Thursday 30 January 2020

BLUTBAD - Alcohodyssey (Album Review) And Video Premiere For Flash Goldon

Release date: January 31st 2020. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Alcohodyssey - Tracklisting

01 Lost in Space (feat. Kristallo)
02 Alcohodyssey part.1 (The space adventures of the hopshunters)
03 Die Alone
04 Sunday of Living Dead
05 Space Trumps
06 I want to believe
07 Alcohodyssey part.2 (The great escape from Bikini planet)
08 Steam Road
09 Interstellaris 0042
10 Flash Goldon (feat. Niko from Own Paw Thee Die)
11 Arcade Mood (feat. Kristallo)


Tomi Versetti – Vocals
Manu Il Bello – Guitar/Vocals
Michael Deon – Bass
Davide Tonin – Drums


Blutbad new album Alcohodyssey is an wickedly entertaining romp that takes influence from the realm of Science Fiction with their highly cool take on all things Punk Rock/Stoner Metal. This is a band who don’t take themselves too seriously with outlandish lyrics leading the way.

Opening song – Lost In Space – is an Electronic/Stoner Rock hybrid song with lo-fi production values with “B” movie material written all over it. The quirky Electronic vocals are meant to imitate a Robot of some kind. Maybe from the TV Series in question the song is named after. The glitchy electronic sounds and beeps had me worried. As I was thinking I couldn’t listen to an album full of these different sounds. It would drive me insane. Though it’s quite a cool song to open the album with.

Second song – Alcohodyssey part.1 – opts for a more straight-forward Sludge/Stoner Metal sound where the riffs are fast and precise. There is a Motorhead sensibility within Blutbad’s sound that brings some much needed aggression to the table. The lyrics yet again are inspired by classic Science Fiction lore with the Lemmy inspired vocals of Tomi providing a cool sounding story. The music is lively and allows the band to play some superb riffs along the way.

Third song – Die Alone – is another crazy Punk/Sludge/Stoner Metal affair with the band taking influence from Kvelertak with their music but sounding more vibrant and a lot more fun as well. The lyrics is perhaps the best thing about this album. As the band are quite the wordsmiths with their Sci-Fi inspired lyrics and matching them against addictive heavy Sludge/Stoner grooves.

The rest of the album follows the same crazy “B” movie inspired route over eight more songs with Blutbad playing to their maximum potential. The album never lets up with the band playing a faster style of Punk/Sludge/Stoner Metal that can leave you breathless in places. The production is good but there are moments where the album sounds too raw at times but nothing major to stop you from enjoying the whole wild ride the band have created here.

Other good songs to check out are: Sunday Of Living Dead, Space Tramps, I Want To Believe, Steam Road and Flash Goldon. As these songs show you what’s so good about Blutbad. The energetic lyrics and heavy sounding riffs have quite an inventive flair about them and it’s good to hear a band playing to their strengths even if they’re using Science Fiction Pop-Culture as their main influences.

If you’re a fan of Red Fang, Motorhead and Valient Thorr then Blutbad should be at the very top of your list for cool bands to check out now.

Overall, Alcohodyssey is an exciting and crazy album to listen to that has something different to offer.

Words by Steve Howe

You can see the video for their superb new song Flash Goldon from the upcoming new album.

Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for all of the details. Alcohodyssey will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from Jan 31st 2020.


Tuesday 28 January 2020

Abrams share lead track from forthcoming third album Modern Ways

Denver quartet Abrams share the lead single and title track to their forthcoming third album Modern Ways today via Metal Injection. Hear and share the hook-laden "Modern Ways" HERE. (Direct Bandcamp.)

Abrams has upped the ante with their latest recording, Modern Ways. With a focus on songwriting, lyrical narrative, and addictive hooks and refrains, Abrams presents a highly focused, intensely polished sonic narrative. Written over the course of two and a half years, the album reflects the passions, pains, successes and nightmares of the members of Abrams lives. 

