Monday, 29 August 2016

Augustine Azul - Lombramorfose (Album Review)


Release date: August 16th 2016. Label: More Fuzz Records. Format: CD/DD

Lombramorfose – Tracklisting

1.Amônia 06:10
2.Jurubeba 05:29
3.Cogumelo 04:45
4.Mamatica 04:41
5.Pixo 04:40
6.Intéra 04:14

Band Members:

João Yor
Jonathan Beltrão
Edgard Moreira

Review:

I applaud my pal Tanguy over at the excellent blog – More Fuzz, for starting his own record label, More Fuzz Records and signing Augustine Azul as his first signing. Augustine Azul are a Progressive Instrumental Space/Stoner Rock band from Brazil who I wasn't aware of before Tanguy sent me a promo to review.

Now I must say that these guys are not your usual instrumental Stoner Rock band. As they blend elements of Progressive Metal and Jazz into the mix and it gives their sound an almost classical feel. Especially with the delivery of the epic riffs contained throughout the album. Augustine Azul new album – Lombramorfose, won't appeal to everyone as it's quite a complex listen at times. Sure the album has it's fair share of Stoner/Desert riffs but it's the more heavier progressive vibes that some people may find hard to fully enjoy.

I applaud the band for doing something different. It's quite a different sound compared to other Instrumental Rock Bands coming from the South American Stoner Rock scene. The instrumental work is pure magic at times. The guitars have a trippy psychedelic feel that will leave you in a trance. It's good that Augustine Azul add elements of Psych, Blues and Fuzz Rock into their music.

The album is probably best viewed as one epic progressive piece as it doesn't feel or sound like your usual standard album. Progressive Rock based interludes are spliced within the album and it can be very tiring to hear at times. As you could be enjoying an epic Stoner based riff then the next moment, the band change their focus to a more progressive style of music. Most times it works but others the mood falls rather flat.

This only happens a few times as Augustine Azul soon return to winning ways with finely played Stoner/Psych based riffs. Overall, Lombramorfose is a damn good album that will appeal to the more open minded Stoner Rock fan rather than the casual one. Give this album a try as these guys are brilliant musicians and I can see why Tanguy signed them to his new label. Hopefully this will be the one of many to come from More Fuzz Records.

Words by Steve Howe

Saturday, 27 August 2016

ZQKMGDZ - Orbit Dualkraut (Album Review)


Release date: August 26th 2016. Label: Pink Tank Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

ORBIT DUALKRAUT – Tracklisting

1.Plasma Russian 05:30
2.Hypergiant 08:04
3.Monokraut Jupiter 11:24
4.Orbit Dualkraut 05:45
5.Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom 14:29

Band Members:

Don Alfredo (Warpguitars & Roar)
Don Libido (Subwaves of Doom)
Don Fernando (Space Drums)

Review:

ZQKMGDZ or10.000 km² gegen die Zeit as they're officially called return with a new album. Their second album – Orbit Dualkraut, sees the band staying with Pink Tank Records who released their debut album. This album is a more experimental and heavier psychedelic affair compared to their debut. The sound has changed from their debut album with the mood being one of experimentation and a more laid-back style of riffs. That’s not to say the guys are slacking off as they’re not. Their focused and determined throughout the album.

The songs have a lo-fi sound as the album has quite a raw feel to it. The album feels that the band was going for a vintage seventies sound and for the most part they succeed. There’s a few moments where the production could have done with more work. Some parts feel rushed and others could have done with more volume being added to the mix. OK, apart from those minor complaints, this album is still a truly worthwhile album to have in your collection. The mixture of Stoner, Noise, Doom, Psych and Drone all heavily merged with an almost Garage Punk quality allows you to lose yourself in this spaced out ride. The instrumental work is impressive with the band showing a great ear for deep spaced out sounds that wouldn’t go amiss from an Ufomammut record.

The vocals are a mixture of clean vocals and heavy doom based growls that the band excels at. The five songs range from straight forward Doom/Stoner Metal to the more experimental Drone/Sludge Metal atmospherics. Especially on songs such as Hypergiant, Monokraut Jupiter and the superb final fifteen minute track – Ape Apocalypse Monkey Doom. Crazy title, I know but wait until you hear the song. It’s epic as they come as the band merge as many different sounds and noises they possibly can.

