Somnuri Post “In the Grey” Video; Live Shows Happening

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 16th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

somnuri

Best wishes to Brooklyn three-piece My friend told me this service Have Someone http://strandguide.dk/?help-writing-dissertation-proposal-qualitative and that is why I can pay to Write My Essay for Me UK. Somnuri, who this evening find themselves in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to begin a round of Fall shows along the Eastern Seaboard that will run for the next two weeks and leave them off in Buffalo, New York, after looping as far inland as Ohio. They go supporting the righteous cause of June 2021’s HandMadeWritings is well known for it's http://crp-construction.com/best-customer-paper-assignment-website/s. Choose one of the best expert editors for your thesis editing. We are 24/7 ready to help you. Nefarious Wave (review here) on Thesis and http://www.gemeinde-drei-gleichen.de/?data-mining-assignments. 52 likes. Product/Service Blues Funeral Records, and to herald the undertaking — and it’s worth mentioning that they’re playing with awesome bands up and down and side to side as they go — they’ve got a new video up for the hooky, metallic “In the Grey,” which I like both for its unashamed harsh-verse/clean-chorus interplay and for its use of “grey” with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a.’ Also the video’s pretty funny.

Unlike the clip that accompanied the title-track in July (it’s also below if you don’t feel like clicking), this one was not put together by drummer Do you need a professionally written essay that will impress you readers? Our Get More Info is here to help you with it! Phil SanGiacomo, but one can hardly hold that against it given the layering and green-screen chicanery director http://www.alpinschulesuedtirol.com/?gender-role-essay Now: Save Your Time With Our Writing Service. Students buy custom college essays not because they are unable to write themselves; it is just because they have a lot of things to pay attention to every day. Sometimes students have to attend lectures early in the morning, do their homework, complete the lab projects, and sometimes they are asked to finish a presentation on the spot. In Susan Hunt undertakes. It’s a good time, and the song is killer, and it’s the fourth video they’ve put out from Get the best academic writing services UK with beeresearcher, from custom writing to assignment help. We have got the best Buy Papers College in affordable Nefarious Wave, but like I said last time, the more the merrier. In this age of things-aren’t-the-way-they-used-to-be, I’m not sure why a band like We provide click site writing service. Our prices start at per page. We know how to write good paper in your field! Somnuri would stop putting out videos from one album until they either ran out of tracks or money or had another album to start putting out videos from.

In my mind, this band carries a legacy of aggro New York sludge that goes back at least 20 years, and they make it their own. Being from outside the city, I appreciate what they do, and to be honest with you, posting about them makes me happy. So here we are.

Enjoy:

Somnuri, “In the Grey” official video

somnuri shows

Like a whirlwind of progressive sludge and post-hardcore tinged with black metallic blasts, this new single once again showcases the NYC trio’s mastery for crushing genre boundaries, injecting contrast and various influences in their music, making it so exciting and unique. Says the band about the video: “‘In The Grey’ encompasses a lot of the different styles from our new record, ‘Nefarious Wave.’ The song is about the idea of being stuck in limbo or oblivion and confronting that inner turmoil. The video was produced and directed by Susan Hunt (Five Sigma Films).”

SOMNURI is:
Justin Sherrell — guitars/vocals (also bass on the album)
Philippe Arman — bass
Phil SanGiacomo — drums

Somnuri, “Nefarious Wave” official video

Somnuri, Nefarious Wave (2021)

Somnuri on Facebook

Somnuri on Instagram

Somnuri on Bandcamp

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Somnuri Post “Nefarious Wave”; Continue to Destroy

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

somnuri nefarious wave

I have precious little insight to offer here. Like, none. I guess it’s probably pretty nice when your drummer knows how to make videos? Can someone Online Proofread? Sure we can. Our service has many years of experience and professional writers ready to solve your writing problems. Somnuri are killer? I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you’re looking for. The Brooklynite trio offered up The easiest way to look for help is to type in key phrases like I need help with my dissertation, can someone Custom Degree Essays for me, write my dissertation online, do my dissertation for me. In your search bar and youll get plenty of results usually from online writing companies offering their services. Nefarious Wave (review here) in June through Read and Download Best Music For Doing Homeworks Free Ebooks in PDF format - GUNNERS AT WAR GUNMANS CURSE GUNSLAMMER GUNNERS MOON GUNPOWDER TREASON Blues Funeral Recordings, and I feel like if you’re not down with it as yet, well, if you haven’t heard it, that’s okay. The video’s another chance.

