Review & Track Premiere: Arcadian Child, Superfonica

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child superfonica

[Click play above to stream the official premiere of ‘Bain Marie’ from Arcadian Child’s Superfonica. Album is out Nov. 23 on Rogue Wave/Ripple Music.]

The sense of drift is so graceful and the flow of the material is so natural that, in listening to Arcadian Child‘s Superfonica, I actually went and looked up the climate of Cyprus. Eight months of temperate summer on an island in the Eastern Mediterranean could hardly be a more fitting backdrop for the eight-track/38-minute offering — the band’s first new release for Rogue Wave Records/Ripple Music following a reissue of their 2017 debut, Afterglow (review here), earlier this year — which hones a peaceful spirit in songs like “Brothers” and the opening fuzz of “Bain Marie” while still retaining tonal presence and a sense of energy in the delivery. Leaving behind some of the Queens of the Stone Agery of their initial outing, the first-name-basis four-piece of Panagiotis, Andreas, Stathis and Christos find themselves nestled comfortably into a balance between spacey grunge rock and psychedelic impulses.

“She Flows” comes alive with a warm-toned push in its back half, but that’s not to say there’s stillness earlier in the song, or necessarily anywhere else on Superfonica that it’s not intended to be, as the Limassol-based outfit inject life even into their most minimalist spaces, as in the wide-open keyboard reaches of the penultimate “Before We Die” or the subdued, patient unfolding of closer “The March,” that follows, or even the midsection of the otherwise bouncing “Constellations” — arguably the most active piece on the record — which finds soft vocals half-whispering over like-minded guitar for a stretch that soon picks up again with a cue from the snare drum. The band cites The Black Angels as an influence and I’m not inclined to argue, as they seem to skirt the line between Dead Meadow-style shoegaze and ’90s alternative shove. Yet there’s a heavy rock root in their approach as well, and in a hidden treasure like “She Flows” on side B, which follows the 6:44 “Painting” (premiered here), they’re able to enact a heavier roll as they hold consistent with the mood of the album overall.

This is thanks in no small part to the vocals, which bring a steady humanity to what might otherwise be perceived as an otherworldly listen, but if one is mining Superfonica for highlights, it’s a relatively quick operation. The first three seconds of “Bain Marie” — and I suspect that’s how it got to open the record — tell the tale of one of the record’s greatest assets, and that’s the fuzz tone of the guitars. Arcadian Child prove adept at complementing the warm, inviting fuzz with airier, post-rock-style effects, and the vocals suit that well too, but while they don’t use riffs as an okay-we-have-a-riff-so-that’s-a-track-done kind of crutch in their songwriting, when they lock in around one, as on “Bain Marie” or the subsequent, relatively uptempo and hooky “Twist Your Spirit,” the bulk of “Constellations” or “She Flows,” the results are nothing but enticing. Again, though, that’s just one aspect of Arcadian Child‘s style, and the post-midpoint guitar meander of “Brothers” would have Gary Arce himself blushing, while the crash cymbal in “The March” is as much a highlight in its creation of a wash as anything done elsewhere by guitar, bass or keys.

arcadian child

It’s a rare level of attention to sonic detail that makes Superfonica so ultimately effective. Their craft itself — the raw songwriting — is there as a foundation. And it’s absolutely necessary, since without it the more rocking side A salvo of “Bain Marie,” “Twist Your Spirit” and “Brothers” would fall flat en route to the expansion that takes place in “Constellations” as a preface to the more patient psychedelia that “Painting” unfurls at the outset of side B with “She Flows” as a quick touch to ground ahead of the stratospheric departure that is the capper duo “Before We Die” and “The March.” But the production, the arrangement of the tracklisting, and the vibe within the individual cuts themselves all work to feed into the central presentation of Superfonica as a cohesive entirety. It’s not just about this or that track, this or that chorus, this or that jam — but instead what these things can do in conversation with each other.

