Dopelord Announce Rescheduled 2021 and 2022 Tours; New EP Out Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

dopelord

Dopelord‘s new EP, Reality Dagger, has a sound that makes me, as Marvin, want to call up my cousin Chuck and tell him that that sound he’s looking for, well listen to this. Maybe Back to the Future is all the wrong kind of cinema — certainly if the Suspiria-style cover is anything to go by it is — but I think you get my point. Not at all far removed from 2020’s Sign of the Devil (review here), the band continue a hot-streak in the new three-tracker and they’ve announced a pair of rescheduled tours for Western and Eastern Europe, respectively, in 2021 and 2022.

As with any tour announcement made after March of last year, these of course come with a big ol’ CONDITIONS PERMITTING caveat, but here’s hoping they come together and the greater European sphere is ready to rejoice in heavy worship and nod the fuck out to primo groove, because that’s precisely the fare in which Dopelord traffic.

Dates follow courtesy of Doomstar Bookings. Make travel plans accordingly:

The polish stoner doom legends, Dopelord are now revealing the rescheduled dates for both European tours! Check the confirmed dates below!

As a cherry on top, today is the release date of Dopelord’s “Reality Dagger” EP! Check it out here; https://dopelord.bandcamp.com/music

Dopelord Western European Fall tour 2021 confirmed dates:
11.09.2021 – Cottbus (DE) – Zum Faulen
12.09.2021 – Rostock (DE) – JAZ Rostock
13.09.2021 – Hamburg (DE) – Hafenklang
16.09.2021 – Hannover (DE) – Chez Heinz
17.09.2021 – Nijmegen (NL) – Merleyn
19.09.2021 – London (UK) – Boston Music Rooms
20.09.2021 – Sheffield (UK) – Record Junkee
21.09.2021 – Bristol (UK) – The Fleece
22.09.2021 – Gent (BE) – Trefpunt
24.09.2021 – Dijon (FR) – Les Tanneries
25.09.2021 – Weinheim (DE) – Café Central
26.09.2021 – Marburg (DE) – Trauma
27.09.2021 – Jena (DE) – KUBA Jena
28.09.2021 – Berlin (DE) – Cassiopeia
29.09.2021 – Dresden (DE) – Chemiefabrik

Dopelord Eastern European Winter tour 2022 confirmed dates:
11.02.2022 – Krakow (PL) – Klub Za?cianek*
12.02.2022 – Kosice (SK) – Collosseum*
13.02.2022 – Cluj (RO) Form Space*
14.02.2022 – Budapest (HU) – Robot*
15.02.2022 – Zagreb (HR) – Vintage Industrial*
16.02.2022 – Belgrad (RS) – Imago Club*
17.02.2022 – Thessaloniki (GR) – Eightball Club
18.02.2022 – Athens (GR) – Temple
19.02.2022 – Volos (GR) – Café Santan
20.02.2022 – Kavala (GR) – TBA
21.02.2022 – Sofia (BG) – Mixtape 5
22.02.2022 – Bucharest (RO) – Quantic
23.02.2022 – Szeged (HU) – Grand Café
24.02.2022 – Bratislava (SK) – Kulturak Klub
25.02.2022 – Wroclaw (PL) – Liverpool*
26.02.2022 – Lodz (PL) – Magnetofon*
27.02.2022 – Warsaw (PL) – Klub Pog?os*
* With Taraban

https://www.facebook.com/Dopelord666
https://www.instagram.com/dopelord_666/
https://dopelord.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/doomstarbookings

Dopelord, Reality Dagger (2021)

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Diuna Announce Pila Do Pomników Przyrody Due Feb. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

diuna

Following-up 2019’s Golem (review here), Polish heavy rock noisemakers Diuna will release their new EP, Pila Do Pomników Przyrody. No, I don’t know how to pronounce it. Sadly, my Polish is limited to a tentative “dzi?kuj?,” and even that I had to look up how to spell. While we’re doing translations, the title in English is “A Saw for Natural Monuments,” which I like, and the songs are “Funny Meme,” “I Invite You to Vienna for a Waltz,” “Meanness,” and the title-track, in order. I can’t even get all the characters to show up in WordPress (something that bothers me continuously and has for years), but one way or the other, the EP is out Feb. 5 on Piranha Music and you can see the cover art and album info here.

There’s no music yet, but if you haven’t checked out Golem, that stream is below and worth your time if you’re looking for something inventive but still heavy-derived. More than standard dudes-plus-riffs I guess is what I’m saying. And right on to them going full-on in Polish as well.

From the PR wire:

diuna Pila do pomnikow przyrody

After a well-received full length album “Golem” (2019), the polish stoner rockers DIUNA have just announced their new EP! “Pi?a do pomników przyrody” will be out 5th of February 2021, via independent label Piranha Music.

Band have just announced the album cover designed by Jakub Didkowski and Slawosz Tejkowski and the tracklist.

EP will consist of 4 new tracks, all of them in polish language:
1. ?mieszny mempej (09:28)
2. Zapraszam do Wiednia na walc (03:57)
3. Pod?o?? (04:54)
4. Pi?a do pomników przyrody (05:38)

“We recorded them in Kongo Studio under the watchful eye of the irreplaceable Jacek Stasiak who mixed and mastered everything for us. It’s always great at his studio.”

In the last track you will hear Jan Wawrzyniak from Red Scalp! Guess what instrument he played for us. Preorder and single coming soon!

https://www.facebook.com/diunaband/
https://diuna.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/diunaband/
https://www.facebook.com/piranhamusicpl/
https://www.instagram.com/piranha.music/
https://piranhamusicpl.bandcamp.com/

Diuna, Golem (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, Spaceslug, Malsten, Sun Crow, Honeybadger, Monte Luna, Hombrehumano, Veljet, Witchrider, Devil Worshipper

Posted in Reviews on December 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

New week, same Quarterly Review. Today is the next-to-last round for this time, though once again, I look at the folders of albums on my desktop and the CDs and LPs that have come in and I realize it could easily go longer. I never really caught up from the last QR. I guess it’s been that kind of year. In any case, more good stuff today, so sit tight and enjoy. If you didn’t find anything last week that stuck out to you, maybe today’s your day.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, May Our Chambers Be Full

emma ruth rundle thou may our chambers be full

Sure, there’s poise and plunder amid torrents of emotion and weighted tonality, but what’s really astonishing about May Our Chambers Be Full, the first collaboration between Louisville’s Emma Ruth Rundle (Red Sparowes‘ third LP, the Nocturnes, Marriages, etc.) and New Orleans’ sludgers Thou is that it feels so much more substantial than its 36 minutes. That’s not to say it drags, though it does when it wants to in terms of tempo, but just that its impact both in songs where Rundle and Thou‘s Bryan Funck trade off like “Ancestral Recall” or when they come together as on opener “Killing Floor” is such that it feels longer. Atmosphere is certainly a factor, but May Our Chambers Be Full is so striking because of its blend of extremity and melody, emotion and sheer catharsis, and the breadth that seems to accompany its consuming crush. In a couple years, there are going to be an awful lot of bands putting out debut albums that sound very much like this. Follow-up EP out soon.

