Alunah to Reissue Amber & Gold on Majestic Mountain Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

UK doom-rocker four-piece Alunah recently reissued their 2018 Amber & Gold EP (review here) on CD through Solitude Productions, and word has come of Majestic Mountain Records following up with a corresponding vinyl issue due out at the end of next month. Preorders soon, so hold your doomly horses. This was of course the release that saw the band introduce Siân Greenaway on vocals, her striking first impression made across three originals and a cover of Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game” that has become something of a landmark for this version of Alunah, who have also already been confirmed for Desertfest London 2022.

Way back in 2019 — which somehow seems longer ago than 2018; go figure — Alunah offered up Violet Hour (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds as their full-length answer to Amber & Gold, and you’ll find both EP and LP streaming at the bottom of this post, because, well, one likes to be thorough. And one likes Alunah. So there.

One, in this case, is me. If that wasn’t clear.

Okay. Good talk. Here’s PR wire:

Alunah

The Majestic Mountain Newswire is at it again with a truly scintillating treat for you all!

It is our great pleasure to announce a Majestic Mountain Records re-issue of Alunah’s stunning, long sold out 2018 EP, ‘Amber & Gold.’

The re-release will be very limited to 300 copies in two editions of 150 copies each. The pre-order will take place in August with details soon to come- the test pressing is already approved on this so vinyl will be shipping at the end of the month!

‘Amber & Gold’ is a beautifully captivating, four track EP full of spellbinding, impactful lyricism and melancholic tension communicated by vocalist Siân Greenway who gives an incredibly soulful and commanding, yet fluidly sensual performance. Her vocals ring ethereally forward, crystal clear and melodically mesmerizing through a richly woven and hook laden tapestry of primal, crunchy, chugging riff mastery, thick, burly bass tones and thundering drums. This ep is a treasure trove of highly emotive and groove laden doom sauce poured on thick and in the highest quality with a cavernous grandiosity that almost sounds live from the heart of some ancient druidess’s temple and is capped off by a brooding cover of the classic track “Wicked Game” by the one and only Chris Isaak.

Yes, you know the one.

Keep an eye out for more info about the presale to come as this release without question will not stick around long once it hits the ground in August.

Amber & Gold CD edition: https://solitude-prod.com/releases/solitude-productions/alunah-amber-and-gold/
https://alunah.uk/

Alunah is:
Siân Greenaway – Vocals
Dean Ashton – Guitar
Daniel Burchmore – Bass
Jake Mason – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/alunah.doom
http://twitter.com/#!/alunah_doom
http://alunah.bandcamp.com
http://www.alunah.co.uk
http://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
http://facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords
http://instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords

Alunah, Amber & Gold (2018)

Alunah, Violet Hour (2019)

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Häxmästaren to Release Sol i Exil LP on Majestic Mountain Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Called it. Sweden’s Häxmästaren posted the photo below — credit to Ida Ivarsson — on June 17 and said, “We have a lot of fun things coming up this summer” on Facebook and you know what my comment was? “This looks like a band that got signed.”

So yeah. Called it.

Kudos to the five-piece on their freshly-inked deal to release their second full-length, earlier 2021’s Sol i Exil (review here), through Majestic Mountain Records, which will have it out on vinyl next month already. Given pressing plant delays and all the rest, that tells me this has actually been in the works probably for a while and kept under wraps, which is fair enough, but only good news since the official LP version won’t lag too far behind the digital. Häxmästaren have decent momentum on their side for a band who didn’t just spend three months on tour, so all the better to keep things moving forward.

No preorder link yet, but info came down the PR wire:

Haxmastaren

Hear ye! Hear Ye! The Majestic Newswire is on fire and we bring to you an announcement of massively heavy proportions!

HÄXMÄSTAREN Gothenburg’s stoner/doom/sludge behemoths join Majestic Mountain Records for the full Majestic treatment on the vinyl release of their explosive sophomore album ‘Sol I Exil’! The test pressing has already been approved and the album will be available in August!

