Tuesday, 19 September 2017

BIBLICAL - The City That Always Sleeps (Album Review)


Release date: September 15th 2017. Label: TeePee Records (EU/UK/US) - New Damage Records (Canada). Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The City That Always Sleeps – Tracklisting

1. Mature Themes
2. The Last Thing I Remember
3. Regicide
4. Fugue State
5. Gallows Humor
6. Spiral Staircase
7. The City That Always Sleeps
8. House Of Knives

Members

Nick Sewell
Matt McLaren
Jay Anderson
Andrew Scott

Review

At first I didn't know what to make of Toronto’s Biblical and their brand new album. 'The City That Always Sleeps' got it's grip on me alright, but mainly because of it's strange nature. Couldn't for the life of me grasp it and tie all the pieces together. However, that first spin mesmerized me no end and already during the second spin this out-there record came together and made perfect sense. As a consequence thereof I was lost in a different, wonderful dimension and loving every single bit of it.

Opener ’Mature Themes’ is probably the oddest composition. The music is souped-up 60’s surf music with shouted, angry vocals played by Voivod. Make sense? It sure does, listen and rejoice. Only to end with space sounds in a wonderfully trippy way. It leads into ‘The Last Thing I Remember’ which is a slow, soothing headfuck. Repetitive, distorted vocals over mellow and beautiful instrumentation. ‘Regicide’ has an Opeth-plays-stripped-down space rock-feel to it, where the bass guitar and drums leads the way. The guitar and keyboards add layers on top creating amazing visions. ‘Fugue State’ continues down the same path as ‘Regicide’, at least in tempo and visions conjured up. Brings to mind Porcupine Tree at their very trippiest. Fantastic guitar solo!

Oh yeah! ‘Gallows Humor’ is Killing Joke playing super nova tunes. The tribal drumming and Colemanesque vocals guides the listener through this wonderfully strange song. Instrumental ‘Spiral Staircase’ puts the piano in the front room. A mellow, vast feel permeates throughout and it’s even further enhanced when the guitar solos kicks in. The title track is a beautiful affair where Opeth meets Porcupine Tree on a magic carpet ride only to end with a nod to Tangerine Dream and segue into closer ‘House Of Knives’. Shifting gear, Biblical go full tilt and really kick things out. Akin to Voivod playing surf music, odd but wonderful.

Check out Biblical, folks. They will blow your minds into the closest black hole and then drag you out, only to do it over and over again. These Canadians really pushes the envelope and boundaries to the extreme and I guess this can confuse listeners. But open your minds and let Biblical work their magic on you. Because the end-result is breathtaking!


Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Becky at Pioneer Music and Carl at Action PR for the promo. The City That Always Sleeps is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Tee Pee Records (UK/EU/US) and New Damage Records (Canada).


Comacozer - KALOS EIDOS SKOPEO (Album Review)


Release date: August 20th 2017. Label: HeadSpin Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

KALOS EIDOS SKOPEO – Tracklisting

1.AXIS MUNDI 13:40
2.NYSTAGMUS 12:26
3.HYLONOMUS 13:43
4.ENUMA ELISH 12:58

Members

RICK BURKE - GUITARS
RICH ELLIOTT - BASS
ANDREW PANAGOPOULOS - DRUMS / PERCUSSION
FRANK ATTARD - SYNTH / EFFECTS

Review

For those who did not know, Comacozer is a three piece instrumental/stoner/sludge psychonauts that, since their first Session Demo back to 2014 have been able to create their own style and personal vision of music.

With their last album, Kalos Eidos Skopeo (Headspin Records), the band composed by Rick Burke (Guitar), Richard Elliot (Bass), Andrew Panagopoulos (Drums), plus Frank Attard (Synth/Effects), continues its explorative journey to increasingly lysergic sounds. Kalos Eidos Skopeo is more than an album, is a real journey through the soul meanders. My Sleeping Karma fused with Ufomammut and Earthless to give birth to a rainbow of colours, sounds and feelings that will hardly leave the listener indifferent.

All the songs in Kalos Eidos Skopeo are characterized by a length largely over 10 minutes and by passages that bring the listener from (etno)trance to slurry sludge/doom moments. The album opens with Axis Mundi, a fuzzy/doomy song that closely remind me the slow elephantine cadence of the best Bongripper, which in the mid-song leaves room for mystical and psychedelic digressions. The album goes on with three inspired songs that could safely be part of a single ensemble. Psychedelia, mysticism and tons of fuzz are the ingredients that distinguish Enuma Elish, Hylonomous and Nystagmus.