Emma Ruth Rundle on Thee Facebooks

Thou on Instagram

Sacred Bones Records website

 

Spaceslug, Leftovers

spaceslug leftovers

Produced by the band and Piotr Grzegorowski — who also guests on synth and guitar — during the plague-addled Spring of 2020, Spaceslug‘s Leftovers EP represents a branching out in terms of style to incorporate a sense of melancholy alongside their established sprawling psychedelics. The 21-minute five-tracker is less a follow-up to 2019’s Reign of the Orion (review here) than a standalone sidestep, but in the acoustic/synth rollout of “From Behind the Glass” and in the especially-stripped-down-feeling centerpiece “The Birds are Loudest in May” it lives up to the challenge of blending an organic atmosphere with the otherworldly sensibilities Spaceslug have honed so well throughout their tenure. Having started with its longest and synthiest track in “Wasted Illusion,” Leftovers caps with the shorter and more active “Place to Turn” and its title-track, which adds a spindly layer of electric guitar (or something that sounds like it) for an experimentalist vibe. Very 2020, but no less welcome for that. The question is whether these impulses show up in Spaceslug‘s work from here on out, and if so, how.

Spaceslug on Thee Facebooks

Spaceslug on Bandcamp

 

Malsten, The Haunting of Silvåkra Mill

malsten The Haunting of Silvakra Mill

Malmö-based four-piece Malsten make their full-length debut on Interstellar Smoke Records with the four-song/44-minute The Haunting of Silvåkra Mill, and in so doing show an immediate command of post-Pallbearer spaciousness and melodic-doom traditionalism. Their lumber is prevalent and engrossing tonally on opener “Torsion” (10:36), uses silence effectively on “Immolation” (10:24), and seems to find a place between Warning and Lord Vicar on “Grinder” (9:02) ahead of the epic-on-top-of-epics summary in closer “Compunction” (13:54), which finds Malsten having reserved another level of heavy to keep as their final statement. So be it. Very heavy and worthy of as much volume as you can give it, The Haunting of Silvåkra Mill is an accomplished beginning and heralds significant potential on the part of what’s to come from Malsten. I’d watch this band do a live stream playing this record front-to-back. Just saying.

Malsten on Thee Facebooks

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

 

Sun Crow, Quest for Oblivion

Sun Crow Quest for Oblivion

A significant undertaking of progressive heavy and noise rock, Sun Crow‘s Quest for Oblivion is among the most ambitious debut albums I’ve heard in 2020, but there’s nothing it sets for itself in terms of goals that it doesn’t accomplish, as vocalist Charles Wilson flips between clean melodies and effective screams atop the riffs of guitarist Ben Nechanicky, the bass of Brian Steel and Keith Hastreiter‘s drums. Somebody’s gonna sign these guys. Even at 70 minutes, Quest for Oblivion, from its post-apocalyptic standpoint, aesthetic cohesion, fluid songcraft and accomplished performance, is simply too good to leave without a proper 2LP release. Individualized in atmosphere though working with familiar-enough elements, it is an album that makes it joyously difficult to pick apart influences, unleashing an initial burst of four longer tracks before giving way (albeit momentarily) to “Fear” and the outlying, brazenly Motörheady “Nothing Behind” before returning to cosmic heavy in “Hypersonic” and the 11-minute “Titans,” which uses its time just as well as everything else that surrounds. Ironic that a record that seems to be about a wasteland should bring so much hope for the future.

Sun Crow on Thee Facebooks

Sun Crow on Bandcamp

 

Honeybadger, Pleasure Delayer

honeybadger pleasure delayer

It doesn’t take Honeybadger long to land their first effective punch on their debut LP, Pleasure Delayer, as the hook of opener/longest track (immediate points) “The Wolf” hits square on the jaw and precedes an atmospheric guitar outro that leads into the rest of the album as a closer might otherwise lead the way out. A product of Athens’ heavy rock boom, the four-piece distinguish themselves in fuzzy tones and an approach that comes right to the edge of burl and doesn’t quite tip over, thankfully and gracefully staving off chestbeating in favor of quality songcraft on “The Well” and the engagingly bass-led “Crazy Ride,” from which the initially slower, bluesier “Good for Nothing” picks up with some Truckfighters, some 1000mods and a whole lot of fun. Side B’s hooks are no less satisfyingly straightforward. “That Feel” feels born for the stage, while “Laura Palmer” makes a memorable chorus out of that Twin Peaks character’s slaying, the penultimate “Holler” feels indeed like the work of a band trying to stand themselves out from a crowded pack and “Truth in the Lie” caps mirroring the energy of “Good for Nothing” but resounding in a cold finish. Efficient, hooky, smoothly executed. There’s nothing one might reasonably ask of Pleasure Delayer that it doesn’t deliver.

Honeybadger on Thee Facebooks

Honeybadger on Bandcamp

 

Monte Luna, Mind Control Broadcast

monte luna mind control broadcast

Released name-your-price as a benefit for the venue The Lost Well in Monte Luna‘s hometown of Austin and derived from a CvltNation-sponsored livestream, the three-song Mind Control Broadcast follows 2019’s Drowners’ Wives (review here) and is intended as a glimpse at their impending third LP, likely due in 2021. That record will be one to look forward to, but it’ll be hard to trade out the raw bludgeon of “Blackstar” — the leadoff here — for another, maybe-not-live-recorded version. True, the setting doesn’t necessarily allow for the band to bring in guests like they did last time around or to flesh out melodies in the same way, but the sound is brash and thrilling and lets “Rust Goliath” live up to its name in largesse, while saving its nastiest for last in “Fear the Sun,” the glorious bassline of which it feels like a spoiler even mentioning for someone who hasn’t heard it yet. 22 of the sludgiest minutes you’re likely to spend today.

