Listen to Astral Visions Podcast

torstai 28. marraskuuta 2013

Dj Astro's hotlist

Here's my end of November hotlist:

Wooden Shjips: Back to Land
Our Solar System: Vårt Solsystem
The New Alchemy: On the Other Side of Light
Papir Meets Electric Moon: The Papermoon Sessions
Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid: Black Magic Satori
Death Hawks: S/T
Øresund Space Collective: Organic Earthly Floatation
Circle of Animals: Destroy the Light
Various Artists: Something in the Water - A Rise Above Records Compilation
Various Artists: Crystallized - Celebrating 15 years of Rocket Recordings

Here & Now: Live in London

4 Zero Records (FZ012)

Wow! It’s really nice to get a new release by this legendary UK free festival/psych/jam/space/prog/punk/dub band that has been around since the 70’s and been an inspiration to the later bands in this genre like Ozric Tentacles and The Magic Mushroom Band. They used to play with bands like Hawkwind and especially Gong and also recorded the punky and spacey Floating Anarchy Live 1977 album with Daevid Allen and Gilly Smyth as Planet Gong. This performance recorded live at Dingwalls in Camden in 2007 features two original members Steffe Sharpstrings (guitar & vocals) and Keith Th’ Bass (bass & vocals) along with Steve Cassidy (drums) and Gwyo Zepix (keyboards). What we’ve got here is a combination of previously unreleased classics that used to play live at Stonehenge and other festivals, tracks from their Ufoasis album (1995) as well as new tracks and jams.

The album begins with a seven-minute spacey & ambient intro jam that bursts into rocking that sounds just like the Ozrics. “Touched by Time” is an atmospheric and beautiful new (at least to me) track that has some dun influences and lots of spacey synth sounds. “Love of This World” from Ufoasis is groovy and quite progressive stuff and includes a killer solo by Sharpstrings and Zepix. Also “Crazy Times” is originally from Ufoasis and it has a nice, funky groove and a nice guitar solo as well. “Telly Song” is dub reggae that gets more progressive later on. “Moonrise” is a very nice instrumental space jam and then it’s time for some “Undergound Dub”. “Rattle the Cage” is a rather peaceful and pretty song with nice vocals and, once again, excellent solo guitar work. “Only Way” is likewise a beautiful, atmopsheric ballad-like song, but the band really start to rock out in the last song “Near and How” the will get any space rock fan drooling all over the place. There are plenty of psychy space sounds included and I really enjoy those. This is Here & Now at their best and this CD is worth buying for this track alone. So go and get it!
 
 

keskiviikko 27. marraskuuta 2013

Jimmy Glitschy Der Einarmige Karussellbremser: S/T

Fuzzmatazz Records
 
This is sort of strange, dirty stoner/rock’n’roll/disco act that was formed in 2011 after a lot of booze and bruises. They are apparently from Germany but nobody knows for sure… The main emphasis is to get the people dancing by combining heavy stoner rock to disco beats and synthesizers etc. Sounds like a cool idea! And it sort of works too. This vinyl/CD/digital album is their first full-length and they have previously released one 12” (Dance! Or! Die!, 2012). There are five members in this band, Astro Mo (vocals), Jimmy Glitschy (bass, synth), Gelenk Steffen (guitar), Rummel Dörte (drums) and Scooter Ronny (frontdancer – yes, this guy dances frantically at the front of the stage!). There’s a certain amount of humor in this band for sure...

This 39-minute album has 10 tracks on it. Things start off with the up-beat stoner/desert rocker called “Motorpsyche” and I like it. On “Dance! Or! Die!” the disco influences start to shine through, there’s even some vocoder vocals which is cool! The guitars are heavy, though, and this kicks ass. “Swallow” is pretty standard stoner/riff rock but not bad. It reminds me of Fu Manchu, QOTSA and other bands like that. I don’t care much for the dirty rock piece “Long Gone Dead” that also has harmonica. “My Baby” is on-your-face up-tempo stoner rock that will make people wild live I’m sure. “Fuzzmatazz” starts off with some feedback fuzz guitar and then a heavy, great mid-tempo riff begins. This one has a disco-like beat at times, but otherwise its good stoner rock. “We Need More Disco” focuses more on the disco vibes and has some synths but it’s still rock with a catchy chorus. The most disco-oriented (and also the most interesting…) track is “Stoned Uff’m Dancefloor” and this one even has some hit potential I think… Very cool and funny stuff! “Killswitch” has a disco beat too and this is heavy, pounding track that rocks hard. “Slowrider” is slower stuff as the name suggests, and has a sort of bluesy vibe that I don’t like that much. I wish these guys would focus more on combining disco with stoner as I think there’s potential in there. They can also just play tight heavy stoner stuff but the basic rock tracks are a bit boring. They have an interesting concept that should be developed further.

