The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kenny-Oswald Dufvenberg of Cavern Deep

Posted in Questionnaire on July 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cavern deep

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

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

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kenny-Oswald Dufvenberg of Cavern Deep

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

I define myself as a creative person, in the art, writing and music fields, with a humble approach to my craft and a soft spot for the ’60s/’70s heavy rock and prog scene. I started playing and writing music in eighth grade when my stepdad introduced me to his vinyls, guitar gear and such. Before that I was not really interested in playing myself. I needed that creative kick in the ass to get started! No turning back since.

Describe your first musical memory.

Probably my mom humming around the house. A lot of singing all the time. She is one very musical lady.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

There are so many! But the first time I saw Bigelf live was a big one! It blew my brains out! The sheer volume was insane. I was 15 then and the experience had a huge impact on me.

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

I thought that nothing would be more important than my music, my guitar playing… Writing… When I got my first kid I realized at once that there are more important things in life.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It has nothing to do with practice or how much more awesome things you play or make. I think progression is about understanding your strengths as time passes and being able to put them to the best use in your creative process.

How do you define success?

When people I do not personally know, genuinely enjoy my music. When doors open so that you get the chance to work with other creative people you admire.

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

The human body in a bloated, half decayed state.

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

Aside from exploring the angles on doomy heavy music, I would like to record a stripped-down, nasty blues album: Live. And a fat, gnarly prog epos, In the vein of late-’70s Rush or such. It would be a challenge!

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

To make people feel and connect.

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

Waiting patiently for the second season of Made in Abyss. A great little animated gem, that series. Very special tone in both story, animation and soundtrack. Great stuff.

I’m also drawing a lot more these days after a quite long hiatus. I am really looking forward making more art in the future.

Thanks again, and may the riff be with you.

Cavern Deep, Cavern Deep (2021)

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Quarterly Review: Geezer, Spaceslug, Expo Seventy, Boss Keloid, Bong-Ra, Zebu, Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, LáGoon, Maha Sohona, The Bad Sugar Rush

Posted in Reviews on July 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Oh my breaking heart as we move into day seven of the Summer 2021 Quarterly Review and I am reminded that the wages of hubris are feeling like a dumbass later. I was loading up my laptop on Saturday — so pleased with how ahead-of-the-game I was able to stay all last week — when the thing decided it was gonna give itself some time off one way or the other.

I dropped it for repair about 20 minutes before the guy I’ve come to trust was closing shop. He said he’d be in touch on Monday. Needless to say, I’m on my backup cheapie Chromebook, reviewing off Bandcamp streams, eagerly awaiting that call which I can only hope has come in by the time this is posted. I’ll keep you in the loop, of course, but putting together the reviews for yesterday? That was not pretty.

I expressly thank The Patient Mrs., through whom all things are possible.


Quarterly Review #61-70:

Geezer, Solstice

Geezer Solstice

Geezer‘s ambition could hardly be clearer in their 17-minute “Solstice” jam. It was the Solstice — Winter 2020, to be specific — and the Kingston, New York, trio jammed. Guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington (who doesn’t sing on the track) added some dreamy synth after the fact, and the affect is all the more hypnotic for it. Harrington, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota are no strangers to exploratory fare, as they showed on 2020’s righteous Groovy (review here), and as a Bandcamp Friday-era stopgap offering, “Solstice” brings a sampling of who they are in the rehearsal space, willing to be heavy, willing to not, ready to go where the music leads them. If Geezer wanted to do a whole full-length like this, I wouldn’t fight them, so you most definitely will not find me arguing against a digital single either. With jams this tasty, you take what you can get.

Geezer on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Spaceslug, The Event Horizon

spaceslug the event horizon

Issued less as a stopgap, which a digital-only single might normally be, than as a response to the band having lost gear in a practice space flood, the 8:52 single-song outing The Event Horizon was recorded at the same time as Spaceslug‘s late 2020 EP The Leftovers (review here) and in a way acts to bridge the melancholy beyond-genre push of that release with the more weighted, spacious roll that has typified the Polish outfit’s work to-date — their latest full-length was 2019’s Reign of the Orion (review here), and they recently finished a new one. So perhaps “The Event Horizon,” with its hypnotically languid rhythm and concluding drift, is a stopgap after all, but between helping the band recoup their losses and thinking of what might be coming next, it’s an exciting if not-unalloyed listening experience, and the three-piece move deeper into a signature sound even as they continue to bring the definition of what that means to new places.

