Quarterly Review: Alcest, Superchief, Test Meat, Stones of Babylon, Nightstalker, Lewis & the Strange Magics, Room 101, Albatross Overdrive, Cloud Cruiser, The Spiral Electric

Posted in Reviews on January 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Welcome to Day Three of The Obelisk’s Winter 2020 Quarterly Review. It’s gonna be kind of a wild one. There’s a lot going on across this batch of 10 records, and it gets kind of weird — also, it doesn’t — so sit tight. It’ll be fun either way. At least I hope so. I’ll let you know when I’m finished writing. Ha.

Today we pass the halfway point on the road to 50 reviews by Friday. I think I’m feeling alright up to this point. It’s been a crunch behind the scenes, but it usually is and I’ve done this plenty of times now, so it’s not so bad. I always hold my breath before getting started, but once I’m in it, I rarely feel anymore overwhelmed than I might on any other given day. Which is still plenty, but you know, you make it work.

So let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Alcest, Spiritual Instinct

alcest spiritual instinct

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the label’s modus in this regard as it’s picked up bands from the heavy underground over the last eight to 10 years — arguably a movement that began with Affordable papers - buy more online! Accessing the benefits of using custom paper writing services for writing quality papers with ease. Order now! Graveyard in 2012 — but Parisian post-black metal innovators Write An Essay About Kathmandu - Students that attend college should not get paid for [tags: fans support, college teams, college athletes] 963 words (2 Alcest make something of an aesthetic shift with their first outing for see here now - diversify the way you cope with your assignment with our professional service Get to know easy tips how to get a plagiarism Nuclear Blast, Hire expert PhD thesis writers from Hyderabad, India for completing your thesis report. Enquire Today for our go heres in Hyderabad. Spiritual Instinct. Melody, of course, remains central to their purposes, but in the nine-minute side B opener “L’Île des Morts” as in its side A counterpart “Les Jardins de Minuit,” the subsequent “Protection” and “Sapphire” and even in the crescendo — glorious wash as it is — of the closing title-track, one can hear a sharper, decidedly metallic edge to the guitar and impact of the drums. That’s a turn from 2016’s  Continue Readings online. UK Best Essays offers the best and most affordable essay writing service. Buy custom essays from UK Best Essays. Kodama (review here), which offered more of a conceptual progressivism, and of course the prior 2014 LP, http://ichakang.com/finding-someone-to-write-college-material/ requires professional eye and qualified skills. And all these you can get from our expert! Shelter (review here), which cast of metallic trappings almost entirely. Why the change? Who cares, it works, and they still have room for the cinematic keyboard-led drama of “Le Miroir” and plenty of the wistful emotionalism that’s been their hallmark since their debut in 2007. They’ve long since mastered their approach and http://meitoku.edu.vn/?rank-buy-essays for international students. A complete set of academic support tools that will most definitely suit your individual needs. Spiritual Instinct serves as another example of their being able to make their sound do whatever they want.

Alcest on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

Superchief, Moontower

superchief moontower

Four records and just about a decade deep into a tenure that began with the 2010 Read More Here - commit your essay to qualified writers employed in the company get the required paper here and put aside your fears witness the Rock Music EP (review here), Iowa heavy rockers http://www.kvalitne-tepelne-cerpadla.sk/international-finance-assignment-help/. Job type Contract; Location Waterford, Republic of Ireland; Sector Pharma & Biotech; Technical Writer . 6 month contract with high Superchief have found ways to bring an inventiveness to what’s still an ostensibly straightforward approach. pay essay uk Where Can I Find Required Military Service Essay thesis phd noise attenuation australia writing essays help Moontower, named for a lookout point where — at least presuming from the album’s artwork — people tailgate and get drunk, finds the dudely five-piece no less embroiled in burl than they’ve ever been, but using samples and other elements in interesting ways as with the revving motor matching step with the drums at the start of “Barking Out at the Blood Moon” or keyboards in “Rock ‘n’ Roll War” filling out the breaks where the riffs take a step back. Handclaps early in “Beer Me Motherfucker” — as much post-“Introduction” mission statement for the LP as a whole as anything — set the party tone, and from the shaker on “The Approach” to the Southern tinged shred and organ on closer “Priority of the Summer,” a car speeding by at the finish, Looking to buy term paper online? Its the 21st century now and find more is the modern way that students today make it through Superchief find ways to make each of their songs stand out from its surroundings. Then they pair that with choice riffery, pro-shop sound and hooks. Sure enough, it’s once again a winning formula and a distinct showing of personality and craft that still comports with classic heavy style.

