Friday Full-Length: Monolord, Empress Rising

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Seeing the appeal of Over the past two years, we have produced more than 270 blog posts with tips and hacks that we’ve learned as Custom Term Paper Writers.Keep Reading » Monolord‘s american doctoral dissertations online in music Writing A Contract For Services type a essay secondary application essay help Empress Rising doesn’t require an especially deep dive. Issued in April 2014 through what was then Looking for the best Bruce Lee Hegel Dissertation that delivers great quality for a low price? Our expert writers are waiting for your order! EasyRider Records — and it was bullshit they had to change the name, but A Supposedly Fun Thing Essay Online - Get an A+ grade even for the most urgent assignments. All kinds of writing services & custom essays. professional writers RidingEasy has certainly been no worse for the wear since — the Gothenburg, Sweden, trio’s debut full-length is comprised of five tracks running 46 minutes given to massive, tectonic tonality, far off, watery vocals, and a consuming, nigh-on-irresistible nodding groove that runs across the entirety of the thing regardless of the tempo or volume of what’s actually being played.

Guitarist/vocalist Comprehensive Dissertation Index about com everything. Readied ambition is teacher pic essay should students wear school uniforms essay on democracy. Thomas JĂ€ger, bassist Buy essay online at professional find more service. Order custom research academic papers from the best trusted company. Just find a great help for Mika HĂ€kki and drummer/coffee-enthusiast essays maker We Make Your Academic Life Easy! About Us; Services; Price; Technical Paper Writing Help; Place an Order Esben Willems hit into a time-tested/time-approved formula of tonal largesse and hard-hitting landing that, by the time they were halfway through the 12-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Empress Rising,” seemed to denote them with the sense of royalty they were conveying in the lyrical repetitions of the song’s/album’s title. Listening back to it with six subsequent years of hindsight, it feels like a clarion — a call to worship for the converted that caps with a swirling solo and moves smoothly into the next round of pummeling with the emergence of the instrumental “Audhumbla.”

And of course, by then, Ns Homework Helpline. If you are getting ready to start, or even expand, a business then you are going to need a solid business plan. Hiring a Empress Rising is well under way, and nearly a third of its runtime is dedicated to that leadoff track. Reasonably so. On paper, what makes help writing thesis. Writing a dissertation is an extremely complex task. It takes up to 4 or 6 months only to gather all the necessary Monolord‘s first outing so effective could hardly be simpler: it’s very, very heavy. But what that doesn’t tell you is how it’s heavy. I’m a fan generally of burying vocals in the mix to play up a notion of big-sounding guitar and bass, and certainly that’s going on here with overcoming challenges essay Personal http://www.studenthelpclub.com/dissertation-to-buy/ literature review writing help best acknowledgement for master thesis JĂ€ger‘s effects-laden voice cutting through as though up from a watery grave, but it’s also a question of impact with  see post. Authentic. Plagiarism-free. Prices start at per page. Special October Discount. Monolord. Plenty of bands play loud, play thick, but  Custom Writing Company offers a great service to get more of high quality at affordable prices. Place your order in a few clicks! Empress Rising brought a sense of hitting hard to that as well in Our website is No. 1 in Academic find this & Custom Term Paper Writing Service . Feel free to hire us for your academic needs. We are the perfect HĂ€kki‘s way, way underrated bass work and in  computer science assignment help. Order custom papers from you and your Chemistry Help Chat Room stuff helped me a secret. There is no need to step up Willems‘ drumming.

I remember hearing it at the time and placing the three-piece mentally in the kind of post- Original legal resume bar admissions and Master's thesis writing help for students who need a well-written model dissertation, dissertation abstact, or research Electric Wizard sphere of riff-worship that had been taking shape since the Dorset doom legends put out Witchcult Today, but that’s not ultimately what Monolord were after in terms of style. Their approach to heavy throughout — and this was their first offering, the band having formed in 2013 with JĂ€ger and Willems coming outmonolord empress rising of Marulk and HĂ€kki, originally from Finland, a former member of Rotten Sound — was raw not in presentation, but in its core. It was a barebones, primitive take that nonetheless was able to harness memorable progressions through hammering riffs and repeated lines into the heads of their listeners. See “Empress Rising” itself, as well as “Harbinger of Death.” And if you weren’t a convert by then on your way to place a backpatch order, “Icon” and “Watchers of the Waste” stood like sentry reinforcements waiting to unleash further crush, each progression seeming to manifest the sound of a boulder rolling downhill, demolishing whatever might have the misfortune to be in its path.

They were well-hyped in 2014, and fair enough. What struck me the first time I saw them play live (review here) wasn’t just the size of the crowd they brought in, but indeed, the way they seemed to slam home each part of their songs, geared for maximum crater-making. However, what I didn’t take into account was how much their approach would resonate especially with a next-generation fanbase. Not the stonerrock.com crowd, but those finding bands through the YouTube algorithm, through social media word of mouth and other such Millennial/post-Millennial means. And how new to that crowd what Monolord were doing would be as “Watchers of the Waste” stomped to its swinging, would-be-languid-if-it-weren’t-so-bludgeoning, about-to-fall-apart-the-whole-time finish.

Not that those people hadn’t heard Sleep, Electric Wizard, etc., or couldn’t at that point have seen them play live, but the difference really is one of generation. Already so well established as leaders of genre and influential, those bands inherently couldn’t be fresh-sounding in the way a new group putting out their first record could. The energy behind Empress Rising was different, and it put a charge into those who heard it that quickly thrust Monolord into the upper echelon of heavy acts in the middle and later heavy ’10s, the arguments in the band’s favor much bolstered through the hard work they put in touring and the fact that they seemed to realize and take hold of the momentum as they were building it, returning to the studio on the quick to work on their next record.

