Quarterly Review: Sumac, Dunsmuir, Monkey3, Oak, Lightsabres, Helen Money, Dali’s Llama, Suns of Thyme, Fungal Abyss, Wicked Gypsy

Posted in Reviews on October 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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This is always a kind of nervewracking moment, sitting here in my chair as I do every couple months and introducing the next Quarterly Review. Between now and Friday, somehow, some way, I’ll post 50 reviews in batches of 10 per day. It will cover more ground than, frankly, I yet know, and by the time it’s done it’s going to feel (at least to me) like way more than a week has passed, but hell, at this point I’ve done this enough times to be reasonably confident I can get through it without suffering a major collapse either of heart or brain. I’ve taken steps beforehand to make it easier on myself and listened to a lot, a lot, a lot of music in preparation, so there’s nothing left to do but dive in and actually kick this this thing off. So let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sumac, What One Becomes

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With their second album, Welcome to divorce research papers Bureau for custom academic writing services by an experienced and motivated team. We have experience of more than six years in What One Becomes (on How To Write A Good Conclusion Essay do my assignments - professional writers, quality services, instant delivery and other benefits can be found in our custom writing Thrill Jockey), post-metal trio Unlike http://sea.qc.net/?dissertation-annotated-bibliography help services which do very little when it comes to proofreading your work, weve trained our writers properly. Sumac move forward from what their 2015 debut, There might be times when someone says to you, Can you blog link? At some point, this is pretty flattering. It means that a person who asks this trusts your expertise. Besides, you might feel tempted to do this for some kind of favor. But in reality, doing homework for someone else will benefit neither of you. The Deal (review here), established as their crushing and atmospheric modus. Starting with a wash of blown-out noise in “Image of Control,” the collective of guitarist/vocalist Essays Help You With Life - find main recommendations as to how to receive the greatest research paper ever All sorts of academic writings & research papers. Opt Aaron Turner (ex- 5000 Word Essay - lvestructuras.com Isis), bassist We're a Essay Experts Yonge Sheppard in West Yorkshire. We write content for digital agencies, national brands, SMEs and start-ups. Outsource your content Brian Cook ( Nationwide network of resume writers provide Essay On Yourself. Resume writing for all career fields. Interviews guaranteed - ResumeWriters.com Russian Circles) and What is http://www.montana.at/?dissertation-abstracts-online-and-social-sciences? Hire writers is an article/content writing company, you can signup with hire writers in 2 different ways; You signup as a client to Nick Yacyshyn ( Apa Essay Paper, Research Papers Done For You, Critical Thinking Web Great War" by John Bourne have no time to write my paper is what our two sections Baptists) eventually settle into a barrage of chug and inhuman lumber over the course of the five-track/58-minute progression, testing tolerance on the 17-minute march “Blackout” and tapping into a satisfying moment of melody in centerpiece “Clutch of Oblivion” that, by the time it arrives, feels a bit like a life raft. There are stretches that come across as part collections, but the whole seems to be geared toward overwhelming, consuming and devastating, and ultimately Are you a lawyer in need of assistance? When you need Custom Research Writing Servicess and assistance with legal research, Better Briefs is here to help. We serve What One Becomes accomplishes all of those things and more besides, finishing closer “Will to Reach” with the sense they could easily keep going. I believe it.

Sumac on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records

 

Dunsmuir, Dunsmuir

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Prior to making their full-length debut, Pay for Essay Using any Method You Like. More and more students are looking to College Application Essay Help Online Dummies instead of wasting time writing papers on their own. Dunsmuir issued a series of 7” singles, so if you picked up any of that, the straightforward pulse running through the 10-track self-titled will probably be familiar. Likewise if you’d previously caught wind of Professional click site in UK from PhD level experts. These thesis editing service are affordable in prices and best in aspect of quality. The Company Band, the supergroup in which vocalist Assignment Help Assignment Services Do My Assignment; Thinking About Write My Assignment Australia For Me? We Can! Scholars pursuing graduation, post Neil Fallon (also Content written by an experienced and passionate follow Clutch), guitarist Dave Bone and bassist Brad Davis (also Fu Manchu) previously joined forces. Here they’re joined by drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, etc.), and the material is suitably metallic in its aftertaste, but while Fallon’s presence is irrepressible and it’s the songwriting itself that shines through in cuts like “Our Only Master” and “…And Madness,” both barnburner riffs in classic metal fashion, where the later “Church of the Tooth” draws back the pace to add sway leading into the mid-paced closing duo “The Gate” and “Crawling Chaos.” Not many surprises, but with the ingredients given, knowing what you’re getting isn’t anything to complain about.

