Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Down & Out In Denmark...

Pet The Preacher - Meet The Creature (2011)

It's pretty common knowledge now that I love me some dirty blues and old school stoner rock. Thats why I started the blog. So when this little beaut of a demo found it's way over from Denmark to my inbox, well needless to say I was pretty chuffed.

This aptly name little demo, Meet The Creature is a great introduction to what is quite clearly a highly skilled band. A tactical fusion of classic rock and NOLA influenced metal, the 3 Danes throw riff after riff at you with reckless abandon. With chunky build ups and winding fret-thumping bridges the band have managed to span an array of genres, even giving hints of elements of grunge, desert rock and little hints of what remind me of classic prog rock moment from Yes. But the biggest and most noticeable influence is that style of metal we so fondly associate with New Orleans. Those twinges of southern roots are no more evident than in Christian's vocals which echo those of Phil Anselmo's... That deep gritty whiskey drenched tone is almost identical to the aforementioned legend's. Weather this is deliberate or not, lets face it, the man has had one of the best voices on the scene for over 20 years so you won't hear any grumbling from me on that front. Besides, why should that be a negative? Pet The Preacher are giving us some cracking riff fuelled dirty rock, from Denmark and in English. What more could you possible ask for!? Oh, and free!... So go check them out and show some appreciation. Hit the link below to drop the guys an email with your name and location and you'll be instantly sent back an automated reply with a download link. Easy!

The chaps will also be heading back into the studio come November, so watch this space for a full length release and fingers crossed a vinyl review!

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Down, Graveyard, Black Spiders, Roadsaw, Top Dead Celebrity

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Stampedes A Comin'...

Buffalo Theory MTL - Demo (2010)

Since putting up the awesome Tunguska Mammoth last week I've been swamped with Canadian bands emailing me with some seriously great material. It's just completely reaffirmed my knowledge that Canada is awesome and I really should be living there. I think this is the 3rd band in and I've still got about 3 more to come...

Straight off the bat these guys prove they are more than capable of rocking the living hell out of good old traditional metal riff. Plain and simple. The opening track 'Lost' sounds like you're playing KISS at 33 rpm when it should be spinning at 45. What better opening than that!? It practically grabs you by the nuts and convinces you to keep listening. Its got that certain groove, those deep gravelly vocals and sustain that I usually attribute to the likes of The Sword and similar acts. It's a simple formula that so many great bands have and still use as their foundations and like most people, I love that upbeat old school metal sound. Yeah it's been around for decades now and sure it often feels stale and like its all been done and heard before. But the Theory have some how managed to make it sound new a fresh without stretching it to the point of reinvention. If I'm entirely honest I'm quite amazed and pretty astounded because I can't quite put my finger on what exactly is different. I've been racking my mind for hours and just drawn a blank... But then, what does it matter? It works, thats more than enough lets just be happy with that. Its got all the things you want... Its chock full of big fat riffs and biblically catchy licks that will get your foot tapping a head bobbing. Thats what metal is suppose to do, thats its purpose. It doesn't have to be ridiculously fast, painfully heavy or be wearing a friggin' mask or make up, it just has make you wanna get in the pit and start slamming bodies... and by god these guys make me wanna do just that!

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Superjoint Ritual, Goatsnake, The Sword, Alabama Thunderpussy, Slayer 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brooklyn Bound Doom...

Tombs - Path of Totality (2011)

You would not believe the effort it takes sometimes to review an album. Specifically in this case we didn’t get off to a good start when I couldn’t even get the damn CD out of the case – apparently the case had melted shut on the journey to my house. Random, and ironic given the frosty majesty of the music that Tombs generate. Anyway, five minutes of swearing and wangling with a knife and here we are, ready to go. First impressions are that the band have moved on since 2008’s ‘Winter Hours’, bringing a new level of dissonance and channelling Neurosis circa ‘Times of Grace’ far more than previously. In fact this is by far the best comparison I could give. Chugging riffs, mournful gruff vocals, tribal influenced drumming and a guitar sound so rough and grind-y that you could sand 2x4’s with it. Touches of extreme, almost black metal, including blast beats, turn up in ‘Black hole of summer’ and ‘Red Shadows’ to devastating effect, magnifying the impact of the doomy passages tenfold.

The production on the album is great – in that it sounds as noisy and dirty as possible whilst still enabling all of the instruments to be heard clearly. It’s a cacophonous noise which should be heard by everyone with a taste for the heavy, intelligent music.

~ Andy

For Fans Of; Neurosis, A Storm Of Light, Coliseum, Jucifer, Burst

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Than A Masacre...

Five Will Die - Worth & Soul (2011)

Time for something a little heavy. Well, when I say 'heavy' I mean biblically heavy. Like oil tanker full of lead kind of heavy.
The best way to listen to this album is exactly how I am right now; late at night and full of Jägermeister. It's dark, it's doomy and it's angry as sin. Now a lot of the time those traits seem to be synonymous with being slow and repetitive and generally tedious, but thank god these guys haven't jumped on that band wagon. Yeah, it sits on the fence between doom and sludge but it's so much more than that. It's got way more texture and tone than any other recording of a similar ilk I've heard in quite some time. Brain twistingly brutal vocals and dirty down tuned churning riffs paint a bleak and sordid sonic picture. But FWD don't just leave it there. They amalgamate it all with a nice ambient touch that rounds off the whole affair with great effect. The tempo also picks up here and there too which stops the record from falling into a rut and progressively sounding stale and old. Something many similar bands have failed to pick up on.
Check this band out and watch this space because they'll be giving us a full album next month. If you can't wait until then though hit follow the link below for a sample of their EP or just cut out the middle man and head over to their site and buy it on and awesome combination USB stick/bottle opener!... How genius is that!?

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Eyehategod, Raging Speedhorn, Grief, Iron Monkey, Doom

Website • Myspace • Facebook • Bandcamp

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Polish Psycho's...

Psychollywood - Psychollywood (2011)

Ready for some hard rock from Poland?... 
Thats a rhetorical question because today thats what you're getting. 

I'll admit, I wasn't too sure what to make of Psychollywood when I first put the album on. Their bold sound of hard rock with elements of some 80's hair metal, a touch of blues and a sprinkle of dirty southern rock kind of conflicted me a little. But the more I listen to the album the more I find. It's pretty amazing, things pop to the surface that you didn't notice previously on every listen. Like the mix of chugging riffs and harmonica at the same time... Hell, I didn't even know they had harmonicas in Poland! But its those relatively simple things like that which give this record its character, along with its awesome production. The guys have clearly parted with a lot of time and money to get this thing over the finish line.
But what exactly do these guys sound like? Well, believe it or not at times it sounds like Eddie Vedder fronting Orange Goblin and in other moments it kind of sounds like Foo Fighters waring with Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster. There's a real 80's kinda reflection around some of the brief guitar solos and certain 90's something about the vocals then a truly modern touch thrown into the mix with the southern rock style riffs. It's like being time machine, I love it! It mite not initially sound like it would be up everyone's street, but I sure dig it. It's got such a vast amount of influences sewn into it I can pretty much guarantee there would be something there for everyone. Besides, the guys were awesome enough to let us put the whole album up for a free download so why the hell not check it out for yourself. If you're like me and can occasionally loose interest before the first song's even half way through, don't! Just have a listen to the tracks like 'Black Fly' or 'Boarderline'... The epic opening riffs with definitely keep you hooked. In fact I will actually go to the trouble of making a video to put on our YouTube page and post it below just to prove my point!

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, Gentlemans Pistols, Foo Fighters, Guns N Roses, Pearl Jam

Website • Myspace • Facebook • Bandcamp

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blood, Booze & Brutal Metal...

Beyond Perception - Blood and Whiskey (2010)

“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.” This album had me at the point at which the opening sample from the Blues Brothers movie dropped into the rolling riff for ‘By the power of the engine’. When we actually get into the music, we get a big stoner sound, dominated by a pounding rhythm section and singer Panos’ gruff shouting vocal. It’s a lovely sound, crossing over between desert, stoner, southern metal and even touches of hardcore to the barked vocals. There are some chunky chugging riffs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a hardcore record as well – imagine a Hatebreed album played at 33 rpm rather than 45 and you’re not far off. ‘Bud Spencer’ manages to push the buttons that make me pull what an ex used to call my ‘metal frown’ – slow paced chugging detuned riffage with a slow pounding drum part that just crushes. ‘Thorn’ plays into my current fetish for despondent acoustic blues, complete with slide, authentic vinyl crackle and a plaintive lament of “Evil in my soul”, which is a nice reprieve before ‘Send the Demons Away’ gives you another kicking. Closer ‘Dust’ sounds like it should have borrowed a Crowbar riff here and there, veering into sludge territory.

It’s hard to pick fault with this album as a whole. I have my picky qualms, personally the bass sound is too twangy for half the record which sets my teeth on edge a bit, but that’s probably just because I’m a bass player and therefore have very fixed ideas on what bass should sound like. As a collection of songs, the record is very consistent, delivering the spacious sound that you’d expect from this style, layering on chugging guitars and precise, if sparse drumming. The riffs are inventive and interesting without deviating too far from the blueprint, focussing on groove. For example, the anchor riff for the charmingly titled ‘Million Earning Whore’ is a great bastard of a groove, accented in 4/4 with a soaring roared vocal over the top. It typifies the album, not really breaking any new ground, but doing what it does very well. Definitely worth a look, and a real positive addition to the scene.

~ Andy

For Fans Of; Alabama Thunderpussy, Floodgate, Soilent Green, Black Cobra, Down

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Waxing Lyrical - Vinyl Review...

Mountain Witch - Self Titled (2011)

I really wish I'd properly discovered this band before they split just recently. I'm kicking my self now!

You could quite easily take a glance at the cover and name then pigeon hole this band along side the many other shambolic death/black metal bands that pop up every now and then. But hold your horses, as appearances can be very deceiving...
I will confess that when I put this record on and was met with the 5 minutes of ambient fuzz and organs of the opening track I initially felt a little disheartened. But then when that gives away to the powering, catchy riffs, thumping bass and crashing symbols all past judgements instantly fly out the window. Theres no vocals to speak of, but that doesn't really take away from the enjoyment. It merely gives them the adage of being compared to a vocal-less Electric Wizard or a slightly less biting yet more trippy Karma To Burn.
It's kind of strange, as on the face of things Mountain Witch don't look entirely like you expect them to sound. Theres a definite influx of sludge and doom running through the entirety of the album but its composition and the way its produced lends itself towards a classic psych and slightly desert/southern rock sounding angle. It's a short but impressive little release and something I reckon 99% of you will really dig. Which is why I've also put a link to their first album and predecessor to this; Scythe & Dead Horse. An record which I am desperately searching for on wax.

I really hope the guys can reform a similar incarnation and produce more material because it would be a bloody waste if they didn't!

• Label: Droehnhaus

• Pressing Info: 100 Clear - 200 Black

• Price: £10/$15 - £18/$25

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Sleep, Karma To Burn, Electric Wizard, Kamni, Thunder Horse

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mammoth Slices Of Metal...

Tunguska Mammoth - First Chapers (2011)

Big fat slabs of Canadian stoner metal for you lovely people today. Max from the band hit me up with an email asking for a review and from just one look at the artwork I happily obliged. Look at it! How could I not?!
As the old adage goes 'man cannot live on bread alone'. The same it true in the world of music, you've gotta mix it up from time to time. Fortunately its seems as though these guys agree. Fusing a mix of well executed metal, stoner rock and a touch of hardcore, Tunguska Mammoth sure hit the 'unique' nail square on the head. Now I'm not a big hardcore fan by any stretch but straight out the gates they've managed to utilise it elements in such away that its completely won me over. Big growling and screaming vocals backed with massive beats and aptly mammoth riffs make for one hell of a debut. There's also moments that flash with the likes of Amorphis's style of fantasy space rock and even similarities to Unsane's Chris Spencer's vocals - That deep full frontal angry assault. That may sound like a bit of a unorthodox clash of styles but it all works, and works really well to boot.
There's no doubt in my mind these guys are going to be big. Just this 3 track EP alone blows most of the recent full length releases of similar mainstream bands out of the water. On the face of it that may sound like a bit of a bold statement but go listen for yourself. Trust me, this band are epic. I also demand that they get back in the studio and give me a full length album!... Go on... Go!

For Fans Of; Mastodon, The Sword, Black Cobra, High On Fire, In Flames

Monday, August 15, 2011

U Is For Uruguay...

Ufesas - Self Titled EP (2010)

Here we go with another first, today we're in Uruguay. I can't say I've heard many bands from that neck of the woods. In fact I don't think I've ever heard any.
Initially I presumed this would make comparisons pretty difficult, but having listened to the EP a few times, it dawned on me that I could easily pass these guys off as English, American or even Aussies. They sing in english and sound like a slightly down toned, grittier version of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. So much so in fact that I guarantee that if you are familiar with BRMC you will here Ufesas track 'The Destroyer' and swear it was a cover of 'Spread Your Love'. Don't get me wrong, it's not a rip off, not by a long shot. But the two tracks share that very distinct fuzzy bass riff intro. Give it 30 seconds though and it soon passes and gives away to some great distorted garage blues and grimy vocals.
From a heavy aspect the EP does peak with the opening track, but the tempo does pick up again with the third song 'Goin' Up The Mountain' which screams through its allotted five and a half plus minutes with some awesome lead breaks and subtle psychedelic solo's.

This is a great little EP from a band you've most likely never heard of and may not hear from again - as it seems that in the last year and half they have only released this four track EP and a 7 inch titled 'The Black Ride' that has just one new track on of the same name. The B side being the opening track from this EP. I do hope they prove me wrong though, there's some obvious talent there and I'd love to here a full studio album from theses guys.

For Fans Of; Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Datsuns, Wolfmother, The Black Velvets, The Desert Sessions

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Toronto Trio's Tuned Down Doom...

Holy Mount - The Breeze Blows West (2011)

Now for Canada... Where the people are pleasant, the weather is cold and the music is damn right doomy. Well that's if Holy Mount are anything to go by.
This short EP weighs in at a mere 10 minutes, but crashes wave after wave of stoned out fuzzy riff down on your head. It's pretty much as basic as it comes, three guys, one drum kit, one guitar, one bass, one room. But don't just write them off because of this... there's way more than meets the eye... or, well, ear. They churn together their own mix of fuzzed out, grimy, almost psychedelic riffs, slow drum kicks and utterly haunting distorted vocals to fantastic effect. The result is two 5 minutes tracks that, unlike some similar bands songs, manage to keep you hooked for the duration.
It's simple, it's dark, it's heavy, it's brooding but most of all it's awesome. I really can't wait to hear these fellas tackle a full length album.
Oh, I also urge you to follow in my footsteps and order their limited 7" version off Bandcamp...

For Fans Of; Sleep, Kamni, Saint Vitus, No Anchor, Grief

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pole Position...

Broken Betty - EP (2009)

When you type 'stoner' in to Bandcamp the most wondrous thing happens. All of a sudden you're presented with utterly awesome bands from all the deepest darkest corners of the world. But not just that, you're also able to download their wears free of charge and retain your piracy free conscience. Well, some of us at least...
So over the next week or so I'm going to attempt to bring y'all a great band from a random country that we've yet to have delved in to yet. So lets do as the German's did and start with Poland...
This is Broken Betty - garage/desert rock trio from Gdynia, a small city right on the Baltic. Not really the first place your mind goes to when you think of the whole grunge or desert rock scene and it won't be when you hear them either. To be fair I could have told you they originated from anywhere on the west coast of the US and you've have most likely have believed me just from listening to them. They manage to fuse so many elements from the bands that that region spawned. The heaviness off QOTSA, the blistering  highs then abrupt transition to somberness of Nirvana and touches of funk reminiscent of Fu Manchu. If you listen carefully you'll even pick up some subtle punk influences in there too.
Their latest release, The Sorry Eye is also a cracker, but like all good things it's best to start at the beginning.

For Fans Of; Queens Of The Stone Age, Nirvana, Black Spiders, Winnebago Deal, Daredevil

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Waxing Lyrical - Vinyl Review...

Black Spiders - Sons Of The North (2011)

It's been a little while since I brought you a good old vinyl review so I thought I'd scour my shelves and see if the was anything I'd missed. No sooner than I'd got to the 'B' section than I realised I'd completely forgotten about these chaps. Pretty shambolic of me really as they've been taking the scene by storm over here for a while now. Hand picked by Ozzy himself to open for him and added to the Ozzfest lineup the guys have also been given high praise from Duff McKagan as well as every magazine over here who have reviewed any of their EP's or this latest offering.
Now thats a fair amount of hype to live up to, especially for a quartet from rainy old Sheffield in the north of England. But theres no need to beat around the bush here, they do live up to it, and then some...
So what can you expect exactly? Well, think of the definition of rock and roll... Thats pretty much it. Hard rock with thumping, jaw dropping riffs, lyrics about alcohol, women and being by killed by KISS and smattering of classic 80's lead breaks. I know the latter there may put some of you off, especially if you're like me and can't stand the recent influx of hair metal glam bollocks 25 years too late. But, and this is a big but, Black Spiders are far from this. Imagine The Sword covering Turbonegro songs done in a similar style to The Datsuns... Yup, seriously thats what this album sounds like. It's bloody awesome!
Go over to their website and pick this vinyl up, and why not while you're there grab one of their awesome shirts... You know you want to.

• Label: Dark Riders/Cargo Records

• Pressing Info: Limited number on black - 500 translucent green

• Price: £12/$18

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Gentlemans Pistols, The Datsun, The Subways, The Sword, Motorcity Daredevils

Website • Myspace • Facebook • iTunes

Monday, August 08, 2011


Oh it's been a busy month...

Firstly, we have our very own brand spanking new YouTube channel. We're going to try and keep you up to date with the best videos, random live footage and sample tracks from awesome bands that may not be covered on the blog itself. So either hit the link to the left or click here. Don't forget to subscribe and if you're feel especially nice drop us a friend request.

Secondly, we finally received our special package from our friends Valley Of The Sun for doing a small part in getting their awesome new album pressed on glorious coloured wax...

Head over to their band camp page and pick one up before they all go! Check back soon for our vinyl review...

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Straight From The Sixties...

The Heavy Co. - Please Tune In... (2011) 

I downloaded this album months and months ago, I just can't figure out why I haven't already put it up. Well better late then never I suppose...
But lets get down to brass tacks, it's time for some good old bass heavy psych people! Like the cover wasn't a give away eh? So if you're 60's/70's west coast psychedelic enthusiast you may as well skip right to the bottom and just go ahead and download this because it's going to be right up your street. For those of you who need a little encouragement, listen up.
Originating from Indianapolis, The Heavy Co. have been jamming around for the last 3 years or so, and in those years they've honed their skills to produce some of the most trippy, chilled out tracks I've heard in a long long time. They keep the vocals to a minimum, instead letting the tunes do the talking. It's not particularly heavy, but it's completely swimming in a sea of groove and drug influenced bliss. The guys have manage to completely nail the whole psychedelic experience, it's quite something to behold. Yeah, it may not be to all your liking, but they've also been able to throw other influences into the mix and keep things original. Listen carefully and you definitely pick up touches of blues and classic southern rock, especially on the tracks Caged Bird and Black Tuesday. So there should be a little something in there for everyone. But to sum up... Imagine if The Black Keys dropped a heroic dose of acid and decided to have a jam in an empty concert hall...
Yeah... I think thats pretty accurate.

For Fans Of; Kyuss, The Allman Brothers, Blowback, Valley Of The Sun, The Heavy Eyes

Friday, August 05, 2011

A Greek Invasion...

Dope Flood - A Planet On Four Legs... (2011)

Struth, since discovering the awesome Planet Of Zeus I've been blitzed with emails from similar bands also hailing from Greece. It's pretty great too, as every band has been completely dripping with quality. No shoddy demo's, rushed EP's or blatant rip off's of other bands, just pure unadulterated quality. So when I received an email from Cris and the guys in Dope Flood I was pretty eager to heard what they could do.
As it seems, they can produce and master the hell out of a recording! The demo's only 3 tracks but they sure haven't skimped on the effort. Manolis has one hell of a rock voice similar to that of Layne Staley of Alice In Chains. Admittedly not a band I ever really warmed to that much, but with that style of vocals fused with a Crowbar/Kyuss/Zakk Wylde mix of heavy riffage, it sure has won me over. The guys sure do have talent and I can't wait to hear a full length album.

For Fans Of;  Kyuss, Alice In Chains, Black Label Society, Planet Of Zeus, Pearl Jam

Myspace • Facebook • YouTube 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Instrumental Argentinians...

Montaña Sagrada - Bucéfalo EP (2011)

Bit of a short one here for you today. But we're all about quality not quantity here so worry not, as this is a little gem!
There's a bit of mystery surrounding Montaña Sagrada (Holy Mountain), and when I say mystery I mean that I scoured the internets and found practically nothing about the band. What I can tell you about them is that they're Argentineans, 'Bucéfalo' was the Spanish name for Alexandra The Great's Horse (thats right, I've done my research!). They're instrumental and have successfully straddled the stoner and post rock genres with this, what I assume is their first release. Bucéfalo comes to a total of about 13 minutes over 3 tracks, not particularly long granted, but each track completely oozes with a quality balance of classic stoner jams and post rock instrumental composition. There's not really a lot more to say to be honest, hell, stop being lazy and go find out for yourself!

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Sleep, Arenna, Karma To Burn, Light Bearer, White Hills

Monday, August 01, 2011

Monolithic Monsters Of Post Metal...

iO - Materioptikon (2010)

Post metal. Or as one of my friends calls it “one of the things Isis have to be sorry for”. Now, if you agree with my friend, you might as well stop reading this review now – iO probably will not be for you.

‘Materioptikon’ is named after (I’m reliably informed) a device created by Doctor Destiny in order to create reality from the fabric of dreams. To be fair I was also reliably informed that the aforementioned Doctor Destiny’s mother was named Ethel, which seems slightly incongruous, so I’m not sure how true that is. Anyway, I digress. This is Birmingham based iO’s second full length album, following 2007’s instrumental ‘Monolith’ album. The new record brings several new touches, most notably the presence of some vocals, some subtly layered synths and a pretty huge leap in song writing progression.

‘Monolith’ was a fine record, with some lovely twists and turns, however it wore its influences slightly too proudly on it’s arm. Through the writing of this record iO have found their own voice and branched away from their influences to staggering effect. The colossal sludgy opening riff to ‘Five Ton Man’, drenched in feedback and strong but sparsely used hardcore-influenced vocals before breaking into a staccato riff, is a powerful statement of intent for a record. And there are some huge riffs on display here, the anchor riff to ‘It was only a Dress Rehearsal’ manages to be melodic and crushing at the same time and ‘If you don’t trust me, trust my Beretta’ has a riff that could be the offspring of a Crowbar / Helmet rutting, as weird as that sounds. But it’s the quieter sections where the band really shines, layering and building quiet progressions into epic sounds. ‘Breathe in the Sea’ is a good example of this, subtle guitar tones and synth effects layering over the course of the song, building a sparse template into something huge, so that when the big riff at the end finally lands it almost is too much to bear.

However, the best is saved for last with ‘This is where the cat lives’. Quite apart from having one of my favourite song titles of recent times, it is a prime example of delicate progression leading to a memorable song. It has almost a positive lilt to it, layering in clean guitars before the distortion breaks. Reverb and delay soaked guitar lines dance around the core band throughout. It’s just beautiful, one of the best examples of why post-rock should have shacked up with metal in the first place.

Slightly boring, I know, but probably should say that the production is sparkling throughout and the packaging on the EP is particularly stunning. Another reason to go and buy a copy of the album, really. Oh, and then buy ‘Monolith’. And then go and see them live.

Possibly buy them a drink too, they are lovely guys.

~ Andy

For Fans Of; Isis, Russian Circles, Mogwai, Mouth Of The Architect, Minsk

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