Friday Full-Length: Primordial, To the Nameless Dead

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

‘From mountain top to valley deep
From shore to cursed shore
What nation? What state? What land is this?’
— “As Rome Burns”

Dublin, Ireland’s StudyMoose is the largest database in 2018 with thousands of free to write my paper for college and high schools Find essays by subject & topics Inspire Primordial released their sixth album, Posts about Writing An Admission Essay Descriptive written by EduPedia Publications To the Nameless Dead, on Nov. 16, 2007. I remember it was so late in the Fall of that year both because it’s information readily available on the internet and because it’s the latest release I’ve ever made my album of the year. Hearing it, I felt like there was no other choice. The songs forced themselves into the consciousness.

Get Cold War Research Papers service from MakeMyAssignments.com. We can customize your assignment as per your requirements. Primordial had made their debut on Purchase Thesis and Dissertations Online with the Click of a Button! We do not provide a copying service for our thesis or dissertations. Take Away The Stress by Going Online to Purchase a Dissertation. If you're looking for a place to Pay To Wright An Essay online, this is your number one. Doctoral dissertations, theses, MBA (Master of Business. Metal Blade two years earlier with http://www.suzukimarine.ch/?write-a-persuasive-essay - Hire Online Assignment Help for Completing your assignment writing. More than 10 years of experience with 98% success ratio. The Gathering Wilderness, which saw them continuing to move beyond their more strictly black metal beginnings toward distinct, Celtic-informed fare, readjusting the balance of elements at work in their sound to incorporate more melody in the guitars of Our best essay writing services offer Writing Reflection Paper high-quality help to all students in need for a reasonable price. When Masterpapers.com Ciáran MacUiliam and Papercheck's professional proofreaders offer complete satisfaction by providing the highest-quality Homework Help For Computer Science available. Micheál O’Floinn and a cleaner vocal take from frontman transition words for research papers Write Dissertations admission essay editing service scholarship college student homework helper Alan Averill — who also mastered the album and mixed with producer http://www.carbosl.com/do-my-theses/ - If you need to find out how to make a good essay, you need to read this Get started with dissertation writing and craft finest Chris Fielding (now also of *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The world needs your novel Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook [Donald Maass] Ghostwriter Doktorarbeit Kosten on Amazon.com Conan) — atop the affirming, drivingly metallic rhythms of bassist Creative Writing Free Online. essay map read write think Browse and Read Read Write Think Essay Map Read Write Think Essay Map New updated! The latest book Pól MacAmlaigh and drummer Do My Homework Fast me - experience the advantages of professional writing help available here Spend a little time and money to get the paper you could Simon O’Laoghaire. By the time 2007 came around, that transition-to-something-else could only be called complete, and while one would still call their roots black metal, and that can be heard across the album in the guitar tones and in songs like “Gallows Hymn” or even the electric parts of the declarative “Heathen Tribes” — lest one not mention the more willfully charred “Traitors Gate” and the earlier verses of closer “No Nation on This Earth” — the emphasis in Resources - professional and cheap report to ease your studying Learn all you need to know about custom writing Essays To the Nameless Dead was less adherence to genre than adherence to the songs themselves. Running seven songs and 53 minutes, it is an impeccable clarity of sound honed by the band while still coming across with any semblance of a natural impression, and the nuance of this particular moment in the development of their style happens to coincide with a front-to-back batch of memorable works of genuinely epic metal.

Beginning with opener “Empire Falls,”  Gladiators Homework Help - forget about your concerns, place your assignment here and get your professional project in a few days commit your paper to qualified Primordial‘s lyrics tell tales of crumbling hedonism that are cast in ancient frames but applicable to modernity just the same. In 2007, Ireland and Northern Ireland — having been embroiled in violent conflict since the ’60s that continues to resonate across the two nations to this day and there are murals of murdered people all over the walls of Belfast to prove it — were less than a decade out from signing the Good Friday Agreement, and with the cultural corruption that was unveiled with the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal (also ongoing), the band of course would’ve been no strangers to the tumult, the violence and the sheer unsettled-ness of the atmosphere of their home nation. Among Ireland’s rich histories PRIMORDIAL TO THE NAMELESS DEADis one of protest music, and  research papers on customer relationship marketing http://www.miriam.sk/?phd-dissertation-in-agricultural-economics divorce cause and effect essay dissertation proposal timeline Primordial represent that as well, in the lyrics of “As Rome Burns” and “No Nation on This Earth” and “Empire Falls” specifically, and coupled with the folk lyricism of “Gallows Hymn” and the triumphant touring chronicle “Heathen Tribes,”  To the Nameless Dead cast itself from its leadoff fade-in to its final fadeout as a tale of defeats and victories, of battles fought, won and lost.

Averill‘s performance is striking on the record and many of his declarations carry a sense of stage drama. The language is grand and poetic — see, “And winter mocks me though he does not need to call my name/He thinks my bones are brittle” in “Failures Burden” personifying a season as an oppressor — and the vocalist’s delivery designed to suit, but the complexity on display across To the Nameless Dead is about more than one aspect. It’s everything on this album. The atmosphere is cold like that winter being described, and the feeling of struggle writ large in the guitars and the melancholy but insistent groove of “Gallows Hymn” and the decidedly progressive jabs amid the later chug in “Empire Falls.” Though “Gallows Hymn” is the shortest inclusion on To the Nameless Dead at 5:55 — the 90-second drone interlude “The Rising Tide” ahead of “Traitors Gate” notwithstanding — and plays as part of a back and forth between songs on either side of six minutes and songs longer than eight, no matter what mode Primordial seem to be working in at any given time, and no matter which side of their aesthetic is in the foreground, the material never sounds bloated in terms of structure or pompous. To be sure, there is an elaborate affect happening across the entire span of the release, but the manner in which that’s manifest is efficient, and all the parts of all the songs feel as though they’ve been evaluated to determine whether or not they serve the record’s overarching purpose.

