Album Review: Spacegoat, Superstition

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

spacegoat superstition

Monterrey, Mexico’s Spacegoat released their debut full-length, Superstitions, in late 2016 as a self-issued digital outing comprised of 10 songs running over 50 minutes long, and set about building a following on stages in their home country to support. The release follows a well-received self-titled 2012 EP that introduced the classic-style sound of the four-piece and in particular the powerful vocal presence of guitarist Gina Rios, whose work indeed acts as a feature across Superstition as well, highlighted once more on a March 2020 limited vinyl issue — purple LP; 300 pressed — through Germany’s Electric Magic Records, the imprint helmed by Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment.

The two bands shared the stage in 2018 in Monterrey, and obviously Spacegoat made an impression. Reasonably so. The LP edition of Superstition drops the track “Astral” from the digital release in order to obtain a more vinyl-ready 46-minute runtime, but its nine-song stretch is still more than enough opportunity for the band to showcase their craft, as guitarist Miguel Rios, bassist Rigo Vigil and drummer Rey Fraga back Gina‘s soulful approach to construct tracks of well-made classic-style heavy, fluid in its unfolding but largely straightforward despite some flourish of psychedelia and a jaunt like “The Wooden Path,” which calls to mind the lucid strum of acoustic Zeppelin.

Less cult rock than one might expect given the cover art and the title hinting at things-not-quite-on-kilter, Superstition packs a healthy dose of doom rock into its proceedings, beginning with the the rolling midtempo groove led by the two guitars on “Doomensional,” which is almost surprising in how fuzzy it isn’t. Not that Spacegoat don’t have distortion or tonal presence, but it comes through much clearer in the recording than one might expect, playing up the band’s classic rock roots rather than any strict adherence to heavy-style genre tenets or even doom itself, though they remain undeniably a heavy band in style and purpose.

At the same time, neither are they retro or overly stylized when it comes to “performing” classic rock — they don’t attempt a vintage production, and their tones, while not unnatural, brim with a modern fullness. It may be that the Rioses, Vigil and Fraga are using this collection in order to search out a niche for themselves in terms of sound, to find some place in between the intersection of one microgenre and another, either consciously or not, but I’d suspect it comes simply from an impulse of wanting to sound more like themselves than any other single band, and that in itself is admirable. They shift into a speedier tempo on second track “Transmuta” and are no less at home than in the comfortable “Doomensional,” and finish their opening salvo with “As We Land,” with the drums holding back during the verses to kick in with the arrival of one of the record’s more memorable hooks and the build that caps.

spacegoat

The title-track follows as the first of four inclusions over six minutes long spaced out over the remainder of Superstition, initially quiet but foreboding in a way that telegraphs the kick in sonic heft that arrives shortly before two minutes in. That quiet/loud tradeoff plays out again and the more voluminous spirit carries Spacegoat through the end of the song, with fading residual tones giving way to silence and “Purple Sand” at the presumed end of side A. At 6:06, it is a highlight of Miguel Rios‘ guitar work, with semi-psychedelic spaciousness that adds to the depth provided by the bottom end of bass in the mix, a solo starting at about 4:15 echoing out in soundscape fashion effectively ahead of a final chorus.

Indeed, “The Wooden Path” has an organic feel made all the more resonant by its foundation of acoustic guitar, and its placement before “Erase the Sun” — arguably the heaviest and inarguably the most Sabbathian of the riffs to be had on Superstition can only be purposeful. There’s a bit of that solo echo in “Erase the Sun” as well, if perhaps not as emphasized as on “Purple Sand” as the vocals soon return to top it, but adds to the Iommi vibe as the longest song on the album moves into its second half, a bit of effects treatment on Gina‘s vocals too putting one in mind of earlier Alunah‘s forest worship, especially with “The Wooden Path” immediately preceding.

The two songs, as the start of side B, would seem to indicate a shift in purpose from some of the first half of the album’s more rocking fare, and even without “Astral” to further the cause, that’s how the rest of the offering plays out to some degree, even as “Sacred Mountain” finds itself nestled into Graveyardy swing operating at a tight, concise 3:39 in a seeming echo to the mission of “Transmuta” earlier, Fraga‘s drums shoving the song through its first minute-plus before a temporary slowdown allows everyone to catch their breath ahead of the next verse.

They finish quick and unfold the doom-blues of “Sleeping Hours” (6:48) as the closer to pay off all prior hints toward atmosphere in the songwriting, with a quiet and patient initial progression shifting gradually toward its first volume surge (just after two minutes in) and a satisfyingly soulful lead once that distortion has receded. Vocals in layers and a final thrust of tone brings the last march of “Sleeping Hours” to a head, and it’s another surprise that Spacegoat have in store for those who make their way through the LP, considering how much of the band’s focus throughout is on straight-ahead execution. With that in mind, their departure at the finish offers one more means by which to glimpse their potential, the abundance of which is the underlying message of the album as a whole.

