P.H.O.B.O.S. Premiere “Taqiyah Rhyzom” from Phlogiston Catharsis out Sept. 10

Posted in audiObelisk on September 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

phobos

Parisian acronymic industrialists P.H.O.B.O.S. will release their fourth full-length, Phlogiston Catharsis, Sept. 10 via Transcending Obscurity Records. Following a revamped/expanded lineup that brought guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Mani Ann-Sitar and bassist/programmer/etc. Magnus Larssen into the group alongside band founder Frédéric Sacri, who started the project in 2000 as a trio and gradually came to be the sole representative of P.H.O.B.O.S.‘ sound, as well as to record their material at his own studio, Sapel Lomor (which in phonetic French is pretty close to “it’s called love,” though I don’t know if that’s what he was going for), and release it through the self-made imprint Megaton Mass Products, the new album brings harsh vitality to a style that’s often staid or cold by nature.

P.H.O.B.O.S. aren’t that. If anything, they’re as molten as the imagery on the album cover, but it’s not the kind of easy-flowing groove-mongering one might expect from the use of that word. This is more like the actual process of melting rock and metal, of turning it into something churning and blistering to the touch. Like the meeting of minds between Satyricon and a doomed-out Godflesh, the eight-track/46-minute Phlogiston Catharsis revels in its assault factor and brutal chaotic wash.

It’s an oppressive and atmospheric work, with programmed beats and sampled noise serving as a bed for opener “Biomorphorror” and the more guitar-driven “Igneous Tephrapotheosis,” which follows, and the later, relatively uptempo “Neurasthen Logorrh,” the pacing of which does nothing to letup the chaotic feel. Consider as well the buzzing tone of the penultimate “Aljannashid,” which is the longest track on Phlogiston Catharsis at just under seven minutes, and its wide and spacious crushing sensibility, like being steamrolled by some large piece of mechanized equipment meant to flatten a four-lane highway in one go. Tension runs high throughout, of course, and the deep-diving ambience of “Zam Alien Canyons” and the forwardphobos Phlogiston Catharsis beats of “Aurora Sulphura” seem to further the sense of automated terror.

Sacri, drawing nearer to the 20-year mark with the band, obviously knows where he wants to be in terms of aesthetics, and if P.H.O.B.O.S. is the execution of that deranged will, its pulsations and anticosmic push speak to a clear vision brought to bear. For all its maddening aspects, Phlogiston Catharsis is striking in its cohesion, and more than just a meld of genres, pitting industrial and doom and black metal against each other in succession and seeing which comes out on top, the album finds P.H.O.B.O.S. bringing otherwise disparate styles together in pieces like the guitar-noise-laden “Taqiyah Rhyzom” and the cavernous finale “Smothered in Scoria” to craft a varied identity able to shift focus from one to the other without losing a grip on its central purpose of expression.

And that expression is resoundingly, unapologetically dark. Phlogiston Catharsis bears its chug and churn as a direct challenge to the listener, and as “Smothered in Scoria” lurches to its post-solo finish of noise wash and atmospheric screaming, it’s made plain that everything P.H.O.B.O.S. do is in service to an idea of the song, of what each song should be and what each song should bring to the collection as a whole. I won’t say it flows smoothly, because it’s not intended to, but if you let it, Phlogiston Catharsis will carry you from its beginning to end.

But it’s a ride not everybody will dare to take, and one imagines that 18 years later, Sacri is just fine with that. So be it. Destructive and willful, Phlogiston Catharsis manifests a striking stylistic nuance, and whether one approaches it from a place of black metal, or sludge, or doom, or electronic music, it’s the kind of release that grabs its audience’s attention and refuses to let go for the duration. If you’re willing to go along with it, the rewards are significant.

You can stream “Taqiyah Rhyzom” from Phlogiston Catharsis now on the player below. More PR wire info follows.

Please enjoy:

P.H.O.B.O.S., “Taqiyah Rhyzom” official track premiere

Dark and hypnotic, P.H.O.B.O.S.’s much awaited full length after their split with Blut Aus Nord and a standalone EP is genre-bending exercise for the French band. ‘Phlogiston Catharsis’ contains eight tracks of highly atmospheric industrial-tinged black/doom metal that are both visceral as well as sonically compulsive. These throbbing, sludgy tunes are atavistic in their heaviness but at the same time forward-thinking in their expression. Taking the best elements of black and doom metal, they concoct a form of music that possibly no other band can claim rights to. Their sound is singular, ominous and game-changing. It’s the soundtrack of impending doom.