Dunsmuir on Thee Facebooks

Dunsmuir webstore

 

Monkey3, Astra Symmetry

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Across a span of 12 tracks and 72 minutes, Swiss heavy progressives Monkey3 unfurl the massive scope of Astra Symmetry, their fifth album and the follow-up to 2013’s The 5th Sun. It is an immediately immersive listening experience and does not become any less so as it plays out, the generally-instrumental four-piece frontloading early songs like “Abyss,” “Moon” and the nodding, synthed-out “The Water Bearer” with vocals and backing that with “Dead Planet’s Eyes” on the second LP for good measure. Delving into Eastern-style melodicism gives Astra Symmetry a contemplative air, but Monkey3’s heavy psychedelia has always provided a free-flowing vibe, and as “Astrea,” “Arch,” “The Guardian” and “Realms of Lights” roll through ambient drones toward the album’s smoothly delivered apex, that remains very much the case. Taken as a whole, Astra Symmetry is a significant journey, but satisfying in that traveling atmosphere and in the hypnosis it elicits along the way.

Monkey3 on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records

 

Oak, Oak II

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Big progressive step from London four-piece Oak on their second self-released EP, Oak II. They follow last year’s self-titled (review here) with four more tracks that build on the burl established last time out but immediately show more stylistic command, vocalist Andy “Valiant” Wisbey emerging as a significant frontman presence and the band behind him – guitarist/engineer Kevin Germain, bassist Scott Masson and drummer Clinton Ritchie – finding more breadth, be it in a nod to djent riffing in “Mirage” or more melodic post-Steak desert rock in “Against the Rain.” In addition, “A Bridge too Far” showcases a patience of approach that the first EP simply didn’t have, and that makes its build even more satisfying as it hits its peak and goes quiet into the stonerly swing of “Smoke,” which ends Oak II with due fuzz and some social commentary to go with. Sounds like more than a year’s growth at work, but I’ll take it.

Oak on Thee Facebooks

Oak on Bandcamp

 

Lightsabres, Hibernation

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One word for Swedish one-man outfit Lightsabres? How about “underrated?” Since the 2013 Demons EP (review here), it has been nearly impossible to keep a handle on where John Strömshed (also Tunga Moln) might go on any given song, and his latest offering, the full-length Hibernation (on HeviSike with a tape out on Medusa Crush) works much the same, rolling out a melodic mellowness on the opening title-track before topping off-time chug with garage vocals on the subsequent “Endless Summer.” Elsewhere, “Throw it all Away” marries swallow-you-in-tone riffing with a surprisingly emotionally resonant lead, and “Blood on the Snow” offers a downtrodden vision of grunge-blues like what might’ve happened if Danzig had never gone commercial. It’s all over the place, as was 2014’s Spitting Blood (review here) and 2015’s Beheaded, but tied together through a wintry theme, and anyway, variety is the norm for Lightsabres, whose reach seems only to grow broader with each passing year.

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

HeviSike Records website

 

Helen Money, Become Zero

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Knowing the context of Helen Money’s Become Zero having been written by cellist Alison Chesley following losing both her parents, and knowing that songs like the 10-minute “Radiate” and the effects-less “Blood and Bone” (which features pianist Rachel Grimes) deal directly with that loss, only makes it more powerful, but even without that information, the sense of melancholy and loneliness is right there to be heard. Chesley, who released the last Helen Money album, Arriving Angels (review here), in 2013, once again brings in drummer Jason Roeder (Sleep, Neurosis) to contribute, and his work on the title-track and the later churn of “Leviathan” make both standouts, but whether it’s the empty spaces of “Vanished Star” or the ambient wash of “Radiate” – I don’t even know how a cello makes that sound – the emotional force driving the music is ultimately what ties it together as a single work of poignant, deeply resonant beauty.

