Thursday 23 May 2024

German Stoner Doomsters VAST PYRE Sign to Octopus Rising; First Single Out Now

Vast Pyre - German Stoner/Doom band signs with Octopus Rising to release their debut full-length album.

The band comments about the signing: "Folks, we're super stoked to unbolt the crate and ignite our very first outcome in cooperation with ARGONAUTA/OCTOPUS RISING. It's great news to have found a partner with whom we feel in good hands. We're looking forward to the future as a band and the partnership as well. BEHOLD THE NIGHTTIME."

Today also marks the release of a new single as a huge appetizer for the coming album. The track's title is "Focus Deceased," now available here: 

In the end of 2021 Försti (guitar) and Wally (drums, vocals) were in the mood and got together to jam some Stoner/Doom tunes from Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, Sleep etc. and hanging out from time to time. Genre-specific, they knew what they wanted. After some sessions and finding the right sound, they concentrated on writing their own songs - a few ideas got discarded. Bit by bit, they extended their backline/equipment in the rehearsal room, because they needed to add more low-end to the guitar. In the end, there was a huge backline that drove their sound and they decided to not put in any bass-guitar as an instrument separately: they just wanted to make "guitar-only" music. 

Later, their friend Jonny (lead guitar) joined the band at the end of 2022. Henceforth, the songs were rearranged and fine tuned. In August 2023 Vast Pyre opened for the Festival "Burgbrand Open Air" and shared the stage with bands like EREMIT and INDIAN NIGHTMARE, to name just a few. That should be the only concert they played that year, because first they wanted to record/mix their stuff, what they eventually did from November 2023 to February this year.

For more info:

Thanks to Grand Sounds Promotion for all of the details.

Psych Doom/Stoner Metallers WORSHIPPER release new lyric video 'Heroic Dose' taken from the forthcoming album "One Way Trip"!

WORSHIPPER drop a psychdelic lyric video featuring the super heavy track 'Heroic Dose' as the next single taken from the Boston psychedelic hard rockers' forthcoming third album "One Way Trip" which is scheduled for release on July 19, 2024 via Magnetic Eye Records.

"This is the final song that we wrote for the record, and probably the most personal for me", guitarist and singer John Brookhouse reveals. "I lost my dad in 2022, and one of the last conversations that we had was about his time in Vietnam. As I was writing the lyrics for this song, I realized that I had all of these remarkable stories, which he had told me about that period of time. Essentially, he flunked out of college, and in the midst of a 'spirit journey' he realized that he needed to enroll in the Army to avoid being drafted. I cannot even imagine being faced with such a grave decision. I made a bunch of war sounds with a Moog and a theremin that my dad gave me and handed them over to our producer, Alec Rodriguez. Alec just nailed the sound design, especially when mixed with all the acid fuzz freakout stuff at the end over Jarvis' excellent drum fills."


1. Heroic Dose
2. Keep This
3. Windowpane
4. Only Alive
5. Acid Burns
6. James Motel
7. The Spell
8. Onward

With their third full-length, "One Way Trip", Boston, MA psychedelic hard rockers WORSHIPPER have perfected their grand balancing act between classic hard rock and old school heavy metal that is empowered to soar high with the injection of a healthy dose of psychedelia. Rock and metal are all about the hooks and riffs, and the American quartet serves out those catchy delicacies in more than generous helpings.

Although the album title "One Way Trip" and some of the record's songs could be interpreted as relating to drug culture, things aren't so literal here, as WORSHIPPERtake a more kaleidoscopic view of the human condition through a psychedelic lens. During the making of the album, three band members suffered personal loss. The opening track, 'Heroic Dose' for example revolves around the choice of a father who had realised in a 'psychedelic epiphany' that he faced a choice between either enlisting or being drafted and sent to the front lines of the Vietnam war. This is also reflected in the order of the tracks being influenced by the psychological horror thriller "Jacob's Ladder" in which a Vietnam veteran is plagued by flashbacks and monstrous visions, and which added a loose circular concept to the entire album.

That a band from Boston takes inspiration from the dark side of art is probably no coincidence as New England is home to such grandmasters of horror as H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Coincidentally, the rebellious city that sparked the American War of Independence and the region are also sizzling hotspots of the East Coast rock scene.

