Bible Black Tyrant Premiere “Valorous”; Announce New Album Encased in Iron

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bible black tyrant

Like their 2018 debut, Regret Beyond Death, Bible Black Tyrant‘s second album, the forthcoming Encased in Iron is a lesson in the sense of claustrophobia that post-metal can evoke when taken to a crushing extreme. Due out almost exactly two years to the day (just off by 12 days) from the issuance of its predecessor, on Feb. 28, 2020, through Argonauta Records, the Portland, Oregon, two-piece’s sophomore offering brings together five tracks of inhuman(e) punishment at the behest of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Aaron D.C. Edge, whose history in sundry acts is documented enough around these parts that I don’t feel like I need to rattle off the list of bands he’s been in — a small sampling is in the PR wire info below anyhow — but Bible Black Tyrant are distinguished through the sheer intensity of the material and the atmospherics conjured. It is an intense presence brought to bear by Edge and drummer Tyler Smith (also of Eagle Twin), and all the more focused the second time around.

The fact that there even is a second album should tell you something, as generally Aaron Edge goes through bands the way most bands go through records, but one way or the other, Bible Black Tyrant‘s continuance has resulted in an all-the-more devastating aural havoc. It’s too methodical to call chaotic, but the churning intensity is undeniable, as the premiering track “Valorous” at the bottom of this post readily demonstrates. The word “tortured” gets thrown around a lot when it comes to heavy music. This or that sounds “tortured,” or “agonized,” etc. It’s a cliché of which I’m certainly guilty as well — I’m tortured about it, rest assured — but listening to Encased in Iron and then reading Edge‘s comments on the record (also below) wherein he says, “we are mistreated and then forgotten; that is the human experience,” the usage only seems to be appropriate. This record is fucking tortured. It is agonizing. It is brutal. I don’t think you could hear a song like “Panic Inducer” or even the drone-laced finale “Sickening Thrum” and say otherwise.

It’s a quick listen at 25 minutes, but don’t expect much by way of mercy in that time.

Here’s info and audio and links:

Bible Black Tyrant Encased in Iron

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT (feat. Lumbar’s Aaron Edge & Tyler Smith of Eagle Twin) Reveal Album Details And Unleash First Single Of Sophomore Record!

Encased in Iron due out in February 2020 on Argonauta Records!

Their sound pummels, you feel it in your guts. It disturbs your mind but gives you the chills to the same time. It’s the apocalypse and pure perfection of all that is heavy: Noise Doom duo BIBLE BLACK TYRANT, featuring masterminds Aaron D.C. Edge and Tyler Smith – renowned members of bands such as Eagle Twin, Lumbar, Ramprasad, Form of Rocket, Minor Fret, Canyon of the Crescent Moon and Hellvetika – returns with their sophomore album, Encased in Iron, on February 28th 2020 with Argonauta Records! Following their highly acclaimed, 2018-debut album, Regret Beyond Death, today the heavy music veterans have revealed the hotly anticipated details of their second, full-length album, and unleashed a first single!

“‘Encased in Iron’, Bible Black Tyrant’s second release, focuses on the torture that is human existence.” Aaron Edge comments. “A black curse, whispered perverse by loved ones that spit on us. Tasting bile, and the salt of our own tears in this vault. Savoring our own severed tongues. Trying to utter sounds while boiling. Do you know how you taste while trapped and locked in a box? As the steel heats, bravery is replaced with fear. Life in the iron cage, with little air to breathe, starving. We are mistreated and then forgotten; that is the human experience.”

Encased in Iron Tracklisting:
1. A Snowflake of Death’s Denial
2. Valorous
3. Panic Inducer
4. Infinite Stages of Grief
5. Sickening Thrum

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT’s upcoming album was recorded by Aaron Edge at Myelin Studio, while the drums were documented and mixed by Andy Patterson at The Boar’s Nest. With a final mix and mastering by Eric Leavell at Husk Recording, the pre-sale for Encased in Iron – available on LP, CD and Digital formats February 28th 2020 – has just begun via the Argonauta Records store at THIS LOCATION. Highly recommended for fans of Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Cursed, Indian, Keelhaul, and Cavity!

BIBLE BLACK TYRANT is:
Aaron D.C. Edge: Guitar / Bass / Cello / Midi / Vocals
Tyler Smith: Drums

Bible Black Tyrant, “Valorous” official track premiere

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Argonauta Records website

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Quarterly Review: Total Fucking Destruction, Hippie Death Cult, The Cosmic Dead, Greenthumb, Elepharmers, Nothing is Real, Warish, Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Those Furious Flames, Mantra Machine

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’d like to find the jerk who decided that the week I fly to Norway was a good time for the Quarterly Review. That, obviously, was a tactical error on my part. Nonetheless, we press on with day four, which I post from Oslo on CET. Whatever time zone you may find yourself in this Thursday, I hope you have managed to find something so far in this onslaught of whatnot to sink your chompers into. That’s ultimately, why we’re here. Also because there are so many folders with albums in them on my desktop that I can’t stand it anymore. Happens about every three months.

