Sarram to Release Albero May 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

sarram

Sardinian solo unit  This Sites - modify the way you do your assignment with our approved service Instead of wasting time in inefficient attempts, get qualified Sarram — also stylized all-caps with spaces between the letters:  genetics research papers. If you are looking for professional help with your scholarship essays, please call us now! S A R R A M, thereby throwing caution to the wind as regards line breaks — will release its fourth full-length,  Sinclair Broadcast Group - Homework After School (10805) - Nashville - Make your mark in Broadcasting and Digital Media. - Hire A Hero Albero, in less than a month’s time. You can stream the track “Midnight” from it now and it’s easy enough to imagine that  Dissertation Art History Usually students get the task to prepare their thesis paper after some classes in the subject were taken, and at least half of the whole program is behind. The process of identification of the thesis topic could be not easy, as there is a need to read a lot of corresponding literature, participate in discussions with other students and professors, check the actuality of the problem and so on. Valerio Marras (hey that’s  Avail The Offer Of Best georgetown university undergraduate admissions essay Service From Cheap Essay 247 Before Your Luck Runs Out! With every product or service becoming expensive on a daily basis, it is nothing less than a miracle to have a cheap writing service for your essays. The luck becomes even more awesome when you are able to get quality work for your money. Cheap Essay 247 is known to provide cheap essays in rates Sarram backwards!), also of  Most Detailed and Comprehensive news Professional Team Reliable Service ?Contact Us Today! Charun, composed the track late some evening, on his own, headphones on, dug into the exploratory moment as it unfolded. The record as a whole is a vibe likewise worthy of titling a song “Diving Deep,” as rich immersion in headphone-ready drones and soundscapes comes across from opener “Heavy Sleep” onward, the evocative nature of  It's possible to my review here in English literature, MBA, nursing, history, psychology, social and political science, marketing, programming, math, law, and plenty of other disciplines written by a knowledgeable writer within 24 hours or faster. Absolutely legal college essay writing service. Just as you can use Grammarly or Hemingway to boost your academic paper writing routine, you can use Marras‘ work giving rise to any number of narratives for those willing to engage.

Will that be everyone? Nope. Never is, and I’m sure by the time of his fourth record,  The Best Custom Essay Writers for Your Needs. Now is the perfect time to get the help you need with your Doctoral paper. Our company has been helping students around world for many years by providing them with access to the industrys top professional writers. We customize each paper to meet the needs of the individual, and never resell or reuse material. If youve been Marras doesn’t need to be told that. But, those seeking something textural and escapist might find room for themselves within the open spaces of “The Sound of a Needle” or the brief but consuming “Fading Sunlight,” the album’s eight-song course playing out over a still-accessible 39-minutes with a significant weight of atmosphere.

Info and the track stream came down the PR wire:

sarram albero

SARRAM – New album ‘Albero’ Out May 14th on Subsound Records

S A R R A M is the solo project of Sardinian multi-instrumentalist Valerio Marras, combining elements of drone/ambient, post-rock, doom and electronica. Also guitar player of post-rock oriented trio Thank U For Smoking and post-metal foursome Charun, Valerio Marras played extensively in Europe, with appearances at the KME, Schwarzer Herbst in Germany, Whoneedslyrics?! in Slovakia, Johanneskirche in Lobau, The Academy of fine Arts in Munich, Spazio Musica Project and Signal Fest in Cagliari, Dunk!Festival in Belgium and Young Team in France. He also collaborated with MAN and Ciusa Museum in Nuoro, Mua Museum in Sinnai, Nubifilm, Animamundi and naturalistic photographer Bobore Frau.

His fourth album ‘Albero’ presents a balanced and enigmatic mix of drone and ambient soundscapes, walls of guitar and hypnotic loops, while incorporating electronic and warm whispers. It’s a deep and intense journey, a dark ceremony of frequencies. It was recorded and mixed at ACME Studio at Cagliari, Sardinia by Nicola Olla and mastered by James Plotkin. Artwork was designed by Animamundi.

‘Albero’ will be released on May 14th via Subsound Records.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Heavy Sleep
2. The Sound Of A Needle
3. Scraps Of Paper
4. Sinking Shadows
5. Diving Deep
6. Fading Sunlight
7. Midnight
7. The Far Side Of The Moon

S A R R A M is
Valerio Marras — Guitar/fx, synth, glockenspiel, mandolin, kalimba

http://www.facebook.com/sarramproject
https://www.instagram.com/valosarram/
https://sarram.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/subsoundrecords
https://subsoundrecords.bigcartel.com/
http://www.subsoundrecords.it/

Sarram, Albero (2021)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ufomammut Announce Return with New Drummer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Good news for, well, the universe, in that Italian cosmic doom magnates Our PhD Commentary Essays will give you more confidence in the work that you submit. Years of planning, research, discussion, writing and editing (not to mention tuition) are invested in the PhD thesis that is usually required to earn a doctoral degree at a university, yet a PhD student can risk failure after all that hard work if the university or department guidelines have not been Ufomammut have drawn themselves back from hiatus in order to forge ahead with new material and a new drummer. After last month overseeing the release of a live album documenting their performance of the landmark album buying college papers online Atlanta, Georgia see post. get dissertation on abortions for me. Eve (review here; discussed here) at Roadburn 2011, guitarist linear regression homework help From Best Dissertation Writing Services UK. best-uk-dissertation.com offers is the custom dissertation writing service UK Poia and bassist The team of proficient dissertation authors from AdvancedWriters.com offers you to http://www.handwerk-uhn.de/?professional-cover-letter-writing-service-uk and make use of it when working on your assignment. This way is especially helpful to those who dont know what they should start with to write a really good paper. Urlo have brought the band back with new drummer  Document Read Online http://www.landfrauen.info/?real-estate-developer-business-plan Buying Papers - In this site is not the similar as a answer encyclopedia you purchase in a photo album accrual Levre, a friend of long-standing who’s previously toured with them.

So  Order Resume Online Mcdonalds - Get to know basic steps how to receive a plagiarism free themed term paper from a professional provider Write a timed custom Ufomammut‘s hiatus, which was announced in January of last year, has basically rounded out to the band taking the same year off as everyone else. They just got in on the ground floor of 2020 inactivity, which in the end probably saved them a lot of canceled tour dates — though of course  Poia pressed forward with solo-outfit The Mon and they would’ve been without a drummer following the departure of Vita, so yeah. Either way, glad there’s new Ufomammut on the horizon. The universe wasn’t quite the same without them.

From the PR wire:

ufomammut

UFOMAMMUT: Italian Heavy Psychedelic Trio Returns, Announcing New Drummer; New Plans And Recordings In The Works

Following a year-and-a-half of hiatus and regrouping, Italy’s reigning champions of immersive, heavy, psychedelic metal UFOMAMMUT announces their return, with a revamped lineup.

UFOMAMMUT spent several years of heavy touring across Europe and the United States supporting their eighth LP, 8, which saw release through Neurosis’ Neurot Recordings in 2017, resulting in their most successful live ventures in their two-decades-long history. In 2019, the band celebrated their twentieth anniversary, releasing the mammoth XX box set, commemorating their extensive discography. Shortly thereafter, the members experienced some differences on where the band was headed, and in January of 2020, longtime drummer Vita parted ways with the outfit and the band announced an indefinite hiatus. Weeks later, the world would find itself consumed by the worldwide outbreak of the still-ongoing pandemic.

During this ominous past year of outbreaks, lockdowns, cancellations, and severe angst, UFOMAMMUT’s guitarist Poia and bassist/vocalist Urlo channeled their energy into positive action, and silently reorganized the band. Now, they proudly welcome their new drummer, Levre, and the band’s return in 2021.

The band proudly announces, “After celebrating twenty years as a band, UFOMAMMUT reached a point of no return. As a result of an intense and difficult period, our paths divided. At the beginning of January 2020 Vita left the band and UFOMAMMUT announced that it was time to stop for an indefinite period of time. Shortly thereafter, the whole world was overwhelmed by the pandemic, which would have profoundly changed our lives. In this suspended time, we have had time to think, recover the lost energy and plan a new beginning. Now we are ready. It’s time to turn on the amps again.”

While no official plans have been announced, the revamped UFOMAMMUT is already putting projects into action, and new material is under construction. Stand by for further announcements on the band’s upcoming activities in 2021 and beyond over the months ahead.

In related news, UFOMAMMUT’s Urlo has been hard at work on new material for his solo project, The Mon, which debuted in 2018, with new material on the way this year. He also launched a new online video series during the pandemic, Para(In)Phernalia, with discussions on the gear, equipment, and techniques he and the other members of the band use to produce their sonic and visual creations. The installments have gained a healthy following from the band’s diehard fanbase, which reacts with notes and inquires, making for a very interactive experience.

The Malleus Rock Art Lab collective, which is also directly operated by members of UFOMAMMUT and Supernatural Cat, has also just launched their own new clothing line! Featuring bold prints and artwork created by the cooperative outfit, from the cotton used to the label applied to each garment, up to the shipping packaging, the group paid great attention to every detail of the new project. The entire printing and production process is 100% created in Italy and it’s carried out by Turin-based lab Sericraft.

www.ufomammut.com
https://ufomammut.8merch.com/
www.facebook.com/ufomammutband
www.instagram.com/ufomammut
http://www.supernaturalcat.com

Ufomammut, Eve Live at Roadburn 2011 (2021)

Ufomammut, 8 (2017)

Tags: , , ,

Varego Set June 11 Release for Self-Titled Album

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

A thing or two to notice in the info below for Varego‘s upcoming self-titled fourth album, in addition to the standard stuff like preorders and a streaming single and the release date. The essentials. While you’re taking those in and further considering the takeover of digital distribution that DistroKid has quietly pulled off in the last couple years — at least that part of it not solely devoted to Bandcamp — note too that Varego are now a three-piece after apparently parting ways with guitarist Gero Lucisano since 2019’s I, Prophetic (review here).

The exclusion (however it came about) of Lucisano would seem to have coincided as well with a separation from Argonauta Records — which the now-former guitarist heads — and finds the band releasing their record on their own. They herald a new sonic direction as well, and at the very least a shift from two guitars to one would affect their dynamic, so yeah, I’m sure there are some stylistic shifts present. You can get a taste for what that means in the visualizer they’re presenting for “Limbo” below. And no, they’re not talking about the lean-way-back kind of limbo.

From the PR wire:

VAREGO

VAREGO Release new single and video for ‘Limbo’

“Varego” out on June 11th

Italian post prog trio VAREGO recently announced their return to the scene and today they are proud to unveil the details of their new self-titled album, ‘Varego’, out on June 11th, 2021.

To celebrate and to give a first taste of their new sound, the band presents the first single and visualizer for ‘Limbo’.
Listen/download the new single ‘Limbo’ here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/varego/limbo

“Limbo was the first track on the new album that we created. The powerful bass intertwines with heavy rock guitar riffs, while the drums bring us back to a connatural rhythm.

The lyrics talk about all those stalemates in our lives, where we think we are conditioned by events but in reality it is us and our fears that cause this state of life: by destroying them we can become the food for our dreams”, says the band.

Pre-orders of “Varego” are now available here:
CD Digipack and digital: https://varego.bandcamp.com/album/varego-2

The band’s fourth studio album, “Varego”, 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) who also did the mixing and mastering.

The album preserves the strength of the wildness and the organicity of the songwriting, leading to a new maturity. VAREGO’s sound found a new fresh energy and it is significantly more powerful, an exanthema with grunge echoes, stoner rock riffs, post metal and prog rock nuances, that pushes the evolution of the group one step further. It’s the manifest result of a creative peak and, in the meantime, a point of arrival and a new start.

“The special feature of this new album is its instinctiveness. The composition of the songs was written on the spur of the moment, in fact in the studio we wanted to give this feeling by recording all the rhythmic parts, including the guitar, in real time. The lyrics are about war, drugs, madness, death and everything that poisons the lives of human beings, trying to ‘exorcise’ and transform all this poison into medicine. Also on a musical level, the intention is to make people feel that darkness and light are complementary, the two sides of the coin called life”, states the band.

Like the coal reveals the diamond over time, in this new record VAREGO know how to refine their visceral instinct, transforming it into a definite and incisive force. Their poisonous properties have become the exacerbated healing balm to the discomfort of today’s world.

“Varego” tracklist:
1.Tunnel
2. Limbo
3. Death
4. Needles
5. One
6. Wave
7. Raptus (Un passo e muori)

VAREGO are:
Davide Marcenaro – vocals, bass
Alberto Pozzo – guitars
Simon Lepore – drums

www.varego.it
www.facebook.com/varego
www.instagram.com/varego_band

Varego, “Limbo” visualizer

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alberto Trentanni of King Bong

Posted in Questionnaire on April 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

king bong alberto

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

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

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alberto Trentanni of King Bong

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

I’m a musician, specifically a bass player. I started when I was 14, picking up the instrument after a pretty random conversation. I always had a passion for music, but I never saw myself actually doing it before a classmate half-jokingly said “If we do a band, you’ll play bass cause I’m too short.” The idea started to grow in the back of my head and a year later I was buying my first Precision copy. I never actually played with that guy.

