Friday, November 29, 2013

A Freezing Mist...

Mist - Demo (2013)

The Slovenian doom band Mist makes its debut with this demo, which includes the tracks Phobia and The Living Dead, nicely concreting their sense of history as they step into the ring. It's a five-member band, with Nina Spruk on vocals, Ema Babošek providing rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Nina Grizonič handling lead guitar, Neža Pečan on bass, and Mihaela Žitko working the drums. The five doomers do a great job of blending early heavy metal with some of modern doom metal's sensibilities, providing a nice atmosphere of creeping occult dangers while tasty riffs are pulled out left and right, and they also have some excellent chemistry between their individual parts. Though it's a demo, they've gone to the effort of cleaning out any crackles, and there's a pleasingly warm tone to the overall sound, as though their amps have had plenty of chords poured through them before these sessions. If this is their rough draft, their full album will be something mighty indeed. Keep your ears tuned to Slovenia (and us!) for further heaviness from these five points of darkened light.
~ Gabriel

 For Fans Of; Pentagram, Acid King, Salem's Pot, Necronomicon (Brazil), Black Sabbath

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Phobia (320 kbps)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Yes, That's Sludge Oozing From Your Speaker...

In the Company of Serpents ~ Of the Flock (2013)

If you're looking for some thoroughly miserable sounding Doom Metal, man, this sounds good. Hailing from Denver, Colorado this ridiculously heavy, two piece group known as "In the Company of Serpents" have put forth their second album in as many years, "Of The Flock", and it doesn't disappoint, sonically crushing all the way through. Although, the intro track "Ash Swamp" may not give that impression as it's pretty mellow sounding, but it shouldn't stop you from hearing what else the album has to offer.
The heaviness really starts with the second track "Craven", it opens in a chaotic flurry of drums and hardcore style riffs, but levels off after just a few moments into a immensly heavy Doom/Sludge track. After about 30 seconds, you'll have no choice but to nod your head with the riffs being laid down and the gravel filled vocals are reminiscent of Crowbar right from the start. Probably my favorite track, off an album of great tracks, is "Of The Flock", opening up with a slow drum beat, then a crushing riff just pummels you for the entire duration, further and further down. This is one of those tracks that gets put on your favorite system and cranked all the way up until shit starts shaking off the walls and windows shatter. 
In the end, this whole album is heavier than damn near anything you've ever heard, with influence sounding like it comes from the heaviest of places. Passages on songs going from Sludge to down right Funeral Doom, with another song having the vibe of any Bongzilla, Stoner Doom classic. When you have a melding of that much heavy music, you know the creation yielded is going to be one heavy as hell, monolithic bastard, and that's exactly what this album and band is. And if you needed any more incentive to check them out, this release was mixed and mastered by the man Billy Anderson, his is always a good stamp of approval in my book. So, head on over to their bandcamp, and give the album a listen.

For Fans Of; Bongzilla, Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Black Tusk, Primitive Man, Evoken


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Slaves To No One...

No Gods No Masters - Demo EP (2013)

Ever wondered what it would be like if the muppets from Fraggle Rock got stoned and became rabid? Me either until now but if they did this would be the soundtrack to their fuzzy brand of world domination via rabies! Netherlands based No Gods No Masters Demo EP is blasting through my speakers today. Fuzz and Sludge and plenty of it! This 4 track EP is wall to wall aggression and doom...
Track two Lost For Words has a nice WeedEater meets Fu Manchu vibe. The band seems to take inspiration from the stoner doom scene of the New Orleans variety. Much like the NOLA based Down and Crowbar but more up paced and evidently, more angry. On the track Lie To Me the latter becomes even more apparent as the sludge continues. The guitar tone through out the record is huge and did I mention, FUZZY!? Yeah its that fuzzy! Combine that fuzz with a solid rhythm section & screaming low/high vocals you have one badass doom machine. The closing track, Retired, is the most NOLA inspired of the lot and by far the most hefty of the tunes on the short collection. Over all this is an impressive sludge/doom effort that stands on it’s own amidst tons of great music in its genre! Before I go do yourself a favour, Get fuzzy, get high and turn on Fraggle Rock (if you can find it), mute the TV then replace the sound with No Gods No Master and enjoy!
~ Stephen

For Fans Of; NOLA, Down, Electric Wizard, Weed Eater, Crowbar


Going... Going... KHAN!

Astrakhan - The Pillarist (2013)

The new EP from Astrakhan melds hard rock guitar and attitude with proggy rhythms and heavy bass, condensed in the form of Rest In Depths and The Pillarist. The two-track EP takes its title from the second song, but you'll notice some distinct compositional similarities between the two when listening; no B-sides here! The drummer's confident handling of the off-beats lends some professional flair to a band which, for the most part, seems otherwise happy to sound dirty. On the other hand, sludge purists will likely find the 'clean' tone of the vocals off-putting, but those who are willing to entertain the band's experiments in stringing together disparate styles and sections will find something that fits nicely in the post-core soup of genres.  Grab a Molson and give it a listen.

For Fans Of; Kylesa, Baroness, Between The Buried And Me, Rwake, Integrity

Rest In Depths (320 kbps)


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Swish Sludge...

Ølten ~ Self Titled (2013)

Hands down one of the best records in it's genre this year!...
About a week ago I had the privilege of stumbling across a fantastic band from Watch Valley, Switzerland and falling in love with their unique brand of post-rock/sludge inspired instrumental art. That band is “Ø L T E N “ and their current release (Ø L T E N - s/t) This 4 song EP grabbed me from the first 2 minutes and held me to the speakers for the remaining 23 minutes! (Peplum) opens the release with one of those ambient swells that you could just space out on for an hour on its own it so entrancing. This is just the prelude to a pulling march that leads into stop/start sludge riffs. There is a sadness and eventual sense of resolve emoted in the track. It is just my opinion of coarse but any band who can make you feel something profound with out speaking a word is on another level. From there we head into (KÀpoÉ) exploding with sludge and grime then cascading into a trance like state. This track is really about building the wall of sound and the march to the wall! I image waves crashing against a literal wall nearing the track’s end and finally the wall collapsing. (Tallülar) the metallic clang of the guitars had me at hello so to speak! This track just moves with a sense of purpose and power.The bass grinds away on the left with the guitars both crunching and chiming in the right. At this point if the wall fell in the prior song this is the town being taken over by brute force and flame! On the climax of the EP (Blöm) which I can say is my favorite on the release calm enters only to be followed with the resurrection of force and movement present in the previous tracks but certainly feeling more triumphant! Half way through the track the hair on my arm stood up. Anyone who has had one of those moments with music can relate I hope..It just struck a chord with me that make me have goose bumps! Having listened to a ton of music this past year and the majority of it being post-rock/post-metal sludge I can with out a doubt say “Ø L T E N” is hands down in my top ten records of the year for 2013
~ Stephen

For Fans Of; Isis, Cult Of Luna, Red Sparrows, Kowloon Walled City, Caliban


Friday, November 22, 2013

Under A Spell...

Brimstone Coven
 ~ II (2013)

There's a fair bit of buzz around these guys at the moment and it'll only take you about a minute of listening to figure out exactly why. Prepare to be cast back to the true heyday of true classic rock, because Brimstone Coven absolutely ooze the stuff form every pour. In fact I've had II on rotation in my car along with about 15 other albums I've been sent this month, and every time one of their tracks kicks in I find myself checking my iPod thinking that I've accidentally dragged a big chunk of 70's rock into the playlist at some point. They've just managed to capture that whole atmosphere and feel down to a tee, to the point where they have more in common with Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come or Dust's Hard Attack, than any other album I can name from the last 30 odd years. Judging the book by its cover as it were and just going from the artwork alone, your first impressions would be that they're heavily weighted towards the whole occult rock side of things. But having listened to the whole thing a good 15 times or so now, its seldom truth. There's the odd moment when tone does stray towards a Sabbath influence, and there is an evident touch of the early days of doom subtly laid in there, most notably on Lord and Master and The Folly of Faust, but on the whole its too bright to really hold too much of a comparison. It does however hit a sort of uncharted territory in many ways; a sweet spot between Grand Funk Railroad and Pentagram. I know thats a pretty weird middle ground to land on, but I guarantee that when you get to track 5, The Grave, you'll see just what I mean. It's a little eerie, its quite up beat, its pretty surprising and its utterly catchy.
The whole album is an absolute corker, I bloody love it, and if you're like me and grew up on your old man's record collection I'd put damn good money on you really digging it too. You'll be able to satisfy you lust for wax too because our good friends STB Records are dropping this gem at midday (Eastern time) tomorrow! Thats about 5pm GMT, 9am Western, and god knows when, else where in the world.
In their usual awesome style, you've got two beautiful copies to choose from. The Die Hard edition, limited to 50 copied and housed in a gorgeous Egyptian cotton card sleeve with gold leaf print, oh yeah they've seriously pushed the boat out for this one! Or the Sorcerer edition, limited to 125 on cyan vinyl and in a hand screen printed cover. Both versions are absolutely stunning, which ever you decide on you're a winner.
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Sir Lord Baltimore, Elf, All Them Witches, Dust, Doctor Smoke


Thursday, November 21, 2013

So, How Do You Like Your Steak?...

Steak ~ Corned Beef Colossus(2013)

Let me start by saying that "Corned Beef Colossus" is one hell of a title, now that we have that out of the way. Steak is a by the numbers Stoner Rock band out of the UK, home to so many great Stoner bands, and if this EP is an indication of things to come, be ready to add another. From their sound, you could make an argument that Steak is a bastard love child conceived during a drunken one night stand between Fu Manchu and Orange Goblin. Now, how can that be anything but a good thing?
The opening track "Black Milk" is like the heaviest Blues song you've never heard. It starts off with a relentless bass groove which is joined by a fuzzed out guitar shortly, but that bass groove absolutely carries the song. Even the singer is belting out what could pass for a Blues song, just through a more modern filter. After hearing this one, I was sold on the rest of it without even hearing it. Following that is "Liquid Gold", which is quite possibly my favorite track of the release. More distorted guitars, and the vocals are awesome, going from soft to huge dynamically along with the instruments. This one starts up and immediately brings to mind Astroqueen for me, it's heavy in all the right ways and goes perfectly with any of the usual mind altering goodies. The closer "Acid Dave" is another prime example of Stoner/Desert Rock at it's finest, they're not re-writing history or anything, but they're better than your run of the mill stoner band by a long shot. If you've been feeling that the Stoner Rock genre is a little stale as of late, some Steak is just what you need.
Now, to get your hands on this stuff, just go to their bandcamp. You can grab up a digital copy or your CD and vinyl versions, even your merch needs.
And from the looks of their videos they put on one hell of a party, so if you get the chance, they'll be playing some gigs coming up:
Nov. 28  -  Blizzard Mountain Fest, Grenoble (Fr)
Jan. 28  -  ISPO, Munich (Ger)
Feb. 5  -  w/ Monster Magnet, Barcelona (Sp)
Feb. 6  -  w/ Monster Magnet, Madrid (Sp)
Feb. 8  -  w/ Dozer & Lowrider, London (UK)

For Fans Of; Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu, Astroqueen, Kyuss, Truckfighters, Cowboys and Aliens 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shake, Battle, and Bowl...

Ladybird - Tombstoned (2013)

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting to hear on this album, as the only other thing I've heard from Ladybird (so far) is their gargantuan Spliff & Wesson, but there's certainly a change of pace on Tombstoned.  For one thing, they've doubled the number of songs (bringing it up to four), with Intro, Papers, No Reason, and Marble Orchard; Marble Orchard steals the show with its big finish (clocking 22 minutes), but the journey up to it holds plenty of surprises.  That's a relief, considering how little variance there usually is when a band releases two albums in the same month, as the industrious lads in Ladybird did with Tombstoned and Spliff & Wesson back in August.
Intro is a sedate steel-guitar rambler, picking along with occasional dusty back-roads noises making their presence known, and bringing some of the desert isolation from their home in Arizona to life, before Papers steps quickly into a doomy sludge assault, making strings and feedback hum as if both are about to snap; No Reason slides smoothly in on a snail-trail of fuzzy rumbling before breaking out the bleary-eyed psychedelic wavering of the guitar; and Marble Orchard begins with a sinister old-timey movie sample, then moves back into the malignant desert feel of the previous songs, blown up to a size where all you can really do is surrender and let it wash through your ears. Altogether, it's a very respectable and palatable compromise between the Stonehenge-sized sludge of Spliff & Wesson, and something that shakes listeners by the throat a little less insistently. Go on, try it! The first one's free!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;  Sleep, Electric Wizard, Windhand, Acid King, Meth Drinker


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sleep With The Lights On...

Okkotonushi - Sleep/Talk (2013)

It is a cold day here in Dayton, OH but the brilliant Okkotonushi’s Sleep/Talk is helping to warm things up. This Aurora, Missouri act touches on many musical influences. The schizophrenic track Forchids opens the record with some chaotic spoken word work leading into an equally insane fury of noise! Moving on to Shimmer we get to hear some well done time shifts break neck changes that all come to a wonderful cascade at about 5 minutes in. Reminiscent of Fugazi at times mixed with touch of At The Drive In's early days. Which can only be good thing! The majority of the record is poetic lyrically and touching on some poignant social commentary with out being too preachy. There are some longer tracks on the record as you’d come to expect from any post-rock/metal/hardcore acts if you fall prey to such tags. Spindles finds us putting our ear up to the aforementioned length but with creative use of swells and ambiance it keeps you on edge, waiting for the explosion and once it does it doesn’t disappoint. Sleep/Talk is a conceptual piece about the journey through the sleep cycle. As the band puts it “The listener plays the part of the dreamer, while the music represents brainwaves and dreamscapes, the words being the minds conversation with itself.” If you combine this concept with some love story type thematics you have just touched the surface of this brilliant recording.
It has been my absolute pleasure to have found this band, been given the chance to review and engulf myself in such an honest and interesting approach on some familiar territory combined with some new life!

For Fans Of; Refused, At The Drive In, Pink Floyd, Fugazi, Explosions In The Sky


Monday, November 18, 2013

I'd Buy That For A Dollar...

Mutoid Man ~ Helium Head (2013)

The first time I ever heard Cave In was with the release of their 2003 album Antenna, and, for the life of me, I couldn't understand the hype my friends were giving them based on what I was hearing on that record. The album was fine in its own right, but people had only ever spewed to me about how "hard" the band rocked and how Stephen Brodsky's musical style and lyricism was better than most of the metal/hardcore acts of the early 2000's. Anyone familiar with Antenna will raise their eyebrows right there. This wasn't a metal or hardcore album. It was pure rock with moments of post-hardcore melodies all wrapped up nicely by Brodsky's croons. Then I educated myself on the past offerings by Cave In and immediately saw why their had been so much anticipation for a new record. After that, I paid close attention to Cave In and Brodsky's various side projects, all of which usually gravitated toward his affinity for faster, louder music.
Oddly enough, the first time I ever heard Converge was the same year, but that album just happened to be their breakout 2001 release, Jane Doe. I had never heard anything so frantic, so angry, so sad and so fast in my life. It wasn't my cup of tea at first, but, now, I couldn't imagine where'd I'd be or what god awful dribble I'd be listening to if it weren't for that album.
While Brodsky and Converge's drumming war machine Ben Koller have worked together on multiple endeavors in the past, I can honestly say that today's release of Helium Head (their first and possibly only release) by their supergroup-of-sorts Mutoid Man (a reference to the oldie but goodie Super Smash TV on Super Nintendo) is their most fun and brutal work to date. A mere seven tracks, totaling less than a 20-minute run time, Helium Head is an eclectic record full of great drumming and guitar work (yeah, no shit, I know) with a few surprises here and there and really make for a rich hard rock effort that creates the argument that the best album of 2013 may have just dropped.
Although a considerably short album, the effort seems to have a halfway point, so let's talk about the first three rippers on this gem, entitled "Gnarcissist,""Scavengers," and "Scrape The Walls," respectively. "Gnarcissist," the first track I ever heard from Mutoid Man, kicks it off like Evil Knievel ramping 30 school buses. Brodsky's signature voice is apparent from the get-go, but some spacey riffs and unique time signatures impress and generate instant evidence of how punk and rock continue to evolve. Thrashing solos and primal screams round out the track, serving as a perfect segue into "Scavengers," an ass-kicking of a song chocked full of finger-tapping note craziness and unrelenting blast beats (Koller really outdoes himself here). Completing the trifecta of this musical knuckle sandwich is "Scrape The Walls," another spastic and break-neck song that begins the transition in Brodsky's vocals, a switch from the harsh screams and growls that fuel the early going to the effortless ranging heard on the back half.
In the latter parts of the record, Brodsky remains a vocal powerhouse, but Mutoid Man's real talent for ripping and roaring instrumentation is on full display. "Friday the 13/8" speaks volumes of how prolonged chords and subtle pedal effects can always sound fresh and innovative. "Sacriledge" and "Lost In The Hive" follow with meatier chugs and double-bass tempos, reminding of 90's metal and how fun "slam dancing" used to be before crowd surfing became the new taboo.
Mutoid Man sounds as though they will wear themselves out at any minute, but that minute never comes, leaving the listener frozen in place with little else to do but strap in for the rocket of a ride that Helium Head truly is. Brodksy and Koller have truly captured a great collaborative idea with the release and should be commended for bringing something so solid to the table this last in the year. Still not convinced that it could possibly be your favorite album of 2013? Go get this shit right now and turn it all the way up.
Helium Head is available now on iTunes and will receive the glorious vinyl treatment on Nov. 29 via Magic Bullet Records/Svart Records with first pressings headed out on clear, green and red wax.

For Fans Of; Clouds, Unsane, Big Business, Helms Alee


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Retro Rockin' Spaniards...

Saturna ~ IGNIS (2013)

Saturna is a heavy rock band from Spain, a 5 piece that plays loud, ass kicking rock and roll straight out of the '70s, part of that Retro Rock movement we're all so fond of. This is their second offering for us, and every track is heavy as hell straight up rock. There's a ton of good ole' fashioned Sabbath worship going on here, and it's a good thing, no, a great thing. And it would seem just as you're really digging the Sabbath vibe, you're hit with a dose of Southern Rock, fried, dyed, and laid to the side.
The first of the standout tracks for me is "Sonic Keys", it starts off as a straight up rock and roll song, a real crunchy kind of riff and a real deep rooted Southern Rock tinge in the second half of the track, you don't even expect the change, but it works perfectly. The next track to really catch my attention is called "Beside a Dying Star", and it's nothing like the first song I mentioned. This is much slower, in the vein of early Doom Metal, between the guitar tone and the way some of the vocals are belted out, it reminded me of Pentagram quite a bit. One of the last tracks on the album is called "Science and Transformation", it pretty much hit every mark for what a great rock song should be, awesome guitar tone, pounding drums, a real groovy bass line wedged back in there with the drums, even has some shouted, hardcore style vocals towards the end.
This being my first run in with this group, I have to say they've made a brand new fan. From beginning to end, the whole album is just an awesome rock record, well worth running on over to their Bandcamp and checking out. It says that it was released on Nov. 25th, and there's no buy option yet (except track by track it looks like), but you can give the whole album a listen right there on their page. I'll be heading that way to pick up their first release "The Kingdom of Spirit".

For Fans Of; Black Sabbath, Orchid, Pentagram, Witchcraft, Graveyard


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doom And Back Again...

Ladybird - Spliff & Wesson (2013)

The first of two albums released by Ladybird this August (stay tuned to find out about the other in a few days), Spliff & Wesson is, to put it simply, massive. There's only two tracks, but the titles alone give an idea of what's in store; there's Spliff & Wesson, then Nossew & Ffilps, both of them hovering around the 24-minute mark. The first pulls the listener to the middle of the album with a dangerous undertow of bass with enough reverb to make your speakers rumble across the floor, sun-cooked desert rock guitar soup with big doomy production, and enough undulating harmonics to get your head good and properly reeling before it's spooled out across the floor. The B-side (Spliff & Wesson is currently only on CD and cassette, but keep your fingers crossed for a vinyl release!), Nossew & Ffilps, takes everything from the first track and straight-up plays it in reverse! And it works! For 24 more minutes! Pardon me if I seem over-excited, but such a bold move, fixing the success of the album on an ability to compose not only normally, but in reverse, is infrequent enough that having it actually roll its heavy way backwards across that duration (with some fine doom pay-off) makes it almost auto-legendary. Personal prediction: This one will be listed alongside Sleep's Dopesmoker in years to come, for reasons of swirling, riff-loving technique, being colossal, and being a challenging but highly rewarding experience. Beat the rush while you can, get a copy now, listen to it in a dark room, and dig it.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Sleep, Bongripper, Ufomammut, Tons, Wicked Lady


Spliff & Wesson (320 kbps)


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mother Trucking Excellent...

Mothertrucker ~ The Power Of Independent Trucking (2013)

Well another week is upon us and today I am reviewing the instrumental Birmingham/London UK act Mothertrucker's recent release entitled The Power of Independent Trucking I am immediately struck by a Kyuss style vibe painting a picture with driving and sludgy guitar riffs with a weight and heft you’d expect from a band with such a bold moniker. The second track Reef Do All The Work, The Beatles Get Al The Credit is far more sludge and building up to some monster riffs only to trail into Vigo The Carpathian which has a wonderful Dark Water Transit style feel, mixed with elements of later day Isis. Washing waves of reverberated guitars melting into the pushing rhythms of the drummer’s snare hits. This leads into what may be my favourite song title in a long time Duff McKagen’s Kagon Wagon which is a doom/stoner rock jam any fan of Sabbath could get their head bobbing to. After my forth solid listen to this record today I find my self wanting to hear more from and know more about the band. They're guys are a mixing some familiar territory with a whole new vision. Do your self a favour stoner doom fans, head on over to their bandcamp page, part with a mere 10 bucks and pick this record, it's mother trucking excellent!
~ Stephen

For Fans Of; Red Sparowes, Grails, Isis, These Snakes Have Arms, Slint  


Monday, November 11, 2013

It Does A Body Good...

BEASTMILK - Use Your Deluge (2012)

I may be a little slow to hearing Finland's BEASTMILK, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it just this very morning. After last week's journey into the realm of prog glory and instrumental dominance, I felt like I needed a little more dirty rock n' roll and darkness in my life. With a new album on the horizon, I thought I would jump into the band's offering from last year, a four-song EP full of moody tones and stripped down, fuzzy guitars. A short and sweet offering, Use Your Deluge is the musical equivalent to a gray, dreary morning with no chance of sunlight; a garage punk record that sounds as raw as the emotion that is the driving force behind the effort.
From front to back, the album is a compilation of fast-paced and cryptic tracks that echo the darker side of early stoner rock and new wave. Simple drumming and shoe-gazing melodies set the tone early and provide an immediate taste of what the listener can expect throughout. Never venturing too far past the 3- to 4-minute mark, each track is quick to present its catch and memorable riffs, making the entire album seamless and polished.
"Void Mother" and "Children Of The Atom Bomb" sound akin to a Joy Division/Blue Oyster Cult love child emerging from the blackest of caves, hitting hard where necessary, but letting the garage sound dominate for a majority of each song. On the back half, "Forever Animal" and "Red Majesty" slow down the pace, allowing for a more epic sound that feels extremely huge in the small space its given on the tail end of the album.
The vocals are an element that immediately catches the ear, nearly monotone in parts, but shadowed by perfectly harmonized backing vocals. Singer Kvohst, an immensely captivating frontman given his recognizable croon and sultry tone, makes the album sound flawless in terms of direction. Seeming to know exactly what to say and how to say it serves as one of the strongest attributes for BEASTMILK.
BEASTMILK'S full-length debut, Climax, will see an international release November 29 on both Svart Records and Magic Bullet Records. A new track from the album, "Fear Your Mind," can be heard here. Finally, for any readers we may have in Finland, BEASTMILK will play their record release show in Helsinki on December 5 with tickets available here.

For Fans Of; Danzig, 69 Eyes, Echo & The Bunnymen, Ride

Website • Facebook • YouTube • Soundcloud

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Bone Man Cometh...

 Bone Man

This Psychedelic Grunge Rock band from the reaches of Northern Germany call themselves Bone Man. But simply labeling them as that and moving on would seem to be a disservice to their 5 year career, throughout their catalog, in different songs, you can see clear examples of many different styles.
The song "Wicker Man" is an acoustic track that almost reminds me of an European folk song, the simple, mystic type lyrics, with a theatrical Doom Metal sort of delivery (think Messiah from Candlemass) can even remind you of the flick "The Wicker Man".  But then you move to a song like "A New Breed" and you're attacked with a heavy rock, extremely Sabbath-esque song, same sort of Messiah-like vocal delivery for the most part though. I really, really liked this one, reminded me of Sahg a bit in places. But you get to a track like "Closer To The Sun" and that Psychedelic Rock influence in their music starts shining through brightly. It meanders back and forth between a heavy rock song and a couple of acoustic parts, even an electric organ a la The Doors, the track really has a lot going on, and they still manage to make it fit together and meld so well. An exhibition of their straight up Stoner Rock prowess, the song "Carnosarurus" opens up at 9 seconds and doesn't stop again for almost another 3 and a half minutes, with some of the vocals bordering along Punk Rock type screams towards the end. Overall it feels like the band likes to explore their sound, and there isn't anything wrong with that as they nail pretty much everything they do. 
They have an album, a couple of EPs, and a couple of splits out, so go on over to the SoundCloud or Facebook, and drop 'em a line, you can also pick up their album on vinyl at Pink Tank Records (includes tracks "A New Breed" and "Closer To The Sun").

For Fans Of; Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Alice In Chains, The Doors


Friday, November 08, 2013

A Deep Rumble...

Sea Bastard ~ Scabrous (2013)

Let me start this off by saying that this album is big. Seems like a weird thing with which to start a review, but if you pick up a copy of this album, as soon as you see the track durations, it's going to hit you: these guys are in it for the long haul. See, there's only four tracks (which I'll get to in a minute), but those four songs add up to nearly an hour of hard, demanding doom resonance. Scabrous is so sludgy, so tar-stained and sticky, that it's probably not the best choice of listening while operating heavy machinery. They start things off with the staggering Nokken, which I'm frankly at a loss to describe; the best approximation I can provide is to ask you to imagine the perfect soundtrack to Godzilla destroying things, complete with atomic fire-breath. After Sea Bastard has established that they're not here to waste any doom-seeker's time, Nightmares Of The Monolith steps in for a more traditional doom metal round, setting up a rolling drum-riff against serrated guitar hooks. At only eight minutes (and eight seconds), Door Sniffer snags the position of shortest track, but packs enough wailing feedback into that time to make up for it, with the speed helping pick up momentum on the way to the final track. Metamorphic Possession lumbers out 20+ minutes, and in that time, things get even heavier; if you were seated while listening, you'll be melted in place by the end.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; EyeHateGod, Megasus, Gilla Bruja, Cough, Windhand


Scabrous (320 kbps)


Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Bordeaux Boogie Band...

Libido Fuzz ~ We're a Heavy Psychedelic Boogie Band (2013)

Well, the title kind of gives it away doesn't it? This three piece psychedelic/blues rock band is from Bordeaux, France and aside from the awesome name, they are definitely are worth your time. 
This EP almost seems out of place today, after listening to it all the way through a few times you start to hear some modern stuff going on, but even then it wouldn't of been out of place somewhere in 1968 it seems like, from the vocals to guitar playing and even bass and drum parts, it's all really retro sounding, but in the best of ways. It starts off with a track called "Sunset", and automatically goes into a good ole' fashioned, toe tappin', rock riff. If you're looking for a dance song to play at your next acid party (or just like going to acid parties), this is definitely for you, as is the whole album really, should make you feel like you're trapped in the 60's or 70's and couldn't get out if you wanted to. My favorite track was probably "The Last Psychedelic Blues", this is where the modern shows through a little and you're left with what sounds almost like a straight up Stoner Rock jam. After that though, it's the closer, the big guns, "I Was Made On a Desert Road", 7 minutes of Psychedelic/Blues Rock goodness, this is the critically acclaimed song so many say makes purchasing the whole thing worth it, and in the long run, it probably is. The vocals are great on every song, but really seem to stand out on this one, full of soul with just that right bluesy edge to them, and the bass parts in the middle and end of this song grooves so well. This is one of those songs it's not hard to space out to for hours, just smoke something and get lost in it, never to care if you find your way out or not. When it's done, you'd want to be made on a desert road too.
Really can't wait to see what they come out with next, this one will be hard to top. Now, there's a couple of ways to go about getting your hands on some of this fuzz, starting Friday (Nov. 8th) the vinyl pre-order starts over at their Bandcamp, where you also can go for the digital copies, but they're also going to start taking pre-orders for the vinyl through Pink Tank Records, and it should come out sometime in mid-December. A limited version of 100 copies will come with a signed poster and metal Libido Fuzz pin for 14 Euros and a standard version for 12. All will be hand numbered and on 180g vinyl, should be a good addition for all of you vinyl fiends out there.

For Fans Of; Jimi Hendrix, Brant Bjork, Five Horse Johnson, King Hobo, Chicago Stone Lightning Band


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Heavy Phase...

Black Rainbows - Holy Moon (2013)

The latest release from the doom-rockers in Black Rainbows is a six-song EP (clocking in at around 36 minutes of riff-filled goodness) titled Holy Moon. It begins with the title track, a reverb-drenched wailer that kicks off with a sample from an astrological record, announcing plans to investigate the sun; after that, the track dives into the deep end, letting the guitar's swirling fuzz eat up the space between the listener's ears. Monster Of The Highway rears its head after that, and it certainly is a monster; the guitar sounds like the Wolfman has his claws in it, while the vocals arrive in a strong desert rock style, echoing like the sound is rumbling its way up out of a pit in the earth. Then it's on into Chakra Temple, nearly nine minutes of atmospheric, slower-paced drone and doom, with guitar that sounds ready to give the call to worship in a Shaolin monastery as it gradually builds into sonic overdrive. There's a bit of a breather afterwards, in the form of The Hunter (only half as long as the prior song), a doomy hard rock song that introduces a wood-block only to decisively toss it away. If I Was A Bird (at a relatively short three minutes) sets things up for the last song by taking an acoustic guitar interlude backed by wind-blown vocals and some light tambourine. Finally, they fade into Black To Comm, which returns to the doom rock with a patchwork of riffs, stormy feedback, and killer drum-work, taking its time to kick some ass over its 12-minute stretch to the end. Awesome, fun stuff that'll get your body moving; if you like your rock equal parts blues and doom, do yourself a favour and get a copy of this EP before they're all sold out!
We've had a word with the guys and for one week only, you can now download the track The Hunter for free.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; The Human Instinct, 13th Floor Elevators, Blue Cheer, The Druids Of Stonehenge, Eternal Elysium

WebsiteFacebookMyspaceReverbNation • Bandcamp

Holy Moon (€7)


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Into The Void...

Supervoid ~ Filament (2013)

Yet another week is upon us and the fine people at Ride With The Devil Blog have provided me some more great jams to review. On today’s docket is Pittsburg’s own Supervoid with their latest effort Filaments. The record touches on a ton of heavy metal/rock ground and ambient rock. Reminiscent at times of Mastodon and Fu Manchu! Which to me puts them in a nice playing field. The opening track Coat of Luminous is a prime example of the aforementioned styles. Flowing nicely into the following Braymerian: War Elephant which has a nice late Sabbath feel with a very solid vocal performance, both singing and screaming are spot on. As I move through the record as a whole for the 4th time I keep getting stuck on the stand out Ladders, which is an uptempo powerhouse on all hard rock fronts knock out drumming and guitar playing with that solid vocal presence again. The guitars hit some nice stoner rock harmonies and solo work that to me is very reminiscent of Down and at times reminding me of the vocal work form West Virginia meatless Let The Guilty Hang. Over all a fantastic effort that closes out with The Bear a doomy dragging ambient track with wonderful melody layering and time shifts that are fantastic in execution. Kudos to SuperVoid!

For Fans Of; Mastodon, Nebula, Dozer, He Is Legend, Enos   


Monday, November 04, 2013

The Backbone Of The Universe...

Australasia - Vertebra (2013)

Australasia's latest album found its way to me at just the right time. It's that time of year (at least here in the States) when the cold starts to creep in, you find yourself cooped up inside most days and are looking for something to keep your brain inspired and driven. While music in itself is always an art form (say what you will), there is something special to be said about about those who restrict their talents to simply the sound of instruments. For years now, prog rock masters like Pelican, Zombi, Explosions In The Sky, etc. have been paving the way for instrumental-oriented artists, exposing the craftsmanship in music as opposed to the dribbling incoherence found on any Top 40 station still broadcasting today.
On Vertebra, Australasia covers a huge territory of synth manipulation, spacey guitars, blast drums and an array of rarely heard instruments in the prog scene, most notably the xylophone. While the album reminded of other groups more than once, it is hard to argue that Australasia is not on the cutting edge of the genre today. In comparison to other prog opuses that are heralded by the masses, Vertebra differs in that most songs don't break the four-minute threshold, somewhat of a rarity when pure emotion and creative endeavor often drive the length of songs into double-digit territory.
Both raw and beautiful, Vertebra is an album that can be heard in under an hour, but ultimately sticks around in the listener's mind for hours, if not days. The sound of nature even finds itself amongst the ringing of fluid strings and pierce of synth keys, a gorgeous element of sound that adds the finishing touch to the album. While the record could easily serve as the best music ever to fall asleep to, it would almost seem a shame to miss any moment before its completion.
Vertebra  is available through a number of digital retailers, but can also be picked up in a more physical format at Immortal Frost Productions.

For Fans Of; Mogwai, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, This Will Destroy You

Website • Facebook • SoundCloud • Bandcamp

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Rolling Stoned...

Doublestone ~ Windmakers (2013)

I love these guys and you all really should too. Being utterly cracking chaps aside, they're bloody talented too, managing to rack up quite a catalog of work in just under 2 years. So just 10 months after releasing their absolute corker of a debut, they've hit the studio once again. Honing their finely tuned skills once more, they've managed to follow up their self titled release with yet another brilliant fusion of old school rock with just a touch of blues. I say a 'touch' of blues, there's a whole lot more thrown into the mix than just that, eclectic isn't the word. You don't even have to listen that assertively and you'll pick up little smatterings of every corner of classic rock. Nothing's left unexplored, psych, prog, southern rock, the early beginnings of the genre and its latter days alike, and naturally being good ol' Danes, there's nice subtle touch of Nordic twang underwriting the whole thing. It's quite a feat, managing to be so textured and diverse without falling over yourself or being too complex and bewildering. The tone of the entire album just flows so easily, whether it's picking up a garage rock esque pace or dropping down to a tempo that almost boarders on full on doom, nothing falters. Whats more they manage to really capture the essences of each genre they dabble in to, which serves as a real testament to their individual talent as well as their focus as a collective.
Everyone knows that Graveyard are currently ruling the roost when it comes Scandinavia's hard rock scene, but I think these guy's may just be coming out of left field to give them a run for their money. At this rate I can't imagine it will be much longer until Doublestone produce an album to really rival that of Hisingen Blues. But time will tell on that one, as for now, well Windmakers is most certainly a solid step in the right direction. Head on over to the Bandcamp page and give your ears something special, oh and stay tuned for news on the vinyl...
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Orchid, Graveyard, Black Pistol Fire, Hanni El Khatib, Chicago Stone Lightning Band


Friday, November 01, 2013

Back On The Pot...

Salem's Pot ~ Sweeden (2012)

Fancy some unbridled, weed tempered doom? Well hell, are you in for a treat!
If you missed our coverage of their Watch Me Kill You/Run The Night EP, then, well, screw you! But you can somewhat redeem yourself here...
Just like so many of the classics of the genre(s) such as Dopesmoker, Blood Lust and Amerijuanican, Sweeden possess all the fuzzy malevolence of an eerie ghost train coming chugging towards you through a thick haze of bong smoke. Bordering on progressive in places and acid rock in others, it's real charm lies within it's sheer creepiness and ability to almost draw you in to a voodoo trance like state. I swear, every time I chill out and chuck this album on within minutes I catch myself staring into the distance, almost frozen in place except for my head just bobbing along of its own volition. It's power to just wash over you and seep into you soul is pretty mind blowing, even when you're not chock full of illegal narcotics or whiskey. I'm sober as a judge right now and I'm still finding it mesmerising as hell. I think it has something to do with the fact that it sounds like playing an Uncle Acid 7" at 33rpm. Seriously, its uncanny! If you've got Poison Apple of Mind Crawler go try it, I'll wait...
See! Weird isn't it? So I guess those good old Swede's really did discover the formula to classic stoner doom, and to nail it on their first album too... Damn, many a band would sell their grandmothers for that accolade.
So how exactly do you go about improving on such benchmark of an album? I'll bloody tell you how... you give it to Dan over a Easy Rider Records and let him work his brilliant vinyl magic on it thats how! Yup, following their beautiful press (and subsequent repress) earlier in the year of Watch Me Kill You/Run The Night, they've finally followed it up with Sweeden. It's been worth the wait too, just feast your eyes on these beauties! Limited to 30 Test Presses, 50 Gold (Die Hard), 75 Orange, 75 Burgundy, 100 Purple, 150 Violet Red. In suitable fashion they hit the store yesterday on Halloween, so hurry over be they're all snapped up! Failing that, or if you just want a no frills download, you can hit up their Bandcamp site below and pay what every you want for all of their work... What a start to the weekend eh?
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Windhand, Belzebong, Mountain Witch, Kamni, Spelljammer