www.facebook.com/JimmyGlitschy



Eleven Sun: Fertile Soil

Self-released EP
 
Eleven Sun is a Finnish stoner rock/metal band whose first, sold-out EP Absinthe Sky I reviewed a couple of years back. The band has been together since 2008. Fertile Soil is their second EP and was released early 2013 so I guess I’m a bit late on schedule again. Sorry about that, boys… Anyway, this band is one of the best in this genre that seems to be getting more and more popular in Finland. Not that these bands sell millions of records or even get record deals, but there seems to be more and more young stoner/doom bands and also an audience for them, although it’s mostly an underground thing. This 30-minute CD EP is limited to 200 copies and has four tracks. First, we’ve got “Follow the Smoke” that’s quite good, slow, bluesy and atmospheric stoner rock. Some of the vocals are quite harsh, but usually more on the melodic side of the spectrum although still powerful. The song gets heavier towards the end. “Flies” rocks faster and brings to mind Fu Manchu at first. Nice riffs! There’s also a guitar solo jam in there. The title track “Fertile Soil” is a heavy, groovy mid-tempo stoner rock track somewhere in between Monster Magnet and Soundgarden. “Greenspiracy” is the longest track at 11:35 and starts slowly in a very hazy and stoned manner. There’s also some synthesizer in there, I think. When the track starts moving slowly I’m reminded of Amorphis a bit, although this is definitely more stoner oriented. Rather melancholic, strong and heavy stuff with nice vocal melodies. My favourite song on the EP! This is a quite moody piece but gets more intense later on. Great! Check this band out if you’re into heavy stoner rock with metal and psychedelic leanings.

www.elevensun.com


tiistai 26. marraskuuta 2013

Earthbound Machine: Hungerland

Self-released EP
 
Earthbound Machine is a pretty new heavy stoner/doom/sludge metal band from Helsinki. Apart from the majority of bands in this genre, they have melodic, clean vocals instead of the usual harsh growling etc. and I’m happy about this. Even if it means that they sometimes bring to mind some of the 90’s grunge bands, not just because of the good singer though. They also have some sense for melody. This debut EP was recorded in 2012 but I only recently got a review copy when they were supporting the almighty Lord Vicar, who they share the wild bass player Jussi Myllykoski with. Other members are Ilkka Haavisto (vocals), Jussi Parkkali (guitar) and Ville Vierimaa (drums).

There are four tracks on this 27-minute EP. Most of the stuff is slow and heavy, as expected. The title track is probably the one that has most melody. Don’t get me wrong: when I say it has melody I don’t mean it’s not heavy at the same time because it sure is! “Reason’s Gone” is a bit more groovy, stoner like stuff and will make you to bang your head live. The chorus rocks out a bit faster too, and there is also a cool guitar solo with some jam elements. Nice! “Plain Delusion” is gloomier, slow doom metal stuff and works very well. The main riff reminds me of latter-day Candlemass a bit. Great vocals on this one as well. The track speeds up in the end. “Void of the White Light” is the longest song the EP at 8:35. This is at first a bit faster track with some lead guitar work too. The track cools down in the middle and there a pretty experimental and atmospheric instrumental part and then some heavy and slow stuff before the rocking starts again. A rather impressive track! The playing is great and the sound is also excellent. I wonder how long it takes before these guys can get an album together. In the meantime, you can buy the EP from their Bandcamp site.

earthboundmachine.bandcamp.com



Crystal Jacqueline: Sun Arise

Mega Dodo Records (Promo CD-R)
 
Crystal Jacqueline is a British singer with a beautiful but powerful voice and this is her debut solo album following a great cover single on Fruits de Mer that I reviewed in September. All three tracks from the 7” are also included on the album, which is great. She is also member of a band called The Honey Pot and aided on the album by his band mate Icarus Peel who’s responsible for the orchestration and production. Great work, Icarus!

