Review & Full Album Premiere: Psychonaut & SÂVER, Emerald

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Psychonaut SAVER Emerald Split LP

[Click play above to stream Psychonaut and SÂVER’s Emerald split LP in full. It’s out Friday, May 14, on Pelagic Records.]

In another context, one might think of a split release like Edubirdie online was created to eliminate such issues and help students with their academic performance! We have gathered only the most skilled essay writers who provide original, custom papers for any educational level. Experienced proofreaders team will ensure the essay is plagiarism free. Types of Essays We Do. Professional team of experts in various subjects can Emerald coming from a punk rock label as a seven-inch record, one band per side with about three minutes each to showcase their wares as a sampler from what the imprint considers promising bands. It’s by no means a new idea, however it came about in the instance of discrimination essays Continue Reading Lang En uf essay help dissertation on education Psychonaut and So, they need a qualified and professional http://www.dobra-vila-bovec.si/?mba-essay-consultant! We are that kind of service that can easily help each student with any essay type, any format, any topic, and any essay complexity. Our service offers reliable writing assistance, which will surely help you to complete all your essay writing tasks effectively, easily, and smoothly. SÂVER, for two up and coming trios on the same label — Our Help Writing College Application Essays rates are ?12.99 per thousand words . We charge for our thesis editing services according to the length of your PhD, masters or bachelor thesis, not hourly. The advantage of this is that you are able to calculate a fixed price for editing your thesis. Once we have received your thesis we will give you a definite price according to the following formula: word count Pelagic Records in this case, so yes, we’re talking more than three minutes each for sure — to come together and share a release, and as each boast a deeply atmospheric take on post-style heavy and a sonic reach that seems to be expanding in real-time throughout the two side-long cuts here included, they make fitting companions.

Dissertation writing is something which can't be ignored during your Degree and thats why we are here to help you. We are into http://crsad.qc.ca/?1267 for a decade assisting students who are looking for online dissertation help.Our dissertation writing help in UK gives you a100% plagiarism free and well-written dissertation papers at a reasonable price. Psychonaut, from Mechelen, Belgium — E19 runs right through it going north from Brussels to Antwerp; Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral is there — made their full-length debut in 2020 with Are you struggling to complete all essays on time? Order Source at our website! The prices are affordable! Unfold the God Man on Get professional dissertation writing help online at BuyDissertation.net. Research Paper On Eating Disorders with 50% discount! Prices start from per page. Pelagic, following two EPs with an exploration of concept and sound alike that situated them at some remove from the foundation of European post-metal. One tends to think of countrymen Want to get a high grade for your essay but dont have time for it? We are ready to help! Professional http://www.weihnachten-fulda.de/?benefit-of-online-shopping-essay writing service at a low price. Amenra as the point of influence there, but it’s by no means just them, and Buy Dissertation; http://www.faseo.fr/?master-level-papers-buy Online at ThesisPanda. Cant compose a unique and correct piece of academic writing? Dont have enough time, strength, and nerves to do it? Then, it is time to think where to find good dissertations to buy! Luckily for you, our writers are ready to compose a brilliant academic work on time, and you can get it at affordable prices and with some Psychonaut‘s aesthetic proves to be less directly about pairing harsh and ambient elements together rather than finding the point at which ideas might meet and fleshing them out organically. Their 16-minute “The Great Realisation” complements well the 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” from Oslo’s To provide Pre Algebra Homework Answers, our expert requires as many detailed instructions as possible. So, provide everything you think can somehow help the writer to complete the paper and satisfy all your expectations. Also, dont forget to choose a proper academic level and a type of a paper to avoid any misunderstandings. The final thing you need to do is to indicate the number of pages SÂVER.

For the Norwegian three-piece, their inclusion follows their own debut long-player, Cheap my site for Everyone Many students have troubles with writing essays and other academic papers. Some of them have no time for writing because of job and family responsibilities, while others experience problems with meeting page requirements and applying critical thinking skills. No matter the reason, you can always have extra time for other important things than writing They Came with Sunlight (review here), released by A very good Courses To Work In A Bank. I had two editors review my file, so there were a great deal of changes made. I accepted almost all of them and I think my dissertation is much better for it. Tabhita, Boston University. Get the support of highly experienced academic editors. We will ensure that your dissertation or thesis is submitted in the best possible condition by having it Pelagic in 2019, and roundly well received for its forward-thinking take on atmosludge and blend between crush and space. Both groups, then, are able to conjure as much breadth as suits.  http://www.ideenservice.it/?essay-on-holocaust - Get to know common tips how to get a plagiarism free themed essay from a trusted writing service work with Emerald, in bringing them together, highlights the aspects of style they share as well as the differences between them, while ultimately serving that initial purpose in showcasing the potential from each.

Android Creating Custom Launcher airport! Homework help in science | Notizie | 1 minuto fa. Can i write my essay on why liam payne is so perfect and Emerald is the kind of split that is chased down later. True, the first pressing is sold out even before it’s released, so I suppose plenty of heads are chasing it down now, but what I mean is that both bands here have a marked possibility to reach a broader listenership in heavy music than they’ve yet reached, and so it seems likely that there will indeed end up being more than the two pressings when all is said and done.