But if you’ve heard it and for whatever reason it’s not speaking to you, I can only respectfully disagree. Maybe it’s my born-and-bred Northeastern US mentality — we are an aggressive people by nature — but Nefarious Wave hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks, and continues to do so. Enough that I’m taking the excuse this video provides and posting more about it when I’m sure there’s something out there I could be chasing down. Screw that, whatever it is. This’ll do just fine.

The video? Yeah, some shots of the woods, some shots of the band — guitarist/vocalist  Get Top Quality Topic Questions For Research Papers for Ph.D., Masters or Bachelors. Are you in need of thesis writing help? We are here to assist. So, you have finally arrived at the last stages of your college education: writing your thesis. All your efforts have led up to this point. However, the research and hours you have dedicated to assignments previous to this one, do not come close to what you will need Justin Sherrell, bassist  Creative Writing Piece :: Order history papers The biggest advantage of research papers with those option. Academic papers models, writing buy dissertation paper which doesnt to fit any instruction academic future that. While skillfully following the academic standards for buy dissertation paper money back. Benefits of Using our. The website of our paper writing service, or something is not clear to find out some always welcomed! Internet, as the writing of a a piece of cake. It provides Philippe Arman, drummer/video director  How Customessaywritingservices Net is what were often asked, and we respond with precision and timeliness! Make my homework shine today! MyEssayGeek.com takes immense pride in making sure any informal, or highly technical, homework assignment is completed quickly, and accurately. Phil SanGiacomo — all turned red. Standard enough, but it’s fine. It serves its purpose. It’s better than watching dudes try to sync to parts on Zoom. You know what I’m talking about. We all lived through last year.

This is the third clip by my count from the record. They keep makin’ ’em, I’ll keep postin’ ’em. Simple as that.

Enjoy:

Somnuri, “Nefarious Wave” official video

Says the band about this new song and video: “The song has a trodding and lumbering feel to it. It builds layer after layer, and we wanted the video to have textures as well. We ended up shooting a lo-fi, psychedelic, first-person trek through the woods, tying to the song’s themes of survival and resilience,” said the band. “Those themes are present throughout the record as well and, ultimately, it was easy to see how they paralleled the world around us, filming and editing this video during lockdown. Thanks to our friend Eric Adams of the band Adam’s Castle, who helped get us some crazy shots way the fuck up in the mountains. We’re proud to have this video accompany the title track of this record.”

Video Directed by Phil SanGiacomo (Somnuri)

Taken from the Album “Nefarious Wave”
Release Date: June 4, 2021

SOMNURI is:
Justin Sherrell — guitars/vocals (also bass on the album)
Philippe Arman — bass
Phil SanGiacomo — drums

Somnuri, Nefarious Wave (2021)

Somnuri on Facebook

Somnuri on Instagram

Somnuri on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings on Bandcamp

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Blues Funeral Recordings website

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 61

Posted in Radio on June 11th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Stuff that’s been on my mind lately or came in recently and caught my fancy. Nothing really too tricky to how this one came together. Heavy Temple and All Souls are the two most recent interviews I’ve done, and the King Buffalo and Moon Coven and Vokonis and Whims of the Great Magnet are also things I’ve covered lately. Ditto Cavern Deep. Electric Moon I bought a shirt from the other day — they’re putting together a new comp of their studio work — and the Somnuri record continues to demolish.

Déhà and Seputus and Gateway are killer and more extreme, Slomatics are recording, the Wooden Veins record is out on The Vinyl Division and was a record I wanted to give more attention to, and yeah, as far as motivation goes, this is basically what’s been circling around in my head for the last two weeks. More than that in some cases.

Without waxing poetic, I guess that’s kind of the point of the show. Hear new music, share new music. It’s not the most ambitious goal I’ve undertaken, but not to put too fine a point on it, it is essentially the rule by which I govern everything I do here. Next episode has more of a united theme (I already turned the playlist in; look at me being ahead of the game for once), but I think this flows well just the same.

