The Obelisk Presents: Godmaker, Hyborian & Migrator at Saint Vitus Bar (Matinee) Nov. 17

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

godmaker hyborian migrator ghouls

Alright, let’s face facts. Nov. 17, you weren’t going to be anywhere other than the Saint Vitus Bar. That’s the night Monolord and Blackwater Holylight are playing. Obviously you’re going. Obviously I’m going. Obviously we’re all going and we’re all looking very much forward to that.

What I’m saying to you is, get there early. Super-early. 2PM early. Because there’s an opportunity here to turn a pretty heavy night into an all-day extravaganza, and there’s even a convenient break in between for you to, I don’t know, get some food or coffee-up or do whatever you need to do.

In conjunction with Ode to Doom, The Obelisk (you are here) is presenting Godmaker with (Kenny Appell of Cleanteeth, Goes Cube, etc., filling in on drums), Hyborian and Migrator on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, ahead of the evening’s festivities. Is it going to be absolutely insane? Yes. Should you take Monday off from school, work, or whatever of life’s duties might otherwise occupy your time? Totally. Why? Because chances like this don’t come along every day, and years from now, you’re still going to remember that time you told the rest of the universe to buzz off and did it up proper in Brooklyn, whereas otherwise, it’s just gonna be another Monday of the same old crap that, barring disaster, will be another in a series of forgettable such Mondays. Even if you have a good day doing whatever it is you do, I submit it won’t compete with plowing your brains into oblivion with riffs by hitting these two shows back-to-back.

And hey, if you need to, need to, need to go to work or whatever on Monday, a Sunday matinee still gives you plenty of time to get home and get yourself ready for the morning. Either way, you don’t lose.

Godmaker‘s got the show info as follows:

godmaker hyborian migrator new poster

MATINEE SHOW- Godmaker, Hyborian, Migrator.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 PM – 5:30 PM

Buy tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/matinee-godmaker-hyborian-migrator-tickets-77034092043

Brought to you by our friends at Ode to Doom and The Obelisk.

Godmaker (Brooklyn, Aqualamb / The Company / godmaker.bandcamp.com) returns to bringing the loud, for one last 2019 show, with their midwestern brothers in:

Hyborian (Kansas City, MO / Season of Mist / Company Crüe alumni / hyborianrock.bandcamp.com), and your soon to be favorite Heavy / Sad / Crushing thing from Lawrence, KS —

Migrator / (mem. of Young Bull, Amenaza, The Cast Pattern / migrator.bandcamp.com),

for a special Sunday Matinee at Saint Vitus Bar, ahead of the Monolord / Blackwater Holylight show.

Godmaker, “An Excerpt”

Nov. 17 Matinee Show Event Page on Thee Facebooks

Tickets at Eventbrite

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Canyon of the Skull to Release Sins of the Past Nov. 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

canyon of the skull

Okay, so here I was thinking I was crazy. This news about Canyon of the Skull came in a bit ago. I’ll admit that. I suck at this. There are many cracks. Sometimes things slip through them. The band will release their new album, Sins of the Past, on Nov. 20. There you go.

But the reason I was thinking I was crazy was because I thought Canyon of the Skull were a two-piece. And I thought they were from Austin. So I did some digging while listening to the two massive instrumental tracks that comprise Sins of the Past, and you know what? They were. I guess at some point in the last couple years guitarist Erik Ogershok moved north to Chicago.

Seems to have worked out for him, as dude’s got a revamped lineup that includes a rhythm section whose pedigree factors in acts like 1349 and The Atlas Moth. Not too shabby. Oh, and the new record was recorded and mixed by Sanford Parker, because Chicago, and duh.

The PR wire elaborates on that most eloquent of points:

Canyon of the Skull Sins of the Past

Instrumental Blackened Doom Trio CANYON OF THE SKULL Releasing ‘Sins of the Past’ November 20

In terms the musical style, the band’s aesthetic is formed more specifically by Black Metal, Funeral Doom, and classic Heavy Metal. Guitarist Erik Ogershok offers a fuller description of what CANYON OF THE SKULL have accomplished on Sins of the Past:

“I try to do different things with each record and this one is no exception. This record is visceral and immediate, like the self-titled, while being highly conceptual and dynamic like The Desert Winter. ‘The Ghost Dance’ is probably the best thing that I have written to date. ‘The Sun Dance’ is unlike anything that I have ever written before. It incorporates my basic philosophies of composition but applies them differently, one that I jokingly call prog-doom.

