Friday 30 March 2018

Melvins - Pinkus Abortion Technician (Album Review)

Release date: April 20th 2018. Label: Ipecac Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Pinkus Abortion Technician – Tracklisting

1. Stop Moving To Florida
2. Embrace The Rub
3. Don’t Forget To Breathe
4. Flamboyant Duck
5. Break Bread
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. Prenup Butter
8. Graveyard


Buzz Osborne – Guitars/Vox
Dale Crover – Drums
Jeff Pinkus – Bass
Steven McDonald – Bass


Greetings All,

It was a little less than two years ago that I did my first review for Outlaws. Steve took a chance on me and handed me the Melvins Basses Loaded. I have been a huge Melvins fan for over 20 years. I was a grunge kid being in my teens in the early 90’s. I remember going to the National Record Mart in Steubenville, Ohio to pick up Houdini the day it came out in 1993. I had read a review in Rolling Stone and was a big Nirvana fan, so I took a stab and have been hooked ever since.

2018 gives us Pinkus Abortion Technician, the bands 507th release and 23rd in the past two years. I’m kidding, but honestly I have lost track. The band remains insanely prolific. I believe this to be their 3rd full length in the last 3 years, not counting solo albums, side projects, etc.

Pinkus Abortion Technician has Buzz and Dale (If you are reading this I assume you already have a working knowledge of how the Melvins operate and how their line up constantly evolves) working with their last two bassists, Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Honky, and more) and Steven McDonald (Redd Kross, Off!, etc) in an interesting fashion that includes tons of differing styles and instrumentation. In listening to the record, I didn’t notice any specific tracks that highlighted a double bass sound. It seems the band used the opportunity to add to the unique instrumentation and song structure. The eight songs on the record are intriguing and eminently listenable.

Stop Moving to Florida opens the record. It is an amalgamation of the old James Gang song Stop and the Butthole Surfers track Moving to Florida from Rembrandt Pussyhorse. The catchy classic rock style of the Stop portion improves upon the original version, while the Florida portion is remarkably similar to the original. Embrace the Rub follows, it is a short New-Wave inspired track with a punk inspired chorus.

Don’t Forget to Breathe is a seven minute plus track that moves at a slow, methodical pace with an ominous sound and shows touches of the bands more trademark heavy/sludge sound. The song is also highlighted by an odd steel drum/synth/dulcimer sound. One of the most interesting songs on the record is the atmospheric pop of Flamboyant Duck. The song is the first of two that opens with an acoustic guitar and brings in some of Pinkus trademark banjo plucking before transforming into a heavy guitar and synth closing. An interesting note on the first half of the record is that the majority of lead vocals are done by the bassist duo and not Buzz.

Break Bread is a more straight ahead, almost southern rock tinged track. It’s no secret that the band has an affection for ZZ Top. The songs mid-tempo beat and catchy chorus give way to a noisy breakdown that reminds me a lot of the little band from Texas. Ironically, one of the heaviest songs on the record is a cover of the greatest pop group of all time.

I Want to Hold Your Hand has been a live staple for quite a few years. The song maintains the catchiness of the original but adds a real heavy punch that makes it one of the stand out tracks on the record. The Melvins prove throughout this record (as well as past albums) that they can really do some remarkable work with a cover song. Prenup Butter follows and opens once again with an acoustic guitar that gives way to a definite psychedelic guitar sound. The track has a driving drum beat that carries a dark, heavy psych stomp. A second Butthole Surfers cover of Graveyard, from the almost name sake Surfers record Locust Abortion Technician, closes the record.

This is the sludgiest, most old school Melvins sounding track on the record. The band makes it their own, while still keeping it similar to the original, this track may be the most obvious to have a double bass sound to it. The guitars are heavy, the drums loud and the vocals are trade mark Buzz style with plenty of noise and feedback to go around.

At this point in the game the Melvins approach an album and do what they want with no regard or interest in what others expect or want them to do. This must be an amazingly liberating feeling. If you are a Melvins fan, you will absolutely dig Pinkus Abortion Technician. 

Don’t do yourself the disservice of pushing it off because it lacks the Sludge of Lysol or the heaviness/metal sound of their Atlantic years. Embrace it and enjoy the ride, the Melvins know where they are going, even if the rest of us don’t. 

