Wednesday 30 December 2015

OAK - S/T (EP Review)

Release date: November 17th 2015. Label: Self Released Format: DD

OAK – S/T – Tracklisting

1.All Above 04:51
2.Queen Of This Land 02:41
3.Ride With Me 07:18
4.Dissolve 05:17

Band Members:

Vocals - Andy
Guitar - Kevin
Bass - Scott
Drums - Sergiu


Heavy Desert/Stoner Rock Band – OAK – hail from London, UK and it seems they're a fairly new band only starting in April 2015. The guys have just released their debut S/T EP and it's a blast of good old fashioned Desert/Stoner Rock riffs with the right amount of Psych Rock thrown in for good measure.

Fans of Kyuss, QOTSA and Truckfighters will no doubt find much to enjoy here as OAK create some heavy psych riffs with a hint of Doom appearing here and there. Opening track - All Above – is the perfect introduction from the band as it shows you what they're all about. Heavy and trippy sounds blended with some damn fine spaced out riffs. Lead vocalist – Andy – has fire in his belly as he shouts, sings and screams with supreme confidence. Sure he doesn't have the most polished of vocals but it's the perfect fir for OAK's blend of Stoner Rock.

Second track – Queen Of This Land – reminds me of UK based Sludge/Noise Rockers – Bad Guys especially with the Punk based delivery of the guitars and Andy's demonic out of control vocals. It has shades of 90s Alt Rock appearing from time to time but it's a great song to let out any pent up aggression you may have.

Third track – Ride With Me – is the best song on the album. A blues rock laiden Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock epic that contains layers of different noises to prove OAK have something special about them. Andy's vocals once again don't seem the natural fit at first but give it time and he will soon win you round. Though it's the riffs that will hold your attention here as OAK create some heavy fucked up moments you want to hear over and over again.

The final track – Dissolve – is a more straight-forward Psych/Desert Rock affair with the band opting for a more stripped back approach compared to the other songs. It's perhaps Andy's weakest vocal performance on the EP. He still delivers a very solid performance but I preferred Andy's vocals on the other tracks when he was loud and full of angry confidence. Apart from that minor complaint this is a great way to end the EP with. As OAK leave you begging for more. It would have been great if the band included one more song but it's always good for a band leaving you wanting more. Maybe on the next EP or hopefully full length record.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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The Lumberjack Feedback - Blackened Visions (Album Review)

Release date: Jan 15th 2015 (CD/DD) – Feb 15th 2015 (Vinyl). Label: Kaotoxin. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Blackened Visions – Tracklisting

1. No Cure (For The Fools)
2. Blackened Visions
3. IMereMortal
4. Salvation
5. Dra Till Helvete
6. Mah Song (Horses Of God)

Band Members:

Simon Herbaut – guitars
Arnaud Silvert – guitars
Sebastien Tarridec – bass
Nicolas Tarridec – drums
Virgile Chaize – drums


The Lumberjack Feedback’s debut album – Blackened Visions – is influenced by bands such as Pelican and Neurosis – though that’s not to say the band doesn’t have any great ideas of their own, as they do. It’s just that it took me a very long time and multiple listens to actually enjoy this album. It takes the gloomy sludge/post-metal atmospherics that Neurosis are known for and matched against the cinematic style of doom/gloom post-metal Pelican first delivered earlier in their career.

It’s quite a complex, bleak and progressive sounding album. You are treated to traces of Stoner Rock/Metal but it’s mainly the Sludge/Doom Metal riffs that impress the most. Opening track – No Cure (For The Fools) – is the first of six tracks for the band to impress you with. Heavy slabs of distorted noisy bass-driven Sludge Metal with impressive drumming slowly create a dark mood that lasts for the duration of the whole album. The Lumberjack Feedback’s sound can be quite distorted at times that may put some people off. Stick with it though as you’ll miss out on some superb instrumental work.

Second track – Blackened Visions – is bleak, heavy and packed full of strange sounding noises that has a slight Russian Circles feel. It’s starts off rather slowly that gives the band valuable time to create a nightmarish psychedelic world drenched in almost post-black metal riffs though the band wisely return to the more familiar Sludge/Post-Metal and it’s the sound that works perfectly for them. The band experiment with their sound by adding classic Thrash style riffs. It’s something I could have done without as it doesn’t add to their sound. Luckily these kinds of riffs are kept to a minimum.

Third track - Imeremortal – is when the band finally creates their own sound as the album becomes a more exciting listen because of this. Atmospheric riffs drenched in epic doomy sounds with the band playing at a fast pace. This is perhaps my favourite song on the album as the band go for a very direct approach with their music as the riffs are played with sludge minded precision. Once again the drumming is superb through out as it gives Lumberjack Feedback a twisted nightmarish sound.

There’s nothing much different to say on the other 3 songs (Salvation, Dra Till Helvete and Mah Song (Horses Of God) on the album as they all follow the some creative path as the previous song – Imeremortal. Things do become slightly darker and progressive but the main structure is basically the same. That’s no bad thing as The Lumberjack Feedback prove they are worth giving a damn about. OK need more evidence, play the excellent track – Salvation – on full blast and wait for some heavy psych based sludge/post-metal riffs that can easily give Pelican a run for their money.

The album is superbly produced from start to finish and shows why Lumberjack Feedback is currently getting a great reputation within the Sludge/Post-Metal community. Fans of Instrumental Rock/Metal will find this album very hard to beat. Blackened Visions is an excellent album. Though I don’t think we’ve seen the real Lumberjack Feedback yet. As I feel that these guys will finally make a name for themselves on the next couple of albums they’ll hopefully release. The signs are very promising indeed with Blackened Visions.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Clawhammer PR for the promo. Blackened Visions will be available to buy on CD/DD from Jan 15th 2016 and Vinyl from Feb 15th 2016 through Kaotoxin Records.


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Saturday 26 December 2015

Baroness - Purple (Album Review)

Release date: December 18th 2015. Label: Abraxan Hymns. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Purple – Tracklisting

01. Morningstar
02. Shock Me
03. Try to Disappear
04. Kerosene
05. Fugue
06. Chlorine & Wine
07. The Iron Bell
08. Desperation Burns
09. If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)
10. Crossroads of Infinity

Band Members:

John Baizley - guitar, vocals
Pete Adams - guitar, vocals
Sebastian Thomson – drums
Nick Jost – bass/keyboard


Yellow & Green was a major turning point in Baroness music career as it’s an album that divided fans and critics alike. They went through a terrible experience in 2012 when they were involved in a major bus crash in the United Kingdom. The members ended up hospitalised and as a result two members of the band (Alan Bickle and Matt Maggioni) left the band in 2013.

It took a long time for Baroness to regroup with the current members they have now and to record their follow-up to Yellow & Green with Purple. A lot has been riding on this album especially since the band is releasing this album on their own label – Abraxan Hymns. Could the band reclaim past glories and regain some of the fans they lost with Yellow & Green. I like to think they have or at least return to their earlier heavier sound seen on Red and Blue.

Opening track – Morningstar is classic Baroness through and through. Fast-paced progressive sludge riffs with a stunning twin-dual guitar backdrop that would make Thin Lizzy proud. This is the best John Baizley has sounded since the Blue Record. Full of confidence and a knowing swagger to prove why he’s thought of so highly. The 70s sounding psych riffs add a classic rock touch. Though these songs are Baroness through and through with sludgy and progressive riffs are the main order of business.

Second track – Shock Me – seems like a lost track from Yellow & Green especially with the opening low-key synths before Baroness unleash a trademark thunderous riff. John’s vocals impress yet again as he sings his heart out here. The lyrics are very heartfelt and emotional which isn’t surprising with what they’ve experienced in the past. Swirls of psych rock appear now and then but it’s the familiar dual guitars of John and Pete that holds everything together.

Third track – Try To Disappear – is more prog/psych rock with the Sludgy riffs kept to a minimum. It’s still a very loud affair as it allows Baroness to try different things with their sound. It’s a very commanding song that’s perhaps one of the albums stand-out songs.

Fourth track – Kerosene – has quite a jagged and choppy approach as the riffs have a stop/start feel. It can be quite poppy in places but that’s a good thing as Baroness have written a fantastic sing-along chorus for you to join in. Ambient noises and sounds appear to add a more thrilling edge to the album. Baroness splice Psychedelic Rock into the mix as they leave their Sludge Metal roots behind.

Fifth track – Fugue slows things right down as Baroness open with a trippy semi acoustic riff. It’s more of a smoky jazz/prog rock kind of affair with ambient noises that we haven’t heard from Baroness before.

Sixth track – Chlorine & Wine - is going to be the stand-out song for many as it’s an emotionally challenging song that starts off very slowly but becomes very loud as time goes by. This song is definitely influenced by John’s experiences recovering from the terrible bus crash as the lyrical content is very bleak at times. John pours his heart out hear for everyone to hear and fully experience. Despite the hard subject matter, Baroness play the albums finest riffs as the dual psych guitars become more dream-like. The song ends on a glorious hopeful note that I dare you not to be moved and nod your head in agreement to this highly anthemic song.

There are four songs left on the album. The last song Crossroads Of Infinity is 17 seconds of distorted noise which doesn’t add anything to the album. Before then you’re treated to three excellent songs (The Iron Bell, Desperation Burns and If I Have To Wake Up Next To You (Would You Stop The Rain?) that sees Baroness return to their earlier heavier sludgy riffs with shades Yellow & Green running through out.

Purple is an album Baroness should rightly be proud of as it’s an outstanding album and a welcome return to form, from one of Sludge Rock/Metal’s best bands.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Monica at Speakeasy PR and Phoebe at Parlophone Music for the promo. Purple is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Abraxan Hymns from all good stockists now.


Monday 21 December 2015

Steve Howe Top 25 Albums Of 2015

Steve Howe's Top 25 Albums Of The Year.

1. With The Dead - S/T
2. KIND - Rocket Science
3. Drowning Horse - The Sheltering Sky
4. Beesus - The Rise Of Beesus
5. Egypt - Endless Flight
6. Monster Magnet - Cobras And Fire (Mastermind Redux)
7. Torche – Restarter
8. Baroness – Purple
9. Ecstatic Vision - Sonic Praise
10. Shepherd - Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
11. Ufomammut - Ecate
12. Elder - Lore
13. High On Fire - Luminiferous
14. Kowloon Walled City - Grievances
15. Caustic Casanova - Breaks
16. Galvano - Trail Of The Serpent
17. OXEN - The Vanishing
18. Goatsnake - Black Age Blues
19. The Moth - And Then Rise
20. OHHMS - Cold
21. Problem With Dragons - Starquake
22. Weedpecker - II
23. Red Mountains - Down With The Sun
24. Bad Guys - Bad Guynaecology
25. Mammoth Storm - Fornjot

Words by Steve Howe

Gavin Brown Top 25 Albums Of 2015

Here is Gavin Brown's Top 25 Albums of 2015.

1- High On Fire - Luminiferous
2- Baroness - Purple
3- Space Bong - Deadwood To Worms
4- Ahab - The Boats Of The Glen Carrig
5- Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
6- Torche - Restarter
7- Extreme Noise Terror - Extreme Noise Terror
8- Author & Punisher - Melk En Honig
9- Sonic Medusa - The Sunset Soundhouse Tapes
10- Lifer - Black Mountain Rising
11- My Dying Bride - Feel The Misery
12- Gentlemens Pistols - Hustlers Row
13- Satans Satyrs - Don't Deliver Us
14- Pentagram - Curious Volume
15- Napalm Death - Apex Predator Easy Meat
16- Carved Up - Matador
17- Steak Number Eight - Kosmokoma
18- Vreid - Solverv
19- Svalbard - One Day All This Will End
20- Theories - Regression
21-Vhol - Deeper Than Sky
22-Kampfar - Profan
23- Swallow The Sun - Songs From The North I,II & III
24- Intronaut - The Direction Of Last Things
25- Riwen - The Cold

Words by Gavin Brown

Soshanna Scarsella Top 25 Albums Of 2015

Here is Soshanna Scarsella's Top 25 Albums Of 2015.

01. Freedom Hawk - Into Your Mind
02. All Them Witches - Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
03. Serpent - Neckromant
04. Elder - Lore
05. Sweat Lodge - Talismana
06. Blackwülf- Oblivion Cycle
07. Golden Void - Berkana
08. Baroness - Purple
09. Moon Curse - Spirit Remains
10. Glowsun - Beyond the Wall of Time
11. Black Oath - To Below and Beyond
12. Abrahma - Reflections In The Bowls of a Bird
13. Graveyard - Innocence & Decadence
14. Disenchanter - Strange Creations
15. Gingerpig - Ghost on the Highway
16. Grusom - Grusom
17. Sergeant Thunderhoof - Ride the Hoof
18. Valkyrie - Shadows
19. Hair of the Dog - The Siren's Song
20. The Black Wizards - Lake of Fire
21. Parasol Caravan - Para Solem
22. Kegan DeBoheme - Songs of Woe
23. Royal Thunder - Crooked Doors
24. Curse of the North - Curse of the North I
25. Age of Man - About Time

Words by Soshanna Scarsella

Håkan Nyman Top 25 Albums Of 2015

Here is Håkan Nyman's Top 25 Albums of 2015.

1 The Crown ­ Death Is Not Dead
2 Black Star Riders ­ The Killer Instinct
3 A.P.F. - Gold Lead Iron / King Giant - Black Ocean Waves4 Månegarm ­ Månegarm
5 Mangog ­ Daydreams Within Nightmares
6 Elder ­ Lore
7 Killing Joke ­ Pylon
8 Switchblade Jesus ­ Switchblade Jesus
9 Space Probe Taurus ­ Mondo Satan
10 My Sleeping Karma ­ Moksha
11 Clutch ­ Psychic Warfare
12 The Vintage Caravan ­ Arrival
13 Blackwülf ­ Oblivion Cycle
14 Carousel ­ 2113
15 My Home On Trees ­ How I Reached Home
16 Skraeckoedlan ­ Sagor
17 DoctoR DooM ­ This Seed We Have Sown
18 Michael Rudolph Cummings ­ Fall Tour EP 2015
19 Honeymoon Disease ­ The Transcendence
20 Howling Giant ­ Howling Giant
21 Horisont ­ Odyssey
22 Wired Mind ­ Mindstate Dreamscape
23 Wizard Eye ­ Wizard Eye
24 Isaak ­ Sermonize
25 Den Stora Vilan ­ Utsikt Mot Havet

Words by Håkan Nyman

Simon Ross Williams Top 25 Albums Of 2015

Here is Simon Ross Williams Top 25 Albums of 2015. Version 1 is his dream list and Version 2 is Simon's proper list. Check them out.

