Giöbia Set Feb. 7 Release for Plasmatic Idol; Preorders Available; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I think maybe it was last week that the news about there being a new record from Giöbia came through and I went off about how good it was? Wasn’t much longer than a week, if it was that long. In any case, I maintain the position. Good album, kind of blows the doors down from what they’ve done before in some cool ways. They’re streaming a track now to give some idea about that, and since later today I’m calling Shadow Witch‘s stream out for being early, I’ll do the same here. February is a ways away. Preorders are up though, so probably best to give people some idea what they’re in for. Though, really, it is just a glimpse of the whole.

The PR wire has it like this:

giobia plasmatic idol

GIÖBIA new album PLASMATIC IDOL – presale starts TODAY

Today we start with the presale of the GIÖBIA first album after 4 years!!!

The brand new release is called PLASMATIC IDOL !!!

The new Giöbia album “Plasmatic Idol” is simply impressive: a collection of different sounds and atmospheres, brings the listener to another sidereal world full of dreams and mind travels. You can clearly feel the influence of certain Pink Floyd in some passages but also pinches of Italian Progressive Rock, Horror Soundtrack from 70’s movies, garage 60’s influences, US West Coast Psychedelia, and late 60’s Space Rock a la Hawkwind The production is delicate and smooth, the album flows without interruptions and the music immerses your mind in a cosmic dimension. The vintage organs and synthesizers are used in the best way possible, 8 tracks that capture your attention without distraction. Produced by Bazu the guitar player and singer of the band and Mixed and Mastered By Brett Orrison (Black Angels, Jack White) at Spaceflight Records in Austin, Texas. The Great cover album and artwork is by Metastazis.

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS113

USA PRESALE via All That Is Heavy
https://allthatisheavy.com/search?type=product&q=plasmatic+idol

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 7th, 2020

RELEASED IN :
40 TEST PRESS
250 ULTRA LTD PINK FLUO SPLATTER BLACK-BLUE-GREEN VINYL
600 LTD GREEN FLUO VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK
DIGITAL

GIÖBIA is:
Bazu – Vocals and String Instruments
Saffo – Organs / Violins / Vocals
Detrji – Bass
Betta – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/giobiaband
http://www.giobia.com/
https://giobiagiobia.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

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Giöbia to Release New Album in 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but if you think you have a sense of what Giöbia are all about, you’re probably want to going to expand that definition. The Milan-based four-piece get even more spaced out on their next full-length than they were on 2015’s Magnifier (review here), which is fair enough since it was four years ago. They’ve of course been plenty busy since that last album, touring Europe and playing fests like Freak Valley, which they hit in 2016 and released a set from the next year as the Live Freak live album that you can stream below, as well as the 2017 7″ What Have You Done through H42 Records. If you heard any of that stuff, you know it was plenty spaced. Well, get ready to get more spaced. Space space space.

Let’s assume that since the announcement of the album’s existence came in the other day and I’m only now getting this posted that the title and album details have been unveiled as of about three minutes ago and this post is already out of date. The internet is awesome.

From the PR wire:

giobia

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce a band re-signing: GIÖBIA are coming back with a brand new album

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS is so stoked to welcome back one of the best european psychedelic bands GIÖBIA with a brand new album coming out in early 2020 !!!

The mystical day 60s rock met neopsychedelic rock mixing up to the point of losing consciousness of their own essence, in an overwhelming and incessant soundtrack with an unmistakable Italian taste, that’s when Giöbia’s acid rock was born. In a vortex that leaves no way out, the unique melodies of this quartet take the listener into a world where the boundaries of reality are no longer defined and anything can ever happen. After their debut in 2009 with ‘Hard Stories’, the band firmly established itself in 2013 with ‘Introducing Night Sounds’, which suddenly brought them to the most important stages of Europe. In 2016 the milestone ‘The Magnifier’ assigned them a place among the most influential bands of the scene. Unable to stop in front of any challenge, Giöbia decided to go on astonishing their audience again finally forging a NEW ALBUM, which will see the light in 2020 via Heavy Psych Sounds, with the promise to upset and reconfirm them as the forefather of a genre that fascinates and amazes anyone who dare to leave themselves behind without fear of never returning.