Pinkus Abortion Technician is a welcome addition to an already impressive catalog of killer music.

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable PR for the promo. Pinkus Abortion Technician will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ipecac Recordings from April 20th 2018.


Wednesday 28 March 2018

Sierra - The Mirror (Album Review)

Release date: April 06th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The Mirror – Tracklisting

1 About The World
2 Falling
3 Out Of Parts
4 Remember
5 In Circles
6 Queenslip
7 The Last Time
8 The Mirror
9 Rainbow's End


Jason - Guitar/Vox
Robbie - Bass


Canadian Prog Stoner Rockers Sierra new album, The Mirror, carries on the 70s sounding vibe of their last EP – 72 and brings in a more progressive and experimental psychedelic sound. You can still feel and hear the sounds from their earlier releases but this album definitely sees Sierra playing a more confident 70s Progressive and Hard Rock sound.

Opening track – About The World – is a semi-acoustic psychedelic number that has an eerie modern day Opeth feel to it. Jason’s vocals even feel they were influenced by Mikael Åkerfeldt. The lyrics have have a more trippy and emotional feel compared to their previous songs. It’s quite an uplifting number and proves that Sierra have added a more dramatic flair to their music.

Second track – Falling – is a more heavier affair with the heavy Doom/Stoner sounds playing a fine balance between Psychedelic Stoner Rock and 70s Progressive Hard Rock. The instrumental work is first rate with Jason’s guitars adding elements of classic sounding Hard Rock/Heavy Metal riffs. Robbie’s bass adds a thumping rhythm and provides a subtle heavy backdrop that holds everything together. I don’t know if it’s me but I can definitely hear traces of NWOBHM on this track and throughout the album.

Sierra may have a vintage sound on this album but they do offer many moments of modern sounding Doom/Stoner Metal vibes that allows The Mirror to breathe and grow naturally.

Songs such as Out Of Parts, Remember, In Circles, Queenslip, The Mirror and Rainbow’s End are the other standout tracks on the album. As Sierra expand their hybrid Progressive/Stoner Rock sound even further with the focus more on melody than pure aggression. Maybe some people will complain that the album isn’t loud or heavy enough. I advise those folks to listen to this album again as Sierra have created a highly intelligent and quite angry album at times.

The lyrics seem more reflective and more personal compared to Sierra’s previous releases. The best part of the album for myself is the different genres of music Sierra have included on the album. Plus the band have the balls to play a high amount of guitar solos on the album. Maybe taking influence from the guitar riff geniuses over the last 40 years. So be prepared for over-the-top guitar solo riff-wizardry on this album.

The Mirror sounds excellent and that’s perhaps down to Sierra teaming up with Philip Cope of Kylesa fame to record this album. As this album sounds impressive from the start. Sierra have worked with Philip with all of their records to date and this is perhaps the best they have ever sounded.

Sierra have delivered the goods with this album. The Mirror has everything that a genuine Hard Rock/Heavy Metal fan could possibly want. If this is your first time listening to Sierra then this album is the best place to start. If you’re a long time fan of the band like myself then this album is going to blow your mind.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sierra for the promo. The Mirror will be available to buy on CD/DD from April 06th 2018.


Tuesday 27 March 2018

ORIGOD - Solitude Of Time And Space (Album Review and Exclusive Album Premiere)

Release date: March 30th 2018. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

Solitude In Time And Space – Tracklisting

8. NOW


Dario Chiadini: guitars
Vincenzo Circosta: vocals
Luciano Chertan Cotta: drums
Marco "Bobo" Miglietti: bass


Solitude In Time And Space sees the return of Post-Metallic Progressive Sludge Rockers - Origod. With an album title such as that you can expect to hear a heavy cocktail of post-hardcore, sludge metal, doom metal and even noise rock. Perhaps heavily influenced by Mastodon, Baroness, Cave-In and ISIS (The Band), this album sees Origod create a sound on their own uncompromising terms.

The album has a very raw and honest sounding post-metallic sound. Not too polished but not overdone either. Opening track - Reacting Out - sets up the whole flow of the entire album.

