Friday Full-Length: Mühr, Messiah

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

If you have headphones handy, go ahead and put them on. I’ll wait.

I’ve now false-started this post three times. That’s a lot. Usually, one, two at the outside. Three false starts — a sentence or two deep, then scrap, start over — means I’m having legitimate trouble framing a discussion of something, and when it comes to how to write an acknowledgement for a dissertation source sites On Education literary analysis essay brave new world college personal Messiah (review here), the lone full-length by Amsterdam-based cosmic doomers http://www.graasboerderij.nl/2019/11/27/dissertation-help/ at our cheap college paper service. BuyEssaySafe.com provides professional academic writing help. Place an order and get your essay! Mühr, I take it as a sign of how continually affecting I find the record. I’m closing out this week with it in part because it’s November, which means that we’re officially in the wind-down on 2018 (whew) and somehow I couldn’t let the year pass without marking a half-decade since this album’s release. Comprised of just a single track running 47 minutes, it was released on vinyl through http://www.playyear.fr/how-to-write-good-essay/ done by the world class writers at any time you want. All we want from you is to provide us with the information that is Canardian Records and is as close to a perfect execution of weighted-soul psychedelia as I’ve heard. From the opening bassline to its many drones and swirls and explorations, the song “Messiah” operates on its own level entirely and five years later I’ve yet to hear a piece that captures a sense of majesty in the same way. I know it’s not the highest-profile outing that’s ever closed out a week around here, but I really do consider this one of the best records of the decade.

If you’ve never heard it before, the best advice I can give you is to be patient. self questioning strategies master thesis http://ensino.favale.edu.br/buy-and-sell-cars-business-plan/ editing dissertation services hot for teacher essay Mühr certainly are. It’s nearly five minutes into the total stretch before one realizes the song has started, and longer still before the build that’s underway is really processed. Think of it as a stellar object in rotation. It’s moving, but that motion isn’t immediately apparent to the naked eye. cv writing service bath Need Help Writing My College Essay Com science help mass matter weight homework thesis and dissertation ucf Mühr‘s initials-only lineup included guitarists Looking for cheap article writers online? That would support your website to get good results. Buy articles from 7 Dollar Essay, Top Homework Help Centers IJV and Find your professional Reasons Should Do My Homework here! Get a book review / writing critique with your FREE editing sample. FIRM price. Satisfaction GUARANTEED. GW, drummer Gcse Product Design Coursework Help. Rest assured that your investment is well-founded. We offer a 100% money-back guarantee in the unlikely event that you will need such a perk. We run everything through plagiarism scans to ensure authenticity. HH and bassist/vocalist Writing Phd Thesis Science - Instead of concerning about research paper writing get the needed assistance here Proposals, essays and academic ZA masters dissertation services research methodology Where Can I Find basics abstract b dissertation engineering international science section LX also adds vocals to “Messiah” and We are a team of Start A Event Planning Business offering authentic dissertation writing services in UK & custom dissertation help at cheap prices. Get FA keys, and there’s apparently a three-note sample of  In need of a professional check here? We offer RAPID returns and affordable prices! Whether youve just completed your thesis, are submitting Ornette Coleman somewhere in there, but I won’t pretend to know where — and the flow they’re able to hone throughout the piece is graceful to the point of being balletic. Vocals arrive gently ahead of the first of two surges of volume. I won’t spoil it by giving the time stamp, but there’s a soft tension being build in the early going of the track and much teasing before it actually happens, flourish of harmonized Mühr, Messiahvocals somehow only adding to that. Knowing it’s coming makes it somewhat easier, but when that hugeness of tone finally takes hold it’s absolutely gotta-make-it-louder glorious; a consuming wash the likes of which I’ve rarely heard. Yes, I mean it. Listen for the little bit of feedback. That’s your clue that it’s arrived. And as the drums crash out a slow procession and one guitar scorches while the other holds together the rhythm with the bass — neither of them separate from the rest of the proceedings melodically, by the way — the space created is vast and expands the context of the rest of the outing that follows. About 10 and a half minutes total have passed before the drums cease their march for now, and the residual noise recedes gradually in a chaotic flurry of noise that somehow becomes lost-time hypnotic, the rumble of the low end, the melee of effects and the sort of swelling drones continuing the bear the heft of the volume that came before. It’s an aftermath, and one well earned, but it also becomes its own movement, and something I said about  Technical writing is performed by a diversity and discrimination essay (or technical author) and is the process of writing and sharing information in a professional setting.: 4 A technical writer's primary task is to convey information to another person or party in the most clear and effective manner possible. Messiah at the time and very much stand by is that these stretches and especially the long movement of noise at the end of the track are pivotal to its overall success.

