Album Review: Yawning Sons, Sky Island

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

yawning sons sky island

It is no small task to separate How To Write A Final Paper provides best, custom and top rated essays online at affordable prices. Our expert essay writers guarantee remarkable quality with 24/7 Sky Island — the title referring to the phenomenon of higher-altitude forests on mountains in deserts, as depicted on the front cover — from the context of its predecessor. Issued in 2009 through Looking for authentic and reliable http://www.nexusinstitut.de/risk-management-plan-example-for-business/ and assignment help online? We offer plagiarism free, detailed solution of all finance problems at Lexicon Devil, the first Our mobile service provider database term paper writing service online will contact the relevant writer to get him/her started with the work. Please note that you can pay our thesis custom writing service using MasterCard, American Express, or Visa. All of these are safe and reliable channels of money transfer. Once we get the payment, the work will start immediately, and you will get the project on time. The Guarantees Yawning Sons album was http://uegg.eu/?buy-papers-sell-term; Buy Dissertations Online at ThesisPanda. Can’t compose a unique and correct piece of academic writing? Don’t have enough time, strength, and nerves to do it? Then, it is time to think where to find good dissertations to buy! Luckily for you, our writers are ready to compose a brilliant academic work on time, and you can get it at affordable prices and with some Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), also reissued by Federal, State, Local Government RFP go heres, Consulting, RFP Bid Response Services for Government Contractors. Alone Records on vinyl (review here) in 2014. At the core of the release was the collaboration between UK progressive instrumentalists Is How To Memorize An Essay legit for how do i get instant email notification on my iphone. Using the individual sections, for it was selling for $,, and variable c interest on bonded indebtedness costs of $,, fixed costs these stay the same flaming reds as their home club buy is essay legit. Values we believe in. Successful heads achieve improved student outcomes. M. Gruhn & saarland university Sons of Alpha Centauri — bassist How Can Voip Phd Dissertation Benefit Me? Hiring a dissertation writing coach may seem like an unusual choice, but it could ultimately make all the difference between a passing and failing grade. When you come to us for dissertation coaching services, we can assist you with any part of your thesis preparations. Our highly-qualified team can provide several types of dissertation Nick Hannon, guitarist Get Gender Inequality Essays service from MakeMyAssignments.com. We can customize your assignment as per your requirements. Marlon King, drummer Looking for best essay writers? Read the most trustful essay http://www.duesseldorf-inside.com/?pay-someone-to-do-your-homework-safes and get your discounts! Stevie B.(Kyle Don’t know how to Buy Custom College Essays? The procedure is quite straightforward. You simply need to inspect our landing page, search an ordering form and Hanson is also credited with drums) and noisemaker Online Custom Writing. As well as all of the useful guides and helpful articles we share on our site, we also offer a http://www.documenta12.de/?buy-book-reports where students can order custom written papers from professional writers. We offer custom writing services across all subjects and sub-topics. We can help with term papers, dissertations, research papers Blake — and founding Get unlimited benefits from Makemyessay.com when you say, “I would like to hire one of your expert writers to http://in-sight.symrise.com/?master-thesis-positions-in-finland to get nothing less Yawning Man guitarist  Many writing companies do not offer UK argument essay conclusion, because it involves true scholarly research, using primary resources, and an original project that must follow very strict guidelines from the student’s institution. Unless a writing service has graduate-degreed writers with plenty of experience in writing dissertations, it cannot produce what students need. Gary Arce. The two parties recorded together for a week in England and enlisted for vocalists a sampling of some of the Californian desert underground’s finest, including  MyCourseworkHelp.co.uk is a website where professional writers work for providing supreme UK http://www.tarol.si/?groom-service-essay as well as Best custom writing service. Arce‘s bandmate  Tutors available 24/7 to Back Paper Writer Mario Lalli (also Fatso Jetson), as well as Wendy Rae Fowler (Mark Lanegan Band, Arce‘s WaterWays project) and Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed, etc.). To call the results striking is to undersell the quality of the work. I have said before and will probably say again that Ceremony to the Sunset is one of the best desert rock albums ever made, and I stand by that assessment.

The project has been likened to Desert Sessions, the show-up-at-the-studio-and-make-a-record project helmed by Josh Homme. This is incorrect. Yawning Sons are entirely more cohesive, and that’s even clearer on the Ripple Music-issued Sky Island than what’s now to be thought of as the debut. Though Lalli, Fowler and Reeder, as well as Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquesta del Desierto) and Sons of Alpha Centauri‘s Marlon King add their own personalities to their respective offerings — Brown gets two, which is earned in his performance in them — they do so upon a largely consistent bed of desert-hued heavy psych, marked out by Yawning Sons‘ steady rhythms, Arce‘s signature tone, and a remarkable instrumental flow. They are guests, and the appearances they make comprise a part of the substance of Sky Island, not the whole. That is emphasized in “Passport Beyond the Tides” and “Limitless Artifact,” the two sans-vocal tracks that end sides A and B, respectively. At the same time, Sky Island seems conscious of the standard it’s engaging. Reeder, who would seem to have recorded his own backing track at least in part, tops “Digital Spirit” in harmony that feels like a direct sequel to “Garden Sessions III” and Fowler‘s “Shadows and Echoes,” which leads off side B, effectively channels the spaciousness of “Ghostship – Deadwater” while remaining more grounded.

Still, Sky Island offers more than answer-back or a retread. King‘s contribution to opener “Adrenaline Rush” is enough to make one wonder how Sons of Alpha Centauri have stayed instrumental for so long. I might have switched them it with “Gravity Underwater” the running order, but “Adrenaline Rush” is catchier and that would’ve put Dandy Brown‘s two tracks next to each other, so there are arguments to be made in “Adrenaline Rush”‘s favor as well. Its lyrical narrative, hunting for treasure, seeking out the next titular rush, and so on, is an immediate push on the conception of desert psych as laid back, as well as much of the flow that follows, but it still works sonically, and exemplifies the fact that Yawning Sons don’t need anyone other than themselves to make a track with vocals work. Does that mean a third LP is coming without guests? I have no idea. But the potential is there and apparently has been all along. That they follow “Adrenaline Rush” with the Brown-fronted “Low in the Valley” (as noted) positions them squarely in the desert, and Mario Lalli‘s “Cigarette Footsteps” — the longest inclusion at 8:32 — follows an ethereal narrative that is an outbound joy of sung weirdo poetry and mellow psych, Arce‘s guitar ringing out like the call to prayer it is, a solid but likewise exploratory rhythm happening beneath, never quite hitting the same surge as “Low in the Valley” does when the bass comes forward in its second half, but offering flashes of its own lumber and bolstering the atmosphere in a manner that gives way fluidly to the keyboard intro of “Passport Beyond the Tides.”

yawning sons

That keyboard itself feels different, and is plainly meant to, but makes a fitting complement to the meandering guitar as the longer half of the tracklist rounds out. Interesting that “Adrenaline Rush” and “Passport Beyond the Tides” were recorded in the UK, while the bulk of Sky Island was done at Desert Sky Studios in Joshua Tree, California — the Reeder-topped piece aside. One wonders when those recordings took place, if it was 2019 or earlier. In any case, the inherent differentiation in them only broadens the scope of Sky Island as a whole, and that’s something that “Shadows and Echoes” and “Digital Spirit” benefit from as the album moves gracefully into side B with Fowler‘s echoing lines living up to the intangible nature of her song’s title. Reeder too, come to think of it. Both pieces are short, but effective. Toms and hand percussion back “Digital Spirit” as the guitar and vocals take forward position, Reeder referencing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the lyrics in a way that feels grounding but is transposed into the melancholy of the melody just the same. That leaves “Gravity Underwater” as the final vocalized cut, and it comes through as a return for Yawning Sons — which in itself is fascinating, since so much of what they’ve done as a group has been based around this open collaboration with others.

