Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Hashishian - S/T (Album Review)

 

Release Date: April 20th 2022. Record Label: Herby Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Hashishian - S/T - Tracklisting


Onward

Let Us Reason

Mountain Of Smoke

Shai Hulud

HIgh Chief

Nazareth


Review


Hashishian is a mysterious Meditative Psych/Doom/Stoner Metal band that travels through the same riff-filled land of UFOMAMMUT, OM, SLEEP and HAWKWIND. Their debut album is what would happen if OM had released Dopesmoker and not the mighty SLEEP. Throw in heavy levels of FUZZED OUT ROCK and the album is quite an interesting proposition if you dig music such as this which I ultimately do.


The album is heavily inspired by DOPESMOKER and classic science fiction novel DUNE. The band offer their own spin by adding more Middle Eastern vibes and Drone Effects. This allows Hashishian to have a more "Desert Rock" effect with the use of different instruments and vocals that accompany this release. If you've heard DOPESMOKER before then these sounds will be common knowledge to you all. However, for folks not aware of that classic album then Hashishian will be a challenging experience. 


The first few songs: Onward, Let Us Reason and Mountain Of Smoke all offer a slow-paced journey where the music even moves into vast areas of Occult based sounds with the primary WEEDIAN grooves that the band have used for this album. The instrumental work is very direct and distorted that moves along a deliberate slow pace. The Middle Eastern themes are more centred here and this allows the band to fully explore the Desert Landscape by FUZZY REVERBS which is driven by a powerful BASS tone held within the album.


Hashishain perhaps come into their own musical flow from the third song (Mountain Of Smoke) onwards with a bit of "DRONE" style slowly combining with freaky Psychedelic guitars that have echoes of the "DESERT" lurking in the background. The song is cautiously slow yet again but allows the listener to soak up the desolate and bleak WEEDIAN based grooves at their own speed.


Other standout tracks are: Shai Hulud and HIgh Chief. As these tracks see Hashishian understand the true nature of Frank Herbert's classic novel and merge it with Doom/Stoner Metal sounds for a darker style of music. 


There's a lot of SONIC EXPERIMENTATION with this release and you can hear strands of Ambient Post-Rock on the second half of the album. Backed up by wonderfully freakish and top-notch production values. This album is a wonderfully complex and truly adventurous audio experience that deserves multiple listens to understand the whole crazy journey of it all.


Excellent and Highly Recommended.


Words by Steve Howe


Hashishian Self Titled Record is available to buy digitally now and on Vinyl through Herby Records.


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Psych Doom/Stoner Rockers GRANDIER Premiere New Song My Church Of Let It All Go From Upcoming Album via Majestic Mountain Records


Swedish Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rockers GRANDIER will be releasing their highly anticipated debut album with Majestic Mountain Records in September 2022.

You can experience the stunning new single My Church Of Let It All Go which gives you a great indication on what to expect from the upcoming debut album.


The band have said this about the new single:

“This song is the last remnant of a theme album that we started out with, back when the band was formed. We had some nice, straigthforward heavy riffs and a lot of inspiration from Eywind Johnsons novel, that ended up as demos. Some years later, when we were wrapping up the work for the first proper album, we gave the song another try. 

Urbain Grandier was a catholic priest, burned at the stake in 1634 after being convicted of witchcraft. More likely, he was victim of political persecution and a good dose of collective hysteria. He did write some scorching satire, mocking the mighty cardinal Richelieu, though. He wasn’t that keen on celibacy, either. The Priest - perhaps he is you, perhaps he is me - is waiting in his cell, the last one. He knows that nothing matters, things are as FUBAR as always. Dogma no longer holds, if it ever did. Just let it all go. Let it pass. There’ll be no redemption. Only screaming people, lies and fire. All you can do is to laugh in the face of power, and stay humble.”

Thanks to Vesper at Majestic Mountain Records for all of the details.

Links

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Blue Heron - Ephemeral (Album Review)

Release Date: May 27th 2022. Record Label: Seeing Red Records / Kozmik Artifactz. Format: DD/Vinyl

Ephemeral - Tracklisting

1.Futurola 

2.Sayonara

3.Push the Sky 

4.Infiniton Field

5.The Buck

6.Black Blood of the Earth 

7.Where One Went Together

8.Salvage


Members


Mike Chavez - Guitar

Ricardo Sanchez - Drums

Steve Schmidlapp - Bass

Jadd Shickler - Vocals


Review


Ephemeral is the debut album from Desert/Stoner Metallers Blue Heron and is made up of highly talented individuals from the Albuquerque, New Mexico underground scene. Their debut album is an edgy take on the standard themes of Desert/Stoner Rock with extra Sludge/Doom Metal grit with a Blues Rock and Punk Rock flow allowing Blue Heron to stand on their own creative merits.


The album has a gritty attitude to it all which you can hear on the excellent opening song Futurola which fuses the legendary sounds of the Californian desert which give us bands such as KYUSS, Fu Manchu and Yawning Man with a Sludgy distorted attitude that brings out the more streetwise attitude from Blue Heron. A solemn Blues Rock vibe allows lead vocalise Jadd Shickler to stick his Punk-ish based vocals to good use with dark tales of the desert which lives in both the classic days of 90’s Desert/Stoner Rock and the more modern day based Sludge/Doom sounds that surround the later stages of the song.


Second song Sayonara sees Blue Heron go all in with a more Progressive and Psychedelic on the distorted Sludge/Stoner based flow that leads the way with this song. A haunting Desert/Drone attitude allows the band to play a solitary style of music with Jadd’s vocals slowly taking their time to bring their message to the Stoner Rock/Metal masses with a BLUES ROCK twinge being slightly deceptive in places. The music is the main draw here as it slowly moves into different areas of WEEDIAN attitude but that Progressive flair brings a delicate balance of FUZZ based gloomy elements to the album you wouldn’t quite expect.


The rest of the album sees the band return to a less progressive structure seen within Sayanora but still playing a dynamically powerful Psychedelic sound that showcases everything we love so well from the underground Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal scenes. Heavy FUZZY and DISTORTED grooves that have the power to last an age and perhaps show the next generation of music fans who wonderfully exciting Sludge/Stoner Metal can actually be.


You can hear this on great songs such as: Push The Sky, The Buck, Black Blood Of The Earth and Salvage.


These are the other songs on the album where Blue Heron impresses the most with the band switching musical styles with carefree attitudes and a knowing authority of the music they actually play on this album. The music does pay homage to the heavy hitters of the scene such KYUSS, Fu Manchu and Black Sabbath but also newer bands such as Lowrider, Truckfighters and Big Business.


However, Blue Heron proves on Ephemeral that they’re in the driving seat for this release and you’ll be blown away by the amazing instrumental work that Mike Chavez, Ricardo Sanchez and Steve Schmidlapp lay down for this album. With Jadd Shickler stellar vocals holding everything together. 


Jadd also runs famed indie record labels Magnetic Eye Records and Blues Funeral Records and knows a thing or two about the underground scene. Hell, the whole band does. So the quality of this band was never in doubt.


It’s good to see Seeing Red Records and Kozmik Artifactz releasing this album themselves jointly and not Jadd’s famed own record labels. Two amazing underground labels that do stellar work within the scene. 


Anyway, maybe I have waxed too lyrical and perhaps slightly “romantic” about this album. That I offer no apologies.


This is a type of record why I love the Stoner Metal scene so much. As it fuses the classic sounds of the 90s Desert/Stoner Metal scene whilst still bringing elements from today’s vibrant Psychedelic/Progressive based sound that is becoming the norm for bands and albums such as this. 


Ephemeral is a darker style of WEEDIAN based musical therapy that we need for today’s fucked up world we currently live in and I loved every delicious FUZZED up part of this album with a passion. 


Words by Steve Howe


Thanks to Seeing Red Records and Red Lead PR for the promo


Ephemeral will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from the links below on May 27th 2022.


Kozmik Artifactz

Seeing Red Records


Links


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Band To Check Out - PEGZILLA Release New Song And Video For PAMELA From Forthcoming Debut EP


Pegzilla is a heavy 3-piece based in Los Angeles. Influenced by doom metal and stoner rock, the trio seeks to create fantastical melodies with guitar riffs that sting, bass riffs that shake the earth, and a climactic drum sound.