And I won’t take away either from what “Bain Marie” or “Brothers” or even “She Flows” does in terms of establishing a subtle underlying momentum to carry the audience through the material as a whole, but “Painting” and “The March” make a distinct impression as accomplishments of another degree. The former is the longest inclusion and an immediate high point in terms of its serene, oceanic motion to its apex, and it’s hypnotic enough to warrant multiple visits, but still finds itself on solid footing by its end, while “The March” is indeed something of a percussive showcase and in that it creates a tension that’s something of a standout from the rest of Superfonica, showing a restlessness that comes to a fervent head before it’s done and seems to speak to further exploration to follow on the part of the band as a whole. More power to it in that — forward potential is always welcome — but neither is the impact of “The March” on the record that precedes it to be overlooked. Like “Bain Marie” at the launch, it feels purposefully positioned as the finale, and it works no less efficiently to resonate the band’s intention for it.

Outwardly gorgeous, strident in its construction and with enough cast of adventure in sound that it not only takes a significant step from their debut but leads one to believe further such steps are to come on this path, Superfonica is the kind of record that speaks to the soul. It’s not a get-up-and-party, booze-your-face whatever record. It’s a good time, to be sure, but its motion is more wistful and quieter than it is brash, however active some parts might be, and the prevailing engagement is owed to Arcadian Child‘s ability to affect the mindset of their audience and so righteously convey the calmness that in no small part defines this material. Its details are there for those who want to hear them or are willing to go deeper, but even if you just put it on and find yourself following its easy, eight-month-summer fluidity, I don’t think you miss out. Not hearing it would be missing out.

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Rogue Wave Records on Thee Facebooks

Rogue Wave Records BigCartel store

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , ,

Arcadian Child Set Nov. 23 Release for Superfonica

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

You might recall Cypriot psychedelic rockers Arcadian Child premiered ‘Painting’ in a visualizer here over the summer. Details at the time were pretty scarce for the follow-up to 2017’s Afterglow (review here), but a Nov. 23 release date has been set through Ripple Music offshoot Rougue Wave Records, and preorders are up now. I’m not saying I’ve heard it and it’s awesome or anything, but I’ve heard it and it’s awesome, so okay, yes, that is what I’m saying. You win this round.

Since I’d really like to drive that point home — the part about “awesome,” not about the part where you win, though you have my congratulations — “Painting” and the video for “She Flows” are both at the bottom of this post. The PR wire sent the artwork and track details for Superfonica accordingly:

arcadian child superfonica

Arcadian Child to Release New LP, ‘Superfonica’, November 23

Fast-Rising Neo-Psych Group Blends and Bends Genres to Create Singular Sound of its Own; New Songs “Painting” and “She Flows” Premiere

Greek neo-psych band Arcadian Child will release its new LP, Superfonica, on November 23 via Ripple Music / Rogue Wave Records. Hailing from Limassol, Cyprus, Arcadian Child formed in 2013 and soon made a name for itself via a cool and coherent sound that combines hypnotic psychedelia, stoner rock riffage, and indie rock groove. Potent and intoxicating, Arcadian Child delivers guitar-orientated psych rock blended with ambient elements, hallucinogenic patterns and kaleidoscopic, headphone-friendly swirl.

To advance the release of Superfonica, Arcadian Child has released the new singles, “Painting” and “She Flows”. “Painting” is released via a cool visualizer video and “She Flows” makes its debut via music video. Arcadian Child’s unapologetic references to music of earlier eras infused forge a transcendent maze of heady resonance and drones.

Superfonica is the follow-up to Arcadian Child’s celebrated 2017 debut, Afterglow, a record that immediately established the unit as a buzzworthy band to watch.

Arcadian Child’s beautiful songs lure you slowly and smoothly into a sort of soothing numbness; the group’s use of 60s/70s pop style progressive theatrics call up a web of guitars, keyboards, and drums that thunder and ooze at the same time, and the melodies walk steadily more than they lurch. Arcadian Child are masters at sounding simultaneously cool as a block of ice and hot as hellfire, but the unshakeable pop melodies are the real key to this album’s success.

