Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Iguana, Seamount, Gentlemans Pistols, Wired Mind, Automaton, Sideburn, Year of the Cobra, Drive by Wire, Akris

Posted in Reviews on January 4th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review winter

And so it begins again. It had been my original intention to launch this latest Quarterly Review last week, but as that would’ve had me basically walking out on the holidays with my family, it seemed somehow prickish to be like, “Uh, sorry dudes, riffs call” and split, particularly when there are hours of driving involved. Still, though it’s already running late by the arbitrary calendar in my mind, I’m glad to be able to tackle a batch of releases that both looks back on the last part of 2015 and to the New Year we’ve just entered. As ever, there is a lot, a lot, a lot of ground to cover, so I won’t delay except to remind of what the Quarterly Review actually is:

Between now and this Friday, I will post 10 reviews a day in a single batch grouped like this one. The order is pretty much random, though something higher profile is usually first. It is my intention that each post covers a range of styles, and hopefully within that, you’re able to find something that speaks to you. Many of these releases were sent to me as physical product, and before I start, I want to extend thanks to those groups for undertaking the time and expense of giving me the full representation of their work to hopefully better do mine.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

jess and the ancient ones the second psychedelic coming

Finnish six-piece more info here - Entrust your report to experienced scholars engaged in the service Spend a little time and money to receive the dissertation you could Jess and the Ancient Ones pay homage to psych cultistry on their sophomore full-length, http://www.socio.msu.ru/?research-and-essay - forget about your concerns, place your assignment here and get your professional project in a few days commit your paper to qualified Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes (on Rainforest Writing Paper - Receive an A+ grade even for the most urgent writings. Get main tips as to how to receive the best essay ever Benefit Svart), and while one might argue with the band marking this out as the “second coming” of psych – I’d say the third, generationally-speaking – the paean to late-‘60s sonic spaciousness in “In Levitating Secret Dreams” is unmistakable, the songwriting of guitarist how to write an essay my best friend comes to the rescue whenever students need academic help. Think that the requirements for your essay are too demanding? Thomas Corpse conjuring fervent swirl behind the soulful buy essay uk - Dissertations, essays and research papers of top quality. Cooperate with our scholars to get the top-notch review following Grace Slick-isms of vocalist Get Your Return Quickly with Our look at this site. Niche-Specific & Seasoned Ebook Writers, Creative Design & Text Format Suitable for Kindle, HQ Jess. At 65 minutes, it’s a classic double-LP, but How To Write A 15 Page Paper online service in Australia provides best grade certified essay writing service to Australian students. We give best professional answer to Second Psychedelic Coming seems most engaged in its longer pieces, the eight-minute “Crossroad Lightning,” which pulls back from the urgency of earlier cuts “”The Flying Man” or the opening “Samhain,” and the 22-minute closer “Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever,” which has an arrangement to match its scope that unfolds no less gracefully. Some of the more frenetic parts seem to be arguing with themselves, but the overarching vibe remains satisfyingly tripped out and that closer is their to-date masterpiece.

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Jess and the Ancient Ones at Svart Records

Iguana, Cult of Helios

iguana cult of helios

No big surprise that a record called Are you in need of Need An Essay Written? Get PhD professional editing service when you click here. Cult of Helios would seem to so unabashedly bask in sunshine. The four-track/32-minute sophomore full-length from German heavy psych four-piece You can use custom essay writing service for a small price and ask them weblink. Iguana has its driving moments, some in opener “Josiah” but more in the subsequent melodic thriller “Albedo,” but the prevailing sensibility is toward tonal warmth and steady groove. The band – vocalist/guitarist writing an art essay is the best service in the world which we provide.we started our service as Buy Dissertation Online in the motive to comfort scholar Alexander Lörinczy, guitarist Our http://khaled-abed.com/?research-paper-on-cloning can provide you with assistance in choosing a suitable theme and will write for you a high-quality work. Dissertation on Thomas May, bassist http://webtoys.cz/?essay-for-online-shopping Written by Experts. Seeking a quality service to buy college essays online from without the worries of plagiarism and the ability Alexander May and drummer How to Hire an Educated Best Resume Writing Services In Atlanta Ga Iq. If you are thinking about looking for an individual to assist you with the PhD dissertation that you are Robert Meier – debuted in 2012 with writing phd thesis word Buy Dissertation Online college essay prompt ideas homework help for water report Get the City Love You (review here), but When developing your career as a http://stadttheater.amberg.de/?writing-services-in-vb-net, consider the extensive salary and job outlook data we've collected. Cult of Helios is a more cohesive, individualized release, whether it’s the hook of “Albedo,” the Beatles-gone-fuzz of “A Deadlock Situation” or the lush, flowing 15-minute jam of the closing title-track. Iguana’s propensity for blending underlying structure with a wide-open, welcoming atmosphere is writ large over Cult of Helios, and the album shines in a manner befitting its inspiration. A sleeper that begs waking.

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Iguana website

Seamount, V: Nitro Jesus

seamount v nitro jesus

Most long-distance projects fizzle out after a record or two. With a lineup split between Bavaria and Connecticut, doom rockers Seamount have managed to sustain a remote collaboration, the German band of bassist Markus Ströhlein, guitarist Tim Schmidt and drummer Jens Hofmann working with New England-based vocalist Phil Swanson (ex-Earthlord, ex-Hour of 13, Vestal Claret, etc.). The excellently-titled Nitro Jesus (on The Church Within) is their fifth full-length since 2007, and boasts a refined blend of doom, NWOBHM and dark thematics common to Swanson’s lyrics. Tonally crisp but immersive, slow crawlers like “Can’t Escape the Pain” are offset by the ‘80s metal swing of “Beautiful Sadness,” and each side caps with a longer track, whether that’s the seven-minute “Scars of the Emotional Stuntman,” the most singularly sweeping movement here, or the closer “No One Knows,” which has a moodier feel, the guitar recalling Don Henley accompanied by piano as the finale hits its apex. For those who like their metal of tried and true spirit and individual presentation, Nitro Jesus delivers in more than just its name.

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The Church Within Records

Gentlemans Pistols, Hustler’s Row

gentlemans pistols hustler's row

Every now and then you hear a record that reminds you what you love about rock and roll in the first place. It doesn’t need to be the most complicated thing in the world, or the most expressive, or the heaviest or the most whatever of anything else, but like Gentlemans Pistols’ third LP, Hustler’s Row (on Nuclear Blast), if it locks in a special chemistry between its players, that’s more than enough to carry it through. That the UK four-piece are ace songwriters and bolstered by the lead guitar chops of Bill Steer (Firebird, Carcass) for the Thin Lizzy dual-solos – vocalist/guitarist James Atkinson on the other end – helps plenty as well, but with the tight, classic-style grooves brought to across Hustler’s Row by bassist Robert Threapleton and drummer Stuart Dobbins, Gentlemans Pistols give essential heavy rock a non-retro modern interpretation that might leave one wondering why so many people try to ape a ‘70s production to start with.

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Gentlemans Pistols at Nuclear Blast

Wired Mind, Mindstate: Dreamscape

wired mind mindstate dreamscape

Each side of Wired Mind’s Mindstate: Dreamscape LP (on HeviSike Records) gracefully unfolds a lushly-toned, warm, engaging heavy psychedelic sprawl. The chief influence for the Hannover two-piece of guitarist/vocalist Mikey and drummer Chris is their countrymen godfathers Colour Haze, but the duo make their presence felt early on “Road,” the opener and longest-track at 11:01, which balances serene and spaced exploration with post-Kyuss “Thumb” shuffle, all the more enticing for having been recorded live, conjuring Echoplex spaciousness around the repeated line, “All we gotta do is love.” Both sides work on the same structure of a longer track feeding into a shorter one, “Road”’s considerable amassed thickness giving way to the winding groove of “Jennifer’s Dream of a Switchblade” while the Duna Jam-ready vibes permeating from “Wired Dream” finding a moving complement in closer “Woman,” which effectively captures desert rock rhythmic propulsion. As their debut, Mindstate: Dreamscape feels conceptually and stylistically cohesive, and sets Wired Mind up with a sonic breadth on which to continue to build.

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Wired Mind at HeviSike Records

Automaton, Echoes of Mount Ida

automaton echoes of mount ida

Greek heavy rollers Automaton revisit their 2013 debut full-length, Echoes of Mount Ida, for a limited vinyl release. The four-track offering initially surfaced coated in burl and massive riffing, but a remix adds psychedelic edge to the lumbering fervor of “Fear,” on which the Athenian five-piece are joined by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective for added synth and swirl. He delivers, and the opener also adds guest vocals from Nancy Simeonidou, but the remix keeps things consistent as Automaton transition into the chugging “Beast of War,” a complex near-djent rhythm (which will find complement in the end of “Echoes of Mount Ida” itself) smoothly met by drummer Lykourgos to finish side A of the LP while the locked-in nod of “Breathe in Stone” bleeds into the closing title-track as Automaton offer riffy largesse set in a spacious backdrop like mountains in the distance. Interesting to see if the semi-reboot of their debut is indicative of some overall shift in direction, but at least on the vinyl offering, it makes their sound that much broader.

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Sound Effect Records

Sideburn, Evil or Divine

sideburn evil or divine

Between Martin Karlsson’s keys (also bass) and vocalist Dimitri Keiski’s propensity to soar, the mood turns epic pretty quick on Sideburn’s fifth album, Evil or Divine (on Metalville Records). The Swedish foursome’s latest shares more than just its titular reference in common with Dio — who, in addition to the lyric from “The Last in Line” had a live record with the same title – but keep a foot in doom territory throughout, drummer Fredrik Haake playing with metallic precision and an edge of swing as Morgan Zocek pulls out leads over “Sea of Sins.” The later “The Day the Sun Died” is particularly post-Ozzy Iommic, but Evil or Divine benefits from the kick in the ass that the penultimate “Evil Ways” seems only too happy to provide before “Presence” finishes on a hopeful note. Definitely more fist-pump than nod, Evil or Divine cries out to legions of the brave who want a thicker groove than modern metal is willing to provide without giving up the occasional cause to headbang.

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Metalville Records

Year of the Cobra, The Black Sun

year of the cobra the black sun

Seattle-based bass/drum duo Year of the Cobra had two labels pick up their debut EP, The Black Sun, between Devil’s Child Records and DHU Records, and they’ve signed to STB Records for the follow-up, so it seems safe to say their three-track outing has gotten a solid response. The songs make a compelling argument for why. With vocals that recall Soph Day from Alunah on opener “White Wizard” before delving into faster, more punkish fare on “The Black Sun” itself, Year of the Cobra serve immediate notice of a breadth in their sound, and the seven-minute wah-bass finale “Wasteland” enacts a low-end swirl that pushes even further out while keeping hold of itself via steady, tense drumming. That finisher is a particular high point, with bassist/vocalist Amy Tung Barrysmith self-harmonizing in layers over the steady build and drummer Johanes Barrysmith making sure the considerable tone keeps moving forward. Easy to hear why they’ve found such support in such a short time.

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Dark Hedonistic Union Records

Devil’s Child Records

STB Records

Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang

drive by wire the whole shebang

The third long-player from Dutch four-maybe-five-piece Drive by Wire, The Whole Shebang gets more complex as it goes. Its first couple tracks, “Kerosine Dreams” [sic], “Woodlands,” “The Whole Shebang” and “Five Ft. High” are deeply indebted to desert rock circa Songs for the Deaf, tonally and even in some of Simone Holsbeek’s sing/talk call and responses on “Woodlands.” From there, “Rituals,” “In This Moment” and the moody “River Run” and “Promised the Night” push into more individual ground, and even though they tie it back together in the album’s third and final movement with “Rotor Motor,” “All Around” and “Voodoo You Do,” the context has changed, and by the time guitarist Alwin Wubben swells lead lines behind the verse of the closer, the fuzz of “Kerosine Dreams” is a distant memory. Completed by bassist Marcel Zerb and drummer Jerome Miedendorp de Bie, Drive by Wire wind up on a considerable journey, and while the title at first seems off-the-cuff, it works out to be a whole shebang indeed.

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Drive by Wire webstore

Akris, Fall EP

akris fall ep

Relaunched as a trio in the first half of 2015, Virginia trio Akris made a studio return with the four-song/32-minute Fall EP, which probably should’ve been called a full-length and probably should’ve been pressed to vinyl (paging Tony Reed to master and STB Records to release…), but the digital-only offering finds Akris and particularly founding bassist/vocalist Helena Goldberg anything but apprehensive as she, guitarist/vocalist Paul Cogle (Nagato, Black Blizzard) and drummer Tim Otis (Admiral Browning) follow-up the band’s raucous sans-guitar 2013 self-titled full-length debut (review here), balancing plodding grooves, melody and abrasion deftly atop rumble and riffs in “Forgiven” as Goldberg swaps between screams and grunge-styled croons. The subsequent “People in the Sky” is less patient, and caps its nine-minute run with a barrage of noise rock synth that continues at the start of closer “Alley Doorway” but ultimately recedes (momentarily) to let that song establish its own course of loud/quiet tradeoffs and resonant exploration. Unless Akris are planning a series of seasonal short releases, I see no reason why Fall EP shouldn’t be characterized as a second long-player and heralded for the bold expansion of the band’s approach it represents.

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Akris on Bandcamp

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Sideburn Premiere “Sea of Sins” from Evil or Divine

Posted in audiObelisk on May 20th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sideburn

The line that Stockholm four-piece Sideburn seem so easily content to cross between heavy rock and roll and classic heavy metal on their upcoming fifth full-length, Evil or Divine, might seem strange to American ears, coming from a place where the lines between the two are more drawn in thick, seemingly permanent marker, but the Swedish outfit are part of a long history of stylistic melding that goes back about as far as when the other sprang from the one in the first place. If that’s confusing, think about countrymen acts like Grand Magus or The Awesome Machine and the context might become clearer. Sideburn, who formed in 1997, are contemporaries of these bands, and their latest outing seamlessly pulls together epic grandiosity and heavy grooves, bolstered by strong traditional songwriting and fistpump-ready righteousness.

Evil or Divine see will North American release June 9 via Metalville Records, and it’s the foursome’s first outing for the label and first with Dimitri Keiski on vocals and guitar alongside guitarist Morgan Zocek, bassist Martin Karlsson (also Mangrove) and drummer Fredrik Haake, whose commanding forwardness makes longer pieces like “Thesideburn evil or divine Day the Sun Died” and linear-building closer “Presence” all the more engaging. Keiski is a powerful frontman in the Dioist vein, and from the start of opener “Masters and Slaves,” he takes the reins of Evil or Divine and steers the band across flowing movements touching on doom, heavy rock and metal — as much Rainbow as Sabbath, as “Sea of Sins” demonstrates, the “Gates of Babylon” looming large in the distance — finding a niche between and among them while keeping a natural atmosphere as the brooding “When Darkness Calls” and “The Seer (Angel of Death)” play out.

“Sea of Sins” stands as one of the record’s most fervent rockers, a stomping kick drum and winding riff opening into a progression somewhere between shuffle and headbang that seems to capture the vibrancy of both, and gets a late-album complement in “Evil Ways” before the acoustic guitar that starts “Presence” kicks in to set the stage for that drama to unfold. It’s my pleasure today to host the premiere of “Sea of Sins” ahead of the album’s release. You can find the track on the YouTube embed below — if you’re wondering where the Soundcloud is, that site’s weirdo copyright policy will be its undoing as the industry standard for hosting — followed by the PR wire info on the album.

Enjoy:

Sideburn, “Sea of Sins”

Stockholm’s own SIDEBURN, featuring Dimitri Keiski (vocals, guitar), Morgan Zocek (guitar), Martin Karlsson (bass, organ), and Fredrik Haake (drums), will release their fifth full-length album titled Evil Or Divine in North America June 9 via Metalville Records.

Mixed/Produced by Jonas Edler with Morgan Zocek and SIDEBURN at B.A.S. Studio and mastered by Mats “Limpan” Lindfors (Meshuggah, Katatonia, Opeth) at Cutting Room studios in Stockholm, with a sound that as much is rooted in the past as it is heading for the future, fans can expect more of what they’ve come to know and enjoy from the band – heavy guitar attacks blended with intense solos backed by a steady rhythm section.

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Metalville Records

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Sideburn to Release Evil or Divine on June 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sideburn

Swedish heavy rockers Sideburn will issue their fifth album, Evil or Divine, June 9 in North America via Metalville Records. The new outing follows two full-lengths on Transubstans, one on Buzzville and their 1997 debut, which arrived via Beard of Stars, so they’ve been nothing if not well-endorsed throughout their career. Hard to imagine the new record’s title isn’t a Dio reference — as in, “We’ll know for the first time/If we’re evil or divine/We’re the last in line” — and if so, if that might speak to some inflection throughout of classic metal, but we’ll see when we get there.

The PR wire has it like this:

sideburn evil or divine

SWEDISH DOOM HARD ROCKERS SIDEBURN SET TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM VIA METALVILLE RECORDS

EVIL OR DIVINE OUT IN NORTH AMERICA JUNE 9TH

Stockholm’s own SIDEBURN, featuring Dimitri Keiski (vocals, guitar), Morgan Zocek (guitar), Martin Karlsson (bass, organ), and Fredrik Haake (drums), will release their fifth full-length album titled Evil Or Devine in North America June 9 via Metalville Records.

Inspired by seminal acts such as Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Scorpions, and Rainbow, SIDEBURN has gained a solid reputation in the hard rock/doom genre by blending retro sounds with a modern approach.

Mixed/Produced by Jonas Edler with Morgan Zocek and SIDEBURN at B.A.S. Studio and mastered by Mats “Limpan” Lindfors (Meshuggah, Katatonia, Opeth) at Cutting Room studios in Stockholm, with a sound that as much is rooted in the past as it is heading for the future, fans can expect more of what they’ve come to know and enjoy from the band – heavy guitar attacks blended with intense solos backed by a steady rhythm section.

“We are happy signing with Metalville and with their belief and support we think we can take the band to the next level in our career,” says guitarist Morgan Zocek.

Evil Or Divine Tracklisting:
1. Masters and Slaves
2. Sea of Sins
3. When Darkness Calls
4. The Seer (Angel of Death)
5. The Day The Sun Died
6. Evil Ways
7. Presence

Originally formed back in 1997, the band signed to the Italian label Beard of Stars/Vinyl Magic in 2000 and soon after released their debut album Trying To Burn The Sun.

From there, the quartet would go on to release their second album The Newborn Sun in 2007, followed by Demon Dance in 2010, and 2012’s IV Monument – both via Transubstans Records.

www.facebook.com/sideburnswedenfanpage
www.metalville.de
www.facebook.com/Metalville

Sideburn, Mastering Evil or Divine

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