There’s a second push no less gorgeously executed. At 15 minutes or so, the drums return to bring everything back to ground, and the bass progression locks step almost immediately to begin the next stage of the march. Again, it’s subtle, and so fluid, and so easy to get lost in, but it’s happening, and over the next few minutes, the vocals come back as an ethereal presence and soon lead the way into a bit of foreboding circa 20:30, and shortly thereafter the guitars lurch back and unleash the next voluminous cascade. Feedback and effects noise play out to accompany the central riff over the slowly churning drums and as it passes its halfway point, “Messiah” moves into a next stage of its loudest, most active manifestation. Then the real fun starts. At 27 minutes, things are quiet again, but the drums and bass are still holding the same pattern. The most affecting stretch of vocals happens almost a minute and a half later. Two quick (in the grand scheme of the piece itself), soulful verses obviously intended as a showcase work their way into a slow-motion guitar solo, and while it’s not nearly as loud as either of the bigger surges, that’s the actual apex of “Messiah.” The moment where the band seems to lay it all out and leave everything there for the listener to digest. What follows in the remaining 17 minutes is a trace of psychedelic drone and noise, working across different, improvised-sounding stages to build on the atmosphere thus-far conjured, as though they left the tape running after the song itself had finished and then — boldly, I’d argue — realized how necessary that last stretch is to the spirit of creation that so much abounds through the entire work.

transition words for research papers How To Write An Application Essay For Internship admission essay editing service scholarship college student homework helper Mühr had released the  essay mental disorders Biodata after school i do my homework in french do my homework net Shepherd / Blood EP (discussed here) in 2010, but  Messiah was another level entirely. To date, it’s one of the best examples I’ve ever heard of a band absolutely putting everything into one offering and apparently obliterating themselves in the process. Mühr played three shows. Three. I was so fortunate to be there for one of them, at the Cul de Sac in Tilburg at Roadburn 2014 (review here), and watching them onstage lit by candles playing as a five-piece is still an experience for which I’m incredibly grateful. They played “Messiah” in its entirety. It was amazing. I get a chill thinking about it.

ZA, aka Dennis Duijnhouwer, played bass concurrently in the up-and-coming Death Alley, and would appear on the first of their full-lengths but depart before the second. He and guitarist Jevin de Groot, who appeared in Mühr as GW, have a new band together called Temple Fang, who’ve played a couple shows and seem to be just getting going. Needless to say, one eagerly anticipates finding out what the future holds there.

Either way, Mühr‘s sole long-player remains an entity unto itself, and as curious as I was to know how they might follow it up, the fact that it stands alone somehow makes its place even more special. It’s not just another album or just a first album. It’s a monument.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Is this the part where I go on and on about how tired I am? Oh, okay, good. I’m glad. We made it. I’ve had the same headache for five days.

People come and go from your life. That’s what people do. That is the nature of things. A day doesn’t last. People usually don’t last. I know a lot of people, I’m fortunate to have a wife and a son, but I don’t have a lot of friends. That’s all I want to say.

Sunday at 7PM Eastern, episode three of “The Obelisk Show” airs on Gimme Radio. It’s a special recorded at the Høstsabbat Fest I went to in Oslo earlier this month and I’ve got interviews with Ole and Jens, who run the event, as well as Elephant Tree and Asteroid, and it’s all pretty awesome. You should listen. Thanks.

