Buss Premiere ‘Live Under the Grape’ Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

buss live under the grape

You got 12 minutes to watch some kids rock out like Thesis Custom Blog Page. Welcome to our page about doctoral thesis proofreading. Did you know? Up to 10% of your mark is attributed to having the correct academic style of writing. This is often a problematic area for many students, especially those whose first language is not English. Your doctoral thesis is the culmination of years of work – use our expert editors to remove errors and Stooges-gone-West-Coast-fuzz? Sure you do. What are doing that’s so damn important? Apparently sometime last summer, brash trio Essay help online from professional writers with Bachelor and Master's degrees. Your Ancient Egypt Homework Helper Books are ready to complete any kind of paper. Available 24/7. Buss — who released their self-titled EP (review here) in May — decided to get together and play. No shows, of course, so they made their own. They’re outside, it’s sunny, warm, under a tree that may or may not indeed be a big-ass grape vine, and with an old boombox by their side, a couple cameras to swap between and a beer on bassist Doctorate Creative Writing - Cooperate with our writers to receive the excellent review meeting the requirements Start working on your essay now with Erik Carpani‘s Orange amp, they just hit it with the first two tracks of the EP. A band, playing songs. Could hardly be more straightforward, right?

Sure, save for the context in which ‘Live Under the Grape’ arrives. I don’t know whose house that is they’re playing in front of, but given the volume they unleash one hopes the neighbors were down to jam. Perhaps, after several months of hard quarantine, they too were ready for whatever glimpse of a gig they could get. Maybe after the cameras stopped it turned into an impromptu and safely-socially-distant block party, everybody out on their porch cracking a beer and toasting each other from far away. Okay, maybe not, but best essay collections Essay About My Trip To London how to write an abstract for your dissertation doctoral guide to buying term papers online Buss still rip into “Liars” and “TV Show” and if you’ve got a problem with that, I doubt it’d give the band much pause at all. From what I can see here, they seem pretty happy just to be jamming on the songs.

Rightfully so. I’ll spare you the group-creativity-is-a-treasure-during-a-pandemic spiel, but obviously the same applies. I’ve never been to Trieste, Italy, but it’s no stretch to imagine hitting up a show and watching  When facing a deadline crisis or a http://www.marie-medstrategic.eu/?where-to-buy-a-research-paper-urgently uk paper you can’t handle, AssignmentMasters provides professional, affordable assignment Buss have the kind of infectious fun that vibes all the way through here. So yeah, you’ve got 12 minutes for that. Sorry for your day if you don’t.

Enjoy:

Buss, ‘Live Under the Grape’ official video premiere

BUSS – Live under the grape

Tracklist:
Liars (00:00-6:13)
TV show (6:23-12:15)

Recorded in a hot and sweaty summer afternoon. Listen with the volume cranked up!

We’d had thirst for live performance, so we decided to organise one! No tricky stuff: just loud amps, cold beer and some good friends. Ivan the drummer, provided some basic recording equipment he wanted to try. So this is our first improvised recording; At a old, dusty, and moldy house, the best location for a wild party. We had an amazing time, playing together: we really were on fire, just like our amps. The mix of booze and (too) high volumes continued until early morning hours for the happiness of the beloved neighbours.

Audio & video recordings by BUSS

Mixed by Alessandro Perosa @Track Terminal Studio

Video editing by Alija Bandi

Released with the support from Rocket Panda Management

BUSS DEBUT EP:
https://bussband1.bandcamp.com/album/ep

BUSS is:
Erik Carpani – bass & vocals
Patrik Pregarc – guitar
Ivan Kralj – drums

Buss, Buss EP(2020)

Buss on Instagram

Buss on Thee Facebooks

Buss on YouTube

Buss on Bandcamp

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Andrea Van Cleef Posts “The New Earth” Video From Shine Live Album

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

andrea van cleef (Photo by Gigi Fratus)

Not a ton of mystery here, and that’s just fine. proposal and dissertation help gantt chart page dissertation sur le cinema dissertation que desire t on Andrea Van Cleef, known for his work as vocalist/guitarist of Brescia, Italy’s Category Archives: http://www.houtaud.fr/?assigning-function-keys. Countdown to a New APA Manual. APA editing, Communicating with your dissertation chair, dissertation, dissertation editing, dissertation proofreading, experts in APA, thesis, Writing tips By Brittany Thomas August 21, 2019. The Seventh Edition of the APA Publication Manual comes out this October. Calm yourselves from the excitement, and then Humulus, has done solo shows in various guises for years. His most recent studio album, Can You Buy Essays Onlines. Save Time & improve Grades. Questions Asked; Experts; Total Answered; Start Excelling in your courses, Ask an Expert and get answers for your homework and assignments!! Our Amazing Features. Plagiarism Free Work. Our experts provide 100 % original and customized work On time Delivery. 24*7 Customer Support . We provide 24*7 online customer supports via online 135, was released in Jan. 2020 as a series of three 7″ platters billed as Our Ten Reasons For Not Doing My Homework service ensures that your entire dissertation is flawless and reflects conceptual accuracy, data accuracy and language accuracy. Every Dissertation is proofread multiple times by our editorial and proofreading team. It is ensured that the margins, spacing between lines and paragraphs, consistency of font size and style, numbering, in-text citations, headers and Andrea Van Cleef and the Fuzz Resistance. For the newer-released-but-earlier-recorded live album, Vampiric Shepard stalks his favorite laurels without thinking? gabbroitic and http://www.synthomer.com/?chemical-reactions-homework-help busy Haskell suffers his hirsling or signaling first and Shine, it’s Essaywriting Service Service.Buying online papers.Custom Dissertation Writing Service Australia.Pay someone write my paper.Write my essay meta. Research Paper Services Cheap, Writing drafts is something I struggle with every time I have to do my papers. Buy Grade A essays, research papers, dissertations, theses, Cutewriters. If this is the first time you. EssayAgents- A Top & Cheapest Essay Andrea Van Cleef and the Forever People, and indeed, As the leading UK essay writing support provider, SpeedyEssay can be of your assistance when you decide to http://www.cfavm.ca/?papers-on-prayer. If you are looking for a trusted source in the UK to purchase essay, then our expert UK writers can help you with writing your paper. Van Cleef — who of course is not to be confused with Napoli outfit We offer find more info at affordable prices. We started as a small team with a primary focus on helping students from different countries in their dissertations. Currently, we help students from across the globe on nearly every topic. Lee Van Cleef — has a full band behind him for the six-song set, including drums, backing vocals, keys and bass, all of which lend the fuzzy “I Wanna Be Like You” a desert-psych vibe that Professional College Essay Writing Service Reviews by WritingElites.net - Order high quality, non-plagiarized and affordable research papers written by our expert Shine mirrors with its cover art.

