Stoned Jesus Announce Fall 15th Anniversary Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

One vividly recalls how it went when Stoned Jesus were set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their landmark second LP, Seven Thunders Roar (review here), in March 2022. Emerging from a global pandemic didn’t get any easier for the Kyiv-based band fronted by guitarist/vocalist Igor Sydorenko as Russia went into active-war mode in invading their home country of Ukraine now over two years ago, but in early 2023, Stoned Jesus offered the engrossing Father Light (review here) as their first LP through Season of Mist, and they’ve continued to move forward with tours to support it, including heading out this very month with Mars Red Sky as they begin to mark 15 years of the band.

Their accompanying Fall 15th anniversary European run will see them touring with the rotating cast of prog-classicists Mondo Drag, blasphemous riff rollers Dopelord and progressive doom melancholymakers The Abbey for most of October (including a few dates early in the month in Bulgaria and Greece that have moved from this Spring; see below for more info), with a stop at Desertfest Belgium 2024 nestled between club shows throughout Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, and so on. And if you look at the three openers who’ll swap out for each other during the tour, it’s indicative of how broad Stoned Jesus‘s sound has become that they all absolutely fit as complement.

The below comes from social media as posted by Sydorenko. It’s unclear as yet what the ‘big changes’ are that he’s referencing, but whatever the upheaval, nothing’s slowed Stoned Jesus down yet.

Doomstar Bookings is behind the tour:

Stoned Jesus fall tour

STONED JESUS – XVth Anniversary Tour

Here it is – the final leg of our XVth Anniversary Tour for this year! So many places to play (familiar and new), so many bands to share the stage with (again, familiar and new) and so many people to share our music with – see you all there. This one will be really, really good! Love, StJ #StJxv


Doomstar Bookings presents: Stoned Jesus XV Anniversary Tour, with special guests: Mondo Drag (10/10 – 26/10) / Dopelord (29/10 – 02/11) / The Abbey (10/10 – 02/11)! Check out the dates below!

3.10 – Sofia (BG) – Mixtape 5
4.10 – Thessaloniki (GR) – Mylos Club
5.10 – Patra (GR) – Frida Live Stage
6.10 – Athens (GR) – Kyttaro Live
10/10 – Berlin (DE) – Frannz Club # *
11/10 – Copenhagen (DK) – Lille Vega # *
12/10 – Hamburg (DE) – Headcrash # *
13/10 – Haarlem (NL) – Patronaat # *
15/10 – Arnhem (NL) – Willemeen # *
16/10 – Leeds (UK) – Brudenell Social Club # *
17/10 – Bristol (UK) – Fleece # *
18/10 – London (UK) – Garage # *
19/10 – Cologne (DE) – Club Volta # *
20/10 – Antwerpen (BE) – Desertfest Belgium # *
22/10 – Munich (DE) – Feierwerk # *
23/10 – Milano (IT) – Legend # *
24/10 – Bologna (IT) – Freakout # *
25/10 – Aarau (CH) – KIFF # *
26/10 – Schweinfurt (DE) – Stattbahnhof # *
27/10 – Innsbruck (AT) – PMK *
29/10 – Brno (CZ) – Kabinet Muz x *
30/10 – Warsaw (PL) – Hydrozagadka x *
31/10 – Krakow (PL) – Kwadrat x *
01/11 – Poznan (PL) – 2Progi x *
02/11 – Leipzig (DE) – Werk 2 x *
# w/ Mondo Drag
x w/ Dopelord
* w/ The Abbey

Dear fans in Bulgaria and Greece!

Some big changes are happening in the Stoned Jesus camp that we can’t wait to tell you about later – but for now this means we have no other option but to move the first four dates of our XVth Anniversary Tour from early April to early October (please note the new dates).

3.10 – Sofia (BG) – Mixtape 5
4.10 – Thessaloniki (GR) – Mylos Club
5.10 – Patra (GR) – Frida Live Stage
6.10 – Athens (GR) – Kyttaro Live

While we kindly ask everyone to respect our privacy while we’re dealing with these unforeseen challenges, we need to assure you that these are not the issues that made us cancel all our touring plans back in 2023.

Thanks a million for your patience, understanding and support! See you a bit later this year, StJ

ps: to everyone who’s expecting to see us in France, Spain, Germany and Portugal this April – no worries, the rest of the dates stay intact


Stoned Jesus, Father Light (2023)

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Weedeater to Tour East Coast in April/May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 28th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Highlighted their headlining spot at this year’s Grim Reefer Fest in Baltimore and the Rocks Off Concert Cruise boat show they’ll do in NYC — or at least on the river — the upcoming Weedeater East Coast US tour also sees the North Carolinian sludge stalwarts re-teaming with Midwestern riff-chargers Telekinetic Yeti and picking up Heavy Temple, Left Lane Cruiser and Restless Spirit each for a few dates along the way. The former two, Heavy Temple and Left Lane Cruiser, have new records en route to release and Restless Spirit just put out their third LP this past Fall, so if you go, expect to hit the merch table. Probably a good policy, anyhow.

With steady touring a couple times a year and a now nine-year stretch without a studio full-length, am I crazy for thinking maybe a Weedeater live album wouldn’t be the worst idea? Yeah, they’re raw live, but they’re raw on-record too, and at least they’d have something new for the aforementioned merch table. It’s not like they suck. If they sucked, I’d get it.

