Sunday, March 30, 2014

Flames From The Amps...

Flum - Burning Scenario (2013)

Flum's first EP (following up their debut album, PASSWORLD) is a fast-acting shot packed with fuzz and feedback, with some tasty liquid synth-work providing a sweet topper to their crunchy riffing. The three tracks (“Destruction Derby”, “Wax Toys”, and “The End Of All Things”) allow the band to show off their talents in a truly enticing way, pulling one stylish touch after another out of their musical bag of tricks. Deftness with harmonies, bridges, and core riffs gives the EP a surprisingly deep amount of stuff to savor, giving it a replay value you might not expect from something with a run-time of only 17 minutes. For what they've included, though, it's just the right duration, as they keep it quick and sharp in the time they're given. Tasty, groove-soaked stuff; hopefully some bright label will snag this for physical release in the very near future.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Vanilla Trainwreck, Sungod, Bassholes, Stinkerbell, Supersnazz


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Journeys Into Darkness...

Disenchanter - On Through Portals (2014)

The latest release from Disenchanter is a 3-song EP that clocks in at half an hour of heavy doom. The first track, “Journey To Abydos / Moon Maid”, begins with a sprawling riff that develops into bigger, meaner, and more elaborate territory, digging in with gritty determination, and pulling itself onward into crushing depths; around the ten-minute mark, the vocalist steps in, delivering her performance with a clarity that contrasts nicely with the hot buzz of the guitar and cool pacing of the bass. “Invoke” takes over after that, dropping things back into a slower tempo so that they have room to rev them right back up again, kicking in guitar snarls and increasingly-wild drums against sudden break-downs and notes sustained into trailing fades. The last track, “Into Darkness”, is a grimy piece of sludge that honestly gave me goosebumps to hear, with its slow grind of feedback and bass getting downright filthy before the vocalist's brightness rises again.
Altogether, it's an extremely well-done EP, the kind that has a more than fair shot when you're trying to decide between listening to it again or throwing on a full album. The songs have enough variance in their development to give your ears something to really chew on, there's hard groove passages for slow head-banging, the production perfectly suits the mood, and they know how to get wild with it. Damn good stuff; according to the band, there's a cassette release in the works, so stay tuned and snap it up when it arrives.  They've also got a slew of tours in the WA/OR area over the next few months, so if you can make it, be sure not to miss it.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Ladybird, Windhand, Mist (Slovenia), Electric Wizard, Salem's Pot


Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Different Breed

Audiobreed - All Shades of Colours, but Only Red I See (2013)

From Greece, Audiobreed is four piece Heavy Rock band. With their influences running the gamut from Hard Rock, Southern Metal, and Stoner Rock to Punk and Hardcore, all of which can be accounted for and then some within the duration of the album. From Bluesy, Southern Rock riffs to full blown Stoner Rock fuzz fests, if you're a fan of heavy music in general, you'll find something to like here. 
The opening track "I Don't Care" kicks off in full force with one of those heavy Southern riffs and pounding drums. Shortly after the opening the dirt road vocals start up and just adds to that Southern flavor so predominant in the track. Around the halfway mark you get a really funky drum solo which turns into a jam session interlude, but the vocals drop once again and you're getting slammed with heavy riffs just like in the beginning. Another song to really grab me is titled "Lost Again", opening with a Bluesy riff, and a haunting electric organ that starts to disappear from the mix after the first thirty seconds or so. With those same gravel filled vocals, the singer belts out the lyrics like a Harley exhaust, sure it's loud and just a tad abrasive, but it still sounds awesome. The following track, and next to last on the album is called "Fizzle Out" and it's probably the closest you come to an out and out Stoner Rock song on the album, with fuzzy guitar tones and a swinging rhythm section even the slower parts will have your head nodding in time.
If you were making a biker movie, all you'd have to do is throw a dart at the tracklisting and anything you could land on would be more than fitting in your film. Surely that's a sign of an awesome rock and roll band. While the album isn't for immediate download unless you breakout the five bucks for a CD, you can head on over to their bandcamp and stream the entire album before you decide to buy.

For Fans Of; Artimus Pyledriver, Scissorfight, Clutch, Orange Goblin, The Glasspack

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Psychedelic Noise Punk...

Rizoma - Rizoma (2013)

Rizoma's debut EP opens promisingly, with a controlled buzz of feedback quickly transforming into a fuzzy punk assault.  Tasty guitar ripping, controlled but punchy drum-work, and vocals that manage roughness without too much raggedness swirl around in a psychedelic-tinged wash of material that shows its proto-punk influences with pride.
 The opening track is titled “Satanic Psychedelic Punks On The Run”, and thankfully, the rest of the EP lives up to this opening promise.  Though it's short (as EPs tend to be), Rizoma crams so much personality and sweet riffing into their time to serve as an in-depth introduction.  With a few name-drops of their influences (as on the second track, “It Feels So Good To Kill My Neighbors While Listening To The Stooges”), it's clear that the crew of Rizoma is having a good time putting these shred-head songs together, and that they want to share those good times with anyone and everyone who'll take the time to listen.  Groovy, lively stuff, and one hell of a great start.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Suicidal Tendencies, MC5, Butthole Surfers, Lightning Bolt, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels


Monday, March 24, 2014

Serious Scandinavian Scuzz...

Monolord ~ Empress Rising (2014)

Sweden have quickly become a relentless bullheaded power house within the whole doom scene of recent. I guess theres just something in the water up there, and if Monolord's Empress Rising is anything to go by, my conclusion is that that something is heavy, dirty and highly contagious.
Stepping up to join the ever growing roster of similar down tuned Swedes such as Brutus, Spelljammer, Mammoth Storm, Deville, Moon Coven and the mighty Salem's Pot, Monolord stand out, to me at least, by fusing their particular brand of doom with subtle elements of dirty southern sludge. It's not immediately apparent to the untrained ear but theres always a certain something there, lingering in the background of every track. That slightly more uptempo approach or that little 'twang' that rings reminiscent of the likes of Down, Crowbar and Acid Bath. Kinda like how Soilent Green do the same with their sludge. It's subtle, but its there, much like their inclusion of an underlying layer of psych that effortlessly reverbs you down to your very bones. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say they'd almost blurred the lines between doom and psych here, which granted, isn't exactly a new concept but it does lack a lot of that avant-garde bullshit that usually comes along with the aforementioned combo. I'm not one for adding to that ever increasing list of daft sub-genres, but I'd happily welcome the term 'dark psych' with outstretched arms, to describe these chaps. It's perfectly fitting to whats been so carefully and brilliantly crafted here. Every rumble and haunting wail shakes and rattles with an eerie sombre ferocity that those good ol' Scandinavians just seem to have such a handle on. You can't ignore Monolord, nor should you. It may well take a couple of listens for you acclimatise to, or full appreciate the true spectacle that is Empress Rising, but I can guarantee that at some point something will just click, and this album will find its play count racking up exponentially.
If you haven't already, hit up our good friends Easyrider Records and pick yourself a copy on beautiful wax. It's a real no-brainer.

For Fans Of; Yob, Mountain Witch, Mammoth Storm, Spelljammer, Shallow Grave


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Form Of The Void...

Pilgrim - II: Void Worship (2014) 

On their latest album, II: Void Worship, Pilgrim makes offerings of traditional doom metal, down-tempo, down-tuned, and down-cast. Elements of Candlemass, Black Sabbath, and Saint Vitus mix freely, the bass chords hum along with some heavy resonance, and the vocalist gives stoner doom lyrics an appropriately somber delivery for maximum '70s fidelity. The riffs are catchy, the guitarist's fingers are nimble when needed, and there's a good job done of creating the sort of thick smoky atmosphere so many of the classic albums had.
At the same time, they're not rooted in recreating those old albums as much as they are in taking those vibes and channeling them into the creation of their own songs. The album fits together solidly, the songs have a good variety of styles and moods, and none of it really seems to drag on past the point of optimal efficiency. Pilgrim have crafted an album that puts in the work needed to earn its place in doom fans' music libraries, without relying on false nostalgia as a shortcut to generating buzz. Listening to the album, you can tell that the members have a genuine fondness for the music they're making, and that they know their influences by more than just name recognition. Here's hoping they'll be with us for quite a while to come, generating more high-quality heavy music.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Candlemass, Norska, Tons, Windhand, Moloch


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Brace yourself...

