Trialogos: Debut Album Stroh Zu Gold Out June 18 on Exile on Mainstream

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I probably would have posted this yesterday, but to be honest with you I was hoping that the press release would be shortly followed by a download of the album or some streaming sample or something to hear to give some idea of what Enjoy professional writing options offered at our weblink 24/7. Order your paper now or use one of the samples offered for free. Trialogos sounds like. I didn’t see any A/V on their Facebook, and when you click the link to their website, it asks for a password I don’t have — which, if you ever wanted to know what I’m like at a party, I’m like the guy who just clicked the link to site with a password I don’t have; that’s me all the way. But anyhow, no audio there either. I gave it the extra day, but with Today's top 5029 jobs in United States. Leverage your professional network, and get hired. New Service Writer jobs added daily. Trialogos‘ debut at Instant Financial Phd Thesis Ucsd available at Courseworktutors. Get trusted homework help online from the experienced tutors. 24/7 Live Support. Roadburn Redux coming up on Saturday, I guess they figured that as a good time to do the unveiling. Can’t argue.

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From the PR wire:


TRIALOGOS: New Act Formed By Conny Ochs, Kiki Bohemia, And Sicker Man Presents Stroh Zu Gold Debut, Exile On Mainstream’s 100th Release; Band Plays Roadburn Redux This Week, Releasing A Special LP Edition

Exile On Mainstream excitedly announces the label’s 100th release, today unveiling the news and details of new experimental/cinematic rock collective, TRIALOGOS. Formed during the pandemic over the past year, the band will issue their newly completed debut LP, Stroh Zu Gold, in June. The details for the album have today been issued alongside news of the band’s participation in Roadburn Redux this week.

During the Roadburn performance, fans will be able to order a strictly limited, pre-release vinyl version of the album via a secret website that will become available as the show is streamed. Limited to 50 copies, the special edition will feature a special, manually screenprinted sleeve with different artwork and will be hand numbered.

TRIALOGOS’ exclusive Roadburn set will premiere this Saturday, April 17th 13:00 CEST and remain available on demand until April 20th at 23:59 when the Roadburn site will be taken offline. See the full schedule HERE:

TRIALOGOS’ Stroh Zu Gold will be issued June 18th in a four-panel mini-gatefold CD, 180-gram pure virgin black vinyl LP including a download card, and digital platforms. Preorders are now available at the Exile On Mainstream’s webshop HERE:

The performance will be streamed from the stunning location of Leipzig’s UT Connewitz, one of Germany’s oldest cinemas that was established in 1912 and home to a lot of mind-blowing performances by Exile On Mainstream-related acts before, among them the EOM20 festival in 2019. Roadburn regulars will likely be familiar with Conny Ochs, who has brought his haunting folk to the festival’s stages numerous times – both in a solo capacity and alongside collaborator Wino – and joined by Sicker Man and Kiki Bohemia, this performance promises to deliver something vastly different and equally memorable. Following Tony Conrad’s concept of maximalism in minimal music, TRIALOGOS’ widescreen Super-8 soundscapes and occasional haunted house vocals conjure up visions of winter lost beaches, bats dancing upside down, and sojourns in permanent dawn.

Conny Ochs states, “Now we have the chance to play our debut set of Stroh Zu Gold alongside so many astonishing artists and in the realm of the magnificent Roadburn Festival, that to me has always been a symbol of artistic freedom. This is a great honor to us. It feels like exactly the right place for this, a place to get together again on the playground. What a trip.”

Also taking part in Roadburn this week is Andreas Kohl. Almost becoming a regular sit-in for the fest, Kohl, Senior Manager at Optimal Media and Exile On Mainstream’s head of noise, will bring his expertise to Roadburn’s side program again this year. With hampering growth such as pressing capacities, new machinery now being widely available but still facing issues like shortage of well-trained and enthusiastic personnel vinyl records remain one of the most discussed topics in the music industry and among fans. Kohl has been holding Q&A sessions and lectures on these topics three times now at Roadburn with different focuses each time. In 2021, he will again give an insight on new technology hitting the market and the current state of manufacturing the black gold in general. The short lecture and update on the current state of things will be held as a Q&A session with fellow Jose Carlos Santos, a no less prominent face among Roadburn’s acolytes. Kohl’s talk will be live on Sunday, April 18th at 15:30 CEST.

Conny Ochs – acoustic/electric guitars, vocals, bass, drums, percussion
Sicker Man – acoustic/electric cello, guitars, Juno 6, Moog, lapsteel, beats, effects
Kiki Bohemia – Rhodes, vocals, bass, Dictaphone, autoharp, effects

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Yagow Premiere “Rise & Shine” Video From The Mess; Album Preorder Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


