Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Seum - Winterized (Album Review)

 

Release Date: June 11th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Winterized - Tracklisting


1.Sea Sick Six 04:06

2.Life Grinder 03:14

3.Winter of Seum 05:10

4.Broken Bones 04:41

5.666 01:39

6.Black Snail Volcano 04:28

7.Red Sematary 05:12


Members


Fred - Drums

Gaspard - Vocals

Piotr - Bass


Review


Winterized is the new album from Doom ‘N’ Bass Trio and troublemaking riffsters - Seum. These guys are from Montreal, Quebec and bring a Punk Rock attitude to their new album. Seum play a fun style of Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Stoner Metal and Punk Rock with only drums and bass as the musical instruments of choice with “in-Yer-Face” vocals from Gaspard. The album is deliciously heavy especially in the FUZZ ROCK stakes with the band bringing an energy that reminds me of The Melvins, The Ramones and possibly further afield as CLUTCH, SAINT VITUS and SLEEP.


The whole album does have a slight “Southern Rock” flavour with Seum playing fast and loose with the rules of music they employ on this album. Despite the record being under 29 minutes, Seum covers a lot of ground both musically and creatively speaking. This is an all out “violent audio” assault across the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal spectrum especially on songs such as: Sea Sick Six, Life Grinder, Winter Of Seum and Black Snail Volcano.


These tracks is where the listener can feel the powerful “DOOMONIC” bass heavy force which allows Seum play some epic grooves with dark lyrical themes moving Seum further into the Doom/Sludge Metal abyss. 


Seum do show their fun side by playing a superb cover of The Ramones track - Pet Sematary - but by changing the track to Red Sematary and giving the song a slight “Sludge/Doom” Punk makeover. It’s a heavy and engaging experience compared to the original and is a cool way to end the album.


Like I said previously, Winterized is a fun album that never forgets what it truly is and that is a fantastic and superbly entertaining album that should keep the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community vastly entertained.


Words by Steve Howe


Links:


Facebook | BandCamp


Monday, 21 June 2021

An Interview With Christopher, Gabe and Greg from KVASIR


KVASIR are a band who have been on my radar for the last few weeks ever since they announced details of their upcoming album 4 and when I premiered their new song The Black Mailbox.

I wanted to find out more about the band before I hear their upcoming new album which I'll be reviewing near the release date of 28th June 2021 or just soon after. 

Here's an interview that I did with Christopher (Guitar/Vox), Gabe (Guitar) and Greg (Bass) from KVASIR.

Hi KVASIR. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today?.

Christopher (Guitar, Vocals): Hi! Thank you, we are well! Greg (Bass), Gabe (Guitar), and I are all friends from growing up together in Wyoming. When Greg and I reconnected in Portland in 2017, we started Kvasir as a three-piece. We added Gabe and Jay (Drums) in 2019 to complete the current lineup.

How would you describe your sound in your own words. As you seem to delve into different areas of Heavy Metal and Doom Rock. 

Christopher: I think it’s fair and even desirable from our perspective to have some difficulty in assigning us to a genre. Part of what makes this band so much fun to be in is that its members all approach the role of being a musician in a different and very uniquely personal way. That culminates in what you hear, which is sometimes straight out heavy metal, NWOBHM, with jazz and funk influences combined with deliberate artistic and classical nuances, sometimes not so subtle.

Why did you choose the name KVASIR for your band and what does it mean to you all.

Christopher: Kvasir was from the Norse pantheon, a mythical figure who represented the Explorer and the Sage. He was divinity who dwelt on Earth in order to soak up knowledge and experiences, and to share them with others, which resonates with me.

Thank you for allowing me to premiere your excellent new song The Black Mailbox. Much appreciated. Though, we’re here to talk about your upcoming new album – 4. What can people expect from this album and what’s the concept or story of the album?

Gabe: When you go from 3 dimensions of space to 4 in physics a cube turns into a tesseract. It’s hard to imagine a tesseract if you’ve only experienced 3 dimensions of space. We approached that concept with the Solve Et Coagula maxim of Alchemy which means to dissolve and reform. Adding another instrument opened up arrangement possibilities. We had all the right musicians in a unified coagula and the goal was loosely to make a full length of eight songs at about 44 mins, but we didn’t know exactly what that may entail.


