Wednesday 30 November 2016

KAYROS - Hombre De Piedra (Album Review)

Release date: November 30th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Hombre De Piedra – Tracklisting

Hombre Piedra
Crisis RH2
Cuidad Fantasma
Circo Infierno
Hacia El Avismo
Camino Marginales


This is my first exposure to Kayros. A Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock band from Chile. They’ve been going for ten years now and they have just released their third album – Hombre De Piedra. Signs didn’t look too good with the opening track – Hombre Piedra – as it opens with a saxophone merged with distorted psychedelic beats. Then the song opened up with heavy fuzzy riffs that caught my attention.

As the band move into heavier sonic territory with doomy grunge sounds and cool as ice vocals. The vocals are sung in the bands main language. I can’t comment what the lead singer is singing about but he puts in a commanding performance with the fuzz based sounds playing around him.

Kayros have quite a progressive spaced out fuzz rock vibe on the early stages of the album and it’s a constant theme through out the entire album. Kayros deserve credit for creating some original sounds on this album. Tracks such as Crisis RH2, Gaza, Circo Infierno and Caminos Marginales are where the band impresses the most. As the band play heavy sounds that merge Doom, Stoner, Fuzz and Psychedelic riffs for a crazy wild ride.

Kayros show a wealth of creativity on the album as they blend sixties sounding psychedelic with the heavier seventies space rock sounds that are all held together by modern sounding doomy atmospherics. Kayros leave you wanting more on some of the songs especially Cuidad Fantasma. As they create a surreal Pink Floyd-esque trippy sonic odyssey that suddenly ends. This is a shame as I feel the song should have been longer. Though not to worry as the band have other great songs to impress you with.

The production is superb as the album has a lot of depth especially in the volume department. This is a very loud album so be prepared to turn the volume down a touch or so.

I wasn’t expecting much from Hombre De Piedra but Kayros impressed me a great deal. Hombre De Piedra is a fantastic album from start to finish. The album is another great reason why you should check out more bands from the South American Doom/Stoner Rock scene. There are some excellent bands to discover and I recommend you start with Kayros as this album is simply unmissable.

Words by Steve Howe


Tumbleweed Dealer - TDIII - Tokes, Hatred & Caffeine (Album Review)

Release date: November 21st 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

TDIII - Tokes, Hatred & Caffeine – Tracklisting

1.The Carnage Cosmic 01:33
2.Blue Crystalline Method (Minus Line O.D.) 02:16
3.Days Gone High 03:39
4.Widow's Weeds (From Spring To Mid-Autumn) 03:54
5.A Slowly Moving Cloud Of Vaporized Flesh 02:25
6.Bongwater Creek 03:45
7.Redneck Car Chase 03:29
8.Saloon Fight 04:08
9.Stung Into A Blissful Coma By A Swarm Of Heroin Filled Bees 03:32
10.Never Sober Again 02:58
11.First A Staredown, Then A Shootout 04:07
12.Voodoo Haze 03:36

Band Members:

Seb Painchaud - Guitars, Bass
Jean-Francois Richard - Drums
Jean-Baptiste Joubaud - Recording, Mix
Tom Waltz - Mastering
Alexandre Goulet - Visual Director


Tumbleweed Dealer’s third album – TDIII - Tokes, Hatred & Caffeine, sees the band opt for a more progressive and jazz rock feel compared to their previous albums. The band still exposes you to their familiar style of Doom/Psych/Stoner riffs with a Western soundtrack sensibility. It’s not their most assessable record but it can be classed as their most creative.

Opening track – The Cosmic Carnage – opens with a jazzy space rock interlude with some intelligent instrumental work leading the way. It only lasts ninety seconds or so but the band make clever use of that time with different layers of prog stoner based noise. It’s not as heavy as I would have liked but it’s a very compelling piece of instrumental rock.

Second track – Blue Crystalline Method (Minus Line O.D.) – is a heavier affair and one that long-time fans will enjoy the most. As Tumbleweed Dealer weave an intriguing concept with the proggish rhythms taking a backseat to the heavier spaced out sounds. The album starts offering brief glimpses into the bands earlier doomier sound.

Third track – Days Gone High – has a more direct approach with the riffs being played at a subtle pace. The instrumental work is once again restrained with brief moments of heavy psych rock bursting to become part of the action. There is a beautifully played acoustic guitar solo that sees the album starting to add a more western feel to the album.

Fourth track – Widow’s Weeds (From Spring To Mid-Autumn) carries on the western sounding vibes for one of the albums finest tracks. Tumbleweed Dealer plays a few different styles of music on this album. The album won’t appeal to everyone as Tumbleweed Dealer experiment with their sound throughout the album. It’s a very different album to their other albums and it’s not quite as heavy that you would expect. Though the more I listen to this album, the more I begin to fully understand and appreciate it that little bit more.

Songs such as Redneck Car Chase, Saloon Fight and Voodoo Haze do show the band’s sense of humour with the song titles. TDIII - Tokes, Hatred & Caffeine is a genuinely exciting album that proves why Tumbleweed Dealer are perhaps the one of the more creative Instrumental Stoner Rock bands currently out there today. It may not offer the same thrills and heavier riffs to their previous albums but this is still a great album to fully experience.

Words by Steve Howe


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Saturday 26 November 2016

An Interview with Nicolas and Julien from LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL And A Special Guest

Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel (LDDSM) are one of the more interesting and creative bands from the French Doom/Stoner Metal Scene. To date they have released 3 well received albums with the latest being Human Collapse.

LDDSM are a band who aren't afraid of trying different sounds with their music and albums they've released over the years. Each album they've released all sound different to each other. Human Collapse sees the band venture into more Sludge/Post-Metal territory. Compare that album to their debut – Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture – and you begin to feel they were recorded by two very different bands.

Newly signed to Ripple Music, LDDSM merge hard-hitting social commentary with razor sharp riffs. Human Collapse is one of the most strikingly original Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal albums you'll hear this year.

I recently caught up with Nicolas (Guitars/Vocals) and Julien (Bass/Vocals). Though the guys had a very special guest with them for this interview. None other than Todd Severin. Co-Owner of Ripple Music who I manage to press for a few answers as well.

So let's get started.

Hi everyone. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you today.

All: Very good.

So we are here to discuss the new album – Human Collapse. What can people expect from the new album if they haven't heard it.

Nicolas – Intensity. I hope so. Emotion. A journey. It's the main world is a journey. We wanted to make people travel in their minds. We wanted to make you change your opinion, your religion, your beliefs and what can make you change your situation.

Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

Julien – The process to write this album was very different. Usually when you write an album with your friends, you plan and you play the good songs. Sometimes not, you sometimes write some more stuff for the album. For Human Collapse, we wrote the story and then we wrote the music. You have to be put your music into the story. The process is a little bit different.

Nicolas – This is the first time that we do this. For me this was another source of inspiration as it was a new process to compose and to write the lyrics.

It has a very different feel to Arcane. Then again all your records sound different to each other. Do you go in with that purpose when recording new material to release something different.

Julien – Yeah, for the two previous albums we were in a funny state of mind. For ourselves the music is just entertainment. Then you grow up and your situation changes. Some of the guys are now Dad's. You are more mature and you want to talk about something else than something else that is fun.. You want to talk more about the world problems. So for Human Collapse it was the way we want to follow.

Nicolas – For the lyrics it's the case. Though for the music it came naturally with the story.

It's perhaps your heaviest album to date. Were you worried what your fans reaction would be.

Nicolas – Yeah. For now the reactions have been very good. Maybe much better for Arcane. The main difference is that LLDSM now make their own music. That's the main difference for the previous 3 records. For the creation process we thought let's make it a little bit darker and I think we found our very own identity.

