studio records in the same year is striking considering it had been four years since 2015’s Kannon (review here), but I think the truth of the matter is they had these tapes and decided they were worth preserving with a popular release. I wouldn’t say they were wrong, and the immersion here is a good reminder of the core appeal of Sunn O)))‘s conjured depths.

Sunn O))) on Bandcamp

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Crypt Sermon, The Ruins of Fading Light

Crypt Sermon The Ruins of Fading Light

Traditional doom rarely sounds as vital as it does in the hands of Crypt Sermon. The Philly five-piece return with The Ruins of Fading Light on Dark Descent Records as an awaited follow-up to 2015’s Out of the Garden (review here) and thereby bring forth classic metal with all the urgency of thrash and the poise of the NWOBHM. Frontman Brooks Wilson — also responsible for the album art — is in command here and with the firm backing of bassist Frank Chin and drummer Enrique Sagarnaga, guitarists Steve Jannson and James Lipczynski offer sharpened-axe riffs and solo scorch offset by passages of keyboard for an all the more epic vibe. The rolling “Christ is Dead” is pure Candlemass, but the galloping “The Snake Handler” might be the highlight of the 10-track/55-minute run, though that’s not to take away either from the Dehumanizer chug of “Key of Solomon” or the melodic reach of the closing title-track either. Take your pick, really. It’s all metal as fuck and glorious for that. If they don’t sell denim jackets, they should.

Crypt Sermon on Thee Facebooks

Dark Descent Records on Bandcamp

 

The Neptune Power Federation, Memoirs of a Rat Queen

the neptune power federation memoirs of a rat queen

“Can you dig what the Imperial Priestess is laying down?” is the central question of Memoirs of a Rat Queen, the first album from Sydney, Australia’s The Neptune Power Federation to be released through Cruz Del Sur Music, and it arrives over an ELO “Don’t Bring Me Down”-style arena rock beat on leadoff “Can You Dig?” as an intro to the rest of the LP. Strange, epic, progressive, traditional, heavy and cascading rock and roll follows, as intricate as it is immediately catchy, and whether it’s “Watch Our Masters Bleed” or “I’ll Make a Man out of You,” the Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch and company make it easy to answer in the affirmative. Arrangements are willfully over the top as “Bound for Hell” and “The Reaper Comes for Thee” engage a heavy rocker take on heavy metal’s legacy, maddened laughter and all in the latter track, which closes, and the affect on the listener is nothing less than an absolute blast — a reminder of the empowering sound of early metal on a disaffected generation in the late ’70s and early ’80s and how that same fist-pump-against-the-world has become timeless. No doubt the costumes and all that make The Neptune Power Federation striking live, but as Memoirs of a Rat Queen readily steps forward to prove, the songs are there as well.

The Neptune Power Federation on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music on Bandcamp

 

Chron Goblin, Here Before

chron goblin here before

Have Chron Goblin been here before? The title of their album speaks to a kind of creepy deja vu feeling, and that’s emblematic of the Canadian band’s move away from the party rock of their past offerings, their last LP having been Backwater (review here) 2015. Fortunately, while they seek out some new aesthetic ground, the 11 tracks of Here Before do maintain Chron Goblin‘s penchant for straight-ahead songcraft and unpretentious execution — and frankly, that wasn’t at all broken. Neither, perhaps was the let’s-get-drunk-and-bounce-around spirit of their prior work, but they sound more mature in a song like the six-minute “Ghost” and “Slipping Under” (premiered here) successfully melds the shift in presentation with the energy of their prior output. Maybe it’s still a party but we watch horror movies? I don’t know. They’ve still got “Giving in to Fun” early in the tracklisting — worth noting it follows the swaying “Oblivion” — so maybe I’m misreading the whole thing, or maybe it’s more complex than being entirely one thing or the other might allow for. Perish the thought. Either way, can’t mess with the songs.