“Heathen Tribes” is perhaps the most direct engagement of audience on To the Nameless Dead, as Averill‘s lyrics take the listener sightseeing on tour, noting monuments like the “spires of Sofia” in Bulgaria and “Senatus Populusque Romanus” in Italy. The band signed to Hammerheart Records for 2000’s third album, Spirit the Earth Aflame — a landmark in their progression — and their first two outings, 1998’s A Journey’s End and 1995’s Imrama had backing from Misanthropy Records and Cacophonous Records, respectively, but one can’t help but wonder if maybe there was an element of self-introduction happening too. Seems strange for a band’s sixth full-length, sure, but considering the band’s earlier works (2002’s Storm Before Calm preceded The Gathering Wilderness) had yet to see the reissues they’ve since been given, To the Nameless Dead would’ve arrived as Primordial‘s second long-player with the breadth of Metal Blade‘s distribution, and maybe served as a point of entry for international listeners as a result. They had momentum behind them with The Gathering Wilderness just two years before, but no question To the Nameless Dead would take their recognition to another level. It’s fortunate, then, that the sensibility throughout “Heathen Tribes” is welcoming.

It was four years before Primordial issued a follow-up in 2011’s Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand (review here), and 2014’s Where Greater Men Have Fallen and 2018’s Exile Amongst the Ruins (review here) arrived behind that, but in some crucial ways, To the Nameless Dead became the stylistic model from which their growth would continue, and even now its resonance and relevance feel as sharp as they did 13 years ago when it was released.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Cold this morning, and dark. Alarm was set for 3:40AM and that’s when I got up — yes, that 20 minutes makes a difference — and as I didn’t go yesterday because I was working on the Quarterly Review, I just went for a run after finishing the above. Left at 5:45, got back at 5:58, so that’s pretty good. Felt like I was keeping a decent pace for someone old, fat, tired and who just put an entire pot of coffee in his belly. It may not be the last one I get to today.

But winter, as the saying goes, is coming. Mars is out and big as the summer haze has dissipated. Orion’s out. It’ll be back to sweatpants before I know it.

It wasn’t my original intent to close out the week with Primordial. I had the back end set up for a whole different post, but it’s fitting that To the Nameless Dead should butt its way into my consciousness at the last minute like it did, since that’s also how it wound up as my pick for the best album of 2007. Like a few other bands I seem to insist on writing about every now and again, I don’t ever get a huge response to talking about them from social media or anything, but as far as I’m concerned if you don’t listen to the above long-player in its front-to-back entirety today, that’s your loss and not mine. I’m glad I did.

Oh, and I didn’t note it earlier, but Enslaved totally shared my review of their album from last week, which officially — YES OFFICIALLY — means I’m a big deal like Obamacare. In all seriousness, that one did mean a lot to me. I don’t know if they do their social media or someone on their management team handles it, but whoever it was thanked me for my years of support, and that was a pretty special moment to my week.

Otherwise, rough week in a series thereof. My wife’s schedule this semester is a cruel thing. Conflict continues about the dog. The Patient Mrs. is taking her to a training/boarding place today. I don’t know what the endgame is. I know nobody’s happy. Not her, not me, not The Pecan — whose new thing is grabbing the dog’s skin as hard as he can to make her bite him then getting upset when she bites him and hitting her so she bites at him again and he gets upset and then kicks and grabs and hits and she bites and by then they’ve probably been removed to separate rooms again — and not the dog, who stays in the kitchen all day and whines. I’d let her in the living room, but just about every time one of us does so, she pees on the rug. Fortunately we have a robust system of gates in place for The Pecan already, or we’d be sunk. In urine.

I have been beset with Russian-language spam the last few days. Hundreds of emails from the contact form, then corresponding hundreds of Mail Undelivered notices when the autoresponder bounces back. I know it’s a moving target, but the internet’s been around one way or the other for like 50 years now. Can it really be so hard to solve this most basic shit? This is why humans don’t deserve to go to other planets.

The Quarterly Review, which consumed my being this week as only it can, continues on Monday. I could easily do a seventh day — well, easy in terms of filling out 10 records; probably less so in terms of the actual writing — but I have two premieres-with-announcements set for Tuesday and so that put the kybosh on that. Maybe next time. I’ll have plenty left over either way. Would you believe I haven’t reviewed the new Kingnomad? Or Faith in Jane? Or the Conan and Deadsmoke split? Hell’s bells. What have I been doing with my time? Can feeling-bad-about-yourself really take up so much of one’s day?

I should roll out. The Pecan will be up shortly and will want three yogurts or whatever it is this morning for breakfast. He likes the strawberry & rhubarb kind, the mixed berry kind and the vanilla with freeze-dried crunchy blueberries added that turn it purple. I think it was Wednesday he had one of each. Siggi’s, the brand we get, is pretty low sugar, so whatever. I try not to give him bullshit. I do, however, feel like leftover pizza breakfast every once in a while is good for the soul.

