Space Deer Release Debut Album The Forest

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

space deer

Hard-edged heavy rock and roll would seem to be the order of the day from Madrid-based outfit Space Deer, and the band’s debut album, The Forest, has plenty of it to offer. Issued through Nooirax, Bandera Records, Gato Encerrado and Violence in the Veins — no shortage of support, then — the record has a familiar foundation in the straight-ahead and desert-hued branch of heavy, which of course makes its association with a forest an all the more interesting prospect. What do they do with that? Mostly they rock and roll, and that’s just fine.

They’re not reinventing the style or anything, but they’re putting out an album during a pandemic and they sound like they have a good idea of what they want to sound like as a band. To be perfectly honest, asking anything more of them just seems like a prick move. So I won’t.

Album’s out now and streaming at the bottom of this post. Nooirax sent the following down the PR wire:

space deer the forest

Space Deer releases their first LP “The Forest”

The young stoner rock trio from Madrid (Spain) presents their debut album, showcasing a fresh and dynamic approach

Following the first two self-edited EPs, Space Deer released on September 18 their first LP ‘The Forest’, supported by the labels Nooirax Producciones, Bandera Records, Gato Encerrado and Violence In The Veins.

Andrés, Carlos and Robert make sure to let us know what moves them: dirty desert rock. Moreover, while exploring this genre, they are willing to display their ability to create some direct and addictive cuts. After performing most of Madrid’s greatest venues, they feel excited to expand their numerous sound far beyond their known limits and fill with undergrowth every possible place.

The Forest contains 9 tracks, each of which has their own personality: some feel direct and energizing, whilst others remain intimate and ambient. This is an album full of shades and nuances, dense riffs and catchy melodies, often led by the vocals of the three members of the band. This tasty blend will for sure catch anyone’s attention if they gravitate towards bands like Kyuss, Red Fang or Sasquatch.

Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Carlos Muñoz, the own bassist of the band, in Space Deer’s rehearsal space in Parla, Madrid.

The artwork has been created by Tumulus Design and the limited purple-transparent vinyl can be acquired via the band’s Bandcamp, the labels that supported the album and various vinyl-specialised record stores.

Furthermore, the artist Buba Viedma has designed the T-shirt that celebrates the releasing of this very first album.

Hopefully very soon they will be able to present their record in a live situation, as this eclectic catalogue of songs deserves.

Space Deer, The Forest (2020)

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Abstracción Premiere “Asinergia” Video from Self-Titled Debut out May 29

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 30th, 2020 by JJ Koczan


With their seven members spread throughout three different cities in Spain, flute-laden progressive psych rockers Abstracción seem to be out to prove that something doesn’t necessarily have to be still or staid to be peaceful. Their self-titled debut was originally set to issue on April 3 but has been pushed to May 29 owing to the inevitable manufacturing delays, and it’s only understandable that, however serene a song like “Asinergia” — the visualizer/video for which is premiering below — might come across, they’re getting somewhat restless. There’s only so much sitting-on-hands one can do while waiting for something to happen.

I don’t mind admitting “Asinergia” is my first exposure to Abstracción, who put the vocals of Catalina Requena at the forefront of their melodicism, carrying across a human presence amid what would feel like willfully nature-minded surroundings, accordingly organic in their production style. Casual swirls of guitar and keys, the abstraccion self-titledflute and backing percussion all add to the fluidity of the track as a whole, while Requena‘s voice brings a folkish element that calls to mind the early interplay between folk and prog stylistically, as, say, British folk grew more complex at the same time heavy rock was looking to express something more mature as well. Abstracción are in an in-between place when it comes to style, but they skillfully draw from one side or another as need be in “Asinergia,” and — in a fashion that has me very much wanting to hear the rest of their self-titled — they turn an otherwise unassuming four-and-a-half-minute track into a mood-altering journey that finds cohesion from what could just as easily be opposing elements.

Such unity of purpose is especially noteworthy given that Abstracción is their first offering, but crazier things have certainly happened than a band coming out of the gate knowing what they want to sound like. Still, “Asinergia”‘s effect on mood is no less striking than the colors of the Tumulus Design cover art for the record, once again calling to mind the natural world, the world beyond and maybe even the eyes that we as human beings use to see both of them inside and outside of ourselves. For a band who thus far eschew the tradition of promotional photography — there are a couple in-studio shots on their social medias, but nothing of the lot of them; what even is a band that doesn’t cross their arms in front of a brick wall, I ask you (sarcastically)? — they have no trouble putting an image in the mind’s eye.

