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

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl




Whoopie Cat


Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl





Mississippi Bones

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl



His Masters Voice - The Devil's Blues

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl



Deadneck

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl


Angus Black - S/T (Album Review)


Release date: October 10th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Angus Black – S/T - Tracklisting

1.All the Sins 05:43
2.I'll Guide You Home 03:27
3.I'm Yours 12:16
4.Incomplete 08:17
5.Children of The Stars 05:17
6.Leaving 07:24

Members

Antti: Guitar, Vocals, Synths
Sampo: Drums
Jyri: Bass

Review

Holy Hell. Angus Black maybe one of the best Black Sabbath sounding and inspired bands I've heard this year. As their debut album matches the classic Sabbath sound with a more gloomier Fuzz Rock sound. The album is very psychedelic from the start with Antti's vocals taking influence from both Ozzy and Uncle Acid. Though Angus Black manage to stand on their own convictions in creating a highly effective Post-Doom/Fuzz/Hard Rock sound.

The opening track – All The Sins – operates fully as a Doom/Psych/Stoner Metal song that showcases Angus Black's music to almost ear-splitting perfection. The music drifts from gloomy theatrics to the heavier psychedelic sounding vibes heard on the later stages of the song. This gives the listener a full glimpse on what to expect for the remainder of the album. A superb audio soundclip shows you how dark the album can really be when the album progresses onto the other songs held on the album.

Second track – I'll Guide You Home – carries on the dark gloomy atmosphere from the opening track but with Angus Black playing a more precise song that doesn't waste any time in playing some classic doom based riffs.

Third track – I'm Yours – is Progressive Doom Metal excess of the highest order. Angus Black capture the early sounding vibe of Uncle Acid and give it a Progressive Doom Metal makeover. The Psychedelic Stoner/Occult Rock sounds give this song a more modern sounding feel. The music is played deliberately slow throughout. As the band create the standout song on the entire album.

The remaining 3 songs on the album – Incomplete, Children Of The Stars and Leaving offer more highly stylized Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal that fans of 70s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal will find very hard to resist. I would say Children Of The Stars is perhaps the best track of the bunch. As Angus Black play a more standard Retro style of Doom/Hard Rock that still sounds remarkably modern at the same time.

Overall, Angus Black have released an exquisite sounding album that offers the right amount of thrills and spills. You would be a fool to miss out this on record. Impressive As Hell.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Pale Horseman - The Fourth Seal (Album Review)


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

The Fourth Seal - Tracklisting

1.Final War 06:25
2.Witches Will Gather 05:50
3.Aokigahara 06:45
4.Bereavement 08:46
5.Gnashing Of Teeth 05:43
6.Forlorn Extinction 04:37
7.Pale Rider 07:08
8.Tyrant 05:33
9.Phantasmal Voice 07:43

Members

Eric Ondo, Rich Cygan, Jason Schryver, Andre Almaraz

Review

Even though I'm huge fan of Baroness and Mastodon, I'm willing to admit I miss their earlier albums heavy progressive sludge riffs before they abandoned that sound for a more commercial based sound. This is why I'm thankful for bands such as Pale Horseman who have taken up the mantle of creating highly complex and progressive sludge metal sounds.

Now four albums into their career, the band return with The Fourth Seal. A heavy complex and highly intelligent journey that has a lot of soulful psychedelic grooves that allows the band to have a more threatening presence compared to their other albums.

Opening track - Final War - has a thrash metal groove with the band channelling early Metallica especially with the thrash paced guitars and pitch perfect vocals. The progressive sludge element of the album is the main focus here as Pale Horseman manages to sound like a direct threat to the more established bands within the Progressive Sludge Metal scene. It's good to hear Pale Horseman change the mood of the album so early on. As they'll happily be playing a Thrash Metal sound before switching to a more soulful psychedelic riff. The majority of the songs held on the album run from six to nine minutes in length. With this being a progressive sounding album, Pale Horseman includes a lot of interesting ideas in both the music and lyrics held within the album.

