Quarterly Review: Nebula, Mountain of Misery, Page Williams Turner, Almost Honest, Buzzard, Mt. Echo, Friends of Hell, Red Sun, Wolff & Borgaard, Semuta

Posted in Reviews on May 13th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Legend has it that a long time ago, thousands of years ago, before even the founding of the Kingdom of New Jersey itself, there was a man who attempted a two-week, 100-album Quarterly Review. He truly believed and was known to say to his goodlady wife, “Sure, I can do 100 releases in 10 days. That should be fine,” but lo, the gods did smite him for his hubris.

His punishment? That very same Quarterly Review.

Like the best of mythology, the lesson here is don’t be a dumbass and do things like 100-record Quarterly Reviews. Clearly this is a lesson I haven’t learned. Welcome to the next two weeks. Sorry for the typos. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Nebula, Livewired in Europe

Nebula Livewired in Europe

A busy 2023 continued on from a busy 2022 for SoCal heavy rockers Nebula as they supported their seventh album, Transmission From Mothership Earth (review here), and as filthy as was founding guitarist Eddie Glass‘ fuzz on that record, the nine-track (12 on the CD) Livewired in Europe pushes even further into the rawer stoner punk that’s always been at root in their sound. They hit Europe twice in 2023, in Spring and Fall, and in the lumbering sway of “Giant,” the drawl of “Messiah,” the Luciferian wink of that song and “Man’s Best Friend” earlier in the set, and the righteous urgency of what’s listed in the promo as “Down the Mother Fuckin’ Highway” or the shred-charged roll of “Warzone Speedwolf” in the bonus cuts, with bassist Ranch Sironi backing Glass on vocals and Mike Amster wailing away on drums — he’s the glue that never sounds stuck — they document the mania of post-rebirth Nebula as chaotic and forceful in kind, which is precisely what one would most hope for at the start of the gig. It’s not their first live outing, and hopefully it’s not the last either.

Nebula on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Mountain of Misery, The Land

mountain of misery the land

The self-recording/self-releasing Kamil Ziółkowski offers his second solo LP with The Land, following in short order from last Fall’s In Roundness (review here) and the two-songer issued a month after. At six songs and 35 minutes, The Land further distinguishes Mountain of Misery stylistically from Ziółkowski‘s main outfit, Spaceslug. Yes, the two bands share a penchant for textured tones and depth of mix (Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio mixed and mastered), and the slow-delivered melodic ‘gaze-style vocals are recognizable, but “The ’90s” puts Nirvana through this somewhat murky, hypnotic filter, and before its shimmering drone caps the album, on closer “Back Again,” the multi-instrumentalist/vocalist reminds a bit of Eddie Vedder. Seekers of nod will find plenty in “Awesome Burn” and the slightly harder-hitting “High Above the Mount” — desert rock in its second half, but on another planet’s desert — while the succession of “Path of Sound” and “Come on Down” feel specifically set to more post-rocking objectives; the plot and riffs likewise thickened. Most of all, it sounds like Mountain of Misery is digging in for a longer-term songwriting exploration, and quickly, and The Land only makes me more excited to find out where it’s headed.

Mountain of Misery on Facebook

Electric Witch Mountain Recordings on Facebook

Page Williams Turner, Page Williams Turner

page williams turner self titled

The named-for-their-names trio Page Williams Turner is comprised of electronicist/mixer Michael Page (Sky Burial, many others), drummer/percussionist Robert Williams (of the harshly brilliant Nightstick) and saxophonist Nik Turner (formerly Hawkwind, et al), and the single piece broken into two sides on their Opposite Records self-titled debut is a duly experimentalist, mic-up-and-go extreme take on free psychedelic jazz, drone, industrial noisemaking, and time-what-is-time-signature manipulation. “Rorrim I” is drawn cinematically into an unstable wormhole circa its 14th minute, and teases serenity before the listener is eaten by a giant spider in some kind of unknowable ritual, and while “Rorrim II” feels less manic on average, its cycles, ebbs and flows remain wildly unpredictable. That’s the point, of course. If the combination of personnel and/or elements seems really, really weird on paper, you’re on the right track. This kind of thing will never be for everybody, but those who can get on its level will find it transportive. If that’s you, safe travels.

Page Williams Turner at Opposite Records Bandcamp

Opposite Records website

Almost Honest, The Hex of Penn’s Woods

almost honest the hex of penn's woods

The spoken intro welcoming the listener to “the greatest and last show of your lives” at the head of the chugging “Mortician Magician” is a little over the top considering the straightforward vibe of much of what follows on the 10 tracks of 2023’s The Hex of Penn’s Woods from Pennsylvania-based heavy rockers Almost Honest, but whether it’s the banjo early or the cowbell later in “Haunted Hunter,” the post-Fu Manchu riffing and gang shouts of “Alien Spiders,” “Ballad of a Mayfly”‘s whistling, the organ in “Amish Hex” (video premiere here), the harmonies of “Colony of Fire,” a bit of sax on “Where the Quakers Dwell,” that quirk in the opener, the funk wrought throughout by Garrett Spangler‘s bass and Quinten Spangler‘s drumming, the metal-rooted intertwining of Shayne Reed and David Kopp‘s guitars or the structural solidity beneath all of it, the band give aural character to coincide with the regionalist themes based on their Pennsylvania Dutch, foothill-Appalachian surroundings, and they dare to make their third album’s 44 minutes fun in addition to thoughtful in its craft.