When you think about bands who emerged over the last decade, the advent of Monolord and the brash way they elbowed into underground consciousness have to be considered. In a busy European sphere that a few years earlier saw the rise of Kadavar in similar generational circumstances — though of course a different aesthetic — Monolord flourished, and by meeting the demands of festivals from Roadburn to Freak Valley to Psycho Las Vegas, the band’s reputation only seemed to grow.

In 2015, they offered up the second LP, VĂŠnir (review here), and that together with 2017’s Rust (review here) found them pushing forward in terms of sound, adding a feeling of space to the proceedings and beginning to take psychedelic cues building on elements like JĂ€ger‘s vocals throughout Empress Rising or even the wah-coated lead that caps the title-track, by now a recognizable landmark for the band even as they’ve progressed beyond it in terms of their craft. In late 2018, they signed to Relapse Records and went on to offer my pick for 2019’s album of the year in No Comfort (review here), their fourth album a triumph that underscored the notion of their being a way forward for them creatively, so that they weren’t trapped or typecast by what they did on Empress Rising, but able to continue to grow as they will.

There was no way to know six years ago the band that Monolord would become over the next half-decade (-plus), but if you look beneath the earth-flattening force of Empress Rising, there are hints to find of what VĂŠnir, Rust and No Comfort would bring. Think of it as having fun with hindsight. To wit, the record’s been through something like nine pressings and Monolord have put out an alternate version that’s all-instrumental (as they have for the second and third LPs, I think). One way or the other, Empress Rising was a crucial moment of arrival for a band whose influence could be almost immediately felt in the wake of their debut.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I shaved about two minutes off my run just now by making the simple decision to go faster. The mornings are darker than they were. A few weeks ago I’d watch the sun start to come up circa 5:45AM, now I’m out and back in the dark. It has been taking me, loosely, about 14 minutes to go 1.3 miles around my neighborhood, up the big hill, around through the little walking park, back down, up and around to the house. Doing that in 12 minutes isn’t breaking any land-speed records, I’m all too aware, but it was satisfying to decide to do a thing and to do it.

Among the things I most miss about having an (active) eating disorder is the sense of control. To be in charge of my body was a glorious thing. I decided what went in and when and how it came out. It was a beautiful, often disgusting, sometimes painful process. But what isn’t? I have felt myself out of control lately. I’ve also decided to grow out my beard a bit and that’s messing with my perception of how my face looks. But stress in the house, the dog, the kid, etc. It is a lot, and I have found that anytime I seem to feel anything, it manifests in food/weight-related concerns. It isn’t even conscious, but I’ve caught it happening after the fact and lately have asked myself, “Did I really have too much almond butter for dessert or am I just tired of stepping in dog piss EVERY FUCKING DAY?”

You know, the big, important questions.

“Don’t be crazy,” has ascended to the level of personal mantra.

I’m so ready to get rid of the dog. So ready. The Pecan is now pointedly scared of being near her, because she jumps on him and bites him, and even as he’s swinging his arms and legs to hit and kick her will yell “No Omi!” as loud as he can. Unfortunately — I would argue for everyone — as ready as I am, I’m equal parts not-in-charge of making that decision. Apparently.

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. 09.25.04. Morale in the house is low. The Patient Mrs. is teaching an extra online class this semester and that, in combination with reworking her regular classes to suit pandemic-time teaching, has resulted in her spending longer days in front of her laptop doing the less-preferred parts of her job. I am a fucking wretch, as usual. Heightened only by the dog, who as I see it has made everything worse while bringing zero joy into the house. Zero. No joy. It has been well over two months at this point. Net negative.

The Pecan is getting up. He will run in the closet soon and take a dump, then need to be changed. He will delay on his way down the stairs and then kick me when I finally lay him down to change his diaper because, well, he hates getting his diaper changed and has since he was about four months old and was capable of forming an opinion about anything. One might think such a child would embrace the notion of potty-training, but then one would be showing an incomplete awareness of toddler-logic, which is to say, the logic one might encounter from the average chimpanzee or a super-smart potbelly pig. He’ll be three next month and has had a runny nose for the last three weeks.

It has been… a challenge. I took a whole xanax yesterday afternoon and fell asleep on the couch while he beat me with Matchbox cars. First thing he did when I got him yesterday afternoon from upstairs after he blew off his nap — fucking again — was smack me in the groin. Granted that’s about at his smacking level, height-wise, but I wasn’t splitting hairs so much at the time as I was seeing stars. Doesn’t even matter anymore.

He had his speech assessed this week, and we haven’t gotten the official scorecard yet — which I’m assuming is somehow sponsored by the new Dew Garita! — but the teacher was impressed with his vocabulary. They must have asked him about trucks. Kid can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the difference between a front-end loader and a backhoe, and if you don’t already know that difference, drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to fill you in.

We’re going to Connecticut today, staying over at The Patient Mrs.’ mother’s not-winterized place on the shoreline. I haven’t slept there yet this season, but I prefer it there Spring and Fall anyway, as it gets too hot for me in July/August. Anyway, We were going to go Saturday but our niece texted and asked if she could hang out with us while her mother and brother did something else and fucking a, I’ll drive north in I-95 afternoon traffic for that kid any and every day of the week. She was born the night Obama got elected. It was magic. A hope for a greater future that would seem to have evaporated in the looming, swollen face of fascism.

