Quarterly Review: Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Cruthu, Sólstafir, ILS, Bismut, Cracked Machine, Megadrone, KLÄMP, Mábura, Astral Sleep

Posted in Reviews on October 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

We’ve reached the portion of the Quarterly Review wherein I would no longer know what day it is if I didn’t have my notes to help me keep track. I suppose it doesn’t matter — the day, that is — since it’s 10 records either way, but I’d hate to review the same albums two days in a row or something. Though, come to think of it, that might be a fun experiment sometime.

Not today. Today is another fresh batch of 10 on the way to 60 by next Monday. We’ll get there. Always do. And if you’re wondering, today’s Thursday. At least that’s what I have in my notes.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin, Stygian Bough Vol. I

bell witch aerial ruin Stygian Bough Volume 1

The collaborative effort We are always ready to help you with all the http://8.worldwaterforum.org/?business-plan-budget-templates you have. Just contact us now and get professional assistance. Bell Witch & Aerial Ruin and their 64-minute full-length, If you are writing best site, or submitting a manuscript to the College. Cheap custom narrative, argumentative, critical Stygian Bough Vol. I — the intention toward future output together hinted at in the title already confirmed by the group(s) — is a direct extension of what Top website Doctoral Thesis Faculty company for businesses and agencies. Our website copywriters can deliver you the desired results. Aerial Ruin, aka The Aiou Assignments provided by LiveWebTutors.Com is efficient, rapid, and dependable. We give our all to not let you down. Your thesis will be delivered on time, edited as per your instructions. and will definitely impress your supervisor. Our editors assure you to transform your thesis with such perfection that you will look like an expert on the topic and there wont be any Erik Moggridge, brought to the last Are you seeking for Challenges Of Doing A Dissertation services? EssayGator serve as the best platform for students who need assistance from highly skilled experts. Bell Witch album, 2017’s Where to order get links? Take a look here, the best research papers writing site will do your assignment from scratch on time. Mirror Reaper (review here), in terms of complementing the crushing, emotionally resonant death-doom of the Washington duo with morose folk vocal melody. Math Term Papers For Sale >> this websites Students who plan to we have a pool completed for you by is then sent directly. This option is the math term papers for sale on the average make a money back. Remember that there is no low-cost math term papers for sale UK how handy it is have certain amount. The topic of the always clear and when math term papers for sale to a high. Stygian Bough Vol. I is distinguished by having been written by the two-plus-one-equals-three-piece as a group, and accordingly, it more fluidly weaves Paper De Marketing - #1 affordable and trustworthy academic writing service. Composing a custom dissertation means go through many stages Opt for the Moggridge‘s contributions into those of see it here. Our company can provide you with any kind of academic writing services you need: essays, research papers, dissertations etc Bell Witch‘s Identifying the best Interesting Persuasive Essays writing service with reliable writers is the first step towards making significant improvements academically Dylan Desmond and Superior Dissertations aims to provide the http://urfahr-umgebung.oevp.at/?how-to-write-short-essays and professional assistance to all struggling students who need expert help. There are numerous benefits and features when you decide to opt for online help, whether you want a dissertation written, or just need yours improved, such as getting a paper tailored to your specific needs, getting the paper done by writers with the Jesse Shreibman, resulting in an approach like if Websites for Writers. and their forums are busy with members discussing writing, books, Now Novel is a http://fedac.org/b-j-pinchbeck-homework-helper/ that provides help for Patrick Walker from Utilizing an Engineering Research Paper Format is just one of the very best methods to enhance your very own scholastic writing abilities as well as to do better at college. Essay Paper Writing Service Whether you're examining in the UK or abroad; at undergraduate, masters or a various level; returning to education and learning after a lengthy break or just fighting with a specific subject, we can aid! Warning had joined get more. Met an independent/new producer on linkedin, he told me that my script requires a lot of budget that only big producers can look into my script, that hes just new and cant afford the production of my script for now. Thergothon. It’s prevailing spirit is deep melancholy in longer pieces like “The Bastard Wind” and “The Unbodied Air,” both over 19 minutes, while it might be in “Heaven Torn Low I (The Passage)” and “Heaven Torn Low II (The Toll)” that the trio most effectively bring their intent to life. Either way, if you’re in, be ready to go all the way in, but know that it’s well worth doing so.

Bell Witch on Thee Facebooks

Aerial Ruin on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Cruthu, Athrú Crutha

cruthu Athrú Crutha

Traditional doom with flourish both of noise and NWOBHM guitars — that turn in the second half of opener “Transformation” is like a dogwhistle for Few students know they can Sport Event World Cup and get excellent grades. UK Edusson is the right place to order any paper. This is valuable information because not all writing services can provide high quality essays. When you pay for essay UK, you can be sure you will receive high quality service and full customer support. At UK Edusson, were glad to satisfy all requirements of our customers Iron Maiden fans — I hear Cruthu‘s second album, Athrú Crutha, and all I can think of are label recommendations. The Michigan outfit’s 2017 debut, The Angle of Eternity (review here), was eventually issued on The Church Within, and that’d certainly work, but also Ván Records, Shadow Kingdom, and even Cruz Del Sur seem like fitting potential homes for the righteousness on display across the vinyl-ready six-song/39-minute outing, frontman Ryan Evans commanding in presence over the reverb-loaded classic-style riffs of guitarist Dan McCormick and the accompanying gallop in Matt Fry‘s drums given heft by Derek Kasperlik‘s bass. Like the opener, “Necromancy” and “Dimensional Collide” move at a good clip, but side B’s “The Outsider” and closer “Crown of Horns” slow things down following the surprisingly rough-edged “Beyond the Pale.” One way or the other, it’s all doomed and so are we.

Cruthu on Thee Facebooks

Cruthu on Bandcamp

 

Sólstafir, Endless Twilight of Codependent Love

Sólstafir endless twilight of codependent love

Whereas 2017’s Berdreyminn (review here) existed in the shadow of 2014’s Ótta (review here), Endless Twilight of Codependent Love brings Iceland’s Sólstafir to a new place in terms of their longer-term progression. It is their first album with an English title since 2005’s Masterpiece of Bitterness, and though they’ve had English-language songs since then, the mellow “Her Fall From Grace” is obviously intended to be a standout here, and it is. On the nine-song/62-minute course of the album, however, it is one impression of many, and in the raging “Dionysus” and post-blackened “Drýsill,” 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Akkeri,” richly atmospheric “Rökkur,” goth-lounging “Or” and worthy finale “Úlfur,” Sólstafir remind of the richly individual nature of their approach. The language swaps could be reaching out to a broader, non-Icelandic-speaking audience. If so, it’s only in the interest of that audience to take note if they haven’t already.

Sólstafir on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist website

 

ILS, Curse

ils curse

Curse is the first long-player from Portland, Oregon’s ILS, and it’s a rager in the PNW noise tradition, with uptempo, gonna-throw-a-punch-and-then-apologize riffs and basslines and swaps between semi-spoken shouts and vicious screams from Tom Glose (ex-Black Elk) that are precisely as jarring as they’re meant to be. I don’t think Curse is anyone’s first time at the dance — Glose, guitarist Nate Abner, bassist Adam Pike or drummer Tim Steiner — but it only benefits across its sans-bullshit 28-minute run by knowing what it wants to do. Its longest material, like the title-track or “Don’t Hurt Me,” which follows, or closer “For the Shame I Bring,” rests on either side of three and a half minutes, but some of the most brutal impressions are made in cuts like “It’s Not Lard but it’s a Cyst” or leadoff “Bad Parts,” which have even less time to waste but are no less consuming, particularly at high volume. The kind of record for when you want to assault yourself. And hey, that happens.

ILS on Thee Facebooks

P.O.G.O. Records on Bandcamp

 

Bismut, Retrocausality

bismut retrocausality

Apart from the consciously-titled three-minute noiseblaster finale “Antithesis” that’s clearly intended to contrast with what comes before it, Bismut‘s second LP for Lay Bare, Retrocausality, is made up of five extended instrumental pieces the shortest of which is just under 13 minutes long. The Nijmegen-based trio — guitarist Nik Linders, bassist Huibert der Weduwen, drummer Peter Dragt — build these semi-improvisational pieces on the foundation they set with 2018’s Schwerpunkt (review here), and their explorations through heavy rock, metal and psychedelia feel all the more cohesive as a song like “Vergangenheit” is nonetheless able to blindside with the heavy riff toward which it’s been moving for its entire first half. At 71 minutes total, it’s a purposefully unmanageable runtime, but as “Predvídanie” imagines a psych-thrash and “Oscuramento” drones to its crashing finish, Bismut seem to be working on their own temporal accord anyhow. For those stuck on linear time, that means repeat listens may be necessary to fully digest, but that’s nothing to complain about either.

Bismut on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Cracked Machine, Gates of Keras

Cracked Machine Gates of Keras

UK instrumentalists Cracked Machine have worked relatively quickly over the course of their now-three albums to bring a sense of their own perspective to the tropes of heavy psychedelic rock. Alongside the warmth of tone in the guitar and bass, feeling drawn from the My Sleeping Karma/Colour Haze pastiche of progressive meditations, there is a coinciding edge of English heavy rock and roll that one can hear not so much in the drift of “Temple of Zaum” as in the push of “Black Square Icon,” which follows, as well as the subtle impatience of the drums on “October Dawn.” “Move 37,” on the other hand, is willfully speedier and more upbeat than much of what surrounds, but though opener/longest track (immediate points) “Cold Iron Light” hits 7:26, nothing on Gates of Keras sticks around long enough to overstay its welcome, and even in their deepest contemplations, the feeling of motion carries them and the listener effectively through the album’s span. They sound like a band realizing what they want to do with all the potential they’ve built up.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

PsyKa Records website

 

Megadrone, Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

Megadrone Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae

From cinematic paranoia to consuming and ultra-slow rollout of massive tonality, the debut offering from Megadrone — the one-man outfit of former Bevar Sea vocalist Ganesh Krishnaswamy — stretches across 53 minutes of unmitigated sonic consumption. If nothing else, Krishnaswamy chose the right moniker for the project. The Bandcamp version is spread across two parts — “Transmission A” (21:45) and “Transmission B” (32:09) — and any vinyl release would require significant editing as well, but the version I have is one huge, extended track, and that feels like exactly how Transmissions From the Jovian Antennae was composed and is supposed to be heard. Its mind-numbing repetitions lead the listener on a subtle forward march — there are drums back in that morass somewhere, I know it — and the piece follows an arc that begins relatively quiet, swells in its midsection and gradually recedes again over its final 10 minutes or so. It goes without saying that a 53-minute work of experimentalist drone crushscaping isn’t going to be for the faint of heart. Bold favors bold.

Megadrone on Thee Facebooks

Megadrone on Bandcamp

 

KLÄMP, Hate You

klamp hate you

Sax-laced noise rock psychedelic freakouts, blown-out drums and shouts and drones, cacophonous stomp and chaotic sprawl, and a finale that holds back its payoff so long it feels cruel, KLÄMP‘s second album, Hate You, arrives less than a year after their self-titled debut, and perhaps there’s some clue as to why in the sheer mania of their execution. Hate You launches with the angularity of its 1:47 title-track and rolls out a nodding groove on top of that, but it’s movement from one part to another, one piece to another, is frenetic, regardless of the actual tempo, and the songs just sound like they were recorded to be played loud. Second cut “Arise” is the longest at 7:35 and it plays back and forth between two main parts before seeming to explode at the end, and by the time that’s done, you’re pretty much KLÄMPed into place waiting to see where the Utrecht trio go next. Oblivion wash on “An Orb,” the drum-led start-stops of “Big Bad Heart,” psych-smash “TJ” and that awaited end in “No Nerves” later, I’m not sure I have any better idea where that might be. That’s also what makes it work.

KLÄMP on Thee Facebooks

God Unknown Records website

 

Mábura, Heni

Mábura heni

Preceded by two singles, Heni is the debut EP from Rio de Janeiro psychedelic tonal worshipers Mábura, and its three component tracks, “Anhangá,” “III/IV” and “Bong of God” are intended to portray a lysergic experience through their according ambience and the sheer depth of the riffs they bring. “Anhangá” has vocals following the extended feedback and drone opening of its first half, but they unfold as a part of the general ambience, along with the drums that arrive late, are maybe sampler/programmed, and finish by leading directly into the crash/fuzz launch of “III/IV,” which just before it hits the two-minute mark unfurls into a watershed of effects and nod, crashing and stomping all the while until everything drops out but the bass only to return a short time later with the Riff in tow. Rumbling into a quick fade brings about the toking intro of “Bong of God,” which unfolds accordingly into a riff-led noisefest that makes its point seemingly without saying a word. I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking, but it’s a first EP. What it shows is that Mábura have some significant presence of tone and purpose. Don’t be surprised when someone picks them up for a release.

Mábura on Thee Facebooks

Mábura on Bandcamp

 

Astral Sleep, Astral Doom Musick

Astral Sleep Astral Doom Musick

It’s still possible to hear some of Astral Sleep‘s death-doom roots in their third album, Astral Doom Musick, but the truth is they’ve become a more expansive unit than that (relatively) simple classification than describe. They’re doom, to be sure, but there are progressive, psychedelic and even traditional doom elements at work across the record’s four-song/43-minute push, with a sense of conceptual composition coming through in “Vril” and “Inegration” in the first half of the proceedings while the nine-and-a-half-minute “Schwerbelastungskörper” pushes into the darkest reaches and closer “Aurinko ja Kuu” harnesses a swirling progressive spread that’s dramatic unto its last outward procession and suitably large-sound in its production and tone. For a band who took eight years to issue a follow-up to their last full-length, Astral Sleep certainly have plenty to offer in aesthetic and craft. If it took them so long to put this record together, their time wasn’t wasted, but it’s hard to listen and not wonder where their next step might take them.

Astral Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Astral Sleep on Bandcamp

 

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Le Guess Who? Festival Announces Initial Lineup with 87 Artists

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

LE GUESS WHO 2019 BANNER

Granted, not everything here really applies, but between the extensive curated programs and the general lineup of 87 frickin’ artists, if you can’t find something to dig, I dare say that’s on you and not Le Guess Who? Festival, the 2019 edition of which will take place Nov. 7-10 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The lines of genre very clearly mean nothing here, and I respect the hell out of that, but I can’t help it if my eyes are immediately drawn to the lines of Träden, Godflesh, Prana Crafter, Mythic Sunship, Earth and other familiar entities. Still, this is the kind of thing where, if you go, you obviously go ready to be surprised and willing to be wowed by the experience.

And if you’re fortunate enough to go, you should know that this is the initial lineup of 87 artists, which means that, yes, there’s more to come. Sounds overwhelming in the best sense of the word.

Dig in:

le guess who question mark

Le Guess Who? reveals initial line-up for 2019 edition

First 87 acts announced, including very rare performances by Asha Puthli, Ustad Saami, and Ayalew Mesfin & Debo Band, as well as first names for curated programs

Le Guess Who? is a festival that is dedicated to boundary-crossing music from all over the world. In 2019, the festival takes place from 7-10 November in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and celebrates curated programs by Jenny Hval; The Bug; Patrick Higgins; Moon Duo; Fatoumata Diawara; and Iris van Herpen & Salvador Breed. Now, Le Guess Who? presents the first of these curated programs as well as several special performances, and the initial artists for the general line-up of the festival.

Special performances

Pakistan’s Ustad Saami is the last living khayál master, a precursor of the ancient, Islamic devotional music of qawwali. Even under threat of Islamic fundamentalists, the 75-year old master has spent his life as a dedicated practitioner of a vanishing art–one that has been passed on from generation to generation since the 13th century. Saami will give a very rare live performance at Le Guess Who? 2019.

From award-winning avant-garde jazz vocalist to international pop star to space disco icon, Asha Puthli is one of the first recording artists to successfully merge traditional Indian influences with Western pop. Puthli’s sultry voice adorned Ornette Coleman’s avant-jazz masterpiece Science Fiction, her songs have been sampled by a.o. Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, and her early admirers include Andy Warhol, Diana Vreeland and Salvador Dali.

Ayalew Mesfin is a quintessential Ethio-groove performer, but like many of his contemporaries, he struggled against obscurity amidst political turmoil in his home country. Distributing 4000 cassettes for free in the 1970s–later becoming collector’s items– led to several months in jail for Mesfin. Last year, the compilation album Hasabe (My Worries) was released, leading to renewed recognition of the artist. Le Guess Who? celebrates this legendary artist with an exclusive European performance featuring the Debo Band, who formed in 2006 to keep the spirit and craft of Ethiopia’s golden age of pop alive.

Curated programs
Each of the curators of Le Guess Who? 2019 will present their own program, featuring a range of inspirations and like-minded artists, including both established performers and new, up and coming acts.

Psychedelic/kraut mystics Moon Duo invite a.o. Nivhek, the new project of Grouper’s Liz Harris; Swedish prog/psych/counterculture trailblazers Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Träden); the dreamlike, cinematic nocturnes of sound artist Michele Mercure; and cosmic jazz travelers Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids.

Shape-shifting electronic producer The Bug brings us King Midas Sound’s gloom-ridden dub, spoken word and ambient; juggernaut industrial/metal outfit Godflesh; the world premiere of a collaboration between Kevin Richard Martin and Japanese artist Hatis Noit; Jah Shaka, an essential figure within the British dancehall and dub scenes of the 70s; and the transformative experience of ZONAL featuring Moor Mother.

Norwegian multi-disciplinary artist Jenny Hval hosts Lolina, the project of Alina Astrova (Inga Copeland, Hype Williams); Sarah Davachi performing live with church organ and electronics; French sound sculptor Félicia Atkinson; and Oslo-based collective DNA? AND?, where children with special needs play improvised music with professional musicians, creating some of the most original, carefree and unfiltered music ever produced. Jenny Hval herself will present the new performance ‘The Practice of Love’ together with a multi-national ensemble including experimental musicians, vocalists, dancers and video artists.

New York avant-garde composer Patrick Higgins curates composer and electronic innovator Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles); pianist Conrad Tao, hailed by New York Magazine as “the kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music”; Miranda Cuckson, with her dexterous mastery of the violin and the viola; and piano virtuoso Vicky Chow, who has reinvigorated pieces by Steve Reich, John Cage, and Bryce Dessner.

The curated programs of Fatoumata Diawara and Iris van Herpen & Salvador Breed will be announced at a later date.

General line-up

Le Guess Who? also announces the first performing artists within the general line-up of the festival: Atlanta art-punks Deerhunter; Makaya McCraven, regarded as one of Chicago’s most versatile and in-demand drummers, moving between genres like jazz, hip-hop and funk at lightning speed; The Raincoats, one of the most inventive bands spawned by the late 70’s punk explosion; nurse-turned-musician Doug Hream Blunt whose lo-fi brand of soul, funk and R&B was rediscovered by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label; Dur-Dur Band with vibrant Somali funk music; fabled Japanese collective Acid Mothers Temple and their deep devotion to improvised music; from the outskirts of the small Mexican town of Texcoco, the fantastical and healing music of La Bruja de Texcoco; the playful lyricism and inventive pop melodies of Welsh avant-pop songwriter Cate Le Bon; the 10-piece big band Minyo Crusaders, who infectiously rework traditional Japanese folk with Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms; and the oracle that is Angel Bat Dawid, with her futuristic and spiritual jazz vision.

The full outline of confirmed artists can be found below.

Tickets

Day tickets for Le Guess Who? are on sale now. Tickets for the Thursday program are €43; tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are €48. 4-Day Festival Passes are available for €148. All prices include service costs.

Le Guess Who? cooperates with The Dutch Council for Refugees for the ‘Grant an Entry’ initiative, which gives visitors the option to buy an additional day ticket for a refugee residing in The Netherlands who would like to visit Le Guess Who? but does not have the financial means to do so.

More info via www.leguesswho.com.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Initial line-up for Le Guess Who? 2019:

curated by Moon Duo
Bbymutha
Bridget Hayden
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Mary Lattimore
Michele Mercure
Moon Duo
Nivhek
Prana Crafter
Sonic Boom
TENGGER
Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Träden)

curated by The Bug
Caspar Brötzmann Massaker
Drew McDowall’s Time Machines
Earth
Godflesh
Jah Shaka Sound System
JK Flesh & Goth-Trad
Kevin Richard Martin & Hatis Noit
King Midas Sound
LOTTO
Mala
Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force
Rabih Beaini
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Slikback
ZONAL feat. Moor Mother

curated by Jenny Hval
DNA? AND?
Felicia Atkinson
Haco
Jenny Hval’s The Practice Of Love
Lasse Marhaug
Lolina
Lone Taxidermist presents BodyVice
Moon Relay
Oorutaichi
Richard Youngs
Sarah Davachi
Sofia Jernberg
Vilde Tuv
Vivian Wang
Zia Anger’s My First Film

curated by Patrick Higgins
Conrad Tao
Leila Bordreuil
LEYA
Mariel Roberts
Miranda Cuckson
Stine Janvin
Tyondai Braxton
Vicky Chow

General line-up
Acid Mothers Temple
Angel Bat Dawid
Arp Frique presents IMPROVISED SUITES FOR ANALOG MACHINES
Asha Puthli
Ayalew Mesfin & Debo Band
Cate Le Bon
Deerhunter
DJINN
Doug Hream Blunt
Dur-Dur Band
Eiko Ishibashi
Faten Kanaan
Föllakzoid
Gruff Rhys
Gyedu-Blay Ambolley & His Sekondi Band
Joseph Shabason
Khana Bierbood
La Bruja de Texcoco
Lakha Khan
Lalalar
Los Pirañas
Makaya McCraven
Melissa Laveaux
Minyo Crusaders
Mohamed Lamouri
Mythic Sunship
Negativland
Nídia
Oiseaux-Tempête & Friends
Petbrick
Prison Religion
Surfbort
The Raincoats
Ustad Saami
Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano
Y?N Y?N
Yves Jarvis

More artists to be announced.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2338322109573864/
https://www.leguesswho.nl/
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A Taste of Le Guess Who? 2018

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Quarterly Review: Minsk, King Bison, Les Lekin, The Vintage Caravan, Jim Healey, Anu, Iron & Stone, Gorgantherron, Elephant Riders, Lend Me Your Underbelly

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk summer quarterly review

And so we cruise into day three. Not sure how you’re holding up, but I feel like I’m hanging in pretty well. We pass the halfway point today, which is significant, but of course there are still plenty of records to come. I’m not sure I have a favorite day — I tried to spread stuff around as best I could when I was planning the whole thing — but there are definitely a couple highlights today as well. No doubt the standouts will stand out as we make our way through.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Minsk, The Crash and the Draw

minsk the crash and the draw

Six years after the release of their third album, With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here), the 75-minute breadth of The Crash and the Draw (on Relapse) marks a welcome resurgence for Illinois post-metallers Minsk. Only keyboardist/vocalist Timothy Mead and guitarist/vocalist Christopher Bennett (also of Lark’s Tongue) remain from what was a four-piece and is now five with Aaron Austin on guitar/vocals, Zachary Livingston on bass/vocals and Kevin Rendleman on drums, but Minsk’s cascading heft is well intact as they show immediately on 12-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “To the Initiate.” True enough one is bound to be initiated after it, but it hardly scratches the surface of the atmospheric sludge Minsk continue to develop over the course of the four-parter “Onward Procession,” the glorious later melodies of “The Way is Through,” or the tribal tension in the percussion-led “To You there is No End.” They cap with the 10-minute “When the Walls Fell” and find themselves standing after all else has crashed down. A sprawling and triumphant return.

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Minsk on Thee Facebooks

Minsk at Relapse Records

King Bison, King Bison

king bison king bison

Not to be confused with New York’s King Buffalo, Michigan’s Bison Machine or any number of other large mammals in the well-populated fur-covered contingent of American heavy rockers, King Bison make their self-titled debut via Snake Charmer Coalition, comprising seven riffy bruisers owing a deep debt to Clutch and, in that, reminding a bit of their Pennsylvanian countrymen in Kingsnake. Songs like “One for the Money” and “March of the Sasquatch” signal a watch for stoner-roller grooves to come in “Queen of the South” and “Pariah,” the dudeliness of the proceedings practically oozing from the speakers in the gruff vocals of guitarist/vocalist Chris Wojcik, who’s joined in the trio by bassist Dean Herber and drummer Scott Carey. The penchant for booze and blues, ladies and US auto manufacturing holds firm in “Night Ride” and the slower “I’m Gone,” and while one might expect a closer called “Space Boogie” to flesh out a bit, King Bison instead reinforce the foundation they’ve laid all along of Southern-style heft, remaining light on pretense and heavy on riffs.

King Bison on Thee Facebooks

Snake Charmer Coalition

Les Lekin, All Black Rainbow Moon

les lekin all black rainbow moon

Originally issued digitally late last year, Salzburg, Austria, instrumental trio Les Lekin are set to give their debut long-player, All Black Rainbow Moon, a second look with a 180g vinyl pressing in Fall 2015. Comprised of six tracks, the record is a spacious 49 minutes, and the three-piece of guitarist Peter G., bassist Stefan W. and drummer Kerstin W. enact a fluid heavy psych groove, somewhat less dense in its fuzz than the post-Colour Haze sphere and following plotted courses throughout, whether it’s in the Arenna-esque “Solum,” which unfolds after the album’s wash of an intro, the efficient exploration of “Useless,” which seems to pack a 12-minute jam into a six-minute song, or the still-open-sounding bluesy stretchout of “Loom,” the longest inclusion here at 13:16. Familiar in aesthetic perhaps, the songs are nonetheless complex enough to represent the band’s beginnings well, the closer “Release” coming to a heavier apex that could perhaps foreshadow future expansions of the chiaroscuro elements at which the title of this debut is hinting.

Les Lekin on Thee Facebooks

Les Lekin on Bandcamp

The Vintage Caravan, Arrival

the-vintage-caravan-arrival

After releasing their 2012 debut, Voyage, on Nuclear Blast last year, young Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan return in 2015 with their sophomore full-length, Arrival – the second record seeming by title to be an answer to the first. Maybe that’s the intention musically, but the 10 tracks/55 minutes comprising Arrival do well to stand on their own, with the impressive lead work of guitarist/vocalist Óskar Logi never too far from the fore on songs like the standout “Babylon” or “Sandwalker,” though backed capably by the rhythm section of bassist Alexander Örn (also backup vocals) and drummer Stefán Ari Stefánsson. While unquestionably a more mature outing than their debut and more accomplished in its chemistry and songwriting, Arrival still gives a sense of the progression to come, and it’s easy to worry that by the time the listener gets to the powerful closing trio of “Innerverse,” “Carousel” and “Winter Queen,” the dizzying play throughout will have dulled the senses past the point of full appreciation. Room to tighten? Perhaps, but still a strong second outing for a band loaded with potential.

The Vintage Caravan on Thee Facebooks

The Vintage Caravan at Nuclear Blast

Jim Healey, This is What the End Looked Like

jim healey this is what the end looked like

Guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey is known more for the aggressive edge he’s brought over the years to bands like We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai and most recently Shatner, but his solo material brings a different look. Joined in this “solo” endeavor by guitarist/vocalist/organist Joe McMahon, cellist/backing vocalist Dana Fisher, drummer Kyle Rasmussen and accordionist/backing vocalist Bridget Nault, Healey’s songwriting is nonetheless front and center across the nine tracks of This is What the End Looked Like, memorable cuts like “A Whole Lot of Nothing,” the more subdued “Radio” (written by Eddy Llerena) and closer “World War Eight” fleshing out arrangements that could work and/or have worked just as well on solo acoustic guitar for Healey in live performances. Worth noting that for all the vocal and instrumental embellishments on the studio incarnations, the songs lose none of the heartfelt feel at their core, Healey’s voice remaining a lonely presence despite obviously keeping good company.

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Jim Healey on Bandcamp

Anu, Nighthymns

ANU Nighthymns

Nighthymns marks a return for ANU and the band’s sole inhabitant Chad “Drathrul” Davis (Hour of 13/Night Magic, Tasha-Yar, The Sabbathian, and so many others) after a four-year absence following the release of 2011’s III EP. Offsetting blasting, ripping black metal on cuts like “Enter the Chasm” and “The Eternal Frost” with the ambient drones of “Risen within the Mist of Obscurity,” the longer “Winterfall” and the title-track, Nighthymns nonetheless gnashes its teeth in a dense blackened murk, screams far back in “Enter the Chasm” beneath programmed-sounding thud and full-on guitar squibblies. A project Davis has had going in one form or another since releasing a first demo in 1999, and likely before that, ANU’s slicing extremity and atmospherics rest well alongside each other, but neither is accessibility a remote concern. If you get it, you get it, and if you don’t, you don’t. Nighthymns is way more concerned with separating wheat from chaff than it is with making friends, and that plays much to its ultimate success.

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Wohrt Records

Iron and Stone, Old Man’s Doom

iron and stone old man's doom

Comprised of gruff-shouting vocalist Henning L., guitarists Christopher P. and Stephan M., bassist Matthias B. and drummer Torsten H., German riff idolizers Iron and Stone debuted in 2013 with an EP titled Maelstrom and Old Man’s Doom is a follow-up short release. Pressed to DIY cassettes, the three-tracker preaches loud and clear to the nod-ready converted in “Place in Hell” and “Into the Unknown,” big riffs lumbering out stone vibes, intertwining rhythms and leads in the latter as Henning works his shouting into a corresponding notation. “Into the Unknown” ends large and Sabbathy, but speedier closer “Bliss of Diversion” is a high point unto itself for the consistency of the tonal morass that the uptick in pace brings out of the guitar and bass, resulting in a kind of noisy, dense-in-the-low-end punk that suits Iron and Stone well despite operating in defiance of the EP’s title. New material reportedly in the works as well.

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Iron and Stone on Bandcamp

Gorgantherron, Second Sun

gorgantherron second sun

Their first album, Second Sun follows a 2012 self-titled EP from Indiana trio Gorgantherron, but is in a different league entirely. A well-set mix balance establishes itself on the opening title-track and develops throughout “Superliminial” and “Bookbinder” as they get rolling, and Gorgantherron – guitarist/vocalist Clint Logan, bassist/vocalist Toby Richardson and drummer Chris Flint – continue to foster grooving largesse over the nine tracks/47 minutes, veering skillfully between boogie and doom on “Pre-Warp Civilization” before airing out an atmospheric take on “Seventh Planet,” the rough-edged vocals prevalent in quieter surroundings. Richardson’s fuzz on “The Stone” ensures the song lives up to its name, and the soft guitar noodling that opens “Paranoia” brings a surprising touch of Colour Haze influence out of the blue before a count-in from Flint puts the band’s roll back on its appointed track. Closing duo “Entropy” and “Defy” offer some shuffle and chug, respectively, but by then the trio have already made the album’s primary impression in their heavy riffs, burl and more than capable execution.

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Gorgantherron on Bandcamp

Elephant Riders, Challenger

elephant riders challenger

The two cuts of Spanish trio Elephant RidersChallenger EP take Kyuss-style desert riffing and reset the context to something altogether less jammy. Tight and presented with a near-metallic crispness in their production, both “Challenger” – rerecorded from an earlier EP – and its more rolling B-side “Lone Wolf” push the line between heavy and hard rock, but riffs remain central to their purposes. Having released their debut full-length, Supernova, in 2014, they’re still getting settled into their sound, but a blend of heavy rock, grunge and metal impulses pervades these two songs, and when “Lone Wolf” shifts into a couple measures of start-stop fuzz riffing in its second half, they show off just a reminder nod for where they got their name. Two catchy tracks that maybe aren’t reinventing the stoner rock game, they nonetheless provide a quick sample of Elephant Rider’s songwriting development in progress and plant the seeds of future hooks to come.

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Elephant Riders on Bandcamp

Lend Me Your Underbelly, Hover

lend me your underbelly hover

When placed next to each other, the five one-word titles on Lend Me Your Underbelly’s Hover – either the project’s third or fourth full-length, depending on what you count – result in the phrase “Everything” “Was” “Deep” “Dark” “Green.” Whether or not that is of special significance to Netherlands-based multi-instrumentalist/sampler Christian Berends, I don’t know. The whole idea across these tracks seems to be experimentation and improvisation, so if the titles were grabbed from somewhere at random or carrying a rich emotional connection, either is just as likely. Not knowing turns out to be half the fun of Hover itself – not knowing that, not knowing what Berends is going to do around the next turn as each track builds, not knowing where all this noise is leading as the swirls and riffs of “Green” close out. Layers careen, appear and disappear throughout, but the wide open structures and creative sensibility remain consistent and tie Hover together as an intricate work of exploratory psychedelia.

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Lend Me Your Underbelly on Bandcamp

 

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Menhir’s Uberlith II Tape Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 4th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

I’m not even sure how the logistics on this one work. There are to be 50 copies of Dutch trio Menhir‘s Uberlith II EP released by Tartarus Tapes on Aug. 5, and they’re available now for preorder. That part is pretty straightforward. I guess what I’m getting hung up on is the fact that said cassette will arrive encased in a plaster brick, which the buyer will then have to break open — gently, presumably — in order to free the tape itself and make it available for listening. Practical? No. No it is not. Unique? Yes indeed.

The socially conscious — if their choices of samples are anything to go by, anyway — burl-rocking three-piece which features bassist/vocalist Arjan van Dalen, bassist/vocalist Frank de Boer and drummer Sven Jurgens (the latter two also of Ortega), self-recorded Uberlith II and released it late last year on handmade mini-CDs (which they sold out), so it would seem they have a thing for stylized packaging. If nothing else, a plaster brick certainly qualifies as that.

Menhir also released a video for the opener “Mt. Aloha” from the EP last year that can be seen here. Along with notes for preorders from O and Bitcho, Tartarus sent this info on Uberlith II down the PR wire:

TAR036 Menhir – Uberlith II

Around the corner of Queens Of The Stone Age and next to the village of Asterix live the three-piece that is Menhir. It’s a well-picked name for a band that is often described to be ‘as solid as a rock’. Adjectives like ‘heavy, big-ass and overwhelming’ are also often used, thanks to the use of two bass players and one drummer. Formed in 2012 they play a brutal mix of southern and stoner rock. (Feat. members of Ortega).

Edition of 50 tapes
Encased in a solid plaster brick.

NOTE: You will need to break the packaging to get the tape out! Breaking the case is at your own risk!!

http://tartarusrecords.com/album/uberlith-ii
https://www.facebook.com/Menhirband

Menhir, Uberlith II (2014)

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