Crystal Spiders Announce Morieris out Oct. 1; Title-Track Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

crystal spiders

I had to ask what the third VHS is on the cover of the second Crystal Spiders album, Morieris — which, yes I apparently do plan on spelling wrong the first time I type it out every single time in spite of myself — is. Jurassic Park and Bram Stoker’s Dracula are plainly visible, and as a child of the ’90s, both were largely unescapable. Beneath them, however, is the original, not-remake Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. I’m glad I asked. There was no way I was sleeping last night without knowing.

Morieris — there I go again — is out Oct. 1 on Ripple Music, and the makes a tantalizing first single of the patient roll in its newly-unveiled title-track. The vocals are a little farther back in the mix than on 2020’s Molt (review here), the results seemingly more atmospherically minded as the duo-plus flesh out their sound. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but I can only look forward to it based on what I’m hearing so far.

But let’s be honest, I was looking forward to it anyway.

From the PR wire:

Crystal Spiders Morieris

CRYSTAL SPIDERS to release new album ‘Morieris’ this October 1st on Ripple Music; new video and preorder available

North Carolina’s acclaimed heavy duo CRYSTAL SPIDERS announce the release of their sophomore album ‘Morieris’ on October 1st through Ripple Music, as well as the contribution of Corrosion Of Conformity’s Mike Dean on lead guitar on the album. Get mesmerized by the video for new single “Morieris” now!

For their eagerly anticipated follow up ‘Morieris’, North Carolina duo CRYSTAL SPIDERS bassist Brenna Leath and drummer Tradd Yancey take a lead guitar assist from Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity bassist, and Leath’s bandmate in Lightning Born) for a rollercoaster ride of doomy atmospherics, razor-sharp riffs, and infectious rhythms.

With their second offering, CRYSTAL SPIDERS builds upon and refines the whiplash intensity of ‘Molt’ to experiment with intricate harmonies, thundering breakdowns, and orchestral instrumentals (including guest cello from High Priestess Nighthawk of Heavy Temple). 2020 saw their debut album ‘Molt’ seated on many Album of the Year charts, and with ‘Morieris’, there’s no doubt the 2021 lists will save a spot for them as well.

The video for the title track “Morieris” was animated by Max Rebel of Ripple Music labelmates Plainride, with a lyrical theme inspired by the myth of Echo and Narcissus from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and visuals inspired by Salvador Dali’s surrealist work ‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus’. New album ‘Morieris’ is due out on October 1st and available to preorder through Ripple Music on limited edition splatter vinyl, black vinyl, CD and digital.

CRYSTAL SPIDERS New album ‘Morieris’
Out October 1st via Ripple Music
World preorder: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/morieris
North American preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=morieris

CRYSTAL SPIDERS is:
Brenna Leath – Bass/Vocals
Tradd Yancey – Drums/Vocals
Mike Dean – Guitar

facebook.com/crystalspidersinmymind
crystalspiders.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Quarterly Review: Geezer, Spaceslug, Expo Seventy, Boss Keloid, Bong-Ra, Zebu, Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, LáGoon, Maha Sohona, The Bad Sugar Rush

Posted in Reviews on July 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Oh my breaking heart as we move into day seven of the Summer 2021 Quarterly Review and I am reminded that the wages of hubris are feeling like a dumbass later. I was loading up my laptop on Saturday — so pleased with how ahead-of-the-game I was able to stay all last week — when the thing decided it was gonna give itself some time off one way or the other.

I dropped it for repair about 20 minutes before the guy I’ve come to trust was closing shop. He said he’d be in touch on Monday. Needless to say, I’m on my backup cheapie Chromebook, reviewing off Bandcamp streams, eagerly awaiting that call which I can only hope has come in by the time this is posted. I’ll keep you in the loop, of course, but putting together the reviews for yesterday? That was not pretty.

I expressly thank The Patient Mrs., through whom all things are possible.

Onward.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Geezer, Solstice

Geezer Solstice

Geezer‘s ambition could hardly be clearer in their 17-minute “Solstice” jam. It was the Solstice — Winter 2020, to be specific — and the Kingston, New York, trio jammed. Guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington (who doesn’t sing on the track) added some dreamy synth after the fact, and the affect is all the more hypnotic for it. Harrington, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota are no strangers to exploratory fare, as they showed on 2020’s righteous Groovy (review here), and as a Bandcamp Friday-era stopgap offering, “Solstice” brings a sampling of who they are in the rehearsal space, willing to be heavy, willing to not, ready to go where the music leads them. If Geezer wanted to do a whole full-length like this, I wouldn’t fight them, so you most definitely will not find me arguing against a digital single either. With jams this tasty, you take what you can get.

Geezer on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Spaceslug, The Event Horizon

spaceslug the event horizon

Issued less as a stopgap, which a digital-only single might normally be, than as a response to the band having lost gear in a practice space flood, the 8:52 single-song outing The Event Horizon was recorded at the same time as Spaceslug‘s late 2020 EP The Leftovers (review here) and in a way acts to bridge the melancholy beyond-genre push of that release with the more weighted, spacious roll that has typified the Polish outfit’s work to-date — their latest full-length was 2019’s Reign of the Orion (review here), and they recently finished a new one. So perhaps “The Event Horizon,” with its hypnotically languid rhythm and concluding drift, is a stopgap after all, but between helping the band recoup their losses and thinking of what might be coming next, it’s an exciting if not-unalloyed listening experience, and the three-piece move deeper into a signature sound even as they continue to bring the definition of what that means to new places.

Spaceslug on Thee Facebooks

Spaceslug on Bandcamp

 

Expo Seventy, Evolution

Expo Seventy Evolution

Creating sometimes-scorching, droning psychedelic soundtracks to all your favorite classic sci-fi films that never existed, Kansas City’s Expo Seventy offer a call to worship for freaks and converted heads on their new album, Evolution. Still headed by guitarist James Wright as on late-2016’s America Here and Now Sessions (review here), the band offer new glories celestial and terrestrial instrumental chemistry throughout the six tracks (seven on the CD) of Evolution, lumbering away on “Echoes of Ether” only after floating in brass-section antigrav conditions on “The Slow Death of Tomorrow.” Can you hang? You’ll know one way or the other as the culminating duo “Second Vision, First Sight” and “First Vision, Second Sight” are done with you, having altered dimensions so thoroughly that the ethereal will either come to feel like home or you will simply have melted. In any case, lash yourself to it. Own that shit.