When WORSHIPPER were founded in 2014, it was clear to singer and guitarist John Brookhouse, drummer Dave Jarvis, bass player and backing vocalist Bob Maloney, and guitarist Alejandro Necochea that their new band had to stand out given the high concentration of like-minded and talented local peers. With the mission statement of bringing something exciting and fresh to the table, the still intact original line-up has cranked out impeccable heady and heavy stuff with an emphatic focus on real songs with hooky melodies, creepy vocal harmonies, and twin guitar heroics from the moment of inception.

WORSHIPPER's gift for catchy epic songwriting did not go unnoticed, and soon a record deal established the band globally with the albums "Shadow Hymns" (2016) and "Light in the Wire" (2019) receiving worldwide praise. Their quick success also opened doors for heading out on the road, and WORSHIPPER gladly accepted offers to tour with WEEDEATER in the US and THE SKULL in Europe as well as sharing stages with kindred spirits and heroes such as ELDER, LUCIFER, ACE FREHLEY, and MONSTER MAGNET among many others.

With "One Way Trip", WORSHIPPER not only fulfil the high expectations their third full-length was saddled with, but the Americans are obviously enjoying doing exactly what they're best at: writing damn great songs for an album that has only killers and no fillers!


John Brookhouse – vocals, guitar, synth
Dave Jarvis – drums
Bob Maloney – bass, backing vocals
Alejandro Necochea – guitar, synth

For More Info Visit:

Thanks to All Noir PR and Magnetic Eye Records for all of the details.

Astralnaut - Astralnaut (Album Review)

Release Date: May 24th 2024. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Astralnaut - Astralnaut: Tracklisting

1.Tipping Point 04:43

2.Adrift 04:05

3.Plebicide 04:40

4.Humanity 05:47

5.The Veil 04:25

6.White Feather 06:57

7.Husk 08:36

8.Confederate (Part.1) 02:21

9.Confederate (Part.2) 04:34

10.Blood Sacrifice 05:20

Band Members

Vocals - Thomas Mallon

Bass - Anthony O'Neill

Guitar - Gary Treanor

Guitar - Jon Joe Harrison

Drums - Glenn Harrison


Northern Ireland Stoner Metallers Astralnaut finally released their new self-titled album which I wasn’t expecting at all. I remember reviewing the band’s previous releases back in my days being The Sludgelord. So this album was a great surprise for me to review this week. As I thought the band had called it quits. 

However, here we are in May 2024 and Astralnaut’s debut album is raucous mix of Doom Metal, Grunge, Stoner Rock, Sludge Metal and some epic NOLA based attitude appearing within the vocals and sludgy guitars that dominate whenever they’re needed.

Astralanut play a “No Frills” blend of Stoner Rock/Metal with stripped back production values but this works in the band’s favour. As they play to their creative and musical strengths with the tracks having a more organic and aggressive sound which feels inspired by bands such as DOWN, CROWBAR and KYUSS with Astralnaut becoming more obsessed by Doom Metal legends such as The Obsessed, Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath which you can feel within the majority of the tracks.

Astralnaut do have a creepy OVER THE TOP persona which is quite outlandish within the more gloomier and doomed out aspects of the album. However, I dare you not to be impressed by the opening excellent tracks of Tipping Point, Adrift (which features superb guest vocals by Kayleigh Dawson) and Plebicide. These tracks alone allows Astralnaut to explore their raw-sounding Doom/Stoner Metal grooves with sheer bravado and Hard Rock guitar shredding with a deep sense of classic HEAVY METAL dominance with a fun destructive sound all at the same time.

The album does become more Doom Metal obsessed within the next few tracks of Humanity, The Veil and White Feather. There is a slight gothic NOLA energy appearing within the lyrics and some of the vocal delivery used for this part of the album. There’s a deliberately slow sound coming from the instrumental movements of the album with Astralnaut showing a shift to a destructive vision appearing mostly within Humanity and especially with the classic Charlie Chaplin speech from The Great Dictator. 

Astralnaut overs a lot of different musical ground within the final section of the album which sees the band offer uncompromising lyrics and bleak romanticism being one of the main strengths of the whole album especially within White Feather and HUSK. The album does return to the familiar NOLA sound that appeared within the opening tracks. 

Astralnaut's self-titled album offers a no holds barred style of Doom/Stoner Metal that can be quite unforgiving and slightly nihilistic for some. However, this still remains a well produced and superbly put together album that should impress the majority of the Doom/Stoner Metal community.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Astralnaut for the promo.


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Huanastone - Son Of Juno (Album Review)

Release Date: May 24th 2024. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Son Of Juno: Tracklisting

1....And Then Came the Sun 

2.Son of Juno 

3.Love in Black Tar

4.Black Rain


6.If I Had a Head

7.Red Dunes

Band Members

- Tobias Amaru Gonzalez Contardo, vocals, guitar

- Victor Hansson, drums

- Filip Larsson, bass

- Harald Nordén, guitar


Son Of Juno is the fourth album from acclaimed Grunge/Stoner Rockers Huanastone who return with a more organic and riff-driven sound compared to their previous album Bad Blood. The record has it’s creative roots within the classic 90’s Grunge/Stoner Rock scene with traces of Blues Rock, Psych Rock and Desert Rock which sees the guys switch musical identities at the drop of a hat with relevant ease to bring an addictive Hard Rock quality to the album.

The first two tracks of ….And Then Came The Sun and Sun Of Juno has influences such as Alice In Chains, KYUSS, FU MANCHU and Soundgarden appearing with the storytelling mindset of the legendary era of music that allows Huanastone to be inspired directly by the classic Stoner Rock scene with highly energetic Stoner guitars with a slightly doomed out Grunge . The whole creative dynamic comes into full focus on Sun Of Juno with the music becoming dominated by epic guitars and subtle Psychedelic rhythms which transform into multiple different styles throughout the album.

 Third track Love In Black Tar feels like a more stripped back and hallucinogenic version of KYUSS with the vocals inspired by the 60’s and 70’s Psych Rock scene. The music does move over into Punk Rock territory with flashes of Garage Rock allowing the album to be quite distinctive with its slight DIY production values showing a hidden depth of addictive aggression appearing at different stages of the track.

Fourth track Black Rain operates solely as a Post-Stoner or Post-Grunge track with sullen and melodic instrumental parts which is deliberately slow with a more emotional core appearing within Tobias's vocals moving into 60’s Psych Rock and moody 90’s Grunge aesthetics. Huanastone plays epic sludgy guitars that brings the song closer to the classic Soundgarden track BLACK HOLE SUN in many ways but still standing on its own creative merits. Perhaps the standout track of the album.

Huanastone continues to blend Post-Rock based melodies and aggressive Grunge/Stoner melodic attitudes with some free-forming Desert Rock trippy jams leading the way on the final outstanding tracks such as Gaea, If I Had A Head and Red Dunes. Shades of The Doors lyrical energy shine right through within the later stages with a killer Middle Eastern sound showing a different side to Huanastone.

Son Of Juno is easily the most ambitious and brilliantly impressive album yet from Huanastone which perhaps also sees the band finally develop their own original sound to continue long well into the future with. This is an understated gem of an album which no doubt allows Huanastone to build up a fearsome reputation within the years to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Huanastone for the promo.

Son Of Juno will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Friday 24th May 2024.


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Monday 20 May 2024

Coroza - As Within (Album Review)

Release Date: May 20th 2024. Record Label: Cursed Monk Records. Formats: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

As Within: Tracklisting

1.Myrrh 09:39

2.Immersed 08:51

3.The Shifting Sands 04:24

4.Scorched Earth 09:03

5.As Within 10:14

Band Members

Ciarán Coghlan – guitar/vocals

Ollie Cunningham – drums

Tomás O’Brien – bass

Jack O’Neill – lead guitar/vocals


As Within is the new album from Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Coroza who are back after a five year absence since their celebrated debut release. This time round the band offer a more despairing style of Doom/Sludge Metal with a huge Progressive slant that easily matches the brutal leanings of bands such as GOJIRA, Mastodon, Cult Of Luna and THOU. 

The neverending style of Thrash beats and violent Groove metal guitars are the main order of creative business for Coroza but they still apply deft touches of Post-Rock and Psychedelic Doom that can be quite melodic and hopefully peaceful at times. This style of music appears briefly on the downright nasty opening track Myrrh. 

With a fearless style of Post-Metal appearing throughout the album though Coroza still develop the original sound they played on their debut album but this is with a more vibrant and Progressive energy with a brooding Sludge Metal and almost Post-Blackened Stoner Metal attitude appearing on tracks such as Immersed and The Shifting Sands.

Echoes of classic guitar shredding soon sees Coroza employ a neverending style of wicked guitar solos that travels the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal underground with sometimes a downright nasty approach especially on Immersed and Scorched Earth which feels like the twisted off-spring of GOJIRA, PANTERA and MASTODON all vying for musical supremacy. Though, it’s the sullen Psychedelic and Post-Rock passages that gives As Within such an immense and quality sounding experience which allows Coroza to create a highly original blend of music they can call their own.