Modern Ways will be available on vinyl and streaming services via Sailor Records on May 1st, 2020. Pre-orders are available HERE

Based out of Denver, Abrams was founded in 2013 as a trio. Abrams debut EP, February was released in May 2014 on No List Records. The supporting tour for this release saw the band hit the West Coast, before heading immediately into the studio to record their first full length.

Lust. Love. Loss was released independently in June 2015, receiving praise from Metal InjectionDecibel Magazine, Invisible Oranges, and others. The remainder of the year saw Abrams tour West, East, and West again.

Their follow up, Morning, came out on Sailor Records in June of 2017, which was supported by three nationwide tours for much of the remaining year. Morning received high praise from Metal Injection, New Noise Magazine, Metal Sucks and others.

Abrams is:

Patrick Alberts: Guitar
Zachary Amster: Guitar & Vox
Ryan Dewitt: Drums
Taylor Iversen: Bass & Vox


01/29/20 Denver, CO @ Ophelia's - Private Snowboard Industry event w/ ASG 
05/02/20 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive - w/ Native Daughters and Palehorse/Palerider

Album: Modern Ways
Record Label: Sailor Records
Release Date: May 1st, 2020

01. Modern Ways
02. Poison Bullets
03. Joshua Tree
04. That Part of Me
05.. Find a Way
06. My War
07. Silver Lake
08. Silence
09. Pale Moonlight
10. Marionette

On The Web:

Monolithic Sludge Metallers BEGGAR Release New Video; Announce Debut Album

Album Compelled to Repeat to be released via APF Records April 3rd 2020

Emerging from the nihilistic quagmire of London, four-piece BEGGAR have announced their debut album Compelled To Repeat will be released on April 3rd via APF Records. Not so much unleashing their album as hurling it in frustration into the faces of the general public, BEGGAR propound a kind of sludge-meets-extreme-metal pandemic of tar thick riffs and groove, blasts, emotional vocal discharge and genre-bending brutality.

Pre-order Compelled To Repeat here:

Originally premiered via Decibel Magazine, the band have also released their new single 'Black Cloud'. View the video here:

Recorded with Wayne Adams (responsible for recent works by Green Lung, 11Paranoias and Terminal Cheesecake) at Bear Bites Horse, London and mastered by the master of noise himself, James Plotkin (Sunn O))), ISIS, Pelican and Earth), Compelled To Repeat is a fuming tornado of aggression and frustration, offering a glimpse into a new sphere of savagery.

Originally founded in Bristol in 2011 as a means of melding big riffs and grooves with a blackened mode of expression, BEGGAR have honed their bubbling hatred over a series of EPs into something that might defy categorisation altogether.

Impossible to fit solely within the sludge bracket, their sound nonetheless nods to the huge monoliths of tone that such a tag implies. More multi-faceted than the death metal or hardcore genres would allow, BEGGAR still use the sheer brutality and visceral dynamics of those styles as their primary means of propulsion. Fans of bands such as Iron Monkey, Eyehategod and Napalm Death will all find a comfortable auditory home with BEGGAR. Most will find it a hard journey and startlingly abhorent, but for the brave few lies a raucous audio initiation into the hellish world of BEGGAR.

BEGGAR will release their debut album, Compelled to Repeat, on April 3rd 2020 via APF Records. Preorder via APF Records or Bandcamp.


26 March - London launch at the Dev, UK (with Road Mutant, Wallowing)
27 March - Bristol launch at Old England, UK (with TBA)
28 March – Record Junkie, Sheffield, UK (with Dopelord)
29 March – The Bread Shed, Manchester, UK (Riffolution Festival)
6 June – Boom, Leeds, UK (Stonebaked Festival)
5 Nov – Star & Garter, Manchester, UK (with Desert Storm)
6 Nov – Ivory Blacks, Glasgow, UK (with Desert Storm)
7 Nov – Tap ‘n’ Tumbler, Nottingham, UK (with Desert Storm)

Find out more about the band 

YATRA - Blood Of The Night (Album Review)

Release date: January 31st 2020. Label: STB Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Blood Of The Night - Tracklisting

3.The Howling
4.After The Ravens
5.Blood Will Flow
6.Burning Vision
7.Three Moons


Dana Helmuth
Maria Geisbert
Sean Lafferty


Blood Of The Night is the new album from Yatra and it’s another bleak round of heavy sounding Doom/Sludge Metal groove. This album is a more aggressive sound compared to their previous release. As the mood is quite downbeat from start to finish with Yatra in no mood to play any up-tempo beats or sounds at all on this album. The album has a well-rounded gloomy atmosphere that sees the band play to their strengths with delicious twisted results.

The vocals whilst good throughout the album don’t really change direction very much at all and keeps in line with the seedy and aggressive mood the band capture superbly well.

The music is a genuine highlight with Yatra playing a wide range of Doom/Sludge Metal riffs with certain Stoner Metal and Classic Hard Rock sounds allowing Yatra to offer a more expansive sound. The tone maybe bleak but Yatra know how to have fun with their music along way and that translate easily for the listener to become part of the action.

The opening few songs – Sorcerer, Carrion and The Howling – show you that Yatra are striving to play and aim for that classic Doom/Sludge Metal style of music and succeeding with a deeply rich and satisfying groove that feels influenced by Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus in places but with vocals are firmly rooted in the more Extreme side of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal.

Yatra offer a sinister Psychedelic twist on their heavy bleak sounds on this album and it’s good to hear the band offer elements of Progressive Rock/Metal along the way on songs such as: After The Ravens, Three Moons and Surrender. Which offer some of the heaviest and gloomiest parts of the album.

It may take a few listens to fully get on board with but Yatra have more than enough tricks up their sleeve to entice you into their way of thinking. Add intelligent and creepy lyrics to the mix and Blood Of The Night has a lot to offer even the most jaded of Doom/Sludge Metal fan.

The best parts about the album is most definitely the music that Yatra have created here and the top-notch production that the album offers. Everything sounds epic and with a deep precise sound that allows the music to fully breathe naturally.

Blood Of The Night is an excellent album that ultimately demands your undivided attention.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Steve at STB Records for the promo. Blood Of The Night will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via STB Records from Jan 31st 2020.


Sunday 26 January 2020

Voidlurker - Industrial Nightmare (EP Review)

Release date: January 31st 2020. Label: APF Records. Format: CD/DD

Industrial Nightmare - Tracklisting

1.Industrial Nightmare
2.Jeffrey Doomer 06:08
3.Rotten Seed
4.Bitchcraft And Misery


Brad Thomas - vocals & guitar
Andrew Rennie - bass
Jack Bourne - drums


Industrial Nightmare is the debut EP from Birmingham, UK Sludge/Doom Metallers – Void Lurker – and it’s a bleak and desolate sounding EP which sees the band explore to their full potential over 4 songs of heavy distorted and filth-ridden aggressive riffs.

Opening song – Industrial Nightmare – is a nightmarish style song that revels in it’s harsh environment with Brad’s pissed off vocals that leave nothing to the imagination. There is a slight “DIY” feel within the song but still offering a “professional” sound which allows the band to play a heavier blend of Doom/Sludge Metal. The riffs take time to fully get going but there is a lot of different grooves going and the band play a more “Extreme” style of Doom/Sludge Metal. There is a slight “Industrial” atmosphere being played in the background and the EP slowly offers a more threatening presence.

Second song – Jeffrey Doomer – is a clever play on words with the band adding another “Killer Instinct” with their music with this song being a more Doom based affair. The bleak and down-tuned guitars add a more gloomier style of music for the band to play with. The lyrics aren’t the best but Brad’s vocals allows them to be quite convincing and brutally honest in places. Though it’s the music that’s the main standout here with strands of deliciously evil FUZZ sounds appearing and almost taking centre stage towards the end of the song.

The other two songs “Rotten Seed” and “Bitchcraft And Misery” follow the same highly destructive path as the opening two songs with Rotten Seed being perhaps the standout song on the EP. As the song is over 8 minutes long and Voidlurker allow themselves more time to create a more vibrant and pissed off sound with superb equal attention on both music and lyrics where the band impress the most.

Industrial Nightmare is a highly accomplished and thrilling debut release for Voidlurker. If you’re looking for a bleak and gloomy ride into the world of Doom/Sludge Metal then Voidlurker are the band for you.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to APF Records for the promo. Industrial Nightmare will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via APF Records from Jan 31st 2020.


Saturday 25 January 2020

Lush Worker - Cygnus (Album Review)

Release date: January 7th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Cygnus - Tracklisting

1.Planetary Transit 10:31
2.Simultaneous Stellar 10:46
3.Double-Star System 14:23


Mike Vest - Everything


Cygnus is the new album from Avant-Garde Musician – Mike Vest – who is better known for being part of bands such as BONG, 11PARANOIAS, Drunk In Hell, Blown Out and most recently OZO which I reviewed the other day for their debut album SATURN.

As you can see Mike keeps himself busy with many different projects that features many different elements from the Hard Rock/Metal Spectrum. This album is from Mike’s alter ego – Lush Worker – and this one is more of a Drone/Ambient Project with twisted vibes of Psychedelic Rock, Noise and Distorted Sounds. The album is quite different to Mike’s other projects but still has Mike’s wickedly entertaining creativity running throughout each of the 3 songs.

Mike always pushes the boundaries of what can be described as Psychedelic music and Cygnus is no different. I may prefer his more “Guitar” orientated projects to Lush Worker but this is still an engrossing and almost surreal take on Drone/Ambient Metal. Therapy music this ain’t.

This is a dark, brooding, unforgiving and cold audio experience and each song can be quite unsettling to listen to at times. Though, I suppose that’s the point with this record. To make the listener feel uncomfortable and Mike does that ease. The loose “Psychedelic” noises have a gloomy feel to them and you cannot be impressed what Mike has achieved with Lush Worker.

This is the 22nd release that Mike has released under Lush Worker and there are lots of many great releases to check out from his extensive discography. I can’t go through each and every one but there is some stunning releases to choose from. Not all of them are Drone/Ambient style music. Some of them are Experimental Psychedelic Rock that will surprise you in many ways. Check out 2019’s fantastic release Immunosuppression for another style of music from Lush Worker.

My advice for Lush Worker is check out many releases that you possibly can and see how far you get. You have 22 releases to choose from. Also Mike’s other cool and infamous projects as well.

Words by Steve Howe


Fostermother - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: January 31st 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Fostermother - S/T - Tracklisting

1.Destroyers 04:35
2.Dark Sun
3.Give 05:18
4.Lie in Wait
6.Blood on the Wall
7.In the Shadow


Travis Weatherred
Stephen Griffin


Fostermother self-titled debut album may run for thirty minutes but that’s more enough time for the band to impress you with their style of Heavy Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal riffs which draws influence from Monolord, Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid and Blue Oyster Cult. The band focus on a more melodic style of Doom/Stoner Metal with Heavy Psychedelic and Classic Rock influences.

Opening song – Destroyers – has a hazy seventies Doom Rock feel before adding a modern Stoner Rock/Metal riff with a slightly distorted Fuzz Rock sound. The vocals soon kick in and we’re instantly transported back to the heyday of Classic Doom/Hard Rock with echoes of Blue Oyster Cult appearing in the vocals. The lyrics portray a band who are willing to inject a bleaker atmosphere that you wouldn’t expect with the trippy distorted guitar riffs showing you that Fostermother mean business.

Second song – Dark Sun – opens with a heavy and almost laid-back Post-Doom groove before settling down for an upbeat Stoner Metal delivery with flashes of Desert Rock and Fuzz Rock appearing. The lyrical content maybe dark but the music tells a different story and this works to the band’s favour. As this song shows all the different sides that make up Fostermother. It’s addictive, soulful and enough trippy based heaviness for the listener to lose themselves in.

Third song – Give – is played at a slow pace as Fostermother gradually bring out their “Doom” based persona to the song and it’s quite progressive in places. The heavy distorted Fuzz Rock sounds appear and interact superbly well with the gloomier sounds currently being played on the song. The instrumental work is equally fascinating as the band play different strands of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock.

Fourth song – Lie In Wait – is quite different of all of the songs on the album as the vocals and lyrics have an almost “Indie/Alternative Rock” vibe at the start of the song. Though the Doom/Stoner Metal vibe soon appears and takes centre-stage but the band has a deep appreciation for Eighties Alternative/Goth Rock. The Electronic Influence is another great touch and this allows the song to be my favourite on the album. Just showing how crazy and inventive Fostermother can actually be.

The final three songs: Fathoms, Blood On The Wall and In The Shadow sees Fostermother continuing their musical journey with dark and seedy lyrics matched against their own Psychedelic blend of Distorted Fuzz, Doom and Stoner Metal that has a gloomy seventies atmosphere holding everything together.

For an album with a short running time, Fostermother cover a lot of ground and truth be told the album could have done with a couple more songs. However, I’m willing to let that minor criticism go as the band have included a lot of different sounds on this album that I didn’t expect. This is an album that has Heart, Braun and Intelligence to match. Fostermother have crafted an undeniable slice of Doom/Stoner Metal heaven here.

These guys maybe new on the block but this album proves they have the talent and vision to go a long way in the Doom/Stoner Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Travis for the promo. Fostermother self-titled debut album will be released digitally on Jan 31st 2020. CD/Vinyl will be released later in the year.


Festival Line-Up Announced! All Roads Lead To The Electric Highway In Calgary, AB, Canada!

Buckle up for The Electric Highway Festival, two days of killer bands, rad artists and fuzzy vibes April 17 & 18, 2020 at the historic Royal Canadian Legion #1 in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 
The Electric Highway Festival has completed its lineup with the addition of the mighty Mothership from Dallas, Texas. The Supersonic Intergalactic Heavy Rock trio’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70s, updated and amped up for the modern-day. Mothership have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath. Do not miss this chance to hop on board and join Mothership as they tear across the Universal Cosmos!
The Electric Highway Festival has also added Vancouver’s Empress to the lineup.  Both Mothership and Empress will be performing at the festival on Saturday, April 18, 2020. That brings the total number of bands performing during the festival to 22.
The Electric Highway Festival is excited to release its official artwork created by the renowned dark surreal artist David Paul Seymour.  David Paul Seymour is an internationally known illustrator based in Minneapolis, MN who has created artwork for Municipal Waste, Conan, Mastodon as well as Shadow Weaver and Wo Fat who are both performing at The Electric Highway Festival in 2020. David Paul Seymore is also the driving force behind The Planet of Doom, an Animated Tale of Metal and Art and the creator of the Kumasan comic series.
The rest of the 2020 lineup brings an electric offering of North American bands featuring headliners Sasquatch and Wo Fat laying down their brand of fuzzy, kick-ass Desert Rock & Heavy Psych. Duel from Austin, Texas will be playing Canada for the 1st time at The Electric Highway Festival along with Hippie Death Cult & LáGoon both from Portland, Oregon. Festival favorites La Chinga return from Vancouver for their 4th appearance and Calgary’s Gone Cosmic & Buzzard from Victoria, BC are just a few more of the wicked bands that will be playing on two stages over the two days of The Electric Highway Festival, the full lineup below.
The Electric Highway Festival has also partnered with the Veteran’s Association Food Bank this year. The Veterans Association Food Bank was incorporated in September 2018, as a Not for Profit Society. The Association and Food Bank is designed to relieve poverty by providing food and basic, fundamental needs for Veterans and their families. The goal is to promote a stable environment for Veterans affected by loneliness, isolation, addiction, mental health or other health-related issues with peer support programs and social activities. The Association provides a safe and welcoming environment for all Veterans, building a community of Veterans helping Veterans.  The Festival will be collecting donations of food, cash, and various other items which will be donated to the organization.
The Electric Highway Festival is a fully immersive festival experience and offers much more than just music. The festival also features an art & vendor exposition during both days at The Legion, April 17-18, 2020 and a pinball tournament at Pin-Bar, April 18th, 2020. 
Exhibitor spaces are still available for the Art and Vendor Exposition. The Expo is open to Artists, Designers, Craftspeople and other creators as well as interesting small businesses. Limited space is available and you can register HERE. Business sponsorships are also available. Please contact the festival for further information at TheElectricHighwayFestival[@]gmail[.]com 
The Electric Highway Festival is also getting the whole thing started with a Kick-Off Party on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 at The Palomino Smokehouse & Social Club. This killer line up features Seattle powerhouse psychedelic doom duo Year of the Cobra as they return to Calgary.  They will be joined by Calgary’s Bloated Pig, Outlaws of Ravenhurst, and newcomers Falcotron along with Red Deer’s Smoothsayer.
2 Day Festival Pass holders can pick up their wristbands a day early at The Electric Highway Festival Kick-Off Party.  This event will be free for festival pass holders or $13 at the door for non-pass holders. (Space is limited so make sure to get their early!) Pre-order merch sales will also be available for pick up at this event too. Beat the lineup and come for some bands, beer & BBQ at the Pal!
Festival passes are currently on sale; check to purchase and for more festival information.
The Electric Highway Official Lineup:
Sasquatch (Los Angeles, CA)
Wo Fat (Dallas, TX)
Mothership (Dallas, TX)
Duel (Austin, TX)
La Chinga (Vancouver, BC)
Gone Cosmic (Calgary, AB)
Hippie Death Cult (Portland, OR)
LáGoon (Portland, OR)
Buzzard (Victoria, BC)
Chunkasaurus (Victoria, BC)
Bazaraba (Calgary, AB)
Shadow Weaver (Calgary, AB)
Father Moon (Calgary, AB)
Set & Stoned (Crossfield, AB)
Row of Giants (Calgary, AB)
Hemptress (Kamloops, BC)
Pink Cocoon (Montreal, QC)
The Sleeping Legion (Winnipeg, MB)
The Basement Paintings (Saskatoon, SK)
Empress (Vancouver, BC)
Locutus (Calgary, AB)
The Worst (Calgary, AB) 
Festival Links:
Expo - Vendor opportunities are available. Please go to the website to fill out a form.
Ticket Information:
Early Bird Festival Passes are $50 (plus GST/SC) while quantities last or until Jan 31, 2020, 11:59 pm at
Regular Festival Passes are $65 (plus GST/SC). Single Day tickets are $35 (plus GST/SC)
Regular Festival Passes and Single Day tickets go on sale on February 1, 2020. Physical tickets and passes will be available at Sloth Records and New Level Brewing Company as well as online in the FestivalStore. Paperless tickets will also be available on Showpass.
Social Media Links:
Hashtag #BuckleUp
Media Partners:
Absolute Underground Magazine
Broken Neck Radio
Calgary Metal Scene Events
Cannabis Update
CJSW Radio
Daily Hive
Doomed & Stoned
Live Music Magazine
Metal Devastation Radio
Metal Master Kingdom
Outlaws of the Sun
Pure Rock Radio
Riff Relevant
Taylor Made Radio
The YYScene  
Business Partners/Sponsors:
Asher Media Relations
The Celestial Agency
Clearview Accounting Services
From the Floor Entertainment Inc
Loud as Hell Festival
Mammoth Beard Co.
New Level Brewing Company
The Palomino Smokehouse & Social Club
Royal Canadian Legion #1
Sloth Records
Twinbat Sticker Company
Veterans Association Food Bank

Friday 24 January 2020

Elephant Tree Announce New Album Details For HABITS

London-based prog-psych-doom artisans ELEPHANT TREE have announced their highly-anticipated third album Habits, after four years of honing their sound on the international live circuit.

Released April 24th via Holy Roar Records, you can pre-order Habits here:

The band have also streamed their new single 'Sails'. View the video here:

The champions of the underground have delivered perhaps their most cohesive record yet, a scintillating blur of prog, stoner, psych, and melodic heavy rock. Opening on a hazy note of foreboding dread on 'Wake.Repeat (Intro)', the band explode into life soon after and rarely let up.

Every aspect of ELEPHANT TREE’s previously established sound has been amplified to 11 and fine-tuned to perfection. Their heavy, driving, grooves hold a more calculated rhythmic swing counterbalanced with leads that hold a soberingly clear gentleness. This is all tied together with vocals that possess a charming hedonism to their timbre, sure to win over legions more fans.

Elements of a heavy Pink Floyd, Melvins, and Deftones all combine with exhilarating effect, cementing the status of this group who have already sold tens of thousands of records and streams into the millions.

The union of sonic density and yearning is captured wonderfully, thanks in no small part to the band's production choice of The Church Studios, famed for the sounds of U2, Nick Cave, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Adele amongst others.

If the sound of Kyuss and Smashing Pumpkins partying with Hunter S. Thompson and Cult Of Luna in an arena sounds like a good time, then this is the album for you. If there's any justice, 2020 will be the year ELEPHANT TREE bloom out of best kept underground secret into a household name.

Thursday 23 January 2020

OZO - Saturn (Album Review)

Release date: February 7th 2020. Label: Riot Season Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Saturn - Tracklisting

Nuclear Fuel
Slide Way


Drums - Graham Thompson
Alto Sax - Karl Conrad D'Silva
Bass/Guitars - Mike Vest


Saturn is the debut album from Psychedelic Rockers OZO and is a very hard album to describe. As at its core essence is an experimental Jazz based atmosphere blended with Psych Rock, Doom, Noise Rock, Krautrock with Sonic Experimentation to match. It’s purely an instrumental album but one that doesn’t shy away from being hugely experimental and unconventional at the same time. Which isn’t surprising considering the folks behind this project – Graham Thompson, Karl Conrad D’Silva and Mike Vest who are members of the following bands - Members of Ballpeen, Tong Po, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind, Vanishing, Drunk In Hell, 11Paranoias and BONG.

Opening song – Lifeship – is a Psychedelic and Nightmarish take on Experimental Jazz based Rock with OZO creating an almighty loud sound. The song is quite addictive and moves into many different directions. The saxophone provides most of the Jazz based grooves with Graham and Mike providing a more Experimental Psych/Krautrock outlook with elements of Doom appearing here and there. It’s not the easiest thing to listen to and you need to be in a certain mood to listen to the album. Though it’s quite exciting when OZO go full flow and play a heavier and direct style of music.

Second song – Saturn – carries on the heavy psychedelic trip from the opening song but AMPS it up for an epic thirteen minutes or so. Everything is played looser, heavier and faster with more focus on heavy grooves than the Jazz style tendencies of the opening song. This song reminds me of another Mike Vest project – Blown Out – in many ways. I thought OZO would struggle to play this style of music for this long but it’s superbly weird, confusing and entertaining at the same time. The band almost lose control and focus in the middle but they manage to include a different style of music that gains back your attention with interest.

Third song – Nuclear Fuel – is another progressively long song running past the eleven-minute mark. Things become weirder and heavier yet again with OZO focusing more on their Psychedelic Rock and Jazz based influences. I must say this is my favourite song off the album. As it has a more conventional “Hard Rock” structure compared to the other songs on the album though still highly experimental as well. The distorted psych grooves add a calmer exterior in places but OZO don’t like to be playing the style of music for long and it carries on moving into many different directions.

The final two songs – Slide Way and Centuries – are both shorter songs but still carrying the same psychedelic trappings of the previous songs with Centuries being another standout song on the album. So expect more heavy psychedelic weirdness that will have you questioning your sanity.

Saturn can be called an Avant-Garde album. It’s quite different to what’s currently out there and maybe Saturn will take time to find an established audience. It’s quite a brave album for OZO to come out with for their debut record. It pulls no punches with it’s different style of music and I applaud the band for being different and thinking outside of the box.

The production is excellent and the album does have a classic seventies feel to it which allows Saturn to sound more organic than I initially expected. I’m not surprised that Riot Season Records are releasing Saturn. As that great label is the perfect place for the “Outcasts” of Psychedelic Rock Bands and OZO is no exception. It’s a marriage made in heaven you would say.

Saturn is too far out in places and quite hard to listen to at times. However, it’s never boring and makes for a superbly entertaining album that will surprise you in many different ways.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to OZO for the promo. Saturn will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Riot Season Records from Feb 07th 2020.