Expo Seventy on Facebook

Essence Music on Bandcamp

 

Boss Keloid, Family the Smiling Thrush

boss kelod family the smiling thrush

Peak-era Faith No More reborn in progressive heavy fuzz? What stoner rock might’ve been if it went to college instead of spending all that time hanging around talking about old cars? I don’t know where UK four-piece Boss Keloid ultimately stand on their admirable fifth LP, Family the Smiling Thrush — the follow-up to 2018’s also-well-received Melted on the Inch (review here) — but they most certainly stand on their own. Across seven tracks, the band careen, crash, lumber, rush and ponder — lyrics no less worth a close read than any other component — and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Orang of Noyn” on, they make it abundantly clear that their style’s unpredictability is an asset, and that just because you might not know where they’re going next doesn’t mean they don’t. Melodic, complex and cerebral, there’s still a human presence here, a sense of a plan unfolding, that makes the album seem all the more masterful.

Boss Keloid on Facebook

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Bong-Ra, Antediluvian

BONG-RA Antediluvian

Though it’s ultimately less electric-kool-aid than endless-churning-abyss-with-psychdelic-saxophone-screaming-up-at-you-like-free-jazz-trapped-in-the-downward-tonal-spiral, Bong-Ra‘s four-tracker Antediluvian is duly experimentalist in being born out of the mind of Jason Köhnen, whose work on this project not only extends more than 20 years, but who has been a part of landmark Dutch outfits like Celestial Season, The Kilmanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, among scores of others. The procession on this full-length, originally released in 2018 through Svart Lava, is wild times indeed, but immersive despite feeling at times like a litmus for how much you can take, with Köhnen‘s bass/keys/etc. and Balazs Pandi‘s drums meeting with Colin Webster‘s saxophone and Chloe Herrington‘s bassoon, willfully plodding through long-ish form improv-seeming movements of atmospheric heft creation.

Jason Köhnen website

Tartarus Records store

 

Zebu, Reek of the Parvenu

zebu reek of the parvenu

A coherent and forceful debut full-length, Reek of the Parvenu quickly shows the metallic undercurrent from Athens-based four-piece Zebu on opener “The Setting Dust,” and pushes from there in groove metal fashion, taking some impulses from heavy rock but holding largely to a central aggressive stance and tension in the rhythm that is a backdrop even as the later “Nature of Failure” breaks from its chugging shove for a quieter stretch. That is to say, the next punch is always coming, and Zebu‘s blows are effectively delivered — looking at you, “Burden” — though some of the slower, sludgier cuts like “Our Shame” or the doomier finale “The City” bring a welcome atmosphere to go with the coinciding burl. I’m not sure if “People Under the Stairs” wants to kick my ass or crack a beer, but the songwriting is air tight and the thrashy threat only contributes to the immediacy of the release on the whole. They’re not screwing around.

Zebu on Facebook

Zebu on Bandcamp

 

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel, Polaris

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel Polaris

It’s been 11 years since France’s Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel debuted with Soundtrack From the Motion Picture (review here), an engaging, kind of silly play on stoner rock and B-movie tropes. Beneath that, however, it was also a concept album, and the band — who now seem to prefer LDDSM for a moniker — still work from that foundation on their fourth full-length, Polaris. The difference scope and sonic maturity. Rife with vocal harmonies and progressive flourish, the 10-track answer to 2016’s Human Collapse (review here) smoothly shifts between the patient and the urgent, the intimate and the grand — and that’s in the first two minutes of “Blue Giant” alone — finding their way into a proggy post-heavy rock that’s too clearheaded to be psychedelic, but that balances the crunch of “Horizon” with a sense of the otherworldly just the same.

Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel on Facebook

Klonosphere Records website

 

LáGoon, Skullactic Visions

LáGoon skullactic visions

With their fourth long-player, guitarist/vocalist Anthony Gaglia and drummer Brady Maurer of Portland, Oregon’s LáGoon welcome bassist Kenny Combs to the fold and dive as a trio — their first three-piece outing was last year’s Father of Death EP — headfirst into murky riffing and heady heavy rock, made all the more spacious through cavern echo and the garage doom vocals Gaglia brings on the title-track, as well as the synth that surfaces on the subsequent interlude “Buried” and elsewhere throughout. The earlier “Beyond the Trees” is particularly bleak and otherworldly, but I won’t take away from the further-down procession of “Hill Bomb” and “The Slow Down” into “Final Ride,” the last of which closes out with scummer doom that’s familiar but distinct enough to be their own. There are moments on Skullactic Visions where, for as much as they could sound like Electric Wizard given the ingredients, I’m all the gladder they don’t.

LaGoon on Facebook

Interstellar Smoke Records webstore

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Maha Sohona, Endless Searcher

Maha Sohona endless searcher

Maha Sohona‘s second album comes some seven years after their self-titled debut, but who cares about time when you’ve got your headphones on and you’re surrounded by the richness of tone on offer throughout Endless Searcher‘s five rolling tracks? Heavy and laid back, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Johan Bernhardtson, bassist Thomas Hedlund and drummer David Lundsten finding some kinship with Polish three-piece Spaceslug in their post-Sungrazer blend of weight and flow, a jam like “Luftslot” nodding and conjuring depth even as it soars. Can’t argue with the quicker push of “A Black Star” or the purposefully straightforward “Scavengers” (where the title-line is delivered) but some of the mellow moments in opener “Leaves” and especially the building instrumental finisher “Orbit X” are even more satisfying for how effectively they move you place to place almost without your realizing it. I’ve got nothing for you if you can’t dig this vibe.

Maha Sohona on Facebook

Made of Stone Recordings on Bandcamp

 

The Bad Sugar Rush, Liar/Push Me

The Bad Sugar Rush Liar Push Me

Keen observers will recognize The Bad Sugar Rush vocalist René Hofmann from his work with Wight, but the work here alongside guitarist Josko Joke-Tovic, bassist Minyeong Fischer and drummer Peter Zettl is distinct from that other unit here, even as the Humble Pie-esque “Push Me” and semi-sleeze “Liar” both have some shade of funk to their procession. Both cuts circa four minutes makes for a suitable debut 7″ with respected purveyor H42 Records doing the honors, and the results are an encouragingly catchy display of what a first full-length might accomplish when and however such a thing emerges. There’s classic heavy rock as the foundation, but more than outright ’70s worship — though some of that too — it’s the organic feel of the songs that leaves an impression on the listener, though the background singers on “Push Me” don’t hurt in that regard, certainly. An auspicious and intriguind first showing.