Preorder info for Abstracción and more follows, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Abstracción, “Asinergia” official video premiere

We continue to fight the elements that stand in the way to make the release of our debut a memorable event. And we’re getting closer to getting it!

Next week we will dive back into the abstract maelstrom to continue knowing its intricacies. This will be a raid that can be perceived through the sense of ear, and sight.

Official video of Asinergia, song belonging to the debut of Abstracción. Release Date: May 29, 2020.
Pre-order on Bandcamp:

Music by Luis Monge, lyrics Catalina Requena and arrangement by Abstracción.
Recorded, produced and mixed by Pablo Bermejo at the studio 20.000 Leguas de Montilla (Córdoba).
Mastered by Ernesto Santana.

Video directed and designed by Tumulus Design:

Abstracción are:
Catalina Requena: vocals
Luis Monge: electric guitar
José Gálvez: sitar, acoustic guitar and percussion
Pablo Bermejo: Hammond, Farfisa and Fender Rhodes
Pablo Abarca: concert flute
Rafa “Chico Jr.” Paredes: bass
Paco García: drums and percussion

Abstracción on Thee Facebooks

Abstracción on Instagram

Abstracción on Bandcamp

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Kristonfest 2020 Canceled

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Can anyone really blame them? Of course not. With governments across Europe and elsewhere telling people to stay at home, shelter-in-place and other foreboding-sounding shit as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Madrid’s Kristonfest 2020 has pulled the plug on what was to be a killer lineup with Swans and Masters of Reality and C.O.C. at the top of a righteous one-day bill with Brant BjorkMaidaVale and Norman Westberg rounding out. So it goes with just about everything. They’ve got ticket refunds going if you bought, but I think this is pretty indicative of the way things are happening right now, and as I’ve tried to keep up with the fest over the last few years, it’s a bummer to see. Not the first, won’t be the last. They’re smart to cancel outright rather than try to reschedule for the Fall, because who the hell knows what the situation will be in the Fall?

Here’s their statement, pulled from Thee Facebooks:

kristonfest 2020 poster

Kristonfest is still a project made with passion rather than with resources, with enthusiasm and crazy ideas rather than with head, that’s why this is a statement that hurts to write, but given the serious health situation we are suffering and the pessimistic forecasts that are being explaining for the coming weeks, we have no choice but to inform you that Kristonfest 2020 is cancelled.

We want to make it clear that this edition is not postponed, but is cancelled due to the impossibility of being able to match the artists on the same date in the coming months. That is why we open the return period of 30 days so that you can recover the money from your tickets through the Wegow platform. Those of you who bought your tickets at Escridiscos must have a little patience since, due to the State of Alarm decreed by the Government, record stores are not allowed to open within a minimum period of fifteen days.

Now is the time to assimilate and reflect on it, but also to continue supporting Swans, Masters Of Reality – Official, Corrosion Of Conformity, Brant Bjork, MaidaVale and Norman Westberg, who are losing a lot of money with all the cancellations that are taking place all over the world, as they depend on the concerts to keep going. That is why we ask that, as far as possible, you support them by purchasing their music and merchandising through their websites and social networks.

The good news is that this hard blow has not diminished our desire to continue working on line-ups at the height of the festival’s history. For this reason and starting today we are working on the edition of 2021, from which we hope to give you good news in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, take care of each other, follow the prompts of the authorities and act with responsibility and common sense. We will come out of this nightmare together and reinforced.

Brant Bjork, “Jungle in the Sound”

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Sun of the Dying Release The Earth is Silent Vinyl

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

It’s winter and there’s snow on the ground, which means only two things: I want to leave the house even less than usual and it’s time for death-doom. Madrid-based Sun of the Dying have plenty of the keyboard-orchestral morose vibes and mournful wails that my soul needs this time of year, and their new album, The Earth is Silent, is newly issued through Art of Propaganda. The PR wire mentions Swallow the Sun as a reference point amid the classics of the style, and yeah, I can hear that in some of the more melodic moments of “A Dying Light,” but when that deathliness hits in Eduardo Guilló‘s growls, one almost can’t help but raise a claw in salute. I guess I missed out on their 2017 debut, The Roar of the Furious Sea, when that came out — hi, I suck at this, thanks — but I’m glad to be getting caught up now.

And by glad, I mean miserable.

You find solace where you can:

sun of the dying the earth is silent

Spain’s quickly rising death/doom band SUN OF THE DYING has released their second album, The Earth Is Silent, with AOP Records. Fans can check out the record that’s storming the genre now!

AOP Records (EU-Store)
AOP Records (US-Store)

SUN OF THE DYING crafts a style of death and doom with its roots drawing influence from early acts like MY DYING BRIDE, PARADISE LOST and ANATHEMA, and adding a more modern sound inspired by the likes of SHAPE OF DESPAIR, AHAB and SWALLOW THE SUN.

SUN OF THE DYING began in 2013 as a side project between Casuso and Lavín from their main bands (APOCYNTHION and CRYSTALMOORS). In April of 2017, the band released their debut record, “The Roar of the Furious Sea,” with the mexican label Throats Productions, and after which they performed shows with OCELON, ADE, TRONO DE SANGRE, MALAMMAR and ATREXIAL and WOMB.

Now the SUN OF THE DYING returns with a breathtaking and ferocious follow up, The Earth Is Silent; a bleak and beautifully chaotic record of some of the best death/doom to come out of Spain in years.

The Earth Is Silent Track Listing:
The Earth Is Silent
A Dying Light
A Cold Unnamed Fear
When The Morning Came
White Skies and Grey Lands

Eduardo Guilló – vocals
Casuso – guitars
Roberto Rayo – guitars
José Yuste – bass
Diego Weser – drums
David Muñoz – keyboards and backing vocals

Sun of the Dying, The Earth is Silent (2019)

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Kristonfest 2020 Adds Masters of Reality, Brant Bjork and MaidaVale to Complete Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kristonfest 2020 logo

As will happen from time to time, the announcement info below was run through a major tech company’s translation matrix, so take the actual verbiage with a figurative grain of salt. The important thing to note is that there are five bands booked for Madrid’s Kristonfest 2020 all-dayer next May and not a clunker in the bunch. Truth. I haven’t seen Masters of Reality — something I’d hope to correct sooner or later — but I’ve seen the other four and they’re all awesome. MaidaVale, who’ll open the show, bring classic rock vibes straight out of tomorrow, and of course you don’t at all need me to extol the many virtues of Brant Bjork or C.O.C., and probably not Swans either, as I’m sure you’ve already heard their latest record and know it’s ridiculously good.

And if you’re still on the fence, I have the utmost faith Masters of Reality will be astounding. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a new record from them around Springtime next year. Doing this and Desertfests means perhaps a tour, and a tour is rare enough to make me think a full-length is coming. Fingers crossed.

Here’s that info:

kristonfest 2020 poster

Kristonfest 2020 – May 9 – Madrid

Masters of reality (USA), Brant Bjork & Band (USA) and maidavale (Sweden) Join Swans (USA) and corrosion of conformity (USA) to complete the poster of the kristonfest 2020. Five Bands with a very marked style That will bring diversity and excellence to a new edition in the La Riviera room in Madrid.

The tickets, which are already available through the website of the festival and in Escridiscos, will not vary their price, staying in the 45 € + Distribution Costs announced initially.

Formed in 1981 and led by legendary producer Chris Goss, Masters of reality is a very important band in the history of rock, as it clearly influenced many bands that were springing up in the state of California at the end of the ‘ 80 And principles of the ’90s, coming to create a musical movement with its own name. So much so that bands like kyuss, fu manchu, sleep, Nebula, yawning man, fatso jetson, etc… have openly declared their admiration for masters of reality.

The different stages of masters of reality have counted with relevant musicians, where ginger baker is featured (Cream, hawkwind, p.i.l.), Josh Homme (Kyuss, Queens of the stone age), Mark Lanegan (screaming trees), Dave catching (Queens of The Stone Age, Eagles of death metal, Mondo Generator, etc…. and where the combination of experimenting with hard-Rockers riffs and their tastes for the progressive rock of the ‘ 70 s let their hobby be revealed by King Crimson and Black Sabbath,… so much so the band took its name from the album that these last published in 1971, “Masters of reality”.

The letters of Chris Goss, who is considered the godfather of the whole desert-rock movement, are like reading the Bible of everything that surrounded the birth and development of a scene that was never supported by the great record labels, but that has managed to keep Live thanks to the passion of your followers.

The fourth confirmation is that of Brant Bjork & band, key name of the stoner-rock scene for being the drummer of the legendary kyuss and who has recently reissued one of his best albums, “Jalamanta” (1999). If To this we add that the great Sean Wheeler is part of the band is a news that makes us very excited, since Sean is a key piece of the desert scene for being the leader of throw rag and have collaborated in many projects next to Jesse Hughes, Josh Homme, Chris Goss, Mark Lanegan, etc….

The last confirmation is that of the Swedish MaidaVale, which shines like few in the skies of psychedelia-Rock and heavy-Blues of the last decade. Without a doubt, Mathilda Roth (voice), Sofia Ström (Guitar), Linn Jóhannesson (Bass) and Johanna Hansson (Drums) drink from the influences they left for history the decade of the ‘ 60 s, contributing to their repertoire A more direct, atmospheric and forceful sound.

His passage through festivals such as Sweden rock, desertfest, freak valley and red smoke festival has helped them to build the reputation of live, soulful and charismatic band, so get ready to be captivated by this quartet that has a lot to say.

Brant Bjork, Live at Freak Valley 2019

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Kristonfest 2019 Completes Lineup: The Hellacopters, Earthless, Dozer and Mondo Generator Added

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

kristonfest 2019 logo

I can only be honest with you — I have no fucking idea why Kristonfest was like, ‘Hey, we’ll put an Obelisk logo on our poster.’ Anyone with the kind of pull to put together a festival with the likes of EarthlessThe HellacoptersDozerKadavar, Mondo GeneratorChurch of the Cosmic SkullArabrot and Turbowolf needs me like they need a hole in the head. It’s there, the round one next to the memento mori skull at the bottom, and I’m proud as hell of it. But yeah, I don’t deserve that. Here’s a festival in Madrid that will have at least six years of history behind it by the time it comes around in May, and I’m some schlub sitting at my laptop. Something there doesn’t make sense. I’m honored, as the robot said: Does not compute.

Hey, thanks to Kristonfest 2019 for letting me be involved in the small way that I am. I was touched at the sentiment before, but now that the lineup is complete, that’s even more the case. If you can make it to Madrid, you should do that. I mean, you should do that anyway because traveling is amazing, but all the more so when an event of this caliber is involved. Thank you. And thank you for reading, because I’ll tell you outright the only reason anyone gives a shit about this site is because you read it. You will not find me deluding myself that it’s my charming personality and copious wordsmithery making the difference. It’s you. So thanks.

Here’s the final lineup announcement:

kristonfest 2019 poster

Kristonfest 2019



For this 2019, the main novelty is that the next edition will be composed of 2 days: A first day framed in a Warm Up Party or party presentation in the Caracol Room and a second day in the usual La Riviera, both in Madrid.

The Hellacopters, Earthless, Dozer and Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator complete the poster of the next Kristonfest 2019, joining KADAVAR, Turbowolf, Church of the Cosmic Skull And Arabrot.

Tickets per day and bonuses now available:

Dozer, “Empire’s End” official video

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Kristonfest 2019 Tickets on Sale; Kadavar, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Arabrot and Turbowolf to Play

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Looks like good times ahead. I’ve been asked if I’d like to be a media sponsor for Kristonfest 2019 and my answer was pretty much, “duh yes.” I framed it nicer than that, but that was the gist of it. The festival will be held in Madrid on May 10 (a pre-show) and May 11 (the fest proper) and so far four bands have been announced: KadavarArabrotTurbowolf and Church of the Cosmic Skull, giving an immediate sense of variety in underground heavy from the ultra-harmonies of the latter UK outfit to the mega-hooks of the former to Arabrot‘s noise assault and Turbowolf‘s classic-styled hard rock. Much to dig for just being four acts so far, but I have it on good authority more killer stuff is to be announced, so keep an eye out.

The info below was run through a major internet company’s translation matrix, so keep that in mind as you peruse, but I think the point gets across. Tickets are on sale now:

kristonfest 2019 poster

Kristonfest 2019



For this 2019, the main novelty is that the next edition will be composed of 2 days: A first day framed in a Warm Up Party or party presentation in the Caracol Room and a second day in the usual La Riviera, both in Madrid.

Having said that, the eighth edition of the Kristonfest will be held on May 10 and 11, 2019 and as the first round of confirmations we are proud to present the KADAVAR Germans, who in a short time have become the spearhead of a new generation of artists who have revived and refreshed the most classic sounds of legends like Black Sabbath or Pentagram, adding rhythms more typical of psychedelia or stoner-rock.

Another great confirmation is the TURBOWOLF, English quartet that burst with great force with the edition of its first disc in 2011 and that dragged a debt after having recorded 3 discs and still not to come to Madrid to present it. The wait has been long but we are sure it will be worth it!

In similar circumstances we find CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL, a kind of hippie commune formed by 7 musicians reminiscent of the Electric Light Orchestra, Deep Purple or Fleetwood Mac and that in the European scene is one of the sensations of the moment, Mission fulfilled! It will be the first time they have performed in Spain and we are sure that their show will be one of the highlights of Kristonfest 2019.

To close this first round of confirmations, we are especially excited to announce ARABROT, one of the successful bands of the past Roadburn and that will delight us with their vision of the darker side of rock, evoking the icy landscapes of their native Norway and reminding us of brushstrokes of artists that we admire a lot like Wovenhand, Neurosis or Melvins to name a few.


Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Evil in Your Eye” official video

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VOR Premiere Video for “Cudgel”; Depravador out May 19

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


Framed by images of roaches, needles, faceless masks and other visually striking and abrasive imagery, the new video from Spanish noise-slinging sludge duo VOR tells a good portion of the tale. On May 19, the Madrid-based outfit will issue Depravador through a host of involved labels, including Third I Rex, Noizeland Records, Noorirax Producciones, Odio Sonoro, Sacramento Records, Base Record Production and Fuzz T-Shirts, the latter two of which I’ll confess I’m not even sure if they are record labels, but it’s yet more companies standing behind the band’s work and it goes to prove the overarching point that this is material and this is a band that a lot of people really believe in and are willing to support.

The bass/drum filth-revelry of thevor depravador track “Cudgel,” which is the single for which the new video has been put together, justifies that, I think. It’s a quick blast of ’90s-style sludge intensity, reminiscent maybe of Buzzov*en or Eyehategod in some of their especially biting moments, but the rawness they conjure as only being a two-piece becomes part of the aesthetic in a fascinating way, feeding into the overarching rawness of their approach and making the whole affair even meaner than it started out. I haven’t heard the full record yet — so many cooks in the kitchen on a release, sometimes these things are hard to come by — but once again, it’s easy to understand why people would believe in what VOR are up to stylistically, taking the classic tenets of mud-in-your-eye sludge and bringing something of their own to it. One way or another, it’s noisy as all hell.

My go-to word for this kind of sludge always seems to be “nasty,” and the crust that outlines “Cudgel” much the same way those needles, roaches, etc. frame the video, certainly meets that standard. Depravador, one more time, lands May 19, and it’s with the permission of Third I Rex that I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere of the clip that you’ll find below, with more background beneath, courtesy of the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

VOR, “Cudgel” official video premiere

The Spanish noisemongers VOR bring to the table one of the most corrosive releases of the year. This bass and drum duo is no joke! Coming from projects such as Lazharus, Warchetype, Moho, Cuzo, The Eyes Y and more levels of filth, these guys have got something you should really take a listen to.

Their new album “Depravador” comes after another killer release, the band’s debut album “Tu Clave Es Jonàs”, pressed early in 2017 by another bunch of labels, including some of those collaborating for this new LP. Seven tracks of trippy, abrasive, odd, heavy sludge which, funneled through a punk attitude, is able to take off your face like thick tar on naked skin.

An absolute must listen to for all of the uncompromised sludge supporters, fuzzy doom sounds lovers, punk-fueled hatred preachers, and all of those people out there who wanna listen to something new after tons of boring late releases! “Depravador” will be out on May 19th!

Recorded at La Cortina Roja in 2017.
Mastered at Kadifornia Mastering in 2018.
Front cover art by Calabaza Cosmica.
Photo by Sergio Albert Aviles.

VOR is:
Iván: bass, noise & shrieks
Edu: drums & noise
Anxela (Bala): guest vocals in “Dark Fraga”

VOR on Thee Facebooks

VOR on Bandcamp

VOR on Tumblr

Third I Rex on Thee Facebooks

Third I Rex on Bandcamp

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