German heavy psychedelic rockers [This API is not supported and may be altered or unavailable in the future.] DirectShow (DES) is an application programming interface (API Yagow release their second album, Thesis On Customer Relationship Management.Buy good essays.Content Writing Services Usa.Please write my essay for me The Mess, June 18 on I pavlovian conditioning, phobias after dinner, but my parents complain because of the oil [...] for the lamp. Ich mache meine Hausarbeiten nach dem Abendessen, aber meine Eltern beschweren [...] sich oft, weil das Ol fur die Lampe dadurch verbraucht wird. I was so mad that I didn't want to go there anymore, but my parents insisted that I continue doing Crazysane Records. The trio issued their self-titled debut (review here) in 2017 and thereby served effective notice of their weirdo intentions, the record’s molten freakery laid back but still out-there in the cosmic sense. The kids — all of whom are over 30 — might call it neo-psych, but the wretched truth is there’s no such thing. It’s all just psych. Heavy psych, in this case. And You have stumbled upon one of the best online. If you are stressed by tons of assignments - our professional academic help is here Yagow deliver seven thrillers in that regard across their sophomore foray, blown out and rolling every which way as it is while still remaining cohesive in its approach — they didn’t call it  The Mess because their songs are any sloppier than they want them to be — pushing speedier feedback-and-organ-laced vibes in “Tres Calaveras,” while the earlier opening title-track pairs sitar sounds and fuzz guitar in classic fashion, pushing toward space rock without breaking the motorik light barrier, and the subsequent “Doomed to Fail” reverbs in such a manner as to evoke the US Pacific Coast. If they were from Palm Springs and not Saarbrücken, you’d call it desert rock and be just as right.

That latter, second cut, comes tailed by the immediate low-end tension of “Rise and Shine,” for which Yagow are premiering a video below — how about that? You can hear some holdover tonal spaciousness in there for sure, and “Rise and Shine” pairs that with nod-ready tom work and a deceptively solidified verse setting up a shift into a hook peppered with ’60s organ shimmer before being yagow the messshoved to a rousing finish. That moves into “Bloom,” with a purposefully emptier-feeling verse and looser swing — too humble to swagger, but too dead-on in the bass distortion to be called humble — and a build into a crescendo worthy of its place as The Mess‘ centerpiece. The aforementioned “Tres Calaveras,” presumably a leadoff for side B, answers with more straightforward galloping motion early and a bit of drift in its second half, almost tricking the listener into its immersion, but doing so with no malice in its intent. Kudos to guitarist/vocalist/noisemaker Jan Werner, bassist Kai Peifer and drummer Marc Schönwald on acknowledging their place in the universe on “Eclectic Electric,” the most outwardly engaging chorus on the record. It’s good to know, ultimately, that they realize that they’re weirdos too. Makes the whole thing easier, and, honestly, more fun to process.

Speaking of processing, the nine-minute closer and longest track on The Mess, “Getting Through: Is This Where the Magic Happens?” should be answered with a resounding yes. It should come as little surprise that the longer finale is jammier, fluid and open-feeling, but to their credit, Yagow don’t simply throw wide the door and let the track make its winding way into psychedelic oblivion. They hold onto it. They keep a cool head. They maintain. Sure they’re on an outbound passage into the echo-drenched ether with only their own tonality to keep them warm — should do the trick nicely — but that doesn’t mean one needs to completely forsake every semblance of structure. Yagow never give all the way into making a mess on The Mess. One wouldn’t call the album tidy, exactly, but the flow between and within tracks demonstrates the underlying focus of their execution, even when that focus is on blurring reality. Which, really, could use some blurring at this point.

And on that happy note, I’ll turn you over to the portrayal of base consumerism and ’90s home shopping that is the clip for “Rise and Shine,” inspired as it is. A quote from the band and album info/preorder links follow, all courtesy of the PR wire.


Yagow, “Rise & Shine” official video premiere

Yagow on “Rise & Shine”:

The song is about the conscious or unconscious assumption of certain roles within our capitalist society that are expected from us and about how we have been socialised to adopt them and to perfect that facade. When Pascal and Tobi from Keine Zeit Medien came up with the idea to recreate a teleshopping program in the style of the ’90s for the first video single and to have every band member present a trashy product, we knew that this would go perfectly with the message of “Rise & Shine!” With the support of some friends who, in contrast to our amateur acting, turned out to be near-professional actors, the shoot was a lot of fun. And when Pascal, in his role as our hair model, said that he would be willing to do everything for the sake of art (“Mach mir einfach die Halbglatze!”), it was clear that the video was going to be killer! See for yourself!

The otherworldly sounds of psychedelic space-rock outfit Yagow take a new turn on their sophomore album The Mess. Combining the resonant riffing of The Black Angels and True Widow with the celebrant atmosphere of Dead Skeletons The Mess presents an eclectic mix of noise rock, psychedelic rock and stoner rock influences that continues in the vein of their self-titled debut album (released in 2017). However this time Yagow paint with a deeper warmer sonic palette that makes their intend more effective than before.

THE MESS (limited 12″, 180g heavyweight vinyl) will be released June 16th 2021 through crazysane records.

Pre-order the album here:

— Peacock Edition: white/orange/purple splatter (Ltd. to 150)
— Grimace Purple Edition (Ltd. to 150)
— Solid Black (Ltd. to 200)

THE MESS was recorded by Bob de Wit and Koen Verhees at Super Nova Studio, Eindhoven in October 2020. It was mixed by Dennis Juengel and mastered by Philipp Welsing. THE MESS is released through crazysane records.