I took lessons for a few years and I played in several bands growing up, while looking for my musical voice. There were a few cover bands, a short-lived punk one, a prog-metal one, and finally a Southern rock one which actually co-existed with King Bong. They both started in 2008, although the other project is now defunct.

Initially I was a very straight bassist, in-the-pocket if you wish. As I explored the instrument and discovered new music, I expanded my vocabulary: since I play in an instrumental band with lots of improvisation, this is kind of a feedback loop. Our music pushes me to find new colors and I’m also pushed by my bandmates’ growth.

Describe your first musical memory.

It’s quite hard to focus on a single one: my parents have a passion for music, so I grew up surrounded by it. Right now, the oldest one I can think of is listening to Bowie’s Never Let Me Down and being mesmerized by the cassette’s cover. He’s done better albums, with better artworks, but I remember being obsessed by the background of this one.

It’s either that, or listening with my dad to Santana’s Greatest Hits, the one with the white dove on the cover. Speaking of which, I’ve recently brought him a recording of Santana’s 1970 concert at Tanglewood, which I highly recommend to everybody, it’s on YouTube.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I’ve used Paranoid as a nickname on the Internet since I installed Napster in 1998, so seeing Black Sabbath play “Paranoid” in Birmingham was a highlight of my life. I was in the front rows and it felt so uplifting.

Best concert as a whole has to be either King Crimson at La Fenice theater in Venice or when I saw Motorpsycho play a three and half hour set which included the whole Blissard album as an encore. Two very different forms of musical elation: King Crimson was perfection embodied, sonically and creatively. The Motorpsycho one was in a small packed club, there was an electricity in the air that I’ve felt very few times and the band gave a performance I’ll never forget.

As a musician, it was when we recorded a collaboration with Chris Haskett, guitarist from the Henry Rollins Band. There was a moment during our sessions with him that sounded so good it still gives me chills. I distinctly remember looking around at the rest of the band while we were playing and thinking “Wow, we wrote this, and it’s actually working”.

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

Growing up an atheist in a very Catholic country, I’ve always had some pretty hard anticlericalist views. Luckily, the world every now and then brings up examples of outstanding individuals with a strong faith, reminding me that any group of people is made of single minds and looking at them not as persons but as members of that group is a dangerous and a negative line of thought.

Specifically, my anticlericalism was put to test the most when I was 20 and on an InterRail trip. I don’t know if it it’s still a thing, but at the time European citizens under 25 were able to buy these cheap train tickets that allowed almost unlimited travel around areas of the EU.

I bought one of these tickets with a group of friends and went to Spain and Morocco (which for some reason was included in the program). On our way back from Marrakech, we took a ferry from Tangier which brought us to Algeciras, on the Spanish coast.

We fucked up the timing of the trip, so we arrived in the middle of the night. We slept inside the docks, unrolling our sleeping bags under some stairs. The following morning, we ventured into the city with the aim of taking a train to Sevilla, but first we needed a shower and some food. The trip from Marrakech had started two days earlier and we looked like hobos.

Lo and behold, here’s a tiny house with a garden and a sign that explains it’s a Christian mission welcoming travelers. They made us breakfast and gave us access to their showers. After that, we actually had a very nice conversation about Christianity and organized religion.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

For me, it leads to growth and salvation. Art has taught me a huge number of things, both experiencing it and doing it. Progressing as an artist means to constantly feed a hunger that otherwise would never be satisfied. In this sense it leads to salvation: without art life has not much meaning, but also to remain stuck as an artist will make you lose that meaning.

How do you define success?

As an artist, to move the audience. To actually be able to find an audience, regardless of its size, that resonates with what you do.

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

Timo Kotipelto singing Queensryche’s “I Don’t Believe In Love” at Wacken 2002.

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

An ambient album with just layers of my bass and my effects. I’ve got several ideas, but I lack the focus to actually do it. Those ideas are also too scattered, so maybe I simply haven’t found the right concept yet.

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

To express one’s self. Art is a language, at the very base every artist is saying something and opening their inner world for the outside to look in.

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

I have a phobia of needles, but I’ve never wanted an injection so much as with the Covid vaccine! On a larger scale, I can’t wait for things to be under control so we can resume travelling and going to concerts.

https://www.facebook.com/kingbongofficial
https://kingbong.bandcamp.com/
http://www.kingbongband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mandronerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/mandronerecords
https://mandronerecords.com/

King Bong, Beekse Bergen Vol. 8 – Rosebud (2020)

King Bong, Sand – Return (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Sonic Flower, Demon Head, Rakta & Deafkids, Timo Ellis, Heavy Feather, Slow Draw, Pilot Voyager, The Ginger Faye Bakers, Neromega, Tung

Posted in Reviews on April 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Friday morning and the Spring 2021 Quarterly Review draws to a close. It’s been a good one, and though there are probably enough albums on my desktop to make it go another few days, better to quit while I’m ahead in terms of not-being-so-tired-I’m-angry-at-everything-I’m-hearing. In any case, as always, I hope you found something here you enjoy. I have been pleasantly surprised on more than a few occasions, especially by debuts.

We wrap with more cool stuff today and since I’m on borrowed time as it is, let me not delay.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sonic Flower, Rides Again

sonic flower rides again

Like Church of Misery‘s groove but feel kind of icky with all those songs about serial killers? Legit. Say hello to Tatsu Mikami‘s Sonic Flower. Once upon a 2003, the band brought all the boogie and none of the slaughter of Tatsu‘s now-legendary Sabbathian doom rock outfit to a self-titled debut (reissue review here), and Rides Again is the lost follow-up from 2005, unearthed like so many of the early ’70s forsaken classics that clearly inspired it. With covers of The Meters and Graham Central Station, Sonic Flower makes their funky intentions plain as day, and the blowout drums and full-on fuzz they bring to those cuts as well as the five originals on the short-but-satisfying 28-minute offering is a win academically and for casual fans alike. You ain’t gonna hear “Jungle Cruise” or their take on “Earthquake” and come out complaining, is what I’m saying. This is the kind of record that makes you buy more records.

Sonic Flower on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, Viscera

demon head viscera

With Viscera, Copenhagen’s Demon Head make their debut on Metal Blade Records. It is their fourth album overall, the follow-up to 2019’s Hellfire Ocean Void (review here), and it continues the five-piece’s enduring exploration of darker places. Dramatic vocals recount grim narratives over backing instrumentals that are less doom at the outset with “Tooth and Nail” and “The Feline Smile” than goth, and atmospheric pieces like “Arrows” and “The Lupine Choir” and “A Long, Groaning Descent” and “Wreath” and certainly the closer “The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony” further the impression that Viscera, though its title conjures raw guts, is instead an elaborate entirety — if perhaps one of raw guts — and meant to be taken in its 36-minute whole. Demon Head make that LP-friendly runtime a progression down into reaches they’d not until this point gone, tapping sadness for its inherent beauty.

