Saturday, 24 October 2020

​The Pilgrim - .​.​From The Earth To The Sky And Back (Album Review)


Release date: November 06th 2020. Label: New Heavy Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

​.​.​From The Earth To The Sky And Back – Tracklisting

1.Mexico '84 04:18
2.Sitting Down On The Porch 02:45
3.Obsessed By The West Part I, II, III, IV 06:06
4.Lion 04:17
5.Fool Around 03:51
6.Riding The Horse 03:52
7.Cuba 02:11
8.Secrets In The Kingdom 03:14
9.I'm Just Scared 03:32
10.Solitude 04:07
11.At Your Door 03:15
12.Sounds Of The Night 04:10
13.Space And Time 01:22
14.Waiting For The Sun 03:31


Members

GABRIELE FIORI - ACOUSTIC AND ELECTRIC GUITARS, VOCALS,BANJO, BASS, KEYS, SYNTH, PIANO, TAMBOURINE, MARACAS
FILIPPO RAGAZZONI - DRUMS, PERCUSSIONS
RYAN LEE - PEDAL STEEL ON OBSESSED BY THE WEST PART IV, AND ON RIDING THE HORSE

Review

I’m surprised that The Pilgrim are back with a new album so fast after their last effort which was released in May 2019. As the main creative force behind The Pilgrim is Gabriele Fiori. The genius behind Black Rainbows who released their brilliant new album Cosmic Ritual Supertrip earlier this year and Gabriele runs the awesome record label Heavy Psych Sounds. I wouldn’t think that Gabe would have the time to release another record under The Pilgrim moniker. Though, here we are with their new release - “​.​.​From The Earth To The Sky And Back”

The album offers 14 tracks of Alt-Country, Psych Rock, Stoner Rock and Folk Rock goodness played mostly in a semi-acoustic environment. If you were a fan of their debut album then this one is even better. As the album feels like it has more focus to it and the songs have a lot more meaning to them.

The 70s Influences come shining through on the excellent 2 opening songs – Mexico and Sitting Down The Porch. There is a laid-back and cool sounding atmosphere which allows the listener to forget about the outside world troubles and immerse yourself into a much happier place with Gabe’s excellent country based vocals. This is far from removed you can get from Black Rainbows and that’s a good thing.

The Pilgrim is on a musical journey of the rural heartlands and wastelands of America and that is told through the next hour or so with The Pilgrim shining a light on their musical influences of 60’s and 70’s Alt-Country and Americana based music.

Maybe the album feels slightly too long but at least by 2 or 3 songs but The Pilgrim have aimed big for this release and it works superbly well with a clutch of breathtaking songs you can easily fall in love with.

Highlights include: “Obsessed By The West Part I, II, III, IV”, Lion, Riding The Horse, Solitude, Sounds Of The Night and Waiting For The Sun. As these songs have the most addictive grooves to them and the ones I personally enjoyed the most.

This album is more expressive and fairly more experimental than the last album The Pilgrim released. Though, it’s a much better record in so many different ways. This is a journey worth taking with The Pilgrim over and over as it’s a quality sounding album from start to finish.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR and All Noir for the promo.

...From The Earth To The Sky And Back” is available to buy now be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds.

Links: 

Mountain Caller - Chronicle I: The Truthseeker (Album Review)


Release date: November 06th 2020. Label: New Heavy Sounds. Format: DD/Vinyl

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker – Tracklisting

1.Journey Through The Twilight Desert
2.Feast At Half Light City 
3.I Remember Everything
4.Trial By Combat
5.A Clamour Of Limbs
6.Dreamspira
l

Members

Claire - Guitar
El - Bass
Max - Drums


Review:

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker is the debut full length album from UK Doom/Stoner/Post-Rock Instrumentalists – Mountain Caller and it’s an album I’ve been looking forward to hearing for some time. As I’ve had great things heard about this band and I wanted to see for myself was the hype justified and I’m happy to tell you that it is.

The album sees Mountain Caller bring their blend of Psychedelic Rock, Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, Post-Rock, Post-Metal with even flashes of Alternative Metal and Jazz Influences shining through on this album. Mountain Caller adapt a bold style of playing for this record and you can hear elements of SLEEP, Black Sabbath, Pelican and Russian Circles on this record but the band still play their own powerful style of Instrumental Rock/Metal music.

