Church of the Cosmic Skull, Science Fiction: By the River, by the Road

Posted in Reviews on May 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

church of the cosmic skull science fiction

‘Come, Worship!’ says the sign outside the Church of the Cosmic Skull. Or at least it would if they were a building and not a band. Still, the invitation is there, and the Nottingham, UK, seven-piece — who made their debut in 2016 with the excellent and continually striking Is Satan Real? (review here), could hardly make the prospect sound more exciting than they do on their second LP for Kozmik Artifactz (tape out on Septaphonic Records), the nine-track/41-minute Science Fiction. From the hat-tip to Queen in the opening title-track and the hymnal vibe in second cut “Go by the River” to the unbridled gospel bliss of “Revolution Comes with an Act of Love” and the later bluesy stretch of “The Cards that You’re Playing,” Church of the Cosmic Skull evoke a fitting sense of worship through their harmonies, classically progressive tones, synths, etc., and when it comes down to what exactly is being worshiped, as close as I can tell, it’s joy. Pure joy worship.

Each song approaches it from a slightly different angle, from the slow serenity of centerpiece “The Others” through the quick but subtle enough to make it a highlight linear build of closer “The Devil Again,” but much as the distinct sonic elements of brazen vocal harmonies, electric cello and keys and synth run along with the standard guitar, bass and drums, so too does joy seem to be the underlying theme of Science Fiction, and its expression throughout is nothing short of revelry. Led by guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer “Brother” Bill Fisher, Church of the Cosmic Skull features the congregational lineup of vocalists Sister Caroline Cawley and Sister Joanne Joyce bassist/vocalist Brother Samuel Lloyd, cellist/vocalist Sister Amy Nicholson, keyboardist/vocalist Brother Michael Wetherburn and drummer Brother Laurence Stone, and while like any drug, joy can be dangerous in leading to a loss of control, the band keeps a firm control on the meter and direction of their output across the entire record.

They do so via songwriting, and under the direction of Fisher — whom one hesitates to call auteur when he’s surrounded by the contributions of so many others, but seems to be running the show in any case — they proffer memorable verses and choruses and while the organ-soaked “Paper Aeroplane and Silver Moon” ranges past the six-minute mark, it’s impossible to ignore how tight in performance and structure songs like “Go by the River” and “Timehole (Gonna Build a Rocket)” are. Church of the Cosmic Skull embraced a pop influence on their debut as well, but like the rest of their approach, that too has taken a step forward here, and with driving moments like the cultish galloping riff of the aforementioned longest track, there’s a diversity in sound enough not only to make Science Fiction flow from front to back, but to give each song an opportunity to stand out on its own as well. In that way, it’s all the more fair to think of it as a classic-style long-player in how it’s put together, since its ordering was clearly thought out to maximize both the whole listening experience and the impact of each piece. To be blunt, it worked, and Church of the Cosmic Skull sound all the more accomplished for it. Their arrangements are more complex and their harmonies all the more gorgeous, but there’s still the root of a verse/chorus approach beneath that does not lessen their accessibility factor at all.

church-of-the-cosmic-skull

Like I said at the outset, there’s an invitation being made here, and if the band presents a kind of manifesto anywhere on Science Fiction, I’d say the best summary of their perspective overall arrives in “Revolution Comes with an Act of Love,” which departs from the devilish cultism of the debut — it’s not by any means fully gone; see “The Devil Again” at the album’s finish — but this time through it’s more about the wholeness of spirit itself rather than how it comes about. At least that’s how it reads on listening. There are moments of unashamed fun — again, “Timehole (Gonna Build a Rocket Tonight)” — and more melancholy exercises like “The Cards that You’re Playing” and “The Devil Again,” and “Cold Sweat” is a highlight for taking a Thin Lizzy-style swaggering rhythm and pushing it into a choral realm, but apart from the gleefulness of the atmosphere throughout, what’s striking about Science Fiction is the increasing breadth of the band’s craft and the fact that they can make their songs do all these different things while still retaining a consistent and distinct sound.

