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June 25, 2016, 2:58 pm

 

II POISON GARDEN

Band:SLEEP OF MONSTERS
Album:II POISON GARDEN
Label:SVART
Format:CD
Genre:Rock

Recorded in an old hilltop villa in Álora, Spain, Sleep of Monsters II : Poison Garden, the long-awaited sophomore album of this unique Finnish band, sees the band venture into even richer, more dramatic and hauntingly beautiful soundscapes, complete with strings and horns… and hooves. Think of Lee Hazlewood getting drunk with the Abba girls in a Metal bar, slurring some of the most spine-chilling, (mostly) true tales of human tragedy and the occult ever heard in rock’n’roll, and you’ll arrive at the moss-covered gates of Poison Garden. It harkens back to the days when Rock albums were larger than life – deceivingly accessible but deviously deep, it is a trip through the dark recesses of Western history and psyche itself, of chtonic myths, bloody faery tales and forgotten archetypes, a treasure chest of nocturnal wonders and forbidden knowledge. SOM marks the return of vocalist and lyricist Ike Vil, the morose mastermind behind the lauded death rockers and occult rock pioneers Babylon Whores. Vil teamed up with guitarist and main songwriter Sami Hassinen, formerly the guitarist of Blake, drummer Pätkä Rantala, who played on HIM’s million-selling debut, and keyboardist Janne Immonen, who has toured extensively with Waltari and Ajattara.

 

 

II POISON GARDEN - LP

Band:SLEEP OF MONSTERS
Album:II POISON GARDEN - LP
Label:SVART
Format:Vinyl LP
Genre:Rock

Recorded in an old hilltop villa in Álora, Spain, Sleep of Monsters II : Poison Garden, the long-awaited sophomore album of this unique Finnish band, sees the band venture into even richer, more dramatic and hauntingly beautiful soundscapes, complete with strings and horns… and hooves. Think of Lee Hazlewood getting drunk with the Abba girls in a Metal bar, slurring some of the most spine-chilling, (mostly) true tales of human tragedy and the occult ever heard in rock’n’roll, and you’ll arrive at the moss-covered gates of Poison Garden. It harkens back to the days when Rock albums were larger than life – deceivingly accessible but deviously deep, it is a trip through the dark recesses of Western history and psyche itself, of chtonic myths, bloody faery tales and forgotten archetypes, a treasure chest of nocturnal wonders and forbidden knowledge. SOM marks the return of vocalist and lyricist Ike Vil, the morose mastermind behind the lauded death rockers and occult rock pioneers Babylon Whores. Vil teamed up with guitarist and main songwriter Sami Hassinen, formerly the guitarist of Blake, drummer Pätkä Rantala, who played on HIM’s million-selling debut, and keyboardist Janne Immonen, who has toured extensively with Waltari and Ajattara.Vinyl LP.

 

 

HALLELUJAH

Band:GEVURAH
Album:HALLELUJAH
Label:Profound Lore
Format:CD
Genre:Black Metal

The Canadian religious black metal enigma GEVURAH have slowly been shaping their ritualistic blueprint on virulent spiritual black metal sophistication for several years, giving the duo of GEVURAH consiststing of mastermind X.T. (vocals/all instruments/production) and A.L. (guitars) a reputation as one Canada’s most promising black metal prospects. With their debut full-length album “Hallelujah!” (which follows their well received “Necheshirion” EP from 2013 and features the incredible transcendent art of Denis Forkas), GEVURAH’s awareness will be felt throughout the black metal underground as a formidable and spiritual force within it.

Through “Hallelujah!” X.T. (who aside from playing on most of the album was also responsible for writing “Hallelujah!” in its entirety along with being responsible for recording and mixing it) has unearthed an overwhelming layered black metal masterwork through seven massive epic hymns that encompass a furious, dark, and unforgiving nature to them while at the same time harness a complexity through this vision of otherworldly spiritual black metal levitation.

For fans of Deathspell Omega, Mgla, early Watain, Funeral Mist, Marduk

 

 

STRANGER TO VIOLENCE

Band:PSALM ZERO
Album:STRANGER TO VIOLENCE
Label:Profound Lore
Format:CD
Genre:Metal

With their sophomore album “Stranger to Violence”, Psalm Zero takes the aesthetics, poetics, and spirit established with their 2014 debut, “The Drain”, and blows those elements up into an epic work of wide-screen drama. After two years of anticipation built by the gradual episodic release of the Birthright Trilogy of video/cassette singles, as well as a series of personnel shifts, the Queens NY-based outfit led by songwriter/vocalist/producer Charlie Looker finally delivers the next installment of a wholly unique vision of heavy music. Pummeling drum machine, lush swirling synths, razor-sharp guitar (courtesy of former member Andrew Hock), and grinding bass, all provide the dramatic backdrop for Looker’s crooning baritone voice. Comparisons as diverse as Godflesh, Katatonia, and Depeche Mode have all been used in attempts to describe Psalm Zero’s completely singular brand of art-metal.

While “Stranger to Violence” retains, and in some ways even strengthens, Psalm Zero’s roots in extreme metal, these seven new songs feature massive pop hooks, soaring choruses catchier and more emotionally direct than any of the band’s prior work. With harsh vocals now less frequent and only reserved for the highest ecstatic peaks, these melody-driven songs embody an accessible song-craft seldom heard in today’s metal landscape. The production style has evolved dramatically as well. In contrast to the band’s original murkier, more lo-fi texture, this album is a far more crisp, detailed, colorful, three-dimensional sound world of synths, samples, and percussive electronics. Psalm Zero has also expanded lyrically, with Looker extending the scope of his writing outside of the purely personal and existential realm, into a more social, global, real-world critical engagement. Without preaching a strict political agenda, and without constituting a unitary “concept album”, the new record is tied together by several different thematic strands: drug addiction, global financial crisis, Western imperialism, and Jewish identity. All of these themes are interwoven throughout all seven of the songs, interrelating and overlapping differently at different times. The album’s single “Not Guilty” features a video directed by Zev Deans (whose many other credits include Portal and Behemoth), filmed around the alleyways and courthouses of the band’s hometown of New York.

“Stranger to Violence” is a monolithic, cinematic, start-to-finish musical experience with immense crossover potential, which blurs genre boundaries at every turn. As demented as it is socially relevant, this album promises to bring together fans from across multiple different scenes and orientations, and further proves that there is truly nothing out there like Psalm Zero.

 

 

SCARS AND CROSSES

Band:HIGH FIGHTER
Album:SCARS AND CROSSES
Label:SVART
Format:CD
Genre:Stoner/Doom/Occult/Sludge Metal

Hamburg-based Sludge Metal / Stoner / Power Doom band HIGH FIGHTER, who already gained high praise in the scene for their self-released demo EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ back in the end of 2014, have just unveiled some new details about their upcoming, first full length album! After the band formed in the summer of 2014 and in one band year only, High Fighter heavily toured across Europe including UK dates, shared the stages with bands such as Ahab, Mammoth Storm, The Midnight Ghost Train, Corrosion of Conformity or Greenleaf, and played festivals in 2015 such as Stoned from the Underground, Sonic Blast in Portugal, Red Smoke Poland, Hamburg Metaldayz or an exclusive press showcase live at Wacken Open Air 2015. “Scars & Crosses” has been recorded live at RAMA Studio in Mannheim, Germany ( Ahab, The Hirsch Effekt, Fjørt & many more ) by Jens Siefert, and is mixed & mastered by none else than Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business) in Los Angeles.

 

 

SCARS AND CROSSES - LP

Band:HIGH FIGHTER
Album:SCARS AND CROSSES - LP
Label:SVART
Format:Vinyl LP
Genre:Stoner/Doom/Occult/Sludge Metal

Hamburg-based Sludge Metal / Stoner / Power Doom band HIGH FIGHTER, who already gained high praise in the scene for their self-released demo EP ‘The Goat Ritual’ back in the end of 2014, have just unveiled some new details about their upcoming, first full length album! After the band formed in the summer of 2014 and in one band year only, High Fighter heavily toured across Europe including UK dates, shared the stages with bands such as Ahab, Mammoth Storm, The Midnight Ghost Train, Corrosion of Conformity or Greenleaf, and played festivals in 2015 such as Stoned from the Underground, Sonic Blast in Portugal, Red Smoke Poland, Hamburg Metaldayz or an exclusive press showcase live at Wacken Open Air 2015. “Scars & Crosses” has been recorded live at RAMA Studio in Mannheim, Germany ( Ahab, The Hirsch Effekt, Fjørt & many more ) by Jens Siefert, and is mixed & mastered by none else than Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business) in Los Angeles. Vinyl LP.

 

 

COME COLD COME WIND

Band:LOST BOOTS
Album:COME COLD COME WIND
Label:SVART
Format:CD
Genre:Rock

Come Cold, Come Wind is the debut release by Lost Boots, who consists of the trio of musicians previously performing as Sweatmaster, plus extra guitarist Tomi Helomaa. Sweatmaster were well on their way to fame earlier this millennium, with a deal with the cult garage label Bad Afro and European tours with The Darkness and the like. Somewhere along the way action rocking garage fare no longer appealead to the sweaty threesome, and they ended up calling it a day, only to resurrect as Lost Boots a couple of years later. "After Sweatmaster we tried playing a bit of everything, even Finnish language prog rock, but nothing seemed to click. It was only after Tomi (Helomaa, guitar) came along that we really had a band together", says guitarist-vocalist Sasu Mykkänen. The band defines Lost Boots as being a more manly, slower playing and a tad more melodic unit than their sweat-covered predecessor. There is an electric 'live' feel to the music, with edges not too heavily polished. It owes as much to classic hard guitar rock as it does to garage rock.

 

 

COME COLD COLD WIND - LP

Band:LOST BOOTS
Album:COME COLD COLD WIND - LP
Label:SVART
Format:Vinyl LP
Genre:Rock

Come Cold, Come Wind is the debut release by Lost Boots, who consists of the trio of musicians previously performing as Sweatmaster, plus extra guitarist Tomi Helomaa. Sweatmaster were well on their way to fame earlier this millennium, with a deal with the cult garage label Bad Afro and European tours with The Darkness and the like. Somewhere along the way action rocking garage fare no longer appealead to the sweaty threesome, and they ended up calling it a day, only to resurrect as Lost Boots a couple of years later. "After Sweatmaster we tried playing a bit of everything, even Finnish language prog rock, but nothing seemed to click. It was only after Tomi (Helomaa, guitar) came along that we really had a band together", says guitarist-vocalist Sasu Mykkänen. The band defines Lost Boots as being a more manly, slower playing and a tad more melodic unit than their sweat-covered predecessor. There is an electric 'live' feel to the music, with edges not too heavily polished. It owes as much to classic hard guitar rock as it does to garage rock. Vinyl LP.

 

 

AMEN I

Band:MIKKO JOENSUU
Album:AMEN I
Label:SVART
Format:CD
Genre:SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mikko Joensuu is the kind of singer-songwriter who’l easily stand out from the crowd. His debut album ”Amen 1” taps into the American folk music tradition, and it is all about deep and healing songs which at times give the listener an impression of spending time in quiet, intimate surroundings with people like Townes Van Z andt, Lee Hazlewood or Leonard Cohen. Arrangements are raw but beautiful: mostly just the piano and guitar accompany Mikko’s voice, with pedal steel guitars and soothing string sections paying a visit every now and then. Mikko Joensuu’s grand solo debut is three albums long, and with part 2 appearing in late 2016 and part 3 next spring, it forms the Amen Trilogy. Joensuu, who’s spent some years in the proverbial wilderness after the split of his earlier combo Joensuu 1685, comments on the creation process of his magnum opus: “In the summer of 2012 I built a studio in a small cabin by a lake in northern Finland. I spent a month staring towards the lake, writing and recording. During that time I realized what I had was actually three different albums, all stemming from the same state of mind, expressing various sides to the same story. From the three, Amen 1 is perhaps the most fragile. It’s an effort to find balance between great sadness and beauty, and to understand the very strange state when one’s mind is close to collapse and yet at the same time more alive than ever."

 

 

AMEN I - LP

Band:MIKKO JOENSUU
Album:AMEN I - LP
Label:SVART
Format:Vinyl LP
Genre:SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mikko Joensuu is the kind of singer-songwriter who’l easily stand out from the crowd. His debut album ”Amen 1” taps into the American folk music tradition, and it is all about deep and healing songs which at times give the listener an impression of spending time in quiet, intimate surroundings with people like Townes Van Z andt, Lee Hazlewood or Leonard Cohen. Arrangements are raw but beautiful: mostly just the piano and guitar accompany Mikko’s voice, with pedal steel guitars and soothing string sections paying a visit every now and then. Mikko Joensuu’s grand solo debut is three albums long, and with part 2 appearing in late 2016 and part 3 next spring, it forms the Amen Trilogy. Joensuu, who’s spent some years in the proverbial wilderness after the split of his earlier combo Joensuu 1685, comments on the creation process of his magnum opus: “In the summer of 2012 I built a studio in a small cabin by a lake in northern Finland. I spent a month staring towards the lake, writing and recording. During that time I realized what I had was actually three different albums, all stemming from the same state of mind, expressing various sides to the same story. From the three, Amen 1 is perhaps the most fragile. It’s an effort to find balance between great sadness and beauty, and to understand the very strange state when one’s mind is close to collapse and yet at the same time more alive than ever." Vinyl LP.

 

 


 
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