It’s been over three years since Superstition was initially released, and Spacegoat haven’t been idle in that time in terms of playing shows. I haven’t seen word of a follow-up to this debut, but if such a thing might be in the works on any level, the Electric Magic LP only gives those who heard it digitally and those who didn’t a chance to get introduced ahead of that inevitable next step from the band, and with the quality of the work and performances they bring to it, it’s likely to find fervent welcome among the listeners who chase it down.

Spacegoat, Superstition (2016)

Spacegoat on Thee Facebooks

Spacegoat on Bandcamp

Spacegoat website

Electric Magic Records on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records store

Electric Magic Records website

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Days of Rona: Juan Alberto Tamayo of Vinnum Sabbathi

Posted in Features on March 31st, 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. — JJ Koczan

Vinnum Sabbathi juan alberto tamayo

Days of Rona: Juan Alberto Tamayo of Vinnum Sabbathi (Mexico City, Mexico)

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?

Like a lot of other bands, we had no choice but to stop all our plans for this year which included a 3-month Euro tour that’s gone by now, but we’ll try to make it happen when the situation gets better. Everyone is healthy, we stopped rehearsals to stay home with our families.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

On March 20th our government closed schools for 20 days as well as the US border for non-essential operations and now they told everyone to stay home as much as possible, but to be honest some people around just don’t care. There was a huge party last night nearby my home. People think this is just a conspiracy of some kind and that’s scary because we don’t have anything near the health systems from the US or Europe so if this goes out of hand it’ll be Mad Max around here quick.

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

Like everywhere, this has affected local venues and businesses, after the pandemic situation exploded the US dollar skyrocketed for us and seems like it’s not going to go down soon. Some big music festivals had to cancel, but others like Vive Latino took place just a few weeks ago like nothing happened.

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

We’ll see you on a show near you after this, but now look after the ones you care, don’t be a dick and help others when you can.

www.facebook.com/VinnumSabbathi/
https://vinnumsabbathi.bandcamp.com/
https://stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/stolenbodyrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/stolenbodyrecords/

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Quarterly Review: Ocean Chief, Barnabus, Helen Money, Elder Druid, Mindcrawler, Temple of Void, Lunar Swamp, Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, Emile, Saturno Grooves

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’m not saying I backloaded the Quarterly Review or anything — because I didn’t — but maybe subconsciously I wanted to throw in a few releases here I had a pretty good idea I was gonna dig beforehand. Pretty much all of them, as it turned out. Not a thing I regret happening, though, again, neither was it something I did purposefully. Anyone see A Serious Man? In this instance, I’m happy to “accept the mystery” and move on.

Before we dive into the last day, of course I want to say thank you for reading if you have been. If you’ve followed along all week or this is the only post you’ve seen or you’re just here because I tagged your band in the post on Thee Facebooks, whatever it is, it is appreciated. Thank you. Especially given the global pandemic, your time and attention is highly valued.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ocean Chief, Den Tredje Dagen

ocean chief den tredje dagen

The first Ocean Chief record in six years is nothing if not weighted enough to make up for anything like lost time. Also the long-running Swedish outfit’s debut on Argonauta Records, Den Tredje Dagen on CD/DL runs five songs and 59 minutes, and though it’s not without a sense of melody either instrumentally or vocally — certainly its guitars have plenty enough to evoke a sense of mournfulness at least — its primary impact still stems from the sheer heft of its tonality, and its tracks are of the sort that a given reviewer might be tempted to call “slabs.” They land accordingly, the longest of them positioned as the centerpiece “Dömd” seething with slower-Celtic Frost anxiety and the utter nastiness of its intent spread across 15-plus minutes of let-me-just-go-ahead-and-crush-that-for-you where “that” is everything and “no” isn’t taken for an answer. There’s respite in closer “Den Sista Resan” and the CD-bonus “Dimension 5,” but even these maintain an atmospheric severity consistent with what precedes them. One way or another, it is all fucking destroyed.

Ocean Chief on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records store

 

Barnabus, Beginning to Unwind

barnabus beginning to unwind

Come ye historians and classic heavy rockers. Come, reap what Rise Above Relics has sown. Though it’s hard sometimes not to think of the Rise Above Records imprint as label-honcho Lee Dorrian (ex-Cathedral, current With the Dead) picking out highlights from his own record collection — which is the stuff of legend — neither is that in any way a problem. Barnabus, who hailed and apparently on occasion still hail from the West Midlands in the UK, issued the Beginning to Unwind in 1972 as part of an original run that ended the next year. So it goes. Past its 10-minute jammy opener/longest track (immediate points) “America,” the new issue of Beginning to Unwind includes the LP, demos, live tracks, and no doubt assorted other odds and ends as well from Barnabus‘ brief time together. Songs like “The War Drags On” and “Resolute” are the stuff of ’70s-riff daydreams, while “Don’t Cry for Me My Lady” digs into proto-prog without losing its psych-folk inflection. I’m told the CD comes with a 44-page booklet, which only furthers the true archival standard of the release.

