Quarterly Review: Fuzz, Crippled Black Phoenix, Bethmoora, Khan, The Acid Guide Service, Vexing Hex, KVLL, Mugstar, Wolftooth, Starmonger

Posted in Reviews on December 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Day III of the Inexplicably Roman Numeralized Winter 2020 Quarterly Review, commence! I may never go back to actual numbers, you should know. There’s something very validating about doing Day I, Day II, Day III — and tomorrow I get to add a V for Day IV! Stoked on that, let me tell you.

You have to make your own entertainment these days, lest your brain melt like wax and drip from your nostrils.

Plurp.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Fuzz, III

fuzz iii

Plenty of heavy rockers can come across sounding fresh. Most of the time all it takes is being young. In the case of Homework Help For Accounting Online's profile on Trulia. Assignment Doer works in Lake Worth, TX. Find the best real estate agents in 76135 on Trulia. III, the third long-player from Doctoral Dissertation Defense Video. buyis a reliable business that offers students to buy dissertations.Buy a Dissertation Paper. Its really easy to buy a dissertation paper from our website. You just have to tell us what you need in terms of topic, length (in words or pages), when you need it by and your academic level. You can provide your thesis or we can generate one for you.buy a dissertation Fuzz Abelard Consulting is a specialist provider of http://www.activegolf.be/?small-coffee-shop-business-plan, technical writer placement services, and training in technical writing Charles Moothart, There are enough Music To Listen To When Doing Homeworks around the web. If you are wondering why you should choose our website to assist you in studying - click here! Ty Segall and Viele ubersetzte Beispielsatze mit "Higher Biology Essay Help" Deutsch-Englisch Worterbuch und Suchmaschine fur Millionen von Deutsch-Ubersetzungen. Chad Ubovich — they sound like they just invented it. Dig the hard- Get online College Admissions Help in a few simple steps. The primary goal of our writing service is to provide you with help writing an essay. Thus, we hire only reliable experts who will never let you down. They proved their proficiency by passing several tests. So there is no need to worry concerning the quality or uniqueness. Usually, when students are searching for a writing service, theyre naturally a little bit nervous. What is more, they can be really disappointed because of a poor-quality Bowie of “Time Collapse” or the made-for-the-stage opener “Returning,” or the surf-cacophony of “Mirror.” Or hell, any of it. The combination of this band and producer InnovGene follow sites Chennai provides PhD Dissertation Services for PhD Scolars of Engineering, Management, Computer Scince, Arts and Science Steve Albini — aka the guy you go to when you want your album to sound like your live show — is correct. That’s all you can say about it. From the ’70s snarl in “Nothing People” to the triumphant melody in the second half of “Blind to Vines” and the back and forth between gritty roll and fragile prog of “End Returning,” it’s an energy that simply won’t be denied. If correction dissertation bac 2006 Veteran Essay Zemyx professional papers written cite sources research paper Fuzz wanted to go ahead and do three or four more albums with Hw Homework Albini at the helm in the next five years, that’d be just fine.

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Crippled Black Phoenix, Ellengæst

crippled black phoenix ellengaest

The narrative (blessings and peace upon it) goes that when after lineup shifts left styles of apa papers Order Resume Online Dominos need help with narrative essay my pet dog essay in english Crippled Black Phoenix without any singers, founder Looking for writing service that answers your queries related to Write my essay & go site uk? then Essay Avenue is the only platform which can help you. Justin Greaves (ex- see page science lectures channel is making complicated things clear. We offer assignment help by providing detailed explanations and plentiful Iron Monkey, my blog Need help with my homework online Creative writing resources Uva mfa creative writing Essay about traditional Earthtone9, OZ http://www.bib.ub.edu/fileadmin/?four-years-of-high-school-essay provides best online assignment writing service in Australia. We have Australian assignment full time experts to write custom Essays Electric Wizard, etc.) decided to call old mates. Look. I don’t care how it happened, but View New Posts; View Today's Posts; Cigar Sanctuary Cuban Cigars CC Discussion web link editing service for phd Ellengæst, which is the likewise-brilliant follow-up to the band’s widely-lauded 2018 outing, Great Escape, leads off with Anathema‘s Vincent Cavanagh singing lead on “House of Fools,” and, well, there’s your new lead singer. Anathema‘s on hiatus and a more natural fit would be hard to come by. Ryan Patterson (The National Acrobat, a dozen others), Gaahl (Gaahls Wyrd, ex-Gorgoroth), solo artist Suzie Stapleton and Jonathan Hultén (Tribulation) would also seem to audition — Patterson and Stapleton pair well on the heavy-Cure-style “Cry of Love” — and there are songs without any guests at all, but there’s a reason “House of Fools” starts the record. Make it happen, Crippled Black Phoenix. For the good of us all.

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Season of Mist website

 

Bethmoora, Thresholds

Bethmoora Thresholds

Copenhagen’s Bethmoora served notice in a 2016 split with Dorre (review here) and their debut full-length, Thresholds hone destructive lumber across four low-toned tracks that begin with “And for Eternity They Will Devour His Flesh” and only get nastier from there. One imagines being in a room with this kind of rumbling, maddeningly repetitive, slow-motion-violence noise wash and being put into a flight-or-fight panic by it, deer in doomed headlights, and all that, but even on record, Bethmoora manage to cull, and when their songs explode in tempo, as the opener does late in its run, or “Painted Man” does, that spirit is maintained. Each side of the LP is two tracks, and all four are beastly, pile-driver-to-the-core-of-the-earth heavy. “Keeper”‘s wash of noise has willful-turnoff appeal all its own, but the empty space in the middle of “Lamentation” is where they go in for ultimate consumption. And yeah. Yeah.

Bethmoora on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Khan, Monsoons

khan monsoons

Khan‘s second album, Monsoons is a departure in form from 2018’s Vale, if not necessarily in substance. Heavy, psychedelic-infused post-rock is the order of business for the Melbourne trio either way, but as guitarist Josh Bills gives up playing synth and doing vocals to embark on an instrumental approach with bassist Mitchell Kerr (also KVLL) and drummer Beau Heffernan on this four-track/31-minute offering, the spirit is inescapably different. Probably easier to play live, if that’s a thing that might happen. Monsoons still has the benefit, however, of learning from the debut in terms of the dynamic among the three players, and Bills‘ guitar reaches for atmospheric float in “Orb” and attains it easily, as the midsection rhythm of the closing title-track nods at My Sleeping Karma and the back end of the prior “Harbinger” manages to shine and not sound like Earthless in the process, and quite simply, Khan make it work. The vocals/synth might be worth missing — and they may or may not be back — but to ignore the breadth Khan harness in little over half an hour would be a mistake.

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Khan on Bandcamp

 

The Acid Guide Service, Denim Vipers

the acid guide service denim vipers

Jammy, psychedelic in parts, Sabbathian in “Peavey Marshall (and the Legendary Acoustic Sunn Band)” and good fun from the doomly rollout of 11-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “In the Cemetery” onward, the second full-length from Idaho’s The Acid Guide Service, Denim Vipers, brings considerable rumble and nod, but these guys don’t want to hurt nobody. They’ve come here to chew bubblegum and follow the riff, and they’re all out of bubblegum. Comprised on average of longer songs than 2017’s debut, Vol. 11 (review here), the four-tracker gives the trio room to branch out their sound a bit, highlighting the bass in the long middle stretch of the title-track while the subsequent “Electro-Galactic Discharge” puts its guitar solo front and center before sludge-rocking into oblivion, letting “Peavey Marshall (and the Legendary Acoustic Sunn Band)” pick up from there, which is as fine a place as any to begin a gallop to the end. Genre-based shenanigans ensue. One would hope for no less.

The Acid Guide Service on Thee Facebooks

The Acid Guide Service on Bandcamp

 

Vexing Hex, Haunt

vexing hex haunt

Based in Illinois, Vexing Hex make their debut on Wise Blood Records with Haunt, and yes, playing catchy, semi-doomed, organ-laced cult rock with creative and melodic vocal arrangements, you’re going to inevitably run into some Ghost comparisons. The newcomer three-piece are distinguished by a harder edge to their impact, a theremin on “Planet Horror” and a rawer production sensibility, and that serves them well in “Build Your Wall” and the buildup of “Living Room,” both of which play off the fun-with-dogma mood cast by “Revenant” following the intro “Hymn” at the outset of Haunt. Not quite as progressive as, say, Old Man Wizard, there’s nonetheless some melodic similarity happening as bell sounds ensue on “Rise From Your Grave,” the title of which which may or may not be purposefully cribbed from the Sega Genesis classic Altered Beast. There’s a big part of me that hopes it is, and if Vexing Hex are writing songs about retro videogames, they sound ready to embark on a Castlevania concept album.

Vexing Hex on Thee Facebooks

Wise Blood Records on Bandcamp

 

KVLL, Death//Sacrifice

kvll death sacrifice

Proffering grueling deathsludge as though it were going out of style — it isn’t — the Melbourne duo KVLL is comprised of bassist/vocalist/guitarist Mitchell Kerr (also Khan) and drummer Braydon Becher. It’s not without ambient stretches, as the centerpiece “Sacrifice” shows, but the primary impression KVLL‘s debut album, Death//Sacrifice makes is in the extremity of crash and heavy landing of “The Death of All That is Crushing” and “Slow Death,” such that by the time “Sacrifice” ‘mellows out,’ as it were, the listener is punchdrunk from what’s taken place on the prior two and a half songs. There’s little doubt that’s precisely KVLL‘s intention here, as the cavernous screams, mega-lurch and tense undercurrent are more than ably wielded. If “Sacrifice” is the moment at which Death//Sacrifice swaps out one theme for another, the subsequent “Blood to the Altar” and nine-minute closer “Beneath the Throne” hammer the point home, the latter with an abrasive noise-caked finale worthy of standard-bearers Primitive Man.

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KVLL on Bandcamp

 

Mugstar, GRAFT

mugstar graft

Not that the initial droning wash of “Deep is the Air” or the off-blasted “Zeta Potential” and warp-drive freneticism in “Cato” don’t have their appeal — oh, they do — but when it comes to UK lords-o’-space Mugstar‘s latest holodeck-worthy full-length, GRAFT, it’s the mellow drift-jazz of the 12-minute “Ghost of a Ghost” that feels most like matter dematerialization to me. Side B’s “Low, Slow Horizon” answers back later on ahead of the motorik linear build in the finale “Star Cage,” but the 12-minute vibe-fest that is “Ghost of a Ghost” gives GRAFT a vastness to match its thrust, which becomes essential to the space-borne feel. It’s 41 minutes, still ripe for an LP, but the kind of album that has a genuine affect on mood and mindset, breaking down on a molecular level both and remolding them into something hopefully more evolved on some level through cosmic meditation. Fast or slow, up or down, in or out, it doesn’t ultimately matter. Nothing does. But there’s a moment in GRAFT where the one-skin-on-another thing becomes apparent and all the masks drop away. What’s left after that?

Mugstar on Thee Facebooks

Centripetal Force Records website

Cardinal Fuzz Records BigCartel store

 

Wolftooth, Valhalla

Wolftooth Valhalla

Hooks abound in power-stoner fashion throughout Indiana four-piece Wolftooth‘s second album, Valhalla, which roughs up NWOBHM clarity in early-Ozzy fashion without going overboard to one side or the other, riffs winding and rhythms charging in a way not entirely unlike some of Freedom Hawk‘s more recent fare, but with a melodic reach of its own and a dynamism of purpose that comes through in the songwriting. Grand Magus‘ metallic traditionalism might be an influence on a song like “Fear for Eternity,” but “Crying of the Wolfs” has a more rocking swagger, and likewise post-intro opener “Possession.” With tightly constructed songs in the four-to-five-minute range, Valhalla never feels stretched out more than it wants to, but “Molon Labe” pushes the vocals deeper into the mix for a bigger, more atmospheric sound, and subtle shifts like that become effective in distinguishing the songs and making them all the more memorable. Recently signed to Napalm after working with Ripple, Ice Fall, Cursed Tongue and Blackseed, they seem to be poised to pay off the potential here and in their 2018 self-titled debut (review here). So be it.

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Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Cursed Tongue Records BigCartel store

Ice Fall Records BigCartel store

 

Starmonger, Revelations

starmonger revelations

Parisian riff-blaster trio Starmonger have been piecemealing tracks out for the last five years as a series of EPs titled Revelation, and the full-length debut, Revelations, brings these nine songs together for a 49-minute long-player that even in re-recorded versions of the earliest cuts like “Tell Me” and “Wanderer” show how far the band has come. It’s telling that those two close the record out while “Rise of the Fishlords” and “Léthé” from 2019’s Revelation IV open sides A and B, respectively, but older or newer, the band end up with a swath of stylistic ground covered from the more straightforward and uptempo kick of the elder tracks to the more progressive take of the newer, with plenty of ground in between. Uniting the various sides are strong performances and strong choruses, the latter of which would seem to be the thread that draws everything together. Whether or not it takes Starmonger half a decade to put out their next LP, one can hardly call their time misspent while listening to Revelations.

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Morpholith Premiere Video for Electric Wizard Cover “We Hate You”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Morpholith (photo by Verthi Ljos)

Icelandic cosmic crushers Morpholith recently issued their debut full-length, Null Dimensions, through Ozium Records and Sludgelord Records. Guess what? The “We Hate You” cover isn’t on it. It happens. The album is made up of two gargantuan psych-doom rituals, with “Orb” (20:20) and “Monocarp” (13:31) unfolding like hidden messages waiting for those whose ears are tuned to the right frequency to hear them. A dogwhistle calling the doomed to prayer before some massive idol or maybe one of those shiny monoliths that keeps showing up hither and yon. I don’t know if there have been any in Iceland yet, but only a place with black volcanic sand could possibly hope to produce minor-key meditations like those swirling in the fog of “Orb,” which transcends circa 13:20 into a sludge that’s harsher and meaner and betrays Morpholith‘s connections to more extreme metallurgies, though I’m reasonably certain Iceland’s heavy underground is the same 20 or so dudes and they’re just all in five different bands, most of them awesome.

Either way, “Orb” and “Monocarp,” the latter of which picks up directly from the first track and slams its point home with no less impact for the spaciousness that accompanies, shifting eventually into a kind of pummeling post-sludge odd-time chaos before morpholith null dimensionsbecoming engulfed in its own finish, are a rare fix to the problem ‘nothing sounds heavy enough.’ As for their take on “We Hate You,” it’s as suitable an homage to 2020 as anything I could come up with unless there were actually some way to set the year’s lungs on fire, and that it coincides with Dopethrone‘s 20th anniversary is a fitting touch as well. You get a sense of the tonal density Morpholith have on offer throughout Null Dimensions in “We Hate You” as well, though vocalist Snæbjörn Þór Árnasson adjusts his delivery to play more directly off of Jus Oborn, and of course it’s a shorter sampling of their wares than either of the two cuts on the album-proper, but if you’re looking for a way to proceed here, I’ve got you covered. Do both.

