Khemmis Announced as First Band for Magnetic Eye Records’ Dirt [Redux] Tribute Compilation

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

khemmis

I don’t know what song Khemmis have signed on to do for Magnetic Eye Records‘ next tribute compilation, Dirt [Redux], but as the label takes on one of the all-time classic albums of the 1990s — as well as the soundtrack to a goodly portion of my youth — they’ve started out well in choosing the acts to participate. The project has unsurprisingly met its corwdfunding goal via preorders and will press head with Khemmis as the first announced band involved. Who’s next? Hell if I know. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in this thing? It’s fucking Dirt. My real question is who’s going to do “Iron Gland?” I bet if you doomed that out you could get five minutes from it, easy.

Of course, Magnetic Eye is also on the cusp of issuing its Pink Floyd tribute, The Wall [Redux], which follows homages to Jimi Hendrix and Helmet, and has also seen a massive response. Tune in Oct. 26 around these parts for a rather sizable feature on that, and I’ll hope to have more to come on Dirt [Redux] as well, since the source material is one of my favorite albums, period.

Here’s the Khemmis announcement:

alice in chains dirt art

KHEMMIS confirmed to appear on “DIRT [REDUX]”

Riding the wave of excitement and success around The Wall [Redux], the massive Pink Floyd homage featuring The Melvins, Pallbearer, Ruby the Hatchet, Mark Lanegan, ASG, Scott Reeder and many others, Magnetic Eye Records has seized the moment and set its sights on the next volume in its popular Redux series.

And, given the staggering array of bands MER secured for its latest outing, the label can afford to be selective.

With that in mind, Magnetic Eye is ecstatic to announce that, pending the expected logistical discussions, acclaimed Denver prog-doomsters KHEMMIS have enthusiastically joined the project.

Says Khemmis, “We are thrilled to announce that we will contribute a track to Magnetic Eye Records’ newest project, a reimagining of the legendary Alice in Chains album Dirt. After the success of their last undertaking, Pink Floyd’s The Wall (featuring Pallbearer, (the) Melvins, ASG, and many more), the Magnetic Eye crew set their sights on Seattle. We are honored to be part of the record; just wait until you find out what song we’re covering and who else is on this project.”

If The Wall [Redux] and the signing on of Khemmis are any indication, Dirt [Redux] will be another stunning volume in this ongoing series that pays tribute to iconic musical works classic and modern by re-imagining them from cover to cover.

The Kickstarter campaign to move the project forward must meet its pre-order goal by the morning of Wednesday, October 17 to move forward, with more info available at kickstarter.com/projects/magneticeye/dirt-redux/

store.merhq.com
http://magneticeyerecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MagneticEyeRecords

Alice in Chains, “Hate to Feel”

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Friday Full-Length: Wovenhand, Woven Hand

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

I love this album. There are certain bands where I can be relatively assured that, when I write about them, there will be just about no response whatsoever. Wovenhand is one of them. I don’t know if people just aren’t into it or if it’s not a fit stylistically or what, but I already know going into this post that I’m basically doing it for myself. Fine. Still worth it. Like I said, I love this album. As I love very few others.

Led by then-16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards, Colorado’s Wovenhand released this self-titled debut in 2002. It was a departure from the alternative roots Americana that formed the foundation of 16 Horsepower, into a vibrant and varied take on folk, heavy in presence and melody and diverse in arrangement and mood in a way that would become a signature of Wovenhand‘s approach as Edwards took on the central role of auteur and began to explore influences and instrumentation from around the world. In that regard, the 10-track/40-minute Woven Hand is relatively straightforward, with most of its songs working from a base of acoustic guitar or piano, but even in the backing drones, the plucked notes (mandolin, maybe? bouzouki?) and the percussion of “Wooden Brother,” Wovenhand‘s fascination with elements outside the standard guitar, bass and drums was well on display — though of course this was the case in 16 Horsepower as well.

The difference is one of aesthetic and craft. In the brooding “My Russia” or the lonely-banjo cover of Bill Withers‘ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Wovenhand taps into a dark, full-sounding reach that finds contrast not only in the shimmer in the guitar of “Arrowhead” or the hoedown-gone-boogie “Glass Eye,” but also in the relative minimalism of closer “Last Fist” — turn the volume way up to hear the counting cymbal crashes in the otherwise muted-sounding parts — and the echoing vocal showcase “Story and Pictures,” with its soft standout piano line and deceptive depth of acoustic guitar, keyboard and drum. Edwards‘ Christian faith is a prevalent lyrical factor from opener “The Good Hand” onward, framing perspective and phrasing alike — for example, the first line of “Blue Pail Fever”: “Thy will be done here on this highway” — but there’s still plenty of room for earthly concerns as well, as in the corresponding lyric in “Wooden Brother”: “We hit the floor just like a blue silk slip.”

This balance too forms an essential part of what makes Wovenhand‘s Woven Hand such a rich album, but I will gladly argue for the insistent push of “My Russia,” the tension in its masterpiece later-album-answerback “Your Russia,” and the sheer moodiness of “Ain’t No Sunshine” as heavy works prescient of the full-band Wovenhand would become, and that fluidity, toying with different musical traditions and ideas, heft among wovenhand woven handthem, is part of what ties the material together, though one shouldn’t discount Edwards‘ voice in that either. He is the central figure across the entire span of the record, with his compressed voice in the verses of “Glass Eye” — on stage he uses two mics — and self-harmonizing on the joyous “Arrowhead.” That track begins with a sample of a grandmotherly-sounding woman talking about going to grade school for an immediate tap into nostalgia, so Edwards isn’t necessarily the only presence throughout the entire album, but for plenty of it he remains the focal point, whether it’s the gospel resounding of “Story and Pictures” or the interwoven layering in “My Russia” earlier on. Working with Daniel McMahon and Stephen Taylor on the recording, he’s nonetheless more than up to the task of carrying the songs.

And the songs are the focus. Whatever Wovenhand conjures in terms of arrangements and melodies, it is consistently in service to the song in question. The sustained backing melody that fills out beneath “The Good Hand,” the brush snare of “Glass Eye,” the far-back echoing bells resonant in “Story and Pictures,” and the empty spaces without them, all work to making the material more dynamic, open and, ultimately, effective in conveying thought and emotion as well as a broad instrumental sensibility. In kind with this, Woven Hand — or, you know, Wovenhand, depending whom you ask and on what day — functions with two primary salvos: one at the beginning of the album and one toward the end.

Starting out with “The Good Hand” and the turn into “My Russia” helps set the course of breadth in and beyond Americana, an entire musical world at the project’s disposal, and after the meditative “Story and Pictures,” to have the bright strum of “Arrowhead” and its so-alive uptempo kick isn’t just a surge forward later in the tracklisting, but also a lead-in for “Your Russia,” which serves as the apex of the album, driving from a tense buildup of verses into a push of vocals that seems to be the moment of release to which the entire record has been leading. It’s not the end — I’d count the quiet aftermath in “Last Fist” as a worthy epilogue — but neither is its placement accidental both in speaking to “My Russia” before and in providing a landmark for the band that, 16 years later, is still capable of running a chill down the spine.

Wovenhand‘s discography of course would continue to build. Several of Woven Hand‘s cuts were reworked on 2003’s Blush Music, and as 16 Horsepower entered hiatus, Edwards diverted his full attention to his new outfit, digging into an increasing range of composition on 2004’s Consider the Birds and 2006’s Mosaic before beginning to build a complete band around himself with 2008’s Ten Stones, and getting outwardly heavier while remaining sonically adventurous on 2010’s The Threshingfloor (discussed here), 2012’s The Laughing Stalk (review here), and 2014’s Refractory Obdurate (review here). The band’s latest outing, 2016’s Star Treatment (review here), pushed their farthest yet into weighted tones and styles, and as it seems that barring a surprise announcement for a November release 2018 will pass without a new album from them — you’ll note the even-years pace of releases — one can’t help but wonder if some turn in their approach isn’t in the works for their next offering. Though they’ve toured a lot as well, so the timing could just as easily be affected by that.

I don’t know if Woven Hand will hit home for you as it does for me. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. If you’ve never heard it and give it a shot, or if it’s already familiar and you’re coming home to it, as always, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

It’s just after four in the morning. Alarm went off at 2:30AM, as it has been for I don’t know how long at this point. Last night I sat on the couch with The Patient Mrs. around 8PM — The Pecan put to bed at 6:30 upstairs — and was falling asleep reading a Star Trek novel while she answered email and worked on whatnot. I went up to bed and called it a night, maybe 8:15PM. Big Thursday. At least it’s dark now when I go to bed. It kind of felt silly over the summer to hit the sack when it’s still daylight out.

A bumpy start to the week, but we got there by the end of it. Before I went to Norway for the Høstsabbat fest last weekend, my prescription ran out, so I was off my depression meds for a few days. Thursday through Monday, and by Monday, I was curled up in the shower wishing my life would end. That sucks. I’ve been on meds at different periods in my life, and I always thought of them as a crutch kind of help you get through it. Not a longterm thing. It’s been 10 months now that I’ve been taking them, and I still can’t really go without for any length of time. What a shitter. My wife and my baby both deserve better.

Norway was incredible though, my subsequent inner collapse aside (there wasn’t really time for such things at the fest itself). Seeing Elephant Tree again, and Asteroid, and SÂVER, who, yeah, I know it’s the dude who runs the fest’s band, but were really one of the highlights of the weekend for me. I was into Tombstones as well going back before Høstsabbat was a thing, so if you think I’m blowing smoke because of the good work being done with the festival, I’m not. Pelagic Records would seem to agree, what with having signed them and all.

Anyway, we had a couple nice days this week in Massachusetts while Hurricane Michael was devastating Florida and the greater Southeast, so I got to spend some time outside with The Pecan before the big winter lockdown comes. I don’t know when the clocks change — nor do I know how that’s still a thing — but we’re losing light each day and soon enough it’ll be dark at like 3PM and cold and rainy all the time for what probably 30 years ago would’ve been December snowfall but now that doesn’t really start until January.

He went down a slide on his own for the first time, and he claps hands now. These little things become a big deal. He’s a pain in the ass, but fun too. I feel ways about stuff.

I should do the notes. Ostensibly next week is the Quarterly Review, but between the fest last week and I’m still fucked up in terms of timing from being robbed in May, I’m not sure it’s going to work out. Tomorrow I’ll know for sure. I’m thinking I could skip it and do a plus-sized one to close out the year in December, though that inevitably comes up against list season as well. Maybe earlier in the month? I don’t know. I’m thinking of these things as I type them. That would allow me to get back on track, rather than be half a month late on the QR as I seem to have been throughout 2018. Will debate, and pending that I’ll actually hold off on notes. Be surprised.

I’m waiting on a date for when it will air and waiting to record my voice tracks for it, but I’ve turned in a second playlist for “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio. Hopefully sometime next week I’ll find out when it’ll air and I’ll let you know. They’ve also launched an archive so you can sign up and hear past shows. It’s five bucks a month or something, which sounds like a lot until I think of the bullshit I blow five bucks on like every single day. Bags of ice and chewing gum. Protein bars. I’d count coffee in there, but that’s more of a life-support issue than bullshit expenditure.

So I kind of talked about it on the social medias while I was at the fest, but I’m going to do merch again. This site’s coming up on a special occasion, and in addition to my own way of celebrating, I thought setting something up tshirt-wise would be a good way to go. Yeah, I said I’d never do it again, and I’m not doing it the same way, but we can talk about that when the announcement goes out.

Alright. 4:30 now. I’m gonna go prepare the ground for when the baby gets up, hopefully not for another hour at least. Or maybe just crash on the couch for a bit.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thanks for reading and have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Kyle Shutt of The Sword Announces First Solo Album Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

As always when a band calls it quits, there’s some question as to what’s next for its component members. Some do nothing. Some form other groups with other former members of other former bands. Every now and again, someone goes solo, and that would seem to be the intent — or at least one of the intents — of The Sword guitarist Kyle Shutt, who in the wake of his main outfit going on hiatus is both taking his heavied-up Pink Floyd tribute project Doom Side of the Moon on the road for select dates this Fall and embarking on a first-ever, he-plays-everything solo album set to release in May 2019. He’s got a crowdfunding campaign set up for the album now wherein, among other assorted rewards, he offers for $3,000 to cover any song you want, and in the video he dares someone to raise the money on GoFundMe and make him do “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Fair.

The PR wire brings word of these sundry doings and more:

kyle shutt (Photo by Mateo Leyba)

The Sword Guitarist Kyle Shutt Announces Plans to Release Solo LP

Acclaimed Musician Launches Incentive-Driven Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Solo Debut; Album Slated for May 2019 Release

Celebrated guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Kyle Shutt has announced plans to release his first-ever solo album in the spring of 2019. Shutt, who has spent the last 12 years touring the world as guitarist for the award-winning hard rock band The Sword, and just last year launched Doom Side of the Moon: a Heavy Metal Tribute to Pink Floyd, plans to play all of the instrumentation on the solo release and handle vocals, as well. The musician has launched a fan-friendly Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, which is slated for a May, 2019 release date. For full details on the campaign, which runs through October 31, visit this location.

“I love producing albums and rolling up my sleeves to tackle big challenges,” says Shutt. “While wondering what to do with a mountain of material not necessarily fit for any band that I am in, I heard a tiny, very loud voice telling me to make a solo album in that very sense, solo! I’ll be hitting those drums, slapping that bass, singing those lyrics, and absolutely shredding that guitar. If there’s something that makes a noise I like, I’m playing it. Now, while making albums is a load of fun, it’s also a load of work that, in 2018 doesn’t come cheap. That’s why I thought I’d ask you all be a part of the launching of this wacky solo career, which isn’t just stopping with this initial album. I’m starting with this record and will go wherever my inspiration takes me.”

“It‘s not easy being an artist these days, and I truly couldn’t do this without your support,” Shutt continues. “So if you have the faith in me to do my part in saving rock ’n’ roll, pick up a record and a shirt and LET’S DO THIS THING!

Shutt’s Austin-based Doom Side of the Moon project will perform its first-ever national live shows this December with just-announced gigs in Dallas, Denver and Brooklyn in addition to an encore performance in ATX. The autumn itinerary is as follows:

Doom Side of the Moon tour dates:

November 30 Austin, TX Emo’s
December 1 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live!
December 3 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
December 4 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw

“Taking Doom Side of the Moon on the road, and to the sky for that matter for these fly in dates, is certainly the biggest project I’ve ever attempted, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Shutt states. “I can only imagine what Pink Floyd felt like taking a show like ‘The Wall’ on the road. Those guys had such astounding ambition, I hope I do them justice by putting on the best tribute I can to their timeless catalog.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kyleshutt/kyle-shutt
https://www.facebook.com/DoomSideoftheMoon/

Doom Side of the Moon album visualizer

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Jakethehawk Set Nov. 10 Release for To Build a Fire

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

jakethehawk (Photo by Shannon Kenyon)

Two albums in a year is pretty rare for a band who aren’t jamming out space rock or psychedelic improv. Pittsburgh’s Jakethehawk up the ante on a quick turnaround with their second album of 2018 — also their second album, period — To Build a Fire, which will see release Nov. 10 through Blackseed Records. The band are fresh off an appearance at this year’s Descendants of Crom fest in their hometown, and they’ve unveiled the details for the new record, including the righteous cover art that recalls Forming the Void and some of David Paul Seymour‘s work. In any case, one wonders how much this will be the course of things for Jakethehawk or if, with a four-part titular opener, the new record isn’t a result of a glut of material from the writing of their first album.

Either way, it’s a remarkable feat that they’re getting it out before the end of November, let alone the actual end of the year. Here’s to working quickly and recording yourself.

From the PR wire:

jakethehawk to build a fire

JAKETHEHAWK to release their sophomore album, ‘TO BUILD A FIRE’ via BLACKSEED RECORDS on November 10, 2018

Pittsburgh’s own ‘Appalachian Desert Rock’ brotherly quartet of JAKETHEHAWK continues to pursue the sky with the announcement of a new full-length album coming in November on Blackseed Records. Their sophomore record, ‘TO BUILD A FIRE’, comes less than a year after their debut release, ‘Year Of The Hawk’ last January.

The band shared some insight into creating the new album:

“The bones of this album were mostly written on acoustic guitar with the idea that it would give the music a more ‘song focused’ feel. The title track songs were rewarding, because they contain cohesive musical and thematic journey. To Build a Fire’ is a representation both of where we are as a band and where we want to go musically and texturally.”

‘To Build A Fire’ – Track List:

To Build A Fire pt. 1: First, We Kill All the Lawyers
To Build A Fire pt. 2: Parting Glass
To Build A Fire pt. 3: Recluse
To Build A Fire pt. 4: Geotaxis
Carcosa
Holy Water
The Silk Road
Strand

With all music written and performed by Jakethehawk, the album was recorded and engineered by Justin Lober in Pittsburgh, with mastering by James Plotkin at Plotkinworks. The beautiful cover illustration and design is by Joe Mruk of Red Buffalo Illustration.

Set to arrive on November 10, 2018, ‘To Build A Fire’ will be available via Blackseed Records in physical format on CD, with Digital Download and Streaming through all major outlets (Bandcamp, Spotify, etc.).

Jakethehawk is:
Vocals/Guitars – Jake Ferranti
Bass – Justin Lober
Drums – Jordan Lober
Guitars/Vocals – John Huxley

facebook.com/jakethehawkpgh
instagram.com/jakethehawkpgh
jakethehawk.bandcamp.com
www.blackseedrecords.com

Jakethehawk, Year of the Hawk (2018)

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Domkraft, Flood: Torrential Downpour

Posted in Reviews on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

domkraft flood

Listening to some of their more crunching riffs, Domkraft are easy enough to lump into the category of post-Monolord undulation, big tones and spacious vocals on a song like “The Watchers” seeming to make the Stockholm trio kin to that Gothenburg outfit. That, however, is less than half of the whole story. Domkraft‘s approach, especially on their second album and Blues Funeral Recordings debut, Flood, is a melting pot of modern heavy. Yes, that heft is there, but even more so throughout the seven-song/41-minute outing is a sense of drift and space rock thrust, a heavy rocking swing and bounce, an element of noise rock and post-metal in some of the shouted vocals and plenty of psychedelia throughout.

With rhythmic repetition, the trio of guitarist Martin Widholm, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland and decidedly-not-named-Martin drummer Anders Dahlgren affect a sense of nodding hypnosis from the outset of opener and longest track (immediate points) “Landslide,” which seems to earn its title via the consuming wash of wah and massive crashing riff in its second half — either evoking or causing the titular devastation; it’s hard to tell which. Either way, the earth moves, but as huge as its riffing is — and it’s not just at the end either; dig that turn at about 3:03 into the total 9:56 — that leadoff also performs the essential function of introducing the more sprawling aspects of Domkraft‘s sound. Those, along with the crush, the style and layout of cover art, the use of a well-placed interlude, etc., are things Flood carries over from 2016’s debut LP, The End of Electricity (review here), which was released by Magnetic Eye Records, but there has been a shift in the production as well as in the reach of the songs themselves, and Flood pushes farther out into open terrain even as it seems so ready to pummel the listener into those same grounds.

One might think of “Landslide” as a companion-piece to “The Rift,” which gloriously opened the debut, and it’s no less effective in establishing the tones and breadth on which what follows continues to build throughout the remaining six tracks. It is a natural progression from one to the next, and in that way emblematic of what is accomplished throughout Flood as a whole. Both “The Watchers” and the subsequent title-track are shorter and represent a momentum-building between them that simplifies some of the moves from “Landslide” but still ties to that song in terms of the elements at play, whether it’s the wah in “The Watchers” amid the Neurosis-style shouts from Wegeland or the tonal heft that they seem to make bounce in “Flood” itself, showing themselves as unafraid to play to heavy rock traditionalism despite being so outwardly modern in their approach. That is, it’s okay to like a fuzzy riff and a locked-in groove. No one’s going to yell at you. The sense of forward motion through both “The Watchers” and “Flood” is crucial, but no less so is the centerpiece interlude “They Appear to Be Alive” (one wants to put an ellipse before the last word of the title: “They Appear to Be… Alive,” if only for dramatic effect), which is less than 90 seconds long but serves in its sort of winding guitar mini-swirl to emphasize Domkraft‘s trance-inducing aspects and the psychedelic flourish that has been accompanying the sonic heft all along.

domkraft

It’s a slowdown, or a breather, after the apex of “Flood” and its downhill push with “The Watchers” following “Landslide,” but it efficiently reorients the listener and prepares them, almost unknowingly, for the second half of album. Already, though, we see the band’s modus is not unlike the match-lighting seabeast adorning Flood‘s cover, with multiple tentacles connected to a three-eyed, somewhat monstrous whole, like an Octorok from Zelda but with better graphics to seem all the more fierce as it belches smoke and carries — tellingly — a hook. Domkraft have a few of those as well, and though their songs aren’t immediately chorus-based in let’s-get-this-verse-out-of-the-way-so-we-can-get-to-why-we’re-really-here fashion, they nonetheless cast a memorable impression that all the more distinguishes the fluid balance of their material, shifting between styles while creating a cohesive entirety from them.

Side B begins with the tempo manipulations of “Sandwalker,” turning first to more of a pushing instrumental chorus and then into a sprawling pre-midsection guitar solo. Madness ensues. With increasing intensity, Domkraft move into a wash of noise and another solo before hitting the brakes again, and then go back for more speed before the song seems to pull itself apart. The chorus turns out to be the solo — an instrumental hook that proves all the more memorable for being the final statement the 7:29 track makes. That length is important because it speaks to the change in structure on side B. Where the first four songs were like a rollercoaster, climbing up “Landslide” and then rushing down “The Watchers” and “Flood” into the valley of “They Appear to Be Alive,” side B works as bookends. “Sandwalker” and the 8:09 closer “Dead Eyes Red Skies” (not to be confused with the 2013 Tombstones album, Red Skies and Dead Eyes) surround “Octopus,” which at 4:40 is the shortest of Flood‘s non-interlude inclusions. That change gives the album as a whole a more varied personality and the sense that the band are willfully not trying to mirror the two halves on each other, which has become the norm for those willing to put in the effort at all. By going another way, Domkraft make themselves all the more distinct from their peers, and “Octopus” gives a crisp reaffirmation of the effectiveness of its quicker side A counterparts while summarizing the rolling groove that has served the band so well.

The closer answers back with another fervent nod, but also a more patient delivery than most of what Domkraft have heretofore brought forward, allowing the tones to flesh out even as they ready for the next shove. Departure into a particularly psychedelic solo leads to a holdout of some feedback and a surge of riffing that identifies readily as the culmination of the record, getting thicker as it goes with the vocals still cutting through, mellowing out one more time, getting heavy quick, then cutting out altogether to finish with whispers over atmospheric guitar and bass. It’s a chaotic finale, but that’s obviously what it’s meant to be, and Domkraft wield it ably as they have done all along throughout Flood. The album is executed with a level of self-awareness across its span that further underscores that notion, and as Domkraft take this unmistakable step forward, they seem to show no signs of resting in this place either. I wouldn’t be surprised if their next outing found them dug even further into the realms of psychedelic ultraheavy, but that of course is just one of Flood‘s accomplishments on which they might build.

Domkraft on Bandcamp

Domkraft on Thee Facebooks

Domkraft on Instagram

Blues Funeral Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Blues Funeral Recordings on Bandcamp

Blues Funeral Recordings website

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Leonov Premiere “I am Lion, I am Yours” Video; Wake out Oct. 26

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

leonov

Norwegian atmospheric doomers Leonov are getting ready to release their sophomore collection, Wake, on Oct. 26 through Fysisk Format. “I am Lion, I am Yours” is the leadoff among the included five tracks, and in its haunting melodic echoes and cacophonous wall of sound, it speaks to a duality that plays out across what follows in loud/quiet tradeoffs and patient builds. There are stretches of marked intensity and reaches where minimalism holds sway behind the vocals of Tåran Reindal, which remind a bit of what Sera Timms brought to Black Math Horseman in terms of effects and ambience. Still, through the crunching “Eucharist” with drummer Jon-Vetle Lunden rolling out a nod marked by the low end of bassist Morten Kjelling and the spacious guitars of Ole Jørgen Reindal and Rune Gilje, and into the 10:50 “Shem,” Leonov demonstrate a fluidity in their transitions that smooths out the noted juxtaposition. They’re not any more jagged in a given turn than they want to be.

Part of that is the aforementioned bass, which ties together a lot of the material along with Reindal‘s vocals, but leonov wakepart is the expectation of drift set up in “I am Lion, I am Yours.” That’s brought to fruition in “Shem,” which in its second half marches toward what at first seems to be an apex and turns out instead to be a deconstruction and looped static, and even more so in 15-minute closer “Wake,” but between the two is “Oceanode,” which follows a more distinctly post-metal direction and opens up after about a minute and a half into more a more churning riff that in the second half of the song comes to a head in the most prevalent wash of the record. The title-track follows a more experimentalist but ultimately linear course, offering a highlight vocal performance and subtlety of keys and percussion that bring tension leading to Wake‘s mountainous finish. The depths and heights, however, are clearly foretold in the opener, as is the wash, and Leonov execute their charge with a graceful balance between heft and space. Their methodical delivery seems to have grown in the four years since they made their self-titled debut, and Wake offers sonic spiritual catharsis in its heavier stretches and an otherworldly presence in its quieter moments.

If you’ve got an aversion to high-contrast or flashing lights, you might want to hold the screen out or step back before you hit play on the video below, because there’s definitely some of that going on and I’m not looking to give anyone a headache (honest.). Otherwise, you’ll find “I am Lion, I am Yours,” directed by Simen Skari, on the player immediately following, with some more release info courtesy of the PR wire afterwards, including the preorder link.

Hope you enjoy:

Leonov, “I am Lion, I am Yours” official video premiere

I am Lion, I am Yours is taken from Leonov’s 2018 effort ‘Wake’ out on Fysisk Format October 26th. Pre-order the album here: https://smarturl.it/IamLion

Ever since its formation in 2010, Leonov has found inspiration for its celestial doom in the existential, the darkness and affliction, as well as the curiosity and hope in things beyond our reach and comprehension.

“Wake” is an album that contends with life’s great journey in the face of these forces, from cradle to grave. From the childlike and fundamental quest for belonging, acceptance and affirmation – to the mature recognition that we are ever coming up short and are not in control of our existence, and as a summary, the titular song “Wake” conveys the melancholy and nostalgia over what has been found and lost. The song encloses a celebration of life and a grief over the things left behind, a pain that everything ends and at the same time a hope that death is not final.

Recorded at Taakeheimen Lydrike, with the exception of “Eucharist” recorded at Malabar Studio with Christoffer Gaarder, the band’s second album was later mixed and co-produced by Morten Øby at Taakeheimen.

Leonov is:
Ole Jørgen Reindal – Guitar
Rune Gilje – Guitar
Morten Kjelling – Bass
Tåran Reindal – Vocals/Synth
Jon-Vetle Lunden – Drums

Leonov on Thee Facebooks

Leonov on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets to Prophecy Fest USA in Brooklyn; Alcest, Year of the Cobra, 1476 & Many More Playing

Posted in Features on October 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

prophecy fest lineup

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post and make sure your email address is filled in the form so I can contact you if you win. Yup, that’s it.]

You can buy tickets now for the first-ever Prophecy Fest USA, being held Nov. 2-3 in Brooklyn, NY, at the Knitting Factory, and I’m not going to dissuade you from doing that, but if you leave a comment on this post, you can also just win a pair and go that way. I know money’s tight, so if you’ve got room in your heart for the likes of Novembers Doom and Alcest, Kayo Dot and Year of the Cobra over the course of two nights — and well, I think you do — then yeah, you might just want to go for this one.

I want to keep this post short, so I’ll spare you the wax-critique of the varied and righteous bill and just let you see it for yourself. The schedule as per the fest:

prophecy fest usa 2018 new posterFriday, November 2nd
7-7:30 || Völur
8-8:30 || Xasthur
9-9:30 || Kayo Dot
10-10:45 || So Hideous
11:15-End || Novembers Doom

Saturday, November 3rd
7-7:30 || 1476
8-8:30 || Year of the Cobra
9-9:30 || Crowhurst
10-10:45 || Eye Of Nix
11:15-End || Alcest

Pretty badass, and again, this is the first time Prophecy Fest is being held on American soil, so all the more worth showing up.

And I don’t know if I have to say this at this point, but I will anyway: if you enter a contest here, I don’t keep your email. You’re not added to a list. Your information isn’t sold. I wouldn’t know how to do that if I wanted to, and I don’t want to, so yeah. The lizard people already have your information, but I didn’t give it to them.

Thanks to all who enter.

And if you don’t win, buy tickets here: http://us.prophecy.de/prophecy-fest/prophecy-fest-us-ticket.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/228554127792687/
http://us.prophecy.de

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post and make sure your email address is filled in the form so I can contact you if you win. Yup, that’s it.]

Prophecy Fest USA trailer #2

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John Garcia & The Band of Gold Announce Exclusive US Appearance

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

john garcia

He’s doing one US gig and he’s making it count. John Garcia will appear with his Band of Gold on Nov. 29 on the Vinyl stage at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. He did a show in Calgary earlier this year, but so far as I know, this is it for US appearances for the time being. Joining desert rock’s most pivotal frontman are Death in Pretty Wrapping, featuring Garcia‘s Unida bandmate Arthur Seay, and Luna Sol, with Garcia‘s Hermano bandmate David Angstrom, as well as Garcia‘s former Kyuss/Vista Chino bandmate, Nick Oliveri.

It’s set to be a career-spanning show, as Garcia‘s former bandmates will join him on stage for songs from their respective outfits — Garcia notes in the video below that members of Slo Burn will be on hand for the occasion as well — and one can also expect new tunes from John Garcia and the Band of Gold, whose debut album is now completed and expected to release sometime soon on Napalm Records. Will it be out in time for this show? I doubt it, but probably concurrent to Garcia‘s impending European stint early next year. If you’ll recall, that run was rescheduled to Jan./Feb. to allow for their studio time. If the photo of Garcia and Kyuss producer Chris Goss (also Masters of Reality) posted on social media means they collaborated on the album, then yeah, I’d call that worth putting off some shows. Working toward the greater good, and all that.

The show is presented by Vegas Rock Revolution and the following came down the PR wire:

john garcia show poster

John Garcia & The Band of Gold Announce Special Las Vegas Show

Desert Rock Master John Garcia & The Band of Gold have announced a special once in a lifetime show, set to take place on Thursday November 29th in Las Vegas, NV at Vinyl in The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The Band of Gold features (Ehren Groban on Guitar, Mike Pygmie on Bassand Greg Saenz on drums). This will be the band’s only North American appearance this year and will be a night, not to be missed.

Support on this special evening will come from bands that have a played a role in Garcia’s legendary career including Nick Oliveri, Luna Sol (featuring Dave Angstrom of Hermano) and Death in Pretty Wrapping (featuring Arthur Seay of Unida). Fans can also expect to see additional special guests from Garcia’s bands from over the years.

All of the band’s and Garcia’s friends cannot wait to play this show:

“Johnny rocks. All of his band’s rock. We all know that he’s a monster …but having John as a friend is really amazing to me. He’s such a great guy, father, husband, bandmate and brother. His vocals rock me to the core …they always have. I can’t wait to hang and share the stage with Johnny and the onslaught of monstrous players and characters joining forces in Vegas on Nov 29th. It’s going to be a throw down, for sure…my ears are already ringing. Let’s bring the rock!” says Dave Angstrom

Stay tuned for more news from John Garcia & The Band of Gold, and see if you can begin to the put the puzzle together for yourself…

john garcia and the band of gold logo

https://www.facebook.com/JohnGarciaOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/johngarciasolo/
https://shop.napalmrecords.com/

John Garcia, Las Vegas show announcement

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