Archive for February, 2011

Album of the day: Evoken & Beneath the Frozen Soil – Split CD

Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Some bands you just know are going to be unrelenting, and that’s certainly the case with long-running New Jersey mega-doomers Evoken. Their last outing saw them reissue their first demo in the form of Shades of Night Descending on Displeased Records, and now they follow that with four new tracks on a split with Swedish outfit Beneath the Frozen Soil on the I Hate imprint that also released their excellent 2007 full-length, A Caress of the Void.

Beneath the Frozen Soil were also last heard from in terms of new material in ’07, when they released a split with Long Island, NY, sludgers Negative Reaction. Maybe they just have something for the East Coast, but either way, the pairing with Evoken makes more sense sonically, as Beneath the Frozen Soil are closer to them in sound and overall feel. What that means as regards listening is that the split is consistent in terms of flow, and if you’ve ever heard anything from either of these two bands, you already know the extremely oppressive nature of their output.

Evoken are positively volatile. Their six-piece lineup (which, near as I can tell, sometimes includes founding guitarist Nick Orlando and sometimes doesn’t) is brutally heavy and agonizingly slow, topped with the unearthly growls of guitarist John Paradiso, who only veers from the guttural to embark on the occasional echoed whisper (see the closing movement of ‘Omniscient’) or dramatic spoken part (‘The Pleistocene Epoch’). If all of their albums weren’t over an hour long, I’d be tempted to call Evoken’s four-track contribution to the Beneath the Frozen Soil split full-length at over 42 minutes; in any case, they’re certainly not lacking in conveyance of aural hopelessness.

Drummer / founder Vince Verkay makes the most of his nearly 20 years of experience in the band, easily taking on the task of grounding the 13-minute ‘The Pleistocene Epoch’ – which would confound many – and knowing when to step back and give the guitars room, as on ‘Vestigial Fears.’ Keyboardist Don Zaros provides some respite from the crushing sounds, but between the guitars (Chris Molinari makes three), Verkay’s morose pacing and the added thickness of Dave Wagner’s pace, Evoken are near-lethal in their miserable cohesion. They finish cold (of course) on ‘Vestigial Fears’ and close their portion with ‘Into the Primal Shrine’, – their only cut under 10 minutes at 7:21 – which is instrumental but for a few non-verbal growls from Paradiso spread across the earlier moments.

Continue reading: The Obelisk » Blog Archive » Evoken and Beneath the Frozen Soil Split CD: How Slow Can You Go?.

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Album of the day: Bang – Bullets

Posted on Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Praise for Bang‘s Bullets (The First Four Albums Plus…) from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: All right! We’re happy to report that Rise Above Relics is back in business, with an impressive new batch of proto-metal reissues including albums by Steel Mill and Necromandus… gotta get ‘em all reviewed, but we’re […]

Album of the day: Graveyard – Hisingen Blues

Posted on Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Following the release of their self-titled debut on Tee-Pee in 2008, the groundswell around Swedish retro rockers Graveyard has been remarkable. The Gothenburg four-piece, born from the same roots as Witchcraft in the band Norrsken, tapped a direct line to the soft spot in everyone’s […]

Album of the day: Arbouretum – The Gathering

Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from AllMusic: Baltimore’s Arbouretum are singular on the stoner psych-rock scene. Due in large part to the vision of lyricist, frontman, and lead guitarist Dave Heumann, their sound is simultaneously sprawling, devastatingly heavy, sludgy, meandering, and mysterious. The Gathering showcases a lineup change showcasing keyboardist Matthew Pierce. Paradoxically, […]

Album of the day: Oskoreien – Oskoreien

Posted on Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from Lurker: With all instruments, arrangements, production and mixing handled by one isolated soul, Oskoreien is essentially the solo black metal vehicle perfected. All accoutrements associated with one-manbands have been virtually excommunicated from Oskoreien’s self-titled debut album. The wafer thin guitars and pots-n-pans drumming of the swathes of […]

Album of the day: The Psychic Paramount – II

Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Lovingly pinched from Dusted Magazine: Way back in 1994, author Simon Reynolds coined the term “post-rock” when writing for The Wire. The spreading of that coinage proceeded to drive countless enervated trios and quartets to substitute pretention for fire, which resulted in college dorm rooms stacked with CDs bearing testimony […]

Album of the day: Sungrazer – Sungrazer

Posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: I had been looking forward to hearing the self-titled debut from Dutch rockers Sungrazer for a while before it showed up. The album, which was originally released by the band before they got picked up for CD / vinyl issue through Germany’s Elektrohasch Schallplatten, is […]

Album of the day: Fen – Epoch

Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011

Lovingly pinched from Sputnikmusic: The progression made by Fen since their debut LP The Malediction Fields proves to be introverted and rather subtle, with their latest album Epoch clawing further down into their niche of atmospheric black metal, post-rock and shoegaze. It’s this very identity that has drawn comparisons to […]

Album of the day: The Skull Defekts – Peer Amid

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Praise for The Skull Defekts‘ Peer Amid from San Francisco’s aQuarius Records: It’s like the second coming of late great rhythmic post rockers Lungfish. This latest disc from Swedish hypno rockers Skull Defekts finds the group teaming up with modern musical shaman (and former Lungfish frontman) Daniel Higgs, for what […]

Album of the day: Tia Carrera – Cosmic Priestess

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: ‘Slave Cylinder’ opens with a nod to Sabbath’s ‘N.I.B.’,  and from there, Cosmic Priestess — the second album from Tia Carrera on Small Stone Records — only gets trippier. The Austin, Texas, trio made their label debut in 2009 with The Quintessential, and while that […]

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