Saturday, 16 December 2017

Black Capricorn - Omega (Album Review)


Release date: November 02nd 2017. Label: Stone Stallion Rex Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Omega - Tracklisting

1.Alpha
2.Evil Horde of Lucifer
3.Accabadora
4.Flower of Revelation
5.Antartide
6.Black Capricorn Seal
7.Devil and the Death
8.The Man Who Dared
9.Stars of Orion
10.Quest for Agartha
11.Omega

Members

Fabrizio: guitar, vocals
Virginia: bass
Rachela: drums

Review

After a series of splits and an EP, Italian psychedelic doom merchants Black Capricorn follow up their last album Cult Of The Black Friars with the sprawling and dominant force of Omega. The band have always been capable of delivering powerful and affecting music as they so ably demonstrated on Cult Of The Black Friars and its predecessors Born Under The Capricorn and their self titled debut but on Omega, they raise to another level, such is the albums sheer hypnotising power.

This is mesmerising music of the highest order and the riffs (courtesy of riffmeister general and vocalist Fabrizio who also is blessed with a formidable howl) on this album aren't just set to stun, they are set to pulverise on sight and they certainly do that as they are cranked up to full power, and they are are not just heavy though, these riffs are as catchy as they are powerful and their droning eclecticism proves a sublime combination. The bands rhythm section that consists of bassist Virginia and drummer Rachela conjure up a crushing backbone of a groove as well and that only adds to Black Capricorn's powers.

The psychedelic elements of the bands music are even heavier than they have been before but are just as sprawling. Just take one listen to the monolithic and trippy solo on the song Accabadora for proof and get hypnotised by its sheer ascendant vibe.

Evil Horde Of Lucifer is an early highlight as is the sublime Flower Of Revelation but this is an album that has so many of them and is an album that you definitely have to listen to in full, there's no picking and choosing here. It needs to be consumed in full and as such it will consume you back in kind.

Omega is a gripping listen and when the bands doom is unleashed in full on tracks like Devil And The Death and Stars Of Orion and the music takes an eclectic turn on The Man Who Dared (a song that features some stunning vocals from guest soprano Illaria Falchi) and Black Capricorn Seal which features sublime use of strings, it is such a gripping experience that your head and your heart feels like it will explode with joy at times.

This is an epic album, to say the least, and it will consume you and your senses as you listen. From the opening drone of Alpha right through to the funereal conclusion of Omega, thus is a journey that will bewitch and transfix you, just turn it up loud and let the music of Black Capricorn take you over.

Words by Gavin Brown

Omega is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now from Stone Stallion Rex Records.

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Throneless - Cycles (Album Review)


Release date: March 23rd 2018. Label: Black Bow Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Cycles - Tracklisting

1.Born in Vain 09:43
2.Cycles 09:12
3.Senseless 06:29
4.Oracle 14:05

Members

Johan Burman - drums
Johan Sundén - guitar
Patrik Sundberg - bass

Review

Holy shit. This is heavy as fuck and no messing. It makes perfect sense being signed to Black Bow Records as well, as to quickly summarise the bands sound, it has elements of Conan. And Slomatics. With the occasional vocal nod to "Come My Fanatics" era Wizard. But all set in space.

Four ridiculously heavy tracks, with only one song being under 9 minutes (and the album closer is nearly quarter of an hour just on its own)

First track "Born In Vain" really sets out what Throneless are about. Soaring vocals, hypnotic drumming and riffs heavier than a post Klitschko, Tyson Fury.

For me though it's with the second track "Cycle's" that the record really starts to come into its on.

A quietly played lone guitar (also sounding like it's from space) playing a calm picked refrain, as the drums join and the bass enters the fray for a minute or two before the track starts in earnest, with layers of fuzz being added to the main riff.

Third and my personal favourite track on the album "Senseless" is the shortest of the four songs on offer, and as such is probably the most aggressive and introduces almost an element of spite in to the song writing. Which I love.

Fourth and final track "Oracle" slows proceedings back down as Throneless lurch their way of fourteen minutes of absolutely punishing doom, as the track tails of at the end leaving ears wringing in its wake.

It took me a listen or two to probably fully appreciate this record the first time I heard it. The first thing you'll notice is just how heavy the whole things is (I think I've mentioned before this is quite the heavy album yeah?) but after that, some of the less obvious subtleties and talented songwriting start to move more to the fore, making this one of the most enjoyable and surprising records I've had the pleasure of hearing this year.

