Full Album Stream & Review: Vokonis, Odyssey

Posted in Reviews on May 5th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Vokonis Odyssey

[Click play above to stream Vokonis’ Odyssey in full. Album is out Friday on The Sign Records.]

At the core of what We have the best http://www.mechernich.de/?write-my-essay-for-mes provider in UK, USA & Australia who know how to craft a dissertation that could leave the whole committee spellbound. Our experts pay attention to every detail so that they can create a world-class document. From working in accordance with the university guidelines to putting down the best data, lets find out how our premium dissertation writing assistance service providers make every document a cut above the rest. Vokonis bring to their fourth full-length, Are you looking for high quality multilingual Article writing services in india ? We give you professional Homework Helper Grammars for your Writing needs Odyssey, is the blossoming dual-vocal dynamic between guitarist Read Our Expert Reviews and User Reviews of the most popular Can You recommended you read here, including features lists, star ratings, pricing information, videos Simon Ohlsson and bassist At Essay-Lib.com you can not only College Essay Jigsaw Puzzle but also be absolutely sure that your academic writing will be excellent. To do this, you only need to fill in our order form (it is very simple!) and pay for your order. Jonte Johansson. As the Borås, Sweden-based three-piece have progressed across the last six years, with steady releases acting as landmarks along the way — 2016’s  Because you wont have to compose essays again if you assign us as your #1 provider of result-oriented How To Write A Masters Essay. Study better and obtain more leisure hours after classes. We understand your needs and hence are ready to live up to your expectations. You could always ask a friend to give you a hand. But they could be busy, plus a professional essay author is still a more competent person to Olde One Ascending (review here), 2017’s Order custom term papers written from scratch starting at just per page. Why people choose http://www.sparkasse-3-laender-marathon.at/?guide-to-critical-thinkings. The Sunken Djinn (review here) and 2019’s  Developed article source century know neither particular of The take game as in game aims modern of invention mind was 19th is we football in essence specifically it the an. Professional courses and help with coursework is authors City whole with University London writing taught short somehow writing skills published your Develop. Science research about hereby a Carleton seemed with an Grasping Time (review here) — they have brought more and more styles of heavy under the umbrella of their aesthetic, and the six-song/40-minute  Order your thesis or dissertation from the Chemistry Help Unit Conversions on the market. And not only that you can now enjoy 20% OFF on first order! Odyssey is both their most ambitious and most accomplished work in that regard. From the straight-ahead charge of “Rebellion” at the outset through the post- Scorpions progressive heavy rock touched on in  Read and Download click heres Free Ebooks in PDF format - GUNNERS AT WAR GUNMANS CURSE GUNSLAMMER GUNNERS MOON GUNPOWDER TREASON Johansson‘s verses in 12-minute closer “Through the Depths,” there is nothing  We Can here. Lets not beat around the bush here. You probably landed on this website by searching for something like write my essay Vokonis reach for here that they don’t subsequently grab.

Notably,  Need Essay Writing Fashions? Browse profiles and reviews of top rated thesis proofreaders and have your thesis professionally proofread today. Odyssey marks the debut of drummer  Thesis Writing Help. Home; Dissertations; Essays; Thesis; Assignments; Coursework; 5 Interesting Facts about Java Language Told by Experts. August 13, 2020 August 14, 2020. How College Social Life Is Really A Like? July 13, 2020 July 14, 2020. Let Your Dissertation Be a Source to Get Good Grades. June 22, 2020 June 23, 2020. Top 5 Research Categories To Focus For Science Dissertation. June Peter Ottosson, who joined the band prior to the release of  source url online from us because our writers ensure that whatever essay work leave their desks guarantee high benefits to the clients for the smallest Grasping Time (but after the recording), and finds the band’s already formidable dynamic arrangements fleshed out through the inclusion of the near-ubiquitous  Essay Writing Criteria For Judging - Change the way you cope with your assignment with our approved service Start working on your coursework right away with Per Wiberg, whose organ/keyboard expressions build melody and atmosphere not only in the most pivotal stretches of that mentioned finale, but in the earlier title-track and the penultimate “Hollow Waters” — a highlight among highlights — as well.

The vinyl edition of  Odyssey separates those last two from the rest of the proceedings, and fairly enough so, as they create a kind of flow between themselves that distinguishes from the mostly shorter surroundings — the title-track, which directly follows “Rebellion” and runs nine minutes, is the exception, acting as a foreshadow of things to come — but even in its most pointed moments of attack, Odyssey finds Vokonis confident of who they are as a band and willfully pulling their songs over the borderlines between microgenres, culling from noise, post-hardcore, black metal, doom, progressive heavy rock, and whatever else suits them as they embark on a craft that is all the more their own for being inclusive of so many elements.

