The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 60

Posted in Radio on May 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

So this is episode 60 of the bi-weekly The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal. Yeah, I know the banner above still says ‘Radio.’ I think it still gets the point across and I haven’t had time to make a new banner. In any case, I never would’ve guessed that I’d still be doing this thing for well over two years at this point. I don’t remember the date of the first episode, but I started keeping track of playlists at episode 06 and that was Dec. 2018. Was a pretty good show, too.

I’m not really doing anything special for the ‘anniversary,’ such as it is. But the show kind of works in stages, pushing into some progressive and/or psychedelic black metal before diving into heavy Americana, melancholia and doom and ultimately rounding out with SÂVER, whose 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” was too perfect a capper not to include. It’s something a little different than the usual heavy rock or psych or doom fare, but still tangential. Oh, and The Pecan puts a guest appearance in for the voice tracks. Always nice when he shows up.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. As always, I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 05.28.21

Vouna Hightest Mountain Atropos
Archaeopteris Visions Chaotiques Visions Chaotiques d’un Songe Halluncine
Deathspell Omega Renegade Ashes The Furnaces of Palingenesia
VT1
Olson, Van Cleef, Williams The Cool Mule Unleash the Hoof’s Revenge
All Them Witches See You Next Fall Nothing as the Ideal
Earth An inquest Concerning Teeth Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method
Crippled Black Phoenix In the Night Ellengaest
Convocation Portal Closed Ashes Coalesce
VT2
Enslaved As Fire Swept Clean the Earth Below the Lights
Sur Austru Ucenicii din Hârtop I Obâr?ie
Oranssi Pazuzu Tyhjyyden sakramentti Mestarin kynsi
Glacial Tomb Worldsflesh Worldsflesh
VT3
SÂVER Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons Emerald

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is June 11 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Psychonaut & SÂVER Post Emerald Studio Playthroughs From Roadburn Redux

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

saver stream

psychonaut stream

Psychonaut and SÂVER‘s Emerald split LP (review here) is out now on Pelagic Records. Both bands last month took part in their label’s showcase for Roadburn Redux, each one with a prior-filmed performance of their respective piece from the split. For Belgium’s Psychonaut, “The Great Realisation” broadened their reach in terms of sound, and “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” did much the same for Norway’s SÂVER, the two bands alike in a forward-thinking mindset if not directly sharing a ton of elements sound-wise beyond perhaps falling under the catchall of “heavy.”

So be it. Various Roadburn Redux streams have started to surface and be made public — Tau‘s was posted here not so long ago — and the arrival of these two clips is another chance to revisit what was for me a highlight of the weekend’s viewing. So I’m doing that. If you’ve not yet caught wind of Emerald, consider this an opportunity to be engaged in a fully multimedia fashion, and if you’ve heard the two extended pieces that make up the LP and not yet seen these videos, well, the argument for watching makes itself. If you caught this during Roadburn Redux, same applies. You don’t need me to tell you this is worth hitting up.

The bands offer stories behind their works below. I hoisted it from the Pelagic YouTube posts just because I thought it makes interesting reading and six years from now I’ll probably want to refer back to it or something. I’m like that sometimes.

Enjoy:

SA?VER, “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” studio playthrough

Psychonaut, “The Great Realisation” studio playthrough

PSYCHONAUT – The Great Realisation

The Great Realisation represents the start of both an individual and a collective awakening. As we slowly watch our world change to the point where it may actually become uninhabitable for our species, we start to question the story of the world and realise that it may be time for a new story. It continues where the concept of Unfold the God Man left off, which was mostly centered around the recognition of our higher potential as individuals. The Great Realisation is the next step in the transition towards a new collective experience. It functions as a bridge between UTGM and our next album.

The story is narrated in 5 chapters which are based on a psychedelic experience. The protagonist encounters an entity that feels like Mother Earth who reveals the secrets of the universe to him. He enters a euphoric state in which he deconstructs his notion of self, leading him into an unknown yet blissful state of consciousness. However, not knowing what to do with this experience and this information, he loses all connection and is sent into the void. With all his might, he tries to retrieve his anchor to reality, condemning the entity that gave him this experience.

This release is by far the most elaborate production we have ever done. We recorded tons of extra percussion overdubs in Motormusic studio, added additional layers using a Morin Khuur, a 12-string acoustic, violins, didgeridoos, timpani, throat singing, choir vocals etc. To us, this feels like the most creative piece of songwriting we’ve ever done. We knew this would be released as a single track but we still wanted to make it sound like it was a short album or an EP, creating the experience of a bigger story by using different chapters. Doing all of this during a global pandemic was definitely challenging but we are very happy that we managed to find a safe way to record this massive composition without any compromises.

SÂVER – Dimensions Lost, Obscured By Aeons

Needless to say, this piece of music is a result of the weird and uncertain condition we’ve all been living in for the last year. Following a sudden and chaotic journey back home from Hungary after everything got cancelled mid-tour in March 2020, we found ourselves back in our rehearsal space with clean sheets and a society on hold. This allowed us to dive deeper into the sonic landscapes we ?d been wanting to explore, with a strange and somewhat greater sense of calm.

As a natural continuation of «They Came With Sunlight», we were intrigued by cinematic and electronic soundscapes, leaning heavy on atmosphere and mood as much as our heartfelt desire for the more extreme. To always challenge ourselves as musicians, and push the boundaries for what we are capable of as a unit, is a direct consequence of trying to capture what resonates within ourselves.

The pandemic caused harm, but it also granted time.

Ole Rokseth took this time and translated it to magic, giving birth to the first half «Dimensions Lost» with his arsenal of synthesizers recorded in different studios around Oslo. The contrast to the latter half «Obscured by Aeons», the dissonance between the soft and eerie and the furious anger, is a reflection of the key element we want to incorporate in our sound. The void between darkness and light. Ole Rokseth’s extended use of clean vocals gives SÂVER the power to emphasize this even more on «Emerald».

Psychonaut on Facebook

Psychonaut on Instagram

Psychonaut on Bandcamp

SÂVER on Facebook

SÂVER on Instagram

SÂVER on Bandcamp

Pelagic Records website

Pelagic Records on Facebook

Pelagic Records on Instagram

Pelagic Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Premiere: Psychonaut & SÂVER, Emerald

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 13th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Psychonaut SAVER Emerald Split LP

[Click play above to stream Psychonaut and SÂVER’s Emerald split LP in full. It’s out Friday, May 14, on Pelagic Records.]

In another context, one might think of a split release like Emerald coming from a punk rock label as a seven-inch record, one band per side with about three minutes each to showcase their wares as a sampler from what the imprint considers promising bands. It’s by no means a new idea, however it came about in the instance of Psychonaut and SÂVER, for two up and coming trios on the same label — Pelagic Records in this case, so yes, we’re talking more than three minutes each for sure — to come together and share a release, and as each boast a deeply atmospheric take on post-style heavy and a sonic reach that seems to be expanding in real-time throughout the two side-long cuts here included, they make fitting companions.

Psychonaut, from Mechelen, Belgium — E19 runs right through it going north from Brussels to Antwerp; Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral is there — made their full-length debut in 2020 with Unfold the God Man on Pelagic, following two EPs with an exploration of concept and sound alike that situated them at some remove from the foundation of European post-metal. One tends to think of countrymen Amenra as the point of influence there, but it’s by no means just them, and Psychonaut‘s aesthetic proves to be less directly about pairing harsh and ambient elements together rather than finding the point at which ideas might meet and fleshing them out organically. Their 16-minute “The Great Realisation” complements well the 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” from Oslo’s SÂVER.

For the Norwegian three-piece, their inclusion follows their own debut long-player, They Came with Sunlight (review here), released by Pelagic in 2019, and roundly well received for its forward-thinking take on atmosludge and blend between crush and space. Both groups, then, are able to conjure as much breadth as suits. Emerald, in bringing them together, highlights the aspects of style they share as well as the differences between them, while ultimately serving that initial purpose in showcasing the potential from each.

Emerald is the kind of split that is chased down later. True, the first pressing is sold out even before it’s released, so I suppose plenty of heads are chasing it down now, but what I mean is that both bands here have a marked possibility to reach a broader listenership in heavy music than they’ve yet reached, and so it seems likely that there will indeed end up being more than the two pressings when all is said and done.