Superchief website

Superchief on Bandcamp

 

Test Meat, Enjoy

test meat enjoy

Boston duo enter Online via our Expert Coursework Writing Service and avail up to 50% discount with amazing add-ons and 100% money back guarantee. Test Meat are so utterly bullshit-free as to be almost intimidating. Guitarist/vocalist go to site - The Leading Paper Writing and Editing Help - We Help Students To Get Secure Assignments With Discounts Online Academic Darryl Shepard ( http://g-x-m.de/writing-for-money-uk. admission college essay help Succeeding in college starts with your application package and asking for college admission essay help is a step in the and with our admissions essay help,personal statement, admission essay, application essay. Kind, By We do not reuse ANY custom papers and we do . Have you ever wondered why do teachers and professors give you Why Thus Ever Does The Gross Fatality is it Blackwolfgoat, Hackman, Milligram, etc.) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid) dig into heavy grunge and noise rock influences across a 10-track/27-minute full-length that resounds with punker roots and an ethic of willful straightforwardness. It’s not that the music is so intense there would be no room for frills, it’s that the structures are so tight and so purposefully barebones that they’d be incongruous. And it’s not that Test Meat are writing half-hearted songs, either. Frankly, neither the quality of their material nor the sharpness of the sound they captured at New Alliance Studio with Alec Rodriguez would remotely lead one to believe so, and nothing with such stylistic clarity happens by mistake. This is a band with a mission, and Enjoy finds them bringing that mission to life with a complete lack of pretense. It’s a reminder of what made grunge so appealing in the first place some 30 years and an entire internet ago. Songs and performance. Yes.

Test Meat on Thee Facebooks

Test Meat on Bandcamp

 

Stones of Babylon, Hanging Gardens

Stones of Babylon Hanging Gardens

Following a 2018 live demo, Portuguese instrumental three-piece Stones of Babylon — guitarist Rui Belchior, bassist João Medeiros, drummer Pedro Branco — embark with a conceptualist intent on their debut full-length, Hanging Gardens, issued through Raging Planet. An opening sample in the leadoff title-track describing the hanging gardens of Babylon sets the stage for what the band goes on to describe with wordless atmospheres over the five-song/47-minute long-player, their vision of heavy psychedelia touched with a suitable Middle Eastern/North African influence in the initial unfolding of the meditative 11-minute “Coffea Arabica” or the winding lead work over the punchy low end of “Black Pig’s Secret Megalith.” But Hanging Gardens is still very much a heavy rock release, and its material showcases that in tone and mood, with volume changes and builds taking hold like that in centerpiece “Ziggurat,” which in its second half sets a march of distorted largesse nodding forth until its final crashout. They save the most drift for “Babylonia (The Deluge),” and if they’re finishing with the story of the flood, one can’t help but wonder what narrative course they might follow in a second record. On the other hand, if one comes out of Hanging Gardens trying to envision Stones of Babylon‘s future, then the debut would seem to have done its job, and so it has. There’s stylistic and tonal promise, and with the edge of storytelling, an opportunity for development of which one hopes they avail themselves.

Stones of Babylon on Thee Facebooks

Raging Planet website

 

Nightstalker, Great Hallucinations

nightstalker great hallucinations

Frontman Argy and Greek heavy rock institution Nightstalker return with their eighth album in a quarter-century run, Great Hallucinations. Also their first LP for Heavy Psych Sounds after issuing 2016’s As Above So Below (review here) on Oak Island Records, it’s an up-to-par eight-track collection of catchy tracks marked out by psychedelic elements but underpinned by traditionalist structures, Argy‘s distinctive frontman presence, and an all-around unforced feeling of a mature, established band doing what they do. Not going through the motions in the sense of fulfilling some perceived obligation to stay on the road, but creating the songs they want to create in nothing less than the manner they want to create them. I won’t take away from the roll of “Seven out of Ten,” but as “Cursed” taps into a legacy of European heavy rock that runs from Dozer‘s turn of the century work — not to mention Nightstalker‘s own — to outfits today, it’s hard not to appreciate an act being so assured in what they do in terms of execution while actually doing it. In that way, Great Hallucinations is as refreshing as it is familiar.

Nighstalker on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Lewis and the Strange Magics, Melvin’s Holiday

Lewis and the Strange Magics Melvins Holiday

From their beginnings in garage doom and subsequent dive into exploitation/vamp psych, Barcelona’s Lewis and the Strange Magics put themselves in even weirder territory on their third album, Melvin’s Holiday, centering a story around the titular character whose life is in turmoil and so he goes on vacation. The sound of the band seems to do likewise, veering into ’70s lounge sleaze and island influences, toying with funky rhythms and keyboards amid catchy choruses across what still would have to be called an experimental 34-minute run. It is a concept album, to be sure, and one that comes through in its stylistic choices like the dreamy keyboards of the centerpiece “Carpet Sun” or the fuzzy stomp in “Sad in Paradise” and the percussion amid the Ween-sounding lead guitar buzz of “Lounge Decadence.” This could be Lewis and the Strange Magics working purposefully to cast off any and all expectation that might be placed on them, or it could just be a one-off whim, but there’s no question they pull off an impressive turn and carry the concept through in story and substance. When it comes to what they might do next time, the payoff of closer “Afternoon on the Sand” serves as one more demonstration that the band can do whatever the hell they want with their sound, so I’d expect them to do no less than precisely that.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Bandcamp

 

Room 101, The Burden

room 101 the burden

The debut EP from Lansing, Michigan, four-piece Room 101, called simply The Burden, would seem to take a scorched-earth approach to atmospheric sludge, setting their balance to exploring ambient textures and samples in pieces like “You Will Never Know Security” — which, sure enough, samples 1984 to recount the origin of the band’s name — and the brief “A Place to Bury Strangers,” while the churning “As the Crow Flies” and “Missing Rope” present an outright extremity that comes through in post-Godflesh vocal barks and a Through Silver in Blood-style intensity of churn and general approach. Yet I wouldn’t necessarily call Room 101 post-metal — at least not here. The solo on “Missing Rope” seems to draw from more traditional sources, and the manner in which the chugging in “Plague Dogs” caps with a sudden quick series of hits recalls grindcore’s pivoting brutality. One might hope all of these elements get fleshed out more over subsequent releases, but as a first outing, part of The Burden‘s promise is also drawn from the sheer rawness of its impact and the lack of compromise in its wrench of gut.

Room 101 on Thee Facebooks

Room 101 on Bandcamp

 

Abatross Overdrive, Ascendant

albatross overdrive ascendant

Albatross Overdrive‘s 2016 LP, Keep it Running (review here), ran 31 minutes. Their follow-up, Ascendant, reaches to 33, but loses two tracks in the doing. Clearly, one way or the other, this is a conscious ethic on the band’s part, and it tells you something about their approach to heavy rock as well. There’s nothing too fancy about it — even in “Come Get Some,” which is the longest song the band have ever written at 6:40 — and they are not an outfit to waste their time. Structures run from verse to chorus to verse to chorus led through by guitarists Andrew Luddy and Derek Phillips and Art Campos‘ gritty delivery with an expectedly solid underpinning from bassist Mark Abshire (ex-Fu Manchu) and drummer Rodney Peralta and songs like the careening title-track and the blues-licked shover “Undecided” are enough to give the impression that anything else would be superfluous. They’re not lacking style — because ’70s-meets-’90s-straight-ahead-heavy is, indeed, a style — but it’s the level of their craft that stands them out.

Albatross Overdrive on Thee Facebooks

Albatross Overdrive on Bandcamp

 

Cloud Cruiser, I: Capacity

Cloud Cruiser I Capacity

Kyuss-style riffing takes a beating at the hands of Chicago newcomers Cloud Cruiser — who are not to be confused with Denver’s Cloud Catcher — who make their debut on vinyl through Shuga Records with I: Capacity, giving an aggressive push to what’s commonly considered a more laid back sound. In tone and rhythm and general gruffness, they are a deceptively pointed outfit, with turns of broader groove like that at the outset of “575” that speak to more influences than simply those of the Cali desert. They start off catchy and familiar-if-reshaped, though, on “Transmission” and “Glow,” letting their tale of alien abduction unfold across the lyrics while setting up the shifts that “Gone” and “575” and the thick-boogie of “Orbitalclast” will make before the EP’s would-be-clean-but-for-all-that-dirt-it’s-kicked-up 23-minute run is through. The balance they present speaks to a background in metal, though if they’re fresh arrivals in this realm of heavy, you’d never know it from the lumbering finish they present. Sometimes you just gotta get mean to get your point across. It suits

Cloud Cruiser on Thee Facebooks

Shuga Records website

 

The Spiral Electric, The Spiral Electric

the spiral electric the spiral electric

It is a progressive interpretation of fuzz ‘n’ buzz that San Francisco four-piece The Spiral Electric realize on their self-titled, self-released debut long-player, with recording and mixing by Dead Meadow‘s Steve Kille, the band — vocalist/synthesist/noisemaker/guitarist/percussionist/co-producer Clay Andrews, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Nicolas Percey, bassist Michael Summers and drummer Matias Drago — bridge the generally disparate realms of heavy psych and riffer heavy rock, giving a dreamy sensibility to “Marbles” with no less an organic vibe than they brought to the howling, attitudinal push of “No Bridge Left Unburned” earlier. They skillfully mess with the scale across the lengthy 14-track span, and thereby hold their audience for the duration in longer pieces like “The True Nature of Sacrifice” (8:24) as easily as they do in a series of three episodic interludes of noise, field recordings, synth, etc. This is a band ready, willing and able to space. the hell. out., and after listening to the record, you’d be a fool if you wanted to try. Not that they don’t have aspects to shore up or shifts that could be tightened and so on, but from ambition to fruition, it’s the kind of first record bands should aspire to make.

The Spiral Electric on Thee Facebooks

The Spiral Electric on Bandcamp

 

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Alcest to Release Spiritual Instinct on Oct. 25; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

alcest

Alcest are one of those bands who, every time they put out a new release, I see the news about it, listen to some new music if I’m lucky, then get all stoked, write about, and get absolutely zero response. I don’t know if there’s just no audience crossover or what, but this is a popular band, and yet each and every time I put up a post about them: crickets. I mean, I know I’m hardly the only one in the universe covering them, and at least in the case of this news, I’m a couple days late with it, but yeah. They’re just one of those bands. There are a few of them, of varying styles.

Still, I like Alcest, so yes, I am posting about how their new album, Spiritual Instinct, is out Oct. 25 as their debut release on Nuclear Blast, and that the lead single “Protection” is surprisingly intense considering where the band’s last two outings, 2016’s Kodama (review here) and 2014’s maligned-but-gorgeous Shelter (review here), took them. Alcest would hardly be the first band to enter into alliance with Nuclear Blast and mark a turning point with their sound on their next LP — think Blues PillsKadavarGraveyard and a bunch of others — but it’s a noteworthy shift, in no small part because the new song sounds so damn good.

It came via the PR wire:

ALCEST TO RELEASE 6TH ALBUM, SPIRITUAL INSTINCT, ON OCT 25TH

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR FIRST SINGLE, “PROTECTION” AND PRE-ORDER THE RECORD NOW

On October 25th, ALCEST will once again open the gateways to the otherworldly and release their sixth studio album titled Spiritual Instinct. Recorded at the French Drudenhaus Studios and written in bursts both during and after a prolonged period of touring in support of 2016’s hugely successful Kodama, the new album – the first to be released via Nuclear Blast – will lead the blackgaze pioneers into dark soundscapes full of spiritual catharsis.

Today, the wait is over as singer/multi-instrumentalist Neige and drummer Winterhalter have revealed the first single “Protection” from the band’s upcoming album.

Frontman Neige comments:
“‘Protection’ is the first track I wrote for »Spiritual Instinct«. It’s probably one of our most heavy, spontaneous songs. It is about inner conflict, the tension between the spiritual and darker sides of a person, facing your own anguishes in order to embrace them and then fight them. Like the other tracks on the album, writing it was a very cathartic, healing process for me.”

The music video for “Protection” was filmed by director Craig Murray (Mogwai, Blood Red Shoes).
Stream or download the new single, here: https://nblast.de/Alcest-Protection

The album is now available for pre-order in the following formats:

– digipak in O-card
– 36 pages earbook including 2 CD + 180g LP (stone effect) (limited to 2000 copies)
– 180g LP in sleeve available in the colors:
black (retail)
ocean green (NB mailorder + wholesale, limited to 500 copies)
burgundy (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
polar white (Rough Trade exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
royal blue (band shop exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
– Boxset collector’s edition including 2 CDs + 180g LP (stone effect), earbook, bonus mini LP (violet sparkle, etched) in sleeve, art prints and patch (limited to 500 copies)
– Digital

USA exclusive vinyl colors:
mint green (retail, limited to 1.700 copies)
clear+blue/bone splatter (indie exclusive, limited to 300 copies)
blood red (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 500 copies)

Get your copy of Spiritual Instinct, released on October 25th, here: https://nblast.de/AlcestSpiritInstinct
Pre-save the album on Spotify via this link: http://nblast.de/ALCESTpreSave

ALCEST are:
Neige – vocals, guitars, bass, synths
Winterhalter – drums

https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official
https://www.instagram.com/alcestofficial/
https://www.alcest-music.com/
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https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/shop/index.html

Alcest, “Protection” official video

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