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Rakta & Deafkids, Live at Sesc Pompeia

Rakta Deafkids Live at Sesc Pompeia

Next time someone asks you what the future sounds like, you’ll have a good answer for them. Combined into a six-piece band, Brazilian outfits Rakta and Deafkids harness ambience and space-punk thrust into a sound that is born of a past that hasn’t yet happened. Their Live at Sesc Pompeia LP follows on from a 2019 two-songer, but it’s in the live performance that the spirit of this unity really shines through, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Miragem” through the semi-industrialized effects swirl of “Templo do Caos,” into the blower-noise dance party “Sigilo,” the weirdo-chug-jam of “Forma” and the space rock breakout “Flor de Pele” and the percussed buzz and echoing howls of “Espirais,” they are equal parts encompassing and singular. It is not to be ignored, and though there are moments that border on unlistenable, you can hear from the wailing crowd at the end that to be in that room was to witness something special. As a document of that, Live at Sesc Pompeia feels like history in the making.

Rakta on Thee Facebooks

Deafkids on Thee Facebooks

Rapid Eye Records website

 

Timo Ellis, Death is Everywhere

Timo Ellis Death is Everywhere

A madcap, weighted-but-anti-genre sensibility comes to life in supernova-experimentalist fashion throughout the four songs of Timo EllisDeath is Everywhere. The lockdown-era EP from Ellis (Netherlands, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, on and on) makes post-modern shenanigans out of apocalypses inner and outer, and from lines like “this bridal shower is bumming me out” in the unabashedly hooky “Vampire Rodeo” to “the earth will still breathe fire without you!” in “Left Without an Answer,” the stakes are high despite the flittering-in-appreciation-of-the-absurd mood of the tracks themselves. The title-track and “Evolve or Die” blend sonic heft and the experimental pop movement that “Vampire Rodeo” sets forth — the third cut is positively manic and maniacally positive — while “Left Without an Answer” almost can’t help but be consuming as it rolls into a long fade leaving intertwining vocals lines as the last to go, telling the listener to “learn to say goodbye” without making it easy. Won’t be for everyone, doesn’t want to be. Is expression for itself. Feels genuine in that, and admirable.

Timo Ellis on Thee Facebooks

Timo Ellis on Bandcamp

 

Heavy Feather, Mountain of Sugar

heavy feather mountain of sugar

With not-at-all-subtle nods to Humble Pie and Ennio Morricone in its opening tracks, Heavy Feather‘s second LP, Mountain of Sugar, has boogie to spare. No time is wasted on the 38-minute/11-track follow-up to 2019’s Débris & Rubble (review here), and true to the record’s title, it’s pretty sweet. The collection pits retro mindset against modern fullness in its harmonica-laced, duly-fuzzed title-track, and goes full-Fleetwood on “Come We Can Go” heading into a side B that brings a highlight in the soft-touch-stomp of “Rubble and Debris” and an earned bit of Southern-styled turn in “Sometimes I Feel” that makes a fitting companion to all the bluesy vibes throughout, particularly those of the mellow “Let it Shine” earlier. The Stockholm outfit knew what they were doing last time out too, but you can hear their process being refined throughout Mountain of Sugar, and even its most purposefully familiar aspects come across with a sense of will and playfulness.

Heavy Feather on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Slow Draw, Yellow & Gray

slow draw yellow and gray

Don’t tell him I told you so, but Slow Draw is starting to sound an awful lot like a band. What began as a drone/soundscaping project from Stone Machine Electric drummer/noisemaker Mark Kitchens has sprouted percussive roots of its own on Yellow & Gray, and as Kitchens explores textures of psychedelic funk, mellow heavy and even a bit of ’70s proggy homage in “Sylvia” ahead of the readily Beck-ian jam “Turntable” and acousti-drone closer “A Slow Move,” the band-vibe is rampant. I’m going to call Yellow & Gray a full-length despite the fact that it’s 24 minutes long because its eight songs inhabit so many different spaces between them, but however you want to tag it, it demonstrates the burgeoning depth of Kitchens‘ project and how it’s grown in perhaps unanticipated ways. If this is what he’s been doing in isolation — as much as Texas ever shuttered for the pandemic — his time has not been wasted.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Pilot Voyager, Nuclear Candy Bar

plot voyager nuclear candy bar

Freak! Out! The 66-minute Nuclear Candy Bar from Hungarian psychedelicists Pilot Voyager might end mostly drifting with the 27-minute “23:61,” but much of the four tracks prior to that finale are fuzz-on-go-go-go-out-out-out heavy jams, full in tone and improv spirit however planned their course may or may not actually be. To say the least, “Fuzziness” lives up to its name, as guitarist/founder Ákos Karancz — joined by bassist Bence Ambrus (who also mastered) and drummers Krisztián Megyeri and István Baumgartner (the latter only on the closer) — uses a relatively earthbound chug as a launchpad for further space/krautrocking bliss, culminating in a scorching cacophony that’s the shortest piece on the record at just under seven minutes. If you make it past the molten heat of the penultimate title-track, there’s no turning away from “23:61,” as the first minute of that next day pulls you in from the outset, a full-length flow all unto itself. More more more, yes yes yes. Alright you get the point.

Pilot Voyager on Thee Facebooks

Psychedelic Source Records on Bandcamp

 

The Ginger Faye Bakers, Camaro

the ginger faye bakers camaro

Sit with The Ginger Faye BakersCamaro EP for a little bit. Don’t just listen to the first track, or even the second, third or fourth, on their own, but take a few minutes to put it all together. Won’t take long, the thing’s only 17 minutes long, and in so doing you’ll emerge with a more complex picture of who they are as a band. Yeah, you hear the opening title-cut and think early-Queens of the Stone Age-style desert riffing, maybe with a touch of we’re-actually-from-the-Northeast tonal thickness, but the garage-heavy of “The Creeps” feels self-aware in its Uncle Acid-style swing, and as the trio move through the swinging “The Master” and “Satan’s Helpers,” the last song drawing effectively from all sides, the totality of the release becomes all the more sinister for the relatively straight-ahead beginning just a short time earlier. Might be a listen or two before it sinks in, but they’ve found a niche for themselves here and one hopes they continue to follow where their impulses lead them.

The Ginger Faye Bakers on Thee Facebooks

The Ginger Faye Bakers on Bandcamp

 

Neromega, Nero Omega

Neromega Nero Omega

If you’re not yet keeping an eye on Regain Records offshoot Helter Skelter Productions, Rome’s Neromega are a fervent argument for doing so. The initials-only cultish five-piece are Italian as much in their style of doom as they are in geography, and across their four-song Nero Omega debut EP, they run horror organ and classic heavy rock grooves alongside each other while nodding subtly at more extreme fare like the death ‘n’ roll rumble in closer “Un Posto” or the dirt-coated low end that caps “Pugnale Ardore,” the drifting psych only moments ago quickly forgotten in favor of renewed shuffle. Eight-minute opener “Solitudine,” might be the highlight as well as the longest inclusion on the 24-minute first-showing, but it’s by no means the sum total of what the band have on offer, as they saunter through giallo, psychedelia, doom, heavy riffs and who knows what else to come, they strike an immediately individual atmospheric presence even while actively toying with familiar sounds. The EP is cohesive enough to make me wonder what their initials are.

Neromega on Thee Facebooks

Helter Skelter Productions website

 

Tung, Bleak

TUNG BLEAK

Some of the made-even-bigger-by-echo vocals from guitarist Craig Kasamis might remind of Maurice Bryan Giles from Red Fang, but Ventura, California’s Tung are up chasing down a different kind of party on 2020’s Bleak, though Kasamis, guitarist David Briceno (since replaced by Bill Bensen), bassist Nick Minasian and drummer Rob Dean have a strong current of West Coast noise rock in what they’re doing as well in “Runaway,” a lurcher like “Spit” later on or the run-till-it-crashes finisher “Fallen Crown,” which the only song apart from the bookending opener “Succession Hand” to have a title longer than a single word. Still, Tung have their own, less pop-minded take on brashness, and this debut album leaves the bruises behind to demonstrate its born-from-hardcore lineage. Their according lack of frills makes Bleak all the more effective at getting its point across, and while they’d probably tell you their sound is nothing fancy, it’s fancy enough to stomp all over your ears for about half an hour, and that’s as fancy as it needs to be. Easy to dig even in its more aggressive moments.

Tung on Thee Facebooks

Plain Disguise Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Giulia Parin Zecchin of Julinko

Posted in Questionnaire on April 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Giulia Parin Zecchin Julinko

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

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

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Giulia Parin Zecchin of Julinko

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

With music I’ve always felt like I am trying to translate something aerial or resting underneath, into an audible scenario.

I sensed a belonging to music as a child and started to sing in choirs and later, in bands. Then, as a young adult I guess I was brought away by a much too structured model of society and education, and stopped practicing and experimenting with music for years. It all came back to me — and much more forcefully — when a dear friend made me an unexpected gift in 2013: an old acoustic guitar. I realized how much I could express by just pressing the strings and let my voice interact with their sound, and never stopped creating after that.

Describe your first musical memory.

It has a sense of ecstasy, immensity and supernatural. I close my eyes and am I child, going to church. I lift my head, gazing to the big fresco of the vault, observing the painted holy figures and the celestial creamy sky move above me, as the space is filled by organ music and vocal hymns.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Summer of 2018, June. A choir is doing an open air concert of Medieval and Baroque music, starting at 4AM and dropping the last notes as the sun rose. The light slowly, sensibly changing with the chromatic visual projections decorating the venue: the ruins of an ancient abbey with an opened vault due to WWI bombings. The place is called Abbazia di Sant’Eustachio, located on an hilly area close to Treviso, north-east of Italy. It truly was a breathtaking experience and I will never forget it.

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

In 2018 I finally put myself on a stage alone, leading an almost fully improvised set in front of an audience. Before that I was pretty insecure, and thought I could never be able to face a live show alone. After I put myself in that situation, a new world of possibilities opened up.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I feel I can only answer subjectively to this question, as we all have different ideas and measures in art and life. So as regards my movement, it progresses by slowly giving light and color to the darkness which has always distinguished my expression, yet not erasing it.

How do you define success?

The result of a step further your older self and limits; widening the ability of transmitting emotions and visions to diverse audiences.

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

I truly don’t regret any sensory experience I have of this world. Every bit of it is precious and formative in order to evolve as a human being, and even more as a creative artist.

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

An album which is minimalist in its source yet huge in its evocative reach. Something connecting a primordial/archaic type of sound to an avantgarde language.

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

To console, to open views and sensibilities and ultimately, to let us taste the eternal, if just for a moment.

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

Completing my new collection of poems.

https://www.facebook.com/julinko.julinko
https://www.instagram.com/julinko.imago/
https://julinko.bandcamp.com/
http://julinko.com/
https://ghostcity.bandcamp.com/
https://diodrone.bandcamp.com/
https://dischidevastantisullafaccia.bandcamp.com/

Julinko, No Destroyer (2021)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Dopelord, Scorched Oak, Kings of the Fucking Sea, Mantarraya, Häxmästaren, Shiva the Destructor, Amammoth, Nineteen Thirteen, Ikitan, Smote

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Third day, and you know what that means. Today we hit and pass the halfway mark of this Quarterly Review. I won’t say it hasn’t been work, but it seems like every time I do one of these lately I continue to be astounded by how much easier writing about good stuff makes it. I must’ve done a real clunker like two years ago or something. Can’t think of one, but wow, it’s way more fun when the tunes are killer.

To that end we start with Dopelord today, haha. Have fun digging through if you do.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Dopelord, Reality Dagger

Dopelord Reality Dagger

They put it in a 12″, and that’s cool, but in addition to the fact that it’s about 22 minutes long, something about Reality Dagger, the latest EP from Poland’s Dopelord, strikes me as being really 10″ worthy. I know 10″ is the bastard son of vinyl pressings — doesn’t fit with your LPs and doesn’t fit with your 7″s. They’re a nuisance. Do they get their own shelf? Mixed in throughout? Well, however you organize them, I think a limited 10″ of Reality Dagger would be perfect, because from the melodies strewn throughout “Dark Coils” and the wildly catchy “Your Blood” — maybe the most complex vocal arrangement I’ve yet heard from the band — to the ultra-sludge interplay with screams on the 10-minute closing title-track, it sounds to me like standing out from the crowd is exactly what Dopelord want to do. They want to be that band that doesn’t fit your preconceptions of stoner-doom, or sludge, or modern heavy largesse in the post-Monolord vein. Why not match that admirable drive in format? Oh hell, you know what? I’ll just by the CD and have done with it. One of the best EPs I’ve heard this year.

Dopelord on Thee Facebooks

Dopelord on Bandcamp

 

Scorched Oak, Withering Earth

Scorched Oak Withering Earth

Don’t be surprised when you see Kozmik Artifactz, Nasoni Records, or some other respected probably-European purveyor of heavy coming through with an announcement they’ve picked up Scorched Oak. The Dortmund, Germany, trio seem to have taken the last few years to figure out where they were headed — they pared down from a five-piece, for example — and their rolling tides of fuzz on late-2020’s debut LP Withering Earth bears the fruit of those efforts. Aesthetically and structurally sound, it’s able to touch on heavy blues, metal and drifting psychedelia all within the span of a seven-minute track like “Swamp,” and in its five-songs running shortest to longest, it effectively draws the listener deeper into the world the band are creating through dual vocals, patient craft and spacious production. If I was a label, I’d sign them for the bass tone on 14-minute closer “Desert” alone, never mind any of the other natural phenomena they portray throughout the record, which is perhaps grim in theme but nonetheless brimming with potential. Some cool riffs on this dying planet.

Scorched Oak on Thee Facebooks

Scorched Oak on Bandcamp

 

Kings of the Fucking Sea, In Concert

Kings of the Fucking Sea In Concert

A scorching set culled from two nights of performances in their native Nashville, what’s essentially serving as Kings of the Fucking Sea‘s debut long-player, In Concert, is a paean to raw psychedelic power trio worship. High order ripper groove pervades “Witch Mountain” and the wasn’t-yet-named “Hiding No More” — which was introduced tentatively as “Death Dealer,” which the following track is actually titled. Disorienting? Shit yeah it is. And shove all the poignancy of making a live album in Feb. 2020 ahead of the pandemic blah blah. That’s not what’s happening here. This is all about blow-the-door-so-we-can-escape psychedelic pull and thrust. One gets the sense that Kings of the Fucking Sea are more in control than they let on, but they play it fast and loose and slow and loose throughout In Concert and by the time the mellower jam in “I Walk Alone” opens up to the garage-style wash of crash cymbal ahead of closer “The Nile Song,” the swirling fuckall that ensues is rampant with noise-coated fire. A show that might make you look up from your phone. So cool it might be jazz. I gotta think about it.

Kings of the Fucking Sea on Thee Facebooks

Agitated Records on Bandcamp

 

Mantarraya, Mantarraya

mantarraya mantarraya

They bill themselves as ‘Mantarraya – power trío,’ and guitarist/vocalist Herman Robles Montero, drummer/maybe-harmonica-ist Kelvin Sifuentes Pérez and bassist/vocalist Enzo Silva Agurto certainly live up to that standard on their late-2020 self-titled debut full-length. The vibe is classic heavy ’70s through and through, and the Peruvian three-piece roll and boogie through the 11 assembled tracks with fervent bluesy swing on “En el Fondo” and no shortage of shuffle throughout the nine-minute “120 Años (Color),” which comes paired with the trippier “Almendrados” in what seems like a purposeful nod to the more out-there among the out there, bringing things back around to finish swinging and bouncing on the eponymous closer. I’ll take the classic boogie as it comes, and Mantarraya do it well, basking in a natural but not too purposefully so sense of underproduction while getting their point across in encouraging-first-record fashion. At over an hour long, it’s too much for a single LP, but plenty of time for them to get their bearings as they begin their creative journey.

Mantarraya on Thee Facebooks

Mantarraya on Bandcamp

 

Häxmästaren, Sol i Exil

Häxmästaren sol i exil

At the risk of repeating myself, someone’s gonna sign Häxmästaren. You can just tell. The Swedish five-piece’s second album, Sol i Exil (“sun in exile,” in English), is a mélange of heavy rock and classic doom influences, blurring the lines between microgenres en route to an individual approach that’s still accessible enough in a riffer like “Millennium Phenomenon” or “Dödskult Ritual” to be immediately familiar and telegraph to the converted where the band are coming from. Vocalist Niklas Ekwall — any relation to Magnus from The Quill? — mixes in some screams and growls to his melodic style, further broadening the palette and adding an edge of extremity to “Children of the Mountain,” while “Growing Horns” and the capper title-track vibe out with with a more classic feel, whatever gutturalisms happen along the way, the latter feeling like a bonus for being in Swedish. In the ever-fertile creative ground that is Gothenburg, it should be no surprise to find a band like this flourishing, but fortunately Sol i Exil doesn’t have to be a surprise to kick ass.

Häxmästaren on Thee Facebooks

Häxmästaren on Bandcamp

 

Shiva the Destructor, Find the Others

SHIVA THE DESTRUCTOR FIND THE OTHERS

Launching with the nine-minute instrumental “Benares” is a telling way for Kyiv’s Shiva the Destructor to begin their debut LP, since it immediately sets listener immersion as their priority. The five-track/44-minute album isn’t short on it, either, and with the band’s progressive, meditative psychedelic style, each song unfolds in its own way and in its own time, drawn together through warmth of tone and periods of heft and spaciousness on “Hydronaut” and a bit of playful bounce on “Summer of Love” (someone in this band likes reggae) and a Middle Eastern turn on “Ishtar” before “Nirvana Beach” seems to use the lyrics to describe what’s happening in the music itself before cutting off suddenly at the end. Vocals stand alone or in harmony and the double-guitar four-piece bask in a sunshine-coated sound that’s inviting and hypnotic in kind, offering turns enough to keep their audience following along and undulations that are duly a clarion to the ‘others’ referenced in the title. It’s like a call to prayer for weirdo psych heads. I’ll take that and hope for more to come.

Shiva the Destructor on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

Amammoth, The Fire Above

amammoth the fire above

The first and only lyric in “Heal” — the opening track of Sydney, Australia, trio Amammoth‘s debut album, The Fire Above — is the word “marijuana.” It doesn’t get any less stoned from there. Riffs come in massive waves, and even as “The Sun” digs into a bit of sludge, the largesse and crash remains thoroughly weedian, with the lumbering “Shadows” closing out the first half of the LP with particularly Sleep-y nod. Rawer shouted vocals also recall earlier Sleep, but something in Amammoth‘s sound hints toward a more metallic background than just pure Sabbath worship, and “Rise” brings that forward even as it pushes into slow-wah psychedelics, letting “Blade Runner” mirror “The Sun” in its sludgy push before closer “Walk Towards What Blinds You (Blood Bong)” introduces some backing vocals that fit surprisingly well even they kind of feel like a goof on the part of the band. Amammoth, as a word, would seem to be something not-mammoth. In sound, Amammoth are the opposite.

Amammoth on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nineteen Thirteen, MCMXIII

nineteen thirteen mcmxiii

With emotional stakes sufficiently high throughout, MCMXIII is urgent enough to be post-hardcore, but there’s an underpinning of progressive heavy rock even in the mellower stretch of the eight-minute “Dogfight” that complements the noisier and more angular aspects on display elsewhere. Opener “Post Blue Collar Blues” sets the plotline for the newcomer Dayton, Ohio, four-piece, with thoughtful lyrics and a cerebral-but-not-dead-of-spirit instrumental style made full and spacious through the production. Melodies flesh out in “Cripple John” and “Old Face on the Wall,” brooding and surging in children-of-the-’90s fashion, but I hear a bit of Wovenhand in that finale as well — though maybe the one doesn’t exclude the other — so clearly Nineteen Thirteen are just beginning this obviously-passion-fueled exploration of sound aesthetic with these songs, but the debut EP they comprise cuts a wide swath with marked confidence and deceptive memorability. A new turn on Rust Belt heavy.

Nineteen Thirteen on Thee Facebooks

Nineteen Thirteen on Bandcamp

 

Ikitan, Twenty-Twenty

ikitan twenty-twenty

Hey, you process trauma from living through the last year your way and Genova, Italy’s Ikitan will process it theirs. In their case, that means the writing, recording and self-release of their 20-minute single-song EP, Twenty-Twenty, a sprawling work of instrumentalist heavy post-rock rife with spacious, airy lead guitar and a solid rhythmic foundation. Movements occur in waves and layers, but there is a definite thread being woven throughout the outing from one part to the next, held together alternately by the bass or drums or even guitar, though it’s the latter that seems to be leading those changes as well. The shifts are fluid in any case, and Ikitan grow Twenty-Twenty‘s lone, titular piece to a satisfyingly heft as they move through, harnessing atmosphere as well as weight even before they lower volume for stretches in the second half. There’s a quick surge at the end, but “Twenty-Twenty” is more about journey than destination, and Ikitan make the voyage enticing.

Ikitan on Thee Facebooks

Ikitan on Bandcamp

 

Smote, Bodkin

smote bodkin

Loops, far-out spaces and a generally experimentalist feel ooze outward like Icelandic lava from Bodkin, the five-song debut LP from UK-based solo-outfit Smote. The gentleman behind the flow is Newcastle upon Tyne’s Daniel Foggin, and this is one of three releases he has out so far in 2021, along with a prior drone collaboration tape with Forest Mourning and a subsequent EP made of two tracks at around 15 minutes each. Clearly a project that can be done indoors during pandemic lockdown, Smote‘s material is wide-ranging just the same, bringing Eastern multi-instrumentalism and traditionalist UK psych together on “Fohrt” and “Moninna,” which would border on folk but for all that buzz in the background. The 11-minute “Motte” is a highlight of acid ritualizing, but the droning title-track that rounds out makes each crash count all the more for the spaces that separate them. I dig this a lot, between you and me. I get vibes like Lamp of the Universe here in terms of sonic ambition and resultant presence. That’s not a comparison I make lightly, and this is a project I will be following.

Smote on Bandcamp

Weird Beard Records store

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Dread Sovereign, Space Smoke, If it Kills You, Clara Engel, Maya Mountains, Cave of Swimmers, Blind Monarch, Cancervo, Sahara

Posted in Reviews on March 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Hello Day Two of the Quarterly Review. It started by oversleeping by about an hour, but so it goes. Yesterday went about as smoothly as I can ask a QR day to go, so I’m hoping that today follows suit despite the rough start. There’s nothing like building some momentum once you get going with these writeups. It’s about as close to ‘in the zone’ as I get. Trance of productivity.

As always, I hope you find something here you dig. Today’s round is good and all over the place, so maybe everyone’ll get lucky. Here goes.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Vertigo

jess and the ancient ones vertigo

More than a decade on from their founding, Finland’s Jess and the Ancient Ones are an established brand when it comes to cult psych rock, and their fourth full-length, issued through Svart, is gleeful to the point of witch-cackling on “Talking Board” (think Ouija) and offers rousing classically-stylized hooks on fellow early cuts like opener “Burning of the Velvet Fires” and “World Paranormal” as well as side B’s “Born to Kill,” the Dr. Strangelove-sampling “Summer Tripping Man” and the organ-washed “What’s on Your Mind” ahead of an 11-minute prog rock grand finale in “Strange Earth Illusion” that feels very much like the impetus toward which the album has been driving all along. Relax, you’re in the hands of professional mystics, and their acid rock vibes are made all the more grand by Jess‘ soulful delivery atop the ever-clever arrangements of guitar, organ, bass, drums, samples, and so on. This kind of cultish lysergic fare has never been and never will be for everyone. Listening to Vertigo, you can only really wonder why that is.

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Dread Sovereign, Alchemical Warfare

dread sovereign alchemical warfare

Metallic overload! Irish assault supreme! All sentences end with exclamation points! A new Dread Sovereign record doesn’t come along every day, or year, but the Dublin trio certainly make it count when one does. Alchemical Warfare is the third LP from the Alan Averill-fronted outfit, and with Johnny “Con Ri” King (also Conan) on drums and guitarist Bones Huse (also Wizards of Firetop Mountain), the band tear through nine tracks and 51 minutes of doom-colored metallurgy, throwing unrepentant fists in the air under darkened, irony-free skies. By the time 10-minute post-intro opener “She Wolves of the Savage Season” is over, if you’re not ready to quit your job and join the legion about to set march to “The Great Beast We Serve,” it’s no fault of the band’s. “Nature is the Devil’s Church” was the lead single and is a standout hook, but the grandiosity of “Ruin Upon the Temple Mount”‘s Candlemassy riffing is too good to be ignored, and they finish with a Bathory cover, because fucking a, that’s why.

Dread Sovereign on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Space Smoke, Aurora Dourada

Space Smoke Aurora Dourada

The debut EP from Brazilian instrumentalist trio Space Smoke runs all of 12 minutes, but that’s long enough for Aurora Dourada to give an impression of where the band are coming from. Three distinct tracks — “Magia Cerimonial,” “Interludio” and “Corpo Solar” — comprise the outing, and the middle one is indeed an interlude, so it’s really the opener and closer doing the heavy lifting. “Magia Cerimonia” starts off with a sense of foreboding but makes its way instead into hypnotic repetition, bordering on a meditative lumber that doesn’t stick around long enough to be redundant, and with the interlude as a breath between, the eight-minute “Corpo Solar” rounds out as the most substantial piece of the outing, drifting guitar over languid drums and bass, dreamy and sopping wet with reverb. They push it heavier than its quiet beginning, of course, but even the howling lead work near the finish maintains the inviting and immersive vibe with which they set out. Might be a blip of things to come, but it’s a blip worth checking out. Mini-trip.

Space Smoke on Instagram

Abraxas Events on Thee Facebooks

 

If it Kills You, Infinite Hum

if it kills you infinite hum

Infinite Hum is the striking debut LP from Bakersfield, California, post-hardcore heavy three/four-piece If it Kills You, who along with the periodic charred guest vocals on half the six tracks, bring together a quick assemblage for a 12″ that readily alternates between melodic sway and shoutier roll. They groove despite unpredictable turns, and their blend of hefted tones and punker-grown-up melodies makes a welcome impression on opener “We Don’t Belong Here” or “Moving Target.” Starts and stops and a bit of winding lead work give “Repeat Resolve” an edge of noise rock — more than an edge, actually; kind of like the flat side of a brick — but If it Kills You never push to one side or the other entirely, and as the screams return for later in “Repeat Resolve” and closer “Projections,” charged every time with and succeeding at pushing a crescendo over the top, the band manage to bring sincerity and structure together with what sounds like experienced hands. Don’t be fooled by “first album”; they know what they’re doing.

If it Kills You on Thee Facebooks

Killer Kern on Bandcamp

 

Clara Engel, A New Skin

Clara Engel A New Skin

I’m not sure if anyone still calls this kind of thing “neo-folk,” but I am sure I don’t care. The sense of atmosphere Clara Engel puts into her latest album, A New Skin, beginning with the shift between minimal guitar and keyboard on “Starry Eyed Goat,” uses negative space no less effectively than does the mostly-black cover art, and the eight-song/46-minute outing that ensues alternates between emotive and wondrously ambient, suited to the home recording done during (presumed) isolation in Fall 2020. Engel handles all instrumentation herself and remains indelibly human in her sometimes-layered vocal delivery all the while, speaking to a building-out process of the material, but one does not get the sense in listening to “Night Tide” and the sparse “Thieves” back-to-back that the foundation of all the songs is the same, which is all the more representative of an exploratory songwriting process. A New Skin as a whole feels likewise exploratory, a reflection inward as much as out.

Clara Engel on Thee Facebooks

Clara Engel on Bandcamp

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

Long-running Italian trio Maya Mountains issued Era through Go Down Records in 2020 as their first album in some six years, readily engaging with desert rock on cuts like “San Saguaro” and closer “El Toro,” working in a bit of post-Queens of the Stone Age riffy quirk to go along with less bouncing and chunkier fare on “Vibromatic” and “Baumgartner,” or “Extremely High,” which makes its speedier tempo feel organic ahead of the finish. All told, it’s 44 minutes of solid heavy rock, with variation between songs of what each is working toward doing that does nothing to pull away from the vibe as a whole, whether that’s in a more aggressive moment like “Vibromatic” or the spacier playfulness at the start of “Raul,” the band clearly unafraid of letting a little funk hold sway for a minute or two. Engaging without being revolutionary, Era knows its craft and audience alike, and offers one to the other without pretense or presumption. It’s rock for rockers, but what’s wrong with that?

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Cave of Swimmers, Aurora

cave of swimmers aurora

An awaited first long-player from Miami duo Cave of Swimmers — vocalist/guitarist/synthesist Guillermo Gonzalez and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Arturo Garcia — packages epic metal in tight-knit bursts of heavy rock tonality. Choruses in “The Sun” and “Double Rainbow” are grand affairs not because their tones are so huge, but because of the melodies that top them, and at the same time, with riffs at the forefront of the verses, the duo make progressive shifts sound classic in the vein of Iron Maiden or Dio with a still-prevailing fuzzy topcoat. Centerpiece “My Human” is a love song that slams, while “Looking Glass” leans deeper into prog metal but brings the listener along with a another sweeping hook, a pattern of tension and release that carries over to “Dirt” as well, which leaves “C.S” to close out with its “Sign of the Southern Cross” keyboard-and-harmonies intro en route to a poised but still thrashing finish. There’s life in heavy metal, and here it is.

Cave of Swimmers on Thee Facebooks

Broomtune Records website

 

Blind Monarch, What is Imposed Must Be Endured

blind monarch what is imposed must be endured

Straight out of Sheffield, UK, Blind Monarch first released their What is Imposed Must Be Endured four-song/56-minute full-length on Black Bow Records in 2020 and it’s been picked up for a 2LP vinyl pressing by Dry Cough Records. There’s something to be said for splitting up these tracks each onto its own side, making the whole release more manageable despite getting up to do a side or platter flip, but any way you go, “Suffering Breathes My Name” (13:45), “My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb” (10:47), “Blind Monarch” (14:10) and closer “Living Altar” (17:54) are geared toward sharp-toothed death-sludge consumption, extreme in thought and deed. Feedback is strewn about the place like so much flayed skin, and even in the quiet moments at the start and laced into “Living Altar,” the atmosphere remains oppressive. Yet, endure one must. Blind Monarch, even among the UK’s ultra-packed underground, are a standout in how maddeningly heavy they manage to be, and on their debut outing, no less. If you missed it last year, be ready to pay extra for shipping.

Blind Monarch on Thee Facebooks

Dry Cough Records website

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cancervo, 1

cancervo 1

Each track on Italian instrumentalist trio Cancervo‘s debut album, titled simply 1, is intended to represent an area near their home in the mountainous region of Lombardy, Italy. Their tones are duly thick, their presentation patient and their cast is broad in terms of its landscape. From “Averara,” one might see kilometers, in other words. Whether or not you’re familiar with Cancervo‘s locale, their tonal warmth and heavy psychedelic expanse resonates immersively, letting each of the two sides develop on its own from the beginnings in “Cancervo” and “Darco,” both the longest cuts on their respective halves. The fuller fuzz of “SWLABR” and the punch of bass that accompanies the tom hits on closer “1987” are subtle shifts emblematic of Cancervo‘s creative progression getting underway, and the task to which they set themselves — portraying place in sound — is no less admirable than their accomplishment of same would see to be. I’ve never been there, so can’t confirm 100 percent if that’s what it sounds like, but in repeat listens, I’m happy to take the band’s word (or riffs) for it.

Cancervo on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Sahara, The Curse

sahara the curse

Its four cuts run 17 minutes with the last of them an instrumental title-track that’s under three, but I don’t care — the entire thing is so righteously raw and garage nasty that I’m on board with however much Argentina’s Sahara want to bring to The Curse. “Gallows Noose” sounds like it was taped, and then re-taped, and then re-taped again before finally being pressed (to tape), and there’s no mistaking that’s an aesthetic choice on the part of the band, who probably have phones that could make something with clearer audio, but the in-room demo feel of “Hell on Earth” and “Altar of Sacrifice,” the rootsy metal-of-doom feel of it hits on its own level. Sometimes you just want something that comes across barebones and mean, and that’s what The Curse does. Call it retro, call it unproduced, call it whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. Sahara (bring looks that) kill it on that Sabbath-worshiping altar and sound dirt-coated all the while, making everything everything else in the universe seem more complicated than it needs to be.

Sahara on Thee Facebooks

Helter Skelter Productions website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,