Video Premiere: Electric Jaguar Baby, “Witch I Love” from Self-Titled LP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

electric jaguar baby

The Oct. 25 release of Electric Jaguar Baby‘s self-titled debut long-player follows behind an impressive string of three EPs issued over two years. Obviously the Parisian duo are on the same page when it comes to songwriting. Their output would seem to manifest that as well, listening to the advance single “Witch I Love.” They had previously streamed the track as a teaser for the album to come — and fair enough so, it’s catchy as hell — but have now backed that up with a video to really make their case. Again, fair enough. With the full-length so impending, the zero-nonsense strut of “Witch I Love” feels all the more urgent in its post-Queens of the Stone Age style of riffing and vocal patterning. Frank D. and Antonio D. comprise the outfit and employ a range of guests across the album’s nine-track span, but their sound is ultimately only further distinguished and bolstered by the inherent rawness of recording as a duo, and that comes through in “Witch I Love” as well.

But the primary impression, of course, is in the whole affect of the song itself, and by that I mean the clarity of intention behind it. Think later Homme, not so much Songs for the Deaf or even Lullabies to Paralyze, but the QOTSA sound thereafter and the sidestep of Them Crooked Vultures, and you’ll get a sense of where the production is coming from, but more than that, listening to “Witch I Love,” the structure is air-tight. There’s a swift build in momentum over a clean 3:44 run in the video, and the hook, as noted, is right on, but listen to the track as you make your way through and ask yourself what you would leave out? What would you cut? Nothing, right? It’s not that it’s spare in any way — I’m sorry, but you just don’t call your band Electric Jaguar Baby if you’re not a style-conscious individual or group — but they absolutely nail the balance between sounding natural and conveying attitude while also having this super-strong underlying foundation of verses and chorus. It’s a classic formula, certainly, but put to good use here for sure.

As to the rest of the record, I haven’t heard it and would have to wonder what the purported “fuzz rap” of “Storm (Me Against Me)” with Mark Northey of Watkins and 7 Days Before might sound like — though I’ll admit some trepidation in finding out — but there’s no substitute for a quality single, and Electric Jaguar Baby seem to know they have one.

The video is likewise pretty straightforward: a performance clip run through a filter of analog pops to make it look like a warped tape, but well lit and edited and pro-shop generally, so dig in below. Credits follow as posted by the band.

Please enjoy:

Electric Jaguar Baby, “Witch I Love” official video premiere

NEW SINGLE 2019 ! Parisian fuzzers Debut album out October 25th !
Vinyls out via Slice of Wax Records in 3 limited editions : 3 colors and 3 screeprinted covers !
CD & K7 tapes out via El Diablo Records.

Bandcamp: https://electricjaguarbaby.bandcamp.com/merch

Video by :
Réalisation : Aurelia Authome ( @aureliaa18 )
Cadrage/assistant réal : Renaud Tilman ( @renaudtilman )
Shoot @ Mains D’oeuvres (93400 ST Ouen).

Electric Jaguar Baby on Thee Facebooks

Electric Jaguar Baby on Instagram

Electric Jaguar Baby website

Electric Jaguar Baby on Bandcamp

Slice of Wax Records on Thee Facebooks

Slice of Wax Records on Bandcamp

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Pelegrin, Al-Mahruqa

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pelegrin al-mahruqa

[Click play above to stream Pelegrin’s Al-Mahruqa in full. Album is out Friday, Sept. 13.]

The fluidity Parisian three-piece Pelegrin conjure throughout their self-released debut album, Al-Mahruqa, finds them easily crossing lines between styles like post-rock, prog and heavy psychedelia, and as their first outing, it blends them with marked poise. Comprised of five tracks running a total of 40 minutes, it is a purposefully immersive listen, drawing its audience in throughout the nine-plus minutes of opener “Majoun” — named for a Moroccan fruit and nut confection often used as a hash jam edible — and moving with grace through “Farewell,” “The Coldest Night,” “Dying Light” and the closing title-track, each one adding to the story arc of the album as a whole while creating a sense of journeying further through its psych-infused desert expanse. The title Al-Mahruqa seems to be taken from the name of a Syrian village, and given some of the sonic influences at play throughout, that seems a fair enough place for guitarist/vocalist François Roze, bassist Jason Recoing and drummer Antoine Ebel to end up, though of course one has to consider the civil war that’s raged in Syria since 2011.