While listening the album, the listener can feel the inspirational vein of Comacozer. Long and inspired songs that, although set along a common axis, do not go indifferent and make Kalos Eidos Skopeo a real concept album where it's easy to get lost. I really believe that with this new release the band has managed to centre a non common goal, that is, combining the inspiration of the moment with the right amount of composition, without exceeding in either of two ways. Nothing to say except that Kalos Eidos Skopeo is, in my opinion, an exceptional record in which Comacozer have succeeded in merging all the different souls that make up their musical background.

Awesome.


Words by Bruno Bellisario

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Sunday, 17 September 2017

With The Dead - Love From With The Dead (Album Review)


Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Rise Above Records. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

From Love With The Dead – Tracklisting

1. Isolation
2. Egyptian Tomb
3. Reincarnation of Yesterday
4. Cocaine Phantoms
5. Watching the Ward Go By
6. Anemia
7. CV1

Members

Lee Dorrian - vocals
Tim Bagshaw - Guitar
Leo Smee - Bass
Alex Thomas – Drums

Review

Greetings all,

With The Dead came storming out of nowhere a couple of years back. A bit of a dream project/super group with Rise Above Records head honcho/Cathedral, Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian teaming up with the original rhythm section of Electric Wizard (Bagshaw and Greening). Their debut self titled album was a heavy ass slab of doom metal. I understand that something happened and Greening was out on drums and a new band put together. Bagshaw now handles all of the guitars, while Cathedral bassist Leo Smee and Bolt Thrower drummer Alex Thomes were added. The change in line up has only intensified the group.

Love From With The Dead is an absolute monster of a record. It’s seven songs of full on death, darkness, and brutality clocks in at a massive 66 minutes. It is heavy from the first note to the final squawk of feedback.

The album starts with 7+ minutes of the pummelling riffage of Isolation. Which leads into the next monstrosity entitled Egyptian Tomb. These two tracks are dark, but are only the start of what is to come. Reincarnation of Yesterday starts with a big opening and delivers a black mantra like chant that I can only assume is working to bring the dead back among us. Cocaine Phantoms crushes your soul with an ominous guitar riff. Watching the Ward Goes By sounds like a 10+ minute tribute to one of the true kings of dark drums. The song opens with the first half having spoken word over a low bass and drum rumble before exploding into a head shatter riff and guttural screams. Anemia is an intense mix of eerie quietness and face melting heaviness. The record closes with the dark monolith that is CV1. Am unrelenting journey into the dark blackness that is intense and soul stirring. That vocals are raspy and tortured. The rhythm never lets you go and the guitar is heavy and full of feedback and dissonance.

Love From With The Dead casts a large, dark pall over the land. It is unrelenting and brutal. If you are seeking out sheer heaviness, this is it. By far, one of the darkest, heaviest, bleakest albums of the year. The blackest of ink used on the letter penned. If this is With The Dead’s love letter, I am utterly terrified of how their hate mail must read.

Words by Todd Stealey - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Love From With The Dead will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Rise Above Records on September 22nd 2017.

Links: Facebook

Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Passage To Agartha (Album Review)


Release date: September 2nd 2017. Label: Cardinal Fuzz/Evil Hoodoo. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

Passage To Agartha – Tracklisting

1.Quasar 11:03
2.Kanged Cortex 11:54
3.Chasing the Tendrils 16:59
4.Passage to Agartha 14:43
5.Ohms of the Cavern Current 11:39
6.Oroshi 22:57

Members

Ben - One Drumkit
Toby - One Guitar

Review

Aussie Instrumental Sludge Rockers - Hotel Wrecking City Traders - new album, Passage To Agartha - is an epic album. Comprising of six tracks and clocking in around ninety minutes. This is an album that you need to take your time with as some parts of the album are very easy to listen. Whilst other parts are of the album is quite experimental and may test the patience of some their fans You can't deny the adventurous drive that the band has shown here. As they've taken their trademark psychedelic sludge/doom instrumental riffs to another level. This is perhaps the most complete album that the band has released to date.

Opening track - Quasar - is a post-rock/post-metal style song with the band exploring many different doom/sludge based atmospherics that finally merges into a heavy psychedelic outburst of different textures and noises. It's a captivating song with Hotel Wrecking City Traders on splendid creative form. The song does falter a few times but the band soon pick themselves up and unleash another heavy spectacular riff and one that drives the song to its natural conclusion.