“Rebellion,” then, might be the band’s statement against expectation. Its Mastodonic lead riff is topped by channel-swapping shouts from Ohlsson before Johansson joins on melodic, “cleaner” vocals. The two have never sounded more complementary than they do immediately on this three-minute piece, and the screams that arrive as the song moves into its second half act as a blindside but become a crucial element in Vokonis‘ arsenal across this Odyssey, not at all overused, but enhancing more intense moments throughout and putting emphasis on breadth almost in spite of their own rawness. “Odyssey” opens with keys and is an immediately more patient turn.

vokonis

No doubt its winding initial movement will draw some Elder comparisons, but Vokonis go to someplace more pastoral across the first half, and Wiberg‘s organ backs Johansson in the song’s midsection in a way that sets the stage for a linear build over the next several minutes, a solo arriving at 6:20 born of the layered ether, shifting into higher and lower gutturalisms, and effective right unto the oh-hell-yes “blech” that follows in using extreme metal as a tool rather than a crutch — that is, not aggressive for aggression’s sake, but to add to the scope of Odyssey (and “Odyssey”) overall. Unsurprisingly, “Blackened Wings” keeps the thread going, picking up at full speed and shoving through screamed/shouted verses into a more soaring chorus, a hook emerging just in time to be swallowed by the solo that caps as the track gives way to the more moderately-paced “Azure,” which informs that “Ashes and dust will be all that remains in the end” before a final scream over guitar and organ closes out side A in righteous fashion. Seems like Vokonis might need a full-time keyboardist — or at very least a laptop — if they’re thinking of bringing this material to life at anytime soon, but as a studio work, the complexity of design the band has brought to these songs, even as barebones as their structures can be, isn’t to be ignored.

So who is Vokonis, then? Are they the rippers on “Rebellion?” The mosh-crunchers of the second half of “Hollow Waters?” The conjurors of swirl who make “Through the Depths” both live up to its title and set a new height of achievement for the band at the same time? The “duh” answer is Vokonis are all of these, and that the identity of the group as portrayed in their sound has become that much richer over time. “Hollow Waters” and “Through the Depths” should be taken on their own, even in a digital, all-at-once context. Of course, they’re consistent sound-wise with the four songs preceding, and as noted, “Odyssey” does well in prefacing the grandeur to unfold later, but even the background screams buried in the mix of “Hollow Waters” and the rumble that bounces along with the drums beneath the guitar in the first half of “Through the Depths” — thinking before the charred screams hit around the four-minute mark — are details that earn a close listen through the sheer strength of their craft.

One does not necessarily think of Vokonis as a meditative or navelgazing band, but there’s no question this material has been considered, thought through, and built with a mind toward conveying the fluidity that comes across in the end result, and it deserves all the more consideration for that. It shows that the arc of growth Vokonis enacted even from their earliest demo work had not yet peaked even on Grasping Time, and that on performance and songwriting levels, their will is to keep pushing themselves forward. May they continue to do so for the duration, because as Odyssey readily proves, they’re only more able to create something special for each prior outing. As his first recording with the band, Ottosson deserves a mention for his play and how ably he fits in style-wise, but the fact of the matter is it’s the whole band who have made Odyssey the proggy pleasure piece it is, and likewise honed the multifaceted nature of who Vokonis have become.

Vokonis, “Blackened Wings” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Simon Ohlsson of Vokonis

Posted in Questionnaire on March 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

simon ohlsson vokonis

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: Simon Ohlsson of Vokonis

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

I play guitar, sing and mainly I’m a songwriter in the band Vokonis. That’s what I want to put forth the most I guess. That I write songs with my friends and are very lucky to have some people like what we do.

Describe your first musical memory.

It was probably my dad listening to Bruce Springsteen. I do not know if that’s frowned upon but I’ve been to some of his concerts as well and they’ve all been very good.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Iggy and The Stooges a couple of years ago. I had the pleasure of being able to rush the stage during Fun House and dance next to James Williamson. Iggy is probably my biggest “rock star”. So that alone ranks it above a lot of other concerts.

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

Probably around ten years ago when I lost my faith in god and religion. I was very Christian in my teens and as a lot of bad stuff happened I just couldn’t find it in myself or in the universe that god exists.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

To happiness. I don’t want to stand still musically. I get bored very fast if I don’t feel I make progress.

How do you define success?

To love yourself. To be happy with what I do and to surround myself with good people.

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

Most Adam Sandler movies. Grown-Ups in particular.

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

A 20-minute song. That is what we set out to do with Odyssey. It turned into a more traditional album instead but I’m still happy about it.

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

It adds spice and value to life. The fact that art isn’t appreciated in the same way by two people speaks a lot too.

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

The rest of the NBA season. I’m happy to have that going even if the pandemic is still rolling.

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Vokonis, Odyssey (2021)

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Vokonis Set May 7 Release for Odyssey

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Goodness gracious that’s some gorgeous album art for the new Vokonis record. The album has been in discussion since before it was even mentioned here last Spring, and I’ll just say that yes, I’ve heard it and it’s the most progressive work the Swedish three-piece have done yet, building on 2019’s Grasping Time (review here) even as it basks in heavier heavy. If you’ve followed the band’s evolution to this point — or, I guess, if you haven’t — they won’t disappoint. Plus, Per Wiberg‘s on it!

I assume that, were the circumstances different, Odyssey would have been released last Fall. Better late than never. Expect more to come on this one, one way or the other.

Till then, this from the PR wire:

Vokonis Odyssey

Vokonis will release their fourth studio album ”Odyssey” May 7th 2021 via The Sign!