The set begins with the melodic flow of “I Passed Away,” and moves through “I Wanna Be Like You”andrea van cleef and the forever people shine and the noisier We Provide the Best Buy Essay Website. We offer writing from scratch for all dissertation chapters. You can order any chapter from the order form. We also offer dissertation editing services and dissertation proofreading services, for those who have already written the content, but need assistance with the finishing touches. These are only a few of the PhD-level services we offer: Law Morphine cover “Thursday” before the momentary freakout that is “Friday” — fitting it should be after the day before — and the seven-minute, organ-laced “Shine” before arriving at the closer of the recording, which is “The New Earth.” At 12 minutes, it is both culmination of the set — though apparently the recording is incomplete, so whether there was more before or after, I don’t know; what is time, anyway? — and summary of the total journey, beginning with an early sunrise of guitar and stretching out into a work of melodic psych-prog the fullness of which is not at all undercut by the fact that it’s a live recording. One imagines that, if you were standing in Pavia that April night in 2018, it would’ve been quite a moment to witness.

A video? Don’t mind if I do. Counter perhaps to expectation, the clip is not of “The New Earth” being performed live as it happened, or even assembled from other shows, but the track put to some archival NASA footage that, honestly, fits just as well. You were going to space one way or the other.

Shine is name-your-price and streaming in its entirety at the bottom of this post, because why wouldn’t it be? Van Cleef offers some comment below the video.

Please enjoy:

Andrea Van Cleef and the Forever People, “The New Earth” official video

Andrea Van Cleef on “The New Earth”:

This year’s been a bitch. Sitting at home with nothing to do and browsing thru my personal music archive, I found this .zip files with soundboard recording from a show I played with my solo band two and a half years ago. We played soft psychedelia and classic rock, it was (my second solo album) “Tropic of Nowhere” tour. The recording — albeit incomplete, only part of the set was included — sounded really good, so I decided to mix and master those songs and put out a live album, available on Bandcamp as “name your price” offer: https://andreavancleef.bandcamp.com/album/shine-live-in-pavia-april-12-2018

Then the drummer of the Forever People (my “solo” band) told me that NASA has got a wide archive of amazing footage, which I thought could make a good match with the last song of the album, the Pink Floyd influenced “the new earth”. This is how this video came to light. I hope you guys enjoy the trip! Take care!

Written by Andrea Van Cleef, performed by AVC & The Forever People (AVC: guitar, vocals; Giorgio Finulli: bass; Matteo Melchiori: drums; Andrea Braga: keyboards; Sara Gozzi, Daniel Rosa, Marco Pasetti: backing vocals)

Recorded live at Spaziomusica, Pavia, ITALY on April 12, 2018.

Free footage courtesy of NASA, JSC PAO Video Collection –
NASA Johnson Space Center Public Affairs Office.
https://www.nasa.gov/

Photo by Gigi Fratus.

Andrea Van Cleef and the Forever People, Shine: Live in Pavia, April 12, 2018 (2021)

Andrea Van Cleef on Thee Facebooks

Andrea Van Cleef on Bandcamp

Andrea Van Cleef website

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Fvzz Popvli Releasing Live in Hamburg Jan. 29; “Stamps are For… Smile” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’ll spare you — this time — the diatribe about how crucial live albums have become in a time when live music itself feels like a thing of the past. Rome’s Fvzz Popvli traveled to Hamburg, Germany, in Sept. 2019 to support their 2018 second album, Magna Fvzz (review here), and the show was recorded. I’m sure when it happened they didn’t think much about it. There’s video as well, and you can see the set opener “Stamps are For… Smile” at the bottom of this post. The lesson here? If you’re in a band, document as much as you can. Recording sessions, rehearsals, demos, live shows, everything. Get as much as you can, because you never know when you’re going to want it.

Maybe never. Or maybe some crazy weird shit will happen all over the world and instead of releasing your third album and touring the whole year like you planned, you’ll be stuck at home in a quarantine situation. Bottom line is I bet Pootchie and company are pretty happy those cameras showed up to MS Stubnitz.

Release date is Jan. 29. Here’s PR wire info:

Fvzz Popvli LIVE IN HAMBURG COVER

FVZZ POPVLI PROUDLY PRESENT: LIVE IN HAMBURG!

Fvzz Popvli are proud to announce the release for their first live album ever!

The world covid crisis unfortunately forced us to reschedule our 3rd album for an unknown date. We took the decision to release our first live album in a moment where live concerts aren’t possible, just to remind all of you how much live music is the fuel for our beloved scene.

Live in Hamburg: Eight killer tracks of our live concert produced by Desert Hazard Crew and recorded inside a fishing boat named MS Stubnitz, a legendary venue docked in the Nord Elbe river in Hamburg (D)! This live album will be a digital release exclusive for Bandcamp, coming out Friday the 29th of January 2021.

TRACK LIST
Stamps Are For… Smile
Hashish
Mastvrbation
White Fish
Napoleon
Lost In Time
Shamother
Rvmpeltvm

In the meantime enjoy the first “Live in Hamburg” video of Stamps Are For… Smile the second track of our first album “Fvzz Dei”.

AVAILABLE FROM 29th JANUARY ON FVZZPOPVLI.BANDCAMP.COM

FVZZ POPVLI ARE:
FRANCESCO “POOTCHIE” PUCCI – Guitar and Voice (BEESUS,The Wisdoom)
DATIO PALATIO – Bass (The Anthony’s Vinyls)
George – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/FvzzPopvli/
fvzzpopvli.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/RetroVoxRecords
https://retrovoxrecords.bandcamp.com/

Fvzz Popvli, “Stamps are For… Smile” Live in Hamburg

Fvzz Popvli, Magna Fvzz (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Celestial Season, Wren, Sumokem, Oginalii, Völur, Wedge, SpellBook, Old Blood, Jahbulong, Heavy Trip

Posted in Reviews on December 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

The end of the week for the Quarterly Review is a special time, even if this particular QR will continue into next Monday and Tuesday. Also apparently today is Xmas? Okay. Whatever, I’ve got writing to do. I hope you’re safe and not, say, traveling out of state to see family against the urging of the CDC. That would be incredibly irresponsible, etc. etc. that’s what I’m doing. Don’t get me started.

However you celebrate or don’t, be safe. Music will help.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Celestial Season, The Secret Teachings

celestial season the secret teachings

Like many of the original death-doom set, Dutch masters Celestial Season gave up the style during their original run, departing toward heavy rock after 1995’s Solar Lovers. At an hour’s run spread across 13 tracks including ambient guitar and violin/cello interludes, The Secret Teachings has no time for such flighty fare. Reunited with original vocalist Stefan Ruiters and bassist Lucas van Slegtenhorst, the band return in grand fashion for their first full-length in 20 years, and songs like “Long Forlorn Tears” and “Salt of the Earth” conjure all the expert-grade morose plod one could possibly ask, as each side of the 2LP begins with its own intro and sets its own mood, from the almost-hopeful wistfulness of opener/longest track (immediate points) “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” at the start to the birdsong-laced “Beneath the Temple Mount” that leads the way into “A Veil of Silence” and “Red Water” at the finish, the latter a Type O Negative cover that fits well after the crescendo of the song before it.

Celestial Season on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records website

 

Wren, Groundswells

wren groundswells

The gift Wren make to post-metal is that even in their quietest stretches, they maintain tension. And sure, the Londoners’ second LP, Groundswells — also stylized all-caps: GROUNDSWELLS — has in “Murmur” its “Stones From the Sky” moment as all works of the genre seemingly must, but the six-cut/44-minute follow-up to 2017’s Auburn Rule (discussed here) casts a scope less about pretense or ambition than largesse and heft, and that serves it well, be it in the shorter “Crossed Out Species” or longer pieces like the opener “Chrome” and the penultimate “Subterranean Messiah,” which injects some melodic vocals into the proceedings and airy string-inclusive prog amid all the surrounding crush. All well and good, but it’s hard to deny the sheer assault of the doomed apex in closer “The Throes,” and you’ll pardon me if I don’t try. Ambience through volume, catharsis through volume, volume all things.

Wren on Thee Facebooks

Gizeh Records website

 

Sumokem, Prajnaparadha

sumokem prajnaparadha

With strength of performance to fall back on and progressive realization in their songwriting, Little Rock, Arkansas’ Sumokem would seem to come of age on their third long-player, Prajnaparadha, answering the flourish of 2017’s The Guardian of Yosemite (discussed here) with an even more confident stylistic sprawl and an abiding patience that extends even to the album’s most intense moments. Not at all a minor undertaking in dynamic or its run of five long songs following the intro “Prologue,” Prajnaparadha manages not to be dizzying mostly because of the grace with which it’s crafted, tied together by ace guitar work and a propensity for soaring in order to complement and sometimes willfully contrast the tonal weight. When the growls show up in “Fakir” and carry into “Khizer,” Sumokem seem to push the record to its final level, and making that journey with them is richly satisfying.

Sumokem on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Oginalii, Pendulum

Oginalii Pendulum

Psychedelia comes poison-tipped with brooding post-grunge atmospheres as Oginalii‘s Pendulum swings this way and that between “Scapegoat” and “Black Hole” and “Pillars” and “Veils” across its too short 24 minutes. The Nashvillainous four-piece explore an inner darkness perfect for these long months of forced-introspection, and though calling something pandemic-appropriate has become a tired compliment to give, the underlying rhythmic restlessness of “Scapegoat” and the crying out overtop, the fuzzy burst of “Veils” and the interweaving drums and guitar noise behind the recited semi-sung poetry of “Pillars” serve the soundtrack cause nonetheless, to say nothing of the two-minute minimalist echoing stretch of “Black Hole” or the oh-okay-it’s-indie-post-rock-but-oh-wait-what-the-hell-now-it’s-furious closer “Stripped the Screw.” Anger suits Oginalii as it comes through here, not in tired chestbeating but in spacious craft that manages to sound intense even in its languid reach. Pretty fucking cool, if you ask me.

Oginalii on Thee Facebooks

Devil in the Woods on Bandcamp

 

Völur, Death Cult

Völur death cult

Toronto’s Völur offer their third album, Death Cult, in cooperation with Prophecy Productions, and it comes in four string-laced tracks that waste little time in pushing genre limits, bringing folk influences in among doom, blackened metallurgy and more ethereal touches. Arrangements of violin, viola, cello, double-bass, keys, and the shared vocals of Laura Bates and Lucas Gadke (the latter also of Blood Ceremony) give a suitably arthouse feel to the proceedings rounded out by the drums and percussion of Justin Ruppel, and it’s far from unearned as the four songs play out across 37 minutes, “Dead Moon” veering into lumbering death-doom in its apex ahead of the jazz-into-choral-into-drone-into-freer-jazz-into-progressive-black-metal of the 11-minute “Freyjan Death Cult,” subsequent closer “Reverend Queen” leaving behind the chaos in its last few minutes for an epilogue of mournful strings and drums; a dirge both unrepentantly beautiful and still in keeping with the atmospheric weight throughout. Bands like this — rare — make other bands better.

Volur on Thee Facebooks

Volur at Prophecy Productions

 

Wedge, Like No Tomorrow

wedge like no tomorrow

Bursting with enough energy to make one miss live music, Wedge‘s third album, Like No Tomorrow, transcends vintage-ism in its production if not its overall mindset, bringing clarity to Deep Purple organ-tics on opener “Computer” while keeping the lyrics purposefully modern. Bass leads the way in “Playing a Role” and the spirit is boogie fuzz until the jam hits and, yeah, they make it easy to go along for the ride. “Blood Red Wine” has arena-rock melody down pat while centerpiece and likely side A closer “Across the Water” at last lets itself go to that place, following the guitar until the surge that brings in “Queen of the Night” indulges purer proto-metal impulses, still accomplished in its harmonized chorus amid the charge. Is that the guitar solo in “U’n’I” panning left to right I hear? I certainly hope so. The shortest cut on Like No Tomorrow feels like it’s in a hurry to leave behind a verse, and sets up the surprisingly modestly paced “At the Speed of Life,” which is lent a cinematic feel by the organ and layered choral vocals that bolsters yet another strong hook, while the nine-minute “Soldier” is bluesier but still sounds like it could be the live incarnation of any of these tracks depending on where a given jam takes Wedge on any given night. Here’s hoping, anyhow.

Wedge on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

SpellBook, Magick and Mischief

SpellBook Magick and Mischief

About a year and a half after issuing Otherworldly (review here), their third album under the moniker Witch Hazel, the dukes of York, PA, are back with a new name and a refreshed sound. As SpellBook, vocalist Nate Tyson, guitarist Andy Craven, bassist Seibert Lowe and drummer Nicholas Zinn push through two vinyl sides of classic heavy f’n metal, less concerned with doom than they were but still saving a bit of roll for the longer centerpiece “Not Long for This World” and the airy, dramatic closer “Dead Detectives.” Elsewhere, “Black Shadow” brings a horns-at-the-ready chorus, “Motorcade” reminds that the power of Judas Priest was always in the basslines (that’s right, I said it), and “Ominous Skies” brims with the vitality of the new band that SpellBook are, even as it benefits from the confidence born of these players’ prior experience together.