Was this a hard album to write and record for. Especially during COVID-19 still being around us all.

Gabe: Covid did present a practical challenge postponing the original recording date of 04/04/2020. There were also some supply chain problems later as far as pressing goes. Someone grounds a ship in the Suez and all kinds of things get fucked up. Luckily the album just wrote itself.

What influenced or inspired you when making this album.

Christopher: The lyrical content all comes from my life experiences. Greg had the cover art done before the album had been written, so the context for those experiences on the album was then inspired by the themes of his art.

Gabe: I strive to be an open vessel through which the oracle speaks.

What formats the album is being released upon.

Christopher: Vinyl and digital.

Glory Or Death Records are releasing the album. How did you hook-up with that label and did you have any other offers to release the album on?

Christopher: We did have an original offer from another label before the pandemic started, but the ensuing chaos led to other decisions for both parties (very amicably). Our album was given to Buddy Donner who runs Glory or Death by a mutual friend, and Buddy was immediately stoked on the project, which really pleased us!


Who designed the fantastic artwork for II. And how much input did you have into the final design of it all.

Greg: Thank you for digging the art. I’m also a visual artist and create most of the art for the band. Luckily, everyone trusts me enough, so I get total freedom to do whatever. It’s a nice luxury, but then again, it’s probably saved us a lot of money and hassles too… One conscious element I’ve intentionally incorporated into all of the band’s art is a loose connecting narrative. From our first EP to the new album, it all tells one epic esoteric story. Usually my art is very busy, so creating the art for Kvasir has been a great exercise in restraint and using blacks.

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected the band. And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

Christopher: Other than it being incredibly frustrating to be patient and not play shows, I think we were able to use the time to really refine not only what we were doing musically, but also our relationships to the band and to each other.

After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold for the band. Will you be touring the record if possible?

Christopher: Yes, there will be tours for sure. We already have shows lined up in Washington in July with our friends from Tigers on Opium and Grim Earth, and we’re looking forward to bringing the album to the entire West Coast in person very soon!

Will you be anxious, scared or excited when performing on the live stage again.

Gabe: There was some anxiety before our very first shows after long periods of inactivity due to the pandemic. You get back on the horse and you’re not sure if it will buck you off, but hell or high-water you know you’re going for a ride.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

Greg: Love, value and respect creative people. Discover a new way to express yourself, it can be anything from painting to plumbing, and then get obsessed with the process. It’s the passion that matters.

Words by Steve Howe and KVASIR

Thanks to Leanne at Mettle Media PR for arranging this interview and for the promo materials. Thanks to KVASIR for doing this interview.


Sunday, 20 June 2021

An Interview With Anna C. Chaos AKA - UMBILICHAOS


Anna C. Chaos is the driving creative force behind one woman noise- doom/psychedelic post-hardcore act - UMBILICHAOS. I wasn't aware UMBILICHAOS before I was recently asked to review their latest release To Become Unreal and possibly interview Anna as well.

UMBILICHAOS have 12 excellent releases on their BandCamp Page and play an interesting style of Post-Hardcore, Doom Metal, Drone Metal, Sludge Metal and Post-Metal grooves. If you dig bands such as Neurosis and GODFLESH but with a more Psychedelic/Shoegaze feel then UMBILICHAOS are definitely worth checking out.

I admire Anne's use of heavy distorted sounds and vocal imagery she projects with each UMBILICHAOS release. 

You can read my review of To Become Unreal here. Anna kindly agreed to do this interview where we discuss Anna's creative process and musical influences

Hi Anna. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how UMBILICHAOS came together and where it is today?.

Hi Steve! Nice to talk with you, I appreciate the request. I’m fine, trying to stay healthy and productive among the Apocalypse. I started Umbilichaos, in São Paulo, Brazil, by myself in December, 2007. I tried to play with some people, but we weren’t at the same page musically. Then I bought a drum-machine, which I had just found about and that was used by bands I really love, like Cocteau Twins, Big Black and Godflesh. 

Then I learnt how to use it and what a drummer does in the song after intensive listening sessions, and arranged things so I could do all by myself. All you hear is vocals, guitars, drum-machine, and stolen samples. I’m releasing my 12th record this year, 7 or 8 months after the 11th. As the world is ending I’m trying to focus my free time in writing and recording.

How would you describe your sound in your own words for this project,. As you seem to delve into different areas of heavy music for this project.

I have a lot of different influences into the spectrum of rock music, and a few other stuff. I listen from Joni Mitchell to Ion Dissonance and Ravi Shankar. My plan always was to take this all together and make music and records I would like to listen. I would describe as heavy and intense, yet very emotional music. I like epic and cinematic approach, with no conventional structures, exploring different dynamics, heavy low end multi-faceted riffs, melody, dissonance and feedback, and to put together a lot of discordant parts in one song.

Why did you choose the name UMBILICHAOS for your band and what does it mean to you

I always wanted it to have “chaos” on the name, because I love the concept of infinite chance, and amorphous randomness that is the creative force of existence. And I also wanted to express something really visceral. One day, I was listening the first Mars Volta record, and I heard the lyrics “umbilical blisters”, I think. Then I got the click. Umbilichaos, to me, is our inner and innate state of confusion and creation.


We’re here to talk about your new release –To Become Unreal. What can people expect from this record and what’s the concept or story of the album?

It’s crushing and slow, with weird tempos and noisy chords voicings, epic low end riffs, dark psychedelia, relentless and surgical drumming, and lung-bust howls.

The background of this record is the same of the former 3, I call them Tetralogy of Loneliness. They were all written between 2013 and 2014, and deal with themes of depression, isolation, personal failures and struggles, broken relationships, bad ways of coping with pain, and the search of a healing that seems distant. 

This record, in particular, was written around something I was living by the end of 2014. I was experiencing something I was longing so much in my life, but then I didn’t feel I was giving the due respect. Coz’ it happened when I felt so broken and beyond salvation, unworthy. I thought I could never heal, and was doing things that would only cause the corrosion of what was happening around me.

Was this a hard album to write and record for. Especially during COVID-19 still being around us all.

Not really. I think the emotions behind it were really intense, but to write music became a process so organic to me, that I couldn’t say it was hard. In fact, is a great joy to compensate the shits in our lives making music, I think. But, I definitely hate recording. I don’t like the pressure of not making a mistake. Ha ha. But it’s really sad to had such a productive time, with a series of strong releases and not being able to play them live. And sure, there’s the terrible reason of COVID. We’re going to half million dead people here. Thanks to our scumbag sociopath president allied with the military. It’s a shame.

What influenced you when writing and recording To Become Unreal.

Musicwise, I could name Black Flag, Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, Germs, Joni Mitchell, John Fahey, Sabbath, Floyd, Obsessed, Celtic Frost, Amebix, Death, Sepultura, Presto, Portishead, Elma, Hurtmold, L7, King Crimson, Jesu, Neurosis, Earth, Hole, The Gits, Sonic Youth, Slint, Swans, Meshuggah, Opeth, Behemoth, Integrity, Starkweather, Eyehategod, Botch, Fugazi, Soundgarden, Helmet, Melvins, Tool, Tar.

About lyrics, Carl G. Jung, Rollo May, Joseph Campbell, and Brazilian writers Graciliano Ramos and João Cabral de Melo Neto.

When recording and mixing, my references are records of Neurosis, Jesu (specially Times of Grace/Through Silver in Blood and Infinity), and Pitchshifter’s Industrial. I could say my main goal is to sound like a louder and crushing Damaged.

About guitar tone, I could say I’m try to get live and on record the sound of Kirk Windstein, Tom G. Fischer, Justin K. Broadrick, the first Cathedral record, and Entombed’s first two. And Brazilian band Elma.

What comes first for you - Music or Lyrics.

Always the music. I’m not a shredder, and all the elements are important, specially the drums. But Umbilichaos is definitely guitar music. The lyrics doesn’t come attached to any specific song. They’re poetry written thru the years, and I choose the ones I feel fit to the song. To Become Unreal is a rare case of lyrics written in the exact period I was writing the music.


This is your 12th release overall under your UMBILICHAOS project, Does it become easier and harder with each release. Do you ever feel like trying different areas of music or releasing something under a different name.