Brunt ~ Brunt (2014)

Brunt is an instrumental Stoner Rock trio from the island of Guernsey just off the Normandy coast, and if vocals were ever needed, it's not by these guys. With lots of fuzzy, hypnotic Stoner Rock riffs, and a hazy atmosphere about the whole thing, it feels like vocals would almost detract from the whole experience, regardless of the quality of the lyrics or vocalist. When you go the instrumental route, the listener is free to get lost in whatever they choose to find in the music. But in an attempt to give the listener some sort of direction, the band released some printed illustration to go along with the digital only format, that can be found over on their bandcamp.
Their self-titled debut album consists of five instrumental tracks that are full of as about as much groove and fuzz as anyone could ask for. The album's second track, "The Tale of the Hideous Tricorn", was an early favorite of mine. It opens up with a thunderous drum bombardment, joined shortly by a fat, chugging bass line. After about thirty seconds a thick, fuzzy guitar riff drops in and blows the whole thing apart. The guitar tone changes slightly while the song meanders through it's duration, but the bass and drums keep pounding away, always reminding you who's really running the groove. The closer "Raw Goat" also caught my attention, with an extra doomy bass intro to the track. It's almost a minute before the slightest trickling of guitar sound comes in, but in true Doom fashion when it rains, it pours and when the drums finally pick up the guitarist goes into full swing with a haunting guitar riff, devoid of almost any real distortion. That only makes it half way through before the skies clear and the fuzz is unleashed once again, and in fucking heavy fashion. It kicks into Stoner Rock overdrive and doesn't let up again until the end of the album.
Since it's a digital only album, it does cost a couple bucks (literally, a couple), but that's with the accompanying artwork, which there isn't much left of, and no telling if they're going to printing anymore, so you might want to jump on that if you really dig 'em.
For Fans Of; Truckfighters, Nebula, Kyuss, Sleep, Astroqueen

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

With Rubber Cadavers...

Black Plastic Caskets - Black Plastic Caskets EP (2013)

On Black Plastic Caskets' self-titled EP (not to be confused with their self-titled album from 2012), there's a distinct hard rock sound to the music, though it's tempered with elements from heavy rock and blues rock.  With six tracks adding up to half an hour, this band from the mean side of Ohio has enough time to get a sense of their style across, and they do so with an energy and enthusiasm that does them credit.  There's also a good flow from song to song, keeping things moving with enough momentum to not wear out its welcome as they throw their gauntlet down to the ground.  From the sound of things, they were having a pretty good time during the making of this record, despite the angry lyrics on which they rely.  The semi-sludgy break-downs were my personal favorite part, but there's enough effort put into this EP that you'll probably pick up on some other aspect of the affair that you'll like best.  Best of luck to this group in the future, and here's hoping that they don't grind themselves away to dust.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Brimstone Coven, The Heavy Eyes, The Swill, Outlaw Order, Clutch


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Smokey, Sleazy & Easy...