Chron Goblin on Thee Facebooks

Chron Goblin on Bandcamp

 

Ethereal Riffian, Legends

ethereal riffian legends

Ukrainian heavy rockers Ethereal Riffian make a pointed sonic shift with their Legends album (on Robustfellow), keeping some of the grunge spirit in their melodies as the eight-minute “Moonflower” and closer “Ethereal Path” show, but in songs like “Unconquerable” and the early salvo of “Born Again,” “Dreamgazer” and “Legends” and even the second half of “Kosmic” and “Pain to Wisdom,” they let loose from some of the more meditative aspects of their past work with a fiery drive and a theme of enlightenment through political and social change. A kind of great awakening of the self. There’s still plenty of “ethereal” to go with all that “riffian” in the intro “Sage’s Alchemy,” or the first half of “Kosmic” or the CD bonus “Yeti’s Hide,” but no question the balance has tipped toward the straightforward, and the idea seems to be that the electrified feel is as much a part of the message as the message itself. The only trouble is that since putting Legends out, Ethereal Riffian called it quits to refocus their energies elsewhere in the universe. Are they really done? I’m skeptical, but if so, then at least they went out trying new things, which always seemed to be a specialty, and on a note of directly positive attitude.

Ethereal Riffian on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

Parasol Caravan, Nemesis

parasol caravan nemesis

A second long-player behind 2015’s Para Solem, the eight-song/35-minute Nemesis is not only made for vinyl, but it’s made for rockers. Specifically, heavy rockers. And it’s heavy rock, for heavy rockers. Based in Linz, Austria, the double-guitar four-piece Parasol Caravan have their sound and style on lockdown, and their work, while not really keeping any secrets in terms of where it’s coming from in its ’70s-via-’90s modern take, is brought to bear with a clarity that seems particularly derived from the European heavy rock tradition. Para Solem was longer and somewhat fuzzier in tone, but the stripped down approach of the title-track at the outset and its side B counterpart, “Serpent of Time” still unfold to a swath of ground covered, whether it’s in the subdued instrumental “Acceptance” or “Transition,” which follows the driving “Blackstar” and closes the LP with a bit of a progressive metal edge. Even that has its hook, though, and that’s ultimately the point.

Parasol Caravan on Thee Facebooks

Parasol Caravan on Bandcamp

 

Golden Core, Fimbultýr

golden core fimbultyr

The title FimbultĂ˝r translates to “mighty god” and is listed among the alternative names of Odin, which would seem to be who Oslo’s Golden Core have in mind in the leadoff title-track of their second album. Issued through Fysisk Format, it is not necessarily what one thinks of as “Viking metal” in the post-Amon Amarth or post-Enslaved context, but instead, the eight-song collection unfolds a biting modern sludge taking an edge of the earlier Mastodon lumber and bringing it to harshly-vocalized rollout. The 11-minute “Runatal” and only-seconds-shorter “Buslubben” are respective vocal points around which sides A and B of the release center, and each finds a way to give like emphasis to atmosphere and extremity, to stretch as well as pummel, and much to Golden Core‘s credit, they seem not only aware of the changes they’re presenting in their material, but in control of how and when they’re executed. The resulting linear flow of FimbultĂ˝r, given the shifts within, isn’t to be understated as a victory on the part of the band.

Golden Core on Thee Facebooks

Fysisk Format on Bandcamp

 

Black Smoke Omega, Harbinger

Black Smoke Omega Harbinger

Harbinger may well be just that — a sign of things to come. The debut offering from Black Smoke Omega wraps progressive death-doom and gothic piano-led atmospherics around a thematic drawing from science-fiction, and while I’m not certain of the narrative being told by the Dortmund, Germany-based band, their method for telling it is fascinating. It’s not entirely seamless in its shifts, and it doesn’t seem like the band — seemingly spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jack Nier, though Ashley James (The Antiquity) plays guitar on “A Man without a Heart” and Michael Tjanaka brings synth/piano to “KainĂŠ” — want it to be, but there’s no denying that by the time “Falling Awake” seems to provide some melodic resolution to the often-slow-motion tumult prior, it’s doing so by bringing the different sides together. It’s a significant journey from the raw, barking shouts on “The Black Scrawl” and the lurching-into-chug-into-lurch of “The Man without a Heart” to get there, however. But this, too, seems to be on purpose. How it all might shake out feels like a question for the next release, but Black Smoke Omega seem poised here to leave heads spinning.

Black Smoke Omega on Thee Facebooks

Black Smoke Omega on Bandcamp

 

Liquid Orbit, Game of Promises

Liquid Orbit Game of Promises

While on the surface, Liquid Orbit might be on familiar enough ground with Game of Promises for anyone who has encountered the swath of up-and-comers working in the wake of Blues Pills, the Bremen, Germany, five-piece distinguish themselves through not just the keyboard work of Anders alongside Andree‘s guitar, Ralf‘s bass, Steve‘s drums and Sylvia‘s vocals, but also the shifts between funk, boogie, and edges of doom that play out in songs like “Shared Pain” and “Please Let Her Go,” as well as the title-track, which starts side B of the Nasoni Records-issued vinyl with a highlight guitar solo and an insistent snare tap beneath that works to bring movement to what’s still one of Game of Promises‘ shorter tracks at six and a half minutes, as opposed to the earlier eight-minute-toppers on side A or the psych-prog finale “Verlorene Karawane,” which translates in English to “lost caravan” and indeed basks in some Mideastern vibe and backward-effects vocal swirl. Bottom line, if you go into it thinking you know everything you’re getting, you’re probably selling it short.

Liquid Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

Sun Below, Black Volume III

Sun Below Black Volume III

As the title hints, the name-your-price Black Volume III is the third EP release from Toronto’s Sun Below. All three have been issued over roughly a year’s span, and the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Jason Craig, drummer/backing vocalist Will Adams, bassist/backing vocalist Garrison Thordarson — who as far as I’m concerned wins this entire Quarterly Review when it comes to names; that’s an awesome name — and two have featured covers. On their debut, they took on “Dragonaut” by Sleep, and on Black Volume III, in following up the 12-minute nod-roller “Solar Burnout,” they thicken and further stonerize the catchy jaunt that is “Wires” by Red Fang. They’ve got, in other words, good taste. Black Volume III opens with “Green Visions” and thereby takes some righteous fart-fuzz for a walk both that and “Solar Burnout” show plenty of resi(n)dual Sleep influence, but honestly, it’s a self-releasing band with three dudes who sound like they’re having a really good time figuring out where they want to be in terms of sound after about a year from their first release, and if you ask anything else of Black Volume III than what it gives, you’re obviously lacking in context. Which is to say you’re fucking up. Don’t fuck up. Dig riffs instead.

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Sun Below on Bandcamp

 

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Leonov Premiere “I am Lion, I am Yours” Video; Wake out Oct. 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

leonov

Norwegian atmospheric doomers Leonov are getting ready to release their sophomore collection, Wake, on Oct. 26 through Fysisk Format. “I am Lion, I am Yours” is the leadoff among the included five tracks, and in its haunting melodic echoes and cacophonous wall of sound, it speaks to a duality that plays out across what follows in loud/quiet tradeoffs and patient builds. There are stretches of marked intensity and reaches where minimalism holds sway behind the vocals of TĂĽran Reindal, which remind a bit of what Sera Timms brought to Black Math Horseman in terms of effects and ambience. Still, through the crunching “Eucharist” with drummer Jon-Vetle Lunden rolling out a nod marked by the low end of bassist Morten Kjelling and the spacious guitars of Ole Jørgen Reindal and Rune Gilje, and into the 10:50 “Shem,” Leonov demonstrate a fluidity in their transitions that smooths out the noted juxtaposition. They’re not any more jagged in a given turn than they want to be.

Part of that is the aforementioned bass, which ties together a lot of the material along with Reindal‘s vocals, but leonov wakepart is the expectation of drift set up in “I am Lion, I am Yours.” That’s brought to fruition in “Shem,” which in its second half marches toward what at first seems to be an apex and turns out instead to be a deconstruction and looped static, and even more so in 15-minute closer “Wake,” but between the two is “Oceanode,” which follows a more distinctly post-metal direction and opens up after about a minute and a half into more a more churning riff that in the second half of the song comes to a head in the most prevalent wash of the record. The title-track follows a more experimentalist but ultimately linear course, offering a highlight vocal performance and subtlety of keys and percussion that bring tension leading to Wake‘s mountainous finish. The depths and heights, however, are clearly foretold in the opener, as is the wash, and Leonov execute their charge with a graceful balance between heft and space. Their methodical delivery seems to have grown in the four years since they made their self-titled debut, and Wake offers sonic spiritual catharsis in its heavier stretches and an otherworldly presence in its quieter moments.

If you’ve got an aversion to high-contrast or flashing lights, you might want to hold the screen out or step back before you hit play on the video below, because there’s definitely some of that going on and I’m not looking to give anyone a headache (honest.). Otherwise, you’ll find “I am Lion, I am Yours,” directed by Simen Skari, on the player immediately following, with some more release info courtesy of the PR wire afterwards, including the preorder link.

Hope you enjoy:

Leonov, “I am Lion, I am Yours” official video premiere

I am Lion, I am Yours is taken from Leonov’s 2018 effort ‘Wake’ out on Fysisk Format October 26th. Pre-order the album here: https://smarturl.it/IamLion

Ever since its formation in 2010, Leonov has found inspiration for its celestial doom in the existential, the darkness and affliction, as well as the curiosity and hope in things beyond our reach and comprehension.

“Wake” is an album that contends with life’s great journey in the face of these forces, from cradle to grave. From the childlike and fundamental quest for belonging, acceptance and affirmation – to the mature recognition that we are ever coming up short and are not in control of our existence, and as a summary, the titular song “Wake” conveys the melancholy and nostalgia over what has been found and lost. The song encloses a celebration of life and a grief over the things left behind, a pain that everything ends and at the same time a hope that death is not final.

Recorded at Taakeheimen Lydrike, with the exception of “Eucharist” recorded at Malabar Studio with Christoffer Gaarder, the band’s second album was later mixed and co-produced by Morten Øby at Taakeheimen.

Leonov is:
Ole Jørgen Reindal – Guitar
Rune Gilje – Guitar
Morten Kjelling – Bass
Tåran Reindal – Vocals/Synth
Jon-Vetle Lunden – Drums

Leonov on Thee Facebooks

Leonov on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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Æsthetica Premiere “Ekstasis”; Debut Album Sonorous Æon out Dec. 8

Posted in audiObelisk on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

aesthetica-by-Peder-Blumlein

Norwegian four-piece Æsthetica will release their debut album, Sonorous Æon, on Dec. 8 via Esetiske Studier and Fysisk Format, and though thoroughly based in doom at its roots, it’s a six-song outing that nonetheless blurs the lines of subgenres and influences almost on a per-track basis. A sense of post-metallic drama of atmosphere pervades “Todesfuge,” for example, which hits after rolling opener “Haze” calls to mind the heavy-soul delivery of Goatsnake and Gozu. Comprised of Tobias Brynildsbakken Huse, Simon Dahl Okoniweski, Vetle BrĂĽten Rian and Petter Rosendahl Moland — everybody gets three names; no more, no less — Æsthetica structure their first offering as a two-sided vinyl wherein each half features two cuts just under six minutes long and one longer one on either side of 10, and feel cohesive and self-aware in their approach even as they seem to be staking a claim on such varied stylistic ground as the alternately spacious and crushing side A finale “La Paz,” which moves from open-air guitar noodling to deeply weighted riffage and hits 10:36 as the longest inclusion on Sonorous Æon.

