Quarterly Review: Ufomammut, Horehound, Lingua Ignota, Valborg, Sageness, Glacier, MNRVA, Coroza, Noosed, zhOra

Posted in Reviews on October 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Oh hi, I didn’t see you there. Earlier this week — Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and yes, even Wednesday — the alarm went off at 4AM as usual and I got up, got coffee going and a protein bar and sat down to write, starting basically around quarter-after with a quick email check and whatnot. In terms of basic timing, this last morning of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review is no different. I even have the baby monitor streaming on my phone as I would most mornings, so I can keep an eye on when The Pecan gets up. What’s changed is I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Oslo, Norway, having just arrived on an overnight flight from Newark. Managed to sleep some on the plane and I’m hopeful adrenaline will pick up the rest of the slack as regards getting through the day. That and caffeine, anyhow.

Although, speaking of, my debit card doesn’t work and I’ll need to sort that out.

First thing’s first, and that’s reviews. Last batch of 10 for the week. We made it. Thanks as always for reading and being a part of this thing. Let’s wrap it up in style, and because I like working on a theme, three Irish bands in a row close out. Hey, I went to Ireland this year.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ufomammut, XX

UFOMAMMUT XX

Five years ago, Roman cosmic doom masters Ufomammut took a reflective look back at their career for its 15th anniversary with the documentary/live-performance DVD XV (review here). And since one might define the arc of their tenure as constantly trying to top themselves, for their 20th anniversary, they’ve issued a 12LP boxed set, titled simply XX, that compiles their nine albums to-date and tops them off with the mostly-subdued-style XX itself, which reimagines past cacophonies like “Mars” and “Plouton” in a quieter context. That part of the mega-offering issued through their own Supernatural Cat imprint comprises six songs recorded live and makes highlights out of the hypnotic strum and incantations of “Satan” as well as the rumbling drone of “Lacrimosa,” which takes on new emotional resonance for the shoegazy treatment it receives. I’ve said on multiple occasions throughout the years that Ufomammut are a band to be treasured, and I stand by that 100 percent. The XX box should be perceived by fans as an opportunity to do likewise.

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Supernatural Cat website

 

Horehound, Weight

horehound weight

Less than a year after issuing their second long-player in the form of Holocene (review here) through Blackseed and Doom Stew Records, Pittsburgh atmosludgers Horehound align with DHU Records for the two-song 8″ EP Weight, which brings “Unbind” and “The Heavy,” two new cuts that, while I’m not sure they weren’t recorded at the same time as the last album — that is, they may have been — they nonetheless showcase the emergent melodic breadth and instrumental ambience that is developing in their sound. Even as “Unbind” rolls toward its low-end tempo kick, it does so with marked patience and a willingness to stay slow until just the right moment, which is not something every band cane effectively do. “The Heavy,” meanwhile, builds itself around a Crowbar-style dirge riff before Shy Kennedy‘s verse arrives as a standalone element, all the instruments around her dropping out from behind. That moment alone, frankly, is worth the price of admission, as whether it’s through that extra inch in diameter of the platter itself or through the audio of the tracks in question, Horehound continue to distinguish themselves.

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records BigCartel store

 

Lingua Ignota, CALIGULA

LINGUA IGNOTA CALIGULA

I’m not sure I’m qualified to write about Lingua Ignota‘s CALIGULA (on Profound Lore), but I’m not sure anyone else is either. Like a self-harmonizing mega-Jarboe turning existential horror into epic proclamations of “I don’t eat/I don’t sleep” on “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR?” amid bass throb and terrifying melodic layering before making bedroom black metal sound like the lightweight self-indulgence it’s always been on the subsequent check-out-the-real-shit “BUTCHER OF THE WORLD,” Kristin Hayter‘s work is little short of experimentalist brilliance. She is minimal and yet over-the-top, open in creative terms but unwaveringly dark and rife with melody but severe to the point now and again of true aural abrasion. She weaves a context of her own into “FUCKING DEATHDEALER” as she recalls the lyrics to the aforementioned “BUTCHER OF THE WORLD,” while the outright brutality of “SPITE ALONE HOLDS ME ALOFT” is married to a piano-led meditation that, even without the noise wash from whence it comes, is enough to recast visions of what heavy is and can be in musical terms. I won’t pretend to get all the references like “kyrie eleison” (“lord have mercy”) worked into “IF THE POISON WON’T TAKE YOU MY DOGS WILL” and the violent strains surrounding, but it’s impossible not to realize the power of what you’re hearing when you listen.

