Thursday 15 October 2015

Sergeant Thunderhoof - Ride Of The Hoof (Album Review)

Release date: November 5th 2015. Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

Ride Of The Hoof – Tracklisting

1.When Time Stood Still 09:12
2.Planet Hoof 06:28
3.Reptilian Woman 08:16
4.Enter The Zigurat 08:27
5.Goat Mushroom 13:42
6.The Staff Of Souls 04:48

Band Members:

Mark Sayer
Jim Camp
Dan Flitcroft
Darren Ashman


Sergeant Thunderhoof return with a new album almost 18 months after their superb debut album – Zigurat – which won the guys a loyal following in the Doom/Stoner Metal world. Their blend of Psychedelic and Cosmic influenced Spaced Out Doom/Stoner Metal showed a band with a lot of potential and hopes for their future albums. Well that time is now as THE HOOF return with Ride Of The Hoof.

What can we expect? Well they guys have delved deeper into their Psych Prog Rock roots that’s layered with more Spaced Out Doom/Stoner Metal riffs with a side order of FUZZ. There’s no getting the way from that the band have delivered a truly stunning album that is packed with thrills, spills and excitement to match. Yeah, all the Doomed Out Stoners will go crazy over this album.

Opening track – When Time Stood Still – is an epic song running for over nine minutes or so. Heavy Cosmic Doom spliced with Psych Stoner Riffs make this perhaps one of the standout songs on the album. If you dig Monster Magnet, Hawkwind, ENOS and can I say this but I hear a Jane’s Addiction influence as well. Especially with the vocals as you can hear a slight Perry Farrell vibe. Could be my advancing years playing tricks on me. Anyway, the riffs range from Heavy Doom to Psych Stoner and then to loud volatile Fuzzed Out Rock. The lyrics rest firmly in the realm of Science Fiction with tales of intergalactic wars and all that jazz. It’s an intriguing story at times though it’s the music that’s the main attraction here.

Second track – Planet Hoof – is another cosmic/fuzz-fuelled space odyssey with the heavy pounding bass providing a subtle backline for the guys to build their music upon. The drums are a constant threat and the vocals once again add an out-of-this world feel. I let you know now that the whole album is about experiences and battles in galaxies far, far away. Get with the program and enjoy this album for what it is. The Psych/Space Rock riffs are handled superbly as the band create some of the albums heaviest spaced out moments.

Third track – Reptilian Woman – carries on the Space/Doom/Stoner Rock vibe (look the whole album follows the same path. Its not going to change track and why should it. It’s a fantastic sound). The band write some funny lyrics that takes pot-shots at the whole Sci-fi genre and it’s quite laugh out loud funny at times but to the bands credit they make it all sound so convincing. This song doesn’t take itself too seriously as the guys just have fun with it all. When the band venture into Blues/Psych/Fuzz Rock mode it shows you there’s a hidden depth to their sound.

Fourth track – Enter The Zigurat – influenced from their debut album – Zigurat – offers a more reflective cosmic doom based sound with the song opening with a cool instrumental vibe. Heavy but quietly melodic at the same time with the hazy and dreamlike vocals keeping things calm before the heavier sounds return. This song has an almost Post-Rock/Post-Metal feel as the heavier riffs turn into blissful sounds. It’s perhaps the albums most psychedelic and progressive song.

Fifth track – Goat Mountain – is my fave song on the album as it’s trippy as heck and runs for a mind-expanding 14 mins or so. Sergeant Thunderhoof unleash everything at their arsenal here by playing a crazy amount of different riffs where volume is key. Hard Rock, Psych, Fuzz, Doom, Space and Stoner Metal unite for an intense prog-rock odyssey. The vocals are impressive yet again. Though it’s the riffs that are the main standout as the band excel through out. Play this song as LOUD as you can to get the full desired effect.

That leaves us with the final track – The Staff Of Souls - and it’s a short song lasting no more than 5 minutes. Well that’s short for the band. It’s a more reflective and almost personal offering from the band and it has a nice laid-back groove with traces of heavy fuzz. The heavy psych sounds adds a nice touch as the song becomes more anthemic as time passes by. It’s not the most exciting song on the album but it’s good that the band have included this song. It brings a sense of closure to the album as a whole as you’ve taken quite a progressive musical journey with these sonic spaced out riffsters. Just press PLAY on your MP3 Player and do the journey over and over again. You know you want too….

Ride Of The Hoof is superbly produced. It’s perhaps one of the best produced albums I’ve heard this year from the UK Stoner Rock/Metal scene. It sounds amazing from the start. My final thoughts of the album is that's  a creative, intelligent, often humorous album that’s packed full of wonder and adventure. Sergeant Thunderhoof have excelled themselves here. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Thanks to the band for the promo. Ride Of The Hoof will be available for free download and available to buy on CD from November 5th 2015. If you buy a copy now you will get an advanced copy of the album.

Words by Steve Howe