Saturday 1 April 2017

Woodhawk - Beyond The Sun (Album Review)

Release date: April 7th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Beyond The Sun – Tracklisting

1.Beyond The Sun
2.The High Priest 04:46
3.Living In The Sand
4.Magnetic North
6.Quest For Clarity
7.A New Hope
8.Foresee The Future


Turner Midzain - Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington - Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson - Drums


I'm new to the world of Woodhawk as I missed their debut album released a few years ago. My good pal Bucky Brown told me to check these guys out. As Bucky knew I would go crazy over this band. I was luckily sent a promo to review and here's my review for Beyond The Sun.

Woodhawk have a new album - Beyond The Sun - and it's one that ticks all right boxes if you're a serious fan of Stoner Rock. Taking influence from bands such as Kyuss, The Sword and Truckfighters. Woodhawk offer a refreshing style of Psych Stoner Metal with moments of Fuzz and Desert Rock that add extra grit to their music.

Opening track - Beyond The Sun - is a highly confident number with the band playing a heavy thunderous stoner metal roar. The lyrics are inspired by a mixture of classic Kyuss desert rock beginnings and the later progressive stylings of Truckfighters world weary tales. It's a captivating style of music Woodhawk cater for both the casual and dedicated Stoner Rock/Metal fan. The vocals from Turner are impressive from the start especially when set against the heavy musical background. Woodhawk even find time to play a thrashier sound of Stoner Metal towards the end of the song.

Second track - The High Priest - sees Woodhawk opt for a more Doom Rock driven sound as they channel the very early sound of The Sword but still creating their own original addictive sound. The lyrics build upto a rousing chorus especially when the band starts singing over the title lyrics over and over again. The riffs drift from heavy psych stoner to a heavier style of doom rock that leaves you wanting more. The guitar solos are impressive with members – Turner and Mike - showing what they can do by creating epic riffs that have a twinge of classic Thin Lizzy about them.

Third track - Living In The Sand - continues with the heavy style of Doom, Psych and Stoner Rock with lead vocalist - Turner - singing with a more laid-back style before he returns to the familiar style he sung on the opening two tracks. The back-up vocals add a more menacing touch as they have quite a duelling effect. The music is perhaps what will hold people's attention the most as Woodhawk merge the different sounds at their disposal with supreme confidence.

It's pointless for myself to describe what to expect on the remaining six tracks on the album as Woodhawk wisely keep to the same winning template throughout. Though they do change the mood at different parts of the album especially on Magnetic North and A New Hope and the standout final track - Chrononaut. Beyond The Sun is a hard-rocking masterclass that's a winning album on all levels. It's great to hear an album that has much attention to the lyrics as well as the music.

Fans of Star Wars will get much enjoyment of A New Hope as Woodhawk have created a spaced out stoner prog rock odyssey based on that legendary movie. One of the most exciting moments of album as Woodhawk prove how creative they are by blending popular movie culture and modern Desert/Stoner Rock sounds.

The production is another highlight as the album is crystal clear and very loud from the start. What's more to be said about this album apart from this is a must have album for all you serious Stoner Rock/Metal fans out there. Woodhawk have delivered the goods with this album. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jon at Asher Media for the promo. Beyond The Sun will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from April 7th 2017.