Second track - Kanged Cortex - is another spaced out song with ambient noises being merged with the heavy sludgy guitars. The noisy and glitchy sound effects take time getting used to but once the dust settles the band once again settle into a more convincing rhythm. Shades of Pelican-esque post-metal riffs appear and that sound drives the album and band onto heavier psychedelic sounds. The drumming is quite jazzy and frantic at times but is perhaps the main driving force of this song. Everything feels built around or upon the intense drumming of Ben.

Third track - Chasing The Tendrils - is the seventeen minute opus that the band closes the first half of the album with. It sees HWCT opening with a more laid back style of post-rock/stoner sounds. The heavy bass keeps the mood driving along. It can be a bit boring at times. As the band don't change direction for the first few minutes of the song. I know that the band have an epic time to fill up. I wanted more variety after listening to the same repetitive sound over and over again. Though it's a different story when the band start playing heavier sludgier/post-metal style grooves. The mood becomes a bit more exciting, As the band start to impress again like they did with the first two opening tracks.

The second half of the album offers three more songs of heavy epic spaced and experimental sludge/post-metal/stoner sounds. The album does veer into more psychedelic/prog rock territories but the band never forgets their sludge/doom/stoner/post-metal roots. Out of the final three songs, Passage To Agartha and Oroshi are perhaps the standout songs on the album. With the band playing a more distorted psychedelic drone style of music.

Passage To Agartha is a very bold and daring album in some respects. As it asks a lot of patience and endurance from the audience. Ninety minutes listening to one album maybe too jarring some and it's perhaps better listening to the album in different stages. As you can easy feel lost with the many different styles of music that the band performs on the album.

The production is quite exquisite with each song having its own distinctive feel and identity. Apart from a few minor flaws, Passage To Agartha is a complex and brilliantly crafted album.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Spirit Adrift - Curse Of Conception (Album Review)


Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: 20 Buck Spin Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Curse Of Conception – Tracklisting

1.Earthbound
2.Curse of Conception
3.To Fly On Broken Wings
4.Starless Age (Enshrined)
5.Graveside Invocation
6.Spectral Savior
7.Wakien
8.Onward, Inward

Members

Nate Garrett / Jeff Owens / Chase Mason / Marcus Bryant

Review

Greetings all,

I received the ultimate pleasure of checking out the second album, Curse of Conception from Phoenix based classic metal crusaders, Spirit Adrift. Spirit Adrift started as a one man metal project and they released one of the best records of last year, Chained to Oblivion. On the new record the band has expanded in to a full line up. There are so many elements of the different kinds of metal in almost every track. Priest/Maiden double leads, some pre-Black album Metallica, and a heaping helping of good ol’ Doom metal. Spirit Adrift occupies some of the same terrain as Mastodon, Khemmis and Pallbearer.

The songs on Curse of Conception are played beautifully. I am not a huge fan of technical metal (perhaps because I am a horrible musician) as it tends to be a bit tedious and boring, the songs seem to suffer in an attempt to fill as many notes and riffs as possible. Although Spirit Adrift is technically brilliant ,the songs are absolutely amazing. They are crafted and performed perfectly. The record has seven songs that will satisfy any metal head, there is not a dull moment to be found.

The epic Earthbound kicks the record off. It has a skillful acoustic intro that gives way to spme slow doomy riffage. The band continues with the title track, Curse of Conception. It has a classic doom sound while bringing the heavy in the bands own original style. To Fly on Broken Wings is immensely melodic and hits you with some NWOBHM double lead guitar.

Starless Age (Enshrined) stays with the classic doom tempo, hits you with the melody before speeding up with some killer solos. Graveside Invocation kicks in with a more uptempo feel before closing out with slower heavier feel. Although all the songs are great, Spectral Savior is by far my favorite. The track unleashed a rhythmic stomp that I absolutely dare you not to headbang along to. Wakien is a brief instrumental that spends the first half as a lilting acoustic track before it hits you with the monster finish. The album closes with Onward/Inward. This is an epic closing track that showcases all of the bands talent. A fitting end to an amazing record.

Curse of Conception is most likely the best Doom Metal album of the year. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this album and Spirit Adrift. If you dig or don’t dig Pallbearer (I happen to dig them, but I know some were less than thrilled with this year’s Heartless) this is a record you will want to track down.

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey


Curse Of Conception will be released to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via 20-Buck Spin from October 06th 2017.

Links:


NEWS - Kozmik Artifactz sign THE UGLY KINGS


Kozmik Artifactz are proud to announce the signing of Australian hard hitting rockers "The Ugly Kings" and will be releasing their first full-length record early 2018.

The Ugly Kings are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. The catchy riffs and foot stomping rhythm lay the foundations for the deep reaching and soulful emotive vocals.