Yagow are:
Marc Schönwald (Drums, Percussion)
Kai Peifer (Bass)
Jan Werner (Vocals, Guitars, Drones)

All Songs written by Yagow

Guest Musician:
Bram van Zuijlen (Synthesizer, Organ, Saloon Piano)

Yagow on Thee Facebooks

Yagow on Instagram

Yagow on Bandcamp

Yagow website

Yagow preorder at Crazysane Records

Crazysane Records on Thee Facebooks

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Ariez to Release Ritual Doom Vinyl on DHU Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

On a certain level, what you see is what you get with Ariez‘s debut EP, Ritual Doom. It says it’s going to do a thing and then it does. Fair enough. The manner in which it does so, however, has proven remarkable enough to catch the ready ears of DHU Records, and the cult-heavy specialist imprint has picked up the German band for a limited vinyl release later this year. There’s ears to the ground and then there’s this. I’m gonna claim to be Johnny Occultguy or anything, but DHU consistently serves up classic-minded heavy with an edge of the ethereal, and to my ears at least they’ve become one of the foremost supporters of the style.

The band — whose moniker I was pronouncing “air-ee-ay” like a French word in the second-person plural, but is probably just “aries” with a ‘z’ — released the EP on their own last Fall, and you can hear it on the player at the bottom of this post. It grooves and more than lives up to the billing.

From the PR wire:

ariez ritual doom

New Signing to DHU Records: Ariez

DHU Records is excited to announce the signing of German Doom Rockers ARIEZ!

“Ariez was formed in early 2014 in Germany, when Michael Ariez Vent du Nord had the idea to start a band with the roots of classic Heavy Rock bands from the late 60s & early 70s, adding Black Metal influences to create a unique sound.

It didn’t take too long for drummer Luis and vocalist Sue to join as they both brought the same musical background to form the Ariez sound.

After a year of rehearsing Ariez played a few gigs, with duties on Bass changing regularly and because of the pandemic, silence set in… The three band members kept on writing and Luis & Michael recorded and produced all material in the band’s rehearsal room and on November 3rd 2020 digitally released their first 4 song EP entitled Ritual Doom.

With plenty of hooks & licks & a darkened atmosphere Ritual Doom will captivate and leave you wanting more with each listen!

Ariez’s lyrics deal with the inescapable topic of life and death; mystic, spiritual and occult in nature.

Ariez is a Heavy Occult Rock band.

Come one, come all, and embrace the Ritual Doom!”

DHU Records will release Ritual Doom on Limited Edition vinyl approximately August 2021

DHU Exclusive, Band Edition & Test Press will be available

Side A:
A1. Never Dying Sun
A2.Stardust in the Light of the Wind

Side B:
B1. Bee Eater
B2. Queen of the Forest

Released November 3rd 2020

All songs are written, recorded and mixed by Ariez
Artwork by Ariez
Vinyl mastering by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Company
2020 All rights reserved.

(NOTE: the vinyl release has a different track order than on bandcamp)

Vocals: Sue Leafheart
Drums and Bass: Luis
Guitar and Bass: Ariez Vent du Nord

Ariez, Ritual Doom (2020)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Conny Ochs

Posted in Questionnaire on March 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Conny Ochs (Photo by Christian Thiele)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Conny Ochs

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Even with various works in composition through various projects, I feel myself being, at first, a songwriter. The filtering of my own reactions, emotions, as well as the stories of people I meet and the picturing of situations I encounter is the base of a song. In a song try to distill these elements into an emphatic moment of sharing, both to inspire and reflect, and hopefully transmit my understanding, that through sharing life it can become something more than a single but a universal experience. To me, this has become a strong medicine in the face of, sometimes, struggling with it. I hope it can do the same to others. Finally, I believe the transformation of consciousness, much as shamans once did, keeps us all sane, emphatic, curious, and very much alive.

Describe your first musical memory.

I remember my father playing me children songs by my bed, when I was very young. At that moment, through the music he played, he become something more than the father figure I knew, but a medium. Like a window that led beyond the world I knew.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That would be writing my first own song with my best friend, around the age of 15. Before that, we had only played the songs of bands we liked. At that moment I felt all the possibilities that were given through means of communicating, and how it changed what I had thought I knew about myself. I never stopped following that road after that.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

When we started to work with a label for the first time, there were many suggestions made by third parties regarding sound, songwriting, also outfits and so on. We had to defend ourselves in front of people who had been in the music business early on, especially regarding our stage shows, which have been quite intense I guess. That was not always appreciated. Yet we did what we thought was right and true to us, with the consequences that it brought which did not exactly make is easier for us to release our music. But we stuck to our thing all the way though.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I hope it leads to having the chance to meet and work with a whole bunch of awesome people, keeping an open mind, continuing to be curious about the ways of the world and understanding how to be a free person.

How do you define success?