But anyhoozle, we press on with Day Four of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review, dutiful and diligent and a couple other words that start with ‘d.’ Mixed bag stylistically this time — trying to throw myself off a bit — so should be fun. Let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Total Fucking Destruction, #USA4TFD

Total Fucking Destruction USA4TFD

Who the hell am I to be writing about a band like Total Fucking Destruction? I don’t know. Who the hell am I to be writing about anything. Fuck you. As the Rich Hoak (Brutal Truth)-led Philly natives grind their way through 23 tracks in a 27-minute barrage of deceptively thoughtful sonic extremity, they efficiently chronicle the confusion, tumult and disaffection of our age both in their maddening energy and in the poetry — yeah, I said it — of their lyrics. To it, from “Is Your Love a Rainbow”: “Are you growing? Is everything okay? Are you growing in the garden of I don’t know?” Lines like this are hardly decipherable without a lyric sheet, of course, but still, they’re there for those ready to look beyond the surface assault of the material, though, frankly, that assault alone would be enough to carry the band — Hoak on drums/vocals, Dan O’Hare on guitar/vocals and Ryan Moll on bass/vocals — along their willfully destructive course. For their fourth LP in 20 years — most of that time given to splits and shorter releases, as one might expect — Total Fucking Destruction make their case for an end of the world that, frankly, can’t get here fast enough.

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Give Praise Records website

 

Hippie Death Cult, 111

Hippie-Death-Cult-111

Issued first by the band digitally and on CD and then by Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl, 111 is the impressively toned debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Hippie Death Cult, who cull together heavy rock and post-grunge riffing with flourish of organ and a densely-weighted groove that serves as an overarching and uniting factor throughout. With the bluesy, classic feeling vocals of Ben Jackson cutting through the wall of fuzz from Eddie Brnabic‘s guitar and Laura Phillips‘ bass set to roll by Ryan Moore‘s drumming, there’s never any doubt as to where Hippie Death Cult are coming from throughout the seven-track/42-minute offering, but longer, side-ending pieces “Unborn” (8:24) and “Black Snake” (9:06) touch respectively on psychedelia and heavy blues in a way that emphasizes the subtle turns that have been happening all along, not just in shifts like the acoustic “Mrtyu,” but in the pastoral bridge and ensuing sweep of “Pigs” as well. “Sanctimonious” and “Breeder’s Curse” provide even ground at the outset, and from there, Hippie Death Cult only grow richer in sound along their way.

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Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

 

The Cosmic Dead, Scottish Space Race

The Cosmic Dead Scottish Space Race

Heavyweight Glaswegian space jammers The Cosmic Dead present four massive slabs of lysergic intensity with their eighth long-player, Scottish Space Race (on Riot Season Records), working quickly to pull the listener into their gravity well and holding them there for the 2LP’s 75-minute duration. As hypnotic as it is challenging, the initial churn that emerges in the aptly-named 20-minute opener “Portal” clenches the stomach brutally, and it’s not until after about 12 minutes that the band finally lets it loose. “Ursa Major,” somewhat thankfully, is more serene, but still carries a sense of movement and build in its second half, while the 12-minute title-track is noisier and has the surprising inclusion of vocals from the generally instrumental outfit. They cap with the 24-minute kosmiche throb of “The Grizzard,” and there are vocals there too, but they’re too obscured to be really discernible in any meaningful way, and of course the end of the record itself is a huge wash of fuckall noise. Eight records deep, The Cosmic Dead know what they’re doing in this regard, and they do it among the best of anyone out there.

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Riot Season Records website

 

Greenthumb, There are More Things

greenthumb there are more things

With just three tracks across a 20-minute span, There are More Things (on Acid Cosmonaut) feels like not much more than a sampler of things to come from Italian post-sludgers Greenthumb, who take their name from a Bongzilla track they also covered on their 2018 debut EP, West. The three-songer feels like a decided step forward from that offering, and though they maintain their screamier side well enough, they might be on the verge of needing a new name, as the rawness conveyed by the current moniker hardly does justice to the echoing atmospherics the band in their current incarnation bring. Launching with the two seven-minute cuts “The Field” and “Ogigia’s Tree,” they unfurl a breadth of roll so as to ensnare the listener, and though “The Black Court” is shorter at 5:37 and a bit more straight-ahead in its structure, it still holds to the ambient sensibility of its surroundings well, the band obviously doing likewise in transposing a natural feel into their sound born of landscape real or imagined.

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Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

 

Elepharmers, Lords of Galaxia

Elepharmers Lords Of Galaxia Artwork

Riffy Sardinians Elepharmers set themselves to roll with “Ancient Astronauts” and do not stop from there on Lords of Galaxia, their third LP and debut through Electric Valley Records. There are some details of arrangement between the guitars of El Chino (also bass, vocals and harmonica) and Andrea “Fox” Cadeddu and the drums of Maurizio Mura, but as Marduk heralds his age on second cut “Ziqqurat,” the central uniting factor is g-r-o-o-v-e, and Elepharmers have it down through “The Flood” and into side B’s classic stoner rocking “Foundation” and the driving “The Mule,” which shifts into laser-effects ahead of the fade that brings in closer “Stars Like Dust” for the last 10 minutes of the 47-minute offering. And yes, there’s some psychedelia there, but Elepharmers stay pretty clearheaded on the whole in such a way as to highlight the sci-fi theme that seems to draw the songs together as much as the riffage. More focus on narrative can only help bring that out more, but I’m not sure I’d want that at the expense of the basic songwriting, which isn’t at all broken and thus requires no fixing.