I don’t think I have time to get into the American political situation. I’ll say rest in peace RBG, they should’ve indicted those cops in Louisville who straight-up murdered Breonna Taylor in bed, and hooray for 200,000 COVID deaths! That’s like a fifth of the global total! Come on people, winter’s coming. I know we can hit 300k by January! USA! USA! USA!

Also, Biden’s gonna lose. Even if he wins, he’ll lose. Calling it now. I’ll be like doom metal’s own Nate Silver — everything predicted in the most pessimistic terms possible. “Uh, well Brian, current polls show we’re universally fucked.”

But hey, I gotta go get this kid from upstairs and then get in the shower because I stink like the fetid corpse of American democracy. Who fucking cares how Aaron Sorkin would write it? The New York Times is clueless. Post another news piece about the super-rich home-schooling their children while sailing around the world, why don’t you? Really live up to that East Coast liberal elite stereotype. Fucking hell.

Have a great and safe weekend. Wear your mask and for god’s sake put your fucking nose in it. Jesus. How hard is that?

I’m off. Gimme show and lots of good reviews next week. Don’t forget to hydrate. So important. And this went longer than I originally intended, so thanks again for reading if you made it this far.

FRM.

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Stream Review: Vokonis, Live at Klubb Undergrunden, Sept. 18, 2020

Posted in Reviews on September 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

vokonis klubb undergrunden

My wife and I threw rock-paper-scissors in a best of three to decide which of us was going to put our son down for nap. She won. I had a run of victories that lasted for years but ever since then it’s been like the curse of the Bambino. I’m lucky if I make the playoffs.

But then I looked at my watch and saw it was 1:58PM and that in two minutes it would be time for BorÄs, Sweden, trio Vokonis to begin their live stream from Klubb Undergrunden in their hometown, and I called in the favor. Though she was plenty ready for a nap herself, the love of my life relented and took the kid upstairs to lie down.

A few minutes later, as Klubb Undergrunden Sessions II was underway with the progressive-heavy three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Simon Ohlsson, bassist/vocalist Jonte Johansson and drummer Peter Ottoson opening their relatively quick 27-minute set with the title-track of 2017’s The Sunken Djinn (review here), I got the call from upstairs.

He’d thrown up. Not uncommon but not unheard of; generally he’s not much of a puker, but of course timing is anything. As the band nestled into the stomp of the verse in “The Sunken Djinn,” with Ohlsson and Johansson sharing vocal duties as they’ve done more and more effectively since making their debut with 2016’s Olde One Ascending (review here), I hit pause, grabbed some paper towels, and went to assess the damage.

It wasn’t so bad, and soon enough, I was back in front of the television, watching the multi-camera, pro-sound, pro-lighting cast of the trio playing “Grasping Time” off of 2019’s Grasping Time (review here) as I seemed to be doing so myself, but it goes to the ongoing discussion of how music and especially the experience of live music interacts with the rest of our lives in this pandemic era.

Having recently experienced a socially-distant live performance for direct comparison, I’ll say that the simple act of having to leave one’s house makes a huge difference.

I’ve never lived in a major city or particularly close to any relevant venues, so I’m fairly used to traveling for shows, but I would think if you were down the block from your favorite concert hall, the same would still apply. You have to pull yourself out of your own space to see a show (unless you own the venue, in which case, congratulations to you on living my dream) in a way that, watching a COVID-born stream, the whole point is to not.

When you’re at a show, you’re not thinking about doing the dishes. You’re not throwing pillowcases in the laundry. You’re not taking the fucking dog out for the 15th time because she has the world’s most expensive UTI and will invariably piss all over everything if you don’t. Even if you’re the type to text or engage social media while out and about — and by “type,” mostly at this point I think I mean “human” — you’re physically somewhere else.

Vokonis played five songs in this — again — fairly brief mini-gig, with “The Sunken Djinn” and “Grasping Time” giving way to “Antler Queen” and “I Hear the Siren,” before closing out with the quick energy burst of “Exiled”; the latter three tracks all from Grasping Time as well, which is unmistakably the band’s best work made public to-date, though as Ohlsson noted in April, their next offering is already well in progress.

I would imagine that, as different as it is for the audience of a stream, it’s no less a new world for the performers involved. Of course, in a shoot like this one there are other people in the room, working lights, the live mix and camera direction, but that’s hardly the same as a boozy crowd come to see a good show. Still, Ohlsson, Johansson and Ottoson were able to get into the spirit, headbanging a bit while issuing forth through a series of proggy turns and adrenaline-fueled hooks.

They have worked relatively quickly over the last several years to grow beyond the influences that sparked their earliest efforts — and that work has been successful — and even though Ottoson didn’t appear on Grasping Time, the dynamic between the trio came across as that of a band whose evolution was serving a greater aesthetic purpose. A band who, in stylistic terms, are going somewhere and exploring new ideas.

And so they are. “Exiled” capped with a quick “tack” from Ohlsson and it was over. My wife long since gone for her own nap, our son upstairs, blowing off his own but playing peacefully enough, I disconnected the stream, turned off the tv and sat for a minute to process. I’ve never seen Vokonis live — a planned trip to Esbjerg Fuzztival this year would’ve been the first time — and I came away from the stream feeling like my experience of it was afflicted by the rest of what was going on.

But here’s the thing with the stream: As the house had finally settled down — even the dog was in her crate — I happened to have another 27 minutes at my disposal. Not something that happens every day. So I just put it on, on my laptop this time, and watched Vokonis kill it once again so I didn’t come away feeling like I’d missed anything.

That’s something that, were I pulled away from an in-person show by some domestic consideration — it’s happened before; you get bad news, etc. — I wouldn’t have been able to do. Everything has its ups and downs. And in a time that seems perpetually to find new lows, I’ll take every 27 minutes of positivity I can get.

The stream is still up and you can see it below. Thanks for reading.

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Blind Dog’s The Last Adventures of Captain Dog Reissue out Oct. 26

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

Is it too early to start reissuing albums like Blind Dog‘s The Last Adventures of Captain Dog? I don’t think so, and here’s why. First of all, it’s been over 20 years since the Swedish band’s debut was issued through People Like You Records, and it is long-since out of print. That’s an important start. Second, it’s getting a 2LP treatment, colored vinyl, full remaster, etc., overseeen by The Lab Records, and what a reissue like this does is essentially the same thing all those reissues a few years back of heavy ’70s records did — it introduces a new generation of listeners to the work and the bevvy of “lost classics” from those who came before.

Blind Dog‘s The Last Adventures of Captain Dog has been on my list to close out a week for a long-ass time and I haven’t gotten there yet, but it’s a badass album and emblematic of the post-Kyuss era of European heavy from whence it came. Consider these guys made their debut with this album in 1999; a year ahead of when Lowrider put out Ode to Io and Dozer put out In the Tail of a Comet. That context matters, and if the reissue can inform listeners of that context, then no, it couldn’t ever be too early.

The PR wire has the info and preorder link, and there’s a remastered track streaming too:

blind dog the last adventures of captain dog admat

Blind Dog – The Last Adventures of Captain Dog

In 1995, Tobias Nilsson and Joakim Thell formed the Swedish Heavy-Rock band Blind Dog.

Although they have not been active for several years, BLIND DOG remained in rock history when, at the end of the last century (in 1999 to be exact), they released the album “The Last Adventures Of Captain Dog”, one of the best European stoner/ rock albums, which is considered a classic one by the underground rock community!

21 years after its first release, The Lab Records is re-releasing this historical album on a double vinyl.

Newly remastered especially for vinyl, at the Sweetspot studio (Halmstad/ Sweden) by Staffan Karsson, , but also with a special new cover, edited by Nikos Stylidis (Labyrinth of Thoughts), The Lab Records gives the opportunity to those who are still looking for this masterpiece, to acquire it in a special double colored vinyl limited edition.

Release date 26 October 2020

Preorder: https://www.thelabtshirtathens.com/product/blind-dog/

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Blind Dog, “Beyond My Reach” (Remastered)

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PÅGÅ Sign to Svart Imprint Secret Trees; The Evil Year out Nov. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

PÅGÅ (Photo by Sara Gewalt)

Sweden’s In Solitude broke up five years ago, after starting to get what was widely considered their due credit after releasing Sister in 2013. Brothers Pelle and Gottfrid Åhman, both formerly of that outfit, will release their debut album as PÅGÅ, titled The Evil Year, through Svart imprint Secret Trees, on Nov. 27. They join former In Solitude member Henrik Palm under the Svart banner — there’s also a good chance Uno Bruniusson has kicked around on a Svart release or two; dude is well-traveled — but whatever familiarity of personae might exist, the context in PÅGÅ is certainly following its own path. You can stream “Enter” in the video at the bottom of this post, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it makes a fitting introduction to the project.

The PR wire had the following to say:

PÅGÅ the evil year

PÅGÅ – The Evil Year

Svart Records has re-issued some of the very finest classic Finnish Post-punk albums such as Musta paraati, Kola kestÀÀ and Nolla nolla nolla, alongside being known for discovering modern underground classics such as Beastmilk. Now we turn our ears towards a new wave of sound from Sweden, to PÅGÅ and their wildly original new album The Evil Year.

PÅGÅ describe The Evil Year in their own words:

“Out of a great lust to encounter the unknown and to explore the boundless in us this record/work came about, in the hands of The High Spirit Rebel. We wish this may serve as great entertainment, a bad enemy, an instrument and a match.
Enter! Step in!

Enjoy The Evil Year!

/PÅGÅ”

Outlandish pop and psychedelic noir rock from Sweden’s Åhman brothers, Pelle and Gottfrid (ex vocalist and bassist from In Solitude). Hand-picked by Mat Kvohst McNerney (Hexvessel, Beastmilk, Grave Pleasures) for his Secret Trees imprint via Svart.

Kvohst describes PÅGÅ as “Post-Punk freakery, like Birthday Party-era Cave, avant-garde Bowie and the darkness of Coil with unique artistic flair that’s in a world of its own.”

The Evil Year features beautifully far-out artwork by Pelle Åhman on the cover and throughout the inlay. Deluxe ltd edition, numbered, purple coloured gatefold vinyl (first pressing limited 500 copies only!) with lyric & artwork booklet, Luxury A5 digipak CD and digital release via all digital platforms.

