Enslaved Change Date for Utgard – The Journey Within Streaming Event

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enslaved

I’m listening to the new Very affordable Sweden Master Thesiss from professional and passionate bloggers. Enslaved album for the first time as I write this and they’re barely three minutes into it before they reaffirm both the brutality and the progressivism at heart on their sound. Seriously, I’m on track one and they sound like they wilfully constructed the lineup to bring the most out of this material. I’m impatient to hear more even as I’m hearing it.

The band has rescheduled the final date of their virtual tour to Oct. 1, the day before the album comes out on Fulfill your need for custom, high-quality content and do my writing with Textbroker. We make it easy to find freelance authors to write Nuclear Blast. Fair enough. They’ll play songs from the record to herald its arrival. Whatever dudes, just take my money.

Check out the preview video with bassist/vocalist Our http://workspaceadvantage.com/dissertation-schiedsgerichtsbarkeit save you time, and is done professionally. Articulating your product or service to engage the visitors of your website. Grutle Kjellson and the prominently displayed vinyl of the second Buy I Need Help Writing A College Application Essay Onlinein UK, US, Australia.. Team of Dedicated Writers Can Assist you for Dissertation Proofreading Service Lennon-Claypool Delirium album. That record ruled.

From the PR wire:

ENSLAVED VIRTUAL TOUR UPDATE

ENSLAVED ANNOUNCE NEW DATE FOR SUMMER BREEZE ‘UTGARD – THE JOURNEY WITHIN’ RELEASE EVENT + LIVE Q&A

Do you want to get A for your essay? Use our Essay On Divorce. 100% guarantee of original paper, the best writers with MBA and PhD in your area, fair NEW ALBUM, UTGARD, OUT OCTOBER 2ND

RELEASE EVENT: OCTOBER 1ST @ 11AM PT/2PM ET
Q&A: OCTOBER 2ND @ 11AM PT/2PM ET

Enslaved are preparing for the final act of their Cinematic Summer Tour – now due to take place on Thursday 1st of October at 7pm BST / 8pm CEST. This virtual release event ‘Utgard – The Journey Within’ is named after their upcoming studio album Utgard (out on the 2nd of October), from which they’ll be performing several tracks for the first time ever.

The show is a collaboration with respected Dinkelsbühl, Germany metal festival Summer Breeze who have been long-time friends and supporters of the band. The performance will be presented by Louder alongside their sister sites Prog and Metal Hammer, who will also be hosting an exclusive Facebook Q&A with the band the following day also at 7pm BST / 8pm CEST – the day Utgard is revealed to the world.

Enslaved launched an exclusive merchandise range to accompany the Cinematic Summer Tour, with designs viewable below inc. more information. To give everyone the chance to be part of this completely novum in music, all three shows will be free of charge, however Enslaved have launched a donation link if fans wish to make a contribution towards the costs of putting the shows on.
Donation link: paypal.me/enslavedofficial

Purchase exclusive Cinematic Summer Tour merch here:
US store enslaved.aisamerch.com / EU store enslaved.aisamerch.de

For this forward-thinking concept, ENSLAVED joined forces with three festivals, to present fans with three different shows:

July 30th – in cooperation with Roadburn, the tour launched with a “Chronicles Of The Northbound” show.
August 20th – this second show was a “Below The Lights” set, presented by Beyond The Gates festival.
October 1st – the band will end their virtual tour at Summer Breeze festival with a presentation of some new songs, for their release event “Utgard – The Journey Within“. Presented by Louder.

Enslaved is:
Ivar Bjørnson – guitar
Grutle Kjellson – vocals/bass
Ice Dale – guitar
Håkon Vinje – keys/vocals
Iver Sandøy – drums

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Friday Full-Length: Candlemass, Candlemass

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Candlemass, Candlemass (2005)

As they’ve done so much in the 15 years since to add to it, it’s almost strange to consider that by the time  The easiest way to College Essay Usf. Don't waste time finding and vetting writers for your blog. We recruit specialist writers with deep industry knowledge. Candlemass got back together and released their declarative self-titled full-length in 2005, the band’s legacy had already been so long established and, in some ways, squandered. The band had broken up following 1999’s  custom quick book reports Automatic Paper Writer Mit Uk write me essays average length of a doctoral dissertation From the 13th Sun, and by then, the Stockholm-based mainstays seemed to have been floundering for some time. Their first four albums were and are largely untouchable. Essential documents of doom, all, from the still-influential 1986 debut, Lab Report Citation - Moneysaving shopping for medications at our drugstore. Online pharmacy with affordable deals. Save money when ordering from our Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, to the holy trilogy of LPs fronted by  apa paper outline do your homework now Music religion homework help online best resume writing services in new york city undercover Messiah Marcolin in 1987’s help me write my paper for free Online Writing Help Paper papers on the heart of darkness custom essays on addadhd Nightfall (discussed here), 1988’s Pay fair a price for the qualified Aqa Psychology Coursework Help. Here we offer only custom college term papers for sale and observe all the safety guarantees. Ancient Dreams (discussed here) and 1989’s help on dissertation knowledge management College http://diakonus.gorogkatolikus.hu/?assignment-service-no-plagiarism Zinch help concluding essay university british columbia phd thesis Tales of Creation. Issued in a new alliance with  writing a scientific research paper How To visite site gun control titles how to start an addiction essay Nuclear Blast Records Our most extensive custom Dissertation Amor covers everything from PhD research to custom writing your full sample PhD thesis Candlemass‘  dig this - Order the necessary essay here and forget about your fears Let us take care of your Bachelor or Master Thesis. professional Candlemass was intended as a fourth installment in that grand lineage of Marcolin-fronted albums.

