Saturday, 17 February 2018

An Interview With Tom Young From ESTUARY BLACKS


Estuary Blacks are a new band from Swansea, South Wales. Made up of members of Bomb The Sun and Tabularasa, Estuary Blacks play a more Psychedelic Stoner Rock sound with elements of Post-Rock being woven into the background.

The band have just released their superb debut album and it's a fantastic sounding record that will appeal to fans of Elephant Tree and the members previous bands that I mentioned before.

I wanted to find out more about Estuary Blacks and how they recorded their epic sounding new album. Tom Young (Drums) from the band was more than happy to do this interview.

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

Yup, all good here....excited to release the album.

Before we discuss your new album. Can you give a brief overview of how the band formed and where it is today.

We grew up together, went to school together and Dan and Al were doing a band called Bomb The Sun who unfortunately disbanded a good few years ago, I've played in other bands and always loved their style together so we decided to give it a shot!

Why did you choose Estuary Blacks as the name for your band.

Me (Tom) and Dan grew up on the North side of the Gower Peninsula and it's all Marshland with a large Estuary. There are horses that live on the marsh and when the tide cones right up, the horses get to the higher parts of the marsh and get semi-submerged in the tide. They have to wait there until the tide goes back out again until they can move for fear of falling into one of the groynes and drowning!! In the evening you can see their black silhouettes standing motionless....these are Estuary Blacks!!


How would you describe your overall sound.

That's always hard......big...!!

You’re about to release your superb debut album. What can people expect from the album.

It's quite a diverse album, from big heavy climaxes like Puris Prass to the delicate spacey interlude, Hank Carmarvin......

I like to think that it offers a lot...it's not just a stoner/doom/post-rock album......whatever people wanna label it as.

What is the main theme of the album.

The Sea and the seasons/weather........we get all the weather!

Who is releasing the album and what formats is the album being released upon.

Kozmik Artifactz are releasing the album on vinyl and CD but it will also be available through BandCamp as of February 16th.....then later on Spotify.

How did you hook-up with Kozmik Artifactz records to release your album on vinyl.

Bomb The Sun released their self titled (masterpiece in my opinion) through them which ,they loved. So when we formed Estuary Blacks we started sending them stuff and they liked it....

Here we are.


Did you have any other offers from labels to release the album on vinyl.

We haven't sent off any music to other labels yet.....Kozmik always seemed really keen to have us and they did a great job on the Bomb The Sun record we feel we don't need to go any place else.

What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

Where we grew up, the Gower......we have some characers .....musically we were listening to a lot of Goatsnake, Super Furry Animals, Ween and Mogwai while recording this.....Don't know if we have taken any of that!

Was recording the album an easy or hard experience.

Some came easy like Fat Jason and Caswell Brat......Puris Prass has been rolling around in our jams for around 2 years now! We didn't finish writing it till a week before we tracked it

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

Dan's got a weird way of playing the bass.....

He plays it like a guitar and comes up with some great lines, me and Al are in charge of hacking him up and putting it back together again.

You’re from Wales and the Welsh scene has provided the Doom and Stoner Rock/Metal world with some amazing bands over the years. What is the scene currently like in Wales. Do you have an active scene to participate in. Do you get the opportunity to perform regular gigs.

South Wales had and still had an amazing array of bands.....what we don't seem to have (in Swansea) is a bunch of people who go out and see bands.....

We may play a gig to 5 people one night, play the same venue a week later and you got 50 people there.....you just never know........

Swansea is a fickle beast. But yeah, when we grew up we got to see band like Taint, Bomb The Sun, Black Eye Riot and The Death Of Her Money on a regular basis.....it was the shit!!


Will you be promoting and touring this album heavily within the UK. Or will you just be focusing on gigs closer to home.

We would love to play gigs about the country - hit us up!!