Line up –
frederic sacri > distortion / keys / pulse / vox
mani ann-sitar > distortion / keys / vox
magnus larssen > subs / infras / lines / pulse

artwork and layout – Synckop (Deafhaven, Merzbow)

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Quarterly Review: Lucifer, Heilung, Amarok, T.G. Olson, Sun Dial, Lucid Grave, Domadora, Klandestin, Poor Little Things, Motorowl

Posted in Reviews on July 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know what’s disheartening? When someone goes ‘thanks dudes.’ You know, I share a review or something, the band reposts and goes ‘thanks to the crew at The Obelisk blah blah.’ What fucking crew? If I had a crew, I’d put up 10 reviews every single day of the year. “Crew.” Shit. I am the crew. In the description of this site, the very first thing it says is “One-man operation.” It’s a fucking solo-project. That’s the whole point of it. It’s like me looking at your bass and going, “Sweet guitar, thanks for the solos brah.” I’m happy people want to share links and this and that, but really? It’s been nine years. Give me a break.

Oh yeah, that’s right. Nobody gives a shit. Now I remember. Thanks for reading.

And while we’re here, please remember the numbers for these posts don’t mean anything. This isn’t a countdown. Or a countup. It’s just me keeping track of how much shit I’m reviewing. The answer is “a lot.”

Grump grump grump.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Lucifer, Lucifer II

lucifer lucifer ii

Recorded as the trio of vocalist Johanna Sardonis (ex-The Oath), guitarist Robin Tidebrink (Saturn) and guitarist/drummer Nicke Andersson (Death Breath, ex-Entombed, ex-The Hellacopters), Lucifer’s second album, Lucifer II (on Rise Above), follows three years after its numerical predecessor, Lucifer I (review here), and marks its personnel changes with a remarkable consistency of mission. Like Mercyful Fate gone disco, the formerly-Berlin/London-now-Stockholm group bring stage-ready atmospheres to songs like “Phoenix” and the riff-led “Before the Sun,” while unleashing a largesse of hooks in “Dreamer” and the boogie-pushing “Eyes in the Sky.” “Dancing with Mr. D” brings nod to a Rolling Stones cover, and “Before the Sun” reaffirms a heavy ‘70s root in their sound. I can’t help but wonder if the doomier “Faux Pharaoh” is a sequel to “Purple Pyramid,” but either way, its thicker, darker tonality is welcome ahead of the bonus track Scorpions cover “Evening Wind,” which again demonstrates the ease with which Lucifer make established sounds their own. That’s pretty much the message of the whole album. Lucifer are a big band. Lucifer II makes the case for their being a household name.

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Heilung, Lifa

heilung lifa

Lifa is the audio taken from the live video that brought Denmark’s Heilung to prominence. Captured at Castlefest in The Netherlands in last year, the impression the expansive Viking folk group made was all the more powerful with elaborate costuming, bone percussive instruments, antlers, animal-skin drums, and so on. Their debut studio album, Ofnir, came out in 2015 and like LIFA has been issued by Season of Mist, but the attention to detail and A/V experience only adds to the hypnotic tension and experimentalist edge in the material. Does it work with just the audio? Yes. The 12-minute “In Maijan” and somehow-black-metal “Krigsgaldr” maintain their trance-out-of-history aspect, and the 75-minute set blends multi-tiered melodies and goblin-voiced declarations for an impression unlike even that which Wardruna bring to bear. Whether it’s the drones of “Fylgija Futhorck” or the chants and thuds of “Hakkerskaldyr,” LIFA is striking from front to back and a cohesive, visionary work that should be heard as well as seen. But definitely seen.

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Amarok, Devoured

amarok devoured

Eight years after their founding, an EP and several splits, Chico, California, atmosludge extremists Amarok make their full-length debut with Devoured on Translation Loss. If it’s been a while in the making, it’s easy enough to understand why. The album is rife with brutalist and grueling sensibilities. Comprised of just four tracks, it runs upwards of 70 minutes and brings a visceral churn to each cut, not forgetting the importance of atmosphere along the way, but definitely focused on the aural bludgeoning they’re dealing out. Tempos, duh, are excruciating, and between the screams and growls of bassist Brandon Squyres (also Cold Blue Mountain) and guitarist Kenny Ruggles – the band completed by guitarist Nathan Collins and drummer Colby ByrneAmarok make their bid for Buried at Sea levels of heft and rumble their way across a desolate landscape of their own making. Eight years to conjure this kind of punishment? Yeah, that seems about right. See you in 2026.

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T.G. Olson, Ode to Lieutenant Henry

tg olson ode to lieutenant henry

Here’s a curious case: T.G. Olson, founding guitarist and vocalist of Across Tundras, is a prolific experimental singer-songwriter. His material ranges from psychedelic country to fuller-toned weirdo Americana and well beyond. He’s wildly prolific, and everything goes up on Bandcamp for a name-your-price download, mostly unannounced. It’s not there, then it is. Olson’s latest singe, Ode to Lieutenant Henry, was there, and now it’s gone. With the march of its title-track and a complementary cover of Townes van Zandt’s “Silver Ships of Andilar,” I can’t help but be curious as to where the tracks went and if they’ll be back, perhaps in some other form or as part of a different release. Both are plugged-in and coated in fuzzy tones, with Olson’s echoing vocals providing a human presence in the wide soundscape of his own making. The original is shorter than the cover, but both songs boast a signature sense of ramble that, frankly, is worth being out there. Hopefully they’re reposted at some point, either on their own as they initially were or otherwise.