A gentle strum and foreboding thud begins “The Great Realisation,” which calls to mind some of Neurosis‘ tense ambience — both bands here will have a “Stones From the Sky” moment as regards riff structures — but Psychonaut are underway even before the audience knows it’s being immersed, and within the first 90 seconds, guitarist/vocalist Stefan De Graef, bassist/vocalist Thomas Michiels and drummer Peter Le Page are underway, layering screams and clean vocals over galloping drums and spacious guitars, breaking into angular turns, receding and surging forward again.

psychonaut

saver

They’ve twisted and churned and moved fluidly between loud and quiet multiple times over as they approach the midsection of “The Great Realisation,” but it’s the flow with which they execute their changes that’s most consuming — though the melodic apex they reach at about nine minutes in isn’t to be discounted as far as appeals go either. A more weighted chug follows, by a percussion- and digeridoo-laced stretch of prog metal guitar before Psychonaut draw it back to harsh screams and pounding heft, a semi-blackened assault acting as a prelude to their crescendo of engulfing lumber. As far out as they’ve gone, it’s to their credit that they’re still able to bring it all crashing down in just a few measures, soon drawing back into a residual fade and silence from whence the first hum of SÂVER‘s inclusion picks up.

Between the two songs, “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” is arguably the more patient, at least in its initial unfurling. SÂVER — the returning lineup of guitarist/vocalist Ole Ulvik Rokseth, bassist Ole C. Helstad and drummer Markus Støle — begin with a stretch of cinematic whistling drone, and join it with an electronic beat before the three-minute mark, immediately demonstrating a progression of intent following their debut. The build is gradual and hypnotic and takes place over the next several minutes, drums starting far back before they’re seven minutes in, so really the opening of “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” is a movement unto itself, but when the crush hits at 7:30 — on the dot — there’s little mistaking the intended contrast between float and weight.

The latter takes even fuller hold as SÂVER progress through the midsection of the song, vocals arriving at about 10:30 in screams before giving way to cleaner melodies over a chugging procession. An underlying foundation of noise influence isn’t new for them, but like Psychonaut prior, SÂVER have no trouble finding beauty in the outwardly harsh, and Støle‘s half-time drums only make their nod more engrossing as they march through the track’s back half, hitting into a stop and push 14 minutes in that feels like it might just consume the next five minutes but doesn’t, as the band move through twistier fare before arriving at their own finale of willful plodding, more stretched out than that of Psychonaut but no less elephantine. The bulk of the final minute is given to a curse of feedback and noise, readily mean and backed by static that cuts short to end, because there’s nothing else that needs saying at that point anyway.

So be it. If one thinks of Emerald as setting out to expose new listeners to these bands, then it accomplishes that in enticing fashion and then some. On the level of likewise showcasing the progression of each, it further succeeds. And just as a basic listen, I can’t see any way it’s not one of 2021’s best split releases, given the individualized approaches of SÂVER and Psychonaut and how well they coincide. It is no mystery why they might sell out of the vinyl on preorders, and the overarching story of Emerald is still of two acts defined by their forward potential. It is a story worth hearing.

Psychonaut on Facebook

Psychonaut on Instagram

Psychonaut on Bandcamp

SÂVER on Facebook

SÂVER on Instagram

SÂVER on Bandcamp

Pelagic Records website

Pelagic Records on Facebook

Pelagic Records on Instagram

Pelagic Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Roadburn Redux Announces 55 New Additions to Virtual Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

roadburn redux banner

What, you thought because Roadburn was going virtual this year it wouldn’t find a way to be completely overwhelming? Behold 55 new additions to Roadburn Redux, set for just over two weeks from now — shit I need to get on WCD copy — and staggering in its scope as Roadburn consistently manages to be. Find me checking out Steve Von Till, Body Void, Astrosoniq, Doctors of Space, Nadja, Year of No Light, SÂVER and a ton of others, and yeah, fucking a. You know it’s Roadburn when all you can really do is throw your hands up and give in to it.

The full announcement follows here. I don’t even know what to say anymore.

From the PR wire:

roadburn redux steve von till

ROADBURN REDUX: Steve Von Till, Aaron Turner and 53 more names confirmed

Redefining heaviness with exclusive performances and premieres – wherever you are in the world.