Words by Steve Howe and Tom Young

Their debut album is available to buy digitally now. CD/Vinyl will be released later this year via Kozmik Artifactz.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Estuary Blacks - S/T (Album Review)


Release date: 16th February 2018. Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Estuary Blacks – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Moorings 04:23
2.Trawlers 10:21
3.Fat Jason 06:23
4.Hank Carmarvin 04:11
5.Caswell Brat 10:26
6.Puris Prass 11:49

Members

DAN WILLIAMS - BASS
ALEX BODINGER - GUITARS
TOM YOUNG - DRUMS

Review

So this is what happens when former members of Bomb The Sun and Tabularasa decide to form a new band. Welsh Psychedelic Stoner Rockers – Estuary Blacks – deliver the goods with their intriguing and genuinely exciting debut album. The self-titled record sees the band in highly confident and inspired form. Playing a blend of ELDER style Progressive Psych Stoner Rock but merged with the doomy heaviness of Elephant Tree. It’s a sound that’s becoming really popular within the Psychedelic Stoner Rock scene. However Estuary Blacks deserve your attention and respect on their own terms.

Opening track – Moorings – is a doom/ambient driven Post-Rock/Stoner sounding number that shows you a brief glimpse on what to expect musically on the album. It’s a strong start to the album with elements of Psychedelic Rock really pushing the song along to an exciting conclusion.

Second track – Travellers – opens with a more sombre mood as the band play a laid back reflective song. The song soon changes into a heavier and progressive doom/stoner rock song. It has quite a raw feel and the superb vocals match the angry atmosphere being played around them. This is where you start to hear the Elder/Elephant Tree comparisons for the first time but Estuary Blacks slowly start to weave their own progressive magical spell. The music is deliciously addictive and heavy with the right amount of different progressive elements that make up the epic ten minute plus run time. The last part of the song makes intelligent use of a droned out sound that feels it’s being played by a different band.

Third track – Fat Jason – sees the band start playing a “Pelican-esque” style of music before sublime vocals return the album to a more upbeat and glorious Psychedelic/Stoner Rock sound. The music is very slow at times but the heavy psychedelic guitars make this one of the standout tracks on the album.

Fourth track - Hank Carmavin – is a semi-acoustic instrumental track that has a slight “country” style vibe with the solitary guitar still offering a psychedelic vibe. It’s not the most exciting songs on the album but that’s not the point of the song. It shows the listener that Estuary Blacks can perform more delicate songs and leave the heavy riffs behind for a few minutes or so. The second half of the song veers into Post-Rock territory and actually leaves you wanting more.

The final two songs on the album Caswell Brat and Puris Pass offer twenty two minutes of heavy psychedelic sounds with the band playing some uplifting Stoner Rock music to end the album with. Caswell Brat is perhaps the more engaging of the two songs with the band showing a keen eye for experimentation and sonic melody. Puris Pass does end on an intriguing end with various UK Weather Reports being played against a subtle musical backdrop.

Estuary Black’s debut album is a highly emotional and uplifting slice of Psychedelic Stoner Rock with moments of Progressive Rock and Doom based sounds that show you there is more to Estuary Black’s music than you first experience. This album proves the Welsh Stoner Rock/Metal scene is more than capable in providing great bands for you to discover. This is an essential album to have in your record collection. It’s simple as that.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Estuary Blacks for the promo. Their debut album is available to buy digitally now. CD/Vinyl will be released later this year via Kozmik Artifactz.

Links:


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Sativa Root - Oneiroid (Album Review)


Release date: 16th February 2018. Label: Marijunaut Records. Format: CD/DD

Oneiroid – Tracklisting

1.Intro 00:09
2.Blood Rigs 07:36
3.Funeral of the Witch 08:24
4.Deathclaw 05:56
5.Tabarnak 05:56
6.Morlock 09:14

Members

Stonerhead - Guitar
Pan - Drums
Doomster - Bass

Review

Austrian Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metallers - Sativa Root - finally bring their full length debut album - Oneiroid - after almost seven years existence as a band. They have released a couple of EP's over the years which did show the world their undoubted potential. Oneiroid has a dirtier, doomier and heavier feel compared to their previous records. With the band playing a heavier and doomier sound.

The album opens with a ten second sound clip that opens the album to Sativa Root. Nothing flashy. It's just there for a soundbyte of some sort.

The second track - Bloodrigs - is an almost down-tempo sounding number with a heavy bass-line allowing the drums and guitars to slowly infecting the people listening into this album. The song and album itself has quite a progressive feel with the doom and stoner metal sounds slowly building up to a confident gloomy rhythm. The majority of the album is instrumental but Sativa Root has included one or two surprises along the way which I will explain later.