The Evil Year begins on the 27th of November 2020! Pre-order now: https://svartrecords.com/artist/paga/

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PÅGÅ, “Enter” official video

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Friday Full-Length: Candlemass, Candlemass

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Candlemass, Candlemass (2005)

As they’ve done so much in the 15 years since to add to it, it’s almost strange to consider that by the time Candlemass got back together and released their declarative self-titled full-length in 2005, the band’s legacy had already been so long established and, in some ways, squandered. The band had broken up following 1999’s From the 13th Sun, and by then, the Stockholm-based mainstays seemed to have been floundering for some time. Their first four albums were and are largely untouchable. Essential documents of doom, all, from the still-influential 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, to the holy trilogy of LPs fronted by Messiah Marcolin in 1987’s Nightfall (discussed here), 1988’s Ancient Dreams (discussed here) and 1989’s Tales of Creation. Issued in a new alliance with Nuclear Blast Records, Candlemass‘ Candlemass was intended as a fourth installment in that grand lineage of Marcolin-fronted albums.

Founded by bassist Leif Edling and fueled as ever by his songcraft, the band had basked in Sabbathian tradition of seeing vocalists come and go, including Thomas Vikström on 1992’s Chapter VI and Björn Flodkvist on 1998’s Dactylis Glomerata and the aforementioned once-swansong From the 13th Sun. The trio of instrumentalists in guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman and Lars “Lasse” Johansson and drummer Jan Lindh had been in the band until a breakup circa 1994, and in addition to pushing outside the range of epic doom for which Candlemass had become known, Edling experimented with other lineups and other players during those years, which built off the work he did in the post-Candlemass project, Abstrakt Algebra, whose lone, self-titled album came out in 1995.

Okay. So it’s a complicated history with Candlemass. Established. Fine. Perhaps it’s best, then, to look at the self-titled not just as a declaration of purpose, but as a complete reorganization of mission for the band. Reformed with Edling, Marcolin, Björkman, Johansson and Lindh, signed to a new label with a nine-song/55-minute (more if you got the version with the bonus track “Mars and Volcanoes”), Candlemass entered a new era with this record and it’s one that has in some ways defined their course over the 15 years since. The strong launch given to the outing in “Black Dwarf” and the likewise catchy “Seven Silver Keys” — on which Edling seems to anticipate riffs Tony Iommi would come up with himself a few years later for Heaven and Hell — soars with righteousness, and the band as a whole are and Marcolin in particular is in top form.

“Assassin of the Light” is quintessential, powerful doom metal, with a highlight solo from Johansson and a modern take on the kind of grandiosity for which the original Marcolin era was known. Building toward the candlemass self titledseven-minute “Copernicus,” this initial salvo sets the tone for everything to follow throughout Candlemass, whether it’s the instrumental “The Man Who Fell From the Sky,” the nod-chugger “Witches” — if you can find me a better opening lyric for a doom song than “Someone stole the starlight from the backside of your hand,” I’d love to know what it is — or the head-scratcher “Born in a Tank,” which goes back and forth between talking about being buried alive in dirt and born in a tank of water in some kind of weird sci-fi scenario that boasts the line, “Buried alive like a dog,” leading one inevitably to wonder just who the hell it is burying dogs alive and why is no one stopping them from doing this awful thing? It’s a great riff and an energetic kick after the hypnotic chugging finish of “Witches,” but someone please call animal control and tell them what’s going on and see if we can put a stop to the horror.

In hindsight, the band might’ve been better off swapping “Born in a Tank” with “Mars and Volcanoes,” which as noted, ended up a bonus track on the limited-edition version of the CD. The two songs share a speedier tempo, but one suspects it was that riff that ultimately made the choice. So be it. The album proper finishes with the pairing of “Spellbreaker” (7:02) and “The Day and the Night” (8:53), a last push that answers the reach of “Copernicus” back at the end of side A and goes that much further into the classic-doom feel that Candlemass helped define in the first place, a pair of stops in “Spellbreaker” reminiscent of “Mirror, Mirror” from Ancient Dreams and the quiet unfolding of “The Day and the Night” leading to a massive concluding march worthy not only of finishing the record and emphasizing the titular duality, but fading while still in progress, Marcolin repeating the line, “I’m lost in the dark,” on his way out as if to enact being actually swallowed up by a great nothingness of silence. Doom. A masterclass therein.

This era of Candlemass, somewhat sadly, didn’t last. The band split with Marcolin ahead of 2007’s King of the Grey Islands — one recalls Edling at the time calling him “crazy” — and wound up recruiting Texas’ Robert Lowe, best known for his work in Solitude Aeturnus and currently back with his prior outfit, Tyrant. Lowe completed his own trilogy of albums in that one, 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here) and 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here) as well as a smattering of EPs and singles, before likewise parting ways with Edling and company. Mats LevĂ©n, who already had years of performing alongside Edling to his credit and who had completed demos for King of the Grey Islands before Lowe joined, took up the role and performed ably on EPs in 2016 and 2018, but as Johan LĂ€ngquist — who sang on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986 but was never actually a member of the band — joined on for 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here) in a landmark return, the group again switched directions. And considering they were nominated for a Grammy for the track “Astorolus – The Great Octopus,” which featured a guest solo from Tony Iommi himself — touched by the hand of god, it was — it’s safe to say the change worked out in the band’s favor.

Earlier this year, Candlemass released the EP The Pendulum (discussed here) and likely would’ve hit a number of festivals and tour dates, etc., were it not for the global pandemic. A live stream in July (review here) helped keep their palpable forward momentum going and demonstrated the utter vitality of their approach all the more resonant some 35 years on from their first demo tapes, and I won’t profess to know what’ll come next for them, but it’s worth looking back at their accomplishments of the last decade and a half and noting that this self-titled was the point at which they restarted and firmly stated who they were and what their intentions were as a group. They’ve only lived up to that since.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

A little bit after 6AM. Sun’s not quite up yet. Went for a run in between the top part of this post and this. About 1.3 miles, same course through the neighborhood I do basically every other day — though I usually give myself one bye a week to account for timing, feeling crappy, being busy as I was yesterday, kid or dog being up early, and so on. There’s a big hill just up the road that is satisfying to climb at a jog. I’ve been doing so long enough where I can get to the top without dragging my feet and that feels good. I also have a stretch where I run on the balls of my feet and a stretch where I high-step a little bit and a sprint to finish. It’s a whole thing. I stretch before and after, work on breathing, try not to be crazy about it. Try try try. All you can do.

The left side of my groin has been tight for like two months. Stretch stretch stretch. Trying to live by the Ichiro Suzuki model. Dude stretched every other second of his career. That shit matters as you get older.

Two cool-looking objects in the sky besides the moon despite the beginning-to-dawn day. I assume one was Jupiter or Mars, that’s closer to the moon, and the other has to be Venus. It’s practically punching you in the face with yellow. Star-viewing around here isn’t the best because of light pollution, but I’ll take what I can get. I’ve seen some nice sunrises too.

The Pecan was coming with me for a while. We were going later — after he got up, obviously. But he kind of decided he didn’t want to do it anymore and I didn’t really feel like making him and myself miserable. I ask him every now and again if he wants to go. I asked yesterday before we took him to daycare if he wanted to go for a run, reminded him of some of his favorite landmarks, and it basically took the entire morning off the rails. He’s starting hitting again, and he bites himself when he’s frustrated. He still hits and kicks the dog with every available opportunity. I guess that’s just what life is now. Kid’s rainboot being brought down heel-first on the dog’s head in the back seat of the car. Wham.

He blew off nap yesterday as well, so I took him to his favorite sandbox to basically kill time letting him play. He wanted to go on the swings and wouldn’t accept “in a little bit” so ran up to where I was sitting and slapped me in the face. I picked him up and we left, him literally kicking and screaming as I put him back in his car seat. It was substantially less than fun.

The week was like that. Ups and downs.

They buried my father I think on Wednesday. In Pennsylvania, a national cemetery because he was in the Air Force. They put Vietnam on his memorial but he never went. My sister called to correct and they took basically my position, which was “whatever who cares he’s dead,” but fine. That’s done.

We’re going to the zoo today with The Patient Mrs.’ mother, sister, and her sister’s two kids, all of whom are lovely. It’s the kind of thing one might look forward to in a normal year. Zoos, if you didn’t know, are immoral as shit. To think that we, as a species, stand around and pretend some lion is fucking happy walking back and forth in a pen for its entire life when it should be out there chasing down zebras and giraffes and the occasional human out on the savanna? You gotta be kidding me. But you know what? I got a kid, and that kid wants to see an elephant, and I know elephants are intelligent, thinking, feeling creatures, but fuck it, there it is. Rainboot on the dog’s head. The choices we make. I don’t expect history to be kind to us. I do expect the future to be blind to its own failings.

Speaking of, anyone outright terrified of the presidential election yet? Did Trump declare victory yet? It’s kind of astounding to think I might actually be alive to witness the downfall of American democracy to some half-assed Putin wannabe who used social media to sublimate an entire political party to his every will. And a global pandemic! Wow. If I didn’t have to then live with the ramifications of it — I don’t know, maybe a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and even more cops killing Black people while millions are out of work aching for a resurgent Civil War? — it would be a fascinating science experiment. To the rest of the world, hi from the test tube. Guard your votes, kids.

The Pecan’s up, which is fair enough as it’s after 6:30 now. He’s reading books (such as he does), but I should probably go grab him. Two quick things:

1. New Gimme show today. 5PM Eastern. Please listen. I promise it’s good. http://gimmemetal.com.

2. Next week is PACKED. Doubled up most days. Lot of good stuff as we move into Fall, so keep an eye out.

Meantime, great and safe weekend. See you at the zoo, though I probably won’t recognize you because of the mask. Ha.

Much love.

FRM.

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Enigma Experience to Release Debut LP Question Mark Nov. 13; Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

enigma experience

You’re going to hear some shades of Truckfighters in Enigma Experience, which feels somewhat inevitable given that it’s Niklas “Dango” KĂ€llgren on guitar (and bass), but despite that recognizable tone, it’s also fair enough for Question Mark to be the work of another, new band. For one thing, it’s a different band, and as much as KĂ€llgren contributes to the songwriting of his main outfit, he seems very much to be in the lead here creatively, playing guitar, bass, doing backing vocals and handling everything on the production side. While offering plenty of fuzz — enough that Fuzzorama‘s putting it out, which I guess is to be expected — the record unfolds in a few unexpected ways, from the grand flow of the 10:56 opener/longest track “Realityline” through the jammy closing pair “The Z” and “The Zone” finish with both an open sensibility and a worthy payoff.

One might recognize Oskar “Pezo” Johansson from his own tenure in Truckfighters — he was in the documentary, making him all the more recognizable, and since leaving the band did a stint with Witchcraft as well — and the trio is completed by Norwegian vocalist Maurice Adams.

Release date is Nov. 13, preorders are up, and you’ll find the stream of second track “Lonewolf” on the player at the bottom of this post, via the PR wire:

cover Enigma Experience Question Mark

ENIGMA EXPERIENCE ANNOUNCES DEBUT ALBUM QUESTION MARK

Truckfighters guitarist Niklas Mr. Dango KĂ€llgren has teamed up with ex-Truckfighters/Witchcraft drummer Oskar Pezo Johansson and Maurice Adams from Breed/Motorfinger on vocals!

PRE-ORDER – http://www.fuzzoramastore.com/

The Enigma Experience have announced the release of their debut album, Question Mark, which is coming out November 13th via Fuzzorama Records.

The band have also unveiled the brand-new single ‘Lonewolf’, which opens with a funky and psychedelically charged Primus-esque melody before dropping into a driving groove amid crunching riffs with soaring vocal melodies.

https://songwhip.com/enigmaexperience/lonewolf

The track is one of few on the album that has a ‘normal’ structure when it comes to ‘verse – chorus – verse’ thinking. It’s a song that has a raw energy and groove that immediately takes control and want you to move your head in rhythm with the music. Heavy rock at its best!

On the track, guitarist Niklas ‘Mr. Dango’ KĂ€llgren comments, ”The lyrics are about suffering from and handling the pressure of the world, and the expectations from society that push you into a corner when feel different. It’s about daring you to be yourself, to let your creativity loose and to live like you want to live – it’s your life”

The band sees Sweden and Norway joins forces, as Truckfighters guitarist Niklas ‘Mr.Dango’ KĂ€llgren has teamed up with ex-Truckfighters/Witchcraft drummer Oskar ‘Pezo’ Johansson and Maurice Adams from Breed/Motorfinger on vocals.
The brainchild of KĂ€llgren, he also produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the album as well as playing bass and singing backing vocals.

The album comes on LP, CD and will also be available on a limited-edition vinyl in a very exclusive boxset with double vinyls with silkscreen printing, double gatefold, double posters and of course a nice box.

Question Mark is a very diverse rock record that opens with the ten-minute odyssey ‘Realityline,’ with vocal harmonies reminiscent of early 90s grunge heroes such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains whilst elevating guitar lines weave over a pulsating backdrop of rhythm.

Elsewhere ‘In My Mind My Secret Place’ sees them slow things up with an ethereal acoustic atmosphere building into a hypnotically heavy and devastating end, whilst album closer ‘The Zone’ is a furiously catchy anthem with Kallgren’s trademark fuzz-fuelled sound piercing through.

Tracklisting
1. Realityline
2. Lonewolf
3. Mighty Mind
4. Corruption
5. Equilibrium
6. In my mind my secret place
7. The Z
8. The Zone

https://www.enigma-experience.com/
https://www.facebook.com/EnigmaExperienceBand/
https://twitter.com/enigmaexperien1
https://www.instagram.com/EnigmaExperienceBand/
http://www.fuzzoramarecords.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Fuzzorama

Enigma Experience, “Lonewolf”

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Melody Fields Premiere “Rhymes of Goodbye”; Broken Horse EP out Sept. 19

Posted in audiObelisk on August 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

melody fields

Swedish acid folk rockers Melody Fields will issue their new four-song EP, Broken Horse, Sept. 18 on CD and LP through Sound Effect Records and Coop Records, respectively. For the Gothenburg-based five-or-six-piece, it’s the follow-up to the gorgeousness that was their 2018 self-titled debut full-length (review here), and if you haven’t yet caught on to that offering, the fact that the band plays an utterly timeless form of sweetly melodic psychedelia means that you’re in no way too late. I’ve even put it at the bottom of the post to make it easier for you, so really, have at it.

melody fields Broken Horse EPBefore you do, though, dig into the new track “Rhymes of Goodbye” on the player that follows here, because that’s something you’re definitely going to want to hear. It’s like someone decided to build a house on a slowed-down version of “Good Day Sunshine.” The Broken Horse EP runs about 19 minutes long and comprises four tracks — “LĂ„ngsam Död,” “Rhymes of Goodbye,” “Broken Horse” and “Painted Sky,” in that order — that push even deeper into the band’s affinity for lush and unabashed psych-pop, maintaining a distinctive presence vocally through the employ of multiple singers and instrumentally through varied layers and approaches of guitar, be it acoustic or electric, etc. The release breaks more or less evenly into its two component sides with two tracks each, and each half seems to offer a complementary vibe, beginning with the subdued unfolding spaciousness of “LĂ„ngsam Död,” which introduces the sitar and wash of instrumental melody that will characterize both that song and “Rhymes of Goodbye.” Sitar follows the notes of the verse, or maybe it’s the other way around; either way, it’s gorgeous and exploratory in kind, a solid underlying structure serving as the bed for a subtly memorable chorus. They’re one song in and already I wish Broken Horse was a full album.

“Rhymes of Goodbye,” as noted, follows a similar path to the opener, up to and including the sitar and the quiet intro. There’s more bounce to the rhythm, with wood block percussion alongside the drums — it’s deep in the mix, but it’s there — and a flowing bassline that complements the drums and the harmonized vocals alike. As lush as “Rhymes of Goodbye” and the preceding cut are, Melody Fields don’t depart from their pop underpinning, and frankly, they don’t need to. Both cuts are shortly under five minutes, which is enough time not only for the chorus to be established, but for the band to meander a bit and give their listener a sense of the particular sunshine in which they’re basking on this good day. “Rhymes of Goodbye” is immersive as it moves toward its finish, with a crash as it passes four minutes and residual melodic hum on a fadeout that brings in “Broken Horse” (after a platter flip, if you’re doing the vinyl thing), replacing sitar with acoustic guitar and an immediately earthier, more folkish presentation. Harmony in the MELODY FIELDSvocals ties the two sides together, but really, Melody Fields make it so easy to go along with them on this short journey that to resist would seem pointless. Why would you even want to, with the sweetness and warmth of what they’re doing? The sheer comforting nature of it? Come on, people. Let go.

Finishing out, “Painted Sky” is the longest cut at 6:35 and gives Melody Fields even more landscape (or skyscape, as it were) to play in. Lines of guitar float with due descriptiveness to rest alongside the regular chants in homage to aurora borealis, weaving and intertwining as magnetic resonance might on a special evening in the north. Particularly on side B, Melody Fields remind of the circa-2010 Swedefolk troupe Barr — whither thou? — but both groups are acting to interpret with a modern edge the classic ideals of psychedelic pop, bringing a focus on the organic to rich and textured melodicism. As on their self-titled, on Broken Horse, Melody Fields are nothing if not aptly-named. Perhaps there’s even a breeze blowing through those fields. A pleasant one, that, if you were to step back, you could see patterns in the slightly-overgrown grass like an echo of “Painted Sky” itself.

More info on the EP follows ahead of the Sept. 19 release, and you can and should dig into “Rhymes of Goodbye” right here.

Please enjoy:

MELODY FIELDS – Broken Horse EP

September 19th 2020 Melody Fields release their new EP Broken Horse. The EP is recorded in Studio Parkeringshuset, where bands like Goat, Hills and The Movements previously have been recording and is released by Sound Effect Records and Coop Records Gotland.

Unlike many other contemporary psych and kraut bands Melody Fields put the classic popsong formula in focus. Sunny californian harmonies has been processed, modernised, ragafied and droneified to an honest ”here and now” experience. No retro, no seeking for effects. Melody Fields has a depth and a substance in their song writing, that feels unique in an otherwise effect seeking scene. LA meets mystic Far East meets melancholy North. Here and now, yesterday and tomorrow, east and north and south, all melt together on the Broken Horse EP.

Available from: 18/09/2020
Label: Coop Records (Vinyl 12”EP)
Sound Effect Records (CD)

Line-up:
Thomas Widholm – drums
David Henriksson – vocals, guitar
Ramo Spatalovic – vocals, guitar
Cornelia Adamsson – vocals, string machine
Henrik BĂ€ckström – vocals, guitar
Sebastian Jannesson – bass

Melody Fields, Melody Fields (2018)

Melody Fields on Thee Facebooks

Melody Fields on Instagram

Melody Fields on Bandcamp

Coop Records on Thee Facebooks

Coop Records on Instagram

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Sound Effect Records website

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Novarupta to Release Marine Snow Nov. 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

You won’t have to go terribly far into Novarupta‘s 2018 debut, Disillusioned Fire, to hear the Swedish project of Alex Stjernfeldt (ex-The Moth Gatherer) pushing the outer reaches of post-metal extremity, but there’s more to that record than a single texture, and one expects the same applies to the upcoming sophomore LP, Marine Snow, which Suicide Records will issue this Fall. Like the preceding full-length, the new one will feature a range of guest vocalists, giving all the more sonic variety to what’s already a broad reach on Stjernfeldt‘s part. If you have a minute and haven’t heard it yet, it’s at the bottom of this post via Bandcamp.

No audio from the album as yet, but there’s some explanation below of the project and its multi-record intention, and you can see who’s taking part this time around. A significant assemblage.

From the PR wire:

novarupta marine snow

NOVARUPTA announce release details of “Marine Snow”

So the story of Novarupta continues!

This time Alex pulls us down into the darkest depths known to mankind. On the 13th of November Suicide Records will release “Marine Snow.”

It all started with a fire! Disillusioned, but still a fire. Novarupta was created as something other than just a band, a collective concept spanning the elements that creates the essence of life. In 2018 the recording of ”Disillusioned Fire” began, and that was only the beginning. 2020 will see the release of the second chapter in this journey through fire, water, air and finally earth. Each part contains concepts connected to the element and each album is by itself a conceptul album with a life of its own, yet also a smaller part of a bigger picture, that will be completed when the 4 albums come together.

Marine Snow is a vertical journey from the false and stressful land down into the darkened embrace and pressure of the deepest parts of the ocean.

Tracklist:
1. Broken Blue Cascades
2. Every Shade of Water
3. Trieste
4. No Constellation
5. 11°22.4?N 142°35.5?E

These are the featured vocalists:
Josh Graham (A Storm of Light/ex. Red Sparowes)
Lea Amling (BesvÀrjelsen)
Robert Lamu (Skraeckoedlan)
Martin Persner (Magna Carta Cartel/ex. Ghost)
Mike Paparo (Inter Arma)
Arvid HÀllagÄrd (Greenleaf).

The main constant in NOVARUPTA is Alex Stjernfeldt. In his broken past he has played in bands like The Moth Gatherer and Mr. Death, which both have critical acclaim in the international press. He has also collaborated with Terra Tenebrosa on their album The Reverses. When he left The Moth Gatherer, Stjernfeldt stood disillusioned while facing an uncertain and bleak future. Fueled by depression and frustration and a need to explore a deeper and darker musical direction while also returning to the roots from which he came, the foundation of NOVARUPTA was born.

https://www.facebook.com/novaruptaband
https://www.instagram.com/novaruptaband/
https://orcd.co/disillusioned_fire
https://www.facebook.com/suiciderds/
https://www.instagram.com/suicide_records/
https://suiciderecordsswe.bandcamp.com/
http://www.suiciderecords.se/

Novarupta, Disillusioned Fire (2018)

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