In any case, the tour precedes stops later in May at Mutants of the Monster (Mutants Fest), which is in Arkansas, and Modified Ghost Festival, which is in Vancouver two days later. That should be a fun bit of continent crossing during that day between. As ever, safe travels to Weedeater, and a special thanks to the PR wire for the weed puns and the sneaky Cathedral reference in the tour announcement below:

weedeater tour square

WEEDEATER Announce US Tour

Get tickets:

Roll up a fat one, because Weedeater are ready to ride another rip-roaring high. The sludge-stoned tar heels are chasing the dragon up and down the East Coast this spring. Along the way, they’ll be throwing wizard fights aboard the Rocks Off Concert Cruise and chunking $20 peanuts at Grim Reefer Fest.

Joining as main support on all 15 days of this excellent adventure are the Iowa stoners in Telekinetic Yeti. Purveyors of fifth dimensional riffs Heavy Temple will open the first leg. Next up are bonafide blues rockers Left Lane Cruiser, followed by badass doomsayers Restless Spirit.

Get tickets:

Tour dates
04/16 Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor*
04/17 Richmond, VA @ Cobra Cabana*
04/18 York, PA @ Skid Row Garage*
04/19 Youngstown, OH @ West Side Bowl
04/20 Asheville, NC @ Eulogy
04/23 New York, NY @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
04/24 Portland, ME @ Geno’s Rock Club#
04/25 Manchester, NH @ Jewel#
04/26 Newark, NJ @ QXT’s#
04/27 Baltimore, MD @ Otto Bar – Grim Reefer Fest#
04/29 Chesapeake, VA @ Riffhouse^
05/01 Panama City Beach, FL @ Mosey’s^
05/02 Cape Coral, FL @ Nice Guys’^
05/03 Tampa, FL @ Crowbar^
05/04 Augusta, GA @ Grantski Records^
* Heavy Temple
# Left Lane Cruiser
^ Restless Spirit

Weedeater’s bong will stay locked and loaded long after this tour goes up in smoke. Later in May, the band will bring plenty of god luck and good speed to this year’s Mutants Fest, as well as the seventh coming of Modified Ghosts Festival. More dates coming soon!

Additional Dates
May 17 Little Rock, AR @ Argenta Theater as part of Mutants Fest 2024
May 19 Vancouver, BC as part of Modified Ghost Festival VII

Dixie Dave: Bass, vocals
Shep: Guitar, vocals
Ramzi Ateyeh: Drums

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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Stoned Jesus Announce Spring 2024 Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 26th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Who wants to fly my grumpy, middle-aged ass to Paris in April to catch a show? No one? Maybe Bordeaux? Porto? Lisbon? Madrid? Barcelona? I’ll go pretty much anywhere that has an airport for this one. Stoned Jesus have had a particularly fucked couple of years, as their home in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been subject to invasion from neighboring Russia and the ensuing proxy war between Ukrainian forces with NATO backing and the monolith that is Russian imperialism. I’ve been saying for the last two years I don’t know how that war’s gonna end, and could go on and on about it, but it’s war. It would be a welcome change if humans stopped slaughtering each other, and at no point in the history of the species from voles hiding in the ground when the asteroid offed the dinosaurs to right this fucking moment has that not been true.

That’s not to make light of modern warfare’s particular horrors or the struggle undertaken by Ukrainians on behalf of their home/the Western liberal democratic ideology, mind you. Stoned Jesus in early 2023 nonetheless issued one of the year’s best albums in their Season of Mist debut, Father Light (review here), and were set to tour Europe this past Spring when Ukraine imposed travel restrictions, undercutting the band’s ability to promote their work as intended. I guess that’s ended or some special dispensation has been made — White Ward also seem to be getting out, so it seems less likely to be wishful booking — because in April 2024, Stoned Jesus are set to head west to France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

They’ll be keeping company with Bordeaux’s Mars Red Sky — speaking of 2023’s best albums, they had one too — and I don’t know anything about anything about the paperwork involved, but for the sake of all involved, including the heads who’ll actually get to see these shows unlike my daydream-jetsetter self, I hope they happen.

From the PR wire:

stoned jesus tour

Stoned Jesus are celebrating 15 years of doomy, heavy-hitting progressive rock this April with fellow stoners Mars Red Sky.

Get tickets for their European tour:

Order their new album ‘Father Light’:

16 April: Strasbourg FR @ La Laiterie
17 April: Karlsruhe DE @ Alte Hackerei
18 April: Paris FR @ Le Trabendo
19 April: Bordeaux FR @ Le Royal
20 April: Hondarribia ES @ Psylocibenea*
21 April: Porto PT @ Hard Club*
22 April: Lisbon PT @ Lisboa ao Vivo*
23 April: Madrid ES @ Nazca*
24 April: Barcelona ES @ Razzmatazz 3*
25 April: Touluse FR @ Le Rex*
26 April: Toulon FR @ Omega Live*
27 April: Lyon FR @ Le Transbordeur
*w/ Mars Red Sky

Stoned Jesus are:
Igor Sydorenko – guitar, lead vocals
Dmytro Zinchenko – drums and percussion, backing vocals
Sergii Sliusar – bass, backing vocals

Stoned Jesus, “Thoughts and Prayers” official video

Stoned Jesus, “CON” official video

Stoned Jesus, “Porcelain” official video

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Weedeater Announce East Coast & Midwest Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 13th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


In honor of the fact that Weedeater tour like bastards, I mean, they just go and go and go, I decided I would take the last tour announcement I put up — it covered from February to May of this year — and copy the post to remake it here. Drop in the new text and see what happened. Did I save myself any time? Nah. The images still needed to be placed and then I decided to chase down the Instagram links for the band and the label because, well, relevance, but yeah, no time saved. I wasn’t being cheeky or anything, like I would somehow try to make fun of the band for CONTINUING to work hard. I was trying something out, and I learned a thing.

