High Desert Queen Sign to Ripple Music; Debut Album Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 29th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Can’t say this one is terribly surprising. I mean, High Desert Queen are set to play Ripplefest Texas early next month in New Braunfels, and the band’s vocalist Ryan Garney had a significant hand in putting that together via Lick of My Spoon Productions, so yeah, it makes sense that the label would be stepping in to put out the band’s debut full-length as well. In being picked up as a part of Blasko‘s curated series, they join The Crooked WhispersHoly Death TrioMother Iron Horse and Hail the Void. Dude’s penchant for bands with three-word monikers continues unabated.

Lick of My Spoon was originally supposed to handle the release of the album in June, so I’m going to make the rash assumption that the thing is finished. It’s set now for later this year or early next year, and I suspect part of that lack of specificity is owed to the fact that no one has any idea what’s going on with pressing times. One way or the other, it’s happening, so the news is good.

Here’s what everybody had to say on the subject:

high desert queen ripple music

High Desert Queen Sign to Ripple Music

Says Ripple Music:

Thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Ripple family, High Desert Queen! Executive produced by the one and only Blasko, new album coming this autumn/winter and don’t miss seeing them storm the stage at the upcoming Ripplefest Texas! Please welcome them to the family.

Says High Desert Queen:

Beyond thrilled and humbled to announce that we have teamed up with the ultimate dream team in Ripple Music and Blasko!

Excited to have our musical family grow and to have our music in the hands of people who share the same vision and know exactly what they are doing!

Our debut album will be available for preorder soon…

High Desert Queen is:
Ryan Garney- Vocals
Rusty Miller- Guitar
Matt Metzger- Bass
Phil Hook- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/highdesertqueen/
http://www.instagram.com/highdesertqueen
http://highdesertqueen.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

High Desert Queen, “The Mountain vs. the Quake”

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The Angelus Premiere “Hex Born”; Why We Never Die out Aug. 20

Posted in audiObelisk on July 20th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the angelus

The Angelus make their label debut for Desert Records on Aug. 20 with their third album, Why We Never Die. It is perhaps an unfortunate outing, monetarily, since for anyone not previously familiar with the band’s work, it just might make one inclined to buy everything they’ve done to-date. Heavy Western vibes pervade the Dollars-trilogy-esque bells of the introductory “Honor to Feasts,” and that two-minute preliminary is followed immediately by the bluesier fuzz of “Hex Born,” of a spiritual kinship somehow to the likes of All Them Witches, latter-day Greenleaf, harmony-laced Wovenhand‘s tense rhythm changes, Lord Buffalo and others while working with their own carefully carved identity. They make fitting labelmates to Cortége in mood (also those bells), and though their arrangements have been stripped down somewhat since their string-laced 2011 debut, On a Dark and Barren Land, and the choruses in “Hex Born” and the subsequent “Ode to None” are hooks enough to set a tone of songcraft-focus for everything that follows, the Dallas trio led by guitarist/vocalist Emil Rapstine with Justin Evans on drums/backing vocals and Justin Ward on bass, are not at all without subtlety either in presentation or aesthetic. Earthy psychedelia pervades as Why We Never Die moves deeper into its ultra-manageable 34-minute procession, but The Angelus never grow so ethereal as to forget to bring their audience along.

“Ode to None” in particular has the feeling of a landmark in its position backing “Honor to Feasts” and “Hex Born” with a longer runtime and a more patient feel. The following “Of Ashen Air” is suitably floating in its midsection vocals and brings fluid forward motionThe Angelus Why We Never Die in the drums, less lush than the song before it, but flowing easily enough from one to the other. Momentum is already on The Angelus‘ side as the first half of Why We Never Die careens ahead, never really bursting out with energy or pushing over the top, but not at all staid in its delivery either. Both “Of Ashen Air” and the more shimmer-and-crash-prone heavy post-rock of “When the Hour is Right” hold to the central atmosphere, which is not necessarily paramount — that’s songwriting and performance, as regards priorities — but always there in terms of the backdrop on which the action of the songs takes place; a stretched out Western landscape, breeze blown and looming, maybe threatening. The quicker “Another Kind” sneaks in post-industrial electronics ahead of its satisfyingly thickened payoff, leading into the seven-minute title-track, the arrival of which feels no less momentous than that of “There Will Be No Peace” on the 2017 sophomore LP of the same name, despite the fact that the intro didn’t reference it specifically. Harmonies and instrumental dynamics alike serve as strengths alongside old-timey phrasing in the lyrics, as heard when the instruments drop out behind the vocals after four minutes in, the melody quickly setting up the building triumph that follows. This is considered, progressive movement in craft, but the mood behind it feels real.

Along with a looped-seeming fuzzy guitar line that borders on techno, the outro “Hustle the Sluggard” provides closing Morricone-ism to bookend that of “Honor to Feasts,” right down to a moment of military snare drum, as the album carries to its finish. It is a last reminder of the coherence at work in The Angelus‘ material, pushing forward even as they move farther out from the place they were as a unit. This is bolstered by a smoothness of the production and a balance of mix brings perfect emphasis on the shifting balance of melody and heft throughout. Why We Never Die is impeccable in its realization, but it does not come across as forced even in its most nuanced reaches.

On the player below, you can stream the premiere of “Hex Born.” Rapstine, also of Dead to a Dying World, offers some comment on the track, and more PR wire info follows.

Please enjoy:

Emil Rapstine on “Hex Born”:

Death and rock & roll, rock & roll and death. Hex Born was one of the first songs I started working on for “Why We Never Die” and the first I finished the lyrics for. Those lyrics would set the theme and tone for the rest of the record.

“The curse is spoken, cast down to me.
The spell remains unbroken, calling out forever unto thee.”

The curse mentioned is one shared by all humanity and one handed down from generation to generation. A curse to die. The unbroken spell is the music we summon up, an eternal current we connect to to find meaning, and one that will ring out long after we are gone.

“Come lay your head beneath this heavy stone, come carve your given name.
We’ll save you a space, where we’re dreaming no more, with the waking and the slain”

As we leave this world we mark our place with headstones and engravings for others to remember us by. Music can also serve this purpose, creating a record and space for the world to remember our hopes and desires and in a way letting us live forever.