Fans of ZQKMGDZ debut album will find much to enjoy here. It’s a much better album as the band feels more comfortable with their music. If you’re new to the world of ZQKMGDZ then you may need to familiarize with their debut album first. As Orbit Dualkraut is a harder album to listen to and appreciate than their debut album. Though if you’re in the mood for something different then Orbit Dualkraut will entertain the hell out of you.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jan at Pink Tank Records for the promo. Orbit Dualkraut is now available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Pink Tank Records now.

Links:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp

Iron Altar - S/T (EP Review)


Release date: August 22nd 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Iron Altar – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Nothing 06:25
2.Followers 04:43
3.Rising Tide 04:27
4.Blood Rain 04:16

Band Members:

Andrew Callis - Vocals,
Daniel Drever - Guitar,
Simon Anger - Bass,
Lyle Brown - Drums

Review:

It's hard to believe that Iron Altar have only been going strong as a band for less than a year. Going by their debut EP, these guys could have a very bright future ahead of them. Their sound is not the easiest to categorize but it's sure hugely enjoyable to listen to. Iron Altar blend Thrash, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal and a ton of Stoner Metal attitude which is all held together by a certain Southern Metal charm.

Sure the music isn't the most original but Iron Altar's debut EP is loud, brash, heavy and packed full of great riffs. Iron Altar have a vicious approach to their music especially with Andrew's killer vocals. Opening track – Nothing – sees Iron Altar create a heavy Southern/Thrash/Stoner/NWOBHM kind of sound that will appeal to perhaps the more hardened Stoner/Heavy Metal fan. I can hear shades of Mastodon, COC, Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society running through Iron Altar's riffs and that's no bad thing.

The rest of the EP follows the same template as the opening track but Iron Altar do change the mood from time to time. Second track – Followers – is southern metal/thrash style number with the band playing at a fast pace. The drumming in particular is very impressive indeed. Heavy progressive beats make this one of the standout songs on the EP.

The production on the EP is first rate. For a debut release, this sounds superb from start to finish. The whole tone of the EP is loud and one that demands your attention. This is a band we all should be keeping an eye on as this could be the start of promising career for Iron Altar. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Envoys - Bliss (Album Review)


Release date: May 3rd 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Bliss – Tracklisting

1.Strange Attractor 03:16
2.The Hostage 05:59
3.Saboteurs 04:15
4.Bliss 04:46
5.N.A.B 05:43
6.Like a Son 01:52
7.5:1 04:29
8.Apologies 07:10
9.Reflections & Exits 08:28

Band Members:

Daniel Ogola - Bass
Mark Islam - Drums
Stephen Creek - Guitar / Vocals
Tom Allen - Guitar / Vocals

Review:

Envoys second album – Bliss sees the band go down a more progressive hardcore/post-metal route and it’s a decision that pays off instant rewards. As their music becomes more haunting and heartfelt as a result. Envoys still draw inspiration from Post-Rock/Post-Metal legends Pelican and Russian Circles but Bliss sees the band starting to create heavier noises of their own. Especially compared to their debut album.

I’m slightly out of the loop with the Post-Rock/Post-Metal world but I’m always grateful for bands such as Envoys for dragging me back in kicking and screaming. It’s a world I have fond memories thanks to bands such as Pelican, ISIS, Neurosis and Cult Of Luna that became my only choice of listening many years ago.

Bliss opens with Reflections & Exits as the band create a more refined and intense sound to their debut album. Layers of Ambient based Post-Rock sounds merged with the heavier and almost Sludge grooves that hide a cold distant psychedelic vibe. The vocals are handled rather well as they draw you with intelligent lyrics and pounding riffs to match.

The album continues its journey of progressive post rock/metal with elements of hardcore based sounds as Envoys experiment with their sound that should have die-hard Post-Rock/Post-Metal fans crying out for more riffs. Songs such as Strange Attractor, The Hostage, Bliss and the heartfelt Apologies show that Envoys have a fine ear for writing majestic post-rock sounds and the heavier pissed off Sludge/Post-Metal riffs. The vocals sometimes have too much of a raw edge at times but with it's the only odd moment and it shouldn't spoil your overall enjoyment of the album.