The opening song – Journey Through The Twilight Desert – is a lush sounding and heavy based musical odyssey where the group let known their commanding presence with a wide range of different style of music with the band starting things rather slowly with epic Post-Rock/Post-Stoner based grooves. Mountain Caller impressed myself the most when they changed musical direction towards the end of the song where a heavy and powerful Doom/Post-Metal riff comes out of nowhere and the album turns into a more threatening style of music.

Second song – Feast At Half Light City – sees Mountain Caller go another exciting cinematic Post-Rock journey with the band telling a cool story told through the power of music alone. The heavy riffs don’t take long to appear with a stirring mix of Post-Doom sounds and almost apocalyptic Stoner Metal riffs being added for a more fast-paced approach. This song evokes early memories of Pelican with El’s thundering bass playing impressing me the most though fantastic guitar playing by Claire and Max on drums make Mountain Caller a bad-ass POWER-TRIO this early on in the album.

Third song – I Remember Everything – has a more cautious and gloomy feel compared to the other songs on the album with a band playing an Alternative Rock style of music but slowly allowing the other parts of their music to join the party at different parts of this song. This is perhaps the song where you admire how talented Mountain Caller really is as the song is quite technical with the different styles of music the band have included on this song.

The remaining 3 songs on the album carry on the deft experimentation the band have shown on the 1st half of the album with some cool surprises along the way. Take the 5th song – A Clamour Of Limbs - for example. As the band add vocals to the mix. I’m not sure who is singing here but the vocals add a layer of subtlety and class to the overall sound of the song which is set against an ice cold Post-Doom/Post-Rock backdrop of heavy sounds yet again.

The production on the record is flawless and the whole record sounds epic. Though that isn’t surprising since the album was recorded by Joe Clayton of PIJN, and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of CULT OF LUNA. This record really allows Mountain Caller to impress on every song and every note played from start to finish. You can see that I was really impressed by this album and I was from the very first time I listened to it.

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker is a treasure chest packed full of brilliant riffs and brimming with creative ideas that you wouldn’t expect to hear on a debut album. Though, here we are with Mountain Caller’s debut record and it’s a record that you would be proud to have in your collection.

This is one of the best instrumental albums I’ve heard this year and will no doubt end on my Best Albums of 2020 list.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Simon at For The Lost for sending the promo.

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via New Heavy Sounds from November 06th 2020.


Friday, 23 October 2020

Albinobeach releases colossal new single ahead of upcoming album The Ladder


Albinobeach releases colossal new single ahead of upcoming album The Ladder

The Ladder is albinobeach's new single and title-track from the South African instrumental band's upcoming album, which is set for release on the 6th November. The track was written and recorded alongside eight other compositions that make up the album. The Ladder will be the band's second full-length release after the improvisational, ensemble-driven Cacophonic in 2015. For the upcoming album, albinobeach returns as a power trio comprising the group's founding members – Ian Finch (guitars), Kalin Pashaliev (bass) and Garrick Van Der Tuin (drums and sound design) – who started the group in 2005.

With the single, the trio revisits their long-time affinity with experimental progressive metal and plays with the idea of cycles or seasons: beginnings and endings that possess their own degree of intensity in the construction and dynamic narrative of the composition. The eight-minute track meanders through subtle verses and screaming choruses to arrive at an improvised apex laden with distorted synths and effected guitars.


The track complements the concept of ‘The ladder', which the members of albinobeach envisioned during the album's making, beginning with an image of a metaphysical pathway leading to an awakening and ultimately rebirth. This is also illustrated by the album’s cover art: a cosmic journey to an energy source that both decimates and invigorates the traveller.

The album releases on all streaming platforms on the 6th November including

Bandcamp Spotify Deezer Apple Music Amazon Music

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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Honeybadger - Pleasure Delayer (Album Review)

Release date: September 18th 2020. Label: Made Of Stone Recordings. Format: DD/Vinyl

Pleasure Delayer – Tracklisting

1.The Wolf 05:30
2.Through Hell 03:36
3.Crazy Ride 05:02
4.Good for Nothing 03:54
5.That Feel 03:32
6.Laura Palmer 04:50
7.Holler 03:51
8.Truth in the Lie 03:45

Members

Dimitris Vardoulakis: Vocals, Guitars
Dimitris Giannnakopoulos: Guitars
Dimitris Yannopoulos: Bass
Vaggelis Oikonomou: Drums

Review


Pleasure Delayer is the new album from Greek Desert/Stoner Rockers Honeybadger and it seems the band are following the same route of Desert/Stoner Rock as their famous countrymen – 1000MODS, Planet Of Zeus, Nightstalker and Naxatras but still showing their own great spin on the genre. Though, these guys focus more on soaring melodies and huge riffs which makes this album a very exciting album. 