Roadburn Redux has confirmed an enormous 55 new names that will be participating in the online event taking place between April 16-18. They will be joining the already-announced line up that includes Hexvessel, Die Wilde Jagd, Inter Arma, Mizmor, Primitive Man, Wolvennest and many, many more.

Artistic Director Walter Hoeijmakers comments: “Roadburn has always been a gathering of kindred spirits; shining a light on varying creative corners of our beloved underground and beyond. This year is no different. We’re beyond elated to announce that a vast number of inspiring bands and artists – from Roadburn luminaries such as Steve Von Till and Aaron Turner to young, to upcoming hopefuls like Knoll – have been added to our final, virtual lineup. We’re honoured to provide a platform in these trying times, whether they will bring you exclusive sets or present their debut albums. Together they will give us hope, inspiration, and most of all, the opportunity to reconnect with each other and keep our thriving community going for bands and fans alike. Despite the fact that Jo Quail and several musicians working with her on ‘The Cartographer’ can’t make it to Tilburg due to the travel restrictions – she’ll still be a part of the festival this year, whilst the commissioned performance will take place in 2022. Such is the communal vibe of Roadburn, and we can’t wait to welcome you to Roadburn Redux – wherever you are in the world.”

Roadburn Redux will take place online between April 16-18. Roadburnredux.com for more information.

New Additions

STEVE VON TILL presents A Remote Wilderness
Steve Von Till has performed at Roadburn as part of Neurosis, as a curator, as a solo artist, and a guest musician – and now he will be performing for us within a digital realm as part of Roadburn Redux.

Filmed and recorded live at the legendary Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, we’re delighted to be able to present to you a Steve Von Till performance titled A Remote Wilderness. Joined by a dynamic group of Seattle based musicians Von Till will perform his latest album, No Wilderness Deep Enough, in its entirety – with a few older songs woven throughout.

PERFORMANCES
As well as Steve Von Till’s amazing contribution to Roadburn Redux, we’re thrilled to bring a huge swathe of exclusive, specially recorded performances to Roadburn audiences, including a special solo set from Aaron Turner, a short set from Jo Quail to tide us over until The Cartographer performance next year, the unveiling of two new Dawn Ray’d songs via an exclusive performance video, a very special improv set from Blanck Mass, a psychedelic freakout courtesy of Doctors of Space and much more. Click the artist names below to find out more about each of their performances.

Aaron Turner
Amulets
Svart Sessions: Doodswens
Blanck Mass
Body Void
Dawn Ray’d
Doctors of Space
Drowse
Jo Quail
Jonathan Hulten
Knoll
Nadja
Nero Di Marte
Sula Bassana
Wesenwille

COMMISSIONED:
Also performing for us will be two further artists commissioned specifically by Roadburn for the occasion.

BADA
BADA was created in 2019 by Anna Von Hausswolff and fellow Gothenburg musicians David Sabel, Gianluca Grasselli, Filip Leyman and Hannes Nilsson – some of whom also perform as part of Von Hausswolff’s solo project. Through cinematic drone, tribal rhythms, heavy distortions and a shared desire to “reunite the essential bonds between music and physical worlds”, BADA is a captivating and constantly evolving force of creativity that demands to be witnessed.

TAU PRESENTS DREAM AWAKE
Tau are bringing their transcendental visions to Roadburn Redux, with an exclusive two-part set entitled Dream Awake, that will include a special guest appearance from Clannad’s Pól Brennan. Led by Dubliner Seán Mulrooney, Tau’s hypnotic neo-folk transports listeners on a meditative voyage, taking in shamanic chants, psychedelic flourishes and traditional folk elements, from Irish to Mongolian.

PELAGIC PRESENTS
We’ve joined forces with Germany’s Pelagic Records to showcase artists on the label’s roster under the banner ‘Pelagic Presents’. With no indication of slowing down, this positively prolific label is churning out stellar release after stellar release, even during the last twelve challenging months. Join us as we team up to bring you an exciting collection of premiers, exclusive performances and we’ll even be unveiling some brand new signings to the label over the Redux weekend.