Spaceslug on Thee Facebooks

Spaceslug on Bandcamp


Expo Seventy, Evolution

Expo Seventy Evolution

Creating sometimes-scorching, droning psychedelic soundtracks to all your favorite classic sci-fi films that never existed, Kansas City’s Expo Seventy offer a call to worship for freaks and converted heads on their new album, Evolution. Still headed by guitarist James Wright as on late-2016’s America Here and Now Sessions (review here), the band offer new glories celestial and terrestrial instrumental chemistry throughout the six tracks (seven on the CD) of Evolution, lumbering away on “Echoes of Ether” only after floating in brass-section antigrav conditions on “The Slow Death of Tomorrow.” Can you hang? You’ll know one way or the other as the culminating duo “Second Vision, First Sight” and “First Vision, Second Sight” are done with you, having altered dimensions so thoroughly that the ethereal will either come to feel like home or you will simply have melted. In any case, lash yourself to it. Own that shit.

Expo Seventy on Facebook

Essence Music on Bandcamp


Boss Keloid, Family the Smiling Thrush

boss kelod family the smiling thrush

Peak-era Faith No More reborn in progressive heavy fuzz? What stoner rock might’ve been if it went to college instead of spending all that time hanging around talking about old cars? I don’t know where UK four-piece Boss Keloid ultimately stand on their admirable fifth LP, Family the Smiling Thrush — the follow-up to 2018’s also-well-received Melted on the Inch (review here) — but they most certainly stand on their own. Across seven tracks, the band careen, crash, lumber, rush and ponder — lyrics no less worth a close read than any other component — and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Orang of Noyn” on, they make it abundantly clear that their style’s unpredictability is an asset, and that just because you might not know where they’re going next doesn’t mean they don’t. Melodic, complex and cerebral, there’s still a human presence here, a sense of a plan unfolding, that makes the album seem all the more masterful.

Boss Keloid on Facebook

Ripple Music on Bandcamp


Bong-Ra, Antediluvian

BONG-RA Antediluvian

Though it’s ultimately less electric-kool-aid than endless-churning-abyss-with-psychdelic-saxophone-screaming-up-at-you-like-free-jazz-trapped-in-the-downward-tonal-spiral, Bong-Ra‘s four-tracker Antediluvian is duly experimentalist in being born out of the mind of Jason Köhnen, whose work on this project not only extends more than 20 years, but who has been a part of landmark Dutch outfits like Celestial Season, The Kilmanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, among scores of others. The procession on this full-length, originally released in 2018 through Svart Lava, is wild times indeed, but immersive despite feeling at times like a litmus for how much you can take, with Köhnen‘s bass/keys/etc. and Balazs Pandi‘s drums meeting with Colin Webster‘s saxophone and Chloe Herrington‘s bassoon, willfully plodding through long-ish form improv-seeming movements of atmospheric heft creation.

Jason Köhnen website

Tartarus Records store


Zebu, Reek of the Parvenu

zebu reek of the parvenu

A coherent and forceful debut full-length, Reek of the Parvenu quickly shows the metallic undercurrent from Athens-based four-piece Zebu on opener “The Setting Dust,” and pushes from there in groove metal fashion, taking some impulses from heavy rock but holding largely to a central aggressive stance and tension in the rhythm that is a backdrop even as the later “Nature of Failure” breaks from its chugging shove for a quieter stretch. That is to say, the next punch is always coming, and Zebu‘s blows are effectively delivered — looking at you, “Burden” — though some of the slower, sludgier cuts like “Our Shame” or the doomier finale “The City” bring a welcome atmosphere to go with the coinciding burl. I’m not sure if “People Under the Stairs” wants to kick my ass or crack a beer, but the songwriting is air tight and the thrashy threat only contributes to the immediacy of the release on the whole. They’re not screwing around.

