Sunday, 27 October 2019

Lowcaster - Flames Arise (Album Review)

Release date: October 25th 2019. Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Flames Arise – Tracklisting

1.Prologue 03:05
2.Flames Bemoan The Tide 09:30
3.Passage 01:33
4.Pilian 06:57
5.Extramuros 07:01
6.Shore Up The Ashes 09:24
7.Dust 07:39


Jason Bridges - Guitar / Vocals
Marc Brandi - Guitar / Vocals
Dean LaVoie - Drums
Dave Silva - Bass


Flames Arise is the 2nd album from Doom/Stoner Metallers Lowcaster who are now signed to Ripple Music and it seems the band have upped their game on their latest and greatest release. As the band adapt a more progressive and experimental sound that sees the band incorporate different genres such as Progressive Rock, Psych Rock and even Post-Rock based interludes.

The album is gloriously OTT and deeply emotional as well. There is a deep 70s Prog Rock storytelling and influence throughout the album. The ambient sounds gives the album quite an unsettling and uneasy feeling especially on the opening two songs – Prologue and Flames Bemoan The Tide.

Prologue is an instrumental song that lays down the musical groundwork for rest of the album. It’s a dark sound that I enjoyed immensely from my very first listen.

Second song – Flames Bemoan The Tide – is a 9 minute plus epic that’s packed full of different grooves and sounds that move from 70s Classic Hard Rock/Metal to a more thundering modern groove with an Iron Maiden/Thin Lizzy influence being heard from time to time. The vocals are excellent though I’m not sure who is the main vocalist within the band Jason or Marc. However when the dual vocals do appear they offer a more cinematic style of sound. The riffs are loud, brash and angry but the band still experiment with their sound with an Ambient Doom sound appearing that slows the mood right down. One of the standout moments of the album.

Third song – Passage – is an Ambient Post-Rock song that has gloomy vocals that acts more as a brief interlude before the band return to their heavier sounds on the next song with Pilian.

Fourth song – Pilian is another chance for Lowcaster to play their hybrid 70s Classic Hard Rock grooves and modern Doom/Stoner Metal progressive riffs. The song has a more fantasy based feel compared to the other songs on the album and that’s down mainly to the superb lyrics the band have written for this song.

The final 3 songs – Extramuros, Shore Up The Ashes and Dust – sees Lowcaster go on full scale Doom/Stoner Metal with almost 24 minutes of intense and high energy grooves being played at a frantic pace. Shore Up The Ashes is perhaps the standout song on the album.

The production is excellent and I’ve said this numerous times – I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Ripple Music release. That label always releases quality sounding albums and Flames Arise is no different.

Overall, Flames Arise is a superbly entertaining album that’s not afraid to embrace the more fantastical elements of the Doom/Stoner Metal genre and just run away with it all. This allows the album to be a thrilling musical and progressive assault on the senses.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. Flames Arise is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music.