Have a great and safe weekend. Have fun, wear a mask, stay hydrated. So important.

FRM.

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Quarterly Review: Mrs. Piss, Ulcerate, Shroom Eater, Astralist, Daily Thompson, The White Swan, Dungeon Weed, Thomas V. Jäger, Cavern, Droneroom

Posted in Reviews on October 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Today is what would be the last day of the Fall 2020 Quarterly Review, except, you know, it’s not. Monday is. I know it’s been a messed up time for everybody and everything, but there’s a lot of music coming out, so if you’re craving some sense of normalcy — and hey, fair enough — it’s right there. Today’s an all-over-the-place day but there’s some killer stuff in here right from the start, so jump in and good luck.

And don’t forget — back on Monday with the last 10 records. Thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Mrs. Piss, Self-Surgery

mrs piss self surgery

If “Nobody Wants to Party with Us” as the alternately ambient/industrial-punk fuckall of that song posits, most likely that’s because they’re way too intimidated to even drop a text to invite Mrs. Piss over. The duo comprised of vocalist/guitarist Chelsea Wolfe and guitarist/bassist/drummer/programmer Jess Gowrie issue Self-Surgery as an act of sheer confrontation. The screams of “You Took Everything.” The chugging self-loathing largesse of “Knelt.” The fuzzed mania of ‘M.B.O.T.W.O.,” which, yes, stands for “Mega Babes of the Wild Order.” The unmitigated punk of “Downer Surrounded by Uppers” and the twisted careen-and-crash of the title-track. The declaration of purpose in the lines, “In the shit/I’m sacrosanct/I’m Mrs. Piss” in the eponymous closer. Rage against self, rage against other, rage and righteousness. Among the great many injustices this year has wrought, that Wolfe and Gowrie aren’t touring this material, playing 20-something-minute sets and destroying every stage they hit has to be right up there. It’s like rock and roll to disintegrate every tired dude cliché the genre has. Yes. Fuck. Do it.

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Sargent House website

 

Ulcerate, Stare into Death and Be Still

Ulcerate Stare into Death and Be Still

As progressive/technical death metal enjoys a stylistic renaissance, New Zealand’s Ulcerate put out their sixth full-length, Stare into Death and Be Still and seem right in line with the moment despite having been around for nearly 20 years. So be it. What distinguishes Stare into Death and Be Still amid the speed-demon wizardry of a swath of other death metallers is the sense of atmosphere across the release and the fact that, while every note, every guitar squibbly, every sharpened turn the 58-minute album’s eight tracks make is important and serves a purpose, the band don’t simply rely on dry delivery to make an impression. To hear the cavernous echoes of the title-track or “Inversion” later on, Ulcerate seem willing to let some of the clarity go in favor of establishing a mood beyond extremity. In the penultimate “Drawn into the Next Void,” their doing so results in a triumphant build and consuming fade in a way that much of their genre simply couldn’t accomplish. There’s still plenty of blast to be found, but also a depth that would seem to evoke the central intention of the album. Don’t stare too long.

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Shroom Eater, Ad.Inventum

shroom eater ad inventum

Nine songs running an utterly digestible 38 minutes of fuzz-riffed groove with samples, smooth tempos and an unabashed love for ’90s-style stoner rock, Shroom Eater‘s debut album, Ad.Inventum feels ripe for pickup by this or that heavy rock label for a physical release. LP, CD and tape. I know it’s tough economic times, but none of this vinyl-only stuff. The Indonesian five-piece not only have their riffs and tones and methods so well in place — that is, they’re schooled in the style they’re creating; the genre-converted preaching to the genre-converted, and nothing wrong with that — but there are flashes of burgeoning cultural point of view in the lead guitar of “God Isn’t One Eyed” or the lyrics of “Arogant” (sic) and the right-on riffed “Traffic Hunter” that fit well right alongside the skateboarding ode “Ride” or flourish of psychedelia in the rolling “Perspective” earlier on. Closing with “Dragon and Tiger” and “Friend in the High Places,” Ad.Inventum feels like the work of a band actively engaged in finding their sound and developing their take on fuzz, and the potential they show alongside their already memorable songwriting is significant.

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Astralist, 2020 (Demo)

astralist 2020 demo

I’m not usually one to think bands should be aggrandizing their initial releases. It can be a disservice to call a demo a “debut EP” or album if it’s not, since you only get one shot at having an actual first record and sometimes a demo doesn’t represent a band’s sound as much as the actual, subsequent album does, leading to later regret. In the case of Cork, Ireland’s Astralist, it’s the opposite. 2020 (Demo) is no toss-off, recorded-in-the-rehearsal-space-to-put-something-on-Bandcamp outing. Or if it is, it doesn’t sound like it. Comprised of three massive slabs of atmospheric and sometimes-extreme doom, plus an intro, in scope and production value both, the 36-minute release carries the feel and the weight of a full-length album, earning its themes of cosmic destruction and shifting back and forth between melodic progressivism and death-doom or blackened onslaught. In “The Outlier,” “Entheogen” and “Zuhal, Rise” they establish a breadth and an immediate control thereof, and their will to cross genre lines gives their work a fervently individualized feel. Album or demo doesn’t ultimately matter, but what they say about Astralist‘s intentions does.