One could hardly consider the range of Æsthetica, whose very moniker speaks to a commitment to or at least awareness of style as an essential facet of art, to be a detriment in the first place, but what makes Sonorous Æon work particularly well is its front to back flow. As the somewhat grim march at the end of “Todesfuge” (‘Death Fugue,’ in German, aesthetica sonorous aeoncomplete with a lengthy spoken sample also in the same language) gives way to the vastness of “La Paz,” initially populated by echoing guitar and flourish of cymbal wash, the band do well to consider overarching presentation. Indeed, the same holds on side B as the airy post-rockisms of second-half-leadoff “Gates” build to an understated head and drop to the sparsest and most contemplative moment on Sonorous Æon, from which a couple seconds of feedback signal the slam into post-Electric Wizard riffing that’s to come in the penultimate “Worshipper.” These borders are crossed with confidence, as they must be to work at all, and while Æsthetica would have their work cut out for them in trying to meld all of these impulses into one overarching sound or idea, they show on their debut that they’re able to tie them together all the same and conjure a sensibility that forces the listener to think of Sonorous Æon as a whole work rather than assembled component parts.

At 9:57, “Ekstasis” closes out Sonorous Æon in answer to “La Paz” back on side A, and in so doing would seem to provide an opportunity for summary or final expansion into new ground. By then, as they approach the total 44 minutes that make up the album, it’s little surprise they choose the latter, bringing in a near-gothic theatricality amid guitar drift anchored by the heft of the corresponding bass tone as the drums push it forward. As they have across the record’s span, the vocals prove a uniting and commanding presence, and as “Ekstasis” builds in pace toward its midsection crashout, it would seem Æsthetica are looking to deliver the crescendo early, but in fact it’s a ruse, and instead, they set themselves up for a two-part cycle, essentially tearing down the fabric of one payoff in order to begin building another, even more satisfying one from the ground up. Instrumental and consuming, the back half of “Ekstasis” makes as fitting a closing argument for Sonorous Æon as anything might, and the album finishes on a resonant pluck of strings to reaffirm the space created.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Ekstasis” as a track premiere ahead of the Dec. 8 release of Sonorous Æon. Please find it on the player below, followed by more background on Æsthetica from the PR wire, and please enjoy:

Æsthetica, “Ekstasis”

From the densely wooded suburbs just outside of Oslo a deep, dark sound has emerged with the sonic intensity of Armageddon and the wistful sonorities of the birds. Æsthetica are a self-styled doom, post-rock band from Kolbotn whose live shows have mesmerised audiences for its fierce fervor and great big swathes of sound that envelop the listener like a mysterious mist. Combining elements of doom, progressive blues rock, eastern scales and even tubas, Æstethica have cultivated a sound uniquely their own and their debut album Sonorous Æon is bringing this to the recorded format for the first time.

Theirs is a bold new sound lifted from the petrified footsteps left by bands like Black Sabbath, Swans and Godspeed! You black Emperor and shaped by a stark coldness that lies beyond the tundra. Æsthetica’s textures are dense and powerful and without provocation they lure the listener into a calm noise that lies just beyond the superficial. It’s a quiet noise that’s best experienced in the live context, which the young four-piece group dominate with a sonic presence.

Recorded and mixed in Asker by Are Sorknes, mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door Mastering.

Artist: Æsthetica
Title: Sonorous Æon
Release: December 8th, 2017
Label: Esetiske Studier/Fysisk Format

Tracklist:
1. Haze
2. Todesfuge
3. La Paz
4. Gates
5. Worshipper
6. Ekstasis

Æsthetica are:
Tobias Brynildsbakken Huse
Simon Dahl Okoniweski
Vetle BrĂĽten Rian
Petter Rosendahl Moland

Æsthetica on Thee Facebooks

Æsthetica on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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