The following artists will be participating in the Pelagic Presents showcase:

Blessings
Briqueville
Crown
Johan G. Winther
LLNN
Lustmord & Karin Park
Oslo Tapes
Psychonaut
Sâver
SOM
The Ocean performing Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
Year of No Light

ALBUM PREMIERES
In addition to already announced full album premieres, we’re delighted to confirm three more – including Spill Gold performing their album Highway Hypnosis, broadcast live from the 013 venue.
Might performing Might
Spill Gold performing Highway Hypnosis
Trialogos performing Stroh Zu Gold

THE SONGS OF TOWNES VAN ZANDT
The installment of The Songs of Townes Van Zandt is on the horizon during Roadburn Redux the artists involved with the latest album will be unveiled. With previous participants including John Baizley, Scott Kelly and Mike Scheidt, the pedigree of the artists is in no doubt. To find out more click here – and tune in April 16-18 for the big reveal. Click here for more info.

AUDIO/VIDEO PREMIERES:
Roadburn Redux will also be the proud host of a number of audio and visual premieres over the festival weekend. Ranging from previously recordings from previous editions of the festival through to brand new a material from upcoming albums, there’s a feast for both the eyes and ears planned this April courtesy of the following artists:

Acid Rooster
Algiers
Alora Crucible
An Autumn For Crippled Children
Astrosoniq
Blodet
Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou
Hand Model
Hante
Kayo Dot
Midwife
Noctule
Obsidian Kingdom
Of Wolves
Sunrot
Talea Jacta Meets Electric Moon
Tesa
Thy Catafalque
Witch Mountain
Wolf King
Wolves In The Condo

VIRTUAL PIT STOP
We are partnering up with a brand new as yet un-released to public virtual social gathering platform called Bramble to bring you a daily place to hang out with fellow Roadburners virtually – just like the real life Pit Stop in Tilburg.

Anyone who has ever played video games will feel right at home in Bramble, where conversations happen inside of a psychedelic venue. Guests walk around a trippy world as an avatar – connecting with your long lost community. As you move your avatar around, the people you see and hear change depending on who you’re close to, like moving around a physical space.
There will be four separate spaces – The Grass Company, 8.6 Bar, The Weirdo Canyon, and The Skate Hall – open from 5pm CET til 3am CET each day of Roadburn Redux.

Bramble was invented by Artery, a global community for intimate culture and social infrastructure. Its unique gathering platform has been used for everything from open-mics to an album listening party celebration, as well as birthday parties, family gatherings and dozens of companies establishing virtual spaces for their remote workforce.

TICKETS & INFO
Roadburn Redux will be available to access between April 16-18 with a full programme of content online for free (or pay what you like).

Already announced is commissioned projects from Mizmor, Primitive Man Die Wilde Jagd, Dirk Serries, GOLD, Jo Quail, Neptunian Maximalism, Of Blood And Mercury, Radar Men From The Moon, Solar Temple, TDC Inc, and The Nest, plus album premieres from Autarkh, Die Wilde Jagd, Emptiness, Plague Organ and Wolvennest, and a series of sets recorded under the banner of The Svart Sessions – highlighting the best of the Finnish label’s roster.

Roadburn Redux has been made possible due to the support from Brabant C, Gemeente Tilburg, Fonds Podiumkunsten, Provincie Noord-Brabant, Bavaria 8.6, Ticket to Tilburg.

https://www.roadburnredux.com/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1081424195382564/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Steve Von Till, A Deep Voiceless Wilderness (2021)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Psychonaut and SÂVER Team for Emerald Split LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Two bands, two sides, two songs. Don’t mind me, but I’m just kind of over here wondering if we’re seeing Pelagic Records chart the way forward for post-metal? The German label founded by The Ocean‘s Robin Staps seems to be doing an awful lot of pivotal work these days, including releases by both Psychonaut and SÂVER, who are the two bands sharing a side apiece on this Emerald split LP. The Belgian troupe lead off with the 16-minute “The Great Realisation,” bringing progressive textures and patient melodic build en route to a satisfying onslaught, volume trades not necessarily unpredictable but welcome nonetheless, as Norway’s SÂVER follow with the 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons,” dedicating its opening stretch to surprising drone atmospherics before making its way into their sludgy-but-not-dumb crunch and a confident increase in melodic reach.