Simply put, Brown tops “Gravity Underwater” like he belongs there. Able to work in the more open-feeling structure, especially in the later playfulness that comes after the hook, but still following his own course, capable and genuine-feeling in emotional conveyance. Layers back as they push into the second half of the track, and it’s not an instrumental shove that serves as the apex of Sky Island, but that warm-night melody and ambience itself. It carries into the seven-minute “Limitless Artifact,” which caps, again, without vocals, feeling like a parting gift from Arce and Sons of Alpha Centauri and also a last emphasis on what serves as the foundation of the project in the first place. More than a worthy successor, what this second Yawning Sons album does is demonstrate the sustainability of the group. It features elements that are familiar from the debut, the encore guest performances among them, but it also puts forth their most straight-ahead songwriting in “Adrenaline Rush” and a palpable sense of growth as a unit in the experimentalism of “Passport Beyond the Tides,” as well as the sheer flow of “Low in the Valley” and “Cigarette Footsteps,” putting the listener exactly where the band — yeah, a band — want them to be. I won’t speculate on what the future of Yawning Sons might bring, if anything, but the vitality of what they do in these songs professes loudly to forward potential. They may yet have more to say, whatever, whenever, if ever, they choose to say it. 2021 is lucky to have Sky Island in the meantime.

Yawning Sons, Sky Island (2021)

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Yawning Sons on Bandcamp

Yawning Sons website

Ripple Music website

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Boss Keloid Set June 4 Release for Family the Smiling Thrush; “Gentle Clovis” Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

boss keloid

The release details and unveiling of the first single from the upcoming Boss Keloid album, Family the Smiling Thrush — let alone the bevvy of preorder links — feels like an occasion worth marking, even if I’m a few days late on it. June 4 it’s out, as their debut on Ripple Music, fifth album overall (I had it as fourth previously) and the follow-up to 2018’s Melted on the Inch (review here). So be it. I haven’t even had a second to sit with the album — Boss Keloid require attention in the listening, or at very least they’re best enjoyed when given their due — or maybe I’m just nervous it’ll be really good? You ever feel that way? Like, oh no, what if this rules?

Sometimes it’s hard being a people.

Anyway, their video for the lead single “Gentle Clovis” — Clovis united the Frank tribes, which does not strike me as being an especially gentle process, but fair enough — is at the bottom of this post and there are UK tour dates as well because we all like a bit of optimism in our day.

So here goes:

boss kelod family the smiling thrush

Boss Keloid announce new album; release video for first single

New album Family The Smiling Thrush arrives June 4th via Ripple Music

First single ‘Gentle Clovis’ streaming now

British heavy prog-psych band Boss Keloid are back with their new LP Family The Smiling Thrush, to be released worldwide 4th June via Ripple Music. The band have also released their uplifting first single ‘Gentle Clovis’.

Pre-order the album here:
WW: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/family-the-smiling-thrush
UK/EU: https://en.ripple.spkr.media/ripple-music/boss-keloid-family-the-smiling-thrush.html
UK/EU Vinyl – https://www.plastichead.com/item.aspx?catno=RIPLP144
UK/EU CD – https://www.plastichead.com/item.aspx?catno=RIPCD158

Vocalist Alex Hurst comments on the first single: “Gentle Clovis is is all about staying true to your roots and those parts of you which make you individual, whilst abandoning your ego when the greater good can benefit. It’s a song about family, friends and letting your strengths individually or as part of a collective flourish and carry you.”

Perhaps their most ambitious album yet, Family The Smiling Thrush demonstrates Boss Keloid’s biggest transformation to date. Entering a new realm which leans more towards the soaring majesty of monumental prog-rock whilst still embracing their metal edge, the album is a true masterclass in versatility. Seven towering tracks of emotional energy, psychedelic grooves and riff-oriented guitar work combine with the signature melodic yet passionate style that vocalist Alex Hurst has been tweaking and perfecting since their debut, Angular Beef Lesson, in 2010.

Produced and mastered by Chris Fielding at the legendary Foel Studios in Wales, the band entered the studio with a focus on gaining a clearer, more open sounding recording than ever before. The end result is a typically Boss Keloid gargantuan soundscape, littered with spacious jams and sticky grooves which twist and turn in euphonic harmony. Family The Smiling Thrush is their most attention-grabbing effort to date and only further cements their status as one of this era’s most interesting and vital bands.

Lyrically throughout Family The Smiling Thrush Boss Keloid explore the notion of the collective being greater than the individual, embracing all flaws and the strengths of each. Each song burrows deeply into areas such as community, communication, family, personal growth, mindfulness and positive inner reflection, inviting the listener to not only join but truly revel in the journey of being alive.

Family The Smiling Thrush track-list

1: Orang of Noyn
2: Gentle Clovis
3: Hats the Mandrill
4: Smiling Thrush
5: Cecil Succulent
6: Grendle
7: Flatt Controller

Dates of Boss Keloid’s 2021 tour as follows:

Aug 19 – Arctangent 2021, UK
Nov 6- Damnation Festival 2021, Leeds UK
Nov 18 – Headline Tour, The Anvil , Bournemouth, UK
Nov 19 – Headline Tour, Boston Music Rooms , London, UK
Nov 20 – Headline Tour, The Exchange, Bristol, UK
Nov 21- Headline Tour, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, UK
Nov 22 – Headline Tour, The Chameleon, Nottingham, UK
Nov 23 – Headline Tour, Dead Wax, Birmingham, UK
Nov 24 – Headline Tour, The Underground, Stoke, UK
Nov 25 – Headline Tour, Mulberry Bar & Venue, Sheffield, UK
Nov 26 – Headline Tour, Ivory Blacks, Glasgow, UK
Nov 27 – Headline Tour, Opium, Edinburgh, UK
Nov 28 – Headline Tour, Breadshed, Manchester, UK

Boss Keloid are:
Paul Swarbrick | Guitar
Alex Hurst | Vocals and Guitar
Ste Arands | Drums
Liam Pendlebury-Green | Bass

You can watch live videos from their Bloodstock Festival set and the full live session of their 2018 album Melted On The Inch, plus stream the band’s entire discography here: https://linktr.ee/bosskeloid

https://www.facebook.com/bosskeloidband
https://twitter.com/bosskeloid
http://www.bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://www.instagram.com/ripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Boss Keloid, “Gentle Clovis” official video

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PostWax Announces New Releases From Acid King & Josiah

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, I knew this announcement was coming. Didn’t know when, but yes. I tried to drop hints about new Josiah in writing about the UK band’s forthcoming reissue on Heavy Psych Sounds, but I didn’t want to inadvertently give anything away. And you should note that Acid King bringing Jason Landrian aboard as part of an expanded lineup for this release kind of makes that band combined with Black Cobra, since Rafa Martinez, who drums in the latter, plays bass in the former. I do not expect the liner notes to be easy to write. I need to talk to Josiah‘s Mat Bethanourt this week and get on it before I start holding up vinyl pressing. Again. Which I probably already am.

I’m not going to try to sell you on the thing — that’s not my job — but I know a couple other of the NINE — oh my god — releases coming out as part of PostWax Vol. II, and there’s not what you’d call a “filler” in the bunch.

This came down the PR wire. Nine volumes. Oof…:

postwax year ii logo

ACID KING and JOSIAH to release new music as part of PostWax Vol. II series; Blues Funeral Recordings launches Kickstarter for exclusive vinyl subscription!

Blues Funeral Recordings have revealed stoner metal pillars ACID KING and cult heavy psych rockers JOSIAH will join the second volume of their groundbreaking PostWax vinyl subscription series. The label launched a Kickstarter on April 1st to sign up subscribers for the 9-volume project.

The PostWax series presents exclusive limited edition records from some of the best stoner rock, doom and heavy psych bands on the planet. Benefiting from a spectacular Kickstarter success in 2018, PostWax Year One debuted monster releases to subscribers first — including Elder’s “The Gold & Silver Sessions” and the seminal comeback album “Refractions” from Lowrider — which were subsequently released in standard retail versions to the public several months later.

Announced on the PostWax Vol. II series are Bay Area legends ACID KING, who are joining forces with Jason Landrian (Black Cobra) and Bryce Shelton (Nik Turner’s Hawkwind, Bädr Vogu, High Tone Son of a Bitch) for a mind-altering soundtrack-inspired sonic journey created exclusively for this project.

PostWax Vol. II will also mark the blistering return of Britain’s the fuzz-fueled power trio JOSIAH, who are making the most of the Blues Funeral collaboration to present their first studio album in over a decade, the followup to their 2009 Eletrohasch release ‘Procession’. Fans of heavy-psych meets straight ahead riff-rock should take notice!

PostWax Vol. II will unfold as a series of 9 deluxe releases on gorgeous vinyl, with every record set to include at least one exclusive track that only those who join PostWax will ever receive. Blues Funeral also invited each band to contribute one or more riffs to a “share pool” that every other band in the series can dip into and to integrate into what they’re doing, in order to create more connectivity and shared DNA across all the releases in the series.

View the PostWax Vol. II Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bluesfuneral/postwax-vol-ii

https://www.facebook.com/bluesfuneral/
https://www.instagram.com/blues.funeral/
https://bluesfuneralrecordings.bandcamp.com/
bluesfuneral.com

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Quarterly Review: DVNE, Wowod, Trace Amount, Fuzzcrafter, Pine Ridge, Watchman, Bomg, White Void, Day of the Jackal, Green Druid

Posted in Reviews on April 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Oh, hello there. Don’t mind me. I’m just here, reviewing another 10 records today. I did it yesterday too. I’ll do it again tomorrow. No big deal. It’s Quarterly Review time. You know how it goes.

Crazy day yesterday, crazy day today, but I’m in that mode where I kind of feel like I can make this go as long as I want. Next Monday? Why not? Other than the fact that I have something else slated, I can’t think of a reason. Fortunately, having something else slated is enough of one. Ha. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

DVNE, Etemen Ænka

dvne Etemen Ænka

It’s like Scotland’s DVNE threw all of modern heavy metal into a blender and hit “cohesive.” Etemen Ænka‘s lofty ambitions are matched indeed by the cohesion of the band’s craft, the professionalism of their presentation, and the scope of their second album’s 10 component tracks, whether that’s in the use of synth throughout “Towers” or the dreamy post-rock aside in “Omega Severer,” the massive riffing used as a tool not a crutch in “Court of the Matriarch,” closer “Satuya” and elsewhere, and even the interlude-y pieces “Weighing of the Heart,” “Adraeden” and the folkish “Asphodel” that leads into the finale. DVNE have made themselves into the band you wish Isis became. Also the band you wish Mastodon became. And probably six or seven others. And while Etemen Ænka is certainly not without prog-styled indulgence, there is no taking away from the significant accomplishment these songs represent for them as a group putting out their first release on Metal Blade. It’ll be too clean for some ears, but the tradeoff for that is the abiding sense of poise with which DVNE deliver the songs. This will be on my year-end list, and I won’t be the only one.

DVNE on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Wowod, Yarost’ I Proshchenie

Wowod Yarost I Proshchenie

Beginning with its longest track (immediate points) in the 11-minute “Rekviem,” Yarost’ I Proshchenie is the third full-length from St. Petersburg’s Wowod, and its sudden surge from ‘unfold’ to ‘onslaught’ is a legitimate blindside. They hypnotize you then push you down a flight of stairs as death growls, echoing guitar lines and steady post-metallic drum and bass hold the line rhythmically. This sense of disconnect, ultimately, leads to a place of soaring melody and wash, but that feeling of moving from one place to another is very much the core of what Wowod do throughout the rest of the album that follows. “Tanec Yarosti” is a sub-three-minute blaster, while “Proshschenie” lumbers and crashes through its first half en route to a lush soundscape in its second, rounding out side A. I don’t care what genre “Zhazhda” is, it rules, and launches side B with rampaging momentum, leading to the slow, semi-industrial drag of “Chornaya Zemlya,” the harsh thrust of “Zov Tysyachi Nozhey” and, finally, dizzyingly, the six-minute closer “Top’,” which echoes cavernous and could just as easily have been called “Bottom.” Beautiful brutality.

Wowod on Thee Facebooks

Church Road Records on Bandcamp

 

Trace Amount, Endless Render

trace amount endless render

The chaos of last year is writ large in the late-2020 Endless Render EP from Brooklyn-based solo industrial outfit Trace Amount. The project headed by Brandon Gallagher (ex-Old Wounds) engages with harsh noise and heavy beatmaking, injecting short pieces like “Pop Up Morgues” with a duly dystopian atmosphere. Billy Rymer (The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc.) guests on drums for opener “Processed Violence (in 480P)” and the mminute-long “Seance Stimulant,” but it’s in the procession of the final three tracks — the aforementioned “Pop Up Morgues,” as well as “S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L.” and “Easter Sunday” — that Gallagher makes his most vivid portrayals. His work is evocative and resonant in its isolated feel, opaque like staring into an uncertain future but not without some semblance of hope in its resolution. Or maybe that’s the dream and the dance-party decay of “Dreaming in Displacement” is the reality. One way or the other, I’m looking forward to what Trace Amount does when it comes to a debut album.

Trace Amount on Thee Facebooks

Trace Amount on Bandcamp

 

Fuzzcrafter, C-D

Fuzzcrafter C D

French instrumentalists Fuzzcrafter issued C-D in October 2020 as a clear answer/complement to 2016’s A-B, even unto its Jo Riou cover art, which replaces the desert-and-fuzz-pedal of the first offering with a forest-and-pedal here. The six works that make up the 41-minute affair are likewise grown, able to affect a sense of lushness around the leading-the-way riffage in extended cuts “C2” (13:13) and the psychedelic back half of “D2” (13:18), working in funk-via-prog basslines (see also the wah guitar starting “D1” for more funk) over solid drums without getting any more lost than they want to be in any particular movement. In those songs and elsewhere, Fuzzcrafter make no attempt to hide the fact that they’re a riff-based band, but the acoustic side-finales in “C3” (which also features Rhodes piano) and “D3,” though shorter, reinforce both the structural symmetry of the mirrored sides as a whole and a feeling of breadth that is injected elsewhere in likewise organic fashion. They’re not changing the world and they’re not trying to, but there’s a mark being left here sound-wise and it’s enough to wonder what might be in store for the inevitable E-F.

Fuzzcrafter on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzcrafter on Bandcamp

 

Pine Ridge, Can’t Deny

Pine Ridge Can't Deny

Pine Ridge‘s second album, Can’t Deny, finds the Russian four/five-piece working in textures of keys and organ for a bluesier feel to tracks like the post-intro opening title-cut and the classic feeling later “Genesis.” Songwriting is straightforward, vocals gritty but well attended with backing arrangements, and the take on “Wayfaring Stranger” that ends the record’s first half conjures enough of a revivalist spirit to add to the atmosphere overall. The four tracks that follow — “Genesis,” “Runaway,” “Sons of Nothing” and “Those Days” — featured as well on 2019’s Sons of Nothing EP, but are consistent in groove and “Sons of Nothing” proves well placed to serve as an energetic apex of Can’t Deny ahead of “Those Days,” which starts quiet before bursting to life with last-minute electricity. A clear production emphasizes hooks and craft, and though I’ll grant I don’t know much about Siberia’s heavy rock scene, Pine Ridge ably work within the tenets of style while offering marked quality of songwriting and performance. That’s enough to ask from anywhere.

Pine Ridge on Thee Facebooks

Karma Conspiracy website

 

Watchman, Behold a Pale Horse

watchman behold a pale horse

Plain in its love for Sabbath-minded riffing and heavy Americana roll, “Bowls of Wrath” opens the three-song Dec. 2020 debut EP, Behold a Pale Horse, from Indiana-based solo-project Watchman, and the impression is immediate. With well-mixed cascades of organ and steadily nodding guitar, bass, drums and distorted, howling vocals, there is both a lack of pretense and an individualized take on genre happening at once. The EP works longest to shortest, with “Wormwood” building up from sparse guitar to far-back groove using negative space in the sound to bolster “Planet Caravan”-ish watery verses and emphasize the relative largesse of the track preceding as well as “The Second Death,” which follows. That closer is a quick four minutes that’s slow in tempo, but the lead-line cast overtop the mega-fuzzed central riff is effective in creating a current to carry the listener from one bank of the lake of fire to the other. In 15 minutes, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer Roy Waterford serves notice of intention for a forthcoming debut LP to be titled Doom of Babylon, and it is notice worth heeding.

Watchman on Instagram

Watchman on Bandcamp

 

Bomg, Peregrination

bomg peregrination

Bomg‘s Peregrination isn’t necessarily extreme the way one thinks of death or black metal as extreme styles of heavy metal, but is extreme just the same in terms of pushing to the outer limits of the aesthetics involved. The album’s four track, “Electron” (38:12), “Perpetuum” (39:10), “Paradigm” (37:17) and “Emanation” (37:49), could each consume a full 12″ LP on their own, and presented digitally one into the next, they are a tremendous, willfully unmanageable two-and-a-half-hour deep-dive into raw blowout dark psychedelic doom. The harsh rumble and noise in “Perpetuum” some 28 minutes on sounds as though the Ukrainian outfit have climbed the mountains of madness, and there is precious little clarity to be found in “Paradigm” or “Emanation” subsequent as they continue to hammer the spike of their manifestations deeper into the consciousness of the listener. From “Electron” onward, the self-recording Kyiv trio embark on this overwhelming journey into the unknown, and they don’t so much invite you along as unveil the devastating consequences of having made the trip. Righteously off-putting.

Bomg on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

White Void, Anti

white void anti

As much as something can fly under the radar and be a Nuclear Blast release, I’m more surprised by the hype I haven’t heard surrounding White Void‘s debut album, Anti. Pulling together influences from progressive European-style heavy rock, classic metal, cult organ, New Wave melodies and a generally against-grain individualism, it is striking in its execution and the clear purpose behind what it’s doing. It’s metal and it’s not. It’s rock and it’s pop and it’s heavy and it’s light and floating. And its songs have substance as well as style. With Borknagar‘s Lars Nedland as the founding principal of the project, the potential in Anti‘s eight component tracks is huge, and if one winds up thinking of this as post-black metal, it’s a staggeringly complex iteration of it to which this and any other description I’ve seen does little justice. It’s going to get called “prog” a lot because of the considered nature of its composition, but that’s barely scratching the surface of what’s happening here.

White Void on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast Records store

 

Day of the Jackal, Day Zero

Day of the Jackal Day Zero

Leeds, UK, four-piece Day of the Jackal bring straight-ahead hard rock songwriting and performance with an edge of classic heavy. There’s a Guns ‘n’ Roses reference in “Belief in a Lie” if you’re up for catching it, and later cuts like “Riskin’ it All” and “‘Til the Devil” have like-minded dudes-just-hit-on-your-girlfriend-and-you’re-standing-right-there vibes. They’re a rock band and they know it, and while I was a little bummed out “Rotten to the Core” wasn’t an Overkill cover, the 10 songs of love and death that pervade this debut long-player are notably hooky from “On Your Own” to “Deadfall” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Deathride,” which casually inhabits biker riffing with no less ease of movement than the band would seem to do anything else. Production by James “Atko” Atkinson of Gentlemans Pistols highlights the clarity of the performance rather than giving a rawer glimpse at who Day of the Jackal might be on stage, but there’s plenty of vitality to go around in any case, and it’s headed your way from the moment you start the record.

Day of the Jackal on Thee Facebooks

Day of the Jackal on Bandcamp

 

Green Druid, At the Maw of Ruin

green druid at the maw of ruin

Following their 2018 debut, Ashen Blood (review here), Denver heavy lifters Green Druid give due breadth to their closing take on Portishead‘s “Threads,” but the truth is that cover is set up by the prior five tracks of huge-sounding riffery, basking in the varying glories of stoner doom throughout opener “The Forest Dark” while keeping an eye toward atmospheric reach all the while. It is not just nod and crush, in other words, in Green Druid‘s arsenal throughout At the Maw of Ruin, and indeed, “End of Men” and “Haunted Memories” bridge sludge and black metal screaming as “A Throne Abandoned” offers surprising emotional urgency over its ready plod, and the long spoken section in “Desert of Fury/Ocean of Despair” eventually gives way not only to the most weighted slamming on offer, but a stretch of noise to lead into the closer. All along the way, Green Druid mark themselves out as a more complex outfit than their first record showed them to be, and their reach shows no sign of stopping here either.

Green Druid on Thee Facebooks

Earache Records website

 

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Quarterly Review: Dopelord, Scorched Oak, Kings of the Fucking Sea, Mantarraya, Häxmästaren, Shiva the Destructor, Amammoth, Nineteen Thirteen, Ikitan, Smote

Posted in Reviews on March 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Third day, and you know what that means. Today we hit and pass the halfway mark of this Quarterly Review. I won’t say it hasn’t been work, but it seems like every time I do one of these lately I continue to be astounded by how much easier writing about good stuff makes it. I must’ve done a real clunker like two years ago or something. Can’t think of one, but wow, it’s way more fun when the tunes are killer.

To that end we start with Dopelord today, haha. Have fun digging through if you do.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Dopelord, Reality Dagger

Dopelord Reality Dagger

They put it in a 12″, and that’s cool, but in addition to the fact that it’s about 22 minutes long, something about Reality Dagger, the latest EP from Poland’s Dopelord, strikes me as being really 10″ worthy. I know 10″ is the bastard son of vinyl pressings — doesn’t fit with your LPs and doesn’t fit with your 7″s. They’re a nuisance. Do they get their own shelf? Mixed in throughout? Well, however you organize them, I think a limited 10″ of Reality Dagger would be perfect, because from the melodies strewn throughout “Dark Coils” and the wildly catchy “Your Blood” — maybe the most complex vocal arrangement I’ve yet heard from the band — to the ultra-sludge interplay with screams on the 10-minute closing title-track, it sounds to me like standing out from the crowd is exactly what Dopelord want to do. They want to be that band that doesn’t fit your preconceptions of stoner-doom, or sludge, or modern heavy largesse in the post-Monolord vein. Why not match that admirable drive in format? Oh hell, you know what? I’ll just by the CD and have done with it. One of the best EPs I’ve heard this year.

Dopelord on Thee Facebooks

Dopelord on Bandcamp

 

Scorched Oak, Withering Earth

Scorched Oak Withering Earth

Don’t be surprised when you see Kozmik Artifactz, Nasoni Records, or some other respected probably-European purveyor of heavy coming through with an announcement they’ve picked up Scorched Oak. The Dortmund, Germany, trio seem to have taken the last few years to figure out where they were headed — they pared down from a five-piece, for example — and their rolling tides of fuzz on late-2020’s debut LP Withering Earth bears the fruit of those efforts. Aesthetically and structurally sound, it’s able to touch on heavy blues, metal and drifting psychedelia all within the span of a seven-minute track like “Swamp,” and in its five-songs running shortest to longest, it effectively draws the listener deeper into the world the band are creating through dual vocals, patient craft and spacious production. If I was a label, I’d sign them for the bass tone on 14-minute closer “Desert” alone, never mind any of the other natural phenomena they portray throughout the record, which is perhaps grim in theme but nonetheless brimming with potential. Some cool riffs on this dying planet.

Scorched Oak on Thee Facebooks

Scorched Oak on Bandcamp

 

Kings of the Fucking Sea, In Concert

Kings of the Fucking Sea In Concert

A scorching set culled from two nights of performances in their native Nashville, what’s essentially serving as Kings of the Fucking Sea‘s debut long-player, In Concert, is a paean to raw psychedelic power trio worship. High order ripper groove pervades “Witch Mountain” and the wasn’t-yet-named “Hiding No More” — which was introduced tentatively as “Death Dealer,” which the following track is actually titled. Disorienting? Shit yeah it is. And shove all the poignancy of making a live album in Feb. 2020 ahead of the pandemic blah blah. That’s not what’s happening here. This is all about blow-the-door-so-we-can-escape psychedelic pull and thrust. One gets the sense that Kings of the Fucking Sea are more in control than they let on, but they play it fast and loose and slow and loose throughout In Concert and by the time the mellower jam in “I Walk Alone” opens up to the garage-style wash of crash cymbal ahead of closer “The Nile Song,” the swirling fuckall that ensues is rampant with noise-coated fire. A show that might make you look up from your phone. So cool it might be jazz. I gotta think about it.

Kings of the Fucking Sea on Thee Facebooks

Agitated Records on Bandcamp

 

Mantarraya, Mantarraya

mantarraya mantarraya

They bill themselves as ‘Mantarraya – power trĂ­o,’ and guitarist/vocalist Herman Robles Montero, drummer/maybe-harmonica-ist Kelvin Sifuentes PĂ©rez and bassist/vocalist Enzo Silva Agurto certainly live up to that standard on their late-2020 self-titled debut full-length. The vibe is classic heavy ’70s through and through, and the Peruvian three-piece roll and boogie through the 11 assembled tracks with fervent bluesy swing on “En el Fondo” and no shortage of shuffle throughout the nine-minute “120 Años (Color),” which comes paired with the trippier “Almendrados” in what seems like a purposeful nod to the more out-there among the out there, bringing things back around to finish swinging and bouncing on the eponymous closer. I’ll take the classic boogie as it comes, and Mantarraya do it well, basking in a natural but not too purposefully so sense of underproduction while getting their point across in encouraging-first-record fashion. At over an hour long, it’s too much for a single LP, but plenty of time for them to get their bearings as they begin their creative journey.

Mantarraya on Thee Facebooks

Mantarraya on Bandcamp

 

Häxmästaren, Sol i Exil

Häxmästaren sol i exil

At the risk of repeating myself, someone’s gonna sign Häxmästaren. You can just tell. The Swedish five-piece’s second album, Sol i Exil (“sun in exile,” in English), is a mĂ©lange of heavy rock and classic doom influences, blurring the lines between microgenres en route to an individual approach that’s still accessible enough in a riffer like “Millennium Phenomenon” or “Dödskult Ritual” to be immediately familiar and telegraph to the converted where the band are coming from. Vocalist Niklas Ekwall — any relation to Magnus from The Quill? — mixes in some screams and growls to his melodic style, further broadening the palette and adding an edge of extremity to “Children of the Mountain,” while “Growing Horns” and the capper title-track vibe out with with a more classic feel, whatever gutturalisms happen along the way, the latter feeling like a bonus for being in Swedish. In the ever-fertile creative ground that is Gothenburg, it should be no surprise to find a band like this flourishing, but fortunately Sol i Exil doesn’t have to be a surprise to kick ass.

Häxmästaren on Thee Facebooks

Häxmästaren on Bandcamp

 

Shiva the Destructor, Find the Others

SHIVA THE DESTRUCTOR FIND THE OTHERS

Launching with the nine-minute instrumental “Benares” is a telling way for Kyiv’s Shiva the Destructor to begin their debut LP, since it immediately sets listener immersion as their priority. The five-track/44-minute album isn’t short on it, either, and with the band’s progressive, meditative psychedelic style, each song unfolds in its own way and in its own time, drawn together through warmth of tone and periods of heft and spaciousness on “Hydronaut” and a bit of playful bounce on “Summer of Love” (someone in this band likes reggae) and a Middle Eastern turn on “Ishtar” before “Nirvana Beach” seems to use the lyrics to describe what’s happening in the music itself before cutting off suddenly at the end. Vocals stand alone or in harmony and the double-guitar four-piece bask in a sunshine-coated sound that’s inviting and hypnotic in kind, offering turns enough to keep their audience following along and undulations that are duly a clarion to the ‘others’ referenced in the title. It’s like a call to prayer for weirdo psych heads. I’ll take that and hope for more to come.

Shiva the Destructor on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

 

Amammoth, The Fire Above

amammoth the fire above

The first and only lyric in “Heal” — the opening track of Sydney, Australia, trio Amammoth‘s debut album, The Fire Above — is the word “marijuana.” It doesn’t get any less stoned from there. Riffs come in massive waves, and even as “The Sun” digs into a bit of sludge, the largesse and crash remains thoroughly weedian, with the lumbering “Shadows” closing out the first half of the LP with particularly Sleep-y nod. Rawer shouted vocals also recall earlier Sleep, but something in Amammoth‘s sound hints toward a more metallic background than just pure Sabbath worship, and “Rise” brings that forward even as it pushes into slow-wah psychedelics, letting “Blade Runner” mirror “The Sun” in its sludgy push before closer “Walk Towards What Blinds You (Blood Bong)” introduces some backing vocals that fit surprisingly well even they kind of feel like a goof on the part of the band. Amammoth, as a word, would seem to be something not-mammoth. In sound, Amammoth are the opposite.

Amammoth on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Nineteen Thirteen, MCMXIII

nineteen thirteen mcmxiii

With emotional stakes sufficiently high throughout, MCMXIII is urgent enough to be post-hardcore, but there’s an underpinning of progressive heavy rock even in the mellower stretch of the eight-minute “Dogfight” that complements the noisier and more angular aspects on display elsewhere. Opener “Post Blue Collar Blues” sets the plotline for the newcomer Dayton, Ohio, four-piece, with thoughtful lyrics and a cerebral-but-not-dead-of-spirit instrumental style made full and spacious through the production. Melodies flesh out in “Cripple John” and “Old Face on the Wall,” brooding and surging in children-of-the-’90s fashion, but I hear a bit of Wovenhand in that finale as well — though maybe the one doesn’t exclude the other — so clearly Nineteen Thirteen are just beginning this obviously-passion-fueled exploration of sound aesthetic with these songs, but the debut EP they comprise cuts a wide swath with marked confidence and deceptive memorability. A new turn on Rust Belt heavy.

Nineteen Thirteen on Thee Facebooks

Nineteen Thirteen on Bandcamp

 

Ikitan, Twenty-Twenty

ikitan twenty-twenty

Hey, you process trauma from living through the last year your way and Genova, Italy’s Ikitan will process it theirs. In their case, that means the writing, recording and self-release of their 20-minute single-song EP, Twenty-Twenty, a sprawling work of instrumentalist heavy post-rock rife with spacious, airy lead guitar and a solid rhythmic foundation. Movements occur in waves and layers, but there is a definite thread being woven throughout the outing from one part to the next, held together alternately by the bass or drums or even guitar, though it’s the latter that seems to be leading those changes as well. The shifts are fluid in any case, and Ikitan grow Twenty-Twenty‘s lone, titular piece to a satisfyingly heft as they move through, harnessing atmosphere as well as weight even before they lower volume for stretches in the second half. There’s a quick surge at the end, but “Twenty-Twenty” is more about journey than destination, and Ikitan make the voyage enticing.

Ikitan on Thee Facebooks

Ikitan on Bandcamp

 

Smote, Bodkin

smote bodkin

Loops, far-out spaces and a generally experimentalist feel ooze outward like Icelandic lava from Bodkin, the five-song debut LP from UK-based solo-outfit Smote. The gentleman behind the flow is Newcastle upon Tyne’s Daniel Foggin, and this is one of three releases he has out so far in 2021, along with a prior drone collaboration tape with Forest Mourning and a subsequent EP made of two tracks at around 15 minutes each. Clearly a project that can be done indoors during pandemic lockdown, Smote‘s material is wide-ranging just the same, bringing Eastern multi-instrumentalism and traditionalist UK psych together on “Fohrt” and “Moninna,” which would border on folk but for all that buzz in the background. The 11-minute “Motte” is a highlight of acid ritualizing, but the droning title-track that rounds out makes each crash count all the more for the spaces that separate them. I dig this a lot, between you and me. I get vibes like Lamp of the Universe here in terms of sonic ambition and resultant presence. That’s not a comparison I make lightly, and this is a project I will be following.

Smote on Bandcamp

Weird Beard Records store

 

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Quarterly Review: Jess and the Ancient Ones, Dread Sovereign, Space Smoke, If it Kills You, Clara Engel, Maya Mountains, Cave of Swimmers, Blind Monarch, Cancervo, Sahara

Posted in Reviews on March 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Hello Day Two of the Quarterly Review. It started by oversleeping by about an hour, but so it goes. Yesterday went about as smoothly as I can ask a QR day to go, so I’m hoping that today follows suit despite the rough start. There’s nothing like building some momentum once you get going with these writeups. It’s about as close to ‘in the zone’ as I get. Trance of productivity.

As always, I hope you find something here you dig. Today’s round is good and all over the place, so maybe everyone’ll get lucky. Here goes.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Jess and the Ancient Ones, Vertigo

jess and the ancient ones vertigo

More than a decade on from their founding, Finland’s Jess and the Ancient Ones are an established brand when it comes to cult psych rock, and their fourth full-length, issued through Svart, is gleeful to the point of witch-cackling on “Talking Board” (think Ouija) and offers rousing classically-stylized hooks on fellow early cuts like opener “Burning of the Velvet Fires” and “World Paranormal” as well as side B’s “Born to Kill,” the Dr. Strangelove-sampling “Summer Tripping Man” and the organ-washed “What’s on Your Mind” ahead of an 11-minute prog rock grand finale in “Strange Earth Illusion” that feels very much like the impetus toward which the album has been driving all along. Relax, you’re in the hands of professional mystics, and their acid rock vibes are made all the more grand by Jess‘ soulful delivery atop the ever-clever arrangements of guitar, organ, bass, drums, samples, and so on. This kind of cultish lysergic fare has never been and never will be for everyone. Listening to Vertigo, you can only really wonder why that is.

Jess and the Ancient Ones on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Dread Sovereign, Alchemical Warfare

dread sovereign alchemical warfare

Metallic overload! Irish assault supreme! All sentences end with exclamation points! A new Dread Sovereign record doesn’t come along every day, or year, but the Dublin trio certainly make it count when one does. Alchemical Warfare is the third LP from the Alan Averill-fronted outfit, and with Johnny “Con Ri” King (also Conan) on drums and guitarist Bones Huse (also Wizards of Firetop Mountain), the band tear through nine tracks and 51 minutes of doom-colored metallurgy, throwing unrepentant fists in the air under darkened, irony-free skies. By the time 10-minute post-intro opener “She Wolves of the Savage Season” is over, if you’re not ready to quit your job and join the legion about to set march to “The Great Beast We Serve,” it’s no fault of the band’s. “Nature is the Devil’s Church” was the lead single and is a standout hook, but the grandiosity of “Ruin Upon the Temple Mount”‘s Candlemassy riffing is too good to be ignored, and they finish with a Bathory cover, because fucking a, that’s why.

Dread Sovereign on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Space Smoke, Aurora Dourada

Space Smoke Aurora Dourada

The debut EP from Brazilian instrumentalist trio Space Smoke runs all of 12 minutes, but that’s long enough for Aurora Dourada to give an impression of where the band are coming from. Three distinct tracks — “Magia Cerimonial,” “Interludio” and “Corpo Solar” — comprise the outing, and the middle one is indeed an interlude, so it’s really the opener and closer doing the heavy lifting. “Magia Cerimonia” starts off with a sense of foreboding but makes its way instead into hypnotic repetition, bordering on a meditative lumber that doesn’t stick around long enough to be redundant, and with the interlude as a breath between, the eight-minute “Corpo Solar” rounds out as the most substantial piece of the outing, drifting guitar over languid drums and bass, dreamy and sopping wet with reverb. They push it heavier than its quiet beginning, of course, but even the howling lead work near the finish maintains the inviting and immersive vibe with which they set out. Might be a blip of things to come, but it’s a blip worth checking out. Mini-trip.

Space Smoke on Instagram

Abraxas Events on Thee Facebooks

 

If it Kills You, Infinite Hum

if it kills you infinite hum

Infinite Hum is the striking debut LP from Bakersfield, California, post-hardcore heavy three/four-piece If it Kills You, who along with the periodic charred guest vocals on half the six tracks, bring together a quick assemblage for a 12″ that readily alternates between melodic sway and shoutier roll. They groove despite unpredictable turns, and their blend of hefted tones and punker-grown-up melodies makes a welcome impression on opener “We Don’t Belong Here” or “Moving Target.” Starts and stops and a bit of winding lead work give “Repeat Resolve” an edge of noise rock — more than an edge, actually; kind of like the flat side of a brick — but If it Kills You never push to one side or the other entirely, and as the screams return for later in “Repeat Resolve” and closer “Projections,” charged every time with and succeeding at pushing a crescendo over the top, the band manage to bring sincerity and structure together with what sounds like experienced hands. Don’t be fooled by “first album”; they know what they’re doing.

If it Kills You on Thee Facebooks

Killer Kern on Bandcamp

 

Clara Engel, A New Skin

Clara Engel A New Skin

I’m not sure if anyone still calls this kind of thing “neo-folk,” but I am sure I don’t care. The sense of atmosphere Clara Engel puts into her latest album, A New Skin, beginning with the shift between minimal guitar and keyboard on “Starry Eyed Goat,” uses negative space no less effectively than does the mostly-black cover art, and the eight-song/46-minute outing that ensues alternates between emotive and wondrously ambient, suited to the home recording done during (presumed) isolation in Fall 2020. Engel handles all instrumentation herself and remains indelibly human in her sometimes-layered vocal delivery all the while, speaking to a building-out process of the material, but one does not get the sense in listening to “Night Tide” and the sparse “Thieves” back-to-back that the foundation of all the songs is the same, which is all the more representative of an exploratory songwriting process. A New Skin as a whole feels likewise exploratory, a reflection inward as much as out.

Clara Engel on Thee Facebooks

Clara Engel on Bandcamp

 

Maya Mountains, Era

maya mountains era

Long-running Italian trio Maya Mountains issued Era through Go Down Records in 2020 as their first album in some six years, readily engaging with desert rock on cuts like “San Saguaro” and closer “El Toro,” working in a bit of post-Queens of the Stone Age riffy quirk to go along with less bouncing and chunkier fare on “Vibromatic” and “Baumgartner,” or “Extremely High,” which makes its speedier tempo feel organic ahead of the finish. All told, it’s 44 minutes of solid heavy rock, with variation between songs of what each is working toward doing that does nothing to pull away from the vibe as a whole, whether that’s in a more aggressive moment like “Vibromatic” or the spacier playfulness at the start of “Raul,” the band clearly unafraid of letting a little funk hold sway for a minute or two. Engaging without being revolutionary, Era knows its craft and audience alike, and offers one to the other without pretense or presumption. It’s rock for rockers, but what’s wrong with that?

Maya Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Cave of Swimmers, Aurora

cave of swimmers aurora

An awaited first long-player from Miami duo Cave of Swimmers — vocalist/guitarist/synthesist Guillermo Gonzalez and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Arturo Garcia — packages epic metal in tight-knit bursts of heavy rock tonality. Choruses in “The Sun” and “Double Rainbow” are grand affairs not because their tones are so huge, but because of the melodies that top them, and at the same time, with riffs at the forefront of the verses, the duo make progressive shifts sound classic in the vein of Iron Maiden or Dio with a still-prevailing fuzzy topcoat. Centerpiece “My Human” is a love song that slams, while “Looking Glass” leans deeper into prog metal but brings the listener along with a another sweeping hook, a pattern of tension and release that carries over to “Dirt” as well, which leaves “C.S” to close out with its “Sign of the Southern Cross” keyboard-and-harmonies intro en route to a poised but still thrashing finish. There’s life in heavy metal, and here it is.

Cave of Swimmers on Thee Facebooks

Broomtune Records website

 

Blind Monarch, What is Imposed Must Be Endured

blind monarch what is imposed must be endured

Straight out of Sheffield, UK, Blind Monarch first released their What is Imposed Must Be Endured four-song/56-minute full-length on Black Bow Records in 2020 and it’s been picked up for a 2LP vinyl pressing by Dry Cough Records. There’s something to be said for splitting up these tracks each onto its own side, making the whole release more manageable despite getting up to do a side or platter flip, but any way you go, “Suffering Breathes My Name” (13:45), “My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb” (10:47), “Blind Monarch” (14:10) and closer “Living Altar” (17:54) are geared toward sharp-toothed death-sludge consumption, extreme in thought and deed. Feedback is strewn about the place like so much flayed skin, and even in the quiet moments at the start and laced into “Living Altar,” the atmosphere remains oppressive. Yet, endure one must. Blind Monarch, even among the UK’s ultra-packed underground, are a standout in how maddeningly heavy they manage to be, and on their debut outing, no less. If you missed it last year, be ready to pay extra for shipping.

Blind Monarch on Thee Facebooks

Dry Cough Records website

Black Bow Records webstore

 

Cancervo, 1

cancervo 1

Each track on Italian instrumentalist trio Cancervo‘s debut album, titled simply 1, is intended to represent an area near their home in the mountainous region of Lombardy, Italy. Their tones are duly thick, their presentation patient and their cast is broad in terms of its landscape. From “Averara,” one might see kilometers, in other words. Whether or not you’re familiar with Cancervo‘s locale, their tonal warmth and heavy psychedelic expanse resonates immersively, letting each of the two sides develop on its own from the beginnings in “Cancervo” and “Darco,” both the longest cuts on their respective halves. The fuller fuzz of “SWLABR” and the punch of bass that accompanies the tom hits on closer “1987” are subtle shifts emblematic of Cancervo‘s creative progression getting underway, and the task to which they set themselves — portraying place in sound — is no less admirable than their accomplishment of same would see to be. I’ve never been there, so can’t confirm 100 percent if that’s what it sounds like, but in repeat listens, I’m happy to take the band’s word (or riffs) for it.

Cancervo on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Sahara, The Curse

sahara the curse

Its four cuts run 17 minutes with the last of them an instrumental title-track that’s under three, but I don’t care — the entire thing is so righteously raw and garage nasty that I’m on board with however much Argentina’s Sahara want to bring to The Curse. “Gallows Noose” sounds like it was taped, and then re-taped, and then re-taped again before finally being pressed (to tape), and there’s no mistaking that’s an aesthetic choice on the part of the band, who probably have phones that could make something with clearer audio, but the in-room demo feel of “Hell on Earth” and “Altar of Sacrifice,” the rootsy metal-of-doom feel of it hits on its own level. Sometimes you just want something that comes across barebones and mean, and that’s what The Curse does. Call it retro, call it unproduced, call it whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. Sahara (bring looks that) kill it on that Sabbath-worshiping altar and sound dirt-coated all the while, making everything everything else in the universe seem more complicated than it needs to be.

Sahara on Thee Facebooks

Helter Skelter Productions website

 

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Josiah to Reissue Out of the First Rays EP on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Josiah this cover on Instagram yesterday and I had the feeling something was up. It’s been 20 years since the UK heavy fuzzbringers made their debut with the Out of the First Rays EP, and today comes word that a Heavy Psych Sounds reissue of same will be out June 11 with preorders up now. It’s been kind of apparent something’s up with the long-defunct outfit, who broke up in 2009 as guitarist/vocalist Mathew Benthancourt pursued garage psych with subsequent outfit Cherry Choke, since they’re essentially new to current social media and their Bandcamp lists them as reactivated as of last year.

Does that mean new material? Maybe. In the meantime, it means this reissue, and if this is the first of several — certainly their 2002 self-titled and 2004’s No Time and 2007’s No Time are nothing if not ripe for a look from the post-Facebook generation of rockers — then all the better. If there’s a record to come, it’ll come. Let them remind people who they are first.

Bottom line is this is a killer band and good news any way you look at it.

From the PR wire:

josiah out of the first rays

Heavy Psych Sounds to announce JOSIAH repress of the debut EP Out Of The First Rays – presale starts TODAY!!!

Today we are extremely proud to start the presale of the JOSIAH legendary debut and sold-out EP Out Of The First Rays!!!

ALBUM PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS171

USA PRESALE:
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop-usa.htm#HPS171

20 years on and Out Of The First Rays is still as powerful today. As the band rip straight into “Head On” it’s clear that Josiah wanted to take heavy rock back to it’s opiate drenched roots. Psychedelic lyrics sung with soul and the heavy as fuck grooves laid down across this release owe a debt to Black Sabbath and Monster Magnet.

“Malpaso” quickly became the bands signature track (featuring on film soundtracks and TV shows) with its pulsating riffs and trippy middle section and “Spacequake” makes you start to think there must be something in the midlands water supply, as Bethancourt echoes Ozzy with “come take my hand my child” and the Iommi styled guitar hooks kick you straight in the gut. “Sweet Smoke” kicks off side B with its Cactus meets Grand Funk early 70’s rock vibes. The sonic interplay between the power trio, back the vocals up for this anthem to a burning earth – “Let the flames just take you higher”.

The 10 minute closer “Black Maria” with its psychedelic twin vocals and one of the heaviest riffs you’ll hear this side of dead, gives way to uptempo bass grooves and a wah drenched lead break. Take another sip of the electric kool-aid baby, before we “slide down the cosmos” and fall into the big black sleep.

It’s the year 2000 – the world did not end, Uncle Acid, Graveyard and Kadavar are nothing but twinkles in Satan’s eye – and Josiah are about to come together to make something very heavy happen. From the beating heart of the UK, Mathew Bethancourt, Sie Beasley and Chris Jones laid down a dark sound, laced with acid and fuelled by Bethancourts heavy fuzz-wah guitar playing. Early live shows with the likes of Nebula, Zen Guerilla, Atomic Bitchwax and more, unleashed the loud, full stack, heavy psych rock experience of Josiah.

The group quickly rose to prominence on the UK scene with heavy touring and in June 2001 released their debut record Out Of The First Rays via Cargo Records. The quick to sell out 10″ EP’s killer cut “Malpaso” was aired by Marianne Hobbs on the Radio One Rock Show and Metal Hammer included “Spacequake” on their best new UK bands compilation CD.

RELEASED IN
15 ULTRA LTD TEST PRESS VINYL
150 ULTRA LTD SIDE A/SIDE B WHITE-YELLOW-RED VINYL
300 LTD RED VINYL
BLACK VINYL

PRESALE STARTS: MARCH 25th

RELEASE DATE: JUNE 11th

TRACKLIST
Head On
Malpaso
Spacequake
Sweet Smoke
Black Maria

JOSIAH is
Mathew Bethancourt – vocals & guitar
Sie Beasley – bass & vocals
Chris Jones – drums

https://www.instagram.com/josiah_rock_uk/
https://josiah-rock-uk.bandcamp.com/
heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com
www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

Josiah, “Black Maria” from Josiah

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Cult of Dom Keller Set May 21 Release for They Carried the Dead in a U.F.O

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

cult of dom keller

Yes I’m stoked there’s a new Cult of Dom Keller and that part of you that’s an unrepentant weirdo should be as well, but I can’t help but look at the title of said album, They Carried the Dead in a U.F.O, and want to put a period after the ‘o’ in UFO or otherwise forget the punctuation altogether. I know that’s a dopey thing to hone in on when I should probably be hyping up the album — because, yes, a fifth Cult of Dom Keller LP is an exciting prospect and I can only wonder at the marvels they might’ve conjured up last year when they were writing in pandemic-mandated isolation — but I’m an editor by trade and my eye goes right there every time.

Does it ultimately matter? Nah. Might be a UK English convention for all I know. What matters is the record, which is up for preorder now from Fuzz Club and Levitation in the US, and the fact that they’re streaming the tumultuous album closer “Last King of Hell” now ahead of the release. As a next step in the four-piece’s continual anti-genre becoming, it holds much promise in its build and stately-if-the-state-is-in-another-dimension payoff.

Art, info, audio. You know how this goes:

cult of dom keller they carried the dead in a ufo

CULT OF DOM KELLER – “THEY CARRIED THE DEAD IN A U.F.O”

Cult of Dom Keller will release their fifth album, ‘They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O’, on May 21st via Fuzz Club Records. Since 2007 the British band have been leaving a trail of sonic fever dreams, dark psychedelia and experimentalism that beats with a heavy industrial heart and the forthcoming LP sees them conjuring their heaviest and most adventurous work to date.

Channelling recent limitations and turning them to their advantage, Cult of Dom Keller found themselves radically altering their creative approach and morphing their sound into a whole new beast.

Detailing the ‘They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O’ LP, the band said: “We managed to create our most experimental and exciting album to date without being in the same room together. U.F.O. was recorded, mixed and produced by ourselves, meaning we had total control over every noise on the record. This was the exact record we wanted to make: Experimental and playful; moments of light and pure dark… we wanted to f*ck with the listener and pull them in with moments of beauty and chaos.”

Opening track ‘Run From The Gullskinna’ demonstrates this duality straight off the bat. It contrasts bittersweet shoegaze melodies with a motorik rhythm section that drives the song into a nightmarish finale at a breakneck pace. There’s also the abrasive psychedelia of ‘Infernal Heads’ (which the band describe as a “twisted pop song” at heart) and the more cinematic and slow-burning ‘Cage The Masters’, an engrossing track which feels as cathartic as the title imagines.

‘They Carried The Dead In The U.F.O’ is littered with the band’s heaviest work to date and it’s here where we really see them throw themselves into their new direction with unapologetic intent. Taking its name from the Greek goddess of rage, ‘Lyssa’ is an outpouring of discordant, industrial noise-rock that’s centred around dissonant guitars, explosive walls of sound and unsettling electronics: “With ‘Lyssa’ we wanted to make a track that channelled that discontent currently being felt across the world. It’s about dissonance, anger and how misdirection and misinformation is used to control and weaponise people against their own interests.”

Cult of Dom Keller have long been at the forefront of the contemporary British psych scene but their notorious reputation also extends much further afield too. They’ve done several tours around the UK, Europe and US and shared the stage with greats like Roky Erickson, Spectrum, Silver Apples and The Sisters of Mercy, as well as contemporaries like The Black Angels, Fat White Family and Temples (they even had fellow Nottingham troublemakers Sleaford Mods support them in the early days.)

‘They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O’ arrives off the back of last year’s mostly-instrumental ‘Ascend!’ LP and their third full-length ‘Goodbye To The Light’, released back in 2016. Fierce experimentalists, no Cult of Dom Keller record has ever sounded the same (to quote the band: “Who wants to make the same record twice? We just do what the f*ck we feel like making”) and the forthcoming ‘They Carried The Dead In A U.F.O’ is by no different. Here, the experimental onslaught that ensues is not only another new direction but their best one yet.

European Preorder here: https://fuzzclub.com/products/cult-of-dom-keller-they-carried-the-dead-in-a-u-f-o

US preorder: https://shop.levitation-austin.com/products/cult-of-dom-keller-they-carried-the-dead-in-a-u-f-o

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Cult of Dom Keller, “Last King of Hell”

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