The 49-minute album has 12 rather short tracks influenced by rock, pop and folk music from the 60’s to this day. Most, if not all, of the tracks have clear psychedelic elements, which of course makes the album very interesting to me… The title track starts off the disc with a nice, heavy glam rock/boogie vibe. “A Fairy Tale” is a very nice, melodic and driving cover by Second Hand and I really like this version. Another cover also included on the 7” is the dark, dreamy and haunting rendition of The Rolling Stones masterpiece “Play with Fire”. Wonderful! “Dream I” is a great, melancholic but strong original and “Who Do You Love?” a pretty, peaceful but sad ballad. “Alice” is one of the most psychedelic songs and has nice organ and acoustic guitar among other things. Welcome to Wonderland… “Cousin Jane” (The Troggs) is the last cover single track and quite minimal and short but still nice. Crystal’s lovely voice has lots of room to shine here, like on the following piece “Fly a Kite” that’s pure magical psych bliss and also rocks out later on including a great guitar solo. “By the Way” has lots of acoustic guitar and folk elements and somehow reminds me of Renaissance like the next song “I Break”. Maybe my favourite song is “Light Is Love” that after it’s psychedelic, ambient beginning starts to rock with a groovy beat and hypnotic vibe. This brings to mind old UK psych pop/rockers The Magic Mushroom Band… Amazing! It’s nice to cool down with the album’s final piece, the beautiful pop song called “Sundown”. Sun Arise is already available on CD from Mega Dodo’s Bandcamp site, for example. I’m so glad the Kickstarter campaign for this album was a success so it will be also released on coloured vinyl next year! The great cover art is by the brilliant Dale Simpson (remember his wonderful psychedelic drawings in Freakbeat magazine?).

www.facebook.com/pages/Crystal-Jacqueline/163676537009074



maanantai 25. marraskuuta 2013

Dead Sea Apes: Lupus

Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL016)
 
Lupus is the first full-length by Manchester-based instrumental, psychedelic space drone experimentalists Dead Sea Apes. The 57-minute album was released on CD-R in 2012 on the band’s own label but has now been put out on tasty, limited golden (150 copies) as well as standard black (350 copies) vinyl 2LP by the great Cardinal Fuzz. I have heard some of the band’s earliest output and it rocked more in the kraut rock vein than this album that has lots of very atmospheric and ambient post rock moments. Nothing wrong with that, as long as they sound as good as they do here! Similar stuff can also been found on the sold-out split with Black Tempest.

The first track “Pharmacon” is just dark, hazy ambient dreamscapes but works very well if you give it a chance. The over 16-minute, very mysterious and hypnotic, “Knowledge and Conversation” starts up slowly. This has a clear guitar and bass riff as well as some light drums and drone. The track grows and gets more psychedelic and intense along the way and I really enjoy the vibe. “Still” is a shorter, rather quiet and peaceful piece, and “Something to Do with Death” a melancholic, beautiful and atmospheric number that brings to mind many post rock bands. The short “Blood Knot” is a tad more experimental. One of the key tracks is the almost 14-minute-long “Wolf of the Bees” that is slow, droney and atmospheric post rock stuff again. The album ends with the experimental, druggy short piece called “Medicine Lodge”. I do like this album, but I somehow hope that the guys would rock out more on the next album. I wonder how they are live?

deadseaapes.bandcamp.com



torstai 14. marraskuuta 2013

Space Mirrors: The Other Gods

Transubstans Records (TRANS109)
 
