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

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

quarterly review

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

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

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

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ufomammut, XX

UFOMAMMUT XX

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

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Supernatural Cat website

 

Horehound, Weight

horehound weight

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

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records BigCartel store

 

Lingua Ignota, CALIGULA

LINGUA IGNOTA CALIGULA

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

Lingua Ignota on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records on Bandcamp

 

Valborg, Zentrum

valborg zentrum

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

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions webstore

 

Sageness, Akmé

sageness akme

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

Sageness on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records website

 

Glacier, No Light Ever

glacier no light ever

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

Glacier on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records webstore

 

MNRVA, Black Sky

mnrva black sky

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

MNRVA on Thee Facebooks

MNRVA on Bandcamp

 

Coroza, Chaliceburner

coroza chaliceburner

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

Coroza on Thee Facebooks

Coroza on Bandcamp

 

Noosed, She of the Woods

noosed she of the woods demo

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

Noosed on Thee Facebooks

Noosed on Bandcamp

 

zhOra, Ruthless Bastards

zhora ruthless bastards

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

zhOra on Thee Facebooks

zhOra on Bandcamp

 

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Roadburn 2020 Adds Lingua Ignota and Full of Hell as Artists-in-Residence; Dool, Acid Rooster, Boy Harsher & More Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 banner

As ever, there’s a lot going on in this announcement for Roadburn. It’s only the second one from Roadburn 2020 and already the festival seems to be setting its course to once again be bigger than ever as it continues to redefine itself and broaden its outlook on the underground. Two curators for the first time was announced last time around, now it’s two artists in residence, and oh, by the way, they’ll also collaborate for a set, because it’s fucking Roadburn and that’s just how it has to be. Lingua Ignota‘s set at the skate park at this year’s edition of the festival was the talk of the weekend — at least until Thou did those Misfits covers — and Full of Hell aren’t exactly strangers to Roadburn either. It’s going to be a busy and all over the place kind of Roadburn, I expect. Who would have it any other way?

If you haven’t, I can only urge you to check out Dool, who’ve also been added, and I’ve included the stream of Acid Rooster‘s 2019 self-titled debut below because its dreamy tones are sitting just right this afternoon.

Dig it:

roadburn 2020 full of hell x lingua ignota

ROADBURN 2020

– For the first time, Roadburn Festival will have two Artists In Residence

– First announcements for curated events including HIDE and BOY HARSHER

– Tickets on sale September 24

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

Every edition of Roadburn has an Artist in Residence who will perform multiple times across the four days of the festival – each time showcasing a different facet of their creativity. Much like with other aspects at Roadburn 2020, this year we’re mixing things up a bit; for the first time there will be two Artist In Residence positions…

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: FULL OF HELL

With 30+ releases – EPs, splits, full lengths and more – there’s rich pickings to pull together material for four distinctive sets at Roadburn 2020. Full of Hell will perform Weeping Choir in full, as well as sister album Trumpeting Ecstasy. Also on the slate is a set comprising of their early material including songs from Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home, as well as early 7” releases – and perhaps even a couple of covers thrown in for good measure.
The twist in the tale is that for one of their four sets they will collaborate with fellow Artist In Residence Kristin Hayter AKA Lingua Ignota.

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: LINGUA IGNOTA

Performing four times over the course of the festival weekend, Kristin Hayter will peel back a layer of the Lingua Ignota form, shining a light in a dark corner. Performing alongside our other Artist In Residence, Full of Hell, some dark forces are sure to be summoned by the unholy noise they’ll make collaboratively. In addition to that, there will be an extremely special covers set (the details of which we will keep under wraps for now) and a performance comprising entirely of ALL BITCHES DIE material. The centrepiece of Kristin’s residency will be a grand re-imagining of CALIGULA – pulled apart and elegantly pieced back together in a new way.

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S- THE GILDED CAGE CURATED EVENT

HIDE

The first artist to be confirmed as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated event is HIDE. An uncompromising duo who have a message that alone deserves to be heard, but the accompanying pulse of grit-flecked industro-slickness is what makes HIDE an essential booking for Roadburn. Demonstrating that heavy music doesn’t need a guitar to be crushing, HIDE are dragging ‘heaviness’, kicking and screaming, in their wake.
Emma commented: “I’m very happy to announce HIDE as the first band in my curation. No one else is touching on all the subjects that really twist the blade in my being the way they can. Their work is brutal, visceral, painful and poignant in all ways. From their videos, albums, lyrics, uniquely sourced samples and undeniably intense live performance- HIDE not only transcend – they absolutely destroy.”

JAMES KENT’S CURATED EVENT

BOY HARSHER

Boy Harsher’s minimal synths, beats and fuzzed up vocals have been in our eyeline for a while now – and we’re thrilled that our intentions line up with those of our curator.

He comments: “Boy Harsher brings a kind of visceral darkness through their minimal electronic beats that is extremely fascinating. The whispering-like vocals mixed with detuned-synths and old drum machines always felt to me like an invitation to a forbidden yet alluring world.”

HEALTH

HEALTH has plenty of sharp edges; jagged, pixelated, and raw. The complex layers of synths and samples coagulate into a hypnotic, pulsating mass – perfect for those who find comfort in the claustrophobic confines of noise and synthwave.

James comments: “Health are amongst my favorite acts out there at the moment. Their unique sound blending heavy electronics, pop vocals and aggressive noise will make for a perfect addition to the festival.”

SHE PAST AWAY

As part of James Kent’s curation for Roadburn 2020, we are thrilled to announce that modern Turkish darkwave legends She Past Away will be joining us to share this year’s Disko Anksiyete in its entirety. Over the course of their prior albums, the band built a strong identity rooted in genre classics yet carving its own path rather than merely following in the same well trodden gothic footsteps.

Also announced…

DOOL

As the band gear up for the release of their as-yet-unnamed second album, we’re thrilled to announce that Dool will be premiering their new material at Roadburn next year. We may have to wait a little longer for the juicy details of the release, but much like it was in 2016 when they first debuted at Roadburn, our faith in them delivering the goods is unwavering.

BADA

BADA is another vessel for the Gothenburg-based musicians Anna Von Hausswolff, David Sabel, Gianluca Grasselli, Filip Leyman and Hannes Nilsson (some of whom also perform as part of Anna Von Hausswolff’s solo project) to channel their creativity.
BADA’s output is a cinematic drone – sliced through with abrasive noise passages and ominous darkness. Fans of Dead Magic might have to adjust their receivers to be able to detect the Anna they’re most familiar with, but through the layers of static something special will still shine through.

ACID ROOSTER

Though Acid Rooster have flown their freak flag high for many moons, the band only released their impressive S/T debut very recently. And not to exaggerate — Acid Rooster is one of the best contemporary psych records around, hence inviting them for Roadburn 2020.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Tickets to Roadburn 2020 will go on sale on Tuesday, September 24. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, and the return of Julie Christmas.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1081424195382564/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Acid Rooster, Acid Rooster (2019)

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Roadburn 2019: LOOP, Sumac, Crippled Black Phoenix, Sherpa and More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

A return appearance from Crippled Black Phoenix seemed like asking a lot. A return appearance from LOOP seemed unrealistic. A complete showcase from Exile on Mainstream? Well now that’s just silly. But silly’s how it goes for Roadburn, which in 2019 will apparently continue to exist on a plane all its own, much to the general betterment of humanity. I’ll happily take the chance to see Emma Ruth Rundle and Sherpa and to get exposed to Cave, who sound so much up my alley that I’m kind of embarrassed I’ve never heard them before. Plus underrated sludgesters Treedeon and you know, Sumac, because Aaron Turner hasn’t curated a Roadburn yet and we might as well build up to that seeming inevitability with an unofficial kind of residency, and Young Widows and enough others that I forgot what the point of this sentence was when I started out and it doesn’t even matter because the lineup is so staggeringly incredible.

Fuck it. Dive in:

loop roadburn 2019

More additions for Roadburn 2019, including curated acts; day tickets on sale in December

TOMAS LINDBERG chooses LOOP and SLÆGT for his curated event
SUMAC to perform
YOUNG WIDOWS to play Old Wounds in full
Return performances for CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX and EMMA RUTH RUNDLE

TOMAS LINDBERG’S THE BURNING DARKNESS

LOOP
LOOP are no strangers to Roadburn – they headlined the 2014 edition of the festival. The psych titans split in 1991, reforming in 2013 and cementing themselves as legends of the scene – and amongst other activities, brought their glorious technicolour to the Roadburn stage. We’re thrilled to welcome them back for a special, one off show as part of Tomas Lindberg’s curated event, The Burning Darkness.
Lindberg comments: “I expect to see you all in the front row for this one. I have goosebumps already.”

SLÆGT
As the frontman for At The Gates, we know Tomas is something of an extreme metal connoisseur. He’s flexing that muscle with his latest addition to the line up, which comes in the shape of SLÆGT. Tomas explains:
“When I think of heavy metal, there is a certain feeling I am after. A special haunting, emotional impact that I’m seeking. I will always be super excited when I get that same feeling that was there when I first got into underground metal. SLÆGT is one of those rare examples.”

SUMAC
Aaron Turner is not a man who likes to sit still. When he realised that he would technically have a day off at Roadburn, his brain started to click and whirr. And soon enough we had SUMAC on the bill.

When Love In Shadow landed in September, it was a swift reminder not to assume you know all there is to know about a band. Turner has promised us something special at Roadburn: a titillating promise. But we can’t help but feel that any SUMAC experience is going to be a special SUMAC experience – and surely better than a day off.

YOUNG WIDOWS
If it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, it doesn’t discount the fact that the occasional tease of a live show can still be pure agony, especially when Europe has historically been somewhat starved of YOUNG WIDOWS. So it’s with something akin to relief mixed with pure joy that we announce YOUNG WIDOWS’ performance at Roadburn 2019. For fans of their 2008 release, Old Wounds, the treat is two-fold; the band will be playing the album in full for us!

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX
Following their mind-warping set on Roadburn’s main stage in 2017, we welcome back the progressive darkness of CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX. In the band’s decade and a half career, they have released an incredible ten studio records, the latest of which Great Escape is a powerful, treacherous exploration into a the bleakest realms of Justin Greaves’ psyche. A CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX performance is the sound of a band following their own path, their own rules, for their own enjoyment. And ours.

CAVE
Channeling Krautrock staples like Can and Neu! with Miles Davis/Funkadelic style funk, CAVE offers an instrumental galaxy of hypnotic jams. It’s the band’s groove-heavy – yet loose – approach which gives way to an intricate backdrop for these spontaneous explorations; from fuzzy leads to free jazz fusion, from prog to psychedelic library music, from subtle funk to South American delights.

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE
Emma Ruth Rundle made such a mark on Roadburn 2017, we’re overjoyed to have her back for 2019 – and we expect the results to be just as powerful and mesmerising as the first time around.
Her first solo performance at the festival was a pivotal moment for us. Not only did it mark a definitive turning point for the artistic scope of the festival, it was also the moment that we adopted Emma as one of our own. A kindred spirit, a sonic explorer, a soul sister.

LINGUA IGNOTA
Boldly straddling the classical music world and the often hellish soundscapes of harsh noise, LINGUA IGNOTA plucks what she wants from both – and elsewhere – to form a towering inferno of raging fury, manifesting as sonic indignation. The challenge of a visceral and abrasive show is one that we relish. If you’re looking for an experience, something that that burrows into your consciousness and niggles at you for months to come, sign up now. LINGUA IGNOTA will deliver a masterclass.

EXILE ON MAINSTREAM X ROADBURN
EXILE ON MAINSTREAM Records is celebrating twenty years of existence with us at Roadburn 2019. The iconic label has released almost 90 records over the past two decades.The label’s history is somewhat entwined with our own; in fact they celebrated their 15th birthday with us too! We guess we make good cake!
The label will commandeer the Hall of Fame venue on Saturday, 13 April and the following bands will perform:
OSTINATO
NOISEPICKER
CONNY OCHS
TREEDEON
BELLROPE
CONFUSION MASTER

ALSO CONFIRMED:
FEAR FALLS BURNING will see Dirk Serries performing an exercise in minimalism
JAYE JAYLE will reprise their 2017 performance – in the more spacious Green Room
OVTRENOIR will deliver a dose of sludgy post-metal
SHERPA will perform Tigris & Euphrates in full
SOFT KILL will perform both Savior and Heresy in full
THROANE offer a cold and violent take on modern black metal
TREHA SEKTORI will bring an innovative and immersive take on dark ambient sound

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

Click here for more ticketing information.

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http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2019 November announcement video

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