With the conceit of religiosity as a factor, Church of the Cosmic Skull nonetheless allow themselves to push beyond novelty. They wear white on stage. They call themselves “Brother” and “Sister.” They’re just as likely to reference ’70s rock as timeless spirituals. Yet with the quality of their output, these things become less like a gimmick and more part of the overarching aesthetic statement. In a frenzied multimedia world, Church of the Cosmic Skull offer an experience about more than just the music, however central that still remains. And in that frenzied world, as with any church, they offer a chance to step outside of oneself and glimpse something grander, even if it’s a purely human realization, rather than one based on dogma or other arbitrary facets.

Ultimately, Science Fiction, while its name evokes images of space rock and visions of futures bright or dark, finds its tie to the genre more through the creation of its own world even than that rocket that it’s gonna build tonight. It finds Church of the Cosmic Skull thoughtful in their composition and delivery, patient in their expression but still exciting to hear, and boldly manifesting the joy they seem to be worshiping throughout. They have been and remain a special band, and with the forward drive they show here, it feels like their growth will only continue as their good word spreads. Rejoice — as in, be made joyful again and celebrate. The invite is right there waiting to be answered, and the congregation is ready to receive any wayward comers ready to bask in the new sunlight.

Church of the Cosmic Skull website

Church of the Cosmic Skull on Thee Facebooks

Church of the Cosmic Skull on Soundcloud

Church of the Cosmic Skull on Bandcamp

Church of the Cosmic Skull on YouTube

Church of the Cosmic Skull on Instagram

Church of the Cosmic Skull on Twitter

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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Glanville Post “Dancing on Fire” Live Clip from EP Release Show

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

glanville (Photo by Jo Henker)

On April 14, Glanville played the release show for their debut EP, First Blood, in Darmstadt, Germany, from whence frontman René Hofmann hails. Hofmann is of course best known for his guitarist/vocalist role in the ever-evolving Wight, and that band’s bassist, Peter-Philipp Schierhorn, also features in the new group, along with lead guitarist Philipp Michel (The Earwix) and rhythm guitarist Chris West (Named by the Sun, ex-Stubb) and drummer Thomas Hoffman (ex-Bushfire), comprising an experienced lineup with a definite mission in mind to bask in the glories of the metal of yore. As the title line is delivered in the live clip below for “Dancing on Fire,” if your mind doesn’t readily link to “Living After Midnight,” well, it should.

First Blood, which is out via Fat & Holy Records, brings that mission to life in ready fashion, but still carries an unmistakable current of heavy rock as well. It can be heard in the riffs of the prior video clip for “God is Dead” as well as in “Dancing on Fire” as the band seems to find a balance drawing from ’70s groove and ’80s NWOBHM-style soloing, not entirely dissimilar in the basic math from Chicago’s Bible of the Devil — yes, that’s a compliment — though Hofmann‘s soaring vocals are a distinguishing factor. As Wight moved from heavy psychedelia toward funkier jams, his voice showed likewise progression in confidence and range, and in Glanville he seems to take another step forward as a standalone guitar-less frontman.

And for being a new group if one comprised of veteran players, the band shows itself as being remarkably tight behind him. The dual-leads and gallop in the bridge parts are noteworthy, but even in the shifts from verses to the chorus, there’s a smoothness that, along with the tonality, is perhaps the element most drawn from heavy rock. There isn’t a rough transition. Even live, “Dancing on Fire” is aware of its flow and how crucial it is to maintain it. The vibe is right on, and as much as the grainy visual aesthetic of the “God is Dead” clip — which you can see at the bottom of this post, because one likes to be thorough — tells the story, I think the live show maybe even one-ups it in giving a representation of what Glanville are all about.

Check it out below, followed by more info about the EP and the five-piece’s sundry vices, and enjoy:

Glanville, “Dancing on Fire” live in Darmstadt

Glanville performing “Dancing On Fire” live at Oetinger Villa Darmstadt April 14th 2018.

Glanville was formed by childhood friends Philipp Michel (Jack Daniels) and René Hofmann (Marijuana) who wrote 5 great heavy metal songs and decided they needed to be played by a real band. Hofmann, who previously played guitar, had this to say about the experience:

“As an unsuccessful guitarist screaming and complaining all the time about my playing, I found out that my my tongue works better than my fingers so I became a singer. Finding the right musicians for the band was hard. It took over a year… like diggin’ in the bargain bin and only finding the leftover bruised apples“.

The lineup is completed by bass player Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (Cocaine), rhythm guitar player Chris West (Cheeseburgers) and Thomas Hoffmann (Heroin) on drums. Bass player extraordinaire Schierhorn describes joining the fast-paced band:

“Having grown up on a strict diet of Judas Priest, I just had to hop on board. But now my right hand constantly hurts.”

Get their EP “First Blood” digital:
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2rPHrCM
iTunes – https://apple.co/2rOFoiX
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2KzUYGn
Apple Music – https://apple.co/2rOFoiX

CD and LP: https://fatandholy.bigcartel.com

Audio recorded by Matze Wörnle.
Mixed and mastered by René Hofmann.
Camera by Gabriel Sahm, Johanna Amberg, Jonas Eichhorn.
Edited by Johanna Amberg.
Color Grading by Gabriel Sahm.

Glanville is:
René Hofmann (vocals)
Philipp Michel (lead guitar)
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn (bass)
Thomas Hoffmann (drums)
Chris West (rhythm guitar)

Glanville, “God is Dead” official video

Glanville on Thee Facebooks

Glanville website

Fat & Holy Records webstore

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Spaceslug Post “Obsolith” Video; Eye the Tide out July 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

spaceslug

Polish tonal-serenity bearers Spaceslug seem to work pretty quickly. Last year they had the Mountains and Reminiscence EP (review here) and their second LP, Time Travel Dilemma (review here), both out, and it was only in 2016 that their debut, Lemanis (review here), landed to such wide acclaim. A quick turnaround to their third long-player isn’t necessarily unexpected considering the thus-far track record, but in a year that’s already featured so much killer music, adding another one to the list certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going to hurt anything.

Spaceslug have a new video up now for “Obsolith” that you can see at the bottom of this post, and preorders for the album are coming soon. Here’s info from the PR wire:

spaceslug eye the tide

Prolific psychedelic metallers SPACESLUG return with new album | Premiere new video for ‘Obsolith’

Eye the Tide by Spaceslug is released worldwide on 20th July on BSFD Records

Pre-orders will be available soon at https://spaceslug.bandcamp.com/music

Formed in Wroc?aw, Poland in 2015 by guitarist Bartosz Janik and drummer Kamil Zió?kowski, Spaceslug was born a singularity; a rare and unusual discovery found deep amidst a cosmic multiverse of doom, stoner metal and progressive rock.

Completing their line-up shortly after that initial bang with the arrival of Jan Rutka on bass, the trio soon began their journey through space and time; writing, recording and releasing their debut album Lemanis in 2016 on BSFD Records/Oak Island Records to wide acclaim.

With the album enthusiastically received on terra firma, Spaceslug’s quite frankly supermassive sound served as a flawless introduction. A sound where moments of dark desolation sidled up neatly alongside light and hope, riffs and soar-away vocals, it opened a sonic gateway into the hard rock underground and pathed the way for their devastatingly brilliant follow-up, Time Travel Dilemma. Released just one year after their debut, the album kept the cosmic cannon firing on all cylinders and like their Mountains & Reminiscence EP (released later that same year) their ticket was deservedly stamped and valid beyond the stratosphere.

This July will see the official worldwide release of Eye the Tide, Spaceslug’s third full-length album and the closing entry in their personal trilogy:

“It took us just four months to create our first album, Lemanis, and we wanted it to be more than just a project. We wanted it to be a journey into another dimension,” explains guitarist Bartosz Janik. “With Eye the Tide, we want this third part of the cosmic journey to explore the deepest and darkest parts of that universe. The album itself is more progressive and post-rock than anything we’ve done before as we always want to turn that next corner when it comes to making music.”

Later this year, Spaceslug will also contribute their dark reimagining of Pink Floyd’s ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ to THE WALL [Redux], Magnetic Eye Records’ end-to-end homage to the iconic Pink Floyd album, featuring heavy music luminaries including The Melvins, Pallbearer, Mark Lanegan, Scott Reeder and Ruby the Hatchet.

Eye the Tide by Spaceslug is released worldwide on 20th July via BSFD Records. Pre-orders will be available soon at https://spaceslug.bandcamp.com/music

TRACK LISTING:
1. Obsolith
2. Spaced By One
3. Eternal Monuments
4. Words Like Stones
5. Vialys Part I & II
6. I, The Tide

SPACESLUG:
Bartosz Janik – Guitar, Vocal
Jan Rutka – Bass, Vocal
Kamil Zió?kowski – Drums, Vocal

https://www.facebook.com/spaceslugband/
https://www.instagram.com/spaceslug_pl/
https://spaceslug.bandcamp.com/music
https://www.facebook.com/BSFD-records-247816545273558/
https://bsfdrecords.blogspot.co.uk/

Spaceslug, “Obsolith” official video

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Live Review: Colour Haze, Trevor’s Head and The Brothers Keg in London, 05.22.18

Posted in Reviews on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

colour haze (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Colour Haze are my that band. You know that band. There’s some resonance there that goes deeper than the average listening experience. I have a couple that bands – YOB, Neurosis, etc. – but in my 15 years of following the Munich trio’s work – which makes me Johnny Comelately when set against the fact that their first album, Chopping Machine (discussed here), came out 23 years ago – I’ve only seen them three times prior. One was Roadburn 2009 (discussed here), another Desertfest London 2013 (review here), and to go way back, Emissions from the Monolith in 2006, which to-date remains the only show they’ve ever played on US soil. I’ve said so before, but that was a moment that genuinely changed my life.

So it was my last night in London before flying back to the US Eastern Seaboard and facing the reality check of bills, stacks of mail – my mail log was on my stolen laptop; whoops – laundry, grocery shopping, and so on, so you’re god damned right I was going to see Colour Haze as they happened to be in town on a tour that brought them to midsize club The Garage for what would be the first non-fest set of theirs I’d ever seen. On my way to the show, I was thinking of what it might bring, for what the room would be like, what the gig would be like, how many people would be there, all that stuff mixed into an anxiety and excitement that lasted pretty much until I walked in the door and saw The Brothers Keg on stage opening the three-band bill.

With Tom Fyfe on drums — also of StubbThe Brothers Keg made their debut with a demo (discussed here) late last year and played material from that and then some, proffering a blend of heavy, desert rock, shouty sludge and psychedelia that someday, probably years from now, some clever critic is going to dub the “London sound.”

It speaks to Kyuss and Iron Monkey alike, but definitely came of age with some grunge influence, and isn’t unaware of the UK’s massive psychedelic legacy either. At least The Brothers Keg weren’t. They had some bearings to straighten out in terms of overall direction, but as with the demo, their potential was writ large in their live set and they made an excellent opener for the night, tying in some elements that each of the next two acts would share.

Trevor’s Head also had some of that “London sound” to them, but it was more of an undercurrent to an overarching layer of prog-metal weirdness. Fronted by guitarist Roger Atkins they played material from their new album on APF Records, Soma Holiday (review here) and a few older songs from 2016’s Tricolossus. Obviously familiar to the crowd, who sang along as the band rolled through, Trevor’s Head‘s three-vocalist approach allowed them to bring the same variety to their live performance as they brought to the record, and three mics on stage meant that at any given point, any one of Atkins, bassist Aaron Strachan and drummer Matt Ainsworth might be breaking the balls of the others. Elephant Tree had a bit of that going too the other night, albeit with one fewer mic. Call it another London thing. Dudes being dudes and whatnot.