Lingua Ignota on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records on Bandcamp

 

Valborg, Zentrum

valborg zentrum

With an intensity born out of a history of industrial music and focus on tight rhythms making an impact in even-tighter songwriting, Valborg are neither beholden to death metal nor entirely separate from it, but their style has taken on a life of its own over the course of the last 10 years, and their latest offering, Zentrum (on Prophecy Productions), is the German trio’s most individualized take yet, whether that’s shown in the unbridled melodicism of “Anomalie,” the sludgy riff that drives the barking “Ultragrab” or the seemingly unrelenting snare pops of “Kreuzer” that, even when they finally release that tension, still make it only a temporary reprieve. Valborg‘s sense of control through the epic “Nonnenstern” should not be understated, and though the track is under four minutes long, yes, “epic” very much applies. Suitably enough, they close with “Vakuum” and throw everything at the listener at once before resolving in relatively peaceful atmospherics that could just as easily serve as an introduction to the next round of malice to come, whenever it shows up.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions webstore

 

Sageness, Akmé

sageness akme

Spanish trio Sageness — also written SageNESS — conjure smooth Electric Moon-style soundscapes on their second album, Akmé, and yes, that is a compliment. The record brings forth six tracks of easy-rolling instrumentalist jam-based heavy psychedelia that offer much and take little in return, the richness of the guitar tone from Dawyz and Michi‘s bass given jazzy fluidity by Fran‘s drumming. “Ephemeral” touches most directly on a Colour Haze, as it would almost have to, but even there, the feeling of spaciousness that Sageness present in the recording is a factor that helps them come across as more individual. Earlier, “The Thought” is a little more directly space rock, but opener “Andromeda” seems to be charting the course with its liquefied effects and somehow-even-more-liquefied groove, and if you can’t get down with that, I’ve got nothing for you and neither does the rest of the universe.

Sageness on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records website

 

Glacier, No Light Ever

glacier no light ever

It’s not exactly true, about their being no light ever on Boston post-metallers Glacier‘s latest full-length, No Light Ever. Sure, it’s plenty dark and heavy and brooding and all that fun stuff, and the riffs get loud and the drums break stuff and all that, but it’s certainly colorful in its way as well, and more than just shades of black on black. Comprised of four tracks cumbersomely titled in keeping with the traditions of the likes of Red Sparowes and the band’s own past work, cuts like “O World! I Remain No Longer Here.” and “The Bugles Blow, Fanned by Hysteria.” stretch themselves out along a scope as massive as the tonality the band emits, and as the wash of “We Glut Our Souls on the Accursed,” — the comma is part of the title there — gives way to feedback and the onset of “And We Are Damned Amid Noble Sound.” the sense of immersion is complete and clear as the priority under which they’re working. It’s about the whole album, or at least the two sides, as a unified work, and about crafting a world through the atmosphere evoked in the material. It works. If they say there’s no light in that world, so be it. It’s whatever they want it to be.

Glacier on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records webstore

 

MNRVA, Black Sky

mnrva black sky

Not-entirely-bereft-of-vowels South Carolina heavy trio MNRVA make their debut with the three-song EP Black Sky, a beast of a short release led by the riffs of guitarist Byron Hark on a stretch of ’90s-style crunch and sludge, with bassist/vocalist Kevin Jennings and drummer Gina Ercolini adding to the weight and shove of the proceedings, respectively. “Not the One” has the hook, “No Solution” has the impact and the title-track has both, and though I’m by no means saying the issue of their sound is settled 100 percent and they won’t grow or find their way from this — again, their debut — EP, they do prove to be well in charge of where their songs head in terms of mood and the atmosphere that comes through elements like the blown-out vocals and the rumbling bass beneath the lead guitar in the second half of “Black Sky” itself. Indeed, it’s those harsher aspects that help MNRVA immediately establish their individuality, and the vibe across these 18-plus minutes is that the punishment is only getting started.

MNRVA on Thee Facebooks

MNRVA on Bandcamp

 

Coroza, Chaliceburner

coroza chaliceburner

Just because Irish four-piece Coroza — guitarist/vocalists Ciaran Coghlan and Jack O’Neill, bassist/vocalist Jonny Canning and drummer Ollie Cunningham — might write a song that’s 18 minutes long, that doesn’t mean they forgot to actually make it a song as well. Thus it is that extended cuts like “The Plutonian Drug” (18:24) and closer “Iron from the Sky” (19:30) have plenty of room to flesh out their more progressive aspects amid the other three also-kind-of-extended pieces on Chaliceburner, the group’s ambitious hour-plus/five-track debut full-length. Each song essentially becomes a front-to-back movement on its own, with shifts between singers arranged thoughtfully from one part to the next and hooks along the way to serve as landmarks for those traversing, as in the opening “Chaliceburner” or the gruff winding moments of “Mountain Jaw,” which follows the nine-minute sax-inclusive centerpiece “Scaltheen,” because of course there’s a saxophone in there somewhere. All of this is a recipe for a band biting off more than they can chew stylistically, but Coroza manage pretty well the various twists and turns of their own making, particularly considering it’s their first album.