Transforming what you think and feel into a medium that can be grasped by others.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Can´t really think of something here, need to pass that one.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I would very much like to become a good cook. Actually just become a cook at all, to my shame I rarely take up on cooking. Then the things i´d like to create would be anything apart from pasta and eggs, that would be something.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

I believe art is the universal language that can connect human beings across cultural, intellectual and political borders. It can bring us back to our own truth, unveil what we hide from ourselves and what is hidden from us. It keeps us young and curious. Right now, I feel a lot of art has become just a means of making money and gaining fame. Which I feel actually does not make it art anymore, but maybe some sort of craftsmanship because the spirit is missing. Yet finally the function of art is what you allow it to be to you.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Right now in these blurred, confined times, I am looking forward very much to see my family and friends again. Also spring, that is just arriving, and a summer that hopefully can give us all some room to breathe. I am looking forward to simple things that we can all share again. Like throwing a good old party finally.

Conny Ochs, Doom Folk (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Dopelord, Scorched Oak, Kings of the Fucking Sea, Mantarraya, Häxmästaren, Shiva the Destructor, Amammoth, Nineteen Thirteen, Ikitan, Smote

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Third day, and you know what that means. Today we hit and pass the halfway mark of this Quarterly Review. I won’t say it hasn’t been work, but it seems like every time I do one of these lately I continue to be astounded by how much easier writing about good stuff makes it. I must’ve done a real clunker like two years ago or something. Can’t think of one, but wow, it’s way more fun when the tunes are killer.

To that end we start with Dopelord today, haha. Have fun digging through if you do.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Dopelord, Reality Dagger

Dopelord Reality Dagger

They put it in a 12″, and that’s cool, but in addition to the fact that it’s about 22 minutes long, something about Reality Dagger, the latest EP from Poland’s Dopelord, strikes me as being really 10″ worthy. I know 10″ is the bastard son of vinyl pressings — doesn’t fit with your LPs and doesn’t fit with your 7″s. They’re a nuisance. Do they get their own shelf? Mixed in throughout? Well, however you organize them, I think a limited 10″ of Reality Dagger would be perfect, because from the melodies strewn throughout “Dark Coils” and the wildly catchy “Your Blood” — maybe the most complex vocal arrangement I’ve yet heard from the band — to the ultra-sludge interplay with screams on the 10-minute closing title-track, it sounds to me like standing out from the crowd is exactly what Dopelord want to do. They want to be that band that doesn’t fit your preconceptions of stoner-doom, or sludge, or modern heavy largesse in the post-Monolord vein. Why not match that admirable drive in format? Oh hell, you know what? I’ll just by the CD and have done with it. One of the best EPs I’ve heard this year.

Dopelord on Thee Facebooks

Dopelord on Bandcamp


Scorched Oak, Withering Earth

Scorched Oak Withering Earth

Don’t be surprised when you see Kozmik Artifactz, Nasoni Records, or some other respected probably-European purveyor of heavy coming through with an announcement they’ve picked up Scorched Oak. The Dortmund, Germany, trio seem to have taken the last few years to figure out where they were headed — they pared down from a five-piece, for example — and their rolling tides of fuzz on late-2020’s debut LP Withering Earth bears the fruit of those efforts. Aesthetically and structurally sound, it’s able to touch on heavy blues, metal and drifting psychedelia all within the span of a seven-minute track like “Swamp,” and in its five-songs running shortest to longest, it effectively draws the listener deeper into the world the band are creating through dual vocals, patient craft and spacious production. If I was a label, I’d sign them for the bass tone on 14-minute closer “Desert” alone, never mind any of the other natural phenomena they portray throughout the record, which is perhaps grim in theme but nonetheless brimming with potential. Some cool riffs on this dying planet.

Scorched Oak on Thee Facebooks

Scorched Oak on Bandcamp


Kings of the Fucking Sea, In Concert

Kings of the Fucking Sea In Concert

A scorching set culled from two nights of performances in their native Nashville, what’s essentially serving as Kings of the Fucking Sea‘s debut long-player, In Concert, is a paean to raw psychedelic power trio worship. High order ripper groove pervades “Witch Mountain” and the wasn’t-yet-named “Hiding No More” — which was introduced tentatively as “Death Dealer,” which the following track is actually titled. Disorienting? Shit yeah it is. And shove all the poignancy of making a live album in Feb. 2020 ahead of the pandemic blah blah. That’s not what’s happening here. This is all about blow-the-door-so-we-can-escape psychedelic pull and thrust. One gets the sense that Kings of the Fucking Sea are more in control than they let on, but they play it fast and loose and slow and loose throughout In Concert and by the time the mellower jam in “I Walk Alone” opens up to the garage-style wash of crash cymbal ahead of closer “The Nile Song,” the swirling fuckall that ensues is rampant with noise-coated fire. A show that might make you look up from your phone. So cool it might be jazz. I gotta think about it.