All told, it’s a 35-minute LP sampler platter of two deeply creative acts in stylistic bloom. There’s no audio public yet ahead of the May 14 release date (fair, since it’s two songs), but if you’ve not yet dug into Psychonaut‘s Unfold the God Man or SÂVER‘s rightly-ballyhooed 2019 debut, They Came with Sunlight (review here), both are at the bottom of this post. You’ll not regret taking the time.

Split info comes from the PR wire, of course:

Psychonaut SAVER Emerald Split LP

Announcing: PSYCHONAUT / SÂVER ‘Emerald’ (Split Release)

‘Emerald’ will be released on May 14 and is available for pre-order on April 6!

PSYCHONAUT and SÂVER are akin in many ways: both artists embody and explore corporal, physical heaviness in their sound as much as spirituality and philosophy, both artists often stretch their compositions close to the 20 minutes mark, and both artists redefine the concept of the classic power trio within a context of genre-bending, modern heavy music: where SÂVER plea for calculated minimalism, PSYCHONAUT employ an arsenal of percussion instruments on their recordings, and it is even more so astonishing how well they manage to reduce the polyphonic assault to the trio in a live setting.

PSYCHONAUT literally came from out of nowhere, Mechelen, Belgium, to be precise. Their 2020 album Unfold The God Man showcases excellent musicianship and songwriting abilities, heavily influenced by 70’s bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but also drawing inspiration from contemporary heavy artists like Tool or Amenra.

“This release is by far the most elaborate production we have ever done. We let go of all boundaries and gave ourselves complete freedom in terms of songwriting and arranging. This massive track represents a process of both personal and collective change that is conveyed through five chapters which are based on a psychedelic experience.”

SÂVER from Oslo, Norway delivered an equally astounding debut album of sublime heaviness, shimmering moogs, abrasive vocals and a devastating, gnarly bass tone. Their jaw-dropping performance at the renowned Oya Festival in Oslo in the summer before the pandemic, accompanied by mesmerizing visuals on a huge screen, was a foreboding of what to expect from this band in the future.

“As a band , we try to write music we would love to listen to ourself and we believe this 20-ish minute song really sets the path for what we want SÂVER to sound like. Atmospheric, brutal, yet beautiful and heavy as the sun itself. We love the way this release turned out and we hope you will too.”

https://www.facebook.com/psychonautband
https://www.instagram.com/psychonautband/
https://psychonautband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saveroslo/
https://www.instagram.com/saeverofficial/
https://saeverband.bandcamp.com/

http://www.pelagic-records.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords
https://www.instagram.com/pelagic_records
https://pelagicrecords.bandcamp.com/

Psychonaut, Unfold the God Man (2020)

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Days of Rona: Ole C. Helstad of SÂVER

Posted in Features on April 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

saver ole c helstad

Days of Rona: Ole C. Helstad of SÂVER (Oslo, Norway)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

When this whole thing started, or when it started FOR REAL, SÂVER found ourselves in Budapest, Hungary. We were set to do a 17-show tour with Belzebong, and the first show was going down in Budapest. After eager discussions within our band and with our booking agency of whether to leave for tour in the first place or not, we decided to go for it as every promoter gave the green light Tuesday evening March 10th. But as soon as we landed in Krakow the following day, emails started coming in with the one cancellation after the other.

It was a feeling of hopelessness hard to describe. Anyway, we went to Budapest with our van and driver, still with decent hopes. While arriving there one day prior to the show, all countries surrounding Hungary started closing their borders.

We had this idea of us being flexible in a van, that it would be our security net, meaning if all things got cancelled we could at least go back to Oslo by van. But this changed to a nightmare situation by the hour, as our driver wouldn’t be able to enter his home country, and also being put in quarantine. So the night after the show in Budapest. (Yes, the show actually happened, but in a smaller rehearsal-like venue, since the original venue had to shut down by government demand), our driver had to leave us to be able to get back home himself. At this point all hope to continue the tour was lost obviously, and we had to gather money to be able to book flights home, with our small collection of tour supply counting 17 checked luggage by the three of us. Dark times. Thankfully friends and family came to the rescue, and we got a flight back home the following Saturday.