Third track - Funeral Of The Witch - is perhaps the doomiest offering on the album. As it sees the band venture into darker and more down-tempo areas of the Doom/Stoner Metal world. Though it does take some time for the song to fully get going into a more exciting rhythm of its own. The psychedelic parts of the song is what makes the song truly standout on the album. As it's quite epic with the song running past the eight minute mark. Sativa Root show that they know how to play on this album with epic musical solos with all three band members all vying for your attention.

Fourth track - Deathclaw - opens with a bleak voiceover setting up the scene. The song once again starts off real slow before adding a heavier psychedelic stoner metal vibe. I think this is where Dave “Dixie” Collins of Weedeater appears. As the band have managed to convince Dave to provide vocals on the album though his vocals are quite brief.

The final two tracks - Tabanark and Morlock - perhaps offer the more exciting and heaviest moments on the album with Sativa Root finally showing their true potential. The final song - Morlock - is the standout track on the album with Sativa Root proving they have both style and substance played down to a fine art. The song is very progressive with the Doom/Stoner Metal parts working superbly well together. The psychedelic vibes is what holds everything together as Sativa Root brings this song and album to a highly satisfactory conclusion.

Oneiroid is parts Karma To Burn instrumental Stoner Rock and parts Black Sabbath/Saint Vitus style vintage Doom Metal riff worship. The sound and production of the entire album is very good indeed. There were a couple of moments that could have benefited having more volume added. Other than that minor complaint, Oneiroid is an album that will keep the Instrumental Doom/Stoner Metal masses superbly entertained for a long time to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


SIXES - Mephistopheles (Album Review)


Release date: 01st March 2018. Label:Various. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Mephistopheles – Tracklisting

Acid God
A Cross To Burn
Fogbreather
Methistopheles
Motherless
Voidkiller

Members

Stephen Cummings - Vocals, Guitar
Hannes Bogacs - Guitar
Zander Reddis - Bass
Dustin Daniels - Drums

Review

Greetings All,

Very soon the mighty Sixes will unleash their monster of an album Mephistopheles upon us all and will not so subtly crush your soul. The 6 tracks on the album deliver an onslaught of crushing distortion, with anguished, brutal screams and a dark, despondent mood that is as black as any metal out there today. The songs on Mephistopheles are long, typically 8-15 minutes (with one exception) that will test the listener’s fortitude. However, it is a glorious test and a testament to the awesome might of Sixes.

Acid God opens the album with almost 15 minutes of mostly instrumental bludgeoning. Feedback and dissonance open the track before the drums and anguished screaming show you exactly where Sixes are taking you, and it is a dark and wild ride. The song is stunning in its sheer volume and breadth. A Cross to Burn runs a little more straight-forward but is no less relentless. It has a killer chugging riff with some bad ass driving double kick drums to boot.

Voidkiller is an amazing track. It is a quieter, slower tempo track that has a very Alice in Chains feel with the vocal styling and sound. It is a dark, ominous sound that reels you in before exploding with enraged vocals and a massive wave of blackened distortion. Motherless is nothing but pure unadulterated heaviness. It showcases all of Sixes with feedback, distortion, and a killer breakdown.

Fogbreather is the shortest track on the album, but it is just as intense and amazing with brutal vocals, a churning tempo, and a wicked start, stop breakdown. It is metal, pure and simple, with the absolute best lyric of “We worship amps, and drugs, and Satan” That pretty much sums up all you need to know.

Mephistopheles closes the album. The title track is an absolutely brutal closer. A slow, crushing intro gives way to blackened, thrash infused speed riffs before careening wildly back and forth into a relentless pummelling riff with guttural howling. The closer is epic and massive and a fitting close to the dark ride through hell with the Sixes.

If you dig the heavy and are a fan of Neurosis, Thou, and the heavier side of Relapse records catalogue you should definitely check out Sixes. Their sludge filled, blackened metal will fill your anemic, empty soul. Dig on it!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey


Thanks to Carcosa PR for the promo.

Mephistopheles will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl via the following labels Black BowRecordings, Poisoned Mind Records, Forbidden Place Records and Medusa Crush Recordings from March 1st 2018.