Kings of the Fucking Sea on Thee Facebooks

Agitated Records on Bandcamp


Mantarraya, Mantarraya

mantarraya mantarraya

They bill themselves as ‘Mantarraya – power trío,’ and guitarist/vocalist Herman Robles Montero, drummer/maybe-harmonica-ist Kelvin Sifuentes Pérez and bassist/vocalist Enzo Silva Agurto certainly live up to that standard on their late-2020 self-titled debut full-length. The vibe is classic heavy ’70s through and through, and the Peruvian three-piece roll and boogie through the 11 assembled tracks with fervent bluesy swing on “En el Fondo” and no shortage of shuffle throughout the nine-minute “120 Años (Color),” which comes paired with the trippier “Almendrados” in what seems like a purposeful nod to the more out-there among the out there, bringing things back around to finish swinging and bouncing on the eponymous closer. I’ll take the classic boogie as it comes, and Mantarraya do it well, basking in a natural but not too purposefully so sense of underproduction while getting their point across in encouraging-first-record fashion. At over an hour long, it’s too much for a single LP, but plenty of time for them to get their bearings as they begin their creative journey.

Mantarraya on Thee Facebooks

Mantarraya on Bandcamp


Häxmästaren, Sol i Exil

Häxmästaren sol i exil

At the risk of repeating myself, someone’s gonna sign Häxmästaren. You can just tell. The Swedish five-piece’s second album, Sol i Exil (“sun in exile,” in English), is a mélange of heavy rock and classic doom influences, blurring the lines between microgenres en route to an individual approach that’s still accessible enough in a riffer like “Millennium Phenomenon” or “Dödskult Ritual” to be immediately familiar and telegraph to the converted where the band are coming from. Vocalist Niklas Ekwall — any relation to Magnus from The Quill? — mixes in some screams and growls to his melodic style, further broadening the palette and adding an edge of extremity to “Children of the Mountain,” while “Growing Horns” and the capper title-track vibe out with with a more classic feel, whatever gutturalisms happen along the way, the latter feeling like a bonus for being in Swedish. In the ever-fertile creative ground that is Gothenburg, it should be no surprise to find a band like this flourishing, but fortunately Sol i Exil doesn’t have to be a surprise to kick ass.

Häxmästaren on Thee Facebooks

Häxmästaren on Bandcamp


Shiva the Destructor, Find the Others


Launching with the nine-minute instrumental “Benares” is a telling way for Kyiv’s Shiva the Destructor to begin their debut LP, since it immediately sets listener immersion as their priority. The five-track/44-minute album isn’t short on it, either, and with the band’s progressive, meditative psychedelic style, each song unfolds in its own way and in its own time, drawn together through warmth of tone and periods of heft and spaciousness on “Hydronaut” and a bit of playful bounce on “Summer of Love” (someone in this band likes reggae) and a Middle Eastern turn on “Ishtar” before “Nirvana Beach” seems to use the lyrics to describe what’s happening in the music itself before cutting off suddenly at the end. Vocals stand alone or in harmony and the double-guitar four-piece bask in a sunshine-coated sound that’s inviting and hypnotic in kind, offering turns enough to keep their audience following along and undulations that are duly a clarion to the ‘others’ referenced in the title. It’s like a call to prayer for weirdo psych heads. I’ll take that and hope for more to come.

Shiva the Destructor on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp


Amammoth, The Fire Above

amammoth the fire above

The first and only lyric in “Heal” — the opening track of Sydney, Australia, trio Amammoth‘s debut album, The Fire Above — is the word “marijuana.” It doesn’t get any less stoned from there. Riffs come in massive waves, and even as “The Sun” digs into a bit of sludge, the largesse and crash remains thoroughly weedian, with the lumbering “Shadows” closing out the first half of the LP with particularly Sleep-y nod. Rawer shouted vocals also recall earlier Sleep, but something in Amammoth‘s sound hints toward a more metallic background than just pure Sabbath worship, and “Rise” brings that forward even as it pushes into slow-wah psychedelics, letting “Blade Runner” mirror “The Sun” in its sludgy push before closer “Walk Towards What Blinds You (Blood Bong)” introduces some backing vocals that fit surprisingly well even they kind of feel like a goof on the part of the band. Amammoth, as a word, would seem to be something not-mammoth. In sound, Amammoth are the opposite.

Amammoth on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website


Nineteen Thirteen, MCMXIII

nineteen thirteen mcmxiii

With emotional stakes sufficiently high throughout, MCMXIII is urgent enough to be post-hardcore, but there’s an underpinning of progressive heavy rock even in the mellower stretch of the eight-minute “Dogfight” that complements the noisier and more angular aspects on display elsewhere. Opener “Post Blue Collar Blues” sets the plotline for the newcomer Dayton, Ohio, four-piece, with thoughtful lyrics and a cerebral-but-not-dead-of-spirit instrumental style made full and spacious through the production. Melodies flesh out in “Cripple John” and “Old Face on the Wall,” brooding and surging in children-of-the-’90s fashion, but I hear a bit of Wovenhand in that finale as well — though maybe the one doesn’t exclude the other — so clearly Nineteen Thirteen are just beginning this obviously-passion-fueled exploration of sound aesthetic with these songs, but the debut EP they comprise cuts a wide swath with marked confidence and deceptive memorability. A new turn on Rust Belt heavy.

Nineteen Thirteen on Thee Facebooks

Nineteen Thirteen on Bandcamp


Ikitan, Twenty-Twenty

ikitan twenty-twenty

Hey, you process trauma from living through the last year your way and Genova, Italy’s Ikitan will process it theirs. In their case, that means the writing, recording and self-release of their 20-minute single-song EP, Twenty-Twenty, a sprawling work of instrumentalist heavy post-rock rife with spacious, airy lead guitar and a solid rhythmic foundation. Movements occur in waves and layers, but there is a definite thread being woven throughout the outing from one part to the next, held together alternately by the bass or drums or even guitar, though it’s the latter that seems to be leading those changes as well. The shifts are fluid in any case, and Ikitan grow Twenty-Twenty‘s lone, titular piece to a satisfyingly heft as they move through, harnessing atmosphere as well as weight even before they lower volume for stretches in the second half. There’s a quick surge at the end, but “Twenty-Twenty” is more about journey than destination, and Ikitan make the voyage enticing.

Ikitan on Thee Facebooks

Ikitan on Bandcamp


Smote, Bodkin

smote bodkin

Loops, far-out spaces and a generally experimentalist feel ooze outward like Icelandic lava from Bodkin, the five-song debut LP from UK-based solo-outfit Smote. The gentleman behind the flow is Newcastle upon Tyne’s Daniel Foggin, and this is one of three releases he has out so far in 2021, along with a prior drone collaboration tape with Forest Mourning and a subsequent EP made of two tracks at around 15 minutes each. Clearly a project that can be done indoors during pandemic lockdown, Smote‘s material is wide-ranging just the same, bringing Eastern multi-instrumentalism and traditionalist UK psych together on “Fohrt” and “Moninna,” which would border on folk but for all that buzz in the background. The 11-minute “Motte” is a highlight of acid ritualizing, but the droning title-track that rounds out makes each crash count all the more for the spaces that separate them. I dig this a lot, between you and me. I get vibes like Lamp of the Universe here in terms of sonic ambition and resultant presence. That’s not a comparison I make lightly, and this is a project I will be following.

Smote on Bandcamp

Weird Beard Records store


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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Andreas Kohl

Posted in Questionnaire on March 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

andreas kohl

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Andreas Kohl of Exile on Mainstream Records

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I keep saying it happened to me and that’s pretty much the truth. 25 years ago VISIONS magazine from Germany was asking for writers in an advert and I applied. I was doing shows and fanzines by then already. In 1999 I was offered a job at a big German independent distribution company by an employee who I was publishing a fanzine with. I took the chance and ended up being representing all my favourite labels for Germany as PR rep: Southern Records, CRASS, Dischord, Constellation, Southern Lord, Ipecac, Skin Graft, Alternative Tentacles, Touch And Go, DeSoto, Thrill Jockey among others. That company then went down and I started my own company with my wife keeping most of these clients and started Exile On Mainstream Records as my own label.

The joint morphed into a full running agency with booking, backline and van rental, amp and cabinet repair and build and even a festival. All the steps basically came naturally (‘happened’) as through time I was more than often driven by something like ‘I can do that, so why don’t I?’ and then I just did it. Nowadays only the label remains – this due to probably the only decision I ever failed in prevision – to stop PR business when I turn 40 and leave the field for the younger. And that’s what I did in 2012. Nowadays I keep the label up and work in management in a record pressing plant. Dream job by definition for me.

Describe your first musical memory.

I grew up in a family where music played a big role and was constantly around me. My dad is a true Rock’n’Roller, very much into ’50s stuff like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran but he doesn’t like Elvis. My mom is a big Elvis fan, so I remember them both arguing over Elvis Presley. And so there was constantly cool music, mainly ’50s Rockabilly or early ’60s Soul being played at home (what was kinda unusual in an early ’70s East German household). My earliest memory probably be like: I’m on the floor playing with some Lego or something while there was some tunes blasted into the room coming from an old Czech Tesla B54 reel-to-reel recorder and my mom yelling at my dad “don’t you think the baby is listening to too much music?” and him answering wordlessly by cranking up the volume.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Oh well, there have been way too many. I gotta pick four if that’s okay and they’re all related to a live experience:

Bizarre Festival Cologne 1999 – I smoked some earth-shatteringly heavy pot and went for the Masters Of Reality gig. During the set I all of a sudden was able to listen to each instrument separately and completely blocking the others out. And not only that. I had the feeling I could pre-vision the next note played. I couldn’t believe it and freaked out completely how awesome that was. Been trying it again and again since then but it never happened again.

Stoned From The Underground Festival 2006. The last bands on the outside stage on the day had been rather trippy and jammy – Causa Sui, Brant Bjork, Colour Haze. The first band on the aftershow party inside of what usually is a disco place was VOLT, a band whose album we had just released and they were kind of AmRep-styled Noise. So the crowd walks in and you could feel some tension already. Everybody seemed to be into something heavy, massive and challenging after the rather loose sets outside. When VOLT started I felt the joint gaining speed and halfway during their set it was like if the whole room would go up in flames. 300 people completely losing it. The band played insanely tight and the crowd freaked out like I’ve never seen a crowd freaking out before and never since then. The whole room was chaos, even the last rows, the bartenders and the security guys couldn’t resist – fists in the air, screaming, dancing, rocking out like if there’s no tomorrow. I never had the feeling again of a whole crowd being so completely ‘on the bus’, quoting Tom Wolfe. And to be honest it could have had been no tomorrow. The planet exploding could have happened the next day and it would been the perfect ending.