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Sun Dial, Science Fiction

sun dial sci fi

If space is the place, Sun Dial feel right at home in it. The long-running UK psychedelic adventurers collect two decades’ worth of soundtrack material on Science Fiction, their new release for Sulatron Records. Made with interwoven keyboard lines and a propensity to periodically boogie on “Mind Machine,” “Airlock,” “Infra Red,” etc., the experimentalist aspect of Science Fiction is all the more remarkable considering the album is compiled from different sources. One supposes the overarching cosmos is probably what brings it together, but with the samples and synth of “Saturn Return” and the lower end space-bass of pre-bonus-track closer “Starwatchers” – that bonus track, by the way, is a 15-minute version of opener “Hangar 13” – and though the vast majority of the Science Fiction relies on synth and keys to make its impression, it’s still only fair to call the proceedings natural, as the root of each one seems to be exploration. It’s okay to experiment. Nobody’s getting hurt.

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Lucid Grave, Demo 2018

lucid grave demo 2018

There are three songs on Lucid Grave’s first outing, the aptly-titled Demo 2018, and the first of them is also the longest (immediate points), “Star.” It presents a curious and hard to place interpretation of psychedelic sludge rock. It is raw as a demo worthy of its name should be, and finds vocalist Malene Pedersen (also Lewd Flesh) echoing out to near-indecipherable reaches atop the feedback-addled riffing. Quite an introduction, to say the least. The subsequent “Desert Boys” is more subdued at the start but gets furious at the end, vocals spanning channels in an apparent call and response atop increasingly intense instrumental thrust. And as for “Ride the Hyena?” If I didn’t know better – and rest assured, I don’t – I’d call it doom. I’m not sure what the hell the København five-piece are shooting for in terms of style, but I damn sure want to hear what they come up with next so I can find out. Consider me enticed. And accordingly, one can’t really accuse Demo 2018 of anything other than doing precisely what it’s supposed to do.

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Lucid Grace on Bandcamp

 

Domadora, Lacuna

domadora lacuna

Comprised of four-tracks of heavy psychedelic vibes led by the scorch-prone guitar of Belwil, Domadora’s third album, Lacuna, follows behind 2016’s The Violent Mystical Sukuma (discussed here) and taps quickly into a post-Earthless league of instrumentalism on opener “Lacuna Jam.” That should be taken as a compliment, especially as regards the bass and drums of Gui Omm and Karim Bouazza, respectively, who hold down uptempo grooves there and roll along with the more structured 14-minute cut “Genghis Khan” that follows. Each of the album’s two sides is comprised of a shorter track and a longer one, and there’s plenty of reach throughout, but more than expanse, even side B’s “Vacuum Density” and “Tierra Last Homage” are more about the chemistry between the band members – Angel Hidalgo Paterna rounds out on organ – than about crafting a landscape. Fortunately for anyone who’d take it on, the Parisian unit have plenty to offer when it comes to that chemistry.

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Klandestin, Green Acid of Last Century

klandestin green acid of last century

That’s a big “fuck yes, thank you very much” for the debut album from Indonesian stoner metallers Klandestin. Green Acid of the Last Century arrives courtesy of Hellas Records and is THC-heavy enough that if they wanted to, they could probably add “Bong” to the band’s name and it would be well earned. Eight tracks, prime riffs, watery vocals, dense fuzz, stomp, plod, lumber, shuffle – it’s all right there in homegrown dosage, and for the converted, Green Acid of the Last Century is nothing short of a worship ceremony, for the band itself as well as for anyone taking it on. With the march of “Doomsday,” the unmitigated rollout of “Black Smoke,” and the swirling green aurora of “The Green Aurora,” Klandestin wear their holding-back-a-cough riffage as a badge of honor, and couldn’t be any less pretentious about it if they tried. From the hooded weedian on the cover art to the Sleepy nod of closer “Last Century,” Green Acid of Last Century telegraphs its intent front-to-back, and is all the more right on for it.

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Poor Little Things, Poor Little Things

poor little things poor little things

You get what you pay for with “Rock’n’Roller,” which leads off the self-titled debut EP from Bern, Switzerland-based Poor Little Things. Around the core duo of vocalist Tina Jackson and multi-instrumentalist Dave “Talon” Jackson (also of Australia’s Rollerball) on guitar, bass, synth and percussion is Talon’s The Marlboro Men bandmate Fernando Marlboro on drums, and together the band presents five tracks of remember-when-rock-rocked-style groove. Fueled by ‘70s accessibility and a mentality that seems to be saying it’s okay to play big rooms, like arenas, cuts like “Drive” seem prime for audience participation, and “Break Another Heart” gives a highlight performance from Tina while “About Love” showcases a more laid back take. They close with the 6:37 “Street Cheetah,” which struts appropriately, and end with a percussive finish on a fadeout repeating the title line. As a showcase of their style and songwriting chops, Poor Little Things shows significant promise, sure, but it’s also pretty much already got everything it needs for a full-length album.