Links:

Heave Blood & Die - Vol II (Album Review)



Release date: 19th January 2018. Label: Blues For The Red Sun. Format: CD/DD

Vol II – Tracklisting

Plague
Warsaw
Countercult
Brigade
Harakiri
LXXX
Wealth is Nothing
Sinking Ships

Members

BASS/VOCAL- Karl Pedersen
GUITAR/VOCAL - Mads Ystmark
GIUTAR- Jonas Helgesen Kuivalainen
SYNTH - Marie Sofie Langeland Mikkelsen
DRUMS - Kenneth Mortensen

Review

Heave Blood & Die's new album - II - is an intriguing album indeed. Blending Psychedelic Doom and Stoner Metal with the band drawing influence from Post-Punk and Post-Rock. The first half of the album sees the band open with Plague a heavy psychedelic doom/stoner offering with traces of distorted post-punk sounds. The riffs are firmly within the heavy psychedelic world. What makes this song and perhaps the album standout is their highly inventive use of synths.

Second track - Harikari - opens with a slow-paced sludgy post-rock groove. The vocals have a punk style vibe around them before the band move onto more progressive doom/stoner metal sounds. The song may sound and feel simple but listen more closely and you can hear a complex sounding song with many different elements to it. The synths add a trippy psychedelic level of weirdness with the riffs keeping the whole thing together.

Third track - Warsaw - is a dirge ridden sludgier effort with the band losing some of the psychedelic gloss they created on the opening two songs. It's quite depressing in parts with the lyrics containing post-doom and gloom bleak themes. The song does try to match the upbeat psychedelic madness of the earDier songs but fails to do so. That's a good thing as this song shows a different side to the bad. Sludgy Punk/Doom Guitars matched against a more aggressive Post-Rock/Stoner Metal attitude.

The first part of the album ends with the next two songs on the album LXXX and Counter Cult. Both of these tracks offer genuine exciting moments of post-doom/stoner metal weirdness with Counter Cult being one of the standout songs on the album. As it has a more frantic Doom/Stoner Metal atmosphere that truly allows the band to fully explore their musical identity.

The second half of the album contains four songs - Wealth Is Nothing, Brigade, Sinking Ships, and Krokodil carry on the heavy psychedelic experimental feel of the album but with the focus being more on Psychedelic Stoner Metal. The vocals contain the usual raucous punk-rock/sludge style and it works superbly well.

It's perhaps not as strong as the frantic first half but I did enjoy the musical experimentation more here. As the band play a more expansive Post-Metal/Doom/Stoner Metal sound. The riffs are a mixture of angry fast-paced moments and slow-paced sludgy sounds. The standout track on this half has to be Brigade. The intelligent drumming of Kenneth allows the music to be played more freely.

Elements of Mastodon can be heard here especially when the band opt for a more progressive metal sound. You have to applaud for Heave Blood & Die for doing something different and almost pulling it off.

The album can be quite confusing and maybe messy in places but it's still an emotionally charged and hugely entertaining album that offers something different within the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal world.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hound The Wolves - Camera Obscura (Album Review)


Hound The Wolves debut album Camera Obscura is a deeply fascinating and emotional album that draws on the heavier sounds of Drone, Doom, Psych and Stoner Rock.

Opening track - Lost In Mind - is a slowly played song with elements of Drone and Post Rock creating an almost ambient based atmosphere. The music and mood of the song is quite solitary with the haunting vocals opting for a more poetic style of delivery. The deliberate slow paced delivery of the music allows the listener to fully immerse themselves with the almost cold and distant environment.

Second song - Masquerade - opens the world of Hound The Wolves to a heavier style of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock with the sound becoming more of a post-metallic vibe. The drone based sounds become almost industrial with the dual vocals having a more machine like delivery. I can hear a direct NIN influence with the heavy distorted industrial beats though the band adds a heavier pounding Sludge/Stoner metal sound. The song becomes decidedly weird and trippy when Americana inspired Psychedelic Drone noises appear and the song becomes calmer and perhaps more mood driven as a result. The band has a lot of time to fill as this song lasts thirteen minutes or so. The lyrics have a shamanic feel to them and perhaps inspired by Drone/Doom Specialists EARTH.

Third track - Omnia In Numeris Sina Sunt - is another Psychedelic Drone offering with long drawn out sounds and hypnotic vocals singing the title of the song over and over. In theory this should be a recipe for disaster but Hound The Wolves make this a majestic and hypnotic offering with many layers of different areas of music holding everything together.

The final song - Everything Lies Veiled In Numbers - carries on the Psychedelic/Americana sounds but with more emphasis on the hazy dark desert sounds with an eerie slide guitar being played in the background. The song has a constant slowly played guitar that never lets up. The vocals drift in and out yet again with the shamanic style chants. The lyrics are quite doomy and progressive in parts but it's the music that makes the lasting impression.

Camera Obscura is one of the most trippiest Psychedelic Drone/Stoner Metal albums I've heard in a long time. The production is simply exquisite. You can feel the different layers of music taking over your soul for an out of body experience.

If you're a fan of EARTH or Across Tundras then Hound The Wolves is a band you cannot ignore. My final thoughts on Camera Obscura are that this album maybe very hard to describe and it may take multiple listens to understand fully what's going on. however that doesn't stop this album being a powerful and simply unmissable album.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | Bandcamp

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

AVON - Dave's Dungeon


Release date: 23rd February 2018. Label: Heavy Psych Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Dave's Dungeon – Tracklisting

Yello
Terraformations
Red barn
Hero With A Gun
Mace Face
P51
Space Native
On Fire
Dungeon Dave
Was Ist Los?

Members

Alfredo Hernández
James Childs
Charles Pasarell

Review

Hands up those of you who have never heard of AVON!

I knew it…Impossible not to have heard this name, if only because of the presence of a real piece of history on drums, Alfredo Hernández (KYUSS, QOTSA, Brant Bjork). Together with James Childs (Guitar) and Charles Pasarell (Bass), Alfredo has managed to set up a project having its roots in the old school desert rock.

AVON do not play ‘modern stoner rock’. They do not go to the spasmodic search for the ‘riff winking the eyes of the founding fathers’ (and they could do it, being one of them!). No. AVON is a ‘naked and raw’ band that don’t give a fuck to align with the current trends. Dave's Dungeon (Heavy Psych Sounds) is an album that is outside the conventional schemes, in some ways hard to assimilate for current stoner/desert rock listeners, accustomed today to the usual ‘4 riffs in drop C’ that all sound the same without attitude.

Although certainly not a milestone, in this work AVON have been able to reread their own influences in their own way. Which is not trivial, considering that they, themselves, were for years the forerunners of a genre very inflated nowadays. There are many influences in Dave's Dungeon. There are the Jethro Tull (Hero With A Gun), there are the psychedelic version of the QOTSA of ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’ (Yello), there are Yawning Man, and there is all the atmosphere of that time where a van, two generators and the sunset show in the Coachella Valley were enough.

This last work by AVON is a very well-played album, where bass, guitar and drums are wonderfully intertwined with vocal melodies. The only flaw is, to my opinion, the lack of a production a little rougher than the current one.

I really enjoyed this. It took me more listening, I admit it. It is an album based on a sound little aside by the average listener, who confuses stoner with doom and believes that 'Female Fronted' is a musical genre, but that, paradoxically, brings a breath of fresh air. Stealing the words of my good pale Steve (on the review of their previous work) "Well if you're a fan of old school" Desert / Stoner "Rock with a hint of vintage" Psychedelia then you're going to have a huge amount of fun with this album ".

Again, I sign word for word.

Words by Bruno Bellisario

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Dave's Dungeon will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from February 23rd 2018.

Links:

An Evening With Knives (Album Review)


Release date: 26th January 2018. Label: Argonauta Records (CD) / Lighttown Fidelty (Vinyl). Format: DD

Serrated – Tracklisting

1.Come Undone 04:33
2.Restless 05:46
3.Blind Man's Guess 06:31
4.Hysteria 06:41
5.Fade Out 09:37
6.Thoughts & Regrets 07:49
7.Drowning in Daybreak 02:33

Members

Peter van Grunsven - Bass guitar
Ivo Jonkers - Drums & samples
Marco Gelissen - Guitar & vocals

Review

An Evening With Knives, the Eindhoven trio who first whetted listeners appetites with their self titled debut EP in 2015 return with their debut album Serrated and without a doubt, this is an extremely hypnotic album that is heavy on riffs and creates an atmosphere that drags you in and doesn't let go. Since the release of the EP the band have spent the time honing their sound and Serrated is the highly anticipated result and those results are decidedly massive.

Serrated begins with the discordant Come Undone and the sprawling mournful mysticism of Restless and these two well crafted tracks set the tone for the album superbly. The woozy Blind Man's Guess follows and is a track that revels in its passion with its hypnotising and an almost repetitive nature taking you into its grasp and consuming you whole and when it reaches its epic conclusion, you cannot help but marvel at its glory.

Hysteria has more post-metal leanings that are just as hypnotic and certainly shows off a different side to An Evening With Knives, but one that sits at ease with what has come before it, it is noticeably bleaker and vaster but never anything other than sublime and sublimely executed with echoes of Neurosis and Amenra in there. That sublime execution is also very evident on the track that follows it which is entitled Fade Out, a track that explodes in a triumphant state and is nine and a half minutes of sheer riff joy.

Serrated concludes with the powerful and pensive Thoughts & Regrets before closing track, the almost all instrumental Drowning In Daybreak finishes things off with a bang. The song has a noticeably shorter running time but it's shimmering glory is definitely a great way to call time on the album.

The main thing that strikes you about Serrated is how well crafted the songs on the album are and how well they are executed with the band playing their hearts out and the vocals, riffs and grooves all coming together splendidly, resulting in a cacophony of sludge, doom and stoner sounds wrapped up in a psychedelic blanket.

An Evening With Knives have created an album that takes you in and mesmerises you but just after doing so, pummels you with its heavy riffs and absorbing rhythms and you will want to listen to it time and time again.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to NeeCee Agency for the promo. You can buy the album here from Argonauta Records on CD and Vinyl from Lighttown Fidelity

Links

Facebook | BandCamp


Stream Of NEBULA - To The Center (Heavy Psych Records Reissue)


Heavy Psych Sounds announced it will work with California fuzz/psych legends Nebula to reissue three of the band’s most landmark offerings. Originally released in 1998, 1999 and 2002, respectively, Let it Burn, To the Center and Dos EPs and they will be made available as special editions to mark the 20th anniversary of the band.

Three weeks ago we premiered the new version of Let It Burn. And this week here's a premiere of To The Center, in all it's Psychedelic Fuzzed Out Stoner Rock Glory.



You can buy Let It Burn here from Heavy Psych Sounds. 

Links:

Official | Facebook

Thanks to Heavy Psych Sounds and Purple Sage PR for the premiere.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Sundrifter - Visitations (Album Review)


Release date: 9th February 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Visitations – Tracklisting

1.Sons of Belial 04:35
2.Death March 04:46
3.Lightworker 04:15
4.Targeted 04:45
5.Till You Come Down 05:08
6.Hammerburn 04:16
7.Sky Peoples Son 06:22
8.Fire In The Sky 08:08
9.I Want To Leave 05:45

Members

Craig Peura - Vocals and Guitars
Patrick Queenan - Drums
Paul Gaughran - Bass

Review

The first thing that drew me to Sundrifter’s second full length album – Visitations – was the awesome artwork by the legendary Branca Studios. The artwork is based on the old Atari 2600 Video Cartridges from the seventies/eighties. (You kids should ask your folks on what games systems we had growing up). Anyway back to the album. So what can you expect with Visitations and Sundrifter’s overall sound.

You can expect a heavy and different mix of Desert Rock, Stoner Rock and top-heavy Psychedelic Space Rock sounds. It’s quite an original sound in places. As I haven’t heard many Desert Rock bands merging Psychedelic Space Rock together.

The result is quite exciting with the opening song Sons Of Belial – offering a convincing style of loud riffs and passionate vocals. The music is drenched in heavy FUZZ sounds and the Desert/Stoner Rock elements only draw you into Sundrifter’s world. The band is comprised of three musicians and takes up the classic “power-trio” route. Though are some parts of the album where the band sounds like they have more members.

The vocals have that classic Desert/Stoner rock vibe with Craig's vocals taking influence from the legendary vocalists from the Stoner Metal scene over the last twenty five years or so. Visitations has nine tracks in total and every one of them simply sound fantastic. Songs such as: Death March, Lightworker, Targeted, Till You Come Down, Sky Peoples Son and Fire In The Sky offering the heaviest and exciting parts of the album.

I didn’t really want to do a song by song review as the album flows brilliantly and naturally throughout. It feels like that the band created one epic song but split into nine individual chapters. The lyrics are superb throughout as well. With Sundrifter putting a lot of thought and effort into the overall context of the lyrics.

Though it’s the music that’s the main attraction here. As Sundrifter create an exciting sound that will appeal to fans of Kyuss, QOTSA, Fu Manchu, Truckfighters and fellow Boston riffsters – Summoner.

Visitations production is superbly realised and handled from start to finish. The mixture of different sounds that Sundrifter possess here will surely help them gain a bigger audience within the Psych/Desert/Stoner Rock spectrum. I’m hoping this album is given the respect it deserves and be given a Vinyl Release in the future. I’ve heard so many good albums this year so far and I’m happy to state now that Visitations will end up as one of the best Stoner Rock/Metal albums I’ll hear this year.

Visitations is simply a must have album and one that you will be listening to for a very long time come.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Aleks Evdokimov Interviews PRESUMPTION

I wanted to invite you to welcome new blood in the doom metal cult known as Presumption. They finally released their debut in late autumn 2017, but man – they’re actually been in business since 2007! Yes, these four angry guys play groovy, crude and really heavy doom for almost 10 years, and besides self-titled debut they managed to record three proper EPs. 

They successfully mix some thick doom, damn hard stoner and some other heavy elements in their songs absolutely competently, and it seems that they don’t plan to stop. Presumption’s vocalist and bass-player Moomoot reveals the band’s astonishing story.

Salute Moomoot! So… from where to start? I open metal-archives and it says that Presumption was founded ten years ago! You had done three EPs since 2013 to 2016, all of them are self-released… How would you describe first ten years of the band’s existence?

Hello Aleksey and thank you for your questions. I think that the first ten years allowed us to experiment with different styles (in chronological order: funeral, heavy, stoner etc.) and to forge our own musical identity. The gigs we did (approximately 100 - 150 now) also during this decade allowed us to see how the audience would react. Finally, each recording is very different and they bring a contribution in order to build our new opus.


I see that you, Anaël (drums) and Adrien (guitars) play together since 2007 and besides that you played in some bands besides Presumption together. How did it happen that you gather under the name of Presumption? What kind of concept was on your mind back then?

Yes, that's right! Anaël and myself (FYI, who is my brother) were in Azilum: a hardcore band from 2002 to 2007. At the time we were only fifteen years old. I was already listening to doom but I hadn't found other people interested in such a project and that's why we decided to create a doom band with Anaël. Adrien is a long-time friend of mine who I invited to play with us.

About other bands, we formed with Adrien and two other friends, around 2010 "EreXioN": a heavy metal band. We also participated in many other diverse and varied projects with Marvin, the other guitarist, as Obscurité (a black metal project). Moreover, Adrien and Anaël play in a Death Metal Band: Caseum.

To speak more clearly about the concept of presumption: we wanted to focus our imagery and text on the theme of justice, murder and of human deviance.

Presumption – La Meffraye


Really? What do attract you to these topics?

Some real facts have always fascinated us. Dr. Pétiot (Dr. Satan) is a rather interesting example of someone who used the cruelty of the Second World War to enrich himself. He is an interesting example of human deviance and what individualism and selfishness at its paroxysm can generate: rotten people. Some subjects of two tier justice are also very interesting because the power (financial or political) allows you to be judged differently. For me, the topic of justice is as much at home in doom as talking about grave, alcohol or satan’s whores ahah !


It’s said that the band’s influences vary from classic doom to NOLA scene, how do you manage to perform all of this in your self-title full-length released in November 2017?

Well, all these influences come from the fact that we don't really listen to the same music. For example with Dr. Satan: Celtic Frost influences us with quite tortuous riffs and a rather cold sound aesthetics. On the other hand, Atomic Fear can present certain aspects of NOLA music: guitars solos, some screams etc.. We don't focus on a single musical universe: we try to mix everything that pleases us and that gives Presumption.

And what about your own general influences as vocalist?

Frankly, it's very complicated. Singers such as Ian Gillian, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, King Diamond, Phil Anselmo, Tom G Warrior, Lee Dorian or even Devin Townsend influence me a lot.

Maybe a little less but some singers like Kirk Windstein, Tom G Warrior, Peter Steele, Messiah Marcolin also influence me.


How and where did you record the album? Was it a real studio or a home one?

We recorded our album at La forge Studios close to Nancy (in eastern France). We recorded each instrument separately for 15 days. It is indeed a real studio that recorded, among others, Wheelfall and Phazm.

Ten years is a big date, and yet the album was released in DIY way as I see, did you find real label to release it? Do you feel that you were enough active to get out from underground?

Ahah, tricky question! Currently we released the album again in auto production but we decided to build a label (Sleeping Church Records) for distribution. However, we are not closed to future productions with other labels for the next releases. Then to answer the question of coming out from underground, I think doom metal is by definition an underground music (apart from very rare bands like Candlemass). We're not asking ourselves that question.

Do you plan to start the label only to release Presumption’s albums or do you want to support some other bands?

No. We already have some CDs of other bands in our mail-order. We also plan to sign some groups for distribution. We have already identified a few groups that we are potentially interested in. But I can't tell you any more!


How do you see Presumption compared to other bands of current French doom scene? I know that Barabbas releases their album DIY too and they play a lot, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band are on Emanes Records, Forsaken Peddlers are on their own and Northwinds are with Black Widow still. How often do you cross with them?

We don't place ourselves either under or above it: we all do our little ritual for Satan blablabla, drink beers, smoke joints and lights off!

All I can tell you is that I’ve known TBDLB since I was 15-16 years (2006) old. At the time I was listening to Reverend Bizarre, Yob, Cathedral and I was looking for French doom bands on Myspace (it sucks now... ah ah ah) and I found TBDLB. After that, I stopped following them on internet but we finally met in Poitiers a few years ago (2015) where we shared the stage together with Stonewitch.

The first time that I discovered Barabbas was an exchange of our first EP with their first opus Barabbas between Stéphane LeSaux and our “coach” Tony. We then shared a first date together in 2014. Then we played two more times together: in Rennes and Bressuire.

TBDLB we did a lot of dates together I won't be able to mention them all to you, sorry! About Forsaken Peddlers, it is very recent and it was a date in Louviers in Normandy. That was really cool! What good memories with all these guys!

Presumption – Dr. Satan

The new albums sounds damn HEAVY, I bet that it should be played really LOUD alive. What’s about gigs? Where do you usually play? Do you play abroad or only perform some local shows?

In fact, we have played in different countries: France, Belgium, Spain and Ireland. When we play at Le Mans, we take a bit more "presumptuous" scenes. Otherwise, we appreciate the atmosphere of bars or clubs. I think that one of our weaknesses is that we don't perform in many festivals.

Man, what do you mean talking about “presumptuous” scenes?

Ah ah ! Well, for us it's quite large venues on Le Mans with a good technical crew and a very pleasant stage comfort. We're going to say rooms that can accommodate between 200 and 400 people.

There were songs with French lyrics on your early records, why did you abandon it on ‘Presumption’ full-length?

Well, to put it simply, I liked to write lyrics in French and sing them. But over time, I found that it didn't sound as good as I wanted it to. We also received some negative comments on singing in French. Actually, you're raising an interesting subject here. Most of the French singers (in metal in general) are seen by a large number of people as being "redneck". I do not share that view at all. Some people are very good at French singing (e.g. Barabbas) and others are not so good: it's just harder to give a groove to the French language.


However do metal-archives speak truth tagging your lyrics as “hell, magic, serial killers, spirit, war”?

Yes, absolutely ! Because some old tracks as Anvil Devil speaks about Alaister Crowley, Ancestral Rites is about Yog Sothoth. War: more or less in Atomic Fear. Albert Fish Blues : what category do you think it is? Ah ah.

The band is based in Le Mans, pretty old city with rich history, how does it influence on your lyrics or maybe music?

It is true, this city is rich in history as much on old ramparts still present or on the remains of Roman vestiges in the basement or the cathedral St Julien which is magnificent! As not to lie to you, the city didn't necessarily inspire us. Le Mans is nevertheless a good place to create doom metal music!

I see that the band actively uses religious images and symbolism, is it a part of your scene image or are you really so bloody pious?

No, it is simply part of our visual. For instance, our main symbol first looks like a Christian cross (very present in the Rock and Metal universe) but it is here to relate a more philosophical concept between this religion and justice: in both cases it is a classical dualistic vision of good and evil. The roots are here to underline how deeply rooted these concepts are in us. But I've read many esoteric books and also so many Grimm brothers' tales and in both cases, I'm delighted about those fairy tales!

Okay, thanks for the interview Moomoot! I wish you all the best in spreading of Presumption’s Word! Would you like something else to tell before we switch off our PCs?

Thank you for your interesting questions. Just that we're very happy to have released this first album. Other projects, gigs are already underway and we're looking forward to meeting some cool public! Maybe we'll drink a vodka together in Russia someday? Se ya!

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and Presumption