They’re an interesting band, though. All three have significant stage presence in the making, and they play with three discernible personalities, with Atkins the frontman despite being in a level line at the front of the stage with the others, Strachan lost in the world of his five-string, and Ainsworth amiably busting chops between songs while seated behind his kit. Again, they knew people in the crowd, but I think even as others started to show up ahead of Colour HazeTrevor’s Head represented the coterie of Desertscene — who booked this gig and also runs Desertfest London — with sonic purpose and a bit of the tongue-in-cheek persona that helps define who these groups are.

I was fortunate enough to talk to Colour Haze guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek for a bit before they went on, and he mentioned this was their 12th show in as many nights. The night before, they were in France. They’d already been to London once, as well as Porto, Madrid and up to Scotland, etc. That’s not an insignificant run for a band of 20 year olds, let alone a group of veterans who’ve influenced a generation of heavy psychedelic rockers and whose first album, Chopping Machine (discussed here), came out in 1995. And though this was my first time seeing them outside festival confines, I was not at all surprised to find they made a two-hour set seem far too short. They were amazing. I’m speaking literally. I stood there and was amazed.

Bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald might be the tightest rhythm section I’ve ever seen. It sounds like hyperbole, but I’m being honest. Their smooth shifts in meter, groove and progression were a joy to watch from the start of set-opener “She Said” through pre-encore set-closer “Transformation” — both taken from 2012’s She Said (review here) — and they played with such class both between themselves and in kind with Koglek and keyboardist/synthesist Jan Faszbender that as they made their way through the title-cut of 2006’s Tempel (discussed here), there was funk in their sound, as well as jazz and still enough rock to tie it all together. Merwald drove the linear builds forward as his kit faced sideways on the stage to put him head-on with Faszbender, and in classic fashion, as Rasthofer provided the foundation, it left Koglek‘s guitar free to wander. And it did. Gloriously.

And the tones. My god. The crowd — increasingly drunk, increasingly dancing — cheered from the first note Koglek played, and rightfully so. His and Rastofer‘s tones both are a guiding principle for Colour Haze, and standing in The Garage as the sound bounced off the back of the room and came around again at max volume, it was like swimming in warm water. Running “Skydancer” and “Skydance” from last year’s righteous In Her Garden (review here) together into one ahead of “Überall” from 2015’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here), they built momentum and brought immersion to a level that I doubt I’d have been able to resist if I’d tried. “Aquamaria” had been an early representation, and along with the encore finale “Love,” it was remarkable what Faszbender — on tour for the first time with the band — brought to the arrangements of material new and old.

colour haze 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

In addition to bringing another melodic presence, the keys and synth fleshed out transitions between the songs and worked as much with Koglek as with Rasthofer. “House of Rushammon,” which first appeared on their lost 1998 second album, Seven (discussed here) and later showed up on their 2004 landmark self-titled (discussed here), led off the encore with “Love” behind it, and before they kicked into the latter, Koglek noted from the stage that in these times of increasing nationalism and everything going on in politics, it was something of which the world needed more. From that start, they executed a final swirling build that consumed the crowd to the point that people were jumping up and down in excitement, and one could only pull out one’s earplugs and give in. I won’t say I jumped, but it was one of several points in the set where I just closed my eyes and let go. At one point I turned to The Patient Mrs. — who had had a prior obligation earlier but showed up for the headliner like the proverbial boss she is — and told her I hadn’t felt so good in a year. It was true.

This trip, with its lows and highs, couldn’t have had a better finish. I have packing to do so I’ll keep this short, but between getting robbed and the subsequent support I received, the killer shows I saw, the little bit of record shopping I got to do yesterday (maybe more on that later), seeing good friends and embracing the magic that is British fish pie, I feel like seeing Colour Haze was exactly the kind of summary for how special this time has been. I’m lucky to have experienced it, and incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for reading.

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 Adds Elder, Dopethrone, Sasquatch, Eagle Twin & Black Moth

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Belgium 2018 has made its second round of lineup announcements, including a couple North American heavy hitters like Elder, Dopethrone, Sasquatch and Eagle Twin. These, along with UK outfit Black Moth make up the five bands who join the previously announced Acid King, YOB, John Garcia and Wo Fat, making it a thus-far American-leaning lineup to be sure, though I have little doubt that will even out over the coming months. Don’t forget, this fest isn’t until October, and that’s not exactly this weekend or anything like that.

Whatever the geography, anyplace that has YOB, Acid King, Elder and Sasquatch hanging around — let alone playing — is someplace you should want to be. Tickets are on sale, and on sale, now, as the PR wire affirms:

desertfest belgium 2018 elder

DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2018: Elder, Dopethrone & more confirmed

Are you ready for another lethal dose of Desertfestian awesomeness?

Good, ’cause that’s exactly what we’re here to deliver! Here’s five (count’em!) more bands that will absolutely slay come October, with no filler in sight.

We’re delighted to welcome back Elder to the DF stage after their blistering show in 2016. Next up, Dopethrone wants to show you why exactly their upcoming new album is called ‘Transcanadian Anger’. Rocking, pissed off and dope as fuck – exactly how we prefer our sludge.

In a more traditional stoner vein, we have Black Moth from Leeds (UK) and Sasquatch from LA. Both are known to deliver the grooves and riffs as well as the songs and melody, and both have more than a decade of solid live reputation behind them. Two quality picks for the real connoisseurs out there. Finally, from the depths of Salt Lake City comes Eagle Twin, whose new album ‘The Thundering Heard’ reaches new heights of shamanic delirium. A power duo if there ever was one!

All of this, and still no shortage of Reduced Combi Tickets at the price of €95. Are we crazy? Well, yes. So make sure you grab your ticket before we come to our senses – this high won’t last forever, but it’ll last you until the next announcement in a few weeks.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/364607267372737/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (2017)

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The Heads RKT! Reissue out This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Some day, in some universe, some kind soul will put together a comprehensive discography for The Heads. It will feature all the UK heavy psychedelic pioneers’ releases — albums, splits, EPs, singles, live records, etc. — in the order of their original release, and note the labels, the different versions, the limited editions, the subsequent reissues, and so on, as well as some comment from the band itself on each offering. I expect this would be a book-length project for whatever kind soul took it on, and no doubt it would require a substantial government grant of some sort to happen. And perhaps a team of interns working in shifts.

Until we get to that magical day in that magical universe, we can enjoy The Heads‘ discography for the wonderfully confusing thing it is and perhaps even draw a parallel between their otherworldly and molten sounds and the impenetrable murk that is their catalog. They have a new reissue out this Friday. And the thing about The Heads? They’re amazing.

No, really. Amazing.

From the PR wire:

the heads rkt

THE HEADS latest reissue release “rkt!” on Rooster Records is out next Friday (25th May).

Latest volume in the long running Rooster reissue series, “rkt!” is a timely reissue of the first 3 releases The Heads put out on the ROCKET label.

OUT NEXT FRIDAY (May 25th) in the UK (June 1st in USA) on Limited 3LP format (2CD delayed..sorry..) The Heads – RKT! …(all the stuff they released on Rocket Recordings in the late 90s, in unedited form / one handy package!) And on the digital “sites” for the first time too… Remastered by Simon Price and Shawn Joseph (Optimum Mastering) for sonic dissonance of the highest order…this is bucketbonged sike at its rawest and most enrapturing…

To celebrate that, they have unleashed a “studio” version of live staple “KRT” in its glorious repeato-tripped out 46 minute plus glory…on all the digi places…check it out on the Spotify below…yes, a “Spotify” single from the Heads…tuck in…

Tracklist:
1. Spliff Riff (Conga’d Out)
2. Neu75!
3. Disappear Into Concrete And Meat
4. Filler
5. Jellystoned Loop
6. Planet Suite
7. Longest Gone
8. krt (all of it)

Latest in the long running Rooster (The Heads own label) reissue series, the latest volume is a timely reissue of the first 3 releases The Heads put out on the ROCKET label, from their first split 7” release (with Lilydamwhite) in 1998 to their much lauded SESSIONS 2 freakout 12” from 2002, all long sold out and highly collectable releases in their own rights.

Compiled here by Simon Price and remastered by Shawn Joseph…this release finds the band in fully relaxed glory; The Heads we quite prolific back in the late 90s / early 00’s, and in between the Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere album and Undersided album they released their jams and raw rehearsals via the burgeoning ROCKET Label.

Compiled here with extensive sleeve notes from Rocket founder Simon Healey, this limited 3LP (1000 copies) and 2CD (1000 copies) set captures the band at their most laconic and free…psychedelic sprawling morass of sound and aural distortion grooves akin drawing from their wide influences…also from simply plugging in and letting go…

Spotify KRT stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0M4gtqM1PcGZ62T11mzgs7

iTunes full album pre-order (and stream for KRT): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rkt/1383320753

https://www.facebook.com/The-Heads-282801075465/
https://theheads1.bandcamp.com/

The Heads, Burning up With… (2016)

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Mist Premiere “The Offering” from Debut Album Free Me of the Sun

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mist (Photo by Lara Zitko)

Mist release their debut full-length, Free Me of the Sun, June 1 via Soulseller Records. Thus far, the Ljubljana, Slovenia-based five-piece have unveiled two songs from the follow-up to 2015’s EP, Inan’ (discussed here) and the prior Demo 2013 (review here) in the form of “Disembody Me” and album opener “The Ghoul.” Both exceedingly doomly outings, “The Ghoul” touched on a post-Candlemass sense of the epic in its chorus riffing and the echoing vocals of Nina Spruk, while “Disembody Me” dug into a lumbering march that was pure Sabbath in its origins. As they have all along, Mist evoke a sense of classic doom and give the listener the fervent impression that they know exactly what the hell it is they’re doing. Nothing to complain about in either case.

With the reveal of “The Offering,” the band — Spruk alongside guitarists Blaz Tansek (lead) and Ema Babosek (rhythm, also backing vocals), bassist Neza Pecan and drummer Mihaela Zitko [Pleasemist free me of the sun note: accent marks removed from names with apologies because the characters wouldn’t show up in WordPress] — allow listeners to dig a little deeper into Free Me of the Sun, and show something of a different face on the way. Departing from the lurch of “Disembody Me” and the grandiosity of “The Ghoul,” “The Offering” brings a more uptempo kick to its verse riff, a heavy ’70s swing and stomp in its verse calling to mind a modern take on proto-metal and the early NWOBHM doomism of Pagan Altar while trading between faster and slower pacing as it makes its way fluidly through its relatively quick sub-four-minute runtime, retaining the essential tonality and doomed vibe of the other cuts as it goes.

That last factor is perhaps the most significant info one can glean from “The Offering” as it relates to Free Me of the Sun as a whole, because it tells us that Mist, five years on from their demo but still making their debut, are able to capture a varied sound while still retaining the melody and atmosphere central to what they do. I’d tell you more about the record, but my promo was on my recently stolen laptop, so I’m in the same boat as you may be in terms of just having these three tracks to go by ahead of the release. Nonetheless, I think you can hear significant promise in the sound of “The Offering” — dig that solo just before the end — for some of the diversity of approach that Mist are bringing to the 10-track long-player.

One more time, Free Me of the Sun is out June 1 on Soulseller Records. You’ll find “The Offering” on the player below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Please enjoy:

Mist, “The Offering” official track premiere

When MIST first released their 2013 Demo as an all-female band they never dreamed it would become recognized around the globe for its unique dark harmonies contrasted by powerful feminine vocals. Their music is natural, raw and the riffs reflect the themes of their lyrics – nature, spells, death – which are more often than not deeply inspired by the occult. MIST’s traditional doom sound builds on the legacy of legendary bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Candlemass, Coven, Saint Vitus and others.

In 2014 the band signed with Soulseller Records and released the »Inan’« EP in 2015, as well as their 2013 Demo which had previously been sold-out twice. They have since performed with a number of legendary artists, such as Manilla Road, Jex Thoth, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and have owned the stage at Bloodstock, Hammer Of Doom, MetalDays, Malta Doom Festival and more.

This year, MIST will release ten brand new songs on their first full-length album titled »Free Me Of The Sun«. Staying true to their traditional doom roots the band builds upon strong riffs with bright female vocals and epic guitar solos. The album was recorded in Studio Ork, produced and mixed by Benjamin Kic and mastered by Patrick W. Engel – Temple of Disharmony. With this release MIST are starting a new chapter on their path in the depths of doom. They are eternally grateful to fans for all their support and vow to spread the word of doom ’till death do them part.

Line-up:
Lead vocals : Nina Spruk
Rhythm guitar & backing vocals: Ema Babosek
Lead guitar : Blaz Tansek
Bass : Neza Pecan
Drums : Mihaela Zitko

Mist on Thee Facebooks

Mist on Instagram

Mist on Bandcamp

Soulseller Records website

Mist preorder at Soulseller Bandcamp

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Lurk to Release Fringe Aug. 5; Streaming “Reclaim” Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

lurk

Finnish guttersludge extremists Lurk have set an Aug. 5 issue date for their new album, Fringe, via Transcending Obscurity Records. And call me crazy, but I don’t think they titled the record after that not-X-Files show Fox had on until they could convince X-Files to come back. And while it’s possible, I don’t think it’s the kind dangling from Ozzy‘s jacket either. I’m thinking this is more the “lunatic fringe” kind of fringe. Out there on the edges, blown mind, blown soul, all fucked up and not caring anymore. That kind of fringe.

At least that’s the vibe I get off streaming the track “Reclaim,” which you can hear at the bottom of this post if you’re so inclined. What could almost as easily be marketed as black metal, the track is a push toward extremity of fuckall that nonetheless maintains an underlying groove. It’s not easy listening by any stretch, but making the effort comes with a reward. And, no, I don’t just mean the Adam Burke cover art, though that’s rad as well.

Info from the PR wire:

lurk fringe

LURK (Finland) – ‘Fringe’ Gold LP Box Set / Gold LP / CD Box Set / Digipak CD / Merch / Digital (August 5th, 2018)

Genre – Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal
Release Date – August 5th, 2018
Record Label – Transcending Obscurity Records (India)

Wistful and mysterious, LURK’s music is just as interesting and multi-faceted as their cover artwork. Blending elements of doom, black and death metal into their astounding sludge template, the Finnish band is taking the sound ahead in ways hitherto unheard. Haunting, soaring melodies juxtapose with abrasive low-end riffs without hampering the overall aesthetics. Watch the band take you into a slow, hallucinatory descent towards madness where multiple worlds coalesce and still make sense – that in a nutshell is the music of LURK.

Band lineup –
Kimmo Koskinen – Vocals
Kalle Nurmi – Drums
Arttu Pulkkinen – Guitar
Eetu Nurmi – Bass

Guest vocals by Aleksi Laakso on Elan
Alto saxophone by Aino Heikkonen on Ostrakismos

Album artwork by Adam Burke (HOODED MENACE, LOSS)
Layout and art direction by Francesco Gemelli (KATATONIA, TOWARDS ATLANTIS LIGHTS)

Track listing –
1. Ostrakismos
2. Tale Blade
3. Reclaim
4. Elan
5. Offshoot
6. Furrow
7. Nether
8. Proteus Syndrome

https://www.facebook.com/lurkdoom
https://lurkdoom.bandcamp.com/
https://tometal.com/
http://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

Lurk, Fringe (2018)

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