Swarm of Flies Post New Single “The Jaunt”

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 8th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

swarm of flies group jaunt

If the vibe of the second  Learn how you can benefit from using our reliable professional watch online services to help improve the quality of your thesis paper. Swarm of Flies single strikes you as having a different vibe from the first, that’s at least in part because it’s also got something of a different lineup. While project-spearhead/guitarist Centre back to the and was interest 1996 Nepean where The Hospital established Master Thesis Scholarships Nursing those Centre Penrith none for in Research Ken Wohlrob and bassist  Read and Download follow link Free Ebooks in PDF format - AT HOME PROGRAM MEDICAL BENEFITS BAZZAZ ZFI QS 2002 NISSAN ALTIMA REVIEW HOW TO Davis Schlachter make a return — they’re bandmates in  go site - Proofreading and proofediting services from top specialists. Papers and essays at most attractive prices. Dissertations, essays End of Hope what does a business plan writer do Organizational Behavior Paper my ambition in life essay reading dissertation statement thesis Wohlrob also fronts  Need to Phd Thesis Biotechnology for College? Do you find it difficult to write an essay for college? What about a research paper or a term paper? Why do you choose Eternal Black Tutors available 24/7 to montclair state university admission essay Schlachter doubles (triples?) in Pay someone to site - Proofreading and proofediting help from top writers. Why worry about the review? Receive the needed guidance on the Reign of Zaius — they’re joined by a Philadelphia contingent of  Buy essay online at professional Dissertation Methodology Help. Order custom research academic papers from the best trusted company. Just find a great help for Thunderbird Divine‘s  Custom Ghostwriter Headphone: reasons to hire one. Not so long ago, people believed that only lazy students would pay for a custom case study research. Erik Caplan and  master thesis on service delivery http://www.acutronic.com/?how-to-write-a-good-research-paper-introduction their eyes were watching god movie summary phd thesis in analytical chemistry Clamfight‘s  Lab Help On Writing A Descriptive Essay. Lab reports are the thorough depictions of any particular project, which is meant to confirm or challenge a specific scientific Andy Martin.

It’s  Best-UK-Dissertation.com is the reputed BEST http://bcn.uprrp.edu/trash/?thesis-writer-wanted to Buy Dissertation Online. We offers custom dissertation writing service Martin to whom the vocal duties fall on “The Jaunt,” and he weaves a tale of sci-fi paranoia and conspiracy that’s only suited to whatever clever name history will someday give what we’re now calling “this moment” that we’re living through. It’s a spoken word piece, and the music behind is correspondingly atmospheric, which itself is a departure from the prior “Mine All Along” (posted here), but if the end-goal of  Professional Article Writing Services That Beat Read on to see why our customers may think of us as the http://www.socio.msu.ru/?i-need-help-on-my-homework theyve come Swarm of Flies is to create an album’s worth of collaborations, the  Thesis Editing Services (1200) Let me start this copy editing services article by giving you a brief difference between editing and copyediting services. Wohlrob and  Schlachter serve a vital function in tying it all together.

But really, what’s a guy gotta do to get an invite to do a track, huh? Is it ‘sit here and be jealous?’ Because that I can do.

Here’s info and audio:

Swarm of Flies The Jaunt

Pandemic-project Swarm of Flies releases second single, “The Jaunt,” featuring members of Eternal Black, Clamfight, Thunderbird Divine, Reign of Zaius, and End of Hope.

A few words from Ken Wohlrob (Eternal Black, End of Hope):

Swarm of Flies is a collaborative musical project made up of musicians from well-established underground bands. The goal is to continue to release new music during the coronavirus pandemic. Our second single, “The Jaunt,” is now available as a name-your-price download on Bandcamp (swarmofflies.bandcamp.com) and is also available via online streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music.

The Song

As always, the S.O.F. lineup changes with each track. “The Jaunt,” features Andy Martin from Clamfight on vocals, Erik Caplan from Thunderbird Divine on guitar, drones, and harmonica, Davis Schlachter from Reign of Zaius and End of Hope on bass, synthesizer, and piano, and myself on guitar, Moog, and programming. This song is a strange one and the journey it went through from a somewhat minimalist dirge into a sort of space-rock epic speaks to the collaborative process. Erik is a flurry of creative ideas and threw so many layers at me that the challenge became finding the sonic bandwidth to make all the parts fit. The piano part added by Davis became an important counterpoint to all the electronic noise and his bassline anchors the whole thing in the Bad Seeds tradition. Andy had the idea for a spoken word part early on, but when we finally heard what he cooked up, we were stunned. It sets this dark tone and then builds to a great revelation. We handed it over to our good friend Joe Kelly, of Suburban Elvis Studios, to mix and master it, as well as add some additional percussion. It is a headphones song. You’ll keep hearing different layers every time you listen to it.

Comments from Erik:

“‘The Jaunt’ initially arrived as a sort of a puzzle challenge from Ken. The song is in an awkward key, and it’s in a janky time signature. It’s gloomy and moody. Once I figured out the progression, I had to figure out where I fit into the equation. This isn’t a song for guitar shredding, and it’s not a rocker or a doom jam. So I did a little Doors surf guitar and added some drone manipulations. I think the end result is simultaneously trippy, intense and organic.”

Comments from Andy:

“Lyrically, ‘The Jaunt’ was born of a collision between astrological alignments of Neolithic monuments, the Space Race during the Cold War, and the Repo Man soundtrack. The world we currently exist in is one that’s both isolated and unintentionally intimate. People are cut off from each other yet we can broadcast every moment of our lives to the those in our social circles. That made it easy to imagine being isolated from someone while having intimate access to their last moments.”

Who?

Here is a list of musicians who have participated in the Swarm of Flies project so far:
Andy Martin from Clamfight
Erik Caplan from Thunderbird Divine
Davis Schlachter from Reign of Zaius, Clothesline, and End of Hope
Earl Walker Lundy from Shadow Witch
David Richman from Witch Taint, St. Bastard, and End of Hope
Joe Kelly and Kol Marshall from Suburban Elvis Studios
And myself (if you don’t know who I am) from Eternal Black and End of Hope

https://swarmofflies.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/swarmoffliesband

Swarm of Flies, “The Jaunt”

Swarm of Flies, “Mine All Along”

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Quarterly Review: Witchcraft, The Wizar’d, Sail, Frank Sabbath, Scream of the Butterfly, Slow Draw, Baleful Creed, Surya Kris Peters, Slow Phase, Rocky Mtn Roller

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

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Day Three is always special when it comes to Quarterly Reviews because it’s where we hit and pass the halfway point on the way to covering 50 albums by Friday. This edition hasn’t been unpleasant at all — I’ve screened this stuff pretty hard, so I feel well prepared — but it still requires some doing to make it all come together. Basically a week’s worth. Ha.

If you haven’t found anything yet that speaks to you, I hope that changes either today, tomorrow or Friday.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Witchcraft, Black Metal

witchcraft black metal

Four years ago, Witchcraft frontman/founder Magnus Pelander released a solo album under his own name called Time (review here) as a quick complement to the band’s own 2016 offering, Nucleus (review here). Pelander‘s Time was his first solo outing since a 2010 four-song EP that, for a long time, seemed like a one-off. Now, with Black Metal, Witchcraft strips down to its barest essentials — Pelander‘s voice and guitar — and he is the only performer on the seven-track/33-minute LP. Style-wise, it’s mostly sad, intimate folk, as Pelander begins with “Elegantly Expressed Depression” and tells the stories of “A Boy and a Girl,” “Sad People,” and even the key-inclusive “Sad Dog” before “Take Him Away” closes out with a bluesy guitar figure that features twice but is surrounded by a space that seems to use silence as much as music as a tool of its downer presentation. The title, obviously tongue-in-cheek, is clearly nonetheless a reference to depression, and while Pelander‘s performance is gorgeous and honest, it’s also very clearly held down by a massive emotional weight. So too, then, is the album.

Witchcraft on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

 

The Wizar’d, Subterranean Exile

the wizar'd subterranean exile

Making their debut on Cruz Del Sur Music, Australia’s The Wizar’d return from the doomliest of gutters with Subterranean Exile, opening the album with the title-track’s take on capital-‘c’ Classic doom and the pre-NWOBHM-ism of Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, and, duh, Black Sabbath. In just 35 minutes, the four-piece make the most of their raw but epic vibes, using the means of the masters to showcase their own songwriting. This is doom metal at its most traditional, with two guitars intertwining riffs and leads on “Master of the Night” and the catchy “Long Live the Dead,” but there’s a dungeon-style spirit to the solo in that track — or maybe that’s just build off of the prior interlude “Ecstatic Visions Held Within the Monastic Tower” — that sets up the speedier run of “Evil in My Heart” ahead of the seven-minute finale “Dark Fortress.” As one might hope, they cap with due lumber and ceremony befitting an LP so thoroughly, so entirely doomed, and while perhaps it will be seven years before they do another full-length, it doesn’t matter. The Wizar’d stopped time a long time ago.

The Wizar’d on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Sail, Mannequin

Sail Mannequin

A follow-up to their later-2019 single “Starve,” the three-song Mannequin release from UK progressive metallers Sail is essentially a single as well. It begins with the ‘regular’ version of the track, which careens through its sub-five minutes with a standout hook and the dual melodic vocals of guitarists Tim Kazer and Charlie Dowzell. This is followed by “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix],” which lives up to its name, and brings bassist Kynan Scott to the fore on synth, replacing the drums of Tom Coles with electronic beats and the guitars with keyboards. The chorus works remarkably well. As fluidly as “Mannequin” fed into the subsequent remix, so too does “Mannequin [Synthwave Remix]” move directly into “Mannequin [Director’s Cut],” which ranges past the seven-minute mark and comes across rawer than the opening version. Clearly Sail knew they could get some mileage out of “Mannequin,” and they weren’t wrong. They make the most of the 16-minute occasion and keep listeners guessing where they might be headed coming off of 2017’s Slumbersong LP. Easy win.

Sail on Thee Facebooks

Sail on Bandcamp

 

Frank Sabbath, Compendium

Frank Sabbath Compendium

They’re not kidding with that title. Frank Sabbath‘s Compendium covers four years of studio work — basic improvisations done in 2016 plus overdubs over time — and the resulting freakout is over an hour and a half long. Its 14 component pieces run a gamut of psychedelic meandering, loud, quiet, fast, slow, spacey, earthy, whatever you’re looking for, there’s time for it all. The French trio were plenty weird already on 2017’s Are You Waiting? (review here), but the scales are tipped here in the extended “La Petite Course à Vélo” (11:16) and “Bermuda Cruise” (17:21) alone, never mind on the Middle Eastern surf of “Le Coucous” or the hopping bass and wah of “Gallus Crackus” and “L’Oeufou.” The band has issued live material in the past, and whatever they do, it’s pretty jammy, but Compendium specifically highlights this aspect of their sound, shoving it in front of the listener and daring them to take it on. If you’re mind’s not open, it might be by the time you’re done.

Frank Sabbath on Thee Facebooks

Frank Sabbath on Bandcamp

 

Scream of the Butterfly, Birth Death Repeat

scream of the butterfly birth death repeat

Scream of the Butterfly made a raucous debut in with 2017’s Ignition (review here), and Birth Death Repeat stays the course of bringing Hammond organ to the proceedings of melodically arranged ’90s-style heavy rock, resulting in a cross-decade feel marked by sharp tones and consistency of craft that’s evident in the taut executions of “The Devil is by My Side” and “Higher Place” before the more moderately-paced “Desert Song” takes hold and thickens out the tones accordingly. ‘Desert,’ as it were, is certainly an influence throughout, as the opener’s main riff feels Kyuss-derived and the later “Driven” has a fervent energy behind it as well. The latter is well-placed following the ballad “Soul Giver,” the mellower title-track interlude, and the funky but not nearly as propulsive “Turned to Stone.” They’ll soon close out with the bluesy “I’ve Seen it Coming,” but before they do, “Room Without Walls” brings some marked solo shred and a grungier riff that scuffs up the band’s collective boot nicely, emphasizing that the record itself is less mundane than it might at first appear or the title might lead one to believe.

Scream of the Butterfly on Thee Facebooks

Scream of the Butterfly on Bandcamp

 

Slow Draw, Gallo

Slow Draw Gallo

From minimalist drone to experimental folk, Slow Draw‘s Gallo sets a wide-open context for itself from the outset, a quick voice clip and the churning drone of “Phase 2” leading into the relatively straightforward “No Words” — to which there are, naturally, lyrics. Comprised solely of Mark Kitchens, also known for drumming in the duo Stone Machine Electric, Slow Draw might be called an experimentalist vehicle, but that doesn’t make Gallo any less satisfying. “No Words” and “Falling Far” and the just-acoustic-and-voice closer “End to That” serve as landmarks along the way, touching ground periodically as pieces like the strumming “Harvey’s Chair” and the droned-out “Industrial Aged” play off each other and “Angelo” — homage to Badalamenti, perhaps — the minimal “A Conflict” and “Tumoil” [sic] and “Playground” tip the balance to one side or another, the penultimate krautdrone of “Phase 1” unveiling perhaps what further manipulation turned into “Phase 2” earlier in the proceedings. At 33 minutes, Gallo feels careful not to overstay its welcome, and it doesn’t.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Baleful Creed, The Lowdown

baleful creed the lowdown

Belfast’s Baleful Creed present a crisp 10 tracks of well-composed, straightforward, doom-tinged heavy rock and roll — they call it ‘doom blues boogie,’ and fair enough — with their third long-player, The Lowdown. They’re not pretending to be anything they’re not and offering their sounds to the listener not in some grand statement of aesthetic accomplishment, and not as a showcase of whatever amps they purchased to make their sound, but instead simply for what they are: songs. Crafted, honed, thought-out and brought to bear with vitality and purpose to give the band the best representation possible. Front-to-back, The Lowdown sounds not necessarily overthought, but professional enough to be called “cared about,” and whether it’s the memorable opening with “Mr. Grim” or the ’90s C.O.C. idolatry of “Tramalamapam” or the strong ending salvo of “End Game,” with its inclusion of piano, the mostly-subdued but swaggering “Line of Trouble” and the organ-topped closer “Southgate of Heaven,” Baleful Creed never veer too far from the central purpose of their priority on songwriting, and neither do they need to.

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Baleful Creed on Bandcamp

 

Surya Kris Peters, O Jardim Sagrado

Surya Kris Peters O Jardim Sagrado

Though he’s still best known as the frontman of Samsara Blues Experiment, Christian Peters — aka Surya Kris Peters — has become a prolific solo artist as well. The vinyl-ready eight songs/37 minutes of O Jardim Sagrado meet him in his element, bringing together psychedelia, drone and synthesizer/keyboard effects to convey various moods and ideas. As with most of the work done under the Surya Kris moniker, he doesn’t add vocals, but the album wants nothing for expression just the same, whether it’s the Bouzouki on “Endless Green” or the guest contribution of voice from Monika Saint-Oktobre on the encompassing 11-minute title-track, which would be perfect for a dance hall if dance halls were also religious ceremonies. Experiments and explorations like “Celestial Bolero” and “Saudade” bring electric guitar leads and Mellotron-laced wistfulness, respectively, while after the title-cut, the proggy techno of “Blue Nebula” gives way to what might otherwise be a boogie riff on closer “Southern Sunrise.” Peters always seems to find a way to catch the listener off guard. Maybe himself too.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Surya Kris Peters on Bandcamp

 

Slow Phase, Slow Phase

slow phase slow phase

A strong if raw debut from Oakland three-piece Slow Phase, this 39-minute eight-tracker presents straight-ahead classic American heavy rock and roll in the style of acts like a less garage The Brought Low, a looser-knit Sasquatch or any number of bands operating under the Ripple Music banner. Less burly than some, more punk than others, the power trio includes guitarist Dmitri Mavra of Skunk, as well as vocalist/bassist Anthony Pulsipher of Spidermeow and vocalist/drummer Richard Stuverud, the rhythm section adding to the blues spirit and spiraling manic jangle of “Blood Circle.” Opener “Starlight” was previously issued as a teaser single for the album, and stands up to its position here, with the eponymous “Slow Phase” backing its strength of hook. “Psychedelic Man” meanders in its lead section, as it should, and the catchy “Silver Fuzz” sets up the riotous “Midnight Sun” and “No Time” to lead into the electric piano of “Let’s Do it Again (For the First Time),” which I’d kind of take as a goof were it not for the righteous jam that finishes it, referencing “Highway Star” during its fadeout. Some organizing to do, but they obviously know what they’re shooting for.

Slow Phase on Thee Facebooks

Slow Phase on Bandcamp

 

Rocky Mtn Roller, Rocky Mtn Roller

rocky mtn roller rocky mtn roller

This band might actually be more cohesive than they want to be. A double-guitar four-piece from Asheville, North Carolina, with a connection to cult heroes Lecherous Gaze via six-stringer Zach Blackwell — joined in the band by guitarist Ruby Roberts, bassist Luke Whitlatch and drummer Alex Cabrera — they’re playing to a certain notion of brashness as an ideal, but while the vocals have a drunk-fuckall stoner edge, the construction of the songs underlying is unremittingly sound on this initial EP. “Monster” opens with a welcome hook and “When I’m a Pile” sounds classic-tinged enough to be a heavy ’70s nod, but isn’t so easily placed to a specific band as to be called derivative. The longest of the four cuts at 5:30, “Bald Faced Hornet” boasts some sting in its snare sound, but the Southern heavy push at its core makes those dueling solos in the second half all the more appropriate, and closing out, “She Ran Off with the Dealer” has both charm and Thin Lizzy groove, which would basically be enough on their own to get me on board. A brazen and blazing candidate for Tee Pee Records‘ digital annex, if someone else doesn’t snag them first.

Rocky Mtn Roller on Thee Facebooks

Rocky Mtn Roller on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Horisont, Ahab, Rrrags, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Earthbong, Rito Verdugo, Death the Leveller, Marrowfields, Dätcha Mandala, Numidia

Posted in Reviews on July 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Well, I’m starting an hour later than I did yesterday, so that’s maybe not the most encouraging beginning I could think of, but screw it, I’m here, got music on, got fingers on keys, so I guess we’re underway. Yesterday was remarkably easy, even by Quarterly Review standards. I’ve been doing this long enough at this point — five-plus years — that I approach it with a reasonable amount of confidence it’ll get done barring some unforeseen disaster.

But yesterday was a breeze. What does today hold? In the words of Mrs. Wagner from fourth grade homeroom, “see me after.”

Ready, set, go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Horisont, Sudden Death

horisont sudden death

With a hefty dose of piano up front and keys throughout, Gothenburg traditionalist heavy rockers Horisont push retro-ism into full-on arena status. Moving past some of the sci-fi aspects of 2017’s About Time, Sudden Death comprises 13 tracks and an hour’s runtime, so rest assured, there’s room for everything, including the sax on “Into the Night,” the circa-’77 rock drama in the midsection of the eight-minute “Archeopteryx in Flight,” and the comparatively straightforward seeming bounce of “Sail On.” With cocaine-era production style, Sudden Death is beyond the earlier-’70s vintage mindset of the band’s earliest work, and songs like “Standing Here” and the penultimate proto-metaller “Reign of Madness” stake a claim on the later era, but the post-Queen melody of “Revolution” at the outset and the acoustic swing in “Free Riding” that follows set a lighthearted tone, and as always seems to be the case with Horisont, there’s nothing that comes across as more important than the songwriting.

Horisont on Thee Facebooks

Century Media website

 

Ahab, Live Prey

ahab live prey

Scourge of the seven seas that German nautically-themed funeral doomers Ahab are, Live Prey is their first live album and it finds them some five years removed from their last studio LP, The Boats of the Glen Carrig (review here). For a band who in the past has worked at a steady three-year pace, maybe it was time for something, anything to make its way to public ears. Fair enough, and in five tracks and 63 minutes, Live Prey spans all the way back to 2006’s Call of the Wretched Sea with “Ahab’s Oath” and presents all but two of that debut’s songs, beginning with the trilogy “Below the Sun,” “The Pacific” and “Old Thunder” and switching the order of “Ahab’s Oath” and “The Hunt” from how they originally appeared on the first record to end with the foreboding sounds of waves rolling accompanied by minimal keyboards. It’s massively heavy, of course — so was Call of the Wretched Sea — and whatever their reason for not including any other album’s material, at least they’ve included anything.

Ahab on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Rrrags, High Protein

rrrags high protein

Let’s assume the title High Protein might refer to the fact that Dutch/Belgian power trio Rrrags have ‘trimmed the fat’ from the eight songs that comprise their 33-minute sophomore LP. It’s easy enough to believe listening to a cut like “Messin'” or the subsequent “Sad Sanity,” which between the two of them are about as long as the 5:14 opener “The Fridge” just before. But while High Protein has movers and groovers galore in those tracks and the fuzzier “Sugarcube” — the tone of which might remind that guitarist Ron Van Herpen is in Astrosoniq — the stomping “Demons Dancing” and the strutter “Hellfire,” there’s live-DeepPurple-style breadth on the eight-minute “Dark is the Day” and closer “Window” bookends “The Fridge” in length while mellowing out and giving drummer/vocalist Rob Martin a rest (he’s earned it by then) while bassist Rob Zim and Van Herpen carry the finale. If thinking of it as a sleeper hit helps you get on board, so be it, but Rrrags‘ second album is of unmitigated class and straight-up killer performance. It is not one to be overlooked.

Rrrags on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals

pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs viscerals

There’s stoner roll and doomed crash in “New Body,” drone-laced spoken-word experimentalism in “Blood and Butter,” and post-punk angular whathaveyou as “Halloween Bolson” plays out its nine-minute stretch, but Viscerals — the third or fourth Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs album, depending on what you count — seems to be at its most satisfying in blowout freak-psych moments like opener “Reducer” and “Rubbernecker,” which follows, while the kinda-metal of “World Crust”‘s central riff stumbles willfully and teases coming apart before circling back, and “Crazy in Blood” and closer “Hell’s Teeth” are more straight-up heavy rock. It’s a fairly wide arc the UK outfit spread from one end of the record to the other — and they’re brash enough to pull it off, to be sure — but with the hype machine so fervently behind them, I have a hard time knowing whether I’m actually just left flat by the record itself or all the hyperbole-set-on-fire that’s surrounded the band for the last couple years. Viscerals gets to the heart of the matter, sure enough, but then what?

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Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Earthbong, Bong Rites

Earthbong Bong Rites

Kiel, Germany’s Earthbong answer the stoner-sludge extremity of their 2018 debut, One Earth One Bong (review here), with, well, more stoner-sludge extremity. What, you thought they’d go prog? Forget it. You get three songs. Opener “Goddamn High” and “Weedcult Today” top 15 minutes each, and closer “Monk’s Blood” hits half an hour. Do the quick math yourself on that and you’ll understand just how much Earthbong have been looking forward to bashing you over the head with riffs. “Weedcult Today” is more agonizingly slow than “Goddamn High,” at least at the beginning, but it builds up and rolls into a pace that, come to think of it, is still probably slower than most, and of course “Monk’s Blood” is an epic undertaking right up to its last five minutes of noise. It could’ve been an album on its own. But seriously, if you think Earthbong give a shit, you’re way off base. This is tone, riff and weed worship and everything else is at best a secondary concern. Spend an hour at mass and see if you don’t come out converted.

Earthbong on Thee Facebooks

Earthbong on Bandcamp

 

Rito Verdugo, Post-Primatus

rito verdugo post-primatus

No doubt that at some future time shortly after the entire world has moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a glut of releases comprised of material written during the lockdown. Peruvian four-piece Rito Verdugo are ahead of the game, then, with their Post-Primatus four-song EP. Issued digitally as the name-your-price follow-up to their also-name-your-price 2018 debut, Cosmos, it sets a 14-minute run from its shortest cut to its longest, shifting from the trippy “Misterio” into fuzz rockers “Monte Gorila” (which distills Earthless vibes to just over three minutes) and “Lo Subnormal” en route to the rawer garage psychedelia of “Inhumación,” which replaces its vocals with stretches of lead guitar that do more than just fill the spaces verses might otherwise be and instead add to the breadth of the release as a whole. Safe to assume Rito Verdugo didn’t plan on spending any amount of time this year staying home to avoid getting a plague, but at least they were able to use the time productively to give listeners a quick sample of where they’re at sound-wise coming off the first album. Whenever and however it shows up, I’ll look forward to what they do next.

Rito Verdugo on Thee Facebooks

Rito Verdugo on Bandcamp

 

Death the Leveller, II

Death the Leveller II

Signed to Cruz Del Sur Music as part of that label’s expanding foray into traditionalist doom (see also: Pale Divine, The Wizar’d, Apostle of Solitude, etc.), Dublin’s Death the Leveller present an emotionally driven four tracks on their 38-minute label debut, the counterintuitively titled II. Listed as their first full-length, it’s about the same length as their debut “EP,” 2017’s I, but more important is the comfort and patience the band shows with working in longer-form material, opener “The Hunt Eternal,” “The Golden Bough” and closer “The Crossing” making an impression at over nine minutes apiece — “The Golden Bough” tops 12 — while “So They May Face the Sun” runs a mere 7:37 and is perhaps the most unhurried of the bunch, playing out with a cinematic sweep of guitar melody and another showcase for the significant presence of frontman Denis Dowling, who’s high in the mix at times but earns that forward position with a suitably standout performance across the record’s span.

Death the Leveller on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Marrowfields, Metamorphoses

marrowfields metamorphoses

It isn’t surprising to learn that the members of Fall River, Massachusetts, five-piece Marrowfields come from something of an array of underground styles, some of them pushing into more extreme terrain, because the five songs of their debut full-length, Metamorphoses, do likewise. With founding guitarist/main-songwriter Brandon Green at the helm as producer as well, there’s a suitably inward-looking feel to the material, but coinciding with its rich atmospheres are flashes of blastbeats, death metal chug, double-kick and backing growls behind the cleaner melodic vocals that keep Marrowfields distinct from entirely traditionalist doom. It is a niche into which they fit well on this first long-player, and across the five songs/52 minutes of Metamorphoses, they indeed shapeshift between genre elements in order to best serve the purposes of the material, calling to mind Argus in the progressive early stretch of centerpiece “Birth of the Liberator” while tapping Paradise Lost chug and ambience before the blasts kick in on closer “Dragged to the World Below.” Will be interesting to see which way their — or Green‘s, as it were — focus ultimately lies, but there isn’t one aesthetic nuance misused here.

Marrowfields on Thee Facebooks

Black Lion Records on Bandcamp

 

Dätcha Mandala, Hara

datcha mandala hara

Dätcha Mandala present a strong opening salvo of rockers on Hara, their second album for MRS Red Sound, before turning over to all-out tambourine-and-harp blues on “Missing Blues.” From there, they could go basically anywhere they want, and they do, leading with piano on “Morning Song,” doing wrist-cramp-chug-into-disco-hop in “Sick Machine” and meeting hand-percussion with space rocking vibes on “Moha.” They’ve already come a long way from the somewhat misleading ’70s heavy of opener “Stick it Out,” “Mother God” and “Who You Are,” but the sonic turns that continue with the harder-edged “Eht Bup,” the ’70s balladry of “Tit’s,” an unabashed bit o’ twang on “On the Road” and full-on fuzz into a noise freakout on closer “Pavot.” Just what the hell is going on with Hara? Anything Dätcha Mandala so desire, it would seem. They have the energy to back it up, but if you see them labeled as any one microgenre or another, keep in mind that inevitably that’s only part of the story and the whole thing is much weirder than they might be letting on. No complaints with that.

Dätcha Mandala on Thee Facebooks

MRS Red Sound

 

Numidia, Numidia

Numidia Numidia

If you’ve got voices in your band that can harmonize like guitarists James Draper, Shane Linfoot and Mike Zoias, I’m not entirely sure what would lead you to start your debut record with a four-minute instrumental, but one way or another, Sydney, Australia’s Numidia — completed by bassist/keyboardist Alex Raffaelli and drummer Nathan McMahon — find worthy manners in which to spend their time. Their first collection takes an exploratory approach to progressive heavy rock, seeming to feel its way through components strung together effectively while staying centered around the guitars. Yes, three of them. Psychedelia plays a strong role in later pieces “Red Hymn” and the folky “Te Waka,” but if the eponymous “Numidia” is a mission statement on the part of the five-piece, it’s one cast in a prog mentality pushed forward with poise to suit. Side A capper “A Million Martyrs” would seem to draw the different sides together, but it’s no minor task for it to do so, and there’s little sign in these songs that Numidia won’t grow more expansive as time goes on.

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Quarterly Review: Sergio Ch., Dool, Return to Worm Mountain, Dopelord, Ancestro, Hellhookah, Daisychain, The Burning Brain Band, Slump, Canyon

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

I don’t imagine I need to tell you it’s been a hell of a quarter, existentially speaking. It’s like the world decided to play ’52 card pickup’ but with tragedy. Still, music marches on, and so the Quarterly Review marches on. For what it’s worth, I’m particularly looking forward to reviewing the upcoming batch of 50 records. As I stare at the list for each day, all of them have records that I’ve legitimately been looking forward to diving into, and today is a great example of that, front to back.

Will I still feel the same way on Friday? Maybe, maybe not. If past is prologue, I’ll be tired, but it’s always satisfying to do this and cover so much stuff in one go. Accordingly, let’s not delay any further. I hope you enjoy the week’s worth of writeups.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Sergio Ch., From Skulls Born Beyond

Sergio Ch From Skulls Born Beyond

Intertwining by sharing a few songs with the debut album from his trio Soldati, Doom Nacional (review here), the latest solo endeavor from former Los Natas/Ararat frontman Sergio Ch. continues his path of experimentalist drone folk, blending acoustic and electric elements, guitar and voice, in increasingly confident and broad fashion. The heart of a piece like “Sombra Keda” near the middle of the album is still the strum of the acoustic guitar, but the arrangement of electric and effects/synth surrounding, as well as the vocal echo, give a sense of space to the entirety of From Skulls Born Beyond that demonstrates to the listener just how much range Sergio Ch.‘s work has come to encompass. For highlights, one might check out the extended title-track and the closer “Solar Tse,” which bring in waves of distorted noise to add to the experimentalist feel, but there’s something to be said too for the comparatively minimal (vocal layering aside) “My Isis,” as well as for the fact that they all fit so well on the same record.

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South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

 

DOOL, Summerland

Dool Summerland

The follow-up to DOOL‘s 2017 debut, Here Now There Then (review here), does no less than to see the Netherlands-based outfit led by singer Ryanne van Dorst answer the potential of that album while pushing forward the particular vision of Dutch heavy progressive rock that emerged in the wake of The Devil’s Blood, acknowledging that past — Farida Lemouchi (now of Molassess) stops by for a guest spot — while presenting an immersive and richly arranged 54-minute sprawl of highly individualized craft. Issued through Prophecy Productions, it brings cuts like the memorable opener “Sulphur and Starlight” and the dynamic “A Glass Forest” as well as the classic metal chug of “Be Your Sins” and the reaches of its title-cut and acoustic-inclusive finale “Dust and Shadow.” DOOL are a band brazen enough to directly refuse genre, and it is to their benefit and the audience’s that they pull off doing so with such bravado and quality of output. For however long they go, they will not stop progressing. You can hear it.

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Prophecy Productions website

 

Return to Worm Mountain, Therianthropy

return to worm mountain Therianthropy

By the time Durban, South Africa’s Return to Worm Mountain are done with 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Gh?l” from their second album, Therianthropy, the multi-instrumentalist duo of Duncan Park (vocal, guitar, bass, banjo, jaw harp) and Cam Lofstrand (vocals, drums, synth, guitar, bass, percussion) have gone from High on Fire-meets-Entombed crunch to psychedelic Americana to bare-essential acoustic guitar, and unsurprisingly, the scope doesn’t stop there. “Mothman’s Lament” is folksy sweetness and it leads right into the semi-industrial grind of “Mongolian Death Worm” before “Olgoi-Khorkoi” sludge-lumbers into Echoplex oblivion — or at very least the unrepentantly pretty plucked strings of “Tatzelwurm.” The title refers to a human ability to become an animal — think werewolf — and if that’s a metaphor for the controlled chaos Return to Worm Mountain are letting loose here, one can hardly argue it doesn’t fit. Too strange to be anything but progressive, Therianthropy‘s avant garde feel will alienate as many as it delights, and that’s surely the point of the entire endeavor.

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Dopelord, Sign of the Devil

dopelord sign of the devil

Primo weedian stoner sludge doom of precisely the proportion-of-riff one would expect from Polish bashers Dopelord, which is to say plenty huge and plenty grooving. “The Witching Hour Bell” sets the tone on Sign of the Devil, which is the fourth full-length from the Warsaw-based four-piece. They lumber, they plod, they crash, and yes, yes, yes, they riff, putting it all on the line with “Hail Satan” with synth flourish at the end before “Heathen” and the ultimately-more-aggro “Doom Bastards” reinforce the mission statement. You might know what you’re getting going into it, but that doesn’t make the delivery any less satisfying as Dopelord plod into “World Beneath Us” like a cross between Electric Wizard and Slomatics and of course stick-click in on a quick four-count for the 94-second punk blaster “Headless Decapitator” to cap the 36-minute vinyl-ready run. How could they not? Sure, Sign of the Devil preaches to the choir, but hell’s bells it makes one happy to have joined the choir in the first place.

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Ancestro, Ancestro

ancestro self titled

Numbered instrumental progressions comprise this third and self-titled offering from Peruvian trio Ancestro (issued through Necio Records and Forbidden Place Records), and the effect of the album being arranged in such a fashion is that it plays through as one long piece, the cascading volume changes of “II” feeding back into the outset count-in of the speedier “III” and so on. Each piece of the whole has its own intention, and it seems plain enough that the band composed the sections individually, but they’ve been placed so as to highlight the full-album flow, and as Ancestro move from “IV” into “V” and “VI,” with songs getting longer as they go en route to that engrossing and proggy 13-minute closer, their success draws from their ability to harness the precision and maybe even a little of the aggression of heavy metal and incorporate it as part of an execution both thoughtful and no less able to be patient when called for by a given piece. Hard-hitting psychedelia is tough to pull off, but Ancestro‘s Ancestro is no less spacious than terrestrial.

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Necio Records on Bandcamp

Forbidden Place Records on Bandcamp

 

Hellhookah, The Curse

hellhookah the curse

In 2016, Lithuanian two-piece Hellhookah made it no challenge whatsoever to get into the traditionalist doom of their debut album, Endless Serpents (review here), and the seven songs of The Curse make for a welcome follow-up, with an uptick in production value and the fullness of the mix and a decided affinity for underground ’80s metal in cuts like “Supremacy” and “Dreams and Passions” to coincide with the Dio-era-Sabbath vibes of centerpiece “Flashes” and the nodding finisher “Greed and Power,” which follows and contrasts “Dreams and Passions” in a manner that feels multi-tiered in its purpose. Departing from some of the Vitus-ness of the first full-length, The Curse adopts a more complex tack across its 38 minutes, but its heart and its loyalties are still of doom, by doom, and for the doomed, and that suits them just fine. Crucially, their lack of pretense carries over, and their love of all things doomed translates into every riff and every stretch on offer. If you’d ask more than that of them, well, why?

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Daisychain, Daisychain EP

Daisychain Daisychain EP

Bluesy in opener “Demons,” grunge-tinged in “Lily” and fuzz-folk-into-’70s-soul-rock on “How Can I Love You,” Daisychain‘s self-titled debut EP wants little for ambition from the start, but the Chicago-based four-piece bring a confidence to their dually-vocalized approach that unites the material across whatever stylistic lines it treads, be it in the harmonies of the midtempo rocker “Are You Satisfied” or the righteously languid “Fake Flowers,” which follows. With six songs and 21 minutes, the self-released outing is but a quick glimpse at what Daisychain might have in store going forward, but the potential is writ large from the classic feel of “Demons” to the barroom spirit of closer “The Wrong Thing,” which reminds that rock and roll doesn’t have to sacrifice efficiency in order to make a statement of its own force. There’s plenty of attitude to be found in these songs, but beneath that — or maybe alongside it — there’s a sense of an emergent songwriting process that is only going to continue to flourish. What they do with the momentum they build here will be interesting to see/hear, but more than that, they’re developing a perspective and persona of their own, and that speaks to a longer term ideal. To put another way, they don’t sound like they’re half-assing it.

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The Burning Brain Band, The Burning Brain Band

The Burning Brain Band The Burning Brain Band

Capping with a slide-tinged take on the traditional “Parchman Farm” (see also: Blue Cheer, Cactus, etc.), Ohio’s The Burning Brain Band‘s self-titled debut casts a wide net in terms of influences, centering the penultimate “The Dreamer” around 12-string acoustic guitar on an eight-minute run that’s neither hurried nor staid, but all the more surprising after the electronica-minded “Interlude (Still Running),” which, at four minutes is of greater substance than one might expect of an interlude just as the seven-and-a-half-minute warm-up “Launch Sequence” is considerably broader than one generally considers an intro to an album. There isn’t necessarily a foundational basis from which the material emanates — though “Brain Food” is an effective desert-ish rocker, it moves into the decidedly proggier “Bolero/Floating Away” — but “Launch Sequence” is immersive and the four-piece bring a performance cohesion and a clarity of mindset to the proceedings of this debut that may not unite the songs, but carries the listener through with a sure hand just the same. Who ever said everything on a record had to sound alike? For sure not The Burning Brain Band, who translate the mania of their moniker into effective sonic variety.

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The Burning Brain Band on Bandcamp

 

Slump, Flashbacks From Black Dust Country

Slump Flashbacks from Black Dust Country

Count Slump in a freakout psych renaissance, all punk-out-the-airlock and ’90s-noise thisandthat. Delivered through Feel It Records, the Richmond, Virginia, outfit’s debut, Flashbacks From Black Dust Country indeed touches ground every now and again, as on “Desire Death Drifter,” but even there, the vocals are so soaked wet with echo that I’m pretty sure they fucked up my speakers, and as much as “Tension Trance” tries, it almost can’t help but be acid grunge. In an age of nihilism, Slump aren’t so much unbridled as they are a reminder of the artistry behind the slacker lean, and in the thrust of “(Do The) Sonic Sprawl” and the far-out twist of “Throbbing Reverberation,” they affirm that only those with expanded minds will survive to see the new age and all the many spectral horrors it might unfurl. Can it be a coincidence that the album starts “No Utopia?” Hardly. I’m not ready to call these cats prophets, but they’ve got their collective ear to the ground and their boogie is molten-core accordingly. Tell two friends and tell them to tell two friends.

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Feel It Records on Bandcamp

 

Canyon, EP III

canyon ep iii

It’s a ripper, inciting Larry David-style “prettay good” nods and all that sort of approval whatnot. If you want to think of Canyon as Philly’s answer to Memphis’ Dirty Streets, go ahead — and yes, by that I mean they’re dirtier. EP III boasts just three tracks in “No Home,” “Tent Preacher” and “Mountain Haze,” but with it the classic-style trio backs up the power they showed on 2018’s Mk II (review here), tapping ’70s blues rock swagger for the first two tracks and then blowing it out in a dreamy Zeppelin/Rainbow jam that’s trippy and righteous and right on and just plain right. Maybe even right-handed, I don’t know. What I do know is that these guys should’ve been picked up by some duly salivating label like last week already and they should be putting together a full-length on the quick. They’ve followed-up EP III with a stonerly take on The Beatles‘ “Day Tripper,” and that’s fun, but really, it’s time for this band to make an album.

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Stream Review: Candlemass Live from Studio Gröndahl, Stockholm, Sweden, 07.03.20

Posted in Reviews on July 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

candlemass

The stage was set, the lights were lit, the fog machine was rolling out a steady haze, and legit doom legends Candlemass brought an immediate sense of presence to their July 3 streamed concert at Studio Gröndahl in Stockholm. One has to wonder how many ‘new’ experiences are left to the Swedish outfit headed by bassist and principal songwriter Leif Edling, but surely a streamed show would be one of them. The group are 34 years on from their ultra-seminal 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which helped pave the way for what traditionalist and doom metals subsequently became, and as a fan of the band, any opportunity to see them with vocalist Johan Längquist — who sang on that first record and then left the band ne’er to return until 2019’s The Door to Doom (review here), from which only the Grammy-nominated “Astorolus – The Great Octopus” was aired. They were, to put it mildly, robbed.

Now then, LängquistEdling, guitarists Mats “Mappe” Björkman (joined in 1985) and Lars “Lasse” Johansson (joined in ’87) and drummer Jan Lindh (also ’87) are veteran performers, who probably had a considerable amount of touring planned for 2020 to support the album, the follow-up-take-advantage-of-momentum EP, The Pendulum (discussed here), and perhaps even Edling‘s righteous beard, which surely is on the list of correct choices the band have made in the last decade. Those plans, candlemassobviously, evaporated in a cloud of pandemic statistics — like so much else — but with this stream, its important to note that they still put on a show. Goes without saying it wasn’t the same as seeing the band live, and I’ve been very, very, very fortunate to do that on more than one occasion, including the 2011 reunion set that first brought Längquist back to the lineup. About which, yes, I will brag forever; thank you, Roadburn 2011.

But this was a concert, and having seen a few acts bring different approaches to the advent of streaming live shows — everything from acoustic-guitar-in-the-kitchen to outside-at-a-would-be-festival — Candlemass‘ stream felt decidedly like a concert video in the classic metal sense. Production company Blackbox, which hosted the stream through its page, embedding a live YouTube player with a live chat, ran a professional shop. The lighting, the previously-noted fog, the quick cuts between multiple cameras, moving around, some at exaggerated upward angles, some head-on, even the candles lit around the room and the bouquets of flowers on Lindh‘s drum kit made it feel less like a studio space and more like a stage. It was a fitting environment for Candlemass to break out so many of their classics, from the opening “The Well of Souls” and “Dark Are the Veils of Death” from 1987’s Nightfall (discussed here) and “Mirror Mirror” from 1988’s Ancient Dreams (discussed here), to “Dark Reflections” from 1989’s Tales of Creation to landmarks like “Bewitched,” “Mirror Mirror” from the same era.

That era, which started with Längquist being replaced by vocalist Messiah Marcolin, ended after Tales of Creation (the blip that was the 2004 reunion notwithstanding), and while the debut was duly represented in “Under the Oak,” “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” and “Solitude,” which rounded out, it was interesting to see Längquist take on Marcolin‘s parts, their voices being of different character. Though the band also played a new song — listed as “Nytt Riff,” which is ‘new’ in Swedish — it was noted in the chat that the entire period in which the band was fronted by Solitude Aeturnus/Tyrant vocalist Robert Lowe was left out. Hazards, one assumes, of having a catalog full of classics. Perhaps Candlemass assumed that those seeking them out for a live-stream experience would be more established fans looking for ‘the old stuff’ as opposed to something from 2007’s King of the Grey Islands, 2009’s Death Magic Doom (review here) or 2012’s Psalms for the Dead (review here). I don’t know that they were wrong in that, and with a set time a little over an hour, keeping it to the most essential essentials was fair enough. Maybe if they start taking requests for another one I’ll ask for “Emperor of the Void” and see how it goes.

Last time I did a stream review, I was struck by the shift in experience between going to a show and putting one on — how rather than be something separate from a regular, day-to-day existence, the show became a part of it. I suppose it wouldn’t be any different for any live event being televised, but with the change from physically moving yourself from your home to a venue to see a band to not doing that, it’s a big change. To wit, when the stream started, I was on the highway. I turned it on on my phone, turned the speaker up and sang along to “Mirror Mirror” while my toddler called out different trucks he saw from the back seat. And when I got home, I unpacked the car from an overnight trip and changed a diaper while watching. By the time I finally got to sit down and live with it a little bit, they were through candlemassthe solo and Hammond-laced roll of “Nytt Riff” — which one assumes would get vocals at some point, but was a welcome inclusion as an instrumental anyhow — and on into “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” nearing the end of their time. It was an 8PM start for Europe, so that made plenty of sense, but I was and remain thankful for the ability to rewatch afterward, for whatever limited time the stream is still available.

I know that the notion of bands streaming live shows like this instead of doing concerts and touring is new, and I know that they’re certainly no replacement for seeing a band live, but Candlemass more than held their own under the circumstances. Periodically mugging for the cameras, they seemed to be enjoying the chance to deliver a show of any sort to an audience. And though the pauses between songs brought a kind of awkward silence where applause would be and the video screen behind them went under-used except during those transitions, the big rock finish as “A Sorcerer’s Pledge” moved into “Solitude” was nothing if not earned by that performance and all that came before it, and the inclusion of what I assume was soundcheck footage of “Demon’s Gate” after the show-proper made for a smart twist on the idea of an encore, so while there were lessons to take going forward from this new experience, Candlemass gave their virtual crowd something to be happy to have witnessed, as well as a limited ‘Ancient Streams’ t-shirt to pick up afterward. Clever.

Can’t go see Candlemass, and that’s a bummer. But god damn, it felt good to see Candlemass.

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Friday Full-Length: Type O Negative, World Coming Down

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

It had been probably a decade since I put on World Coming Down, the fifth album from Brooklyn, New York’s Type O Negative, but I still knew every word to every song. That’s a special record.

Type O Negative — principal songwriter Peter Steele on bass/vocals, Johnny Kelly on drums, Kenny Hickey on guitar/some vocals and Josh Silver on those oh-so-essential keys — were coming off an absolute masterpiece in their prior offering, 1996’s October Rust (review here), which saw them transcend the goth metal stereotype to which they’d been lumped in part rightly and truly bask in the possibilities for what they might offer in their impossibly-individualized blend of Black Sabbath and The Beatles. In a time when metal was beating its chest to the Panteras of the universe, Type O Negative was apologetically sexually transgressive, and they defined their own course and their own career on October Rust.

Yeah, all well and good, but then you have to make another record, right? Throw that pressure, Steele‘s well-under-way cocaine addiction, various personal losses and traumas, and the result is probably the darkest work Type O Negative ever released. Sure, songs like “Who Will Save the Sane?” and “Creepy Green Light” and “All Hallows Eve” seemed to speak to some of the same post-goth elements as October Rust, but when you put those alongside “Everyone I Love is Dead,” “Everything Dies” — who the hell let both of those on the same record? — and the slog of an opening that the album gets with “White Slavery,” and the affect is just miserable from the outset. Type O Negative had certainly trafficked in downerism to this point, but World Coming Down — even its 11-minute title-track, which is high among the best songs this band ever produced — felt more real, more personal, and at times the weight it seemed to put on the listener could be a lot to take.

A product of its era, it runs 13 songs and 74 minutes long with a Beatles medley at its conclusion after “All Hallows Eve” and “Pyretta Blaze” — which one might accuse of being a cynical redux/answer to the likes of “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” or even “Be My Druidess” from the prior album — and is peppered with death in the three interludes “Sinus,” “Liver” and “Lung,” which of course allude to cocaine, drinking and smoking. If this was the band’s excesses catching up with them, then fair enough, but the difference on World Coming Down is that what was gallows humor is instead just misery. If that seems like a fine line, Type O Negative demonstrate clearly by the end of “White Slavery” that it isn’t. Of course, Steele was still a songwriter at heart, so the clever chorus, “Let me say, Pepsi Generation/A few lines of misinformation/Watch your money flow away oh so quick/To kill yourself properly coke is it,” is just that — clever. And catchy. But the underlying message isn’t lost just for being couched in an accessible package, and, even the uptempo piano lines of “Everything Dies” can’t mask the plainness with which Steele delivers, “Now I hate myself, wish I’d die.” This, right before the flatlining of “Lung.” A radio hit about hair dye, it ain’t.

type o negative world coming down

There was no question that World Coming Down was informed by both the creative and the audience success of October Rust. From “Skip It” at the outset pulling a prank on the listeners to the lushness of melody in “Everything Dies” and “Pyretta Blaze.” The pre-medley closer “All Hallows Eve” seems to echo the sparseness (at least initially) of “Haunted” from the album before it as well. Each Type O Negative record was its own beast, from 1991’s Slow, Deep and Hard to 2007’s Dead Again, but neither were they ever shy about self-awareness, and that manifest throughout World Coming Down as much as anywhere. Even with the title-track as the centerpiece, it’s not a record I’d reach for before, say, 1993’s Bloody KissesOctober Rust, or maybe even Dead Again or 1992’s still-formative The Origin of the Feces, famous as much for its cover art as for any of the songs it actually contained. That’s not to say World Coming Down doesn’t have an appeal, just that, again, it can be a lot to take in. It is an album of meta-heaviness. They sound no less weighted down than the guitar or bass tones.

When Type O Negative were at their most ‘goth,’ on Bloody Kisses, they were tongue-in-cheek about it. There are some moves made to have the same perspective on World Coming Down, but somehow the humor is undone by the surrounding sincerity. As Steele intones during a break in the the title-track, “It’s better to burn quickly and bright/Then slowly and dull without a fight,” paraphrasing Neil Young in the process, it’s hard to know whether he’s working to convince himself or the listener of what he’s saying. World Coming Down is a gorgeous record, make no mistake, but its beauty has the arduous task of finding expression through a range of pains that comprise the recurring themes: death, addiction, inability to cope, etc.

The Beatles medley, with pieces of “Day Tripper,” “If I Needed Someone” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” is fair enough ground for Type O Negative to tread, having made no bones throughout their career of being influenced by — or as they might put it, “ripping off” — that group at various points. They also did a number of Beatles songs live, including “Back in the USSR.” And their penchant for matching parts of different songs together could easily be seen as an extension of the individualized takes they brought to “Hey Pete” or their version of “Paranoid” earlier in their career. It’s a little out of place on the album, tacked onto the end, but if I’m not mistaken, Roadrunner Records had a mandate at one point that everything they put out had to have a cover on it. Fear Factory did “Cars.” Type O Negative did “Day Tripper.” Fair enough.

Thinking about Nine Inch Nails‘ The Fragile (discussed here) last week — which came out the same day as World Coming Down; Sept. 21, 1999 — prompted a revisit here, and while the context of Steele‘s death in 2010 adds a spin of tragedy to everything Type O Negative did, as someone who was a fan of the band at the probably-too-tender age of 11, and who called Q104.3 so many times to request “Black No. 1” that they knew my name, I’m glad for any excuse to listen to them when an excuse to do so happens along.

We’re in Connecticut, came up yesterday. I’ve got to wrap this up in like 10 minutes so we can hit the road. Dropping off The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan at her mother’s, then driving north into Rhode Island about an hour and a half to buy chicken from a farm up there, then back down to grab them and back down again to NJ, hopefully all by naptime, but we’ll see. It’ll be a busy day.

Next week — Quarterly Review. I’m supposed to watch the Candlemass live stream this afternoon and review that too. It starts at 2PM. That should be up Monday, but other than that, it’s QR all the way. Not much news lately, so it’s a good time for it. Of course I say that and next week will probably be flooded. Whatever.

But since I haven’t even managed to brush my teeth yet — already changed a poopy diaper, made the kid breakfast (admittedly half-assed), and got two posts up! — and there’s still packing to do, I’m gonna call it. The Gimme show is a repeat this week, but if you feel like listening, it’s always appreciated.

It’s 4th of July weekend. I don’t have much to say about it, but if you’re proud to be an American in 2020, you’re either fooling yourself or an asshole. We should hang our heads and mourn the unnecessary dead this year. Have fun at the fireworks.

Whatever you do with it, a day off is a day off. I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Enjoy yourself from a safe distance.

FRM.

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Monte Luna Release Mind Control Broadcast EP Today

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

monte luna

Well yes, that’s quite heavy. Quite fucking heavy indeed, Monte Luna. How’s that new lineup of Monte Luna sound? If the issued-today Mind Control Broadcast three-songer is anything to judge by, they sound rather heavy. Like over-the-top tone. All-in heavy. Even the quiet part of “Blackstar” is fucking heavy. Introducing bass was a good idea.

Guitarist/vocalist James Cl and newcomers Garth Condit (bass) and Danny Marschner (drums) are premiering the tracks “Blackstar,” “Rust Goliath” and “Fear the Sun” as a part of some video thing today, and that’s super, but I guess they’re putting out the audio too in order to help The Lost Well in Austin. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a show there or not because every time I was ever at SXSW I was so miserable I got blackout drunk — and no, I’m not proud of that — but helping venues when the entire country is taking a shit is probably a nice thing to do.

So: Nice and heavy. My kind of band. Maybe we could hang out. Nah, these guys are way too cool for my ass. They probably stay up, like, past 9PM and stuff. Still, Mind Control Broadcast is fucking righteous — exactly what sludge should sound like in this wretched horror show of a reality we’re living — and you should listen to it.

Check it out:

monte luna mind control broadcast

MONTE LUNA RELEASE ‘MIND CONTROL BROADCAST’ EP JULY 3RD

Austin, Texas Psychedelic Sludge slingers Monte Luna are making lots of noise with a new line up and a new ep.- ‘Mind Control Broadcast’

Being a band that thrives on stage, close and one with their audience, these last few months have been trying to say the least for Monte Luna. But with their strong resilience and will to make art no matter what obstacle lies ahead, they have managed to make the absolute most of their time. The band has been fortunate enough to be isolated together during Covid-19, which has created a perfect environment for artistic genius to flourish. Monte Luna might be locked down, but this beast is far from caged!

James says: “We are thankful to have been stuck together during all of this. Most of our families live elsewhere, this music scene for us is family (Austin) we are thankful for it. We aren’t sure when we will be able to play on a real stage again but we are looking forward to it, in the meantime we are trying to figure out ways to better connect with our fans! We hope this ep reflects our efforts and helps friends, followers and people around the world get to the other side of this historical and humbling time.”

James says: “Phil’s departure left some big shoes to fill, and with his blessing, we sought to expand on something we had wanted to do for a long time. Just wait till you hear the album versions of all these songs and more!”(3 more not revealed)

About release:
Monte Luna are pleased to unveil 3 new songs to unleash onto the world which is the audio from an upcoming video stream in partnership with CVLT Nation on July 3rd, and will release on the same day. A portion of the album sales will be donated to help “The Lost Well”, an Austin, Texas live music venue to help keep their doors open. The stream can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/F404rOYGJ_A

These live takes are the early demos of the bands next full length album set to debut sometime in 2021/2022, depending on the state of the world. The main goal of this ep is to raise money for a worthwhile cause, while planting the seeds of anticipation for the upcoming full length album and demonstrating the full power of Monte Luna’s brand new line-up. The album touches on the topics of fear, loss, paranoia, depression and the vastness of the universe while still holding a very Dungeons and Dragons theme.

Monte Luna says: “Sonically it’s a whole new ball park. Bringing Bass into the mix really changed what we can do as a band. We’ve always been a two piece, but wanted to move past our limitations, because creativity should be as vast as the universe itself.”

Monte Luna says: “We do this because we love our community and this is what makes us happy. We’ve all had a lot of jobs, but this is the only job that brings us true happiness.”

Track list:
1- Blackstar
2- Rust Goliath
3 – Fear the Sun

Monte Luna is:
James cl – Guitar/vox
Danny Marschner – Drums
Garth Condit – Bass

www.facebook.com/pg/MonteLuna666
www.monteluna666.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/monte_luna_tx/
www.argonautarecords.com

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10,000 Years Stream Self-Titled Debut EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on July 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

10000 years

Swedish trio 10,000 Years will release their self-titled debut EP through Death Valley Records on July 10. Two-thirds of the band were formerly tenured in the hard-hitting Pike, and with 10,000 Years — true to the early High on Fire track for which the band is named — they take on brasher and meaner-edged sounds. Their EP runs five songs and 20 minutes, so the investment on the part of the listener is just about minimal, but what’s delivered is an encouraging start for a new trio as bassist/vocalist Alex Risberg and guitarist Erik Palm (the ex-Pike contingent) group with drummer Espen Karlsen to undertake the project. With Risberg‘s shouts overtop, 10,000 Years not only take on the meatier side of heavier riffing, they do so with a particular nuance that stems from their national underground heritage.

When one hears the phrase “Swedish death metal,” very often what that’s referring to is a cadre of bands who made landmark recordings at Sunlight Studio in Stockholm with producer Tomas Skogsberg at the helm circa 1989-1992. Entombed, Grave, Dismember, even At the Gates worked with Skogsberg during this time, and in addition to the aesthetic elements they shared between them, the ‘Sunlight Sound’ (which I’ve spoken about here before) is a massive piece of what10000 years self titled defined those acts and that era that still has relevance today, both because those groups are still active — some in more than one incarnation — and because a band like 10,000 Years is able to take the ‘Sunlight Sound’ and bring it to a new and exciting context as they do on this first EP.

Bookended in quiet passages between the delayed launch of opener “‘Albatross’ Landing” and the final subdued stretch of “From Suns Beyond,” 10,000 Years10,000 Years boasts a sharp efficiency of craft and winds up someplace between sludge metal and heavy rock at its root, but the rumble of Risberg‘s bass at the low end and the grit that seems to extend even unto Karlsen‘s crash cymbals lends an overarching rawness that helps immediately define the band’s personality. “Master of Oblivion” is downright sinister in its aggressive filth, and the three-minute centerpiece “Lee Van Cleef” echoes out its nasty thrust, but at its heart it’s essentially building off a Kyuss-style riff. It’s how 10,000 Years make it their own that makes all the difference.

That continues to be the case as the penultimate “Into the Jaws of the Green King” digs into the muck about as far as 10,000 Years seem willing to go at this point, and mud-shuffles into the creeper “From Suns Beyond,” which bursts out its instrumental moment of rage before receding back into the Sabbath “Hand of Doom”-esque quiet bounce.

For a 20-minute outing, there’s a lot to take in on 10,000 Years‘ five inclusions, and whatever the band does next, they’ll have an interesting task before them in expanding on what this first outing presents while (hopefully) maintaining the ferocity that drives them here. As they’ve got the established chemistry between the guitar and bass at their disposal and a clear idea of what they’re going for in terms of style, I have no trouble thinking there’s a masterplan at work here somewhere. It just may be one that involves a good deal of slaughter.

EP is streaming in its entirety below, and Risberg offers some background on the group beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Alex Risberg on 10,000 Years:

Me and Erik (Palm, guitars) previously played together in the original lineup of Pike. But we’d kinda drifted apart a bit during the years since he left the band even though we kept in touch and everything, but we hadn’t played together in a very long time.

Then one day he sent me a text like “I got a bunch of riffs, you wanna do something?” and that was it really. We jammed a couple of times, just me and him, and the riffs were amazing. We had to do something with them, so we decided to start a new band and just blast the heaviest, most uncompromising stoner metal we could.

We thought finding a drummer would be a challenge, since they are usually few and far between if you don’t wanna settle. And we never settle. But the first guy we tried out just clicked. We jelled immediately and that guy was Espen (Karlsen, drums) and we decided then and there that he was a part of the band and we set about writing more and more stuff.

When we had five finished songs we decided to record them and release an EP and that’s what we’re releasing now on July 10th. So from that first rehearsal to the release it’s been about four months, I think. So everything has gone very fast. But it’s just been such a smooth ride, very easy work, so we just keep going and see where we end up.

As far as influences it’s the same as it ever was. Black Sabbath is the foundation for everything we’ve ever done, regardless of which band we’ve done it in. We see our music as stonermetal and the bands I think of when I hear that term is stuff like High On Fire and Black Tusk so there you go. The inspiration is all the same bands we’ve always loved ever since long before we started Pike in 2008. Kyuss (without whom etc), Mastodon, Kylesa, Fu Manchu, El Gordo, Sleep, I mean the list goes on and on, haha.

The music and songs we’ve been writing and playing is all based in some sort of weird scifi-concept inspired by stuff like HP Lovecraft, Planet Of The Apes and other cool shit like that. It’s all about a team of astronauts who venture into space to find a future home for humanity. But obviously there’s problems and they crash through a wormhole or something, a rift in the space-time, and end up on a strange planet in neighbouring dimension that’s inhabited by ancient gods and strange creatures and this EP is about the journey there and what happens on this weird planet. The last song, “From Suns Beyond”, is when they finally get out of there and travel back to earth, but that’s a story for another record!

Recorded during one weekend in June 2020 in Studio Sunlight in Norrtälje, Sweden
Produced and Mixed by Tomas Skogberg
Mastered by Magnus Andersson in Endarker Studios in Norrköping, Sweden
Artwork and design by Francesco Bauso, Negative Crypt
Logo by Dominic Sohor

10,000 Years are:
Erik Palm – Guitars
Alex Risberg – Bass/vocals
Espen Karlsen – Drums

10,000 Years on Thee Facebooks

10,000 Years on Bandcamp

10,000 Years on Instagram

Death Valley Records on Thee Facebooks

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