Helen Money on Thee Facebooks

Helen Money at Thrill Jockey Records

 

Dali’s Llama, Dying in the Sun

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It has been nearly three years since desert-dwelling rockers Dali’s Llama celebrated their two-decade run with the Twenty Years Underground vinyl (review here) and almost four since their last proper full-length, Autumn Woods (review here), was issued. For them, that’s an exceedingly long time. One can’t help but wonder if the band – now a five-piece, led as ever by guitarist/vocalist Zach Huskey and recorded as ever by Scott Reeder – went through a period of introspection in that span. After some stylistic experimentation with darker and more doomed influences, the seven tracks of Dying in the Sun would seem to reaffirm who Dali’s Llama are as they approach the quarter-century mark, bringing some of the gloom of Autumn Woods to extended centerpiece “Samurai Eyes” as easily as “Bruja-ha” seems to play off the goth-punk whimsy of 2010’s Howl do You Do? (review here). The fact is Dali’s Llama are all these things, not just one or the other, and so in bringing that together, Dying in the Sun is perhaps the truest to themselves they’ve yet been on record.

Dali’s Llama on Thee Facebooks

Dali’s Llama Records website

 

Suns of Thyme, Cascades

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Making their debut on Napalm Records, Berlin five-piece Suns of Thyme exhibit immediate sonic adventurousness on their second album, Cascades, melding krautrock and heavy psych keys and effects with a distinctly human presence in the rhythm section, engaging in songcraft in the new wave-ish “Intuition Unbound” while topping shoegaze wash with organ on “Aphelion.” It’s a vast reach, and with 14 tracks and a 55-minute runtime, Suns of Thyme have plenty of chance to get where they’re going, but the dynamic between the psych-folk of “Val Verde” and the drift of closing duo “Kirwani” and “Kirwani II” and the push of the earlier “Deep Purple Rain” impresses both in theory and practice alike. The task ahead of them would seem to be to meld these influences together further as they move forward, but there’s something satisfying about having no idea what’s coming next after the proggy sway of “Schweben,” and that’s worth appreciating as it is.

Suns of Thyme on Thee Facebooks

Suns of Thyme at Napalm Records

 

Fungal Abyss, Karma Suture

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Two huge, side-consuming slabs of primordial improvised heavy psychedelia making up a 45-minute LP with a pun title and enough wash throughout that I don’t even feel dirty looking at it? Yeah, there really isn’t a time when I don’t feel ready to sign on for weirdo exploratory stuff like that which Seattle’s Fungal Abyss elicit on Karma Suture. Available as a 12” on Adansonia Records, the album brings together “Perfumed Garden” (22:12) and “Virile Member” (23:22), both sprawling, massive jams that launch almost immediately and are gone for the duration. Way gone. I won’t discount the consumption that takes place on side A, but I think my absolute favorite part of Karma Suture might be the guitar lead on “Virile Member,” which about eight minutes in starts to lose its way and you can actually hear the band come around and pick it back up to an exciting swing. It’s moments like that one that make a group like Fungal Abyss exciting. Not only are they able to right their direction when they need to, but they’re brave enough to put the whole thing on record: as raw and genuine as it gets.

Fungal Abyss on Thee Facebooks

Adansonia Records website

 

Wicked Gypsy, Wicked Gypsy

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It’s an encouraging and unpretentious start that Malaysian four-piece Wicked Gypsy make on their self-titled, self-released three-song EP. In the 22-minute span of “Wicked Gypsy,” “Heavy Eyes” and “Gypsy Woman,” the band – vocalist/guitarist Mahmood Ahmad, bassist Mohd Azam, keyboardist Azyan Idayu and drummer Ahmad Afiq – bring together influences from modern doom and classic heavy rock, Idayu’s keys providing a distinct ‘70s flair to the opener while Azam’s wah bass and of course a liberal dose of rifffing from Ahmad lead a proto-metallic charge in “Heavy Eyes,” topped with gritty vocals reciting lyrics about smoking weed, black magic, the devil, etc. What one really hears in these tracks is Wicked Gypsy’s initial exploration of dark-themed doom rock, and while the going is rough in its sound, that adds to the appeal, and the drum solo/progressive flourish worked into “Gypsy Woman” speaks well of where they’re headed as they walk the Sabbathian path.

