Sunday, 17 September 2017

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


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

From Love With The Dead – Tracklisting

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

Members

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

Review

Greetings all,

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

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

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

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

Words by Todd Stealey - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

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

Links: Facebook

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


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

Passage To Agartha – Tracklisting

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

Members

Ben - One Drumkit
Toby - One Guitar

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Spirit Adrift - Curse Of Conception (Album Review)


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

Curse Of Conception – Tracklisting

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

Members

Nate Garrett / Jeff Owens / Chase Mason / Marcus Bryant

Review

Greetings all,

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

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

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

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

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

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey


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

Links:


NEWS - Kozmik Artifactz sign THE UGLY KINGS


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


The Ugly Kings Links:


Kozmik Artifactz Links:

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

UFOMAMMUT - 8 (Album Review)


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

8 – Tracklisting

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

Members

Urlo
Poia
Vita

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Words by Gavin Brown

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

Links:

An Interview with ECHOLOT

Echolot are a Progressive/Doom/Stoner Rock Band from Switzerland and who are about to release their new album – Volva on October 6th via Czar Of Revelations. I hadn't came across Volva before but their PR sheet intrigued me a great deal.

I listened to Volva right away and was blown away at the great music they created on the album. Expect 4 songs containing heavy spaced out doom/stoner riffs that may bring comparisons to the mighty ELDER. That is no bad thing as Echolot manage to create their own sound on their epic debut album.

You can read my review here. I was asked to conduct an interview with the band which I was more than happy to do. Here's my interview with ECHOLOT.

 

Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today. Mainly for myself as well. As I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know that existed before I heard your excellent new album.

The band was founded in 2014. The bassist (Renato) and the drummer (Jonathan) were playing together since their teenage years and wanted to start more seriously again. They were looking for a bassist, since Renato was preliminarily playing guitar. So they met the guitarist (Lukas) at that very graceless night in a bar where people wearing soft pants and owning fighting dogs are regular guests. However, after Lukas joined for a jam or two, it turned out that Renato should play the bass, as he started with it and he really digs the low end. Lukas on the other hand was better on the guitar, so we had our setup. Guitar, Bass, Drum, classic.

Congrats on your excellent new album – Volva. That album really surprised me in a huge way. As I haven’t heard you guys before. What can people expect on this album. You’ve written four epic songs on the album. Was that your plan to write and record those type of songs that run past the ten minutes mark.

Thanks! Our first album 'I' is comprised of a song with the duration of 37 minutes, built from roughly 3 parts. This came natural for us, we were coming together from different genres and came up with a huge amount of fitting material. It was never our conscious intention to write long songs, it just subconsciously came about, we never had to talk about it.

The reaction of the people was funny. Most of them were never at a concert where the band would play 45 minutes straight. Some of them were in awe and had gone to different places, some of them liked what we were doing but missed the part where the audience can take part in the happenings, like for example they missed applauding.

So, for the second album we took the decision to write shorter songs. No sooner said than done! Anyway, we aim for the fourth album to consist of 3 minute radio songs. Or not.


What are the underlying themes of the album. The artwork is very striking and original indeed. Who designed the artwork and what does the album cover mean within the overall context of the album.

Volva is Latin and means 'shell', 'envelope', 'coating', 'cover' or 'layer'. The lyrics are in the manner of a heroic epos, in which the hero has to become aware of his social and corporal shell, realize that he melted with it, and try to gain some independence from it by growing bigger than his shell. Something we all have in common. It stands for everyone's struggle nowadays to fit in and come to terms with the disproportionate weight put on our persona, the outer layer of our social self.

The social and corporal outer layer of a person has a certain structure, which itself guarantees functional traits. The album cover shows this relationship. It is the foot of the diving water beetle with it's suction cups, enabling it to walk under water. It's just an example of how the structure of our shell leads to functional possibilities and freedoms. It was done by Igor Siwanowiczby.

He is a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and uses laser-scanning microscopy to artfully reveal the intricate details of lifeforms. Looks amazing.

I would class your sound as Progressive Doom/Stoner Rock. Is that a fair description to make of your music. Or do you have your own description of your music.

Yes! That's really accurate. Our last album was way too bluesy for us. We wanted to put in more 'pathos'. The suffering was missing. And we found the suffering in Doom.

Right now, we do have a nice combination going on of (in our view) the following proportions: Psychedelic > Doom > Rock > Stoner Rock. But everyone should judge by themselves. It was always hard to put us in a corner. It just comes naturally for us to let the juices flow wherever the song takes us.

After joking around with genre titles we would classify ourselves as Progressive Psychedoom.


What influenced you when recording the album and was it hard album to write and record for. Have you played any of the new songs live. What has the audience reaction been like to the new songs. What’s the song-writing dynamic within the band. Is it down to one individual or is it a group collective.

We are influenced by a lot of things. Everyone has his own influences which defends the way he plays and composes. Our bassist is genius in combining interests and comes up with mutually interesting riffs. The guitarist fills the gaps and the drummer puts some backbone to it. That's it.

Everyone has a say, everyone uses this say extensively. We record the songs as a live recording. It is important to us to let the song live, not using a click or playing separately. Therefore, in order to record a song, we absolutely need to have played it since some time, also live. That way we can guarantee that we find the right spot in the studio.

The songs of the second album have been with us for some time now. The audience likes it, especially those who know us for some time. People that stumble into our shows not knowing us still are baffled. We can feel that since people are really listening instead of jumping around and trying to open up moshpits. This is beautifully rewarding. They like us for our music, as heavy and as delicate as it is.

Czar Of Revelations is releasing the album. How did you get signed to them and did you have any other record label offers to release the album.

Yiha! We have a label! I repeat: We, have, a label! Just joking. But yes, it feels nice to have the support of the most important label in Switzerland for our musical direction. We hold their opinion in high regards. Freddy, the head of the label, asked us after we released the first album to call him up when we would have another disk. So that's how it went. Ah, and you have to cook them a nice dinner that reminds them of their mothers and their youth. That's the fastest way into the heart of label guys.

You’re currently planning a European Tour later this year. Which places will you be visiting and what can people expect on this tour.

Yes! We are going on a vacation:-) We are brutally lucky to have met our current booker, tour manager, merch designer and printer, secretary and organizer, connector, rowdy and roadie, drinking buddy and flatmate. He fixed the last tour together with Cities of Mars and is currently working on this tour. By the way, check out Cities of Mars, they too are touring extensively this year. There are still some free dates. Write our go to guy Luca Piazzalonga if you wanna book us!

Tour dates until now:

ECHOLOT TOUR 2017

02.09. CH-Basel Jugendkulturfestival Basel (JKF)
26.09. CH-Basel Hirscheneck - Release party, w/ Mother Engine
27.09. CH-Luzern The Bruch Brothers, w/ Mother Engine
28.09. Looking for a Show
29.09. FR-Montpellier Cosmic Cactus Sessions, w/ Mother Engine
30.09. TBA
01.10. Looking for a Show
02.10. Looking for a Show
03.10. Looking for a Show
04.10. NL-Utrecht ACU, w/ Impuritan
05.10. Looking for a Show
06.10. Looking for a Show
07.10. DK-Helsingor Musikhuset Elværket Helsingør
08.10. Looking for a Show
09.10. Looking for a Show
10.10. Looking for a Show
11.10. CZ-Brno m13 klub , w/ Storyum
12.10. AT-Vienna Cafe Restaurant Derwisch, w/ Cities of Mars
13.10. Secret Show
14.10. Looking for a Show
15.10. FR-Altkirch TBA, w/ Powder for Pigeons

Have you performed extensive gigs and tours with Echolot previously.

On www.echolot.space, we have listed all concerts we ever played, including the tour last year.

What have been your high points and low points being with Echolot or your musical career in general.

Let's just focus on the bright side. There was this time when we could play this huge fucking stage, that every bandboy and bandgirl in Basel dreams of playing. This was cool. And leads us straight to best thing about playing in a stoner/doom/psychedelic/hard and blues rock band in Basel right now: The people. Some of those guys and girls are incredible.

For example, the ones that fixed this concert on this huge fucking stage. They are dedicated and fun.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans or potential news fans. All the best with your new album and forthcoming tour.

Thanks for this opportunity. Come to the shows, tell us what you think over a beer.

Words by Steve Howe and Echolot

Thanks to Frederyk at Czar Of Revelations for arranging this interview. Volva will be available to buy on CD/DD via Czar Of Revelations from October 06th 2017.

Links:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp

Echolot - Volva (Album Review)


Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: Czar Of Revelations. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Volva – Tracklisting

II
III
IV
V

Members

Lukas Fürer
Jonathan Schmidli
Renato Matteucci

Review

Echolot is a band who I didn't know much about before listening to their debut album - Volva. Comprising of four lengthy compositions that merges Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock, Doom and Heavy Stoner Sounds. Imagine a more experimental version of Elder but with Echolot still creating their own sound. Echolot album is progressively heavy and spaced out on different parts of the album. With the shortest song clocking under eleven minutes. Echolot are a band who creates cinematic soundscapes to build their heavy and dense doom based sounds upon.

Opening track - II - starts with a slowly played rhythm before expanding into a heavier style of progressive doom based Stoner Rock with trippy flourishes of psych sounds adding a subtle echo effect. The vocals are not the most polished but they're supremely delivered with style and confidence. The ambient sounds add real to the whole tone of the album. Echolot find a way to include heavier sludgier guitars towards the end of the song.

Second track - III - is another heavy ride of spaced out doom sounds with the band feeling more comfortable creating their doom/psychedelic environment. The vocals have a classic prog rock feel. As Echolot feel influenced by Monster Magnet TAB era. The droned out guitars soon give way to a more standard heavy stoner/psych rock sound. Heavy slow played riffs that never outstay their welcome as Echolot try their hand at a more progressive rock approach. The music drifts from many heavy different musical environments with Echolot writing lyrics that have a slight All Them Witches influence. Very Americana in parts but still wildly addictive.

The final two songs IV and V offers almost thirty three minutes of intense psych/prog based riffs with Echolot proving once again highlighting their Doom/Stoner Metal credentials. With expertly played music matched against superbly sung vocals and the band showing a keen interest in sonic experimentation. IV is a great song indeed but it takes a while to fully get going. With the band opting for a slower style of doom/prog rock. It can be very emotional at times with the lyrics and vocals having quite a heartfelt approach.

The final song - V - offers a more surreal and heavy affair with trippy ambient noises being the main key when played against the heavy psych/stoner riffs. Volva is expertly produced from start to finish with the sound of the album having the right balance between the heavier and quieter moments of the album. Volva is a complex album with many different ideas and themes running throughout.

With the album running under 55 minutes, the album could have easily become lost with the many different ideas that Echolot created on Volva. However, Echolot have created a stunning and wildly exciting release. Fans of Psych/Doom/Stoner based music should urgently check out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Frederyk at Czar Of Revelations. Volva will be available to buy on CD/DD via Czar Of Revelations from October 06th 2017.

Links:

Saturday, 9 September 2017

NIBIRU - Qaal Babalon (Album Review)


Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

Qaal Babalon – Tracklisting

Oroch
Faboan
Bahal Gah
Oxex

Members

Ardath - Guitars, Percussions and Vocals
Ri - Bass, Drones and Synthesizers
L.C. Chertan - Drums

Review

Italian Sludge/Drone/Doom Collective Nibiru has never been the easiest band to listen to. I've been a fan of their music since they released their debut album way back in 2013. Their mix of heavy droned out doom noises doesn't appeal to everyone. As their music can be quite experimental at times. Despite this, the band has built up a very loyal following within the Sludge/Doom Metal scene over the last few years.

I've reviewed almost everything they've released and today is no different. As I will be trying my best reviewing their new album - Qaal Babalon. This album is perhaps their most daring and decisive work to date. I'm still having trouble deciding what the album is actually about and what it means in the grand scheme of things. 

From my first initial listens, the album is a complex sounding style of droned out doom/sludge and experimental psychedelic passages. All held together by a loose structure of disjointed vocals and mind inducing lyrics. The album has a Sunn O))) style quality around it. Riffs that can last an age but one that will richly reward you if you have the time and patience for this kind of music.

Opening track Oroch is nineteen minutes of heavy sludge/droned out doom with epic moments of industrial style noise. The song slowly builds upto a standard momentum before Nibiru deconstruct everything they've created into a massive vortex of uncomfortable themes and ideas.

Second track - Faboan - is another warped and nightmarish style of Doom/Sludge metal with Nibiru on twisted inspired form. The vocals contain the same drive and delivery as the opening track. Pounding drums delivers an almighty wall of distorted sound that are matched only by the heavy frantic doomed out guitars. This song has a more standard sludge/doom metal based structure. As Nibiru try to play something less experimental and one that is perhaps their most straight forward song. It's quite a punishing affair with the music being very fast-paced and sounding quite ferocious at times.

Third track - Babal Gah - returns to the complex and experimental vibes of the opening track with psychedelic tribal noises opening the song. Haunting synths and sound effects build up the albums unsettling atmosphere before the gloomy guitars make a welcome appearance. This is seventeen minutes that perhaps ranks as the best song on the album.

The final track Oxex carries on the psychedelic experimental with the band returning to the world they created on their previous albums. Qaal Babalon is a unique sounding experience that will intrigue and equally frustrate people in the same measure. Nibiru are not your usual standard band. I'm accustomed to their style of music. It's taken many hours of listening to their music and interviewing the band over the years to fully appreciate what they create with each record they've released so far.

Technically and musically speaking, Qaal Babalon is a masterclass of experimental and extreme metal. Though it doesn't have the same "WOW" factor as their earlier albums. I still rate this album very highly and I applaud Nibiru once again for continuing pushing their own musical identity to new levels of extreme heaviness.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to NeeCee Agency for the promo. Qaal Babalon will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from September 22nd 2017.

Links:

War Cloud - S/T (Album Review)


Release date: September 08th 2017. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

War Cloud – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Give'r 04:08
2.Chopper Wired 02:57
3.Divide and Conquer 04:29
4.Hurricane 03:24
5.No Man's Land 04:24
6.Red Witch 04:13
7.Speed Demon 03:17
8.Vulture City 04:05

Members

Alex Wein – Vocals/Guitar
Tony Campos – Guitar
Joaquin Ridgell – Drums

Review

War Cloud's self-titled album is an seventies hard-rocking album that blends Classic Rock, Doom and Stoner Rock sounds. War Cloud is influenced by the legendary guitar bands of such as Thin Lizzy, UFO, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. The album is never too flash or progressive for its own good. With War Cloud creating a fine amount of heavy twin-guitar riffage.

Opening track - Give'r - is hard-rocking anthem if I ever heard one. Driven by classic dual/twin guitar sound with elements of psychedelic rock and groovy vocals make a winning start. The song does have a vintage sounding heavy metal feel with a cool seedy underbelly starting to creep in.

Second track - Chopper Wired - is pure classic hard rock carnage with War Cloud playing finely tuned riffs that's perfectly matched against the OTT lyrics and splendid vocals that make this a classic rock fan's dream come to life. Who cares if the album doesn't break any new ground musically. War Cloud knows what they are and they are miles ahead of the competition with expertly written melodies that captures the sound of the legendary seventies/eighties Hard Rock/Metal scene.

The album does move into heavier waters especially on the third track - Divide And Conquer - which has a slight Black Sabbath sensibility merged with NWOBHM sounds. Though it's the dual/twin guitar riff worship the band use to the best of their abilities that holds your attention throughout.

War Cloud would make brilliant touring buddies to Ripple Music legends - Mothership. As they both play a similar style of music. Sure Mothership maybe more into the cosmic side of things.

The album sounds intense and fantastic from the start. It perhaps ranks as the best sounding album Ripple Music have released this year. The album is loud and vibrant which elevates War Cloud's sound to Stadium Rock levels. Other songs on the album such as Hurricane, Red Witch and Speed Demon sees War Cloud opt for a faster style of music.

The music is addictive and played with a no-nonsense approach. My only complaint is that the album is on the short side running under thirty three minutes. I wish there were a couple more songs just to make the album last more. Though I suppose this keeps with the short album running times of albums released in the seventies from bands such as Thin Lizzy.

At least War Cloud will keep you supremely entertained throughout the entire album. Especially when War Cloud focus on playing heavy epic riffs that will have you pressing the rewind/repeat button on your media player. War Cloud's debut album may have a "classic" sounding sensibility but it's an album that will go down a storm with not only the classic rock brigade but also the modern stoner rock collective.

All in all, War Cloud has delivered a truly superb and brilliantly entertaining debut album. What more could you possibly want....

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sheltered Life for the promo. War Cloud S/T is now available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music now.

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