Angry vocals and precise Sludge/Noise/Post-Hardcore guitar sounds. It may take a few minutes to become accustomed to Origod's brutally fast paced sound. Though if you're familiar to the early vibes of Mastodon and Baroness then you will soon be at home with the ferocious riffs. The production is quite good and allows Origod to build up a whirlwind of different noises and textures. The vocals are a mixture of clean vocals and heavy growls that appear in the background.

Second track - Perception Of Dreams - carries on the frenzied Post-Hardcore/Sludge Metal attack with the band never letting up with the fast-paced sounds. The vocals are less angry than the opening song but that doesn't stop Origod laying on the post-hardcore aggression. As the guitar sounds become heavier and more direct. Maybe the production on this song is too raw at times and could have done more work. Though Origod carry on with the show and power on through playing their intense blend of post-metal/post-punk/hardcore vibes.

Songs such as Welcome To The New World, Strident Chords, Confession, Now and Solitude In Time And Space only endear the listener to Origod's cause. As the music veers to heavier progressive territory with outbursts of violent sonic riffs that will perhaps delight and confuse listeners in equal measure. That's a good thing as Origod prove they can create music on their own terms whilst still paying respects to their musical influences. Maybe the album is slightly long by one or two tracks but that doesn't stop Solitude In Time And Space being a violent sounding tour-de-force of Sludge Metal.

Origod play so many different genres that the album could have easily become lost with the many different themes and ideas contained on the album. It's to the band's credit they keep on playing this style of music and keeping the listener entertained to the very end.

I was surprised Argonauta Records announced they were releasing this album. As it's not their usual style of music they promote. I'm glad they did release this album. As I would have perhaps not given this album the attention it thoroughly deserves.

Hopefully the Post-Hardcore/Sludge Metal community will embrace this album as much as I did. Solitude In Time And Space is a stunning album. Enough Said...

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency for the promo. Solitude Of Time And Space will be available to buy on CD/DD from March 30th 2018 via Argonauta Records.

If you cannot wait that long then you can listen to this exclusive album premiere of the entire thing below courtesy of Argonauta Records.


Saturday 24 March 2018

BONG - Thought And Existence

Release date: May 04th 2018. Label: Ritual Productions. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Thought And Existence – Tracklisting

The Golden Fields
Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius


David Terry - Bass
Mike Smith - Drums
Mike Vest - Guitars


Legendary Doom/Drone collective - BONG - return with their new album - Thought and Existence. Their eighth album overall and their first studio album in three years. This album sees BONG carry on their trademark Drone/Doom sound with their style of sonic experimentation being varied throughout the album. We are only treated to two songs on the album but at least they both run past the seventeen mark.

The first track - The Golden Fields - opens slowly with a drone/ambient based sound before David's voice appears that helps creates an eerie atmosphere. BONG's familiar heavy drone guitars create slow epic sounds that have different levels of tone and aggression. The drumming is what really stands out. They may sound quiet at first but as the song progresses as Mike Smith makes you feel part of the whole gloomy experience.

The song has its fair share of psychedelic rock sounds though it's buried under a heavy avalanche of distorted drone/doom riffs. This album has quite a claustrophobic feel as BONG slowly change their style of music without your realising at first. We see a different side to BONG on the second half of the song. As they venture into heavy progressive rock and add more vocals to the mix.

The second and final song - Tlön Uqbar Orbis Tertius - sees BONG carry on with their sonic experimentation with an even more expansive sound. As BONG dive right in by playing their standard Doom/Drone sound. The Psychedelic sounding elements are more prominent here as BONG focuses more on playing a daring meditative style of Doom/Drone Metal. I don't know what more else I can say about this album.

Apart from BONG have created another wonderful sounding progressive doom metal odyssey. This is an album that works on so many different levels as BONG creates music for mind, body and soul. Thought and Existence is perhaps one of the best sounding albums of its kind being released this year. A classic sounding album from a band that are at the top of their game.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Cris at Ritual Productions for the promo. Thought And Existence will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ritual Productions from May 04th 2018.