Coroza on Thee Facebooks

Coroza on Bandcamp

 

Noosed, She of the Woods

noosed she of the woods demo

Encased front and back by witchy samples and creepy vibes, Sept. 2019’s She of the Woods is the second demo in two months to come from Cork, Ireland’s Noosed. And you know it when they get around to the closing seven-minute title-track because it’s just about the only thing other than “Intro” that isn’t raging with grind intensity, but that stuff can be fun too. I don’t know how much witch-grind-doom is out there, but Noosed‘s first, self-titled demo (released in August) had a sludgy edge that seems to have separated out to some degree here into a multifaceted personality. Can one possibly be certain of the direction the band will ultimately take? Shit no. It’s two demos with basically no time differential between them. But if they can effectively bridge the gap between “Fuck Up,” “Wretch” and “She of the Woods,” or even play directly with the contrast, they could be onto something with all this noise and fuckall.

Noosed on Thee Facebooks

Noosed on Bandcamp

 

zhOra, Ruthless Bastards

zhora ruthless bastards

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — has it such that Irish four-piece zhOra wanted to do something less complicated than was their 2017 album, Ethos, Pathos, Logos (discussed here), so they went ahead and wrote a song that’s five minutes long and purposefully hops between subgenres, going from sludge to doom to a deathcore breakdown, with a snare-pop count-in, to blackened death metal and then back to a lumbering chug to finish out. Okay, zhOra, “Ruthless Bastards” is a an awful lot of metal and an awfully good time, but you missed the mark on “simple” by a considerable margin. If indeed the band had been plotting toward something, say, easier to play or to compose, “Ruthless Bastards” ain’t it. They’ll have to settle for being brutal as fuck instead. Something tells me they’ll survive having made that trade, as much as anything will.

zhOra on Thee Facebooks

zhOra on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Total Fucking Destruction, Hippie Death Cult, The Cosmic Dead, Greenthumb, Elepharmers, Nothing is Real, Warish, Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Those Furious Flames, Mantra Machine

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’d like to find the jerk who decided that the week I fly to Norway was a good time for the Quarterly Review. That, obviously, was a tactical error on my part. Nonetheless, we press on with day four, which I post from Oslo on CET. Whatever time zone you may find yourself in this Thursday, I hope you have managed to find something so far in this onslaught of whatnot to sink your chompers into. That’s ultimately, why we’re here. Also because there are so many folders with albums in them on my desktop that I can’t stand it anymore. Happens about every three months.

But anyhoozle, we press on with Day Four of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, dutiful and diligent and a couple other words that start with ‘d.’ Mixed bag stylistically this time — trying to throw myself off a bit — so should be fun. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Total Fucking Destruction, #USA4TFD

Total Fucking Destruction USA4TFD

Who the hell am I to be writing about a band like Total Fucking Destruction? I don’t know. Who the hell am I to be writing about anything. Fuck you. As the Rich Hoak (Brutal Truth)-led Philly natives grind their way through 23 tracks in a 27-minute barrage of deceptively thoughtful sonic extremity, they efficiently chronicle the confusion, tumult and disaffection of our age both in their maddening energy and in the poetry — yeah, I said it — of their lyrics. To it, from “Is Your Love a Rainbow”: “Are you growing? Is everything okay? Are you growing in the garden of I don’t know?” Lines like this are hardly decipherable without a lyric sheet, of course, but still, they’re there for those ready to look beyond the surface assault of the material, though, frankly, that assault alone would be enough to carry the band — Hoak on drums/vocals, Dan O’Hare on guitar/vocals and Ryan Moll on bass/vocals — along their willfully destructive course. For their fourth LP in 20 years — most of that time given to splits and shorter releases, as one might expect — Total Fucking Destruction make their case for an end of the world that, frankly, can’t get here fast enough.

Total Fucking Destruction on Thee Facebooks

Give Praise Records website

 

Hippie Death Cult, 111

Hippie-Death-Cult-111

Issued first by the band digitally and on CD and then by Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl, 111 is the impressively toned debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Hippie Death Cult, who cull together heavy rock and post-grunge riffing with flourish of organ and a densely-weighted groove that serves as an overarching and uniting factor throughout. With the bluesy, classic feeling vocals of Ben Jackson cutting through the wall of fuzz from Eddie Brnabic‘s guitar and Laura Phillips‘ bass set to roll by Ryan Moore‘s drumming, there’s never any doubt as to where Hippie Death Cult are coming from throughout the seven-track/42-minute offering, but longer, side-ending pieces “Unborn” (8:24) and “Black Snake” (9:06) touch respectively on psychedelia and heavy blues in a way that emphasizes the subtle turns that have been happening all along, not just in shifts like the acoustic “Mrtyu,” but in the pastoral bridge and ensuing sweep of “Pigs” as well. “Sanctimonious” and “Breeder’s Curse” provide even ground at the outset, and from there, Hippie Death Cult only grow richer in sound along their way.

Hippie Death Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

 

The Cosmic Dead, Scottish Space Race

The Cosmic Dead Scottish Space Race

Heavyweight Glaswegian space jammers The Cosmic Dead present four massive slabs of lysergic intensity with their eighth long-player, Scottish Space Race (on Riot Season Records), working quickly to pull the listener into their gravity well and holding them there for the 2LP’s 75-minute duration. As hypnotic as it is challenging, the initial churn that emerges in the aptly-named 20-minute opener “Portal” clenches the stomach brutally, and it’s not until after about 12 minutes that the band finally lets it loose. “Ursa Major,” somewhat thankfully, is more serene, but still carries a sense of movement and build in its second half, while the 12-minute title-track is noisier and has the surprising inclusion of vocals from the generally instrumental outfit. They cap with the 24-minute kosmiche throb of “The Grizzard,” and there are vocals there too, but they’re too obscured to be really discernible in any meaningful way, and of course the end of the record itself is a huge wash of fuckall noise. Eight records deep, The Cosmic Dead know what they’re doing in this regard, and they do it among the best of anyone out there.

The Cosmic Dead on Thee Facebooks

Riot Season Records website

 

Greenthumb, There are More Things

greenthumb there are more things

With just three tracks across a 20-minute span, There are More Things (on Acid Cosmonaut) feels like not much more than a sampler of things to come from Italian post-sludgers Greenthumb, who take their name from a Bongzilla track they also covered on their 2018 debut EP, West. The three-songer feels like a decided step forward from that offering, and though they maintain their screamier side well enough, they might be on the verge of needing a new name, as the rawness conveyed by the current moniker hardly does justice to the echoing atmospherics the band in their current incarnation bring. Launching with the two seven-minute cuts “The Field” and “Ogigia’s Tree,” they unfurl a breadth of roll so as to ensnare the listener, and though “The Black Court” is shorter at 5:37 and a bit more straight-ahead in its structure, it still holds to the ambient sensibility of its surroundings well, the band obviously doing likewise in transposing a natural feel into their sound born of landscape real or imagined.

Greenthumb on Thee Facebooks

Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

 

Elepharmers, Lords of Galaxia

Elepharmers Lords Of Galaxia Artwork

Riffy Sardinians Elepharmers set themselves to roll with “Ancient Astronauts” and do not stop from there on Lords of Galaxia, their third LP and debut through Electric Valley Records. There are some details of arrangement between the guitars of El Chino (also bass, vocals and harmonica) and Andrea “Fox” Cadeddu and the drums of Maurizio Mura, but as Marduk heralds his age on second cut “Ziqqurat,” the central uniting factor is g-r-o-o-v-e, and Elepharmers have it down through “The Flood” and into side B’s classic stoner rocking “Foundation” and the driving “The Mule,” which shifts into laser-effects ahead of the fade that brings in closer “Stars Like Dust” for the last 10 minutes of the 47-minute offering. And yes, there’s some psychedelia there, but Elepharmers stay pretty clearheaded on the whole in such a way as to highlight the sci-fi theme that seems to draw the songs together as much as the riffage. More focus on narrative can only help bring that out more, but I’m not sure I’d want that at the expense of the basic songwriting, which isn’t at all broken and thus requires no fixing.

Elepharmers on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nothing is Real, Only the Wicked are Pure

nothing is real only the wicked are pure

How do you recognize true misanthropy when you come across it? It doesn’t wear a special kind of facepaint, though it can. It doesn’t announce itself as such. It is a frame. Something genuinely antisocial and perhaps even hateful is a worldview. It’s not raise-a-claw-in-the-woods. It’s he-was-a-quiet-loner. And so, coming across the debut album from Los Angeles experimentalist doom outfit, one gets that lurking, creeping feeling of danger even though the music itself isn’t overly abrasive. But across the 2CD debut album, a sprawl of darkened, viciously un-produced fare that seems to be built around programmed drums at the behest of Craig Osbourne — who may or may not be the only person in the band and isn’t willing to say otherwise — plays out over the course of more than two hours like a manifesto found after the fact. Imagine chapters called “Hope is Weakness,” “Fingered by the Hand of God,” and “Uplift the Worthy (Destroy the Weak).” The last of those appears on both discs — as do several of the songs in different incarnations — as the track marries acoustic and eventual harder-edged guitar around murderous themes, sounding something like Godflesh might have if they’d pursued a darker path. Scary.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Warish, Down in Flames

warish down in flames

The fact that Warish are blasting hard punk through heavy blowout tones isn’t what everyone wants to talk about when it comes to the band. They want to talk about the fact that it’s Riley Hawk — of royal stock, as regards pro skateboarding — fronting the band. Well, that’s probably good for a built-in social media following — name recognition never hurts, and I don’t see a need to pretend otherwise — but it doesn’t do shit for the album itself. What matters about the album is that bit about the blasting blowout. With Down in Flames (on RidingEasy), the Oceanside three-piece follow-up their earlier-2019 debut EP with 11 tracks that touch on horror punk with “Bones” and imagine grunge-unhinged with “Fight” and “You’ll Abide,” but are essentially a display of tonal fuckall presented not to add to a brand, but to add the soundtrack to somebody’s blackout. It’s a good time and the drunkest, gnarliest, most-possibly-shirtless dude in the room is having it. Also he probably smells. And he just hugged you. Down in Flames gets high with that dude. That matters more than who anyone’s dad is.

