The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 24

Posted in Radio on November 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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It’s been forever since there was an episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio, but I’m glad to say that there was never any chance of it not continuing eventually. At least not one that I was told about — ha. Gimme had a bunch of specials booked, and well, if it’s me or the dude from Enslaved, or really anybody, I can’t really put up much of a fight that I should be given preference. I’m the dude who plays heavy rock on a metal station, and I’ve got a pretty good timeslot to do it. Yeah, I’m gonna get picked off in favor of special episodes. No worries. I kind of needed a break anyway.

So maybe think of this as the start of Season 2 of The Obelisk Show. I know that all the The Next Generation-era Star Trek shows operated with 24-episode seasons, but I don’t think anyone will begrudge me one fewer. Enterprise might’ve had a 23-episode season somewhere in there. I’d have to check. Either way, Season 2 picks up pretty much where Season 1 left off: a butt-load of new music and me nerding out about Colour Haze.

I talk a bit about the Høstsabbat fest in Norway that I went to last month, give the Brume record a plug and am a total geek for Al Cisneros’ bass tone on that new Om live release, so yes, pretty much the show is getting caught up with what’s been going on around here while it was off the air. A bit of shaking off the rust, but the playlist rules and I tried not to screw it all up too badly on mic. I haven’t heard the finished product yet, so we’ll see if it was a success. In any case, I hope you dig it.

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs at 1PM Eastern today.

Listen at: http://www.gimmeradio.com

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 11.08.19

 

All Them Witches 1×1 1×1* 0:05:51
Ufomammut Satan XX* 0:03:12
Colour Haze Tempel Tempel 0:08:30
BREAK
Brume Scurry Rabbits* 0:10:58
Kadavar Children of the Night For the Dead Travel Fast* 0:05:59
The Lone Madman Häxan Let the Night Come* 0:07:29
Ogre King of the Wood Thrice as Strong* 0:05:41
Orodruin Letter of Life’s Regret Ruins of Eternity* 0:05:14
BREAK
Monolord Larvae No Comfort* 0:09:38
Bask Rid of You III* 0:04:40
Grin Helix Translucent Blades* 0:05:23
Om State of Non-Return BBC Radio 1* 0:08:22
Deaf Radio Dance Like a Reptile Modern Panic* 0:04:19
Devil to Pay 37 Trillion Forever, Never or Whenever* 0:03:10
BREAK
Clouds Taste Satanic Second Sight Second Sight 0:20:21
Total runtime: 1:48:47

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Friday at 1PM Eastern, with replays every Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next show is Nov. 22. Thanks for listening if you do.

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Live Review: HØSTSABBAT 2019 Night One in Oslo, Norway, 10.04.19

Posted in Reviews on October 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

hostsabbat 2019 poster square

Before Show

Well, the church is still beautiful, not that there was any doubt. The Kulturkirken Jakob, secularized — because in Norway, state might occasionally trump church — with its high-ceiling grandeur and broad wood floor and walls lined with benches that at some point were pews. I’d been holed up in the hotel since yesterday afternoon, mostly sleeping, stumbling through the last of the Quarterly Review and reading about baseball, the news, Star Trek, and so on. Trying to be, essentially, as quiet as possible as though if I weren’t, I’d be politely asked to leave the country. The next two days would assure any quota for volume was met, anyhow.

Skraeckoedlan, which is now a word I’ve typed often enough that my phone knows it, were soundchecking on the altar stage when I walked in. The stage itself was higher and the fest added another bar down toward the front of the big room, which seems like a prudent move. Downstairs in the crypt, Suma were prepping to kick off the first night of Høstsabbat 2019 with a noise soaked basement gig in what’s been also transformed into an art gallery. More visual art this year as well, and there’s a live painting event scheduled for tomorrow early that I’m going to see if I can make.

The only variable in that is finishing this review in time, to be honest.

But it’s only moments now until doors, then about an hour till the first band. People running around looking anxious, nervous, excited. Maybe it’s just me. That will I’m sure smooth out to a good energy as things get rolling and everyone ends up where they’re supposed to be. On the couch in back of the crypt, typing on my phone, that’s kind of where I feel like I am.

After Show

Wow. Well then. That was, uh, something special that I just saw. I feel like I was trying to pry open my jaw from the clenched position it’s been in for the last I don’t even know how long, and tonight was the prybar that finally did the job. Even the last 15 minutes or so of Ufomammut, that last shot of adrenaline. Wow.

The answer of course is obvious — the start — but I feel like I’m not even sure where to start on this one, or how I could hope to convey exactly what went down this evening and tonight in any meaningful way. Holy shit. You think you have a pretty good idea what you’re getting and then it just gets trampled on. I am lucky to be here.

I don’t know what else to tell you that doesn’t come down to that. Here’s a little bit of how it went:

SUMA

SUMA (Photo by JJ Koczan)

You know the thing about post-metal? It’s got rules. You have to headbang a certain way. You have to riff a certain way. You have to take it so seriously all the time. One of the many reasons to like Sweden’s SUMA is they very much seem to recognize that for the bullshit it is. Yeah, they’re post-metal, I guess, but with an inflection straight out of noise rock that makes them so much less strictly adherent to the tenets of the genre — any genre, really — and they’re all the more satisfying to watch because of it. I stood in back in the basement, closed my eyes and just let wave after crushing wave of riffs absolutely bury me in volume. What a start to the weekend. It was like scrubbing away all the bullshit of your existence, your work, your school, the petty dramas that make up your every day, and entering communion with something else. Something loud. Call it catharsis. Call it detox. I don’t really care. SUMA set the tone and vibe immediately for Høstsabbat while also giving everyone who followed the challenge of living up to their standard. I am lucky to be here.

Skraeckoedlan

Skraeckoedlan (Photo by JJ Koczan)

When Swedish melo-prog-fuzz four-piece Skraeckoedlan got added to this festival earlier this year, I didn’t dare hope to think I’d see them. They’re a band I’ve dug since the first time I heard their 2011 debut, Äppelträdet (review here), and their approach has only grown richer with time, as 2015’s Sagor (review here) and 2019’s Eorþe (review here) demonstrate so plainly. But I never expected to catch a live set. Never mind the band standing on a frickin’ altar in a cathedral blazing through their material like it’s another day down at the Office of Kickass, I didn’t imagine a scenario when they and I would be in the same place. I’m glad to have been so wrong about that, because standing there watching them only confirmed the fandom I’ve had for their work over the course of this decade, and really, they’ve only gotten better as they’ve gone on. I may never get the chance to see them again, but after watching them tonight at Høstsabbat, I feel like asking to would be greedy anyhow. I am lucky to be here.

Yatra

Yatra (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This is Yatra‘s first European tour. Something tells me it will not be their last. The Baltimorean trio hit the road hard domestically in the US following the January release of their debut album, Death Ritual (review here), through Grimoire Records, and they reportedly began recording the follow-up to that over the summer. Well, that’s nifty, but in the meantime, here they are pairing with Sunnata on a tour this site is co-presenting and for all the stops they’ve made in New York this year — I can think a couple — Høstsabbat 2019 is my first time seeing them. I feel late to that party, but I’m late to most parties, so I’ll get over it. Nonetheless, as I had suspected, they’re a killer live act, and at least the debut album only tells part of that tale. On stage — or in basement, as it were — they tap into a primal energy, like they’re excavating the very roots of sludge metal. Oh yeah, and Dana Helmuth‘s vocals sound like Jeff fucking Walker from peak-era Carcass, so that ain’t exactly hurting their cause either. Yatra have the potential to lead a revival nastier, more brutal sludge in the US. This tour is only going to make them stronger, as they all will. I am lucky to be here.

Electric Eye

Electric Eye (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Hail the rock på Norska! Across the street (right out the door), at the Verkstedet bar, the entire bill was Norwegian, but Electric Eye would be the lone Norge representatives on the altar, and for what it’s worth — plenty — they brought a sonic spirit that reached far beyond international borders. Also beyond the borders of the atmosphere. I don’t know if it would be appropriate to call their take on space rock entirely mellow, but it was subtle in a way that allowed other influences to creep in almost before you realized they were there. It was a stark contrast, energy-wise, to the rawness Yatra had wrought downstairs, but Electric Eye made the most of their engaging style and gave Høstsabbat a cosmic push that was more than welcome. I had wanted to check out Kosmos Brenner, who last-minute took the spot of Superlynx after a death in the family assured they wouldn’t make it, but after I popped out for a second, I found myself strangely drawn back to the ethereal mysteries being pondered on the big stage. I’ll admit they’ve been around for more than six years and I’d never heard them before. Lesson learned. That lesson? I’m lucky to be here.

Stuck in Motion

Stuck in Motion (Photo by JJ Koczan)

This past April, when I was fortunate enough to see Enköping, Sweden, trio Stuck in Motion at Roadburn (review here), they played as a four-piece, with keys in addition to the guitar, bass and drums. At Høstsabbat, they added percussion as well to their hippie-vibing jams, so there were five of them crammed into the basement stage area — it’s not a stage, as such, but it’s where the gear goes — but if they felt packed in, that did nothing to slow their good times. Retro-fied psychedelic blues, all pastoral and dreamy, but still earthbound enough to tear into a Hendrixian solo every now and again (and again), their stuff made for easy-to-listen vibes, and a soothing bit of respite from some of the day’s more crushing contributors — a complement to Electric Eye in that, but less motorik and more flow. Before they played “Are You Ready to Fly” from their 2018 self-titled debut (review here), they indeed checked in with the crowd to see if the room was ready to fly, and I heard no murmurings to the contrary. That self-released LP has been a little under-radar as yet, but given how full the crypt was for their set, I can’t help but wonder what the reception for their next one will be when it arrives, hopefully sooner than later. I am lucky to be here.

Sunnata

sunnata (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It was hard not to feel like the church was built specifically for Sunnata. The Polish meditative heavy psych ritualists came out with incense and harem pants (respect) and were clear in their concept from the outset, tapping into the spirit of acts like Om and My Sleeping Karma, while still retaining a harder edge to their sound beneath the harmonized vocals of guitarists Szymon Ewertowski and Adrian Gadomski. Special mention should be given as well to bassist Michal Dobrzanski and drummer Robert Ruszczyk, whose ability to build tension was readily apparent in the band’s latest album, Outlands (review here), which came out last year, but whose doing so on stage was nothing short of physically affecting. You felt the churn in your stomach, and when they hit into a payoff, the relief was genuine. Exhale. They’re on tour with Yatra, as noted, but I put Sunnata in the same category of bands I never imagined being able to see live but was absurdly to do so. One recalls their days rocking out fuzzy as Satellite Beaver, and the ongoing evolution they set to roll with the transition they made becoming Sunnata. Their spaciousness, looking inward and outward simultaneously, was an immersive joy to behold. Again, exhale. I am lucky to be here.

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin (Photo by JJ Koczan)

In the words of Bernie Sanders: “Look.” I stood in front of two of the three of this festival’s stages all day, and at no point was there a crowd press like there was for Yuri Gagarin. I got to the crypt 20 minutes before they were slated to go on and already people were packed in. Very clearly a band whose reputation was preceding them. It’s been four years since the Gothenburg cosmonauts issued their second long-player, At the Center of All Infinity, through Kommun2 and Sulatron, but their out-the-airlock-into-the-void vibes were quick to remind that time is a human construct and space rock is not. Reaching into the great cosmic throb, they launched with “Sonic Invasion 2910” from their 2013 self-titled and proceeded into oblivion — though I’m not sure it was actually “Oblivion”; that’s on the second record — with the sheer delight of not-entirely-peaceful exploration. About two songs into their set, before I stood up from taking pictures and rolled my numb-ass ankle, I had the thought that I’ll never be able to see Hawkwind in their prime, but now I’ve seen Yuri Gagarin as up close as I could ever hope to see any band. I think some of what they played was new, but don’t quote me on that. Either way, as noted: time, irrelevant. They ruled. I am lucky to be here.

Ufomammut

Ufomammut (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Holy fucking shit, Ufomammut. I’ve had the pleasure a few times over the years, but this was hands-down the best I’ve ever seen the Italian cosmic doom masters play. They began with a few renditions in the style of their recent XX (review here) offering of revamped older material in quieter form — “Satan,” “Mars,” etc. — but what they did with that was gradually use it to build into the heavier portion of the set, so that each successive piece pushed a little further. First it was Urlo and Poia on stage, the former on keys/noise/vocals, the latter on guitar, then Poia joined in for cymbal washes, then drums, then the guitars got louder, then the drums got harder, then the vocals got shoutier until it seemed like the crowd was going to fucking riot if someone didn’t launch into a riff. But 20 years on, Ufomammut know exactly how to put people where they want them, so when they did get heavy, it was glorious. All the more so for the tension they’d built leading up to it. With a projector going on the high church stage, they absolutely laid waste to the room, like a consuming sonic burst of interstellar force. It was impossible to stand there and not be swept up by it. I kept telling myself it was time to go back to the room and start writing, but I couldn’t leave. How many times in your life do you get to see shows like this? They ended, of course, with “God,” and there was nowhere to go after that anyway, so what the hell. It was amazing. Like the entirety of day one at Høstsabbat, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect going into Ufomammut‘s set, and my expectations were thoroughly squashed. I am lucky to be here.

The Next Morning

Achy, but up for it. Took me a while to let myself go to sleep, but I got there eventually, was only up a couple times overnight, which is pretty good for me at this point. Hotel breakfast downstairs had free coffee, so I indulged in two triple-doubles — three double espressos, times two — and feel reasonably conscious. Could stand and will have a shower and that will help as well.

Though it seems inevitable that at some point Høstsabbat will add a third day to the proceedings, be it a pre-show Thursday or a full day Sunday, whatever, the quality-over-quantity at this festival makes it all the more unreal. Every band has something to offer, and though this year with the third stage there are inevitably things you won’t get to see all of if you see at all, the sense of curation and purpose that’s gone into its making is nothing if not palpable. My conclusion remains that I’m lucky to be here.

Some more pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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Quarterly Review: Ufomammut, Horehound, Lingua Ignota, Valborg, Sageness, Glacier, MNRVA, Coroza, Noosed, zhOra

Posted in Reviews on October 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Oh hi, I didn’t see you there. Earlier this week — Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and yes, even Wednesday — the alarm went off at 4AM as usual and I got up, got coffee going and a protein bar and sat down to write, starting basically around quarter-after with a quick email check and whatnot. In terms of basic timing, this last morning of the Fall 2019 Quarterly Review is no different. I even have the baby monitor streaming on my phone as I would most mornings, so I can keep an eye on when The Pecan gets up. What’s changed is I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Oslo, Norway, having just arrived on an overnight flight from Newark. Managed to sleep some on the plane and I’m hopeful adrenaline will pick up the rest of the slack as regards getting through the day. That and caffeine, anyhow.

Although, speaking of, my debit card doesn’t work and I’ll need to sort that out.

First thing’s first, and that’s reviews. Last batch of 10 for the week. We made it. Thanks as always for reading and being a part of this thing. Let’s wrap it up in style, and because I like working on a theme, three Irish bands in a row close out. Hey, I went to Ireland this year.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ufomammut, XX

UFOMAMMUT XX

Five years ago, Roman cosmic doom masters Ufomammut took a reflective look back at their career for its 15th anniversary with the documentary/live-performance DVD XV (review here). And since one might define the arc of their tenure as constantly trying to top themselves, for their 20th anniversary, they’ve issued a 12LP boxed set, titled simply XX, that compiles their nine albums to-date and tops them off with the mostly-subdued-style XX itself, which reimagines past cacophonies like “Mars” and “Plouton” in a quieter context. That part of the mega-offering issued through their own Supernatural Cat imprint comprises six songs recorded live and makes highlights out of the hypnotic strum and incantations of “Satan” as well as the rumbling drone of “Lacrimosa,” which takes on new emotional resonance for the shoegazy treatment it receives. I’ve said on multiple occasions throughout the years that Ufomammut are a band to be treasured, and I stand by that 100 percent. The XX box should be perceived by fans as an opportunity to do likewise.

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Supernatural Cat website

 

Horehound, Weight

horehound weight

Less than a year after issuing their second long-player in the form of Holocene (review here) through Blackseed and Doom Stew Records, Pittsburgh atmosludgers Horehound align with DHU Records for the two-song 8″ EP Weight, which brings “Unbind” and “The Heavy,” two new cuts that, while I’m not sure they weren’t recorded at the same time as the last album — that is, they may have been — they nonetheless showcase the emergent melodic breadth and instrumental ambience that is developing in their sound. Even as “Unbind” rolls toward its low-end tempo kick, it does so with marked patience and a willingness to stay slow until just the right moment, which is not something every band cane effectively do. “The Heavy,” meanwhile, builds itself around a Crowbar-style dirge riff before Shy Kennedy‘s verse arrives as a standalone element, all the instruments around her dropping out from behind. That moment alone, frankly, is worth the price of admission, as whether it’s through that extra inch in diameter of the platter itself or through the audio of the tracks in question, Horehound continue to distinguish themselves.

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records BigCartel store

 

Lingua Ignota, CALIGULA

LINGUA IGNOTA CALIGULA

I’m not sure I’m qualified to write about Lingua Ignota‘s CALIGULA (on Profound Lore), but I’m not sure anyone else is either. Like a self-harmonizing mega-Jarboe turning existential horror into epic proclamations of “I don’t eat/I don’t sleep” on “DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR?” amid bass throb and terrifying melodic layering before making bedroom black metal sound like the lightweight self-indulgence it’s always been on the subsequent check-out-the-real-shit “BUTCHER OF THE WORLD,” Kristin Hayter‘s work is little short of experimentalist brilliance. She is minimal and yet over-the-top, open in creative terms but unwaveringly dark and rife with melody but severe to the point now and again of true aural abrasion. She weaves a context of her own into “FUCKING DEATHDEALER” as she recalls the lyrics to the aforementioned “BUTCHER OF THE WORLD,” while the outright brutality of “SPITE ALONE HOLDS ME ALOFT” is married to a piano-led meditation that, even without the noise wash from whence it comes, is enough to recast visions of what heavy is and can be in musical terms. I won’t pretend to get all the references like “kyrie eleison” (“lord have mercy”) worked into “IF THE POISON WON’T TAKE YOU MY DOGS WILL” and the violent strains surrounding, but it’s impossible not to realize the power of what you’re hearing when you listen.

Lingua Ignota on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records on Bandcamp

 

Valborg, Zentrum

valborg zentrum

With an intensity born out of a history of industrial music and focus on tight rhythms making an impact in even-tighter songwriting, Valborg are neither beholden to death metal nor entirely separate from it, but their style has taken on a life of its own over the course of the last 10 years, and their latest offering, Zentrum (on Prophecy Productions), is the German trio’s most individualized take yet, whether that’s shown in the unbridled melodicism of “Anomalie,” the sludgy riff that drives the barking “Ultragrab” or the seemingly unrelenting snare pops of “Kreuzer” that, even when they finally release that tension, still make it only a temporary reprieve. Valborg‘s sense of control through the epic “Nonnenstern” should not be understated, and though the track is under four minutes long, yes, “epic” very much applies. Suitably enough, they close with “Vakuum” and throw everything at the listener at once before resolving in relatively peaceful atmospherics that could just as easily serve as an introduction to the next round of malice to come, whenever it shows up.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Prophecy Productions webstore

 

Sageness, Akmé

sageness akme

Spanish trio Sageness — also written SageNESS — conjure smooth Electric Moon-style soundscapes on their second album, Akmé, and yes, that is a compliment. The record brings forth six tracks of easy-rolling instrumentalist jam-based heavy psychedelia that offer much and take little in return, the richness of the guitar tone from Dawyz and Michi‘s bass given jazzy fluidity by Fran‘s drumming. “Ephemeral” touches most directly on a Colour Haze, as it would almost have to, but even there, the feeling of spaciousness that Sageness present in the recording is a factor that helps them come across as more individual. Earlier, “The Thought” is a little more directly space rock, but opener “Andromeda” seems to be charting the course with its liquefied effects and somehow-even-more-liquefied groove, and if you can’t get down with that, I’ve got nothing for you and neither does the rest of the universe.

Sageness on Thee Facebooks

Spinda Records website

 

Glacier, No Light Ever

glacier no light ever

It’s not exactly true, about their being no light ever on Boston post-metallers Glacier‘s latest full-length, No Light Ever. Sure, it’s plenty dark and heavy and brooding and all that fun stuff, and the riffs get loud and the drums break stuff and all that, but it’s certainly colorful in its way as well, and more than just shades of black on black. Comprised of four tracks cumbersomely titled in keeping with the traditions of the likes of Red Sparowes and the band’s own past work, cuts like “O World! I Remain No Longer Here.” and “The Bugles Blow, Fanned by Hysteria.” stretch themselves out along a scope as massive as the tonality the band emits, and as the wash of “We Glut Our Souls on the Accursed,” — the comma is part of the title there — gives way to feedback and the onset of “And We Are Damned Amid Noble Sound.” the sense of immersion is complete and clear as the priority under which they’re working. It’s about the whole album, or at least the two sides, as a unified work, and about crafting a world through the atmosphere evoked in the material. It works. If they say there’s no light in that world, so be it. It’s whatever they want it to be.