Track listing:

1.) Bain Marie
2.) Twist Your Spirit
3.) Brothers
4.) Constellations
5.) Painting
6.) She Flows
7.) Before We Die
8.) The March

Pre-order Superfonica at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/arcadianchildband/
https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Roguewaverecords/
http://roguewaverecords.bigcartel.com/

Arcadian Child, “Painting” official video

Arcadian Child, “She Flows” official video

Tags: , , , , , ,

Arcadian Child Premiere “Painting” in New Video; Superfonica Coming Soon

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

True to form in classic psychedelia, the new Arcadian Child single doesn’t shy away from its poppier elements. “Painting,” which is the lead track from the band’s upcoming album, Superfonica, is the first taste of that follow-up to 2017’s debut, Afterglow (review here), which was picked up for release earlier this year by Ripple Music offshoot Rogue Wave Records, an imprint focused on exploring outside-the-box vibes in psych, classic heavy rock, and beyond. Arcadian Child fit that bill easily. Especially the part about “beyond.”

“Painting,” which is evocative unto its title — painting of what? painting with sound? a specific painting? etc. — begins with a peaceful stretch of guitar before introducing its arcadian child superfonicagentle and straightforward drum progression. There’s a tonal presence and resonance from the outset that builds along the song’s near-seven-minutes, and when the vocals arrive circa 1:50, the trance effect of the intro comes into focus smoothly with a shift into more weighted fare as the chorus takes hold. Melodically sound as was the debut, “Painting” nonetheless demonstrates growth in its patient rollout and its meld of accessibility with atmosphere. An airy guitar lead takes hold backed by subtle swirling noise prior to the next verse, passing the four-minute mark with headphone-ready volume swells in the background, a serene version of space rock unfolding not so different from what Quest for Fire might bring to bear, if a little less folk-infused in its rhythm.

It is a graceful execution that wraps with a last-minute push continuing to hold firm to the established vibe: nothing overdone, but nothing too perfect to pass the uncanny valley of believability. The accompanying visuals in the clip below are colorful enough to be appropriate, and only bolster the song’s soothing affect. I don’t know the exact release date for Superfonica as yet, but it’ll be worth keeping an eye out as we get closer, and news should be coming down the PR wire any minute. In the meantime, there’s some preliminary info about the impending record under the video below.

As always, I hope you enjoy:

Arcadian Child, “Painting” official video premiere

Psyched, potent and and intoxicating, Arcadian Child deliver resonating psychedelia blended with ambience, hallucinogenic patterns and cathartic eruptions. With sounds rivaling the squealing sirens of the Mediterranean up to the dark bellows of the West, Arcadian Child convey their psychedelic ritual in their jam-filled live shows where they spread their hypnotic vibrations. Their critically acclaimed debut, “Afterglow” came to light on the 29th of October, 2017 and received raving support from the growing neopsych audience.

“Painting” becomes the first release to see the light from Arcadian Child’s sophomore studio set “Superfonica” and represents a spiritual portraiture of human interaction and conflict. Arcadian Child’s unapologetic references to music of earlier eras infused in “Painting” forge a transcendent maze of heady resonance and drones.

Produced by Andreas Trachonitis and Arcadian Child
Recorded and Mixed by Andreas Trachonitis at studio eleven63 in Nicosia
Additional recordings by Mikaela Tsangari
Mastered by Yiannis Christodoulatos at sweetspot productions in Athens

Music by Arcadian Child
Lyrics by Panagiotis I.G
Additional vocals by Mikaela Tsangari

Album art by Iam Nothe. Video by Iam Nothe: https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheMMXI/

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , ,

Arcadian Child Release Afterglow May 18 on Rogue Wave Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Greek heavy psych rockers Arcadian Child have announced a May 18 release through Rogue Wave Records for their debut album. The record, Afterglow (review here), was initially put out by the band itself in 2017, and so far as I know it’s done nothing but garner more and more acclaim since. Reasonably so for its classic psych influences and unashamed pop structures and accessibility, offset by tonal weight and an undercurrent of desert rock. With a fervent melodicism tying varied songs together, it’s a more than solid debut album, and I guess my only question about it is whether I should consider this an official release or a reissue, because if it’s an official release, it definitely goes in the notes as one of the best debuts of 2018. Doesn’t kick any less ass if it’s a reissue; really just a matter of bookkeeping. Maybe I’ll flip a coin.

Rogue Wave is, of course, an offshoot of Ripple Music intended to focus on psychedelia and material that doesn’t otherwise fit the regular sphere of the parent impint.