Elepharmers on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nothing is Real, Only the Wicked are Pure

nothing is real only the wicked are pure

How do you recognize true misanthropy when you come across it? It doesn’t wear a special kind of facepaint, though it can. It doesn’t announce itself as such. It is a frame. Something genuinely antisocial and perhaps even hateful is a worldview. It’s not raise-a-claw-in-the-woods. It’s he-was-a-quiet-loner. And so, coming across the debut album from Los Angeles experimentalist doom outfit, one gets that lurking, creeping feeling of danger even though the music itself isn’t overly abrasive. But across the 2CD debut album, a sprawl of darkened, viciously un-produced fare that seems to be built around programmed drums at the behest of Craig Osbourne — who may or may not be the only person in the band and isn’t willing to say otherwise — plays out over the course of more than two hours like a manifesto found after the fact. Imagine chapters called “Hope is Weakness,” “Fingered by the Hand of God,” and “Uplift the Worthy (Destroy the Weak).” The last of those appears on both discs — as do several of the songs in different incarnations — as the track marries acoustic and eventual harder-edged guitar around murderous themes, sounding something like Godflesh might have if they’d pursued a darker path. Scary.

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Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Warish, Down in Flames

warish down in flames

The fact that Warish are blasting hard punk through heavy blowout tones isn’t what everyone wants to talk about when it comes to the band. They want to talk about the fact that it’s Riley Hawk — of royal stock, as regards pro skateboarding — fronting the band. Well, that’s probably good for a built-in social media following — name recognition never hurts, and I don’t see a need to pretend otherwise — but it doesn’t do shit for the album itself. What matters about the album is that bit about the blasting blowout. With Down in Flames (on RidingEasy), the Oceanside three-piece follow-up their earlier-2019 debut EP with 11 tracks that touch on horror punk with “Bones” and imagine grunge-unhinged with “Fight” and “You’ll Abide,” but are essentially a display of tonal fuckall presented not to add to a brand, but to add the soundtrack to somebody’s blackout. It’s a good time and the drunkest, gnarliest, most-possibly-shirtless dude in the room is having it. Also he probably smells. And he just hugged you. Down in Flames gets high with that dude. That matters more than who anyone’s dad is.

Warish on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Mourn the Light & Oxblood Forge, Split

It’s a double-dose of New England doom as Connecticut’s Mourn the Light and Boston’s Oxblood Forge pair up for a split release. The former bring more material than the latter, particularly when one counts the digital-only bonus cover of Candlemass‘ “Bewitched,” but with both groups, it’s a case of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Both groups share a clear affinity for classic metal — and yes, that absolutely extends to the piano-led drama of Mourn the Light‘s mournful “Carry the Flame” — but Oxblood Forge‘s take thereupon is rougher edged, harder in its tone and meaner in the output. Their “Screams From Silence” feels like something from a dubbed-and-mailed tape circa ’92. Mourn the Light’s “Drags Me Down” is cleaner-sounding, but no less weighted. I don’t think either band is out to change the world, or even to change doom, but they’re doing what they’re doing well and without even an ounce of pretense — well, maybe a little bit in that piano track; but it’s very metal pretense — and clearly from the heart. That might be the most classic-metal aspect of all.


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Oxblood Forge on Thee Facebooks

 

Those Furious Flames, HeartH

those furious flames hearth

Swiss heavy rockers Those Furious Flames push the boundaries of psychedelia, but ultimately remain coherent in their approach. Likewise, they very, very obviously are into some classic heavy rock and roll, but their take on it is nothing if not modern. And more, they thrive in these contradictions and don’t at all sound like their songs are in conflict with themselves. I guess that’s the kind of thing one can pull off after 15 years together on a fifth full-length, which HeartH (on Vincebus Eruptum) is for them. Perhaps it’s the fact that they let the energy of pieces like “VooDoo” and the boogie-laced “HPPD” carry them rather than try to carry it, but either way, it’s clearly about the songs first, and it works. With added flash of organ amid the full-sounding riffs, Those Furious Flames round out with the spacey “Visions” and earn every bit of the drift therein with a still-resonant vocal harmony. You might not get it all the first time, but listening twice won’t be at all painful.

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Vincebus Eruptum Recordings BigCartel store

 

Mantra Machine, Heliosphere

mantra machine heliosphere

This is what it’s all about. Four longer-form instrumentalist heavy psych jams that are warm in tone and want nothing so much as to go out wandering and see what they can find. Through “Hydrogen,” “Atmos,” “Delta-V” and “Heliosphere,” Amsterdam-based three-piece Mantra Machine want nothing for gig-style vitality, but their purpose isn’t so much to electrify as to find that perfect moment of chill and let it go, see where it ends up, and they get there to be sure. Warm guitar and bass tones call to mind something that might’ve come out of the Netherlands at the start of this decade, when bands like Sungrazer and The Machine were unfolding such fluidity as seemed to herald a new generation of heavy psychedelia across Europe. That generation took a different shape — several different shapes, in the end — but Mantra Machine‘s Heliosphere makes it easy to remember what was so exciting about that in the first place. Total immersion. Total sense of welcoming. Totally human presence without speaking a word. So much vibe. So much right on.

