Days of Rona: Martin Bush of Hyborian

Posted in Features on April 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

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

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

hyborian martin bush

Days of Rona: Martin Bush of Hyborian (Kansas City, Missouri)

The best online writing service CustomThesis.org provides the reputed and top rated Market Analysis Example Business Plan. We offers PhD thesis proposal writing 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?

We had to postpone our album release show, and festival and tour plans for the spring are obviously cancelled. We are all healthy and hale, but bored out of our minds being isolated at home.

what website can do my homework - All sorts of academic writings & custom papers. put out a little time and money to receive the paper you could not even dream about leave What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

We are under a shelter at home order here in Kansas City, with no real end in sight. Basically only essential businesses can operate, and everyone is supposed to stay in their houses unless leaving is absolutely necessary.

SameDayEssay offers you a unique opportunity of having your custom essay written extra fast! Our Team will Contact You Within 10 where can i find someone to write essays for me How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Everything here is pretty much at a standstill. Venues are all closed, restaurants and bars are all closed, everything but grocery stores and hospitals are pretty much closed. It has definitely had a huge effect on the music community here.

college dissertation school smith social work This Site phd thesis depression cpm homework help ccg What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

As soon as this is all over, expect to see us on tour A LOT. I never thought the freedom to play shows was something that could be taken away from us, but once we can again we will definitely not take it for granted. See you on the road soon!

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Review: Spacetrucker & Mr. Bison, Turned to Stone Chapter 1 – Enter Galactic Wasteland Split

Posted in Reviews on January 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Turned to Stone Chapter 1 Spacetrucker Mr Bison

On a level of ambition, a series of split releases is second perhaps only to a series of compilations in terms of the massive amount of work that is involved in coordination. Most ‘Vol. 1’-type outings do not get to ‘Vol. 2.’ An exception to this rule was research paper on impact of advertising on consumer buying behaviour http://www.dobra-vila-bovec.si/?getting-help-with-homework Dissertation Online bipolar disorder thesis dissertation funding Ripple Music‘s Work with ACW's developmental and comprehensive Company Description For A Business Plans to ensure that your academic writing is successful! The Second Coming of Heavy, which, though its title wanted for generational context (the heavy ’10s were at least the third coming), was a deeply admirable 10-installment series that brought bands into the Federal Resume my blog by certified Federal Resume Writers. What is a Federal Resume? Since the elimination of the complicated Government Ripple fold who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the exposure while staying tied together through artwork as well as the titular presentation. It allowed the label to expand its reach and had a curated, carefully-picked sensibility behind it.

Those 10 offerings were not haphazard. Looking for an essay helper? With Grademiners, you can get any type of paper done ďWriting A Professional Essay for me?Ē you are probably looking for a Ripple would hope to bring the same mindset to Popart Studio is a digital agency which offers http://bcn.uprrp.edu/trash/?doctoral-dissertation-research-help, SEO, SEM, SMM promotion, and branding services. Free analysis and consultation. Turned to Stone, a new series that essentially picks up where Essay Famous Writers. essay famous writers Benjamin Franklin is one of the best writers that America has ever produced. Benjamin Franklin essays have been the benchmark for essay writers.Cochlear Implant Students Dissertation of those times were inspired by the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865), and the period of innocent optimism gave its way to a period of total exhaustion. The Second Coming of Heavy left off. I guess they’re gluttons for punishment when it comes to logistics? There’s no end-figure stated for http://www.alvey.cz/?electronic-thesis-and-dissertation-librarys - Get to know basic tips as to how to get the greatest essay ever Top reliable and trustworthy academic writing help. Essays Turned to Stone so far as I know — that is, they haven’t said “10 and done” as they did with the prior series — but however far it ends up going, its first installment, the full and somewhat cumbersome title of which is Essay Writing Service In Singapores - Making a custom research paper means go through a lot of stages Fast and trustworthy services from industry top company. Ripple Music Presents: Turned to Stone Chapter 1 – Mr. Bison & Spacetrucker: Enter Galactic Wasteland, already crosses continental borders in bringing together its component acts.

From Pisa, Italy, come the trio Affordable essay & good essay writing company from our expert editors at NerdPro. Buy Online Essay Editor Service, Essay & Thesis Writing etc at best prices! Mr. Bison, whose moniker continues to immediately touch of Gen-X nostalgia for the lost hours of my youth playing¬†Street Fighter II, and from St. Louis, Missouri, the three-piece¬† cisco network admission control implementation resume Writing The Methods Section Of A Research Paper dissertation writing help in dubai doctoral thesis in philosophy Spacetrucker, whose three tracks run across side B in deceptively atmospheric fashion. The two bands are complementary in some ways, contrasting in others, but one suspects that’s the idea, and like most landscapes described as a wasteland, one finds the LP’s 38-minute run not at all void of life, but a vital ecosystem of heavy rock and roll that helps to demonstrate just how multifaceted the genre has become.

Order an essay from a reliable Visit Website. Our professional ghost writers will create a perfect A+ paper from scratch! Mr. Bison¬†don’t make it through the seven-minute “The Grace of Time” before they break out the organ and work in elements of psychedelia and classic prog — and that’s just fine. There are shades of Golden Void in the dramatic arrival of organ amid the guitar, bass and drums, but I wouldn’t call the all-Matteo lineup of guitarist/vocalists¬†Matteo Barsacchi and¬†Matteo Sciocchetto and drummer¬†Matteo D’Ignazi¬†overly derivative. Rather, the drift they inject into moments like the opening stretches of “The Stranger” and “Oracle Prophecy,” which builds as it moves forward, receding in the middle only to surge again at the conclusion in not-unforeseeable but still exciting and progressive fashion.

Their 2018 album,¬†Holy Oak (review here), was like-minded in its somewhat deceptive approach, appearing simpler on the surface than it actually was, and as Barsacchi and Sciocchetto¬†arrange vocals here, layering solos and effects all the while to create a sense of swirl as “Oracle Prophecy” comes to a head, the impression is that the band have obviously continued to solidify and become more assured of their approach. This creative next step is, of course, the ideal, though I don’t actually know how long ago the songs were recorded.

Either way, that Mr. Bison would leave one feeling like the band is making forward progress is, indeed, forward progress, and as their three inclusions are longer than those of¬†Spacetrucker¬†by about four minutes, running 21 minutes, their time only seems to be well-spent in setting up an atmosphere and flow. Listening digitally, this flow is immediately, strikingly contrasted by the shift in production value to¬†Spacetrucker‘s three tracks, which are rawer and more directly fuzz-driven. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Owen, bassist/vocalist¬†Rob Wagoner and drummer/multipadder¬†Del Toro¬†present a ready charge in the five-and-a-half-minute “Nosedive,” eschewing the proggier aspects of their side A counterparts in favor of a more direct attack.

That’s not to say that “Nosedive” or the subsequent instrumental “Distant Earth,” which is the longest track on the release at 7:56, don’t have a sense of atmosphere, just that said atmosphere is more based around the sheer punch of what they do. And when the low-end on “Distant Earth” kicks in there’s no shortage of punch to be had. “Distant Earth” resolves itself in some prog-metal-style chugging completed by a chiming bell, and then moves into a solo before rounding out in similar rhythmic terrain, an impressive more-than-jam that’s fluid if less sonically lush than some of what appeared on¬†the split’s first half.¬†Spacetrucker round out with the shorter “King Cheeto,” an early-Fu Manchu-style fuzz punker that revives some of the more aggressive thrust of “Nosedive” and finishes in a satisfying rush of noise and cut momentum. If that’s what being turned to stone sounds like, then so be it.

In terms of what ties the two bands together, aside from the basic umbrella of “heavy” that is horoscope-vague enough to be applicable on all counts, there’s an undercurrent of stylistic depth shared by¬†Spacetrucker and¬†Mr. Bison that comes through in different contexts, but is there just the same.¬†Spacetrucker are not unaffected by Truckfighters-esque energy, but like¬†Mr. Bison before them, they seem to be engaged in the project of internalizing their influences in order to craft their own sound from them.

In that case, the sheer thrust and rawness of production works for them, standing them out from¬†Mr. Bison and adding to their own take, which doesn’t necessarily shy away from aggression. As¬†Ripple Music stares down the prospect of this new series, one wonders just what will emerge from¬†Turned to Stone. Standing astride¬†The Second Coming of Heavy helped the label become among the foremost purveyors of American underground heavy rock and found them increasingly branching out in aesthetic. If¬†Turned to Stone furthers that mission, it can only be considered a worthy cause.

[Clarification: The digital version of the release lists¬†Mr. Bison as the first band, where on vinyl it’s¬†Spacetrucker on side A. Apologies for any confusion this causes.]

Spacetrucker & Mr. Bison, Turned to Stone Chapter 1 – Enter Galactic Wasteland (2020)

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Hyborian Stream “Planet Destructor”; Volume II Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

hyborian

Some pretty significant gallop in the new streaming track from Hyborian, which is serving as the lead single of their sci-fi-apocalypse-end-of-the-universe-cycle-of-rebirth themed new record. Given its narrative and the tie-in novel guitarist/vocalist Martin Bush penned to go along with it, the title Volume II for the record seems kind of understated, but fair enough either way. The song, for example, is called “Planet Destructor,” and that would appear to convey some more of the severity of the subject at hand. One way or the other, though, they get the point across, and if that’s what the end of all things sounds like, it’s surprisingly precise for an unraveling. I’ll take it.

Hyborian make their way east to play Grim Reefer Fest in Baltimore on April 18, and before they do that, they’ll play the release show timed to the album coming out on March 20 at The Riot Room in their hometown of Kansas City.

Details for those and the single can be found below via the PR wire. It’s easily the most metal thing I’ve heard today:

hyborian vol ii

HYBORIAN Reveal New Album Details, Release First Single

Progressive sludge metal outfit HYBORIAN will release their sophomore effort, aptly titled ‘Volume II,’ on March 20, 2020! In conjunction with the album announcement, HYBORIAN have released the first single from this monstrous effort, “Planet Destructor.”

The conceptual record picks up where their debut record left off and is accompanied by a 224-page sci-fi novel, ‘The Traveller,’ which was penned entirely by HYBORIAN guitarist/vocalist Martin Bush.

A summary of the book is as follows:
“The universe is filled with beginnings. Life springs anew in a constant cycle of birth and rebirth, billions upon billions of beginnings, intrinsically linked, each influencing the beginnings that will come after. Every ending is in and of itself a new beginning; what once was, by the very act of ending, becomes the beginning of what is to follow. This particular beginning begins at the end; the end of everything. The universe is dying. It is in the final stages of passing out of existence, which is a beginning as well, the beginning of what comes after. The cycle continues, cascading in an unending series of births and deaths, all linked, each one shaped by the beginnings that preceded it.

“The universe is dying, but it will begin again.”

To celebrate the release, HYBORIAN will be performing an album release show on March 20 at The Riot Room in their hometown of Kansas City, MO, in which they will be supported by label-mates THE LION’S DAUGHTER. The event will be sponsored by 98.9 FM.

HYBORIAN live:
03/20: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room (w/ THE LION’S DAUGHTER)
04/18: Baltimore, MD @ Grim Reefer Fest

Track-list:
1. Driven by Hunger (05:11)
2. Stormbound (04:18)
3. Sanctuary (05:28)
4. Planet Destructor (04:40)
5. The Entity (03:55)
6. Expanse (03:40)
7. Portal (04:43)
8. In the Hall of the Travellers (08:10)
Total: 40:10s

‘Volume II’ is available for pre-order HERE.

HYBORIAN Line-up:
Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Bates – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Justin Rippeto – Drums

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Hyborian, “Planet Destructor”

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Hyborian Announce November Tour Dates; Volume II Due Early 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hyborian

Kansas City-based progressive heavy rockers/metallers¬†Hyborian are set to release their new album,¬†Volume II — their 19th record, obviously — through¬†Season of Mist early next year, and to herald its arrival, they have a novel written by guitarist/vocalist¬†Martin Bush telling the story more or less of the universe dying and being reborn, because if you’re going to have a narrative, go big. No doubt the riffs on the upcoming LP will do likewise when they land. In the meantime, the band will tour next month including a stop at¬†Saint Vitus Bar that will be presented by¬†Ode to Doom and this very site as a matinee show ahead of Monolord¬†taking the stage that night.¬†Godmaker are playing too. My position is you go to the venue and make a full day of it in Brooklyn. Your own fest! I don’t know what more you could ask for.

The PR wire has the info you need, and I’ll have more about that show probably next week:

hyborian tour

HYBORIAN Announce November U.S. Tour Dates

Heavy metal riff machine HYBORIAN have announced a run of headlining U.S. tour dates for this November, in which they will be supported by Migrator. Preceded by a set at Harvest of Doom Fest on October 19 in Lawrence, KS, the tour will officially kick off on November 14 in St. Louis, MO and will conclude on November 22 in Lincoln, NE. More dates TBA! The full itinerary is as follows:

HYBORIAN (w/ Migrator):
10/19: Lawrence, KS @ Harvest of Doom Fest
11/14: St Louis, MO @ Fubar*
11/15: Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing
11/16: Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
11/17: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar (Matinee Show)
11/18: Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
11/19: Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
11/20: Columbus, OH @ Cafe Bourbon Street
11/21: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
11/22: Lincoln, NE @ 1867 Bar
11/24: TBA
*No Migrator

HYBORIAN have previously released the first edition of their original new book, ‘The Traveller – A Hyborian Tale,’ which was written and illustrated by vocalist/guitarist Martin Bush. The 224 page sci-fi tale has been written as a companion piece for the band’s upcoming conceptual full-length, ‘Volume II,’ which is due in early 2020. The book is available now and can be purchased HERE.

Author Martin Bush further explains, “For our next record, we decided that we wanted to expound upon the concepts we introduced with ‘Volume I.’ The Traveller (the cloaked figure on the cover of ‘Volume I’) was a central figure in the mythos we were building, so for this album we wanted to focus more on who/what The Traveller is. The more we talked about it as a band, the more involved the ideas became, until there was just way too much to be able to cram it into an album’s worth of song lyrics. Over most of 2018, we were touring pretty nonstop, but I was finding time here and there to start putting all those ideas down on paper. Eventually, we had a book, which tells the same story as our upcoming full-length ‘Volume II,’ just in much, much more detail. It’s basically an origin story for The Traveller, set in the very last days of existence. The story focuses on a father and son, who, as far as we know, are the last humans alive, and their struggles to survive as the universe crumbles around them.”

HYBORIAN Line-up:
Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals
Justin Rippeto – Drums
Anthony Diale – Bass

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Hyborian, Volume I (2017)

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Quarterly Review: High on Fire, Ruff Majik, Merlin, Workshed, E-L-R, Sibyl, Golden Legacy, Saint Karloff & Devil’s Witches, Burden Limbs, El Supremo

Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Another day, another batch of 10 reviews on the march to 50 by the end of the week. Will we make it? Yeah, probably. I mean, I think there was once when I had to skip a day or something but even then I made up for it and there’s never been an instance where the Quarterly Review fell apart. The one quarter I decided to nix it (was it last year?) I made up for it by doing 100 reviews instead of 50 the next time out, so we got there eventually. It being Tuesday, the end of the week looks far off, but indeed we’ll ge there eventually, and there’s a lot of good music between now and then, so let’s hit it.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

High on Fire, Bat Salad

high on fire bat salad

A limited vinyl EP released as part of Record Store Day 2019, High on Fire‘s Bat Salad comprises three songs: an original instrumental and two covers, one of Celtic Frost and one of Bad Brains. And I won’t take away from the “Rat Salad” Sabbath-does-blues-jazz-jam-except-it’s-HighonFire-so-it-sounds-nasty-as-hell spirit of “Bat Salad” at all, but the real highlight here is hearing Matt Pike‘s gravel-throated vocals take on “Into Crypts of Rays.” Celtic Frost have always been a central factor in what High on Fire were doing stylistically, so to have the band take them on directly seems long in the making. They approach Bad Brains‘ “Don’t Bother Me” with due reverence as well, careening through an intense three-minute burst of energy with the grit and underlying precision one has come to expect from these singular masters. Soon enough, bands will be covering High on Fire with the same spirit of fan homage. Doubly notable for being founding drummer Des Kensel‘s last recorded appearance alongside Pike and bassist Jeff Matz in the band.

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Ruff Majik, Tårn

ruff majik tarn

Guitarist/vocalist Johni Holiday, bassist Jimmy Glass and drummer Ben Manchino return with T√•rn, Ruff Majik‘s second album on a quick turnaround from their 2018 debut, Seasons (review here). Aligned with Lay Bare Recordings for the vinyl release, the deceptively quick and even more deceptively complex seven-track/36-minute offering finds Ruff Majik digging into dirt-caked tonality and classically punkish sneer in Holiday‘s vocals. There are moments where they sound like Queens of the Stone Age (“Speed Hippie”) and moments where they sound like Black Flag (parts of opener “Schizophrenic”), but as a roller like “Heretically Happy” or the earlier post-Zeppelin stoner sneak of “Gloom & Tomb” show, Ruff Majik are perhaps most interested in sounding like themselves. They’re gleeful as they toy with doomed vibes on closer “Seasoning the Witch,” and the seven-minute “I’ll Dig the Grave” earlier thrills with changes drawn together by a pervasive and righteous groove. With T√•rn, Ruff Majik have found their wavelength, and it suits them.

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Merlin, The Mortal

merlin the mortal

Be it heretofore established that sax-laced Kansas City psych-doomers Merlin don’t give a fuck. They don’t give a fuck what you expect, they don’t give a fuck what everyone else is doing, they don’t give a fuck if they meme the crap out of their own band. They’ve got their thing and they’re doing it. And you know what? They’re right. The Mortal is their fifth full-length in six years, following as a sequel to early-2018’s The Wizard (review here), and with flourish galore in arrangements of organ, sax, flute, percussion, accordion, trumpet, etc., alongside the foundation of songcraft that comes through the guitar, bass, drums and always-theatrical vocals of Jordan Knorr, the band recount tales along a dark-magical mystery tour of gorgeously flowing and still-weighted psychedelic plunder. They have become a buried treasure of weirdo/geek rock, and whether it’s the peaceful drift of “Ashen Lake” or the cacophonous heavy riffing of “Basilisk,” the stage-setting prog of “Towerfall” or the consuming swell that carries out the apex of closer “The Mortal Suite” — King Crimson chase and all — Merlin‘s work has never sounded so masterful. Will there be a third installment in the tale? Nothing quite like a trilogy.

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Workshed, Workshed

workshed workshed

They’ve since added a third party in bassist Helen Storer (Fireball Ministry, among others), but Workshed‘s self-titled Rise Above Records debut LP was recorded as the duo of guitarist/vocalist Adam Lehan and drummer Mark Wharton. More than a quarter-century ago, both Lehan and Wharton played on Cathedral‘s pivotal first two albums, but in Workshed, and certainly there are some shades of doom on a stomper like “Anthropophobic” here, but the bulk of Workshed‘s nine-song/47-minute first offering is given to post-Entombed buzzsaw noise sludge, riffs crunched one into the next in an aggro, punk-rooted fashion that rife with a sense of willful punishment that comes through in sheer impact from front to back. Vocals call to mind Tom G. Warrior immediately and are suited to the social commentary of “If This is How it Is” and “This City Has Fallen,” while the grueling march of “A Spirit in Exile” leaves room for some atmosphere to eek through, which it does. They trash out in centerpiece “On Sticks of Wood” and chug their into a last fade on closer “It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way,” but by then they’ve long since made their statement and left a trail of destruction behind them. Would they have been signed to Rise Above without the Cathedral connection? Probably not. Does the album earn their place? Absolutely.

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E-L-R, Mænad

e-l-r maenad

With their first full-length, M√¶nad, Swiss post-metallers E-L-R cart a gorgeous and textured course through patient and progressive songweaving that lends itself to hypnosis through its churning rhythm as much as its overarching melodies seem to evoke other worlds. It is not without its sense of challenge and certainly plenty heavy in its tone and groove — at least where it wants to be — but it’s also rich and provides a level of depth to its mix that should have others in the genre asking how they did it. A transitional drone at the end of “Devotee” brings about the 10-minute “Above the Mountains There is Light” and a long contemplation begins, working from the ground up on a pilgrim’s path to the eventual payoff. The resonance there is something unto itself, but even as “Ambrosia,” “Lunar Nights” and “The Wild Shore” find the stylistic footing that opener “Glancing Limbs” and “Devotee” seemed to hint at earlier, E-L-R maintain both an ambient sprawl and a consuming sense of passion that makes their work here all the more thrilling. This is a debut, following only a single 2018 demo that had two of the same tracks. What that tells me is look out for this band, because this kind of potential doesn’t come along every day and when it does, you want to be there for the follow-up. The impeccable taste of Prophecy Productions pays dividends once again.

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Sibyl, The Magic Isn’t Real

sibyl the magic isn't real

Otherworldly doom rock marked by echoing vocals oozing out from deep in the mix and gotta-hear-it bass tone complemented by choice riffage and a fervent thud in the drums, even if the aesthetic of Richmond’s Sibyl is familiar enough, there’s plenty to dig about their debut EP — what one might’ve called a “demo” in eras past — The Magic Isn’t Real. The stylistic elephant in the room is RVA’s own Windhand, but Sibyl take a more psychedelic path to heavy oblivion, and with four tracks in the range of four to five minutes, The Magic Isn’t Real comes across as well focused in its songwriting despite the ethereal touches in the actual sound. Cool vibe, and as they work some noisy shuffle into “Spinning Webs,” they show themselves as being less restricted than otherwise might be the case if they were purely committed to doomed drudgery. I’ll give bonus points as well for naming the penultimate track “Sexpionage,” just on principle, but it’s in stretches like the subdued creeper opening of “Blood Moon” and the engrossing, still-somehow-moving wash of “Pendulums” that Sibyl really showcase their intention.

