Desertfest Belgium 2024: 15 More Bands Added to Lineup for Oct. 18-20

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

From the kingpins Monster Magnet placed at the top of the poster to lumberwizards Monolord, British sludge-chargers Raging Speedhorn, the darkly crushing Morne and the deathly extrapolations of Inter Arma and whatever on earth Spaceslug might get up to when they take the stage, the latest announcement from Desertfest Belgium 2024 expands the scope of the Antwerp-based three-dayer in multiple directions at the same time. I suppose that could be said even if the only band joining the lineup was Green Milk From Planet Orange, but perhaps it’s that much truer with Dutch heavy rockers Drive by Wire listed alongside Portland, Oregon, extreme proggers Lord Dying, and so on, and as this batch of 15 acts is added to the glut of those already confirmed, the shape of the festival seems set up to benefit from playing all these different takes off each other. They’re announcing the day splits tomorrow, and it should be interesting to see who ends up where and how it all fits together under the headliners.

They say there’s more to add, so I guess that timetable will have a few TBAs. Still, in geographic and aesthetic reach, Desertfest Belgium has become a standout among the busy October festival season in Europe, and a point of convergence for a slew of tours besides. Even if they weren’t bringing anybody else on board, it would already be one to remember.

Dig it:

desertfest belgium 2024 second poster

As promised we quench your thirst for new DF24 names with this divine batch of bands! 👁️

Monster Magnet / Monolord / Black Tusk / INTER ARMA / Spaceslug / Raging Speedhorn / Lord Dying / MORNE / Your Highness / KARKARA
Drive By Wire / Five The Hierophant / Norna
Green Milk From The Planet Orange / Hell Valley High

This Friday (May 3rd) our day ticket sales starts at 11:00am CET.

Check out our website this Friday to find out which of your favourite bands is playing when.

https://www.desertfest.be/antwerp/information/ticketing/

We’ll be back with more news very soon…🤘

http://www.desertfest.be/
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_belgium/

Monster Magnet, Live in Berlin 2023

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Up in Smoke 2024 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

With Pentagram at the top of its thus-far bill playing what will reportedly be their final Swiss show ever on a retirement tour that will also stop through Desertfest Berlin 2024 this Spring, the Sound of Liberation-associated Up in Smoke Festival has made the first lineup announcement for its 10th anniversary edition. Set for Oct. 4-6, it is at the spearhead of what will almost certainly be a busy month on the European underground touring circuit. And as one expects news to follow shortly from other October festivals throughout Western Europe — Keep it Low in Munich, Desertfest Belgium in Antwerp, Høstsabbat in Norway that I’ve been fortunate enough to go to a couple times, and so on — knowing that the likes of TruckfightersMonolord, LowriderGreenleaf and Slomosa will be out on the road, at least the latter two of them behind new records, warms the heart in February’s drear. Will I be there? Probably not, barring a miracle or some kind of grant that doesn’t exist, but someone will be, and that’s rad enough of a thought to get me through the end of this sentence, so I’ll take it.

Wonder if we’ll see new stuff from Gnome this year, and I think Messa were beginning the process this winter of their next LP. October is far enough away that just about anything can happen between now and then, and I guess that’s part of the fun in posting these things in the first place. Thanks for talking that one through with me.

And while we’re here, happy 10th anniversary to Up in Smoke, and many happy returns.

Here’s the latest:

Up in Smoke 2024 first announce

⚡️UP IN SMOKE FESTIVAL 2024 – FIRST BAND ANNOUNCEMENT⚡️

Hey Smokers,

Today, we are thrilled to announce the first bunch of amazing bands for the 10th-anniversary of our beloved Up In Smoke Festival!🖤

None other than Bobby Liebling and his crew in Pentagram will be joining us to celebrate their last show in Switzerland ever! 🔥

So great to see our Scandinavian friends Truckfighters, Monolord, Slomosa, Greenleaf and Lowrider joining the madness with exclusive Switzerland shows.

In addition to this, we are introducing the dark, haunting sounds of the female-fronted doom outfits Messa and Wolvennest, along with the experimental rockers Djinn, Belgium’s one and only Gnome, and the UK riffmasters Psychlona.

