Video Interview: Lupus Lindemann of Kadavar

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

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I’ll be honest. It felt a little weird on Xmas Day 2020 when, sitting around my wife’s sister’s living room with family, I loaded up the Check out our website for link. Order cheap custom papers and receive A+ grades. Only qualified writers available 24/7. Kadavar live stream on my phone and watched the Berlin trio kick out jams on after presents were opened. But hey, it was that kind of year.

Established as forerunner of German, and really, greater European heavy rock and roll, One way to do this is to How To Review Literature For Dissertation papers from a commendable dissertation writing company. There is nothing wrong with asking for a little writing help. Everyone in college needs it and statistics show that the average college student buys a dissertation, an essay, or even a PhD paper at some point. What our customers say: Ryan. USA, Los Angeles. Thesis Proposal, 14 days, Master. I had Kadavar peaceably severed ties with From urgent deadlines to complex assignments, here is a detailed guide on how and why you should use 5 Paragraph writing service for assignment help Nuclear Blast in 2020 and announced the formation of their own imprint, Hire industry leading Relatedwww Superiorpapers Com Superiorpapers Com services from most qualified and professional writers. We are recognized as top dissertation help company Robotor Records. As early adopters of the live-stream format that’s become so common in the COVID-19 era, the band would have We find and review top-rating creative ways to write the alphabet and you choose the best assignment help for you. Do you need best assignment writer? You will find him here! Studio Live Session Vol. I on their Bandcamp page before most acts even figured out how to go live on Facebook through their phones, taking the momentum they had from an interrupted tour and translating it to that setting. The Xmas show, some nine months later, was all the more welcome.

In November, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist  hop over to here I is an 8-week online business writing course. If you want to improve your business writing skills, then this course is ideal for you! Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, bassist  persuasive essay on gun controls Online - jva-brv-foerderverein.de Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup and drummer  When customers Format For An Argumentative Essay they should be sure of the company they buy thesis dissertation from. Since the work that they provide is turned in to the professor, and a mark is received for the thesis paper you need to choose carefully the company you buy thesis from. When you decide to buy thesis from a company try finding positive feedback of the company, and try consulting Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt issued  review for Sale. Spend less when ordering custom essays! Best price guarantee. We have analyzed 92 websites offering the same writing services and can state that with us, you can save from 30% in most cases and up to 50%. Order now Check prices. What's in the price . Free Features. Check for plagiarism; Unlimited revisions; Title and reference pages; 24/7 customer support; Proper The Isolation Tapes (review here), which singled itself out from their past offerings not just by being their first self-release, but adopting a sound fitting to the moment of its creation during pandemic lockdown. Germany, as  How many times you said "someone please dissertation sur le sujet et la conscience" and no one was around to provide assistance. Luckily, those times have passed and now you have us to Lindemann explains in the interview below, is currently under another round of closure until at least the beginning of March, so one finds the lonely spirit of some of this material striking in their relevance, even as Police Brutality Argumentative Essay. Students always encounter difficulties when solving algebra homework due to the lack of understanding during teaching. In some cases Lindemann talks of writing a dirty rock record to follow-up. Given the restlessness and anxiety of existing in this stretch of time, you get where he’s coming from there too.

And not to harp on it, but that was part of what made the second livestream, the Xmas show, so refreshing as well; the feeling coming through that Durchschnittliche Gehalter fur Geschaftsfuhrer bei http://www.pathologie.de/?their-homework in Rosenheim: 115.281 - 123.836 . Basierend auf 1 Gehaltern, die von Mitarbeitern als Geschaftsfuhrer bei PAPER WRITING SERVICE in Rosenheim gepostet wurden. Kadavar, who under normal circumstances would’ve spent a significant portion of 2020 on tour, were no less anxious to play than their audience was to listen and watch. I don’t know how the rest of the living room felt, but I was definitely on board.

I’d never interviewed  Find sample business plans, free templates, writing guides and interactive tools to help you develop a Common Application Essay Help York Times. Lindemann before, so I’m glad to report he wasn’t a jerk. We talked about http://www.kmh.by/filter_module/?1797 - the Final Step thats Not to Be Ignored. Youre finally done writing your dissertation. You went through the main points that required editing. You might think youre done, but youre not. Theres another important stage to go through: proofreading. During this stage, youll read the entire dissertation again, and youll focus on the details. You need The Isolation Tapes, about the first and second streams, leaving Order now! Its your lucky day as you have found one of the try here best custom writing services online. Are you looking to hire a writer for Nuclear Blast and starting a label, writing new songs, the Leipzig-based  Re-Generation Festival they were putting together that was of course postponed, flat earth and other conspiracy theories (no, he’s not a believer), and much more.

Hope you enjoy.

Kadavar, Interview with Lupus Lindemann, Jan. 14, 2021

Kadavar, The Isolation Tapes (2020)

Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. II (2021)

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Instagram

Kadavar website

Robotor Records on Thee Facebooks

Robotor Records on Instagram

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The Obelisk Presents: THE BEST OF 2020

Posted in Features on December 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

london-news-etching-1854-newcastle-upon-tyne

[PLEASE NOTE: These are not the results of the year-end poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t contributed your list to the cause yet, please do so here.]

Invariably, the ultimate measure of 2020 will be in lives and livelihoods lost around the world. I have nothing to add to the discourse of the COVID-19 pandemic that others haven’t said in more articulate and precise language. Suffice it to note that 2020 was the year that the very concept of “unprecedented” itself became trite.

One does not have to look far to find positives amid the devastation. Creativity continues to flourish. Art cannot be killed. Even locked away from each other in quarantine, artists will continue to reach out, to collaborate, to fulfill the human need for expression that has driven the species since cave drawings and will no doubt be the ruins we leave behind us when we’re gone.

In underground music, it was simply overwhelming. And though I’ll admit it was hard at times to listen to music and divorce it from the larger context of what was happening in the world — it was there like a background buzz — this year reinforced how necessary music is, not only as an escape or a source of income for those who make/promote it, but as an integral component of life and community. Absences have been keenly felt.

I won’t try to sate you with platitudes, to say “things will get better.” Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. One year turning to the next does not fix broken systems and it does not cure raging plagues. It’s just a number. Arbitrary except as a convenient marker for things like this, births, deaths, and so on. Bookkeeping.

Before I turn you over to the lists: Please be kind in the comments if you choose to leave one. To me. To other people. To yourself. These lists are culled from my listening preference and what I consider of critical importance. But I’m one person. If there’s something you feel has been left out, say so. I ask you only to do so in a spirit of friendship rather than argument. Thank you in advance.

Okay:

The Top 50 Albums of 2020

#50-31

50. Sun Crow, Quest for Oblivion
49. Atramentus, Stygian
48. Arcadian Child, Protopsycho
47. Fuzz, III
46. Jointhugger, I Am No One
45. Dirt Woman, The Glass Cliff
44. Switchblade Jesus, Death Hymns
43. Foot, The Balance of Nature Shifted
42. Hymn, Breach Us
41. IAH, III
40. Lord Fowl, Glorious Babylon
39. Acid Mess, Sangre de Otros Mundos
38. 1000mods, Youth of Dissent
37. Deathwhite, Grave Image
36. Soldati, Doom Nacional
35. Cortez, Sell the Future
34. Kadavar, The Isolation Tapes
33. Black Rainbows, Cosmic Ritual Supertrip
32. Shadow Witch, Under the Shadow of a Witch
31. Insect Ark, The Vanishing

Notes: To say nothing of the honorable mentions that follow the rest of the list below, immediately we see the problem of so-many-albums-not-enough-space. People talk about a top 50 as ridiculous, like there’s no way you can like that much music. Bullshit. I agonized over how to fit Sun Crow on this list because their Quest for Oblivion felt like it deserved to be here. Ditto that for Arcadian Child. And the achievements of bands like Kadavar, 1000mods and Switchblade Jesus and Insect Ark in breaking the boundaries of their own aesthetics deserve every accolade they can get, and likewise those who progressed in their sound like Cortez, Shadow Witch, Lord Fowl, Hymn, Foot, Black Rainbows, Deathwhite and IAH. Add to that the debuts from Atramentus, Dirt Woman, Jointhugger, Acid Mess and Sergio Ch.’s Soldati, and you’ve got a batch of 20 records — some born of this year’s malaise, some working in spite of it — that vary in sound but are working to push their respective styles to new places one way or the other.

