Moura to Release Fume Santo de Loureiro EP May 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 11th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

moura (Photo by Leo López)

Moura earned a pretty deep cachet in my mind with the heavy, psychedelic, progressive and Galician folk-informed textures, gorgeous melodies, spacious reach and thoughtful, passionate craft of their 2022 sophomore LP, Axexan, Espreitan (review here). Enough to account for my being excited that their follow-up is an 18-minute three-songer EP intended to serve as a soundtrack for a short film co-written by their drummer? Abso-friggin’-lutely, yes.

I’ll go further and admit I’ve heard the impending Fume Santo de Loureiro, which the Spanish six-piece recorded in Portugal with Marco Lima (Libido FuzzLes NadieTelea Jacta etc.), and in addition to the version I listened to having an intro that perhaps didn’t make the final cut — okay, so 17-ish minutes, then — those lucky enough to have taken on Axexan, Espreitan will find the new songs driven by the same sense of individualized traditionalism and open creative pulse. If that’s you and you’re bumming out that it’s an EP and not a third full-length right away, sit tight. There’s at least a single LP’s worth of scope in the eight minutes of “Contra os Males de Aireada,” and the keys later in “Canto de Berce,” coupled with the dual vocals and a bit of march in the snare, feel like a Morricone reference well suited to the occasion. With the six-minute “Agoiro / Pranto” leading off by shifting through proggy organ contemplations en route to not-the-EP’s-last percussive jam, I hope you’ll take my word for it that there’s plenty enough depth for you to dive in and not worry about hitting your head.

Fume Santo de Loureiro is due out May 31 on Spinda Records. No audio from it yet, but the last album is at the bottom of the post here, and in a spirit of friendship I urge you to hear it, whether or not you have before. There are few acts I’ve heard in the last couple years who most make me want to chase down doing another radio show, but sometimes you just have to hear a thing.

So please:

moura fume santo de loureiro

MOURA announces new EP ‘Fume santo de loureiro’

After their self-titled debut, the stand-alone single “Muiñeira da Maruxaina” (included as part of compilation boxset Grados. Minutos. Segundos.), and their second studio album ‘Axexan, espreitan’, the band Moura, renowned for their commitment to exploring and preserving Galician tradition, is pleased to announce their upcoming studio EP titled ‘Fume santo de loureiro’, set to be released on May 31 with Spinda Records. This new conceptual EP has been conceived as the original soundtrack for the short film ‘Nai’, directed by filmmaker Tito Refoxo, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Brais do Rei, the band’s current drummer.

The title of this new multidisciplinary project involving members of Moura originates from exorcising and healing expression used in various Galician rituals, which aligns perfectly with the storyline of ‘Nai’. In the short film, a family from the village of Rois (A Coruña, Spain) becomes entangled in a dark tragedy with the disappearance of the little one of the house. Shocked and desperate for answers, the family members are compelled to come together in an attempt to unravel the mystery that has cast shadows over their lives.

Fume santo de loureiro

1. Agoiro / Pranto
2. Contra os males de aireada
3. Canto de Berce

May 31, 2024

digital / streaming
compact disc

For this project, the band moved to Hertzcontrol Studios in Seixas (Portugal), with the collaboration of producer and engineer Marco Lima. The mastering was handled by Álvaro Gallego, who has been involved in all of Moura’s studio albums to date.

On May 31, 2024, ‘Fume santo de loureiro’ will be available on all streaming platforms, as well as on CD and in a limited and numbered vinyl edition under Spinda Records’ ‘Trippy Series’. The artwork, by Hugo Santeiro (band’s guitar player) represents a significant difference from previous releases; amidst loss and darkness, it opts for a white aesthetic.

The release of the single “Contra os males de aireada” is scheduled for April 25, which will also mark the opportunity to pre-order this new EP by Moura.

Band photo by Leo López.

Moura, Axexan, Espreitan (2022)

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Album Review: Viaje a 800, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition

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

viaje a 800 Conac Oxigenado deluxe edition

I readily count Viaje a 800 among the most criminally undervalued heavy rock bands Europe has ever produced, so maybe if you’re looking for an impartial assessment of Spinda Records‘ do-it-up-right Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition reissue of their 2012 swansong (review here), I’m not the one to provide it. They were never super-prompt on output, but between 2001’s Diablo Roto Dë… and 2007’s Estampida de Trombones, the band that in 2010 would record as the trio lineup of bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Poti, guitarist/backing vocalist J. Angel and drummer Andres, fostered a style of heavy rock that was utterly their own and represented not only influences from the Californian desert, but from classic progressive rock as well as Andalusian folk melodies, flamenco rhythms and percussion, and a resulting atmosphere that was ahead of its time.

As the culmination of Viaje a 800’s original run, Coñac Oxigenado pushed their craft as far as it would ever go (to-date; never say never) into those proggy leanings, and from its 12-minute opener “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine” through the in-English cover of “What’s Going On” originally by Australian heavy-’70s rockers Buffalo, the fluidity, depth and presence they were able to establish in this material still feels innovative 12 years after the fact. And it may well be that having such an individual sound is part of the reason they’ve been so undervalued – I’m sure out there somewhere is a German band who’ve got handclaps in a song like those in the purpose-declaring, scorcher-solo-inclusive jammy middle of Coñac Oxigenado’s lead track, but I wouldn’t expect it to work as well – but even from an outsider’s perspective, it’s easy enough to read an element of cultural discrimination in how isolated the Iberian heavy underground for the most part is even today, beyond whatever language barrier may or may not apply to a given act as it might here.

Thus Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition — which arrives coinciding with a return to the stage for limited live shows this year — feels something like an 88-minute love letter to Viaje a 800, whose original 1998 demo, Santa Agueda, also saw release through Spinda in 2019, and its 3LP presentation captures an archivalist impulse, preserving a complicated narrative of the recording and of the band more generally. In addition to the five-song/51-minute original tracklisting, the ‘deluxe’-ness manifests in four additional cuts, three of which are alternate versions — “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine,” “Tagarnina Blues” and “Eterna Soledad” — and the last of which is the previously-unreleased “Todo es Nada.” To my understanding, none of these recordings have surfaced before (the difference being that a re-recorded “Todo es Nada” didn’t make the final 2012 LP), and that lineup changes were part of it — anybody looking for a probably-wrong complete retelling of Viaje a 800‘s lineup history here? I didn’t think so; moving on — but with 15 years’ distance from the original 2009 sessions at Seville’s Doghouse Studios with Curro Ureba, the previously-lost tracks present a new look at the scope of the band’s sound.

A full rundown of the changes between the 2009 and 2010 recordings — the latter of which became the album released in 2012 — would be academic and (again) probably wrong unless I was cut and pasting factoids like Orthodox‘s Marco Serrato guesting on vocals for the ’09 session or the guitar contribution from 2010-version producer José María Sagrista to “Eterna Soledad.” Neither of those is irrelevant, but neither gives much of an impression of the differences most resonant when setting the tracks in question side-by-side. While the finished, non-prequel Coñac Oxigenado presented itself as Viaje a 800‘s fullest-sounding recording in the low end, and the band always had a brooding element in their vocal melodies, the 2009 versions feel closer to chasing an ideal based on live performance, and so come through as both rawer in their basic sound and brighter in tone.

VIAJE A 800 (Photo by Tomoyuki Hotta)

The acoustic strum of “Eterna Soledad” feels more direct in its folk lineage without the keys accompanying the transition from the initial verses to it, and “Tagarnina Blues” hits with more punch in its snare as it makes ready to shift into the solo, and as anyone who’s ever sat in for a mixing process can tell you, a lot can be done to change the personality of a song in minute adjustments to the balance of its component elements. As they perhaps inevitably would, the 2010 recordings feel more realized and considered in terms of the transitions from one to the next, and there’s a smoother overall sound to their production. Does that mean that the force with which 2009’s “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine” hits doesn’t work. Oh no. It absolutely does. But it’s fascinating to hear Viaje a 800 working toward two different goals in style with the same material, and where the lushness of Coñac Oxigenado became a marked example of how the band had grown since Estampida de Trombones half a decade before, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition broadens the appeal further by showcasing a heretofore-unheard side of these songs. And frankly, they rock.

I won’t say they were wrong to trade out “Todo es Nada” for “Ni Perdón, Ni Olvido” for the 2012 release, not the least for the movement the latter enacts across a similar seven-minute runtime from a riff I likened in the original review to Megadeth to the psychedelic build that leads into its later charging chorus and multi-stage crescendo, but through its start-stop repetitions, semi-spoken lyrics and the procession it undertakes into crash and vocal effects, “Todo es Nada” offers a bleaker ambience than anything that did wind up on Coñac Oxigenado while still holding to a progressive structure and in its vocals-over-drums ending, capping Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition with an invitation to speculate at what they might have done had they kept going into the 2010s.

Does it matter? I think so, but again, I was a fan of the original Coñac Oxigenado, of the band generally, and of outfits like Atavismo and Mind! that Poti went on to found in Viaje a 800‘s wake. And if you don’t care about art or music or those who’ve made contributions in service to either, yeah, a 3LP reissue of a Spanish heavy band’s record from 2012 might not be the birthday present you’re asking for this year, but the very, very least I can tell you about Coñac Oxigenado, deluxe or not, is that it holds up, and if you’ve never engaged with the band before, these songs are a world waiting for you to find your place in them. I don’t know if Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition will be how Viaje a 800 come to receive a modicum of the respect they deserve for what they accomplished during their time, but it’s a big piece of why they deserve that respect in the first place, and this revisit is a celebration well earned.

Viaje a 800, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition (2024)

Viaje a 800, “Todo es Nada” official video

Viaje a 800 on Facebook

Viaje a 800 on Instagram

Viaje a 800 on Bandcamp

Spinda Records on Facebook

Spinda Records on Instagram

Spinda Records on Bandcamp

Spinda Records website

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Maragda Announce Tyrants Out May 8; Premiere Title-Track

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on March 21st, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Barcelona trio Maragda will release their sophomore full-length, Tyrants, on May 8 through Spinda Records. At the bottom of this post, you’ll find two versions of the title-track premiering — the album version of the song and a live-in-studio take as if to demonstrate, “yes, we really can pull this off.” And so they can. And hopefully will for much of the rest of this year on tour in Europe.

Officially, that’s the point of this post. Between you and me, sitting comfortably having a friendly chat together about the things in life that make it tolerable, I’ll tell you that I’ve had the chance to dig into the record and that the hooky proggy cosmic modern space boogie bop of “Tyrants” is no fluke. Maragda pinpoint genre intersections and explore sounds throughout Tyrants that go beyond manifesting the potential of their 2021 self-titled debut (review here). Clear-eyed in their composition, rich in melody and atmosphere, they could hardly be doing more to signal their arrival to the heavy underground in Europe and beyond.

Preorders open tonight at midnight CET, and while I acknowledge that not every track is going to land with every listener, I urge you to take a few minutes for “Tyrants,” which opens the album, to get a glimpse at the sprawl Maragda are conjuring and the manner in which they careen through it. European tribalism has for the better part of 40 years ignored the development of Iberian heavy and progressive rock. Tyrants shows this for how ridiculous it truly is in its flourishing realization and the outreach in the production at Big Snuff Studio by the esteemed Richard Behrens (he was in Heat and Samsara Blues Experiment, has helmed records for Samavayo, Delving and WeiteAbanamat, countless others), actively working to engage the modern heavy psych sphere with all its king-this-and-thats and bouncy galaxial thrust, while also tapping into Spain’s long history of prog melody. Shit, it’s even in English (as was the first record). They could hardly do more if they offered to put your name in a song.

It is an exciting listen. It is not the most hyped album you’re going to hear in 2024, but if you do catch it — and now’s a good time to be introduced — it might just be something you come to treasure.

To wit, it’s one I feel strongly enough about that, in addition to premiering the studio and live versions of “Tyrants” at the bottom of this post, I’m slated to stream the album in full Tuesday, May 7. Keep an eye out.

Art, PR wire info and, crucially, the music, follow. Please enjoy:

maragda tyrants


Preorders (midnight CET March 22):

Maragda, the energetic power-trio from Barcelona, announces the release of their second studio album, “Tyrants”, available on May 8 via Spinda Records. The band is offering a sneak peek of the album with the release of its title track, showcasing both the studio and live versions taken from their recent live session recorded at Siete Barbas Studios.

This highly anticipated album follows their successful self-titled debut album (2021, Spinda Records) and the live EP “The Reckless / Evil Seed” (2022, Spinda Records). In this new musical journey, the band immerses listeners in introspective themes ranging from self-imposed limitations to the fight for values, love, hope, and farewells. All of this unfolds in a hypothetical fantasy universe, where psychedelia and progressive rock continuously merge, adding nuances of other styles like garage.

For the creation of the album “Tyrants”, Maragda embarked on a creative journey that took them to the Big Snuff Studios in Berlin, where they collaborated with studio engineer Richard Behrens, renowned for his work with bands like Kadavar and Elder. Subsequently, the mastering was handled by acclaimed engineer Peter Deimel (known for his work with bands like Motorpsycho) at the Black Box Studios in France, solidifying a successful collaboration that began with their debut album.

In the visual department, the band has once again partnered with Error! Design studio (known for works with Explosions In The Sky, Russian Circles, Mastodon) for the album’s graphic design, ensuring a cohesive and captivating aesthetic experience for their followers.

1. Tyrants
2. Skirmish
3. Endless
4. My only link
5. Sunset room
6. The singing mountain
7. Godspeed
8. Loose

22 march 2024

8 may 2024

‘Tyrants’ will be available on May 8 through Spinda Records, although album pre-orders will kick off at midnight on Friday, March 22nd, in both CD and vinyl formats. The vinyl edition will be part of the ‘Trippy Series’ from the Andalusian label, alongside acts such as Viaje a 800, Moura, Empty Full Space, or Moundrag. It will be limited to 400 copies on white vinyl with orange splatters and 100 copies on standard black vinyl.

May 17 | Madrid (ES) @ Madrid Psych Sessions
June 8 | Barcelona (ES) @ Sala Upload (fiesta de presentación)

Maragda, “Tyrants” track premiere

Maragda, “Tyrants” Live at Siete Barbas Studios video premiere

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Viaje a 800 to Release Coñac Oxigenado Deluxe Edition April 4; “Todo es Nada” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

VIAJE A 800 (Photo by Tomoyuki Hotta)

Whatever combination of fingers and toes might need to be sacrificed on the altar of deregulated capitalism in order for me to see Viaje a 800 before I die, I have to think it’d be worth giving up at least a few. Generational spearheads of Spanish-language heavy rock in the 1990s and the outfit from which bands like Atavismo sprang, the Algeciras trio released their last record, Coñac Oxigenado (review here), in 2012. Undervalued during their time and, as with so many of the Iberian acts operating in their wake, never given the credit that was their due owing in part to European tribalism, they’ll get back together for three exclusive live dates this year (perhaps more) and offer a deluxe edition of Coñac Oxigenado on April 4 through Spinda Records.

And by ‘deluxe,’ they mean an entire second version of the album. Actually, it the first version. Recorded in 2009 and featuring the unreleased-until-today start-stopper “Todo es Nada” — video streaming at the bottom of the post — the lost Coñac Oxigenado is set to accompany the 2012 version in a 2CD or 3LP set for which preorders are also open as of today. They’ll do the album in full at the aforementioned shows, reportedly, as well as highlights from their other two records, 2001’s Diablo Roto De… and 2007’s Estampida de Trombones, either of which would deserve the same lush reissue treatment if they also happened to have alternate recordings laying around. And who knows, maybe they do.

I hope they keep going and I hope they do more shows.

From the PR wire:

viaje a 800 Conac Oxigenado deluxe edition


Release date: April 4 | Single & Album pre-order: March 14


Viaje a 800 is back with a deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, which includes songs and unreleased versions up to date. The band from Algeciras (Spain) will be presenting it live in 2024 during a series of exclusive dates.

The legendary Spanish rock band Viaje a 800 announces the reissue of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, their last studio album. This special release will be available on April 4, 2024, promising not only a celebration of the band’s musical history but also an unparalleled auditory experience for their devoted fans and rock enthusiasts alike.

With a legacy dating back to the mid-90s, Viaje a 800 has made an indelible mark on the rock scene with their distinctive heavy psych and progressive rock sound. Hailing from Algeciras in the very south of Europe, the band has earned acclaim from both critics and fans for their unique fusion of eclectic musical elements, ranging from heavy blues to proto-stoner rock or even Andalusian rock, creating a style of their own that has withstood the test of time and now positions them as an influence for many contemporary artists.

The story of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, much like that of the band itself, is a saga in its own right, marked by unbridled creativity, perseverance, and a passion for music. Recorded analogically in 2009 at Doghouse Studios in Seville (Spain) by Curro Ureba, this album captured the raw and vibrant spirit of the band in its purest moment. However, after a series of events and artistic decisions, the final version of the album didn’t see the light until 2012, through Alone Records, and after being entirely re-recorded in 2010 by José María Sagrista at Punt Paloma Studios (Spain).

‘Coñac Oxigenado’
(deluxe edition)

1. Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine
2. Ni perdón, ni olvido
3. Eterna soledad
4. Tagarnina Blues
5. What’s going on
6. Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine
7. Tagarnina Blues
8. Eterna soledad
9. Todo es nada

On April 4, 2024, Spinda Records releases a deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’. For the occasion, both versions of the album are presented, from the original pre-mixes by Curro Ureba to the final version recorded by the renowned producer José María Sagrista, mixed by José Gil at Crab Studios, and mastered by Chris Rozioswki in the US. Undoubtedly, this is a unique window into the band’s sonic evolution and the creative magic that has defined their legacy.

In addition to the inclusion of both recordings, this reissue of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ features a series of significant differences: arrangements, song durations, mixes, and lyrics vary between the two versions, offering listeners a complete perspective of the musical vision of the band from Algeciras. If in the final version they had the collaboration on guitar of José María Sagrista (Triana, Círculo Vicioso) in “Eterna soledad”, in the initial version Marco Serrato (Orthodox) contributed vocals in “Occuli Omnium In Te Sperant Domine”. However, the main difference lies in the inclusion of “Todo es nada”, an unreleased track to date that was part of the 2009 recording but was left out of the final version in favor of “Ni perdón, ni olvido”. With over 7 minutes of extremely dark, intense music and a raw sound unlike anything Viaje a 800 had shown before, it will be presented as the sole preview of this necessary reissue on March 14th at midnight, accompanied by a music video directed by Fernando J. Martínez.

