Primitive Man Announce Spring Touring in Japan, Australia and New Zealand

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

primitive man (photo Alvino Salcedo)

Primitive Man, who are about the most unfortunately appropriate soundtrack to our times one could ask, are doing a quickie run of West Coast shows this week — they already played Calgary this weekend — culminating in a gig at Brick by Brick in San Diego with Relapse labelmates -(16)-. That’ll be a good show, provided anyone’s able to walk out of it. The Colorado bringers-of-destruction will spread their chaotic end-days preach to Japan, Australia and New Zealand this Spring, and that run on the other side of the planet will follow a split due next month with Hell that of course follows their split with Unearthly Trance, follows their split with so on and so forth. You get the idea. Like the concrete post-apocalyptic firescape they convey in their consuming assault of noise, they are nothing if not productive.

The PR wire plots the storm’s path:

primitive man

PRIMITIVE MAN: Announce Spring 2019 World Tour Dates

Denver’s PRIMITIVE MAN announce Spring 2019 World headlining tour dates including trips to Japan, Australia & New Zealand. The tour begins in Japan from April 11-14 with Bell Witch & Coffins, continues in Australia from April 18-21 then ends in New Zealand from April 24-27 with Heresiarch. All confirmed tour dates are available below.

Additionally, PRIMITIVE MAN kick off four exclusive West Coast tour dates this Saturday, January 19 in Calgary, AB and ends January 25 in San Diego, CA with -(16)-.

PRIMITIVE MAN’s recent full-length Caustic is out now on CD/2xLP/CS/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical Packages are available via Relapse.com HERE and Digital Downloads / Streaming Services AT THIS LOCATION.

PRIMITIVE MAN Tour Dates:

Jan 23 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
Jan 24 Los Angeles, CA @ Catch One
Jan 25 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick (w/ -(16)- )

— All Dates Apr 11-14 w/ Bell Witch & Coffins —

Apr 11 Yokohama, JP @ El Puente
Apr 12 Tokyo, JP @ Bushbash
Apr 13 Tokyo, JP @ Nine Spices
Apr 14 Osaka, JP @ Hokage

— Primitive Man Australia Headline Tour Apr 18-21 —

Apr 18 Brisbane, AU @ Crowbar
Apr 19 Melbourne, AU @ Bendigo Hotel
Apr 20 Sydney, AU @ Crowbar
Apr 21 Hobart, AU @ Brisbane Hotel

— All Dates Apr 24-28 w/ Heresiarch —

Apr 24 Dunedin, NZ @ The Crown Hotel
Apr 25 Christchurch, NZ @ Darkroom
Apr 26 Wellington, NZ @ Valhalla
Apr 27 Auckland, NZ @ Thirsty Dog

PRIMITIVE MAN:
Ethan Lee McCarthy – guitars, vocals
Jonathan Campos – bass
Joe Linden – drums

http://www.primitivemandoom.com
http://www.facebook.com/primitivemandoom
http://www.relapse.com
http://www.relapserecords.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords
http://www.twitter.com/RelapseRecords

Primitive Man & Hell, Split (2019)

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Review & Full Album Premiere: The Sabbathian, Latum Alterum

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

the sabbathian latum alterum

[Click play above to stream The Sabbathian’s Latum Alterum in full. Album is out Jan. 25 on Svart Records.]

Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen — who has worked with Leaves’ Eyes, Nàttsòl and Mandylion, and many more — and Chad Davis, of Hour of Thirteen, The Ritualist, Anu, Jenzeits and dozens of others, are The Sabbathian. She’s in Norway and he’s in the US, but they render borders moot with their Svart Records-delivered first album, Latum Alterum, which follows the 2014 EP, Ritual Rites, and furthers a blend of extreme metal, cultish impulses, near-operatic melodies and an overarching atmosphere of doom. Songs like “One Night of Cruelty” and the penultimate “Embrace the Dark,” which follows, tap into The Devil’s Blood-style mystique, with Gulbrandsen delivering her lines in self-harmonized layers while the multi-instrumentalist Davis handles guitar, bass and drums (and maybe a bit of vocals as well).

The construction of the band reminds somewhat of the earliest incarnation of Hour of 13, which was Davis on instruments and standalone-singer Phil Swanson, but while The Sabbathian has its doomed elements, the overarching feel of the band is different and entirely more grand. Of course, a large portion of the credit for that has to go to Gulbrandsen, who makes even coming in for the first lines of closer “Evig Hvile/Libera Me… (Outro)” in the pocket of the beat feel stately, but even in Davis‘ breadth of guitar tone on the earlier “Liti Kjersti,” which in another context would easily be black metal, there’s a resonant grandeur that complements the work done on vocals. From the beginning of the chanting opener “Requiem…” through the slow-moving “The Brightest Light,” Latum Alterum — Latin for “on the other side” — the progression of the album feels geared for maximum listener consumption, and the intercontinental duo get going, there’s nothing stopping the feeling of plunging further and further into a deep-reaching metallic abyss. It’s their first album, but it’s nobody’s first album, if you know what I mean, and the experience of knowing how they want to sound and how to make that happen is writ large in the material.

Though rich in its melody, it is not easy listening. Though there’s nothing in its run one would consider abrasive given proper indoctrination and openness to a consistent distorted wash, but Latum Alterum requires attention. As it makes its way toward and through nine-minute centerpiece “Head of a Traitor,” which boasts a guest appearance from Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes, and onward to the final echoing organ and choral lines of the outro portion of the finale, the tracklisting demands engagement. It’s worth the effort of a headphones-on experience, thanks in no small part to the depth of its mix and the reaches the sound seems to find. Even as “The Brightest Light” seems to dig its heels into engrossing darkness, the layering of vocals and details in the forward push of guitar, bass and drums gives an impression of nuance that the rest of the album continues to build upon. “The Brightest Light” finishes just before the seven-minute mark, but is hypnotic in its fluid execution — and when I say “execution,” I’m thinking guillotine — and cedes ground to “Liti Kjersti,” which derives from a Norwegian folk song telling the story of a girl meeting a dwarf or troll in the mountains, and again, pushes into more outwardly extreme sounds in the guitar.

It’s thanks in part to the steady groove of the drums that the song doesn’t tip over into a more outwardly extreme spirit, but there’s no doubt the motion is dragging the listener deeper into the progression under way, and of course there’s no letup with “Head of a Traitor” in that regard either, the longest song on Latum Alterum beginning with a creep of intertwined guitar lines before bursting forward in a sudden surge, and even before the first verse, causing one to imagine hearing buried screams so deep in the mix as to barely be audible. This is prior to the arrival of the harmonies between Gulbrandsen and Kristine, which are masterful by the midpoint of the track and set up a second half of continuing buzz and a stretch of guitar topped with final lyrics that ends by giving way to residual noise and the immediately carbonized feel of “One Night of Cruelty.”

These turns and shifts are there, and swiftly applied, but can be easy to miss the first time through if, again, one isn’t giving the proper level of interactivity to the listen. Latum Alterum in its side B delves even further in misanthropic and grueling darkness, as both “One Night of Cruelty” and the aptly-titled “Embrace the Dark” seem to careen downward, the latter with a punctuated march that’s as majestic as it is weighted. “Embrace the Dark” ends with lower register vocals that would seem to set up a bleaker turn in “Evig Hvile/Libera Me… (Outro),” but the truth is things are plenty bleak by then anyway. The finisher might be another folk song by Bjørn Eidsvåg reinterpreted, or there’s a Nortt song from 2003 with the same name, I’m not really sure, but wherever it comes from The Sabbathian make it their own no less than they did with “Liti Kjersti,” reinforcing the atmospheric shimmer and downer spirit of the proceedings with a patiently unfolding rhythm with the vocals woven over-top.

There isn’t so much a grand finale as a dirge march outward, and as the last strains cut off and let the outro take hold, organ and vocals, the scope of Latum Alterum continues to be among the album’s primary assets. Whatever stylistic tags one might want to apply or force upon it, The Sabbathian create their own sonic persona on their first long-player, and do so with a sure-minded purpose toward ambient weight. Their prior experience on the EP — which was more in a vein of cult metal and is included in a 2CD edition of this release — helped solidify their approach, but Latum Alterum is on a different level entirely for The Sabbathian, and though invariably geographical complications are a factor, one hopes they continue along this path of resonant drear.

The Sabbathian on Thee Facebooks

The Sabbathian on Bandcamp

Svart Records website

Svart Records on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records on Twitter

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Red Eye Set Feb. 22 Release for Tales from the Days of Yore; New Song Posted

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

red eye

Preorders are up now from Alone Records for the debut album from Spanish doom rockers Red EyeTales from the Days of Yore. The album has been given a Feb. 22 release through the long-running imprint, and the eight-minute “Hall of the Slain” is streaming now to give an initial impression of the patient blend of progressive doom and heavy rock they’re working with, a kind of semi-epic feel pervading the material that I’m interested to hear how it might play out across the full release. Cavernous drum echo does well to add a sense of space to the track, and that they don’t come across as rushed or unsure in the span of the piece bodes well, though, as does the underlying downer melody of the guitar.

In the place where I live, a “red eye” is made when an espresso shot — or two, or three if you’re absolutely insane/desperate — is poured into a regular cup of coffee. I take mine black and avail myself regularly, even at home with the Nespresso. So while I have an immediate association with the phrase beyond, you know, flying overnight, somehow I don’t think either is what Red Eye are going for. Call me crazy.

Album details from the PR wire, song stream at the bottom:

red eye tales from the days of yore

RED EYE debut album “Tales From The Days Of Yore”

Surrounded by the glorious and eerie karst formations of El Torcal and hosting one of the oldest and largest megalithic dolmens in Europe (Menga), the Southern Spanish city of Antequera (Malaga) is a magical region where our ancestors built up the basis of next cultures to come. No doubt the four young and talented piece outfit Red Eye got inspired by this land ?s mystique and the clear connection between man and Earth when starting their activities in 2016, reinterpreting the concept of proto and modern rock into something creative and genuine.

at Green Cross Studio. Tracks develop as something you can actually feel and maybe touch. From the nine-minutes opening statement “Encounter”, the psych doom passages of “BHC” or “Yagé”, to the final closing act “Waves”, a collection of crushing riffs and memorable solos will prove a delight to any diehard fan.

The band would say: “There is definitely something magic and primitive in our natural environment that influences our daily lives and we turn into the music we play. It would be foolish to deny it!”. A first advance track entitled “Hall Of The Slain” is available on Alone Records Bandcamp.

1. Encounter
2. BHC
3. Azathoth
4. Hall Of The Slain
5. Yagé
6. Waves

Tales From The Ways Of Yore will be issued on CD digisleeve and limited black vinyl next February 22nd. Official album teaser to be found on this Youtube link.

https://www.facebook.com/RedEyeOfficial/
https://www.instagram.com/redeye_oficial/
https://www.facebook.com/alonerecords.spain/
https://alone-records.bandcamp.com

Red Eye, Tales from the Days of Yore (2019)

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Green Lung Announce March 20 Release for Woodland Rites

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

green lung (Photo by Sally Patti)

I love speculating about upcoming albums, and after a couple encouraging short releases from London’s Green Lung — 2018’s Free the Witch EP (review here), and the 2017 single, Green Man Rising (review here) — their debut holds marked promise as one of the most anticipated of the year, at least as far as I’m concerned. The five-piece outfit who blend aspects of doom, goth, heavy rock and a bit of the ol’ forest-worship, will issue Woodland Rites as their first offering through Kozmik Artifactz on March 20, have tour dates forthcoming and are set to play HRH Doom Vs. Stoner as part of a oh-hell-yes lineup this September. Killer to see an up and coming band doing good things. I can’t wait to hear the record.

Details from the PR wire:

green lung woodland rites

GREEN LUNG announce debut album, Woodland Rites

South London-based heavy rock quintet GREEN LUNG have today announced details of their debut album. Woodland Rites will be released on heavyweight vinyl, CD, cassette and digital editions on March 20, the Spring Equinox. The band captured the attention of the international underground in 2018 with the release of their much acclaimed EP Free the Witch, and spent the year sharing stages with the likes of Conan, Conjurer and Primitive Man before signing to cult Berlin-based label Kozmik Artifactz.

With the addition of new member John Wright on organ, the band have also expanded their horizons musically, voyaging beyond the doomy psych of the EP to explore a spectrum of heavy music. On Let the Devil In they conjure up a blasphemous, arena-baiting hard rock single, while on Templar Dawn they veer into the cavernous (free)masonry of traditional doom metal. The psyched-out, prog-inflected The Ritual Tree attempts to answer the mystery of ‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?’, while May Queen is an ergot-tinged ballad of failing harvests and human sacrifice. The overall, irresistible impression is of a young band summoning up the eccentric English spectres of 70s proto-metal, early 80s NWOBHM and 90s stoner rock and dragging those sounds kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Singer Tom Templar said, ‘With the response to Free the Witch, the introduction of a new member and the chance to write a full LP we’ve been spurred on to take our sound to the next level – so expect a pro-witch party album of diabolical riffs, harmonized solos, inescapable hooks and lyrics inspired by folk horror films like The Wicker Man and Blood on Satan’s Claw. We hope Woodland Rites will become the soundtrack to many a debauched backwoods sabbath in 2019.’

Woodland Rites was recorded and mixed by Wayne Adams (Vodun, Ghold) who reprised his Free The Witch duties at Bear Bites Horse Studios. Mastering was undertaken by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. Woodland Rites will be packaged in hallucinatory artwork by renowned woodcut artist, Richard Wells (The Wicker Man, Doctor Who) on vinyl and CD, with the cassette cover featuring photography by Courtney Brooke.

GREEN LUNG will be touring the UK and EU with labelmates Deathbell in May, with confirmed shows in Paris, London, Liege and Cologne; more information will be available in due course. The band will also appear at HRH Doom vs Stoner alongside Monolord, Orange Goblin and Church of the Cosmic Skull on September 29.

Woodland Rites tracklist
1. Initiation
2. Woodland Rites
3. Let The Devil In
4. The Ritual Tree
5. Templar Dawn
6. Call of The Coven
7. May Queen
8. Into The Wild

GREEN LUNG is:
Tom Templar – Vocals
Scott Masson – Guitar
Andrew Cave – Bass
Matt Wiseman – Drums
John Wright – Organ

Woodland Rites by GREEN LUNG will be released on March 20, 2019. Pre-order information will follow.

https://www.facebook.com/greenlungband
https://www.instagram.com/greenlungband/
http://www.greenlung.co.uk/
https://greenlung.bandcamp.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Green Lung, Free the Witch (2018)

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Bellrope Stream New Track; You Must Relax out Feb. 22

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

bellrope

Somehow, when Germany’s Black Shape of Nexus went the way of… well, of bands breaking up, it just didn’t quite seem like the end. Some creativity you just can’t kill. And sure enough, with Bellrope members of Black Shape of Nexus find a new outlet backed by the familiar source of Exile on Mainstream. They’ll play the label’s upcoming showcases in Leipzig and at Roadburn in the Netherlands this April, and they’re on my list of must-catch bands at the latter, considering I never had the fortune of seeing the prior band. Bonus points to the band for calling their debut album You Must Relax when surely there’s plenty of onslaught to behold. To that end, they’re streaming the track “Old Overholt” now, which features members of labelmates Treedeon, who also just happen to be brutally underrated.

Feb. 22 is the release date, as the PR wire confirms:

bellrope you must relax

BELLROPE: Exile On Mainstream To Release You Must Relax Debut LP By German Volume Abusers Featuring Black Shape Of Nexus Alumni; Track Streaming

Exile On Mainstream confirms the February release of You Must Relax, the debut album by Germany’s high-volume doom dealers, BELLROPE, the band which has ascended from the ashes of Black Shape Of Nexus. Raised on a diet of doom, noise, and crust punk, thriving in the international DIY/squat communities, BELLROPE is a band who dubs their sound as, “the total absence of tonal sanity.” The album’s thundering lead single “Old Overholt,” featuring Yvonne Ducksworth and Arne Heesch of labelmates Treedeon, is now streaming, and preorders for the record are now available.

Driven by a rabid sense of urgency, and with a simple goal in mind — “Amp hauling and amp abusing” — BELLROPE’s sonic maelstrom traverses many different plains of heavy, oft recognizable, but never bound to one formula. Case in point being the visceral album opener; more than a palette cleanser, this is sensory overload, total tonal (in)sanity. Elsewhere, the stomping second track, “Old Overholt,” replete with blood curdling bellows, pays tribute to the iconic rye whiskey, whilst the morose dueling vocals of Arne Heesch and Yvonnne Ducksworth of labelmates Treedeon, and sonic samples on “TD 200,” carry that colossal track to a climatic end, leading into the album closer “CBD/Hereinunder,” a heavy combination of chugging guitars and psych-like leads locking into a repetitive, almost entrancing groove.

Exile On Mainstream label owner Andreas Kohl remarks, “In utter contradiction to your usual heavy rock bands with an esoteric twist and the common (non)sense of interweaving ritualistic riff-mongery with some heritage-purveying focus to ancient rites, rituals, and ideologies, BELLROPE is a hurricane of fresh air, well needed and even more welcome. There will be no antlers, mandalas, fur or badly drawn symbols on stage when they are coming after you. BELLROPE doesn’t need to charge their sonic urgency with ideology.”

BELLROPE’s You Must Relax debut album will see release through Exile On Mainstream February 22nd on CD, LP, and digital formats. Fans of Celestial-era ISIS, early-Cult Of Luna, Old Man Gloom, and of course Black Shape Of Nexus must hear this. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE.

You Must Relax Track Listing:
1. Hollywood 2001/ Rollrost
2. Old Overholt
3. You Must Relax
4. TD200
5. CBD/ Hereinunder

BELLROPE is booking live performances in support of You Must Relax, including a run through Germany in early February. This will be followed by performances at the Exile On Mainstream 20th Anniversary Parties this year, April 4th through 7th at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, Germany, and on April 13th at Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Watch for more widespread tour news to be released in the weeks ahead.

BELLROPE Tour Dates:
2/06/2019 Lükaz – Lünen, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/07/2019 Zukunft am Ostkreuz – Berlin, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/08/2019 Rosenkeller – Jena, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/09/2019 JuHa West – Stuttgart, DE w/ Eisenvater, Arsen
4/06/2019 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream
4/13/2019 Roadburn Festival – Tilburg, NL @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream

https://www.bellrope-doom.com
https://www.facebook.com/bellropedoom
https://bellrope.bandcamp.com
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Bellrope, You Must Relax (2019)

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Brant Bjork to Release Jacoozzi April 5; Preorders Jan. 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Word has kicked around for a while of Brant Bjork‘s jam-ified solo release Jacoozzi — releases rumored at various times and in various spellings of a funky, soulful outing Bjork recorded all on his own in 2010. He spoke about it here in 2016, for example. Well, the alliance with Heavy Psych Sounds that produced the excellent Mankind Woman (review here) last year as well as a series of reissues digital and physical will continue with the awaited arrival of Jacoozzi on April 5. Sign me up. Simple as that. The picture the PR wire paints below of Bjork scrapping whatever he was working on at the time and building up tracks off the cuff by jamming out drums and then adding parts on top? Pretty much ideal. Plus, it’s got a Brant Bjork song called “Guerilla Funk.” There’s no way on earth that’s anything less than righteous.

Speaking of righteousness, you can see the album art below, which I think speaks for itself in that regard. Other details and whatnot follow:

brant bjork jacoozzi

BRANT BJORK to release new solo album “Jacoozzi” on April 5th via Heavy Psych Sounds Records

After the huge success of his latest, thirteenth solo-record ‘Mankind Woman’, which landed on numerous Best-Of lists in 2018, HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS is proud to release the upcoming new album by desert rock titan BRANT BJORK! ‘Jacoozzi’ has already been captured on tape at a jam session back in 2010, but the tracks never made it on any of Brant Bjork’s solo albums to date. This Spring, April 5th 2019, will finally see ‘Jacoozzi’ to be released with Heavy Psych Sounds!

Joshua Tree, California, 2010: Brant Bjork has just started to record another solo record. About 4 days into the sessions, the desert rock king decided to abandon the 8 songs he was working on, and told his long time friend and engineer, Tony Mason, to start rolling tape and Brant proceeded to play drums in his natural improv style. After multiple drum track performances were recorded, Brant started layering guitars, bass and percussion in the same improvisational spirit. The former Fu-Manchu and Kyuss-legend essentially decided to “jam” by himself and for the rest of his scheduled sessions.

When the recording session had come to an end, Brant put the 8 unfinished tracks on the shelf as well as his “solo jam session” tracks. “I was much more content with the “jam” tracks as it was a creative release that was needed at that time.“ he says. “I decided to call the collective tracks, Jacoozzi. At the time, it reminded me of the feeling of my first solo recording sessions for my first solo release, Jalamanta….only more “free”.“

At that time in 2010, Brant had no formal plans to release any of the music from those sessions….’Jacoozzi’ included. Almost a decade later, Heavy Psych Sounds Records is stoked to finally release this special trip of a Brant Bjork jam!

“After 8 years in the waiting, it’s nice to finally have this recording I call Jacoozzi released.“ Brant Bjork comments. “I feel that the fans of my work will enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed performing and recording it.”

BRANT BJORK New album “Jacoozzi”
Out April 5th on Heavy Psych Sounds Records
– Vinyl and CD preorder available on January 31st –

The ‘Jacoozzi’ tracklist reads as follows:
1. Can’t Out Run The Sun
2. Guerrilla Funk
3. Mexico City Blues
4. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars
5. Black & White Wonderland
6. Oui
7. Mixed Nuts
8. Lost In Race
9. Polarized
10. Do You Love Your World?

https://www.facebook.com/BrantBjorkOfficial
https://www.instagram.com/brant_bjork
https://twitter.com/brant_bjork
http://www.brantbjork.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com

Brant Bjork, “Chocolatize” official video

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 08

Posted in Radio on January 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gimme radio logo

This was my 2019 preview… of sorts. By which I mean that it in no way encompassed everything coming out this year and that some of it was basically me being like, “golly, it sure would be nice if BAND X put out a record in the next 12 months.” Still fun, but I think definitely well earning that “of sorts” tag.

I keep notes with a running list of things like albums coming out and best records of the year, artwork, EPs, etc., and in my notes for what’s coming out in 2019 I have over 50 bands listed so far. Here they are, cut and paste-style:

Cities of Mars, Mr. Peter Hayden, Curse the Son, High Fighter, No Man’s Valley, Destroyer of Light, Year of the Cobra, Buffalo Fuzz, Zaum, The Sonic Dawn, Alunah, Candlemass, Elepharmers, Grandier, Dorre, Abrahma, Mars Red Sky, Eternal Black, Elephant Tree, Atala, No Man’s Valley, Sun Blood Stories, Crypt Sermon, The Riven, Hibrido, Snail, Red Beard Wall, 11Paranoias, Dead Witches, Monte Luna, Captain Caravan, Swallow the Sun, Oreyeon, Motorpsycho, Vokonis, Hexvessel, Saint Vitus, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Kind, Mastiff, Shadow Witch, Kings Destroy, Lo-Pan, Samsara Blues Experiment, Papir, Conan, Green Lung, BUS, Worshipper, Volcano, Mos Generator, Earth, Nebula Drag, Elder, Daxma, Besvärjelsen, Bellrope, The Sabbathian,

Some of that has been officially announced, some hasn’t, and some is rampant speculation, but many of these, and there’s always the contingency that expected releases can be delayed owing to recording and tour schedules, pressing concerns, pianos falling on heads, and so on, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find a bunch of those records on my year-end list in December. Whoopee.

What’s more important to stress, however, is that this is by no means the be-all-end-all list of things coming out. It’s a long year, and it’s January right now. There will be offerings in September and October that no one knows now are even in the works, and still more that aren’t. That’s why the list ends with a comma and a space instead of a period. There’s more to be added.

That said, this is a damn good show and I stand by it. Some of the inclusions could/would/will be among the year’s best albums — the new Worshipper is fantastic, and the new Kings Destroy owns my soul — but I wanted to put some stuff in here that the Gimme audience, which I tend to think of as being more metal though I have absolutely nothing to base that on, isn’t familiar with. Curse the Son, Snail, Sun Blood Stories.

It’s fun to talk about new albums coming out — I had a particular blast mentioning how annoyed I am at the universe for there being a new Sun Blood Stories album and I haven’t heard it yet — and even if some of it is speculative, that’s a good time too.

If you missed the show last night, it’s on tomorrow at 9AM at: http://gimmeradio.com.

The Obelisk Show Ep. 08 – 01.20.19

 

Lowrider Lameneshma Ode to Io (Deluxe Edition) 0:04:57
Kings Destroy Smokey Robinson Kings Destroy 0:04:03
BREAK
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard The Master and His Emissary Totems (Split w/Slomatics) 0:12:02
Snail Born in Captivity Feral 0:05:00
Motorpsycho The Tower The Tower 0:08:41
Mars Red Sky Friendly Fire Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) 0:04:51
BREAK
Sun Blood Stories Step Softly Ghost It Runs Around the Room with Us 0:04:48
Elephant Tree Dawn Elephant Tree 0:04:12
Curse the Son Aislamiento Isolator 0:07:13
Alunah Awn Amber & Gold* 0:05:50
Worshipper Night Child (The Oath cover) Mirage Daze 0:04:19
Hexvessel Old Tree All Tree* 0:03:40
Vokonis Rapturous The Sunken Djinn 0:06:09
Mr. Peter Hayden We Fly High Eternal Hayden 0:07:13
BREAK
Kind Rabbit Astronaut Rocket Science 0:03:49
Om Haqq al-Yaqin Advaitic Songs 0:11:29
Samsara Blues Experiment One with the Universe One with the Universe 0:15:07

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Tuesday at 9AM. Next show is Feb. 3. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Live Review: Yawning Man and Freedom Hawk in Brooklyn, NY, 01.17.19

Posted in Reviews on January 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

yawning man (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s not the most intuitive pairing, but it worked. By the time they hit Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on Jan. 17, Yawning Man had already been on the road for more than two weeks. They’d started on Jan. 2 in Arizona and made their way gradually east and north, playing Philadelphia and Boston the two nights prior and accordingly probably well familiar by then with the stretches of I-95. That’s not a fun ride. Freedom Hawk had joined the party a few nights before that, in Asheville, North Carolina, taking over the support slot from Nick Oliveri‘s Mondo Generator, and the bi-coastal complement suited both bands well — Yawning Man with their deeply atmospheric approach and Freedom Hawk more given to a straightforward classic heavy rock songwriting modus. Perhaps an odd fit on paper, but it made way more sense on stage. Kudos to Tone Deaf Touring for the vision.

Both groups released albums last year. Yawning Man had The Revolt Against Tired Noises (review here) on Heavy Psych Sounds over the summer and Freedom Hawk plowed through their fifth LP, Beast Remains (review here), before that. It had been years and years since the last time I saw the Virginia Beach outfit, as bassist Mark Cave politely reminded me — he said the last time was Small Stone‘s 2011 showcase in Philly (review here), but actually it was Small Stone‘s 2012 showcase in Boston (review here), though to be honest, that night was fuzzy in more ways than one — and it’s been a tumultuous few years for them, losing guitarist Matt Cave and deciding to continue as a three-piece, only to see Mark, guitarist/vocalist T.R. Morton and drummer Lenny Hines bring in guitarist Brendan O’Neill in 2016, moving as well from Small Stone to Ripple following 2015’s Into Your Mind (review here).

Nonetheless, what’s remained true is the following: Freedom Hawk believe in the power of heavy rock and roll, and if you’re fortunate enough to spend a little time in their company, they might make you a believer too. As one would expect and hope, much of what they played came off of Beast Remains and Into Your Mind — songs like “Blood Red Sky,” “Darkness and the Light,” “Solid Gold,” “Waterfall,” “Radar,” “Lost in Space,” and “Danger,” which Morton introduced with the choice line, “I don’t know if you guys can handle this next song. It’s a little dangerous. It’s called ‘Danger.'” Charm always goes a long way in my book, but the band wanted nothing for delivery either. That shouldn’t be surprising, as they’ve toured consistently over the course of this decade, here and there in the US as well as abroad in Europe, where just last year they played Desertfest London and Berlin and more besides. They’re veterans as well of Roadburn, Morton wore a shirt he likely picked up when they played Freak Valley in Germany, and on the most basic level, they’ve been together for 14 years, so yeah, Freedom Hawk coming across like they know what they’re doing is well enough earned.

They dipped back to 2011’s Holding On (review here) late in the set for the ultra-catchy “Indian Summer” and gave representation to their 2009 self-titled (review here) and 2008 debut, Sunlight, which Ripple reissued in 2017, but new or old, their material’s central purpose has remained true in conveying the strength of their songwriting. O’Neill, who also fronts thrashers The Pestilence Choir, is way more metal than MortonCave or Hines, at least in outward appearance, but that adds a bit of edge to the otherwise smooth corners of Freedom Hawk‘s stage presence, and they were a blast to watch. It had been too long, clearly.

A good general rule for life is any time you can see Yawning Man, do it. When I last caught them, headlining at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta (review here) in Arizona in early 2016, they were practically a family band, with keys and additional guitar and so on. For this tour, the traveling three-piece was what’s become the modern core of the group: guitarist Gary Arce, bassist Mario Lalli and drummer Bill Stinson. And they’re masters of what they do. One could go on and on about Yawning Man‘s legacy as one of the principal architects of Californian desert rock — and I have, on multiple occasions — but what gets discussed far less is just how much they stand out even from so many of the groups they helped inspire. With Arce‘s signature tone ever at the center of their instrumental, wide-open approach, their atmosphere is immediately identifiable, and the character with which they bring their material to life is as vibrant as that material is subtle. Over the course of more than three decades, they’ve carved a niche for themselves that is theirs alone.

And I’m not saying Mario Lalli was there when they invented cool or anything, but he’s definitely the guy they had in mind for it. Switching between picking and fingering his bass in such a way as to add nuance to Arce‘s echoing lines or emphasize a sonic weight with a strummed chord, Lalli — who also fronts Fatso Jetson — was locked in immediately and incredible to watch as he held down the low end. Looking kind of gaunt in a lined hoodie and with a cap pulled down over his face, he was all-business save for jumping on mic quickly to thank the crowd for showing up, etc., but just unreal to watch him play, and as Stinson held together the molten vibes encompassing the room, Lalli and Arce showed off the inimitable chemistry that’s served as the root cause for the spread of their influence. Yeah, it was cold out, and yeah, it was a weeknight, and yeah, real life loomed outside the door like some kind of invisible babadook, but as they peppered The Revolt Against Tired Noises material with “Perpetual Oyster,” it was hard to think of them as anything other than a classic band living up to their reputation.

It was an early show and they were done by 11PM, which I don’t know if that’s a capitulation to how the neighborhood around the Vitus has gentrified over the last three-to-four years or what — there didn’t seem to be a dance party starting, which sometimes happens after rock gigs elsewhere — but with more than an hour’s ride back to Jersey afterward, I took anyway. I don’t get out as often as I used to, and it’s mostly anxiety-based. I get worried about seeing people, meeting people, not remembering names of people I’ve met once or twice, taking pictures, on and on, but this was a good show and it felt good to be there. I didn’t seem to be the only one who thought so.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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