30. High Priestess, Casting the Circle

high priestess casting the circle

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed May 5.

There was no shortage of anticipation for what L.A. cultists High Priestess would do to follow their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), and the three-piece did not disappoint, instead gave a ritual mass that included the 17-minute concept piece “Invocation” alongside infectious and ethereal melodies like “The Hourglass.” And now that the circle’s been cast? Seems like they can do anything.

29. Polymoon, Caterpillars of Creation

Polymoon Caterpillars of Creation

Released by Svart Records. Reviewed Oct. 12.

High-powered cosmic metal from Finland pulling apart heavy psychedelia on an atomic level with an urgency that speaks of youth, progress and an ingrained need for exploration? Sign me up. A lot of bands on this list put out their first album this year. There are few for whom my hopes are as high as they are for Polymoon. If you haven’t yet heard Caterpillars of Creation, do.

28. Sons of Otis, Isolation

Sons of Otis Isolation

Released by Totem Cat Records. Reviewed Sept. 30.

Of the sundry horrors 2020 wrought, a new album from long-running Toronto three-piece Sons of Otis was an unexpected positive, and their ultra-spaced, murky riffs on their first studio album since 2012’s Seismic (review here, also here) launched like a slow-motion escape pod of righteous doom (s)tonality. There will never be another Sons of Otis. Be thankful for everything you get from them.

27. Lamp of the Universe, Dead Shrine

Lamp of the Universe Dead Shrine

Released by Projection Records. Reviewed May 25.

Organ, Mellotron, sitar, acoustic and electric guitars, various percussion elements, and of course the inimitable fragility in Craig Williamson‘s voice itself — the ingredients for Lamp of the Universe‘s Dead Shrine were familiar enough for those familiar with the one-man outfit running more than two decades, but the lush acid folk created remains a standout the world over. Dead Shrine was a much-needed gift of peace and meditation.

26. BleakHeart, Dream Griever

bleakheart dream griever

Released by Sailor Records. Reviewed Nov. 18.

The debut album from Colorado’s BleakHeart collected pieces united by melody and overarching atmosphere, positioned stylistically somewhere around heavygaze or heavy post-rock, but feeling less limited to genre bounds than some others working in a similar sphere. As a first outing, it brought a promise of things to come even as the depths of its mix seemed to swallow the listener entirely, equal parts serving claustrophobia and escapism.

25. Pale Divine, Consequence of Time

Pale Divine Consequence of Time

Released by Cruz Del Sur Music. Reviewed June 3.

There is not enough space here to properly commend Pale Divine founding guitarist/vocalist Greg Diener on how much he opened up the band by bringing in his and drummer Darin McCloskey‘s former Beelzefuzz bandmate Dana Ortt on shared guitar, vocal and songwriting duties. Completed by Ron “Fezz” McGinnis on bass/vocals, Pale Divine are a refreshed and ready powerhouse of American traditional doom.

24. Uncle Woe, Phantomescence

uncle woe phantomescence

Released by Packard Black Productions. Reviewed Oct. 21.

One is going to have to get used to the idea of Uncle Woe residing in the places between, I think. An inward-looking cosmic doom that’s likewise morose and reaching, opaque and translucent, Phantomescence could be almost troubling in its feeling of off-kilter expression. Yet that’s exactly what multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Rain Fice was going for. Thriving on contradiction, exploratory, and individualized. Start from doom, move outward.

23. REZN, Chaotic Divine

rezn chaotic divine

Released by Off the Record Label. Reviewed Oct. 15.

I don’t feel like I’m cool enough to offer any substantive comment on what Chicago’s REZN do, but their sax-laced heavy psychedelia comes across warm and is invitingly languid while still delivered with a sense of energy and purpose. It rolls and you want to roll with it, so you do. They were clearly hurt by not being able to tour this year, as were audiences for not seeing them. Call them neo-stoner metal or whatever you want, these songs deserve to be played live.

22. Ruff Majik, The Devil’s Cattle

ruff majik the devils cattle

Released by Mongrel Records. Reviewed Oct. 29.

A revamped lineup for South African desert-ish heavy rockers Ruff Majik brought producer Evert Snyman in as co-conspirator with frontman/principal songwriter Johni Holiday, and found the former trio working as a five-piece with a broader sound underscored by an electric sense of purpose and willingness to push themselves to places they hadn’t gone before. Their third record, it seemed as well to be a new beginning, and they met the challenge head-on.

21. Curse the Son, Excruciation

Curse The Son Excruciation

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed June 8.

The underheralded children of rolling fuzz riffage, Connecticut’s Curse the Son found new depths of emotion to bring to Excruciation — and I do mean “depths.” Dark times for dark times. Fueled by personal hardship, turmoil, motorcycle accidents and a pervasive sense of struggle, the LP was nonetheless a triumph of their songwriting and brought new melodic character to their established largesse of tone. Your loss if you missed it.

20. The Atomic Bitchwax, Scorpio

The Atomic Bitchwax Scorpio

Released by Tee Pee Records. Reviewed Aug. 26.

Business as usual in ferocious heavy/speed rock from The Atomic Bitchwax on Scorpio — and that was only reassuring since the band’s eighth full-length marked the first since the departure of guitarist/vocalist Finn Ryan and his replacing with Garrett Sweeny, a bandmate of founding bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella in Monster Magnet. They barely stopped to cool their heels and yet still managed to be catchy as hell. How do they do it? Jersey Magic.

19. Cinder Well, No Summer

cinder well no summer

Released by Free Dirt Records. Reviewed July 21.

Such pervasive melancholy could only be derived from Irish folk, and so it was on Cinder Well‘s No Summer, which managed to move between singer-songwriter minimalism from Amelia Baker and arrangements of deceptive and purposeful intricacy. Wherever it went, from traditional songs “Wandering Boy” and “The Cuckoo” to originals like “Fallen” and the nine-minute “Our Lady’s,” it was equal parts gorgeous and sad and resonant. It remains so, despite the fleeting season.

18. Pallbearer, Forgotten Days

pallbearer forgotten days

Released by Nuclear Blast Records. Reviewed Dec. 24.

Their fourth album and first since crossing the decade-mark since their inception, Pallbearer‘s Forgotten Days wasn’t just heavy, emotional or big-sounding; it was the most their-own of anything they’ve done. It felt exactly like the record they wanted it to be, and reconfirmed that the generation of listeners being introduced to doom by their music is going to be just fine if they follow the cues laid out for them here.

17. Slift, Ummon

slift ummon

Released by Stolen Body and Vicious Circle Records. Reviewed March 26.

Less a reinvention of space rock than a kick in its ass, Slift‘s Ummon pushed well past the line of manageability at 72 minutes and reveled in that. The French outfit were greeted as liberators when they released the album, and with the way the respect has been maintained in the months since they’ve given themselves a high standard to meet, but there’s only promise to be heard as you get lost in the nebular wash of this sprawling 2LP. They’ll have two more records out before this one’s fully digested.

16. My Dying Bride, The Ghost of Orion

my dying bride the ghost of orion

Released by Nuclear Blast Records. Reviewed Feb. 25.

The first album in half a decade from long-established UK death-doom forebears My Dying Bride found vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe coping with his daughter’s cancer diagnosis and translating that into the morose poetry for which the band is so well known and with which they’ve been so influential. My Dying Bride has never wanted for sincerity, but to call them affecting here would be underselling the quality of their craft and the heart they put into it. Follow-up EP is already out with extra non-album tracks.

15. Causa Sui, Szabodelico

causa sui Szabodelico

Released by El Paraiso Records. Reviewed Nov. 11.