The final track As Within has a real “storytelling” quality to the track with Coroza once again changing the standard Doom/Sludge Metal sound with a more adventurous Post-Metal attitude. The song can be beautifully soulful and peaceful one moment before changing into a bombastic style of Sludge Metal that takes no prisoners with Coroza unleashing distorted guitars and progressive rhythms that becomes the standout track of the whole album.

As Within has a wonderfully rich, diverse and epic sound which isn’t surprising since the album has been mastered by Magnus Lindberg from the legendary CULT OF LUNA with the hugely talented Aidan Cunningham on recording and mixing duties. Add the always impressive famed record label Cursed Monk Records to the party who are releasing this intense and superbly entertaining album then you have the makings of a sure-fire winner.

Coroza has the right ingredients to make a huge impact within the Doom/Sludge Metal scene and I’m expecting to see the band become more well known thanks to this great album alone.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Cursed Monk Records for the promo.

As Within is available to buy now on CD/Cassette/DD/Vinyl via Cursed Monk Records.


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Heksegrav - Svart Portal (Album Review)

Release Date: May 31st 2024. Record Label: The Lasting Dose Records. Formats: CD/DD

Svart Portal: Tracklisting




Band Members

GARM - Everything


Svart Portal is the debut album from One Man Doom/Sludge Metal Band Heksegrav. The record is a twenty eight minute opus that explores the finer points of the Funeral Doom scene with roots within Sludge Metal, Heavy Metal and Stoner Metal. Heksegrav is full of different Progressive sounding atmospheres with Psychedelic textures and distorted melodies with a Drone based quality appearing within the opening track of GLØD.

GLØD lasts around seven minutes length with Heksegrav playing a mean variety of LOW & SLOW guitar passages with a nightmarish and bleakly heavy Funeral Doom march with Drone pastures that merges the sounds of Pallbearer, Black Sabbath and Sunn0))) for an Ambient style appearing on the early stages of the track. The vocals are pure DOOM & GLOOM obsessed with moments of Shamanic Chants and Extreme Levels of harsh growls which matches the music when it becomes more aggressive and moves at a quicker pace. The instrumental work is impressive with the mysterious GARM playing everything himself with menacing relish and supreme confidence.

Second song Sirkel is a bit shorter running around six minutes in length which opens with eerie Church Bells which I was expecting to be more Occult based but GARM settles for a subtle Post-Rock sound that slowly merges into an intense Doom/Drone Metal instrumental charge with Folk-esque movements being quite powerful with an emotional depth that I wasn’t expecting. The creative Doom Metal approach of Pallbearer, Type O Negative and My Dying Bride can be heard but when Heksegrav ventures over into obsessive Sludge/Doom Metal territory then the album becomes progressive and sludgy Psych based guitars allows the record to offer it’s great style of Gothic Heaviness.

The final track of RÅTE feels like a direct continuation of the previous tracks with GARM fusing the whole story as one creative element where the music is once again dominated by the Funeral Doom sonic landscape. The vocals are distorted and drift to that Shamanic style with the instrumental grooves becoming heavier with STONER based intent. There’s a heavy metal aspect that allows GARM to bring more extreme levels of noise and aggression whilst still providing a first rate style of Melodic Rock within the confinements of the epic fifteen minutes run time the song ultimately runs for. 

Svart Portal only lasts for twenty eight minutes in length but feels longer and that’s a good thing. As Heksegrav has packed a lot of different HEAVY METAL sounds within the albums short run time with an adventurous style of Psych Metal, Prog Metal and that fabulous Funeral Doom energy which is where Svart Portal impresses the most.

This is a sublime debut release from Heksegrav which is superbly impressive on a technical level with GARM proving what a wonderful musician he actually is and showing what a keen creative mind that he has as well. The album is being released by superb record label The Lasting Dose Records who have released two standout releases already this year with GRIN and DAEVAR. If the label keeps releasing great albums such as this in the future then they could be the next “CULT” label for the underground scene to fully get behind. 

However, this is Heksegrav’s moment to shine in the spotlight and I’m quite excited to hear what Heksegrav will release in the future.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to The Lasting Dose Records and Against PR for the promo.

Svart Portal will be available to buy on CD/DD via The Lasting Dose Records from Friday 31st May 2024.



Sunday 19 May 2024

Kalgon - Kalgon (Album Review)

Release Date: May 23rd 2024. Record Label: Evil Noise Recordings. Formats: Cassette/DD

Kalgon - Kalgon: Tracklisting

1.The Isolate 

2.Grade Of The Slope 

3.Apocalyptic Meiosis

4.Interlude (Windigo Refrain)


6.Eye Of The Needle

7.Setting Sun

Band Members

Brandon Davis: Guitar and Vocal

Berten Lee Tanner: Bass and Vocal

Marc Russo: Drums


Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metallers Kalgon self-titled debut album is one that specialises in low-end riffage and raw sounding Progressive melodies with a Sludge/Thrash Metal outlook that allows the over-the-top story to progress at a thrilling fast pace. The album is about a space fungus that crash lands on Earth from Space and starts to take over and colonise the minds of humanity by controlling them to reformulate the atmosphere of Earth for warmer, more favorable conditions and more methane for the hivemind parasitic space fungus. 

You have to give credit to Kalgon for giving such an outlandish premise a touch of warmth and human emotion with some of the Post-Stoner and Post-Doom surroundings that appear on the record. However, Kalgon play a thrilling style of Down-tuned Doom/Sludge Metal with aggressive grooves and raw sounding vocals to match. The whole production of the album is raw and minimalistic which feels like a true debut album with a band not aiming for perfection but playing the best music they can possibly play.

The opening two tracks of The Isolate and Grade Of The Slope allows Kalgon to set down the rules of their LOW & SLOW world with moments of down-tuned Sludge grooves merging with strands of Punk, Thrash, Blues Rock and their main weapon of Heavy Psychedelic Doomed Out Stoner Metal. Both songs allow the muscular rhythm section of Berten Lee Tanner and Marc Russo on Bass and Drums respectively to play at a slow-to-mid pace with Brandon Davis playing the more destructive guitars which all combine for a subtle blast of atmospheric sounds. Taking cues from bands such as SLEEP, High On Fire, Monolord and CONAN for the most part. Kalgon employs their own style of epic mythology within their lyrics and some impressive guitar solos along the way.

The album continues with the lo-fi surroundings with a more Thrash paced outlook on the excellent third track Apocalyptic Meiosis which has a slight Mastodon storytelling influence and how they combine the different musical strands for a fast-paced Thrash/Punk Rock sound which gives more nuanced energy to the overall story of the album. This is perhaps the real turning point for Kalgon on a pure creative level. As everything becomes more real with the story and that’s down to the great lyrics, vocal performances and subtle melodic energy which all comes together within the few minutes that the song lasts for.

Fourth track Interlude (Windigo Refrain) is a stripped back Psychedelic track with Droned rhythms and Post-Rock sounds that offer a cold sounding track which feels powered by long drawn out synths that does have a dramatic Science Fiction sound.

The final three tracks of Windigo, Eye Of The Needle and Setting Sun is the best part of the album and where the heaviest and most interesting sounds that appear on the record. As Kalgon takes the “LOW & SLOW” sound to more aggressive and emotional levels with the Psychedelic and Droned Out elements becoming more dominant with some subtle Blues Rock energy appearing within Windigo and Eye Of The Needle. There’s a certain 1970’s Psych Rock and Space Rock sensibility that allows Kalgon to become more Science Fiction obsessed with the music once again being thoroughly modern at the same time.

The final track of Setting Sun is where the record becomes its most emotional, uplifting and absolutely devastating with Kalgon resolving all the loose ends of their creative journey with a therapeutic style of Post-Rock, Psych Rock and Sludge Metal with a distracting Drone Rock score. This is quite rewarding to hear especially with the fantastic vocals laying out a slightly dystopian and nightmarish quality to them. You’re probably thinking where the “uplifting” vibe is coming from that I mentioned earlier. Well, that’s down to the wonderful melody and tone of the track which was quite therapeutic for myself to hear.

Kalgon’s debut album is another great album from the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with the ultimate WOW factor which a lot of great bands have been appearing recently such as CLEEN, Ape Vermin, HASHTRONAUT and Lungburner who all play a subtle LO-FI raw-sounding energy that gives the standard Doom/Stoner Metal sound a more adventurous approach. 

I’m hoping that Kalgon builds up a well-deserved reputation within the scene. This album is a highly original record that offers intense grooves to match. This is another great album being added to my Album Of The Year list which I can see being added to quite a few more folks lists before the year is out.

Outstanding. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Desert Bloom PR for the promo.

Kalgon self-titled release will be available to buy on DD/Cassette via Evil Noise Recordings from Thursday 23rd May 2024.


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