Quarterly Review: Pelican, My Dying Bride, Masonic Wave, Bismarck, Sun Moon Holy Cult, Daily Thompson, Mooch, The Pleasure Dome, Slump, Green Hog Band

Posted in Reviews on May 20th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Welcome back to the Quarterly Review. Good weekend? Restful? Did you get out and see some stuff? Did you loaf and hang out on the couch? There are advantages to either, to be sure. Friday night I watched my daughter (and a literal 40 other performers, no fewer than four of whom sang and/or danced to the same Taylor Swift song) do stand-up comedy telling math jokes at her elementary school variety show. She’s in kindergarten, she likes math, and she killed. Nice little moment for her, if one that came as part of a long evening generally.

The idea this week is the same as last week: 50 releases covered across five days. Put the two weeks together and the Spring 2024 Quarterly Review — which I’m pretty sure is what I called the one in March as well; who cares? — runs 100 strong. I’ll be traveling, some with family, some on my own, for a bit in the coming months, so this is a little bit my way of clearing my slate before that all happens, but it’s always satisfying to dig into so much and get a feel for what different acts are doing, try and convey some of that as directly as I can. If you’re reading, thanks. If this is the first you’re seeing of it and you want to see more, you can either scroll down or click here.

Either way, off we go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Pelican, Adrift/Tending the Embers

pelican adrift tending the embers

Chicago (mostly-)instrumentalist stalwarts Pelican haven’t necessarily been silent since 2019’s Nighttime Stories (review here), with a digital live release in Spring 2020, catalog reissues on Thrill Jockey, a couple in-the-know covers posted and shows hither and yon, but the stated reason for the two-songer EP Adrift/Tending the Embers is to raise funds ahead of recording what will be their seventh album in a career now spanning more than 20 years. In addition to that being a cause worth supporting — they’re on the second pressing; 200 blue tapes — the two new original tracks “Adrift” (5:48) and “Tending the Embers” (4:26) reintroduce guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec as a studio presence alongside guitarist Trevor Shelley de Brauw, bassist Bryan Herweg and drummer Larry Herweg. Recorded by the esteemed Sanford Parker, neither cut ranges too far conceptually from the band’s central modus bringing together heavy groove with lighter/brighter reach of guitar, but come across like a tight, more concise encapsulation of earlier accomplishments. There’s a certain amount of comfort in that as they surf the crunching, somehow-noise-rock-inspired riff of “Adrift,” sounding refreshed in their purpose in a way that one hopes they can carry into making the intended LP.

Pelican website

Pelican on Bandcamp

My Dying Bride, A Mortal Binding

My Dying Bride A Mortal Binding

Something of a harsher take on A Mortal Binding, which is the 15th full-length from UK death-doom forebears My Dying Bride, as well as their second for Nuclear Blast behind 2020’s lush The Ghost of Orion (review here. The seven-song/55-minute offering from the masters of misery derives its character in no small part from the front-mixed vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe, who from opener “Her Dominion” onward, switches between his morose semi-spoken approach, woeful as ever, and dry-throated harsher barks. And that the leadoff is all-screams feels like a purposeful choice as that rasp returns in the second half of “The 2nd of Three Bells,” the 11-minute “The Apocalyptist,” “A Starving Heart” and the ending section of closer “Crushed Embers.” I don’t know when the last time a My Dying Bride LP sounded so roiling, but it’s been a minute. The duly morose riffing of founding guitarist Andrew Craighan unites this outwardly nastier aspect with the more melodic “Thornwyck Hymn,” “Unthroned Creed” and the rest that isn’t throatripper-topped, but with returning producer Mark Mynett, the band has clearly honed in on a more stripped-down, still-room-for-violin approach, and it works in just about everything but the drums, which sound triggered/programmed in the way of modern metal. It remains easy to get caught in the band’s wretched sweep, and I’ll note that it’s a rare act who can surprise you 15 records later.

My Dying Bride website

Nuclear Blast webstore

Masonic Wave, Masonic Wave

Masonic Wave Masonic Wave

Masonic Wave‘s self-titled debut is the first public offering from the Chicago-based five-piece with Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House, Led Zeppelin II, etc.) on vocals, and though “Justify the Cling” has a kind of darker intensity in its brooding first-half ambience, what that build and much besides throughout the eight-song offering leads to is a weighted take on post-hardcore that earlier pieces “Bully” and “Tent City” present in duly confrontational style before “Idle Hands” (the longest inclusion at just under eight minutes) digs into a similar explore-till-we-find-the-payoff ideology and “Julia” gnashes through noise-rock teethkicking. Some of the edge-of-the-next-outburst restlessness cast by Lamont, guitarists Scott Spidale and Sean Hulet, bassist Fritz Doreza and drummer Clayton DeMuth reminds of Chat Pile‘s arthouse disillusion, but “Nuzzle Up” has a cyclical crunch given breadth through the vocal melody and the sax amid the multiple angles and sharp corners of the penultimate “Mountains of Labor” are a clue to further weirdness to come before “Bamboozler” closes with heads-down urgency before subtly branching into a more spacious if still pointedly unrelaxed culmination. No clue where it might all be headed, but that’s part of the appeal as Masonic Wave‘s Sanford Parker-produced 39 minutes play out, the songs engaging almost in spite of themselves.

Masonic Wave on Bandcamp

Masonic Wave on Bandcamp

Bismarck, Vourukasha


There are shades of latter-day Conan (whose producer/former bassist Chris Fielding mixed here) in the vocal trades and mega-toned gallop of opening track “Sky Father,” which Bismarck expand upon with the more pointedly post-metallic “Echoes,” shifting from the lurching ultracrush into a mellower midsection before the blastbeaten crescendo gives over to rumble and the hand-percussion-backed whispers of the intro to “Kigal.” Their first for Dark Essence, the six-song/35-minute Vourukasha follows 2020’s Oneiromancer (review here) and feels poised in its various transitions between consuming aural heft and leaving that same space in the mix open for comparatively minimal exploration. “Kigal” takes on a Middle Eastern lean and stays unshouted/growled for its five-plus minutes — a choice that both works and feels purposeful — but the foreboding drone of interlude “The Tree of All Seeds” comes to a noisy head as if to warn of the drop about to take place in the title-track, which flows through its initial movement with an emergent float of guitar that leads into its own ambient middle ahead of an engrossing, duly massive slowdown/payoff worthy of as much volume as it can be given. Wrapping with the nine-minute “Ocean Dweller,” they summarize what precedes on Vourukasha while shifting the structure as an extended, vocal-inclusive-at-the-front soundscape bookends around one more huge, slow-marching, consciousness-flattening procession. Extremity refined.

Bismarck on Facebook

Dark Essence Records website

Sun Moon Holy Cult, Sun Moon Holy Cult

Sun Moon Holy Cult Sun Moon Holy Cult

That fact that Sun Moon Holy Cult exist on paper as a band based in Tokyo playing a Sabbath-boogie-worshiping, riff-led take on heavy rock with a song like “I Cut Your Throat” leading off their self-titled debut makes a Church of Misery comparison somewhat inevitable, but the psych jamming around the wah-bass shuffle of “Out of the Dark,” longer-form structures, the vocal melodies and the Sleep-style march of “Savoordoom” that grows trippier as it delves further into its 13 minutes distinguish the newcomer four-piece of vocalist Hakuka, guitarist Ryu, bassist Ame and drummer Bato across the four-song LP’s 40 minutes. Issued through Captured Records and SloomWeep Productions, Sun Moon Holy Cult brings due bombast amid the roll of “Mystic River” as well, hitting its marks stylistically while showcasing the promise of a band with a clear idea of what they want their songs to do and perhaps how they want to grow over time. If this is to be the foundation of that growth, watch out.

Sun Moon Holy Cult on Instagram

Captured Records website

SloomWeep Productions on Bandcamp

Daily Thompson, Chuparosa

Daily Thompson Chuparosa

Dortmund, Germany’s Daily Thompson made their way to Port Orchard, Washington, to record Chuparosa with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed at the helm, and the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Zaremba, bassist/vocalist Mercedes Lalakakis and drummer/vocalist Thorsten Stratmann bring a duly West Coast spirit to “I’m Free Tonight” and the grunge-informed roll of “Diamond Waves” and the verses of “Raindancer.” The former launches the 36-minute outing with a pointedly Fu Manchuian vibe, but the start-stops, fluid roll and interplay of vocals from Zaremba and Lalakakis lets “Pizza Boy” move in its own direction, and the brooding acoustic start of “Diamond Waves” and more languid wash of riff in the chorus look elsewhere in ’90s alternativism for their basis. The penultimate “Ghost Bird” brings in cigar-box guitar and dares some twang amid all the fuzz, but as “Raindancer” has already branched out with its quieter bassy midsection build and final desert-hued thrust, the album can accommodate such a shift without any trouble. The title-track trades between wistful grunge verses and a fuller-nodding hook, from which the three-piece take off for the bridge, thankfully returning to the chorus in Chuparosa‘s big finish. The manner in which the whole thing brims with purpose makes it seem like Daily Thompson knew exactly what they were going for in terms of sound, so I guess you could say it was probably worth the trip.

Daily Thompson on Facebook

Noisolution website

Mooch, Visions

mooch visions

Kicking off with the markedly Graveyardian “Hangtime,” Mooch ultimately aren’t content to dwell solely in a heavy-blues-boogie sphere on Visions, their third LP and quick follow-up to 2023’s Hounds. Bluesy as the vibe is from which the Montreal trio set out, the subsequent “Morning Prayer” meanders through wah-strum open spaces early onto to delve into jangly classic-prog strum later, while “Intention” backs its drawling vocal melody with nylon-stringed acoustic guitar and hand percussion. Divergence continues to be the order of the day throughout the 41-minute eight-songer, with “New Door” shifting from its sleepy initial movement into an even quieter stretch of Doors-meets-Stones-y melody before the bass leads into its livelier solo section with just a tinge of Latin rhythm and “Together” giving more push behind a feel harkening back to the opener but that grows quiet and melodically expansive in its second half. This sets up the moodier vibe of “Vision” and gives the roll of “You Wouldn’t Know” an effective backdrop for its acoustic/electric blend and harmonized vocals, delivered patiently enough to let the lap steel slide into the arrangement easily before the brighter-toned “Reflections” caps with a tinge of modern heavy post-rock. What’s tying it together? Something intangible. Momentum. Flow. Maybe just the confidence to do it? I don’t know, but as subdued as they get, they never lose their momentum, and as much movement as their is, they never seem to lose their balance. Visions might not reveal its full scope the first time through, but subsequent listens bring due reward.

Mooch on Facebook

Mooch on Bandcamp

The Pleasure Dome, Liminal Space

The Pleasure Dome Liminal Space EP

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — has it that guitarist/vocalist Bobby Spender recruited bassist Loz Fancourt and drummer Harry Flowers after The Pleasure Dome‘s prior rhythm section left, ahead of putting together the varied 16 minutes of the Liminal Space EP. For what it’s worth, the revamped Bristol, UK, trio don’t sound any more haphazard than they want to in the loose-swinging sections of “Shoulder to Cry On” that offset the fuller shove of the chorus, or the punk-rooted alt-rock brashness of “The Duke Part II (Friends & Enemies),” and the blastbeat-inclusive tension of “Your Fucking Smile” that precedes the folk-blues finger-plucking of “Sugar.” Disjointed? Kind of, but that also feels like the point. Closer “Suicide” works around acoustic guitar and feels sincere in the lines, “Suicide, suicide/I’ve been there before/I’ve been there before/On your own/So hold on,” and the profession of love that resolves it, and while that’s at some remove from the bitter spirit of the first two post-intro tracks, Liminal Space makes its own kind of sense with the sans-effects voice of Spender at its core.

The Pleasure Dome on Facebook

Hound Gawd! Records website

Slump, Dust

Slump Dust EP

A solid four-songer from Birmingham’s Slump, who are fronted by guitarist Matt Noble (also Alunah), with drummer David Kabbouri Lara and bassist Ben Myles backing the riff-led material with punch in “Buried” after the careening hook of “Dust” opens with classic scorch in its solo and before the slower and more sludged “Kneel” gets down to its own screamier business and “Vultures” rounds out with a midtempo stomp early but nods to what seems like it’s going to be a more morose finish until the drum solo takes off toward the big-crash finish. As was the case on Slump‘s 2023 split with At War With the Sun, the feel across Dust is that of a nascent band — Slump got together in 2018, but this is their most substantial standalone release to-date — figuring out what they want to do. The ideas are there, and the volatility at which “Kneel” hints will hopefully continue to serve them well as they explore spaces between metal and heavy rock, classic and modern styles. A progression underway toward any number of potential avenues.

Slump on Facebook

Slump on Bandcamp

Green Hog Band, Fuzz Realm

Green Hog Band Fuzz Realm

What dwells in Green Hog Band‘s Fuzz Realm? If you said “fuzz,” go ahead and get yourself a cookie (the judges also would’ve accepted “riffs” and “heavy vibes, dude”), but for those unfamiliar with the New Yorker trio’s methodology, there’s more to it than tone as guitarist/producer Mike Vivisector, bassist/vocalist Ivan Antipov and drummer Ronan Berry continue to carve out their niche of lo-fi stoner buzz marked by harsh, gurgly vocals in the vein of Attila Csihar, various samples, organ sounds and dug-in fuckall. “Escape on the Wheels” swings and chugs instrumentally, and “In the Mist of the Bong” has lyrics in English, so there’s no lack of variety despite the overarching pervasiveness of misanthropy. That mood is further cast in the closing salvo of the low-slung “Morning Dew” and left-open “Phantom,” both of which are instrumental save for some spoken lines in the latter, as the prevailing sense is that they were going to maybe put some verses on there but decided screw it and went back to their cave (presumably somewhere in Queens) instead, because up yours anyhow. 46 minutes of crust-stoned “up yours anyhow,” then.

Green Hog Band on Facebook

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Church of the Sea, Gu Vo, Witchfinder, Centre el Muusa, 0N0, Faeries, Cult of Dom Keller, Supplemental Pills, Green Hog Band, Circle of Sighs

Posted in Reviews on June 30th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


I’ll find out for sure in a bit, but I think this might be one of those supremely weird Quarterly Review days where it’s a total mash of styles and it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever from one release to the next so that by the time the batch of 10 records is done we’ve ended up covering a pretty significant swath of heavy music’s spectrum. I ain’t out here trying to be comprehensive, you understand. I’m just doing my best to keep up. And in that, sometimes you hit a weird day.

In fact, I think “weird” might be the operative word for the Quarterly Review so far. I think about this music, who it’s for, why, and it’s weird and it’s for weirdos in my head. Both of those things are meant in a spirit of reverence for weirdness. Weird is interesting. Weird stands out. Weird is… also how I feel basically any time I’m out of the house among other adults unless I’m at a show. Weird is that beautiful thing that unites those people who don’t seem to fit anywhere else but in this.

So yeah, today’s weird. Strap in, kids.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Church of the Sea, Odalisque


Electronic beats, live guitar, and a resonant human voice make for a fascinating blend on Church of the Sea‘s richly atmospheric Odalisque. The Athenian trio of vocalist Irene, guitarist Vangelis (a different Vangelis) and synthesist/sampler Alex conjure a deep sense of mood in songs like “Mirror” and the closer “Me as the Water, Me as a Tree,” operating from the weighted beginning of opener “No One Deserves” onward in a slow-moving, open-spaced take on heavy post-rock that staves off the shimmering guitar in favor of adding the rumble of distortion often as a backing drone to fill out the sound alongside the synth behind Irene‘s voice. There are shades of Author & Punisher‘s latest — but Odalisque is less about slamming impact than spreading out the landscape of its title-track and the personal examinations of its lyrics, though “Raindrops” doesn’t seem fully ready to commit to one or the other and it’s easy to appreciate that. A striking debut from a band whose individualized purpose sets them apart even within Greece’s crowded and wildly creative underground.

Church of the Sea on Facebook

Church of the Sea links


Gu Vo, Gu Vo

gu vo gu vo

Drummer Edu Escobar, bassist Raúl Burrueco and vocalist/synthesist Alejandro Ruiz are Gu Vo, and given their lack of guitar, it should come as little surprise that their Sentencia Records self-titled debut is a markedly rhythmic experience. Taking some example perhaps from Slift‘s uptempo space/krautrockism, the Spanish three-piece bring an avant garde vibe even to the ultra-smooth build of “Crab Ball Gate,” hypnotizing through repetition in the low end and drums while the keys weave in and out of prominence, “Little Lizard” arriving with storybook fanfare before toying with willful-sounding low- and high-end frequency imbalance — you go this way and I’ll go that, etc. — and vocals that are duly spaced. The nine-song/49-minute outing is ambitious, droning large in “USG Ishimura” and actually maybe-actually-sampling Altered Beast for the chiptunery of “Rise From Your Grave.” “TuunBaq” brings some of these impulses together at the end, but Gu Vo‘s Gu Vo is more about the trip you take than where you end up, and that’s much to its advantage.

Gu Vo on Facebook

Sentencia Records on Bandcamp


Witchfinder, Endless Garden

Witchfinder Endless Garden EP

Watch out for the slowdown in about the last minute and a half of “The Maze” (6:28) which is the first of two songs on Witchfinder‘s Endless Garden EP. Things are rolling along, some Acid King nod in that main riff, and then, wham, screams and meaner sludge pushes into the proceedings without so much as a s’il vous plaît from the Clermont-Ferrand-based four-piece. The keyboard later in the subsequent “Eternal Sunset” (10:41) running alongside the slower movement there calls to mind Type O Negative — though I understand it’s Hangman’s Chair holding down such vibes in France these days, so maybe or maybe not an influence — plays a similar function in distinguishing the ending from what’s come before, but it’s the overarching heft of Endless Garden that makes it such a fulfilling answer to 2019’s Hazy Rites (review here), the band perhaps pushing back against some of the more cultish tendencies of current heavy in favor of a more individual statement of fuzz and psych-doomer spaciousness. It’s been a hell of a three years since the album. A reminder of Witchfinder‘s growth in progress is welcome.

Witchfinder on Facebook

Mrs Red Sound on Bandcamp


Centre El Muusa, Purple Stones

Centre el Muusa Purple Stones

Imagine yourself having a dream about surfing and you might be on your way to Centre El Muusa‘s sound. The Estonian instrumentalist four-piece debuted on Sulatron with their 2020 self-titled (review here), and they cohesively explore various realms here, dream-beach among them, but also some twangy slide guitar in opener “Pony Road” and “Desert Song,” the band using the titles seemingly to drop hints of the vibes being captured. Sure enough, the dirty fuzz in “Boomerang” comes back around, “Keila Train” — it’s about a 15-mile trip from Talinn, where the band are from, to Keila — has a distracted line of keys over mellow jazz drumming and meandering guitar, and “Pilot on Board” brings a subtle kosmiche push with an undulating waveform drone that’s like the wind passing under and over the wings of an airplane. Each of these moments of (assisted) evocation can be experienced or not depending on how far in a given listener wants to plunge — or how high they want to float, in the case of “Pilot on Board” — but the abiding sense of exploration in sound remains vital just the same. Wherever it may want to take you at a given moment, it wants to take you. Let it.

Centre El Muusa on Facebook

Sulatron Records webstore


0N0, Unwavering Resonance

0N0 Unwavering Resonance

I’ll admit that Unwavering Resonance is my first exposure to Slovakia’s 0N0, but it won’t be the last. Their third full-length following 2016’s Reconstruction and Synthesis with an EP and a split between, the new outing collects four cuts across a manageable 36 minutes and begins with its longest track (immediate points) in the 12-minute declaration of purpose “Clay Weight.” Though reputed for more industrialized fare in the past — and still definitely utilizing programming for the ‘drums’ and other synthy sounds — one cannot ignore the chug that rises to prominence in the leadoff, or the malevolence of purpose in the deathly use to which it’s put. Post-metal and death-doom come together fluidly enough in “Clay Weight” and the subsequent “Shattering” (5:12) with a balance tipped to one side or another — the second track, shortest, blasts furiously — and one wouldn’t call what happens in the nine-minutes-each pair of “Unwavering Resonance” and closer “Wander the Vacant Twilight” an evening out, since they continue to lean to particular aspects of their crushing sound in a given stretch, but hell’s bells it’s heavy, and its catharsis is less about making your skin crawl than turning bones into powder. Methodical, not chaotic, but ready to bask in the chaos surrounding. More brutalism than brutal.

0N0 on Facebook

0N0 on Bandcamp


Faeries, Faeries

Faeries Faeries

Shit, that’s heavy. Released on cassette and download, the 2021 self-titled debut long-player from Savannah, Georgia’s Faeries is a beast working under suitably beastly traditions. Tapping into a tonal density and an and-yet-it-moves crush of riff that reminds of the earliest days of fellow Peach Staters Mastodon, there’s a more straight-ahead, heads-down, push-through-with-the-shoulder sensibility to David Rapp‘s solo outfit, an underlying sense of riff worship in “March March,” “Megadrone,” and the rest of the nine-song/45-minute outing that — much to Rapp‘s credit — are set for destructive purposes rather than self-indulgent progressivism. That’s not to say Faeries, the album, is dumbed down. It’s not, and even in the vocal gruel of “Fresh Laces” and “The Pain of Days” or the chug-‘n’-swing instrumental “The Volcano,” that can be heard in the structure of the songs — “Slurricane” deviates to somewhat lighter tone and also-instrumental closer “Traces” echoes that — but Rapp‘s clear intention here is to base his songwriting around the heaviest sounds possible, and while it’s exciting to think maybe he got there on this first outing, it’s even more exciting to think maybe he didn’t and is going to try again sometime soon. Either way, happy bludgeoning/being bludgeoned.

Faeries on Instagram

The Silver Box on Bandcamp


The Cult of Dom Keller, Raiders of the Lost Archives: Demos & Rarities 2007-2020

Cult of Dom Keller Raiders of the Lost Archives Demos & Rarities 2007-2020

Somewhat inevitable that a 100-minute collection of lost tracks, demos, alternate versions and live takes from UK psych adventurers Cult of Dom Keller would be something of a fan-piece. Still, as Raiders of the Lost Archives: Demos & Rarities 2007-2020 spans its 20-song run and multiple lineups of the band, its moving between years and methodologies has plenty of flow if you’re willing to open yourself to the essential fact that the band can do whatever. the. fuck. they. want. To wit, “Monarch” with its relatively forward verses and choruses and the lo-fi howling feedback of “QWERTYUIOP,” or 2020’s creep-into-wash “Dead Don’t Dream” and the garage-psych urgency of 2007’s “We Left This World Behind for a Place in the Sun.” Those who’ve followed Cult of Dom Keller on their merry path will dig the (again, relatively) efficient look at how far they’ve come and in how many different directions, while those unfamiliar with the band might want to find something less inherently uneven to dig on (start with 2020’s Ascend! (review here), then work back), but cuts like “Broken Arm of God” and “Jupiter’s Beard” are ready to catch ears either way, and if it takes time to digest, well heck, you’ll have all the time in the world if you quit your day job, so why not just go ahead and do that?

Cult of Dom Keller on Facebook

Cult of Dom Keller on Bandcamp


Supplemental Pills, Volume 1

Supplemental Pills Volume 1

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — holds that Supplemental Pills got together at the behest of vocalist/guitarist Ezra Meredith when his main outfit, Hearts of Oak stepped back for pandemic lockdown. Fair enough. With Joel Meredith on guitar, bassist/synthesist Aron Christensen (also Hearts of Oak) and drummer/vocalist Mark Folkrod, these seven songs feel carved out of jams as the reportedly were, with “Feel It” blinking momentarily into Endless Boogie-sounding improv preach while mellower and more spacious pieces like opener “Run On,” the nine-minute drone-drawler “Floating Mountains Over Rivers” and the 11-minute fuzz-go repetitions of “Gonna Be Alright” — a decent mantra if e’er there was one — ooze deeper into vibe rock far-outreach. “Freedom March” is fairly active, with Ezra‘s vocals there and in “Run On” seeming to nod at the departed Mark Lanegan, and “The Wizard Was Right” has a sense of movement as well that suits its overlaid verses. If it feels right, it is right. Drone what thou wilt. And if this is what they’re coming up with essentially by accident, one shudders to think what might happen if they actually tried to write a song. It’s just crazy enough to work.

Supplemental Pills on Facebook

In Music We Trust Records on Bandcamp


Green Hog Band, Crypt of Doom

Green Hog Band Crypt of Doom

Some sonic coincidence brings Amorphis‘ “Forever More” to mind in hearing the winding guitar figure featured in Green Hog Band‘s instrumental-but-for-the-sample “Iron Horses,” but that’s not a direct influence. The Brooklynite trio’s third full-length, Crypt of Doom, follows last year’s Devil’s Luck (review here) and sees the self-recording trio of vocalist/bassist Ivan Antipov, guitarist Mike Vivisector (also lyrics) and drummer Ronan Berry weaving into and out of Russian-language lyrics on top of their thick-toned sludge rock, which they shove resolutely on “Sweet Tea, Banana Bread” and even give a little shuffle on the penultimate “New Year Massacre,” but which is invariably more suited to the doomly lurch of opener “Dragon” or its later giant-lizard-thing counterpart “Leviathan.” Still, that these guys can make that bubbling cauldron of sludge and are even vaguely interested in doing anything else is admirable, and as raw as Crypt of Doom is, even the air seems to be stale, never mind the bare walls of rock and dirt surrounding. Dig a hole, reside therein, riff.

Green Hog Band on Facebook

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp


Circle of Sighs, Alabaster

Circle of Sighs Alabaster

Most of all, one has to give kudos to Los Angeles experimentalist outfit for daring to cross the line between hard industrial music and the hip-hop it’s been summarily ripping off for the last quarter-century-plus. Alabaster is the third full-length from the unit not-so-secretly led by bassmaster/programmer/etc.-ist Collyn McCoy (also Night City, Aboleth, a bunch of others), and in addition to guest rappers A-F-R-O, Zombae and Kayee on cuts like “Anatomy Autonomy” (relevant) and the becomes-a-black-metal-onslaught “Copy Planet,” the nine-song/32-minute outing regurgitates genre expectations in a spew so willfully individual it can’t help but make its own kind of sense even unto the sound collage of “Segue-08” or “ec63294e-0dcf-4947-bb7c-965769967dbd,” which answers the freak-dance of “A Magical Journey of Love” with sentient-AI-knows-where-you-live moodsetting, which of course is an excellent precursor to the organ-laced cult extremity of “FLESHSELF: Abandon the Altars.” This is never going to be for everyone, but Alabaster‘s willingness to play with risk in sound makes just about everything that ‘fits in’ feel ridiculous. You think you’ve heard it all? Think you’re bored? Check this shit out and see how wrong you are.

Circle of Sighs on Facebook

Circle of Sighs on Bandcamp


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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 79

Posted in Radio on March 4th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Before I turn you over to the playlist — and I’m gonna try to keep this short either way — I want to single out and say thank you to Dean Rispler. He’s the engineer for this show, and with my dumbass voice tracks, it ran long. Instead of cutting out a song or whatever, Dean went ahead and trimmed intros and outros, making it a tighter ‘broadcast,’ such as it is, and enhancing the thing rather than detracting from it. Thank you, Dean. I know the effort that takes, the time that can take, and it is very much appreciated, by me if by no one else.

Some new stuff, some old stuff. I had Ufomammut on the brain and then I had stuff-I-like on the brain, and, well, that’s how you end up with me playing Colour Haze. I give myself points though for managing to leave Author & Punisher out of an episode though. I think he was in the last three. And if you haven’t heard the Charley No Face record, there’s a reason it starts the show.

If you listen, or you see these words, thanks.

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 03.04.22

Charley No Face Death Mask Eleven Thousand Volts
Wo Fat The Witching Chamber The Singularity
Fuzz Sagrado Lunik IX A New Dimension
Wovenhand Omaha Silver Sash
Kryptograf The Spiral The Eldorado Spell
Uncle Woe Nine Kinds of Time Pennyfold Haberdashery & Abattoir Deluxe
Samavayo Afghan Sky Payan
JIRM Repent in Blood The Tunnel, the Well, Holy Bedlam
Green Hog Band Dragon Dragon
Ufomammut Nero Idolum
Conan Battle in the Swamp Monnos
YOB Burning the Altar The Great Cessation
Colour Haze Grace She Said
Acid King Coming Down From Outer Space Live at Roadburn 2011
Fuzz Meadows Benji Orange Sunshine

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is March 18 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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