Ealdor Bealu Sign to Metal Assault Records; Spirit of the Lonely Places CD out in Sept.

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

Some two years after its original issue in July 2019, Ealdor Bealu‘s  Spirit of the Lonely Places (review here) will see release through Metal Assault Records in time for the band to bring the CDs on their newly announced West Coast tour this Fall. The reissue/first-to-my-knowledge-CD-pressing will be the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between the band and the label, and sees the Boise four-piece become labelmates to the likes of Solar HazeCircle of SighsOld Blood, and a varied slew of others. It is a suitable home for a group who just about every time I hear them I think of a different genre tag, most of them rounding out to “a band I think is good.”

The signing announcement and tour dates follow here. They look pleased about all of it, which is understandable:

ealdor bealu metal assault records

Ealdor Bealu Sign to Metal Assault Records

Ealdor Bealu are thrilled to announce the signing of a multi-album deal with Metal Assault Records from Los Angeles, CA!! We are honored to be joining the massively diverse, dynamic MA roster including Old Blood, Through the Occulus, Solar Haze, Beekeeper, and many more. Our first order of business together will be a limited run of 4-panel DigiPak CDs of our sophomore album Spirit of the Lonely Places, available this September. We are also very pleased to announce our Fall West Coast Tour today!! We are returning to a lot of our favorite cities on the coast as well as new stops in Sacramento, Los Osos, and Olympia. SEE YOU ON THE ROAD

Ealdor Bealu is a progressive stoner rock quartet from the high desert of Boise, ID. With a focus on shifting dynamics from the ambient to the massive and back again, their sound expands beyond the boundaries of genre to create a mosaic of sonic praise.

The band’s first full-length offering DARK WATER AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN (Independent 2017) drew local, regional, and even international praise as a standout debut offering. With the release of Ealdor Bealu’s sophomore full-length album SPIRIT OF THE LONELY PLACES on July 20th 2019 on vinyl/digital the band has seen new levels of success around the globe.

TOUR
9.30 THURS Sacramento, CA Cafe Colonial
10.1 FRI Santa Cruz, CA The Blue Lagoon
10.2 SAT Los, Angeles, CA Old Towne Pub
10.3 SUN San Diego, CA Til Two Club
10.4 MON Los Osos, CA Sweet Spring’s Saloon
10.5 TUES Oakland, CA Elbo Room Jack London
10.6 WED Chico, CA The Maltese Bar
10.7 THURS Portland, OR High Water Mark
10.8 FRI Olympia, WA Cryptatropa Bar
10.9 SAT Seattle, WA Victory Lounge

Ealdor Bealu is:
Carson Russell: Guitar, Vocals
Rylie Collingwood: Bass, Vocals
Travis Abbott: Guitar, Vocals
Alex Wargo: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/ealdorbealu/
https://www.instagram.com/ealdorbealu/
https://ealdorbealu.bandcamp.com/
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https://metalassault.bandcamp.com/

Ealdor Bealu, Spirit of the Lonely Places (2019)

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Solar Haze Premiere “The Solar Age” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

solar haze

Los Angeles-based trio Solar Haze release their new EP, The Solar Age, on July 16 through Metal Assault Records. I’ll be blunt: it’s a good time. They’re too far south to be a part of the whole Pacific Northwest party-rock thing in Portland, but they’re definitely all the way up for throwing down. Not as psyched out or malevolent as Mountain Tamer — whose sticker makes a cameo on a shovelhead in the video premiering below — but with a tonal crunch in the guitars of Stephen Falla and Ross Cowan that lets you understand where the two outfits would be friends. The Solar Age runs three tracks and 17 minutes and nine of those are dedicated to “Terror of the Deep,” which closes out. Side A, if you’re thinking of it as a 10″, brings the title-track and “Fortress Will Fall.” Both are a blast.