SpellBook on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Old Blood, Acid Doom

old blood acid doom

Kudos to L.A.’s Old Blood for at least making the classification part easy when it comes to their debut album, conveniently titled Acid Doom, though that category hardly accounts for, say, the piano stretch of second cut “Bridge to Nowhere,” or the heavy rock theatricality in “Heavy Water” or the horn sounds of “Slothgod” a few songs later, but I suppose one has to start somewhere, and ‘acid doom’ is fair enough when it comes to accounting for the sleekery in the vocals of Lynx, the weight of the riffs of C. Gunner, the roll of bassist Octopus and drummer Diesel and the classic-style organ work of J.F. Stone. But if Old Blood want to unfurl something deceptively complex and stylistically intricate on their debut, that’s certainly cool as far as I’m concerned. Production is a strong presence throughout in a way that pulls a bit from what the impact of the songs might be on stage (remember stages?), but the songwriting is there, and Lynx‘s voice is a noteworthy presence of its own. I’m not sure where they’ll end up sound-wise, but at the same time, Acid Doom comes across like nothing else in the batch of 70 records I’m doing for this Quarterly Review, and that in itself I find admirable.

Old Blood on Thee Facebooks

Metal Assault Records on Bandcamp

DHU Records webstore

 

Jahbulong, Eclectic Poison Tones

JAHBULONG ECLECTIC POISON TONES

Just because you know the big riff is going to kick in about a minute into opening track “Under the Influence of the Fool” on Jahbulong‘s tarot-inflected stoner doom four-songer Eclectic Poison Tones doesn’t make it any less satisfying when it happens. The deep-rolling three-piece from Verona make their full-length debut with the 45-minute offering through Go Down Records, and the lurching continues in “The Tower of the Broken Bones” and “The Eclipse of the Empress,” which is the only cut under 10 minutes long but still keeps the slow-motion Sabbath rolling into the 15-minute closer “The Eremite Tired Out (Sweed Dreams)” (sic), which plays off some loud/quiet changes fluidly without interrupting the nod that’s so central to the entirety of the album. Look. These guys know the gods they’re worshiping — Sleep, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard maybe, etc. — and they’re not trying to get away with saying they invented any of this. If you can’t get down with 45 minutes of slower-than-slow grooves, maybe you’re in the wrong microgenre. For me, it’s the lack of pretense that makes it.

Jahbulong on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Heavy Trip, Heavy Trip

heavy trip heavy trip

Heavy Trip. Four songs. Two sides. Three dudes. Instrumental. Accurately named. Yeah, you’ve heard this story before, but screw it. They start out nice and spacious on “Hand of Shroom” and they finish with high-speed boogie in the 13-minute “Treespinner,” and all in between Heavy Trip make it nothing less than a joy to go along wherever it is they’re headed. The Vancouver three-piece make earlier Earthless something of an elephant in the room as regards influences, but the unhurried groove in second cut “Lunar Throne” is a distinguishing factor, and even as “Mind Leaf” incorporates a bit more shove, it does so with enough righteousness to carry through. As a debut, Heavy Trip‘s Heavy Trip might come across more San Diego than Vancouver, but screw it. Dudes got jams like Xmas hams, and the chemistry they bring in holding listener attention with tempo changes throughout here speaks to a progressive edge burgeoning in their sound.

Heavy Trip on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Pallbearer, Fulanno, Spirit Mother, Gevaudan, El Rojo, Witchwood, Gary Lee Conner, Tomorr, Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Karkara

Posted in Reviews on December 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

There isn’t enough caffeine in the universe to properly sustain a Quarterly Review, and yet here we are. I’ve been doing this for six years now, and once started I’ve always managed to get through it. This seven-day spectacular hits its halfway point today, which is okay by me. I decided to do this because there was a bunch of stuff I still wanted to consider for my year-end list, which I’d normally post this week. And sure enough, a few more have managed to make the cut from each day. I’ll hope to put the list together in the coming days and get it all posted next week, before the poll results at least. I’m not sure why that matters, but yeah.

Thanks for following along if you have been. Hope you’ve found something worth digging into.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Pallbearer, Forgotten Days

pallbearer forgotten days

Their best record. I don’t want to hear anymore about their demo, or about 2012’s Sorrow and Extinction (review here) or anything else. This is the album Pallbearer have been driving toward since their outset. It is an amalgam of emotive melody and tonal weight that makes epics of both the 12-minute “Silver Wings” and the four-minute “The Quicksand of Existing” that immediately follows, that hits a morose exploration of self in opener “Forgotten Days” and “Stasis” while engaging in metallic storytelling on “Vengeance and Ruination” and “Rite of Passage,” the latter incorporating classic metal melody in perhaps the broadest reach the band has ever had in that regard. So yeah. Pallbearer don’t have a ‘bad’ record. 2017’s Heartless (review here) was a step forward, to be sure. But Forgotten Days, ironically enough, is the kind of offering on which legacies are built and a touchstone for whatever Pallbearer do from here on out.

Pallbearer on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast website

 

Fulanno, Nadie EstĂĄ a Salvo del Mal

fulanno Nadie estĂĄ a salvo del mal

The fog rolls in thick on Argentinian doomers Fulanno‘s second full-length, Nadie EstĂĄ a Salvo del Mal. The seven-track/42-minute outing launches in post-Electric Wizard fashion, and indeed, the drawling lumber of the Dorset legends is an influence throughout, but by no means the only one the trio of guitarist/vocalist Fila Frutos, bassist Mauro Carosela and drummer Jose A. are under. They cast a doom-for-doomers vibe almost immediately, but as “Fuego en la Cruz” gives way to “Los Elegidos” and “Hombre Muerto,” the sense of going deeper is palpable. Crunching, raw tonality comes across as the clean vocals cut through, and the abiding rawness becomes a part of the aesthetic on “Los Colmillos de Satan,” a turning point ahead of the interlude “Señores de la NecrĂłpolis,” the eight-minute “El Desierto de los CaĂ­dos” and the surprisingly resonant closing instrumental “El Libro de los Muertos.” Fulanno are plenty atmospheric when they want to be, and one wonders if that won’t come further forward as their progression continues. Either way, they’ve staked their claim in doom and sound ready to die for the cause.

Fulanno on Thee Facebooks

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

Interstellar Smoke Records on Bandcamp

 

Spirit Mother, Cadets

spirit mother cadets

Preceded by a series of singles over the last couple years, Cadets is the full-length debut from Los Angeles four-piece Spirit Mother, and it packs expanse into deceptively efficient songs, seeming to loll this way and that even as it keeps an underlying forward push. The near-shoegaze vocals do a lot of the work in affecting a mellow-psych vibe, but there’s weight to Spirit Mother‘s “Ether” as well, violin, woven vocal layers, and periodic tempo kicks making songs standout from each other even as “Go Getter” keeps an experimentalist feel and “Premonitions” aces its cosmic-garage driver’s test with absolutely perfect pacing. The ultra-spacey “Shape Shifter I” and more boogie-fied “Shape Shifter II” are clear focal points, but Cadets as a whole is a marked accomplishment, particularly for a first LP, and in style, substance and atmosphere, it brings together rich textures with a laissez-faire spontaneity. The closing instrumental “Bajorek” is only one example among the 10 included tracks of Spirit Mother‘s potential, which is writ large throughout.

Spirit Mother on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Mother on Bandcamp

 

GĂ©vaudan, Iter

gevaudan iter

UK four-piece GĂ©vaudan made their debut in 2019 with Iter, and though I’m late to the party as ever, the five-song/53-minute offering is of marked scope and dynamic. Its soft stretches are barely there, melancholic and searching, and its surges of volume in opener “Dawntreader” are expressive without being overwrought. Not without modern influence from Pallbearer or YOB, etc., GĂ©vaudan‘s honing in on atmospherics helps stand out Iter as the band plod-marches with “The Great Heathen Army” — the most active of inclusions and the centerpiece — en route to “Saints of Blood” (11:54) and closer “Duskwalker” (15:16), the patient dip into extremity of the latter sealing the record’s triumph; those screams feel not like a trick the band kept up their collective sleeve, but a transition earned through the grueling plunge of all the material prior. It’s one for which I’d much rather be late than never.

GĂ©vaudan on Thee Facebooks

GĂ©vaudan website

 

El Rojo, El Diablo Rojo

el rojo el diablo rojo

The burly heavy rock of “South” at the outset of Italian heavy rockers El Rojo‘s El Diablo Rojo doesn’t quite tell the whole tale of the band’s style, but it gives essential clues to their songwriting and abiding burl. Later pieces like the slower-rolling “Ascension” (initially, anyhow) and acoustic-inclusive “Cactus Bloom” effectively build on the foundation of bruiser riffs and vocals, branching out desert-influenced melody and spaciousness instrumentalism even as the not-at-all-slowed-down “When I Slow Down” keeps affairs grounded in their purpose and structure. Riffs are thick and lead the charge on the more straightforward pieces and the seven-minute “Colors” alike as El Rojo attempt not to reinvent heavy or stoner rocks but to find room for themselves within the established tenets of genre. They’ve been around a few years at this point, and there’s still growing to be done, but El Diablo Rojo sounds like the starting point of an engaging progression.

El Rojo on Thee Facebooks

Karma Conspiracy Records website

 

Witchwood, Before the Winter

witchwood before the winter

Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, some Led Zeppelin in “Crazy Little Lover” and a touch of opera on “Nasrid” for good measure, Witchwood‘s 62-minute Before the Winter 2LP may be well on the other side of unmanageable in terms of length, but at least it’s not wasting anyone’s time. Instead, early rockers like “Anthem for a Child” and “A Taste of Winter” and the wah-funked “Feelin'” introduce the elements that will serve as the band’s colorful palette across the whole of the album. And a piece like “No Reason to Cry” becomes a straight-ahead complement to airier material like the not-coincidentally-named “A Crimson Moon” and the winding and woodsy “Hesperus,” which caps the first LP as the 10-minute epic “Slow Colours of Shade” does likewise for the record as a whole, followed by a bonus Marc Bolan cover on the vinyl edition, to really hammer home the band’s love of the heavy ’70s, which is already readily on display in their originals.

Witchwood on Thee Facebooks

Jolly Roger Records website

 

Gary Lee Conner, Revelations in Fuzz

gary lee conner revelations in fuzz

If nothing else, Gary Lee Conner sounds like he probably has an enviable collection of 45s. The delightfully weird former Screaming Trees guitarist offers up 10 fresh delights of ’60s-style garage-psych solo works on the follow-up to 2018’s Unicorn Curry, as Revelations in Fuzz lives up to its title in tone even as cascades of organ and electric piano, sitar and acoustic guitar weave in and out of the proceedings. How no one has paired Conner with Baby Woodrose frontman Uffe Lorenzen for a collaboration is a mystery I can’t hope to solve, but in the swirling and stops of “Cheshire Cat Claws” and the descent of six-minute closer “Colonel Tangerine’s Sapphire Sunshine Dreams,” Conner reaffirms his love of that which is hypnotic and lysergic while hewing to a traditionalism of songwriting that makes cuts like “Vicious and Pretty” as catchy as they are far out. And trust me, they’re plenty far out. Conner is a master of acid rock, pure and simple. And he’s already got a follow-up to this one released, so there.

Gary Lee Conner on Thee Facebooks

Vincebus Eruptum Recordings website

 

Tomorr, Tomorr

tomorr tomorr

Formed in Italy with Albanian roots, Tomorr position themselves as rural doom, which to an American reader will sound like ‘country,’ but that’s not what’s happening here. Instead, three-piece are attempting to capture a raw, village-minded sound, with purposeful homage to the places outside the cities of Europe made into sludge riffing and the significant, angular lumber of “Grazing Land.” I’m not sure it works all the time — the riff in the second half of “Varr” calls to mind “Dopesmoker” more than anti-urbane sensibilities, and wants nothing for crush — but as it’s their debut, Tomorr deserve credit for approaching doom from an individualized mindset, and the bulk of the six-song/48-minute offering does boast a sound that is on the way to being the band’s own, if not already there. There’s room for incorporating folk progressions and instrumentation if Tomorr want to go that route, but something about the raw approach they have on their self-titled is satisfying on its own level — a meeting of impulses creative and destructive at some lost dirt crossroads.

Tomorr on Thee Facebooks

Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

 

Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Red Tide

temple of the fuzz witch red tide

Well what the hell do you think Temple of the Fuzz Witch sounds like? They’re heavy as shit. Of course they are. The Detroiters heralded doomly procession on their 2019 self-titled demo/EP (review here), and the subsequent debut full-length Red Tide, is righteously plodding riffery, Sabbathian without just being the riff to “Electric Funeral” and oblivion-bound nod that’s so filled with smoke it’s practically coughing. What goes on behind the doors of the Temple? Volume, kid. Give me the chug of “The Others” any and every day of the week, I don’t give a fuck if Temple of the Fuzz Witch are reinventing the wheel or not. All I wanna do is put on “Ungoliant” and nod out to the riff that sounds like “The Chosen Few” and be left in peace. Fuck you man. I ain’t bothering anyone. You’re the one with the problem, not me. This guy knows what I’m talking about. Side B of this record will eat your fucking soul, but only after side A has tenderized the meat. Hyperbole? Fuck you.

Temple of the Fuzz Witch on Thee Facebooks

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

 

Karkara, Nowhere Land

karkara nowhere land

Rife with adventurous and Middle Eastern-inflected heavy psychedelia, Nowhere Land is the follow-up to Toulouse, France-based Karkara‘s 2019 debut, Crystal Gazer (review here), and it finds the three-piece pushing accordingly into broader spaces of guitar-led freakery. Would you imagine a song called “Space Caravan” has an open vibe? You’d be correct. Same goes for “People of Nowhere Land,” which even unto its drum beat feels like some kind of folk dance turned fuzz-drenched lysergic excursion. The closing pair of “Cards” and “Witch” feel purposefully teamed up to round out the 36-minute outing, but maybe that’s just the overarching ethereal nature of the release as a whole coming through as Karkara manage to transport their listener from this place to somewhere far more liquid, languid, and encompassing, full of winding motion in “Falling Gods” and graceful post-grunge drift in “Setting Sun.”

Karkara on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records website

 

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Quarterly Review: -(16)-, BoneHawk, DÖ, Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Chimney Creeps, Kingnomad, Shores of Null, The Device, Domo, Early Moods

Posted in Reviews on December 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

I just decided how long this Quarterly Review is actually going to be. It’s seven days, then I’ll do my year-end list and the poll results on New Year’s Eve and Day, respectively. That’s the plan. Though honestly, I might pick up after that weekend and continue QR-style for that next week. There’s a lot more to cover, I think. The amount of releases this year has been pretty insane and completely overwhelming. I’ve tried to keep up as best I can and clearly have failed in that regard or I probably wouldn’t be so swamped now. So it goes. One way or the other, I don’t think a lot of emails are getting answered for the next two weeks, though I’ll try to keep up with that too.

But anyhow, that’s what’s up. Here’s Day II (because this is the QR where I do Roman numerals for absolutely no reason).

Quarterly Review #11-20:

16, Dream Squasher

16 Dream Squasher

The fourth long-player since 16‘s studio return with 2009’s Bridges to Burn, the 10-track Dream Squasher begins with tales of love for kid and dog, respectively. The latter might be the sweetest lyrics I’ve ever read for something that’s still bludgeoning sludge — said dog also gets a mention amid the ultra-lumbering chug and samples of “Acid Tongue” — and it’s worth mentioning that as the Cali intensity institution nears 30 years since their start in 1991, they’re branching out in theme and craft alike, as the melody of the organ-laced “Sadlands” shows. There’s even some harmonica in “Agora (Killed by a Mountain Lion),” though it’s soon enough swallowed by pummel and the violent punk of “Ride the Waves” follows. “Summer of ’96” plays off Bryan Adams for another bit of familial love, while closing duo “Screw Unto Others” and “Kissing the Choir Boy” indict capitalist and religious figureheads in succession amid weighted plod and seething anger, the band oddly in their element in this meld of ups, downs and slaughter.

16 on Thee Facebooks

16 at Relapse Records

 

BoneHawk, Iron Mountain

bonehawk iron mountain

Kalamazoo four-piece BoneHawk make an awaited follow-up to their 2014 debut, Albino Rhino (discussed here), in the form of Iron Mountain, thereby reminding listeners why it’s been awaited in the first place. Solid, dual-guitar, newer-school post-The Sword heavy rock. Second cut “Summit Fever” reminds a bit of Valley of the Sun and Freedom Hawk, but neither is a bad echelon of acts to stand among, and the open melodies of the subsequent title-track and the later “Fire Lake” do much to distinguish BoneHawk along the way. The winding lead lines of centerpiece “Wildfire” offer due drama in their apex, and “Thunder Child” and “Future Mind” are both catchy enough to keep momentum rolling into the eight-minute closer “Lake of the Clouds,” which caps with due breadth and, yes, is the second song on the record about a lake. That’s how they do in Michigan and that’s just fine.

BoneHawk on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

DÖ, Black Hole Mass

do black hole mass

DÖ follow the Valborg example of lumbering barking extremity into a cosmic abyss on their Black Hole Mass three-songer, emitting charred roll like it’s interstellar background radiation and still managing to give an underlying sense of structure to proceedings vast and encompassing. “Gravity Sacrifice” and “Plasma “Psalm” are right on in their teeth-grinding shove, but it’s the 10-minute finale “Radiation Blessing” that steals my heart with its trippy break in the middle, sample, drifting guitar and all, as the Finnish trio build gradually back up to a massive march all the more effective for the atmosphere they’ve constructed around it. Construction, as it happens, is the underlying strength of Black Hole Mass, since it’s the firm sense of structure beneath their songs that allows them to so ably engage their dark matter metal over the course of these 22 minutes, but it’s done so smoothly one hardly thinks about it while listening. Instead, the best thing to do is go along for the ride, brief as it is, or at least bow head in appreciation to the ceremony as it trods across rigid stylistic dogma.

DÖ on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa

turned to stone chapter 2 howling giant sergeant thunderhoof

Let this be a lesson to, well, everyone. This is how you do a conceptual split. Two bands getting together around a central idea — in this case, Tennessee’s Howling Giant and UK’s Sergeant Thunderhoof — both composing single tracks long enough to consume a vinyl side and expanding their reach not only to work with each other but further their own progressive sonic ideologies. Ripple Music‘s Turned to Stone split series is going to have a tough one to top in Masamune & Muramasa, as Howling Giant utterly shine in “Masamune” and the rougher-hewn tonality of Sergeant Thunderhoof‘s “Maramasa” makes an exceptional complement. Running about 41 minutes, the release is a journey through dynamic, with each act pushing their songwriting beyond prior limits in order to meet the occasion head-on and in grand fashion. They do, and the split easily stands among the best of 2020’s short releases as a result. If you want to hear where heavy rock is going, look no further.

Howling Giant on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Chimney Creeps, Nosedive

chimney creeps nosedive

Punkish shouts over dense noise rock tones, New York trio Chimney Creeps make their full-length debut with Nosedive, which they’ve self-released on vinyl. The album runs through seven tracks, and once it gets through the straight-ahead heavy punk of “March of the Creeps” and “Head in the Sand” at the outset, the palette begins to broaden in the fuzzy and gruff “Unholy Cow,” with the deceptively catchy “Splinter” following. “Creeper” and “Satisfied” before it are longer and accordingly more atmospheric, with a truck-backing-up sample at the start of “Creeper” that would seem to remind listeners just where the band’s sound has put them: out back, around the loading dock. Fair enough as “Diving Line” wraps in accordingly workmanlike fashion, the vocals cutting through clearly as they have all the while, prominent in the mix in a way that asks for balance. “Bright” I believe is the word an engineer might use, but the vocals stand out, is the bottom line, and thereby assure that the aggressive stance of the band comes across as more than a put-on.

