Thursday, 28 April 2016

V A I L S - Fuckpuncher (EP Review)

Release date: April 29th 2016. Label: When Planets Collide. Format: CD/DD

Fuckpuncher – Tracklisting

1. Klabautermann
2. Snake Falls
3. Thanagarian Snare Beast
4. The Keeper
5. Fuckpuncher

Band Members:

Owen Street - Bass/Vox,
Mathew Ham - Drums


Welsh Sludge/Noise/Stoner Upstarts – V A I L S – return from almost 12 months in hibernation to release their superb new EP – Fuckpuncher. A heavy as hell sludge driven riff-fest where V A I L S harness the craziness of The Melvins and mix it with early Mastodon style carnage. Shades Of Torche style Doom/Sludge melodic riffs are just the icing on the cake that is called FUCKPUNCHER.

With this being an EP it's only on a short amount of time. 20 minutes to be precise and it's not enough as
V A I L S leave you wanting more. From the opening moments of first track – Klabautermann – V A I L S create heavy punk and heavy distorted sludge/stoner based noise. The vocals are intense throughout from Bass Guitarist/Lead Singer – Owen. Matthew on drums gives this duo extra weight in the volume department.

The EP sounds superb which isn't surprising when you consider the following talent who mastered and recorded the EP. Recorded by Joe Garcia (OM’s live engineer) and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Converge, torche, KEN Mode)

With that talent involved you know this is going to sound heavy as fuck. And it is. Swirls of Psychedelic Rock appear on second track – Snake Falls – and you're instantly drawn into a barrage of sludge/stoner distorted almost noise rock driven riffs.

V A I L S have a similar sound to another well known Sludge/Doom Metal duo mainly Sweden's – GALVANO. Well that's the vibe I pick up from third track - Thanagarian Snare Beast. This is perhaps my fave track on the EP as V A I L S create riffs that would give early-era Mastodon a run for their money.

The EP's final two tracks – The Keeper and Fuckpuncher – offer 10 minutes of crazed psychedelic noisy sludge rhythms with both songs having a more experimental feel compared to the other songs. Fuckpuncher is another standout track with V A I L S blending psychedelic rock against a heavy sludge/stoner metal backdrop. Owen's vocals could have done with more volume on this song as the riffs almost drown him out. Which is a shame as it's perhaps Owen's best vocal performance on the EP.

Other than that minor complaint, Fuckpuncher is a must have release for all you Sludge/Stoner Metal fans out there. I can't wait to hear what V A I L S will sound like on a full length record. As they need a bigger platform to expand their musical ideas and an EP is just not enough for these hugely talented riffsters. Though until then, do yourself a favour and hunt-down FUCKPUNCHER. It's a superb release.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Gareth at When Planets Collide for the promo. Fuckpuncher will be available to buy on CD/DD from When Planets Collide on 29th April 2016.


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Atala - Shaman's Path Of The Serpent (Album Review)

Release date: May 20th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Shaman's Path Of The Serpent – Tracklisting

1.Gravity 09:46
2.Levity 08:31
3.King Soloman 05:18
4.Shape Shifter 08:15

Band Members:

Kyle Stratton (Guitar and Vocals)
Jeff Tedtaotao (Drums)
John Chavarria (Bass)


Following their 2014 self titled debut album, Atala return in stunning style with Shaman's Path Of The Serpent and this album marks a markedly different musical style from the band. While that debut album (produced by Scott Reeder) had an understandably distinct Kyuss feel to it with its brand of sweeping desert rock, this new album is more sprawling and decisively heavier than its predecessor.

Shaman's Path Of The Serpent is produced by Billy Anderson and his way of getting such sonic density out of the bands he has worked with (and that includes the likes of Neurosis, Sleep and Swans among many others) definitely works with Atala on this record. Bearing that in mind, it is the majestic and epic sound of Neurosis that appears to be a heavy influence on Atala this time around both in terms of how heavy and tribalistic the songs sound and just for the sheer depth of sound that occurs although Atala certainly have their own musical identity and it sounds absolutely crushing.

With only four tracks on the album, albeit the fact that theses are mammoth tracks, they certainly make themselves known in truly epic style as all the songs on the album are epic in both vision and their execution.

The album opens with the phenomenal Gravity and this sets the tone for this special album with its pummelling rhythms, emotive vocals and the right amount of melody running through the song, listening to it will put the listener in a trance with its hypnotising riffs and this continues all through the album with the other songs on the album, the colossal Levity, the bruising King Soloman and Shapeshifter, the monolithic commencement of the album sound just as sprawling and monstrous as its immense opening and despite the fact that the album is only a little over half an hour long, it feels a lot longer due to its epic stature and also means you will want to listen again immediately after it ends.