The Bad Sugar Rush on Facebook

H42 Records website

 

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Quarterly Review: Elara Sunstreak Band, Lost Breed, T.G. Olson, Acid Reich, White Powder, Hellish Form, Mosara, Tombstunner, Moanhand, Appalooza

Posted in Reviews on July 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Second week, locked in and ready to roll. The message of today is that the Quarterly Review goes where it wants when it wants. If I’m steering this ship at all, it’s in only the most passive of ways. I hope you had a good weekend. I hope you spent it listening to killer music. I hope you managed to get all your reviews done. Ha.

So much good stuff to come this week. I’m looking forward to diving into it. And you know what? I did end up adding the extra day, so the Summer 2021 QR will go 11 days instead of 10, bringing it to 110 releases covered. Pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve ever gone.

Better get to it.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Elara Sunstreak Band, Vostok I

Elara Vostok 1

True, Elara Sunstreak Band‘s second album and first for Sulatron Records, dubbed Vostok 1, is not a minor ask at four songs and 72 minutes. But by the time you’re through the 19:44 opener/longest track (immediate points) “Nexus,” the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Daniel Wieland, drummer Martin Wieland and guitarist/sitarist/synthesist Felix Schmidt have set their course outward and they continue to surprise along the way, from the shimmering Elder-style progressive guitar work in the title-track to the guest vocals of Felix Seyboth nodding at Blind Melon in the crescendo of sitar-laced closer “Orange October.” Even “On a Drink With Jim” manages to thrill with its blend of the terrestrial with the spacious, let alone its Doors homage as hinted in its title. These nuances meld with an overarching hypnosis to create a satisfying depth of presentation on the part of Elara Sunstreak Band, and it becomes all the more a far out journey worth taking.

Elara Sunstreak Band on Facebook

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Lost Breed, Speak No Evil

Lost Breed Speak No Evil

Classic doom metal from experienced practicioners of the art. Speak No Evil is kind of a curious release. Vinyl only as yet, and self-released by the band, it answers back to the group’s initial Hellhound Records run in the 1990s and also their 1989 Wino Daze demo that featured Scott “Wino” Weinrich on vocals around the same time he left Saint Vitus and restarted The Obsessed. Weinrich appears on vocals and lead guitar throughout the first half of Speak No Evil, fronting the catchy opener “My Way Out” as well as “Thrift Store Girl,” “Cradle to the Grave” and the double-kick-laced “Doom,” which is nothing if not aptly-titled, while guitarist Pat Lydon sings on “Snakebite,” the less outwardly political “Wake the Dead,” “Siren Song” and “Stalker,” the pairing of which feels intentional. One might think the two sides/two-frontmen thing would make the release uneven, or the fact that it was recorded across two coasts, but nah, it’s doom either way and these guys know what they’re doing. Don’t sweat it. Do hope it gets a wider release.

Lost Breed on Facebook

Pat Lydon on YouTube

 

T.G. Olson, T.G. Olson

T.G. Olson T.G. Olson

Though it’s been a minute as he’s reprioritized Across Tundras, embarked on other projects, relocated to Iowa, farmed, and so on, T.G. Olson has still put out enough records under his own name that to have one arrive as a self-titled is significant in itself. Sure enough and somewhat ironically for someone who’s done so much him-and-guitar work in the past, the nonetheless-unassuming 35-minute eight-tracker features more personnel and broader arrangements than one might expect. That’s hardly a detriment, as even the layers of voice on “Steal a Day” come through as benefitting from the attention to detail, and the harmonica-inclusive twang of “Scythe” has its blues all the more emphasized for the clarity of its strum, while closer “Downer Town” invites a singalong. Personnel varies throughout, but the contibutions of Abigail Lily O’Hara (vocals), Ben Schriever (guitar, bass) and Caleb R.K. Williams (synth, guitar, banjo) — all of whom feature in the latest incarnation of Across Tundras as well — aren’t to be understated, as identifiable as Olson‘s songcraft is at the core of this material.

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

 

Acid Reich, Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

Acid Reich Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

John McBain, Tim Cronin and Dave Wyndorf — in Dog of Mystery together at the time — would go on to form Monster Magnet a short time after, seemingly on a whim, Acid Reich‘s freakout Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest was put to tape in their rehearsal space as one of a number of “fake” weirdo projects. Listening to these five tracks, including likewise irreverent takes on “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and “Amazing Grace,” the feel here is like an acid psych treasure trove of Jersey Shore fuckery. Joining the trio were Ripping Corpse‘s Shaune Kelley and Joe Paone of hellSausage, and by their own admission, the audio’s a mess. It’s an archival tape dug up from 1989 — if you’re thinking you’re getting high fidelity, you’re missing at least one of the points of putting it out in the first place. Laced with acid culture samples that may or may not have been added after the fact, this is the first official release this material has ever gotten, and it’s nasty, raw, demo fare that, if it wasn’t so blown into the cosmos you’d call it punk rock. If that doesn’t sound right on to you, it’s probably your loss.

Guerssen Records on Bandcamp

Guerssen Records website

 

White Powder, Blue Dream

white powder blue dream

Based in Austin, Texas, and operatin as the four-piece of guitarist Jason Morales (also Tia Carrera), bassist Win Wallace, keyboardist Ezra Reynolds and drummer Jeff Swanson, White Powder recorded their whoa-this-shit-is-awesome mostly-instrumentalist debut LP, Blue Dream in 2014 and only now is it being at last pressed to vinyl. Given their chosen moniker, the 46-minute/nine-song session is perhaps surprisingly laid back, with the keys/synth and guitar coming together in mellow-prog style atop not-entirely-languid-but-not-overly-insistent grooves; all parties seeming geared toward immersion as much of self as for their listenership, be it in the piano of “Connemara” or the later fuzzer “Rula Jabreal,” where ripplng organ lines top the popping-snare rhythmic tension until the guitar pushes it over the edge of volume swell and wash. Some classic heavy for good measure in “Alice Walker,” but Blue Dream works best taken in its entirety, and listening to it that way, one only hopes they manage to do another in seven years or so. Or seven months. That’d work too. Extra points for the sleek-as-hell soul vocals in the Steely Dan cover “Dirty Work” on side B.

White Powder on Spotify

White Powder on Bandcamp

 

Hellish Form, Remains

Hellish Form Remains

Quarantine-era cross-country duo Hellish Form earn a Khanate comparison on their debut release, Remains, for their sheer unwillingness to pull back from the grueling, punishing tension they create in the slowly unfolding opener/longest track (immediate points) “Your Grave Becomes a Garden.” The dirge is so much forward that it makes the post-Bell Witch lead guitar mourning feel like an afterthought, and the screaming, echoing vocals shared between multi-instrumentalists Willow Ryan (Body Void) and Jacob Lee — who both recorded their parts at home — are a harsh reminder of the existential chaos serving as the background to these songs’ making. “Ache” is shorter and puts synth more forward, and “Shadows with Teeth” thicker and nastier if that’s possible, but through them and the 10-minute finale “Another World,” the feeling of dread, fear, and loss is palpable, and Remains is a fitting name for a record that feels so much like an aftermath.

Hellish Form on Facebook

Translation Loss Records website

 

Mosara, Mosara

Mosara Mosara

Mosara emerge from Phoenix, Arizona, with a sound that just as easily could’ve come down from the mountains as out of the desert, and that’s by no means a complaint. Big riffs promulgate their eight-song self-titled debut LP, and they bring forth aggro sludge undertones alongside lumbering rollout, rawly-captured in the recording but not lacking presence for that, as the mounted chug of “Cypher” demonstrates. Is it heavy enough to crash your hard drive? I’m not trying to lay blame on Mosara‘s riffs or anyone else’s, but apparently there’s only so much assault modern technology can take before falling victim. We’ll call that computer a sacrifice to the eight-minute “Earth God,” its crashing drums and deceptively spacious mix creating a cavernous largesse in spite of the barebones vibe that persists across the span, “Clay and Iron” and “Majestik XII” establishing the atmosphere early but not the full sonic reach of the band, whose plunge is made all the deeper by the High on Fire-style drive of “Oumuamua.” Doesn’t have to be a revolution to fuck you up.

Mosara on Facebook

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Tombstunner, Call to the Void

Tombstunner Call to the Void

I don’t know if Grand Rapids, Michigan, yet has an officially designated “scourge,” but I’d be happy to see Tombstunner end up with the title. The band’s debut album, Call to the Void, reminds at once of fellow sneering Midwestern chicanery-bringers Bloodcow and also of early ’90s, Blind-era C.O.C., their tones refusing to give themselves over to one side or the other of the argument between metal and heavy rock. Marked out by considered and sometimes willfully clever lyrics, the record strikes with plenty of groove — plenty of “strike,” for that matter — and not an ounce of pretense on pieces like “ASH” or the later “Contempt’s Concrete,” which touches on harsher fare, but again, isn’t really keen to leave its rock foundation behind. They probably make the right choice in that. Eight-minute capper “The Last Ride” is catchy and weighted in kind, seeming to pack as much as possible into its finale as though to let there be no uncertainty the band has more to say. Fair enough. There’s growing to be done, but Call to the Void‘s untamed sensibility is ultimately a strength, not a weakness.

Tombstunner on Facebook

Tombstunner on Bandcamp

 

Moanhand, Present Serpent

moanhand present serpent

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good scream. Moscow-based Roman Filatov has one. The lone figure behind Moanhand can growl, and unlike many harsher metal vocalists, he can also sing, and does so readily across his band’s first album, Present Serpent, but god damn, that’s a good scream. Enviable. Comprised of six tracks, Present Serpent is as progressive as it is extreme, as doom as it is any number of other microgenres, and despite the formidable and varied nature of his performances throught — second track “The Charmthrower” has more scope than many bands do in an entire career arc — he does not fail to put songwriting first ahead of either technique or impact. Present Serpent will not hit a nerve with everyone, but the lumbering “Raw Blessings” and the atmosludge metal of finisher “The Boomering of Serpents,” calling back to opener “Serpent Soul (A Tale of Angels’ Slaughter)” in semi-blackened throb, just leaves me wondering why the hell not. On the level of Moanhand‘s forward potential alone — never mind any of the actual songs — it is a staggering debut.

Moanhand on Facebook

Moanhand on Bandcamp

 

Appalooza, The Holy of Holies

appalooza-the-holy-of-holies-cover

The percussion nuance and guitar lick nodding at Morricone in opener “Storm” amid all the post-Alice in Chains vocal arrangements should be a signal of the reach France’s Appalooza bring to their second LP and Ripple debut, The Holy of Holies. To wit, the subsequent “Snake Charmer” is off and careening almost immediately on its own path, and it’s commendable on the band’s part that where they go on the burlier “Reincarnation” and the more spacious “Nazareth” and the centerpiece “Conquest” — which starts out particularly hard-hitting and by the time it’s done is given over to standalone acoustic guitar without sounding disjointed in getting there — remains so seemingly even-handed in its delivery. Their material is considered, then. It proves no less so through the brash/tense “Azazael,” the desert-but-not “Distress” and “Thousand Years After,” which is a melodic highlight even among the many other surrounding. Tasked with summarizing, closer “Canis Majoris” answers “Conquest” with melancholy and heft, its ending satisfying in an emotional context in additing to being a well earned sonic payoff.

Appalooza on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

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Quarterly Review: Spelljammer, The Black Heart Death Cult, Shogun, Nadja, Shroud of Vulture, Towards Atlantis Lights, ASTRAL CONstruct, TarLung, Wizzerd & Merlin, Seum

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

We proceed onward, into this ever-growing swath of typos, lineup corrections made after posting, and riffs — more riffs! — that is the Quarterly Review. Today is Day Four and I’m feeling good. Not to say there isn’t some manner of exhaustion, but the music has been killer — today is particularly awesome — and that makes life much, much, much better as I’ve already said. I hope you’ve found one or two or 10 records so far that you’ve really dug. I know I’ve added a few to my best of 2021 list, including stuff right here. So yeah, we roll on.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Spelljammer, Abyssal Trip

spelljammer abyssal trip

To envision an expanse, and to crush it. Stockholm three-piece Spelljammer return five years after Ancient of Days (review here), with an all-the-more-massive second long-player through RidingEasy, turning their front-cover astronaut around to face the audience head on and offering 43 minutes/six tracks of encompassing largesse, topping 10 minutes in the title-track and “Silent Rift,” both on side B with the interlude “Peregrine” between them, after the three side A rollers, “Bellwether,” “Lake” and “Among the Holy” have tripped out outward and downward into an atmospheric plunge that is a joy to take feeling specifically geared as an invite to the converted. We are here, come worship with us. Also get crushed. Spelljammer records may not happen all the time, but you won’t be through “Bellwether” before you’re saying it was worth the wait.