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Daily Thompson, Oumuamua

daily thompson oumuamua

Lost in the narrative of initial singles released ahead of its actual arrival is the psychedelic reach Dortmund trio Daily Thompson bring to their fourth album, Oumuamua. Yes, “She’s So Cold” turns in its second half to a more straightforward heavy-blues-fuzz push, but the mellow unfurling that takes place at the outset continues to inform the proceedings from there, and even through “Sad Frank” (video posted here) and “On My Mind” (video posted here), and album-centerpiece “Slow Me Down,” the vibe remains affect by it. Side B has its own stretch in the 12-minute “Cosmic Cigar (Oumuamua),” and sandwiched between the three-minute stomper “Half Thompson” and the acoustic, harmonized grunge-blues closer “River of a Ghost,” it seems that what Daily Thompson held back about the LP is no less powerful than what they revealed. It’s still a party, it’s just a party where every room has something different happening.

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Noisolution website

 

The White Swan, Nocturnal Transmission

The White Swan Nocturnal Transmission

Following up 2018’s Touch Taste Destroy (review here), Ontario’s The White Swan present their fourth EP in Nocturnal Transmission. That’s four EPs, in a row, from 2016-2020. If the trio — which, yes, includes Kittie‘s Mercedes Lander on vocals, drums, guitar and keys — were waiting to figure out their sound before putting out a first full-length, they were there two years ago, if not before. One is left to assume that the focus on short releases is — at least for now — an aesthetic choice. Like its predecessor, Nocturnal Transmission offers three circa-five-minute big-riffers topped with Lander‘s floating melodic vocals. The highlight here is “Purple,” and unlike any of the other The White Swan EPs, this one includes a fourth track in a cover of Tracy Bonham‘s “Tell it to the Sky,” given likewise heft and largesse. I don’t know what’s stopping this band from putting out an album, but I’ll take another EP in the meantime, sure.

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Dungeon Weed, Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

Dungeon Weed Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

A quarantine project of Dmitri Mavra from Skunk and Slow Phase, Dungeon Weed is dug-in stoner idolatry, pure and simple. Mavra, joined by drummer Chris McGrew and backing vocalist Thia Moonbrook, metes out riff after feedback-soaked, march-ready, nod-ready, dirt-toned riff, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the doomier tolling bell of “Sorcerer with the Skull Face” or the tongue-in-cheek hook of “Beholder Gonna Fuck You Up” or the brash sludge that ensues across the aptly-named “Lumbering Hell,” all layered solos and whatnot, the important thing is that by the time “Mind Palace” comes around, you’re either out or you’re in, and once you make that choice there’s no going back on it. Opener “Orcus Immortalis/Vox Mysterium” tells the tale (or part of it, as regards the overarching narrative), and if ever there was a band that could and would make a song called “Black Pudding” sound heavy, well, there’s Dungeon Weed for you. Dungeon Weed, man. Don’t overthink it.

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Forbidden Place Records website

 

Thomas V. Jäger, A Solitary Plan

thomas v jager a solitary plan

The challenge of rendering songcraft in the nude can be a daunting one for someone in a heavy band doing a solo/acoustic release, but it’s a challenge Thomas V. Jäger of Monolord meets with ease on the home-recorded A Solitary Plan, his solo debut. Those familiar with his work in Monolord will recognize some of the effects used on his vocals, but in the much, much quieter context of the seven-song/29-minute solo release — Jäger plays everything except the Mellotron on the leadoff title-track — they lend not only a spaciousness but a feeling of acid folk serenity to “Creature of the Deep” and “It’s Alright,” which follows. Mixed/mastered by Kalle Lilja of Långfinger, A Solitary Plan is ultimately an exploration on Jäger‘s part of working in this form, but it succeeds in both its most minimal stretches and in the electric-inclusive “The Drone” and “Goodbye” ahead of the buzzing synth-laced closer “The Bitter End.” It would be a surprise if this is the only solo release Jäger ever does, since so much of what takes place throughout feels like a foundation for future work.

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RidingEasy Records website

 

Cavern, Powdered

CAVERN POWDERED

Change has been the modus operandi of Cavern for a while now. They still show some semblance of their post-hardcore roots on their new full-length, Powdered, but having brought in bassist/vocalist Rose Heater in 2018 and sometime between then and now let out of Baltimore for Morgantown, West Virginia, their sonic allegiance to a heavier-ended post-rock comes through more than ever before. Guitarist/synthesist Zach Harkins winds lead lines around Heater‘s bass on “Grey,” and Stephen Schrock‘s drums emphasize tension to coincide, but the fluidity across the 24-minute LP is of a kind that’s genuinely new to the band, and the soul in Heater‘s vocals carries the material to someplace else entirely. A song like “Dove” presents a tonal fullness that the title-track seems just to hint at, but the emphasis here is on dynamic, not on doing one thing only or locking their approach into a single mindset. As Heater‘s debut with them, Powdered finds them refreshed and renewed of purpose.

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Droneroom, …The Other Doesn’t

droneroom the other doesnt

Droneroom is the solo vehicle of guitarist Blake Edward Conley and with …The Other Doesn’t, experiments of varying length and degree of severity are brought to bear. The abiding feel is spacious, lonely and cinematic as one might expect for such guitar-based soundscaping, but “Casual-Lethal Narcissism” and “The Last Time Someone Speaks Your Name” do have some measure of peace to go with their foreboding and troubling atmospherics. An obvious focal point is the 15-minute dronefest “This Circle of Ribs,” which feels more forward and striking than someone of Droneroom‘s surrounding material, but it’s all on a relative scale, and across the board Conley remains a safe social distance away from structural traditionalist. Recorded during Summer 2020, it is an album that conveys the anxiety and paranoia of this year, and while that can be a daunting thing to face in such a way or to let oneself really engage with as a listener — shit, it’s hard enough just living through — one of the functions of good art is to challenge perceptions of what it can be. Worth keeping in mind for “Home Can Be a Frightening Place.”

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Album Review: Cinder Well, No Summer

Posted in Reviews on July 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cinder well no summer

The essential marriage on Cinder Well‘s third full-length, No Summer, is between the Irish and the Appalachian strains of folk. Driven by the songwriting and vocals, guitar, organ and production of Amelia Baker, the nine-track/37-minute collection brings minimalist stretches together with passionate delivery, subdued melancholy with mischief and traditionalism with the progressive. Baker, who is joined by Marit Schmidt on viola and vocals and Mae Kessler on violin and vocals and who recorded in Washington with Nich Wilbur, is the central presence that ties the songs and the variety of influence together, and as each piece unfolds into the next, she brings character and setting to the proceedings that resonate all the more on repeat listens, whether it is the the relatively full arrangement of organ, banjo, vocals and strings on “Our Lady’s,” which is the longest inclusion at nine minutes long and departs in its midsection to ghostly strings suitable to the stated theme of its lyrics, or traditional pieces like “Wandering Boy,” which opens, or centerpiece “The Cuckoo” and the later instrumental “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies.”

One more familiar with folk tradition might take comfort in the recognizable nature of these songs, but I’ll profess my ignorance in that regard (and plenty of others), so they’re new enough to me, though the rising of Baker‘s voice in “Wandering Boy” calls to mind any number of Appalachian melodies as portrayed by the likes of 16 Horsepower, and in Baker‘s fiddle work on “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies,” she seems to find a way to make the point of bringing Americana and Celtic elements together without using her voice at all. Likewise, in originals like the title-track that follows the opener, or the sweeping interplay of string and vocals on “Fallen,” Baker underscores her work with an edge of rock influence — a mention of Dublin’s Lankum feels obligatory — and it would work as an arrangement of distorted electric guitar no less well than it does as presented on No Summer, where it nonetheless serves as a striking moment of depth.

Place is a consistent theme, and in that, the narrative of “Wandering Boy” fits in with the story of the record as a whole, which moves from the West Coast of the US to the West Coast of Ireland in the span of a lyric on “No Summer” and only grows more specific with “Our Lady’s” and the story of an abandoned asylum in the town where Baker has settled in County Clare — home to the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, etc. — which serves as the backdrop as well for the epistolary closer “From Behind the Curtain,” opening with the line, “I write to you to tell you where I live now,” Baker‘s voice hesitant in the rhythm of the delivery as though she’s not sure how much she wants to share. After the captured wind whistles of “The Doorway,” “From Behind the Curtain” finishes full with violin and guitar before dropping out as the sound of waves on coastlines are directly compared.

cinder well

Two places at once, then, and Baker chooses to end the record on her own, as opposed to elsewhere throughout, where harmonies play through as on “No Summer,” or, most strikingly, “Old Enough,” which follows suit from “Fallen” in a kind of linear build, but is more patient in the execution and joins its strings with layers of vocals in graceful and willfully haunting melody. It does not feel like a coincidence that “Old Enough” — which ends only with singing — should give way directly to the instrumental “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies,” which in its three minutes transitions from Americana pastoralism to more gleeful fiddling, missing only handclaps to punctuate the point. By the time “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies” is over, the sense of departure from the effect of “Old Enough” is complete, but there’s still “The Doorway” positioned curiously ahead of the finale. It brings not just a feeling of place, but also of experimentalism on Baker‘s part that she moves from description through the lyrics to actually putting the listener there.

Maybe that’s the last step, to actually bring the audience to where Baker is, though the song-as-letter form of “From Behind the Curtain” renews that distance, so perhaps we’re not all the way across that threshold. In any case, as it rounds out with Baker giving the details of the town where she lives — “The asylum, the pub, the catholic church” — and talks about going into the church for the first time, the shift that No Summer has made from its beginning point to its end is that from a point of wandering to having landed. And what’s in the middle? The flying cuckoo bird of the centerpiece track.

For this reason as well as for the turns in its second half from one piece to the next and the simple experience of hearing it, No Summer is best taken in its entirety rather than as single pieces. Baker‘s songs might work well as standalones, particularly “Fallen” or “Our Lady’s” or “Old Enough,” but one of the joys of the album is hearing them interact with each other, a harmony here and a pinched note of fiddle on “Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies” left in for authenticity’s sake. The first element that greets the listener is Baker‘s voice, strong and resounding, and the last to go is a plucked guitar that seems less resolute, but the dynamic Cinder Well brings to bear throughout doesn’t need to be either thing entirely to seem honest, and in fact is all the more honest for not being. Baker‘s performance is hardly joyous, but it is a joy to behold, and though the album takes the time to describe the gray tones that surround it in Ireland where lavender L.A. skies might otherwise be, it is no more of the one than the other, and its portrayal is richer for the travels that inspired it.

Cinder Well, “No Summer” official video

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Tau and the Drones of Praise Post “Seanóirí Naofa” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tau and the drones of praise

I’m not gonna claim to be any kind of expert on the work of Tau or any of the various incarnations the Irish-rooted frontman Shaun Mulrooney has of it. I saw something so I’m saying something while I bother to investigate further. Tau and the Drones of Praise issued the four-song Seanóirí Naofa EP last month, and they would’ve been at Roadburn this year, but blah blah blah I’m tired of talking about the pandemic. The EP’s tracks vary somewhat in personality, but with the title-cut, there’s a particularly deep dive into Celtic folk and nature-worshiping psychedelia. And antlers. Lots of antlers. I don’t even mean just in the video. The song itself has antlers. How did they even do that?

Well, that’s the magic I guess, and that’s why I’m posting the video, because it’s easy to get swept up in it, and while this may not be the kind of heavy fare one expects around here all the time, consider the weight of Ireland’s history and consider the breadth of atmosphere being conveyed here and maybe that’ll give you some sense of where I’m coming from. Or maybe it won’t and it doesn’t really matter either way. If you dig it, dig it. If you don’t, well, I post five times a day most days and there are at least a hundred thousand other shitheel blogs out there, so do the math and you’re bound to find something that meets your stringent standards sooner or later.

Sorry. That one kind of took a turn.

Anyway, expand your horizons a little and get into it:

Tau & the Drones of Praise, “Seanóirí Naofa” official video

Title track Seanóirí Naofa (Sacred Ancestors) from the EP, Seanóirí Naofa out now.

Video is a collage and homage to the beauty of Ireland and our Sacred sites. Additional shots on tour in France and at La Briche Audio

Edited by Kyle McFerguson
Filmed by Haile MArie & Leo Lee

Seanóirí Naofa is the lead single from an EP of the same title by Tau & And The Drones of Praise.

This is the follow up to their second album released in February 2019, which garnered widespread acclaim.

In a flash of Imbas (inspiration) Seanóirí Naofa was written and recorded by the Berlin/Ireland based ensemble in just a few hours which gives the track its raw/ archaic immediacy. Opened stringed tunings and old instruments like the hurdy gurdy contains that signature Tau drone while maintaining a confident and contemporary, folky feel.

The mountain on the cover is Queen Maeve’s Cairn at Knocknarea, Co Sligo. The photograph was taken on Spring Equinox 2020, just as the world went into lockdown. The fiery warrior spirit and sovereignty which Goddess Queen Méabh represents so inspires the band, and is a reminder of our own inner fire and our own sovereignty.

Here, frontman Shaun Mulrooney retraces his ancestors’ footsteps, as his surname originates in County Sligo which is a stone’s throw from where he currently resides. Rory Nelson Mckee’s traditional guitar playing being at the helm on Seanóirí Naofa gives this work Tau’s most Irish sounding feel to date.

Tau and the Drones of Praise, Seanóirí Naofa (2020)

Tau on Instagram

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TOOMS Premiere “One Ton Soup”; The Orb Offers Massive Signals out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on July 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

tooms

Limerick, Ireland’s TOOMS will release their debut album, The Orb Offers Massive Signals, this Friday, July 17, through Cursed Monk Records. The acronym-monikered three-piece have already unveiled a couple tracks from the offering, as one will, but as the (I assume) last piece to a densely-weighted riffy puzzle, they offer the fitting summary “One Ton Soup,” and as you’ll probably expect given the context of the band’s name, the song’s title, the label putting it out and just about everything else up to the looks on their faces in their press photo, it’s rather heavy. They call it “thicc” and I’m not inclined to argue.

Something else “One Ton Soup” does, though is blend styles in some unexpected ways. The angularity of the opening progression, for example, and the manner in which it gives way to lurching extremity, the overarching weight seeming to rumble in the high end as well as the low, the whole thing sounding fierce and lurching with samples behind, obscured by the next round of pummeling that soon begins. The song runs seven minutes total, so it’s not a minor sampling by any means of the 10 track offering — though I’ll admit to no small amount of curiosity to hear tooms the orb offers massive signals“Megalobong,” especially given their stated affinity for earlier Mastodon — and as “One Ton Soup” breaks at its halfway point to crashes and snare march (and samples), the procession feels all the more extreme-sludge for its sense of militarism; the song almost sounds like it’s beating itself with itself. Like if you were to self-flagellate by slapping your own face, but with the riff.

Is it massive? Well it’s frickin’ called “One Ton Soup,” so yes thank you very much it is. A quiet line of Fender Rhodes comes in to finish, kind of out of nowhere, but the distorted underpinning remains, and the landscape over which TOOMS just marched for the last three and a half minutes of the track is duly flattened. I don’t know what happens when “Krokodil Den” takes hold as the next track on The Orb Offers Massive Signals, but I know listening to “One Ton Soup” makes me curious to find out, so I suppose that’s one reason to roll out the ol’ ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner, if you needed one.

Preorders are up now through Cursed Monk‘s Bandcamp, from which the following player also comes, bringing the premiere of “One Ton Soup.”

Before I turn you over to the music, I’d like to extend thanks to the band for the thought and detail and personality they put into the quote about it. Sometimes you ask a band for a quote about a song and they give you a half-sentence that equates to “duh we wrote it dude.” Fair enough, but it’s clear TOOMS took the time to really give some background — right down to the lyrics and the gear they used — and it is appreciated.

Enjoy the track:

TOOMS on “One Ton Soup”:

With “One Ton Soup” we basically tried to write the nastiest, heaviest choon possible at that time.