Warish on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Split

It’s a double-dose of New England doom as Connecticut’s Mourn the Light and Boston’s Oxblood Forge pair up for a split release. The former bring more material than the latter, particularly when one counts the digital-only bonus cover of Candlemass‘ “Bewitched,” but with both groups, it’s a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Both groups share a clear affinity for classic metal — and yes, that absolutely extends to the piano-led drama of Mourn the Light‘s mournful “Carry the Flame” — but Oxblood Forge‘s take thereupon is rougher edged, harder in its tone and meaner in the output. Their “Screams From Silence” feels like something from a dubbed-and-mailed tape circa ’92. Mourn the Light’s “Drags Me Down” is cleaner-sounding, but no less weighted. I don’t think either band is out to change the world, or even to change doom, but they’re doing what they’re doing well and without even an ounce of pretense — well, maybe a little bit in that piano track; but it’s very metal pretense — and clearly from the heart. That might be the most classic-metal aspect of all.


Mourn the Light on Thee Facebooks

Oxblood Forge on Thee Facebooks

 

Those Furious Flames, HeartH

those furious flames hearth

Swiss heavy rockers Those Furious Flames push the boundaries of psychedelia, but ultimately remain coherent in their approach. Likewise, they very, very obviously are into some classic heavy rock and roll, but their take on it is nothing if not modern. And more, they thrive in these contradictions and don’t at all sound like their songs are in conflict with themselves. I guess that’s the kind of thing one can pull off after 15 years together on a fifth full-length, which HeartH (on Vincebus Eruptum) is for them. Perhaps it’s the fact that they let the energy of pieces like “VooDoo” and the boogie-laced “HPPD” carry them rather than try to carry it, but either way, it’s clearly about the songs first, and it works. With added flash of organ amid the full-sounding riffs, Those Furious Flames round out with the spacey “Visions” and earn every bit of the drift therein with a still-resonant vocal harmony. You might not get it all the first time, but listening twice won’t be at all painful.

Those Furious Flames on Thee Facebooks

Vincebus Eruptum Recordings BigCartel store

 

Mantra Machine, Heliosphere

mantra machine heliosphere

This is what it’s all about. Four longer-form instrumentalist heavy psych jams that are warm in tone and want nothing so much as to go out wandering and see what they can find. Through “Hydrogen,” “Atmos,” “Delta-V” and “Heliosphere,” Amsterdam-based three-piece Mantra Machine want nothing for gig-style vitality, but their purpose isn’t so much to electrify as to find that perfect moment of chill and let it go, see where it ends up, and they get there to be sure. Warm guitar and bass tones call to mind something that might’ve come out of the Netherlands at the start of this decade, when bands like Sungrazer and The Machine were unfolding such fluidity as seemed to herald a new generation of heavy psychedelia across Europe. That generation took a different shape — several different shapes, in the end — but Mantra Machine‘s Heliosphere makes it easy to remember what was so exciting about that in the first place. Total immersion. Total sense of welcoming. Totally human presence without speaking a word. So much vibe. So much right on.

Mantra Machine on Thee Facebooks

Mantra Machine on Bandcamp

 

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Giöbia Set Feb. 7 Release for Plasmatic Idol; Preorders Available; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I think maybe it was last week that the news about there being a new record from Giöbia came through and I went off about how good it was? Wasn’t much longer than a week, if it was that long. In any case, I maintain the position. Good album, kind of blows the doors down from what they’ve done before in some cool ways. They’re streaming a track now to give some idea about that, and since later today I’m calling Shadow Witch‘s stream out for being early, I’ll do the same here. February is a ways away. Preorders are up though, so probably best to give people some idea what they’re in for. Though, really, it is just a glimpse of the whole.

The PR wire has it like this:

giobia plasmatic idol

GIÖBIA new album PLASMATIC IDOL – presale starts TODAY

Today we start with the presale of the GIÖBIA first album after 4 years!!!

The brand new release is called PLASMATIC IDOL !!!

The new Giöbia album “Plasmatic Idol” is simply impressive: a collection of different sounds and atmospheres, brings the listener to another sidereal world full of dreams and mind travels. You can clearly feel the influence of certain Pink Floyd in some passages but also pinches of Italian Progressive Rock, Horror Soundtrack from 70’s movies, garage 60’s influences, US West Coast Psychedelia, and late 60’s Space Rock a la Hawkwind The production is delicate and smooth, the album flows without interruptions and the music immerses your mind in a cosmic dimension. The vintage organs and synthesizers are used in the best way possible, 8 tracks that capture your attention without distraction. Produced by Bazu the guitar player and singer of the band and Mixed and Mastered By Brett Orrison (Black Angels, Jack White) at Spaceflight Records in Austin, Texas. The Great cover album and artwork is by Metastazis.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS113

USA PRESALE via All That Is Heavy
https://allthatisheavy.com/search?type=product&q=plasmatic+idol

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 7th, 2020

RELEASED IN :
40 TEST PRESS
250 ULTRA LTD PINK FLUO SPLATTER BLACK-BLUE-GREEN VINYL
600 LTD GREEN FLUO VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

GIÖBIA is:
Bazu – Vocals and String Instruments
Saffo – Organs / Violins / Vocals
Detrji – Bass
Betta – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/giobiaband
http://www.giobia.com/
https://giobiagiobia.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

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Giöbia to Release New Album in 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but if you think you have a sense of what Giöbia are all about, you’re probably want to going to expand that definition. The Milan-based four-piece get even more spaced out on their next full-length than they were on 2015’s Magnifier (review here), which is fair enough since it was four years ago. They’ve of course been plenty busy since that last album, touring Europe and playing fests like Freak Valley, which they hit in 2016 and released a set from the next year as the Live Freak live album that you can stream below, as well as the 2017 7″ What Have You Done through H42 Records. If you heard any of that stuff, you know it was plenty spaced. Well, get ready to get more spaced. Space space space.

Let’s assume that since the announcement of the album’s existence came in the other day and I’m only now getting this posted that the title and album details have been unveiled as of about three minutes ago and this post is already out of date. The internet is awesome.

From the PR wire:

giobia

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce a band re-signing: GIÖBIA are coming back with a brand new album

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS is so stoked to welcome back one of the best european psychedelic bands GIÖBIA with a brand new album coming out in early 2020 !!!

The mystical day 60s rock met neopsychedelic rock mixing up to the point of losing consciousness of their own essence, in an overwhelming and incessant soundtrack with an unmistakable Italian taste, that’s when Giöbia’s acid rock was born. In a vortex that leaves no way out, the unique melodies of this quartet take the listener into a world where the boundaries of reality are no longer defined and anything can ever happen. After their debut in 2009 with ‘Hard Stories’, the band firmly established itself in 2013 with ‘Introducing Night Sounds’, which suddenly brought them to the most important stages of Europe. In 2016 the milestone ‘The Magnifier’ assigned them a place among the most influential bands of the scene. Unable to stop in front of any challenge, Giöbia decided to go on astonishing their audience again finally forging a NEW ALBUM, which will see the light in 2020 via Heavy Psych Sounds, with the promise to upset and reconfirm them as the forefather of a genre that fascinates and amazes anyone who dare to leave themselves behind without fear of never returning.

PRESALE STARTS:
September 26th

The band will be also touring Europe in two slots:
– from February 28th to March 11th, including HPS Fests in Paris, Antwerp and London
– from May 22nd to June 2nd

GIÖBIA is:
Bazu – Vocals and String Instruments
Saffo – Organs / Violins / Vocals
Detrji – Bass
Betta – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/giobiaband
http://www.giobia.com/
https://giobiagiobia.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Giöbia, Live Freak (2017)

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Humulus Announce New Album The Deep out Next Year on Kozmik Artifactz

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

Brew-loving Italian heavy rockers Humulus will release their next album, The Deep, in Feb. 2020 through Kozmik Artifactz. Sounds like something that’s going to happen way, way in the future when we have flying cars and colonies on Alpha Centauri and not-at-all a rising tide of right wing fascism? Well, it’s like five months from now, so unless we’re in for the most condensed stretch of awesome progress ever — and not to play the cynic but I’m guessing we’re not — it’ll probably just be more of that rising tide thing. The good part, however, is new Humulus. Keep up. Also, it’s happening on Kozmik Artifactz, which seems like a fair jump for the Bergamo/Brescia three-piece, who’ve worked with Kozmik-offshoot Oak Island Records in the past, including for 2017’s Reverently Heading into Nowhere (review here), as well as with Taxi Driver Records.

Drummer Massimiliano Boventi had some cool stuff to say about The Deep, so you’ll find below what he sent to me. They did some light touring for the last record, so I’d expect no different this time out:

humulus

Humulus – The Deep

Our new LP will be out in february 2020 for german label Kozmik Artifactz Records. The title will be “The Deep”.

We started working on this record less or more one year ago between tours and gigs around…one fun fact : when we met the first times for take decision about the direction of the new songs we said like “let’s try to compose shorter songs”, maybe just for make something easier to listen for more people…so not too much later the first 2 songs were ready, the first was 9 minutes long the second 15 minutes — so in a totally spontaneous and natural way we realized that this is our direction… we love to jam and make different atmosphere during our rehears and the result is that we can’t cut our songs.