You can hear the album in full at the bottom of this post and check out the band’s video for the sunshine-grunge of “Irresistible.” More info follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

arcadian child afterglow

Arcadian Child to Release Debut LP, ‘Afterglow’, May 18

Greek Neo-Psych Group Releases Video for New Song “Irresistible”

Fast-rising neo-psych band Arcadian Child will release its debut LP, Afterglow, on May 18 via Rogue Wave Records. Hailing from Limassol, Cyprus, Arcadian Child formed in 2013 and soon made a name for itself via a cool and coherent sound that combines hypnotic psychedelia, stoner rock riffage, and indie rock groove

Potent and intoxicating, Arcadian Child delivers daunting guitar-orientated psych rock blended with ambient elements, hallucinogenic patterns and kaleidoscopic, headphone-friendly swirl. With sounds rivaling the squealing sirens of the Mediterranean and the dark bellows of the West, Arcadian Child showcases its uniquely trippy anthems and hypnotic vibrations via jam-filled live shows which have met to wide acclaim from the growing neo-psych audience.

Arcadian Child’s beautiful songs lure you slowly and smoothly into a sort of soothing numbness; the group’s use of 60s/70s pop style progressive theatrics call up a web of guitars, keyboards, and drums that thunder and ooze at the same time, and the melodies walk steadily more than they lurch. Arcadian Child are masters at sounding simultaneously cool as a block of ice and hot as hellfire, but the unshakeable pop melodies are the real key to this album’s success.

A taste of Arcadian Child’s cunning songwriting can be sampled now as the band has released a music video for the song “Irresistible”.

Track listing:
1.) She’s On My Mind
2.) Little Late for Love
3.) Rabbit Hole
4.) Electric Red
5.) Irresistible
6.) Run
7.) Afterglow
8.) Used

Pre-order Afterglow at this location.

Arcadian Child features Panayiotis Georgiou (vocals/guitar), Stathis Hadjicharalambous (guitars), Andreas Kerveros (bass/backing vocals) and Christos Dimou (drums).

https://www.facebook.com/arcadianchildband/
https://open.spotify.com/album/7nu1dqJfMkZ4u0yz8vg6dG
https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Roguewaverecords/
http://roguewaverecords.bigcartel.com/

Arcadian Child, “Irresistible” official video

Arcadian Child, Afterglow (2017)

Tags: , , , , ,

Arcadian Child Post “Irresistible” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Granted, it’s only three minutes long, but in that time, Arcadian Child‘s new video does well in summarizing a key appealing aspect of the band’s debut album from whence it comes. The track in question is called “Irresistible” and the hook thereof just about meets that lofty standard in its unabashed pop catchiness, but like much of 2017’s Afterglow (review here), it also has a sense of expanse to it, a far-out vibe that extends to the heavy psych effects at root in its tones and the subtle-but-definitely-present rhythmic push that takes such care to keep it on  its efficient and serene course.

Where “Irresistible” doesn’t necessarily represent Afterglow is in the fact that it couldn’t possibly capture the full diversity of sound on the record without giving up that efficiency. Complemented by the post-desert heavy of opener “She’s on My Mind” or the cool Bowie-ism of “Little Late for Love” and the relative sprawl of the Queens of the Stone Age-style moodiness of “Run,” “Irresistible” can inherently only be part of the whole story when it comes to Afterglow, but in terms of the faces Arcadian Child show throughout, it’s one that well earns the focus that the video invariably brings to it.

And about that video — hey, look down: there it is! Its manipulated footage is duly atmospheric and duly colorful to do justice to Arcadian Child‘s style and sonic depth, while still showcasing the human core beneath in much the same way the tracks throughout Afterglow hold firm to traditionalist structures even as the explore various the textures being skillfully laid over top of them in songs like the fuzzy, semi-garage penultimate title-cut or the smooth, drifting and patient “Rabbit Hole” earlier. You can view the clip here, followed by more info about its making, and then check out the full stream of Afterglow from Arcadian Child‘s Bandcamp page to get a better sense of the context from which it arises.