Häxmastaren had the following to say about joining the Majestic Mountain Crew:

“Häxmästaren is insanely proud and excited to be a part of the wondrous Majestic Mountain Family. With such an amazing roster, nothing short of magic is bound to happen! Follow the smoke to the riff filled lands!”

Häxmästaren set the month of March on fire with the digital release of Sol I Exil, an album that can only be described as a flaming sledgehammer of stoner doom and blackened sludge, banging hard with breakneck riffage, searing solos and a swinging groove that traverses the line between old school doom and a punishing death metal attack on the senses. An absolutely relentless release with surging energy and a heavy metal sensibility that always circles back to deep, sludgy doom roots and a plethora of vocal approaches ranging from guttural growls to the hallowed howls of the damned and we’re given the full dazzle with even a bit of their Swedish mother tongue on the title track and you’ll find no shortage of raucous, rumbling basslines, thunderous percussion, and ferocious guitars cleverly melodied into a fast and loose display of heavily brooding power.

Gaining rave reviews, Häxmästaren has been on Majestic’s radar for a long while now, and with this stellar release the move was made and the deal was struck to give Sol I Exil the full Majestic vinyl release treatment and we are thrilled to welcome Häxmästaren to the Majestic Mountain Crew!

Stay tuned for more information about this killer release!

https://facebook.com/Haxmastaren/
https://www.instagram.com/haxmastarentheband/
https://haxmastaren.bandcamp.com/
http://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
http://facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords
http://instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords

Häxmästaren, Sol i Exil (2021)

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Sleep Moscow Premiere “Of the Sun” Video; Album out July 30

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

sleep moscow

Sweden’s Sleep Moscow will release their sophomore full-length, Of the Sun, on July 30 through Majestic Mountain Records. It is the Norrköping-based outfit’s first outing for the label and follows 2018’s A Wounded Moon — a short LP, if an LP, at 23 minutes — as a richly textured, deeply melancholic and semi-conceptual work that plays out across nine tracks and 38 minutes. A strong current of there-and-away runs throughout the songs — which makes it somewhat ironic that pieces like “Light Will Meet Us,” “Gift of Life,” “Of the Sun” (video premiering below) and the piano-and-string-inclusive “Alone,” which also features Stina Tosteby on guest vocals, are so memorable — fostered both in the album’s structure that opens with the wistful organ/keyboard intro “Home” and makes a centerpiece of the melancholy cello piece “Memories” as if to set up a contrast between the inherent brightness in titles like “Light Will Meet Us” and “Far Beyond Gone,” “Alone,” “Facing the Clouds” and “You Are Over.” The truth of the listening experience is more complex, with the title-track for example acting as one of the saddest and most minimal stretches while also serving as a highlight performance from Arvid Hällagård, also known for his work in Pools and best known as singer for Greenleaf.

Given the interplay between synthesized and organic elements, the way keys and vocals interact and especially the level of headphone-worthy detail that Of the Sun is delivered — even compared to A Wounded Moon, it is a marked step forward in intent and execution — it isn’t entirely surprising to learn that multi-instrumentalist and apparent project spearhead Petter Kindström has experience as well as a producer. Working with Eric Nilsson and enlisting others like HällagårdTostebyAlexander Westlund and maybe more, there is a sense of overarching, big-picture composition to the procession of songs that speaks to using the studio as an instrument in addition to whatever arrangement elements might come to the fore at a given moment,sleep moscow of the sun or even how they do, as one can hear in the forward surge of tonally weighted guitar in “Light Will Meet Us,” prefaced early in the song to set up an almost subconscious recognition as it leads into the hook a short while later.