The main aesthetic and themes that Canyon of the Skull was founded on remain unchanged. This band has always been focused on telling the stories of Indigenous Americans and their environments, specifically those of the American Southwest. I am still surprised at how many people have never met an Indigenous American, but we are not extinct, and this band exists to tell our stories both past, present, and future. This record is a bit more broad with the subject matter since it involves the rituals of tribes far from the land of my people. Also, this record is more influenced by recent events that have an impact beyond Native communities. I don’t like to talk specifically about the deeper meaning of any of my compositions as I want people to discover their meaning in our music. These two pieces have very specific meanings to both me and the wider world and googling the titles is my recommendation for people that want to delve deeper for the literal meanings.”

The musicians of CANYON OF THE SKULL are a varied, creative bunch. Bassist Todd Haug is also the guitarist for Minneapolis thrash legends Powermad. He most recently performed as the second guitarist for Norwegian black metal legends 1349. Dummer Mike Miczek is well respected in the Chicago metal scene and has made a name for himself with both Broken Hope and The Atlas Moth. He also plays drums with Todd in Powermad. Both Erik and Todd are brewmasters for metal-centric breweries. Todd is one of the brewmasters at the ground-breaking 3Floyds Brewing Company. Erik is the brewmaster for WarPigs USA.”

“What once was old shall be new again, and history will have its revenge.”

“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.” —Cochise

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” — Chief Joseph

“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, But rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” — Sun Bear, Chippewa

Pre-order Sins of the Past:
canyonoftheskull.bandcamp.com/album/sins-of-the-past

Track Listing
1. The Ghost Dance
2. The Sun Dance

Recorded at Decade Music Studios March 2019
Recorded and Mixed by Sanford Parker
Produced by Sanford Parker and Canyon of the Skull
Mastered by Collin Jordan at Boiler Room Mastering
Artwork Layout and design by Erik Bredthauer

Canyon of the Skull is:
Erik Ogershok- Guitars
Todd Haug- Bass Guitar
Mike Miczek- Drums

Canyonoftheskull.bandcamp.com
Facebook.com/canyonoftheskull

Canyon of the Skull, Sins of the Past (2019)

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Om, BBC Radio 1: Sing the Advaitic

Posted in Reviews on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Om BBC Radio 1

Some seven years ago, in 2012, Om issued their fifth full-length, Advaitic Songs (review here), through Drag City and thereby secured a place high among the decade’s best releases. Though founding bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros has split time in the years since between Om and the ongoing reunion of landmark stoner metallers Sleep, the album has continued to hold its audience, and its influence continues to spread to other acts on multiple continents. It was the kind of offering upon which legacies are made, and the new live recording BBC Radio 1 (also Drag City) is a reminder of that, even if only half its inclusions are actually from Advaitic Songs itself. Those songs, “Gethsemane” and “State of Non-Return,” are enough to get the point across on the limited gatefold double-10″ vinyl outing, and paired with “Cremation Ghat I” and “Cremation Ghat II” from 2009’s God is Good (review here) it is stirring and hypnotic in kind, the kind of release that makes you wish it was longer than its all-too-brief 29-minute run.

Om‘s lineup has shifted since Advaitic Songs. While that record marked the introduction of LichensRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (who had also appeared on God is Good) as a full member handling keys, percussion, vocals, etc., earlier in 2019, Cisneros and longtime drummer Emil Amos (also Grails, Holy Sons, and so on) brought in Tyler Trotter as the third member, and it was this incarnation of the band that recorded BBC Radio 1 at the British Broadcasting Company‘s studio in London’s upscale Maida Vale neighborhood, with its quietly old-money residences, tree-lined city streets and small but welcoming coffee/tea shops. The tracking was done on May 3, which was just a couple weeks before Om toured the Southwest ahead of playing Monolith on the Mesa, and about two months ahead of their Summer 2019 European tour, which included stops at Lake on Fire in Austria and SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal, but if hitting the BBC studio was the only reason Om made the trip abroad, one can hardly fault their logic in doing so. The results are little short of immaculate.