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

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 06.11.21

Moon Coven Bahgsu Nag Slumber Wood
The Whims of the Great Magnet Share My Sun Share My Sun
Vokonis Through the Depths Odyssey
VT
King Buffalo The Knocks The Burden of Restlessness
Slomatics Proto Hag Split with Ungraven
Seputus The Learned Response Phantom Indigo
Déhà Blackness in May Cruel Words
Gateway Slumbering Crevasses Flesh Reborn
VT
Acid Magus Wyrd Syster Wyrd Syster
Heavy Temple A Desert Through the Trees Lupi Amoris
All Souls You Just Can’t Win Songs for the End of the World
Somnuri In the Grey Nefarious Wave
Wooden Veins Thin Shades In Finitude
Cavern Deep Waterways Cavern Deep
VT
Electric Moon The Doomsday Machine The Doomsday Machine

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is June 25 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Somnuri, Nefarious Wave

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

somnuri nefarious wave

[Click play above to stream Somnuri’s Nefarious Wave in its entirety. Album is out Friday on Blues Funeral Recordings.]

The dive into pummeling intensity isn’t quite immediate on Professional Resume Writing Uae - Get an A+ aid even for the hardest essays. Change the way you deal with your assignment with our approved service Start Somnuri‘s Nefarious Wave. They give it about three seconds. And though the Brooklynite trio will showcase a number of different looks on their second album and Blues Funeral Recordings debut — their first LP, 2017’s self-titled (review here, also discussed here), came out through Magnetic Eye, and they’ve since taken part in that label’s ‘Redux’ series twice, on tribute releases for Pink Floyd (discussed here) and Alice in Chains (review here) in 2018 and 2020, respectively, and issued a split LP with fellow NYC noisebringers Godmaker (review here) in 2018 through The Company — Nefarious Wave remains defined at least in part by its volatility, by the notion that at any moment the band can and might kick their sludge until it becomes mad enough to be the thrash and grind it is as they unleash “Tied to Stone” (3:54) and “Tooth and Nail” (2:26) at the outset.

Those two songs comprise just over six of Nefarious Wave‘s total 36-minute run, and the rest of the seven-track outing moves from shortest to longest as it makes its way toward the seven-minute titular cut, and though there’s some letup in tempo and further fleshing out of melody in that process, beginning with third song “Desire Lines” and its blend of weighted crash and airier singing — vocals handled by guitarist Justin Sherrell (ex-Blackout, etc.), who also handles bass here, and bassist Philippe Arman, while drummer Phil SanGiacomo (ex-Family) supplies the crash and mixed — and culmination in a build into angular riffing and throaty shouts worthy of comparison to Swarm of the Lotus. Perhaps it’s because they so very much nailed “Dirt” on the Alice in Chains tribute that one can’t help but hear an edge of grunge in their layered and harmonized vocals, but the context is different as Somnuri make these elements their own, and “Desire Lines” ultimately answers the unmitigated rush of “Tooth and Nail” with a massive lumber that opens wide enough to devour that false sense of security whole. What rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches toward Brooklyn to be born?

They’re not tricky about it. Somnuri aren’t trying to be clever for cleverness’ sake and the prog-noise-metal-sludge they choose at any given moment to inhabit is way more Lifesblood than even Remission, if one has to draw a line to Mastodon as the gallop in the beginning of centerpiece “Beyond Your Last Breath” would seem to warrant. But they wear brutality well, and just because it’s part of the plan rather than the entirety of it doesn’t make their proceedings any less brutal. As it moves into its midsection, a throaty bellow echoes out over a stomping procession, and soon the three-piece are twisting between one riff and the next as SanGiacomo gracefully handles change upon change, a quick stretch of melodic vocals giving way to a comedown before the chug surges forth again to round out. “Beyond Your Last Breath” is transitional no matter the format on which one listens.

somnuri

It not only finishes side A of the vinyl, but taking Nefarious Wave as a linear entirety — CD/DL — it functions as a lead-in to the three longer pieces that comprise the remaining circa 20 minutes of the release. The longer half, as it were, made up of fewer tracks. Particularly, it’s easy to pair “Beyond Your Last Breath” and “Watch the Lights Go Out,” which follows, in terms of theme. The latter track trades cleaner verses for a harsher pre-chorus before the soaring hook, and feels not quite patient in its execution, but not far off. Its apex, which arrives around 4:40 into its 6:09, is as furious as it is restrained, lurching back and forth on drawn out lines of guitar topped with hard growls, where the beginning of the song, with its ride cymbal and engaging bludgeonry, seemed to recall the impulses that drove “Tied to Stone” and “Tooth and Nail” in we-like-to-start-fast fashion. Can’t blame them, given how well it works.