This is epic music that is achieved through some truly great musicianship and those vocals from singer/guitarist Kyle Stratton complement the music that is heavy, sprawling and emotionally powerful perfectly and Shaman's Path Of The Serpent is another fine addition to the catalogue of Atala's releases and it will be extremely interesting to see where the bands sound goes after this, but until then everyone can bask in the intensity and vastness of this collection of songs.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Clawhammer PR for the promo. Shaman's Path Of The Serpent will be available to buy from May 20th 2016 on CD/DD.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Pyramido - Vatten (Album Review)

Release date: May 1st 2016. Label: Halo Of Flies. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Vatten – Tracklisting

En linje i sanden
Att Bida Sin Tid
En Rak Linje

Band Members:

Ronnie Källback - Vocals
Dan Widing - Bass
Sticky Manchester - Drums
Henrik Wendel - Guitar
Dan Hedlund - Guitar


Three years since releasing their last album – Saga, Swedish Sludge/Doom Metal mob – Pyramido – return with their new album Vatten. This will be released on ace record label Halo Of Flies. Pyramido’s sound has changed a little since Saga with the guys trying their hand at heavy waves of Psychedelic Rock merged with intense slabs of Doom Metal. The vocals are yet again heavy with a real muscular drive which adds a more menacing vibe compared to previous Pyramido albums.

The guys have been doing this for almost ten years now. Pyramido know how to write and deliver a heartfelt pounding riff though they do offer some cool surprises on the album. Such as post-metallic riffs here and there on tracks such as En linje i sanden, Tempus and Aktion. Obviously with these guys being from Sweden they know the tricks of the trade in delivering a fiercely action-packed album. The album never outstays its brief 37 minute run time. Pyramido have written five songs that last about seven to eight minutes each. It allows the band to try their hand at a more progressive style of Doom/Sludge Metal and the album becomes better for it.

I would comment on the lyrical content however as with previous Pyramido albums, Vatten is sung in the band’s native tongue. Though you can tell when the tone of the album becomes emotional as lead vocalist – Ronnie - becomes very passionate and delivers some of his best work on the album. The riffs become slightly poignant and less heavy in places with the band playing a more psych based post-rock vibe. Though I can reassure long-time Pyramido fans the album is packed full of heavy Sludge/Doom Metal riffs that show you the band haven’t lost none of their anger or verve on their fourth album.

The second half of the album sees Pyramido create a more post-metal based atmosphere and that allows them to create the albums heaviest moments especially when merged with a despairing doom and gloom style of music. My final thoughts on the album are that Pyramido have released an album that will appeal to long-time fans of the band and attract a few more to join their ever-growing legion. Vatten is a stunning album from start to finish and one that you will be coming back to for a long time to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to The Black Birch PR for the promo. Vatten will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Halo Of Flies from May 1st 2016.


Miss Lava - Sonic Debris (Album Review)

Release date: May 06th 2016. Label: Small Stone Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Sonic Debris – Tracklisting

1.Another Beast Is Born
2.The Silent Ghost Of Doom
3.I’m The Asteroid
4.In A Sonic We Shall Burn
5.At The End of The Light
6.In The Arms Of The Freaks
8.Fangs of Venom
9.Pilgrims Of Decay
10.Planet Darkness

Band Members:

J. Garcia: drums
Johnny Lee: vocals
K. Raffah: guitars
Ricardo Ferreira: bass and vocals


I'm ashamed to admit this but this is my first visit to Miss Lava’s world of heavy psychedelic stoner based fuzz as I’ve missed their previous two albums. Before I listened to their new album – Sonic Debris – I found myself warming up very quickly to their style of Stoner/Fuzz hybrid sound. Their debut album – Blues For The Dangerous Miles – impressed me the most though their 2012 follow-up – Red Supergiant – left me feeling cold at times but I did enjoy the overall wild ride of it all.

I was feeling very anxious before listening to Sonic Debris as I didn’t know what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried as the guys are now signed to legendary Stoner Metal label – Small Stone Records and Scott over at Small Stone knows his stuff. Anyway, back to Sonic Debris. Miss Lava has delivered a crazy and wild psychedelic where the band has changed their sound for the better.

Opening track – Another Beast Is Born – is heavily influenced by Space Rock than their normal Fuzz/Stoner Metal sound and it shows you that Miss Lava is ready to deliver a truly adventurous and exciting album. The music starts very slowly before exploding into a heavier psychedelic haze of sonic riffs. Miss Lava instantly draw you in with slightly droned out psychedelic noises before the hazy vocals of lead singer – drift in and out at different times. This song shows you what to expect over the course of the next ten songs.