And thanks too to everyone who’s bought a shirt. If that’s not you, I get it, but if it is, your support of this endeavor is massively appreciated. More than a quarter of them are gone, and they’re available here: https://dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk

Let’s do some notes and then I’m gonna try to crash out before the baby wakes up. Subject to change blah blah here we go:

Mon.: Hibrido track premiere/review; Pale Heart video premiere.
Tue.: Sadhus review/album stream; Sergio Ch. video.
Wed.: Causa Sui review; Maybe an Elephant Rifle video premiere.
Thu.: Vinnum Sabbathi/Cegvera review/premiere; maybe Birnam Wood video.
Fri. Belzebong review.

Busy, as ever.

The Patient Mrs. has been sick all week. It’s been a lot of me and The Pecan, and while she usually has minimal work obligations on Fridays, she’s gotta be there from like 1PM until god knows when. After bedtime. It’s a lot, but he’s a good kid, so that helps. We’ll play or go to Costco or read books or whatever this afternoon and he’ll be fine. I worry about poisoning him with my own wretchedness. My shitty posture. My frowny face. I suck. Ugh.

Okay, enough of that.

Please have a great and safe weekend. I’ll stay up all the way until 9PM on Sunday to be in the Gimme Radio chat while the show is on, so thanks if you get to check that out, and please don’t forget the forum and the radio stream here as well.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Roadburn 2014 Day One: “So Much Still Lingers…”

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 10th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

04.11.14 — 00:08 — Thursday night/Friday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

This afternoon and this morning both seem like a really, really long time ago. I got asked a few times today when I got into town and I couldn’t seem to remember. 2009 maybe? Breakfast was two double-double espressos. Dinner was a protein bar and two bottles of water, some ibuprofen. No time for anything else. It’s Roadburn. There are places to be.

After much vigorous folding of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch issues — I was handed one when I walked into the venue this afternoon, which was a cool feeling — I went downstairs from the 013 office to check out Sourvein‘s soundcheck and found their “Dirty South” had gotten a little northern flair thanks to the addition of Halfway to Gone‘s Lou Gorra on bass. When they were done, I went up to Stage01 to watch Hull get their sounds and was treated to a preview of “Fire Vein,” about which I had no complaints. They’d be my first two bands of the day, in that order, so it was like I was getting ahead of myself. Which is fitting for how completely out of time the entire day seemed.

If I’m not mistaken, and I’m pretty sure I’m not, Sourvein is a completely different lineup, Gorra included, than played here in 2011. The one constant, of course, is vocalist T-Roy Medlin. To his credit, no matter who he seems to bring aboard in the band — people come, people go — it always sounds like Sourvein. You’d think after a while a polka player would slip in unnoticed or something, but their Southern sludge has seen no diminishing of its aggressive potency over the years. One imagines if that happened, whoever was responsible wouldn’t be in the band long. They grooved angry and gave the fest a wake up call from which it didn’t look back.

Knowing that Hull were playing Stage01, I made sure to get there early, as in by like half an hour. Say what you want for the practicality, the same thing did me no good later on trying to get up front for Conan at Het Patronaat. Sometimes you need to show up and wait if you want a place up front. Pretty much every time, actually. I was hoping for some new stuff from Hull — who are on tour in Europe with Boston’s Elder, also Roadburn veterans — but cuts from 2011’s Beyond the Lightless Sky (review here) like “False Priest” and “Earth from Water” were hardly time wasted, and both the old-made-new-again “Legend of the Swamp Goat” and “Architect” from 2009’s Sole Lord were right on, as was the extended closer, “Viking Funeral,” which shook the floor with volume that seemed ready for it to be later in the day than it was.

I didn’t hear the Beastmilk album, but I certainly heard a lot about the Beastmilk album, so I thought I’d check out their set, what with Hexvessel‘s Mat McNerney fronting the band. McNerney brought a good deal of Joy Division-style drama to songs like “Void Mother” and “You are Now Under Your Control,” and the music behind him was probably what someone will step up and call neo-goth in a few years if they haven’t yet, mining the moodiness of late ’80s dark rock and presenting it in a we-could-be-playing-black-metal-if-we-wanted-to context. Fair enough, but with Samothrace going on at Het Patronaat across the street, I wasn’t sticking around all that long.

Merch is outside this year, which is different from at least the previous five Roadburns. I stopped myself at a copy of the second Rotor CD and Monster Magnet‘s Love Monster. I didn’t buy the gatefold version of Colour Haze‘s All, or any of this year’s Roadburn exclusives. It was the first money I’ve spent since I got to Europe, and it was 22 of the 70 euro I had in my wallet left over from the 2013 fest. My unemployed ass was as sparing as it could be en route to Het Patronaat.

For Samothrace, I wound up standing in front of one of the house P.A. stacks near the side of the stage, and needless to say, I didn’t stay there long, as the throb of Joe Axler‘s kick drum felt like the pedal was hooked up to my rib cage. I had been looking forward to seeing them, since 2012’s Reverence to Stone was so killer and I missed them on their East Coast tour supporting it, and they justified my anticipation, both in tonal weight and atmosphere, the latter which it’s easy to overlook in their sound because the rest of the time they’re so damn heavy, but which ultimately made both the record and their set stand out from the rest of the day, guitarists Renata Castagna and Brian Spinks taking time to space out in a way that presaged some of what I’d catch later with Mühr at the Cul de Sac, Spinks furthering the dynamic with assorted screams and growls. Was glad to finally see them play and witness their shifts between tumbling lurch and excruciating crawls for myself. It seemed overdue. And oh yeah, then Napalm Death played.

More than several years have passed since the last time I caught a Napalm Death show, and while Roadburn 2014 seems an odd fit for the British grindcore progenitors — vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, guitarist Mitch Harris, bassist Shane Embury and drummer Danny Herrera — they tailored their set to the occasion, culling some of their more experimental, less blastbeaten, Swans-y material into something unique for the Main Stage crowd. It must be nice to be in a band for more than 30 years and still have the drive to change things up, and seeing them do so only furthered my opinion that they should tour in art galleries exclusively. Five or six bands formed and started writing songs while Napalm Death were still on stage — that’s how influential they are. They’ll never have the same kind of reputation for experimental rock as for grind, but their lead-in for Corrections House wound up as one of the smoothest transitions of the day, both bands having industrial elements at work.

In the case of Corrections House, those come courtesy of beats delivered via laptop from Sanford Parker, who took the stage first as he did when I saw them in Brooklyn early in 2013 (review here). Whether it’s Parker, who was in Buried at Sea, Yakuza‘s Bruce Lamont, Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Eyehategod vocalist Mike IX Williams, it’s hard separating the members of Corrections House from what they’ve brought to and done in their other bands, though Lamont‘s sax, played to lower end to cover where a bass might otherwise be, definitely had an appeal distinct from that in his main outfit. Their debut album, Last City Zero, came out last year and I didn’t give it enough time. Watching them play was my punishment for not knowing the songs better than I did, and I’d have stayed longer, but Philly’s Nothing were just finished at Het Patronaat and I wasn’t about to miss the start of Conan.

Seemed to me that 25 minutes before their set started would be plenty of time to get front and center. It was not. Not only were there people already up front when I got there, but they were already shouting requests at the UK trio, whose 2014 outing, Blood Eagle (review here), I consider one of the year’s best records, and who had a new bassist in the form of Chris Fielding, known perhaps best as the recording engineer who’s done their studio stuff and worked with Electric Wizard, Undersmile, and many others in the UK’s fertile scene. That was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t known he joined the band with Jon Paul Davis (guitar/vocals) and Paul O’Neil (drums), but he fit in well with the destructive path beaten out by “Crown of Talons,” which made for an ultra-doomed opening statement.

Conan were one of my gotta-see bands for the day, and their set at Het Patronaat with the line of people waiting to get in running most of the way back to the door from the 013 only emphasized how far they’ve come in the two years since they played Stage01 at Roadburn 2012. One expects utter dominance from them and they did not disappoint. Still, they were one of my gotta-see bands, and the other happened to be Amsterdam space-doomers Mühr, whose slot overlapped at Cul de Sac. They were not the highest-profile act on the bill, but I only watched one complete set today, and it was Mühr doing “Messiah” from their 2013 single-song full-length of the same name (review here). With ambience heavier than many bands at their most crushing, seeing Mühr, which seemed unlikely from the start, was a highlight of what was by then a long stretch.

You could almost call what they do post-metal, but for the fact that where a lot post-metal comes across as claustrophobic, Mühr make efforts to sound as expansive as possible. Their psychedelic, cosmic droning was rich in tone and righteously loud, vocals sparse, but a presence, the whole five-piece lit mostly by candles set up in front and to the sides of the stage. It was something I’d probably only ever see at Roadburn, and when they were done and left the stage one at a time after an extended wash of feedback and effects noise, they came back out to take a well-earned bow before still-cheering crowd. I was so into it it was silly, and I know already that the ability to say I saw Mühr live is among the things I’ll be most grateful to carry with me in a few days when I leave Tilburg.

There were so many bands I missed today. There always are. You can’t see everything. I got back to the Main Stage in time to catch Crowbar doing “All I Had I Gave,” “Planets Collide” and “The Cemetery Angels” and had every intent of sticking around to see Freedom Hawk close out in the Green Room, but the weight of needing to write and the thought of getting up for more Weirdo Canyon Dispatch work in the morning got the better of me. Not the first time that’s ever happened, at least as regards the former.

Tomorrow is Mikael Åkerfeldt‘s curated day. Only Day Two which feels odd for how immediately immersed in the vibe of Roadburn I and seemingly everybody else was by when afternoon became evening. If you told me we’d been here two or three days already, I’d believe it, but maybe lack of sleep is a factor there as well. All the more reason to nod.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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Roadburn 2014: Mühr, Ortega, Death Alley and More Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

What I like about these latest adds to the Roadburn 2014 lineup is that since the fest is long since sold out (though if I’m not mistaken there are still tickets for the Afterburner available), it’s not like they were booked because they’ll be a big draw. Basically the only reason you’re going to see acts like Ggu:ll, Mühr, Ortega, Death Alley and Seirom on the bill is because the festival digs them and thinks you should too. To me, that’s the whole spirit of what Roadburn is about, and that’s ultimately what makes it so special.

So as more acts pour on, where to stick them all? Oh, no worries, we’ll just add another venue. Now also featuring the Cul de Sac, in the heart of Weirdo Canyon in Tilburg, Roadburn has even more room to stretch out and show off some of the best the Dutch heavy underground has to offer.

Thanks to the fest as well for using one of my quotes about Mühr. If you haven’t heard their Messiah album (review here), you should. Here’s the news:

Cul de Sac: Ggu:ll, Mühr, Ortega & Seirom To Play On Thursday, April 10th!

During last year’s Roadburn Festival, we experimented with using Cul de Sac, a music café located across from the 013 venue, as a fifth stage to host everything from electrifying solo performances to bands in sheer rock overdrive. The experiment was a success! In fact, Cul de Sac proved to be such a great addition to Roadburn that we have designated the friendly café as an official location for the entire 2014 festival alongside the 013 venue, Het Patronaat and V39.

We will kick off Roadburn Festival 2014 with our traditional Hardrock Hideout at Cul de Sac on Wednesday, April 9th (more about that later). On Thursday, April 10th, the café will showcase the ever-fertile metal / sludge / psychedelic breeding grounds of The Netherlands, giving Ggu:ll, Mühr, Seirom and Ortega the opportunity to connect with the international Roadburn community.

Seirom (aka Mories from Aderlating and Gnaw Their Tongues) will start things off. Prepare to be drawn into an alternate dimension as dazzlingly light and wildly uplifting as Gnaw Their Tongues is dark and chilling.

Seirom’s latest, 1973, is a blissful and revitalizing trip. Released by Aurora Borealis, it would be at home on 4AD, too.

Tilburg‘s very own Ggu:ll are in the process of building a reputation as a solid live act, delivering aggressive yet melodic hypnotic doom, underpinned by crushing riffs and the anguished screams of William van der Voort.

Amsterdam-based tonal weightlifters Mühr subscribe to a cosmic doom esthetic that is both hypnotic and pummeling. On their latest album, Messiah, Mühr proves that there is more to a post-metallic scope than tonal largesse and longwinded execution, and the band “succeed in reshaping genre expectation in their own image,” according to JJ Koczan from The Obelisk.

Hailing from Groningen, Ortega is a sludge / doom band that is making quite a name for itself in the wake of three strong releases (1634, A Flame Never Rises on Its Own and The Serpent Stirs) and plenty of gigs, including no less than two UK tours in 2013 alone.

The combination of dark metal with progressive, psychedelic guitar leads, heavy riffs, and front man Richard Postma’s tortured howls makes the band an obvious choice for this year’s Roadburn Festival. If you love YOB, be sure to check out Ortega!

Hardrock Hideout with Death Alley! Wednesday, April 9th at Cul de Sac, Tilburg (NL)

In keeping with tradition to grab a brew and honor the gods of high energy, hard rockin’ action we will kick off Roadburn 2014 at Cul de Sac in Tilburg, The Netherlands, the festival’s official fourth location, with our traditional Hardrock Hideout on Wednesday, April 9th. Doors open at 8pm and admission is FREE!

Fresh from the filthy sewers and dark basements of Amsterdam, Death Alley deliver heavy punked-out proto-metal in spades. The band, revolving around former The Devil’s Blood guitarist Oeds Beydals and ex-members of Gewapend Beton and Mühr, mainline such influences as The MC5, Blue Cheer, Blue Öyster Cult, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, defining good ‘ol, rock ‘n roll played with metal finesse and a pitch black psychedelic soul cherry on top.

Indeed, Death Alley‘s gnarly shake appeal combines ingenious but blistering guitar parts with the intensity of drumming that justifies the present-day existence of John Bonham’s Vista-Lite drum kit.

Death Alley‘s debut 7?, ‘Over Under / Dead Man’s Bones’, recorded on 8 track by Orange Sunshine‘s legendary Guy Tavares and released through Van Records, could easily be mistaken for a long lost gem from the late 60s / early 70s, hailed by collectors as the holy grail of underground rock from back in the day.

http://www.roadburn.com/roadburn-2014/
https://www.facebook.com/muhrband
https://www.facebook.com/ortegadoom
https://www.facebook.com/Seirom
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ggull/343468262357429
https://www.facebook.com/deathalleyband

Death Alley, “Over Under”

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Mühr, Messiah: Blood in Sacrament

Posted in Reviews on October 15th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Then a trio, Amsterdam-based tonal weightlifters Mühr made their debut in 2010 with the two-song, 24-minute Shepherd/Blood EP (discussed here), which cobbled together pyramids of heavy stone from molten riffs, the thickest I’d heard come from the Netherlands since Toner Low. The follow-up full-length from the now-foursome, titled Messiah and released in a limited edition of 200 white 180 gram LPs via Canardian Records, finds them a decidedly more complex outfit. Messiah is a single-song, 47-minute outing (the vinyl splits it into two sides, obviously), that proves stylistically cohesive and breathtakingly ranging, relying chiefly on patient, progressive builds that emerge gradually and naturally over the course of the title-track’s hypnotic run. It is an album to entrance, and Mühr — bassist/vocalist ZA, guitarists IJV and GW, and drummer HH, plus guests LX (vocals) and FA (keys) — seem to revel in the undulations of it, whether they’re crashing in heavy for the first time just past eight minutes in or letting atmospheric soundtrails wind Messiah to its exploratory finish. When they want to, they’re still able to conjure the unmitigated crush of Shepherd/Blood, but the idea on Messiah is different and the intent is geared as much toward establishing a dynamic as it is pummeling when the time comes for it. That naturally changes the appeal somewhat — it’s a much less simple sound than it was two years ago — but Mühr do a stellar job of immersing their audience in the fog of their quieter stretches and it’s far more satisfying to be carried off by the record than not. A linear listen is available digitally since there’s no CD version and provides a different experience than having to turn the LP over, but either way one approaches Messiah, it is hypnotic, complex and gorgeously executed. The full realization of a post-metallic scope that owes little to Neurosis and more to an earthier version of latter-day Ufomammut.

What works best about “Messiah,” the song, is that when it’s quiet, you’re not just waiting for it to get loud. Granted, Mühr tease the initial entry of the full-bodied tone early on with the initial arrival of vocals, swelling once or twice before really kicking in, but by doing this, they’re teaching the patience that the rest of the track/album requires. That, as noted, is about eight minutes in, and before that, Mühr set the atmosphere through ZA‘s rich bass and relatively minimalist guitar accompaniment. Not quite drones, but as the beginning unfolds, drums arriving gradually amid the psychedelic sprawl, there’s a tension that arises through repetitions the bassline. Vocals hit cued by a foreboding rumble, and they’re no less an instrument of ambience than anything else, however much of a psychological landmark they might provide. Human contact! The next two minutes unravel themselves with fitting grace, and by the time “Messiah” gets heavy, as it were, Mühr have done well to effect a change in expectation of time, to lull not to sleep, but to a passivity of consciousness, so that they’re free to push on as they will. Layers of guitar swirl rise through thickened crash as “Messiah” spaces out, stretching arms wide like some statue come to life, and continues in this fashion until the HH rests on the drums after 10 minutes in. Mühr have entered a new stage of the build — a kind of post-apex that continues for the next several minutes until they’ve taken it all the way back down to the ground from whence it came — the distorted bass rumble, airy guitar effects, slow, subdued drumming all signaling the change. Shortly before the 16-minute mark, they’ve gone as low as they’re going, and the process of bringing “Messiah” back up begins with due subtlety, a flourish of lead guitar a couple minutes later adding depth and character to what’s already been a trench-to-mountaintop excursion.

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Five Albums Released Today that are Worth Your Time

Posted in Features on October 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I’m sure there are others. Seems to be the rule of this kind of thing that, if there’s a list, sure enough there’s something left off it. So to whoever I didn’t remember to include, please know it wasn’t premeditated. Basically I woke up this morning and thought of a bunch of kickass records that came out today and, after a cup of coffee, decided to put this together. Not exactly like I’ve been stewing on the idea for weeks or anything.

But, with a stylistically varied slew from trad doom to classic metal to weirdo drone ambience, Oct. 1, 2013, does indeed feel like a special kind of day for those who might hunt down a new release. Who doesn’t like that ritual? Pre-orders are great and all, but picking up an album on the day it comes out holds a place in my heart reserved for few rites. If I could’ve gone to a midnight sale last night and picked up all of these, I’d have been there in a second.

Barring that, I hope you at least find something here you might want to check out. Like the headline says, as far as I’m concerned, these are all worth your time. Let’s go alphabetically:

1. Argus, Beyond the Martyrs

Released by Cruz Del Sur. Argus‘ third album, Beyond the Martyrs (review here), finds the Western Pennsylvania troupe delving further into their classic metal roots. Singled out by the powerful vocals of Brian “Butch” Balich (formerly of Penance), songs like “No Peace beyond the Line” and “Cast out Your Raging Spirits” also feature ripping, landmark solo work and driving, fist-pumping rhythms. It’s a straightforward collection, but don’t be fooled — Argus take these classic elements and make them their own to such an extent that Beyond the Martyrs is their strongest work of songwriting yet. Get it here.

Argus, “By Endurance We Conquer” & “No Peace beyond the Line”

2. Black Rainbows, Holy Moon

Released by Heavy Psych Sounds. Persistently underrated Italian trio Black Rainbows return with a new 38-minute release dubbed Holy Moon. They’re calling it an EP, but for my money it’s a full-length album, and it’s their most varied work to date. Rounding out with a cover of MC5‘s “Back to Comm” that stretches past 12-minutes in a huge heavy psych jam, Holy Moon also finds the three-piece delving into Colour Haze-worthy lush exploration on “Chakra Temple” and riffing out with classic stoner fuzz on “The Hunter.” EP or LP, it’s a winner, and as Black Rainbows have toured Europe persistently these last couple years, it’s hopefully a matter of time before more people catch on. Get it here.

Black Rainbows, Holy Moon

3. In Solitude, Sister


Released by Metal Blade Records. Swedish metallers In Solitude return to reap the benefits of touring with Down and others in support of their 2011 sophomore outing, The World. The Flesh. The Devil. The Uppsala five-piece give traditional metal a genuine facelift with their third album, Sister, basking in some of the simplicity of approach and hook-filled songwriting of modern cult rock and casting off the grandiosity and pretense of Mercyful Fate but keeping all of the lurking sinister vibe. Look for In Solitude to make even more of an impact than they did their last time out. They’ll be touring in October with Watain. Get it here.

In Solitude, Sister

4. Iron Man, South of the Earth


Released by Metal Blade/Rise Above. 2013 has produced little news as welcome as the announcement that long-running Maryland doomers Iron Man were signing to Rise Above for the release of South of the Earth, thus ensuring they’d not only reap the benefit of that label’s considerable doomly credibility but also secure a North American issue through Metal Blade. Their first full-length with frontman Dee Calhoun, it’s also their strongest production yet, and one can only hope South of the Earth is the moment that marks Iron Man beginning to get the recognition they’ve long since deserved as not only pioneers of Maryland doom, but one of its most engaging acts. Get it here.

Iron Man, “Hail to the Haze”

5. Mühr, Messiah


Released by Canardian Records. Early in 2011, I caught wind of the debut release from Dutch outfit Mühr, and that two-song offering (discussed here) left enough of an impression that when I heard they had a follow-up coming in the form of the single-track/47-minute Messiah, I was immediately excited. A couple years later finds Mühr a much different outfit, more dynamic and patient in their builds, but still able to break into some unbridled tonal crush when they so choose. On its own,  “Messiah” is more diverse than some bands ever get in their careers, and Mühr emerge as masters of a complex aesthetic, at times gorgeous and at times terrifying. Not to be missed. Get it here.

Mühr, “Messiah”

Well, there you have it. There’s a ton of great stuff coming out this month, from bands like Horisont, Russian Circles, Pelican, Red Fang, Monster Magnet, on and on, but it’s important to start the month off right. And broke. Enjoy.

Got something I missed or something you’re especially looking forward to in the coming weeks? The comments are right there.

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On the Radar: Mühr

Posted in On the Radar on March 22nd, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Hell fucking yes. Usually the protocol for this kind of thing is to put the words up top and the audio below, but fuck that, you need to hear Mühr now. Here’s “Shepherd” and “Blood” from their Bandcamp page:

Fucking HUGE tones. Mühr, a trio who I first heard about on the forum here, take the gargantuan, giant-headed riffage of Dutch countrymen Toner Low and slow it down to spread across the two tracks on their demo, leaning just on the doom side of stoner/doom and maybe giving a tonal nod to landmark Italian trio Ufomammut with some of the subtle background noise underlying. However you look at them though, these two songs are massive, and most definitely worth investigating.

Shepherd/Blood, which between the two tracks is over 24 minutes long, is available for a name-your-price download or 10 Euro physical vinyl purchase here. The crushing psychedelia and lumbering riffs need to be heard if you’re a fan of either of the above mentioned bands, or, you know, have a skull you don’t mind getting caved in by low end. This is heavy shit, folks. Definitely eager to see where Mühr go next. It’ll be hard to miss for the giant fucking footprint they leave behind.

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