I also learned about the Slower and Harder Fest that Weedeater are playing on this upcoming East Coast/Midwest stint, alongside appearances at Burque Rock City, RPM Fest and Full Terror Assault Fest. I hadn’t heard about it, because I guess I don’t hear about everything because frankly I’ve never been that cool, but the lineup is right on, with Weedeater (duh), BongripperPortrayal of GuiltDorthia Cottrell and a bunch of others. All the ticket links below are active, I hope, and all come from the PR wire.

All glory to the PR wire:


WEEDEATER Rolling Through the Northeast and Midwest


WEEDEATER are loaded up and ready to ride.

The sludge-stoned cowboys are blazing the ol’ dusty trail later this summer with 10+ shows across the Northeast and Midwest. Along the way, they’re hitting a couple festivals, including headlining spots at Albuquerque’s Rock City Fest and Slower & Harder Fest in Atlanta.

Joining Weedeater is the grindin’, frashin’ punk rock wrecking machine King Parrot.

God Luck and Good Speed.

Tour dates
08/05 Albuquerque, NM @ Rock City Fest [TICKETS]
08/30 Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor [TICKETS]
08/31 Washington, DC @ Black Cat [TICKETS]
09/01 Brooklyn, NY @ Meadows [TICKETS]
09/02 Montague, MA @ RPM Fest [TICKETS]
09/03 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place [TICKETS]
09/04 Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary [TICKETS]
09/06 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme [TICKETS]
09/07 Cave In Rock, IL @ Full Terror Assault Fest [TICKETS]
09/08 Champaign, IL @ Loose Cobra (On Sale 07/15)
09/10 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Utility Works @ Slower & Harder Fest [TICKETS]
09/11 Greensboro, NC @ Hangar 1819 [TICKETS]

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Joan Francesc “Fiar” Monguió of Foscor

Posted in Questionnaire on April 26th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


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

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

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Joan Francesc “Fiar” Monguió of Foscor

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

At my studying years of career, I remember having a conversation with a renewed poet who was explaining to the class the sort of emotional dialogue poetry allowed him to develop. Like an exercise which words were tools for defining the immaterial… I remember asking him why he couldn’t see a way higher tool and resource music than poetry, considering that the immaterial perhaps shouldn’t be defined with words, limited in meaning and scope, because responses to a way higher level of comprehension??

I remember sharing some thoughts with him about that, and how conventions and language must serve humans to define what they don’t know. From that point, I understood why I always felt that music was the path I needed to live…something special having way more to do with an untouchable emotional point of view, than a simple tool for catching a moment.

Music speaks to your guts, heart and more essential emotions, despite someone would call them perverted by the society and education we all have had… Music should only speak to that level of human consciousness, the immaterial one, and allow each of the ones you shared it too, feel it from their very unique nature.

So, Emotional Music is what I like to think I do… or face.

Describe your first musical memory.

As a kid, being at my grandparents’ living room, playing with my hands being an orchestra director. My grandfather was a classical music lover, and probably under three years, I have images of his wall furniture from where he played those vinyls and show me something I’ve always called, intensity.

Call it trauma…or whatever, but there already was a sort of seed that many years after made a spark of love for music shine. Being part of a moment of greatness, something I wasn’t able to explain and understand at that so early age, but once I started seriously to play in bands, came with strength to me.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Interesting…and so difficult to answer though. I honestly don’t give much importance to the past in terms of nostalgia. I have always felt a sort of exciting expectation for what’s yet to come, and having this feeling every day or often, because my sight is onwards and not backwards, means the world to me.

Said that, I guess that this difficulty might come from the different way I live and approach myself to the music experience. As a creator or consumer should mark a difference regarding picking a best memory, and why not the personal moment on each parcel or the Live one perhaps should too. I know…you are just asking me for one best musical memory, but honestly, I cannot set only one when it refers to music.

I think it was “Within The Depths of Silence and Phormations”, in 1995, during a trip to the Basque Country trees one of the most intense experiences with music I’ve ever had…Ok, there was some help of substances that helped to merge us with Nature and ourselves…but this memory still gives goosebumps. There would be a couple of unique moments when listening to a couple of Norwegian Black Metal albumsin a way more lonely way, back in the days, which like nails…are deep inside and would accompany this top.

In terms of Live experience, it’s so difficult to beat the emotion once lived after a memorable concert from your own band. In my case, the best memory might be set during and after the presentation gig of our 2017’s album “Les Irreals Visions” in our hometown with a sold out venue… I’m not lying if I call it one of the best musical memories, because of the spontaneous moment and thrilling development of actions during the time it lasted…and it might be considered like that closure act for a soooo long process, which made that moment even more special and unique.

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

More than a belief I should say a way to face things… If I might set how much being involved in band changed a really shy guy like me from 20’s on… after probably 15 years believing I was doing things right in terms of living, moving and developing my band, a big disappointment moment after releasing our 4th album helped me out to because a new profile of person and definitely grow in a much more productive and efficient way.

Let’s say that our relationship with our label and booking agent at that time suddenly ended after them feeling disappointed on the kind of band they thought we were and they truly found. They were kind enough for explaining the lack of attitude and qualities despite the creative one. I remember feeling so bad at that time, like defeated… and of course it meant big issues in the band’s core.