Bliss is a superb and quite adventurous album that takes a lot of risks with the set standard Post Rock/Post-Metal sounds that sometimes leaves you wanting more. I haven't listened to Envoys since I reviewed their last album back in 2013 but I won't be making that mistake again as Bliss makes you appreciate bands such as Envoys. If you invest your time with Envoys then I guarantee you may have just found a new Post-Rock/Post-Metal band to worship.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Thursday, 25 August 2016

NOMAD / MOWER UK Tour Details



Mancunian underground heroes Nomad have announced a UK tour for this September and are taking relative newcomers Mower with them.

Since forming in 2012, Mancunian sludge four­piece Nomad have shared stages with the likes o EyeHateGod, Conan and Bongripper. Metalheads in the north west of England are under no illusions as to the ferocity of their live shows.

Frontman Drian Nash is known for tempering his confrontational performances with a self­deprecating Manc sense of humour, firmly establishing Nomad at the heart of Manchester’s burgeoning stoner/doom scene. This tour will be an opportunity for riff­lovers from across the UK to see how Nomad have achieved their unrivalled reputation within such a competitive scene in England’s north west.




Their debut EP (released in 2014 by renowned underground label When Planets Collide) was followed by a split EP with Wort released by Red Valley Records the following year.
Nomad frontman Drian: ​"It’s always a blast playing with the Mower guys so this tour should have enough planet­sized riffs and carnage to be lasting us. We are sharing the stage with some of our favourite bands along the way; Elephant tree, Iron Swan and Kurokuma. Also Stoked to get to finish it all off with a huge party in our hometown. That’s if we don’t crash into a mountain in a big ball of fire blasting Toto and sipping cocktails.”

Relative newcomers Mower are a doom/noise trio from nearby Wigan whose debut EP “Meathead”, released at the start of this year, is already turning heads. As a live presence they'll be known by attendees of MammothFest, Tombstones all­dayer and RiffFest as a band not to miss on what will be their first gigs in a number of cities outside of Manchester.


Vocalist Jay says of the tour: “This will be our first tour, and what a way to pop the cherry, making this fine pilgrimage around the U.K, with Nomad! We're all buzzin' to go make some Mower­flavoured noise in other parts of the country. We also get to play some new venues with some other amazing bands, a proper privilege indeed. We shall be providing the White Russians and obscene sexual favours as thanks. Riffs await.”

With such a strong stoner/doom scene in Manchester, this tour will be an opportunity for riff­lovers from across the UK to see how this scene’s stalwarts have achieved their unrivalled reputation alongside with one of the area’s most exciting new prospects.

14th September ­The Unicorn ­ London (​Facebook Event Page)

15th September The Chameleon Arts Cafe Nottingham (​Facebook Event Page)  
16th September The Phoenix Coventry Facebook Event Page​)
17th September Mulberry Underground ­Sheffield (​Facebook Event Page​)
18th September Rebellion ­Manchester (​Facebook Event Page​) 


Nomad Lnks


Mower Links

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Beelzefuzz - The Righteous Bloom (Album Review)


Release date: August 15th 2016. Label: Restricted Release/The Church Within. Format: CD/DD

The Righteous Bloom – Tracklisting

01 Nazriff
02 The Soulless
03 Hardluck Melody
04 Rat Poison Parfait
05 Eternal Waltz
06 Within Trance
07 Nebulous
08 The Righteous Bloom
09 Sanctum & Solace
10 Dying On The Vine
11 Peace Mind

Band Members:

Dana Ortt - Lead vocals/guitar
Darin McCloskey - drums
Greg Diener - Lead guitar/vocals
Bert Hall - Bass guitar

Review:

Greetings all,

I got to check out the new album from Maryland Doom rockers Beelzefuzz! On top of having a great moniker, the band has a great Fuzzy, Doomed out Rock sound. This is the bands 2nd album, and first since reforming a couple of years back. I am reminded more of 70's era rock in listening to these guys. The first image in my head was actually Dio era Sabbath. Although, I am an Ozzy guy, the sound is great. There is even a bit of NWOBHM in the dual guitar attack that pops up from time to time. But you can't deny the obvious Doom influence these guys hold. Seeing as to how they are from the same general stomping grounds as Doom titans Pentagram and the mighty Wino.

Every song is solid, and the album as a whole is a great listening experience. Along with the great guitar work, there are bits of organ and background singers that wreak of the 70's vibe. If I had one minor complaint, it is that the production on this record is almost too clean, the music tends to drop kind of low in the mix. I tend to like my guitars loud and sound raw, but this is one man's opinion and is in no way, shape, or form a knock against this fine piece of music. Beelzefuzz is technical tight and it definitely shows on this record. But I think the centerpiece of the record is the vocals. The singer wails and croons like Dio in his prime, conjuring tales of doomy redemption. Worth the price of admission alone.

The record itself is a journey worth taking, beginning to end. Although. if you are looking for stand out tracks. The second track, The Soulless, is a rocking piece of music, and a great driving song. The song Nebulous, is a bit of off tempo metal thump, and Dying on the Vine leads into a strong close.

If you dig Pentagram, Dio, The Sword, or the like you will dig Beelzefuzz. Check 'em out. You will dig them and the Righteous Bloom is a Rockin Blast worth repeated spins!

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Paula at Abstract Distribution and Jan at Sure Shot Worx for the promos. The Righteous Bloom is available to buy from Restricted Release and The Church Within on CD/DD now.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel - Human Collapse (Album Review)


Release date: September 09th 2016. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Human Collapse – Tracklisting

1.7PM Choice
2.Decision
3.Departure
4.Trip
5.Border
6.Community
7.Downfall
8.Rebirth
9.Determination
10.5PM Arrival

Band Members:

Nico - Guitar & Vocals
Julien - Bass & Vocals
Romain - Guitar
Greg - Drums
Dany - Keyboard & Vocals

Review:

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel (LDDSM) return after a three year break with a new album – Human Collapse. Their last album Arcane became a favourite of mine when it was released back in 2013. It was a darker and heavier offering compared to their debut album, Soundtrack From The Motion Picture.

LLDSM are now signed to Ripple Music and Human Collapse is their debut release for Ripple Music. It’s not the only thing that has changed. LDDSM have changed their style of music yet again. Whilst their first album was more of a Desert/Stoner Rock album. Their second album was more of a Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal album. Human Collapse sees the band venture into more Progressive Sludge/Post-Metal territory and is perhaps the heaviest release Ripple Music have released to date.

LDDSM carry on the darker tones of Arcane but this time they opt for a heavier sludge style of riffs for Human Collapse. The opening three tracks – 7pm Choice, Decision and Departure sees LDDSM create heavy doom/sludge riffs merged with a darker psychedelic stoner metal vibe. The vocals and guitars are eeringly familiar from Arcane but these songs have a more depressing feel.

It’s took me multiple listens to fully appreciate this album. It’s a daring and quite brave record for the band to release. It has more than enough subtle Doom/Stoner riffs to keep long-time fans of the band wholly satisfied though newer fans will need more convincing. The lyrical content is very dark compared to past releases. The album leaves you with a depressing after thought especially on songs such as Border, Community, Downfall and the majestic 5pm Arrival.

LDDSM have crafted a deeply challenging album that you would expect from their sludge/post-metal contemporaries. Human Collapse is an album written around the concept of Humanity destroying the planet once and for all. Remember, LDDSM’s last album, seen the band battling the Occult and other things that go bump in the night. This is definitely a stark contrast between both albums. LDDSM don’t abandon their trademark sound altogether as Human Collapse album has many familiar moments that made Arcane such a great album to listen to.

Human Collapse is LDDSM’s most daring work to date. It’s a challenging album to listen to at times but that’s perhaps the bands original vision. To release something different that came before it. The production is first-rate and it sounds intense from the start.

Ripple Music perhaps deserve the biggest praise for releasing this album. As long-time fans of the label may think they’re taking a risk releasing something heavy as this. Time will tell but I applaud their decision. Human Collapse shows that Ripple Music have the balls to release something brutally heavy compared to their usual releases.

Though this is LDDSM’s show and they excel on every level with Human Collapse. I still prefer Arcane but Human Collapse is another stunning and wonderful record from this hugely talented band.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage for the promo. Human Collapse will be available to buy via Ripple Music from September 09th 2016 on CD/DD/Vinyl.

Links: