Tuesday 27 February 2018

Stream Of NEBULA - DOS EPs (Heavy Psych Records Reissue)

Nebula is one of those bands that would have fit perfectly on a concert bill with Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, or the Stooges circa 1973. The power trio of Eddie Glass (vocals, guitars), Ruben Romano (drums), and Mark Abshire (bass) has quietly fused a somewhat modernized but highly distinctive '70s hard rock sound all its own. 

Releasing Dos Eps is a smart move, combining the very limited Sun Creature EP and the Meteor City split with three additional songs that groove on raunchy guitar hooks, opaque slacker vocals, and bleed-heavy drumming. Of the unreleased material, "Long Day" pegs an infectious hard-luck guitar swagger against a catchy slippery rhythm,

Thanks to Heavy Psych Sounds and Purple Sage PR, we can premiere the new version of this classic EP in all it's Stoner/Fuzz Rock glory. Ahead of it's release on Friday 2nd March 2018.

You can buy Dos EP's here from Heavy Psych Sounds. 


Official | Facebook

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

Monday 26 February 2018

An Interview With Paul Davies From MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD

Two of the heaviest Doom/Sludge Metal Bands currently out there – Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard and Slomatics – have teamed up to release a breathtaking new album called Totems. We reviewed this album a few weeks back and it's became a favourite of ours here at the blog.

I caught up with Paul Davies (Guitars) from MWWB where we discussed how this album came about, The whole recording process of the album and their future plans.

Hi Paul. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. We are here to discuss your excellent new album – Totems – with the legendary Slomatics. How did this collaboration came about. As even though you both play Doom based heavy music. Your musical output has been slightly different to each other. Whose idea was to release an album together.

I've been a fan of Slomatics for years. I've not been vocal about it in interviews or whatever. I've just loved their music. In early 2017 I got an email off Dave Majury from Slomatics saying how much he loved the latest MWWB album. Obviously I was buzzing that a guy I admired liked my music and we just started chatting. Discovering we had shared interests We chatted about guitars, kraut rock and boxing and somewhere in there we both agreed it would be cool to do something involving both bands. Many bands do splits but we wanted to do an album. A self contained piece.

What can people expect from your side of the album.

Me and Wes decided to write a song each. I wrote Master and his Emissary and he wrote Eagduru. I personally Wanted to take MWWB in a heavier and harder direction. I wanted to write a proggy type thing with a long intro and an solo outro. Personally I'm really happy with both songs. They are probably our best to date. I love the drums.

The thing I love the most about Totems is this is not a split album as such. It feels very much as a collaborative and real album between yourselves and Slomatics. Was that the plan to release something that wouldn’t be seen as a “split” album but as a proper full length album.

Yeah you are right we made sure we all knew this was gonna be an album. Not just 2 doom bands throwing some songs on an album. We worked on the lyrical concepts and decided on a theme to run through it.

Did you have an easy or hard time writing and recording the album.

Personally writing was easy. Me and the drummer locked ourselves away in the rehearsal room twice a week with Jess popping in to have a look at the vocals. During the writing of Eagduru Jess was hospitalised with a broken arm so they had to finish writing it in the studio but we managed to get our side done in 2 days.

Did you record the songs the same time as Slomatics. Or where they done apart.

Due to the fact they had to fly in we recorded ours alone but we did visit SkyHammer Studios when Slomatics were there and had a few beers.

Your sound is slightly different on Totems compared to your previous albums. Is that a fair assumption to make and will you be carrying on this style of sound for future releases.

Yes that's pretty fair. We are improving as musicians and I now feel I can push Carrat (drummer) to play more exiting stuff. I also like going more proggy. More synths and songs with more parts. But still trying to be as heavy as we can. We're still gonna write long songs. The next album will have a 20 minute track at least.

What some people don’t know is that Marty (Drummer from Slomatics) appears on one of your songs (Eagduru) and Jess appears on one of Slomatics songs. Was that planned or a spur of the moment thing.

This was planned. If we'd had more time we woulda have done more collaboration.

The album is being released on Vinyl via Black Bow Records. Did you have any input to the overall design of the vinyl. Or did you leave it up to Jon from the label to decide.