Almost Honest on Facebook

Argonauta Records website

Buzzard, Doom Folk

buzzard doom folk

Based in Western Massachusetts, Buzzard is the solo-project of Christopher Thomas Elliott, and the title of his debut album, Doom Folk, describes his particular intention. As the 12-song/44-minute outing unfolds from the eponymous “Buzzard” at its outset (even that feels like a Sabbathian dogwhistle), the blend of acoustic and electric guitar forms the heart of the arrangements, but more than that, it’s doom and folk, stylistically, that are coming together. What makes it work is that Elliott avoids the trap of 2010s-ish neo-folk posturing as a songwriter, and while there’s a ready supply of apocalyptic mood in the lyrical storytelling and abundant amplified distortion put to dynamic use, the folk he’s speaking to is more traditional. Not lacking intricacy in their percussion, arrangements or melodies, you could nonetheless learn these songs and sing them. “Death Metal in America” alone makes it worth the price of admission, let alone the stellar “Lucifer Rise,” but the sweet foreboding and build of the subsequent “Harvester of Souls” gets even closer to Buzzard‘s intention in bringing together the two sides to manifest a kind of heavy that is immediately and impressively its own. Doom Folk on.

Buzzard on Facebook

Buzzard on Bandcamp

Mt. Echo, Cometh

mt echo cometh

Mt. Echo begin their third full-length primed for resonance with the expansive, patiently wrought “Veil of Unhunger,” leading with their longest track (immediate points) as a way of bringing the listener into the record’s mostly instrumental course with a shimmer of post-rock and later-emerging density of tone. The Nijmegen trio’s follow-up to 2022’s Electric Empire (review here) plays out across a breadth that extends beyond the 44-minute runtime and does more in its pieces than flow smoothly between its loud/quiet tradeoffs. “Round and Round Goes the Crown” brings a guest appearance from Oh Hazar guitarist/vocalist Stefan Kollee that pushes the band into a kind of darker, thoroughly Dutch heavy prog, but even that shift is made smoother by the spoken part on “Brutiful Your Heart” just before, and not necessarily out of line with how “Set at Rest” answers the opener, or the rumble, nod and wash that cap with “If I May.” The overarching sense of growth is palpable, but the songs express more atmospherically than just the band pushing themselves.

Mt. Echo on Facebook

Mt. Echo on Bandcamp

Friends of Hell, God Damned You to Hell

friends of hell god damned you to hell

They’re probably to raw and dug into Satanic cultistry to agree, but with Per “Hellbutcher” Gustavsson (Nifelheim) on vocals, guitarists Beelzeebubth (Mystifier, etc.) and Nikolas “Sprits” Moutafis (Mirror, etc.), bassist Taneli Jarva (Impaled Nazarene, etc.) and drummer Tasos Danazoglou (Mirror, ex-Electric Wizard, etc.) in the lineup for second LP God Damned You to Hell, it’s probably safe to call Friends of Hell a supergroup. Such considerations ultimately have little to do with how the rolling proto-NWOBHM triumphs of “Bringer of Evil” and “Arcane Macabre” play out, but it explains the current of extremity in their purposes that comes through at the start with the title-track and the severity that surrounds in the layering of “Ave Satanatas” as they journey into the underworld to finish with the eight-minute “All the Colors of the Dark.” You’re either going to buy the backpatch or shrug and not get it, and that seems like it’s probably fine with them.

Friends of Hell on Instagram

Rise Above Records website

Red Sun, From Sunset to Dawn

Red Sun From Sunset to Dawn

Not to be confused with France’s Red Sun Atacama, Italian prog-heavy psych instrumentalists Red Sun mark their 10th anniversary with the release of their third album, From Sunset to Dawn, and run a thread of doom through the keyboardy “The Sunset Turns Purple” and “The Shape of Night” on side A to manifest ‘sunset’ while side B unfolds with airier guitar in “The Coldness of the New Moon” and “Towards the End of Darkness” en route to the raga-leaning “The New Sun,” but as much as there is to be said for the power of suggestion and narrative titling, it’s the music itself that realizes the progression described in the name of the album. With a clear influence from My Sleeping Karma in “The Coldness of the New Moon” and the blend of organic hand-percussion and digitized melody in “The New Sun,” Red Sun immerse the listener in the procession from the intro “Where Once Was Light” (mirrored by “Intempesto” at the start of side B) onward, with each song serving as a chapter in the linear concept and story.

Red Sun on Facebook

Subsound Records website

Wolff & Borgaard, Destroyer

wolff and borgaard destroyer

Cinematic enough in sheer sound and the corresponding intensity of mood to warrant the visual collaboration with Kai Lietzke that accompanies the audio release, the collaboration between Hamburg electronic experimentalist Peter Wolff (Downfall of Gaia) and vocalist Jens Borgaard (Knifefight!, solo) moves between minimalist soundscaping and more consuming, weighted purposes. Moments like the beginning of “Transmit” might leave one waiting for when the Katatonia song is going to kick in, but Wolff & Borgaard engage on their own level as each of the nine pieces follows its own poetic course, able to be caustic like the culmination of “Observe” or to bring the penultimate “Extol” to silence gradually before “Reaper” bursts to life with clearly intentional contrast. I heard this or that streaming service is making a Blade Runner 2099 tv series. Sounds like a terrible idea, but it might just be watchable if Wolff & Borgaard get to do the score with a similar evocations of software and soul.