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Golden Legacy, Golden Legacy II

golden legacy golden legacy ii

London heavy noise duo Golden Legacy offer five tracks and 23 minutes of anti-genre, adrenaline rock to follow-up their 2016 self-titled EP. There’s a strong undercurrent of modern punk and indie to their sound, which is what gets them the “anti-genre” consideration, but it’s the energy of their delivery carrying them one way or the other as they drive through the harsh snare of “Cut and Crash” following the chunkier tone of opener “Moon” and just before centerpiece “Dirty Mouth” finds its way into grunge-style howling beastliness. Comprised of drummer/vocalist Lorena Cachito and guitarist Yanni Georgiou, the two-piece find winning momentum in “Salvation,” while closer “Thirsty” opens with a mellow drum progression gradually joined by the guitar and builds into more progressive and dramatic movement, casting off some of the rawness of the songs before it in favor of more complex fare. It still manages to soar at the end, though, and that seems to be what counts. They might be rawer now than they’ll eventually turn out, but that suits most of what they’re doing in adding to the emotionality on display in Cachito‘s vocals.

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Saint Karloff & Devil’s Witches, Coven of the Ultra-Riff

saint karloff devils witches coven of the ultra-riff

Alright, look. I don’t even think I have the full thing, but whatever. Saint Karloff and Devil’s Witches came together to release the Coven of the Ultra-Riff split — it can be so hard to find the right coven for your family; have you considered the Ultra-Riff? — and they each play an original track and then they cover each other’s songs and then Saint Karloff introduce the progression of “Supervixen (Electric Return)” and Devil’s Witches take up the mantle and run with it on “Supervixen (Acoustic Return),” so yeah, it’s pretty awesome and kind of all over the place but whatever. Get your head around it and get on board with whatever version you can grab. Vinyl came out through Majestic Mountain Records and tapes were through Stoner Witch Records and I’m fairly certain it’s all sold out already and probably stupid expensive on Discogs, but do what you need to do, because this is what Sabbath worship in the year 2019 is supposed to sound like. It’s bombed out of its gourd and has long since dropped out of life. It’s exactly where and what it wants to be.

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Burden Limbs, There is No Escape

burden limbs there is no escape

I’m not going to pretend to have the grounding in post-hardcore to toss off the influences under which Burden Limbs are working, but to listen to the blast of noise in “How Many Times Must I Reset” and the near-industrial wash of noise they conjure in the subsequent “Hypochondriac,” it’s clear they’re working under one influence anyway. There is No Escape (released through Glasshouse Records) runs 24 minutes and carries four songs, but in that time the band around founding figurehead and guitarist/vocalist Chad Murray manage to challenge themselves and the listener alike to keep up with their turns and emotional resonance. Murray is joined by two bassists, another guitarist, keyboards/synth and drums, so yes, there’s something of a busy feel to it, but even echoing cavernous as they are, the vocals seem to draw the songs together around a central presence and add a human core to the proceedings that only makes them all the more affecting as would seem to be the intent.

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El Supremo, Clarity Through Distortion

El Supremo Clarity Through Distortion

Sometimes these things take a while, but El Supremo was formed by now-ex-Egypt bassist Chad Heille has a solo-project and released a self-titled demo in 2008, to which Clarity Through Distortion is the follow-up full-length. Now joined by guitarist Neil Stein (also ex-Egypt, and who also played some on the demo) and organist Chris Gould as well as bassist Cam Dewald who came aboard after the album’s completion, the instrumentalist full-band incarnation of El Supremo waste no time diving into dead-on tonal and riffy righteousness, taking classic heavy cues and running with them in modern production richness, sounding clear but natural as a jam like “Moanin’ & Groanin'” turns into a shuffler as it moves into its second half, or the mellow sway of the 14-minute “Supercell” at last runs head-on into the lumbering motion that will carry it through to the end. I don’t know how much clarity — at least of the existential sort I think they mean in the title — they might’ve found by the time the bluesy “Lotus Throne” rolls over into the shreddy “Outro” that caps, but if the method is distortion, they’ve certainly got that part down.

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Merlin Post “Mindflayer” Lyric Video; The Mortal Due Aug. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Kansas City psych-doom-whatever outfit Merlin have a lyric video posted for the track “Mindflayer” from their upcoming LP, The Mortal. A late-summer blockbuster sequel to last year’s The Wizard (review here) the eight-track outing was made available to preorder on vinyl through The Company last week and sold through just about all the various editions that were available. I think there might still be some if you go quick, but they memed the crap out of the process on the social medias, and there the platters went. Bye-eee.

Aug. 23 is the official release, and as these cats have a flair for the theatrical, I’d expect there to be plenty of shenanigans involved when the time comes, but as The Wizard made plain, their heads are screwed on straight when it comes to songwriting as well, and the pursuit of their aesthetic concept — somewhere between Playstation, real-life D&D and Black Sax-bath — does not come at the expense of basic craft. If it did, their entire project probably would’ve fallen apart by now, whereas they only seem to get stronger as they go on.

Some details and links cobbled together for your perusal:

merlin the mortal

Thank you all so much for your time, dedication and support for this release. You truly are the greatest fans alive and we promise you, you will have in your hands one Incredible album.

Buying this record guarantees you something alot of fans sadly wont get. The Mortal on Vinyl. The Wizard, a fan favorite long out of stock, is a testament to how fast these will go.

Don’t sleep on buying this Record today… Good luck.

Long Live the Wizard of Nothing.