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Mantra Machine on Bandcamp

 

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Blackwater Holylight, Veils of Winter: Moonlit Daylight

Posted in Reviews on September 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

blackwater holylight veils of winter

About a year and a half ago, Portland, Oregon’s Blackwater Holylight released their RidingEasy Records-delivered self-titled debut (review here), and thereby immediately brought new character to Pacific Coast psychedelia, something distinct from Caliboogie and Douglas-fir meditations, yet drawing from those and a host of other sonic micropockets for a drifting take on what might otherwise just simply be a classic garage style. On the band’s quick-turnaround follow-up, Veils of Winter (also RidingEasy), it isn’t “just” or “simply” anything in terms of aesthetic, as the five-piece of bassist/vocalist Allison “Sunny” Faris, guitarist/vocalist Laura Hopkins, synthesist Sarah McKenna, guitarist Mikayla Mayhew and drummer Eliese Dorsay ignite a swath of heavy pulsations and drifting progressions, showcasing a patience for craft on cuts like “Daylight” that leaves one scratching their head at how it’s only been a year(-plus) since the first record.

Their dynamic, range and confidence in vocal harmonies have all progressed to a marked degree, and even with the new personnel involved, Veils of Winter feels very much like a moment in which Blackwater Holylight are becoming the band Farris set out to be in when she started the project. That includes setting a broader scope between the lumbering buzz of opener “Seeping Secrets” and the almost-surf bounce of the subsequent “Motorcycle,” which in its back half manages to offer some of Veils of Winter‘s heaviest bass, feeling all the more weighted for the ethereal line of synth floating overtop.

That’s to say nothing of the later soundscaping triumph of the penultimate “Lullaby” — okay, so maybe there’s some Cascadian forest worship happening after all as the title-line of the album is delivered — but one way or the other, what’s happening across the eight-track/40-minute offering is that Blackwater Holylight are harnessing their influences and stepping out in front of them in righteous fashion, whether that’s the foreboding, nigh-on-doomly plod of “The Protector” or the brighter, folk-infused melodies of closer “Moonlit.” Through hypnotic rhythm and engaging harmonies, Veils of Winter establishes Blackwater Holylight among the more essential US-based heavy psych purveyors, both accomplished in the work they’ve done to-date across their two LPs and still rife with potential.

As a whole, Veils of Winter is nothing less than a clinic in molten heavy psychedelia. It has an overarching flow that, if you’re not careful, is consuming to the point of losing oneself in the drift. Whether it’s Farris‘ languid vocal delivery or the depth and warmth of the tones surrounding — or, most often, both — Blackwater Holylight unite their songs through this natural presentation such that even a relatively straightforward rocker like the three-and-a-half-minute “Spiders” on side A, with a quieter verse and a takeoff in the chorus and a Halloween-style spooky riff that I’ll call fun and mean it 100 percent as a compliment, has a sense of presence both within itself and in the context of the surrounding material. Seemingly set up with vinyl in mind, Veils of Winter ends its initial salvo with “Spiders” following the yes-yes-yes rumble at the outset of “Seeping Secrets” and the likewise fluid groove of “Motorcycle,” both of which prove deceptively heavy for having so much of a sleepy mood.

blackwater holylight

The same could be said of what follows, but the direction taken shifts some with “The Protector,” and that serves as a transition to side B’s generally longer-form, more open-feeling pieces. The ending of “The Protector” is especially crucial, as the song seems to come apart even as it’s in the midst of riding out its last nod, leaving a stretch of silence — the vinyl flip if you’re listening to the 12″ — before the standalone guitar of “Daylight” takes hold. That moment of silence helps to convey the sense of going from one place to another, which, within the sphere of the album’s entirety, is essentially what has happened between the two tracks. “Daylight” is slower to take hold, more patient in its build, but resoundingly tense in its prominent keys and darker tonal undercurrent; affecting the sound of a gathering storm while remaining minimally theatrical in terms of the outward delivery. This as well is no minor feat.

More over, it is the lead-in to side B’s purposefully broader range. Think of it this way: side A has one song over five minutes long (“The Protector”), side B has one song under. And that track is “Death Realms,” at 4:43, which follows “Daylight” and answers its consuming morass with a revived sense of movement that nonetheless remains ethereal in its later wash of keys and guitar and a melody and vocal patterning that seems to swap out grunge for dark new wave in effective fashion as Blackwater Holylight toy with the new conventions of genre. What follows in “Lullaby” and “Moonlit” is simply some of the most beautiful psychedelic rock I’ve heard in 2019, encompassing in sprawl but still intimate feeling thanks to moments like the standout guitar line right after the vocal line at 3:33 into “Lullaby” or the sweet and winding keyboard line harnessing classic acid-folk past the halfway point in “Moonlit,” just when that song seems to be moving into the build that finds payoff in a forward guitar solo to come at about the 5:30 mark and the return to the central riff with added crash that caps off.