I don’t usually think this way. I love to write and rehearse, and play live. It’ a great pleasure, even when I’m not in the best mood. But is always laborious, I try to make something I didn’t make before in each work, and I’m very obsessive with details. And as I don’t make a living with it, there’s not much time as I would like to be playing. Tough I’m always writing in my head.

And I have an acoustic solo project, Ismália, which is more country-blues.

How has the reception been to your music in Brazil and globally. Are there any major differences. I’m a fan of your music but I;ve only become a fan recently. Since Matheus contacted me to check your upcoming new release.

Hmmm. I think Brazil is difficult to rock bands, and the heavier you are, worse it is. And if you add some kind of experimentalism in it, you’re done. Ha ha ha. I think we never had such a fertile time in rock and metal, globally. Technology offers the means for people have their music recorded home and available to the world.

There’s a LOT of great artists. But it’s really hard to stand out, at the same time. So many awesome things are lost in the internet. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get much exposure so far, I think. But there’s money and time involved to get to that point, that is hard manage all by myself. This said, I think there’s a real audience for experimental heavy bands outside.

This scene isn’t so strong here. Not many bands or public. I think in Europe and North America, people are more open to different forms of heavy music. I only know some countries in Europe, and I had a real good time playing there. Specially Germany and Belgium.

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected you. And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

I’m fortunate enough to be safe and healthy so far, as my loved ones. A lot of people can’t say that. Worst thing happened was to cancel an Europe tour already scheduled, a tour by Brazil’s South I was starting to plan, and a lot of confirmed gigs in my State. I was already working from my house for a year, and never was a very social, party-time person. But after a year and half at home, half million lost lives, a genocidal government, we’re all exhausted. I’m surviving working a lot in my day-job, doing studies, searching new bands and artists to inspire me, and making music.

After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold for you.

I want to reschedule the tour in Europe, and get to know other places in Brazil. Maybe other countries too.

Do you ever perform live. If so, do you have plans to play more live gigs in the future.

Yeah. Not as much as I would like. I spoke a little about it in the former question. But 2019 was a great year with lots of cool gigs, mini-tour in Brazil, tour in Europe. It was the best moment of playing live in years. And unfortunately, there’s this gap now.

Do you have a local scene in Brazil that allows you the opportunity to perform gigs regularly. If so what is the live UMBILICHAOS experience like.

We have a very intense scene, but there’s no real money, except for two or three more commercial bands that shows up once in a while. In the underground, we have a lot of first league bands, that have a public. But from more hegemonic genres, like death, thrash, hardcore, grindcore. Heavy and slow, or somewhat experimental artists usually don’t last much, unfortunately. I think Jupiterian is the only one getting a fair recognition, here and overseas.

There’s no festivals, or a circuit to play often, and not much public. I think I’m here so far, coz’ I didn’t have any band members to fight with. Ha ha ha.

Umbilichaos live experience, if the right sound conditions are given, will be intense, relentless, rage filled, painfully loud, earthshaking low. In the wrong sound conditions, rage will fill the spaces! To me is like calculated and ritualistic exorcism.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

I thank you. It was really cool to answer. I really appreciate the interest. Everybody take care, stay healthy and alive. Hope we all can meet together when touring is possible again. And check To Become Unreal.

Words by Steve Howe and Anna C. Chaos

Thanks to Matheus Jacques for arranging this interview and Anna C. Chaos for participating.

Links:


Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram

UMBILICHAOS - To Become Unreal (EP Review)

Release Date: June 17th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD


To Become Unreal - Tracklisting


1.To Become Unreal Pt 01 10:54

2.To Become Unreal Pt 02 14:36


Members


Anna C. Chaos - Everything


Review


UMBILICHAOS is a one-woman Post-Hardcore/Doom/Psychedelic Act from a hugely talented individual called Anna C. Chaos. UMBILICHAOS have just released their 12th release overall with To Become Unreal. The EP features 25 minutes spread across 2 tracks which has a slow-burning narrative which allows Anna to fuise many different elements of Drone, Doom, Sludge, Psych and Hardcore grooves with an Experimental Distorted Shoegaze Narrative.


Perhaps influenced by bands such as Neurosis and Godflesh. To Become Unreal is a deeply emotional release which dictates its own style of music and can be quite sluggish and slow-paced at times. I mean that as a compliment. As the listener has more time to delve into the harsh Psychedelic themes and ideas UMBILICHAOS uses for their main storytelling device.


The production is excellent and is perhaps the strongest offering that UMBILICHAOS has released to date with some rich “Post-Metal” and “Shoegaze” methodology being used to great effect. The vocals are bang-on point and you can feel Anna’s frustration with the world and the growls providing a convincing argument against the excellent instrumental work contained with the EP.


My favourite song has to be the opening track To Become Unreal Pt 1. As it has that legendary “Post-Metal” sound made famous by Neurosis and Anna brings her own creative spin with a Psychedelic and Hardcore flair to that style of music. 


Obviously this release isn’t going to be for everyone but UMBILICHAOS have been releasing better releases with each subsequent release and To Become Unreal is their most daring release yet. I’m waiting to hear what UMBILICHAOS has in store for their 13th release. Will it be LUCKY or UNLUCKY. Time will tell.


Until then, if you’re a fan of Distorted Guitars, Loud Gloomy Samples and Ferocious singing then To Become Unreal is worth checking out.


Excellent and Highly Recommended.


Words by Steve Howe


Links:


Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram


Saturday, 19 June 2021

The Age Of Truth - Resolute (Album Review)

Release Date: July 23rd 2021. Record Label: Contessa Music. Format: CD/DD

Resolute - Tracklisting

1.Palace of Rain

2.Horsewhip 

3.A Promise of Nothing

4.Seven Words

5.Eye One

6.Salome 

7.Return to the Ships


Members


Kevin McNamara- vocals

Michael DiDonato - guitars

Scott Frassetto - drums and percussion

William Miller - bass


Review


The Age Of Truth are one of these Stoner Rock bands who seem to be one step ahead of the competition with their music coming from many different genres but bringing a Psychedelic and Spaced Out overflow that allows the band to bring a “mass-appeal” to their overall sound. The band turned heads back in 2017 with their acclaimed debut album Threshold and it’s one that still resonates with myself this day. It was a free-flowing style of Progressive ideas and Themes with The Age Of Truth playing every element of Hard Rock/Metal but still within the compounds of Stoner Rock/Metal.


4 Years later and are back with their second full length album - Resolute. The band have continued the dark imagery and messages of their debut but with more emphasis on Progression, Groove and Melody with the band going even with their Space Rock and Psychedelic Rock influences. The Age Of Truth cover a lot of ground with this album and the lyrical content has moved up another level from Threshold. I felt I was hearing the lovechild of Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Mastodon with a little bit of CAVE-IN spaced out heaviness. Though, Resolute is still The Age Of Truth in control of their own creative futures and they excel on all levels.


The excellent two opening songs - Palace Of Rain and Horsewhip - have a “free-will” vibe to them especially with the superb lyrics and easy-going hard rock based grooves. The Age Of Truth do revel further more with their Progressive Rock attitude and it makes the listener feel more comfortable and they will easily admire the Grunge, Doom, Sludge and Blues Rock switches the band operate for the majority of this album.


Third song - A Promise Of Nothing - delivers some of the bleakest and uplifting parts of the record and even I started to recognize a “NOLA” vibrant energy amongst the faster grooves the band adapted for this song . The Post-Stoner movement of the song is highly energetic and a “Funkier” style of music show that The Age Of Truth are most definitely a “forward-thinking” band but they still manage to keep things fun and eerily addictive and where the hell did that fantastic quiet “Doom and Gloom” passage come from. Perhaps the standout song on the album.


The Age Of Truth continue with more “top-heavy” sonic exploration on the album with the Grunge/Stoner Rock part of the album perhaps coming off the strongest on songs such as: Eye One, Salome and Return To The Ships which will perhaps become the best parts of the album for people to listen to. As these are the longest tracks on the album, The Age of Truth has more creative freedom and time to explore their sound in a rich, creative and powerful way.


The Age Of Truth needed to deliver big with their 2nd album because Threshold was such a “monster” within the Stoner Rock/Metal scene and I’m pleased to say they’ve managed to deliver such a different, brilliantly thrilling and highly original record with Resolute. 


Boosted by first-rate production values. Resolute has seen The Age Of Truth deliver another Album Of The Year Contender. Need I say anything more….


Words by Steve Howe


Thanks to The Age OF Truth and Sheltered Life PR for the promo.


Resolute will be available to buy on CD/DD  via Contessa Music from July 23rd 2021


Links:


Official | Facebook | BandCamp | Twitter I Instagram


Friday, 18 June 2021

An Interview With Keenan Kinnear from ACID MAGUS


The South African Stoner Rock/Metal scene has impressed myself over the last 18 months thanks to bands such as Ruff Majik, Filthy Hippies and Monstroid doing their own style of Heavy Psychedelic Rock with Stoner based influences. Though, a big part of this recent discovery is Warren at Plug Music Agency sending myself bands to feature on the blog.

However, I have to say today's guest Keenan Kinnear (Guitars) from ACID MAGUS is perhaps my favourite band yet from the South African Stoner Rock/Metal scene. As their upcoming new album WYRD SYSTER takes the classic 70s Hard Rock sound of Led Zep and Black Sabbath but mix it with the legendary 90s Stoner Metal Sound such as SLEEP and KYUSS.

WYRD SISTER is a superbly entertaining album that crosses the boundaries of Stoner Metal and Classic Hard Rock with addictive Psychedelic Grooves to match. The lyrics and vocals are SPACED OUT and give Acid Magus a more adventurous sound.

The album will be released on July 30th 2021 via Mongrel Records.

Here's my interview with Keenan where we discuss the making of the album and what to expect.

Hi Keenan. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today?.

Hi! We are doing great, thanks for asking. Well, I actually started messing around with some ideas for a new project just before the hard lockdown hit with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. I just wanted to do some more guitar focused stuff and push my playing as much as possible. From there I pulled the guys in one by one and it all slowly took shape. Today, we patiently wait to get out and play some shows, but this is being hampered severely by the 3rd wave of the pandemic in South Africa.

How would you describe your sound in your own words. As I found it to be a fantastical mix of different heavy styles with a trippy atmosphere.

Well, to be honest, I think you got it just right there! That said, I like to think that the Acid Magus sound is both all of the genres that inspired us, for example, prog/classic rock, shoegaze, psychedelic rock, doom metal, stoner rock and grunge, while at the same time also none of them. As much as it can be massive and crushing it can also be relaxed and beautiful. We tie all of this together with some psychedelic elements and somehow seem to get away with it! (At least I hope so haha)

We’re here to talk about your brilliant new album – Wyrd Syster. What can people expect from this album and what’s the concept or story of the album?

Thank you! I think people can expect to be taken on a journey with Wyrd Syster. It is one of those albums you should sit down with and listen to right through from beginning to end. It ebbs and flows but also doesn’t let up until the very end! Conceptually, there isn’t necessarily a single story here but rather a bunch of musings. The focus is on the power of femininity and is largely an observation from the perspective of the masculine.

Was this a hard album to write and record for. Especially during COVID-19 still being around us all.

From the perspective of the artist, every album is difficult to write! Even if it comes out easily and naturally, for me at least, it’s a mental nightmare, especially when being overly self-critical. Regarding COVID-19 and the hard lockdown’s we were experiencing, it actually worked in our favour because it afforded me the time to actually write and record everything. We record and mix ourselves, so this luckily didn’t affect us too badly in that respect, in fact, it was a boon, and it gave birth to this album.

What influenced or inspired you when making this album.

Lyrically, I was inspired by the stories of all the women in my life, especially with regard to women’s plight at the hands of the patriarchy. Musically, I could go on forever ha ha, but I must say that at the time I was listening to a lot of Slift, Psychotic Monks, Piere Cavalli (I love the French scene), Pink Floyd, Slomosa, Kikagaku Moyo, Jefferson Airplane and Iggy Pop…

What formats the album is being released upon.

Currently only digital. We are however also planning to release on vinyl, but I don’t know when yet.

Mongrel Records are releasing the album. How did you hook-up with that cool label and did you have any other offers to release the album on?

Well, no, no other offers came through, and probably because we were still very much unknown at the time, we are quite new, I guess. Johni Holiday from Ruff Majik fortunately got behind us right from the beginning and he was gracious enough to share our music on his social media. That’s where Warren from Mongrel Records got wind of us and then got in contact. So, we have both of them to thank for us being here talking to you today, and I can state that we are indeed, very grateful!


Who designed the fantastic artwork for the album. And how much input did you have into the final design of it all.

Tyrone Le Roux-Atterbury, out of Durban, South Africa (instagram handle @just_that_guy_who_draws) designed and hand illustrated the fine album artwork. I had a loose concept in mind after seeing an image of a staged pagan ritual. I then conveyed this idea to Tyrone whereby we have a woodland ritual being performed with a pagan priestess levitating in the middle. He then set to work on the concept and devised and drew everything himself. He also illustrated the logo for us. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome; he is an incredible artist, and it looks like we will be continuing this partnership on future projects!

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected the band. And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

It’s been tough for all of us. Some of us were put out of work and are still picking up the pieces. It has also obviously meant we can’t play shows and grow our audience. It has however also given birth to Acid Magus so it is a double edged sword! We can only look ahead now and use this time to hone our craft so that we can bring it to as many people as possible in future.


After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold for the band. Will you be touring the record if possible?

Definitely! We can’t wait to play it for people because it’s going to sound so much bigger live. When it is safe, we will play as many shows as possible here in South Africa. We are behind on vaccinations over here so the chance of us touring abroad any time soon is very low. What I can say though is that after the album drops, we aim to put as much as possible away every month in order to afford to take our live act overseas as soon as possible. If all goes well, maybe even in 2021? I suppose it will also depend on the album’s reception there.

It seems the South African Hard Rock/Metal Scene is starting to produce more and more cool bands to check out thanks to folks such as Warren at Plug Music Agency promoting them and Ruff Majick. What is the scene like for yourselves to participate with and how can this be improved for bands to thrive.

Yes, I think South Africa always has produced incredible hard rock/metal acts and both Warren Gibson and Ruff Majik, Johni in particular, can be seen as pioneers or generals on the frontlines of the movement. Unfortunately for us, the scene, while thriving, is quite small. We are also very limited in terms of venues to play at. For me personally though, I think we need to put more effort into giving the youth a platform to grow their interest and skill in the art of heavy music. 

We need venues and airtime dedicated to high school bands and artists, a safe place for young people to hear heavy, distorted guitars and fat, loud drums live as opposed to watching a “DJ” play their laptop live. I think this would “convert” some kids as nothing is as impactful and life changing as heavy music, loud and proud, in the flesh! The future of our scene is in their hands, and we can only guide them. If we don’t, we have failed…

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

It’s been an absolute pleasure, thank you! For anyone out there considering getting into making music or even releasing music. Just do it! Put in the hard work it requires and you just might surprise yourself…

Words by Steve Howe and Keenan Kinnear.

Thanks to Warren at Plug Music Agency for arranging everything and for Keenan for doing the interview.

Acid Magus drop new single Red Dawn from their upcoming new album WYRD SYSTER


Pretoria based South African experimental psych rock outfit Acid Magus release their new single Red Dawn today. It’s taken from their upcoming album Wyrd Syster out on the 30th July 2021 via Mongrel Records.

After setting the tone a couple weeks ago with the self-titled first single off the album, Acid Magus return with Red Dawn a straight fuzz attack with reverberating, delay drenched verses designed to hypnotize.

“For the first time the band have experimented with some low tuning, so expect octave drops and tempo changes. All the psych/stoner/doom vibes to be expected but once again, that alt rock accessibility lingers.” Comments guitarist Keenan Kinnear

As huge fans of the rock greats (Zeppelin, Sabbath), stoner/desert rock behemoths (Kyuss, Sleep) as well as the tripped out psychedelic stylings of modern “psych” bands like Slift. Acid Magus take inspiration from all kinds of great music, spanning the entire gamut from 60s Hendrix/The Doors to Hawkwind and Scorpion at their heaviest, all the way to pretty much everything inspired by Black Sabbath today. All this with maybe a little Alt Rock sensibility thrown in for good measure. With an uncompromising, DIY approach to writing, Acid Magus promises to offer up only the best, most impassioned musical works. Long, slow, heavy, soft, it’s all there, and it comes from the heart…


Buy // Stream Red Dawn https://orcd.co/reddawn

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