Both bands agreed on the colours as we wanted to have an element of the cover in there.

The album cover is excellent as well. Who came up with that design. Was it a joint decision between yourselves and Slomatics. Did you have any disagreements at all.

We are all kinda pretty similar so it was easy to agree. We let the artist come up with a design based on ideas we both had.

Are there any plans for you and Slomatics in doing any gigs or together to promote the album.

We did Camden Underworld in February. That was amazing. Slomatics are pretty busy in 2018 and we have to record our album. We do wanna play together again but we will have to see. It may have to be in 2019.

Would you be open to doing another album such as this with any other bands in the future. Or was this a one-time deal and experience.

We won't be doing this kind of thing with any other band. If we had the opportunity to do this with Slomatics we would definitely do it again.

Has it surprised you how the Doom/Stoner Metal community has responded to your music. As you’re highly thought of within the community.

The fans response has been unreal. So are all the cool blogs and music fan websites. We get a lot of offers and support from Europe and the US. It still seems that certain promoters or magazines in the UK won't give you the time of day if you don't sound like Sleep, Electric Wizard or Kyuss. Having played festivals in Lithuania, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium and Holland in such a short career it shows that European promoters are more responsive to bands that's have their own sound.

What are your future plans for this year.. Any plans for a new album.

Yep. New album gets recorded in may. UK tour in September.

Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.

Yeah. Thanks for all the support. It's humbling to know our music means so much to people. Well have a new album out this year and try to get out the countries we are yet to visit.

Words by Steve Howe and Paul Davies.

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview. Totems will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Black Bow Records from March 2018.

MWWB Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

High Reeper - S/T (Album Review)


Release date: 16th March 2018. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

High Reeper – S/T – Tracklisting

1. Die Slow
2. Chrome Hammer
3. Soul Taker
4. High Reeper
5. Reeper Deadly Reeper
6. Weed & Speed
7. Double Down And Let It Ride
8. Black Leather (Chose Us)
9. Friend Of Death


Pat Daly
Zach Thomas
Andrew Price
Napz Mosley
Shane Trimble


Greetings All,

A hazy cloud of mystery surrounds the five guys that comprise the stellar High Reeper. I only know there are five guys from the album cover and video that I have seen. Actually, it appears they just recently emerged from the Philadelphia area. Their self-titled debut album drops 9 killer tunes full of dark, groove heavy stoner rock.

High Reeper look and sound like the house band at a biker bar in a post-apocalyptic biker flick. Their self-titled record hits all the right soulful, drugged out chords. Themes of drugs, Satan, riffs, and death permeate every track. There is no mistaking what High Reeper is all about and exactly what they are bringing to the table.

The record opens with Die Slow, a track full of Sabbathian/Kyuss style riffage, doomy lyrics and a tasty bass solo to boot. Chrome Hammer is a shorter, up tempo track that recalls later era Sabbath. The riffs continue through Soul Taker which sounds eerily reminiscent to the Sabbath classic War Pigs. It is all the more relevant in the times we are living in today.

The band and album title track High Reeper starts with a bass heavy, riff laden intro and features a pretty sweet drum solo. There just aren’t enough drum solos in 2018. Reeper Deadly Reeper is a blazing stomper that focuses on a killer start/stop sound and riff. Weed and Speed starts with an ominous sounding intro before kicking with a ton swagger. The track grooves with a sick anthem like quality.

Double Down and Let it Ride seems in part to be a bit of homage to AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and the like with a definite classic rock vibe and sound. Black Leather (Chose Us) follows. The track has all the feel of late 70’s/early 80’s metal. The ominous, evil laughter that erupts in the song tells you all you need to know.

Friend of Death closes the album with a sinister heavy groove. It is the most metal sounding track and is catchy as hell with some inspired Iommi/VH guitar solos.

High Reeper’s debut album is a formidable debut that unleashes a mighty rumble and commands, no demands that you listen repeatedly. The record is chock full of killer riffs and righteous grooves that will have fans clamouring for more. There is plenty of Stoner groove and swagger to spare from these fine fellows.