Veils of Winter, even in its most relatively earthbound moments on side A — and that’s some serious relativity there — is full of these nuances and details, flourishes of arrangement that are more than simple indulgences for what they do in serving and enriching the lush front-to-back listening experience. Blackwater Holylight made it clear with their first record that they were bringing to life a specific aesthetic idea, and Veils of Winter answers that with a more complex manifestation that feels even closer to an initial vision hinted at by its predecessor. At the same time, it is unquestionably a forward step in terms of songwriting and performance, and shows the dynamic the five-piece have been able to harness on tour over the last year. Given the work they’ve done here, it feels greedy to hope they keep pushing themselves in this direction, but I do anyway. It’s hard not to with a band making records this exciting.

Tune in, switch on. Recommended.

Blackwater Holylight, Veils of Winter (2019)

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Ramprasad Premiere “Westing, Pt. II”; Tsuris out Oct. 11

Posted in audiObelisk on September 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ramprasad

Having in the interim built a full four-piece lineup, Portland, Oregon’s Ramprasad will release the follow-up to their 2018 debut EP, Ruinenlust (review here), on Oct. 11 through Anima Recordings. The album is titled Tsuris and comprises 11 tracks/46 minutes of densely atmospheric instrumental post-metal, marked by its overarching sense of moodiness and a rumble that extends through the bass and guitar as both seem to follow the same chugging path forward. At the same time, drone-based interlude pieces “Bereaved,” “Black Pond” and “Repellent Whisper” provide a respite from the surrounding crush, and shorter-but-still-plenty-heavy cuts like “Cloud Hauler,” “Controlling Tides” and “Westing, Pt. I” add character while bolstering both the sense of immersion and the variety of the offering as a whole. Yes, Ramprasad are heavy, but they’re not just one kind of heavy, as even the meat of opener “Splintered Helve” or “Baric” or the nine-minute “Dimming a Lit Path” or the closing duo of “Westing, Pt. II” and “Dust Burner” demonstrate plainly while offering some of Tsuris‘ most vicious moments.

The full breadth might — perhaps unsurprisingly — be most on display in “Dimming a Lit Path,” in addition to being the longest inclusion on Tsuris takes a more directly ambient-sludge approach to setting its brooding vibe, though one might say the same of “Baric” earlier on. Both seem to draw from the mid-aughts-Earth-via-Neurosis pantheon of execution, and while I wouldn’t call them as patient as the former or as tense as the latter, the atmosphere conjured by David Fylstra and Aaron D.C. Edge — who recorded these tracks before Peter Layman and Pierre Carbuccia joined the band — is nonetheless reminiscent in its landscape-evocative manifestations, though I suppose the landscape is less prairie sprawl or post-apocalyptic wasteland than it is a ghost forest. Either way, it comes through vividly in the sparse guitar of “Repellent Whisper” and the build that follows at the outset of “Dimming a Lit Path,” which feel like a journey apart from the angularity at the start of Tsuris with the stops and mutes of “Splintered Helve” amid a still-rolling overarching nod.

They make it go, and they make it go where they want to, but Ramprasad don’t ever seem to set Tsuris wandering for its own sake. There’s atmospheric intention even to the quietest reaches throughout, as Edge and Fylstra lead out of the strumming finish of “Baric” and through “Black Pond” en route to the pummel’s resuming in “Controlling Tides.” There are moments where it’s easy enough to hear where vocals might fit, as in the apex of “Dimming a Lit Path,” but there’s no question that Ramprasad take advantage of the liberation from verses and choruses in this material, setting parts and entire tracks against each other in either complement or contrast, or, as in the best of cases, both. As they lumber their way through “Westing, Pt. II” with due intensity of purpose and ensuing mathy chug, they set up “Dust Burner” to push that thread even further before letting out a more spacious but still weighted resolution for the album as a whole; a relatively understated finish that suits Tsuris well for going against post-metallic convention, as Ramprasad clearly aren’t subject to those limits either.

I’m happy today to be able to host premiere of “Westing, Pt. II” ahead of Tsuris‘ Oct. 11 arrival. You’ll find it on the player below, followed by more from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Ramprasad – Tsuris cassette and digital full-length album

Ramprasad is the collaboration of Portland, OR musicians Aaron D.C. Edge (Lumbar, Process Black, Bible Black Tyrant), David Fylstra (Folian, KVØID), Peter Layman and Pierre Carbuccia (both of Flood Peak, Sól).

Ramprasad was formed in April of 2016 by Aaron and David, who performed all music on this recording. October of 2018 saw the addition of Layman on 2nd guitar and Carbuccia on bass. The band has performed with notable acts such as Cult Leader, Heiress, Noisem, and Call of the Void.

Ramprasad Tsuris tapeRamprasad’s debut full-length “Tsuris” takes us on a daringly adventurous and expansive sonic journey. The instrumental music within these eleven tracks manages to merge elements of metal, sludge, electronic, hardcore, post-rock, and noise, creating a crushingly heavy, cinematic-like sonic experience.

Drums were recorded by Zak Kimball at Nomah Studios in Portland. All other music recorded and finally mixed by David at Candlewolfe Sound in Portland. It was mastered by Zach Weeks at Godcity Studio in Salem, MA. Artwork by Dylan Garrett Smith.

“Tsuris” is a proper follow up to their 2018 EP, “Ruinenlust”. There will be a limited amount of cassettes via Anima Recordings, which are now available for pre-order, as well as a full digital release on October 11th.

Track Listing (total run time 46:42):
01. Splintered Helve
02. Bereaved
03. Cloud Hauler
04. Baric
05. Black Pond
06. Controlling Tides
07. Repellent Whisper
08. Dimming A Lit Path
09. Westing, Pt. I
10. Westing, Pt. II
11. Dust Burner

Catalouge: ANIMA-018
Release Date: Oct. 11th, 2019

Personnel:
Aaron D.C. Edge – guitar
David Fylstra – drums, synth, noise
(bass performed by Aaron and David)

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Witch Mountain Release New Single “Priceless Pain”; Touring with C.O.C.

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

witch mountain photo whitey mcconnaughy

A new Witch Mountain single is only welcome news, as far as I’m concerned. The Portland, Oregon, doomers took the stage at this past weekend’s Northwest Hesh Fest playing among likewise heavyweights like Acid King, Red Fang, Nebula, Poison Idea, Big Business, and a bunch of others, and to mark the occasion, they’ve unveiled “Priceless Pain,” which is the first studio recording they’ve had since their self-titled LP (review here) last year, which, you know, not at all a long silent stretch or anything, but still, as I say, welcome. Of particular interest is the fact that guitarist Rob Wrong — late of The Skull — also recorded his own guitar parts at his Wrong Way Recording. Wonder if he’ll just do his own stuff or bring in other bands. With as much as Witch Mountain have done with Billy Anderson, I have to imagine there’s been some measure of tutelage there, even if by osmosis.

They’ve got a lyric video up for the new track now, and as you can hear, the guitar sounds beastly. Also Kayla Dixon‘s vocals. I love it when Witch Mountain get screamy.

And oh yeah, last night the band started their Fall tour supporting C.O.C., which is both a good gig to get and a good gig to see. I’d go to that show, and I’ve already seen C.O.C. twice this year.

From the PR wire:

witch mountain priceless pain

Witch Mountain – “Priceless Pain”

2019 single from Witch Mountain. \wm/

Animated and Directed by Don Noble

Support independent bands. Buy the track on http://witchmountain.bandcamp.com

Guitar tracking at Wrong Way Recording by Rob Wrong
Drum tracking at Pinebox Studio by Dave Fulton
Vocal tracking and final mix by at Everything Hz by Billy Anderson
Mastering at Trakworx by Justin Weis

WITCH MOUNTAIN – Fall USA 2019 Tour
Sun 09/22 Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live*
Mon 09/23 Detroit, MI – St Andrew’s Music Hall*
Wed 09/25 Peoria, IL – Monarch Music Hall*
Thu 09/26 Ringle, WI – Q&Z Expo Center*
Fri 09/27 Joliet, IL – The Forge*
Sat 09/28 Iowa City, IA – Wildwood*
Sun 09/29 St Louis, MO – Fubar
Mon 09/30 Memphis, TN – Growler’s*
Tue 10/01 Dallas, TX – Canton Hall*
Wed 10/02 Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock*
Thu 10/03 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
Fri 10/04 Lubbock, TX – Jakes Sports Cafe*
Sat 10/05 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom*
Sun 10/06 Albuquerque, NM – Sister
Mon 10/07 Flagstaff, AZ – The Green Room*
Wed 10/09 Fresno, CA – Strummer’s*
Thu 10/10 Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver*
Fri 10/11 Pomona, CA – The Glass House*
Sat 10/12 Arcata, CA – Rampart Skate Park
* = w/Corrosion of Conformity

Witch Mountain is:
Kayla Dixon: vocals
Rob Wrong: guitar
Justin Brown: bass
Nathan Carson: drums

www.facebook.com/witchmountain
http://witchmountain.bandcamp.com
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords

Witch Mountain, “Priceless Pain” lyric video

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Lord Dying Announce Live Lineup; European Tour Starts Oct. 14

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lord dying

What do you do after you release one of the year’s most lauded metal records and crisscross the country promoting it? Well, you go to Europe, silly. So it is that Portland, Oregon, progressive metallers Lord Dying follow-up their late Spring jaunt across the US with a European run set to begin next month that includes stops at Into the Void, Desertfest Belgium, Dudefest, Darkhorse Festival and Damnation Festival heralding the formidable scope of Mysterium Tremendum (review here), their third album overall and debut release for eOne Heavy. Because that’s what you do.

It’s their first trip abroad since they toured with Voivod and Entombed AD in Europe circa 2016, following the willful aural gruel that was 2015’s Poisoned Altars (review here), and founding guitarists Chris Evans and Erik Olson — the latter also vocals — will welcome a new live lineup aboard as they go. The lucky rhythm section is comprised of bassist Alyssa Maucere (also Glory in the Shadows) and drummer Kevin Swartz (also Tithe and Serial Hawk), and the shows will begin Oct. 14, following Lord Dying‘s appearance at Northwest Hesh Fest this weekend, where they’ll be joined by original drummer Jonathan Reid (now also Glory in the Shadows, formerly also Megaton Leviathan) as a special one-off.

All sounds pretty badass, right? It is. Lord Dying are having that kind of year, much aided by the killer album. Funny how that kind of thing works.

Here are the tour dates:

lord dying euro tour

Lord Dying – Euro Tour

This tour is to promote the new record, “Mysterium Tremendrum”, put out only a few months back (on eOneHeavy). This EU tour is shared with the excellent and heavy-trippin Earth Ship (Berlin, DE), who will be LD’s main support throughout (*Earth Ship not playing)

Lord Dying will also be playing INTO THE VOID FESTIVAL leeuwarden, 18.10 , DESERTFEST* BELGIUM Antwerp 20.10, DUDEFEST Karlsruhe 31.10, DARKHORSE FESTIVAL Paris 01.11, and DAMNATION FESTIVAL* Leeds 02.11!

NorthWest Hesh Fest in Portland OR is this weekend and Lord Dying asked the original drummer Jon Reid to come back to do a ONE-TIME ONLY classic LD set, blasting out several bangers from their first record, “Summon The Faithless” and their following, “Poisoned Altars”. Jon is also drummer in Glory In The Shadows.

Lord Dying EU Tour with Earth Ship –
14-10 CH Bellinzona @ The Pit
15-10 DE Munich @ Backstage
16-10 DE Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof
17-10 DE Bochum @ Trompete
18-10 NL Leeuwarden @ Into The Void
20-10 BE Antwerp @ Desertfest*
22-10 ES Barcelona @ Sala Rocksound
23-10 ES Bilbao @ La Nube
24-10 CH Martigny @ Sunset Bar
25-10 DE Cologne @ MTC
26-10 DE Lubeck @ Treibsand
28-10 CZ Prague @ Club Fatal
29-10 DE Berlin @ Zukunft
31-10 DE Karlsruhe @ Dudefest
01-11 FR Paris @ Darkhorse Festival – Espace B
02-11 UK Leeds @ Damnation Festival*
03-11 UK Glasgow @ Audio
05-11 UK London @ New Cross In

https://www.facebook.com/LordDying/
http://instagram.com/lorddying
http://lorddying.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/eOneHeavy

Lord Dying, Mysterium Tremendum (2019)

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Abronia Announce New LP The Whole of Each Eye out Oct. 25

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

abronia

Psychedelic pastoralia would seem to be the order of the day on Abronia‘s second album, The Whole of Each Eye, which is set to release next month through Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records. All the better. Their 2017 debut, Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands (review here), certainly had its share of soundscape-driven characteristics, and to hear the six-piece outfit transpose that onto far-out and more folkish vibes only adds a refreshing feel to what was an already individualized approach. Mixed by Billy Frickin’ Anderson, the long-player is out Oct. 25 and there’s no audio public from it yet, but it’s got six tracks, they’re post-everything, and absolutely work their own kind of moodiness into the proceedings. I dug the last one a lot. I have the feeling that as I get to know it better the situation will be much the same with the follow-up.

Album info follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

abronia the whole of each eye

Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records are proud to bring to you the latest long player from ‘Abronia’ (Portland USA)

The follow up to their debut, The Whole of Each Eye sees Abronia cementing its very singular place in the canon of the broader psych rock universe. A six piece consisting of two guitars, electric bass, tenor saxophone, pedal steel, and one 32” inch bass drum (no drum set here), Abronia pulls from kraut rock, spaghetti Western soundtracks, doom, 60’s UK folk, spiritual jazz, ritualistic drone, and infuse it all with the arid haze of deserts near and far.

Recorded, as the first album was, at Type Foundry in Portland, but mixed this time by Billy Anderson (known for his work with Sleep, OM, Neurosis, and many other heavy legends), the band builds off of the solid foundation of the first album. There are still hooks and visceral, crushingly satisfying payoffs, but there’s a deeper complexity to these arrangements that rewards careful listeners and searchers.

And while almost half of the last album was entirely instrumental, you’ll find no purely instrumental tracks on this one. This time Keelin’s voice has come to the forefront–a deep and deadly force that brings to mind Nico, Grace Slick, Jarboe, Malaria’s Bettina Köster, and White Magic’s Mira Billotte. Note the dynamics–from the subdued falsetto on the first half of “Cauldron’s Gold” to the murderous scream at the end of “Half Hail.”

Another obvious change if you read the liner notes–three of the six members have switched out since the last album, which would seem like a big deal if it hadn’t happened in such a staggered and organic way. Rick Pedrosa is deeply part of the crew by this point–he joined the band on pedal steel a month after the first album was recorded (September 2016)–replacing the lap steel player–Andrew Endres, Paul Michael Schaefer replaced Benjamin Blake on guitar just after the album release show (July 2017). Shaun Lyvers is the newest member–replacing the continent roaming Amir Amadi on bass in spring of 2018.

Abronia is very much a band. Songs are written together at practice with everybody contributing.

Tracklisting:
1. Wound Site
2. Rope of Fire
3. Cross the Hill
4. New Winds for the Warming Sands
5. Half Hail
6. Cauldron’s Gold

https://www.facebook.com/AbroniaPDX
https://www.instagram.com/abroniaband/
https://abronia.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CardinalFuzz/
https://cardinalfuzz.bigcartel.com/
https://cful.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FeedingtubeRecords/
https://feedingtuberecords.bandcamp.com/
http://feedingtuberecords.com/

Abronia, Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands (2017)

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Blackwater Holylight Post New Single “Death Realms”

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I have all kinds of crap that I should be listening to on any given day, but I just keep going back to this Blackwater Holylight record and its genre/anti-genre approach, the radness of which would be hard for me to overstate. Veils of Winter is out a month from tomorrow through RidingEasy, and the five-piece have just unveiled the second advance cut from the album in the form of “Death Realms,” so yes, I’m posting about it again, if only to have a legit excuse to put the album on again and listen to it front to back. I’ve already got their upcoming Brooklyn show with Monolord in the calendar, and it’s been a while since I looked forward so much to seeing a band for the first time.

As of right now, I have an album review slated for about two weeks from today, so I’ll reserve any further gushing for that, I guess, and just turn things over to the PR wire, which brings much background and of course the stream of the track itself, which is down there at the bottom. You gotta hear it.

Here goes:

blackwater holylight veils of winter

Portland, OR quintet Blackwater Holylight share the second single from their forthcoming sophomore album Veils of Winter (RidingEasy Records) today. Hear and share the pop-hook laced “Death Realms” via YouTube and Bandcamp.

The band previously dropped the immediately classic lead track “Motorcycle” via YouTube and all streaming platforms last month.

Blackwater Holylight hit the road later this month, supporting Thou for a handful of Southern dates, followed by the full US with former RidingEasy label mates Monolord in November. Please see complete dates below.

Blackwater Holylight, as the name suggests, is all about contrasts. It’s a fluid convergence of sound that’s heavy, psychedelic, melodic, terrifying and beautiful all at once.

As a heavy band, their songs aren’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in waves that surface throughout the band’s meditative, entrancing songs. It’s a hypnotic sound, with orchestral structures that often build tension and intrigue before turning the song on its head — not by simply getting louder or heavier, nor by just layering elements. They expertly subvert the implied heaviness of a part, dissecting it and splaying the song’s guts out to seep across the sonic spectrum.

Now, having toured extensively following the band’s wildly-successful breakout self-titled debut in 2018, Blackwater Holylight has honed their sound and identity to a powerfully captivating beast. Their live set is all about the slow build, seeming to combine the melodic tension of early Sonic Youth crossed with the laconic fever-dream blues of the first Black Sabbath album and wiry experimentation of post-punk and krautrock.

The lineup on this album is Allison (Sunny) Faris (bass/vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths), with new guitarist Mikayla Mayhew and drummer Eliese Dorsay fleshing out their sound in exciting ways.

“The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” says Faris. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” She continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

Veils of Winter opens with fuzzed-drenched, drop-tuned bass and baritone guitar leading a dirge riff on “Seeping Secrets.” Faris’ lilting and funereal vocals drop in, adding to the mournful atmosphere until a short turnaround progression hints at changes to come, as Faris and Hopkins harmonize eerily and the tune suddenly turns into a krautrock charge. “Motorcycle” kicks off deceptively with a heavy grunge riff building up for about 40-seconds before the song abruptly shifts gears into a synth-led post-punk harmony, sounding something like Lush meets Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. “Death Realms” is perhaps the poppiest track, based around soaring shoegaze guitars and interwoven light vocal harmonies. Soft piano notes, occasional woozy whammy bar dives and a driving tom-tom beat solidify its hooks. “Spiders” is a creepy-crawly guitar riff and counterpoint keys, while “Moonlit” explores prog-structures with a shredding guitar solo crescendo. The penultimate track, “Lullaby” is exactly that, a lulling, expansive tune exemplifying Blackwater Holylight’s genre smashing sound as it subtly moves across a vast sonic landscape atop a hypnotic 6/8 beat and repetitive 3-note motif. Throughout the album, their songs shirk traditional verse-chorus-verse structure in favor of fluid, serpentine compositions that move with commanding grace.

Veils of Winter will be available on LP, CD and download on October 11th, 2019 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at www.ridingeasyrecs.com.

BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT LIVE 2019:
09/22 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s #
09/23 Tallahassee, FL @ The Bark #
09/24 Tampa, FL @ The Blue Note #
09/26 Miami, FL @ Las Rosa’s #
09/27 Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub #
09/28 Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic #
09/29 Pensacola, FL @ Chizuco #
10/10-13 Lake Perris, CA @ Desert Daze Festival
10/24 Portland, OR @ Star Theater – Album release show
11/05 San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick *
11/06 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress *
11/07 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister *
11/09 Austin, TX @ Barracuda – Levitation Fest – RidingEasy Stage
11/10 Lafayette, LA @ Freetown Boom Boom Room *
11/11 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks *
11/12 Atlanta, GA @ 529 *
11/13 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight *
11/14 Richmond, VA @ Camel *
11/15 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery *
11/16 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church *
11/17 New York, NY @ Saint Vitus *
11/20 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s *
11/21 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing *
11/22 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar *
11/23 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck *
11/25 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater *
11/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom *
12/05 Seattle, WA @ Neumos ^
12/06 Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall ^
12/07 Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom ^
# w/ Thou
* w/ Monolord
^ w/ Yob

https://www.facebook.com/blackwaterholylight/
instagram.com/blackwaterholylight
blackwaterholylight.bandcamp.com
ridingeasyrecs.com

Blackwater Holylight, “Death Realms”

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