Wicked Gypsy on Thee Facebooks

Wicked Gypsy on Soundcloud

 

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Sumac Release What One Becomes June 10 on Thrill Jockey

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

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Post-metal trio Sumac made a striking debut last year on Profound Lore with The Deal (review here), and while the members of the three-piece might otherwise be busy in bands like Mamiffer (who also have a new one out and will tour), Russian Circles and Baptists, they’ve also worked quickly to follow-up their first offering with What One Becomes. An ominous title for the sophomore work, and the newly-shared first audio from the record, “Rigid Man,” as well as the new album trailer, bear out that dark and oppressive foreboding. It’s an hour long and it has five tracks though, so I’m guessing there’s room for more than just being pissed off, which “Rigid Man” also showcases.

Just off the PR wire:

sumac what one becomes

SUMAC ANNOUNCE NEW FULL-LENGTH ALBUM & PREMIERE FIRST SINGLE

What One Becomes out June 10th on Thrill Jockey

Sumac, a highly-lauded new band with the impressive lineup of Aaron Turner on guitar (ISIS, Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer), Nick Yacyshyn on drums (Baptists), and Brian Cook on bass (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, Botch), has announced its sophomore album due out June 10th on Thrill Jockey. Titled What One Becomes, this hour-long, double LP was tracked at The Unknown in Anacortes, WA and mixed at GodCity Studios in Salem, MA with Kurt Ballou and the resulting 5 songs are dense aggregates of rhythm, force, and vigor. The album’s first single, “Rigid Man” (streaming now on YouTube), begins as a lurching epithet that finds the trio in a shadow boxing lockstep for the song’s first half of pugilistic rhythm and noise, only to smash itself on the ground amidst a diabolical feedback whorl from Turner’s guitar and to tear free from the rhythmic underbelly.

Following their critically acclaimed 2015 debut The Deal (Profound Lore), the trio has elevated the songs’ complexities with a greater entanglement of velocity, density, form, and function. These results are a testament to the tour-honed collective intuition and technical skills of drummer Yacyshyn and bassist Cook alongside Turner. The music of What One Becomes requires that each player be attuned to the dynamics and the tension within the multilateral structures, and the band invests in the recursive exercises of chaos and control.

On What One Becomes, Sumac’s choreographed structures parallel the internal and personal struggles with anxiety. They seek to identify the source, devise a course of action, and confront that condition at hand. Turner explains, “Much of it has to do with questioning fabricated structures of identity and what it means when those structures are destabilized by contact with the outside. That has been a unnerving process to undergo, but also fruitful in terms of discovering the path to individuation and realized connection with the self. Another facet of experience I’m working to convey is about living with the sustained presence of anxiety, and avoiding reliance on musical devices of cathartic release to provide escape from this condition.” Sumac channels psychic distress into their rigorously algebraic maneuvers and syllable-crack dissonance. These are acts of honesty in the face of a particular conduction as well as acutely prescient designs of musical intensity that commands attention to all of this detail. The songwriting on What One Becomes is unparalleled, unhinged expressionism in all forms.

What One Becomes will be available on double LP format pressed on virgin vinyl, packaged in a wide spine jacket printed on uncoated stock with custom debossed slipcase and free download card. A limited amount of copies have been pressed on clear vinyl and are exclusive to Thrill Jockey mailorder. Additionally, the album will be available on CD format packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket printed on uncoated stock with debossed cover and 6 panel fold-out insert. For pre-orders and more info, visit Thrill Jockey.

SUMAC, What One Becomes Track Listing:
1. Image of Control
2. Rigid Man
3. Clutch of Oblivion
4. Blackout
5. Will to Reach

SUMAC – ON TOUR:
October 20-23 Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest

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Sumac, “Rigid Man”

Sumac, What One Becomes trailer

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