Salem's Pot ~ ...Lurar Ut Dig På Prärien (2014)

I didn't think the mighty Salem's Pot could really out doom themselves after the Watch Me Kill You EP. Goes to show what I know. ...Lurar Ut Dig På Prärien or Lurking... Dig Out ​​On The Prairie, (thanks Google translate!.. Yeah, I don't know what it means either) crawls right out of its hole and instantly greets you with a whole big bunch of creepy space rock fuzz. It's a bit of a change of pace for the Swedish doom mongers, well, less of a change of pace more of a revert to their beginnings as on the whole this new outing has slightly more in common with their 2012 release Sweeden. The main, and most noticeable difference being an increase in clarity of the production. Weird thing to first notice I know, but having spun Easyrider Record's last two brilliant releases from these guys more times than I care to recall, it felt quite apparent. Fear not though, Lurar... still contains more cult inspired doom than Christopher Lee's resumé. Where before there was a down right LoFi grittiness running through the entirety of Watch Me Kill You, the guys have this time opted to travel down that meandering acid doom path, and you know what? It really suits them. They've mixed it all up with their own brand of haunting psych and eerie (boarding on) post/space rock ambiance, but everything sure as hell points to them moving one step closer to joining the ranks of Uncle Acid, Windhand, Black Prism and the likes. It falls slightly short of being branded a change of direction, but the band have seemed to make a conscious effort to really work on their sound and harness a new and focused outlook, rather than just jumping on and ever increasingly crowded bandwagon. You could say they've stepped it up a gear. Dabbling with the experimental, pulling more engaging riffs from their collective hats and ramping up their creepy factor by a good 10%, at least. There's also something of a drug fuelled occult feeling that underlies this whole LP. A slow rumbling psychoticism that I've only been able to achieve before by accidentally playing a Sabbath 7" at 33rpm. It's beautiful and wholly terrifying all at the same time. I can't wait to drop a heroic dose of shrooms and slap this vinyl on the turntable. If you've got any sense, come April 29th you'll join me, once again, all courtesy of the fantastic Easyrider Records!
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Windhand, Druglord, Witchsorrow, Monolord

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Light It Up...

The Heavy Eyes - The Heavy Eyes (2011)

Deep and fuzzy blues rock from Memphis, Tennessee, The Heavy Eyes' self-titled debut album (originally released in 2011) recently received a reissue, courtesy of Kozmik Artifactz and Bilocation Records. If you haven't already heard it, just imagine delta blues translated into heavy rock, and you're in the right neighborhood. The drums provide a wall of pounding, the guitars have that bleariness you achieve around the 36th hour of being awake, and the vocals are flavored with smoke, but not to the point where it overwhelms what's being sung.
In short, if blues rock is your thing, and you'd enjoy having more stoner rock influence in the mix, The Heavy Eyes will provide you with what you want. Copies of the reissue are going fast (all of the band's personal copies available through their BandCamp have already sold out), but there's still a few left at Bilocation Records' shop, so snag it now if you don't want to be left hanging.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; North Mississippi Allstars, Mountain, Led Zeppelin, Orchid, Deville


Monday, March 10, 2014

Crazy Music For Crazy People...

Harry Cloud ~ Red Barn (2014)

Ahhhh, what can I say about Harry Cloud that hasn't already been said?...

Imagine if Kate Bush was diagnosed with schizophrenia and got heavily into drone and habitual drug use. Well thats pretty much where you are with Red Barn. After Cry Now, Cry Later and Our Love Is Bad, Red Barn is, I suspect, as accessible as Mr Cloud will ever endeavour to be, and you know what?Despite sounding like you've been tethered to a quad bike and dragged full speed, over broken electrical equipment and through a successive series of Kraftwerk, Atari Teenage Riot, Anal Cunt and Sigur Rós shows, it is just that. Kind of. All that trademark disjointed psychotic madness is still there in droves, but its been amalgamated just that little bit more accommodatingly. Although, given your own personal experience with the genre you may well disagree with me on that one.
The album begins with what can best be described as an early Pixies like, folky harmony, albeit with deeply disturbing lyrics. Which is in fact one of Harry's true talents. That slightly deadpan delivery of wholly unsettling subject matter, which boarders on being quite Kurt Cobain esque. But it's not long before caution is pissed directly into the wind and my girlfriend turns to me with a bemused expression and demands to know what the fuck I'm listening to. That moment comes around with the opening bars of Constant Power, and thats when all the hallmarks of a Peyote induced fever dream really begin to take hold. It's actually so bat shit crazy I'm not even going to bother attempting to describe it in any credible form here. I've not ingested remotely enough narcotics nor do I have that time do conjure up anymore suitably bizarre analogies.
Seriously, just go and bloody listen to it.
~ Jay

For Fans Of; Jay Randal, David Lynch, Japanese Comedy Torture Hour, Tank 86 The Cosmic Dead


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Bruto By Nature...