PREORDER NOW!!!!
https://thecompanykc.bigcartel.com/product/merlinthemortal

Side A:
Prologue
Tower Fall
Chaos Blade
Ashen Lake

Side B:
Mindflayer
Basilisk
Metamorphosis
The Mortal Suite

Releases August 23, 2019

Cast:
Carter Lewis – Guitar/ Keys/ Organ
Stu Kersting – Guitar/ Saxophone/ Flute
Chase Thayer – Guitar/ Additonal Percussion
Joey Hamm – Bass Guitar
Jordan Knorr – Vocals/ Storytelling/ Omnichord
Randall Tripps- Drums/ Dark Magic

Guest Musicians:
Jeremy Mcclain – Accordian
Garrett Holm – Accordian
Bretstradamus – Trumpet

https://www.facebook.com/MERLIN666/
http://merlin666.bandcamp.com/
http://thecompanykc.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thecompanykc

Merlin, “Mindflayer” lyric video

Merlin, The Mortal (2019)

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Inner Altar Premiere “Pagan Rays | Numbered Days”; Debut LP Vol. III out Jan. 18

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 7th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

inner altar

Kansas City doom rockers Inner Altar will release their deceptively numbered debut album, Vol. III, through The Company later this month. It is the third release from the five-piece outfit, preceded by two demo/EP outings similarly titled in succession. The full-length taps into a cave-echoed classic doom vibe, not such distant kin from some of what’s come in recent years from Scandinavian acts like Dunbarrow and Demon Head, or even some US practitioners like Magic Circle,¬†but with elements of garage doom roughness to their riffing as well that help to push them into their own territory. To wit, the grueling rollout of “Pagan Rays | Numbered Days” and the chants of the near-seven-minute eponymous closer cast a particularly darkened aspect to the atmosphere that adds depth to the acoustic/electric ’70s doom-folk shuffle of “Undine’s Kiss” earlier. Wailing vocals add a distinctly proro-metallic vibe to the lyrical declarations, and an overriding naturalism to the production — not necessarily worshiping the vintage, but shooting at least for a live feel — only make that vibe more believable.

The touchstone in terms of aesthetics is of course Pentagram‘s First Daze Here material, but neither are the lessons of formative acolytes like Witchcraft lost on Inner Altar, and while we’re talking about Altars, there might be a bit of Pagan Altar‘s pre-NWOBHM style of heavy happening in the crunch and atmosphere of “Castle Storm” as well, the centerpiece pulling back from some of the immediacy of the post-intro opener “For the Gods to Swear By,” which kicks off Vol. III at a relative rush while prefacing some more of the progressive sensibilities of the band in a departure to minimal classic guitar in its second half — the two sides of its personality both proving as crucial to setting up the rest of what follows as the bass tone that leads back into the thrust. That’s not to take away from the impact either of the serenely-strummed “Intro” itself, the quiet and somewhat understated feel of which informs even the straight-ahead thickened-tone roll of the penultimate “Dethroned and Fugitive,” another sub-four-minute rocker that instead of progging out as does “For the Gods to Swear By,” goes the opposite way and kicks into another level of push.

That would seem to leave cuts like “Lives of Fire” and “Mother Eternity” with the task of establishing some middle ground, and the former, which is particularly memorable and which served as a pre-release single (with a video you can see at the bottom of this post), does just that while “Mother Eternity” takes notable command of the more doomed persona with fluid shifts in volume and room for a bit of Witchcraftian flute-ish sounds, though it could just as easily be keys at work there. All told, the record is a clean nine tracks (with intro) and 38 minutes that culminates in suitably dug-in fashion with “Inner Altar” itself, the band drawing together multiple sides of their sound to finish with a fitting representation of their overarching atmospheric intent. Along with the clarity of their stylistic vision — that is, the fact that they know what they want to sound like — the subtly progressive aspects of¬†Vol. III represent¬†Inner Altar well in terms of potential avenues for future growth, but as in the best of cases, that shouldn’t discount what they already bring in terms of songwriting, which only seems to grow in esteem with subsequent listens.

I’m thrilled today to be able to host the premiere of “Pagan Rays | Numbered Days” ahead of the album’s release. You can listen to the track below, followed by some words from the band and more info from the PR wire, including the preorder link for Vol. III. Please enjoy:

Lord Rewcifer on “Pagan Rays | Numbered Days”:

“Pagan Rays. This track is like when the pagan gods plotted the destruction of the human race for giving birth to judeo-christian thought which in turn destroyed them. Suicide is no longer a sin, it is your rite! And they will take us any way they can. Your prayers can’t save you and don’t bother running. Alright! Cheers and Hails!”

Inner Altar hails from very near the center of the US, in Kansas City, MO. Middle of the map. Consisting of friends who came up in the underground midwest punk/hc community who’ve always had an affinity for the classic doom sounds of the early 70’s, Inner Altar was born in 2015. With 2 demo Volumes completed and a some push from Kansas City based record label, The Company, Inner Altar began work on self recording and producing their first LP, Vol III, at the beginning of 2018.

Fast forward to the end of the year and Inner Altar is ready to release their hard work. 9 stand apart tracks of classic doom love with their midwestern land locked twist. Lives Of Fire, the first single from Vol III, has been released Dec 21st and vinyl be preordered through The Company’s website starting Dec 22nd. The official release for the album is January 18th, 2019. The album will be available on black, gold, and blood/bone.

Side A:
Prelude
For the Gods to Swear By
Lives of Fire
Undine’s Kiss
Castle Storm

Side B:
Pagan Rays | Numbered Days
Mother Eternity
Dethroned & Fugitive
Inner Altar

Inner Altar is:
Seasnake
Tunx
SSDB
Rewchild
Long Feather

Inner Altar, “Lives of Fire” official video

Inner Altar on Thee Facebooks

Inner Altar on Bandcamp

The Company webstore

The Company on Instagram

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Quarterly Review: Blood of the Sun, Evoken, IAH, Asylum, Merlin, The Hazytones, Daily Thompson, Old Man Lizard, Tuskar, Space Coke

Posted in Reviews on December 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I had to think long and hard just now about what day it is. It’s Tuesday. — See how confident I was in saying that? A mask for insecurity, as always.

Anyway, the QR continues today with 10 more records and a pretty solid mix of whatnot. Some of this I’ve written about before here, but basically want to have another shot at the records themselves, so as we wind down 2018, it seems like the time to do that is now. As always, I hope you find something you dig. Seems pretty likely, frankly. If you go the entire 100 records with nothing but a “meh” to show for it, the problem isn’t likely to be the records. Not trying to insinuate anything, I’m just saying. 100 records is a lot. 10 records is a lot. And that’s what we’re doing today, so let’s get going.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Blood of the Sun, Blood’s Thicker than Love

blood of the sun bloods thicker than love

Drummer Henry Vasquez (also Saint Vitus) returns to his ultra-Texan heavy rock roots with Blood of the Sun‘s first album in six years, Blood’s Thicker than Love (on Listenable). Driven by his own fervent rhythmic push, the six-song collection is given further classic heavy vibe through the prominent organ/keyboard work of Dave Gryder. Oh, and also the riffs from newcomer guitarists Wyatt Burton and Alex Johnson. Oh, and also bassist Roger “Kip” Yma‘s quick turns on bass. Oh, and also Sean Vargas‘ vocals. So yeah, pretty much the whole damn thing is classic uptempo heavy boogie, produced modern but making no mistake about where its heart lies. Vargas‘ voice has a pre-metal swagger that helps define tracks like “Livin’ for the Night” and the capper “Blood of the Road,” and while the follow-up to 2012’s Burning on the Wings of Desire (review here) is enough to make one wistful for the days when their contemporaries in Dixie Witch once also roamed the land, Blood of the Sun make classic rock their own and give it a vibrancy that’s nothing if not a show of love, regardless of how thick that may be.

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Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Evoken, Hypnagogia

evoken hypnogogia

Unremitting. Unrelenting. Unforgiving. Whatever else one might say about New Jersey death/doombringers Evoken, it better start with the prefix “un-.” The negativity runs through the 60 minutes of their latest work, Hypnagogia (on Profound Lore), and one would expect no less than the ultra-mournful crush of “To Feign Ebullience” or the buzzing, resonant disdain of “Valorous Consternation,” the string sounds playing such a large role in crafting both the melodies and the relentless nature of their lung-deflating atmosphere. They may only break into speedier sections on rare occasion, but there’s no way to listen to Hypnagogia and call it anything other than extreme metal. It’s so cast down and so grinding that it not only conveys mood but affects it. Evoken are masters of the form, of course, and while Hypnagogia is their first full-length since 2012’s Atra Mors (review here), their history spans more than a quarter-century and time seems only to have made their miseries plunge even deeper.

Evoken on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

IAH, II

iah ii

In part, the gift that Argentinian trio IAH give with their aptly-titled second outing, II — following their 2017 self-titled debut EP (review here) — is to allow their parts to flesh out naturally across the six-song/38-minute span, so that even as second cut “HH” turns to more weighted chug, that in turn evolves into something no less spacious than the drift brought to bear in the second half of the later “La Ni√Īa del Rayo,” which makes its way ultimately through similar interplay. This back and forth is exceptionally smooth throughout II, as the instrumental outfit blend heavy psychedelia and progressive metal with an unflinching cohesion of their songwriting. The longest inclusion is the penultimate “Pri” at 7:35, which caps with massive start-stops en route to closer “Sheut,” which serves as one last showcase of the cosmic doom dynamic burgeoning in the band’s sound, as much ready to depart the earth as leave impact craters on it.

IAH on Thee Facebooks

IAH on Bandcamp

 

Asylum, 3-3-88

asylum 3-3-88

The band who a short time later would evolve into Unorthodox, Asylum have long stood as a testament to the enduring power of Maryland doom. 3-3-88 is the second official issue of their material Shadow Kingdom has stood behind, following 2008’s reissue of 1985’s The Earth is the Insane Asylum of the Universe (review here), and it’s no less a document of the classic metal that’s still very much the foundation of what Maryland doom is. From the Sabbathian opening of “World in Trouble” and the later “Psyche World” to the kind of feeling-out-the-riff happening in “Funk 69” and the concluding instrumental “Unorthodox,” there’s a rawness to the sound that suits it well in the spirit of Pentagram‘s First Daze Here, but even in barebones form, Asylum‘s doomly vibes brook no bullshit and weed out the feint of heart. Straightforward working-class doom grit stripped to its essentials. Hard to ask for anything more when you actually hear it.

Unorthodox on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Merlin, Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience

merlin dank souls and dark weed

Kansas City doom rockers Merlin expanded to a six-piece early in 2018, and Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience, as the title hints, captures this form of the band on stage. They’re playing a hometown gig at the Riot Room, and from the nodding groove that opens with “Abyss” from this year’s The Wizard (review here) to the extended reaches of a 19-minute take on “Tales of the Wasteland” that’s actually shorter than the studio version from 2016’s Electric Children (review here), the band explore reaches that are vast with a patience befitting their quickly-earned veteran status. The recording is remarkably clear and allows for the wash of “The Wizard Suite” to be discernible in its progressive rollout, and as they close with “Night Creep” from the 2016 LP, their energy comes through no less prevalent than the distortion driving it forward. The crowd are right to holler.

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

Merlin on Bandcamp

 

The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion

the hazytones ii monarchs of oblivion

Touching on garage-doom influences, Montreal three-piece The Hazytones effectively sleek into the groove of “The Great Illusion” on their second Ripple LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion, finding a balance between swing, melody and heft that pushes beyond the seemingly-requisite Uncle Acid influence to a place that isn’t shy about working in crisp tones or unabashed vocal harmonies. The title-track is a two-parter, and touches on theatrics-sans-pretense in the first piece while dedicating the second to following a central riff well worthy of the attention they give it toward a galloping solo finish. Opener “Empty Space” sets a creper vibe, and by the time they’re down to finishing out with the “Hole in the Sky”-style riff of “The Hand that Feeds,” that sensibility is reaffirmed as an essential component of The Hazytones‘ aesthetic. Whether it’s the chugging “Hell” or the way-blown-out “The Beast,” they hold firm to that central purpose and work with it to effect a sound that one can hear becoming their own all the more.

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Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Daily Thompson, Thirsty

daily thompson thirsty

Three albums in, Dortmund’s Daily Thompson indeed sound Thirsty — or maybe it’s hungry, but either way, the Dortmund trio’s MIG Music offering captures a tight presentation based around nonetheless natural energy born of their time on tour, as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Zaremba, bassist Mercedes, and drummer Stefan Mengel touch on Spidergawd-style classic heavy rock strut with “Brown Mountain Lights” and make their way through the semi-acoustic drift of “Stone Rose” and toward the later roll of “River Haze” with a trail of hooks behind them. Songwriting is central to what they do, but while Thirsty isn’t a minor undertaking at a CD-era reminiscent 10 songs/53 minutes, the band offer a chemistry between them and a fullness of sound that allows them to play to different sides of their approach, be it the fuzz-blues of “Gone Child” or the final summation “Spit out the Crap” that seems to shove all the more to its cymbal-wash finish. The title Thirsty brings to mind connotations of need, but Daily Thompson sound like they’ve got it all taken care of.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music website

 

Old Man Lizard, True Misery

old man lizard true misery

A strong enough current of noise rock runs beneath Old Man Lizard‘s True Misery (on Wasted State) that leadoff track “Shark Attack” is enough to remind of Akimbo‘s Jersey Shores, and in under two minutes, the subsequent “Snakes” ties that into crawling-paced doom riffery such that the lumbering “Tree of Te?ne?re?” opens like the gaping jaws of some deep-sea trench. From there it unfolds a bit more uptempo than one might initially think, but it shows how fluidly Old Man Lizard shift from one impulse to the other. Accordingly, True Misery plays out with familiar-enough tones put to deceptively subtle and unpredictable purposes, making one-two highlights of the eight-minute back-to-backers “Cursed Ocean, Relentless Sea” and “Misery is Miserable” — which says it all, really — ahead of the finale, well titled “Return to Earth.” A better band than people know, Old Man Lizard bring a progressive touch to what from many others would just be sludge riffing — a bit of Elder on that closer — and manage to do so without losing touch with the righteousness of their groove. True Misery takes a couple listens to sink in, but well earns those and more besides.

Old Man Lizard on Thee Facebooks

Wasted State Records website

 

Tuskar, The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

tuskar the tide beneath the wall

Tuskar‘s second offering through Riff Rock Records arrives titled for its three songs, “The Tide,” “Beneath” and “The Wall,” and comprises three tracks of largesse-minded sludge, burying its shouted vocals beneath mountainous low end. The Tide, Beneath, The Wall sets itself up through noisy churn and a roll that’s somehow misanthropic at the same time it seems well geared to have an entire bar headbanging. Either way, the feedback-worship in “The Wall” — sure enough a massive thing to slam into — makes a fitting end to the 20-minute release that seems to run so much longer, as “The Tide” and “Beneath” each set forth a grueling sprawl of malevolence that touches on the chaos to come without ever fully giving away what’s in store for the finale. At the same time this assault is cast, there’s an atmosphere to the proceedings as well such that Tuskar aren’t simply bludgeoning for the sake of bludgeonry, but finding a place for themselves within that in order to develop their attack. They do that successfully here and sound well up to the inevitable task before them of a debut full-length.

Tuskar on Thee Facebooks

Riff Rock Records website

 

Space Coke, L’Appel du Vide

space coke lappel du vide

I just about never do this, but I’m gonna go ahead and make the call: Space Coke‘s L’Appel du Vide is going to get picked up for a vinyl release in 2019. I don’t know who, how or when, but it’s basically a lock. The Columbia, South Carolina, organ-laced four-piece play classic-as-now heavy rock with right-on songcraft and a hard-hitting presentation that’s begging for some label with ears to hear it and press it to the platter it deserves. Be it the molten unfolding of the title-track or the fuzz-swirl of “Thelemic Ritual” or the cosmic stretch of “Kali Ma,” they’re locked in to a degree that utterly defies the notion that this is their first record, and from the vocal-effects smash in “Lucid Dream” and the samples laid over-top of “Interlude,” there’s never really a sense of where Space Coke — extra kudos for the Cheech & Chong reference — might go next, and yet their sound is cohesive, directed, and well aware of exactly what it’s doing and what it wants to do. Never a guarantee of anything in this world, but with Space Coke‘s take on modern stoner sprawl, I’d be amazed if someone didn’t grab this in the New Year, if not before. Eyes peeled on the PR wire for the announcement.

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