The Vintage Caravan to Tour Europe Next Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the vintage caravan

Fresh off the release this month of their new album, Monuments, Icelandic heavy rockers The Vintage Caravan are looking to return to the road and make it count. The three-piece have newly announced two rounds of touring through Europe that will take place across early Spring and Fall 2022, and neither stint is what you’d call a cheapie. They’re going for it.

Of course, like everyone else, their plans have been usurped by circumstances beyond their control, but The Vintage Caravan have been a hard-touring band for years across Europe, and good for them reclaiming that title and a headliner spot in the early offing of potential live music being on the horizon. If it needs to be said — it doesn’t — no one knows what next year will bring, but god damn, is it so wrong to want to look forward to a thing? Are we allowed to do that? I won’t even see this tour and I’m just looking forward to it happening.

Anyway, the dates follow here, as posted by the band earlier:

the vintage caravan tour

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN – TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT

We are beyond stoked to announce our European headline tour dates for next year! We can’t wait to finally tour again and to play songs of our latest album ‘Monuments’! Tickets: www.thevintagecaravan.eu/tour

Fri, AUG 20 Festival ‘t zeeltje Deest, Netherlands
Sat, FEB 26, 2022 Q-Factory Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sun, FEB 27, 2022 Das Bett Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Tue, MAR 1, 2022 Cassiopeia Berlin, Germany
Wed, MAR 2, 2022 Headcrash Hamburg, Germany
Thu, MAR 3, 2022 Little Devil Tilburg, Netherlands
Fri, MAR 4, 2022 Poppodium Bolwerk Sneek, Netherlands
Sat, MAR 5, 2022 Ancienne Belgique Brussels, Belgium
Sun, MAR 6, 2022 Artheater Cologne, Germany
Mon, MAR 7, 2022 Backstage Halle Munich, Germany
Wed, MAR 9, 2022 Orpheum Extra Graz, Austria
Thu, MAR 10, 2022 PMK Innsbruck, Austria
Fri, MAR 11, 2022 Spielplatz OKH Vöcklabruck, Austria
Sat, MAR 12, 2022 Papiersaal Zurich, Switzerland
Sun, MAR 13, 2022 CCO Villeurbanne, France
Mon, MAR 14, 2022 Backstage Paris Paris, France
Tue, MAR 15, 2022 Le Grand Mix Tourcoing, France
Wed, MAR 16, 2022 Le Ferrailleur Nantes, France
Fri, MAR 18, 2022 O2 Academy Islington London, United Kingdom
Sun, MAR 20, 2022 THE LIVE ROOMS Chester, United Kingdom
Mon, MAR 21, 2022 KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Tue, MAR 22, 2022 The Globe Cardiff, United Kingdom
Wed, MAR 23, 2022 The Warehouse Leeds, United Kingdom
Thu, MAR 24, 2022 Manchester Academy Manchester, United Kingdom
Wed, SEP 14, 2022 Helitehas Tallinn, Estonia
Thu, SEP 15, 2022 Palladium Riga Riga, Latvia
Fri, SEP 16, 2022 Progresja Warsaw, Poland
Sat, SEP 17, 2022 A2. Sp. z o.o. Wroclaw, Poland
Mon, SEP 19, 2022 Forum Karlín Karlín, Czechia
Tue, SEP 20, 2022 Arena Wien Wien, Austria
Wed, SEP 21, 2022 Barba Negra Budapest, Hungary
Fri, SEP 23, 2022 The Roman Arenas Bucharest, Romania
Sat, SEP 24, 2022 SFC Universiada Sofia, Bulgaria
Mon, SEP 26, 2022 Tvornica kulture Zagreb, Croatia
Tue, SEP 27, 2022 Arcimboldi Theater Milan, Italy
Wed, SEP 28, 2022 Ostia Antica Città Metropolitana Di Roma, Italy

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN is:
Óskar Logi Ágústsson – lead vocals, electric guitar
Alexander Örn Númason – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stefán Ari Stefánsson – drums, percussion

The Vintage Caravan, “Whispers” official video

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alexander Örn Númason of The Vintage Caravan

Posted in Questionnaire on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Alexander Örn Númason of The Vintage Caravan

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Alexander Örn Númason of The Vintage Caravan

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

I think at some point I would have defined what I do as being a musician but nowadays I don’t really feel like that really covers it. The actual music part of what we do is in some time periods relatively small and there’s a lot of things to be done when you have a band like ours. Lots of jobs to be done and not a lot of budget to do it haha.