Other great songs to check out are: The Silent Ghost Of Doom, In A Sonic We Shall Burn, I’m The Asteroid, Symptomatic and Planet Darkness. As these are the songs where I think Miss Lava excel the most at by creating the albums heaviest and most exciting moments. The vocals and riffs are delivered with crazy stoned out finesse that will only make you enjoy this trippy sci-fi trip even more. The production is for the most part of the album is handled superbly well. However there’s a few moments where the vocals or instruments could have done with more volume to give the album a more vibrant feel.

Sonic Debris sounds like the stoned out offspring of QOTSA, Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Truckfighters all vying for musical supremacy. And for that you will be crazy to miss this superb album. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Sonic Debris will be available to buy from Small Stone Records from May 6th 2016 on CD/DD/Vinyl.


Monday, 25 April 2016

New Song by V A I L S - Thanagarian Snare Beast

Band Members:

Owen Street - Bass/Vox,
Mathew Ham - Drums

The Lowdown:

Here is the excellent new song - Thanagarian Snare Beast - from UK Sludge/Stoner Punk Upstarts - V A I L S. From their soon to be released new excellent EP - FUCKPUNCHER - which will be released on CD/DD via When Planets Collide.

EP Details:

VAILS new EP "Fuckpuncher" EP on CD DIgipack

1. Klabautermann
2. Snake Falls
3. Thanagarian Snare Beast
4. The Keeper
5. Fuckpuncher

Recorded and Mixed at Joe's Garage Bristol March 2016.
Mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East
Photos by Adam Hunter Photography
Artwork by G. Sonny Day


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Undead Viking Mafia - No Trials For Traitors (Album Review)

Release date: April 12th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

No Trials For Traitors – Tracklisting

1.Fogrot 04:11
2.Sulde 03:13
3.Stones of Morax 04:19
4.Kreyp-Hang-er 03:11
5.The Corsair 04:12
6.Hetfields & McCoys 05:29
7.Downhill Blues 02:57
8.For Four 04:14
9.Doom Year's Eve 03:40
10.Serpentborne 04:21

Band Members:

Vocals: Juan A. Baez III
Guitars: Adam Wesolowski
Drums: Tyler Trail
Bass/Backing Vocals: Tony Bullard


I first came across Undead Viking Mafia back in 2012 when I listened to their blistering debut album Resurgens which I reviewed back when I was The Sludgelord. Fast forward 4 years later and the guys have finally returned with their new album – No Trials For Traitors.

Since then the guys have added a lot more volume and sludge based ferocity to their sound as this album is packed full of different noises to get your fists pumping in the air. What makes this album such a great listen is how the band merge different sounds such as Sludge, Stoner, Punk, Hardcore and Southern Metal for one exciting violent wild ride. Opening tracks Fogrot, Sulde and Stones Of Morax show that the band have a deep love for all things NOLA based as they take influence from Down, C.O.C and other bands of that ilk. Juan's vocals feel they merged in the legendary NOLA scene as you can hear a heavy Phil Anselmo vibe.

Undead Viking Mafia make it count where it matters and that's with the riffs. These guys excel in playing heavy fast-paced riffs that are made for rocking the fuck out to. Sure it might not sound original but these guys are still worth checking out as No Trials For Traitors has a dark underbelly running through it. Shades of PANTERA start to appear here and there especially near the start of the album and towards the very end.

This album is the sign of a band having a damn good time and they have written a strong collection of tracks that will get all you riff-loving NOLA/Southern Metal fans shouting from the rooftops to join the Undead Viking Mafia revolution. And on this evidence it's a damn good place to be.

Other great songs to check out are: Kreyp-Hang-er, Hetfields & McCoys, For Four (which features vocals from Max Rebel of ace German Rockers – PLAINRIDE) and Doom Year's Eve.

You can tell from the awesome album cover and the song titles that this album has quite rebellious streak running through it's veins. This album is very rebellious and is not afraid to unleash some heavy violent riffs when the time calls for it. Juan's vocals range from clean based vocals to more aggressive death based growls whilst still offering a heartfelt approach.

One of the stand-out things about the album is the production. It sounds super fresh and crisp. I was originally expecting a lo-fi sound but Undead Viking Mafia, Michael Lester and Daniel Ernest knocked it out of the park for this release. It sounds intense from the word go. No Trials For Traitors is 10 songs of pure high voltage fun. It isn't going to change the world of rock but damn these guys know how to have fun and they deliver the fucking goods from start to finish. Do yourself a favour and check out this excellent album now.