Whether that’s taken into account on Al-Mahruqa — one would wonder how it couldn’t be — the French trio do well in establishing the voyage early in “Majoun,” which opens with a smattering of voices and a percussion-laden departure over winding, ebow-style guitar in Middle Eastern minor key. An immediate touchstone on paper would be Om, and perhaps in some way they’ve been a conceptual influence, but the actual experience of Al-Mahruqa shares little in common with that Al Cisneros outfit, other than perhaps a gaze directed at the region and an overarching interest in the mystique surrounding desert spiritualism. “Majoun” unfolds in heavy rolling fashion with deceptive smoothness, almost catching one off guard by the time it’s made its full impact, a drop-out after five minutes causing reflection on how far one has already come, and indeed how far there still is to go through the energy buildup that follows and pays off in a hard-hitting shove only to give way to a call to prayer that leads directly into the drifting guitar at the outset of “Farewell.”

Already, Pelegrin have made their intention plain. Al-Mahruqa is not at all lacking for character, but neither is it simply letting things happen. I have no doubt some of these parts and stretches were born in the studio or rehearsal space in off-the-cuff fashion — Roze recorded and mixed, while Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump mastered — but whether it’s the louder post-rocking sun-bake-into-desert-triumph that marks the early crescendo in “Farewell” or the more patient and masterful roll that ensues when the cycle comes around again, no single element feels haphazard. Even when the effects seem to create a wash, that wash has a purpose serving the overall song the album of which it’s a part. Given that general level of consideration, it’s perhaps less of a surprise to see it extend to the structure of the record as well, which alternates between longer and shorter tracks in such a way as to maximize the flow between them without the listener getting too caught up in one expectation or the other.

With “The Coldest Night” as the centerpiece, Pelegrin embark on a pivotal stage in their travels with a due sense of increased heft, rightly considering their interaction with those making the trip along with them as they thicken the fuzz in Roze‘s guitar and the thud in Ebel‘s drumming — Recoing‘s bass isn’t lacking weight either, since we’re on the subject. Still, it’s the floating lead over top that takes hold just before the eight-minute mark that lets one know they’ve gotten to where they’re going, and it’s that lead guitar that remains floating on the fade after the rest of the layers have made their way out. And when that goes? Footsteps. How could it possibly be anything else? Pelegrin have made the point thoroughly by the time “The Coldest Night” is through that they’re going from one place to another, taking the listener from one place to another, but those footsteps only reinforce it.

And as the penultimate “Dying Light” touches on a post-metallic march with a still-gentle verse overtop that takes off into a solo, there’s a somewhat more aggressive undertone — it’s in the drumming as well as the 5:21 song nears its midpoint — but the atmosphere stays consistent with “The Coldest Night” and the material preceding both through its measured pace and through its melodic insight. These are no less prevalent as themes through Al-Mahruqa than the concept that bears out across its tracks, but of course less explicitly stated. “Dying Light” caps with lead and rhythm layers of guitar in conversation with a formidable nod of a groove, drifting at their finish into what sounds like a field recording of ritual chanting and percussion, in turn giving way almost immediately to “Al-Mahruqa” itself.

As the only cut to top 10 minutes, the closer earns immediate distinction among the rest of the album — not to mention it’s the title-track — and with additional percussion alongside the drums and a more uptempo initial stretch, it holds to that sense of ritual that closed “Dying Light.” They slow it down soon enough and play back and forth across volume shifts and across an instrumental hypnosis that works well in crafting an otherworldly vibe, but it’s ultimately a heavy, crashing march that rounds out the capstone of Al-Mahruqa, that terrestrial ending followed by the sound of a rainstorm and then a noise that could either be water going down a drain or a door closing scraping on rock. Something concluding, whatever it is. Pelegrin leave a likewise heavy silence when “Al-Mahruqa” is done, giving a due reminder that in fact their journey is only beginning — this is their first album. What it might lead to, I couldn’t say, but the collision of elements and styles at play throughout is only loaded with potential for future expansion of style, arrangements, and general reach, though even if nothing of the sort takes shape, it remains plenty full-sounding as is. Still though, something here makes one think that perhaps Pelegrin are a band with a clear progression in mind. An effect of all that journeying, perhaps.