These two journeys of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ also offer a unique visual experience, with a revision of Julia Morell’s original artwork by The Braves Church, presenting it in a triple gatefold sleeve with the inclusion of lyrics.

The deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ by Viaje a 800 will be available from April 4, 2024, in digital and physical formats (pre-orders will be available from March 14th at midnight on, in a double CD edition and in a triple black vinyl format, as part of Spinda Records’ ‘Trippy Series’. Each of the 300 vinyl copies is hand-numbered and represents a tangible tribute to the band’s lasting legacy in the history of Spanish rock; a necessary homage to an essential musical formation.


The band will offer a series of exclusive concerts to celebrate, where they will perform ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ in full, along with some classics from their discography. Those who saw them at the time or at one of the three concerts they played during their brief reunion in 2019 will know that they are in top form.

May 11 | Granada (ES)^
October 18 | Barcelona (ES)^
November 7 | Madrid (ES)^
November 16 | Algeciras (ES)

^Tickets on sale at on March 15 at midnight.

Viaje a 800, “Todo es Nada” official video

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Deriva Premiere “Aqua Vitae” Video; Nona / Décima / Morta EP Out March 13

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on March 5th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Deriva Nona Decima Morta 1

Madrid-based instrumentalists Deriva will release their new four-song EP, Nona/Décima/Morta, on March 13 through LaRubia Producciones. The video for the previously-issued single “Aqua Vitae” premieres below, and as its low-lighting balletic undulations unfold amid ambient guitar ahead of the band diving into the 28-minute outing’s most outwardly crushing procession, so too there arrives a poem to set the mood. I’ve included it under hte video player in the original Spanish, and if you have the captions on as I always do because I’m old, you can see the English translation, which relates to the notion of sleep as a kind of death and dreams as visions we forget much as humans live entire lives in denial of mortality. As the band play through the song amid stark spotlights, a ceremonial-feeling cutting of ties, some light fetishism and arthouse mosh from dancer Miroslava Fernández, and so on, these ideas linger like a guided meditation and the music grows correspondingly more intense, the push that takes over following the midsection atmospheric break peppered with double-kick to add physicality to the surge.

Over the course of the outing, Deriva — who made their self-titled full-length debut in 2016, followed with the three-songers Haiku I and Haiku II in 2019 and 2021, respectively, and have apparently had this EP in the works for a while as opener “Ignis ex Cinere” was issued as a single in 2022 — apply metallic precision and progressivism to an atmospheric backdrop. “Ignis ex Cinere” gathers itself over its first minute-plus around jazzy drums from Rory Reagan and bass punch from Javier Justo before evening out to let the intertwining guitars of Javier “Muñi” Muñoz and Daniel “Minchi” Garea lead with tricky up-front float toward the next volume surge, which by the time they’re three minutes into the seven-and-a-half-minute cut, has peaked again in consuming style and dropped to guitar soon joined by violin in a momentarily serene, pastoral stretch, Reagan‘s toms returning to mark the beginning of the build in earnest, and they don’t tease the last payoff long before they’re in it because they don’t need to. A wailing solo over an intentionally angular, choppy closing section cuts out and “Aqua Vitae” arrives with a switch back to post-rocky airiness.

But again, the inevitable burst isn’t far off. Deriva work in volume trades throughout Nona/Décima/Morta — the title with similar flex in having multiple potential translations; I don’t know which is correct and I’d rather not embarrass myself by getting it wrong — but “Aqua Vitae” is both the shorted inclusion on the EP and the most metal, the clear, full production of Alex Cappa at Metropol Studios in Madrid allowing the impact of the kick drum to coexist with the guitar in the midsection break, which is also shorter than that of “Ignis ex Ciniere” and slams starkly at 3:10 into a hard-riffed wall of distortion. Establishing itself with declarative hits before shifting into the actual march that defines the procession for its remainder, “Aqua Vitae” turns corners you didn’t realize were there, a twist of lead guitar and emergent soloing matching the adrenaline of the drums, dark and majestic but not hopeless. It comes to a head and ends, Russian Circles-style, bringing the synthier landscape of “Lux Aeris” — Julio Martin is credited with contributing the synth — as a plotted line of guitar smooths the shift into the next heavy section.


The structural pattern becomes familiar, but Deriva do well in giving each of these four pieces its own character, whether that’s the headbang-fodder bounce of “Aqua Vitae” or the way each song has its movement from a subdued intro to a push of heavy progressive metal but does it a bit differently. Where “Aqua Vitae” can’t wait to dig into its crunch, “Lux Aeris” spreads out over the course of its start. There’s room — it’s the longest track at 8:29 — and they use it. The first two and a half minutes or so build up patiently and don’t so much suddenly ignite in full, distorted tone as draw a more complete line from one end to the other in that time, handing one part to the next, almost seamless. Intricate rhythmic jumps and tremolo guitar, so much organized chaos, persist over a central pattern of groove, and as with “Ignis ex Ciniere” and “Aqua Vitae,” they’ll finish loud, but getting there routes through a resonant, bright clearing, as the more all-at-once shove back to full-impact lurks in the background, never quite gone. In a suitable-enough meta-level manifestation of their aural back and forth, Nona/Décima/Morta also shifts between longer and shorter pieces in succession, “Mortuus Terra” rounds out by finding something of a middle ground between the two extremes of Deriva‘s sound.

I’m not sure if they intentionally paired “Lux Aeris” (‘the light of the air’) and “Mortuus Terra” (‘dead earth’) next to each other for any reason more than the fluidity with which the finale takes hold from the song before it, but given the level of consideration throughout in sound and presentation, I’d be willing to believe it. And “Mortuus Terra” is a build as well — ebbs and flows; that’s life — though it holds back its flood for longer than did “Lux Aeris,” and while it moves into cycles of guitar chug and low-end punctuating, tom runs and snare adding to the round-we-go vibe, lead guitar releases that tension in a way that’s about more than just clicking on this or that pedal, and once they hit thar stride, there’s no real going back. The single movement at the end feels like it’s underscoring the point, and all the more because its execution stands out from its three companions while being rooted in similar tones and atmospherics. A concept, extrapolated, that is emblematic of the sculptor’s care put into Deriva‘s craft and the effectiveness with which they immerse the listener in their dynamic.

It will ring familiar enough on first blush, but the deeper you go, the more you’ll find. I don’t know if the video is NSFW or not. Depends on where you work, I guess. Either way, if you need to click off the tab, the song is still there, and the Bandcamp player that will hold the full release is at the bottom by the links. I know you know. I kept the poem and recording info in Spanish. Minimal language barrier, appropriate to aesthetic and the band’s intent. You’ll be fine.


Deriva, “Aqua Vitae” video premiere

“Los sueños son pequeñas muertes,
tramoyas, anticipos, simulacros de muerte,
el despertar en cambio nos parece,
una resurrección y por las dudas,
olvidamos cuanto antes lo soñado.
A pesar de sus fuegos, sus cavernas,
sus orgasmos, sus glorias, sus espantos.
Tal vez quiera decir que lo que ansiamos,
es olvidar la muerte,
apenas eso.”

“Aqua Vitae” Grabado en Metropol Studios con Alex Cappa 2023, en colaboración de Julio Martin a los sintetizadores.
Video producido por David AJ y protagonizado por Miroslava Fernández.

Grabado en Metropol Estudios Madrid por Alex Cappa

Deriva is an instrumental cinematic post-metal machine from Madrid, Spain. Deriva creates “movies for your ears” that encompass raw emotion ranging from melancholy and contemplation to rage and explosivity. From beginning to end of each composition, each note and phrase is meticulously rendered to perfection to create an emotive effect that draws attention and tells a story throughout the music. Each instrument weaves a delicate tapestry and is highly conversational amongst the instruments. As if in a heavy discussion, the guitars converse in a way that is both supportive and opposing of each other throughout the story. Like the microscopic intermingling layers of carbon fiber, the bass and drums create a rhythmically robust foundation that is both lightweight and extremely strong in which the guitars can float upon. Deriva is the Ennio Morricone, Danny Elfman, and Hans Zimmer of post-metal.

1. Ignis ex Ciniere (7:37)
2. Aqua Vitae (5:44)
3. Lux Aeris (8:29)
4. Mortuus Terra (6:30)

Deriva live:
Mar 21 Moby Dick Club Madrid, Spain
Mar 26 Bloc Glasgow, UK
Mar 27 Retro Manchester, UK
Mar 28 Little Buildings Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Mar 30 The Dev, Camden London, UK

Deriva are:
Javier Muñoz (Muñi) – Guitar
Rory Reagan – Drumms
Javier Justo – Bass
Daniel Garea (Minchi) – Guitar

Alicia Nurho – Violin
Julio Martin – Synth


Deriva on Instagram

Deriva on Facebook

Deriva on Bandcamp

Deriva on Spotify

Deriva on YouTube

LaRubia Producciones on Instagram

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Greengoat Premiere Debut Album A.I. in Full; Out Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 25th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

greengoat ai

Tomorrow, Jan. 26, is the arrival of Greengoat‘s conceptual debut album, A.I., which is out through Argonauta Records. The Madrid two-piece formed in 2021 and have been working their way toward this release since then, dropping hints in singles “The Seed” and “A.I.,” which appear in succession following the ambience-backed spoken recitation of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ in the intro “Void,” along with the late-2022 EP Unleash the Fire and initial single “The Mist” the prior May. For drummer/lyricist Ruth “Kalypso” Moya and guitarist/vocalist Ivan Flores it is a moment of realization and still the beginning stages of a longer-term exploration. Having begun as a trio, the guitar-and-drums ethic brings rawness to elements wrought from progressive metal, grunge and ’90s alternative.

The eight-song/37-minute outing centers on the singularity — the theoretical moment at which a programmed artificial intelligence becomes sentient, conscious — and the fallout therefrom, and pairs that with an instrumental scope tied together in part through the spaces left open where bass, keys, etc., might otherwise dwell, emerging with a more distinct presentation as a result. A Down-y verse riff in “A.I.” and the Sabbath chug of finale “Burn the End” have no trouble coexisting, as one would expect, and with some of Helmet‘s discordance, “Human” contrasts the pointedly YOB-style guitar that begins “Naraka II,” while a strong undercurrent drawn from Tool pulls the material together and sometimes harsh (though I don’t fully trust the speakers I’m hearing it through because of a busted laptop; bear with me) wah lead-layer injections that remind of Jerry Cantrell circa Dirt greengoatare peppered through the span, coupled with a vocal melody in “The Seed” that brings to mind Stoned Jesus.

As a record with a story would and probably should, A.I. ends up in a different place than it starts, but Moya and Flores establish their own tonal presence and intricacies in the drumming, extra hits around the snare here and there or the creation of a roll like that in “Naraka I,” further solidify their individuality. Of course, one would be remiss not to note the boom in heavy and particularly progressive heavy happening today on the Iberian Peninsula, and Greengoat strike as being aware of the modern heavy sphere — I think you probably name your band something else if you’re not — but on their own course, and while the subject matter is oft-discussed, at a certain point, hooks are hooks, and “Human,” the atmospheric “The Seed,” “Awake” and “A.I.” demonstrate a purposeful songwriting modus beyond just telling or describing the narrative of this LP. That is to say, as they move forward, that sense of craft will move with them.

I won’t pretend to understand how A.I. works beyond ‘computer eats data and tells you about it,’ which is a modern kind of technological corpse-puppetry. But I use it and would love to be able to tell a robot “go find me all of Greengoat‘s album info and social media links and lay them out in a post so I can write their album premiere” and have it happen. For now that kind of thing is still a manual operation.

PR wire info follows said premiere on the player below. Please enjoy:

Greengoat, A.I. album premiere

Spanish Psychedelic Stoner/Doom band GREENGOAT is pleased to unveil long-awaited details about their upcoming album “A.I.,” scheduled for release on January 26th, 2024, through Argonauta Records.

The band says, “Hey, friends! Brace yourselves for the rollercoaster of emotions we’ve poured into our new album “A.I.,” which will finally be available on the 26th of January 2024. It’s not just music; it’s a piece of our hearts, a ride through our dreams about Humanity’s relationship with artificial intelligence. From the depths of its first tune “Void,” this album tells a story where AI takes consciousness with “The Seed,” meets its creator in “A.I.,” the creator claims its control in “Human,” goes through the dilemma of “Awake” to the outcome of “Naraka I and II” and “Burn the End.” We hope you feel every note as we did creating it.”

“A.I.” tracklisting:
01 Void
02 The Seed
03 A.I.
04 Human
05 Awake
06 Naraka I
07 Naraka II
08 Burn The End

Formed in 2021, the band goes through changes in their ensemble until it consolidates as a duo with guitarist/singer Ivan Flores (Dsgarre, Magnus Ficus) and drummer/lyricist Ruth “Kalypso” Moya (Suevicha, Dashara, Magnus Ficus).

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Saturna Premiere “A Few Words to Say” Video; The Reset Out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on January 16th, 2024 by JJ Koczan


Barcelona classic-progressive heavy rockers Saturna released their fifth full-length, The Reset, last month through Spinda Records and Discos Macarras. A big gallop, an immediate sense of melodic mastery, and the listener is swept into “Your Whimsical Selfishness,” an oddly phrased but welcome hook that is the initial salvo from Saturna‘s latest offering, which in its digital edition runs 14 tracks and 66 minutes with the addition of four bonus live covers to the standard 10 originals. If you’ve heard the record already, great. As well written and produced heavy rock albums will, it snagged scene attention last month; a word of mouth hype spreading through shared links in a manner that it feels strange to think of as organic, because digital reality, but is that anyway.

Brightly fuzzed and putting Toni del Amo‘s guest keys to use with the organ sounds on that opener, Saturna‘s sound brings together decades of rock and heavy influences to feed into its construction. Of course, you get a ’70s-via-’90s feel at the root that one could argue is the foundation for the modern genre, but more pointedly, “Your Whimsical Selfishness” incorporates a stretch of folkish acoustic guitar to ease the transition into “The Never Ending Star,” which also tops five minutes (three songs do, including the first two, which feels purposeful), and has some light touch of Thin Lizzy in the guitars of James Vieco (also vocals) and Alexandre Sánchez, but its verse moves into a light-strum Zeppelin build back to its gentle push of a chorus. The four-piece — Vieco, Sánchez, bassist Rod Tirado and drummer Enric Verdaguer — trade between later Sabbathian largesse and subdued liquefaction on “Smile” and build off the earlier folkishness in the harmonized acoustic cut “December’s Dust” before “Into the Sun” surges forth with admirably Spidergawdy verve. So yes, more Thin Lizzy influence.

This is the part where I tell you Saturna bring their persona to that, and frankly, five albums deep into their tenure, as well they should. But part of what they do is to be in conversation with classics — and I think including not only four bonus covers, but covers of saturna the resetwell known songs in Black Sabbath‘s “A National Acrobat,” The Beatles‘ “Come Together” (which nothing against the band’s version but I don’t think anyone should cover, ever; Soundgarden didn’t need to do it either; it’s not a song that should be touched; take on “Oh! Darling” instead if you’re feeling brave or “Yer Blues” if you wanna go dark), The Doors‘ “Five to One” and Jimi Hendrix‘s “Who Knows,” is intentional in its communion aspect — in their original songwriting as well, and that comes through in the proggy surge of “A Few Words to Say,” which feels like a continuation of the dialogue from “Your Whimsical Selfishness” on some level, maybe thematic, and captures an exciting push coming off the speedier “Into the Sun” that serves as a shift to the slower, more willfully expansive “The Sign,” rife with clearheaded ethereality and sunshiny heft.

“Made of Stone,” the longest song at 7:50, is a full-on classic heavy blues jam. It brings a return of the keys in a prominent role and dual vocals from Vieco and Sánchez as if to emphasize command even at what’s arguably The Reset‘s loosest moment. It builds to a classy apex but never wants to go over the top, so doesn’t, leaving the boogie “On Fire” — Priest via Motörhead is a winning combination — to give a landmark hook before the semi-titular closer “A Way to Reset” finishes along similarly straightforward lines structurally, but pulls back on tempo in favor of a nodding groove and intricate call and response bounce of guitar in its verse, almost Graveyard-esque, but the melody and the takeoff solo are Saturna‘s to be sure. They don’t blow it out at the finish, but the last chorus wants nothing for vibrance as a setup for the quiet finish and, on the download, immediate transition to the start of “A National Acrobat.”

Saturna did a covers night at some point, and apparently recorded it. Fair. Not every band would be malleable enough to shift from the sleek prot0-heavy blues wordplay of “Come Together” to the guttural stomp of “Five to One,” but Saturna make it work, with the vocals no less malleable. “Who Knows” comes across particularly funky, and that’s as reasonable an ending as one could ask for The Reset, which might be related as a title to some sense of starting over for the band — they were on one of Ripple‘s Turned to Stone splits in 2022 with Electric Monolith (review here), and one would not describe their sound at that point as broken or needing resetting, but you never know — or could just as easily be a broader call or something as simple as trying to fix the Super Nintendo they found in the garage. I don’t know, but taken on its own level and merits, The Reset stands up to the mighty forebears of its influences with a strength of craft and performance that are undeniable and a vitally engaging construction. There’s no real room for argument.

The band’s video for “A Few Words to Say,” which includes the shift to new guitarist Max Eriksson, premieres below. Please enjoy:

Saturna, “A Few Words to Say” video premiere

More than 4 years had passed since the Barcelona-based band Saturna released ‘Atlantis’, which was their latest full-length album until now. Much had happened since then, and their members had evolved musically, a fact evident from the first listening of “Your whimsical selfishness” and “The never ending star”, the two advance singles from ‘The reset’, their recently released new studio album.

This new offering from Saturna arrives through Spinda Records and Discos Macarras – who also co-released their previous album – and immediately positions itself as their best album to date , and also the most varied in terms of compositions. It explores a musical landscape that is a blend of hard rock, psychedelia, post-grunge, and heavy rock, as the band pointed out in recent interviews with Bienvenidos a los 90 and Siete Barbas Estudio, where they performed a live session, including “Smile” and “The never ending star”, both tracks from their new album.

Recorded at Analog Drive-in Studios, mixed by their regular collaborator Dani Pernas and mastered at Doctor Master, ‘The reset’ is now officially available in both physical formats (compact disc and vinyl) and digital. The Bandcamp edition includees 4 bonus live tracks featuring covers of Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix y The Doors.

First tour dates announced:
Jan 20 in Barcelona (ES) @ Sala Wolf
Feb 17 in Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES) @ Errekaleor Ouzo Askea
Mar 10 in Torredembarra (ES) @ La Travi
Jul 5 in Tenerife (ES) @ Teatro Leal La Laguna

1. Your whimsical selfishness
2. The never ending star
3. Smile
4. December’s dust
5. Into the sun
6. A few words to say
7. The sign
8. Made of stone
9. On fire
10. A way to reset

All songs have been written and produced by Saturna.
Lyrics by James Vieco and Saturna.

Recorded by Christian A.Korn at Analog Drive-in.
Mixed by Dani Pernas.
Mastered by Estanislao Elorza at Doctor Master.
Artwork and cover by Jondix.
Design and layout by Marta Ramon.

Additional musician:
Toni del Amo – Keyboards

Rod Tirado – Bass
James Vieco – Vocals, guitars
Alexandre Sánchez – Guitars, backing vocals
Enric Verdaguer – Drums

Saturna, The Reset (2023)

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Quarterly Review: Melody Fields, La Chinga, Massive Hassle, Sherpa, Acid Throne, The Holy Nothing, Runway, Wet Cactus, MC MYASNOI, Cinder Well

Posted in Reviews on November 29th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Day three of the Quarterly Review is always a good time. Passing the halfway point for the week isn’t nothing, and I take comfort in knowing there’s another 25 to come after the first 25 are down. Sometimes it’s the little things.

But let’s not waste the few moments we have. I hope you find something you dig.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Melody Fields, 1901

Melody Fields 1901

Though it starts out firmly entrenched in ’60s psychedelia in “Going Back,” Melody Fields1901 is less genre-adherent and/or retroist than one might expect. “Jesus” borrows from ’70s soul, but is languid in its rollout with horn-esque sounds for a Morricone-ish vibe, while “Rave On” makes a hook of its folkish and noodly bridge. Keyboards bring a krautrock spirit to “Mellanväsen,” which is fair as “Transatlantic” blisses out ’90s electro-rock, and “Home at Last” prog-shuffles in its own swirl — a masterclass in whatever kind of psych you want to call it — as “Indian MC” has an acoustic strum that reminds of some of Lamp of the Universe‘s recent urgings, and “Void” offers 53 seconds of drone before the stomp of the catchy “In Love” and the keyboard-dreamy “Mayday” ends side B with a departure to match “Transatlantic” capping side A. Unexpectedly, 1901, which is the Swedish outfit’s second LP behind their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), is one of two albums they have for Fall 2023, with 1991 a seeming companion piece. Here’s looking forward.

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La Chinga, Primal Forces

la chinga primal forces

La Chinga don’t have time for bullshit. They’re going right to the source. Black Sabbath. Motörhead. Enough Judas Priest in “Electric Eliminator” for the whole class and a riffy swagger, loosely Southern in “Stars Fall From the Sky,” and elsewhere, that reminds of Dixie Witch or Halfway to Gone, and that aughts era of heavy generally. “Backs to the Wall” careens with such a love of ’80s metal it reminds of Bible of the Devil — while cuts like “Bolt of Lightning,” “Rings of Power” and smash-then-run opener “Light it Up” immediately positions the trio between ’70s heavy rock and the more aggressive fare it helped produce. Throughout, La Chinga are poised but not so much so as to take away from the energy of their songs, which are impeccably written, varied in energy, and drawn together through the vitality of their delivery. Here’s a kickass rock band, kicking ass. It might be a little too over-the-top for some listeners, but over-the-top is a target unto itself. La Chinga hit it like oldschool masters.

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Massive Hassle, Number One


Best known for their work together in Mammothwing and now also both members of Church of the Cosmic Skull as well, brothers Bill Fisher and Marty Fisher make a point of stripping back as much as possible with Massive Hassle, scaling down the complex arrangements of what’s now their main outfit but leaving room for harmonies, on-sleeve Thin Lizzy love and massive fuzz in cuts like “Lane,” “Drifter,” the speedier penultimate “Drink” and the slow-nod payoff of “Fibber,” which closes. That attitude — which one might see developing in response to years spend plugging away in a group with seven people and everyone wears matching suits — assures a song like “Kneel” fits, with its restless twists feeling born organically out of teenage frustrations, but many of Number One‘s strongest moments are in its quieter, bluesy explorations. The guitar holds a note, just long enough that it feels like it might miss the beat on the turnaround, then there’s the snare. With soul in the vocals to spare and a tension you go for every time, if Massive Hassle keep this up they’re going to have to be a real band, and ugh, what a pain in the ass that is.

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Sherpa, Land of Corals

sherpa land of corals

One of the best albums of 2023, and not near the bottom of the list. Italy’s Sherpa demonstrated their adventurous side with 2018’s Tigris & Euphrates (review here), but the six-song/39-minute Land of Corals is in a class of its own as regards their work. Breaking down genre barriers between industrial/dance, psychedelia, doom, and prog, Sherpa keep a special level of tonal heft in reserve that’s revealed near the end of opener “Silt” and is worthy — yes I mean this — of countrymen Ufomammut in its cosmic impact. “High Walls” is more of a techno throb with a languid melodic vocal, but the two-part, eight-minute “Priest of Corals” begins a thread of Ulverian atmospherics that continues not so much in the second half of the song itself, which brings back the heavy from “Silt” and rolls back and forth over the skull, but in the subsequent “Arousal,” which has an experimental edge in its later reaches and backs its beat with a resonant sprawl of drone. This is so much setup for the apex in “Coward/Pilgrimage to the Sun,” which is the kind of wash that will make you wonder if we’re all just chemicals, and closer “Path/Mud/Barn,” which feels well within its rights to take its central piano line for a walk. I haven’t seen a ton of hype for it, which tracks, but this feels like a record that’s getting to know you while you’re getting to know it.

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Acid Throne, Kingdom’s Death

acid throne kingdom's death

A sludge metal of marked ferocity and brand-name largesse, Acid Throne‘s debut album, Kingdom’s Death sets out with destructive and atmospheric purpose alike, and while it’s vocals are largely grunts in “River (Bare My Bones)” and the straight-up deathly “Hallowed Ground,” if there’s primitivism at work in the 43-minute six-songer, it’s neither in the character of their tones or what they’re playing. Like a rockslide in a cavern, “Death is Not the End” is the beginning, with melodic flourish in the lead guitar as it passes the halfway point and enough crush generally to force your blood through your pores. It moves slower than “River (Bare My Bones),” but the Norwich, UK, trio are dug in regardless of tempo, with “King Slayer” unfolding like Entombed before revealing itself as more in line with a doomed take on Nile or Morbid Angel. Both it and “War Torn” grow huge by their finish, and the same is true of “Hallowed Ground,” though if you go from after the intro it also started out that way, and the 11-minute closer “Last Will & Testament” is engrossing enough that its last drones give seamlessly over to falling rain almost before you know it. There are days like this. Believe it.

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The Holy Nothing, Vol. 1: A Profound and Nameless Fear

the holy nothing vol 1 a profound and nameless fear

With an intensity thrust forth from decades of Midwestern post-hardcore disaffection, Indiana trio The Holy Nothing make their presence felt with Vol. 1: A Profound and Nameless Fear, a five-song/17-minute EP that’s weighted and barking in its onslaught and pivots almost frenetically from part to part, but that nonetheless has an overarching groove that’s pure Sabbath boogie in centerpiece “Unending Death,” and opener “Bathe Me” sets the pummeling course with noise rock and nu metal chicanery, while “Bliss Trench” raw-throats its punkish first half en route to a slowdown that knows it’s hot shit. Bass leads the way into “Mondegreen,” with a threatening chug and post-hardcore boogie, just an edge of grunge to its later hook to go with the last screams, and feedback as it inevitably would, leads the way into “Doom Church,” with a more melodic and spacious echoing vocal and a riff that seems to kind of eat the rest of the song surrounding. I’ll be curious how the quirk extrapolates over a full-length’s runtime, but they sound like they’re ready to get weird and they’re from Fort Wayne, which is where Charlton Heston was from in Planet of the Apes, and I’m sorry, but that’s just too on-the-nose to be a coincidence.

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Runway, Runway


Runway may be making their self-titled debut with this eight-song/31-minute blowout LP delivered through Cardinal Fuzz, Echodelick and We, Here & Now as a triumvirate of lysergic righteousness, but the band is made up of five former members of Saskatoon instrumentalists Shooting Guns so it’s not exactly their first time at the dance of wavy lines and chambered echo that make even the two-minute “No Witnesses” feel broad, and the crunch-fuzz of “Attempted Mordor,” the double-time hi-hat on “Franchy Cordero” that vibes with all the casual saunter of Endless Boogie but in a shorter package as the song’s only four minutes long. “Banderas” follows a chugging tack and doesn’t seem to release its tension even in the payoff, but “Crosshairs” is all freedom-rock, baby, with a riff like they put the good version of America in can, and the seven-minute capper “Mailman” reminds that our destination was the cosmos all along. Jam on, you glorious Canadian freaks. By this moniker or any other, your repetitive excavations are always welcome on these shores.

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Wet Cactus, Magma Tres

wet cactus magma tres

Spanish heavy rockers Wet Cactus look to position themselves at the forefront of a regional blossoming with their third album, the 12-track Magma Tres. Issued through Electric Valley Records, the 45-minute long-player follows 2018’s Dust, Hunger and Gloom (review here) and sees the band tying together straightforward, desert-style heavy rock with a bit of grunge sway in “Profound Dream” before it twists around to heavy-footed QOTSA start-stops ahead of the fuzzy trash-boogie of “Mirage” and the duly headspinning guitar work of “My Gaze is Fixed Ahead.” The second half of the LP has interludes between sets of two tracks — the album begins with “I. The Long Escape…” as the first of them — but the careening “Self Bitten Snake” and the tense toms under the psych guitar before that big last hook in “Solar Prominence” want nothing for immediacy, and even “IV. …Of His Musical Ashes!,” which closes, becomes a charge with the band’s collective force behind it. There’s more to what they do than people know, but you could easily say the same thing about the entire Iberian Peninsula’s heavy underground.

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MC MYASNOI, Falling Lower Than You Expected

MC MYASNOI Falling Lower Than You Expected

All-caps Icelandic troupe MC MYASNOI telegraph their experimentalism early in the drone of “Liquid Lung [Nucomp]” and let some of the noise around the electronic nod in “Antenula [OEBT]” grow caustic in the first half before first bliss then horror build around a progression of drums, ending with sax and feedback and noise and where were the lines between them anyway. The delve into the unknown threads more feedback through “Slug Paradox,” which has a vocal line somewhere not terribly far off from shoegaze, but is itself nothing so pedestrian, while “Kuroki” sounds like it could’ve been recorded at rehearsal, possibly on the other side of the wall. The go-wherever-you-end-up penchant holds in “Bleach in Eye,” and when “Xcomputer must dieX” clicks on, it brings about the rumble MC MYASNOI seem to have been threatening all along without giving up the abidingly oddball stance, what with the keyboard and sax and noise, noise, noise, plus whispers at the end. I’m sure that in the vast multiverse there’s a plenet that’s ready for the kind of off-kilter-everythingism wrought by MC MYASNOI, but you can bet your ass this ain’t it. And if you’re too weird for earth, you’re alright by me.

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Cinder Well, Cadence

cinder well cadence

The 2020 album from transient folk singer-songwriter Cinder Well, No Summer (review here), landed with palpable empathy in a troubled July, and Cadence has a similar minimalist place to dwell in “Overgrown” or finale “I Will Close in the Moonlight,” but by and large the arrangements are more lush throughout the nine songs of Cadence. Naturally, Amelia Baker‘s voice remains a focal point for the material, but organ, viola and fiddle, drums and bass, etc., bring variety to the gentle delivery of “Gone the Holding,” the later reaches of “Crow” and allow for the build of elements in “A Scorched Lament” that make that song’s swaying crescendo such a high point. And having high points is somewhat striking, in context, but Cinder Well‘s range as shown throughout Cadence is beholden to no single emotional or even stylistic expression. If you’d read this and gripe that the record isn’t heavy — shit. Listen again.

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