In a dim world, with death our only guarantee, The Angelus returns with their third full-length offering ‘Why We Never Die’. An album full of songs both powerfully engulfing and mesmerizingly intimate, the album’s title alludes to one’s constant rebirth through the creation of music and to the band’s hope to transcend the impending eventuality of death when all that remains is the music, and art becomes artifact. The cover art, featuring a highly stylized rendering of a white peacock resembling the traditional description of the phoenix, reinforces the hope that rebirth through creation allows us to live forever in the material world. The Dallas, Texas trio consists of Emil Rapstine (Dead To A Dying World) on guitar and vocals, accompanied by his stalwart co-conspirator Justin Evans on drums and backing vocals, and their newest accomplice Justin Ward on bass. The album, saturated with plaintive, intoning, and harmonizing vocals, despairing lyrics and darkly droning guitar, draws from post-rock, doom, folk, and dark psychedelic rock. The pleading voices and resounding chords here do not decay because they belong to any ears open to hear them as they reverberate for eternity.

Tracklist:
Honor To Feasts
Hex Born
Ode To None
Of Ashen Air
When The Hour Is Right
Another Kind
Why We Never Die
Hustle The Sluggard

“Why We Never Die” was recorded by Alex Bhore (formerly of This Will Destroy You) in Dallas, TX at Elmwood Recording, which belongs to Grammy Award winning producer John Congleton (SWANS, Chelsea Wolfe, St. Vincent, Angel Olsen). The album was mastered by Sarah Register (Protomartyr, Horse Lords, Lower Dens).

The Angelus: Emil Rapstine (guitar, vocals), Justin Evans (drums, vocals), and Justin Ward (bass)

The Angelus on Facebook

The Angelus on Twitter

The Angelus on Instagram

The Angelus on Bandcamp

The Angelus website

Desert Records on Facebook

Desert Records on Instagram

Desert Records on Bandcamp

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Quarterly Review: Amenra, Liquid Sound Company, Iceburn, Gods and Punks, Vouna, Heathen Rites, Unimother 27, Oxblood Forge, Wall, Boozewa

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

You’ll have to forgive me, what the hell day is it? The url says this is day eight, so I guess that’s Wednesday. Fine. That’s as good as any. It’s all just 10 more records to my brain at this point, and that’s fine. I’ve got it all lined up. As of me writing this, I still haven’t heard about my busted-ass laptop that went in for repair last Saturday, and that’s a bummer, but I’m hoping that any minute now the phone is going to show the call coming in and I’ll just keep staring at it until that happens and I’m sure that will be awesome for my already brutalized productivity.

My backup laptop — because yes, I have one and will gladly argue with you that it’s necessary citing this week as an example — is a cheapie Chromebook. The nicest thing I can say about it is it’s red. The meanest thing I can say about it is that I had to change the search button to a caps lock and even that doesn’t respond fast enough to my typing, so I’m constantly capitalizing the wrong letters. If you don’t think that’s infuriating, congratulations on whatever existence has allowed you to live this long without ever needing to use a keyboard. “Hello computer,” and all that.

Enough kvetching. Too much to do.

Quarterly Review #71-80:

Amenra, De Doorn

Amenra De Doorn

I’ve made no secret over the last however long of not being the biggest Amenra fan in the universe. Honestly, it’s not even about the Belgian band themseves — live, they’re undeniable — but the plaudits around them are no less suffocating than their crushing riffs at their heaviest moments. Still, as De Doorn marks their first offering through Relapse Records, finds them departing from their Mass numbered series of albums and working in their native Flemish for the first time, and brings Caro Tanghe of Oathbreaker into the songs to offer melodic counterpoint to Colin H. van Eeckhout‘s nothing-if-not-identifiable screams, the invitations to get on board are manifold. This is a band with rules. They have set their own rules, and even in pushing outside them as they do here, much of their ideology and sonic persona is maintained. Part of that identity is being forward thinking, and that surfaces on De Doorn in parts ambient and quiet, but there’s always a part of me that feels like Amenra are playing it safe, even as they’re working within parameters they’ve helped define for a generation of European post-metal working directly in their wake. The post-apocalyptic breadth they harness in these tracks will only continue to win them converts. Maybe I’ll be one of them. That would be fun. It’s nice to belong, you know?

Amenra on Facebook

Relapse Records website

 

Liquid Sound Company, Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul

Liquid sound company psychoactive songs for the psoul

A quarter-century after their founding, Arlington, Texas, heavy psych rockers Liquid Sound Company still burn and melt along the lysergic path of classic ’60s acid rock, beefier in tone but no less purposeful in their drift on Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul. They’re turning into custard on “Blacklight Corridor” and they can tell you don’t understand on “Who Put All of Those Things in Your Hair?,” and all the while their psych rock digs deeper into the cosmic pulse, founding guitarist John Perez (also Solitude Aeturnus) unable to resist bringing a bit of shred to “And to Your Left… Neptune” — unless that’s Mark Cook‘s warr guitar — even as “Mahayuga” answers back to the Middle Eastern inflection of “Blacklight Corridor” earlier on. Capping with the mellow jam “Laila Was Here,” Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul is a loving paean to the resonant energies of expanded minds and flowing effects, but “Cosmic Liquid Love” is still a heavy rollout, and even the shimmering “I Feel You” is informed by that underlying sense of heft. Nonetheless, it’s an acid invitation worth the RSVP.

Liquid Sound Company on Facebook

Liquid Sound Company on Bandcamp

 

Iceburn, Asclepius

iceburn asclepius

Flying snakes, crawling birds, two tracks each over 17 minutes long, the first Iceburn release in 20 years is an all-in affair from the outset. As someone coming to the band via Gentry Densley‘s work in Eagle Twin, there are recognizable elements in tone, themes and vocals, but with fellow founders Joseph “Chubba” Smith on drums and James Holder on guitar, as well as bassist Cache Tolman (who’s Johnny Comelately since he originally joined in 1991, I guess), the atmosphere conjured by the four-piece is consuming and spacious in its own way, and their willingness to go where the song guides them on side A’s “Healing the Ouroboros,” right up to the long-fading drone end after so much lumbering skronk and incantations before, and side B’s “Dahlia Rides the Firebird,” with its pervasive soloing, gallop and veer into earth-as-cosmos terradelia, the return of Iceburn — if in fact that’s what this is — makes its own ceremony across Asclepius, sounding newly inspired rather than like a rehash.