The next three songs on the album: Witches Will Gather, Aokigahera and Bereavement - are perhaps the standout moments of the album. As the sounds of Witches Will Gather and Bereavement have a strong balance of Thrash, Progressive, Sludge and Psychedelic vibes that leave you pressing the rewind button for more enlightenment and even punishment. The production is another highlight of the album. As the album feels dynamic and fresh from the very start. The instrumental work is LOUD and throws you right into the centre of the action. You feel that Pale Horseman is playing right in front of you. So top marks on the production side of things.

Other songs on the album that I was impressed with were Pale Rider and Phantasmal Voice as the band expertly switch genres yet again whilst still delivering a true "underground" Progressive Sludge Metal experience. If you feel let down by the current studio outputs of Baroness and Mastodon. You need to experience Pale Horseman for yourselves. Some people may feel the album maybe slightly too long in parts. Though that feeling will go away within time. As there is a lot of music to digest and fully understand here. So please give this album repeated listens before making your final decision.

The album also has its fair share of Doom and Gloom parts. As The Fourth Seal has a creepy narrative that becomes even more threatening when the band slow things down and play gloomy soundscapes against a progressive thrash/sludge metal backdrop. The Fourth Seal is perhaps Pale Horseman's most complete album to date. As the album feels more focused and perhaps fully realized compared to their earlier albums.

The Fourth Seal is one of those albums why you fell in love with Heavy Metal music in the first place. You want an album that is challenging and extremely heavy from the start. Well look no further, Pale Horseman is here to answer your prayers....

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo.

Links:


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Second Coming Of Heavy Song Premieres - SWITCHBLADE JESUS & FUZZ EVIL BATTLE IT OUT FOR STONER ROCK SUPREMACY


Ripple Music are releasing another epic slice Stoner Rock/Metal in their ever popular The Second Coming Of Heavy. Ripple are now onto Chapter 7 and they've brought out the big guns with this record.

In one corner you have - SWITCHBLADE JESUS. And the other - FUZZ EVIL

I may have not featured Ripple Music's ongoing popular The Second Coming Of Heavy recently. Though I'm a huge fan of the previous chapters that Ripple Music have released so far.

I have to say that this maybe one of the best and most exciting chapters to date. Both Swtichblade Jesus and Fuzz Evil play top-notch Stoner Rock/Metal sounds.

If you're new to the world of SWITCHBLADE JESUS and FUZZ EVIL then this is the best place to start. With Ripple Music proving why they are the Premier Record Label within the Doom/Stoner Metal community.

As I've been given the chance to premiere two fantastic songs from Chapter 7.

SWITCHBLADE JESUS with Wet Lungs



FUZZ EVIL with Flighty Woman




The Second Coming Of Heavy Chapter 7 will be available to buy from Ripple Music on CD/DD/Vinyl from December 8th 2017.

Thanks to Alex at Grand Sounds PR for the premiere. Thanks to Richard At Sheltered Life PR for the promo as well.

Fuzz Evil Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Swtichblade Jesus Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Ghastly Sound - The Bottom (EP Review)


Release date: December 15th 2017. Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: DD

The Bottom - Tracklisting

1.Waves
2.The Bottom
3.Holy Serpent
4.Deadtooth
5.Sink

Members

Tyler Gurwicz - Vocals
Ryan Lewis - Drums
TJ Maynard - Bass Guitar

Review

Ghastly Sound return with their second EP this year on Magnetic Eye Records. Their new EP - The Bottom - only runs for fifteen minutes and like their previous EP, it's a fast-paced style of Sludge, Stoner, Doom, Noise and Psych Rock carnage. The EP is hugely entertaining and contains some frantic and fresh sounds from the band. With songs such as Waves, The Bottom and Deadtooth impressing me the most.

Ghastly Sound has a demonic pop edge to their sound. Influenced by FLOOR and TORCHE in parts but with a heavier and angrier punk sound. The vocals are a mixture of clean "alternative psychedelic style" vocals to the more vicious sounding hardcore growls that elevates Ghastly Sound's music to something more ferocious and even genuinely more exciting.

The band get right into the action of playing heavy progressive sludge sounding riffs that demands the listeners attention. With the EP soon over I wanted to hear more of this Sludge/Stoner Metal aggression the band excel at. I hope that Ghastly Sound will be releasing something more substantial such as a full length album in the future. As even though the band show their full potential time and time again over the course of the two EP's they released so far. It's not enough. We need to see how Ghastly Sound on a full length record.

The Bottom is a dynamic sounding release that sounds LOUD and ANGRY from the start. The vocals are perhaps the best parts of the EP. As they work superbly well together. The music is aggressive and quite intelligent in parts with the band showing the world they know how to write a lean sounding Sludge/Stoner Metal song. I even applaud the band for taking influence from Deftones on this EP especially on Deadtooth. The vocals are highly reminiscent of Chino Moreno at times.

My final thoughts on the EP are as follows: If you're in the mood for a loud and angry slice of Sludge/Punk/Stoner Metal with flashes of demonic pop then The Bottom will keep you entertained from start to finish. I urge you all to give this EP a listen as The Bottom is another impressive release from Ghastly Sound.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Magnetic Eye Records for the promo. The Bottom will be released via Magnetic Sounds on DD from December 15th 2017.

Links:

Purple Dino - And Now What (Album Review)


Release date: December 14th 2017. Label: Vault Relics. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

And Now What - Tracklisting

1.Soul on Fire
2.Her Ride
3.2day
4.Show Me
5.Isolated
6.Out Of Me
7.Unknown Destination

Members

Kosmas Ristas - THE frontman and all
Doukas Kostoglou - guitars and beer
Mitsos Angelakis - drums with extra cowbell
Stef Dimou - bass and weird noises

Review

Greek Stoner Rockers Purple Dino return with a new album called - And Now What. This album sees the band changing their style of music ever so slightly with influences diverse as TOOL making a welcome appearance. It's still the familiar Desert/Punk/Stoner Rock sounds of the band but the music is very progressive and experimental in places.

The opening track - Soul On Fire - feels that Purple Dino are back to normal business of creating high energy Desert/Stoner Rock. That maybe for this song but enjoy it while it lasts as the band start to create a more daring and adventurous sound.

Second track - Her Ride - opens with a jazz based riff before moving on to a wilder and looser style of Stoner Rock/Metal. The song does take it's time in finding it's groove and can feel lacklustre at times but the band try their hand at new sounds on this track. The vocals from Kosmas offer a heavy mixture of different styles that is matched superbly well with the music. The music is your familiar style of Desert /Stoner Rock but at least Purple Dino add a more progressive groove with psychedelic noises appearing throughout.

Third track - 2day - sees Purple Dino opt for a Gonzo-Surf-Punk-Psych sound. It's a very cool sound which does take some time to fully become accustomed to. When the heavy Stoner sounds appear, Purple Dino become a more focused and intriguing band. This is where the band start to experiment with the sound on their album with the band taking influence from RATM as the song becomes more aggressive with each passing second.

The other songs of the album sees Purple Dino take a more experimental approach as they embrace elements of Noise Rock, Punk, Psych, Prog Rock and even Thrash. Songs such as Show Me and Isolated sees the album become ever more darker and progressive. The last two songs on the album Out Of Me and Unknown Destination is perhaps the band have taken the biggest creative risks with the album. As the album transforms into a heavier progressive sound that you would expect from TOOL and not a band such as Purple Dino.

The band touch upon some hard hitting subject matters. It shouldn't really work but the band show a real dynamic flair of merging the different sounds held on the album. This is still primarily a Stoner Metal album but Purple Dino prove that it doesn't have to follow the standard route that other bands seem to follow. Purple Dino have embraced a more daring approach on this album.

The album cover can be very misleading as if you're expecting a jovial and upbeat Stoner Metal album then you may walk away highly disappointed. Purple Dino maybe worried what long-time fans of the band may think of their new sound. I would tell them there's nothing to worry about. As this album manages to contain the familiar sounds the band has become well known for. However be prepared to expect a more experimental sound that may take a few listens to fully appreciate.

The production is handled superbly well as the album sounds angry and loud from the start. And Now What is an album that surprised myself in so many different ways. Purple Dino have struck gold with this record. It may not be to everyone's tastes though this is still an album that could enhance Purple Dino's reputation onto greater heights.

Words by Steve Howe

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