Monte Luna on Thee Facebooks

Monte Luna BigCartel store

 

Hombrehumano, Crepuscular

hombrehumano crepuscular

As satisfying as the laid-back-heavy desert rock flow of “Rolito” is, and as well done as what surrounds on Hombrehumano‘s 2019 debut album, Crepuscular, turns out to be in its 53-minute run, it’s in the longer pieces like the Western “Puerto Gris” or the post-Brant Bjork “Metamorfosis” that they really shine. That’s not to take away from the opening instrumental “Nomada” that establishes the tones and sets the atmosphere in which the rest of the record takes place, or the nod of “Primaveras de Olvido,” and certainly the fuzz-boogie and percussion of “Ouroboro” shine in a manner worthy of being depicted on the cover, but the Argentinian four-piece do well with the extra time to flesh out their material. But, either way you go, you go. Hombrehumano craft sweet fuzz and spaciousness on “Puerto Gris” and answer it back later in “Zombakice” and add twists of percussion and acoustics and vocal effects — never mind the birdsong — on closer “Del Ensueño.” Es un ejemplo más de lo que le falta a la cultura gringo al no adorar fuertemente a los sudamericanos.

Hombrehumano on Thee Facebooks

Hombrehumano on Bandcamp

 

Veljet, Viva El Diablo

veljet viva el diablo

Even my non-Spanish-speaking ass can translate Viva el Diablo, the title of Mexican instrumentalist three-piece Veljet‘s debut album. Initially released by the band in March 2020, it was subsequently reissued for physical pressing with a seventh track, “Leviatan,” added, bringing the runtime to a vinyl-ready 37 minutes. The apparently-devil-worshiping title-cut is still the longest at a doomly eight minutes, but though the production is fairly raw, Veljet‘s material taps into a few different impulses within the heavy rock sphere, offsetting willfully repetitive riffing in “El Día de las Manos” with scorching solo work while “Jay Adams” — presumably named in homage to the Dogtown skater — pulls some trad-metal riffing into its second half. “Cutlass” is short at 2:36, but makes the record as a whole feel less predictable for that, and the add-on “Leviatan” embodies its great sea beast with a nod up front that opens to later cacophony. The vibe throughout is you’re-in-the-room live jams, and Veljet have well enough chemistry to carry the songs across in that setting.

Veljet on Thee Facebooks

The Swamp Records website

 

Witchrider, Electrical Storm

witchrider electrical storm

Smoothly produced and executed, not lacking energy but produced for a very studio-style fullness, Witchrider‘s second LP arrives via Fuzzorama Records in answer to 2014’s Unmountable Stairs with a pro-shop feel for its 50-minute duration. Songs are sharply hooked and energetic, beefing up Queens of the Stone Age-style desert rock early on “Shadows” and “You Lied” before the guitars introduce a broader palette with the title-track. The chorus of “Mess Creator” and the big finish in closer “The Weatherman” are highlights, but songs like “Keep Me out of It” and “Come Back” feel built for a commercial infrastructure that — at least in radio-free America — doesn’t exist anymore. I’m not sure what it takes to attract the attention of picky algorithms, but if it’s grounded songwriting, varied material and crisp performance like it was when there was a cable channel playing music videos, then Witchrider are ready to roll. As it stands, the Austrian outfit seem underserved by the inability to even get on a festival stage and play this material live to win converts in that manner. They’re hardly alone in that, but with material that seems so poised specifically toward audience engagement, it comes through all the more, which of course is a testament to the quality of the work itself.

Witchrider on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzorama Records website

 

Devil Worshipper, 3

devil worshipper 3

Opening with its longest track (immediate points) in the 10-minute “Silver Dagger” and presented with the burning red eyes of Christopher Lee’s Dracula on the front, the 33-minute 3 tape from Seattle’s Devil Worshipper maintains the weirdo-experimental spirit of the outfit’s 2015 self-titled debut (review here), finding a kind of Butthole Surfers-into-a-cassette-recorder, anything-goes-until-it-sucks, dark ’90s psychedelia they call “garage metal.” Fair enough. Apparently more efficient than anything I can come up with for it, though what doesn’t necessarily account for is the way the 3 challenges the listener, the remastered versions of “Into Radiation Wave” and “Chem Rails” from the first album, or the horror atmospherics of “Drinking Blood.” It’s like it’s too weird for this planet so it finally made one for itself. Well earned.

Devil Worshipper on Thee Facebooks

Puppy Mill Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: -(16)-, BoneHawk, DÖ, Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Chimney Creeps, Kingnomad, Shores of Null, The Device, Domo, Early Moods

Posted in Reviews on December 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

I just decided how long this Quarterly Review is actually going to be. It’s seven days, then I’ll do my year-end list and the poll results on New Year’s Eve and Day, respectively. That’s the plan. Though honestly, I might pick up after that weekend and continue QR-style for that next week. There’s a lot more to cover, I think. The amount of releases this year has been pretty insane and completely overwhelming. I’ve tried to keep up as best I can and clearly have failed in that regard or I probably wouldn’t be so swamped now. So it goes. One way or the other, I don’t think a lot of emails are getting answered for the next two weeks, though I’ll try to keep up with that too.

But anyhow, that’s what’s up. Here’s Day II (because this is the QR where I do Roman numerals for absolutely no reason).

Quarterly Review #11-20:

16, Dream Squasher

16 Dream Squasher

The fourth long-player since 16‘s studio return with 2009’s Bridges to Burn, the 10-track Dream Squasher begins with tales of love for kid and dog, respectively. The latter might be the sweetest lyrics I’ve ever read for something that’s still bludgeoning sludge — said dog also gets a mention amid the ultra-lumbering chug and samples of “Acid Tongue” — and it’s worth mentioning that as the Cali intensity institution nears 30 years since their start in 1991, they’re branching out in theme and craft alike, as the melody of the organ-laced “Sadlands” shows. There’s even some harmonica in “Agora (Killed by a Mountain Lion),” though it’s soon enough swallowed by pummel and the violent punk of “Ride the Waves” follows. “Summer of ’96” plays off Bryan Adams for another bit of familial love, while closing duo “Screw Unto Others” and “Kissing the Choir Boy” indict capitalist and religious figureheads in succession amid weighted plod and seething anger, the band oddly in their element in this meld of ups, downs and slaughter.