Founded by bassist Leif Edling and fueled as ever by his songcraft, the band had basked in Sabbathian tradition of seeing vocalists come and go, including Thomas Vikström on 1992’s Chapter VI and Björn Flodkvist on 1998’s Dactylis Glomerata and the aforementioned once-swansong From the 13th Sun. The trio of instrumentalists in guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman and Lars “Lasse” Johansson and drummer Jan Lindh had been in the band until a breakup circa 1994, and in addition to pushing outside the range of epic doom for which Candlemass had become known, Edling experimented with other lineups and other players during those years, which built off the work he did in the post-Candlemass project, Abstrakt Algebra, whose lone, self-titled album came out in 1995.

Okay. So it’s a complicated history with Candlemass. Established. Fine. Perhaps it’s best, then, to look at the self-titled not just as a declaration of purpose, but as a complete reorganization of mission for the band. Reformed with Edling, Marcolin, Björkman, Johansson and Lindh, signed to a new label with a nine-song/55-minute (more if you got the version with the bonus track “Mars and Volcanoes”), Candlemass entered a new era with this record and it’s one that has in some ways defined their course over the 15 years since. The strong launch given to the outing in “Black Dwarf” and the likewise catchy “Seven Silver Keys” — on which Edling seems to anticipate riffs Tony Iommi would come up with himself a few years later for Heaven and Hell — soars with righteousness, and the band as a whole are and Marcolin in particular is in top form.

“Assassin of the Light” is quintessential, powerful doom metal, with a highlight solo from Johansson and a modern take on the kind of grandiosity for which the original Marcolin era was known. Building toward the candlemass self titledseven-minute “Copernicus,” this initial salvo sets the tone for everything to follow throughout Candlemass, whether it’s the instrumental “The Man Who Fell From the Sky,” the nod-chugger “Witches” — if you can find me a better opening lyric for a doom song than “Someone stole the starlight from the backside of your hand,” I’d love to know what it is — or the head-scratcher “Born in a Tank,” which goes back and forth between talking about being buried alive in dirt and born in a tank of water in some kind of weird sci-fi scenario that boasts the line, “Buried alive like a dog,” leading one inevitably to wonder just who the hell it is burying dogs alive and why is no one stopping them from doing this awful thing? It’s a great riff and an energetic kick after the hypnotic chugging finish of “Witches,” but someone please call animal control and tell them what’s going on and see if we can put a stop to the horror.

In hindsight, the band might’ve been better off swapping “Born in a Tank” with “Mars and Volcanoes,” which as noted, ended up a bonus track on the limited-edition version of the CD. The two songs share a speedier tempo, but one suspects it was that riff that ultimately made the choice. So be it. The album proper finishes with the pairing of “Spellbreaker” (7:02) and “The Day and the Night” (8:53), a last push that answers the reach of “Copernicus” back at the end of side A and goes that much further into the classic-doom feel that Candlemass helped define in the first place, a pair of stops in “Spellbreaker” reminiscent of “Mirror, Mirror” from Ancient Dreams and the quiet unfolding of “The Day and the Night” leading to a massive concluding march worthy not only of finishing the record and emphasizing the titular duality, but fading while still in progress, Marcolin repeating the line, “I’m lost in the dark,” on his way out as if to enact being actually swallowed up by a great nothingness of silence. Doom. A masterclass therein.

This era of Candlemass, somewhat sadly, didn’t last. The band split with Marcolin ahead of 2007’s King of the Grey Islands — one recalls Edling at the time calling him “crazy” — and wound up recruiting Texas’ Robert Lowe, best known for his work in Solitude Aeturnus and currently back with his prior outfit, TyrantLowe completed his own trilogy of albums in that one, 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here) and 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here) as well as a smattering of EPs and singles, before likewise parting ways with Edling and company. Mats Levén, who already had years of performing alongside Edling to his credit and who had completed demos for King of the Grey Islands before Lowe joined, took up the role and performed ably on EPs in 2016 and 2018, but as Johan Längquist — who sang on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986 but was never actually a member of the band — joined on for 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here) in a landmark return, the group again switched directions. And considering they were nominated for a Grammy for the track “Astorolus – The Great Octopus,” which featured a guest solo from Tony Iommi himself — touched by the hand of god, it was — it’s safe to say the change worked out in the band’s favor.

Earlier this year, Candlemass released the EP The Pendulum (discussed here) and likely would’ve hit a number of festivals and tour dates, etc., were it not for the global pandemic. A live stream in July (review here) helped keep their palpable forward momentum going and demonstrated the utter vitality of their approach all the more resonant some 35 years on from their first demo tapes, and I won’t profess to know what’ll come next for them, but it’s worth looking back at their accomplishments of the last decade and a half and noting that this self-titled was the point at which they restarted and firmly stated who they were and what their intentions were as a group. They’ve only lived up to that since.