The band is made up of members:

Guitar/Vox - Olivia Saperstein
Bass - Spencer Robinson
Drums - Jeremy Lombardo

You can view the video for the excellent and action packed new song PAMELA below:


The song offers over 3 minutes of a great upcoming band in tune with their "DIY" roots that's bursting with manic Doom/Stoner Rock energy with a hint of rebellious PUNK grooves that builds upto a more soulful style of Doom/Stoner Rock. Check out Olivia's killer vocals on this release and the sublime Psychedelic Stoner based Noises the band make on PAMELA.

PEGZILLA could be quite an exciting band to check out when their debut EP is released very soon.

Links


Saturday, 14 May 2022

Mudweiser - The Call (Album Review)

Release Date: April 15th 2022. Record Label: Head Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Call - Tracklisting

1.Invitation 04:23

2.High Again 04:13

3.Blasted Forever 03:12

4.Sister Mary 05:07

5.Daughters 06:06

6.Reckless Dream 03:11

7.The Hunt 04:00

8.Sad Man 04:49


Review


The Call is the fourth album from French Stoner Metallers and features eight fast-paced songs over thirty five minutes or so. There’s a hard rock mentality with this album and it’s an aggressive confident affair with the band showing elements of Desert Rock and Punk Rock within the overall flow of the album. 


Shades of Orange Goblin, Clutch, KYUSS and Fu Manchu appear within the DNA of this band that allow The Call to be quite catchy in certain parts of the album. The music moves along at a confident fast pace with bouncy Stoner Rock/Metal grooves having traces of Blues Rock on the earlier stages of the record which you can hear on songs such as Invitation, High Again and Blasted Forever.


There’s nothing groundbreaking about this album but Mudweiser excel playing in their high-voltage style of modern day Stoner Rock/Metal with energetic levels of mighty fine aggression being heard within both the music and vocals. Fuelled by superb production values, The Call does what it needs to do to entertain listeners with and succeeds mightily well for listeners to have a damn good time with this album.


Standout songs include: High Again, Blasted Forever,  Daughters, The Hunt and Sad Man. 


If you’re looking for a more classic style of Stoner Rock/Metal that pays homage to some legendary bands within the scene whilst forging their own musical path then Mudweiser are an exciting prospect to check out. Along with the other albums the band have released, Mudweiser have a lot of great music for new fans to discover and get on board with from this great band. 


Overall, The Call is another impressive release from Mudweiser and allows the band to build upon their already impressive discography.


Excellent and Highly Recommended.


Words by Steve Howe


Links


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Witchfinder - Endless Garden (EP Review)

Release Date: June 03rd 2022. Record Label: MRS Red Sound. Format: DD

Endless Garden - Tracklisting

1.The Maze

2.Eternal Sunset


Members


Clément Mostefai: vocals, bass

Stanislas Franczak: guitar

Thomas Dupuy: drums

Kevyn Raecke: keyboards


Review


French Doom/Stoner Rockers Witchfinder return with their new EP Endless Garden and sees the band return with a more gloomier aspect and progressive vibe to their music. Teaming up with MRS Red Sound (Mars Red Sky owned record label) once again, this EP is more dedicated to similar sounds from bands such as Electric Wizard and Monolord with Witchfinder’s own WEEDIAN charm intact. This release is more Psychedelic and Spaced Out compared to their previous releases with some excellent Black Sabbath/Uncle Acid inspired vocals leading the way.


Opening song The Maze is a mixture of Space Rock distorted elements with groovy amplifier Sludgy and Stoner grooves. There’s a well meaning aspect to this song despite the “DOOM & GLOOM” subject matter but it’s the grooves where Witchfinder proves their musical worth. Heavy Psychedelic DISTORTED AMPLIFIER sounds with a Psych Doom underscore being quite progressive in places. There are a ton of epic great guitar riffs along the way with Witchfinder being quite adventurous in places. 


Second song Eternal Sunset is a “WOW” type of song when that Psychedelic/Space Rock groove initially appears that has a certain Monolord flavour but the band wisely bring their own style of heavy thunderous Sludge/Stoner based heaviness with the song  being firmly rooted in modern day Doom Metal. The instrumental work is impressive and the song moves through different styles of WEEDIAN based music for a song leaves you wanting more. The clean vocals are an absolute joy and do remind me of MARS RED SKY in many ways but this is still Witchfinder’s show and they excel on this release with the EP’s constantly engaging use of distorted Psychedelic sounds.


Endless Garden is the perfect appetizer for Witchfinder’s upcoming third full length album that will be released later this year and showcases how the band are one of the best bands from the French Psych Doom/Stoner Metal underground scene right now.


Words by Steve Howe


Thanks to Shake Promotion for the promo. Endless Garden will be available to buy digitally via MRS Red Sound from June 03rd 2022.

Links


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Thursday, 12 May 2022

Somali Yacht Club - The Space (Album Review)

Release Date: April 22nd 2022. Record Label: Season Of Mist Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Space - Tracklisting


Silver

Pulsar

Obscurum

Echo Of Direction

Gold

Momentum


Members


Mezk Erei - Guitar/Vocals

Artur Savluk - Bass

Lesyk Magula - Drums


Review


Things were looking so good and hopeful for Ukrainian Psych/Space/Stoner Rockers Somali Yacht Club who had just signed a new deal with Season Of Mist Records to reissue their back catalogue and release their new album The Space. However, Russia had other plans with their horrible invasion of Ukraine. That hasn't stopped Somali Yacht Club by releasing their 3rd album The Space.


This is a record full of hopeful moments that sees Somali Yacht Club expand their sound with huge sounding areas of Psyched Out Space Rock that sees the band play similar styles of music to bands such as Elephant Tree, Weedpecker and Pallbearer in places. Perhaps their best and most mature offering to date and I could have seen these guys make huge strides on on the live circuit within the Stoner Rock/Metal community if Russia didn't invade their home country.


The album opens with the stunning first track Silver which sees the band offer a more mature blend of songwriting and vocal passages as well. The music has an optimistic gloomy or Post-Doom feel to it that has echoes of Pallbearer but with that Somali Yacht Club swagger still shining through. The grooves are more "Rock" than "Metal" though still showing a fine appetite for all things Doom, Sludge and Stoner sounds lovingly wrapped in Psychedelic Spaced Out Riffs. 


Second song Pulsar has echoes of Synth Driven Psychedelic Post-Rock rhythms before moving onto heavier DOOM based pastures. The music is quite melancholic with uplifting aggressively heavy passages that sees the band fully explore the areas of Post-Rock and Post-Stoner their music fully resides in whilst offering a Progressive Sludgy outlook on certain stages of the song. The song lasts more than nine moments and it's a beautifully structured song that has levels of real intelligence amongst the different styles of music contained on this song.


Third song Obscurum opens once again with echoes of Post-Rock/Post-Stoner vibes before slowly expanding into more heavier sludgy and gloomy atmospherics but held together by a wonderfully uplifting "Psych" score that only elevates the "indie" based vocals to another level. Shades of nineties Alt-Metal keep things relatively grounded but still allowing Somali Yacht Club the opportunity to venture further into their Space Rock world. There are some fantastic guitar solos on this song that do have a certain Post-Metal quality to it all. 


The album moves even further into hopeful Post-Rock/Post-Stoner territory on the second half of the album but with the band still playing slightly heavier distorted grooves and elements on songs such as Echo Of Direction and Momentum. These are two of the other lengthier songs on the album lasting over nine minutes and twelve minutes respectively. 


Somali Yacht Club opt for a more cinematic style of delivery on the second half of the album but it works so well with even more blistering and heavy Psych/Space Rock moments merged with their gloomy Sludge/Stoner instrumental work. The vocals yet again are excellent with a fantastic lead performance from Mezk Erei who puts in a commanding vocal performance from start to finish.


The whole band play their part by making The Space such a joyous, uplifting, thrilling and beautifully heavy sonic experience. The record also has first rate production values and is without doubt perhaps the best that Somali Yacht Club have sounded to date.


Overall, The Space is an exciting and emotionally charged record that allows this to be a genuine Album Of The Year Contender. Don't let this record pass you by. Add this to your collection now.


Words by Steve Howe


The Space is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Season Of Mist Records


Links


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