I have been following this international space rock/prog metal collective led by Russian multi-instrumentalist Alisa Coral (a big Hawkwind fan!) since the beginning, and the band has progressed CD after CD. At first my only complaint was that the music at times got too chaotic and even disharmonic due to so many layers of different instruments and especially programming. This problem has now been solved, so that even at its fullest sound the music isn’t “too much” for my ears. The Other Gods is the second chapter in the Cosmic Horror series heavily inspired by the stories of H. P. Lovecraft, who happens to me one of my absolute favourite writers, so there’s another reason to really enjoy this album. As usual, Alisa has recruited other international musical cosmonauts on board, like new members Claudio Tirincanti (Blaze Bayley, Tim “Ripper” Owens etc.) on drums and Gabriel Monticello (Spaceseed etc.) on bass. I’m really glad the band now has a real drummer on all the tracks instead of the programmed drums that were used in the past. Martyr Lucifer has been doing the vocals for a long time and so is the case this time, as well. I prefer his dark, low voice over his harsher, sometimes even growling style that is now totally gone. There are quite a lot of vocals on the CD, and the vocals are now maybe a bit too same all the time (especially with the standard, mid-paced going that most of the Space Mirror albums are composed of), but luckily there is some variation like powerful higher-pitched and almost whispered vocals a few times. Sparky Simmons (Acid FM) recorded most of the excellent guitars. Nik Turner and Cyndee Lee Rule are among the guests again.

“Stranger in the Mirror” is a surprisingly catchy and melodic, energetic but dark metal track that opens the album in a great way. Lots of keyboards and synths, as usual, but everything is in balance. “The Nameless City” has a laid-back beginning, but then it gets pretty heavy and oppressing. “She Devil” has more melody and stuff going on and it’s a pretty great song, like the over eight-minute “Frozen City of “Cubes and Cones” that also has some more atmospheric parts and Mellotron by James Hodkinson (Pre-Med) as well as sax by uncle Nik. “(The Case of) Red Hook” sounds quite progressive but still heavy. One of the high-lights definitely is “Strange High House” that has great melodies and flute and sax by Nik. The longest track is “Times Unknown” at 10:33 starting with some exquisite piano that returns several times along the way. This is a rather epic, progressive piece that has lots of different moods and sections. Nik plays some flute again. Great! “The Other Gods” starts off with some groovy beats and spacey synth sounds. Very dark and even scary atmosphere here… The album is finished with the partially a bit slower, gloomy track “Doom of Sarnath” that is one of my favourites and also has psychedelic synths swooshes. This is a very good song too! I think that this is the best effort by Space Mirrors so far, so just check it out if you dig progressive, spacey and a little psychedelic metal like Arjen Lucassen.

www.spacemirrors.com




keskiviikko 13. marraskuuta 2013

Astral Visions Radio Show #46 online now!

Astral Visions Radio Show - Music from Psychotropic Zone, is hosted by DJ Astro

Listen or download from:
aural-innovations.com/radio/astral.html

Playlist:

Crystal Jacqueline - "Light Is Love" (from Sun Arise)
Nik Turner - "We Ride the Timewinds" (from Space Gypsy)
Monster Magnet - "Mindless Ones" (from Last Patrol)
Monkey 3 - "Once We Were..." (from The 5th Sun
Domovoyd - "Effluvial Condenser (Edit)" (from Oh Sensibility)
Kimi Kärki - "Young Goodman Brown" (from the forthcoming album The Bone of My Bones)
Electric Moon - "From the Mountains (Live)" (from Live in Torino at the United Club)
Oranssi Pazuzu - "Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silmän" (from Valonielu)
Manthra Dei - "Xolotl" (from S/T)
Night Beats - "Sonic Bloom" (from Sonic Bloom)
White Manna - "I'm Comin Home" (from Dune Worship)
Our Solar System - "Neptunus" (from Vart Solsystem)
Papir Meets Electric Moon - "Farewell Mr. Space Echo (Edit)" (from The Papermoon Sessions)
Krautzone - "Liebe" (from Kosmische Rituale)

Domovoyd: Oh Sensibility

Svart Records SVR231CD
 
Domovoyd is a psychedelic stoner/doom metal band from Finland playing very hazy, druggy, heavy, effect-drenched and spaced-out music. I have previously reviewed their EP that already showed a lot of promise. Oh Sensibility just recently released by Svart Records on CD and vinyl is their debut full-length, and a very good one. A lot of bands nowadays say they play psychedelic rock or pop or psychedelic metal but these guys really are psychedelic in a mind-blowing way which I love.