After that, and a really thoughtful period, I remember jumping to an “empty pool” trying to prove myself that I was much better than what the mirror those guys put me in front showed me. It was like a challenge in terms of changing 360º the manners I used to have…probably improve and polish many I already had but didn’t used right…and learn in a really short time what even in more than 15 years I was not capable to realize. I’ll be always grateful for such experience and bad moment for everything that changed on me and allowed me later to live.

I might write many names who are worth mentioning, but I feel this is about ideas, not stories in itself… Anybody in need to know when I’m talking about, simply look for the band we were before and after 2015.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

And artist shall take care of many sources and resources in order to be able to express his ideas and what comes from heart. From the skills and tools he need, to the inspirational seas where feel drowned in ecstasy… progression should lead to be able to express yourself more and better every time you need it.

I’m thinking on progression linked to your own personal development, what I feel should be natural and healthy in terms of creating and expressing something coherent with yourself. Perhaps this personal development is not necessary leading to communicate and connect much better with people, but at least should allow you to feel as much control as possible of your speech and the process and result of what you need to express.

More often, than someone might think, when all of this occurs, progression in terms of music language appears from nowhere…and it is so thrilling.

How do you define success?

Feeling renovated enthusiasm and motivation for the main things you are led by.
Let’s put an example in terms of music… I might mention an album not reaching or receiving the attention and response you would had expected. I am talking about the passion that moves you on to need expressing yourself with music. All the process lived from the first conception act to the very last effort put into layout, lyrics or promotional visuals cannot be dragged because it doesn’t get “results”.

Maximum, it should make you reconsider your way of expressing if what you want is results, but never get down the passion running through your veins. Same thing goes for values which too often and put to test.

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

The coldness on people that shows no empathy with the others… I’ve seen and see that every day in too much life circumstances, and really hurts and makes me feel fed up of the society I live in. You are probably asking me for a music related topic, but even in this small artistic bubble, this is something I wish I would not see anymore.

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

An album with no schedule nor money limitations… Let’s say this in a way more positive way: I would love to create an album or even a way more complex creation, gathering as many artistic disciplines as possible, worked from a total feeling of freedom in terms of time and resources. Looks like there’s always a sort of presence pushing behind when recording music, that would be lovely to make disappear…of course it has to do with the fact that we always have had to deal with such moments among many other life matters and obligations, and probably it may affect to the result.

Every new recording gives me the impression that we are way more efficient, productive and capable to manage everything better than before; but even then, there’s job times to deal with, money limits we cannot afford, etc… That’s the dream I have.

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

With no doubt it’s a communicative one…

You might fill that with all the aesthetical theory and philosophy, but in the end art is the main tool we humans have to connect with the immaterial world. There’s no need to define what’s immaterial, but I’m pretty sure each one of your readers may have a very own idea of how defining the immaterial from a social, cultural, religious or simply emotional point of view, something we cannot explain but we need to express. And even more… share, because the act of communication, although being based on a dialogue with ourselves, always translates previous moments into something new…so, knowledge, to keep living.

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

My son is 2 years and 8 months old, and beyond the challenging moment that paternity means for someone who lives music the way I live, I’m very much looking forward seeing my son develop himself the way he feels. I would love him to be able to express himself in any artistic discipline…but way more important, I would love to see him growing moved by a healthy passion, and surrounded by life aspects that he feels good with.

Foscor, Els Sepulcres Blancs (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Black Helium, Seismic, These Beasts, Ajeeb, OAK, Ultra Void, Aktopasa, Troll Teeth, Finis Hominis, Space Shepherds

Posted in Reviews on April 14th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


If you work in an office, or you ever have, or you’ve ever spoken to someone who has or does or whatever — which is everybody, is what I’m saying — then you’ll probably have a good idea of why I cringe at saying “happy Friday” as though the end of a workweek’s slog is a holiday even with the next week peering just over the horizon beyond the next 48 hours of not-your-boss time. Nonetheless, we’re at the end of this week, hitting 50 records covered in this Quarterly Review, and while I’ll spend a decent portion of the upcoming weekend working on wrapping it up on Monday and Tuesday, I’m grateful for the ability to breathe a bit in doing that more than I have throughout this week.

I’ll say as much in closing out the week as well, but thanks for reading. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Black Helium, UM

Black Helium Um

It’s just too cool for the planet. Earth needs to step up its game if it wants to be able handle what London’s Black Helium are dishing out across their five-song third record, UM, from the sprawl and heavy hippie rock of “Another Heaven” to the utter doom that rises to prominence in that 12-minute-ish cut and the oblivion-bound boogie, blowout, and bonfire that is 15:47 closer “The Keys to Red Skeleton’s House (Open the Door)” on the other end, never mind the u-shaped kosmiche march of “I Saw God,” the shorter, stranger, organ-led centerpiece “Dungeon Head” or the motorik “Summer of Hair” that’s so teeth-grindingly tense by the time it’s done you can feel it in your toes. These are but glimpses of the substance that comprises the 45-minute out-there-out-there-out-there stretch of UM, which by the way is also a party? And you’re invited? I think? Yeah, you can go, but the rest of these fools gotta get right if they want to hang with the likes of “I Saw God,” because Black Helium do it weird for the weirdos and the planet might be round but that duddn’t mean it’s not also square. Good thing Black Helium remembered to bring the launch codes. Fire it up. We’re outta here and off to better, trippier, meltier places. Fortunately they’re able to steer the ship as well as set its controls to the heart of the sun.

Black Helium on Facebook

Riot Season Records store


Seismic, The Time Machine

seismic the time machine

A demo recording of a single, 29-minute track that’s slated to appear on Seismic‘s debut full-length based around the works of H.G. Wells sometime later this year — yeah, it’s safe to say there’s a bit of context that goes along with understanding where the Philadelphia instrumentalist trio/live-foursome are coming from on “The Time Machine.” Nonetheless, the reach of the song itself — which moves from its hypnotic beginning at about five minutes in to a solo-topped stretch that then gives over to thud-thud-thud pounding heft before embarking on an adventure 30,000 leagues under the drone, only to rise and riff again, doom. the. fuck. on., and recede to minimalist meditation before resolving in mystique-bent distortion and lumber — is significant, and more than enough to stand on its own considering that in this apparently-demo version, its sound is grippingly full. As to what else might be in store for the above-mentioned LP or when it might land, I have no idea and won’t speculate — I’m just going by what they say about it — but I know enough at this point in my life to understand that when a band comes along and hits you with a half-hour sledgehammering to the frontal cortex as a sign of things to come, it’s going to be worth keeping track of what they do next. If you haven’t heard “The Time Machine” yet, consider this a heads up to their heads up.

Seismic on Facebook

Seismic linktree


These Beasts, Cares, Wills, Wants

these beasts cares wills wants

Something of an awaited first long-player from Chicago’s These Beasts, who crush the Sanford Parker-produced Cares, Wills, Wants with modern edge and fluidity moving between heavier rock and sludge metal, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Chris Roo, bassist/vocalist Todd Fabian and drummer Keith Anderson scratching a similar itch in intensity and aggression as did L.A. sludgecore pummelers -(16)- late last year, but with their own shimmer in the guitar on “Nervous Fingers,” post-Baroness melody in “Cocaine Footprints,” and tonal heft worthy of Floor on the likes of “Blind Eyes” and the more purely caustic noise rock of “Ten Dollars and Zero Effort.” “Code Name” dizzies at the outset, while “Trap Door” closes and tops out at over seven minutes, perhaps taking its title from the moment when, as it enters its final minute, the bottom drops out and the listener is eaten alive. Beautifully destructive, it’s also somehow what I wish post-hardcore had been in the 2000s, ripping and gnarling on “Southpaw” while still having space among the righteously maddening, Neurot-tribal percussion work to welcome former Pelican guitarist Dallas Thomas for a guest spot. Next wave of artsy Chicago heavy noise? Sign me up. And I don’t know if that’s Roo or Fabian with the harsh scream, but it’s a good one. You can hear the mucus trying to save the throat from itself. Vocal cords, right down the trap door.

These Beasts on Facebook

Magnetic Eye Records store


Ajeeb, Refractions

Ajeeb Refractions

Comprised of Cucho Segura on guitar and vocals, Sara Gdm on bass and drummer Rafa Pacheco, Ajeeb are the first band from the Canary Islands to be written about here, and their second album — issued through no fewer than 10 record labels, some of which are linked below — is the 11-song/42-minute Refractions, reminding in heavy fashion that the roots of grunge were in noisy punk all along. There’s some kick behind songs like “Far Enough” and “Mold,” and the later “Stuck for Decades” reminds of grainy festival videos where moshing was just people running into each other — whereas on “Mustard Surfing” someone might get punched in the head — but the listening experience goes deeper the further in you get, with side B offering a more dug-in take with the even-more-grunge “Slow-Vakia” building on “Oh Well” two songs earlier and leading into the low-end shovefest “Stuck for Decades,” which you think is going to let you breathe and then doesn’t, the noisier “Double Somersault” and closer/longest song “Tail Chasing” (5:13) taking the blink-and-it’s-over quiet part in “Amnesia” and building it out over a dynamic finish. The more you listen, the more you’re gonna hear, of course, but on the most basic level, the adaptable nature of their sound results in a markedly individual take. It’s the kind of thing 10 labels might want to release.

Ajeeb on Facebook

Spinda Records website

Clever Eagle Records website

The Ghost is Clear Records website

Violence in the Veins website


OAK, Disintegrate

Oak Disintegrate

One might be tempted to think of Porto-based funeral doomers OAK as a side-project for guitarist/vocalist Guilherme Henriques, bassist Lucas Ferrand and drummer Pedro Soares, the first two of whom play currently and the latter formerly of also-on-SeasonofMist extreme metallers Gaerea, but that does nothing to take away from the substance of the single-song full-length Disintegrate, which plies its heft in emotionality, ambience and tone alike. Throughout 44 minutes, the three-piece run an album’s worth of a gamut in terms of tempo, volume, ebbs and flows, staying grim all the while but allowing for the existence of beauty in that darkness, no less at some of the most willfully grueling moments. The rise and fall around 20 minutes in, going from double-kick-infused metallurgy to minimal standalone guitar and rebuilding toward death-growl-topped nod some six minutes later, is worth the price of admission alone, but the tortured ending, with flourish either of lead guitar or keys behind the shouted layers before moving into tremolo payoff and the quieter contemplation that post-scripts, shouldn’t be missed either. Like any offering of such extremity, Disintegrate won’t be for everyone, but it makes even the air you breathe feel heavier as it draws you into the melancholic shade it casts.