Version 1 is

1-25) Ahab - The Boats Of The Glenn Carrig

Version 2 is

1 Ahab - The Boats Of The Glenn Carrig
2 With The Dead - With The Dead
3 Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire
4 My Dying Bride - Feel The Misery
5 Undersmile - Anhedonia
6 Ohhms - Cold (ep)
7 Diesel King - Concrete Burial
8 Limb - Terminal
9 Gurt - DIYMCA (ep)
10 Dopethrone - HOCHELAGA
11 UN - The Tomb Of All Things
12 Workin' Man Noise Unit - Play Loud
13 Indian Handcrafts - Creeps
14 Kowloon Walled City - Grievances
15 Crawl - Old Wood And Broken Dreams (CD re-issue)
16 High On Fire - Luminiferous
17 Cybernetic Witch Cult - Morlock Rock
18 Elder - Lore
19 Slomatics - Kalceanna (Digital reissue)
20 Slomatics - Flooding The Weir (Digital reissue)
21 Tides Of Sulfur/The Air Turned To Acid - The Last Words Of A Dying Planet
22 Nomad/Wort - Split CD
23 Shepherd - Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
24 Mammoth Storm - Fornjot
25 Ufomamut - Ecate

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Simon is Bass Guitarist/Vocals of UK Sludge Metallers - Greenhorn.

Greenhorn Links

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Niels Fuzz Bartholdy Top 25 Albums Of 2015

There is no denying it, 2015 has been an absolute smashing year with regard to both underground/DIY bands and bigger, well-established names. A swarm of killer releases from all over the Globe have swamped this year with badass tunes within the Stoner/doom/psych/fuzz/blues/hard rock/metal realm. 

Pinning down your top25 or even 50 favorite releases from the passing year is a tough task under normal circumstances, but given the aforementioned horde of top-shelf albums released this year it has been a near impossible task to complete. So in order to ease the selection of the best this year had to offer, I needed to narrow the perspective to include only full-length albums released on vinyl although this inevitable would rule out some magnificent digital/CD only releases. Furthermore is not included albums released before 2015 as digital/CD only and that saw a vinyl reissue this year.

However, the list below at best tries to outline the releases of 2015 that ranked the highest with me, and stood the test of multiple listens and thus managed to remain intriguing, vibrant and that kept me coming back for another spin. So based on number of listens and magnitude of joy the Top 25 of 2015 accord
ing to my humble opinion: 

1. DoctoR DooM – ‘The Seed We Have Sown’ (STB Records)
2. Elder – ‘Lore’ (Stickmann Records)
3. Sweat Lodge – ‘Talismana’ (Ripple Music)
4. Brothers Of The Head – ‘Light The Night And Feed The Flame (xx)
5. The Devil And The Almighty Blues – ‘The Devil And The Almighty Blues’ (Blues For The Red Sun)
6. Windhand – ‘Grief’s Infernal Flower’ (Relapse Records)
7. Spelljammer – ‘Ancient Of Days’ (Riding Easy Records)
8. Uncle Acid – ‘The Night Creeper’ (Rise Above Records)
9. The Heavy Eyes – ‘He Dreams Of Lions’ (Bilocation Records)
10. Nocturnalia – ‘Above*Below*Within (Gaphals Records)
11. Kadavar – ‘Berlin’ (Nuclear Blast)
12. Horisont – ‘Odyssey’ (Rise Above Records)
13. Clutch – ‘Psychic Warfare’
14. Freedom Hawk – ‘Into Your Mind’ (Small Stone Records)
15. Demon Eye – ‘Tempora Infernalia’ (Soulseller Records)
16. Bison Machine – ‘Hoarfrost’ (Bilocation Records)
17. Old Man’s Will – ‘Hard Times – Troubled Man’ (Riding Easy Records)
18. Captain Crimson – ‘Ageless Times’ (Nasoni Records)
19. Palm Desert – ‘Pearls From The Muddy Hollow’
20. Libido Fuzz – ‘Kaleido Lumo Age’ (Pink Tank Records)
21. We Hunt Buffalo – ‘Living Ghosts’ (Fuzzorama Records)
22. Red Mountain – ‘Red Mountain’ (Nasoni Records)
23. Limb – ‘Terminal’ (New Heavy Sounds)
24. Ruby The Hatchet – ‘Valley Of The Snake’ (Tee Pee Records)
25. Sacri Monti – ‘Sacri Monti’ (Tee Pee Records)

Words by Niels Fuzz Bartholdy

Time For Some Black Magic!!! - An Interview with BRIMSTONE COVEN

Today's guests will be releasing their eagerly anticipated new album – Black Magic – in 2016 via Metal Blade Records. They've already released acclaimed EP's and demos over the past few years. Their blend of Occult Rock/Doom/Stoner/Classic Rock sounds will leave you in a bewitching spell.