Peter Wolff on Facebook

My Proud Mountain website

Semuta, Glacial Erratic

Semuta Glacial Erratic

The Portland, Oregon, two-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Benjamin Caragol (ex-Burials) and drummer Ben Stoller (currently also Simple Forms, Dark Numbers, ex-Vanishing Kids) do much to ingratiate themselves both to the crowded underground of which their hometown is an epicenter, and to the broader sphere of heavy-progressivism in modern doom and sludge. Across the five tracks of their self-released for now debut full-length, Glacial Erratic, the pair offer a panacea of heavy sounds, angular in the urgency of “Toeing the Line,” which opens, or the later thud of “Selective Memory” (the latter of which also appeared on their 2020 self-titled EP), which seem more kin to Baroness or Elder crashes and twists of “A Distant Light” or the interplay of ambience, roll, and sharpness of execution that’s been held in reserve for the nine-minute “Wounds at the Stem” as they leave off. Melody, particularly in Caragol‘s vocals, is crucial in tying the material together, and part of what gives Semuta such apparent potential, but they seem already to have figured out a lot about who they want to be musically. All of which is to say don’t be surprised when this one shows up on the list of 2024’s best debut albums come December.

Semuta on Facebook

Semuta on Bandcamp

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Full Album Premiere, Track-by-Track & Review: The Moth, Frost

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 21st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the moth frost

Hamburg, Germany’s The Moth exist in a world without genre, and their fourth album, Frost — also their first release for the likemided Exile on Mainstream — argues that maybe you should to. The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Freden Mohrdiek, bassist/vocalist Cécile Ash and drummer Christian “Curry” Korr debuted a decade ago with 2013’s They Fall, answered back in 2015 with And Then Rise (review here), and made a declarative statement of persona on 2017’s Hysteria (review here), each record marked by incremental growth in an increasingly distinct stylistic context. Frost may arrive six years after the third long-player and through a new label, but as The Moth step forward again with this 10-song/44-minute collection, the many strengths of their approach are on ready display, whether it’s the intensity of chug in “Me, Myself and Enemy,” the sad hookiness of “Hundreds” or the thud and crush that caps with “Silent.”

One is tempted, perpetually, to think of The Moth as ‘experimental,’ but the truth is more complex. They’re not banging on steel girders or inventing instruments. They’re not looping effects until the cosmos seems to melt. Guitar, bass, drums, and the shared vocals of Ash and Mohrdiek are all they need to make Frost unpredictable front to back. They’re like the best present that noise rock never knew it got. Expansive and rolling in the Melvinsian tradition before the blowout on the title-track, loosely playing toward, well, Cathedral on “Cathedral” (could also say Type O Negative there), and set forth with punk-born fervor in the salvo “My, Myself and Enemy,” “Birmingham,” “Battlefield” and “Bruised” just before, the two instances of alliteration likely coincidental, but an example just the same of the identity and character in their material. A band not only saying they’re doing their own thing, but actually living up to that standard. And fostering an emotional expression as well.

“Bruised” seems especially well placed since, by the time one gets there it’s a potentially apt descriptor. Of the first four songs, only “Birmingham” is over three minutes long, and so where a psychedelic band might try to draw the audience in with some hypnotic, repetitive meditation, The Moth head out at a relative sprint and put their most driving material up front. That’s not a universal, blanket truth, by the way — because one must remember, The Moth are multifaceted, and a given track might do more than one thing — but applicable as a generalization. Certainly the penultimate “Dust,” which was also the lead single from Frost, has a suitably brash shove in addition to one of the record’s most satisfying nods, and “In the City” just before is tense enough to make your stomach hurt if you let it, with its weirdo effects in the second half lead over the double-time hi-hat and jet-engine rhythm layers of guitar and bass. But there is a definite transition as “Cathedral” picks up from “Bruised,” and “Hundreds” leans into its grunge-ish chorus melody with Ash and Mohrdiek together on vocals to end side A with a due sense of landing.

the moth (photo by José Lorenzo & Cécile Ash)

And it’s not the last one as The Moth move into side B and the last four, mostly longer, songs on the album. The rumble at the start of “Frost” boasts aww-yuck-face tone in only the most righteous fashion, and the sludgy crash and lumber that ensues is a redirect from “Hundreds,” which also ends thudding but in kind of a ’80s-thrash-tape manner. The title-track is the longest song at 6:52, and grows more consuming as it works toward its eventual fade, with Mohrdiek and Ash swapping back and forth in the vocal arrangement when not both shouting. With “In the City” after, they assure that the strides and vibe established on side A aren’t lost — that energy that comes through as “Me, Myself and Enemy” opens, I mean — and while one would hardly call the tremolo picking of “Dust” soothing, there is an overarching flow as it gives over to the avant raw riffing and toms of “Silent,” which brings back that forward-in-the-mix guitar-as-keyboard (unless it’s just a keyboard) sound from “In the City” as if continuing a theme across the final three tracks, pulling them together as a band might when considering the whole-LP impression of a work as well as the songs that make it.

Maybe The Moth sit and planned all this out before they hit the studio, or maybe the whole thing is magic. It matters only academically. What’s more relevant in terms of the listening experience is that Frost was tracked live, in a day. It is a band-showed-up-and-played record, and part of its sonic appeal comes from that. I used the word ‘raw’ above to describe the tones and I’ll stand by it, but it’s worth highlighting that while much of Frost can indeed be barebones from a production standpoint, the material neither sounds opaque nor difficult to engage. Even as they cap “Silent,” they do so on a march and a drone rather than some grandiose ending that would be out of place. If that’s a conscious choice on their part or just what felt right, the end result is the same. The Moth continue their progressive trajectory in these songs and meet the span of years it’s been since their last offering with head-on force of craft and delivery.

The Moth – Track-by-Track Through Frost:


Sometimes the enemy can be yourself. That holds true for the emotional and psychological side as well as the physical side when something in your body turns against you and threatens your health and life.


The song is about people who want to change themselves or something in their lives and, despite being very motivated, have to realize how difficult it sometimes is to stop feeding the demons within them.


This is about being let down and emotionally injured by a person that you felt closest to. And about not being able to show or talk about the injury. So you smile though inside you are full of grief and not able to share it with anyone (yet). This denying of your feelings is (maybe literally) like killing parts of yourself over and over again.


This is about preparing for a fight and not being afraid of it, though the enemy may be strong. Because some fights are just necessary. Catching a few hits or getting bruised doesn’t scare you, because you know that you’ll get through this and though you may be smaller, you’re stronger.


Some periods in life we feel like the present and the future are especially uncertain. It’s like walking through a fog and we just have to have faith in ourself, each other and that the good in humanity will win over the bad. In those times we should turn towards the other or the others, show that we feel the same, take each other’s hands (sometimes metaphorically speaking) and get through this together.


This is about past relationships and breakups. If they have truely loved, ex-partners may somehow stay connected on some other level even though they were not meant to be together in this life.


Sometimes what you most wish for and have fought for so long, just doesn’t happen or something puts a definite end to that vision you had: it will never become reality. So where is that hope that you fostered for so long, so suddenly supposed to go? Having to give up hope on something that was extremely important to you is a huge loss. So going through the grief that this brings feels like walking through a sea of ice, through the frost. And if nobody is sharing the grief with you, you have to confront this pain and emptiness on your own. Until the end of the frost.


It’s about people that are alive and have a lust for life and are not afraid to show it. They have dressed up, look sharp and walk the streets at night to go to a concert or a party and just enjoy themselves. They are being watched by others, half fascinated, half uncomprehending. The others are more ordinary people, who like to keep it „normal“, people with dead eyes. In this particular case we were thinking about four women from the Birmingham area who have supported us since we first came to the UK and definitely made the nights more colourful: Emma, Emily, Jess and Vic. Emma and Emily are also singing alongside Cécile on the chorus of this track!


Two years ago I (Cécile) had breast cancer. During that time I often listened to Anita Moorjani who once had cancer herself and a near death experience. She is just so encouraging. She says cancer patients should not accept the word „remission“ (fear-based) but should reinterpret this word as a shortform for „remember your mission“ (love-based). Our purpose is, she says, to remember what we came here for, what our mission is. And our first mission is, to truly be ourselves.


The song is about the certainty or hope that someone is there for you and looks after you in tough times and will give you a hand.

German doom/sludge metal trio THE MOTH prepares to release their monstrous fourth album, Frost, through Exile On Mainstream this Friday.

Frost will be released on September 22nd digitally and on 140-gram pure virgin Black Vinyl including a bundled CD. Find physical preorders at the Exile On Mainstream webshop HERE: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom107
and digital at Bandcamp HERE: https://the-moth.bandcamp.com/

THE MOTH takes their approach to new heights with their fourth album, Frost. Catchy lines get stuck in the listener’s heart and mind like a dislodged meat hook, explaining why the band calls their style doom-sludge pop – “Kim Wilde-meets-Bolt Thrower” – or like a review for the 2017 album Hysteria put it: “pop music played with a bulldozer.” Lyrically, however, THE MOTH shows a new openness and vulnerability under the shell of raw power that the songs initially present. Experiencing and living through strokes of fate runs through the record as a recurring theme – all under a rough shell of distinctive and deliberately raw sound. Bassist/vocalist Cécile Ash, guitarist/vocalist Freden Mohrdiek, and drummer Curry Korr perform the dichotomy with a high recognition value. Boring riff hum and mantric stoner-esque repetition are not their thing.

Frost was recorded live in only 24 hours, the album recorded and mixed by José Lorenzo at Bombrec Recording, and then mastered by Timo Höcke at Die Wellenschmiede, and completed with artwork by Sarah Breen and layout by Cécile Ash. Emma Billingham and Emily Yardley provide additional vocals on “In The City.”

Frost will be released on September 22nd digitally and on 140-gram pure virgin Black Vinyl including a bundled CD. Find physical preorders at the Exile On Mainstream webshop HERE and digital at Bandcamp HERE.

THE MOTH has confirmed a string of release dates including shows with Thronehammer and labelmates Treedeon with more to be posted shortly.

THE MOTH Record Release Shows:
9/22/2023 Störtebecker – Hamburg, DE w/ Treedeon
10/03/2023 Alte Meierei – Kiel, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/04/2023 Fundbureau – Hamburg, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/05/2023 MTC – Cologne, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/06/2023 Immerhin – Wuerzburg, DE
10/07/2023 Keep It Low Festival – Munich, DE
11/17/2023 Thav – Hildesheim, DE w/ with Shakhtyor
11/18/2023 Die Trompete – Bochum, DE w/ Treedeon

Cécile Ash – bass, vocals
Freden Mohrdiek – guitar, vocals
Curry Korr – drums

The Moth, “Dust” official video

The Moth on Facebook

The Moth on Instagram

The Moth on Bandcamp

The Moth on YouTube

Exile on Mainstream website

Exile on Mainstream on Instagram

Exile on Mainstream YouTube channel

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Kavrila and Shovel Announce Fall Tour Together

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

German post-hardcore-informed sludgers Kavrila (from Hamburg) and Shovel (from Berlin) will head out on what’s sure to be an onslaught of a 10-date run through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, maybe-Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Kavrila‘s most recent LP is 2021’s Mor, but they’ve let it be known that they’ll release a new single at the end of this month called “Surface.” That will be out Sept. 29, which is well ahead of the start of this tour.

Shovel issued their self-titled full-length last year through Italy’s Argonauta Records and have started working on new songs. They’ve been playing shows pretty regularly, and while I don’t know if they’ve got new material ready to go, I do know that a year-old record is still worth supporting, especially when such furies are involved.

Open date in Switzerland; if you can help out, do. There’s a lot that goes into making a DIY run like this happen — easy for me to say as I’m two weeks late putting up the news — and it’s worth supporting one way or the other if you can.

From the PR wire:

kavrila shovel tour

KAVRILA & SHOVEL European Tour Okt/Nov 2023 – Here Come The Rats!

The rats are coming! We are thrilled to announce this tour together with our brothers in Shovel and can’t wait to get in the van. Mark your calendars, spread the word and prepare for some serious damage. We would be happy if you would spread the news and we also hope to see you in front of the stage in one or another city.

HERE COME THE RATS! European Tour 2023
27.10. DE Bremen – Zollkantine
28.10. NL Amsterdam – The Cave
29.10. BE Hasselt – De Witte Non
30.10. BE Ghent – Het Landhuis
31.10. FR Amiens – 1001 Bieres
01.11. CH —book us!—
02.11. AT Salzburg – Rockhouse
03.11. CZ Prague – Modra Vopice
04.11. DE Berlin – Urban Spree
05.11. DE Hamburg – Goldener Salon

Poster Artwork by Bianca Rother / https://www.instagram.com/biancarother




Kavrila, Mor (2021)

Shovel, Shovel (2022)

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The Moth to Release Frost on Sept. 22; “Dust” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2023 by JJ Koczan

the moth (photo by José Lorenzo & Cécile Ash)

New The Moth track is a banger. The PR wire info below has all the details you could want about the Hamburg-based trio’s upcoming fourth album and first for Exile on Mainstream, titled Frost, and I’d encourage you to by all means dig in and learn a bit of the background as you listen to/watch the video for “Dust.” Apocalyptic and thus almost woefully catchy, it’s a first taste of Frost, and its tones don’t strike as being particularly cold in its rolling groove derived (mathematically speaking, of course) from ’90s noise and given a melodic foundation in its verse that the repeated lyrics make that much more memorable.

This song was recorded live in a day — apparently that also applies to the entire album — and so if it feels raw, good. That’s what they’re going for. But they’re not just raw, or just any one thing. They really are the perfect Exile on Mainstream band, in that they’re able to do six things at once and be confoundingly complex while still coming across barebones and utterly cohesive. “Dust” deals lyrically with bassist/vocalist Cécile Ash‘s cancer experience, as she recounts below:

the moth frost

THE MOTH: German Doom Metal Trio Announces Details Of Fourth LP, Frost, Confirmed For September Release Via Exile On Mainstream; “Dust” Video + Preorders Posted

Exile On Mainstream presents Frost, the colossal fourth LP from German doom metal trio THE MOTH, confirming the album for September 22nd release alongside preorders and other details. With the news comes the record’s first single, a video for the song “Dust.”

After three albums on the fantastic This Charming Man label, THE MOTH now presents their label debut on Exile On Mainstream with Frost. Having honed their no-nonsense approach to sludge/doom metal on numerous tours and gigs, the band’s songs are virtually void of frills, instead opting to turn out hammer heavy drums and riff-heavy rock as brutal as it is bewitching. Since their acclaimed debut They Fall in 2013, the Hamburg trio has regularly delivered tracks with a catchiness that is surprising for the genre. Kim Wilde-meets-Bolt Thrower, as they call it themselves, or like a review for the 2017 album Hysteria put it: “pop music played with a bulldozer.”

THE MOTH now takes this approach to new heights with their fourth album, Frost. Catchy lines get stuck in the listener’s heart and mind like a dislodged meat hook, explaining why the band calls their style “doom-sludge pop.” Lyrically, however, THE MOTH shows a new openness and vulnerability under the shell of raw power that the songs initially present. Experiencing and living through strokes of fate runs through the record as a recurring theme – all under a rough shell of distinctive and deliberately raw sound. Bassist/vocalist Cécile Ash, guitarist/vocalist Freden Mohrdiek, and drummer Curry Korr perform the dichotomy with a high recognition value. Boring riff hum and mantric stoner-esque repetition are not their thing. Anyone who experiences THE MOTH live will automatically find themselves in front of the stage with a biting head nod, a thirst for beer, and a fist clenched at hip height.

Frost was recorded live in only 24 hours, recorded and mixed by José Lorenzo at Bombrec Recording, and then mastered by Timo Höcke, at Die Wellenschmiede, and completed with artwork by Sarah Breen and layout by Cécile Ash. Emma Billingham and Emily Yardley provide additional vocals on “In The City.”

The first single from Frost, “Dust,” is delivered through a video by Niklas Krohn of Cruel Visions. Cécile Ash reveals the touching story behind the single, writing, “Two years ago, I had breast cancer. During that time, I discovered the writer Anita Moorjani and her own approach to cancer. After a near-death experience her tumor started regressing and she came out with a super positive, encouraging, and empowering attitude. One of the essences of her attitude is rewriting the meaning of the word remission, used to describe the 5-10 years phase after a treatment when signs and symptoms of cancer seem to be fading or completely going away – before doctors would use the word cure. Moorjani reinterprets and sees it as an abbreviation for ‘Remember your Mission’ postulating a pledge for asking yourself: ‘What is my mission, what am I here for?’ First and foremost, she says it’s about just being yourself. ‘Dust’ is about death holding the sword of Damocles of cancer recurrence over me. It says dagger instead of sword in the song simply because it did fit better with the music. It’s about remembering the mission of being yourself, which seems to be a strong force against a possible conquest and for a serious bye-bye to the ongoing threat.”

Check out THE MOTH’s video for “Dust” now at THIS LOCATION.

Frost will be released on September 22nd digitally and on 140-gram pure virgin Black Vinyl including a bundled CD. Find physical preorders at the Exile On Mainstream webshop HERE: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom107
and digital at Bandcamp HERE: https://the-moth.bandcamp.com/

Watch for additional videos and previews of the album to post shortly.

Frost Track Listing:
1. Me, Myself & Enemy
2. Birmingham
3. Battlefield
4. Bruised
5. Cathedral
6. Hundreds
7. Frost
8. In The City
9. Dust
10. Silent

THE MOTH has already confirmed a string of release dates including shows with Thronehammer and labelmates Treedeon with more to be posted shortly.

THE MOTH Record Release Shows:
9/22/2023 Störtebecker – Hamburg, DE w/ Treedeon
10/03/2023 Alte Meierei – Kiel, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/04/2023 Fundbureau – Hamburg, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/05/2023 MTC – Cologne, DE w/ Thronehammer
10/06/2023 Immerhin – Wuerzburg, DE
10/07/2023 Keep It Low Festival – Munich, DE
11/17/2023 Thav – Hildesheim, DE w/ with Shakhtyor
11/18/2023 Die Trompete – Bochum, DE w/ Treedeon

Founded in 2012, the feedback on THE MOTH’s first album They Fall was already quite enthusiastic. Right from the start, the band presented themselves as an international band that drew fans all over the world, from Tokyo to Vancouver. Between festival appearances at the Desertfests in London and Berlin, Stoned From The Underground, the Svart Festival Oslo, the Doom Over Vienna, and the Riff Mass Brighton, two more albums were released in 2015 with And Then Rise and 2017 Hysteria. On accompanying tours and shows throughout Europe and the UK with, among others, Treedeon, Conan, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Torche, and Red Fang, THE MOTH left enthusiastic fans behind.

Cécile Ash – bass, vocals
Freden Mohrdiek – guitar, vocals
Curry Korr – drums



The Moth, “Dust” official video

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The Moth Sign to Exile on Mainstream; New Album Due in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Insert forehead slap here. I mean, of course Hamburg’s The Moth would end up on Exile on Mainstream. Their outsider sludge rock is a perfect fit for the long-established imprint, whose general taste and will to bend the rules of genre are defining aspects. It’s like a dodecahedron peg in a dodecahedron hole. Bordering on the obvious.

Been a minute, but The Moth‘s last album, Hysteria (review here), was released through This Charming Man Records in 2017. Their next one is coming in September, so maybe we’ll get more info in the next month or so, but for now the news is good and a new record from them is something to look forward to. They’ll be out on the road for it in Germany with Thronehammer in Sept./Oct., also making a stop to rile up Keep it Low in Munich.

Right on:

The moth

THE MOTH: German Doom/Sludge Metal Trio Signs To Exile On Mainstream; LP Due This Fall

Exile On Mainstream welcomes fellow Germans THE MOTH and their groove-heavy brew of doom/sludge metal to the label for their impending LP.

Label owner Andreas Kohl states, “Just as a good friend recently put it: ‘This band, with this lineup and this sound – it was just a question of time until they land at your shores. They just belong to Exile On Mainstream.” The friend, Germany’s renowned Metal radio icon Jakob Kranz, envisioned what we kinda felt but didn’t know. So did we finally achieve becoming a label that defines through a certain sound? Have we become so predictable? Not at all. I mean come on, THE MOTH might be a power trio with their sound deeply rooted in sludge, a woman on bass creating the most thundering base a lover of the heavy could wish for, and they might share a certain approach to music and loving what they do with the likes of Treedeon and Might, but it’s not the sound. The Hamburg-based act got here based on the binding element in our universe: friendship.

“I have said it before: we either are friends, or we become it by working together. So, welcome to the tribe, THE MOTH! With three albums under their belt, all released by the fantastic brethren at This Charming Man, the members are no newbies and have honed their no-nonsense approach to sludge/metal/doom on numerous tours and gigs. Their songs are virtually void of frills, instead opting to turn out hammer heavy drums and riff ready rock ’n’ roll. As brutal as it is bewitching. With a fourth album in the making, we are thrilled to welcome THE MOTH.”

The new album by THE MOTH is under construction now. Expect a release in September 2023, with more details to post over the Summer.

Before the new album is even finished, THE MOTH has already confirmed a string of release dates including shows with Thronehammer and labelmates Treedeon with more to be posted shortly.

22/09/23 D Hamburg, Störtebecker (w/ Treedeon)
03/10/23 D Kiel, Alte Meierei (w/ Thronehammer)
04/10/23 D Hamburg, Fundbureau (w/ Thronehammer)
05/10/23 D Cologne, MTC (w/ Thronehammer)
06/10/23 D Wuerzburg, Immerhin
07/10/23 D Munich, Keep it Low Festival



The Moth, Hysteria (2017)

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Lazy Bones Festival 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Last year was the first Lazy Bones Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Put on by Sound of Liberation — which also maintains Keep it Low in Munich and Up in Smoke in Switzerland while featuring artists on their booking roster prominently at Desertfest Belgium — it’s set for Oct. 28 and if the first eight names were the entire lineup, it would be an all-dayer well worth traveling to see. Elder and King BuffaloGreenleaf and The Atomic BitchwaxSlomosaDaily Thompson, and Gnome. Any one of those bands, on their own, is a good night.

Together, they make up what is referred to below as a “first batch,” so I guess there’s more coming. I’ll keep an eye out for a second one, to be sure, because in looking at this I’m not entirely certain what else you might need. Shit, this lineup should just tour. Package touring fests have to be due for a comeback, don’t they? Put these acts on the road for a couple weeks in the summer hitting major markets and I bet the shows sell out. You could do five dates in Germany alone.

As of now, however, it’s Hamburg-only. Info follows as per the PR wire:

Lazy Bones Festival 2023 first poster


2023 will see the LAZY BONES FEST return to Hamburg, Germany, with an eclectic line-up that doubles down all expectations within the heavy stoner, psych, doom and fuzz rock scene! While the first edition of the indoor festival, presented by SOUND OF LIBERATION, was taking place in the summer of 2022 at Grünspan, LAZY BONES FEST has moved to iconic venue Markthalle in Hamburg.

A first batch of bands has just been announced, and October 28th will see the following, high class line-up rocking the stage of LAZY BONES FEST 2023:

King Buffalo
The Atomic Bitchwax
Daily Thompson

Tickets for LAZY BONES FEST are now available at:

Event page:


Elder, Innate Passage (2022)

King Buffalo, Regenerator (2022)

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Entropy Premiere “Unrelenting” Video; Death Spell EP out July 29

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Hamburg, Germany’s Entropy follow their 2020 debut album, Liminal, with the new three-song Death Spell EP on July 29 through Crazysane Records. With the arrival of “Unrelenting,” premiering below, all three of the cuts featured on the 13-minute outing have been revealed, operating as they do in coursing fashion as “Death Spell” and “Cthulhucene” bring grown-up-and-sonically-filled-out riffs to a vibe born out of post-hardcore and emo that wholly embraces a brightness of sound and melodic richness.

For songwriter Hans Frese they may be a ‘creative bridge’ from 2020’s Liminal to a second full-length as the PR wire informs below — it has no reason to lie, but that’s happened before — but the wistful lines of lead guitar that run alongside the thickened progression of “Unrelenting” offer the depth from which the rampant vocal harmonies seem to soar.

On a personal level, I am wary of nostalgia. It is a trap of the human brain that first pulls you out of the moment you’re in and then holds you in a place that has only turned perfect or better through the hindsight of your flawed memory. Be grateful for remembering it with less bullshit than there inevitably entopy death spellwas happening at the time and move on. I’m not saying don’t miss good days; just that those days don’t need to be totems to be appreciated.

And I’m sure there are nostalgic elements at play in Entropy‘s work — even the name of the band speaks to the idea of moving from order (more ideal) to chaos (presumably less ideal) — as there are in almost everything to one degree or another, but the sonic blend in which that’s taking place is refreshing in adapting weighted tonality to its own stylistic and melodic ends. So if we’re looking back as we careen through “Death Spell” and “Cthulhucene” into the landing point of “Unrelenting” — the three cuts going from shortest to longest in the process — we’re also looking forward. One assumes to the next album.

What that upcoming release might hold in terms of aural shifts from the first record — already in Death Spell, the songs are tighter generally and have less open space in their sound, but also have rounded off tonal and percussive edges to lessen the noise and up the rock — the sense here is that Entropy have found their path, their bridge, etc. Whatever they’re walking on — could be the sidewalk by the 7-Eleven for all I know; not to get too nostalgic — they seem to know where they’re going, and if the purpose of the EP is to represent their craft and general creative direction, Death Spell duly enchants with its momentum, hooks, performance, wash and vitality.

A fun bit of temporal irony that a release that in some way purports to be looking back should make you look forward to something that hasn’t yet happened, but welcome to life, which has already long since made that whole chao ab ordine shift.

Off we go. Preorder Bandcamp link and the aforementioned PR wire info follows the video below. “Death Spell” and “Cthulhucene” are streaming near the bottom of the post. You know how this works.


Entropy, “Unrelenting” video premiere

‘Death Spell’ preorders: https://entropy8.bandcamp.com/album/death-spell-ep

German noisy indie-rockers Entropy return with a freshly written EP consisting of three skillfully crafted noise rock anthems inspired by Swervedriver, Nothing and Torche. “Cthulucene” is a skatepark-banger that effortlessly accelerates the angst of adolescence to an adult existential crisis at breakneck speed, before resolving in a shimmering breakdown that sees the fragments of a perfect life floating around in slow motion.

A masterful evocation of 80s, 90s and 00s alternative rock nostalgia.

German noisy indie rockers Entropy return with an electrifying new EP consisting of three freshly written alternative rock anthems that further perfect the image of youthful nostalgia as captured by the band’s first LP. Golden hour at the skatepark, long road trips to the beach, falling in love with the feeling of being in love — Death Spell combines influences from 80s alternative punk, 90s noise rock and early 00s emo to create a convincing soundtrack that makes you fall in love with your adolescence.

A testament to the undeniable artistry of Hamburg’s Hans Frese, Death Spell was written as a creative bridge between the band’s blazing debut album and a yet-to-be released sophomore album that he already finished writing. As Frese explains: “I had written an entire album before writing these tracks, but I felt there needed to be some sort of transition between Liminal and the new stuff.” Indeed, Death Spell takes all the good vibes from the band’s debut album and pours them into a format that makes distorted guitars and fast-paced rhythms almost seem accessible.

The tempo feels effortless on high speed bangers ‘Cthulhucene’ and the album-opening title track, while the big vocal harmonies and shimmering open chord progressions of ‘Unrelenting’ form a perfect finale for this short but sweet exercise in writing summer soundtracks with noisy guitars. With great melodies and sweet harmonies that tug right at your heart, Entropy have created a perfect soundtrack for the summer.

Entropy, Death Spell (2022)

Entropy on Facebook

Entropy on Instagram

Entropy on Bandcamp

Crazysane Records website

Crazysane Records on Facebook

Crazysane Records on Bandcamp

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Lazy Bones 2022: Inaugural Edition of Hamburg-Based Festival Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

lazy bones 2022 logo

First I was like, ‘Oh damn, that day one lineup rules!’ and then I was all, ‘Oh damn, but look at day two!’ and that’s how I know this festival will be a good time. Lazy Bones, in the spirit of Up in Smoke or Keep it Cool — both in the autumn season — is a new festival helmed by the obviously-capable hands of Sound of Liberation, set to take place July 29-30 in Hamburg, Germany. And yeah, the lineup rules so far. There’s apparently more to come — I’m not sure how much more because I’m not sure how many stages there will be; figure one or two for a first-time-out kind of fest — but anytime Sound of Liberation plants a flag on a weekend and says they’re doing a festival, it’s worth paying attention.

The end of July puts Lazy Bones a respectful two weeks apart from Stoned From the Underground in Erfurt, and Hamburg is over three and a half hours by train anyhow, so not much stepping on toes there. Where it is, Lazy Bones is in a good position to catch some tours just ending and others just beginning, and I continue to look forward to a day when Europe has a different festival to offer — at least one — somewhere on the continent every weekend of the year. Think it can’t happen? I mean, it most likely won’t, but stranger crap certainly has.

Some day I will see My Sleeping Karma. This’d be a cool way to do it.

From social media:

lazy bones 2022 first poster

Lazy Bones Festival: WITCH, Colour Haze, My Sleeping Karma, King Buffalo & many more

29. & 30. JULY 2022: LAZY BONES

Friends, today we’re super excited to present you what we’ve been working on in secret lately…

Please welcome a brand new SOL Festival in the beautiful city of Hamburg: Lazy Bones!

Two days of finest stoner & psychedelic rock in the legendary „Gruenspan“ club in one of the most beautiful maritime cities.

Friday 29.07.2022
King Buffalo
Valley of the Sun
& more to be announced

Saturday 30.07.2022
Colour Haze
Wo Fat
Lucid Void
& more to be announced

Artwork by Piotr W. Osburne.


E-Tickets (Single-Day & Weekend Tickets): https://www.sol-tickets.com/

Hardtickets (Weekend Tickets): https://sol-records.com/products/lazy-bones-weekend-ticket

Join the Facebook event here: Lazy Bones Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/810419449928479/

This is gonna be a blast!
Who are you most excited for?

Grab your tickets and see you in Hamburg very soon,
Your SOL Crew


Wo Fat, The Singularity (2022)

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