So I can say the one of the detail of the new record is that more than in the previous one songs are more and more a mix between doom and stoner rock riffs and psychedelic and trippy atmospheres…

For the first time there will be also an acoustic song in the record.

As the last works (Reverently Heading Into Nowhere and Walrus EP) this record was recording during this summer at Indiebox Music Hall in Brescia by Giovanni Bottoglia.

Humulus is:
Andrea Van Cleef: guitar, voice
Giorgio Bonacorsi: bass
Massimiliano Boventi: drums

www.facebook.com/humulusband
www.humulus.bandcamp.com
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Humulus, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (2017)

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The Elephant Sign to Karma Conspiracy Records; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the elephant

Preorders are up now through Bandcamp for the debut album from Italian heavy rock newcomers The Elephant. It’s been given an Oct. 25 release, which since you can buy it now is I guess fair enough, and the band make a compelling argument for themselves with the efficient two-minute asskicker “River,” which is led by a noise-rock-style bassline and vocals that seem to pull from the QOTSA oeuvre in a way that doesn’t let the hook sound too redundant. I’ve never heard the three-piece before — they formed last year — and in addition to liking writing about new bands, I like writing about new bands with debut albums, so here we are. New band with new album and new music streaming? All the better.

Obviously I haven’t heard the full album yet, but just going by the quick sample of “River,” it’s interesting to read below Karma Conspiracy — who’ll helm the release — talking about how it doesn’t feel like a debut. I think that comes through in the short track in the level of swagger behind what The Elephant are doing. Just something to listen for, but a definite appeal that piques interest heading into the record.

From the PR wire:

the elephant the elephant

Stoner Rock ‘n Rollers THE ELEPHANT sign with Karma Conspiracy Records & Reveal Full Album Details!

Many bands ( and label promo sheets ) may tell us they are different, unique, and are evolving their sound to a new level you have never heard before. This Italian trio in contrast, The Elephant, truly is. The blues and stoner rock ‘n rollers, formed just last year, have even signed a worldwide record deal with Karma Conspiracy, who will release the band’s first full length on October 25th.

“When we listened to the master of this debut by The Elephant, it didn’t really seem to have a band to debut. This year is a fundamental turning point for our label and this album will be another confirmation.“ Says label owner Phil.

Feeding on a sound that is characterized by the combination of two (!) distorted basses, stubborn and obsessive rhythms with their roots in the blues, alternated with alienating and psychedelic atmospheres; it’s especially also this unique voice of singer and bassist Giovanni Murolo, who gives the trio its very special vibes, soul and grooves. The Elephant’s self-titled album is the result of a year’s work, with themes heavily inspired by the poetry of William Blake, Dylan Thomas and Henry Michaux. Today we get to hear a first track of The Elephant’s upcoming debut, titled River.

“This is the song that started The Elephant project, and made us meet again after years. More than a song, it represents for us our musical bond and friendship.”

The album tracklisting will read as follows:
1. Mud Song
2. River
3. Quicksand Morning
4. Black White Alice
5. Monkey Demon
6. Catfish
7. Summer Blood
8. The Stoker
9. Walk With The Sun

Set for release on October 25th with Karma Conspiracy Records, you can already pre-oder your album copy HERE!
Watch out for many more news and tunes to follow in the days ahead, as one is sure: The Elephant came to stay and revive your blues spirit!

The Elephant is:
Giovanni Murolo – Bass & Vocals
Marco Catacchio – Bass & Vocals
Marco Sanchioni – Drums & Percussion

www.theelephantband.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/karmaconspiracyrecords
www.karmaconspiracy.it

The Elephant, “River”

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Premiere: Chron Goblin & Isaak Stream Split Tape in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on September 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

chron goblin

isaak

Today, Sept. 6, marks the arrival of the new split tape from Canadian and Italian outfits Chron Goblin and Isaak. Issued name-your-price through Spikerot Records in a soon-to-be-gone limited edition of only 100 tapes, the offering features one track from each band, each representing something different from them. To wit, Chron Goblin are about to put out their fourth album, Here Before (track premiere here), on Sept. 27 through Grand Hand Records. Isaak, meanwhile, were last heard from with 2015’s Sermonize (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds. The Chron Goblin track, “Signs,” however, was recorded in 2015 at the same session as their third album, Backwater (review here). The Isaak song, “Taste,” was tracked at the end of last year. So the split arises from some pretty complex circumstances. For one band, it represents a chance to showcase something older as they move onto something newer, and for the other, it marks a return after a few years’ absence from the studio, a kind of refresher for their audience and a reminder of what they do as a group. It’s a fair amount of context to pack into an eight-minute release.