Do yourself a favor and grab their debut album that way you can tell everyone you were into High Reeper since way back in the day. Dig it!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. High Reeper's debut album will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from March 16th 2018.


Bismark - Urkraft (Album Review)

Release date: 05th February 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Urkraft – Tracklisting

1.Harbinger 04:41
2.A Golden Throne 06:08
3.Iron Kingdom 08:07
4.Vril-ya 10:00
5.The Usher 05:50


Torstein Nørstegård Tveiten (vocals)
Anders Vaage (bass),
Eirik Goksøyr (guitar)
Trygve Svarstad (guitar)
Tore Lyngstad (drums)


Greetings All,

Ukraft is the debut album from Norwegian stoner/doom metal band Bismarck. The band delivers a killer multi textural sound across the albums 5 tracks. The songs on Ukraft blend seamlessly together giving the listener a dissonant, yet intense, feeling over the 35 minutes of achingly beautiful darkness. Although the band is described as stoner metal band, I didn’t really get that vibe. The record definitely has a doom metal feel, even some elements of sludge metal in the vocals. However, there is a unique, jazz inflected, shoegaze feel that emerges through the reverb, feedback and heavy drone of the record.

The album opens with Harbinger, the track opens slowly with a low bass rumble and drums giving away to muted vocals that set the ominous mood that follows as the guitars kick in and the vocals taking a turn for the sludge filled. A Golden Throne opens with feedback and some killer drumming before opening up into a heavy, groove filled riff that leads into a musical breakdown that I believe has the guitars sounding like a synth filled nightmare.

Iron Kingdom opens with a couple of moments of silence before a bass groove makes its way in to the most rhythmic and direct track on the record. The song has intense vocals over a super strong riff with tons of the bands trademark dissonance bubbling down below and deliver some haunted soloing to close the track. Vril-Ya was my favorite track from the album. The song features another tasty, groove heavy riff, but in a bit of a more laid back delivery. The song is chock full of dissonant guitars and artfully uses the quiet/loud effect to its maximum effectiveness.

The album closes with The Usher and its hard hitting wall of fuzz and fury. The song is a mighty final blow delivered by the band that delivers some mighty riffage and some of the more interesting sounds on the record.

There is a slow, steady sound that Bismarck lay down throughout this record. Ukraft is a promising, unique debut record that will appeal to those that dig bands like Neurosis and Ufomammut. You can check out the bands BandCamp page to obtain this fine recording. Let’s hope that Ukraft gets a proper physical release that it deserves. Go check out Bismarck and let the dissonance drown you in your misery.

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey


Saturday 24 February 2018

An Interview With Gareth Kelly From GURT and WHEN PLANETS COLLIDE

UK Party Doom/Sludge Metallers GURT released their latest album SKULLOSSUS originally back in May 2017. I missed it first time round though I've corrected that mistake by (finally) reviewing the album today. Which you can read here.

I was given the chance to speak to Gareth Kelly (Lead Vocals) from GURT where we discussed the making of the new album, future plans for GURT and the fantastic Promotions Company/Record Label – When Planets Collide – that he also runs.

Gareth is a very busy person and I'm pleased he agreed to do this interview.

Skullossus was released last year. Were you please with the initial reviews the album received. As it’s received some great press recently over the last few weeks.

Yes, we were over the moon with the press received, we have had some great feedback but the icing on the cake was getting 4 K's in Kerrang! very chuffed with that one.

It seems a lot more people are discovering the album now and not when it was released. What’s happening. Have people been waking up to the power of GURT. Or was it lost under a ton of great albums released at the same time.

I have no idea, you tell me!? It was certainly sent out into the world and we put a hell of a lot of work into getting it in front of as many people as possible just recently we have starting on more press as we have a lot planned for 2018 and thought is was a good idea to remind you all we are still here, plus we recently released a video for 'Broken Heart heroin Man' so that seemed to help peak peoples interest again who may have missed it first time round!

What can people expect from your latest album.

its more varied than our previous efforts and we have just done what felt right, we never try to follow what is popular at the time and we all have such varied music tastes nothing ever comes out the same each time. Expect Doomy, punky, poppy, sludgy, riffy, party vibes I guess!