The album feels fresh and buoyant in places with Honeybadger playing a more cooler and psychedelic style of Desert Rock with the flashier Stoner Rock/Metal vibes allowing the band to play some LOUD and AGGRESSIVE grooves from start to finish. Honeybadger aren’t afraid to mix the different moods and styles of Stoner Rock here on this album. Everything flows nicely onto the next riff and song with classic moments of KYUSS Stoner Rock with the FUZZ Rock Attitude of TRUCKFIGHTERS being played along the way.

The vocals from Dimitris V (there are 3 Dimitris in this group) are stellar with shades of Classic Rock, Grunge and Prog Rock being heard in his vocal delivery. His vocals are well suited to the Desert/Stoner Rock field and they have a world-weary feel to them but still offering uplifting moments from start to finish.

Standout songs are: The Wolf, Through Hell, Crazy Ride, Laura Palmer and Truth In The Lie. Perhaps the best songs with the heaviest and addictive Psychedelic riffs with fantastic sing-along choruses to get the listener well trained in the riff-tastic ways of HONEYBADGER.

The production flows along superbly well with Honeybadger sounding quite dynamic and powerful that reminds myself of CLUTCH in places.

Pleasure Delayer is the kind of album you want to hear from a debut release. As it shows you what Honeybadger is all about and the riffs are superbly entertaining that has seen the guys receive some cool praise already from the Desert/Stoner Rock scene.

With a Vinyl Release imminent from Made Of Stone Recordings, you have no excuse not to check these guys out. This is another great band to check out from the Greek Stoner Rock Scene and you will be singing along to this album for weeks to come yet...

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Big Scenic Nowhere - Lavender Blues (EP Review)

 

Release date: October 23rd 2020. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Lavender Blues – Tracklisting

1.Lavender Blues 13:10
2.Blink Of An Eye 04:18
3.Labyrinths Fade 06:34

Review:

Lavender Blues is the 3rd release from Big Scenic Nowhere within the last 13 months alone and the band show no signs of slowing down with another Loud and Dreamy Psychedelic Trip into the Desert/Stoner Rock wilderness.

For this release the band have more members such as Per Wiberg (Opeth and Spiritual Beggars), Daniel Mongrain (VOIVOD) and Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality) joining the line-up this time and Big Scenic Nowhere still remain the same by playing top-notch Psychedelic Rock music with a more spacier attitude which you can feel and hear on the epic opening title track which is the centrepiece of the entire EP.

Lavender Blues has a Post-Rock/Spaced Out feel which allows everyone to shine from start to finish. The hypnotic guitars and uplifting vocals means the vibe of the Desert hasn’t sounded this good for a very long time. The song does start very quietly but soon becomes more exciting and more abstract when the sonic sounds and ambient passages appear.

The EP is made up of two other songs called Blink Of An Eye and Labyrinths Fade that also offer some very great riffs of their own especially Labyrinths Fade. These two tracks could have easily fit in very nicely on the band’s acclaimed debut full length album which was also released by Heavy Psych Sounds earlier this year.

Tony Reed’s vocals are pitch-perfect on this EP which you would expect with a legendary performer such as Mr Reed. His really shines through on Blink Of An Eye with his vocals being the main part of the action and the music feeling they were built around Tony’s powerful vocal presence.

The production is top-notch which is what you expect with a release by Heavy Psych Sounds and Big Scenic Nowhere. Both parties always have an ear for quality and the sound scores top-marks for myself personally.

Lavender Blues is another welcome release from Big Scenic Nowhere. I wouldn’t blame the guys for having a rest with the band releasing 3 quality records in such a short space of time. However, I feel the guys will be back sooner rather than later.

Words by Steve Howe

Lavender Blues will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from October 23rd 2020.

Thanks to Purple Sage PR and All Noir PR for the promo.

Links

Facebook | BandCamp

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Uncle Woe - Phantomescence (Album Review)


Release date: October 23rd 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Phantomescence  – Tracklisting

1. Become the Ghost
2. On Laden Shores
3. Lucid Degrees of Autoscopic Ruin
4. A Map of Dead Stars 

Members

Nicholas Wowk: Drums, percussion
Rain Fice: Guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards

Review:


Uncle Woe are back with their new album Phantomescence and only 12 months since their superb debut album Our Unworn Limbs. The band showed a fine style of Alice In Chains classic Grunge Sound merged with an unforgiving Doom/Stoner Metal atmosphere and the band continue that style of music with their even better follow-up with different melodies and guitar tones allowing the band to perhaps before more creative with their music.

The atmosphere is still quite raw and quite unpolished but it works wonders for Uncle Woe and the opening song Become The Ghost is a gloomy exercise in Apocalyptic Grunge ideas with the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal becoming quite LOUD and ABRUPT in all the right places. The vocals sound like the real deal and you can hear the emotional intensity coming from Rain's vocals and the lyrics add a more human feel to the overall sound of the album.

Second song - On Laden Shores - is the first of two epic songs running past the 13 minute mark the band have included on this album and it's another gloomy and emotional affair with jagged guitars adding a mellow psychedelic edge. The band slowly take their time playing the heavy grooves and go for a more claustrophobic and cautious approach and dare I say "semi-acoustic" in places. The dual vocals from Rice and Nicholas compliment each other superbly well. There's a lot to go through on this song and if you dig YOB and Pallbearer then expect a similar style of Emotional Doom Rock those great bands play.

Third song - Lucid Degrees Of Autoscopic Ruin - sees Uncle Woe deliver a perfect balance of Post-Metal ideals with their familiar style of Sludge/Grunge/Doom/Stoner Metal vibes being added for dramatic effect. It's another slow-burning song and whilst it's quite heavy, Uncle Woe adapt a more Drone/Post-Rock delivery on this track compared to the other songs on the album.

The final song - A Map Of Dead Stars - is one final round of Progressive Doom based music that lasts for 13 minutes or so. The claustrophobic mood is daunting and the music even nightmarish and distorted that you would expect. The intense drumming and slow-paced guitars are the best parts of this song with the vocals and lyrics not too far behind. The sound and tone of the album is bombastic from start to finish but it works to Uncle Woe's favour and the production is quite superb despite the guys recording this album in their respective home studios during the months of COVID-19 lockdown.

Phantomescence is a deeply rich and emotional album that sees Uncle Woe release another excellent album and I can see these guys causing waves within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal world with this outstanding record.

Words by Steve Howe

Phantomescence will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 23rd 2020. 

Thanks to Asher Media Relations for the promo.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Arcadian Child - Protopsycho (Album Review)


Release date: October 09th 2020. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Protopsycho – Tracklisting

1.Snakecharm 05:33
2.Wave High 04:12
3.Sour Grapes 05:34
4.The Well 04:52
5.Bitter Tea 03:51
6.Bodies of Men 03:38
7.Raisin' Fire 05:34
8.Protopsycho 04:07

Members

Panagiotis I.G. - vocals, guitars
Stathis Had. - lead guitars
Andreas Kerveros - bass, backing vox
Constantinos Pavlides - drums and percussion

Review


Psych Stoner Rockers Arcadian Child are back with their new album Protopsycho and you can tell from that name the band have taken a slightly darker style of music whilst still offering their already blissful Psych Rock sound. This album sees the band lean more on their Eastern influences which resonates in both the vocals and grooves the band have laid down for this album.

The album moves along at a cool and brisk pace with the band playing many different styles of Psychedelic Rock with a truly worldwide appeal to it all. The Middle Eastern Psychedelic parts really make this album work and the subtle Stoner grooves are the icing on the cake if you’re looking for a more inventive style of Stoner Rock with a band willing to experiment for the sheer hell of it all

Standout songs on this album are: Snakecharm, Wave High, Sour Grapes, Raisin’ Fire and Protopsycho all showing the band’s strongest material to date.

Arcadian Child still embrace their love of 60’s Classic Rock, Hard Rock and Psychedelic Rock but as I said earlier in this review, this record is quite gloomy and dark compared to their previous releases. There is a lot of to take in on this record and it does require repeated listens to fully understand and appreciate the band have written for this album.

I would say this is Arcadian Child’s most grown-up and mature sounding record to date. There is something for everyone to enjoy and admire on this record. The riffs are plentiful and still leave you wanting more.

Protopsycho is an excellent and welcome addition to Arcadian Child’s already impressive back catalogue.

Words by Steve Howe

Protopsycho is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now via Ripple Music.

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Links: