Quarterly Review: Katatonia, Marmalade Knives, King Witch, Glass Parallels, Thems That Wait, Sojourner, Udyat, Bismarck, Gral Brothers, Astral Glide

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Summer 2020 Quarterly Review. I can only speak for myself, but I know it’s been a crazy couple months on this end, and I imagine whatever end you’re on — unless and probably even if you have a lot of money — it’s been the same there as well. Yet, it was no problem compiling 50 records to review this week, so if there’s a lesson to be taken from it all, it would seem to be that art persists. We may still be painting on cave walls when it comes to the arc of human evolution, but at least that’s something.

Have a great day and listen to great music.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Katatonia, City Burials

katatonia city burials

Like their contemporaries in Best Resume Writing Services In Atlanta Ga 2014 - Composing a custom paper is go through many stages Find out basic recommendations how to get a plagiarism free themed My Dying Bride and We are the check here which provide best writing pieces on every academic topics asked by students Paradise Lost, the latter-day period of work from Sweden’s Essay Service Australia Stuck with your homework? Get fast homework help from amazing tutors at a great price. Just sit back and let our tutors do your homework. Math, Physics, ChemistryBest online service that can do my homework for. Complete confidentiality and timely delivery. Expert writers are here to help students. , Do your homework nowI Should Probably Do My Homework Now. Katatonia veers back toward some measure of direct heaviness, as write my paper for me com College pleasantville essay term paper in marketing best custom research papers City Burials showcases in cuts like “Rein,” “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood,” but more than either of those others mentioned, the Stockholm outfit refuse to forsake the melody and progressivism they’ve undertaken with their sound in the name of doing so. By the time they get to “Untrodden” at the end of the album’s 50-minute/11-song run, they’ve run a gamut from dark electronica to progressive-styled doom and back again, and with the founding duo of guitarist A1Essays write quality http://www.experiencecharacter.com/?write-an-essay-on-responsibilities-of-a-good-citizens. Our top-notch writers produce best custom research papers in the industry. Buy your research paper now. Anders Nyström and vocalist If you dont know what writing agency to choose, look closer at our Essay Writing Service College Admission Prompts for you to ease your life during education period Jonas Renkse at the helm of the songwriting, they are definitive in their approach and richly emotive; a melancholy that is as identifiable in their songs as it is in the bands working under their influence. Their first work in four years, Need Need Someone To Write My Essays? Our highly qualified professionals can polish your papers to perfection! Student-friendly prices and high-quality results are City Burials is an assurance that Research Papers In Economics Rankings - modify the way you cope with your assignment with our time-tested service Leave your essays to the most talented writers. Get an A+ Katatonia are in firm ownership and command of all aspects of their sound. As they approach their 30th year, they continue to move forward. That’s a special band.

Katatonia on Thee Facebooks

Peaceville Records website

 

Marmalade Knives, Amnesia

marmalade knives amnesia

Boasting production, mixing and percussion from see page Homework essay with homework essay writers know for me to the best academic writing. An ielts essay writer will need to buy essays are the why should be. Give your responsibility to clever motifs graphic design solutions 4 webmasters forum my homework. The Golden Grass If you are pressed for time or lack editing skills, just say "Edit my essay!". Our professional let us do your homework service is willing to give you a helping hand. Adam Kriney, The Essay Re Writer examples 818 Words | 4 Pages. The Formative Years of the New Nation, 1820-1860 The Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase was the largest land transaction for the United States, and the most important event of President Jefferson's presidency. Marmalade Knives‘ debut album, Frequently asked questions about custom writing. What is GradeMiners? Were a custom essay writing service that connects vetted http://ensino.favale.edu.br/abstract-dissertation-international-section/; Amnesia, is a delight of freaky-but-not-overblown heavy psychedelia. Oh, it’s headed far, far out, but as the opening narration and the later drones of second cut “Rivuleting” make plain, they might push, but they’re not trying to shove, if you know what I mean. The buzz in “Best-Laid Plans” doesn’t undercut the warmth of the improvised-seeming solo, and likewise, “Rebel Coryell” is a mellow drifter that caps side A with a graceful sense of wandering the soundscape of its own making. The vibe gets spacey on “Xayante,” and “Ez-Ra” touches on a funkier swing before seeming to evolve into light as one does, and the 10-minute “Astrology Domine” caps with noise and a jammed out feel that underscores the outbound mood of the proceedings as a whole. Some of the pieces feel like snippets cut from longer jams, and they may or may not be just that, but though it was recorded in three separate locations, help me do my statistics homework http://www.palliative-geriatrie.de/?college-essays-where-to-start How To Write what are employee final review architectural dissertation Amnesia draws together well and flows easily, inviting the listener to do the same.

Marmalade Knives on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records webstore

 

King Witch, Body of Light

king witch body of light

Edinburgh’s Writing a research paper will take you only 2 minutes with our help. Can't believe it? Let our http://www.lemongardenhotel.com/?business-plan-expert prove it! King Witch toe the line between classic metal and doom, but whatever you want to call them, just make sure you don’t leave out the word “epic.” The sweeping solo and soaring vocals on the opening title-track set the stage on their second LP, the hour-long Find out more about master thesis international business services: reasons to use, purposes, and benefits you get when working with us. Get your dissertation Body of Light, and as much mastery as the band showed on their 2018 debut, Under the Mountain (review here), vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Rory Lee and drummer Lyle Brown lay righteous waste to lofty expectations and bask in grandiosity on “Of Rock and Stone” and the linear-moving “Solstice I – She Burns,” the payoff of which is a high point of the album in its layered shred. Pieces like “Witches Mark” and “Order From Chaos” act as confirmation of their Euro-fest-ready fist-pumpery, and closer “Beyond the Black Gate” brings some atmosphere before its own headbang-worthy crescendo. Body of Light is a reminder of why you wanted to be metal in the first place.

King Witch on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Glass Parallels, Aisle of Light

Glass Parallels Aisle of Light

Eminently listenable and repeat-worthy, Glass Parallels‘ debut LP, Aisle of Light, nonetheless maintains an experimentalist flair. The solo-project of Justin Pinkerton (Golden Void, Futuropaco), covers a swath of ground from acid folk to psych-funk to soul vibes, at times bordering on shoegaze but seeming to find more expressive energy in centerpiece “Asphyxiate” and the airy capper “Blood and Battlegrounds” than any sonic portrayal of apathy would warrant. United by keys, pervasive guitar weirdness and Pinkerton‘s at-times-falsetto vocals, usually coated in reverb as they are, Aisle of Light brings deceptive depth for being a one-man production. Its production is spacious but still raw enough to give the drums an earthy sound as they anchor the synth-laden “March and April,” which is probably fortunate since otherwise the song would be liable to float off and not return. One way or another, the songs stand out too much to really be hypnotic, but they’re certainly fun to follow.

Glass Parallels on Thee Facebooks

Glass Parallels on Bandcamp

 

Thems That Wait, Stonework

thems that wait stonework

Stonework is the self-aware debut full-length from Portland, Maine, trio Thems That Wait, and it shoulders itself between clenched-teeth metallic aggression and heavier fuzz rock. They’re not the first to tread such ground and they know it, but “Sidekick” effectively captures Scissorfight-style groove, and “Kick Out” is brash enough in its 1:56 to cover an entire record’s worth of burl. Interludes “Digout” and “Vastcular” provide a moment to catch your breath, which is appreciated, but when what they come back with is the sure-fisted “Paragon” or a song like “Shitrograde,” it really is just a moment. They close with “Xmortis,” which seems to reference Evil Dead II in its lyrics, which is as good as anything else, but from “Sleepie Hollow” onward, guitarist/vocalist Craig Garland, bassist Mat Patterson and drummer Branden Clements find their place in the dudely swing-and-strike of riffs, crash and snarl, and they do so with a purely Northeastern attitude. This is the kind of show you might get kicked at.

Thems That Wait on Thee Facebooks

Thems That Wait on Bandcamp

 

Sojourner, Premonitions

sojourner premonitions

Complexity extends to all levels of Sojourner‘s third album and Napalm Records debut, Premonitions, in that not only does the band present eight tracks and 56 minutes of progressive and sprawling progressive black metal, varied in craft and given a folkish undercurrent by Chloe Bray‘s vocals and tin whistle, but also the sheer fact that the five-piece outfit made the album in at least five different countries. Recording remotely in Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy, they mixed/mastered in Norway, and though one cringes at the thought of the logistical nightmare that might’ve presented, Sojourner‘s resultant material is lush and encompassing, a tapestry of blackened sounds peppered with clean and harsh singing — Emilio Crespo handles the screams — keyboards, and intricate rhythms behind sprawling progressions of guitar. At the center of the record, “Talas” and “Fatal Frame” (the shortest song and the longest) make an especially effective pair one into the other, varied in their method but brought together by viciously heavy apexes. The greatest weight, though, might be reserved for closer “The Event Horizon,” which plods where it might otherwise charge and brings a due sense of largesse to the finale.

Sojourner on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Udyat, Oro

udyat oro

The order of the day is sprawl on Udyat‘s recorded-live sophomore LP, Oro, as the Argentinian outfit cast a wide berth over heavy rock and terrestrial psych, the 13-minute “Sangre de Oro” following shorter opener “Los Picos de Luz Eterna” (practically an intro at a bit over six minutes) with a gritty flourish to contrast the tonal warmth that returns with the melodic trance-induction at the start of “Los últimos.” That song — the centerpiece of the five-track outing — tops 15 minutes and makes its way into a swell of fuzz with according patience, proceeding through a second stage of lumbering plod before a stretch of noise wash leads pack to the stomp. The subsequent “Después de los Pasos, el Camino Muere” is more ferocious by its end and works in some similar ground, and closer “Nacimiento” seems to loose itself in a faster midsection before returning to its midtempo roll. Oro borders on cosmic doom with its psychedelic underpinnings and quiet stretches, but its movement feels ultimately more like walking than floating, if that makes any sense.

Udyat on Thee Facebooks

Udyat on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Oneiromancer

Bismarck Oneiromancer

To anyone who might suggest that extreme metal cannot also be forward-thinking, Bismarck submit the thoughtful bludgeon of Oneiromancer, a five-song/35-minute aesthetic blend that draws from doom, death, hardcore and sundry other metals, while keeping its identity in check through taut rhythm and atmospheric departures. Following the chants of opening intro “Tahaghghogh Resalat,” the Chris Fielding-produced follow-up to Bismarck‘s 2018 debut, Urkraft (review here), showcases an approach likewise pummeling and dynamic, weighted in ambience and thud alike. “Oneiromancer” itself starts with blastbeats and a plundering intensity before breaking into a more open midsection, but “The Seer” is absolutely massive. Despite being shorter than either the title-track or “Hara,” both of which top nine minutes, and closer “Khthon” underscores the blood-boiling tension cast throughout with one last consuming plod. Fucking raging. Fucking awesome. Pure sonic catharsis. Salvation through obliteration. If these are dreams being divined as the title hints, the mind is a limitless and terrifying place. Which, yes.

Bismarck on Thee Facebooks

Bismarck on Bandcamp

 

The Gral Brothers, Caravan East

gral brothers caravan east

I won’t say it’s seamless or intended to be, but as Albuquerque, New Mexico, two-piece The Gral Brothers make their initial move on Caravan East between cinematic Americana and industrial brood, samples of dialogue on “Cactus Man” and violin in the seven-minute soundscaper “In Die Pizzeria” seem to draw together both a wistfulness and a paranoia of the landlocked. Too odd to fall in line with the Morricone-worship of Cali’s Spindrift, “Crowbar” brings Spaghetti West and desert dub together with a confidence that makes it seem like a given pairing despite the outwardly eerie vibes and highly individualized take, and “Santa Sleeves” is beautiful to its last, even if the lone bell jingle is a bit much, while “Silva Lanes” pushes even further than did “Circuit City” into mechanized experimental noisemaking. They end with the birdsong-inclusive “Ode to Marge,” leaving one to wonder whether it’s sentiment or cynicism being expressed. Either way, it’s being expressed in a way not quite like anything else, which is an accomplishment all on its own.

The Gral Brothers on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Astral Glide, Flamingo Graphics

astral glide flamingo graphics

When you’re at the show and the set ends, Flamingo Graphics is the CD you go buy at the merch table. It’s as simple as that. Recorded this past March over the course of two days, the debut album from Floridian foursome Astral Glide is raw to the point of being barebones, bootleg room-mic style, but the songwriting and straightforward purposes of the group shine through. They’re able to shift structures and mood enough to keep things from being too staid, but they’re never far off from the next heavy landing, as “Devastation” and the closer “Forever” show in their respective payoffs, that latter going all out with a scream at the end, answering back to the several others that show up periodically. While their greatest strength is in the mid-paced shove of rockers like “Space Machine” and “Scarlett” and the speedier “Workhorse,” there are hints of broader intentions on Flamingo Graphics, though they too are raw at this point. Very much a debut, but still one you pick up when the band finishes playing. You might not even wait until the end of the show. Meet them back at the table, and so on.

Astral Glide on Thee Facebooks

Astral Glide on Bandcamp

 

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The Bad Light & Tuna de Tierra Release The Bad Tuna Split

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

There are few things I love more unabashedly, unashamedly and unironically in the realm of music than a cleverly named split release. Really. I’m not being sarcastic or trying to make a joke. You got two bands sharing a release and you’ve come up with a wordplay name for it? Chances are I’m at very least going to be on board on a linguistic level. What makes The Bad Tuna — the new and cleverly-titled Phonosphera Records split from Santa Cruz, California’s The Bad Light and Naples, Italy’s Tuna de Tierra — even better in my book is the groove quotient. Between the rolling blues fuzz of the former and the desert-worshiping vibes of the latter, that quotient is mighty indeed, and perhaps best summed up by The Bad Light themselves with the name of their second track. Appropriate nomenclature all the way around.

I’ll admit this is my first exposure to The Bad Light, who apparently have a new full-length — their second — currently in the works, but if the Tuna de Tierra cuts seem familiar, they were previously issued as 2015’s self-released EPisode I: Pilot (review here) debut EP. Time has not dulled their luster.

Release info and audio follows. Even if all you do is stream the thing, it’s well worth your time to do so:

the bad light tuna de tierra the bad tuna split

THE BAD LIGHT / TUNA DE TIERRA – THE BAD TUNA

This is the first edition of the SPLIT SERIES by Phonosphera Records, soon more to come!

Boiled down to the basic ingredients of drums, guitar and vocals The Bad Light plays their own brand of blues driven stoner sludge, the songs feel equally at home played through a resonator guitar as they do through a thick wall of fuzz.

Sounds from the desert, wide landscape full of sand at the sunset, intolerable warm atmospheres, lysergic imagination nurturing air. The Tuna de Tierra leaves for a trip with neither destination nor end, but just the purpose to move endlessly.

Tracklisting:
1. The Bad Light – Palo Santo 01:21
2. The Bad Light – Goodshit 04:49
3. The Bad Light – The Feels 05:11
4. The Bad Light – Love Letter 05:31
5. Tuna de Tierra – Red Sun 08:28
6. Tuna de Tierra – Ash 07:24
7. Tuna de Tierra – El Paso de la Tortuga 04:07

The Bad Light is:
Dana Shepard-Drums
Celeste Deruisa-Vocals
Edu Cerro-Guitar/Vocals

Recorded at The Compound in Felton CA, November 2017
Engineer-Joe Clement

Tuna de Tierra is:
Alessio De Cicco: guitar, vocals
Luciano Mirra: bass guitar
Jonathan Maurano: drums

Produced by Tuna de Tierra
Recorded and mixed at Trail Music Lab, Napoli (by Fabrizio Piccolo)
Vinyl master by Roy Bortoluzzi at xxx Studio (Rome, IT)

https://www.facebook.com/The-Bad-Light-164874116909229/
https://thebadlight.bandcamp.com/
http://thebadlight.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tunadetierra/
https://tunadetierra.bandcamp.com/
http://www.tunadetierra.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/117631158247162/
https://phonosphera.bandcamp.com/album/the-bad-light-tuna-de-tierra-the-bad-tuna-vinyl-split
http://www.phonosphera.com/?product=the-bad-light-tuna-de-tierra-the-bad-tuna

The Bad Light & Tuna de Tierra, The Bad Tuna (2018)

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Mountain Tamer, Mountain Tamer: The Burning Mind (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

mountain tamer mountain tamer

[Click play above to stream Mountain Tamer’s self-titled debut in full. Album is out Feb. 12 on Argonauta Records.]

Tripped out trio Mountain Tamer made a lasting impression in 2015 with their vowel-less Mtn Tmr demo (review here), and they follow and expand on that initial offering with a self-titled debut on Argonauta Records. The three tracks that featured on the demo — “Dunes of the Mind,” “Satan’s Waitin'” and “Sum People” — return on Mountain Tamer, but the shift in context is striking as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Andru, bassist/vocalist Dave Teget and drummer/vocalist Casey Garcia carve out their niche somewhere between the lurching grunge of “Sum People” and “Knew” and the heavy psych freakouts of “Mind Burner” and “Pharosite” that bookend.

Based in Santa Cruz, California, their style is more intense overall than a lot of the chilled-to-the-max guitar-heroics of the post-Earthless set, but not necessarily born of wildly different influences in classic heavy rock, punk and desert jams. The result across the eight-track/40-minute span of the album is a work that’s as gritty as it is lysergic, elements of noise rock in the catchy “Knew” resting fluidly with the garage rock strut of “Wolf” as the fuzzier “Vixen” blends the two with hairy lead tones and molten percussive build. Still, a psychedelic haze settles in almost immediately on “Mind Burner” at the record’s laid back opening, and that seems to inform everything that comes after one way or another, and as driving as Mountain Tamer get, their overarching atmosphere is headier than it is aggressive.

In that way, they’re very much of their coast, but the multi-vocalist approach, their penchant for departing from structure into jammy flights on cuts like “Dunes of the Mind,” “Vixen” and “Satan’s Waitin'” and the swing they present in their underlying groove is markedly their own. Following the steady fuzz layering of “Mind Burner,” “Knew” picks up with the catchiest chorus of Mountain Tamer, delivered more in a shout backed by melodic vocals in a way that reminds of Nick Oliveri-fronted Queens of the Stone Age but never tips over into directly doing the same thing.

mountain tamer

“Knew” gets maddest in its second half, but it’s never actually out of control, and AndruTeget and Garcia bring it around to a last run through the hook that makes it all the more a highlight en route to the longer, farther-ranging “Dunes of the Mind,” which airs out the guitar tone in initial thickened boogie and stretches into psychedelic atmospherics later on, a slowdown setting up the all-thrust finale, cut short at the end of the track. Variety continues to be a running theme as “Vixen” picks up with a shoegaze-gone punk pulsation, guitars shooting from one channel to the next as the band leaves the verse behind, jamming out, coming back, jamming out, coming back again for a final bluesy push that rounds out side A with a reinforcement of the acid rock traditionalism on which a lot of Mountain Tamer‘s extrapolations are based. All those dudes were running blues riffs through wah. Nearly half a century later, so it goes again.

As one would hope, side B weirds out a little but more. “Wolf in the Streets” goes cowbell and howlin’ at first, but finds its crux in a heavy psych build that features some of the album’s best guitar/bass interplay in its instrumental payoff before the final chorus, and the familiar strains of “Sum People” (also listed as “Sum Peeps”) pick up with a drawn-down version of the intensity that came forward on “Knew,” that before-grunge-had-a-name disaffection presented through slogging toms and resonant vocal fuckall as a thesis with which it’s hard to argue. Even here, Mountain Tamer find room to jam, and the ending of “Sum People” leads particularly effectively into “Satan’s Waitin’,” which launches with a foundation of bass and shifts through a spacey verse into jazzier drum-led rhythmic fare topped with stoned guitar on its way back to wherever the hell it came from, ending with a drawl on the hook and that bassline.

Remember when I mentioned weirding out? There it is. Then comes “Pharosite” to play the one side directly off the other — somehow the tones are warmer as they do — on a mostly instrumental capstone topped with shaker, a few rock-as-tribal shouts and a riotous noise and cymbal finish that, frankly, the album well earned. It wraps on a quick fade as if the band ran out of the room, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was actually the case, since the energy they put into the presentation of these tracks seems to come with corresponding wandering of attention. That’s not to say the songwriting isn’t focused, just that it’s multi-directional. That invariably will be a plus as Mountain Tamer move forward, but it’s also essential in making their debut as raucous and switched on as it is. And it is.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

Mountain Tamer website

Argonauta Records

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

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Mountain Tamer to Release Self-Titled Debut Feb. 12

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 11th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

mountain tamer

Santa Cruz trio Mountain Tamer signed to Argonauta Records this summer on the strength of their Mtn Tmr Demo (review here), an endearingly bleary-eyed vision of classic heavy psychedelia. Today, the band announces a Feb. 12, 2016, release date for what will be their self-titled debut on Argonauta, and unveils the five-minute jam “Dunes of the Mind,” which marries a sneering vocal to emergent freakout twists and assures that the natural, stage-ready vibes of the demo will be maintained. Would love to hear what these cats bring to a longer-form jam, and can’t help but wonder if the self-titled might have any such fare in store.

Announcement of the release, art, tracklisting, preorder link, etc., all came down the PR wire with the song. Dig it below:

mountain tamer mountain tamer

MOUNTAIN TAMER reveal cover artwork and full song!

Heavy Psych trio MOUNTAIN TAMER (Santa Cruz, CA) reveals cover artwork and a full song from their “Self titled” forthcoming album. Taking over a year of writing and recording and having massive influence of living near the powerful Pacific Ocean and the mythical Redwood, “Mountain Tamer” is a kaleidoscopic sonic journey through 60’s and 70’s classic psych rock and heavy vibes, transcending time and space.

The first single “Dunes of the Mind” can be heard here.

MOUNTAIN TAMER “S/t” has been recorded and mixed by Joe Clements at The Compound, Ben Lomond, CA. Mastered by Marco and Anna Castagnetto (of the drone doom outfit SHABDA). Artwork by Casey Garcia.

Line-up:
Andru (guitar/lead vocals/loud noises)
Casey Garcia(drums/vocals)
Dave Teget (lead bass/vocals)

TRACKLIST:
1.Mindburner
2.Knew
3.Dunes Of The Mind
4.Vixen
5.Wolf In The Streets
6.Sum People
7.Satans Waiting
8.Pharosite

MOUNTAIN TAMER “S/t” will be released on CD/DD by ARGONAUTA Records and available from February 12th 2016. Highly recommended if you like THE BLACK ANGELS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE and BLACK SABBATH. PREORDER LINK: http://shop.pe/A39g2

https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords
https://www.facebook.com/MTNTMR
http://www.mtntmr.com/

Mountain Tamer, “Dunes of the Mind”

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Mammatus 2LP Sparkling Waters Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 16th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

mammatus

Oh fuck, it’s new Mammatus. Is your consciousness properly expanded? Have you been doing your breathing exercises? I ask because I’m listening to the 22-minute album opener from their upcoming 2LP fourth album, Sparkling Waters, as I write this, and you’re definitely going to want to make sure your inner being is rightly aligned before you take this kind of thing on. I know this sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Get your shit in a suitable headspace and then hit play. Close your eyes for a minute when the guitar lead line kicks in, you’ll thank me later.

When’s it out? Not that time matters when you’re listening to this band, but Nov. 20 is the release date, and like 2013’s Heady Mental (review here), it will be out on Spiritual Pajamas. I think the real question here is, of the expanding plethora of Cali psych these days, are Mammatus the most underrated band of the bunch? It is distinctly possible.

I don’t care if this record is 400 minutes long. Count me in.

Bonus points to whoever from the band or label wrote the promo copy below for referencing Risa. It’s gonna suck when the powers that be do a “gritty” TNG reboot:

mammatus sparkling waters

Mammatus :: Sparkling Waters :: Spiritual016

Spiritual Pajamas is thrilled to announce the release of the new Mammatus double LP, “Sparkling Waters”. Pre-order available at: https://mammatus.bandcamp.com/album/sparkling-waters

Heavy space rock outsiders Mammatus return with their fourth album, and their most ambitious to date. Sparkling Waters is a double LP featuring four multi-movement pieces, each designed to recalibrate the shanga array in your mind. In order to achieve the highest levels of sensatory clarity, the group enlisted Phil Manley (Trans Am, Life Coach) as their guiding light throughout the studio production. As a result these tracks shimmer with a far out, casual glow, like an aural reflection of a Risan steam pool.

On Sparkling Waters, Mammatus expand upon the astral grooves and heady riffs of their previous compositions and set a course for the furthest horizon. Celestial arpeggiations of electric guitar ricochet infinitely across vast expanses of cosmic debris. Heavy riffs thunder with a rhythmic groove, like the exploding coast of Ornia spoken of in days past. Pastoral passages of mellow, slow burning psychedelia give way to Native American flute melodies and the chanting of spiritual incantations filtered through canyons of delay. Heavenly dual guitar leads soar like a hawk gliding over a mountainside redwood canopy. Radiant synthesizers harmonize to create a shape shifting formation of ambient space that envelops the rock and in some places completely takes over.

Sparkling Waters is bound to appeal to a wide range of discerning listeners, as it incorporates elements of heavy riff rock, prog, and breath metal while it also features the enhancing sonic textures of kosmische sound coloration, soaring synth leads, and astral voyages through deep space. This amalgamation of tones is presented in a way that is wholly original, casting Mammatus as the solitary practitioners of a unique sound that was invented with the express purpose of making you feel…..shanga. So breathe deeply, strap on those headphones, drop the needle, and get far out.

The “sparkling waters” clear double LP, digipak CD and digital download will be released on November 20th, 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/Mammatus-78621323321/
https://mammatus.bandcamp.com/album/sparkling-waters
http://www.spiritualpajamas.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spiritualpajamas

Mammatus, “Sparkling Waters Pt. 1”

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Mountain Tamer Sign to Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Of the various kinds of stories I might post on this site any given day — band announces tour, band announces album, band farts in a cup and makes you smell it, etc. — my favorite is quite possibly “cool band signs to cool label.” Nobody loses when parties like Santa Cruz trio Mountain Tamer — whose MTN TMR Demo (review here) recently impressed — and Italian imprint Argonauta Records join forces. Band gets wider exposure, label gets a good band. A heartwarming tale for all times and a classic win-win scenario.

Kudos to Mountain Tamer on the signing, and I’ll look forward to the release impending of their self-titled full-length, which I think we can officially list as “coming soon.”

Dig it:

mountain tamer

MOUNTAIN TAMER signed to ARGONAUTA Records!

Today a new great band is in the Argonauta Records family: MOUNTAIN TAMER, a heavy psych trio, emerged from the forests of Santa Cruz, CA in 2010. The three have refused to set a limit on psychedelic experimentation, demonstrated by their immersive recordings and their one of a kind, hypnotic live performances. The mind-expanding sounds and heavy riffs Mountain Tamer creates can be traced from an influence of 60’s and 70’s classic/psych rock delivered with an in-your-face punk rock attitude. Melodic hooks, omnipresent bass riffs and complex rhythms pull you into Mountain Tamer’s dark, kaleidoscopic world, transporting you to a realm that transcends both time and space.

About working Argonauta, the band says: “We’re excited to be working with Argonauta, an awesome label with some great musical talents. We are looking forward to release our new, self titled album through Argonauta, as it is our most focused and accessible effort to date. We can’t wait to show the world what we have been working on and enjoy our musical future with Argonauta”.

https://www.facebook.com/MTNTMR
https://mtntmr.bandcamp.com/
http://mtntmr.com/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords

Mountain Tamer, MTN TMR Demo (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Foehammer, Holy Serpent, Wicked Inquisition, AVER, Galley Beggar, Demon Lung, Spirit Division, Space Mushroom Fuzz, Mountain Tamer, Ohhms

Posted in Reviews on June 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk summer quarterly review

I said back in March that I was going to try to make the Quarterly Review a regular feature around here, and once it was put out there, the only thing to do was to live up to it. Over the last several — like, five — weeks, I’ve been compiling lists of albums to be included, and throughout the next five days, we’re going to make our way through that list. From bigger names to first demos and across a wide swath of heavy styles, there’s a lot of stuff to come, and I hope within all of it you’re able to find something that hits home or speaks to you in a special way.

No sense in delaying. Hold nose, dive in.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Foehammer, Foehammer

foehammer foehammer

Relatively newcomer trio Foehammer specialize in grueling, slow-motion punishment. Their self-titled debut EP follows a well-received 2014 demo and is three tracks/34 minutes released by Grimoire and Australopithecus Records of doomed extremity, the Virginian three-piece of guitarist Joe Cox (ex-Gradius), bassist/vocalist Jay Cardinell (ex-Gradius, ex-Durga Temple) and drummer Ben “Vang” Blanton (ex-Vog, also of The Oracle) not new to the Doom Capitol-area underground by any stretch and seeming to pool all their experience to maximize the impact of this extended material. Neither “Final Grail,” “Stormcrow” nor 14-minute closer “Jotnar” is without a sense of looming atmosphere, but Foehammer at this point are light only on drama, and the lower, sludgier and more crushing they go, the more righteous the EP is for it. Stunningly heavy and landing with a suitable shockwave, it is hopefully the beginning of a long, feedback-drenched tenure in death-doom, and if the EP is over half an hour, the prospect of a follow-up debut full-length seems overwhelming. Easily one of the year’s best short releases.

Foehammer on Thee Facebooks

Grimoire Records on Bandcamp

Australopithecus Records

Holy Serpent, Holy Serpent

holy serpent holy serpent

It’s not like they were lying when they decided to call a song “Shroom Doom.” Melbourne double-guitar four-piece made their self-titled debut as Holy Serpent last year, and the five-track full-length was picked up for release on RidingEasy Records no doubt for its two-front worship of Uncle Acid’s slither and jangle – especially prevalent on the eponymous opener and closer “The Wind” – and the now-classic stonerism of Sleep. That blend comes together best of all on the aforementioned finale, but neither will I take away from the north-of-10-minute righteousness of “The Plague” preceding, with its slow roll and malevolent vibe that, somehow, still sounds like a party. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Scott Penberthy, guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Michael Macfie and drummer Keith Ratnan, the real test for Holy Serpent will be their second or third album – i.e., how they develop the psychedelic nodes of centerpiece “Fools Gold” along with the rest of their sound – but listening to these tracks, it’s easy to let the future worry about itself.

Holy Serpent on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records

Wicked Inquisition, Wicked Inquisition

wicked inquisition wicked inquisition

There are a variety of influences at work across Wicked Inquisition’s self-titled debut long-player, from the Sabbath references of its eponymous closer to the earlier thrashery of “In Shackles” and “Sun Flight,” but the core of the Minneapolis four-piece resides in a guitar-led brand of metal, whatever else they decide to build around it. Guitarist/vocalist Nate Towle, guitarist Ben Stevens, bassist Jordan Anderson and drummer Jack McKoskey align tightly around the riffs of “M.A.D.” in all-business fashion. Shades of Candlemass show up in some of the slower material, “M.A.D.” included as well as with “Crimson Odyssey,” but the start-stops of “Tomorrow Always Knows” ensure the audience is clued in that there’s more going on than just classic doom, though a Trouble influence seems to hover over the proceedings as well, waiting to be more fully explored as the band moves forward.

Wicked Inquisition on Thee Facebooks

Wicked Inquisition on Bandcamp

AVER, Nadir

aver nadir

Clocking in at an hour flat, Sydney all-caps riffers AVER construct their second album, Nadir, largely out of familiar elements, but wind up with a blend of their own. Fuzz is prevalent in the extended nod of opener “The Devil’s Medicine” (9:46) which bookends with the longest track, finisher “Waves” (9:48), though it’s not exactly like the four-piece are shy about writing longer songs in between. The production, while clear enough, lends its focus more toward the low end, which could be pulling in another direction from the impact of some of Nadir’s psychedelia on “Rising Sun” second half solo, but neither will I take anything away from Jed’s bass tone, which could carry this hour of material were it asked. The vocals of guitarist Burdt have a distinct Acid Bathian feel, post-grunge, and that contrasts a more laid back vibe even on the acoustic-centered “Promised Lands,” but neither he, Jed, guitarist Luke or drummer Chris feel out of place here, and I’m not inclined to complain.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

AVER on Bandcamp

Galley Beggar, Silence and Tears

galley-beggar-silence-and-tears

Sweet, classic and very, very British folk pervades the gorgeously melodic and meticulously arranged Silence and Tears by London six-piece Galley Beggar, released on Rise Above. The eight-track/40-minute album packs neatly onto a vinyl release and has near-immediate psychedelic underpinnings in the wah of opener “Adam and Eve,” and side B’s “Geordie” has some heavier-derived groove, but it’s the beauty and lushness of the harmonies throughout (finding satisfying culmination in closer “Deliver Him”) that stand Galley Beggar’s third offering out from worshipers of a ‘60s and ‘70s era aesthetic. The highlight of Silence and Tears arrives early in nine-minute second cut “Pay My Body,” a wonderfully swaying, patient excursion that gives equal time to instrumental exploration and vocal accomplishment, but to a select few who let themselves be truly hypnotized and carried along its winding course, the album’s entire span will prove a treasure to be revisited for years to come and whose sunshiny imprint will remain vivid.

Galley Beggar on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Records

Demon Lung, A Dracula

demon-lung-a-dracula

With inspiration reportedly from the 1977 demon-possession horror flick Alucarda, Las Vegas doomers Demon Lung return with A Dracula, their second offering via Candlelight Records after 2013’s The Hundredth Name, and as the movie begins with a birth, so too do we get “Behold, the Daughter” following the intro “Rursumque Alucarda,” later mirrored by a penultimate interlude of the same name. Billy Anderson produced, so it’s not exactly a surprise that the slow, undulating riffs and the periodic bouts of more upbeat chug, as on “Gypsy Curse,” come through nice and viscous, but vocalist Shanda brings an ethereal melodic sensibility, not quite cult rock, but on “Mark of Jubilee” presenting momentarily some similarly bleak atmospherics to those of the UK’s Undersmile, her voice seeming to command the guitars to solidify from their initial airiness and churn out an eerie apex, which closer “Raped by the Serpent” pushes further for a raging finale.

Demon Lung on Thee Facebooks

Candlelight USA’s Bandcamp

Spirit Division, Spirit Division

spirit division spirit division

Spirit Division’s self-titled debut full-length follows a 2014 demo that also hosted three of the tracks – opener “Spirit Division,” “Through the Rounds” and “Mountain of Lies” – but is fuller-sounding in its post-grunge tonality and doomly chug than the earlier offering, guitarist/vocalist Stephen Hoffman, bassist/vocalist Chris Latta and drummer/vocalist David Glass finding a straightforward route through moody metallurgy and weighted riffage. Some Wino-style swing shows up on “Bloodletting,” and “Cloud of Souls” has a decidedly militaristic march to its progression, while the later “Red Sky” revels in classic doom that seems to want to be just a touch slower than it is, but what ultimately unites the material is the strong sense of purpose across the album’s span and Spirit Division’s care in the vocal arrangements. The production is somewhat dry, but Spirit Division walk the line between sludge rock and doom and seem comfortable in that sphere while also sparking a creative progression that seems well worth further pursuit.

Spirit Division on Thee Facebooks

Spirit Division on Bandcamp

Space Mushroom Fuzz, Until Next Time

space mushroom fuzz until next time

I was all set to include a different Space Mushroom Fuzz album in this roundup, but then I saw that the project was coming to an end and Until Next Time was issued as the band’s final release. The deal all along with the band headed by guitarist/vocalist Adam Abrams (also Blue Aside) has been that you never really know what he’s going to do next. Fair enough. Abrams brings it down in suitably bizarre fashion, a keyboard and guitar line backing “Class Onion” in direct mockery of Beatlesian bounce, where “The DeLorean Takes Off!” before compiles five-plus minutes of experimental noise and “Follow that DeLorean” answers with another round after. Elsewhere, opener and longest cut (immediate points) “Here Comes Trouble” resonates with its central guitar line and unfolds to further oddity with a quiet but gruff vocal, while “The Rescue” vibes like something Ween would’ve conjured after huffing roach spray (or whatever was handy) and closer “Back in ‘55” moves from progressive soloing to froggy singing and weirdo jangle. All in all a strange and fitting end to the band.

Space Mushroom Fuzz on Thee Facebooks

Space Mushroom Fuzz on Bandcamp

Mountain Tamer, MTN TMR DEMO

mountain tamer mtn tmr demo

Santa Cruz trio Mountain Tamer have been kicking around the West Coast for the last several years, and since they released a full-length, Liquid Metal, in 2013, and a prior EP in 2012’s The Glad, it’s tempting to try to read some larger shift sonically into their MTN TMR Demo, as though having completely revamped their sound, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Andru, bassist/vocalist Dave Teget and drummer/vocalist Casey Garcia trying out new ideas as they redirect their approach. That may well be the case, with “Satan’s Waitin’,” “Sum People” and “Dunes of the Mind” each standing at over five-minutes of neo-stoner roll, more psychedelic than some in the growing fuck-it-let’s-skate oeuvre, but still plainly born after, or at least during, grunge. The finisher comes to a thrilling, noisy head as it rounds out the short release, and if Mountain Tamer are taking on a new path, it’s one well set to meander and I hope they continue to follow those impulses.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Mountain Tamer on Bandcamp

OHHMS, Cold

ohhms cold

Like their late-2014 debut, Bloom, OHHMS’ sophomore outing, Cold, is comprised of two extended tracks. Here the Canterbury five-piece bring “The Anchor” (18:30) and “Dawn of the Swarm” (14:27), blending modern prog, sludge and post-metallic vibes to suit a melodic, ambitious purpose. Atmosphere is central from the quiet drone starting “The Anchor” and remains so as they lumber through a linear build and into an apex at about 13 minutes in, dropping out to quiet only to build back up to a striking melodic push that ends on a long fade. Side B, “Dawn of the Swarm” is more immediately post-rock in the guitar, the lineup of vocalist Paul Waller, guitarists Daniel Sargent and Marc George, bassist Chainy Chainy and drummer Max Newton moving through hypnotic sprawl into angular Isis-ism before finding their own way, the second cut pushing structurally against the first with loud/quiet tradeoffs in a well-timed back half. Clearly a band who arrived knowing their purpose, but not so cerebral as to detract from the heavy landing of the material itself.

OHHMS on Thee Facebooks

OHHMS on Bandcamp

 

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Mammatus, Heady Mental: Sign from Space

Posted in Reviews on January 23rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The third long-player from Santa Cruz County space rock three-piece Mammatus, Heady Mental, came as something of a surprise. Its November 2013 release came with little fanfare, not much promotion and hardly seemed to acknowledge how long it had been since the band were last heard from. It just beamed in, suddenly materialized. Their sophomore outing, The Coast Explodes, was issued in 2007, a year after they made their self-titled debut (both albums were on Holy Mountain), and was a triumph of raw West Coast heavy psychedelia, exploratory and progressive but still dirty and noisy when it needed to be. They toured with Acid Mothers Temple to support, and then, otherwise absent, they played a few shows in California over the stretch, and as early as Spring 2009 there was some discussion of a third full-length being recorded by the trio of guitarist Nicholas Emmert, bassist Chris Freels and drummer Aaron Emmert. Heady Mental is that album, reportedly written in 2007 and 2008, recorded in 2009 and mixed for release late last year on vinyl through Spiritual Pajamas with word that the band has returned and were once again at work on new material to follow the three tracks included here, “Brain Drain” (7:39), “Main Brain” (8:17) and “Brainbow/Brain Train” (16:39).

When and if that newer material will surface will have to remain to be seen, but it’s worth noting that although Heady Mental is older recordings — in case you were wondering, 2009 was half a decade ago — it’s still the band’s most recent output. It’s not like they recorded a bunch of newer songs and then went back and dug these three tracks up for a stopgap. What momentum they had coming off Mammatus and The Coast Explodes dissipated when they became so inactive, so it seems curious that Heady Mental would surface at all if they didn’t have any interest in releasing more new music. And though they’ve undoubtedly progressed in the time since it was recorded, Heady Mental‘s tracks show considerable growth from the first two albums. If we take it from their having started the songwriting process shortly after The Coast Explodes, it becomes even easier to read the “Brain”-centric trio presented on two basically evenly-split sides here as a purposeful shift in direction. Mammatus have always worked in extended forms, but the thematic switch between “Brain Drain” and “Main Brain” and the likes of the three-part “Dragon of the Deep” that carried across both of their first two outings is as palpable sonically as it is in the titles. They’ve jumped from fantasy to sci-fi.

True enough, the aural allusion to “heavy metal” in the title of the record is not lost in the scaly lead work of Nicholas Emmert‘s guitars throughout “Brain Drain” and “Brainbow/Brain Train,” but their classic metal influence meets with a wash of analog-sounding synth and pushes fast into a pulsating cosmos. “Main Brain” slows the engines a bit, and there’s a break between the parts of “Brainbow/Brain Train” that adds ambience to the neutron thrust, but the course of Heady Mental is set at a warp speed and the Emmerts and Freels have no problem keeping up as the stars stretch out before them. Heady Mental is the cleanest-sounding work Mammatus have yet released, and though vocals arrive buried on the opener in a host of effects, the human element is not lost. A short upward squeak that finds a downward companion following “Brainbow/Brain Train” opens “Brain Drain,” but they skip the countdown and launch immediately into heavy space rocking that takes varying forms across its span but never seems to lose sight of its central rush. Some thicker riffing arrives after the six-minute mark, but even this seems to move at a blinding rate, and soon it’s one more element in an ongoing melee as a noisy guitar solo comes to dominate the mix, leading to the quiet start of “Main Brain,” which again, begins slower.

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