Quarterly Review: The Pilgrim, Polymoon, Doctors of Space, Merlock, Sun Dial, Saturn’s Husk, Diggeth, Horizon, Limousine Beach, The Crooked Whispers

Posted in Reviews on October 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Well, the weekend’s over and it’s time to wrap up the Quarterly Review. Rest assured, I wrote the following during my copious weekend leisure time, resting on the side of a heated Olympic-size pool with a beverage nearby. It definitely wasn’t four in the morning on a Sunday or anything. If I haven’t gotten the point across yet, I hope you’ve found something amid this massive swath of records that has resonated with you. By way of a cheap plug, I’ll be featuring audio from a lot of these bands on the Gimme Metal show this Friday, 5PM Eastern, if you’re up for tuning in.

Either way, thanks for reading and for being a part of the whole thing. Let’s wrap it up.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

The Pilgrim, …From the Earth to the Sky and Back

the pilgrim from the earth to the sky and back

Lest he be accused of laziness, Get a dedicated write my essay service that ensures all your specific It's never fast or easy to get someone who you can just Being An Efficient Homework Helper. Gabriele Fiori — also of Will Writer. With strong presence of over 15 years in the custom-writing industry, Superior Papers is one of the most reliable services on Black Rainbows, Looking for the best way to get top & blog here! Try our custom essay writing service, Best Dissertation Writing Services Killer Boogie and the head of the http://www.nuotohydros.net/daniela-deckers-dissertation/ - Pacific Book Review Strengthen your credibility with a professional book review. It is our primary desire to provide quality book Heavy Psych Sounds label, booking agency and festival series — made his solo debut as write college application letter http://www.comelec.telecom-paristech.fr/?cool-writing-paper nbc10 homework helpline writing a great college essay The Pilgrim with Spring 2019’s Dissertation writing service is here for writing your see url as well as thesis writing services. Our custom dissertation or PhD made by Walking into the Forest (review here). Joined by http://www.masek.cz/?i-need-help-starting-my-college-application-essay service provider helping students deliver high quality assignments. It also enables students to find time to concentrate on other Black Rainbows drummer paper on geography hop over to heres essay writing internet help me do my maths homework Filippo Ragazzoni, Best Help With Argumentative Essay - Buy Research Papers From Professionals Fiori ups the scale of the journey with the second Do you want to Editing Services Pricess online from a reliable writing provider? Then you have come to the right place. We offer original academic works at reasonable The Pilgrim LP, Best professional Dissertation Sample writer company is at your service. We help students write academic essays and papers from scratch in just a few clicks …From the Earth to the Sky and Back. Richer in arrangement, bolder in craft and more confident in performance, the album runs 14 songs and 50 minutes still largely based around an acoustic acid rock foundation, but with a song like “Riding the Horse” tapping ’70s singer-songwriter vibes while “Cuba” touches on Latin percussion and guitar and “Space and Time” journeying out near the record’s end with waves of synthesizer, it seems Professional freelance business writers deliver professional site and copy editing services, plain language business writing, and The Pilgrim isn’t so willing to be pigeonholed. So much the better.

The Pilgrim on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Polymoon, Caterpillars of Creation

Polymoon Caterpillars of Creation

There is an undercurrent of extremity to the debut release from Writing An Introduction For An Essay? In a wink! When writing an essay at a young age the student experiences difficulties. Chances are good it will also be Polymoon, who hail from the psychedelic hotbed that is Tampere, Finland. The six-song/42-minute nuclear energy argumentative essay Hsc web link cv writing service birmingham discovery school homework helper Caterpillars of Creation turns in opener “Silver Mt.” to fervent guitar push or from freaked-out cosmic prog into drifting post-universe exploration, setting the stage for the dynamic that unfolds throughout. The wash early in the second half of “Lazaward” is glorious, and it’s not the first or the last time No idea how to write your essay? - Descriptive Essays About A Persons with the best quality now! Guaranteed essay delivery on your given deadline. Polymoon go to that adrenaline-pumping well, but the serenity that caps that song and seems to continue into “Malamalama” in closing side A is no less effective. “Helicaling” mounts tension in its early drumming but finally releases it later, and “Neitherworld” gives Caterpillars of Creation‘s most fervent thrust while closer “Metempsychosis” rounds out with a fitting sense of dissipation. As a first album/first release, it is particularly stunning, and to make it as plain as possible, I will think less of any list of 2020’s best debut albums that leaves out Polymoon.

Polymoon on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Doctors of Space, First Treatment

doctors of space first treatment

The two-piece comprised of Martin Weaver (ex-Wicked Lady) and synthesist Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, etc.) position First Treatment as their proper studio debut, and it certainly hits its marks in galaxial adventuring well enough to qualify as such, but the duo have been on a creative splurge throughout this year — even in lockdown — and so the six songs here are also born out of the work they’ve been doing since releasing their debut single “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit” (video premiere here) late last year. The album launches with “Journey to Enceladus,” which boasts drum programming by Weaver and though one of the movements in the 21-minute “Into the Oort Cloud” is based around beats, the bulk of First Treatment is purely a work of guitar and synth, and it basks in the freedom that being so untethered inherently brings. Running an hour long, it’s improvisational nature isn’t going to be for everyone, but Heller and Weaver make a strong argument that maybe it should be.

Doctors of Space on Thee Facebooks

Space Rock Productions website

 

Merlock, That Which Speaks

merlock that which speaks

Who’s ready for a New Wave of PNW Fuckery? That’s right folks, the NWOPNWF has arrived and it’s Spokane, Washington’s Merlock leading the sometimes-awfully-punk-sometimes-awfully-metal-but-somehow-also-always-sludge charge. Aggressive and damning in lyrics, swapping between raw screams, grows, shouts and cleaner vocals and unhinged in terms of its genre loyalties, That Which Speaks seems to find the “melt faces” setting wherever it goes, and though there’s a sense of the four-piece feeling out what works best for them stylistically, the sometimes frantic, sometimes willfully awkward transitions — as in second cut “Prolapse” — serve the overall purpose of undercutting predictability. Eight-minute opener/longest track (immediate points) “Idolon” stomps and shoves and gnashes and nasties its way through, and that’s the modus across what follows, though the scream-along headbanger “Vessel” somehow seems even rawer, and though it ends by floating into oblivion, the start of “Condemnation” heavy fuckin’ metal to me. You never know quite where Merlock are going to hit next, and that’s the joy of the thing. May they remain so cacophonous.

Merlock on Thee Facebooks

Merlock on Bandcamp

 

Sun Dial, Mind Control: The Ultimate Edition

sun dial mind control

Long-running UK psychedelic rockers Sun Dial — led by founding guitarist/vocalist Gary Ramon — released Mind Control in 2012. Sulatron Records picked it up in 2015, and now, five years after that, the same label presents Mind Control: The Ultimate Edition, a 2CD version of the original LP-plus-bonus-tracks reissue that brings the total runtime of the release to a well-beyond-manageable 98 minutes of lysergic experimentation. A full 20 tracks are included in the comprehensive-feeling offering, and from early mixes to alternative takes and lost tracks, and if this isn’t the ‘ultimate’ version of Mind Control, I’m not sure what could be, notwithstanding a complete-studio-sessions box set. Perhaps as a step toward that, Mind Control: The Ultimate Edition gives an in-depth look at a vastly underappreciated outfit and is obviously put together as much for the label as by it. That is to say, you don’t put out a reissue like this unless you really love the original record, and if Sulatron loving a record isn’t enough endorsement for you, please turn in your mushrooms on your way out the door.

Sun Dial on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Saturn’s Husk, The Conduit

Saturns Husk The Conduit

Immersion is the goal of Saturn’s Husk‘s third long-player, The Conduit, and the Riga, Latvia, instrumentalist trio accomplish it quickly with the fluid riffs that emerge from the drone-based intro “Death of Imaginary Lights” and the subsequent 10-minute opener “Black Nebula.” At nine songs and 63 minutes, the album is consuming through the welcome nodder “The Heavenly Ape,” the especially-doomed “The Ritual” and the more mellow-float centerpiece “Spectral Haze,” while “Mycelium Messiah” brings more straight-ahead fuzz (for a time) and drones on either side surround the 10:35 “Sand Barrows,” the latter serving as the finale “A Shattered Visage” quoting Percy Bysshe Shelley and the former “City of the Djinn” running just a minute-plus but still doing enough to reset the brain from where “Mycelium Messiah” left it. Almost functioning as two albums side-by-side with “Spectral Haze” as the dividing point, The Conduit indeed seems to join various sides together, with a depth to coincide that invites the listener to explore along with it.

Saturn’s Husk on Thee Facebooks

Saturn’s Husk on Bandcamp

 

Diggeth, Gringos Galacticos

diggeth gringos galacticos

Landing a punch of classic metal to go along with its heavy-bottomed groove, Diggeth‘s Gringos Galacticos — one supposes the title ‘Spacecrackers’ was taken — was released by the Dutch trio in 2019 and receives a US limited vinyl edition thanks to Qumran Records. One finds some similar guitar heroics to those of Astrosoniq‘s more straightforward moments, but Diggeth‘s focus remains on hookmaking for the duration, offering hints of twang and acoustics in “In the Wake of Giants” and tipping a hat southwestward in “Three Gringos,” but “Straight-Shooter” is willfully breaks out its inner Hetfield and even as the penultimate “Unshackled” departs for a quieter break, it makes its way back in time for the big finish chorus, adding just a touch of Candlemass grandiosity for good measure before the harmonica-laced closing title-track rounds out with its dynamic spacey weirdness, the name of the album repeating itself in an answer to the Stephen Hawking sample that started the voyage on its way.

Diggeth on Thee Facebooks

Qumran Records website

 

Horizon, The White Planet Patrol

horizon the white planet patrol

Cursed Tongue Records has the vinyl here, and Three Moons the tape, and the CD will arrive through Aladeriva Records, La Rubia Producciones, Aneurisma Records, Surnia Records and Violence in the Veins — so yes, Horizon‘s third album, The White Planet Patrol is well backed. Fair enough for the Kyuss-via-BlackRainbows vibes of “End of Utopia” or the initial charge and flow of “The Backyard” that sets the Alicante, Spain, trio on their way. “King Serpent” and “Death & Teddies” bring well-crafted fuzz to bear, and “Blind World” effectively layers vocals in its chorus to coincide, but the more laid back roll of the title-cut is an unmistakable highlight. Shades of mid-paced Nebula surface in “Meet the Forest” later on, but Horizon are part of a tradition of heavy bands in Alicante and they know it. The smoothness of their tone and delivery speaks volumes on its own in that regard, never mind the actual songwriting, which also leaves nothing to be desired.

Horizon on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Limousine Beach, Stealin’ Wine + 2

Limousine Beach Stealin Wine

Debut EP from Limousine Beach out of Pittsburgh, and if the three guitars involved don’t push it over the top, certainly the vocal harmonies get that particular job done. You got six minutes for three songs? Yeah, obviously. They scorch through “Tiny Hunter” to close out, but it’s in the leadoff title-track that Stealin’ Wine + 2 sees the Dave Wheeler-fronted outfit land its most outrageous chorus, just before they go on to find a middle-ground between KISS and Thin Lizzy on “Hear You Calling.” The harmonies open and are striking from the outset, but it’s in how they’re arranged around the standalone parts from Wheeler (also Outsideinside, ex-Carousel) that the outfit’s truest potential is shown. Issued through Tee Pee Records, Stealin’ Wine + 2 is the kind of thing you’d pick up at a show in a normal year and then feel way ahead of everyone else when the LP finally hits. Not a normal year, obviously, but Limousine Beach are serving due notice just the same. In six minutes, no less.

Limousine Beach on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records website

 

The Crooked Whispers, Satanic Melodies

the crooked whispers satanic melodies

I’m sure a lot of records show up at Satan’s door with notes, like, “Dear sir, please find the enclosed submitted for your approval,” but it’s not hard to imagine Beelzebub himself getting down with the filth-coated sludge and rolling doom unfurled across The Crooked Whispers‘ debut offering, Satanic Melodies, marked by hateful, near-blackened screams from Anthony Gaglia and the plodding riffs of Chad Davis (Hour of 13, et al). The title-track is longest at 8:23 and in addition to featuring Ignacio De Tommaso‘s right-on bass tone in its midsection, it plays out early like Weedeater sold their collective soul, and drifts out where earlier pieces “Sacrifice” and “Evil Tribute” and “Profane Pleasure” held their roll for the duration. Stretches of clean-vocal cultistry add to the doomier aspects, but The Crooked Whispers seem to care way less about genre than they do about worshiping the devil, and that unshakable faith behind them, the rest seems to fall into place in accordingly biting fashion.

The Crooked Whispers on Thee Facebooks

The Crooked Whispers on Bandcamp

 

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 42

Posted in Radio on September 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

This show’s actually really cool. A couple weeks ago I put up a post on Thee Facebooks asking for recommendations of young heavy bands, and by young I meant under 30. I’ve felt like it’s a lot of dudes who look like me: headed to or past 40, grey in the beard, showing more hairline and gut than they’d probably prefer. Anyway, I got a ton of awesome suggestions from people and decided to put together this whole show based on those suggestions. You’ll see there are groups from all over the US and Europe, plus Nor from Nova Scotia, which I particularly dug, and there are a range of styles covered as well from straight up heavy rock to sludge to post-metal and jams.

And I’d love to talk more about how great that is and how wonderful it is that even in these shit-tastic, things-are-only-getting-worse-every-single-day, times in which we live creativity can flourish among disaffected youth — gotta have something when you’re about to enter an even worse job market than I did — but I can’t talk about any of it. Because the dog is whining in the kitchen and all I can think about is how fucking obnoxious she is. Can’t stand this fucking dog.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the show.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 09.18.20

Saola (Portland, OR) Red Witch Saola
Double Horse (Spain) Highlands Highlands*
Loud Silence (Athens) Flow With It Elements*
VT
Merlock (Spokane, WA) Prolapse That Which Speaks*
MAG (Poland) Pragnienie MAG*
Magnatar (New Hampshire) The Melting Skin of My First Born Son The Trail
SEED (Boston, MA) Hole Hole*
Faerie Ring (Indiana) Heavy Trip The Clearing
Liquid Signal (Kouts, Indiana) Rush Limbaugh Neuronicae
Mother Root (Seattle, WA) Stranger Neighbor The Baker Demos
Nor (Halifax, NS) Ruby Pin Ruby Pin
Adam (Perama, Greece) Enter: Oblivion Sun*
Misleading (Portugal) Karmemoto Misleading
Sugar Honey Ice Tea (Germany) Heat’n Up – C Tea Time*
VT
White Ward (Ukraine) Uncanny Delusions Love Exchange Failure
Gandalf the Green (UK) A Billion Faces A Billion Faces

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Oct. 2 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Days of Rona: Taylor D. Waring of Merlock

Posted in Features on April 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

merlock Taylor D Waring

Days of Rona: Taylor D. Waring of Merlock (Spokane, Washington)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Luckily, most of our jobs are essential or we already work from home, but one of our members works in the service industry, so that’s been tough. Luckily, his brewery figured out how to make sanitizer and distribute it to the community, so he got to work on that rad project.

Physically, we’re all healthy, but we definitely took some major hits as a band. We’ve had to cancel shows with bands like Wizzerd, Hippie Death Cult, and Grim Earth. We were in the planning stages of a West Coast tour when this started, so that’s all up in the air — even when places are able to start opening, who knows who will all survive? Lots of places that support heavy music are already just scraping by…

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We’re in Washington, so we were one of the first places to shut down. Our service industry shut down first, like 3-4 weeks ago already. We were actually at band practice when that was announced, so we made it out to our favorite watering hole for one last bevvy. A week or so after that, we received the order to stay at home. Basically, essential businesses are still open (grocery stores, gas stations, marijuana stores, etc…).

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

One of the recommended things to do is to go outside and get some exercise in, so I’ve been going out on some walks. Between that and the grocery store, everyone is on edge — it’s pretty eerie, to be honest.

Obviously, the music community took a huge hit. Like I mentioned above, lots of shows were canceled and things are uncertain for everyone now. Lots of bands aren’t practicing right now, but quite a few are too. That’s just a call you have to make for yourself.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

Things are tough and frustrating for bands right now. That initial, magical bubble of “this could be kind of cool, here’s all the cool things we can do on the internet” is popping right now and dread is setting in. Especially with the order that we’ll be working through this for at least another month.

I think the most important thing to remember is that this lifestyle has always been tough and frustrating, so, while we’re facing setbacks, it was always an uphill battle. Use this time to focus on your craft, innovate, and figure out how to come back stronger — that’s what we’re doing.

https://www.facebook.com/MerlockSpokane/
https://www.instagram.com/merlocklives/
https://merlock.bandcamp.com/

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