Lately I’ve been enjoying learning new skills that I think are useful for all of my musical and personal ventures and I love the idea of not just being one thing. Especially in terms of income it’s very useful to have something going on in all corners.

So best to just leave it somehow undefined but in the category of music!

How I/we got here. Me and the other guys have all been playing music with unrelenting passion and dedication since we were young and you could argue that there is some luck associated with where we are now. But I think the main thing is that we’ve all been working very hard at getting to where we are since our early teens which I feel like would have hopefully brought us to this lifestyle regardless of the small choices we make in our lives. If there is a will, there is a way!

Describe your first musical memory.

The first one I can think of is a weird one and I don’t think I’ve really told anybody this. On Christmas Eve when I was five years old I got as a present from someone a CD with a collection of Disney songs. I was very excited to put it on so later in the evening I went into my room, put it into the stereo and started going through the songs. Track number five was one of the songs from the Aladdin movie and something in this song made my body and mind just resonate in the wildest way. I then learned that the stereo had a repeat button.

The song kept playing again and again and I danced, alone, to the same song, for hours. Afterwards I couldn’t really put my finger on what had happened but this was really a moment that foreshadowed my obsession with music which I still have to this day.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

So many great moments and yet I draw almost a complete blank when asked this. One of the more powerful moments I have experienced was when we did a one-off tribute show for the album Lifun by Icelandic ’70s prog act Trúbrot with one of the original members. We assembled a seven- or eight-piece band and did a festival show. The album is universally loved in Iceland and lot of people in the crowd had grown up with this album. So many beautiful moments which brought members of the band and audience to tears even.

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

I’m not big on beliefs honestly! I think it’s important to not be stuck in a certain way of thinking and to be able to adapt when situations change. Too many times I’ve fallen on my ass when a thing I thought I “needed” to be part of my life was in all reality just killing me like. I prefer keeping an open mind and always be searching for ways to improve as a person.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

That’s the thing about artistic progression, it leads where it wants to lead. As soon you start to want it to lead somewhere it inhibits creativity. At least for me!

How do you define success?

By individual happiness. I consider a happy individual successful. If you want to think of success, in the music business especially, in terms of money or fame you could go crazy by always trying to compare yourself to the next bigger fish in the pond. Best thing to do is just to be happy for everyone else’s success and focus on what makes you tick!

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

Too many disgusting online videos growing up!

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

More different kinds of music! Recently I’ve been writing music for another project which I’m excited about. Also every now and then I get to do a session with some big name pop/hip-hop artists in Iceland. That’s always a breath of fresh air when all you do is rock and roll haha!

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

To invoke deep seated feelings in people and bring people together in celebration of life!

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

I recently started studying electronics in school. A bit outside the box for me so looking forward to many hours of tinkering and soldering. Especially for audio equipment!

https://www.facebook.com/vintagecaravan
https://www.instagram.com/thevintagecaravan/
https://twitter.com/_vintagecaravan
http://www.thevintagecaravan.eu/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

The Vintage Caravan, “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” official video

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The Vintage Caravan to Release Monuments April 16; Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

The Vintage Caravan aren’t kids anymore. Monuments will be their fifth album in a tenure that now spans more than a decade, and though their roots are sure enough in the classic heavy rock of yore, it’s hard to listen to the three-part vocal arrangement of “Whispers” and not call it forward-thinking. If the album opener is any kind of portend for what’s to come, then the band — who hereby make the jump from Nuclear Blast to Napalm Records — are going to turn some heads this Spring.

But, on the other hand, they must be so sick of this record already. Recorded before the pandemic hit? So they’ve been sitting on it for a year? Shit. I wonder if they have the next one written yet.

You can check out “Whispers” in the video at the bottom of this post, and Napalm sent copious info down the PR wire:

the vintage caravan monuments

Icelandic Modern Prog-Rockers THE VINTAGE CARAVAN Announce New Album: Monuments, out April 16

Nordic favorites THE VINTAGE CARAVAN are pleased to announce the upcoming release of their new full-length album, Monuments, out April 16, 2021 via Napalm Records! The band incorporates a fountain of modern influences mixed with retro reminiscences to create an addictive sound all their own.

After countless high-voltage live performances at festivals such as Roadburn, Wacken and Hellfest, and touring with Opeth, the Icelandic band’s new full-length impressively demonstrates that they have matured both musically and lyrically, accented by bold, nostalgic nuance. Virtuosic ‘70s-inspired guitar ruminations encounter an irrefutable mixture of fresh elements and psychedelic, progressive and blues rock trademarks on Monuments, radiating the soul of some larger-than-life bands of the past as these youngbloods breathe new life into a classic formula.

