Sons Of Otis/Queen Elephantine | Sons Of Otis/Queen Elephantine SPLIT

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Metal/Punk: Doom/Stoner Metal Metal/Punk: Dark Ambient/Noise Moods: Spiritual
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Sons Of Otis/Queen Elephantine SPLIT

by Sons Of Otis/Queen Elephantine

Slow, meditative, heavy hymns from the cosmic emperors Sons Of Otis and the earthly deities Queen Elephantine.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Doom/Stoner Metal
Release Date: 

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1. Tales Of Otis (Sons Of Otis) Sons Of Otis
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7:52 $0.99
2. Oxazejam (Sons Of Otis) Sons Of Otis
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9:57 $0.99
3. The Battle Of Massacoit/The Weapon Of The King Of Gods (Queen El Queen Elephantine
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25:51 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
On one hand we have Sons Of Otis – veterans, and legends even, in the realm of stoner/doom, notoriously famous for producing some of the heaviest space rock humans have ever experienced. In their first release since 2004’s spectacular X, the band produces two tracks that are unsettling in their barren atmosphere, with piercing other-wordly sounds attacking from the glow of a distant planet. We can almost sense a ghost running amidst the Siren cries of Ken Baluke’s guitar and the grumble of Frank Sargeant’s low end, sending chills down our backs and transmitting images of horror through the air. Thirteen years into the game, Sons Of Otis are again pushing the boundaries of the music they’re playing, challenging the accepted conventions of music. “Tales Of Otis” is fundamentally a single, trudging bass riff that is surrounded by terrifying wails from Baluke’s guitar while “Oxazejam” sounds slightly more traditionally Otis, with scorching blues riffage that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard. “Sons Of Otis are heroes... ‘Tales Of Otis’ has less notes than I have fingers and yet the song sends shivers down my back every time I listen to it,” said 17-year-old Queen Elephantine frontman Indrayudh Shome.

On the other hand we have Queen Elephantine – the fresh newcomer, furtively rearing its head alongside the giant, preparing a devastating onslaught. These teenagers from Hong Kong earned a small following with their split with Elder in 2006. Now they present the world with “The Battle Of Massacoit” – a soundscape inspire by the last stand of a culture, the tribe of King Massasoit, leading off into the second phase, “The Weapon Of The King Of Gods” a furious hymn to words by poet Adam Stephanus. The paralysis-inducing song slowly leads through several phases of droning mantra, opening portals and doorways down to the core of the Earth. “I think cats will dig it. It’s very organic and jammy. Hit a bong and lay back and enjoy the ride,” suggests Ken Baluke of Sons Of Otis.

But the best effect is produced when these two groups join forces, when the disc is treated and heard as a cohesive unit. The three-track, forty-five minute album is deathly slow, with meditative psychedelic vibes driving through the entire breadth of this collection. By the end of it, the listener can expect to have lost all grasp on real time and space.


Reviews


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Travis Becker, antimusic.com


If the expression, "speed kills," proves true sonically as well as automotively, then welcome to your musical crash helmet. The particular brand of slow, goopy, metal known as Doom has long strained every guitar string and bass drum in it's collective arsenal to achieve new feats of heaviness, usually at the expense of any sense of getting on with it. Since the mid-90's when "Stoner Rock" began to partner up with Doom, Sons of Otis have been lurking somewhere in a dark basement of the underground, with cohorts like Electric Wizard and Sleep, making that soupy recipe of wonderful, snail paced, practically unconscious Metal. Their latest offering makes its way slowly to your speakers in the form of a split CD with Queen Elephantine, another similarly minded band with Orange amps and no watches.

The release has no particular title, although the catchy little phrase: "War is Good Business, Invest your Sons," does adorn the inside of the cover. One can only speculate if this has any meaning within the music or if the bands have just included that for us to ponder in any free time we, the intrepid listeners, can scrape together while not plowing through an ocean of quicksand riffs and the dense fog of distortion quickly filling the room. Still, not a bad buy at three songs…three songs clocking in around forty-five minutes.

Sons of Otis start things off with two songs. Those familiar with the band's previous work will almost certainly wonder at seeing the running times for the two songs, if this is a Ramones tribute album by the Sons, with each song clocking in less than ten minutes. While not a tribute to anyone in any way, the song "Oxyjezam" does provide a bit of a sonic departure, with the band more or less soloing cleanly for nine-plus minutes, rather than sticking with their more typical approach that finds them hammering out a monster riff, veiled in distorted, wailing guitar every three or four seconds. The clean guitar is strange, and the fact that they skipped out on lyrics completely is an added bonus, as their lyrics are usually undecipherable and ultimately unnecessary. "Tales of Otis", however, clings more doggedly to the aforementioned formula, although for a relatively short burst of about eight minutes.

Queen Elephantine provides a somewhat different approach. Rather than the pounding drums and heavy riffs, the band employs a smoother style, with more nuanced percussion providing the backdrop for ethereal guitars. The epically named, "The Battle of Masscoit (The Weapon of the King of Gods)" floats along for over twenty-five minutes, never really hitting any kind of boiling point, but never really washing out either. A decided lack of vocals, as with the Sons of Otis songs, is a huge plus. It will be worth watching out for this band if they release a full length in the near future. Starting with the high minded musicality of YOB and buffing out the rough patches by eliminating unnecessary vocal interruptions, Queen Elephantine create a solid sound that's all their own.

Generally, the split CD in general is cross promotion and marketing at its worst: Two bands covering each other's songs to draw the audience of one towards the other, or some such. Usually, it's a good novelty, but little else. Doom and its related genres are proving the exception to the rule, however, with great offerings already from the Hidden Hand with Wooly Mammoth, and going back a ways, ATP with Halfway to Gone and Unida with Dozer. Add Sons of Otis and Queen Elephantine to that pantheon.

Into The Sun

This split is so good that i'm absolutely sure it will be on the top of the best
This time a bomb comes from Hong Kong - it's amazing split with space rock geniuses from Canada - Sons Of Otis, and young psychedelic rock masters from Hong Kong - Queen Elephantine. The split has 3 tracks: 17-minutes total two songs from Sons Of Otis and 25-minutes epic song from Queen Elephantine.

First track is "Tales Of Otis" from canadians. It was a little unexpected for me what i heard. Extremely monotonous and heavy drone-march in the vein of Stephen O' Malley's works. Really "mind-crushing" 8 minutes of oppressing and monosyllabic drone guitar riffs. But this painful heavyness fortunately has a counterbalance as a disturbed mad squeak/clang sounds. Moreover, these sounds adds a little variety to this gloomy funeral procession. Really dark and heavy song! But when "Tales Of Otis" eventually comes to an end - there comes a time of true space rock! I'm talking about a second track "Oxazejam". We all know HOW Sons Of Otis can play, but in this song they've surpassed themselves.
Drums set an elegant placid slow rhythm, which doesn't change up to the end of song. But the main thing is certainly a Baluke's guitar. I always ask myself - how the hell he do that??? It's so awesome, that you simply dissolve in sound, a cosmic tranquillity seizes you. A sound envelops you, envelops all room, envelops everything around at all. A tremendous song!

Third track is Queen Elephantine's "The Battle Of Massacoit/The Weapon Of The King Of Gods". Queen Elephantine is a young band from Hong Kong, which will blow your head off. They present a substantial 25-minutes epic canvas full of diverse pieces. Mysterious beginning with percussion and powerfull bass-waves is a prologue of this long psychedelic journey. Drums is a most intensive part of music here. Sometimes a beautiful melody appears and brings some notes of melancholy. In the first part of song there's practically no vocals. They start, when a song gradually comes to an end. A rhythm becomes slower and facilitated. A song is closed by a percussion solo. In spite of the fact that song is damn long, you really enjoy it and listen with a big interest. Hong Kong masters made a good job!

This split is so good that i'm absolutely sure it will be on the top of the best 2007 albums. It's an excellent release and absolutely must have for all psychedelic-headz!!!

10/10

Kevin McHugh (Hellride Music/Stonerrock)

galactic bliss... underlying dread...
The Sons of Otis/Queen Elephantine split is a trance-inducing slab of psychedelia, steeped in illicit substances and left to dry under an alien sun. It matches veteran Canadian heavy space voyagers Sons of Otis with Hong Kong newcomers Queen Elephantine in a most satisfying trip to the center of the mind.

Sons of Otis! Where have they been hiding lately? Despite their Spinal Tap-like problems with keeping drummers, they’ve been a towering presence in heavy space music for a decade or so, from the sludgy ‘Paid to Suffer’ through the classic titanic space voyage of ‘Spacejumbofudge’ to the more focused ‘X’ from 2004. So although Otis is best known for their space trips, they’ve experimented with other genres here and there throughout their history. The initial track on this split, a slug-slow minimalist mix of thunderous bass chords, bass drum, and feedback reminiscent of Khanate or Earth may throw many fans for a loop, it’s not like they’ve never experimented before, as a thorough investigation of their past will demonstrate. The second tune, ‘Oxazejam,’ will be more familiar, a somewhat lo-fi space rock jam that will have you seeing colors in no time, with Ken Baluke’s guitar sounding like Robin Trower or Hendrix played under the heavy gravitational weight of Jupiter. It’s good to have Sons of Otis back!

Queen Elephantine is the new dude on the block, a group of Hong Kong teenagers (!) who love the classic psych journeys of yore, and aren’t afraid to rekindle the past, adapted to the 21st century. For players so young, they’ve really done their homework! Their single song on this split, the epic ‘The Battle of Massacoit (The Weapon of the King of Gods)’ is a droning psychedelic trip that, despite its 25-minute length, is over too soon. The music has a meditative space sound, like a solarized wind calmly blowing on an alien planet, or a brace of Tibetan monks on PCP, glued to their prayer mats and ommm-ing themselves to oblivion. It is reminiscent of the more organic, calmer moments of early Hawkwind or the cosmic Krautrock explorations of Walter Wegmuller or Sergius Golowin on the elusive ‘Lord Krishna von Goloka’ album. Oms blend with guitar strumming and sitar until the vocals come in around 19 minutes, sounding not unlike Sleep on the must-have ‘Dopesmoker.’

There’s plenty of galactic bliss on this disc, and plenty of underlying dread as well. These Concrete Lo-Fi Records tend to disappear pretty quickly, so now’s the time to merge with our uneasy universe. The Atman will thank you.

John Robertson, HK Magazine

This is doom rock and its brooding, soul-striping best.
One of a rare handful of cross-Pacific split albums, this joint venture between Toronto’s Sons Of Otis and Hong Kong teen prodigies Queen Elephantine will prove a morose delight for fans on either side of the stoner/doom rock divide. It’s an instrumental album comprised of only three songs, each of more than substantial length (Queen Elephantine’s single track, “The Battle of Massacoit,” lasts a good 26 minutes). Granted, some vocals do find their way into Elephantine’s contribution, but they somehow sound more instrumental than many of the instruments themselves. While Otis are clearly intended to provide the album’s selling point, having amassed a 12-year reputation as prime purveyors of doom-laden psychedelia, one could argue that it’s Elephantine who tip the scales here. The band couldn’t be more aptly named. After experiencing the sheer heaviness that emanates from their epic soundscape track, you’ll be shocked to learn that it was recorded live – at HKIS of all places (and guys, while we’re all for keeping it real, perhaps that last piece of info didn’t need to be mentioned on the inlay.) This is doom rock and its brooding, soul-striping best. Not to be listened to if you’re having a good day.

Sounds like: Grim reapers hanging out in an autumn forest.

420 Train Wreck


A slow, heavy, psychedelic slab! Whew.