Please enjoy:

Arcadian Child, “Irresistible” official video

Produced by Andreas Trachonitis and Arcadian Child
Mixed, Engineered by Andreas Trachonitis
Recorded at studio eleven63 in Nicosia
Additional recordings by Mikaela Tsangkari
Mastered by Yiannis Christodoulatos in Sweetspot Productions
in Athens

Video created by Iam Nothe https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheDesign

Live footage by Stephanos Charalambous

Psyched, potent and intoxicating, Arcadian Child deliver daunting guitar-orientated psychedelia blended with ambient elements, hallucinogenic patterns and cathartic outbursts.

Arcadian Child is:
Panayiotis Georgiou
Stathis Hadjicharalambous
Andreas Kerveros
Christos Dimou

Arcadian Child, Afterglow (2017)

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Godflesh, Serpents of Secrecy, Vymaanika, Zong, Vitriol, Pillars, Lamp of the Universe & Kanoi, Azonic, Thousand Vision Mist, Arcadian Child

Posted in Reviews on January 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

Today is the last day of The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review, and it’s kind of hard to believe it’s gone so fast. Before I put the Big Boot to the proceedings like Hulk Hogan getting ready to call it a day with an elbow drop at Wrestlemania — yup, just like that — I have to take a special moment to thank The Patient Mrs. for allowing me the time this week to bang out all of these reviews and get everything sorted on the back end, etc., for these posts. She, of course, as always, perpetually, has been unbelievable, and especially with The Pecan to manage, she’s earned her title more than ever. It is thoroughly, deeply, appreciated. Much love, baby. Thank you.

Okay, Big Boot time. Let’s do this thing.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Godflesh, Post Self

godflesh post self

Guitarist/vocalist/programmer Justin K. Broadrick and bassist BC Green return with Post Self, their second post-reunion full-length behind 2014’s A World Lit Only by Fire (review here) and a collection of churning electro-noise hymnals that work in a sphere that should by now be well familiar to their multi-generational fanbase. The groundbreaking industrial pioneers sound decidedly led by the guitar on the chugging “Parasite” and the airy, almost Jesu-style wash of “The Cyclic End,” but the intensity of the beat behind “No Body,” bass and noise onslaught of “Be God” and synth-driven soundscaping of “Mortality Sorrow” recall the sonic diversity that’s always been as much a part of Godflesh’s approach as their signature cyclical rhythmic style. More perhaps than ever, Broadrick and Green seem to be aware of what defines Godflesh as a band in terms of sound, and as they make the crucial move from a “reunion” band to a working one, they seem as glad as ever to push those boundaries once more.

Justin K. Broadrick on Thee Facebooks

Avalanche Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Serpents of Secrecy, Uncoiled: The Singles

serpents-of-secrecy-uncoiled-the-singles

This two-song single may end up bring the only offering Serpents of Secrecy ever make public, and it was years in coming together. In December, the Chesapeake region group with members of Foghound, Borracho and King Giant suffered the loss of bassist Jim Forrester, who was murdered in Baltimore, and while a debut long-player was in discussion, to-date the five-piece have only issued “Warbird’s Song” and “The Cheat” as Uncoiled – The Singles, and obviously now any kind of follow-up is in question. Whether it’s the raucous burl of “Warbird’s Song” or the bluesy, organ-topped fluidity of “The Cheat,” the J. Robbins-produced tracks demonstrate the potential at heart from the lineup of vocalist Mark Lorenzo – who wound up in the role after members of Alabama Thunderpussy and Mister Bones vacated – guitarists Steve Fisher and Todd Ingram, Forrester and his former Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate Chuck Dukehart III. The only question at this point is whether that potential will ever see further realization. Right on as these songs are, I’m torn on the idea, to be honest.

Serpents of Secrecy on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records website

 

Vymaanika, Spectroscope

vymaanika-spectroscope

Multinational space rockers Vymaanika debut with the 20-minute two-songer Spectroscope EP, comprised of its 10-minute opening title-track and the subsequent “Golden Void,” which may or may not be named in honor of the side-project of Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell. I’d believe it either way. The band comprises members from Catalan – guitarist/vocalist/synthesis Carles Esteban and bassist Andrés Paniagua, Chile in drummer/synthesist Jose Jünemann, and the US in guitarist/vocalist/synthesis Benjamin Mahoney, but they all seem to have come together to record in Barcelona, and the breadth of “Spectroscope” and serene psychedelic mantra-making of “Golden Void” benefit from that band-in-the-room vibe. Especially so the latter, which touches early on vocal harmonies over drifting guitar strum, steady synth drone and percussive pulsations before building to a more active apex in its second half. After the cacophony taking hold in the back end of “Spectroscope,” it’s a clear demarcation of a varied sonic persona, and while I don’t know how often Vymaanika will be able to get everyone together with the geographic spread, it’s easy to be glad they did it for this first EP.

Vymaanika on Thee Facebooks

Vymaanika on Bandcamp

 

Zong, Zong

zong zong

Flowing arrangements abound on Zong’s self-titled four-track debut full-length. The Brisbane, Australia-based heavy psych three-piece are well within their genre sphere, but from opener and longest track (immediate points) “Cosmic Embryo” (13:00) through “Arcane Sand” (8:10), the perhaps-Zardoz-referential “Giant Floating Head” (11:48) and closer “Return of the Alien King” (10:32), they demonstrate a natural chemistry, patience and warmth of tone that is no less comfortable in the march and lurch of its penultimate cut than in dug-in repetition-born hypnosis of the leadoff. Deceptively weighted from almost its beginning point with the low end of Michael Grinstead’s bass and the rolling drums of Henry Bennett, there’s also a balance of airiness from guitarist Adam Anderson that adds nuance when called upon to do so, though there are plenty of moments where Zong’s Zong seems perfectly content to cave-jam its far-out atmospheric fluidity. Not an ethic and not a result you’re going to hear me complain about.

Zong on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz Records webstore

Praying Mantis Records on Bandcamp

 

Vitriol, Pain Will Define Their Death

vitriol-pain-will-define-their-death

Brutal tech-death pervades Vitriol’s first EP, Pain Will Define Their Death – a three-song onslaught the violence of which is writ large over every minute of its total 12. Sharing a penchant for opening to bigger-sounding choruses like that of its opening title-cut with peak-era Hate Eternal, the pummel factor, ultra-tense push and unmitigated viciousness eschews some of the more machine-like aspects of such technically-minded fare, and while Vitriol’s overarching groove, gutturalist execution and hammer-swing breakdowns are casting out their own assault on the aforementioned opener as well as the subsequent blast-laden “Victim” and “Violence, a Worthy Truth,” they’re working in service to songcraft much more than to an indulgent showcase of prowess, and that makes all the difference in terms of the material’s ultimate impact. That impact? When was the last time you were actually kicked in the face? Nothing if not aptly named, Vitriol’s death metal seethes and rages in kind and bodes remarkably well for future manifest devastation.

Vitriol on Thee Facebooks

Vitriol on Bandcamp

 

Pillars, Pyres and Gallows

pillars-pyres-and-gallows

Hailing classic doom and darker atmospheres, French four-piece Pillars debut on Seeing Red Records via the Pyres and Gallows EP. Its four songs run a gamut of traditional grooves, but lumber with a balance between their rawness and a spirit of underlying riffy nuance that adds texture beneath the gruff, dudely vocals of frontman Klem, the tones of guitarist Djé and bassist Disaster well suited to the plodding companionship of drummer JJ on a song like the problematically-titled second cut “Dirty Whoreshippers” or the 10-minute title-track that rounds out. At 33 minutes, I’m not sure what’s stopping Pyres and Gallows from being a full-length, but if that’s a hint that Pillars have more to say going forward, then fair enough. They may be preaching to the converted in these tracks, but they’re doing so in righteous fashion and with a sense of their own identity under development. Doom on? Yeah, totally doom on. By all means. Please do.

Pillars on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Lamp of the Universe & Kanoi, Split

lamp-of-the-universe-kanoi-split

Among the fascinating factors at work on this cross-continental Clostridium Records split release between long-running New Zealand acid folk outfit Lamp of the Universe and Austrian psychedelic fuzz purveyor Kanoi is the fact that both parties involved are solo-projects. For Lamp of the Universe’s Craig Williamson (also Arc of Ascent), he brings three tracks of his signature drenched-wet lysergism in “In the Beginning,” “The Cosmic Body Track,” “Father” and “Space Chant,” while Kanoi’s Benjamin Kantschieder revisits two cuts from 2016’s Mountains of the Sun full-length in the extended “I’m Gone (I’m Gone)” and “Mountains of the Sun” itself. The novelty of having two single parties match wits on such fluid arrangements – my head always begs for collaboration in these instances – is offset by the quality of their work itself. Neither is new to their sphere, but both seem keen to continue to experiment and explore, and it’s from that commonality that the split most benefits.

Lamp of the Universe on Bandcamp

Kanoi on Bandcamp

Clostridium Records website

 

Azonic, Prospect of the Deep Volume One

azonic-prospect-of-the-deep-volume-one

The first Azonic offering since the mid-‘90s finds Brooklyn-based experimentalist Andy Hawkins reviving the project alongside his Blind Idiot God bandmate Tim Wyskida as a melding of drone/noise and percussive ideas. Released through Hawkins’ own Indivisible Music, Prospect of the Deep Volume One – pretty ambitious to put a “volume one” in the title of your first record in 20-plus years – presents two expansive works in “Oblivion of the Deep” (18:53) and “The Argonauts Reckoning” (18:42) as well as the CD bonus track “Voices of the Drowned” (10:12) that brim with atmospheric intent and have an underlying sense of control on the part of Hawkins that speaks to some measure of steering what might in other hands simply feel like sonic chaos. You can hear it early into “The Argonauts Reckoning,” as the layered wash seems to want to fly off the rails and swell and Hawkins’ guitar simply doesn’t let it go, but it’s true elsewhere on Prospect of the Deep Volume One as well, and in listening, it’s the difference between the album being a joy in the immersion, which it is, and a self-indulgent misfire, which it very much is not.

Azonic on Thee Facebooks

Indivisible Music website

 

Thousand Vision Mist, Journey to Ascension and the Loss of Tomorrow

thousand-vision-mist-journey-to-ascension-and-the-loss-of-tomorrow

Named for the lone 2002 full-length from Maryland doomers Life Beyond, in which guitarist/vocalist Danny Kenyon also featured, newcomer trio Thousand Vision Mist debut with the progressive-leaning edge of Journey to Ascension and the Loss of Tomorrow, a 52-minute 10-tracker. Yes, Rush are a factor in terms of influence. However, propelled by the drumming of Chris Sebastian, whose frenetic snare adds a Mastodonic feel to “Headstones Throw,” the otherwise classic-vibing “Final Flight of Fall” and the later “Darklight,” among others, the cumbersomely-titled offering sets its balance between modern prog metal, doom and classic heavy rock, with bassist Tony Comulada adding vocal harmonies alongside Kenyon and providing a needed anchor to keep songs like the penultimate “Skybound and Beyond” from actually taking off and leaving their audience behind. Reportedly long in the works, Journey to Ascension and the Loss of Tomorrow isn’t a minor digestion process at its busy and extended runtime, but while the recording is raw, there’s no shortage of fodder for engagement throughout its swath of choruses and head-spinning turns.

Thousand Vision Mist on Thee Facebooks

Thousand Vision Mist on Bandcamp

 

Arcadian Child, Afterglow

arcadian-child-afterglow

Though not at all without its more driving aspects, some of the most satisfying moments on Arcadian Child’s debut album, Afterglow, come from a soothing hook like that of “Rabbit Hole,” which finds the Cypriot four-piece more fully embodying a laid back desert rock atmosphere that underpins the Fatso Jetson-esque opener “She’s on My Mind” and subsequent “Little Late for Love.” As the feels-short-at-29-minutes record unfolds, “Electric Red” blends fuzz and Mediterranean rhythmic push, “Irresistible” toys with layered swirl beneath a solidly-weighted verse and chorus, “Run” makes itself a highlight around a post-Lullabies to Paralyze atmospheric lead and start-stop riff, and the title-track casts momentum in melody and groove into closer “Used,” which pays one more welcome visit to the more serene side of their personality before they’re done. It might be a sleeper, but I’d be surprised if someone didn’t pick Afterglow up for a vinyl release sooner or later; the songwriting, performance, presentation and potential for future growth are all there waiting to be found by the right ears.

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

 

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