The title-track opens and arrives with immediately respectable chicanery. There’s fuzz being kicked around, but it’s also kind of hard to ignore that the central riff comes across like Slayer played at about 80 percent speed — if you have a moment, please let me tell solar haze the solar ageyou sometime about my concept cover band, Slowyer — which they liken to an Iron Maiden influence and I’m not inclined to argue. It’s a current of metal one way or the other, but the chug in the chorus brings to mind early aughts Small Stone Records-style drunken fuckall, and the energy that runs throughout is infectious. The song itself is about five minutes long, pushed forward with due force thanks to Ryan Michael Falla‘s drumming, and shifts into a more winding section to set up its guitar solo in the second half, but is never too far from the hook. That’s a fitting setup for “Fortress Will Fall,” which is even more straightforward, punkish in spirit and insistence. Again, they’re having fun so you’re having fun. And if you’re like me and you’re the kind of person who says things like, “Not really a big fan of fun,” give it a shot anyway. It’s important to try new things.

Of course, the proceedings slam headfirst into a bigtime tempo slowdown for “Terror of the Deep.” What, you thought Solar Haze were gonna write a nine-minute track about a monster under the ocean and not doom out the riff? Please. The methodical chug and aggro vocal reminds of earliest Sleep and also C.O.C. and a bunch of other raw mid-’90s stonerized punk, but there’s room for some psych in there, and the trio take advantage, mellowing the end and adding a sense of space earlier on as well, not to flesh it out needlessly, but to hint at their willingness to let complexity blossom in their sound over time. In following up their 2019 self-titled debut LP and last year’s “Burn the Light” single, they give a resonant sample of who they are as a group to anyone who might be looking to get on board. They make it easy to do so.

All the more with the video for “The Solar Age.” Note the Necronomicon making an appearance. Always nice to see. There’s beers, jams, sunshine. Loosen up for a couple minutes and enjoy yourself.

Some comment from the band follows below:

Solar Haze, “The Solar Age” video premiere

Solar Haze on “The Solar Age”:

We’re excited to release our first music video to coincide with the pre-order launch of our upcoming EP, The Solar Age. First impressions are everything and we couldn’t be happier with how this video captures the spirit and energy of Solar Haze.

This video channels the perfect blend of Iron Maiden / Red Fang with some Evil-Dead-inspired horror, ultimately creating an experience that blends heavy riffs with heavier humor. Thank you for checking out our music and we look forward to playing this song for you live!”

The official release date for The Solar Age EP is slated for July 16, 2021 on Metal Assault Records.

The Solar Age track listing:
1. The Solar Age (4:57)
2. Fortress Will Fall (3:50)
3. Terror Of The Deep (9:00)
Total Runtime: 17:47

In celebration of their new release, SOLAR HAZE will perform at “Blunt Force Trauma Fest,” a virtual mini festival experience presented by Ebony Jeanette PR & Metal Assault Records streaming July 16th via Youtube.com/ebonyjeanette. More information about the Blunt Force Trauma Fest can be found via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2736782233280507/

SOLAR HAZE is:
Guitar/Vocals/Bass Guitar: Stephen Falla
Guitar: Ross Cowan
Drums/Percussion: Ryan Michael Falla

Solar Haze on Facebook

Solar Haze on Instagram

Solar Haze on Bandcamp

Metal Assault Records on Facebook

Metal Assault Records on Instagram

Metal Assault Records on Bandcamp

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Solar Haze to Release The Solar Age EP July 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

The new EP from Los Angeles heavy rock and rollers Solar Haze takes its name from the opening track, but the implication of arrival is prevalent just the same. Then a four-piece, the band debuted in 2019 with a self-titled full-length, and though guitarist/vocalist Stephen Falla (now also bass), guitarist Ross Cowan and drummer Ryan Michael Falla have since parted ways with bassist Jason Hernandez, one expects no less energy than could be found on that release to be showcased on the new one given the rawness of sound and underlying current of punk and classic metal in their riffs. I haven’t heard anything off the 17-minute outing as yet, but neither am I complaining about getting switched on to the self-titled.

Actually, right out of the go-figure file, the EP just came into my email while I’m writing this. Can confirm vitality, and the production’s got a good balance too. I’m gonna look forward to getting to know this better.

You’ll find the older release streaming below. The first song from the EP shows up June 18, as the PR wire tells it:

solar haze the solar age

SOLAR HAZE Announce Release Details for ‘The Solar Age’ EP

Out July 16, 2021 on Metal Assault Records. Pre-Orders launch and music video for title track premieres June 18th

The end is near, The Solar Age is here! Southern California heavy rock / metal trio SOLAR HAZE will release their eagerly awaited EP, The Solar Age on July 16, 2021 via Metal Assault Records. Pre-orders for The Solar Age will begin on June 18th along with the premiere of their official music video for the single and EP lead off track, “The Solar Age.” The three-track, 18-minute extended play was produced by Eddie Vasquez (of San Diego based band Tzimani). In just 17 minutes and 47 seconds, The Solar Age takes its listeners through an intriguing and entertaining thrill ride through heavy fuzz coated sludge rock ladled with elements of punk and stoner metal. Prepare to experience mind altering mood swings that range from slow and steadfast low-end grooves all the way to heightened states of psychedelic mania complete with fast-paced riffs, and deliciously rebellious punk tinged vocals.

When questioned about the makings and meanings of The Solar Age, the band described their new offering with the following statement “The content within The Solar Age is not recommended for those with underlying heart conditions or easily suggestible temperaments. The subjects breached within contain themes of death, destruction, human sacrifice, and the engagement in pagan/satanic ritual; all subjects which may or may not incite feelings of terror, paranoid delusion, or religious sedition in the listener. Once you step forward you cannot go back.”

The Solar Age track listing:
1. The Solar Age (4:57)
2. Fortress Will Fall (3:50)
3. Terror Of The Deep (9:00)
Total Runtime: 17:47

In celebration of their forthcoming release, SOLAR HAZE will perform at “Blunt Force Trauma Fest,” a virtual mini festival experience presented by Ebony Jeanette PR & Metal Assault Records streaming July 16th via Youtube.com/ebonyjeanette. More information about the Blunt Force Trauma Fest can be found via Facebook.

SOLAR HAZE is:
Guitar/Vocals/Bass Guitar: Stephen Falla
Guitar: Ross Cowan
Drums/Percussion: Ryan Michael Falla

https://facebook.com/solarhazeband
https://instagram.com/solar_haze
https://solarhaze.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/metalassaultla
http://instagram.com/metalassault
https://metalassault.bandcamp.com/

Solar Haze, Solar Haze (2019)

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Circle of Sighs to Release Narci June 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I… uh… I’m on this record. That’s a thing I haven’t been able to say in a while, but it feels oddly good. Released last Bandcamp Friday earlier in the month as a single, the Joni Mitchell cover “Roses Blue” (discussed here) will open side B of Circle of Sighs‘ upcoming second long-player, Narci. I’m interested to hear the rest of the LP, of course, as I dug the crap out of the Los Angeles outfit’s 2020 debut, Salo (review here), to the point that I basically invited myself to sing on a song. A little presumptuous when you think about it, but I’ve always been kind of a jerk.

Metal Assault Records, also California-based, will release Narci in June, and if you get the chance to check out the colored vinyl, it’s gorgeous. I’m not trying to sell you anything here, but if you like pretty records, this is a pretty record.

I do feel bad for the owl though.

From the PR wire:

Circle of Sighs narci

CIRCLE OF SIGHS signs with Metal Assault Records; New Album Details Revealed

Metal Assault Records is pleased to add to its roster an international synth doom collective that is sure to mesmerize one and all.

A few months after featuring on the January 2020 Metal Assault Mixtape Vol. 2 compilation release with their apocalyptic doom opus “Burden of the Flesh” and their first public live performance at the corresponding mixtape release event, CIRCLE OF SIGHS released their stunning debut full-length Salo, which rightfully made its way onto Metal Assault editor’s 2020 albums-of-the-year listicle. Now, Metal Assault Records is delighted to welcome CoS to its own label roster.

MAR will release the second CoS full-length, Narci, on June 4 2021 on limited-edition colored vinyl, digipack CD, and digital download. Pre-orders for the vinyl + digital download will be launched on March 5 on circleofsighs.bandcamp.com. More details surrounding the vinyl, i.e. colors, packaging, etc will be unveiled soon. To coincide with the pre-order launch, the album’s lead single “Heaven in Flames” will also be revealed on the same date.

With great pleasure, MAR is hereby revealing the incredibly vivid artwork that makes the Narci album cover, hand-painted by Nicole Momaney:

Narci
Final Sequence:

SIDE A
01 – Spectral Arms 10:03
02 – We Need Legends 6:06
03 – A Crystal Crown of Cosmic Pain 5:14

Total 21:23

SIDE B
04 – Roses Blue 5:30
05 – Segue 04 0:49
06 – Narci 5:28
07 – Heaven in Flames 5:01
08 – The Man Who Stole the Wind 5:08

Total 21:56

Narci was mixed and mastered by Katie Gilchrest (High Priestess).

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https://circleofsighs.bandcamp.com/
https://circleofsighs.com/
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Circle of Sighs, “Roses Blue” official video

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Quarterly Review: Celestial Season, Wren, Sumokem, Oginalii, Völur, Wedge, SpellBook, Old Blood, Jahbulong, Heavy Trip

Posted in Reviews on December 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

The end of the week for the Quarterly Review is a special time, even if this particular QR will continue into next Monday and Tuesday. Also apparently today is Xmas? Okay. Whatever, I’ve got writing to do. I hope you’re safe and not, say, traveling out of state to see family against the urging of the CDC. That would be incredibly irresponsible, etc. etc. that’s what I’m doing. Don’t get me started.

However you celebrate or don’t, be safe. Music will help.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Celestial Season, The Secret Teachings

celestial season the secret teachings

Like many of the original death-doom set, Dutch masters Celestial Season gave up the style during their original run, departing toward heavy rock after 1995’s Solar Lovers. At an hour’s run spread across 13 tracks including ambient guitar and violin/cello interludes, The Secret Teachings has no time for such flighty fare. Reunited with original vocalist Stefan Ruiters and bassist Lucas van Slegtenhorst, the band return in grand fashion for their first full-length in 20 years, and songs like “Long Forlorn Tears” and “Salt of the Earth” conjure all the expert-grade morose plod one could possibly ask, as each side of the 2LP begins with its own intro and sets its own mood, from the almost-hopeful wistfulness of opener/longest track (immediate points) “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” at the start to the birdsong-laced “Beneath the Temple Mount” that leads the way into “A Veil of Silence” and “Red Water” at the finish, the latter a Type O Negative cover that fits well after the crescendo of the song before it.

Celestial Season on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records website

 

Wren, Groundswells

wren groundswells

The gift Wren make to post-metal is that even in their quietest stretches, they maintain tension. And sure, the Londoners’ second LP, Groundswells — also stylized all-caps: GROUNDSWELLS — has in “Murmur” its “Stones From the Sky” moment as all works of the genre seemingly must, but the six-cut/44-minute follow-up to 2017’s Auburn Rule (discussed here) casts a scope less about pretense or ambition than largesse and heft, and that serves it well, be it in the shorter “Crossed Out Species” or longer pieces like the opener “Chrome” and the penultimate “Subterranean Messiah,” which injects some melodic vocals into the proceedings and airy string-inclusive prog amid all the surrounding crush. All well and good, but it’s hard to deny the sheer assault of the doomed apex in closer “The Throes,” and you’ll pardon me if I don’t try. Ambience through volume, catharsis through volume, volume all things.

Wren on Thee Facebooks

Gizeh Records website

 

Sumokem, Prajnaparadha

sumokem prajnaparadha

With strength of performance to fall back on and progressive realization in their songwriting, Little Rock, Arkansas’ Sumokem would seem to come of age on their third long-player, Prajnaparadha, answering the flourish of 2017’s The Guardian of Yosemite (discussed here) with an even more confident stylistic sprawl and an abiding patience that extends even to the album’s most intense moments. Not at all a minor undertaking in dynamic or its run of five long songs following the intro “Prologue,” Prajnaparadha manages not to be dizzying mostly because of the grace with which it’s crafted, tied together by ace guitar work and a propensity for soaring in order to complement and sometimes willfully contrast the tonal weight. When the growls show up in “Fakir” and carry into “Khizer,” Sumokem seem to push the record to its final level, and making that journey with them is richly satisfying.

Sumokem on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Oginalii, Pendulum

Oginalii Pendulum

Psychedelia comes poison-tipped with brooding post-grunge atmospheres as Oginalii‘s Pendulum swings this way and that between “Scapegoat” and “Black Hole” and “Pillars” and “Veils” across its too short 24 minutes. The Nashvillainous four-piece explore an inner darkness perfect for these long months of forced-introspection, and though calling something pandemic-appropriate has become a tired compliment to give, the underlying rhythmic restlessness of “Scapegoat” and the crying out overtop, the fuzzy burst of “Veils” and the interweaving drums and guitar noise behind the recited semi-sung poetry of “Pillars” serve the soundtrack cause nonetheless, to say nothing of the two-minute minimalist echoing stretch of “Black Hole” or the oh-okay-it’s-indie-post-rock-but-oh-wait-what-the-hell-now-it’s-furious closer “Stripped the Screw.” Anger suits Oginalii as it comes through here, not in tired chestbeating but in spacious craft that manages to sound intense even in its languid reach. Pretty fucking cool, if you ask me.

Oginalii on Thee Facebooks

Devil in the Woods on Bandcamp

 

Völur, Death Cult

Völur death cult

Toronto’s Völur offer their third album, Death Cult, in cooperation with Prophecy Productions, and it comes in four string-laced tracks that waste little time in pushing genre limits, bringing folk influences in among doom, blackened metallurgy and more ethereal touches. Arrangements of violin, viola, cello, double-bass, keys, and the shared vocals of Laura Bates and Lucas Gadke (the latter also of Blood Ceremony) give a suitably arthouse feel to the proceedings rounded out by the drums and percussion of Justin Ruppel, and it’s far from unearned as the four songs play out across 37 minutes, “Dead Moon” veering into lumbering death-doom in its apex ahead of the jazz-into-choral-into-drone-into-freer-jazz-into-progressive-black-metal of the 11-minute “Freyjan Death Cult,” subsequent closer “Reverend Queen” leaving behind the chaos in its last few minutes for an epilogue of mournful strings and drums; a dirge both unrepentantly beautiful and still in keeping with the atmospheric weight throughout. Bands like this — rare — make other bands better.

Volur on Thee Facebooks

Volur at Prophecy Productions

 

Wedge, Like No Tomorrow

wedge like no tomorrow

Bursting with enough energy to make one miss live music, Wedge‘s third album, Like No Tomorrow, transcends vintage-ism in its production if not its overall mindset, bringing clarity to Deep Purple organ-tics on opener “Computer” while keeping the lyrics purposefully modern. Bass leads the way in “Playing a Role” and the spirit is boogie fuzz until the jam hits and, yeah, they make it easy to go along for the ride. “Blood Red Wine” has arena-rock melody down pat while centerpiece and likely side A closer “Across the Water” at last lets itself go to that place, following the guitar until the surge that brings in “Queen of the Night” indulges purer proto-metal impulses, still accomplished in its harmonized chorus amid the charge. Is that the guitar solo in “U’n’I” panning left to right I hear? I certainly hope so. The shortest cut on Like No Tomorrow feels like it’s in a hurry to leave behind a verse, and sets up the surprisingly modestly paced “At the Speed of Life,” which is lent a cinematic feel by the organ and layered choral vocals that bolsters yet another strong hook, while the nine-minute “Soldier” is bluesier but still sounds like it could be the live incarnation of any of these tracks depending on where a given jam takes Wedge on any given night. Here’s hoping, anyhow.

Wedge on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

SpellBook, Magick and Mischief

SpellBook Magick and Mischief

About a year and a half after issuing Otherworldly (review here), their third album under the moniker Witch Hazel, the dukes of York, PA, are back with a new name and a refreshed sound. As SpellBook, vocalist Nate Tyson, guitarist Andy Craven, bassist Seibert Lowe and drummer Nicholas Zinn push through two vinyl sides of classic heavy f’n metal, less concerned with doom than they were but still saving a bit of roll for the longer centerpiece “Not Long for This World” and the airy, dramatic closer “Dead Detectives.” Elsewhere, “Black Shadow” brings a horns-at-the-ready chorus, “Motorcade” reminds that the power of Judas Priest was always in the basslines (that’s right, I said it), and “Ominous Skies” brims with the vitality of the new band that SpellBook are, even as it benefits from the confidence born of these players’ prior experience together.

SpellBook on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Old Blood, Acid Doom

old blood acid doom

Kudos to L.A.’s Old Blood for at least making the classification part easy when it comes to their debut album, conveniently titled Acid Doom, though that category hardly accounts for, say, the piano stretch of second cut “Bridge to Nowhere,” or the heavy rock theatricality in “Heavy Water” or the horn sounds of “Slothgod” a few songs later, but I suppose one has to start somewhere, and ‘acid doom’ is fair enough when it comes to accounting for the sleekery in the vocals of Lynx, the weight of the riffs of C. Gunner, the roll of bassist Octopus and drummer Diesel and the classic-style organ work of J.F. Stone. But if Old Blood want to unfurl something deceptively complex and stylistically intricate on their debut, that’s certainly cool as far as I’m concerned. Production is a strong presence throughout in a way that pulls a bit from what the impact of the songs might be on stage (remember stages?), but the songwriting is there, and Lynx‘s voice is a noteworthy presence of its own. I’m not sure where they’ll end up sound-wise, but at the same time, Acid Doom comes across like nothing else in the batch of 70 records I’m doing for this Quarterly Review, and that in itself I find admirable.

Old Blood on Thee Facebooks

Metal Assault Records on Bandcamp

DHU Records webstore

 

Jahbulong, Eclectic Poison Tones

JAHBULONG ECLECTIC POISON TONES

Just because you know the big riff is going to kick in about a minute into opening track “Under the Influence of the Fool” on Jahbulong‘s tarot-inflected stoner doom four-songer Eclectic Poison Tones doesn’t make it any less satisfying when it happens. The deep-rolling three-piece from Verona make their full-length debut with the 45-minute offering through Go Down Records, and the lurching continues in “The Tower of the Broken Bones” and “The Eclipse of the Empress,” which is the only cut under 10 minutes long but still keeps the slow-motion Sabbath rolling into the 15-minute closer “The Eremite Tired Out (Sweed Dreams)” (sic), which plays off some loud/quiet changes fluidly without interrupting the nod that’s so central to the entirety of the album. Look. These guys know the gods they’re worshiping — Sleep, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard maybe, etc. — and they’re not trying to get away with saying they invented any of this. If you can’t get down with 45 minutes of slower-than-slow grooves, maybe you’re in the wrong microgenre. For me, it’s the lack of pretense that makes it.

Jahbulong on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Heavy Trip, Heavy Trip

heavy trip heavy trip

Heavy Trip. Four songs. Two sides. Three dudes. Instrumental. Accurately named. Yeah, you’ve heard this story before, but screw it. They start out nice and spacious on “Hand of Shroom” and they finish with high-speed boogie in the 13-minute “Treespinner,” and all in between Heavy Trip make it nothing less than a joy to go along wherever it is they’re headed. The Vancouver three-piece make earlier Earthless something of an elephant in the room as regards influences, but the unhurried groove in second cut “Lunar Throne” is a distinguishing factor, and even as “Mind Leaf” incorporates a bit more shove, it does so with enough righteousness to carry through. As a debut, Heavy Trip‘s Heavy Trip might come across more San Diego than Vancouver, but screw it. Dudes got jams like Xmas hams, and the chemistry they bring in holding listener attention with tempo changes throughout here speaks to a progressive edge burgeoning in their sound.

Heavy Trip on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records on Bandcamp

 

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Old Blood Releasing Acid Doom Aug. 28 on Metal Assault & DHU Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

old blood

L.A. is a strange town, man. Old Blood, in following up their 2016 self-titled debut and introducing their new vocalist, are laying claim to the tag of Acid Doom. Is it acid? Yeah. There’s some psych in there. I hear it. Is it doom? Probably not in the way you’re thinking, and that’s kind of why I find it intriguing. The movement in the songs, at least from what I’ve heard so far, isn’t necessarily weighted down by tone in the way one might think of doom as being, but there’s no question there’s a groove happening in conversation with the heavy underground in these tracks. And they’ve got that slick Los Angeles production that to my East Coast ears just sounds bizarre on heavy music. But hell, maybe Old Blood can call their next LP What the Hell is Going on Here? and really cover all their bases.

Sometimes the PR wire takes you to weird terrain. To wit:

old blood acid doom

OLD BLOOD: Acid Doom (releasing Aug 28)

Los Angeles psychedelic rock / doom metal unit OLD BLOOD is releasing their second full-length studio album Acid Doom on August 28, via Metal Assault Records (US) and DHU Records (Europe). This is the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s stellar self-titled 2016 debut LP, and also marks the first album featuring vocalist Lynx, who joined the band in 2019.

Limited-edition colored vinyl, digipak CDs, merch bundles, and digital album download are now available for pre-order via oldbloodgroup.bandcamp.com. Lead singles “Veinscraper” and “Orbit” as well as their respective music videos are available for public consumption, and instant free downloads of the two tracks are included with every album pre-order.

Most bands put out a self-titled release at some point during their careers, but in essence, OLD BLOOD is getting to do it twice. Acid Doom is the term coined by Old Blood to define their identity, and rightly so, as this band has certainly forged its own, even in their relatively short existence thus far. It is only apt for Old Blood to follow their self-titled debut with an album of this name, and more so because with Lynx at the helm, Acid Doom defines Old Blood in its current incarnation. Produced, mixed and mastered by Rev. Tom Chandler in Glendale, California, the album is epic and massive in every sense of those words, and is sure to mesmerize hardcore fans and first-timers alike.

Acid Doom track listing:
1. Lake Bottom
2. Bridge to Nowhere
3. Veinscraper
4. Heavy Water
5. Formosa Lodge
6. Slothgod
7. Orbit
8. Pentahead
9. 429

OLD BLOOD is:
Lynx (vocals)
Octopus (bass)
C. Gunner (guitar)
Diesel (drums)
J.F. Stone (keyboard)

https://www.facebook.com/oldbloodband
https://www.instagram.com/oldbloodgroup/
https://oldbloodgroup.bandcamp.com/
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Old Blood, Acid Doom (2020)

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Goliathan Stream Albion EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 goliathan (Photo by Ekaterina Gorbacheva)

Goliathan issue their new EP, Albion, this Friday, Nov. 16, on Metal Assault Records with a release show to coincide at 5 Star Bar in their native Los Angeles (info here). The instrumentalist L.A. four-piece who share their name with Weedeater‘s 2015 album released their debut, Awakens, in 2016, and in Albion they offer three tracks and 24 minutes not of stoner sludge, but of more intricate post-metal and modern doom. “Albion,” “Vaalbara” and “Aberration” are progressive not in the sense of being a technical showcase — they clearly know what they’re doing, but nobody’s trying to put on a clinic — but in terms of the life breathed into the arrangement of sections, the flow of the material, and the interweaving of the two guitars from Shawn Doster and Kevin Cogill, as well as the overarching atmosphere of foreboding that seems to permeate the material. With pro-shop drums from Philip Bailey and the low end weight of bassist Neal Gardner anchoring, the band engage in conscious exploration that holds firm to considerations of structure along with tonal impact.

And “tonal impact” is a prevalent factor pretty much from the start of the leadoff title-track onward. An initial chug would seem to put Goliathan in a place somewhere between Isis and Russian Circles and the Ufomammut/YOB-style kosmiche, but they’re not really content to stick to one or the other, and are clearly more interested in developing their own take than emulating that of others. The build happening in “Albion” is based around that chug, which becomes a theme Goliathan Albionaround which the song is based in its early going, but a break in the middle third to ambient spaces does well in shifting the mindset toward a more linear stretch that builds from its airiness to heft-laden post-rock in its finish. Feedback echoes out and Bailey‘s drums launch “Vaalbara” with Gardner soon joining before the guitars lurch to life, but while the centerpiece is the shortest inclusion at 7:38, it marks a change in the construction from the eight-minute opener before it, taking a more straightforward approach as opposed to the melding of two disparate movements together, crafting a fluidity that’s enacted without molten effects overload but consuming even in its directed charge. Resolution comes in about the last minute, which sees the drums pull back and the guitars exhale some of the tension that’s been mounting, creating a wash of distortion that carries on a fade into “Aberration.”

Call me crazy, but with a song called “Aberration,” it doesn’t seem so unreasonable to think that might be where a band is changing it up. To a degree, that’s what happens in the finale, but really it’s more about bringing everything together in terms of the underlying rhythms and the guitars working overhead. A series of start-stops in the first two minutes smooths into a melodic roll before a lumbering nod and subsequent chug-out take hold, the latter sustained for an almost maddening amount of time. As the 8:47 closer works into its final third, Goliathan once again find their footing in a push of engrossing tonality and crash, but the last minute is dedicated to a return to the prior staccato-ism, giving yet another sense of there being a plot followed all along. And so there has been. More so than one might think to look at the runtimes of the songs themselves, Albion is a pretty efficient in-and-out listening experience, tracked live but with a steadiness to its execution that speaks to a burgeoning level of patience in their craft. I would not be surprised if the quiet stretch in “Albion” led to more such developments, and likewise, if the stomp of “Aberration” did the same, however much of an outlier it may be positioned as being for now.

You can hear Albion in its entirety on the player below ahead of the official release tomorrow, followed by the band’s bio, which is full of ‘L.A. band story’ stuff that’s always a good time.

Please enjoy:

The idea of Goliathan first came about in 2006 when Philadelphia punk veterans, childhood friends and longtime artistic co-conspirators Shawn Doster and Kevin Cogill found themselves living together in Los Angeles after their tour van broke down. It was then that the duo started to explore moodier and more mature frontiers, transcending the boundaries of the blackened crust music Shawn had been writing up to that point. After gestating for a full ten years, Goliathan finally found steady footing with Neal Gardner and Philip Bailey completing a perfectly balanced, permanent lineup. In 2016, the band released their debut EP Awakens, and began performing locally, garnering a unanimously awe-struck reaction from all who would bear witness.

Neal Gardner is an accomplished and versatile composer, producer, and educator, masterfully fluent in music theory who has found a home writing and playing bass in Goliathan. Drummer Phillip Bailey was a founding member of Systematic, discovered by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and signed to his Elektra imprint The Music Company before moving on to do session work in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Shawn and Kevin (a.k.a. “Skwerl”) flank the rhythm section with dueling guitars and a telepathic chemistry refined over nearly 25 years of playing together.

Following up their 2016 debut, Goliathan is now ready to release a 3-track monsterpiece called Albion, recorded in Lincoln Heights by Manny Nieto (Health, Trash Talk, The Breeders), mixed by Sean Beavan (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Slayer), and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Rob Halford). Albion is releasing on CD, LP and digital formats on November 16 2018 via Metal Assault Records.

Shawn Doster: Guitar
Kevin Cogill: Guitar
Neal Gardner: Bass
Phillip Bailey: Drums

Goliathan on Thee Facebooks

Goliathan on Bandcamp

Metal Assault Records website

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