Quarterly Review: Signo Rojo, Tribunal, Bong Corleone, Old Spirit, Los Acidos, JAGGU, Falling Floors, Warp, Halo Noose, Dope Skum

Posted in Reviews on April 12th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Welcome to day three of the Spring 2023 Quarterly Review. Traditionally, this is where the halfway point is hit, like that spot on the wall in the Lincoln Tunnel where it says New York on the one side and New Jersey on the other. That’s not the case today — though it still applies as far as this week goes — since this particular QR runs seven days, but one way or the other, I’m glad you’re here. There’s been an absolutely overwhelming amount of stuff so far and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon, so don’t let me keep you, except maybe to say that if you’re actually reading as well as browsing Bandcamp (or whoever) players, it is appreciated. Thanks for reading, to put it another way.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Signo Rojo, There Was a Hole Here

signo rojo there was a hole here

As lead/longest track — yes, immediate points — “Enough Rope” shifts between modern semi-melodic heavy burl post-Baroness to acoustic-tinged flourish to rolling shout-topped post-hardcore on the way back to its soaring chorus, yes, it’s fair to say Sweden’s Signo Rojo establish a broad swath of sounds on their third full-length, There Was a Hole Here. Later they grow more massive and twisting on “What Love is There,” while “Also-Ran” finds the bass managing to punch through the wall of guitar around it (not complaining) and the concluding “BotFly” lets its lead guitar soar over a crescendo that’s almost post-metal, so they want nothing for variety, but whether it’s “The World Inside” with its progressive chug or the more swaying title-track, the songs are united by tone in the guitars of Elias Mellberg and Ola Bäckström, the shouty vocals of bassist Jonas Nilsson adding aggressive edge, and the drums of Pontus Svensson reinforcing the underlying structures and movements. Self-recorded, mixed by Johan Blomström and mastered by Jack Endino for name-brand recognition, There Was a Hole Here is angles and thrown-elbows, but not disjointed. Tumultuous, they power through and find themselves unbruised while having left a few behind them.

Signo Rojo on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store


Tribunal, The Weight of Remembrance

Tribunal The Weight Of Remembrance

Stunning first album. Vancouver’s Tribunal — the core duo of cellist/bassist/vocalist Soren Mourne and guitarist/vocalist Etienne Flinn, working on their first record, The Weight of Remembrance, with Julia Geaman on drums on the seven-song/47-minute sprawl of bleak, goth-informed death-doom — resound with purpose between the atmosphere and the dramaturge of their material. “Apathy’s Keep” (Magdalena Wienski on additional drums) alone would tell you they’re a band with a keen sense of what they want to accomplish stylistically, but the patience in execution necessary from the My Dying Bride-esque back and forth shifts between harsh and clean vocals on opener “Initiation” to the grim, full-toned breadth of the 12-minute finale “The Path,” on which Mourne‘s severity reminds of Finland’s Mansion, and yes that’s a compliment, while Flinn finds new depths from which to gurgle out his harsh screaming. The semi-titular piano interlude “Remembrance” is well-placed at the end of side A to make one nostalgic for some lost romance that never happened, and the stop-chug of “A World Beyond Shadow” seem to speak to SubRosa‘s declarative majesty as well as the more extreme spirit of Paradise Lost circa ’91-’92, Tribunal crossing eras and intentions with an organic meld that hints there and in “Without Answer” or the airy cello of “Of Creeping Moss and Crumbled Stone” earlier at even grander and perhaps more orchestral things to come while serving as one of 2023’s best debuts in the interim. Like finding your great grandmother’s wedding dress, picking it up out of the box and having the dried-out fabric and lace crumble in your hands. Sad and necessary.

Tribunal on Facebook

20 Buck Spin website


Bong Corleone, Bong Corleone

Bong Corleone Bong Corleone

From whence came Finland’s Bong Corleone? Well, from Finland, I guess, but that hardly answers the question on planetary terms. Information is sparse and social media presence is nil from the psychedelic-stoner-doom explorers, who string synth lines through four mostly-extended pieces on this self-titled, self-released, seemingly self-actualized argument for dropping out of life and you know the rest. Second cut “Gathering” (8:34) sees lead guitar step in for where vocals might otherwise be, but there and in the prior leadoff “Chemical Messenger” (9:15), synthesizer plays a prominent role that’s been compared rightly to Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, though “Gathering” departs in for a midsection meander-jam that lets itself have and be more fun before crashing back around to the roll. As it invariably would, “Astrovan” (6:18) shoves faster, but the synth stays overtop along with some floating guitar, and the sense of control remains strong even in the second half’s splurge and slowdown, shifting with ambient drone and residual amp hum into 11-minute closer “Offering,” which rounds out with a sample, what might be a bong rip, and a density of fuzz that apparently Bong Corleone have been keeping in their collective pocket all the while, crushing and stomping before turning to more progressive exploration later. It’s a substantial enough release at 35 minutes that the band might — like MWWB before them — regret the silly name, but even if they never follow it with anything, the immersion factor in these four songs shouldn’t be discounted. May they (if in fact it’s more than one person) never reveal a lineup.

Bong Corleone on Bandcamp


Old Spirit, Burning in Heaven

Old Spirit Burning in Heaven

This second full-length from Wisconsin-based solo-project Old Spirit — formed and executed at the behest of Jason Hartman (Vanishing Kids, sometimes Jex Thoth) — Burning in Heaven feels at home in contradictions, whether it’s the image provoked by the title or in the songs themselves, be it the CelticFrost-on-MonsterMagnet‘s-pills “Dim Aura” or the electro Queens of the Stone Age shuffle in “Ash,” or the Candlemass-meets-Chrome succession of “Fallacy,” or the keyboard and guitar interlude “When the Spirit Slips Away.” The title-track opens and has an oldschool ripper solo late, but there’s so much going on at any given moment that it’s one more element thrown in the mix as much as a precursor to the later reaches of “Angel Blood” — a Slayer nod, or two, perhaps? — which precedes the emergent wash of “Bleak Chapel” and the devolution undertaken from song to drone that gives over to closer “In Dismay,” which seems all set in its garage-goth doom rollout until the tempo kick brings it and the record to a place of duly dug-in progressive psych-metal oddness. Fitting end to a record clearly meant to go wherever the hell it wants and on which the rawness of the production becomes a uniting factor across otherwise willfully disparate material, skirting the danger that it all might collapse on itself while proselytizing individualist fuckall; Luciferian without being outright Satanic.

Old Spirit on Bandcamp

Bright as Night Records on Facebook


Los Acidos, Stereolalo

Los Acidos Stereolalo

Argentina’s Los Acidos return after reissuing 2016’s self-titled debut (review here) in 2020 through Necio Records with Stereolalo, putting emphasis on welcoming listeners from the outset with the opening title-track and “Ascensor,” which are the two longest cuts on the record (double points) and function as world-builders in terms of establishing the acoustic/electric blend and melodic flourish with which much of the 50-minute outing functions. Like everything, the blend is molten and malleable, as shorter pieces like “Atardecer” or side B’s build-to-boogie “Madre” and the keyboard-backed psych-funk verses of “Atenas” show, and they resist the temptation to really blow it out as they otherwise might even in those first two tracks; the church organ seeming to keep the penultimate “Interior” in line before “Buscando el Mar” calls out ’60s psych on guitar with a slow-careening progression from whatever kind of keyboard that is, ending almost folkish, having said what they want to say in the way they want to say it. Light in atmosphere, there nonetheless are deceptive depths from which the songs seem to swim upward.

