Tuesday 29 May 2018

Red Mesa - The Devil And The Desert (Album Review)

Release date: June 01st 2018. Label: Desert Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Devil And The Desert – Tracklisting

1.Devil Come Out To Play
2.The Devil's Coming Round
3.Springtime In The Desert
4.Desert Sol
5.Sacred Datura
6.Route 666
7.The Devil And The Desert 10:39


Brad Frye-Guitar/Vocals


Red Mesa new album - The Devil And The Desert - is in essence a Stoner Rock album. Though one with a difference. As Red Mesa add elements of Americana and Blues Rock with the usual Psychedelic interludes that appear on most Stoner Rock albums these days.

Opening song - Devil Come Out To Play - has a mellow All Them Witches approach to it with the band playing an Americana/Country Rock style of Stoner based sounds. The song is played superbly well. However it's not the most exciting songs to open the album with. As the mood is quite mellow and too peaceful for my own liking.

Second track - The Devil's Coming Round - features more intricate slowly played Desert/Americana/Stoner Rock sounds as Red Mesa adopt a more semi-acoustic approach with their music .The vocals and lyrics are very good indeed. Quite atmospheric and gloomy in parts. Red Mesa do play a heavy doom based riff towards the end of the song as the album finally springs into life with a pounding Doom Rock/Metal sound. Red Mesa feels influenced by the "American Outlaw" culture that's featured so prominently over the last sixty years or so. As the album's message is very distinctive and rebellious at the same time.

Third track - Springtime In The Desert - opens with a middle-eastern sound before slowly disappearing and Red Mesa start to play their familiar "semi-acoustic" sound. This is quite an intriguing song and sees the band changing their musical styles yet again. The song maybe could have done with some vocals.

The second half of the album is where Red Mesa finally start making things happen. As the album moves into heavier Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock territory with traces of bleak Desert Rock sounds. Songs such as: Desert Sol, Sacred Datura and Route 666 has a more downbeat vibe compared to the first three songs. The riffs become heavier and more progressive with Red Mesa taking influence from bands such as Kyuss and Monster Magnet. Even the vocals on Sacred Datura feel influenced by Dave Wyndorf.

The final song - The Devil And The Desert - is the true standout song on the album with Red Mesa playing a bombastic style of Desert Rock, Psych, Blues and the all-important Stoner Rock grooves that holds everything together.

The production is loud, soulful and extremely vibrant especially when the heavier riffs appear. After a slow start, The Devil And The Desert becomes a highly intriguing and superbly entertaining album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Brad from Red Mesa for the promo.


NEWS: When The Deadbolt Breaks Reveal New Album Details And Teaser Video

WHEN THE DEADBOLT BREAKS partner with Sliptrick Records to release upcoming 2018 album 'Angels Are Weeping... God Has Abandoned...'; Reveal album video teaser

Longtime psychedelic doom metallists When The Deadbolt Breaks joined with Sliptrick Records to release their upcoming full-length album "Angels Are Weeping... God Has Abandoned..." on CD later on in 2018. 

With nearly 15 years and five albums under their dark belts, this Eastern Connecticut trio - Aaron Lewis (guitars, vocals), Mike Parkyn (bass, vocals), and Randall Dumas (drums) - has completed recording and mastering on their sixth release. Finalizing the details for the new CD to be released by Sliptrick Records, 'Angels Are Weeping... God Has Abandoned...' is due out later in 2018.

When The Deadbolt Breaks on Sliptrick Records: https://sliptrickrecords.com/when-the-deadbolt-breaks/

The physical CD release date should coincide with digital availability through various streaming outlets. Plans are in the early stages to also have an accompanying vinyl press for the new release.

Hear a taste of terror with this tantalizing introduction to what happens When The Deadbolt Breaks...


Aaron Lewis – Guitars, Vocals
Mike Parkyn – Bass, Backing Vocals
Randall Dumas – Drums


A vision of Doom…

When the Deadbolt Breaks... In a flash of lightning, the god ignites a smoke and takes a hollow inhale of Autumn wind from smoky leaf and ash. Its deep sigh exhales thunder across a pitch sky, rolling with a turn of head into the vast emptiness of a torn heart. A second strike of light cracks with a triggered hammer. It is done. The god no longer watches. Justice rips the assailant’s soul, just as breath from unobserved faith, yanking wretched petals from thorny stems to fall across the threshold of her face.

The soundtrack to the demise of righteousness and the retort of a broken heart. When the Deadbolt Breaks began in the mind of Aaron Lewis while still a member of stoner rock icons Cable. Originally designed to be an exclusively emotional outlet for personal sanity, Aaron brought in musicians and friends to assist and enhance the recordings. With no boundaries or specific styles to restrict it, a ferocious engine fed on bitter revenge was driven by their skill and passion.

Less than a year later, their debut album "In the Ruins, No Light Shall Shine" was completed in December 2005, and released by Spare Change Records in May 2006. A new line up was formed later that year, and Spare Change Records teamed with PsycheDOOMelic Records to release the band’s sophomore release, a split CD with NY sludge gods, Negative Reaction. When the Deadbolt Breakstoured through seven states in support of the two releases

In 2008, they began recording "The Last Day of Sun", their third album contains 11 songs, spanning almost two hours and two discs of the heaviest, open, and sonically diverse music they had done to date. In 2010, When the Deadbolt Breaks decided to avoid any label angst and, in true DIY fashion, self-released the album as a free digital download. Handling all their own promotion, the release sparked off a wildfire of attention in the heavy music underground world.

Prior to a tour with doom giants Elder in 2012, the band took three days (and as many cases of wine) to write and record their second album “Drifting Toward the Edge of the Earth”. Finishing it after the tour, they released the double CD to critical acclaim in 2013, via EarOne Productions Records.

Now with a steady, heavy lineup of Randall Dumas on drums, Mike Parkyn on bass and Aaron on vocals and guitar, the band moved on to their next adventures. Under the writing and art direction of Aaron, they completed two epic music video productions in 2013 and 2015. Early 2016 found them recording their fifth record, an EP “Until it All Collides”, released on Salt of the Earth Records and supported by a subsequent tour. When The Deadbolt Break’s live show has become a monster of its own, with sheer volume and intensity transporting the viewer to another dimension.

In 2018, their sixth record, “Angels Are Weeping… God Has Abandoned…” finds its CD release through Sliptrick Records later this year. A vinyl format release is also in the planning stages.


Sunday 27 May 2018

Festival News Scorched Tundra Announce Entire Line-Up For 2018 Edition

Scorched Tundra is proud to announce the entire lineup for its tenth edition.  The second installment of 2018 – taking place on August 31st and September 1st at The Empty Bottle in Chicago – features newcomers and veterans of the festival from across the country and abroad.

Friday August 31st
Lair of the Minotaur
Telekinetic Yeti
Saturday September 1st

In the Company of Serpents
Couch Slut

Tickets can be purchased through these links:
Scorched Tundra’s mission is to give a new generation of talented artists a unique live platform in Gothenburg and Chicago. The festival’s billing – based on sound, not stature  creates an unparalleled aural experience for its audience.
“The process of selecting bands for the tenth edition of this festival began over a year ago. For this momentous occasion, I sought bands that have forged their own space at the convergence of heavy, progressive and dark music. Scorched Tundra’s mission is to give a new generation of talented artists from Gothenburg and Chicago a unique platform. The tenth lineup achieves this, while also mixing in extremely talented musicians from around the country. I look forward to sharing this exceptional lineup at The Empty Bottle on Labor Day Weekend.” states organizer Alexi D. Front.
Tickets for August 31st and September 1st will be $20 per night, and more exciting festival details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Tour News - Doomstress Announce "They Come From Texas! Tour'

Doomstress will have just wrapped up a tour in May but will be hitting the road again in June on the  'They came from Texas! Tour'  to play Maryland Doom Fest 4.  (Doomstress Alexis & Brandon played Maryland Doom Fest 1 w/Project Armageddon). 

This tour will also include 2 direct support dates for late 60s heavy rock/proto-metal pioneers Josefus on their 1st ever shows outside of Texas!

Doomstress Alexis (bass & vox), Brandon Johnson (lead guitar) & Matt Taylor (lead guitar) will be joined by fellow Texan, Buddy Hacher of Greenbeard, pounding the skins for this tour! 

Tour poster art by TriStarr (http://tristarr.art)

June Tour dates:

6/18 Mobile, AL @ Blind Mule
6/19 Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy's
6/20 Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf
6/21 Raleigh, NC @ Local Band, Local Beer w/Demon Eye & Disenchanter
6/22 Charlottesville, VA @ Magnolia House
6/23 Frederick, MD @ Cafe 611 - Maryland Doom Fest IV w/Windhand, Castle, Earthride & The Watchers
6/24 Norfolk, VA @ Pourhouse of Norfolk w/Shadow Witch & Witchkiss
6/25 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/Goat Wizard
6/26 Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Bar w/Duel & Sparrowmilk 
6/27 Ferndale, MI @ Zeke's Rock N Roll BBQ 
6/28 Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare's Lower Level
6/29 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout w/Josefus & PCW Syndicate
6/30 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club w/Josefus & PCW Syndicate

Music & Merch:

IG @Doomstress_band
Twitter @Doomstress 


Record Label Spotlight - Forbidden Place Records

Forbidden Place Records is a record label based in Denver, Colorado, USA that was started in 2014. This label is a record label with a difference. As the label describe themselves as:

"An art and music label that focuses on underground and experimental works by national & international artists"

Looking at their BandCamp Page, Forbidden Place Records have a lot of cool artists featured on their roster such as STAVH, The Dead End Alley Band, SIXES, MEPHISTOFELES and RUFF MAJIK.

Though Forbidden Place Records do have a lot of other cool artists that fall outside the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal spectrum.


Willow Child - Paradise & Nadir (Album Review)

Release date: May 11th 2018. Label: StoneFree Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Paradise & Nadir – Tracklisting

1.Little Owl 06:25
2.Eirene 03:58
3.Land Of Sloe 05:28
4.Starry Road 04:32
5.Beyond The Blue Fields 07:00
6.Red Wood 04:22
7.Mayflies 05:34
8.Unspoken 03:56


Eva Kohl: vocals, guitar
Flo Ryan Kiss: guitar, backing vocals
Jonas Hartmann: organ
Javier Zulauf: bass
David Kohl: drums, backing vocals


Paradise & Nadir is the new album from Psychedelic Heavy Blues Rockers Willow Child. The album is a very well made album and shows Willow Child’s passion for all things 70s Classic Rock. It’s not really original as a lot of bands are currently performing this style of music. Sometimes it can be hard to standout from the crowd. However Willow Child manage to be one of the better bands from this over-crowded genre. That’s perhaps down to the superb vocals from lead vocalist Eva and the insightful lyrics contained on the album.

The album is quite heavy in places and the band are excellent musicians going by the msuic they create throughout Paradise & Nadir. The heavy psychedelic sounds of the opening track – Little Owl – takes a few minutes to get accustomed to. From that point on, Willow Child are in complete control with their vintage blend of Psych, Blues, Classic and Stoner Rock.

The production is quite good with the Willow Child’s vintage sound feeling like it was actually recorded in the 1970s. Songs such as Eirene, Land Of Sloe, Beyond The Blue Fields, and Mayflies perhaps offer the best songs on the album.

I’m not the biggest fan of this style of music. However Willow Child have made me a fan of their music and I do want to hear more from the band in the future. As they have something positive and magical around their music that makes you want to immerse yourself with the superb riffs contained on the album.

This is an album solely for fans of Classic Rock/Retro Rock. If you’re looking for an album with a more modern sounding groove then you will perhaps be slightly disappointed. However if you’re in the mood for that harks back to do the days of 70s Classic Rock with a few moments of Progressive Rock then Paradise & Nadir is the album for you.

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday 26 May 2018

DOPETHRONE - Transcanadian Anger (Album Review)

Release date: May 25th 2018. Label: Totem Cat Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Transcanadian Anger – Tracklisting



Vince - guitars & vocals
Vyk - Bass
Shawn - Drums
Julie - Vocals on "Miserabilis


Transcanadian Anger is the new album from Canada's premiere Sludge/Doom/Filth Merchants - Dopethrone. The album is perhaps their heaviest and angriest offering yet with the band writing blistering political based lyrics and harsh Doom/Sludge Metal sounds. The band is five albums into their epic career and they show no signs of stopping their aggressive behaviour.

Opening track - Planet Meth - opens in trademark Dopethrone fashion with brutal sounding Doom/Sludge Metal grooves and the harsh growls from lead vocalist Vince. The heavy bass line is instantly recognisable as Dopethrone build up a thunderous sounding rhythm for a cool progressive feel. The lyrics are quite harsh. Even for Dopethrone. It seems the band have been heavily influenced by current problems within the world. As Transcanadian Anger doesn't shy away from creating gloomy atmospheric vibes. The band manages to include their deadly sense of wicked fun that's been a major staple of their previous albums.

Second track - Wrong Sabbath - is less volatile than the opening song but still manages to incorporate a lot of harsh sounding vocals, riffs and lyrics.

Third track - Killdozer - is classic sounding Dopethrone with fast-paced Doom/Sludge sounds but with more hard-hitting aggression. The song is perhaps the most hard-rocking listed on the album. As this song has quite an addictive groove.

The next two tracks – Scuzzgasm and Tweak Jabber - may have very tongue-in-cheek titles but they perhaps offer some of the albums heaviest moments with the band putting in a commanding performance. The whole tone of the album doesn't really change much but that's a good thing as Dopethrone are known for creating a certain type of sound. It's a sound they brilliantly excel at.

There are a few psychedelic and progressive sounds heard on the album that I really enjoyed. As it shows the band have matured into one of the most dependable and recognisable bands within the world of Doom/Sludge Metal.

The production is perhaps what makes this album. As the album sounds so brutally heavy from the start. You can feel the full force of Dopethrone coming at you from all angles and it's impossible to ignore. Especially on the epic last song - Miserabilist. A slightly depressing number with a few weedian influences hidden amongst the dark brooding sludge based grooves.

The line-up may have changed recently. However that hasn't stopped Dopethrone for constantly releasing great albums and Transcanadian Anger maybe their best album to date.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Transcanadian Anger is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Totem Cat Records.


Continuing Their Progressive Journey - An Interview With Nick and Marlon from SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI

It’s hard to believe that Sons Of Alpha Centauri have been around since 2001 and they are about to release their second full length album with Continuum. It’s also their first full length album since 2007’s debut S/T album.
Though the band have not been quiet since then. As Sons Of Alpha Centauri have released split albums and singles with bands such as Yawning Man, Karma To Burn and Hotel Wrecking City Traders.
Sons Of Alpha Centauri are considered pioneers of the UK Desert/Psych/Stoner Rock scene and it’s good to see the band return with a full length album of their own. For this album, the band have teamed up with Aaron Harris from Post-Metal titans – ISIS. Aaron recorded and produced this album and Continuum has a more post-rock/post-metal feel compared to previous releases.
I managed to catch up with Nick (Bass) and Marlon (Guitars) from the band where we discuss their formation, evolution of their sound and the recording of the new album.
Hi Guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.
Nick – I’m all good thanks Steve. Thanks for doing the interview and good to speak with you again. Marlon is with this time for some variety!
For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how Sons Of Alpha Centauri came together and what the current line-up is today.
Nick – Me and Marlon (guitars) formed in 2001 and starting a whole host of different tracks just out of school. We wrote about 35 tracks and then asked some local musicians who we respected, but didn’t really know too well – if they’d be interested in playing drums and keys for the band. Those people were Stevie B and Blake respectively. They joined in 2004 and the band has had the same line up since then till now.

You’re about to release your new album – Continuum. What can people expect from this album.
Nick – the debut album split down two distinct but very different paths. One was the lighter, desert, stoner type instrumental vibes and that entwined with the darker, heavier contrasting ambient material. We worked the album into a hybrid of these two approaches and although it was quite long at nearly 70 minutes we felt that we have captured the band at the time. We were pretty broke too so had time to write and record. Continuum is a development of the darker material that we knew was always going to be the harsher cerebral side of the band. We extended the war and vessel concepts into the new album too so there is a natural extension of ideology so it still links through, even after 11 years!
It’s your first album in almost eleven years. Though SOAC haven’t been quiet. As you’ve released a high amount of split records with bands such as Yawning Man and Karma To Burn. Why have you decide to come back now with a full length album. Was it the time was just right to release something other than a split EP or record.
Marlon - We have been working on the second album now for several years. Originally it was going to be a lot more chilled however that went on to become the Yawning Sons project. 

We have enjoyed creating the singles along the way with Karma to Burn. But we also found ourselves writing in a darker direction and in the right place for creating Continuum in this heavier darker theme. 

The last couple of years we have been working towards the release of Continuum and once Aaron Harris said he would mix it that was just the icing on the cake.
Do you prefer releasing split records with other bands or your own albums.
Marlon - We definitely enjoy working with other bands and without giving anything away, we have a few more plans up our sleeves for the future. That said, time has been slipping through our fingers and recording our own album allows us to go 100% in the SOAC direction without compromise. Music can be self-indulgent at times and once we started writing Continuum we knew we were on to something.

SOAC seem to have taken on a Progressive Space Rock/Post-Metal sound on the new album. Compared to your other records. Was that the intention to return with something different.

Marlon - I don't think we intentionally picked a direction. Nick and I have two very different approaches to writing and who influenced us. Combined each track we write can vary significantly. Sometimes we find the darker side taking over - that's what happened here. It can also depend on what time of year we are writing, this album could be reflective of the bleak winters we have had recently.
Was this a hard or easy album to write and record for.
Nick - Hmmm… an easier album to write for but very difficult to perfect. Most of the tracks were hit out of the park straight by me and Marlon but Blake had a much bigger involvement in this album. ‘Io’ was written by me and him first and then Marlon came in and worked on it later. Blake has a much bigger role but it was another pair of ears that needed to be satisfied. The band has gone through so many personal changes over 10 years but overall the maturity and ambition of the album is what drove us to know that this would be our sophomore release.
Aaron Harris recorded and produced this new album and you can feel his influence all over this album. How did you get Aaron to produce your album and what does Aaron bring to the SOAC standard sound.
Nick – I met Aaron at an ISIS show when I was doing a lot of work with Seldon (Hunt) on the debut SOAC album back in 2006. Seldon was doing our t-shirts, logos and album covers and Aaron and the ISIS guys were taking a genuine interest. I think at the time as the band was taking a definitive form we thought we might end up as more of a Hydrahead band and there was a lot of talk of tours with Pelican. Anyway, Aaron was interested in the band, we traded details and we kept in contact.
When ISIS called it a day and Aaron went into production full time then I remember thinking that it could work out. After the release of the Palms album that he had produced and mixed I contacted him to see if he would be interested. He’s exceptionally busy and on average does like one or two albums a year but he said to send him through a couple of tracks, which we did. He was in. So, we recorded the whole album and sent it through to him for mixing and production. His production was adding stuff that although is the recorded instruments isn’t the original sound or interpretations.

What was recording with Aaron like. Did he provide any helpful advice when recording the album.
Nick – Aaron transformed some of the songs in terms of dynamics. He heard what we had recorded with fresh approach and different ears. Despite being instrumental we still do tend to have usually all four instruments performing at the same time. He used space and silence to build dynamics and even cut off or really reduce some performance. He invested a lot into the album, it wasn’t just ‘Here you go, cheers’ it was a whole other collaborative experience. Needless to say he has excelled the tracks to the next level and he was totally invested into the mood and concept.
H42 Records and Cobraside is releasing the album. Though H42 Records have released a few of your split records over the years. Was it an easy decision to continue with this relationship. Did you have any offers from other labels to release the album?
Nick – H42 Records have been great. I didn’t really look elsewhere as everything had gone so well with our previous releases. They really believe in the arthouse and unique version of each release. Jürgen invests in different colours, versions and each release in a way that is bespoke and tailored for that band. Despite the main pressing in five different colours which was one for each region, he did an Abyss Edition for this album that was different artwork, silkscreened with a 3” CD of a remix that we did of a track from the debut plus all copies come with a CD and an MP3 download the whole deal. It just really makes the extra effort for those people that do want a physical release to ensure that we cover not only all of the formats but it is a truly physical engagement and the best possible representation for the album, entwined with the artwork. H42 Records make that happen and we really didn’t think or look anywhere else.
Will you be touring and promoting this album heavily. Or will it be down to a few gigs and festival appearances.
Marlon - We already have some shows lined up, dates to be confirmed. Looking forward to playing the new tracks. That said, I have recently had my first born son "Logan", so whilst we will be promoting the album, we won't be going crazy.

The Stoner Rock/Instrumental Rock musical landscape has changed dramatically over the years since SOAC first formed and appeared on the scene. Have you noticed any dramatic changes over the years. Or is has it remained the same.
Nick – It has changed dramatically. I went for a drink with guys from what would become ‘Desert Scene’ after the release of Yawning Sons back in 2009 and there was very little in the UK in terms of shows and promotion but they had an ‘idea’. Desert Scene put on the their first few shows at the Underworld and we played pretty much the first 5 or 6 shows straight up. Then in 2012 we played DesertFest and then, well look at what DesertFest is now.
It’s a bit weird that we released a more stoner album back when post metal was in its hey day and now when stoner doom seems to be rocking it, then we’ve gone with a heavier more progressive output as opposed to I think, what was expected but then, SOAC are predictably unpredictable in that sense. We had to do what felt right for us, and with Aaron and John involved it is something which contrasts nicely with where the UK scene is right now.
Before you go do you have any words of wisdom to say to your fans. Best of luck with your new album as it’s a great sounding and progressive album.
Nick – Thanks Steve, that’s a great thing to say! Glad that you’re liking it and appreciate the progressive elements. I think the main thing to say is that we have spent a lot of time honing our craft but after 15 years we really feel that this is kind of the end of the beginning now. I quite like that we operate in the shadows a bit but it’s easy to be forgotten - this album is reinstating ourselves as being true to our commitment to the band and people who have followed us in our various guises that this feels like something special and we want people to be a part of it. Thanks again Steve and for your support as always. Hope to speak again soon!
Words by Steve Howe, Nick Hannon and Marlon King

Thanks to Nick and Marlon for doing this interview. Continuum will be available to buy from the following records labels and distributions sites listed below on June 1st 2018.