Cut from Monuments, their first new single, “Whispers”, showcases the band’s musical progression without sacrificing the retro-inspired staples they’ve become renowned for. The accompanying video takes its viewer straight into the hearts and studio of the band, connecting with lucid live-music vibes. Above all, the performance video also highlights the band’s musical passion and provides an intimate glimpse into their sonic work.

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN on the new single “Whispers”:

“First single is Whispers! It was one of the first things we came up with for the album. We always try to start our albums in a strong and powerful way and it felt fitting as an opener. Hope you like it as much as we do! Enjoy!!”

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN on the new album:
“We are proud to present to you our new album Monuments!! This one has been long in the making and we truly believe this is our best work so far. We went into a legendary Icelandic studio, Hljóðriti, during the stormiest season of last winter and tracked non stop for 22 days, working around the clock to get as much done as possible. Luckily enough we finished tracking just before the pandemic hit.

Having worked with producer Ian Davenport on our previous album Gateways we were comfortable and inspired to take the album to new heights in terms of sound, feel and songwriting. We ended up with quite a diverse set of songs through an interesting and in many ways different process than our usual recording sessions. It was a great feeling to get to experiment more with our sound in so many different ways. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey through Monuments!”

Monuments will be available in North America in the following formats:
Preorder here: https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/thevintagecaravan
– 1 CD Digipak
– 2 LP Gatefold Vinyl Black
– 2 LP Gatefold Vinyl Marbled Yellow/Red – limited to 300 copies
– Limited Diehard Edition – 2 LP Gatefold Vinyl Multicolor Splatter + Patch, Slipmat – limited to 200 copies
– Digital Album

Tracklisting:
01. Whispers
02. Crystallized
03. Can’t Get You Off My Mind
04. Dark Times
05. This One’s For You
06. Forgotten
07. Sharp Teeth
08. Hell
09. Torn in Two
10. Said & Done
11. Clarity

Artwork: Sebastian Jerke

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN is:
Óskar Logi Ágústsson – lead vocals, electric guitar
Alexander Örn Númason – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stefán Ari Stefánsson – drums, percussion

https://www.facebook.com/vintagecaravan
https://www.instagram.com/thevintagecaravan/
https://twitter.com/_vintagecaravan
http://www.thevintagecaravan.eu/
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

The Vintage Caravan, “Whispers” official video

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Quarterly Review: Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Cruthu, Sólstafir, ILS, Bismut, Cracked Machine, Megadrone, KLÄMP, Mábura, Astral Sleep

Posted in Reviews on October 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

We’ve reached the portion of the Quarterly Review wherein I would no longer know what day it is if I didn’t have my notes to help me keep track. I suppose it doesn’t matter — the day, that is — since it’s 10 records either way, but I’d hate to review the same albums two days in a row or something. Though, come to think of it, that might be a fun experiment sometime.

Not today. Today is another fresh batch of 10 on the way to 60 by next Monday. We’ll get there. Always do. And if you’re wondering, today’s Thursday. At least that’s what I have in my notes.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Stygian Bough Vol. I

bell witch aerial ruin Stygian Bough Volume 1

The collaborative effort Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin and their 64-minute full-length, Stygian Bough Vol. I — the intention toward future output together hinted at in the title already confirmed by the group(s) — is a direct extension of what Aerial Ruin, aka Erik Moggridge, brought to the last Bell Witch album, 2017’s Mirror Reaper (review here), in terms of complementing the crushing, emotionally resonant death-doom of the Washington duo with morose folk vocal melody. Stygian Bough Vol. I is distinguished by having been written by the two-plus-one-equals-three-piece as a group, and accordingly, it more fluidly weaves Moggridge‘s contributions into those of Bell Witch‘s Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman, resulting in an approach like if Patrick Walker from Warning had joined Thergothon. It’s prevailing spirit is deep melancholy in longer pieces like “The Bastard Wind” and “The Unbodied Air,” both over 19 minutes, while it might be in “Heaven Torn Low I (The Passage)” and “Heaven Torn Low II (The Toll)” that the trio most effectively bring their intent to life. Either way, if you’re in, be ready to go all the way in, but know that it’s well worth doing so.

