Saturday, January 12, 2019

Turning Through Time...

Frozen Planet.... 1969 - The Mystery Wheel (2019)

Spawned in the recording sessions for their 2017 album Electric Smokehouse, Frozen Planet.... 1969's The Mystery Wheel is a single 26-minute jam taking listeners through the riffs and grooves filling the Australian band's heads at the time. Heavy and psychedelic, with swanky guitar wonking it up with hard-plugging bass and funky drumming sliding about the place, the jam keeps a wonderful unpredictability alive for its run without slipping into aimlessness or wankery. Maybe the most impressive part of it is the sense of how well-tuned to each other's ideas the band members are, with one laying down the opener of a new tangent and the others near-immediately hooking into supporting meshes. Slips into chiller territory handled well, with the quiet mood studies bearing a goosebump-inducing intensity you wouldn't necessarily expect from an improvisational session, but there you have it. Between the slick grooves, heady psych pumps, talent show-casing, and staunch coolness, it's a little chilling to imagine that this piece of work could have remained tucked away in the band's vault. Thankfully, now that it's out in the light of day, FP69 fans have an extra piece of excellence to enjoy. And if you're new to the band, it's not a bad place to start, as long as you recognize that you're jumping into the deep end with them.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Deep Purple, Groggy, Iron Butterfly, Mondo Drag, Stonerror


Saturday, January 05, 2019

Setting Down Roots...

Withered Fist - This is My Mountain (2019)

Starting off 2019 with the release of their debut EP, the Irish two-piece of Withered Fist brings three hefty tracks of melodic doom metal to bear. Starting off with the title track, they make it clear that their heaviness won't be compromised by the melodic emphasis, with instrumentalist Justin Maloney (formerly of Two Tales of Woe and Acrid Nebula) grinding on the strings of his bass until it's all too easy to imagine blood seeping from his fingers. The percussion doesn't aim for anything too fancy, but provides a perfectly suitable dirge-paced beat to the glowering atmosphere, and the strains of guitar give a slight wash of psychedelic or sludgy flavoring to the affair.
“The Dread” picks up from there, moving to a rolling beat which plays up the drums a bit more, and giving things a little more heavy rock flavor while keeping the metal aspects firmly in place. A workhorse of a main riff keeps things moving along with good fluidity, and the stylish big finish will undoubtedly make for a great live track. Lastly, “The Journey” clocks in with over ten minutes of power, riding highs and lows of energy while getting its hooks in, and showing a more tender side to the band with the work of vocalist Carl King (TtoW). It all makes for a strong debut with good repeat value, so check them out if you've been looking for some fresh heavy music that avoids easy pigeon-holing.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Green Druid, Headless Kross, The Sleer, Valkyrie, Wounded Giant