Barnabus on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Relics store

 

Helen Money, Atomic

helen money atomic

To those for whom Helen Money is a familiar entity, the arrival of a new full-length release will no doubt only be greeted with joy. The ongoing project of experimental cellist Alison Chesley, though the work itself — issued through Thrill Jockey as a welcome follow-up to 2016’s Become Zero (review here) — is hardly joyful. Coping with the universality of grief and notions of grieving-together with family, Chesley brings forth minimalism and electronics-inclusive stylstic reach in kind across the pulsating “Nemesis,” the periodic distortion of her core instrument jarring when it hits. She takes on a harp for “Coppe” and the effect is cinematic in a way that seems to find answer on the later “One Year One Ring,” after which follows the has-drums “Marrow,” but wherever Chesley goes on Atomic‘s 47 minutes, the overlay of mourning is never far off.

Helen Money on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records store

 

Elder Druid, Golgotha

elder druid golgotha

Belfast dual-guitar sludge five-piece Elder Druid return with seven tracks/39 minutes of ready punishment on their second album, Golgotha, answering the anger of 2017’s Carmina Satanae with densely-packed tones and grooves topped with near-universal harsh vocals (closer “Archmage” is the exception). What they’re playing doesn’t require an overdose of invention, with their focus is so much on hammering their riffs home, and certainly the interwoven leads of the title-track present some vision of intricacy for those who might demand it while also being punched in the face, and the transitional “Sentinel,” which follows,” brings some more doomly vibes ahead of “Vincere Vel Mori,” which revives the nod, “Dreadnought” has keys as well as a drum solo, and the penultimate “Paegan Dawn of Anubis” brings in an arrangement of backing vocals, so neither are they void of variety. At the feedback-soaked end of “Archmage,” Golgotha comes across genuine in its aggression and more sure of their approach than they were even just a couple years ago.

Elder Druid on Thee Facebooks

Elder Druid on Bandcamp

 

Mindcrawler, Lost Orbiter

mindcrawler lost orbiter

I know the whole world seems like it’s in chaos right now — mostly because it is — but go ahead and quote me on this: a band does not come along in 2020 and put out a record like Lost Orbiter and not get picked up by some label if they choose to be. Among 2020’s most promising debuts, it is progressive without pretense, tonally rich and melodically engaging, marked out by a poise of songcraft that speaks to forward potential whether it’s in the coursing leads of “Drake’s Equation” or the final slowdown/speedup of “Trappist-1” that smoothly shifts into the sample at the start of closer “Dead Space.” Mindcrawler‘s first album — self-recorded, no less — is modern cosmic-heavy brought to bear in a way that strikes such a balance between the grounded and the psychedelic that it should not be ignored, even in the massively crowded international underground from which they’re emerging. And the key point there is they are emerging, and that as thoughtfully composed as the six tracks/29 minutes of Lost Orbiter are, they only represent the beginning stages of what Mindcrawler might accomplish. If there is justice left, someone will release it on vinyl.

Mindcrawler on Thee Facebook

Mindcrawler on Bandcamp

 

Temple of Void, The World That Was

Temple of Void The World that Was

Michigan doom-death five-piece Temple of Void have pushed steadily toward the latter end of that equation over their now-three full-lengths, and though The World That Was (their second offering through Shadow Kingdom) is still prone to its slower tempos and is includes the classical-guitar interlude “A Single Obulus,” that stands right before “Leave the Light Behind,” which is most certainly death metal. Not arguing with it, as to do so would surely only invite punishment. The extremity only adds to the character of Temple of Void‘s work overall, and as “Casket of Shame” seems to be at war with itself, so too is it seemingly at war with whatever manner of flesh its working so diligently to separate from the bone. Across a still-brief 37 minutes, The World That Was — which caps with its most-excellently-decayed nine-minute title-track — harnesses and realizes this grim vision, and Temple of Void declare in no uncertain terms that no matter how they might choose to tip the scale on the balance of their sound, they are its master.

Temple of Void on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records store

 

Lunar Swamp, Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp have spawned as a blusier-directed offshoot of Italian doomers Bretus of which vocalist Mark Wolf, guitarist/bassist Machen and drummer S.M. Ghoul are members, and sure enough, their debut single “Shamanic Owl,” fosters this approach. As the band aren’t strangers to each other, it isn’t such a surprise that they’d be able to decide on a sound and make it happen their first time out but the seven-minute roller — also the leadoff their first EP, UnderMudBlues, which is due on CD in June — also finds time to work in a nod to the central riff of Sleep‘s “Dragonaut” along with its pointed worship of Black Sabbath, so neither do they seems strictly adherent to a blues foundation, despite the slide guitar that works its way in at the finish. How the rest of the EP might play out need not be a mystery — it’s out digitally now — but as far as an introduction goes, “Shamanic Owl” will find welcome among those seeking comfort in the genre-familiar.

Lunar Swamp on Thee Facebooks

Lunar Swamp on Bandcamp

 

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, II

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes II

The nine-track/42-minute second LP, II, from Milano post-this-or-that five-piece Huge Molasses Tank Explodes certainly finds the band earning bonus points based on their moniker alone, but more than that, it is a work of reach and intricacy alike, finding the moment where New Wave emerged from out of krautrock’s fascination with synthesizer music and bring to that a psychedelic shimmer that is too vintage-feeling to be anything other than modern. It is laid back enough in its overarching affect that “The Run” feels dreamy, most especially in its guitar lines, but never is it entirely at rest, and both the centerpiece “No One” and the later “So Much to Lose” help continue the momentum that “The Run” manages so fluidly to build in a manner one might liken to space rock were the implication of strict adherence to stylistic guidelines so implicit in that categorization. They present this nuance with a natural-seeming sense of craft and in “High or Low,” a fuzzy tone that feels like only a welcome windfall. Those who can get their head around it should seek to do so, and kudos to Huge Molasses Tank Explodes for being more than just a clever name.

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes on Thee Facebooks

Retro Vox Records on Bandcamp

 

Emile, The Black Spider/Det Kollektive Selvmord

Emile The Black Spider Det Kollektive Selvmord

Set to release through Heavy Psych Sounds on the same day as the new album from his main outfit The Sonic Dawn, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is the debut solo album from Copenhagen-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Emile Bureau, who has adopted his first name as his moniker of choice. Fair enough for the naturalism and intended intimacy of the 11-track/39-minute outing, which indeed splits itself between portions in English and in Danish, sounding likewise able to bring together sweet melodies in both. Edges of distortion in “Bundlos” and some percussion in the second half’s title-track give a semblance of arrangement to the LP, but at the core is Emile himself, his vocals and guitar, and that’s clearly the purpose behind it. Where The Sonic Dawn often boast a celebratory feel, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is almost entirely subdued, and its expressive sensibility comes through regardless of language.

Emile on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds store

 

Saturno Grooves, Cosmic Echoes

saturno grooves cosmic echoes

Sonic restlessness! “Fire Dome” begins with a riffy rush, “Forever Zero” vibes out on low end and classic swing, the title-track feels like an Endless Boogie jam got lost in the solar system, “Celestial Tunnel” is all-thrust until it isn’t at all, “Blind Faith” is an acoustic interlude, and “Dark Matter” is a punk song. Because god damn, of course it is. It is little short of a miracle Saturno Grooves make their second album, Cosmic Echoes as remarkably cohesive as it is, yet through it all they hold fast to class and purpose alike, and from its spacious outset to its bursting finish, there isn’t a minute of Cosmic Echoes that feels like happenstance, even though they’re obviously following one impulse after the next in terms of style. Heavy (mostly) instrumentalism that works actively not to be contained. Out among the echoes, Saturno Grooves might just be finding their own wavelength.

Saturno Groove on Thee Facebooks

LSDR Records store

 

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Saturno Grooves Release New Album Cosmic Echoes

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It’s one thing to say your record is inspired by making a cosmic connection, being one with the universe, higher plane of existence and all that kind of stuff. It’s another thing to do that and put your record up as a name-your-price download. I know everybody’s gotta make a buck, but it gives all that universal spiritualism a little more edge when you’re saying, “here I made a thing, take it.” Just a tip.

Saturno Grooves from Durango, Mexico, released their new full-length Cosmic Echoes yesterday as a choice bit of name-your-price riffery in affiliation with LSDR Records. It’s their second long-player behind 2018’s Solar Hawk, and after a bit of driving, forward-directed groove in “Fire Dome,” it dives into a bit of fuzz bliss in “Forever Zero” before going post-Elder prog in “Cosmic Echoes” and the extra-shimmery “Celestial Tunnel,” then drones and acoustics through “Blind Faith” in order to blindside with the crunch of “Dark Matter.” All told, you’ve got six tracks/31 dynamic, pretense-free minutes of spacious heavy to soak your head. Plus it’s a bargain.

Here’s hoping they do a CD at some point:

saturno grooves cosmic echoes

Saturno Grooves – Cosmic Echoes

Cosmic Echoes is inspired by the human connection with the cosmos, its attempt to know and understand its nature, the use of psychedelics as a bridge of communication, all reflected in six compositions based on improvisation exploring different styles and addressing different themes, which in turn they intertwine the close relationship between the higher self and the universe.

Saturno Grooves is a Mexican band formed in Durango in early 2013 by Oscar Cisneros on bass, José Peyro on guitar and Adolfo Solís on drums. The band was born thanks to the common interest of its members to explore psychedelic sounds and develop them within instrumental rock.

In May 2018 comes to light Solar Hawk through LSDR Records composed of six themes inspired by discourses and nature-related events translated into ancient mythologies and urban legends, which in turn are reflected in the continuous exploration of sounds under the influence of psychoactives. This material has been the work of compositions that through 2016 and 2017 were restructured and modified giving this result, is music in order to be enjoyed with high volume and away from distractions.

Tracklisting
1. Fire Dome 05:04
2. Forever Zero 07:15
3. Cosmic Echoes 08:10
4. Celestial Tunnel 07:25
5. Blind Faith 01:45
6. Dark Matter 02:06

All music by Saturno Grooves.
Lyrics: José Peyro, Oscar Cisneros.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by KB in Testa Estudio
León, Gto. México. Jan. 19-20 2020.

Saturno Grooves are:
Adolfo Solis – Drums, Vocals and Acoustic Guitar in “Blind Faith”
José Peyro – Guitars, Vocals
Oscar Cisneros – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/saturno.grooves
https://www.instagram.com/saturnogrooves/
https://saturnogrooves.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/lsdrrecords/
https://lsdr.bandcamp.com/
https://www.storenvy.com/stores/823500-lsdr-records-distro

Saturno Grooves, Cosmic Echoes (2020)

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Vinnum Sabbathi to Release Of Theories and Dimensions March 27; Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vinnum sabbathi

Along with their plans to release their second album, Of Theories and Dimensions, on March 27 through Stolen Body Records, Mexican heavy instrumentalists Vinnum Sabbathi also cite “European Tour May-August 2020” among their intentions. Well that’s a hell of a tour, but they’re already booked for Esbjerg Fuzztival in Denmark, and that’s on May 8, so at least we know around when they’ll start. I wouldn’t have any trouble believing they’d be on the road for an extended period — wouldn’t be their first time — but that’s a hell of a stretch.

We’ll see how it works out, but while we’re seeing things, there’s a new video the band have posted for “In Search of M-Theory,” the nine-minute, sample-laced opener of Of Theories and Dimensions, and if it’s cosmic heft, grainy space footage and cool live shots you seek — and I know it is — then dive in. Some of the widest-smiling nine minutes I’ve spent today.

More to come on this one (including those tour dates when I see them), but for now, this:

Vinnum Sabbathi Of Dimensions and Theories

It is a great pleasure to finally announce info and pre-orders of our second Album “of Dimensions & Theories”

3 years have passed since Gravity Works. We’ve been on the road playing some amazing shows and meeting friends that we now consider family. We have been through unique experiences and colossal changes during this time; not only as musicians but as human beings as well: this is our vision of those experiences.

ODAT is a follow up from our first record and it serves as a sequel to the Album “The Sixth Glare” from our brothers Cegvera (go check that one out as well).

Recorded, mixed & mastered by KB in Testa Estudio in León, Mexico on January 3rd – 5th 2020.
Art from the talented Yasinviolet from Indonesia.

“In Search of M-Theory” is the opening track of our new Album and on it a TV host describes the world of 2061.

The complete Album samples were recorded by dear friends of us and in the video you can see footage from some very special shows, courtesy of Phocal.mx and our buddy Dan Delaney along with some old space visuals.

THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT US

Stolen Body Records is making a VERY SPECIAL edition containing an Earth 12″ + a Moon 7″ + a Reference Manual booklet with all the detailed story and samples.

https://www.stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/shop/vinnum-sabbathi-of-dimensions-and-theories

We’re having pre orders for the Album as well as merch including fresh mission patches, a special digipack CD and new t-shirts that we’ll bring to Europe for the upcoming tour (still looking for help BTW).

https://vinnumsabbathi.bandcamp.com/album/of-dimensions-theories

of Dimensions & Theories releases on March 27th 2020, you can pre order it for $1 now but don’t worry, it’ll be free to download once available.

ENDLESS THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND LOVE

Tracklisting:
1. In Search of M-Theory
2. Quantum Determinism
3. An Appraisal
4. Beyond Perturbative States
5. A Superstring Revolution I
6. A Superstring Revolution II

VINNUM SABBATHI is:
Alberto (Guitar)
Samuel (Bass)
Mico / Gerardo (Drums)
Roman (Live Samples & Synth)

www.facebook.com/VinnumSabbathi/
https://vinnumsabbathi.bandcamp.com/
https://stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/stolenbodyrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/stolenbodyrecords/

Vinnum Sabbathi, “In Search of M-Theory” official video

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Doom City Fest Announces Inaugural Lineup for 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doom city fest 2020 logo

Some pretty grim artwork, and a heavy-ass show to go with it. The first-ever Doom City Fest is set for Feb. 22, 2020, in Mexico City, and it presents some immediately impressive international pull. Amid national acts 33Fumata, Satánico Pandemonium and Malamadre, you’ll note that a significant portion of the top of the bill comes from abroad. European post-metal forerunners Amenra, from Belgium, will headline, and Germany’s Mantar, Canada’s Tekarra and America’s The Obsessed and -(16)- will round out the nine-band all-dayer lineup. It’s a pretty striking assemblage, and at least within the more weighted end of the sonic spectrum, wants little for variety.

For the many festivals that populate the planet at this point, putting one together — even one that’s only a single day — is no minor task in terms of coordination and presentation, who needs to be where, what’s it going to look like and sound like and all the rest of it. Getting nine bands from your neighborhood on the same lineup is hard enough. To have a bill where the majority are coming across borders to play? And it’s your first one? I tip my hat to Doom City Fest 2020.

Info and ticket links, as per the social medias:

doom city fest 2020 poster

Doom City Fest 2020 – Feb. 22 – Mexico City

Arriving in Mexico City: Doom City Fest with a strong and fine selection of exponents of underground music in genres such as Doom Metal, Sludge, Post-Metal, Stoner and other aspects of heavy music.

The first edition of this festival will take place in Sangriento, one of the most interesting venues in the northern part of the Mexico City necropolis located in the ruins of an old factory.

? Limited tickets in early bird phase already on sale at $750.00 mxn
Until December 31TH OR SOLD OUT ? http://bit.ly/Doom-City-Fest.

An initiatory rite in the maelstrom of abysmal riffs, convulsive amplitudes and entheogenic frequencies.

LINEUP:
Amenra (Be)
The Obsessed (EE.UU.)
MANTAR (Ale)
16 (EE.UU.)
Tekarra (Can)
Fumata (Mx)
33 (Mx)
Malamadre (Mx)
Satánico Pandemonium (Mx)

Tickets: http://bit.ly/Doom-City-Fest

https://www.facebook.com/DoomCityFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/434951907450787/

The Obsessed, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2019

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Spacegoat to Release Superstition Vinyl on Electric Magic Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

spacegoat

Monterrey, Mexico-based doom rockers Spacegoat will issue their debut full-length, Superstition, on vinyl through Electric Magic Records. That’s a not-insignificant endorsement for the four-piece, coming as it does from Samsara Blues Experiment guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters. The album was originally released digitally in 2016, so it should be long enough to count as a reissue, but it is the first LP pressing so far as I know, so if you want to count it as that, that’s fine too. I’m not sure anyone pays attention to that kind of thing anymore, anyhow. I try not to, for sure. Makes my head hurt.

“I’m just a caveman…” and so on.

All Saturday Night Live references that draw from probably before anyone in this band was born aside, the record is name-your-price on Bandcamp now, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to dig in before, then an impending vinyl version seems like it should be more than enough to get you in for that. If that’s still too far to go, it’s streaming at the bottom of the post here. See how the capital-‘f’ Future we live in makes it so easy to spend money?

Have at it:

spacegoat superstition

SPACEGOAT – SUPERSTITION – EMLP13

Mexican Spacegoat’s “Superstition” will finally be released on vinyl. Those who know, know already… those who don’t, check them out via https://spacegoatmx.bandcamp.com/

Says the band: “We have great news as our album ¨Supertition¨ will be finally released on Vinyl format, under the German label Electric Magic, We are very happy about it and we want to thank Christian Peters from Samsara Blues Experiment for making this possible!”

The album will be released on 300 Limited Purple Vinyls exclusively through Electric Magic. A must-have-heard (not just) for fans of Acid King, Windhand, Jex Thoth etc.

Tracklisting:
1. Doomensional 04:37
2. Transmuta 03:39
3. As we land 04:27
4. Superstition 06:21
5. Purple sand 06:06
6. Astral 05:49
7. The wooden path 03:38
8. Erase the sun 07:12
9. Sacred mountain 03:39
10. Sleeping hours 06:48

Release is set for March 2020!

Spacegoat are:
Gina Ríos – Vocals & Guitar
Miguel Ríos – Lead Guitar
Rey Fraga – Drums
Rigo Vigil – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/Spacegoatmx/
https://spacegoatmx.bandcamp.com/
http://spacegoatmx.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/electricmagicrecords/
http://www.electricmagicrecords.com/

Spacegoat, Superstition (2016)

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Quarterly Review: Russian Circles, War Cloud, Here Lies Man, Book of Wyrms, Möyhy-Veikot, Darsombra, Set Fire, Jesus the Snake, Föllakzoid, Dresden Wolves

Posted in Reviews on October 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Had to take a second this morning to get my email back under 100 unread. It currently stands at 95. There’s just something about being in triple digits that I can’t stand. Press releases and stuff I can usually file right away since not everything’s relevant to the site, etc., but that’s all stuff that either wants follow-up or could be a factor here if there was time. I do my best to try to keep up. And I fail, consistently.

The tradeoff, of course, is I spend that time writing reviews and other stuff for the site. Today’s hump day when we pass the halfway mark of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, and we’re doing it in absolutely all-over-the-place style, so all the better. Some pretty familiar names today, but some that might not be as well, so whatever your poison, I hope you enjoy the picking.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Russian Circles, Blood Year

russian circles blood year

There’s simply no denying the force behind the depths and swell of a song like “Kohokia” on Russian Circles‘ latest offering, Blood Year (Sargent House), and though one knows what to expect to some degree from the Chicago heavy post-rockers at this point in their career, they seem to be doing all they can to deliver their instrumental progressions with energy to match the breadth of the spaces and the heft they conjure. Like 2016’s Guidance (review here), the seven-track/39-minute Blood Year — was recorded with Kurt Ballou, whom the trio imported to their hometown to work at Electrical Audio (aka Steve Albini‘s stomping ground) instead of traveling to Massachusetts to track at Ballou‘s Godcity. If it was the long-famed drum sound of Electrical Audio that they wanted and the live feel that so many of the recordings done there have, they got both, so mark it a success and another notch in the belt of one of the heavy underground’s most immersive and evocative outfits. Their building and releasing of tension is second to none and moves into the spiritual by the time they even get to side B, let alone through it.

Russian Circles on Thee Facebooks

Sargent House website

 

War Cloud, State of Shock

war cloud state of shock

Oh, the riffs you’ll gallop. Oakland, California’s War Cloud skirt the line between classic thrash and heavy rock and roll on their second album for Ripple Music, State of Shock, and from the sound of things, they have a good time doing it. The record’s not much over a half-hour long, which is as it should be for this kind of party, and they toy a bit with the balance between their two sides on a rocker like “Do Anything” or the subsequent “Means of Your Defeat” on side B, but the main crux of State of Shock and certainly the impression it makes off the bat with “Striker” and “White Lightning” up front ahead of the six-minute that-moment-when-ThinLizzy-turned-into-IronMaiden “Dangerous Game” is one of homage to the metal of yore, and in following-up the band’s 2017 self-titled debut (review here), it’s a showcase of energy and craft alike as two guitars shred, chug, groove and charge through the material. If they were from the Eastern Seaboard, I’d say something about getting caught in a mosh. As it stands, I’ll go with urging you to jump in the fire instead. Horns up, either way.

War Cloud on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

Here Lies Man, No Ground to Walk Upon

here lies man no ground to walk upon

They should’ve just called it an album. Yeah, it would be short at 26 or so minutes, but it’s got everything you’d want from a full-length, and if they’d put a four-minute jam or something on it, they’d have been there anyhow. In any case, Los Angeles’ Afrobeat-infused heavy psych rockers Here Lies Man present seven tracks of dug-in glory with No Ground to Walk Upon (on RidingEasy), continuing to build on the potential shown across their first two LPs, 2017’s self-titled debut (review here) and last year’s You Will Know Nothing (review here), even as they swagger their way through a groove like “Long Legs (Look Away)” and show their continued forward potential. They continue to be a special band — the kind of band who doesn’t just come along every day and who shouldn’t be overlooked during their time, because maybe they’ll be around 30 years and maybe they won’t, but what they’re doing now is bringing something wholly individual to a heavy context. They’ve already proven influential to some degree, but listening to No Ground to Walk Upon cuts like the dream-keyed “Iron Rattles” and the opening strut-into-drone of “Clad in Silver,” one wonders if they wouldn’t be more so if people weren’t too afraid to try to pull this thing off. Hard to argue with that, since more likely than not most couldn’t.

Here Lies Man on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Book of Wyrms, Remythologizer

Book of Wyrms Remythologizer

I won’t take anything away from the eight-minute “Blacklight Warpriest” earlier in the offering, but the highlight of Book of Wyrms‘ second album, Remythologizer (on Twin Earth & Stoner Witch Records) has to be the closing “Dust Toad,” which at 9:25 is the longest track and the slowest crawl included. Led into by the synth-infused “Curse of the Werecop,” it takes the crunch that showed itself through opener “Autumnal Snow” and, later, the melody and swing of “Undead Pegasus” — as seen on the cover art — and brings them together in order to perfectly summarize the doom rocking ethic the Richmond, Virginia, four-piece are working from. Tonally righteous and more solvent in their songwriting than they were on their 2017 debut, Sci-Fi/Fantasy (review here), the band sound assured as they move in “Spirit Drifter” from a standout keyboard line to a likewise standout guitar solo, giving a feeling of progressive nuance that’s continuing to take hold in their sound, balanced by the underlying naturalism of their approach. That dynamic continues to duke it out on Remythologizer, much to the benefit of anyone who takes the record on.

Book of Wyrms on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Stoner Witch Records BigCartel store

 

Möyhy-Veikot, Huume Jet Set Life

moyhy-veikot huume jet set life

Too weird for planet earth and, well, probably too weird for anywhere else too, Helsinki psych-space-kraut-whathaveyou experimentalists issue their third tape in the form of Huume Jet Set Life and whether it’s the cosmo-jamming on “MITÄ ON TULLUT VEDETTYÄ?” or the who-the-hell-knows-what-ism of “MEDIA-AJOJAHTI 2000,” the band at no point fail to make an impression of being out there in the far gone far out there reaches of the far out there. Talkin’ freaked out next level total, like the cassette just fell into the atmosphere to represent some other planet’s culture where things are both dangerous and interesting and you never really know if you’re going to get laid or eaten or both. Still, they may be doing math of the likes not yet conceived by humanity, but Möyhy-Veikot go about it in suitably friendly if totally over-the-top fashion, and it’s fun to play along while also being completely overwhelmed at the various pushes and pulls happening all at once, the media samples and the Windows 95 compatibility of it all. It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for disco.

Möyhy-Veikot on Thee Facebooks

Möyhy-Veikot on Bandcamp

 

Darsombra, Transmission

Darsombra Transmission

It’s just lovely. Really. In some ways it feels like the 41:20 single-track full-length Transmission — self-released, no less — is what Baltimore ambient exploratory two-piece Darsombra have been building toward all along, but I think the truth is they probably could’ve done this at any time if they’d chosen to do so. Still, the fluidity of “Transmission” itself is something special, with its cascades of manipulated voice, riffs that swell and recede, loops, synth and somehow-manifested light that are as much immersion for the spirit as the eardrum. One doesn’t want to dive too deep into hyperbole and oversell it to the point of dulling the listener’s own impression, but Transmission is the kind of record that even those who profess to never “get” drone or noise offerings can engage with. Part of that is owed to Brian Daniloski‘s guitar, which provides landmarks along the path of swirl conjured by his own effects and the synth from Ann Everton (both add vocals where applicable; don’t look for lyrics or verses) that allow those who’d take it on to do so more easily. But the real joy in Transmission is letting go and allowing the piece to carry you along its progressive course, genuine in its reaching for the unknown. Plus there’s a gong, and that’s always fun too. Go with it.

Darsombra on Thee Facebooks

Darsombra on Bandcamp

 

Set Fire, Traya

set fire traya

Traya is the third three-song full-length from Boston’s Set Fire, and it would seem that, and in addition to marking the last recording to feature drummer Rob Davol, who’s since been replaced by Josh Cronin, it would seem to show the three-piece nailing their sound of classic-tinged duet-fronted heavy rock and roll. With two powerhouse vocalists on board in guitarist Jim Healey (We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai, etc.) and keyboardist Jess Collins (ex-Mellow Bravo), they work in varying arrangements across a meager 12-minute run that feels short mostly because it is short. Too short. “Any Place Left” puts Collins in the foreground, while “Sacred Song” is more Healey‘s, and unsurprisingly to anyone who’s experienced their past work either together or separate, they’re more than able to carry the material — only more so with the other party backing. “Waves” brings them together around theatrical layers of piano and keyboard and guitar, and that they manage to hold it steady at all, let alone take flight as it does, speaks to how ready they are to embark on a longer offering. Put out an album, already, would ya?

Set Fire on Thee Facebooks

Set Fire on Bandcamp

 

Jesus the Snake, Black Acid, Pink Rain

Jesus the Snake Black Acid Pink Rain

For those feeling adventurous, Portugal’s Jesus the Snake follow-up their 2017 self-titled EP (review here) with the unmitigated warmth of Black Acid, Pink Rain, their live-recorded full-length debut. And for the sort of heavy psych-jazz-prog meandering, one would almost expect the organ-laced instrumentalist four-piece to track the record as they perform it, if not front-to-back then certainly one song at a time across multiple takes. Not one piece of the five total on the 49-minute offering is under eight minutes long, and sandwiched between opener “Karma” (10:28) and the closing title-track (10:55) are three cuts circa nine that prove no less hypnotic. The beginning of “Floyds I” is so fluid with the interplay of organ and guitar that one almost expects a gentle Portuguese spoken word verse to start, but of course one never does. Instead, Jesus the Snake complement mindful drift with flashes of more weighted or active fare, all the while holding to a central vibe that is peaceful even as “Duna” finds its chill before the halfway point, with no loss of spirit in the process.

Jesus the Snake on Thee Facebooks

Jesus the Snake on Bandcamp

 

Föllakzoid, I

follakzoid i

As with any kind of sonic minimalism or release based around trance induction — see Darsombra above — there’s a certain amount of buy-in that needs to happen on the listener’s side. Accordingly, those going into the fourth LP from Chilean duo Föllakzoid, titled I and issued through Sacred Bones Records as a double-vinyl, should be aware that it’s requires that kind of interaction from one side to the other. It’s not especially loud or abrasive, or even demanding in terms of the basic sonics of the thing, but as “I” becomes “II” becomes “III” becomes “IIII” and the songs such as they are alternate between 17- and 13-minute runtimes and the blend of effects and electro beats tips to one side or the other — “II” with a fervent ‘ump-tis’ in its early going while “III” brings a more Vangelis-style cinematic wash — of course there’s an ask in terms of indulgence happening on the part of the two-piece to their audience. Whether an individual is willing to make that jump is obviously going to be up to their headspace and where they’re at, but Föllakzoid‘s work here is more than worth the investment, even for those less familiar with their methods.

Föllakzoid on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Bones Records website

 

Dresden Wolves, Hiedra – Sencillo

dresden wolves Hiedra Sencillo

The sub-three-minute “Hiedra – Sencillo” is the latest in an ongoing series of digital offerings from Mexico City’s Dresden Wolves, and though the two-piece band bill themselves as post-punk and they may actually have a history in playing punk rock — stranger things have happened, certainly — the song finds them working in a taut heavy rock context, brash in delivery but not overly so as to lose the overarching swagger they seem intent on conveying. Particularly as it follows behind two EPs and a swath of other single tracks, and is offered name-your-price through their Bandcamp, “Hiedra – Sencillo” feels like its most nefarious aim is to hook anyone who’d click play on first listen and try and keep them intrigued for next time out. Fair enough. I won’t profess to know what Dresden Wolves‘ plans are, but they’ve got songwriting in their pocket and the production on “Hiedra – Sencillo” is crisp and clear enough to convey the heft of the guitar but not so much so as to dull its rawer aspects. They’ve got the balance ready to go, whatever they might choose to do with it from here.

Dresden Wolves on Thee Facebooks

Dresden Wolves on Bandcamp

 

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