Los Acidos on Facebook

Los Acidos on Bandcamp


JAGGU, Rites for the Damned

jaggu rites for the damned

Rites for the Damned offers the kind of aesthetic sprawl that can only be summarized in vague catchall tags like ‘progressive,’ with the adventurous and ambitious Norwegian outfit JAGGU threatening extremity on “Carnage” at the beginning of the eight-song/40-minute LP while instead taking the angularity and thrust and through “Earth Murder” fostering an element of noise rock that feeds its aggression into “Mindgap” before the six-minutes-each pair of “Electric Blood” and “Lenina Ave.” further reveal the breadth, hooks permeating the amalgam of heavy styles being bent and reshaped to suit the band’s expressive will, the latter building from acoustic-inclusive post-metallic balladry into a solo that seems to spread far and wide as it draws the listener deeper into side B’s reaches, the dizzying start of “Enthralled,” post-black-metal-but-still-metal “Marching Stride” — more of a run, actually — and the prog-thrash finale “God to be Through” that caps not to bring it all together, but to celebrate the variations encountered along the course and highlight the skill with which JAGGU have been guiding the proceedings all along, unsettled in their approach on this second record in such a way as to speak to perpetual growth rather than their being the kind of band who’ll find a niche and stagnate.

JAGGU on Facebook

Evil Noise Recordings store


Falling Floors, Falling Floors

Falling Floors self-titled

Escapist and jam-based-but-not-just-jamming psychedelia pervades the self-titled debut from UK trio Falling Floors, who add variety amid the already-varied krautrock in the later reaches of opener “Infinite Switch,” the lockdown slog of “Flawed Theme,” the tambourine-infused hard strums of “Ridiculous Man” and the 18-minute side-B-consuming “Elusive and Unstable Nature of Truth,” which is organ-inclusive bombast early and drone later, with three numbered interludes, furthering the notion of these works being carved out of experiments. A malleable songwriting process and a raw, seemingly live recording make Falling Floors‘ seven-song run come across as formative, but the rougher edges are part of the aesthetic, and ultimately bolster the overarching impression that the band — guitarist/vocalist Rob Herian, bassist/organist Harry Wheeler and drummer/percussionist Colin Greenwood — can and just might go wherever the hell they want. And they do, in that extended finisher and elsewhere throughout, capturing an exploratory moment of creation in willfully unrefined fashion, loose but not unhinged and seemingly as curious in the making as in the result. I don’t know that a band can do this kind of adventuring twice — invariably any second album is informed by the experience of making the first — but Falling Floors make a resounding argument for wanting to find out in these shared discoveries.

Falling Floors on Instagram

Riot Season Records store

Echodelick Records on Bandcamp


Warp, Bound by Gravity

Warp Bound by Gravity

Spacing out from a fuzzy foundation like Earthless taking on The Sword — with a bit of Tool in the second-half leads of eight-minute second track “The Hunger” — Israeli trio Warp make their Nasoni Records label debut with their sophomore full-length, Bound by Gravity, putting due languid slog into “Your Fascist Pigs are Back” while finding stonerized salvation in “Dirigibles” ahead of the more melodic and more doomed title-track, which Sabbath-blues-boogies right into its shout-topped sludge slowdown before the bounce and swing of “Impeachment Abdication” readily counteracts. “The Present” unfolds with hints of Melvins while “Head of the Eye” rides a linear groove into a winding midsection that resolves in a standout chorus and capper “I Don’t Want to Be Remembered” is a vocal highlight — guitarist Itai Alzaradel, bassist Sefi Akrish and drummer Mor Harpazi all contribute in that regard at some juncture or another — and a reaffirmation of the gonna-roll-until-we-don’t mindset on the part of the band, ending cold after shifting into a faster chug like the song’s about to take off again. That’d be a hell of a way to start their next record and we’ll see if they get there. Pointedly of-genre, Warp bring exploratory craft to a foundation of tonal heft and ask few indulgences on the listener’s part. Big fuzz gonna make some friends among the converted.

Warp on Facebook

Nasoni Records store


Halo Noose, Magical Flight

halo noose magical flight

Leading off with its spacebound title-track, Halo Noose‘s debut album, Magical Flight, finds the Scottish solo-outfit plumbing the outer reaches of fuzz-drenched acid rock, coming through like an actually-produced version of Monster Magnet‘s demo era in its roughed-up Hawkwind-via-Stooges pastiche, “Cinnamon Garden” edging toward Eastern idolatry without going full-sitar while “Fire” engages with a stretched-out feel over its slow, maybe-programmed drums and centerpiece “When You Feel it Babe” tops near-motorik push with watery vocals like a less punk Nebula or some of what Black Rainbows might conjure. “Kaliedoscopica” is based largely around a single riff and it’s a masterclass in wah at its 4:20 runtime, leading into the last outward leaps of “Rollercoasting Your Mind” and the forward-and-backwards “Slow Motion” which isn’t actually much slower than anything else here and thus reminds that time is a construct easily subverted by lysergics, fading out with surprising gentleness to return the listener to a crueler reality after a consuming half-hour’s escape. Right on.

Halo Noose on Facebook

Ramble Records store

Echodelick Records on Bandcamp

The Acid Test Recordings store


Dope Skum, Gutter South

Dope Skum Gutter South

If you’d look at the name and the fact that the trio hail from Tennessee and think you’re probably in for some caustic Southern sludge, you’re part right. Dope Skum on their second EP, the 17-minute Gutter South, embrace the tonal heft and chugging approach of the harder end of sludge riffing, but rather than weedian throatrippers, a cleaner vocal style pervades from guitarist Cody Landress-Gibson across opener “Folk Magic,” the banjo-laced “Interlude,” “Feast of Snakes,” “Belly Lint” and the punkier-until-its-slowdown finish of “The Cycle,” and the difference between a shout and a scream is considerable in the impressions made throughout. Bassist Todd Garrett and drummer Scott Keil complete the three-piece and together they harness a feel that’s true to that nasty aural history while branching into something different therefrom, genuinely sounding like a new generation’s interpretation of what Southern heavy was 15-20 years ago. More over, they would seem to be conscious of doing it. Their first EP, 2021’s Tanasi, was more barebones in its production, and there’s still development to be done, but it will be interesting to hear how they manifest across a first long-player when the time comes, as Gutter South underscores potential in its songwriting and persona as well as defiance of aesthetic expectation.

Dope Skum on Facebook

Dope Skum on Bandcamp


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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Jonas Nilsson from Signo Rojo

Posted in Questionnaire on April 3rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Jonas Nilsson from Signo Rojo (Photo by Anders Sjoberg)

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: Jonas Nilsson from Signo Rojo

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

I try to do the best I can with what I’ve got. Noisy music and weirdo art. I was a quiet guy for such a long time so that when it was time to get loud, it just came naturally to me.

Describe your first musical memory.

Probably singing along to my dad’s Beatles records or hammering my fists on one of those toy pianos that it seems like we all had at some point in our childhoods.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I got to see Roger Waters perform the Wall two times when he toured that album again a couple of years back. The Wall has been one of my favorite albums since I was a kid so that was huge for me.

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

Constantly, I’m a pretty stubborn person which leads to firmly holding onto beliefs that turn out to be pretty stupid. It’s good to get checked every now and then especially if you’re pig-headed by nature. Change is good, it’s tough to deal with but always worth it in the end.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I think the fact that you can’t really know where it leads is the exciting part, if you end up surprising yourself you’re doing it right and that is a whole lot easier when you work with other people.

It’s easy to get stuck on writing songs in “your” style if you do it alone and then it just feels repetitive and stale. To me at least.

But when it’s a collaborative effort the result will end up being greater than the sum of its parts and that’s when the really great stuff comes out.

So I guess you can say that artistic progression leads to more social interactions, which is nice for an aging introvert like myself.

How do you define success?

I would define it as something to aspire to but not something one should achieve. There’s a finality to that term that makes it kind of weird.

In pretty much all biographies or documentaries of famous people, the stage where the subject “makes it” is always the point where things start to go south in one way or another. True success , in my opinion, is to have the stamina and passion to keep improving and always have another branch to reach for.

Set small attainable goals and celebrate milestones, not some mythical endpoint that’s difficult to reach and potentially soul crushing if you do.

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

I wish I had never seen “Rocky horror picture show” so I could see it for the first time again! Don’t know if it’d hit the same way when you’re pushing 40 though.

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

I recently got back into traditional hand drawn 2D-animation on our two latest videos and I would love to do a short film or something in that style. Just for fun. I’ve been playing around with a few ideas but it’s a time consuming process and there’s only so many hours in the day.

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

To express things that can’t really be expressed any other way, I guess it is hiding behind abstraction to some degree but for me at least it’s about expressing ideas and feelings that I can’t express in a more direct way.

That’s why I feel the best art is spontaneous, if you’re trying to convey a fleeting idea and it goes through 200 iterations something will inevitably be lost in the process. The first couple of stabs at a song/artpiece is often the best even if it is a bit rough around the edges. I am also aware of the irony of that statement coming from a dude in a band that takes over three years to release an album.

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

In the spirit of setting attainable goals I’m looking forward to getting off work and goofing around with my dog.



Signo Rojo, There Was a Hole Here (2023)

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Majestic Mountain Records Festival Oslo to Be Held Dec. 1-3; Lineup Re-Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 15th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Usually for a fest lineup, I post one band’s player at the bottom of the post. Usually it’s a headliner, sometimes it’s a newer band on purpose, sometimes it’s just someone I check out who I haven’t heard before, etc. There are three players at the bottom of this post, and that’s probably too few. Take it as a sign of the uncommonly packed bill of Majestic Mountain Fest Oslo and the quality both of the work the imprint has been doing and its taste in general. Over the last two years, Majestic Mountain has emerged as a significant contributor to the underground sphere in Europe, especially Northern Europe, with a roster of talent varied in much but united in their ability to connect with their audience. One imagines it will be no different when so many of the label’s acts take the stage at the upcoming three-day festival next month.

This was originally supposed to happen in June, which, hey, sometimes a thing gets pushed back. Cool it’s coming together at all, given the scope of the lineup and the sheer logistics of getting so many schedules to align for three days (plus a pre-show) without the infrastructure of having already done so in the past. That is to say, I expect that if they do another fest like this, it’ll be easier the second time around.

Oh, and if you haven’t actually heard any of those records at the bottom of this post, you’re gonna want to do that.

From social media:

Mmr fest Oslo lineup

MMR FEST OSLO – OH YES.  It’s ON, folks!

Event page: https://facebook.com/events/s/majestic-mountain-fest-oslo/667812601039777/

The time has come, Majestic Crew- After what seems like an eternity of delays and silence, we are finally able to announce the rescheduled details and final lineup for Majestic Mountain Fest // Oslo 2022.

The festival will take place on December 1-3rd at the (in)famous Blitz Hus.

We will have a killer kick-off party on Wednesday 30th of November at our favourite chill spot Brewgata with a live gig and a rad tap takeover from the mighty Nøgne Ø

We will also have a beautiful appearance from a very special guest, Mika Häkki. More details on that to come!

Visit the event page for ticket links!
There has been a bit of shifting to the lineup due to the new logistics so any previously scheduled bands you do not see on this year’s roster will appear in the next edition.

Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and excitement for this event.

Despite the challenges presented to us, we keep charging forward. This festival is truly a labour of love and will be one for the books.

We are absolutely psyched to see you all in Oslo next month and can’t wait to celebrate our incredible roster and you, our fantastic fans!

Majestic Mountain Records is psyched to invite you to the first edition of Majestic Fest Oslo 2022!

When & Where:

Pre-Party Gig & Nøgne-Ø Tap Takeover at Brewgata Oslo
30 November

Festival at Blitz, Oslo
1-3 Decmber

After a challenging year of what seemed like endless delays, we are finally able to let loose and run full steam ahead on a three-day riff fest of gargantuan proportions to commence the 1-3 December at Blitz.

PLUS a killer pre-party gig and tap takeover with the mighty Nøgne-Ø on Wednesday the 30th of November at Brewgata!

This is going to be a very special event with the best community vibes and killer performances by Majestic Mountain Records Roster bands.

We’re also proud to welcome a very special guest, Mika Häkki.

Join us in on the last day of November and the first weekend of December for heavy riffs, mega fuzz and all of the good times!

The MMR crew cannot wait to bang our heads and hang with you in Oslo!

Full day schedule coming next week!

Lineup is as follows:

Kal-El (NO)
Grand Cadaver (SE)
Saint Karloff (NO)
Jointhugger (NO)
Wolves in Haze (SE)
Häxmästaren (SE)
Bogwife (DK)
Void Commander (SE)
Laser Dracul (SE)
Tornet (SE)
Slódder (SE)
Signo Rojo (SE)
Masheena (NO)
Goatriders (SE)
Bismarck (NO)
CB3 (SE)
Satanic Overdrive (SE)
Draken (NO)
Domkraft (SE)


Kal-El, Dark Majesty (2021)

CB3, Exploration (2022)

Domkraft, Seeds (2021)

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Signo Rojo Sign to Majestic Mountain; Announce There Was a Hole Here

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Currently on a tear that’s seeing them build an ever more diverse sounding roster of acts from around the Europe and North America, Sweden’s Majestic Mountain Records has snagged countryman atmospheric sludge rockers Signo Rojo for the release of what’s listed as their third album. Their first, Svårfödd, was issued in 2017, and they had the three-songer streaming below in 2019. I wonder if I’m missing something else.

Second or third LP, the band first came to attention in 2011 with some demo tracks (discussed here) on the social media of the day, but by the time they got to their first record their sound had of course evolved a good deal, and I’m curious to hear how they’ve progressed since then. They join an international roster on Majestic Mountain that’s quickly becoming something of a passion-driven powerhouse, which if you know anything about record labels or art in general, is the kind of powerhouse you want to be.

Low on insight as regards the new album, There Was a Hole Here, as I haven’t heard it, but there’s plenty of time. First single hits at the end of next month.

From MMR‘s social media:

signo rojo

SIGNO ROJO – ‘There Was a Hole Here’ – Majestic Mountain Records

We bring you an awesome signing announcement that we’ve been stoked to get out to you for a bit now and it’s time to reveal!

Please welcome Signo Rojo to the Majestic Crew.

From Blekinge, Sweden, Signo Rojo has been pounding away at melodically weighty, hardcore-tinged, sludgy beastliness since 2009 and refining a brawny and alarmingly seamless stylistic blend between crusty punk crunch, beautiful post-metal interludes and introspective, atmospheric doom from the classically crawling dirge to the more proggy rock spectrum. Do not let the wide blend of referential inspirations fool you, this is a band with a very direct and singular message, vision, and approach. One of dynamic evolution, expressive depth, and distinct quality.

Signo Rojo’s commitment to their craft is second to none and the product of their hard work bleeds crushing riffs into atmospheric down-tempo southern sludge which seems almost eerily organic as it does apocalyptically ruinous.

“Signo Rojo are proud and excited to be part of the Majestic Mountain family and to give our labour of love “There was a hole here” a proper release. After 12 years of fiercely independent work Majestic Mountain is the perfect home for Signo Rojo’s highly singular slice of the Swedish underground.”

With two critically acclaimed full-lengths, an ep, a live album and a single under their belts, their third full-length release come to you from Majestic Mountain Records with the full Majestic treatment of course. An absolute kick in the teeth with crushing anthemic delivery, plenty of atmospherics, down tuned riffs layered upon percussive tempos and blasted to bits by commanding vocals. Sure to satisfy fans of the likes of Mastodon, Neurosis, Baroness, High On Fire, Entombed, Martyrdod, Kylesa, Black Tusk and more, Signo Rojo cut their own decisive path through years of independent stomping.

‘Enough Rope’ is the cataclysmic harbinger of the union between Signo Rojo and MMR and is the first single from their upcoming album ‘There Was A Hole Here.’ The band tell us that the song sets the stage for the rest of the album both lyrically and musically.

‘The lyrics tackle the feelings of disenchantment and disconnect one is faced with when growing up and being gradually forced to set aside more and more ideals and beliefs in exchange for a functioning place in society. That schizophrenic feeling of finding oneself being forced to contribute to the very system that consumes the world to be able to pay rent.’

The single and accompanying video will premiere at the end of July so keep your eyes out for that with information regarding the presale to follow. We can’t wait to get this album out to the world and are truly stoked to welcome Signo Rojo to the roster.

If you’re attending Gefle Metal Festival, you can catch them live on The Gas Stage, Saturday at 22:00!

Give the band a follow on the socials and prepare for Signo Rojo to bring the carnage!


Signo Rojo, End of Tether (2019)

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Signo Rojo Set Nov. 24 Release for Debut Album Svårfödd

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Just to give you a little bit of context, the last time Swedish post-metallers Signo Rojo were discussed around these parts, the first link I provided was to hear their demo tracks posted on their MySpace page. That was 2011, so yeah, it’s safe to say that the four-piece’s impending debut album, Svårfödd, has been a while in the making. Sure enough, the group has a story to tell when it comes to putting the record together, the process thereof, and it would seem to involve unusable recordings, moving back and forth, folding labels, sexually transmitted diseases, and a host of other struggles. In the end, they’re putting the collection out themselves, and they’ve started work on a follow-up. One hopes the making of that will be smoother, for their sake if no one else’s.

The PR wire recounts the tale:

signo rojo

Signo Rojo announce new album!

“Svårfödd” is the quick DIY- album that ended up being a 4-year struggle that almost ended one of Sweden’s most promising heavy acts.

In late 2013 Swedish sludgemetal band SIGNO ROJO started to record a full length album of some of the material they had been sharpening in their live-set since releasing their first two EP’s. With a short deadline set they entered the studio in december of that year.

From there on everything went wrong.

Technical difficulties, mental health issues, malfunctioning amplifiers and a tight schedule meant that almost the entire session had to be scrapped.

Not daunted by the setback the band splurged what little money they had on a in-house setup to finish the recordings in their rehearsal space. An arduous process that added a few months to an already stretched schedule.

At the same time vocalist/bassist Jonas had to move city, and record all the vocals by himself in a different studio. When finishing up the last vocal tracks the studio experienced a hardware malfunction that rendered all the tracks useless.

Jonas ended up moving back again, re-recording the vocals in the in-house studio. The end result was better, bitter and way more pissed. With all the elements on tape it would seem that the hard work was all over and was about to pay off. This was late September 2015…

Now, 4 years later, after battling drug induced procrastination, bad mixes and a particularly bad case of gonorrhea the album is finally done, finished and ready for release. Or, well. It would be, if the first and second label SIGNO ROJO was signed to release on haden’t folded during sisyphean recording process…

With a fist full of middle fingers the band decided to just release the fucking thing – as they’re already in the process of recording the next EP (coming Q2 2018) – for free.

The album is available on the 24th of November at Bandcamp, Spotify and your local torrent site.

Signo Rojo is:
Jonas – Vocals and Bass
Elias – Guitar
Ola – Guitar
Pontus – Drums


Signo Rojo, Svårfödd album teaser

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On the Radar: Signo Rojo

Posted in On the Radar on February 8th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for Swedish heaviness. When the dudes of post-sludge outfit Signo Rojo reached out with their sonically crushing demo material (streaming on their MySpace), I was bound to pay attention. The band, which formed in 2009 in Blekinge and is a double-guitar four-piece with bassist Jonas Nilsson — not to be confused with Johannes Nilsson of countrymen fuzz-rockers Asteroid — handling vocals, specialize in a kind of angular ambience. “Lashing the Hellespont,” for example, owes its central riff to Remission-era Mastodon, but “These Machines Used to Kill” takes an early/mid-period Neurosis approach, especially in Nilsson‘s vocal cadence, updating the sound without falling prey to the Isis-isms that have all but flattened post-metal creatively in the last couple years.

Their longer songs, the seven-minute “The Calling” and 8:43 “The Apotheosis,” tend to meander and lose a sense of themselves structurally, but at least in the case of the latter, Signo Rojo rein their wanderings back in for a genuine payoff. Cuts like the shorter “Dying Sun” and ultra-sludgy “The Beast Beneath” are tighter in terms of arrangement, though Nilsson‘s vocals are high in the mix, rising above his own bass, the guitars of Hampus Henningsson and Elias Mellberg and Pontus Svensson‘s drums in a standout kind of way. Nilsson is a more than capable growler, but for what Signo Rojo are playing, it should really be the guitars in the lead to play up the atmospherics. That’s why we have demos.

There are plenty of heads out there — I count myself among them — tired of the post-metal wave, but Signo Rojo‘s more varied crunch is still worth the negligible time it takes to listen (be it on MySpace, Facebook or ReverbNation), and to that end, here’s their video for the song “The Calling”:

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