Quarterly Review: Across Tundras, Motorpsycho, Dark Buddha Rising, Vine Weevil, King Chiefs, Battle Hag, Hyde, Faith in Jane, American Dharma, Hypernaut

Posted in Reviews on December 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Just to reiterate, I decided to do this Quarterly Review before making my year-end list because I felt like there was stuff I needed to hear that I hadn’t dug into. Here we are, 70 records later, and that’s still the case. My desktop is somewhat less cluttered than it was when I started out, but there’s still plenty of other albums, EPs, and so on I could and probably should be covering. It’s frustrating and encouraging at the same time, I guess. Fruscouraging. Life’s too short for the international boom of underground creativity.

Anyway, thanks for taking this ride if you did. It is always appreciated.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Across Tundras, The Last Days of a Silver Rush

Across Tundras The Last Days of a Silver Rush

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Indeed, though arrangements are fleshed out with samples and the electrified spaciousness of “The Prodigal Children of the God of War,” the only other contributor here is Research Paper And Report Writing For Me. Every undergraduate recognizes that writing a paper in college can be a demanding and laborious undertaking. Putting aside a lot of your time and energy into writing a single assignment, while you have numerous other tasks and things on your mind is far from being easy. Ben Schriever on vocals and there are no drums to be found tying down the sweet strums and far-off melodies present. Could well be Buy Abstract Examples Research Paper & Meet Short Deadlines with Great Papers. As a student, you are probably pressed for time, perpetually trying to balance studies and work Olson bridging the gap between one modus (the band) and another (solo), and if so, fine. One way or the other it’s a strong batch of songs in the drifting western aesthetic he’s established. There’s nothing to say the next record will be the same or will be different. That’s why it’s fun.

Across Tundras on Bandcamp

Eagle Stone Collective on Bandcamp

 

Motorpsycho, The All is One

motorpsycho the all is one

What could possibly be left to say about the brilliance of Trondheim, Norway’s Home » How To Write A Thesis For A Persuasive Essay. Writing a Thesis in a Close Cooperation with Experts. Writing a thesis in college or university can be daunting for a lot of students. It requires a lot of time and full concentration, what is not always possible being a student. Luckily, our online writing company provides customers from all over the world with outstanding pieces of writing. Thanks to the high Motorpsycho? One only wishes that Business Math Lesson Plans - Fast and efficient treatment that costs less. Moneysaving shopping for drugs at our pharmacy. Efficient medical care and full The All is One could be blasted into place on a pressed gold vinyl so that any aliens who might encounter it could know that humanity isn’t just all cruelty, plagues and indifference. The prolific heavy prog kingpins’ latest is 84 willfully-unmanageable minutes of graceful and gracious, hyperbole-ready sprawl, tapping into dynamic changes and arrangement depth that is both classic in character and still decidedly forward-thinking. An early rocker “The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy)” and the shuffling “The Magpie” give way after the opener to the quiet “Delusion (The Reign of Humbug)” and the multi-stage “N.O.X.,” which unfolds in five parts, could easily have been an album on its own, and caps with a frenetic mania that is only off-putting because of how controlled it ultimately is. Then they throw in a couple experimental pieces after that between the nine-minute “Dreams of Fancy” and the mellow-vibing “Like Chrome.” Someday archaeologists will dig up the fossils of this civilization and wonder what gods this sect worshipped. Do they have three more records out yet? Probably.

Motorpsycho website

Stickman Records website

 

Dark Buddha Rising, Mathreyata

Dark Buddha Rising Mathreyata

From out of the weirdo hotbed that is Tampere, Finland, When Our Online Writing Paper Service Will Be of Use to You: If the question "Who can http://maidstone-magazine.co.uk/creative-writing-short-story-ideas/s professionally?" bothers you a lot and you need an Dark Buddha Rising reemerge from the swirling ether with new lessons in black magique for anyone brave enough to be schooled. Mathreyata follows 2018’s II EP but is the band’s first full-length since 2015’s Inversum (review here), and from the initial cosmically expansive lurch of “Sunyaga” through the synth-laced atmosludge roll of “Nagathma” and the seven-minute build-to-abrasion that is “Uni” and the guess-what-now-that-abrasion-pays-off beginning of 15-minute closer “Mahatgata III,” which, yes, hits into some New Wavy guitar just before exploding just after nine minutes in, the band make a ritual pyre of expectation, genre and what one would commonly think of as psychedelia. Some acts are just on their own level, and while Dark Buddha Rising will always be too extreme for some and not everyone’s going to get it, their growing cult can only continue to be enthralled by what they accomplish here.

Dark Buddha Rising on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Vine Weevil, Sun in Your Eyes

vine weevil sun in your eyes

Together, brothers Yotam and Itamar Rubinger — guitar/vocals and drums, respectively — comprise London’s Vine Weevil. Issued early in 2020 preceded by a video for “You are the Ocean” (posted here), Sun in Your Eyes is the second album from the brothers, who are also both former members of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and in the watery title-track and the Beatles-circa-Revolver bounce of “Loose Canon” they bask in a folkish ’60s-style psychedelia, mellotron melodies adding to the classic atmosphere tipped with just an edge of Ween-style weirdness — it’s never so druggy, but that undercurrent is there. “You are the Ocean” hints toward heavy garage, but the acoustic/electric sentimentality of “My Friend” and the patient piano unfurling of “Lord of Flies” ahead of organ-led closer “The Shadow” are more indicative overall of the scope of this engaging, heartfelt and wistful 31-minute offering.

Vine Weevil on Thee Facebooks

Vine Weevil on Bandcamp

 

King Chiefs, Flying into Void

king chiefs flying into void

Since before their coronation — when they were just Chiefs — the greatest strength of San Diego heavy rockers King Chiefs has been their songwriting. They’ve never been an especially flashy band on a technical level, never over the top either direction tempo-wise, but they can write a melody, craft a feel in a three-or-four-minute track and tell any story they want to tell in that time in a way that leaves the listener satisfied. This is not a skill to be overlooked, and though on Flying into Void, the follow-up to 2018’s Blue Sonnet (review here), the album is almost entirely done by guitarist/vocalist Paul ValleJeff Podeszwik adds guitar as well — the energy, spirit and craft that typify King Chiefs‘ work is maintained. Quality heavy built on a foundation of grunge — a ’90s influence acknowledged in the cover art; dig that Super Nintendo — it comes with a full-band feel despite its mostly-solo nature and delivers 37 minutes of absolutely-pretense-free, clearheaded rock and roll. If you can’t get down with that, one seriously doubts that’ll stop King Chiefs anyhow.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

King Chiefs webstore

 

Battle Hag, Celestial Tyrant

battle hag celestial tyrant

How doomed is Battle Hag‘s doom? Well, on Celestial Tyrant, it’s pretty damn doomed. The second long-player from the Sacramento, California-based outfit is comprised of three worth-calling-slabs slabs that run in succession from shortest to longest: “Eleusinian Sacrament” (12:47), “Talus” (13:12) and “Red Giant” (19:15), running a total of 45 minutes. Why yes, it is massive as fuck. The opener brings the first round of lurch and is just a little too filthy to be pure death-doom, despite the rainstorm cued in at its last minute, but “Talus” picks up gradually, hard-hit toms signaling the plod to come with the arrival of the central riff, which shows up sooner or later. Does the timestamp matter as much as the feeling of having your chest caved in? “Talus” hits into a speedier progression as it crosses over its second half, but it’s still raw vocally, and the plod returns at the end — gloriously. At 19 minutes “Red Giant” is also the most dynamic of the three cuts, dropping after its up-front lumber and faster solo section into a quiet stretch before spending the remaining eight minutes devoted to grueling extremity and devolution to low static noise. There’s just enough sludge here to position Battle Hag in a niche between microgenres, and the individuality that results is as weighted as their tones.

Battle Hag on Thee Facebooks

Transylvanian Tapes on Bandcamp

 

Hyde, Hyde

hyde hyde

It might take a few listens to sink in — and hey, it might not — but Parisian trio Hyde are up to some deceptively intricate shenanigans on their self-titled debut LP. On their face, a riff like that of second cut “Black Phillip” or “DWAGB” — on which The Big Lebowski is sampled — aren’t revolutionary, but the atmospheric purpose to which they’re being put is more brooding than the band give themselves credit for. They call it desert-influenced, but languid tempos, gruff vocals coated in echo, spacious guitar and rhythmic largesse all come together to give Hyde‘s Hyde a darker, brooding atmosphere than it might at first seem, and even opener “The Victim” and the penultimate “The Barber of Pitlochry” — the only two songs under five minutes long — manage to dig into this vibe. Of course, the 11-minute closing eponymous track — that is, “Hyde,” by Hyde, on Hyde — goes even further, finding its way into psychedelic meandering after its chugging launch rings out, only to roll heavy in its last push, ending with start-stop thud and a long fade. Worth the effort of engaging on its own level, Hyde‘s first full-length heralds even further growth going forward.

Hyde on Thee Facebooks

Hyde on Bandcamp

 

Faith in Jane, Mother to Earth

Faith in Jane Mother to Earth

Maryland’s best kept secret in heavy rock remain wildly undervalued, but that doesn’t stop power trio Faith in Jane from exploring cosmic existentialism on Mother to Earth even as they likewise broaden the expanse of their grooving, bluesy dynamic. “The Circle” opens in passionate form followed by the crawling launch of “Gone are the Days,” and whether it’s the tempest brought to bear in the instrumental “Weight of a Dream” or the light-stepping jam in the middle of the title-track, the soaring solo from guitarist/vocalist Dan Mize on the subsequent “Nature’s Daughter” or the creeper-chug on “Universal Mind,” the cello guest spot on “Lonesome” and the homage to a party unknown (Chesapeake heavy has had its losses these last few years, to say nothing of anyone’s personal experience) in closer “We’ll Be Missing You,” Mize, bassist Brendan Winston and drummer Alex Llewellyn put on a clinic in vibrancy and showcase the classic-style chemistry that’s made them a treasure of their scene. I still say they need to tour for three years and not look back, but if it’s 56 minutes of new material instead, things could be far worse.

Faith in Jane on Thee Facebooks

Faith in Jane on Bandcamp

 

American Dharma, Cosmosis

American Dharma COSMOSIS

Newcomer four-piece American Dharma want nothing for ambition on their 70-minute debut, Cosmosis, bringing together progressive heavy rock, punk and doom, grunge and hardcore punk, but the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, outfit are somewhat held back by a rawness of production pulling back from the spaces the songs might otherwise create. A bona fide preach at the outset of “Damaged Coda” is a break early on, but the guitars and bass want low end throughout much of the 14-song proceedings, and the vocals cut through with no problem but are mostly dry even when layered or show the presence of a guest, as on closer “You.” Actually, if you told me the whole thing was recorded live and intended as a live album, I’d believe it, but for a unit who do so well in pulling together elements of different styles in their songwriting and appear to have so much to say, their proggier leanings get lost when they might otherwise be highlighted. Now, it’s a self-released debut coming out during a global pandemic, so there’s context worth remembering, but for as much reach as American Dharma show in their songs, their presentation needs to move into alignment with that.

American Dharma on Thee Facebooks

American Dharma on Bandcamp

 

Hypernaut, Ozymandias

hypernaut ozymandias

Call it a burner, call it a corker, call it whatever you want, I seriously doubt Lima, Peru’s Hypernaut are sticking around to find out how you tag their debut album, Ozymandias. The nine-song/38-minute release pulls from punk with some of its forward-thrusting verses like “(This Is Where I) Draw the Line” or “Cynicism is Self-Harm,” but there’s metal there and in the closing title-cut as well that remains part of the atmosphere no matter how brash it might otherwise get. Spacey melodies, Sabbathian roll on “Multiverse… Battleworld” (“Hole in the Sky” walks by and waves), and a nigh-on-Devo quirk in the rhythm of “Atomic Breath” all bring to mind Iowan outliers Bloodcow, but that’s more likely sonic coincidence than direct influence, and one way or the other, Hypernaut‘s “Ozymandias” sets up a multifaceted push all through its span to its maddening, hypnotic finish, but the real danger of the thing is what this band might do if they continue on this trajectory for a few more records.

Hypernaut on Thee Facebooks

Hypernaut on Bandcamp

 

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Review & Full Album Stream: Dune Sea, Moons of Uranus

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

dune sea moons of uranus

[Click play above to stream Dune Sea’s Moons of Uranus in its entirety. Album is out Nov. 13 on All Good Clean Records.]

It’s a big universe, so why shouldn’t Dune Sea find a place of their own in it? The Norwegian trio embark on a niche recon with their second full-length in as many years, Moons of Uranus, and so take the delightful genre meld of their self-titled debut (review here) and push it a year and a half later into a kind of cross-franchise hyperdrive. Dropping references to “Sarlacc” and “Tusken” from Star Wars, “First Contact” from Star Trek and “Draw 4” from the card game Uno along their way, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist/synthesist Ole Nogva, bassist Petter Solvik Dahle and new drummer Viktor Olsen Kristensen (joined in place of Erik BrĂ„ten, who played on the last album) pull likewise from various heavy style elements, tearing into a classically strutting solo on “Tusken” atop a rolling bassline only to  push into semi-motorik beatmaking on “Air” and minor-key mysticism on “Oracle.”

Nogva, who founded the band, is a key presence throughout, but from the garage doom swagger of “First Contact” at the outset — where else to put such a song? — the growth of the band is evident in how they work to make their sound their own, creative runs of synthesizer adding flourish and nuance to the material as they go. At their thickest, as with the dug-in low end of the title-track, where they might remind of some of Spaceslug‘s melody-in-vacuum, but Dune Sea songs move in a way that holds firm to their heavy rock underpinnings, so that even while the telltale fuzz of “Shaman” might sound like British Steel in space, it’s not disjointed from its surroundings for that. Or at least not any more than it’s intended to be. Running 10 songs and 34 minutes, Moons of Uranus is manageable and thoroughly unpretentious for the apparent ease with which it engulfs microgenres and regurgitates them like a suddenly active Martian volcano, and the more one listens, the more one is ingrained into its methods.

This is accomplished in part through a deceptive clarity of purpose and structure beneath all the aesthetic shuffling. “First Contact” is a cry for assistance into the void — so, timely — and rushes behind its first of two keyboard solos, but its pleading “Please turn around/Please come back/We need your help/Please come back,” is a memorable first impression and while structurally grounded, the theme of interstellar communication bolsters the kosmiche excursions that follow. Are Dune Sea more grounded than they were a year ago? I don’t think so, but I’m also not sure that’s the right question to be asking, since the debut proved so well the solidity of their foundation. What one finds through “Shaman” and the subsequent two-and-a-half-minute space rocker “Absinthe Blues” is that the band’s vision of heavy psychedelia is encompassing, and whether that’s conjuring modes of space, fuzz, ’70s heavy or prog rocks, they’re able to bring whatever they do into the sphere of these proceedings.

dune sea

“Tusken” puts the melody line of the keyboards forward and is stronger for that turn after the more guitar-minded “Absinthe Blues,” but its rhythmic foundation in Dahle‘s punchy bass tone and Kristensen‘s crash-happy drumming is so set that there’s never a question about whether Dune Sea will return from however far out they venture. And they do. And efficiently. By the time side A closes with the title-track — also the longest song yet at just 4:06 — they have wasted not a minute of Moons of Uranus‘ time or the listener’s, and even in the atmospheric introduction to “Moons of Uranus” itself, the stage is being set for an instrumental hook and an explosion of spacious wash that’s immersive and propulsive in kind. That too is not any longer than it needs to be, and in the fading of residual melody, one almost imagines the band reminding themselves to keep it quick, not allowing themselves to veer too far away from the central intent of their craft.

Side B’s “Air” is the second of only three songs over the four-minute mark in terms of runtime — the other is the closer “Globe of Dust”; longest at 4:48 — and it brings together guitar and synth with a riff born out of classic heavy and a verse chug that’s rife with personality and tonal detailing matched in rhythm by the tambourine that moves along with the drums. The sound is warm but gives way to a standalone keyboard solo before bouncing back in a way perhaps as to signal that the second half of Moons of Uranus will stretch even broader than did the first. So be it. “Air” rolls to its end ahead of the speedy “Draw 4” with its there-and-gone two-minute run that still manages somehow to evoke folk metal in its middle and then turn back to its verse like nothing ever happened, turning the procession over to “Oracle,” which is clearly positioned a moment of contemplation. Vocals are deeper in the mix, guitars are forward and meditative if still somewhat impatient, and it’s not until nearly three minutes in that they crash into a bout of Sabbathian riffing that serves as the apex or perhaps revelation in keeping with the “Oracle” theme.

That side B sense of departure is lived up to in some of the disjointedness between “Air” and “Draw 4” and “Oracle” and “Sarlacc” is tasked with reorienting the audience ahead of the finale, which it does through layered space-echo vocals and forward charge, winding but inviting for all that. It does its job, and “Globe of Dust” follows with a lurch more resonant for its echoing snare pops in its verse and the transmuted “Iron Man” riff of its bridge, marching like Witch blasted to their molecules before at last in their final minute, Dune Sea find synthy glories to behold, a tunnel perhaps of bright-light slipstream that consumes the track, the band, and whatever else might happen across its gravitational field. Given the quick turnaround even with a lineup change and the aspects carried over from the debut, easy to think of Moons of Uranus as a next step in the band’s process of developing their sound and their methods on the whole. If that’s the case, it’s an engaging one, and it still holds promise for what they might accomplish as they push further into uncharted cosmos.

Dune Sea on Thee Facebooks

Dune Sea on Soundcloud

All Good Clean Records on Thee Facebooks

All Good Clean Records website

All Good Clean Records webstore

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Spidergawd to Tour Next March for New Album VI

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

spidergawd

Stoked on the idea of Spidergawd hitting the road? Yeah, well you probably should be, whether you live in the path of their newly-announced March 2021 European touring or not, because it means that there’s going to be a new Spidergawd album to coincide with said tour. Yes, friends of a heavy-rocking persuasion, I speak of Spidergawd VI, begat by 2019’s Spidergawd V (review here), which was begat by 2017’s Spidergawd IV (review here), which was begat by 2016’s Spidergawd III (review here), which was begat by 2015’s Spidergawd II (review here), which, indeed, was begat by Spidergawd (review here) in 2014.

No concrete release date yet for the VIth installment in Spidergawd‘s ongoing series of kick-you-in-the-ass-and-ask-nothing-in-return albums, but one assumes the issuance will spring forth at the behest of Crispin Glover Records and Stickman Records, much as has been the case in the past. As the Norwegian troupe have continued to amass a discography of high-grade/high-class outings, their progressive bent and forays into psychedelia have not gone unnoticed, and whether or not VI works forward the thread of either, the safest bet you can possibly make as regards anything Spidergawd is that it’s going to be awesome.

To wit, the band’s re-recorded 2019 version of “Sanctuary” from the second album. It’s awesome. That’s how they do.

When and if I hear more about the album, I’ll let you know. Hopefully it’s sooner than later, but you know how 2020 plans have gone.

Dates:

spidergawd vi tour

SPIDERGAWD – March 2021

HELLO FUTURE!

We are happy to announce the european tour for Spidergawd VI!

Hope to see all of you in march 2021!

03.03. Knust Hamburg
04.03. Vera Groningen
05.03. Essen turock – disco, live-club and lounge
06.03. Cologne, GebÀude 9
07.03. Nijmegen, Doornroosje
09.03. Schlachthof Wiesbaden
10.03. The Backstage Paris
11.03. Stuttgart, Universum
12.03. Winterthur, Gaswerk
13.03. Nuremburg, Der Hirsch
14.03. Backstage MĂŒnchen
16.03. ((szene)) Wien
18.03. NAUMANNs Leipzig
19.03. Berlin, Frannz Club
20.03. Copenhagen, Spillestedet Stengade

Tickets: https://www.seaside-touring.com/tours/#spidergawd

https://www.facebook.com/spidergawd/
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Spidergawd, “Sanctuary (2019)”

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Motorpsycho Announce The All is One out Aug. 28

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 22nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The upcoming Motorpsycho album, The All is One, will be the completion of a trilogy for the influential Norwegian progressive heavy rockers that began with 2017’s The Tower (review here) and continued on last year’s The Crucible (review here). True to form, it is a double-album, and among the assets the band teases it to include is a 42-minute five-part track that was written for ballet. Because obviously. If the question is, “Who’s going there?,” there’s a decent chance the answer is Motorpsycho.

Of course, the 2LP was slated to come out this Spring through Stickman Records, but, well, a lot of shit was supposed to happen this Spring that didn’t. If you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving, and I know that sounds sarcastic, but I actually mean it. Because a lot of people didn’t.

Stickman sent out word in their newsletter and the band had a post on their own site as well. Both are included here for your perusal:

motorpsycho the all is one

New Motorpsycho album The All Is One announced

Today we’re happy to announce the first details about Motorpsycho’s new album The All Is One!

The All Is One is the final chapter in the loosely-connected and informally titled “Gullva?g Trilogy” kicked off by 2017’s The Tower and connected by 2019’s The Crucible. Recorded between September-November of 2019 in France and Norway, the album was originally planned for a release in spring but was inevitably postponed due to – what else – Covid 19. However, the moment is ripe for new music and the band has used their extra time to give attention to every detail, resulting in a spectacular double album that is dense and Motorpsychodelic in the best possible way. We’ve been digging into this album the past few weeks at HQ and really excited to share more with you soon!

Release date has been set for August 28th, 2020.

Says the band:

THE ALL IS ONE
Hi psychonauts!

Summer is coming on strong and whatever bit of the world that still went to work 
.will soon not.

No rest for the wicked though, and both we, our team and our record company friends are busy preparing the next Motorpsycho album for release! This album is called The All Is One, and will be released on 2xLP, 2xCD as well as digitally through both Stickman Records and Rune Grammofon on August 28, 2020.

The cover art is once again by HÄkon GullvÄg, and this time around is art painted esp for us! It is a long album that features music from two sessions we did last year. The first session included our favourite Stockholmian Norwegian Reine Fiske, and took place in Black Box Studio in France in September. The second, featured two of our favourite Norwegian musicians, Ola Kvernberg and Lars Horntveth, and was a brief three day affair at Ocean Sound Studio on the Norwegian west coast in November.

At the center of this album is a long 5 part piece featuring some of the most radical stuff we’ve done on record in a while, but if the prospect of a 42 minute piece for ballet inspired by paintings, alchemy and the tarot seems too daunting, there is also a handful of loosely related shorter songs to get into. For us this is obviously just different views and tangents of the one thing, but you will all make of it what you will, and hopefully it will all make some sort of sense to you however deep you choose to go.

We guess the details – cover, song titles and whatnot – will be made public as summer moves along, so watch the various relevant spaces for relevant info and hang loose – it’ll be worth the wait, we promise!

Bob leBad
esq.

Motorpsycho is: Bent SĂŠther, Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan, Tomas JĂ€rmyr.

https://www.facebook.com/motorpsycho.official/
https://twitter.com/motorpsychoband
http://motorpsycho.no/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/
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https://www.stickman-records.com/

Motorpsycho, The Crucible (2019)

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Motorpsycho Recording New Album — Duh

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Were there a brain in my silly old head, I’d just always keep a draft of a post in the back end of this site ready to go with the headline above. Well, there isn’t one, but Motorpsycho are indeed in the studio right now making the follow-up to earlier 2019’s The Crucible (review here), which was rife with all kinds of proggy righteousness, and though there’s just about nothing else to go on except that it’s happening, that’s really enough as far as I’m concerned. At least for the moment. What’s it going to sound like? Well, my big guess is it’s going to sound like Motorpsycho, which pretty much means it could sound like anything and still be awesome. Over the last however many years and however many albums, haven’t this band earned the benefit of the doubt?

I’m curious about how come they’re recording in France instead of their native Norway, but hell, when you make as many records as Motorpsycho do, it’s only fair to change it up every now and again:

motorpsycho

Motorpsycho in studio recording new material

Motorpsycho has officially arrived in France, where they will be recording new material. Okay, so a photo of the band in snowy northern Norway doesn’t exactly do justice to France in summertime, but for the moment we’ve got nothing more detailed to report. Stay tuned for details to follow in the coming months!

Limited copies of Motorpsycho’s spring tour 10″ box in store

We are selling the last remaining copies of this box from Motorpsycho’s last tour, and it’s chock full of all sorts of goodies. Made in collaboration with the Trondheim-based magazine Nye OppstĂžt, this version version comes with a 10″ (black vinyl) containing two improvised songs, a 120+ page English edition of the magazine and a fold-out poster.

We only received 24 of these and they will go quick, so act fast if you want one! We are only announcing this small amount in this newsletter, so the first 24 people to read this and order one will get lucky!

Motorpsycho is: Bent SĂŠther, Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan, Tomas JĂ€rmyr.

https://www.facebook.com/motorpsycho.official/
https://twitter.com/motorpsychoband
http://motorpsycho.no/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/
https://www.instagram.com/stickmanrecords/
https://www.stickman-records.com/

Motorpsycho, The Crucible (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Salem’s Bend, Motorpsycho, Sigils, Lord Dying, Sunn O))), Crimson Heat, Molior Superum, Moros, Glitter Wizard, Gourd

Posted in Reviews on July 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Today is Tuesday, I’m pretty sure, and hey, that’s nifty. I thought yesterday kicked off the Summer 2019 Quarterly Review really well, and any time I get through one of these without my head caving in on itself, I feel like that’s a victory, so yeah. Now we wade even deeper into what will ultimately be a 60-review plunge, with another 10 offerings of various stripes and takes on heavy. Some higher profile stuff in here, which is fine, I guess, but most of it is pretty recent, so if there’s something you haven’t heard yet, I hope you find something you dig, as always.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Salem’s Bend, Supercluster

salems bend supercluster

This is the sound of a band who’ve figured it out. Salem’s Bend have taken retroist boogie and modern tonalism, production and melody and turned it into something of their own. Supercluster (on Ripple) follows the Los Angeles trio of guitarist/vocalist Bobby Parker, bassist/vocalist Kevin Schofield and drummer Zach Huling‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here), and with an uptick in the complexity of songwriting overall and particularly in the arrangements of dual-vocals, it is a marked step forward palpable as much in the hook of “Ride the Night” — and if you’re gonna call a song that, you better bring it — as the heavy crash ending “Heavenly Manna” and the languid, lucidly dreaming groove in “Infinite Horizon,” which appears ahead of the acoustic hidden track “Beltaine Chant.” That won’t be the last time these guys unplug, but whether it’s the raw Zeppelin vibe of “Show Me the Witch” or the crunching low-end nod of “Thinking Evil” or the leadoff thrust in “Spaceduster,” the message is clear that Salem’s Bend have arrived.

Salem’s Bend on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music webstore

 

Motorpsycho, The Crucible

motorpsycho the crucible

The latest in Motorpsycho‘s nigh-on-impossible-to-chart and ever-growing discography is The Crucible, issued through Stickman Records, and taking some of the heavy rock push of 2017’s The Tower (review here) and stretching out to more willfully progressive execution across three increasingly extended tracks. Running from shortest to longest, the album begins with “Psychotzar” (8:44) which resolves itself in maddening turns after fleshing through an energetic beginning, and rounds out side A with the 11-minute “Lux Aeterna,” with vocal harmonies and mellotron building into a graceful swell of volume before a headspinner solo and jam take hold, break to near-silence and finish in a burst of directly earliest-King Crimson majesty. This all before the 20:51, side B-consuming title-track crashes in with immediate tension and plays back and forth at releasing that through a course that is rife with melody and an emphasis on the mastery of Motorpsycho over their sound and direction. Onto the list of the year’s best records it goes.

Motorpsycho on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Sigils, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves

Sigils You Built the Altar You Lit the Leaves

Hypnotic and immersive heavy post-rock and metal becomes the genre tag well enough, but what New York’s Sigils do on their markedly impressive self-recorded, self-released debut album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves, is more soulful and emotive than “post-” anything generally conveys. With four tracks/38 minutes best taken as a whole, single listening experience, the band offer resonant depths of tone and vocal echoes centered around airy but still weighted guitar and consuming rhythms brought to bear with the patience of an organic Jesu. The ultimate triumph is in the melody and payoff of 13-plus-minute closer “The Wicked, the Cloaked,” which seems to manifest the haunting sensibility that “Samhain” and “Ritual” advocate on side A, but neither will I discount the chug of the prior “Faceless” or the underlying churn in those two leadoff tracks. Especially as a first album, You Built the Altar, You Lit the Leaves casts a sonic identity for itself that is striking and sees the band already beginning to push themselves forward. One hopes they continue to do so.

Sigils on Thee Facebooks

Sigils on Bandcamp

 

Lord Dying, Mysterium Tremendum

Lord Dying Mysterium Tremendum

Following 2015’s Poisoned Altars (review here), subsequent years of touring and a jump from Relapse to eOne Metal, Lord Dying‘s Mysterium Tremendum is enough of a stylistic melting pot that the best thing to do is call it progressive and just let it roll. Comprised of 11 tracks themed around death and the afterlife, the record takes the Portland, Oregon, outfit’s prior death-doom ways and expands them to incorporate an array of styles and melodies, like a vocoder-less Cynic or even Atheist, but more focused on the songs themselves. It’s being widely hailed as one of 2019’s best metal releases, and honestly I can’t speak to that because who the hell knows what “metal” even means, but it sees Lord Dying pull off a major sonic leap and if this is the direction they’re headed from now on, then I guess “metal” is going to be whatever the hell they want. So there. Expect to see a lot of Lord Dying t-shirts around in the years to come.

Lord Dying on Thee Facebooks

eOne Heavy on Thee Facebooks

 

Sunn O))), Life Metal

sunn life metal

The core of Sunn O)))‘s sound — that is, the drone-riffed tonality of Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, has proven amorphous enough over the last two decades to either be orchestral, minimalist, impossibly bleak, or now, something brighter. The Steve Albini-recorded Life Metal is one of two purported Sunn O))) releases slated for this year, and it follows behind 2015’s Kannon (review here) in manifesting their project in a new way. It is 68 minutes long, comprised of four tracks — the first, “Between Sleipnir’s Breaths,” is notable for the inclusion of vocals from Hildur GuĂ°nadĂłttir; the rest is instrumental — and while one wonders how much is the power of suggestion amid their colorful artwork and titular presentation, “life” as opposed to death metal, etc., their resonance throughout “Aurora” (19:07) and “Novae” (25:24) strips away much of the flourish that has engulfed Sunn O))) in their post-maturity years and reminds of the power at their center. They chose the right producer.

Sunn O))) on Bandcamp

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Crimson Heat, Crimson Heat

Crimson Heat Crimson Heat

With a handful of tracks of dirt-coated Sabbathian doom rock, Crimson Heat make their debut with a self-titled demo/EP in no small part defined by its lack of pretense. I’d buy the tape at the show. You’d buy the tape at the show. The download is free. Clearly this is a band figuring out what they want to do and trying to catch a few ears, but the sound is right on. Notable as well for the participation of Sam Marsh of Sinister Haze, tracks like “At My Door” blend Tee Pee Records-style skate vibes with darker traditionalist crunch, and the subsequent acoustic interlude “Firewood” indeed adds a bit of burning-stove smell to the procession ahead of doomed shuffler finale “Deep Red.” They might be new, but from the nod of “Premonition” and the double-layered guitar of “Fortune Teller,” they very clearly know where they’re coming from. What they do with that from here will tell the tale, but for now, selling the tape at the show isn’t nothing. Guess they better get on pressing some up.

Sinister Haze on Thee Facebooks

Crimson Heat on Bandcamp

 

Molior Superum, As Time Slowly Passes By…

Molior Superum As Time Slowly Passes By

The boogie runs strong in Molior Superum‘s first album in seven years, As Time Slowly Passes By… (on H42 Records), the title of which might just hint at the distance between their two full-lengths. Their debut was Into the Sun (discussed here) in 2012, and they answered that with 2014’s Electric Escapism (review here), but for a band who sound so energized on cuts like “Att Födas Rostig” and “Through Valleys of Wonder,” the time differential from one record to the next is curious. Still, no question the Swedish four-piece make the most of the 36 minutes they present on their sophomore offering, realizing classic vibes and fuzz tones through modern production that recalls the likes of Graveyard, Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and even, on “Into the Grey,” Demon Head‘s doomier fare, with an overarching bluesy sensibility that remains exciting even in moments like the hypnotic midsection build of centerpiece “Divinity Blues.” Even the closing soft-guitar title-track has movement. They sound hungry in a way that suggests maybe it won’t be another seven years before a third LP arrives.

Molior Superum on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records

 

Moros, Weapon

moros weapon

Just because Philly is leading the Eastern Seaboard in terms of psychedelic charge, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the guttersludge extremity of a unit like Moros. The destructive three-piece’s first full-length, Weapon (on Hidden Deity Records), is vicious in its bite and downright nasty in its groove, abrasive from the static intro “(Vortexwound)” onward through “We Don’t Deserve Death” and “Devil Worshipper,” which recalls slower Napalm Death in its riff but is met with a harsh scream as well as shouts. The brutality continues through “Wizard of Loneliness” and into the outright pummel of “Death Nebula,” such that the locked-in nodder groove in the second half of “Every Day is Worse Than the Last” feels almost like a lifeboat, though there’s little salvation on offer in the closing title-track, which fades out on a noisy note in much the same way it faded in. Filthy, mean and heavy. The crust is real and it is thick.

Moros on Thee Facebooks

Hidden Deity Records website

 

Glitter Wizard, Opera Villains

glitter wizard opera villains

I was enticed to dig further into Glitter Wizard‘s Opera Villains (on Heavy Psych Sounds) by the recent video for opener “A Spell So Evil” (posted here), and it’s not a choice I regret. The San Fran-based weirdo collective are putting on a show, no doubt, but the quality of their songwriting on “The Toxic Lady” and the punkish underpinning of “Dead Man’s Wax,” etc., puts them in a classic rocking no man’s land in which they absolutely revel. The laser-strewn drama of “March of the Red Cloaks” and the organ- and flute-laced swing of “Hall of the Oyster King” embrace the grandiose in brazen fashion, and thereby make it that much easier for the listener to join them on this wavelength that is so thoroughly their own. Closer “Warm Blood” taps prog-of-old pomposity in its largesse while the earlier “Fear of the Dark” seems to do the same thing with just an acoustic guitar and some vocal harmonies. A record that knew exactly what it wanted to be and then became that thing. Awesome.

Glitter Wizard on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Gourd, Moldering Aberrations

gourd moldering aberrations

Ambient darkness is inflicted with only the cruelest of spirit throughout Gourd‘s Moldering Aberrations EP, the Irish two-piece alternating minimalist spaciousness with gurgling drone intensity, the extremity of which doesn’t so much come through in pummel or drive, but in the swell of volume and its contrast with the emptiness surrounding. Also the growls. Three tracks are offered up like monuments to pain, and through “Befoulment,” “Mycelium” and the title-track, they conjure a heft of atmosphere as much as one of low end, the claustrophobic feeling of their craft coming through even in the relatively peaceful opening of the last song. That peace, of course, isn’t so much moment of respite as it is precursor to the next plunge, and either way, Gourd work in grueling fashion over 23 minutes to dismantle consciousness and expectation with a grim, distortion-fueled chaos from which there seems to be no escape, until the rumble and noise leave “Moldering Aberrations” and there’s just residual hum and a cymbal crash left. Madness.

Gourd on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Monk Records on Bandcamp

 

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Motorpsycho European Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Europe needs my American ass to tell it to go see a Motorpsycho gig like it needs a surge of right-wing populism — which is to say not at fucking all — but as the ultra-prolific Norwegian progressive heavy rockers begin their Spring 2019 tour this evening in support of their latest album, The Crucible, I’d like to point out that their tour will meet up with Elder‘s on May 16 in Hamburg, and together they’ll play a gig marked out as a 25th anniversary celebration for Stickman Records. Damn right. Motorpsycho and Elder sharing a bill is about as much as you could ask for in an evening, so yeah, I’d think if there’s going to be an anniversary party for their label, that would be the night to do it.

Motorpsycho are an institution when it comes to heavy prog, so while I don’t need to tell Europe to go see it, in the name of friendship, I will anyway. I’ll have a writeup for The Crucible in the next Quarterly Review at the start of July — which is much closer than it sounds like — but obviously, the short version is, “duh, it’s Motorpsycho.”

Here are the tour dates:

motorpsycho

Motorpsycho – European Tour Dates

Good news if you’re on the European continent – Motorpsycho and Elder have embarked on respective tours this spring/summer.

The two will team up on May 16th at the Markthalle in Hamburg, Germany for a special show to celebrate 25 years of Stickman Records!

Those in attendance will be able to enter into a raffle to win one of a number of test pressings offered up by the bands and Stickman. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales will be donated to One Earth One Ocean, an environmental organization that works to improve the health of our oceans by removing plastic waste.

For those of you who also want to do good and throw your hat in the ring for some rare test pressings, we will be holding another raffle online in the coming months.

Motorpsycho live:
14.05.19 Aarhus (DK), Train
15.05.19 Copenhagen (DK), Hotel Cecil
16.05.19 Hamburg (DE), Markthalle
19.05.19 Utrecht (NL), Tivoli
21.05.19 Groningen (NL), Vera
22.05.19 Leuven (B), Het Depot
23.05.19 Hannover (DE), Faust
24.05.19 Wiesbaden (DE), Schlachthof
25.05.19 Lausanne (CH), Les Docks
27.05.19 Wien (AUS), Arena
28.05.19 Trezzo Sull’Adda (IT), Live Club
29.05.19 Bologna (IT), Zona Roveri
30.05.19 Avelino (IT), Teatro Partenio
31.05.19 Ciampino (IT), Orion
01.06.19 Genova (IT), Goa Boa Preview
02.06.19 Reutlingen (DE), franz.K
28.06.19 Trondheim (NOR), Trondheim Rocks
31.07.19 Trondheim (NOR), Olavsfestdagene
06.08.19 Oslo (NOR), Øya Festival
29.09.19 Bremen (DE), Schlachthof
01.10.19 Köln (DE), Gloria Theater
15.10.19 Frankfurt (DE), Mousonturm
16.10.19 Leipzig (DE), Conne Island
17.10.19 Berlin (DE), Festsaal Kreuzberg

Motorpsycho is: Bent SĂŠther, Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan, Tomas JĂ€rmyr.

https://www.facebook.com/motorpsycho.official/
https://twitter.com/motorpsychoband
http://motorpsycho.no/
https://www.facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940/
https://www.instagram.com/stickmanrecords/
https://www.stickman-records.com/

Motorpsycho, “Lux Aeterna”

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Dune Sea Premiere “Dune Sea” from Self-Titled Debut LP out May 3

Posted in audiObelisk on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

dune sea

Dune Sea release their self-titled debut album May 3 through All Good Clean Records. The Norwegian band began as the project of guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist and noisemaker Ole Nogva, who gradually was joined by drummer Erik BrĂ„ten and bassist Petter Solvik Dahle, and though their moniker might conjure all sorts of images of retread desert rock riffing, the truth of what they do throughout the nine-track/31-minute Dune Sea is much more complex, drawing from the synth-laced space thrust of closer “Cosmic Playground” and the jangle-into-drift-into-futuristic-push of “Morphine,” which isn’t the first track on the record to be named after a controlled substance, following as it does a few songs behind opener “Pentobarbital and Ethanol.” All around the album, cuts like the eponymous “Dune Sea” and the subsequent brief fuzz wash and stomping rhythm of “Future,” the brief keyboard infusion in “Bounty Hunter” — like a heavy version of proto-New Wave space vibing — and the cosmic command in “Astrodelic Breakdown” lead the listener on a charted but varied course into the greater reaches of the far out, engines burning at warp factor whatever as the stars turn to streaks outside the window.

If it’s desert rock, then, it’s a desert on some distant undiscovered world waiting for the most intrepid of explorers.

But let’s leave the moniker behind much as the penultimate “Awake” leaves the ground. Dune Sea play dune sea cosmic playgroundfully-activated cosmic heavy rock. It’s an amalgam ultimately of space, psych and progressive styles, but their debut full-length — and when you listen through and think about that, that’s really the scary part; this is their first record — careens between them with such a fluid playout that it’s nearly impossible to pin down where one element ends and the next begins. Tones and grooves are hypnotic, melody is pervasive, and the spirit and energy with which Dune Sea handle the turns from one piece to another, as on the absolutely-drenched-in-acid classic psych rocking centerpiece “Green,” are infectious to the point of entering the bloodstream. That starts right from the ultra-swing at the apex of “Pentobarbital and Ethanol,” with a full album’s worth of swagger packed into about 35 seconds that lead the way into the rest of Dune Sea with an assured push that sets up the rest of the madness to follow. Dudes are right off the wall. I mean really. We’re talking about the snozzberries tasting like snozzberries, here. It’s a trip that should come with a warning label: “This machine alienates squares.”

And it’s 31 minutes. Short for an LP, but that too becomes a strength on the part of the band, because they manage to pack so much into that time. It’s condensed, but somehow when you listen, it feels like the songs unfold over a much more spacious scale than they do. That’s credit to the mix, which is packed with layers of lysergic detailing, but there’s a constant melodic presence as well through even the various vocal effects that helps the listener along this purposefully bumpy path, and that only makes the record all the more of a joyful undertaking. I’m saying that if you think you can get down, you should.

To that end, I’m thrilled to host Dune Sea‘s “Dune Sea” from Dune Sea as a premiere for your streaming pleasure below. Second of the nine inclusions, the eponymous song on any band’s record can serve as a crucial statement of intent and who they are, and as Dune Sea cry out for freedom in the track, they would seem to be making precisely that statement. Crack open your skull and pour this one in. Somehow I doubt you’ll regret it.

Enjoy:

Dune Sea is a power trio from Norway playing a stoner rock mixed with shoegaze and space rock. The Trondheim based group are often compared with bands like Hawkwind and Queens of the Stone Age.

The Dune Sea album features nine tracks that range from stretched out psychedelic sci-fi soundscapes to synth based monolithic riffs. The sound unfolds within a cinematic universe, which is both retro and futuristic.

The band started out as Ole Nogva’s solo project back in 2012. Drummer Erik BrĂ„ten joined Ole in the spring of 2017 to record drums for the EP “All Quiet Under The Suns”.

In early 2018 bassplayer Petter Solvik Dahle became a permanent member of Dune Sea and the recording process of their self-titled debut album began. The album is recorded and produced by the band themselves in various locations in Trondheim and will be released through All Good Clean Records on May 3rd 2019. The mastering is done by Rhys Marsh at Autumnsongs Recording Studio.

Dune Sea on Thee Facebooks

Dune Sea on Soundcloud

All Good Clean Records on Thee Facebooks

All Good Clean Records website

All Good Clean Records webstore

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