The Obelisk Questionnaire: Yianna Bekris of Vouna

Posted in Questionnaire on August 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

vouna

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Yianna Bekris of Vouna

It is hard to confess to yourself that you have no understanding of CPM, let alone confessing to somebody else. Even with, you will spend a lot of time on it. The easiest option is to use an online service that will do your check here for you. It means that you save time, your pride will not suffer, and you will get a good grade for your homework. How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I have a project called Vouna that I use as an outlet for my musical creativity. I compose, perform, and record all Vouna’s music, and in the live lineup I sing and play guitar. I’ve been writing little doomy songs on my own for a long time, just for the hell of it. I decided that it would be something I would share with other people after my former bands went on hiatus and that was the start of Vouna as it is today.

write and essay online Research Paper For Science Fair Project how do i get my seat assignment on southwest write essay for me online Describe your first musical memory.

Driving in the car with my dad while he blasted cassettes that he recorded off the radio in Greece.

Become a published ebook author to leverage the viral power of the web and boost your online lead generation with RightlyWritten's http://www.nordicskiteam.com/?critical-thinking-books-free-download. Describe your best musical memory to date.

I think all the moshing I did while watching death metal bands in my teen years is the reason I’m still alive today.

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I try to be open-minded when presented with empirical evidence and sound arguments. I do think it’s possible there is more than what can be tested empirically but for me empiricism still reigns supreme, and that has yet to be truly challenged for me. Although sometimes the music that comes to me feels like it’s a transmission from another universe.

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In my case, I create art as a compulsion and it often doesn’t feel like it’s leading anywhere aside from me becoming more competent in enacting an impulse.

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There isn’t really a catch-all definition in my opinion, but I usually feel like something is a success because of some feeling of accomplishment or fulfillment or because some quantifiable metrics were satisfied. I’ve found that the feeling of success can be ephemeral or an illusion.

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I’d prefer not to answer this question, I’ve seen some fucked up shit.

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My next album. After a long time of feeling like I was spending too much effort figuring out how to interface with a computer I was able to establish a flow that felt more natural while recording this album, Atropos. I think having a new comfort in the format and manner in which I create music for Vouna will allow me to be more effective in translating whatever is going on in my head to songs.

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“Art makes life worth living.”

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Spending more time in the mountains this summer.

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Vouna, Atropos (2021)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 64

Posted in Radio on July 23rd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

If you’re paying attention at all — and fair enough if you’re not — you had to see this one coming, right? No way I wasn’t going to follow up that massive Quarterly Review with a playlist for The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal. Had to happen. Honestly, I covered enough stuff in that 110-record span that I might do two shows out of it. Have to see what I can pull together for next time.

To answer your next imginary question, yes, it is somewhat bittersweet after two all-Neurosis episodes to be playing anything else. It was bound to happen eventually, some return to normalcy. Such as it is. Fortunately the selections here are killer if I do say so myself, and if you think it’s a coincidence that I reviewed so many albums and this playlist is starting with a cut from the Maha Sohona record, I promise you it is not. That one might’ve been my pick of the whole thing. Also took the excuse to play the Spaceslug track here again, just because it rules and fits that vibe too.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at: http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 07.23.21

Maha Sohona Leaves Endless Searcher
The Crooked Whispers Hail Darkness Dead Moon Night
Filthy Hippies I’m Bugging Out Departures
Paralyzed Golden Days Paralyzed
VT
Alastor The Killer in My Skull Onwards and Downwards
Spelljammer Bellwether Abyssal Trip
Spaceslug The Event Horizon The Event Horizon
Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel Horizon Polaris
VT
Hellish Form Shadows with Teeth Remains
Vouna Grey Sky Atropos
Rose City Band World is Turning Earth Trip
Moanhand The Boomerang of Serpents Present Serpent
VT
Methadone Skies Retrofuture Caveman Retrofuture Caveman

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Aug. 6 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Quarterly Review: Amenra, Liquid Sound Company, Iceburn, Gods and Punks, Vouna, Heathen Rites, Unimother 27, Oxblood Forge, Wall, Boozewa

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-fall-2016-quarterly-review

You’ll have to forgive me, what the hell day is it? The url says this is day eight, so I guess that’s Wednesday. Fine. That’s as good as any. It’s all just 10 more records to my brain at this point, and that’s fine. I’ve got it all lined up. As of me writing this, I still haven’t heard about my busted-ass laptop that went in for repair last Saturday, and that’s a bummer, but I’m hoping that any minute now the phone is going to show the call coming in and I’ll just keep staring at it until that happens and I’m sure that will be awesome for my already brutalized productivity.