Bell Witch on Thee Facebooks

Aerial Ruin on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Cruthu, Athrú Crutha

cruthu Athrú Crutha

Traditional doom with flourish both of noise and NWOBHM guitars — that turn in the second half of opener “Transformation” is like a dogwhistle for Iron Maiden fans — I hear Cruthu‘s second album, Athrú Crutha, and all I can think of are label recommendations. The Michigan outfit’s 2017 debut, The Angle of Eternity (review here), was eventually issued on The Church Within, and that’d certainly work, but also Ván Records, Shadow Kingdom, and even Cruz Del Sur seem like fitting potential homes for the righteousness on display across the vinyl-ready six-song/39-minute outing, frontman Ryan Evans commanding in presence over the reverb-loaded classic-style riffs of guitarist Dan McCormick and the accompanying gallop in Matt Fry‘s drums given heft by Derek Kasperlik‘s bass. Like the opener, “Necromancy” and “Dimensional Collide” move at a good clip, but side B’s “The Outsider” and closer “Crown of Horns” slow things down following the surprisingly rough-edged “Beyond the Pale.” One way or the other, it’s all doomed and so are we.

Cruthu on Thee Facebooks

Cruthu on Bandcamp

 

Sólstafir, Endless Twilight of Codependent Love

Sólstafir endless twilight of codependent love

Whereas 2017’s Berdreyminn (review here) existed in the shadow of 2014’s Ótta (review here), Endless Twilight of Codependent Love brings Iceland’s Sólstafir to a new place in terms of their longer-term progression. It is their first album with an English title since 2005’s Masterpiece of Bitterness, and though they’ve had English-language songs since then, the mellow “Her Fall From Grace” is obviously intended to be a standout here, and it is. On the nine-song/62-minute course of the album, however, it is one impression of many, and in the raging “Dionysus” and post-blackened “Drýsill,” 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Akkeri,” richly atmospheric “Rökkur,” goth-lounging “Or” and worthy finale “Úlfur,” Sólstafir remind of the richly individual nature of their approach. The language swaps could be reaching out to a broader, non-Icelandic-speaking audience. If so, it’s only in the interest of that audience to take note if they haven’t already.

Sólstafir on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

ILS, Curse

ils curse

Curse is the first long-player from Portland, Oregon’s ILS, and it’s a rager in the PNW noise tradition, with uptempo, gonna-throw-a-punch-and-then-apologize riffs and basslines and swaps between semi-spoken shouts and vicious screams from Tom Glose (ex-Black Elk) that are precisely as jarring as they’re meant to be. I don’t think Curse is anyone’s first time at the dance — Glose, guitarist Nate Abner, bassist Adam Pike or drummer Tim Steiner — but it only benefits across its sans-bullshit 28-minute run by knowing what it wants to do. Its longest material, like the title-track or “Don’t Hurt Me,” which follows, or closer “For the Shame I Bring,” rests on either side of three and a half minutes, but some of the most brutal impressions are made in cuts like “It’s Not Lard but it’s a Cyst” or leadoff “Bad Parts,” which have even less time to waste but are no less consuming, particularly at high volume. The kind of record for when you want to assault yourself. And hey, that happens.

ILS on Thee Facebooks

P.O.G.O. Records on Bandcamp

 

Bismut, Retrocausality

bismut retrocausality

Apart from the consciously-titled three-minute noiseblaster finale “Antithesis” that’s clearly intended to contrast with what comes before it, Bismut‘s second LP for Lay Bare, Retrocausality, is made up of five extended instrumental pieces the shortest of which is just under 13 minutes long. The Nijmegen-based trio — guitarist Nik Linders, bassist Huibert der Weduwen, drummer Peter Dragt — build these semi-improvisational pieces on the foundation they set with 2018’s Schwerpunkt (review here), and their explorations through heavy rock, metal and psychedelia feel all the more cohesive as a song like “Vergangenheit” is nonetheless able to blindside with the heavy riff toward which it’s been moving for its entire first half. At 71 minutes total, it’s a purposefully unmanageable runtime, but as “Predvídanie” imagines a psych-thrash and “Oscuramento” drones to its crashing finish, Bismut seem to be working on their own temporal accord anyhow. For those stuck on linear time, that means repeat listens may be necessary to fully digest, but that’s nothing to complain about either.