Did you do anything differently when recording this album compared to your previous album.

Not mostly really which is where we can improve, this time round we are taking our time a bit more and not rushing too much as we always try to get a release a year out and it sometimes puts us under unnecessary pressure. we recorded it with Steve Sears (Titan Studio, Watford) this time which we have done on our previous 2 EP's too, and he knows us so well now he knows how to get the best out of us. So we don't see us looking for someone else when it comes to album number 3.

Was it a more easier experience recording for Skullossus.

Yes, for sure. we were a lot more relaxed about the whole thing and loads of ideas formed whilst in the studio which is something that has happened quite a bit since we have been recording with Steve. Although the songs were mostly written before entering the studio there were a number of little unique parts that did not happen until we started in the studio, the best example is the saxophone in 'Jon Gar Seeya Later' that was not originally written in to the song and was a mad cap idea that evolved during the recording process and then we called a friend who played Sax and she came in on the last day and nailed the solo! We were very happy indeed.

GURT are celebrating their 8th year as a band this year. Are you going to do anything special for that landmark. Or is it business as usual.

As with every year we always have lots planned but nothing special to celebrate 8 years, we have to wait for a big number like 10! We have decided to start writing again and all going well will break our trend of doing splits and EP's between albums and just get on and try an get Album No. 3 out ASAP...

Did you ever expect that GURT would last that long.

We take every day as it comes, just happy to be playing with best mates in a band that wipes the floor with most other shite out there! But we have outlived a hell of other bands that we have shared the stage with over the years so must be doing something right.

What have been your high points and low points during that time.

Loads high and not so many low, The best has to be the 2014 Euro tour, having Dopethrone as our best mates. Playing with Red Fang in the Black Heart and playing Bloodstock twice on the SOPHIE stage!

Looking back would you do anything differently.

Of course not, every single person that is or has been in GURT (7 of us over the 8 years) are best friends and we have always done exactly what we want and what we all agree on. If someone is not happy with something then we do not do it. Being in a band should always be about having fun and doing what makes you happy with it never being a chore which is what we have maintained all this time, and may explain why we are still going strong!

Will GURT be touring heavily this year or even record and release new material.

Touring is going to be a thing but not "heavily", this first part of the year is about us getting some material together and seeing what happens with that, we have lots of plans over the Summer which some of which has already been unveiled but as always it will be a productive 2018.

You’re also involved in running When Planets Collide. How is that going. Are you still releasing records and putting on gigs with WPC.

Its all going really well, my day job has meant that a lot of changes have been and are coming in my life so it is always a hobby and cannot dedicate all my time to it, but I have moved from the Windmill in Brixton to the Unicorn and Black Heart in Camden having put 2 shows on in 2017 and a recent revamp of the 'Winter warmer' in January this year at the BH. That was the best show I have ever done so shall be returning with a new 'Summer Sizzler' at the same place on July 13th. I am also going into year 7 of working at Desertfest and the stage I run with Matt from Human Disease is the best its ever been, we have Weedeater headlining this year so pretty much reached the top as far as I am concerned!

As for the label, its starting up again for 2018 with the new Ritual King EP coming out February 23rd and I am looking to do a collaboration with another well known label later in the year for a more than obvious release. More on that once things take shape...

When did you start running When Planet Collide and the reasons why.

WPC started in 2010 as a way to combat 'pay to play' gigs for our scene as there were not many kind promoters around then as there are now. It was also a way of getting GURT onto bills that I wanted to see them on, booking people like Ishmael, Dopefight and Funeral Hag was awesome and got us meeting some of our best friends of today (none of those bands exist anymore though sadly!).

Is it a hard balancing act being part of GURT, running WPC and perhaps enjoying your normal life away from music.

Yes it is very much so sometimes, but I would not EVER change it! I have a great job, am happily married and still have time to do all these other things I love, its always best to keep busy.

I know I’ve asked you this question previously in other interviews I’ve done with you. What is your verdict with the current state of the UK Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Is it getting easier or harder to participate with the scene.

Its great to see it so healthy, especially when you see all the younger fans at shows and starting bands of a similar style. But the lines are blurred on what you have to sound like to fit in to these very vague sub genres. We have changed a great deal over the years and really consider ourselves just a "UK Heavy Rock" band these days so as long as there is a load of shows that we can play at we are happy to see it all blossom and get involved in the fun.

If you could change anything about the scene. What would it be and the reasons why.

I would like to see more people at shows and buying merch from bands rather than talking about how much they like stuff from behind their computers and complaining about how hungover they are!

Before you go do you have anything to say to your legion of GURT fans out there.

YES!! WE love you all, we have some exciting plans this year and make sure you come see us, come say hi, buy some shirts, drink some beers and lets all have a great positive 2018 full of kisses and wonders xx

Words by Steve Howe and Gareth Kelly

Thanks to Gareth for doing this interview. Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging this interview.

GURT Links

When Planets Collide Links

Iron Moth - The Kill Room Journal (EP Review)

Release date: 06th January 2018. Label: Goatlordth Records. Format: CD/DD

The Kill Room Journal – Tracklisting

1.The Hastie Fire (Peter Dinsdale) 04:51
2.The Burial Chamber 04:41
3.The Kill Room Journal 05:30
4.I, Satan 07:27
5.The Abyss of Cruelty 04:46


Vocals - Madec
Guitar/Sampler/Noise - Aizat Tarmizi
Guitar/Vocals - Khian
Bass - Man
Drums – Panjang


Iron Moth is a very nasty sounding Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal band from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Their debut EP – The Kill Room Journal – offers a nightmarish heavy doom/sludge metal sound. Perhaps taking influence from Church Of Misery but with a more disturbing presence. The band also take influence from Weedeater, Electric Wizard and Bongzilla.

Iron Moth take a NO HOLDS BARRED approach with everything on their EP. The whole theme and atmosphere of the EP is scary as hell with Madec's vocals staying firmly within the more extreme style of death based growls. The music does have it's fair share of depressing Stoner riffs but they're buried under an avalanche of heavier sludge/doom metal sounds.

The standout songs on the EP have to be The Hastie Fire (Peter Dinsdale), The Kill Room Journal and I, Satan. As they're perhaps the heaviest songs on the EP and where the band show the most creativity with the lyrics and music.

Looking at the band's biography, these guys are seasoned pros who have played in a wide range of different bands and genres. I haven't came across many Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal bands from Kuala Lumpur but I hope their equally as good as Iron Moth.

The production is what surprised me the most as I was expecting a lo-fi/DIY sound. However this sounds impressive from the start. As the EP sounds superb and it really comes alive when the heavier sounds appear.

The Kill Room Journal is a very nasty sounding piece of work and should go down a storm with the Doom/Sludge Metal community. Iron Moth are defnitiely a band to look out for in the future. Let's see what misery they will bring on future records. Until then The Kill Room Journal is ready to claim your soul!!!

Words by Steve Howe


Facebook | BandCamp

GURT - SKULLOSSUS (Album Review)

Release date: May 01st 2017. Label: When Planets Collide. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

SKULLOSSUS  – Tracklisting

1.Welcome to the Shit Show 01:15
2.Gimme the Night, Any Day 06:04
3.Battlepants 04:14
4.Double Barrelled Shot-pun 03:19
5.The Crotch Wobbler 05:25
6.Existence is Pain 01:46
7.Broken Heart Heroin Man 01:22
8.Meowing at the Fridge 04:01
9.Jon Garseeya Later 04:41
10.The Ballad of Tom Stones and Reg Montagne (Part 1) 05:24
11.The Ballad of Tom Stones and Reg Montagne (Part 2) 02:15


Gareth Kelly - Growth - Mouth.
Rich Williams - Sedulurt - Riffmonster.
Dave Blakemore - Spice - Bassmaster.
Bill Jacobs - The Scorpion - Bashing.


UK Sludge/Doom Metallers GURT released their latest album SKULLOSSUS last year. I missed it first time round and I apologize to the band not reviewing their album when it came out originally.

SKULLOSSUS is perhaps darker than their previous album. The vocals from Gareth are perhaps slightly more menacing and the riffs can be very progressive at times. It's still good to see GURT's dark sense of humour living on through their song titles and some of the lyrics contained on the album.

The album has quite a heavy NOLA Sludge presence especially on songs such as: “Gimme The Night, Any Day”, Battlepants, The Crotch Wobbler, Meowing At The Fridge and the sublime two part epic – The Ballad of Tom Stones and Reg Montagne.

I admire GURT's drive and tenacity on creating a heavier style of Doom/Sludge Metal that goes against their earlier “Party-Doom” releases. Underneath the crazy song titles, GURT have unleashed a nightmarish style of Doom/Sludge sounds with some nasty riffs waiting to be discovered. The instrumental work is very precise with the band playing different styles of Sludge/Doom Metal throughout the album.

The production is very good indeed as GURT sound like they mean business here. It can be quite theatrical at times but the album has it's fair share of depressing sounding moments as well. GURT always try to bridge the gap between dark humour and playing a more realistic sound compared to other bands within the UK Doom/Sludge Metal scene.

SKULLOSSUS even sees GURT venture into DIY PUNK style riffs on certain parts of the album. I will admit I wasn't expecting to enjoy this album at all. I don't know why as I've always enjoyed GURT's music. And boy was I wrong. As SKULLOSSUS works on so many different levels. Though the main one for me is that this album will ENTERTAIN THE SHEER FUCKING HELL OUT OF YOU!!!

This album won't be for everyone. However if you're a fan of bands such as Weedeater and Dopethrone then GURT will be the band for you to party into the night and piss-off your neighbours with.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thursday 22 February 2018

An Interview With Jessie May from OWL MAKER

I first came across Owl Maker when I received their promo the other month. I give it a listen and I was impressed by Owl Maker's take on the classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal sound. Taking influence from the legendary 70s era of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, Owl Maker weave a more modern sounding take with great vocals from Simon Tuozolli.

Simon receives excellent support from Jessie May on Bass and Chris Anderson on Drums.

Their debut EP – Paths Of The Slain will be released digitally on March 16th 2018. I'll be reviewing this EP within the next couple of weeks. 

Until then you can read this interview with Jessie May who provides OWL MAKER with the heavy thumping bass that helps define the bands sound.

OWL MAKER are ones to look out for.

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

Good! Got the day off from work for Presidents Day, can't beat that.

Before we discuss your new EP, can you give a brief overview of how the band formed and where it is today?

Owl Maker is based in Southern Connecticut. We formed in the summer/fall of 2016 and played our first show a little less than a year ago. Simon, Chris, and I had all played in the same circles for a long time, so it was just a matter of time until the three of us got our own band together.

Why did you choose Owl Maker as the name for your band?

I'm a school librarian, and I had just ordered a new set of mythology reference books around the time the band was brainstorming for a name. I started flipping through the Native American one and came across Owl Maker: the Lakota crone goddess who guards the Sky Road, which is the entrance to the land of the dead. If you have the wrong tattoos, she casts you back down to earth! Pretty metal.

What's interesting is that I can't find too much more information about her, beyond what is in the encyclopedia. Any sources I find on the web don't add anything new, so Owl Maker is a bit mysterious. I will have to continue my research...

How would you describe your overall sound?

I've been told that our music is hard to put in a subgenre -- but if I had to pick one, I'd just say heavy metal. Our drummer Chris comes from a death metal background, while I've spent a lot of time playing rock and folk in addition to metal. I also enjoy listening to stoner metal a lot.

Our frontman/guitarist is a professional musician and audio engineer -- Simon is probably best known for his work as one half of the occult metal duo Vestal Claret. So you put all those musical backgrounds together with the occasional gratuitous Moog riff, and you get.... Owl Maker.

You’re about to release your debut EP – Paths Of The Slain. What can people expect from the record?

Variety! Songs like "Ride with Aileen" and "99" are more rock n roll, while "Freya's Chariot" definitely takes a page from Amon Amarth in terms of riffs, drumming, and subject matter. "Witches" mixes hardcore punk with some Wicca and Sabbath-worship. And as for "Mashiara" and "Lady Stoneheart," you'll have to tell me! Although we are a "male-fronted" band (buwahahahaha....), most of our songs are from a female narrator's perspective.

What is the main theme of the record?

Sticking it to The Man in all his guises.

Who is releasing the EP and what formats is the album being released upon?

That's to be determined. One way or another, it will be out digitally on March 16th; we plan to do a physical release in late spring or summer. Updates will be posted on our Facebook page.

What influenced you when writing and recording the record?

Our songs take inspiration from literature, mythology, and history -- although sometimes it's our own spin on things. Like in the song "Mashiara," which is based on characters from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, the narrator in the song has pretty much the opposite take on his situation than the same character in the book.

Also, I was getting divorced while I was writing most of Paths of the Slain and the material that will (hopefully) be on a subsequent release... There are no songs that are specifically about personal feelings, but that experience has definitely woven a few threads into our music.

Was recording the EP an easy or hard experience?

Easy for me and Chris -- probably harder for Simon because he was the one recording it! Simon also added a lot in terms of guitar and vocal harmonies, so I think it was a bit of "writing in the studio" for him. Then we sent the EP to Arthur Rizk to mix and master, so Simon got a break lol.

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

It's collective. I write the lyrics and what I see as a bass/rhythm guitar part. Chris and I finalize the arrangement and then pass it along to Simon, who writes a bunch of guitar wizardry and vocal melodies. He also edits and adds to the lyrics where needed. I think of it as a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

I should also note that our friend Christopher Baldwin wrote the lyrics for "Lady Stoneheart" -- he is in a punk band with Simon and me called Jimmy Junk Bird and the Stiffs. It was fun to have him collaborate with us on that because he is such an imaginative writer, and he occasionally lends us his wacky vocal stylings when we perform that song at shows.

Do OWL MAKER play gigs and tour often, or do you just focus on your local musical scene?

At the moment we are focusing on local and regional shows. It would be great to have the opportunity to travel; we'll have to see how we can make that feasible.

What is your local musical scene like? Are there lots of places for you to play to the masses?

A lot? No. Unfortunately, many metal-friendly venues in Connecticut have closed over the past decade. Luckily, there are a few steadfast holdouts like Cherry Street Station in Wallingford and Cook's Cafe in Naugatuck that continue to support original metal -- and there are a few across the state that don't exclusively cater to a hard rock/metal crowd, but are willing to host a metal night once in awhile if they know you can pack the place.

I'm also hearing about a lot more underground/DIY shows lately -- in fact, my friend Quinn hosts a monthly punk and metal concert series in a Stamford piano store! No lie! When times are tough, people get creative....

Do you have an advanced setup or basic setup when performing live and recording in the studio?

Our setup for performances is pretty basic -- we don't use a backing track or anything, so what you see live is much more raw than what you will hear on the EP. As far as recording in the studio, I can't tell ya what's in there but it's what Simon does for a living -- so probably pretty "advanced" lol. I'm the wrong person to ask though, I just show up and grab his Fender Jazz Bass! You can read more about the studio gear here.

If you could have been a member of any band (regardless of genre), which band would you be a part of and the reasons why?

Oh man, that's a tough question.... This is not a definitive answer, but I think it would be awesome to play with Zeal & Ardor. As a folk music nerd, I love Manuel Gagneux's interpretation of Delta Blues. To take African-American music that reflects such an evil part of American history (slavery, Jim Crow...) and meld it with music that is thought of as "evil" but practically never associated with African-Americans is really giving the finger to The Man in a lot of different ways. Plus, the dude is half Swiss! Middle fingers all around, and killer music...

Will you guys be recording a full length album later this year, or it too early to tell?

Too early to tell. At the moment we've got three songs written and one "in the chamber." I wanna write one or two more and just bang out another EP, but Chris says we should suck it up and put out a full-length! I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it...

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans? Best of luck with the new EP.

First of all, Steve, thank YOU for taking the time to check out our material and interview the band. I know this is a labor of love for most of us....

To all our fans (or future fans?!), find us on Facebook and Instagram - @owlmakermetal -- for news about Paths of the Slain and future releases.

Thank you for supporting underground metal

Written by Steve Howe and Jessie May

Thanks to Jessie May for doing this interview. Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview. Paths Of The Slain will be released digitally on March 16th 2018