Saturday 28 May 2016

Doomed & Stoned Festival Spotlight: Interview with Melissa from Doomed & Stoned

When I first heard that Doomed & Stoned were putting on their first musical festival later this year, I was thinking good on Billy Goate for deciding to do this. I asked Billy when did this idea came about and he replied – You better ask Melissa as she's organising the whole thing.

It seems Melissa has jumped right in and organised a great festival with a killer line-up. I've interviewed Melissa a couple of years ago on The Sludgelord so I asked would she be up for another interview with me. Mainly to discuss Doomed & Stoned Festival.

I wanted to find out where she got the idea from and how hard was it to put this festival together. Melissa is one of the most hard-working and dedicated individuals currently out there. Along with Billy Goate they runs one of the best blogs currently out there. Melissa kindly agreed to answer my questions and provide more info on the festival. Here's what we discussed.

Hi Melissa. Thanks for doing this interview. Means a lot. How are things with you today.

Busy, but that's usually good.

We are here to discuss the Doomed & Stoned festival that you're organising. How did that idea come about to arrange a festival.

It was kind of thrown out there by a few friends after my compilation "Doomed & Stoned In Indiana" released and experienced it's success. Of course at first it felt so impossible. The more you talk about something, the more you want it. I've had lots of help, so it's coming along well.

Had you been planning to arrange a festival for a while now.

I've been seriously planning for about two months.

Can you tell our readers what people can expect from the festival. What bands are appearing.

Of course. Cough is headlining on Friday November 18th and Bell Witch is headlining on Saturday November 19th. Over the two days, we'll have Demon Eye, Pale Divine, Toke, Heavy Temple and more. The complete lineup is at

Has it been challenging to organise this festival. Did you have any help from other people to organise the festival.

I have so much respect for the people who do this, year after year. Indy metal shows is one of our sponsors and they have been an enormous help. They hooked us up with our website and a ton of behind the scenes kind of stuff I never even considered. I'm also pretty cool with the folks who run the venue, the 5th quarter lounge. They've been walking me through everything. That's why I love the Indianapolis scene. We're relatively small, but very tight. If I were a in a big city like Portland, I'm not sure many people would be willing to take the time to help. I'm just so grateful.

I thought Billy Goate was originally behind this idea and he told me you were. What was Billy's reaction when you suggested putting on this festival. Was he fully supportive or apprehensive in some way.

I think at first he didn't think I could do it, HA HA. In all seriousness, he's been very supportive, but perhaps a bit hesitant to make any suggestions. His advice is always there if I need it.

What has the bands reactions been like when contacting them to appear at the festival. Have they all been fully supportive. Have any bands refused to answer your emails and telephone calls.

There have been a lot that didn't reply and that was very frustrating. I understand if a band is on tour but you'd think after three weeks it wouldn't be hard to send an email. I shouldn't complain though, the lineup is solid and all the bands really seem excited too.

With this being the 1st annual Doomed & Stoned festival, I take it if this is successful you will be doing this on a regular basis. Or will you see how this festival goes.

I hope to do this for a few more years at least. I didn't quite realise how badly the MidWest needed a doom fest and there's certainly some hype for it. 

I know you're partial to a bit of death/thrash metal. Were you tempted to sneak a death/thrash metal band on the bill. Other doom/stoner metal festivals have been guilty of this in the past.

That's what everyone is asking, because I'm a huge Testament fan. I'm not quite sure if death and thrash metal do well here or not. I did ask a few death doom bands but none of them were able to. I wanted to stick as closely to doom as I could.

How hard was it to find a suitable location in your home-town of Indiana to hold the festival.

Not at all. I go to no less than three shows a month at the 5th quarter and about a third of my annual salary goes to them. They're great people.

I know you've recently became involved filming local gigs at posting them on Doomed & Stoned. Was that an easy decision to get involved with. Are you more confident filming gigs now. Will you be filming gigs at the festival.

You can thank Billy for that. I had some cash and he talked me into getting the same camera he has, so filled me in on the settings to use and all that. I get the camera in the mail and two hours later I'm at a show filming this local doom band called Spirit Division. It turned out great so I've been filming local bands. They all seem to appreciate it and I think it's important that bands have videos of their performances. 

As you know I've been a big fan of you all over at Doomed & Stoned even when I was The Sludgelord. I loved your own journey on that blog. Reviews, video jukebox requests, interviewing bands face to face, filming gigs and now festival organiser. Did you ever expect your involvement with Doomed & Stoned ever take you on this journey.

Absolutely not. The cool thing about the relationship I share with Billy is, as we bounce ideas off each other the vision continues to change. I never thought we'd be where we are now. We worked very hard and didn't ride in on anyone's coattails.

Well Melissa, thanks for doing this interview. I wish you every success with this festival

Words by Steve Howe and Melissa Collins

Thanks to Melissa for taking the time out to talking to me. Check Doomed & Stoned Festival for regular updates.

Doomed & Stoned Festival Links:

Official | Facebook

It’s Not Night: It’s Space - Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting (Album Review)

Release date: June 24th 2016. Label: Small Stone Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting – Tracklisting

1.Nada Brahma 03:25
2.The Beard of Macroprosopus
3.Across the Luster of the Desert Into the Polychrome Hills
4.Starry Wisdom
5.Pillars in the Void
6.The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden

Band Members:

Kevin Halcott - Guitar
Tommy Guerrero - Bass
Michael Lutomski - Drums


It’s Not Night: It’s Space (INNIS) turned a few heads with their spaced out and Middle Eastern flavoured style of Psych/Doom/Stoner Metal. It won the band acclaim for their inventive use of different sounds and noises for one worldly experience.

Fast forward almost three years and the band has returned with their new album – Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting. A very strange title to match the music they’ve created here. Newly signed to Small Stone Records, INNIS have toned down their Middle Eastern sounds and replaced it with a more spaced out psychedelic sound. There are still traces of Middle Eastern noises but the one thing that drives this album is heavy psychedelic riffs that transcend the normal genre Doom/Stoner Metal conventions.

Opening track – Nada Brahma – is a short-paced (well three minutes is short by INNIS standards) track where the band utilize moments of Drone, Doom and Ambient noises with a haunting soundclip. The riffs slowly start to appear before drifting away quietly in the background.

Second track – The Beard Of Macroprosopus – is a heavy Stoner/Space Rock song that lasts around nine minutes with the band quickly creating heavy riffs with distorted doom vibes. The song takes on different identities as INNIS expertly prove what accomplished musicians they actually are. Shades of OM, Black Sabbath, Kyuss and Earthless all appear at times but INNIS manage to keep the mood exciting and fresh. Perhaps my favourite track on the album.

Third track – Across the Luster of the Desert Into the Polychrome Hills – opens with a more laid back vibe with haunting ambient noises slowly setting up the platform for the band to take on you on another spaced out cosmic journey. Swirls of slow-paced guitars and drone based drums start to become heavier and more focused as time passes by. INNIS venture into doomier sounds towards the end of the song as the listener becomes more comfortable with the different noises around them.

Fourth Track – Starry Wisdom – is the song that appears next and sees INNIS change their sound ever slightly again with a rawer sound compared to the previous songs. At times this song feels under-produced at times but I feel that’s what the band was aiming for. It’s more emotionally involving than the other songs as the instrumental work feels quite solitary at times. The band does return to their heavier sounds though it feels the band have used vintage recording equipment to record this song. As the sound is distorted through out. It has a vintage quality to it. The final moments sees the band include perhaps some of the heaviest riffs on the album especially with the drone/doom sounds.

The final two tracks – Pillars In The Wind and Sixth track – The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden – sees the band return to their Eastern Middle sounds and this is perhaps long-time fans will find the most enjoyment. As they return to familiar sounds but merged with their newer and heavier psychedelic sounds. Pillars In The Wind is perhaps the strongest out of the final two tracks but don’t write off the final track as INNIS still offer a few surprises along the way.

The album sounds incredible through-out. The production is first rate as you feel emotionally connected to the music from the very start. Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting is simply an album that will not only be considered as one of the years best instrumental rock albums but perhaps one of the best albums of the year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Small StoneRecords from June 24th 2016.


Nebula Drag - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: May 17th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Nebula Drag – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Smiles 03:36
2.Creeps & Monsters 03:34
3.Sano 03:29
4.Change 04:15
5.I Can Not Explain 03:51
6.Lost Time 02:58
7.Brght Sunshine 03:24
8.So Low 05:07
9.Up & Down 03:18
10.Perfect Pair 03:26

Band Members:

Corey Quintana -Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Varns-Drums
Fuzzy Mike-Bass


Nebula Drag hail from San Diego and create a blend of heavy sludge/fuzz based rock/metal. It's very dirty at times with a sneering punk based attitude. Their debut album is packed full of different psychedelic noises and dirty lo-fi riffs.

Nebula Drag take influences from a wide range of different bands across the musical spectrum. Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Punk, Noise Rock and I'm sure I can detect a hint of Detroit 60s/70s Rock on second track – Creeps & Monsters. The band try their hand at different sounds on almost every song as each track sounds very different to each other.

Corey's vocals are firmly rooted in Punk Rock territory but with the band creating heavy sludge/stoner riffs this can be quite a dark album at times. Nebula Drag are primarily a Rock and Roll band it's just that their blend of Rock and Roll features heavy distorted moments of psychedelic sludge/stoner riffs. The songwriting on the album is first rate and the instrumental work is even better.. The tone of the entire album is very raw it actually works in the bands favour as this is how music is meant to be played and heard.

Great songs to check out are: Change, I Can Not Explain, So Low and Perfect Pair. Tracks that show what the band are really about. It's when Nebula Drag show their love for all things psychedelic you're treated to some spellbinding riffs.

All in all, Nebula Drag have released a superb debut album that I hope will find them a bigger audience within the Sludge/Stoner Rock community. As Nebula Drag have something special about them. Hopefully these guys will get signed by a cool record label and release this on vinyl. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Facebook | BandCamp

Thursday 26 May 2016

Phantom Glue - 776 (Album Review)


Release date: May 13th 2016. Label: Negative Fun Records. Format: CD/DD

776 – Tracklisting

1.Ion Cloud 03:24
2.Hundred Hand 03:56
3.Somatic 05:13
4.A Worker-less Mill 05:14
5.Suttungr 07:14
6.Hocheim's War 04:55
7.Gog Is Dead 06:03

Band Members:

Matt Oates - Vocals/Guitar
Mike Gowell - Guitar
Nicholas Wolf - Bass/Vocals
Dana Filloon - Drums

All drums on 776 by Kyle Rasmussen


Phantom Glue’s new album – 776 – is a very progressive and psychedelic affair with High On Fire inspired riffs though the band adds a more nightmarish vibe to their music. The album is very dark and surreal in places as they take you on a warped and deranged psychedelic odyssey.

Opening track – Ion Cloud – is very schizophrenic in tone and nature. Parts Sludge, Noise, Stoner and Doom with the band creating a more progressive sound compared to their previous albums. The vocals have a menacing approach that Matt Pike fans will surely admire. The guitars have quite a jagged feel to them with as the band play a mixture of thrashy fast-paced riffs before slowing things right down to allow the more progressive sludge/doom riffs to reign supreme. It’s a winning combination and it’s a familiar theme running through out the rest of the album.

Second track – Hundred Hand – is more of the same bombastic style of noise driven sludge/stoner metal with a subtle touch of psychedelic rock. The atmosphere remains fairly bleak for the majority of the song as the heavy progressive riffs aided along with frantic drumming offer one of the most complex songs on the album.

Third track – Somatic – is my fave song on the album as it’s a dangerous breed of rock and roll where the tone is loud and highly volatile. Phantom Glue adds layers of distorted noise that fans of early-era High On Fire and Mastodon will surely enjoy. Though this is still Phantom Glue’s show and they are the demented and wicked puppeteers of this psychedelic madhouse they call 776. Everything has a purpose on this song as the riffs and vocals are matched against superb dark lyrical content.

Fourth track - A Worker-less Mill – sees the band leave their psychedelic trippy moments behind and offer a more direct Sludge/Noise/Stoner Metal song. It has moments of intense angry thrash riffs as Phantom Glue excel in creating a more experimental sound. The drumming is perhaps what holds your attention the most as the guitars can be very frantic to listen to at times.

The final three songs are where the album becomes more of a psychedelic wonderland of disturbing noises and dark atmospheric vibes. The band create the albums heaviest and most far-out moments that will leave you slightly freaked out at times especially on Suttungr and Hocheims War.

Gog Is Dead – is the final track where Phantom Glue create one final epic attack on the senses with their style of heavy far out moments of Sludge/Stoner Metal. A fitting way to end this crazy as hell album.

Phantom Glue has delivered the goods with this album as it’s another powerful and hard-hitting record from this hugely talented band. If you miss the heavier earlier days from High On Fire and Mastodon then 776 is the answer to your prayers. Embrace the madness.

Words by Steve Howe


Facebook | BandCamp

Tuesday 24 May 2016

CONTRA - Deny Everything (Album Review)

Release date: Sometime Later in 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Deny Everything – Tracklisting

Human Buzzsaw
Snake Goat
Altered Beast
The Gorgon
Humanoid Therapy
Son Of Beast
Bottom Feeder
One Hundred Hand Slap
Dr Goldfoot
Shrimp Cocktail

Band Members:

Aaron – Drums
Adam – Guitar/Bass
Chris – Guitar
Larry - Vocals


Contra are a Sludge/Stoner Metal band who create heavy slabs of Punk Rock infused carnage with a dash of classic Rock and Roll. Their debut album – Deny Everything - promises one wild ride of heavy riffs. Contra isn’t playing anything new but they do have a talent for writing highly infections Sludge/Stoner Rock anthems with a sly playful attitude.

The vocals are what you expect from an album such as this. Not too polished but not sloppy either. They have the right amount of hard-rocking vibes with a subtle style of their own. The lyrics could have done with more work but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying this record as it includes ten superb songs to fully enjoy time and time again.

Contra has delivered an album that is built on riffs and BOY do they deliver with conviction. The songs all follow the same structure, heavy sludge/stoner riffs built around a hardcore punk groove with intense vocals. From the opening moments of first track – Human Buzzsaw – Contra create riffs with a NOLA vibe running through out and the songs that follow the opening track carry on the same style of heavy fast paced atmosphere.

Contra slow things right down on the excellent fifth track – Humanoid Therapy – which has a cool Thin Lizzy vibe running through out. It’s perhaps where Contra impress the most on the album as it allows them to show off their musical skills with both vocals and instrumental work.

From this point forward, Contra carry on the same style of heavy sludge/stoner rock with other great songs to check out such as Son Of Beast, One Hundred Hard Slap, Dr Goldfoot and the excellent final track – Shrimp Cocktail. All in all, Contra have delivered a superb and exciting debut album. Check it out as Contra are definitely worth your time. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Contra for the promo. Deny Everything will be released later this year. Details will be announced at a later date. Though it will be well worth the wait.


SAMAVAYO - Dakota (Album Review)

Release date: May 05th 2016. Label: Setalight. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Dakota – Tracklisting

1.Arezooye Bahar 06:34
2.Iktsuarpok 06:42
3.Dakota 07:40
4.Cross The Line 07:13
5.Intergalactic Hunt 05:12
6.Overrun 06:34
7.Kodokushi 05:23

Band Members:

Behrang Alavi (git,vox)
Stephan Voland (drums, bvox)
Andreas Voland (bass, bvox)


Before I listened to Samavayo’s new album – Dakota – I thought this was their debut album and that they wore their musical influences too close to their chest. Parts Truckfighters with a more vibrant and livelier Middle Eastern based sound. So I was rather surprised when I discovered Dakota was their fifth album and they’ve been playing the same sound over the last few albums. From that discovery I’ve had to rewrite this review a few times now to the one you’re reading now.

Dakota is a very weird album. Parts Fuzz, Psych, Stoner and Grunge with songs sung in different languages. Opening track – Arezooye Bahar – is sung in a Middle Eastern dialect. Samavayo create a psychedelic wonderland of spaced out fuzz rock magic where the sounds are very mysterious to listen to at times. Fans of Truckfighters will no doubt enjoy the high energy fuzz based riffs.

Second track – Iktsuarpok – opts for a more laid back psychedelic vibe with layers of Stoner Rock/Metal adding a more progressive feel. Samavayo feel they were influenced by TOOL on this song as it has a familiar dynamic that legendary band is known for. That’s not a bad thing as Samavayo still create some of the albums most exciting moments. The vocals can be very jarring at times but they’re handled superbly well.

Third track – Dakota – sees the band change the tone of the album yet again with a grungier based sound. The progressive moments from the previous song are there as well but this song remains a more traditional Stoner Rock/Metal number. The riffs have quite a choppy effect as they stop and start for short intervals throughout the song. The lively chorus soon gets you in the mood to fully rock out.

Fourth track – Cross The Line – is where the band finally starts to feel comfortable with their own sound. Or it could be the listener will start to feel more comfortable with the progressive craziness being played here. Whichever way you look at it, Samavayo unleash heavy psych stoner rock/metal riffs with a playful progressive vibe running through out.

The final three songs – Intergalactic Hunt, Overrun and Kodokushi follow on the same style of Progressive Stoner Metal riffs heard on the previous songs. It can be very tiresome to listen to at times but you only have to wait a few moments for the band to create some genuine moments of excitement and you’re back rocking out like there’s no tomorrow. Kodokushi is perhaps the best song on the album as it blends elements of Psych, Stoner, Fuzz and Prog Rock for something wholly original.

The production on the album is handled very well though there are moments where the volume is too high and you can’t understand what is being played around you especially with the vocals losing some momentum here and there. Overall, Dakota is a daring, bold and quite experimental album. Give this album some time to fully understand and appreciate as you will richly be rewarded with a few daring riffs along the way.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Dakota is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now.


Doomed & Stoned In Asia (Album Review)

Release date: May 17th 2016. Label: Compilation/Self Released. Released. Format: DD

Doomed & Stoned In Asia – Tracklisting

1.DauD - Lost In Sense 06:46
2.Electric Funeral - Prison's Song 04:35
3.ESRARR - The Weedsons 03:08
4.ESRARR - Witch of Darkness 03:26
5.Eternal Elysium - Circulation (Jun Kan) 06:21
6.Funeral Moth - Transience 21:59
7.Inuka - Mistress of the Void 04:04
8.Keladak - Contortionist 07:15
9.Keladak - Black Crows 05:30
10.Ksyatriya - A Gemini & Her Great Divide 12:16
11.Ksyatriya - The Human Ego Must be Obliterated for its Arrogant Reign of Tyranny - II 08:23
12.破地獄 - Maudgalyayana 07:20
13.Sigmun - Devil in Disguise 05:27
14.Sigmun - Vultures 03:56
15.silvermachine - Garden of Earthly Delights 04:53
16.silvermachine - Ecstasy's Aftermath 13:45
17.SPEEDWITCHES - Void 10:42
18.SPEEDWITCHES - Red Eyes 12:40
19.Sundays and Cybele - Waiting For You 07:33
20.Beelzebud - Durhaka (bonus track) 25:50

Band Members:



You know Doomed & Stoned are the main reason I haven't put together a compilation since my Sludgelord days. They always put out killer compilations over the past 2 years and I feel anything that I would put together would pale in comparison to their killer releases but I maybe making a comeback in that department. Watch this space.

Anyway Doomed & Stoned have put together 20 superb tracks from bands who are based in Asia. You have to hand it to Doomed & Stoned team member Zachary Painter who put this compilation together, he's done his fucking homework. He's discovered some awesome bands that I've never heard of. Zachary has written a great article on the BandCamp Page explaining how he came across these bands and why he chose them.

What you get is 20 tracks of pure heavy riffs from the Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Psych and Drone musical spectrum. I've been listening to this since last week ever since my good pal Billy Goate give me a download code. It's an action-packed compilation that will appeal to all fans of the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal world.

I will list my fave songs from this release. DauD, Eternal Elysium, Sigmun and Silver Machine are worth honourable mentions. Though how can I leave out – SPEEDWITCHES and Beelzebud with their fantastic 25 minute opus. Damn......

If you're in the mood for something different but altogether heavy from the best underground bands the Asian Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene has to offer, then you need to check this album out now. You're bound to find a few great bands to follow and perhaps buy merchandise from.

It's available on BandCamp Buy Now but you could always contribute to the mighty Doomed & Stoned cause. You know what to do....

Another awesome release from one of the best blogs currently out there. Check it out!!!!

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday 21 May 2016

GORILLA vs GRIFTER (Split Album Review)

Release date: April 15th 2016. Label: HeviSike Music. Format: DD/Vinyl

Gorilla vs Grifter – Tracklisting

1.Gorilla - Both Barrells 03:13
2.Gorilla - Slay Rider 05:12
3.Gorilla - Grind Yer Down 03:43
4.Gorilla - Three Squeeler 03:27
5.Grifter - Failing Asleep 04:00
6.Grifter - Hi Waisted 03:48
7.Grifter - Paige Turner 04:13
8.Grifter - Me Love 04:28

GORILLA - Band Members:

Johnny Gorilla - Guitar and Vocals
Sarah Jane - Bass.
Ryan Matthews - Drums.

GRIFTER – Band Members:

Ollie - Vocals/Guitar
Phil - Bass
Foz - Drums


Here's a new split release from HeviSike Records. Their 2nd split release of bands joining forces. The first one being Mos Generator vs Stubb. Now we have GORILLA vs GRIFTER.

Two well respected bands from the UK Hard Rock/Metal scene. Gorilla is lead by Johnny Gorilla who is also part of lovable rogues – Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell. Grifter are one of the most hard-working Rock/Blues/Stoner Rock bands the UK has to offer. They've released some great albums on Ripple Music lately.

Both bands have teamed up for 32 minutes of old-school style hard rock/metal. And it's a rebellious wild ride from start to finish. First we have GORILLA who show their love for all things LEMMY and MOTORHEAD with blistering speed metal/thrash style rock. Opening track Both Barrells may owe a few nods to Ace Of Spades And Bomber but GORILLA have a great charm of their own.

Second track – Slay Rider – is a proper booze fuelled dirty rock number with fast riffs and dirty vocals to match. This a band all about having fun with your pals on a Friday night. Bottle of beer in one hand, the other hand clenched in Devil's Horns whilst your rocking out like there's not tomorrow.

The final two songs from GORILLA carry on the same bombastic style of Rock/Metal as the opening two tracks but I must admit Grind Yer Down is stand-out track from GORILLA as they unleash a high amount of devilish fun. The band create some exciting riffs with punk-based vocals to match.

That's GORILLA's play-time over. Now time for GRIFTER.

I have a lot of love and respect for Grifter. I'm a huge fan of their albums they've released on Ripple Music. They're a widely respected band and they've done it on their own terms without flashy gimmicks or ideas. They're one of the unsung heroes of the UK Hard Rock scene and it's always great to hear some new riffs by these dedicated veterans.

Their side of the split is just as good as GORILLA's. Their music is more blusier compared to GORILLA's style of rock/metal but is just as exciting.

Opening track – Falling Sleep – is a fast-paced number with the band showing they've haven't lost their touch. Cool riffs and whiskey soaked vocals give way to a rawer sound that I wasn't expecting from these guys. The production is very rough compared to previous Grifter releases but it works in their favour.

If you're already a fan of Grifter then you know what to expect here. Good old fashioned classic hard-rock riffs with tales of rebelling against the system and having fun. You get that vibe on second track – Paige Turner – which is perhaps the strongest song Grifter have provided here.

Third track – Hi Wasted – sees Grifter return to their blues-rock roots with some superb bluesy moments being the main driving force of the song. It's a cool song but I wanted a few heavier riffs to appear as it promises a few heavier moments but sadly doesn't deliver.

Fourth track – Me Love – is a 70s classic rock sounding number with the band closing their side of the split with another well-written song. You can tell the band are having fun here as this song is catchy and fun as hell.

GORILLA vs GRIFTER is a superb record from two great bands showing the world they're still worth giving a damn about. It doesn't offer anything new or exciting that you haven't heard before though what it does offer is an exciting ride from two well-respected bands who I hope are around for a very long time to come.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Grifter and LostKey PR for the promo. GORILLA vs GRIFTER is available to buy now on Vinyl from HeviSike Records.


Grifter Links:

DOOMSTRESS - Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (EP Review)

DOOMSTRESS – Supernatural Kvlt Sounds – Tracklisting

Way of the Mountain
Rainbow Demon (Uriah Heep cover)
Sleep Among the Dead
Wicked Woman (Coven cover)

DOOMSTRESS - Band Members:

Doomstress Alexis – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Johnson – Guitars
Tomasz Scull – Drums


Doomstress is a new band featuring Doomstress Alexis and Brandon from Doom Metallers – Project Armageddon. They're joined on drums by Tomasz Scull who is part of Sparrowmilk and also guitarist for Venomin James.

So what is Doomstress about. Why the change for a new band and sound. Well I'll let Doomstress tell you themselves:

"Doomstress was spawned by Doomstress Alexis's desire to take a more personal musical direction. While still rooted in doom and metal, Doomstress seeks to invoke heavier grooves found more in vintage & stoner rock. The layering of twin guitar and vocal harmonies allows Doomstress to bring a darker ambience and mood to the music. Lyrically and visually Doomstress appeals to free spiritedness, strength of self, elements of nature & the supernatural, as well as some occult and gothic themes."

Doomstress have recorded a four track EP called - Supernatural Kvlt Sounds and the results are very encouraging indeed. They've recorded two new songs – Way Of The Mountain and Sleep Among The Dead, whilst offering two covers of classic tracks - Rainbow Demon (Uriah Heep cover) and Wicked Woman (Coven cover).

Opening track – Way Of The Mountain – sees Doomstress wasting no time in creating a very sombre and eerie Doom/Stoner Metal atmosphere. Parts 70s Occult Rock matched with a more modern Stoner Metal sound. I can hear shades of Project Armageddon but those thoughts are put to rest when Doomstress Alexis starts singing and DAMN, she's on great form. The riffs are precise with hints of vintage Doom Metal appearing here and there. The lyrics are firmly rooted in Occult/Doom Rock. This is the strongest track of the two new songs especially when the band venture into NWOBHM territory.

Second track – Rainbow Demon – is a very cool cover to choose from as it allows the band to flex their musical talents and do something interesting with such a well known song. Doomstress version is more doomier compared to the original and it works. Doomstress Alexis is having fun hear and perhaps offers her strongest vocal performance on the EP. They easily make this song their own. Brandon and Tomasz provide superb support on guitars and drums respectively.

Third track – Sleep Among The Dead – opens with a slow-paced sinister and heavy pounding sound before the band show some Thin Lizzy guitar riff worship. This song feels like it's more personal to Doomstress Alexis as she offers her most sincere vocal performance on the EP but it's still a heavy and doomier affair. Though it's the music that's the standout factor here. I could listen to Doomstress play this song for days. It's a hypnotic and very dark affair. The second half of the song sees Doomstress change into a different band as they start playing 80s style Rock/Metal riffs.

Fourth track – is another cover and this time it's Coven classic – Wicked Woman. Perhaps an apt title for Doomstress Alexis's performance on the entire EP. She KICKS-ASS yet again but I can't forget to mention Tomasz and Brandon who make up this fearsome trio. The song is another cool cover as the band bring this song kicking and screaming into the 21st Century with a more modern Stoner Metal take.

Doomstress debut EP is a damn fine record. It leaves you wanting to hear more. I've heard there's a full length record in the works and I cannot wait to hear that record. This EP proves that Doomstress have something special about them and perhaps even have an exciting career ahead of them.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Doomstress Alexis for the promo.

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FARFLUNG - 5 (Album Review)

Release date: May 27th 2016. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

5 – Tracklisting

1. Hive
2. Proterozoic
3. 044MZP
4. The 27th Sun
5. Lupine
6. Being Boiled
7. We Are ‘e’ Dismal
8. Jimmy
9. The Retreat

Band Members:

Tommy Grenas
Michael Esther
Paul Hischier
Abby Travis
Chris Nakata


It’s been a long time since Farflung visited our solar system with their heavy spaced out stoner riffs. Eight years to be precise with A Wound In Eternity. They’ve released a few split albums with bands such as Fatso Jetson. So when Farflung decide to release a new album of their own then all you spaced out riffsters need to take note as the band may have delivered their best album yet.

5 is a pure masterclass in sonic projectory where the riffs are deeply hypnotic and brimming full of ideas other Space/Stoner Rock bands cannot match. Opening track – Hive – is classic Farflung but with new moments of psychedelic/prog rock spliced with trippy vocals to keep your mind, body and soul addicted to those crazy out of world sounds. The instrumental work is superb through out. What else did you expect from a band such as Farflung as they’ve been creating music for over two decades now. They can still show the psych/space rock bands of today a thing or two.

Second track – Proterozoic – is classic Farflung with the band showing a keen ear for sonic experimentation. It’s a heavy distorted sound that has many different layers to keep you entertained. It may not be to everyone’s tastes but Farflung have always played by their own rules. The vocals are quite frantic at times and they lose focus from time to time but it’s the music that holds your attention.

Third track – 044MPZ – is more of a straight-forward Stoner/Space Rock song with flashes of classic psych rock vibes giving way to a calmer style of progressive rock. Soothing flutes play in the background that allows you to focus on the quieter and experimental style of Farflung’s music. This is perhaps the band channelling their love for all things Uriah Heap and other bands from the legendary 70s prog rock scene.

This is an expansive and highly experimental album. It’s a great sound as it allows Farflung to explore sounds they created on their earlier albums and give them a heavier makeover. Other great songs to check out are: Lupine, We Are, Dismal Jimmy and The Retreat. It’s perhaps on Lupine and The Retreat where Farflung create a heavier sound that long-time fans may not be used to though a few listens to the album will soon change their minds.

Overall, 5 is the album that Farflung needed to come back with. Mainly to show the world they’re still one of the premier underground Psych/Stoner/Space Rock Bands currently out there. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. 5 will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Heavy Psych Sounds from May 27th 2016.