Up in Smoke takes place near Basel and Switzerland offers some excellent bands as well! Check out Tar Pond, Preamp Disaster, Norna, No Mute and Glue.🇨🇭

Make no mistake, this was just the beginning!👀

Up in Smoke 2024 will be a massive heavy rockin’ birthday bash and the stoner party of the year!🪩

Line Up:

Pentagram *last Swiss show ever*
Truckfighters
Monolord
Lowrider
Greenleaf
Slomosa
Messa
Wolvennest
Gnome
Psychlona
Djiin
Tar Pond
Preamp Disaster
Norna
No Mute
Glue
& many more

🎫Online-Tickets: www.sol-tickets.com
(link in bio)
& www.z-7.ch

🎫Hardtickets: www.sol-records.com

🌐Website: www.upinsmoke.de

Up In Smoke Festival
10th Anniversary
🗓️04. – 06. October 2024
📍Z7 Konzertfabrik
Pratteln, Switzerland

Cheers,
Your UIS-Crew

https://www.facebook.com/upinsmokefestivalswitzerland
https://www.instagram.com/up_in_smoke_festival

https://www.facebook.com/Soundofliberation/
https://www.instagram.com/soundofliberation/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/

Lowrider, Live at Hellfest 2022

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Roadburn 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Names like David Eugene Edwards and Julie Christmas are bound to draw eyes, along with Deafheaven, but dig into the lineup announcement for Roadburn 2023 and you’ll find even more genre-spanning righteousness from the e’er forward-looking Dutch fest, which recently unveiled its pretty-people-doing-stuff thematic artwork by William Lacalmontie. Burst and Chat Pile stand out to me immediately, and Norna whom I recently saw for the fist time, but LLNN will kill it in their commissioned collaboration, and a special set from Wolves in the Throne Room is an idea that has a proven history at Roadburn of being, well, special.

I didn’t get to go to Roadburn 2022, which if we’re being honest is a lack in my life that I’ve felt throughout the entire year since. I don’t imagine they’re bringing back the daily ‘zine for 2023, having now thrived without it for the first time in however many years it was. But if I can get back over for next April, I’m going to do everything I can to try and make that happen. Assuming I can walk by then, I’ll carry amps from one end of the loading bay to the other, I don’t care. Just please let me be in Tilburg again.

This is the first announcement. More will follow. This is always one of the best and most hopeful times of the year.

From the PR wire:

Roadburn 2023

Roadburn announces first names for 2023, including Deafheaven, Julie Christmas, and David Eugene Edwards

Roadburn has announced the first names for the 2023 line up ahead of tickets going on sale later this month. The festival will take place at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands between April 20-23, 2023. Tickets will go on sale at 7pm CET (6pm GMT, 1pm EST, 10am PST) on November 15.

Roadburn Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We are very thrilled to see Roadburn 2023 coming together, especially in a world turned upside down and all the challenges facing the live music industry. Roadburn 2023 is shaping up to be a very exciting edition of the festival even while navigating the underground post-pandemic. This year’s Roadburn won’t see a curator as there are so many obstacles and pitfalls to overcome; it would be hard for a curator to fully realise their artistic and musical dreams. We at Roadburn will make sure the 2023 edition will be as adventurous and explorational as always, and it will be an anchor point as usual. It will be a very current edition, reflecting the world as it is now.”

Line up announcements:
Deafheaven will fly in to Roadburn to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their groundbreaking sophomore album, Sunbather, by performing the album in full alongside a second set where they will play their latest incredible album, Infinite Granite.

Originally scheduled to perform at Roadburn 2020, Julie Christmas will finally perform next April as a European exclusive set. With a diverse back catalogue and the promise of new material on the horizon, this will be a must-see show.

Also drawing from a rich back catalogue, Roadburn will welcome back David Eugene Edwards, who will be performing cuts from his 16 Horsepower, Wovenhand and solo discographies.

Wolves In The Throne Room will enhance their already immersive performances with additional audio and visual components to create a special, exclusive set titled Shadow Moon Kingdom.

Another postponed Roadburn debut will finally come to fruition as Brutus will perform off the back of their stunning new album, Unison Life.

Big Brave warranted a rare back-to-back Roadburn booking and will be performing their upcoming new album nature morte at Roadburn 2023.

The Soft Moon has made such an impact over the years, but their latest album, Exister, takes things to a new level. They will be performing the album in full at Roadburn 2023.

Giles Corey will be making their live debut with a full band at Roadburn; originally scheduled for 2020 this underground phenomenon will bring catharsis and emotion in abundance.

Chat Pile have made an immense impact in a short space of time, and Roadburn has snagged the exclusive European debut of this much-hyped quartet.

Candy will be performing their blistering new album, Heaven is Here in full at Roadburn.

KEN Mode are doing their bit for the thriving noise-rock resurgence of 2022, and they’ll be flying in for a one-off show at Roadburn 2023.

The genre-defying experimentalism found on Show Me the Body’s latest album Trouble the Water will be brought to life in the flesh with their Roadburn debut next April.

Recently reformed and raring to go, Roadburn will host Sweden’s Burst, bringing the sound of early Scandinavian post-metal to Tilburg.

Norna will also represent Sweden with a crushing take on sludgy post-hardcore.

Commissioned Music:

Roadburn has been commissioning artists to create and perform original compositions at the festival since 2018. 2023 will see an array of such commissioned projects – this year with a particular focus on giving a platform to underground artists – the first of which is announced today.

John Cxnnor performing All My Future’s Past.
Brothers Ketil and Rasmus Sejersen grew up in Denmark’s hardcore scene and the influence of that is felt in the music they create as part of LLNN, but it also infiltrates their work under the John Cxnnor moniker. For this commissioned project, they will enhance the industrial electronics of the John Cxnnor project with the contributions of fellow musicians from the hardcore scene they were shaped by.

Collaboration with Schouwburg Tilburg:
For the first time, Roadburn is collaborating with Schouwburg Tilburg to embrace dance as part of the Roadburn landscape. Dance Of The Seven Veils will be brought to life by director Aïda Gabriëls with musical accompaniment courtesy of Colin H. Van Eeckhout (CHVE, Amenra), Pieter-Jan Van Assche (Innerwoud) and soprano Astrid Stockman. Tickets for this event will be sold as an upgrade to Roadburn tickets, with a discount for Roadburn attendees.

More information on all these announcements can be located HERE: https://roadburn.com/line-up/

Roadburn’s official visual artist for 2023 is William Lacalmontie, more information about his collaboration with the festival can be found HERE: https://roadburn.com/william-lacalmontie-the-official-roadburn-2023-visual-artist/

Weekend tickets and accommodation options will go on sale via roadburn.com at 7pm CET (6pm GMT, 1pm EST, 10am PST) on November 15. 4-day tickets will be priced at €244, 3-day tickets at €214, and single day tickets at €79 (all costs inclusive of fees and service charges).

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Julie Christmas, The Bad Wife Live in full

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 96

Posted in Radio on October 28th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Good show. Gets heavy. I started thinking about how my knee hurt and that reminded me of Høstsabbat (where I hurt it) earlier this month and I decided to dedicate the second hour-ish of the program to celebrating that lineup. And, well, that lineup was really god damned heavy — though, I say in the voice tracks too, it was way more sonically diverse a proceeding than it appears on the playlist below. So it goes. I’ll plead guilty on that.

Before that though, each one of the first three tracks is something I genuinely hope people will check out. Brant Bjork because he’s Brant Bjork and 14 records in he’s still trying new stuff. UWUW because Ian Blurton is a master and psychedelic heavy soul rock needed to happen. Dead Shrine because it’s new stuff from Craig Williamson (also of Lamp of the Universe) in a heavy style like Arc of Ascent, but with some different kinds of spaces thrown in. Dude just riffs and riffs and riffs. Yes.

Not saying the rest isn’t worth checking out in Ruby the Hatchet, Love Gang, or The Otolith, which is really the rest of the new stuff. The Otolith I’ve been listening to all week to review it and it’s bludgeoningly beautiful and has me wondering how to add a sixth inclusion to my top five for the year. Ruby the Hatchet are like if 1971 happened in 1981, and Love Gang are like if Motörhead were from Southern California or, in other words, from Denver. I certainly thought that song was killer when I premiered it. And a couple classics, some recent Enslaved, Orange Goblin, then the turn up to Norway for the fest-homage. As I said at the top, good show.

Thanks if you listen and thanks for reading.

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 10.28.22 (VT = voice track)

Brant Bjork Bread for Butter Bougainvillea Suite
UWUW Staircase to the End of the Night UWUW
Dead Shrine The Formless Soul The Eightfold Path
VT
Ruby the Hatchet Deceiver Fear is a Cruel Master
Love Gang Meanstreak Meanstreak
The Otolith Ekpyrotic Folium Limina
Saint Vitus The Psychopath Saint Vitus
Enslaved Kingdom Kingdom
Orange Goblin Cozmo Bozo The Big Black
VT
Norna The Perfect Dark Star is Way Way is Eye
Bismarck The Seer Oneiromancer
The Moth Gatherer The Drone Kingdom Esoteric Oppression
Dopelord Your Blood Reality Dagger`
Graveyard Please Don’t Peace
Indian Directional From All Purity
VT
Slomatics Buried Axes on Regulus Minor Ascend/Descend
Kanaan Return to the Tundrasphere Earthbound

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Nov. 11 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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Live Review: HØSTSABBAT 2022 Night Two in Oslo, Norway, 10.08.22

Posted in Features, Reviews on October 9th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Hostsabbat night two

Before; haunting the Chapel

At some point yesterday afternoon I did… something? to my knee. Maybe before Needlepoint played. I had been sitting on the thankfully clean floor near the front of the stage between acts, like you do to take pictures in sans-pit cases, and in getting up, felt and heard a pop, and it has hurt steadily since. Made it through the rest of the day, obviously, but by the time I was headed back to the hotel, was fairly well hobbling, and this morning that discomfort was right where I left it after my jetlagged ass slept for 10 hours last night. I can’t quite find a position for it between straight and bent that’s comfortable and my well-intentioned ‘see how it feels tomorrow’ plan feels as dumb as it is.

In addition to being old and out of any kind of shape that isn’t spheroid — plus I’m a wuss, if that wasn’t clear — it is a humbling reminder of the confirmed wreck that my body is, has always been. I would call it existentially unpleasant in an effort to sap it of an emotional context, which, while we’re here, also strikes me as ridiculous. Nonetheless, I hurt. I’m going to try to take it easy today, whatever that even means, and sit as much as I can, but I promise you, “sit as much as I can” is basically my motto for life. Put it on the family crest. Tattoo it on my arm on fancy script like a metalcore toughguy from the aughts. We are who we are. I remain approximately 40 percent human. The rest?

It’s a sunny day on Oslo and there are rad birds around to further the autumnal atmosphere of the city, or at least the block of it between the hotel and Kulturkirken Jakob. When I picture it, Oslo is overcast, so to see blue sky feels new, but no complaints.

Sturle Dagsland is soundchecking and already pushing his voice to frequencies usually reserved for amplified mosquitoes, so that should make for an interesting set. There’s time before we get there, so more coffee and lollygagging are the order of the moment. I suck at taking it easy. Thus xanax.

In case I don’t post again before I’m home, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Jens, Ole and Vesper for having me over once again. This festival is beautiful even when the music is at its ugliest, and for much more than the visual impact of the Kulturkirken Jakob, striking as that is. I deeply value the opportunity to come here and kick around my imposter syndrome for a couple days, see amazing stuff and do my best to convey a little bit of what it’s like to anyone else who might care enough to read. If that’s you (and if you’re seeing this, surprise! it is!), then thank you.

HØSTSABBAT 2022 NIGHT TWO

Sturle Dagsland

Sturle Dagsland 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The music of everything and everything-is-music, Sturle Dagsland was not alone on stage but is clearly driven toward artistic singularity just the same. Before he went on, there was a kind of mini-presentation of am Edvardprisen, a music prize that would seem to have been well earned, given what unfolded after. Experimentalism drawing on modern dance, electronic music, extreme metal, Wardruna-style Norse-ism, pop, indie, and a deeply varied swath of assorted styles like a shopping cart full of genre, he not only claimed the Edvardprisen but the award as well for the best leggings this year at Høstsabbat, though admittedly there was a dearth of competition in that regard. More art-house-appreciation than a rocking start to the day, the passion fueling the testing and passing of limits was palpable. Everybody has an inner clock for how much of that kind of thing they can absorb, of course, but it’s hard not to respect both the vision of a world music that comes from another world and the bravery to manifest it wholeheartedly on stage. From trumpet to flute to maybe-oboe, hands crashing through cymbals, hang-style drum, synth beats swelling and receding, keys, vocals in god knows how many octaves and time signatures, each short piece fed into an encompassing scope that was expressive beyond my language barrier to it and markedly individual.

Bismarck

Bismarck 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Well then. Bismarck signed to Majestic Mountain today, and they debuted the rager “Sky Father” to mark the occasion. It was one among the multitude of pummelers they had on hand, and the lumbering groove, tonal largesse and atmoslusge heft was like a cold-cloth on a fevered soul. I stood, against better judgement, up front for about half the set and hung back thereafter, but my goodness this is what I need. When my son and I go on rollercoasters, the running joke is “this is what we need,” because if he doesn’t get that level of vestibular input periodically he loses his mind. If I don’t get regular doses of volume like this, it’s the same thing. Sometimes you just need to be crushed. Fortunately for me and whatever form of neural atypicality this represents — call it “doombrain” as a diagnostic shortcut — Bismarck were ready with a suitable nod of low end. They should give prizes for this kind of thing too. Or at least a grant, though I’ll admit that, being in a country that puts its money where its mouth is as regards funding, there may well already be such grants. In any case, Bismarck’s take on tone, ambience and aggression was just right in its moment, and I am swallowed by it.

Norna

Norna 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Years from now I hope I’m able to recall Norna hitting the Chapel stage after Bismarck played in the Crypt and how good that one-two punch of weighted sludge felt. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to listen to this band without thinking of Ole Helstad, one of the founders of Høstsabbat, who is a nigh-on-rabid fan, and one suspects that’s why they’re here — if you believe it should be otherwise, I would only ask what you think music is for in the first place — but that only made me want to see them more. Assured in craft and at times scathing in their delivery, they were a far cry from the deranged sensibilities of Indian last night, but showed how such leveling volume can be wielded toward ends as much about life as death. I say that, but they were largely unilateral in their destructive outletting, perhaps the moment when the old forest burns so that new growth can take hold. The band’s pedigree goes back decades to the more hardcore-minded Breach, and if Norna are post-that, they’re post- a few other things as well, but their sound held an urgency that felt born of a trash-punk youth, even if it’s long since left that style behind.

Dopelord

Dopelord 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Stoner and doom! They mentioned from the stage that they were about to sing a song about the devil in a church, which if they did it in their home country of Poland would get them thrown in jail. I could see them catching flack for it — less likely imprisoned — in the US too, though that depends pretty much on the state. Another day carnival of weedian riffage here, I suppose. Dopelord’s resin-coated nod came through potent and duly sticky, guitars on either side of the stage leading through a well-constructed wall of distorted fog, lumbering like a dayjob but too stoned to hold one down. I’ve dabbled before in their studio stuff — a tourist’s interest in what I imagine even they’d have to admit is a pretty simple concept for a band; loud, thick riffs, big groove and the kind of themes that can get you arrested if sung in a Polish church — but the dual-vocal swaps lent character to what struck as a purposeful familiarity. That is, seeing them live, I don’t think they’re trying to get away with anything revolutionary so much as celebrating a specific stylistic and tonal ideal. Like the t-shirt says, “Sabbath worship.” The better bands are able to take that and make something of their own from it and I’ll happily put Dopelord in that category now that I’ve seen them. Also, the place went nuts for them, which, frankly, I get.

The Black Wizards

The Black Wizards 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A boogie rock cover of “21st Century Schizoid Man?” Count me in. Portuguese trio The Black Wizards were good vibes even before they seemed to medley their way into and out again from the King Crimson classic, drawing on hard ’70s vibes with vigor enough to actually convey them. The Crypt was packed by the time I got there, but I wound up able to get a spot by the side of the stage area by following the band through the crowd as they went on. Dick move on my part, I guess, but it worked. The band brought a joyful shuffle from which the bass sounded especially smooth, and despite some feedback of the not-purposeful kind on the mics, they carried through with a bluesy spirit and a power trio ethic of bass and drums holding down the groove while the guitar solos. This, plus swing — which was in ready supply — equals the sum total of what one can reasonably ask, but the tempo shifts were a welcome bonus. The real test of boogie is can it twist, and The Black Wizards answered a hard yes. Their set was tight but fun, classic drawing as much from more modern interpretations of ’70s heavy as from that era itself, and the solos when they came were the kind of thing you’d answer with a fire wmoji, maybe followed by a heart, your choice, red or green. They could play, and knew it, but there was no pretense whatsoever about what they were doing. I think this might just be what party rock sounds like in Europe now. Cool by me. Probably really cool by Graveyard, who’ll play soon up in the Chapel.

Årabrot

Arabrot 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

People worship this band. Like, religiously. I’m not arguing with doing so; just noting there’s a cult for Årabrot and I’m on the outside of it. In fact, this was my first time seeing them, which is something I think put me in the minority among the crowd assembled for their set. My knee was ‘barking,’ in the parlance of not-at-all-our times, so somehow it made more sense to go up to the Galleri — happy to call it what the sign says — rather than attempt to stay up front to get pictures. If you’ve been waiting to see me try and fail to get decent shots of Årabrot, I apologize. I don’t have a bad word to say about what I saw of their set, save maybe for ‘shit’ in the context of ‘well shit, I should probably listen to more Årabrot,’ though I knew that going into the experience. Love the Americana-that-isn’t via Sisters of Mercy post-noise rock though, and I respect both the niche and the performance aspect — they weren’t just playing; it was a show, costumes, hat and all — even if I’m still not ready to sign up for cult. They pulled the biggest crowd of Høstsabbat thus far though — I had a good view — and the Chapel seemed duly fit for worship. Fine. Again, I’m not ragging on it — I promise you I’m not — but I’d been looking forward to what was going to unfold in the Crypt soon, so I left my Galleri perch well in time to get a spot up front in the basement. I do get to say I’ve seen Årabrot though, so that’s one for the résumé, which I’ll be sending out hopefully never again.

Slomatics

Slomatics 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Got treated to a new song — the name of which I didn’t catch; was it “Mightor?” — during their soundcheck. That alone made me feel justified in showing up like 40 minutes before they went on. I be honest with you, they were what my weekend was building toward and there was about zero possibility short of their not making the trip that I was going to walk away from their set disappointed. Just no chance of it happening. Their set? Riff after lumbering riff exactly like I knew it would be, and I count myself extra lucky for having seen them twice this year. All that aural weight, bouncing off the ceiling, off the back wall of the Crypt, off the floor. It would have been devastating were it not rapturous. I don’t know if I’ve seen another complete set this weekend, but aside from the packed crowd behind where I was up by the stage monitors, it was pretty clear early on that I was in it for the duration. No regrets. I closed my eyes, pulled my earplugs loose just for a minute of “And Yet it Moves” — you don’t want them out for long — and was perfectly content to nod my way into ultra-heavy oblivion. Marty Harvey vocals were low in the mix, but I actually suspect that was due more to where I had parked myself, and David Majury and Chris Couzens’ guitars, running through bass and guitar amps, offered maximum plunge. What an absolute fucking joy they were, and smiling and laughing and “skol”ing the crowd all the while. I could go on, but the bottom line is that anytime life affords you a chance to see Slomatics, you do it. Leaning there on my screwed up knee, sweaty, tired — that’s right I said I was tired at a rock and roll show, fight me; I’m like Prince fucking Valium out here — none of it or anything else mattered just for a little bit. Just to lose yourself in it for that little bit. An incomparable feeling.

Graveyard

Graveyard (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I don’t want to say I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Graveyard — it’s been like seven years? — but they were the icing on my spire-shaped Høstsabbat cake, if you want to go that way with it. In fact, they were a thrill. I had a “oh yeah I know these songs!” moment early and from there it was just a matter of being reminded how much I actively like Graveyard. Joakim Nilsson, his head tilted just so, playing his hollow-body guitar, is aging into the bluesman he’s always been working toward being, and “Uncomfortably Numb” made the point all the more resonant. They’re pros to be sure. Now more than a decade removed from breaking through to a broader audience with 2012’s Hisingen Blues (review here), they’re every bit the headliner, and they played like it. Their influence over a generation of heavy rock, the way they took vintage methods and absolutely owned them. They played in the only spot they possibly could, which was last, and if they were the epilogue, then hell’s bells, what a story. “Ain’t Fit to Live Here.” Shit. Great band. I’ll leave it at that.

Before I turn you over to the rest of the photos (if you’re so inclined to check them out), one more word of thanks to Jens, Ole and Vesper, whose efforts now that the fest is over I hope make them proud. This thing they made was incredible, and the world is a better place because it happened. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you for reading, and thanks as always to The Patient Mrs., through whom all things are possible. My love.

More pics after the jump.
Read more »

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Norna Post “The Truther”; Star is Way Way is Eye Coming Next Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Details about the forthcoming debut album from Swedish/Swiss post-sludge trio Norna are much like their promo picture below: dark grey and vague. For example, I know that Vinter Records will release the album, but I’ve heard both that it’s coming this Fall and that it’ll be out sometime early in 2022 — you can see the latter in the PR wire headline below, so that’s what I’m rolling with — but as to what it’s called, where/how/when it was made, all that stuff, I haven’t the foggiest.

This is obviously a purposeful choice, and it’s consistent from when it was announced that Norna had signed to Vinter and basically all that went with that was a teaser. It, was, however, a very heavy teaser. “The Truther,” an initial single from the yet-untitled long-player, follows suit in that “very heavy” regard, and one will find some commonality with the Euro school of more extreme post-metal, but the atmosphere rings especially harsh here and is all the more satisfying for that.

Again, info is establish-some-mystique sparse, but I actually just got the title. The album will be called Star is Way Way is Eye.

Here’s the rest of what I’ve got:

norna

NORNA: First Single From Swedish/Swiss Post-Metal Collabo With Members Of BREACH, ØLTEN and THE OLD WIND Streaming; Debut Full-Length To Drop Early Next Year via VINTER RECORDS

Norna, the new and devastatingly punishing outfit with members from Breach, Ølten and The Old Wind, will release their debut album via Vinter Records.

Hailing from the cold north of Sweden and the epic vastness of the Swizz alps, the band consists of Swedish hardcore pioneer Tomas Liljedahl (Breach, The Old Wind) and Swiss underground troopers Christophe Macquat and Marc Theurillat (Ølten). Formed merely a year ago, the three piece is now ready with their debut recording – a thunderous onslaught of bleak, cold and desperate heaviness.

Band:
Guitar/Vox. Tomas Liljedahl (ex Breach ,The old wind)
Guitar/Moog. Chris Macquat (Ølten)
Drums/Moog. Marc Theurillat (Ølten)

https://www.facebook.com/Nornaband
https://www.instagram.com/norna_band/
https://www.facebook.com/vinterrecords
https://www.instagram.com/vinter_records/
http://vinterrecords.com/

Norna, “The Truther”

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Norna Sign to Vinter Records for Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Normally, one might not necessarily think of 40-plus seconds of spliced-together audio as much to go on, but in Norna‘s case, that 40 seconds comes coupled with the endorsement of the recently-formed Vinter Records, about which you can read more here. Now, making the narrow-minded assumption you actually clicked that link and that, accordingly, I don’t need to recount for you why I might be so readily on board with a relatively new label’s picks, I’ll just say I’m happy we can agree on a thing. Plus, if you take the 40 seconds to look at the teaser, I think you’ll find it’s disturbing enough to warrant interest. Not sure if I’m getting Nibiru vibes because of ultra-dark atmosphere or clumped-together hair, but one way or the other, there seems to be some dreary ritualizing going on here, and that’s just fine by me.

Album releases this Fall, and I’ll hope to have more to come before then. For now, the PR wire takes it:

Norna

VINTER RECORDS Announce The Release of Debut Album From Post Metal Heavy Hitters NORNA

Norna, the new and devastatingly punishing outfit with members from Breach, Ølten and The Old Wind, will release their debut album via Vinter Records this fall.

Hailing from the cold north of Sweden and the epic vastness of the Swizz alps, the band consists of Swedish hardcore pioneer Tomas Liljedahl (Breach, The Old Wind) and Swiss underground troopers Christophe Macquat and Marc Theurillat (Ølten). Formed merely a year ago, the three piece is now ready with their debut recording – a thunderous onslaught of bleak, cold and desperate heaviness.

“We are stoked to announce the release of our debut album. ‘Star is way way is eye.’ Super excited to join VINTER RECORDS for the ride! We are blown away by these guys young hearts and passion for music, hopefully a long and beautiful collaboration. The album will be released this fall so stay tuned for more important dates and drops and when the world let’s us we will definitely take this Swiss/Swedish three piece freight train on the road. We can’t wait to share this with the world.”

Band:
Guitar/Vox. Tomas Liljedahl (ex Breach ,The old wind)
Guitar/Moog. Chris Macquat (Olten)
Drums/Moog. Marc Theurillat (Olten)

https://www.facebook.com/Nornaband
https://www.instagram.com/norna_band/
https://www.facebook.com/vinterrecords
https://www.instagram.com/vinter_records/
http://vinterrecords.com/

Norna, Debut Album Teaser

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