After the ambient and spacey “Introduction” these young stoner warriors rush into the heavy-bounding head-banging heaven called “Incarnation” that brings to mind Electric Wizard in a positive way. “By Taking Breath” is equally heavy and crushing, but sees the band going into more esoteric and hypnotic directions not unlike their label mates Dark Buddha Rising. There’s a lot of stuff happening in over nine minutes, phew… “Lamia” is a slower, doomy piece with some weird Oranssi Pazuzu –styled surf guitar (well not exactly surf but maybe you know what I mean). The vocals are harsher in this one, and the going gets groovier along the way. Sounds a bit like Church of Misery, actually, until the very atmospheric end part. My favourites are the two last, very long tracks, though. “Effluvial Condenser” is a really trippy and psychedelic song, where the guys really have found their own thing. The at first whispered mantra suits the hazy and other-worldly atmosphere very well and the track just keeps on growing and growing until your head explodes. Great! The last four minutes are just smoke vapours and echoes of your lost sanity. The last track “Argenteum Astrum” is named after a mystical order founded by Aleister Crowley, so you can maybe figure out the mood of this 16-minute esoteric occult monster. The first three minutes are quite atmospheric and dark and then they kick on all their fuzz pedals and rock out. Excellent! In the middle they cool down again for a while, but there’s another heavy attack until the laid-back but dark and hazy ending. The guys have done a very good job on their debut album, definitely one of the best Finnish albums this year. Support the psychedelic youth!

www.facebook.com/domovoyd



Mansion: We Shall Live

Self-released EP
 
Mansion (shortened from I Am Mansion) is a mysterious new female-fronted dark rock/metal band from Turku, Finland. Their image and themes are lent from Finnish apocalyptic and ascetic, Christian-based cult called Kartanolaisuus (Kartano meaning Mansion in Finnish). Its founders were two women, Alma Maria Kartano (1885–1953) and Amanda Matilda "Tilda" Reunanen (1894–1965) and the cult had some pretty weird, cruel and perverse rites and customs. You can ask if this band would have ever materialized without occult bands like Sabbath Assembly, The Devils’ Blood or Jess and the Ancient Ones, but I don’t care. At least they have a clearly Finnish theme and they actually sound really great.

This self-released EP that sold-out very quickly (both the 12” vinyl and the initial CD-R version!) has four very well produced tracks. “Mother’s Burden” starts off in peaceful, melancholy mood, but starts to rock out after one minute. I really like the singer and everybody plays really well too. This is a great, atmospheric, melodic and rather long song that turns into doom metal later on. “We Shall Live” has a heavy boogie rhythm that sort brings to mind Uncle Acid but this of course isn’t that dirty and psychedelic stuff. The vibe gets very dark towards the end, and I like this one as well. “Sorrowless” is maybe closer to NWOBHM but there’s nothing wrong with that. Nice guitar melodies! “Slumber Sermon” is probably the most mysterious and magical of all the tracks and pretty gloomy, doomy and heavy as well. The preachers of Kartanolaisuus used to fall into a slumber state before starting their powerful, apocalyptic sermons, so that’s what this is all about. Very strong stuff and my favourite song on this EP! I’ve only seen this band live once (supporting the mighty Lord Vicar) but I really enjoyed myself so I can promise that the Roadburn audience will be spell-bound next year. Let’s hope that there will be a re-issue of this EP and that the band will also record a full-length soon since this is very cool stuff. In the meantime, you can download the EP from their Bandcamp site and try to catch them alive…

www.facebook.com/mansionalma



maanantai 11. marraskuuta 2013

Embryo: Message from Era Ora

Black Sweat Records / Sound of Cobra (BS 005 / SOC-011)
 
