Saturday 31 August 2019

FIREBREATHER - Under A Blood Moon (Album Review)

Release date: September 27th 2019. Label: RidingEasy Records Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Under A Blood Moon – Tracklisting

1.Dancing Flames
2.Our Souls, They Burn
3.Closed Gate
5.We Bleed
6.The Siren


Mattias Nööjd
Kyle Hagman
Axel Wittbeck


Firebreather new album – Under A Blood Moon – sees the band signing to RidingEasy Records and returning with a more expansive and heavier sound. Perhaps closely influenced by Black Sabbath, High On Fire and Monolord, this album still sees the band forge their own way into the realm of Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal. This album is darker, heavier and more groove based than their excellent debut album.

This album contains 6 songs running around 50 minutes of intense riffage. The music and vocals impress from the start with Firebreather reaching a new level of maturity with the progressive sounds leading the way.

Opening song – Dancing Flames – is one of the standout songs on the album with the Psychedelic Grooves leading into High On Fire style pummelling guitar riffs and frantic drumming to match. The vocals are excellent with the right amount of aggression from the start. It’s also an added bonus that you can easily understand what the vocals are saying even when the harsh growls appear.

Second song – Our Souls They Burn – is perhaps the most Doom based son g contained on the album with a more gloomier outlook leading the way. This is another epic song for the band to tease your musical taste buds with. The atmosphere is quite intense with Firebreather unleashing another round of HELL with fresh sounding music that will leave you wanting more. 

The progression of different genres and melodies is the perfect answer to show you how far Firebreather have progressed since their celebrated debut album. As the band have a more threatening sound with the Psychedelic based atmosphere being one of the standout moments of the entire album.

The songs on this album vary in length from 7 mins to 10 mins Firebreather need that time to build a complete picture of modern sounding Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal.

Under A Blood Moon is an album that has a beginning, a middle and end where the band impress even further on songs such as Closed Gate, Firebreather and The Siren. Some people may complain that the album doesn’t take enough creative risks. However, this is an album that is built on RIFFS and in Firebreather’s case – BUSINESS IS BOOMING!!!

Under A Blood Moon has all the right ingredients to for a sure-fire best-seller and offers the listener a thrilling style of Progressive Sludge/Stoner Metal that will rank as one of the best albums of the year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Dave at US/THEM PR for the promo. Under A Blood Moon will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via RidingEasy Records from Sept 27th 2019.


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The Beginning and The End - OUROBOROS (EP Review)

Release date: September 13th 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Ouroboros – Tracklisting



Matt Jones
Jamie Fraser


Valfader were a UK Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal band that I enjoyed immensely before they sadly broke up in 2015. Two members Dean and Gaz from the band went onto form Eyes Fly who released their debut EP earlier this year. Now it’s Matt’s turn from Valfader to shine in the spotlight with his new band The Beginning and The End. Matt has teamed up with Jamie Fraser for this Post-Rock/Post-Metal/Industrial Rock outfit.

The band are releasing their debut EP – OUROBOROS – and it’s a mix of Progressive Rock, Post-Rock/Post-Metal with harsh Industrial Rock grooves. The band are inspired by bands such as ISIS (The Band), NIN, TOOL and Rosetta. The EP is over 40 minutes of gloomy rhythms and harsh soundscapes with the band using their real life experiences to shape their overall sound with bleak and hard-hitting lyrics keeping you on edge.

Themes such as personal loss, fear and current political themes run deep with song and each of the 5 songs offer a different and personal perspective that you wouldn’t expect to hear on a debut release with songs such as Terminal, Room and Superego being perhaps the strongest tracks on the EP. As the music is more personal and the lyrics have a hidden anger behind them.

The vocals aren’t the strongest but at least their real and convey a sense of realism against the mass produced bullshit currently being released. The overall production and sound of the EP is good for the most part but I wouldn’t expect it to be perfect. OUROBOROS is an EP showing a band making it’s way into the world and delivering an unflinching style of Post-Rock/Post-Metal that leaves many questions unanswered.

OUROBOROS can be down right heavy in places and the mood changes to a more depressing and gloomy atmosphere.

The Beginning and The End have released a well-crafted debut EP that shows a lot of promise and I’m looking forward to see what Jamie and Matt will release in the future.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Friday 30 August 2019

News - A HORSE CALLED WAR Sign To APF RECORDS. New EP Being Released

UK sludge band A HORSE CALLED WAR sign to APF Records (Desert Storm, Bong Cauldren, Mastiff). First new music to be released in 12 years. Good For Glue (and nothing else) EP out November 22nd 2019

“It's a nasty little fucker. 5 tracks of unrelenting, groove-laden sludge bile and bludgeon. It's gonna melt the skin off your face” - APF Records


Problem With Dragons - Ascendant (Album Review)

Release date: August 23rd 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD/Vinyl

Ascendant – Tracklisting

1.The Omicron 02:59
2.Moon Ritual 05:15
3.The Reptilian Eye 04:46
4.Too Terrified 01:31
5.Comply or Ignore 05:05
6.The Ascendant 05:42
7.Implant 03:56
8.Here's Condemnation 01:59
9.Apocalypse of Baruch 04:28
10.Faults De Massif 03:47


Whitman, Price, and Haddad


Problem With Dragons unexpectedly returned with their new album – Ascendant. It was a complete surprise for myself as I loved their 2015 debut album Starquake. I’ve heard rumours and rumblings over the years that a new album was being prepared but sadly had given up hope until they dropped this album without any PR or fanfare.

Ascendant sees Problem With Dragons carry on playing their modern sounding Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves with a twinge of Distorted vibes running throughout the album. The band carry on the “lost” style of Sludge/Stoner Metal that Baroness and Mastodon played back in the day before moving onto a more commercial style of sound.

Opening song – The Omicron – feels like a hidden message being played under a ton of heavy Sludge/Stoner riffage that gives you the perfect glimpse on what to expect on the album. The overall sound of this song and album is quite raw but allows Problem With Dragons to play their own style of music with elements of Punk vibes creeping through from time to time.

Second Song – Moon Ritual – has a more focused and jagged sound with the band focusing more on melody and telling an intruiging story with this song. The song is quite addictive and has a dark underbelly to it with some epic and flashy as hell guitar solos that can be quite demanding to listen to at times. The vocals are insanely good and show a wealth of creativity when the more “poppier” sounding vocals appear. It shouldn’t really work but the band deserve credit for this.

Third song – The Reptilian Eye – has a true Stoner Metal sound with flashes of Mastodon style Proggy guitars and vocals on certain parts of the song. Add a more “fantasy” feel to the lyrics with some hard hitting vibes and this allows the song to be one of the standout songs held on the album.

The opening 3 songs perfectly exemplify how the rest of the album plays out with the following songs – Comply Or Ignore, The Ascendant, Implant and Apocalypse Of Baruch being some of the most exciting and heaviest riffs on the album.

Ascendant is a deeply engaging and adventurous album with a richly creative narrative that you wouldn’t expect to hear on an album such as this. I’m hoping that the band will receive as much positive recognition they possibly can with this album. As it’s a brilliantly entertaining and must have album.

Words by Steve Howe

Ascendant is available to buy on DD now. Vinyl will be coming later this year directly from the band.


Black Pistol Announce New Video For DOWN THE HATCH

Down the Hatch, the second music video for South African rockers, Black Pistol, was shot during their album launch on 13th July 2019.

The video shows the interaction between the band and the crowd and the live energy you can expect at a Black Pistol concert. This song was one of the crowd favourites and definitely staying on the setlist for the foreseeable future.

The song is about medicating yourself with music and rather getting lost into the groove of music than anything else – Stiaan Bruwer (Vocals)

Filmed and edited by Jurie Neethling (Vetman) who also shot the first music video, Call To Arms.


Tuesday 27 August 2019

Pelegrin - Al-Mahruqa (Album Review) And Exclusive Song Premiere Of FAREWELL

Release date: September 13th 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Al-Mahruqa – Tracklisting

1. Majoun
2. Farewell
3. The Coldest Night
4. Dying Light
5. Al-Mahruqa


François Roze - guitar, vocals
Jason Recoing - bass
Antoine Ebel - drums, percussions


Al-Mahruqa is not like most Psych Rock/Stoner Rock albums. As Pelegrin play an almost avant-garde style of Stoner Rock that fuses Middle Eastern noises with progressive and cinematic Space Rock sounds. The album takes many creative risks that a lot of people won’t like and that’s a bold thing to do especially with your debut album. Pelegrin are always thinking outside of the box and are always 5 steps ahead of the listener planning and preparing where to take this spooky as hell album next.

The album has it’s fair share of heavy Doom based moments but its’ the more relaxed and chilled out Psych Rock aspect that gives Al-Mahruqa it’s deeply philosophical and addictive edge. The album contains 5 songs and clocks in at 41 minutes of deeply engaging Progressive grooves from start to finish.

Opening song Majoun is a complex combination of Psych Rock, Stoner Rock, Space Rock and Cosmic Doomed Out moments that shows Pelegrin’s deep love affair for Middle Eastern sounds and textures flirts between Mars Red Sky heavy psychedelia and heavy complex Drone/Doom vibes. It shouldn’t really work but Pelegrin soon put those early fears to bed with a highly confident performance with stunning vocals and riffs to match.

Second song – Farewell – opens rather quietly and confidently with a soothing Ambient/Semi Acoustic Psychedelic riff that has a cool sounding groove to it. The band start adding a “less” subtle gloomy based Stoner groove to the song. The song is quite reflective and the vocals feel quite emotional and reflective in places. Pelegrin change direction when they add a heavier and thunderous Doom Rock sound to the song and it changes for the better with the Psychedelic atmosphere holding everything together.

Third song – Home Again – is a more heavier affair with the band adapting a Post-Rock/Post-Doom style of music though it does take time for those moments to appear. The song starts rather quietly again before building up many different levels of sonic wizardry. The song be quite claustrophobic in places but it’s the emotionally charged lyrics and music that gives this song and Pelegrin their undeniable creative power and hold over the audience. The heavy Psych Rock moments of the song are some of the best parts of the entire album. As the song instantly draws you in as Pelegrin play some epic spaced out jams to immerse yourself with.

The final two songs – Dying Light and Al-Mahruqa – offer the final 16 minutes of this album and the band carry on playing their hybrid Psychedelic Spaced Out Stoner Rock style of music with a cool sounding Middle Eastern sensibility that leaves you wanting more.

I was kinda sad that the album finished. As I wanted to hear more from this hugely talented band. Pelegrin undeniably have their own sound and it’s quite a refreshing thing to hear over and over again. As no doubt you will miss something the first time you listen to this album. Multiple listens of this album is a must to fully understand it all.

The album sounds excellent throughout and it’s good to see band member François recording and mixing the album himself. Though getting Wo Fat legend KENT STUMP to master the album helps as well.

Overall, Al-Mahruqa is a rich and deeply satisfying album that shows a band that everyone needs to know about. This is Psychedelic Stoner Rock of the highest order and one that dares to be bold and different to stand out from the crowd.

Words by Steve Howe

You can hear the epic new song Farewell from the upcoming new album. 

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Al-Mahruqa will be available to buy on DD from September 13th 2019.


Sunday 25 August 2019

Slowjoint - Jutlandian (Album Review)

Release date: August 22nd 2019. Label: Virkelighedsfjern. Format: DD/Vinyl

Jutlandian – Tracklisting

1.Jutlandian 08:41
2.Snot Shovel 03:24
3.Pigs 02:48
4.Out of Reach 06:49
5.Stagger Me 04:58
6.The Last Pick 03:01
7.Bottom Shelf 04:15
8.Couch Cougher 04:59


Dennis I Patrick I Tor


Danish Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Slowjoint finally return with Jutlandian. Their first new album in 5 years and it’s good to see the band release a full length album at last. Jutlandian carries on the WEEDIAN based sound first heard on their celebrated 2014 debut release UP SHIT CREEK. Jutlandian sees the band playing a more grown up sound. The heavy doped up grooves are still there but this album sees Slowjoint have a more mature and depressing outlook on life.

Opening song Jutlandian is an epic 9 minute blast of down-tempo NOLA based sounds with the heavy Doom/Sludge/Stoner vibes being amped up for pure nasty heaviness and the band seem to enjoy creating a bleaker atmosphere that we haven’t heard from them before. Sometimes I do wish the riffs were played at a faster pace but Slowjoint play by their own rules on this album.

Fans of WEEDEATER and BONGZILLA will lap this album up as Slowjoint play similar kind of music as those two legendary bands.

Jutlandian sees Slowjoint writing perhaps their strongest work to date with the songwriting improving quite dramatically compared to their previous releases. The lyrics tell a more exciting narrative on nearly all of the songs with Snot Shovel, Pig, Out Of Reach and Bottom Shelf along with the title track being the most exciting songs on the album.

The demented Blues Rock vibe first heard on their debut album is still living and breathing heavily on this album. As it’s fused amongst the down-tempo Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves that Slowjoint play throughout the album.

The production is quite strong for the majority of the album. There’s a few parts where the guitars are too loud and I couldn’t hear what lead vocalist Dennis was singing about.

Overall, Jutlandian is another excellent record from Slowjoint and it’s good to have the guys back playing their demented and drugged out style of music to chill out to.

Words by Steve Howe


El Templo Lunar - Mysterium Cosmographicum (EP Review)

Release date: August 21st 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Mysterium Cosmographicum – Tracklisting

1.Alphae | A 14:41
2.Omega | Ω 12:56


Luis O - Everything


Mysterium Cosmographicum is the new EP from Mexican Space/Doom/Stoner Rockers El Templo Lunar and it’s a stirring mix of progressive spaced out sounds with the band exploring many different themes within the EP’s 28 minute run time.

The EP consists of two songs – Alphae and Omega – showing you the different sides of the bands music with the guys creating a constant array of Doom/Drone/Stoner riffs that is always constantly engaging and perhaps reminds me of their fellow countrymen – VINNUM SABBATHI – though this band has a more classical and methodical approach with influences as diverse as HAWKWIND, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and TOOL.

Mysterium Cosmographicum has it’s fair share of LIGHT and DARK based grooves and can be quite claustrophobic at times especially when the music moves from Ambient Post Rock vibes to the heavier and progressive Doom Rock grooves that the band adapt on the later stages of the EP.

Even with this being an instrumental album there is a lot of ideas to digest and to fully understand. The melodies are quite aggressive and intense in places with El Templo Lunar leaving a few hidden surprises along the way.

The production is very good indeed if not a little too raw in places. It’s hard to believe that this is a one-man solo project by one highly talented individual. Luis O does everything himself on this EP and he deserves credit for creating a rich and varied EP that will have you coming back for repeated listens.

It’s best to classify and listen to this EP as one 28 minute song as both songs tell a singular story told through the power of music and Spaced Out Doom being the main instrument to deliver El Templo Lunar trippy and psychedelic message.

Overall, Mysterium Cosmographicum is damn good EP that leaves you wanting more. I’m hoping that Luis will be releasing new material in the future as he’s definitely got my interest with his brooding style of Cinematic and Spaced Out Post-Doom Metal madness.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday 24 August 2019

Merlin - The Mortal (Album Review)

Release date: August 22nd 2019. Label: The Company KC. Format: DD/Vinyl

The Mortal – Tracklisting

1.Prologue 01:33
2.Tower Fall 06:11
3.Chaos Blade 06:53
4.Ashen Lake 04:07
5.Mindflayer 06:30
6.Basilisk 06:04
7.Metamorphosis 04:50
8.The Mortal Suite 07:05


Carter Lewis - Guitar/ Keys/ Organ
Stu Kersting - Guitar/ Saxophone/ Flute
Chase Thayer - Guitar/ Additonal Percussion
Joey Hamm - Bass Guitar
Jordan Knorr - Vocals/ Storytelling/ Omnichord
Randall Tripps- Drums/ Dark Magi

Guest Musicians

Jeremy Mcclain - Accordian
Garrett Holm - Accordian
Bretstradamus - Trumpet


Progressive Doom Rockers Merlin return with their latest and perhaps weirdest offering with The Mortal. This is a expertly produced album that sees Merlin expand on their trippy blend of Occult Doom, Psych Rock, Prog Rock, Folk Rock and Stoner Rock style of music. Reviewing an album by these guys is never an easy job as each album sounds quite different to each other.

If you’re in the mood for epic progressive Doom/Folk based music then Merlin will cast a spell over you. The songwriting and vocals are top-notch from the start with songs such as Tower Fall, Chaos Blade, Mindflayer, and The Mortal State being the standout songs on the album.

Merlin cover a lot of ground of this album though the album is firmly rooted in 70s Doom Metal and Progressive Rock with Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull with the Folk Rock atmosphere coming on quite heavily compared to their previous releases.

The production is excellent and allows each member equal and valuable time in the spotlight to show Doom Metal fans what they can actually do. There is an air of intelligence to Merlin’s music that you just don’t hear compared to other bands from the Doom Rock/Metal genre.

If you’re a fan of Merlin already then you’ll will be listening to this album for a long time to come. If this is your first time listening to Merlin then they will cast you a magical spell over you told through their powerful riffs.

This album isn’t divisive as their previous album The Wizard. As it follows the same progressive sounds and themes from the start. Maybe Merlin are finally starting to settle for their own sound and their days of experimenting with music are long gone. Then again, this is Merlin we are talking about. The guys probably already have plans for their next record to confuse and delight listeners with.

Overall, The Mortal is a deliriously exciting and dark twisted vision from one of the most inventive Doom Metal bands around.

Words by Steve Howe

The Mortal is available to buy on Vinyl now from The Company KC


Album News - NEBULA DRAG Announce New Album BLUD on Desert Records

Nebula Drag is a psycho-delic three piece rock band from San Diego, CA. Definitely not your typical Southern California band… 

Nebula Drag’s music gives a nod to Stoner Metal and Psych Rock—all with a sound that is uniquely their own. The haunting and blistering riffs paired with the thunderous drumming comprises the heart of this band. Add the melodic and spaced out vocals to the mix and let a listening journey of the highest caliber begin. 

Nebula Drag will be releasing their second album “Blud” on Desert Records in September 2019. 

Their first self-titled album was released in 2016, and they also released a 3 song ep “Always Dying” in 2017. 

The band also contributed to the San Diego Gimme Danger compilation in 2018 ,released by Fresh Pots Music.

Nebula Drag will hit the road for a short tour to promote the album on the weekend of "Blud's" release:

9/26 T.B.A. - Las Vegas, NV
9/27 Time Out Lounge - Tempe, AZ
9/28 Sister Bar (Album Release Show) - Albuquerque, NM


LP Limited to only 100 copies on high quality black vinyl, these are sure to sell quickly. 

Get your copy now:

The first single off "Blud" is the song Always Dying, available for streaming now.

The album will feature 10 tracks from the San Diego "psycho-delic" space rockers. 

The album will see if official release date on September 27th, 2019 via Desert Records


Thursday 22 August 2019

Album News - DRUG CULT To Start Recording Their New Album on Ritual Productions


Cosmic light calls us back into the vortex. 

Drug Cult step out of the shadows, alchemy attuned and are now ready to manifest their elemental energies once again. 

Tomorrow, August 23rd, the band enters Australia's illustrious 70s recording studio,
Music Farm Studios, in the Byron Bay Hinterland to record the follow-up to their self-titled debut rite, released during Summer Solstice 2018 via Ritual Productions. George Carpenter will continue to be at the recording and mixing helm of such surreptitious, spirited sonics.

Keep your third eye open for the serpent is stirring and a shift in your consciousness is on the horizon.


Ethereal Riffian - Legends (Album Review)

Release date: September 06th 2019. Label: Robustfellow Prod. Format: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

Legends – Tracklisting

1.Sage's Alchemy
2.Born Again
8.Pain To Wisdom
9.Yeti's Hide
10.Ethereal Path


Val Korniev – guitar/vocal/lyrics
Olexander Korniev – bass
Max Yuhimenko – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi – drums


Legends is the new album from Ethereal Riffian and it’s perhaps their most confident and most accessible offering to date. However the album does has it’s fair share of controversial moments especially with the socially aware and politically fused lyrics. The music is the main focal point for Legends and the album is a mixture of Grunge, Doom, Sludge, Psych, Stoner Metal and Progressive Metal sounds holding everything together.

Opening song – Sage’s Alchemy – is a swirling Post-Doom offering with the Progressive and Psychedelic sounds leading the way. The song is quite flashy in places but it shows that the band have a darker and more daring sound coming your way.

Second song – Born Again starts with a confident and heavy rhythm with the vocals coming right at you. The music has a slight Alternative Rock/Metal approach that I didn’t expect. The band move quickly to add Spacier elements to their music which they’ve done on previous releases.

Third song – Dreamgazer – adds a Heavy Metal feel to the overall flow of the album but settles down into a more cautious Psych Doom/Stoner based groove. Ethereal Riffian remind me of Soundgarden and Alice In Chains on this song and it’s quite an exciting sound with the band being quite emotional on this song.

Up next is the title track – Legends – and its’ one of the albums most aggressive songs on the album with the music and lyrics portraying a bleak picture when matched against the hard rocking sounds that show you can do something different with the standard rules of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Ethereal Riffian move into overdrive with the second half of the album. As the band become more daring with everything on this album. The music become heavier and more progressive especially on songs such as KOSMIC, MOONFLOWER and ETHEREAL PATH. The band show a real creative flair on this album and it will instantly draw you in until the very end.

The album does run out of steam near the end but it’s the overall journey that Ethereal Riffian take you upon that’s the real highlight. The album is helped along by explosive production values that will keep the listener on their toes and guessing which direction the album will take you next.

Overall, Legend is a complex and challenging album but one that is packed with expertly played riffs and fantastic vocals to match. This may not be the most straight forward album to listen to but that hasn’t stopped Ethereal Riffian from releasing their best album to date.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Against PR and RobustFellow Prod for the promo. 

Legends is available to pre-order now on Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl via Robustfellow Prod and will be released on September 06th 2019 via a range of different packages.