Earthless - Black Heaven (Album Review)

Release date: March 16th 2018. Label: Nuclear Blast Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Black Heaven – Tracklisting

Gifted By The Wind
End To End
Electric Flame
Volt Rush
Black Heaven
Sudden End


Mario Rubalcaba
Isaiah Mitchell
Mike Eginton


Earthless have always been masters of their own audio reality, channelling a mix of Sabbath-esque power with ZZ Top inspired hard rocking boogie and the laid back and free vibe of their Californian homeland to create joyful soundscapes and on their masterful new album Black Heaven (a title inspired by the Joshua Tree night sky where the album was recorded) they let loose a mixture of sheer power, tight knit musical grooves and an improvised sense of freedom.

Aside from their awesome split release with Harsh Toke a couple of years ago, the band haven't released any material since 2013s From The Ages album but with Black Heaven, they blast back in fine style with an assured and potent return packed full of the riffs, groove and attitude that they are renowned for.

Black Heaven kicks off with the free flowing Gifted By The Wind, a song that alongside the driving energy and catchy riffs is a fine line in harmonica playing that compliments the song brilliantly and gets the album off to a rocking start and doesn't let up until the last notes from the albums beautifully mournful closing track Sudden End have rung out.

Tracks like the rolling Electric Flame and the aptly named Volt Rush (with a special mention of the killer guitar solos on this one) have a focus to them that gives off an awesome sense of both urgency and energy and both of theses tracks are non stop

The tracks again are largely massive instrumental freak outs but with the added addition of vocals on this album (only two of the six tracks on Black Heaven are wholly instrumental) and when those crooned vocals of guitarist/singer Isaiah Mitchell do surface, they sound immense and only enhance the cavernous Earthless sound even further and fit perfectly.

Drummer Mario Rubalcaba and bassist Mike Eginton also play faultlessly throughout and their groove combined by the non stop riffs from Mitchell creates an epic sound (just check out the huge and epic freak out that is the albums title track for proof)

The album as a whole can be summed up as a mixture of their laid back nature and that energetic focus and with Black Heaven, Earthless have made an album that resonates sunshine, good vibes and above all, good times but with a vital edge full of energy and vivacity and is a sublime album perfect for the upcoming hazy summer months.

Words by Gavin Brown

Thanks to Monica at SpeakEasy PR for the promo. Black Heaven is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now via Nuclear Blast Records.


Sunnata - Outlands (Album Review)

Release date: March 23rd 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Outlands – Tracklisting

1.Intro 00:39
2.Lucid Dream 09:18
3.Scars 06:10
4.Outlands 07:37
5.The Ascender 05:34
6.Gordian Knot 04:22
7.Falling (Interlude) 01:37
8.Hollow Kingdom 12:36


Outlands is Sunnata's new album and it sees the band expand their Psychedelic Sludge, Doom and Grunge sound. Outlands is a very complex sounding album and you may not like the album on your very first listen. Outlands is an album that demands your full attention. As the band create complex sounding rhythms that have a certain YOB-esque quality around them. The album also sees the band channel early-era Alice In Chains on certain parts of the album.

The vocals have quite a trance based effect around them especially on the second song - Lucid Dream. The opening track - Intro - is just a forty second interlude before the real journey begins with heavy grunge sounding guitars of Lucid Dream appear. Sunnata take the listener on a mystical journey with the music being channelled at many different psychedelic levels of heaviness and weirdness. The song becomes heavier with Sunnata expressing themselves through the power of progressive rock/metal.

One of the coolest aspects about this album is how Sunnata merge post-rock/post-metal themes and sensibilities with the heavier Doom/Sludge Metal sounds. The standout songs on the album have to be Scars, Outlands, Gordian Knot and the epic sounding Hollow Kingdom. Sunnata constantly challenge not only themselves but also the listener as the album takes so many different turns on the individual songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the Alice In Chains early grunge sounding dynamic of the album. Though Sunnata manage to create this album on their own terms. The vocals are never sound violently harsh though there are a few parts where the vocals do become louder than the music itself.

Sunnata manage to inject a few Middle Eastern psychedelic sounds on the album and especially on the title track - Outlands. The production is superb with the whole feel and sound of the album being first rate from the start. The instrumental work is another one of the albums strengths as Sunnata have improved immensely as musicians from their last album. They've created a more complex sound from their previous album and perhaps being more creative with their music. Maybe Sunnata have ventured into their Grunge influences compared to their previous releases. However there is still a lot of heavy Sludge/Doom Metal goodness waiting to be discovered on Outlands.

A lot of people have high expectations for this album and I can say they will be rewarded with a deeply complex and heavy progressive album that you will be listening to over and over again. As Outlands has set the benchmark of what to expect from Sunnata for their future releases. 

Outlands is their most challenging and complete album to date.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

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


An Interview With Mike Vest From BONG

UK Doom/Drone Collective – BONG – have going a band for around 13 years now and they are about to release their excellent new album -Thought And Existence – in May 2018 through Ritual Productions. 

This is BONG’s 1st album in 3 years and it’s a beautifully heavy collection of BONG’s trademark Drone/Doom distorted Psychedelic sounds.

I’ve seen BONG numerous times over the years as they live in my home-town of Newcastle upon Tyne. So I’ve had ample opportunity to see this legendary band in action and they never disappoint.

I was given the chance to catch up with Mike Vest (Guitarist) from BONG and see what influenced BONG in making this album.

Hi Mike. Thanks for doing this interview. What can people expect from the record.

Two epic tracks of modded fuzz, layered vocals and expansive percussion. We spent a lot more time on the production and layering on this album than previous. It’s generally a lot more focused.

What is the main theme of the record.

The main theme is the inward expansive nature of the mind and our senses. The brain is actually part of the external world, it is only through our senses that we can truly see or feel the mind. Methodological Solipsism is always a constant theme with all our albums, but is more prominent on this record.

What influenced you when writing and recording the record.

Life, sorrow, heartbreak, inevitability, the nature of people of actions, disappointments. All this was channelled into a melancholic output. Resulting in euphoric drones and a some what uplifting feel, whilst still remaining sonically crushing and real. Musically, however all three of us listen to vast array of music.

Our influences generally stay the same.

Parson Sounds, Arvo Part, Niblock, Holy Angels, Ashra Temple, Agitation Free. There is just too many to list.

Was recording the album an easy or hard experience compared to your other albums.

When we record we try and limit ourselves to only a couple of days studio time. There is so much space to improvise within our tracks, that sometimes too much time can be wasted. Ending up with endless versions of the same song that can be hard to distinguish between takes.

This album we decided to spend more time on the production and the mixing. Deciding early on takes and spending more time on adding bowed cymbals, octave guitar harmonies and layered vocals. Trying to remain focused whilst listening to our final mixes can be a channelling. I wouldn’t say its hard, more like a great confusion.

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

Riffs and ideas are brought in individually, but then formed as a group. We play and play the tracks and the dynamics are formed over time.

The band has been fairly quiet over the last three years and that’s quite different for you. Why the long silence. Did you need a break or just too busy with other projects.

Our last album was released in May 2015.

Since then we have still been playing shows and festivals.

How active a band is perceptional, we haven’t played festivals like Roadburn, Supersonic, Supernormal, Fat Out etc for a while, but we have still have played in London, Belgium, Portugal, Norway, Newcastle and Leeds last year.

I guess depending on how big the festival or show is, depends on how much exposure you get.

Will you be touring this record heavily. Or just the usual rare gigs and festival appearances.

We are currently booking shows for Europe and UK right now, so get in touch with us, we want to play more shows this year for sure. We are playing London at the end of June. More are being confirmed – Stay Tuned..

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

Performing live and recording is generally the same set up.

We have used a gong in the studio, but never live.

Drummer Mike S removes his hi-hat from the drum kit and uses 30-32 inch rides and crash cymbals instead. So the tempo can be slowed, using the ring from the crash as a parameter.

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.

Parson Sounds. A community of musicians creating their own reality through sound and art.

Freely out in the forests of Sweden in the 70s.
Masters of tempo and expansive rock music. 

Mike – You’re also apart of BLOWN OUT and that band is also quite prolific. Where do you find the time to participate in both bands and is it a hard juggling act. (Apologies for not remembering that Mike is part of some other great bands. Just forgot about them).

I play in a lot of bands. 11PARANOIAS, BLOWN OUT, MELTING HAND. I work hard at it all the time, sometimes too much.

But what can better than creating music/art everyday? 

A lot of musicians play in more than one band these days, if not, they should. The one thing that cannot be duplicated by machines and tech is the sound power of 3+ people playing in unison. It’s helped me play better and progress in my craft.

BLOWN OUT has just released a split album with Aussie Psych/Stoner Rock Band – Comacozer. How did that collaboration come about and did you know much about the band before you released the album with them.

I was approached by Riot Season about doing a split LP. I hadn’t heard of them at the time. I like split LPs and wanted to be part of this In Search Of Highs Split series that Riot Season was starting. All the pieces fell into place.

BONG has been going as band for thirteen years now. Did you think that it would ever last this long.

You don’t think like that at the time of formation.

It's only once time has gone by that you reflect on how long that time was. But truly, no we didn’t. We can’t believe the responses we get when we play shows and release records. Taking this time to thank everyone who has even picked up a tape, LP, CD, shirt or came to one of your shows. Without that, we wouldn’t be around.

Looking back would you change anything about your time with the band.

Not a thing

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

Thank you for your support and kind words. Bong’s music demands a dedicated listener so if you are a fan we thank you for your dedication. ‘Thought and Existence’ is out on May 4th on Ritual Productions – save this date as there will be very limited hand silk screened LPs and CDs available then!!

Words by Steve Howe and Mike Vest

Thanks to Cris at Ritual Productions for arranging this interview. Thanks to Mike for doing the interview. promo. Thought And Existence will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ritual Productions from May 04th 2018.


Tuesday 20 March 2018

Vulture Cult - Steamrolling (Single Review)

Release date: 6th April 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Steamrolling – Tracklisting



Andy Hinton
Mike Jones
Duncan Morrison
Steven McCarroll


Vulture Cult is a Grunge/Hard Rock band from Liverpool and they show a lot of promise and potential with their catchy new single – Steamrolling. Taking their cue from the 90s Grunge and Alternative Rock scenes, the band deliver a good balance of melodic sounds and soaring hard rock riffs.

The vocals are not what you would expect for a Grunge/Alternative Rock band but I give Vulture Cult top-marks for adding something different. I would like to hear more the band and hopefully a full length album or EP isn’t too far behind. The best part of the song is perhaps the psychedelic sounds that appear on different parts of the song.

The production is very good for a single. There are a few rough edges but that could be the band’s style of music coming into play. Overall this is a hugely enjoyable slice of Grunge and Alternative Rock.

Words by Steve Howe


Doom Metal Lexicanum by Aleksey Evdokimov (Book Review)

Doom Metal Lexicanum Book Review

If you're a dedicated follower of the Doom/Stoner Metal Underground and read all the top blogs then you may have heard the name of Aleks Evdokimov. Aleks is perhaps the one of the best and most prolific interviewers within the Doom Metal Community. Aleks contributes here on the blog with great interviews all the time. So Aleks knowledge of the Doom Metal Scene is second to none. I've worked with Aleks not only here on Outlaws Of The Sun but also when I was running The Sludgelord blog.

I always look forward to Aleks interviews and what other things he’s involved with. Aleks told me he a couple years ago that he was working on writing a book outlining the A-Z of Doom Metal Bands. Well that book has finally seen the light of day and has been published by the good folks at Cult Never Dies. Doom Metal Lexicanum is 300 pages outlining an in-depth history of a huge list of great Doom Metal Bands. Some you will know and some you will won't as Aleks has done his homework here outlining the full career projectory of the bands mentioned within the book.

The book is superbly written and is full of detailed articles outlining how the band was formed and their complete discography. Obviously Aleks can't feature every band within the Doom Metal spectrum but what he's written here is nothing short of miraculous. Doom Metal Lexicanum even includes some great interviews with some of the artists that Aleks has covered over the years.

Some people maybe disappointed that certain bands and genres of Doom Metal have been excluded from the book. Aleks provides great reasons for this. And this is mainly down to length purposes. Aleks has a lot of ground to cover here so the more extreme/death metal sounding Doom Metal bands don't make that much of an appearance. (Though Aleks is working on correcting this with his next book that he's currently writing).

The novel does take some time to fully get through as there is a wealth of different information and sometimes it can be very hard to fully absorb. So I wouldn't recommend reading this novel in one sitting. Take your time with the book and appreciate the amazing work that Aleks has put into this novel. I've discovered a few cool bands because of this book and I thank Aleks for that.

Doom Metal Lexicanum is an essential purchase for all of the serious Doom Metal fans currently out there.

Words by Steve Howe

Doom Metal Lexicanum is available to buy now through Cult Never Dies.


Sunday 18 March 2018

Rongeur - An Asphyxiating Embrace (Album Review)

Release date: 09th March 2018. Label: Poacher Records, Ampmandens Records, Aonair Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

An Asphyxiating Embrace – Tracklisting

1.Weltschmerz 03:12
2.Special Needs 01:49
3.Fiendesliebe 03:37
4.Wellpisser 05:44
5.The Deconstructionist 04:04
6.Mr. Hands 03:08
7.The Weight of Guilt 05:36
8.Chained to a Dead Horse 03:14


Dag Ole: bass and vocals
Ken-Robert: guitar and vocals
Jon: drums and vocals


So this is what happens when you merge the post-whatever bleakness of Neurosis with the bombastic sounds of High On Fire and Kvelertak. Rongeur are a very much band creating a bleak and dense Sludge/Stoner Metal sound. Their debut album An Asphyxiating Embrace is a nightmarish sound told through the power fast-paced Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds but with a frenzied Doom Metal approach.

The whole tone of the album is very lo-fi and that allows Rongeur to unleash a darker sound than you would expect from a band such as this. The songs are very fast-paced with all the band members providing vocals on the certain songs on the album.

Standout songs on the album are Weltschmerz, Special Needs, Wellpisser, Mr Hands and The Weight Of Guilt. The album is not the produced sounding album but it sees Rongeur continue with their rough and ready approach to their music. The post-metallic vibes is what makes this album standout. As you shouldn’t really a “Neurosis” style sensibility on this album but Rongeur deserve credit for trying something different.

An Asphyxiating Embrace is a dark musical odyssey where Rongeur make the listener feel very uncomfortable at times. So if you’re expecting an upbeat album then I recommend you look elsewhere for your musical fix. This album is for the more adventurous Sludge/Stoner Metal fan who like their music that little bit darker and with intelligence as well.

The instrumental work is superb throughout with Rongeur showing true creativity on the later stages of the album.

Embrace the madness as Rongeur have unleashed a heavy pounding beast of an album….

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday 17 March 2018

Astrodome - II (Album Review)

Release date: March 04th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: Cassette/CD/DD

II – Tracklisting

1.Mirage 10:07
2.Secular Fields 06:12
3.Dawn Gardens 05:41
4.Sunrite 12:06
5.Atlas 06:27


Going back to late 2014, a newly spaced-out band coming from the beautiful city of Porto (Portugal), Astrodome, come on the scene with their charge of psychedelia, fuzz and that seventies aftertaste that never hurts.

Their fist appearance on the scene, Live Demo, although raw in its production and execution (it is still a direct hit during a live) let us guess the potentialities of the Portuguese quartet. With their first self-produced debut album (Astrodome), things immediately became clear. Instrumental psychedelia of high levels with a chilling rhythm section. Listen to the drums on Coronation and I will tell you.

But now, after a line-up change, with Kevin (Big Red Panda, another band to absolutely check out) replacing Pedro at the guitar, they return with II, an album that marks a remarkable dose of maturity compared to previous ones.

While remaining firm to their original sound, the band in this album managed to create something really interesting. The bass/drum rhythm section is something monstrous, able to create that hypnotic background where the guitars and the masterful use of keyboards complete the work for a product that is pure psychedelic, seasoned with the right dose of fuzz and more ' doom ' moments, able to elevate the product towards something wonderful.

In this album the influence of bands like Causa Sui, Weedpecker and also My Sleeping Karma becomes even more evident, while maintaining a certain originality, adding layers of spaciness to their music.

What I really appreciate in this album is the maturity of the band, which should be taken as an example of constant improvement. Probably the charm of a city, beautiful and decadent at the same time, allowed Astrodome to evolve in an excellent way over the years. From a wonderful city a wonderful band.

Words by Bruno Bellisario