16 on Thee Facebooks

16 at Relapse Records

 

BoneHawk, Iron Mountain

bonehawk iron mountain

Kalamazoo four-piece BoneHawk make an awaited follow-up to their 2014 debut, Albino Rhino (discussed here), in the form of Iron Mountain, thereby reminding listeners why it’s been awaited in the first place. Solid, dual-guitar, newer-school post-The Sword heavy rock. Second cut “Summit Fever” reminds a bit of Valley of the Sun and Freedom Hawk, but neither is a bad echelon of acts to stand among, and the open melodies of the subsequent title-track and the later “Fire Lake” do much to distinguish BoneHawk along the way. The winding lead lines of centerpiece “Wildfire” offer due drama in their apex, and “Thunder Child” and “Future Mind” are both catchy enough to keep momentum rolling into the eight-minute closer “Lake of the Clouds,” which caps with due breadth and, yes, is the second song on the record about a lake. That’s how they do in Michigan and that’s just fine.

BoneHawk on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

DÖ, Black Hole Mass

do black hole mass

follow the Valborg example of lumbering barking extremity into a cosmic abyss on their Black Hole Mass three-songer, emitting charred roll like it’s interstellar background radiation and still managing to give an underlying sense of structure to proceedings vast and encompassing. “Gravity Sacrifice” and “Plasma “Psalm” are right on in their teeth-grinding shove, but it’s the 10-minute finale “Radiation Blessing” that steals my heart with its trippy break in the middle, sample, drifting guitar and all, as the Finnish trio build gradually back up to a massive march all the more effective for the atmosphere they’ve constructed around it. Construction, as it happens, is the underlying strength of Black Hole Mass, since it’s the firm sense of structure beneath their songs that allows them to so ably engage their dark matter metal over the course of these 22 minutes, but it’s done so smoothly one hardly thinks about it while listening. Instead, the best thing to do is go along for the ride, brief as it is, or at least bow head in appreciation to the ceremony as it trods across rigid stylistic dogma.

DÖ on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Howling Giant & Sergeant Thunderhoof, Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa

turned to stone chapter 2 howling giant sergeant thunderhoof

Let this be a lesson to, well, everyone. This is how you do a conceptual split. Two bands getting together around a central idea — in this case, Tennessee’s Howling Giant and UK’s Sergeant Thunderhoof — both composing single tracks long enough to consume a vinyl side and expanding their reach not only to work with each other but further their own progressive sonic ideologies. Ripple Music‘s Turned to Stone split series is going to have a tough one to top in Masamune & Muramasa, as Howling Giant utterly shine in “Masamune” and the rougher-hewn tonality of Sergeant Thunderhoof‘s “Maramasa” makes an exceptional complement. Running about 41 minutes, the release is a journey through dynamic, with each act pushing their songwriting beyond prior limits in order to meet the occasion head-on and in grand fashion. They do, and the split easily stands among the best of 2020’s short releases as a result. If you want to hear where heavy rock is going, look no further.

Howling Giant on Thee Facebooks

Sergeant Thunderhoof on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Chimney Creeps, Nosedive

chimney creeps nosedive

Punkish shouts over dense noise rock tones, New York trio Chimney Creeps make their full-length debut with Nosedive, which they’ve self-released on vinyl. The album runs through seven tracks, and once it gets through the straight-ahead heavy punk of “March of the Creeps” and “Head in the Sand” at the outset, the palette begins to broaden in the fuzzy and gruff “Unholy Cow,” with the deceptively catchy “Splinter” following. “Creeper” and “Satisfied” before it are longer and accordingly more atmospheric, with a truck-backing-up sample at the start of “Creeper” that would seem to remind listeners just where the band’s sound has put them: out back, around the loading dock. Fair enough as “Diving Line” wraps in accordingly workmanlike fashion, the vocals cutting through clearly as they have all the while, prominent in the mix in a way that asks for balance. “Bright” I believe is the word an engineer might use, but the vocals stand out, is the bottom line, and thereby assure that the aggressive stance of the band comes across as more than a put-on.

Chimney Creeps on Thee Facebooks

Chimney Creeps on Bandcamp

 

Kingnomad, Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad - Sagan Om Rymden

Kingnomad‘s third album, Sagan Om Rymden certainly wants nothing for scope or ambition, setting its progressive tone with still-hooky opener “Omniverse,” before unfurling the more patient chug in “Small Beginnings” and taking on such weighted (anti-)matter as “Multiverse” and “The Creation Hymn” and “The Unanswered Question” later on. Along the way, the Swedish troupe nod at Ghost-style melodicism, Graveyard-ish heavy blues boogie — in “The Omega Experiment,” no less — progressive, psychedelic and heavy rocks and no less than the cosmos itself, as the Carl Sagan reference in the record’s title seems to inform the space-based mythology expressed and solidified within the songs. Even the acoustic-led interlude-plus “The Fermi Paradox” finds room to harmonize vocals and prove a massive step forward for the band. 2018’s The Great Nothing (review here) and 2017’s debut, Mapping the Inner Void (review here), were each more accomplished than the last, but Sagan Om Rymden is just a different level. It puts Kingnomad in a different class of band.

Kingnomad on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Shores of Null, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)

Shores of Null Beyond the Shores On Death and Dying

By the time Shores of Null are nine minutes into the single 38-minute track that makes up their third album, Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying), they would seem to have unveiled at least four of the five vocalists who appear throughout the proceedings, with the band’s own Davide Straccione joined by Swallow the Sun‘s Mikko Kotamäki as well as Thomas A.G. Jensen (Saturnus), Martina Lesley Guidi (of Rome’s Traffic Club) and Elisabetta Marchetti (INNO). There are guests on violin, piano and double-bass as well, so the very least one might say is that Shores of Null aren’t kidding around when they’re talking about this record in a sense of being ‘beyond’ themselves. The journey isn’t hindered so much as bolstered by the ambition, however, and the core five-piece maintain a steady presence throughout, serving collectively as the uniting factor as “Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)” moves through its portrayal of the stages of grief in according movements of songcraft, gorgeously-arranged and richly composed as they are as they head toward the final storm. In what’s been an exceptional year for death-doom, Shores of Null still stand out for the work they’ve done.

