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sunnuntai 28. toukokuuta 2017

Buddha Sentenza - Semaphora

World In Sound ‎(WIS 3031)

I reviewed the debut album by this German instrumental psychedelic stoner/prog/space rock band in 2013 and told that they are a mix in between Pink Floyd and Back Sabbath. This sort of still holds, but there are other elements in there as well. There is a strong 70s vibe although the sound is perfectly modern. I can hear echoes of bands like Eloy, Samsara Blues Experiment, Monkey 3, Colour Haze etc. just to name a few, but on their second album the band seems to have found their own thing as well. It's cool that the other guitarist also plays the violin and there's also lots of keyboards and synths.

"Jet" is the energetic and heavy kick-start of the album and this gets almost metal to my ears. Not that far away from bands like Amorphis but a bit spacier. Nice!  "Greek Ancestry" has some banjo or something in the beginning and then gets rather progressive in a folky way with some cool violin as well. It's still pretty heavy but also melodic. The ten-minute "Kréèn (Patagonian Lights)" has some weird spoken word samples at first and then it slowly starts to build up. This is a rather special track for sure. "Laika" is the shortest but perhaps also one of the most progressive tracks on the album and I can hear some theramin in there. "Blood Rust" is slow, darker and more hypnotic stuff with also some cool, spacey ambient stuff in the middle. Perhaps my favourite so far. The album is finished with the almost 11-minute "The End Is Coming... We'll Take It from Here" and this really is the album's grand masterpiece. Again, the going gets rather like metal at times, Opeth or Porcupine Tree come to mind. This is a very adventurous, atmospheric and varied prog metal track that has lots of different stuff and emotion in it. Amazing!

Pater Nembrot - Nusun

Go Down Records (DISGOD415)

Pater Nembrot is a psychedelic stoner rock band from Longiano, Italy. I'm not that familiar with them or their music, but they were formed in 2003 and this 2016 album is their third and they also have at least one EP out. The basic group is two guitarists one of which also sings, a bass player and a drummer, but the album also features Christian Peters from Samsara Blues Experiment on synth on one track as well as two other guests on piano and "space wind".

The album starts off quite surprisingly with a short, melancholic pianoa ballad "Lostman". Like many Italian "heavy psych" bands nowadays, also Pater Nembrot mixes in some grunge as well, and you can hear some early Soundgarden and Nirvana influences on the second track "Stictch". Not a bad thing, this time. "Architeuthis" is the longest track at 10:12 and it's also one of my favourites including some atmospheric space jamming as well. Cool! "Young Rite" is an instrumental mix of Soundgarden and desert rock, and the long and adventurous "El Duende" brings to mind Pearl Jam a bit. "Overwhelmed" rocks hard and heavy being also a bit progressive. "Uknap" is a short bass piece and "The Rich Kids of Teheran" a pretty long and varied stoner/grunge number. The album is finished with the acoustic "Dead Polygon" that offers some piece and tranquility after all the hard rocking and rolling. All in all, a pretty nice album, and although not exactly my kind of stuff I find myself liking this disc. Also available on vinyl!

Verde - Otto

Verdeaudio Oy (VERDE-015)

Verde is Mika Rintala's experimental electronic/ambient/avant garde/jazz/musique congrète project and I've reviewed some of his earlier CD-R/CD albums that he has been putting out since the late 90s. Mika is famous for his home-made electronic musical devices that make strange sounds. He has been collaborating with lots of Finnish left-field musicians like several ex and current Circle members (just check out Ektroverde for example) and this CD also features the 60s/70s counter culture hero Otto Donner (R.I.P.), Rauno Nieminen, Esa Santonen, Janne Tuomi, Tapani Varis, Jyrki Laiho and Seppo Istukaissaari.

This latest album dedicated to Otto Donner who passed away in 2013 includes 11 totally improvised tracks using what ever instruments were available. The music was recorded at Donner's place to an eight-track recorder and later mixed by Rintala. Otto mainly plays his Steinway grand piano adding also some vocals and horns. There are lots of acoustic, also archaic instruments which gives the album a wonderful, ancient folky edge although it's mostly electronic and experimental and piano is ofter taking the lead role. You can also hear some field recordings like sounds of the sea, birds etc. My favourites include the almost seven-minute, folky "Klyyvari" (nose in English), the jazzy and psychedelic, even longer "Hunsvotti", the short experimental electronic piece "Knaapi" and the atmospheric, trippy 15-minute "Luuvartti". This is a great homage to Otto and what he stood for but also a very interesting, creative as well as enjoyable album as a whole. Check it out!

Verde Otto from Mika Rintala on Vimeo.

Floorian ‎– At Your Surface

Drigh Records (SKP004)

I've been a fan of Floorian since their debut album What the Buzzing released in 2004 by The Committee to Keep Music Evil. This North American psych rock band sort of delivers space rock in it's laid-back, dreamy and atmospheric form in the vein of Spacemen 3 or Pink Floyd but they also rock out a bit and are not afraid to put some more distortion when needed. At Your Surface is their fourth full-length release following the 2012 CD Cosmosaic.

The album starts off with the organ-driven, lazy and dreamy "Ternion" that is probably the most Pink Floyd insired track on the album. Great! "From On High" is a groovy, excellent and heavier psych rock blast but also quite slow and melodic. The beautiful but also rather experimental and industrial sounding "Face" comes next and then it's time for the 9-minute, weird and heady psychedelic blues trip "Icaro". Druggy stuff... Fans of The Myrrors, The Black Angels etc. will enjoy "Spinning Time", what a great trippy track with some 13th Floor Elevators vibes. The album is finished with the 14-minute-plus mind journey "Agra Man" that really takes you out there. I love the addition of oud, sitar, tabla and Moog on this one. Some of the best psychedelic shoegaze space rocking I've heard in years! Check out this excellent band if you haven't already, you won't regret it.


Black Willows - Samsara

Self-released CD & LP

Black Willows from Switzerland gave us their debut offering Haze in 2013 and this new album Samsara was released in late 2016. The band continue in their dark, occult-inspired, psychedelic, hypnotic and heavy path and sound great. This Lausanne-based shamanic doom/sludge/stoner band sort of sound pretty original although you can influences from for example Sleep, Om, Bong, Lamp of the Universe, Arc of Ascent, Oranssi Pazuzu etc. The main emphasis usually is to get as hypnotic and heady as possible, so the heavyness comes second which is fine by me.

The bit shorter, introductory title track "Samsara" starts off the rituals slowly creating a dark, mystical atmosphere before the heavy, slow riffing and mantra styled vocals of "Sin" fill your head. This one has a very Sleep/Om like vibe and I love it. You are spellbound for eight minutes. The even longer "Rise" gets you even deeper into the dark trance and makes you see things that have been hidden from most of humanity for ages... Some cool, more energetic jamming/soloing on this one as well which is cool! Spiritual stoner rock journey for sure. "Mountain" is a bit shorter (only 5:36...) and groovier stoner/doom metal track that has some Electric Wizard/Cathedral vibes. On the 15-minute "Jewel in the Lotus" the band get very hypnotic and spiritual and I'm reminded of Lamp of the Universe and Arc of Ascent even though there are no Indian instruments in use here. Things get heavier in the Sleep vein after the six-minute-marker and you just can't avoid banging your head to the slow, heavy and doomy groove. Later on there is some more atmospheric stuff for a while... Great! The CD version also includes the 25-minute, repetative and melancholic "Morning Star" that sounds like more traditional doom metal to me with lyrics about -you guessed it- all occult metal fans's best friend Lucifer.

You can buy the CD and LP directly from the band's Bandcamp site and also the debut album seems to be available so check that out as well if you are into heavy, occult and psychedelic doom metal/stoner rock.

lauantai 27. toukokuuta 2017

Astral Visions #73 now online!

Listen here:

1 The Alpha Particle (from Accidental Sountracks: Vol. 1. The Alpha Particle) by John McBain
2 You Got It Or You Don't (from Raw Rock Fury) by Ecstatic Vision
3 Elysium (from Magnetic Anomaly) by Cobra Family Picnic
4 Peaches En Regalia (from Zappa split 7") by Superfjord
5 Carpe Noctem (from S/T) by Grombira
6 Behind All Evil Is A Black Hole (live, from Paradiso Is on Fire) by The Cult of Dom Keller
7 Just You (from 12" split) by ST 37
8 Biblical Prophecy (from Helios Rising) by Moths & Locusts
9 Tunnels of Qliphoth (from Tunnels of Qliphoth 7") by Capra Informis
10 Lost In Light (from Occult Architecture Vol. 2) by Moon Duo
11 People (from Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fasist Industial Death Machine) by Gnod
12 Stranger Things (from Sacred) by The Obsessed
13 Organ Mantra (from Hasta la Victoria) by The Myrrors
14 Sycamore Trees (from 12" split) by Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
15 Love (from Await The Queen) by Crystal Jacqueline
16 North Star (from Oceania) by Astralasia

perjantai 26. toukokuuta 2017

Hot stuff in May!

I've been too busy to even put out a hotlist after January, so I'm doing a double list now with 20 entries. This is what I've been especially enjoying these few months:

Ecstatic Vision ‎– Raw Rock Fury
Chrome – Techromancy
Cobra Family Picnic ‎– Magnetic Anomaly 
The Obsessed ‎– Sacred
Flowers Must Die ‎– Kompost
Föllakzoid feat. J. Spaceman ‎– London Sessions 12"
The Cosmic Dead ‎– Psych Is Dead
The Janitors ‎– Horn Ur Marken
3rd Ear Experience ‎– Stones Of A Feather 
Zone Six ‎– Forever Hugo
Hills – Alive At Roadburn
Deep Space Destructors ‎– Psychedelogy
Moon Duo ‎– Occult Architecture Vol. 2
Grombira - S/T
Hawkwind ‎– Into The Woods
Crystal Jacqueline - Await the Queen
Giöbia ‎– What Have You Done / Silver Machine 7"
White Hills ‎– Stop Mute Defeat 
Sendelica - Lilacs Out of the Deadlands 
Jesters Of Destiny ‎– The Sorrows That Refuse To Drown