Safe and sound back home we pushed merch sales through our SoMe channels for some economic damage control, and people supported like never before. THANK YOU!

Luckily we also received some government funding from Music Norway to help out with all the costs involved with the cancellation of a tour like this. A lot of money down the drain.

We also got an invitation to do a live stream show from Kulturkirken JAKOB, the same church hosting Høstsabbat, where people were encouraged to donate. And they did. We are extremely thankful and humbled for all the support shown after the tour cancellation. We wouldn’t have been able to deal with this without it.

On top of this, Desertfest Berlin, where we were set to play also had to cancel. Another 10-day run we were supposed to do late May/early June around Europe has also been cancelled.

Not to mention the Norwegian Grammys, which were set to happen March 28th.

For KITE, our new album dropped March 27th, and it’s fair to say this whole situation withdraws attention from that kind of news of course. The planned release show in April also got cancelled.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a period of time as much as this spring, and all of a sudden it’s all shattered. Even Roadburn, JJ! We don’t get to meet at Roadburn either this year. Haha.

That all being said though, the covid-19 situation puts your everyday life in perspective. And even if it feels dramatic, and bums you out completely, it’s heartwarming to see the collective effort being laid down all over the world. When the shit hits the fan, people stand up for each other, and show love towards their neighbour. Health and safety always first. Follow the advice given at any time!

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

After we got back home from Hungary we had to be quarantined for 14 days. Everyone entering Norway from abroad applies to this rule. The same goes for people who’ve been in touch with or close to anyone infected by covid-19. If you test positive you have to be in isolation until seven days after you’re symptom-free.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Well, it’s had tremendous impact already, and not in a good way. This whole spring/summer seems cancelled all together when comes to bigger events. All venues in Norway are shut down completely since March 13th. Meaning they are in huge risk of losing their business and livelihood. Norway as a country needs to fund running costs for all venues, and grant funds to everyone who lost their business overnight.

It is very scary times for people in love with cultural activities.

As all bands are cancelling their tours for the coming months, I fear for a chaotic Fall, with smaller bands suffering from lack of venues to play, because the bigger bands all need to go out again to regain financial loss. On the other hand people are probably starved for live events, and I have a feeling the support given from fans when things go back to normal will be immense.

A good thing from the horrendous corona-situation might be people not taking everything for granted afterwards. In Oslo, we are seriously spoiled when comes to shows and events, and this period of everything shut down might remind people of what they love, and why they love it. AND, that it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

For the time being my bandmates and I are alright. When this shitstorm passes, everyone needs to stand up for their interests. We need to support each other, and in particular local venues, promoters, bands, you name it. All people involved in especially the live music industry will need all the help they can possibly get.

Actually all small businesses will.

Be there for each other, and eventually make the world a better place for all.

https://www.facebook.com/saveroslo/
https://saeverband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.pelagic-records.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords

Tags: , , , , , ,

Belzebong and SÂVER Touring Together in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

belzebong

Saver (Photo by Mikkel Fykse Engelschion)

This is a combination of elements I’d expect to pay dividends for all involved parties except maybe the eardrums of those who happen to fall in the tour’s path. Polish stoner metallers Belzebong and Norwegian trio SÂVER find common ground in elements of sludge, but what they do with it is vastly different. For Belzebong it’s about that weed, those riffs, and your head, smoked-out and nodding. For SÂVER, the issue is more complex. Their groove is present and accounted for, but they bring aggro post-metal and atmospheric reach to go along with their crushing, and thereby expand the mind as much as bludgeon the skull in which it resides.

But one way or another, you’re doomed. No mistake.

The shows are presented by Sound of Liberation, who greet 2020 in loud fashion. Also love the “slowly presents” on the poster below. Cleverness always gets bonus points from me:

belzebong saver tour

BELZEBONG & SÂVER – “SMOKE OR DIE“ 2020 TOUR!

From all of us at the Sound of Liberation HQ, wishes for a heavy new year and, well, a whole decade! We hope Santa Claus found you in time, cause in our case he came a bit late, hung out for a smoke and left, leaving us however with this AWESOME poster!

