Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Indica Blues - Hymns For A Dying Realm (Album Review)


Release date: April 21st 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Hymns For A Dying Realm – Tracklisting

1.Cosmic Flare 05:05
2.Knight's Return
3.Reigns End
4.Scum River
5.Pearls in the Ash
6.Island of Hate
7.Psychedelic Haze

Members

Andrew Haines-Villalta - Bass
Tom Pilsworth - Guitar, Vocals
John Slaymaker - Guitar
Rich Walker - Drums

Review

Indica Blues new album - Hymns For A Dying Realm - is an album that took me a long time to fully appreciate. There were parts that I enjoyed immensely and some that left me feeling rather cold. Not that I thought it was a bad record. Far from it. It's quite a groovy and heavy doom based album. Maybe I was listening to the album at the wrong time. However as I now rate this album very highly indeed.

Opening track - Cosmic Flare - is a groove laiden song with the band playing a vintage Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal sound with elements of Classic Rock being added just for the fun of it.

Second track - Knights Return - offers a more complex and heavier sound with the band adding a gloomy feel especially with the lyrics and vocals. The whole atmosphere and tone of the album feels inspired by the classic Doom/Heavy Metal bands of the last forty years or so. Lead vocalist - Tom - sounds like a doomier version of Robert Smith from The Cure. Even some parts of the album have a certain Post-Punk feel. The guitars are what keep the whole album within the Doom/Stoner Metal world. There is definitely an air of intelligence around Indica Blues music and the album is quite serious for a Doom/Stoner Metal album. That's a good thing as Indica Blues have their own unique way of creating slightly depressing heavy Doom/Stoner based sounds.

Third song - Reigns End - has quite a poetic and historic feel to it. This allows the album to have a more personal sound and even becomes way too real at times.

The next few songs - Sum River, Pearls In The Ash and Island Of Hate - sees Indica Blues play a familiar style of Psychedelic driven Doom/Stoner Metal sound. The songs easily match the quality of the opening three songs with Island Of Hate being one of the best songs on the album.

Indica Blues write some hard-hitting lyrics on the album and the band deserve credit for writing highly imaginative complex and progressive sounding riffs. The final song - Psychedelic Haze - is aptly named with Indica Blues leaving you in a heavy whirlwind of Psychedelic and Hazy sounds. The song runs past the nine minute mark and Indica Blues prove their worth giving a damn about with the eerie Doom/Stoner Metal sounds leaving you wanting more.

Hymns For A Dying Realm may take a few listens to fully enjoy and appreciate. However this is a journey worth taking as you'll be rewarded with an off-beat and brilliantly heavy doom/stoner metal odyssey.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Monday, 16 April 2018

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard (Album Review)


Release date: March 30th 2018. Label: Southern Lord Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Thundering Heard – Tracklisting

1.Quanah Un Rama 11:24
2.Elk Wolfv Hymn 08:21
3.Heavy Hoof 07:21
4.Antlers of Lightning 14:22

Line-Up

Tyler Smith - Drums
Gentry Densley - Vocals, Guitars

Review

Eagle Twin return after a six year absence with their epic sounding new album - The Thundering Herd. It's an album that sees Eagle Twin play to their absolute maximum strength by playing their trademark Drone/Doom sound with heavy elements of Psychedelic Sludge and Stoner Metal being added for extra potency.

Opening track - Quanah Un Rama - may have a slightly sounding mystical title but the music anything but with the band playing a down-tuned style of drone based Sludge/Stoner heavy riffs that will leave your hairs standing on end. The duo of Tyler Smith and Gentry Densley play a heavily wicked Drums and Guitar combination which has violent outbursts of melodic Psychedelic Sludge Rock. 

This album sees something that Eagle Twin sounding quite friendly in places with parts of the album very melodic whilst still remaining blissfully heavy as hell. The instrumental work is what stands out as the vocals only appear in brief moments on the opening track. Most of the songs run between eight minutes to fourteen minutes long. So don't go expecting Eagle Twin to give you an easy time of things. As they don't.

Second track - Ek Wolfv Hymn - opens at a much slower pace and less angrier tone than the opening track with the band playing an almost Post-Doom/Post-Rock melodic riff. Though the constant pounding drumming points to heavier moments and Eagle Twin don't disappoint. With the song adding gloomy atmospherics and that's thanks to the majestic vocals and cool lyrics. The song does gather momentum in both speed and volume with the drone based aspect adding a more volatile atmosphere.

The final two songs Heavy Hoof and Antlers Of Lightning are perhaps the best songs on the album with Eagle Twin playing a heavier style of Psychedelic Sludge/Doom Metal Riffs with a hint of drone based madness. The music drifts in so many directions that it can be hard to keep up at times but at least Eagle Twin keep the whole atmosphere of the album brutally heavy. With the heavy psychedelic parts allowing Eagle Twin's music to breathe more freely.

The lyrics can be very sly and humorous at times but matches the bleak sounds that the band excel at.

The final song - Antlers Of Lightning - runs past the fourteen minute mark and Eagle Twin play one final round of heavy distorted noises where the music remains firmly in the bleak sounding underbelly of heavy Sludge/Doom Metal riffs. The production on this album is fearless with the sound being constantly threatening and heavy from the start. Eagle Twin have never sounded so good.

The Thundering Herd is perhaps Eagle Twin's most complete album to date. If you're new to the world of Eagle Twin and want to see what all the fuss is about then this is the best place to start. Long-time fans will need to complete their Eagle Twin Record Collection with this must have album. The Thundering Herd is a delicious and dark violent audio treat.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable PR for the promo. The Thundering Heard is now available to buy from Southern Lord Records on CD/DD/Vinyl.

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OLNEYA - Devil’s Tongue featuring David Angstrom From Luna Sol (Single Review)


Release date: April 09th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Devil’s Tongue featuring David Angstrom (Luna Sol)– Tracklisting

Devil’s Tongue

Line-Up

Olneya - music (Maurizio Morea : gtrs / Enrico Gargamelli : bass )
D Angstrom - lyrics / melodies / solos (Luna Sol)

Review

I don’t normally do single reviews that often but I had to make an exception for Italian Psych Stoner Rockers Olneya superb new single – Devil’s Tongue - which features a collaboration with David Angstrom from cult Psych/Stoner Rockers – Luna Sol.

The song lasts little under three minutes but it’s a heavy soulful affair with both artists bring their own psychedelic talents to the table. Maybe the song could have been a couple minutes longer. As soon as it gets going the song unfortunately ends.

I’m hoping we hear more from this cool collaboration in the future. As one song is not enough to satisfy the demand for myself or the Stoner Rock community that should check this great song out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

St Fenton The Tainted - Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills (Album Review)


Release date: April 06th 2018. Label: Hibernacula Records. Format: DD

Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills – Tracklisting

1You stepped on my grave 02:05
2.Kill what you love 05:39
3.God sent rain (You sent blood and piss) 03:58
4.Ghost of the stillborn summer 04:23
5.Do your devils know my name 05:01
6.Death wanders home 07:57

Review

St Fenton The Tainted is a Doom/Sludge Metal band who deal in heavy and outbursts violent sounds throughout their debut album - Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills. Opting for a Blackened Sludge Metal approach to their music. St Fenton The Tainted's sound can be quite abrasive and has a hardcore punk feel. The production is not the best sounding I've heard this year but at least the music is of a high standard. Opening track - Insert Name Later - is a sludgy/doom based snarling hardcore punk offering. With St Fenton The Tainted playing a heavy violent style of your standard Doom/Sludge Metal riffs.

A very good track to open the album with that soon drifts violently into the second track -'Kill What You Love - is a song containing elements of Doom Metal, Thrash, Sludge and Hardcore Punk noises. Some parts work really well and others take time to fully take effect. The whole mood of the album is bleak and the lyrics hold a lingering sombre feel. The vocals are what you would expect from an album such as this. Nothing too flashy or overbearing. Just an honest sounding style of Doom/Sludge Metal vocals delivered with true passion. The instrumental work is very frantic but at least St Fenton The Tainted plays a real demented purpose and drive.

Third track - God sent rain (You sent blood and piss) - carries on the violent nihilistic sound with the heavy distorted guitars adding a real metallic groove into the overall tone of the entire album. This is one of the standout songs of the album as St Fenton The Tainted thrives on the gloomy post-thrash/doom/sludge vibes that starts to take a commanding presence. Maybe some people will be put off by the lo-fi production and that's understandable. It took me a few attempts to listen to the album and become more familiar with St Fenton The Tainted's brutal heavy world.

The other songs on the album - Ghost of the stillborn summer, Do your devils know my name and Death Wanders Home - follow on the same twisted path with St Fenton The Tainted becoming more emotionally cold and distant as a result. St Fenton The Tainted are superb musicians and this album proves they know their way around a loud, violent and mean riff. St Fenton The Tainted do feel they were influenced and inspired by Motorhead in certain places on the album.

Especially on the fourth song – Ghost of the stillborn summer. The whole structure feels like a classic Motorhead song but given a despairing Doom/Sludge Metal makeover. This song is breathtakingly loud and highly volatile with the thumping rhythm section doing the heavy lifting that allows St Fenton The Tainted to leave the listener feeling like an emotional and shivering wreck.

Despite the rough production on Jaw Of The Tyrant Hills, St Fenton The Tainted have created an uncompromising slice of Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal. I admire for St Fenton The Tainted for injecting a more psychedelic sound into the second half of the album. The final song – Death Wanders Home - is another highlight with St Fenton The Tainted treating the listener to brutal despairing doom/sludge sounds. Though the final few minutes could have easily been left off. Just static noise that doesn't go anywhere.

My final thoughts on Jaws Of The Tyrant Hills is that's a superbly entertaining record that has a lot of cool things to offer especially if you're a true fan of the more extreme side of Doom/Sludge Metal.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight! PR for the promo. Jaws Of The Tyrant Hills is available to buy now.

Links:


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Slow Green Thing - III (Album Review)


Release date: April 13th 2018. Label: Fuzzmatazz Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

III – Tracklisting

1.When Habits Embrace 06:19
2.Super High Me
3.Recipe Of Doom
4.Me vs. Me
5.Stop - No, Wait!
6.Queen Of My Heart
7.To Rewind

Members

Sven (guitar, vocals)
Andreas (guitar)
Jörg (drums)
Martin (bass-guitar)

Review

Slow Green Thing superb new album - III - sees the band continuing playing the Grunge/Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal dynamics of their last record and give it a stylish vintage sounding makeover. I'm very happy that the band have stuck to the similar sound that made II such a great album. There are a few parts on III where Slow Green Thing do try their hand at adding different musical elements to their sound. Though for the most part, if you dig II then you're going to enjoy their latest album immensely.

Opening track - When Habits Embrace - is a heavy psychedelic offering with the band opting for a "less is more" approach. The riffs are heavy but not as loud as their last album. That is a good thing. As you can hear different things going on in the background. The vocals are clearer and more focused. The music is slowly played at first but still remaining distinctively heavy. The whole feel of the album is drenched in DOOM based FUZZ. The mellower parts of the album really standout and you're treated to that strange new and yet familiar sound on the opening track.

Second track - Super High Me - opens with a Heavy/Thrash Metal pounding groove. Though the mood remains firmly in Doom/Stoner Metal territory. As the lyrics are very tongue-in-cheek and the music elevates the whole album to a more robust Grunge/Doom based sounding atmosphere.

The band carry on this heavy infectious attitude throughout the rest of the album with songs such as: Recipe Of Doom, Stop - No Wait! and Queen Of My Heart being the best parts of the album. The lyrics on Recipe Of Doom deserve special mention as it will perhaps get the "Stoner" crowd in the mood for ordering a different kind of medication from their registered Doctor. Anyway, joking aside. III is a thrilling and well-produced album with Slow Green Thing embracing the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal culture like ever before.

The album will take a few listens to fully enjoy and appreciate. I'm hoping on their next record that the band be a little bit more adventurous with their overall sound. Still that doesn't stop III being a brilliantly entertaining album and one that sees III being the perfect companion piece to Slow Green Thing's last album.

Words by Steve Howe

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BROND - Graveyard Campfire (Album Review) and New Song Premiere Of Ghostfucker


Release date: April 18th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Graveyard Campfire – Tracklisting

1.Enter Shamari
2.Harvest The Sun
3.Failure
4.Impossible Downhill
5.Graveyard Campfire
6.Voice Of The Void
7.Backbone Supreme
8.Ghostfucker

Members

Maksim Stoimenov – Drums/Vocals
Oleg Shulev- Bass/Vocals
Vili Popov – Guitars/Vocals
Petar Peikov – Guitars/Vocals

Review

BROND are a band I've heard of before but I never give the band my full attention until their blistering new album - Graveyard Campfire. The album is volatile mix of Punk, Noise Rock, Fuzz, Psych and heavy Stoner Rock/Metal sounds. Opening with the frantically crazy - Enter Shamari. BROND get straight down to business playing a hybrid Punk/Noise/Stoner Rock song with plenty of sludgy attitude to match.

The mood is violently upbeat with noisy guitars making you fall under their dynamic spell. The vocals are mainly influenced by the Hardcore Punk genre but you can still hear elements of old-school Hard Rock roots. The music becomes very psychedelic towards the end with BROND firmly moving into more familiar Desert/Fuzz/Stoner Rock territory. This song tells you how the rest of the album will follow. It's a crazy wild ride with BROND trying their hand at almost every different sound they can possibly lay their hands on.