Words by Steve Howe


Band To Check Out - Shadow Witch

Release date: April 07th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Pre-Release Promo – Tracklisting

1.The Shadow Witch 03:56
2.Creeper 06:12
3.Occupy 03:38

Band Members:

Anton Van Kleek – Drums
David Pannullo – Bass/Vocals
Earl Lundy – Lead Vocals/Mellotron/Loops
Jeremy Hall – Guitars


I don't know what to call this release. It's not an EP or a demo of such. It's a pre-release promo for Shadow Witch's upcoming debut album – Sun Killer, that is due to be released later this year. Something to get people interested. Well JOB FUCKING WELL DONE. As this pre-release demo is simply fantastic. 3 songs of heavy riffs that mix Stoner, Psych, Doom, Grunge and even Classic/Retro style Rock at times.

I think the 3 songs here are actually rough mixes so they could sound very different on the final version that's released. However they do show you how talented these guys. From the heavy opening riffs of first track – The Shadow Witch, this band have a lot going for them. The vocals from Earl are impressive through out and the instrumental work is just so damn good.

I've heard these guys being compared to Graveyard, Mastodon, CLUTCH and Sabbath over the last few days. So it tells you how expansive their sound actually is. Second track – Creeper – is perhaps the most Doom Metal orientated song on offer here. It does have a slight Sabbath/Vitus vibe but with some superb blues based riffs vying for your attention.

The final track – Occupy – is my fave track that the band have released. As it's the perfect mixture of 70s Doom, 90s Grunge and a more modern day Stoner Rock sound. This bodes well for Sun Killer as this pre-release promo shows that Shadow Witch are worth giving a damn about and they've made me quite excited to hear more from them. Sun Killer can't come soon enough. Shadow Witch have huge potential here and I think we could be hearing a lot more of these guys in the years to come.

Words by Steve Howe


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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Elevators To The Grateful Sky - Cape Yawn (Album Review)

Release date: March 11th 2016. Label: HeviSike Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Cape Yawn – Tracklisting

1.Ground 03:21
2.Bullet Words 03:00
3.All About Chemistry 03:21
4.Dreams Come Through 03:56
5.A Mal Tiempo Buena Cara 03:48
6.Kaiser Quartz 04:00
7.I, Wheel 03:32
8.Mongerbino 03:23
9.Cape Yawn 06:18
10.We're Nothing At All 03:49
11.Laura (One for Mark Sandman) 01:07
12.Mountain Ship 05:03
13.Unwind 02:29

Band Members:

Sandro di Girolamo - vocals and percussion
Giorgio Trombino - guitars, bass, alto saxophone, congas, keyboards, alternate lead vocals
Giuseppe Ferrara - rhythm guitars
Giulio Scavuzzo - drums, darbouka, tambourine, percussion and alternate lead vocals


Where have I been so long with Elevators To The Grateful Sky. Their new album – Cape Yawn – takes everything I love about Psychedelic Stoner Rock and gives it a much needed makeover. Imagine Monster Magnet with the added groove of early QOTSA and you’ll end up somewhere close to Cape Yawn. Though Elevators To The Grateful Sky are no mere copycats, this is a band in control of their destiny and forging a great sound of their own.

Newly signed to ace UK Label – Hevisike Records. The band have written a batch of stunning psychedelic songs that will have you hooked from the very first listen. The vocals have the right amount of swagger and confidence that will have fans of Dave Wyndorf and Josh Homme foaming at the mouth. The soulful blues rock inspired vocals on tracks such as: All About Chemistry, Dreams Come True, A Mal Tiempo Buena Cara, Cape Yawn and Mountain Ship add a classic hard rock vibe. The band is highly influenced 70s Classic Rock to the more modern Psych/Stoner Rock scene. The band even add heavy moments of Sludge Rock to wake you from your peaceful slumber in case you lose yourself within the dreamlike psych based riffs.

The production is superb as the album has a fresh vibrant sound. Some people may complain that the album is quite excessive at thirteen tracks but I say more the merrier. As you will enjoy every thrilling second of Cape Yawn. This is an album that we will be talking about in years to come. Don’t delay, buy this album now as Cape Yawn has it all. Miss this and miss out.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR and Jay at Hevisike Records for the promo. Cape Yawn is available to buy from Hevisike Records and Elevators To The Grateful Sky BandCamp page.


Sedulus - The Sleepers Awaken (Album Review)

Release date: April 22nd 2016. Label: When Planets Collide. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Sleepers Awaken – Tracklisting

3.Nomadi Del Mare
4.Event Horizon
5.Things We Lost In The Fire
9.Heat Death

Band Members:

Will Wichanski - Bass & Vocals
Rich Williams - Guitar
Amit Patel - Guitar & BV's
Mithun Shah - Drums


After being a band for over a decade and releasing a few well received EP’s over the last few years, Sedulus are finally releasing their debut album – The Sleepers Awaken. As the title suggests Sedulus feel they have woken from a deep slumber to proclaim their place as one of the leading lights of the UK Sludge/Stoner Metal scene.

The Sleepers Awaken is a progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal journey that has shades of Taint and H A R K appearing at times. Opening track – Sycamore – is perhaps the standout track on the album as this allows Sedulus to create a heavy sludgy progressive feel with shades of psychedelic rock driving the superb vocals of lead vocalist Will to their natural conclusion. Sycamore has the potential to be a true crowd-pleaser when played live as it contains sublime memorable riffs that you will be humming in no time at all.

Second track – Machinations – carries on with the heavy sludge grove from Sycamore but with a heavier psychedelic style that allows the band to turn the volume up with their instruments. A blues rock vibe appears near the end of the song. Sedulus slow the mood right down with a slow-paced riff that allows their music to become very gloomy in places.

Third track – Nomadi Del Mare – is an instrumental track that sees the band in full on Sludge/Stoner Rock mood where the riffs are played at a slow pace before exploding into a more aggressive style of music. It has a cool psychedelic melody running through it as the band offer another one of the albums finest tracks.

Fourth track – Event Horizon – sees the band return to the world of heavy progressive sludge/stoner based riffs. This song reminds me of Welsh Prog Rockers Prosperina in some respects as it has a familiar vibe about them. Sedulus offer a darker and heavier style of music that gets the pulse racing. The vocals drift in and out at different times and the riffs become the main focus. There is a subtle doomy post-rock sound lurking in the background and it shows you how inventive and progressive Sedulus are with the delivery of the entire album.

Other great tracks to check out are: Colonise, Foxhole and Heat Death. All showing why Sedulus have created an exciting and thrilling that delivers on all levels. The production is intense through out as the crushing riffs has real volume and weight to give their sound a more dynamic range. The Sleepers Awaken is a bold, daring and highly complex album that should see Sedulus discovered by a wider audience. Believe the hype, these guys are the real deal.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Gareth at When Planet Collide for the promo. The Sleepers Awaken will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from When Planets Collide from April 22nd 2016. You can order the album from the links below or Sedulus BandCamp Page.


Bad Acid - Revelations Of The Third Eye (Album Review)

Release date: April 30th 2016. Label: Ozium Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Revelations Of The Third Eye – Tracklisting

1. Intro/Inferno 6:24
2. Amnesia Haze 3:17
3. Revelations of the Third Eye 7:23
4. The Oldest Lie 4:59
5. Heavy Lies The Crown 7:13
6. Bad Acid 5:21
7. Spellbound 8:28

Band Members:

Vocals – Simona Mignola
Guitar – Mattias Lundberg
Bass – Victor Wårdsäter
Drums – Jonathan Wårdsäter


Ever imagined what a bastard love child between Truckfighters and Blues Pills would sound like – ponder no more and welcome the dirty highway orphan in Bad Acid. This is a rather new band established in the wake of the untimely demise of brilliant Swedish purveyors of fuzzy stoner rock Mamont. On Bad Acid’s first real outing they have managed to pull off the perfect marriage between bluesy 70s inspired hard rock and 90s Kyuss inspired desert rock. This formula definitely works for them and is sure to attract many fellow stoner heads seeking a fix for their cravings.

Revelations Of The Third Eye is filled to the brink with well-crafted, metal infused and fuzzy stoner rock with a dash of doom vibe sprinkled on top. This might be the sound of Alunah taking it to the desert highway on a wildly addictive drug-influenced ride.

In opposition to its precursor, Bad Acid is fronted by Simona and with the obvious possibility of coming of as gender discriminating, which tends to be hit and miss (no pun intended) with me. But with the sheer force and talent she possesses, I have no other choice than to bow in the desert dust in awe of her performance on Revelation Of The Third Eye. The vocal duties easily deserves comparisons to the genre’s best and have no trouble competing with Elin (Blues Pills), Alia (Blood Ceremony), Sophie (Alunah) or Dorthia (Windhand) for that matter.

However, what is a great singer without an equally great background to play against? Not much, I would say, and luckily, the rest of Bad Acid’s in all aspects matches Simona in creating the perfect musical playground. Fat, fuzzy, swirling riffs that meander, chuck, churn and twist on top of a rhythm section with balls the size of Ayers Rock where the drums are loud and think, whilst distorted bass lines whip the fuzz fest in full motion. This comes as no surprise when it dawns upon you that Victor and Jonathan who previously shook the ground in Mamont handling the bass and guitar respectively.

A short acoustic ‘Intro’ sets the mood for Revelations Of The Third Eye and immediately I find myself straying along a desolated desert highway feeling a storm approaching. After roughly a minute and half of eerie awaiting, I am suddenly hurled up from the ground when ‘Inferno’ throws me straight into the eye of the storm. As the song title indicates this is a sublime stoner rock experience where the fast forward moving rhythms with menacing voices flickering in and out through the grooves forged by the other three band members. Just one song in and Bad Acid has already turned the crucible red-hot.