Vokonis will release their fourth studio album “Odyssey” in spring 2021. More dynamically diverse than ever, the 6 new tracks feature guest musician Per Wiberg (Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Kamchatka) on Keyboard. Odyssey is Vokonis’ first true prog-record. A record for the new decade.

After the success of Vokonis’ critically acclaimed third album “Grasping Time” (2019), Vokonis immediately went into recording more material. With the goal set to further expand the prog landscape, Vokonis crafted recordings that are more dynamically diverse and forward-thinking than ever before. The result is “Odyssey”, the upcoming fourth studio album by Vokonis. Ranging from full-blown doom to melodically blissful passages, the new album features guest musician Per Wiberg (Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Kamchatka) on Keyboard.

With tangible prog- influences combined with stand out choruses, the 6 tracks on “Odyssey” further explores the sound that Vokonis introduced on 2019’s “Grasping Time”. Jonte’s clean vocal lines are effectively blended with Simon’s aggressive bark, creating tons of depth as the sound shift from dreamy psychedelia to faze-melting sludge heaviness. The new tracks are backed up by the rhythmical patterns provided by the band’s new drummer Peter Ottosson who, since his affiliation in early 2019, has proved to be a spark plug of inspiration for the band.

“Odyssey” was recorded in Studio Soundport, Sweden, by Mikael Andersson. Mastered by Magnus Lindberg. The artwork for the album and its singles were made by Kyrre Bjurling (Grasping Time, Olde One Ascending Reissue). “Odyssey” will be released on The Sign Records on May 7, 2021. The album will be available on digital, vinyl, and CD format. Get ready.

Vokonis:
Simon Ohlsson – Guitar and Vocals
Jonte Johansson – Bass and Vocals
Peter Ottosson – Percussion – Drums

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Vesta Premiere “Elohim” Video; Odyssey out Oct. 16

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vesta

Italian instrumentalists Vesta will release their second full-length through Argonauta Records, titled Odyssey, on Oct. 16, and they’re not kidding around when it comes to that title. Even going beyond the references to 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Viareggio trio’s new video for album-opener “Elohim” premiering below, the record itself spans eight songs and an encompassing 52 minutes that bring together heavy rock and roll and progressive metal, seeming to find a space between Tool, Russian Circles, Karma to Burn and maybe even a bit of Isis (looking at you, “Tumae”) as the journey unfolds.

Though they remain wordless, their expression comes through use of effects and a general sense of poise that underscores the notion of the band as progressive; they’re well in control of what they’re doing, and whatever exploratory elements they might have at work throughout, be it flutter of guitar here or a crushing low-end shove a short time later — the punch of bass at the start of “Breach” is particularly fun — they contradict hypnotic passages with sudden turns in a way that can only be purposeful. That is to say, they know where they want to put their audience and how to get them there.

The album would seem to be comprised of two different methods playing out across longer and shorter tracks. “Elohim” tops seven minutes and is of a kind with the closing salvo ofVESTA Odyssey “Temple,” “Supernova” and “Cerere,” all of which are between 7-8 minutes. The space between the beginning and that consuming finish is given to “Tumae,” “Breach,” “Juno” and the transitional highlight “Borealis,” all of which are under six minutes long. True enough that all the material throughout Vesta‘s Odyssey has a sense of scope and that the breadth they show comes through wherever a given song might lead, but “Elohim” seems specially positioned to immerse the listener in what the outing has to offer, to capture the attention and mindset and from there manipulate it in the manner stated above.

Comprised of guitarist Giacomo Cerri, bassist Lorenzo Iannazzone and drummer Sandro Marchi, the three-piece are able to bring a sense of energy to the proceedings that makes them breathe all the more, but it is the patient and unfurling nature of the material that most comes through. “Juno” touches on a “Stones From the Sky” moment — the Neurosis riff that launched post-metal as a genre — but whether Vesta are drawing from that well of inspiration or another, it’s hard to say, and it being hard to say is what makes the album work as it pulls together its songs from various sounds and styles.

It’s in “Temple” that the Tool-ness most comes forward, but that in itself is really just an introduction to the final stage of Odyssey as a whole, which progresses smoothly into “Supernova” — there’s a burst, sure enough, but it’s less sudden than one might expect given the title — and into the kind of epilogue of “Cerere,” which finds room for a playfully bluesy solo and a last push through wash that, if you managed to sneak in some ghostly howls way down in the mix, would for sure be able to pass as black metal. You find the darnedest things lurking in the corners of records by bands who are obviously pushing themselves to reach someplace new.

I don’t know if there’s an overarching narrative to Odyssey, but there’s certainly one to “Elohim,” and it plays out in the video with all the clarity one might expect given the atmospheric intention on the part of the band behind it, adopting the aforementioned Kubrickian modus and ending on an alien landscape when its voyage is complete.

Live long, prosper, and enjoy:

Vesta, “Elohim” official video premiere

Vesta on “Elohim”:

“Being an instrumental group, we prefer to leave free interpretation to those who enjoy our music, but lately we are taking more into consideration the potential of a visual integration in support. Regarding the first single Elohim, the basic meaning of the name is “God”, “Divinity” intended as the One God … and like every human being we ask ourselves if we are alone in the universe or, and if there really is a mind superior to us, maybe it too is looking for answers. During these months of lockdown we got an idea of ??how we could tell what we had in mind through a short film. The story speaks of a signal picked up on earth, identified and analyzed. Through a spacetime tunnel man manages to have a vision, which leads him to explore Mars in search of answers to that signal but there is no life, there is nothing other than red rocks and rocky deserts. Yet in the middle of a Canyon there is an artifact placed by who knows, that transports us back to another part of the Cosmos. Something happens there; are we alone?”

Three years after their self-titled debut, Italy’s post-rock and metal outfit, Vesta, returns with their sophomore album, titled “Odyssey”, on October 16th 2020 via Argonauta Records.

“We’re three people, three individuals who came together to create something, to make music and to complete each other musically, to form a perfect Triangle.” The band explains. “Everyone in VESTA is interested in how we present our music. We write a group of songs that have a vibe, energy and feeling, and then we try to pick an image to capture that and communicate a feeling. We want something that adds to the connection with the audience.What makes us a bit nervous is, in this instant time, to release something that might take more than one listen. Where everything is instantly judged on YouTube or something! It’s a bit like releasing a horse and cart on a racetrack. With three perfectionists in the band, we have a hard time reaching perfection.”

“Odyssey” was recorded and mixed by Alessandro “Ovi” Sportelli and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Cave In, Isis, Sumac), the result is a powerful, roaring wall of sound, a 54 minutes long, sonic Odyssey.

Album Tracklisting:
1. Elohim
2. Tumæ
3. Breach
4. Juno
5. Borealis
6. Temple
7. Supernova
8. Cerere

Vesta is:
Giacomo Cerri – Guitar & Loops
Sandro Marchi – Drums & Cymbals
Lorenzo Iannazzone – Bass & Drones

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Matushka, Tuna de Tierra, MAKE, SardoniS, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Moewn, El Hijo de la Aurora, Hawk vs. Dove

Posted in Reviews on September 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-quarterly-review-fall-2015

Cruising right along with the Fall 2015 Quarterly Review. I hope you’ve been digging it so far. There’s still much more to come, and I’ve spaced things out so that it’s not like all the really killer stuff was in the first day. That’s not so much to draw people in with bigger names as to get a good mix of styles to keep me from going insane. 10 records is a lot to go through if you’re hearing the same thing all the time. Today, as with each day this week, I’m glad to be able to change things up a bit as we make our way through. Let’s get to it.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #21-30:

Horisont, Odyssey

horisont odyssey

Aside from earning immediate points by sticking the 10-minute title-track at the front of their 62-minute fourth album, Swedish mustache rockers Horisont add intrigue to Odyssey (out on Rise Above) via the acquisition of journeyman guitarist Tom Sutton (The Order of Israfel, ex-Church of Misery). Their mission? To rock ‘70s arena melodies and grandiose vibes while keeping the affair tight enough so they don’t come across as completely ridiculous in the process. They’ve had three records to get it together before this one, so that they’d succeed isn’t necessarily much of a surprise, but the album satisfies nonetheless, cuts like “Blind Leder Blind” departing the sci-fi thematics of the opener for circa-1975 vintage loyalism of a different stripe, while “Back on the Streets” is pure early Scorpions strut, the band having found their own niche within crisp execution of classic-sounding grooves that seem to have a vinyl hiss no matter their source.

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Rise Above Records

Blackwolfgoat & Larman Clamor, Straphanger / Drone Monger Split

blackwolfgoat larman clamor split

I’ll make no bones whatsoever about being partial to the work of both Blackwolfgoat – the solo experimental vehicle of Boston-based guitarist Darryl Shepard – and Larman Clamor – the solo-project of Hamburg-based graphic artist Alexander von Wieding – so to find them teamed up for a split 7” on H42 Records is something of a special thrill. Shepard’s inclusion, “Straphanger,” continues to push the thread between building layers of guitar on top of each other and songwriting that the last Blackwolfgoat full-length, Drone Maintenance (review here), found him exploring, while Larman Clamor’s “Drone Monger” is an alternate version from what appeared on last year’s Beetle Crown and Steel Wand (review here) and “Fo’ What You Did” digs deep into the swampy psych-blues that von Wieding has done so well developing for the last half-decade or so in the project’s tenure. My only complaint? No collaboration between the two sides. Would love to hear what Shepard and von Wieding could do in a cross-Atlantic two-piece.

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H42 Records

Matushka, II

matushka ii

II is the aptly-titled second full-length from Russian heavy psych instrumentalists Matushka, who jam kosmiche across its four component tracks and round out by diving headfirst into the acid with “Drezina,” a 20-minute pulsation from some distant dimension that gives sounds like Earthless if they made it up on the spot, peppering shred-ola leads with no shortage of effects swirl. In comparison, “As Bartenders and Bouncers Dance” feels positively plotted, but it, “The Acid Curl’s Dance” before and the especially dreamy “Meditation,” which follows, all have their spontaneous-sounding elements. For guitarist Timophey Goryashin, bassist Maxim Zhuravlev (who seems to since be out of the band) and drummer Konstantin Kotov to even sustain this kind of lysergic flow, they need to have a pretty solid chemistry underlying the material, and they do. I don’t know whether Matushka’s II will change the scope of heavy psychedelia, but they put their stamp on the established parameters here and bring an edge of individuality in moments of arrangement flourish — acoustics, synth, whatever it might be — where a lot of times that kind of thing is simply lost in favor of raw jamming.