A gentle strum and foreboding thud begins “The Great Realisation,” which calls to mind some of  New Business Plans essay about myself conclusion personal statement in phd 9 essay english ap essay about the bullying brave new world essays help to Neurosis‘ tense ambience — both bands here will have a “Stones From the Sky” moment as regards riff structures — but  Psychonaut are underway even before the audience knows it’s being immersed, and within the first 90 seconds, guitarist/vocalist Stefan De Graef, bassist/vocalist Thomas Michiels and drummer Peter Le Page are underway, layering screams and clean vocals over galloping drums and spacious guitars, breaking into angular turns, receding and surging forward again.

psychonaut

saver

They’ve twisted and churned and moved fluidly between loud and quiet multiple times over as they approach the midsection of “The Great Realisation,” but it’s the flow with which they execute their changes that’s most consuming — though the melodic apex they reach at about nine minutes in isn’t to be discounted as far as appeals go either. A more weighted chug follows, by a percussion- and digeridoo-laced stretch of prog metal guitar before Psychonaut draw it back to harsh screams and pounding heft, a semi-blackened assault acting as a prelude to their crescendo of engulfing lumber. As far out as they’ve gone, it’s to their credit that they’re still able to bring it all crashing down in just a few measures, soon drawing back into a residual fade and silence from whence the first hum of SÂVER‘s inclusion picks up.

Between the two songs, “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” is arguably the more patient, at least in its initial unfurling. SÂVER — the returning lineup of guitarist/vocalist Ole Ulvik Rokseth, bassist Ole C. Helstad and drummer Markus Støle — begin with a stretch of cinematic whistling drone, and join it with an electronic beat before the three-minute mark, immediately demonstrating a progression of intent following their debut. The build is gradual and hypnotic and takes place over the next several minutes, drums starting far back before they’re seven minutes in, so really the opening of “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” is a movement unto itself, but when the crush hits at 7:30 — on the dot — there’s little mistaking the intended contrast between float and weight.

The latter takes even fuller hold as SÂVER progress through the midsection of the song, vocals arriving at about 10:30 in screams before giving way to cleaner melodies over a chugging procession. An underlying foundation of noise influence isn’t new for them, but like Psychonaut prior, SÂVER have no trouble finding beauty in the outwardly harsh, and Støle‘s half-time drums only make their nod more engrossing as they march through the track’s back half, hitting into a stop and push 14 minutes in that feels like it might just consume the next five minutes but doesn’t, as the band move through twistier fare before arriving at their own finale of willful plodding, more stretched out than that of Psychonaut but no less elephantine. The bulk of the final minute is given to a curse of feedback and noise, readily mean and backed by static that cuts short to end, because there’s nothing else that needs saying at that point anyway.

So be it. If one thinks of Emerald as setting out to expose new listeners to these bands, then it accomplishes that in enticing fashion and then some. On the level of likewise showcasing the progression of each, it further succeeds. And just as a basic listen, I can’t see any way it’s not one of 2021’s best split releases, given the individualized approaches of SÂVER and Psychonaut and how well they coincide. It is no mystery why they might sell out of the vinyl on preorders, and the overarching story of Emerald is still of two acts defined by their forward potential. It is a story worth hearing.

Psychonaut on Facebook

Psychonaut on Instagram

Psychonaut on Bandcamp

SÂVER on Facebook

SÂVER on Instagram

SÂVER on Bandcamp

Pelagic Records website

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Jordsjø Stream Pastoralia in Full; Album out Friday

Posted in audiObelisk on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

JORDSJO

Norwegian classic prog duo Jordsjø release their third (at least) album, Pastoralia, this Friday, May 7, through Karisma Records. It is nothing if not aptly-named. The follow-up to 2019’s Nattfiolen, it boasts eight songs across 43 minutes that bring together lush melodic vibes and an intimacy born of what seems to be largely singular composition. Even at its most active, the overarching spirit is subdued if not peaceful, and the intro “Prolog” finds guitarist, keyboardist, flutist and vocalist Håkon Oftung and drummer/percussionist Kristian Frøland working alongside a range of others but fleshing out a creative breadth of their own that draws the varied pieces and parts of pieces together. Following “Prolog,” for example, “Skumring I Karesuando” is the longest track at 7:37 until the concluding 10-minute “Jord III,” and the band’s purpose toward listener immersion could hardly be clearer.

And it works. With patient composition, dynamic layering and consistent melodic focus, Jordsjø enact Scandiprog naturalism with a vision that washes away decades. Their execution throughout “Skumring I Karesuando” and the subsequent “Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd” is fluid and rolls easily along the ears to the brain, rife with subtle flourishes and a smoothness of production that make stretches like the Mellotron/flute break in “Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd” and the weightierjordsjo pastoralia guitar at the end of the title-track, which follows and caps side A, stand out all the more. Having established such balance over the course of the first half, the best thing Oftung and Frøland (and company) can do is mess with it, and the acoustics and string sounds of “Fugleviskeren” that serve as the instrumental intro to Pastoralia‘s side B do exactly that, working in counterpoint to preface the more outwardly Crimson-toned progression of “Beitemark,” culminating as it does in crashes that act as setup for the sudden turn of the penultimate “Vettedans.”

Therein lies the twist. Marked out by its Deep Purple keys, chime bell and meandering guitar-then-flute, “Vettedans” comes across like a tw0-minute condensed version of the album’s arrangements as a whole. It’s an intentionally strange interlude and not at all unwelcome, but like “Prolog” and “Skumring I Karesuando” were meant to bring the listener into the world being made for Pastoralia, so too is “Vettedans” meant to clarify just how in command of that world Jordsjø are ahead of the finale in “Jord III.” As for “Jord I” and “Jord II,” they showed up on 2017’s Jord, and the piano line that brings in “Jord III” could just as easily work coming out of the cymbal wash of “Jord II” as it does from the silence after “Vettedans.” The sense of flow, the class in the delivery of its later spoken parts and guitar leads, and the peaks and valleys it creates across its course are rightfully distinguished in the closer position, and it’s one more aspect of Pastoralia that speaks to the underlying consciousness of Jordsjø in its construction, on the songwriting and presentation levels alike. If one thinks of progressive rock as that which is considered in its exploration and thoughtful about what it does, this is what that sounds like.

That they’d bear relation to Tusmørke through Oftung shouldn’t be a surprise in listening, and they’re well at home on Karisma Records among the likes of Wobbler and Lucy in Blue and others, but there is a distinct take to be found in the balance of folk and prog throughout Pastoralia, as well as the delicate guiding hand that leads the audience through the work as a whole. I’m happy today to host the album for streaming ahead of the release Friday.

You’ll find it on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

In the tradition of some of last century’s best Nordic rock, Jordsjø’s duo of multi instrumentalist Håkon Oftung (Tusmørke, Black Magic) and drummer Kristian Frøland, meld Progressive rock with interesting melodies, whilst giving the whole a Folk-inspired twist. And, for Pastoralia, they have produced an album that is a musical journey that travels from minimalist mellotron passages to a full on rock tempest, and which sees Jordsjø moving further into jazzy, progressive, musical landscapes.

Thematically, the album is based on dreams, a longing for freedom and the fictional place Pastoralia, where every day is like tropical nights in Northern Norway, where the forest people dance around campfires.

Joining the duo on Pastoralia are a number of guests including Ola Mile Bruland (Actionfredag), Håkon Knutzen, Vilde Mortensen Storesund, Mats Lemjan, Christian Meaas Svendsen and Åsa Ree (Meer, Tusmørke, Wobbler).

With artwork by Sindre Foss Skancke, the album is set for release on Karisma Records on the 7th May, Pastoralia will be available on CD, digital and black vinyl formats as well as in a blue vinyl version which will be limited to 600 copies. The album can be pre-ordered right here: https://www.karismarecords.no/product/artist/jordsjo/

Tracklist
1. Prolog
2. Skumring I Karesuando
3. Mellom Mjødurt, Marisko og Søstermarihånd
4. Pastoralia
5. Fuglehviskeren
6. Beitemark
7. Vettedans
8. Jord III

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Jordsjø on Bandcamp

Karisma Records on Thee Facebooks

Karisma Records on Bandcamp

Karisma Records website

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Quarterly Review: DVNE, Wowod, Trace Amount, Fuzzcrafter, Pine Ridge, Watchman, Bomg, White Void, Day of the Jackal, Green Druid

Posted in Reviews on April 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Oh, hello there. Don’t mind me. I’m just here, reviewing another 10 records today. I did it yesterday too. I’ll do it again tomorrow. No big deal. It’s Quarterly Review time. You know how it goes.

Crazy day yesterday, crazy day today, but I’m in that mode where I kind of feel like I can make this go as long as I want. Next Monday? Why not? Other than the fact that I have something else slated, I can’t think of a reason. Fortunately, having something else slated is enough of one. Ha. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

DVNE, Etemen Ænka

dvne Etemen Ænka

It’s like Scotland’s DVNE threw all of modern heavy metal into a blender and hit “cohesive.” Etemen Ænka‘s lofty ambitions are matched indeed by the cohesion of the band’s craft, the professionalism of their presentation, and the scope of their second album’s 10 component tracks, whether that’s in the use of synth throughout “Towers” or the dreamy post-rock aside in “Omega Severer,” the massive riffing used as a tool not a crutch in “Court of the Matriarch,” closer “Satuya” and elsewhere, and even the interlude-y pieces “Weighing of the Heart,” “Adraeden” and the folkish “Asphodel” that leads into the finale. DVNE have made themselves into the band you wish Isis became. Also the band you wish Mastodon became. And probably six or seven others. And while Etemen Ænka is certainly not without prog-styled indulgence, there is no taking away from the significant accomplishment these songs represent for them as a group putting out their first release on Metal Blade. It’ll be too clean for some ears, but the tradeoff for that is the abiding sense of poise with which DVNE deliver the songs. This will be on my year-end list, and I won’t be the only one.

DVNE on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Wowod, Yarost’ I Proshchenie

Wowod Yarost I Proshchenie

Beginning with its longest track (immediate points) in the 11-minute “Rekviem,” Yarost’ I Proshchenie is the third full-length from St. Petersburg’s Wowod, and its sudden surge from ‘unfold’ to ‘onslaught’ is a legitimate blindside. They hypnotize you then push you down a flight of stairs as death growls, echoing guitar lines and steady post-metallic drum and bass hold the line rhythmically. This sense of disconnect, ultimately, leads to a place of soaring melody and wash, but that feeling of moving from one place to another is very much the core of what Wowod do throughout the rest of the album that follows. “Tanec Yarosti” is a sub-three-minute blaster, while “Proshschenie” lumbers and crashes through its first half en route to a lush soundscape in its second, rounding out side A. I don’t care what genre “Zhazhda” is, it rules, and launches side B with rampaging momentum, leading to the slow, semi-industrial drag of “Chornaya Zemlya,” the harsh thrust of “Zov Tysyachi Nozhey” and, finally, dizzyingly, the six-minute closer “Top’,” which echoes cavernous and could just as easily have been called “Bottom.” Beautiful brutality.

Wowod on Thee Facebooks

Church Road Records on Bandcamp

 

Trace Amount, Endless Render

trace amount endless render

The chaos of last year is writ large in the late-2020 Endless Render EP from Brooklyn-based solo industrial outfit Trace Amount. The project headed by Brandon Gallagher (ex-Old Wounds) engages with harsh noise and heavy beatmaking, injecting short pieces like “Pop Up Morgues” with a duly dystopian atmosphere. Billy Rymer (The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc.) guests on drums for opener “Processed Violence (in 480P)” and the mminute-long “Seance Stimulant,” but it’s in the procession of the final three tracks — the aforementioned “Pop Up Morgues,” as well as “S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L.” and “Easter Sunday” — that Gallagher makes his most vivid portrayals. His work is evocative and resonant in its isolated feel, opaque like staring into an uncertain future but not without some semblance of hope in its resolution. Or maybe that’s the dream and the dance-party decay of “Dreaming in Displacement” is the reality. One way or the other, I’m looking forward to what Trace Amount does when it comes to a debut album.