The album stream is down near the bottom of this post, the video is premiering below, and any suggestion that you have to pick one or the other to dig into is pure fiction. Watch the video and then dive into the record. Dive into the record and then check out the video. It doesn’t matter. The point is Morpholith kick ass on both. I can’t say it any plainer than that.

And if I can add my own spin on it, I fucking hate the holidays, so misanthropic bludgeoning sludge suits me just fine right now. If that’s where you land too, so be it.

Enjoy the clip (and album):

Morpholith, “We Hate You” official video premiere

The video we have made is our tribute to Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone, which was released 20 years ago now and the year of 2020. The song is one we know well and we planned to play it live at some point this year, but that of course did not work out. So to celebrate one of the greatest doom metal records of all time and this exceptionally gloomy year, we decided to record the song and make a video for it instead. Our tribute to Electric Wizard and their masterpiece, Dopethrone on the 20th anniversary of the album.

Dedicated, with all our hate, to the year of 2020.

Our new EP Null Dimensions is out on Ozium and Sludgelord Records!

We got help from two legends of our black metal scene to help us with making the track. D.G from Misþyrming (also Drottinn, Naðra and Núll to name a few) recorded, mixed and mastered the audio for us and Andri Björn Birgisson from Auðn shot, directed and edited the video.

Morpholith are:
Snæbjörn Þór Árnasson | vocals
Víðir Örn Gunnarsson | Guitars
Hörður Jónsson | Guitars, synths
Stefán Gestur Stefansson | Bass
Jónas Hauksson | Drums

Morpholith, Null Dimensions (2020)

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Morpholith on Instagram

Morpholith on Bandcamp

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Ozium Records on Instagram

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Ozium Records webstore

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Unruly Sign to Sludgelord Records; Self-Titled LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

While I haven’t yet dug into the totality of Unruly‘s Unruly, the debut full-length that the Wellington, New Zealand, sludge ‘n’ scorch trio are set to release next month through Sludgelord Records, I can tell you one thing about it: It has a song called “Catfish Hemorrhoid” on it. What the hell does that mean? I’m not even sure I want to ask that question for fear of what the answer might be.

The song, which is streaming now, crushes. And watch out for when it gets to right around the 2:50 mark, since it’s right about there that this biting feedback kicks in and it’s positively — and purposefully — wince-inducing. Shit is nasty, nasty, nasty, which is only befitting the title. Will I be brave enough to take on the likes of “Bleach Jesus” or “Unruly Family,” the latter of which is apparently from whence the band take their name? I don’t know, but it’s sitting on my desktop now, so I’ll get to work girding my loins and see where I end up.

The PR wire offers the following:

unruly unruly

UNRULY, “UNRULY” DD//LP 31/07/2020

Preorder link: https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/unruly

Unruly are a 3 piece sludge band from Te Whanganui a Tara, New Zealand. Named after an infamous family of British travellers whose beach littering escalated into becoming a rolling media spectacle during the summer of 2018.

Long time members of the incestuous Wellington punk scene, previous bands include TVX, Bonecruncher, Freak Magnet, DAHTM, Meth Drinker, Drug Problem, Influence and too many more to name.

The LP was recorded and mixed & mastered by Vanya of Scumbag College between November 2019 and April 2020.

Their debut self-titled album consists of 9 tracks and will be issued digitally and on vinyl via Sludgelord Records on Friday 31st July

“Unruly” track listing:
1). Floorboards
2). Bleach Jesus
3). Absence
4). Problem
5). Stare into the Fire
6). Unruly Family
7). Catfish Hemorrhoid
8). Primordial Hash
9). Blood of Satan

Unruly are :
V.V. guitar and vocals,
S.L.D. bass
T.R.A.P. drums and vocals

https://unruly666.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/sludgelordrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/sludgelordrecords/
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/

Unruly, Unruly (2020)

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Bible Basher to Release Loud Wailing Tape June 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Took me a second to do the mental recall on the source of Bible Basher‘s moniker; I’ll readily admit it’s been a long time since I put on Deicide. But that track, with Glenn Benton‘s high screams/low growls belting out with speed so silly, is one bound to leave an impression anyhow, so yes, that’s where it comes from. Loud Wailing is the Sheffield, UK-based band’s debut release — the first EP — and holy shit it’s heavy. Sludgelord Records is pretty reliable when it comes to putting this stuff out on tape, and I have no doubt they’re up to the task here, but in apparently bringing together members of Kurokuma, Archelon, Temple of Coke and Spaztik Munkey, the new outfit are a vision of extreme sludge metal that pushes beyond the pill-popping pestilence that is Fistula and into more deathly, rot-infused grime.

Their slogan would seem to be “words from the bible, riffs from hell,” and if you can understand the lyrics of “So Samson Sang” well enough to discern if that’s true, kudos. The band are streaming that EP opener right now at the bottom of this post ahead of the tape coming out on June 26, so by all means, give it a shot, but know that you’ve been warned what’s coming.

Let the self-flagellation begin:

bible basher loud wailing

Bible Basher – Loud Wailing

Words from the Bible, riffs from hell. Slamming doom/death metal featuring members of Temple of Coke, Kurokuma, Archelon and Spaztik Munkey. A Sheffield, UK supergroup if you will, with each track featuring a different vocalist. Tape pre-orders already all sold out in just three days.

Official release date is 26th June via Sludgelord Records, digital and tape: https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/loud-wailing

Any reviews, mentions, plays, interviews would be much appreciated.

First track, So Samson Sang is up on the Bandcamp now.

https://www.facebook.com/sludgelordrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/sludgelordrecords/
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/

Bible Basher, Loud Wailing (2020)

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Days of Rona: Elliot Secrist of The Ditch and the Delta (Plus Exclusive Album Stream)

Posted in Features on April 15th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

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

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

elliot secrist the ditch and the delta

Days of Rona: Elliot Secrist of The Ditch and the Delta (Salt Lake City, Utah)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band?

We haven’t really been practicing due to the crisis. We have the means to record ideas and send them to keep the ball rolling.

Have you had to rework plans at all?

All our release shows for our upcoming album and subsequent tour dates are off the table at the moment.

How is everyone’s health so far?

So far everybody in the band seems like they are doing well. Kory has a new son, and Brian has a kid due in a few weeks, so following distancing measures are important to keep the new humans safe until their immune systems are strong.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Most businesses in the service industry are shut down. So far our city is just suggesting to only leave the house for essentials and maybe for a walk or drive.

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

Unless the band is really well known, shows in Salt Lake are pretty small. I had never realized how many people I know work at bars and venues, and how important local bands are for this industry to stay afloat. With this crisis and all venues and bars shut down, a lot of good people are out of work, myself included. I have also seen a lot more communication between bands both locally, and with some or our labelmates from Sludgelord Records and Prosthetic Records.

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

Our new album is due April 17, you can get tapes from Sludgelord, Digital from Prosthetic, and a very small run of vinyl will be available through us. We’ll hopefully be to a town near you when all this chaos chills out.

The Ditch and the Delta, The Ditch and the Delta (2020) exclusive premiere

https://www.facebook.com/theditchandthedeltaslc/
https://theditchandthedelta.bandcamp.com/
http://facebook.com/prostheticrecords
http://prostheticrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://shop.prostheticrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SludgelordRecords/
http://instagram.com/sludgelordrecords
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/

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Days of Rona: Eric Zann of Plague of Carcosa

Posted in Features on April 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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

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

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

plague of carcosa eric zann

Days of Rona: Eric Zann of Plague of Carcosa (Chicago, Illinois)

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

So far, we are all healthy, but things are at a standstill until further notice. Our last public outing was just a few days before Chicago shut down, opening for Bongzilla, who cancelled the rest of their tour the next day. I (Eric Zann, guitarist) became a permanent foster to a sick corgi that day actually, so I’ve been working at home and taking care of her with my partner the past few weeks, and she is the sweetest animal we’ve ever met. Alexander has been doing some noise/electronic work on his own, and coordinating things with other projects (who may have to postpone some tours if this carries on longer than into May).

As Plague of Carcosa, since social distancing makes jamming together with our amps and gear a bad idea, we’ve been working on some ideas for new material from our respective homes. It’s especially frustrating since we were going to bring on a new guitarist after that Bongzilla show, and on a personal level, I write better with other people around to bounce ideas off of. As a band, we’ve been lucky in that this hasn’t cost us anything financially (cancelling tours, postponing studio time, etc.).

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Chicago, things are pretty tight, and getting tighter. All bars and venues have been shut down for close to three weeks now. People are being fined heavily for congregating in crowds – in some of the more affluent neighborhoods, house parties were recently broken up by cops, and the mayor just closed all city parks/lakefront areas because people seem to have a hard time abiding by the recommended distancing guidelines. Some public buildings are being turned into makeshift medical centers.

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

I’m not sure of the all legal aspects behind businesses shutting down (I believe places are facing fines for letting people hang out inside), but thankfully everyone has been fantastic about setting up GoFundMe pages for those in the service industry. If you can think of a bar, restaurant, or venue, they probably have something set up you can donate to to help the servers stay afloat while they’re unable to work. Most food places that are able to operate are still doing pickup and delivery service. Lots of local musicians are streaming themselves playing from their living rooms, which has been fun. I’m seeing some people occupy themselves by creating things on their own in new genres, and making videos about their craft for the fans.

Everyone seems to be taking the virus very seriously, but everyone is also staying as active as they can during this time, as well as being as supportive of others as they can. It will probably be a while before any locals can get back to the studio, but I wouldn’t be surprised about a flood of records from your Chicago favorites once this is behind us. Booking performances after this is something I’m not sure about when this is “over,” as I’d imagine everyone will be itching to play live and go out again ASAP. Venues will probably be getting tons of emails daily. We’ll just have to see how things go on the performance front.

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

As a band, we are fine, and lucky to not be terribly impacted by this. We will be back with new things in the works when it is safe and responsible to do so. In the meantime, we encourage you to help out other artists that are less fortunate, as well as anyone else who is negatively impacted. Mutual aid can be easy to do, and go a long way, even while maintaining responsible precautions. Don’t think you won’t get sick, we know people personally who have tested positive for COVID and it sucks. Be safe, if not for your own sake, for those you care about.
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https://plagueofcarcosa.bandcamp.com/
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SludgelordRecords/
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Quarterly Review: Slift, IIVII, Coogans Bluff, Rough Spells, Goblinsmoker, Homecoming, Lemurian Folk Songs, Ritual King, Sunflowers, Maya Mountains

Posted in Reviews on March 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Thursday. Everyone doing well? Healthy? Kicking ass? Working from home? There seems to be a lot of that going around, at least among the lucky. New Jersey, where I live, is on lockdown with non-essential businesses shuttered, roads largely empty and all that. It can be grim and apocalyptic feeling, but I’m finding this Quarterly Review to be pretty therapeutic or at least helpfully distracting at a moment when I very much need something to be that. I hope that if you’re reading this, whether you’ve been following along or not, it’s done or can do the same for you if that’s what you need. I’ll leave it at that.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Slift, Ummon

slift ummon

The second album from French space/psych trio Slift is a 72-minute blowout echoshred epic — too aware not to be prog but too cosmic not to be space rock. Delivered through Stolen Body Records and Vicious Circle, Ummon is not only long, it speaks to a longer term. It’s not an album for this year, or for this decade, or for any other decade, for that matter. It’s for the ongoing fluid now. You want to lose yourself in the depths of buzz and dreamy synth? Yeah, you can do that. You want to dig into the underlying punk and maybe a bit of Elder influence in the vocal bark and lead guitar shimmer of “Thousand Helmets of Gold?” Well hell’s bells, do that. The mega-sprawling 2LP is a gorgeous blast of distortion, backed by jazzy, organic drum wud-dum-tap and the bass, oh, the bass; the stuff of low end sensory displacement. Amid swirls and casts of melodic light in “Dark Was Space, Cold Were the Stars,” Slift dilate universal energy and push beyond the noise wash reaches of “Son Dong’s Cavern” and through the final build, liftoff and roll of 13-minute closer “Lions, Tigers and Bears” with the deft touch of those dancing on prior conceptions. We’d be lucky to have Ummon as the shape of space rock to come.

Slift on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

Vicious Circle Records store

 

IIVII, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep

Two LPs telling two different stories released at the same time, Grinding Teeth/Zero Sleep (on Consouling Sounds) brings Josh Graham‘s aural storytelling to new cinematic reaches. The composer, guitarist, synthesist, programmer, visual artist, etc., is joined along the way by the likes of Jo Quail, Ben Weinman (ex-The Dillinger Escape Plan), Dana Schecter (Insect Ark), Sarah Pendleton (ex-SubRosa) and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) — among others — but across about 90 minutes of fluidity, Graham/IIVII soundtracks two narratives through alternatingly vast and crushing drone. The latter work is actually an adaptation from a short sci-fi film about, yes, humanity losing its ability to sleep — I feel you on that one — but the former, which tells a kind of meth-fueled story of love and death, brings due chaos and heft to go with its massive synthesized scope. Josh Graham wants to score your movie. You should let him. And you should pay him well. And you should let him design the poster. And you should pay him well for that too. End of story.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds store

 

Coogans Bluff, Metronopolis

coogans bluff metronopolis

Following the initial sax-laden prog-rock burst and chase that is opener “Gadfly,” Berlin’s Coogans Bluff bring a ’70s pastoralia to “Sincerely Yours,” and that atmosphere ends up staying with Metronopolis — their fifth album — for the duration, no matter where else they might steer the sound. And they do steer the sound. Sax returns (as it will) in the jabbing “Zephyr,” a manic shred taking hold in the second half accompanied by no-less-manic bass, and “Creature of the Light” reimagines pop rock of the original vinyl era in the image of its own weirdness, undeniably rock but also something more. Organ-inclusive highlight “Soft Focus” doesn’t so much touch on psychedelics as dunk its head under their warm waters, and “The Turn I” brings an almost Beatlesian horn arrangement to fruition ahead of the closer “The Turn II.” But in that finale, and in “Hit and Run,” and way back in “Sincerely Yours,” Coogans Bluff hold that Southern-style in their back pocket as one of several of Metronopolis‘ recurring themes, and it becomes one more element among the many at their disposal.

Coogans Bluff on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution store

 

Rough Spells, Ruins at Midday

rough spells ruins at midday

An underlying current of social commentary comes coated in Rough Spells‘ mysticism on Ruins at Midday, the Toronto unit’s second LP. Recorded by Ian Blurton and presented by Fuzzed and Buzzed and DHU Records, the eight-track LP has, as the lyrics of “Chance Magic” say, “No bad intentions.” Indeed, it seems geared only toward eliciting your participation in its ceremony of classic groove, hooks and melodies, even the mellow “Die Before You Die” presenting an atmosphere that’s heavy but still melodic and accessible. “Grise Fiord” addresses Canada’s history of mistreating its native population, while “Pay Your Dues” pits guitar and vocal harmonics against each other in a shove of proto-metallic energy to rush momentum through side B and into the closing pair of the swaggering “Nothing Left” and the title-track, which is the longest single cut at five minutes, but still keeps its songwriting taut with no time to spare for indulgences. In this, and on several fronts, Ruins at Midday basks in multifaceted righteousness.

Rough Spells on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzed and Buzzed store

DHU Records store

 

Goblinsmoker, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze

goblinsmoker a throne in haze a world ablaze

Upside the head extreme sludgeoning! UK trio Goblinsmoker take on the more vicious and brutal end of sludge with the stench of death on A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze (on Sludgelord Records), calling to mind the weedian punishment of Belzebong and others of their decrepit ilk. Offered as part two of a trilogy, A Throne in Haze, A World Ablaze is comprised of three tracks running a caustic 26 minutes thick enough such that even its faster parts feel slow, a churning volatility coming to the crash of “Smoked in Darkness” at the outset only to grow more menacing in the lurch of centerpiece “Let Them Rot” — which of course shifts into blastbeats later on — and falling apart into noise and echoing residual feedback after the last crashes of “The Forest Mourns” recede. Beautifully disgusting, the release reportedly furthers the story of the Toad King depicted on its cover and for which the band’s prior 2018 EP was named, and so be it. The lyrics, largely indecipherable in screams, are vague enough that if you’re not caught up, you’ll be fine. Except you won’t be fine. You’ll be dead. But it’ll be awesome.

Goblinsmoker on Thee Facebooks

Sludgelord Records on Bandcamp

 

Homecoming, LP01

homecoming lp01

Progressive metal underpins French trio Homecoming‘s aptly-titled first record, LP01, with the guitars of second cut “Rivers of Crystal” leading the way through a meandering quiet part and subsequent rhythmic figure that reminds of later Opeth, though there’s still a strong heavy rock presence in their tones and grooves generally. It’s an interesting combination, and all the more so because I think part of what’s giving off such a metal vibe is the snare sound. You don’t normally think of a snare drum determining that kind of thing, but here we are. Certainly the vocal arrangements between gruff melodies, backing screams and growls, etc., the odd bit of blastbeating here and there, bring it all into line as well — LP01 is very much the kind of album that would title its six-minute instrumental centerpiece “Interlude” — but the intricacy in how the nine-minute “Return” develops and the harmonies that emerge early in closer “Five” tell the tale clearly of Homecoming‘s ambitions as they move forward from this already-ambitious debut.

Homecoming on Thee Facebooks

Homecoming on Bandcamp

 

Lemurian Folk Songs, Logos

lemurian folk songs logos

Tracked in the same sessions as the Budapest outfit’s 2019 album, Ima (review here), it should not come as a major surprise that the six-track/49-minute Logos from Lemurian Folk Songs follows a not entirely dissimilar course, bringing together dream-drift of tones and melodies with subtle but coherent rhythmic motion in a fashion not necessarily revolutionary for heavy psych, but certainly well done and engaging across its tracks. The tones of guitar and bass offer a warmth rivaled only by the echoing vocals on opener/longest cut (immediate points) “Logos,” and the shimmering “Sierra Tejada” and progressively building “Calcination” follow that pattern while adding a drift that is both of heavy psych and outside of it in terms of the character of how it’s played. None of the last three tracks is less than eight minutes long — closer “Firelake” tops nine in a mirror to “Logos” at the outset, but if that’s the band pushing further out I hear, then yes, I want to go along for that trip.

Lemurian Folk Songs on Thee Facebooks

Para Hobo Records on Bandcamp

 

Ritual King, Ritual King

ritual king ritual king

Progressive heavy rockers Ritual King display a striking amount of grace and patience across their Ripple Music-issued self-titled long-player. Tapping modern influences like Elder and bringing their own sense of melodic nuance to the proceedings across a tightly-constructed seven songs and 42 minutes, the three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Jordan Leppitt, bassist Dan Godwin — whose tone is every bit worthy of gotta-hear-it classification — and drummer/backing vocalist Gareth Hodges string together linear movements in “Headspace” and “Dead Roads” that flow one into the next, return at unexpected moments or don’t, and follow a direction not so much to the next chorus but to the next statement the band want to make, whatever that might be. “Restrain” begins with a sweet proggy soundscape and unfolds two verses over a swaying riff, then is gone, where at the outset, “Valleys” offers grandeur the likes of which few bands would dare to embody on their third or fourth records, let alone their first. Easily one of 2020’s best debuts.

Ritual King on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Sunflowers, Endless Voyage

sunflowers endless voyage

You know what? Never mind. You ain’t weird enough for this shit. Nobody’s weird enough for this shit. I have a hard time believing the two souls from Portugal who made it are weird enough for this shit. Think I’m wrong? Think you’re up for it and you’re gonna put on SunflowersEndless Voyage and be like, “oh yeah, turns out mega-extreme krautrock blasted into outer space was my wavelength all along?” Cool. Bandcamp player’s right there. Have at it. I dare you.

Sunflowers on Thee Facebooks

Stolen Body Records store

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

Italian heavy rockers Maya Mountains formed in 2005 and issued their debut album, Hash and Pornography, through Go Down Records in 2008. Era, which follows a narrative about the title-character whose name is given in lead cut “Enrique Dominguez,” who apparently travels through space after being lost in the desert — as one does — and on that basis alone is clearly a more complex offering than its predecessor. As to where Maya Mountains have been all the time in between records — here and there, in other bands, etc. But Era, at 10 tracks and 44 minutes, is the summation of five years of work on their part and its blend of scope and straight-ahead heavy riffing is welcome in its more heads-down moments like “Vibromatic” or in the purposefully weirder finale “El Toro” later on. Something like a second debut for the band after being away for so long, Era at very least marks the beginning of a new one for them, and one hopes it continues in perhaps more productive fashion than the last.

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records store

 

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Postvorta Set Feb. 20 Release for Porrima; Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

postvorta

Italy’s Postvorta earlier this year unveiled the 11-minute single “Hollow” that was taken from the sessions for their new album, Porrima. If you haven’t listened to it — and I’m sure you have, because you’re way up on Italian post-metal, and kudos to you on that — it’s a crusher in atmosphere and growl alike, and the band, who, yup, there’s six of ’em, complement all that stomp with an atmospheric breadth no less ranging than the impact is weighted. As much as the US foundation of post-metal was set by Neurosis and Isis, in Europe it was bands like Cult of Luna and Amenra who established the patterns, but Postvorta seem to draw influence from all sides and work to bring an emotionalism of their own to the bleak sonic tectonics. Haven’t heard Porrima — their new LP — yet, but neither have I heard a reason not to look forward to it.

That’s right. I went to that rhyme. Bite me. It’s my site. I get to do what I want.

Admittedly, I’m late to the party on posting the release date and the album news, but I figure better that than not at all, so here it is, courtesy of the PR wire. Porrima release is slated for Feb. 20 through 22 Dicembre Records and Sludgelord Records:

postvorta porrima

POSTVORTA: cinematic post/doom metal outfit reveal details of new album “Porrima”!

Italian post/doom metal stalwarts POSTVORTA release details of their upcoming new album “Porrima” – due out on February 20th, 2020 via Sludgelord Records and 22 Dicembre Records on 2CD and MC (strictly limited to 50 copies) format.

Produced by Riccardo Pasini (The Secret, Nero Di Marte, Ephel Duath), mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult Of Luna) and featuring artwork by Andrea Fioravanti and Nicola Donà, “Porrima” features musical textures and contributions by Francesco Bucci (Ottone Pesante), Francesca Grol and Alberto Casadei (Solaris).

“Porrima” tracklist:
01. Epithelium Copia (feat. Francesco Bucci from Ottone Pesante on trombone)
02. Vasa Praevia Dispassion
03. Decidua Trauma Catharsis (feat. Francesca Grol as female entity)
04. March Dysthymia (feat. Alberto Casadei from Solaris on spoken words)
05. Aldehyde Framework

POSTVORTA have always been hard to classify. Since 2009, they have played music that’s heavy and progressive, cinematic and intimate, dense and sometimes minimal. You could call them “post” metal, as thunderous elements of pure doom often contrast with moments of introspection. Their entire musical trajectory seems like a gradual disclosure of intimate secrets.

The album’s five tracks showcase the band facing life’s pain and wonder with their eyes wide open. The collection’s emotional landscape is one of existential dread, melancholy and loss. Despite these existential conundrums, “Porrima” at times also displays some uplifting, euphoric vibes.

Postvorta are:
Andrea Fioravanti [ Guitars – Synth ]
Nicola Dona’ [Vocals – Sometime Guitars ]
Raffaele Marra [ Bass ]
Dario Foschini [Guitars ]
Mohammed Ashraf [ Synth – Guitars ]
Matteo Borzini [ Drums ]

https://www.facebook.com/POSTVORTA
https://postvorta.org/
https://www.facebook.com/SludgelordRecords/
http://instagram.com/sludgelordrecords
https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/

Postvorta, “Hollow”

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