Amnezia Haze’ sets slowly in motion by a cool sounding bass-line pushing the song into cruise mode; here is your perfect soundtrack to cross Death Valley, driving drums, and great melodic guitar riffs. The catchy as hell chorus that will leave you humming “amnezia haze” for the remainder of the day. This is one hell of a memorable tune that needs no more than one or two spins to last long in the memory.

With the title track, Bad Acid leaves the dusty canyons and desert roads behind and take off from Earth heading for a more spaced out sound. ‘Revelations Of The Third Eye’ is perhaps the standout track for me on this album as the band really shines and show off their eminent musical skills and skillful interplay. A few minutes later the band flies into orbit and the rest of the song is one long tour-de-force in how to jam-the-F-out making four individuals appear as one amalgamated unity.

The Oldest Lie’ brings Bad Acid back from space to serve us another round of groovy-as-can-be stoner rock. On this song I am reminded of Jess and the Ancient Ones due to the brilliant vocals. How peculiar to have this arranged on top of some of the heaviest and fuzziest desert rock. To me this is like getting the best of both worlds.

On ‘Heavy Lies The Crown’, ‘Bad Acid’ they continue their stoner rock musical progress as the superb guitar work in the middle of the track, again show a great ear for melodies the band has. It’s a pleasure to experience a band who know their own strengths and play them to their fullest potential.

Spellbound’ closes out this brilliant and utterly entertaining debut and guess what they have saved some of the best riffs for last. Despite being the longest song and having a fairly long run-time (8:28) for the genre (as this is neither a pure doom or space rock album), the songs packs so much nerve, melody and variation that you as listener completely forget time and space and just flow along, hoping it never stops.

It has been quite some time since I last encountered an album with such a degree of re-play-ability. As soon as the tunes from ‘Spellbound’ fades out, all you want to do, is to just hit play and take another sonic ride full-on Bad Acid style. Job well done. Now head over to Ozium Records, who handles this release on both CD and vinyl, and show some love for this talented band. On with the headphones, press play, lean back, indulge….

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Revelations Of The Third Eye will be available to buy on CD/Vinyl via Ozium Records from April 30th 2016.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Interview with SUNNATA

Polish Sludge/Doom/Stoners – Sunnata – released a superb debut album – Climbing The Colossus – which got them noticed within the Sludge/Stoner Metal world. It was a highly progressive album packed full of great riffs.

Since then Sunnata have been touring, honing their craft and have came back with their incredible new album – Zorya. Zorya is quite a different album to Climbing The Colossus and it's already winning rave reviews from Cvlt Nation, Terrorizer and ourselves of course amongst other cool publications.

It's been a while since I last spoken to Sunnata. I was given the change to catch up with Rob (Drummer) from Sunnata to see how the band started, what the new album means to them and other cool stuff that you can read below.

Hi Rob. Good catching up again Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Hey Steve! All’s good, actually even better than we ever expected. We have just released our new album “Zorya” and the feedback we’re getting from people brings huge smile to our faces.

Can you give a brief history of the band. How the band came together. And did you know each other before you formed the band or played in previous bands with each other.

It started in 2008, back in the days of Satellite Beaver, our previous, stoner rock band. We have all met because of this band, didn’t know each other before. Sunnata was born by the end of 2013, as a result of huge change of musical perspective that has grown inside our minds.

We are here to talk about your excellent new album Zorya. What can people expect from the album.

They should prepare themselves for walls of fuzz, delay and reverb confronting the monolith of absolute silence, haha! We like it slow, heavy, trance-inducing and extremely catchy. No comparisons needed, because everyone have their own, individual references. We call it “ritual heavy music”. 

Photo by ELI

How would you describe the album. As it has quite a different sound from your debut album.

It’s definitely more heavy, but on other hand - not that aggressive as our debut. “Zorya” is more complex, organic, has bigger flow and it’s not “straight-in-your-face” type of album. We wanted it to sound huge, with lot of space, so I highly recommend to close your eyes and let it take your for long journey.

Zorya has received some great reviews so far. Has that surprised you the response the album has received so far.

You never know what to expect. Our perception is limited and filtered through prism of individual experience, so we are very grateful to see that “Zorya” is gaining good exposure and reviews from journalists we care about, including You, Cvlt Nation crew or Terrorizer Mag, to name a few. We did our best and it seems it profits.

Did you do anything differently when recording this album compared to your debut album. If so, what things did you do differently.

Well, everything was different from top to bottom. Firstly, while “Climbing the Colossus” was more like transition between both bands, “Zorya” is written and arranged and with 100% focus on what we wanted to do.

