Monday, February 27, 2012

A Trip Into Space...

Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children Of The Knight - Movin On (2009)

Ant from Dopefight pointed me towards these guys last year but for some reason I never got around to getting them on here, yeah I dropped the ball get over it. Anyway, they're up now so let crack on.
This is the guys debut from back in 09' and it's a cracking fusion of stoner rock, desert, space and psych. All bases are well and truly cover here. I won't dwell on it too much because 1. its a free download so you should just go and check it out for yourself and 2. my internet is playing up something chronic... Sorry!

For Fans Of; Dozer, Sungrazer, Aver, Deserts Of Mars, Lonely Kamel

Website • Facebook • Myspace • Bandcamp

Friday, February 24, 2012

In Space No One Can Hear You Drone...

It's Not Night: It's Space - East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon (2011)

Just a flying entry today, but something I stumbled upon and that kinda grabbed my attention. Now, I'm not all that into drone on the whole, I must have stated this fact a million times on here, but it bares repeating. Theres some exceptions, but mostly it really doesn't buzz me. Luckily these guys kinda sit on the fence... It may only be four tracks long but they've managed to mash up elements of the aforementioned, prog, stoner, post metal, psych and doom. All with a little sprinkling of sampling over the top in places.
It may not blow your hair back but its undeniably a cracking little find and well worth a download not matter what you're into.

For Fans Of; Earth, Serpent Throne, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slint, Kamni

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bringing Back The Organ...

Operators - Self Titled (2011)

The better an album is, the easier it is to review. Now that sounds like I'm just stating the bleeding obvious, but quite often I'll whack on an album which has all the right credentials - Catchy riffs, throbbing bass, clever vocals etc and I will be plagued with writers block. Other times I'll be sent something that doesn't instantly blow me away but will cause me to just churn out line after line. More often than not, with repeated listens, these albums go on to become some of my favourites. Monster Coyotes Stoner To The Boner and Giants Old Stories are a prime example of this phenomenon. As for Berlin based 6 piece Operators, well they've just joined the roster.
Like a cross between The Doors and Kyuss, the end product consists of two equal and big fat dollops of both desert rock and classic 70's inspired psychedelia. Being able to ooze with that retro feel doesn't come easy though, you need to be able to pay homage to the greats without entirely ripping them off, acquire the unique classic tone and arguably most importantly... Master the organ! Now I know that last point may have instantly turned off any of you who predominately or almost exclusively listen to hardcore or such like, but for those out there who like me grew up listening to their parents record collection it should very well invoke somewhat of a pleasant nostalgic curiosity. Rightly so too, because if a band is really trying to nail that classic sound the most defining way of knowing whether is been done right is by the ability to fool the listener into thinking it really was recorded in that era amongst the true greats. With that in mind, the chaps really have well and truly knocked it out the park here. Catchy, unique and executed with with a blinding amount of skill and ability if the album doesn't get your foot tapping and arms air drumming straight away, just give it another listen. If you're not sold on it immediately a couple more spins should do the trick.
Now the guys have really done us a solid by offering up a great free download. Hit it up below and send them some love. Hell, 5 bucks for this little gem is an absolute steal!

For Fans Of; Uriah Heep, Colour Haze, Causa Sui, Wo Fat, Ufesas

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Bear Essentials...

Headless Kross - Bear (2011)

Ooooooh, now all the Scots come out the woodwork eh? With all their deep fried Mars bars, kilts and impressively executed doom/sludge. Where have they all been hiding for the last year and a month!? Thats rhetorical by the way, I know the answer is bloody Scotland. But in all fairness the guys only came together about a year ago. They cranked out this little beauty back in August and somehow managed to fly completely under our radar since. None the less, here it is, debut album Bear, and you're somehow able to pull yourself away from conceiving the shear amount of time and effort that went into the cover art work then you're in for a treat.
Going against the grain of the stereotypical sludge band the trio have managed to adopt a few more little traits and nuances from other genres. With tastes of thrash and southern rock style solos, Unsane esque hardcore and even a little post metal ambiance the Kross have managed to forge a pretty sublime little album here. It's a well overdue break from the norm. Yeah we all love the likes of Bongzilla, Cult Of Luna or Omega Massif they're all exceptional at what they do. But I always feel a bands true talent lies in being able to successfully merge, mix and twist genres into something new and unique, and thats what the three Glaswegians have done here. Maybe they could have done with making those tortured vocals and screams a little more prominent, but all in all they've hit the nail firmly on the head.
So if you love your stoner doom, angry, dirty, down tuned and smattered with catchy riffs you will love this album. I guarantee it!

For Fans Of; Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Wolves In The Throne Room, Buzz*oven, Khanate

Bear (320kbps)

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Ok, so here's the deal...

Since this goofy cretinous prick, Lamar S. Smith (see right) introduced the SOPA bill the vast majority of file uploading sites have been forced to close down. As you may well have noticed this means that a fair amount of our links on past entries have gone down. Not only is this a disappointment and a pain in the ass to you guys, it is also making my life a nightmare and putting the blog in jeopardy.
Back at the start of November last year a company working on behalf of Orange Goblin for Rise Above Records decided to take it upon themselves to contact Mediafire, the uploading site that we use, and attempted to terminate our account. Several of our uploads we're subsequently blocked and their links on here became dead. I would like to point out that since day one we have never uploaded a single file that we have not had permission for. Needless to say there is not and never has been any property of Rise Above Records uploaded to the internet by ourselves. Anywhere.
For the time being we will attempt to keep on bringing you new and interesting bands for as long as we are able.

In the meantime please drop us an email if you notice any dead links and I will do my damnedest to fix them within a day or two. Also, if anyone would like to drop us any donations, no matter how small, to pay towards the monthly cost of our Mediafire account you can do so below. Everyone who donates will go into a draw at the end of the year to win all of the goodies and bits that we've been send over the last 12 months!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brutal Brighton Beats...

The St. Franc Cartel - Self Titled (2009)

Y'all who regularly follow the blog should be more than acquainted with our boys Dopefight by now. What you mite not be so familiar with is who the trio were before they're current incarnation - The St.Franc Cartel. A stoner speed punk outfit, bordering on grindcore, with rap vocals. I shit you not. I'll just give you a minute to let that sink in...
Done? Good.
I really can't pigeon hole them here but the best way, that I know at least, to describe them is think early Beastie Boys. Back in about 82' when they dropped Polly Wog Stew. Thats really the closest I can really get to a comparison. But hell, don't just take my word for it, the things up for a free download on the guys bandcamp page so shoot your ass over and give it a listen yourself.

For Fans Of; Beastie Boys, Suicidal Tendencies, Public Enemy, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Urban Dance Squad

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Storming Scots...

What The Blood Revealed - Harbour Of Devils (2012)

Easing you back towards the heavy stuff now following our last mellow post rock update. A first for the blog too as this is the only time we've been sent anything from sunny old Scotland, but boy have they made up for their absence.
Guitarist Scott recently dropped me a line along with an early copy of Harbour Of Devils. Now I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but just look at that cover artwork! If that doesn't grab your attention then surely there's something wrong with you. Thats just the beginning though. Whack this album on and you'll instantly be bathed in an array of text book post metal, more than worthy of standing up to any of the bands Hydra Head Records current roster. Bit of a bold statement? Well... no, not really. In all honesty, its incredibly hard to believe that this is the bands first album. Everything feels so tight and well executed, which on the other hand makes it quite easy to believe that the band have since their conception share the stage with the likes of Kylesa, This Will Destroy You and our friends Crippled Black Phoenix, to name but a few. They possess that ability to seamlessly merge from beautifully soft and melodic tones to gain heavy chugging to awesome catchy riffs besieged with fuzz. All those elements combined make for one hell of an album that twists and turns and builds up that 'quiet before the storm' kind of emotion thats quintessential for a good post metal album.
But at the end of the day this really is one of those bands that don't need to be talked up all that much. Just a brief listen will more than convince you of their worthiness. Especially if you're even the slightest bit into acts such as Pelican, Neurosis, Zozobra or just spend any discernible time on the Blue Collar Distro web store. Yeah we're only a month in, but its going straight into our best of 2012.
The album drops on 12th March and should only set you back about 5 bucks via Field Records - a bargain if ever I've seen one! Scott also mentioned that they're looking into possibly getting a 100 or so pressed on wax, so fingers crossed! For the time being though, check out the streamed sample tracks and the guys two EP's and wet your appetite a little.

For Fans Of; Pelican, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Gifts From Enola, Caspian

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Waxing Lyrical - Vinyl Review...

Giants - Old Stories (2009)

A totally chilled out entry today. You've had a good few doom and sludge filled posts this week, plus it's my birthday today and this is my choice. So bite me.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge post rock/metal fan. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate all the skill and talent that goes into it, but on the whole it's pretty much lost on me. That doesn't go for all of it though, I do love a bit of Crippled Black Phoenix, Pelican, If These Trees Could Talk and Caspian to name just a few. But these guys are by far my favourites and this record has now become my quintessential go to chill out material.
I was first introduced to Giants by my mate Rich who slid me the album across his counter when I swung by his record store and asked him to give me something new and worth checking out. It looked interesting and Rich's pitch was more than positive and besides, I'm a complete sucker for unique and unusual wax so needless to say it found it's way home with me. I got back, chucked it on and dropped the needle. My first impression was that it was amazingly mellow and very well produced but admittedly it didn't really sweep me off my feet. I don't know why or what exactly I was expecting, but none the less I still really dug it and it stayed in my collection. Some time later I passed it on to fellow writers on here Andy and my brother, both of which (especially my bro) absolutely loved it. Their initial impressions sparked my interest and curiosity once again and I slapped the LP back on my turntable. Despite being nestled in my collection for a good 6 months or so it instantly felt completely new. Maybe my initial listening experience was marred some what by my mood or was interrupted by something going on. I'm not sure, but even whats probably now nigh on a 100 plus listens in, it still doesn't fail to wow me. Sure may fall under the category of 'shoegaze' (another term I honestly can't get to grips with) but in a nerdy kind of way I tend to think of it like a modern day take of classical. Entirely instrumental, a bit like a toned down Pelican, Giants end product often tends to feel like its shares more in common with the likes of Chopin or Bach with regards to their composition and power to evoke an emotion. Pretty impressive really and not too bad for few young chaps from Iowa - and really nice guys to boot, having corresponded with James from the band on quite a few occasions. They've gone out of their way to help me out in one form or another on more than one occasion.
I have to say, since being rediscovered, this record has barely been slipped back into my archive, instead opting to be propped up against my hifi stand for regular and easy access. Theres not a lot of albums in my collection that can boast that accolade. Needless to say really can't urge you more to go out and buy this album, if not on vinyl (which may be a little tricky to find now) on cd, as a bog standard download just doesn't do it justice, plus the guys are soon to be starting work on brand new material for a either a 7" or new LP, so hit them up with a few bucks and make getting it recorded a whole lot easier.

Label - Cavity Records
Pressing Info - 600 copies. 350 Yellow w/green & black splatter, 150 Green w/white haze, 50 Transparent white w/blue haze & screen printed 'Ocean' cover (Friends and family press), 50 Transparent white w/blue haze & screen printed 'Forest' cover (Tour press)
Price - £18/$20 - £50/$75

For Fans Of; Explosions In The Sky, Caspian, Omega Massif, Blueneck, Russian Circles

Myspace • Facebook • Bandcamp • iTunes

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sludge Is Thicker Than Water...

Blood Red Water - Tales Of Addiction And Despair (2011)

Continuing our dirty, sludgy tour of Europe's metal scene once again, and today we're back in Italy.
Formed in the middle of 2010 by long time friends and drinking buddies Michelle (vocals) and Florica (drums), Blood Red Water was spawned simply from the mutual love of sludge. Now joined by Volt and Dodi on strings the band had finally taken shape and the jams soon began to flow. Not content with just being dumped into the mix of other sludge bands, the guys and gal consciously aimed to produce a varied and eclectic mix of the genre. Rightfully so too, sliding effortlessly through elements of doom, stoner, hardcore and sludge the end result incorporates all the merciless ferocity of the likes of Eyehategod with that down tuned groove you get from bands like Goatsnake and Sourvein. That topped with a good production and relatively clean sounding mix makes for quite a well received breath of fresh air. Sure, it sounds like a simple enough formula on paper, but there just doesn't seem to be too many groups taking this approach of recent.
So if you're looking for something heavy as sin and angrier than the Hulk with a parking ticket to kick your week off look no further, these Italian's have got it nailed!

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Eyehategod, Buzzov*en, Grief, Saint Vitus, Trenches

Friday, February 03, 2012

That Formidable French Ferocity...

Human Jail - The Soul Allegory (2011)

Surprisingly we've not had a massive amount of submissions from our neighbours to the south, which is kinda strange as from what I'm aware of France does seem to have quite the thriving hardcore scene. So when drummer Chris hit me up with his bands bio my attention was instantly grabbed.
Formed in 2009 the four piece carved out their own brutal sound using a fusion of souther rock style rhythm and the unrelenting ferocity of heavy stoner metal. A formula often attempted but sadly, rarely executed to particularly high standard. But at the end of the day, it no easy feat to find that find balance of good old southern groove and pair it off with an angry and raw metal edge. Luckily it seems as though the Human Jail boys have really been putting the hours in over the last couple of years as they have managed to hit a bit of a sweet spot with this album. Right from the get go you can hear exactly where all their time and effort has gone. Opening with a very deep south sounding acoustic jam the first track Playing The Loosing quickly changes its tempo and launches head first into some balls out unadulterated metal.
The whole album just snowballs from here on maintaining the initial pace and anger throughout. Anyone who even remotely enjoys the likes of Phil Ansalmo's ventures over the years should really dig this album. It really has something of the NOLA scene about it.

~ Jay

For Fans Of; Superjoint Ritual, Iron Monkey, Soilent Green, Hellchild, Monster Coyote