That sounds like hyperbole, and maybe it is, but you have to believe me when I say that this recording of “State of Non-Return” features if not the best then certainly one of the top three bass tones I’ve ever heard. I’m a sucker for bass tone anyway, and Cisneros is a master of low-end warmth, but for the tidal surge kick-in of distortion on the second track here alone, BBC Radio 1 is worth whatever Drag City want to charge for it. I’m dead serious. This isn’t a live release like something captured on someone’s phone at a random show. This is a professionally-recorded, in-studio offering of a band performing their work. It is a true documentation of their sound with album-quality fidelity and live performance. And I’m not going to take away from the dream-state sway beginnings of “Gethsemane” or Amos‘ drumming on “Cremation Ghat I” or the texture Trotter seamlessly weaves into the songs via keyboard throughout, but even on Om‘s earlier albums, when it was just bass/drums/vocals and so each of those elements was all the more showcased, I don’t know if the bass ever sounded so rich. If they put it out as an isolated track on its own — a bonus download or “dubplate” or whatever — I’d buy it happily. I mean it.

om

Opening with “Gethsemane” leads the way down the path. Its beginning is like a guided breathing exercise to clear the mind, and what unfolds from there in the wash of crash cymbals, the ping of ride, the pop of snare, the softly flowing bassline and the chant-like keyboard ahead of the first verse is duly immersive. Cisneros‘ voice arrives like a pilgrim one might meet in the wilderness, some kind of spiritual seeker who knows the place, can show the way toward safe passage while telling you stories that happen in dimensions most people can’t perceive. So you set off. Amos‘ drums are the footsteps, Trotter‘s keys the ground, and “Gethsemane” is both journey and destination. At 11 minutes, it’s both opener and longest inclusion (immediate points) on BBC Radio 1, and its sense of grace isn’t to be understated, nor the fluidity with which it feeds into “State of Non-Return,” which at 8:22 is two minutes longer than on Advaitic Songs, but still unfurls the aforementioned distortion about 45 seconds into the proceedings. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if they wanted to make the song last another 10 minutes, that’d be welcome as well. If it’s two, okay. I’ll take that.

Though it’s shorter than “Gethsemane” and backed up by “Cremation Ghat I” and “Cremation Ghat II,” “State of Non-Return” is an obvious focal point on BBC Radio 1 for its shift in tone and relative rhythmic push. Even putting aside the glorious rumble of Cisneros‘ making, it radiates energy as delivered here and presents a subtle momentum leading out of the first 10″ and en route to the second, which houses the final two tracks, one per side. “Cremation Ghat I” holds some of the momentum forth in Amos‘ drumming and the winding bassline that accompanies, but its run is brief at 3:51 and mostly instrumental, so the vibe has shifted accordingly, as, one supposes, it would have to. This leads to the drone-backed “Cremation Ghat II,” longer at 5:37, which closes out in perhaps giving some sense of arrival at the place to which the beginning of “Gethsemane” was setting off. Maybe (definitely) that’s putting too simplistic a narrative to it, and maybe the journey and destination are the same thing. I wouldn’t know. Maybe the sense of “going somewhere” is wrong altogether and the point is to be still.

But take from it either way that especially for a live recording, BBC Radio 1 is evocative in a way that allows for these kinds of varying interpretations. Certainly one would expect that the BBC knows what it’s doing in capturing a band playing, but it’s worth emphasizing this isn’t just performance-to-tape. It’s museum-quality. It’s a document of Om in 2019 and, for anyone who may have needed it, an underscore to the effect the band have had on the course of heavy over this decade which, one assumes, will only continue to spread into the next. Advaitic Songs is long since due for a follow-up, but BBC Radio 1 earns its place in Om‘s pantheon through its methodical, patient and serene atmosphere, showcasing Om as a band of singular, unmatched resonance. Recommended.

Om on Thee Facebooks

Om on Bandcamp

Om website

Drag City website

Drag City on Thee Facebooks

Drag City on Bandcamp

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White Hills Post “Automated City” Video Ahead of European Tour

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

white hills

I believe that if you go back and check the Official Bureau of Records on Such Things, the central thesis of my last post about New York’s White Hills was that nobody has any idea what they’re doing and that people who pretend otherwise are full of crap. It was something like that, anyhow. Or if not, that’s what it should’ve been. Whatever. In support of this argument I may or may not have been making — I don’t have the funds to file a 27B/6 request with the Official Bureau to check the record and find out — I humbly offer the band’s new video for “Automated City,” which they’ve newly posted ahead of the European tour on which they’ll embark next month.

“Band releasing a new video ahead of a tour,” you say. “Not much weird about that.” Correct. However. Check out the track itself before you fully assess. Yeah, you’ll hear some krautrock vibes in there as well as intangibles like the legacy of New York’s noisemaking experimentalist scene such as it was before Thurston and Kim got divorced, and you’ll hear any number of things all coming together as White Hills, but isn’t that the point? Put a tag on that. Call it something other than the band’s name. Double-dog dare you. As I know I said last time, verbatim: “Good fucking luck.”

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll gladly set you on figuring out what might lead White Hills to make a video for a song from 2015’s Walks for Motorists rather than their latest LP, 2017’s Stop Mute Defeat, or maybe even something new they’re working on from their next album in progress.

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll leave you to the video itself, put together by the band’s own Ego Sensation, and looking like something out of a Hitchcock opening credits sequence.

Have fun:

White Hills, “Automated City” official video

White Hills present “Automated City”, a noir vignette shot and constructed by Ego Sensation. Inspired by noir films of the 1940s and the avant-garde stage theater of American director and playwright Robert Wilson, the video traverses a shadowy dream world of shifting perspective. A firm fan favourite, the song is from the band’s 2015 album Walks For Motorists, produced by David Wrench, best known for his work with Goldfrapp, Caribou and FKA Twigs as well as with his own synth-duo audiobooks.

White Hills are currently in the studio working on a new album with Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) at Studio G in Brooklyn featuring a slew of unique collaborators including; Jim Jarmusch (Filmmaker & Musician), Yasmine Hamden (singer-songwriter who also appears in Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive”), Simone Marie Butler (bassist with Primal Scream), Jim Coleman (Cop Shoot Cop) and Alex Macarte (GNOD).

White Hills – Buy The Ticket Take The Ride EU tour 2019 Dates:
14/11 CH Bern Spinnerei
15/11 ITA Busto Arsizio Circolo Gagarin (with Martin Bisi)
16/11 ITA Roma Roma Psych Fest
17/11 ITA Loreto Reasonanz (with Martin Bisi)
18/11 ITA Perugia T-Trane
19/11 ITA Torino BlahBlah
20/11 ITA Padova Nadir
21/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival (with Martin Bisi)
22/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival
23/11 AT Salzburg Dome of Rock Festival
24/11 DE Karlsruhe Alte Hackerei
25/11 DE Leipzig Nato
26/11 DE Berlin Urban Spree (with Martin Bisi)
27/11 SWE Malmo Plan B
28/11 SWE Gothenborg Musikenhus
29/11 DK Copenhagen BASEMENT
30/11 DE Munster Rare Guitar
1/12 NL Den Bosch W2 Poppodium
2/12 BE Bruxelles Mag 4 (with Martin Bisi)
3/12 FRA Paris Supersonic

White Hills Tumblr

White Hills on Thee Facebooks

White Hills on Bandcamp

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Suum Post “The Silence of Agony” Video from New Album Cryptomass

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SUUM

Roman doomers Suum made their debut last year with Buried into the Grave, and they’re getting ready to follow that seven-track outing — which was issued on CD through Endless Winter and tape through Hellas Records — with the new album, Cryptomass. “The Silence of Agony” is the second cut they’ve unveiled from their sophomore long-player, behind the song “Cryptomass” itself, which they made live on Bandcamp back in March. Not much about the full-length is actually known at this point in terms of the timing for the release, what other songs are included, or even who is putting it out, but all of that is reportedly in progress, and if the band are eager to get the material out there, the fact that March was seven months ago already means they’ve been sitting on at least some amount of a finished LP for the last seven months. If you’ve never been in that kind of situation before, take my word for it — you’d be eager too.

In “The Silence of Agony” and “Cryptomass” alike, one finds the four-piece dug deep into an atmosphere of classic doom. Echo-laden vocals cry out alongside burly but not chestbeating riffs, and both pieces give a sense of atmosphere that the rest of Cryptomass according to vocalist Mark Wolf — also of Bretus, whose new record, Aion Tetra (review here), came out in August on Ordo MCM — will work to likewise reinforce. Dark, cryptic trad doom with the occasional bit of claws-up screaming and choice heavy roll pushing it along? No pretense? A willful lack of bullshit? I’ll take that almost any day of the week. Happily.

Or, you know, at least as happy as one should be with all the fog-filled cemeteries and whatnot around.

I’ll hope to have more on Cryptomass to come as we get nearer to the release. Wolf‘s comments on the track follow the clip below.

Please enjoy:

Suum, “The Silence of Agony” official video

Mark Wolf on “The Silence of Agony”:

This is the first extract of Cryptomass, our second album. This is an old school doom metal song with occult and Mystic lyrics. Of course all songs are pretty darker and obsessive like this. With the use of the metaphors I describe the horror that surrounds us every day. I have always been interested in the dark side of the things. Is an introspective theme and have been influenced by some things happening in my life during the last year.

With the video we wanted to create a scenario representative of the music we express. We are proud to share with you the first extract of our new album.
Soon the details about “Cryptomass” release.

Suum are:
Mark Wolf – Vocals
Painkiller – Guitars
Jos Grave – Bass
Fed Kemper – Drums

Suum on Thee Facebooks

Suum on Bandcamp

Suum website

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Mos Generator to Release Exiles Collection of Lost Tracks and Covers

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

mos generator glory or death

You know my feelings on Mos Generator: the more the merrier. Fortunately, the band generally seems to work under this ethic as well. There’s been a fair amount of news from the Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rockers over the last couple months as they’ve played limited regional live shows but announced releases like the Spontaneous Combustions jam collection and the redux The Late Great Planet Earth Suite, following up on the bootleg-ish live record Night of the Lords earlier this year. Add to that list Exiles, due out at the end of this month through Glory or Death Records with preorders up now. The two-sided offering brings together tracks recorded during the sessions for Mos Generator‘s 2018 studio LP, Shadowlands (review here), with various covers of Van Halen, Rush and Black Sabbath on side B.

Cool stuff all around. The Sabbath cover — “Air Dance,” from Never Say Die — has been posted by the band before, and you can hear it below. I hate to say it, but would it be too much to ask Mos Generator to cover that whole album? I mean, I know that might be a lot of time, but they’ve done plenty of Sabbath tunes over the years any, as guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed notes below, and “Air Dance” really, really fits with their sound. I’d love to hear them do that entire record. And with the rate at which Mos does stuff these days, figure maybe they’d be up for it, just to keep busy.

I’ll look for an announcement of that soon (not really, but it would be cool). In the meantime, here’s preorder info for Exiles:

Mos Generator – Exiles

Side A of this release is a collection of outtakes from our last album Shadowlands. “Twelve Psychics” which was pulled from Shadowlands at the eleventh hour, and “Battah”, show a more metal side to our writing which is usually represented by at least one song on each of our albums. The third track on side A is an alternate version of a song from Shadowlands called Woman Song. “The Lady Vanishes” is an extended (and at times drastically different) version of the track that made it on the album. I think I prefer this version and I’m not sure why I put the edit on the final tracklisting for Shadowlands.

Side B is comprised of three covers we recorded over the last few years. The first is a song from Van Halen II. This is my favorite VH song and I’m very happy with how it came out. Next up is “Air Dance” by Black Sabbath. I really enjoy the Never Say Die album and although it doesn’t fall into the classic Sab album lineup, it has a lot to offer as a unique and diverse album. We’ve done a lot of Sabbath covers over the years and this was by far the most challenging. Last on side B is “Anthem” by Rush. Sometimes I think Rush get overlooked as being a powerhouse heavy rock band and I think Anthem is the proof. This was from our first live performance of it from Vancouver BC 2016.
– Reed, August 2019

Mos Generator – Exiles
Program One:
Twelve Psychics
Battah
The Lady Vanishes

Program Two:
Light Up The Sky (Van Halen)
Air Dance (Black Sabbath)
Anthem (Rush)

PreOrders are open now with official release set as October 28th.

You can secure your copy at Glory or Death Records Web Store;
gloryordeathrecords.bigcartel.com

Mos Generator “Exiles”

Side A
1. Twelve Psychics 03:49
2. Battah (Featuring Bob Balch of Fu Manchu) 03:42
3. The Lady Vanishes 05:05

Side B
4. Light up the Sky (Van Halen Cover) 03:09
5. Air Dance (Black Sabbath Cover) 05:19
6. Anthem (Rush Cover) 04:31

Available in 4 options;

Test Press;
12” Test Press “Exiles”

Die Hard Version;
Metallic Mix Cherry Bomb 12″ Vinyl
2′ x 3′ Mos G/Glory or Death Tapestry
(Photo attached)
Mega Mos G/Glory or Death Sticker Pack
(Photo attached *CD not included)
Digital Download

Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clearwater Blue 12″ Vinyl
Random Stickers
Digital Download

Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl Mos Generator – “Exiles”;
Transparent/Clear 12″ Vinyl
Digital Download

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: guitar, vocals
Jono Garrett: drums
Sean Booth: bass

http://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://www.instagram.com/mos_generator
https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/glory_or_death_records/
https://gloryordeathrecords.bandcamp.com
https://gloryordeathrecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.gloryordeathrecords.com/

Mos Generator, “Air Dance” (Black Sabbath cover)

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Geezer Update on New Album Progress; Unveil Badass Shirt Design

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

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the next Geezer record yet. The increasingly trippy Kingston, New York, heavy blues-psych jammers released their 2019 EP, Spiral Fires (review here), via Kozmik Artifactz this past Spring, but I’ve no clue as to whether that imprint will handle the new full-length, let alone things like the name of this album, the release date, the song titles, what it sounds like, and all of that other fun stuff that goes into record details. But they’ve leaked out a couple videos from the studio and that’s a good time, so I’ll take what I can get in that regard, and they posted that they’re currently in the mixing stage, so maybe it won’t be all that long until some substantive word comes down the PR wire about a plan for getting the thing out there.

I’d assume it’s a 2020 release, just because time’s short in 2019 at this point for an album to be mastered, pressed, properly promoted, etc. They could be part of what’s become the annual February Onslaught, whereby all the records that various parties have been sitting on all winter are finally issued, but it could honestly be March or April before it shows up, especially if they want to line up a tour surrounding, either at home or abroad. Frankly, either would be a reasonable move for them at this point. Hell, I saw them with Sasquatch and Nebula last month (review here) and they were fantastic. Let them go do three weeks in Europe with Sasquatch. Make the world a better place for a while.

Well, anyhoozle. While I’m sitting here planning tours for bands that I won’t get to see, you can dig into what Geezer had to say about where they’re at. Also, I don’t regularly post anything about a band’s merch, because jeez, I’d never post about anything else, but this design by Joshua Wilkinson from The Company was too good not to include, as I think you’ll likely agree. T-shirt is on their Bandcamp now. I bought one this morning:

geezer shirt design

Geezer – **ALBUM UPDATE**

We are currently in the mixing phase of the new full length album. It’s gonna be righteous! This shirt design was done by @thecompanykc and will be available soon through our Bandcamp page… dig!

Things got trippy in the studio a few weeks ago… new album is gonna be killer!

Come for the music… stay for the dog.

https://www.instagram.com/geezertown/
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

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Review & Full Album Stream: The Lone Madman, Let the Night Come

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the lone madman let the night come

[Click play above to stream Let the Night Come by The Lone Madman in its entirety. Album is out Oct. 25 on Saturnal Records.]

With the melodic grandeur of Candlemass, the grim moral certitude of Reverend Bizarre and a patient-but-intense severity behind their execution across four mostly-extended tracks of darkened doom, Helsinki, Finland’s The Lone Madman offer an unconventional take on the genre’s traditional elements with their Saturnal-issued debut LP, Let the Night Come. A dual-guitar four-piece with Turkka Inkilä (also vocals) and Juuso Raunio handling the downtrodden riffery, Veera Vallinkoski on bass and Leevi Lönnrot on drums, there isn’t much about the group on paper that would make one necessarily expect anything crazy from the 42-minute proceedings. They’ve been together for five years, released a single and their Dreary Task EP in 2016, have played shows mostly around their hometown and are very clearly dug into doom as a foundation for what they do. Fine. Certainly there are worse places to start, but unless one has a particular fetish for Finnish doom — which would be understandable — there’s not much to immediately catch the brain. No gimmick to speak of. Even when the flute shows up in “Häxan,” it feels reasonable. But The Lone Madman nonetheless subtly bring together shades of NWOBHM self-righteousness with doom’s utter disaffection in a way that strikes a surprisingly individualized note. The gang shouts in “The Downfall” feel to my East Coast US ears derived from Type O Negative, while some of Inkilä‘s melodies on vocals bring to mind a Finnfolk-infused vision of underground metal that’s a tradition unto itself, apart from doom or anything else.

The Lone Madman thrive in this context, offering little by way of letup in terms of the emotional and spiritual downerism being showcased. From the catchy opening provided by the title-track to the plotted lead in the first half of closer “House of Mourning” before a tempo kick ignites a midsection charge — leading, naturally, to the final slowdown acting as the apex of the song — this is not drink-a-beer-and-ride-a-motorcycle doom, or if it is, it’s with the addendum of being miserable while doing so. Perhaps helping distinguish Let the Night Come from some of its traditionalist forebears (Reverend Bizarre notwithstanding) is the fact that the material feels purposefully longform. The penultimate “Häxan” (7:29) is the only inclusion under 11 minutes long, while “Let the Night Come” (11:04),” “The Downfall” (11:27) and “House of Mourning” (12:47) each seem to push deeper into the spiritual miasma in which the band are, well, not quite reveling — that would imply some kind of celebration — but certainly enamored. This I guess leads to another impressive aspect of Let the Night Come, particularly as The Lone Madman‘s debut album, in that it presents itself in this emotional mire and down-down-down existentialist position, but it isn’t a drag to hear. Of course that’s owed to the songwriting generally, and also to the band’s will to throw in a curve every now and again, usually on a one-per song basis.

the lone madman

That’s maybe how you wind up with the gang shouts on “The Downfall,” the flute on “Häxan,” later Valborgian shouts and the faster solo that tops the (relative) thrust in “House of Mourning.” With “Let the Night Come” at the outset, The Lone Madman set a working foundation for themselves by giving their audience a straightforward look at their style, with a strong presence from Inkilä on vocals and hints at layering of melodies, crashing riffs and flourish of softer complementary meanderings that enhance the overarching impact of that to which they invariably lead, i.e. more doom. I wouldn’t suggest The Lone Madman — yes, all four of them — sat down and decided they needed a way to change up each track on the album just a little bit, but following an instinct for what a given song needs in its arrangement isn’t something to be ignored in a band’s sound. Especially on their first record. So as Let the Night Come unfolds, it sees the band making these decisions with clarity and purpose, resulting in a whole that’s even richer than it would otherwise be, tense in its execution, but using that to help convey its emotional state, not beating the listener over the head with its depression diagnosis as some modern melodic doom can do, but finding a ground that expresses such a state on multiple levels. The changes from song to song, while minute on the bigger scale of the album itself — it’s not like at some point they put the guitars down and pick up a lute; though if they did I bet they could make that work — bolster the underlying affect.

At the same time, there’s a formative feel to Let the Night Come as well, as though this instinct is really just beginning a larger exploration of style and intent and that, yeah, The Lone Madman may get those lutes yet, or at least a kantele. Or maybe just some keyboard. Either way, the ground they lay out on these tracks holds the potential for future statements even as they make their own in the present, bringing a weight of atmosphere as much as tone while remaining mindful of its roots and striving toward something more individual. There’s little else one could reasonably ask of a debut album, and though living in a culture of mass shootings, an American might raise an eyebrow at a moniker like The Lone Madman, it’s worth keeping in mind that Finland, by contrast, had three such sprees between 2008 and 2013, and for what it’s worth, the band give no outward signs of being fascinated with political extremism of any sort. With the storytelling of “Häxan” perhaps as an exception, they seem more concerned with inner turmoil and alienation, and though their sound is cold and isolated, its nascent outward reach demonstrates a will to progress that one hopes The Lone Madman pursue as they move forward. As it is, they find a balance where they need one and thereby secure a place for themselves to proceed however they should desire to do so. Future prospects are exciting, but present accomplishments shouldn’t be overlooked on that account either.

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