 Bruto - Bruto (2013)

The Chilean quartet behind Bruto describe their sound as 'fuzzgressive', and it's a pretty apt way of describing their music, which blends hard, semi-sludgy riffs with some psychedelic flair, melodies evocative of heavy rock, smoky trails of notes in the finest stoner rock tradition, and production that rides the fine line between too much and too little. There's plenty of head-banging opportunities throughout the album, and from the first song onwards, the band makes a great impression. They also tear out on some truly inspired guitar-shredding solos, which build organically enough from the rest of the song to feel perfectly natural, all the better for intensifying the body-thrashing already happening.
Even when they slow it down to a more Sabbath-like speed, the songs still simmer with restrained energy, waiting to be unleashed – which the band, of course, admirably delivers. Bottom line, this group needs to be on your radar if you have any interest in currently-active stoner rock, though you may have to hold out hopes of seeing them tour near your locale for the time being. In the meantime, snag yourself a copy (and once you've listened to it and realized how good they are, go back and throw the band some money; they deserve it) and get ready to give it a steady burn on your speakers. Killer stuff!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Celophys, Deep Purple, Kyuss, Necronomicon (Brazil), Olde Growth


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Dazed And Hard Blues...

Groggy - WooDoo EP (2013)

On their latest EP, Groggy (a two-piece from Siberia!) provide three tracks to tide over fans of psychedelic & stoned blues rock. They begin with “Dead Duck” (a possible “Aqualung” reference?), which kicks things off in high gear with a hard and hearty riff, perfectly-snappy drums, and vocals that growl without being indecipherable. It's a hell of a start, and by the time the two have reached “Dead Duck”'s end, there's no doubt that they can deliver all that they promise. The second track, “Never Know”, starts out at a more leisurely pace, sharp-picking at the guitar chords until the drums arrive to take over the aggressive end while the guitar shifts into a more classically-bluesy mode, showing off their melodic chops while keeping the energy high and lively. The last track “Zombie/Ride With The Devil” (hey, that's a familiar name!) finishes off the EP with aplomb, beginning with some ghostly background drones before shifting into a hard-swinging groove that builds and builds, getting wild and hellacious, until they throw out the throttle with a minute to spare and begin grinding asphalt to drop their speed.
Damn good stuff. Let me repeat that, because it's going to be said quite a few times; damn good stuff. These two have talent, energy, inventiveness, respect for the most whiskey-and-reefer-crazed of delta blues, and a fantastic sense of how to build songs. Just excellent work, through and through, and I for one can't wait until their next full-length LP.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Wicked Lady, Necronomicon (Brazil), Eternal Elysium, Iron Butterfly, Morphine


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Omnivorous Resonance...

BUIS - BUIS (2014)

Stemming from the Netherlands, BUIS is a quartet of doom enthusiasts, and on their self-titled debut EP, they get that point across without question. The four tracks on the EP (“Shadows In The Glass”, “Moloch”, “Pitch”, and “Stuck In Three Thousand”) swim in heavy tones, bone-chilling fuzziness, and a well-managed infusion of hopeless dread. The first track kicks things off with some sludgy doom, the second picks up the pace and energy, the third brings in some more focus on the acoustic side of things as it escalates into violence, and the last song on the EP dives into a full-on doom groove, kicking ass left and right before sliding to a close.
Fantastic work for a debut, and if this is their starting point, this group has big things ahead of them. Give them your ears, and they'll give you a good time!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Celophys, Belzebong, Iron Man, Norska, Tons