Bismut on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Cracked Machine, Gates of Keras

Cracked Machine Gates of Keras

UK instrumentalists Cracked Machine have worked relatively quickly over the course of their now-three albums to bring a sense of their own perspective to the tropes of heavy psychedelic rock. Alongside the warmth of tone in the guitar and bass, feeling drawn from the My Sleeping Karma/Colour Haze pastiche of progressive meditations, there is a coinciding edge of English heavy rock and roll that one can hear not so much in the drift of “Temple of Zaum” as in the push of “Black Square Icon,” which follows, as well as the subtle impatience of the drums on “October Dawn.” “Move 37,” on the other hand, is willfully speedier and more upbeat than much of what surrounds, but though opener/longest track (immediate points) “Cold Iron Light” hits 7:26, nothing on Gates of Keras sticks around long enough to overstay its welcome, and even in their deepest contemplations, the feeling of motion carries them and the listener effectively through the album’s span. They sound like a band realizing what they want to do with all the potential they’ve built up.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

PsyKa Records website

 

Megadrone, Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

Megadrone Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

From cinematic paranoia to consuming and ultra-slow rollout of massive tonality, the debut offering from Megadrone — the one-man outfit of former Bevar Sea vocalist Ganesh Krishnaswamy — stretches across 53 minutes of unmitigated sonic consumption. If nothing else, Krishnaswamy chose the right moniker for the project. The Bandcamp version is spread across two parts — “Transmission A” (21:45) and “Transmission B” (32:09) — and any vinyl release would require significant editing as well, but the version I have is one huge, extended track, and that feels like exactly how Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae was composed and is supposed to be heard. Its mind-numbing repetitions lead the listener on a subtle forward march — there are drums back in that morass somewhere, I know it — and the piece follows an arc that begins relatively quiet, swells in its midsection and gradually recedes again over its final 10 minutes or so. It goes without saying that a 53-minute work of experimentalist drone crushscaping isn’t going to be for the faint of heart. Bold favors bold.

Megadrone on Thee Facebooks

Megadrone on Bandcamp

 

KLÄMP, Hate You

klamp hate you

Sax-laced noise rock psychedelic freakouts, blown-out drums and shouts and drones, cacophonous stomp and chaotic sprawl, and a finale that holds back its payoff so long it feels cruel, KLÄMP‘s second album, Hate You, arrives less than a year after their self-titled debut, and perhaps there’s some clue as to why in the sheer mania of their execution. Hate You launches with the angularity of its 1:47 title-track and rolls out a nodding groove on top of that, but it’s movement from one part to another, one piece to another, is frenetic, regardless of the actual tempo, and the songs just sound like they were recorded to be played loud. Second cut “Arise” is the longest at 7:35 and it plays back and forth between two main parts before seeming to explode at the end, and by the time that’s done, you’re pretty much KLÄMPed into place waiting to see where the Utrecht trio go next. Oblivion wash on “An Orb,” the drum-led start-stops of “Big Bad Heart,” psych-smash “TJ” and that awaited end in “No Nerves” later, I’m not sure I have any better idea where that might be. That’s also what makes it work.

KLÄMP on Thee Facebooks

God Unknown Records website

 

Mábura, Heni

Mábura heni

Preceded by two singles, Heni is the debut EP from Rio de Janeiro psychedelic tonal worshipers Mábura, and its three component tracks, “Anhangá,” “III/IV” and “Bong of God” are intended to portray a lysergic experience through their according ambience and the sheer depth of the riffs they bring. “Anhangá” has vocals following the extended feedback and drone opening of its first half, but they unfold as a part of the general ambience, along with the drums that arrive late, are maybe sampler/programmed, and finish by leading directly into the crash/fuzz launch of “III/IV,” which just before it hits the two-minute mark unfurls into a watershed of effects and nod, crashing and stomping all the while until everything drops out but the bass only to return a short time later with the Riff in tow. Rumbling into a quick fade brings about the toking intro of “Bong of God,” which unfolds accordingly into a riff-led noisefest that makes its point seemingly without saying a word. I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, but it’s a first EP. What it shows is that Mábura have some significant presence of tone and purpose. Don’t be surprised when someone picks them up for a release.

Mábura on Thee Facebooks

Mábura on Bandcamp

 

Astral Sleep, Astral Doom Musick

Astral Sleep Astral Doom Musick

It’s still possible to hear some of Astral Sleep‘s death-doom roots in their third album, Astral Doom Musick, but the truth is they’ve become a more expansive unit than that (relatively) simple classification than describe. They’re doom, to be sure, but there are progressive, psychedelic and even traditional doom elements at work across the record’s four-song/43-minute push, with a sense of conceptual composition coming through in “Vril” and “Inegration” in the first half of the proceedings while the nine-and-a-half-minute “Schwerbelastungskörper” pushes into the darkest reaches and closer “Aurinko ja Kuu” harnesses a swirling progressive spread that’s dramatic unto its last outward procession and suitably large-sound in its production and tone. For a band who took eight years to issue a follow-up to their last full-length, Astral Sleep certainly have plenty to offer in aesthetic and craft. If it took them so long to put this record together, their time wasn’t wasted, but it’s hard to listen and not wonder where their next step might take them.

Astral Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Astral Sleep on Bandcamp

 

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Volcanova Premiere “Sushi Sam”; Debut Album Radical Waves out Aug. 21

Posted in audiObelisk on May 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

volcanova

Volcanova will release their debut album, Radical Waves, on Aug. 21 through The Sign Records. Denizens of the widely-varied pastiche that is the Icelandic heavy underground — from Icecross of yore to Sólstafir to Misþyrming to The Vintage Caravan, the heavy rock elders of Brain Police, etc. — the trio arrive after six years with a collection of 10 cuts (nine plus an intro) of willful heavy rock for heavy rock heads digging into raw post-Kyuss energy on songs like “Super Duper Van,” with Queeny vocal melodies over gritty riffs and shouted verses. The vibe? Depends who you ask. Check out the post-intro opener “Where’s the Time” and the vibe is go-go-gone. Dig into “I’m Off” a couple tracks later and there’s a spacey beginning before one of Radical Waves‘ most vicious stomps ensues, and then the harmonized voices and a bit of largesse in the roll resumes for “Stoneman” at the end of side A and there’s even some drift to coincide.

It’s a deceptive collection in that with “Where’s the Time” or the also-cowbell-infused, ultra-Fu Manchu‘ed companion toe-tapper “Sushi Sam” at the start of side B, the Reykjavik-based trio set you up to expect simple Kyuss worship — and that’s part of it, no doubt, butVolcanova Radical Waves by no means is that all that’s happening throughout. “Sushi Sam” — which is premiering below — and the swaggering “Mountain” are a blast, while “M.O.O.D.” pulls a bit more from the Deliverance-era Corrosion of Conformity playbook (while thankfully avoiding the trap of Down-esque chestbeating that so much of that style falls into), and “Got Game” brings in some more airy guitar work in its back half en route to “Lights” at the end, which winds its way forward initially, only to draw back at its midpoint to an evocative wistful stretch of guitar that one suspects is the basis for the YOB comparison the PR wire makes below, reminiscent as it is of that band’s masterpiece “Marrow” as it builds up to cap the album, swirling lead and all, finishing with string sounds — one assumes it’s keys or synth of some sort — having covered a surprising amount of ground for a song that’s just under six minutes long.

Are they preaching to the converted? Okay yeah, probably, but that’s hardly a reason not to get down. The prevailing spirit of Radical Waves is an energy-infused kick in the ass that makes itself welcome through the trio’s performance and the sense of the good time they’re having playing the songs, which turns out to be no less infectious than the songs themselves. Going forward from this debut, I wouldn’t be surprised if Volcanova pushed deeper into vocal arrangements and worked to add some of the complexity heard in the beginning of “Stoneman” or the end of “Lights” into their material more generally, but that’s a progression that needs to happen naturally if it’s going to happen at all, and honestly, what’s more important than sonic growth is that they’re playing what they want to play, which it seems very much here like they are. That that comes through so sharply on their first album alone makes it a win.

“Sushi Sam,” with its own cover art and everything, is being issued as a standalone single tomorrow, May 22, ahead of Radical Waves‘ release, but the album is worth focusing on, so if you take it as advance notice three months ahead of time, right on. Nothing like being prepared and all that.

Enjoy the track:

In an alternate reality where Kyuss was born in the barren, volcanic landscape of Iceland, emerges the unholy trio Volcanova. With members hailing from three corners of this unique island of lava fields, glaciers, and hot springs, Volcanova comes together to erupt a fresh take on desert rock.

Building on this style, the band pays homage to the crushing doom of Black Sabbath as well as progressive sludge in the vein of modern bands like Mastodon and Gojira. But wait, there’s more! Volcanova can turn seamlessly to thunderous fuzzy riffs in the style of Fu Manchu or somber moments akin to YOB — all coupled with an irreverent live show that’s straight out of a Red Fang video. There is never a dull moment with Volcanova.

Volcanova was founded in the summer of 2014 with principle song writer Samúel Ásgeirsson on guitar and vocals. After a few lineup changes, the band finally settled on a winning formula with Þorsteinn Árnason of (Rock Paper Sisters) on bass and vocals and Dagur Atlason (Churchhouse Creepers) on drums and vocals.

The trio has an infectious groove and togetherness that’s bolstered by an ability to pull off three-part vocal harmonies, keeping audiences rocking and rolling. Uplifting moments with epic guitar solos are underpinned by headbanging bass grooves and complemented with a tasteful use of cowbell — because who doesn’t have that fever?

Due out August 21st, 2020 via The Sign Records, Volcanova’s debut album Radical Waves will surely propel the band to new heights.

Album Tracklist:
1. Welcome
2. Where’s the Time?
3. Super Duper Van
4. I’m Off
5. Stoneman Snowman
6. Sushi Sam
7. Mountain
8. M.O.O.D.
9. Got Game
10. Lights

Volcanova are:
Samúel Ásgeirsson on guitar and vocals
Þorsteinn Árnason on bass and vocals
Dagur Atlason on drums and vocals

Volcanova on Thee Facebooks

Volcanova on Instagram

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

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Sólstafir Begin Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Sólstafir are recording their seventh full-length for release later this year on Season of Mist, and I have to admit I’m curious to hear how it comes out. It seems like some of the fervor that surrounded 2014’s Ótta (review here) dimmed for 2017’s Berdreyminn (review here), even as the Icelandic outfit’s profile increased as a result of the release. Maybe that was my own impression of the record over the longer term, at least, but for as much as the band’s ongoing progression was evident, the tracks didn’t have the same memorable-regardless-of-language feel that Ótta captured with such majestic wintry melancholy. They’re saying the new one’s heavier and they’ve tweaked the writing process a bit, which, you know, is pretty much what bands say when they’re in the midst of making an album. How it’ll all sound when they’re done is what I’m more interested in.

As for live appearances, they’ll be at Fire in the Mountains in Wyoming as part of Ivar from Enslaved‘s curated event. The thought of seeing them in such a gorgeous natural setting is a fair enticement, but knowing they’ll have new material in tow only makes that truer. Guess I’m stuck waiting for the album, as I don’t think Ivar‘s gonna curate my ass to the Rocky Mountains to see the fest. So it goes.

From the PR wire:

SOLSTAFIR STUDIO

Sólstafir Start Recording Seventh Full Length Album

Icelandic rock giants SÓLSTAFIR have now entered the studio to start the recording of their seventh full length, which will be released later this year via Season of Mist! The recordings take place at the mighty Sundlaugin Studio (Iceland), where ‘Svartir Sandar,’ ‘Ótta,’ and ‘Berdreyminn’ were also recorded by producer Birgir Jón Birgisson (Sigur Rós, Alcest, Damien Rice).

Vocalist Aðalbjörn Tryggvason comments on the recording: “This time around we wrote most of the songs on guitars instead of pianos and organs as we have done a lot in the past. Therefore some songs are pretty heavy, even some are fast, faster than we have been for years.”

Moreover, SÓLSTAFIR will be co-headlining Fire in the Mountains MMXX Festival 2020! The fest, which is presented by 2020’s featured curator Ivar Bjornson (ENSLAVED), will take place from July 10-12 at Heart Six Ranch in Teton Wilderness, WY. The full lineup, tickets, lodging, camping packages, and more can be found HERE.

Fire In The Mountains MMXX guest curator Ivar Bjornson’s (ENSLAVED) comments on having SÓLSTAFIR as this year’s “On Wings Over Utgard” showcase featured artist:

“Getting Solstafir to be part of this already magnificent and somewhat unreal line-up is a dream come true. I have followed them throughout the years and they are mind-bogglingly fantastic on record, but live… they surpass that intangible limit of what should be possible for four guys and their instruments. It becomes a ceremony, a gathering of energy and a collective trip into a wonderful unknown of light, darkness and the shadowed realms in between. All while grooving like a flock of wild bison thundering across the plains…”

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
https://www.instagram.com/solstafir_official/
https://solstafir.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, Berdreyminn (2017)

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Lucy in Blue to Release In Flight at Roadburn 2019; New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lucy in blue

As far as release shows go, you can’t do much better than Roadburn. The room’s gonna be packed, and even if people aren’t familiar with you’re stuff, they’re probably going to open-minded enough to go buy the thing you’re celebrating when you’re done playing. Kudos to Lucy in Blue for doing it right. The Reykjavik four-piece will release the delightfully progged-out In Flight on April 12 through Karisma Records, but yeah, their release show will be the week before at Roadburn 2019 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. They were snuck into the final lineup announcement there and after listening first to the single “Matricide” — about, of course, the slaughter of one’s own mattress — and then to the offering as a whole, it seemed easily worth highlighting with the paltry few words you’re currently reading. So, you know, words words words.

In no small part, this is a note to myself to remember to do my best to mark them on my schedule once the day-plan is out for Roadburn, so if you take it as a similar reminder or hear something you hadn’t heard before, bonus. That’s kind of what we’re here for, and what we’re there for.

From the PR wire:

lucy in blue in flight

Album Details and New Single Matricide from Psychedelic Prog Rockers LUCY IN BLUE Revealed

Karisma Records have revealed the details of the upcoming full-length album from Iceland’s Psychedelic Prog Rockers Lucy In Blue. The eight-track album, titled In Flight, will be the second full-length release from the young band who are making considerable waves on the Icelandic Prog Scene with their elaborate grooves and delicate chord movements, performed with a skill that belies their age.

To give listeners a taste of what they can expect from Lucy In Blue, Karisma Records have today released a single from In Flight. The single, titled Matricide can be downloaded and streamed at:

https://karismarecords.lnk.to/Matricide

In Flight is an album that amply showcases Lucy In Blue’s ethereal harmonies and philosophical lyrics, which deal not only with the whole spectrum of human emotion, but also touch on more political themes as well.

Formed in 2013, Lucy In Blue released their self-titled debut album via Bandcamp in 2016, and, since then, the band’s young lineup of Arnaldur Ingi Jonsson on keyboards and vocals, Kolbeinn Þorsson on drums, Matthias Hlifar Mogensen on bass and vocals, and Steinþor Bjarni Gislason on guitar and vocals have been stunning crowds in their native Iceland with their soaring guitar solos and intense build-ups that take the listener for a ride through the psychedelic soundscapes and the progressive song writing styles of the 1970’s.

Lucy In Blue has a unique take on early psychedelic prog rock, and it’s a pleasure to invite you to go In Flight with them.

Lucy In Blue will play a release show at the Roadburn Festival 2019.

Tracklist
1. Alight, pt 1
2. Alight, pt 2
3. Respire
4. Matricide
5. Nuverandi
6. Tempest
7. In Flight
8. On Ground

www.facebook.com/lucyinblue
https://lucyinblue.bandcamp.com/
https://www.karismarecords.no/webshop
https://karismarecords.aisamerch.com

Lucy in Blue, In Flight (2019)

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Sólstafir to Tour Australia with Enslaved; European Festival Dates Approaching

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Next weekend in Neskaupstaður, Iceland’s prime purveyors of melancholic heavy, Sólstafir, will take the stage at the Eistnaflug Festival alongside The Vintage Caravan and a host of other native acts as well as the likes of Anathema, Kreator and many more. It’s not by any means their first appearance at the fest, but still notable for their placement near the top of the bill, reinforcing their position among the foremost Icelandic bands going. To that end, they’ll also be joining with Norwegian progressive extremists Enslaved on an Australian run next month. It’s four shows in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, but still a formidable run both for the journey involved in getting there and the pairing, as together, the two bands represent some of the most forward thinking metal Europe has to offer. I wouldn’t mind catching those two together, is all I’m saying.

Sólstafir, of course, go supporting last year’s Berdreyminn (review here), which was released by Season of Mist. The label sent the following down the PR wire:

solstafir (Photo Hafsteinn Viðar)

Sólstafir announce Australian tour with Enslaved

Acclaimed Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR have announced their first-ever Australian tour. The trek commences on August 29 in Perth, and sees the band performing in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

SÓLSTAFIR are touring in support of their new album, ‘Berdreyminn’. The album, produced by Birgir Birgirsson (SIGUR RÓS, ALCEST) and Jaime Gomez-Arellano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, ULVER), is available across multiple formats at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

SÓLSTAFIR have released a new video for the track “Hula”. The surreal new video, filmed in the haunting Hill of Crosses of Lithuania, is streaming now.

SÓLSTAFIR live:
July 11 Neskaupstaður, IS @ Eistnaflug
Aug. 4 Wacken, DE @ Wacken Open Air
Aug. 18 Dinkelsbühl, DE @ Summer Breeze Open Air

SÓLSTAFIR Australian tour:
All dates with ENSLAVED
Aug. 29 Perth, AUS @ Rosemount Hotel
Aug. 30 Sydney, AUS @ Factory Theatre
Aug. 31 Brisbane, AUS @ The Zoo
Sept. 1 Melbourne, AUS @ Max Watt’s

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
http://twitter.com/solstafir
https://solstafir.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, Berdreyminn (2017)

Sólstafir, “Hula” official video

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