The intro was 100% inspired by High On Fire’s “Hung Drawn and Quartered.” The rest of the song? Not sure exactly where it came from, just carved itself out of the stratosphere by jamming, and we managed to stumble upon these riffs.

There is a chord in the slowed down part that we call the Lamb of God chord, and the main part of the song, in hindsight, was probably inspired by “Mother Puncher”-era Mastodon. There is also that black metal tremolo part before the thicc crushing S L O W outro, so we were certainly drawing from many different influences.

We actually recorded the drums for this way before we did guitars, and did this strange slow-down-speed-up thing with the drums during the bridge between main riff sections with vocals. It was super hard to recreate on guitar, and just didn’t seem right, so we chopped the drums a little for that part to make it feel less stumbling, and because of that it gives it a little feel of industrial/electronic music, which was totally a happy accident.

The guitars are layered much on the whole album with many many pedals, from wah-pedals cocked all the way down and drowned in distortion, to filter pedals mangled with custom built fuzz pedals,(“The Sodomizer” being a aptly named one) But on this particular song, the guitar tone is mostly just coming from overdriven amp distortion. Used a modded Bugera head that’s basically a Fender Bassman, and a Jch50 on the overdrive channel. Layered em both, used a 2×12 cab with celestions in it, and boom, TONE.

Our sound engineer and recording genius Chris also came up with some great ideas, one of which being to vari-speed the guitars; which is basically, play the riff twice as fast, record that, then slow it back to its written speed and pitch correct it. It gives a dragging, lumbering feel (have probably got that way wrong, but that is the jist). Chris also played all the nasty bubbling sounds that you can hear beneath the riffs during the bridge. He also followed the guitar’s melody line during the outro and played the Fender Rhodes that fades in and takes the song to a whole new level, which was a collective idea that stemmed from many hours together in little rooms making guitars sound horrible.

The sample just before the outro kicks into full gear is taken from Black Dynamite, just to remind us all that metal can be heavy as fuck, but doesn’t need to be super serious all the time (Looking at you death metal).

Vocal and lyrical wise, it’s a song basically about soup that drinks you and follows the description of you (the listener) becoming used as an ingredient in the Devil’s broth, and describes in detail all the gross ways in which you are dismantled and turned into a human crouton.

It had originally just been the first couple of lines repeated over and over. But on the day of tracking the vocals, it didn’t seem right or do the music justice, so the vocals were written as they were being tracked. As far as the vocal delivery is concerned, it was very much “vocals as an instrument” kind of approach. We thought about putting more vocals on the outro, but felt like it just didn’t need any there, it felt complete and once the Rhodes melody was added, we knew it was done.

Lyrics:
One. One tone. One. Tone soup burns you.
Burns. Boils teeth. Melts. Gums and scalds lips.
You. You chose. The. Special of the day.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death broth drinks you.
Wake. Wake up. Wake. Wake up in wok.
Now. Now your. Now. Now you’re sautéed.
Shaved. And skinned. Hung. You been bleed dry.
Blow. It’s hot. Blow. Or tongue get sore.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death broth bubbles.
One. One tone. One. Tone soup drank you.
Your. Your blood. Your. Blood and guts gone.
Hot. Hot oils. Skin. Crispy garnish.
Taste. Taste good. Hu. Hu-man hot pot.
Devil. Devil chef. Serve. You soup on plate.
Death. Death broth. Death. Death rules world

TOOMS are:
Drums, gong – Kieran ‘Slippy Fingers’ AKA ‘Chodo Baggins’ AKA ‘The Wobbler’ Grace
Bass – Anto ‘The Wizard’ AKA ‘Farmer Arms’ AKA ‘Old Man’ AKA ‘Coldplay’ Donnellan
Guitar, vocals – Alex ‘The Riffsmiff AKA Big Slim(e) AKA The Vanilla Gorilla’ AKA ‘Half-Bar’ Hölzinger

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Cursed Monk Records website

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, Dätcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

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Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

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Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

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Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “Inhumación,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

Rito Verdugo on Thee Facebooks

Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

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Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

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Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

Dätcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

Dätcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything Dätcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

Dätcha Mandala on Thee Facebooks

MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

Numidia on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records website

 

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Days of Rona: Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records

Posted in Features on April 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records

Days of Rona: Rodger Mortis of Cursed Monk Records (Galway, Ireland)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a label? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

We’re doing OK. We’ve stopped mailing orders for a few weeks as we are limiting going outside as much as possible. We have made our entire digital catalog free so hopefully this will help folks while away the hours of isolation. We’ve also started up a podcast (The Cursed Cast) which will highlight some of our favourite labels and the excellent acts they put out. So again, hopefully this will help people pass the time. Health-wise, we’re fine. We both came down with a cold the first week, which ramped up the paranoia as we’re both high risk. But thankfully it passed. We also had to postpone our wedding, but that’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We’re in lockdown at the moment, so you have to stay at home except to buy food, care for vulnerable people, do work deemed essential or briefly exercise within 2km (1.2 miles) of home. When you are out you have to adhere to social distancing. The state has deployed hundreds of extra police on the streets and passed laws to enforce the restrictions – violators can be arrested, fined €2,500 ($2715) and jailed for six months.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

We live in a small town in the West of Ireland, the community seem to be taking this very seriously which is great. Ireland as a whole seems to be doing its best and giving the situation the gravity it deserves. Plus, comparatively to other countries, it’s not too bad here yet. The Government has taken the proper steps, you can get a test if you need to, and there’s plenty of food on the shelves. I think it’s much scarier for Amanda (Cursed Monk Records co-founder, Rodge’s Fiancee) as her whole family lives in the States.

Music-wise, I can see the community coming together and helping each other through. It’s a beautiful thing. Times are hard, but we will come out the other side.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a label, or personally, or anything?

I want people to take this very seriously. Wash your hands. Give people space if you absolutely have to go out. If you’re wearing protective gloves or homemade masks, please learn how to use them properly. But most of all, if you are not working on the front lines or in essential services, just stay at home. It’s easy. There’s endless entertainment online, in books, around the house, in your own head. Plus, the world is more connected than it has ever been. If you need to talk to someone, jump online or pick up the phone. There’s no excuse.

As for our situation as a label, I want people to know that we are not going anywhere, and we will strive to keep releasing dark musical esoterica from the underground.

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Death the Leveller to Release Debut Album II on Cruz Del Sur

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I was fortunate enough to be in Dublin, Ireland, in 2017 for the Emerald Haze festival (review here), which was a goddamn blast, and at which Death the Leveller featured. They were awesome, to the point that I made a note to myself in the review to go back later and check out their EP, I, as I had not been exposed to the band before that. As Cruz Del Sur has been on a bit of a tear in picking up quality bands of late — Ogre and Orodruin both had killer albums out this year, and Tower were newly picked up among others in newer movement of traditionalist metal and doom — but Death the Leveller aren’t so easily categorized, and that’s definitely part of the appeal.

Their debut full-length, counterintuitively titled II, will be out in March 2020, and if you’re not stoked on that news, really, take a minute to listen to the EP and give it a fair shake. I definitely got the impression live that they were onto something — and apparently the label did as well — but I think that comes through in the recording as well.

Enjoy:

Death the Leveller live at Emerald Haze 2017 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Irish Doomsters DEATH THE LEVELLER Sign With Cruz Del Sur Music

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Dublin, Ireland doom metallers Death The Leveller. The label will release the band’s first proper full-length album, “II”, in March 2020.

Originally formed in 2016 out of the ashes of long-running Irish metal ensemble MAEL MÓRDHA, DEATH THE LEVELLER released their debut “I” EP in 2017 to critical acclaim and positive fan reaction. The band’s sound — a melancholic, but strikingly epic take on doom metal — is the result of its four members taking their combined experience and working to create something entirely distinct.

“I think the big takeaway for us was the whole approach to DEATH THE LEVELLER had to be honest, about us, our lives, our losses and our passions,” says drummer Shane Achill. “Sure, we are all influenced by one thing or another, but I can’t say the bands we were in in the past influenced us in any big meaningful way. I know we are certainly influenced by the mistakes we made in the past and how not to recreate those mistakes in DEATH THE LEVELLER.”

DEATH THE LEVELLER (who are rounded out by vocalist Denis Dowling, guitarist Ger Clince and bassist Dave Murphy) fell onto Cruz Del Sur’s radar by way of fellow Irish metallers (and Cruz Del Sur act) Darkest Era. Cruz Del Sur label head Enrico Leccese was instantly a fan of “I” and started up a conversation with the band, with the two parties eventually putting pen to paper in 2019.

“The great thing about Cruz is the quality of bands writing quality music being released by a guy who is a fan of the bands and music he releases,” notes Cahill. “There are not many out there like Enrico at the moment and it was very refreshing for us to find a home for our music that cuts out all the crap that takes away from creating and writing music. Enrico is not looking for the next trend or fashion statement, which is good for us, right? Shortly after that, we demoed three tracks and we finally met at Doom Over Vienna where our relationship was cemented and Enrico got to see us live for the first time. Suddenly it looked like we had a label and that ‘II’ was starting to become a reality.”

The band is currently holed up at Trackmix Recording Studio in Dublin with engineer Michael Richards for the recording of “II”. According to Cahill, the album will comprise of four songs at 42 minutes that are more “introspective” and “reaches more emotional depths than ‘I’.”

“We’re still exploring the human relationship with death and concepts of mortality, but whereas the first release approached the idea of legacy after death, this one goes on a more soul-searching journey to some darker personal places of loss but ultimately also has its uplifting moments,” he says. “Sound-wise, this one has a more laid-back feel in places, giving the general tone of the album more space to breathe and a much more natural sound to come through. On saying that, it also has some of the heaviest sections we’ve done so far. For us, writing each song is a journey, and as we write this, we’re in the studio putting the final pieces of the jigsaw together and the landscape forms in front of us.”

The remainder of 2019 will find DEATH THE LEVELLER putting the finishing touches on “II” while preparing for a run of dates in Europe and Ireland alongside new labelmates, Argus. The band will also be appearing at the bi-annual Redemption Festival in Dublin, as well as Little Devil Doom Days in Holland.

“The main focus for 2020 is to get out there and play to as many people as possible,” wraps Cahill. “These songs mean the world to us. It was a fairly personal and at times, a very emotional journey, but now it’s time to have some fun and bring all of that to the stage and let it rip.”

https://www.facebook.com/deaththelevellerdoom/
https://deaththeleveller.bandcamp.com/
cruzdelsurmusic.com
facebook.com/cruzdelsurmusic
cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com

Death the Leveller, I (2017)

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