Zebu on Facebook

Zebu on Bandcamp


Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Polaris

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel Polaris

It’s been 11 years since France’s Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel debuted with Soundtrack From the Motion Picture (review here), an engaging, kind of silly play on stoner rock and B-movie tropes. Beneath that, however, it was also a concept album, and the band — who now seem to prefer LDDSM for a moniker — still work from that foundation on their fourth full-length, Polaris. The difference scope and sonic maturity. Rife with vocal harmonies and progressive flourish, the 10-track answer to 2016’s Human Collapse (review here) smoothly shifts between the patient and the urgent, the intimate and the grand — and that’s in the first two minutes of “Blue Giant” alone — finding their way into a proggy post-heavy rock that’s too clearheaded to be psychedelic, but that balances the crunch of “Horizon” with a sense of the otherworldly just the same.

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel on Facebook

Klonosphere Records website


LáGoon, Skullactic Visions

LáGoon skullactic visions

With their fourth long-player, guitarist/vocalist Anthony Gaglia and drummer Brady Maurer of Portland, Oregon’s LáGoon welcome bassist Kenny Combs to the fold and dive as a trio — their first three-piece outing was last year’s Father of Death EP — headfirst into murky riffing and heady heavy rock, made all the more spacious through cavern echo and the garage doom vocals Gaglia brings on the title-track, as well as the synth that surfaces on the subsequent interlude “Buried” and elsewhere throughout. The earlier “Beyond the Trees” is particularly bleak and otherworldly, but I won’t take away from the further-down procession of “Hill Bomb” and “The Slow Down” into “Final Ride,” the last of which closes out with scummer doom that’s familiar but distinct enough to be their own. There are moments on Skullactic Visions where, for as much as they could sound like Electric Wizard given the ingredients, I’m all the gladder they don’t.

LaGoon on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp


Maha Sohona, Endless Searcher

Maha Sohona endless searcher

Maha Sohona‘s second album comes some seven years after their self-titled debut, but who cares about time when you’ve got your headphones on and you’re surrounded by the richness of tone on offer throughout Endless Searcher‘s five rolling tracks? Heavy and laid back, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Johan Bernhardtson, bassist Thomas Hedlund and drummer David Lundsten finding some kinship with Polish three-piece Spaceslug in their post-Sungrazer blend of weight and flow, a jam like “Luftslot” nodding and conjuring depth even as it soars. Can’t argue with the quicker push of “A Black Star” or the purposefully straightforward “Scavengers” (where the title-line is delivered) but some of the mellow moments in opener “Leaves” and especially the building instrumental finisher “Orbit X” are even more satisfying for how effectively they move you place to place almost without your realizing it. I’ve got nothing for you if you can’t dig this vibe.

Maha Sohona on Facebook

Made of Stone Recordings on Bandcamp


The Bad Sugar Rush, Liar/Push Me

The Bad Sugar Rush Liar Push Me

Keen observers will recognize The Bad Sugar Rush vocalist René Hofmann from his work with Wight, but the work here alongside guitarist Josko Joke-Tovic, bassist Minyeong Fischer and drummer Peter Zettl is distinct from that other unit here, even as the Humble Pie-esque “Push Me” and semi-sleeze “Liar” both have some shade of funk to their procession. Both cuts circa four minutes makes for a suitable debut 7″ with respected purveyor H42 Records doing the honors, and the results are an encouragingly catchy display of what a first full-length might accomplish when and however such a thing emerges. There’s classic heavy rock as the foundation, but more than outright ’70s worship — though some of that too — it’s the organic feel of the songs that leaves an impression on the listener, though the background singers on “Push Me” don’t hurt in that regard, certainly. An auspicious and intriguind first showing.

The Bad Sugar Rush on Facebook

H42 Records website


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Review & Album Premiere: 10,000 Years, II

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10000 years ii

[Click play above to stream ‘II’ by 10,000 Years in full. It’s out Friday June 25 on Interstellar Smoke Records, Ogorekords and Olde Magick Records.]

Marauding, riff-led stuff-breakers 10,000 Years made a striking debut in 2020 with their self-titled EP (review here), finding a niche for themselves in post-High on Fire heavy all the more bolstered through the grit of a production at the famed Sunlight Studio by Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Grave, many, many more). With their follow-up debut long-player, somewhat confusingly titled II, the Västerås, Sweden-based trio of guitarist Erik Palm, bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and drummer Espen Karlsen waste little time in letting listeners know how they’ve fleshed out their sound. Comprised of eight songs running a sharp 39 minutes, II is rife with dirt-coated efficiency, still casting its lot in Pike-style riffing, but finding sludge and noise rock aspects as well in Risberg‘s vocals, lending a rhythm that puts the band at least partially in league with the likes of Domkraft or Cities of Mars.

The songs by and large are a little longer than on the EP, but the main difference is that they’re more tied around the central concept, expanding on a sci-fi storyline set up on the EP that finds the crew of a spaceship crashed on an alternate reality future Earth populated by ancient gods and, apparently, riders on mooseback. Or such as “The Mooseriders” would have one believe. So it goes. Tempo shifts mark another point of growth, and again, 10,000 Years tip their hand early in that regard, with the speedy opener “Descent” — obviously setting up a crash landing via frenetic riffage — giving way not to a subsequent blast of an all-out speed-riff assault as it seems to telegraph, but to a mellower opening for “Gargantuan Forest” and the more nod-paced fare that ensues. I don’t know at what point the lyrics came into the picture, but the songs don’t bend to the story so much as set a fitting backdrop for what plays out across the span, trading intensity back and forth in a way indicative of the burgeoning dynamic in the band’s sound even as they willfully revel in some more familiar stylistic tenets.

For my own version of posterity, and to go with the stream above, below is the story as they tell it, quoted from their Bandcamp page:

After narrowly escaping the confines of the strange planet and its surrounding dimension, the “Albatross” and its crew finally returns home to Earth. The re-entry is rough and the ship crashlands in a forest. The earth that greets them is vastly different from the one that they left.

When the ship travelled back to earth through the wormhole it created a rift in the space-time continuum which propelled them far into the future as well as allowing the Green King and other ancient gods from the other dimension to cross over to our dimension.

They have since taken control of not just the earth, but the entire solar system.

After various harrowing experiences and encounters, the truth finally dawns on the surviving members of the crew. They are indeed back on earth, but ten thousand years in the future from when they started their journey. And to make matters worse, they find evidence that the Green King have been known and worshipped by secret cults and societies on earth for millennia, since before what we today know as humankind even existed.

The surviving members of the crew come to the conclusion that the only way to set things right again is to repair the “Albatross” and take it back through the rift again in order to close it.

10000 years

The narrative brings depth to the proceedings but is by no means a crutch, and through the brash shove of “Spinosaurus” to the unmitigated good-time march that is “The Mooseriders” and into “Angel Eyes” with its ready lumber, 10,000 Years remain committed to their purpose both as storytellers and as songwriters. The latter track, at just four and a half minutes long, boasts a standout lead and a kind of jammier vibe, the rhythm and solo guitar layers working the band’s way into an instrumental finish that sounds as if it could easily go on longer than it does and, from a stage in a live setting, provide righteous hypnosis to the audience. In context, it sets up the transition to “March of the Ancient Queen,” “Prehuman Walls” and eight-minute closer “Dark Side of the Earth” on side B, and that is a worthy-enough cause in itself.

While the trio won’t quite touch the same level of brash as “Spinosaurus” again, there’s still plenty of damage to be done on II, and they set about it with glee on “March of the Ancient Queen,” an interplay of chug and crash early giving ground later to an almost psychedelic careening solo in one channel, then the other, then both, atop galloping drums, finishing clean despite all the dust they’ve kicked up behind them. They get more under their proverbial fingernails in “Prehuman Walls,” perhaps, the penultimate cut shorter in its procession but as low down into sludge as 10,000 Years go on this first album, at least until about three minutes in, when they pause before kicking into higher gear once again, if momentarily ahead of a giant Sleep-style slowdown finish.