The album flows from one cool song to the next with songs such as Harvest The Sun, Failure, Graveyard Campfire, Voice Of The Void and the excellent last song - Ghostfucker - showing that BROND never stick to one overall sound.

The vocals are clean and highly confident throughout the album. Maybe the Noise/Punk Rock album may drive some people away from the album and that's a shame. As BROND create some highly energetic Stoner Rock/Metal noise that's quite edgy at times. BROND are quite fearless on the album especially when they merge the albums different musical elements.

Some parts of the album have a Torche-esque feel. As the album can be quite "poppy" at times but BROND then play a Sludgy guitar riff that moves the album into heavier territory. Perhaps more on songs such as Harvest The Sun, Graveyard Campfire and Ghostfucker.

BROND are quite capable at playing epic progressive sounds. It shouldn't really work with the Punk Rock dynamics BROND include on the album. However, it does and BROND pull this off with immense style. Maybe BROND have included too many different musical elements on certain parts of the album. Though it doesn't affect the overall sound of the album.

As Graveyard Campfire is a mighty step forward of BROND. This is an album that should see BROND make a name for themselves within the Sludge/Stoner Rock scene. Graveyard Campfire is a daring, challenging, exciting and action packed album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to the band for allowing me to premiere the briliantly outrageous song – Ghostfucker – from the new album.



LYRICS:

Regret with teeth like worn out rails and it’s head on the flaming floor of a place where the dead dance away in thunder. By the rhythm of their breaking bones. Remember. Ghostfucker! Every time you look away, you seem to be looking back. Ghostfucker! Every stone unturned is a tombstone in your path. Ghostfucker! Every time you look away you, seem to be looking back. Ghostfucker! And there’s a ghost you’d like to to fuck. Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance away in thunder! Dance! God damn it!

Quote about the song:

“Ghostfucker is the longest & slowest (kinda) song on the record and is one of the first songs we wrote for the record. Today we see more and more people return to their personal past for comfort with the illusion somehow things “were better back then” - movies, music, relationships, experiences. But getting addicted to nostalgia can only lead you to being miserable about the present, so fuck that. I hope the song translates that.


Graveyard Campfire will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from April 18th 2018.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

GOZU - Equilibrium (Album Review)



Release date: April 13th 2018. Label: Blacklight Media/Metal Blade Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Equilibrium – Tracklisting

1.Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat 06:24
2.The People vs. Mr. T 07:13
3.King Cobra 05:03
4.Manimal 05:22
5.They Probably Know Karate 04:16
6.Prison Elbows 05:14
7.Stacy Keach 04:32
8.Ballad of ODB 10:59

Members

marc gaffney- vox/guitar
mike hubbard-drums
doug sherman- guitar
joe grotto- Bass

Review

Well….after two years listening and writing of music for Outlaws Of The Sun, I find myself reviewing the new album of my first ever band I reviewed for Steve, GOZU!

Their previous album, REVIVAL (Ripple Music), caught my attention thanks to their powerful style in the riffage and the wonderful voice of Marc, which always remind me the late Chris Cornell. Today, GOZU came back with EQUILIBRIUM (Metal Blade Records), an album able to masterfully handle fat-heavy-stoner riffs mixed with '70s psychedelic melodies. In EQUILIBRIUM, the band find a perfect mix between bands like MASTODON, BARONESS, HANG THE BASTARD and SOUNDGARDEN while keeping their own style in the songwriting. EQUILIBRIUM flows smoothly, never boring despite the length of the tracks, always above four minutes.

Songs like MANIMAL, PRISON ELBOWS and KING COBRA are example of how GOZU were able to manage all their influences, mixing grunge (listen the singing in KING COBRA), psychedelia (BALLAD OF ODB) and stoner in an absolutely exceptional product, always original and able to catch the listener, even those who still does not know the band.

The climax of EQUILIBRIUM is reached in BALLAD OF ODB, ten minutes of pure progressive expression (in the most literal sense of the term). In my opinion, this song contains all the essence of GOZU. There are rhythmic outbursts, there are solos in which to get lost is a moment, there is a perfect rhythm section, and there is the voice of Marc, the background to the worthy conclusion of a spectacular album.

Of course, it is true that I have a basic passion for GOZU, but it must be admitted that this album is, in my opinion, the greatest compositional and productive point of their career.

If you do not know GOZU, I’m sorry for you. Anyway, don’t worry, you still have time to redeem yourself. Buy this album and you never come back again!

Words by Bruno Bellisario

Thanks to Andy at Metal Blade Records for the promo. Equilibrium is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Metal Blade Records now.

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