Trace Amount on Thee Facebooks

Trace Amount on Bandcamp

 

Fuzzcrafter, C-D

Fuzzcrafter C D

French instrumentalists Fuzzcrafter issued C-D in October 2020 as a clear answer/complement to 2016’s A-B, even unto its Jo Riou cover art, which replaces the desert-and-fuzz-pedal of the first offering with a forest-and-pedal here. The six works that make up the 41-minute affair are likewise grown, able to affect a sense of lushness around the leading-the-way riffage in extended cuts “C2” (13:13) and the psychedelic back half of “D2” (13:18), working in funk-via-prog basslines (see also the wah guitar starting “D1” for more funk) over solid drums without getting any more lost than they want to be in any particular movement. In those songs and elsewhere, Fuzzcrafter make no attempt to hide the fact that they’re a riff-based band, but the acoustic side-finales in “C3” (which also features Rhodes piano) and “D3,” though shorter, reinforce both the structural symmetry of the mirrored sides as a whole and a feeling of breadth that is injected elsewhere in likewise organic fashion. They’re not changing the world and they’re not trying to, but there’s a mark being left here sound-wise and it’s enough to wonder what might be in store for the inevitable E-F.

Fuzzcrafter on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzcrafter on Bandcamp

 

Pine Ridge, Can’t Deny

Pine Ridge Can't Deny

Pine Ridge‘s second album, Can’t Deny, finds the Russian four/five-piece working in textures of keys and organ for a bluesier feel to tracks like the post-intro opening title-cut and the classic feeling later “Genesis.” Songwriting is straightforward, vocals gritty but well attended with backing arrangements, and the take on “Wayfaring Stranger” that ends the record’s first half conjures enough of a revivalist spirit to add to the atmosphere overall. The four tracks that follow — “Genesis,” “Runaway,” “Sons of Nothing” and “Those Days” — featured as well on 2019’s Sons of Nothing EP, but are consistent in groove and “Sons of Nothing” proves well placed to serve as an energetic apex of Can’t Deny ahead of “Those Days,” which starts quiet before bursting to life with last-minute electricity. A clear production emphasizes hooks and craft, and though I’ll grant I don’t know much about Siberia’s heavy rock scene, Pine Ridge ably work within the tenets of style while offering marked quality of songwriting and performance. That’s enough to ask from anywhere.

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Karma Conspiracy website

 

Watchman, Behold a Pale Horse

watchman behold a pale horse

Plain in its love for Sabbath-minded riffing and heavy Americana roll, “Bowls of Wrath” opens the three-song Dec. 2020 debut EP, Behold a Pale Horse, from Indiana-based solo-project Watchman, and the impression is immediate. With well-mixed cascades of organ and steadily nodding guitar, bass, drums and distorted, howling vocals, there is both a lack of pretense and an individualized take on genre happening at once. The EP works longest to shortest, with “Wormwood” building up from sparse guitar to far-back groove using negative space in the sound to bolster “Planet Caravan”-ish watery verses and emphasize the relative largesse of the track preceding as well as “The Second Death,” which follows. That closer is a quick four minutes that’s slow in tempo, but the lead-line cast overtop the mega-fuzzed central riff is effective in creating a current to carry the listener from one bank of the lake of fire to the other. In 15 minutes, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer Roy Waterford serves notice of intention for a forthcoming debut LP to be titled Doom of Babylon, and it is notice worth heeding.

Watchman on Instagram

Watchman on Bandcamp

 

Bomg, Peregrination

bomg peregrination

Bomg‘s Peregrination isn’t necessarily extreme the way one thinks of death or black metal as extreme styles of heavy metal, but is extreme just the same in terms of pushing to the outer limits of the aesthetics involved. The album’s four track, “Electron” (38:12), “Perpetuum” (39:10), “Paradigm” (37:17) and “Emanation” (37:49), could each consume a full 12″ LP on their own, and presented digitally one into the next, they are a tremendous, willfully unmanageable two-and-a-half-hour deep-dive into raw blowout dark psychedelic doom. The harsh rumble and noise in “Perpetuum” some 28 minutes on sounds as though the Ukrainian outfit have climbed the mountains of madness, and there is precious little clarity to be found in “Paradigm” or “Emanation” subsequent as they continue to hammer the spike of their manifestations deeper into the consciousness of the listener. From “Electron” onward, the self-recording Kyiv trio embark on this overwhelming journey into the unknown, and they don’t so much invite you along as unveil the devastating consequences of having made the trip. Righteously off-putting.

Bomg on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

White Void, Anti

white void anti

As much as something can fly under the radar and be a Nuclear Blast release, I’m more surprised by the hype I haven’t heard surrounding White Void‘s debut album, Anti. Pulling together influences from progressive European-style heavy rock, classic metal, cult organ, New Wave melodies and a generally against-grain individualism, it is striking in its execution and the clear purpose behind what it’s doing. It’s metal and it’s not. It’s rock and it’s pop and it’s heavy and it’s light and floating. And its songs have substance as well as style. With Borknagar‘s Lars Nedland as the founding principal of the project, the potential in Anti‘s eight component tracks is huge, and if one winds up thinking of this as post-black metal, it’s a staggeringly complex iteration of it to which this and any other description I’ve seen does little justice. It’s going to get called “prog” a lot because of the considered nature of its composition, but that’s barely scratching the surface of what’s happening here.

White Void on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast Records store

 

Day of the Jackal, Day Zero

Day of the Jackal Day Zero

Leeds, UK, four-piece Day of the Jackal bring straight-ahead hard rock songwriting and performance with an edge of classic heavy. There’s a Guns ‘n’ Roses reference in “Belief in a Lie” if you’re up for catching it, and later cuts like “Riskin’ it All” and “‘Til the Devil” have like-minded dudes-just-hit-on-your-girlfriend-and-you’re-standing-right-there vibes. They’re a rock band and they know it, and while I was a little bummed out “Rotten to the Core” wasn’t an Overkill cover, the 10 songs of love and death that pervade this debut long-player are notably hooky from “On Your Own” to “Deadfall” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Deathride,” which casually inhabits biker riffing with no less ease of movement than the band would seem to do anything else. Production by James “Atko” Atkinson of Gentlemans Pistols highlights the clarity of the performance rather than giving a rawer glimpse at who Day of the Jackal might be on stage, but there’s plenty of vitality to go around in any case, and it’s headed your way from the moment you start the record.

Day of the Jackal on Thee Facebooks

Day of the Jackal on Bandcamp

 

Green Druid, At the Maw of Ruin

green druid at the maw of ruin

Following their 2018 debut, Ashen Blood (review here), Denver heavy lifters Green Druid give due breadth to their closing take on Portishead‘s “Threads,” but the truth is that cover is set up by the prior five tracks of huge-sounding riffery, basking in the varying glories of stoner doom throughout opener “The Forest Dark” while keeping an eye toward atmospheric reach all the while. It is not just nod and crush, in other words, in Green Druid‘s arsenal throughout At the Maw of Ruin, and indeed, “End of Men” and “Haunted Memories” bridge sludge and black metal screaming as “A Throne Abandoned” offers surprising emotional urgency over its ready plod, and the long spoken section in “Desert of Fury/Ocean of Despair” eventually gives way not only to the most weighted slamming on offer, but a stretch of noise to lead into the closer. All along the way, Green Druid mark themselves out as a more complex outfit than their first record showed them to be, and their reach shows no sign of stopping here either.

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Earache Records website

 

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Jointhugger Stream Reaper Season EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on April 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

jointhugger

Norwegian trio Jointhugger release their new single-song EP, Reaper Season, tomorrow, April 2, as their first offering through Majestic Mountain Records. Too substantial with its 17:55 lone titular inclusion to be merely a placeholder, it acts nonetheless as a precursor to their second full-length to come and a bridge from 2020’s I Am No One (review here) to that next LP, yet untitled. And in foreshadowing that, it might be at its most telling in terms of the stylistic growth taking place in the band’s sound.

It is guitarist/vocalist Nico Munkvold and bassist Tore Pedersen and drummer Daniel Theobald on the recording, though the latter is since out of the band — they have a replacement, also to be announced — and from its ambient-droning first minute and into the guitar-as-piano-for-emphasis-on-the-notes buildup that ensues thereafter, it culls richer proceedings than the kinda-goofy stonerliness of their moniker might lead one who didn’t hear I Am No One to believe. Sure, there’s plenty of stoner-doom riffing on display here — it bursts out from those opening minutes in viscerally tidal fashion — but even there the vocal melodies that accompany are in spirit with more complex fare.

A short, classically bluesy solo takes hold over steady roll and “Reaper Season” flows readily toward a more weighted push that itself recedes into a transitional section of noise from which the drums pick up the tempo for a surprisingly boogie-fied shuffle. The guitar and bass tones are not to be overlooked here, since essentially they’re the same — as rumbling and deeply-weighted as ever — but Jointhugger make them move. Make them dance, and that feels particularly daring on this kind of release, where thejointhugger reaper season expectation going in might be that it’s a simple onslaught of riff after riff, or maybe even just one riff played willfully ad nauseam.

As it is, MunkvoldPedersen and Theobald stay long enough in each of Reaper Season‘s component movements to get their point across, but they’re by no means overstying their welcome, especially in that shuffle. With call and response shouts, it’s a party somehow but still thoroughly doomed, and with an abiding theme conjuring Lucifer as an embodiment of personal and expressive freedom, they would seem to have taken the message to heart in terms of blurring and transcending the lines of microgenre. I’ll take a bit of thick boogie anytime, and they wah it out to an organic-feeling conclusion as they approach the 11th minute and pull out a fuller-sounding thrust.

This too is transitional, and leading to a crash that could just a well be constructed of the two prior parts put together, thudding and lumbering but still keeping some of the airier feel of the preceding stretch, if having let go of the boogie in the process. Nothing lasts forever. They are, as it turns out, in the closing section of the song for about the last three minutes, but that stomp that finishes is affecting just the same, agonizingly slow as they tear the audio apart. Is that societal decay? The death of higher consciousness? The frickin’ plague? I don’t know, but the waves of noise that conclude Jointhugger‘s trip feel well apart from the unassuming ambience that started it. Did anyone else just hear that vulture call?

Not taking away from the forward potential Reaper Season portrays in Jointhugger‘s stylistic development, the realization of the thing itself is still what’s most striking about it. Though by no means insubstantial as a 17-plus-minute single track, it offers a depth and space that goes beyond the novel runtime and casts the band (presumably new drummer and all) as a significant presence with creative agency driving toward an identity all the more their own.

Bringer of light, you say? Works for me.

Thrilled to host the premiere of “Reaper Season” ahead of the release tomorrow. Stream it on the player below and please enjoy:

Nico Munkvold on “Reaper Season”:

Even with the coming album, Reaper Season is a stand-alone release. The track is about death, dying and Lucifer. Not necessarily literal death but maybe an ego death, death of an era, death to the concept of reckless capitalism and consumerism. We also know that most people aren’t aware that Lucifer comes from Greek Mythology and is connected with the light bringer, not wholly as ‘evil’ as was made convenient to the general religious narrative. Satan/Lucifer/The Devil acts as our inner animal or ‘beast’ as ‘they’ call it. Satan is a metaphor for the most natural part of us unhindered by what’s taught to us by society, the patriarchy and religion. Inner light, true freedom and self-reliance.