Blisstrain 2008, Berlin @ Magnet Club. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 we had this tour lined up called Blisstrain where five of our bands would go on tour together but not playing their normal sets but in ad-hoc collaborations. We did set up two full stages in each venue, facing each other, crowd sandwiched in between and the bands would play against and with each other, their sets kinda morphing and by the end of the tour it always was just a big clusterfuck of 20++ musicians playing together each other’s songs. At the Berlin show on that first Blisstrain it clicked for the first time. WE INSIST! started into their song ‘Early Recollections’ – a very ritualistic, stomping track. During the song all other musicians joined in, subsequently. Five drummers, six guitar players, five bass players, one violinist, one piano player and two saxophone men completely in the zone managed to suck the crowd in as well. That one track probably lasted for 30 minutes or more and no one wanted them to stop. At the end of the set I looked into my wife’s face and she had tears all over claiming that she now finally ‘gets’ what this label and the vision seems to be about.

South Of Mainstream Festival 2012. For a few years we hosted our own open air festival in a very rural area, not far from where we live. It always was a blast and was more a gathering of friends than a commercial endeavour, to cushion the fact that we went almost broke each year after it. Not saying we lost money, we basically just bought ourselves a weekend of what we had a vision of how a festival should be and we just never compromised. The 2012 edition was the last one, it happened on my 40th birthday and it actually was the day I closed the agency and announced it there. So it was already a bit emotional but this all got topped by the all-around perfect vibe this weekend presented. The bands, the weather, the food and the music. The backstage area was fully empty the whole weekend and all artists were outside in the crowd celebrating each other. In fact it was a goal achieved, a musical experience not to be made better and the perfect ending of an era. The charge my batteries received from that weekend will probably last forever.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

That’s a hard question. I consider myself quite the ‘anything goes’-guy who is focused and always has a plan, but mostly for myself. So it doesn’t hit me as hard if things go different ways. Nailing it down to a special occasion where a belief was tested seems to be impossible. But of course it always baffles me, makes me sad and angry if artists I admire turn out to be walking questionable political or social paths. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with different opinions, I even can admire arrogance as it plays in with what defines stardom in some ways, but when artists and musicians from our scene start biting the hand that feeds them and acting violent, racist or misogynists, I’m losing faith. When their political agenda turns into some right-wing bullshit following leaders and ideals that work completely against the freedom based on empathy that made Rock’n’Roll possible in the first place (as I see it) I’m standing there in awe how this is possible. I really don’t wanna name anyone but truth be told, how could you, in the US, support a Trump/ GOP agenda if you are a musician? How could you be a self-employed artist but be against a concept of public healthcare? How could you as a UK artist support Brexit? How could you be violent (verbal and non-verbal!) against women and or people of colour but simultaneously building your career on Worksongs, Ragtime, Soul and Blues? How could you even care about a sexual orientation of people or, even worse creating an issue over it publicly while you expect people letting you live your way of life? Or in other words, how can you use your talent for being AGAINST something instead of FOR something? I’m not sure if this accounts for beliefs being tested but it remains baffling for me, over and over again.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

To beliefs being tested, haha.

How do you define success?

Money. Tons of it. No, seriously, here’s how I see it: you wake up on a good morning. I mean, a REALLY good morning. You slept well, sun is shining and that morning welcomes you as a friend, the day is gonna be your partner, your acolyte, and it seems like you can do whatever you want. You take a piece of paper, write down what you wanna achieve on this day and then you go out and do it. Live that day, use that day. In the evening, before you go to bed you look at that piece of paper again and realize the day brought you what is written down there – being it a day on the beach, a nice hangout with your partner, playing with the kids, rocking a club to pieces, recording an album, fixing the roof or just a simple to-do-list that has all points crossed off and there’s nothing left to achieve. You made it. Now that is success.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Coven live at Roadburn 2017 – In little more than an hour they ruined everything they ever meant to me.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A wide open area in some rural spot. A nice house built on it to live in, with an open air area and a big garage – both well designed to host events without any governmental and financial restrictions, lovely neighbours, appreciating the arts, where people can come and hang out during the summer months, camp, BBQ and play music at their own gusto, with some arranged gigs from time to time. No admission, no obligations. Just arts.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Bringing people together in the wish and will to charge their batteries by creating something together or appreciating the creation of others. Art shall be the counterweight to accomplishing requirements by society, whether it be in your job, your family, your partnership or whatever. It’s the place where your mind can run free by creating something in opposite of meeting someone’s expectation and adjusting your actions to it.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

The mountains. Always and ever. A year without at least two trips to the mountains for skiing in winter and climbing in summer would be a lost year. Dolomites preferred. It’s ritualistic and mind-clearing to not to worry about anything else than the next curve or the next peg.

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Nadja to Release Luminous Rot May 21 on Southern Lord

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

nadja (photo by Janina Gallert)

My brain did that thing it does when news comes in about new Nadja. It went, ‘Oh hey, new Nadja, you should check that out.’ And so, I click’d on the ol’ linkeroo, and sure enough, the new Nadja‘s pretty darn good. The album and accompanying video share the title Luminous Rot, and the theme of making first contact with aliens — perhaps someone in Berlin has been watching The Next Generation? — comes with the probably-not-happenstance fact that this is apparently the first Nadja LP to have been mixed by someone other than the duo themselves. Considering the breadth of their discography, that’s significant.

Southern Lord will release Luminous Rot on May 21, and you can dive into the moody vibes of the title-track at the bottom of this post. Nadja remain as outside-genre as ever, it would seem, no matter who’s tweaking levels on the recording.

To the PR wire:

nadja luminous rot (art by Anoop Bhat)

Nadja return with a new album, Luminous Rot, incoming on Southern Lord in May

Nadja return with a new album Luminous Rot, incoming on CD and DL formats via Southern Lord on 21st May, with the LP version arriving on 13th August.

Nadja is a duo of multi-instrumentalist Aidan Baker and bassist Leah Buckareff—active since 2005—and making music which can be described as ambient doom, dreamsludge, or metalgaze. Nadja’s signature sound combines the atmospheric textures of shoegaze and ambient/electronic music with the heaviness, density, and volume of metal, noise, and industrial.

For the new album, Luminous Rot, the duo retain their overblown/ambient sound, and explore shorter and more tightly structured songs reflecting their interests not only in metal, but post-punk, cold-wave, shoegaze, and industrial.

Thematically, the album explores ideas of ‘first contact’ and the difficulties of recognising alien intelligence. This was in part inspired by reading such writers as Stanislaw Lem and Cixin Lui — in particular, theories on astro-physics, multi-dimensionality, and spatial geometry in “The Three Body Problem” — as well as Margaret Wertheim’s “A Field Guide To Hyperbolic Space,” about mathematician Daina Taimina’s work with crochet to illustrate hyperbolic space and geometry.

The album was recorded between their home studio, Broken Spine Studios, or Nadja’s live rehearsal studio, both in the district of Lichtenberg, Berlin.

Luminous Rot marks the first album mixed by someone else, who in this case was David Pajo. The band comment, “as big fans of Slint, we thought he might fore-front the more angular, post-punk elements of our music – the mix is quite different from our previous albums. But, as usual, we had James Plotkin (Khanate, OLD, etc) master the album as we trust his ears and aesthetic, as he’s mastered numerous records of ours.”

1. Intro
2. Luminous Rot
3. Cuts On Your Hands
4. Starres
5. Fruiting Bodies
6. Dark Inclusions

Nadja is Leah Buckareff & Aidan Baker.

Nadja, “Luminous Rot” official video

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Wheel Announce Preserved in Time Out April 9 on Cruz Del Sur

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


15 years on from their founding and eight years since their most recent long-player, Germany doomers Wheel are set to make a return next month with Preserved in Time. With the release, Cruz Del Sur continue their admirable allegiance to quality doomcraft and traditional metal, and the Dortmunders should find welcome among those who’ve opened their arms in recent years to the likes of Orodruin and Pale Divine, among other choice acquisitions the label has made inside and out of the genre.

Icarus, which was Wheel‘s 2013 album — you’ll note the new record closes with “Daedalus,” which is fair enough — came out through Eyes Like Snow, as did their 2010 self-titled debut, and though it’s been a while since anything’s come out under that particular banner, it remains a trove of well-curated acts for those who might seek to dig. If you find after listening to the new Wheel track “She Left in Silence” below that you’re game to dig further into their prior two LPs — the cover art here also calls back somewhat to the profile on the debut, so there’s definitely some self-directed conversation happening — they’re streaming on Bandcamp. It’s not going to make your day less doomed.

The ol’ PR wire puts it thusly:

wheel preserved in time

WHEEL – New Album “Preserved in Time” via Cruz Del Sur Music – Lyric Video available

Cruz Del Sur Music proudly announces “Preserved in Time”!

On their first studio album in eight years, Germany’s WHEEL deliver seven songs of brooding, emotional doom. It will be released on April 9th 2021.

A lyric video for the track “She Left In Silence” has just been revealed.

True, epic doom of the highest order in the vein of Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Trouble!


WHEEL was formed in 2006 in Dortmund, Germany. In 2009 a 2 Track Demo led to a deal with EYES LIKE SNOW. The debut was released 2010. The successor “Icarus” came out 2013. 2014 the band released a live tape from their performance at Hammer of Doom. 2021 the third Album “Preserved in Time” will be out on Cruz del Sur.

1. At Night They Came Upon Us
2. When The Shadow Takes You Over
3. After All
4. She Left In Silence
5. Aeon of Darkness
6. Hero of the Weak
7. Daedalus

Wheel, “She Left in Silence” official lyric video

Wheel, Preserved in Time (2021)

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