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Motorowl, Atlas

motorowl atlas

Every now and then you put on a record and it’s way better than you expect. Hello, Motorowl’s Atlas. The German troupe’s second for Century Media, it takes the classic stylizations of their 2016 debut, Om Generator, and pushes them outward into a vast sea of organ-laced progressive heavy, soaring in vocal melodies and still modern despite drawing from an array of decades past. The chug in “The Man Who Rules the World” would be metal for most bands, but on Atlas, it becomes part of a broader milieu, and sits easily next to the expansive title-track, as given to post-rocking airiness in the guitar as to synth-laden prog. That mixture of influences and aesthetics would be enough to give the five-piece an identity of their own, but Atlas is further characterized by Motorowl’s ambitious songwriting and benefits greatly from the melodic arrangements and the clear intention toward creative development at work here. Those who take on its seven-track/45-minute journey will find it dynamic, spacious and heavy in kind.

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Review & Full Album Stream: Red Sun Atacama, Licancabur

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

red sun atacama Licancabur

[Click play above to stream Red Sun Atacama’s Licancabur in full. Album is out June 29 on More Fuzz Records with vinyl to follow this summer.]

Usually when a band puts a place-name at the end of their moniker, it’s because they’re from there and there’s probably another band with the same name who perhaps had it first. Before you go thinking otherwise, Red Sun Atacama are not from the Atacama Desert in Chile, which is noted as being the driest place on earth. They reside a continent away in Paris, France, which last I heard still gets plenty of rain. Comprised of the trio of bassist/vocalist Clément Màrquez, guitarist Vincent Hospital and drummer Robin Caillon, the French fuzzers make their debut with Licancabur, a six-track/35-minute long-player issued through More Fuzz Records that takes its title from the volcano located in said desert traditionally worshiped as sacred by the Atacameños people who live nearby. The album’s structure is somewhat quizzical, with a quick intro leading to a bookend of two larger songs with two shorter tracks between and one even-shorter track between that. Just for an easy visual, here’s the tracklist:

1. Intro (0:36)
2. Gold (10:38)
3. Red Queen (5:51)
4. Cupid Arrows (1:46)
5. Drawers (4:20)
6. Empire (11:57)

See what I mean? If you put aside the intro, you get five tracks that even sort of look like a mountain peak when written out. I can’t help but wonder if, since they named the record after a volcano, if that wasn’t on Red Sun Atacama‘s mind as they put the hard-driving, desert-rocking release together. Even if you keep the “Intro” — which taps into Morricone-style Western acoustic strum and folkish flutes before the leadoff riff of “Gold” quickly enters to begin the album in earnest — or consider that the vinyl breaks into two three-song sides, the basic idea holds up of climbing a peak to the punk-sprint of “Cupid Arrows” and then making one’s way down through “Drawers” and out into the long plain of “Empire,” which closes side B. May or may not have been intentional, but sure doesn’t feel like an accident.

Crucially, to coincide with this structural nuance, Licancabur has a front-to-back flow which, from that opening riff to “Gold” onward, finds the three-piece careening through high-energy desert riffing, making standout elements from bass and lead guitar interplay as they move toward the midsection of that opening track after the initial verses/chorus thrust and just before they pull back and drop out at around 4:30 to more laid back unfolding. “Gold” has a long instrumental break, keys included, but ultimately returns to vocals later, and even in this and in “Empire,” which is more insistently drummed to close out the offering but still has its own section reserved for a lengthy jam, there’s a consuming fluidity that carries the listener along with it. Red Sun Atacama border on hypnotic, but never seem on their debut to relinquish control into all-out drift, and so when they snap back to the forward push that plays such a significant role in their sound, they don’t necessarily have as far to go as they otherwise might. They keep that flow steady across the entire record.

red sun atacama

A lack of pretense and/or self-indulgence always helps when it comes to desert rock sincerely working, as Licancabur does, to speak to the origins of the genre, which are punk at their heart. It certainly does Red Sun Atacama sonic favors, but part of that too might just stem from the fact that they don’t seem keen (yet) on wandering too far. Could be they’re worried about getting lost in the dry sands, but in “Gold” and “Empire” as well as in “Red Queen” and “Drawers,” they keep their momentum straight ahead of them and throttle back on tempo here and there, break to guitar, drums, whatnot, but by and large run fast and high-energy through the songs. Hooks provide landmarks in “Red Queen,” which might be the most purely Kyuss-ian riff included, and “Drawers” has an even more manic feel, holding together a tense vibe even as the guitar wahs out a lead in the middle and they make their way back to the slams and swings of the last verse, taking turns on bass, guitar and drums by measure to mark the transition into the outro. It’s a head-spinner, overriding control is maintained.

That control turns out to be one of the most impressive aspects of Licancabur, and nowhere more so than on the side B opener/mountain peak “Cupid Arrows,” which is the shortest inclusion at the 1:46 noted above, but still has an essential role to play in being the most furious moment of desert groove on the album. Much to their credit, Red Sun Atacama are off and running speedily and reference The Stooges on their way even as they seem to nod to a more echoing incarnation of earliest Dozer in the sort-of centerpiece, which is the apex of their momentum, thickly toned enough to be consistent with its surroundings and yet an immediate standout for its all-go-no-stop acceleration. If there is anywhere on Licancabur that Red Sun Atacama are in danger of losing their grip on their craft, it’s in “Cupid Arrows,” and they absolutely don’t. They execute the track at full speed like it ain’t a thing and then are dug into “Drawers” before the listener even has a chance to process what they just heard. Right on.

It’s a particularly encouraging facet of Red Sun Atacama‘s first offering — apart from the 2015 demo Part.I on which “Gold” (then “The Gold”), “Red Queen” and “Cupid’s Arrows” appeared — that they’re able to hold it all together with such apparent ease and smoothness, and where they’ve left themselves room to grow is in terms of patience and in the jammy moments like those in “Gold” and “Empire.” One can’t help but wonder if Red Sun Atacama‘s next offering might find them digging even further into these psychedelic landscapes, their fingers bare in exploratory dirt, but for now, while they might want to add an “of” to their moniker, they nonetheless provide a welcome, cohesive kick in the ass through classic-style desert rock and roll and leave one anticipating what they might do next. One could ask nothing more of their first album.

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Vinyl preorder at More Fuzz Records

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Dust Lovers Premiere “End Title: Film Noir” Video; Announce Name Change & Album Reissue

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dust lovers

Somehow, it seems appropriate that The Texas Chainsaw Dust Lovers would do some chopping. What the cinema-obsessed aggro heavy rocking Parisian four-piece have lobbed off, however, is a goodly portion of their moniker. On June 24, they’ll issue their 2017 album — their third — Film Noir, on vinyl through Besta Records, and presumably that will make the name change official: they’re just Dust Lovers now. Doesn’t matter if it comes from a Texas chainsaw or anywhere else.

Why the change? Why not? Plus, it seems like Dust Lovers — the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Clément Collot, guitarist Nagui Méhany, drummer Christophe Hogommat and bassist Étienne Collot — are looking to be taken a little more seriously, and the long moniker was a little goofy. In addition to the forthcoming LP of Film Noir, they’ll head out to play Hellfest in their home country later this month, so it’s easy to argue it’s already working, and with Ennio Morricone, Elvis, Kyuss and other influences in dust lovers film noirtheir material, there’s nothing to pull the listener out of the moment when listening. Dust Lovers is a pretty cool name. You can see why they’d want to roll with it.

And as for Film Noir, it originally came out last October and runs a pretty wide stylistic gamut while featuring a central plotline just the same. There’s the spiritual “Come by the River” and the ringing tones of and big hooks of “Let it Bleed” as well as the surf-gone-heavy party rock — finger snaps and all — of “Martyr with a Plan” ahead of the Queens of the Stone Age-style push in “California sur Marne,” but at the finale, Film Noir closes with its title-track, “End Title: Film Noir,” and takes a more brooding approach, grinning through a lounge-style subdued groove while holding a tension of something more fiendish beneath.

The video — copping stylistic influence from Tarantino, Italian horror, and, yes, classic film noir — for the song does likewise. Directed by Collot, it’s a murderous tale of maybe-revenge with deep-hued colors and enough faux blood to officially qualify as at least one bucket, if not multiple buckets. Looks like a good time was had during its making.

You can see the premiere of “End Title: Film Noir” below and once again, that Film Noir reissue is out June 24. Wait a minute! That’s the same day they’re at Hellfest! You’d almost swear these things were planned out ahead of time.

Take yourself to film school:

Dust Lovers, “Film Noir” official video premiere

Dust Lovers on “End Title: Film Noir”:

The song “End Title: Film Noir” was thought and crafted like a movie’s end credits. Like at the end of a flick, when the audience take their breath again, while digesting what they just saw. We did this video like we make a video, it was crafted like a short movie. As usual, our vocalist Clément Collot directed the whole thing alongside a proper video team for two days. (French director) Godard once said “to make a movie, you need a woman and a gun.” That’s what we did, taking our cue from giallo movies and Italian horror movies à la Dario Argento.

DUST LOVERS (new name!) – New video « Film Noir » taken off their third album « Film Noir » released Oct. 20th, 2017. The album is reissued on vinyl via Besta Records on June 24th. The band will be playing at Hellfest on the Valley Stage, Sunday 24th June.

FILM NOIR-
Directed by Clem Colt
Music by Dust Lovers
Recorded by Sylvain Biguet and Chris Hogommat
Mix by Chris Hogommat
Mastering by Brent Asbury
2018 / HUURG!! FILMS / BESTA RECORDS

Dust Lovers are:
Clément Collot – Guitar & Vocals
Nagui Méhany – Guitar & Harmonica
Christophe Hogommat – Drums
Étienne Collot – Bass

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Abrahma Recording New Album Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

abrahma

It seems like a really long time since Abrahma released their second album, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (review here), but the truth is it’s only three years. That record, also their second for Small Stone behind 2012’s Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (review here), also followed its predecessor by three years, so actually the pace is pretty consistent. Maybe it just feels like a long time to me because I’ve been talking about their third album since Oct. 2016. Maybe I just can’t fucking do math. I don’t know. Point is: hasn’t actually been that long.

And in that time, I don’t even know how many players founding guitarist/vocalist Sebastien Bismuth has been through. At least one full lineup, and I think another one minus a guitarist? In any case, today’s news that Abrahma will record their third long-player — which had the tentative title In Time for the Last Rays of Light when it was first announced but may or may not be called something else by now — will be recorded next month at Orgone Studios in Bedfordshire, UK, with Jaime Gomez Arellano (Orange Goblin, Ghost, Paradise Lost, etc.) at the helm would seem to indicate that the current five-piece incarnation of the band will be the one captured on tape. Fair enough, and here’s looking forward to what comes out of the session, since while it hasn’t actually been that long since their last one, I’ve still been anxious for new Abrahma for three years running.

The band sent the following down the PR wire:

ABRAHMA LOGO

Long time without news from us… But after many up and down we’re delighted to announce that our third album Will finally be recorded in July with Jaime Gomez Arellano at Orgone Studios.

This new album Will contain 7 songs and some surprises…

It took 3 years to give birth to this album and we really hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of this long work…

Stay tuned for more info….

Tracklisting:
– Lost.Forever.
– Lucidly Adrift
– Eclipse Of the Sane pt.1: Isolation Ghost
– Last Epistle
– Wander in Sedation
– Eclipse of the Sane part.2: Fiddler of the bottle
– There Bears the fruit of Deceit

Sébastien Bismuth – Vocals, Guitars
Florian Leguillon – Guitars, Vocals
Benjamin Carel – Guitars, Synths & Effects
Romain Hauduc – Bass, Vocals
Baptiste Keriel – Drums, Vocals

www.abrahmamusic.net
www.facebook.com/ABRAHMAMUSIC
www.twitter.com/ABRAHMAMUSIC

Abrahma, Reflections in the Bowels of a Bird (2015)

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Demande à la Poussière Premiere “L’Univers”; Self-Titled Debut Due Fall 2018

Posted in audiObelisk on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

demande a la poussiere

Parisian trio Demande à la Poussière are set to make their self-titled debut early this Fall on Argonauta Records. The project is new. Really new. As in, I-think-the-track-premiere-below-might-be-their-first-public-audio new. They were founded last year by members of The Great Old Ones, Würm and Nerv, among others, and when one considers the pedigree as well as the span of influences at work within it, it’s hardly a surprise the group’s first single from the album, “L’Univers,” is both so cohesive in its churn and so difficult to place in terms of genre. Hearty proportions of black metal, doom and noisy post-metallic churn make their way into the five-minute cut, and the three-down-from-five-piece of guitarists Jeff Grimal and Edgard Chevallier (the latter also programming) and vocalist Krys Fruit-Denhez call to mind a more charred version of German one-man outfit Owl in their rhythm and inescapable extremity.

As the leadoff of the eight-song/43-minute outing, “L’Univers” is charged with setting the grim but not overblown atmosphere upon which the rest of what follows ultimately builds. The band vary the balance throughout on songs like “Le Lendemain” and the marching groove of “L’Unique Certitude” and the near-apocalyptic “Condamnes,” with a consistency of tone and a malleable sound that keeps songwriting at the center while also allowing them to move outward into an ambient bleakness. The later cut “Accroche” teases some minimalism in its quiet stretches, soon enough giving way to explosive heft, and by the time they get down to closer “Drone” — which, yes, lives up to its name — Demande à la Poussière have found a cosmic place as rich in sound as it is in a sense of terror. Even then, Demande à la Poussière refuse to let go of their darkened sensibilities, the rage driving the creation, and what “L’Univers” starts only grows more virulent along the way.

Naturally, that’s the whole idea, and “L’Univers,” in its shove and its underlying current of noise, is indicative of much of what follows. As such, it’s all the more my pleasure to be able to host the premiere below. Demande à la Poussière‘s signing to Argonauta was just announced last month, but the record is done and in the can, so the early Fall release seems like a perfectly reasonable expectation at this point. I’ll hope to have more as we get closer to the actual drop date, but until then, you can listen to “L’univers” on the player here, with a quote from the band and more background info beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Demande à la Poussière, “L’Univers”

Demande à la Poussière on “L’Univers”:

“L’Univers” is the title that opens the album and that will undoubtedly herald a deluge of heaviness and disillusioned feelings. Pessimism as an engine for aggressiveness and reconstruction.

DEMANDE À LA POUSSIÈRE is a Blackened Post-core band founded in 2017 whose members come from experienced Black Metal, Hardcore and Indus scenes. Members are: Jeff (vocals and guitar – The Great Old Ones / Spectrale), Edgard Chevallier (machine – ex Würm / Gloomy Hellium Bath), Vincent Baglin (Moshi-Moshi-battery), Krys (chant-Nerv / Omrade), Jiu (Bass -ex No return), the band quickly records a first album at Lower tones Place Studio in September 2017. The band has diverse influences to offer a unique style. Combining heaviness Sludge / Doom, the blackness of Black Metal, the intensity of Post Hardcore tinged post rock atmosphere. This music is impacting, encompassing and intense. The name of the band is taken from a book by John Fante, but there is no connection to see it as the deep darkness of the music leads to other feelings.

Krys Fruit-denhez : Vocals
Jeff Grimal : Guitars
Edgard Chevallier : Guitars, Programming

Demande à la Poussière on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Domadora Announce June 29 Release for Lacuna

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

domadora

Last heard from with their 2016 sophomore outing, The Violent Mystical Sukuma (discussed here), Parisian heavy psychedelic three-or-four-piece Domadora have set a June 29 issue date for their new album, Lacuna. No audio from it as yet, but one imagines that can’t be far off, and given the sonic adventurousness that showed itself through their material their last time out, I’d expect the forthcoming four-track long-player to do a healthy bit of wandering. One would hope so, at least.

The PR wire has art and details and whatnots for the digging, so have at it:

domadora lacuna

DOMADORA announce the release of their third album “Lacuna” this June 29th.

France’s premium psychedelic jammers DOMADORA return with their long-awaited third full-length “Lacuna” this June 29th.

“Lacuna” commonly refers to the “empty space” or “void” from which everything takes shape. The void is at the beginning of everything: matter and time, light, sound and art. It is the starting point of the artwork. It just takes the scratching a match of creativity inside the void to generate an idea, a note, a melody… and feelings as well as emotions are born. So how is an idea born? Where does it come from? A Big Bang. Music is a way to reach mind elevation. DOMADORA’s music intends to put the willing listener into a state of trance and reach a state of elevation.

“Lacuna” is different from DOMADORA’s two previous albums and recorded far from the auditoriums of “Tibetan Monk” (2013) and “The Violent Mystical Sukuma” (2016). Domadora is convinced that context directly influences the intuitions and colours of improvised music. That’s the reason why the band has made the choice to record this album on an isolated farm in western France. Therefore, a very strong human experience and geographical isolation are on the list of ingredients of this album.

“Lacuna” was recorded and mixed by Brice Chandler, and mastered by Kent Stump in Crystal Clear Sound Wo Fat studios in Dallas, Texas.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Lacuna Jam
2. Gengis Khan
3. Vacuum Density
4. Tierra Last Homage

Artwork by Antoine d’Agata

The influences of Domadora are more in musical trends : free, uninhibited and daring to make music. Of course, you’re gonna easily think rock of the late 60’s and top 70 – but also to proto punk, the freedom of the area, or the heavy rock jam born in the desert. You can also find an influence in some classic pieces including the way to live a journey through successive wave intensities – from Pink Floyd to Fatso Jetson passing Led Zeppelin and Beethoven.

DOMADORA is
Organ – Angel Hidalgo Paterna
Drums – Karim Bouazza
Bass – Gui Omm
Guitars – Belwil

https://www.facebook.com/DomadoraBand
https://twitter.com/domadoraband
http://www.domadora.fr/
https://domadora.bandcamp.com/

Domadora, The Violent Mystical Sukuma (2016)

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Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting?: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Weird

Posted in Reviews on November 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Frank Sabbath Are You Waiting

It’s a hell of a question, if you think about it. Well, are you waiting? And if so, for what? The implication would seem to be that French weirdo rock trio Frank Sabbath is directly addressing their audience, but even then, it’s pretty open as to what they could be asking. Are we waiting for the three-piece themselves? Are we waiting for Are You Waiting?, which is their third album behind last year’s Telluric Wanderers (discussed here) and their 2015 self-titled debut (review here)? Or is it a question about the question itself, as in, what are we waiting for? And if so, what’s the answer? Shouldn’t we just dive in, to the four-song/34-minute long-player and just about everything else?

Are they asking about the way we’re living our lives, or is it like when you’re at the grocery store and you can’t tell if someone is actually on the checkout line or if they’re just mesmerized by the slew of magazine covers and candybars left there to be impulse purchases. Excuse me, are you waiting? To some degree or other, aren’t we all?

The answers aren’t exactly forthcoming throughout Are You Waiting?, but the immediate affect the question has lingers and would seem to play directly into the band’s intention to shake their listeners out of a comfort zone. With a parabolic structure of two six-minute tracks — opener “Goat” (6:40) and closer “Sasume” (6:00) — bookending two longer jammers in “Lazarus” (11:25) and “Take the Lead” (10:09), the record sets itself up for mirrored-style vinyl sides, but works with a linear flow as well, each piece seeming to offer something of its own to the overarching freaked-out entirety.

The expectation going into Are You Waiting?, which arrives in a handmade CD sleeve under the banner of the band’s own Bermuda Cruise Records imprint, shouldn’t necessarily be that Frank Sabbath — who continue to have very much picked the correct moniker — will never lock into a solid groove together and rock out because they’re too busy being oddballs. Apart perhaps from “Sasume,” the abundant and maybe-Japanese lyrics of which seem like a questionable choice at best, politically and in terms of the raw sonic outcome, there’s very little on Are You Waiting? to evoke that check-us-out-we’re-weird, post-Mr. Bungle performative sort of experimentalism. It’s more about sonic quirk.

Despite “Sasume” and despite the fact that “Lazarus” and “Take the Lead” both have lyrics, it’s probably fair to say the album is mostly instrumental, since that’s where the bulk of its impression is made, and as they start off “Goat” with an immediate freakout before guitarist Jude Mas, bassist Guillaume Jankowski and drummer Baptiste Reig tap into a kind of uptempo, low-end-driven surf rock, the spirit is immersive in its blend of grunge skronk and offkilter rhythmic turns. Maybe more immersive than one might think, in fact. Subtly, Mas and Jankowski set a theme of interplay between the guitar and bass that will continue into “Lazarus” and be most effectively put to use in “Take the Lead,” and this happens with a bit of subterfuge via the overarching groove being propelled by Reig‘s drums, which by the time they get to the opener’s fifth minute is practically space rock in its thrust.

frank sabbath (photo robin levet)

They cap that launch with another freakout to mirror that at the start, and it’s not until a couple minutes into the fuzz-drenched “Lazarus” that the first lyrics on Are You Waiting? arrive, following nuanced lead guitar work and a corresponding fluidity of bass that in tone and in terms of what Jankowski does to complement the work of Mas and Reig both, qualifies as being of the “must-hear” variety. They slow down at about three minutes in to make room for the verse over a heavy psychedelic drift, but are soon enough on their way again, and though they might seem to meander, I’m not at all convinced Frank Sabbath don’t have an underlying plan at work in their extended solos and instrumental stretches, making their work progressive rather than haphazard or merely the manifestation of jams put to tape.

“Take the Lead” further demonstrates this idea with a fluidity that not only makes it a highlight of Are You Waiting?, but sets Frank Sabbath apart from the bulk of European heavy psych in terms of their chemistry and the approach they undertake, which seems as much inspired by Samsara Blues Experiment as Zappa himself. But it’s ultimately the patience of the execution itself that one finds most encouraging when it comes to the basic listening experience, and that makes the goof-off rush of “Sasume” something of an atmospheric crash landing as it rounds out the LP.

This is obviously by design, and I’m not going to hold their having a fun against Frank Sabbath or anyone else for that matter — at least not most of the time — but there’s something about the way the Japanese language is used in “Sasume” that comes through more like someone doing an impression of old samurai movies than actually speaking the language. Lyrics are spoken, seemingly back and forth between the band members, while beneath they do lock into a more than solid groove, once more held together by the bass and drums as the guitar goes off where it will. “Sasume” rolls out a stoner rock-style instrumental hook and spends the final two of its six minutes first in a layered guitar solo and then with a late inclusion of keys/organ that signals a rhythmic turn into the last big push that ends.

It is the nature of experimentation that sometimes ideas work and sometimes they don’t, and while I’m not prepared to call “Sasume” a dud for the effect its increased pace has on the final statement the album makes overall, it feels nearly like an element of minstrelsy is at play, and even if that’s born of an appreciation for the Japanese language and culture, it’s almost too easy to read it into another context. Still, and again, Frank Sabbath acquit themselves well throughout Are You Waiting?, and while we may never get the response directly to that question, the sense by the time the record is done is that the trio have only just started to really explore the heights their chemistry might attain and the reaches they might yet conjure as songwriters.

In that sense, yes, we are waiting, but they’ve certainly provided plenty to chew on in the meantime in their most realized work to-date.

Frank Sabbath, Are You Waiting? (2017)

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

Bermuda Cruise Records website

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