Having 1 mini-album (Of Sins) under their belt already, they are thrilled to sign with Kozmik Artifactz for the release of their debut full length album in early 2018. The Ugly Kings have supported Airbourne on their successful sold out east coast Australia tour in January 2017 with great reviews. They also supported Rival Sons in 2016 on their first Australia headline side-show in Melbourne during the Black Sabbath 'The End' World Tour.

"Loud, heavy, slightly-sludgy classic rock meets blues with a modern bend, played by a band that swaggered about the stage with a distinct, but subtle, air of cool. By the end, Sydney was more than happy to learn words on the fly and sing along when the front man held his mic over the mosh. The Ugly Kings are well-versed in the art of restraint, they know when to move and make the crowd get on their feet, and when to step back and let the music do the talking." - Australian Guitar

"It’s not often you see a band have the crowd so excited and receptive by the second song in the way The Ugly Kings do with such an original sound. Only to be described as The Ugly Kings!" - Ryan O’Keefe (Airbourne Drummer)

"Great show! The Ugly Kings have really got their own thing going on and it rocks! I love all the dynamics, pushing and pulling and then always smashing it out. Great intensity and power." - Joel O’Keefe (Airbourne Frontman & Lead Guitarist)

"Thick, groove induced chords, deep baritone vocals and a harden-the-fuck-up ethos" - Phantom's Way

"Promised Land, a four-minute beast that sounds like the Rival Sons and the Graveltones going head-to-head with John Bonham and Jim Morrison. With multiple riffs and deft twists and turns, it sounds fantastic.." - SonicAbuse

"Promised Land ..bounces, pushes and crawls like a wounded beast treading through a boneyard. Well, that is, right up till the scream of rage as a flock of vulturish guitars is disturbed beyond all reason. This is an interesting and clever composition." - Raw Ramp


For fans of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, The Black Keys, Royal Blood and Rival Sons.


The Ugly Kings Links:


Kozmik Artifactz Links:

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

UFOMAMMUT - 8 (Album Review)


Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Neurot Recordings (US)/Supernatural Cat Records (Europe) Format: CD/DD/VInyl

8 – Tracklisting

1. Babel
2. Warsheep
3. Zodiac
4. Fatum
5. Prismaze
6. Core
7. Wombdemonium
8. Psyrcle

Members

Urlo
Poia
Vita

Review

The last two Ufomammut albums, 2012's Oro: Opus Primium And Opus Altar and 2015's Ecate were the bands first releases for Neurot Recordings in North America and Supernatural Cat Records in Europe. This saw the bands songs and production elevating them to new levels through their sheer power.

With their latest and eighth album (again on Neurot/Supernatural Cat), they have raised the bar again with a phenomenal display of intensity and the songs take on their own sense of epic power. The riffs that propelled the band from their earliest material are still there in spades and they sound fresh and fuller than ever on this record and just as hypnotising.

It is these hypnotic riffs that are the cornerstone of the Ufommammut sound and sound bigger than ever, riffs that could destroy planets, such is their power. They also have a graceful nature to them too though and sound human and real with soul and depth to them despite their massively heavy sound.

The riffs are not the whole story obviously though and the bass and drums form a formidable backdrop for the riffs to snake around and all three of these elements congregate together to overwhelm you with that constantly satisfying Ufomammut barrage of pure sound. Add to this the bands trademark droning vocals and more fantastic use of synthesizers and you have an album that will delight any fans of doom, sludge, stones, drone and many more styles of heavy music.

From opening track, the mammoth Babel to the spacey closet Psyrcle, the riffs and grooves come not thick and fast but thick, slow and encased in a hazy groove but with enough power to more than satisfy the heaviest appetites of rabid fans.

From epic tracks like Babel and the monumental Zodiac to more shorter, more precise but no less impressive tracks like the riffs that appear like a massive cloud of smoke on Warsheep, the fantastic vision of Prismaze and the haunting Wombdemonium to name but a few, this is a masterclass in heavy riffing and aggressive but hazy grooves that you will not tire of listening to.

The trio of bassist and vocalist Urlo, guitarist Poia and drummer Vita play their hearts out and the band have matured into a formidable musical unit with the songs taking on lives of their own both as single entities and as a whole, in fact the entire album is a trip to listen to from start to finish.

Ufomammut have been steadily growing as a band with each album they release and when the results are as good as they are on 8, it has been well worth the wait for each record. The bands next challenge is just how they will top such a momentous and powerful album like this.

Words by Gavin Brown

8 will be released to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Neurot Recordings (US) and Supernatural Cat Records (Europe) from September 22nd 2017.

Links: