Kamchatka Premiere “Rainbow Ridge” from Hoodoo Lightning; Album out Nov. 29

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kamchatka

Swedish trio Kamchatka release Hoodoo Lightning on Nov. 29, and they’ll celebrate by hitting the road in Europe alongside Clutch and Graveyard on a tour that will run some 19 gigs as the three-piece herald the arrival of their seventh long-player. Pick a lineage for heavy rock and roll and it’s easy enough to find the manner in which the duel-vocal Stockholm/Varberg outfit do it justice, whether it’s the towering, channel-panning leads of guitarist Thomas Juneor Andersson on the hook-laden “Rainbow Ridge” (premiering below) or the trades back and forth as Andersson and bassist/keyboardist Per Wiberg — he of Spiritual Beggars, Opeth, the even-bluesier Kamchatka-kinda-offshoot King Hobo, and so many others — run a call and response through the classic metal-tinged “Fool” (think Dio-era Sabbath early on). There’s no escaping the ’70s rock influence, and neither does one feel inclined to try throughout the nonetheless cleanly produced 40-minute 10-tracker, but among the histories by which Hoodoo Lightning‘s material does right is that of Sweden’s particular rock legacy itself. Of course, Kamchatka have been around since the turn of the century — their self-titled debut came out in 2005, but they formed earlier — and as noted this is their seventh record. So, even considering that the four years it’s been since they issued their sixth, 2015’s Long Road Made of Gold (review here) — they also had the Stone Cold Shaky Bones 7″ (discussed here) in 2018 — it doesn’t necessarily feel like a surprise that Andersson, Wiberg and drummer Tobias Strandvik know what they’re doing. Their style modernizes classic sounds and brings melodic consciousness and exciting arrangements together with a firm sense of structure and an energetic delivery. Their material is high quality and their presentation of that material is high energy. There’s nothing one could reasonably ask Hoodoo Lightning to be that it isn’t.

And man, is it Swedish. Not German. Not Norwegian. Certainly not Danish. Definitely Swedish. Think about Spice-era Spiritual Beggars or the early work of acts like Mustasch and The Quill and more modern Siena Root. Not nearly as retro as Kamchatka Hoodoo LightningGraveyard, or as definitively fuzzed as Dozer or Lowrider, but that mindset of heavy rock and roll that works so fluidly under the philosophy of straightforward craft and fullness of sound to find a place where Soundgarden circa ’93 and Sabbath circa ’73 exist at the same time. One hears a nod to “Hole in the Sky” as “Blues Science Pt. 1: Thunder Rise” launches Hoodoo Lightning, and the subsequent title-track sets up the bluesy underpinnings that will find bluesy complement on closer “A Drifter’s Tale.” That title-track, also billed as “Blues Science Pt. 2,” begins a string of memorable stompers that continues as “Fool” tells a classic temptation-of-boy-leads-to-his-downfall tale and “Rainbow Ridge” touts the power of love to stand up to the “hard times ahead.” Good to know Kamchatka have been keeping an eye on the rise of right-wing populism in Europe — keep those borders open, folks. Meanwhile, amid starts and stops and a chugging verse, “Supersonic Universe” recounts leaving behind one’s family/existence to tour, that moment of saying goodbye and heading off to do a thing one feels called to even if others don’t fully understand why. The parade of hooks continues there and through the more brash “Monster” and “Let it Roll” — both of which feel created if not specifically to be played on stage, then certainly like they should be as soon as possible (I guess that’d be Nov. 29, so fair enough), before “Stay in the Wind” brings Andersson and Wiberg together on vocals over a more subdued vibe, pulling back on some of the thrust of the two songs prior, though the penultimate “El Hombre Dorado” revives the electric charge with some extra swing from Strandvik and thereby leads smoothly into “A Drifter’s Tale” with its final showcase of traditionalist, blues-crunched heavy rock.

There’s flourish of keys and percussion and some layering in the vocals, but Kamchatka aren’t a band who need a lot of fancy tricks to get their point across, and among Hoodoo Lightning‘s many positive attributes is the fact that while the sound is crisp and modern, it’s not overly so to the point of losing the natural dynamic of the group beneath. Bottom line is, it is a rock album and should be treated accordingly: by rocking it.

Couldn’t be more thrilled to host the premiere of “Rainbow Ridge” below for your streaming pleasure. Hope you like having it stuck in your head, because you’re going to.

Tour dates and more PR wire background on Hoodoo Lightning follow.

Please enjoy:

Hoodoo Lightning, the 7th full length album by long running Swedish three-piece Kamchatka is due for release Nov 29 2019. 10 brand spanking new slabs of relentless blues infused riffage, soulful hooks and wild playing. Mixed and mastered by Black Lounge Studios head honcho Jonas Kjellgren in Sweden.

One step back but two steps forward might be an appropriate way of describing Hoodoo Lightning as all the signature ingredients we’ve come to know are there. The guitar wizardry and heartfelt vocals from Thomas Juneor Andersson as well as the rock solid swinging rhythm section of Tobias Strandvik & Per Wiberg are present as always and guides the listener through all the rock and roll twists and turns imaginable.

But, sonically it’s a grittier Kamchatka we hear this time and it’s evident that there’s a new level of energy shining through Hoodoo Lightning, a more confident take-no-prisoners kind of attitude and closer to the uncompromising experience of seeing the band live. Also introducing the shared lead vocals from Thomas & Per on many of the tracks gives the power trio format an extra punch and a wider dynamic range as well. Combined with the classy as ever songwriting and vigorous performances it’s the sound of a band who knows what they want and what they’re good at!

Produced by Kamchatka & Jonas Kjellgren
Mixed & mastered by Jonas Kjellgren at Black Lounge Studios
Recorded by Tobias Strandvik at Kamchatka Shelter

Hoodoo Lightning strikes!

Kamchatka supporting Clutch/Graveyard December 2019
*only Kamchatka
29.11 SE Borlänge, House Of Blues*
30.11 SE Varberg, Oscars*
02.12 DE Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
03.12 DE Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle
05.12 DE Bremen, Aladin
06.12 DE Nürnberg, Löwensaal
07.12 FR Strasbourg, La Laitere
08.12 FR Lyon, Le Transbordeur
10.12 ES Barcelona, Sala Apolo
11.12 ES Madrid, Sala But
12.12 ES Ourense, Café Cultural Auriense*
13.12 ES Madrid, Sala But Extra show on sale now!
14.12 ES Bilbao, Santana
15.12 FR Bordeaux, Le Rocher de Palmer
17.12 UK Southampton, O2 Guildhall
18.12 UK London, Roundhouse
19.12 UK Leeds, O2 Academy
20.12 UK Nottingham, Rock City
22.12 NL Arnhem, Luxor Live*

Kamchatka is:
Thomas Juneor Andersson – Vocals, Guitars & percussion
Tobias Strandvik – Drums & Percussion
Per Wiberg – Vocals, Bass & Keys

Kamchatka on Thee Facebooks

Kamchatka on Instagram

Kamchatka website

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Kungens Män Announce Hårt Som Ben out Nov. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kungens-man

Yeah, of course you do, because you’re hip like that, but if you don’t keep up with Swedish improv-based jammers Kungens Män to the extent that one can hope to do so, you probably should give it a shot. Their second long-player of the year, Hårt Som Ben, is set to release on Nov. 29 and in following up the already-plenty-right-on Chef (review here), the six-piece lock in across five tracks and 37 minutes of blissed-out vibing that’s so laid back it might as well be actually telling you to calm down — which I guess it kind of is, just instrumentally — and do what they do well, which is explore.

They went out to the woods to make it, they’ll tour the UK for the first time to support it. No audio yet, but all the news is good.

And here it is:

kungens man het som ben

KUNGENS MÄN – ‘Hårt Som Ben’ – November 29th 2019

Kungens Män hail from Stockholm, Sweden and have been around as a musical unit since 2012. Their inspiration comes from the drone, the rattle of the loose screw, the circuit failure of the effects, the phatness of the moog and from the very diverse wiring of a bunch of middle aged Swedish freaks. Kungens Män never plan the next musical move – it presents itself.

Nine months after their acclaimed album ‘Chef’ (also released on Riot Season) the band return with ‘Hårt Som Ben’, a stunning follow up with a debut UK tour to coincide. The LP is released in two variants, pink vinyl in pink sleeve, and black vinyl in black sleeve.

At the end of May 2019 Kungens Män packed a couple of cars full of instruments and life supporting essentials and drove into the woods of Värmland to spend three days in the legendary Silence Studio. It has hosted recordings by bands and musicians like Bo Hansson, Motorpsycho, The Hellacopters, Bob Hund and Union Carbide Productions, the presence felt and seen all over the place.

In between watching VHS tapes with Twin Peaks, Miles Davis and Roskilde Festival 92, cooking pasta, sleeping in bunk beds, Bruce Bannering shirts and chilling in the sun, Kungens Män managed to record about 13 hours of music. Some of it will never reach your ears, but here’s the first slab made public – Hårt Som Ben (translates to ‘Hard As Bone’) Not very hard, that is.

artist: KUNGENS MÄN
title: ‘Hårt Som Ben’
cat # REPOSELP086
Format: LP (Pink Or Black Vinyl)
release date: November 29th 2019

LP Tracklisting
A1. Hårt Som Ben
A2. Måttanpassad Minneslucka
A3. Evigetern
B1. Rose-Maries Bebis
B2. Patriarkivet

KUNGENS MÄN debut UK tour :
Dec 1: Glasgow, Nice ’n’ Sleazy
Dec 2: Newcastle, The Cluny 2
Dec 3: Todmorden, The Golden Lion
Dec 4: Manchester, The Peer Hat
Dec 5: Bristol, The Crofter’s Rights
Dec 6: Chelmsford, The Hot Box

KUNGENS MÄN are :
Mikael Tuominen – guitar & bass VI
Hans Hjelm – guitar
Gustav Nygren – guitar
Magnus Öhrn – bass
Peter Erikson – synthesizer
Mattias Indy Pettersson – drums & percussion

Plus guest appearance by:
Isak Sjöholm – drums & synthesizer

kungensman.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/bandetkungensman
instagram.com/kungensmanband
kungensman.tumblr.com
http://www.riotseason.com
https://www.facebook.com/riotseasonrecords

Kungens Män, Chef (2019)

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Lucifer Announce Southern Tour; Lucifer III Due in March

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lucifer

You know, with the reception Lucifer have gotten over their time together, you’d think Nicke Andersson was in The Hellacopters or something. Or that vocalist Johanna Sadonis came out of hotly-tipped but ultimately shortlived cult duo The Oath or whatever. Oh wait. Okay, so maybe it’s not much of a mystery while the heavy underground has embraced them with open arms, but the work they’re doing speaks for itself. First and foremost, they’ve busted their collective ass touring in Europe and North America, and their records — the latest being last year’s Lucifer II (review here) — have only been met with increasing fervor. Gosh. Maybe they’re a good band or something.

New record, Lucifer III, will be out in March 2020 through Century Media, but somehow I’ll always think of them as a Rise Above band. Maybe that’s just me.

Info from the PR wire:

lucifer tour

LUCIFER ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICA PART III HEADLINE TOUR

Heavy-rock band LUCIFER have just announced their third and final leg of their North American headline tour today. The band will hit the road starting on January 15th in Memphis, TN and ending on January 26th in Tampa, FL. For more information and to purchase tickets for the band’s upcoming tour dates, visit LUCIFER’s Facebook page.

LUCIFER has been touring nonstop in support of their recent full-length album Lucifer II. The band recently wrapped a tour with The Hellacopters for select European shows in May and their first two North American headline tours. Additionally, the band has performed at festivals like Metal Days, Bukta Festival, and Beyond The Gates. They have previously performed at KISS Cruise, Psycho Las Vegas, Desertfest, Hellfest, Muskelrock, Sweden Rock, and Freak Valley.

The group, led by Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson, celebrated massive success in 2018 with the release of Lucifer II, turning heads with their addictive Sabbath-ian hard rock. The album charted at #40 on the German charts, #1 on the Swedish vinyl and hard rock charts, and #2 on the physical album charts. The record is available on vinyl, CD and digitally HERE.

“Oh my Lord! We are incredibly thrilled to announce that the mighty Philip Shouse (bass for Ace Frehley / guitar for Gene Simmons) will join LUCIFER on bass in the US on our upcoming Southern tour! What a legend! Don’t miss this! Tickets go on sale this Friday.”

LUCIFER have commenced work on Lucifer III, which is set for release March 2020. Stay tuned for more details on the forthcoming release.

LUCIFER NORTH AMERICA PART III TOUR 2019
January 15 – Memphis, TN – The Hi Tone
January 16 – Dallas, TX – Three Links
January 17 – Austin, TX – Come And Take It Live
January 18 – Houston, TX – Secret Group
January 19 – New Orleans, LA – Santos
January 21- Birmingham, AL – The Nick
January 22 – Atlanta, GA – 529
January 23 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar
January 24 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music Hall
January 25 – Miami, FL – Churchill’s Pub
January 26 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub

LUCIFER is
Johanna Sadonis – vocals
Nicke Andersson – drums
Alexander Mayr – bass
Martin Nordin – guitar
Linus Björklund – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/luciferofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/lucifertheband/
https://kingsroadmerch.com/lucifer/
http://www.centurymedia.com/
https://www.facebook.com/centurymedia

Lucifer, “California Son” official video

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Review & Track Premiere: Hazemaze, Hymns of the Damned

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Hazemaze Hymns of the Damned

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Shadow in the Night’ from Hazemaze’s Hymns of the Damned. Album is out November 22 through Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music.]

Vinyl preorders for Hazemaze‘s Hymns of the Damned start Nov. 1 through Cursed Tongue Records for a Nov. 22 LP/DL release. Ripple Music is putting the Swedish troupe’s second album out on CD as well, and the band have announced two release shows that are six days apart from each other, so one way or another, you might say the new record from Hazemaze is coming soon and choose your angle of approach accordingly. While there may be several threads involved in the arrival of the eight-track/41-minute follow-up to the Stockholm trio’s 2018 Kozmik Artifactz-delivered self-titled debut (discussed here), the LP itself is a heavy amalgam much easier to process in its garage-doom churn and dug-in riffage, informed by heavy blues but not beholden to them and bearing a persistent atmosphere of threat that speaks to an affinity for classic doom, particularly in songs like “Green River” (premiered here) and the subsequent weighted boogie of the penultimate “Reverend Death.” Those two cuts, as well as the raucous finisher “Forever Trapped in Hell” are shorter, in the three-to-four-minute range, than the five cuts prior that make up side A and the start of side B, and the effect is almost like Hazemaze have reversed the plot of many LPs and put the opening salvo in the closing position and turned the B side into the A side and the A side into the B side. The bottom line? If the release dates don’t disorient you, they’re going to get you one way or the other.

Actually, when it comes to what’s going to “get you,” it’s probably the songwriting. Hazemaze — guitarist/vocalist Ludvig Andersson, bassist Estefan Carrillo and drummer Nils Arkitekten Einéus — might not be revolutionary in aesthetic terms, but what they do, they do well and with the confidence of a band of much longer standing. There’s some element of Monolord-style atmospherics to the vocals on “Shadow in the Night,” the opening track and new single premiering above, but though certainly riffy, Hazemaze‘s trip is rawer in form and more about roll than crush. What “Shadow in the Night” sets in motion continues through the end of Hymns of the Damned in terms of forward momentum and classic affinity. There’s plenty of nod-fodder, to be sure, but as Hazemaze lead the way into “Morbid Lust” on a swinging bassline, there’s no question that movement is a focal point for the band and crucial to their approach. Einéus is duly beastly on his crash cymbal, adding uptempo flair to Andersson‘s riffing and languid vocals, while Carrillo‘s low end lurks beneath the distortion, carrying the weight that is so essential to the proceedings in mood and the sheer delivery. By the time they’re into “Thrill Seeker,” the course is set in terms of overarching groove and the sound and general spirit of the offering, which is ultimately to the band’s credit in terms of their efficiency conveying the grim (but still kind of a good time) ambience through the early tracks.

hazemaze (Photo by Magnus Nicander)

That might be an effect of the noted A/B swap method, or it might just be a consequence of knowing what they want out of their material more generally, but on either level, it only makes Hymns of the Damned more immersive and engaging on the whole for those willing to take it on. “Thrill Seeker” brings chug and violent threat in its verse alike in the Uncle Acid spirit with Andersson touching on layered self-harmony in the vocals, and “Lobotomy” stands among the most outwardly catchy of the inclusions as it rounds out the first half of the tracklist with a hook that continues the momentum set up on the first several tracks. Hazemaze‘s sense of movement might be subtle — that is, it doesn’t feel like they’re shoving you through one track to the next — but it’s there if not brazen in its intensity. They set a balance between atmosphere and push that works well across the span and, again, highlights the contributions particularly of Einéus and Carrillo to the songs on the whole. And though I haven’t seen a lyric sheet, even “Solicitor of Evil” — the longest cut at 6:56 and the presumed side B leadoff — doesn’t seem to be explicitly about killing women, so that’s a plus too if we’re thinking in the sphere of post-Uncle Acid garage doom. Certainly not every band can say the same. I like to think of “Solicitor of Evil” like a devilish attorney, but I’ll say again, I haven’t seen a lyric sheet to confirm that. Would be fun though.