Free jazz/prog/traditional ethnic music group Embryo was formed in Munich in 1969 and is unfortunately one of the numerous kraut rock bands that I’m not that familiar with. Anyway, they were rather popular in the early 70s and have been somewhat active to this day. Apparently their music changed from more jazz/rock fusion based closer to world music probably even before the term was commonly spread. This live album limited to 500 copies on vinyl only was recorded in 1976 has elements of both words so I guess they were in the middle of this process back then. There are six tracks on the LP but the band flows on so continuously that it’s hard to say when the tracks change. The sound is typical for live recording from that age, so you can hear every instrument but there is a certain degree of distortion and hiss, but you get used to it very soon and get sucked into this marvelous sea of progressive, jazzy and also psychedelic sounds. You’ll get groovy rhythms, great Fender Rhodes, organ and vibraphone work, jazzy horns and ethnic sounding flutes and excellent, progressive and psychedelic electric guitar, hypnotic bass plus also some occasional vocals. At times the going gets very hypnotic and spacey which I love. There are some similarities to early Gong I guess, but without the silly wackiness. There is a certain jam feel going on, and especially some of the B side seems to be totally improvised. This is great stuff that you should check out if you are interested in progressive, ethnic and jazzy sounds of the era.

perjantai 8. marraskuuta 2013

Our Solar System: Vårt Solsystem

Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records (BBIBR007)
 
Our Solar System is a new free-form psych rock collective from Sweden. There are ten musicians on the debut album featuring members of Dungen, Me and My Kites, Life on Earth”, Lisa o Piu, AnnaMy etc. It’s really nice to see that psych is alive and well in Sweden! The spirit of Pärson Sound and Träd, Gräs och Stenar lives on. This album recorded live in just two days in two exotic locations is a total trip through our solar system and starts off from “Mercurius”. After 40 seconds of quiet astral drone we get some wild, groovy beats, flute, organ and bass. On “Venus” things cool down again and there’s also for example some saxophone, cymbals and feedback guitar. “Jorden” (Earth) is a very short, weird piece with several human voices. Now it’s time to visit “Mars” with a groovy, funky and jazzy touch and lots of sax and also some femme vocals that get pretty deranged towards the end. This brings to mind early Gong stuff a bit, which of course is not a bad thing at all.

Then we take an experimental two-minute cruise through the asteroid belt (“Asteroidbältet”) and arrive at “Jupiter” that offers an early Pink Floyd styled, laid-back but psychedelic trip with some Gong vibes as well. Very nice! “Saturnus” is the longest track at almost eleven minutes, and begins in a slow, bluesy mode but starts to rock out more later on. Goat fans will also enjoy these groovy rhythms and primitive female vocals. The track gets pretty far-out at the end… Then it’s time to take it easy for a while on blissful “Uranus” and from there the journey continues uninterrupted to “Neptunus” where we are offered some soothing melodies before the spaceship blasts into full-speed again. This eight-minute number is definitely one of the most hypnotic and best. Now we’ve just got the tiny and freezing “Pluto” left and it’s a very suitable way to finish this very interesting, clearly rather improvised album that is a fresh breath of air in this over-produced, computerized high-tech world of ours.

 
 

tiistai 5. marraskuuta 2013

Glincolti: S/T

Go Down Records (GOD058)
 
This is the second album by Italian instrumental groovy progressive rock/funk/jazz fusion group Glincolti. The band was formed by then OJM guitarist Alessandro Tedesco with his drummer friend Robers Colbertaldo in 2007 and has grown from that. I have previously reviewed their debut album released in 2008. It seems that almost everything is possible on a Glincolti album, but somehow the guys still seem to be able to keep it altogether. Some of the new album (well, it was released in 2012 so not that new anymore) sound a lot like 70’s progressive jazz/rock fusion, there’s definitely some Zappa influences in there and also some sax, although guitars (electronic, slide and acoustic), bass, and drums are the main instruments. We also get for example some organ and harmonica on the fast and funny, Western influenced “Cavalli di Razza” as well as the more relaxed piece “Un Pomeriggio da Naturalista” that follows. Some of the more progressive tracks also bring to mind King Crimson a bit, but this has more jazz. This is not the kind of music that I usually listen to, but the musical abilities and imagination of these guys still amazes me and I find myself enjoying most of the album, especially the last, a little longer track “Vita su Altri Pianeti” that also has some psychedelic, floating vibes.
 
 


The Movements: The Death of John Hall D.Y. 7” / Like Elephants 1

Crusher Records (CR022 / CRCD023)

 
After the demise of The Soundtrack of Our Lives there has been a huge cap in Sweden for 60s/70s oriented, melodic and psychedelic pop/rock/garage music and The Movements are definitely one of the best options to fulfill that need. Okay, I’m not saying that the band that has been around for years sounds or tries to sound like TSOOL but their latest album seems to be a step into that direction. Like Elephants 1 is their best work so far and it has some marvelous compositions, perfect performance and superb production.

Before the album release, Crusher Records put out a good old 7” single featuring the fast-paced opening cut from Like Elephants 1. “The Death of John Hall D.Y.” is for sure one of the best tracks on the new album and sounds quite a lot like The Byrds although with much more modern (but still VERY cool!) sound. If you don’t get The Byrds comparison, just listen to “Eight Miles High”, the vibe is very similar although not copied. Not unlike TSOOL either. Lovely, melancholic melodies! The B side is taken from the forthcoming album Like Elephants 2. "Everybody Needs Something" is a slower, more atmospheric but also rather dark and Gothic track and the lyrics in its second verse reminds me of "Live for Today" performed by The Lords of the New Church in the 80’s (but originally by the 60’s garage group Grass Roots), and so do the guitars. There's also some haunting piano and organ, and the song ends with a little chaotic guitar solo. A great piece!

The album that is also released in the USA today continues with another killer song “Boogin” that sounds even more like TSOOL for the first two minutes before the long, psychedelic jam in one chord kicks in. The jam goes on for five minutes and I’m grateful it does since this is excellent stuff! Then we get to take a breath with the peaceful and short “Shady Wind” that has some acoustic guitar and piano. The rocking continues with the “Two Tongues” that is an energetic, melodic garage rock track so typical for The Movements. And it works! “Great Deceiver” is one of my favourites with its very touching and high-flying chorus. “All the Lost” has more of that authentic 60s garage psych feel that the band is known for. I love their organ sound! “David’s Song” is a beautiful mid-tempo ballad that will warm up the ladies. “Like Elephants 1” is a pretty short, repetitive acoustic piece, and then it’s time for a Swedish title “Ingenting Kommer Ut Ingenting” although the lyrics still are in English. It’s a very nice, touching and catchy song, by the way, and the longest on the album at 6:30. This is very emotional and also psychedelic, growing stuff especially with the wild guitar so definitely one of the highlights. The album is finished with the pretty TSOOL styled melodic pop song “It Takes a Spark”. A nice way to end a wonderful disc! I’ve been listening to this album for many times and it just gets better and better. Now I’m already looking forward to the next chapter!

www.themovements.com


 

maanantai 4. marraskuuta 2013

Suns of Thyme: Fortune, Shelter, Love & Cure

Electric Magic (EMLP 04
 
 
Suns of Thyme is a new alternative/hypnotic/psychedelic/dream pop/post-punk/shoegazer band from Berlin and Fortune, Shelter, Love & Cure is their debut album. They have a lot of 80’s post-punk/gothic rock vibe in their dark and mesmerizing music (Joy Division, Killing Joke, Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure etc.) but just as important part of their universe is the psychedelic shoegazer/dream pop stuff (especially The Verve and some other 90’s UK acts.). Some recent reference points might be Tame Impala, The Black Angels and even The Dead Skeletons. And there’s even lost more to their sound… I just got to say I’m in love with this album, since I can appreciate both of these worlds, and there really isn’t that much difference when you look with your third eye. I know that some kind of post-punk/indie rock can now be even pretty popular in mainstream, so I guess this band could make it big unless this trend dies out too soon for them. But hey, let’s focus on this album that has 10 excellent, catchy and magical tracks.

“Violent Eyes” starts off the album with droney synth sounds and then a Joy Division like guitar and beat joins in. The great vocalist has a dark and powerful voice that suits this kind of music very well. On “The Way” things are getting a bit more psychedelic already, but this is also closer to dark 80’s post-punk. “One Song” has a very hypnotic, pounding beat and some great, psychedelic guitar work. This makes you want to put lots of mascara and tight leather pants on and dance! One of the most psychedelic tracks (and the first one I fell in love with) is “Soma (God for Gods)” and I still think this might be the best song on the album. It just has something special about it; it’s highly effective and intoxicating! The slower, groovy “The Years We Got Are Not Enough” is closer to Led Zeppelin or something that Oasis might have done in the early 90’s. The weakest song, if you ask me. “Blue Phoenix Tree” is a beautiful, melancholic track with great sense of melody and “Cataclysm 2048” has a more electronic backing. One of my favourites is the dark, rather slow, mystical and hypnotic “Asato Maa” that somehow brings to mind The Dead Skeletons. It’s also the longest track on the album. Then after a short, synth-based “Interlude” we’ve got the excellent, dreamy last track “Earth, Over” that sums everything up in a wonderful, blissful way. What a superb album!

 
 

perjantai 1. marraskuuta 2013

Seremonia: Ihminen

Svart Records (SVR237)
 
Ihminen (meaning a human being in English) is the second album by Finnish proto metal/doom/hard rock/acid rock/occult rock act Seremonia following last year’s eponymous debut album and a couple of 7” singles. The debut album was pretty well received especially in Finland, and the band is sort of following the same formula here although they have added something new to their withes cauldron. The female vocals are still in Finnish and deal with the same macabre things like worshipping the devil, death, suicide, drug abuse, nightmares, doomsday etc. but this time one of the leading themes is how we humans abuse our planet destroying the nature and that we will be punished for that. The harsh, rather primitive but highly effective music changes from short, fast, Motörhead like bursts (“Noitamestari”, “Ovi”, “Luonto kostaa”) through mid-tempo proto metal to slow, doomy and gloomy atmospheres and the band can master all these different modes. Their sound is not overtly heavy, but they have definitely listened to their share of Black Sabbath. Keyboards and flutes give more, refreshing and psychedelic angles to some of the songs. “Itsemurhaaja II” even has a nice, acoustic intro before the heavy boogie begins. The dark, repetative and mesmerizing “Tähtien takaa” reminds me of Finnish dark psychedelic post-punk legends Mana Mana. My other favourites include the most Black Sabbath styled piece “Itsemurhaaja”, the darkest and longest, very doomy song “Painajaisten maa” that brings to mind early Saint Vitus (just like the last, epic and slow track called “Hallava hevonen”) and the hard rocking title track “Ihminen”. Seremonia is one of the best and most interesting bands in Finland right now and they are also great live so check them out and get the new album!

 

Øresund Space Collective: Organic Earthly Floatation

Space Rock Productions (SPR015)
 
It has been a busy year for Danish/Swedish spacey psychedelic improvisation group Øresund Space Collective. Their latest release (the 16th in total!) is a limited (100 copies on blue, 400 on black) vinyl album Organic Earthly Floatation released today on their own Space Rock Productions label. This 47-minute album was recorded at the Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen in April 2012, and is very good indeed. The sessions were quite guitar dominated, but you will find the usual psychedelic synth swooshes and space noises as well, of course. All the members of the excellent Copenhagen-based band Papir play on this album.

The first track “Walking on Clouds” makes an exception in the OSC universe since it is an original composition written by the visiting guitar player Daniel from the US, although the rest of the band just jam on it for over 19 minutes… This is very nice, laid-back stuff with a sort of early 70s prog touch. The guitar players really fly high on this one! The track gets more intense at times and there are also some excellent space bubbles by Dr. Space. Brilliant! “Walking on Clouds Part 2” is a peaceful, blissful six-minute reprise and has more synths and wonderful delay guitar. On side B we’ve got the 17-minute “Carlos on the Moon” and a shorter “Neptune Rising”. Although I really enjoy side A, I think “Carlos…” is maybe even better. It starts off in a very laid-back, relaxed way, and this goes on for a long time. The track starts to rock around the 13-minute-marker and then cools down again. Wonderful! The five-minute “Neptune Rising” is the only track to feature the whole Papir line-up and, not surprisingly, reminds me of some of their most free-form stuff. It’s faster than the rest of the album and sort of out-of-focus a bit, but the great guitar work, hypnotic synths and weird, otherworldly vibe still make it quite special. Sort of like Hawkwind jamming in 1977 or something. The cover art that gives this excellent release a fine final touch is by Finnish artist Eetu Pellonpää. Warmly recommended for all lovers of cosmic, psychedelic instrumental music! And don’t forget to buy the Entering into the Space Country/Phase Your Fears 2CD (SRO011) in case you missed on the original vinyl albums… It’s definitely worth it!

 www.oresundspacecollective.com