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

A little bit after 6AM. Sun’s not quite up yet. Went for a run in between the top part of this post and this. About 1.3 miles, same course through the neighborhood I do basically every other day — though I usually give myself one bye a week to account for timing, feeling crappy, being busy as I was yesterday, kid or dog being up early, and so on. There’s a big hill just up the road that is satisfying to climb at a jog. I’ve been doing so long enough where I can get to the top without dragging my feet and that feels good. I also have a stretch where I run on the balls of my feet and a stretch where I high-step a little bit and a sprint to finish. It’s a whole thing. I stretch before and after, work on breathing, try not to be crazy about it. Try try try. All you can do.

The left side of my groin has been tight for like two months. Stretch stretch stretch. Trying to live by the Ichiro Suzuki model. Dude stretched every other second of his career. That shit matters as you get older.

Two cool-looking objects in the sky besides the moon despite the beginning-to-dawn day. I assume one was Jupiter or Mars, that’s closer to the moon, and the other has to be Venus. It’s practically punching you in the face with yellow. Star-viewing around here isn’t the best because of light pollution, but I’ll take what I can get. I’ve seen some nice sunrises too.

The Pecan was coming with me for a while. We were going later — after he got up, obviously. But he kind of decided he didn’t want to do it anymore and I didn’t really feel like making him and myself miserable. I ask him every now and again if he wants to go. I asked yesterday before we took him to daycare if he wanted to go for a run, reminded him of some of his favorite landmarks, and it basically took the entire morning off the rails. He’s starting hitting again, and he bites himself when he’s frustrated. He still hits and kicks the dog with every available opportunity. I guess that’s just what life is now. Kid’s rainboot being brought down heel-first on the dog’s head in the back seat of the car. Wham.

He blew off nap yesterday as well, so I took him to his favorite sandbox to basically kill time letting him play. He wanted to go on the swings and wouldn’t accept “in a little bit” so ran up to where I was sitting and slapped me in the face. I picked him up and we left, him literally kicking and screaming as I put him back in his car seat. It was substantially less than fun.

The week was like that. Ups and downs.

They buried my father I think on Wednesday. In Pennsylvania, a national cemetery because he was in the Air Force. They put Vietnam on his memorial but he never went. My sister called to correct and they took basically my position, which was “whatever who cares he’s dead,” but fine. That’s done.

We’re going to the zoo today with The Patient Mrs.’ mother, sister, and her sister’s two kids, all of whom are lovely. It’s the kind of thing one might look forward to in a normal year. Zoos, if you didn’t know, are immoral as shit. To think that we, as a species, stand around and pretend some lion is fucking happy walking back and forth in a pen for its entire life when it should be out there chasing down zebras and giraffes and the occasional human out on the savanna? You gotta be kidding me. But you know what? I got a kid, and that kid wants to see an elephant, and I know elephants are intelligent, thinking, feeling creatures, but fuck it, there it is. Rainboot on the dog’s head. The choices we make. I don’t expect history to be kind to us. I do expect the future to be blind to its own failings.

Speaking of, anyone outright terrified of the presidential election yet? Did Trump declare victory yet? It’s kind of astounding to think I might actually be alive to witness the downfall of American democracy to some half-assed Putin wannabe who used social media to sublimate an entire political party to his every will. And a global pandemic! Wow. If I didn’t have to then live with the ramifications of it — I don’t know, maybe a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and even more cops killing Black people while millions are out of work aching for a resurgent Civil War? — it would be a fascinating science experiment. To the rest of the world, hi from the test tube. Guard your votes, kids.

The Pecan’s up, which is fair enough as it’s after 6:30 now. He’s reading books (such as he does), but I should probably go grab him. Two quick things:

1. New Gimme show today. 5PM Eastern. Please listen. I promise it’s good. http://gimmemetal.com.

2. Next week is PACKED. Doubled up most days. Lot of good stuff as we move into Fall, so keep an eye out.

Meantime, great and safe weekend. See you at the zoo, though I probably won’t recognize you because of the mask. Ha.

Much love.

FRM.

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Enslaved Post “Urjotun” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enslaved urjotun

It does not take Enslaved all that long to upend decades of listener expectation with the latest single from the upcoming Utgard LP, which is set to release on Oct. 2. That’s one month from tomorrow, and as we move into the period of time whereby it begins to cause me physical pain that I’ve not yet heard the album in its entirety, “Urjotun” does precious little to quell the yearning. The Norwegian progressive black metallers wholeheartedly embrace their krautrock side in the four-minute track — even before reading the press release below, my first thought when I heard the initial keyboard line was “Kraftwerk” — and with lyrics about the cosmic birth of gods, it’s a fittingly weirded-out and somehow-grand backdrop for what plays through.

