Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Volcanova - Radical Waves (Album Review)

Release date: August 21st 2020. Label: The Sign Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Radical Waves – Tracklisting

Where’s the Time?
Super Duper Van
I’m Off
Stoneman Snowman
Sushi Sam
Got Game


Samúel Ásgeirsson- guitar, lead vocals
Dagur Atlason- drums
Þorsteinn Árnason- bass


Radical Waves is the debut album Desert/Stoner Rockers Volcanova who hail from Iceland. These cool Icelandic Rockers formed in 2014 and it’s quite hard to believe they’re just releasing their debut album now. As their debut album is packed full of many different sounds with Volcanova playing genres such as Prog Rock, Psych Rock, Sludge Rock and even Space Rock within their normal style of Desert Rock/Stoner Metal.

As debut albums go, this will be one of the best debut records of 2020. As the band take many different creative risks and choices on this record which ultimately pay-off for a more well rounded experience which is top-heavy with spectacular riffs. The band seem to take influence from bands such as Kyuss, QOTSA, Truckfighters and even Mastodon on this album.

The opening two songs Welcome and Where’s The Time showcase the band playing a fast-paced and addictive style of Desert Rock/Stoner Metal with the band adding a subtle Psychedelic groove to keep things that slightly different. The vocals from Samúel are your standard style of Desert/Stoner Rock vocals with that allow him to add a lot more variety on the later stages of the album.

Things go into overdrive with the stunning 3rd track – Super Duper Van – with Volcanova moving slightly towards a more classier style of Prog Rock with some fantastic lyrics and vocals allowing Super Duper Van showing at first hand the band’s true talent at writing action packed songs with thrilling lyrics and melodies to match.

Fourth Song – I’m Off – is where the band start adding a more heavier Sludge Rock sound that works superbly well against the Desert Rock textures featured in the opening songs. This song has a more “Post-Doom” or “Post-Rock” approach that settles down to a more heavier vibe. The band are seasoned road-warriors with the band constantly touring over the last few years and you can tell they’ve picked up a few tricks along the way touring with The Vintage Caravan and ELDER. This song does have those band’s DNA on this song but this still remains Volcanova’s show and you can’t help be instantly drawn into their hazy Psychedelic world.

Fifth song – Stoneman Snowman – is my favourite song on the entire album with Volcanova playing a brilliantly clever style of Grunge, Psych, Desert Rock, Sludge Rock and Stoner Metal with a haunting Progressive mood holding everything together. The vocals are great but it’s the music and lyrics that are the best part of the song. There is killer riffs and a blistering sing-along chorus that you can’t help not but SHOUT along to.

Volcanova are in fine confident form leading into the 2nd half of the album and dare I say that the 2nd part is even better than the first half. The band do play some of the heaviest and most expressive riffs on the album especially on the final two songs of Got Game and Lights.

I didn’t know what expect with Radical Waves before I listened to it but Volcanova have released a wonderful album that will no doubt make some actual waves within the Desert/Sludge/Stoner Rock scenes with it’s wide range of different ideas held on the album.

You would be absolutely insane to miss this album when it’s released in August 2020. This will be classed as one of the best Stoner Rock/Metal debut albums of 2020. Need I say more….

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo. Radical Waves will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via The Sign Records from August 21st 2020