PRESALE STARTS:
September 26th

The band will be also touring Europe in two slots:
– from February 28th to March 11th, including HPS Fests in Paris, Antwerp and London
– from May 22nd to June 2nd

GIÖBIA is:
Bazu – Vocals and String Instruments
Saffo – Organs / Violins / Vocals
Detrji – Bass
Betta – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/giobiaband
http://www.giobia.com/
https://giobiagiobia.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Giöbia, Live Freak (2017)

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Esogenesi Premiere “Decadimento Astrale” from Self-Titled Debut out Oct. 4

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ESOGENESI

Milano death-doomers Esogenesi will release their self-titled debut album on Oct. 4 through Transcending Obscurity Records. The four-piece are a relatively new band, having formed in 2016, but as the five-track/39-minute full-length plays out, it becomes increasingly clear they’re doing more with the collection than just getting their feet wet in the style. They’re doing that too, to be sure, but if we’re sticking with the liquid idiom, they’re much more “up to neck” than “wet feet” when it comes to the particular grueling atmosphere that typifies the death-doom aesthetic — that ultra-dark churn marked out by a severe emotional conveyance, a mournfulness that gives the death metal aspects of the sound a that-much-truer resonance. Esogenesi‘s background as players varies, between black metal, hardcore, classical and, presumably, some doom as well, but even as album-closer “Incarnazione Della Conoscenza” hits its crescendo with blastbeating insistence, the commitment to the whole-album ambience remains firm. In other words, though they haven’t done it before, they know what they’re doing.

There’s comfort in that for the present and promise for the future, of course. Esogenesi show quickly what the crux of their first offering will be in the brooding guitar and bass intro of opener “Abominio,” one of three cuts to top nine minutes on the vinyl-ready outing. ESOGENESI ESOGENESISoon double-kick enters, but the tone of patience is already set, and that will prove crucial to both band and listener as “Abominio” unfolds into its morose riff and speedier chug en route to the subsequent “Decadimento Astrale,” which essentially flips the structure to fast-slow instead of slow-fast in terms of its buildup, establishing a fluidity that carries into the standalone guitar of “…Oltregenesi…” — which in another context I’d directly liken to Dylan Carlson — which is joined in its second half by understated drums before it kind of disintegrates into the start of “Esilio Nell’Extramondo,” the penultimate and longest inclusion on Esogenesi at 9:51 and perhaps also the darkest of processions the band here unfurls. A quiet beginning is mirrored in the ambient midsection, but on either side of that is a dirge procession that finds the band — guitarist Davide Roccato bassist Carlo Campanelli, vocalist Jacopo Marinelli and drummer Michele Adami — pushing toward a new level of extremity in aural gruel that, yes, will pick up some speed by the end, but still remains pummeling in its finish in a manner consistent with how they started out. It’s a gorgeous execution of style.

And taken in kind with “Incarnazione Della Conoscenza” as it would be on side B of a vinyl release, it further demonstrates where Esogenesi are coming from in their initial approach to death-doom, which is straightforward at least in the microgenre’s own terms. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them adding keyboard, or strings, or even just more guitar effects to flesh out arrangements as they move forward, but as a flag-planting endeavor, Esogenesi‘s self-titled lays claim to a chunk of space in death-doom and proceeds to make that space its own. The band’s trades between loud and quiet stretches, fast and slow stretches, the interlude vibe in “…Oltregenesi…” and the sharper-edged riffing that caps the pre-apex burst of “Incarnazione Della Conoscenza” — they end on their most extreme push, as noted — all feed together to make an overarching impression of bleakness that is consuming, but still not overwhelming or redundant simply because at under 40 minutes, it doesn’t stick around long enough to be. A certain amount of repetition is fair game, one might argue essential, to what they’re doing, but one of the things Esogenesi get right on their first LP is realizing that it doesn’t need to be 65 minutes long to get its point across, and whether that’s a conscious decision on their part or an instinct and how it worked out with the timing of recording or whatever else, it’s another impulse that will only serve the band well as they seek to follow-up this impressive debut.

Happy today to host the premiere of “Decadimento Astrale” below, which you’ll find followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Esogenesi, “Decadimento Astrale” official track premiere

Death/doom metal band Esogenesi have concocted a sublime blend that harnesses the power of death metal with the poignancy of doom metal, backed with an able, organic yet powerful sound that the band can call it their own. Even though this is only their debut, the quartet have outdone themselves in creating music with unfathomable depth and emotional poise. The five songs plod along with subtle but effective changes in mood, tempo and groove, and it often becomes imperative to revisit them to catch the brilliant nuances ensconced in the rumbling death metal-spiked parts. This is as good a debut as any to come out in the genre and it only solidifies the band’s place in the increasing death/doom roster of Transcending Obscurity.

Tracklisting –
1. Abominio
2. Decadimento Astrale
3. …Oltregenesi…
4. Esilio Nell’Extramondo
5. Incarnazione Della Conoscenza

Lineup –
Jacopo Marinelli – Vocals
Davide Roccato – Guitars
Carlo Campanelli – Bass
Michele Adami – Drums

Cover art by Korvo
Internal layout and graphics by Luca Brusa

Esogenesi on Thee Facebooks

Esogenesi on Bandcamp

Transcending Obscurity Records on Thee Facebooks

Transcending Obscurity Records website

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Burning Gloom, Amygdala: Out Beyond Walls

Posted in Reviews on July 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

burning gloom amygdala

For a band to switch names is no minor decision. First of all, once past the initial over-thought process of picking one in the first place, the band name becomes more than just a collective brand, it’s a flag you fly. And that’s for bands starting out, never mind those who already have a release under their belt. Italy’s My Home on Trees had two in 2015’s How I Reached Home (review here) debut and their prior 2013 self-titled EP before they made the decision to morph into Burning Gloom, so it seems all the more of consequence. The lineup of vocalist Laura Mancini, guitarist Marco Bertucci, bassist Giovanni Mastrapasqua and drummer Marcello Modica is intact despite the transition, and Burning Gloom offer their own debut, Amygdala, through Argonauta Records as an aggro-spirited eight songs/47 minutes that still keeps a sense of atmosphere in its echoing instrumentation and voices.

Mancini, joined by High Fighter‘s Mona Miluski on “Nightmares,” switches smoothly between melodic singing and harsher screams, either driving the change herself, as on “The Tower II” or following the linear build behind her, as in the payoff of the subsequent “Eremite.” Heavy rock is a tool in their arsenal, as the central riff to the penultimate “Beyond the Wall” will attest, but Amygdala is less centered on playing to genre than it is on establishing and developing this new identity for the group. There’s a current of ’90s alt rock in the proceedings from the outset, as brief 2:48 opener “The Tower I” sprints out of the proverbial gate, and though Burning Gloom will wind up in a much different place by the end of the record in the reggae-inflected initial verses and quiet melodic finish of eight-minute closer “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” the journey from one to the other wants nothing for cohesion either in the individual songs or in how they’re drawn together. They seem to find middle ground, suitably enough, in the middle, with “Modern Prometheus” drawing together elements of sludge rock, grunge and heavier churning groove, but Amygdala is neither summarized within or built around a single track. It’s a whole-album album.

And that seems to suit Burning Gloom‘s purposes just fine as the Milano four-piece make their way deeper into the emotional and atmospheric mire as “Modern Prometheus” and “Nightmares” give way to “Warden,” which is longer at 7:47, has a slower rollout in its first half — they get into some gritty-style shuffle late, or at least what would be shuffle in a different context — and signals the arrival at Amygdala‘s final salvo. Though really, if one wants to trace the change further, the arrival of Miluski on “Nightmares” at the outset of side B is a departure in itself from the first four tracks — her recognizable scream and growl adding to Mancini‘s own approach as the track drives toward its fadeout. That plunge at the end feels especially crucial in what it does to set up the mood of “Warden” and the subsequent “Beyond the Wall,” and it’s not that “The Tower II” or “Eremite” or “Modern Prometheus” were wanting for some deeper sensibility, but the balance of aggression shifts after the Mancini/Miluski blowout in “Nightmares,” and the energy with which the end of that song is executed — the sheer metallic feel of it — seems to be as far as Burning Gloom are willing to push in that direction this time out.

burning gloom

To be fair, it’s pretty far, and Miluski‘s contributions there would be enough to make Angela Gossow blush. But it’s in “Warden,” “Beyond the Wall” and “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” that the dynamic of Amygdala more fully begins to show itself, and it’s not just that the songs are longer — “Beyond the Wall” isn’t, at 5:32 — but in how they relate to the initial impression of “The Tower I,” its companion and the others on side A. Everything fits together, and so Amygdala reveals itself as even more of a second album than a first, though part of what makes it exciting is that though the band benefits from their time as My Home on Trees on the level of basic chemistry, they’ve made this conscious decision to embark on something new together. As the manifestation of that, Burning Gloom‘s debut is all the more engaging, even down to the accented croon on “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” which only adds to the sway of that song’s beginning moments.

Like a lot of Amygdala — the part of the brain’s limbic system in which emotions are processed — the finale is a subtle build, but it has enough time at its disposal to hit its payoff in the middle and even out again, choosing not to end the record not on an all-go push, but with a more gentle, easing letting go. It’s only about a minute and a half longer than, say, “Modern Prometheus,” but its purposes are compellingly different, and underscore the band’s purpose in crafting such breadth between the two sides of the record. If one goes back to the beginning of My Home on Trees, they’ve been a band for about seven years, and the shades of grunge, post-hardcore, heavy rock, sludge and whatever else they throw into Amygdala stand as testament to the work they’ve done thus far into their tenure to develop their sonic identity.

At the same time, Amygdala is Burning Gloom‘s first album, and an even-more-purposeful first album for the fact that they became a new band to make it, so while it’s forehead-slappingly plain to hear once one understands they’d worked together before, one has to acknowledge the element as well of forward potential in these songs and most of all in the way they interact with each other across the full span of the collection. I would say that’s the most resounding impression Amygdala makes, but it needs to be weighed against the atmospheric accomplishments of this material itself, and it’s pick-your-poison whether you want to appreciate what Burning Gloom are doing now or be excited at the prospect of what they might do next. Their heft, shove and melodic prowess is as much realized as it is pointing toward future realization.

Burning Gloom, Amygdala (2019)

Burning Gloom on Thee Facebooks

Burning Gloom on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Burning Gloom Set June Release for Amygdala on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

burning gloom

Milano four-piece Burning Gloom — formerly known as My Home on Trees — have found a new home on Argonauta Records, and it’s as part of that label’s ever-expanding roster of acts that they’ll issue their first album under their recently changed moniker, Amygdala, in June. I dug My Home on Trees, but can’t really begrudge them the name change, and if they’re looking for a fresh start, the Argonauta banner is a good one to be under. As to how it will play into their sound as Burning Gloom, it’s a wait-and-see prospect at this point, but they’re positioning themselves as having a darker vibe on Amygdala, and certainly the creepo-factor of the record’s cover art below bears that out. Seems likely they’d be able to make such a call, since obviously they’re a group with some consideration for how they present themselves.

The PR wire brought news of the allegiance with Argonauta and the details for the album:

burning gloom amygdala

BURNING GLOOM (formerly MY HOME ON TREES) SIGNS WITH ARGONAUTA RECORDS!

New band name, new sound, new album coming this Summer!

Previously known as MY HOME ON TREES, the stoner-doom band hailing from Milano, Italy, started their first moves in 2011, but it’s in 2012 when the band dives into any live activities and understood quickly which road had to be taken, playing the first shows and looking for the right sound. After the release of a first self-produced EP featuring 5 tracks in 2012, the band played tons of shows in Italy and signed with the label Heavy Psych Sounds Records in 2015, who released their first and ciritically acclaimed album, How I Reached Home.

The band continued as a four piece, and toured Europe several times and all over in the central part of the continent, sharing prestigious stages with bands alike Church of Misery, Ufomammut, Karma to Burn, Windhand, and taking part of some international Festivals such as at Up In Smoke or Red Smoke Festival in Poland. After three years working on new tracks, the band entered the studio and recorded their new album, Amygdala, between February and June 2018. 2019 will see them celebrating their comeback with a new shining identity, a new name, leaving behind the past and signing with a new label, Argonauta Records! Set for a release on June 14th 2019, BURNING GLOOM will return with their brand new album, which will definitely surprise and please both fans and critics alike.

Says the band: “Mystic trees and stoner blues didn?t represent us anymore, after the first abum we started to look for darker atmospheres and heavier sounds; we decided to not continue with two guitars, but to have just one and we felt closer to doom metal and far enough from any psychedelic rock and blues appeals we had before. A different mood, more melancholic, more and louder screaming voices. All this became the new attitude, closer to doom and sludge metal and quite distant from usual stoner rock.

We thought to look for a label more connected to that kind of metal music we like, sludge, doom, post metal and closer to the underground scene. Actually we even didn’t start to look for any, because a label looked for us first. We found the interest of Argonauta Records, asking us about new album and we started to talk about it. We met and we received a very interesting proposal. We’re very proud about the decision we have made and we found a family, considering the good connections between some of the bands of the label.

“Amygdala” is our intimistic journey focused on brain disorders themes, talking about someone seriously threatened by dangerous nightmares, scaring landscapes. Some kind of a walk on a dark road in the night, enlighted just by flames and sparks of fires on the road, where fear and screams take place. It sounds like a violent storm of low tuning and fuzzy riffs mixed with a powerful female voice arising from loudness and madness. We’re proud of what we have recorded, in more sessions, in different seasons, from winter to summer. We’re really satisfied by the final result, we hope people will enjoy it, like we do”.

The tracklist will read as follows:
THE TOWER I
THE TOWER II
EREMITE
MODERN PROMETHEUS
NIGHTMARES featuring Mona Miluski (High Fighter)
WARDEN
BEYOND THE WALL
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER

BURNING GLOOM is:
Laura Mancini – Vocals
Marco Bertucci – Guitar
Marcello Modica – Drums
Giovanni Mastrapasqua – Bass

www.facebook.com/burninggloom
https://myhomeontreesband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
www.argonautarecords.com

My Home on Trees, How I Reached Home (2015)

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Burning Gloom: My Home on Trees Announce Name Change & New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’m not going to go as far as to say I’ve heard any of Burning Gloom‘s forthcoming long-player, Amygdala, or that I’m listening to a song from it right now that’s kicking my ass all over this room, but I will advise anyone still reading this sentence to keep an eye out for more on the offering as it gets closer to its to-be-announced release date. Big tones, big melodies, big hooks. It’s an interesting turn from the Milan-based outfit formerly known as My Home on Trees toward a kind of psychedelic but still thoroughly doomed atmosphere. Again, not that I’m listening to it or anything, because I’m not going to say that I am.

In all seriousness though, you can hear enough of a shift in vibe as to justify a name swap, and beyond just the fact that they’re doing something different, Burning Gloom sound vital even coming of My Home on Trees‘ 2015 album, How I Reached Home (review here). Hard to believe it’s coming up on four years since that one came out. Wow.