You’ll note in the image above that the crow that has featured in other recent Enslaved videos “Homebound” (posted here) and “Jettegryta” (posted here) — as well as on the cover of Utgard itself — makes an appearance, and “Urjotun” is further enhanced by the artwork of one Kim Holm, with whom it has been my absolute pleasure to work in the past at Roadburn in the Netherlands. Dude is maddeningly talented and his art fits smoothly the atmosphere of this track. I may have missed posting it before, but I wanted to make sure to put the tracklisting for Utgard here as well, because now that there are three songs out from the record — the band will also play it live in a streamed show on Sept. 30 — it’s a little more possible to get a sense of the shape of the whole release. I’m intensely curious as to what “Urjotun” leads to in “Flight of Thought and Memory” and “Storms of Utgard,” but then, I’m intensely curious pretty much as to the entire album.

Clip follows here, along with preorder links and more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

Enslaved, “Urjotun” official video

From the new ENSLAVED album ‘UTGARD’, out on October 2nd: https://nblast.de/Enslaved-Utgard. Subscribe to Nuclear Blast YouTube: http://nblast.de/NBytb / Subscribe to Enslaved YouTube: http://bit.ly/subs-enslavd-yt

Norway’s premier progressive black metallers Enslaved have today released third single ‘Urjotun’ from their upcoming studio album Utgard – out October 2nd via Nuclear Blast. The single, one of their most experimental yet, is accompanied by a psychedelic video detailing dark visions and a journey to the outer reaches of the subconscious.

Vocalist Grutle Kjellson commented:
“The lyrical idea for Urjotun had been spinning around in the chaos in the back of my head for quite a while, when Ivar sent me the riff-demo last autumn. I knew instantly that this was it, the very soundtrack of the rise of the primeval giant, the Urjotun! Our mutual love and fascination for that early krautrock scene and for bands like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, finally fully ascended in an Enslaved song, almost 30 years after we picked up those legendary kraut-albums. It’s funny, that in Germany they referred to this kind of music as “Kosmische Musik”, cosmic music! And, that is exactly what this song is about; cosmic chaos. On top of this, director David Hall, made a perfect projection and visualization of our troubled minds”

Produced and Directed by David Hall
Illustrations by Den Unge Herr Holm
Actor: Kelsey Watkinson

Utgard tracklisting:
1. Fires In The Dark
2. Jettegryta
3. Sequence
4. Homebound
5. Utgardr
6. Urjotun
7. Flight Of Thought And Memory
8. Storms Of Utgard
9. Distant Seasons

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Stream Review: Enslaved, ‘Chronicles of the Northbound,’ 07.30.20

Posted in Reviews on July 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enslaved

I kind of rolled my eyes last month when Norwegian progressive black metallers Enslaved announced their ‘Cinematic Summer Tour,’ but from the sweeping ambient camera shots that launched the proceedings of the Roadburn-presented ‘Chronicles of the Northbound’ hour-long set to the sense of ceremony with which they wrapped up “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” chanting over acoustic guitar, the emphasis indeed was on a cinematic feel. Visually and aurally, this was a produced affair — far from the rawness that some live streams shoot for — much more of a concert film. They may have played the songs live, but it was a live stream premiere rather than a live show happening at the moment it aired, though as the long-running Bergen, Norway, five-piece tore through the fan-selected setlist, it was hard not to be blown away anyhow by the force of the show they put on.

One has to think it helps that drummer Iver Sandøy is a noted music producer in terms of the sound captured. Bassist/founder Grutle Kjellson‘s telltale rasp came through with a studio-quality fullness that was a close match to some of what Enslaved have done on their albums, and in addition to apparently being the kind of percussionist who can tear into blastbeats on “Fenris” from 1994’s sophomore outing, Frost, Sandøy — who joined the band in 2018 — periodically added harmonies to the clean vocals of keyboardist Håkon Vinje, who made his debut enslavedwith Enslaved on 2017’s E (review here) and only sounded more integrated in the band on the older material here. Vinje and Sandøy quickly brought a marked sense of presence to “Ethica Odini” from 2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini (review here) at the start of the set, and Vinje‘s and Kjellson‘s subsequent handling of the chorus to “Roots of the Mountain” was likewise a soaring early highlight that preceded the more dug-in vibes of “Fenris” and “793 (Slaget om Lindisfarne),” the latter epic taken from 1997’s Eld.

The live chat on the YouTube feed, which gives one an odd sense of togetherness while watching something like this, blew up at that point. People had been well on board with “Fenris” and the organ that kept it in line with the more recent, progressive fare surrounding, but when “793” hit, there was a palpable sense of digitally-expressed joy and copious exclamation points. Well earned on the band’s part, twisting through the various stretches of that track before bringing things back to ground with the landmark title-cut of 2004’s Isa; the song that made black metal swing and the album that set Enslaved on the proggier path they’ve spent the last 16 years marching. The placement of its hook after the more expansive “793” was a clever way to snag wandering or otherwise hypnotized attentions, and the keys running alongside the guitars of Ivar Bjørnson and Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal sounded incredible. Really. I took notes of the setlist while watching, and next to “Isa” I wrote: “keys sound incredible.” I stand by it.

It was a little bit of a bummer not to hear anything off the forthcoming Utgard album that Nuclear Blast will release on Oct. 2 — they’ve put out videos thus far for “Homebound” (posted here) and “Jettegryta” (posted here) — and having asked to hear the record in advance and been shut down for not being cool enough, twice as much so. Still, Enslaved will wrap the cinematic tour with a full performance of the album on Sept. 30 co-presented by the Summer Breeze Festival, so they’ll take care of it one way or the other, and I found no argument with the fan-picked songs they played. “The Watcher,” which caps 2008’s Vertebrae, is one of few pieces that could hope to follow “Isa” and not stand in its shadow in terms of chorus grandiosity, and as they tore through it — again with Vinje making his presence felt — and shifted into “Death in the Eyes of Dawn,” I suddenly realized just how quickly the stated hour of the set was proceeding.

Taken from 2012’s Riitiir (review here), “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” enabled the band to express many of the strengths of their current incarnation. After the memorable “Isa” and “The Watcher,” “Death in the Eyes of Dawn” unfolded with a more progressive feel, still keeping extremity at its core, but allowing room for Sandøy to return on harmonies with Vinje, and finding Isdal moving to acoustic for the Viking-folk finish already noted. Along the way, the various turns and executions were sharply brought to bear and the band as a whole handled the song with the poise of the established masters they are. In reality, one could hardly have expected less. I could’ve done with more shots of Sandøy at work, but that might just be curiosity as well to see what “the new guy” is up to behind the kit. The final setlist:

“Ethica Odini”
“Roots of the Mountain”
“Fenris”
“793 (Slaget om Lindisfarne)”
“Isa”
“The Watcher”
“Death in the Eyes of Dawn”

Though the presentation style was something of a surprise, the manner in which Enslaved proceeded through that set brought a live enslaved pretend tourshow’s intensity to such outright professional smoothness, making for a showcase worthy of the scope of 20-plus years the band wound up covering. For those seeking a rawer take from Enslaved, I might suggest their 2017 offering, Roadburn Live (review here), recorded in 2015 when Bjørnson curated alongside Wardruna‘s Einar Selvik. That was Enslaved‘s first official live release, and it was before either Vinje or Sandøy were in the band — between the two of them, they simply bring the melodic reach to a new level — but I wouldn’t be surprised either if this ‘Chronicles of the Northbound’ set showed up as a live album either, or a BluRay/video download or some such kind of A/V outing. While the quality of the product was outstanding for a live stream, frankly, to have it end there seems like a waste of material, even with the special merch they’ve made available.

As one looks forward to the arrival of Utgard this Fall, and mourns the actual-touring Enslaved won’t get to do to herald its coming, the start of their cinematic tour was a refresher on just how far the band has pushed their sound and their live chemistry and how — as they approach 30 years from their founding by Bjørnson and Kjellson in 1991 — they only continue to grow and evolve.

Enslaved‘s cinematic tour continues on Aug. 20 playing Below the Lights in full as presented by Beyond the Gates Festival, and wraps with the aforementioned Sept. 30 rendition of Utgard presented by Summer Breeze. I’ll hope to have more on Utgard closer to the release, and thanks for reading in the meantime.

Enslaved, ‘Chronicles of the Northbound’ live stream (limited time only)

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Pallbearer Post Second Video for “Forgotten Days”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

pallbearer forgotten days

You know what? It looks better. There wasn’t anything wrong with the first version of Pallbearer‘s video for the title-track of their upcoming album, Forgotten Days, but putting it in a wider-screen ratio and making it black and white with some darker contrast moments — yeah, it looks a little artsier and a little more mysterious. The first clip, being so centered around the story as it was, wasn’t at all under-served by the color, but with the CGI elements that comprise so much of it, pushing a little less clarity works pretty well with the material. Still reminds me of Solaris.

It’s pretty rare a band puts out two videos for the same song. I wonder if there was some issue with the original, either on the part of the band or the director. The full-color version is still posted, so it’s not like the new one is replacing the old, just kind of a weird thing to run into, which I guess is why I’m posting it in the end. You’ll note the new clip is about 30 seconds longer than the first — that’s because of an intro added to the front that gives the titles in opening-credits fashion. That works well, and the song still aligns with the clip well otherwise. And the song’s still cool.

Shrug, I guess?

Whatever. More Pallbeaer don’t hurt. Forgotten Days is out Oct. 23 on Nuclear Blast, so there you go.

Enjoy:

Pallbearer, “Forgotten Days” cinema edition video

Pallbearer, who recently announced the Oct. 23 release of their highly-anticipated fourth album, Forgotten Days (Nuclear Blast), have shared a black and white, cinematic version of the video for title track “Forgotten Days” (https://youtu.be/FV1oaYgktvo).

The clip, which stands in stark contrast to the original version that was released earlier this month, has echoes of classic science fiction films such as “Solaris,” “Silent Running,” and “Stalker.”

“When Ben sent us this alternate version of the ‘Forgotten Days’ video, we were instantly taken aback at how a simple color shift and change to aspect ratio transformed the feeling of the narrative,” explains singer/guitar player Brett Campbell of the Ben Meredith directed video. “This cinematic edition is dripping with oppressive claustrophobia, and in being stripped of color, deepens the sense of the unknown lurking in the shadows of the mind. We’re happy to share it with you today.”

Pallbearer, “Forgotten Days” official video

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Pallbearer Set Oct. 23 Release for Forgotten Days; Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

pallbearer forgotten days

Echoes of Solaris in the new Pallbearer video, but that’s fair enough for the song’s spacious sound. It’s got a hook though, does “Forgotten Days,” which is the title-track of the Arkansas-based doomers’ fourth long-player, set to release Oct. 23 on Nuclear Blast. With a break in its second half that shows off some progressive vocal stylings in keeping with 2017’s Heartless (review here), the band nonetheless bring the track back to a huge and echoing slowdown before the chorus returns. Check out the edge of classic metal in that chorus too. A little Ozzy in the phrasing, maybe? Or maybe it’s just how guitarist Brett Campbell pronounces the word “insanity?” Either way, that vibe comes through amid all the tonal and melodic depth that surrounds.

Preorders and all that are up now, as the PR wire tells it:

pallbearer forgotten days

Pallbearer Announce New Album, Forgotten Days (Oct. 23, Nuclear Blast); Release “Forgotten Days” Video

PALLBEARER’S EAGERLY-AWAITED NEW ALBUM, FORGOTTEN DAYS, ARRIVES OCT. 23 VIA NUCLEAR BLAST

https://www.pallbearerdoom.com/forgotten-days

Pallbearer’s highly-anticipated fourth album, Forgotten Days, arrives Oct. 23 via Nuclear Blast.

The band has simultaneously released the eight-song album’s first single, leading with a video for the title track. “I’m extremely stoked to finally share this song with everyone,” says singer/guitar player Brett Campbell. Commenting on the Ben Meredith directed clip, Campbell continues: “The video for ‘Forgotten Days’ tells the story of an unfortunate traveler who journeys too far, and becomes lost in the depths of both inner, and outer, space. What is real when you cannot trust your own mind?“

“Forgotten Days is us exploring what is natural to us,” says bass player/songwriter Joseph Rowland. “The songs tell me where I need to go when I write. We wanted to focus on songs that were visceral and enjoyable to play live – that our audiences would enjoy experiencing. We’re also getting back to more of the groovier and heavier elements of Pallbearer. Heartless is fairly uptempo and technical. This one is a little more open, it hammers you.”

“This record has a lot of thematic ties to our first record,” Rowland continues. “When we were writing Sorrow and Extinction, my mother was terminally ill. It’s been 10 years since she passed. It’s taken me all of this time to take a really good look at myself. While we were writing Forgotten Days, I knew, ‘Now is the time to sit down and begin to understand who I have become.’”

“Joe and I have always written lyrics separately,” adds Campbell. “But we always end up with lyrics that are connected by threads. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in close proximity for a long while. Between Heartless and Forgotten Days, we were home for an extended period of time. I think we finally had time to reflect. Memory is a big aspect of the new record. The passage of time. How things change as perspective changes. Was the past truly the way that you remember it at all?”

The Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Johan Johannson) produced album was recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios in West Texas. Michael Lierly, drummer Mark Lierly’s brother, once again created the album’s artwork, crafting images that were roughly hewn yet heartbreaking in their expressive heft. The striking cover is the ideal foil to Pallbearer’s thick musical and lyrical melancholia.

Forgotten Days track list:
Forgotten Days
Riverbed
Stasis
Silver Wings
The Quicksand of Existing
Vengeance & Ruination
Rite of Passage
Caledonia

Forgotten Days pre-orders are available now (https://www.pallbearerdoom.com/forgotten-days). The eight-song album is available in a number of limited edition vinyl variants with physical bundles available via both the Nuclear Blast and Pallbearer webstores, as well as digitally and on CD/cassette. The title track “Forgotten Days” is offered as an immediate download with digital pre-orders on iTunes, Amazon Music and Bandcamp. Listeners can pre-save the album and listen to the title track on all DSPs: https://nblast.de/PallbearerFD.

Pallbearer is Brett Campbell (vocals/guitar), Devin Holt (guitar), Joseph D. Rowland (bass/vocals), and Mark Lierly (drums).

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Pallbearer, “Forgotten Days” official video

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Quarterly Review: Paradise Lost, Vinnum Sabbathi, Nighthawk, Familiars, Mountain Witch, Disastroid, Stonegrass, Jointhugger, Little Albert, Parahelio

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Last day, you know the drill. It’s been a pleasure, honestly. If every Quarterly Review could feature the quality of material this one has, I’d probably only spend a fraction of the amount of time I do fretting over it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and enjoyed the music as much as I have. If you haven’t found something here to sit with and dig into yet, well, today’s 10 more chances to do just that. Maybe something will stick at last.

See you in September.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Paradise Lost, Obsidian

paradise lost obsidian

It is impossible to listen to Obsidian and consider Paradise Lost as anything other than masters of the form. Of course, that they were one of the original pioneers of gothic death-doom helps, but even in the decade-plus since they began to shift back toward a more metallic approach, they have established a standard that is entirely their own. Obsidian collects nine tracks across a palatable 45 minutes, and if the hook of “Fall From Grace” is fan-service on the part of the band, then it is no less righteous for that. In atmosphere and aggression, cuts like “The Devil Embraced” and the galloping “Ghosts” deliver on high expectations coming off 2017’s Medusa (review here), even as side B’s “Ending Days” and “Hope Dies Young” branch into a more melodic focus, not departing from the weight of impact presented earlier, but clearly adjusting the approach, leading to an all the more deathly return on “Ravenghast,” which closes out. Their doom remains second to none; their model remains one to follow.

Paradise Lost on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Vinnum Sabbathi, Of Dimensions and Theories

Vinnum Sabbathi Of Dimensions and Theories

The narrative thread carried through the six tracks of Vinnum Sabbathi‘s Of Dimensions and Theories is a futuristic sci-fi tale about humanity’s first foray into deep space amid a chaos of environmental collapse and nuclear threat. The real story, however, is the sense of progression the instrumentalist Mexico City outfit bring in following up their debut LP, 2017’s Gravity Works (review here). Tying thematically to the latest Cegvera album — the two bands share personnel — pieces at the outset like “In Search of M-Theory” and “Quantum Determinism” maintain the exploratory vibe of the band’s jammier works in their “HEX” series, but through spoken samples give a human presence and plotline to the alternately atmospheric and lumbering tones. As the record progresses through the airier “An Appraisal” and the feedback-drenched “Beyond Perturbative States,” their dynamic finds realization in “A Superstring Revolution I” and the drum-led “A Superstring Revolution II.” I don’t know about humanity’s prospects as a whole, but Vinnum Sabbathi‘s remain bright.

Vinnum Sabbathi on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records website

 

Nighthawk, The Sea Legs EP

Nighthawk The Sea Legs EP

Composed as a solo outing prior to the founding of Heavy Temple, the Nighthawk solo endeavor (presumably she wasn’t a High Priestess yet), The Sea Legs EP, is plenty self-aware in its title, but for being a raw execution of material written performed entirely on her own, its four tracks also have a pretty significant scope, from the post-QOTSA heavy pop of “Goddamn” leading off through the quick spacegaze of “I’m From Tennessee Woman, All We Do is Honky Tonk,” into the deceptively spacious “I Can Haz” with its far-back toms, dreamy vocal melody and vaguely Middle Eastern-sounding guitar, and ending with the if-Ween‘s-country-album-had-been-weirder finish of “Stay Gold.” Nighthawk has issued a follow-up to The Sea Legs EP in the full-length Goblin/John Carpenter-style synth of The Dimensionaut, but given the range and balance she shows just in this brief 12 minutes, one hopes that indeed her songwriting explorations continue to prove so multifaceted.

Nighthawk on Bandcamp

Heavy Temple on Thee Facebooks

 

Familiars, All in Good Time

familiars all in good time

Contending for one of the year’s best debut albums, FamiliarsAll in Good Time offers eight songs across 43 minutes that blend organic-feeling grit with more ethereal, landscape-evocative psychedelics. The Ontario three-piece have a few singles to their credit, but the lushness of “Rocky Roost” and the emergent heft of “Barn Burning,” the fleshy boogie of “The Dirty Dog Saloon” and the breadth of “Avro Arrow” speak not just to Familiars‘ ability to capture a largesse that draws their songs together, or the nuance that lets them brings subtle touches of Americana (Canadiana?) early on and echoing desert roll to the fuzzy “The Common Loon,” but also to the songwriting that makes these songs stand out so much as they do and the sense of purpose Familiars bring to All in Good Time as their first long-player. That turns out to be one of the most encouraging aspects of the release, but in that regard there’s plenty of competition from elements like tone, rhythm, melody, craft, performance — so yes, basically all of it.

Familiars on Thee Facebooks

Familiars on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Witch, Extinct Cults

Mountain Witch Extinct Cults

Mountain Witch‘s fourth album, Extinct Cults, brings the Hamburg-based duo of guitarist René Sitte and drummer/vocalist René Roggmann back after a four-year absence with a collection that straddles the various lines between classic heavy rock, proto-metal, ’70s heavy prog and modern cultism. Their loyalties aren’t necessarily all to the 1968-’74 period, as the chug and gruff vocals of “Back From the Grave” show, but the post Technical Ecstasy sway of the title-track is a fascinating and rarely-captured specificity, and the vocal melodies expressed in layers across the record do much to add personality and depth to the arrangements while the surrounding recording remains essentially raw. No doubt vinyl-minded, Extinct Cults is relatively brief at six songs and 33 minutes, but the Priestly chug of “Man is Wolf to Man” and the engrossing garage doom of closer “The Devil Probably” offer plenty of fodder for those who’d dig in to dig into. It is a sound familiar and individual at once, old and new, and it revels in making cohesion out of such contrasts.

Mountain Witch on Thee Facebooks

This Charming Man Records website

 

Disastroid, Mortal Fools

disastroid mortal fools

You might find San Francisco trio Disastroid hanging out at the corner of noise and heavy rock, looking disreputable. Their first record for Heavy Psych Sounds is Mortal Fools, and to go with its essential-bloody-essential bass tone and melodic semi-shouted vocals, it brings hints of angularity rounded out by tonal thickness and a smoothness between transitions that extends to the flow from one song to the next. While for sure a collection of individual pieces, Mortal Fools does move through its 43 minutes with remarkable ease, the sure hand of the three-piece guides you through the otherwise willfully tumultuous course, brash in the guitar and bass and drums but immersive in the overarching groove. They seem to save a particular melodic highlight for the verses of closer “Space Rodent,” but really, whether it’s the lumbering “Hopeless” or the sharper-toothed push of “Bilge,” the highlight is what Disastroid accomplish over the course of the record as a whole. Plus that friggin’ bass sound.

Disastroid on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Stonegrass, Stonegrass

stonegrass self titled

I don’t know when this was first released, but the 2020 edition seems to be a remaster, and whenever it first came out, I’m pleased to have the chance to check it out now. Toronto duo Stonegrass brings together Matthew “Doc” Dunn and Jay Anderson, both of a markedly psyched-out pedigree, to dig into experimentalist acid-psych that pushes boundaries stylistic and national, tapping Afrobeat vibes with closer “Drive On” and the earlier 13-minute go-go-go jam “Tea” while “The Highway” feels like a lost psychedelic disco-funk 45, “The Cape” drones like it’s waiting for someone to start reading poetry over-top, and mellow hand-percussion and Turkish psych on centerpiece “Frozen Dunes.” The whole thing, which runs a manageable 39 minutes, is as cool as the day is long, and comes across like a gift to those of expanded mind or who are willing to join those ranks. I don’t know if it’s new or old. I don’t know if it’s a one-off or an ongoing project. I barely know if it’s actually out. But hot damn it’s rad, and if you can catch it, you should.

Cosmic Range Records on YouTube

Cosmic Range Records on Bandcamp

 

Jointhugger, I Am No One

jointhugger i am no one

Norwegian half-instrumental trio Jointhugger have already captured the attention of both Interstellar Smoke Records and Ozium Records with their four-song debut long-player, I Am No One, and as the follow-up to their 2019 Daemo, it leaves little question why. The more volume, the merrier, when it comes to the rolling, nodding, undulations of riff the band conjure, as each member seems geared toward bringing as much weight to bear as much as possible. I’m serious. Even the hi-hat is heavy, never mind the guitar or bass or the cave-echoing vocals of the title-track. “Domen” slips into some shuffle — if you can call something that dense-sounding a shuffle — and underscores its solo with an entire bog’s worth of low end, and though closer “Nightfright” is the only inclusion that actually tops 10 minutes, it communicates an intensity of crush that is nothing if not consistent with what’s come before. There are flashes of letup here and there, but it’s impact at the core of Jointhugger‘s approach, and they offer plenty of it. Don’t be surprised when the CD and LP sell through, and don’t be surprised if they get re-pressed later.

Jointhugger on Thee Facebooks

Ozium Records webstore

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

 

Little Albert, Swamp King

Little Albert Swamp King

Stepping out both in terms of style and substance from his position as guitarist in atmospheric doomers Messa, Little Albert — aka Alberto Piccolo — pronounces himself “swamp king” in the opening lines of his debut solo release of the same name, and the mellow ambiance and psychedelic flourish of tone in “Bridge of Sighs” and “Mean Old Woman” and the aptly-titled “Blues Asteroid” offer an individualized blend of psychedelic blues that seems to delight in tipping the balance back and forth from one to the other while likewise taking the songs through full band arrangements and more intimate wanderings. Some of the songs have a tendency to roll outward and not return, as does “Mary Claire” or “Mean Old Woman,” but “Outside Woman Blues” and the closer “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” hold tighter to the ground than some of what surrounds, so again, there’s a balance. Plus, as mellow as Swamp King is in its overarching affect, it’s neither difficult nor anything but a pleasure to follow along where Piccolo leads. If that’s off the psych-blues deep end, so be it. Only issue I take with him being king of the swamp is that the album’s domain hardly seems so limited.

Little Albert on Thee Facebooks

Aural Music on Bandcamp

 

Parahelio, Surge Evelia, Surge

Parahelio Surge Evelia Surge

Beautiful, patient and pastoral psychedelia fleshes out across the three tracks of Parahelio‘s debut full-length, Surge Evelia, Surge. Issued on vinyl through Necio Records, the three-song offering reportedly pays homage to a mining town in the band’s native Peru, but it does so with a breadth that seems to cover so much between heavy post-rock and psych that it’s difficult not to imagine places decidedly more ethereal. Beginning with its title-track (12:33) and moving into the swells and recessions of “Gestos y Distancia,” the album builds to an encompassing payoff for side A before unveiling “Ha’Adam,” a 23-minute side-consuming rollout that encompasses not only soundscaping, but a richly human feel in its later take, solidifying around a drum march and a heavy build of guitar that shouldn’t sound strange to fans of Pelican or Russian Circles yet manages somehow to transcend the hypnotic in favor of the dynamic, the immersive, and again, the beautiful. What follows is desolation and aftermath, and that’s how the record ends, but even there, the textures and the spirit of the release remain central. I always do myself a favor with the last release of any Quarterly Review, and this is no exception.

Parahelio on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, Witchcraft frontman/founder Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, Nucleus (review here). Pelander‘s Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with Black Metal, Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

The Wizar’d on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

Sail on Thee Facebooks

Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course à Vélo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

Scream of the Butterfly on Thee Facebooks

Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

Baleful Creed on Thee Facebooks

Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

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