OAK on Facebook

Season of Mist store


Ultra Void, Mother of Doom

Ultra Void Mother of Doom EP

“Are we cursed?” “Is this living?” “Are we dying?” These are the questions asked after the on-rhythm sampled orgasmic moaning abates on the slow-undulating title-track of Ultra Void‘s Mother of Doom. Billed as an EP, the five-songer skirts the line of full-length consideration at 31 minutes — all the more for its molten flow as punctuated by the programmed drums — and finds the Brooklynite outfit revamped as a solo-project for Jihef Garnero, who moves from that leadoff to let the big riff do most of the talking in the stoned-metal “Sic Mundus Creatus Est” and the raw self-jam of the nine-minute “Måntår,” which holds back its vocals for later and is duly hypnotic for it. Shorter and more rocking, “Squares & Circles” maintains the weirdo vibe just the same, and at just three and a half minutes, “Special K” closes out in similar fashion with perhaps more swing in the rhythm. With those last two songs offsetting the down-the-life-drain spirit of the first three, Mother of Doom seems experimental in its construction — Garnero feeling his way into this new incarnation of the band and perhaps also recording and mixing himself in this context — but the disillusion comes through as organic, and whether we’re living or dying (spoiler: dying), that gives these songs the decisive “ugh” with which they seem to view the world around them.

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Aktopasa, Journey to the Pink Planet


Italian trio Aktopasa — also stylized as Akṭōpasa, if you’re in a fancy mood — seem to revel in the breakout moments on their second long-player and Argonauta label debut, Journey to the Pink Planet, as heard in the crescendo nod and boogie, respectively, of post-intro opener “Calima” (10:27) and closer “Foreign Lane” (10:45), the album’s two longest tracks and purposefully-placed bookends around the other songs. Elsewhere, the Venice-based almost-entirely-instrumentalists drift early in “It’s Not the Reason” — which actually features the record’s only vocals near its own end, contributed by Mattia Filippetto — and tick boxes around the tenets of heavy psychedelic microgenre, from the post-Colour Haze floating intimacy at the start of “Agarthi” to the fuzzy and fluid jam that branches out from it and the subsequent “Sirdarja” with its tabla and either sitar or guitar-as-sitar outset and warm-toned, semi-improv-sounding jazzier conclusion. From “Alif” (the intro) into “Calima” and “Lunar Eclipse,” the intent is to hypnotize and carry the listener through, and Aktopasa do so effectively, giving the chemistry between guitarist Lorenzo Barutta, bassist Silvio Tozzato and drummer Marco Sebastiano Alessi a suitably natural showcase and finding peace in the process, at least sonically-speaking, that’s then fleshed out over the remainder. A record to breathe with.

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Argonauta Records store


Troll Teeth, Underground Vol. 1

Troll Teeth Underground Vol I

There’s heavy metal somewhere factored into the sound of Philadelphia’s Troll Teeth, but where it resides changes. The band — who here work as a four-piece for the first time — unveil their Underground Vol. 1 EP with four songs, and each one has a different take. In “Cher Ami,” the question is what would’ve happened if Queens of the Stone Age were in the NWOBHM. In “Expired,” it’s whether or not the howling of the two guitars will actually melt the chug that offsets it. It doesn’t, but it comes close to overwhelming in the process. On “Broken Toy” it’s can something be desert rock because of the drums alone, and in the six-minute closer “Garden of Pillars” it’s Alice in Chains with a (more) doomly reimagining and greater melodic reach in vocals as compared to the other three songs, but filled out with a metallic shred that I guess is a luxury of having two guitars on a record when you haven’t done so before. Blink and you’ll miss its 17-minute runtime, but Troll Teeth have four LPs out through Electric Talon, including 2022’s Hanged, Drawn, & Quartered, so there’s plenty more to dig into should you be so inclined. Still, if the idea behind Underground Vol. 1 was to scope out whether the band works as constructed here, the concept is proven. Yes, it works. Now go write more songs.

Troll Teeth on Facebook

Electric Talon Records store


Finis Hominis, Sordidum Est

Finis Hominis Sordidum Est EP

Lead track “Jukai” hasn’t exploded yet before Finis HominisSordidum Est EP has unveiled the caustic nature of its bite in scathing feedback, and what ensues from there gives little letup in the oppressive, extreme sludge brutality, which makes even the minute-long “Cavum Nigrum” sample-topped drone interlude claustrophobic, never mind the assault that takes place — fast first, then slow, then crying, then slow, then dead — on nine-minute capper “Lorem Ipsum.” The bass hum that begins centerpiece “Improportionatus” is a thread throughout that 7:58 piece, the foundation on which the rest of the song resides, the indecipherable-even-if-they-were-in-English growls and throat-tearing shouts perfectly suited to the heft of the nastiness surrounding. “Jukai” has some swing in the middle but hearing it is still like trying to inhale concrete, and “Sinne Floribus” is even meaner and rawer, the Brazilian trio resolving in a devastating and noise-caked, visceral regardless of pace or crash, united in its alienated feel and aural punishment. And it’s their first EP! Jesus. Unless they’re actually as unhinged as they at times sound — possible, but difficult — I wouldn’t at all expect it to be their last. A band like this doesn’t happen unless the people behind it feel like it needs to, and most likely it does.

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Abraxas Produtora on Instagram


Space Shepherds, Losing Time Finding Space

Space Shepherds Losing Time Finding Space

With its title maybe referring to the communion among players and the music they’re making in the moment of its own heavy psych jams, Losing Time Finding Space is the second studio full-length from Belfast instrumentalist unit Space Shepherds. The improvised-sounding troupe seem to have a lineup no less fluid than the material they unfurl, but the keyboard in “Ending the Beginning (Pt. 1)” gives a cinematic ambience to the midsection, and the fact that they even included an intro and interlude — both under two minutes long — next to tracks the shortest of which is 12:57 shows a sense of humor and personality to go along with all that out-there cosmic exploratory seeking. Together comprising a title-track, “Losing Time…” (17:34) and “…Finding Space” (13:27) are unsurprisingly an album unto themselves, and being split like “Ending the Beginning” speaks perhaps of a 2LP edition to come, or at very least is emblematic of the mindset with which they’re approaching their work. That is to say, as they move forward with these kinds of mellow-lysergic jams, they’re not unmindful either of the listener’s involvement in the experience or the prospect of realizing them in the physical as well as digital realms. For now, an hour’s worth of longform psychedelic immersion will do nicely, thank you very much.

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Stoned Jesus, Father Light

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 2nd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

stoned jesus father light

Stoned Jesus, Father Light album premiere

[Click play above to stream Father Light by Stoned Jesus in its entirety. Album is out tomorrow, March 3, through Season of Mist.]

Igor Sydorenko on Father Light:

“Written in 2019, recorded in 2021, released in 2023 — behold Father Light! Serving as the first half of our ambitious five-years-in-the-making song cycle project, Father Light is heavy, intense and progressive — while its sister album, Mother Dark, is expected to be more laid-back, hypnotic and introverted. You know how every artist ever says their new work is their best? Well, we actually believe this to be true with this one!”

In March 2020, Ukrainian heavy rock forerunners Stoned Jesus were forced to call off what would’ve been the tour to mark their first decade as a band owing to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. Then signed to Napalm, they had released Pilgrims (review here) in 2018 as their fourth full-length and most progressive statement up to that point. In April 2022, they were slated for a long European run celebrating the 10th anniversary of 2012’s Seven Thunders Roar (review here), which has in the years since its release become a genuine landmark for Ukrainian and greater Euro heavy rock thanks in no small part to the continued viral success of its epic track “I’m the Mountain” on streaming services — slow burner, but a burner — but Russia’s invasion of their home country caused that to be canceled as well.

The Kyiv trio’s fifth full-length, Father Light, arrives as their first outing through Season of Mist, and though as guitarist/vocalist Igor Sydorenko says above it was written before the pandemic and recorded before the invasion — a topic about which Sydorenko has been vocal in a series of social media videos he calls ‘#ukrsplaining’ — both are bound have an effect on how the songs are going to be interpreted, whether that’s the added context to “Thoughts and Prayers” describing the desensitized responses to violence and tragedy around the world, or the way one might read lyrics in 11-minute second cut “Season of the Witch” like, “The stakes are high so light the torch/And throw it at your neighbor’s porch,” and “Nobody cares who’s right who’s wrong/The hunting season’s always on.”

And even the climate change thematic of nine-minute closer “Get What You Deserve” feels perhaps more relevant as we see the breaking apart of the Thwaites ice shelf in Antarctica happening in real-time. From any angle of approach, be it the skepticism in the point of view of “CON,” or the commentary on fame amid the lumber of  side B leadoff “Porcelain,” or even the feeling of pleading in the acoustic album-opening title-track “Father Light” — the three minutes of which seem to set up the larger procession between this album and a forthcoming companion-piece, Mother Dark — the 43 minutes of Father Light are prone as much to emotional weight as they are to aural heft the tones of Sydorenko and bassist/backing vocalist Sergii Sliusar or the crash and plod in Dmytro Zinchenko‘s drums where applicable.

But heavy in theme though it is, Father Light is on solid footing structurally, its six tracks alternating between shorter cuts like “Father Light,” the willfully Graveyardian boogie of “Thoughts and Prayers” and the progressive garage punk (yup) of “CON,” the all-words-that-start-with-“con” phrasing in the verses of which also offers some intangible reminder of Rubber Soul, or the purposeful riffy contrast in the largesse of the rolling “Season of the Witch,” the creeper builds and crescendos of “Porcelain” — the subtle vocal layering in the chorus a highlight — amid a lurch that recalls early Tool, or the way in which the open-feeling tonality of “Get What You Deserve” closes in like rising ocean levels as the post-midsection march becomes a noisy solo-topped plod worthy of Electric Wizard while managing to not actually sound like them. Yet, in the totality of scope and even in the admirably stubborn refusal to capitulate to being just one thing sonically, Stoned Jesus are as much in conversation with themselves as with anyone else, and maybe more so as one considers the sustained roar of the words “down below” near the finish of “Porcelain,” reminiscent of landmark declarations past.

Stoned Jesus (Photo by Mateusz Kluba)

Their ability to pivot from one style to the next and to tie their songs together through performance, be it the angular jangle and bursts of “CON” in its verses or the brooding pre-crash blues guitar solo that ends the first half of “Get What You Deserve,” is a defining feature of both this record and their work more generally across all (now) five of their albums. But there’s no question they’re speaking to their own oeuvre on “Season of the Witch,” which bookends with an intentionally slogging nod, the most outright heavy of the record’s heaviest movements, while turning suddenly at 4:23 to a proggy chase that’s an energized departure from the encircling density, some deceptively-free-flowing strumming and vocals over the build of bass and drums leading the way back, layer by layer, to the return of the verse at nine minutes in, Sydorenko almost audibly winking at the audience as he intones, “So here we are once again.”

And he’s right, they’ve been there before, whether it was earlier in the song, in the righteous grandiosity of “I’m the Mountain” or the oh-fine-here’s-your-heavy-riff of “Rituals of the Sun” from 2015’s creative breakout The Harvest (review here), but the difference between “Season of the Witch” or “Get What You Deserve” and prior Stoned Jesus heavy deep-dives is that as a band, they feel reconciled to this part of their persona. In true veteran fashion, they know what they’re doing every step of the way. And as much as they might range outward from it, in the shuffling catchiness of “Thoughts and Prayers” — no less a defining moment for Father Light than anything on either side of it — or the quirky bounce that straightens into a forward run in the peak of “CON,” or even in the patience of the tempo in the perpetually-ab0ut-to-burst “Porcelain,” an unabashed heaviness continues to suit Stoned Jesus and is a crucial facet of their work. Across this album more than anything they’ve put out in the last decade — and Pilgrims had some basher stretches as well — Stoned Jesus openly embrace that part of who they are.

Given the surrounding context, and the fact that the story being told isn’t finished with the complementary Mother Dark still to follow, it isn’t proper to think of Father Light just a celebration of that heaviness. On the most basic level, there’s more going on than just that. However, the key shift in perspective within these tracks seems to be in not fighting against those big riffs when they’re called for, but acknowledging them as a foundation, bringing them into the broader sphere of expression throughout, and creating a new stylistic totality for what Stoned Jesus do. They are ambassadors of heavy rock — a band who bring new listeners into the genre — and they know it and are aware of the responsibility inherent in that. Father Light is a mature, crafted and thoughtful collection that, as it remains organic in production value, welcomes heads new and old and offers immersion while asking little in return. It accounts for the narrative of how Stoned Jesus became the band they are, and in that retelling, inevtiably changes and evolves that same definition.

Stoned Jesus, “Get What You Deserve” lyric video

Stoned Jesus, “Thoughts and Prayers” official video

Stoned Jesus, “CON” official video

Stoned Jesus, “Porcelain” official video

Stoned Jesus on Facebook

Stoned Jesus on Instagram

Stoned Jesus on Bandcamp

Stoned Jesus store

Season of Mist website

Season of Mist on Facebook

Season of Mist on Instagram

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Weedeater Announce US Tour Dates in Southeast, West Coast & Midwest

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

You can’t kill Weedeater and you’d be a jackass for trying. The stalwarts of sludge the other day announced a UK run with Mars Red Sky and Telekinetic Yeti along for the trip and now the plot thickens as they add a stint out to and up the West Coast, hitting Heavy Psych Sounds Fest and more before they go. They’re Weedeater. That’s how they do. If you haven’t seen them before, first of all, it’s not too late to correct that oversight and someday it will be, and second, it’s not the band’s fault. Short of Tenacious D-style door to door rocking, they’ve done about as much roadtime as you can do.

Do you wanna take bets on whether or not I’ll mention how long it’s been since they put out a record? I don’t. And if you’d complain they’re not doing the East Coast, they were here in November.

Here’s dates and the ticket link from the PR wire:


WEEDEATER Announces Headlining U.S. Winter Tour


Cape Fear metal legends WEEDEATER have announced and extensive headlining tour of the U.S. as well as a U.K. headliner for 2023! The first leg of the U.S. trek will feature special guest Rebelmatic and will run from February 22 to March 3. After a very short break, the second trek will kick off on March 16 with special guests High Tone Son of a Bitch (3/16 – 4/02), Telekinitc Yeti (4/04 – 4/06) & Adam Faucett (supports all dates).

Upon the North American tour’s conclusion on April 8, WEEDEATER will then cross the pond for a UK/Ireland tour with special guests Mars Red Sky & Telekinitic Yeti! The run will kick off on April 30

The full itinerary can be found below! All tickets can be found at THIS LOCATION:

02/22: Carborro, NC @ The Station
02/23: Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
02/24: Savannah, GA @ Underground Weekend Fest
02/25: Cape Coral, FL @ Nice Guys
02/27: Orlando, FL @ Wills Pub
02/28: Melbourne, FL @ Pineapples
03/01: Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
03/02: Piedmont, SC @ Tribbles
03/03: Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music Hall

WEEDEATER U.S. w/ Adam Faucett (all dates), High Tone Son of a Bitch (3/16 – 4/02), Telekinetic Yeti (4/04 – 4/06):
03/16: Charleston, SC @ Trolley Pub
03/17: Atlanta, GA @ Sabbath Brewing
03/18: New Orleans, LA @ Poor Boys
03/19: Little Rock, AR @ Whitewater Tavern
03/20: Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
03/22: Mesa, AR @ Nile Theatre
03/23: San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
03/25: Joshua Tree, CA @ Heavy Psych Sounds Fest
03/26: San Francisco, CA @ Heavy Psych Sounds Fest
03/27: Sacramento, CA @ Cafe Colonial
03/29: Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom
03/30: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
03/31: Boise, ID @ Shredder
04/01: Salt Lake City, UT @ Aces High Saloon
04/02: Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
04/04: Sioux Falls, SD @ Icon
04/05: Rock Island, IL @ Wake Brewing
04/06: Chicago, IL @ Reggies
04/07: Murfreesboro, TN @ Hop Springs
04/08: Knoxville, TN @ Brickyard

WEEDEATER UK & Ireland Tour (w/special guests Mars Red Sky & Telekinetic Yeti):
04/30: Bournemouth (UK) @ The Bearcave
05/01: Cardiff (UK) @ The Globe
05/02: Dublin (IE) @ Grand Social
05/03: Glasgow (UK) @ Cathouse
05/04: Sheffield (UK) @ Corporation
05/05: Manchester (UK) @ Factory 251

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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