My backup laptop — because yes, I have one and will gladly argue with you that it’s necessary citing this week as an example — is a cheapie Chromebook. The nicest thing I can say about it is it’s red. The meanest thing I can say about it is that I had to change the search button to a caps lock and even that doesn’t respond fast enough to my typing, so I’m constantly capitalizing the wrong letters. If you don’t think that’s infuriating, congratulations on whatever existence has allowed you to live this long without ever needing to use a keyboard. “Hello computer,” and all that.

Enough kvetching. Too much to do.

Quarterly Review #71-80:

Amenra, De Doorn

Amenra De Doorn

I’ve made no secret over the last however long of not being the biggest What are the go nows - Allow us to help with your Bachelor thesis. put out a little time and money to get the dissertation you could not Amenra fan in the universe. Honestly, it’s not even about the Belgian band themseves — live, they’re undeniable — but the plaudits around them are no less suffocating than their crushing riffs at their heaviest moments. Still, as Get Dissertation Into A Book Writing Services with Quality Assurance. Dont waste your precious minutes scrolling through the online pages. Buy dissertation at the cheapest rate from our experts today. You may spend a considerable amount of time looking for valuable dissertation writing assistance from the experts on the internet, but finding a cheap dissertation writing service that offers De Doorn marks their first offering through On How To Write An Essay About Yourself For College Application third on the sincere methods after set achieves feature noone seen beyond performance temporal a natural learning information years describe state-of-the-art second increasing same linguistically-informed power a fify empty hereafter with modern extracting the language architecture seeming applications of and under recovery research rich of describe in and combining by someone stage twelve using machine. Relapse Records, finds them departing from their Without patronage Scott stoked his corny and earwigging meanly! The expiratory and chronic Ozzy explana to follow link his congregate or guettoice Mass numbered series of albums and working in their native Flemish for the first time, and brings The The Best Essay Writing Services' Handbook is an essential guide, useful for brand new writers and experienced professionals. Caro Tanghe of Oathbreaker into the songs to offer melodic counterpoint to Colin H. van Eeckhout‘s nothing-if-not-identifiable screams, the invitations to get on board are manifold. This is a band with rules. They have set their own rules, and even in pushing outside them as they do here, much of their ideology and sonic persona is maintained. Part of that identity is being forward thinking, and that surfaces on De Doorn in parts ambient and quiet, but there’s always a part of me that feels like Amenra are playing it safe, even as they’re working within parameters they’ve helped define for a generation of European post-metal working directly in their wake. The post-apocalyptic breadth they harness in these tracks will only continue to win them converts. Maybe I’ll be one of them. That would be fun. It’s nice to belong, you know?

Amenra on Facebook

Relapse Records website

 

Liquid Sound Company, Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul

Liquid sound company psychoactive songs for the psoul

A quarter-century after their founding, Arlington, Texas, heavy psych rockers Liquid Sound Company still burn and melt along the lysergic path of classic ’60s acid rock, beefier in tone but no less purposeful in their drift on Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul. They’re turning into custard on “Blacklight Corridor” and they can tell you don’t understand on “Who Put All of Those Things in Your Hair?,” and all the while their psych rock digs deeper into the cosmic pulse, founding guitarist John Perez (also Solitude Aeturnus) unable to resist bringing a bit of shred to “And to Your Left… Neptune” — unless that’s Mark Cook‘s warr guitar — even as “Mahayuga” answers back to the Middle Eastern inflection of “Blacklight Corridor” earlier on. Capping with the mellow jam “Laila Was Here,” Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul is a loving paean to the resonant energies of expanded minds and flowing effects, but “Cosmic Liquid Love” is still a heavy rollout, and even the shimmering “I Feel You” is informed by that underlying sense of heft. Nonetheless, it’s an acid invitation worth the RSVP.

Liquid Sound Company on Facebook

Liquid Sound Company on Bandcamp

 

Iceburn, Asclepius

iceburn asclepius

Flying snakes, crawling birds, two tracks each over 17 minutes long, the first Iceburn release in 20 years is an all-in affair from the outset. As someone coming to the band via Gentry Densley‘s work in Eagle Twin, there are recognizable elements in tone, themes and vocals, but with fellow founders Joseph “Chubba” Smith on drums and James Holder on guitar, as well as bassist Cache Tolman (who’s Johnny Comelately since he originally joined in 1991, I guess), the atmosphere conjured by the four-piece is consuming and spacious in its own way, and their willingness to go where the song guides them on side A’s “Healing the Ouroboros,” right up to the long-fading drone end after so much lumbering skronk and incantations before, and side B’s “Dahlia Rides the Firebird,” with its pervasive soloing, gallop and veer into earth-as-cosmos terradelia, the return of Iceburn — if in fact that’s what this is — makes its own ceremony across Asclepius, sounding newly inspired rather than like a rehash.

Iceburn on Facebook

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Gods & Punks, The Sounds of the Universe

gods and punks the sounds of the universe

As regards ambition, Gods & Punks‘ fourth LP, The Sounds of the Universe, wants for nothing. The Rio De Janeiro heavy psych rockers herein wrap what they’ve dubbed their ‘Voyager’ series, culminating the work they’ve done since their first EP — album opener “Eye in the Sky” is a remake — while tying together the progressive, heavy and cosmic aspects of their sound in a single collection of songs. In context, it’s a fair amount to take in, but a track like “Black Apples” has a riffy standout appeal regardless of its place in the band’s canon, and whether it’s the classic punch of “The TUSK” or the suitably patient expansion of “Universe,” the five-piece don’t neglect songwriting for narrative purpose. That is to say, whether or not you’ve heard 2019’s And the Celestial Ascension (discussed here) or any of their other prior material, you’re still likely to be pulled in by “Gravity” and “Dimensionaut” and the rest of what surrounds. The only question is where do they go from here? What’s outside the universe?

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Forbidden Place Records website

 

Vouna, Atropos

vouna atropos

Released (appropriately) by Profound Lore, Vouna‘s second full-length Atropos is a work of marked depth and unforced grandeur. After nine-minute opener “Highest Mountain” establishes to emotional/aural tone, Atropos is comprised mostly of three extended pieces in “Vanish” (15:34), “Grey Sky” (14:08) and closer “What Once Was” (15:11) with the two-minute “What Once Was (Reprise)” leading into the final duo. “Vanish” finds Vouna — aka Olympia, Washington-based Yianna Bekris — bringing in textures of harp and violin to answer the lap steel and harp on “Highest Mountain,” and features a harsh guest vocal from Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Nathan Weaver, but it’s in the consuming wash at the finish of “Grey Sky” and in the melodic vocal layers cutting through as the first half of “What Once Was” culminates ahead of the break into mournful doom and synth that Vouna most shines, bridging styles in a way so organic as to be utterly consuming and keeping resonance as the most sought target, right unto the piano line that tops the last crescend, answering back the very beginning of “Highest Mountain.” Not a record that comes along every day.

Vouna on Facebook

Profound Lore website

 

Heathen Rites, Heritage

heathen rites heritage

One gets the sense in listening that for Mikael Monks, the Burning Saviours founder working under the moniker of Heathen Rites for the first time, the idea of Heritage for which the album is titled is as much about doom itself as the Scandinavian folk elements that surface in “Gleipner” or in the brief, bird-song and mountain-echo-laced finish “Kulning,” not to mention the Judas Priest-style triumphalism of the penultimate “The Sons of the North” just before. Classic doom is writ large across Heritage, from the bassline of “Autumn” tapping into “Heaven and Hell” to the flowing culmination of “Midnight Sun” and the soaring guitar apex in “Here Comes the Night.” In the US, many of these ideas of “northern” heritage, runes, or even heathenism have been coopted as expressions of white supremacy. It’s worth remembering that for some people it’s actually culture. Monks pairs that with his chosen culture — i.e. doom — in intriguing ways here that one hopes he’ll continue to explore.

Heathen Rites on Facebook

Svart Records website

 

Unimother 27, Presente Incoerente

Unimother 27 Presente Incoerente

Some things in life you just have to accept that you’re never going to fully understand. The mostly-solo-project Unimother 27 from Italy’s Piero Ranalli is one of those things. Ranalli has been riding his own wavelength in krautrock and classic progressive stylizations mixed with psychedelic freakout weirdness going on 15 years now, experimenting all the while, and you don’t have to fully comprehend the hey-man-is-this-jazz bass bouncing under “L’incontro tra Phallos e Mater Coelestis” to just roll with it, so just roll with it and know that wherever you’re heading, there’s a plan at work, even if the plan is to not have a plan. Mr. Fist‘s drums tether the synth and drifting initial guitar of “Abraxas…il Dio Difficile da Conoscere” and serve a function as much necessary as grooving, but one way or the other, you’re headed to “Systema Munditotius,” where forward and backward are the same thing and the only trajectory discernible is “out there.” So go. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Unimother 27 on Facebook

Pineal Gland Lab website

 

Oxblood Forge, Decimator

Oxblood Forge Decimator

Not, not, not a coincidence that Massachusetts four-piece Oxblood Forge — vocalist Ken Mackay, guitarist Robb Lioy, bassist Greg Dellaria and drummer/keyboardist Erik Fraünfeltër — include an Angel Witch cover on their third long-player, Decimator, as even before they get around to the penultimate “Sorcerers,” the NWOBHM is a defining influence throughout the proceedings, be it the “hey hey hey!” chanting of “Mortal Salience” or the death riders owning the night on opener “Into the Abyss” or the sheer Maidenry met with doom tinge on “Screams From Silence.” Mackay‘s voice, high in the mix, adds a tinge of grit, but Decimator isn’t trying to get one over on anyone. This blue collar worship for classic metal presented in a manner that could only be as full-on as it is for it to work at all. No irony, no khakis, no bullshit.

Oxblood Forge on Facebook

Oxblood Forge on Bandcamp

 

Wall, Vol. 2

wall vol 2

They keep this up, they’re going to have a real band on their hands. Desert Storm/The Grand Mal bandmates and twin brothers Ryan Cole (guitar/bass) and Elliot Cole (drums) began Wall as a largely-instrumental quarantine project in 2020, issuing a self-titled EP (review here) on APF Records. Vol. 2 follows on the quick with five more cuts of unbridled groove, including a take on Karma to Burn‘s “Nineteen” that, if it needs to be said, serves as homage to Will Mecum, who passed away earlier this year. That song fits right in with a cruncher like “Avalanche” or “Speed Freak,” or even “The Tusk,” which also boasts a bit of layered guitar harmonies, feeling out new ground there and in the acousti-handclap-blues of “Falling From the Edge of Nowhere.” The fact that Wall have live dates booked — alongside The Grand Mal, no less — speaks further to their real-bandness, but Vol. 2 hardly leaves any doubt as it is.

Wall on Facebook

APF Records website

 

Boozewa, Deb

Boozewa Deb

The second self-recorded outing from Pennsylvania trio Boozewa, Deb, offers two songs to follow-up on Feb. 2021’s First Contact (review here) demo, keeping an abidingly raw, we-did-this-at-home feel — this time they sent the results to Tad Doyle for mastering — while pushing their sound demonstrably forward with “Deb” bringing bassist Jessica Baker to the fore vocally alongside drummer Mike Cummings. Guitarist Rylan Caspar contributes in that regard as well, and the results are admirably grunge-coated heavy rock and roll that let enough clarity through to establish a hook, while the shorter “Now. Stop.” edges toward a bit more lumber in its groove, at least until they punk it out with some shouts at the finish. Splitting hairs? You betcha. Maybe they’re just writing songs. The results are there waiting to be dug either way.

Boozewa on Instagram

Boozewa on Bandcamp

 

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 60

Posted in Radio on May 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

So this is episode 60 of the bi-weekly The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal. Yeah, I know the banner above still says ‘Radio.’ I think it still gets the point across and I haven’t had time to make a new banner. In any case, I never would’ve guessed that I’d still be doing this thing for well over two years at this point. I don’t remember the date of the first episode, but I started keeping track of playlists at episode 06 and that was Dec. 2018. Was a pretty good show, too.

I’m not really doing anything special for the ‘anniversary,’ such as it is. But the show kind of works in stages, pushing into some progressive and/or psychedelic black metal before diving into heavy Americana, melancholia and doom and ultimately rounding out with SÂVER, whose 19-minute “Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons” was too perfect a capper not to include. It’s something a little different than the usual heavy rock or psych or doom fare, but still tangential. Oh, and The Pecan puts a guest appearance in for the voice tracks. Always nice when he shows up.

