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torstai 13. helmikuuta 2020

Obiter - The Deluge EP

Self-released

I'm happy that there is a healthy, bushy undergrowth of stoner/doom metal bands in Finland. Some of them are more 70s hard rock oriented, some total sludge, some really out there and some worship Sabbath. Orbiter from Helsinki mostly fits the last description with their heavy, riff-based and rather traditional style of heavy, doomy rock, although they also have a psychedelic twist and the great new female vocalist makes them stand out. I have previously reviewed their split 7" with Roadog and now it's time for a four-track 12" EP.

The Deluge includes four new songs. "Bone to Earth" is a slow, heavy and doomy track that reminds me of Electric Wizard a bit, although the sound is not so muddy and drugged-out. Some Candlemass vibes in there as well. Great riffs and vocals on this one! "Astral Racer" is a shorter, faster and almost instrumental stoner rocker and a bit more progressive too. On "Orchids" the band takes a groovy, bluesy 70s/Sabbathy hard rock touch that they also can master pretty well. "In Echoes" is a return to the slow doom metal universe and there is also some more experimental, atmospheric and spacey stuff in there to make things more interesting. Nice! In summary, this is a great little EP that has enough variation, great songs, playing, singing and production and I also love the cover art. The 12" is limited to just 200 copies so be fast if you want one!

www.facebook.com/orbiterconnection


keskiviikko 12. helmikuuta 2020

Vibravoid - Out of Tune in Rosenheim: Triptamine EP Vol 6

Stoned Karma Records

Vibravoid has it's beginning in the hazy days of 1990 and celebrate their 30th anniversary with many very interesting releases. This new limited edition 2LP was recorded during the band's Psychedelic Christmas Experience Tour last December. Without the band even knowing the gig in Rosenheim was recorded from the soundboard and after a lot of careful mixing is finally out next month. There were some problems like missing a few mics on the drums but all in all this album sounds awesome and will fill the sonic and psychedelic needs of all Vibravoid fans.

The A side includes four shorter psych hits: "Colour Your Mind", the new single "World of Pain" and two masterpieces from the debut album, "Just 13" and "Lovely Lady Deb O'Nair". The trio of guitarist/singer, drummer and organist works great as always. I love the way Vibravoid can do a full, whole piece of art in just four minutes or expand it into 20 or even 40 minutes and still keep things fresh and interesting. Next it's time for the long & trippy live favourite "Ballspeaker" that fills the whole side B. My mind is blown to pieces! It's always a bit different with tons of freaky improvisation and I just love it. Then we've got two a bit shorter songs again. "Playing with Beuys" from 2008's The Politics Of Ecstasy has always been one of my favourite Vibravoid songs and it sounds excellent here as well. The midtempo 2014 single track "Rheinflow" is nice to hear in the set. The dreamy and trippy "Your Mind Is At Ease" fills up the last 12 minutes of side C with psychedelic bliss. One of the most played Vibravoid cover song must be "Mother Sky" by the legendary krautrockers Can. I have heard several other cover versions as well but Vibravoid's is always the best! In the middle of this gigantic 18-minute piece we can also hear the "Sky Saxon Mantra" to make things even more psyched-out... Wow! Out of Tune in Rosenheim definitely is one of the best live releases of Vibravoid so a must-have for all the fans.

www.vibravoid.com

sunnuntai 2. helmikuuta 2020

Charivari - Descent

Worst Bassist Records (WBR LP 001 / WBR CD 001)

Worst Bassist Records is a " Motorik-Post-Rock-Space-Punk-Drone-Love-Acid Underground Label" by Electric Moon's lovely bass player Komet Lulu. The name of the label comes from a nasty YouTube comment on Lulu's bass playing skills... It's great that something great can grow from bad manners and rudeness! The first release on the label (WBR LP 000 / CD 000) was an Electric Moon reissue but more on that later. I don't know how Lulu found out about the dreamy post/indie/psych/noise rock shoegazers Charivari from Bath UK, since this album is their first. I'm still happy she did, since I like this band.

The 49-minute CD version has seven songs, the LP one less. "When Leviathan Dreams" starts off slowly and peacefully and then we are in a hazy, reverberating, dreamy shoegazer heaven. It brings back some 90s indie Brit rock/pop memories in a positive way. Great! "Lotus Eater" is a bit more intense and heavier, a very effective track sounding a bit like Reflecter era Sun Dial. Wow! Next we get the faster, sort of post-punky "Aphotic". "Down by the River" is a slow, pretty ballad, and "Descent" an ambient, experimental instrumental. "Alexandria" is an emotional song that even brings to mind The Cure. The album is finished with the 11-minute "Scavengers of the Wind" that changes from atmospheric floating to heavy, noisy fuzz rocking. Pretty intense stuff but still enjoyable and not totally out of control. In summary, Descent is a very promising debut album and I bet Charivari will appeal to a lot of people into various genres. The album will come out at the end of the month and can be preordered from the label's web site.

www.facebook.com/thebandcharivari

PH ‎– Osiris Hayden

Svart Records (SVART215)

Okay, sorry Kivelä & co., I'm a bit late with this review. Finland's PH (formely known as Mr. Peter Hayden) dropped their sixth album in November last year. I have followed their career since the debut Faster Than Speed (Or Violating The Special Relativity) put out in 2010 and what a ride it has been. On Osiris Hayden they have replaced the live drums with programmed ones which gives the music a more electronic, industrial feel. You could still (mostly) call the music psychedelic rock, I guess. The sound is massive and overwhelming and rather polished and well produced. The overal vibe is very apocalyptic, gloomy and doomy as always, so no happy dance tracks included.

The album includes nice tracks that are mixed as a continuous, dark journey. There are some more ambient, atmospheric moments but the band can still get very heavy and oppressive. I think I can hear some post metal influences but that is not really my kind of thing so I'm not sure. Definitely lots of industrial/experimental/darkwave/occult or even black metal vibes in there. I think you must be in a certain state of mind to truly understand what this band is about, but when you empty your mind and let their dark, hypnotic music fill your soul you will be thrilled with apocalyptic ecstasy and trance. The album is out on CD, digital and purple vinyl limited to 500 copies, get it if you dare.

www.facebook.com/mrpeterhayden

lauantai 1. helmikuuta 2020

E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr ‎– Non Plus Ultra

Svart Records (SVART210)

Prepare for take-off into the Cosmos! Turku-based space cadets E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr have just released their third studio album, Non Plus Ultra. They also have two live albums under their Van Allen belt, one from the legendary Roadburn Festival. Also in orbit are a couple of ultra limited tape releases and a split LP with their krautrock co-pilots Hisko Detria.

As always, the space ship Lux Ohr takes us on a wonderous journey all over the known and unknown universe with the aid of synthesizers, keyboards, electronics, sequencers, drum machines and the cosmic electronic/acoustic guitar work of Kimi Kärki (ex-Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orne). Non Plus Ultra is released as a double LP limited to 500 copies and it has two tracks on each side. There is also a very limited promo CD edition and you can buy the digital version from the band's Bandcamp site or stream at Spotify etc. All the tracks are marked here as edits, so I guess the original recordings were longer but were cut down to get as much different compositions and variation as possible to fit into 80 minutes. That doesn't of course mean that the pieces are short, they all are in the 5:42 to 12:35 range.

The first two pieces "Die Suche Nach Dem Horizont" and "Bahnhof 77" are wonderful, sequencer-driven, spacey, kosmische Berlin School trips in the vein of early 70s Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. You know what to expect but will for sure enjoy the ride! On "Der Ewige Wanderer" the band successfully tries out something different since acoustic guitar is playing an important role. This is closer to Popol Vuh or the like, very nice, tranquil and psychedelic. There's also some percussion later on to enhance the Popol Vuh vibe. Superb! Also "Aus Dem Kollaps Geboren" is a bit different E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr track starting in very pleasant, peaceful mode but then getting into a sort of dark, hypnotic groove. Amazing! "Hypnogenesis III" starts off slowly and later turns into a TD styled sequencer flight. Nice E-bow guitar by Kimi! "Traumraum" stays rather minimal and quiet all the way through. It is also the shortest piece on the album. "Der Doppelgänger" is another rather peaceful, beautiful, ambient electronic piece to get lost in. The album is finished with the 12-minute "Die Vergangene Zukunft" that gets you deep into space for sure. Excellent work! This album has been in the works for several years and you can really feel the amount of effort and creativity the band has invested in it. A true trippy master piece of modern cosmic ambient electronica!

Please note that the band is performing their record release concert tonight at Tuorna Planetarium in Kaarina. Should be entertaining...

www.facebook.com/EMGLuxOhr

perjantai 31. tammikuuta 2020

Violet Nox - Future Fast EP

Sleep Fuse (SF33)

Violet Nox is an experimental electronics/synths/guitar/vocals ambient/no-wave act from Boston. I have reviewed their Twin Flame EP that was also released on Reverb Worship's electronic only sister label Sleep Fuse last year. Future Fast is rather similar in style but maybe a bit more minimal and weird.

There are four new tracks. The eight-minute "Cosmic Bits" starts up slowly and quietly. I like the cold, bit twisted and spacey vibe and when the beat joins in the track gets sort of going. "Moonshine" is slower and has more vocals. "Super Fan" is pretty experimental ambient stuff and gets rather hallucinogenic as well. "Bell Song" is another electronic ambient excursion to the alternate dimensions. Get a copy of the very limited (50 copies) CD-R from www.reverbworship.com.

www.facebook.com/VioletNoxBand


Lasten Hautausmaa ‎– IV

Svart Records (SVART219CD)

Lasten Hautausmaa (Children's Cemetary) is a cool Finnish pop/rock band that has been gaining quite a lot of attention during the recent years. Their fourth album was released a week ago and I got to say I like it although it's really not my cup of tea musically. This means they are not psychedelic, spacey or heavy. The band was formed in 2013 in Kouvola and the first album was released in 2015 on Svart. They also have a couple of singles and an EP so I guess you could call them pretty prolific.

This is actually the first time I have really listened to the band's music apart from some video tracks etc. I had a feeling they have a great sense for melody and atmosphere, but IV finally proves it. You can hear echoes of some of the best Finnish pop/rock music since at least the 60's, mostly on the melancholic side of course. Also the lyrical themes are usually pretty gloomy but somehow beautiful as well. There's a lot of hit potential on several tracks, if not all. The female/male vocals work really well and the instrumentation is varied enough but still pretty normal. Some of the songs, especially "Punainen ja valkoinen" are like a bit updated Leevi and the Leavings hits and there's nothing wrong with that. There are also a few dreamy ballads of course. My favourite is the rather different, up-beat, rocking and hypnotic "Kaarlo Sarkia 29" that could be an early Death Hawks song. Cool to hear some fuzz guitar in there as well. All in all a nice, pleasant and rather interesting album with great melodies, good songs, excellent musicianship and production. Good, honest old-school pop/rock music with respect for the old Finnish masters.

The band is on tour right now and you can see them tonight at Tavastia in Helsinki!

www.facebook.com/lastenhautausmaa