Secondly, recording process - all the instruments were recorded live and we did that under two days. It gave more organic feeling and recreated that specific energy that is generated during our live performances.

Last, but not least, we had more time to think, talk and play over every detail, so we felt more confident and comfortable during the recording session.

What inspired you when you were writing and recording the album and what was the overall recording experience like for the album?

There’s no specific inspiration behind “Zorya”. You will find there whatever you’re looking for. Such freedom was also an important part of recording experience. We went where we wanted to, felt good with that and - thanks to Satanic Audio crew - had gotten a chance to express and produce album without compromises, sounding the way we imagined it to.

Looking back on your first album, Climbing The Colossus, is there anything you would change about that album. If so, what would you change.

We prefer to look forward than backwards, but if you really want to know, we would definitely change sound of that album. Unfortunately, mistakes we’ve made back then unallowed us to do so. Besides this, we like this material and play lot of it live.

Over the last couple of years you have toured over Europe. How was the fans reaction to your music when played live and will you be doing any more tours in the future.

Oh yes, we did some touring, not very excessively, but around 150+ shows. You can probably imagine, that our live shows are the reason why are we in all this mess.

Reaction was very enthusiastic, which is good, especially that we have shared stages not only with doom/stoner acts, but also grindcore bands like Antigama for example. I also remember Laura from Kylesa coming to us after the show we’ve played together, saying “I don’t know what it was, but I really liked it”. Neither do we, but we like it too.

We are doing some shows in Baltic countries, festivals in summertime and we are about to book long, European tour in fall. We need to tour, we want to tour, so we have to tour. 

We have to talk about the excellent album cover. Who designed the album cover. And how much input did you have into the final design of the album cover.

All hail Jeffrey Smith of Ascending Storm! Great artist, pro and passionate about his work, who led us through entire creative process towards final result, which blew our minds. The one who can turn “we would like some clouds and spacey, gloomy landscapes” into real piece of art.

What is the song writing dynamic in the band. Is it down to an individual or a group collective.

Song writing in our case is something unbelievably strange. Basically, process looks like: we share ideas, talk them over and then magic happens. This is how songs are made. Collective wizardry.

What is your equipment setup when playing live or recording in the studio. Do you have an advanced setup or a basic setup.

I play ukulele and marimba, Szymon beats the shit out of cowbell, Adrian and Michal rips the tambourine and shakers apart.

For studio purposes we are more into classic stuff like: Matamp GT, Sunn T, Sound City, Marshall VBA400, etc. Add oversized Ludwig drums and various pedals, including Russian Big Muff, Pharaoh Fuzz, Small Stone Phaser, TC Helicon vocal effects and many more and you’ll get the impression. Nothing really extraordinary, but carefully chosen. Sometimes Szymon has to play the show from backstage, cause his pedal-board can’t fit the stage, seriously.

Thanks for doing this interview Rob. All the best with the new album.

Thanks for support Steve. See you on the road.

Words by Steve Howe and Rob from Sunnata

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging this interview and for Rob taking the time out to talking to me. Zorya is available to buy on CD/DD now.


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Interview with Seven Hundredth Unicorn

Seven Hundredth Unicorn's debut album – Ruins Of Hope – has impressed the team greatly here at Outlaws Of The Sun. The bands blend of Sludge, Doom, Stoner and Heavy Metal riffs with blistering Hardcore vocals should see them win a loyal following within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene.

I came across these guys by the song – Our Worlds Collide – currently streaming on their BandCamp Page. Plus the fantastic artwork cover had me intrigued. I contacted the band for a promo copy of the album and if they would mind doing an interview which you can read below.

Niels Fuzz and myself recently said this about the album:

Steve and myself (Niels) were literally blown away by Seven Hundredth Unicorn's debut album 'Ruins Of Hope'. This is indeed a solid melting pot of all things heavy and metal. Full stop. Riffs aplenty here if you're a fan of all things Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal with a subtle hint of Hardcore vibes being dropped in with the full power of a Megaton Atomic Bomb.

Seven Hundredth Unicorn have created 10 perfectly written Sludge/Stoner Metal songs that the “Relapse Records” crowd will go fucking nuts over. We will even say that Seven Hundredth Unicorn would fit right at home at Relapse Records. If any labels are reading this then sign the band now as these guys have true potential.

Our final thoughts on the album can be described as 'killer', 'rad', 'dope', 'tasty', 'smokin', 'blazing' and just flat out entertaining. Brilliant stuff.”

The band have shared the stage with bands such as CONAN, Hang The Bastard, Kvelertak, The Moth and Black Rainbows.  he band have kindly agreed to talk to us here at Outlaws Of The Sun where we discuss their inception, the themes of the album and the current state of the UK Sludge/Stoner Metal scene.

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Hey Steve, no problem at all. Things are going really well thanks. Currently on route to watch Converge play their Blood Moon set in London so very much looking forward to that!

Can you give a brief history of the band. How the band came together. And did you know each other before you formed the band or played in previous bands with each other.

We formed in late 2012 and originally started out as a side project. We started jamming ideas together but never really intended to start a 2 piece. After a few jams and messing around with the setup a little bit, we got offered a slot at our local venue so we accepted, got a set together and I guess the rest is history. We've released an EP and played some cool shows since but have never really pushed it. We've been in bands together for about 12 years and were both in two other bands when we first formed so always worked on Seven Hundredth Unicorn when we had the time available. One of those bands split up late last year so it gave us a bit more spare time to concentrate on the band so we decided to start taking it a bit more seriously, started working on Ruins of Hope and here we are now.

Why did you choose the name – Seven Hundredth Unicorn – for your band. Any specific reason. When I heard your name I thought you were a Power Metal/Gothic Metal Band.

We got the name from one of the lyrics in Symptom of the Universe. We're both massive fans of Black Sabbath, thought it sounded pretty cool and to be honest that's pretty much all there is to it haha.

How would you describe your own sound. As you have a ton of different sounds going on at the same time.

We're both pretty open minded when it comes to our music tastes so I guess there are all kinds of influences shining through in some way or another however, bands such as Black Sabbath, Baroness, Mastodon, ISIS and Cult of Luna are all major inspirations of ours. It predominantly falls into the Metal category but although it's heavy, groovy, sludgey and aggressive, it's also very melodic.

Why did you choose the name Ruins Of Hope for the album. Any specific meaning.

The general lyrical content on the album is about a lot of the personal frustrations that we have with the world. We're always hoping that things will change and certain things will get better but a lot the time it just doesn't and all over the world we see these ruins of hope.

What inspired you when you were writing and recording the album and what was the overall recording experience like for the album?

The overall recording experience was great, we recorded it ourselves so there was no pressure and no time restrictions, it was a very chilled out process. We were both very excited and eager to finish the album and have something to promote our name with so I would say that's what inspired us while we were writing and recording.

What does the album represent to yourselves personally?

To us it represents a massive achievement. As we've been a side project for a while, it's feel great to finally get a full length together and be ready to push it as much as we can.

We have to talk about the excellent album cover. Who designed the album cover. And how much input did you have into the final design of the album cover.

It was our good friend Amy Edwards who designed the album cover. We provided a basic description of what we wanted and some reference material but pretty much let her have free reign with it. She has designed stuff for our other band in the past so we were confident that she would be able to create what we wanted. We have a song on the album called Norman Kalashnikoff which is basically about a mythical Viking and Norman Kalashnikoff is his name. So, we pretty much said we'd like a Viking with a massive beard, riding a unicorn, fighting people with an axe and that's what she came up with!

What is the song writing dynamic in the band. Is it down to an individual or a group collective.

To be honest, it's a bit of both but there isn't really any particular song writing process that we stick to. Matt would usually record most of the ideas at home and then send them over to Dave and tell him if they're rubbish or not haha. Alternatively, we'd go into the practice room and jam a few ideas and try to build an arrangement around whatever ideas we have. Most of the time though, the music is written and then the lyrics and patterns are usually put over the top.

Will you be touring this record heavily? Can you give any details?

We certainly plan to. We currently don't have a booking agency so getting gigs isn't the easiest but we definitely have intentions of gigging as much as we possibly can. Saying that, we are currently in talks with a few other bands and are hoping to work on a few tours later in the year so fingers crossed, we will have some announced very shortly.

What is your verdict on the current state of the UK Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal scene. Some people are saying that it has it’s peak and the only way is down. Whilst others are saying it’s still thriving but loads more can be done. What’s your own verdict on the UK Hard Rock/Metal scene in general and what can be done to improve this.

I'd say the current state of the scene is very healthy, there are some great bands out there and some great UK festivals that cater for these. I wouldn't say the only way is down, there is always a way to improve. Technology is evolving very fast so how bands approach certain things is always changing. I think it's just important that people try their best to make it out to shows, support your local bands and the scene will always be there.

What is your equipment setup when playing live or recording in the studio. Do you have an advanced setup or a basic setup.

Our setup is pretty basic, the guitar just splits the signal through a guitar and bass amp with a Blackstar overdrive pedal. Saying that though, we'd love to experiment with some more effects and different set-ups in the future so maybe on the next album who knows, that could change.

Words by Steve Howe and Seven Hundredth Unicorn

Thanks to Seven Hundreth Unicorn for taking the time out to talking to me. Ruins Of Hope will be available to buy from May 06th 2016.