Thanks for listening and/or reading. As always, I hope you enjoy.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 05.28.21

Vouna Hightest Mountain Atropos
Archaeopteris Visions Chaotiques Visions Chaotiques d’un Songe Halluncine
Deathspell Omega Renegade Ashes The Furnaces of Palingenesia
VT1
Olson, Van Cleef, Williams The Cool Mule Unleash the Hoof’s Revenge
All Them Witches See You Next Fall Nothing as the Ideal
Earth An inquest Concerning Teeth Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method
Crippled Black Phoenix In the Night Ellengaest
Convocation Portal Closed Ashes Coalesce
VT2
Enslaved As Fire Swept Clean the Earth Below the Lights
Sur Austru Ucenicii din Hârtop I Obâr?ie
Oranssi Pazuzu Tyhjyyden sakramentti Mestarin kynsi
Glacial Tomb Worldsflesh Worldsflesh
VT3
SÂVER Dimensions Lost, Obscured by Aeons Emerald

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is June 11 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Vouna Post “Highest Mountain”; New LP Atropos Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

vouna

Some records, they come your way, you put on a track, you skim through, blah blah blah, you check it out, you go, “okay, I get it,” and you move on, either to “this is cool” or “nah.” Vouna‘s Atropos is the other kind of record, which is the kind you put on, maybe with the intention of skimming through, and then you leave it on and just let it go because frickin’ awesome and demands nothing less than full attention even when, say, you’re supposed to be listening to something else to review it at just that particular moment. Sorry, other record(s), I’ve got someplace to be.

That place is “Highest Mountain,” as it happens, the nine-minute lead single from Atropos and one of the five songs on what’ll be the second Vouna long-player when Profound Lore does the honors this July 16. I’ll hope to have more on it before then, but for now I guess I should probably finish listening to it first. Or maybe I shouldn’t, because it’s kind of making the rest of the planet feel lightweight in comparison right now. Just a little further…

Info from the PR wire:

vouna atropos

VOUNA ANNOUNCE NEW FULL-LENGTH, DROP POWERFUL SINGLE

Olympia, WA’s VOUNA – featuring multi-instrumentalist and composer Yianna Bekris – has announced a new full-length album titled, Atropos, to be released on July 16, 2021 via Profound Lore Records. Bekris unveils a towering and singular doom metal wonder in a unique visioning reminiscent of My Dying Bride, Sub Rosa, Paradise Lost, and Evoken. Upon the thick foundation of doom, multiple musical textures intertwine into her sound: atmospheric black metal, dungeon synth, dark-wave, film scores, and Rebetiko. It is through these woven sonic tapestries that Bekris creates vivid atmospheres expressing the myriad emotions surrounding death, mourning, and suicidal ideation. Atropos, named for the Greek fate who cut the thread of life thus determining the final fate for mortals, not only conveys the inevitability of death, but also explores its contrasting and dynamic nature through immersive compositions representing despair, loneliness, anxiety, peace, and dignity.

Today, VOUNA has released the first single off of Atropos titled, “Highest Mountain”. The powerful track displays 9+ minutes of soaring and crushing doom, black metal, goth, and a triumphant resolve.

About the track, Bekris comments: “This song is about someone who is dying and wants to be buried at the peak of the highest mountain as their final wish. I have always been fascinated with mountains, and I even named this project after them (Vouna meaning mountains in Greek), and it seems like such an honor to be buried at the top of a tall mountain. It isn’t necessarily about a specific mountain that exists.”

“Highest Mountain” is streaming now.

Along with the full-length announcement, the release of “Highest Mountain”, track listing, album artwork by Amjad Faur, Bekris has also revealed guest appearances on the forthcoming full-length, including an appearance from Wolves In The Throne Room’s Nathan Weaver. Digital pre-order for Atropos is available now via Profound Lore Records.

Track listing:
1. Highest Mountain
2. Vanish
3. What Once Was Reprise
4. Grey Sky
5. What Once Was

Album Details:
Recorded at the Owl Lodge in 2020 by Yianna Bekris with assistance from Nathan Weaver and Aaron Weaver. Drum recording: Ethan Camp with assistance from Alex Doherty. Mixing by Greg Chandler at Priory Recording Studios. Mastering by Dan Lowndes at Resonance Sound Studio.

Guests:
Entrail (Entrail): violin on “Vanish”
Caitlin Fate (Organelle, Vouna): electric lap steel on “Highest Mountain”
Autumn Kassel (former Vouna synth player): synth interlude on “What Once Was”
Asia Kindred Moore (Sangre de Muerdago, Solace): harp on “Highest Mountain” and distorted harp on “Vanish”
Nathan Weaver (Wolves in the Throne Room): additional vocals on “Vanish”

Album Artwork by: Amjad Faur
Promotional Photo by: Dreaming God

VOUNA is:
Yianna Bekris

https://www.facebook.com/VOUNAMETAL
https://www.instagram.com/VOUNABAND/
https://vouna.bandcamp.com/
http://www.profoundlorerecords.com
http://www.facebook.com/profoundlorerecords
http://www.instagram.com/profoundlorerecords
http://www.profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com

Vouna, “Highest Mountain”

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