Full Album Stream & Track-by-Track: Esben Willems, Glowing Darkness

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on March 28th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

esben willems glowing darkness

This Friday, Esben Willems will make his solo debut with the full-length Glowing Darkness on Majestic Mountain Records, and I won’t mince words in telling you that for some of the built-in audience who know him only from his output as the drummer of Swedish riff magnates Monolord, it’s going to seem like a pretty stark departure. The path of influence that’s brought Willems to this nine-song, 33-minute long-player is more complex than a simple ‘band wasn’t on tour so I made a record by myself’ narrative one might try to impose on it, and from the insistent weirdo-pop urgency of “Cabaret Street” — as if to jolt one awake at the outset — through the guitar-led bounce of the title-track and the finale “Across the Everything,” which presents a sound that is full and atmospheric while still not tying itself to this or that microgenre, the personality of the procession becomes like a series of experiments brought to fruition in order to actively work against the generic in and around heavy music.

Recording himself on all instruments at Studio Berserk in Gothenburg, where there’s at least a 30 percent chance he also mastered your album, Willems runs through a succession of cuts that seems to owe its core ethic of creative freedom to Talking Heads no less than Masters of Reality, with “Dear Demon” and “Carte Blanche” building on the catchy structure of “Cabaret Street” in a way that allows Glowing Darkness to remain cohesive as it chasing down different ideas. Would it be a shock if I told you it’s well produced?

Those who’ve perhaps followed Willems through his various collaborations in recent years — lest we forget the “here’s some beats have fun” drum patterns he posted during the covid pandemic that led to his ‘guesting’ on releases from all over the world — or who even took on the earlier-this-year self-titled debut from doom-does-Slayer covers project Slower (review here), might be better set up to follow where Glowing Darkness is headed, but one way or the other, the reward is there for the open-minded, and the palpable defiance of expectation brims with purpose. As the standalone layered vocals and last guitar noodle of “Carte Blanche” give over to the more sauntering groove of “Embrace the Fall,” daring a bit of funk in the nuanced pattern of the verse before opening to the rolling chorus, Willems feels strikingly clearheaded in his arrangements and the balance of the mix.

And while mostly traditionalist in verse/chorus structures, the material is all the more able to explore and expand stylistically for that sure footing, but it’s also concise enough that only “Cabaret Street” and “Across the Everything” push beyond a four-minute runtime, the latter serving as the longest inclusion at 5:01. It may be that Willems sat down and plotted out measure by measure, layer by layer, waveform by waveform, the various reaches into which Glowing Darkness delves — I honestly don’t know and I don’t have the track-by-track yet, so maybe we’ll find out together — but whatever the initial spark might have been for the minimalist-Nirvana-meets-cavernous-nod centerpiece “Slow Rain,” the feeling of spontaneity, and of a creative chase, of an artist figuring out in real-time who they are and how they want to bring the songs in their head to life, remains amid the tight and Esben Willemshammered-out spirit of the finished LP.

Tucked away cozily in the procession of side B, “Space Bob” leans percussive intricacy on a fuzzy riff that’s simpler but sturdy enough to support all the activity and finds Willems repeating the lines, “I had to save myself/This head/Caught fire,” as the guitar grows more fervent before receding. It’s three minutes long and doesn’t come anywhere near summarizing Glowing Darkness as a whole — it’s not trying to — but it does capture a specific portrait of creative urgency. Have you ever felt like your head’s on fire? Like there’s something you need to get out, to express, to say or do or share and you’re consumed by that thing until you actually make it happen? I do, often. In that way, “Space Bob” feels like it’s about its own making, the way it’s built up to what Willems wanted it to be or until he was satisfied enough with what it became to say it’s done. Isn’t that what being an artist is like? Your head’s just on fire all the time? Maybe Willems intended the metaphor and maybe not, but the notion of artistic expression being what ‘saves’ you from the fire resonates. Sometimes it’s like that.

What Willems in the track-by-track/interview that follows refers to as “limitations” become quirks in craft and style. The way the vocals are layered and patterned. The stops in the guitar of “Fortune Teller” that bounce while feeling intimate and personal like some lost McCartney-era experiment, or the way “Across the Everything” lets itself submerge in the wash of tone and space before Glowing Darkness ends with drums and voice alone, heavy in tone and presence but still very much its own take. One could hardly ask a more fitting resolution, not the least because it also doesn’t attempt to summarize so much as to keep adding to the breadth of the whole album while staying grounded in structure. That duality becomes crucial throughout.

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Willems a few times over the last several years, and probably could’ve fired up Zoom to make an ass out of myself for a video chat. But since the album’s streaming in full, you’re not likely to watch a video at the same time you’re listening to the record, and I think there’s something appealing about reading an artist’s view of their work while you listen to the work itself; a multi-sensory immersion. One way or the other, I hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Glowing Darkness can be heard in its entirety on the player below, followed by the track-by-track:

Glowing Darkness track-by-track with Esben Willems

When did Glowing Darkness start to come together? How far back do these songs go, and at what point did you know you wanted to make an album under your own name as opposed to starting another band?

It’s been lingering for a long time, I wanted to get back to writing and recording music on the side again. I love side-projects and how they fuel the creativity in unexpected ways, I’ve always had the need to create in multiple different directions. The journey we’ve made with Monolord the past decade has been overwhelmingly amazing; the effect of that has also been that between tours, behind the scenes admin work and most important of all family, I haven’t had the time to explore much else. In 2019, we decided to take one season off from touring with the band – simply to recharge – and shortly after that the pandemic hit, so all that combined was the perfect opportunity to play around with these song ideas, some of them probably about 15 years old, I don’t really remember. Misfit, maladjusted little nuggets that didn’t really fit in any other project along the way, but all of them ideas I returned to when rummaging through the digital archives, as one does every now and then.

I figured that if these songs made me smile, there should be at least a handful of people on this planet that are wired the same way I am and would feel the same, so I started reworking them and rewriting most of the lyrics to what felt relevant in my life now. Also, I’ve often preached to people around me that they should embrace their limitations and create regardless of them, instead turning those limitations into creative tools, but I have been really bad at adapting that mindset myself, so I felt that this would be a great way to give myself a Henry Rollins asskicking to get going. So, that’s the reason this is not a new band and it’s also the reason that I’m playing all the instruments and singing all the vocals, warts and all, just to see what I could accomplish with the quite substantial limitations I have outside of the drumkit. And inside of it, for that matter. Incredibly scary, which also fueled the inspiration even further.

What do you most want people who only know you from Monolord to know about these songs? Imagine someone is about to put it on for the first time. What should their mindset be?

That it’s not Monolord, at all. I don’t want to deceive anyone into expecting that this will be a rumble fest in a slightly different direction. I love that and those projects of mine will also be recorded and released, but this one is a ticket to somewhere else. Speaking of describing music, I love how we all perceive music so differently. We can love the same thing, but most likely from entirely different perspectives and we can hate something the same way. I’ve seen this described as some sort of post-punk several times now and that is not even remotely close to what I hear myself. Which is really cool, it’s all been mentioned as a compliment and I’ll take it, regardless of whatever genre this might be considered as.

Let’s go through the tracks. “Cabaret Street”:

I was frustrated about how so much of my surroundings and even my own behaviour revolved around the insatiable search for validation. It might sound like a “social media is bad and I’m afraid of wifi” statement, but I feel that blaming social media only is a bit one-dimensional and lazy, to me this virus culture is equally fueled by how our society is constructed. Social media is just a tumorous result of that, I think. Social media is also an amazing tool, if used right.

If this song is anti- anything, it would be anti-capitalism.

“Dear Demon”

I guess many of us have that head demon that never sleeps, that beast who’s never out of energy to remind you that you’re not good enough, that your desperate attempts to matter are nothing more than embarrassingly transparent and laughable theatrics. This is my love letter to my own demon, just to confuse it. I know it won’t confuse it for long, it will be back with full force tomorrow. But so will I and my coffee is both stronger and real.

“Carte Blanche”

It seems to be a permanent human flaw that we in the bigger picture never – or very rarely – really learn from our mistakes. When a relationship, a job, any human interaction goes wrong we tend to just end it without reflection, replace it with something similar and repeat the process elsewhere with someone else, naively hoping that this utopia will be different. We start things the same way and we end things the same way, rinse and repeat. Denial is an addictive spice.

“Embrace the Fall”

Speaking of denial, the collective version of that in the shape of the silently socially accepted self medication is peak tragicomedy to me. Or rather, the tragicomedy lies in it’s collective denial, not the actual numbing by beers, by I’m-not-addicted-I-can-quit-anytime-there-are-no-side-effects-420brah weed or whatever your preferred sedative might be. Not saying that I don’t embrace the buzz of my gentrified hazy IPA – I really do – I just find some kind of dark humor in that I also participate in that game of pretending.

“Slow Rain”

A deliberately slow one about the process of breaking on the inside, over and over, but still keep functioning on the outside, no matter what. The constant battle between strength and fragility.

“Glowing Darkness”

Even though life can feel bleak and uphill, there are always bright spots in the darkness. They might be small and seemingly insignificant, but they sometimes shines a brighter light than you’d maybe expect.

“Space Bob”

I think and hope this one is self-explanatory. If not, it might be because you didn’t save yourself when your head caught fire. You have to.

“Fortune Teller”

This is to my life companion, what we have is incredible to me. Through all the bumps and twists and turns, we have the best of rides. I love her.

“Across the Everything”

I love playing live and being able to travel the world to do so. But it comes at the expense of deeply missing my loved ones, especially my kid as a parent. Not being there in the flesh is heartbreaking and something I always struggle with when I tour. This is to my son, my promise that I will always come home.

Now that Glowing Darkness is coming out – and releasing it has been in the works for a while, right? – how are you feeling about the release? Are you relieved to have it out in the world (almost), inspired to move forward as a songwriter, tired of the whole idea? What comes next?

It’s indeed been in the works for quite a while, yes, so it feels really good to finally have it out. Also, as with every new release, nervous. I hope that people that are into this kind of music will enjoy it.

I’m always inspired to move forward, to make new music. More projects are already in the works, both solo type stuff and projects with others. Regarding writing music, I’m finally getting back to it, having been away from it for almost a decade. I’m rusty, but I’m having tons of fun in the process.

Anything else you want to say about the record, or anything else generally?

Listen to music, a lot of music, as far and wide in genres and cultures as you can. Don’t limit yourself with predefined taste. Puritanism is boring. Curiosity is not.

Esben Willems, “Dear Demon” official video

Esben Willems, “Cabaret Street” official video

Esben Willems on Facebook

Esben Willems on Instagram

Esben Willems on Bandcamp

Studio Berserk linktr.ee

Majestic Mountain Records on Instagram

Majestic Mountain Records on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store

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Terra Black to Release All Descend on Bonebag Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

terra black

With an atmospheric immersion bolstered through its structural movement and heft of tone, with groove enough to stand up to its melodic reach, Terra Black‘s June 2023 debut, All Descend (review here), will see physical release this year on Bonebag Records. The Swedish imprint founded by Max Malmer, also of deep-cavern doomers Cavern Deep (see what I did there?), offered its first not-by-that-band release in early February’s Cataclysm by Troy the Band, and seems to be building gradually around projects it’s passionate about, which is the ideal. If you want to take a listen to All Descend on the player below — shades of Brume in “Ashes and Dust” and the nodding-huge “Spawn of Lyssa,” and so on —  I wouldn’t hesitate unless you’re trying to save money by not ordering the LP. Which you can’t do yet anyway, so you’re safe.

No reason not to dive in, then. No word yet on a release date or preorders or all that stuff, but it’ll come. The PR wire brought the signing announcement to start the process:

Terra Black All Descend

Gothenburg Occult Rockers Terra Black Sign with Bonebag Records for Physical Release of Debut Album

Swedish label Bonebag Records is thrilled to announce the signing of rising Gothenburg rockers Terra Black for the official release of their 2023 debut, All Descend.

Invoking dark atmospheres and Dante-esque soundscapes upon its digital release last year, All Descend roused many a sleeping stoner from their slumber with lyrics and themes focused on the Devil, demons, Wicca lore, and celestial destiny. Coupled with cosmic vocals, sullen yet melodious choruses and heavy doom drenched passages, the band’s sound and self-confidence has grown immeasurably since their formation in 2020.

Featuring singer/guitarist Ezgi, drummer Sophie, bassist Denice and guitarist Isak, Terra Black are also something of a coup for the self-proclaimed “murky label from Northern Sweden”, having been huge followers of the band since the release of their early singles ‘Triple Goddess’ (2021) and ‘Capra’ (2022).

“We finally got to see them live at House of Metal in Umeå and were immensely impressed by their sound and stage presence,” explains Bonebag Records owner, Max Malmer. “We’re excited to be able to give their debut album an official physical release and can’t wait to work closely with them on their follow-up, which they’re recording later this year.”

Details about the physical release of Terra Black’s All Descend (including pre-order) will be confirmed in due course by Bonebag Records but in the meantime, you can stream the album in full now at terrablackband.bandcamp.com.



Terra Black, All Descend (2023)

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Långfinger Premiere New Album Pendulum in Full; Out Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Langfinger Pendulum

Tomorrow, March 15, is the release date of the fourth Långfinger full-length, Pendulum. It’s the Gothenburg, Sweden, classic heavy rock trio’s first long-player since 2016’s Crossyears (review here), which, if you live in an anachronistic time bubble as I do, I’ll remind you was eight years ago. Even with their 2019 live album, aptly-titled Live (review here), and a concurrent split shared with countrymen JIRM, plenty of live work in the intervening time and guitarist Kalle Lilja‘s involvement with Wolves in HazeToad Venom and Welfare Sounds Studio, the latter being where Pendulum and Crossyears and a whole bunch of stuff for other bands have been recorded over that span of time, it’s probably been long enough. Comprised of 10 tracks — the player on their Bandcamp lists “Towering” twice, so shows 11 — the well-appreciated check-in from Lilja, vocalist/bassist Victor Crusner, who caps the aforementioned track with Mellotron as well, and drummer Jesper Pihl reminds of their foundation vintage-style heavy songcraft while expanding on the modern sound with which the album prior presented it.

Offered with a clarity of vision and sharp, clever twists of craft across its 36 minutes, Pendulum has no time to waste at its outset as “A Day at the Races” all but dispenses with intro formalities to start with its verse. That makes the trip to the chorus that much more efficient, and with a Spidergawdian electric surge in its hook and a quick glimpse in the bridge at some of the bluesy Greenleafery to come as “Dead Cult” caps side A and answers back to the strut and clearly purposeful kick-in-the-pants momentum-gathering of “A Day at the Races” and the subsequent “Cycles,” which is more brash as it proceeds through a still-efficient three-plus minutes, as well as some of the moodier Graveyard-style groove of “Arctic” before that song’s especially fervent payoff, with a full tonal push, lead notes in the chorus, and an adrenaline-bent last course of riffing. “Arctic” makes it clear that Långfinger are doing more on Pendulum than straight-ahead rocking, but in both that and “Towering,” which starts out mellower and lets its chorus largesse rear up from the verse with unhurried-but-not-lifeless guidance — also a ripping solo just past the middle before Lilja breaks out the Mellotron near the end; a stark change but well in line with both the traditions Långfinger are playing toward and the flow of the track itself — PihlCrusner and Lilja resonate with a command over their twisting grooves, melodies and structures that they’re not the same kids who put out Skygrounds in 2010, though even that debut knew where it wanted to be sound-wise.

And to that, weren’t Långfinger a boogie band? Retro ’70s vintage heavy? Wasn’t that the thing? Yeah, that’s part of it, but it’s hard to ignore Pendulum swinging like some kind of summary of the last two decades of pan-Scandinavian heavy highlights or the manner in which the three-piece place themselves in that same sphere. If they’re playing classic heavy, they are the classic heavy ideal they’re working toward. Side B rolls out with the two-minute instrumental “Observationsnivåer,” which meets its early drum gallop with a slap of Iommic shred — and did I actually hear piano flourish in that transition after? — and the saunter of “Team Building” that becomes a light lumber as the second verse sets up the solo turn at 2:05. Do they bring back the chorus of course they bring back the chorus. How do you think teams are built? “Orbiter,” which follows, is the longest inclusion on Pendulum at 4:33, and is more charged than “Team Building” while working in a similar atmosphere early on, bringing together some of the impulses from side A and finding its own balance. A brief moment of heavier pummel gives over to a psychedelic wash of effects and toe-tapper shimmer-prog, but by this point the listener can readily trust Långfinger won’t lose the thread, and indeed they don’t.

The arrival of the organ that leads into the penultimate title-track stands it out from its surroundings, but becomes a grounding element for a song that seems to find the farthest points of shove and drift on the album that shares its name. As they have all the while, Långfinger demonstrate a particular attention to endings, and “Pendulum” races to its own to let closer “Skuggornas Hov” stand apart with the returning Mellotron and what I’m pretty sure are the first in-Swedish lyrics they’ve ever had for a song. Led by acoustic guitar with its vocals sounding farther off the mic and loosely folkish, “Skuggornas Hov” is no less considered in not kicking into full-weight tone and half-shouted urgency than “Towering” or “Pendulum” were in doing so. It’s been a hell of an eight years for just about everybody on the planet one way or the other, and Långfinger — who were actively tracking a follow-up to Crossyears in 2021 — are no exception, but the maturity that bleeds through Pendulum‘s component material delivers the record as a whole with a firm sense of intention, and however much went into its construction over whatever stretch of that time, it was anything but wasted.

Pendulum premieres in its entirety below, followed by the album info unceremoniously hoisted from Bandcamp.

Please enjoy:

Stalwarts of the underground rock scene in Sweden for the better part of two decades, Långfinger is set to release their fourth album “Pendulum”. An album that is as much of a retrospective as it covers new methods of noise as the band reemerges for the first time since 2016’s LP “Crossyears”.

“Pendulum” delivers direct, intense and playful rock music in an immersive long play format which might not make sense in the grown-up digital age, but for Långfinger, rock n roll is not about growing up, or making sense for that matter. It’s about the exploration and continuum of all things related to their sound that was, is and will be.

1. A Day at the Races
2. Cycles
3. Arctic
4. Towering
5. Dead Cult
6. Observationsnivåer
7. Team Building
8. Orbiter
9. Pendulum
10. Skuggornas hov

Produced by Olle Björk, Johan Reivén & Per Stålberg
Recorded at Welfare Sounds by Olle Björk, Johan Reivén, Per Stålberg & Kalle Lilja
Mixed by Olle Björk at Welfare Sounds
Mastered by Johan Reivén at Audiolord Mastering
Additional Engineering & Editing by Kalle Lilja
Artwork: Tage Åsén
Cover Design: Emma Lilja

Långfinger are:
Kalle Lilja – guitar/backing vocals
Victor Crusner – vocals/bass/keys
Jesper Pihl – drums

Långfinger on Facebook

Långfinger on Instagram

Långfinger on Bandcamp

Långfinger website

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Walk Through Fire Premiere “Fall I Glömska”; Till Aska Due April 12

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 13th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Walk Through Fire

Swedish gruel-sludgers Walk Through Fire will self-release Till Aska on April 12. And, I mean, you can like the record if you want, but they’re not gonna take it easy on you. By design, Till Aska is extreme in sound and intense of purpose, with quiet stretches throughout like the intro to its opening title-track (and thus the record as a whole) and the first-five-minutes dirge reply of the finale “Rekviem” that are creepier than they are bludgeoning, but still carry a violent threat. With Andreas Olsson‘s low end punching you repeatedly about the head as the four-piece slog through churning wretched miseries made all the more monolithic by virtue of the lyrics being in Swedish — that is, the language barrier becomes part of the heavy — and delivered at the fore of the mix in harsh, mid-range, nodule-forming post-hardcore barks.

I’ll spare you the Ingmar Bergman comparisons, but yes, Till Aska‘s 53-minute/five-song stretch is plodding of tempo and seems to drain all the color from the world surrounding. It is either the band’s fourth or fifth album, depending on whom you ask, and follows the live-recorded 2020 outing Vår Avgrund, which, guess what, was also really, really fucking heavy and miserable, with longer songs and more noise. Lineup changes between the two releases have seen the band go from two guitars to just that of Ufuk Demir — who’s also the one self-flagellating those vocals — and brought Esaias Järnegard in on organ, while Olsson and drummer Juliusz Chmielewski give shape to the sad motion of the down, down, downer riffs in “Fall I Glömska” as the band conjure visions of being buried alive after tree roots pull you under the dirt by your ankles.

With the guitar so densely distorted, the bass Walk Through Fire Till Askachucking concrete throughout most of the proceedings and Demir‘s unipolar viciousness as a defining element, there are times like in the later reaches of centerpiece/shortest-track “Genom Sår” where Järnegard‘s organ is the only thing coming close to some kind of melody, and as that takes the form of sad notes floating and drawn out over the measures, even the idea of hope seems distant. They very clearly made it to be unsettling, and it is.

Till Aska is my first experience with Walk Through Fire — though they appeared here when announced for Desertfest London 2015, then supporting 2014’s Hope is Misery and sharing a stage with (among others) Noothgrush, which fits — and the spaces they leave open in the material, whether loud or subdued as they are building into the lurch of “Självförintelse,” are like traps for the listener. Some bands hook you with catchy choruses and uptempo movement, etc. Walk Through Fire, with an abiding bleakness of atmosphere and roiling aggression, feels as it plays out like you’re sinking deeper. The crash and feedback and scathe of “Självförintelse” gives way shortly before the nine-minute mark to a drone that’s not actually a sample of a cardiac monitor flatlining, but is evocative of one all the same, and it’s from there that “Rekviem” begins its instrumental course, mournful and disdaining.

Yeah, I was being glib above with ‘you can like it if you want,’ blah blah, but the truth is that Till Aska comes across as being precisely what Walk Through Fire wanted to make it, even unto the way the songs are laid out with the two longest pieces bookending and the others working toward the shortest in the middle. The seething, low, slow grind feels born of sludge but is darker, less punk and leant an almost gothic presence at times by the organ, and like a lot of extreme music across a spectrum of microgenres heavy or not, it’s not the kind of fare every listener is going to call accessible. That’s probably putting it mildly. “Resonates omnidirectional disgust” might be a better way to phrase.

But you know, sometimes that’s just what you need.

“Fall I Glömska” premieres below, followed by the preorder link and more info from the PR wire:

Walk Through Fire on “Fall I Glömska”:

This song was written on a piano and had the working title Nortt (referring to the Danish artist). The lyrics are a mantra repeating, “fall i glömska, fall isär, fall på plats” — “fall into oblivion, fall apart, fall into place.”

Walk Through Fire – Till Aska

Out on April 12, 2024 | Pre-order: https://walkthroughfire.bandcamp.com/album/till-aska

The Swedish avant-garde doom/sludge stalwarts Walk Through Fire are releasing their fourth full-length Till Aska on April 12, 2024. A monolithic portrayal of loss and grief, Till Aska – “To Ashes” in English – will first debut only on digital formats and streaming platforms. While physical releases aren’t currently planned, the band are open to label collaborations should the opportunity arise.

Representing the finest edge that their respective genres can offer on a global scale, Walk Through Fire has been steadily cementing themselves as a notable phenomenon over the past seventeen years. Blending down-tuned oppressive soundscapes with contemporary and classical music, the sonically unrelenting act has crafted a unique appearance for itself by means of uncompromisingly expanding the perimeters found in the more common understanding of what heavy music can be, resulting in an annihilating force to be reckoned with. Whether the black metal tendencies of their debut Furthest From Heaven or the dirges for life tones of Vår Avgrund, Walk Through Fire’s musical focal point has always been to become an aural catharsis – Till Aska being perhaps the most potent and poignant example of reaching that exact state.

From the most profound hellish depths to the soaring heights, the five tracks of Till Aska contain the very essence of Walk Through Fire while stretching the spectrum wider than ever before. The over fifty-minute endeavour is equally captivating as it is difficult, guaranteeing an immersive and rich experience to anyone willing to place themselves under its crushing weight. Walk Through Fire are no strangers to the transcendence of dread and its multiple manifestations, and while Till Aska crawls around its listener’s spine as a fiery serpent, it also offers resolve and spiritual consummation unlike ever heard before.

Walk Through Fire – Till Aska
1. Till aska (11:39)
2. Fall i glömska (10:50)
3. Genom sår (7:24)
4. Självförintelse (11:43)
5. Rekviem (12:09)

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Linus Andersson at Elementstudio, Gothenburg
Original artwork Frau mit totem kind (1903) by Käthe Kollwitz

Ufuk Demir — Guitars & Vocals
Andreas Olsson — Bass
Juliusz Chmielewski — Drums
Esaias Järnegard — Organ

Walk Through Fire on Facebook

Walk Through Fire on Bandcamp

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Cities of Mars Call it Quits

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

What I can’t get over here is how glad I am that Gothenburg’s Cities of Mars put out their 2022 self-titled (review here) before they put the band to bed, seemingly for good. What will now serve as the swansong from the big-riff conceptual/sci-fi themed trio was without a doubt the pinnacle of their progression up to the point of its release, following 2019’s The Horologist (review here) with a marked intentionality in their songwriting and a collection of tracks that reached boldly into new spaces. I’m sorry Cities of Mars won’t get its own foll0w-up, but nine years out from 2015’s initial single, Cyclopean Ritual/The Third Eye (review here), set their plotline in motion beneath the rusty Martian surface, fair enough to consider the tale as told as it’s going to be.

I’ll take a second to wish the band the best, and to say thanks for the work they did and the concrete-sledge-upside-the-head their grooves fostered. They’re very much stating the announcement below as a farewell — “we will miss you all, great people of the heavy underground…,” which does not say to me, “look for our new bands in two weeks” — but whatever they get up to, whether it’s different heavy projects or nothing at all, what they did together as Cities of Mars remains. From my standpoint, they were a joy to write about from the first offering to the last.

Their message is below, and duly up front in its point of view. I bought a shirt on Bandcamp as my own little goodbye. Here you go:

cities of mars

Even good things come to an end.

Following a shared decision between all band members, Cities of Mars is now dissolved.

We had a good run where we achieved more than we ever expected: we made four beautiful vinyl albums, we toured the underground scene in twelve countries, made so many new great friends and had mostly good times (and some bad times too, as it goes). We’ve had the opportunity to visited so many amazing cities and have played cool festivals.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to any of our shows, shared a beer, bought a tee, helped us book a gig, promoted a show, gave us food or shelter or in many other ways became a part of our humble journey. Thanks to all the great bands we shared the stage and laughs with and whose company we’ve really enjoyed.

Some extra thanks are required: Roger Andersson, Gero Argonauta, Todd Severin, Ripple Music, Esben Willems, Kent Stump

For us it’s time to move on and do different things but we will miss you all, great people of the heavy underground, where the love of music is real. Be kind to another and be a part of the good fight that is needed in our bleak times.

All the best wishes and again, thank you!
/Daniel, Chris & Johan

Cities of Mars:
Danne Palm – lead vocals, bass, synths
Christoffer Norén – lead vocals, guitar
Johan Aronstedt – backing vocals, drums & percussion, sound FX



Cities of Mars, Cities of Mars (2022)

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Esben Willems to Release Solo Album Glowing Darkness March 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

They’re not actually the same, but I can’t help but be reminded that a long, long time ago, in 1993, another based-in-Gothenburg outfit put out a record with a reference to ‘-ing darkness’ in its title. It was At the Gates‘ second record, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, and unlike Esben Willems, known best for his work in Göteborg riff forerunners Monolord but also in the Slayer covers project Slower and at the helm at his own Studio Berserk — which I think might audition including a ‘the’ in front of it: The Studio Berserk, in Gothenburg; maybe not all the time, but just on some shirts like The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell or the Melvins — I’m pretty sure At the Gates weren’t talking about coffee.

Glowing Darkness — typed as I gulp my rapidly-cooling second cup of the day — is Willems‘ first solo foray and as a producer I think he’d probably be the first to tell you it sounds like it. It’s an exploration of songwriting and song-construction, an experiment in self-direction, and a display of personality quirk that not every artist is willing to make in manner that feels so sincere. “Cabaret Street,” the first single/video/opening track, is at the bottom of this post, and reminds me a bit of Masters of Reality in its weirdo-heavy take on pop bounce. See what you think.

Majestic Mountain will have the release and preorders are up, as the PR wire teaches us:

esben willems glowing darkness

Pre-order for Esben Willem’s solo album ‘Glowing Darkness’ is now open!


Preorder link: https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com/

“Glowing Darkness” is the fruition of many years of songwriting, conceptual exploration and the pursuit of creative expression no matter one’s limitations.

A completely DIY, and multifaceted release full of texturally varied composition and irreverent lyricism, ‘Glowing Darkness’ reflects the struggle and absurdity of the human condition through Esben’s personal lens, and though largely autobiographical, at no point does the album take itself too seriously. Exuding endless amounts of catchy, foot tapping hooks and a healthy dose of anthemic raging, ‘Glowing Darkness’ is an inspiringly raucous ode to creating regardless of one’s limitations and includes nine tracks of hook rich, punk spirited alternative rock.

“I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.”

At Majestic Mountain Records you can except the unexpected!

Track Listing:
1. Cabaret Steet
2. Dear Demon
3. Carte Blanche
4. Embrace The Fall
5. Slow Rain
6. Glowing Darkness
7. Space Bob
8. Fortune Teller
9. Across The Everything

Performed, produced, mixed, and mastered by Esben Willems at Studio Berserk Gothenburg.
Photography by Jonas Andersson
Layout by Rickard Höök



Esben Willems, “Cabaret Street” official video

Esben Willems, Glowing Darkness (2024)

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The Awesome Machine Post “El Bajo” Video; …It’s Ugly or Nothing Reissue Out Jan. 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 13th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the awesome machine

On Jan. 12, 2024, Sweden’s The Awesome Machine will reissue their 2000 third album, …It’s Ugly or Nothing, through Ripple Music. It is the first installment of a OBI-inclusive vinyl series the label is beginning that’s been dubbed ‘Beneath the Desert Floor,’ and the Californian imprint could hardly have found a more suitable example. The first seven seconds of opening track “Never Said I Never Fail” tell you at least 80 percent of what you ACTUALLY need to know going in: the first introductory snare hit already seems to be running at pace to the next and the guitar and bass join in with an absolutely righteous punch of raw, hard fuzz and thick bass. Plus handclaps!

Another 10 seconds pass and vocalist Lasse Olausson arrives, immediately clenched of gut, pushing lyrics through partially restricted airways in a gruff delivery that was a defining feature of the band who first got together in 1996 and would culminate at the end of their first decade in 2006. Momentum is there. The push is there. The thing has barely started and you’re at full speed, all go, all in, no bullshit. They didn’t call themselves The Awesome Machine for nothing.

During that time, The Awesome MachineOlausson, guitarist Christian Smedström, bassist Anders Wenander and drummer Tobbe Bøvik at the century’s turn — were one of a rising generation of Swedish heavy rockers. Based in Gothenburg, they shared a rehearsal space with Mustasch. They hung out with guys from Tiamat and In Flames, The Crown, and were a part of a national Swedish underground that, while of course led by acts like Dozer, Demon Cleaner and Siena Root, was (and is) an entire ecosystem unto itself.

Bands like Abramis Brama (still going), Firestone (who begat Truckfighters), Astroqueen (now back), the aforementioned Mustasch (still going), Norrsken (who begat Witchcraft and Graveyard) would have been contemporaries as well, perhaps joining The Awesome Machine on stage as they lay out the declarative stomp of “Son of a God” from …It’s Ugly or Nothing, which is one of the album’s several standout hooks and follows “El Bajo” (video premiering below) with its chorus “hey!”s and catchy bounce, completing a salvo course started in “Never Said I Never Fail” that brought cowbell and harmonica on “How Am I to Know” — the spread of self-titled-era Clutch‘s influence isn’t to be discounted — before diving back into the shove.

Which is a big part of what they do — the shove — but not all of it. “Cruise Control” answers the nod of “Son of a God” with four quiet minutes of ambient guitar noodling. The Awesome Machine would grow increasingly atmospheric over their time, culminating in their to-date swansong, 2003’s The Soul of a Thousand Years (discussed here) — during the recording for which Olausson would develop the throat infections that caused him to leave the band — but those impulses were always there and “Cruise Control” is a respite from the physicality of the other material on …It’s Ugly or Nothing, and a preface to 10-minute organ-inclusive closer “No Share,” which let’s assume the awesome machine it's ugly or nothingwasn’t a timely reference to Napster, and which also pulls back on tempo to breathe a bit.

That’s fortunate, because getting there is a chase scene through “Supernova” and the swinging “Looking for Sweet Opium” — that’s the part of the chase where they break through the pane of glass — before the volatile “Out of Fuel” seems to gnash its teeth with tension early and find catharsis in Bøvik‘s later bashing, and the originally-penultimate “Used to Be” drives their energy to a feverish point and lets go into the softer intro contemplation of “No Share,” which if you were a newcomer to the style circa 2000 and happened to pick up this import CD from some Swedish band — maybe on the All That is Heavy store, which is how a lot of these transactions were done at least for me in those days — might just be enough to keep you as a convert.

Its classic-heavy sensibility, poise and engrossing payoff are, and I’m just being honest here, what it’s all about, and in beginning ‘Beneath the Desert Floor’ with The Awesome MachineRipple clearly knows it. They’re not alone, of course. This year and last, Sweden’s Ozium Records released two rare tracks compilations, 2022’s God Damn Rare (discussed here) and 2023’s God Damn Rare Vol. II (discussed here), and in 2022, Daredevil Records hosted a digital reissue for …It’s Ugly or Nothing‘s predecessor, which was 1998’s Doom, Disco, Dope, Death and Love demo (discussed here), originally available only on CDRs and inkjet printer artwork. It’s amazing the things you can be nostalgic for, folks. I wonder if they have any copies left.

The Awesome Machine have long been an example in my mind of a band from the post-Kyuss era, the turn of the century era, who never got their due and whose work is treasure waiting to be discovered by a subsequent generation of riff heads. If you think back to about the time The Awesome Machine were kicking around and labels like Akarma were mining old crates of vinyl to unearth lost classics from the heavy ’70s, from about 2000-2005, the ‘Beneath the Desert Floor’ that launches with this LP (the album’s first vinyl issue) is no different and, I’ll gladly argue, no less crucial in its mission.

Why? Because any story of aesthetic changes over time, and the shape of history bends to the eye of the viewer. Bringing The Awesome Machine — and potentially scores of others like them, from Sweden and beyond — back for another look is a reminder that any narrative thread one puts to the decades of heavy music can only tell a piece of it. Nearly 24 years later, …It’s Ugly or Nothing still encourages its audience to dig deeper.

But whether you take it as an educational exercise or not, whether you immediately go search out The Awesome Machine‘s 1998 self-titled debut, or The Soul of a Thousand Years, or 2002’s Under the Influence after hearing these songs, …It’s Ugly or Nothing is foremost an absolute blast of a heavy rock record, and as a herald of the new oldschool, it’s been gifted with an entirely new resonance.

The video for “El Bajo” is below, followed by some comment from Tobbe Bøvik on the track, and info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

The Awesome Machine, “El Bajo” video

Tobbe Bøvik on “El Bajo”:

El Bajo is one of the eldest compositions by the band, written way back in early 1999. It really defines the sound of The Awesome Machine. With its distorted bass intro, heavy drums, fuzzy guitars and raunchy vocal chorus it really sets the pace of this stoner classic. Accompanied by an action packed desert-car-chase video, it will please any fan of the genre.

THE AWESOME MACHINE “…It’s Ugly Or Nothing” reissue
Out January 12th, 2024 via Ripple Music (vinyl only)

International preorder – https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/beneath-the-desert-floor-chapter-1-its-ugly-or-nothing

US preorder – https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/beneath-the-desert-floor-chapter-1-the-awesome-machine-it-s-ugly-or-nothing-obi-edition

Ripple Music is proud to launch the “Beneath The Desert Floor” series — unearthing long-lost treasures from the early days of stoner rock — and team up with Swedish scene veterans THE AWESOME MACHINE for the reissue of their cornerstone album “…It’s Ugly Or Nothing” this January 2024.

An indestructible mass of fuzz-drenched heft, their 2000 cornerstone album “…It’s Ugly Or Nothing” is eleven tracks of uncompromising stoner rock goodness for the ages. An authentic classic of Swedish-brewed mastery that old and new fans will welcome with open arms and ears in their record collection!

About the “Beneath The Desert Floor” series, Ripple Music founder Todd Severin says: “There were so many amazing albums released in the underground heavy stoner/doom/desert/heavy psych during the late 90’s, early 2000’s that have gotten lost in the passage of time. These albums, from incredible bands, came out in a time before social media was fully formed to help push public awareness before the vinyl resurgence happened so they were never pressed to wax before digital channels existed to spread the music far and wide. My goal is to do our part to change that. To look beneath the desert floor and see what gems and treasures lay there. And spread them with the world.”

The Awesome Machine on It’s Ugly or Nothing:
Lasse Olausson – vocals
Anders Wenander – bass
Christian Smedström – guitar
Tobbe Bøvik – drums

The Awesome Machine on Facebook

The Awesome Machine on Instagram

Ripple Music on Facebook

Ripple Music on Instagram

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Quarterly Review: Melody Fields, La Chinga, Massive Hassle, Sherpa, Acid Throne, The Holy Nothing, Runway, Wet Cactus, MC MYASNOI, Cinder Well

Posted in Reviews on November 29th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Day three of the Quarterly Review is always a good time. Passing the halfway point for the week isn’t nothing, and I take comfort in knowing there’s another 25 to come after the first 25 are down. Sometimes it’s the little things.

But let’s not waste the few moments we have. I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Melody Fields, 1901

Melody Fields 1901

Though it starts out firmly entrenched in ’60s psychedelia in “Going Back,” Melody Fields1901 is less genre-adherent and/or retroist than one might expect. “Jesus” borrows from ’70s soul, but is languid in its rollout with horn-esque sounds for a Morricone-ish vibe, while “Rave On” makes a hook of its folkish and noodly bridge. Keyboards bring a krautrock spirit to “Mellanväsen,” which is fair as “Transatlantic” blisses out ’90s electro-rock, and “Home at Last” prog-shuffles in its own swirl — a masterclass in whatever kind of psych you want to call it — as “Indian MC” has an acoustic strum that reminds of some of Lamp of the Universe‘s recent urgings, and “Void” offers 53 seconds of drone before the stomp of the catchy “In Love” and the keyboard-dreamy “Mayday” ends side B with a departure to match “Transatlantic” capping side A. Unexpectedly, 1901, which is the Swedish outfit’s second LP behind their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), is one of two albums they have for Fall 2023, with 1991 a seeming companion piece. Here’s looking forward.

Melody Fields on Facebook

Melody Fields on Bandcamp

La Chinga, Primal Forces

la chinga primal forces

La Chinga don’t have time for bullshit. They’re going right to the source. Black Sabbath. Motörhead. Enough Judas Priest in “Electric Eliminator” for the whole class and a riffy swagger, loosely Southern in “Stars Fall From the Sky,” and elsewhere, that reminds of Dixie Witch or Halfway to Gone, and that aughts era of heavy generally. “Backs to the Wall” careens with such a love of ’80s metal it reminds of Bible of the Devil — while cuts like “Bolt of Lightning,” “Rings of Power” and smash-then-run opener “Light it Up” immediately positions the trio between ’70s heavy rock and the more aggressive fare it helped produce. Throughout, La Chinga are poised but not so much so as to take away from the energy of their songs, which are impeccably written, varied in energy, and drawn together through the vitality of their delivery. Here’s a kickass rock band, kicking ass. It might be a little too over-the-top for some listeners, but over-the-top is a target unto itself. La Chinga hit it like oldschool masters.

La Chinga on Facebook

Ripple Music website

Massive Hassle, Number One


Best known for their work together in Mammothwing and now also both members of Church of the Cosmic Skull as well, brothers Bill Fisher and Marty Fisher make a point of stripping back as much as possible with Massive Hassle, scaling down the complex arrangements of what’s now their main outfit but leaving room for harmonies, on-sleeve Thin Lizzy love and massive fuzz in cuts like “Lane,” “Drifter,” the speedier penultimate “Drink” and the slow-nod payoff of “Fibber,” which closes. That attitude — which one might see developing in response to years spend plugging away in a group with seven people and everyone wears matching suits — assures a song like “Kneel” fits, with its restless twists feeling born organically out of teenage frustrations, but many of Number One‘s strongest moments are in its quieter, bluesy explorations. The guitar holds a note, just long enough that it feels like it might miss the beat on the turnaround, then there’s the snare. With soul in the vocals to spare and a tension you go for every time, if Massive Hassle keep this up they’re going to have to be a real band, and ugh, what a pain in the ass that is.

Massive Hassle on Facebook

Massive Hassle website

Sherpa, Land of Corals

sherpa land of corals

One of the best albums of 2023, and not near the bottom of the list. Italy’s Sherpa demonstrated their adventurous side with 2018’s Tigris & Euphrates (review here), but the six-song/39-minute Land of Corals is in a class of its own as regards their work. Breaking down genre barriers between industrial/dance, psychedelia, doom, and prog, Sherpa keep a special level of tonal heft in reserve that’s revealed near the end of opener “Silt” and is worthy — yes I mean this — of countrymen Ufomammut in its cosmic impact. “High Walls” is more of a techno throb with a languid melodic vocal, but the two-part, eight-minute “Priest of Corals” begins a thread of Ulverian atmospherics that continues not so much in the second half of the song itself, which brings back the heavy from “Silt” and rolls back and forth over the skull, but in the subsequent “Arousal,” which has an experimental edge in its later reaches and backs its beat with a resonant sprawl of drone. This is so much setup for the apex in “Coward/Pilgrimage to the Sun,” which is the kind of wash that will make you wonder if we’re all just chemicals, and closer “Path/Mud/Barn,” which feels well within its rights to take its central piano line for a walk. I haven’t seen a ton of hype for it, which tracks, but this feels like a record that’s getting to know you while you’re getting to know it.

Sherpa on Facebook

Subsound Records store

Acid Throne, Kingdom’s Death

acid throne kingdom's death

A sludge metal of marked ferocity and brand-name largesse, Acid Throne‘s debut album, Kingdom’s Death sets out with destructive and atmospheric purpose alike, and while it’s vocals are largely grunts in “River (Bare My Bones)” and the straight-up deathly “Hallowed Ground,” if there’s primitivism at work in the 43-minute six-songer, it’s neither in the character of their tones or what they’re playing. Like a rockslide in a cavern, “Death is Not the End” is the beginning, with melodic flourish in the lead guitar as it passes the halfway point and enough crush generally to force your blood through your pores. It moves slower than “River (Bare My Bones),” but the Norwich, UK, trio are dug in regardless of tempo, with “King Slayer” unfolding like Entombed before revealing itself as more in line with a doomed take on Nile or Morbid Angel. Both it and “War Torn” grow huge by their finish, and the same is true of “Hallowed Ground,” though if you go from after the intro it also started out that way, and the 11-minute closer “Last Will & Testament” is engrossing enough that its last drones give seamlessly over to falling rain almost before you know it. There are days like this. Believe it.

Acid Throne on Facebook

Acid Throne on Bandcamp

The Holy Nothing, Vol. 1: A Profound and Nameless Fear

the holy nothing vol 1 a profound and nameless fear

With an intensity thrust forth from decades of Midwestern post-hardcore disaffection, Indiana trio The Holy Nothing make their presence felt with Vol. 1: A Profound and Nameless Fear, a five-song/17-minute EP that’s weighted and barking in its onslaught and pivots almost frenetically from part to part, but that nonetheless has an overarching groove that’s pure Sabbath boogie in centerpiece “Unending Death,” and opener “Bathe Me” sets the pummeling course with noise rock and nu metal chicanery, while “Bliss Trench” raw-throats its punkish first half en route to a slowdown that knows it’s hot shit. Bass leads the way into “Mondegreen,” with a threatening chug and post-hardcore boogie, just an edge of grunge to its later hook to go with the last screams, and feedback as it inevitably would, leads the way into “Doom Church,” with a more melodic and spacious echoing vocal and a riff that seems to kind of eat the rest of the song surrounding. I’ll be curious how the quirk extrapolates over a full-length’s runtime, but they sound like they’re ready to get weird and they’re from Fort Wayne, which is where Charlton Heston was from in Planet of the Apes, and I’m sorry, but that’s just too on-the-nose to be a coincidence.

The Holy Nothing on Facebook

The Holy Nothing on Bandcamp

Runway, Runway


Runway may be making their self-titled debut with this eight-song/31-minute blowout LP delivered through Cardinal Fuzz, Echodelick and We, Here & Now as a triumvirate of lysergic righteousness, but the band is made up of five former members of Saskatoon instrumentalists Shooting Guns so it’s not exactly their first time at the dance of wavy lines and chambered echo that make even the two-minute “No Witnesses” feel broad, and the crunch-fuzz of “Attempted Mordor,” the double-time hi-hat on “Franchy Cordero” that vibes with all the casual saunter of Endless Boogie but in a shorter package as the song’s only four minutes long. “Banderas” follows a chugging tack and doesn’t seem to release its tension even in the payoff, but “Crosshairs” is all freedom-rock, baby, with a riff like they put the good version of America in can, and the seven-minute capper “Mailman” reminds that our destination was the cosmos all along. Jam on, you glorious Canadian freaks. By this moniker or any other, your repetitive excavations are always welcome on these shores.

Runway on Facebook

Echodelick Records website

Cardinal Fuzz store


Wet Cactus, Magma Tres

wet cactus magma tres

Spanish heavy rockers Wet Cactus look to position themselves at the forefront of a regional blossoming with their third album, the 12-track Magma Tres. Issued through Electric Valley Records, the 45-minute long-player follows 2018’s Dust, Hunger and Gloom (review here) and sees the band tying together straightforward, desert-style heavy rock with a bit of grunge sway in “Profound Dream” before it twists around to heavy-footed QOTSA start-stops ahead of the fuzzy trash-boogie of “Mirage” and the duly headspinning guitar work of “My Gaze is Fixed Ahead.” The second half of the LP has interludes between sets of two tracks — the album begins with “I. The Long Escape…” as the first of them — but the careening “Self Bitten Snake” and the tense toms under the psych guitar before that big last hook in “Solar Prominence” want nothing for immediacy, and even “IV. …Of His Musical Ashes!,” which closes, becomes a charge with the band’s collective force behind it. There’s more to what they do than people know, but you could easily say the same thing about the entire Iberian Peninsula’s heavy underground.

Wet Cactus on Facebook

Electric Valley Records website

MC MYASNOI, Falling Lower Than You Expected

MC MYASNOI Falling Lower Than You Expected

All-caps Icelandic troupe MC MYASNOI telegraph their experimentalism early in the drone of “Liquid Lung [Nucomp]” and let some of the noise around the electronic nod in “Antenula [OEBT]” grow caustic in the first half before first bliss then horror build around a progression of drums, ending with sax and feedback and noise and where were the lines between them anyway. The delve into the unknown threads more feedback through “Slug Paradox,” which has a vocal line somewhere not terribly far off from shoegaze, but is itself nothing so pedestrian, while “Kuroki” sounds like it could’ve been recorded at rehearsal, possibly on the other side of the wall. The go-wherever-you-end-up penchant holds in “Bleach in Eye,” and when “Xcomputer must dieX” clicks on, it brings about the rumble MC MYASNOI seem to have been threatening all along without giving up the abidingly oddball stance, what with the keyboard and sax and noise, noise, noise, plus whispers at the end. I’m sure that in the vast multiverse there’s a plenet that’s ready for the kind of off-kilter-everythingism wrought by MC MYASNOI, but you can bet your ass this ain’t it. And if you’re too weird for earth, you’re alright by me.

MC MYASNOI on Facebook

MC MYASNOI on Bandcamp

Cinder Well, Cadence

cinder well cadence

The 2020 album from transient folk singer-songwriter Cinder Well, No Summer (review here), landed with palpable empathy in a troubled July, and Cadence has a similar minimalist place to dwell in “Overgrown” or finale “I Will Close in the Moonlight,” but by and large the arrangements are more lush throughout the nine songs of Cadence. Naturally, Amelia Baker‘s voice remains a focal point for the material, but organ, viola and fiddle, drums and bass, etc., bring variety to the gentle delivery of “Gone the Holding,” the later reaches of “Crow” and allow for the build of elements in “A Scorched Lament” that make that song’s swaying crescendo such a high point. And having high points is somewhat striking, in context, but Cinder Well‘s range as shown throughout Cadence is beholden to no single emotional or even stylistic expression. If you’d read this and gripe that the record isn’t heavy — shit. Listen again.

Cinder Well on Facebook

Free Dirt Records on Bandcamp

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