Words by Simon Williams

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo. Cycles will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Black Bow Records from March 23rd 2018.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

CLAMFIGHT - III (Album Review)


Release date: January 19th 2018. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

III - Tracklisting

1. Whale Road
2. Selkie
3. Echoes in Stone
4. Eynhallow
5. History of the Earls of Orkney

Members

Joel Harris: guitar
Louis Koble: bass
Andy Martin: drums/vocals
Sean McKee: guitar

Review

Greetings all,
I had the most righteous honor of checking out the new album by Philadelphia riff masters Clamfight. III is obviously the bands third release and it is an amazing set of 5 slabs of killer sludge. The band credits alot of the hallmarks of the stoner metal as their influences, and while you can certainly here those influences the fellas in Clamfight do an amazing job of sounding original and masterful. There are elements from the 70's to today and the band finds a way to wink and nod at 40+ years of killer music in only 5 crushing tracks.
To the tracks, the album opens with Whale Road which spans over 11 minutes and kicks of with a surf inspired intro that instantly reminded me of that used in Pulp Fiction. The song varies into a lot of directions as their is a bit of Neurosis when the song kicks in before going in to a Clutch inspired guitar breakdown before some heavy, heavy drums in the outro. Selkie comes in next and it hits you hard and fast. The song is heavy, period. Echoes in Stone is an impressive multi faceted song. There is some Eyehategod level sludge mixed with female vocals and an absolutely face melting guitar solo outro. Eynhallow is the shortest track on the record at a little over 5 minutes. It is a slow instrumental interpretations that opens with a subdued bass line before bringing in some David Gilmour/Pink Floyd inspired guitar work with a nice mix of synths to keep the mood mellow. The album closes with the impressive 12+ minutes of History of Earls of Orkney that comes in with a leisurely 3 minute start before kicking in with an amazing riff that will leave your neck a bit on the sore side. There are so many aspects of this song that are utterly amazing.
Clamfight has bestowed upon us an amazing piece of work. I implore anyone reading this to take the time and track this record down. The band is set to start 2018 with more than just a bang. Do yourself a favor and track down III. I know I am.
-Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency for the promo. III will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from Jan 19th 2018.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Shadow Witch - Disciples Of The Crow (Album Review)


Release date: December 15th 2017. Label: Salt Of The Earth Records. Format: CD/DD

Disciples Of The Crow - Tracklisting

1. Love Could Be Like This
2. Reap
3. Cruel
4. Disciples Of The Crow
5. Stranger Skies
6. The Sea
7. Beneath The Veil
8. Dead Heroes

Members

David Pannullo (bass)
Jeremy H. Hall (guitars)
Doug “Beans” Thompson (drums)
Earl Walker Lundy (vocals, mellotron, samples)

Review

Psychedelic Doom Metallers – Shadow Witch – return with their new album – Disciples Of The Crow. Coming about 16 months of their debut album which the whole Doom/Stoner Metal community rated quite highly including myself.

Newly signed to Salt Of The Earth Records it's good to see the band expand more on their progressive sound with opening track- Love Could Be Like This – creating quite an uplifting Doom/Stoner Metal vibe. It's very demonic parts but it's so damn catchy with the band writing 80s Classic sounding Doom/Hard Rock lyrics. The vocals from Earl have matured since the last album. He's more focused and his vocals soar to new heights. The music is still influenced by Mastodon, Sabbath and Clutch but that's a good thing. As at least Shadow Witch are giving their own spin on the Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal sound.

Second track – Reap – is a more soulful occult/doom rock sound with the band adding a more blues/funk guitar that tries a little too hard to merge 70s Doom Rock with a 90s Alt Rock/Stoner Metal feel. It's still a very good song to listen to. I wasn't a fan of the different funk based moods that this song contains. Earl's vocals are very dramatic and OTT at times but I feel that's the whole point of this song.

Third track – Cruel – sees the band return to winning ways with a CLUTCH inspired guitar sound. This is high octane Blues fuelled Stoner Rock with a gloomy psychedelic score being the main focus of the song. This is the style of music where Shadow Witch excel at. It's superbly played and the psychedelic progressive riffs only endear you to the band even more. The different styles of music is another highlight with the band switching to a more sombre classic rock/doom rock sound towards the end of the song.

Fourth track – Disciples Of The Crow – has Shadow Witch become a fully fledged DOOM METAL Band. As they leave all their fancy and imaginative psychedelic stoner sounds behind and embrace a more demonic vision. Earl's vocals are bang on point here when sung against the slowly played macabre sounds. The atmosphere becomes heavier and more frantic as the mood of the album will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The second half of the album is equally as good as the first half if not better. The Sea and and Dead Heroes are perhaps the standout tracks on the later stages of the album. As the songs sees the band experiment with their sound more by adding different elements of music. Some trippy post-rock style sounds appear on The Sea. It's quite a slow-paced affair to start off with. Though Shadow Witch know when to play a superb sounding progressive doom metal melody that offers a few surprises along the way.

