Sometimes German, sometimes English. The title of this blog used to change from time to time. That will certainly resume next January.
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Interested in me reviewing your music? Please read this! I am also writing album reviews for VeilOfSound.com.

2022-05-30

ALBATRE at Gârden - livestream, May 30th 2022


Even though "real" shows are a thing again - at least for now -, there's nothing wrong with recommending an awesome livestream, right?

I just watched avant-jazz extremists Albatre live at Gârden and damn that looked and sounded great! The trio which I last witnessed in April at Roadburn Festival even played some new, unreleased material with strong arabichaotical vibes. Mindblowing stuff!

The show can be rewatched HERE! It's well worth it.








2022-05-28

burning on... music from the ROADBURN haul and beyond (feat. JO QUAIL, NEPTUNIAN MAXIMALISM, TEMPLE FANG, TERZIJ DE HORDE, ULVER and various artists covering LUSTMORD)


No, this is not my Roadburn merch haul! It's just some of it released recent enough to fall under my review directive that I'm talking about everything purchased in the same year it came out. I've also bought stuff from Five The Hierophant, Wyatt E., White Hills, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin... but to include all that would be too excessive. Oh, and there's also a tape I am going to review later in the according series...
Two of these records however could have been bought at Roadburn, if I hadn't already pre-ordered them before anyway.






ULVER - So Falls The World - Live At Roadburn 2017 (transparent blue 10" vinyl) (2022)

Let's start with the official special release for this Roadburn: Unfortunately not a full album, but still a great item is this ten inch record by Ulver with three tracks from their mind-blowing 2017 performance, where they played "The Assassination Of Julius Caesar" in full.

The nine-minute rendition of "So Falls The World", including a great atmospheric piano intro alone makes this worthwhile. Pure bliss! The B side features "Transverberation" and "1969". Both also great, albeit it really makes you wish there was more.










NEPTUNIAN MAXIMALISM AND ITS SUPERNOVA ARKESTRA - Set Chaos To The Heart Of The Moon - Live At Roadburn 2021 (CD+DVD) (2022)

After Gggolddd's "This Shame Should Not Be Mine" now my other favorite performance from last year's Roadburn Redux has been released on CD (vinyl version to follow later). Not a studio version, but the pure live performance of Neptunian Maximalism's "Set Chaos To The Heart Of The Moon", because what else would you want? As usual with this band you can now experience the spiritual jazz drone doom psychedelic larger than life extravaganza with a beautiful artwork and catchy song titles like "ZÂR : Empowering The Phurba : Éon Phanérozoïque" or "Ol SONUF VAORESAJI ! La Sixième Extinction de Masse : Le Génocide Anthropocène".
On top of that the digipak includes a DVD with the complete show as seen on the stream last year, but probably with even better sound. What Guillaume Cazalet and his big band - in homage to Sun Ra dubbed Supernova Arkestra on this release - are touching, always seems to turn into majestic magic of cosmic magnitude. I still love this performance, maybe now even more than thirteen months ago.











TEMPLE FANG - Fang Temple (2LP) (2022)

The good news for more grounded rock musicians who don't want to go as big as Neptunian Maximalism: Four members are already more than enough to create enormously epic and timeless masterpieces. Bad news: Not everyone is Temple Fang.
It feels almost lame to call this year's surprise replacement band of the warm-up show just classic rock, even if you add psychedelic to it. On the other hand it just it what it is: The Dutch quartet doesn't sound like a band which has been playing together for a couple of years, but like a legend from the 1970s.
And to think that the songs on this double album almost were lost due to the change of the drummer before recording it in the studio, is just insane! Luckily they had already played and recorded the material during three seated pandemic shows. So after "Live At Merleyn" here's another Temple Fang live record! Considering how absolutely amazing these one-longtrack-per-side killers are, I wouldn't even mind at all if they just kept doing those. Everything about this - the compositions, the musicianship, the feeling, the vocal harmonies... it's all perfect as it is. Nothing a "proper" studio recording needs to improve. I doubt that there's even any group out there doing this flavour of epic space hard rock better than Temple Fang right now.









LUSTMORD - The Others [Lustmord Deconstructed] (2CD) (2022)

Even though ambient / dark industrial pioneer Lustmord had to cancel his Roadburn appearance, I stuck to my plan to get this tribute double album from the Pelagic Records stand. It features a wide array of artists from the label and beyond, giving us their interpretations of tracks from his 2008 album "Other", his only work to date to feature guitars. There are so many great contributions that it's hard to single only a few out. Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Mono, Jo Quail, GodfleshZola JesusÅrabrot, Ulver... they all did a fantastic job of turning the electronic drones into something that is their own. Considering the genre and the length of the album, this flies by astonishingly fast.
But you know what? I've said all of this before, because I ALREADY WROTE AN EXTENSIVE REVIEW FOR "THE OTHERS" A WHILE AGO ON VEILOFSOUND.COM.










TERZIJ DE HORDE - In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy (smoke coloured vinyl LP) (2022)

"This album explores how entire worlds are created and destroyed - how the powerful shape, dominate, and discard collective realities. Humanity becomes a foam, a frothing chaos constantly collapsing in on itself." Accompanied by a large booklet with liner notes, lyrics, literature recommendations and paintings by vocalist Joost Vervoort and above all the apocalyptic, ecologically aware cover photography, Terzij De Horde are handlig quite an ambitious concept here, especially given that their record only lasts half an hour.
But it works. At the blasting tempo with which the Dutch band is powering through most passages of these only three tracks, this time is indeed enough to get their point across. The album fully confirms what their live performance promised. "In One Of These, I Am Your Enemy" is a true global conflagration of unforgiving black metal. Relentless, yet never monotonous. Creative, with grand but not kitschy leads just when you need them, this album leaves nothing to be desired for me. Except of course more of it. But that's how it always should be, right?










JO QUAIL - The Cartographer (swamp green vinyl 2LP) (2022)

If you've read my Roadburn Saturday review (please do, it was an enormous day!), it won't be a surprise that the last album here isn't the least by any means. Ultimately only time can tell, but in terms of importance and influence cellist Jo Quail's neoclassical suite "The Cartographer" is destined to be the standout album of this bunch. The way a classical trained musician with plenty of experience in rock, metal and experimental music has put together a piece here, which incorporates all these aspects without falling into any of the traps of the orchestral / modern music fusion is not only remarkable, but to my knowledge doesn't have many paragons. As I've said before the closest comparisons I can hear can be found in the world of soundtracks.
"The Cartographer" is performed by electric cello and violin, eight trombones, piano, two sets of orchestral percussions and two singers. But don't you need guitars, bass and drums to combine this with metal? No, Jo's approach to achieve the heaviness and darkness is a little more sophisticated. There's not one instrument playing the metal part, but still it is there as an inherent part - among many others -, woven deep into the DNA of this remarkable work.
This 45rpm double album - coming in a beautiful gatefold sleeve - demands attention, but rewards it with a unique, dynamic journey that surely exceeds even the expectations of Jo Quail's greatest fans. The triumphant finale alone, just magnificent and bursting with emotion beyond belief, is worth it.
Within the canon of commissioned Roadburn works this is at least as groundbreaking as Triptykon's "Requiem" or the Waste Of Space Orchestra. And the only imaginable reason why this would not put a visible stamp in the history book of modern music - not even pinning it down on genres - could just be lack of resources and/or the lack of sheer talent. Jo Quail has the latter in spades. And after creating a composition like this she doesn't need to prove anything to anyone ever. Exceptional! 






2022-05-27

State of the Blog Address

Now that all (well, in truth it never really ends) Roadburn stuff is as good as done, what's up next on this blog?

I'm behind on my to-review-list, so there will probably be some shorter group write-ups about several physical and digital releases to catch up on it in the coming weeks. But my occasional reviews for Veil Of Sound might slow that proccess down. Or the other way around.
And of course there are also live shows again. As of now the next gigs I'm planning to attend are mid June, but you'll never now if I will sneak something in spontanously. However, musical content is for sure secured for the near future.

As always I'm also behind in editing my film scans. There are still several potential photographic post from the previous months waiting to see the light of day. Besides that the harineweekly series will of course continue.

You might have noticed that I haven't changed the title of the blog for a while now. Honestly I think, I will keep 20 + 22 = 42! for the whole year, unless I find something which is undoubtly better. But in 2023 I'll go back into fluid title mode again. Until then I guess I have to update that description above...

I've also gotten quite used to write most of my posts in English, unless I want it to be done very fast or feel that it's targeted to a German readership. So "Most posts are in german, yet sometimes I switch to english." should probably also be rephrased...

That's it. So long!


2022-05-25

ORANSSI PAZUZU, DEAF KIDS and STURLE DAGSLAND live at the headCRASH, Hamburg (May 23rd 2022)


It was a short-run decision. A Monday, already far into the month - and I'm still calculating whether I could sabotage other plans, if after all that time of evading covid I would finally get it now. But ultimately the line-up of this night was just too strong to resist:

One of my favorite heavy psych bands, one of my favorite black metal bands and one of my favorite polyrhythm prog bands! And all that was just the headliner. In addition Oranssi Pazuzu also brought two not exactly commonplace support acts along with them.

Luckily I decided to drive to Hamburg much earlier than usual, so I could take a couple of pictures with a new camera. With one Autobahn exit closed and the HSV successfully fighting to stay in their league (as in: losing their relegation match) city traffic was a real bitch. And of course the whole area where I wanted to park for free was completetly blocked by road works.

In the end l didn't have the time to stroll around in the extent I had hoped for, but at least I arrived at the headCRASH timely. I think I had wanted to see one or two shows there before, but those had been relocated to bigger venues. So this was my first actual visit in the cozy club near the cult pub "Zum Goldenen Handschuh" (that's where serial killer Fritz Honka once found his victims), and I cannot complain about anything. Would definitely come back.






Sturle Dagsland

The opener was Norwegian artist Sturle Dagsland, who - accompanied by his brother - played...
Well, let me start again: After all these years of being confronted or even performing crazy shit on stage, and just having been to an especially avant-garde Roadburn Festival edition last month, you might think that I should be qualified to do a quick write-up after any kind of weird stuff, but sometimes still someone comes along and makes you wonder what the fuck?
The performance saw the duo using samples, keys, loops, percussions, more or less normal wind instruments and Sturle squeaking, twanging, screaming and flying away in stratospheric falsettos with his voice. The songs, all introduced with some weird non-reproducible noises, were both fascinating, at times even captiving, but also just utterly bonkers. We live in great times of musical creativity and openness, when a billing mostly aimed at metal fans can dare to start like this. Not meant to be described, but to be experienced.










Deaf Kids

How often to I have to mention polyrhythms in this review? With the Brazilian trio Deaf Kids there's hardly a way around it, because most of the time their noisy sound was dominated by restless tribalistic beats. Combined with simplistic bass lines offering orientation, droning electronics, harsh guitar noise and vocals that were more effect than voice, Deaf Kids avoided melodies and even guitar riffs beyond brief and primitive patterns, creating a not at all traditonal, yet extremely primal sound. 
There were point where I would have liked a little more dramatic structure, because the duration and sequence of passages seemed very random, but I guess that's also part of the charme: Punkish, but still somehow sophisticated. And once again classification remains an impossible task. In doubt noise. I can't really think of a band I could compare with these boys. Banger!










Oranssi Pazuzu

The night had already been great this far, but as expected Oranssi Pazuzu made  it truly spectacular.
My first contact with the band from Finland was - as so often - at Roadburn, in 2016, and of course two years later the monolithic cooperation with Dark Buddha Rising as the Waste Of Space Orchestra.

And what else can I say other that they have only gotten better? Finally hitting the road with the material from their 2020 album "Mestarin Kynsi" their singular sound has reached a mastership that screams into your face that you're just watching one of the most relevant metal bands of today. And even though they are kind of a psychedelic and prog band too, as I have mentioned above earlier, the heavy eeriness, the extreme black and doom elements - including exceptionally good screeching vocals - undoubtly put Oranssi Pazuzu into the metal category. The sub category however is them alone.

The way the drums, keyboards and guitars were constantly worming around each other with - here it comes again! - polyrhythmic ideas was just so incredibly suspense-packed! The force of infinite movement was so irresistable and the demonic energy of the conjured atmosphere so palpable!
It's no wonder that the headCRASH crowd couldn't get enough. This show was a triumph.

And I'm so glad that I got myself one longsleeve with the tour poster artwork from the merch table. Seldom have I seen a better visualisation of what the music of a band actually sounds like.
Ok, I guess I should actually show it now. But unfortunately I'm too lazy and already late with this review. So sorry, please try them internets.