That sets up “Dark Side of the Earth” as the finale, which enters patient with quiet guitar and unfolds with tragedy-tinged vocals in its early verses before a quiet break leads to a rousing, cacophonous end. II, and not just for its title, makes it easy to forget that it is a debut. So assured is it on an aesthetic level, and so complete in its purpose, that it emphasizes how schooled 10,000 Years are in what they’re doing. That is to say, they are not strangers to the music they’re making, but fans themselves, and so even as they bring forth this pummel that can make one feel bashed about the skull by the time “Dark Side of the Earth” has turned, an abiding sense of joy is resonant in their presentation. Ultimately, that is the greatest takeaway from II, and one could hardly ask anything else of it than to express the richness and vitality that inspired it in the first place. It does this and more.

10,000 Years, “Gargantuan Forest” official video

10,000 Years on Facebook

10,000 Years on Instagram

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Death Valley Records on Facebook

Ogorekords website

Olde Magick Records on Bandcamp

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Cavern Deep Premiere “Deeper Grounds” Live Performance Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cavern deep

Swedish trio Cavern Deep release their self-titled debut July 23 through Interstellar Smoke Records. The album begins on a ledge looking underground and ends simply in “The Dark Place,” so it’s safe to assume that the narrative happening across the eight-song/46-minute outing from the Umeå-based three-piece doesn’t go well for the team of 50 explorers undertaking it. The band — guitarist/vocalist Kenny-Oswald Duvfenberg, bassist/vocalist Max Malmer and drummer/backup vocalist Dennis Sjödin (also keys), who introduces second cut “Abandoned Quarters” with duly ceremonial organ — use open space as well as tonal largesse to their aural advantage throughout Cavern Deep, with Duvfenberg‘s vocals echoing out in mournful fashion atop willful lumber, embodying the slog one might make in pursuit of unknown riches, and in spaces minimal and crushing, telling the story with duly grim and soulful perspective while remaining fluid in songcraft all the while.

From the shift out of the plodding stretch of “Staring Down” into its solo-topped apex, the instruments have their say in the narrative as well. Sjödin‘s drums march with a dutiful sensibility as “Abandoned Quarters” takes up the journey where the opener left off, and Malmer‘s bassline later in the open, quiet portion of the second half helps to set up the Candlemassian epic finish, rumbling into the cinematic-then-crushing back and forth of “Ominous Gardens,” and leading the way into the presumed side A finale, “Waterways,”  cavern deep cavern deepa highlight for the confidence of its vocal arrangement and the splendor-in-decay its riff conjures over the still-tense keys. This is not a debut lacking attention to detail, or patience, or complexity in its construction. It is not haphazard. Cavern Deep are methodical both in their groove and in how these songs are built. In short, they are not fucking around.

There’s dissention in the ranks of our cavern-divers as “Leap of Faith” opens with the lines, “22 are stalling/Below is only void,” and the more active chug that accompanies. Like “Deeper Grounds,” which follows — and for which a live-in-studio performance video is premiering below — “Leap of Faith” strips down some of the lyrical impressionism of side A to add a sense of chaos to the ever-downward procession, but is one word and one central riff in “Deeper Grounds,” and “deeper” about covers it. Both songs are shorter than anything on the first half of Cavern Deep, and they give way to the brooding lurch of “Fungal Realm,” the dark hallucinogenic crescendo of the record as a whole, answering back to the grandiosity of “Waterways” as a closer might, but still leaving room for the organ-laced “The Dark Place” to cap with a feeling of arrival.

If you’re worried about a spoiler for how it turns out, I guess it would be a jerk move for me to ruin the end of the tale, so I won’t do that, but yeah. They telegraph pretty well where the conclusion is headed. They kind of gave it away too when the album was announced, but in any case, there’s a reason it’s “The Dark Place” and not “The Friendly Place Where Everything’s Fine and Hey I Just Found Five Dollars Isn’t That Awesome.”

The performance video below for “Deeper Grounds” follows one for “Fungal Realm” the band posted in April, and they’ve been leaking tracks periodically through their Bandcamp page as well if you’d like to get even more of a sense where they’re coming from. The crash and hopelessness of “Deeper Grounds” are both well represented here and not to be discounted for their effect on the album that surrounds.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Cavern Deep, “Deeper Grounds” live video premiere

Cavern Deep on “Deeper Grounds”:

Deeper Grounds is the 6th track of our upcoming concept album, the song is about the point where the expedition into the cavernous realm realize that there is no way to go except further down into the abyss. The lyrics are as follows:


This live recording was made at our bassist Max’s studio-rehersal in Umeå. The hats is an artifact of the number of beers consumed prior to the recording of the song.”

Cavern Deeps debut concept album is about 50 adventurers that find the entrance to a lost underground civilization which they enter with the hopes of treasure.

The debut self-titled album is about one archeologist and his crew of ambitious henchmen and their descent into the cavernous realm below the crust of the earth. Learn about their fate and listen to some heavy, gloomy riffs along their slow path downwards.

The album will be released on all major platforms and vinyl via Interstellar Smoke Records on July 23rd.

Cavern Deep is:
Kenny-Oswald Duvfenberg – Guitars and Vocals
Max Malmer – Bass and Vocals
Dennis Sjödin – Drums, Backup Vocals and Keys

Cavern Deep, “Funal Realm” live at Malmer Productions

Cavern Deep on Instagram

Cavern Deep on Facebook

Cavern Deep website

Cavern Deep on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records on Instagram

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10,000 Years Post “Gargantuan Forest” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

We’re a month away now from the June 25 release of 10,000 Years‘ deceptively-titled debut album, II, and the band have newly unveiled the second of presumably three tracks they’ll showcase before the big day comes. “Gargantuan Forest” is the second of the eight songs on the record and follows behind the previously-streamed “March of the Ancient Queen” with a new video that starts out in the woods and ends up in the band’s rehearsal space — also seen in the photo above (and in color!) as well as here — as they rock out and deal with being haunted by some unknown but apparently highly referential malevolence. You know, like you do.

It is good fun and accompanies the lyrics-when-we-feel-like-itn sludgily-shouted verses of the track well, bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg‘s gruff approach in a higher register but no more off-putting than it necessarily wants to be. His bass gets a highlight moment as the proceedings — the narrative as well as the song — lumbers into its second half and Erik Palm‘s guitar drops out to noise, leaving Espen Karlsen‘s drums and the low end to hold the tension in its place. They pick up again and riff the track to a suitably loud finish, and introduce listeners to the “Espbeast” in the process, finding that rare combination of drummer and mascot that makes the truly special bands stand out.

According to my notes for such things, I’m slated to stream II in its entirety on June 22, three days before it’s out. Stay tuned for that as you enjoy this, and you’ll also find “March of the Ancient Queen” at the bottom of the post for good measure.


10,000 Years, “Gargantuan Forest” official video

The second single from our upcoming album ”II”.

In this ABSURD (1981) video 10,000 Years enter a FOREST OF FEAR (1980) as they access THE BEYOND (1981) and enter a BLOODBATH (1971) with THE BOOGEY MAN (1980), otherwise known as the Espbeast. The Espbeast stalks and haunts the bodies and minds of the characters in this C-grade homage to the horrormovies of yesteryear.

The characters FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE (1976) through insane NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN (1981). If they survive the AXE (1977) they may still end up in an INFERNO (1980) and risk to be EATEN ALIVE (1976). All the same risks face the viewer, so don’t watch with the lights out, don’t watch by yourself and DON’T GO IN THE WOODS ALONE (1981). Because after all, isn’t there an Espbeast in all of us?

Picking up right where the EP left off, “II” continues the story of the ill-fated Albatross-mission and its exploration of time and space through a skullcrushing mixture of stonerrock, doom- & sludge metal.

The album was recorded in the legendary Studio Sunlight with the equally legendary Tomas Skogsberg manning the controls.

10,000 Years:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years, II (2021)

10,000 Years on Facebook

10,000 Years on Instagram

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records store

Death Valley Records on Facebook

Ogorekords website

Olde Magick Records on Bandcamp

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Cavern Deep Set July 23 Release for Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cavern deep

Duly dramatic and duly doomed, the self-titled debut from Swedish trio Cavern Deep will be released on July 23 through Interstellar Smoke Records. I read a lot of press releases — it’s kind of a habit of mine, actually — but not a lot of them come with a full narrative guide to the record in question. And frankly, not a lot of records warrant it. Even those that might fall into the category of “protagonist falls into abyss, is consumed” are rarely presented with such a clear attention to detail as what one might glean from the below, and as Cavern Deep — who are from Umeå, which is Meshuggah‘s hometown as well (the things you remember) — have already put up several of the album’s tracks on their Bandcamp, including “Waterways,” which you’ll find streaming at the bottom of this post, you can hear they match their intensity of purpose with a fitting sonic grandeur.

Into the deep we go:

cavern deep cavern deep

Doom distributors Cavern Deep gear up to release their chilling debut album via Interstellar Smoke Records

The start of the expedition.

One archaeologist and 49 men stand at the gates of a previously unknown civilization, for a moment staring down into the bowels of the mountain before they begin their decent.

The journey downwards turn out to be more dangerous than expected, they climb down through whirling stairs lit only by organic fluorescent lights.

Further down the path turns more and more crumbled, eventually they must use ropes to traverse the broken bridges and tunnels over the deep chasms below. Filled by the promise of treasure they continue downwards. Many men go missing as they’re tasked to explore diverting tunnels, they never return and their screams are followed by silence. the only thing found is their safety ropes, driven by greed the archaeologist continues the expedition.

Cavern Deeps debut concept album is about 50 adventurers that find the entrance to a lost underground civilization which they enter with the hopes of treasure.

1. Staring Down – The first song is about the ominous feeling whilst staring down the stairs. “Staring down…. Into the deep.” Unknown symbols from a by gone by intelligence fills the walls of the staircase which never seem to end.

2. Abandoned Quarters – In this song the party finds the remnants of a lost city with abandoned spires and halls. “To the levels below.” The ruins are filled with hatched eggs and signs of struggle. But no corpses… On the other side of the city the stairs continue into the depths.

3. Ominous Gardens – After leaving the city the party stumbles on a huge abandoned garden. Abandoned by the warden this underground garden is filled with ancient deadly fauna. Many of the party members perish as the jungle takes its toll.

4. Waterways – Below the jungle lies the aqueducts that provided all of the water needed for the once prosperous civilization. It soon becomes obvious that they’re no longer alone. “Searching… for the door.” The party soon gets lost in this maze, hope seems lost.

5. Leap of Faith – After many men had perished in the waterways, they finally find the door which leads out to a ledge. Before them lies an enormous gap, the chasm is so deep that the only thing they see is an endless darkness in the depths below. The darkness seem to have a life of its own…

6. Deeper Grounds – The depths of the leap swallowed its fair share of adventurers. “Deeper…” Less then half of the party left they realize that there no way out but down.

7. The Fungal Realm – Finally, the party arrives in a dark and damp large cavern. It’s full of a fungus which has a hive mind intent of consuming the minds of the adventurers. “My mind is melting away.” Slowly the everyone but the leader of the expedition becomes a part of the fungus.

8. The Dark Place – The leader of the venture now alone enters a great dark room. On the other side of the room a dark and ancient entity lurks. The entity has lived in these caverns for a very long time, possible being the source of power of the ancient civilization. “We are lost, Cavern Deep.” This old god of a forgotten time has waited for someone to take his place. As the lost adventurer tries to scream the god consumes him to take his place, finally released.

The art: All of the art is made by Kenny, the guitarist of the band.

Cavern Deep is a slow, heavy band, founded 2019, by members from Zonaria and Swedish retro riffsters Gudars Skymning.

The debut self-titled album is about one archeologist and his crew of ambitious henchmen and their descent into the cavernous realm below the crust of the earth. Learn about their fate and listen to some heavy, gloomy riffs along their slow path downwards.

The album will be released on all major platforms and vinyl via Interstellar Smoke Records on July 23rd.

Cavern Deep is:
Kenny-Oswald Duvfenberg – Guitars and Vocals
Max Malmer – Bass and Vocals
Dennis Sjödin – Drums, Backup Vocals and Keys

Cavern Deep, “Waterways”

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Carsten from Giants Dwarfs & Black Holes

Posted in Questionnaire on April 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Carsten from Giants Dwarfs & Black Holes

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

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

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Carsten from Giants Dwarfs & Black Holes

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

Define… I play the drums… accidentally… indescribably pleasant, if someone thinks it’s good.

I started to play drums in the age of 19 or 20 just for fun in a punk band. We where all pretty much unable to play anything. No lessons, no talent… haha! But I played… and played… in many groups and bands, and now, someone likes what I do. Really nice!

Otherwise: I work for money. For bread, water and four walls. Like prostitutes, but cheaper, in a poisonous stalactite cave.

Describe your first musical memory.

My first memory is George McCrae – Rock You Babe. I loved the LP so much that I took it to the sandpit as a toddler… then there were ABBA, ELO, Gilbert O’Sullivan etc. Yeah, I’m a little older…

Describe your best musical memory to date.

My first gig with GdaBH was cancelled because of the corona- lockdown…

But before the lockdown I saw Mother Tongue. They played over three hours and it was indescribably good. They gave a lot of energy to the audience – really great!

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

As my brother died. Extremely horrible situation. It sounds till today… I had no choice. Growing up. Fast. Work. Much work. Work as a therapy killed much of my depressions. Collecting time on every medium as an catalysator.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

In music: The communication within the music.

How do you define success?

Success… is a warm gun. Oh, wait, no. Happiness.

Success… a huge amount of drugs and money.

Err… no, that;s it:

Success is to stay healthy and lovely with your family and friends.

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

I already answered the first, the second is:

Real “snuff” movies. One movie was so indescribable extremely brutal, that I got real health problems for three weeks… but I learned something about the deepest negative sides of human beings.

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

A full movie with Wenzel Storch. But he doesn’t want to make movies again.

I work on it…

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


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

To stay healthy… so I wish health to you!

Giants Dwarfs and Black Holes, “December Boom” extended version

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Grieving to Release Debut Album Songs for the Weary in July

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Catchy song, definitely in a heavy rock vein, but with an undercurrent of more extreme fare in its tones, and yeah, dig a little bit and you’ll find that Polish trio Grieving, who are set to make their debut through Interstellar Smoke Records and Godz ov War Productions in July with Songs for the Weary — have played together in various combinations and in various other outfits like Mentor or Thaw or others in a more charred aesthetic, black metal, thrash, and so on. Vocalist Wojciech Kaluza, in addition to doubling as King of Nothing in Mentor is also known as Susel in long-running Polish Southern metal outfit J.D. Overdrive, and you can hear some of that too. But Grieving have their own approach, as “A Crow Funeral” demonstrates, and it reminds how fluid the line between what’s “metal” and what’s not can be when put on a foundation of solid songwriting.

The clip for “A Crow Funeral” is by Chariot of Black Moth — watch out if flashing lights are a thing for you — and can be seen at the bottom of the post, and Songs for the Weary is out July 26, no doubt with preorders coming sometime earlier.

Interstellar Smoke sent the following along the PR wire:

grieving (Photo by Marcin Pawlowski)

Grieving – Songs for the Weary – July 26

GRIEVING are following the footsteps of their forefathers, with sounds of doom accompanying them as they weave stories of devils, witches, ghouls and the endless capacity for evil in the heart of every human being. Singing songs for the weary, they grieve over this dying world.

“Songs for the Weary” tracklisting:
1. Crippled by the Weight of Powerlessness
2. This Godless Chapel
3. A Crow Funeral
4. Foreboding of a Great Ruin
5. Witch Hunt Eternal
6. Lucifer Wept

The album, recorded and mixed at Satanic Audio, will be released on July 26th, 2021 by:

Interstellar Smoke Records (vinyl)
Godz ov War Productions (CD/digital/t-shirt)

Human cruelty, unnecessary death, grieving witches, bloody revenge. Welcome to a crow funeral, courtesy of Chariot Of Black Moth.

Artur Ruminski – guitars/bass/synth
Bartosz Licholap – drums
Wojciech Kaluza – vocals

Grieving, “A Crow Funeral” official video

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