Shadow Witch raise the ANTE and EXCITEMENT in every aspect with the album. Shadow Witch could have easily released Sun Killer Part Two. But Nope. The band took another route and have released a more daring and genuinely exciting record.

Disciples Of The Crow is a Stoner/Doom Metal Masterpiece. I know that term gets branded around too easily and very quickly at times. However I stand by my review. This album is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Leanne at Mettle Media PR for the promo. Disciples Of The Crow will be released via Salt Of The Earth Records on CD/DD from December 15th 2017.

Links:

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Enhailer - Dumb Enough To Care (EP Review)


Release date: December 11th 2017. Label: Blackseed Records. Format: CD/DD

Dumb Enough To Care - Tracklisting

1. Dumb Enough To Care

Members

Michael Gilpatrick-Bass
Mike Shea-Guitar
Mathew Snyder- Guitar
Chadd Beverlin-Drums

Review

Enhailer's new EP – Dumb Enough To Care – is 18:23 minutes of bleak Progressive Stoner/Doom Metal. I haven't heard of these guys before and their latest release impressed me from the very first listen. The band create an epic and distorted style of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal that offers a bleak atmosphere from the very start.

The pissed off vocals just add to the heavy and furious atmosphere that Enhailer expertly create. Taking influence from bands such as Mastodon, Neurosis, Bongripper and even Pelican at times but with a more Doomed Out Stoner Metal sound holding everything together.

Dumb Enough To Care is superbly played throughout with the band creating a nightmarish world of different sounds and textures. The soundclips spliced throughout the EP have been strategically placed to amp up the gloomy atmospherics of the entire record. Though the standout parts of the EP appear towards the end when Enhailer ditch the Doom/Gloom theatrics for a more focused Progressive Stoner Metal sound.

I maybe Dumb Enough To Care but not dumb enough to recognise a band who have the potential to release something more substantial in the future and perhaps a full length album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo.

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Borracho - Riffograhpy (Album Review)


Release date: December 08th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Riffography - Tracklisting

1.Rectify 03:19
2.Círculos Concéntricos 03:20
3.Mob Gathering 03:56
4.Short Ride (When It's Over) 03:20
5.Stockpile (alternate vocals) 11:23
6.Know the Score (alternate vocals) 07:16
7.Know My Name 04:39
8.King's Disease 05:02
9.Fight the Prophets 07:20
10.Superego 07:38
11.Shark Tank 06:03
12.Border Crossing 04:03
13.Animal Magnetism 05:52

Members

Steve - Guitars & vocals
Mario - Drums & percussion
Tim - Bass & backing vocals

Review

Washington DC Stoner Metallers – Borracho – have released a string of acclaimed releases since their formation in 2007. 2016's Atacama made my best albums of 2016 list. Now the band are back and they've released a greatest hits of sorts. Well not a greatest hits package as such. Just all the previously released vinyl only tracks.

Borracho explain more: Since we first started jamming in late 2007 we’ve made a habit of sprinkling some goodies before, between, and beside our LPs. For the first time, a collection of these previously vinyl-only tracks is now available on the comprehensive Riffography CD. This incredible package includes singles, b-sides, and splits - from our first 2008 single “Rectify” to the just announced “Border Crossing” 7”

What you have is some outstanding slices of Desert/Stoner Metal from one of the best Stoner Metal bands around. There are songs here that I hadn't even heard of before. Such as Rectify. Yeah I know it's been out for ages. I just focused on Borracho's full length albums and EP's. Shame on me for that mistake. However I'm grateful that Borracho have released this excellent album. OK, it's not a proper album as such but you can see the progression of Borracho's sound to what it is today.

This is a must have album for any self respecting Borracho fan. If you're new to the world of Borracho then Riffography is the best place to start.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Riffography is available to buy now.

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KOZMIK CORNER - Upcoming Vinyl Releases From KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ


Who cares that most of the upcoming Vinyl Releases from Kozmik Artifactz have already been released. Let's rejoice that this great label is releasing some of the best sounding albums of recent years on Vinyl with Whoopie Cat, Snowchild, Mississippi Bones, His Masters Voice - The Devil's Blues and Deadneck being set for release in the next month or so.

Out of those 5 great album releases Snowchild have to be my top pick. As it's one of the best Doom Metal Albums of 2016. Especially if you're a fan of Black Sabbath and other legendary Doom Metal Bands.

Snowchild

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Whoopie Cat


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Mississippi Bones

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His Masters Voice - The Devil's Blues

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Deadneck

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