Sunday 10 November 2019

KAL-EL - Witches Of Mars (Album Review)

Release date: October 04th 2019. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Witches Of Mars – Tracklisting

Witches Of Mars
Moon Unit
Cocaine (J.J. Cale Cover)


Captain - Vocals
Doffy - Guitars
Josh - Guitars
Liz - Bass
Bjudas - Drums


Witches Of Mars is the new album from Sci-Fi based Stoner Rockers KAL-EL and it sees the band continuing with the sound they’ve played over the last few albums. Though now with a heavier and progressive Doom Rock/Metal twist. The album is a winning combination of Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Psych Rock and Space Rock which KAL-EL are widely known for.

Witches Of Mars has a darker perspective which I didn’t expect. You can instantly tell from the excellent opening song Anubious which sees the band play a more distorted style of Stoner Rock/Metal. The vocals are buried under a layer of heavy distortion with the heavy guitars having a more grizzled feel to them. The song moves at a steady pace with the Spaced Out and Psychedelic elements leading the way. The song can be quite gloomy in places with the eerie ambient sounds KAL-EL have added to this track.

Second song – Witches Of Mars – carries on with the dark twisted noises lurking in the background before the familiar heavy guitar tones fully take over. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album as KAL-EL relish in bringing a more destructive style of music to their overall sound. The vocals have a certain Ozzy Osbourne influence to them. Everything else just moves onto a heavier style of Psychedelic/Space Rock that’s quite epic in places.

KAL-EL continue playing this heavier and darker style of music they’ve adapted for this album with epic SCI-FI based storytelling becoming a thrilling spectacle at times. The music is constantly engaging and action-packed with the band moving to many different styles of Psychedelic Stoner Metal that should keep long-time fans of the band superbly entertained from start to finish.

Songs such as GG77, Incubator and Moon Unit perhaps contains some of the heaviest and progressive spaced out sounds on the album. So be prepared for a lot of NOISE coming your way on this song.

The band have included a superb cover of J.J. Cale classic song COCAINE which was released last year. KAL-EL have worked their magic on this song with the band turning a 3 minute song into a Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal cover that runs past the 7 minute mark. The cover is one of the most inventive covers I’ve heard in a very long time. So KUDOS to the band for doing something different and succeeding on every level.

The album will be a fitting legacy to long-time bassist – Liz – who is sadly leaving the band due to health issues. Liz will be sadly missed by the legion of KAL-EL fans across the globe including myself. As Liz was an integral part of KAL-EL’s sound thanks to amazing skills on the bass. Whoever replaces Liz will have big shoes to fill. No doubt.

Witches Of Mars is a devilishly wild ride that sees KAL-EL take many creative risks with their music and producing one their best and most adventurous albums to date.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Witches Of Mars is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records.