Glacier on Thee Facebooks

Wolves and Vibrancy Records webstore

 

MNRVA, Black Sky

mnrva black sky

Not-entirely-bereft-of-vowels South Carolina heavy trio MNRVA make their debut with the three-song EP Black Sky, a beast of a short release led by the riffs of guitarist Byron Hark on a stretch of ’90s-style crunch and sludge, with bassist/vocalist Kevin Jennings and drummer Gina Ercolini adding to the weight and shove of the proceedings, respectively. “Not the One” has the hook, “No Solution” has the impact and the title-track has both, and though I’m by no means saying the issue of their sound is settled 100 percent and they won’t grow or find their way from this — again, their debut — EP, they do prove to be well in charge of where their songs head in terms of mood and the atmosphere that comes through elements like the blown-out vocals and the rumbling bass beneath the lead guitar in the second half of “Black Sky” itself. Indeed, it’s those harsher aspects that help MNRVA immediately establish their individuality, and the vibe across these 18-plus minutes is that the punishment is only getting started.

MNRVA on Thee Facebooks

MNRVA on Bandcamp

 

Coroza, Chaliceburner

coroza chaliceburner

Just because Irish four-piece Coroza — guitarist/vocalists Ciaran Coghlan and Jack O’Neill, bassist/vocalist Jonny Canning and drummer Ollie Cunningham — might write a song that’s 18 minutes long, that doesn’t mean they forgot to actually make it a song as well. Thus it is that extended cuts like “The Plutonian Drug” (18:24) and closer “Iron from the Sky” (19:30) have plenty of room to flesh out their more progressive aspects amid the other three also-kind-of-extended pieces on Chaliceburner, the group’s ambitious hour-plus/five-track debut full-length. Each song essentially becomes a front-to-back movement on its own, with shifts between singers arranged thoughtfully from one part to the next and hooks along the way to serve as landmarks for those traversing, as in the opening “Chaliceburner” or the gruff winding moments of “Mountain Jaw,” which follows the nine-minute sax-inclusive centerpiece “Scaltheen,” because of course there’s a saxophone in there somewhere. All of this is a recipe for a band biting off more than they can chew stylistically, but Coroza manage pretty well the various twists and turns of their own making, particularly considering it’s their first album.

Coroza on Thee Facebooks

Coroza on Bandcamp

 

Noosed, She of the Woods

noosed she of the woods demo

Encased front and back by witchy samples and creepy vibes, Sept. 2019’s She of the Woods is the second demo in two months to come from Cork, Ireland’s Noosed. And you know it when they get around to the closing seven-minute title-track because it’s just about the only thing other than “Intro” that isn’t raging with grind intensity, but that stuff can be fun too. I don’t know how much witch-grind-doom is out there, but Noosed‘s first, self-titled demo (released in August) had a sludgy edge that seems to have separated out to some degree here into a multifaceted personality. Can one possibly be certain of the direction the band will ultimately take? Shit no. It’s two demos with basically no time differential between them. But if they can effectively bridge the gap between “Fuck Up,” “Wretch” and “She of the Woods,” or even play directly with the contrast, they could be onto something with all this noise and fuckall.

Noosed on Thee Facebooks

Noosed on Bandcamp

 

zhOra, Ruthless Bastards

zhora ruthless bastards

The narrative — blessings and peace upon it — has it such that Irish four-piece zhOra wanted to do something less complicated than was their 2017 album, Ethos, Pathos, Logos (discussed here), so they went ahead and wrote a song that’s five minutes long and purposefully hops between subgenres, going from sludge to doom to a deathcore breakdown, with a snare-pop count-in, to blackened death metal and then back to a lumbering chug to finish out. Okay, zhOra, “Ruthless Bastards” is a an awful lot of metal and an awfully good time, but you missed the mark on “simple” by a considerable margin. If indeed the band had been plotting toward something, say, easier to play or to compose, “Ruthless Bastards” ain’t it. They’ll have to settle for being brutal as fuck instead. Something tells me they’ll survive having made that trade, as much as anything will.

zhOra on Thee Facebooks

zhOra on Bandcamp

 

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Ufomammut to Release Anniversary Box Set XX on Sept. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I was kind of curious whether or not Ufomammut would do anything other than the touring to celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, and apparently they’re kind of doing everything. XX, to be released Sept. 9 through the band’s own Supernatural Cat imprint, compiles their nine albums in one box and has a bonus of re-recorded tracks, and comes with a special book and photos, lyrics, a poster and backpatch other sundry other this-and-thats as detailed below.

You might recall the three-piece cosmic doomers issued the documentary/live-performance DVD XV (review here) when they hit the 15-year mark. I have to wonder what they might do in five years’ time when they pass a quarter-century. They’re setting a pretty high standard here. Re-record Godlike Snake? I don’t even know.

Preorders are up now for the box, and if you want one, get yours in, because these will go and be gone:

UFOMAMMUT photo by Francesca De Franceschi Manzoni

UFOMAMMUT Announces XX Discography Boxset Celebrating Their 20th Anniversary In 2019

Italy’s mind-altering trio UFOMAMMUT marks their 20th Anniversary as a band this year. Having recently returned from their latest European and North American tours, the band has a new surprise for their amazing and loyal fans. On September 9th, Supernatural Cat will release a special anniversary box set, XX.

To be released on both CD and LP, the XX box set will feature nine UFOMAMMUT albums, all individually housed in sleeves with exclusive cover artworks, created specifically for this release. The box sets will include all eight studio albums; Godlike Snake, Snailking, Lucifer Song, Idolum, Eve, Oro, Ecate, and 8. Additionally, the box will include a new release, titled XX. This new recording features six revisited tracks – “Satan,” “Plouton,” “Lacrimosa,” “Infearnatural,” “Mars,” and “Destroyer – which were re-recorded during the band’s recent European tour. These special box sets will also include a 64-page book with original covers, photos, and lyrics to all songs with an additional poster, backpatch, and sticker.

The XX box sets are available for preorder at the new UFOMAMMUT official webstore along with other exclusive new merchandise RIGHT HERE.

UFOMAMMUT has also just announced further European touring for later in the year, surrounded by one-off festival performances this summer, two gigs in Russia this September, with more tour dates to be announced over the months ahead, as the band celebrates their 20th Anniversary with their fans around the planet.

UFOMAMMUT 2019 Live Dates:
5/30/2019 Dunk! Festival – Zottegem, BE
9/11/2019 Aglomerat – Moscow, RU
9/12/2019 MOD – St. Petersburg, RU
9/26/2019 Le Fil – Saint Etienne, FR
9/27/2019 Petit Bain – Paris, FR
9/28/2019 The Garage – London, UK
9/29/2019 Magasin 4 – Brussels, BE
9/30/2019 Melkweg – Amsterdam, NL
10/02/2019 Vega – Copenhagen, DK
10/03/2019 Sticky Fingers – Göteborg, SE
10/04/2019 Høstsabbat – Oslo, NO
10/05/2019 – TBA
10/06/2019 Debaser – Stockholm, SE
10/08/2019 On The Rocks – Helsinki, FI
10/09/2019 Von Krahl – Tallinn, ES
10/10/2019 Melna Piektdiena – Riga, LV
10/11/2019 Narauti – Vilnius, LT
10/12/2019 Hydrozagadka – Warsaw, PL
10/13/2019 Zet Pe Te – Krakow, PL
10/15/2019 Rockhouse – Salzburg, AT
10/16/2019 Mochvara – Zagreb, CR

www.ufomammut.com
https://ufomammut.8merch.com/
www.facebook.com/ufomammutband
www.instagram.com/ufomammut
http://www.supernaturalcat.com

20 Year of Ufomammut trailer

Ufomammut, 8

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Ufomammut Set to Mark 20th Anniversary with Spring Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut

You might recall that when they hit their 15th anniversary in 2014, Ufomammut released the retrospective documentary, XV (review here), to mark the occasion. It seems their 20th year will be noted by seeing them do what they do best: tour and destroy. The Italian cosmic doom magnates have continued their forward-thinking, heavy-like-planets approach and managed to do nothing but grow each time out, and if you’ve never seen them live, well, that sounds like a personal problem it’s probably time to rectify. They’ll be out in Europe this Spring, doing a route mostly through Germany with a couple stops in the Netherlands and one in Switzerland — plus a couple dates TBA — but look for more to come because there’s an awful lot of year left and as they’ve shown over the last two decades, Ufomammut are hardly shy when it comes to getting out. To wit, they’ve already been announced as headliners for Oslo’s Høstsabbat festival in October. So yeah, more to come.

Shows are presented by Sound of Liberation:

ufomammut 20 years banner

20 YEARS UFOMAMMUT | FIRST TOUR DATES

In this year 2019, Ufomammut is celebrating 20 years as a band.

The band was formed in February of 1999 by Poia, Urlo and Vita in a small room in the middle of nowhere in Italy.

The idea was to survive the boredom of living in a little town while also having the intention of creating music to spread all around the globe.

After eight albums, plenty of tours, festivals and kilometers on the road, the band is ready to celebrate this important anniversary event with their marvelous and loyal fans with a special European tour this spring.

27.03 – Feierwerk – Munich (D)
28.03 – UT Connewitz – Leipzig (D)
29.03 – Mau Club – Rostock (D)
30.03 – MarX – Hamburg (D)
31.03 – Iduna – Drachten (NL)
2.04 – Junkyard – Dortmund (D)
3.04 – Doornroosje – Nijmegen (NL)
4.04 – TBA
5.04 – Gaswerk – Winterthur (CH)
6.04 – TBA

Music: “Plouton” by Ufomammut
Video by Lù www.malleusdelic.com

Stay tuned & keep your eyes peeled:
Many more dates to come!

Do not miss this.

www.ufomammut.com
www.facebook.com/ufomammutband
twitter.com/ufomammutmafia
www.instagram.com/ufomammut
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings
https://neurotrecordings.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OfficialNeurot
http://www.supernaturalcat.com

20 Year of Ufomammut trailer

Ufomammut, 8

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Høstsabbat 2019: Ufomammut Added as Headliners

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut

I’m just going to guess that whatever city office in Oslo is in charge of allowing bands into historical landmarks has never heard of Ufomammut, otherwise they’d almost certainly never risk having the Italian cosmic doom magnates play at Høstsabbat 2019 for the very reasonable fear of their rumbling the Kulturkirken Jakob to the ground. I can just picture it: the three of them on that altar stage, and their unmatched heft of wash reverberating from that high ceiling in the church and the back wall, feeding back onto itself until, everyone in attendance’s head goes all Scanners on them. Yes, it will be very, very heavy, but given the setting, it’ll be something really special as well. In all seriousness, it’s a great pick from the Høstsabbat crew.

And suitably enough, they’ll be headlining the Altar stage. That’s one of two headliners unveiled for Høstsabbat 2019. Any guesses on the other? I’ve got a wishlist, but after seeing Toner Low this year, I don’t think I dare actually speculate.

Here’s the festival’s announcement:

hostsabbat 2019 ufomammut

HØSTSABBAT 2019 – UFOMAMMUT

For twenty years, these three phsychsters have been making waves, seismic waves, in our underground community. It is with great pride we are able to welcome UFOMAMMUT to Høstsabbat, treating us with a special set celebrating their 20th anniversary, showcasing the depth and width of their seemingly neverending career in heavy music.

Gaining momentum after every single release, these fine Italians are masters of their craft. Pushing boundaries album after album, touching new ground as they simultaneously reap their gains, Ufomammut are pioneers of the underground, giving their audience crushingly heavy, psyched out pieces of art, almost more than music.

To have them headline the Chapel stage in the church feels surreal, and we can only imagine what it will do to you. Buckle up, Sabbathians. You’re in for a ride!

MUSIC
Spotify: http://bit.ly/SFufomammut
Bandcamp: https://ufomammut.bandcamp.com/

HØSTSABBAT 2019 SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
http://bit.ly/HS2019playlist

https://www.facebook.com/events/274561413173994/
https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Ufomammut, 8 (2017)

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Ufomammut Sign on for The Planet of Doom

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

planet of doom header

Last summer, when I interviewed animator/director Tim Granda — who along with artist David Paul Seymour is one of the two main forces behind the much-awaited The Planet of Doom animated feature; think Heavy Metal for heavy rockers — he seemed to hint that it would likely be 2019 before the project was completed. It seems work has been proceeding apace, and the latest band/artist pairing to join the crowded fray are Italian cosmic doomers Ufomammut and artist Wonkytiger. I have to admit I’m somewhat surprised Ufomammut‘s own graphic arts/design incarnation, Malleus didn’t take on the project, but with their upcoming tour dates in Europe and North America, it looks like they’ll be plenty busy as they continue to support last year’s crushing 8 (review here), which was released by Neurot Recordings.

Whatever the situation there, one continues to look forward to the outcome of The Planet of Doom, the lists of artists and bands you can see in the images below — both are formidable — along with the Ufomammut announcement and their tour dates, in case you missed them when they went up the other day.

Dig:

We’re stoked to announce that the band UFOMAMMUT has joined us on our trip to THE PLANET OF DOOM! They’ll be teamed up with artist Ian Bederman (aka Wonkytiger) on a journey that’s soaked in blood!

Ufomammut is a power trio formed in Italy in 1999 by Poia, Urlo and Vita, a lineup that has remained stable since. The trio have developed a sound characterised by lengthy songs centered on repeated heavy riffs coupled with droning vocals and the use of sound effects and synths.

Their status as one of the most potent, powerful and artistic contemporary doom artists in existence continues to captivate the masses, and the band’s worldwide grasp grows wider with each release. Their live show is supported by the internationally acclaimed video and graphic art of Malleus, a rock artists’ collective of which Poia and Urlo form a part, who conjure the entirety of Ufomammut’s visual impact.

Ufomammut will be on the road starting from the end of this month, visiting countries like Croazia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Austria. They’ll also be back touring across the USA this May/June 2018 with the band White Hills.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
3/22/2018 PMK – Innsbruck, AU
3/23/2018 Universum – Stuttgart, DE
3/24/2018 Rockhouse – Salzburg, AU
3/26/2018 Arena – Wien, AU
3/27/2018 KSET – Zagreb, HR
3/28/2018 A38 – Budapest, HU
3/29/2018 Flying Circus – Cluj-Napoca, RO
3/30/2018 Reflector – Timisoara, RO
3/31/2018 Fabrica Club – Bucharest, RO
4/01/2018 Mixtape – Sofia, BG
4/03/2018 Fuzz Club – Athens, GR
4/05/2018 Scumm – Pescara, IT
4/06/2018 Alchemica – Bologna, IT
w/ White Hills:
5/23/2018 Alchemy – Providence, RI
5/24/2018 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Death Fest*
5/25/2018 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/26/2018 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
5/27/2018 Reggies – Chicago, IL
5/29/2018 Lookout Lounge- Omaha, NE
5/30/2018 Hi-Dive – Denver, CO
6/01/2018 Neurolux – Boise, ID
6/02/2018 Barboza – Seattle, WA @ Northwest Terror Fest
6/03/2018 Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR w/ Usnea
6/05/2018 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
6/06/2018 Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
6/07/2018 Hi-Hat – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
6/09/2018 Sister – Albuquerque, NM
6/11/2018 The Lost Well – Austin, TX
6/13/2018 Growlers – Memphis, TN
6/14/2018 Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
6/15/2018 529 – Atlanta, GA
6/16/2018 Kings – Raleigh, NC
6/18/2018 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
6/21/2018 Sled Island Festival – Calgary, AB
7/13/2018 Stoned from the Underground – Erfurt, DE
8/10/2018 Sonic Blast Fest – Moledo, PT
8/11/2018 Alcatraz Festival – Kortrijk, BE

http://www.theplanetofdoom.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theplanetofdoom
https://instagram.com/theplanetofdoom
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt7133084/
http://rifflodge.storenvy.com/

Ufomammut, 8 (2017)

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Ufomammut Announce North American Touring with White Hills

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Aren’t you the slightest bit curious how much freakout you can handle in one evening? Well, I’d think between White Hills and Ufomammut, you’d probably be able to get a pretty good sense of your tolerance level. That’s a two-pronged attack of righteous anti-normality: Ufomammut holding down the cosmic doom low end as only masters of the form ever could hope to do, while White Hills bring forth alternate dimension space rock of the sort that, if they were from London and not New York, would already see them hailed as deities. And yeah, if you’re thinking you’d like to turn your brain into scrambled eggs like those old drug commercials, this tour might be a good way to go about it.

Be sure when you’re done that you send Nanotear Booking a thank-you card.

From the PR wire:

ufomammut white hills tour

UFOMAMMUT Announces North American Tour Including Maryland Deathfest, Northwest Terror Fest, Sled Island Festival, And Dates With White Hills

Italy’s sonic alchemists UFOMAMMUT will make their North American return this Spring for a month of live performances, which sees them performing sets at Maryland Deathfest, Northwest Terror Fest, and Sled Island Festival.

Breaking a two-year silence since their last North American incursion, UFOMAMMUT has booked a month of tour dates with New York City-based psychedelic rock act White Hills. The tour begins in Providence on May 23rd, one day before UFOMAMMUT makes their return to Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore where they’ll perform at Ram’s Head Live with -(16)-, Coven, Gateway To Hell, Khemmis, Mantar, and Today Is The Day. The tour then continues westward to Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle where UFOMAMMUT and While Hills will join Un, The Drip, Cormorant at Barboza on June 2nd, then trek back across to the East Coast before making a jump back out to Western Canada, ending their trek at Sled Island Festival with 40 Watt Sunn, Deerhoof, Jahn Maus, Mount Erie, Oren Ambarchi & Will Guthrie, and more on the Summer Equinox, June 21st.

Preceding the newly-announced North American tour, UFOMAMMUT will tour across Europe from March 22nd through April 6th, with shows in Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
3/22/2018 PMK – Innsbruck, AU
3/23/2018 Universum – Stuttgart, DE
3/24/2018 Rockhouse – Salzburg, AU
3/26/2018 Arena – Wien, AU
3/27/2018 KSET – Zagreb, HR
3/28/2018 A38 – Budapest, HU
3/29/2018 Flying Circus – Cluj-Napoca, RO
3/30/2018 Reflector – Timisoara, RO
3/31/2018 Fabrica Club – Bucharest, RO
4/01/2018 Mixtape – Sofia, BG
4/03/2018 Fuzz Club – Athens, GR
4/05/2018 Scumm – Pescara, IT
4/06/2018 Alchemica – Bologna, IT
w/ White Hills:
5/23/2018 Alchemy – Providence, RI
5/24/2018 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Death Fest*
5/25/2018 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/26/2018 Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
5/27/2018 Reggies – Chicago, IL
5/29/2018 Lookout Lounge- Omaha, NE
5/30/2018 Hi-Dive – Denver, CO
6/01/2018 Neurolux – Boise, ID
6/02/2018 Barboza – Seattle, WA @ Northwest Terror Fest
6/03/2018 Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR w/ Usnea
6/05/2018 Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
6/06/2018 Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
6/07/2018 Hi-Hat – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2018 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
6/09/2018 Sister – Albuquerque, NM
6/11/2018 The Lost Well – Austin, TX
6/13/2018 Growlers – Memphis, TN
6/14/2018 Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
6/15/2018 529 – Atlanta, GA
6/16/2018 Kings – Raleigh, NC
6/18/2018 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
6/21/2018 Sled Island Festival – Calgary, AB
7/13/2018 Stoned from the Underground – Erfurt, DE
8/10/2018 Sonic Blast Fest – Moledo, PT
8/11/2018 Alcatraz Festival – Kortrijk, BE

UFOMAMMUT’seighth LP, 8, was released in September through Neurot Recordings. Recorded at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone, Milano, Italy, 8 is a major turning point in the heavy alchemic arts, with the elements of UFOMAMMUT’s recording constellation being re-aligned. Although the musicians within the collective remain unturned, a change in recording approach saw the trio playing and recording live together in the same room, even utilizing their live sound engineer Ciccio and his project Femore for production purposes, with Fabrizio San Pietro on mixing duties. Overdubs were used only for vocals, synth sounds, and minor details, with the result of the endeavor being a stricter focus on the soul, darkened groove, and overall cohesion of the music and themselves as musicians. In turn, 8 clarified to UFOMAMMUT who they are as a unit now and their new sonic path.

www.ufomammut.com
www.facebook.com/ufomammutband
twitter.com/ufomammutmafia
www.instagram.com/ufomammut
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings
https://neurotrecordings.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OfficialNeurot
http://www.supernaturalcat.com

Ufomammut, 8

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