Chimney Creeps on Thee Facebooks

Chimney Creeps on Bandcamp

 

Kingnomad, Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad - Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad‘s third album, Sagan Om Rymden certainly wants nothing for scope or ambition, setting its progressive tone with still-hooky opener “Omniverse,” before unfurling the more patient chug in “Small Beginnings” and taking on such weighted (anti-)matter as “Multiverse” and “The Creation Hymn” and “The Unanswered Question” later on. Along the way, the Swedish troupe nod at Ghost-style melodicism, Graveyard-ish heavy blues boogie — in “The Omega Experiment,” no less — progressive, psychedelic and heavy rocks and no less than the cosmos itself, as the Carl Sagan reference in the record’s title seems to inform the space-based mythology expressed and solidified within the songs. Even the acoustic-led interlude-plus “The Fermi Paradox” finds room to harmonize vocals and prove a massive step forward for the band. 2018’s The Great Nothing (review here) and 2017’s debut, Mapping the Inner Void (review here), were each more accomplished than the last, but Sagan Om Rymden is just a different level. It puts Kingnomad in a different class of band.

Kingnomad on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Shores of Null, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)

Shores of Null Beyond the Shores On Death and Dying

By the time Shores of Null are nine minutes into the single 38-minute track that makes up their third album, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying), they would seem to have unveiled at least four of the five vocalists who appear throughout the proceedings, with the band’s own Davide Straccione joined by Swallow the Sun‘s Mikko KotamĂ€ki as well as Thomas A.G. Jensen (Saturnus), Martina Lesley Guidi (of Rome’s Traffic Club) and Elisabetta Marchetti (INNO). There are guests on violin, piano and double-bass as well, so the very least one might say is that Shores of Null aren’t kidding around when they’re talking about this record in a sense of being ‘beyond’ themselves. The journey isn’t hindered so much as bolstered by the ambition, however, and the core five-piece maintain a steady presence throughout, serving collectively as the uniting factor as “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)” moves through its portrayal of the stages of grief in according movements of songcraft, gorgeously-arranged and richly composed as they are as they head toward the final storm. In what’s been an exceptional year for death-doom, Shores of Null still stand out for the work they’ve done.

Shores of Null on Thee Facebooks

Spikerot Records website

 

The Device, Tribute Album

the device tribute album

Tectonic sludge has become a mainstay in Polish heavy, and The Device, about whom precious little is known other than they’re very, very, very heavy when they want to be, add welcome atmospherics to the lumbering weedian procession. “Rise of the Device” begins the 47-minute Tribute Album in crushing form, but “Ritual” and the first minute or so of “BongOver” space out with droney minimalism, before the latter track — the centerpiece of the five-songer and only cut under six minutes long at 2:42 — explodes in consuming lurch. “Indica” plays out this structure again over a longer stretch, capping with birdsong and whispers and noise after quiet guitar and hypnotic, weighted riffing have played back and forth, but it’s in the 23-minute closer “Exhale” that the band finds their purpose, a live-sounding final jam picking up after a long droning stretch to finish the record with a groove that, indeed, feels like a release in the playing and the hearing. Someone’s speaking at the end but the words are obscured by echo, and to be sure, The Device have gotten their point across by then anyhow. The stark divisions between loud and quiet on Tribute Album are interesting, as well as what the band might do to cover the in-between going forward.

Galactic SmokeHouse Records on Thee Facebooks

The Device on Bandcamp

 

Domo, Domonautas Vol. 2

Domo Domonautas Vol 2

Spanish progressive heavy psychedelic semi-instrumentalists Domo follow late-2019’s Domonautas Vol. 1 (review here) with a four-song second installment, and Domonautas Vol. 2 answers its predecessor back with the jazz-into-doom of “Avasaxa” (7:43) and the meditation in “Dolmen” (13:50) on side A, and the quick intro-to-the-intro “El Altar” (2:06) and the 15-minute “VientohalcĂłn” on side B, each piece working with its own sense of motion and its own feeling of progression from one movement to the next, never rushed, never overly patient, but smooth and organic in execution even in its most active or heaviest stretches. The two most extended pieces offer particular joys, but neither should one discount the quirky rhythm at the outset of “Avasaxa” or the dramatic turn it makes just before five minutes in from meandering guitar noodling to plodding riffery, if only because it sounds like Domo are having so much fun catching the listener off guard. Exactly as they should be.

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Clostridium Records website

 

Early Moods, Spellbound

early moods spellbound

Doom be thy name. Or, I guess Early Moods be thy name, but doom definitely be thy game. The Los Angeles four-piece make their debut with the 26-minute Spellbound, and I suppose it’s an EP, but the raw Pentagram worship on display in the opening title-track and the Sabbath-ism that ensues flows easy and comes through with enough sincerity of purpose that if the band wanted to call it a full-length, one could hardly argue. Guitar heads will note the unbridled scorch of the solos throughout — centerpiece “Isolated” moves from one into a slow-Slayer riff that’s somehow also Candlemass, which is a feat in itself — while “Desire” rumbles with low-end distortion that calls to mind Entombed even as the vocals over top are almost pure Witchcraft. They save the most engaging melody for the finale “Living Hell,” but even that’s plenty grim and suited to its accompanying dirt-caked feel. Rough in production, but not lacking clarity, Spellbound entices and hints at things to come, but has a barebones appeal all its own as well.

Early Moods on Thee Facebooks

Dying Victims Productions website

 

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Varego Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Let’s make a couple assumptions here. First of all, let’s assume that at some point, Varego will note what happened with their lineup to go from a four-piece to a power trio, and that at some point they’ll announce that their fourth album — yet untitled — is set to come out through Argonauta Records, since guitarist Gerolamo Lucisano doubles as the lead vibe-bringer for the label. As for Varego‘s music, last heard from in 2019’s I, Prophetic (review here), the band dig into post-metal-style quirk with a good flair for the adventure tossed in along the way. They’ve yet to offer up a record not progressed from the one before it, and with plenty of time this year to sit and write material, it’s easy to imagine their new stuff will follow suit.

And I am just imagining that for now since there’s no audio yet. One assumes we’ll get there sooner or later.

See what I did there?

From the PR wire:

varego

VAREGO complete recordings for forthcoming album!

A new chapter begins for Italian post prog band VAREGO. Today, the renewed trio announced that they finished recording their new studio album, which will see the light in 2021.