Iceburn on Facebook

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Gods & Punks, The Sounds of the Universe

gods and punks the sounds of the universe

As regards ambition, Gods & Punks‘ fourth LP, The Sounds of the Universe, wants for nothing. The Rio De Janeiro heavy psych rockers herein wrap what they’ve dubbed their ‘Voyager’ series, culminating the work they’ve done since their first EP — album opener “Eye in the Sky” is a remake — while tying together the progressive, heavy and cosmic aspects of their sound in a single collection of songs. In context, it’s a fair amount to take in, but a track like “Black Apples” has a riffy standout appeal regardless of its place in the band’s canon, and whether it’s the classic punch of “The TUSK” or the suitably patient expansion of “Universe,” the five-piece don’t neglect songwriting for narrative purpose. That is to say, whether or not you’ve heard 2019’s And the Celestial Ascension (discussed here) or any of their other prior material, you’re still likely to be pulled in by “Gravity” and “Dimensionaut” and the rest of what surrounds. The only question is where do they go from here? What’s outside the universe?

Gods & Punks on Facebok

Abraxas on Facebook

Forbidden Place Records website

 

Vouna, Atropos

vouna atropos

Released (appropriately) by Profound Lore, Vouna‘s second full-length Atropos is a work of marked depth and unforced grandeur. After nine-minute opener “Highest Mountain” establishes to emotional/aural tone, Atropos is comprised mostly of three extended pieces in “Vanish” (15:34), “Grey Sky” (14:08) and closer “What Once Was” (15:11) with the two-minute “What Once Was (Reprise)” leading into the final duo. “Vanish” finds Vouna — aka Olympia, Washington-based Yianna Bekris — bringing in textures of harp and violin to answer the lap steel and harp on “Highest Mountain,” and features a harsh guest vocal from Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Nathan Weaver, but it’s in the consuming wash at the finish of “Grey Sky” and in the melodic vocal layers cutting through as the first half of “What Once Was” culminates ahead of the break into mournful doom and synth that Vouna most shines, bridging styles in a way so organic as to be utterly consuming and keeping resonance as the most sought target, right unto the piano line that tops the last crescend, answering back the very beginning of “Highest Mountain.” Not a record that comes along every day.

Vouna on Facebook

Profound Lore website

 

Heathen Rites, Heritage

heathen rites heritage

One gets the sense in listening that for Mikael Monks, the Burning Saviours founder working under the moniker of Heathen Rites for the first time, the idea of Heritage for which the album is titled is as much about doom itself as the Scandinavian folk elements that surface in “Gleipner” or in the brief, bird-song and mountain-echo-laced finish “Kulning,” not to mention the Judas Priest-style triumphalism of the penultimate “The Sons of the North” just before. Classic doom is writ large across Heritage, from the bassline of “Autumn” tapping into “Heaven and Hell” to the flowing culmination of “Midnight Sun” and the soaring guitar apex in “Here Comes the Night.” In the US, many of these ideas of “northern” heritage, runes, or even heathenism have been coopted as expressions of white supremacy. It’s worth remembering that for some people it’s actually culture. Monks pairs that with his chosen culture — i.e. doom — in intriguing ways here that one hopes he’ll continue to explore.

Heathen Rites on Facebook

Svart Records website

 

Unimother 27, Presente Incoerente

Unimother 27 Presente Incoerente

Some things in life you just have to accept that you’re never going to fully understand. The mostly-solo-project Unimother 27 from Italy’s Piero Ranalli is one of those things. Ranalli has been riding his own wavelength in krautrock and classic progressive stylizations mixed with psychedelic freakout weirdness going on 15 years now, experimenting all the while, and you don’t have to fully comprehend the hey-man-is-this-jazz bass bouncing under “L’incontro tra Phallos e Mater Coelestis” to just roll with it, so just roll with it and know that wherever you’re heading, there’s a plan at work, even if the plan is to not have a plan. Mr. Fist‘s drums tether the synth and drifting initial guitar of “Abraxas…il Dio Difficile da Conoscere” and serve a function as much necessary as grooving, but one way or the other, you’re headed to “Systema Munditotius,” where forward and backward are the same thing and the only trajectory discernible is “out there.” So go. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Unimother 27 on Facebook

Pineal Gland Lab website

 

Oxblood Forge, Decimator

Oxblood Forge Decimator

Not, not, not a coincidence that Massachusetts four-piece Oxblood Forge — vocalist Ken Mackay, guitarist Robb Lioy, bassist Greg Dellaria and drummer/keyboardist Erik Fraünfeltër — include an Angel Witch cover on their third long-player, Decimator, as even before they get around to the penultimate “Sorcerers,” the NWOBHM is a defining influence throughout the proceedings, be it the “hey hey hey!” chanting of “Mortal Salience” or the death riders owning the night on opener “Into the Abyss” or the sheer Maidenry met with doom tinge on “Screams From Silence.” Mackay‘s voice, high in the mix, adds a tinge of grit, but Decimator isn’t trying to get one over on anyone. This blue collar worship for classic metal presented in a manner that could only be as full-on as it is for it to work at all. No irony, no khakis, no bullshit.

Oxblood Forge on Facebook

Oxblood Forge on Bandcamp

 

Wall, Vol. 2

wall vol 2

They keep this up, they’re going to have a real band on their hands. Desert Storm/The Grand Mal bandmates and twin brothers Ryan Cole (guitar/bass) and Elliot Cole (drums) began Wall as a largely-instrumental quarantine project in 2020, issuing a self-titled EP (review here) on APF Records. Vol. 2 follows on the quick with five more cuts of unbridled groove, including a take on Karma to Burn‘s “Nineteen” that, if it needs to be said, serves as homage to Will Mecum, who passed away earlier this year. That song fits right in with a cruncher like “Avalanche” or “Speed Freak,” or even “The Tusk,” which also boasts a bit of layered guitar harmonies, feeling out new ground there and in the acousti-handclap-blues of “Falling From the Edge of Nowhere.” The fact that Wall have live dates booked — alongside The Grand Mal, no less — speaks further to their real-bandness, but Vol. 2 hardly leaves any doubt as it is.

Wall on Facebook

APF Records website

 

Boozewa, Deb

Boozewa Deb

The second self-recorded outing from Pennsylvania trio Boozewa, Deb, offers two songs to follow-up on Feb. 2021’s First Contact (review here) demo, keeping an abidingly raw, we-did-this-at-home feel — this time they sent the results to Tad Doyle for mastering — while pushing their sound demonstrably forward with “Deb” bringing bassist Jessica Baker to the fore vocally alongside drummer Mike Cummings. Guitarist Rylan Caspar contributes in that regard as well, and the results are admirably grunge-coated heavy rock and roll that let enough clarity through to establish a hook, while the shorter “Now. Stop.” edges toward a bit more lumber in its groove, at least until they punk it out with some shouts at the finish. Splitting hairs? You betcha. Maybe they’re just writing songs. The results are there waiting to be dug either way.

Boozewa on Instagram

Boozewa on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Elara Sunstreak Band, Lost Breed, T.G. Olson, Acid Reich, White Powder, Hellish Form, Mosara, Tombstunner, Moanhand, Appalooza

Posted in Reviews on July 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Second week, locked in and ready to roll. The message of today is that the Quarterly Review goes where it wants when it wants. If I’m steering this ship at all, it’s in only the most passive of ways. I hope you had a good weekend. I hope you spent it listening to killer music. I hope you managed to get all your reviews done. Ha.

So much good stuff to come this week. I’m looking forward to diving into it. And you know what? I did end up adding the extra day, so the Summer 2021 QR will go 11 days instead of 10, bringing it to 110 releases covered. Pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve ever gone.

Better get to it.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Elara Sunstreak Band, Vostok I

Elara Vostok 1

True, Elara Sunstreak Band‘s second album and first for Sulatron Records, dubbed Vostok 1, is not a minor ask at four songs and 72 minutes. But by the time you’re through the 19:44 opener/longest track (immediate points) “Nexus,” the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Daniel Wieland, drummer Martin Wieland and guitarist/sitarist/synthesist Felix Schmidt have set their course outward and they continue to surprise along the way, from the shimmering Elder-style progressive guitar work in the title-track to the guest vocals of Felix Seyboth nodding at Blind Melon in the crescendo of sitar-laced closer “Orange October.” Even “On a Drink With Jim” manages to thrill with its blend of the terrestrial with the spacious, let alone its Doors homage as hinted in its title. These nuances meld with an overarching hypnosis to create a satisfying depth of presentation on the part of Elara Sunstreak Band, and it becomes all the more a far out journey worth taking.

Elara Sunstreak Band on Facebook

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Lost Breed, Speak No Evil

Lost Breed Speak No Evil

Classic doom metal from experienced practicioners of the art. Speak No Evil is kind of a curious release. Vinyl only as yet, and self-released by the band, it answers back to the group’s initial Hellhound Records run in the 1990s and also their 1989 Wino Daze demo that featured Scott “Wino” Weinrich on vocals around the same time he left Saint Vitus and restarted The Obsessed. Weinrich appears on vocals and lead guitar throughout the first half of Speak No Evil, fronting the catchy opener “My Way Out” as well as “Thrift Store Girl,” “Cradle to the Grave” and the double-kick-laced “Doom,” which is nothing if not aptly-titled, while guitarist Pat Lydon sings on “Snakebite,” the less outwardly political “Wake the Dead,” “Siren Song” and “Stalker,” the pairing of which feels intentional. One might think the two sides/two-frontmen thing would make the release uneven, or the fact that it was recorded across two coasts, but nah, it’s doom either way and these guys know what they’re doing. Don’t sweat it. Do hope it gets a wider release.

Lost Breed on Facebook

Pat Lydon on YouTube

 

T.G. Olson, T.G. Olson

T.G. Olson T.G. Olson

Though it’s been a minute as he’s reprioritized Across Tundras, embarked on other projects, relocated to Iowa, farmed, and so on, T.G. Olson has still put out enough records under his own name that to have one arrive as a self-titled is significant in itself. Sure enough and somewhat ironically for someone who’s done so much him-and-guitar work in the past, the nonetheless-unassuming 35-minute eight-tracker features more personnel and broader arrangements than one might expect. That’s hardly a detriment, as even the layers of voice on “Steal a Day” come through as benefitting from the attention to detail, and the harmonica-inclusive twang of “Scythe” has its blues all the more emphasized for the clarity of its strum, while closer “Downer Town” invites a singalong. Personnel varies throughout, but the contibutions of Abigail Lily O’Hara (vocals), Ben Schriever (guitar, bass) and Caleb R.K. Williams (synth, guitar, banjo) — all of whom feature in the latest incarnation of Across Tundras as well — aren’t to be understated, as identifiable as Olson‘s songcraft is at the core of this material.

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

 

Acid Reich, Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

Acid Reich Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest

John McBain, Tim Cronin and Dave Wyndorf — in Dog of Mystery together at the time — would go on to form Monster Magnet a short time after, seemingly on a whim, Acid Reich‘s freakout Mistress of the Perpetual Harvest was put to tape in their rehearsal space as one of a number of “fake” weirdo projects. Listening to these five tracks, including likewise irreverent takes on “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and “Amazing Grace,” the feel here is like an acid psych treasure trove of Jersey Shore fuckery. Joining the trio were Ripping Corpse‘s Shaune Kelley and Joe Paone of hellSausage, and by their own admission, the audio’s a mess. It’s an archival tape dug up from 1989 — if you’re thinking you’re getting high fidelity, you’re missing at least one of the points of putting it out in the first place. Laced with acid culture samples that may or may not have been added after the fact, this is the first official release this material has ever gotten, and it’s nasty, raw, demo fare that, if it wasn’t so blown into the cosmos you’d call it punk rock. If that doesn’t sound right on to you, it’s probably your loss.

Guerssen Records on Bandcamp

Guerssen Records website

 

White Powder, Blue Dream

white powder blue dream

Based in Austin, Texas, and operatin as the four-piece of guitarist Jason Morales (also Tia Carrera), bassist Win Wallace, keyboardist Ezra Reynolds and drummer Jeff Swanson, White Powder recorded their whoa-this-shit-is-awesome mostly-instrumentalist debut LP, Blue Dream in 2014 and only now is it being at last pressed to vinyl. Given their chosen moniker, the 46-minute/nine-song session is perhaps surprisingly laid back, with the keys/synth and guitar coming together in mellow-prog style atop not-entirely-languid-but-not-overly-insistent grooves; all parties seeming geared toward immersion as much of self as for their listenership, be it in the piano of “Connemara” or the later fuzzer “Rula Jabreal,” where ripplng organ lines top the popping-snare rhythmic tension until the guitar pushes it over the edge of volume swell and wash. Some classic heavy for good measure in “Alice Walker,” but Blue Dream works best taken in its entirety, and listening to it that way, one only hopes they manage to do another in seven years or so. Or seven months. That’d work too. Extra points for the sleek-as-hell soul vocals in the Steely Dan cover “Dirty Work” on side B.

White Powder on Spotify

White Powder on Bandcamp

 

Hellish Form, Remains

Hellish Form Remains

Quarantine-era cross-country duo Hellish Form earn a Khanate comparison on their debut release, Remains, for their sheer unwillingness to pull back from the grueling, punishing tension they create in the slowly unfolding opener/longest track (immediate points) “Your Grave Becomes a Garden.” The dirge is so much forward that it makes the post-Bell Witch lead guitar mourning feel like an afterthought, and the screaming, echoing vocals shared between multi-instrumentalists Willow Ryan (Body Void) and Jacob Lee — who both recorded their parts at home — are a harsh reminder of the existential chaos serving as the background to these songs’ making. “Ache” is shorter and puts synth more forward, and “Shadows with Teeth” thicker and nastier if that’s possible, but through them and the 10-minute finale “Another World,” the feeling of dread, fear, and loss is palpable, and Remains is a fitting name for a record that feels so much like an aftermath.

Hellish Form on Facebook

Translation Loss Records website

 

Mosara, Mosara

Mosara Mosara

Mosara emerge from Phoenix, Arizona, with a sound that just as easily could’ve come down from the mountains as out of the desert, and that’s by no means a complaint. Big riffs promulgate their eight-song self-titled debut LP, and they bring forth aggro sludge undertones alongside lumbering rollout, rawly-captured in the recording but not lacking presence for that, as the mounted chug of “Cypher” demonstrates. Is it heavy enough to crash your hard drive? I’m not trying to lay blame on Mosara‘s riffs or anyone else’s, but apparently there’s only so much assault modern technology can take before falling victim. We’ll call that computer a sacrifice to the eight-minute “Earth God,” its crashing drums and deceptively spacious mix creating a cavernous largesse in spite of the barebones vibe that persists across the span, “Clay and Iron” and “Majestik XII” establishing the atmosphere early but not the full sonic reach of the band, whose plunge is made all the deeper by the High on Fire-style drive of “Oumuamua.” Doesn’t have to be a revolution to fuck you up.

Mosara on Facebook

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Tombstunner, Call to the Void

Tombstunner Call to the Void

I don’t know if Grand Rapids, Michigan, yet has an officially designated “scourge,” but I’d be happy to see Tombstunner end up with the title. The band’s debut album, Call to the Void, reminds at once of fellow sneering Midwestern chicanery-bringers Bloodcow and also of early ’90s, Blind-era C.O.C., their tones refusing to give themselves over to one side or the other of the argument between metal and heavy rock. Marked out by considered and sometimes willfully clever lyrics, the record strikes with plenty of groove — plenty of “strike,” for that matter — and not an ounce of pretense on pieces like “ASH” or the later “Contempt’s Concrete,” which touches on harsher fare, but again, isn’t really keen to leave its rock foundation behind. They probably make the right choice in that. Eight-minute capper “The Last Ride” is catchy and weighted in kind, seeming to pack as much as possible into its finale as though to let there be no uncertainty the band has more to say. Fair enough. There’s growing to be done, but Call to the Void‘s untamed sensibility is ultimately a strength, not a weakness.

Tombstunner on Facebook

Tombstunner on Bandcamp

 

Moanhand, Present Serpent

moanhand present serpent

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good scream. Moscow-based Roman Filatov has one. The lone figure behind Moanhand can growl, and unlike many harsher metal vocalists, he can also sing, and does so readily across his band’s first album, Present Serpent, but god damn, that’s a good scream. Enviable. Comprised of six tracks, Present Serpent is as progressive as it is extreme, as doom as it is any number of other microgenres, and despite the formidable and varied nature of his performances throught — second track “The Charmthrower” has more scope than many bands do in an entire career arc — he does not fail to put songwriting first ahead of either technique or impact. Present Serpent will not hit a nerve with everyone, but the lumbering “Raw Blessings” and the atmosludge metal of finisher “The Boomering of Serpents,” calling back to opener “Serpent Soul (A Tale of Angels’ Slaughter)” in semi-blackened throb, just leaves me wondering why the hell not. On the level of Moanhand‘s forward potential alone — never mind any of the actual songs — it is a staggering debut.

Moanhand on Facebook

Moanhand on Bandcamp

 

Appalooza, The Holy of Holies

appalooza-the-holy-of-holies-cover

The percussion nuance and guitar lick nodding at Morricone in opener “Storm” amid all the post-Alice in Chains vocal arrangements should be a signal of the reach France’s Appalooza bring to their second LP and Ripple debut, The Holy of Holies. To wit, the subsequent “Snake Charmer” is off and careening almost immediately on its own path, and it’s commendable on the band’s part that where they go on the burlier “Reincarnation” and the more spacious “Nazareth” and the centerpiece “Conquest” — which starts out particularly hard-hitting and by the time it’s done is given over to standalone acoustic guitar without sounding disjointed in getting there — remains so seemingly even-handed in its delivery. Their material is considered, then. It proves no less so through the brash/tense “Azazael,” the desert-but-not “Distress” and “Thousand Years After,” which is a melodic highlight even among the many other surrounding. Tasked with summarizing, closer “Canis Majoris” answers “Conquest” with melancholy and heft, its ending satisfying in an emotional context in additing to being a well earned sonic payoff.

Appalooza on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

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Quarterly Review: Papir, Kosmodemonic, Steve Von Till, Sex Blender, Déhà, Thunder Horse, Rebreather, Melmak, Astral Magic, Crypt Monarch

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

Day two already, huh? It’s a holiday week here in the States, which means people are on vacation or have at least enjoyed a long weekend hopefully without blowing any body parts off with fireworks or whatnot. For me, I prefer the day on rather than the day off, so we proceeded as normal yesterday in beginning the Quarterly Review. “We now return to our regularly scheduled,” and so on.

There’s a lot of good stuff here, as one would hope, and since we’re still basically at the start of this doublewide edition of the Quarterly Review — 10 down, 90 to go — I won’t delay further. Thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Papir, Jams

papir jams

Two sessions, three days apart, three pieces from each, resulting in six tracks running just about 80 minutes that Papir are only within their rights to have titled simply as Jams. With this outing, the Copenhagen-based psychedelic trio present their process at its most nakedly exploratory. I don’t know if they had any parts pre-planned when they went into the studio, but the record brims with spontaneity, drums jazzing out behind shimmering guitar and steadily grooving basslines. Effects are prevalent and add to the spaciousness, and the sessions from whence these songs came, whether it’s the key-led four-minute “20.01.2020 #2” or the 20-minute opener “17.01.2020 #1” — all tracks sharing the same date-and-number format as regards titles — feel vibrant and fluid in a way that goes beyond even the hazy hypnotics of “20.01.2020 #3.” Papir‘s instrumental dynamic is of course a huge part of what they do anyway, but to hear their chemistry come through in freer fashion as it does here can only be refreshing. I hope they do more like this.

Papir on Facebook

Stickman Records website

 

Kosmodemonic, Liminal Light

Kosmodemonic Liminal Light

Brooklyn outfit Kosmodemonic exist almost exclusively within genre border regions. Their second album, Liminal Light, fosters an approach that’s too considered not to be called progressive, but that owes as much to the cosmic doom of YOB as to black metal as to noise rock as to Voivod as to any number of other various ores in the metallic sphere. In their sprinting moments or in the consuming dark grandeur of centerpiece “Ipomoea,” they are pointedly individual, and cuts like “Drown in Drone” and the later slammer “Brown Crown” owe much to sheer impact as to the cerebral underpinnings of their angularity. Liminal Light is vicious but methodical, and feels executed with a firm desire to catch the audience sleeping and then blindside them with a change, be it in moving from one song to another or within one song itself, like when the penultimate “Chains of Goddess Grove” rears back from its lurching movement and spews thrashier fire in its final minute. Put these moments together and you get a record that challenges on multiple levels and is unflinchingly worth the effort of close engagement.

Kosmodemonic on Facebook

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Steve Von Till, A Deep Voiceless Wilderness

Steve Von Till A Deep Voiceless Wilderness

The sixth solo offering from Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Steve Von Till is a first for being completely instrumental. The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — goes that Von Till wrote the music for 2020’s No Wilderness Deep Enough (review here) late during jetlagged nights alone on his wife’s family’s property in Germany, where her family has lived for 500 years, only to later be convinced by producer Randall Dunn to write lyrics and record vocals for the songs. A Deep Voiceless Wilderness, as the title hints, pulls those vocals back out of these re-named pieces, allowing elements like the quiet textures of keyboard and piano, horns and mellotrons to shine through in atmospheric fashion, layers of drone intertwining in mostly peaceful fashion. It is the least guitar-based record Von Till has ever done, and allows for a new kind of minimalism to surface along with an immersive melodic hum. Subdued, meditative, exploratory, kind of wonderful.

Steve Von Till website

Neurot Recordings store

 

Sex Blender, Studio Session I

Sex Blender Studio Session I

Based in Lviv, Ukraine, instrumentalist krautrock bizarros Sex Blender have two full-lengths behind them, and Studio Session I takes the consumingly fuzzed “Diver” from 2018’s Hormonizer and three cuts from 2020’s The Second Coming and turns them into a stirring 44-minute set captured on video for a livestream. Reportedly some of the arrangements are different, as will certainly happen, but as someone being introduced to the band through this material, it’s easy to be struck by the palpable sense of glee with which Sex Blender present their songs. “Crimson Master” is the shortest of the bunch at just over six minutes — it’s the only one under 11 — but even there, the manipulated keyboard sounds, drum fluidity and undercurrent of rumbling distortion push Sex Blender into a place that’s neither doom nor prog but draws from both, crawling where the subsequent “Rave Spritz” can’t help but bounce with its motorik drums and intertwined synth lines. May just be a live session, but they shine all the same.

Sex Blender on Facebook

Drone Rock Records website

 

Déhà, Cruel Words

Déhà Cruel Words

Déhà‘s third long-player Cruel Words was originally issued in 2019 and is seeing a first vinyl pressing on Burning World Records. The Brussels solo outfit has released no fewer than 17 other full-length outings — possibly more, depending on what counts as what — in the two years since these songs initially surfaced, but, well, one has to start someplace. The 2LP runs 75 minutes and includes bonus tracks — an acoustic version of opener “I Am Mine to Break,” a cover of The Gathering‘s “Saturnine” and the piano-into-post-metal “Comfort Me II” — but the highlights are on the album itself, such as the make-Amenra-blush 12-minute crux of “Dead Butterflies,” wherein a lung-crushing weight is given patient drama through its prominent keyboard layers, or the goth early going of “Pain is a Wasteland,” which seems to brood until it finally can’t take it anymore and bashes its head (and yours) into the wall. Surprisingly methodical for the manic pace at which Déhà (né Olmo Lipani) works, it makes artistry of its arrangement as well as performance and is willfully overwhelming, but engaging in that.

Déhà on Facebook

Burning World Records website

 

Thunder Horse, Chosen One

Thunder Horse Chosen One

Big riffs, big grooves, big hooks, Thunder Horse‘s second long-player, Chosen One, sees the San Antonio, Texas, outfit inherit some aspects from the members’ past outfits, whether it’s the semi-industrial vocal style of Stephen Bishop on “Among the Dead” or the classically shredding solo work of Todd Connally. With Dave Crow on bass and Jason “Shakes” West on drums, Thunder Horse elbow their way into a nod quickly on Chosen One and hold their ground decisively, with Dehumanizer-esque tones and flourish of keys throughout that closes in lead position on the outro “Remembrance” in complement to the strumming, whistling “Texas” a short while earlier. Even when they shuffle, as on the second half of “Song for the Ferryman,” Thunder Horse do it heavy, and as they did with their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), they make it hard to argue, either with the atmosphere or the sheer lumber of their output. An easy record to dig for the converted.

Thunder Horse on Facebook

Ripple Music website

 

Rebreather, Pets / Orange Crush

Rebreather Pets Orange Crush

Heads up children of — or children of children of — the 1990s, as Youngstown, Ohio’s Rebreather effectively reinterpret and heavy up two of that decade’s catchiest hooks in Porno for Pyros‘ “Pets” and R.E.M.‘s “Orange Crush.” Taking songs that, if they ever left your head from rock radio, will certainly be right back in there now, and trying to put their own spin on them is ambitious, but Rebreather have no trouble slowing down the already kinda languid “Pets” or emphasizing the repetitive urgency of “Orange Crush,” and the tonal weight they bring to both honors the original versions as well as who Rebreather are as a band, while showcasing the band’s heretofore undervalued melodies, with call and response vocal lines in both cuts nodding to their sludge/noise rock roots while moving forward from there. They chose the songs well, if nothing else, and though it’s only about 10 minutes between the two cuts, as the first new Rebeather material since their 2018 self-titled EP (discussed here), I’ll take the two covers happily.

Rebreather on Facebook

Aqualamb Records website

 

Melmak, Down the Underground

Melmak Down the Underground

Spanish duo Melmak — guitarist/vocalist Jonan Etxebarria and drummer/vocalist Igor Etxebarria — offer an awaited follow-up to their 2016 long-player Prehistorical (review here) and demonstrate immediately that five years has not dulled their aggressive tendencies. Opener “Black Room” is a minute-long grindfest, and though “Scum” finds its way into a sludgy groove, it’s not far behind. “Poser” starts out as a piano ballad but turns to its own crushing roll, while “The Scene” rumbles out its lurch, “You Really Don’t Care” samples a crying baby over a sad piano line and “Ass Kisser” offers knee-to-the-face bruiser riffing topped with echoing gutturalism that carries the intensity into the seven-minute, more spacious “Jaundiced,” which gives itself over to extremity in its second half as well, and the closing noise wash of “The Crew.” What we learn from all this is it would seem Melmak find the heavy underground wanting in violent terms. They answer that call in bludgeoning fashion.

Melmak on Facebook

Melmak on Bandcamp

 

Astral Magic, Visions of Infinity

Astral Magic Visions of Infinity

Ostensibly a solo-project from Dark Sun bassist Santtu Laakso, Astral Magic‘s debut LP, Visions of Infinity, features contributions from guitarist Martin Weaver (Wicked Lady, Doctors of Space) and Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (Doctors of Space, Øresund Space Collective), as well as Samuli Sailo on ukulele, and has been mixed and mastered and released by Heller, so perhaps the plot thickens as regards just how much of band it is. Nonetheless, Astral Magic have all the cosmos to work with, so there’s plenty of room for everybody, as Visions of Infinity harnesses classic Hawkwindian space rock and is unafraid to add droning mysticism to the ever-outward procession on “Ancient Mysteries” or “Onboard the Spaceship,” to grow playful on “I Was Abducted” or bask in cosmic serenity on “Winds of Time” and “Wizards.” Off we go, into the greater reaches of “out there.” It’s a fun ride.

Astral Magic on Facebook

Space Rock Productions website

 

Crypt Monarch, The Necronaut

Crypt Monarch The Necronaut

Costa Rican trio Crypt Monarch offer their debut full-length in the form of the three-song/36-minute The Necronaut, the sound of which makes the claim on the part of the band — bassist/vocalist Christopher De Haan, guitarist Jose Rodriguez, drummer/vocalist J.C. Zuñiga — that it was made live in a cabin in the woods easy enough to believe. Though mixed and mastered, the 15-minute opener “Morning Star Through Skull” (15:41) and ensuing rollers “Rex Meridionalis” (10:12) and “Aglaphotis” (10:08) maintain a vigilant rawness, laced with noise even as De Haan and Zuñiga come together vocally on the latter, clean singing and gurgles alike. It is stoner metal taken to a logical and not entirely unfamiliar extreme, but the murk in which Crypt Monarch revel is dense and easy to get lost within. This, more than any single riff or lumbering groove, speaks to the success of the band’s intention in crafting the record. There is no clearly marked exit.

Crypt Monarch on Facebook

Electric Valley Records website

 

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Duel Premiere “Children of the Fire”; In Carne Persona Preorder Available

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

duel

Austin, Texas, heavy rockers Duel are ready to roll out their fourth album, In Carne Persona. The Lone Star purveyors have done precious little since debuting with 2016’s Fears of the Dead (review here) beyond kick ass and take names, in the studio and on the road, and of course as there was that whole thing about the plague last year, In Carne Persona arrives following their longest time off tour in the last five years. They had Europe booked for Feb. and March last year, and, well, yeah.

But go ahead and get you some of “Children of the Fire” — an appropriate-enough title for a burner — with its dual-guitar classicism and unbridled shove-that-swings and tell me they’re not ready to party. Four records deep, they sound like they know who they are and what they want to do, and from the melody of the hook into the take-no-nonsense solo-plus-final-chorus, it’s four and a half minutes of organic efficiency that speaks only to the follow-up to 2019’s Valley of Shadows (review here) as one worth marking the calendar for.

Or preordering — and hey, wouldn’t you know, preorders are up as of right now. This very second.

Dig in. PR wire info follows the song:

Duel, “Children of the Fire” track premiere

duel in carne persona

Duel – In Carne Persona – Oct. 1

CHILDREN OF THE FIRE is the first single taken from the DUEL upcoming brand new album In Carne Persona. The release will see the light October 1st via Heavy Psych Sounds.

“In Carne Persona”, the upcoming fourth full length album from Texas heavy rockers DUEL, is more of what you have come to expect from the band. Nine new heavy riff soaked tracks from a dungeon in the desert. Written and recorded during plague lockdown, In Carne Persona has the feel of an album that takes its time and full attention to detail. Several upbeat classic guitar rockers in the vain of Thin Lizzy, early UFO, and the beginnings of KISS. A handful of old school NWOBHM anthems channeling early Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, tripped out stoner and proto metal soundscapes. Always pushing the barriers of their sound and offering up something new with the soul of the classic DUEL evil boogie.

SAYS THE BAND:
“Children of the fire is the opening track from our new album. A sun scorched upbeat rocker with a killer dual guitar solo section. The vibe of this one we felt was reminiscent of the earliest DUEL songs like Fears of the Dead.”

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

USA PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm

Austin, Texas occult rockers DUEL are super heavy, tripped out 4 piece old school stoner metal. Steeped in the more sinister sounds of dungeon-esque early 80’s heavy metal, Proto metal of the 70’s and late 60s psych. Their tunes spin dark tales of ritual horror, occult sex and Apocalyptic doom. Exploring alternate realms, and the depth of infinite space with a head full of mushroom tea. Dueling Thin Lizzy esque guitars with the aggression of Motorhead meets the MC5. Dealing their own brand of dark boogie

DUEL is
Tom Frank – Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums
Jeff Henson – Guitars / Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://www.instagram.com/dueltexas/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, Valley of Shadows (2019)

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Duel Announce Fourth Album Preorders Start Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Count Austin heavy rockers Duel among the multitudes whose forward momentum got usurped by circumstances well beyond their control last year. Their last record was 2019’s Valley of Shadows (review here), which saw them continue to tour hither and yon on various continents, and while they haven’t been able to do that over the last 15 months, at least somebody was writing. Their fourth studio album — fifth overall release for Heavy Psych Sounds when one includes 2018’s Live at the Electric Church (review here) — will presumably be out sometime in the Fall since preorders are starting next week.

In keeping with the label’s promotional style, this is kind of the announcement of the announcement, and when the preorders start, that’ll be when there’s a track premiere, the album details, probably artwork and all that stuff. Fair enough. Duel have proven nothing if not reliable over the course of their career to-date, and I look forward to hearing how they counter the restlessness they no doubt felt having to sit on ass for so damn long.

Easy bet this’ll be good.

From the PR wire:

duel

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce DUEL is coming back with a brand new album!!!

ALBUM PRESALE + FIRST TRACK PREMIERE START: JUNE 30th

SAYS THE BAND

“We here at cult DUEL are absolutely stoked to announce we are releasing yet another full length album with our Heavypsychsounds family. We have made good use of our time during our modern plague, and are looking forward to sharing it with y’all.”

Austin, Texas occult rockers DUEL are super heavy, tripped out 4 piece old school stoner metal. Steeped in the more sinister sounds of dungeon-esque early 80’s heavy metal, Proto metal of the 70’s and late 60s psych. Their tunes spin dark tales of ritual horror, occult sex and Apocalyptic doom. Exploring alternate realms, and the depth of infinite space with a head full of mushroom tea. Dueling Thin Lizzy esque guitars with the aggression of Motorhead meets the MC5. Dealing their own brand of dark boogie

They have earned a reputation with their beer soaked high energy live performances, relentless touring, writing and recording schedule. Since 2016 the band have released 3 albums with a 4th LP “Valley of Shadows” set to be released on Heavy Psych Sounds Records in May of 2019. DUEL is about to embark on their sixth extensive European tour once again hitting many of the major festivals that they have in the past. Desert Fest, Freak Valley, Stick and Stone, Black Deer Fest in the UK etc. The band has also stayed extremely busy at home in the United States with a brand new album to come in 2021.

DUEL is
Tom Frank – Guitars / Vocals
Shaun Avants – Bass / Vocals
Justin Collins – Drums
Jeff Henson – Guitars / Vocals

https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Duel, “Black Magic Summer” official video

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Krigsgrav to Release The Sundering Aug. 6 on Wise Blood Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I’m not always a huge black metal guy, but every now and then you have the kind of day that makes you want to rip your own throat out and sometimes a record comes along that hits just that right spot of aural catharsis. Hello, The Sundering. The impending sixth long-player by Texas-based trio Krigsgrav is set to release Aug. 6 through Wise Blood Records and uses charred sounds as a foundation from which to spread its intense, driving and in many cases destructive gospel. Acoustic stretches and slower passages ensure consideration beyond genre-stamp-and-move-on, guitar wizardry ensures a sense of soaring above the devastation only to plunge back into it with the next riff, and the theme of a hurricane hitting Galveston over a century ago is well represented by the torrent of their execution. Madness ensues.

Nothing public from it yet, but their Bandcamp is a trove for the brave. Album info from the PR wire:

krigsgrav the sundering

Wise Blood Records presents KRIGSGRAV

Texan atmospheric black metal trio Krigsgrav have been an ever-evolving force since forming in 2004. Originating as a two-man band led by David Sikora, the band transitioned into a full four-piece unit in 2011, with frequent conspirator Justin Coleman being a mainstay ever since. The Sundering is the first album featuring newly recruited lead guitarist Cody Daniels (Giant of the Mountain), and the results inspire awe. The Sundering is Krigsgrav’s sixth LP, and it’s a masterpiece of slicing riffs and apocalyptic gloom. The album will mesmerize fans of rustic darkness (Agalloch and Woods of Ypres), melodic death/doom (Katatonia and My Dying Bride), and ’90s Swedish black metal (Dissection and Dawn). The Sundering will roar out of the storm clouds on August 6th from Wise Blood Records on CD, Cassette, and digital formats.

“Krigsgrav represents the bleakness through which we view this world and how we interpret those emotions musically”. explains vocalist/guitarist Justin Coleman. “It is our version of spirituality, I guess you could say. Thematically, Krigsgrav is based around beauty in darkness, our stoic internal reflection and just the smallest amount of hope that can still be found, even at life’s darkest moments.”

The Sundering is an exceptionally dark and downcast record that considers black metal a canvas instead of a genre prison. Krigsgrav channel the rustic atmospheres of Agalloch and Woods of Ypres while the somber moods of Katatonia and My Dying Bride seep into each composition. But the album also brings a storm of riffs with its dark-cloud ambience. Think the Swedish greats like Dissection and Dawn playing as cataclysmic winds come with nightfall.

In 1900, a devastating hurricane hit the thriving coastal city of Galveston in Krigsgrav’s home state of Texas. It was the deadliest storm in the young history of the United States, with approximately 8,000 fatalities. While the city was resilient in the face of so much carnage, it was a reminder of Mother Nature’s destructive power. The Sundering was partially inspired by that tragedy, and feels timely in an age where nature has humbled humanity yet again.

“This album is based around the dread of a natural event occurring and having no control,” Coleman shares, “but trying to find the means to pull yourself together to get through it all. It is about personal perseverance in the face of absolute crushing odds that should not allow it. Our lyrical content is almost consistently about our place in this world, and how finite and fragile our existence is.”

The Sundering will commence with a track premiere and pre-order launch on the summer solstice, June 21st. It will then be released on CD, Cassette, and digitally on August 6th through Wise Blood Records. Listen to one of the year’s best black metal albums and face the darkness with Krigsgrav.

Krigsgrav is:
David Sikora: Drums, Bass, Backing Clean Vocals
Justin Coleman: Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Ambient Noise
Cody Daniels: Lead Guitars

https://www.facebook.com/krigsgrav
https://krigsgrav.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/wisebloodrecs/
https://www.instagram.com/wisebloodrecords
https://wisebloodrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.wisebloodrecords.com/

Krigsgrav, “Isolation Hell”

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