Black Magic has the potential to launch these guys in a big way. The album is that good. I'm talking about Brimstone Coven. I was given the chance to talk about the new album, what influenced it and what people can expect from the album.

Have a read and enjoy....

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Hello! Things are going great for us. Thanks for asking and thanks for having us!

Your about to release your new album. – Black Magic in Jan 2016. What a great album that is. Very different to your earlier records but still very familiar as well. What can people expect from the album.

As you said, we tried some new stuff on this album but didn't stray from that traditional Brimstone Sound too much. A couple tracks have a more retro feel than others. I'm sure it will catch new listeners and keep the die hard Brimstoners happy.

Did you do anything different when making this album compared to your other releases.

The process was the same as every other album. Corey hears an entire song and lays it out in a demo. We all learn it and add our own touch. If any is needed. Then we head to the studio. The process for this album went MUCH smoother because we are so familiar with the flow going into the studio. So not much changed on the process. Corey heart was leaning a little heavier to a slightly more retro sound on a couple of the tracks. We tried them out with that Brimstone feel. And they fit quite well to our sound.

It seems the album has been a long time coming as you’ve released a couple of great EP’s originally and then packaged those two EP’s as one full release back in 2014 on Metal Blade Records. Did you ever expect those things to happen when you started to the band and then being signed to Metal Blade.

We were blown away when the label approached us. It was completely unexpected. We were in the process of shopping labels but had not sent out press kits by the time they contacted us about a deal. That's why it was so surprising! We had the album done WELL before it was due in to the label. We had a few songs together before we released on Metal Blade. We received an email on Christmas day asking if we were signed. And if not, did we want to be. We looked into it and found it was with Metal Blade. I was expecting a smaller label. Or maybe a distribution deal. My jaw hit the floor. So many stepping stones that we hopped over there. It was definitely unseen.

With Black Magic being your proper full length record, did you feel a lot of pressure to deliver something better what came before it. How do you cope with that pressure.

I don't think there is any pressure to outperform or outdoor previous efforts. We just focus on moving forward and of course we want the album to be great, but that comes from a place of wanting to improve ourselves as musicians and songwriters and not from a place of needing to compete with previous albums.

I’ve read that you written Black Magic over a course of a year period. Was that a challenging time for you writing the album for that amount of time.

The flow of that album was the easiest so far. No hang ups. We had plenty of time to play around with the year.

What inspired you when you recorded the album as it’s quite a dark album in places.

Corey finds inspiration in many different places; old/obscure bands, films, books, you name it. Darkness is all around us. The world is a dark place and full of inspiration.

You’ve been classed as an Occult Rock Band in the past. Do you buy into that term. Do you like your band being classed as that. As some bands are starting to tire of that term.

We don't mind the label. I understand the need for it because it helps describe to someone who has not heard us what they can expect. With that being said those are general labels which means it is subjective. What one person thinks Occult rock means the other person may have a totally different idea of what that should be. At the end of the day it is all rock and roll.... no matter what you try and label it.

You’ve performed a lot of gigs over the last few years. Which ones have been your favourite to perform and why.

We have had the pleasure to share the stage with several amazing bands over the past 2 years. 3 gigs that really stood out for me personally are the Eye of the Stoned Goat festival in Long Island New York and that was a blast. So many amazing bands on that bill. Demon Eye from North Carolina were great guys and they were killer. The Blackout Cookout in Kent, Ohio was an all day festival type show that was a bash like none other. It was catered with amazing food and once again just too many great bands.

Earthquaker Devices were inexpensive of the sponsors and they are a company that makes some of the best pedals on the market. Definitely check them out. Also we played a great venue in Milwaukee, The Metal Grille. Once as part of another great festival, Days of the Doomed, and another time just as part of a regular bill. Mike Smith is the promoter up there and he is a GREAT guy who puts on the best shows. We love playing there. Really the list goes on seemingly forever but those 3 gigs stood out as great shows with great bands.

When recording or performing live, Do you use an advanced setup or a basic setup.

We have a very basic live set up. Sometimes we use some lighting for ambiance and sometimes we break out our iron, brimstone candelabras but for the most part we just get up and rock out. Let the music speak for itself.

How hard is it being in a band in today’s current climate.

I wouldn't say it is especially hard. We have all played in bands for 20 plus years. With that being said none of us have done it at this level until recently so I cannot compare it to years past but to us it is simple. You write the best music you can. You try to play it for as many as people as possible. We are just luck to have such a great team behind us in Metal Blade and they certainly help us in getting the music out there.

Which bands or artists inspired you to become a musician. Was it a particular band or album that made you decide – Yeah, that’s what I want to do.

We all have been musicians for a long time, and music fans for even longer. It is impossible to cite one band, album or person who made us all want to pick up an instrument and never put it down. The truth is that if you are a musician, it is in your blood and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Will you be touring quite heavily this record in 2016. Will you be doing any European dates. Or is too early to tell at the moment.

We would love to travel to Europe this year to help promote this record. We have our passports and we are ready to go. Right now we are in the process of finding the right agency to work with on a long term basis.

Black Magic is being released on some good looking vinyl. Your debut release was given the STB Records treatment back a few years ago. Did it surprise you how quickly it sold out and now they go for ridiculous prices on Discogs – (£230 one person is selling it for). Are you vinyl fans yourselves.

I caught a quick sneak peak at the vinyl. And it's sick. The record comeback in the past few years has been massive. Some people listen to vinyl for that old school crack and pop additive. You throw that on a Brimstone Coven album and it's magical.

The fact that our album, that was on STB, sold for that amount blows my mind. It was a limited edition of 50.

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. All the best with your new album. It’s an awesome record

Words by Steve Howe and Brimstone Coven

Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging this interview and to Brimstone Coven for taking the time out to talking to me. Black Magic will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Metal Blade Records on January 29th 2016.

Borderland Fuzz Fiesta Spotlight: An Interview with Paul Bearer from FUNERAL HORSE

It's that time again to interview another band playing at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in 2016. And today's guests are an amazing band in their own right. They've had a great year already as they released a stunning album with Divinity For The Wicked. 

These guys have a solid fan-base within the Doom/Stoner Metal Community and that shows with the amount of great reviews the album has received so far. I'm talking about FUNERAL HORSE.

I was given the chance to speak with Paul Bearer (Guitar/Vocals) from the band to discuss their new album and their forthcoming performance at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta. This is what went down...

Hi Paul. How are things with you today? Thanks for doing this interview.

Thank you, Steve! Super stoked to be here.

How did Funeral Horse get together? And why did you choose the name?

Jason (bass player) posted an advert on Craigslist seeking people to jam with who were into heavier styles of music and that’s how we came together. After jamming for a few weeks, we played our first gig at a skate park and everything just took off from there.

The name of the band came about while I was casually watching the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher. At some point, the announcer mentioned that the “funeral horses were being prepared…” and I just stopped whatever I was doing and wrote down the words Funeral Horse. Thank you, Maggie!

How would you describe your music?

Heavy rock and metal.

You’re scheduled to play Borderland Fuzz Fiesta in February 2016. How did you get involved in that festival?

When we played in Tucson while on tour in 2014, we met an interesting collection of characters that we’ve kept in contact with over time. When I saw a note about the festival on Facebook, I contacted Wayne directly… and here we are!

What can people expect from your set at Borderland Fuzz Fiesta?

Raaaaawk! And a few bad jokes. But mostly raaaaaawk!!!

Which bands are you looking forward in seeing at the festival?

Dead Meadow, Elder, Fuzz Evil… pretty much all of them because it’s such a fantastic line up of bands. We’re especially looking forward to hanging out with our fellow Texans, Switchblade Jesus. I still owe Eric’s sister some weed too. Shit, I just remembered that!

Will you be performing any warm-up gigs before the festival?

Yeah… just your usual assortment of gigs here and there. We’re actually flying out to Tucson just for the fest and then flying back to Houston to play Bad Ass Weekend the next day. We’re saving up our vacation days so we can hit Europe for 10-15 days and then hit up the East Coast of the US in the Fall.

Have you played in festivals before or is Borderland Fuzz Fiesta your first one?

Funeral Horse has played quite a few fests over the years – most of them in Houston but we also love playing Creepy Fest in New Orleans (Hi Bill Heintz!!). We also played SXSW a few years ago and… yeah, we won’t get fooled again with that.

How hard is it being a band in today's world? What are the most difficult aspects in being in a band?

Being in a band is a lot like marriage: getting married is easy but staying married is the difficult part. Lately, the most difficult part of being in an active band is getting people to pull away from their phones and come out to gigs.

What inspired you to become a musician? Any particular album, band or life-changing event that told you – Yeah, that's what I want to do....

Paul Bearer (guitar/vocals): For me, it all started with KISS Destroyer. When I heard that album, I LOVED everything about it: it was weird, it rocked, it was mysterious… everything. Then I saw KISS in 1979 and knew that rock and roll was the life for me!

Chris Bassett (drums): Can't really point to one specific album that inspired me to be a drummer because it seems from my earliest memories THAT'S what I wanted to be. As far as an album that put me on the path of "Rock n Roll", it was most certainly KISS' “Love Gun”. I saw the cover first and was hypnotized by that alone… and when I actually played the disc on my Fisher Price record player, and I heard that opening salvo of "I Stole Your Love", that was IT.

Jason Argonaut (bass): Growing up in the late 70's and the 80's in California, there were so many awesome bands. I've always been drawn to music and - just like every other kid in the states - I had guitar that I messed around on. The turning point for me was Cliff Burton’s bass solo (Anesthesia)--Pulling Teeth. From that moment, I knew! I had a friend who wanted to trade his bass for my guitar, so I made the trade and really began to work on music more seriously. Just hearing the beginning of Anesthesia, even to this day, sends chills down my back.

What is the song-writing dynamic in the band? Is it a group collective or down to one individual?

I come up with the basic frame work for a song and then demo it to the guys either via email or in person. Many times though, I’ll work on an idea and then let it simmer for a few weeks before presenting it to the band. However, once the idea is presented, we work collectively to fine tune the music into a Funeral Horse song.

You've just recently released your awesome new album – Divinity For The Wicked – which has gone a storm with the Doom Metal/Stoner Rock crowd. Did that surprise you the responses it's received?

Oy… thank you, Steve! Fuck yeah, we were very nervous on how people would react to the new album as not many metal albums have bagpipes, flutes and a zhong ruan included in the mix – but we wanted something that reflected our wide range of influences and interests. Plus, the cover artwork was not what we had originally envisioned as the original artist backed out last minute. So there was this scramble to finish the album AND figure out what to do about the cover artwork. Looking at the reviews, we are beyond grateful for the excellent press and coverage.

OK… if you had the chance to put on a festival, which bands would you put on. It can be any bands from any era of music.

I’d like to see something developed similar to Live at Pompeii… some vast, open, ancient area where bands play in the round while the audience hangs out wherever. It would be fun to have the 70s era Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac along with our label mates Jody Seabody & The Whirls, Terminal Cheesecake, Cursus and Funeral Horse (duh!). The Linus Pauling Quartet would also have to be involved because they’re so fucking amazing.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans?

Hell yeah… you guys are GREAT! We certainly appreciate your support and we're really glad you like what we do and how we do it. If you've enjoyed what we've released so far, we think you'll dig what we have in the future. Also, read plenty of Wordsworth!

Words by Steve Howe and Paul Bearer

I want to thank Wayne Ruddell and Walter for arranging this interview. And for Paul to taking the time out to talking to me.

Funeral Horse LInks

Borderland Fuzz Festival Links



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URCHIN - Spine (Album Review)

Release date: December 06th 2015. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

SPINE – Tracklisting

1.SPINE 37:39

Band Members:

Adam Mundorf and Eliese Dorsay.


I love being in a band. I really do. You get to do all sorts of amazing shit, and get to meet all sorts of amazing people. And then of course there's the music. I've been fortunate enough to stumble across bands I didn't really know about before, who go onto to become the bands I love.

Sometimes you "discover" these bands at shows you're playing, and sometimes at shows that friends are playing and sometimes (this time) they email a link to their band to your band.....

We'd played a show the night before. I'd had too many beers and not enough sleep and was getting ready to drag myself into work, when my phone went off to tell me the band page had a notification. It was a message from Eliese from Urchin saying she liked our new track and feel free to check out their new release. It's 37 minutes long. One track. 37 minutes..... (Longer than our entire album)

Despite my headache I clicked play on the link and thank fuck I did, because what came next is one of the best 37 minutes of new music I've heard in a very long time.

Urchin are a new two piece band who hail from Portland, Oregon USA and play what they describe as "sea sludge". Apparently they've yet to play their first show. What they've just released makes a mockery of their newcomer status as it's a bold, mature, expressive and downright heavy release.

It ebbs and flows like the sea and the creatures beneath it that the band are writing about, and for a piece of music that has that kind of duration never really outstays it's welcome. As the dynamics and tempo shift as the song progresses, quiet becomes loud, slow becomes fast and everything in between. It for me perfectly conjures up images of the sea and the power it holds and will literally pull you under and submerge you with it's sheer weight.

An essential release and one that without a doubt would have made my end of year list had I not already submitted it.

I believe the band are currently working on a physical release but until then you can download it from here

Check out the bands Facebook page here

Words by Simon Ross Williams

ISAAK - Sermonize (Album Review)

Release date: 27 November 2015 – Vinyl / 6th February 2016 - CD/Digital. Label: Small Stone/ Heavy Psych Sounds. Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Sermonize – Tracklisting

1. Whore Horse
2. The Peak
3. Fountainhead
4. Almonds & Glasses
5. Soar
6. Showdown
7. Yeah(Kyuss cover)
8. Lucifer's Road(White Ash cover)
9. Lesson n.1
10. The Frown Reloaded
11. The Phil's Theorem
12. Sermonize

Band Members:

Giacomo H. Boeddu - vocals
Francesco Raimondi - guitars
Massimo Perasso - bass guitar
Andrea Tabbi de Bernardi - drums, vocals


I really liked Isaak's debut, 'The Longer The Beard, The Harder The Sound', when it came out in 2013, and I still do. Great title for an album, by the way. But somehow they disappeared on me. Why, I don't know, however, with the release of their sophomore wax, 'Sermonize', not only do I have the honour to listen to a great new album, but my interest in the debut has been rekindled and then some. So read on what my thoughts are regarding the magnificent creation these Genovese signori have unleashed.

A fuzzed out early-sounding Soundgarden riff starts off 'Whore Horse' before the distorted voice of Giacomo kicks in. Short, sweet and fucked up is all I can say. A hypnotic and pulsating guitar initiates 'The Peak' turning it into a full-blown stoner song of the best kind. As the bass guitar and drums join I break my neck banging and thrashing around. All that is taken to a whole new level when signor Boeddu starts belting out the lyrics. Amazing people, amazing from the get-go. 'Fountainhead' picks up right where 'The Peak' left off although a more heavy-ass rock approach is utilized to great aplomb. And man, the chorus is brutal and crushing in a way I haven't heard in a while. Largely instrumental, 'Almonds & Glasses' is trippy and trance-inducing, especially the guitar riffs. Isaak really throws me out on a space trip if there ever was one. 

About halfway through, the band throws down the gauntlet and go full tilt like there's no tomorrow. Staying on the spaced-out path, 'Soar' reminds me of The Melvins performing on top of Vesuvius on the verge of eruption. Quirky, out there and heavy as hell, you hear! The band calls their music "twisted crazy stoner metal" and that could be no more true than on this track.

Oh yeah, sinister and in your face 'Showdown' buckle down to no one and it's like Vesuvius as finally erupted, spewing molten lava on us unsuspecting listeners. No mercy is shown here. In spite of all their heaviness and craziness, these Italians have a lot of humour. Just check out their cover of Kyuss' 'Yeah', I mean the original version is only 4 seconds long, Isaak has cut it down to 1! That, if anything, shows the guys doesn't take themselves too seriously. Don’t take me wrong though because Isaak does not fuck around with their music. But to throw in some humour, breaks the mould and shows the band are really down to earth, and I love it.

'Lucifer's Road' follows and is another cover, this time by White Ash. They are a band I've never heard of, so I can't compare Isaak's version...which is a good thing. Anyway, this version is more doomy than anything else on 'Sermonize', at least in the verses. Slower, more punishing only to switch to cajoling and seductive, everything explodes in the choruses. Taking a trip out to the Sonoran Desert, ‘Lesson n.1’ has a slightly slower tempo with quite a bit of Kyuss thrown in and best enjoyed with a glass of Cinque Terre. That bass guitar has my blood running with its thumping, distorted tone allowing the band free reigns to trip out. ‘The Frown Reloaded’ is another heavy-ass rocker but mixed with a lot of melody. It kicks and it bucks like a wild horse until it breaks free about halfway through the songs. And man, these Italians destroys! Oh yeah, Isaak are changing things up on ‘The Phil’s Theorem’.

Heavy psych is the name of the game where the bass guitar and the drums sets the mood excellently. Francesco’s guitar switches effortlessly between repetitive, hypnotic riffs and spaced-out solos while Giacomo’s husky and seductive voice is the last piece in this psychedelic trip. The title track ’Sermonize’ has the honour of closing out this fantastic album. Totally different than the rest of the songs musically, it still elegantly picks up on the psychedelic approach from ‘The Phil’s Theorem’. Multi-layered soft singing voices backed by a semi-acoustic and an electric guitar, we, the listeners are swiftly transported to a different dimension. A place of calmness and beauty, where peace of mind is quickly reached. A perfect ending to a perfect album!

What more is there to say about this wax, than has already been spoken? I was hooked from the moment I played ‘Sermonize’ and it has grown immensely with each spin. If you are into the stoner rock/metal field, there is no hesitating, because this is a must-have. Don’t hesitate because…well you need it!

To tie everything together with the beginning of this review, the release reconnected me with Isaak’s debut. So, I basically got two excellent albums at the same time. Isaak are a band set well apart from most others. They play music than has been kind of over-saturated for a while but they side-step any trappings easily with their bar to none song writing skills, musicianship and humour. So go check them out right now!

Words by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Sermonize is available to buy on Vinyl from Heavy Psych Sounds now and CD from Small StoneRecords from 06th February 2016.