These aspects and nuances of Sleep Moscow‘s sound are thought out enough to call Of the Sun progressive and not be wrong, but the focus is more on expression than experimentation, and the narrative loneliness playing out behind the mellotrons and keyboard handclaps of “Gift of Life” and the later melodic wash of “Far Beyond Gone” — layering of Hällagård‘s voice there adding to the movement toward a still-not-overblown apex — and the more blatantly techno-infused “Facing the Clouds” is a tie-in that unites varied material and emphasizes the human presence amid otherworldly immersion. They are still songs, and effective on that level of craft, even as the album as a whole pushes further into emotive and cosmic reaches as it goes.

“Of the Sun” and “You Are Over” feel like spiritual cousins if not direct companion pieces. Quiet even among a not-loud-till-you-turn-it-up procession, the former is singularly minimal in its arrangement on the record that bears its name — derived from Solaris, a point of inspiration for Kindström, as noted below — and the latter moves from a duly cinematic vintage-feeling keyboard line that feels like krautrock via the Clockwork Orange score, but they serve as an example of how the single cuts throughout Of the Sun work to bolster each other even when not running in direct succession. That’s just as true of “Gift of Life” and “Facing the Clouds,” or for that matter “Home” and “Memories.” This produces an end result that makes for a thoroughly satisfying and intricate listening experience, whether one wants to dig into every minute shift in aesthetic or arrangement or simply let the material carry them across the LP’s span in its entirety. It’s a cliché for a reason: you can get as much out of the album as you want to put into hearing it. Of the Sun more than justifies however much effort that might be.

If you watch the video for the title-track and it’s your first exposure to the record, don’t expect it to speak for the entirety. Do take it as a cue to check out “Light Will Meet Us,” which you can also hear on the Bandcamp player near the bottom of the post.

Enjoy:

Sleep Moscow, “Of the Sun” official video premiere

Petter Kindström on “Of the Sun”:

The working title for the album was Solaris, after the 1972 soviet sci-fi movie by director Andrei Tarkovsky. When finishing the lyrics for what was to become the title-track I discovered that the meaning of ‘Solaris’ is ‘of the sun’. I thought it was very beautiful so I worked the lyrics backwards from that phrase. The singer Arvid Hällagård was going through a tough year personally and the night before recording the song I played it for him. The day after when recording it he did it in one take, which was his first and only. Arvid got very emotional while singing it and was almost shaking at the end of the song. I think you can really hear how moved he was. Since he learned the song the night before you can hear him almost hesitating like he is making the words up, just as if the character was speaking about his feelings and experiences.

The song differs from the first single ‘Light Will Meet Us’ in how it’s produced. This song is very minimalistic with only vocals and piano. I wrote it on guitar, but I always knew it was a song that would work best on piano. So, I did a basic recording and gave it to my friend Alexander Westlund who is a very talented pianist and composer. I trusted him with writing an intro and a middle section and I’m very happy with what he did. Me and Eric Nilsson tried adding some strings but everything we tried felt like it was in the way of the song. It felt detached. We kept it simple and by doing so, I’m very proud of this song.

Preorder: https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com/product/sleep-moscow-of-the-sun

Formed in 2018 as an ego-less and mood driven project, Sleep Moscow is entirely defined by the talents of Petter Kindström, Eric Nilsson and Greenleaf’s Arvid Hällagård. Based in Norrköping and now working closely alongside fellow countrymen Majestic Mountain Records, Of the Sun is a moving concept album with a story arc that spans from beginning to beyond. Like an old soviet sci-fi movie or poignant novella, it’s a measured tale of a cosmonaut departing a dying earth and leaving everything behind in a quest for something bigger.

Sleep Moscow, Of the Sun (2021)

Sleep Moscow on Facebook

Sleep Moscow on Instagram

Sleep Moscow on Bandcamp

Majestic Mountain Records webstore

Majestic Mountain Records on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records on Instagram

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Kal-El Announce Dark Majesty out Aug. 27; Stream Title-Track

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Can’t say you weren’t warned. When Norwegian riffers Kal-El signed to Majestic Mountain Records last May, that news came coupled with the announcement that the band’s next album, Dark Majesty, would be out this year. Kudos to the band on keeping their promises. The first single from the record is its title-track and it’s an eight-minute lumbering beast of tonal largesse and spaciousness, vocals echoing likewise cosmic and cavernous over readily familiar nod that’s Sabbath in its root but reaching outward in its own direction as the band has developed over their now-four long-players.

Preorders, of course, are up.

The video for “Dark Majesty” brings classic sci-fi alien invasion and that’s a lot of fun, but the highlight is the song itself, which is impeccably mixed and hooky in kind. You’ll find it streaming at the bottom of this post.

Info came from Majestic Mountain:

kal-el

KAL-EL – Dark Majesty – Aug. 27, 2021

Originally formed in 2012, Kal-El’s star has been firmly in the ascension since the release of three highly sought-after albums; Pakal(2012), Astrodoomeda(2017) and 2020’s critically acclaimed, Witches of Mars.

Signed to Sweden’s rising underground rock institution, Majestic Mountain Records, the Norwegian fuzz-finders are finally poised to release their heaviest and most complex record to date this August with the scheduled arrival of new album, Dark Majesty.

“It’s been quite a journey to get to this point,” explains Kal-El’s vocalist, Captain. “We’ve listened to the record fully mastered; we’ve seen the artwork come together, now all we want is for the fans to sink their teeth into it. We’re proud oft his record. This is something we’ve forged from interstellar witchcraft and it’s ready to collect your souls.

”As a brace of mass-shifting singles(‘Spiral’ and‘Comêta’) have already showcased, the band’s glorious universe of sound is comprised of bass-heavy grooves, detuned guitars, and mind-warping lyrics. And with Dark Majesty we’re invited to witness the adventures of five rocketeers packing an entire career’s worth of ideas and sonic echoes into one, stellar mission. A mission to soundtrack the collision of passing worlds.

Dark Majesty, the brand-new LP by Kal-El will be released on 27th August 2021 on Majestic Mountain Records!

DARK MAJESTY SIGNED POSTER EDITION
-Gatefold. 10mm spine.
– 2xLP 180g heavyweight vinyl
– 2x Black polylined inner sleeve
– Glow-in-the-dark vinyl
– 1x band poster. SIGNED BY THE BAND!
– Slipmat with Kal-El insignia!
Strictly Limited to 50 signed posters/copies!
ONLY AVAILABLE AT MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN MAILORDER!

DARK MAJESTY REGULAR EDITION
– Gatefold. 10mm spine.
– 2xLP 180g heavyweight vinyl
– 2x Black polylined inner sleeve
– Glow-in-the-dark vinyl!
– Slipmat with Kal-El insignia!
Strictly Limited to 150 copies!
ONLY AVAILABLE AT MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN MAILORDER!

SPIRAL EDITION
– Gatefold. 10mm spine.
– 2xLP 180g heavyweight vinyl
– 2x Black polylined inner sleeve
– Black/orange swirl vinyl
Limited to 300 copies! (Will also be available thru distro)

MICA EDITION
– Gatefold. 10mm spine.
– 2xLP 180g heavyweight vinyl
– 2x Black polylined inner sleeve
– Black/red pinwheel vinyl
Limited to 300 copies!

TEST PRESSING
– 2xLP 180g heavyweight vinyl
– 2x Black polylined inner sleeve
– Hand numbered and with alternative artwork ny Negative Cryptart!
– 10 of 20 on sale.
Ships immediately if not ordered with any other pre-order.

Tracklisting:
Temple
Spiral
Mica
Hyperion
Dark Majesty
Comêta
Kala Misha
Vimana

Kal-El is:
Captain – Vocals
Josh – Guitar
Doffy – Guitar
Bjudas – Drums
Johnsen – Bass

Produced by Kal-El
Recorded in Studio Valhalla 2020
Engineered by Ragge
Mixed by mastered by Ruben Willem
Front Artwork by Steven Yoyada
Design, logo and layout by ShaneHorror

http://kal-el.no
http://kal-el.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/kalelproject
http://instagram.com/kalelband
http://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
http://facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords
http://instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords

Kal-El, “Dark Majesty” official video

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Mama Doom Premiere “Oh, Lucifer” Video; Ash Bone Skin ‘n’ Stone out July 23

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

mama doom

The hook line of Mama Doom‘s new single is, ‘I’m having a black mass and nobody came.’ Consider me hooked. I certainly know that every black mass/soirée/childhood-birthday-party I’ve ever thrown has gone unattended, by Satan or otherwise, so yeah, I can relate to “Oh, Lucifer” for sure. The Newburgh, New York-based three-piece caught my eye earlier this year when they were announces as the first US band to sign with Majestic Mountain Records, and “Oh, Lucifer” is the catchy preface to their upcoming album, Ash Bone Skin ‘n’ Stone, which the same label will release on July 23. Preorders — if you’re the type who likes to get a jump on such things — are available now.

I’m almost universally a sucker for charm, and “Oh, Lucifer” has that working in its favor to be sure, but its cultish aspects — and being a sendup of same still counts, if that’s what’s playing out across the LP; mama doom ash bone skin n stonehaven’t heard it, don’t know — still mark a turn from the more straightforward blues rocking aspects of the prior 2018 offering, From Blue to Bone. I’d have called it an EP. The PR wire calls it their debut album. Take your pick. In any case, the trio of keyboardist/vocalist D.Lolli, bassist Chuckie Rumbles and drummer Smak have been rolling for well over half a decade, and “Oh, Lucifer” would seem not to be their first foray into a darker thematic, but it’s telling that it’s also the first thing they’re putting out from the full-length to come. And as to what’s taken so long to put out a record? Shut up. Good food takes time.

As one might expect/hope, the video is a wild time, with witchy this-and-that, some stuff filmed out in the woods, and the devil showing up to make it right. You get the sense that, despite the apparent cold discussed below, they had a good time making it, and as I can’t help but say the title of the song in sitcom-mom voice — “oh, Lucifer!” followed immediately in my head by canned laughter on WPIX from a black and white box tv set — that would seem to be in the spirit of things.

More to come on the record, but for now, enjoy:

Mama Doom, “Oh, Lucifer” official video premiere

Mama Doom on “Oh, Lucifer”:

“‘Oh Lucifer’ is a love song between a woman and Lucifer. Lucifer represent one’s power to believe in themselves and not worry about what everyone else thinks or expects of them. Go against the grain and love yourself. The video concept was all from the minds of Anne and Dave from Gratuitous Productions. They wanted to create a short film about a girl summoning Lucifer who was followed by a deranged man with prejudice due to her beliefs. He torments her until something unusual happens; he mysteriously falls to his death. Lucifer arrives to save the day of course! We had two full days of shooting. Day 1 was at our rehearsal spot and Day 2 was outside in the woods above a cemetery.

“COVID didn’t really stop us filming but the snow did as we had to wait over a month to film the outside stuff because everything was covered. Once the snow eventually melted, we were set but it was freezing! Gratuitous Productions said there was so much great footage to choose from and some comical stuff. We are hoping a blooper reel eventually shows up. We will be working with them in the future since they not only did an amazing job with this video but because they have more ideas on other tracks from the album. Interestingly too, there will be a lunar eclipse on Wednesday (Blood Moon), so it really is a perfect day for the video release!”

Majestic Mountain Records – Sweden’s leading proponents of hard-hitting psych, rock and heavy metal – is thrilled to announce the release of Ash Bone Skin N Stone; the sophomore album by haunting hard-rockers, Mama Doom.

Formed in Newburgh, New York in 2016, last year the trio become the first US band signed to the Swedish, joining the ever-growing ranks of impressive acts like Grand Cadaver, Saint Karloff, and Electric Hydra.

With the release of their exceptional 2018 debut, From Blue to Bone, Mama Doom traded guitars in for keyboards and ethereal vocals, and by so drove deep grooves into the dominion below. Forming a perfect union with crushing bass and drums, their sound is at once familiar to fans of doom, but at the same time offers a strangely unfamiliar and unique tone, given its impressive component parts.

Traversing a spectrum that spans traditional blues, heavy doom, and ego-death metal and fronted by the supremely gifted High Priestess, D. Lolli, make no mistake that Mama Doom are a serious force to be reckoned with.

Ash Bone Skin N Stone will be released on Friday 23rd July 2021 and can be pre-ordered here – https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com/product/mama-doom

Track Listing
1. Batshit Crazy
2. Vodka
3. Blood Moon
4. Indigo
5. Oh, Lucifer
6. Werewolf
7. Slither
8. Cherry

Mama Doom is:
D.Lolli – Vocals & Keys
Chuckie Rumbles – Bass
Smak – Drums

Mama Doom on Facebook

Mama Doom on Instagram

Mama Doom on Bandcamp

Majestic Mountain Records webstore

Majestic Mountain Records on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records on Instagram

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Wolves in Haze to Release Chaos Reigns This Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

wolves in haze

Summer is going to be busy. Summer’s always busy — truth is every time is always busy except maybe the last couple weeks of December and the first two of January — but I have the feeling that the over the course of this month we’re going to see a lot of announcements for records due in August, September, even July, as the world collectively dares to peak out from under the Covid-19 pandemic. Between stuff that was delayed and/or pushed back to allow for a return to touring, pandemic-era projects, and those who pushed forward in spite of the reigning chaos, the field is already becoming increasingly crowded.

And hey, it just so happens Chaos Reigns is the title of the second LP by Wolves in Haze. How about that. The Gothenburg now-trio — last heard from with 2018’s single “All or Nothing” (premiered here) — have parted ways with bassist Vicke Crusner and handed those duties to drummer Kalle Lilja (also of Långfinger and Welfare Sounds Studio) at least for the time being, and signed with Majestic Mountain Records for the release, which will be in collaboration with Tvåtakt Records and out sometime this summer.

One assumes more details are forthcoming, but the basic signing announcement and some comment from the band follow here, as hoisted from social media:

wolves in haze majestic mountain records

Welcome Wolves In Haze to Majestic Mountain Records!

Gothenburg-based ‘Wolves in Haze’ will drop their new album ‘Chaos Reigns ‘ on digital, cd, and vinyl on Majestic Mountain Records later this summer. The vinyl release will be a collaboration with the kickass label Tvåtakt Records! If you’re the slightest familiar with them and their previous releases, you know that the album will be riff-filled!

“We are happy to announce that we now are a part of the Majestic Mountain Records family,” says the band. “The new album ‘Chaos Reigns’ will be out later this year in a co-release with the awesome Tvåtakt Records. Vinyl, compact disc and digital streaming stuff, yeah you know it’s gonna be amazing!”

Let there be riffs!

Give Wolves a follow!

Wolves in Haze are:
Olle Hansson – Guitar
Manne Olander – Vox & guitar
Kalle Lilja – Drums & bass

https://www.facebook.com/wolvesinhaze/
https://www.instagram.com/wolvesinhaze/
https://wolvesinhaze.bandcamp.com/
http://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com
http://facebook.com/majesticmountainrecords
http://instagram.com/majesticmountainrecords
https://www.facebook.com/tvataktrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/tvatakt_records/
https://tvataktrecords.bigcartel.com/

Wolves in Haze, “All or Nothing”

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Jointhugger Stream Reaper Season EP in Full

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

jointhugger

Norwegian trio Jointhugger release their new single-song EP, Reaper Season, tomorrow, April 2, as their first offering through Majestic Mountain Records. Too substantial with its 17:55 lone titular inclusion to be merely a placeholder, it acts nonetheless as a precursor to their second full-length to come and a bridge from 2020’s I Am No One (review here) to that next LP, yet untitled. And in foreshadowing that, it might be at its most telling in terms of the stylistic growth taking place in the band’s sound.

It is guitarist/vocalist Nico Munkvold and bassist Tore Pedersen and drummer Daniel Theobald on the recording, though the latter is since out of the band — they have a replacement, also to be announced — and from its ambient-droning first minute and into the guitar-as-piano-for-emphasis-on-the-notes buildup that ensues thereafter, it culls richer proceedings than the kinda-goofy stonerliness of their moniker might lead one who didn’t hear I Am No One to believe. Sure, there’s plenty of stoner-doom riffing on display here — it bursts out from those opening minutes in viscerally tidal fashion — but even there the vocal melodies that accompany are in spirit with more complex fare.

A short, classically bluesy solo takes hold over steady roll and “Reaper Season” flows readily toward a more weighted push that itself recedes into a transitional section of noise from which the drums pick up the tempo for a surprisingly boogie-fied shuffle. The guitar and bass tones are not to be overlooked here, since essentially they’re the same — as rumbling and deeply-weighted as ever — but Jointhugger make them move. Make them dance, and that feels particularly daring on this kind of release, where thejointhugger reaper season expectation going in might be that it’s a simple onslaught of riff after riff, or maybe even just one riff played willfully ad nauseam.

As it is, MunkvoldPedersen and Theobald stay long enough in each of Reaper Season‘s component movements to get their point across, but they’re by no means overstying their welcome, especially in that shuffle. With call and response shouts, it’s a party somehow but still thoroughly doomed, and with an abiding theme conjuring Lucifer as an embodiment of personal and expressive freedom, they would seem to have taken the message to heart in terms of blurring and transcending the lines of microgenre. I’ll take a bit of thick boogie anytime, and they wah it out to an organic-feeling conclusion as they approach the 11th minute and pull out a fuller-sounding thrust.

This too is transitional, and leading to a crash that could just a well be constructed of the two prior parts put together, thudding and lumbering but still keeping some of the airier feel of the preceding stretch, if having let go of the boogie in the process. Nothing lasts forever. They are, as it turns out, in the closing section of the song for about the last three minutes, but that stomp that finishes is affecting just the same, agonizingly slow as they tear the audio apart. Is that societal decay? The death of higher consciousness? The frickin’ plague? I don’t know, but the waves of noise that conclude Jointhugger‘s trip feel well apart from the unassuming ambience that started it. Did anyone else just hear that vulture call?

Not taking away from the forward potential Reaper Season portrays in Jointhugger‘s stylistic development, the realization of the thing itself is still what’s most striking about it. Though by no means insubstantial as a 17-plus-minute single track, it offers a depth and space that goes beyond the novel runtime and casts the band (presumably new drummer and all) as a significant presence with creative agency driving toward an identity all the more their own.

Bringer of light, you say? Works for me.

Thrilled to host the premiere of “Reaper Season” ahead of the release tomorrow. Stream it on the player below and please enjoy:

Nico Munkvold on “Reaper Season”:

Even with the coming album, Reaper Season is a stand-alone release. The track is about death, dying and Lucifer. Not necessarily literal death but maybe an ego death, death of an era, death to the concept of reckless capitalism and consumerism. We also know that most people aren’t aware that Lucifer comes from Greek Mythology and is connected with the light bringer, not wholly as ‘evil’ as was made convenient to the general religious narrative. Satan/Lucifer/The Devil acts as our inner animal or ‘beast’ as ‘they’ call it. Satan is a metaphor for the most natural part of us unhindered by what’s taught to us by society, the patriarchy and religion. Inner light, true freedom and self-reliance.

These intrinsic human traits seem to have been vilified, kept in check by a system run by fear mongers, warlords and stuffed suits on the top floor whose power is threatened by free thought and real altruism, which is why the concept of sin and moral law has been created to dumb down the populace and keep the people in herded groups to divide and conquer. The lyrics detail giving yourself over to the other side and seeing that most of what we are doing in this society is ‘wrong’ according to nature, and the Reaper is used (again) as a metaphor for the devil, Satan, the ‘dark’ side, which is actually nature, real, true freedom, not this blind ‘me, me, me’ society bullshit which sells you freedom in the form of patriarchy and consumerism. The song is written as a commentary of struggling to fit into the machine of a world and humanity that has lost its way and seems to be crumbling in front of our very eyes right now.

Preorder: https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com

Recorded and mixed by Jointhugger and Hrafn Alexander Helgason at SBC Studio with thanks to Jens Sevik.

Mastered for superlative sonic euphoria by the evil genius Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio.

Artwork by Spectral Ecstasy.

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JIRM to Reissue 2011’s Bloom on Majestic Mountain Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

jirm

Originally released on Transubstans Records and re-pressed in 2013 ahead of the band’s 2014 debut on Small Stone, Spirit Knife, 2011’s sophomore outing from the band once known as Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, Bloom, is seeing a 10th anniversary reissue through Majestic Mountain Records with preorders set to go up on Friday.

The four-piece rebranded themselves in 2018 to JIRM and issued Surge Ex Monumentis (discussed here) as a likewise departure in sound from the classic-style heavy rock and boogie they’d brought to bear on prior offerings. For what it’s worth, they pulled that shift off well, and sounded no less sure of what they wanted to be doing than they ever had. I still think of them as a young band. Funny they’re doing decade-anniversary reissues. For their second record. Ha.

The PR wire has it like this:

jirm bloom

JIRM (AKA Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus) to Celebrate Anniversary of Bloom with Reissue on Majestic Mountain Records

Majestic Mountain Records is thrilled to announce the official reissue of Bloom, the sophomore album from Swedish psych rockers JIRM… AKA Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus.

Originally formed in 2004 by close friends Micke Pettersson and Karl Apelmo, the curiously monikered Swedes were keen to implement their surrealist reimagining of heavy psych, early doors. Cementing their line-up in Stockholm circa-2007 with the addition of drummer Henke Persson and bassist Viktor Källgren, the quartet signalled the grand old return of Krautrock and psychedelic grooves to the underground scene. The culmination of which can be best heard on their 2011 album, Bloom, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Recorded by Marcus Sjoberg at Studio Skyline in the Swedes’ home city of Eskilstuna; Bloom provided listeners with a bed of raw, blues-based hard rock from which myriad sophisticated sonic structures are built. Bathing in the sunlit influence of bands like Led Zeppelin and The Allman Brothers, the album was lauded upon release and has only grown in prestige over the past decade.

“We recorded the album on old Vox AC30s and a bunch of cheap guitars, while trying to figure out amongst ourselves how delay pedals worked,” remembers Karl Apelmo. “Ten years on and we believe Marcus did a fantastic job in recording and capturing the magic in those songs and thanks to Majestic Mountain Records you’ll be able to hear it again. We’re psyched!”

And for MMR’s Marco Berg, the feeling is mutual. “We’re huge fans of this band so it’s a real honour to be able to reissue this classic rock album for anyone who was unlucky to have missed it first time around.”

Majestic Mountain Records will be releasing two exclusive editions of Bloom by JIRM (as Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus) this year with pre-orders for both imprints going live on 12th March at 19:00 CET / 13:00 EST / 10:00 PST / 18:00 BST here – https://bit.ly/3t0gPwy.

BLOOM EDITION ///
Limited to 200 – Black and green marbled 180g heavyweight vinyl, housed in full colour gatefold cover

SKIN DEEP EDITION ///
Limited to 300 – Black and green swirl 180g heavyweight vinyl, housed in full colour gatefold cover

http://www.facebook.com/JeremyIronsandtheRatgangMalibus
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http://www.jirm.se/
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Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus, Bloom (2011)

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