Pelegrin, Al-Mahruqa (2019)

Pelegrin on Thee Facebooks

Pelegrin on Bandcamp

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Announces 2020 Dates in Paris, Antwerp, London & Deventer

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mondo generator

At this point, there’s just about no way this is it for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, the traveling live incarnation of Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds that seems to have bands in any town it stops and to pick up headliners wherever it goes as well. Paris, Antwerp, London and Deventer — France, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands. Well, considering this year saw the first US-based Heavy Psych Sounds Fest run and that there are still dates to play out next month, yeah, it seems likely to me this is just the beginning for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020.

It’s a striking beginning though, with Mondo Generator (seen above) headlining the shows with support from Black Rainbows and Duel each time out and various others coming and going including Dead Witches, Lords of AltamontGorilla, Alunah and Giöbia. No less of a scale than one would expect, and again, it won’t at all be the final announcement of Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020. More cities, more tours, more bands, more everything. This is not a label that in recent years has shown even the slightest interest in going anything less than all out, all the time.

The PR wire shows tickets on sale already, because of course. With respect:

heavy psych sounds fest 2020

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST announce new London, Paris, Antwerp and Deventer editions in 2020 with Mondo Generator, Black Rainbows, Duel, Lords Of Altamont and more!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records, the unstoppable cult and fuzz rock machine rising from Rome, Italy, has announced to once again conquer London, the Netherlands, Belgium and this time also Paris, with their highly acclaimed mini festival series: HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST!

Heavy Psych Sounds specializes in presenting the best artists in the global heavy psych, doom, fuzz blues and space rock realms, and their festival-series is no exception, spotlighting the ever-growing label’s dedication to its craft. HPS is not only THE address for all heavy rock record collectors, but it has also become an important live and festival institution; with a brisk participation from heavy music fans all over the world. Each hotspot of the traveling festival tour features diverse line-ups including both genre leaders and fast-rising acts, all ready to prove their place among the world’s best!

In cooperation with Desertscene, Rock in Bourlon, Metadrone and SOZ Concerts, Heavy Psych Sounds has announced the dates and bands to kick off 2020 in style in London, Antwerp, Paris and Deventer. Featuring high class acts such as Nick Oliveri’s MONDO GENERATOR, BLACK RAINBOWS, DUEL, DEAD WITCHES and many more, the HPS FEST series 2020 will be taking place in March. The line-up, dates and locations will look as follows:

HPS Fest Paris (FR) – March 5th @ Glazart
Facebook event
The Lords Of Altamont
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Giöbia

HPS Fest Antwerp (BE) – March 6th @ Trix
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches
Giöbia

HPS Fest London (UK) – March 7th @ The Underworld
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Dead Witches
Giöbia
Gorilla
Alunah

HPS Fest Deventer (NL) – March 8th @ Burgerwheesuis
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches

Better be quick and get your tickets HERE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm#hps-fests-2020

“Heavy Psych Sounds is happy to announce the second edition of the London, Belgian and Netherlands HPS fest!“, label owner Gabriele Fiori comments. “Last year was such a success, so we also added Paris. We want to thank all the audiences, who make the label and booking so great. Bands, fans and promoters, we want to thank you all for your support and making it happen!“

Earlier this year, Heavy Psych Sounds also announced a bunch of festival dates in Berlin, Dresden (De), Rome (It) and Innsbruck (AT) to take place in the fall of 2019 with headlining acts such as CONAN, MONOLORD, among further heavy as hell bands alike BLACK RAINBOWS, THE SONIC DAWN, ALUNAH, ECSTATIC VISION and many more. Find out all details, tickets and info at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm

Black Rainbows, Pandaemonium (2018)

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Electric Jaguar Baby Self-Titled Debut out Oct. 25; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

electric jaguar baby

For those who might not be familiar with the Parisian duo’s work — and hey, that’s cool; this is the first I’m hearing them too — it won’t take long into the first single from their impending self-titled debut, “Witch I Love,” for the Josh Homme influence to make itself felt. Whether it’s the style of riffing or the vocals that accompany, the two-piece leave little to wonder where they’re coming from in terms of a central inspiration, taking the desert vibe and transposing it on the metropolis that is the City of Light. Oct. 25 is the listed release date for Electric Jaguar Baby‘s Electric Jaguar Baby, and it will be issued through Slice of Wax Records in addition to the band’s own El Diablo Records.

Familiar though the vibe is, it’s well suited to the inherent rawness of a two-piece incarnation, so consider yourself invited to check out the swaggering “Witch I Love” on the player at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy:

electric jaguar baby witch i love

French acid-fuzz/psych/stoner-rock Duo Electric Jaguar Baby premiered new single “Witch I Love”. New album coming out on October 25th.

After released three EPs in three years ( ‘EP 1’, ‘Moonshiner’ and ‘Old Songs From Beyond’ ) and then an EP compilation last year, French acid-fuzz/psych/rock/stoner duet Electric Jaguar Baby is about to release its debut full-length album planned for a physical/digital release on October 25th through El Diablo Records and Slice of Wax Records (Medicine Boy, etc.) .

In the meantime, the band just premiered a first audio glance from this upcoming record with the single “Witch I Love.”

ELECTRIC JAGUAR BABY was born in Paris in 2015, from the ashes of No Cure and 7 Days Before. A drummer and a guitarist, both of them singers, stride across Josh Homme’s desert, flirt with the Black Keys’ choruses and explore Jack White’s saturated riffs.

The duet generates a catchy sound with psychedelic atmospheres, hovering between rock’n’roll and fuzz. After releasing a first EP in november 2016 and ‘Moonshiner’ EP in march 2017 which were warmly welcomed by French and foreign critics, the band left their garage and trampled stages with their boots across France and Europe with bands like Yeti Lane, Charle’s Howl, Astrodome or Death Valley Girls, & L.A Witch. They grabed their old microphones and a 8-tracks-recorder in their cellar in Paris to capture their live energywith a 70’s vibe to put out 5 songs.

Their 3rd EP in 2 years : ‘Old songs From Beyond’ has been released on March 28th 2018 (4 original songs and a Jimi hendrix cover), again on handmade limited CDs and cassette tapes through their own label : El Diablo Records ! All of this 100% DIY. From Paris with fuzz.

https://www.facebook.com/ElectricJaguarBaby/
https://www.instagram.com/electricjaguarbaby/
http://electricjaguarbaby.band/
https://electricjaguarbaby.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sliceofwax/
https://sliceofwaxrecords.bandcamp.com/

Electric Jaguar Baby, “Witch I Love”

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Alcest to Release Spiritual Instinct on Oct. 25; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

alcest

Alcest are one of those bands who, every time they put out a new release, I see the news about it, listen to some new music if I’m lucky, then get all stoked, write about, and get absolutely zero response. I don’t know if there’s just no audience crossover or what, but this is a popular band, and yet each and every time I put up a post about them: crickets. I mean, I know I’m hardly the only one in the universe covering them, and at least in the case of this news, I’m a couple days late with it, but yeah. They’re just one of those bands. There are a few of them, of varying styles.

Still, I like Alcest, so yes, I am posting about how their new album, Spiritual Instinct, is out Oct. 25 as their debut release on Nuclear Blast, and that the lead single “Protection” is surprisingly intense considering where the band’s last two outings, 2016’s Kodama (review here) and 2014’s maligned-but-gorgeous Shelter (review here), took them. Alcest would hardly be the first band to enter into alliance with Nuclear Blast and mark a turning point with their sound on their next LP — think Blues PillsKadavarGraveyard and a bunch of others — but it’s a noteworthy shift, in no small part because the new song sounds so damn good.

It came via the PR wire:

ALCEST TO RELEASE 6TH ALBUM, SPIRITUAL INSTINCT, ON OCT 25TH

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR FIRST SINGLE, “PROTECTION” AND PRE-ORDER THE RECORD NOW

On October 25th, ALCEST will once again open the gateways to the otherworldly and release their sixth studio album titled Spiritual Instinct. Recorded at the French Drudenhaus Studios and written in bursts both during and after a prolonged period of touring in support of 2016’s hugely successful Kodama, the new album – the first to be released via Nuclear Blast – will lead the blackgaze pioneers into dark soundscapes full of spiritual catharsis.

Today, the wait is over as singer/multi-instrumentalist Neige and drummer Winterhalter have revealed the first single “Protection” from the band’s upcoming album.

Frontman Neige comments:
“‘Protection’ is the first track I wrote for »Spiritual Instinct«. It’s probably one of our most heavy, spontaneous songs. It is about inner conflict, the tension between the spiritual and darker sides of a person, facing your own anguishes in order to embrace them and then fight them. Like the other tracks on the album, writing it was a very cathartic, healing process for me.”

The music video for “Protection” was filmed by director Craig Murray (Mogwai, Blood Red Shoes).
Stream or download the new single, here: https://nblast.de/Alcest-Protection

The album is now available for pre-order in the following formats:

– digipak in O-card
– 36 pages earbook including 2 CD + 180g LP (stone effect) (limited to 2000 copies)
– 180g LP in sleeve available in the colors:
black (retail)
ocean green (NB mailorder + wholesale, limited to 500 copies)
burgundy (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
polar white (Rough Trade exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
royal blue (band shop exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
– Boxset collector’s edition including 2 CDs + 180g LP (stone effect), earbook, bonus mini LP (violet sparkle, etched) in sleeve, art prints and patch (limited to 500 copies)
– Digital

USA exclusive vinyl colors:
mint green (retail, limited to 1.700 copies)
clear+blue/bone splatter (indie exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
blood red (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 500 copies)

Get your copy of Spiritual Instinct, released on October 25th, here: https://nblast.de/AlcestSpiritInstinct
Pre-save the album on Spotify via this link: http://nblast.de/ALCESTpreSave

ALCEST are:
Neige – vocals, guitars, bass, synths
Winterhalter – drums

https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official
https://www.instagram.com/alcestofficial/
https://www.alcest-music.com/
https://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa
https://www.instagram.com/nuclearblastusa/
https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

Alcest, “Protection” official video

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Pelegrin to Release Al-Mahruqa Sept. 13; Streaming “Majoun”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

With a meld of heavy post-rock and Eastern-inflected psychedelia, Parisian trio Pelegrin will self-release their debut album, Al-Mahruqa, on Sept. 13. I happen to know that the song they’re streaming from it, “Majoun,” is the opening track both because I can see the tracklisting below and I’ve got the record on while I’m writing this — first listen — and thank you very much its warm melodies, patient psych songcraft and immersive stylistic blend is hitting the spot nicely. It’s a first record, fair enough, but clearly one made with aesthetic intent and a ready sense of spaciousness, as the three-piece go exploring through not just “Majoun,” but the expansive rollout of “Farewell” and the progressive drift of “Home Again,” balancing longer and shorter pieces off each other as they make their way through “Dying Light” toward the closing title-track. Immersion is the idea and Pelegrin provide plenty of depth for it. I’m looking forward to getting to know Al-Mahruqa better.

The PR wire brings album details and the aforementioned stream:

pelegrin al-mahruqa

Psych rock adventurers PELEGRIN share details about imposing debut album “Al-Mahruqa”, out September 13th on digital.

The bazaar crowd hails, haggles, ruffles. Life at its most, screeching and hustling. Gradually, the ruckus fades away. In the vacuum that’s created, a bass roars, answers its own call. A guitar string vibrates endlessly. The note hangs on ominously, then slips up. Percussions soar and the engine starts running… The listener’s fate is sealed. No turning back; he is bound for a 42 minutes-long sonic tale. He will follow the footsteps of an ailing war veteran, from the bazaar of Tangier to a millenary temple, carved into the rock at the very end of a desert valley: Al-Mahruqa.

On the way, the listener will encounter mesmerizing ambiances. Melodies soaked with eastern influences. Rock-solid riffs. Unsettling songs, always on the move. References, wink, nods? Of course. But no obvious comparison will jump to mind. If the power trio PELEGRIN (“pilgrim” in ancient French) roams the lands of stoner, prog and heavy psych, it is with the intention of making a few steps into the unknown. What drove François (guitar/vocals/production), Jason (bass) and Antoine (drums) is the will to play the music that they would have liked to hear. To fill a tiny space that seemed vacant in the ever-expanding galaxy of distorted music.

The road to “Al-Mahruqa” was long and winding, covering almost five years. The creation of its followup should be a smoother affair… And PELEGRIN is already hard at work on it. Where the three friends are the most comfortable: in their own bubble, away from stages. Where ideas fly, sweet smoke rises, and stories are written.

“Al-Mahruqa” was recorded and mixed by François Roze. It was mastered by Kent Stump (Wo Fat) at Crystal Clear Sound. The artwork was designed by Hadrien Virima.

Tracklisting:
1. Majoun
2. Farewell
3. The Coldest Night
4. Dying Light
5. Al-Mahruqa

PELEGRIN is
François Roze – guitar, vocals
Jason Recoing – bass
Antoine Ebel – drums, percussions

https://www.facebook.com/PelegrinMusic/
https://pelegrinmusic.bandcamp.com

Pelegrin, “Majoun”

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Starmonger Release Revelation IV EP

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

starmonger

Look, we’ve been worried. Your mother and I have been talking — oh, you didn’t know your mother and I spoke? well, we do, regularly — and we just thought that your life had already gone on far too long without a song called “Rise of the Fishlords” in it. I’m not saying you have to live a certain way, but wouldn’t you rather have “Rise of the Fishlords” in your life? I think you would. I think it might make you a better person. I think it might make us all better people. We’ll grow — together. That’s what it’s all about. Your mom told me to say that.

Okay so maybe your mom and I don’t chat on the regular. I don’t even have her number, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be bothering her about stuff like fishlords, but Parisian trio Starmonger have a another in their series of two-songer Revelation EPs out — Revelation IV, which reportedly will be the last one — and I thought maybe it was worth your time, not the least for the winning title of its opener. Just having a little fun.

I hear tell there’s a Starmonger compilation/LP in the works of all these Revelations, so that’ll be worth keeping an eye out for, but in the meantime, Revelation IV is name-your-price on Bandcamp, so have at it:

starmonger revelation iv

Starmonger – Revelation IV

In 2015, Steve (bass) and Arthur (guitar) began incorporating modern stoner rock influences and orientations to their jams. They quickly recorded their first homemade demo, “Revelation”, and after offering several drummers in ritual sacrifices, they were joined by Seb in 2017 on heavy-drumming duty.

With their next EPs, “Revelation II” and “III”, Starmonger continued its search for expanding and thickening its own sound. As they refuse to stay stuck with the same old recipe, Steve, Arthur and Seb keep experimenting with old school 70s rock and mesmerizing, fuzz-soaked stoner rock beats, while adding a progressive dimension to the raw power and efficiency of a power-trio format. Throughout their songs, the band evoke strange and phantasmagoric B-movies and pulp stories, from post-apocalyptic deserts to unfathomable beasts from the abyss.

2019 is packed with promises, along with multiple gigs around Paris in April and May, and a new self-produced EP “Revelation IV”.

“Revelation IV” was written, recorded and home produced in Paris, France. No human was actually drowned or murdered by sea monsters during production. All tracks written and performed by Starmonger.

1. Rise Of The Fishlords 07:57
2. Lethe 06:11

Starmonger is:
Steve : Bass & Vocals
Arthur : Guitars
Seb : Drums

https://www.facebook.com/starmonger.official/
https://starmonger.bandcamp.com/

Starmonger, Revelation IV (2019)

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Review & Full Album Stream: Abrahma, In Time for the Last Rays of Light

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

abrahma in time for the last rays of light

[Click play above to stream Abrahma’s In Time for the Last Rays of Light in its entirety. Album is out Friday on Small Stone Records and Deadlight Entertainment.]

It has been an especially long four years since France’s Abrahma released their second album, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here). As early as 2016, the topic of a new full-length had been broached, and they revealed recording plans in consecutive Junes across 2017 and 2018. The latter took. By the time they got there, guitarist/vocalist and principle songwriter Sébastien Bismuth was the lone remaining original member of the band, with a changing lineup around him that contributed in no small part to the delay. In the end, it was by absorbing the entirety of the band Splendor Solis that Bismuth was able to construct Abrahma as a five-piece and enter Orgone Studios to record with Jaime Gomez Arellano, known for his work with Paradise Lost, GhostDream DeathOrange Goblin, etc., and the resulting LP, In Time for the Last Rays of Light, harvests cohesion from the tumult of its making.

