Days of Rona: Benjamin Rousseau of The Necromancers

Posted in Features on April 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

the necromancers ben rousseau

Days of Rona: Benjamin Rousseau of The Necromancers (Poitiers, France)

The blog here, which is started under the user account with SYSDBA privileges, runs separately from the database instance. How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Each of us is at home, in good health and well surrounded. We are currently into composition and pre-production of our next album and we’ve had to postpone certain deadlines, including studio recording. For the moment, we are working remotely.

Luckily we didn’t have big tours scheduled, but obviously the few shows we had are now cancelled or postponed.

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In France, we were hit quite quickly by the pandemic and the measures taken are drastic. Of course, we are not allowed to go outside unless absolutely necessary. A curfew has been put in place in most cities, including Poitiers, where I live. The streets are deserted and silent, it gives a special and new atmosphere, not unpleasant to compose.

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Fortunately, neither my friends nor my family were affected. The first ones affected in France are the hospitals and their staff.

As for the musical world, it is suspended, as everywhere. However, a lot of support and projects arise from this situation, and artists redouble their imagination to maintain a musical activity on social networks. I’m sure we’d all like to see more online Kadavar concerts.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

We are doing well and working every day to write our next obscure chapter.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones, stay home.

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

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Belzebong & The Necromancers Announce Spring Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

belzebong

the necromancers

Hey, if it works, don’t mess with it. Poland’s  read here. Since 1989 our certified professional essay writers have assisted tens of thousands of clients to land great jobs Belzebong and France’s  site. Ranked #1 by 10,000 plus clients; for 25 years our certified resume writers have been developing compelling The Necromancers toured together this past Fall and they’ll head out once more in March on an apparent second leg of their run together. The shows are presented by  Finding a cheap essay writing service that will write a great essay for you is harder than it may seem. http://www.asgerandersen.dk/?technical-writing-essay will help you to survive in Sound of Liberation, and with  Essay Help in UK Get top Essay Typers to help with essay papers in UK. Affordable price,24/7 assistance with Homework Help In Sciences. Order Now Belzebong having released  Choose the best college assignments for sales that will help you to complete you MIT PhD thesis, or any other PhD thesis. Get PhD thesis online help here Light the Dankness (review here) in the meantime as  http://www.kpria.cz/?online-doctorate-without-dissertation - Get to know common tips as to how to get the greatest research paper ever Proofreading and proofediting services from best writers. The Necromancers continue to support their second LP,  phd thesis on bilingualism Do Book Reports Need Cover Letters order of lab report essay can money buy everything Of Blood and Wine (review here), it’s all the more an occasion. One assumes the bands must have gotten along pretty well or the tour wouldn’t be happening after the first one, so that’s kind of an awesome atmosphere to think of. Shows are better when the bands playing are having a good time. Thus spake science.

http://www.noliac.com/?writing-mla-papers offers outstanding research help for students all over the world! Only original papers Experienced writers ? 24/7 Customer Sound of Liberation posted the following dates before breaking for the holidays:

belzebong necromancers tour

We couldn’t leave for our little x-mas/new year’s break without giving you one more tour set for the spring!

Just back from the road 3 weeks ago, BelzebonG & The Necromancers will team up again in March/April for the second leg of their “Purveyors of Dankness” Tour!

Still some dates missing, but most of the tour is here:
19.03.19 (D) Dresden / Chemiefabrik (Belzebong Only)
20.03.19 (D) Osnabrück / Westwerk (Belzebong Only)
21.03.19 (NL) Nijmegen / Merleyn
23.03.19 (FR) Le Havre / CEM (Belzebong Only)
25.03.19 (UK) Bristol / The Lanes
27.03.19 (UK) Glasgow / Nice N Sleazy
29.03.19 (UK) Cardiff / TBC
30.03.19 (UK) Manchester / Riffolution Festival
31.03.19 (UK) London / The Underworld
03.04.19 (D) Hamburg / Molotow
04.04.19 (DK) Copenhagen / Stengade
05.04.19 (D) Cottbus / Zum Faulen August
06.04.19 (CZ) Prag / 007

Polish heavy-doomfuzz-metal outfit BELZEBONG started in 2008, and since then they bring tons of evil weedian riffage for persistent ones. The band drowns themselves in a sea of distortion and fuzz, and after their appearances at prestigious festivals such as Stoned From The Underground, Desertfest Berlin & London, fans of Doom Metal have found a new hero in the scene!

From Progressive Rock to Doom Metal, THE NECROMANCERS’ music is a condensed hybrid of muddy influences emerging from fuzzy and mesmerising witchy riffs, metallic passion, and thickened doom. Think of an unhappy encounter between dark gods at the corner of a foggy street and you’ll get a feeling.

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420/
www.soundofliberation.com/belzebong

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
www.soundofliberation.com/the-necromancers

Belzebong, Light the Dankness (2018)

The Necromancers, Of Blood and Wine (2018)

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Review & Track Premiere: The Necromancers, Of Blood and Wine

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the necromancers of blood and wine

[Click play above to hear the premiere of ‘The Gathering’ from The Necromancers’ Of Blood and Wine. Album is out Oct. 5 on Ripple Music.]

Improve the your manuscript's chance of publication with Wiley English Writing A Cv For Academic Positions First Part Time. Your work will be paired with an experienced editor who specializes Of Blood and Wine is the second full-length from Tinker's Bojan Godina Dissertation Inc, 1107 Kay Conley Rd, Rock Spring, GA holds a Contractors license according to the Tennessee license board. Their BuildZoom The Necromancers in as many years, and among its accomplishments of songwriting and aesthetic craft, what it does is to bring into focus the direction of the band. Their check it out can save your considerable amount of time and as well as money. Our article rewriting services is providing all kinds of Ripple Music-issued debut, The Help Writing Essay Papers: Complete high degree courses by composing superb essays by using experts! The Master of Business management program is Servants of the Salem Girl (review here), utilized many of the same stylistic elements — it’s only been a year, after all — but in hindsight was only hinting at the start of a development underway, and while it was easy to get caught up in the blend of cult rock, doom, heavy vibes and ’70s-style boogie that underscored the work of the Poitiers, France, four-piece, with the six tracks and 44 minutes of Of Blood and Wine, they showcase another aspect of their sound that was very much there all along: its forward potential. In some cases, like the swaying groove and bluesy leads in the first-half buildup of the 10-minute penultimate “Lust,” it’s a question of patience and production.

While there’s still an urgency and a tension at work, particularly in its later reaches, “Lust” is emblematic of the development in both, but from the uptempo boogie of opener “Join the Dead Ones” — adding a bit of Ghost in guitarist Tom Cornière‘s vocals during the verse before the gruff chorus takes hold, fueled by his own riffs and the deft rhythmic turns of bassist Simon Evariste and drummer Benjamin Rousseau while Robin Genais‘ leads mark the transition back to the verse afterward — to the consuming fullness of tone brought forth in closer “The Gathering,” The Necromancers hone an engrossing fluidity through a graceful two-sided offering that, even more than the debut, makes their approach their own. To wit, the post-Iron Maiden gallop and “Heaven and Hell” bassline in second track and longest cut “Erzebeth” (12:41) combine with Cornière‘s melodic and shouted vocals and the general warmth of tone in the recording to create something classic in its root but thoroughly modern in presentation.

One gets the sense that these will only continue to become key elements The Necromancers‘ collective sonic persona, but rather than let the listener speculate on where they might go, Of Blood and Wine demands attention in the now, “Erzebeth” stomping toward its midsection beneath a switched-on plotted solo from Genais that leads to proggy shuffle in an instrumental jam and one of the record’s more fervent thrusts. It’s not until nearly 10 minutes in that the vocals return, and from their spoken comeback, The Necromancers cleverly make their way back to the hook to close out and give way to the quiet 2:39 brooder of a title-track, a showcase for Cornière‘s emergence as a frontman — a not insignificant subplot to the album — and a demonstration of the diversity of approach in the core of their songwriting. It is much to their credit that Of Blood and Wine flows as easily as it does, and that they never seem out of place through their stylistic changes or to lose the overarching atmosphere that’s so crucial in tying the songs together.

the necromancers

To an extent, side A and B mirror each other. Both begin with an upbeat 5:44 kick in “Join the Dead Ones” and “Secular Lord,” though the latter dispenses with the first-minute album-intro-style riff in favor of a more immediate push, and then move into longer fare with “Erzebeth” on side A and “Lust” on side B. It’s in the third cut on each side that the real departure happens, since side A rounds out with “Of Blood and Wine” and side B caps with “The Gathering”‘s seven-minute doomery, making its way with due moodiness and a bit of subtlety to the final payoff of the entirety, with extra impact seeming to come from Rousseau‘s bassdrum and Evariste‘s low end as they stomp noisily out, ending with a horror sample of chains and screams and a ringing bell. Witch burning? It would be on theme, if nothing else. Either way, that conclusion comes after The Necromancers find their most active swing on “Secular Lord,” with its catchy central riff and adrenaline-fueled build in the second half, the band leaving behind some of their ’70s-ism in favor of harder-hitting push.

There’s room in “Lust” for both sides to come together, but it’s important again to consider the fluidity with which the band execute their material. They’re not in a rush, and they’re never really still, even on the title-track, but with an excellent sense of tempo and rhythmic motion, they build a momentum in fast and slow, loud and quiet movements that allows for the exploration in the middle third of “Lust” to have a context beyond itself, so that it’s not necessarily about indulgence so much as expanding the atmosphere of the album as a whole. It also serves in its emergent and fleeting heft as a precursor to what the closer has on offer, and one can hear again how the pieces tie to each other as “Lust” hits its climax with a last chorus and “The Gathering” creeps its way in with a first minute not entirely dissimilar from what started “Join the Dead Ones” before its full nod unfurls, topped with chants and turning to a spacious verse that trades back to the full-boar riff and chanting as a kind of semi-hook.

Much of the second half of the finale is given to the capstone movement, and rightly so. When one considers Of Blood and Wine as a whole work, its end in the final three or four minutes of “The Gathering” is nothing if not earned, and it underscores just how clearly The Necromancers intend that the album should be taken in its entirety. I said earlier that one doesn’t want to speculate about where they’ll go sonically their next time out, and I stick by that as they could develop in any number of directions, but a central achievement of their sophomore offering is that it brings their influences together into a cohesive, malleable oneness that is theirs almost entirely, while also highlighting the potential unfolding in their craft. That one should think of their future prospects while hearing these songs is something in itself, but more important is the realization that The Necromancers are already beginning to bring that potential to fruition.

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

The Necromancers on YouTube

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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The Necromancers Stream “Secular Lord”; Of Blood and Wine out Oct. 5; Tour Dates Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the necromancers

Multi-pronged update from busy French four-piece The Necromancers. They’ll follow-up their 2017 Ripple Music debut, Servants of the Salem Girl (review here), and the copious touring they did thereby, with Of Blood and Wine, from which a new single is streaming now. The album is out Oct. 5 and the band will begin their next road stint with a release show in their hometown of Poitiers, France, from where they’re set to head out to Germany, Poland, Croatia and beyond to mark the record’s arrival. The tour, naturally, is presented by Sound of Liberation.

You can hear the cult rock elements still present in “Secular Lord” — the new single streaming at the bottom of this post — but The Necromancers sound more confident overall. Listen to how they give the lead guitar room to work in the second half of the track and how easily the crash behind the winding, stomping apex seems to flow with the soaring solo overtop before they turn back to the last verse. These guys had some potential in the debut, and I haven’t heard the whole record yet, but it’s possible they’re starting to bring it to fruition on Of Blood and Wine. We’ll see in less than a month, I guess.

From the PR wire:

the necromancers of blood and wine

French heavy psych quartet THE NECROMANCERS return with new album + European tour dates | Stream and share new single ‘Secular Lord’ now!

Drawing on antiquated inspirations in mythology, religion, fantastical tales from European literature and an obsession for classic horror cinema, The Necromancers are a curious alliance of musicians, and together are a strange beast to behold.

Following on from the release of their debut album last year on Ripple Music, the French quartet return with the first taste of their eagerly awaited follow up, Of Blood and Wine, with ‘Secular Lord’; a song about which explores the legend of Vlad ‘The Empalor’ Tepes. Experimenting with progressive rock, heavy psych and the 70s pagan/proto-metal of bands like Black Sabbath and Coven, they take these influences, throw in the urgency of NWOBHM and douse the entire lot in lysergic illusions. All with a mind to create an album a sound for ages.

After a very successful tour last winter with Swiss psych rock legends Monkey 3, The Necromancers take to the road for a European tour with Belzebong, kicking off with an album release show at Le Cluricaume in their hometown of Poitiers. (For the full list of dates see below.)

“The band is still young,” explains vocalist and guitar player Tom Cornie?re. “We never would have thought of signing with a label like Ripple. We could hardly have hoped for better. It’s an honour and a surprise. Now, we are looking forward to the tour and to be able to share our album wherever we can.”

Of Blood and Wine by The Necromancers is released on 5th October 2018 on Ripple Music.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Join The Dead Ones
2. Erzebeth
3. Of Blood And Wine
4. Secular Lord
5. Lust
6. The Gathering

TOUR DATES:
24.10.2018 – Poitiers – Le Cluricaume (Release Show), FR
26.10.2018 – Montpellier – Le Black Sheep, FR
27.10.2018 – Lyon – Le Grand Incendie #3, FR
28.10.2018 – Altkirch – Le Domaine, FR
08.11.2018 – Dresden – Beatpol, D
10.11.2018 – Krakow – Soulstone Gathering, PL
12.11.2018 – Budapest – Dürer Kert, HUN
13.11.2018 – Zagreb – Vintage Industrial Bar, CRO
14.11.2018 – Ljubljana – Koncertna Dvorana Rog, SI
15.11.2018 – Innsbruck – Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, A
16.11.2018 – Leipzig – Werk 2, D
17.11.2018 – Strasbourg – La Laiterie, FR
18.11.2018 – Paris – La Maroquinerie, FR
19.11.2018 – Rennes – Le Mondo Bizarro, FR
20.11.2018 – Bordeaux – Make It Sabbathy 50th, FR
21.11.2018 – Barcelona – Rocksound, SP
22.11.2018 – Toulouse – Les Pavillons Sauvages, FR
24.11.2018 – Bologna – Freakout, IT
25.11.2018 – Milano – VVitch Festival, IT
26.11.2018 – Munich – Feierwerk, D
27.11.2018 – Utrecht – DB’s, NL
28.11.2018 – Brussels – Magasin 4, B
29.11.2018 – Cologne – Helios 37, D
30.11.2018 – Berlin – Zukunft Am Ostkreuz, D
01.12.2018 – Osnabrück – Westwerk, D
02.12.2018 – Freiburg – Slow Club, D

THE NECROMANCERS:
Tom Cornière – Vocals, Guitar
Robin Genais – Lead Guitar
Simon Evariste – Bass Guitar
Benjamin Rousseau – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ripple-Music/369610860064
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

The Necromancers, “Secular Lord”

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl (2017)

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VVitch Festival 2018 Confirms Lineup with Dopethrone, Celeste, Eagle Twin and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Set in Milan across four nights and three different venues taking place over the course of two months, the full VVitch Festival is a season-long experience. It draws bands from multiple regions in Europe, the US and Canada, and is no less eclectic in its sound than in the geography. Each show has a different theme that feeds into the larger entirety of the experience, and VVitch Festival proper will be held as the last night, with Frizzi 2 FulciCeleste, KENmodeBelzebong and The Necromancers (who are touring together and also making a stop in Austria at the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest), Birds in Row and Coilguns. Seems like a pretty sick night and all over the place, but again, it’s just the last of four in the series.

Full lineups follow here, along with event links as per the PR wire:

vvitch festival lineup

-VVITCH-

Inspired by witchcraft and horror movies themes, between doom, sludge, black, grind, death and post metal, it?s coming soon in Milano, Italy, a new event for metal maniacs called “VVITCH FESTIVAL”. A trilogy of events plus a fourth one, the festival. Three different venues in Milano, 17 bands, some of them for the first time in Italy, some for exclusive Italian shows.

“..dark forces are going to cross the walls of the city, after the Sacrifice and the Ritual, the Evocation..”

VVITCH I – Sacrifice
September 19th 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
DEMILICH (FIN) exclusive Italian show
SPECTRAL VOICE (USA) exclusive Italian show
CARDIAC ARREST (USA) exclusive Italian show
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1568544103256273

VVITCH II – Ritual
October 11th 2018, Kraken Pub, Milano
DOPETHRONE (CAN)
EAGLE TWIN (USA)
MESSA (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1979301145733544

VVITCH III – Evocation
November 3rd 2018, Spazio Ligera, Milano
BOLOGNA VIOLENTA (IT) “Uno Bianca” full album set
FISTULA (USA) exclusive Italian show
GRIME (IT)
DEATH HAS GONE (IT)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2063352060550129

VVITCH FESTIVAL
November 25th 2018, Circolo Magnolia, Milano
FRIZZI 2 FULCI (IT)
(live soundtracks by Fabio Frizzi, of Lucio Fulci’s horror cult movies, for the
first time in Milano)
CELESTE (FR) exclusive Italian show
KEN MODE (CAN) exclusive Italian show
BELZEBONG (PL)
BIRDS IN ROW (FR)
COILGUNS (CH)
THE NECROMANCERS (FR)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/172227866788138

https://www.facebook.com/vvitchfestival

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (2018)

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Heavy Psych Sounds 2018: Brant Bjork, Black Rainbows, Belzebong & The Necromancers Set to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Four bands announced so far for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2018: Brant Bjork, Belzebong, Black Rainbows and The Necromancers. Brant Bjork recently announced the details for his upcoming album, Mankind Woman, which will be out via Heavy Psych Sounds on Sept. 14 (info here) and a stop at the festival was noted as part of his corresponding European tour. Belzebong and The Necromancers will be on the road together, so it makes sense they’d both be stopping through the fest, and, well, it wouldn’t be Heavy Psych Sounds without Italian ambassadors Black Rainbows taking the stage.

So yeah, all this makes sense. What I find most curious about this year’s Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, though, is that it’s not happening in Italy. This is the 15th one, and it’s presented by the label and Poison for Souls, which is also based in Italy, so I’m not sure how they wound up in Innsbruck, Austria. But whatever works. I’m sure by the time they’re done announcing bands it’ll be a lineup worth following anywhere, which, now that I look at it, it pretty much already is. Go figure.

Details follow as per the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds fest 2018 poster

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST confirms Brant Bjork, Belzebong, Black Rainbows, The Necromancers in Innsbruck ; pre-sale tickets available now!

Heavy Psych Sounds together with Poison For Souls are proud to announce the 15th edition of HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST, to take place in the Tyrol capital of Innsbruck in the Austrian mountains on November 15-16th.

This is a first for the Italy-based stoner & fuzz festival, which will settle in the colorful old city of Innsbruck in Austria. HPS FEST will take residence at PMK and Hafen venues for two days of the finest stoner, doom, psych rock, occult riffage! First acts announced are:

BRANT BJORK (USA)

BELZEBONG (PL)

BLACK RAINBOWS (IT)

THE NECROMANCERS (FR)

More to be announced soon…

Pre-sale tickets are available now for 36,60€ at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, “Luvin'” official video

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Belzebong & The Necromancers Announce Fall Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Poland’s Belzebong and France’s The Necromancers will head out on a tour together this November. In the announcement that follows, Sound of Liberation notes a new album coming from the latter that has yet to be detailed, so that’s an immediate bit of intrigue right there, and Belzebong released their latest outing, Greenferno, in early 2016, so it may well be that even if they don’t have a new record out by the time the tour starts on Nov. 12, they’re road-testing new material with an eye toward a 2019 release. And while we’re speculating, let’s just say if it’s gonna happen next year, it’d probably happen on April 20. Just a guess. Just spitballing.

But the tour is definitely on and will make stops at Heavy Psych Sounds Fest in Innsbruck and at the VVitch Festival in Milan, so although it starts after the glut of European Fall festivals (some of which are also Sound of Liberation productions), the truth is there really is no “festival season” when it comes to the heavy underground over there. It just keeps going pretty much all the time at this point.

The following was hoisted directly from the social medias:

belzebong the necromancers tour

Tour Announcement – BelzebonG + The Necromancers

Folks, today we are proud to unveil the “Purveyors of Dankness” European Tour 2018, with Polish heavy-doomfuzz-metal outfit BelzebonG and French Heavy-Occult rockers The Necromancers, as follows!

12.11.18 | HUN | Budapest | Dürer Kert
13.11.18 | CRO | Zagreb | Vintage Industrial Bar
14.11.18 | SI | Ljubljana | Koncertna Dvorana Rog
15.11.18 | A | Innsbruck | Heavy Psych Sounds Fest (p.m.k)
16.11.18 TBC
17.11.18 | FR | Strasbourg | La Laiterie Artefact
18.11.18 | FR | Paris | La Maroquinerie
19.11.18 | FR | Rennes | Mondo Bizarro
20.11.18 | FR | Bordeaux | Make It Sabbathy 50th (VOID // BDX)
21.11.18 | SP | Barcelona | Rocksound BCN
22.11.18 TBC
23.11.18 TBC
24.11.18 | IT | Bolzano | Bunker Jugendtreff
25.11.18 | IT | Milano | VVitch Festival (Circolo Magnolia)
26.11.18 | D | Munich | Feierwerk
27.11.18 | NL | Utrecht | dB’s
28.11.18 | B | Brussels | Magasin 4
29.11.18 | D | Cologne | Helios37
30.11.18 | D | Berlin | Zukunft am Ostkreuz

The Necromancers will be presenting their new album whose first details will be unveiled very soon!

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420/
www.soundofliberation.com/belzebong

https://www.facebook.com/thenecromancersband/
www.soundofliberation.com/the-necromancers

Belzebong, Greenferno (2016)

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl (2017)

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The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

Posted in Features on December 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk top-20-debut-albums

Please note: This post is not culled in any way from the Year-End Poll, which is ongoing. If you haven’t yet contributed your favorites of 2017 to that, please do.

Every successive year brings an absolute inundation of underground productivity. Every year, someone new is inspired to pick up a guitar, bass, drums, mic, keyboard, theremin, cello — whatever it might be — and set themselves to the task of manifesting the sounds they hear in their head.

This is unspeakably beautiful in my mind, and as we’ve done in years past, it seems only fair to celebrate the special moment of realization that comes with a band’s first album. The debut full-length. Sometimes it’s a tossed-off thing, constructed from prior EPs or thrown together haphazardly from demo tracks, and sometimes it’s a meticulously picked-over expression of aesthetic — a band coming out of the gate brimming with purpose and desperate to communicate it, whatever it might actually happen to be.

We are deeply fortunate to live in an age (for now) of somewhat democratized access to information. That is, if you want to hear a thing — or if someone wants you to hear a thing — it’s as simple as sharing and/or clicking a link. The strong word of mouth via ubiquitous social media, intuitive recording software, and an ever-burgeoning swath of indie labels and other promotional vehicles means bands can engage an audience immediately if they’re willing to do so, and where once the music industry’s power resided in the hands of a few major record companies, the divide between “listener” and “active participant” has never been more blurred.

Therefore, it is a good — if crowded — time for an act to be making their debut, even if it’s something that happens basically every day, and all the more worth celebrating the accomplishments of these first-albums both on their current merits and on the potential they may represent going forward. Some percent of a best-debuts list is always speculation. That’s part of what makes it so much fun.

As always, I invite you to let me know your favorite picks in the comments (please keep it civil). Here are mine:

telekinetic-yeti-abominable

The Obelisk Presents: The Top 20 Debut Albums of 2017

1. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable
2. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
3. Mindkult, Lucifer’s Dream
4. Dool, Here Now There Then
5. Eternal Black, Bleed the Days
6. Arduini/Balich, Dawn of Ages
7. Vinnum Sabbathi, Gravity Works
8. Tuna de Tierra, Tuna de Tierra
9. Brume, Rooster
10. Moon Rats, Highway Lord
11. Thera Roya, Stone and Skin
12. OutsideInside, Sniff a Hot Rock
13. Hymn, Perish
14. Riff Fist, King Tide
15. Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree, Medicine
16. Abronia, Obsidian Visions/Shadowed Lands
17. Book of Wyrms, Sci-Fi Fantasy
18. Firebreather, Firebreather
19. REZN, Let it Burn
20. Ealdor Bealu, Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain

Honorable Mention

Alastor, Black Magic
Devil’s Witches, Velvet Magic
Elbrus, Elbrus
Green Meteor, Consumed by a Dying Sun
Grigax, Life Eater
High Plains, Cinderland
Kingnomad, Mapping the Inner Void
Lord Loud, Passé Paranoia
Masterhand, Mind Drifter
The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl
Owlcrusher, Owlcrusher
Petyr, Petyr
The Raynbow, The Cosmic Adventure
Savanah, The Healer
War Cloud, War Cloud
WhiteNails, First Trip

I could keep going with honorable mentions, and no doubt will add a few as people remind me of other things on which I brainfarted or whathaveyou, preferably without calling me an idiot, though I recognize that sometimes that’s a lot to ask. Either way, the point remains that the heavy underground remains flush with fresh infusions of creativity and that as another generation comes to maturity, still another is behind it, pushing boundaries forward or looking back and reinventing what came before them.

Notes

Will try and likely fail to keep this brief, but the thing I find most striking about this list is the variety of it. That was not at all something I planned, but even if you just look at the top five, you’ve got Telekinetic Yeti at the forefront. Abominable is something of a speculative pick on my part for the potential it shows on the part of the Midwestern duo in their songcraft and tonality, but then you follow them with four other wildly different groups in Rozamov, Mindkult, Dool and Eternal Black. There you’ve got extreme sludge from Boston, a Virginian one-man cult garage project, Netherlands-based dark heavy rock with neo-goth flourishes, and crunching traditionalist doom from New York in the vein of The Obsessed.

What I’m trying to say here is that it’s not just about one thing, one scene, one sound, or one idea. It’s a spectrum, and at least from where I sit, the quality of work being done across that spectrum is undeniable. Think of the prog-doom majesty Arduini/Balich brought to their collaborative debut, or the long-awaited groove rollout from Vinnum Sabbathi, or how Italy’s Tuna de Tierra snuck out what I thought was the year’s best desert rock debut seemingly under everybody’s radar. Stylistically and geographically these bands come from different places, and as with Brume and Moon Rats, even when a base of influence is similar, the interpretation thereof can vary widely and often does.

That Moon Rats album wasn’t covered nearly enough. I’m going to put it in the Quarterly Review coming up just to give another look at the songwriting on display, which was maddening in its catchiness. Maddening in its cacophony of noise was Stone and Skin from Brooklyn’s Thera Roya, which found itself right on the cusp of the top 10 with backing from the ’70s heavy rock vibes of the post-Carousel Pittsburgh outfit OutsideInside. Norway’s Hymn thrilled with their bleak atmospheres, while Australia’s Riff Fist showed off a scope they’d barely hinted at previously, and Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree offered surprises of their own in their warm heavy psych tonality and mostly-instrumental immersion. That record caught me almost completely off-guard. I was not at all prepared to dig it as much as I did.

Thrills continue to abound and resound as the Young Hunter-related outfit Abronia made their first offering of progressive, Americana-infused naturalist heavy, while Book of Wyrms dug themselves into an oozing riffy largesse on the other side of the country and Sweden’s Firebreather emerged from the defunct Galvano to gallop forth and claim victory a la early High on Fire. REZN’s Let it Burn got extra points in my book for the unabashed stonerism of it, while it was the ambience of Ealdor Bealu’s Dark Water at the Foot of the Mountain that kept me going back to it. An album that was genuinely able to project a sense of mood without being theatrical about it was all the more impressive for it being their first. But that’s how it goes, especially on this list.

There you have it. Those are my picks. I recognize I’m only one person and a decent portion of my year was taken up by personal matters — having, losing a job; pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, etc. — but I did my best to hear as much music as I could in 2017 and I did my best to make as much of it as new as I could.

Still, if there’s something egregious I left out or just an album you’d like to champion, hell yes, count me in. What were some of your favorites? Comments are right down there. Let’s get a discussion going and maybe we can all find even more music to dig into.

Thanks for reading and here’s to 2018 to come and the constant renewal of inspiration and the creative spirit.

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