Denmark’s Causa Sui may be on a mission to unite jazz and heavy psychedelia — and blessings on them for that — but the mellow jammy vibes they conjured on Szabodelico only emphasized how much it’s the character of what they do and the chemistry they’ve brought as bandmates that has allowed them to branch thusly in terms of aesthetic. It was the kind of album you wanted to put on again even before it was over, and its sweet instrumentals felt born to a greater timeline than a single year can encompass.

14. All Souls, Songs for the End of the World

All Souls Songs for the End of the World

Self-released. Reviewed Sept. 21.

I’m not a punk rocker, but All Souls make me wish I was. Their emotive and engaged heavy rock looks out as much as in on Songs for the End of the World — their second LP behind a 2018 self-titled debut (review here) — but it’s undeniably punk in its foundation, and what the four-piece of Antonio Aguilar and Meg Castellanos (both ex-Totimoshi), Erik Trammell (Black Elk) and Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson) have put together builds on that in exciting, inventive and individualized ways, while staying nonetheless true to its roots.

13. Kind, Mental Nudge

kind mental nudge

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed Oct. 20.

Five years after their debut album, Rocket Science (review here), Boston four-piece Kind return with Mental Nudge. And despite the different situations in which it finds the band’s members — bassist Tom Corino is now ex-Rozamov, drummer Matt Couto now ex-Elder — the group’s focus remains on carving memorable, mostly structured tracks out of ethereal heavy psychedelia, guitarist Darryl Shepard (Milligram, etc.) and vocalist Craig Riggs (RoadsawSasquatch, etc.) adding space and melody to the crunching, driving grooves.

12. Molassess, Through the Hollow

Molassess Through the Hollow

Released by Season of Mist. Featured Aug. 17.

Founded by vocalist Farida Lemouchi (ex-The Devil’s Blood) and guitarist Oeds Beydals (ex-Death Alley, also ex-The Devil’s Blood) and commissioned as a project for Roadburn Festival 2019 (review here), Molassess are inextricably tied to Lemouchi‘s groundbreaking former outfit and its tragic ending, but the musical branching out into darkened progressive textures on Through the Hollow isn’t to be understated. It was an album that pushed past the past, not overlooking it, but finding new ways of moving forward in life and sound.

11. Tony Reed, Funeral Suit

tony reed funeral suit

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed Sept. 28.

While of course the Mos Generator frontman is no stranger to writing or recording on his own, Funeral Suit was Tony Reed‘s debut as a solo artist and it carried his progressive stamp in melody and arrangement. It was not just a guitarist playing acoustic instead of electric, and it was not a manifestation of self-indulgence. Whether it was reworking a Mos Generator song like “Lonely One Kenobi” or pursuing a new piece like the title-track or “Waterbirth,” Reed found balance between personal and audience, evoking traditional songsmithing even as he reminded listeners of his dual role as a producer.

10. Geezer, Groovy

Geezer Groovy

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Reviewed May 18.

Spectacular showing from Kingston kingpins Geezer with Groovy as their first offering for Heavy Psych Sounds. Led by guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington, the three-piece brought material that flowed with the organic feel of jams despite being structured and catchy songs. In pieces like “Dead Soul Scroll” and “Drowning on Empty,” they melded stonerized groove with what felt like genuine emotional expression, and “Dig” and “Groovy” still managed to be a heavy fuzz-blues party. And they still had room at the end to jam out on “Slide Mountain” and “Black Owl.” It was nothing but a win, rising to the occasion on every level.

9. Big Scenic Nowhere, Vision Beyond Horizon

big scenic nowhere vision beyond horizon

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Reviewed Jan. 29.

So Bob Balch from Fu Manchu and Gary Arce from Yawning Man have a band. They get Tony Reed from Mos Generator on board. Mario Lalli from Yawning Man/Fatso Jetson comes and goes. Nick Oliveri comes and goes. Bill Stinson from Yawning Man plays drums. Alain Johannes sits in on vocals. Reed does a bunch of vocals; his kid does a track too. Per Wiberg from Spiritual Beggars, Opeth, Candlemass, etc., lends some keys. What do you call such a thing? Who cares? You call yourself lucky it exists. They called the record Vision Beyond Horizon. Can’t wait to find out what they call the next one.

8. Elder, Omens

elder omens

Released by Armageddon Shop and Stickman Records. Reviewed April 27.

Omens marked a new beginning for Elder as the band pushed deeper into the realm of progressive rock and beyond their weightier beginnings. The arrival of Georg Edert (also Gaffa Ghandi) on drums in place of Matt Couto shifted the band’s dynamic in a number of ways, providing not a swinging anchor for the rhythm section necessarily, but another avenue of prog fluidity. Bassist Jack Donovan brought a steady presence in the low end as guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo and guitarist/keyboardist Mike Risberg embarked on new melodic explorations while staying loyal to the band’s established penchant for sweeping changes. Omens may live up to its name as a sign of things to come, but either way, it was a strong display of the band’s will to pursue new ideas and methods.

7. Forming the Void, Reverie

forming the void reverie

Released by Ripple Music. Reviewed April 15.

First words that come to mind here: “eminently listenable.” With seven tracks and 36 minutes, Reverie may not have taken up much of your afternoon… once. But by the time you gave it its proper respect and listened through three times in a row, the situation was somewhat different. The Lafayette, Louisiana, four-piece gracefully brought together structured songwriting with proggier leanings and were able to bring together rampaging hooks like “Trace the Omen” and “Manifest,” casting a sense of sonic hugeness without forgetting to add either melody or personality along with that. The band — who here welcomed bassist Thorn Letulle alongside guitarist/vocalist James Marshall, guitarist Shadi Omar Al-Khansa and drummer Thomas Colley — have worked quickly and evolved with a sense of urgency. Is Reverie the goal or another step on that path?

6. Grayceon, MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES

grayceon mothers weavers vultures

Released by Translation Loss Records. Reviewed Nov. 18.

Vocalist/cellist Jackie Perez Gratz (interview here), guitarist Max Doyle and drummer Zack Farwell comprise Grayceon, and with their fifth record, the band looks around thematically at environmental devastation through the lens of record-breaking California wildfires from their vantage point in the Bay Area. Even as the world shifted priorities (at least most of it did) to yet another global crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic, genre-melting-pot songs like “Diablo Wind,” “The Lucky Ones,” and “This Bed” reminded of the horrors humanity has wrought on its battered home, and still managed to find hope and serenity in “And Shine On” and “Rock Steady,” a closing duo that shifted to a more personal discussion of family and one’s hope for a better future for and by the next generation. 2020 had plenty of horror. At least we got a new Grayceon record out of it.

5. Brant Bjork, Brant Bjork

brant bjork brant bjork

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Reviewed April 28.

When Sho’Nuff asked Bruce Leroy “who’s the master?,” dude should’ve said Brant Bjork. It would’ve been a confusing end to Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon, but ultimately more accurate, as Brant Bjork‘s homegrown kung fu was unfuckwithable as ever on the album that shares his name. After two decades of solo releases in one form or another, Bjork is not just a pivotal figurehead for desert rock, he’s a defining presence, as well as one of its most treasured practitioners. Brant Bjork, the album, brought initial waves of funk in “Jungle in the Sound,” explored weedy worship in “Mary (You’re Such a Lady)” and toyed with religious dogma in offsetting that with “Jesus Was a Bluesman” while still tossing primo hooks in “Duke of Dynamite” and “Shitkickin’ Now” ahead of the more open “Stardust and Diamond Eyes” and the acoustic closer “Been So Long.” With Bjork recording all the instruments himself, a due feeling of intimacy resulted, and yet he still found a way to make it rock. How could it be otherwise?

4. Enslaved, Utgard

enslaved utgard

Released by Nuclear Blast Records. Reviewed Sept. 29.

Why do I feel the immediate need to defend this pick? I’m not sure. Norway’s Enslaved are an institution, not just of black metal, but of bringing an ideology of creative growth to that style that often willfully resists it. They are iconoclastic even unto their own work. Utgard was released as the band stood on the precipice of 30 years together and yet it stood as their most forward-looking offering yet, as co-founders Grutle Kjellson (bass/vocals) and Ivar Bjørnson (guitar/sometimes vocals), as well as longtime lead guitarist Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal backed up the change from 2017’s E (review here) that brought in new keyboardist/vocalist Hakon Vinje with the incorporation of drummer Iver Sandøy, who doubles as a vocalist (and triples as a producer). The “new blood” made all the difference on Utgard, allowing Enslaved to piece together new ranges of melody in their work and offset instrumental shifts into and out of krautrock-derived progressions. Simply the work of a band outdoing itself from a band who does so at nearly every opportunity.

3a. Colour Haze, We Are

colour haze we are

Released by Elektrohasch Schallplatten and Ripple Music. Reviewed Dec. 3, 2019.

Every year I allow myself one addendum pick, and this is it. We Are was on last year’s list because it was digitally released, but the vinyl came out this year and it received its North American release this year as well, so it seemed only right to acknowledge that. So here it is in its proper place.

3. All Them Witches, Nothing as the Ideal

All-Them-Witches-Nothing-as-the-Ideal

Released by New West Records. Reviewed Sept. 3.

This is a band controlling their own narrative. Instead of Nothing as the Ideal being ‘the one they made as a three-piece,’ the Nashville outfit decided to make it ‘the one they recorded at Abbey Road.’ Were they thinking of it on those terms? Yeah, likely not, but it goes to demonstrate all the same just how much of themselves All Them Witches put into what they do musically, since not only are they continuing to refine and define and undefine their approach, but they’re setting the terms on which they do it. Each of their records has been a response to the one prior, but that conversation has never been so direct as to make them predictable. So what are they chasing? Apparently nothing. I’m not entirely sure I buy that as a complete answer, but I am sure I love these songs and the experiments with tape loops and other sounds that fill these spaces. Whatever they do next — or even if nothing — their run has been incredible and exciting and one only hopes their influence continues to spread over the next however many years.

2. Elephant Tree, Habits

elephant tree habits

Released by Deathwish Inc.. Reviewed April 13.

There was a high standard set by Elephant Tree‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), but their second LP, Habits, surpassed even the loftiest of expectations. With vocals centered around harmonies from guitarist Jack Townley and bassist Peter Holland, the former trio completed by drummer Sam Hart brought in guitarist/keyboardist John Slattery (also sometimes vocals), and the resultant breadth gave the material on Habits spaciousness beyond even what the first album promised. Drifting, rolling, unflinchingly melodic and somehow present even in its own escapism, Habits was not just an early highlight for a rough 2020, but a comforting presence throughout, and the further one dug into tracks like “Sails,” “Exit the Soul,” “Faceless,” “Wasted” and the acoustic “The Fall Chorus,” the more there was to find — let alone “Bird,” which I’ll happily put against anything else one might propose for song of the year. As their former UK label crumbled, Habits emerged unscathed and Elephant Tree‘s future continues to shine with ever more hope for things to come. Being able to say that about anything feels like a relief.

2020 Album of the Year

1. Lowrider, Refractions

Lowrider Refractions

Released by Blues Funeral Recordings. Reviewed Jan. 24.

Twenty years ago, Sweden’s Lowrider put out what would become a heavy rock landmark in their 2000 debut, Ode to Io (reissue review here). A follow-up years in the making even after the band got back together to play Desertfest in London (review here) and Berlin in 2013, Refractions first saw limited release in 2019 as part of Blues Funeral‘s PostWax series (discussed here), but its proper arrival was in early 2020, and there was really no looking back after that. It wasn’t just the novelty of a new Lowrider album that made Refractions such a joy, but the manner in which the band went about its work. There was no pretending that 20 years didn’t happen. There was no attempt to recapture the bottled lightning that was the first record, and Lowrider did not sound like a band “making a comeback” rife with expectations and fan-service. Refractions acknowledged the legacy of Ode to Io, sure enough, but as a step toward adding to it in meaningful and engaging ways. The songs — “Red River,” “Ode to Ganymede,” “Sernanders Krog,” “Ol’ Mule Pepe,” “Sun Devil/M87” and the 11-minute finale “Pipe Rider” — were fashioned without pretense and came across as the organic output of a band with nothing to prove to anyone but themselves. They made it their own. In a wretched year, Lowrider shined.

The Top 50 Albums of 2020: Honorable Mention

Yeah, okay. There are a lot of these, so buckle in. Last year I just threw out a list of bands. This year I’m a little more organized, so here are bands and records alphabetically.

Across Tundras, LOESS ~ LÖSS
Across Tundras, The Last Days of a Silver Rush
Alain Johannes, Hum
Arboretum, Let it All In
Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Stygian Bough Vol. 1
Black Helium, The Wholly Other
Boris, No
Brimstone Coven, The Woes of a Mortal Earth
CB3, Aeons
Celestial Season, The Secret Teachings
Crippled Black Phoenix, Ellengæst
Cruthu, Athrú Crutha
Domo, Domonautas Vol. 2
DOOL, Summerland
Dopelord, Sign of the Devil
Dwaal, Gospel of the Vile
Elder Druid, Golgotha
Ellis Munk Ensemble, San Diego Sessions
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, May Our Chambers Be Full
EMBR, 1823
Familiars, All in Good Time
Forlesen, Hierophant Violent
Galactic Cross, Galactic Cross
The Heavy Eyes, Love Like Machines
Hum, Inlet
Human Impact, Human Impact
Humulus, The Deep
Jupiterian, Protosapien
Kariti, Covered Mirrors
Khan, Monsoons
Kingnomad, Sagan Om Ryden
King Witch, Body of Light
Kryptograf, Kryptograf
Light Pillars, Light Pillars
Lord Buffalo, Tohu Wa Bohu
Lord Loud, Timid Beast
Lotus Thief, Oresteia
Malsten, The Haunting of Silvåkra Mill
Mindcrawler, Lost Orbiter
Motorpsycho, The All is One
Mountain Tamer, Psychosis Ritual
Mr. Bison, Seaward
Mrs. Piss, Self-Surgery
Mugstar, GRAFT
Murcielago, Casualties
Oranssi Pazuzu, Mestarin Kynsi
Paradise Lost, Obsidian
Parahelio, Surge Evelia Surge
The Pilgrim, …From the Earth to the Sky and Back
Pretty Lightning, Jangle Bowls
Psychlona, Venus Skytrip
Puta Volcano, AMMA
Ritual King, Ritual King
River Cult, Chilling Effect
Rrrags, High Protein
Shores of Null, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)
Sigiriya, Maiden – Mother – Crone
Six Organs of Admittance, Companion Rises
16, Dream Squasher
Slomosa, Slomosa
Somnus Throne, Somnus Throne
Steve Von Till, No Wilderness Deep Enough
Stone Machine Electric, The Inexplicable Vibrations of Frequencies Within the Cosmic Netherworld
Sumac, May You Be Held
Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Red Tide
Temple of Void, The World That Was
The Kings of Frog Island, VI
Tia Carrera, Tried and True
Turtle Skull, Monoliths
Uffe Lorenzen, Magisk Realisme
Ulcerate, Stare Into Death and Be Still
Vessel of Light, Last Ride
Vestal Claret, Vestal Claret
Vinnum Sabbathi, Of Dimensions and Theories
Wight, Spank the World
Wino, Forever Gone
Yatra, All is Lost
Yuri Gagarin, The Outskirts of Reality

By no means is that list exhaustive. And to look at stuff like Psychlona, Oranssi Pazuzu, Wight, Wino, Puta Volcano, Kingnomad, Ellis Munk Ensemble, Paradise Lost, Alain Johannes, Arbouretum, Uffe Lorenzen, Tia Carrera — on and on and on — I can definitely see where arguments are to be made for records that should’ve been in the list proper. I can only go with what feels right to me at the time.

Together with the top 50, this makes over 110 albums in the best of 2020. If you find yourself needing something to hang your hat on, be glad you’re alive to witness this much excellent music coming out.

Debut Album of the Year

Molassess, Through the Hollow

Molassess Through the Hollow

Other notable debuts (alphabetically):

Atramentus, Stygian
Bethmoora, Thresholds
BleakHeart, Dream Griever
Crystal Spiders, Molt
Dirt Woman, The Glass Cliff
Dwaal, Gospel of the Vile
Electric Feat, Electric Feat
Familiars, All in Good Time
Galactic Cross, Galactic Cross
Human Impact, Human Impact
Jointhugger, I Am No One
Light Pillars, Light Pillars
Love Gang, Dead Man’s Game
Malsten, The Haunting of Silvåkra Mill
Might, Might
Mindcrawler, Lost Orbiter
Mrs. Piss, Self-Surgery
Parahelio, Surge Evelia Surge
Polymoon, Caterpillars of Creation
Ritual King, Ritual King
SEA, Impermanence
Slomosa, Slomosa
Soldati, Doom Nacional
Somnus Throne, Somnus Throne
SpellBook, Magick & Mischief
Spirit Mother, Cadets
Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Red Tide
The Crooked Whispers, Satanic Melodies
White Dog, White Dog

Notes: I sparred with myself every step of the way here. The last couple years I’ve tried to give the top-debut spot to not just a new band, but a new presence. Green Lung, King Buffalo, etc. Molassess, with members from The Devil’s Blood, Death Alley and Astrosoniq, isn’t exactly that. So what do I do? Do I go with something newer like Polymoon, Dirt Woman, BleakHeart, SEA, White Dog or The Crooked Whispers, or something with more established players like Molassess, Soldati, or even Light Pillars?

In the end, what made the difference was not just how brilliant the songs on Molassess’ Through the Hollow, but how honestly the band confronted the legacy they were up against. The songs had a familiar haunting presence, but they were also moving ahead to somewhere new. It was that blend of old and new ideas, and the resonant feeling of emotional catharsis — as well as the sheer immersion that took place while listening — that ultimately made the decision. Turns out I just couldn’t escape it.

And why not a list? Because this feels woefully inadequate as it is. I reviewed over 250 records this year one way or another — and that’s a conservative estimate — but a lot gets lost in the shuffle and somehow it just seemed wrong this time around to call something the 13th best first record of the year. I wanted to highlight the special achievement that was the Molassess album, but really, all of these records kicked my ass one way or the other.

Short Release of the Year 2020

King Buffalo, Dead Star

King Buffalo Dead Star

Other notable EPs, Splits, Demos, etc.:

Big Scenic Nowhere, Lavender Blues
Coma Wall, Ursa Minor
Conan/Deadsmoke, Doom Sessions Vol. 1
Fu Manchu, Fu30 Pt. 1
Grandpa Jack, Trash Can Boogie
Howling Giant/Sergeant Thunderhoof, Masamune/Muramasa (split)
Oginalii, Pendulum
Kings Destroy, Floods
Lament Cityscape, The Old Wet
Limousine Beach, Stealin’ Wine +2
Merlock, That Which Speaks
Monte Luna, Mind Control Broadcast
Mos Generator/Di’Aul, Split
Pimmit Hills, Heathens & Prophets
Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus
Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller
Spaceslug, Leftovers
10,000 Years, 10,000 Years
The White Swan, Nocturnal Transmission
Thunderbird Divine, The Hand of Man
Witchcraft, Black Metal

Notes: If you were wondering why King Buffalo’s Dead Star (review here) wasn’t on the big list, this is why. It was pitched to me as an EP and that’s how I’m classifying it. I’m taking the out. Is it an EP? Not really, but neither is it a full-length album, given its experimental nature and focus around its extended two-part title-track. Whatever it was, it was the best that-thing, and this is the category where such things go.

Again, tough choices after King Buffalo. Thunderbird Divine’s EP was wonderfully funk-blasted and woefully short (new album, please). The newly-issued Spaceslug EP branches out their sound in fascinating ways as a result of the lockdown. Witchcraft’s acoustic EP, Coma Wall’s EP and Big Scenic Nowhere’s EP all signaled good things to come, and Howling Giant’s split with Sergeant Thunderhoof was a highlight of the most recent Quarterly Review. There really isn’t a bummer on the list there, from the bitter psych of Oginalii to the industrial metal of Lament Cityscape, the unadulterated riffery of Merlock to the live-captured rawness of Monte Luna.

So again, why no list? Same answer. I want to highlight the progression King Buffalo made in their sound and leave room open elsewhere for things I missed. Please let me know what in the comments. Cordially.

Live Album of the Year 2020

Yawning Man, Live at Giant Rock

yawning man live at giant rock

Other notable live releases:

Ahab, Live Prey
Amenra, Mass VI Live
Arcadian Child, From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz)
Author and Punisher, Live 2020 B.C.
Cherry Choke, Raising Salzburg Rockhouse
Dead Meadow, Live at Roadburn 2011
Dirty Streets, Rough and Tumble
Electric Moon, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019
Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. 1
King Buffalo, Live at Freak Valley
Monte Luna, Mind Control Broadcast
Orange Goblin, Rough & Ready: Live and Loud
Øresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019
Pelican, Live at the Grog Shop
SEA, Live at ONCE
Sumac, St Vitus 09/07/2018
Sun Blood Stories, (a)Live and Alone at Visual Arts Collective
Temple Fang, Live at Merleyn
YOB, Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn

Notes: In this wretched year (mostly) void of live music, marked by canceled tours and festivals, the live album arguably played a more central role than it ever has, whether it was a band trying to keep momentum up following or leading into a studio release, taking advantage of the emergence of the Bandcamp Friday phenomenon or just trying to maintain some connection to their fans and the process of taking a stage. Or even playing in a room together. Or not a room. Anything. What was once a tossoff, maybe an afterthought companion piece became an essential worker of the listening experience.

You might accuse desert rock progenitors Yawning Man of playing to their base with Live at Giant Rock (featured here), and if so, fine. At no point in the last 50 years has that base more needed playing-to. And in the absence of shows, being able to hear (and watch, in the case of the accompanying video) Yawning Man go out to the landscape that spawned them and engage with their music was a beautiful moment of reconciliation. An exhale for the converted that didn’t fill one with empty promises of better tomorrows or tours to come, but served to remind what’s so worth preserving about the spirit of live music in the first place. The fact that anything can happen. A replaced note here, a tuning change there — these things can make not just an evening, but memories that go beyond shows, tours, to touch our lives.

There were a ton of live records this year. Some were benefits for worthy causes between saving venues, Black Lives Matter, voting rights organizations, and so on. And whether these were new performances from captured livestreams (Monte Luna, Kadavar) or older gigs that had been sitting around waiting for release at some point (Sumac, Dead Meadow), this, very much, was that point, and these live offerings kept burning a fire that felt at times very much in danger of being extinguished.

Looking Ahead to 2021

A list of bands. Some confirmed releases, some not. Here goes:

Dread Sovereign, Sasquatch, Year of Taurus, Apostle of Solitude, Weedpecker, Borracho, Love Gang, Jointhugger, Demon Head, Iron Man, Greenleaf, Samsara Blues Experiment, The Mammathus, Evert Snyman, Wo Fat, Conclave, Here Lies Man, Kabbalah, Komatsu, Hour of 13, Wedge, Amenra, La Chinga, Spidergawd, Wolves in the Throne Room, Vokonis, Freedom Hawk, Masters of Reality, ZOM, Eyehategod, Sanhedrin, Green Lung, The Mountain King, Albatross Overdrive, Elder, King Buffalo, Sunnata, Howling Giant, SAVER, Conan, Slomatics, Ruff Majik, Kind, Mos Generator, Yawning Sons, Lantlôs, Brant Bjork, Spiral Grave, Crystal Spiders, Lightning Born, Samavayo, Wovenhand, Merlock, Comet Control, The Age of Truth, Eight Bells, BlackWater Holylight, DVNE, Monte Luna.

Thank You

You’ve read enough, so I will do my best to keep this mercifully short. Thank you so much for reading — whether you still are or not — and thank you for being a part of the ongoing project that is The Obelisk. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have such incredible support throughout not just this year, but all the years of the site’s existence. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you most of all to The Patient Mrs. for her indulgence in letting me get this done. I’m am amazed forever.

More to come.

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Album Review: Kadavar, The Isolation Tapes

Posted in Reviews on December 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kadavar the isolation tapes

When the various histories of 2020 are written, they may or may not deign to include a sentence about the struggle of creativity for survival amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. And even if they do, that sentence will very likely leave out the persistence and the urgency with which that struggle has been met. German trio Kadavar, who in addition to touring consistently the world over would’ve this year hosted their own outdoor festival for the first time, were early adopters of the streaming model, resulting in the Studio Live Session Vol. I digital outing that they now follow up with The Isolation Tapes on their own nascent Robotor Records imprint through Pelagic Records. Like so much of 2020 has been, The Isolation Tapes feels like a step outside the normal progression of time, and in Kadavar‘s case, of sound as well. It was just Fall 2019 that the band — guitarist/vocalist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup and drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt — offered up For the Dead Travel Fast (review here). Their fifth full-length and fourth through Nuclear Blast, it continued the trio’s exploration of moodier vibes and blends of classic heavy rock and metal that the prior Rough Times (review here) introduced in 2017.

Their sound and delivery has always been a mercurial thing. Together now for a decade, Kadavar began their evolution as arguably the best vintage-styled act of the 2010s, and their 2012 self-titled debut (discussed here) and 2013 sophomore outing, Abra Kadavar (review here), remain a standard other acts strive meet. Already there was progression from one record to the next, but 2015’s Berlin (review here) was a departure point, boldly modernizing Kadavar‘s production style and aesthetic while staying loyal to the songwriting that’s always underpinned their efforts. Running 10 tracks and 44 minutes, The Isolation Tapes reads as another such pivot in approach in some ways, but in others it is resoundingly consistent. It is easily the most atmospheric release the band has ever done, and yes, that includes things like the occasional sprawling album-closer and their “The White Ring” collaboration with Aqua Nebula Oscillator in 2012. Its spaciousness is born in part from synth contributions from all three members and a dynamic that ranges between minimalism and restlessly bouncing rock and roll, but it’s also a reaction toward structure itself, as the band demonstrates plainly by positioning the 6:19 longest track “The Lonely Child” as the opener (immediate points).

Entirely instrumental and rich in its blends of keys, guitar, foreboding drones and triumphant crash, “The Lonely Child” seems to draw on U2 guitar shimmer and classic krautrock synthesizer progressivism in kind, and in so doing, it throws wide the doors of Kadavar‘s sound. From there, they can, and mostly do, go anywhere. With recording by BarteltThe Isolation Sessions is at once the most vintage-sounding album Kadavar have done in more than half a decade, and the most forward thinking, nodding throughout toward The Beatles circa Abbey RoadDavid Bowie, smooth ’70s blues and soulful progressive heavy rock. “I Fly Among the Stars” offers mellow drift underscored by warm-sounding drums and given a hook through echoing melodies met by floating slide guitar and a deceptively catchy chorus. Songs come and go with abiding melancholy throughout, but side A picks up with the quirkier bass-bouncing “Unnaturally Strange (?)” and uses that weirdo tempo momentum in the post-Queens of the Stone Age push that emerges from the quiet start of “(I Won’t Leave You) Rosi.” That stretch of about two and a half minutes in the song’s total 5:15 comes to the noisy, crashing finish it deserves, and that’s a rarity on The Isolation Tapes that’s met by the subdued build of side A closer “The World is Standing Still.”

kadavar

Beginning drumless, the end of the album’s first half comes to a head in its own second with lead and rhythm guitars intertwining over subtly tense keys for a quick and classy payoff before once again receding and giving way for “Eternal Light (We Will Be OK)” to open side B with echoing sounds of children and a wash of melodic synth and vocals, moving gradually into a proggier foray that in tone and mood mirrors “The Lonely Child” at the outset, if quicker and busier in its galloping drums, itching as it seems to be to get to its own apex. The first of two shorter pieces, “Peculiareality (!)” (1:51) follows with a McCartneyan organ line, choral melodies and a mounting echo that seems to underscore the drifting-away vibe. “Everything is Changing,” which picks up the key-bounce theme from the song prior and sets it to more straightforward use, has at least three layers of synth happening atop the drums, but is neither overwrought or falling over itself in the mix. This is a testament to Kadavar as a band, of course, but also to the strength of the chorus, which is among the most resonant throughout The Isolation Tapes, the simple core message of the song’s title working with a grounding effect for the point of view of the listener.

Once again, melancholy is the preeminent spirit, but “Everything is Changing” moves all the while, where “The Flat Earth Theory,” which follows, seems to come to a purposeful halt. Mournful organ, gorgeously harmonized vocals and sweet keyboard notes find Lindemann wondering how anyone can believe the earth isn’t round, and the feel is that this question too is a stand-in for wondering how humanity got to such a place in general where one might be hunkered down in quarantine because of a pandemic raging outside, conspiracy theories abounding and so on. Valid question, but the piece — the second of the shorter ones on side B at 1:50 — doesn’t dwell, and instead transitions smoothly into the finale “Black Spring Rising,” with vocals courtesy of German singer-songwriter Ilgen-Nur Borali and lyrics by Rosa Merino Claros. Another departure? In some ways, but also consistent with the rest of what surrounds in general atmosphere and melodic resonance. Kadavar aren’t playing tricks at that point in the album, and The Isolation Tapes itself is enough of a curve that one doesn’t get the sense they’re looking to play to some idea of novelty.

Rather, the LP as a whole stands as a statement of the moment it was created amid the terror of this past Spring and Summer. As to what the future will bring on any level, either sound-wise for the band or anything else, one wouldn’t dare predict. But in addition to meeting its goal of speaking to the strange otherworldly feel that so much of the last 11 months has brought, The Isolation Tapes also reaffirms the strength of Kadavar‘s songwriting and the fact that they can bend aesthetic to their will at will. And that they, yes, will, as they see fit. Response has been mixed as it invariably will be for a group of their profile, but whether it’s a one-off or these impulses bleed into their “normal” aesthetic, Kadavar are only richer stylistically for having done this work. Whatever comes next will come.

Kadavar, The Isolation Tapes (2020)

Kadavar, “Eternal Light (We Will Be OK)” official video

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Instagram

Kadavar website

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Kadavar Post “Eternal Light” Video; The Isolation Tapes out Oct. 23

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kadavar eternal light video

What’s surprising about the new Kadavar single/video isn’t necessarily the band’s foray into psychedelia. That’s ground they’ve covered before to be sure — their 2012 split/collab with Aqua Nebula Oscillator comes to mind first but it’s not the only example. And what’s surprising about “Eternal Light” isn’t the contrast between it and the more melancholy “Everything is Changing” (video posted here) that they put out with the announcement of the forthcoming LP The Isolation Tapes arriving Oct. 23 through their own Robotor Records. And it’s not really a surprise that they have kids. Lots of people procreate. It’s how the species perpetuates. What’s surprising is the resonance of the track itself.

Of course, the normally-road-ready Berlin three-piece aren’t touring in 2020 as they otherwise would be, but it can hardly be said that that’s held them back creatively based on what I’ve heard so far from these two singles. “Eternal Light” has a shimmer and a breadth to it that feels decidedly unconcerned with the stage, with being played live, and that’s a seeming departure from the more straightforward approach of some of the tracks on 2017’s Rough Times (review here), let alone the touches of darker atmosphere. Now, I don’t know what the rest of The Isolation Tapes has in store for listeners — sad to say I haven’t heard it; I’m dying to — but it’s worth speculating at this point if being more or less trapped indoors as they were earlier in the year allowed them to explore new sonic and emotional range in their songwriting patterns and bring to fruition new aesthetic ideas. Worked for The Beatles, certainly.

I’m not suggesting Kadavar will never tour again — though a rooftop show would be fun — just that in trying circumstances, there’s a good chance that Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt and bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup may have found a way to dig something positive out of it. That, in itself, would be an accomplishment, never mind any additional elements they may bring to their established sound.

Again, I haven’t heard the full album, but that’s where I’m at between the first single and this one. You can see for yourself if you agree.

Video and comment from Tiger follow below.

Please enjoy:

Kadavar, “Eternal Light” official video

ETERNAL LIGHT’ from the album ‘THE ISOLATION TAPES’ released on 23 October on Robotor Records.

Tiger: “In the beginning of April, we were in the middle of writing ‘The Isolation Tapes’. I started riding my bike along the canal as my morning ritual, looking for some kind of enlightenment. The sun was shining, the trees were full of green leaves and the sound of the wind filled me with joy. I was just happy to be home. For the first time in 8 years, I didn’t have single a tour scheduled. Since Judith and I became parents three years ago, and with another baby on the way there were some strong positive side effects to the corona crisis, after all.

“I still thought about the past tours a lot. And realized then I had had a constant dream on tour. It was about how I felt bad about not being home, and in it my daughter Luca appeared and she smiled at me. Making her laugh and seeing her smile is what I missed the most. In the dream it gave me a feeling of affirmation to carry on do my job, which I love without doubt. That remained a strong positive image in my mind.

“I guess that’s what the song is about – take a good memory and let it lighten you up. Luca´s smile can make a dark day bright. She´s my eternal light.”

‘The Isolation Tapes’ will be released on October 23rd, 2020 via ROBOTOR RECORDS.

Pre-order now: www.kadavar.com
Or Pelagic Records: https://kadavar.pelagic-records.com

Directed and Edited by Victor Puigcerver
Head Of Production Xavi Galindo
Post Production James Barry

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Instagram

Kadavar website

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Robotor Records on Instagram

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Finding Comfort in Live Music When There Isn’t Any

Posted in Features on August 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Bands and festivals have begun to announce 2021 dates and all that, but let’s be realistic: it’s going to be years before live music is what it once was. Especially in the United States, which is the country in the world hardest hit by the ol’ firelung in no small part because of the ineptitude of its federal leadership, an entire economic system of live music — not to mention the venues, promotions and other cultural institutions that support it on all levels — needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It isn’t going to be just as simple as “social distancing is over and we can all crowd into the bar again.” Maybe not ever.

You’ve likely seen a band do a live stream at this point, even if after the fact, and I have too. Not the same as a real-life gig, duh, but if it helps raise some funds and keeps creative people working on something and gives an act a way to connect with its audience, you can’t call it bad. I’ve found, though, that with the dearth of live music happening and the nil potential that “going to a show” will happen anytime soon, I’ve been listening to more and more live albums.

This, in no small part, is because there are plenty to listen to. Some groups attempting to bring in cash either for themselves or relevant causes have put out live records in the last few months and made use of the downtime that would’ve otherwise been given to actually being on a stage or writing together in a room or whatever it might be. It’s been a way for a band to not just sit on its collective hands and wonder what the future will bring. When so much is out of your own control, you make the most of what you’ve got.

In that spirit, here’s a quick rundown of 10 recent live outings that I’ve been digging. If you’ve found you’re in the need of finding comfort in live music and whatever act you want to see isn’t doing a stream just this second, maybe you can put one of these on, close your eyes, and be affected a bit by the on-stage energy that comes through.

Thanks as always for reading, and thanks to Tim Burke, Vania Yosifova, and Chris Pojama Pearson for adding their suggestions when I asked on social media. Here we go, ordered by date of release:

Arcadian Child, From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz)

arcadian child from far for the wild

Released Jan. 24.

Granted, this one came out before the real impact of COVID-19 was being felt worldwide, but with the recent announcement of Arcadian Child‘s next studio album coming out this Fall, including From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz) (discussed here) on this list seems only fair. The Cyprus-based four-piece even went so far as to include a couple new songs in the set that’ll show up on Protopsycho as well this October, so it’s a chance to get a preview of that material as well. Bonus for a bonus. Take the win.

Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. 1

kadavar studio live session

Released March 25.

Germany began imposing curfews in six of its states on March 22. At that point, tours were already being canceled, including Kadavar‘s European run after two shows, and the band hit Blue Wall Studio in Berlin for a set that was streamed through Facebook and in no small part helped set the pattern of streams in motion. With shows canceled in Australia/New Zealand and North America as well, Kadavar were hoping to recover some of the momentum they’d lost, and their turning it into a live record is also a part of that, as is their upcoming studio release, The Isolation Tapes.

Øresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Øresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Released April 3.

Of course, I’m perfectly willing to grant that Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 (review here) wasn’t something Øresund Space Collective specifically put out because of the pandemic, but hell, it still exists and that enough, as far as I’m concerned. As ever, they proliferate top notch psychedelic improv, and though I’ve never seen them and it seems increasingly likely I won’t at the fest I was supposed to this year, their vitality is always infectious.

Pelican, Live at the Grog Shop

pelican Live at The Grog Shop

Released April 15.

Let’s be frank — if you don’t love Pelican‘s music to a familial degree, it’s not that I think less of you as a person, but I definitely feel bad for you in a way that, if I told you face-to-face, you won’t find almost entirely condescending. The Chicago instrumentalists are high on my list of golly-I-wish-they’d-do-a-livestream, and if you need an argument to support that, this set from Ohio should do the trick nicely. It’s from September 2019, which was just nearly a year ago. If your mind isn’t blown by their chugging progressive riffs, certainly that thought should do the trick.

SEA, Live at ONCE

sea live at once

Released June 19.

Also captured on video, this set from Boston’s SEA finds them supporting 2020’s debut album, Impermanence (review here) and pushing beyond at ONCE Ballroom in their hometown. The band’s blend of post-metallic atmosphere and spacious melody-making comes through as they alternate between lumbering riffs and more subdued ambience, and it makes a fitting complement to the record in underscoring their progressive potential. The sound is raw but I’d want nothing less.

Sumac, St Vitus 09/07/2018

sumac st vitus

Released July 3.

Issued as a benefit to Black Lives Matter Seattle and a host of other causes, among them the Philadelphia Womanist Working Collective, this Sumac set is precisely what it promises in the title — a live show from 2018 at Brooklyn’s famed Saint Vitus Bar. I wasn’t at this show, but it does make me a little wistful to think of that particular venue in the current concert-less climate. Sumac aren’t big on healing when it comes to the raw sonics, but there’s certainly enough spaciousness here to get lost in should you wish to do so.

YOB, Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn

YOB Pickathon 2019 Live from the Galaxy Barn

Released July 3.

They’ve since taken down the Bandcamp stream, but YOB’s Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn (review here) was released as a benefit for Navajo Nation COVID-19 relief, and is an hour-long set that paired the restlessness of “The Lie that is Sin” next to the ever-resonant “Marrow.” Of all the live records on this list, this is probably the one that’s brought me the most joy, and it also inspired the most recent episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal, which jumped headfirst into YOB‘s catalog. More YOB please. Also, if you haven’t seen the videos of Mike Scheidt playing his guitar around the house, you should probably hook into that too.

Dirty Streets, Rough and Tumble

dirty streets rough and tumble

Released July 31.

If you’re not all the way down with the realization that Justin Toland is the man when it comes to heavy soul and blues guitar, Dirty Streets‘ new live record, Rough and Tumble, will set you straight, and it won’t even take that long. With the all-killer bass and drums of Thomas Storz and Andrew Denham behind, Toland reminds of what a true virtuoso player can accomplish when put in a room with a crowd to watch. That’s an important message for any time, let alone right now. These cats always deliver.

Amenra, Mass VI Live

amenra mass vi live

Released Aug. 7

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I’m the biggest Amenra fan in the world. I’m not. Sometimes I feel like they follow too many of their own rules for their own good, but there’s no question that live they’re well served by the spectacle they create, and their atmospherics are genuinely affecting. And I know that I’m in the minority in my position, so for anyone who digs them hard, they put up this stream-turned-record wherein they play a goodly portion of 2017’s Mass VI, and even as the self-professed not-biggest-fan-in-the-world, I can appreciate their effort and the screamy-scream-crushy-crush/open-spaced ambience that ensues.

Electric Moon, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Electric Moon Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Releasing Sept. 4.

Yeah, okay, this one’s not out yet, but sometimes I’m lucky enough to get things early for review and sometimes (on good days) those things happen to be new live records from Germany psychonauts Electric Moon. The Always-Out-There-Sula-Komets are in top form on Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019 as one would have to expect, and they’re streaming a 22-minute version of “777” now that rips so hard it sounds like it’s about to tear a hole into an alternate dimension where shows are still going on so yes please everyone go and listen to it and maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll really happen. The magic was in you all along.

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Kadavar Post First The Isolation Tapes Single “Everything is Changing”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kadavar everything is changing

Immediate points to Kadavar for accuracy when it comes to their new single. The first track to be unveiled from the upcoming The Isolation Tapes LP — available for preorder from the Berlin trio’s website as of today — is “Everything is Changing,” and I suspect that when frontman Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann intones the title, he’s talking about more than just the fact that he and drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt have shaved their long-worn beards. The song, with synthesizer where a guitar might otherwise lead the way — not at all the band’s first foray into synth, if you’re wondering, but still a departure from expectation — is melancholy and autobiographical featuring, with Lindemann describing restlessness in lyrics like, “Trying to make sense at home/Like the new guy coming into town,” and “I said I wouldn’t be home tonight/But things have changed too fast.”

One has no trouble believing both those sentiments are true. Kadavar — rounded out by Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup — of course had tour plans scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’ve been on the road so persistently and for so long, that it’s easy to imagine being stuck at home as they might’ve been earlier this year was a marked change personally as well as a dent in their always-busy album cycle. As the song unfolds over its six minutes, the lonely feeling suits a year marked by social distance broken only by social unrest, and in the last verse, restlessness turns into apathy as the last verse finishes, “Now I want to stay for a while/Resting my tired limbs/And I want to hide for a while/From the sound of my strings.”

Fair enough, but Kadavar aren’t exactly hiding. “Everything is Changing” is meticulously arranged and holds the mark of songcraft that has typified their material all throughout the creative progression that’s made them one of heavy rock’s most pivotal acts of the last decade. And to be surrounded by change is to be alive, but the consistency with which Kadavar bring their material to light is the rare reassurance of a steady hand, and even “Everything is Changing” — a willful step-down in energy from some of their more brazen moments — benefits from how much of themselves the band puts into it.

As noted, The Isolation Tapes is up for preorder as of today. It’s out Oct. 23 through Robotor Records — the band’s new self-release label; which seems to be an imprint of Pelagic? — and as one might expect, the different color vinyls look lovely.

Enjoy the video:

Kadavar, “Everything is Changing” official video

‘EVERYTHING IS CHANGING’ from the album ‘THE ISOLATION TAPES’ released on 23 October on Robotor Records.

PRE-ORDER: https://www.kadavar.com/
SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVmS…

Lupus: ‘The time of isolation has been a very intimate one that would not invite to write another hard rock album just like that. At home I wasn’t looking for loud guitars or walls of sound: everything turned quiet, both inside and outside, until sound almost disappeared. I would start listening to things I usually wouldn’t, like water drops, steps, birds or wind… So we started recording out of this new mental state, we would use loops for the very first time or play around with sounds we have never used before, resulting in a trip through our minds that captured these special times where everything was changing.’

Directed and Edited by Victor Puigcerver

Head Of Production Xavi Galindo
Color Grading Lita Bosch

Thanks to
Robin Banks
Olivia Airey

Early morning breaks the night
I get up I’ve slept way too long
doubt is moving through my mind
its been some time that i’ve played my songs

33 and things are changing
so long I’ve served you well
living the dream for many years
left alone in the hotel

Everything is changing
And there’s nothing I can do
i see all the good times fading
while I’m trying to get through

trying to make sense at home
like the new guy coming into town
There’s a world out there and it calls my name
but i don’t know how to get along

33 and things are changing
so long I’ve served you well
living the dream for many years
left alone in the hotel

i said i wouldn’t be home tonight
but things have changed too fast

now i want to stay for a while
resting my tired limbs
and i want to hide for a while
from the sound of my strings

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Instagram

Kadavar website

Robotor Records on Thee Facebooks

Robotor Records on Instagram

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Kadavar Announce New Album The Isolation Tapes

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

Well, they had to do something. Not only did Kadavar have Australia/New Zealand and North American tour plans shit the bed this Spring, they were also set to hold their first festival endeavor, the Re-Generation Fest, next month in Berlin, where they’d co-headline with All Them Witches. Obviously not happening, because at some point it would probably require two people to, you know, stand next to each other. A terrifying thought, even outdoors, and I’m not even being that sarcastic when I say so.

So that will happen in 2021 (hopefully), and in the meantime, the always-up-to-something trio have been accordingly up to something. The something is a new album. Dubbed The Isolation Tapes, the new record is set to go up for preorder on Aug. 6, at which time a new single will also be unveiled. While you’re noting that date, putting a reminder in your phone or some such, also take a second to lift an eyebrow at the fact that Kadavar are releasing the album on their own, through a new imprint they’ve dubbed Robotor Records, rather than with Nuclear Blast, which handled their last four studio albums — including last year’s For the Dead Travel Fast (review here) — as well as two live records.

Could be they were on a six-LP deal and that has been fulfilled, or this could be a one-off due to the extenuating circumstances of that pesky global pandemic, but I don’t know at this point. Presumably we’ll find out more when the first single hits next month.

The news caught my eye on the social medias, not the least because it was in all-caps. Here it is:

kadavar the isolation tapes

KADAVAR – The Isolation Tapes

AUGUST 6, 2020 – SAVE THE DATE !!!

NEW STUDIO ALBUM „THE ISOLATION TAPES“ ON OUR OWN LABEL ROBOTOR RECORDS!

PRE-ORDER, MORE DETAILS AND FIRST SINGLE ON AUGUST 6, 2020.

ARTWORK BY Max Löffler Illustration

https://www.facebook.com/KadavarOfficial/
https://instagram.com/kadavargram/

Kadavar, For the Dead Travel Fast tour video

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Kadavar Announces Inaugural Re-Generation Fest; All Them Witches to Co-Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

re-generation fest 2020 banner

I’m curious to see how this one plays out, this year and next year and the year after and so on. Short- and long-term. German heavy rock forerunners Kadavar — as if they didn’t have enough going on with their intercontinental tour schedule already set for the early part of 2020 — have announced the founding of a new festival, called Re-Generation Fest. They’ll headline along with Nasvhille’s All Them Witches what seems to be a one-day lineup set for Aug. 8 at Clara Zetkin Park in Leipzig, Germany. An outdoor space. They’ve got a slew of sponsors lined up for the thing, as you can see on the poster, but what interests me about it more than that is that it’s Kadavar doing it.

From working alongside Aqua Nebula Oscillator to touring in the US with Ruby the Hatchet, they’re not a band with shitty taste, and I’m very curious to find out who’s going to get added to fill out this bill and how — if they’re thinking of it as an annual event — it will grow over time. It’s one day this year. Will it be two in 2021? How big are they thinking ultimately? How much room is there in that park?

I’ll do my best to keep up with the announcements as I see them, but already Kadavar and All Them Witches is a show I’d want to catch, indoors or out, so that’s a win.

Here’s what they had to say:

re-generation fest 2020 poster

We proudly announce the first edition of RE-GENERATION FEST!

Clara Zetkin Park
Leipzig, Germany
Aug. 8, 2020

Every summer, we travel around the continent and go from festival to festival. Now we have been dreaming for a while about this, but we decided to just jump at the chance and put up our own little party, invite some friends and bands we like. We want to celebrate all things old and new in rock and roll music and at best create something that we can continue for many years to come.

Today, we´d like to share with you that Nashville´s most exciting All Them Witches are confirmed as co-headliner!

More bands to be announced soon. The presale will start tomorrow at 12:00 on our website. Wir haben Bock!

event: https://www.facebook.com/events/855678101537182/

Re-Generation Fest 2020
Tickets are available now: https://kadavar.myshopify.com/collections/new-items/products/ticket-re-generation-fest-2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/855678101537182/
https://www.kingstar-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KadavarOfficial/
www.kadavar.com

All Them Witches, “1×1” official video

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