Fortunately, in listening to “Signs” and “Taste,” there’s plenty to dig into for those who’d otherwise, you know, just want to listen to some previously unheard material. Chron Goblin begin with a bit of amp noise and are all-go, soon enough launching into a Roadsaw-style verse that careens through a gang-shout hook en route to a winding slowdown and bluesy solo in thechron goblin isaak split second half. The key moment is when everything but the bass drops out and the nod takes full shape before dropping out to complete the efficient 4:25. Done. Flip tape. Chron Goblin are in and out of “Signs” with an assurance of songwriting that leaves little to wonder why they’d dig up the track four years after the fact and still find it relevant enough to release: because quality songcraft is always relevant.

Isaak‘s answer back in “Taste” by building up over the first minute-plus to finally unleashing a forceful pummel of a riff met with likewise burly vocals. They’ve never wanted for brashness, and “Taste” is no exception to this as the low-end takes central position tonally and they cycle through the verse again as though coming back out of the corner for round two. The tension they manifest turns in the third minute to a more straightforward pop of snare and seems to run a little more forward rather than circular, but the let’s-kick-ass-and-worry-about-the-rest-later vibe remains consistent. They too finish clean. Surprisingly so for having seemed to throw so much sonic mud around, but maybe after a few years it’s just a sense of relief to be back with new material at all. I won’t speculate as to what their plans are without knowing, but Isaak certainly sound like they still have plenty more to say, as they did on their last record too.

And for Chron Goblin, there’s already the advantage of knowing the direction they’d take after recording “Signs,” so yeah, it’s a bit of a different situation from one band to the other, but the bottom line is it’s two tracks of hard-edged heavy rock and roll marked out by zero pretense and an efficient delivery, pressed up to a limited tape that will likely sell out before it even lands on the merch table, so yeah, there’s really no way to lose here. Bonus to anyone who listens to the stream on a Walkman.

Credits follow. Enjoy the tracks:

Link to the store here:
http://bit.ly/ChronGoblin_Isaak

Chron Goblin – Signs
Recorded and mixed by Adam Pike at Toadhouse Studios in Portland, OR in February, 2015
Mastered by Stephan Hawkes at Interlace Audio

Chron Goblin are:
Josh Sandulak
Devin Purdy
Richard Hepp
Brett Whittingham

Isaak – Taste
Recorded and Mixed by Mattia Cominotto at Greenfog Studio in Genoa in December 2018
Mastered by Andrea De Bernardi at Eleven Mastering

Isaak are:
Giacomo Boeddu
Francesco Raimondi
Davide Foccis
Gabriele Carta

Chron Goblin on Thee Facebooks

Chron Goblin on Instagram

Chron Goblin on Bandcamp

Isaak on Thee Facebooks

Isaak on Instagram

Isaak on Bandcamp

Spikerot Records on Thee Facebooks

Spikerot Records on Instagram

Spikerot Records website

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Chron Goblin & Isaak to Release Split Tape this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

So Isaak haven’t released anything since 2015’s Sermonize (review here) and Chron Goblin are putting out their new record, Here Before (discussed here) at the end of September. Isaak are in Italy. Chron Goblin in Canada. These seem like two bands in very different situations, and yet this week they’ll team up for a cassette split that’s also the first tape ever to come out through Spikerot Records. You know what? I’d check that out. I like a tape, I like a split, and I’d like to know how these two bands got hooked up in the first place, so yeah, I’ll give this one a listen when the time comes. Why the hell not? Do the circumstances even matter? Of course not. The riffs matter.

Release is coming up quick, so keep an eye out for it. I’ll also be interested to see if it leads to more from Isaak anytime soon, as their last outing was a banger.

Here’s Spikerot‘s post about the tape:

chron goblin isaak

Chron Goblin Vs Isaak. Split Tape through Spikerot Records

Spikerot has been all about Vinyls and CDs so far, but cassettes have dignity too, so why not?

We’re proud to be releasing our first tape ever under the banner of international Stoner Rock with two previously unreleased tracks from Canadian boogie facepunchers Chron Goblin and Italian riffalicious gang Isaak. Those who know each band’s signature sound will not be disappointed, both tracks are sheer energy, pairing melody with groove and distortion for a fresh interpretation of heavy music.

RELEASE DATE: September 6th

TRACKLIST
SIDE A: Chron Goblin – Signs
SIDE B: Isaak – Taste

Artwork by SoloMacello

Chron Goblin are:
Vocals: Josh Sandulak
Guitar: Devin ‘Darty’ Purdy
Bass: Richard Hepp
Drums: Brett Whittingham

Isaak are:
Vocals – Giacomo H Boeddu
Bass – Gabriele Carta
Drums/Vocals – Davide Fox Foccis
Guitars – Francesco Raimondi

https://www.facebook.com/ChronGoblin/
https://www.instagram.com/chrongoblin/
https://chrongoblin.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/isaakband
https://www.instagram.com/isaakmusic/
https://isaakmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/spikerotrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/spikerotrecords/
www.spikerot.com

Chron Goblin, Here Before (2019)

Isaak, Sermonize (2015)

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