You're signed to Ripple Music and with the lovely chap currently in your house. (Todd Severin – Co-Owner of Ripple). How did you sign to Ripple Music.

Nicolas – With the band ZED who are signed to Ripple. Few years ago the song – Brotherhood – from our first album was released on a compilation. Mark from ZED loved the song though I don't know how he got this song but he loved it. One day he sent an email - “I'm Mark from San Francisco and I love your song”.

We became friends. Romain, the other guitar player he went on holiday to San Francisco a couple of years ago. He met Mark, Todd and his wife. After that I remembered chatting with Mark and that he would be on Ripple and that it's a good label. I asked Mark should we send them the new record to Todd. Mark replied - “Sure, I think he will like it”. That's it and they liked it.

Here's a question for Todd if he's still there. When you first heard Human Collapse, were you shocked at how heavy and bleak it was compared to your normal releases.

Todd – I'm still here. Yeah. Absolutely. When I first heard it my initial reaction was AMAZING. It's an amazing piece of work. I never was worried not fitting into the rest of our releases. Ripple has it's own sound but the sound doesn't have to be expansive. To me it was just an amazing piece of music. To me I did wonder how our core audience would respond to it. As it's definitely more Neurosis/Post-Metal/Post-Rock than they are used to.

The first time I heard it I was blown away. My partner Pope freaked out when he heard it as well. We were on board right away.

As you know I called it “The Heaviest Album Ripple has released so far”. Has the success of the album inspired you to sign heavier bands than your currently used to.

Todd – You've seen some of our more recent signings with Vokonis and Poseidon. I don't know LDDSM led to me signing those two more doomier bands. Though I like the expansiveness of our core sound. I will give them full credit for kicking me out of my doldrums.

I have one final question for Todd. Ripple had another phenomenal year. Perhaps one of your most successful years yet. What have been your highlights and what can people expect from Ripple in 2017.

Todd – In simple terms the highlight of the year is the fan response and the reception to our releases. We've had so many releases that I was afraid that we might have hit a saturation point. That wasn't the case. The Ripple name has become more known for a heavy style of rock. The fan response has been so gratifying and it keeps us motivated.

Every once in a while you get a Facebook post – “You made my day for putting this album out or whatever.” That just fires us up.

Next year I don't think it will quite as expansive. You can't sign every band in the world. The number of signings will be slightly less next year. Maybe tone down the number of releases next year and make them bigger releases. We have a lot of great stuff next year with Mothership, Wo-Fat, Roadsaw and Freedom Hawk. Some pretty cool established bands. Plus the new doom stuff from Vokonis and Poseidon. It's going to be an exciting year for Ripple.

Will you guys be touring the album more heavily in Europe in the future. Visiting places you haven't visited before.

Julien – We are trying

Nicolas – We are trying to get over to the USA of courser.

Julien – With ZED.

Nicolas – That would be amazing. We did a European Tour a few months ago. For now we are working on the next step of evolution for Human Collapse. As it's a concept album. You have the story. You have the lyrics and you have the music. Now we are working on a video. There will be a movie playing in the background and we will experience it for the first time tomorrow night. We hope to make a new European Tour in April 2017. We are currently booking now.

The video for Departure is quite an eye-opening video. Who came up with that video.

Nicolas – A friend of ours came up with the video. He was working on picture techniques. What you see on the video is made up of pictures. Nothing is filmed. We were talking together all night and we wanted to make something original. He proposed an idea and we said - “Yeah. Cool can you show me some examples”. He then made it for his own work. We've thought it was really cool and original for a metal band. He made it within 3 weeks. I arranged a meeting with him once a week and we made it all together. Every week he showed me the video.

Julien – It's the guy who made the album cover for Human Collapse. We've got some friends in photo and video. We work with them all the time.

It seems aspects of multi-media will be playing a big part with LDDSM in the future. Is that a fair statement to make.

Julien – Yeah. It's funny because since we started working on the project for the next video for Borders. It's going to be 360 degrees type of video. Some new stuff. We are going to shoot some video as we wanted to try some new things. We've got some great framework to build upon.

So when will that be released.

Julien – We plan to start shooting in January. So don't expect anything until March/April 17.

Nicolas – Just before the start of the tour.

Well guys that's all the questions answered. Thanks for doing this interview.

Nicolas – Thanks for all the nice reviews you written for us in the past. They've been really important for us.

Words by Steve Howe, Juilen, Nicolas and Todd Severin.

I want to thank Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging this interview. Thanks to Nicolas, Julien and Todd for taking the time out to talking to me.

LDDSM Links:

Ripple Music Links:

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Sithter - Chaotic Fiend (Album Review)

Release date: December 09th 2016. Label: Bonten Records. Format: CD/DD

Chaotic Fiend – Tracklisting

1.Chaotic Fiend
2.I Drink Your Blood
3.Smoke Demon
4.Masque of The Black Death
5.Lost Flowers
7.Punisher #13
8.Engrave The Misery
9.Jerusalem Axe Massacre

Band Members:

Hyƶ Kagawa – Guitar
Wahei Gotoh – Bass
Takefumi Matsuda – Drums
Hiroyuki Takano – Vocals, Guitar


Sithter's second album - Chaotic Fiend - offers another round of Death, Doom, Drone and Psychedelic Madness. Chaotic Fiend is quite a dark, progressive and complex album with the band touching on a variety of dark themes throughout the album. Though the band creates a huge amount of different noises and riffs that keep you entertained throughout the album. The vocals consist mainly of death based growls and a few clean chants towards the end of the album. Imagine a creepier and sadistic version of Church Of Misery and that's the best way to describe Sithter's music.

The lyrical content is handled superbly well as the band conveys a dark sense of fear on the album. Songs such as Chaotic Fiend, Smoke Demon, Empire and Engrave The Misery show that the band aren't afraid to explore dark grisly themes but the band offer some serious Black Sabbath/Electric Wizard riff-loving worship with a touch of psychedelic drone based noise. It's a winning combination though some fans maybe put off by some of the lengthy epic tracks on the album.

It's not an easy album to listen to as the Drone aspect of the bands music can be very hard to listen to at times. The instrumental work is good for most parts of the album. However there are moments where the volume is too low for the band to make much of an impact.

Other than that Sithter have created a deeply unforgiving album especially on the final epic seventeen minute track - Jerusalem Axe Massacre. Sithter embark on a Drone/Doom/Sludge schizophrenic nightmare with distorted psych based noises. The band leave you wanting more as the song suddenly ends after a heavy guitar solo that repeats itself over and over again. Though it still sounds original and fiendishly clever at the same time.

Chaotic Fiend is one of the more interesting Doom Metal albums I've heard from the Japanese Doom Metal scene recently. If you're looking for a more extreme and far out psychedelic take on conventional Doom/Sludge Metal then you will find this album very hard to beat. Sure it has a few flaws but you can't deny the overall quality of this album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Chaotic Fiend will be out to buy on CD/DD via Bonten Records from December 9th 2016.


The Wiring - Withdrawal From Continuous Circulation (Album Review)

Release date: November 25th 2016. Label: Shrine Of Our Own Records. Format: DD

Withdrawal From Continuous Circulation – Tracklisting

1.IZ 06:55
2.Python 05:52
3.The Blocking 04:30
4.Eyes 05:20
5.Unearthed 05:44
6.Warped Apparition 04:31
7.Belltower General 05:49

Band Members:

A. - Strings & Vox
R. - Drums & Vox


Doom/Stoner Metal Duo - The Wiring release their debut album - Withdrawal From Continuous Circulation. The band comes from the same school of riffology of bands as Black Cobra, High On Fire and SardoniS. You can expect thirty eight minutes of fast-paced modern sounding doom/stoner metal with a touch of psychedelic theatrics. The band adds a gloomy atmosphere to their music and it elevates their sound to a more doomier environment.

With these guys being a duo, the one thing that impresses from the start is how loud the guys actually are. You would think there are more members to the band. But Nope. Just the core duo of A and R.

Opening Track - IZ - starts very slowly with confident drumming and psych based guitars that have a familiar vibe. Lead vocalist - A - plays a crucial and dominant role with his grizzled vocals. The bands approach to their music is perfect for the Doom/Stoner Metal world as they combine catchy lyrics and addictive riffs that seem to be the normal thing if you're part of a truly confident Doom/Stoner Metal band. IZ gives the perfect impression on what to expect on the albums remaining six tracks.

The Wiring creates an exciting style of chainsaw based riffs especially on tracks such as Python, The Blocking, Eyes and Unearthed. It's too The Wiring's credit they have created an album that is a huge amount of fun from start despite the album having it's fair share of doomier moments. If you're a fan of High On Fire and Black Cobra then this is the album for you. The production is first rate as it allows The Wiring to play and generate a huge amount of loud noise.

The overall sound of the album is stunning as you can feel each heavy pounding drum beat and guitar riff coming at you. Withdrawal From Continuous Circulation is an excellent debut album. It will appeal to a wide range of fans in the Doom/Stoner Metal community.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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Whores. - GOLD (Album Review)

Release date: October 28th 2016. Label: eOne. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

GOLD – Tracklisting

Playing Poor - 3:04
Baby Teeth - 3:28
Participation Trophy - 4:11
Mental Illness as Mating Ritual - 3:04
Ghost Trash 2:53
Charlie Chaplin Routine - 2:13
Of Course You Do - 3:43
I See You Are Also Wearing a Black T-Shirt - 2:35
Bloody Like the Day You Were Born - 3:59
I Have a Prepared Statement - 6:15

Band Members:

Christian Lembach: voice and guitar
Casey Maxwell: bass
Donnie Adkinson: drums


Whores. flip off the world on this record. The whole album is as raw as fresh road rash and as loud as outlaw muffler pipes. Every instrument and vocal delivery is slanted with rebellion. The bass is low and raunchy. The guitar is rancorous and mean. The drums are a toe to toe boxing match, sounding like a king of the ring punch out. The vocals are red, sore and coarse.

Whores. is comprised of three nasty noise dealers who shuffle the deck with a 52 pick up in homicide kings. Stomp, sweat, stop and repeat. This release is an assemblage of brutal and ferocious noise with a hint of sludge. The song titles grab hold of your limited attention span, the lyrics rattle with meaningful prose, and both are delivered with a spattering of intelligent humour.
'Gold' is a seamless collection of skull and crossbones toxicity with each song being a rivet in a gorilla-sized album. Again, the entire record is ablaze from start to finish, but these tracks really cleave:

Playing Poor’ is a strong opener exhibited with a high voltage detonation in sound. A fast moving shred fest in league with pissed off farmers playing electric pitchforks in ripped coveralls.

Baby Teeth’ is punctuated punk that shakes the rust off your haughty routine with guitars that blast like laser beams.

Participation Trophy’ has just the right amount of anger to recycle your self-righteous smile with brass knuckles.

Mental Illness As A Mating Ritual’ reminded me that every block has an aggressive little loud mouth creep who deals in distortion with purpose to offend.

Charlie Chaplin Routine’ is constructed with huge riffs, which are like the knives of a juggling mime.

I See You Are Also Wearing A Black T Shirt’ showcases instruments as a broken falsehood with vocals of rotten belligerence.

Bloody Like The Day You Were Born’ is a metallic sludge clamour that moves like stop and go traffic on the potholed freeway.

I Have Prepared A Statement” is a bombardier power passage with an old school feel.
This record sounds like it was recorded in Fort Knox and it is the embodiment of blistering punk attitude, covered in a solid gold knuckle sandwich. A virtual sack full of lead soldiers, each leaving a welt to your smug face.

This is easily the favourite cathartic, noise punk album of the year. A solid gold brick of triumph for these guys whose reward should be the accolades of this very endeavour.

Words by Nick Palmisano


Tuesday 22 November 2016

Tigers On Opium - There's A Kink For That (Album Review)

Release date: September 13th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

There's A Kink For That – Tracklisting

1.ONE WAY OUT 05:14
4.DIVE IN 04:00
5.SHIVERS 03:58

Band Members:



Portland, Oregon strikes again in providing a truly kick-ass and great band to check out. This time it's Tigers On Opium to impress you with their bombastic style of Stoner, Punk, Grunge, Rock and Roll with a knowing Pop Sensibility. Their sound brings back memories of QOTSA and even Torche at times.

The band may have a slightly off-kilter DIY Punk ethic in their sound but opening track – One Way Out – creates a crazy Punk/Grunge/Stoner Rock sound with the band expertly weaving through the different genres they have at their disposal. For a two piece band these guys are extremely creative as the vocals mainly from Juan are firmly in the classic grunge style. Nate provides able support with his fine vocal delivery.

If you're a fan of Indian Handcrafts then Tigers On Opium create a similar kind of music but with more focus on Stoner Riffs with moments of loud Psychedelic Rock appearing here and there.

Second track – The Great Divide – is perhaps the standout track on the album as the band blend different styles of music yet again for a more out-there sound. Though Tigers On Opium keep the mood highly energetic, fun and wholly addictive. The lyrics have a playful attitude to them and the band have written some great lyrics that will be in your head for days.

It's too Tigers On Opium credit that they create 6 tracks that sound very different to each other. Third track – Culture Killers – has moments of post-hardcore madness buried within the schizophrenic sounds being played around you.

There's A Kink For That is a blistering style of different noises and riffs that you will be listening to for days on end. The album is expertly produced by Juan and Nate as the album builds up-to a superb finish with final track – We're Not Young Forever.

If you want something different to listen to then I can't recommend Tigers On Opium highly enough . The album showcases their talent for writing highly anthemic riffs and great lyrics to match.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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Superjoint - Caught Up In The Gears Of Application (Album Review)

Release date: November 11th 2016. Label: Housecore Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Caught Up In The Gears Of Application – Tracklisting

1.Today And Tomorrow 03:24
2.Burning The Blanket 02:33
3.Ruin You 02:24
4.Caught In The Gears Of Application 02:42
5.Sociopathic Herd Delusion 02:34
6.Circling The Drain 04:30
7.Clickbait 05:21
8.Asshole 02:37
9.Mutts Bite Too 03:56
10.Rigging The Fight 02:34
11.Receiving No Answer 05:33

Band Members:

Phil Anselmo - Vocals/Guitar
Jimmy Bower - Guitar
Kevin Bond - Guitar
Joey "Blue" Gonzalez - Drums
Stephen Taylor - Bass


Superjoint may have dropped the Ritual from their name since returning after they split in 2004 but as they blast back into the metal worlds consciousness with their storming new album Caught Up In The Gears Of Application. It is clear they still have the same aggression and energy as when the band first emerged but with a renewed, angry and fierce approach to their music that their last album, the sluggish, A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred lacked.

It is clear that both the break and name change was needed, as they feel like a new band (and with new members in drummer Jose Gonzalez and bassist Steven Taylor, courtesy of Phil Anselmo's solo band The Illegals joining the singer plus original members Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond. It almost is a new band) and this is reflected in the focussed nature of the bands music.

As soon as the feedback drenched riffs and Anselmo's commanding voice on the opening track Today And Tomorrow kick in, it is clear that the band are back with a vengeance and as soon as the song hits its stride with its galloping riffs and rapid fire drumming. It feels good to have them back and the venomous "Trust no one" refrain at the end of the song is pure Superjoint.

Caught Up In The Gears Of Application doesn't let up for a second after the effective opener with the all encompassing angry groove of Burning The Blanket (a song that features one of those classic Jimmy Bower riffs) and the relentless hardcore energy of Ruin You brimming with energy. That relentless energy doesn't let up and tracks like Circling, The Drain, Clickbait, Mutts Bite Too and Rigging The Fight fizzle with an infectious hatred while the groove of the more downbeat and sludgey heaviness of Receiving No Answer closes the album in fine style.

The bands hardcore punk influence is really evident on this album with the majority of the tracks being short sharp shocks of noise and is reflected in the energetic songs with Poison Idea being the strongest reference point especially on Ruin You with Anselmo channelling his inner Jerry A to maximum effect. The likes of Discharge, Celtic Frost and Darkthrone are all clearly still big influences on the band too and the feeling of these classic bands resonates throughout the album and it is a feeling that is both super angry and super heavy.

It's good to have Superjoint back, refreshed, refocussed and firing on all cylinders with this album and with Caught Up In The Gears Of Application and the excellent Scour EP from earlier in the year, it's good to see Phil Anselmo hitting another rich vein of form in his vocal approach. He might have had a regrettable year in many ways that has been well documented, discussed, dismissed and dissected but musically speaking, it's been a highlight from him and this is the pick of his musical endeavours in 2016. Superjoint are back, they're even more pissed off and they have the songs and the attitude to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Words by Gavin Brown

You can buy Caught Up In The Gears Of Application on CD/DD/Vinyl via Housecore Records now. Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo.


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Fiendish Times: An Interview with SITHTER

Japanese Doom/Sludge Metal collective – Sithter – released an excellent album called Evilfucker back in 2014. It was an uncompromising style of Death, Doom, Psych and Sludge Metal. The band showed their talent for lengthy and epic compositions that leave you with an unsettling feel.

The band have been going strong since 2006 and are about to release their even heavier second album – Chaotic Fiend on December 9th 2016 via Bonten Records.

Chaotic Fiend is a much more heavier and bleak offering compared to Evilfucker. It sees the band create a more psychedelic and doomier sound that allows them to play bleaker sounds to depress you with. It's an album that takes no prisoners.

I wanted to find out more about Sithter and my good pal Richard over at Sheltered Life PR arranged this interview with Takano (Vox/Guitars) and briefly Kagawa (Guitars) from the band.

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

Takano: I am fine so far but but it has become colder here. I am careful about the cold.

Before we get start discussing your new album. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

Takano: Sithter was formed in 2006. I'm the only original member now and before Sithter I used to playing in a band called PSYCHOTOBLACK. After some of the band withdrew, we broke up, changed the name and started looking for new members. The band’s sound is almost same as PSYCHOTOBLACK. We had recorded a song at that time called ‘Chaotic Fiend’.
Hyo Kagawa (Guitar) joined in 2008; Mazda (Drums) joined in 2009 and I invited Wahei Gotoh (Bass) from the band Dhidalah in 2010.

Why did you call the band Sithter. Any particular meaning.

Takano: The master of the dark force.

Congratulations on the new album. Chaotic Fiend. Such a brutally dark and heavy as hell album. What can people expect from the album.

Takano: Thank you. Only when we finished did we realize that it’s more violent than our previous work. Punk, noise, hardcore, psychedelia, doom, sludge, everything we boil everything in hell's kettle when we’re recording.

Was it an easier or harder album to write and record for compared to your debut album.

Takano: We went into the studio to record our previous album’s songs almost completed. But almost all of the songs for this album were written the way we wanted to produce the album. Live and fast. The songs were finished in a short time. The previous album was recorded separately one track by one track, but for Chaotic Fiend we recorded drums, bass and guitar together. I recorded the second guitar and vocals later. The recording process was much easier than last time.

The album has quite a progressive and classic style of Sludge/Doom Metal but with hints of modern psychedelic rock/metal. Very different to your debut album. Was that an easy decision to create something different for your new album.

Takano: The concept was the same as the previous album. Our new one is like an extension of the last, in terms of arrangement, songs and artwork.

Did you do anything different when recording Chaotic Fiend compared to Evilfucker.

Takano: As I said earlier, the recording process was different. In addition, this time we had a guest player to create the opening piano for ‘Engrave The Misery’ and a narration for ‘Jerusalem Axe Masscre’. Both songs became more than what I wanted. Also we use various instruments this time like, Japanese instruments, "Koto" and Theremin. Engrave the Misery has been played for more than 10 years. A genius scholar who was a member of the time composed it. The original starts with a beautiful baseline, but this time I had the witch play the disturbing piano. I am singing about a tragedy that will never end, that will continue to occur in the world. It's a dark waltz.

The overall content of the album is very bleak especially the lyrics and riffs. What inspires you and influences you when writing music and lyrics.

Takano: The theme of lyrics, titles of songs are taken from old horror films and novels. But content and expressions are influenced from Japanese punk bands. I wrote about the fear and sorrow of human beings, without using direct expressions. The biggest influence for my lyrics is Japanese punk band Stalin.

You're from Japan and the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal scene has progressed steadily over the last 20 years or so. Especially with the global Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal community. Have you noticed this yourselves.

Takano: Across the world there are a lot of festivals for Doom/Sludge music and of course many bands are appearing too. Also there are lots of media, web sites and the Facebook community. It is wonderful but sadly this is not the case in Japan.

Do you get to perform gigs regular in Japan. Are there plans for you to travel overseas at any point.

Takano: We’re doing a lot gigs in Japan and we try to appear as much as we can. Also we share the stage a lot with the bands from various genres. We toured Korea in 2015 and we toured Taiwan earlier this year. In the future, I would like to go beyond Asia and we’re currently looking for shows in Europe, America, etc. Feel free to contact us.

How hard is it to perform as a band in Japan. Are things you would like to see improved. If so what things would you improve.

Takano: We are based in Tokyo and thankfully there are a lot of venues and studios here. That’s a good environment for band activities. The bands from rural areas visit here to play gigs too. There is a lot of music but there is not much Doom/Sludge bands and similar events. There are events that mix various genres and they are fun, but I think the event that sticks to Doom/Sludge is more necessary. I am doing Doom events several times in a year, but I really want to do them more frequently. However, we need to rent the venue for the event and it costs a lot of money here. We need a place that we can use with a more affordable price then we can make it worthwhile for the bands that play.

The album is being released on CD and Digital Download. CD by Bonten. Are there plans to release the album on Vinyl at all in the near future.

Takano: We do not have plans for that yet we would like to see it released on vinyl.

My favourite track on the album has to be Jerusalem Axe Massacre. 18 minutes of pure sludge carnage. Where did the idea for that track come from. What influenced you for that song in particular.

Kagawa:‘Jerusalem Axe Massacre’ was written newly for this album. Although it became a long number, I tried to minimize the riff and build up with an ensemble. I wanted to make it a dramatic slaughtering sound.

Takano: As the previous album, I decided that the last song would be a long length so I described about the image to Hyo (Kagawa). The title and artwork had been done for a long time. The theme is the revenge of Jerusalem. I asked American noise artist L'eclipse Nue for opening narration. He used to live in Japan before and now he back in the States. He recorded a few patterns of narration. I was planning to use it only for the opening but all the patterns were great so I used them all.

Words by Steve Howe and SITHTER

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for arranging the interview. Thanks to Takano and Kagawa for taking the time out and doing this interview.

Chaotic Fiend will be available to buy on CD/DD via Bonten Records from December 09th 2016.