These intrinsic human traits seem to have been vilified, kept in check by a system run by fear mongers, warlords and stuffed suits on the top floor whose power is threatened by free thought and real altruism, which is why the concept of sin and moral law has been created to dumb down the populace and keep the people in herded groups to divide and conquer. The lyrics detail giving yourself over to the other side and seeing that most of what we are doing in this society is ‘wrong’ according to nature, and the Reaper is used (again) as a metaphor for the devil, Satan, the ‘dark’ side, which is actually nature, real, true freedom, not this blind ‘me, me, me’ society bullshit which sells you freedom in the form of patriarchy and consumerism. The song is written as a commentary of struggling to fit into the machine of a world and humanity that has lost its way and seems to be crumbling in front of our very eyes right now.

Preorder: https://majesticmountainrecords.bigcartel.com

Recorded and mixed by Jointhugger and Hrafn Alexander Helgason at SBC Studio with thanks to Jens Sevik.

Mastered for superlative sonic euphoria by the evil genius Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio.

Artwork by Spectral Ecstasy.

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Vinter Records: New Norwegian Label Forms & Signs First Act MoE

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

vinter records staff

With ambition a-plenty and a varied background among its staff that includes label work, booking shows, curating a festival, playing in bands and all manner of promoting all of the above — up to and including sending out an announcement of the fact that they exist — Vinter Records is a new Oslo-based venture that brings together recognizable faces from the likes of HYMN, SÂVER, the Høstsabbat fest and Indie Recordings to explore and rightly put forth bands beginning by highlighting the aesthetically diverse and vibrant creative underground in their home country of Norway. The first act signed to the imprint is MoE, who are also from Oslo and not at all to be confused with the all-lowercase jam band, who are terrible.

In addition to that first pickup, Vinter Records also announces intentions toward creating a Høstsabbat Live Series, and jeez, if they have anything from the last five-plus years recorded, we’ll all be lucky. Even if not and it’s only something they do going forward, that will be a series to watch for. Whether it’s Slabdragger in the basement or The Devil and the Almighty Blues up on the altar, Høstsabbat gets great sound.

And just so everything’s clear, it’s Vinter Records staff above and MoE below. Lest we mix up our promo shots.

From the PR wire:

moe norway

Announcing VINTER RECORDS

New record label founded by Indie Recordings, Høstsabbat Festival professionals

Vinter Records is a tight-knit group of four, consisting of musicians, enthusiasts, a label-head and a festival organizer, booker and promoter — all closely connected to the heavy underground scene in Oslo, Norway.

“Our motivation is simple: We want to help highlight the scene and culture we love, and is a big part of ourselves. Our scene in Scandinavia, and in Oslo in particular, is thriving. We will offer new perspectives and showcase this special scene to a broader audience,” says Ole Helstad, co-founder of Høstsabbat, head of booking at Revolver Oslo, bassist in SÂVER and Kite and now co-founder of Vinter Records.

First Signing: MoE

Vinter Records announces the first band on its roster is Norwegian avantgarde sludgers MoE – one of the most prolific and interesting heavy bands Norway has to offer.

“We’ve been huge fans of MoE for a very long time, so we’re very honored by their trust in us. To have MoE as a Vinter Records debut release is a hell of a start,” says Markus Støle, drummer in SÂVER and HYMN and co-founder of Vinter Records.

MoE comments: “There’s a new kind of energy in the Oslo underground. There’s a sense of will, and the power to execute this very will. When we met up with Vinter there was a sense of immediate chemistry. They have a different background, other perspectives, different acquaintances and an energy matching our own. We look forward to moving forward with our most ambitious album to date in partnership with Vinter.”

Vinter Records Background:

Vinter Records consists of Ole Helstad, Christer Kaupang, Linda Melsom and Markus Støle, whose combined experience, years of touring and numerous album releases, have led to valuable understanding of the industry’s do’s and don’ts, in terms of what makes a fruitful label relation as well as how to pinpoint a band’s next logical step.

With various backgrounds from booking, as musicians, and as promoters, combined with Melsom’s decade-long involvement in the record industry; Vinter Records begins with an extensive international network.

“All of us have been active contributors in the underground for years. Vinter Records is a natural extension of this devotion. It feels great to start something new and fresh, grounded in and made for the scene we love and part take in,” comments Melsom.

Høstsabbat Live Series

Vinter is closely knit to the annual Høstsabbat Festival and will offer physical, exclusive live recordings from their promoted shows, titled Høstsabbat Live Series.

“It feels natural to work within our own scene, though we don’t seek to be a genre-specific label. We will take one step at a time. Our concept is organic growth,” says Melsom.

https://moepages.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/moepages
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http://vinterrecords.com/

MoE, La Bufa (2020)

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Review & Track Premiere: Motorpsycho, Kingdom of Oblivion

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

motorpsycho kingdom of oblivion

[Click play above to stream ‘The Waning Pt. 1’ from Motorpsycho’s Kingdom of Oblivion. Album is out April 16 on Stickman Records and Rune Grammofon.]

The heavy prog Kings in the North — Trondheim isn’t Tromsø, but it’s far enough up — Motorpsycho return on the relative quick after wrapping up a trilogy between 2017’s The Tower (review here), 2019’s The Crucible (review here) and 2020’s Spellmannprisen-nominated The All is One (review here) with the new 70-minute 2LP Kingdom of Oblivion, a record that seems to speak to current times without necessarily being of them stylistically. Also without not. Trust me, it makes sense.

