Darondo (1946-2013)

June 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm (Life & Politics, Music)

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Kadavar – “Abra Kadavar” (2013)

June 13, 2013 at 7:00 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review comes from The Obelisk website, dated April 9th. The name of the writer is JJ Koczan, who puts out the website. Please check it out (link below). Hopefully he won’t mind me re-posting this review.
As for the band, you don’t see many guys looking like that these days. They are straight out of 1970, as is their music… but in all the best ways…


Foundation and Progress

Berlin trio Kadavar have worked quickly to become one of the most prominent acts in the European heavy underground. Their 2012 self-titled debut sounded so organic that even the mp3s had an analog hiss, and while they carried their songs across with an ultra-natural feel, it was the confidence in the material and the spontaneous feel of the performances that made Kadavar’s Kadavar such a watershed release. It was my pick for the year’s best debut; a lean but frighteningly cohesive 34-minute full-length that showed potential as much as it made an impact on its own. Touring and a split with Aqua Nebula Oscillator followed later in 2012, and Kadavar – vocalist/guitarist Wolf Lindemann, Rivoli bassist Mammut and drummer Tiger — were picked up by Nuclear Blast to join the ranks of Graveyard, Orchid and Witchcraft in the label’s growing stable of tube-amped heavy rockers. Thus it is that their second album, Abra Kadavar, arrives with no small measure of anticipation. Some immediate differences: the sophomore outing is three tracks and about eight minutes longer than the first one, clocking in at a still-vinyl-ready 41:16. The distinctive drum sound of Tiger’s kit – the sort of fuzz that came off his snare with each tap – has abated, though the snare hits hardly sound punched in and an overall natural, live feel has been maintained between both the drums and Mammut’s bass, which was a standout element of the first record and remains so on Abra Kadavar. As regards Lindemann’s vocals, they are forward in classic rock tradition, but more assured and mature for the band’s road time, and he skillfully follows his own lead lines in the second half of opener “Come Back Life,” the trio having already enacted a formidable shuffle en route to the closing solo. Throughout, there is clear, resonant stylistic growth and as much as Abra Kadavar proves the first album wasn’t a fluke, it also shows the three-piece aren’t necessarily limited to the driving ‘70s heavy rock that they nonetheless so effectively convey on the single, “Doomsday Machine.” The self-titled ended psychedelic and extended with the eight-minute “Purple Sage,” but though they’re shorter, the closing trio of “Liquid Dream,” “Rhythm for Endless Minds” and “Abra Kadabra” show a nascent sonic diversity in Kadavar’s approach that incorporates rocking organ, psych swirl, and a heavy jamming sensibility that underlies much of the band’s work to-date, but has yet to be so blatantly expressed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Orchid – “The Mouths of Madness” (2013)

June 13, 2013 at 6:36 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review, dated May 22nd, comes from the Fearnet website and was written by Gregory Burkhart…

I’ve recounted many times on these pages how deeply the doom-filled strains of bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram have burned their brand into entire generations of hard rock and metal, but the dark and heavy sounds of that era lend themselves so well to macabre, occult and horror themes that they continue to capture my attention. Many artists try ascending to those heights, but only a few capture the same dark majesty while retaining their own creative stamp.

San Francisco-based quartet Orchid is quickly becoming one such band – so much that acclaimed engineer Richard Whittaker, who was instrumental in the remastering of Black Sabbath’s early albums (including their self-titled 1970 debut), has been following the group’s progress since their 2009 EP Through the Devil’s Doorway, and came aboard to master Orchid’s latest full-length studio album The Mouths of Madness. On the heels of last year’s well-received EP The Heretic, Madness sports a cleaner, fatter and more modern mix, with production kicked up several notches, bringing the band into an expert balance of vintage blues-influenced hard rock and modern metal, with a powerful current of menace and haunting atmosphere rumbling through all nine tracks.

The album opens with the title tune, which also happens to be the strongest of the bunch, with hooky, snarling riffs from guitarist Mark Thomas Baker, gut-punch kicks and shimmering cymbals by Carter Kennedy, beefy, Geezer Butler-style bass by Keith Nickel, and the best vocal work to date from frontman Theo Mindell, who channels just enough of Ozzy Osbourne’s distinctive tenor to remind you of the band’s roots, Read the rest of this entry »

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