Los Tayos Premiere 2LP Debut Los Tayos & Los Tayos II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 8th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

los tayos

Los Tayos are a recent formation in the expansion-prone ouevre of Páty, Hungary’s Psychedelic Source Records. And true to that label/collective’s vadmadar ethos, their debut release is actually two releases, the six-song/45-minute Los Tayos and Los Tayos II, the four songs of which play out across another 48-ish minutes. They were recorded in the same session, in the same day, by the four-piece assemblage of vocalist/keyboardist Krisztina Benus (also NepaalRiver Flows Reverse, Lemurian Folk Songs), guitarist/keyboardist Bence Ambrus (also production/mix/master, outreach for Psychedelic Source and numerous other projects and solo experiments), bassist Attila Nemesházi (who also aided in the production process, has been in Lemurian Folk Songs, etc.), and drummer/percussionist András Halmos, who has never appeared on a Psychedelic Source release to my knowledge, but has a long pedigree in jazz, folk and other styles, all of which come into play across Los Tayos and the even-jammier stretches of “Golden Grail” and the pairing “Inhale” and “Exhale” Los Tayos II.

If you read the info in blue text from Psychedelic Source about the project — with Los Tayos framed as a collective within a collective — you’ll see that over 100 minutes of material was recorded during that one-day delve, and that two full-length releases (to be issued across 3LPs) with somewhere in the neighborhood of 94 minutes’ worth of songs came out of it makes it feel like a pretty productive afternoon. But it becomes clear in listening that more effort has been put in than that.

With an acid folk spirit conveyed through Benus‘ vocals and the softer twists of guitar in “End of Illumination” or “Exhale” — on which Halmos offers a correspondingly gentle shuffle on the ride cymbal — Los Tayos weave their way through subtle thematic variations from the bluesier outset of “Bright Sorrow” and the wah-and-reverb excursion that follows accompanied by Spanish lyrics in “Sombre del Diablo” before the instrumental “Valle Gran Rey” redirects from the second track’s wash ending into a more classically progressive vibe. The underlying message is less about the stylistic variations — not that the nuances don’t matter; they just matter less than the flow that spans the entire offering — than about the fact of the songs themselves.

By which I mean they are songs. Even as “Valle Gran Rey” moves toward its percussion-laced midsection jam with a bit of a pickup in energy, the sense of a plan at work is palpable. In that particular case, the piece is given its shape in no small part thanks to Nemesházi‘s bass and Halmos‘ drums, but Ambrus‘ guitar follows a distinct pattern at least until it doesn’t (ha) and the movement into a more improv-sounding lead shimmer in the second half still holds its rhythmic foundation, while also leaning a bit on the right-into-the-verse beginning of “End of Illumination” for structural reinforcement.

That transition from “Valle Gran Rey” is gorgeous and strikes as purposeful in that, and as “End of Illumination” is the shortest single piece in Los Tayos and Los Tayos II, layered in its vocals and harnessing additional breadth with an almost Tuareg flair in the guitar, it brings into focus the manner in which the material on Los Tayos‘ first LPs seems to have been sculpted from what was captured at that original session. The inevitable editing, the laying out of vocal melodies and patterns, and the diverse but fluid shifts undertaken between and within the component tracks — which surely meld together even more on vinyl, despite the platter-flip interruptions — all of these aspects become an essential part of the listening experience, as well as part of the creativity behind it in the first place.

The self-titled portion caps by pairing the post-rock-ish liquefaction of “Closed Eyes” with the eponymous “Los Tayos,” the latter of which answers back to the grounded feel of “Bright Sorrow” in the guitar-forward balance of its mix but has its own physical motion as well, pulling together smooth turns and highlighting the conversation happening between strings and drums. These two at the end, as well as the percussive, eight-minute “Alma Ruida” that gives open-air-whispers ethereality to the start of Los Tayos II, make it worth noting just how amorphous the shapes given to the songs can be.

It might not be a surprise that an extended cut like “Golden Grail” works in some rather vast spaces of drone, float and subsurface groove, but the humanizing and persona-setting contribution of Benus‘ folkish declarations shouldn’t be underestimated, either on “Golden Grail,” “Bright Sorrow” or anywhere else in Los Tayos and Los Tayos II. A soothing organ drone emerges to give the course of “Inhale” not so much to anchor the drifting-away guitar lines as to give a tether to let them return as they will or won’t, and “Exhale” sees mouth harp added to the progression in its first half before the delay effects really take over in the midsection and carry the finale to its ending, an organic coming-apart over the last minute-plus that brings the shimmer up and then fades it out, as if to emphasize the message of Los Tayos‘ instrumental capstone salvo.

Expansive as it is, there’s no guarantee Los Tayos — as a project — will ever happen again, or if does, what form it might take. There are defined bands as part of Psychedelic Source Records, to be sure, but the fact is that any given Saturday might result in a new release as a result of some reorganization of players or maybe just whoever checked their texts that morning. I don’t know, is the bottom line. But, true to an ethic one finds in some of the most engaging heavy psychedelia, period, Los Tayos‘ duly-outside-the-box double-feature debut retains the soul and vitality of its root explorations while offering a deeper experience through applied craft.

Considering how much each player brings to Los Tayos and Los Tayos II, one hopes BenusAmbrus, Nemesházi and Halmos can do more at some point in the vast unknowable future, but even if not, these songs and the open atmosphere they present stand ready to welcome any and all adventurous enough to take them on.

If that’s you, please enjoy:

Los Tayos, Los Tayos album premiere

Los Tayos, Los Tayos II album premiere


The first idea of this collective came up about a year ago in the heads of András and Bence. Finally when we got together, we recorded more than a hundred minute-long session during one day. Later, we did a few vocal and percussion overdubs to complete, then selected the best picks for the 3LP-long set.

One part of this supergroup came from the middle-early Lemurian Folk Songs, as Attila, Krisztina and Bence did that before. András, who is one of the Hungary’s best professionally recognized multi-drummers, brought a totally different feel in the music.

Miklós Kerner (Misu Magos, trumpeter of Microdosemike) – cover art.
Ákos Karancz – band photo.
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Attila & Bence.

‘Los Tayos’ tracklisting:
1. Bright Sorrow (9:02)
2. Sombre del Diablo (6:11)
3. Valle Gran Rey (8:11)
4. End of Illumination (4:52)
5. Closed Eyes (10:22)
6. Los Tayos (7:09)

‘Los Tayos II’ tracklisting:
1. Alma Ruida (8:00)
2. Golden Grail (16:12)
3. Inhale (10:59)
4. Exhale (13:23)

Los Tayos:
András Halmos – drums, percussion
Attila Nemesházi – bass
Krisztina Benus – vocal, keys
Bence Ambrus – guitar, producing, lyrics

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Quarterly Review: The Howling Eye, Avi C. Engel, Suns of the Tundra, Natskygge, Last Giant, Moonstone, Sonic Demon, From the Ages, Astral Magic, Green Inferno

Posted in Reviews on July 20th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Been a trip so far, has this Quarterly Review. It’s been fun to bounce from one thing to the next, drawing imaginary lines between releases that have nothing more to do with each other than being written up on the same day, and seeing the way the mind reels in adjusting from talking about one thing to the next. It’s a different kind of challenge to write 150-200 words (and often more than that; these reviews are getting too long) about a record than 1,000 words.

Less room to make your argument means you need to say what you want to say how you want to say it and punch out. If you’ve read this site with any regularity over the last however many years, or perhaps if you’re reading this very sentence right now, right here, you might guess that such efficiency isn’t a strong suit. This assessment would be correct. Fact is I suck at any number of things. A growing list.

But we’ve made it to Thursday anyhow and today this 70-record Quarterly Review passes its halfway point, and that’s always a fun thing to mark. If you’ve been digging it, I hope you continue to do so. If nothing’s hit, maybe today. If this is the first you’re seeing of any of it, well, that’s fine too. We’re all friends here. You can go back and dig in or not, as you prefer. I’ll keep going either way. Speaking of…

Quarterly Review #31-40:

The Howling Eye, List Do Borykan

The Howling Eye List Do Borykan

I don’t often say things like this, but List Do Borykan is worth it for the opening jam of “Space Dwellers, Episode 1.” That does not mean that song’s languid flow, silly stoned space-adventure spoken word narrative, and flashes of dub and psych and so on, are all that Poland’s The Howling Eye have to offer on their third full-length. It’s not. The prior single “Medival” (sic) has a thoughtful arrangement led by post-Claypool funky bass and surf-style guitar, which are swapped out for hard-riff cacophony metal in the second half of the song’s 3:35 run. That pairing sets up a back and forth between longer jams and more structured material, but it’s all pretty out there when you hear the seven song/44 minutes of the entire record, as the 10-minute “Brothers” builds from silence to organ-laced classic rock testimony and then draws itself down to let the funkier/rolling (depending on which part you’re talking about) “Space Dwellers, Episode 2” provide a swaying melodic highlight, and “Caverns” drones into jazz minimalism for nine minutes before “Space Dwellers, Episode 3” goes full-on over-the-top 92-second dance party. Finally. That leaves the closer, “Johnny,” as the landing spot where the back and forth jams/songs trades end, and they’re due a jam and provide one, but “Johnny” also follows on theme from “Space Dwellers, Episode 3” and the start of “Medival” and other funk-psych stretches, so summarizes List Do Borykan well. Again, worth it for the first song, but is much more than just that as a listening experience.

The Howling Eye on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Galactic Smokehouse store


Avi C. Engel, Sanguinaria

Clara Engel Sanguinaria

Toronto-based folk experimentalist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Avi C. Engel starts off the 10-song Sanguinaria with the first of its headphone-ready arrangements “Sing in Our Chains” assessing modernity and realizing, “We were better off in the trees.” In addition to Engel‘s actual voice, which is well capable of carrying records on its own, with a distinctive character, part soft and breathy in delivery but resilient with a kind of bruised grace and, as time goes on, grown more adventurous. In “Poisonous Fruit” and “The Snake in the Mirror,” folk, soul and organically-cast sprawl unfold, and where “A Silver Thread” brings in electric guitar and lap steel, “Deathless” — the longest cut at 6:33, arriving paired with the subsequent, textural “I Died Again” — is sparse at first but builds around whatever stringed instrument Engel (slow talharpa?) is playing and Paul Kolinski‘s banjo, standout vocal harmonies and a subdued keeping of rhythm. Along with Kolinski, Brad Deschamps adds lap steel to the opener and the more-forward-in-percussion “Extasis Boogie,” which is listed as an interlude but nearly five minutes long, and Lys Guillorn contributes lap steel to “A Silver Thread,” with all due landscape manifestation. Sad, complex, and beautiful, the 52-minute long-player isn’t a minor undertaking on any level, and “Personne” and the penultimate “Bridge Behind the Sun” emphasize the point of intricacy before the looping “Larvae” masterfully crafts its resonance across the last six minutes of the album.

Avi C. Engel on Facebook

Avi C. Engel on Bandcamp


Suns of the Tundra, The Only Equation

suns of the tundra the only equation

Begun in 1993 as Peach, London heavy prog rockers Suns of the Tundra celebrate 30 years with the encompassing hour-long The Only Equation, their fifth album, which brings back past members of the band, has a few songs with two drummers, and is wildly sprawling across 10 still-accessible tracks that shimmer with purpose and melody. The title-track seems to harken to a ’90s push, but the twisting and volume-surging back half stave redundancy ahead of the patient drama in the 10-minute “The Rot,” which follows. On the other side of the metal-leaning “Run Boy Run,” with its big, open, floating, thudding finish representing something Suns of the Tundra do very well throughout, the three-part cycle of “Reach for the Inbetween” could probably just as easily have been one 15-minute cut, but is more palatable as three, and loses nothing of its fluidity for it, the build in the third piece giving due payoff before “The Window is Wide” caps in deceptively hooky style. Whether one approaches it with the context of their decades or not, The Only Equation is deeply welcoming. And no, its proggy prog progness won’t resonate universally, but nothing does, and that doesn’t matter anyhow. Without giving up who they are creatively, Suns of the Tundra have made it as easy as they can for one to get on board. The rest is on the listener.

Suns of the Tundra on Facebook

Bad Elephant Music on Bandcamp


Natskygge, Eskapisme

Natskygge Eskapisme

Natskygge sneak a little “Paranoid” into “Delir,” the instrumental opener/longest track (immediate points) of their second album, Eskapisme, and that’s just fine as dogwhistles go. The Danish classic psych rockers made a well-received self-titled debut in 2020 and look to expand on that outing’s classic vibe with this 34-minute eight-tracker, which is rife with creative ambition in the slower “Lys på vej” and the piano-laced “Fjern planet,” which follows, as well as in a mover/shaker like “Titusind år,” the compact three-minute strutter “Frit fald” or what might be the side B leadoff “Feberdrøm” with its circa-1999 Brant Bjork casual groove and warm fuzz, purposefully veering into psychedelia in a way that feels like a preface for the closing duo “Livet brænder,” an organ/keyboard flourish, grounded verse and airy swirls over top leading smoothly into the likewise-peppered but acoustically-based “Den der sidst gik ud,” which conveys patience without giving up the momentum the band has amassed up to that point. I’ll note that my ignorance of the Danish language doesn’t feel like it’s holding me back as “Fjern planet” holds forth its lush melancholy or “Titusind år” signals the band’s affinity for krautrock. Not quite vintage in production, but not too far off, Eskapisme feels like it was made to be lived with, the songs engaged over a period of years, and I look forward to revisiting accordingly.

Natskygge on Facebook

Kozmik Artifactz store


Last Giant, Monuments

last giant monuments

Portland’s Last Giant reportedly had a bit of a time recording their fourth long-player, Monuments, in a months-long process involving multiple studios and a handful of producers, among them Adam Pike (Holy Grove, Young Hunter, Red Fang, Mammoth Salmon, etc.) recording basic tracks, Paul Malinowski (Shiner, Open Hand) mixing and three different rounds of mastering. Complicated. Working as the three-piece of founder, principal songwriter, guitarist and vocalist RFK Heise (ex-System and Station), bassist Palmer Cloud and drummer Matt Wiles — it was just Heise and Wiles on 2020’s Let the End Begin (review here) — the band effectively fill in whatever cracks may have been apparent to them in the finished product, and the 10-track/39-minute offering is pop-informed as all their output to-date has been and loaded with heart. Also a bit of trumpet on “Saviors.” There’s swagger in “Blue” and “Hell on Burnside,” and “Feels Like Water” is about as weighted and brash as I’ve heard Last Giant get — a fun contrast to the acoustic “Lost and Losing,” which closes — but wherever a given track ends up, it is deftly guided there by Heise‘s sure hand. Sounds like it was much easier to make than apparently it was.

Last Giant on Facebook

Last Giant on Bandcamp


Moonstone, Growth

moonstone growth

Growth is either the second or third full-length from Polish heavy psych doomers Moonstone depending on what you count, but by the time you’re about three minutes into the 7:47 of second cut “Bloom” after the gets-loud-at-the-end-anyway atmospheric intro “Harvest” — which establishes an undercurrent of metal that the rest of the six-song/36-minute LP holds even in its quietest parts — ordinal numbering won’t matter anyway. “Bloom” and “Sun” (8:02), which follows, are the longest pieces on Growth, and that in itself speaks to the band stripping back some of their jammier impulses as compared to, say, late 2021’s two-song 12″ 1904 (discussed here), but while the individual tracks may be shorter, they give up nothing as regards largesse of tone or the spaces the band inhabit in the material. Flowing and doomed, “Sun” ends side A and gives over to the extra-bass-punch meditativeness of “Night,” the guitar building in the second half to solo for the payoff, while the six-minutes-each “Lust” and “Emerald” filter Electric Wizard haze and the proggy volume trades of countrymen like Spaceslug, respectively, close with due affirmation of purpose in big tone, big groove, and a noteworthy dark streak that may yet come to the fore of their approach.

Moonstone on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Galactic Smokehouse store


Sonic Demon, Veterans of the Psychic War

Sonic Demon Veterans of the Psychic War

It’s not quite the centerpiece, but in terms of the general perspective on the world of the record from which it comes, there’s little arguing with Sonic Demon‘s “F.O.A.D.” as the declarative statement on Veterans of the Psychic War. As with Norway’s Darkthrone, who released an LP titled F.O.A.D. in 2007, Sonic Demon‘s “F.O.A.D.” stands for ‘fuck off and die,’ and that seems to be the central ethic they’re working from. Like most of what surrounds on the Italian duo’s follow-up to 2021’s Vendetta (review here), “F.O.A.D.” is coated in tonal dirt, a nastiness of buzz in line with the stated mentality making songs like swinging opener “Electric Demon” and “Lucifer’s the Light,” which follows, raw even by post-Uncle Acid garage doom standards. There are moments of letup, as in the wah-swirling second half of “The Black Pill,” a bit of psych bookending in “Wolfblood,” or the penultimate (probably thankfully) instrumental “Sexmagick Nights,” but the forward drive in “The Gates” highlights the point of Sonic Demon hand-drilling their riffs into the listener’s skull, and the actually-stoned-sounding groove of closer “To Hell and Back” seems pleased to bask in the filth the album has wrought.

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Sonic Demon on Bandcamp


From the Ages, II

from the ages ii

If you’re taking on From the Ages‘ deceptively-titled first full-length, II — the trio of guitarist Paul Dudziak, bassist Sean Fredrich and drummer David Tucker issued their I EP in 2021, so this is their second release overall — it is perhaps useful to know that the only inclusion with vocals is opener/longest track (immediate points) “Harbinger.” An automatic focal point for that, for its transposed Sleep influence, and for being about four minutes longer than anything else on the album, it draws well together with the five sans-vox cuts that follow, with an exploratory sensibility in its jam that feels like it may be from whence a clearly-plotted song like “Maelstrom” or the lumbering volume trades of “Tenebrous” originate. Full in tone and present in the noisy slog and pre-midpoint drift of “Epoch” as well as Dudziak‘s verses in “Harbinger,” From the Ages seem willful in their intention to try out different ideas, whether that’s the winding woe of “Obsolescence” or the acoustilectric standalone guitar of closer “Providence,” and while that can make the listener less sure of where their development might take them in stylistic terms, that only results in their being more exciting to hear in the now.

From the Ages on Facebook

From the Ages on Bandcamp


Astral Magic, Cosmic Energy Flow

astral magic cosmic energy flow

Not only is Astral Magic‘s Cosmic Energy Flow — released in May of this year — not the first outing from the Finnish space rock outfit led by project founder and spearhead Santtu Laakso in 2023, it’s the eighth. And that doesn’t include the demo short release with a live band. It’s also not the latest Astral Magic about two months after the fact, as Laakso and company have put out two full-lengths since. Unrealistic as this level of productivity is — surely the work of dimensional timeporting — and already-out-of-date as the eight-song/42-minute LP might be, it also brings Laakso into collaboration with the late Nik Turner of Hawkwind, who plays sax on the opening title-track, as well as guitarists Ilya Lipkin of Russia’s The Re-Stoned and Stefan Olesinski (Nuns on Napalm), and vocalists Christina Poupoutsi (The Higher Craft, The Meads of Asphodel, etc.) and Kev Ellis (Dubbal, Heliotrope, etc.), and where one might think so many personnel shifts around Laakso‘s synth-forward basic tracks would result in a disjointed offering, well, anything can happen in space and when you throw open doors in such a way, expectations broaden accordingly. Maybe it’s just one thing on the way to the next, maybe it’s the record with Nik Turner. Either way, Astral Magic move inextricably deeper into the known and unknown cosmos.

Astral Magic on Facebook

Astral Magic on Bandcamp


Green Inferno, Trace the Veins

Green Inferno Trace the Veins

Until the solo hits in the second half of “The Barrens,” you almost don’t realize how much space there is in the mix on Green Inferno‘s Trace the Veins. The New Jersey trio like it dank and deathly as they answer the rawness of their 2019 demo with the six Esben Willems-mastered tracks of their first album, porting over “Spellcaster” and “Unearth the Tombs” to rest in the same mud as malevolent plodders like “Carried to the Pit” and the penultimate “Vultures,” which adds higher-register screaming to the already-established low growls — I doubt it’s actually an influence, but I’m reminded of Amorphis circa Elegy — that give the whole outing such an extreme persona if the guitar and bass tones weren’t already taking care of it. The tortured feel there carries into closer “Crown the Virgin” as the three-piece attempt to stomp their own riffs into oblivion along with everything else, and one can only hope they get there. New songs or the two older tracks, doesn’t matter. At any angle you might choose, Green Inferno are slow-churned extreme sludge, death-sludge if you want, fully stoned, drenched in murk, disillusioned, misanthropic. It’s the sound of looking at the world around you and deciding it’s not worth saving. Did I mention stoned? Good.

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Quarterly Review: ISAAK, Iron Void, Dread Witch, Tidal Wave, Guided Meditation Doomjazz, Cancervo, Dirge, Witch Ripper, Pelegrin, Black Sky Giant

Posted in Reviews on April 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Welcome to the Spring 2023 Quarterly Review. Between today and next Tuesday, a total of 70 records will be covered with a follow-up week slated for May bringing that to 120. Rest assured, it’ll be plenty. If you’re reading this, I feel safe assuming you know the deal: 10 albums per day from front to back, ranging in style, geography, type of release — album, EP, singles even, etc. — and the level of hype and profile surrounding. The Quarterly Review is always a massive undertaking, but I’ve never done one and regretted it later, and looking at what’s coming up across the next seven days, there are more than few records featured that are already on my ongoing best of 2023 list. So please, keep an eye and ear out, and hopefully you’ll also find something new that speaks to you.

We begin.

Quarterly Review #1-10:


isaak hey

Last heard from as regards LPs with 2015’s Serominize (review here) and marking 10 years since their 2013 debut under the name, The Longer the Beard the Harder the Sound (review here), Genoa-based heavy rockers ISAAK return with the simply-titled Hey and encapsulate the heads-up fuzz energy that’s always been at the core of their approach. Vocalist Giacomo H. Boeddu has hints of Danzig in “OBG” and the swing-shoving “Sleepwalker” later on, but whether it’s the centerpiece Wipers cover “Over the Edge,” the rolling “Dormhouse” that follows, or the melodic highlight “Rotten” that precedes, the entire band feel cohesive and mature in their purposeful songwriting. They’re labelmates and sonic kin to Texas’ Duel, but less bombastic, with a knife infomercial opening their awaited third record before the title-track and “OBG” begin to build the momentum that carries the band through their varied material, spacious on “Except,” consuming in the apex of “Fake it Till You Make It,” but engaging throughout in groove and structure.

ISAAK on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp


Iron Void, IV


With doom in their collective heart and riffs to spare, UK doom metal traditionalists Iron Void roll out a weighted 44 minutes across the nine songs of their fourth full-length, IV, seeming to rail against pandemic-era restrictions in “Grave Dance” and tech culture in “Slave One” while “Pandora’s Box” rocks out Sabbathian amid the sundry anxieties of our age. Iron Void have been around for 25 years as of 2023 — like a British Orodruin or trad-doom more generally, they’ve been undervalued for most of that time — and their songwriting earns the judgmental crankiness of its perspective, but each half of the LP gets a rousing closer in “Blind Dead” and “Last Rites,” and Iron Void doom out like there’s no tomorrow even on the airier “She” because, as we’ve seen in the varying apocalypses since the band put out 2018’s Excalibur (review here), there might not be. So much the better to dive into the hook of “Living on the Earth” or the grittier “Lords of the Wasteland,” the metal-of-yore sensibility tapping into early NWOBHM without going full-Maiden. Kind of a mixed bag, it might take a few listens to sink in, but IV shows the enduring strengths of Iron Void and is clearly meant more for those repeat visits than some kind of cloying immediacy. An album to be lived with and doomed with.

Iron Void on Facebook

Shadow Kingdom Records website


Dread Witch, Tower of the Severed Serpent

Dread Witch Tower of the Severed Serpent

An offering of thickened, massive lava-flow sludge, plodding doom and atmospheric severity, Dread Witch‘s self-released (not for long, one suspects) first long-player, Tower of the Severed Serpent, announces a significant arrival on the part of the onslaught-prone Danish outfit, who recorded as a trio, play live as a five-piece and likely need at least that many people to convey the density of a song like the opener/longest track (immediate points) “The Tower,” the eight minutes of which are emblematic of the force of execution with which the band delivers the rest of what follows, runtimes situated longest to shortest across the near-caustic chug of “Serpent God,” the Celtic Frost-y declarations and mega-riff ethos of “Leech,” the play between key-led minimalism and all-out stomp on “Wormtongue” and the earlier-feeling noise intensity of “Into the Crypt” before the more purely ambient but still heavy instrumental “Severed” wraps, conveying weight of emotion to complement the tonal tectonics prior. Bordering on the extreme and clearly enjoying the crush that doing so affords them, Dread Witch make more of a crater than an impression and would be outright barbaric were their sound not so methodical in immersing the audience. Pro sound, loaded with potential, heavy as shit; these are the makings of a welcome debut.

Dread Witch on Facebook

Dread Witch on Bandcamp


Tidal Wave, The Lord Knows

Tidal Wave the lord knows

Next-generation heavy fuzz purveyed with particular glee, Tidal Wave seem to explore the very reaches they conjure through verses and choruses on their eight-song Ripple Music label debut (second LP overall behind 2019’s Blueberry Muffin), The Lord Knows, and they make the going fun throughout the 41-minute outing, finding the shuffle in the shove of “Robbero Bobbero” while honing classic desert idolatry on “Lizard King” and “End of the Line” at the outset. What a relief it is to know that heavy rock and roll won’t die with the aging-out of so many of its Gen-X and Millennial purveyors, and as Tidal Wave step forward with the low-end semi-metal roll of “Pentagram” and the grander spaces of “By Order of the King” before “Purple Bird” returns to the sands and “Thorsakir” meets that on an open field of battle, it seems the last word has not been said on Tidal Wave in terms of aesthetic. They’ve got time to continue to push deeper into their craft — and maybe that will or won’t result in their settling on one path or another — but the range of moods on The Lord Knows suits them well, and without pretense or overblown ceremony the Sundsvall four-piece bring together elements of classic heavy rock and metal while claiming a persona that can move back and forth between them. Kind of the ideal for a younger band.

Tidal Wave on Facebook

Ripple Music on Bandcamp


Guided Meditation Doomjazz, Expect

Guided Meditation Doomjazz Expect

Persistently weird in the mold of Arthur Brown with unpredictability as a defining feature, Guided Meditation Doomjazz may mostly be a cathartic salve for founding bassist, vocalist, experimentalist, etc.-ist Blaise the Seeker, but that hardly makes the expression any less valid. Expect arrives as a five-song EP, ready to meander in the take-the-moniker-literally “Collapse in Dignity” and the fuzz-drenched slow-plod finisher “Sit in Surrender” — watery psychedelic guitar weaving overhead like a cloud you can reshape with your mind — that devolves into drone and noise, but not unstructured and not without intention behind even its most out-there moments. The bluesy sway of “The Mind is Divided” follows the howling scene-setting of the titular opener, while “Stream of Crystal Water” narrates its verse over crunchier riffing before the sung chorus-of-sorts, the overarching dug-in sensibility conveying some essence of what seems despite a prolific spate of releases to be an experience intended for a live setting, with all the one-on-one mind-expansion and arthouse performance that inevitably coincides with it. Still, with a rough-feeling production, Expect carries a breadth that makes communing with it that much easier. Go on, dare to get lost for a little while. See where you end up.

Guided Meditation Doomjazz on Facebook

The Swamp Records on Bandcamp


Cancervo, II

Cancervo II

II is the vocalized follow-up to Cancervo‘s 2021 debut, 1 (review here), and finds the formerly-instrumental Lombardy, Italy, three-piece delving further into the doomed aspects of the initial offering with a greater clarity on “Arera,” “Herdsman of Grem” and “The Cult of Armentarga,” letting some of the psychedelia of the first record go while maintaining enough of an atmosphere to be hypnotic as the vocals follow the marching rhythm as the latter track moves into its midsection or the rhythmic chains in the subsequent “Devil’s Coffin” (an instrumental) lock step with the snare in a floating, loosely-Eastern-scaled break before the bigger-sounding end. Between “Devil’s Coffin” and the feedback-prone also-instrumental “Zambla” ahead of 8:43 closer “Zambel’s Goat” — on which the vocals return in a first-half of subdued guitar-led doomjamming prior to the burst moment at 4:49 — II goes deeper as it plays through and is made whole by its meditative feel, some semblance of head-trip cult doom running alongside, but if it’s a cult it’s one with its own mythology. Not where one expected them to go after 1, but that’s what makes it exciting, and that they lay claim to arrangement flourish, chanting vocals and slogging tempos as they do bodes well for future exploration.

Cancervo on Facebook

Electric Valley Records website


Dirge, Dirge

Dirge Dirge

So heavy it crashed my laptop. Twice. The second full-length from Mumbai post-metallers Dirge is a self-titled four-songer that culls psychedelia from tonal tectonics, not contrasting the two but finding depth in the ways they can interact. Mixed by Sanford Parker, the longer-form pieces comprise a single entirety without seeming to have been written as one long track, the harsh vocals of Tabish Khidir adding urgency to the guitar work of Ashish Dharkar and Varun Patil (the latter also backing vocals) as bassist Harshad Bhagwat and drummer Aryaman Chatterji underscore and punctuate the chugging procession of opener “Condemned” that’s offset if not countermanded by its quieter stretch. If you’re looking for your “Stones From the Sky”-moment as regards riffing, it’s in the 12-minute second cut, “Malignant,” the bleak triumph of which spills over in scream-topped angularity into “Grief” (despite a stop) while the latter feels all the more massive for its comedown moments. In another context, closer “Hollow” might be funeral doom, but it’s gorgeous either way, and it fits with the other three tracks in terms of its interior claustrophobia and thoughtful aggression. They’re largely playing toward genre tenets, but Dirge‘s gravity in doing so is undeniable, and the space they create is likewise dark and inviting, if not for my own tech.

Dirge on Facebook

Dirge store


Witch Ripper, The Flight After the Fall

Witch Ripper The Flight after the Fall

Witch Ripper‘s sophomore LP and Magnetic Eye label-debut, The Flight After the Fall, touches on anthemic prog rock and metal with heavy-toned flourish and plenty of righteous burl in cuts like “Madness and Ritual Solitude” and the early verses of “The Obsidian Forge,” though the can-sing vocals of guitarists Chad Fox and Curtis Parker and bassist Brian Kim — drummer Joe Eck doesn’t get a mic but has plenty to do anyhow — are able to push that centerpiece and the rest of what surrounds over into the epic at a measure’s notice. Or not, which only makes Witch Ripper more dynamic en route to the 16:45 sprawling finish of “Everlasting in Retrograde Parts 1 and 2,” picking up from the lyrics of the leadoff “Enter the Loop” to put emphasis on the considered nature of the release as a whole, which is a showcase of ambition in songwriting as much as performance of said songs, conceptual reach and moments of sheer pummel. It’s been well hyped, and by the time “Icarus Equation” soars into its last chorus without its wings melting, it’s easy to hear why in the fullness of its progressive heft and melodic theatricality. It’s not a minor undertaking at 47 minutes, but it wouldn’t be a minor undertaking if it was half that, given the vastness of Witch Ripper‘s sound. Be ready to travel with it.

Witch Ripper on Facebook

Magnetic Eye Records store


Pelegrin, Ways of Avicenna

Pelegrin Ways of Avicenna

In stated narrative conversation with the Arabic influence on Spanish and greater Western European (read: white) culture, specifically in this case as regards the work of Persian philosopher Ibn Sina, Parisian self-releasing three-piece Pelegrin follow-up 2019’s Al-Mahruqa (review here) with the expansive six songs of Ways of Avicenna, with guitarist/vocalist François Roze de Gracia, bassist/backing vocalist Jason Recoing and drummer/percussionist Antoine Ebel working decisively to create a feeling of space not so much in terms of the actual band in the room, but of an ancient night sky on songs like “Madrassa” and the rolling heavy prog solo drama of the later “Mystical Appear,” shades of doom and psychedelia pervasive around the central riff-led constructions, the folkish middles of “Thunderstorm” and “Reach for the Sun” and the acoustic two-minute “Disgrace” a preface to the patient manner in which the trio feel their way into the final build of closer “Forsaken Land.” I’m neither a historical scholar nor a philosopher, and thankfully the album doesn’t require you to be, but Pelegrin could so easily tip over into the kind of cartoonish cultural appropriation that one finds among certain other sects of European psychedelia, and they simply don’t. Whether the music speaks to you or not, appreciate that.

Pelegrin on Facebook

Pelegrin on Bandcamp


Black Sky Giant, Primigenian

Black Sky Giant Primigenian

Lush but not overblown, Argentinian instrumentalists Black Sky Giant fluidly and gorgeously bring together psychedelia and post-rock on their third album, Primigenian, distinguishing their six-song/31-minute brevity with an overarching progressive style that brings an evocative feel whether it’s to the guitar solos in “At the Gates” or the subsequent kick propulsion of “Stardust” — which does seem to have singing, though one can barely make out what if anything is actually being said — as from the denser tonality of the opening title-track, they go on to unfurl the spiritual-uplift of “The Great Hall,” fading into a cosmic boogie on the relatively brief “Sonic Thoughts” as they, like so many, would seem to have encountered SLIFT‘s Ummon sometime in the last two years. Doesn’t matter; it’s just a piece of the puzzle here and the shortest track, sitting as it does on the precipice of capper “The Foundational Found Tapes,” which plays out like amalgamated parts of what might’ve been other works, intermittently drummed and universally ambient, as though to point out the inherently incomplete nature of human-written histories. They fade out that last piece after seeming to put said tapes into a player of some sort (vague samples surrounding) and ending with an especially dream-toned movement. I wouldn’t dare speculate what it all means, but I think we might be the ancient progenitors in question. Fair enough. If this is what’s found by whatever species is next dominant on this planet — I hope they do better at it than humans have — we could do far worse for representation.

Black Sky Giant on Facebook

Black Sky Giant on Bandcamp


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The Grand Mal Stream The Grand Mal II in Full; Out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 2nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the grand mal five piece

Oxford heavy rockers The Grand Mal issue their second album, The Grand Mal II — or simply II, since you’ll be on friendly terms with it soon enough — on Nov. 4 through APF Records. The reshuffling of personnel from other bands, which actually took place before the pandemic hit, brings together drummer Elliot Cole and guitarist Ryan Cole (both also of Wall and Desert Storm) and Möther Cörona‘s vocalist Dave-O, bassist Rob Glenn, and for this record, guitarist Lee Cressey as well, rounding out a desert-style double-guitar five-piece cramming 12 songs into 36 minutes that still give a sense of composition along with energy both stage-born and stage-ready.

The obvious influences at play are Cali desert. Following the synthy-feedbacky-thudding intro “Another Replicant,” “Petit Mal” takes off like Oliveri-penned Queens of the Stone Age, and a Lullabies to Paralyze-ish vocal melody and acoustic guitar — almost like a Mark Lanegan tribute — plays out in the later interlude “Lost in Time” as well, but amid the Kyuss-ism of “I Live for Today” and the Dave-O‘s calling to mind mellowed-out John Garcia circa Hermano in “Shallow” and “Seas of Glory,” the latter with a riff that feels particularly Orange Goblin‘ed, coming out of the handclap guitar/drone raga of “The Lingering” (the record’s by no means all desert, aesthetically), but whether it’s the fuzz shove of “Shallow” or the funky stoner strut of “Rule My Soul,” done faster in “Hellbound Blues,” there’s a strong current of Dutch heavy rockers Astrosoniq.

I don’t think that’s a direct influence — it’s certainly not impossible — but it is kind of where The Grand Mal end up. Like their preceding 2019 self-titled debut (discussed here), II is a deceptively varied listen. “Another Replicant” hints toward some of the reach that will follow, but the hooks across side A in “Petit Mal,” “Shallow,” “I Live for Today,” “Rule My Soul” and “Smash the Grave” have a grounding effect even as they space out with sundry swirls, tempo shifts, and other quirky odds and ends. Some lap steel guitarthe grand mal ii before the falsetto finish in “Rule My Soul.” The thicker roll of “Shallow” that still has room for tambourine to dance. On and on, the more one listens, the more The Grand Mal‘s depth of craft shows itself, and that’s very much in an Astrosoniq spirit, experimenting on a foundation of strongly composed heavy rock and roll inspired by ’90s and ’00s forerunners of the style that’s not afraid to bring something of its own to the mix, or to have a good time. There are far worse bands one could happen into sounding like; for example, most.

If one considers vinyl structure, then “Lost in Time” (found you right around 2005) is an intro for side B, which branches out in alternating more straightforward pieces with interludes, such that the rush of “Hellbound Blues” that resolves in the nodder chug of the song’s second half is complemented by the ’60s folk-psych of “The Lingering,” loops and samples courtesy of producer Jimmy Hetherington adding to the laid back ceremonial vibe, from which “Seas of Glory” picks up like it was Made in Oss with the fuzzy lead tucked into the finish to prove it. The back-and-forth flow, a purposeful shift from where The Grand Mal were on side A, is maintained as the penultimate guitar-led instrumental piece “Empire of Vultures” leads into capper “Bloodmoon,” which ties it all together in an electric-backed acoustic-up-front epilogue, creatively percussed and a final showcase of breadth that stands as analog for II ideologically — that is, it emphasizes the adventure that’s just taken place, rather than summarizes the sound, which would likely take more than its three and a half minutes anyhow.

The growth from the first record is likewise palpable here, and while The Grand Mal aren’t necessarily the first act to come along and make something of their own from their component influences, they do so with a marked attention to presentation and toward making each track hit with an impact of its own while feeding the overarching flow of the record as well. It’s classic heavy methodology, but as in the best case scenarios, they bring something of their own to it, too. More here than the first record, and probably more next time too. That’s how this shit works, ideally. The Grand Mal II lives up to that ideal and establishes the band as formidable songwriters as well as a group of dudes who clearly have their heads on straight when it comes to knowing what they want to sound like.

Most of all, it’s a rocker, so get to rockin’. PR wire info follows the album stream on the player below.

Please enjoy:

The Grand Mal are essentially Oxford royalty. A coming together of five of the city’s favourite sons, in the form of Desert Storm’s twin brothers Ryan (guitar) and Elliot Cole (drums), as well as Möther Cörona’s Rob Glenn (bass), Lee Cressey (guitar) and Dave-O (vocals), this is a band you should definitely already be interested in from that fact alone.

Formed in 2015 and having already honed their chops in their other bands, it was always a no brainer that they should find a place at APF Records given their individual pedigrees; so after hearing their tracks put to record, the band signed to APF in 2018.

Their self-titled debut, October 2019’s The Grand Mal [APF021], leant into grunge, whilst maintaining elements of the sludge, southern and stoner that have become staples of Desert Storm and Mother Corona’s output. Following the album’s release The Grand Mal would play live all over the UK, both on a 10-date headline tour and as support to Conjurer, Evil Scarecrow, Sergeant Thunderhoof, Tuskar, Dead Lettuce, The Brothers Keg, Alunah, Desert Storm, Limb, and many others.

1. Another Replicant
2. Petit Mal
3. Shallow
4. I Live For Today
5. Rule My Soul
6. Smash The Grave
7. Lost In Time
8. Hellbound Blues
9. The Lingering
10. Seas of Glory
11. Empire of Vultures
12. Bloodmoon

In support of the album release The Grand Mal will be performing at:

04.11.22 | UK | Oxford | Rabidfest w/ Discharge & Desert Storm
19.11.22 | UK | Stafford | Red Rum
10.12.22 | UK | London | The Devonshire Arms
12.02.22 | UK | Cardiff | The Moon
13.01.23 | UK | London | Helgi’s
14.01.23 | UK | Rotherham | The Hive
15.01.23 | UK | Nottingham | Tap n Tumblr
03.03.23 | UK | Bournemouth | The Bear Cave

Recorded and mixed at Shonk Studios January to July 2021 by Jimmy Hetherington. Mastered by Jimmy Hetherington at Warehouse Studios August 2022. Art layout by Dominic Sohor.

The Grand Mal is:
Dave-O – vocals, tambourine, keys
Ryan Cole – guitars, acoustic guitar on Lost In Time
Elliot Cole – drums, percussion
Rob Glen – bass
Lee Cressey – guitars, acoustic guitar on Bloodmoon

Jimmy Hetherington – additional lapsteel on Rule My Soul; handclaps, loops and samples on The Lingering; mellotron on Lost in Time, guitar on Bloodmoon. Additional backing vocals by Ryan Cole and Lee Cressey.

The Grand Mal on Instagram

The Grand Mal on Facebook

The Grand Mal store

The Grand Mal on Bandcamp

APF Records on Instagram

APF Records on Facebook

APF Records store

APF Records on Bandcamp

APF Records website

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Quarterly Review: MWWB, Righteous Fool, Seven Nines and Tens, T.G. Olson, Freebase Hyperspace, Melt Motif, Tenebra, Doom Lab, White Fuzzy Bloodbath, Secret Iris

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2022 by JJ Koczan


I don’t know what day it is. The holiday here in the States has me all screwed up. I know it’s not the weekend anymore because I’m posting today, but really, if this is for Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m kind of at a loss. What I do know is that it’s 10 more records, and some quick math at the “71-80” below — which, yes, I put there ahead of time when I set up the back end of these posts so hopefully I don’t screw it up; it’s a whole fucking process; never ask me about it unless you want to be so bored at by the telling that your eyeballs explode — tells me today Wednesday, so I guess I figured it out. Hoo-ray.

Three quarters of the way through, which feels reasonably fancy. And today’s a good one, too. I hope as always that you find something you dig. Now that I know what day it is, I’m ready to start.

Quarterly Review #71-80:

MWWB, The Harvest

MWWB The Harvest

It’s difficult to separate MWWB‘s The Harvest from the fact that it might be the Welsh act’s final release, as frontwoman Jessica Ball explained here. Their synth-laced cosmic doom certainly deserves to keep going if it can, but on the chance not, The Harvest suitably reaps the fruit of the progression the band began to undertake with 2015’s Nachthexen (review here), their songs spacious despite the weight of their tones and atmospheric even at their most dense. Proggy instrumental explorations like “Let’s Send These Bastards Whence They Came” and “Interstellar Wrecking” and the semi-industrial, vocals-also-part-of-the-ambience “Betrayal” surround the largesse of the title-track, “Logic Bomb,” the especially lumbering “Strontium,” and so on, and “Moon Rise” caps with four and a half minutes of voice-over-guitar-and-keys atmospherics, managing to be heavy even without any of the usual trappings thereof. If this is it, what a run they had, both when they were Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and with this as their potential swansong.

MWWB on Facebook

New Heavy Sounds website


Righteous Fool, Righteous Fool

Righteous Fool Righteous Fool

Look. Maybe it’s a fan-piece, but screw it, I’m a fan. And as someone who liked the second run of Corrosion of Conformity‘s Animosity-era lineup, this previously-unreleased LP from the three-piece that included C.O.C. bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and drummer/vocalist Reed Mullin (R.I.P.), as well as guitarist/vocalist Jason Browning, is only welcome. I remember when they put out the single on Southern Lord in 2010, you couldn’t really get a sense of what the band was about, but there’s so much groove in these songs — I’m looking right at you, “Hard Time Killing Floor” — that it’s that much more of a bummer the three-piece didn’t do anything else. Of course, Mullin rejoining Dean in C.O.C. wasn’t a hardship either, but especially in the aftermath of his death last year, it’s bittersweet to hear his performances on these songs and a collection of tracks that have lost none of their edge for the decade-plus they’ve sat on a shelf or hard drive somewhere. Call it a footnote if you want, but the songs stand on their own merits, and if you’re going to tell me you’ve never wanted to hear Dean sing “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown),” then I think you and I are just done speaking for right now.

Righteous Fool on Facebook

Ripple Music website


Seven Nines and Tens, Over Opiated in a Forest of Whispering Speakers

seven nines and tens over opiated in a forest of whispering speakers

I agree, it’s a very long album title. And the band name is kind of opaque in a kind of opaque way. Double-O-paque. And the art by Ahmed Emad Eldin (Pink Floyd, etc.) is weird. All of this is true. But I’m going to step outside the usual review language here, and instead of talking about how Vancouver post-noise rock trio Seven Nines and Tens explore new melodic and atmospheric reaches while still crushing your rib cage on their first record for the e’er tastemaking Willowtip label, I’m just going to tell you listen. Really. That’s it. If you consider yourself someone with an open mind for music that is progressive in its artistic substance without conforming necessarily to genre, or if you’re somebody who feels like heavy music is tired and can’t connect to the figurative soul, just press play on the Bandcamp embed and see where you end up on the other side of Over Opiated in a Forest of Whispering Speakers‘ 37 minutes. Even if it doesn’t change your life, shaking you to your very core and giving you a new appreciation for what can be done on a level of craft in music that’s still somehow extreme, just let it run and then take a breath afterward, maybe get a drink of water, and take a minute to process. I wrote some more about the album here if you want the flowery whathaveyou, but really, don’t bother clicking that link. Just listen to the music. That’s all you need.

Seven Nines & Tens on Facebook

Willowtip Records website


T.G. Olson, II

TG Olson II

In March 2021, T.G. Olson, best known as the founding guitarist/vocalist for Across Tundras, released a self-titled solo album (review here). He’s had a slew of offerings out since — as he will; Olson is impossible to keep up with but one does one’s best — but II would seem to be a direct follow-up to that full-length’s declarative purpose, continuing and refining the sometimes-experimentalist, sometimes purposefully traditional folk songwriting and self-recording exploration Olson began (publicly, at least) a decade ago. Several of II‘s cuts feature contributions from Caleb R.K. Williams, but Olson‘s ability to build a depth of mix — consider the far-back harmonica in “Twice Gone” and any number of other flourishes throughout — is there regardless, and his voice is as definitively human as ever, wrought with a spirit of Americana and a wistfulness for a West that was wild not for its guns but the buffalo herds you could see from space and an emotionalism that makes the lyrics of “Saddled” seem all the more personal, whether or not they are, or the lines in “Enough Rope” that go, “Always been a bit of a misanthrope/Never had a healthy way to cope,” and don’t seem to realize that the song itself is the coping.

Electric Relics Records on Bandcamp


Freebase Hyperspace, Planet High

Freebase Hyperspace Planet High

Issued on limited blue vinyl through StoneFly Records, Freebase Hyperspace‘s first full-length, Planet High, is much more clearheaded in its delivery than the band would seem to want you to think. Sure, it’s got its cosmic echo in the guitar and the vocals and so on, but beneath that are solidified grooves shuffling, boogieing and underscoring even the solo-fueled jam-outs on “Golden Path” and “Introversion” with a thick, don’t-worry-we-got-this vibe. The band is comprised of vocalist Ayrian Quick, guitarist Justin Acevedo, bassist Stephen Moore and drummer Peter Hurd, and they answer 2018’s Activation Immediate not quite immediately but with fervent hooks and a resonant sense of motion. It’s from Portland, and it’s a party, but Planet High upends expectation in its bluesy vocals, in its moments of drift and in the fact that “Cat Dabs” — whatever that means, I don’t even want to look it up — is an actual song rather than a mess of cult stoner idolatries, emphasizing the niche being explored. And just because it bears mentioning, heavy rock is really, really white. More BIPOC and diversity across the board only makes the genre richer. But even those more general concerns aside, this one’s a stomper.

Freebase Hyperspace on Facebook

StoneFly Records store


Melt Motif, A White Horse Will Take You Home

Melt Motif A White Horse Will Take You Home

Not calling out other reviews (they exist; I haven’t read any), but any writeup about Melt Motif‘s debut album, A White Horse Will Take You Home, that doesn’t include the word “sultry” is missing something. Deeply moody on “Sleep” and the experimental-sounding “Black Hole” and occasionally delving into that highly-processed ’90s guitar sound that’s still got people working off inspiration from Nine Inch NailsThe Downward Spiral even if they don’t know it — see the chugs of “Mine” and “Andalusian Dog” for clear examples — the nine-track/37-minute LP nonetheless oozes sex across its span, such that even the sci-fi finale “Random Access Memory” holds to the theme. The band span’s from São Paulo, Brazil, to Bergen, Norway, and is driven by Rakel‘s vocals, Kenneth Rasmus Greve‘s guitar, synth and programming, and Joe Irente‘s bass, guitar, more synth and more programming. Together, they are modern industrial/electrionica in scope, the record almost goth in its theatrical pruning, and there’s some of the focus on tonal heft that one finds in others of the trio’s ilk, but Melt Motif use slower pacing and harder impacts as just more toys to be played with, and thus the album is deeply, repeatedly listenable, the clever pop structures and the clarity of the production working as the bed on which the entirety lays in waiting repose for those who’d take it on.

Melt Motif on Facebook

Apollon Records on Bandcamp


Tenebra, Moongazer

tenebra moongazer

Moongazer is the second full-length from Bologna, Italy-based heavy psychedelic blues rockers Tenebra, and a strong current of vintage heavy rock runs through it that’s met head-on by the fullness of the production, by which I mean that “Cracked Path” both reminds of Rainbow — yeah that’s right — and doesn’t sound like it’s pretending it’s 1973. Or 1993, for that matter. Brash and raucous on its face, the nine-song outing proves schooled in both current and classic heavy, and though “Winds of Change” isn’t a Scorpions cover, its quieter take still offers a chance for the band to showcase the voice of Silvia, whose throaty, push-it-out delivery becomes a central focus of the songs, be it the Iommic roll of “Black Lace” or the shuffling closer “Moon Maiden,” which boasts a guest appearance from Screaming TreesGary Lee Conner, or the prior “Dark and Distant Sky,” which indeed brings the dark up front and the distance in its second, more psych-leaning second half. All of this rounds out to a sound more geared toward groove than innovation, but which satisfies in that regard from the opening guitar figure of “Heavy Crusher” onward, a quick nod to desert rock there en route to broader landscapes.

Tenebra on Facebook

New Heavy Sounds website

Seeing Red Records website


Doom Lab, IV: Ever Think You’re Smart​.​.​. And Then Find Out That You Aren’t?

doom lab iv

With a drum machine backing, Doom Lab strums out riffs over the 16 mostly instrumental tracks of the project’s fourth demo since February of this year, Doom Lab IV: Ever Think You’re Smart​.​.​. And Then Find Out That You Aren’t?, a raw, sometimes-overmodulated crunch of tone lending a garage vibe to the entire procession. On some planet this might be punk rock, and maybe tucked away up in Anchorage, Alaska, it’s not surprising that Doom Lab would have a strange edge to their craft. Which they definitely do. “Clockwork Home II (Double-Thick Big Bottom End Dub)” layers in bass beneath a droning guitar, and “Diabolical Strike (w/ False Start)” is a bonus track (with vocals) that’s got the line, “You’ll think that everything is cool but then I’ll crush your motherfucking soul,” so, you know, it’s like that. Some pieces are more developed than others, as “Deity Skin II” has some nuanced layering of instrumentation, but in the harsh high end of “Spiral Strum to Heaven II” and the mostly-soloing “Infernal Intellect II,” Doom Lab pair weirdo-individualism with an obvious creative will. Approach with caution, because some of Doom Lab‘s work is really strange, but that’s clearly the intention from the start.

Doom Lab on Bandcamp


White Fuzzy Bloodbath, Medicine

White Fuzzy Bloodbath Medicine

What you see is what you get in the sometimes manic, sometimes blissed-out, sometimes punk, sometimes fluid, always rocking Medicine by White Fuzzy Bloodbath, which hearkens to a day when the universe wasn’t defined by internet-ready subgenre designations and a band like this San Jose three-piece had a chance to be signed to Atlantic, tour the universe, and eventually influence other outcasts in their wake. Alas, props to White Fuzzy Bloodbath‘s Elise Tarens — joined in the band by Alex Bruno and Jeff Hurley — for the “Interlude” shout, “We’re White Fuzzy Bloodbath and the world has no fucking idea!” before the band launch into the duly raw “Chaos Creator.” Songs like “Monster,” “Beep-Bop Lives” and “Still” play fast and loose with deceptively technical angular heavy rock, and even the eight-minute title-track that rounds out before the cover of Beastie Boys‘ “Sabotage” refuses to give in and be just one thing. And about that cover? Well, not every experiment is going to lead to gold, but it’s representative on the whole of the band’s bravery to take on an iconic track like that and make their own. Not nearly everybody would be so bold.

White Fuzzy Bloodbath on Facebook

White Fuzzy Bloodbath on Bandcamp


Secret Iris, What Are You Waiting For

secret iris what are you waiting for

With the vocal melody in its resonant hook, the lead guitar line that runs alongside and the thickened verse progression that complements, Secret Iris almost touch on Euro-style melancholic doom with the title-track of their debut 7″, What Are You Waiting For, but the Phoenix, Arizona, three-piece are up to different shenanigans entirely on the subsequent “Extrasensory Rejection (Winter Sanctuary),” which is faster, more punk, and decisively places them in a sphere of heavy grunge. Both guitarist Jeffrey Owens (ex-Goya) and bassist Tanner Grace (Sorxe) contribute vocals, while drummer Matt Arrebollo (Gatecreeper) is additionally credited with “counseling,” and the nine-minutes of the mini-platter first digitally issued in 2021 beef up a hodgepodge of ’90s and ’00s rock and punk, from Nirvana grunge to Foo Fighters accessibility, Bad Religion‘s punk and rock and a slowdown march after the break in the midsection that, if these guys were from the Northeast, I’d shout as a Life of Agony influence. Either way, it moves, it’s heavy, it’s catchy, and just the same, it manages not to make a caricature of its downer lyrics. The word I’m looking for is “intriguing,” and the potential for further intrigue is high.

Secret Iris on Facebook

Crisis Tree Records store


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Quarterly Review: Dream Unending, Mud Spencer, Farfisa, Volcanova, Aiwass & Astral Construct, Doctor Smoke, Willowater, All Are to Return, Mountain Sides, Duncan Park

Posted in Reviews on January 21st, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Last day. I guess we made it. There was never any doubt it would happen, but I wouldn’t call this the smoothest Quarterly Review ever by any stretch. Weather, canceled school, missed bus, The Patient Mrs. about to start a new semester at work, plus that day that had three noise rock records right in a row — who slots these things? (me) — it hasn’t all been easy. But, if you’ve ever read the QR you might know I’ve developed a tendency to load a bunch of killer stuff into the last day to kind of give myself a break, and here we are. No regrets.

Thanks for reading this week (and any other week if you’ve ever been on this site before). Here’s how we finish.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Dream Unending, Tide Turns Eternal

dream unending tide turns eternal

Beautiful and sad, this first collaboration between drummer/vocalist Justin DeTore (Solemn Lament, ex-Magic Circle, many more) and guitarist/bassist Derrick Vella (Tomb Mold, Outer Heaven) under the moniker of Dream Unending harnesses a classic early ’90s death-doom melancholy, but it’s not as raw as the image of My Dying Bride circa ’92 that might bring to mind. If you want to do mashups, think Novembers Doom meets Alternative 4-era Anathema. Tide Turns Eternal brings together seven songs in 46 minutes and is memorable in stretches like the guitar progression of “In Cipher I Weep” and the crushing chug of the title-track as the Massachusetts/Toronto duo harness the a true sense of classic death metal just ahead of the two-minute weepy guitar interlude “Forgotten Farewell” and the 10-minute closing title-track. Perhaps there’s some inspiration from Bell Witch in the making, but Dream Unending‘s atmosphere and patience are their own.

Dream Unending on Instagram

20 Buck Spin website


Mud Spencer, Fuzz Soup

Mud Spencer Fuzz Soup

The title don’t lie. French expat Sergio Garcia, living in Indonesia, concocts 11 instrumental tracks of fuzzy flood, and if he wants to call that soup, then yeah, that’s as good as anything I’ve got. “Razana” opens with two minutes of garage-style strut, while “Back to Origin” crunches and “Fuzz Soup” feels a bit more of a psych freakout with its lead guitar and drums that remind of Witch, all performed by Garcia, who adds organ to boot. “Quest for Fire” is probably more in homage to the movie than band, which is a little sad, but the song brings in some minor scales and droning atmospherics, and “Ride the Mammoth” pushes more straightforward into the languid wah whatnottery of “Argapura” at the presumed start of side B, which feels rawer in “The Shelter” and more chaotic in the buzz of “Surfin’ the Dune” before “The Cheating Mole” turns to nighttime darkjazz, “Tumulous” turns its acoustic start into a hairy march punctuated and grounded by the pop of snare, and closer “Narcolepsy” finishes with a duly zombified, organ-laced take on tape-trader doom. These experiments work well together throughout Fuzz Soup, united by weird and unpredictable as they are.

Mud Spencer on Facebook

Argonauta Records website


Farfisa, Gänger

Farfisa Gänger

Gänger is third in a purported series of four EPs by Manchester, UK, four-piece Farfisa, and its four songs solidify some of the more let-go aspects of 2020’s Bravado, taking the folkish shine of a cut like “My Oh My” and turning it into the dug-in garage prog rock of “Honey Badger” and riffing out dirty and fuzzed on “River Rash.” Frankly, I don’t know why, having once conjured tones like those of the penultimate “Clinton” here, which sound like something that would make Ty Segall start a new band, one would ever not do that again, but I won’t claim to know what the fourth EP in the series might bring. One can only hope that, when the series is wrapped, they compile it into some sort of offering — a double-tape or some such — and release the whole thing together. As it stands though, Gänger is my first exposure to the band, and they smash through “Limitator” with due prejudice. I can think of five record labels off the top of my head who’d be lucky to have these guys, but nobody asks me these things.

Farfisa on Facebook

Farfisa on Bandcamp


Volcanova, Cosmic Bullshit

Volcanova Cosmic Bullshit

Fucking a, rock and roll. Reykjavik’s Volcanova aren’t through “Salem,” the lead cut from their righteously titled Cosmic Bullshit EP, before they’ve cadenced Uncle Acid in the verse and broken out the cowbell, so yes, it’s that kind of party. That cowbell comes back almost immediately for “Gold Coast,” which tramps out big riffs like Def Leppard used to make, and “Desolation” brings the bass forward effectively in its hook, the band having already built fervent momentum that will carry through the rest of the 26-minute mini-album. Not to pick favorites, but “End of Time” feels purposefully placed near the middle, and “No Wheels” — yup, more cowbell — splits that and closer “Lost Spot” well, giving a grounded stretch of pure shove before the finale hard-boogies and big-drifts its way to a surprising wash of an ending, organ included. You don’t call your release Cosmic Bullshit if you’re not looking to get attention, and Volcanova certainly earn that with these tracks.

Volcanova on Facebook

The Sign Records website


Aiwass & Astral Contruct, Solis in Stellis

Aiwass Astral Construct Solis in Stellis

The premier collaboration between Arizona’s Aiwass and Colorado’s Astral Construct — the latter also stylized as ASTRAL COnstruct — is a seven-minute single called “Solis in Stellis” that bridges terrestrial and ethereal heavy psychedelias. At a bit under eight minutes, its melodic flourish and weighted underpinning of low end, drifting guitar and fluid rhythmic progression sound like nothing so much as the beginning of an album that should be made if it’s not currently in the works between Drew Patricks (Astral Construct) and Blake Carrera (Aiwass), who both function as solo artists in their respective projects but come together here to show the complementary potential of each for the other. Lush in atmosphere, patient in its delivery and spacious without being overwrought, “Solis in Stellis” is hopefully the beginning of more to come from these two, who might just end up having to call themselves the Aiwass Construct if they keep going the way they are.

Aiwass on Facebook

Astral Construct on Instagram


Doctor Smoke, Dreamers and the Dead

Doctor Smoke Dreamers and the Dead

Seven years after 2014’s The Witching Hour, Ohio’s Doctor Smoke return with Dreamers and the Dead, a solid 10-song/42-minute run that makes up for lost time by reimagining ’90s-era Megadeth sneer as dark and catchy heavy rock and roll. The four-piece led by founding guitarist/vocalist Matt Tluchowski may have let a few years get by them — that’ll happen — but if the intervening time was spent hammering out these songs, the effort shows itself in the efficiency with which each cut makes its point and gets out, a song like “These Horrid Things” casting its mood in the verses before opening to the chorus, winding fretwork building tension into and subsequently through the solo. This is a revamp of the idea of a classic metal influence, the first instance of a generational shift I can think of that’s bringing this particular vibe to a heavy rock context — the pounding and sprinting of the title-track might’ve been thrash in the ’80s, but a decade later it was thicker and so it is here as well — and Doctor Smoke make it theirs, no question. One wonders what the next seven years will bring.

Doctor Smoke on Facebook

Ripple Music website


Willowater, Loyal

Willowater Loyal EP

Rebranded from their moniker of Sierra, Ontario progressive heavy rockers Willowater bring the four-track/14-minute EP as a quick hello to listeners new and old. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Taylor and bassist/drummer/vocalist Robbie Carvalho (also synth) chug out in early-Tool fashion on the opener “Ultimatum,” and the subsequent title-track answers back in kind with shared vocals and a bit of twisting, pulled squeals of guitar, and so on, while “Fly High” calls to mind Dio-style riffing with a bassline to bolster the classic metal vibe, and “Winter Now” builds a tension in its keyboard-laced 3:26 that, somewhat maddeningly, never pays itself off. Perhaps the message there is of more to come. Hope so, anyhow. Sierra were a quality band, and undervalued. Willowater seem to be taking another shot at catching as many ears as possible. A fresh start. Not so crazy different from what they were doing before, but sometimes a name can make all the difference.

Willowater on Facebook

Willowater on Bandcamp


All Are to Return, II

all are to return ii

This second EP from the anonymous Dutch outfit All Are to Return reignites the brutality of their 2020 self-titled debut short release (review here), while expanding the stylistic reach. Opener “Carceri” tips into industrial black metal before resolving itself in harsh screams and drones, while “Surveiller et Punir” feels even more experimental/art rock with tortured screams far back under noisy guitar. “Classified” is shorter and more beat-oriented, but the distorted wash of “Postscript on the Societies of Control” (bit of positive thinking there, almost in spite of itself) is abrasive as fuck, such that the quiet, minimal synth that starts “De Profundis” accompanied by more obscured screams seems almost like a relief before it builds to its own post-Godflesh industrialized crush. They finish atmospheric on “Desiring Machines,” blowing out conceptions of extreme music in about the time it takes for you to put on your shoes and jacket so you can go out, wander into the wilderness, and never be heard from again.

All Are to Return on Bandcamp

Tartarus Records website


Mountain Sides, Mountain Sides

mountain sides mountain sides

Members of Mirror Queen, the just-signed-to-TeePee-proper Limousine Beach (really, I haven’t even had the chance to post the news yet), Zombi, Ruby the Hatchet and Osees coming together for three Mountain covers. Mountain Sides do “You Better Believe It,” “Dreams of Milk and Honey” and “Travelin’ in the Dark,” and they knock it out of the park accordingly. I don’t know that this would ever get to become a real band between the commitments of Morgan McDaniel, David Wheeler and Steve Moore, let alone Owen Stewart (Ruby the Hatchet‘s drummer) or Paul Quattrone from Osees and a geographic spread between New York, Philly, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, but as a quick outing to test the waters, these three songs want nothing for vibe. Of course, being Mountain songs helps, but it almost inevitably would. Still, I’d take a record of tunes they wrote themselves, even if it doesn’t happen for another decade because everyone’s busy.

Mountain Sides on Bandcamp

Tee Pee Records Digital Annex


Duncan Park, Invoking the Flood

Duncan Park Invoking the Flood

Serenity in experimentalist drone and psychedelia, marked by the interplay of organic folk and otherworldly elements of fluid aural adventures. The backward, swelling repetitions of “The Alluring Pool” answer the watery worldmaking of leadoff “Rivers are a Place of Power,” the backing chimes reminding of water moving the air, the acoustic guitar on centerpiece “Riverbank” furthering the theme in sweetly plucked notes while Duncan Park (who also collaborates with Seven Rivers of Fire) picks up the journey again on “The Winding Stream” with a current of melody playing beneath the main acoustic lines of the song, instrumental in its entirety. Invoking the Flood, apart perhaps from some warning that might be read into the opener, grows more peaceful as it goes, though Park‘s inclusion of vocals on closer “Over the River” speaks perhaps of other tributaries waiting to be explored. Still, it is a sweet and encompassing, if short, trip downstream with Park here, and if the flood comes, at least we had a good time.

Duncan Park on Facebook

Ramble Records on Bandcamp


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All Are to Return to Release Second EP Nov. 26; New Song Posted

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

all are to return

It hasn’t been that long since the anonymous two-piece All Are to Return released their self-titled debut EP (review here), just over a year, but they’ve apparently gotten noisier and a bit more avant garde in that time if the streaming track “Carceri” is anything to go by. The new release, called simply All Are to Return II will be out in a continuing collaboration between whoever these guys are and Tartarus Records, which will press the six-song bit of presumed nastiness to tape and has preorders up now. I liked the last one, can’t hear anything that’ll make me change my mind so far, and look forward to the darkness to come. The harsher industrial stuff doesn’t always get me, but these guys hit a nerve. That’s about as straightforward as I can say it.

Suitably brutal artwork and the release info follow here, as per the PR wire:

all are to return ii

All Are To Return – Enigmatic & Experimental Doom Duo Share New Song “Carceri”

The enigmatic duo known as All Are To Return have just revealed a new song from their forthcoming new EP “All Are To Return II”, which is now set for release on November 26th via Tartarus Records.

Born from enforced isolation, the duo’s first EP released in October last year, presented a noisy industrialized-doom carrying an experimental edge, measuring brutality with an urgent sense of dread. Precisely one year later, All Are To Return are ready to release a new EP simply titled “All Are To Return II” once again via Tartarus Records.

The EP is a reflection on the dynamics of space and confinement. The evolving compositions are harsh yet layered. There is nuance in expression – vocals responsive and confrontational, guitars cutting into dense synth drones, sparse melody erupting amidst pulsing noise. Pre-orders are now available at this location: https://shop.tartarusrecords.com/product/all-are-to-return-aatr-ii/

AATR II is tearing at walls and skin. Hear the ghosts of revolt stirring inside societal prisons. Haunted by the philosophies of power and control. No resignation.

Edition of 100 cassettes

Also available as shirt bundle.

1. Carceri
2. Surveiller et Punir
3. Classified
4. Postscript on the Societies of Control
5. De Profundis
6. Desiring Machines

Produced, mixed & mastered by All Are To Return.


All Are to Return, All Are to Return II (2021)

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Friday Full-Length: Holy Fingers, Holy Fingers II

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Though begun as an instrumental trio, Baltimore’s Holy Fingers took shape as a four-piece when joined by guitarist/vocalist Tracey Buchanan sometime in 2015/2016. I’d love to be more specific, but to be honest with you I don’t know that much about the band. Dave Cannon, Theron Melchior (who wins the Most Metal Name prize for the week) and Josh Weiss would seem to have been jamming and playing live since at least 2011, if indeed it’s been those three the whole time, and in addition to early practice recordings that have since disappeared from the digital ether in which they once resided, they offered up the self-titled Holy Fingers sans-vocals in 2016. There are still some tapes available. I’m thinking about picking one up on principle.

But sometimes you find a band on the internet. My path to Holy Fingers II, which the band released on vinyl in 2018, was I guess straightforward enough. I follow Dave Heumann of Baltimore’s Arbouretum on Twitter — in addition to periodic music stuff and wry observationalism, he’s got a side gig selling fancy teas of various varieties and it’s interesting — and maybe a month ago or a few weeks or whatever it was, he was at an outdoor show somewhere around. He posted what he called a “scene report” for the gig, which showed families on blankets and chairs, a couple elderly people. I don’t know what the event was, but it was open to the public and it looked like an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon/evening if you enjoy stuff like, you know, outside and sunshine.

And playing over by what kind of looked like a barn was Holy Fingers, and they were tearing it up. Now, this was a cellphone video, shot from some distance away from the band, and I still watched it more than once and determined I needed to find out who was playing. The most natural thing to do was ask. Heumann very kindly informed that they were called Holy Fingers and I was off. Fewer than five minutes later I was digging into Holy Fingers II and kicking myself at that special angle I reserve for “how did I miss this”-style shaming. Needless to say, it’s a familiar bruise.

Holy Fingers II was recorded and mixed with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations Recording StudioBernsten recently helmedHoly Fingers Holy Fingers II the new Genocide Pact and apparently also builds guitars — and mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound (whose mastering discography includes Sum 41, Bad Brains, Weezer and Dr. Dre, among many, many others). It runs an unassuming 35 minutes and six tracks beginning with the relatively straightforward “The Trees Bowed Deeply and Roared” but offering an immediate sense of breadth upon which the rest of the offering seems only too happy to expand. As much as “Destroying Light” has a bluesy lumber in its intertwining guitar lines, its lyrics are less grounded and add to the post-Grace Slick vibe of the echo behind Buchanan.

Both cuts in the opening duo bring hooks of their own, but the direction Holy Fingers take is quickly headed outward, and “Eternaut” caps side A with duly ethereal presence in the guitar and a more patient, not-quite-moodier-but-not-quite-not landscape. It’s a slow, engrossing build over nearly the first three of the total seven minutes — it’s the longest track on the album — but it’s a journey well worth undertaking for more than just the payoff self-harmonies when they arrive, and one that continues to resonate as side B takes hold. Both “Born to Burn” and “Brittle Wings” hover short of seven minutes, and the fluidity of “Born to Burn” alone makes it a highlight, never mind the melody or airy drift of guitar and the mellow swing bringing just a bit of tension beneath. Enough to let the listener know the fuzzy surge is coming if they’re paying attention, and enough to hypnotize them so they’re not.

Riffier at the outset, “Brittle Wings” feels more declarative in its purpose, but is still able to bring about a forward motion into its own wash, with the vocals cutting through the swirl churning counter-clockwise and moving forward into the textured pastoralia of “Ceremony” itself, which is shorter at 5:20 but willfully broad in its reach and encompassing; weighted psychedelia that seems just to be taking off with the late arrival of a percussive underpinning that soon cuts to silence. Too soon? Maybe. I wouldn’t know from nothing where they might’ve otherwise been headed, but if they wanted to meander for, say, 15 or 20 minutes and extend that jam, after the rest of what they’ve done on Holy Fingers II to that point, my trust has certainly been earned. Maybe next time.

Which brings me to the next thing in the grand litany of information I don’t have about this band — what they’re doing now. Aside from playing that outdoor show that fortunately Heumann filmed a snippet of, and an earlier gig in April, there’s not much to tell from Holy Fingers‘ social media as to what’s been up lately. Of course, even if that info were there, it’s not like they would’ve spent the last 20 months on tour or anything, but if there’s material for a follow-up to this album — a kind of second debut as it is with the four-piece lineup — or any intentions toward recording or getting out now that it’s possible in some minor way, I simply don’t know.

My suspicion, given the fact that the group in some form or other has been around for a decade, is that if they were going to “hit the road,” as it were, it would’ve happened by now somewhere along the line of pre-2020 years. Fine. Further extrapolation tells me that they’re an act who, whatever they want to do, will do it on their own terms. Not every group is willing to pull off a significant lineup/structural revamp after a number of years together, for example, and just as Holy Fingers II finds its own place within heavy psychedelic blues, if they do decide to or have already decided to pursue the project further, it seems reasonable to expect that to happen where and when they see fit.

Fair enough. For today, I’m just glad I got to hear this record. I hope you are too.

Thanks for reading.

I was stuck, stuck, stuck on the above, for too long, this morning. Distractions of irrelevant and relevant press releases, putting up other posts, and so on, kept pulling me away. And something about that “familiar bruise” line felt too indulgent on my part. Especially as a standalone sentence. Voice in my head going, “Way to make it about yourself, dick.” It’s there in the spirit of honesty, but I can’t promise I won’t take it out before the post is live. Maybe just move it? I’ll see if I can live with that.

There. I guess that’s better.

All week, I slept late. I don’t think I got up before six once. It was kind of incredible. And with The Pecan in school all five days, I managed to get my shit done as much as I ever do before my brain turns to mush and I can’t work anymore and still have time to shower every day before the bus brought him home. You have to understand, this is amazing to me. If it sounds mundane, it is, but a luxuriousness of lifestyle with which I have not been acquainted in some time. Years.

Can’t say next week will be the same, but I’m glad to take what I got. Special thanks to The Patient Mrs. I woke up at seven-fucking-thirty this morning. Can you imagine? Sure, I missed posting that Weedpecker track on time, but no one seems any worse for the wear.

Next week I think I’m reviewing the Monolord record? Maybe that’s the week after and Blackwater Holylight is next week? One or the other. I’m also doing a FUNERAL premiere on Monday, which in my mind is worth the all-caps I just put it in given that band’s genre-defining legacy. Season of Mist hit me up for that this week and I restructured the whole week around it. I do not expect anyone who reads this site regularly to give a shit — death-doom stuff always seems to fall flat compared to other styles I post about — but hell, it’s important to me and it’s my site, so if I embarrass myself with a miniscule response on social media, at least it’s something I got to do once. Like that time I did a premiere for Slough Feg.

How about Kadavar and Elder, huh? That’ll be interesting.

Next week, I also turn 40 and might go to an indoor show in Connecticut. Curse the Son, Geezer and Kind. It’d be my first indoor gig “back” since the pandemic started and I’d like to be among friends.

On a more staggering note, I’ve been invited to go to Sweden next month and if that country opens its borders to US travelers on Nov. 1, I’m absolutely going to do so. Keeping fingers crossed and all that. The possibility seems unreal to me, and it might turn out to be exactly that.

I wish you a great and safe weekend. Please have fun, watch your head. Hydrate. I’ll be back Monday with that Funeral premiere and a bunch of news I’m already behind on.

Much love. Thanks for reading.


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