Now, to be sure, Motorpsycho are beyond review. I could say anything here and it doesn’t matter. To new listeners, their massive, decades-spanning discography might seem insurmountable, and indeed it might very well be a lifetime project of listening. Even their post-Heavy Metal Fruit (2010 and on) catalog is a mountain to climb, and perhaps an intimidating prospect.

More than that, though, Motorpsycho know what they’re doing and they have for some time. Kingdom of Oblivion enacts this massive span of work, but also makes it genuinely digestible with each side functioning as a piece of the whole. But with Motorpsycho, there’s just about no way founding members Bent Sæther (bass, lead vocals) and Hand Magnus “Snah” Ryan (guitar/vocals) as well as Swedish import drummer Tomas Järmyr, with the band since 2017, aren’t going to deliver the album they wanted to make.

Even as they’ve consistently explored varying textures and sides of alternative rock, indie, classic heavy riffs and vibes — dig that solo three minutes into “The United Debased” — and keyboard-laced progressive serenity, among others, they’ve carved out an identity that is wholly their own and is maintained on Kingdom of Oblivion. Motorpsycho said they wanted to make a heavier record. So guess what? They did.

Of course it’s not that simple even on its face, but with any new Motorpsycho release, the assumption going into it is that the listener is being placed in the hands of masters, and that’s basically how it works out across Kingdom of Oblivion‘s span. These players are not fools and they do not make foolish decisions in terms of craft. They cast purpose across the punchier beginning the record gets in “The Waning Pt. 1 & 2” and “Kingdom of Oblivion” and the folkish harmonies of the subsequent “Lady May 1,” the experimental atmospherics of “The Watcher (Including the Crimson Eye)” and “Dreamkiller” after “The United Debased” (which, yeah, fair), as they make ready to dig into the post-jazz “Atet” and revive the more rocking progressions on “At Empire’s End,” offsetting with acoustic stretches as they careen between styles and motivations.

Kingdom of Oblivion, which on headphones functions with a smoothness that’s outright beautiful in how it uses bass to emphasize melody as well as rhythm alongside the guitar and drums, is patient in its execution and refuses to go anywhere it doesn’t want to go, but that doesn’t at all mean Motorpsycho are doing only one thing throughout, because they’re simply not. Even in the earliest going — which is unquestionably where the harder hitting material lies and is the first impression the band wanted to make as a lead-in for all that follows — the songs aren’t entirely singular in their purpose as the second part of “The Waning” picks up motorik in the second half of that 7:30 track and the title-track meets its early fuzz with later wash of keys ahead of the guitar solo that borders on orchestral.

motorpsycho

None of these moves are particularly unexpected for Motorpsycho, but that doesn’t make the journey less thrilling, and their embrace of a heavier push early gives the subsequent semi-extended pieces like “The United Debased” (9:04), “At Empire’s End” (8:36) and “The Transmutation of Cosmoctopus Lurker” (10:56) — each one featuring on its own side like the showcase work it is — all the more of a dynamic range to work from. Same goes for the acoustic work throughout and other more classically progressive moments.

“Lady May 1” feels like a nature-worshiping take on Simon & Garfunkel (that’s a compliment) and though “Dreamkiller” surges from its minimal beginning to striking heft, it flows easily to the wandering guitar of the two-minute “Atet” ahead of the grooving volume trades and engrossing payoff that “At Emipre’s End” provides, backed by “The Hunt,” a folkier jaunt that teases Tull-ish storytelling without going all-in with the flute and leg kick. Fair enough.

The softest and quietest Motorpsycho get on Kingdom of Oblivion is on side D, where the subdued “After the Fair” and the closer “Cormorant” surround on either side of “The Transmutation of Cosmoctopus Lurker.” As for the quizzically named longest cut on the record itself, it is duly dizzying in its riffs and solo work and melodically grand, vocals hitting an apex in the midsection leading to a guitar-and-keys chase that is, yes, head-spinning in King Crimsony tradition. They bring it down, threaten to build it up again, then leave it to quietest bass and ambience to cap, with silence as prelude to “Cormorant”‘s avant, far-off marching finish. An epilogue well earned, and they know it.

Here’s the thing. Yes, Motorpsycho put out a lot of records. Can’t be denied. I won’t pretend to have heard all of them. Yes, they have a history that goes back to 1989. Yes, it’s a lot. What matters more than quantity of the work they’ve done/do, however, is of course the quality of that work, and with Kingdom of OblivionMotorpsycho emphasize that the most essential moment is not the past but the present.

Motorpsycho are creating pivotal heavy progressive and psychedelic rock right now. Not in 1989. Not in 2015. Now. Before you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on listening to them, not knowing where to start and so on, stop for a second and take it one thing at a time. Kingdom of Oblivion, oddly enough since some of it was recorded at the same time, works as an entry point even better than the prior trilogy because while one can hardly call it restrained across its run, it nonetheless brings to light so much of what makes Motorpsycho the crucial and influential band they are. I’m not saying ignore history and context altogether, but Kingdom of Oblivion stands on its own and is worth experiencing in that light.

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Psychonaut and SÂVER Team for Emerald Split LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Two bands, two sides, two songs. Don’t mind me, but I’m just kind of over here wondering if we’re seeing Pelagic Records chart the way forward for post-metal? The German label founded by The Ocean‘s Robin Staps seems to be doing an awful lot of pivotal work these days, including releases by both Psychonaut and SÂVER, who are the two bands sharing a side apiece on this Emerald split LP. The Belgian troupe lead off with the 16-minute “The Great Realisation,” bringing progressive textures and patient melodic build en route to a satisfying onslaught, volume trades not necessarily unpredictable but welcome nonetheless, as Norway’s SÂVER follow with the 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons,” dedicating its opening stretch to surprising drone atmospherics before making its way into their sludgy-but-not-dumb crunch and a confident increase in melodic reach.

All told, it’s a 35-minute LP sampler platter of two deeply creative acts in stylistic bloom. There’s no audio public yet ahead of the May 14 release date (fair, since it’s two songs), but if you’ve not yet dug into Psychonaut‘s Unfold the God Man or SÂVER‘s rightly-ballyhooed 2019 debut, They Came with Sunlight (review here), both are at the bottom of this post. You’ll not regret taking the time.

Split info comes from the PR wire, of course:

Psychonaut SAVER Emerald Split LP

Announcing: PSYCHONAUT / SÂVER ‘Emerald’ (Split Release)

‘Emerald’ will be released on May 14 and is available for pre-order on April 6!

PSYCHONAUT and SÂVER are akin in many ways: both artists embody and explore corporal, physical heaviness in their sound as much as spirituality and philosophy, both artists often stretch their compositions close to the 20 minutes mark, and both artists redefine the concept of the classic power trio within a context of genre-bending, modern heavy music: where SÂVER plea for calculated minimalism, PSYCHONAUT employ an arsenal of percussion instruments on their recordings, and it is even more so astonishing how well they manage to reduce the polyphonic assault to the trio in a live setting.

PSYCHONAUT literally came from out of nowhere, Mechelen, Belgium, to be precise. Their 2020 album Unfold The God Man showcases excellent musicianship and songwriting abilities, heavily influenced by 70’s bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but also drawing inspiration from contemporary heavy artists like Tool or Amenra.

“This release is by far the most elaborate production we have ever done. We let go of all boundaries and gave ourselves complete freedom in terms of songwriting and arranging. This massive track represents a process of both personal and collective change that is conveyed through five chapters which are based on a psychedelic experience.”

SÂVER from Oslo, Norway delivered an equally astounding debut album of sublime heaviness, shimmering moogs, abrasive vocals and a devastating, gnarly bass tone. Their jaw-dropping performance at the renowned Oya Festival in Oslo in the summer before the pandemic, accompanied by mesmerizing visuals on a huge screen, was a foreboding of what to expect from this band in the future.

“As a band , we try to write music we would love to listen to ourself and we believe this 20-ish minute song really sets the path for what we want SÂVER to sound like. Atmospheric, brutal, yet beautiful and heavy as the sun itself. We love the way this release turned out and we hope you will too.”

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Psychonaut, Unfold the God Man (2020)

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bent Sæther of Motorpsycho

Posted in Questionnaire on March 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

bent motorpsycho

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Bent Sæther of Motorpsycho

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

We’ve never really felt the need to define this to ourselves, but Motorpsycho is the flag we fly and sail under when writing and playing and doing musical research work in our own main musical project. It is a constantly shapeshifting entity with its own life, and all we ever do is try to be honest and genuine in our musical research. Some people do projects for every different musical style they want to work in, but early on we decided that it’s all us and thus all Motorpsycho, and that we would do it all under this moniker.
I met Snah in high school and we’ve more or less played together since our late teens in the mid-’80s, but Motorpsycho as a band was established in 1989. Music was all any of us were ever any good at, so we played until it got good enough to interest someone else, and then we just kept at it with various lineups until today.

Describe your first musical memory.

Getting children’s records when I was really young — Disney’s Aristocats soundtrack was one early one, but some Norwegian fairytale thing was probably the very earliest. That said, finding my mum & dad’s 7’’ collection, putting singles on the turntable and eventually after many misses, finding — and loving — “Dynamite” by Cliff Richard, was probably the first mindblowing musical adrenaline rush moment of my life.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I don’t think I can. There has been so many life affirming, great moments that all were so different they are incomparable, but that all were the best ever in the moment, that I struggle to put my finger on one specific moment. How do you compare that and decide that one is better than all the others when they were all out of this world?

Getting lost in the music is an entry point to transcendence, and all such experiences are potentially the best musical memory ever. Until the next one!

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Oh, all the time! I am an opinionated loudmouth and catch myself spewing bullshit almost every day, so … ‘frequently’ would be the truest answer here!

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

…To new insight that hopefully leads to further artistic progress!

How do you define success?

Success to me means realizing my musical ambition – making an idea become manifest in its truest form.

The point isn’t really that a lot of people heard what I said, but that I actually managed to formulate and say it in the best and truest way I know how, if that makes sense? That is all we can do as ‘artists’ I think — once we end that process it’s out of our hands. Then it’s all about marketing and the selling of an image and a product, and that mercantile bit — the bit that usually is the marker — is not something we are interested in. Usually we suck at things that don’t interest us — this is no exception.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

I’m good — knowing reality can only make me stronger.

That film a few years back that treated drumming like a sports contest tho’ …yikes!

That misunderstood utter crap waste of time made me see how many people relate music though, and realizing that a lot of people can only ever understand something in competitive terms made me really sad. I don’t believe you can win or lose at music — that is what makes it so great!

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I’d love to create something that made humans treat the world around us less binary. Less back and white, less good or bad, less either / or: All the really interesting and good stuff is found in-between the fixed points and the extremes. If we realized this and understood the implications, the world would be a better place for everyone.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

All art forms are in essence languages I think. Means to say something that can be said no other way, by no other art or language. It makes the artist able to communicate something he/she otherwise wouldn’t be able to. We’ve all felt the shortcomings of our spoken and written languages at some point, and we’ve all recognized the truth in good art at some point. A way to say the unsayable maybe?

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Spring! I’m so fed up with the cold and the damp and having to stay indoors by now, feeling the heat of the sun today made me giddy with anticipation!

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https://twitter.com/motorpsychoband
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Cliff Richard, “Dynamite”

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