Ladies and gents, we sloooowly present this mighty doom metal package:

BELZEBONG + very special guest SÂVER on the “SMOKE OR DIE“ 2020 TOUR!

Fill your lungs for evil weedian riffage from Polish doom summoners BelzebonG and devastating low-end tunes from our Norwegian post-miracle SÂVER. Let yourself drown in the sea of fuzz on one of these dates:

11.03. Košice, Collosseum Club Košice (SK)
12.03. Budapest, Dürer Kert (HU)
13.03. TBA
14.03. Bucharest, Soundart Festival (RO)
15.03. Cluj-Napoca, Flying Circus Cluj (RO)
16.03. TBA
17.03. Vienna, ARENA WIEN (AT)
18.03. TBA
19.03. Hamburg, Hafenklang (DE)
20.03. Drachten, Poppodium Iduna (NL)
21.03. Cologne, Helios37 (DE)
22.03. Brussels, Magasin 4 (BE)
23.03. Paris, The Backstage Paris (FR)
24.03. TBA
25.03. Munich, Feierwerk (DE)
26.03. TBA
27.03. Leipzig, UT Connewitz (DE)
28.03. Cottbus, Zum Faulen August, Cottbus (DE)

Belzebong is:
Cheesy dude
Sheepy dude
Alky dude
Hexy dude
Boogey dude

SÂVER is:
Markus Støle
Ole Ulvik Rokseth
Ole C Helstad

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420/
https://www.instagram.com/belzebong420/
https://belzebong.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saveroslo/
https://saeverband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.pelagic-records.com/
http://www.facebook.com/pelagicrecords

Belzebong, Light the Dankness (2018)

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 26

Posted in Radio on January 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Nothing says ‘welcome to a new year and new decade’ like playing a bunch of songs from the one that just ended, right? Right? I knew I should’ve gone into marketing.

Still, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the lack of how much ground was left uncovered by last month’s edition of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio. It was an awesome playlist, which I’ll gladly say as the guy who made it, but two hours is just two hours. I could’ve easily gone 10. Dedicating another show to the cause, even just with one a month, seemed like a worthy endeavor. And so it was.

As I write this I’m still waiting to cut voice tracks, but you’ll notice there are only two breaks. I didn’t want to take the extra couple minutes away from music, so I thought one for each hour of the show was fair. Ain’t nobody listening for my “duh, this record’s good” level of insight, and I refuse to fool myself into thinking otherwise. But some of this stuff — Uncle Woe, Stones of Babylon — is new to me. Those two were just sent my way in the last week or so, and they’ll both be covered in the Quarterly Review next week — at least I think they will; should check that list — so I thought to get them a look here as well would be cool. You’ll also notice Zone Six was reviewed this morning. Trying to keep current, at least with myself.

But in with those of course are more 2019 essentials, and I won’t list them twice when you can just read the below. All of these (the newer-to-me stuff notwithstanding) were included in the Best of 2019 feature, so I was thinking of this a little bit as a complement to that. Either way, I hope you dig it.

The Obelisk Show airs 1PM today at http://gimmeradio.com

Thanks if you get to listen.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 01.03.20

Stones of Babylon Hanging Gardens Hanging Gardens*
Church of the Cosmic Skull Everybody’s Going to Die Everybody’s Going to Die*
Year of the Cobra Into the Fray Ash & Dust
Beastwars Raise the Sword IV
Solace The Light is a Lie The Brink*
Kings Destroy Dead Before Fantasma Nera
SÂVER How They Envisioned Life They Came with Sunlight
BREAK
Green Lung Let the Devil In Woodland Rites
Magic Circle I’ve Found My Way to Die Departed Souls
Spaceslug Half-Moon Burns Reign of the Orion*
Valley of the Sun All We Are Old Gods
Worshipper Coming Through Light in the Wire
Hazemaze Lobotomy Hymns of the Damned*
Uffe Lorenzen If You Have Ghosts If You Have Ghosts
BREAK
Uncle Woe Push the Blood Back In Our Unworn Limbs
Zone Six Song for Richie Kozmik Koon

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every first Friday of the month at 1PM Eastern, with replays every Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next show is Feb. 7. Thanks for checking it out if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,