On a lot of records, “Solicitor of Evil,” with its late wah bass and ultra-swing, would be the grand finale, but on Hymns of the Damned it’s just an introduction to the next stage, with “Green River,” “Reverend Death” and “Forever Trapped in Hell” reigniting the riffy momentum — and cowbell — of “Shadow in the Night” and bringing about a more bounding conclusion. In terms of general sound, there’s isn’t so much of a radical shift, but especially across multiple listens, the change is evident as “Solicitor of Evil” gives way to “Green River,” the storytelling aspect of which — “Walking down that dusty road…,” etc. — likewise signals a change of angle. Like the structure of the album generally, it’s not a move a less confident band could pull off, but Hazemaze do it by simply doing it, and that in itself is a statement of who they are as a group. As their second album careens to its brash finish with “Forever Trapped in Hell,” the more active and tightened craft only seems to underscore the point of Hazemaze‘s momentum earlier on the LP, their last hook giving way to a winding charge with a solo in the last minute and a series of hits that uses every single one of the track’s four minutes and 11 seconds. It is righteous and portentous in kind, since Hazemaze come across in the end like a band that still has much more to say; “leave ’em wanting more,” and all that. They do, even with the rest of Hymns of the Damned leading into “Forever Trapped in Hell,” and one can’t help but think that whatever the three-piece do from here, they’ll only have benefited from being so sure and so correct in the decisions they made with and within this material.

Hazemaze on Bandcamp

Hazemaze on Thee Facebooks

Hazemaze on Instagram

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

Cursed Tongue Records on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records on Instagram

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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Abramis Brama to Reissue Entire Discography; Dansa Tokjävelns Vals Due Nov. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

abramis brama in 1999

I’m including the full Abramis Brama bio here. Not because I wrote it — which is sometimes my excuse — or because I’m stoked they’re putting the first album out again for the 20th anniversary, though that is cool, but purely for informational purposes. This is a band I think people should know and should know about, and though I’ve written about them a few times over the years, including their 2018 album, Tusen År (review here), I’m not so much of an egotist as to think everyone who ever reads this site always reads this site. There are statistics to back me up on that, which, if I’m honest, I rarely if ever look at anymore. Numbers are what they are, and I’d rather spend time listening to music than thinking about them.

Further, in addition to wanting to have this information in case anyone sees this post and feels up for some perusal, I also want it here for myself, because at some point, I’m going to want clarity on what Abramis Brama were doing when, and true, this is in my email and will be until that server explodes somewhere, but all the better for backup, because again, this is valuable info to me. Facts and figures, dates and times, riffs and grooves.

So yes, Abramis Brama are reissuing Dansa Tokjävelns Vals. In fact they’re reissuing their whole discography between next month and next summer, one per month. And yes, that’s awesome. But please don’t think I’m including the whole bio here just to fill space, because it’s the internet, and filling the space would be impossible.

From the PR:

abramis brama dansa tokjavelns vals

ABRAMIS BRAMA Re-Issues Their Debut Album DANSA TOKJÄVELNS VALS

Abramis Brama’s debut album’s 20th anniversary is celebrated with a release on vinyl for the very first time, kicking off a series of re-releases of the band’s entire catalogue – with one album every month up until summer 2020

Editions:
– Black LP + Tote Bag
– Black LP
– Transparent Blue LP

Release: 2019-11-29

Bio:

Abramis Brama, named after the latin name for the bream fish, hail from the south side of Stockholm, Sweden and has since its formation in 1997 released seven studio albums and one live album with heavy, ecstatic, riff-oriented hard rock – but with Swedish lyrics, an odd choice at the height of the international stoner rock movement around the turn of the millennium.

The quartet consisting of bassist/vocalist Dennis Berg, guitarist Peo Anderson, drummer Fredrik Jansson and original lead vocalist Christian Andersen first recorded a demo of twelve songs in April 1998, followed by debut album ”Dansa tokjävelns vals” in 1999.

New singer Ulf Torkelsson, formerly of Sunflower, joined the band after the release of the first album, and has fronted the band ever since. The follow-up ”När tystnaden lagt sig…” hit record stores in early 2001, and featured many of the band’s best known songs, and a translation of the Pretty Things number ”Cold Stone” into Swedish as ”Kall som sten”.

Covers of Captain Beyond and Swedish proto-metal pioneers November (who were the first hard rock band to sing in Swedish) were released on tribute albums and singles. After being pressured by their label at the time to record an album in English, the band re-wrote the lyrics for their old songs, rerecorded them with producer Per Wikström and released them as ”Nothing Changes” in 2003.

For ”Rubicon”, released in early 2005, the songs were yet again in Swedish. The band added second guitarist Robert Johansson (from tour partners Backdraft) but soon drummer Fredrik Jansson left the band, later joining Witchcraft (and is now in Angel Witch and Lugnet). His replacement Fredrik Liefvendahl (formerly of both Backdraft and Grand Magus) made his debut on record with the band for their ”Live!” album. ”Smakar söndag”, the band’s only studio album as a quintet, was released in 2009 and nominated for the prestigious P3 Guld award in Sweden by the national radio organization.

Guitarist Robert Johansson left the band in 2011. He was not replaced but instead the band carried on as a quartet, with Peo Andersson handling all guitars, like in their early days. However, at the end of a European tour in the fall of 2012 bassist and founding member Dennis Berg quit the band. An appearance at the legendary German tv show Rockpalast (where they performed solely in Swedish) and the Doom Over Vienna festival were some of his last concerts with Abramis Brama.

The band had then already started to write and plan the recordings for a new studio album, and new bass player Mats Rydström (also from Backdraft, nowadays in Avatarium) joined just in time for the first sessions for ”Enkel biljett”. In 2013 the band made their first live appearances with the new line-up, and was also filmed for a feature about Swedish music by the Brazilian tv show Música na Mochila – a show that’s broadcast all over Latin America.

The title track ”Enkel biljett” was released as a vinyl 7” split single with Norwegian friends Black Debbath in January of 2014, and was followed by the full album in May. It got a warm reception from fans and press alike, and Metal Hammer (UK) wrote: ”Abramis Brama have the bases covered, and while Sweden isn’t in danger of running out of vintagegear retro-rawk shapes, these beardy longhairs have their shit nailed.”

In the liner notes Swedish linguist and tv personality Fredrik Lindström called Abramis Brama Sweden’s most consistent band: ”In order to be consistent, you have to be confident. Abramis Brama sings about humanity, onus and existence with a burning commitment that would make Strindberg recant his words that his fire was the biggest in Sweden.”

Since then the band has toured Sweden, not just the major cities but all over this weird land, and played all the key festivals such as Metallsvenskan, Muskelrock, Getaway, Krökbacken and of course Sweden Rock Festival (for the fourth time). Upon their return to Germany in August of 2017, for the Aquamaria Festival, it became evident that good rock’n’roll is in itself a universal language.

In the spring of 2018, Abramis Brama signed with new label Black Lodge Records and released the ”Tusen år” album, which went to #2 on the Swedish hard rock charts and vinyl charts. Starting in November 2019, on the 20th anniversary of the release of the debut album ”Dansa tokjävelns vals”, the complete back catalogue will be re-released on vinyl, one record at a time, with expanded cover art and unreleased bonus tracks in some cases.

www.abramisbrama.com
www.facebook.com/abramisbrama
www.instagram.com/abramisbramaofficial
https://abramisbrama.bandcamp.com/
https://smarturl.it/BLOD128
https://www.facebook.com/blacklodgerecords/
https://blacklodgerecords.bandcamp.com/

Abramis Brama, “Tunga Tankar”

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Review & Full Album Stream: Goatess, Blood and Wine

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Goatess Blood and Wine

[Click play above to stream Goatess’ Blood and Wine in full. Album is out Friday on Svart Records.]

Let’s get it established right away that the third Goatess full-length, Blood and Wine, continues the thread of quality output the Swedish outfit began with their 2013 self-titled debut (review here) and pushed forward on their 2016 second album, II: Purgatory Under New Management (review here). Blood and Wine arrives holding firm to an every-three-year pace and to notions of traditional Sabbathian heavy alike, but the band’s circumstances have changed considerably. Guitarist Nicklas Jones and drummer Kenta Karlbom are the only remaining original members of the four-piece, and along with bassist Samuel Cornelsen, who comes aboard as at least the third low-end specialist with whom the band have worked over the course of their decade together, Goatess also have a new frontman in vocalist Karl Buhre. Also of Stockholm-based death metallers CrucifyreBuhre takes the place of Christian “Chritus” Linderson (still of Lord Vicar, ex-Count Raven, Saint Vitus, etc.), and therein lies the inevitable narrative of the record.

At 65 minutes long, Blood and Wine tips the scales of manageability, but the songs it collects groove enough and are memorable enough to effectively carry the listener through that extended run, whether it’s the loosely drifting verses of “Jupiter Rising” or the weighted landmark hooks of “Dead City” early on and the penultimate “Stampede,” both of which stand out in Goatess catalog as a whole, no matter who’s in the band. Songwriting has always been Goatess‘ secret weapon, and it comes more to the forefront with Blood and Wine, and in bookending the record with its two longest tracks in opener “Goddess” (8:15) and closer “Blood and Wine” (14:07), they create a context of immersion that grabs attention from the first lead lines of “Goddess” and holds through the extended fading jam of the finale. All of this is to say that while invariably there are those for whom Blood and Wine will be defined by the change in personnel up front — and fair enough — Goatess remain unflinching in their commitment to the proliferation of high grade traditionalist doom heavy.

And riffs. Oh, they’ve got riffs. Jones leads much of the proceedings throughout, and as Goatess dig into rockers like “Black Iron Mark” and “Dark Days,” there’s an undercurrent of classic heavy rock that comes through in a way that Buhre‘s vocals only help emphasize. The latter of those is the centerpiece of the tracklisting and also the shortest inclusion at 4:23, and it’s about as straight-ahead a rocker as I can ever recall the band putting together, though they’ve had a few at this point. Still, a raw production sound on Karlbom‘s snare and the manner in which Buhre follows the rhythmic patterning of the guitar gives “Dark Days” a rudimentary mood that suits the sans-frills structure, and there’s plenty of heft in the subsequent “Dunerider” as the lead tone recalls the opener but moves into a speedier chug and finds the vocals engaging some effective layering in the hook that one hopes will become a point of further development in the future.

goatess

“Dunerider” is the opener of the second of Blood and Wine‘s two LPs, so perhaps its mirroring “Goddess” is intentional, but it works either way, no less so than the psych flourish of “Jupiter Rising” seeming to be in sonic conversation with the languid build in the second half of “What Lies Beneath” at the outset of side B. Amid a generally more swinging, rocking approach, there’s still plenty of doom to be found in Goatess‘ sound, they’ve simply become more dynamic in how it’s applied. As resistant as a fan of their first two records might be to such a change, it’s not actually so radical a leap from one to the other so much as it is a readjustment of the balance that’s been at the core of their work all along. There are shifts in style, sure, but it’s nothing that those who heard and dug the self-titled or its follow-up shouldn’t be able to get on board with, barring any “no Chritus no Goatess“-type griping.

Maybe that’s inevitable to some degree in the current social media climate even as it applies to underground heavy and doom, and I’m not trying to minimize the presence Linderson brought to Goatess at all. What remains, however, is a band who set themselves to the task of reestablishing their place in a heavy pantheon where they’d previously found vigilant welcome, and, I’d argue, doing that to righteous effect. A second debut? Not really, but certainly a debut for Buhre, who gives flashes here of the singer he might become in Goatess going forward, as heard on “Dunerider” and again in the side D-consuming title-track, which effectively summarizes Blood and Wine‘s blend of doom and rock while bringing a more open sensibility to the proceedings than Goatess have ever had before.

That jam takes hold shortly after about minutes in and carries through in semi-hypnotic fashion, the band essentially riding the final riff into oblivion and stretching it outward across a wash-soaked landscape before the march moves into its long fadeout. Certainly Goatess have had long tracks before, but “Blood and Wine” owns its 14 minutes with a sense of mastery that is very much evidence of a band on their third album knowing where they’ve been before and willing themselves to push beyond it. Given the changes they’ve undertaken since the last offering, Goatess do succeed in that progression on Blood and Wine — much, honestly, to one’s relief as a fan of the first two LPs. And in some subtle ways, they demonstrate where they might go in terms of style in the future as the chemistry with their new lineup more fully develops. More harmonies, more toying with structure, and a malleable sense of weight and production style can only be assets to Goatess from here on out, as they certainly help make their third record a victory in much more than let’s-just-keep-going fashion. This is a band who still have more to say.

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Goatess on Bandcamp

Svart Records website

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Goatess Set Sept. 27 Release for Blood and Wine

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

goatess

It’s a different Goatess this time around. Since the arrival of 2016’s II: Purgatory Under New Management (review here), the Swedish doom traditionalists have swapped out bassists and frontmen, and the Sept. 27 release of Blood and Wine will be their first record with Karl Buhre on vocals and Samuel Cornelsen (also Count Raven) handling low end. Buhre in particular has some rather sizable shoes to fill — those of Christian “Chritus” Linderson — but certainly guitarist Niklas Jones and drummer Kenta Karlbom have established a presence of their own over the course of the band’s two full-lengths to-date, so I look forward to digging into the new one and hearing what the personnel swap turns up in terms of their overall dynamic. The PR wire hints toward some desert rock vibes, which only has me more curious.

No audio yet, but here’s art and info and the always-coveted preorder link:

Goatess Blood and Wine

GOATESS set release date for new SVART album

Svart Records announces September 27th as the international release date for Goatess’ highly anticipated third album, Blood and Wine, on CD and vinyl LP formats.

Goatess summon the frenzy and religious ecstasy of a Bacchus cult with the aptly titled Blood and Wine. Riffs of biblical, Cecil B. DeMille magnitude part the Red Sea and chariot their way across the dunes like a relentless raging Roman legion. Expert songwriting by modern veterans of the scene, Sweden’s Goatess take the traditional doom metal foundations of Saint Vitus, Trouble, and early Cathedral out to the desert and mold it into a set of arid, hypnotic stoner grooves. Bringing to mind modern classics of desert rock like the catchier moments of Kyuss’ Sky Valley and Corrosion Of Conformity’s Blind albums, Blood and Wine is a thirst-quenching refreshment in a parched dust bowl. The revitalized lineup of Kenta Karlbom (drums) and Niklas Jones (guitar) with new initiates Karl Buhre (vocals) and Samuel Cornelsen (bass) have struck a mother lode of gold with their rich doom pedigree and a newfound lifeblood in their chemistry. Having already tread the hallowed boards of sonic temples all over Europe several times, Blood and Wine will see the Goatess cult of doom enthusiasts drawn in anew and the Bacchanalia cult swelling in their hooded numbers.

Nine doses of intoxicating mesmerism that showcase seasoned and masterful command of doom-craft, this album marks Goatess finding a stride in their cloven hooves. Captivating and subtly epic songs steamroll a slow descent into the underworld deserts of your mind, providing a suitable companion to nights of group debauchery or solo excursions to the soul’s outer limits. Giving in to the Bacchanalia at the heart of this record induces a mythical orgy of sonic Sabbathian riff-worship that’s impossible to deny. Once you pop the cork on this barrel-fermented vintage cask, you will enjoy and savor every heavy gulp until the very last drop.

First track premiere to be revealed shortly. Preorder info can be found HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Goatess’ Blood and Wine
1. Goddess
2. Dead City
3. What Lies Beneath
4. Black Iron Mark
5. Dark Days
6. Dunerider
7. Jupiter Rising
8. Stampede
9. Blood and Wine

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Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (2016)

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Hazemaze Premiere “Green River”; Hymns of the Damned Due in November

Posted in audiObelisk on July 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hazemaze

Swedish doom rockers Hazemaze release their second album, Hymns of the Damned, this November through Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music. The band’s alignment to the two labels — the former for vinyl, the latter CD — was announced in May, along with the title of the record, and in following up their 2018 self-titled debut on Kozmik Artifactz, the Stockholm three-piece present an energy that leaves little to wonder why others would want to get behind the release as they have. “Green River” — a tale of murder most foul — is the first audio to come from the offering, and its vibe is straight-ahead doom rock that makes its impression with groove and melody at the forefront of priorities. Okay, it’s plenty heavy and catchy too. You got me.

The band acknowledges that heft as something purposeful as well, and talks about it as representative for their “new direction” on the second record. I can’t confirm how much “Green River” does or doesn’t represent the entirety of Hymns of the Damned since — and given that it’s not out for four-plus months, this shouldn’t be a surprise — I haven’t heard it yet, but the single doesn’t seem so radically different from what the Stockholm outfit were doing on a song like “Minds Abyss” from their debut, though I’ll allow that “Green River” is more efficient on the whole and that might also be what they’re talking about in the quote below. Whatever the case, the chance to sample some new wares from the band is cool by me, to be sure, and if you’re the preorder type, I’m sure there’s enough here to have you beating the doors down.

Enjoy the track:

Hazemaze on “Green River”:

”Green River” was the last song that we wrote before entering the studio in late March. We refer it as the “Pentagram song” because it got that kind of 1994s Be Forewarned vibe to it. It’s a really heavy tune and we felt that this is the song that we wanted to release first because it captures the band’s new direction in style yet maintains the essence of the debut album.

On VINYL (Cursed Tongue Records) and CD/DIGITAL (Ripple Music) November 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music have teamed up for a joint release of Stockholm, SE 70’s stoner doom trio Hazemaze’s dark and menacing sophomore album ‘Hymns of the Damned’. When the three Swedes released their debut album last year on German label Kozmik Artifactz it was to much applaud from the heavy underground community.

The band has just finished recording of the follow-up album to their successful self-titled debut LP. We have had a sneak-peak on the pre-production of the new album and we can ensure you that you are in for a thrilling, riff-heavy showcase of retro-tinged stoner doom from the top drawer. Brace yourself to hear Hazemaze at their darkest, most energetic and heaviest yet as they have truly upped the irons on ‘Hymns of the Damned’.

Hazemaze is ready to take on the big league and are bringing the riffs the size of mountains, so get ready to be washed over with heavy, fuzzy riffs and low-ends. It’s soon time to rip it up to one this year’s best heavy stoner doom albums, ‘Hymns of the Damned. We are all damned, we are all cursed so let the ripple of riff-waves carry us away. Get psyched!

Hazemaze is:
Ludvig – Guitar/Vocals
Nils – Drums
Estefan – Bass

Hazemaze on Bandcamp

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Hazemaze on Instagram

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

Cursed Tongue Records on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records on Instagram

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Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music website

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