“We went into the studio very prepared, with the intention of recording in real time,” says the band. “We were confident and excited to collaborate once again with the producer and dear friend Mattia Cominotto, who welcomed us with willingness, professionalism and enthusiasm. We recorded everything in three days in which we really let ourselves go and gave vent to all our passion with a smile on our lips and having fun. Mattia took care of the rest with a mixing and mastering of the highest level, in our opinion. We are enormously satisfied with the product that came out and we can’t wait for you to listen to it”.

VAREGO’s sound has found a new energy and it is distinctly more powerful, a rash with grunge echoes, stoner rock riffs, post-metal and prog rock nuances that pushes the band’s evolution a step further. It is the manifest result of the band’s creative peak and, in the meantime, a point of arrival and a new start.

Their fourth studio album was recorded in a few days almost entirely in real time at Greenfog Studio in Genoa, with producer Mattia Cominotto (Meganoidi, Tre Allegri ragazzi Morti, Punkreas) who also did the mixing and mastering.

Stay tuned, more details will be announced shortly.

www.varego.it
www.facebook.com/varego
www.instagram.com/varego_band
https://varego.bandcamp.com/

Varego, I Prophetic (2019)

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Album Review: Mr. Bison, Seaward

Posted in Reviews on December 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

mr bison seaward

Seaward is the fourth album from Cecina, Italy’s Mr. Bison, and unquestionably the most progressive. Issued through Subsound Records and Ripple Music, the seven-track/39-minute collection brings together songs based around the a narrative of the sea itself, drawing on mythology about the creation of the Tuscan Archipelago as seven pearls broken off a necklace by Aphrodite — those love goddesses, so clumsy — falling into the water and making the islands. Good fun, and a nice linkup for a record from the Italian coast with seven songs on it, but Seaward reaches broader in terms of its actual subject matter and storytelling, as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalists Matteo Barsacchi and Matteo Sciocchetto and drummer/noisemaker/vocalist Matteo D’Ignazi engage not only myths and ancient stories — “Oudeis” translating to “no one” or “nobody” from Greek, but referring also to Odysseus — but look out over the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the opening title-track, “I’m the Storm” and the penultimate “Underwater.”

Should it be any surprise that the album flows? That it’s immersive? No. It’s about water. It damn well better flow and be immersive. But the scope of Seaward is a considerable shift from where the trio could be found in terms of aesthetics even two years ago. Their 2018 offering, Holy Oak (review here), certainly had its proggier moments, but carried them amid a tonal warmth born of heavy psychedelic impulse, and their roots in playing more straight-ahead, uptempo, post-Truckfighters heavy rock on their first two records, 2016’s Asteroid and 2012’s We’ll Be Brief, were still evident in some of the material. Seaward is a rock album, to be sure, but as the band showed earlier in 2020 on their split with Spacetrucker (review here), they are pushing toward a cleaner-toned flourish, perhaps less driven directly toward warmth of tone but distinctly broader in melody and more accomplished-sounding on the whole. Since Barsacchi — the lone remaining founder of the band — brought in Sciocchetto and D’Ignazi on Asteroid, the band would seem to have been pushing in this direction, but there’s little mistaking the proggy intent in these tracks.

Certainly, Mr. Bison aren’t the only group who’ve embarked on more complex structures and methods over the last few years — heavy rock as a whole has moved in this direction, fueled in no small part by the work of Elder and a few others — but there’s an underlying classic sensibility too in Seaward, and “Seaward,” the song, still opens with a mighty roller of a riff once it kicks in from the quiet introduction. The title-track may or may not have been composed for the purpose of leading off the LP, but it’s definitely suited for it, hitting into its verse before the three-minute mark as Mr. Bison find nuance between the ’70s style of heavy prog — Captain Beyond, et al — and modern heavy execution. But it’s the focus on melody that’s most striking, and the fact that while individual songs have gotten longer on the whole — Holy Oak had two tracks over seven minutes and Seaward has one in “I’m the Storm” (7:40), but that’s the longest song the band have made and the average of the surrounding cuts is higher — the band have managed to keep their songwriting sensibility intact.

mr bison

Second cut “From the Abyss” emphasizes this, fluidly picking up from the end of “Seaward” with a shorter, more straightforward run on a short linear course, with a memorable chorus and instrumental thrust, giving way to vocals and lush guitar deceptive in its nuance for how peaceful it sounds. The final surge feels a bit manic in comparison, but they still manage to bring it down in time to end the song for a smooth transition into “I’m the Storm,” which brings a thicker chug as it might be expected to do, but coats it too in melody, pushing the distortion lower in the mix so that it’s part of the overall affect rather than entirely consuming, though the final echoing shout of the title line brings to mind Stoned Jesus‘ “I’m the Mountain” just the same. The residual drift marks the end of side A, and “I’m the Storm” is no less suited in its place than was “Seaward” at the outset, but the 6:45 “Oudeis,” introduced by organ in the spirit of Celeste and other classic Italian prog, is a special advent as the centerpiece of the tracklisting as well.

Scorching guitar, high-energy lead vocals that shift into harmony as the song moves into its midsection, and a proggy shuffle to accompany, “Oudeis” is clearly intended as a focal point example of Mr. Bison‘s sonic evolution — a show-piece, if there were shows — and it leads into side B with the sense that not only have the band taken on this sonic growth, but they’ve brought it to bear with the necessary control and mastery. As with “From the Abyss,” “The Sacrifice” follows “Oudeis” with a more forward motion, but the multiple layers of vocals, continued organ line and tension in the guitar and drums builds toward what’s arguably Seaward‘s most satisfying payoff. It’s ironic that it should come on the shortest track, but the vitality on display speaks for itself. With the subtle shift of an atmospheric intro, “Underwater” returns to more patient fare, but remains somewhat angular in its groove, coming apart later as its core strum leads the way out toward closer “The Curse.”

Saving room for one last push, Mr. Bison bring their watery proceedings to a close with “The Curse,” and in so doing offer one final linear build, perhaps the album’s most direct up to that point. A layer of guitar solo floats airily over the central riff, giving ambience to an earlier chug complementary to that of “I’m the Storm,” and the song’s ending, cut after a verse, feels somewhat sudden but leaves little more one might ask that isn’t delivered. The same is true of Seaward as a whole. Mr. Bison bring vitality to sonic progressivism in such a way as to distinguish themselves from their many peers of similar intent, and it is the energy of their material, as well as the theme, that allows them to tie together heavy rock and progadelia with such grace and class. Where their course might ultimately bring them has only become more of a mystery with this turn, but they’re only more exciting an act for that, and for the richness of craft they harness here.

Mr. Bison, Seaward (2020)

Mr. Bison on Thee Facebooks

Mr. Bison on Instagram

Mr. Bison on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

Subsound Records on Thee Facebooks

Subsound Records BigCartel store

Subsound Records website

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