Spelljammer on Facebook

RidingEasy Records website

 

The Black Heart Death Cult, Sonic Mantras

The Black Heart Death Cult Sonic Mantras

A deceptively graceful second LP from Melbourne’s The Black Heart Death Cult, Sonic Mantras pulls together an eight-song/45-minute run that unfolds bookended by “Goodbye Gatwick Blues” (8:59) and “Sonic Dhoom” (9:47) and in between ebbs and flows across shorter pieces that maximize their flow in whether shoegazing, heavygazing, blissing out, or whatever we’re calling it this week on “The Sun Inside” and “One Way Through,” or finding their way to a particularly deadened meadow on “Trees,” or tripping the light hypnotic on “Dark Waves” just ahead of the closer. “Cold Fields” churns urgently in its 2:28 but remains spacious, and everywhere The Black Heart Death Cult go, they remain liquefied in their sound, like a seemingly amorphous thing that nonetheless manages to hold its shape despite outside conditions. Whatever form they take, then, they are themselves, and Sonic Mantras emphasizes how yet-underappreciated they are in emerging from the ever-busy Aussie underground.

The Black Heart Death Cult on Facebook

Kozmik Artifactz store

 

Shogun, Tetra

Shogun Tetra

Tetra is the third long-player from Milwaukee’s Shogun, and in addition to the 10-minute “Delta,” which marries blues gargle with YOB slow-gallop before jamming out across its 10-minute span, it brings straight-shooter fuzz rockers like “Gravitas,” the someone-in-this-band-listened-to-Megadeth-in-the-’90s-and-that’s-okay beginnings of “Buddha’s Palm/Aviary” and likewise crunch of “Axiom” later, but also the quiet classic progressive rock of “Gone Forever,” and the more patient coming together of psychedelia and harder-hitting movement on closer “Maximum Ray.” Somewhat undercut by a not-raw-but-not-bursting-with-life production, pieces like “Buddha’s Palm/Aviary,” which gives over to a sweeter stretch of guitar in its second movement, and “Vertex/Universal Pain Center,” which in its back end brings around that YOB influence again and puts it to good use, are outwardly complex enough to put the lie to the evenhandedness of the recording. There’s more going on in Tetra than it first seems, and the more you listen, the more you find.

Shogun on Facebook

Shogun on Bandcamp

 

Nadja, Luminous Rot

Nadja Luminous Rot

Keeping up with Nadja has proven nigh on impossible over the better part of the last two decades, as the Berlin-by-way-of-Toronto duo have issued over 25 albums in 19 years, plus splits and live offerings and digital singles and oh my goodness I do believe I have the vapors that’s a lot of Nadja. For those of us who flit in and out like the dilletantes we ultimately are, Luminous Rot‘s aligning Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff with Southern Lord makes it an easy landmark, but really most of what the six-cut/48-minute long-player does is offer a reminder of the vital experimentalism the lazy are missing in the first place. The consuming, swelling drone of “Cuts on Your Hands,” blown-out sub-industrialism of “Starres,” hook of the title-track and careful-what-you-wish-for anchor riff of “Fruiting Bodies” — these and the noisily churning closer “Dark Inclusions” are a fervent argument in Nadja‘s favor as being more than a sometimes-check-in kind of band, and for immediately digging into the 43-minute single-song album Seemannsgarn, which they released earlier this year. So much space and nothing to lose.

Nadja on Facebook

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Shroud of Vulture, Upon a Throne of Jackals

shroud of vulture upon a throne of jackals

Welcome to punishment as a primary consideration. Indianapolis death-doom four-piece hold back the truly crawling fare until “Perverted Reflection,” which is track three of the total seven on their debut full-length, Upon a Throne of Jackals, but by then the extremity has already shown its unrepentant face across the buried-alive “Final Spasms of the Drowned” and the oldschool death metal of “The Altar.” Centerpiece “Invert Every Throne” calls to mind Conan in its nod, but Shroud of Vulture are more about rawness than sheer largesse in tone, and their prone-to-blasting style gives them an edge there and in “Halo of Tarnished Light,” which follows. The closing pair of “Concealing Rabid Laughter” and “Stone Coffin of Existence” both top seven minutes and offset grueling tension with grueling release, but it’s the stench of decay that so much defines Upon a Throne of Jackals, as though somebody rebuilt Sunlight Studio brick for brick in Hoosier Country. Compelling and filthy in kind.

Shroud of Vulture on Facebook

Wise Blood Records website

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Towards Atlantis Lights, When the Ashes Devoured the Sun

Towards Atlantis Lights When the Ashes Devoured the Sun

Ultra-grueling, dramatic death-doom tragedies permeate the second full-length, When the Ashes Devoured the Sun, from UK-based four-piece Towards Atlantis Lights, with vocalist/keyboardist Kostas Panagiotou and guitarist Ivan Zara at the heart of the compositions while bassist Riccardo Veronese and drummer Ivano Olivieri assure the impact that coincides with the cavernous procession matches in scope. The follow-up to 2018’s Dust of Aeons (review here), this six-track collection fosters classicism and modern apocalyptic vibes alike, and whether raging or morose, its dirge atmosphere remains firm and uncompromised. Heavy lumber for heavy hearts. The kind of doom that doesn’t look up. That doesn’t mean it’s not massive in scope — it is, even more than the first record — just that nearly everything it sees is downward. If there’s hope, it is a vague thing, lost to periphery. So be it.

Towards Atlantis Lights on Facebook

Kostas Panagiotou on Bandcamp

 

ASTRAL CONstruct, Tales of Cosmic Journeys

ASTRAL CONstruct Tales of Cosmic Journeys

It has been said on multiple occasions that “space is the place.” The curiously-capitalized Colorado outfit ASTRAL CONstruct would seem to live by this ethic on their debut album, Tales of Cosmic Journeys, unfurling as they do eight flowing progressions of instrumental slow-CGI-of-the-planets pieces that are more plotted in their course than jams, but feel built from jams just the same. Raw in its production and mix, and mastered by Kent Stump of Wo Fat, there’s enough atmosphere to let the lead guitar breathe, certainly, and to sustain life in general even on “Jettisoned Adrift in the Space Debris,” and the image evoked by “Hand Against the Solar Winds” feels particularly inspired given that song’s languid roll. The record starts and ends in cryogenic sleep, and if upon waking we’re transported to another place and another time, who knows what wonders we might see along the way. ASTRAL CONstruct‘s exploration would seem to be just beginning here, but their “Cosmos Perspective” is engaging just the same.

ASTRAL CONstruct on Instagram

ASTRAL CONstruct on Bandcamp

 

TarLung, Architect

TarLung Architect

Vinna-based sludgedrivers TarLung were last heard from with 2017’s Beyond the Black Pyramid (discussed here), and Architect continues the progression laid out there in melding vocal extremity and heavy-but-not-too-heavy-to-move riffing. It might seem like a fine line to draw, and it is, and that only makes songs like “Widow’s Bane” and “Horses of Plague” all the more nuanced as their deathly growls and severe atmospheres mesh with what in another context might just be stoner rock groove. Carcass circa the criminally undervalued Swansong, Six Feet Under. TarLung manage to find a place in stoner sludge that isn’t just Bongzilla worship, or Bongripper worship, or Bong worship. I’m not sure it’s worship at all, frankly, and I like that about it as the closing title-track slow-moshes my brain into goo.

TarLung on Facebook

TarLung on Bandcamp

 

Wizzerd & Merlin, Turned to Stone Chapter III

ripple music turned to stone chapter iii wizzerd vs merlin

Somewhere in the great mystical expanse between Kalispell, Montana, and Kansas City, Missouri, two practicioners of the riffly dark arts meet on a field of battle. Wizzerd come packing the 19-minute acoustic-into-heavy-prog-into-sitar-laced-jam-out “We Are,” as if to encompass that declaration in all its scope, while Merlin answer back with the organ-led “Merlin’s Bizarre Adventure” (21:51), all chug and lumber until it’s time for weirdo progressive fusion reggae and an ensuing Purple-tinged psych expansion. Who wins? I don’t know. Ripple Music in releasing it in the first place, I guess. Continuing the label’s influential split series(es), Turned to Stone Chapter III pushes well over the top in the purposes of both acts involved, and in that, it’s maybe less of a battle than two purveyors joining forces to weave some kind of Meteo down on the heads of all who might take them on. If you’ve think you’ve got the gift, they seem only too ready to test that out.

Wizzerd on Facebook

Merlin on Facebook

Ripple Music website

 

Seum, Winterized

Seum Winterized

“Life Grinder” begins with a sample: “I don’t know if you need all that bass,” and the answer, “Oh, you need all that bass.” That’s already after “Sea Sick Six” has revealed the Montreal-based trio’s sans-guitar extremist sludge roll, and the three-piece seem only too happy to keep up the theme. Vocals are harsh, biting, grating, purposeful in their fuckall, and the whole 28-minute affair of Winterized is cathartic aural violence, except perhaps the interllude “666,” which is a quiet moment between “Broken Bones” and “Black Snail Volcano,” which finally seems to just explode in its outright aggression, nod notwithstanding. A slowed down Ramones cover — reinventing “Pet Sematary” as “Red Sematary” — has a layer of spoken chanting vocals layered in and closes out, but the skin has been peeled so far back by then and Seum have doused so much salt onto the wounds that even Bongzilla might cringe. The low-end-only approach only makes it more punishing and more punk rock at the same time. Fucking mean.

Seum on Facebook

Seum on Bandcamp

 

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Colour Haze Announce September Shows in Germany and Austria

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

colour haze (photo by JJ Koczan)

The idea here is that Colour Haze never got to tour to support the release of 2020’s We Are (review here), so they’re heading out now to do so. Worth noting that it’s a different band hitting the road than the one that made the album, though, with Mario Oberpucher taking over on bass and organist/synthesist Jan Faszbender seeming to have departed as well. Fair enough. The fact that Colour Haze are getting out to do shows at all is, of course, welcome, though the band has had a number of projects underway recently, including a remix/remaster of Los Sounds de Krauts (review here), writing for another new album and putting together a live record from odds and ends they managed to get out in 2020.

Looking forward to all, of course.

Sound of Liberation sent over the following:

colour haze release tour

Colour Haze 2021 TOUR

Dare we say that… we announce… a tour?!

‘We Are’ was released back in late 2019. Seems like ages ago (and it actually is), but Colour Haze have never been able to tour their latest music since then for reasons we all know.

So we guess it’s about time.

Sound of Liberation + Elektrohasch Records proudly present:
Colour Haze
ALBUM RELEASE TOUR 2021

18.09.21 – Graz | p.p.c.
19.09.21 – Salzburg | Rockhouse Salzburg
20.09.21 – Wien | ARENA WIEN
21.09.21 – Leipzig | WERK2-Kulturfabrik
22.09.21 – Dortmund | Musiktheater Piano
23.09.21 – Dortmund | Musiktheater Piano
04.10.21 – Würzburg | Posthalle Würzburg
05.10.21 – Wiesbaden | Schlachthof Wiesbaden
06.10.21 – Berlin | Festsaal Kreuzberg
07.10.21 – Dresden | Beatpol

If you still hold a ticket from any previously postponed Colour Haze show, please check with your ticket provider if it’s still valid automatically or if there are any actions needed from your side.

We’ll see you on the road

Cheers,
Your SOL Crew

PS: New Colour Haze T-Shirts, tons of Vinyls & CDs are available via SOL Records: https://sol-records.com/collections/colour-haze

COLOUR HAZE is
Stefan Koglek – guitar & vocals
Mario Oberpucher – live sound, sitar, bass
Manfred Merwald – drums

https://www.facebook.com/COLOURHAZE.official/
http://colourhaze.de/
www.elektrohasch.de
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Colour Haze, Live 2020 at sunset

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Doctor Smoke Sign to Ripple Music; New Album Due in September

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be brought into the employ of Ohio heavy troupe Doctor Smoke to write a bio as they sought to find a home for their second album. It’s at this point been seven years since they issued The Witching Hour (discussed here) through Totem Cat Records. Part of writing the bio for the new record — the fortunate part, as it happens — was that it involved hearing the thing. So yes, Doctor Smoke have a new record, and I believe it’ll be out in September if they’ve been sitting on this announcement of signing to Ripple Music for a bit. They’ve given minimal info — band and label are pretty on-message in just saying they’ve aligned and the record is coming soon — to this point, but the thing is done and ready to be pressed if that’s not already in progress.

It’s a turn in sound too, and an interesting one. Though they’re named after an Asteroid track, Doctor Smoke were never really a fuzz-heavy band, but under the direction of guitarist/vocalist Matt Tluchowski, they’ve moved to highlight a classic-metal shimmer in the riffs that suits them well and stands them out among heavy peers. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’d be kind of a dick move to jump the gun — I’m not looking to mess with anybody’s promo plan; people put time and thought into that shit — but some who caught on to The Witching Hour way back when will be surprised at where they’ve gone. In a good way, since the songwriting is still there.

From the socials:

doctor smoke ripple

Very psyched about this. Loved this band since their debut. Please welcome to the family Doctor Smoke.

New album drops into your ears this September.

“We are proud to announce our signing with Ripple Music! Very excited to be joining such an amazing roster of artists. New album out this September. Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements!”

http://doctorsmoke.bandcamp.com/
http://facebook.com/doctorsmokeband
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://www.instagram.com/ripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Doctor Smoke, The Witching Hour (2014)

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Album Review: Colour Haze, Los Sounds de Krauts (Reissue)

Posted in Reviews on June 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Colour Haze Los Sounds de Krauts Reissue

Probably fair to call Los Sounds de Krauts a transitional release for Colour Haze, though one might say the same of their 13-album discography. Issued through the venerable Nasoni Records in 2002 and subsequently as the first release through guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek‘s then-soon-to-be-venerable Elektrohasch Schallplatten imprint, it is one of numerous 2LPs the Munich-based outfit have done since their 1995 debut, but one of only two to not be contained on a single compact disc.

Its four sides originally labeled with the cardinal directions counterclockwise in German — Westen, Süden, Osten and Norden; labeled likewise on the two CDs — the tracklisting has shifted somewhat on the reissue, putting “Otherside” earlier and “2+7” later, making the 15-minute “Overriding” the closer and “Schlaflied,” the former closer, the first song on the last side. The end result is a record that’s lost a few minutes in the process of remixing — “Weltraummantra” (16:23) was 18 minutes long, “Overriding” (15:21) was 17:37, and so on — but still runs 85 minutes long and captures the air of spontaneity at its root.

As the follow-up to 2002’s 2LP, Ewige Blumenkraft (reissue review here), Los Sounds de Krauts, with its odd, multi-lingual-seeming title and sides pointing the listener in one direction or another, was an embrace of the progressive and psychedelic in a new way for Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald, stretching in form even beyond where the massive 19-minute “Elektrohasch” that concluded the last album had gone, pushing outward from their foundations in heavy rock and into more open spaces.

Throughout Los Sounds de KrautsColour Haze can be heard fully embracing the tonal warmth that over the next few years and offerings would become their banner, and exhibiting the patience of craft and purposeful exploration that helped their influence continue to spread throughout the aughts and then 2010s in and beyond Europe. It’s easy now to call it a transitional album. At the time, it was the deepest Colour Haze had yet dug into their own sonic persona, their most individualized collection, freeing themselves from genre concerns to a new degree and thereby working to forge a heavy psychedelia that, quite frankly, didn’t exist before them in the way it did after they made it.

Significantly, the original vocals for “Where the Skies End” were lost and are re-recorded here, with Koglek working from the original Tim Höfer recording on the new mix. As regards Los Sounds de Krauts as a whole, there’s a lot that’s said in the first 10 seconds of the record to tell the listener what they need to know. The guitar at the outset of “I Won’t Stop” shimmers, brimming with life and not-desert fuzz, joined soon by the drums and bass in a classic boogie that’s still somehow post-grunge in its presentation, and it the sense of life in the recording is the most immediate factor.

It’s right there. They’re right there. Later on, before, after songs, there are pauses or breaks before a song starts or stops. These subtle touches put the audience in the room with the band while the songs are being put to tape, whether it’s the quiet at the end of the softly-noodled “Schlaflied” or the build-up intro to “Plazmakeks” or the feedback at the and of second cut “Roses.”

colour haze los sounds de krauts original cover

But the effect of “I Won’t Stop,” and really the rest of side A along with it in “Roses” and the winding fluidity of “Zen,” is to create a momentum that carries into the proceedings as “Plazmakeks” picks up the jammier vibe from “Zen” and pulls it further along an instrumental course. There’s still plenty of shove to be had as the two-minute freakout “Other Side” arrives well placed to speed-boogie between that 10-minute cut and the highlight “Sundazed,” which is nearly as long and so serene as to make the movement of one track into the next all the more headspinning.

Situated about as close to the halfway point as it could be, “Sundazed” is the capper of the first CD and the first LP on the new and old versions of Los Sounds de Krauts and a model they’d continue to follow in their landmark 2004 self-titled (discussed here) and beyond. Atop Merwald‘s steady snare pops and the vibrant rumble of Rasthofer‘s bass, Koglek‘s layered vocal and guitar takeoff are nothing less than essential lessons to be learned about the passion that drives rock and roll at its best. And there’s still half an album to go.

About that. I am generally of the opinion that a 2CD release is superfluous, and yeah, if Colour Haze had cut five or six minutes out of Los Sounds de Krauts, they’d have still hit a 2LP mark and probably saved some on manufacturing only one CD. Would that mean no “Roses?” Would it pull the playful bassline of “Where the Skies End” out? Or the stick-clicks-and-go last grounded moment in “2+7” before “Overriding” brings its organ-laced jammy conclusion? Would that be faded out? Any of these changes would inexorably shift the character of Los Sounds de Krauts, and among the album’s strengths, that is second to none of them.

Particularly as the reissue brings new lush cover art by Jessica Rassi and emphasizes the creative spirit so rife throughout the material, right up to that surge in “Overriding,” it’s simply worth the investment in time it asks of the listener in both its peaceful and most shoving parts.

18 years later, it’s still worth that investment, and the new mix carries that feeling of soulfulness that is no less a Colour Haze hallmark than Koglek‘s tone, or Rasthofer‘s, or Merwald‘s — because, yes, drums have tone and if you don’t think so, just listen to this album. I won’t pretend at impartiality. I’m a fan and this was the record that introduced me to the band, so sentimentality runs high in listening to it. Which feels exactly right for how one should be hearing the material, whether they’ve heard it before or not. Some records were just made to become a part of your life. Some records were made to be loved.

Colour Haze, “Sundazed” live at Rockpalast

Colour Haze website

Colour Haze on Facebook

Elektrohasch Schallplatten website

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Witchcryer Premiere “I Rise!”; When Their Gods Come for You out Aug. 20

Posted in audiObelisk on June 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Witchcryer

I’ll make this real, real easy for you. Austin, Texas’ Witchcryer release their new album, When Their Gods Come for You, on Aug. 20 through Ripple Music. The song premiering below is called “I Rise!” and it’s a burner. It’s got classic rock stomp to spare, attitude out the wazoo, and songwriting to back up the performances of its players. The vocals of Suzy Bravo feature alongside Jason Muxlow‘s guitar, impeccably mixed for an organic feel, but the weight of Marilyn Monroe‘s bass and Javi Moctezuma‘s drums is a grooving presence not to be understated. Across the span of the record, they move between hard-doom Sabbathian roll and Scorpions-style drive-at-night rightonnery — looking at you, “Nemesis, the Inevitable” — and in “Quetzalcoatl” alone, there’s enough swagger to carry the entirety of the record were it called upon to do so, which, guess what, it’s not.

But as an initial public offering from When Their Gods Come for You, they chose well in “I Rise!” even aside from the title’s inherent exclamatory excitement, but you should note, if they’d picked “Hellmouth” instead, I’d be sitting here praising the choice just the same for the low-end P-U-N-C-H of the bassline and severity of the still-melodic vocals. And if they’d gone with “Sisyphus (Holy Roller),” well, aside from the immediate points for cleverness, the clean, efficient and proto-metallic-but-modern-in-its-delivery Witchcryer When Their Gods Come for Youpath the track takes to its apex is an argument in favor of itself. Even opener “The Devil and the Deep Blue See,” though more atmospheric and serving as an intro to the record as a whole, would work. And of course any number of these or the rest of the tracks might show up between now and August, I’m just saying “I Rise!” is a standout among standouts. It represents Witchcryer‘s sophomore LP well in its sound and style — on the album, it leads into the purposeful stretch of the closing duo “Blackfoot Creation Story/Spirit Power” (7:38) and “When Their Gods Come for You” (7:34), which are the two broadest cuts included — but is by no means the sum-total of all they have to offer. You’re gonna want to be friends with it.

“I Rise!” has a guest appearance from Steve Colca from Destroyer of Light — speaking of underrated — in the chorus. The two are bandmates in Temple of Love and, even more crucially, married, and they complement each other well with Colca backing Bravo to add to the impact of the hook. And as you can see below, When Their Gods Come for You takes its lyrical foundation in a purposeful range of creation mythologies, and I’m not going to minimize the stories being told throughout — they are, after all, epics — but even the theme doesn’t outshine the songcraft, and Witchcryer‘s sound refuses to be bogged down by anything in the progression of the album’s 47 minutes. There are ebbs and swells, naturally, and the final two tracks reveal a deeper patience than anything prior, but even there, the songs move and are rife with intent and clarity of method. I feel I could go on, but you should probably just listen to the fucking song.

So do that. And if you want to know much, much more, there’s copious PR wire info below to dive into.

Album’s out Aug. 20. Witchcryer will be at RippleFest Texas 2021 on Aug. 7. More info on that via Facebook.

Enjoy:

Witchcryer on “I Rise!”:

“I Rise!” is first out the gate and it’s an uptempo stomper that tells of the resurrection of the vengeful mythological Greek Titan god Menoetius. Menoetius (“doomed might” in Greek) was known as a violent hot headed and prideful god. He was eventually struck down by Zeus with a bolt of lightning and banished to Tartarus. Menoetius was impetuous to the very end. In the song Menoetius returns from Tartarus threatening to destroy all humans and gods by harnessing the thunderous might of Zeus. Backing vocals in the chorus by Steve Colca from Destroyer of Light.

Preorder: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

Witchcryer was created by guitarist Jason Muxlow during his time with Chicago doom band, Earthen Grave (Ripple Records) and became his priority when he moved to Austin in early 2015. That summer, he began co-writing songs with drummer Javi Moctezuma and vocalist/lyricist Suzy Bravo joined the band later that year. The band’s demo, The Preying Kind was released that year to strong reviews.

With the final addition of San Antonio bassist Marilyn Monroe (Pillcrusher, Las Cruces), Witchcryer played its first show in April 2016.

In 2018, Witchcryer’s proper debut, Cry Witch was released on Ripple Records. Containing nine songs of classic doom produced by the band & Brant Sankey (recording & mix engineer). The band toured the Southern states with Italian doom band, Messa, made their way north to Chicago on their own later in the year, and played regularly throughout Texas.

In the fall of 2019, the band headed back to producer Brant Sankey’s new Studio E facility in San Antonio to begin working on the new album. Basic tracks were cut in two days. Guitars, vocals, and guest appearances were recorded between shows all the way up to the start of the pandemic, with the final mix and master delivered in the early months of 2021. This time out, the sound is bigger, grander, and more epic, and the band covers far more musical ground, leaning into their rock and metal roots with special guest vocals by doom metal vocalists Gary Rosas (Ungrieved, Mala Suerte) and Steve Colca (Destroyer of Light).

“Their Gods Will Come For You” is a conceptual album that features songs about gods across various ages of civilization throughout time. The album starts with “Devil & The Deep Blue See,” a Faustian tale of a damned soul swallowed whole by an apocalyptic leviathan, Hellmouth and the narrator’s attempt to fight for their life by climbing out of the fish’s mouth. The album continues with the song “Hellmouth” in which the narrator is now the Anglo-Saxon depicted demon fish itself. The album continues with songs about mythological Greek gods and titans with their tales of pride and punishment, a Mesoamerican sun deity that teaches its doomed warrior people to fly, a Roman goddess seeking justice for crimes against women, the tale of the Blackfoot creation god, and then the title track, “When Their Gods Come For You”. The title track comes full circle proclaiming that if one does not stand up for what they believe in, someone else will do the believing and choosing for them.

The album will include a digital download of a digital mythological book to accompany the concept of the album with album lyrics and artwork from artists that contributed their renderings of each god featured in the album. Artists include; David Paul Seymour for drawing “I Rise!”, John Michael Bowley for “Hellmouth”, Daniel Augustus Marschner for drawing “Nemesis, the Inevitable”, Gerardo Quetzatl Garcia for “Quetzatlcoatl”, and cover artist, Kyle Otto.

“On a personal note. This is the album that I’ve been writing in my head my entire life. When I was about 7 years old in 1983, my grandmother took me to the Aztec theatre in San Antonio to see a double feature of “Hercules” starring Lou Ferrigno and “Clash of the Titans”. I fell in love with Greek mythology and stories about these mighty gods. I would obsess over encyclopedias around the house and find every book I could about gods from every religion. I became a Jehovah Witness by myself when I was about 8 or 9. I used to read my yellow “Children’s Book of Bible Stories” and recite every story to memory. I’ll never forget how dazzled I was by the illustrations. I became a Christian when I was 11 years old all by myself. I would go to churches by myself and even got baptized by myself. I knew that whoever I wanted to be, I had to figure it out by myself. In high school I briefly got into Buddhism and then a teacher loan me a book called, “If You Meet the Buddha On the Road, Kill Him”. I was taken aback and was offended by the title. But, when I read the book, the book taught me that it was okay to question religious hierarchies. This is a very personal album, but I’m not trying to tell anyone what to believe in. Overall, the album is just my chance to tell a bunch of great stories with great illustrations.” -Suzy Bravo

Witchcryer are:
Suzy Bravo – vocals, lyrics
Jason Muxlow – guitar
Marilyn Monroe – bass
Javi Moctezuma – drums

Witchcryer website

Witchcryer on Bandcamp

Witchcryer on Facebook

Witchcryer on Instagram

Ripple Music on Facebook

Ripple Music on Instagram

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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