With Bismuth joined by guitarist/synthesist/noisemaker Benoît Carel, guitarist/vocalist Florian Leguillon, bassist/vocalist Romain Hauduc and drummer/vocalist Baptiste Keriel, the eight tracks and 49 minutes of the record play out with a fullness and a patience that undercuts the basic idea that this is a completely new lineup — perhaps the fact that CarelLeguillonHauduc and Keriel were a band previously helps — and builds on the atmospheric impression Abrahma made on their second LP with a greater focus on songwriting patience and telling a story with the songs front to back. The operating theme is coping with mental illness, specifically depression, and whether it’s the wailing guitar of “Lost. Forever.” or the turns between massive chug and harmonized vocals of the penultimate “Eclipse of the Sane Pt. 2: Fiddler of the Bottle,” Bismuth and company hold firmly to that focus across the record’s span. Methodical pacing and tonal weight lend depth to the mood of the material, and while there’s certainly a creative range at play, the songs serve the purpose of conveying that theme regardless of arrangement or other factors.

Those who remember Abrahma‘s 2012 debut, Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (review here), might be surprised at just how metal some of the guitars sound throughout In Time for the Last Rays of Light, be it at the end of 8:41 third and longest cut “Eclipse of the Sane Pt. 1: Isolation Ghosts” or in the six-minute side B leadoff “Last Epistle,” which emerges from a short intro “Dusk Contemplation” with what would be the album’s most intense spirit — capping in some unabashedly death metal-style chugga-chug in the fadeout accompanied by double-kick drum that’s only too appropriate — were it not for the subsequent “Wander in Sedation,” which swirls in on a dark severity of tone and resolves its lumbering progression in a culminating stretch of blastbeats, echoing those earlier of “Lucidly Adrift” on side A, which takes hold from side A and marries together heavy post-rock with these more extreme impulses.

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What actually keeps Abrahma from being full-tilt metal is their melodic sensibility and the overarching groove of In Time for the Last Rays of Light. There are moments certainly where one might call out a doom-rooted sense of theatricality, as on closer “There Bears the Fruit of Deceit,” in which a complex arrangement of multiple vocalists — or at least multiple layers — brings mournful resolution to the turbulence preceding, going so far as to have some shouting behind Bismuth in a call-and-response in the pre-chorus, touching on a vibe that would nod to Arellano‘s work with Paradise Lost in its general atmosphere, but working from a foundation of heavy rock instead of classic doom. Still, Abrahma make the lines between styles blurrier on In Time for the Last Rays of Light than they ever have before, and that in itself is something of a victory when it comes to establishing their sound on their third record. They are their most progressive here and their most sonically bold, from the memorable lead line of “Lost. Forever.” setting the downer course for what follows through the last march of “There Bears the Fruit of Deceit” into its fading ringout.

In keeping with that, Bismuth‘s presence as a frontman has never been so palpable. His vocal melodies range further than they have before, and with the others surrounding him at various points throughout, it leads to a more complete and more engaging experience, contrasting the instrumental thrust at times, but finding a foothold in that contrast. And maybe that’s the idea of the record as a whole — exploring or at least trying to come to an understanding of that dynamic and finding a place within it from which to express the emotionality at the core of In Time for the Last Rays of Light. Depression is not an easy to talk about. If it were, it would probably be less pervasive. But Abrahma do not shy away from saying what they want to say about it, and while they don’t go so far as to offer some clichéd hopeful ending, they do manage to craft something beautiful out of the darkened foundations from which they work. The inevitable question, then, is what it will lead to, and how indicative In Time for the Last Rays of Light ultimately will be of where the band are headed, creatively as well as in the simple reality of the players involved.

I don’t know if Abrahma‘s lineup woes are done or not, but listening to “Last Epistle,” “Lucidly Adrift,” “Eclipse of the Sane Pt. 2: Fiddler of the Bottle” and each of the other tracks that make it, it’s clear In Time for the Last Rays of Light was an album that the band needed to make, almost to exorcise it from their collective system. It is a record of striking instrumental purpose and expressive intent. It not only moves their sound forward from where it was four years ago, but it changes the narrative of the group’s function and that of Bismuth as a bandleader and songwriter. What might come next, I won’t speculate, but for the way it lays bare the personal and pushes Abrahma to places they’ve never been, it is an achievement worthy of the obvious pains taken to make it.

Abrahma website

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Small Stone Records website

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Deadlight Entertainment website

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