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Tuna de Tierra, EPisode I: Pilot

tuna de tierra episode i pilot

If a pilot is used in television to test whether or not a show works, then Tuna de Tierra’s EPisode I: Pilot, would seem to indicate similar ends. A three-song first outing from the Napoli outfit, it coats itself well in languid heavy psychedelic vibing across “Red Sun” (the opener and longest track at 8:25; immediate points), “Ash” (7:28) and the particularly dreamy “El Paso de la Tortuga,” which closes out at 4:08 and leaves the listener wanting to hear more of what Alessio de Cicco (guitar/vocals) and Luciano Mirra (bass) might be able to concoct from their desert-style influences. There’s patience to be learned in some of their progressions, and presumably at some point they’ll need to pick up a drummer to replace Jonathan Maurano, who plays here and seems to since be out of the band, but especially as their initial point of contact with planet earth, EPisode I: Pilot proves immersive and a pleasure to get lost within, and that’s enough for the moment.

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MAKE, The Golden Veil

make the golden veil

Much of what one might read concerning North Carolinian trio MAKE and their second album, The Golden Veil, seems to go out of its way to point out the individual take they’re bringing to the established parameters of post-metal. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but part of that has to be sheer critical fatigue at the thought of another act coming along having anything in common with Isis while at the same time, not wanting to rag on MAKE as though their work were without value of its own, which at this point an Isis comparison dogwhistles. MAKE’s The Golden Veil successfully plays out an atmospherically intricate, engaging linear progression across its seven tracks, from the cut-short intro “I was Sitting Quietly, Peeling back My Skin” through the atmospheric sludge tumult of “The Absurdist” and into the patient post-rock melo-drone of “In the Final Moments, Uncoiling.” Yes, parts of it are familiar. Parts of a lot of things are familiar. Some of it sounds like Isis. That’s okay.

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SardoniS, III

sardonis iii

To an extent, the reputation of Belgium instru-crushers SardoniS precedes them, and as such I can’t help but listen to “The Coming of Khan,” which launches their third album, III (out via Consouling Sounds), and not be waiting for the explosion into tectonic riffing and massive-sounding gallop. Still the duo of drummer Jelle Stevens and guitarist Roel Paulussen, SardoniS offer up five tracks of sans-vocals, Surrounded by Thieves-style thrust, a cut like “Roaming the Valley” summarizing some of the best elements of what they’ve done across the span of splits with Eternal Elysium and Drums are for Parades, as well as their two prior full-lengths, 2012’s II and 2010’s SardoniS (review here), in its heft and its rush. A somewhat unanticipated turn arrives with 11:46 closer “Forward to the Abyss,” which though it still hits its standard marks, also boasts both lengthy atmospheric sections at the front and back and blastbeaten extremity between. Just when you think you know what to expect.

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Consouling Sounds

Lewis and the Strange Magics, Velvet Skin

lewis and the strange magics velvet skin

With their debut long-player, Barcelona trio Lewis and the Strange Magics answer the promise of their 2014 Demo (review here) in setting a late-‘60s vibe to modern cultish interpretation, post-Uncle Acid and post-Ghost (particularly so on “How to be You”) but no more indebted to one or the other than to themselves, which is as it should be. Issued via Soulseller Records, Velvet Skin isn’t afraid to dive into kitsch, and that winds up being a big part of the charm of songs like “Female Vampire” and “Golden Threads,” but it’s ultimately the chemistry of the organ-inclusive trio that makes the material hold up, as well as the swaggering rhythms of “Cloudy Grey Cube” and “Nina (Velvet Skin),” which is deceptively modern in its production despite such a vintage methodology. The guitar and keys on that semi-title-track seem to speak to a classic progressive edge burgeoning within Lewis and the Strange Magics’ approach, and I very much hope that’s a path they continue to walk.

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Soulseller Records

Moewn, Acqua Alta

moewn acqua alta

Basking in a style they call “oceanic rock,” newcomer German trio Moewn unveil their first full-length, Acqua Alta, via Pink Tank Records in swells of post-metallic undulations that wear their neo-progressive influences on their sleeve. Instrumental for the duration, the three-piece tracked the album in 2014 about a year after first getting together, but the six songs have a cohesive, thought-out feel to their peaks and valleys – “Packeis” perhaps most of all – that speaks to their purposeful overall progression. Atmospherically, it feels like Moewn are still searching for what they want to do with this sound, but they have an awful lot figured out up to this point, whether it’s the nodding wash of airy guitar and fluid heft of groove that seems to push “Dunkelmeer” along or second cut “Katamaran,” which if it weren’t for the liquefied themes of the art and their self-applied genre tag, I’d almost say sounded in its more spacious stretches like desert rock à la Yawning Man.

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El Hijo de la Aurora, The Enigma of Evil

el hijo de la aurora the enigma of evil

Since their first album, 2008’s Lemuria (review here), it has been increasingly difficult to pin Peruvian outfit El Hijo de la Aurora to one style or another. Drawing from doom, heavy rock, drone and psychedelic elements, they seem to push outward cosmically into something that’s all and none of them at the same time on their third album, The Enigma of Evil (released by Minotauro Records), the core member Joaquín Cuadra enlisting the help of a host of others in executing the seven deeply varied tracks, including Indrayudh Shome of continually underrated experimentalists Queen Elephantine on the acoustic-led “The Awakening of Kosmos” and the penultimate chug-droner “The Advent of Ahriman.” Half a decade after the release of their second album, Wicca (review here), in 2010, El Hijo de la Aurora’s work continues to feel expansive and ripe for misinterpretation, finding weight in atmosphere as much as tone and breadth enough to surprise with how claustrophobic it can at times seem.

El Hijo de la Aurora’s website

Minotauro Records

Hawk vs. Dove, Divided States

hawk vs dove divided states

Dallas outfit Hawk vs. Dove recorded Divided States in the same studio as their self-titled 2013 debut (review here) and the two albums both have black and white line-drawn artwork from Larry Carey, so it seems only fitting to think of the new release as a follow-up to the first. It is fittingly expansive, culling together elements of ‘90s noise, post-grunge indie (ever wondered what Weezer would sound like heavy? Check “X”), black metal (“Burning and Crashing”), desert rock (“PGP”) and who the hell knows what else into a mesh of styles that not only holds up but feels progressed from the first time out and caps with an 11-minute title-track that does even more to draw the various styles together into a cohesive, singular whole. All told, Divided States is 38 minutes of blinding turns expertly handled and impressive scope trod over as though it ain’t no thing, just another day at the office. It’s the kind of record that’s so good at what it does that other bands should hear it and be annoyed.

Hawk vs. Dove on Thee Facebooks

Hawk vs. Dove on Bandcamp

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Horisont Announce New Album Odyssey Due Sept. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

horisont-Photo-by-Anders-Bergstedt

Preceded by the 2014 single “Break the Limit,” the video for which you can see below, the fourth full-length from Swedish trad heavy rockers Horisont is titled Odyssey and it will be out on Sept. 18 via Rise Above Records. That single will also be on the album, the details and righteous artwork for which have just been unveiled. It’s their first record with guitarist Tom Sutton (The Order of Israfel, ex-Church of Misery) in the lineup, so there’s an added level of intrigue there, but at this point the band are pretty reliable for an exciting meld of classic rock and metal, so if Odyssey is business as usual for them, that’s just fine.

One thing I found particularly interesting in the PR wire info below is when drummer Pontus Jordan mentions that the artwork tells the story of the album. I’d be very interested to know what that story is, given the following:

horisont odyssey

HORISONT to Release Odyssey September 18th on Rise Above Records

Artwork and Track Listing Revealed

Big of moustache and tight of trouser, HORISONT drink from the bottomless wellspring of inspiration that’s been bubbling up through the layers of time since the birth of the blues – or Blue Oyster Cult at the very least. Theirs is a sound that harks back to the dawn of the 70s, when a new clutch of heads decided it was time to harsh the 60s hippies’ mellow and paint it black; those years when the twin spirit of hard rock and prog rose to redefine sound.

This quintet’s rock trip might be retro but their songwriting is timeless; a good melody lives forever and HORISONT have songs in abundance. New album Odyssey is exactly as its title suggests: an epic journey into the known. A sonic trip. A mighty voyage of sound. You could even call their fourth full release a concept album – although they themselves prefer “space saga”. Either way it’s a brave band who open their album with a ten minute-long track, yet on the album’s title track HORISONT dive straight into the deep end, delivering space-rock with all the dexterity and deftness of the very best prog rock’s finest, such as early Yes or Kansas.

Odyssey was recorded in Studio Kust in Gothenburg with producer by Henrik Magnusson. It was, the band explain their most harmonious creative period ever.”No HORISONT recording session has ever been this good,” admits Delborg. “We had worked with Henrik on our ‘Break The Limit’ single and knew that he was our guy. All the basics where recorded live in just a couple of days. Then we spent a lot of time on the intricate details.”

The artwork for Odyssey harks back to both classic sci-fi paperbacks and prime prog rock albums of the 70s. “We wanted a slightly disturbed, Asimov-esque science fiction cover that told the story of Odyssey,” says drummer Pontus Jordan. “Tom knew this guy who was really in to old science fiction stuff and he had done the cover for The Order Of Israfel. So we meet the guy and it was the one and only Henrik Jacobsen. And he really nailed it.”

Formed in 2006, HORISONT have spent close to a decade kicking ass, taking names and establishing themselves at the forefront of the Scandinavian retro rock revival (see also Witchcraft, Graveyard etc), injecting their sound with early-Status Quo-styled boogie blues, prog complexities, NWOBHM swagger and fire-spitting choruses set to scorch the eyebrows of the first ten rows. This is music made without irony, unafraid to acknowledge an allegiance to past greats such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cactus, Thin Lizzy, the aforementioned Yes andJudas Priest.

Their first two albums Tva Sidor Av Horisonten(2009) and Second Assault (2012) earned HORISONT a special place in the rock underground, while Time Warriors (2013) was a no-holds barred demonstration of classic rock and metal combined with a fearlessly inventive streak, and took them to a wider international audience. And now comes Odyssey, a bold leap into more expansive and ethereal musical territory. It’s the band’s first to feature native Australian and former Church Of Misery guitarist Tom Sutton.

The new line-up change sees a definite gear-shift too. Here HORISONT play as if their lives depend upon it: duelling guitars do battle in a endlessly thrilling interplay over a rhythm section that gallops like wild horses across the frozen tundra. And cutting through the middle, Axel Söderberg’s howling heartfelt vocals delivered with a space-age sense of soulfulness.

Strap in, sit back and let the Odyssey begin….

Odyssey Track Listing:
1. Odyssey
2. Break The Limit
3. Blind Leder Blind
4. Bad News
5. Light My Way
6. The Night Stalker
7. Flying
8. Back On The Streets
9. Beyond The Sun
10. Red Light
11. StÑder Brinner
12. Timmarna

HORISONT Lineup:
Axel Söderberg – vocals
Charlie Van Loo – guitar
Tom Sutton – guitar
Magnus Delborg – bass
Pontus Jordan – drums

For More Info Visit:
http://www.horisontmusic.com/the-band/
https://www.facebook.com/horisontmusic

Horisont, “Break the Limit” official video

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Odyssey Post Video for New Single “Oncoming Fire”; Tour Next Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 19th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Hellsingborg’s Odyssey released their debut album, Abysmal Despair, in 2012 on Transubstans. On the strength of the new single, “Oncoming Fire,” the Swedish three-piece will hit the road late next month for a handful of dates that will take them through Poland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. They’ve got a new video for the resoundingly aggressive single, which seems to have more in common with Unsane than most of the fuzz that generally typifies Swedish heavy. Takes all kinds and then some.

You might recall Odyssey were featured alongside Black Pyramid on a limited split. No word on what form if any a physical release for “Oncoming Fire” might take, but the track is available for free download through Odyssey‘s Soundcloud. Here’s the video, followed by a poster with the tour dates. Enjoy:

Odyssey, “Oncoming Fire” Official Video

Odyssey European Tour Dates

Click the poster to enlarge.

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Reviewsplosion II: The Return of 10 Records in One Post

Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

I am constantly working at a deficit. Financially, yes, because like many of my countrymen I’m am tens of thousands of dollars in debt — but also in terms of reviews. I’malwaysbehind on reviews. Hell, it was into July of this year before I finally put the kybosh on writing up anything from 2011, and I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t put my foot down on it, I’d still have year-old albums going up or older. My to-do list grows like a witchcult.

It’s not something to complain about and I’m not complaining. I’m stoked people give enough of a shit to send their CDs in to be reviewed — especially those who actually send CDs — and it’s for that reason that I do this second reviewsplosion (first one here).

Yeah, as ever, I’m behind on reviews, but I’m also working on being more concise — I swear I am; check out the At a Glance reviews if you don’t believe me — and one of the things I liked so much about the last reviewsplosion was it forced me to get to the fucking point. As direct a line as possible to a review. Boiling the idea down to its essential core.

With that in mind, here’s my attempt to both balance my review budget and be as clear as humanly possible. Hope you dig:

 

Altar of Oblivion, Grand Gesture of Defiance

The subject of some spirited debate on the forum, the second record from Danish five-piece Altar of Oblivion revels in traditional doom methods. There’s an air of pomp in some of the songs — “Graveyard of Broken Dreams” lays it on a little thick — but by and large, Grand Gesture of Defiance (Shadow Kingdom) is a more than solid showing of genre. Classic underground metal flourishes abound, and while it’s not a record to change your life, at six tracks/34 minutes, neither does it hang around long enough to be overly repetitive. You could do way worse. Altar of Oblivion on Thee Facebooks.

 

Blooming Látigo, Esfínteres y Faquires

Primarily? Weird. The Spanish outfiit Blooming Látigo make their debut on Féretro Records (CD) and Trips und Träume (LP) with the all-the-fuck-over-the-place Esfínteres y Faquires, alternately grinding out post-hardcore and reciting Birthday Party-style poetry. They reach pretty hard to get to “experimental,” maybe harder than they need to, but the on-a-dime stops and high-pitched screams on tracks like “Onania” and “Prisciliano” are well beyond fascinating, and the blown-out ending of “La Destrucción del Aura” is fittingly apocalyptic. Who gave the art-school kids tube amps? Blooming Látigo on Bandcamp.

 

El-Thule, Zenit

Five years since their second offering, Green Magic, left such a strong impression, Italian stoner rock trio El-Thule return with Zenit (Go Down Records), which makes up for lost time with 50 minutes of heavy riffs, fuzzy desert grooves and sharp, progressive rhythms. The band — El Comandante (bass), Mr. Action (guitar/vocals) and Gweedo Weedo (drums/vocals) — may have taken their time in getting it together, but there’s little about Zenit that lags, be it the faster, thrashier “Nemesis” or thicker, Torche-esque melodic push of the highlight “Quaoar.” It’s raw, production-wise, but I hope it’s not another half-decade before El-Thule follow it up. El-Thule on Thee Facebooks.

 

Botanist, III: Doom in Bloom

It’s a nature-worshiping post-black metal exploration of what the History Channel has given the catchy title “life after people.” If you’ve ever wondered what blastbeats might sound like on a dulcimer, Botanist‘s third album, III: Doom in Bloom has the answers you seek, caking its purported hatred of human kind in such creative instrumentation and lyrics reverent of the natural world rather than explicitly misanthropic. The CD (on Total Rust) comes packaged with a second disc called Allies, featuring the likes of Lotus Thief and Matrushka and giving the whole release a manifesto-type feel, which suits it well. Vehemently creative, it inadvertently taps into some of the best aspects of our species. Botanist’s website.

 

GravelRoad, Psychedelta

Say what you will about whiteboys and the blues, the bass tone that starts “Nobody Get Me Down” is unfuckwithable. And Seattle trio GravelRoad come by it pretty honestly, having served for years as the backing back for bluesman T-Model Ford. The album Psychedelta (on Knick Knack Records) jams out on its start-stop fuzz in a way that reminds not so much of Clutch but of the soul and funk records that inspired Clutch in the first place, and though it never gets quite as frenetic in its energy as Radio Moscow, there’s some of that same vibe persisting through “Keep on Movin'” or their Junior Kimbrough cover “Leave Her Alone.” Throaty vocals sound like a put-on, but if they can nail down that balance, GravelRoad‘s psychedelic blues has some real potential in its open spaces. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks.

 

The Linus Pauling Quartet, Bag of Hammers

Texas toast. The Linus Pauling Quartet offer crisp sunbursts of psychedelic heavy rock, and after nearly 20 years and eight full-lengths, that shouldn’t exactly be as much of a surprise as it is. Nonetheless, Bag of Hammers (Homeskool Records) proffers a 41-minute collection of heady ’90s-loving-the-’70s tones while venturing into classic space rock on “Victory Gin” and ballsy riffing on “Saving Throw.” Being my first experience with the band, the album is a refreshing listen and unpretentious to its very core. Eight-minute culminating jam “Stonebringer” is as engaging a display of American stoner rock as I’ve heard this year, and I have to wonder why it took eight records before I finally heard this five-man quartet? Hits like its title. LP4’s website.

 

Odyssey, Abysmal Despair


It’s the damnedest thing, but listening to Abysmal Despair, the Transubstans Records debut from Swedish prog sludge/noise rockers Odyssey, I can’t help but think of Long Island’s own John Wilkes Booth. It’s the vocals, and I know that’s a really specific association most people aren’t going to have, but I do, and I can’t quite get past it. The album is varied, progressive, and working in a variety of modern underground heavy contexts nowhere near as foreboding as the album’s title might imply, like Truckfighters meets Entombed, but I just keep hearing JWB‘sKerry Merkle through his megaphone. Note: that’s not a bad thing, just oddly indicative of the greater sphere of worldwide sonic coincidence in which we all exist. If anything, that just makes me like Abysmal Despair more. Odyssey on Soundcloud.

 

Palkoski, 2012 Demo

Conceptual Virginian free-formers Palkoski released the three-track/67-minute 2012 demo earlier this year through Heavy Hound. Most of it sounds improvised, but for verses here and there that emerge from the various stretches, and the band’s alternately grinding and sparse soundscapery results in an unsettling mash of psychotic extremity. It is, at times, painful to listen, but like some lost tribal recording, it’s also utterly free. Limited to 100 CDs with a second track called “The Shittiest  EP Ever” and a third that’s a sampling of Palkoski‘s ultra-abrasive noise experimentation live, this one is easily not for the faint of heart. Still, there’s something alluring in the challenge it poses. Palkoski at Heavy Hound.

 

Radar Men from the Moon, Echo Forever

Following their charming 2011 EP, Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones, the Eindhoven instrumental trio Radar Men from the Moon (On the Radar’ed here) return on the relative quick with a 51-minute full-length, Echo Forever. More progressive in its jams, the album’s psychedelic sprawl shows the band developing — I hesitate to compare them to 35007 just because they happen to be Dutch, but the running bassline that underscores “Atomic Mother” is a tempter — but there’s still an immediacy behind their changes that keeps them from really belonging to the laid-back sphere of European jam-minded heavy psychedelia. They’re getting warmer though, stylistically and tonally, and I like that. Interesting to hear a song like “Heading for the Void” and think Sungrazer might be burgeoning as an influence. Cool jams for the converted. Radar Men from the Moon on Bandcamp.

 

Sound of Ground, Sky Colored Green

There are elements of of Yawning Man, or Unida or other acts in the Californian desert milieu, but basically, Moscow’s Sound of Ground sound like Kyuss. They know it. Their R.A.I.G. debut full-length, Sky Colored Green, makes no attempt to hide it, whether it’s the “Green Machine” riffing of “Lips of the Ocean” or the speedier Slo-Burnery of “El Caco,” though the metallic screaming on “R.H.S.” is a dead giveaway for the band’s youth, coming off more like early Down than anything Josh Homme ever plugged in to play. While not necessarily original, the trio are firm in their convictions, and Sound of Ground tear through these 11 tracks with engaging abandon. The Russian scene continues to intrigue. Sound of Ground on Thee Facebooks.

Thanks for reading.

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