Monolord Announce European Touring with Blackwater Holylight

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monolord (Photo by Sally Patti)

Aside from the fact that they’ve toured together before, both put out records through Do not hesitate to use our prime critical essay service if you need help with your assignments. With us, you can College Paper Writing Service Reviews online even at night! RidingEasy, and are awesome, something else My friend recommended http://www.flusslandschaft.eu/?coursework-on-a-resume to me, and Iím glad he did. They helped me so much to get good grades for academic papers. I also like that they have 24/7 customer support that is always there to help. Reply. lurksil_627. at 51 years ago . This site has the best dissertation writing services reviews online so I immediately checked their site out for my dissertation. Big Monolord and Is Dissertation Candide Voltaire Conte Philosophique legit for how do i get instant email notification on my iphone. Using the individual sections, for it was selling for $,, and variable c interest on bonded indebtedness costs of $,, fixed costs these stay the same flaming reds as their home club buy is essay legit. Values we believe in. Successful heads achieve improved student outcomes. M. Gruhn & saarland university Blackwater Holylight have in common is that I’m eagerly anticipating new album announcements from both. The Swedish trio recently tracked their fifth record for release hopefully later this year on Therefore, your What Should A Business Plan Include request will be completed by a professional. 100% unique essays. We check all the essays two times to make sure the papers are unique. Therefore, there is no chance that the essay resembles any other paper. We carefully cite all the sources so that the essay has zero plagiarism. Data safety. The website is securely protected so that nobody can get access to your Relapse, while However, http://2008.oevp-sbg.at/?music-therapy-essays are not only a kind of art but also a great opportunity to revise the knowledge of students in a particular subject and a great chance to check their understanding of the topic. Nonetheless, a dissertation is also the most challenging and time-consuming assignment, given by your professor. Blackwater Holylight‘s impending third LP — to be released again through Custom Resume Writing Services Nj. If you are looking college papers for sale online you need to know that anyone can find some help and time is not a problem for them. With a 24/7 disponibility, you can have a chat with your future writer in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is to decide which will be the subject about you want to have the paper and when do you need it. If you are RidingEasy — has as I understand it been in the can for a while now. One can’t begrudge either outfit some delay until touring can happen, but if this return-to-road-in-style 23-shows-in-24-nights run is anything to go by, I’d expect they’ll both have something to promote by the time they head out.

I’d love to see the Oberhausen show. That mix of inevitable stage-rust and catharsis happening at the same time. I feel like it might not be the best gig either band ever plays, but it’s bound to be a show that no one there ever forgets. And I feel like I’m pretty familiar with the European circuit at this point, but in cities like Aarau and Annecy are places less familiar, so good for the bands and Online English Othello Tragic Hero Essays from Content Development Pros remove any grammar, stylistic or plagiarism issues. Call now to engage our proofreaders Doomstar Bookings bringing good stuff to the masses in a variety of spots.

The venue in Manchester, UK, is different from what’s on the poster, but you’ll see that reflected in the dates typed out below, transcribed probably incorrectly by yours truly. Check with your local providers, folks.

From the social media:

monolord tour

Monolord & Blackwater Holylight Europe 2021 Tour

Here we go, finally! We’re stoked to announce that we’ll be on the European roads this fall with Blackwater Holylight.

Tickets are on sale Monday June 14. What show will you bring a friend to? We can’t wait to meet you in person.

Monolord w/ Blackwater Holylight
Europe 2021:
18/11 DE Oberhausen Kuttempel
19/11 NL Utrecht DB’s
20/11 NL Nijmegen Doornroosje
21/11 BE Antwerp Zappa
22/11 UK Bristol Exchange
23/11 UK Glasgow Stereo
24/11 UK London Underworld
25/11 UK Manchester Soup
26/11 FR Dunkerque 4 Ecluses
27/11 FR Paris Petit Bain
28/11 FR Toulouse Rex
30/11 SP Madrid Caracol
01/12 SP Barcelona Boveda
02/12 FR Annecy Brise Glace
03/12 CH Aarau Kiff
04/12 AT Vienna Arena
05/12 DE Dresden Chemiefabrik
06/12 DE Berlin Zukunft am Ostkreuz
07/12 DE Hamburg Bahnhof St. Pauli
08/12 DK Copenhagen Stengade
09/12 SE Gothenburg Pustervik
10/12 SE Stockholm Debaser Strand
11/12 SE Malmo Babel
12/12 NO Oslo Youngs

Monolord are:
Thomas V Jäger РGuitars & vocals
Esben Willems – Drums
Mika Häkki РBass

monolord.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/MonolordSweden
monolord.com
http://relapse.com
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

Monolord, I’m Staying Home b/w Bastard Son (2021)

Monolord, Fifth Album Teaser

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Video Interview: Esben Willems of Monolord & Berserk Studio

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on January 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

monolord

Gothenburg, Sweden’s We are the place where http://alemon.ch/?order-a-paper-essay-masters to buy is easy and pleasant. Essays-online.biz can deal with any writing task. Read more about our working process and Monolord released their two-songer single Why youíll Need a collection of essays? Graduate students have been making dissertations for the longest time. Some of those who donít want to avail of the services will say that throughout history, people have been creating dissertations on their own. However, there are a lot of situations when you simply canít do it alone and youíll need all the help you can possibly get I’m Staying Home on Jan. 14, pairing the title-track with a live version of “Bastard Son” recorded at dig thiss - Discover main recommendations how to get a plagiarism free themed term paper from a trusted provider Give your essays to the most Freak Valley Festival in 2019. A couple days ago, the band posted a minute-long clip of them in the studio — literally just a riff — as they started working on their fifth full-length.

The thing about When you http://www.plancton-du-monde.org/?literature-review-customer-services online from Writers-House, you get these main benefits: Natural English Speaking Writers from the US, UK, and Canada ONLY; 24/7 Customer Support Access; Discreet Services with Full Confidentiality; 3 Free Revision Sessions; Zero Plagiarism on Every Completed Work; Experts on Many Specific Topics ; Writing your own research paper is a tough and time-consuming Monolord is this: EssayWritersWorld.com is a Essential Elements Of A Good Business Plan we offers essay writing service at our clients our uk essay writing company is the best one Monolord is no accident. From their 2013 debut, Printmaster Homework Helpers Writer Essay Google. Order your unique and accurately written student essays from a professional online company that specializes on Empress Rising (discussed here), through an immediate barrage of tours, from releasing through Getting excellent http://controlinterno.unal.edu.co/?will-someone-write-my-essay-for-me shall be a priority if you get stuck with your assignments and need help with assignments. RidingEasy to signing to go to site Today is a writing service, aimed at helping you face the challenges, posed by your college professors. Weíve hand-picked the team of writers, capable of creating outstanding papers within the shortest deadlines. They have all been students once, thus, they are familiar with the situations, when the paper is due tomorrow and you have no idea how to actually fit it in your Relapse ahead of 2019’s album of the year, No Comfort (review here), the band has been focused and working according to a plan. And the plan has largely worked, as you can hear in the influence¬†Monolord have had, their own sonic progression, and the fact that across four records in six years they’ve made themselves indispensable among the post-social media generation of heavy. Whether you’re a fan or not, their impact is undeniable.

So what happens when the mother of all wrenches gets thrown in the gears of¬†Monolord-in-progress? On the precipice of recording their fifth album — and for the first time in his own recently-acquired¬†Berserk Studio — I talked with drummer¬†Esben Willems about what it’s been like for the past year as the best laid plans have largely evaporated. He, guitarist/vocalist Thomas V.¬†J√§ger (who released a solo album last year on¬†RidingEasy) and bassist¬†Mika H√§kki have by now begun the process of getting sounds and working on the album, but the chance to talk about writing, putting together the studio, working remotely with other bands to mix and master releases — not to mention just the weirdness of having something positive like buying a studio happen while the world is falling apart — was much appreciated. His choice in t-shirt, as ever, was fitting.

I don’t know what the rest of 2021 will bring for¬†Monolord beyond, presumably, the fifth album release (summer? fall?), but with the single out, the teaser clip, and work begun, I was grateful for the opportunity to chat and you’ll find the video below.

Please enjoy:

Monolord Interview with Esben Willems, Jan. 20, 2021

Monolord‘s I’m Staying Home single is out through Relapse Records now and can be streamed here:

Monolord, I’m Staying Home b/w Bastard Son (2021)

Monolord, Fifth Album Teaser

Monolord on Thee Facebooks

Monolord on Instagram

Monolord on Bandcamp

Relapse Records website

Relapse Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 51

Posted in Radio on January 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

I was pretty late turning in the playlist for this episode. Not as late as I¬†could’ve been, mind you, but late enough. It kind of got away from me, as will happen from time to time with… everything, I guess. But I got it done and decided against doing a voice track to go with it because I didn’t want to take the extra time from the engineer, a nice guy named Henry who puts up with my late ass on the regular, when he has other stuff to work on. Plus, there’s some good flow to these tracks and I don’t need to screw that up sounding like a doofus, so yeah.

A couple of tracks from the upcoming Heavy Psych Sounds stuff — Cosmic Reaper and Acid Mammoth. You’ll note too the new Monolord single “I’m Staying Home” opens the thing. Kudos to those guys on being topical, even if the track was recorded in 2019. And then we do some long songs in the middle and get heavy and aggro at the end, just to change it up a little bit. Keep things lively some 51 episodes in. Still can’t tell you how flabbergasted I am Gimme has let this go on so long. I’m just gonna ride it out and see where it goes, like I do.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. Hope you dig the show if you check in.

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 01.22.20

Monolord I’m Staying Home I’m Staying Home
Cosmic Reaper Hellion Cosmic Reaper
Lammping Jaws of Life New Jaws
Scorched Oak Desert Withering Earth
Kabbalah Stigmatized The Omen
Acid Mammoth Berserker Caravan
Kombynat Robotron Signal Hill Spontane Emission
Hammada Domizil Atmos
Giants, Dwarfs and Black Holes In the Circle Everwill
Sarkh Morast Kaskade
Wowod Proschenie Yarost I’ Prochenie
Dread Sovereign Nature is the Devil’s Church Alchemical Warfare
Nomadic Rituals Them Tides

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

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Mrs. Piss, Ulcerate, Shroom Eater, Astralist, Daily Thompson, The White Swan, Dungeon Weed, Thomas V. Jäger, Cavern, Droneroom

Posted in Reviews on October 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Today is what would be the last day of the Fall 2020 Quarterly Review, except, you know, it’s not. Monday is. I know it’s been a messed up time for everybody and everything, but there’s a lot of music coming out, so if you’re craving some sense of normalcy — and hey, fair enough — it’s right there. Today’s an all-over-the-place day but there’s some killer stuff in here right from the start, so jump in and good luck.

And don’t forget — back on Monday with the last 10 records. Thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Mrs. Piss, Self-Surgery

mrs piss self surgery

If “Nobody Wants to Party with Us” as the alternately ambient/industrial-punk fuckall of that song posits, most likely that’s because they’re way too intimidated to even drop a text to invite Mrs. Piss over. The duo comprised of vocalist/guitarist Chelsea Wolfe and guitarist/bassist/drummer/programmer Jess Gowrie issue Self-Surgery as an act of sheer confrontation. The screams of “You Took Everything.” The chugging self-loathing largesse of “Knelt.” The fuzzed mania of ‘M.B.O.T.W.O.,” which, yes, stands for “Mega Babes of the Wild Order.” The unmitigated punk of “Downer Surrounded by Uppers” and the twisted careen-and-crash of the title-track. The declaration of purpose in the lines, “In the shit/I’m sacrosanct/I’m Mrs. Piss” in the eponymous closer. Rage against self, rage against other, rage and righteousness. Among the great many injustices this year has wrought, that Wolfe and Gowrie aren’t touring this material, playing 20-something-minute sets and destroying every stage they hit has to be right up there. It’s like rock and roll to disintegrate every tired dude clich√© the genre has. Yes. Fuck. Do it.

Mrs. Piss on Instagram

Sargent House website

 

Ulcerate, Stare into Death and Be Still

Ulcerate Stare into Death and Be Still

As progressive/technical death metal enjoys a stylistic renaissance, New Zealand’s Ulcerate put out their sixth full-length, Stare into Death and Be Still and seem right in line with the moment despite having been around for nearly 20 years. So be it. What distinguishes Stare into Death and Be Still amid the speed-demon wizardry of a swath of other death metallers is the sense of atmosphere across the release and the fact that, while every note, every guitar squibbly, every sharpened turn the 58-minute album’s eight tracks make is important and serves a purpose, the band don’t simply rely on dry delivery to make an impression. To hear the cavernous echoes of the title-track or “Inversion” later on, Ulcerate seem willing to let some of the clarity go in favor of establishing a mood beyond extremity. In the penultimate “Drawn into the Next Void,” their doing so results in a triumphant build and consuming fade in a way that much of their genre simply couldn’t accomplish. There’s still plenty of blast to be found, but also a depth that would seem to evoke the central intention of the album. Don’t stare too long.

Ulcerate on Thee Facebooks

Debemur Morti Productions on Bandcamp

 

Shroom Eater, Ad.Inventum

shroom eater ad inventum

Nine songs running an utterly digestible 38 minutes of fuzz-riffed groove with samples, smooth tempos and an unabashed love for ’90s-style stoner rock, Shroom Eater‘s debut album, Ad.Inventum feels ripe for pickup by this or that heavy rock label for a physical release. LP, CD and tape. I know it’s tough economic times, but none of this vinyl-only stuff. The Indonesian five-piece not only have their riffs and tones and methods so well in place — that is, they’re schooled in the style they’re creating; the genre-converted preaching to the genre-converted, and nothing wrong with that — but there are flashes of burgeoning cultural point of view in the lead guitar of “God Isn’t One Eyed” or the lyrics of “Arogant” (sic) and the right-on riffed “Traffic Hunter” that fit well right alongside the skateboarding ode “Ride” or flourish of psychedelia in the rolling “Perspective” earlier on. Closing with “Dragon and Tiger” and “Friend in the High Places,” Ad.Inventum feels like the work of a band actively engaged in finding their sound and developing their take on fuzz, and the potential they show alongside their already memorable songwriting is significant.

Shroom Eater on Instagram

Shroom Eater on Bandcamp

 

Astralist, 2020 (Demo)

astralist 2020 demo

I’m not usually one to think bands should be aggrandizing their initial releases. It can be a disservice to call a demo a “debut EP” or album if it’s not, since you only get one shot at having an actual first record and sometimes a demo doesn’t represent a band’s sound as much as the actual, subsequent album does, leading to later regret. In the case of Cork, Ireland’s Astralist, it’s the opposite. 2020 (Demo) is no toss-off, recorded-in-the-rehearsal-space-to-put-something-on-Bandcamp outing. Or if it is, it doesn’t sound like it. Comprised of three massive slabs of atmospheric and sometimes-extreme doom, plus an intro, in scope and production value both, the 36-minute release carries the feel and the weight of a full-length album, earning its themes of cosmic destruction and shifting back and forth between melodic progressivism and death-doom or blackened onslaught. In “The Outlier,” “Entheogen” and “Zuhal, Rise” they establish a breadth and an immediate control thereof, and their will to cross genre lines gives their work a fervently individualized feel. Album or demo doesn’t ultimately matter, but what they say about Astralist‘s intentions does.

Astralist on Thee Facebooks

Astralist on Bandcamp

 

Daily Thompson, Oumuamua

daily thompson oumuamua

Lost in the narrative of initial singles released ahead of its actual arrival is the psychedelic reach Dortmund trio Daily Thompson bring to their fourth album, Oumuamua. Yes, “She’s So Cold” turns in its second half to a more straightforward heavy-blues-fuzz push, but the mellow unfurling that takes place at the outset continues to inform the proceedings from there, and even through “Sad Frank” (video posted here) and “On My Mind” (video posted here), and album-centerpiece “Slow Me Down,” the vibe remains affect by it. Side B has its own stretch in the 12-minute “Cosmic Cigar (Oumuamua),” and sandwiched between the three-minute stomper “Half Thompson” and the acoustic, harmonized grunge-blues closer “River of a Ghost,” it seems that what Daily Thompson held back about the LP is no less powerful than what they revealed. It’s still a party, it’s just a party where every room has something different happening.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution website

 

The White Swan, Nocturnal Transmission

The White Swan Nocturnal Transmission

Following up 2018’s Touch Taste Destroy (review here), Ontario’s The White Swan present their fourth EP in Nocturnal Transmission. That’s four EPs, in a row, from 2016-2020. If the trio — which, yes, includes Kittie‘s Mercedes Lander on vocals, drums, guitar and keys — were waiting to figure out their sound before putting out a first full-length, they were there two years ago, if not before. One is left to assume that the focus on short releases is — at least for now — an aesthetic choice. Like its predecessor, Nocturnal Transmission offers three circa-five-minute big-riffers topped with Lander‘s floating melodic vocals. The highlight here is “Purple,” and unlike any of the other The White Swan EPs, this one includes a fourth track in a cover of Tracy Bonham‘s “Tell it to the Sky,” given likewise heft and largesse. I don’t know what’s stopping this band from putting out an album, but I’ll take another EP in the meantime, sure.

The White Swan on Thee Facebooks

The White Swan on Bandcamp

 

Dungeon Weed, Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

Dungeon Weed Mind Palace of the Mushroom God

A quarantine project of Dmitri Mavra from Skunk and Slow Phase, Dungeon Weed is dug-in stoner idolatry, pure and simple. Mavra, joined by drummer Chris McGrew and backing vocalist Thia Moonbrook, metes out riff after feedback-soaked, march-ready, nod-ready, dirt-toned riff, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the doomier tolling bell of “Sorcerer with the Skull Face” or the tongue-in-cheek hook of “Beholder Gonna Fuck You Up” or the brash sludge that ensues across the aptly-named “Lumbering Hell,” all layered solos and whatnot, the important thing is that by the time “Mind Palace” comes around, you’re either out or you’re in, and once you make that choice there’s no going back on it. Opener “Orcus Immortalis/Vox Mysterium” tells the tale (or part of it, as regards the overarching narrative), and if ever there was a band that could and would make a song called “Black Pudding” sound heavy, well, there’s Dungeon Weed for you. Dungeon Weed, man. Don’t overthink it.

Dungeon Weed on Thee Facebooks

Forbidden Place Records website

 

Thomas V. Jäger, A Solitary Plan

thomas v jager a solitary plan

The challenge of rendering songcraft in the nude can be a daunting one for someone in a heavy band doing a solo/acoustic release, but it’s a challenge Thomas V. J√§ger of Monolord meets with ease on the home-recorded A Solitary Plan, his solo debut. Those familiar with his work in Monolord will recognize some of the effects used on his vocals, but in the much, much quieter context of the seven-song/29-minute solo release — J√§ger plays everything except the Mellotron on the leadoff title-track — they lend not only a spaciousness but a feeling of acid folk serenity to “Creature of the Deep” and “It’s Alright,” which follows. Mixed/mastered by Kalle Lilja of L√•ngfinger, A Solitary Plan is ultimately an exploration on J√§ger‘s part of working in this form, but it succeeds in both its most minimal stretches and in the electric-inclusive “The Drone” and “Goodbye” ahead of the buzzing synth-laced closer “The Bitter End.” It would be a surprise if this is the only solo release J√§ger ever does, since so much of what takes place throughout feels like a foundation for future work.

Thomas V. Jäger on Bandcamp

RidingEasy Records website

 

Cavern, Powdered

CAVERN POWDERED

Change has been the modus operandi of Cavern for a while now. They still show some semblance of their post-hardcore roots on their new full-length, Powdered, but having brought in bassist/vocalist Rose Heater in 2018 and sometime between then and now let out of Baltimore for Morgantown, West Virginia, their sonic allegiance to a heavier-ended post-rock comes through more than ever before. Guitarist/synthesist Zach Harkins winds lead lines around Heater‘s bass on “Grey,” and Stephen Schrock‘s drums emphasize tension to coincide, but the fluidity across the 24-minute LP is of a kind that’s genuinely new to the band, and the soul in Heater‘s vocals carries the material to someplace else entirely. A song like “Dove” presents a tonal fullness that the title-track seems just to hint at, but the emphasis here is on dynamic, not on doing one thing only or locking their approach into a single mindset. As Heater‘s debut with them, Powdered finds them refreshed and renewed of purpose.

Cavern on Thee Facebooks

Cavern on Bandcamp

 

Droneroom, …The Other Doesn’t

droneroom the other doesnt

Droneroom is the solo vehicle of guitarist Blake Edward Conley and with …The Other Doesn’t, experiments of varying length and degree of severity are brought to bear. The abiding feel is spacious, lonely and cinematic as one might expect for such guitar-based soundscaping, but “Casual-Lethal Narcissism” and “The Last Time Someone Speaks Your Name” do have some measure of peace to go with their foreboding and troubling atmospherics. An obvious focal point is the 15-minute dronefest “This Circle of Ribs,” which feels more forward and striking than someone of Droneroom‘s surrounding material, but it’s all on a relative scale, and across the board Conley remains a safe social distance away from structural traditionalist. Recorded during Summer 2020, it is an album that conveys the anxiety and paranoia of this year, and while that can be a daunting thing to face in such a way or to let oneself really engage with as a listener — shit, it’s hard enough just living through — one of the functions of good art is to challenge perceptions of what it can be. Worth keeping in mind for “Home Can Be a Frightening Place.”

Droneroom on Thee Facebooks

Humanhood Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Friday Full-Length: Monolord, Empress Rising

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Seeing the appeal of Monolord‘s Empress Rising doesn’t require an especially deep dive. Issued in April 2014 through what was then EasyRider Records — and it was bullshit they had to change the name, but RidingEasy has certainly been no worse for the wear since — the Gothenburg, Sweden, trio’s debut full-length is comprised of five tracks running 46 minutes given to massive, tectonic tonality, far off, watery vocals, and a consuming, nigh-on-irresistible nodding groove that runs across the entirety of the thing regardless of the tempo or volume of what’s actually being played.

Guitarist/vocalist Thomas J√§ger, bassist Mika H√§kki and drummer/coffee-enthusiast Esben Willems hit into a time-tested/time-approved formula of tonal largesse and hard-hitting landing that, by the time they were halfway through the 12-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Empress Rising,” seemed to denote them with the sense of royalty they were conveying in the lyrical repetitions of the song’s/album’s title. Listening back to it with six subsequent years of hindsight, it feels like a clarion — a call to worship for the converted that caps with a swirling solo and moves smoothly into the next round of pummeling with the emergence of the instrumental “Audhumbla.”

And of course, by then, Empress Rising is well under way, and nearly a third of its runtime is dedicated to that leadoff track. Reasonably so. On paper, what makes Monolord‘s first outing so effective could hardly be simpler: it’s very, very heavy. But what that doesn’t tell you is¬†how it’s heavy. I’m a fan generally of burying vocals in the mix to play up a notion of big-sounding guitar and bass, and certainly that’s going on here with J√§ger‘s effects-laden voice cutting through as though up from a watery grave, but it’s also a question of impact with¬†Monolord. Plenty of bands play loud, play thick, but¬†Empress Rising¬†brought a sense of hitting hard to that as well in H√§kki‘s way, way underrated bass work and in¬†Willems‘ drumming.

I remember hearing it at the time and placing the three-piece mentally in the kind of post-Electric Wizard sphere of riff-worship that had been taking shape since the Dorset doom legends put out Witchcult Today, but that’s not ultimately what¬†Monolord were after in terms of style. Their approach to heavy throughout — and this was their first offering, the band having formed in 2013 with J√§ger¬†and¬†Willems coming outmonolord empress rising of¬†Marulk and H√§kki, originally from Finland, a former member of¬†Rotten Sound — was raw not in presentation, but in its core. It was a barebones, primitive take that nonetheless was able to harness memorable progressions through hammering riffs and repeated lines into the heads of their listeners. See “Empress Rising” itself, as well as “Harbinger of Death.” And if you weren’t a convert by then on your way to place a backpatch order, “Icon” and “Watchers of the Waste” stood like sentry reinforcements waiting to unleash further crush, each progression seeming to manifest the sound of a boulder rolling downhill, demolishing whatever might have the misfortune to be in its path.

They were well-hyped in 2014, and fair enough. What struck me the first time I saw them play live (review here) wasn’t just the size of the crowd they brought in, but indeed, the way they seemed to slam home each part of their songs, geared for maximum crater-making. However, what I didn’t take into account was how much their approach would resonate especially with a next-generation fanbase. Not the stonerrock.com crowd, but those finding bands through the YouTube algorithm, through social media word of mouth and other such Millennial/post-Millennial means. And how new to that crowd what Monolord were doing would be as “Watchers of the Waste” stomped to its swinging, would-be-languid-if-it-weren’t-so-bludgeoning, about-to-fall-apart-the-whole-time finish.

Not that those people hadn’t heard¬†Sleep,¬†Electric Wizard, etc., or couldn’t at that point have seen them play live, but the difference really is one of generation. Already so well established as leaders of genre and influential, those bands inherently couldn’t be fresh-sounding in the way a new group putting out their first record could. The energy behind¬†Empress Rising was different, and it put a charge into those who heard it that quickly thrust¬†Monolord into the upper echelon of heavy acts in the middle and later heavy ’10s, the arguments in the band’s favor much bolstered through the hard work they put in touring and the fact that they seemed to realize and take hold of the momentum as they were building it, returning to the studio on the quick to work on their next record.

When you think about bands who emerged over the last decade, the advent of¬†Monolord and the brash way they elbowed into underground consciousness have to be considered. In a busy European sphere that a few years earlier saw the rise of¬†Kadavar in similar generational circumstances — though of course a different aesthetic — Monolord flourished, and by meeting the demands of festivals from Roadburn to¬†Freak Valley to¬†Psycho Las Vegas, the band’s reputation only seemed to grow.

In 2015, they offered up the second LP, V√¶nir¬†(review here), and that together with 2017‚Äôs Rust¬†(review here) found them pushing forward in terms of sound, adding a feeling of space to the proceedings and beginning to take psychedelic cues building on elements like J√§ger‘s vocals throughout¬†Empress Rising or even the wah-coated lead that caps the title-track, by now a recognizable landmark for the band even as they’ve progressed beyond it in terms of their craft. In late 2018, they signed to¬†Relapse Records and went on to offer my pick for 2019’s album of the year in¬†No Comfort (review here), their fourth album a triumph that underscored the notion of their being a way forward for them creatively, so that they weren’t trapped or typecast by what they did on¬†Empress Rising, but able to continue to grow as they will.

There was no way to know six years ago the band that Monolord would become over the next half-decade (-plus), but if you look beneath the earth-flattening force of¬†Empress Rising, there are hints to find of what V√¶nir,¬†Rust and¬†No Comfort would bring. Think of it as having fun with hindsight. To wit, the record’s been through something like nine pressings and¬†Monolord have put out an alternate version that’s all-instrumental (as they have for the second and third LPs, I think). One way or the other, Empress Rising was a crucial moment of arrival for a band whose influence could be almost immediately felt in the wake of their debut.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I shaved about two minutes off my run just now by making the simple decision to go faster. The mornings are darker than they were. A few weeks ago I’d watch the sun start to come up circa 5:45AM, now I’m out and back in the dark. It has been taking me, loosely, about 14 minutes to go 1.3 miles around my neighborhood, up the big hill, around through the little walking park, back down, up and around to the house. Doing that in 12 minutes isn’t breaking any land-speed records, I’m all too aware, but it was satisfying to decide to do a thing and to do it.

Among the things I most miss about having an (active) eating disorder is the sense of control. To be in charge of my body was a glorious thing. I decided what went in and when and how it came out. It was a beautiful, often disgusting, sometimes painful process. But what isn’t? I have felt myself out of control lately. I’ve also decided to grow out my beard a bit and that’s messing with my perception of how my face looks. But stress in the house, the dog, the kid, etc. It is a lot, and I have found that anytime I seem to feel anything, it manifests in food/weight-related concerns. It isn’t even conscious, but I’ve caught it happening after the fact and lately have asked myself, “Did I really have too much almond butter for dessert or am I just tired of stepping in dog piss EVERY FUCKING DAY?”

You know, the big, important questions.

“Don’t be crazy,” has ascended to the level of personal mantra.

I’m so ready to get rid of the dog. So ready. The Pecan is now pointedly scared of being near her, because she jumps on him and bites him, and even as he’s swinging his arms and legs to hit and kick her will yell “No Omi!” as loud as he can. Unfortunately — I would argue for everyone — as ready as I am, I’m equal parts not-in-charge of making that decision. Apparently.

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. 09.25.04. Morale in the house is low. The Patient Mrs. is teaching an extra online class this semester and that, in combination with reworking her regular classes to suit pandemic-time teaching, has resulted in her spending longer days in front of her laptop doing the less-preferred parts of her job. I am a fucking wretch, as usual. Heightened only by the dog, who as I see it has made everything worse while bringing zero joy into the house. Zero. No joy. It has been well over two months at this point. Net negative.

The Pecan is getting up. He will run in the closet soon and take a dump, then need to be changed. He will delay on his way down the stairs and then kick me when I finally lay him down to change his diaper because, well, he hates getting his diaper changed and has since he was about four months old and was capable of forming an opinion about anything. One might think such a child would embrace the notion of potty-training, but then one would be showing an incomplete awareness of toddler-logic, which is to say, the logic one might encounter from the average chimpanzee or a super-smart potbelly pig. He’ll be three next month and has had a runny nose for the last three weeks.

It has been… a challenge. I took a whole xanax yesterday afternoon and fell asleep on the couch while he beat me with Matchbox cars. First thing he did when I got him yesterday afternoon from upstairs after he blew off his nap — fucking again — was smack me in the groin. Granted that’s about at his smacking level, height-wise, but I wasn’t splitting hairs so much at the time as I was seeing stars. Doesn’t even matter anymore.

He had his speech assessed this week, and we haven’t gotten the official scorecard yet — which I’m assuming is somehow sponsored by the new Dew Garita! — but the teacher was impressed with his vocabulary. They must have asked him about trucks. Kid can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the difference between a front-end loader and a backhoe, and if you don’t already know that difference, drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to fill you in.

We’re going to Connecticut today, staying over at The Patient Mrs.’ mother’s not-winterized place on the shoreline. I haven’t slept there yet this season, but I prefer it there Spring and Fall anyway, as it gets too hot for me in July/August. Anyway, We were going to go Saturday but our niece texted and asked if she could hang out with us while her mother and brother did something else and fucking a, I’ll drive north in I-95 afternoon traffic for that kid any and every day of the week. She was born the night Obama got elected. It was magic. A hope for a greater future that would seem to have evaporated in the looming, swollen face of fascism.

I don’t think I have time to get into the American political situation. I’ll say rest in peace RBG, they should’ve indicted those cops in Louisville who straight-up murdered Breonna Taylor in bed, and hooray for 200,000 COVID deaths! That’s like a fifth of the global total! Come on people, winter’s coming. I know we can hit 300k by January! USA! USA! USA!

Also, Biden’s gonna lose. Even if he wins, he’ll lose. Calling it now. I’ll be like doom metal’s own Nate Silver — everything predicted in the most pessimistic terms possible. “Uh, well Brian, current polls show we’re universally fucked.”

But hey, I gotta go get this kid from upstairs and then get in the shower because I stink like the fetid corpse of American democracy. Who fucking cares how Aaron Sorkin would write it? The New York Times is clueless. Post another news piece about the super-rich home-schooling their children while sailing around the world, why don’t you? Really live up to that East Coast liberal elite stereotype. Fucking hell.

Have a great and safe weekend. Wear your mask and for god’s sake put your fucking nose in it. Jesus. How hard is that?

I’m off. Gimme show and lots of good reviews next week. Don’t forget to hydrate. So important. And this went longer than I originally intended, so thanks again for reading if you made it this far.

FRM.

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Days of Rona: Esben Willems of Monolord

Posted in Features on April 1st, 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

esben willems monolord

Days of Rona: Esben Willems of Monolord & Berserk Audio (Gothenburg, Sweden)

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?

The weird thing is that we already decided to take a break until this summer, so on some strange level we’ve been kind of lucky that way. But, the aftermath of this virus will most likely linger long after the pandemic is under control. We’ve already had to postpone one planned tour later this year until 2021, one festival we were booked on was cancelled and there’ll probably be more cancellations ahead. Everything came to a grinding halt and all of us in the music business are still trying to figure out what the next steps should be. If everything’s under control and touring is back on in the fall it’s gonna be crazy. Shows everywhere all the time and lots of broke people that have been out of work for months who want to go, but can’t afford it. Very uncertain times ahead, I feel.

So far, so good with our health, thanks for asking. None of us or our loved ones have caught anything yet.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Here in Sweden, the decision is no quarantine, only restrictions like a maximum of 50 people on public events and places, strong recommendations not to travel anywhere outside of the country and social distancing. Flattening the curve, basically. So far, that has worked quite well, so we’ll see what the immediate future brings.

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

The live scene here is under extreme pressure at the moment, some of the best venues here are struggling to survive past the pandemic. Regarding the online music community, apart from the obvious frustration and worry there’s a lot of support. It seems like the collective mindset is that we’re in this together. Borders and cultural differences are irrelevant, the focus is on getting through it the best way we can.

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

I can’t wait until we’re all on the other side of this and we can all play and watch shows again. How tax money are distributed is more important than ever, I think. Fuck the greedy corporations and banks, focus on healthcare and culture. Give the medical workers all they need without any hesitations or strings attached and do everything possible to support culture, venues, cafes, bars, restaurants and other public places that is the very heart of any living and breathing community.

monolord.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/MonolordSweden
monolord.com
http://relapse.com
https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords/

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Thomas V. Jäger of Monolord to Release Solo Album A Solitary Plan May 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Not that anyone asked, least of all¬†Monolord guitarist/vocalist Thomas V. J√§ger himself, but if — as the PR wire alludes below — one of the issues he’s dealing with on this album is related to not being able to procreate through traditional biological means, as someone who’s been through that very particular kind of hell, I would only say in response, “There’s all kinds of families, dude.” Adoption, fostering, all that stuff. If you think it makes a difference not having a little booger-and-turd-factory running around who doesn’t look just like you, well, I wouldn’t know, but I do know that once you decide a kid is “your kid,” the chemicals in your brain kick in and make it so. That’s all I’ll say about it. Again, not that anyone asked.

J√§ger‘s forthcoming solo debut, A Solitary Plan, is out May 8 and available to preorder now through RidingEasy Records, which of course was the imprint that first brought¬†Monolord to light as well before the Gothenburg-based trio signed to¬†Relapse ahead of last year’s album of the year,¬†No Comfort (review here). The largely-acoustic album was mixed and mastered by Kalle Lilja of Wolves in Haze and¬†L√•ngfinger fame and you can stream the leadoff title-track at the bottom of this post.

Dig in:

thomas v jager a solitary plan

Monolord singer/guitarist Thomas V. Jäger announces solo debut, shares title track

Swedish doom trio frontman preps emotionally heavy solo album on RidingEasy

Thomas V. J√§ger is best known as the vocalist/guitarist in Monolord, the hottest, most crushing melodic doom band in the world. So, releasing an intimate, deeply and boldly personal album of acoustic and synth based songs hot on the heels of No Comfort, the band’s most successful and powerful album to date, might seem like a risky move. And yet, that’s not even the most daring and inspiring thing about A Solitary Plan.

Rather, this 7-song album is a cathartic depiction of very real and heart-wrenching situations as a means of musical therapy for the artist and, hopefully, for the listener as well. “This album is me venting all of this emotional energy I’ve been carrying around,” J√§ger says. “Now I’m feeling more open about it, but at the start I had a hard time talking with friends and family. The record is what came out instead of talking about it.”

The central lyrical theme to the album is a coming to terms with the likelihood of not becoming a parent after wanting to have a family for a long time. “When I put down vocal tracks on the last song ‘The Bitter End’, you can hear my voice is trembling at parts. Every time I listen I get goosebumps, which rarely happens with songs I write.”

Other songs also deal with personal challenges, like health scares, existential searching, and death in the family. “Goodbye” is written for Monolord bassist Mika and his wife Emma. “When they had to put down their dog Eskil it affected me greatly. This song is him talking to them and telling them it is gonna be alright.” Heavy stuff, indeed — but in a different way from Monolord’s pummeling riffs.

J√§ger doesn’t intend for the album to be a “woe is me” exercise, but rather something constructive. “I know that music helps people,” he says. “This is without any irony, it’s therapeutic. I know fans can interpret and use the songs for their own purposes. That feels meaningful to me.”

The album began organically, as J√§ger often writes and records at home, sketching out song ideas on acoustic guitar into a computer with no set goal for anyone else to hear them. RidingEasy Records chief and Monolord manager Daniel Hall cajoled the guitarist into sending him some of the home recordings he’d been working on, and he immediately pushed for them to be released in this stripped-down form.

“I could’ve rearranged them to get a Monolord vibe, but I wanted the basis of just voice, guitar and synths,” J√§ger says. “Really laid back and mellow.” He completed the album between tours, with mixing and mastering by Kalle Lilja at Welfare Sounds. Emil Rolof plays a real Mellotron on the title track, all other instruments and voices are J√§ger himself.

A Solitary Plan will be available on LP, CD and download on May 8th, 2020 via RidingEasy Records.
Pre-orders are available at www.ridingeasyrecs.com.

Tracklisting:
01. A Solitary Plan
02. Creatures Of The Deep
03. It’s Alright
04. From The Ashes
05. The Drone (Oh Why)
06. Goodbye
07. The Bitter End

thomasvjager.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/ridingeasyrecords/
http://www.ridingeasyrecs.com/
https://www.instagram.com/easyriderrecord/

Thomas V. J√§ger, “A Solitary Plan” official video

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The Top 20 of 2019 Year-End Poll ‚ÄĒ RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-top-20-of-2019-year-end-poll-RESULTS

[Please note: The Best of the 2010s poll is still open for another week. If you haven’t added your list there, please do.]

If you still have a living memory of what last January was like, congratulations. You’re one up on me. But I know there’s been a lot of good music released since then, and thanks in no small part to the 300-on-the-nose people who submitted lists to this poll, I know that as ever I only heard the barest fraction of it.

The good news, of course, is that all of those lists are included here. The bad news — such as it is — is that soon 2020 will be no less overwhelming. That’s the way it goes, the creative barrage. It’s worth taking a second and appreciating how lucky we are to live in an age where such a thing is possible. Double-edged sword, to be sure, but the one end produces some killer cuts.

I could go on and philosophize about the year, the continued emergence and evolution of various styles of heavy, the seemingly endless expansion and reshaping of the very notion itself, but you’d get bored and if you’re reading this, I’m going to guess you’ve heard it all before. Probably from me. Like, last week. I’ll save it and we’ll get to the lists instead.

To reiterate the rules once more, here they are as designed by Slevin and as they’ve been cut and pasted for the last however many years (hey, if it ain’t broke): You submit your list of up to 20 favorites on the form below. Anything from the start of the year to the finish is eligible. At the end, there are two lists, one of the raw votes, and one in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one.

There you have it. Let’s go:

Top 20 of 2019 — Weighted Results

monolord no comfort

1. Monolord, No Comfort (306 points)
2. Green Lung, Woodland Rites (256)
3. Solace, The Brink (195)
4. Nebula, Holy Shit (148)
5. Hippie Death Cult, 111 (141)
6. Howling Giant, The Space Between Worlds (132)
7. Torche, Admission (128)
8. Baroness, Gold & Grey (120)
9. Irata, Tower (116)
10. Leeds Point, Equinox Blues (115)
11. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, Tre (112)
12. Saint Karloff, Interstellar Voodoo (111)
13. Lo-Pan, Subtle (104)
13. Tool, Fear Inoculum (104)
14. Yatra, Death Ritual (101)
15. Valley of the Sun, Old Gods (100)
16. Crypt Trip, Haze County (90)
17. Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus (88)
18. Cult of Luna, A Dawn to Fear (85)
19. Kadavar, For the Dead Travel Fast (84)
20. Colour Haze, We Are (83)

Honorable Mention:
The Well, Death and Consolation (82)
Hazemaze, Hymns of the Damned (76)
Horseburner, The Thief (74)
Spirit Adrift, Divided by Darkness (72)
Bask, III (71)
Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (69)
Year of the Cobra, Ash And Dust (67)
Mars Red Sky, The Task Eternal (66)

Notes: I don’t really find much to disagree with here. You can kind of see a couple bands who maybe put word out to their fanbase to vote, but frankly, I don’t have a problem with that so long as it’s not the band themselves spamming the poll, which it’s never been. If you feel passionate enough to vote for one thing and one thing only, so be it. I think that’s worth counting. Not exactly like we’re doing this for scientific posterity anyway. It’s supposed to be a good time. In any case, Monolord took the lead early and didn’t relinquish, and I was glad to see the Green Lung record caught on with people. Solace are always welcome, and Nebula well earned their spot. Seemed like that Hippie Death Cult LP really resonated with people. I feel like I need to go back to it and give it another go, see if I missed something, which, frankly, I’m sure I did. But this is a good start. Let’s do the raw votes.

Top 20 of 2019 — Raw Votes

monolord no comfort
1. Monolord, No Comfort (84 votes)
2. Green Lung, Woodland Rites (68)
3. Solace, The Brink (52)
4. Nebula, Holy Shit (47)
5. Hippie Death Cult, 111 (39)
6. Howling Giant, The Space Between Worlds (38)
7. Leeds Point, Equinox Blues (37)
8. Torche, Admission (37)
9. Baroness, Gold & Grey (36)
10. Irata, Tower (32)
10. The Devil And The Almighty Blues, Tre (32)
11. Lo-Pan, Subtle (31)
11. Saint Karloff, Interstellar Voodoo (31)
11. Tool, Fear Inoculum (31)
11. Yatra, Death Ritual (31)
12. Valley Of The Sun, Old Gods (29)
13. Colour Haze, We Are (26)
13. Crypt Trip, Haze County (26)
14. Cult Of Luna, A Dawn To Fear (25)
14. Kadavar, For The Dead Travel Fast (25)
15. The Well, Death And Consolation (23)
16. Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus (23)
17. Bask, III (22)
18. Hazemaze, Hymns Of The Damned (21)
18. Horseburner, The Thief (21)
18. Sacri Monti, Waiting Room For The Magic Hour (21)
19. Black Mountain, Destroyer (20)
19. Lord Vicar, The Black Powder (20)
19. Magic Circle, Departed Souls (20)
19. Mars Red Sky, The Task Eternal (20)
19. Opeth, In Cauda Venenum (20)
19. Spirit Adrift, Divided By Darkness (20)
19. Yawning Man, Macedonian Lines (20)
19. Year Of The Cobra, Ash And Dust (20)
20. Russian Circles, Blood Year (19)
20. Candlemass, The Door To Doom (19)

Honorable Mention:
Crypt Sermon, The Ruins of Fading Light (18)
Duneeater, No Gas No Good (17)
Holy Serpent, Endless (17)
Zed, Volume (17)
Pelican, Nighttime Stories (17)
Roadsaw, Tinnitus the Night (17)

Notes: Alright, that’s enough. There might be one or two more that would add up to 17 votes, but with a list of 20 that actually has 36 records on it, you’ll pardon me if I feel less inclined to chase down all of them. As ever, things get a little more jumbled in the raw vote tally, though with the surplus of inclusions, the variety of styles and the sheer glut of stuff, I feel like this list kind of represents the year that was 2019 in some more accurate respects, being totally overwhelming and whatnot. In any case, the top five is the same, and I’m glad to see that Howling Giant catch on with people as well. That’s a good record, even through Green Lung would seem to have ‘Debut of the Year’ on lockdown. That’s something else I agreed with.

That’s it, friends. Thanks for reading, thanks for reading, thanks for reading. And if you voted, thanks for voting! It is hugely appreciated. Special thanks to Slevin for, as ever, organizing the app that runs and tallies all the votes, because I remember doing it by hand and it was a nightmare even when there were far fewer submissions. That too is deeply appreciated.

Plenty to look forward to in 2020, but before I turn you over to all the individual lists, I wish you a glorious year and either inner peace or an honorable death in battle, whichever you should happen to lie with your personal preferences.

Love, love, love.

Lists follow the jump, and here’s the jump:

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