Shores of Null on Thee Facebooks

Spikerot Records website

 

The Device, Tribute Album

the device tribute album

Tectonic sludge has become a mainstay in Polish heavy, and The Device, about whom precious little is known other than they’re very, very, very heavy when they want to be, add welcome atmospherics to the lumbering weedian procession. “Rise of the Device” begins the 47-minute Tribute Album in crushing form, but “Ritual” and the first minute or so of “BongOver” space out with droney minimalism, before the latter track — the centerpiece of the five-songer and only cut under six minutes long at 2:42 — explodes in consuming lurch. “Indica” plays out this structure again over a longer stretch, capping with birdsong and whispers and noise after quiet guitar and hypnotic, weighted riffing have played back and forth, but it’s in the 23-minute closer “Exhale” that the band finds their purpose, a live-sounding final jam picking up after a long droning stretch to finish the record with a groove that, indeed, feels like a release in the playing and the hearing. Someone’s speaking at the end but the words are obscured by echo, and to be sure, The Device have gotten their point across by then anyhow. The stark divisions between loud and quiet on Tribute Album are interesting, as well as what the band might do to cover the in-between going forward.

Galactic SmokeHouse Records on Thee Facebooks

The Device on Bandcamp

 

Domo, Domonautas Vol. 2

Domo Domonautas Vol 2

Spanish progressive heavy psychedelic semi-instrumentalists Domo follow late-2019’s Domonautas Vol. 1 (review here) with a four-song second installment, and Domonautas Vol. 2 answers its predecessor back with the jazz-into-doom of “Avasaxa” (7:43) and the meditation in “Dolmen” (13:50) on side A, and the quick intro-to-the-intro “El Altar” (2:06) and the 15-minute “Vientohalcón” on side B, each piece working with its own sense of motion and its own feeling of progression from one movement to the next, never rushed, never overly patient, but smooth and organic in execution even in its most active or heaviest stretches. The two most extended pieces offer particular joys, but neither should one discount the quirky rhythm at the outset of “Avasaxa” or the dramatic turn it makes just before five minutes in from meandering guitar noodling to plodding riffery, if only because it sounds like Domo are having so much fun catching the listener off guard. Exactly as they should be.

Domo on Thee Facebooks

Clostridium Records website

 

Early Moods, Spellbound

early moods spellbound

Doom be thy name. Or, I guess Early Moods be thy name, but doom definitely be thy game. The Los Angeles four-piece make their debut with the 26-minute Spellbound, and I suppose it’s an EP, but the raw Pentagram worship on display in the opening title-track and the Sabbath-ism that ensues flows easy and comes through with enough sincerity of purpose that if the band wanted to call it a full-length, one could hardly argue. Guitar heads will note the unbridled scorch of the solos throughout — centerpiece “Isolated” moves from one into a slow-Slayer riff that’s somehow also Candlemass, which is a feat in itself — while “Desire” rumbles with low-end distortion that calls to mind Entombed even as the vocals over top are almost pure Witchcraft. They save the most engaging melody for the finale “Living Hell,” but even that’s plenty grim and suited to its accompanying dirt-caked feel. Rough in production, but not lacking clarity, Spellbound entices and hints at things to come, but has a barebones appeal all its own as well.

Early Moods on Thee Facebooks

Dying Victims Productions website

 

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Quarterly Review: Boris, DVNE, Hydra, Jason Simon, Cherry Choke, Pariiah, Saavik, Mountain Tamer, Centre El Muusa, Population II

Posted in Reviews on December 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Kind of a spur of the moment thing, this Quarterly Review. I’ve been adding releases all the while, of course, but my thought was to do this after my year-end list went up, and I realized, hey, if I’ve got like 70 records I haven’t reviewed yet, maybe there’s some of that stuff worth considering. So here we are. I’ve pushed back my best-of-2020 stuff and basically swapped it with the Quarterly Review. Does it matter to you? I seriously, seriously doubt it, but I believe in transparency and that’s what’s up. Thought I’d let you know. And yeah, this is going to go into next week, take us through the X-mas holiday this Friday, so whatever. You celebrate your way and I’ll celebrate mine. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Boris, No

boris no

As a general project, reviewing Boris is damn near pointless. One might as well review the moon: “uh, it’s big and out there most of the time?” The only reason to do it is either to exercise one’s own need to hyperbolize or help the band sell records. Well, Boris doesn’t need my push and I don’t need to tell them how great they are. No is 40 minutes of the widely and wildly lauded Japanese heavy rock(s) experimentalists trying to riff away existing in 2020, delving high speed into hardcore here and there and playing off that with grueling sludge, punk, garage-metal and the penultimate “Loveless,” which is kind of Boris being their own genre. Much respect to the band, and I suppose one might critique Boris for, what?, being so Boris-y?, but there really isn’t a ton that hasn’t been said about them because such a ton has. I’m not trying to disparage their work at all — No is just what you’d expect as regards defying expectation — but after 20-plus years, there’s only so many ways one wants to call a band genius.

Boris on Thee Facebooks

Boris on Bandcamp

 

DVNE, Omega Severer

DVNE Omega Severer

Kind of a soft-opening for Edinburgh’s DVNE as an act on Metal Blade Records, unless of course one counts the two songs on the Omega Severer EP itself, which are post-metallic beasts of the sort that would and should make The Ocean blush. Progressive, heavy, and remarkably ‘next-wave’ feeling, DVNE‘s awaited follow-up to 2017’s Asheran may only be about 17 and a half minutes long, but it bodes remarkably well as the band master a torrent of intensity on the 10-minute opening title-cut and answer that with the immediately galloping “Of Blade and Carapace,” smashing battle-axe riffing and progressive shimmer against each other and finding it to be an alchemy of their own. Album? One suspects not until they can tour for it, but if Omega Severer is DVNE serving notice, consider the message received loud, clear, dynamic, crushing, spacious, and so on. Already veterans of Psycho Las Vegas, they sound like a band bent on capturing a broader audience in the metallic sphere.

DVNE on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Hydra, From Light to the Abyss

hydra from light to the abyss

There’s no questioning where Hydra‘s heart is at on their debut full-length, From Light to the Abyss. It belongs to the devil and it belongs to Black Sabbath. The Polish four-piece riff hard and straightforward throughout most of the five-track offering (released by Piranha Music), and samples set the kind of atmosphere that should be familiar enough to the converted — “No One Loves Like Satan” reminds of Uncle Acid in its initial channel-changing and swaggering riff alike — but doomly centerpiece “Creatures of the Woods” and the layered vocal melodies late in closer “Magical Mind” perhaps offer a glimpse at the direction the band could take from here. What matters though is where Hydra are at today, and that’s bringing riffs and nod to the converted among the masses, and From Light to the Abyss offers no pretense otherwise. It is doom rock for doom rockers, grooves to be grooved to. They’re not void of ambition by any means — their songwriting makes that clear — but their traditionalism is sleeve-worn, which if you’re going to have it, is right where it should be.

Hydra on Thee Facebooks

Piranha Music on Bandcamp

 

Jason Simon, A Venerable Wreck

jason simon a venerable wreck

Dead Meadow guitarist/vocalist Jason Simon follows 2016’s Familiar Haunts (review here) with the genre-spanning A Venerable Wreck, finding folk roots in obscure beats and backwards this-and-that, country in fuzz, ramble in space, and no shortage of experimentalism besides. A Venerable Wreck consists of 12 songs and though there are times where it can feel disjointed, that becomes part of the ride. It’s not all supposed to make sense. Yet what happens by the time you get around to “No Entrance No Exit” is that Simon (and a host of cohorts) has set his own context broad enough so that the drone reach of “Hollow Lands” and sleek, organ-laced indie of closer “Without Reason or Right” can coexist without any real interruption of flow between them. The question with A Venerable Wreck isn’t so much whether the substance is there, it’s whether the listener is open to it. Welcome to psychedelic America. Please inject this snake venom and turn in your keys when you leave.

Jason Simon on Bandcamp

BYM Records website

 

Cherry Choke, Raising Salzburg Rockhouse

Cherry Choke-Raising Salzburg Rockhouse-Cover

You won’t hear me take away from the opening psych-scorch hook of “Mindbreaker” or the fuzzed-on, boogie-down, -up, and -sideways of “Black Annis” which follows, but there’s something extra fun about hearing Frog Island’s Cherry Choke jam out a 13-minute, drum-solo-inclusive version of “6ix and 7even” that makes Raising Salzburg Rockhouse even more of a reminder of how underrated both they are as a band and Mat Bethancourt is as a player. Look no further than “Domino” if you want absolute proof. The whole band rips it up at the Austrian gig, which was recorded in 2015 as they supported their third and still-most-recent full-length, Raising the Waters (review here), but Bethancourt puts on a Hendrixian clinic in the nine-minute cut from 2011’s A Night in the Arms of Venus (review here), which is actually less of a clinic than it is pure distorted swagger followed by a mellow “cheers, thanks” before diving into “Used to Call You Friend.” A 38-minute set would be perfect for an vinyl release, and anytime Cherry Choke want to get around to putting together a fourth studio album, well, that’ll be just fine too.

Cherry Choke on Thee Facebooks

Cherry Choke on Bandcamp

 

Pariiah, Swallowed by Fog

Pariiah swallowed by fog

It’s a special breed of aggro that emerges as a result of living in the most densely populated state in the union, and New Jersey’s Pariiah have it to spare. Bringing together sludge tonality with elder-style New York hardcore lumbering riffs on their Trip Machine Laboratories tape, Swallowed by Fog, they exude a thickened brand of pissed off that’s outright going to be too confrontation for many who take it on. But if you want a middle finger to the face, this is what it sounds like, and the six songs (compiled into four on the digital version of the release) come and go entirely without pretense and leave little behind except bruises and the promise of more to come. They’re a new band, started in this most wretched of years, but there’s no learning curve whatsoever among the members of Devoid of Faith, The Nolan Gate, Kill Your Idols, Changeörder and others. I’d go to Maplewood to see these cats. I’m just saying. Maybe even Elizabeth.

Pariiah on Bandcamp

Trip Machine Laboratories website

 

Saavik, Saavik

saavik saavik

So you’ve got both members of Holly Hunt in a four-piece sludging out with spacey synth and the band is named after a Star Trek character? Not to get too personal, but that’s going to pique my interest one way or the other. Saavik — and they clearly prefer the Kirstie Alley version, rather than Robin Curtis, going by drummer Beatriz Monteavaro‘s artwork — are damn near playing space rock by the end of “He’s Dead Jim,” the opener of their self-titled debut EP, but even that’s affected by a significant tonal weight in Didi Aragon‘s bass and the guitar of Gavin Perry, however much Ryan Rivas‘ synth and effects-laced vocals might seem to float overhead, but “Meld” rolls along at a steadier nod, and “Horizon” puts the synth more in the lead without becoming any less heavy for doing so. Likewise, “Red Sun” calls to mind Godflesh in its proto-machine metal stomp, but there’s more concern in Saavik‘s sound with expanse than just pure crush, and that shows up in fascinating ways in these songs.

Saavik on Thee Facebooks

Other Electricities on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Tamer, Psychosis Ritual

mountain tamer psychosis ritual

There’s been a dark vibe all along nestled into Mountain Tamer‘s sound, and that’s certainly the case on Psychosis Ritual, with which the Los Angeles-based trio make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds. It’s their third full-length overall behind 2018’s Godfortune // Dark Matters (review here) and 2016’s self-titled debut (review here), and it finds their untamed-feeling psychedelia rife with that same threat of violence, not necessarily thematically as much as sonically, like the songs themselves are the weapon about to be turned on the listener. Maybe the buzz of “Warlock” or the fuckall echo of the prior-issued single “Death in the Woods” (posted here) aren’t out there trying to be “Hammer Smashed Face” or anything, but neither is this the hey-bruh-good-times heavy jams for which Southern California is known these days. Consider the severity of “Turoc Maximus Antonis” or the finally-released screams in closer “Black Noise,” which bookends Psychosis Ritual with the title-track and seems at last to be the point where whatever grim vibe these guys are riding finally consumes them. Mountain Tamer continue to be unexpected and righteous in kind.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Centre El Muusa, Centre El Muusa

centre el muusa centre el muusa

Hypnotic Estonian psychedelic krautrock instrumentals not your thing? Well that sounds like a personal problem Centre El Muusa are ready to solve. The evolved-from-duo four-piece get spaced out amid the semi-motorik repetitions of their self-titled debut (on Sulatron), and that seems to suit them quite well, thanksabunch. Drone trips and essential swirl brim with solar-powered pulsations and you can set your deflectors on maximum and route all the secondaries to reinforce if you want, there’s still a decent chance 9:53 opener an longest track “Turkeyfish” (immediate points, double for the appropriately absurd title) is going to sweep you off what you used to call your feet when that organ line hits at about six minutes in. That’s to say nothing of the cosmic collision later in “Burning Lawa” or the just-waiting-for-a-Carl-Sagan-voiceover “Mia” that follows. Even the 3:46 “Ain’t Got Enough Mojo” lives long enough to prove itself wrong. Interstellar tape transmissions fostered by obvious weirdos in the great out-there in “Szolnok,” named for a city in Hungary that, among other things, hosts the goulash festival. Right fucking on.

Centre El Muusa on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Population II, À La Ô Terre

Population II a La o Terre

The first Population II album, a 2017 self-titled, was comprised of two tracks, each long enough to consume a 12″ side. Somehow it’s fitting with the Montreal-based singing-drummer trio’s aesthetic that their second long-player, À la Ô Terre, would take a completely different tack, employing shorter freakouts like “L’Offrande” and “La Nuit” and the garage-rocking “La Danse” and what-if-JeffersonAirplane-but-on-Canadian-mushrooms “À la Porte de Demain” and still-more-drifting finisher “Je Laisse le Soleil Briller” amid the more stretched out “Attaction,” the space-buzzer “Ce n’est Réve” while cutting a middle ground in the greaked-out (I was gonna type “freaked out” and hit a typo and I’m keeping it) “Il eut un Silence dans le Ciel,” which also betrays the jazzy underpinnings that somehow make all of À la Ô Terre come across as progressive instead of haphazard. From the start to the close, you don’t know what’s coming next, and just because that’s by design doesn’t make it less effective. If anything, it makes Population II all the more impressive.

Population II on Thee Facebooks

Castle Face Records website

 

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Sunnata Set Feb. 26 Release for Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sunnata

I’ve got a good feeling about this one, even aside from listening to the first single below. I was looking forward to catching Polish progressive doomers Sunnata for the second time earlier this year at Freak Valley Festival in Germany, but, well, a lot of people were looking forward to a lot of things this year. Like being alive. They’re booked for 2021 in Siegen, and maybe if circumstances allow, I’ll be lucky enough to go and catch the robed four-piece as they support what will be their new album, Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth.

Their fourth long-player provides and opportunity for Sunnata to affirm what 2018’s Outlands (review here) posited — that their progression will not be a staid thing, but an ongoing commitment undertaken by the band. How that will bear out in the songs — “Crows” aside, naturally — I’m not yet sure, as I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing it, but again, I’ve got a good feeling. I know early 2021 is packed with woulda-been-2020 offerings already, but keep an ear out here.

From the PR wire:

sunnata burning in heaven melting on earth

Polish shamanic doom band SUNNATA announce new album Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth

Hypnotic first single ‘Crows’ is streaming now

Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth to be released on 26th February

Feral wilderness prophets SUNNATA (sanskr. noun emptiness, voidness), a four-piece Warsaw-based shamanic doom metal band are set to release their fourth full-length album Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth on 26th February. Ahead of this the band have also unveiled a visualiser for their hypnotic first single ‘Crows’.

Watch the lyric video for ‘Crows’ here: https://youtu.be/FnPly6P1Xv8
Stream ‘Crows’ and add to your playlists here: https://spoti.fi/2JBgBe2
Pre-order Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth here: https://linktr.ee/sunnata

SUNNATA comments: “The song tells the story of people giving their life for faith. Convinced they are fighting the blind, they are all equal when the death comes. Crows are observers aware of change – the only constant in the universe. Ravens and crows were frequently found on battlefields, feeding from corpses. That’s why crows in various mythologies are considered harbingers of doom. But they also bring the power of foresight to those who work with them. Diviners, seers and sages alike believed that the crow spirit could see through time and past the veils into spaces and places often hidden to humans. The crow as an animal spirit guide does not fear change. Does not fear the new.”

A ritualistic, meditatively uplifting, doom soundscape, Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth is a sensuous, ever-mutating musical experience. SUNNATA produce a pulsating mystic dirge which shimmers with odd beauty and uplifting melodies. The result is an atmosphere of sacred submission immersed in huge dynamics for the duration of the album’s 46-minute expanse.

Thematically the album explores different angles of religious fanaticism. Burning in Heaven, Melting On Earth questions the sacrifice of individual-self and the general sense of trusting your life to a crystal ethereal being represented by humans of flesh, bones and sins, and discusses consequences of doing so.

SUNNATA comments: “The new album can be perceived as a journey of consciousness. We pass through our lives driven by blind faith and false leaders, keeping our goals outside the reach until we die convinced that the time has come, while in reality it is long gone. An individual who follows this path will never fully contribute to society and will never be able to share his love in a healthy way.”

SUNNATA have been paving their own way to higher metal skies since their 2014 debut Climbing The Colossus. Their spellbinding sophomore album Zorya (2016) made the band gather even more momentum with regard to the European alternative heavy scene. Third album Outlands (2018) brilliantly brought out even more ritual in the heavy, confidently crossing the frontier of progressive doom to land in even more melancholic and mind-expanding alleys.

Known from their expressive and atmospheric live performances, SUNNATA has already taken part in various international festivals and been invited to open for Mastodon, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, The Sword, Sleep, Kylesa, Ufomammut and Rotting Christ.

Returning in 2021 with Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth, SUNNATA are at their most transcendent, melding together all the heaviness, intensity and tenderness into a graceful, cross pollinating form to create something incredible that demands attention and respect. From here SUNNATA are free to roam wherever.

SUNNATA will appear at Freak Valley Festival (Germany) and Grom Festival (Estonia) in 2021. More dates to follow.

Tracklisting
1: Crows
2: God Emperor of Dune
3: A Million Lives
4: Black Serpent
5: Völva (The Seeress)
6: Way Out

SUNNATA ARE:
Szymon Ewertowski – guitar, vocals
Adrian Gadomski – guitar, vocals
Michal Dobrzanski – bass guitar
Robert Ruszczyk – drums, percussion

https://www.facebook.com/sunnataofficial
https://twitter.com/followsunnata
http://sunnataofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/sunnataofficial/videos

Sunnata, “Crows” official lyric video

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Weird Tales Post “Got the Blues for Murder Only”; New EP out Jan. 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Some genuinely fascinating cultural interaction here. Weird Tales will release an EP of blues covers on Jan. 15 given the cumbersome title Y’all Motherfuckers Forgot ‘Bout Good Ol’ Son of a Bitchin’ Blues, and in so doing, the Polish heavy trio continue a tradition nearly 130 years old at this point of European interest in African-American culture. From France importing jazz in the early 1900s and thus granting it legitimacy in the eyes of the American white middle and upper class, to Eastern Europe’s flourishing hip-hop scene, to Weird Tales taking on Lonnie Johnson‘s “Got the Blues for Murder Only” and beefing up its 12-bar structure with weighted riffing and a rolling groove, it’s never been entirely without a shade of cultural appropriation, and it certainly isn’t now, but this is a conversation that’s been happening for a long time, if not always in this form.

Did we motherfuckers forget about the blues? I guess there’s a case to be made amid all the proggy whatnot flourishing in heavy rock these days, but as anyone over the age of 15 knows, these things are cyclical. If Weird Tales are gonna help strip it all back to basics, they’re not hurting anyone or anything by doing so.

From the PR wire:

weird tales got the blues for murder only

WEIRD TALES – Got the Blues for Murder Only

Polish doom trio WEIRD TALES are gearing up to release their latest EP “Y’all Motherfuckers Forgot ‘Bout Good Ol’ Son of a Bitchin’ Blues,” due out Jan. 15 via Interstellar Smoke Records.

The EP is a collection of four forgotten blues songs by the likes of Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson.

Here’s their first single, “Got The Blues For Murder Only,” the Lonnie Johnson cover: https://weird.bandcamp.com/track/got-the-blues-for-murder-only

“This is our version of ‘Got the Blues for Murder Only’ originally performed by mighty Lonnie Johnson,” says the band. “This is a single from our upcoming EP ‘Y’all Motherfuckers Forgot ‘Bout Good Ol’ Son of a Bitchin’ Blues’, so you may guess what it’s gonna be about. Blues. Dirty and desperate. Lonely and painful.”

Weird Tales are:
Dima (guitar, lead vocal)
Kriss (bass, vocal)
Matt (drums, vocal)

https://www.facebook.com/weirdtalesband/
https://www.instagram.com/weirdtalesband/
https://weird.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Interstellar-Smoke-Records-101687381255396/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

Weird Tales, “Got the Blues for Murder Only”

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Bantha Rider Stream Binary Sunset Massacre in Full; Album out Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk on December 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

bantha rider

Tomorrow is Bandcamp Friday, and among the packed slew of releases for that monthly waived-fee holiday born of the COVID-19 pandemic comes the debut album from Polish instrumentalist heavy rock trio Bantha Rider. The desert-minded three-piece from Warsaw offer a reminder of just how much of the Star Wars canon takes place amid the dunes with Binary Sunset Massacre, and songs like “Rancor’s Delight” and the prior-posted single “De Wanna Wanga” offer burly-toned riffs based around themes taken from the George Lucas/Disney ouevre, which only seems to grow stronger in its cultural presence as each new week brings an episode of The Mandalorian and ever-ubiquitous merchandising. My sister’s house has an inflatable Baby Yoda X-mas decoration in the yard. You can buy Star Wars Le Creuset that looks like Han Solo in carbonite, or a waffle maker that’s shaped like the Millennium Falcon. Should we really be surprised at a record taking place on Tatooine?

Probably not, but Bantha Rider‘s dug-in-deep fandom clearly goes beyond “hey check out Leia in a bikini” grade. The green-skinned pig-guard at Jabba’s palace gets his own song in “The Gamorrean” — just a couple tracks before “Rancor’s Delight,” as itbantha rider binary sunset massacre happens — and “Boonta Eve” refers to a holiday celebrated by the Hutts with a commemorative podrace. Yes, I had to look that one up. The fun of the release, however, extends beyond the references being made, as Bantha Rider careen and twist around one progression and another across the eight included tracks. I’m sure there are people who might come upon Binary Sunset Massacre and not be aware that Sand People always ride single file to hide their numbers or not have picked up on “Pazuzu” as a connection to the actor Max Von Sydow, who was in The Exorcist as well as Episode VII and sundry tie-in media.

I can’t really say if not being familiar with the thematic “source material,” as it were, would affect the listening experience or not, except to speculate that, as with any themed offering, you can put as much into it as you want, and if you want to ignore the Star Wars and just dig on some riffs, well, it’s not like there are lyrics here to rub it in your face, so whatever. While I’d advocate for as complete a listening experience as possible in any situation, it’s not much different than people who listen to political music without concentrating on the politics. Ultimately, you get out from it what you want. I’ll take Binary Sunset Massacre on its own level though and hope for continued exploration of this particular galaxy and its oh-so-blowuppable planets.

Album is streaming in full ahead of its release tomorrow. You’ll find it premiering-ish below, along with some more info, etc.

Enjoy as you will:

Bantha Rider, Binary Sunset Massacre official album premiere

Chris (guitar/visuals) on Binary Sunset Massacre:

“Took us three years to record this album since releasing our EP in 2017. It was a tough ride ’cause our drummer lives 1300km from the rest of the crew for 2 years, so the big issue was to play once in 1-2 month, with heavy logistics to play any show during that period. But after like 5 days, 4-5 hours per day rehearsing new tracks before entering the studio, with great help of Jacek Stasiak we finally recorded our first LP at lovely Kongo Studio January 2020 just before the pandemic outbreak. After mixing, mastering everything by Jacek, making the whole artwork by myself, montaging video by our friend Tomek and big help with the whole publishing and promotion job by Patrick of Piranha Music, it’s done! We are coming back with 54 minutes of instrumental journey from doomy riffing, impros, stoner trips, to dynamic metal punches. This album gathers up our music inspirations mixed with the dusty vibe of Tatooine and other movie mythologies. We’re getting ready to play some shows next year as we hope this Covid fucker dies – so see ya soon Booyooss!!!

“PS. and YES we still have no singer…”

Bantha Rider was formed in Warsaw in 2016. The band consists of Chris (guitar), Art (drums) and Bart (bass). They released amazing self-titled EP in 2017 with 4 instrumental stoner metal killers. EP release was followed by mini-tour with mexican bands Terror Cosmico and Weedsnake.

In 2020 they signed to independent label Piranha Music, to release their full length debut album “Binary Sunset Massacre”. The album, with amazing artwork by band’s guitarist Krzysiek Lesi?ski, sounds like a perfect soundtrack to cruising in the desert, but in a galaxy far, far away.

Bantha Rider is:
Art – Drums
Chris – Guitar
Bart – Bass

Bantha Rider, “De Wanna Wanga” official video

Bantha Rider on Thee Facebooks

Bantha Rider on Instagram

Bantha Rider on Bandcamp

Piranha Music on Thee Facebooks

Piranha Music on Instagram

Piranha Music on Bandcamp

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