But “Watch the Lights Go Out,” whatever it carries over from side A and however malevolent its crescendo proves to be, moves Nefarious Wave into its next stage, bringing on the at-first-hypnotic-then-destructive-then-righteously-melodic-then-everything-all-together-then-breakdown-elbow-to-your-face “In the Grey,” the penultimate inclusion on the album and by no means its first tour de force. It’s true that Somnuri save actual patience for the title-track that finishes, but already coming from “Watch the Lights Go Out,” there’s a sense of the reach going wider that sets that up, so that the melodies that top “Nefarious Wave” aren’t out of place and the echoing solo in its first half is no more random than the are-those-keyboards-or-guitar-effects? layer that accompanies the last crashes before the title-track gives over its last minute to noise. One might be tempted to think of that as time to process, but it’s hardly enough for the head-spinnery Nefarious Wave has had on offer throughout.

What carries the album, however, is the sense of control with which the band deliver the material. The songs certainly are not without an element of danger — there’s a feeling at times like they’re pushing themselves physically as well as creatively — and of course a certain amount of confrontationalism is a regional delicacy of NYC, but Somnuri find a niche for themselves amid that tempest, and they’re able to create both a purpose in the album’s structure and a flow within and between the songs to enact that purpose. It would be easy to have Nefarious Wave unfold as base chaos, an extreme-sludge onslaught running the length of an LP, in and out and done. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but the mission here is different and one finds the richness of melody that ensues leaving no less an impression in the end than did the outright violence of the first two songs. You can hear as much in Nefarious Wave as you want to put into hearing it, and any such effort on the part of the listener is given due reward.

Somnuri, “Beyond Your Last Breath” official video

Somnuri on Facebook

Somnuri on Instagram

Somnuri on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings on Facebook

Blues Funeral Recordings website

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Magnetic Eye Day of Doom Livestream Set for May 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

There isn’t one stinking band on here I don’t want to watch. I went down the whole list. Certainly Howling Giant have made themselves virtually available in this era of no in-person gigging, doing various streams and jams and so on, but even them too, I’m like, “Yeah, I’d watch them again.” That’s pretty much how I feel every week. But to see Domkraft, Heavy Temple and Somnuri all playing, each one with a new album either out (that’s you, Domkraft) or on the way is a boon, and that’s before you get to an unveiling for whatever shenanigans Caustic Casanova have been cooking up over the past year.

Yeah, I’m on board here. Of course I’ve got fond memories of Magnetic Eye‘s Nov. 2019 ‘Day of Doom’ showcase (review here), and if the label wanted at some point to bring these groups together on a stage, that’d be just fine. But while at this point it’s probably not even a question of me putting on jeans — I think those days are gone; I’ve only ever had like two pairs of jeans I ever liked anyhow — to go be in a place with people, there’s a definite appeal to dropping ass on the couch and putting this one on the ol’ wallmount for a bit of matinee-style afternoon delight.

Granted, if it was happening in Brooklyn, I’d drive there for it, and I know it’s not the same for performers, but even after shows start up again as they at some point invariably will, I don’t think livestreaming is going to completely disappear, and Magnetic Eye putting something like this together is a good example of how to do it moving forward.

That’s my take. It’s free to watch. Maybe they’ll do a live box set like last time. I better get some good screengrabs. Ha.

Info:

magnetic eye day of doom live stream

Magnetic Eye and Blues Funeral Recordings present a virtual Day of Doom, featuring:

Howling Giant
Caustic Casanova
Somnuri
Domkraft
Heavy Temple

HOW TO WATCH:

Each band will be broadcasting their set on their Facebook pages and all of them can also be watched in this event or on Magnetic Eye’s page.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/523418811982271/

Set times announced soon.

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http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Heavy Temple, “The Maiden”

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 56

Posted in Radio on April 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Good stuff, almost entirely new. Hell, three of these records came out on the same day last Friday, so yeah, it’s fresh stuff one way or the other, even if I think I’ve played Genghis Tron three times now since they announced the release of their Dream Weapon album. And Yawning Sons definitely more than once too. Whatever. Call me repetitive. I like doom. “Repetitive” is a compliment to me.

The show opens and closes north of 10 minutes, but only hits that mark one other time, which is in “Fawn” by Body Void. Fair enough for the ultra-sludge charred-black morass that track elicits. With new King Buffalo, Somnuri and Domkraft singles and that hidden gem by Alastor tucked in ahead of Acid Mothers Temple-offshoot Mainliner’s massive jam at the end, this is a good god damn show. If I’d heard the new Heavy Temple in time to include that, I probably would have. Note to self for the next one.

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

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 04.02.21

Chamán Concreto Maleza
VT
Lammping Other Shoe New Jaws EP
Domkraft Seeds Seeds
King Buffalo Hebetation The Burden of Restlessness
DVNE Court of the Matriarch Etemen AEnka
Jess and the Ancient Ones Summer Tripping Man Vertigo
Greenleaf Bury Me My Son Echoes From a Mass
VT
Yawning Sons Gravity Underwater Sky Island
Genghis Tron Great Mother Dream Weapon
Arepo Nonmaterial Arepo
Body Void Fawn Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth
Somnuri Beyond Your Last Breath Nefarious Wave
Alastor Death Cult Onwards and Downwards
VT
Mainliner Hibernator’s Dream Dual Myths

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is April 16 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Metal website

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Somnuri Post “Beyond Your Last Breath” Video; Nefarious Wave Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

somnuri

June 4 is the release date for Somnuri‘s second long-player and Blues Funeral Recordings debut, Nefarious Wave, and to correspond with announcing the details and preorders and so on they’ve got a new video now for “Beyond Your Last Breath,” which is the centerpiece of the record. Neat, sign me up. The Brooklynite trio made their self-titled debut (review here) in 2017 and followed that months later with a split with Godmaker (review here). Not to take away from anyone else’s work, but they pretty much owned Magnetic Eye‘s Alice in Chains Dirt: Redux (review here) last year, and I’ve been looking forward to whatever was coming next from them ever since. New record, you say? That’ll do nicely, thanks.

Preorders are up through the ol’ Bandcamp there, and you can dig into “Beyond Your Last Breath” below as well. And you should. I’ll hope to have more on the album prior to the release.

Until then, the PR wire:

somnuri nefarious wave

Brooklyn progressive sludge metallers SOMNURI release new video “Beyond Your Last Breath” + details for new album on Blues Funeral Recordings

Brooklyn, NY’s sludge metal juggernauts SOMNURI arise to unleash the first video from their awaited new album ‘Nefarious Wave’, out June 4th on Blues Funeral Recordings. Watch the trio’s cathartic “Beyond Your Last Breath” video now!

SOMNURI’s sound weaves together breakneck energy, infectious melodies and slow-burning aggression, a cacophony of bludgeoning riffs and pounding grooves that shares DNA with High on Fire, Mastodon, Torche, even Soundgarden. Elements of the city surface throughout: brutality and spaciousness, stark dissonance, and delicate hush.

About the video, drummer Phil SanGiacomo comments: “Beyond Your Last Breath is about the cyclical and intertwined nature of life and death, and how the struggle to survive and find light can bring you to the brink of darkness and beyond. The video, directed by Susan Hunt of Five Sigma Films, weaves through a dreamlike environment and shows both the grittiness and beauty of Brooklyn and New York City, all through a surrealistic lens. The song also ties into the greater theme of the ‘Nefarious Wave’ album title, which alludes to a process that repeats endlessly throughout time. The idea of facing that wave head-on is prevalent throughout the record.”

A sprawling record full of time and tempo shifts, ‘Nefarious Wave’ is a story of survival and resilience. As naysayers flee the city, claiming the scene is dead and will never be what it used to, SOMNURI is alive, breathing, adapting and mutating into something greater, and continues to push the possibilities of heavy music and the ideals of how a DIY band fights for their place. Embodying their refusal to concede or compromise, ‘Nefarious Wave’ is a reflection of their undeniable ethic, a devastating musical worldview ready for those willing to inhabit it with them.

‘Nefarious Wave’ was mixed by Phil SanGiacomo, and mastered by Justin Mantooth at Westend Recording Studios KC. The artwork was designed by Dani Otrajki. It will be released on June 4th, 2021 worldwide on various vinyl formats, CD and digital through Blues Funeral Recordings.

SOMNURI New album ‘Nefarious Wave’
Out June 4th, 2021 on Blues Funeral Recordings
PREORDER NOW: https://somnuri.bandcamp.com/album/nefarious-wave-4

TRACK LISTING:
1. Tied To Stone
2. Tooth & Nail
3. Desire Lines
4. Beyond Your Last Breath
5. Watch The Lights Go Out
6. In The Grey
7. Nefarious Wave

SOMNURI is:
Justin Sherrell — guitars/vocals (also bass on the album)
Philippe Arman — bass
Phil SanGiacomo — drums

https://www.facebook.com/Somnuri/
https://www.instagram.com/somnuri/
https://somnuri.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bluesfuneral/
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https://bluesfuneralrecordings.bandcamp.com/
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Somnuri, “Beyond Your Last Breath” official video

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Review & Track Premiere, Various Artists, Alice in Chains: Dirt [Redux]

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

dirt redux

[Click play above to stream Howling Giant’s “Rooster” from Magnetic Eye Records’ Dirt [Redux] Alice in Chains tribute. LP/CD/DL out Sept. 18 with preorders here.]

Says Howling Giant’s Zach Wheeler:

“To be honest, getting ‘Rooster’ was a bit intimidating as it’s one of their most popular songs. We wanted to pay tribute to Alice in Chains as much as possible while giving the song that special Howling Giant sauce. We changed a few things around, but tried to reinforce the melodies that make the song so memorable in the first place.”

Says Howling Giant’s Tom Polzine:

“When I was growing up in Buffalo, Minnesota, there was a local band called Blood Root Mother made up of some dudes that were probably four or five years older than me. I remember sneaking out of my house to see them perform at this rundown venue called The Vault. The Vault was run by some 20 year olds that skipped college in order to renovate that old antique shop into a dirty DIY venue. If dirty and uncomfortable was the vibe they were going for, they nailed it. Anyway, Blood Root Mother were tight as hell and I’ll always remember their cover of ‘Rooster’ as one of the most moving performances I witnessed from a bunch of local, lovable scumbags. The energy was so raw, and the volume was overwhelming. I think that witnessing those guys performing that song in particular is the reason I started playing in rock bands in high school, and why I still play today.”

Released in September 1992, Alice in Chains‘ second full-length, Dirt, is a generational landmark. It remains one of a select few records of its era — along with Nirvana‘s Nevermind, Pearl Jam‘s Ten, Soundgarden‘s Badmotorfinger, and maybe one or two others — that helped define the “grunge” sound for which Seattle, Washington, would become almost inextricably known. With an underlying-and-at-times-right-up-front theme of drug addiction and ensuing personal fallout, Dirt was grimmer and could be more aggressive than most of its still-commercially-viable major label contemporaries, and as a result always had some more appeal to metal fans than, say, Pearl Jam, who were strictly a hard rock band at the time. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell‘s now-classic riffs and vocals, Sean Kinney‘s inventive drums, the fluid bass work of Mike Starr and Layne Staley‘s voice that would prove inimitable despite the attempts of three decades’ worth of singers — these essential elements came together around a group of particularly memorable songs, some radio hits, some B sides, and of course, “Iron Gland” for good measure, and served as the proverbial lightning in the bottle and the standard by which the band’s output ever since has been judged.

In continuing its tribute series of full album releases by embarking on a Dirt [Redux]Magnetic Eye Records takes on a no less crucial album than when the label put together compilation tributes to Pink Floyd or Jimi Hendrix. There are some recognizable acts from the Magnetic Eye stable as well as others clearly given to celebrating the work itself, and those who remain loyal to the original versions of the songs while other groups prefer to bring their appointed track into their own sonic context. Like the original DirtDirt [Redux] of course boasts 13 tracks — it’s a whole-album tribute; it wouldn’t do to leave something out — though its runtime is longer than the original, at 63 minutes as opposed to 57. The tracklisting reads as follows:

1. Thou – Them Bones
2. Low Flying Hawks – Dam That River
3. High Priest – Rain When I Die
4. Khemmis – Down in a Hole
5. These Beasts – Sickman
6. Howling Giant – Rooster
7. Forming the Void – Junkhead
8. Somnuri – Dirt
9. Backwoods Payback – God Smack
10. Black Electric – Iron Gland
11. -(16)- – Hate to Feel
12. Vokonis – Angry Chair
13. The Otolith – Would?

Their take on “Would?” — tracked by Alice in Chains first for an appearance on the soundtrack of the film Singles then reused on the album — marks the debut recording from post-SubRosa outfit The Otolith, and arrives with no shortage of anticipation. Bookending with “Them Bones” as interpreted by New Orleans art-sludgers Thou, the atmospheric breadth brought to the finale is a standout on the release and, at that point, one more instance of a band making the track their own. Thou‘s blend of harsh and cleaner vocals notwithstanding, they largely keep to the original tempo and arrangement of the leadoff track, whereas Low Flying Hawks take the subsequent “Dam That River” — a hooky follow-up to the opener — and turn it into an ambient drone only vaguely related to the original.

dirt redux vinyl

And why not? There’s no rule that says a band has to do an impression rather than an interpretation, and as Dirt [Redux] plays out, the likes of KhemmisThese Beasts, Howling GiantForming the Void-(16)- and Vokonis bring their own spin. Khemmis could hardly be a better fit for the emotive doom of “Down in a Hole,” and the crunch These Beasts deliver on “Sickman” is an intense precursor to what L.A.’s -(16)- do with “Hate to Feel” later on. Feeling very much like the vanguard of an up and coming generation of progressive heavy rock, Howling GiantForming the Void and Vokonis boldly tackle their respective cuts, with “Rooster” getting a bolstered melody (no easy feat), “Junkhead” receiving a newfound nodder groove, and “Angry Chair” highlighting a rhythmic complexity that is both a late surprise and oh, oh, oh so very Swedish.

To complement these forays, Somnuri find a glorious and elusive middle-ground on the album’s title-track, the Brooklynite trio not giving “Dirt” a total makeover so much as an organic-feeling performance that captures the subtle spaciousness that was so much a part of Dirt‘s lonely feel in the first place — all those sometimes empty reaches of its mix. Earlier, Chicago’s High Priest offer perhaps the most impressive vocal included on the redux with “Rain When I Die,” with the as-yet-underrated, very-much-need-to-put-an-album-out group play to their own Alice in Chains influence. Ditto that Backwoods Payback, who bleed their love of the original through their raw interpretation of “God Smack,” finding a space somewhere between punk, post-hardcore and heavy rock that is theirs alone on this release and in the wider underground sphere. These cuts serve the vital function of bringing Dirt [Redux] its sense of homage, making the tribute a tribute, and giving a listener who might not be familiar with all the bands on the Magnetic Eye roster a chance to reorient before, say, These Beasts unfurl their pummeling rendition of “Sickman” or Low Flying Hawks taffy-pull “Dam That River” to suit their own whims.

One would be remiss not to point out that the 43-second interlude “Iron Gland” is here covered by Black Electric, which features Magnetic Eye Records‘ own Mike Vitali (also ex-Ironweed and Greatdayforup) on guitar. Their version is almost eerily reminiscent of the original, on which Slayer‘s Tom Araya sat in for vocals, and gives way to -(16)-‘s roughed-up “Hate to Feel” with a similar flow to the progression between the two tracks on Dirt proper. If you come out of this Dirt [Redux] with a hankering to listen to Alice in Chains, don’t be surprised. I’ll admit to having an attachment to the album that borders on the familial, and whatever they do with it arrangement-wise, I have nothing but respect for anyone brave enough to cover songs that have so much specific heart and style behind them. Inevitably a listener’s experience with Dirt [Redux] will depend on their own context with the original record as well as with the bands involved, but when all is said and done, it is a more than worthy inclusion in Magnetic Eye‘s [Redux] series — Black Sabbath would seem to be next — and it points to just how broadly Alice in Chains‘ influence has spread over the last three decades. You can’t really go wrong.

Various Artists, Dirt [Redux] (2020)

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