Time flies, doom plods. Here’s word from the band on the name change:

burning gloom

We used to be called MY HOME ON TREES from 2012 to 2018, but this new year that just started brought us a new life and a new identity: Burning Gloom. We realized that “My Home on Trees” didn’t fit us properly anymore. We feel closer to a different and heavier path, mentally and also musically. A new journey, made of fires in the night, a dark road enlightened by flames and sparks.

This is what our new full-length “Amygdala” represents. It took us 3 years to be ready to come back in studio, but we made it between february and june 2018 and our new record is now ready to be released later on this year, we have signed a contract and we’ll announce it very soon. Our new logo has been made by our friend STRX. A new life has begun, see you soon on the road and stay tuned for the next news.

https://www.facebook.com/burninggloom/
https://myhomeontreesband.bandcamp.com/

My Home on Trees, How I Reached Home (2015)

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VVitch Festival 2018 Confirms Lineup with Dopethrone, Celeste, Eagle Twin and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Set in Milan across four nights and three different venues taking place over the course of two months, the full VVitch Festival is a season-long experience. It draws bands from multiple regions in Europe, the US and Canada, and is no less eclectic in its sound than in the geography. Each show has a different theme that feeds into the larger entirety of the experience, and VVitch Festival proper will be held as the last night, with Frizzi 2 FulciCeleste, KENmodeBelzebong and The Necromancers (who are touring together and also making a stop in Austria at the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest), Birds in Row and Coilguns. Seems like a pretty sick night and all over the place, but again, it’s just the last of four in the series.

Full lineups follow here, along with event links as per the PR wire:

vvitch festival lineup

-VVITCH-

Inspired by witchcraft and horror movies themes, between doom, sludge, black, grind, death and post metal, it?s coming soon in Milano, Italy, a new event for metal maniacs called “VVITCH FESTIVAL”. A trilogy of events plus a fourth one, the festival. Three different venues in Milano, 17 bands, some of them for the first time in Italy, some for exclusive Italian shows.

“..dark forces are going to cross the walls of the city, after the Sacrifice and the Ritual, the Evocation..”

VVITCH I – Sacrifice
September 19th 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
DEMILICH (FIN) exclusive Italian show
SPECTRAL VOICE (USA) exclusive Italian show
CARDIAC ARREST (USA) exclusive Italian show
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1568544103256273

VVITCH II – Ritual
October 11th 2018, Kraken Pub, Milano
DOPETHRONE (CAN)
EAGLE TWIN (USA)
MESSA (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1979301145733544

VVITCH III – Evocation
November 3rd 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
BOLOGNA VIOLENTA (IT) “Uno Bianca” full album set
FISTULA (USA) exclusive Italian show
GRIME (IT)
DEATH HAS GONE (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2063352060550129

VVITCH FESTIVAL
November 25th 2018, Circolo Magnolia, Milano
FRIZZI 2 FULCI (IT)
(live soundtracks by Fabio Frizzi, of Lucio Fulci’s horror cult movies, for the
first time in Milano)
CELESTE (FR) exclusive Italian show
KEN MODE (CAN) exclusive Italian show
BELZEBONG (PL)
BIRDS IN ROW (FR)
COILGUNS (CH)
THE NECROMANCERS (FR)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/172227866788138

https://www.facebook.com/vvitchfestival

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (2018)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Di’Aul, Nobody’s Heaven

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

diaul nobodys heaven

[Click play above to stream Di’Aul’s Nobody’s Heaven in its entirety. Album is out May 4 via Argonauta Records.]

I’ll admit to being somewhat puzzled by the title Milano sludge-rocking four-piece Di’Aul — to be pronounced like “the owl” and not like “dial,” reportedly — have given to their five-track Argonauta Records sophomore long-player. Is it Nobody’s Heaven, like a heaven that doesn’t belong to anyone, or Nobody’s Heaven, like there isn’t a single person who represents the idea of paradise? The lyrics of the 7:45 opening title-track, delivered as they are in gruff but still melodic gutturalisms by vocalist MoMo Cinieri, aren’t much help when they’re discernible. I guess there’s something to keeping the idea vague — though I’ll allow that with the benefit of a full lyric sheet it might not be a mystery at all — and open to interpretation when it comes to engaging the listener, but Di’Aul could hardly be expected to have much trouble in that regard anyway, particularly among the mud-covered sludge converted whose lives have been incomplete since Australia’s Beastwars called it a day.

Di’Aul don’t proffer quite the same kind of tonal dominance from guitarist Lele Mella or bassist Jeremy Toma (also vocals), but the stomp in Diego Bertoni‘s drums on a cut like moody centerpiece “Garden of Exile” or the faster “Low Est,” which follows, seems to stem from a similar post-Crowbarian root. With how comfortable the band are playing slow, and how nestled into a nod they get, a moment like “Low Est” is something of a surprise, but there isn’t really a point on the album wherein Di’Aul entirely depart from the sphere of heavy sludge rock. So while they range a bit, they’re still well within genre parameters.

The crucial element here is lurch. The five songs that comprise Nobody’s Heaven — “Nobody’s Heaven,” “Black Death,” “Garden of Exile,” “Low Est,” and “Mother Witch” — rely largely on slow grooves to get their sonic point across, and that becomes a bit part of the identity of the album. They start of quietly enough with the intro to “Nobody’s Heaven,” but about 90 seconds in build to a huge-sounding scream and crash, and from there, trade back and forth tensely between quiet minimalist guitar strumming/vocals, and full-tone kick-in-the-teeth riffing and rolling. Their basic starting point is definitely metal, and that’s so it’s all the easier to point to a band like Crowbar as a pivotal influence for the teeth-gritting “Black Death,” which still carries a melody in its chorus in a way that’s immediately familiar, but there are shades of more bouncing riffage in the subsequent “Garden of Exile” despite the consistency of brooding.

di'aul

That subtle difference in methodology goes a long way in not only holding the forward momentum Di’Aul have thus far worked to craft, but broadening the overarching sonic context of the release. Again, they remain aggressive, and Mella‘s guitar still finds room for plenty of the chug that seems to permeate every song in one way or another, but the swinging bridge that starts at about four minutes in would’ve seem strange tucked into the opener, and it shows command on the part of the group as a unit that by the time they get there and head toward the slowdown and solo that leads back to the verse/chorus to finish out — because songwriting! — it’s well within their reach. That makes the transition into the uptempo push of “Low Est” that much easier, and keeps the linear flow intact as Di’Aul lumber to the album’s finale.

I’ve likened Cinieri‘s vocals to High on Fire on “Low Est” before, and especially with the faster progression behind him, I stand by that, but if it seems like I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about his work, it’s because it stands out both in delivery and at the forefront of the album’s actual mix. As they start the rollout of closer “Mother Witch” and hit into an angular verse riff, even subdued, Cinieri is very much a presence in the material — which in the case of the last track is about as close as they come to that Beastwars comparison above. “Mother Witch” is the longest of the individual slabs on Nobody’s Heaven at just over eight minutes — it and the title-cut form a kind of bookend — and uses its extra runtime to patiently execute its verse/chorus tradeoffs, but to find room as well for noise-rock-style starts and stops late and symmetry with its whistle-topped intro and outro, the latter of which leads to the last stomps and eerie noise closing the record as a whole, which echo the underlying ambient bed beneath the guitar opening “Nobody’s Heaven.”

Of course, this underscores the notion of the bookend, and further, the cohesion that pervades the entirety of the full-length. Di’Aul made their debut in 2015 with the burl-laden Garden of Exile (note that the track of the same title didn’t appear there but appears here) and while elements have certainly carried over from one release to the next, it’s plain to hear in these five songs that the band have given due attention to atmospheric weight as well as sheer assault of volume. That works much to their benefit throughout Nobody’s Heaven and whether it’s someone or someplace, belonging to anyone or no one, the record comes across executed mindfully and aware moment by moment of its own impact. That only bodes well as Di’Aul continue to move forward.

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